grocery game monthly challenge

Do you blow your grocery budget if you rush? : The Grocery Game challenge #2 Mar 10-16, 2014

rush grocery shopping cartLET THE GROCERY GAME BEGIN

 

I guess only you can answer whether you bust your budget on groceries if you are in a rush.

I can tell you what our answer to this question is but I’m betting every grocery shopping situation would be different.

The key here is not so much the time it’s whether you are prepared the minute you walk through the doors at the grocery store.

Alternatively I like to earn cash back on groceries meaning I like to use coupons and other means to trim the grocery budget like just recently learning about Checkout 51.

Another way we save is by using our PC Points because saving money is important to us especially when it comes to groceries and other items that we can easily reduce on our own. Free money is good!

You may find cash flows in as fast as it flows out if you aren’t watching where you money is being spent. Can you agree?

 

The grocery rush

 

Just the other week I watched a mother come zooming in to Wal-Mart with her child who immediately wanted to play on the money operated toys they have in the front of the store.

The mother turned around and said “Jacob come on we have to get you to the dentist, let’s go”. So the boy ran over to his mother with a sad look on his face and hopefully they didn’t spot me watching this go down.

I don’t want to seem like a grocery guy stalker rather I’m intrigued by the way people conduct their shopping. In the process of pushing her cart and calling for her son she grabbed a Wal-Mart flyer and started to flip through it faster than I’ve ever read a grocery store flyer.

I felt like I was on an episode of a grocery games type TV show because that’s how much of her anxiety of being in a rush rubbed off on me.

It was like, go go go and there were many times where she left her child unattended in the shopping cart while she walked up further in an aisle or was wandering around with her back to him.

I’m pretty sure many of you can say you’ve seen this before or even a shopping cart left unattended with a purse wide-open. Mindfulness is something we should all practice in our lives.

Now you are not only rushing but you are putting your child’s safety at risk. What if he fell out of the shopping cart somehow or if someone nabbed him before your eyes?

I know you don’t want to think about that but the reality is that it does happen. You should never take your eyes off of your child no matter how much of a rush you are in.

Clearly she was in a rush and needed to get in and get out with some food for her family. It was plainly obvious that she did not have a grocery list prepared nor was she prepared for this rush grocery shop.

I wonder if she even planned to grocery shop at all that day or whether it was a last-minute decision with some time to spare. Either way she was in a rush and proceeded to the products in the front of Wal-Mart where they showcase the specials of the week.

If you shop at Wal-Mart you know exactly what I mean. I don’t want to say I was tagging along with her to spy on her shop but in a way for this post, I did.

She immediately started grabbing those sale items and tossing them in her cart. She picked up a pack of paper towels that were in my eyes expensive and tossed them in without a care in the world.

There was never a time in my life when I went to the grocery store and just blind shopped like she was doing. As she proceeded around the store this rush shopping continued at a pace that was comparable with someone who just wanted to get it done.

Not everyone likes to grocery shop and clearly this trip to the grocery store was the last thing on her mind. I didn’t follow her to the cash after a few aisles of being nosey with what she had in her cart but I will say it was all name brand products with many of them selling at regular price.

 

Price is no object to some people

 

I’m betting she had a high grocery bill after that shopping rush but you know what, some people don’t care. For all I know she is a master grocery shopping whiz and can process prices faster than a speeding bullet. 🙂

Many grocery shoppers might not care how much they spend on groceries each month because they don’t pay the bills, they have more than enough money or they simply don’t care about the number when they are feeding their family.

To some families food is a celebration and it doesn’t matter the price you pay to get good food and some will shop at the expensive stores like Metro or Sobeys etc… because paying a bit more is not a priority for them.

It’s the quality of the product or what they have learned through commercials on TV, experience or other media outlets. Rush grocery shopping is not my cuppa tea however I won’t say I was never in the same position as the lady grocery shopper and her son but I was mindful of the products I put in my cart.

Did I spend more when I shop in a rush? Well, yes and no you see because sometimes you are in such a rush that you just grab the essentials on your list and if you can’t find something you skip it.

Makes you wonder if you really needed it in the first place. Other times I get everything on the list and maybe more because I deviate from the list when I see sales or products that are a good price and I don’t give myself enough time to process whether I really need it or not.

