grocery game monthly challenge

Milk in a bag or jug: Which do you prefer? : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 July 28-Aug 3, 2014

splash of milkMILK PRICING AND PACKAGING WARS

 

Milk is likely one staple that ends up on a grocery list each week but for most consumers price will always influence that purchasing power.

Not everyone likes milk which is fine because no one is forcing you to buy it but for those that do quality, price and now packaging may take centre stage.

If it’s not one thing it’s another as we are now face the introduction of 3-litre jugs in Ontario.

Many people including our American friends find the use of milk bags odd as did I when I first moved to Canada. It’s just not something we are used to using.

Would I buy a 3-litre plastic jug of milk? Probably not because we use so much milk in our house that it just means more trips and potentially more money.

Everything seems like a price grab these days so if a plastic jug is going to influence price in such a way that I’m paying more in my grocery budget, than no.

I found it interesting that the Ontario Dairy Council wants to test out the market with – litre jugs of milk but not surprised. It’s true everything food related does seem to be shrinking. With a potential change like this comes re-branding and new marketing plans if it passes the test stage and all lights are a go for the new product size and jug. The testing was being done at certain Mac’s stores in Ontario.

The Ontario Farmers on the other hand fear that the consumers will drop their 4-litre milk purchases and swing over to 3-litres. They want to see the milk movement show continuous growth and I’m guessing they see this as a potential slow down if it is offered to us.

 

Watch me shrink

 

While shopping last week I specifically pointed out to my wife that the chocolate milk carton was on sale for $0.99. The catch… it wasn’t the typical 1-litre carton of chocolate milk it was a new 750ml format that I have never seen before BUT for the same sale price that a 1-litre carton would normally go on sale for. If you knew your prices you would know that you are paying the same for less product.

It’s no surprise to consumers that packaging is getting smaller and prices are staying the same or rising. The likes of cereal, cheese and bacon are just a few products that have shrunk in size but pricing has risen. I’m certainly not going to pay $6.00 for under a pound of bacon. It’s no wonder consumers are feeling the grocery price pinch because we get less and pay more.  In the end there is only one reason- Profit!

It wouldn’t surprise me if 3-litre jugs of milk become the same price as 4-litres of milk. What I would like to see is that milk prices stay consistent no matter what size and packaging you purchase.

I always do the math when I see milk on offer in the milk cartons because it just makes no sense to me when 4-litres is cheaper. We use milk for the occasional bowls of cereal, recipes and in our coffee and tea so we always have it on hand.

I stopped buying cream because of price and it was just too unhealthy having so much cream every day. Even though there are calories in milk you can decide to buy a skim milk, 1% milk over the 2% or Homogenized milk. There is sugar in milk so if sugar is what you are trying to avoid you might have to opt for a sugar-free milk which will likely cost you more money.

Homogenized milk which many parents buy for their children may come in a bit pricier but that’s nothing new because any time there is demand for a certain circle of products pricing goes up. Just look at the pricing of organic products or even gluten-free products. Prices will blow you away.

 

Freezing milk

 

We tend to stock up on milk if it goes on sale buying 4-litre bags and freezing them but these days that’s hard to come by with milk being the reason grocery stores get you in the door.

Lately Shoppers Drug Mart has been offering us extra Shoppers Optimum Points via email printable coupons for buying milk which is already comparable in price at $3.97 to other retailers. Combine that with our credit card rewards points and you have cheap milk.

You can also freeze jugs of milk as well but they will take up  more space in your freezer and refrigerator. You must also be careful not to bang your bag of milk either or you risk popping a hole in the individual bag.

When you decide to defrost your milk you will find it leaking everywhere. I know, it’s happened to us before. There are pros and cons to having bags of milk over plastic jugs but in the end price matters.

Some people might not barrel through 4-litres of milk in a week so a 3 0r even 4-litre plastic jug of milk might go off before they get a chance to use it up.

It may seem economical for them to buy a 3-litre jug but then again if you can’t make it through 4 you likely won’t make it through 3. If you are someone who doesn’t fancy buying 4-litres you can buy 500ml, 1-litre and 2-litre cartons of milk but you will pay more. Buying in bulk here has its perks unless you are wasting it which means you are flushing money down the drain.

