grocery game monthly challenge

25 Healthy Snacks to Stock In Your Kitchen: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Apr 27- May 3, 2015

25 healthy snacks to stock in your kitchenIF YOU STOCK IT YOU WILL EAT IT!


Eating healthy on a budget is important which means having healthy snacks available is a great way to fuel your day.

Most people snack in-between meals because they get their hunger on before it’s meal time.

It happens to just about everyone and it’s very important to fill your body with the good stuff and not the bad stuff.

One thing I’m sure you can agree with me on is that if we stock unhealthy treats in the kitchen, we will eat them.

You might tell yourself that you won’t but when that moment hits and you know you have a bucket of Ben and Jerry’s or a jar of Nutella, look out the monster in us comes out.

It’s happened to me on many occasions but it’s not bad in moderation.

It’s not just chocolate that is the troublemaker it’s the chips, crackers, coated nuts etc. You only have to walk down the snack aisle once and probably the only products you would find that would considered healthy snacks would be salsa and mixed nuts and fruits.

If you want to munch on the good stuff and have that guilt-free feeling be mindful when you create your grocery shopping list and only buy foods that promote healthy eating habits.

It’s easy to say you will make homemade salsa, hummus and other dips for your pita chips, pretzels, air-popped popcorn or other healthy snacks but with busy schedules that’s not always possible. So go ahead and buy the dips in your local supermarket, fresh if your budget allows.

If you have the time make them at home because nothing beats anything homemade!


Post-pregnancy eating


Since Mrs. CBB had our son at the end of last year she has put me on strict healthy snack alert for our kitchen. Like most new moms she wants to get back into shape which means no more brownies, muffins or scones which I enjoying baking for the blog.

She loves homemade foods especially when I bake so I’m not baking as much these days. We are focusing on eating chicken breasts, turkey, minced chicken and lots of vegetables and fruits which is not out of the ordinary for us.

If we have these healthy snacks ready to go it’s easy for us both especially when we’re having a tough day with our boy and no time to spare. He’s teething now and crawling all over the house. Unfortunately we don’t have any help here for my wife so she’s alone most of the time.

She does get a chance to make quick healthy meals here and there but most of her success is when she prepares her meals and healthy snacks at night when I’m around.

I’m pretty sure that you will see from our list of healthy snacks below that all the items are budget-friendly.

I think most people get scared when they think about paying for healthy snacks but they shouldn’t. The grocery budget will start to jump when you get into all those 100 calorie snack treats that are marketed to the masses.

They aren’t cheap!

All they are treats that are portioned and you will pay for that. If you just forget about them you won’t want them. Find another alternative that isn’t so processed and your body will thank you with lots of energy!

One of my wife’s friends likes to have a cheat day once a week which is a great way to not feel deprived if that is how you feel about missing those yummy salty and sweet treats. My wife does the same and it seems to work for her, but only once a month.

If you have kids don’t forget they are part of the grocery budget too and they like snacks even more than adults do. Creating kids snacks that are healthy also promotes healthy eating which they may appreciate later in life. Remember they watch what you eat so if you eat it they might want it too.

Healthy eating habits begins with you, in your kitchen. The key is to keep a variety of healthy snacks in the house so you don’t get bored eating the same stuff over and over so limit what you buy so options change.

Even better if you love to cook try to create your own homemade healthy snacks. This way you have the wheel when it comes to flavours and how you choose to prepare your healthy snacks.


List of Healthy Snack Ideas


25 healthy snack ideas

The above list contains healthy snacks that we like to keep in our kitchen at various times of the year so they are always available. Just be mindful of the ingredients as some may contain too much salt and sugar so opt for low sodium and sugar versions if available.

Your list of healthy snacks might be much different from ours so please leave us a comment and tell us what other healthy snacks you’d add to our list.



April 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.