Most times my mind says yes so I have to be mindful of the games we can play with ourselves financially when we are in a rush and not paying attention to our finances like we should be.

Do you spend more or less on groceries when you are in a rush?

Have you seen a customer just toss items into their shopping cart randomly?

 

March grocery game challenge posts

 

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you.

 

Grocery saving tips

 

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the saving process in your grocery budget today.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!

 

Ultimate grocery shopping guide

 

Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email and let me know.

 

Food food and more food

 

shopping-cart

Freshco

  • x6 Extra Lean Beef  Sale = $39.44- $2.06  for Stockpile = $37.38
  • 2x Hellman’s Mayo Sale $2.99
  • Fresh Ginger- $1.05
  • Bananas Sale $0.57lb  $2.44
  • 2x Strawberries 1lb each $1.44 each
  • 2 x Kiwi baskets Sale $2.49 each
  • 2 x cucumbers PM FB $0.87 each
  • 1 x Celery stalk PM FB $0.87

Total out-of-pocket: $59.48-$2.06= $57.42

Shoppers Drugmart

  • 3x 4L Bags of Neilson 2% Milk $3.97

Total out-of-pocket $11.91

 

grocery game march rush shopping

 

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820

 

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially 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 March $235.00
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $24.50
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $17.94 (chickpeas dry) + $2.06 (beef) =$20.00
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+
  • Total Spent This Week: $69.33
  • Total Spent So Far March: $27.69+ $69.33
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $235.00-$29.47=$205.53- $69.33=$136.20
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $
  • Weekly Overview: The extra lean beef went on sale so we stocked up a bit so we have some beef come time we can actually see the BBQ again. Other than that we picked up 3 bags of milk since we are drinking more milk these days.

Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

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 fans who post their grocery shop who live all over 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 products?

 

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.

 

 

Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers 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.

 

  • What is an FPC?

 

An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.

 

 

You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.

 

 

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 need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 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.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!

-Mr.CBB

 

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500.
    Shoppers
    $4.81 4L milk
    $1.99×2 dzn eggs
    $8.80 total oop
    Wholesalers club
    $1.99 golden oreos
    .97×2 chips
    $12.91 12pk jones soda
    $17.50 total oop
    Target
    $6.99 drano snake
    $3.99 snuggle
    $1.99-$1C lysol wipes
    $1.99×2-$1Cx2 lysol toilet cleaner
    $1.29 orange cream peeps
    $16.15 total oop
    $3 total coupons
    Walmart
    $1.47×2 cake mix
    $1.47×2 frosting
    $2.97 texas cheese toast
    $12.47 3cheese alfredo lasagna
    $3 toque
    $1.08 arizona iced tea
    $2.47×2-$5C lady time stuff
    $25.80 total oop
    $5 total coupons

    $68.25 weekly total oop
    $8 weekly total coupons

    $161.36 monthly total oop
    $25.48 monthly total coupons

    Lots of treats this week due to my girls bday coming up soon but still within budget.

    • Hi Juanita,
      I can’t over the price of milk at your Shoppers Drug Mart. It’s only $3.97 for a 4L bag here however I was told they make a $1.00 loss per bag as it’s used to get customers through the door. It works. How did you like the 3 cheese alfredo lasagna? At least you kept it with-in budget that’s what the GGC is all about. Keep up the great work. Mr.CBB you get ballot 17.

      • Hey Mr.CBB
        The cheap milk and eggs will keep me coming in the door for sure!
        We bought the lasagna for my girls bday dinner since she picked it out and it wasn’t bad. I had never had it before and didn’t know what I tasted like and I will make it from scratch next time since it is basicly chicken, alfredo sauce and noddles.