Milk comes in many forms as well. I’ve seen organic milk in plastic jugs at the grocery store but not large 4-litre jugs. Not everyone likes cow’s milk. There are so many variations of milk when you visit the dairy section of your grocery store that at times it can be overwhelming as are the milk prices and different formats of milk containers available, including canned milk.

  • coconut milk
  • almond milk
  • evaporated milk
  • organic milk
  • lactose free milk
  • soy milk
  • powdered milk
  • goats milk

I’m sure we can all add to the above list but the bulk of consumers are buying up cow’s milk.

 

Plastic milk jugs

 

When I moved to Canada it was odd for me to see a bag of milk because in the UK I only bought jugs of milk. It’s my understanding that if you live outside of Ontario that plastic jugs of milk are what is available to you over bagged milk. Some folks might even remember back in the day when milk was offered as glass jars of milk and delivered right to your door.

In Ontario if you purchase the 4-litre plastic jug of milk you will pay a $0.25 deposit which you will get back provided you return the plastic jug back to the same store. Seems fair considering they re-use milk jugs which is better than the environment. It’s the same as getting money back for your beer bottles.

I only had a small refrigerator comparable to a beer fridge in my kitchen so stocking up with a 4-litre bag would have been next to impossible.

Even if I had a freezer or a proper size refrigerator buying milk in jugs was what I was used to. I made a couple of trips to the grocery store each week so buying a plastic jug of milk lasted me until the next shop.

When you have only one person in the house using milk the smaller jug or cartons of milk might be the way to go but may cost you more. If you have a family than you might power through more milk than others hence the larger 4-litre milk jugs or bags of milk might be perfect. The only problem is that in Ontario the only place I’ve seen a jug of milk is at Mac’s milk. Some people simply prefer the jug over the bag and that’s fine.

We don’t buy 4-litre milk jugs just because it’s out-of-the-way of our normal shopping to go to a Mac’s convenience store. Personally I’m used to bags of milk now.

I’ll admit I was horrible at cutting the bags of milk and my wife had to give me the milk bag cutting 101 course. Laugh if you will but I just wasn’t used to it. Who knew it would be that complicated. Yes, I spilled milk and it came gushing out because I didn’t bang the bag in the pitcher enough. A simple concept but for me I just wasn’t used to it.

For the most part consumers want to save money in their grocery budget so if that means they find the best price, they will do it. Coupons are just one sign that price matters but is that the only reason you buy milk?

Retailers see just how important having the loss-leaders such as milk to get you through the door as prices for a 4-litre bag of milk is pretty standard in most parts of Ontario at $3.97. This could potentially change in the future, who knows.

Would you buy 3-litre plastic jugs of milk over 4-litre bags of milk? Why or why not? What kind of milk if any do you use at home? What do you think of the new jug introduction? Will it survive?

 

August 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. Join in the Grocery Game Challenge fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each blog post… here are the GGC rules!

Each month I hold a draw and one WINNER is chosen.  I will post the name of the person who has the winning grocery shop of the month right here so make sure to check back every week.

The Grocery Game Challenge WINNER for July is……. #9 Angela M. Congrats Angela.… send me an email with your address. 🙂

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 savings 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 FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, 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

If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB foodie Nicola and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out! Try a recipe and leave a review for other fans!

 

Food Basics

 

  • 2 x tomato paste $0.79 each (larger can)
  • Hamburger buns flat $2.99
  • Black Diamond Cheese Slices $4.88- $0.75
  • 2 x yellow zucchini $1.54
  • 1 x Liberte Coconut yogurt $2.99
  • Fennel/Anise $1.97
  • Fresh Ginger $1.23
  • Premium Bananas $1.20
  • Red Onion $1.41
  • White mushrooms $1.77
  • Tomatoes on the vine $2.82
  • Sweet Cherries $4.24
  • 2 x seedless cucumber $1.96 or $0.98 each
  • Romaine Hearts $1.88

Total out-of-pocket $31.71

 

Shoppers Drug Mart

 

  • 2 x 4-litres of bagged milk 🙂 $3.97 each

Total out-of-pocket $7.94

 

Grocery shop results

 

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 August $235.00-$18.24=$216.76/4= $54.19 per week
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.75
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $46.25
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $43.61
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $20.00
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $17.56 (we went over in July)
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+$15.10 + $20.00 (June)+ $22.44 (July)
  • Snap Saves to date: $0.25
  • Zweet to date: $0.25
  • Total Spent This Week: $39.65
  • Total Spent So Far August:$39.65
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $177.11
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $n/a
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $235.07+May $223.62+June $275.37+ July $203.36
  • Weekly Overview: We needed to stock up on some fruits and vegetables this week so we did just that. Next week we are going away for a couple of days so we won’t likely do any shopping so it may be a no-shop week.