No Frills

  • Milk $3.87
  • Fontina cheese $7.82-50% plus 600 PC Plus points- $3.90
  • Pam cooking spray $3.99- 50%= $2.00
  • 2 x PC Strawberry Greek Yogurt $4.29-50% = $2.15 each

Total Out-of-Pocket: $14.05 (rounded)

Meat Savings Regular Price $183.30 we paid $66.82.

Total out-of-pocket $lots>>> $118.35- $8.05 stockpile $110.30

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: 63742
  • 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: $1.50
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $1.50

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

  • Total to spend this month $213.47 ($26.53 overage from March applied)
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $13.00
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $10.18
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $389.75
  • Total spent this week: $14.05
  • Total spent so far this month: $258.44
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: -$44.97
  • Total left to spend for the month:- $44.97
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) It certainly was a busy month for us at the grocery store but the good news is we didn’t need much this week. It could have been worse than what it is. We will catch up in May.


 Canadian Coupons Found This Week


Last week we found quite a few coupons so check last weeks GGC post if you missed reading it as I’ve scanned in all the great coupons found in Ontario stores right now.

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!

I  did want to mention that we got Brandsaver in the mail a well as Sample Source coupons and samples this past week.

Astro Yogurt Coupon Canada


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  Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • 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.


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

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  • Check out my new Free Recipe Index
  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving Lists.

Photo Credit:(Underlying)  Free Digital Photos: KEKo64

Mr. CBB who was born and raised in the United Kingdom, moved to Canada where he is now a permanent resident. He is also a father to a very active 3 year old boy which keeps him young at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 in the UK after graduating University and his second at age 24. Mrs. CBB bought her first house at the age of 30. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are 40-ish year-old finance lovers who accomplished debt freedom before the age of 40. Canadian Budget Binder is a fun, family-friendly place where he shares their financial journey with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. No silver-spoon just hard work and perseverance. Welcome to Canadian Budget Binder! You've got this!


  1. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 4 – April 26 – May 2

    • Grocery budget to work with in April: $200
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $29.03
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $6.74
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $20
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $130
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $25
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $38.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $3.67
    • Total student discounts to date: $81.21
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $2.31
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $9.57
    • Total spent this week: $45.85
    • Total spent so far this month: $186.65
    • Total left to spend for the month: $0 (4.15 moved to carryover)
    • Weekly carry over: $4.15
    • Total in carry over jar: $205.10
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $1034.85

    Personal Service Coffee: Zavida 24 kcup 15.99 x 3 less 15.99 B2G1 promotion: Total paid 32.00 rounded up 2 cents

    RCSS: Alcan foil 1.00 x 2 (PM), PC Cola 1.00 x 2, Mini wheats 2.98 x 2, Black peppercorn and grinder 2.99, milk 3.97, I can’t believe it’s not butter margarine 1.00 x 2 (PM), IOGO clearance 1.00, IOGO drinks 3.97, frozen blueberries 3.00 x 2 (PM), grape tomatoes 4.98, 4 pk sweet peppers 2.47 (PM), bananas 1.46 less 30%, pears 2.23 (PM), less student discount 3.67, tax .47: Total 37.39 less 25.00 gift card: Total paid 12.40 rounded up 1 cent.

    RCSS: Pepperidge cracker chips 1.98 less FPC coupon, PC lemonade 1.00, PC cola 3.00 x 2, NN crackers 1.77, PC granola bars 1.77, Organic shampoo 8.99, donuts clearance 1.94, tax 2.31, subtract tax 2.31 tax free day, redeem 20.00 PC Plus: Total paid 1.45 rounded down 2 cents

    We came in just slightly under budget this month. However, I couldn’t have done it without the gift card and PC Plus points. This budget it too tight, but I will make it work as long as I can. Tax free day I needed a couple of taxable items, but I did buy a couple other things so that we could travel and not buy as much take-out. We went to Ottawa for the day and basically I wanted some snacks. We will keep this up as long as we can. I am still trying to hold onto the carryover jar as long as we can as well.

