We blew the grocery budget up this month and it’s not surprising since we announced last week that Mrs.CBB was now on a Low GI diet. It’s going to take some time for us to get used to purchasing different types of products but for the most part it’s just loads more fruits and vegetables.
We already eat a healthy diet but those splurge days may be reduced to just me pigging out on those yummy treats I create in the kitchen. Ah well, guess that means the whole pan of brownies are for me now. I am fully supporting my wife and she has done so well this past week. She really is on a kick to drop the foods she doesn’t want to eat any longer and I think that’s great.
Last week since I talked about the GI diet and how it might affect our grocery shopping I’d like to start highlighting other special food diets or lifestyles that people are on. If you are on a special diet (vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Organic) and want to tell us what it is and what types of foods and meals you buy and prepare send me a detailed post with the information. I’d like to share that in upcoming Grocery Game posts.
As of last weeks shop we were already over budget for the month by $93.33 and that’s using up our stockpile budget as well. We have lots to make up for and we will, I promise that to all of you. We went for dinner at our friends last week and after having a conversation about where they buy groceries we were convinced that the best places to shop for groceries on a budget are NOT the speciality shops like they go to.
They did get some posh foods which they shared with us and which you can’t buy in a normal supermarket but for us it would be like walking into the Costco of speciality stores. We splurged that night but can’t wait to have them over for dinner so we can knock their socks off with some of our homemade frugal recipes!
After Mrs.CBB and I both looked at each other and said, wow we are frugal aren’t we, and laughed.
How We Blew The Budget
This week we were super lucky to score some amazing deals on extra lean turkey mince at Zehrs coming in at just over $2.50 per pound. That was also far cheaper than the turkey mince haul we picked up from Wal-mart a couple of weeks back with 30% off stickers. We also managed to find a bunker at No Frills with the Piller’s half hams at a ridiculously low price. I was almost convinced that they priced them wrong but I wasn’t complaining at all.
These hams are not small by any means so I tossed 2 in the shopping trolley. I knew we were heading for disaster with the budget as soon as the meat deals came pouring in. While in Zehrs I was nosey and checked out the prices of the exact hams and no word of a lie they ranged in price from $17.50-$25 each! It took all the strength I had not to go back to No Frills to grab a few more at that lucrative of a price.
When we made our way over to Zehrs the pink stickers on the Australian Cheddar Cheese which is one of favourite cheese nearly knocked us on our feet. We hardly if ever find pink stickers on this premium cheese so we broke all the grocery budget rules vowing to each other that in May we would make up for every last overspend we are making in April.
I don’t suggest that you do what we did we probably deserve a slap on the wrist for it but with the wife now turning to new foods we really wanted to save money where we could while keeping the diet in check. She eats cheese in moderation where I love my cheese and am passionate about good cheese, good wine and good bread.
To make matters worse when we were in Food basics it was like they were begging us to shop. As we walked in the shop out from the back come to young men rolling 5 shelf high carts with all reduced fruit and vegetables. We only went in for a couple of items that we couldn’t price match at Wal-mart but were headed for budget trouble no matter what we looked at it.
We stocked up on sesame oil while at Wal-mart only because it’s the cheapest price plus picked up a Family size box of Chocolate Cheerios with our Free Product Coupon (FPC) since it didn’t state a size restriction, yay! We’ll keep the Cheerios as a treat for when the kiddies come over to visit us.
Since Mrs.CBB needs to eat lots of fruit and vegetables we loaded up avocados which were so cheap you couldn’t pass it up as well as red peppers, tomatoes, bananas, and limes, lots and lots of limes. Our kitchen coupled with the beautiful pineapples we bought is a vegetarians dream with such an array of fruits and vegetables sprawled on our counter tops.
Our Grocery Budget For 2
At this point we don’t feel with need to make changes to our budget because most of our shop was stocking up on prices we couldn’t pass up which doesn’t happen every week. Just like the POP’s point out it’s getting too easy to buy stuff these days whether it be online or by marketing ploys in the consumer world. The hard part is deciding what the right decision for the budget will be.
It’s a fluke but I don’t recommend shopping like this if you are on a tight monthly budget that you can’t make up for. In all honesty we shouldn’t be shopping like this and are going to get smarter about it in the next months. We are confident that we can pull through for May for this set-back.
I know it sounds silly that we talk about saving money in the grocery budget but aren’t sticking to the plan but we’re human and we make mistakes too. The best part about this group is that you allow me to share our faults without condemning me for not living up to our own rules. The hardest part of our budget has always been groceries, hence the birth of this challenge and we continue to make positive strides and will continue to do so if we have to fight tooth and nail.
Watch out May, here we come! $235.00-$162.74= $72.26 to spend in May which will likely go to milk, eggs and vegetables!
Scanning Code of Practice
To end our shopping bonanza we did manage to help one lady use the scanning code of practice (SCOP) on her Nivea face cream which scanned in wrong at Shoppers Drug Mart. She just finished spending over $75 with her first order only after the cashier motivated her to spend a few dollars more to get the promo of bonus gift cards. Spend more at Shoppers Drug Mart the cashier is suggesting to get a deal. I thought that was great that she did that for the customer who had no idea of the promos.
