The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 19-25-Black Friday and 35 Days Til Christmas

shopping cart with gifts

There’s only 35 days left until Christmas with Black Friday around the corner and Thanksgiving this Thursday in the USA for our American friends. That means it’s time to get the ball rolling so you don’t leave everything until the last minute including grocery shopping and baking. If you missed my Grocery Game Post from last week you will see all the holiday cookies we will be baking come the first week of December.  I will be posting these recipes every Sunday in December. This week we are staying away from the grocery stores as we have no money left in our grocery budget for the month. What we plan to do is eat what we already have in the pantry, freezer and refrigerator.

I think we have more than enough food to pull off a week of no trips to the grocery store especially since today is already Tuesday. My advice would be to not look at the flyers if you really want to stick to your grocery budget or save some money extra each month so you can shop if they have super deals on so you can stockpile some items. We may do this for next year where we add an extra $20 a month for stockpiling and carry it over as projected expenses. It will only be used if a great deal comes on for toilet paper for example and we have coupons.

Do you save extra money in your budget for stockpiling or do you simply use your monthly grocery budget to stock up on what you can?

Speaking of Black Friday, I  read a post by Mandy at Money Master Mom this morning who thinks it’s only a deal if you need it when heading out into the line-ups searching for a bargain. You can read how her Black Friday Getaway crossing the border ended up costing her more than she bargained for. If you don’t plan to cross the border for Black Friday and shop at home or on-line having a set shopping budget so you don’t get overwhelmed with the mass marketing is ideal in this situation.

I agree, when it comes to Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any deal for that matter unless you “need it” then it’s likely not a bargain. I know many people who spend money using Canadian coupons to buy items in the grocery store just because they have a coupon yet may never use that product or will let the product expire. I’m not talking about laundry, toilet paper and cleaning supplies I’m talking about the food. The thrill of the chase to find the best deal and the best price is always on for some savvy budget savers but ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Have you experienced having too much food and product expiring before you get a chance to consume it? Do you donate it?

Around the holidays can be the toughest time of year for families to stick to a grocery budget or any budget for that matter. We start to see gifts for everyone on our list even at the grocery store. It’s super easy to get carried away with the festivities, the decorations and the lights.  My advice is to make a plan and stick to it but don’t get discouraged if something goes wrong. Everything we do in life is a life lesson and we should learn from our mistakes.

Post your Grocery Shop Below in the comment section and you might be our next Monthly Winner!!!

Grocery Game Challenge Results

Total Grocery Budget for the Month for 2 Adults:$190.00 at $63.33 for 3 weeks of shopping with 1 No-Shop Week per month.

This was a no-shop week so last weeks totals apply to this week as well.

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

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Week: $63.33
  • Total Coupons Used this Week:$17.50
  • Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
  • Total Spent This Week:$14.48
  • Total Spent So Far for November: $99.21+75.13+$14.48=$188.82
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $1.18
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of November: $1.18
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $1.18
  • Total Coupons Used This Month : $45.33 + $10.00 Spending Card+$15.99+$17.50=$88.82

Overall: We are happy that we stood our ground and are eating from what we have in our home to stick to our grocery budget.

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.

  • Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry?

Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be effected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money. We are currently well stocked with those products since we used coupons heavily the past couple of years. We haven’t really stocked up on much but we have taken every opportunity to purchase more paper towel, toilet paper, fabric softener and a host of other items that are an excellent price with coupon.

There are many places you can find Canadian Coupons whether it be in store or via the mail. I would suggest following an on-line coupon community or coupon Facebook page in your area.

Canadian Coupon Match-Ups- Match your coupons with flyer sales!

Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week from around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better. Just one of my favourite Couponing sites for finding the hottest grocery deals in Canada!

Here are a couple of coupons we picked up while shopping this week at Canadian Tire. 

Canadian Tire Coupons November

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If you are new Start here!

Grocery Game Challenge Rules

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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. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    Is it really only five weeks til Christmas?? That’s just crazy, I don’t know where this year has gone. :) We usually use our normal grocery budget to stock up as we usually have a nice little bit left over after we do our shopping for the month.

  2. I absolutely over spend over indulge and buy the most food, baking good, cookies, chocolates, deserts, candy, cakes, and alcohol at Christmas time.

    I stockpile regularly and what you buy at Christmas has nothing to do with the rest of the year and what I buy and stockpile and normally eat. These items are all extras that I’ve gone without or do not normally buy any other time of year, and the stores know it and advertise and stock it!!!

    Add on top the Christmas gifts,the extra company and food and drinks you serve the turkey and the Chrismas trimmings, the New Years Dinner it’s the biggest spend month of the year. Many things bought at Christmas are tradition and part of the family expectations to cut back is to go without and most don’t.

    I think what is never considered in budgeting is a savings account for Christmas that is done every month within your budget, so the overhead during “the season” is not such a crunch. I myself do not have credit cards but many I know do. So that is how they handle the overload and they pay for it dearly for many months after.

    I think instead of trying to downplay the consumerism of Christmas we should take a very different approach and incorporate a Christmas Fund into the monthly budget.

    How about this year we keep a tab on all our purchases from now until after New Years then we would know for sure what our real Christmas budget is. Then divide it by eight to ten months and come up with how much we need to put away each month for next year. No point in dividing by twelve months, most of us have our budgets go out the window November and December then find ourselves strapped January February to get caught up.

