grocery game monthly challenge

Why Having A Stockpile Budget Will Save You Money: The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 #1 Jan 5- 11

why having a stockpile budget will save you money

YOUR NUTRITION SURVIVAL SHELTER

 

Over the years we have seen our food stockpile dwindle but back between 2010-2012 stockpiling our cold room, pantry and freezer using coupons and flyer specials was a way of life, not so much these days.

We’ve taken a different approach to stockpiling simply because we weren’t able to get through the food that we were buying in bulk using coupons. We are still trying to use up baked beans that are coming due this year.

Having an emergency food stash that is ready to eat up just in case something happens to your finances is great but having shelf-stable products are key to building the best stockpile. When I say shelf-stable I mean products that don’t really have a shelf-life or have a very long shelf-life like dried beans, a quality stockpile item of ours.

I know some of our friends who have a pantry it’s just filled to the top with junk and convenience foods and although it may fill your tummy you can still eat healthy and stockpile good food on a budget.

Why have a stockpile budget then if we don’t plan to stockpile lots of food?

A valid question, let me explain.

 

The Stockpile Budget

 

First off let’s talk about what a stockpile budget is or means to us because there is a distinct difference between having a stockpile and a stockpile budget. I will talk about both below.

Since we no longer stock hoards of food there are still times when we see a good deal on a product and stocking up is ideal. Yes, it will save you money over time IF you eat that product on a regular basis.

The overall reason to have a stockpile of food is to buy them in large quantities when you find the best prices in case you were to lose one income, failed health or other emergencies.

I don’t know HOW MANY times we bought food just because we had coupons and the product ended up being cheap. In our heads we would think that it’s food right? It’s cheap right? We might eat it, right? WRONG! Most times the food we stockpiled went into the garbage which I’m not proud of or was donated to our local Food Bank.

Some people may see a big pay off with stockpiling tonnes of food but in the end if it ends up in the garbage you’re not really paying anyone but the garbage man.

We know we will use the products but there will always be sales and whether you spend the money now or later it’s all money that will come out of your budget. There is no real budget surplus as some may believe just because one month you aren’t spending money on certain items. You’ve previously spent it in bulk so yes you’ve spent money which would have been used regardless.

Where we do see huge pay-offs is with toiletries, health and beauty and cleaning supplies because we haven’t had to buy them since our couponing years although on the odd occasion we might stock up on a good deal but this is not part of the grocery budget in our family.

In the past we used to add Health and Beauty into our grocery budget but we have since given that it’s own budget category with a projected expense of $17.00 a month to help us to really see a breakdown of numbers.

  • Stock only what you will eat!

If you are wondering if we had designated food rooms in our house…no we didn’t have a house that looked like those on extreme couponing but there were times we had to question just how much food we needed in our lives.

Most times people eat more than they should and having tonnes of food around especially if you have no self-control isn’t always the best idea. That’s me by the way although we never stocked up on chips but there was a point were granola bars got out of hand and those are just as dangerous as real chocolate bars.

The reality is there is only so much food a family can eat with products that have expiry or best-before dates which are some-what important to us depending on the product. Cereal for example we had box upon box of them on the shelves. We hardly put a dent in them and even though they may have cost us a $1.00 a box it was money wasted in terms of our grocery budget because we never got the chance to eat them.

We never really donated cereal as we thought we would become big cereal eaters but that never panned out. That was our loss and learning experience. It wasn’t just the cereal either. We could stand in our cold room and although we had all the emergency essentials we needed food wasn’t an essential that would last forever like toothpaste might.

After all we were only two people eating in this house so it started to dawn on us that maybe leaning more towards meal planning and stocking limited amounts of certain foods was the SMARTER way to go, for us.

  • Stock only what you will eat!

The great part is a few of The Grocery Game fans who post their shops each week have come to appreciate having a stockpile budget and have incorporated it into their overall family budget.

 

Money Savers

 

We really worked hard on our grocery budget when we started the grocery game not only to save money in our grocery budget and track our expenses but because we wanted to stop buying so much food. There is a fine line between being a money saver and someone who is dishing out our cash at the grocery store for nothing.

  • Stock only what you will eat!

These days if you were to get a tour of our food stash you will be surprised to see just two small shelves filled with some basics, pasta, tuna, dry beans, sauces etc. but that’s the extent of it I’m afraid. Funny thing is that we belong to many Facebook group sites and it’s not uncommon for people to give away food from their stockpile that they can’t or won’t eat.

How does the stockpile budget figure into all of this?

Well, it came to the point where Mrs.CBB and I were analyzing the numbers in our grocery budget only to see that there were months where we would spend more and it was because we bulk shopped for one food item. A VERY popular item on our food shopping list is cheese.

If the cheese is on sale, look out because Mrs. CBB and I will run you down! Ok, not that bad but we do love our cheese, just not the plastic stuff or cheese in a jar or can. We like the real deal especially if we can get it with 50% off pink stickers at Zehrs or RCSS.

  • Stock only what you will eat! (I know you are seeing a trend here)

Spending $20 on cheese is very easy for us to do but it would eat into our monthly budget. One of our fans always had this stockpile budget she talked about in her grocery game shops that started the wheels turning in my head. Why don’t we have one?

How do you use the stockpile budget?

Here’s the kicker, if you don’t spend it one month you lose it. It’s not a shopping game to us either. There is no point where we try and find something, anything to buy just because we want to use up the stockpile budget every month. That’s defeating the purpose.

We don’t carry over our stockpile budget but we have $25 available to spend on bulk shopping only. It’s not $25 to use to balance out our grocery shopping because we spent too much.. no, no, no don’t abuse it that way. If you do that than you might as well just add another $25 to your grocery budget and be done with it.

It’s your choice if you carry over month to month what you don’t spend but we opt not to. I can share with you all the budgeting tips that I know or that we follow but it’s ultimately your decision based on your unique situation how you handle your money. We track our stockpile budget in our weekly grocery game challenge posts as you will see below.

Keeping a running total helps us to see how much we are spending and it helps with the end of year figures. If we notice we spent the stockpile budget every month than we may consider adding a few more dollars like we did this year.

In 2014 our stockpile budget was $20 but since we made such good use of it we have now changed it to $25. Another consideration for the jump is grocery prices are slated to rise in 2015 so having that extra $5 will help cushion that blow.

This week for example we found Gold Seal tuna on sale for $0.99 so I bought a case of 24 that will last at least a few months. We love our tuna and know it won’t be sitting around.

On the other hand we had coupons last year for $1.00 off tuna that was filled with jalapeno, sun-dried tomatoes etc. and although I would still eat this tuna it’s not my favourite.

I could have picked cans of them up for near free last year but turned away because I knew they would be sitting for ages and regular cans of tuna would always bump them out-of-the-way when it came time to make tuna sandwiches or tuna and noodles.

This is where we had to ask ourselves if it was worth the money to spend on that tuna just because it was near free and we MIGHT eat it all up. We aren’t bothering any longer if we can’t look at a product and drool, we don’t buy it.

We also limit how many of one item we keep as a stockpile item so we don’t have too much food sitting around. Our aim is not to turn our basement into a grocery store but to be sensible with our spending and opt for healthy food choices that help keep our budget and pantry well-balanced.