  2. Angela Mainse says:

    I’m never surprised at the shopping habits of people. Where I try to be careful of what I spend, there are many more who are not. They don’t plan ahead, know what the need, have a list or even look at the flyers, at least the woman you saw looked at the actual flyer even at lightning speed. Where I spend so little each week, I know people who spend 4 times what I spend and only have 4 people in their family, where I have three (often exceeding $250 a week). Everything they buy is on lunch breaks rushing from work to drop it off at their house to go back to work. Too tight of a window for me, even when I was working. And they are the first to throw out food, never eat leftovers (or rarely), and complain about how tight money is. And the only freezer they have is attached to the fridge so premium is always paid on meat products because they buy what they want when they want to eat it, instead of on sale and then just thaw something that cost far less, the freezer above their fridge is mostly filled with ice packs, scary. Yes, it seems there are more people out there like that than those who save which can be a sign of why debt has become such an epidemic. I have been guilty of being in a rush and missing a price match or two, or picking something up on clearance that I hadn’t planned or thought through, but I find I don’t buy anything we won’t use and I find a way to make it work in the finances over the next few weeks. I’ve found that leaving the family at home costs us much less, but I do make a huge effort to bring my son (even when he doesn’t want to) to teach him the smartest way to shop. My hubby is an impulse shopper and frustrates me to no end. If we are in a hurry I prefer to give him a few items off of my list, especially price match which means it has to be specific and not just any item or brand, and send him to get them through the store. We get done so much faster and he doesn’t have time to wander through the snack aisle or look at random stuff.

  3. Angela Mainse says:

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 240 including adding to stockpile ($60 per week)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 0 (I don’t track U.S. coupons which I used a few this past week
    Total Discounts this Week: 4.18
    Total Checkout 51 cheques this Week: 0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 50
    Total Rewards Points Used: 0
    Total SCOP: 0
    Total Spent This Week: 51.15 (+ U.S. shop of 57.34 which comes out of separate funds… when we go regularly our at home shopping drops, but we hadn’t been in months so it was picking up sale items or stuff we like)
    Total Spent So Far for March: 104.12
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 135.88 (made up ground from Feb in the amount of 8.85, leaving me only over 14.46 and more ground to make up next week)
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 8.99
    Total added to emergency/carry over jar : 0 (still making up ground from Feb)
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 670.15
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year in addition to total spent: 75
    Weekly Overview:
    RCSS: Heinz Ketchup 2.88, Heinz chili sauce 2.88, Welches frozen berries 2.88 x 3, Unico pasta .88 x2, Nordica cottage cheese 1.88 x 2, Pillers cold meat 2.88, Country Naturals bacon 3.88 x 2, zucchini 2.84 – 1.42 clearance, cucumber .88, blackberries .88 x 6, green peppers 3.24 – 1.62 clearance, baby carrots 2 lb 1.88, bananas 1.88, bananas 2.28 – 1.14 clearance: 44.89 rounded up to 44.90
    Food Basics: Novelty ice cream 1 x 2, Ricotta 1.99 x 2: 6.24 rounded up to 6.25
    U.S. shop this time – we set aside 20 weekly in U.S. funds and all of our U.S. shopping comes out of it from food to clothes to gas to the ver occasional 12 pk of beer – we haven’t been since last October so it was well within budget, we still have plenty left to spend for the next several trips even if we set nothing else aside. We did get some clearance clothing pjs for our son, work shirts for hubby, t-shirts for hubby and a pair of jeans for me for $42. Gas was $43. Dinner out was $18.22 for four
    For groceries….
    Walmart Ogdensburg: Frozen garlic bread 2.97 – .55 coupon, Tabasco larger bottle 2.98 – .50 cent coupon, Keebler cookies 1.98, Oscar Mayer bologna large pack 2 – .75 coupon, Angry birds bandaids 1 x 2 on clearance, Velveeta shredded cheese 2.48 – .50 coupon, Frosting root beer flavoured – to try – 1.74, cat food .48 x 2 – .48 coupon: $14.31
    Price chopper Ogdensburg: Snapple 12 pk ice tea 5.99 (no deposit on these I was surprised), milk 3.99 x 2, Yogurt .75 x 2; .69 x 4 – .40 coupon – another .40 coupon doubled another .40, velveta shells and cheese 4 pk 3.99, Old El Paso gordita kit 3.49, raisins 4.49, croutons 1.69 x 2, Cafe escapes k-cup 12 pk 5.99, 2 pk large loaves bread 2.29 x 2: $42.95
    We tried to keep it as simple as possible this week. We also managed a trip across the border that we haven’t been able to do in months. I used to go over during the week with my son in school on my day off of work, but now that I have to report to EI and am not working, I am not going out of country Monday to Friday and playing by the government’s rules. Weekends have been hard to work some things in like a shopping trip, but we were out of some of our favourites and finally had three hours on a Sunday eve. Some items were sales U.S. related, some just items we predictably pick up. No milk is not a savings like it used to be, but we prefer the taste much better. My son doesn’t like to drink “Canadian” milk plain, but will drink glass after glass of the American milk. I just have to be careful to get the stuff that has no added hormones which of course we don’t have to worry about here in Canada. Also, raisins we always buy across the border, the packages are larger and generally the same price or less than Walmart here which I find the cheapest, and that is for name brand Sun Maid which is one of the few things we are brand specific about. The Canadian shop this week was pretty typical, lots of price matching for best deals at RCSS, lots of fresh stuff this week. Which is our main goal. While we need to stock up periodically, I’m pushing fresher and fresher right now. Also, we made up ground from February again and I’m determined to get everything back to the straight and narrow. I foresee next week being a lot of household items, we’re running low on lots of things. We’ll see….