 

Coupon Sleuth

 

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. We found a few coupons this week which might help you save a few dollars.

August Coupons 2014 Ontario

 

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 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.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • 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 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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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/Milk Splash/ideago

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. Milk in a bag always weirded me out in Ontario (crazies!).
    3 Litre jugs also seem odd… I’ll be curious to see how they do.

    • It is a bit odd but you get used to it I guess. Me too, I don’t know how well they will do because those who buy 3 litres likely will just buy 4. Why run back and forth to the shop for nothing.

  2. Nicola Don says:

    We don’t get plastic bags here it’s only 4ltr plastic jugs! I wish there were plastic bags as I would stock up on milk and freeze it as we go through 3-4 jugs a week so my milk bill is pretty high! I have noticed on certain packaging too that grams have changed especially the bacon!

    • You can freeze your jugs of milk as well. Do you do that? Milk in the bags tends to take up less space which I like. We freeze our milk if we have to and take out what we need so we don’t waste any.

  3. I think bagged milk is only popular in Ontario and further east. I’ve only seen cartons and jugs here in the west 🙂 But $3.97 for 4 litres does sound like a good deal. Although for those of us who live near the U.S. border we can just drive down to pick up some milk and cheese. There’s a Youtube video of a Costco in the U.S. and a whole pallet of milk was picked up by a swarm of Canadians within seconds lol.

    • Are there different milk regulations when it comes to processing milk in the USA and Canada? I know it’s cheaper in the USA but what is the quality of milk like compared to what we get here?

      • Good point. I think milk production in Canada is more regulated than in the U.S. Our milk goes through rigorous testing to insure the highest quality in the world 😀 I also heard that all milk from Canada does not contain any steroids, growth hormones, or antibiotics.

  4. Theresa says:

    There are lots of misconceptions about milk bags. While some Canadians think it must be old technology because they grew up with it (in Central Canada mostly). On the sustainability side, in UK, it is touted as the new marvel: cost performance, 75% less plastic!

  5. CBB FAN says:

    3 or 4 L jugs are way too heavy for a child to manipulate safely. One can also think that milk in bag is fresher, because it is only open as needed. We wash the bags (they are the best bags ever) and use them for sandwich and other things. I am always curious as to why the bags have not been adopted everywhere. They are great.

  6. Christine Weadick says:

    I buy the 4l bags here and we do go through it. The most I have inhouse is usually 3 big bags as we can go through that much easily. We have a Macs in town but it’s a bit of a walk with the heavy jugs but not far enough to be worth taking the family vehicle. I remember the deposit of the plastic jugs from years ago. We can recycle the milk bags here so that isn’t a big deal here. I do usually use one of the big milk bags to hold all my plastic bags and such until pickup.
    The deal with getting homo milk for kids is the extra fat is needed to help with brain development to the age of 2, or so I was told by my family doctor years ago. My daughter got it for the grandson for a while too.
    Hubby still hasn’t learned the finer points of cutting a nice neat hole in the milk bag and I doubt he ever will. We keep a small pair of scissors in the kitchen drawer for cutting open milk bags and other food packages. It gets wiped off after use to keep it clean.
    I still have 2 weeks to post for July but I’ll get there. I called it 5 weeks for July, we will get back in sync sooner or later so no big deal there.
    Congratulations Angela!!!!!

    • That’s what I read about the Homogenized milk as well so with those perks they will cost more because they know parents will spring for it. I figured you were behind and would catch up. That’s fine if you called it 5 weeks. 🙂 Do you freeze your milk or do you have all 3 in the refrigerator at once?

    • They actually have a special tool for cutting the bags, maybe your husband needs one. I think they’re a buck or 2

  7. Canadian_Sadie says:

    We buy bagged milk here in Nova Scotia; but it’s also available in 1,2, and 4 litre jugs, and in 1 or 2 litre cartons. I grew up in Ontario with bagged milk in the fridge so it was quite normal to me.

