Fruit and vegetable preparation is not a task most people want to tackle as soon as they get back from grocery shopping. I know after we have spent over an hour crossing off the items on our grocery list and getting them home we want to kick back with a cup of tea and relax.
Life gets busy for most people especially with kids (if you have any), work, extra-curricular activities, school and a myriad of other commitments. The list never seems to end and for some, cooking isn’t a task they want to spend much time doing especially when it’s hot and sticky outside.
We eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and do our best never to throw food away. Meal planning has helped us to create a weekly menu and we do try to stick to it the best we can. Sometimes things come up and we aren’t able to create the meal we intended to but we do eat up what we have on hand before it goes off. Another simple way that we have avoided any food waste is to prep our fruits and vegetables as soon as we get home from grocery shopping.
Fruits and vegetables
What we have done lately is wash, peel and chop fruits and vegetables that we will eat over the course of a few days. We don’t have a specific peeling procedure that we follow. A knife and peeler is about all we use to prep our food which you can find at any dollar store and in most home appliance sections. There are also sophisticated vegetable peeling machines you can buy but peeling vegetables by hand is all we do. It has been so convenient for us to open the refrigerator and to grab a tub of pre-cut carrots and celery to have as a snack with a piece of cheese. It also helps to keep our refrigerator clean, mainly the fruit and produce drawers.
We even take the time cleaning grapes and taking them off the vine so they are ready to eat, no effort required. Fruits such as apples, pears and plums we simply clean, dry and store. This process of food prep has allowed us to reach for healthier snacks and we find that we are eating more fruits and vegetables simply because they are ready to eat.
Cleaning fruit as soon as we get home has always been important to us especially since you don’t know who has handled the product or where it has been. We also take a few minutes to put towards cleaning vegetables before we put them away in the refrigerator especially the vegetables that we don’t prep in advance such as onions. Having the fruits and vegetables already cleaned also means you don’t have to worry if your child forgets and wants a quick snack.
Do you clean and prep your fruits and vegetables when you get home from grocery shopping?
June grocery game recap
If you missed grocery game posts for this month just click on the links below and post your shops in the comment section. Each week I will add the previous weeks Grocery Game post below. Next week I will post the winner of the June Grocery Game Challenge in the first post for July.
- The Grocery Game Challenge #1 June 3-9 2013- Organic Food Costs
- The Grocery Game Challenge #2 June 10-16,2013: Grocery store self checkout
- The Grocery Game Challenge June 17-23, 2013 #3: Best Time To Grocery Shop
Grocery saving tips
Free Money Saving Downloads were lists that were created to get us on track towards reaching our goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more!
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy~ Also look back on previous grocery game posts for loads of grocery shopping tips and information.
- 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
- Chicken Thighs Sale $7.96
- Bean Sprouts Sale $0.97
- 2x White Mushrooms Sale $1.00
- 2x Welch’s Blueberries Reg $5.29 Sale $3.00 bag
- 2x No Name paper towel Sale $3.00 = $6.00
- Three pack of cucumbers Sale $2.00
- Jar Candle Sale $3.00
- Tomatoes on the vine Sale $1.80
- Reduced long green peppers $0.99
- Reduced coloured peppers $0.79
Total Out of Pocket: $32.64-$30.00 points= $2.64
- 6 x Black Diamond Cheese bars 500g Sale $3.66
- 1x 2lb carrots Sale $0.88
- Excel gum $3.29
- 2 x Cashew Nuts Reg $2.99 Sale $1.99 for cashew stir fry
- 1 x Pineapple Sale $1.44 (there was only 1 pineapple not 2. I put it in the picture twice for some odd reason)
- 5 x Marc Angelo Sausages Reg $4.99 Sale $4.49-30%- $1.00 peelie coupons on each pack
- Peppers Reduced Produce $0.99
Total Out of Pocket: $44.19
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 1 x Neilson 4L Milk Sale $3.97
- 8 x Neilson Fat-Free Cream Reg $2.99 Sale $0.99-$0.50 peelie stickers on each
- Danone Creamy Yogurt Sale 2/$4.00 x 3 paid $2.49 for 1- $5.00 coupon
- 2 x Multibionta Vitamins Reg $10.99 reduced $5.49
Total Out of Pocket: $21.78 + 3000 bonus optimum points
Yearly grocery budget for two: $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 Budget For June: $235.00- $72.24= $162.76 ($72.24 is an overspend in May)
- Total Coupons Used this Week : $13.00
- Total Discounts this Week: $6.73 (sausages)
- Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
- Total Rewards Points Used: $30.00
- Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $20.00
- Total Spent This Week: $68.61
- Total Spent So Far for (June): $23.89+$44.68+ $78.83+ $68.61= $216.01
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: Over $53.25 ($68.61- $15.36 left to spend June)
- Total Over/Under spend for the month of (June): $53.25
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $o we’re over budget
- Total Coupons Used This Month:$4.09+$5.00+$13.00= $22.18
- Total to Carry Over Next Month: $53.25 overspend to July
- Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01=$1306.77
- Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.
Weekly Overview: We spent more than we should have this month because we needed to pick up vegetables, milk and cheese. While in the grocery store we noticed some great deals on meat again and of course we broke our rule of get in and get out.
I know we need more will-power.
We were low on meat so the past 2 weeks we’ve picked up great deals on sausages and chicken so now we are stocked up again. We will have to make up for it again in July but thankfully it wasn’t too much. The good point is that we used $30 in PC points for our No Frills order which helped saved us a bit. As you can see the grocery budget cycle similar to a debt cycle can continue over and over unless we can get it under control. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.
Had we not overspent on groceries in May we would have come in under budget this month with money to spare for the rendezvous account which looks very lonely. Hopefully we can work on adding to that account some time soon.
Canadian coupons found in June
- Save $1.00 wub any Smucker’s product UPC 51527062 Expiry August 30, 2013 (No Frills)
- Save $1.00 on any Nordica Cottage Cheese UPC 02707945 Expiry November 30, 2013 (No Frills)
- Save $0.50 on the purchase of any Bick’s product UPC 77008321 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)
- Save $0.50 on the purchase of any Bick’s product UPC 77008246 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)
- Save $0.50 on any Christie Potato Thins 115 g UPC 15043229 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)
- Save $1.00 on any Bertoli Oil 500 ml, 1L or 2L UPC 59604860 Expiry November 31, 2013 (No Frills)
- Save $2.00 on the purchase of any Reactine UPC 04387220 Expiry December 31, 2014 (Doctors office)
- Save $1.00 on the purchase of any 2 Mr. Christie’s Snack Paks Fruit Crisps Cookies UPC 15043199 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)
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 affected 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. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.
If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving. You’ve made a wise decision.
Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?