grocery game monthly challenge

How to select fresh food at the supermarket: The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 #2 Jan 12-18

HOW TO SELECT FRESH FOOD AT THE SUPERMARKETBUYING THE FRESHEST FOOD

 

When we grocery shop Mrs. CBB and I want to bring home fresh food because that’s what we should all expect from a supermarket, right?

Finding fresh food or the freshest is always hit or miss but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you arm yourself with shopping habits we’ve come to rely on that I’m going to share with you today you are well on your way to becoming a grocery store fresh food sleuth.

Grocery shopping might seem like something simple to you but believe me when I say there are people who are seeking to learn how to grocery shop.

How could someone possibly screw up and buy food that is outdated, moldy, wilted or rotten for that matter? The saying “You get what you pay for” at the supermarket doesn’t always mean you get the freshest food.

Considering that most Canadians have a limited grocery budget it’s important for all of us to spend our money wisely and that means finding fresh food that won’t end up in the garbage before we have time to consume it.

Today I’m going to share with you some of the ways Mrs. CBB and I spot fresh food that lasts and how you can too!

 

Fresh Food is Love

 

Before we grocery shop we decide what to eat for the week based on flyer specials and we do our best to create a meal plan. Sounds pretty mundane and it is but it’s one important step we don’t miss.

I don’t know about you but when I think of fresh food I think of romantic meals, healthy living and lots of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and all things related to the Canada Food Guide.

Finding the healthiest foods for our family means shopping the perimeter of the grocery store because that’s typically where you will find all things FRESH or so they say.

  • Fresh Produce
  • Fresh Dairy/Cheese
  • Fresh meat/fish
  • Frozen Vegetables etc.
  • Fresh Baked Foods/Bakery
  • Fresh Deli Meats

 

Scoring the Freshest Food In the Store

 

When buying food though you have to be careful to make sure you get fresh food that is going to last. If you want to find the freshest foods though you will have to take into consideration a few things that might take you time when grocery shopping but will pay off in the end.

Some of the healthiest foods you can eat are free of pesticides and If you are into organic foods you will find  more of the higher-end stores like Sobeys, Metro, Zehrs, RCSS etc. have a full organic/health food section for you to select fresh food.

Apart from what most call “The Healthy Aisles” most organic fruits, veg and protein products have their own section with everyday products of the same kind in the store. In other words you might not find them in those healthy aisles.

What we’ve learned though is no matter where you shop, what sections you shop in or whether you put together a healthy grocery list or not if you don’t know how to pick fresh food from the offerings you might end up bringing home food you can’t eat or food that won’t last as long in your refrigerator or pantry.

I remember a time when we went to a back-yard BBQ one summer and the hosts brought out a salad where the greens were so wilted I wasn’t sure if they missed the brown soggy pieces or they actually thought it was edible. I noticed on the counter in the kitchen one of those big tubs of washed, sorted greens you can buy for $4.99 at the supermarket.

Some of the leafy greens of the salad were fine to consume but it wasn’t something I’d serve to guests let alone to my family. I’d pick out the bits that weren’t fresh and toss the rest. Better yet, I’d return the product especially if I had just bought it or it was before the expiry date.

The problem with buying produce in plastic is that it sweats and we all know that sweat and fresh food do not mix. This is why if we buy spinach, lettuce or anything that comes in plastic and transfer it into BPA safe containers and leave them open in the refrigerator so they don’t sweat. This will help keep the greens for a longer period.

I also read somewhere that if you wrap your celery in tin-foil it will last longer. We tested this out and sure enough it works! Although we don’t like to keep food in the refrigerator for long periods as we like to eat our fresh produce as soon as possible there are some that we just don’t get through right away such as celery. Once wrapped in tin-foil the celery gave us a good 2 weeks of freshness. Simple!

If that’s not your thing then you can do what we used to do and cut a piece from the bottom of the celery and sit it in a glass of water to help keep it longer in the refrigerator. We’ve also just chopped it all up after washing and put it in an ice bath and it lasted for at least a week without going slimy. We tend to change the water our frequently though.

Apart from keeping food fresh which is another post on its own picking fresh food at the supermarket takes one thing, patience. If you are they type of person who grocery shops like they are playing a video game you will most likely take home fresh food but maybe not the freshest of the bunch.

In the winter most of us are under the control of the grocery store because Ontario market fresh produce isn’t readily available in most areas. A cold winter climate is a great reason to grow your own fruits and vegetables indoors if you can and why the only way to get fresh food that tops my list is… To Grow It Yourself. You know how you grew it and when it was picked.

Not all Canadians are able to grow vegetables indoors or have a greenhouse either so it’s off to the supermarket we go. For those of you who don’t have the space or time to grow a garden and stash away your precious crop in the freezer or by canning we have to pick fresh food at the supermarket with a keen eye for detail.

Here are some ways we find fresh food in our supermarket.

Is this you? We all do it but read on to find out why it doesn’t always mean you will get fresh food.

taking the product from behindNote: No source of photo credit found.