    When I first moved here, I bought cartons because I didn’t use much milk; but it is considerably more expensive that way. Considering that 4L of milk is about $6.49 here already, paying a premium for a smaller amount really burned my butt, and buying 4L jugs and wasting a full litre to spoilage because it was cheaper than buying two smaller jugs was getting out of hand.

    That’s when I realized that bagged milk is a real deal! The Milk is cheaper-win! It stays fresh longer than a jug-win! It’s a manageable size and shape -win! (…and did I mention it’s less expensive that way? 😉 )

    So yes, I love bagged milk and don’t know what I’d do if I moved someplace without it.

    • I agree with you, especially if you are someone who doesn’t go through 4 litres fast enough. We would certainly power through that but I completely see the price difference and the pros to having bags. Buying in bulk most times is cheaper, same goes for milk.

  8. Why go to 3L? The answer is simple— so that they can charge us the same for 3 litres as they do for 4 litres. Whenever vendors reduce the size they never seem to reduce the price.

  9. Christine Weadick says:

    I don’t bother putting the milk bags in the freezer as we can go through the three bags fast enough to not need to worry about it. The milk has it’s own special place in the fridge and the three bags will fit nicely and we can rotate the stock easily.

  10. Mary F. Campbell says:

    JULY – Week #4 of 4- July 28-August 3, 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:

    What can I say… it’s a no shop week as I am only days away from taking off on a solo vacation. I have oodles of yummy treats in the house for hubby though while I am away.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO SHOPS UNTIL AUGUST
    ============================================================================================

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO USA SHOPS UNTIL SEPT 1st

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

    2014 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $81.89 + Feb $48.32 +Mar $0.00 +April $22.88 +May $44.18 + June $39.58 + July $4.10= $230.03

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan $2.58 + Feb $7.18 +Mar $0.00 + April $9.20 +May $20.19 + June $1.00 + July $15.50 = $55.65

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 +Mar $0.00 + April $0.00 +May $5.31 + June $0.00 + July $0.00= $5.31

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 11 + April 0 + May 5 + June 0 + July 52 = 68 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 456 + Feb 584 +Mar 0 + April 4 + May 125 + June 3 + July 210 = 1,384 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 25 + Feb 15 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 39 + June 11 + July 145 = 235 Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 650 + April 0 + May 5,400 +June 2400 + July 3,300 = 11,750 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 30 + June 0 + July 100 = 130 Points

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

    2014 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $167.06 + Feb $155.74+ Mar $105.76 + April $145.56 +
    May $228.38 +June $186.11+ July ($12.50 trf to borscht+$10.00 to Xmas + $18.70 to US Reserve+$17.50 trf to re-stocking +$5.07+$2.79+$5.00+$2.97+$6.99+$11.18+$17.93= $110.63)= $1,089.43

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $142.50+ Feb $142.50+ Mar $142.50 + April $142.50 + May $232.50 +June $142.50 + July $142.50 = $1,087.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    $1.93 OVER

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

    2014 Y-T-D STOCKPILE SPENDING:

    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 + April $47.50 + May $47.50 + June ($47.50) + July ($17.50 trf to re-stocking + $30 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $422.50

    •Total Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 + April $47.50 + May $47.50 + June $47.50 + July $47.50 = $422.50

    •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 + April $17.50 +May $17.50 + June $0.00 + July $17.50 = $230.00 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 + April $12.50 +May $12.50 + June $0.00 + July $12.50 = $350.00 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 + April $20.00 +May $20.00 + June $0.00 + July $10.00= $110.00 AVAILABLE

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

    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,089.43 Grocery Budget
    $91.50 Hiding Spot Cash
    $20.00 Safeway Cash Card
    $422.50 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 2013 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $0.00 2014 Costco Rebate Cheque – $13.45
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =

    $1,977.70

    $1,330 may have been budgeted for JAN to JULY ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $230.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $350.00 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $690.00 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $290.00 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $1,977.70 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $290.00 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $91.00 we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $1,596.70!! That is $266.70 over the $1,330.00 we budgeted for January through June.

