The Grocery Game Challenge
Yesterday I posted here at Canadian Budget Binder a post about the “Welfare Food Challenge -$26 For 1 In The Grocery Budget” that I was joining. The Welfare Food Challenge out of BC began today Tuesday Oct 16 and will run until Oct 22,2012. In that post I posted about what I would have liked to have in my grocery cart when I walked out the store all for the prescribed total of $26.
Waking up this Tuesday morning it was hard not to have my usual coffee so instead I poured my bowl of bran flakes with milk, popped a piece of bread in the toaster and whipped up a brew. Tea was much cheaper to purchase than coffee and although I drink coffee in the morning my day typically includes a tea or 2 so it wasn’t so bad. The only downside is I have no sugar for my tea but I’m not complaining at all. Probably best for me to be honest.
I’m sure once you read the pre-shopping list yesterday you thought it was near to impossible and you were right. I wasn’t able to get everything on my list and it sure did cause a bit of a panic for me. I struggled in the shop with pricing (good thing I brought the calculator) because I had to create meals on the fly with what I could afford.
We were tallying up our products in the aisles and honestly we had a cart filled with reduced produce such as peppers, mushrooms and apples all of which ended back on the shelf. They were a great deal but we just couldn’t account for them in our budget.
I had to think bulk and basics before anything for this first week as I wanted to put myself in the shoes of a welfare recipient starting from nothing. When I thought about what I wanted to eat so I wouldn’t go hungry I needed sustenance and that meant rice and beans. I figured that this week with my $26 I would get bulky items such as 2 kg of rice and 2 loaves of bread and a 2 lb bag of carrots etc and next week (hypothetical) I would buy other items such as different spices, condiments etc.
I thought if I could buy larger sized products it would save me money as it bothered me to spend more money on smaller items when for a dollar or so more I could get a larger version. It made more sense to stretch my dollar that way. If I received money as a monthly payment from welfare I would certainly do the math and buy in bulk to make certain items last all month. So although I won’t have fruit in the diet this week I won’t go hungry and I can make up for it my next grocery shop. I would have loved to follow the Canadian Food Guide but I struggled to make decisions.
I didn’t get much in the way of meat as it just wasn’t feasible for this budget. I did manage to get fish which was on sale from $5.99 to $1.99. Almost all items were on sale or in the weekly flyers and I did price match some items. The shops I went to were Food Basics, No Frills, Wal-Mart, Dollarama and the Bulk Barn. Two of the shops were in walking distance of each other in one plaza and the other in another meaning 2 bus trips. Alternatively one could Price match at Wal-Mart or No Frills all the flyers sales to save a trip provided these shops were in their city or in their walking or biking vicinity. I know some fans I chat to have only 1 shop in their town or have far distances to travel so they have to shop at the grocery store closest to them. It really depends on where you live.
I did manage to use $6.00 in coupons on products that I purchased because I had the coupons to use. I certainly didn’t see the point of paying flyer price knowing I had coupons to save money. Canadian Coupons like I mentioned in my first blog post of this Welfare Food Challenge are generally available to a good proportion of the Country. Coupons are one way you can save a bit of money in the grocery budget to stretch your dollar like in this case.
Overall shopping for this food took more time than usual and Mrs.CBB and I got into some heated debates right in the grocery aisle about the money and what it should be spent on to make the food last the week. Mrs. CBB wanted to come along for the support to see if she could help out. We would put items in the cart and the numbers wouldn’t add up and we couldn’t make meals with the cost of some items and didn’t know what our next move was. I can see how easily one would opt for boxed food as the frustration to make a meal was heightened for us each time we didn’t have money for all the ingredients. This is why I opted to buy big this week so I could build up my pantry stock the next week and so on. I didn’t want to give in to the frustrations however we did opt for boxed pasta sauce which was on offer $0.25 reg $3.xx each. This will make 2 pots of Pasta Sauce and is dehydrated tomatoes and spices. I couldn’t afford to make a pot of pasta sauce unless I gave something else up so that option best suited my needs. Although the can of tomato paste I purchased could easily be transformed into a sauce with some oil, salt, chicken cube, lemon, pepper, water, garlic and onions.
