grocery game monthly challenge

How quick meals can be a life saver for new parents: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept 29-Oct 5, 2014

convenience food canned goods MEALS ON THE GO

 

I honestly never thought we’d be writing about filling our shopping cart with cheap meals in a can, box or container but now is the time.

As you all know in the past few weeks we welcomed a baby boy into the CBB family.

One CBB fan asked why we didn’t prepare freezer meals ahead of time and to be honest we literally didn’t have the time. I’ve worked non-stop and trying to renovate and although I’m my worst enemy I knew something would have to give.

My wife and I are simple when it comes to eating that we both decided that we’d be fine with soups and sandwiches, cereal and toast etc once baby arrived. Silly us! We have stretched our days so far that there wasn’t much time left although looking back maybe I should have bulked out some meals.

I’m the first person to encourage people to make time to budget (solid advice) so taking my own advice here should have been a priority. Just another learning experience for us.

Meals for us normally consist of fresh vegetables and a protein and we love cooking homemade meals from scratch not to mention homemade breads and desserts.

 

Quick meal ideas

 

Some of the meals we have made this past month indeed came from a can such as tuna and soup which might not be your considered healthy menu but it has been for us. I’m proud to say we didn’t resort to any form of TV dinners or junk food fiestas.

Now we know why parents want those quick meal recipes because there really isn’t much time in the day to prepare recipes around parenting. The most important thing we learned was to be prepared with that meal plan revolving around how your week will be. If you know you will be home more you can prepare recipes that take time but if not quick meals like pasta, casseroles or even using the crock-pot will be your life-saver.

We are both not big fans of prepared frozen meals as we’d rather cook something fresh and eat it right away rather than freezing it but for others it’s a meal that saves time.

If we didn’t have soup and sandwiches as many times as we had we might have been forced to buy fast food or ordering in food. We’ve been that tired with Baby CBB having his days and nights mixed up.

Maybe we underestimated how difficult parenting would be but now we know better. It’s not something you can prepare for entirely as it’s a learning experience.

 

Eating healthy on a budget

 

If we could go back I might make a few freezer meals such as lasagna, shepherd’s pie, perogies as well as soup and portioned it out in containers. Come to think of it there are plenty of easy meals we could have made in advance but we can’t turn back the clock.

I will say that I had loaves of homemade bread in the freezer that I made which helped us get by for sandwiches for a week or so. My mother-in-law while visiting made us some tortillas and pita bread with my recipes which was great plus she learned to make two new breads. I’ll be keeping an eye out for flour now as I’m running short but it’s a staple that should always be in any pantry as you can make so many meals with flour.

I will add that we are only a few weeks in now and we have been cooking more which only means we are getting used to the no-sleeping schedule. We have lots of food in our freezer so we’ve been using that up such as green peppers, and plenty of meat and fish. Our relatives dropped off some garden fresh tomatoes, lettuce and green peppers which we’ve been piling though.

Some of our friends have also come around and brought food over to us which has been a blessing. In the photo above we managed to score a great deal at Shoppers Drug Mart on tuna, fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free pudding and canned soup. I know we could have made a big pot of soup for less but sometimes having these canned foods on hand are great for those times you are not prepared for a meal and you want something relatively healthy.

We love tuna sandwiches, cold tuna pasta salad and considering a can of solid tuna costs upwards of $3.00 a can we didn’t think $0.50 a can was too bad of a deal.

The soup was also $0.50 a can regular prices coming in at just under $3.00 a can. Our receipt said we saved $124.12 just on soup and tuna alone. We also managed to spend $75.00 with our Enfamil ready feed baby formula to get back 18,500 Shoppers Optimum Points worth $25.00. This made the shop even cheaper on our grocery budget.

Overall although we weren’t as prepared as we would have liked for the arrival of our son and our meals but you can bet we will be next time. After this experience my wife and I have talked about focusing on creating quick 15 minute meals for the blog so even the new parents who are unprepared like us don’t have to simply eat from a can.

Have you ever bought cheap meals that are quick to make for those times you need food fast?

 

October 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 winner for September goes to Jen P!! Send me an email to collect your coupon prize pack Jen. 🙂

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.

 

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!