    • Hi Angela,
      Where did you get the pepperidge chips coupon? How long does your organic shampoo last you? Donuts.. mmmm
      How will you do it next month if you don’t have the points and gift card? Your carryover jar is collecting nicely but I know what you mean. I would hold off too as much as I could but if I needed it I wouldn’t get upset to dip into it. I’m proud of you! You get ballot 32. Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        The Pepperidge coupon came from ready to serve campbells lids during the winter that say winner. We buy a few here and there for hubby to take to work. We managed a coupon for the tortilla chip crackers and one for a ready to serve box soup but we haven’t used the second coupon yet. I am happy that we tried it for free, we wouldn’t have bought them otherwise since I haven’t been a fan of the other Pepperidge cracker chips or dessert types. We did find that we did like this version of it and may buy it in the future for lunches when they are on sale. My son is the only one who uses the shampoo, we use other versions that he can tolerate but we don’t put it on him (mainly head and shoulders 2 in 1). It lasts him about 2 – 3 months. We are always happy when we find a cheaper shampoo that he can use. We used to spend about $15.99 a bottle which lasted the same until we found this one. I am not sure what is going to happen next month. We still have a lot of PC Plus points, about $200 worth, but we don’t want to use too much at once. There are a few things in the freezer, so we are just going to have to get creative. My biggest concern is to maintain healthy lunches for my son at school. That is going to be the biggest struggle. I have hopes to hang on to the carryover until September when Walmart does their big anniversary sale. We tend to buy all of our toilet paper for approximately a year and laundry detergent, stuff that tends to go on for great prices. All of that type of thing comes out of our grocery budget, not just food.
        I think the biggest thing I am happy about this month is I chopped the budget by $30 a week and we did manage it. I have hope that it can keep going.

  2. ~The Grocery Game Challenge Apr 27-May 3, 2015~

    Skim Milk (4L), $4.46 + $0.08 crf + $0.25 deposit
    Homo Milk (2L), $3.57 + $0.08 crf + $0.25 deposit
    2 Crackers, $1.97 each
    Eggs $2.64
    Frozen Blueberries (2kg), $11.97
    2 Juice (1L), $1.47 each
    Oreo Cookies, $3.97
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $35.23

    Apples McIntosh (5 each or 1.99lb @ $0.98/lb), $1.95
    Bananas (6 each or 2.77lb @ $0.77/lb), $2.13
    Zucchini (4 each or 1.73lb @ $0.88/lb), $1.52
    Red Peppers (4 each or 1.39lb @ $1.25 $0.98/lb sale), $1.38
    Onions (5 each or 4.24lb @ $0.39/lb), $1.65
    Grapefruit (3 @ $0.69 each), $2.07
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $10.70

    4 Goldfish Crackers, $2.97-$1.00 each sale
    Coconut milk (1 can), $1.49
    Red Thai Curry Sauce, $3.79-$0.81 sale
    4 Instant Noodles, $0.39 each
    PC Cola (1L), $1.00 + $0.08 crf + $0.25 deposit
    PC Gingerale (1L), $1.00 + $0.08 crf + $0.25 deposit
    PC Orange (1L), $1.00 + $0.08 crf + $0.25 deposit
    Canada Dry Gingerale (12ct), $5.99-free product coupon
    2 Black Beans, $0.95 each
    2 Kraft Dinner, $0.98 each
    Frozen Corn (2kg), $4.44
    Watermelon, $5.96
    Hamburger Buns (24), $6.48-30% pink sticker
    2 Baby Mum-Mum Cookies, $2.67-$1.00 coupon each
    • Total Coupons Used: $7.99
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $44.92

    Bean Sprouts, $1.57
    Broccoli (2.3lb @ $1.98/lb), $4.55
    Mushrooms (0.93lb @ $2.98/lb), $2.77
    Field Tomatoes (4 each or 1.81lb @ $1.49/lb), $2.70
    Green Leaf Lettuce, $1.69
    Mini Cucumber (2.34lb @ $0.98/lb), $2.29
    Cantaloupe, $1.48
    Honeydew, $2.99
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $20.16

