grocery game monthly challenge

How to Grocery Shop to Create Cheap Recipes: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Feb 23-Mar 1, 2015

how to grocery shop to create cheap recipes

I had a fan ask me how we can grocery shop on $235.00 a month plus our $25.00 stockpile budget the other day. My answer was that it’s easy when you have your monthly eating plans based around cheap recipes.

What to cook for dinner? Put your hand up if you ask yourself this every night of the week. If that’s you then maybe you should be taking on a new path for your weekly meals which eliminates the need to ask this question.

I’d have a healthy bank account if  I had a dollar for every time I see someone searching CBB for Welfare Recipes. I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again, there is no such thing.

Just because you have low-income doesn’t mean you have to eat processed food all the time. Today I’m going to share with you some secrets to creating cheap recipes that pack a tonne of flavour.

Most families are looking for budget-cooking ideas because they have to feed more than 2 people so they want cheap recipes that the entire family will enjoy. The less time you spend in the kitchen also means you get to spend it with your loved ones.

 

Smart grocery shopping

 

Grocery shopping has to be one of the easiest chores to do, at least for me. I’d give up cleaning any day to grab a grocery cart and peruse the local market for delicious foods that I can create cheap recipes from.

It’s hard to put a dollar number on the cost to create your own cheap recipes because your monthly budget plan may be different to ours. Generally we aim to spend between $2-5 if we can but if there is meat involved it may bump that price up to around $8-$10.

The cheap recipes I create for Mrs. CBB and I don’t just fill us up for one meal either. Another thing I aim to do is stretch the meals to maybe a lunch the next day and another dinner if I can.

Don’t get the wrong impression when I say “cheap” or that it means we are eating processed foods or pre-made meals either. That’s far from the case but I will tell you that if you want to believe that you can’t eat gourmet meals for less then you will never cook outside the box.

Cooking is an art of creating meals by adding ingredients together to become one. Composing cheap recipes that fit with-in your budget takes imagination. Some of our favourite meals come from a crock-pot and all you need to do is set it and forget it. That’s how easy it can be.

If you take a look at our grocery shop below for this week you will notice the amount of pricier proper cheese that we bought BUT it was 50% off. Although the cheese wasn’t on our shopping list this is where our stockpile budget came in handy and helped us scoop up some deals.

Sure, we went over our budget this month but we will make it up next month and to us it was worth the over-spend. We just try not to make it habit so Mrs. CBB and I sat down and talked about foods we could use to create recipes that wouldn’t bury our grocery budget.

Eating healthy is part of our lifestyle but every now and again we like to splurge. So how exactly do we come up with these delicious cheap recipes and what are some of them? Well, I’m going to share with you a little secret…eating healthy.

That’s it, eating healthy is the basis behind our budget-friendly recipes that we create except for those meals that we enjoy once a month or as treats.

 

Cheap Recipes

 

Here are some of our favourite cheap recipes that don’t bust our budget but are delicious and fit our life-style.

You can check out the Free Recipe Index on CBB for the full list of cheap recipes that are budget-friendly.

 

Cheap Recipes 101

 

Eat less meat

 

If you buy cheaper cuts of meat or score a great deal on meat aim to marinade it with delicious spices to make the flavour pop. Most importantly, let your meat rest before cutting into it especially steaks and roasts.

If you cut it meat too soon after preparing it you will let all that beautiful flavour fall away and dry it out. Portion, Portion, Portion because we don’t need to eat too much, just enough to satisfy that meat-lovers need.

Meat prices in Canada have gone through the roof lately so another option is to call your local butcher to see what prices they offer.

You might even find a local vendor who sells meat packages and delivers them to your house for a better value. Either way research your options, lots of flavour, let it rest and portion size protein to about a deck of cards.

Tip: Don’t forget to keep those meat bones as well because they make a lovely broth for soups~

 

Go Fishing for fish

 

If you’re not a fisherman like myself you will have to buy fish at the local grocery store or fish market. We don’t have one in our area that I’m aware of but I’m sure if I went down-town Toronto I could find fresh fish all over the place.

You may also find the prices will be cheaper when you go right to the source rather than frozen at the grocery store or from a fish counter. If you must buy fish at the grocery store look for fish specials but I tend to stay away from any reduced fish prices.

When we grocery shop we like to buy salmon which we will buy fresh IF we can find a deal or frozen if it’s on sale. Alternatively if you love to fish, get out your fishing rod and start reeling them in.

 

Eat more vegetables

 

If you don’t have room for a vegetable garden which would could make you boatloads of cheap recipes the next best thing is to buy vegetables in season.

If you are lucky and live in an area with lots of farms with vendors who sell to the public you’ll likely get a better deal than at the grocery store plus you are supporting Ontario Farmers.

When we grocery shop for vegetables the first thing we do apart from already knowing what vegetables are on sale in the flyer that week is rush over to the reduced rack.

We have gotten so much for less from the reduced rack which we typically would use right away or clean and freeze for future meals.

Why not pay 50% off for vegetables if they are perfectly fine to eat? Most often they are at their ripeness point so they must be eaten right away. Instead of throwing produce in the garbage the grocery store will try to get any amount of money they can for them.

Vegetables of all kinds are not only healthy for you but low in calories and you can eat as much as you’d like. Load up with delicious salads, soups, casseroles etc. and create cheap recipes that will make a lasting impression on your family.

 

Spice it up

 

I’m a huge fan of using spices and our spice pantry is loaded with all the basic spices plus many others. A little tip about buying cheap spices… don’t buy them at the grocery store.