Check expiry dates

 

Not all product have or require an expire by date in Canada but for those products that are required to be labelled your first course of action is… read the label. The expiry date is there for a reason so read it and decide whether you can consume the product by that date.

Keep in mind though that you not only have to read the date you MUST look at the product especially if it is in a see-through plastic container or bag. Have you ever brought home berries only to find a white fluff on them? It happens so have a look around the container to see if there are any dents, cracks or spoiled food that you can spot.

If you do find a product that is out of date or that is full of fluff or mushy please don’t put it back on the shelf. Be considerate and pass it along to someone who works at the store.

 

Smell Touch See  (SES)

 

These are three things that are imperative to making sure you are buying fresh food. We have senses so we should use them to our advantage and this is a great time to put your nose, eyes and hands to work for you.

Sometimes smell is an indication of whether a fruit or vegetable is very ripe and ready to eat such as a pineapple or the exact opposite, ready for the garbage.

Have you ever seen people tapping on watermelon? Do you know why people tap on a watermelon?

You can tap on a watermelon and listen if it sounds hollow which means it’s ripe. Along with tapping you can smell the watermelon stem area and if it smells like watermelon you know it’s ready to eat.

If you love cantaloupe like my father-in-law he says that if you shake it and hear seeds moving around and it smells like cantaloupe that it’s ready to eat. He also presses on the outside of the fruit as well and if he can easily create an indent he will buy the fruit as it’s ripe.

If you are buying meat products look for colour (if it’s grey it’s likely off) and make sure there is no slimy coating on the products which indicates it is no good. Smell is also another sign whether a protein is good or not although it’s tough because they are wrapped up so visuals are important here as well as best before dates. Beef for instance tends to smell a bit like vinegar as it starts to turn.

I’ve also found that if we buy lemons, limes and any other types of citrus type fruits if they are firm that they end up being dry in the middle. I tend to touch them to make sure they are firm but have some sort of give to it. Most importantly watching out for bruises and dents on fruits is key to whether they are ripe, over-ripe or just plain ready for the compost heap or a quick smoothie. You wouldn’t want to pay full-price for those products though.

Like I mentioned earlier about vegetables in bags and containers have a look to see if they look watery, limp and plain not edible. Other vegetables such as root vegetables should be firm to touch and if anything smells off or moldy put it aside for the produce clerk to remove.

Most stores go through the produce department and sell off veg and fruit at reduced prices when they are ready to go off or have a few days of life left in them if you are looking to save a few dollars.

 

Build a relationship

 

Whether you live in a small town or village or the big city it’s not a bad idea to get to know the people who work in the grocery store you shop in. There’s nothing wrong with greeting the store staff, using their name and telling them what a great job they are doing or how much you like shopping at their supermarket.

Building relationships with the managers and the employees of each department is a great way to make sure you get the best of the best products and service. Even though it’s their job to serve the customers being an excellent customer goes a long way.

Next time you have a question or are in need of certain products you don’t have to be shy because you already know the staff where you shop and they know you.

 

Ask Questions

 

Some of you might actually want well-ripened fruit to make smoothies or even banana bread so don’t be shy to ASK as there may be plenty of what you need in the back stock room.

The best part is that most stores will sell off ripened product at reduced prices just so they can get rid of it. Their loss is your gain at a reduced cost to your grocery budget.

If you have any questions ask, it’s as simple as that!

 

First in First Out

 

Don’t always trust the first in first out or FIFO motto as many people like the lady above in that photo like to pull from the back because she thinks it’s fresher.

It’s almost become psychological that we think that the product in the front has been touched, hugged, spit on, stepped on, dropped or whatever else we can think of that could potentially happen to a product. We end up automatically sticking our hand to the back or bottom of the pile believing we scored the freshest product of the lot.

YES almost all stores put the new product to the back or bottom so the rotation follows FIFO as it only makes sense from a business stand-point. If everyone starts pulling from the back you are now starting from square one again and likely why you don’t see shelves over-stocked with product.

Trust your instincts, watch what you are buying and if you aren’t convinced don’t buy it.

 

In-store Made

 

If you want fresh food there’s nothing better than making sure you are at the supermarket when fresh bread and baked goods come out of the oven.

If you talk to your bakery you can place custom orders to ensure you get the freshest products. If you are casually shopping in-store you can bet that the products on the shelf are made that day.Fresh sells!

At the end of the day most stores reduce in-store bakery items to the clearance rack so you aren’t left with day- old products on the shelf. Even so I urge you to always check any dates on the product and don’t be afraid to give the product a tiny squeeze test to see how fresh it truly is.

If you aren’t sure talk to the bakery staff to find out how long the products have been on the shelf. If you aren’t happy with the time-frame they should be able to tell you when the next fresh batch is coming from the oven so you can be first in line to purchase.

Typically we find that we get only a couple of days of in-store bakery products to last at home before we have to grind them up for bread crumbs.

 

Conclusion

 

There you have all the ways we find fresh food in our supermarket although this list is not exhausted as I’m sure all of you have your own tips to add so please leave a comment and tell us your secrets!!

-Mr.CBB

 

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!

