grocery game monthly challenge

Is Price Just An Excuse for Buying Junk Food? : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 June 8-14, 2015

IS PRICE JUST AN EXCUSE FOR JUNK FOOD (1)YOU ONLY GET ONE BODY

 

Healthy food and Junk food is expensive no matter which way we look at it.

The price of our grocery budget jumps depending on how we decide to spend our money and on which products.

Healthy eating habits start at home and takes work which means yes you need to put some effort into what you put into your body.

Your mindset before you set off to the grocery store will determine just what you will purchase and fall prey to. The reason is simple, the grocery store plays to our senses and our wallet.

Buying unhealthy foods typically happen because we want to buy them, packaging is nice, they taste and look good or we believe that’s all we can afford to buy.

I remember a time a mate of mine back home told me it was cheaper for him as a single guy to eat out every day rather than cook.

I doubt that was the case as I had never seen him cook a meal in the entire time I had been friends with him. He had no desire to be in the kitchen so eating out and buying junk food at the grocery store was his answer to good nutrition.

 

What is Junk Food?

 

Junk Food also known as “empty calories”, high amounts of calories or high-fat are everywhere we look. Junk food products often have poor nutritional value but many people see the value in these food products based on the cost. This is hardly the best way of sourcing good food to fit a budget.

Last week Karen shared with us how her family can eat a raw diet and that the cost to their family budget hasn’t changed dramatically to do so. Eating healthy is a perception for some that only those who can afford to do so can do it. In other words, if you have a healthy grocery budget you can eat healthy if you don’t then there’s no possible way. This is NOT true.

We can’t afford to eat out all the time so how is junk food cheaper? It’s not, but marketing ploys by the restaurants, coupons for Buy one get one free burgers and fries, coupons for boxed goods or pre-made meals at the grocery store are prevalent that’s for certain.

Sure there are coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables but we all know what products dominate the coupon market. A good thing is with the new coupon apps we are able to save $0.25 here and there on a wider array of fresh produce but not much more.

The con to the coupon app is that there are so many discounts available so you may miss out if you don’t shop and apply your receipt to the app fast enough. Whereas if you had a paper coupon you could use it up until the expiry date.

How to stop eating junk food? Easy, we need to stop buying it and stop making excuses as why we need to have it in the house.

We are just as guilty with buying junk food especially when company comes around or when we want a treat but we try our best to make homemade treats over pre-made snacks at the grocery store.

The only junk food facts we need to know is that it’s not good for us. Sure, there is healthy junk food and this is more of what we need to focus on if we get that urge to eat a naughty snack. What’s even better is if we can learn to make healthy snacks and foods at home rather than buying them pre-packaged.

Instead of buying tortilla chips you can make your own by making tortillas then cutting them into triangles and dry baking them or cutting homemade pita bread into triangles. You can make a homemade hummus dip and magically you have a healthy snack.

If you love macaroni and cheese all it takes is cheese, butter, flour and some other spices to make a cheese sauce. Boil up some pasta and you have a homemade mac and cheese rather than buying the boxed version. At least you know what ingredients are going into your meals.

 

You do the math

 

Junk food is NOT cheap and if you think it is you must be looking at prices somewhere other than the grocery store or fast food restaurants.

Even if it were cheaper in comparison month over month who would want to eat junk food all the time? It’s simply not healthy for our bodies and overall health. I know I feel 100x better when I eat clean healthy meals and fit in moderate daily exercise.

Going to Wendy’s to purchase one burger, medium fries, soft drink, baked potato with cheese and chili and a small wrap costs just under $20! I could buy quite a bit at the grocery store to prepare a huge meal for more than 2 people with $20.

Yes, it’s bloody expensive to eat fast-food and I know because I did some research on fast-food restaurants and whether I could make it at home for less. The answer is always going to be yes but are you willing to do it is the question?

Sure, you can go in the dollar store and buy candies and chocolates and other foods but that doesn’t mean they are cheap just because they cost a buck or two.

I’ve heard multiple times over the years that there is no way that someone can eat healthy on a frugal budget. That’s false and we all know it especially if you live in Canada.