Today for lunch I had an egg sandwich with one boiled egg, lettuce, salt, pepper on 2 pieces of bread topped with a little olive oil in place of typical mayonnaise or other condiments. We already had a new loaf of bread out so I substituted one loaf that I purchased for the one I had out already. For beverages I’ve been drinking water and tea but might make a lemon water with my lemon and lime rinds for tangy flavour. Tonight for dinner I will make Black Bean and Fish Burgers with a side of 1 boiled beet, rice sautéed in garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and a touch of lime and a green salad with grated carrots, onions, salt, lemon and a touch of olive oil. I’ll post pictures later this week of all my food and my final thoughts or you can follow me on Facebook where I will update what I am eating daily and chat with my fans.
Mrs. CBB and I never bicker about money and this opened our eyes to an entirely different aspect of money fights and money problems in relationships. We later talked about the shopping experience as a couple and realized that even the best of plans can go belly up but we struggled through it with clear communication and look forward to how my week with this Welfare Food Challenge will unfold.
- What recipes would you make with the items I purchased?
- What Items would you buy if you had another $26 next week?
My $26 Welfare Food Challenge Grocery Shop
- 1 dozen Large Eggs – Sale $1.99 PM Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) to Wal-Mart (WM)
- Black Pepper Corns – $0.07 Bulk Barn
- Knorr Chicken Cubes (8)- $1.00 Dollarama
- Wonder Bread 2 loaves Sale $1.97 each No Frills (NF) (Used Buy 2 Save $2.00 coupon) $3.94 – $2.00 = $1.94
- 1x Head of Iceberg Lettuce Sale $0.97 (WM)
- 1x 2 Lbs Carrots Sale $ 1.27 Food Basics (FB)
- 1x 2 lbs Yellow Onions Sale $1.27 (FB)
- 1x 5 lbs Beets Sale $1.00 (FB)
- 1x 2 kg of Mr.Gouda Rice $2.49 (FB)
- 1x Bag of Black Beans $1.19 (FB)
- 1x 4 Litres of 1% Milk Sale $3.88- $1.00 coupon=$2.88 (FB)
- 1x Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (500 ml) Sale $3.00-$1.00 coupon =$2.00 (NF)
- 1x Lemon $0.37 (WM)
- 1x Lime $0.33 (WM)
- 1x Tomato paste $0.49 (FB)
- 1x Box of salt $0.59 (FB)
- 1x Bag (900 g) Primo Pasta Sale $1.25 (FB)
- 1x Box of Bran Flakes Cereal $2.99- $2.00 coupon =$0.99 (FB)
- 1x Pack of 3 Garlic $0.67 (NF)
- 1x Box of Black Tea 40 bags $1.00 Dollarama
- 1x Box of 2 sachets (50 g each) of Loney’s Pasta Sauce Sale $0.25 (NF)
- 1x Bag (400g) of Basa Fish Fillets Sale $1.99 PM Zehrs to (NF)
- Dollarama $2.00
- No Frills $6.85
- Wal-mart $3.66
- Food Basics $13.42
- Bulk Barn $0.07
- Total Grocery Budget for the Week: $26.00
- Total Coupons Used this Week : $6.00
- Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
- Total Spent This Week:$26
- Total Spent So Far for October: $25.35+$0+$26=$51.35
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
Over/Under spend for the month of October: $138.65
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $138.65
- Total Coupons Used This Month : $4.00+$0+$6.00=$10.00
If you missed posting your shop last couple of weeks you can post it now.
- The Grocery Game Challenge Oct 1-7, 2012- Giving Thanks
- The Grocery Game Challenge Oct 8-14,2012- Fresh Air
What did you spend this week in your Grocery Budget? Post your shop to WIN!!
Also this month if we gain 5 new grocery game fans who commit to posting their shop I will draw a second winner. With grocery prices on their way up again in the new year 2013 it’s time to take control of the grocery budget and stick to it.
What are your reasons for joining the Grocery Game Challenge?
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?
No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have a few posters from around the world.
- When does the Grocery Game Close each month?
The Grocery Game Challenge Closes at Midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long so if you miss a week you can go back and post so you still get your entry in the monthly contest.
Canadian Coupon Match-Ups- Match your coupons with flyer sales!
Here are your Coupon Match-ups for the week October 12-18,2012 from around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better. Just one of my favourite Couponing sites for finding the hottest grocery deals in Canada! Check it out!
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- Are you a Grocery Store Snob? (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be? (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Reader Question: Meal Planning For The Budget (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Sow Grow and Save (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
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