    BUT if you also take out the cash that was either a gift, some non-budgeted earning method or a loan repayment: ($91.50 Hiding Spot Cash from bottles etc + FREE $20 Safeway Gift Card + $80.00 Cash Repayment from a neighbor + $24.27 from a 2013 Costco Rebate Cheque + $0.00 used out of a 2014 Costco Rebate Cheque for $13.45 + a Christmas present of a $250.00 Safeway Gift Card) = $465.77 then we actually only used $1,155.20 of the budgeted $1,130.93 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $199.07 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you don’t pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then the seemingly $266.70 overage will easily be absorbed into the value of 9 weeks x $47.50 = $427.50 vacation we will be taking in 2014 and still leave us an additional $160.80 for cross border shopping.

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

    REMAINING GROCERY FUNDS FOR JULY:

    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($1.93)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $12.51
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $91.00
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    8 Organic Walla Walla Onions @ $1.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th) << FOR LARRY for while I am away
    2 Family Size Extra Lean Ground Beef @ $3.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th) << FOR LARRY for while I am away

    Safeway:

    2 Coast-to-Coast Italian Sausage Buns – 8 pack $2.49 (Good until Aug 24th) << FOR LARRY for while I am away
    10 Coke/Pepsi 2L Pop @ 5 for $5 (Good til Sept 1st << FOR LARRY for while I am away
    9 Barilla Spaghetti @ 3 for $4.98 (Good until October 10th)
    4 lbs Purewel Blueberries @ $7.98 (Good until October 12th)
    JULY – Week #4 of 4- July 28-August 3, 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

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

    • Hi Mary,
      You made it to a no shop week! We have struggled with that for a while now. I guess it’s easier said than done at times. You get ballot 1. Mr.CBB

  11. joanne tjerno says:

    Up until a few months ago we were going through about 9-12 bags of milk in a week…i couldnt imagine trying to downsize. We finally got our son off bottles and he is now drinking about 2 glasses of milk and the rest is homemade juice/juice boxes and yogurt drinks. The bottle was a huge comfort for him but with him beginning preschool it was time for the bottle to go. Also we are now down to about 3 bags of milk in a week as my hubby doesnt drink it and i prefer almond milk. I’ve never tried freezing milk….but we go through it quickly enough that we havent ever had too. Anywho…bit of a bigger shop this week…went out two days….the 28th and the 3rd. Had to stock up as we were getting low on somethings. Think i will still make it under budget. Here goes

    No frills

    Frozen juice 6X0.50=3.00
    salsa 2X2.00=4.00-2.00 coupon=1.00 each
    smartfood popcorn 2X1.67=3.34-2.00 coupon=1.34
    tostitos 2X2.00=4.00-2.00=2.00
    12 rolls of paper towels 3.00
    bagels 3X1.00=3.00

    total= 14.34

    lucky charms cereal (my little guys fav now) 2.94
    reduced buns 2.50
    freezer bags 2.98
    rice 2X1.00=2.00
    bananas 1.55
    cesar salad dressing 1.94
    bread 2.97
    bread 2.00-1.00 coupon=1.00
    tomatoes 1.41
    teriyaki sauce 2.49
    apple juice 1.34-0.50=0.84
    soup 0.44X3=1.32
    minute maid light orange juice 2.00-0.50 coupon=1.50
    pasta sauce 1.99
    juice 1.99 -1.00 coupon=0.99
    chicken fingers 3.99
    cheese spread 1.99X3=5.97-3X1.00 coupon=2.97

    total=40.80

    Walmart

    milk 3.97
    sandwich bags 0.94
    fries 1.97
    fries 1.97
    celery 0.97
    cucumbers 0.97
    oranges 3.97
    probiotic yogurt 5.97
    almond milk 2.97-1.25=1.72
    nestea 1.00
    fruitopia 1.00
    razors 4.98-2.00 coupon=2.98
    razors 4.98-2.00=2.98
    bananas 1.62
    juice boxes 1.49
    juice boxes 1.49
    pineapple 0.47
    green grapes 2.21
    teriyaki sauce 2.49-0.75=1.74
    bread 1.99-1.00 coupon=.99
    corn pops 2.98
    fruit loops cereal 2.98-1.50 wub2 cereal=4.46 for both
    cream cheese 2.79

    total=53.90-10.00 shopping card from doing surveys=43.90

    Shoppers drug mart

    danone drinkable yogurt 2.99
    cookies 1.49
    dish soap 4X1.88=7.52-4.00 in coupons=3.52 for 4 bottles
    dish soap 2X2.29=4.58-2.00 coupon=2.58
    hamburger buns 1.99
    total=15.14

