grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge August 13-19 2012 End Of Season

The Grocery Game Challenge this week truly was a tough week for us as we wanted to see if we could make it to the end of the month spending $190 for 4 people. I’m still optimistic when I say that if we didn’t buy in bulk this would not be an issue. You can read my overall remarks at the end of this weeks challenge. I’m trying to set up the challenge so it is standardized each week. That makes it easy for me and for you to read. We started this weeks shop off with last weeks shop total of $85.24. We should have only spent $42.76 but that didn’t happen. Read on to see what did happen.

As you can see from the picture our crab apples are screaming to get picked. You can guess what we will be doing this evening. We picked up a couple more cases of mason jars at Canadian Tire today on sale so we can get a move on in the kitchen. Last year we made well over 100 jars of the jam and gave it away to friends and family. We have some left but for the most part it was an experiment to see if we could actually make a yummy miracle out of these pesky apples.

We also picked up 4 bunches of rappini in this weeks grocery shop. If you are not familiar with rappini I will be doing a post on sautéed rappini and the way we like to prepare it in certain dishes. Rappini is very common in many cultural dishes from Asia to Italy and some recipes from India. We prepared the rappini and now have it freezing for our winter recipes. Rappini is a vegetable introduced to us by our friends and certainly can be part of any healthy diet.

Then there is the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and it comes at a premium price depending on which brand you purchase. This week we purchased 4 Litre Jugs on sale so although it hit our budget hard we won’t be buying it for a very long time. We enjoy cooking with EVOO, Sesame Oil, Coconut oil, Sunflower Oil, Peanut oil and a few others for optimal flavour in our meals. Moderation is always the key not denial.

Our Grocery Game Challenge Shop For the Week!

Food Basics-

  • 4x Jugs Of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Reg $24.99 Sale $15.99 each
  • 1 Pkg Pita Sale $0.99
  • 4 x Black Diamond Cheese Sale $1.88- $1.50 coupon when you buy 2
  • 1 Jar of Tahini Paste Sale $4.79
  • 1 Jug of Allan’s White Vinegar Sale $1.99

Total Coupons Used $3.00

Total Out of Pocket $76.25

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 3x 1L Neilson Cream $3.98 (Hey! At least I’m not buying coffee from the shops and paying a fortune. We also mix the cream with milk in our coffee.)

Total Coupons Used $0

Total Out of Pocket $5.97 and 50 Shoppers Optimum Points

No Frills

  • 3x D’Italiano Bread Sale $2.49-50%= $1.25-$0.75 coupon =$0.50 loaf
  • 2x PC thin Buns $2.99-50% off=$1.50 each
  • PC Sausages Reg Price $24.35-30% sticker =$17.03
  • Bean Sprouts $0.97
  • 1x Broccoli $0.87
  • 3lb carrots PM Wal-mart $1.00
  • 3lb onions PM Wal-mart $1.00
  • Celery $1.47
  • Cucumber English PM Wal-mart $0.77
  • Fennel $1.27
  • Iceberg Lettuce PM Wal-mart $0.88
  • Peaches Sale $0.77lb total $2.11
  • 4 Rappini Sale $1.27 each
  • Produce $1.00

Total Coupons Used $14.07

Total Out of Pocket $36.15

Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results for Mr. and Mrs. CBB

Total Coupons Used this Week $13.07

Total Spent This Week $118.37

Total Spent So Far This  Month $85.24+$118.37=$203.61 ($13.61) Over budget.

Overall- Well we knew this month would be a bust having 4 mouths to feed and not 2. If you look at what we did buy though a chunk of the spend comes from bulk purchases such as the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a huge bag of rice the week before that will last us well over a year. We did have to purchase some items that our guests wanted such as cheese slices for their lunches. We also buy more vegetables,fruits and meat for healthy meals during the week. So we are currently over budget with 2 weeks left to go by $13.61.

How Well did you do this week with your shop? Post your weekly or bi-weekly shop below  exactly like I did above and you not only get to see how you did but you get an entry in our monthly contest.

Here are your weekly coupon match-ups  Aug 10-16 from Save Big Live Better.

Here are The Grocery Game Challenge Rules.- You can start any time of the month and post all month-long even if your weeks don’t coincide with mine. It’s all about tracking!

You can Follow Canadian Budget Binder on Twitter HERE or Facebook HERE and Pinterest Here. 

You can also subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder so you don’t miss a blog post. It will come straight to your email inbox.