    • Hi Angela,
      It’s interesting to see how many Canadians want to make that trip over the border to pick up groceries or get them while they are on holidays. I have never shopped in the USA in fact I’ve only been there once. It takes me so long to get over the border that I just say sod it lol. I’m not Canadian. I can see from the prices why it’s so appealing though. It’s interesting you bring up the milk. My sister in law says the milk is much cheaper in the USA… $1.95 a gallon for HOMO so she goes over and loads up each month with her husband. I’m happy to hear you have made up ground with your grocery budget. That is what I like to hear. I’m sure you want to get that emergency savings up and that will be a focus as well. Keep up the awesome work… you get ballot 14. MR.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        Milk is much cheaper states side if you aren’t looking for hormone free. And, I find it cheaper in different cities. We don’t pay the same price for a gallon of milk in Ogdensburg, Massena or Watertown. We live only 15 minutes for the border (and Odgensburg), so it’s cheaper for us to go there than Ottawa or Kingston which is an hour away. I have to be needing to go to either of those cities and just make side trips for groceries or misc stuff, where the states is closer than my mom’s house or my in-laws even. The dollar exchange right now is not great, but it’s been much worse previous years. Our biggest appeal are the products we can’t get in Canada. My mom is from the states, so we always travelled across the border. It never occurred to me not to 🙂

        I’m happy that my “emergency” jar is getting a surplus again, but it isn’t my true emergency fund, that’s building separately and I’m happy to have it since I’m out of work – I’m hoping not to touch it, but it’s there just in case. The jar is just the fund I’m trying to build to have room for the expensive weeks that catch us off guard, or if we need to host people here for a birthday or celebration, or even take out (but that comes from our leftover gas too). Perhaps emergency isn’t really the word best suited for it, carry over is more like it.

        • Interesting. I had no idea about the milk in the USA, thank you for telling me. The emergency savings is important for a multitude of reasons and there is never a bad reason to start. Good for you!!! 🙂 We have our projected expenses account but you can project everything so the emergency savings or stockpile budget is another way to help in case you need the extra cash.

  4. joanne tjerno says:

    Oh my goodness I never bring my children grocery shopping! I would pull my hair out! If i do bring them i always bring hubby! I find when i go shopping with them i get stressed out…end up forgetting things or buying them toys!

    Here is my shop for this week! Very small as i worked all weekend long!

    Zehrs

    Lysol Wipes 1.99-1.00 coupon=.99
    Milk 3.97
    Organic Pasta 3.00-1.50=1.50
    Delissio frozen pizza=3.99-2.00 coupon=1.99-1.00 checkout 51=0.99
    Whole wheat bread 2.49
    Flax Quinoa Bread 2.99
    Steak 4.71 (700 points)
    stewing beef 5.71-1.71=4.00 (700 PC points)
    Steak 3.09 (700 PC points)
    Steak 2.86 (700 PC points)
    steak 2.74 (700 PC points)
    steak 3.63 (700 PC points)
    Pork Tenderloin 3.93
    Broccoli 2×099=1.98

    Total=41.13
    Total PC points earned 4450 (about 4.50$)

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $9,100 ($175/week) I shop for two adults, a five year, two year old, 2 dogs, 1 cat. Our budget includes food, toiletries, pet food, diapers and vitamins 🙂 **now i may have to change my budget a tad as i have to spend more on my older dogs food and supplements each month. I will see how this month goes with me buying her food and change it accordinly next month.