    • Hi Donna,
      You are right most people spare nothing if they have the means to get it at Christmas time. Great suggestion at the end. This is what Mrs.CBB and I do. We have a Christmas Category that we save each month in the budget and the money gets sent to a projected expenses savings account. Thanks for sharing this tip with the fans Donna! Mr.CBB

  3. Wing-sze Blake says:

    my grocery shop today, which is actually stocked up for 2 months for our fluffy girls, and next month’s groceries(my grocery month starts at the end of the month according to my husbands pay day). so here’s my shop today:

    Today’s shop:
    Spent: $151.03
    Coupon used: $ 67.13
    budget: $250 for 2 people + 3 animals (a dog and 2 cats–our daughters)

    Food Basics
    Facial tissue 3.99
    Pirate cookies 1.88
    Coffee basket 2.29
    Baby bok choy 1.88
    Green onion 1.32
    Lettuce 1.97
    Sweet potato 1.11
    Cucumber 0.97
    Acorn squash 0.99
    Villaggio bread 1.99-1.50=0.49
    Cabbage 2.93
    Peek freans cookies 2×1.88-BOGO = 0.94ea
    M&Ms 5×0.99-5xFPC=FREE

    Zehrs
    Sugar 2×1.99
    Cat wet food 2×11.79

    Walmart
    Clover leaf tuna PM:RCSS 4/5.00-4×1= 0.25ea
    Classico spaghetti sauce PM NoFrills 4×2.00
    Barilla pasta PM Sobeys 0.88-0.75=0.13
    dog wet food 2×8.98
    Reese 1.00
    Delissio pizza 3.97
    Sunlight dish soap 2/6.00 = 3.00 ea
    Scrubbing bubbles 3.98 – FPC=FREE
    Resolve 2×2-2×2=FREE
    Garnier lotion 4.96-FPC =FREE
    Lipton soup mix 4x 3/4.00-B3G1 = 1.00ea
    Catelli pasta 4×1.97 -4FPC=FREE
    M&Ms 8×1.08-8FPC=FREE

    Petsmart
    Iams Cat dry food 2×10.99 -2×5=5.99 ea
    Proplan cat food 13.99 – FPC= FREE
    Dog treat 25.99
    Dog treat 3.99

    • Wing-sze Blake says:

      mr CBB, looks like you missed my post! :) it’s ok, i know sometimes i over look things as well lol especially when my Chinese eyes are so small lol

    • Hi Wing! (A>K>A the super shopper>>>>
      First of all I want to say thanks for your continued support on FB and sharing those great deals you find with the fans (and me). Pets are part of the family, I know we have one and love him to bits. You did some pretty darn good shopping here wow. You have so many free items, I’m impressed. Where did you get all the FPC’s or do you trade for them? you used $67 in coupons, I’m impressed keep up the good work WING! You get ballot #32 Cheers Mr.CBB

  4. This challenge is epic! Great effort so far dude! Like John, we try and stock up over the few weeks before Christmas to help spread the extra cost of wine, port, biscuits, cakes etc. :)

    • Ya, we try to stock up but we don’t tend to need so much. The Grocery Game has grown alot since I started it and has helped my players stick to their budget. Next year will be even better for us as we learned so much this year from shopping and posting our shops. Cheers mate. Mr.CBB

  5. Hi Mr. CBB!

    I can’t believe it is only 5 weeks until Christmas; time to get started on those presents!

    This is my shop for the week. It is a bit low as I was budgeting for a couple of items from Costco as I don’t personally have a membership, but something came up and they weren’t able to take us, so hopefully we will hit it next week!

    Walmart
    Chips (x2) 4.20
    Carrots 1.00
    Taco Shells (x2) PM 4.00
    Lettuce 1.25
    Celery 0.97
    Soup (x2) 1.00
    Onions SCOP 0.00

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 12.42

    Superstore
    Peanut butter 3.48
    Pizza sauce (x2) 1.70
    Whole wheat pitas (x2) 1.98
    Pepperoni 2.48
    Mushrooms 1.48
    Green peppers (x4) 2.48
    Noodles (x6) 3.88

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 17.48

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.00
    Total SCOP : $1.97
    Total Spent This Week: $29.90
    Total Spent So Far for October: $124.70
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: -$20.10
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of October: -$22.60
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $72.60

    I was pretty excited about the price matches and SCOP at Walmart this week! :) Unfortunately, they wouldn’t accept the flyers I pulled up on my phone, so I will have to figure out how I can get more physical flyers. I also always have a morality issue; with those onions, I KNOW that they’re incorrect, and if I just go back and get another bag, it will be free again… I was tempted. :)

    Your budget looks good for the month!

    • Vicky,
      Really I wonder if any of my fans use their phone? I always thought that was acceptable as long as it was the actual weekly flyer the cashier was reading. This month is tough as there are 5 weeks of shopping so we literally are down to eating what we already have and are happy we froze lots of veg in the summer. We have lots of frozen fruit bags we need to eat up too. You did well this week hardly put a dent in your budget but I’m sure you are being very careful like us. What SCOP at WM… did I miss that or am I just forgetting? What did you get? Was it your first SCOP? Oh, the onions… you could go back and I bet tonnes of people do but the right thing is to hope they change it. If you go in the next day and it’s not changed, well a new day another SCOP. It’s their responsibility to change the price. You get ballot # 33.. keep at it Vicky you’re rockin it! Mr.CBB

  6. I’m doing something like a grocery challenge next month. I’m going to post everything I bought as a way to get feedback (i’m scared) and being accountable might steer me away from purchases I don’t need-like diet coke.