Mr. CBB
I’m from the UK and now a recent permanent resident in Canada. I bought my first house at the age of 21 after University then my second at the age of 24. I’ve always been fascinated with personal finance, savings, learning to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where I get to share my experiences with personal finance and learn about yours along the way. I hope you stick around and check me out on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest where I am active on all social media sites. Cheers, Mr.CBB
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. mycanuckbuck says:

    Wow – your budget for 4 people is still way below mine for 2! Actually, I’m just excited to know what EVOO stands for. I was reading a Rachel Ray magazine and it kept mentioning it – but I didn’t know what it was! :)

    • Amazing the things we learn simply by reading. Yes Rachel always goes on about EVOO. I”m not sure if she coined EVOO but it’s easy to say! We were trying to be optimistic about sticking to $190 a month for 4 but we bought some bulk that messed it up. It’s all planning really and staying away from convenience. Another thing is that people tend to overeat and think they need much more than they actually do. Cheers Mr.CBB

  2. My grocery budget is $100/week and it includes haba, cleaning/laundry, baby items, etc. I buy for myself, hubby and a 21 month old.

    The previous two weeks I was over $3.99 + $35.34=$39.33 which left me with $60.67 for the week.
    I think I may have made it this week!!! Lots of small shops though :-)

    RCSS
    BD cheese slices (PM Food Basics) $1.88 – $.75 coupon (for daycare)
    Handi snacks (PM Food Basics) $.99 – $.35 coupon (for daycare)
    Minigo $1.97 – $.50 coupon
    MiO (PM Metro) 2 x $2.99 – 2 x $2.00
    Miracle whip (PM Fresh Co) 2 x $2.99
    Mott’s Fruitsations (PM Food Basics) 7 x $1.77 – 4 x $.50 (for daycare)
    PC Mac and cheese $.99
    Banana’s $.54
    Grapes (PM Food Basics) $.68
    Green pepper (PM Fresh Co) $.69 (cut up and frozen for the winter)
    Coupons $5.50
    CD $3.34
    OOP $24.80

    Food Basics
    Distilled water 2 x $.99
    OOP $1.98

    RCSS
    MiO (PM Metro) $2.99 – $1.00 coupon (found a coupon for it that someone left behind that was expiring that day and the hubby loves it so I had to grab some :-))
    OOP $2.38

    Bulk Barn
    Mustard powder $.09 (for Mr CBB’s Sloppy Joe’s)
    OOP $.09 (I made it out of the Bulk Barn without buying chocolate!!!!!)

    RCSS
    Tomato paste $.49
    NN Tuna $.99
    PC mac and cheese $.99
    Kaiser rolls $2.69
    Green pepper $.99 (freezing for winter)
    Romaine lettuce $1.29
    Tomatoes $.59
    Plastic bag $.05
    CD $.82
    OOP $7.27

    Metro
    Natrel homo milk (on sale) $3.99
    OOP $3.99

    RCSS
    BD Cheese slices (PM Food Basics) $1.88 – $.75 coupon
    Minigo $1.97 – $.50 coupon
    Margerine $3.99
    Turkey pepperoni $3.99
    Banana’s $1.70 – FPC
    Baby carrots $1.49
    Green peppers $.85 – $.43 pink sticker (freezing for winter)
    Potatoes $2.05

    Coupons $2.95
    CD $1.76
    OOP $11.56

    RCSS
    Potatoes $3.11
    OOP $3.11

    Total for week $3.11 + $11.56 + $3.99 + $7.27 + $.09 + $2.38 + $1.98 + $24.80=$55.18

    $55.18 + $3.99 (over from 2 weeks ago) + $35.34 (over from last week)=$94.51 :-) Yay! I made up for my over budget weeks!

    I have $5.49 left over incase I need it next week :-)

    • You have money leftover that’s great news!!! Isn’t it a great feeling at the end of the shopping week if you know you have cash left. We feel great when that happens! I’m so proud of you sticking to your guns this week. It’s not easy but you did it…. Oh you bought mustard powder for me recipe awee…. I always have a tonne of spices on hand for cooking.. did you see my spice cabinet? Look up spices in search on the blog.