I’m not going to talk about other countries here because I live in Canada. I know when I lived in the UK I could eat healthy on a small grocery budget but since I’ve been away for years I won’t comment on what shopping is like today.

Buying junk food is simply meant for convenience not the price factor unless you’ve made up your mind that it’s the only way you can eat for less. It’s surely not considered for the nutritional value and although we do buy some processed boxed foods on occasion such as  cereal and crackers it’s not part of our regular diet, real food is. Moderation is key.

I’ve done price comparison’s over the years and had a look at the cost of a box of Kraft Dinner compared to making homemade mac and cheese, baked goods, snacks, burgers etc. You will ALWAYS pay a premium for convenience especially if it comes in a box, can or is considered a pre-made meal.

These meals were not made for people on low-incomes they were made for people who really don’t care to cook, feel they have no time or take much interest in what they eat.

When anyone, including ourselves indulge in junk food, pre-made or canned foods we are essentially freeing ourselves from the task of making it.

It’s always easier to open a bag, box or can after a long day than it is to clean, chop and saute. This is never going to get us to the front of the healthy rat race especially if we keep telling ourselves that all we can afford is junk food.

I proved that back a few years ago when I took on the Welfare Food Challenge and although variety is minimal at first over time you can build a lovely pantry of spices, beans etc. that will be used as layers in homemade meals with fresh fruits and veg.

 

Junk Food Is Like A Drug

 

Have you ever eaten junk food and stayed full for hours on end? Probably not because it just goes through your system. A chocolate bar, bag of chips, fast and convenience foods are all foods that will help spike your sugar levels and then drop on you like a tonne of bricks. Let’s not forget the amount of salt and other ingredients either.

I know, I’ve been there and done that too!

Why is the junk food industry so expensive?

Because we continue to feed into it. They know that convenience is less time-consuming and that people will continue to buy it. They can mass produce convenience which means yes you will see products on sale in the flyers often but can you read the ingredient list and confidently say you are happy about what you are putting into your body?

If it doesn’t bother you than you have nothing to worry about but for those of you who do complain that you want to eat healthy but can’t afford it, you can.

Junk food does not rule our lives and until we get rid of that mind-set that eating healthy is for the rich or fortunate people who can afford it convenience will always win.

 

Organic is for the rich

 

Not so true.

Organic will cost more but no one says you have to eat organic. One of the reasons organic is pricey is because the farmers use naturally derived pesticides on their crops and when crops die or don’t yield large quantities that drives the price up.

There are numerous other costs involved in Organic products including extra time and extra man power. Growing crops isn’t quite as easy as planting and letting nature take care of it.

We don’t eat organic until summer when we can grow our own fruits and vegetables or raid our families massive garden. There are plenty of markets in the area which sell organic and non-organic products for reasonable prices.

True organic fruit and vegetables come from your own garden where you know it has been subjected to no chemical pesticides whatsoever.

 

Love your kitchen

 

Once we get rid of the taste of convenience junk food it’s easier to focus on simple recipes that won’t break the budget and offer complete nutrition. Kids are tough work but cracking open a can of zoodles shouldn’t be the only option in your child’s meal plan.

Making a pot of pasta sauce is simple and not expensive at all. If you can boil water you can make pasta in 5 minutes with a bit of salt, add homemade sauce , mince beef or meatballs and your child will be happy eating something you created rather than junk food or fast food.

If junk food or convenience food is your only option due to inability to cook food due to health reasons or disability then there may be options available that have less salt or fat. It may not be the best solution but if it’s that or nothing at all then you have your choices in front of you.

If you know someone who is in this position and you can volunteer to cook for them by all means help them out if they would like the help. I’m sure they would appreciate hot homemade meals once in a while.

I know a lady up the street goes and cooks for a friend of hers who is in a wheelchair and struggles to cook and go grocery shopping every week. There’s nothing better than seeing the smile on someone’s face who is all alone and hasn’t eaten a home-cooked meal or had company come around to see them.