 

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.

Zehrs

  • 3 x cans of mushrooms $2.37
  • Black Diamond Almond Milk 2/$4.00 – 3 x $1.00 coupons plus 1200 PC Plus points
  • PC Stir Fry Veg $2.99- pink sticker $1.50
  • Orange and Yellow sweet peppers $2.17
  • Manns Snow Peas $2.99- pink sticker $1.50
  • Boursin Goat Cheese 4@2/$8.00-pink stickers $1.00 each 🙂
  • Utensil set Bamboo x2 $1.44 🙂 reduced holiday
  • 2 bags… forgot ours oops! $0.10

Total-out-pocket $21.50-$20.00 PC points =$1.50

 

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: $20.00
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $20.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 8856
  • 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: $0.50
  • 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: $3.00
  • Total coupons used to date: $3.00
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $11.00
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $15.80
  • Total spent this week: $21.50-$20.00 PC Plus points= $1.50
  • Total spent so far this month: $62.24+$1.50=$60.74
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $171.26
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): We didn’t need too much this week but picked up a few bits when we went into Zehrs to find out about photos for baby CBB for Valentine’s day. The Almond milk ended up being a great deal and my wife just loves it. I was tempted to go back and get more for $0.60 after coupon and points but decided not to.

 

 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.

 

Summerfresh dips coupons 2015

 

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

 

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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
    4 frozen meat pies @1.29 -5.16
    Bananas -1.13
    1 dark ginger ale -2.79, free product coupon -2.79
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 dozen eggs -2.99
    1 taco dinner kit -3.99
    1 syrup -3.99
    10 lbs potatoes -3.99
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -4.80
    2 4l milk @4.88 -9.76
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Downie softener -5.99
    1 cheese block -5.99
    1 pack chicken breasts -11.57
    Tax -1.14
    Total Coupons Used: $$2.79
    Total Out Of Pocket: $68.98

    Foodland
    6 packs pasta, asst. @1.00 -6.00
    4 l chocolate milk @1.00 -4.00
    2 pasta sauce @1.49 -2.98
    1 baking soda -1.69
    Bananas -.92
    1 Apple sauce -1.79
    2 W/W bread @2.00 -4.00
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.98
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1dozen eggs -2.99
    1 bagels -3.89
    1 Cheerios -4.00
    1 Rice Krispies -4.49
    1 lb mushrooms -4.49, 50% discount, 2.25
    1 lb ground turkey -4.49
    2 4l milk @4.88 -9.76
    1 case ginger ale -4.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -.65
    Total discounts -$2.25
    Total OOP -$70.34

    Jackson’s Pharmacy
    2 Dawn dish soup @2.50 -5.00, .50 coupon
    Total Coupons -$.50
    Total OOP -$4.50

    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:
    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: $1.00
    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): $25.00
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $3.29
    Total coupons used to date: $5.29
    Total in-store discounts this week: $2.25
    Total in-store discounts to date: $8.85
    Total spent this week: $143.82
    Total spent so far this month: $360.69
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $18.68 under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $N/A
    Total left to spend for the month: $289.31
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $360.69

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): I came in under for the week and I still have $289.31 left for the month with two weeks to go. After a crappy start with the shift in dates things are looking better. I’ll know what I have for the last week by tomorrow night for sure but I’m not planning on getting anything at the grocery store. I’m trying to remember when and what I use the rebate programs for. I’ll see what I can get for the month on those the last week of the month, I can see my balances by checking the history.

    • Hi Christine,
      You’re my last moderation for the day… phew I had lots to do today! OMG you have lots of money lefft for the last two months. I think this is great for you. It would be great if you came under for the month. I’m glad to see you are on the same weeks as us now although it’s not necessary from the GGC standpoing. DO you think it’s worth it to make apple sauce or buy it? Apples seem to be a bit pricey right now and 4 apples would only make me half a jar of PC organic apple sauce. I have to check the prices when I go shopping this week. I don’t mind making it as it’s dead easy and my son loves it. You get ballot 22. Mr.CBB

  2. 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
    Quaker cereal $2.48
    Rice cakes (PM) 4 x $1.00
    Alphagetti (PM) 4 x $.98
    Cheerios (PM WM) $3.97
    Mott’s fruit rockets (PM) 5 x $2.00
    Oasis OJ (PM FB) 2 x $2.88
    Strawberries (PM) $1.88
    Oranges (PM) $1.52 (earned 200 PC plus points)
    ML bacon (PM) $2.98
    Chocolate croissants $2.38 (earned 400 PC plus points)
    Halls $1.98
    OOP $41.77

    Walmart
    Glad bags (PM FC) 10 x $1.00 – 10 x $.75 coupons
    Coupons $7.50
    OOP $3.80

    RCSS
    Salad $1.99
    Chocolate croissant $1.19
    Deli meat $5.00
    OOP $8.24

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4,420 ($85/week)
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $7.50
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $18.44
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $18.44
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $0
    • 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: $53.81
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $224.30
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $115.70
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $0
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $224.30
    Weekly overview: Because I am home, have a hard time staying on my feet for long and lack an appetite we have been making more frequent trips to the grocery store and buying a little less each time. We’re still doing well budget wise but we are having a really hard time coming up with dinner ideas. Neither of us are up to putting much effort into dinner (both tired) and nothing really sounds good to me (no cravings or anything lol).