If your city has a Chinese or Indian store or other ethnic stores don’t be shy go on in. We went into an Indian store in Brampton a couple of years ago and left full. They were so inviting and the amount of spices they had for cheap blew us away.

While we were shopping they gave us samples of foods that were already prepared as they have an in-store bakery. Ever since then we try to go to our local shops to see what spices we can find.

Spicing up your meals doesn’t mean making it HOT… it means adding flavour to bland rice and peas which is another one of those cheap recipes we make. If you are not used to spices give them a try.

 

Shop for deals

 

This is a grocery shopping basic that everyone knows about.

Whether you are planning your grocery list around the weekly flyers, checking the reduced rack or using coupons or other in-store specials they all add up to spending less.That is provided the products were on your list or you have the money in your budget to cover the expenses.

Sometime those reduced foods can bump your grocery budget out of whack like it did for us this month. Be careful of this.

Don’t forget to keep your eyes open when cashing out because if a price scans higher than the shelf price you may get it free or up to $10 off the price. The Scanning Code of Practice is not widely known but becoming less of a stranger to consumers.

 

Meal planning

 

Mrs. CBB and I are working on getting back on track with meal planning. Since having our baby last year we’ve gotten off track and can certainly feel the stress of  having a limited or last-minute plan in place.

Creating a meal plan together helped us to pick different ingredients that we wanted to try and pair them up to test out new recipes.

If you truly want to save money and eat good plan your shops and your meals and don’t over-shop. When you buy too much you end up with a house full of food that for the most part will go to waste if it doesn’t get eaten by the expiry date.

 

No/Limited processed foods

 

This one is easy. If you want to eat good food that won’t empty your pockets get rid of the processed foods. They won’t fill you up for long either meaning you’ll be hungry soon for more food.

Those convenience foods although they may be quick to make and tasty to those who don’t want to cook may find that it eats up your monthly grocery budget.

When that happens you have less food you can purchase which means less food to create great meals. Limit or drop buying processed foods to help motivate you to actually cook and create because if we keep buying this stuff it’s not likely we will have that incentive.

 

Less ingredients

 

Clean eating is famous for less ingredients which helps to keep the meal healthy but also can be  less expensive. If you want to create your own cheap recipes don’t go overboard and complicate the recipe. Keep it simple and remember less is more.

 

Buy in bulk

 

Have you noticed food packaging shrinking and prices going up? Yes, me too and just another reason to think in bulk.

This might not work for all products because you don’t want to have more food than you can eat in a time-frame otherwise you risk having pesky flour bugs invading your kitchen like it did for us.

Typically we like to buy rice and dry beans in bulk if we can because we do eat them on a regular basis. Other than that we have cut back buying many food products in bulk but just because we don’t do it doesn’t mean you can’t.

If your family eats one product consistently and you can find it in a bigger bag or package do the math and see if it’s worth the money. If not just buy the smaller version but typically we always see a pricing benefit.

Don’t think that healthy food can’t come in bags, boxes or tins either because that’s not true. Some people say to shop just the perimeter of the store otherwise you will buy junk that you don’t need. That may be true but down those middle aisle are your dry beans, pasta, canned no-sugar added fruits, spices etc.

Take caution when you shop and if your mouth starts trying to convince you that you need that bag of cookies it’s up to you then to make the call. Yes or No!

What are some shopping and food prep tricks you can share with us that help you create delicious cheap recipes?

 

February 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!

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsFree 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

 

the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything 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

  • PC Green Lentils Dry $1.99 1kg
  • 2 x T&T Noodles $0.78 (Soba)
  • Neilson milk 2% 4 L $3.97
  • Organic Canola Oil $5.24-pink sticker $2.62
  • Bean Sprouts $1.28
  • 6 x Farmers Sausage 3 pk Reg $8.99 sale $1.99 🙂
  • 3 x PC Sovrano Cheese ( Like Regiano Parmigiano) Reg $7.99-pink sticker 2267 PC Plus Pts
  • 2x Havarti Cheese Reg $5.99-pink sticker  1511 PC Plus Pts
  • 2 x Blue Cheese 50% off blowout $5.16, $4.25 1510 PC Plus Pts
  • Cricketers Cheddar Cheese $5.99-pink sticker 755 PC Plus Pts
  • $42.39 Cheese total- $15.96 Stockpile =$26.46

Total-out-pocket $46.82

No Frills

  • Dry Chickpeas $3.99 2kg
  • NN frozen kernel corn $1.99
  • Ground Pork $6.10, $5.91, $5.89

Total-out-pocket $23.88

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: $20.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 23960
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

  • Snap Groupon to date: $1.50
  • Zweet to date: $1.00
  • 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): $50.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $3.00
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $65.65
  • Total spent this week: $70.70
  • Total spent so far this month: $261.51
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $30.51 over for the month
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): We spent too much, how’s that. Oops! Let me explain. We went to Zehrs while waiting to get my hair cut and my wife’s eyebrows threaded. While we were inside we needed to grab some lentils for dinner but noticed lots and lots of pink stickers. It was pink sticker heaven.

We didn’t go hog wild but it was the cheese that caught our eye. We love cheese especially good cheese but it’s often far too pricey and out of our budget to buy.

Since it was 50% it makes for some cheap recipes and snacks this coming month. We also got lucky and found that Farmers Sausage which is double smoked and out of this world delicious. The cashier was even shocked it was so cheap.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Now I have to spend less in March BUT we are going home for a week as I have a week off so that’s one week of no shopping for us. Hopefully that will get us back on track.