 

Ways to battle Junk Food and Eat Healthy On A Budget

 

  • Learn how to grocery shop
  • Learn to cook and bake by trial and error and trust me when I say I’ve made my fair share of errors BUT I’ve learned from them and enjoy cooking even if it is a challenge.
  • Learn to plan your meals so you know what you are making in advance. Use cookbooks or find recipes on the internet that intrigue you and start building a pantry to help prep meals.
  • Learn to take inventory of your food stock so you know what you have on hand.
  • Learn how to create a grocery list so you don’t overspend and have enough to spend on foods that offer nutritional value.
  • Learn about how to grow a garden in a small space or in your backyard so you spend less at the grocery store.
  • Learn about moderation when it comes to eating food. Most of us eat too much food which leads to overeating or eating foods that aren’t good for us such as junk food. Portion control is a great way of making sure that we eat in moderation.
  • Learn about time management especially if you feel you don’t have time to cook. Everyone has time to cook homemade if they plan their cooking. You may not be able to cook every night but even if you cook once a week and freeze the meals you can still enjoy healthy food every day.
  • Ask for help especially if you are unable to cook or grocery shop due to health or disability reasons. There should be some help in your community or someone who is willing to come in and help you prepare healthy meals so you can stop eating junk food or convenience meals.
  • Believe in yourself especially when it comes to being in the kitchen and at the grocery store. Cooking and shopping for food is fairly straightforward so give yourself some time and do a bit of research and before you know it you will be cooking up a storm in your kitchen. For all the latest food posts you can read my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide which will help you to build up that confidence.

I’m not trying to push healthy eating on anyone (it’s your life) but what I do know is that junk food can be just as costly as healthy food so it’s not a price excuse, it’s a CHOICE!

Although buying convenience foods is in just about every shopping cart we look in it doesn’t have to dominate our eating habits or our grocery budget.

Do you think that buying junk food is cheaper or that it’s just an excuse?

 

June 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.

Food Basics

  • 2 x Brat Sausages $4.08-30% and $4.07-30%
  • Hershey’s Chipits $6.99
  • 2x Cheerios (baby snacks) $2.97
  • Tomatoes on the vine $1.49
  • Yellow Onions $0.98
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.77
  • 6 x Black Diamond Cheese $4.44-$0.75 coupons (stockpile)

Total out-of-pocket $ 22.88 Cheese stockpile= $26.64-$4.50=$22.14

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Neilson Milk $3.9
  • 2x NN Butter $7.00

Total out-of-pocket $10.97

Zehrs

  • Organic Mushrooms $5.98-50% $3.00 400 PC Plus Points
  • Shropshire Blue Cheese $9.50-50% $4.75

Total out-of-pocket $ 7.75

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 $206.91
  • 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: 98351
  • 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: $6.50
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $4.50

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

  • Total to spend this month $235-$28.09 (over May) $206.91
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$25.00+ May $25.00+ June $
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Total coupons used this week: $4.50
  • Total coupons used to date: $26.50
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $12.83
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $472.43
  • Total spent this week: $40.90 (not including what I get back from coupon apps)
  • Total spent so far this month: $150.41
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $56.50
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44+May $218.12+ June $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): We didn’t have much to buy this week since my parents are leaving and we have plenty leftover. We did eat out many times which was paid by my parents or us depending on where we were. Over the course of 3 weeks we did many road trips and although we brought snacks many were long trips so food had to be purchased on the road. We did stop at a grocery store on an island we visited but my dad paid for what we bought.

 

 Canadian Coupons Found This Week

 

Since we have my parents here I haven’t taken the time to scour the stores or check out the coupon board at Zehrs for coupons.

I’ll hopefully have more to report next week once we do our next shop now that my parents are gone and life gets back to normal.

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!

 

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.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general. If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2015!

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

-Mr.CBB

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Hey Mr.CBB
    Yes I was very very happy with the dawn sale and coupons. Totally worth going to two stores to stock up!
    Yes it was the $2 sbr coupon 🙂 didn’t get a many as usual but we still have some from last year good till dec this year so we are still set up pretty good.
    Juanita

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500
    Safeway
    $7.65 oop
    Walmart
    $5.15 oop
    Sobeys
    $13.55 oop
    Save on foods
    $36.25 oop
    $34.50 coupons
    Superstore
    $18 oop
    $14 coupons

    $80.60 weekly total oop
    $48.50 weekly total coupons
    $239.75 monthly total oop
    $104.55 monthly total coupons
    $3037.56 yearly total oop
    $951.33 yearly total coupons

    Scored some really good deals this week including .49c dawn dish soap, free sbr bbq sauce and .37c hand cream.