    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $3.00
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $15.00
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $41.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: 1.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: 1.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: 1.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $0
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0$
    •Total Spent This Week: $=41.13
    •Total Spent So Far for march: $302.60
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $397.40
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: n/a

    • Hey Joanna,
      Oh so you are the mom who buys toys for kids when out shopping.. aha they know you well then lol. Well you sure do like your beef steaks lol.. but looks like you might have found a great price on them. How are you liking the new PC PLUS program? Do you find your points add up faster now? The dog food can get pricey especially when dogs age but we do what we have to. Keep at it.. you get ballot 12. Mr.CBB

  5. Christine Weadick says:

    Made it for my shops… not a good week….Hit Canadian tire for a couple of things, the rest was at Foodland.

    March 7, Canadian Tire
    3 Arm and Hammer laundry @2.99- 8.97
    1 6pack Royale tissues- 3.99, 1.00 coupon
    Tax- 1.68
    Total- $13.64

    Foodland, March 7
    1 Tomato sauce- 1.49
    bananas- .77
    1 pack lasagna noodles- 1.98
    1 fruit drink -1.99
    1 bread crumbs- 1.99
    1kg brown sugar- 1.99
    1 frozen fries-2.28
    1 bagels, maple french toast -2.49
    1 cranberry juice- 2.98
    1 cider mix- 2.99
    2 Cheerios-@3.50– 7.00
    green grapes- 2.30
    3 blocks cheese @4.97- 14.91
    2 4l milk @4.99- 9.98
    1 Rice Krispies- 5.29, 1.00 coupon
    1 parmasen cheese- 5.43
    1 jug water-5.49
    1 package extra lean ground beef- 18.41
    Tax- .65
    Total- $97.39, 1.00 coupon

    Foodland, March 9
    2 tomato soup @.79- 1.58
    1 can pineapple bits- 1.19
    1 yogurt- 2.99
    1 cider mix- 2.99
    1 soya sauce- 2.99
    Tax- .39
    Total- $12.13

    Foodland, March 12
    2 box mac and cheese @.69- 1.38
    bananas- .69
    1 bagels, maple french toast- 2.49
    2 W/W bread @2.50- 5.00
    1 yogurt- 2.99
    2 blocks cheese @4.97-9.94
    2 case ginger ale- 5.99, 2.00 coupon
    1 case Crush- 5.99
    1 package extra lean ground beef- 15.14
    Tax- 1.56
    Total- $49.17, 2.00 coupon

    Total budget for month- $650.00,5 weeks- $130.00 wk
    Total coupons for week- 4.00
    Total spent this week- $172.33
    Total spent for month- $167.66+$172.33=$339.99
    Total over/under for week- $42.33($130.00 for week) Over
    Total over/under for month-N/A
    Left for month- $310.01
    Total coupons/discounts for month- $13.00
    Total carryover to next month-N/A
    Total YTD- J$653.06+F$594.21+M$339.99=$1587.26
    Stockpile- $25.00,$1.08 left

    So for the second week this month I went over. By $42.00 this time. I’m still under for the month and have just over $300.00 left for three weeks in the month. The ground beef was a good sale and I am glad I got the two big packs.It will feed us for most of the month if not longer. I have some boneless chicken breasts in the freezer too. The cheese was a nice price, a pack of old cheddar is already gone as is a pack of medium. Part of a mozzerella is gone too. The A&H was too good to walk away from for doing laundry. I have lots in reserve now. I have my work cut out for me making the budget this month but I am trying, hopefully with the stocking up we will get there….

    • Hey Christine,
      I was thinking of you when I was at No Frills yesterday and I saw the gatorade packs on sale lol. See I think of you all when I shop!! We went over for this month but we will make it up next month. You picked up some great deals like the beef. We did that as well which ate up our stockpile budget but it was such a great price and hard to pass up. I’m pretty sure with perseverance you can make it to the end of the month. If you go over do your best to keep it as low as possible and make it up the following month. What did you think of the Dempsters Maple bagels? You get ballot 11. Mr.CBB

  6. I shop for 2 adults and a 3 year old boy. Our budget is $85/week or $340 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    Tops (USA)
    Lay’s chips 2 x $3.50
    Parm cheese $3.29
    CLR cleaner 2 x $4.49
    Butter quarters $2.99
    OOP $22.91