 

Grocery shop results

 

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 26x cans of soup $0.50
  • 2 x cans of beans $0.50
  • 18 x cans of solid white tuna $0.50
  • Milk 4 litres $3.97
  • 2 x fat-free cottage cheese $1.00
  • 4 x Triscuit brown rice with sweet potato and onion $1.99
  • International Delight Iced coffee $3.99-$2.00 checkout51

Total out-of-pocket $40.92 plus $2.00 back Checkout 51 and $25.00 in Optimum points.

 

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 October $235.00-$49.30 (overspend in September)=$185.70
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $59.19
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $48.86
  • 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): $0
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+$15.10 + $20.00 (June)+ $22.44 (July) + (August) $8.00+ (September) $0 + October $
  • Snap Groupon to date: $19.25
  • Zweet to date: $4.00
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $12.75
  • Total Spent This Week: $40.92
  • Total Spent So Far September:$40.92
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $
  • 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+ August $228.26+ Sept $272.80+ Oct $
  • Weekly Overview: We didn’t do too much grocery shopping this past week but we did manage to score some great deals and lots of savings.

 

 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.

October coupons 2014

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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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. Quick meals are so key. I organize meal trains for new parents in my town, it makes such a difference for the transition!

  2. Mary F. Campbell says:

    SEPTEMBER – Week #5 of 5- Sept 29-Oct 5, 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:

    We are finishing off the month with a “no shopping” week! With all the soups we made from scratch last week, we’ll be eating up our leftovers and having a few seasonal treats this week.

    There are advantages to keeping a well stocked larder – you don’t have to shop every week is one but knowing you stocked the pantry with “sale priced” items is also a big bonus for me! I don’t hesitate to bake when I know my supplies didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.

    I am really enjoying the fruits and vegetables of the fall… Summer Harvest Bread with carrots & zucchini in it, an Applesauce Snackin’ Cake for dessert and a couple loaves of Cinnamon Raisin Bread for hubby’s lunches are on my baking list for today.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO CANADIAN SHOPS UNTIL OCT 6th!

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO USA SHOPS UNTIL OCT 6th!

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

    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 + Aug $0.00+ Sept $19.68= $249.71

    •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 + Aug $12.98 + Sept $5.19 = $73.82

    •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 + Aug $0.00 + Sept $0.00 = $5.31

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 11 + April 0 + May 5 + June 0 + July 52 + Aug 0 + Sept 32= 100 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 456 + Feb 584 +Mar 0 + April 4 + May 125 + June 3 + July 210 + Aug 88 + Sept 157= 1,629 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year: NOTE: On Sept 12th –
    14 Thirty’s = 1 Air Miles Roll-over

    Jan 25 + Feb 15 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 39 + June 11 + July 145 +Aug 0 + Sept 24= 259 Points << Program Discontinued Now

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 650 + April 0 + May 5,400 +June 2400 + July 3,300 + Aug 0 + Sept 1,450= 13,200 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 30 + June 0 + July 100 + Aug 0 + Sept 0 = 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 $110.63+ Aug $130.76 + Sept ($12.50 trf to borscht+$20.00 to Summer + $2.50 to US Reserve+$17.50 trf to re-stocking +$4.69+$1.49+$8.00+$32.35+$23.73+$7.99+$12.77+$14.39+$3.76+$5.65+$15.95+$2.41= $185.68)= $1,415.68

    •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 + Aug $142.50 + Sept $142.50 = $1,372.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($43.18) 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 ($47.50) + Aug $47.50+ Sept($17.50 trf to re-stocking + $30 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $517.50

    •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 + Aug $47.50 + Sept $47.50 = $517.50

    •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 + Aug $17.50 + Sept $17.50 = $265.00 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 + Aug $12.50 + Sept $12.50= $375.00 AVAILABLE

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

    2014 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    •Total 2014 Holiday Season Reserve:
    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 + Aug $0.00= $110.00 AVAILABLE

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

    2014 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    •Total 2014 Summer Season Reserve:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $0.00+Mar $0.00 + April $0.00 +May $0.00 + June $0.00 + July $0.00 + Aug $20.00 + Sept $20.00= $40.00 AVAILABLE

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

    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,415.68 Grocery Budget
    $102.63 Hiding Spot Cash
    $20.00 Thrifty’s Points Redemption
    $20.00 PC.Plus Points Redemption
    $20.00 Safeway Cash Card
    $517.50 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 =

    $2,450.08

    $1,710.00 may have been budgeted for JAN to SEPTEMBER ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $265.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $375.00 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 40.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $790.00 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $390.00 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $2,450.08 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $390.00 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $229.96 ($135.96+94.00) we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $1,830.12!! That is $120.12 over the $1,710.00 we budgeted for January through September.