    • Feel free to join the grocery game challenge. There are other bloggers that post weekly and it’s been helping all of us.Some are from the USA. Mrs. CBB and I didn’t know how much money we were wasting until we started this challenge and all of our weekly players have started to see areas they can improve in or have improved in since posting their shops in the challenge. I look forward to your post.

  7. Kinda crazy that there’s only 35 days until Xmas…..time sure flies.
    Great job with the challenge. If I wasn’t rolling single, I’d definitely be in on it, but I spend more on beer than groceries….roughly $100/month for myself.

  8. Christine Weadick says:

    I pick up things here and there as I can with the groceries, things like cranberries as the fresh ones are only available between Thanksgiving in Oct and Christmas, I watch the sales and try to stock up on things as the sales and coupons happen. I just started keeping track with the challenge in Sept but I was thinking of working, maybe 5%-10% of the grocery budget for stocking up on staples that we use like TP, laundry soap, and such every day items. We will see how things go in the next while and keep track…

  9. Our budget is rising a bit as we are hosting Thanksgiving. Luckily, I got a sweet $25 coupon for turkey purchasing purposes, and everyone else in our family is brining sides, so we might just break even. Well done on the savings, very impressive.

    • That’s a great way to celebrate when everyone pitches in. We all do the same here someone buys the turkey, dessert, etc and it works out well for everyone. No one should burden the full cost of a full family gathering. Happy Thanksgiving mate. Mr.CBB

  10. What I don’t understand about black friday are the people who are lined up already? Can you possibly be saving yourself that much money to be missing out on so many days of work and potential income? crazy!

  11. one simple farmgirl says:

    The grocery flyers have no deals this week. Prices up for the holidays I guess. Seems like everything is already made for you! I will be shopping today but only for a few items. We stockpile within our budgeted amount, which sometimes goes over budget because of it.

    • Same here that’s why we are thinking to budget a stockpile amount for next year as a projected expense. If we don’t use it then it goes straight to savings and accumulates over the year. What doesn’t get used at th end of the year will go to our emergency savings.

  12. I can’t believe how little you have spent on groceries!

    My wife and I average $120 a week for 2 people.
    I think I’m going to have to do something like this challenge to control our grocery spend, as obviously we can be doing better.

    • We cut out alot this year but keep in mind we are stocked on some items but we continue to use coupons for others like toothpaste, toilet paper. We don’t buy much convenience food if we don’t need it as we are trying to cook from scratch although it happens. It’s not the end of the world we just don’t want it to be every week. Once we started posting our shops it helped us to realize we were spending too much on items we weren’t consuming each week and just sat in the cupboard.

  13. For a while, we budgeted a special amount for stockpiling. That was mainly when Holly was pregnant (see: slightly crazy) and trying to stock up on formula and diapers. Now that we are out of that stage, we use our normal budget to stock up.

  14. Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom says:

    Thanks for mentioning my experience. I spent $923 just in the store, add 2 nights in a hotel, and food, and we could’ve gone to Cuba for a week instead.

  15. one simple farmgirl says:

    Grocery Challenge week of November 19-25/12
    Family of 7 living on $300./month
    Giant Tiger milk 4.23
    Independent roast 10.70

    Shoppers 3X milk Free/ optimum points

    No Frills
    Cat food 6.98
    Dog food 9.98
    Instant pasta 1.27
    PCRanch dressing 2.29
    Powerdaide (6 pk) 2.88
    bread 1.97
    Lean beef 4.95
    Banana ( 1.405kg) 2.08
    spinach 4.49
    Total 51.82

    Total Budget: $300.00
    Total so far this month was :$268.92
    Total spent this week: $51.82
    Total coupons/gift cards used this month:$19.82
    Total spent this month: $320.74
    Amount Over:$20.74

    I felt this was a pretty good month spending wise considering I began the month with no meat in the freezer. I have a pretty full supply now to last into December, and am pleased about this. However I would not have pulled through if not for my Optimum points at the end of this month. Will not be able to rely on them next month.

    My goal for next month is to be better prepared with meals ready in the freezer.

    • Hi OSFG,
      Don’t you just love SDM points! I have a special blog post coming up all about how to get the most points and the easiest way to do it. We save our points all year long but my mother in law uses hers along the way, either way it’s free stuff. If you ever want to do a guest post I would love to share a story about your family of 7 and your budget as well share your site with my readers as I think they would love to follow you. let me know if that interests you. I’m happy to see you have a goal set out for next month. I wish more people were organized and prepared like you. We are still learning and believe it or not we learn from all of you. Those points add up and this month with 5 weeks is hard on the budget. We are living off of food we already have. Great shop though.. you went a bit over but that’s expected once in a while it’s not a bad thing. Next Weeks Grocery Game will still be part of Nov going into Dec but just post your shops the same according to how you shop. You keep tabs of it at the end so that’s all we want to see. Cheers, now I’m off to check your site! Mr.CBB You get ballot #35

  16. I shop for 2 adults and a 2 year old toddler (OMG he’s 2 tomorrow! Where has time gone!)
    My budget is $100 a week and it also includes health and beauty, baby items, laundry, etc.

    I went to the P&G warehouse sale this week and have a huge pile of other grocery receipts so I expect to be way over this week. I am however carrying over extra money from last week which is $98.76.