The stockpile budget has been a surprisingly easy way for us to buy what we need in bulk when it goes on sale without the guilt of using up our actual grocery budget leaving us no wiggle room. This was the intention of the stockpile budget and it might just work for you!

Only you can decide if the stockpile budget is right for you but don’t forget it’s not like your regular grocery budget it’s simply money that you tuck away for those rainy day specials that you MUST have.

Do you have a stockpile budget?

 

January 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!

The GROCERY GAME WEEKS 2015 <<<< Click and print the weeks so you have them handy!

Congratulations to DEE (Ballot #4) for winning the December 2014 Grocery Game Challenge! Email me for your prize Dee!

 

Grocery Saving Tips

 

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

Join Now Neilsen HomescanJoin Now Neilsen HomescanNEW 2015!!: Sign up today! >>> Homescan Canada! Now Accepting Applications from CBB fans!

Join the Nielsen Homescan consumer panel today!!

If chosen you will receive rewards by scanning the bar code on your grocery purchases and completing fun surveys with the scanner provided to you from Homescan Canada.

One registration per household. Once you sign up using the link above you will be put on a reserve waiting list and randomly selected households will be chosen.  Sign up now…. it’s worth it!!

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 are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.

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.

 

2015 Grocery shop results

 

If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB Home Chef Nicola Don and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out!

Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month.

No Frills

  • Fuji Apples $1.36
  • 2 x English cucumber $0.88 each + 800 PC Plus points
  • 5ct Avocado $2.47+ 400 PC Plus points
  • 1lb Radishes $1.47
  • 2 x broccoli $1.27 each
  • Bananas $1.92-$0.25 Zweet rebate
  • Sweet Potatoes $1.47

Total Out-Of-Pocket: $12.99

Food Basics

  • Knorr Beef cubes 4 x $0.99 each
  • 24 x Goldseal Tuna $0.99 each $23.76 (Stockpile budget)
  • 2 x whole wheat Premium Plus crackers $2.99 each
  • 2 x Vitasana gnocchi $2.29 each
  • Porchetta Marc Angelo $11.99-40%
  • 3 x grape tomatoes $0.99 each
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.97
  • Tuscan tortillas 2/$3.00

Total Out-Of-Pocket: $33.17

Zehrs

  • 6 x 4L Neilson Milk Blowout $2.97

Total Out-Of-Pocket: $17.82- $1.24 to (Stockpile budget) $16.58

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 1200
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

I reset this for 2015 to see earning potential.

  • Snap Groupon to date: $ 0
  • Zweet to date: $0.25
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $0

GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used to date: $25.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $0
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $4.80
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $4.80
  • Total spent this week: $62.74
  • Total spent so far this month: $62.74
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $4.00 over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $4.00 over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $172.76
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): We definitely took the opportunity to use our stockpile budget this week as we needed to stock up on a couple of items that were great prices.

Clearly adding the $5.00 extra for 2015 to our stockpile budget will benefit us. Tuna costs a fortune when it’s not on sale as does milk and we picked up both for a great deal this 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.

 

Canadian coupons january 2015 GGC 1

 

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 but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: Yes No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. 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.
  • Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: 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.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • 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 2015 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. If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

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 2015!

Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.

-Mr.CBB

 

its not about how much money you make its how you save it logo

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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. Christine Weadick says:

    Name Your Store: Foodland
    10 cans soup@.50 -5.00
    1 chicken broth -1.49
    Bananas -.81
    1 pasta -1.98
    1 rice -1.99
    2 Apple sauce@2.19 -4.38
    1 Cheerios -2.99
    1 bagels -2.99
    1 jug water,refill -3.49
    1 yogurt -3.49
    1 4l milk -4.88
    2 sausage -4.95+5.15, 50% discount, -2.48+2.58
    1 case pop -4.99
    3 packs juice@3/5.00 -5.00
    1 Whiskas cat food -8.49
    Tax-1.75
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $58.76

    No Frills
    1 Apple sauce -1.67
    3 pineapple tidbits @.97 -2.91
    1 case pop -5.47
    1 Cheerios -2.99
    1 Kraft PB -1.97
    2 Palmolive dish soap @1.88 -3.76
    1 A&H laundry soap -2.97
    1 SOS soap pads -1.98
    1 Whiskas cat food -7.99
    1 doz eggs -2.64
    2 4l milk @3.97 -7.94
    1 frozen stir fry veggies -2.97
    1 216 count Tetley teabags -9.47
    1 lemon teabags -2.79
    1 yogurt -3.19, 1.00 coupon
    Case KD (12) -6.97
    1 bear paws -1.88
    2 Cheezies Whiz @2.97 -5.94, 1.00 coupon
    1 bagels -1.97
    1 W/W bread -3.08, 50% discount-1.54
    1 W/W bread -1.97
    1 chicken nuggets -4.44
    1 celery -1.99
    Bananas -.88
    1 Sensodyne toothpaste -4.58
    Tax -3.48
    Total coupons -$2.00
    Total Discounts -$1.54
    OOP -$94.35

    Foodland
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 to at paste @.59 -1.28
    4 pasta sauce @.89 -3.56
    Bananas -.53
    1 bread crumbs -2.49
    1 Apple juice -2.49
    1 frozen French fries -2.79
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 Zip lock bags -3.79
    1 yogurt -3.99
    2 4l milk @4.88 -9.76
    1 pack razors -5.99
    1 pork tenderloin. -7.46
    1 pack chicken breasts -9.98
    Tax -1.27
    Total coupons -$0.00
    OOP -$63.75

    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $650.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650.00
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date:0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Snap Groupon to date: $0
    Zweet to date: $0
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $25.00
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $2.00
    Total coupons used to date: $2.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $1.54
    Total in-store discounts to date: $1.54
    Total spent this week: $216.87
    Total spent so far this month: $216.87
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $66.87
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $N/A
    Total left to spend for the month: $433.13
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $216.87

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):
    I was over for the week…sort of. This covers a week and a half or there abouts. I wanted to switch over to Mary’s set-up as I was having problems figuring out if it was 4 weeks or 5 and just generally getting confused sometimes. This should help, I hope. I will be trying to keep the rest of the month as low as I can to get back on track. Unless it is a really good deal I plan to stick with as little as we actually need. I could call the second bag of cat food a stockpile but it won’t last that long with 2 cats eating it. I want to get the freezers down so I can give them both a good cleaning. If I can get things down enough I can use one while cleaning the other and then switch to do the other…

    • Hi Christine,
      Good deal on the soup cans. That’s the least I’d be willing to pay for them. Oh I’m glad to see you are following our weeks now… 🙂 I’m following Mary as well because she knows what she’s doing and I trust her. I was swamped to try and figure it out and she came to the rescue for all of us. Big Thanks Mary.. I’m happy to hear how you plan to stick to what you really need. We need to give our freezer away and get a smaller one. I think if we have a big freezer we will fill it with stuff… OH I think I just found a new blog post idea haha then again it could mean savings as well… hmm. Those tea bags hurt the budget wow… do they ever go on offer? I know they sent us $1 off coupons once when we emailed them to say how much we enjoyed their tea. You should do the same!! Worth a shot for some coupons. You get ballot. 19. Mr.CBB