    food basic

    strawberries 2X1.44=2.88
    raspberries 1.44
    blueberries 2X1.67=3.34
    cream cheese 2.97
    sandich meat 3/10$-3.00 coupons=7.00 or 2.33 each
    fries 2X1.88=3.76
    frozen veggies 1.99
    frozen broccoli 1.99
    apples juice 2.99
    milk 3.97
    danone drinkable yogurt 3.88

    total=36.21

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $600
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $29.50
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $93.44
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $464.16
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: 1.00 on cereal.
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: 1.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: 8.50
    total snapsaves this month:2.00
    total snapsaves this year 38.75
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $4.28
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 10.00
    •Total Spent This Week: $= 150.39
    •Total Spent So Far for july: $486.44
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $113.56
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: 463.56

    • Hi Joanne,
      Is that 4 Litre bags of milk that you were going through? WOW, that’s lots of milk. I bet that cost a bit but what can you do. So you eventually taper off the milk and add in other beverages. Yes we freeze it all the time but if you don’t need to then there’s no point. I assume this GGC post was not for the first week of August GGC rather one of the previous weeks posts. You can post back always get a ballot. I try to keep everyone on pace as it’s easier than having to go back weeks on end and easier to give up… 🙂 Is the apple juice you buy boxes or bottles? Great deals this shop, well done. You still have $113 left for the month of July. Can’t wait to see how you spend it. You get ballot 3. Mr.CBB

  12. I buy (and have froze) 4L bags of milk. For my house, my daughter will drink 4L of milk in a couple of days or when she was at school, I would freeze it to keep that cost down. I’m finally getting back on GGC with this posting….I have been doing much better since the promotion at work.

    Name Your Store ie: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $4.25
    Total Out Of Pocket: $42.10

    Can of Bush Bean @1.25 (minus $1.00 coupon) = $0.25
    Diana Marinade @3.29 (minus $0.75 coupon) = $2.54
    Baking Soda = $0.98
    PC Jam = $2.98 (250 PC Points)
    Bread Yeast = $3.99
    Cheerios = $3.99 (PM Food Basics) – Regular $5.98
    Kraft Dinner Case = $5.97 (PM Food Basics) – Regular $14.99
    Peanut Butter = $4.33
    4L Skim Milk = $3.97
    Drumstick Ice Cream = $2.98 (minus $0.75 coupon) = $2.23
    French Fries = $2.27 (minus $1.00 coupon) = $1.27
    Hash Brown = $1.99 (minus $0.75 coupon) = $1.24
    3L Peaches = $3.98 (350 PC Points)
    Ham Lunch Meat = $3.99

    Name Your Store ie: Weston’s Bakery Outlet
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $12.72

    11 different loaves of Bread @$0.25 = $2.75
    1 bag of cookies = $1.60
    1 bag of cookies = $1.85
    3 packages of Kool-aid @$0.30 = $0.90
    1 frozen pie = $3.00

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $4.25
    Total Discounts this Week:$0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $0.00
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Week: $0.00
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month: $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this week: 600
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0.00
    Stockpile Budget: $enter amount Used: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: Over $4.82
    Total Spent This Week: 54.82
    Total Spent So Far for August: $54.82 
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of August: $54.82
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $305.18
    Total Coupons Used This Month : $4.25
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $1657.55
    Weekly Overview: Since I have changed jobs, the raise in pay has enabled me to stay on budget a lot better. I was able to get a really good price match that gave me a feeling that I stole them. 🙂

    • Hi Dee
      Welcome back!! Congrats again on your work promotion. I’m happy to hear it keeps you on budget a bit better. Awesome deals at the Weston bakery. Is it always that cheap in the store? What types of breads do they offer for that cheap? You also scored a great deal on the KD. The wife and I were just talking about how expensive the cases were at SDM when they weren’t on sale. Great shopping this week, well done and good use of coupons. You get ballot. 4. Mr.CBB

  13. I shop for 2 adults and a 3 ½ year old boy. Our budget is $85/week or $340 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    Food Basics
    Strawberries $1.67
    Water 6 x $1.67
    OOP $11.69