    P&G Sale
    Toblerone Mini’s 1.35kg box 2 x $3.00 (brought one box to work to treat my co-workers and will put out the other at the bday party)
    Ritz cheese and crackers 24 packs $5.00 (brought to daycare)
    Secret deodorant 11 x $1.50
    Bounty 8 rolls $5.00
    Pampers 24 pack wipes 3 x $1.00
    Satin care travel shaving cream $.50
    Trident layers gum 8 x $1.00
    Caramilk bars 2 x $.50
    Ritz crackers $1.00
    Fruit crisps 3 x $1.00 (2 brought to daycare)
    I bought other stuff but it’s all in different budget categories
    OOP $50.00

    Fresh Co
    Dempster’s bread 3 x $1.99 – 3 x $1.00
    Coupons $3.00
    OOP $2.97

    Fresh Co
    Minigo $1.97 – $.50 coupon
    Yoplait tubes 2 x $1.97 – 2 x $.50 (brought one to daycare)
    Ground chicken 2 x $2.47
    Coupons $1.50
    OOP $9.35

    Food Basics
    Villagio bread $1.99 – $1.50 coupon
    Onions $.95
    Carrots $.95
    Coupons $1.50
    OOP $2.39

    RCSS
    Barilla pasta (PM Sobey’s) 5 x $.77 – 5 x $.75 coupons
    Bear Paws 8 x $.44 (on blowout) – $4.00 coupon (donated some to the breakfast program at my work and took some to daycare)
    Hershey’s drops 5 x $2.50 – 5 x $2.00
    Icing sugar $1.79
    NN tuna 2 x $1.09
    Ruffles chips (PM) 2 x $2.47 – $1.00 coupon (bought for party but the hubby ate both already! lol)
    Apples $1.74
    Banana’s $1.49
    Salad $1.29
    Strawberries 2 x $3.47
    Frizz Ease Serum (PM) 2 x $6.99 – $5.00 coupon
    Magazine $2.99
    Multi vitamins $7.17
    Huggies overnights size 5 $8.97 – $8.00 coupon
    Huggies overnights size 4 (on blowout) 3 x $6.94
    Diaper rash cream $9.99 – 50% pink sticker – $5.00
    Tax free day $6.79
    CD $9.89
    Coupons $31.75
    OOP $57.52 (awesome shop for stocking up on diapers!)

    Bulk Barn
    Chocolate almonds $3.74
    Pretzels $.77
    Walnuts $8.27
    Coupon $3.00
    OOP 10.37

    Giant Tiger
    Goldfish crackers $1.50
    OOP $1.50

    RCSS
    Cheerios (PM) 2 x $2.97 – 2 x $1.00 (came with 2 yogurt FPC’s :-))
    Kinder eggs 3 x $1.17 – 3 x FPC’s (will give to my friends kids for Christmas)
    M&M’s $1.09 – FPC
    Tax free day $.54
    CD $1.07
    Coupons $6.60
    OOP $2.87

    Buck or Two
    Floss picks $1.00
    OOP $1.13

    Metro
    Cashmere TP (12 double rolls) 6 x $2.88 – 6 x $2.00
    Coupons $12.00
    OOP $7.53

    RCSS
    Nestle Favourites 20ct (PM) 4 x $2.50 – 2 x $4.00 (each bag came with a coupon save $4 wub 3 Bear Paws)
    Diaper rash cream $9.99 – 50% pink sticker – $5.00 (for daycare)
    Coupons $8.00
    CD $1.50
    OOP $7.24

    Walmart
    Smartfood popcorn $2.00 (for party)
    Snack mix $2.00 (for party)
    Reduced meat (ground turkey) $3.64
    Reduced meat (family pack pork chops) $6.30
    OOP $14.46

    $50.00 + $2.97 + $9.35 + $2.39 + $57.52 + $10.37 + $1.50 + $2.87 + $1.13 + $7.53 + $7.24 + $14.46=$167.33

    I am $67.33 over budget.
    $98.76 – $67.33=$31.43
    I have $31.43 left to carry over for Christmastime. I was able to stock up on a lot of things and I had a little extra to buy for Adam’s bday party this weekend. I also brought a lot of snack items to daycare so I shouldn’t have to bring any for a while. I am a little disappointed in myself for going so over budget as I wanted to keep a fair amount to carry over for Christmas dinner and potluck items but hopefully over the next few weeks I’ll be able to re-build that little cushion :-)

    • Funny thing Jen is I remember commenting on this post so I have no idea where the comment went or what happened. I remember reading about the pandg etc… and talking about the deal you got on the toblerone and all the chocolate you bought. Ah well, it’s always important to check comments like you did. I already know Adam had a lovely 2nd birthday and the cake was pretty awesome.. as long as it wasn’t whippie cream… I prefer icing! Don’t be hard on yourself for going over Jen. It was the pandg sale that didn’t help you and this is where you have to make decisions on what you want to do with your money. If you pretend you only have $50 to spend and no more where will you spend that money? Looking back at this shop what can you eliminate to get you under budget. What could you have done without now that time has passed. Keep smiling! It’s all learning…. You get ballot #48.. Mr. CBB Great deals on the diapers btw.. $8.00 coupon wow!

  17. Mary F Campbell says:

    Here is my grocery shop for this week (Nov 19-25).