    • Hey,
      WOW that’s a SUPER deal on the Dawn dish soap. Did you use the $2.00 Sweet Baby Rays coupon? I think I have one somewhere. I make my own bbw sauce most times but we’ve had SBR many times as we got boatloads free a couple years ago with smartsource coupons. You get ballot 3. Mr.CBB I hope you can get your PC sorted 🙂

  3. 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
    2 doz eggs@1.99, $1.00WUB2 coupon
    1 bread crumbs -2.49
    2 W/W bread @2.50
    1 yogurt -3.99, $1.00 coupon
    1 jug water -5.49
    Total OOP -$18.95, $2.00 coupons
    Jackson’s Pharmacy
    1 2pk Pantene shampoo/conditioner -5.00
    3 Herbal Essence shampoo/conditioner @2.00
    2 Sensodyne toothpaste @4.00
    Total OOP -$22.51
    Foodland #2
    1 green relish -1.99
    1 Certo Light -2.29
    1 hamburger buns- 2.50
    1 box snap lids -2.79
    1 pack pasta -2.99
    2 packs sausage -4.17+ 4.24
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -.61
    total OOP -$38.23
    Foodland #3
    Bananas -1.07
    2 doz eggs @1.98, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    1 4l milk -4.88
    Total OOP -$8.93
    Foodland #4
    2 packs dessert shells @1.99
    1 yogurt -2.99
    2 raisin bread @3.49, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    2 tubs ice cream @3.99
    2 tortellini @4.29, 50% stickers on both
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 Parmesan cheese grated -6.49
    Total OOP -45.45, $4.30 discounts
    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: 10550
    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: $21.25
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $18.50
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): Jan $22.20+ Feb $24.50+ Mar $22.18+ Apr $18.32+ May $40.95+ June $
    Stockpile budget used this month: $14.16
    Total coupons used this week: $3.00
    Total coupons used to date: $99.40
    Total in-store discounts this week: $4.30
    Total in-store discounts to date: $79.13
    Total spent this week: $134.07 (not including what I get back from coupon apps)
    Total spent so far this month: $410.00
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
    Total left to spend for the month: $240.00
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $640.13+ Feb $572.63+ Mar $786.52+ April $515.95+ May $621.33+ June $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): A number of small trips over to Foodland with a shop at Jackson’s for shampoo, conditioner and toothpaste, all of which were on sale. The Pantene is mostly for me but hubby has been fussing about his shampoos making his head itch. Not sure what is setting it off but he keeps wanting me to buy different shampoos for him. I make sure what ever I get is on sale and is something I’m OK using myself for the ones he doesn’t finish off.
    Getting ready for strawberries and jam making. I got my berries but wrote what I spent on one of next week’s receipts so it will be listed then, I didn’t realize until I had all my numbers worked out and didn’t feel like doing them all over. The berries will belittled next week…

    • Hi Christine,
      Back to Foodland you go…. hehe!! What will you make with your shells? Do you ever make your own? How much did you pay for berries this year? I wish we had time to pick them. I made a batch of strawberry rhubarb for our son to eat with yogurt and he loves it. We froze them in muffin cups in the freezer then put them into baggies. Our mulberry is in full bloom with the berries bursting with flavour. They are so good. I wish I had time to pick them too. There are so many this year. Looks like our fig died too so we are getting another from my father in law next week. What a crappy winter. Oh, I just read about the cost of your berries and that you will post it next week. You still have lots left for the month. See, you are a great shopper even if you have one small grocery in town with higher prices! You get ballot 13.

      • Chrsitine Weadick says:

        The shells were those angel food cake little things, they didn’t have any of the full size angel food cakes there so I grabbed the little ones to have with the strawberries and ice cream!!
        We have the Your Independent Grocer here too out the east end…you’ll get a look at their prices with next weeks post….