    Cheddar Cheese (1.2kg), $14.49
    Heinz Condiments (x5), $8.99
    Zavida Coffee Beans, $12.99
    2 Grape Tomato, $3.99 each
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $44.45

    Honey, $9.99
    Icing Sugar, $2.99
    Butter, $5.48
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $18.46

    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $500
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $500
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $34.07
    • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 1670
    • 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: $0.25
    • Cart Smart to date: $0
    • Checkout51 to date: $0

    • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $225 ($25/month Apr-Dec)
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $22.79
    • Total coupons used this week: $7.99
    • Total coupons used to date: $20.49
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $33.06
    • Total spent this week: $173.92
    • Total spent so far this month: $416.22
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $23.92 over
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $83.78 under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $83.78
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: (not including stockpile budget) Start Apr: $393.43

    Weekly Overview:
    We successfully cut our grocery bill in half in our first month with CBB! Yay!!! We did go a bit over-budget this week, but overall under-budget for the month. I wonder if my previous $1200/month grocery bill was over-inflated, because I wasn’t taking non-grocery items into account? Maybe I should start counting toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc into my “grocery budget?” Or drop my $500 grocery budget to $450/month and give that $50/month to “personal care” budget? I wasn’t as conscious of sales and coupons this week, as I was busy-busy cupcake making, decorating the house, and party-planning. Our little guy turned ONE!!! My parents brought the ground beef over for awesome backyard bbq burgers, which certainly helped the budget. Back to work for me…

    • Hi Megan,
      That’s great news!!! Most people including ourselves find it’s much easier to cut the budget and stick to it if we post our shops. It holds us accountable plus it’s a game we get to challenge each other with all year long. Maybe we can write a blog post about your success after 3 months. Let’s see if we can keep this going and then we will explain a bit about your history and what you did to make the changes to get where you are today. The fans love to read about this because it’s not only inspirational it’s REAL! This is much better than any post about how to do it.. it is what it is. Keep up the awesome work Megan. You get ballot 30. Mr.CBB

  3. Juanita says:

    Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $625.
    $1×8-$1Cx4 del monte canned fruit – pmd no frills
    $3.27×2-$2C baby body wash
    $2.96×6-$1.50Cx6 baby cereal
    $5.40-$1C 4L homo milk
    $3.97 sch bologna
    $26.01 total oop
    $16 total coupons
    $2.59, $2.33, $2.37, $2.24 chicken fillets – clearance
    $10.18, $10.35, $10.25 lean ground beef (15 meals)
    our store got an insane deal on this short dated ground beef from another store and were able to sell it for $5.99 kg!!!!!!
    I know I had just bought some but this price was way to good to pass up
    $40.33 total oop
    $1.99 jumbo marshmallows – clearance
    $3.99×2-$4Cx2 soap&body wash olay age defy
    .99×9 lg international delight – clearance!!!!!! I gave some to a friend that has fallen on hard times
    $11.40 total oop
    $8 total coupons
    Save on foods
    $4.99-$2C Lubriderm lotion
    $3.25 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    H&W Produce
    $7.28 jumb yamsx4
    $1.92 zucchinix4
    $10.07 acorn squashx5
    $9.68 butternut squashx6
    .95 lg tomato
    $2.99 jumbo cauliflower
    $1.39×2 romaine lettuce
    $3.49 2lbs coloured peppers
    $2.99 5lbs carrots
    $2.48×2 PEI potatoes – never had before hope they are good – they are $6.99 at my work!
    $1.21 Satsuma oranges
    .85 green grapes
    $1.99 3lbs apples
    $4.92 10% off wub$30+
    $46.24 total oop
    No Frills
    $2.97×3 400g cream cheese
    .67×3 chocolate bars-200P each
    .97×2 canned corn
    $4.88 nn canola oil
    .50×6 minute maid frozen juice -200P each
    $1×2 sour cream 500ml
    $7.08 pork side rib -it was only $4.41kg!!!!
    $2×4-$1Cx2 alfredo sauce -500P each
    $1.33×4 2L pc pop -200P each
    .89×4 nn canned mandarins -400P each
    $2.09×2-.50Cx2 coffee creamer
    $1.50×2 frozen spinach -200P each
    $1.61 mushrooms – 200P
    $15.11 top sirloin steaks(2 meals w/ leftovers) hubby really wanted steak
    $3.48 garlic bread
    $41.50 total oo
    $3 total coupons
    $2.79-$1Coupgon dzn eggs
    $3.82-$2Co-op app 2L chocolate milk
    $3.61 total oop
    $3 coupgon/co-op app