    Save On Foods – First Shop

    1 Fresh French Beans $3.99
    1 Western Family Cheese Tortellini $6.99

    Total SOF #1 $10.98

    Safeway – 1st Shop

    1 Signature Cafe Spinach Dip $5.49 using coupon got 25 bonus air miles

    Total Safeway #1 $5.49

    Safeway – 2nd Shop – to use a 2nd coupon

    15 Mini Croissants $5.00
    2 containers Hummus $5.00
    2 pkgs of 5 Cheese Breadsticks $5.00
    2 loaves Winnipeg Rye bread $1.98 with a coupon

    Total Safeway #2 $16.98

    Save On Foods – 2nd shop

    4 L Chocolate Milk $5.89
    1 Acorn Squash $3.51
    1 bag baby carrots $2.29
    1 Butterball Frozen Turkey Breast, white meat only $25.99
    2 Turkey Gravy Mix $3.98
    1 head Green Cabbage $2.23
    1 head Savoy Cabbage $1.74
    1 bunch celery $1.41
    16 oz Organic Sliced Mushrooms $5.49
    1 can Western Family Whole Cranberries $1.99
    2 Yams $2.22

    Total SOF #2 $56.72

    Our Grocery Budget for 2 Adults:

    $190 per month…$190/4 = $47.50 per week
    with at least 4 no shop weeks per year!

    Last week we were $ 4.30 Under Budget so this week’ grocery budget is $4.30 + $47.50 = $51.80.

    This week we spent $10.98 + $5.49 + $16.98 + $56.72 = $90.17 so we are OVER BUDGET $38.37.

    The plan is that we keep next week’s shop very minimal to get back on track again. My list for next week’s shop is only 6-7 items depending on how the skim milk fares. :-D

    • Hi Mary!
      So nice to see your grocery shops again until you are back on vacation! Looks like you both went over like us but far less than us. Next year we have a better idea of what we need to do and this year helped so much by posting our shops. We will try to see if we can scoop up a turkey if it goes on offer so we can make a bunch of meals and soup with it for cheap. What do you do with your cabbage? We bought one this week and are looking for ideas. Great shopping Mary~~ You get ballot #36

  18. Christine Weadick says:

    Ok here we go. I was doing OK but we had a cheque come in and we decided this was the time to do some stocking up after being so tight and clearing out some things. Plus the Zeller’s store in Stratford has gone into the liquidation sale so we thought I’d look for any good deals there…. nothing worth mentioning but you don’t know until you get there. As I was in town I got some things at Country Bulk for the Christmas baking. This is a once a year thing and I’m hoping I can balance things out over the next few weeks.

    Foodland
    Nov 18
    1 lb margarine-1.79
    1 jar honey-4.79
    1 4l bag milk-4.79
    Total -$11.37

    Nov 20
    1 3 lb bag carrots-1.50
    1 can pineapple tidbits-1.59
    1 can spaghetti sauce-1.79
    1 pkg cheese slices-2.47
    1 pack spaghetti-2.49
    1 doz eggs-2.58
    1 box baking soda-2.69
    1 box triscuits-2.79
    1 loaf bread-2.99
    1 jar pickles-2.99
    1 bag brown sugar-3.29
    2 loaves Cinnabon bread@3.49-6.98
    1 bag rice-3.49
    1 box cider mix-3.99
    2 4l bags milk@4.79-9.58
    1 plum sauce-4.99
    1 case gingerale-4.99
    1 jug water-5.49
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    Total-$78.80

    Nov 23-off the rails we go
    1 pasta sauce-1.79
    2 cans pears-@1.88-3.76
    3 lbs butter@2.77-8.31
    2 18 pack eggs@2.77-5.54
    2 dish soap@2.79-5.58($1.00 off /2 coupon)
    3 raisin bread@2.79-8.37
    1 box triscuits-2.79
    1 jar pasta sauce-2.99
    1 pack ground turkey-4.49
    1 4l bag milk-4.79
    1 jug water-5.49
    1 block cheese-5.99
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    1 bag frozen shrimp-9.97
    Total-$80.54, $1.00 in coupons

    Zeller’s
    1 Downie sheets-6.11
    1 box of cookies-2.39
    6 cans tomato soup@.75-4.50
    4 cans Chicken soup@.75-3.00
    Total-$16.79

    Food Basics
    2 pasta@1.97-3.94
    1 hot chocolate mix-3.99
    1 case(12) KD-6.96
    2 Cinnabon raisin bread@2.99-5.98
    1 box bear paws-2.49
    2 boxes cider mix@3.49-6.98
    1 small green pepper-.53
    2 cans pineapple@1.19-2.38
    Total-$34.16

    Country Bulk
    1 small bag of candy-1.19
    2 bags peanuts for birds-4.28,3.72
    1 bag sunflower seeds-6.801 sm bag of peppermint candy-1.54
    1 2oz pure vanilla-4.79
    1 candied cherries-3.27
    1candied fruit deluxe-6.48
    1 candied fruit, deluxe-7.21
    1 candied fruit, deluxe-6.34
    1 Thompson raisins-9.02
    1 chocolate chips-6.86
    1 parm cheese-4.79
    1 parm cheese-6.22
    1 sliced almonds-2.06
    1 Thompson raisins-4.74
    1 chocolate chips-4.37
    Total-$81.17