 

 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.

anadian coupons crest, oikos

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.
  • 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. Our weekly budget is $100 a week making this month $400
    I totally went over this month again and I know I stocked up on some good items and my girl is coming for spring break and I always buy her extra things and treats. But to be honest I am feeling kinda stuck and not feeling super confident in my choice of going to $100 a week from last years $125 a week and not having taken into consideration how much milk and food little miss is eating now so I will try and stick with it for March and go from there deciding on what to do.
    Sobeys (I did a couple of transactions to take advantage of this months staff coupon of bonus air miles)
    .75 comp beef bologna -clearance
    .99 bag for life-needed another one
    3.69×2-bogo sale &$1C yogurt
    3.18 green grapes
    .89×6-.75Cx6 sour cream -rain check!
    2.50×2 goldfish crackers
    3.99×2-bogo sale &$1C bd cheese spread
    9.36 prime rib steak
    5×2-bogo sale frozen chicken burgers & strips
    1.99×2-bogo sale French bread
    1.27,1.30,1.20,1.21 lean ground pork – clearance
    2.29×8-bogo sale sliced mushrooms
    1.89×50-bogo sale &$1Cx25 del monte refrigerated cups
    41.80 total oop
    27.41 total gift card used
    31.50 total coupons
    Superstore
    1.77 goldfish crackers – great deal!
    3.47 taco kit
    .94, 1 chocolate bars
    6.19 10kg flour
    .24 xmas shortbread cookies – clearance
    2.97 lucky charms
    2.50×2 Pillsbury pizza crust – request of my girl
    2.09×2-.50C coffee cream
    2.98 5lb carrots
    10 frozen chicken fries – my girls favourite and we finally found them
    4.99 toy for my niece -yes not food but it was busy and didn’t wanna do another transaction
    12.98 provolone cheese
    .24 hot pink phone hand set that attaches to your cell phone – gonna be an awesome joke!!
    56.82 total oop
    .50 total coupons
    Walmart
    3.32×3 4L homo milk – price matched!!!
    .50 jellies – clearance
    $10.50 total oop
    Shoppers
    5.99-4.20SDMC tide detergent
    1.99×2-$1C dzn eggs
    1.88×3 chips
    10.80 total oop
    5.20 total coupons

    119.92 weekly total oop
    37.2 weekly total coupons
    27.41 weekly gift cards used
    464.41 monthly total oop
    81.44 monthly total coupons
    75.36 monthly gift cards used
    1031.43 yearly total oop
    282.27 yearly total coupons
    78.54 yearly gift cards used

    • Hi Juanita,
      If you think you need to add to your budget and you have the cash then it’s up to you. What do you do with all of that sour cream? Great deal on that. You also scored a great deal on the pork and del monte cups wow! Where did you get the egg coupons from? Overall you nailed it with the savings wow. Congrats on that!! I look forward to your March shops. You get ballot 1. Mr.CBB

      • Hey Mr.CBB
        I am just frustrated with myself thinking we could do $100 a week but when you add in diapers, wipes, milk and food for little miss that will kick it up to $125 or more a week. So I have decided to go to the $125 a week budget and do my best to stay within that!
        That amazing deal on sour cream will be used up in soups, dips, tacos, taco salad, perogies and baked potatoes and they don’t expire til the end of march!
        I was doing the happy dance with the ground pork! Also the fruit cups were such a good score!! Especially since they are my girls fav and I don’t have to worry about her getting scurvy 😉
        The eggs coupons were from save or websaver that I got near the end of feb and wanted to stock up on cheap eggs combining the sale and coupon.
        I hope I can rebalance March even though my girl is here for spring break and her bday is also during that time.

        • Don’t be frustrated. Do the best you can and if you need to add the money back in then do as you need. You are a SUPER SAVER. You don’t have to spend the money if you have it so spend what you need up to the $100 and if you need the $25…. use it if you have it available. You really are a great shopper so pat yourself on the back for that.

  2. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for four adults- $7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month.
    Canadian Tire
    1 Folgers coffee -9.88

    Foodland
    1 potato chips -.99
    Bananas -1.40
    1 pickles -1.79
    1 pack rice -1.99
    1 yogurt -2.49
    1 doz. large eggs -2.99
    2 W/W bread @3.69, $1WUB2 coupon
    1 red pepper -1.34
    1 tomato -1.05
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 pork tenderloins -8.84, 9.38
    Tax -.13
    Total -$54.02

    Foodland
    1 yogurt -2.49
    1 W/W bread -3.09, .50 coupon
    1 pack ground pork -4.49, 50% sticker-2.25
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 cases pop @5.48
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 Whiskas cat food -8.99
    Tax -2.59
    Total -$50.56, .50 coupon, 2.25 discount
    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 $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Snap Groupon to date: $3.00
    Zweet to date: $14.75
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $9.50
    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 this month: $24.50
    Stockpile YTD – Jan$22.20+Feb$24.50=$46.70
    Total coupons used this week: $1.50
    Total coupons used to date: $8.79
    Total in-store discounts this week: $2.25
    Total in-store discounts to date: $32.97
    Total spent this week: $114.46
    Total spent so far this month: $572.63
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
    Total left to spend for the month: $77.37 under
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $640.13+Feb $572.63=$1212.78

    Overview for month- well I did it!! I came in under for the second month in a row!! The trick will be to keep it up as I am out of ground beef, hope there is a good sale soon!! This will, hopefully, give me a cushion to work with as we get to the more expensive months and to deal with those great sticker sales we all look for.