    • Hi Jen
      This was a small shop for you but after reading that you are making frequent trips to the grocery store that’s why. You are near the end of your pregnancy soon (when is your due date?)I’m betting you will be happy once baby arrives and you can get back to some sort of normal routine. I know what you mean about the dinner ideas. I’ve been struggling as well. My wife hasn’t been eating too much since she was ill but I still need to eat. I’m trying to see what others make on What’s For Dinner and try new recipes. I made some amazing chicken strips the other night. I’ll be putting that recipe on the blog in the next week. Simple, different and tasty! What kinds of foods did you feed Adam when he first stated to eat? Did you mush up your own veg and fruits? Keep smiling…. You get ballot 18. Mr.CBB

  3. Our weekly budget is $100 a week making this month $500
    H&W Produce ( another week of great sales!)
    $2.97 yams
    $4.29 butternut squash
    $1.43 spaghetti squash
    $8.70 total oop
    Co-op
    .98×2 med dzn eggs – raincheck
    $2 total oop
    Shoppers
    $5.31 4L milk -800 points!
    $1.88-$1C crackers
    $6.20 total oop
    $1 total coupons
    $2.47 4L nn vinegar
    $4.48 1kgmarshmallows
    $2.74 icy squares chocolate – clearance
    $1.44 kraft pb kit ($1C, cookie cutter, small pb all in a plastic container) -clearance – wishing I bought a bunch more!!
    .94 sugar plum tea – clearance
    $3.45 3pk cucumber
    $1.46 broccoli bunch
    $1.60 bananas
    .49 mushrooms
    $2.24 4pk bubble bath – clearance -reg $9.99!!
    .97 4pk pudding cups
    .97×6-$2Cwub3knorrx2 sidekicks
    $1.94 mini raspberry/lemon cheesecakes – clearance
    $1.88×4-fpcx2&-$12CO51 Pepperidge farm sweet crisps
    $30.28 total oop
    $7.76 total coupons
    Target
    $1.88×2 pizza goldfish crackers
    $1.80 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    Sobeys
    $3.49-$1C krema coconut yogurt (yummy!!!!!)
    $2.81-$2.50fpc dark ginger ale (nasty! glad it was free)
    $2.49×2-$2.50C&$2.50CO51 old sice deo
    $2.50 total oop
    $3.18 used gift card
    $6 total coupons

    $51.48 weekly total oop
    $3.18 gift cards used
    $16.76 weekly total coupons
    $337.46 monthly total oop
    $167.45 monthly total coupons

    Another good week! Glad I kept spending down to balance the month!

    • Hi Juanita
      Our little one is just starting to eat now.. and LOTS of food he loves! Do you use the squash to make baby food as well? I know you and I were working on a post which I want to put up soon. I was wondering if we could freeze the food in muffin tins and then pop them out and into a ziploc bag like I do my basil cubes. I LOVE Krema coconut yogurt.. OMG it’s THE BEST… where did you find coupons? Where are the old spice coupons from? PandG? Awesome shop.. You get ballot 18. Mr.CBB

      • Hey Mr.CBB
        Yes the squash is for little miss and she loves it and is eating more and more everyday. Yes you can do ice cube trays, muffin tins basically anything that it can pop out of if you wanna store it in Ziploc bags. Little miss eats so much now that I try to freeze in containers that are one meal sized at a time instead of having multiple cubes defrosting in a container. So last time I did a big batch cooking I used all the cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, glass, margarine and Rubbermaid/Ziploc containers I had to have them divided into individual meals ready to be pulled out of the freezer when we need them and then jut heat and serve out of the same container.
        The coupon was from the demo lady and I wish I had bought more!!
        Yes the old spice coupons are from the p and g inserts, I lucked out and found some 😉

  4. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 2 – January 12 to 18

    • Grocery budget to work with in January: $320
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • 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: $0
    • 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: $4.57
    • Total student discounts to date: $9.37
    • Total spent this week: $46.40
    • Total spent so far this month: $91.55
    • Total left to spend for the month: $228.25
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $91.55

    RCSS: Yogurt raisins 1.97 x 3 (PM), No name maraschino cherries 2.79, no name sliced olives 1.27, cream of mushroom soup 1.50 x 2, Sunlight free laundry detergent 4.00 x 2, water chestnuts sliced .59, PC Lactose free margarine 1.00 x 2, eggs 1.99 (PM), 1% milk 3.97, Black diamond cheese slices 1.97 x 2 (PM), tomatoes 2.97 (400 PC points), broccoli crowns 1.29, green peppers 2.77 (400 PC points), celery 1.48, Bartlett pears 2.47 (400 PC points), Bosc pears 2.33 (400 PC points), whole wheat sub buns 2.59, less student discount 4.57: 46.40 rounded down 2 cents

    Week 2 and we are still on track. We didn’t need a lot this week, laundry detergent took up a fair chunk of it. We had to run low on that at some point and I got 2 since it was a decent price (we buy only two types as a result of allergies, Tide wasn’t on sale). I have been stocking up on sliced black olives weekly for now, my son loves them and our shelf is empty of them, one of a few critical staples in our house. We are still working on using up as much meat and items from home out of the freezer and pantry, and only buying meat when on a fantastic sale (like last week with the chicken breast). I noted price match items with PM this week. I will try to track that as much as possible, I PM at least something every week. Week 1 I didn’t note the PMs.