    This gave me a total of $302.83 which is over big time by $152.83!!! So basicly double the usual. But I do have what I need for the Christmas baking and I do have the one expensive trip into Country Bulk every year. I know I could have used a coupon at Bulk Barn if I went there but I’m not sure where it is in Stratford, out Graff Ave… I think. Plus a cousin works there and I can catch up on family news.The small bag of candy at the start is for hubby’s stocking at Christmas, it’s candy he gets at the lab when we go for blood work and he does like it, can’t find it here in town but he’ll be happy to get it. Zeller’s wasn’t great but the soup was cheaper than the grocery store here. Food Basics was a quick run as I don’t get there often, the Cinnabon raisin bread was on sale so I got some for the freezer, the cider mix was a little cheaper there than here so I got 2 boxes, the hot chocolate mix was cheaper too. This was some stocking up on things we use so I’m hoping to keep things cheaper for the next while to balance it out. The frozen shrimp was a request and on sale. I think I’ll grab some more of the butter as it’s on sale until Sunday, limit 3. I’m good to go now for the baking so I can start that and freeze it until Christmas. I will be trying very hard to balance things out by the end of the year for groceries……

    • Hi Christine,
      I think for next year we are going to save money in the Christmas fund for Christmas baking as it really isn’t part of the typical grocery budget it’s part of the special holiday entertainment for us. Funny that you went over and we went over.. it’s that time of year and really is an eye opener. Next year we will save extra each month because we know we will spend more at this time of year. What do you plan to do for next year since you see your grocery budget go up at this time of year? Keep it up.. it’s good to see the numbers isn’t it.That’s the only way you can decide what the next step is. Mr.CBB You get ballot #37

  19. Xmas is coming!!!!! :)
    Our weekly budget is $100
    Safeway
    $2.29×2-bogo sale-.75C barilla pasta
    $5 6lbs gala apples
    $4.98×2-50% stickers key lime sherbet
    $11.42 total oop
    $5.65 total coupons/discounts

    Shoppers
    $4.49-$3C lady time stuff
    $6.99×2-$4C nyquil & dayquil
    $12.39 total oop
    $7 total coupons

    Save on foods
    $3.99-.50 bakipan yeast
    $2.50×2 alfredo sauce
    $1.50X4 hunts sauce
    .75×4 hunts paste
    -$4C wub sauce&paste
    $2.99 parmesan cheese
    $16.48 total oop
    $4.50 total coupons

    Sobeys
    $2.99 chips
    .88 choco bar
    $2.99 4kg sugar
    $1 1lb baby carrots
    $1×2 mushrooms
    $1 garden salad package
    $1.50×2 four cheese sauce
    $4.99×2-$1.50C cheese
    $1.99×3-$2.25C rice thins
    $1.99 veg thins
    $1.99×2-$1C ritz crackerfuls
    $1×9-$9C pantene hairspray-donation
    $2.49×2-$1.50C butter
    $5.99 4L ice cream
    $3.99 3lb maragring
    $5.99×2-$2C purex tp
    $3.99-fpcwub2purextp 3pk desinger kleenex
    $59.89 total oop
    $22.74 total coupons

    weekly total oop $100.18
    weekly total coupons $39.89
    .18 overbudget, I am more than okay with that since I picked up donation items and more baking stuff

    • Hi Juanita,
      Christmas is coming..yay.. I know it can get pretty exciting especially when the snow starts to fall. What kind of parmesan cheese do you buy? Just asking because I am so critical about anything other than the real thing. Really the rest is a big waste of money and tastes nothing like it IMO. Nice to see you have a donation in your budget good for you! We donated our taco kits this month. Oh, where did you get the butter coupons, lucky you. You did well with coupons this week almost $40. That’s pretty darn good .18 over budget.. be proud for sure!!! It pays, to pay attention, I’m jealous. You get ballot #41.. Mr.CBB

  20. joanne tjerno says:

    Hello!!! Well this week was interesting for us….we had some issues come up with our electronics…..so we were actually lucky that it was black friday….our 6 month old tv completely died…but we managed to get a full return for it…so it only cost us 100 dollars to upgrade. Got a 46 inch down from 949 to 497. I also wanted the dual dvd player for christmas for the kids in the car and managed to snag one for 68 dollars. :) The only other great deal we got on black friday was a gown from the disney store (belle from disney princesses) originally 50 plus tax….down to 28 :) My daughter has been saving up her 4 dollar a week allowance for what seems like forever….she was determined to buy it with her own money and she finally did. :) So this year for us black friday was well worth it. We have never gone shopping on black friday or boxing day before….but arevery glad for the deals we got. I return to work on tuesday so did a stock up on our freezer and cupboard as we were out. I dont like to keep too much food so that it doesnt expire/go bad. I also donated a bunch of toiletries to a womens shelter this week :) I also plan on using my shoppers points to finish buying my stocking stuffers and gifts next weekend for my family :) I only have my parents and hubbys parents to buy for :)

    No frills

    Canned veggies 0.50×6=3.00
    Pasta Sauce 2.00×2=4.00 (I have a weakness for the rose and vodka sauce)
    Princess Pasta 1.00×2=2.00
    Seasonings 1.19×3=3.57
    Pasta 1.97×2-3.94-2xFPC=free
    frozen dinner 1.47×2=2.94
    frozen veggies 3.79-fpc
    pepper 5.79
    cough syrup 3.99
    crushed tomatoes 0.99
    gravy 0.97
    mr noodle 0.25
    red cabbage 2.79
    catalina dressing 1.99
    eggs 2.75
    rice 4.97
    rolls 3.84
    cheese 4.99
    kidney beans 0.78
    perogies 1.75
    poutine sauce 0.75
    sour cream 1.79
    pizza sauce 1.31
    bread crumbs 1/89
    raisin bread 2.89
    bagels 1.89
    english muffins 1.50
    sandwich meat 3.99×2=7.98
    chicken legs 3.17
    boneless chicken thighs 9.22
    chicken thighs 3.34
    corn dogs 10.00 (Ugh for hubby…..has them as a snack in the morning when he comes home from work)
    bologna 2.79
    pork tenderloin 5.00
    bananas 1.39
    celery 1.47
    baby carrots 1.27
    cucumber 1.47
    spanish onions 1.84
    green pepper 0.66
    white potates 1.77
    tomato 0.36