  4. Angela Mainse says:

    I do think that junk food is not cheap. Frankly no food is cheap anymore, and that is a travesty when you consider how much of a grocery budget can just go to fruit and veg, without even looking at meat. We try to be good with our purchases, but there are some weaknesses. And, it’s all about the taste, not necessarily convenience as I love to cook. We love pop in this house and have cut back dramatically over the years, what we buy now pales in comparison to previous years, and we do buy the cheaper brands rather than the main companies. But, chips are the one thing that as soon as it comes in this house, it seems to be consumed. Yes, you can get great sales on them and that’s what makes it so tempting. But, we look at is as an indulgence that may keep us out of takeout, which is so much cheaper this way to feel like you’ve had a treat. And, I have never successfully made potato chips. I can never get the slices thin enough and a mandolin for just chips seems a waste. So, in some ways, yes price can be an excuse if you can get the super cheap items, however, I look at the big picture. Did we save more buying that bag of chips than if we visited the chip truck for a treat? 1-4 dollars is so much better than 20.00. My hubby particularly did not grow up with a healthy eating style and he feels completely punished if we don’t add the occasional treat. My son and I do eat more fruit and veg than he does. Also, I figure if I add treats/junk in moderation to my son, then as he grows to be an adult then he won’t be tempted to overindulge in the junk available out there and end up with the serious weight and health issues that most of my husband’s family faces (but not my hubby as he does eat much better now than when we first met). That also includes baked goods, chips, chocolate bars, etc. One could argue that buying chocolate chips could fall into that category which we use in baking, because the baking we do isn’t necessarily the most healthy and then it is a frivolous expense. However, I do look at it as being better than buying a bag of cookies already made cost wise, but I can also make things out of whole wheat or include veggies like zucchini in my baking. Finding the best balance is what I work with every day.

  5. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 2 – June 7 – 13

    • Grocery budget to work with in June: $250 as a 5 week month for groceries (Translates to $50 weekly)
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $32.03
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $10.75
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $180
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $38.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $3.30
    • Total student discounts to date: $107.89
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $11.33
    • Total spent this week: $42.40
    • Total spent so far this month: $110.20
    • Total left to spend for the month: $139.80
    • Weekly carry over: $0 (used some of the money from the rest of the month, need to balance it out before I decide if there will be carry over for this month. Once it balances, the remaining will go to this jar or be removed as needed)
    • Total in carry over jar: $53.90
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $1449.90

    Westons: Multigrain day old bread .95 x 2: Total paid 1.90

    RCSS: 4 types of pc pop 1.99 x 4 (PM), tax 1.03: Total paid 9.00 rounded up 1 cent

    RCSS: Plain bread crumbs 1.50, panko bread crumbs 1.50, Campbells ready to eat soup 2.00 x 2, YOP .67 x 2 (PM), Welches frozen blueberries 3.98, Vidalia onion 3 lb 2.49 (PM), Portobello mushrooms 2.98, 10 lb potatos .97 (PM), bananas 1.96 less 30%, bananas .87, grapes 3.13 (PM), pineapple 1.98, watermelon 2.98, cauliflower 2.99 (PM), cucumber .67 (PM), less student discount 3.30: Total paid 29.50 rounded down 1 cent

    YMCA: Burnbrae eggs doubles 1.00 x 2: Total paid 2.00

    We made up some ground this week on the expensive week we had last week. We have 10.80 still to make up, and I can do that before the end of the month, I am sure.

    Mostly on target this week. Didn’t anticipate the sale on PC pop, so as a weakness, I stocked up a bit. Hubby was super happy to have something around. I hope he makes it last, but I won’t hold my breath.

    We were in Kingston again so I opted to have a couple more loaves in the freezer as “emergency”. It’s been near impossible to keep hubby out of it, and he so needs to watch his carbs. That’s why I hadn’t been buying any bread to have on standby. I know he isn’t happy with me, but he’s going to have to deal with it. I really think he just goes for the bread just because it’s there rather than choose the healthy snacks I have ready in the fridge. Same goes for chips. All of the chips I had gotten the previous week are gone. That’s why I don’t like to buy them. And, because they are a weakness of mine, I try not to eat any to start with. Can’t be tempted if I haven’t started. So, I am back to not buying them again because I begged for them to last at least a couple of weeks.