    $202.25 weekly total oop
    $36.92 weekly total coupons/discounts
    $695.19 monthly total oop
    $218.12 monthly total coupons/discounts
    $2267.32 yearly total oop
    $676.10 yearly total coupons/discounts

    Yep blew the budget again this week but I wasn’t going to miss out on the meat sales!!
    Also totally stocked up on food for little miss for another couple weeks, hopefully, and that 10% off store coupon was another great reason to make sure she has lots of her favourites.
    My plan is to try and balance the yearly total in May because I am sure July and August will spike with my older girl here for her summer visit.

    • Hi Juanita
      Where did you get the Del Monte coupons? You know I don’t blame you I would have stocked up too as well. Those deals don’t come by that often and you can freeze it for a much longer period. $5.99kg is awesome!! I can’t wait to see what you do in May… should be the month of coupons and deals for you. You get ballot 29. MR.CBB

  4. You are absolutely right. If it’s in the cabinets, it will be eaten. I have found that the best time to go shopping is about an hour after dinner. This way I buy the necessities and not all of the extra junk that will eventually transfer to my hips.

    • As many times as we tell ourselves that we won’t eat it or we will eat it portioned it NEVER happens lol. We do our best not to go shopping hungry.

  5. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for four adults and two cats-$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month
    Foodland #1
    1 can pineapple -1.19
    Bananas -1.21
    1 mustard -2.99, .75 coupon
    1 doz large eggs -2.99
    1 yogurt -3.49, 1.00 coupon
    1 bagels -3.99
    1 Cheerios -4.49
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 jug wTer -5.49
    1 Parmesan cheese -5.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 case ginger ale -5.99, 2.00 coupon
    Tax -.78
    Total OOP -$43.61, $4.75 coupons
    Foodland #2
    1 can pineapple -.99
    Bananas -1.22
    1 jar pickles -1.79
    2 doz large eggs @2.49
    2 W/W bread @2/5.00
    1 Cheerios -2.99
    1 yogurt -3.49, 1.00 coupon
    2 4l milk @4.88
    Tax -.17
    Total OOP -$30.68, 1.00 coupon
    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: 8950
    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: $19.75
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $18.00
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Total to spend this month $500.72($149.28 overage from March)
    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): Jan $22.20+ Feb $24.50+ Mar $22.18+ Apr $18.32=$87.20
    Stockpile budget used this month: $18.32
    Total coupons used this week: $5.75
    Total coupons used to date: $55.04
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $58.39
    Total spent this week: $74.29
    Total spent so far this month: $515.95
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: -$15.23
    Total left to spend for the month:- $-$15.23
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $640.13+ Feb $572.63+ Mar $786.52+ Apr $515.95= $2515.23
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) Given how much I was over for March I really had my work cut out for me. I almost did it!! I had $149.28 to make up. I went over the $500.00 I had left to get through and I ended up going over just a little. I have now $15.23 to make up during May…so much better than last month!! All in all I am happy with how well it worked out. I can do this!!!!