    Total Coupons used: 7.73
    Total=117.38

    Freshco

    Pasta sauce 0.97×2=1.94
    Frozen juice 0.47×7=3.29
    gerber cheesies 1.97-1.00=0.97
    Steak 3.92-1.00=2.92
    Sirloin Steak 6.11-3.00=3.11
    Sirloin Steak 6.41-3.00=3.41
    Stewing Beef 6.51-3.00=3.51
    Sirloin Steak 4.44-1.00=3.44
    Hip Steak 3.27-1.00=2.27
    Hip Steak 3.22-1.00=2.22
    Extra Lean ground beef 1.97×5=9.85
    Taco Kit 2.50-4.00 coupon
    Pork Chops 7.00-3=4.00
    Pork Chops 7.00-3=4.00
    Clam Chowder 1.44
    Mushroom soup 1.44

    Total Coupons 5.00
    Total Meat Discounts 19.00
    Total=46.57

    Metro

    Milk 6.09-FPC

    Total=0

    Walmart

    Arrowroot cookies 2.77
    Formula 13.97
    Baby Cheesies 5.97-1.00=4.97
    Buns 2.99
    Bread 2.00
    Orange juice 2.00×2=4.00-2.00=2.00
    Hot dogs 2.00

    Total Coupons=3.00
    Total=30.70

    Total Grocery Budget for the Week: $140.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week:21.82
    Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
    Total Spent This Week:$194.65
    Total Spent So Far for November:458.57
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: over by 54.65
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 101.43

    So i was over this week….but i completely stocked the house….shouldnt need much next week at all….and as im working all weekend long wont have time to shop anyways! So hoping that this number stays the same :) As it would basically be the amount we paid to upgrade our television :) Had to stock up for the poor hubby who now needs to do a lot of the cooking as i work a lot of afternoons…and need to give my daycare provider food and snacks for the kiddies…:)

    • Hi Joanne T!
      Seems like we are almost all over this month by a bit (well we are over by alot lol) but that’s ok at least we can see where we spent the money in the budget. I hope your number stays the same as well but only time will tell, it gets hard when you see an item you can stockpile. You will read about our stockpiling this week coming. We are making changes to our budget to accommodate this next year. Is there a way you can prep and freeze meals for your hubby? Keep it up… not too much over. You get ballot #42 Mr.CBB

  21. 19 – 25 Nov

    Independent

    1x Soy Sauce = $2.29
    1x Royale Bath Tissue = $2.99
    1x Bunch Organic Bananas = $1.72
    1x 5lb Clementines = $3.99
    1x 3L Apple Cider = $5.99
    1x Bag Organic Apples = $5.99
    1x Bag Organic Bitter Gourd = $0.99
    1x 4L Organic Milk $8.79 at 50% off = $4.39 (yippee)
    1x Chinese Cabbage = $1.41
    1x Box Organic Spinach $4.99 at 50% off = $2.49
    1x Pack Pork Chop = $5.95
    1x Colgate Dental Floss $4.29 at 50% off = $2.14
    1x Organic Pineapple Salsa $2.49 – $0.50 Coupon = $1.99 (Reg salsa is $3.45 – $4.25, no way I’m buying that!)
    4x Kettle Chips = $10.00 ( for Grey Cup, stash and car rides haha)
    1x Mott’s Clamato = $4.19
    1x Bag Nabob Ground Coffee = $6.99
    1x Pack Black Forest Ham $5.49 at 50% Off = $2.74
    1x Kinder Chocolate $1.39 – Free Coupon = $FREE

    •Total Coupons Used: $1.89
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $66.25

    No Frills

    4x Choc Cream Biscuit = $1.00
    2 x Packs Marcangelo Pork $4 -$2 coupons = $2.00 (yippee)
    1 x Bunch Organic Bananas = $1.67
    1x Christie’s Bacon Dipper Crackers = $2.67

    •Total Coupons Used: $2
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $7.34

    RCSS

    1x Dreamland Herbal Tea = $2.49
    1x 6 cups Organic Apple Sauce = $2.79

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $2.49

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results

    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $240 (2 adults & 1 child)
    •Total Coupons Used this Week/Month : $7.85 + $4.49 + $9.17 + $3.89 = $25.40
    •Total SCOP this Week : $0 (I did get a SCOP for Cars 2 toy car at over $7! But that’s not within the grocery budget haha, it was good tho)
    Total SCOP for the Month: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $78.87
    •Total Spent So Far for the month: $42.28 + $65.76 + $52.63 + $78.87 = $239.54 (Phew haha)
    •Total Over spend this shop: $18.87
    •Total Under spend for the month: $0.46

    Happy to get my organic stuff and still within budget. Maybe I can just cut out on the other not so healthy stuff ;)