      Thanks Jen You get Ballot #8~~ Good Luck Mr.CBB

  3. Tara Knott says:

    Am impressed that your budget stays the same even if you are feeding more ppl. After all,your wallet doesn’t understand where the extra money goes…you just have less in there! :)

    • OH it will this month even though we are feeding 4 which I kind of expected. If you really look at what we bought so far the big stuff is bulk items. So would we have been at budget, likely but with some hard work. We will see how far this month takes us! Cheers MR.CBB

  4. Mary F Campbell says:

    Safeway -

    2 Heinz Chili Sauce $10.39
    1 Lemon Juice $3.35
    1 doz large eggs $2.86
    2 Large Lucerne Yoghurt $5.00
    4 Lucerne Chip Dip $15.44
    1 Cottage Cheese $2.73
    2 Marzetti’s Veggie Dip $7.98
    2 Lean Ground Beef $6.23
    4 Degree Men’s Antiperspirant $5.60 (with a rain check for this price)
    1 Safeway Select Pizza $9.99

    Total Out of Pocket This Week $69.57

    Total Spent this Month $43.88+9.99+69.57 = $123.44 for 3 weeks => $19.06 under budget so $66.56 left in the budget for the balance of the month.

    • Hey Mary!
      What do you use the chili sauce for? What is Lucerne is that just a brand name? I’ve never tried the marzetti dips but I have coupons with no expiry here. Oh, and please send me that hamburger soup recipe, I’d be interested in that or will it be on your blog? SO far you have done very well this month, I’m impressed! I need to take lessons from you! Cheers Mr.CBB you get ballot #10

  5. whats this ballot #9…..do I have to do anything with it ?
    yes the cost of food for the meal plan is huge….but on top of that…residence, tuition, books, etc etc….to the tune of about $25 000 for 1 year…..good thing she is a nerd and got some scholarships and bursaries. Next year she will have an apartment….much cheaper

    • No you don’t do anything with your ballot. Every week that you post your shop during the month you get a ballot number. So you get an entry in our monthly draw. If we draw your number… YOU WIN! You can read the rules of the grocery game challenge on the home page. You will read all about this there as well. It’s not a bad thing to be a nerd anymore that’s for sure… after you get a great job and make some great money kids can work on that nerdiness but by then no one gives a hoot… Cheers Lynda!!! Mr.CBB

  6. Nice deal on the evoo! A savings of fourty is worth the purchase! I must say you and the Mrs. do very well on your budget and flavourful basic meals that you really enjoy :)
    Our weekly budget is $100 for food, cleaners and haba products.

    Safeway
    $4.99 1kg cheese whiz
    $1.98 6pk doughnuts
    $6.91 total oop

    Save on foods
    $2.50×4-$9.25C cheesestrings
    $2.50×2 instant oatmeal
    $5.10 cherry pepsi
    $3.50 2pk bbq lighters
    $14.81 total oop
    $9.25 total coupons

    Costco
    $9.79 pam spray(2pk 400g each)

    Superstore
    $1×4 michelinas
    $1.98 mushrooms
    $1.75 4pk grren peppers
    $2.98 4pk red peppers
    .68 jalepeno
    $11.39 total oop

    Walmart
    $2.47×2 alfredo sauce
    $2×2 tortilla salad strips
    .28×4 fruit leathers
    $4.27 cagun spice
    $2.22×4-$12C zantac
    $14.58 total oop
    $12 total coupons

    Sobeys
    $4.49 4L ice cream
    $4.99 orange ice cream topper
    $1.54 pop
    $5.99 2pk pizza
    $8.99-$1C 907g cheese
    $1.11 peach juice
    $5.19 4L milk
    $2.99 cream cheese
    $4.99 cinnamn toast cruch
    $3.99 16pk yogurt
    $4.49 4lb oranges
    $1.19 mars bar
    $49.13 total oop
    $1 total coupons

    $106.61 total oop
    $22.25 total coupons

    We are over budget by $6.61 this week, but with the heat we have been having there were extra treats and it was the last week of my girls visit ( for me it’s about little treats and special moments together as family that makes such great memories )
    Doing our big grocery shop on staple meats in july is still lasting us and will at least a few more weeks and worth the investment!
    Our golden queen tomatoes are almost ready and I can’t wait to eat them!