    • Holy moly canoli you did it again! I’m always happy to see fans succeed with their budget every month even though for some of us who do go over I know that we aren’t failures we just need to keep focused a bit better. I’m proud of you like all of the GGC players will be. You picked up a great deal on the pork. What do you plan to do with it? Ground anything is ridiculous right now. Your pork is the best bed. Ground it up if you have to and substitute it.. they might not even notice if you add lots of spices hehe! Well done. You get ballot 25. Mr.CBB

  3. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 3 – February 23-28

    • Grocery budget to work with in February: $320 (Breaks down to $80 weekly)
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $7.50
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0.73
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $3.50
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $40
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $38.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.47
    • Total student discounts to date: $41.76
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: 0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $1.95
    • Total spent this week: $63.50
    • Total spent so far this month: $243.25
    • Total left to spend for the month: $76.75
    • Weekly carry over: $16.50
    • Total in carry over jar: $162.65
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $497.35

    Shoppers Drug Mart: Eggs 1.77 x 2, sugar 1.99, Doritos 1.77 x 2, tax 0.46: Total spent 9.55 rounded up 2 cents

    RCSS: Grape tomatoes 4.98, bananas 1.27, less student discount 0.63: Total 5.60 rounded down 2 cents

    RCSS: Wheat thins 2 @ 3.34, Whole wheat flour 9.99 less 30%, NN White flour 10 kg 7.49, Triscuits 1.67, milk 3.97 x 2, grapefruit 5lb 0.99, mushrooms 1.50 x 2 (PM), apples 2.98, Renees Greek Feta dressing 3.47 (PM), romaine hearts 2.98, Asian pears 1.30, bosc pears 4.00, Tylenol Cold for kids 5.99, less student discount 3.84, less superbuck coupon 0.73, tax 0.78: Total 48.35

    Needed more than I thought I would this week. Did a lot of baking recently and ran out of flour. There was a large bag of whole wheat on clearance which was nice and the No name white was on sale. Every few weeks we need to get more milk, I try to always have enough so we don’t run out, so this was a two bag milk week. And that alone adds up quickly. Got a great deal on the grapefruit, I am the only one who eats it, so I know there will be fruit in the fridge for me. Hubby loves apples and the bags were on sale this week which was a savings of $2. Pears were the cheapest fruit this week for my son, and they will keep for a while since they weren’t quite ripe yet.

    Each week since January we had restarted our carry over jar. Last year it was an epic fail because we kept dipping into it for random stuff. This year, that isn’t going to happen. Determination and willpower are going to make sure of that. So, on that note, I added the carry over to the tally again. The purpose of the carryover jar is for when we run out of money and we will with my being in school and hubby only being part-time (many weeks working full-time hours luckily). When I got downsized inOctober 2013 we had savings to bridge the gap and EI, but in March all of that will be gone. We don’t want to draw on OSAP while I am in school if possible, so we need to “find” money somewhere and still manage to fix our roof this spring. Closer eyes on every aspect of our budget. Long story short, we won’t have the money to budget for food (yes, scary beyond belief) and at some point I intend to have something already sitting there. The carry over jar will be used for groceries only this year and will only be used when absolutely necessary. During that time we will also be using more PC Plus points that we have been saving. The carry over jar will become super important late spring and early winter. I am relying on our garden to be successful this year again and food will come from that. I am aware that there is the Food Bank option, but I really have to be with nothing on my shelves until I go there since I truly believe that service is there for those who need it the most. When we get there, I will know. My college also has a program similar to the Food Bank that I may be able to look toward. But, that is months from now I hope. It is very pleasing to see the food carry over so healthy at this point. Now, my goal is to do just as well for March.

    • Hi Angela,
      Your carry over jar is filling up fast but at the same time there is going to be a need for it this year. I’m happy to see you are planning ahead and that you already know your grocery budget will need help at some point. Sweet deal on the eggs at SDM. I’m guessing you had the printable coupons for those? What does an Asian pear taste like? I’ve never tried one before. I look forward and send you all the good vibes I can so your journey this year is not a bumpy one. Keep us posted if you wish on how you progress throughout the year and share any tips that helped you get by each week. You have our support always Angela! You get ballot 24 Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        We were very fortunate with the eggs this time. It was a one day sale, limit of two, that’s what we tend to buy anyhow. So, no coupon this time. I don’t often get great printables from Shoppers. I only use a few a year.

        The Asian pear is much like any other pear, just a little less sweet when fully ripe and is a bit crunchier. My son loves them, but they never go on sale, so expensive. I buy one as a treat ever now and then. I am sad to say the cost of the Asian pears was just one pear.

        Thanks for the support! The interesting part of the year starts next month. We will see how it goes! Progress is always here 🙂

  4. Angela Mainse says:

    Some great suggestions in this week’s post. Meal planning for us is essential. If I don’t meal plan (I’ve tried stopping), it’s usually disaster and hard on the budget, which can lead to takeout costs! It also takes the pressure off, I always know what I have and what I need. I also keep a running list of what is in both of my freezers. They include a lot of fruit and veg from last year’s summer season. Fruit from local farmers and veg from our garden. I don’t know what I would do without that stuff! It’s scary how much more I would need to spend. As long as we have even a little space, we will garden.

    Great deal on the sausages this week Mr. CBB! That would be a deal I would love to snag!

    • I wish we would have bought more of those sausages. You never know what they will taste like though. This time they were amazing.. ah well we still got 6. Meal planning is amazing and until one actually does it they don’t understand how important it can be.