    • Hi Adeline,
      You gotta love 50% off milk, yay! We’ve found it here and there and grab it when we can. That colgate floss was costly good thing you got a pink sticker. I call johnson and johnson every month and order coupons for reach which is $2 off any reach product then use it at Walmart for free or near free floss. Have you done that? If not PM me and I’ll give you the number. Hey a scop is a scop thanks for sharing that.. money in your pocket! Wow you went under for the month good for you!! I didn’t end the month on this post but the next GG post is the last for Nov. You can use it as the first for December just keep tracking it like you do so we can read it that’s all k. Mr.CBB You get ballot # 44

      • Haha I went by every 4 weeks. Oh well, I guess I don’t have to buy anything this week ;)

        • I normally do it for 4 weeks but the odd month we have 5 weeks like this one so depending on how many days are left I either carry it over to start a new month or add the extra week. It won’t matter as long as you do what you do for your budget. If it motivates you not to shop, even better lol… Cheers

          • I think I will follow this week’s Nov end GG 2nd Dec. It seems a little cleaner to me. If not next month will be another 5 weeks. So yes, I’ll attempt not to spend anything this week if I can help it…I still have 50cts tho haha!

          • Don’t laugh I almost made it I had $1.81 left, blew that out the water. My advice.. don’t open the flyers.

  22. Hey Mr.CBB
    The butter coupons came in some packs of cheese strings in the summer? But I have also done some trades for them and really hope to use it up because we normally just use margarine.
    Yes the parmesan is the really yummy stuff it was on manager feature beside all the spagetti sauces at save on foods, I think it was a promo they were taking at a loss of over half price to have it be an add on to peoples grocery shops like it was to us :)
    I really do see that people need donations on a regular basis to the food bank or shelters, so I am trying to be active, (well more than before) to be able to keep my eye out for a good deal that is free or as little as possible out of our pockets so I can keep it up and within budget. I also hope that I can try to keep it up all through the year and not just for the holidays :)
    Maybe I can try to connect with a local lady that does some work at a church and donate produce that I am growing in our garden. Sometimes a harvest of somethings like beans or carrots can be too much for us and our friends so why not have them go to a family that is in need. I think it is called grow a row in the states. If my thumb can stay green and I can try to manage my carpal tunnel I can be able to help some with healthy food. I never want attention for things I do or donate I just want to be able to help and make others feel that they are cared about and loved :)

    • That’s good especially this time of year lots of donations are needed. We were at the humane society the other day for the first time and they take pet food etc if you want to donate it as well..plus Canadian Tire money.. Tv’s Cell phones.. etc.. I thought wow, so many places to give.

  23. Joanna Cheevers says:

    My grocery budget for the week is $80.77 for 2 adults and 1 child and includes all food, household items, personal hygiene items etc.

    Fresh Co.
    Chips – $.88
    Buns – $1.99
    Grape tomatoes – $1.99
    English muffins – $1.69
    Mini Watermelon – $2.99
    Raspberries – 2x$1.49
    Red Pepper – $1.09
    Celery – $1.47
    Green beans – $.53
    Campbells chunky soup – 3x$1.44
    Cream cheese – $2.69
    Cheddar slices – $1.00
    Mozzarella Shredded cheese – $1.00
    Capocollo lunch meat – 2x$1.99
    Fruitpunch – $1.99
    Pasta – $.97 – $.75c
    BD cheesestrings – $2.97 – $.75c
    Candy – $.79

    •Total Coupons Used: $1.50
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $34.30

    Rexall
    Pediasure – $10.99 – $3c

    •Total Coupons Used: $3.00
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $7.99

    Walmart
    Fruite juice – 8x$1.00
    Pudding cups – $1.00
    Dole Fruit cups – $2.00

    •Total Coupons Used: 0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $12.04

    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $350
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $4.50
    •Total Spent This Week:$54.33
    •Total Spent So Far for November: $212.52
    •Total Under spend this shop: $26.44
    •Total Under spend for the month of November: $110.56
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $137.48
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $17.47+$9.97+$4.50=$31.94

    Thought this was going to be a bigger shopping week but turned out not to be. For sure next week will be a big shop week. I’m on track to stay under budget even with the new lower budget. Perhaps I can lower it even more in the New Year.

    • Hey Joanna!
      I’ve never bought a watermelon this time of year. What was the taste like? Was it worth the money? You are blowing us out of the water, I’m so proud of you. Already you have dropped it and you might be able to again> What do you think you are doing differently now that attributes to you saving? You get ballot #50 for the week!! Good Luck.. Cheers Mr.CBB

      • Joanna Cheevers says:

        I like to give my daughter fresh fruit and vegetables every day in her lunch so I buy the watermelon once in a while. I myself don’t care for it because I find it to be mushy but she likes it and that’s what counts, I otherwise would not buy it for myself. Thanks for all the encouragement that you give. One thing I have been doing is making more of my own meals from scratch instead of purchasing convenience meals, although I will still buy some from time to time. I also am trying to be better at using up the leftovers more when before they would sit in the fridge until they went bad and were thrown out.

        • Hi Joanna!
          If that’s what she likes and she will eat it’s better than crap food any day of the week and worth the money. I challenge you to pull out one new recipe a week and then what you will do is build on what you will make from scratch. That is what we did this year although we created our own recipes in the kitchen. It’s so much cheaper when you can eliminate boxed and convenience from the budget although we might add soemthing here and there. This week for example we bought crackers for company over the holidays.. normally we don’t it’s a waste of money to us and adds no nutritional value to our diet….. little by little you will amaze yourself, all in time. Mr.CBB

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