    • Hi Juanita!
      Those bbq lighters could you not find them at the dollar store? We have them for a buck here and we pick them up to light candles and whatever else we need. Just a thought to save you some more cash. Also I posted a recipe on my blog for homemade Cooking Spray using just water and oil and a spray bottle to do the same thing. You may also look into that and save yourself that almost $10. I know we won’t be buying it any more. Good shop… not too bad with going over budget I”m sure you will more than make up for it. Post a pic of your tomatoes on the FB when they are ready! You get ballot #11~~~ Keep at it and don’t forget next weeks budget is now under $100 if you want to stick to the month!! MR.CBB

  7. Joanna Cheevers says:

    My grocery budget for the week is $92.31 for 2 adults and 1 child and includes all food, household items, personal hygiene items etc.

    Food Basics

    Bag Chips – 2x$.99
    Broccoli – $.88
    Little Debbies – $2.00
    Peaches – $3.47
    Olive oil – $2.99
    Christie crackers – $2.42 – sale $.43 = $1.99
    Mushrooms – $1.99
    Hamburger Helper – $1.49
    Extra Lean Ground Beef – $4.84 – $3c = $1.84
    Philadelphia Cooking Crème – $3.29 – sale $.80 – FPC = -.80
    * product is on sale but rang up at full retail with .80 discount, then cashier put coupon through at full retail price of $3.29 so ended up with .80 overage!
    Kraft parmesan cheese – $6.29 – $1c = $5.29

    Total coupons & discount = $8.52
    Total oop = $23.38

    Walmart
    Fruite juice – $1.50 x 4
    Pork loin – $9 – 30% reduced = $6.30
    Old El Paso Taco Kit – sale $3.49 – PM No Frills = $2.99

    Total oop = $16.07

    Sobeys
    Yoplait yogurt – sale $4.99 – .50 c = $4.49
    5lb bag potatoes – sale $1
    Fruite juice – sale $1 x 6
    Croutons – sale $1.99
    6pk coke – sale $2
    6pk CD gingerale – sale $2
    Pringles – sale $2.49
    Doritos – sale $2.50
    Caesar salad mix – $2.99
    Corn on the cob – $2.99

    Total opp = $32.72

    RCSS

    Knorr sidekicks – sale 4 x $1 – B3G1 free c. (thanks to Mr. CBB) = $3
    Minigo – sale 2 x 1.97 – 2 x .75 c = $2.44
    Yoplait tubes – sale $1.97 – .50c = $1.47
    Buitoni pizza – sale $2.98 – $1c = $1.98
    Goldfish crackers – sale $1.97 – .50c = $1.47
    Pringles – sale 2 for $3.00
    Unico Lasagna noodles – sale 2 for $3.00
    Tilapia Fillets – $8.28 – 30% discount = $5.80
    Baby carrots – $1.29
    Red onion – $.57
    Romaine lettuce – $.98
    Tomatoes – $2.10
    Bakery Cookies (to take for dessert for the family while camping) – sale $4.78
    Tums – $1.77

    Total coupons used – $4.50
    Total Oop = $34.28

    Walmart #2
    * went to Walmart to price match a couple of items that RCSS was out of
    Becel – 3 x $2 PM’d = $6
    Stayfree – 1 x $1.97 PM’d – $2 c = -.03

    Total coupons used – $2
    Total Oop = $6.33

    Total spent for the week =$32.72 + $16.07 + $23.38 + $34.28 + $6.33 = $112.78
    Total coupons used for the week = $15.02

    Monthly budget left = $400 – $112.78 – 68.92 = $218.30

    • Hey Joanna… what’s up darlin? Thanks for posting your shop again this week…
      If you have pasta and spices in your cupboard save yourself the cash with those packet type quick meal dishes. I believe there are easy frugal recipes all over the net for replica Hamburger helper and quick lunch pastas using spices. That will save you some cash. I think having a well stocked spice cabinet is essential for good home cooking that’s why I bought a couple cases of mason jars and labels and went to town with them> That has been the best idea in our kitchen for a long time. Just like sloppy Joes we never buy those mixes (waste of money) save the cash and make them from scratch and the time is not really a huge difference at least to us. Have you ever had real parmesan regianno? It is the best you can buy and is only a fraction of the cost more than your shaker type cheese. Go for gold and for optimal flavour… the real flavour of true parm will go further on your plate and budget. You won’t use as much to flavour a dish. Any cheese that is aged is better for flavour. Good deal with the Tilapia…
      That buitoni pizza I wouldn’t pay what they ask even with a coupon. It’s cheaper to make it at home. We bought them when Zehrs was getting rid of them for $1 as they were remodelling the freezer section and that’s about all they are worth to me same with Dr.Oteker waste of cash.. IMO..What did you think of that pizza? I won’t be buying them again. So you have $218 left for the month to spend.. wow you are doing awesome!! Keep at it.. You get ballot #12 yay! Cheers Mr.CBB