    RCSS
    Dentyne gum (PM NF) 2 x $2.00
    Lantic sugar (PM NF) 2/$3.00
    Vinegar $1.57
    Clover Leaf tuna (PM Loblaws) 6 x $.88
    Mini Wheats 2 x $4.98
    Almond Fresh (PM FB) 3 x $2.99 – 3 x $1.25 coupons
    Mushrooms (PM Ample) $.99
    Bananas $1.60 (earned 200 PC plus points)
    Oranges $2.61
    Grapes (PM Fortinos) $3.58
    ML bacon (PM Loblaws) 2/$5.00
    Bagels (PM NF) $1.00
    Vitality bread (PM NF) $2.00
    Wonderbread (PM GT) $2.00
    Coupons $3.75
    OOP $48.33

    RCSS
    Romaine $1.99
    PC thin buns $3.19
    OOP $5.18

    RCSS
    Eggs (PM Sobey’s) 2 x $2.00
    Apples $1.51 (earned 200 PC plus points)
    Bagels (PM NF) 3 x $1.00
    Wonderbread (PM) $1.99
    Vitality bread (PM) $2.00
    OOP $12.50

    Walmart
    Deli Meat $8.00 – $5.00 coupon
    Butterball turkey burgers (PM Sal’s) 3 x $4.99 – 3 x $5.00 coupons
    Coupons $20.00
    Total $2.97 – gift card
    OOP $0.00

    RCSS
    Milk $3.97
    Bananas $.83
    Chocolate croissant $1.19
    OOP $6.05

    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 – $40.61 (over from last month) =$384.39
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $23.75
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $23.75
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $754.13
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $.75
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $.75
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $132.50
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $6.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $2.97
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $284.08
    • 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: $0
    • Total tax free day this year: $62.82
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $11.08
    • Total Spent This Week: $83.75
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $83.75
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $300.64
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $2473.84
    Weekly overview: Well I’m on track for the month so far so we’ll see! There are 5 shopping weeks in this month for me plus we’ve been shopping more frequently so I hope that means I’ll get back on track!

    • Hi Jen,
      I bet you are happy you use WORD to type up your GGC posts 🙂 I wish all the fans would that way in the event something does go wrong it’s easy to get it back. Was the water you bought at Basics the 24 packs for $1.67? Crap did I miss the Butterball turkey burgers on sale? How did you get coupons for those? You had an awesome shop well done!! Your sugar and vinegar was a great deal as well. We also like the flat buns as well for burgers, less bread. You get ballot 7. Mr.CBB

  14. Christine Weadick says:

    Slowly but surely I am going to get caught up…. This one should be quick to get done as I’m trying to get back in line for the budget and got what I had to and that was about it. I also stayed out of No Frills!! I even managed to get some extra pop for the boys as it was on sale and I used coupons. All the shops were at Foodland.

    July 26
    1 W/W bread -2.50
    1 case gingerale -3.33, 1.00 coupon
    1 pack boneless chicken breasts -10.12
    Tax -.43
    Total -$15.38, 1.00 coupon

    July 28
    1 tomato paste -.59
    2 pineapple tidbits @1.19 -2.38
    3 pasta sauce @1.25 -3.75
    1 lemonade -1.29
    1 jar pickles -1.79
    1 package ground cinnamon -3.99
    1 grated Parmesan -4.06
    1 country sausage -4.71. 50% sticker saved -2.36
    1 4l milk -4.79
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -.17
    Total -$30.65

    July 31
    2 cases ginger ale @3.33 -6.66, 2X1.00 coupons
    Tax -.87
    Total -$5.53, 2.00 coupons

    Total budget for month -$650.00, 5 weeks, $130.00wk
    Total coupons/discounts this week -$5.36
    Total spent this week -$51.56
    Total spent for month –$694.95
    Total over/under for week -$78.44 under
    Total over/under for month -$44.95 over
    Left for month -$0.00
    Total coupons/discounts for month -150+6.72+2.25+39.45+5.36=$55.28
    Total carry over to next month $10.14+44.95=$55.09
    Total YTD -J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M$647.70+J$660.14+J$694.95=$5833.98
    Stock pile $25.00, $18.96 spent

    So I did go over for the month, not a big surprise after last weeks posting. Now the work begins to try and get back in line within the next month or, at worst, two….this finishes up the month of July for me at least. I just have three weeks for August to post and I will be caught up!! The first week of August for me was another big one. Hubby had a doctors appointment in Stratford. The second week was much better and I still have almost $300.00 left for the final two weeks of the month…I just may come very close to getting back in line!!!