So we were watching everything that was going on and when the second order was rung in she mentioned the cream was scanning at double the shelf price. The cashier calls for help to get a price check BUT that’s where the saving money ends with the cashier. Cashiers are some times told never to tell a customer about SCOP.
So, I did! I told the customer that if your product scanned up higher than the shelf price you get up to $10 off and that is the only time the cashier jumped in and agreed. The customer asked me about SCOP and I showed her the sign on the door only to have her thank me and ask me a few more questions about the program.
I was happy to spread the word and some cheer so I hope you do the same!
The Grocery Game Challenge
Grocery Game Weeks for April
- Week 1 ~1-7 The Grocery Game Challenge #1 April 1-7, 2013 Price Comparison Grocery List
- Week 2 ~8-14 The Grocery Game Challenge #2 April 8-14, 2013 Tracking Grocery Expenses
- Week 3 ~15-21 The Grocery Game Challenge #3 April 15-21- Can Your Budget Handle The Low GI Diet?
- Week 4 ~22-28 The Grocery Game Challenge #4 April 22-280 We Blew The Grocery Budget Up!
- Week 5 ~29 – May 5- No shop week for the CBB family
For Inspiration read about Canadian Budget Binder fan Donna R who shares her secrets for lowering her family’s grocery budget from a whopping $1100 a month to $600 give it a read now. If you have a budget story you want to share email today!
Past Blog Posts To Help You Shop and Save!
- Let Your Coupons Expire And Save Money
- Knowing Your Prices Is The Key To Saving Money In The Grocery Budget
- Product Price Adjustments Don’t Miss The Savings
- Scanning Code of Practice In Canada (SCOP)
- How To Start Saving Money On Groceries In Canada?
- How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?
- Top Ten Ways To Cut Your Grocery Budget
- Meal Planning For The Budget
- The Grocery Game Challenge and Our Grocery Budget
- Grocery Budget Saving Tips
- Food Shopping On A Budget
Our Grocery Game Challenge Results #4 April
- Cedar Black Olives Sale $3.49 Reg $4.99
- Fleishmans Yeast- $3.99 (reg price ouch)
- Bag of White Mushrooms $2.19
- Navel Oranges 3lb Sale $2.97 Reg $4.99
- Selection Four 10kg- Sale $7.99 Reg $10.99
- Reduced Peppers -$1.59
- Reduced Bananas- $0.69
- Reduced Avocados- $1.49 x 2
- Reduced Tomatoes- $0.99
- Reduced Limes- $1.29 x2
- Selection Coconut- $0.99
Total Out of Pocket $30.40
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 2x Eggs $2.49 ea
- Free Chips $1.99
Total Out Of Pocket- $4.99
- 2x Pillers Hams $6.35, $6.17
- Bean Sprouts Sale $0.97
- Red Seedless Grapes Sale $1.00 LB Paid $2.41
- 2x Green Onions $0.57 ea
Total Out Of Pocket- 17.04
- 2 x cucumbers PM Food Basics Sale $0.72 each
- Red Delicious Apples PM No Frills Sale $2.29 (8)
- 2x Pineapple PM No Frills Sale 2/$3.00
- Bananas Sale $1.17
- Chocolate Cheerios $6.77-FPC =FREE
- 2x Sesame Oil $4.98
Total Out Of Pocket- $17.86
- 4 x Australian Cheddar with 5% off Pink Stickers $5.23, $5.83, $6.08, $5.68 ($2.62, $2.92, $3.04, $2.84)
- 4 x Extra Lean Mince Turkey Sale $2.57, $2.68, $2.68, $2.50
- Rooster Garlic $0.69
- 2x Iogo Greek Yogurt 50% off $2.44 each-$0.75 coupons (great yogurt by the way)
Total Out Of Pocket- $25.90
Yearly Grocery Budget For 2 : $2819.38
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
- Total Coupons Used this Week : $10.26
- Total Discounts this Week: $10.00
- Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
- Total Rewards Points Used: $0
- Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $4.00 this shop for a grand total of $20
- Total Spent This Week:$96.19
- Total Spent So Far for (April): $60.13+$69.83+$171.59+$96.19=$397.74
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: $ just way over….
- Total Over/Under spend for the month of (April): $162.74 (OVER)
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
- Total Coupons Used This Month :$26.00+$34.00+$(N/A)> Will update on last post of the month
- Total to Carry Over Next Month : $ n/a We don’t carry over
- Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + $397.74
- Rendezvous Account: $65.38 (this will be used for a date night or a summer holiday)
Canadian Coupons Found This Week
More Coupons Found This Week
How was your grocery shop this week?
Grocery Game Frequently Asked Questions
Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
- 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 players 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.
- 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.
- Where can I find Canadian Coupons? Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week including Checkout 51 from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?- I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices. Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I don’t need to buy this or that. You may also substitute items in order to stick to your budget to make it work.
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- Let Your Coupons Expire And Save Money! (canadianbudgetbinder.com)