  2. I love my stockpile!!!!! It has and will continue to save us a lot of money!!
    This week my budget is $100 a week making this month $500.
    I already blew the budget this week but am sure I can keep it balanced at month end.
    Safeway
    $4×10-$2Cx10 nabob coffee reg $9.49!!! (8 are for my mom and 2 are for us)
    $5.39 cheese buns
    $1.29 #1 bday candle
    $.50×3-$2.50C Tetley tea (I am loving the vanilla earl grey one)
    $31.74 total oop
    $22.50 total coupons
    Save on foods
    $19.78×2 3kg frozen chicken breasts
    $1.16 oranges
    $3.99 2lb dry kidney beans
    $4.75 quality street chocolates – clearance reg $14.99!!
    $1.50×2 bread
    $44.80 total oop
    $7.87 15% discount
    Shoppers (things for little misses bday party)
    .99×4 no name chips
    $1.99×2-$1Cx2 crackers
    $2.99-$1C dzn eggs
    .97×2 3pk tape – clearance
    $10.15 total oop
    $3 total coupons
    Costco
    $5.31 4L homo milk
    $3.99 premium plus crackers
    $2.09 coffee creamer
    $10.99 microwave popcorn
    $3.99 8pk mini zucchini
    $26.35 total oop
    Superstore
    .88 coconut milk
    $18.26 ground beef (5 meals)
    $1.24 gingerbread house – clearance
    $1 English muffins
    $2.98×4-$1.50Cx4 Heinz baby cereal
    $4.44 snowman cake pop muffin pan – clearance
    .04×12 med gift bags – cleaance
    .24 clear santa wrap – clearance
    .14×4 wrapping paper – clearance
    .34 cars wrapping paper – clearance
    $33.80 total oop
    $6 total coupons
    Sobeys
    $2.50 xmas rice krispies
    $1.49 green leaf lettuce
    $1×10-$1Cx10 del monte fruit cups
    the following is a discount Tuesday shop
    $3.99×20-$3Cx20 uncle bens rice
    $3.99×3-$2Cwub3 international creamer
    $3.99×6-$1Cx6 cb cheese slices
    $2.69 bologna
    $1×2 strawberry croissant
    $2.50 xmas rice krispies
    $1×2 1lb baby carrots
    $2.33 bananas
    $1×10-bogoCx5 del monte fruit cups
    $4.99×2 sausage rings
    $67.24 total oop
    $100.32 total coupons & 10% discount

    $214.08 weekly total oop
    $139.69 weekly total coupons/discounts
    $285.98 monthly total oop
    $150.69 monthly total coupons

    Bought some none grocery items but that okay I am sure it won’t effect things too much. Really glad I found someone that had extra uncle bens rice coupons! each box worked out to be .40 each! so even if we don’t like them we can give them away or donate them with little oop.

    • Hi Juanita
      Glad to hear the stockpile is working out for you. It doesn’t so much for us anymore as we simply can’t keep up eating the food. Now we aim to stockpile very little and buy what we need from what’s on sale during the week. You picked up some great deals this week. I don’t think I saw the Uncle Bens coupons.. where were they? We only buy asian rice in the big bags when they go on offer. That is a great way to donate if you can score them that cheap wow!! Great shopping!!! I can’t wait to see your end of year totals.. especially your coupon usage. You get ballot. 16. Mr.CBB

      • Hey Mr.CBB
        The Uncle Bens rice coupons were from an insert that was kindly given to me. I did my math was wrong on them, they were actually .60 each but still I can’t complain. My favourite rice is an Indian basmati rice but way to expensive to buy at regular price.
        here are my 2014 numbers
        $65000 budgeted – $125 a week
        $5684.51 total oop
        $815.49 under budget
        $1322 total coupons
        I was pretty happy with those numbers!!

        • You did not budget $65,000 for groceries haha nice one… lol. I love the end figures.. congratulations. You deserve it with all the hard work you put in last year to save money at the grocer store.

  3. Just yourself and Angela, I’ve started using my daughter’s PC Plus Points as well. This way, she can “purchase” things that we need when she gets to 20,000 or more PC Points so she feels like she is contributing to the household.

    Yes, Mr. CBB I do plan on carrying forward any losses to the next month. Any gains will either be saved for a later date or used to debt. I never thought of myself being in competition with Jen about price matching but do agree that it saves money. Now that I know RCSS price matches, I plan to make good use of it and I’m keeping track of how much I’m saving so I can show myself and my daughter how a little bit of extra work will result in much more savings in our pocket.

    • Ha, I was just playing around with Jen and your price matching abilities… you are both pretty amazing at it. Keep up the great work. Smart idea with the PC points too! I think it would be great to see what your final numbers are at the end of the year. How much you were able to save grocery shopping and put towards your debt. Oh.. I can hardly wait. This is the stuff I love! Best of luck Dee!

      • I know you were joking…I’m just saying….

        Believe me, I’m also interested to see how things go myself. I download a copy of Gail’s debt repayment spreadsheet and gave myself a rude awakening. When I thought it would take 5-6 years to repay the CC debt, I forgot to include the interest (silly me) and boy did that add time to my ending total. Luckily I have a couple of extra pays throughout the year and that I can drop directly on that debt and also use the snowball effect with the other existing debt but in all honesty, it’s going to be pushing it to clear it by 6 years.

        Oh, I signed up for Gail’s “The Hardest Ever To Win Contest”. I don’t expect to win but it might give me the push to really get me going in the right direction and finally be debt free (except for the mortgage).

        • It’s shocking how much the interest will cost. If you read the bottom of your credit card statement it will tell you how much it will cost you. It’s sickening!

  4. I shop for 2 adults and a 4 year old boy. Our budget is $85/week or $425 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    RCSS
    KD cups (PM Sobey’s) 7 x $1.00
    Mushrooms (PM WM) $1.47
    Chocolate croissant $1.19
    OOP $9.72

    RCSS
    PF sweet crisps 2 x $2.00 – 2 x $3.00 CO51
    Rebates $6.00
    OOP $+$2.00 (overage)

    No Frills
    Water (15ct) 10 x $.88
    OOP $8.80

    RCSS
    Goldfish (PM) 5 x $1.88
    PF sweet crisps $2.00 – $3.00 CO51
    Nesquik (PM NF) $2.88
    AJ syrup (PM) $2.00
    Classico sauce (PM) 3 x $2.00
    Fruit by the foot 2 x $1.98
    Lucky Charms (PM) $3.88
    Orange juice (PM) $2.00
    Source yogurt $4.98
    Margarine (PM FC) 4 x $1.00
    Eggs (PM) 2 x 1.88 – $1.00 coupon
    Cavendish fries (PM) $.88
    Almond Breeze 2 x $3.50 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Bananas $1.46
    Chocolate croissants 2 x $1.19
    Bagels (PM NF) $.88
    Wonderbread $2.00
    Vitality bread (PM) 2 x $1.88
    Magazine $3.49
    Coupons $3.00
    Rebates $3.00
    OOP $61.68

    ****Because I am doing this so late I cannot remember what I price matched and to where and exactly what coupons were used and where so this may not be completely accurate****
    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4,420 ($85/week)
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $3.00
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $10.94
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $10.94
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $9.00
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $9.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $9.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Toal SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $0
    • 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: $0
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $0
    • Total Spent This Week: $74.20
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $170.49
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $169.51
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $0
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $170.49
    Weekly overview: I’m back on track for the month! Only $.49 over! I’m finally caught up on the 6 weeks I was behind in the GGC! I’m also very proud to say that I posted a shop for every week last year! I didn’t miss a week of posting 🙂