    My goal for the end of January is to come in under budget. The money that was allotted will be set aside for future months in case we have a shortfall somewhere and have to hold back the food budget. I should say, when we have a shortfall, not if, this is expected this year. And that is the goal for every month. I’m not entirely sure if it will work or how I will track it, but I will cross that bridge if I’m successful. Anything to make the budget smaller and smaller. My son is so used to having things available to him, he wants certain foods and they aren’t there. I can’t complain, he’s not looking for junk but things like pears, grapes, bananas, etc. His favourite snacks basically. He’s a work in progress, me too. He will get used to finding out what we have, not just what he wants, and working with it in a healthy manner. And, I understand where he is coming from, sometimes I go to the fridge and wish there was something more in there than an apple. Small sacrifices for the greater good. Granted, we haven’t eliminated all the junk with the tighter rein I have on what we buy, we still have some favourites on our storage shelves, and I will always bake, so the “fun” stuff for us is at least accessible. But it makes me sad to have more of the “fun” stuff more readily available than the fresh fruit and vegetables. I will get better at gauging how much we need. My son is on a growth spurt again it seems and there just wasn’t enough the last couple of weeks of what he likes. My son is not big on apples and oranges, and oranges are a little high in natural sugar (carbs) for hubby, so I can’t always buy the best seasonal sales during the winter.

    I will be going over the flyers shortly and comparing it to my meal plan for next week and see if I can keep the trend going. Tuesday comes around again for us and I will be getting the next round of groceries for the month.

    • Hi Angela,
      What a great shop this week. It’s nice to see that your son enjoys some fruits and those black olives (me too). If you think that saving that money is going to help your grocery budget than by all means save it on the side as reserves in case you need it. Eating down what you already have is smart. I wrote the GGC the other day about Flour Mites and it’s because we aren’t eating food fast enough. Not to say it will happen but my point is so many of us buy food and it just sits around and most times ends in the bin if it goes off or an infestation happens like it did to us. What do you use the water chestnuts for? Keep up the great work. You get ballot 12. Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        We have had issues with flour mites in the past. It was a couple of years ago, for the same reason, not using it fast enough. We try to be careful, but I check every time we use the flour as a result. Don’t like the thought of accidentally using it without noticing if anything is in it. This past week we used the sliced water chestnuts for a stir fry. We all love them. I periodically buy the whole ones to marinate in soya sauce, wrap in bacon and bake them until the bacon is crisp. I normally find them on sale around the Christmas holidays, but everywhere was regular price and sold out in December. For so many years I stock up on them since they usually have a long expiry. With no luck over the holidays, the shelves are being restocked and we are craving them. I hope to find them on sale around the Chinese New Year and stock up. Until then, we will buy one can at a time as we intend to use them. And sale price we hope for is 50 cents a can, it’s only saving 9 cents a can, but it sure does add up.

  5. Mr CBB- Almond Milk….after you use PC points once, can you use them again? Maybe it is only the ‘personalized points’ you can’t use again?

    • I think you can until the PC Points expire because they multiple any time you buy more than one plus they have Bonus Offers but you must load the offers every week to get your personalized offers.

      To earn points, just load your offers to your PC Plus™ card online or through the PC Plus™ app, then show your card when you buy the qualifying items in-store. You’ll also get bonus offers, flyer offers and in-store offers to enjoy. Outside of the grocery store, you can now earn points on each purchase of fuel at participating Gas Bar, Refuel, at the pump or À Plein Gaz stations. The more offers you take advantage of, the more points you earn.

    • I think the Almond Milk pts were in=store Points and not my personalized products that they send me via email to load. I wasn’t aware until I got the receipt or I would have bought more. It was a great deal.

  6. Name Your Store: i.e. Food Barn (Australia)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $45.77

    Week 2- Jan 12-18, 2015

    spinach $ 1.40
    smoked almonds (500g) $12.49
    Fruit & nut mixed (500g) $6.99
    oranges 2 X (3 kg) $4.89 = $9.78
    mushrooms $0.07
    oranges (reduced from $6.16) = $1.20
    yogurt (1kg) = $4.89
    cake $7.73
    Banana (2 =.555kg) $1.22

    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: $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: $4.96
    Total in-store discounts to date: $4.96
    Total spent this week: $45.77
    Total spent so far this month: $70.42
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $146.25(under)
    Total left to spend for the month: $146.25
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $70.42

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    Since all our meals are provided for, where we are , these are just our wants.I think their scale was weighing wrong for the mushrooms Smile…but I only bought 2.