    BUT if you also take out the cash that was either a gift, some non-budgeted earning method or a loan repayment: ($104.04 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+ $20.00 Thrifty’s Points Redeemed and $20.00 PC.Plus Points Redeemed+ $1.00 gift from hubby’s spending money) = $519.31 then we actually only used $1,310.81 of the budgeted $1,710.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $399.19 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you don’t pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then the seemingly $120.12 overage combined with the value of an additional 5 weeks x $47.50 = $237.50 vacation we will be taking later on in 2014 and still leave us an additional $117.38 to add to our Canadian & cross border shopping budget.

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

    REMAINING GROCERY FUNDS FOR SEPTEMBER:

    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($43.18)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.02
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $135.96
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Save On Foods:

    12 Western Family 100% Pumpkin canned 398 ml @ 2 for $4.00/lb (Good until Oct 4th)

    Thrifty Foods:

    8 Organic Walla Walla Onions @ $1.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th)
    2 Family Size Extra Lean Ground Beef @ $3.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th)

    Safeway:

    9 Barilla Spaghetti @ 3 for $4.98 (Good until October 10th)
    4 lbs Purewel Blueberries @ $7.98 (Good until October 12th)
    4 lbs Ground Pork @ $2.99/lb (Good until December 22nd)

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

    • Hi Mary,
      I agree a well-stocked pantry is a must and it encourages me to bake when I get that urge because I typically have staple ingredients. When you make different soups do you freeze than to use up over the course of the month or do you just store in the refrigerator? Well done for September.. bring on October! You get ballot #1. Mr.CBB

  3. Christine Weadick says:

    There is no point in beating yourselves up over not having the freezer meals or quick and essay meals planned for after the birth of Baby CBB!!! None of us are ever prepared for the changes a new little person brings to our lives. We just think we are until reality and sleepless nights bite us you know where!!!
    Nice deals on the goodies at SDM!!! I’m the only one here that likes tuna, even soup can be a hit or miss thing depending on the day. Especially with the older boy having Asperger’s as textures can be an issue with him. There are a few frozen things I do buy as they are liked and requested by people here. Swanson meat pies are a big favourite and if I can get them on sale, as I have lately, I will get them…frozen fries, chicken nuggets are others that are well liked and bought but only if they are on sale!! The boys have learned this lesson well, hubby will still sometimes fuss. Convenience can cost but you learn to pick your battles. A lesson to keep in mind as Baby CBB gets older….. As a parent/grandparent I can speak from experience.
    Congratulations Jen!!!

    • Hi Christine,
      I think if the kids like the frozen stuff then buy it especially that your kids are older and know what they like. I’m not beating myself up but I just wish I could have done a bit more. We are also thinking about getting a housekeeper for a bit to help with cleaning just until we get on a schedule. It would be more for dusting the house as we do all of the rest. I’ll be learning so much with baby CBB and so far it’s been great!

  4. I was lucky when I have my daughter as I lived at home with my parents so my mom bought the food for the house and I paid her so much $ per week to live there, which helped buy the food. I’m so glad that I had that extra help and support during those first 6 months and I wouldn’t trade it in for the world. It gave me the foundation that I needed to feel confident to move out and attempt to tackle this on my own (not that my parents weren’t close by).

    As I’m sure you know by now, there is no manual for raising Baby CBB and you fly by the seat of your pants and always will. What you and Mrs. CBB think you are doing right, keep it up because there is no for sure way to know that it’s not working.

    As far as meals are concerned, I still buy convenience foods as there are many days that I don’t feel like cooking after working all day and want some thing quick and easy, whether it’s a tuna sandwich or a bowl of soup or even a TV dinner. Yes, that makes a muck of my budget but my daughter and I have to live with these choices. Like Christine said earlier, no parent ever is ready.