    • Hi Jen,
      Great deal on the Pepperidge Farm with the overage. We saw that as well but opted not to get it this time around. That’s great news that you are back on track!! I’m happy that you are all caught up because it’s so easy to fall off track and forget about the budget so kudos to you Jen. Do you find you are shopping less these days? You get ballot 10 Mr.CBB

  5. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 1 – January 5 to 11

    • Grocery budget to work with in January: $320
    • Total coupons used this week: $1
    • Total coupons used to date: $1
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $20
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $20
    • Total gift cards used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards used to date: $0
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.80
    • Total student discounts to date: $4.80
    • Total spent this week: $45.15
    • Total spent so far this month: $45.15
    • Total left to spend for the month: $274.85
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $45.15

    RCSS: Chicken breast 13.10 x 2 – 2.62 student discount: 23.58 – 20.00 pc plus redeemed: paid 3.60 rounded up 2 cents
    RCSS: stew seasoning 1.50 x 2, sliced black olives no name 1.27, milk 3.97, cheese whiz 2.99 – 1.00 coupon, iceberg lettuce .99 x 2, 10lb potatoes 3.48, blueberry pints 2.96 x 2, bananas .96, grape tomatoes .99 x 2, children’s kaopectate 6.99 – 2.18 student discount + .91 tax: 30.25 rounded down 2 cents
    Giant Tiger: eggs 1.88, orange juice concentrate .88 x 4, onion rings .88, frozen fries .88, 3 lb apples 1.88, peanuts 2.00 + .26 tax: 11.30

    A good start to the new year. I have switched almost all of my shopping to RCSS unless I can’t price match an item there to get my student discount every Tuesday of 10%. It is nice to have the savings on everything we buy including fruits and vegetables. Even in just one shopping trip, we can see the difference. I still work with multiple transactions there to maximize points from my PC Plus card and hubby’s card since we get different offers. It is the first I am tracking how much I am truly saving with the student discount and I will be curious to see how much that will accumulate to be. I must admit, we’ve already gotten used to the discount so when I am done school in August 2016 it will be hard to go back, but at least that is a year and a half away. We are trying harder now to come in under the monthly budget to see how much we can set aside at the end of each month. In April, we may need to rely on that saved amount to pay for the food for a while. We haven’t quite figured that part out yet, but we are starting with $80 weekly at this point and working from there.

    • Hi Angela
      Welcome back to GGC 2015!! You know if I could PM and get a student discount at a shop I’d do it so I don’t blame you at all. Every dollar saved counts for something in the grocery budget. Your PC plus card are two separate cards then? The wife and I both have a PC Mastercard and our PC Plus deals are always the same. The fun part about tracking is the final day of numbers at the end of the year. I can’t tell you how excited we get when we add up all of our final numbers for the year just to see how well our patience and perseverance got us. Keep up the great work… You get ballot 4. Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        It’s good to be back! We do have two separate PC Plus cards. When it started at our RCSS just over a year ago, we both signed up at the cash and both got registered. I checked with PC Plus and they said as long as we had different email accounts it didn’t matter if the home address was the same. So, we do end up with different offers on each card. Seems odd, and can make multiple transactions sometimes complicating, but the points are worth it on the stuff we buy. We are rarely swayed by the offers that aren’t a result of regular transactions. I know we could have more if we were swayed by the random offers, but we’d likely end up with a lot of stuff we don’t need.

        • Ah ok that makes sense then because we get the same deals. Good for you more money in your pocket if you can maximize the deals with points. I agree the points are worth it and they know what they are doing so if it gets people in the door so be it. Shoppers Drug Mart which they own does the same thing with online coupons they send out. That’s true and the last thing you need is products around the house you don’t need or want.

  6. Ok…finally Mr.CBB here is the revised and final submission for this week
    Thank you for your patience. You can post this one 🙂

    . Food Barn (Australia)

    bananas $1.02
    yogurt $ 6.59
    cheese cake 4.55
    smoked almonds $12.49

    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $24.65
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $216.67
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $0
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date:0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Snap Groupon to date: $0
    Zweet to date: $0
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($0.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $0
    Total spent this week: $24.65
    Total spent so far this month: $24.65
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $..25.35 under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $ 25.35 under
    Total left to spend for the month: $192.02
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $24.65

    Because I had lost the receipt docket, I went back too the store, and priced them. We spend an average of $50 week, when spread over 52 weeks / year, this equals $216.67 a month. Where we are at all of our meals are provided, so these purchases, are our wants. (I didn’t buy oranges last week after all)

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Thanks for submitting your shop for the week. You picked up only a few items this week as I suspect you didn’t need too much. How big of a carton was your yogurt? It seems very pricey although you are in Australia correct? I’m thrilled to have you on board for the GGC and look forward to your shops this year. Don’t worry it takes time and you will get the hang of it. Keep all of your receipts and it’s easy peasy. Mr.CBB 🙂

      • Yogurt was 1 kg. The delivery truck was delayed because of Xmas holidays. Usually I can get one on sale for around $4.50. Middle of the Australian Outback, this is the only major grocery store for 500 kms.

        • Ah ok 1kg is pretty big which explains the cost. I miss yogurt from back home it is so thick and delicious although there are some good kinds in Canada these days. How many grocery stores do you have to shop in then just one in your area? Do they price match?

          • this is the only grocery store for 500 kms….so we just accept that prices are a bit higher.

          • I guess you don’t have much choice. Do they price match though? Are there any points programs or rewards you can take advantage of for further savings?

          • Something I could ask about, I suppose. No point programs. They have a pretty captive audience…so I doubt there is any incentive to do so.

          • That’s a good point. If it’s the only store for miles then they know they have it in the bag already.

  7. I stockpile food that my family can consume. I always buy what is needed. Based on experience, almost nothing goes to garbage. It’s because of the smart budgeting I do. Everything is planned well. And we’re happy doing it.

    • Do you use an actual stockpile budget though or do you stockpile using your grocery budget? The post leans more towards that stockpile budget and why it’s important to have and how it can save you money. We hate waste as well.

  8. Growing up in Utah US inside the LDS (Mormon) religion and culture where it is recommended that members have a one year supply of food stored for any emergency that may come up I saw some impressive food storage rooms in some of my friend’s houses. There was the 50 gallon barrels of flour, rice, and beans but also shelves full of the canned and boxed goods that would be rotated through. The idea was store only what you would eat and continue to buy it but rotate the oldest forward and keep the storage full. My wife and I have maybe at most 2 to 3 weeks of storage and no room to store more when you add in toilet paper and other personal care goods someone needs. Food wise we only have canned and dry goods that we normally eat and try to do the same rotation method. Our biggest challenge is storing fresh water. We have nowhere near 2 weeks worth of drinking water stored. We now live in Colorado and this storage came in handy one year (2006) when we had weekly 2 to 3 foot snow storms for 3 weeks straight which delayed supper market restocking due to slow delivery and mass purchases from the folks in town when the food did arrive. We buy extra when there is a coupon or a 2 for 1 kind of sale but we started the storage with $500 specifically to stock our shelves. When something is used out of storage it is replaced with a new item from our next shopping visit so it stays fairly constant in size. We plan on making more room for storage by rebuilding our pantry room in a different configuration.