    • Hi Christine,
      I find in the summer it’s hard for people to stick to their budget where in the winter people are bored indoors and find they have more time. We need to make time to budget no matter how busy we are. Even we are struggling to keep up with baby on the way and we talked about it the other day and we will really be pushing it but we will do our best to stay the course. That is why when I am gone and now posting GGC for a week or two that I want all of you to keep posting under the most current GGC because if we stop posting then we get into that routine of forgetting about it or thinking it will be ok. Starting over sucks! Keep up the good work and you will catch up. You get ballot 13 Mr.CBB

    • Hi Christine,
      I find in the summer it’s hard for people to stick to their budget where in the winter people are bored indoors and find they have more time. We need to make time to budget no matter how busy we are. Even we are struggling to keep up with baby on the way and we talked about it the other day and we will really be pushing it but we will do our best to stay the course. That is why when I am gone and now posting GGC for a week or two that I want all of you to keep posting under the most current GGC because if we stop posting then we get into that routine of forgetting about it or thinking it will be ok. Starting over sucks! Keep up the good work and you will catch up. You get ballot 13 Mr.CBB

  15. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $625.
    Co-op
    $2.10 bread flour – clearance
    $1.92 cake flour – clearance
    $2.65 masa corn flour – clearance
    $1.65 gum 4pk – clearance
    .69×3 bulk bagels
    $10.40 total oop
    Costco
    $12.49 taquitos
    H&W Produce
    .83 jalapenos
    $1.26 purple peppers
    $1.04 oranges
    $3.15 total oop
    Superstore
    $1.08×3 chocolate bars
    $2.49-.50C special k bars
    $1×3 pudding
    $1.98 astro yogurt
    .50×6 frozen juice
    $4.98×2-$5C&$4.98C coopertone sunscreen
    $13.95 total oop
    $10.48 total coupons
    Sobeys
    $2.32×4 12pk water
    $1.92 apples
    $3.99 2lb strawberries
    $2 peanuts
    $2.99 cheese hamburger buns
    $2×12-$2Cx12 sbrbs
    the following items were all clearance
    $1.50 salad tongs
    $2 caramel wraps
    $2.25 baby cereal
    $.75 baby cereal
    $1.50 liquid koolaid
    .44×2 koolaid
    $1.09 canned chiplote
    $1 carrots
    $4 2pk uk ham ring
    $1.50 cheese curds
    $1.50 elbow mac
    $3.28 black forest ham
    $1.16 salsa
    $1.54 cheedar cheese
    $2 Havarti
    $1.70 Havarti jalapeno
    $2×2 provolone
    $49.55 total oop
    $24 total coupons

    $89.54 weekly total oop
    $34.48 weekly total coupons
    $544.62 monthly total oop
    $190.86 monthly total coupons

    Got a lot of items for great deals this week and even ended up being under budget at that too!!! 😉

    • Hi Juanita
      I have a bag of masa flour I was going to toss out. We bought it and made it as directed but it tasted grosse. Do you think we did something wrong? How do you use this flour? Maybe we can try again. What are caramel wraps? Caramel apple wraps? mmm You did score some awesome deals this week. Do you plan all of your shops or do you play it by ear and if you see clearance deals etc you pick them up as you go along? You get ballot 19. Mr.CBB

  16. Hey Mr.CBB
    I have no idea how to use the masa but thought I could wing it 😉 I plan on trying to make something with it soon and I will keep you posted. Yes they are caramel apple wraps and we tried them before and the kids loved them. They are a square of caramel that you lay over the apple warm in the oven till they mold over and then eat when they cool. I always write a shopping list in a book and carry it with me, really should call it a wish list, and always put things on the list if it is a good deal but don’t always need so when we find clearance deals or other items I just scratch off the “extras” off the shopping list. The only thing I really plan is the discount Tuesday shops so I know how much everything will be, how much I can save and all the items in detail just in case the hubby comes and shops with me to help get it done fast if we are in a rush.

  17. As far as I know, they don’t reuse the 4L jugs. Because people put in all kinds of nasty things in them before returning. For example, urine, paint, fertilizer and a bunch of other badstuff.

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