    Target (USA)
    Clorox refill $7.49
    Mini eggs $2.89
    Cooking spray $1.89
    WW Smart Ones 8 x $1.89 – $2.00 coupon – $1.89 (buy 5 get one free promo)
    Coupons $2.00
    OOP $24.41

    Dollar Tree (USA)
    Make up rounds 4 x $1.00
    Cosmetic wedges $1.00
    Monster’s University tissue $1.00
    OOP $6.53

    Food Basics
    Promo ice cream 2 x $1.00
    OOP $2.25

    Walmart
    Distilled water $.97
    OOP $.97

    RCSS
    Campbell’s soup (PM Rexall) 2 x $.59
    Miracle whip (PM Loblaws) $2.99
    Nestle 24 water (PM FC) 2 x $1.88
    Kraft PB (PM WM) 2 x $2.97 – 2 x FPC
    Kraft chocolate PB 2 x $2.98 – 2 x $2.00 coupons
    Eggo’s $1.98 – $1.00 CO51 (earned 400 bonus PCplus points)
    Milk $3.97
    Almond milk (PM Target) $3.50 (earned 800 bonus PCplus points)
    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    Salsa $3.67 – FPC
    Peek Freans (PM SDM) 2 x $1.77
    Ritz (PM Cdn Tire) 3 x $1.49
    Philadelphia cream cheese (PM NF) $1.88 – $1.00 coupon
    BD cheese bar $4.48
    Wonderbread $2.27
    Poppers $2.99
    Panini rolls $1.97 – 50% pink sticker (-$.99)
    ML bacon (PM Fortinos) $3.49
    Apples (granny smith) $1.97
    Mushrooms (PM) $.88
    Grapes (PM) $2.96
    Cucumber (PM FC) $.69
    Mango $1.25
    Strawberries (PM NF) 2/$2.88
    Asparagus (PM Highland Farms) $1.59
    Romaine $3.99
    Oranges (PM) $3.34
    Tomatoes (PM) $.80
    Carrots (PM) 2 x $.99
    Bananas (PM Fortinos) $1.68 (earned 200 bonus PCplus points)
    Magazine $2.99
    Disney Cars bowl $1.44 – 50% pink sticker (-$.72)
    Disney Cars plate $1.94 – 50%pink sticker (-$.97)
    Coupons $14.61
    CO51 $1.00
    Gift cards used 1 x $30 (prepaid MC from Kimberley Clark complaint) and 1 x $50 ($46.33)
    OOP $0.00 ($3.67 remaining on $50 gift card) + $1.00 from CO51 🙂

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4,420 ($85/week) + Meat order $172.85/month for 9 months $1555.65=$5975.65 for the year including the meat order.
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $425 -$15.39 (over last month) = $409.61
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $16.61
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $69.60
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $236.82
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $1.00
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $3.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $49.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $2.50
    • Total SCOP this year: $2.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $76.33
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $167.17
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 0
    • Total tax free day this week: $0
    • Total tax free day this month: $1.10
    • Total tax free day this year: $8.70
    • Total Spent This Week: $56.07
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $275.88
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $133.73
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $972.37
    Weekly overview: Well, I made it back from the US having not done too badly. I had to save myself this week with gift cards. Thank goodness I have more where they came from plus PC points I could use. I’m going to need them next week in order to make it through this month without going over budget. I guess I need to start being way more aware of what I am spending!
    I just realized two things. This is a five week month so I had to go back and edit the amount I had to spend for the month. Now I have an extra $85 to work with but also one extra week lol. I also noticed I’ve made an error with my calculations somewhere. I have more left to spend then I thought! Lol I might actually get to the end of the month now without using gift cards! Lol I guess it pays to double check!

    • Hi Jen,
      Good thing for those gift cards phew! Some of the prices in the USA are pretty darn good compared to here. I can see why so many Canadians would want to cross the border to shop. I love all the fruits and veg in this shop. You found some pink sticker items that were a great deal as well. It seems like many fans are making this a 5 week month but mine is a 4 week month as I go Mon-Sun shops but that’s ok you just keep posting as you do as long as you tell us what week you are on and tracking it. I realize not everyone shops when I do and that’s fine. 😉 Keep up the great work mate. You get ballot 10 Mr.CBB

  7. I usually save around 30% on our weekly groceries but it’s always due to careful planning. I never rush through buying anything and groceries are no different. I always see people rush through buying groceries. And I regularly see people buy everything at the grocery store even if its sold at a premium price compared to cheaper stores (ie misc household things). Does money grow on trees for these people?! I live in an affluent city (Calgary) so maybe it does for some but not us.