  5. Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $40.53

    2 – 2 Kg Sugar – $1.67 (PM Zehrs) = $3.34
    AP Flour = $7.49
    Coconut = $1.99
    2 Evapourate Milk – $1.37 = $2.74
    2 Kg Baking Soda = $3.99
    Marshmallows = $3.54
    Rice Krispies = $3.98
    Almond Extract = $3.29
    2 – 4L Skim Milk – $3.97 = $7.94
    Bananas – $1.26/Kg = $1.77

    Name Your Store: Herrle’s Country Farm Market
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $10.64

    2 Birch Bark pop – $1.79 = $3.58
    Pepper Squash = $1.59
    Pears = $3.00
    2 Peppers – $1.00 = $2.00

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $60.00/week ($50.00 Human & $10.00 Pet)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $7.25
    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week: $
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this week: 200
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0.00
    Stockpile Budget: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $1.17 over (Human)
    Total Spent This Week: $51.17
    Total Spent So Far for September: $212.41
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of September: $102.41 Over
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $2,195.09
    “Weekly Overview: I did price match the sugar this week. I really wasn’t in the mood to grocery shop this week so it was very minimal shopping that I did this week. We have started making things for Thanksgiving and us which quite a bit of these items will be used for. I made arrangements this week to also get 1/4 beef but delivery isn’t until Oct 20/21 so when that happens, I’m going to be way over again. I have decided that I will recoup that $ by reducing my food budget by $10.00 per week and if this happens again next year, I’ll have the funds instead of having to move funds around like I’m doing this year.

    We took my daughter’s cats to the vet today and I think my daughter received an eye opener about how much it costs to keep a pet. I paid for the 3 cats to have their vaccines up to date, two of them never had any shots, including their rabies and that cost me over $600.00. Going forward, it’s only going to be around $380.00 so that will be another item in my “”projected expenses”” bucket.”

    • Good for you saving the money each month for that expense. This is what we do and it’s called “projected expenses” and we do it for everything that we have to pay at some point in time during the year. We split the expense over the course of the year and save it each month in our budget. This way when the bill comes due we have the money. I can’t stress how much easier that has been financially for us. I think many people get an eye-opener when they go to the vets. Pets are very pricey. Oh.. see you do use the projected expenses. Clearly I type as I read line for line lol. It’s easier that way for me. Keep up the great work and let me know how the projected expenses works out for you. You get ballot 3. Mr.CBB

  6. I can generally get a meal ready in under 15 minutes, be it fried rice with vegetables and egg or diced ham, pasta and veggies, salad with anything in it… I cook beans on the slow cooker so there are beans as a base for many meals and it takes 5 minutes to get them into the cooker. You can make chili, mexican salad, pureed beans… slow cookers are awesome when you don’t have time.

  7. 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.

    RCSS
    Water $2.66
    Milk $3.97 – $.25 Zweet
    Bananas $1.10
    Croissants $2.89 (SCOP on one)
    Rebates $.25
    SCOP $.60
    OOP $10.37

    RCSS
    Silk almond milk 2 x $3.78 – 2 x $2.00 coupons
    Natura soy milk 6 x $2.29 – 6 x $.50 coupons
    Natura soy milk boxes 5 x $2.58 – FPC – 5 x $.50 coupons – $.50 Zweet (earned 7000 PC Plus points worth $7.00 for the above 3 purchases…$7.56 + $13.74 + $12.90=$34.20 –$ 12.08 in coupons=$22.12 –$7.00 in PC plus points – $.50 Zweet=$14.62 **before coupons and PC points $34.20 after PC plus points and coupons $14.62 that’s $19.58 in savings**)
    Del monte veggies (PM FC) 5 x $.79
    Water $3.79
    Marshmallows $1.54 – $.25 Zweet
    Cadbury chocolate bars (PM Sobey’s) 6 x $1.49
    Campbell’s soup (PM FB) 10 x $.50
    Rice Crispies (PM Fortinos) $3.49 – $1.00 Checkout 51)
    Lucky Charms $3.98
    Maxwell house coffee (PM WM) $5.97 (earned 3200 PC plus points making it $2.77)
    Crackers (PM FB) 3 x $1.44
    Kraft peanut butter (PM SDM) $2.99
    BD cheese (PM FC) $3.97
    Pillsbury crescents (PM FC) 4 x $1.25
    Tenderflake pie shells 2 x $2.50 – $1.50 coupon – $.75 CartSmart
    Potatoes (PM GT) $1.88 – $.25 Zweet
    Romaine $1.99
    Bananas $1.85 (earned 200 PC plus points making them $1.65)
    Grapes $1.41
    Jane’s chicken strips (PM GT) $4.98 – $1.00 Save.ca
    Croissant $1.29
    Wonderbread $2.00
    Vitality bread (PM GT) 2 x $1.88
    Magazine $3.49
    Coupons $13.08
    Rebates $4.00
    Earned a bonus 10000 PC plus points for spending over $100…like a $10.00 discount
    OOP $99.43 (not including the $10 worth of PC points)