    Easier for me to align my dates up with yours…so this actually comprises 2 shopping days. But the total won’t matter, because everything was still purchased in January.

    Any GST payable is automatically included in the price. Cake is for husband’s birthday.

    • Hi Kathryn,
      I can’t get over the price for 500g of almonds but to be honest they aren’t that cheap in Canada either. Did you buy one mushroom for $0.07 🙂 Ah.. ok just read what you put about the scale reading wrong. That’s find as long as you are tracking your budget on your end you don’t have to align with mine. IF it does great but if not.. it’s ok. When you say all of your meals are provided for what do you mean? Great shop this week!! I’m impressed!

      • While in Australia we house sit.
        For about 15 weeks of the year, we also stay a Roadhouse. This is a motel/caravan/restaurant/bar/gas station combo.
        My husband likes to keep busy ( even in retirement) and since there aren’t many opportunities to house sit in the Outback, when they advertised for a ‘yardman’ 4 years ago, they hired my husband. He is paid (which wasn’t the motivation) but also a motel room and all our meals are provided. When it is no longer fun at the Roadhouse, we will stop returning.
        So really, the food we buy now, is to supplement our diets a bit. Trying to pick healthier snacks.
        (yes only bought 2 small mushrooms)
        Do I get ballots too?

        • AH mum and dad do that as well and they love it. They travel all over UK and do their laundry at the house, eat and it saves them a fortune. They don’t make much but they are retired and enjoy getting out of the house.

          • When we actually house sit, we provide our own food, unless they have chickens and fruit trees. Then we can eat all the eggs and fruit we want.

          • Mum makes lots of jam from the fruit trees on the properties and the homeowners don’t really care.

        • The winner gets Canadian Coupons… I can send you some if you win but they would be useless to you. 🙂 To be honest I think it’s safe to say the coupons are just a perk if one of the players win. The real win is knowing how much money we are saving in our grocery budget by tracking our purchases.

          • We return to Canada in May and stay until the end of September each year…so if I win, I promise I will make good use of them 🙂
            My daughter collects my mail for us while we are away, so she can picks things up for me, if they go on sale

  7. When I went to the supermarkets, I definitely check the expiration date. And especially the meat, I made sure that it’s fresh.

  8. I’m really bad at checking expiration dates. The only one I ever pay attention to is milk. I just want to get in and out of the grocery store as fast as possible. I’ve caught myself coming home with items that will expire before I use them or worse yet have already expired. Oops!

  9. Mary F Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #2 of 4- Jan 12-18, 2015

    2015 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

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

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

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    This week is all about exactly what do I NEED, not WANT, to make the dishes on our meal plan. I think it’s well worth looking at how my shopping is working compared to my meal planning. I am committed to getting both hubby and I firmly back on our “healthy eating plan” so tracking the little oopsies in our shopping will help me see where/what the problems are both in terms of spending and the “junk” that just seems to jump into your cart. The “junk” seems to be particularly bad in the winter. 🙁

    Here’s the list I went to the grocery store with:

    1 large pkg Green Salad, 1 large pkg Coleslaw,1 bag of Spinach, 1 x 8-oz pkg sliced Mushrooms, 2 sweet potatoes, 1 GF Cheese Bread (re-stocking the freezer), 4 Old Mill English Muffins on a sale for $1 per pack (limit of 4) – unfortunately the English muffins are out of stock & there’s a sign up both in store and online that they are having an issue getting hold of the product. Oh well, it was a good price if we could have got it. 🙁

    Check out my shopping as to what I actually came out with this week. Hubby took a little walk on the wild side when he picked up a bag of multigrain buns that were not on the list nor did I get any advance discussion! Pure evil for the budget!!! Time to have another chat about ONLY picking up what is actually on my printed list! On the other hand, we are eating lots of homemade soups this week so the rolls will come in handy to beef up his suppers a little. Guess I should not carry on too much about the evils of a bag of rolls huh? 🙂

    Although we did not get any grocery store gift cards for Christmas this year, what we did get is 4 x “$5 off” restaurant coupons that are good until Feb 28th and each person at the table can use one coupon – so that’s a $10 savings on each date night. Pretty darned good deal if you ask me. Plus, we also received 4 x $25 restaurant gift cards for the same restaurant! Woo hoo!!! So, we are going to enjoy having one “date night” in January and another one in February courtesy of the combination of coupons/gift cards that we received. The bonus is, we should still have 2-3 gift cards for to use later in the year. To be honest though, I actually have absolutely oodles of gift cards in my purse so if we feel like a night out – it’s pre-paid and I have cards for both sides of the border. Remember me buying the Souplantation gift card at Xmas that gave us a free meal with a $50 card? It still has $40+ loaded on it and will pay for two meals in Oregon when we are away later this year. 😀

    We have a long weekend coming up in February where we are planning a little get-away…and of course our usual grocery shopping south of the border. Now that we’ve achieved our Platinum status with the SPG membership, we get FREE Club floor meals for breakfast and a light supper when we stay at a Sheraton hotel. Sure we’ll go out for some nice lunches on our weekend retreat/early Valentine’s Day celebration (i.e. Red Lobster, Goldberg’s Deli and Outback Steakhouse) but that’s a lot less expensive than having to pay for a hearty breakfast + light dinner every day. Plus, we will use our “travel funds” for 2 of the 3 meals & the remaining balance on a gift card for our 3rd lunch. So, not only does it gives us another break on the monthly grocery budget, but we have a whole weekend’s holiday for less than $100: for a tank of gas and two lunches – you know I always use points for our hotel stays right?