    • I have a friend who buys everything at Metro most days but I’ve been motivating him to shop at No Frills or other shops with the same items but for much less. Some people just don’t know any better and yes others think money grows on trees. It all boils down to understanding about grocery shopping and knowing those prices.

  8. OK, I admit I am the most unorganized grocery shopper. I don’t like spending money, but i don’t end up checking if I have anything at home. So, I buy things I think I need, but in the end I do have them at home. When I miss out on things that I actually need, I don’t end up buying them. Again, UNORGANIZED!!! I really need to do a better job shopping, but I happen to use coupons and do get great deals.
    Great post. keep them up!

    • At least you are honest with yourself which is important. Lots of the money we saved came from saving at the grocery store using simple ways to save and spending a bit of time getting organized each week. Was it worth it? You bet, mortgage free is going to feel good. Mind you that was the only reason but it sure did help. Coupons are a great way to save, good for you David. Cheers Mr.CBB

  9. Christine Weadick says:

    I’ve seen people shop like that but I don’t work that way. I think back in the day when it was cheque or cash people may have paid more attention to what they were buying as the cash only goes so far and some places were fussy about taking cheques. Even for a fast trip in I will look at the flyer, the coupon binder, the pantry and the fridge before I walk out the door. What tends to cost is having hubby with me…. he can add to the bill faster than a kid!!! I always kept the cart close when the kids were in it with me. My purse usually gets tossed in and then buried under the groceries… If we are going out of town I will have a look around the kitchen, just in case, as we might decide to stop off at NF on the way out of town. I grab my shopping bags and the binder too and take them in the truck… drives hubby nuts.

    • One of these days I’m going to do a GGC post about leaving your wife or husband at home if they are costing your grocery budget too much lol. Care to elaborate more on the topic haha… I’ll quote you!

  10. Mary F. Campbell says:

    MARCH – Week #2 of 5- March 10-16, 2014

    2014 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $142.50 x 12 = $1,710.00 for 2 adults
    •Total Stockpile Budgeted For Year: $47.50 x 12 = $570.00 for 2 adults
    •Combined Grocery Budget for 2013: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00

    ============================================================================================

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    This is another no shop week for us…we are on vacation and using our vacation funds for some really nice treats! I will say, despite my gluten free status… we have kept the groceries for the villa to $150 for two weeks. That’s the same amount we typically spend on vacation. This of course does not include the days we treat ourselves and go out for a meal. We do a little of that but really, our favorite places aren’t terribly expensive. 🙂 I love Souplantation with their all you can eat salad bar and with a coupon, we both eat for $15.

    ============================================================================================

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO FURTHER CANADIAN SHOPS UNTIL MARCH 23rd

    ============================================================================================

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO USA SHOPS UNTIL MARCH 22nd

    ============================================================================================

    2014 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan ($81.89) + Feb ($48.32) +Mar ($0.00) = $130.21

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan ($2.58) + Feb ($7.18) +Mar ($0.00) = $9.76

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) +Mar (0) = 0 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan (456) + Feb (584) +Mar (0) = 1,040 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (25) + Feb (15) +Mar (0) = 40 Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) +Mar (0) = 0 Points

    ============================================================================================

    2014 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($167.06) + Feb ($155.74)+ Mar ($12.50 borscht+$20.00 Xmas+$32.20 to US Reserve = $64.70) = $387.50

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $142.50+ Feb $142.50+ Mar $142.50 = $427.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $40.00 AVAILABLE

    ============================================================================================

    2014 Y-T-D STOCKPILE SPENDING:

    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($47.50)+ Feb ($47.50) )+ Mar ($17.50 to restocking reserve+$30.00 to US Reserve = $47.50) = $142.50

    •Total Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 = $142.50

    •Total Over/Under Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget: $0.00 AVAILABLE

    ============================================================================================

    2014 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    2013 Fwd $125.00+Jan $17.50+Feb $17.50+Mar $17.50= $177.50 AVAILABLE