    Food Basics
    Planters peanuts 3 x $1.88
    OOP $6.37

    Fresh Co
    Water 4 x $1.87
    Bacon 2 x $3.97
    Distilled water 2 x $1.17
    OOP $17.76

    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: $340 (plus $32.06 leftover from last month if needed)
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $13.08
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $13.08
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $924.00
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $4.25
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $4.25
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $148.75
    • Total SCOP this week: $.60
    • Toal SCOP this month: $.60
    • Total SCOP this year: $7.10
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $295.91
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 140,000 or $140.00
    • Total tax free day this week: $0.00
    • Total tax free day this month: $0.00
    • Total tax free day this year: $73.57
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $19.92
    • Total Spent This Week: $133.93
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $133.93
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $206.07
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $32.06
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $3081.42
    Weekly overview: Well I didn’t do so well this week but I will get back on track. I really stocked up this week on lots of stuff like soy milk and water so I’m not too worried! We can do it 🙂

    • Hi Jen,
      I love how you broke it all down and I also love to hear your excitement when you read your savings. This is the same thing with a budget. When you see the numbers you either smile or frown but it’s those numbers that need to kick-start our emotions so we know what we are doing is working or not. Thanks for doing that for us because I enjoy reading your shops with the points and savings. I love your enthusiasm at the end… you can do it. What is the plan so you stay on track? You get ballot 2… well done Jen.

  8. Just realized after I posted that I forgot to change my total for the year. Better go do that now in my Word file 🙂

  9. Mary F. Campbell says:

    I generally just put them in the fridge and use them up that week. It’s no big deal to make another soup or two during the week! I made an awesome White Bean and Vegetable Soup this week that we’ll finish off on Friday night. Michelle Kelson just messaged me a recipe for one that her dear friend brought over to her to have while she recovers from her surgery. It sounds awesome so I will give it a try really soon! Bear in mind, I am at home for lunches so soups never go to waste around here. 😀

    • I wanted to make that white bean soup of yours. Have you ever added ham to it? We love our soup around here but finding the time now is near impossible. I’m hoping after a couple months have passed I can get back to cooking up some recipes in the kitchen.

  10. Mary F. Campbell says:

    I had no recipe for the soup I made the other day…it was a crisper clean out of sorts. 🙂 I just tossed in what I had on hand… 2 potatoes, 2 carrots, 4 celery, 2 turnips, 1 x 14 oz can diced tomatoes, 1 can white beans (well rinsed), 1 diced red pepper, 2 small onions and 1 x 32 oz. vegetable stock. Fire them all in the crockpot on low for 8 hours and serve! It doesn’t get any easier than that!!! I added absolutely no spices because I wanted a very mild soup to agree with an upset tummy that I was experiencing.

    Next week I will make Donna Pierce’s Cowboy Bacon Beans, a Crockpot Apple Crisp Oatmeal for a breakfast for supper kind of night using http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Crock-Pot-Apple-Crisp-Oatmeal-678310?columns=3&position=1%2F14 , then the ham and bean soup you are probably thinking of… http://mooreorlesscooking.com/2013/04/26/crockpot-ham-and-bean-soup/ and also a Lemon Chicken Soup with Spinach and Dill using a new to me recipe from… http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/lemon-chicken-soup-spinach-dill.aspx?utm_source=social&utm_medium=fb_post&utm_term=no-offer&utm_content=fc-recipe&utm_campaign=FC_social

    I have to pick up some chicken thighs, a bag of baby spinach, 3 peppers (Red-Yellow-Orange) and some fresh dill BUT that’s still a pretty short grocery list to make enough for 2 weeks worth of dinners!! 😀

    • It is fairly simple to make a pot of soup but having the ingredients and time to prep the veg is important. Where is the recipe for the beans? I really want to try them out.

  11. Mary F. Campbell says:

    Mr CBB, are you referring to Donna’s Cowboy Bacon Beans? It is not from a link. She gave me her recipe a long time ago and I modified it quite a bit for our household but I never got her permission to re-post it on this blog – so I won’t. I will message you a copy via Facebook. The ham and bean soup link is above, if that’s the one you were referring to.