  9. We’re a cheese house too. When it goes on sale I’ve been known to pick up a dozen packs of old cheddar at a time. We can eat them before they go bad. We used to stock up more too, but after moving boxes of dried pasta and moving close to a discount grocery store our stockpile levels have gone way down. It’s more of a stocked pantry now than a stockpile. When we come across a great cheese deal it comes out of our regular grocery budget.

    • Cheese doesn’t go bad it just goes moldy and all you do is cut it off. We can buy 8 or 9 blocks at a time and we have never once had any issues with it nor have we had to freeze it. We do freeze parmigiano and romano cheeses though. So you don’t have a stockpile budget outside of your regular budget for those items like cheese that you would stock up on and would eat up a portion of that budget. Gotcha! Good for you… awesome!! We are the same as you only stocking more the pantry these days.

  10. I definitely stockpile over late summer/fall and deplete by early summer. We live rural and in the north and I like to reduce the amount of groceries we need to get to the vehicle and in the house in the snow and cold weather (hit -37 for a few days this last week) and I like to know we have the food for the winter. I grew up on a farm, and both set of grandparents were farmers and that is just what they did in the fall when the harvest came in and during hunting season/slaughter seasons so I guess I assimilated an inclination to stockpile for winter. When I think of stockpiling I am thinking of freezing food like fresh veggies in the summer, saskatoons, wild game in the fall, local lamb and local chickens to get us through the winter. In the fall I usually buy a bag of rice, bags of beans if we are low as well as stocking a few basic staple canned items when they are priced well such as tuna. I buy a few extra winter squash at the last farmers markets of the year. We still have two spaghetti squash in the pantry and just ate 2 pumpkins in December. I also stockpile GF soy sauce, hot sauces, peanut butter and vinegars. Those are movers in our house and we rarely have enough of those to get through the winter. We are a family of 4 with 3 dogs so we go through a lot of food and this works well for us right now. If we didn’t have 2 teenagers and 3 big dogs we wouldn’t stock up like we do now.

    • Hi Rhonda
      That makes complete sense if you are out of the city to want to stockpile food you know your family will enjoy. So yes you stockpile food which is great if you are going through it BUT do you have a stockpile budget aside from your grocery budget only for those items you would buy in bulk when a big sale comes. The reasoning is that it won’t eat up your grocery budget that month rather use up the stockpile budget BUT if there is a month where you don’t buy anything you don’t use the stockpile budget for normal grocery shopping. This is what we do! Thanks for sharing Rhonda!

  11. Angela Mainse says:

    We do not specifically allocate a dollar value to stockpile. However, we do stockpile. We try to absorb the cost into the weekly budget. If I find something we need to stock up on go on sale, then I will cut back something else to balance out the cost. Up until last year this worked wonderfully. Last year’s fail was losing track and then not getting back on track. That won’t happen again. It only takes once. However, I do find the stockpile for us is always important, especially for the winter months. We try to spend as little as possible during the winter since my husband works part-time and hours are usually cut after Christmas. And with that being our main income, we are doing our best to be super careful. We spend the summer months generally rebuilding the stock so there is a good three months on our shelves so we can focus on fresh staples (veggies, fruit, milk, eggs and meat if necessary). We have always used coupons, will always use them. But when couponing was trending a couple years ago, I didn’t fall into the trap of getting something we weren’t going to use. We found as many of a certain coupon as possible when it was something we would target and got rid of things that just weren’t worth it. I am a sucker for some junk food and we do love certain things, so we do have pop and chips show up from time to time. But overall, our stock consists of about 6 boxes of cereal, as many tuna cans as we can find at a great price (we could have 20 or 40 cans of it, it would never go to waste – we prefer the regular stuff, not flavoured), beans, condiments, some canned soup – however everything seems to be laced with MSG these days, I am double batching the homemade stuff and then freezing it in single servings. We also have coffee, tea, a few low sodium canned veggies, crackers, pepperoni, black olives and so much more. We do have a small room in our basement that has been given to food. However, I also can something every year. This year from our garden we have whole tomatillos and lots of salsa on our shelves. This takes up room too. Stockpile is a way of life for us. We have found our system, but there has been a lot of years of practice to get it to this point.

    • Hi Angela,
      We tried to aborb the cost into the weekly budget but found it was putting us over and we were getting less food on certain months because of it. It was easier to have the stockpile budget and if we don’t use it then we lose it but our aim isn’t set to use it every month. If it happens, it happens. Most people like to stockpile in the winter because we all hate to go out in the dead of winter for toilet paper, or milk lol. Canning is great! What do you can? Do you grow what you can?You are right, you need to find that system that works for you, great point.

      • Angela Mainse says:

        Last year I canned salsa and whole tomatillos. We did grow the vegetables. Each year it depends on how much time I have when produce is ready. I have canned other things like whole tomatoes, various jams, pizza sauce, bruschetta, peaches, pears, apple sauce. I never get a variety done each year, but at least something gets canned. My dream is to can it all. Even being out of work last year, tending the garden, I still didn’t have time to do it all. Some day. Our garden had numerous different veggies in it. I would love to expand to fruit, we haven’t been successful with strawberries yet. Lots of plants, but the birds get it all.

        I do hope that there is a day we can add a stockpile budget in, but with things being tight, it’s our only option right now to incorporate it (and has been for many years sadly). And, until last year, which was in the months of October, November and December, did I go over. All other years I came under. I can only attribute it to attempting to achieve the next balance with an ever changing life. Always a learning curve.

  12. I’m sorry, MrCBB…please disregard my prior grocery list….delete them
    I just realised that would be considered for last month…as they were purchased on 03 Jan 2015.
    ….I was too excited to start playing 🙁

    • You don’t have to follow my schedule exactly for the GGC as most people are a week ahead or behind it. Was the shop you posted part of your January grocery budget? If yes you are fine. It’s up to you to track your budget not me. Post your shops as you shop each week just make sure to let us know when it’s your last grocery shop for the month that’s it.

  13. Christine Weadick says:

    I have a stock pile budget as well. I buy what we use often so nothing really stays here that long. If I have a coupon to stack on a sale price for that item..Score!!!!! As I simply can’t afford to get a whole lot of anything at one time I tend to use the stockpile for things we use a lot of…TP, butter, or extras of something. One pound of butter is one pound of butter but if it’s on sale and I buy 4-6 pounds at a time,or what ever the limit is, that classes as a stockpile item as all but one will go into the freezer. We need TP and it’s on sale, I’ll buy a couple or three packs and it’s a stockpile item….this works for me as I can usually have enough around on things we use a lot to get me to the next sale…Hopefully!!!
    I did read on a prepper blog that to build up your stockpile (on things you need and use) was the use one and buy two, the second one being for the stockpile. Works for me!!

    • That’s an interesting concept and one that I think many people use but don’t realize it. It’s almost just natural for us who watch for sales to think about buying two not one. Smart.