  8. Hey MR.CBB
    I have tried many bbq lighters from our dollarama and they either break or run out on me within a few weeks. So I thought a splurge might be worth less frustration while using them. Maybe I’ll try that spray bottle oil when we run out. My fingers are crossed for a week under budget :)

    • I know you can do it Juanita! You have been so committed to posting your shops so think outside of the box. Ask yourself if you really need an item and meal plan with what you already have. We are doing it this month with 4 mouths to feed so if we can do it I know you can!!! Looking forward to how you make out. Cheers Mr.CBB

  9. Store: Item Amount Coupon Disc Total Weekly Sub-total

    Sobeys:
    Milk
    Beef Roast $4.87
    Pudding (2) $2.00
    Applesauce
    $14.74 14.74 *No breakdown, lost Receipt

    Harvey’s Big Potato
    Brocoli $1.79
    Blueberries $4.99
    Corn $3.99
    Homemade Bread $3.79
    $14.56 14.56

    Sobeys (Aug 17)
    Root Beer (x2) 2.5 2.5
    Deposit 0.2 0.2
    Mustard 1.99 1.99
    WW Buns 2.79 2.79
    Red Peppers (4pk) 3.99 3.99
    Cake 5.99 5.99
    17.46 0.33 17.79

    Sobeys (Aug 16)
    Chicken Chunks 9.99 2.00 7.99
    Crispy Baguette 2.50 2.50
    Raspberries 2.99 2.99
    Cheesestrings (x2) 5.98 1.50 4.48
    Rice Crisps (x2) 2.00 2.00
    Hot Dog Buns 2.79 2.79
    22.75 22.75

    Giant Tiger (Aug 18)
    Arm & Hammer Detergent (x2) 6.94 2.00 4.94
    Tuna (x4) 3.08 3.08
    Salmon Fillets 4.77 4.77
    Spinach 1.97 1.97
    Cucumber 0.67 0.67
    Cheese & Crackers (2) 2 0.35 1.65
    Celebrations Cookies 2.47 2.47
    19.55 19.55

    Total: 89.39

    Weekly Grocery Budget for 2 adults 100 89.39 10.61 carry forward
    6.27 carry forward from last week
    16.88 total carry forward

  10. budget for the week $40.00

    Food Basics
    ( sent the kids (teens)…..they did pretty good) :)

    6x Oasis juice @ 1.88 each – 6x 1.25 off coupon
    8x Grill ems @ 2.88 each – 8x 1.00 off coupon
    3x bread @ 1.99
    total = 24.79
    coupons used 15.50
    savings just on coupons not including sale = 62.53%

    -have to visit RCSS and get a couple of stayfree….and Shopppers to get the multibionta …as the stores in my area were out…..I will get a raincheck next visit if they still don t have them in. We are mostly eating from the freezer to make some room for fresh fall produce…and from the stock piles, and garden. I will come in way under budget this week…..but the last week of the month/first week of next month I will be buying alot of perishables for my daughter who starts University, so I will likely be over budget.

    Ok so she is in residence and you HAVE to purchase the meal plan ( no if ands or buts)…..there are different levels you can buy…..the cheapest is…..$$$ 3800.00 ….which is from sept- end of april minus 2 weeks @ x-mas………that is ONLY for food…..HOLY CRAP……you have to purchase all your own cleaning supplies and toiletries separate. ( just thought I’d blow your mind this morning….lol). My jaw just hit the ground when I was told this……and we wonder why this generation is in debt……( granted this is prepared food the kids are buying but jeez louiseeezzzz….)

  11. Well your kids did very well with coupons and deals at basics. I’m shocked at the cost of food for residence wow! I hope they get the best of the best to eat. Is that all they can eat like a buffet? That’s alot of $$$ for food but you’re right it almost teaches the kids that eating out is best. They don’t learn to do things for themselves like those that might rent a room or town-house and have a kitchen. Granted they still eat out, rolling out of bed to the uni kitchen,holding out a plate every isn’t the best life lesson but like you say it’s mandatory. Most kids after first year leave campus for that reason. I hope her year goes well and that she understands that life is more than being served. Cheers my dear and thanks for posting. I look forward to your shops and let us know how your daughter makes out.
    Cheers
    Mr.CBB
    You get ballot #9~

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