  12. Christine Weadick says:

    Finally getting the chance to get caught up… This is a week 5 for Sept. for me. A lousy end to the month but it happens. I only went to Foodland for groceries.

    Sept. 27
    4 cans soup @.75 -3.00
    5 packages pasta, various @1.00 -5.00
    2 cans pineapple @1.19 -2.38
    Bananas -.68
    2 pasta sauce @1.89 – 3.78
    1 unsweetened Apple sauce -1.98
    2 Gatorade @2.49 -4.98
    2 loaves W/W bread @2.50 -5.00, coupon -$1.00WUB2
    1 bagels -2.99
    1 can Apple juice -2.98, 1.00 coupon
    1 pack bacon -3.99
    1 yogurt -3.99
    1 ground turkey -4.49
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    1 case ginger ale -4.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Whiskas cat food -8.99, 2.00 coupon
    Tax -2.46
    Total $82.73, 5.00 coupons

    Sept 30
    2 tomato paste @.59 -1.18
    4 cans tomato soup @.75 -3.00
    2 Whiskas wet cat food @.79 -1.58
    2 packages pasta @1.00 -2.00
    3 Power Ade @1.66 -4.98
    Bananas -.88
    2 pasta sauce @1.89 -3.78
    1 unsweetened Apple sauce -1.98
    1 perogies -2.99
    1 Palmolive dish soap -3.29
    1 yogurt -3.99
    1 lb butter -4.19
    1 4l milk-4.79
    1 honey garlic sausage -4.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -1.28
    Total $40.39

    Oct. 2
    2 kidney beans @.99 -1.98
    1 pack chili powder -1.00
    1 white beans -1.25
    1 yogurt -3.99,.50 coupon
    2 packs sausage 5.76-2.88(50% sticker), 5.90 -2.95(50% sticker)
    Toalt -$13.55, 5.83 discounts, .50 coupon

    Total budget for month -$650.00′ 5 weeks -$130.00weekly
    Total coupons/discounts this week -11.33
    Total spent is week $136.67
    Total spent for month -143.79+139.13+177.56+135.44+136.67=$732.59
    Total over/under for week -$6.67 over
    Total over/under for month -$82.59 over
    Left for month -N/A
    Total coupons/discounts for month -$38.63
    Carry over to next month -$26.00+$82.59=$108.59
    Total YTD -J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M$647.70+J$660.14+J$694.95+A$629.08+S$732.59=$7810.62
    Stockpile $9.79 remaining

    I am over for the month by quite a bit. Four out of the five weeks I was very close but that one week was a killer. There is some serious carryover to work on. That last trip to Goodland was to get the makings for Chili for hubby and the boys while I was at our daughter’s for 2-3 days. We were not sure how long I would be at her place as I was there while she had day surgery. It went well so I was home after 2 days. She is fine now and back to work.
    The last 3 months of the year are going to be tough but I will be doing the best I can while still getting some deals as they come up and the holiday baking.

    • Hi Christine,
      I see we are in the same boat as you with overspending for the month. Some months can be tough that’s for sure. I wish like Mary said that we did our overspends earlier in the year so it left us more time to catch up. Did you mean Foodland instead of Goodland 🙂 hehe! Good to hear that the surgery went well. Will you be making a Christmas dinner at your place? If so do you start planning in November for that dinner? I’m confident you can make it Christine as long as you plan. The same goes for us we have to do the same and just stick with it. You get ballot 14. Mr.CBB

      • Christine Weadick says:

        I’ve done the Christmas dinner here for years now…. The turkey is already in the freezer, Foodland had them on for $.99 lb for grade A birds!! I got one we ate at Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. There is bags of cranberries for the sauce in there too. My daughter usually brings my birthday cake for dessert and I do the rest. The trick will be the baking supplies for all the baking I do!! I need to get my candied fruit mix soon for the dark fruitcake I make every year!!
        I’m thinking if I get a little bit for the baking and such every week I should be good. I’ve started the Christmas crafting with the cowl I arm knitted for my daughter. I’ll be looking over pinterest for things for the grandson. A bag of fresh catnip and some yarn scraps will made lots of cat toys for Stuart and Molly. I have points to redeem and a couple of other sources for a little extra funding for then too. I’m working on all of it!!

        • I love how you think ahead. That is what smart shoppers do. I agree that baking does cost a fortune but it’s so much better than store-bought especially at Christmas.

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