    • Hi Christine,
      This was a small shop for you but lots of Cheerios! We bought some tonight for our son and I couldn’t get over the price even thought it was on sale. Next time I see it on sale I”ll buy a couple large boxes. IT seems like almost all of us went over in March and had to make up for it April. We didn’t make it up yet but we will keep trying. You only have $15.23 which should be easy. It’s hard though to do it even though in the moment we think it’s no big deal. Imagine if that keeps adding up all year and you don’t catch up. Lots of people do this and their grocery budget ends up shot out the roof. What kind of parm cheese did you buy with a coupon? Keep at it. You get ballot 28. Mr.CBB

      • Christine Weadick says:

        The parm cheese coupon was for crappy Kraft but it did help keep things in check. Normally I buy bulk parm and load it into a store bought cheese container. It will mean I have an extra container for the cheese and that can be good. Hubby eats the Cheerios by the handful all day, especially now as he is out of his raisin bread until I find a decent sale price for it. I will not pay well over $4.00 just so he can scarf it 2-3 times a day….he is OK with that, not that I gave him a choice.
        I find it pays to check the unit price for the Cheerios, especially when it’s on sale…..I have seen the regular price of a smaller box to be a better deal than a sale price for the big box….. I will buy what ever size has the better unit price. I buy the regular plain Cheerios, the amount of sugar in anything else can knock your socks off and sure isn’t good for your son!!
        I need to check my sheet but I’m sure this is another 4 week month so that will help things out too. I’m going into town this afternoon to No Frills, bag some sales and points plus save on a few other regular items……

  6. Just finished having a discussion with my wife over the cost of buying snack sized pack of almonds or buying in bulk and packing ourselves. Lots of good tips and ideas here. Thanks for the article and your site.

  7. I always have peanut butter, apples, eggs, bananas, cereals, tuna, breast chicken, and lettuce. These are just some I always have a stock in the kitchen. As you may have noticed, I don’t have junk foods, which I have eliminated in my list since 2011. Happy that I did because I feel better and healthier than ever and without it in my system. 😀

  8. I am guilty of buying those portioned healthy snacks and you’re right it would be cheaper just to do it at home. Thanks for the tips, I’ll have to do better and save some more money in this department.

  9. Mary F Campbell says:

    APRIL – Week #4 of 4- April 27-May 3, 2015


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



    We are really spending the barest minimum on grocery purchases this month! I expect to do a good shop in the US just a few weeks down the road and one week we’ll be away during May so our needs are small.

    I didn’t do any borscht, re-stocking or US reserve transfers at the beginning of APRIL so I am making a small transfer at the month-end:

    $18.44 transfer to Re-Stocking Reserve

    Hubby has been using less bread lately so we allowed these rain checks to expire without using them:

    Thrifty Foods

    6 Island Bakery WW Bread 570 g @ 1.00 per loaf- Good ‘til April 27/15
    6 Island Bakery WW Bread 570 g @ 1.00 per loaf- Good ‘til April 29/15



    RCSS – Pitt Meadows

    1 x 2 kg Chopped Romaine Lettuce – $5.98 << Hubby was craving a Caesar Salad!

    •Total OOP: $5.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $5.98
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    • Points Redeemed: $0.00

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


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge

    1 x 12-pack Bush’s baked beans $13.99

    •Total OOP: $13.99

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge

    6 x Multigrain Buns $2.79

    •Total OOP: $2.79

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






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $3.58+ Feb $0.00 + Mar $14.54 + Apr $15.76= $33.88

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 = 0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 +Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22 + Feb 45 + Mar 140 + Apr 12= 219 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1= 2 Air Mile

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200 + Feb 900 + Mar 900 + Apr 1,500 = 4,500 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30 + Feb 40 + Mar 0 + Apr 0 = 70 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $199.31+ Feb $180.69 + Mar $274.41 + Apr (trf $10.00 Xmas Reserve+$15.00 to Summer + $10.10 +$6.00 + $2.54 +$8.77 +$4.99 Points Redeemed +$6.99+$13.99 +$5.98 +$2.79 trf $18.44 to Re-Stocking Reserve= $105.59)= $760.00