    Basically, on a short month (February) we’ll have 10 meals out of the 84 (breakfast, lunch, dinner multiplied by 28 days) that we don’t have to pay out of the GGC budget because of: 1. two lunches using our travel funds, 2. our date night locally using the coupon-gift card combo and 3. the balance of our leftover Outback Steakhouse gift card. Cash remains in the bank! Score!!!

    Then, if I also plan to have TWO “No Shop Weeks” in February here in Canada as well, which is not an issue because we have US shopping mid-month, we can cut the number of GGC Meals in February by another 42 meals (14 days x 3 meals)! That leaves me only trying to cover the cost of 32 meals for the entire month with my grocery budget!!! That I can manage… I would say. 🙂

    It will certainly help since January isn’t shaping up too terribly wonderfully. The goal is now is just to minimize the overage that I have to carry from January to February. 🙁

    These are my Grocery lists for the rest of January:

    GGC #3 (Jan 19-25): 1 x 4L Skim Milk

    GGC #4 (Jan 26-Feb 1): 3 x Assorted Color Peppers, 1 x 8 oz pkg Sliced Mushrooms

    I looked back at my GGC records for January 2013 & 2014 and I have to say, I was over each of those months as well. It appears that our re-stocking of fresh fruit and veggies, after a Christmas shopping hiatus resulting from holiday travel, is mighty tough on our January budget! But, I am positive we’ll be on track at the end of February. It’s all about the big picture though, right? Justifying already in week #2 of 52…what will Mr CBB say?

    I did manage to score a rain check this week at Safeway. Bring them on 2015! I love my rain checks!!!

    I am re-doing my GGC week #1 transfers here because Della Ferguson caught a $5 math error of mine! Horrors, I am in the red already. 🙁 Thanks Della for keeping me on the straight and narrow! 🙂

    “REVISED” 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 $75.00 for JANUARY << This is a $5.00 reduction

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge – Jan 8 – Not on my list sweetie!! 🙁

    1 bag of ten Multigrain Buns $2.79 + 400 points

    •Total OOP: $2.79

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $2.79

    ** Earned 400 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    ——————————————————————————-
    RCSS – Maple Ridge – Jan 10

    1 x Green Salad $4.98
    1 x Coleslaw $4.98
    1 x Spinach $2.98
    1 x Sliced Mushrooms $3.98
    2 x Sweet Potatoes $4.83
    1 x GF Cheese Bread $4.19

    •Total OOP: $25.94

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $25.94

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    NO USA SHOPS UNTIL Feb 9th!

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

    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 1200= 1200 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+$2.79+$25.94 = $186.80)= $191.80

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

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $1.80 OVER << Darn it all, we are in the red and it's only week #2!

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

    2015 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

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

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

    2015 Y-T-D BORSCHT RESERVE:

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

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

    2015 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

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

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

    2015 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

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

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

    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $178.33 Grocery Budget
    $0.02 Hiding Spot Cash
    $13.45 2014 Costco Rebate Chq

    $191.80

    $190.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D 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 Y-T-D.

    This means that with $190.00 to start the month less $115.00 for the various reserves, we opened the month of JANUARY with $75 available – have actually spent $76.80 and have overspent $1.80 this month using our CANADIAN budget. Note: We have do have $173.07 reserved for our next US shop!

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

    REMAINING GROCERY FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR JANUARY:

    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($1.80) << Crying silently just looking at this! 🙁
    ———————————————————————————-
    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $79.07
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00

    Total US Grocery Available $173.07

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Safeway

    Broccoli Florets @ $1.99/lb – Good until Apr 7/15 <<< Happy days are here again! A rain check!!! 🙂

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

    • Hi Mary,
      What a brilliant idea tracking the junk and meal planning while buying exactly what you need. I agree that it’s a super way to target your shopping needs. Was your husband with you when the buns made it into the cart or was he on his own? It’s hard to go with a list and stick to it. You know that is half our battle so I’m excited to see your progress this year and how it helps.
      You know I remember you mentioning the GC and while we were away we picked up a Subway GC and with that we got a free 6 inch sub and a Value Village GC which gave us a free $5 GC. If they are offering promos for stores we will go to then why not? We were in Subway when I noticed the promo so I bought it. I love how you’ve broken everything down to a “T” good for you with leftovers!!
      I wish we could get away for a Valentine’s retreat… maybe in 18 years lol. If you can minimize that overage it won’t be so bad but I think you will be fine. Give yourself the credit.. you can do it!!
      You know I agree that many people re-stock after the holidays and Jan and Feb are tough months. I’ll have to look back on ours. As long as what you are justifying works for your budget and makes sense, I’m all for it! I’m pretty sure Mary you’re on top of your financial game and did you see we got a rain check this week!! ha! I thought of you while it was written up! 🙂 You get ballot 11. P.S you didn’t warn me I needed a pot of tea!! Mr.CBB 🙂