    The odd purchase is the one at the YMCA. Yes, that’s right, the YMCA. They had their annual fundraising sale with a silent auction. We tend to bid on things that would benefit us, but every year we are outbid. Ironically, Burnbrae is local to us and they had offered up 12 dozen doubles extra large eggs to be bid on. Like every other year, I bid the minimum bid of a dollar for myself and my hubby. This year the bids actually went through. Some of the dozens went for several dollars, but we go ours for a dollar each. Great price, and of course comes out of our grocery budget. And, on a week I didn’t buy eggs because we had a dozen in the fridge, I figured we would make do. So happy we didn’t have to make do as we have already gotten into the eggs that we got through this silent auction. We will bid again next year, here’s hoping we get them again. Nothing better than 2 dozen extra large eggs (double yolks) for 2.00. Yay!

    • Hi Angela,
      Awesome deals on the produce especially with your discount! 🙂 That’s typically what happens with snacks. If they are in the house most people will reach for them before they make food or eat healthy snacks. That was a great price for the eggs. How do you normally eat your eggs? I wish I could find some double yolk eggs here for that price. Well done this week. You get ballot 9. Keep up the good work! Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        Eggs are for just about everything in our house, lol. We cook them easy over, or scrambled or as omeletes. We often boil them so that we can have just boiled eggs, egg salad sandwiches or devil eggs. Then we use them in baking, or making some breads. It is also the biggest protein we have a lot of. It’s not out of ordinary for us to go through 2 dozen in a week with only three people. Currently we’ve been using the double yolk for easy over eggs, just a little more yummy goodness.

  6. COSTCO
    Frozen Strawberries (3kg), $13.99
    Frozen Blueberries (2kg), $9.49
    Zavida Coffee Beans (2lb), $12.99
    ED Smith Jam (1L), Sale $3.99 (reg $5.99)
    Cheddar Cheese (1.15kg), Sale $11.49 (reg $14.49)
    Pork Jerky (375g), $10.99
    – In-Store Discounts: $5
    – Coupons: $0
    – Out Of Pocket: $63.84

    COSTCO
    Skim Milk (4L), $4.45+$0.08ef +$0.25 deposit
    Mushrooms, $3.99
    Cucumber (3), $2.99
    Sweet Peppers (6), $5.99
    2 Grape Tomatoes, $3.99ea
    – Out of Pocket: $25.73

    SOBEY’S
    Homo Milk (2L), $3.49+$0.08ef+$0.25deposit
    Celery, $1.49
    Broccoli, $2.49
    2 Kraft Dressing, Sale $1.99ea (reg $3.69)
    Strawberries (2lb), Sale $4.99 (reg $5.99) -$0.25 Zweet coupon
    – In-Store Discounts: $4.40
    – Out of Pocket: $16.77

    OVERVIEW
    Grocery & Health/Home Budget for the Month: $500
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $500.00
    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: 2100
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    COUPON APPS USED TO DATE:
    Checkout51: $10.50
    Zweet: $2.00
    Snap Groupon: $0
    Cart Smart: $0

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK
    Stockpile budget 2015: $225 ($25/month Apr-Dec)
    Stockpile used this week: $0
    Stockpile used to date: $96.74 (Apr$22.79+May$53.45+June$20.50)
    Coupons this week: $0
    Coupons to date: $70.30 (Apr$20.49+May$49.81)
    In-store discounts this week: $9.40
    In-store discounts to date: $213.19 (Apr$36.17+May$82.65+June$94.37)
    Total spent this week: $106.34
    Total spent so far this month: $191.71
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $6.34 over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $
    Total left to spend for the month: $308.29
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (not including stockpile budget) Start Apr: $1,011.72 (Apr$416.16+May$404.75+June$191.71)

    Weekly Overview:
    Uneventful week. Stocked up on frozen berries for hubby’s breakfast smoothies, although they unfortunately weren’t on sale. I really need to go online and print off some more coupons.

    • Hi Megan,
      Is it cheaper to buy fresh strawberries this time of year and just freeze them yourself? It’s worth a check with local farmers and then you can go pick them or buy them pre-picked and stock up so you aren’t paying high prices. We had lots of berries frozen for our baby but now have run out apart from rhubarb. We may do the same.
      Does he have a smoothie everyday?
      Mr.CBB
      You get ballot 7.