  5. Mr. CBB, what a great score with the farmer’s sausage (as you pointed out) & the cheese on sale!

    I think it’s important to keep a balanced perspective of, yes, what one’s budget is & what one’s budget should be but also realizing that we work TO LIVE, & hopefully NOT that we live TO WORK. By all this I mean I’m finally realizing that there’s a balance (I know this word is overused a lot lately but it fits) between planning & saving for the future AND living & enjoying the here & now, the present. The future holds no guarantees. All that to say, I think it’s great you & Mrs. CBB found the wonderful cheese you love on sale so you can enjoy some special meals together. You were obviously “meant” to find that great sale at Zehrs! 🙂

    • I was pretty happy about that and the cheese. The cashier was in awe. She asked if there was any more in the back. I agree there has to be that balance but I’ve come to learn if you want to get ahead sometimes you have to make sacrifices. If your sacrifices become daily living or long-term than obviously the point is lost. Right now I’m working quite a bit so I keep my foot in the door for my dream job.

  6. Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $3120 ($260/month)

    February 23-March 1st (week 4)

    Walmart
    unsalted chicken stock $2.78
    zucchini 1.44 lbs ($1.48/lb) = $2.13
    spaghetti squash 2.65 lbs ($0.98/lb) = $2.60
    5 avocado (pm’d Food City 5/$1; WM regular price $0.50/each) = $1.00
    yellow squash (pm’d Food City $0.99/lb; WM regular price $1.48/lb) = $1.31
    3 Golden Delicious apples 1.28 lbs (pm’d Food City 2 lbs/$1; WM regular price $1.17/lb) = $0.64
    1 serrano pepper $0.08
    Great Value butter 1 lb (pm’d Walgreens $2.49; WM regular price $2.98) = $2.49
    1 can coconut milk $2.14
    1 Wavy Lays chips (15.75 oz) $2.98

    Total Out-Of-Pocket: $18.15

    Fry’s Marketplace
    blackberries (6 oz.) 2 x $0.87/each = $1.74
    Chicken of the Sea canned tuna (142 g) 2 x $0.50 = $1.00

    Total Out-Of-Pocket: $2.74

    Sam’s Club
    fresh chicken breasts 5.89 lbs ($1.98/lb.) = $11.66
    organic baby spinach (large tub) $3.98
    organic whole carrots 5 lbs $2.98
    sliced white mushrooms (16 oz.) $2.98

    Total Out-Of-Pocket: $21.60

    Sprouts Farmer’s Market
    whole brown flax seed (bulk) $1.74
    dill weed (bulk) $0.51
    ground cardamom (bulk) $2.39
    ground ginger (bulk) $0.44
    raw hulled sunflower seeds (bulk) $1.75
    raw pumpkin seeds (bulk) $2.19

    Total Out-Of-Pocket: $9.03

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

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $260
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $260
    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: None
    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)

    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total saved by price matching this week: $3.48
    Total saved by price matching this year: $12.50
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $0
    Total spent this week: $51.52
    Total spent so far this month: $322.89
    Total over/under spend this shop: $13.48 under $65 but $62.89 over $260/monthly budget
    Total over/under spend for the month: $62.89
    Total left to spend for the month: $0
    Total Spent To Date 2015: $582.34

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    I thought I’d need to spend about $40 this week on groceries but I ended up spending about $11 more than that ($51.52) because I ran out of some spices, chicken, & a few other things again. I am $62.89 over my $260/monthly budget which is quite a bit, however, when I look at my average grocery spend over the last 2 months, I’m averaging $291.17/month which is just under the $300/month that I’m thinking may be more realistic given the restricted diet I’m following (as a side note, I’m not trying to eat only organic foods, however, I do buy them when they go on sale for a price that makes them comparable to their non-organic counterparts).

    This might look like careless spending but in my view, it’s a balancing act of things that are equally important to us. And as I’ve said before, this is well below the $500-$600/month I/we use to spend on groceries so I’m really happy I’ve reduced this amount to approx. half of this. That means we’ve saved between $500 & $600 over the last 2 months alone simply by using some strategic menu planning, trying to stick to a somewhat arbitrary budget (I didn’t know WHAT amount to pick for a monthly budget at the start of the year but a person has to start somewhere!), & shopping for deals as much as possible. AND we haven’t felt restricted by the budget I arbitrarily set which I’m also very happy with. All these factors make this a win-win for us so far.

    • Hi Leona,
      I like that you get the unsalted broth so you can add what you need. Many products add far too much salt just to jazz up the flavour and it’s horrible. You got a great deal on those avocados. I’d be eating them every day for a week or two at that price. Even the squash, apples and butter all were great deals. WOW you’re on a roll this week.
      What do you do with your whole flax? We have a bag but they are buggers to try and mash up. We bought a grinder at the Goodwill just to grind them but we haven’t tried it yet. If we see the organic on sale for less than the reg produce we grab it too, why not right? This has been a great lesson for you already as you can see how you need to add more to your budget. I’m thrilled to hear how it’s working for you. I would hardly call it careless spending. I’m not one to talk, trust me. Grocery shopping is the hardest category in the budget for us. There are months we go over and we pay the price the next month as we carry over. It may have been because we decided to buy too much food because it was on sale or an in-store sale caught our attention which is normally what would happen. I thought you did a brilliant job this month. Well done Leona! You get ballot 23. Mr.CBB

      • I found it sooooo hard to BUY chicken broth this past week but I ran out & needed more to make soup. I’ve just started making my own broth the last number of months & it tastes so much better than the store-bought stuff, plus I ensure there’s very little salt in it but lots of flavor from the leftover chicken carcass & cheap veggies I add. I use whole flax to make a flax granola recipe for breakfast on the diet I’m following. It’s not really “granola” because it’s just flax mixed with water, cinnamon, nutmeg, & vanilla extract, then you leave it in the fridge overnight. The next AM, you press it out into a cookie sheet & bake it for about 1 hour on low heat (275 F). When it’s done, I eat 1 cup of it with a few raisins, craisins, sliced almonds, & coconut milk. We didn’t much care for it when we started making it but now that our tastebuds have adapted to less processed foods (ie. less sweet & less salty foods), we really enjoy it. I use to grind up flax in a little MagicBullet I bought & it worked great. Your Goodwill grinder should do the trick nicely!

