I have a few tips or you on how you can shop smarter and save money.  


 As your Financial Advisor after looking at your financial plan  I make this statement to you “you need to shop smarter” I am sure your reply to me would be, what do you mean and how can I do that” What are the things we shop for the most? We shop for food the most it does not matter where we live or whether we rent or own our own home we always have to shop for groceries or buy some sort of food product.

I would like you to take a complete inventory of all the food products in your pantry, kitchen cupboards, refrigerator and freezer. Make a list take photographs enter it on your computer on your I phone, cell or whatever portable devise you carry.

Plan the meals you will be preparing for the next week or two.

Next make a grocery list checking to make sure you are not purchasing something you already have on your inventory list.

Be careful not to purchase package or prepared foods they cost more and are usually not that healthy.

Check for all your coupons against your grocery list; look at the specials for the stores where you shop take these with you.

You will also need a pen to cross off the things you have bought as you go along.

Once you get to the store stay focus on that mission of shopping smarter, remember the store is a business in business to make as much money as they can and their plan is to get you to buy more than you need so they meet their target or bottom line and your job is to get what you need and no more which will save you money.


If you are tempted to get something on special remember if store A has it on sale this week Store B will also have it next week.  The manufactures wants the store to sell all their goods so they each get the special do not be tempted, stay on plan check your inventory list, you will find that you have six of those item already. 

I had a lunch and learn at my work and my co-worker went home and did that inventory the following Monday she came to me with a big smile on her face she said “I followed the plan to take a complete inventory and found out I had so many past due items it was very sad to see how much money I wasted I could not believe that I had seven bags of sugar and four bags of rice, but then when I went grocery shopping on the weekend and did it as you suggested I saved $65.00. My usual amount is $200.00 but because I knew what I already had and only bought what I needed for the two weeks of meals I planned I only spent $135.00 it was worth it.”


The most important thing when shopping is to know what you want whether you are shopping for a House, a Car or a household appliance. Do your homework, know what you want and how much you want to spend for the item before leaving home.

The person selling to you is in business to make money you are in business to keep as much as you can of your money while getting value for what you are spending.

 My co-worker she has stayed on her plan and she has taken that $65.00 she usually spent every two weeks and placed it in her vacation accounts. She is well on her way to a great vacation.

 Tessa- Marie Shillingford is the author of Controlling the Debt Monster.  She is Personal Financial Planner, with a designation from the Institute of Canadian Bankers, and a Financial Counselor certified by the institute of Canadian Banker. She is presently a Program Facilitator of Financial Literacy at JVS Toronto.  Tessa- Marie was employed by TD Canada Trust for twenty years in the retail section of the bank.  During her tenure at TD Canada Trust she held various positions interacting with customers of the bank.   As a Financial Advisor and Manager of Financial Services she led a group of Financial Advisors in helping customers of TD Canada Trust successfully manage their finances. Details of her book… Controlling the Debt Monster, can be found at



  1. Another great post. I do clip all sorts of coupons and as you’ve indicated you will save money. Once I went shopping and I had my ziplock bag of coupons and I saved $12.00 just by using coupons and all the items I used the coupons on were all on sale.

    1. Hi Ezra. I am glad to hear that you are taking advantage of saving all kinds of money by using those coupons, they are all free money. Remember to only buy what you need and not just to use the coupons. You are well on your way to financial independent.

  2. awesome awesome lady and awesome awesome book. i belive this book will help any one stay completely out of bankrupy or debt with a monster like that wouldn’t u want to stay out lol.. just playing. and how thank you tms for this wonderful educated book. i will countiue to use it read it and apply it to whatever it is i am doing in hope of better financial days..

  3. Hi Tessa-Marie,

    The information you provide is always timely and relevant in assisting people improve their money management skills. Keep up the good work!

  4. More great advice! Thank you Tessa! I’m guilty of falling for the “on sale” thing but with things like toilet paper or non-perishables I think it’s ok…is it? We’ve actually tried to do many small groceries instead of one big one…buy staples for the week (milk, cereal) and then buy according to what we’re cooking and shop for that meal. We’re throwing out less because we’re only buying what we’re going to cook that night or the next. I think it sounds like what you’re talking about but just a bit different…I’m not that good at planning meals too far ahead although I’ve wanted too but this is pretty much the same idea. It’s more trips to the store but at least we’re only buying what we need.

    1. Hi Cara
      You are on the right track. Yes it is really important to store on toilet paper and some non-perishable things. My advice to you is to make sure you know how many of those non-perishable things you already have and then stop. Remember money invested in those products can also be money you could save for that vacation. Preparing your meals that way is great but make the stop to the grocery store the stop on your way home, that would mean you have a list and buy only what you need for that day. Keep up the great job you are doing with your family finances and plan for a family vacation. Like Jack … in the nusrey rhyme all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So lets see the vacation plan in place. Good Luck

  5. Well done on this article Tessa. I don’t understand why most people spend money carelessly. Call me cheap, but I’d rather be cheap than broke. In my opinion it makes sense being a penny pincher and not be so materialist.

    Keep up the good work Tessa, let people know how to be wise with their spending.

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