  14. Great tip for people new to building a stockpile, it’s so important to preserve your savings by setting a budget, just like for anything else you are spending your money on!
    If you end up overspending in order to build your stockpile, then you might as well just hold onto the money and pay full price later! It’s a waste!
    Thanks for a great article Mr CBB:)

  15. I totally agree with you about stockpiling. I was a “victim” of the Y2K fear, stockpiling all sorts of things. Some of it went to waste of course. The tuna and toilet paper got used with no problem. I’m proud to say we have only 2 individual packages of ramen noodles left. Yes, we ate them all. I can’t tell you how sick I am of ramen! I plan to celebrate with penne pasta!

    We don’t stockpile anymore. We do buy items we use all the time at Sam’s Club here in the US. We get a bit of a price break by buying there in bulk even if the “bulk” is rather small. Like 6 cans of olives packaged together. The prices there are somewhat cheaper than even at Walmart.

    Experience is the best teacher I guess!

    Cheers!
    Maggie

    • My mother in law made a meal and used ramen noodles in a different way. She scrambled up 6-8 eggs and a bit of milk, added leftover cooked veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms) and crumbled up a pkg of ramen and dumped into the egg mixture. Give it a slight stir.
      The moisture from the eggs, cook the ramen, and it sets up nicely. It gives it body, almost like a quiche.

      • Well it sounds like she came up with an idea that worked for that product, good for her. Do you like ramen noodles?

        • I honestly didn’t know they were in there..I just knew the frittata seemed firmer.
          We generally don’t buy ramen…but we seem to accumulate them.

    • For the most part unless someone lives far from grocery stores or for other reasons that they can’t make it to the store sales happen often and are easy to replenish. We just like certain items namely cheese that we really like to stock or meat that is reduced and we know we will eat up. We hardly stockpile like we used to.

  16. I’ve been following your blog for a while now Mr. CBB and enjoy what I’m learning from your site–and that I’m finding other like-minded people. Just curious how you “stock-pile” cheese, unless you just freeze it & don’t eat much of it fresh? Also, milk I find is hard to stock-pile bcz freezing it takes up a lot of room & it’s watery I find when you thaw it. How do you use your stockpiled milk? Just an idea for another topic to post on & perhaps you have already in the past is the idea of what can be frozen &/or stockpiled to save on grocery costs & prevent waste, how to make veggies/fruit last longest in the fridge, & how to use up items like cereal or old bread as a fan mentioned above as bread crumbs in casseroles, etc. I love reading about ways to make my groceries go farther & last longer. Buying more veggies/fruit on sale is something I’d like to do & would like to see them last a lot longer in the fridge. And I’m a foodie too & eating much healthier these days which can challenge the budget at times. I’ll be checking out your recipes & recipe site too. Thanks again & keep up the great work!

    • Hi Leona,
      We don’t freeze cheese bars but many people grate it first then freeze it and use it in casseroles etc. We do freeze hard cheeses like parm and romano cheese though. Milk we have never had any issues with. We let it defrost first and then the milk mixes back together and that’s it. No problems at all. The odd occasion we have sprung a leak but we are prepared for that by sitting the bags in a bowl when they start to defrost to protect ourselves but it hardly ever happens. I hear what you are saying about re-purposing products like cereals which is great but for us it was to the point where we physically could not eat the food as it was WAY TOO MUCH in the house. I always like to try new ways to use products that’s a smart way to change tastes and textures. I do wrap my celery in tinfoil as it helps it to last longer and don’t cover up your lettuce in the refrigerator as it will sweat and wilt. Don’t put tomatoes in the refrigerator leave them at room temp. I’m sure I could think of a few more but I’m far from a kitchen pro. Maybe this is a great question to ask on Facebook in the nightly What’s for Dinner post. It’s great to get the fans involved when I write blog posts as I can draw on all of our experiences. Thanks for dropping by Leona! Mr.CBB

  17. nicola don says:

    Yes we have a stockpile budget on only the stuff we eat! I don’t use a lot of coupons now either I price match, or pink sticker! My pantry is always stocked and my stock pile downstairs always has what we need! I am in the process of buying super food tubs to store my flour and sugar so when it goes on sale I can buy more as now my baking is in full on mode! I agree on the masking food as well. What they don’t know lol! Cereals are great for substitute breadcrumbs or mixing into a homemade cereal bar for the kids to go to school for a snack!

  18. Total out of pocket= $20.38 (forgot to include)

  19. Ok Mr CBB….not sure if I’m posting this in the right spot?
    Might as well start now..it’s not much though
    Let me know if I’m doing something wrong..and I’ll try to fix it.

    Because where we are for the next couple of months, our meals are provided, but we do pick up some things we want at the local grocery store.
    Our budget is $216.67 per month, and we do not have a separate budget for stockpile.
    I have $196.29 to spend or carry over to next month.

    FoodBarn
    oranges $4.79
    bananas $1.02
    yogurt $6.57

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Below is the chart that you copy past each week and fill out for the Grocery Game Challenge. You can alter it to suit your needs but this is the basic information we require.

      (Here is your sample weekly overview chart)

      Note: Always…. copy paste this into word or email just in case something happens with the blog server and we lose it or you lose it while typing it straight into the blog comments for whatever reason. It’s better to be safe and type it up first then copy it over. (If you need help with this please let me know)

      Name Your Store: i.e. Zehrs
      Total Coupons Used: $
      Total Out Of Pocket: $

      Do the above for each receipt you have then copy the template below and paste it to the bottom of your shop so we can see your results.

      Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

      Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $
      Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $
      Total Gift Cards used to date: $
      Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
      Total Rewards Points used to date: $
      PC Points Plus Earned to date:
      Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $

      Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

      Snap Groupon to date: $
      Zweet to date: $
      Cart Smart to date: $
      Checkout51 to date: $

      GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

      Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $
      Stockpile budget used to date: $
      Total coupons used this week: $
      Total coupons used to date: $
      Total in-store discounts this week: $
      Total in-store discounts to date: $
      Total spent this week: $
      Total spent so far this month: $
      Total over/Under spend this shop: $
      Total over/Under spend for the month: $
      Total left to spend for the month: $
      Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

      Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

  20. Mary F Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #1 of 4- Jan 5-11, 2015

    2015 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults

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

    TRANSFERS FOR THE MONTH:

    Before we start our JANUARY off, I am going to make my “reserve” transfers for the month:

    Grocery:

    $190.00 for the month
    ( $12.50) trf to borscht reserve-normally $12.50
    ($22.50) trf to Re-stocking Reserve – normally $17.50
    ($ 10.00) trf to holiday Reserve – normally $10.00
    ($ 10.00) trf Summer Reserve – normally $10.00
    ($60.00) trf to US Shopping Reserve

    CANADIAN Grocery Balance $80.00 for JANUARY

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

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    This week is all about sales! Can you tell??? LOL 🙂 I really didn’t need anything to prepare the meals slated for this week but I spent money anyway! Not exactly the best start to the year when it comes to sticking to my grocery list, is it? LOL

    I have discontinued using a stockpile budget this year because I have four different reserves that I am funding and really $190 only goes so far. I am heavily committed to using what is in the pantry and freezers first this year so at some point, that Re-Stocking Reserve will be very useful. It makes sense to circulate what you already have and save for when you absolutely need it. I am getting more and more of the mind that cash is king in an emergency so I’d rather have cold hard cash in the bank if I need it rather than a pile of food. I can buy the food, if as and when I actually need it, if I save the cash. 😀