        • Hi Leona,
          It’s true what you say about the tastebuds changing when the diet changes. It’s amazing how someone can cut out sugar and then when a food they disliked before is introduced with alternatives is available it suddenly tastes great. I will try my hand with the flax in the machine once our other bag is gone. It is already milled. We ended up getting them free with SCOP at the Superstore last year. Making homemade broth is the best if you have the time. We do when we have bones and we also keep vegetable peelings and boil them up too. Have you done that?

          • Hi Mr. CBB,
            No, we haven’t used veggie peelings to make broth but that’s a great idea! I was just thinking that to keep them from going bad, I could just keep them frozen in the freezer ’til I need them. Thanks for the tip! And good job on getting that flax FREE with SCOP. In terms of having time to make bone broth, I use a recipe made for a slow cooker so you can set it & forget it (either on low for 24 hrs. or high for 12 hrs.). I consider myself pretty slow in the kitchen when it comes to preparing food, chopping stuff, etc. but I can get everything in the slow cooker in about 10 min. bcz everything is cut & left in large pieces. It would be even faster using veggie peelings & there aren’t a lot of ingredients. I was told by “cooks in the know” that you can make a good, healing broth from chicken feet and/or chicken backs so I plan to look for some of those from local farmers & maybe get them cheap or even free from some farmers we know.

  7. Mary F Campbell says:

    Funny thing…last night I dreamed about ways to stretch my grocery budget even further. In my sleep, my most comfortable approach is to eat the fruit and vegetables that are “in season”, steaming massive amounts of vegetables to fill at least half the plate with mounds of veggies with perhaps just a hint of an “off season” or imported vegetable plus to make more of our meals completely vegetarian. Hubby and I used to be vegan at one point, but it’s a lot easier to get him to shift to the vegetarian end of the scale and for him to be content to remain there. And if it’s cold out…vegetarian soups are always so nice n easy! Tonight we are making a homemade tomato soup. Mmmm! Do I miss fresh tomatoes? Obviously but summer is coming and just imagine how good they will taste to me when they are ripened on the vine! I can wait. 🙂

    You’ll notice I haven’t been buying much meat these days…lots & lots of eggs every time they are on sale and some cottage cheese/yogurt/hard cheese when we are in the US but very, very little meat/fish. We found a good deal on chicken breasts a few weeks back and I packaged them individually before freezing them (8 breasts for $10). One chicken breast can be roasted, diced and mixed with celery, a little apple and onion, salt and pepper, a little dab of mayo and there’s enough chicken salad for hubby to have two bulging wraps for his lunches. At the rate of 1 chicken salad wrap lunch per week, our one package of chicken will be enough for hubby’s lunches for 2 months!! If I stay vegetarian, a very little meat goes a very long way around our house!

    My plan for his work lunches include: 1 day of tuna salad/mashed bean salad/egg salad, 1 of chicken salad, 1 day of ham salad with a little green relish in this one, 1 vegetarian vegetable and cheese type of day loaded with fresh sprouts that I sprout at home on my kitchen counter and of course 1 day of either nut butters or leftover homemade soup/stew/chili. Processed & packaged luncheon meats are completely off of our to grocery list these days! Who can afford them? But also: who needs all the nitrates and sodium? We sliced up a nice hickory smoked spiral ham the other day and it will stretch into at least a dozen different dishes, and a considerable number more meals. Hubby sliced & split it, then package it by weight before we froze it. There’s even a really nice bone in there for soup! That ham came back from the US with us at Christmas time and although it was fully cooked, it was nearing a “best before” date so we have prepped it for all sorts of meals ahead. Hubby is looking forward to the split pea soup night and the Denver omelette night! 🙂

    With the crazy price increases at the grocery store these days…I’ll be leaning a lot more heavily on my vegetarian favorites but I am also trying out new vegetarian recipes to keep things fresh and interesting around here. On the weekend we’ll be trying out a new Easy Corn Chowder that calls for frozen corn (what for frozen veg sales – this could be whatever vegetables you like) and and also a Gluten Free Four Cheese Penne Pasta Casserole dish that I’ll stretch for 4 meals but adding a big salad starter (my hubby will be in heaven with all that cheese!).

    I am sure you’ll notice the change in both the WFD dinner feed meals that I share and my 2015 GGC posts! I am staying the course in terms of the budget…no matter what healthy adjustments I need to make to make so that the $$’s I have will stretch into yummy and filling meals despite the projected 10% rise in food cost this year. 🙁

    • Mary Campbell, I agree with you about the deli meats! I use to buy those for lunches but they’ve just gotten too costly AND as you say, who needs all the processed nitrates & additives? I think that all the processed food I use to eat bothers me just as much as the rising costs of food these days. But everything’s a process & requires time & balance. As I told Jayson up above, my hubby & I tried to go vegan (did it for 6 weeks straight) a few years back but we just didn’t feel good on it (low energy, lots of salty & sweet cravings). We’ve come to the conclusion that different people’s bodies respond differently to different foods/diets. So we all need to experiment ’til we find out what works for each of our bodies (& budgets!) best.