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        Hubby tends to take his little “walks on the wild side” when he’s shopping alone. 🙁 I am very good about picking things out of the cart & putting them back on the shelf IF I am there but someone in our family (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) has a little less self control with the “I wants”. Fortunately, the “I wants” tend to be small & inexpensive and he’s not totally destroying my budget with them. He’s good enough to eat a lot of soups/stews and chilis to keep our grocery costs down while keeping the meals healthy. Surely I can find a way to wiggle and jiggle the budget to handle an occasional bag of multigrain buns! 🙂

  10. joanne tjerno says:

    Hey mr. CBB! Great trip about the celery!! Haven’t started posting yet this year as i am trying to rejig my food budget. Started on a diet last month so have been eating more fruits and vegs so just trying to figure out an amount that works per week. I am super picky with my fruits and veggies. I spend tons of time looking at them and reading the labels to ensure they are looking good and will last :). I take them all home right away and wash most with a special cleaner (i was eating a lot of organic at one point a year ago but its just soooo expensive) and then put away in containers so they are prepped and ready for the week. I started juicing fresh fruit and vegetables instead of buying juice in the store so its been a bit more expensive. Hoping to have a budget ready and set up for february as i miss posting weekly! Really was motivating to try to stick to budget each week 🙂

    • What cleaner do you use? Where do you buy it or do you make it? Yes organic is very pricey. What kind of a juicer do you have? I’m hoping you post your shops! You will find your ideal budget after a few shops I’m betting.

      • joanne tjerno says:

        The cleaner is just a fruit and veggie cleaner to help clean off pesticides. I purchase either at natures emporium or even bulk barn. (i use their coupons and stock up when i can) Its about 4-6 dollars a bottle and lasts a month or two. I cant remember the name of the juicer i have. I know its a pricer one as i got it for my 10 year anniversary at my work (was one of the gifts i was able to choose). It works great! 🙂 Will hopefully post on next weeks 🙂 Will have to start my year off from then 🙂

        • HA, My wife got an emulsion blender for her 10 year anniversary. Popular gifts those small kitchen appliances. I’d like to find a juicer if I can on Kijiji for cheaper so I can try it out. I love juice! I’ll be waiting for your post Joanne!! 🙂 Keep up the great work.

  11. I admit that I don’t buy as much fresh fruit and vegetables as I should. I try and look at the produce that I am buying to see that it’s good. If I am buying a larger quantity of produce, I will freeze it so that it’s available for a future use, such as sloppy joe, stews or soups.

    • That’s ideal especially in the winter when the last thing people want to do is carry groceries around especially if they don’t drive. Brilliant idea. What veg would you normally freeze like that?

      • I have froze peppers, cooked squash, celery, and bananas.

        I want to start freezing carrots as well, especially when I buy them in a 10 lb bag. Next summer, I want to start making more jams and such so that it cuts down on having to purchase that item in the winter. Used to can and freeze lots of fruit and vegetables back when my daughter was younger and I wasn’t working so I had the time. I’m going to have to find the time this summer, probably on Sundays so that it can be used in the winter.

        • I’ve never thought to freeze celery or carrots before. Most people take Sunday to sort out meals, cooking etc. It’s the relaxation day that most people don’t use to relax haha.

          • When my daughter was young, I used to freeze carrots, beans, corn, strawberries, applesauce and jams. We could can pears, peaches, cherries and jams.

            Right now, I’m figuring that I’ll be back at the market so that I’ll be working Monday to Saturday so Sundays is the only that’s left to accomplish any other tasks for the week.

          • Well as long as you pick one day to do everything you need then it works out for you. We want to make our own baby food so we are learning about all the ways to freeze vegetables and different foods we can process for baby.

        • Dee, when you freeze carrots, would you cut them up first before freezing them & then just use them in soups, stews, etc. or have you also used them in stir fries or roasted in the oven? Also, how do you use your cooked squash that you freeze? Just in soups & stews? I’ve never heard of freezing celery but it’s good to know this works bcz a person can usually buy a big bunch of celery but for $1-$2 but then it’s hard to use up. It’s also a good way to be able to buy lots of veggies at a good price when they go on sale & be able to use them as one wants or needs without them going bad.

          • Hi Leona,

            You would cut them up and blanch them. I personally don’t do stir fry so I wouldn’t know for sure if they could be used that way or not. I’ve used them in soups, stews or just as a side dish. As far as cooked squash, I cook it like I was ready to eat then and any leftovers would do into the freezer. I use the squash mainly in soups but you could also thaw it and use it as a side dish, depending on the size of your container.

            I hope this give you some ideas.

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