    The Save On Foods shop was a combination of putting a few steamers in the freezer just to have on hand for those nights when I really don’t feel like cooking and that’s a distinct possibility with the year-end accounting here, RRSP and TFSA season and soon to be tax season. Then there’s the no good excuse for splurging on a gluten free pie – or is there? Splurges are needed every once in a while, aren’t they?! We are sure enjoying this splurge because we stayed away from a lot of sweets over the holidays & this little treat is another example of our delayed gratification. Half of the pie has been sliced, wrapped and frozen for a re-heat the next time we absolutely need a sweet treat. 🙂

    The chicken stock and eggs were on at such a good price that I chose not to ignore the sales. Sometimes I ignore them if I am very well stocked, but not this time. Both items are great to have on hand for easy and economical meal builders. Can you really have too much stock with all the soups that I make? Ha Ha Ha! This week everyone else had name brand stock on sale at 2 for $5 but the No Name stuff is just fine for me at 5 for $5!!! I can influence the flavor enough with seasonings and the ingredients I throw in the soup. 🙂

    I was going to pick up imitation crab at Costco this week but they have discontinued stocking it. Boo! 🙁 It was such a good price compared to the grocery stores. I’ll check a US Costco in February though, in case they still have it. Hubby reaped the benefit of the re-direction of funds when I used our 2014 rebate cheque to get him a couple of his Orville Redenbacker popcorn kernels containers. I’d rather see him have air popped popcorn as a snack instead of things like chips, cheesies and pretzels. That stock-up should keep him in good stead for quite some time though. Besides, and maybe more importantly, I wanted to get the rebate cheque used up before it was stale dated and I wasted the funds. I don’t go around burning money and wasting the rebate cheque is the same thing IMHO.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge – Jan 1

    2 x G/G Garden Medley (2 @ $4.68) = $4.68
    1 x GF Apple Pie $8.99
    2 G/G Brussels Sprouts $4.68

    •Total OOP: $18.35

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $18.33
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.02

    ** Earned 22 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    —————————————————————-
    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge – Jan 2

    4 x NN Broth Chicken (4 @ $0.97) = $3.88

    •Total OOP: $3.88

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $3.88
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 800 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    —————————————————————-
    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge – Jan 3

    4 x NN Broth Chicken (4 @ $0.97) = $3.88

    •Total OOP: $3.88

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $3.88
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    —————————————————————-
    SDM – Maple Ridge – Jan 3

    2 x dozen Burnbrae Eggs Large (2 @ $1.99) = $3.98

    •Total OOP: $3.88

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $3.88
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 30 Optimum Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    —————————————————————-
    Costco – Langley – Jan 4

    2 x Orville Redenbaker Popcorn Kernels (2 @ $8.99) = $17.98

    •Total OOP: $17.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $4.53
    • Costco 2014 Rebate Cheque: $13.45

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO USA SHOPS UNTIL Feb 9th! << we're doing a Family Day weekend get-away! It'll be time to hit Franz and re-stock hubby's
    bread supply so it's a two birds with one stone sort of deal.

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

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 = 0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22= 22 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0= 0 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 800= 800 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30= 30 Points

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

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($12.50 trf to borscht+$22.50 to Re-Stocking+$10.00 Xmas Reserve+$10.00 to Summer+$60.00 trf to US Reserve+$18.35+$3.88+$3.88+$3.98+$17.98 = $158.07)= $158.07

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00= $190.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $31.93 AVAILABLE

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

    2015 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2013-2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50= $347.50 AVAILABLE

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

    2015 Y-T-D BORSCHT RESERVE:

    2013-2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50= $425.00 AVAILABLE

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

    2015 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2013-2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00= $120.00 AVAILABLE

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

    2015 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    2013-2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00= $100.00 AVAILABLE

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

    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $144.60 Grocery Budget
    $0.02 Hiding Spot Cash
    $13.45 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – $13.45

    $158.07 Year-To-Date

    $190.00 may have been budgeted for ‘2015 but we have recorded these funds as "spent" but in fact they have been "saved":

    $347.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $425.00 Borscht Fund
    $120.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $100.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $1,340.00 … that is a $1,230.00 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $110.00 in NEW 2015 savings! This means we have actually only spent $48.07 and have $31.93 left to spend this month.

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

    REMAINING GROCERY FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR JANUARY:

    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $31.93

    US $’s << recorded as spent previously…so when we use these US grocery funds, we do not increase our monthly spending!

    Our Shopping Reserve: $19.07+$60.00=$79.07
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00

    Total US Grocery Available ($79.07+$94.00) = $173.07

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    How can it be??? I have none! << I have my eyes peeled for deals though!!!!

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

    • Hi Mary,
      How could it be.. you have no rain checks haha! I know I was thinking the same thing. Soon enough you will have lots I bet. You know with the reserves that makes sense that you get rid of your stockpile so I understand. You did pick up some great deals this week such as the eggs and popcorn. I fully support the popcorn over other foods such as chips, good for you. It’s all about the crunch factor!! Excellent start to the year Mary. I’m curious to see if you can make 2015 just as successful as your 2014 or better! You get ballot 1 for 2015 yippie!! Mr.CBB

  21. Nice article! I did the same thing for a year or so then I had the same realization as you did! Now I only buy when it is something I know we will eat or use! I always keep at least 2 weeks of food in the house along with pantry staples in case of illness, unexpected expenses or poor weather and I can’t get to town.

    • Did you use coupons and buy too much food only to find you didn’t eat it all? Good point about the poor weather. I wrote a blog post about that once too haha!

  22. Thank you for selecting me for December’s winner of GGC.

    One day I’ll have a stockpile budget but right now it’s part of my grocery budget. To make things easier, I’ve decided to post my GGC based on my pay periods (every 2 weeks), that way as long as I’m under for that pay period, that’s all that will matter to me. I’ll still post all the shops that I do but won’t be as concerned if I make that “weekly” budget or not.

    I definitely know what you mean about buying things that you are not sure about. I’ve done that more times that I care to count but now only stick to what I’ll eat, unless it’s something that my daughter will eat and I have a coupon for. I’ve done that with certain cereals in the past.

    • You can post however you like Dee! I’ve come to learn over the years that we all have different pay periods and time to post but the most important thing is to make that time. I have found that the people who have stopped posting started not posting one week then never came back. It’s like anything we do, once we stop it’s hard to start and when it comes to our finances it’s not something we are willing to compromise. It’s a nice life being debt free and if I can motivate others to stick with it I’m a happy guy!! Congrats on the GGC win.. your coupons will be in the mail this week.

      • I know that I can post however I like and I won’t be going away from the GGC because I’ve moved to a two week posting. Based on my pay, I have a $80.00 budget (for human), I don’t want to feel guilty because I’ve gone over the $40.00 limit for that one week.

        I know that I’m responsible for my own finances and I don’t plan on giving that up. I have too much that needs to be cleaned up and don’t want that on my daughter in future life. I would also want to have a life before I retire as well, which won’t happen if all I’m doing is cleaning up this debt of mine.

        PS (and this can be deleted)…as shown in the spreadsheet that I sent you, you would see that GGC has it’s own tab so every time I open my budget, it’s there staring me in the face 🙂

        • As I said I would do….here’s my 1st 2015 GGC posting. This is made up the January 2 to 15th.