      Sorry to hear you’re still feeling so under the weather. Have you ever had your vitamin D levels checked? We have (but had to insist on it with our family Dr.) & found both of our levels we’re on the low side of “normal”. We heard Dr. Reinhold Vieth (U of Toronto) speak years back & he said people should make sure their vitamin D levels are in the higher end of normal because vitamin D boosts your immunity, protects against cancer, improves cognitive functioning, etc. So, hubby & I’ve been taking vitamin D from Costco (very cheap–less than $8 for 2 bottles of 720 tablets 1000IU/each) between 3000 & 4000IU/day each & this finally brought our vitamin D levels into the upper range of normal (we have our family Dr. draw blood to check them every year when we return from sunny Arizona). The biggest thing we’ve noticed is we VERY rarely get sick now & if we do, it’s very, very mild & lasts just a few days. Can’t remember the last time we were sick with anything. And as we get older, people don’t pull as much vitamin D from their food or thru our skin with the sun & our levels drop so it’s worth checking into. We always get a copy of our lab work & keep it in a file at home (the normal ranges are right on the forms so you know what’s “normal”). Hope you’re feeling like yourself soon so you can head to the U.S. & enjoy that shopping trip you’ve been looking forward to so much!

  8. I am amazed that you are able to keep your grocery budget so low & I commend you! Those numbers are amazing! I would like to see your meal plan for the week.

    I struggle to get my grocery spend lower, but I am trying. My mother lives with me, so when I take her out on the weekend I find it hard to say no to her when she wants to put anything into the cart. She loves to shop & that is her favourite outing. I did actually cut my grocery spending from $1100 per month to $636 this month though for the two of us. I count everything in there but I think I will separate it next month. My goal is to keep cutting it down.

    I am also trying to meal plan more & when I do, I spend less. as I don’t stop on the way home to pick up last minute fast food. Your idea of a no-shop week per month is fantastic & I find it does help me keep more on track. I always seem to run out of cream though- which I can’t seem to do without! Can’t give up the java with cream … yum!

    Your blog has become my daily read in the morning before I start my day. Great stories, recipes & inspiration to make my dollar stretch. A big thank you!

    • Hi Mary! The great thing is that you’ve REDUCED your spending by $464!!! THAT”S A LOT OF MONEY!! I didn’t start meal-planning until probably almost 8 yrs. ago when I met my husband. Up until then, I called myself a “combiner” because I didn’t know how to cook & didn’t enjoy cooking. All I knew how to do was “combine” a few different things to make a wrap or a simple meal of grilled chicken, rice, & a steamed veggie (this last meal was a BIG deal for me to make!). The only reason I started meal planning was because I started a weight loss program where I had to prepare my own unprocessed, healthy food & my husband & I decided to be adventurous & try a more “fancy”, tasty recipe that we’d try cook together on the weekends & have some leftovers from. Many times we were blown away at how good our meals turned out! And so I started to learn how to cook at almost 40 yrs. old.

      We ALL have to start somewhere with everything we start. I’m so happy for you for the great savings you’ve had already with your grocery budget. Just think of ALL the money you’ll have saved for something else by the end of the year just by being mindful of what you’re spending on groceries & by having more meals at home rather than quick take-out?! This year, I started putting my menu planned meals on a big calendar in the kitchen so I can see what I’ve got planned for the week so I can switch meals if I don’t feel like having something I originally planned. I also do it so I can plan for some leftovers from suppers to be lunch meals so I have to prepare less AND spend less money on groceries. Or I save a supper leftover meal to have the day after tomorrow at supper to keep my meals interesting & not repetitive (i.e.. meatloaf). Keep going Mary! You’ve only just started this wonderful journey of great eating & saving LOTS of money! 🙂 Just think where this could take you?

  9. I am declaring a no-meat plan for next week in my family. I have already made a list of recipes we’re having in each meal. Yay! I am so excited about the results of this. I wish there’s a pond nearby so that we could just go fishing and cut out some expenses.

    • Good for you Jayson! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets excited about the challenge of preparing great meals for less money. My husband & I tried going vegan for 6 weeks in a row a few years back (for health reasons & some reading we’d done) but we both found that physically we didn’t feel very good (low energy, always emotional cravings for salty or sweet processed food) even though I made sure we were getting complete proteins everyday & plenty of diverse veggies. We’re glad we did it though. The conclusion we’ve come to by trying different diets/ways of eating is that different people’s bodies respond differently to different foods. We think we’ve FINALLY found what works for helping us maintain or lose weight AND feel emotionally satisfied with what we’re eating at the same time. Enjoy your no-meat week! And I hope you can find a fishing pond or lake close by sometime!

  10. I really wanted to start buying more vegetables instead of meat. Last week, I was happy that my grocery bill was less compared to my previous week. I usually go to the grocery every week in that way I can make sure that I don’t do over buying.

  11. I love having meat with my meals. I don’t like fish or spices much but I’m trying to put my version of a meal plan together. Since this is still new, it will take time to develop and improve. I do the best I can for what I can afford right now. Only time and improved finances will make my grocery budget better to enable the extras that some people enjoy. I’ve finished going through my pantry and freezer so now it’s just trying to make sure there is enough food in the pantry/freezer for that week’s planned meals.