      • Great idea!! I remember going to pay & picks with my mom as a kid. I will look into it. I’m sure there are some around here. Hubby is also doing a bit of landscaping and hoping to plant some berry bushes in our yard; they won’t produce this summer, but will be nice for future years. And yes, he does a smoothie EVERY morning 🙂 it’s easier than toast to eat on the drive to work (he always sleeps in to the last possible minute lol) and helps get his fruit&veggie quota for the day. I also sneak some flaxseed into it for an extra dose of omega 3’s 🙂 Also our one-year old LOVES blueberries, so we like to keep those around for him to!

  7. Price should not be a lame excuse for eating unhealthy food this is because contrary to popular belief, many healthy foods are no more expensive than junk food. In-fact from my own experience carrots, onions, bananas and orange juice are all less expensive than deep-fat fried chicken patties and ice scream. You’ll be very surprised to learn that healthy food can be just as inexpensive as unhealthy food.

  8. I totally agree with you, eating healthily doesn’t have to be expensive. Cutting meat out of some meals, making sure you make the best use of the meat you do use – using leftover chicken in a risotto the next day for example – and growing your own produce are all great ways to make healthy eating affordable. Great post.

  9. I travel for work and spend about 1 week a month in hotels. I always stay at a hotel with a kitchen. The first day I’m in town I do a grocery shop to last the week. It’s much less expensive and healthier than eating out.

  10. Christine Weadick says:

    I try to feed the rest of the family healthy foods, not always easy given the tastes around here. I’m working on weaning them off that stuff and to the better food. My younger boy refers to the ingredient list on a lot of things as the ‘chemical list’, sadly he has a point. The boys are better at eating what ever I put in front of them but hubby is the fussy one. I’m trying, I have some tomato plants in home made grow bags on the deck as I don’t have much room for a garden and I will be starting some potatoes too.

  11. I have to say that organic food, which we eat a lot of in our house, IS much more expensive. Yes, there are ways to minimize the cost, but again that involves a lot of planning and time/effort usually. It’s easier in the summer, but summer is like 4 months a year here. That other 8 months is killer.

    I regularly compare prices at the grocery store around here and it isn’t uncommon to see organic products at 500% the price of their non-organic counterpart. It’s usually at least a 50% markup at the minimum. Finding anything less than that and I feel like I’m getting a good deal 🙂

    Someday I’ll put more effort into saving money at the grocery store, but with the limited selection we have in my small city I just swallow the insane prices to keep my family healthy and keep my wife happy!

  12. Beth B. says:

    It is really sad in this current age, that people think packaged food is cheaper than buying healthy food. But people have no cooking skills at all to prepare real food, no idea what proper portions are, and no idea when fresh food is actually in season. If you have those skills, and shop the sales, you will laugh all the way to the bank, and be super healthy. It is sad how packaged food has infiltrated our culture so much to become a norm. I am a substitute teacher, and most schools have to teach students from a young age what healthy foods are. The schools have to provide students with healthy snacks because most students just don’t have them. In the younger grades, the teachers and lunch supervisors also have to tell students to eat the healthy foods first before the treats, because most kids have treats in their lunches and of course want to eat them first. But parents complain about teachers doing that! because it is “their right” to feed their kids processed crap like granola bars and pudding cups, and their kids “deserve” to have a treat everyday! I’m pretty sure if you get a treat everyday, it’s not a treat anymore, but you can’t tell them that.

  13. Mary F Campbell says:

    JUNE – Week #2 of 5- June 8-14, 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 was watching for an egg sale, because of the Canada Customs barring of all poultry and egg products from the US. And there low & behold it was… SDM has a dozen eggs this week for $2.99!

    My great “rain check hunter” scored another good rain check the other night on his way home. It’s for 24 cans of Heinz Maple Baked Beans priced at 4 for $5. When 1 can is a dinner for two at our house, that’s a mighty cheap and quick supper if hubby adds a piece or two of garlic toast! Dinner for two for less than $2 – I don’t think I can do better than that! As you say Mr CBB, I could make a pot of baked beans for a cheaper per meal cost BUT sometimes it’s a choice between fast and take-out if you are tired. Fast almost always wins at our house…I absolutely hate fast food prices when one meal can make a week’s worth of meals if I cook it!