          Name Your Store: Superstore
          Total Coupons Used: $0.00
          Total Points = 4700 (my daughter’s points)
          Total Out Of Pocket: $18.44

          Human
          Cashmere Ultraluxe Toilet Paper – (4000 PC Points) = $9.99
          7-Up – 1.87 (PM Frescho) = $0.97
          1.75 mL Passionate Peach 5 Alive – $2.00 (PM Frescho) = $0.97
          1.75 mL Blueberry Watermelon Fruitopia – $2.00 (PM Frescho) = $0.97
          2.63 mL Simply OJ – $6.99 (PM Frescho) (700 PC Points) = $3.99

          Name Your Store: Superstore
          Total Coupons Used: $0.00
          Total Points = 1600
          Total Out Of Pocket: $54.37

          Human
          2 Pkgs of Tide Pods – $4.97 = $9.94
          Pam Spray = $3.99
          Kraft Dinner Case (12 Boxes) – $14.99 (PM No Frills) (1000 PC Points) = $6.97
          500 mL NN Sour Cream – (400 PC Points) = $1.87
          4L Skim Milk = $3.97
          1 kg NN Hashbrown = $1.99
          10 Michelina’s – $1.77 = $9.90
          1 lb Strawberries – $5.98 (PM VM) = $2.98
          Banana – 1.390 kg @ $1.26/kg (200 PC Points) = $1.75
          Schneider Hot Dog – $4.99 (PM Zehrs) = $2.50
          2 Whole Wheat Fibre Bread – 2/$4.00 = $4.00

          Cats
          500 mL Baking Soda = $0.98
          4 Cans Friskies – $0.79 (PM FB) = $1.98

          Name Your Store: Superstore
          Total Coupons Used: $0.00
          Total Points = 3750
          Total Out Of Pocket: $46.02

          Human
          2 Cans NN Pasta Sauce – $0.98 (200 PC Points) = $1.98
          Premium Plus Unsalted Crackers – $3.27 (PM Zehrs) = $3.00
          Hellman’s Mayo – $4.94 (PM Zehrs) = $3.00
          500 mL Crown White Corn Syrup = $3.98
          1.75 mL Blueberry Watermelon Fruitopia – $2.00 (PM Zehrs) = $1.00
          1.75 mL Passionate Peach 5 Alive – $2.00 (PM Zehrs) = $1.00
          4L Skim Milk = $3.97
          2 Tubs “I Can’t Believe It’s Butter” – $2.89 (PM Freshco) – $2.00
          2 Tubs Breyer’s Ice Cream – $5.49 (2000 PC Points) (PM Zehrs) = $4.00
          Bananas – 2.180 kg @ $1.26/kg = $2.75
          2 Loaves Cinnamon Raisin Bread – $4.39 (PM NF) = $3.76
          Liners = $3.99

          Cats
          6 Cans Friskies – $0.79 (1200 PC Points) (PM Zehrs) = $3.00
          18 kg NN Cat Litter – (350 PC Points) = $6.98

          Grocery Game Challenge Results
          Total Grocery Budget for the Human Year ($2080.00, for the pay period – $80.00)
          Total Grocery Budget for the Cat Year ($390, for the pay period – $15.00)

          Total Coupons Used this 2 Week Period: $0.00
          Total Coupons Used To Date: $0.00
          Total Discounts/SCOP this 2 Week Period: $0.00
          Total Checkout 51 rebates this 2 Week Period: $0.50
          Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $7.50
          Total Snap rebates this 2 Week Period: $1.00
          Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $1.00
          Total Gift Cards Given Used this 2 Week Period: $0.00
          Total PC Points Received this 2 Week Period: 5350
          Total PC Rewards Points Used this 2 Week Period:
          Total PC Rewards To Date: 24745

          Total Over/Under spend this Human shop: $24.33 over
          Total Over/Under spend for the Human month: $N/A
          Total Left to Spend for the Human Month: $194.85
          Total Spent To Date – Human: Jan $69.59+$34.74 ; Feb $ ; Mar $ ; Apr $ ; May $ ; Jun $ ; Jul $ ; Aug $ ; Sept $ ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $104.33

          Total Over/Under spend this Cat shop: $.50 under
          Total Over/Under spend for the Cat month: $N/A
          Total Left to Spend for the Cat Month: $21.94
          Total Spent To Date – Cat: Jan $3.22+11.28 ; Feb $ ; Mar $ ; Apr $ ; May $ ; Jun $ ; Jul $ ; Aug $ ; Sept $ ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $14.50

          Overview: This is the 1st pay of 2015 and I wanted to get off on the right foot. But unfortunately that’s not the case. I’m just going to have to do better next pay and see where I can make up some of this overage. I’m glad that this is a 3 pay month so I have a bit of a buffer next pay.

          • Hi Dee,
            I just love how organized your post has become. I can tell how well you are doing much easier this way. You might just give Jen a run for her price matching money this year as you sure do love to PM like her. I thought she was the Queen of PM but you’re right up there with her BUT that is great because so many people pay extra for something that doesn’t take much effort at all to do and that is plan your shop like you do. Great deals this week and yes you may have went over but it’s a learning curve. Now you know and next shop you will do better. Keep up the great work. Will you be carrying over any over shops for the month so you can catch up over the course of the year? You get ballot 2. Mr.CBB

  23. By law, food must have a Best before date. This does not mean, the food is no longer edible after this date, it just means it may not be at its prime. Food is still good for years, after the expiry date. Same with foods like cream cheese. As long as it is refrigerated, and unopened, they are good for months after the expiry date.
    Consider using your foods that you are not fond of, in different ways.The flavored tuna, would be great in a tuna pasta salad, or a tuna casserole. I love baked beans cold, on a tossed salad, especially with grated cheese and ranch dressing.
    We get a lot of food free…that tenants leave behind. Seems they like to buy, but not eat jello ,chick peas, chicken noodle soup and black beans.
    Cereal go stale? Use it in recipes calling for bread or cracker crumbs (meatloaf, shake n bake coatings etc)
    Cheese can be frozen. It crumbles easy when thawed, and so easy for grating.
    I use baked beans in my chili now….love it.
    Happy New Year Mr.CBB 🙂

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Not all foods in Canada require a best before date…

      Foods with an anticipated shelf life greater than 90 days are not required to be labelled with a “best before” date or storage information. If manufacturers and retailers choose to provide customers with this information, they must follow the required manner of declaration, as described below.

      You can find all the Canadian info on best before dates here>>>

      There is always something to learn about food. I agree with you about dairy as it lasts us weeks after best before date and we always buy it 50% off if we can find it reduced. We just don’t buy any foods that we aren’t fond of any more. We just find they get pushed to the back and if we don’t enjoy eating it then there is no point but a great tip for those that have those products sitting around.
      Happy New Year Kathryn… Will you be posting with us in the GGC this year? Come on….. 🙂

      • For the next 2 months, I won’t be buying any groceries, but I can start in March….we will be buying food then.
        Thank you for the correction of the ‘best before’ .
        I agree, no since buying food you don’t really like…just try to find ways to ‘mask’ the flavour for your existig stash 🙂

        • Yay.. that’s great news Kathryn!! haha I agree about masking the flavour but some foods I just had to get rid of. I’m not a fan of those canned pasta sauces we bought for dirt cheap. I don’t know why we bothered since we make our own but that damn coupon got us.. not any more.

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