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + Apr $190.00 = $760.00

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



    2014 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $3.83+ Mar $32.09 + Apr $4.99= $40.91



    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50+Feb $22.50 + Mar $17.50 + Apr $18.44= $405.94



    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50 + Mar $12.50 + Apr $0.00= $450.00



    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00+ Mar $10.00 + Apr $10.00= $150.00



    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00 + Feb $10.00 + Mar $15.00 + Apr $15.00= $140.00



    $ 760.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MARCH
    $ 40.91 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($208.44) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($170.00) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 40.91) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 368.09) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 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
    $ 4.99 Whole Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 1.60 Sprouts- 1,000 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – APR

    $ 27.21 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

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

    $405.94 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $450.00 Borscht Fund
    $150.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $140.00 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,145.94 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $208.44 in NEW 2015 savings.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start APRIL less $43.44 transferred to the various savings reserves less $0.00 transferred for Points Redeemed = $146.56 less an overage carried forward from March for $84.41 less an additional $0.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of APRIL with $62.15 available to spend on the Canadian side of the border PLUS we have spent $43.71 on our groceries (cash & points) and transferred another $18.44 to our reserves so this month and have $0.00 REMAINING AVAILABLE for the month of APRIL.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redeemed, rather than the budgeted cash in the amount of $40.91. Available as an offset, we currently have $40.91 in our UNUSED CASH RESERVE. As at this moment, we need and additional $0.00 in the UNUSED CASH RESERVE. If our budget is truly sufficient, when we reach December 31st, the unused funds should still be equal to, if not greater than, the value of the points redeemed. It’ll be interesting to see if they actually are.

    Note: Another reserve of $283.07 IS AVAILABLE for our next US shop currently scheduled for May 18th!

    Of the outstanding US Shopping Reserve $283.07:

    $113.07 is carried forward from 2014
    $170.00 is new 2015 Y-T-D savings
    Less $0.00 that we’ve actually spent in 2015

    = $283.07 US Reserve Available


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    4 Signature Café Pizzas @ 2 pizzas for $9.00- Good ‘til June 19/15
    6 Ronzoni Sweet Onion Marinara @ 2 for $5.00- Good ‘til June 20/15
    2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts @ $12 ea- Good ‘til July 4/15
    6 Skippy Peanut Butter @ BOGO – Good ‘til July 11/15


    • Hi Mary,
      You certainly did keep your shops minimal this month, congrats for that. It’s always tough to scale back but it’s easy to spend. Are the Signature cafe pizzas the one your husband loves? Peanut butter is so pricey so that’s a great rain cheque especially if you can hold off for a en excellent sale. Great month Mary, you’re doing awesome so far in 2015. You get ballot 25. Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        Yes Mr CBB, those are hubby’s favorite pizzas! 🙂

        This year I am really working on cooking from the pantry and freezer whenever possible and I am beginning to appreciate how my Grandmother did it. She had all her “canned” goods that she put up during the summer as the various crops were ready, eggs from the chickens and milk-cream-butter from their cow and by stocking up on flour, yeast, sugar, salt, cheese, oats and peanut butter – she could avoid a trip to town for supplies during the winter months. Smart woman!

        There’s always something to learn from the “old ways”. Grandma baked fresh bread every day and made borscht every day so really…we were very well fed using pantry items to supplement the bread and soup. Her absolutely vegetarian home meant that they spent very little on groceries that they had not grown/raised themselves. It’s a great way to keep money in the bank for putting in the garden the following year!

        • You know I talk about what my wife’s father did with his family when he grew up for food. It was all about the farming, fruit trees and going to the market every day looking for fresh food. They went every day. This was their life. I think she was a smart woman too your grandmother. I wouldn’t want to travel anywhere in the winter either.

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