    ============================================================================================

    2014 Y-T-D BORSCHT RESERVE:

    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $275.00+Jan $12.50+Feb $12.50+Mar $12.50= $312.50 AVAILABLE

    ============================================================================================

    2014 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $20.00+Feb $20.00+Mar $20.00= $60.00 AVAILABLE

    ============================================================================================

    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $387.50 Grocery Budget
    $142.50 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =

    $884.27

    $570 may have been budgeted for JAN+FEB+MAR ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $177.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $312.50 Borscht Fund
    $60.00 Holiday Season Fund

    Total Reserves $550.00

    ============================================================================================

    REMAINING GROCERY FUNDS FOR MARCH:

    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $40.00 < Bacon Rain Check
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Safeway Gift Card $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $242.74
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ============================================================================================

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Safeway:

    4 Butcher’s Cut Side Bacon @ $8.99 (Good until March 19th)
    4 Butcher’s Cut Boneless Honey Dinner Ham 1 Kg @ $10.99
    (Good to May 4th)
    4 Mann’s Broccoslaw – Buy 2 or more @ $1.45
    (Good to May 4th)

    Thrifty Foods:

    6 loaves 100% WW bread @ $1.00 (Good until April 28th)
    4 China Lily Soya Sauce @ $2.50 each (Good Until April 30th)

    Save On Foods:

    1 x 10 lb bag onions @ $2.99 (Good until May 4th)

    ============================================================================================

    • Hi Mary,
      You’re still on that lovely vacation where it’s nice and hot but in Ontario it’s snowing a blizzard once again today. Another no shop week for you but looking forward to your return and that US shop of yours. You get ballot 8. Is that all you can eat soup as well at Souplantation? Mr.CBB

      • Mary F. Campbell says:

        Yes it is Mr CBB. They also have muffins and cornbread and a dessert bar as well. I just eat oodles of salad and maybe a bowl of the gluten free chili. I never have any room for dessert or muffins and yes occasionally they make gluten free muffins. In March they featured a gluten free coconut muffin. LOL

        Another great place to eat is Sherman’s deli. You can get a three course “Early Bird” supper between 5-7 pm for $9.95 per person. They have some really amazing choices for that price too!

        • Mary F. Campbell says:

          I should also mention, the timeshare has adopted a program of donating any leftover unopened food you have at the end of your stay to the local food bank. With the $150 grocery spending for the two weeks, we will no doubt be leaving a few items unused but I don’t feel bad about it since they will go to good use and not be wasted.

          Some of the gluten free products we purchased are to to bring home… a pack of crackers, a bag of pretzels and a bag of cookies. I found a new bread that is amazing. (Good thing we aren’t here all the time). I picked up Rudi’s Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin bread at Clark’s grocery store and it is simply to die for!

          • What a brilliant idea by the time share. I’ve never heard of that before but it’s a great way to give back especially for travellers who don’t want to cart food home or can’t with them. 🙂

        • My wife told me that restaurants in the USA are amazing and so is the food. She says you get huge portions or they have some wild buffets. Maybe one day I will get a chance to travel to the USA to check out some of these restaurants.

          • Mary F. Campbell says:

            Mr CBB… it all depends on where you are in the USA. There are lots of buffets but California is also known for their cutting edge “fresh” and “vegetarian” plus “Non-GMO” dining and little plates the size of tapas- if you are doing fine dining establishments. Now, your stand American diner… will give you portions that are enough for at least two people. 😀

          • That’s good to know. I like to have choices and buffets are great as long as the food is always fresh. I love tapas and have travelled extensively around the world in my twenties and food is a huge part of culture although I have yet to experience the American culture.

  11. Christina says:

    I have to be organized when going grocery shopping or I will over pay or forget the important items I went to get etc.
    I just cannot imagine going into a store and grabbing the flyers etc like you described today.

    We sit down with the flyers, our grocery list, try to come up with a meal plan as well, I get out my coupons etc and my organized grocery list spreadsheet and plan out our shopping trip. I feel like it takes away all the stress of grocery shopping.

    • It was pretty impressive to say the least Christine and likely why she captured my attention. She was in such a rush that I just had to stop and watch how she executed her shop. Sure enough as described it was on the fly. How would you handle the situation if you didn’t plan or have that list because of circumstances beyond your control?

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