    • Once you are done your meal plan I’d like to see it. You are right time will help as will finances but once you build that pantry up you can make delicious meals at home all the time. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. 🙂

  12. Christine Weadick says:

    I do a number of these things to help the grocery budget. I shop sales, use a list, coupon when I can, buy less meat, check the reduced shelves or cart, price check, collect cookbook and get from the library… and so on. I can take a little leftover meat and add veggies to it to get another meal out of that. I am slowly weaning people here off the more processed stuff. I am planning to make some grow bags this year so I can grow some veggies as I don’t have much of a yard.
    I have been buying small bags of rice lately but they are on price chop deals. I pay $1.99 (reg. 3.29) for a 900g bag. I looked at the bigger 2kg bags and they are 5.99!! I did the math and the smaller bag is the cheaper.
    I have to go into town for the bulk goodies but I do sometimes get there. I also go to No Frills or Walmart when I can. Here where I live I have to go out of town to get to the cheaper stores but I can usually get some nice deals here too if I look for them.
    I don’t meal plan so much as figure out what I have for meals for the week and cook which meal when I feel like that one. If I cook something like a small roast of chicken I plan on three meals from that meat, the third of which is likely a shepherds pie type meal.
    Hubby used to go fishing but hasn’t for a few years now. I used to have fish to stretch the budget either fresh or that I froze for later. We know a couple of people that hunt and if they ever asked if we wanted some of the meat they have I assure you I would find room in my freezer!!! Years ago my SIL’s hubby hit a deer, and we got some of the venison from it.
    I’m working with a tight budget and I work hard to get as much as I can with what is there for me to use. You have some good ideas here and I will try anything I’m not already doing to make my money go further….

  13. Cheap recipes are definitely the bulk of our meal plan. Today’s was possibly the cheapest ever… We’ve been trying to eat through our pantry this month. It’s leftover night tonight, but we didn’t have any in the fridge. So, I ended up making “pasta primavera”. The ends of two bags of pasta and some chopped up frozen veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. It actually turned out pretty good with some cheesy garlic toast…

    • Brilliant!! This post is more about finding ways to make cheap recipes using everyday ingredients while cutting out the foods that are pre-made. I think sometimes people believe that they can’t eat a decent home cooked meal because they can’t afford it which is not the truth. Once you crunch the numbers of the packaged or pre-made it’s well worth making it homemade.

  14. Mary F Campbell says:

    FEBRUARY – Week #4 of 4- Feb 23-March 1, 2015

    2015 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults

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

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    I have a small surplus of unused cash on the Canadian side of our budget. This is going to be a NO SHOP WEEK for us so I am transferring the remaining funds to a NEW! reserve specifically intended to offset the funds we saved via using points redemptions instead of cash. We’ll see how I make out by the time the year-end rolls around.

    I am not feeling up to snuff these days so the USA shopping trip has been pushed back yet again. 🙁 I’ll get there one of these days! In the interim, we’ll use what we have in the house and the freezers. There’s certainly no shortage of supplies on hand so…it’s shopping the pantry for us this week. 🙂 Surprisingly, it’s even going to allow me to try a couple of new and frugal recipes!

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    OUR NEXT SHOP WILL BE March 2nd!

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    OUR NEXT SHOP WILL BE March 14th!

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

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 = 0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 +Feb $0.00= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22 + Feb 41= 63 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 = 0 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200 + Feb 0= 1200 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30 + Feb 40= 70 Points

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

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $199.31+ Feb ($12.50 trf to borscht+$22.50 to Re-Stocking+$10.00 Xmas Reserve+$10.00 to Summer+$60.00 trf to US Reserve+$17.56+$3.00+$14.26+$10.00+$4.58+$12.46= $176.86+$3.83 trf to Unused Funds Reserve)= $380.00

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+Feb $190.00= $380.00

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

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

    2015 UNUSED CANADIAN GROCERY RESERVE :

    2014 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $3.83= $3.83

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

    2015 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50+Feb $22.50= $370.00

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

    2015 Y-T-D BORSCHT RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50= $437.50

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

    2015 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00= $130.00

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

    2015 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00 + Feb $10.00= $110.00

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

    • TOTAL CASH SPENT Y-T-D:

    $247.70 Grocery Budget
    $ 0.02 Hiding Spot Cash
    $ 13.45 2014 Costco Rebate Chq

    $261.17

    • VALUE POINTS REDEEMED Y-T-D:

    $ 4.98 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB
    $ 14.36

    So far $380.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2015 and we have recorded these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $370.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $437.50 Borscht Fund
    $130.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $110.00 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,047.50 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $110.00 in NEW 2015 savings.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start FEBRUARY less $55.00 transferred to the various savings reserves & an additional $60.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of FEBRUARY with $75 available, less an overage of $9.31 carried forward from January, PLUS we have spent $61.86 on our groceries so far this month and have $3.83 REMAINING AVAILABLE for the month in our CANADIAN budgeted grocery funds BUT I am now transferring those funds to our NEW! UNUSED CASH RESERVE to partially offset the points redemptions that we have taken advantage of so far this year. So in fact, we now have $0.00 REMAINING AVAILABLE for the month in our CANADIAN budgeted grocery funds.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redemption(s), rather than the budgeted cash, in the amount of $14.36. Available as a PARTIAL offset, we currently have $3.83 in our UNUSED CASH RESERVE and need to find another $10.53 to square things up. If our budget is truly sufficient, when we reach December 31st, the unused funds reserve should still be equal to, if not greater than, the value of the points redemptions. It’ll be interesting to see if they actually are.

    Note: Another reserve of $233.07 IS AVAILABLE for our next US shop currently scheduled for March 14th!

    Of the outstanding US Shopping Reserve $233.07:

    $113.07 is carried forward from 2014

    $120.00 is new 2015 Y-T-D savings

    Less $0.00 that we’ve actually spent in 2015

    = $233.07 US Reserve Available

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Safeway

    Broccoli Florets @ $1.99/lb – Good until Apr 7/15
    4 Lean Ground Pork @3.49/lb-Good ‘til Apr 26/15

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

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