    Hubby has been totally craving a Caesar Salad for weeks so even though I am off all raw fruit and veggies for a year (while my gut heals), we picked him up a 2 Kg bag of chopped romaine. I have to cook all my fruits and veggies this year – hard when everything is fresh, juicy and cheap right now. He gets 3 big salads from that package…and he’s already had 2 of them! That was quite some craving!

    We just paid the property taxes for this year…serious ouch! Thank God we set aside funds all year long so I don’t have to try and pluck that amount off a tree somewhere. Not only is the real estate very expensive here in the lower mainland but the taxes on the house are also over $4,200 even after the homeowner’s grant not to mention that the house insurance is almost another $3,000 per annum.

    This is an expensive time of year in terms of our landscaping costs. There’s always something to eat up the cash though, isn’t there? Needless to say, our grocery expenses REALLY NEED to stay right on track at this point in the year. I have NO wiggle room what with our vacation days coming in the 2nd half of the year, timeshare condo fees and taxes and a rather nasty looking loonie exchange rate PLUS a huge time sensitive SPG point purchase (of $10,000 US). I am saving our guts out so no frittering on junk food at our house is allowed right now. Treats can occur on vacation, if necessary. 🙂

    I expect we’ll use up the balance of this month’s available grocery money by taking advantage of the rain check for hubby’s favorite pizzas – next week. He’ll be one happy camper to enjoy those!

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    SDM – Maple Ridge

    1 x dozen eggs

    •Total OOP: $2.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $2.99

    ** Earned 20 OPTIMUM Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Rain Check Savings on this shop **
    ——————————————————————
    RCSS – Pitt Meadows

    1 x 2 Kg Chopped Romaine $5.98

    •Total OOP: $5.98

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

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE July 5th!

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

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $3.58+ Feb $0.00 + Mar $14.54 + Apr $15.76 + May $0.00 + June $5.68 = $39.56

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 + May $0.00 + June $14.00 = $14.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

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

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22 + Feb 45 + Mar 140 + Apr 12 + May 6 + June 12 = 237 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 = 324 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200 + Feb 900 + Mar 900 + Apr 1,500 + May 0 + June 1800 = 6,300 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30 + Feb 40 + Mar 0 + Apr 0 + May 0 + June 20 = 90 Points

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

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $199.31+ Feb $180.69 + Mar $274.41 + Apr $105.59+ May $237.00 + June (trf $10.00 Xmas Reserve+$36.44 to Summer + $6.56 trf to Re-Stocking Reserve + $30.00 trf to Borscht Reserve + $0.00 trf to US Reserve +11.98+$4.69 points redemption+$23.08+$2.99+$5.98= $131.72)= $1,128.72

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + Apr $190.00 + May $190.00 + June 190.00 = $1,140.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $11.28 AVAILABLE

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

    2015 UNUSED CANADIAN GROCERY RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $3.83+ Mar $32.09 + Apr $4.99 + May $4.69 + June $4.69 = $50.29

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

    2015 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50+Feb $22.50 + Mar $17.50 + Apr $18.44 + May $17.50 + June $6.56 = $430.00

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

    2015 Y-T-D BORSCHT RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50 + Mar $12.50 + Apr $0.00 + May $20.00 + June $30.00= $500.00

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

    2015 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00+ Mar $10.00 + Apr $10.00 + May $25.00 + June $10.00= $185.00

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

    2015 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00 + Feb $10.00 + Mar $15.00 + Apr $15.00 + May $35.00 + June $36.44= $211.44

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 1,140.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MARCH
    $ 50.29 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($388.94) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 202.50) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 50.29) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 523.81) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 11.28 AVAILABLE FOR Y-T-D SPENDING

    • 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
    $ 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
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAY
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JUNE

    $ 50.29 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    So far $1,140.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2015 and we have recorded these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $430.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $500.00 Borscht Fund
    $185.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $211.44 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,326.44 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $388.94 in NEW 2015 savings.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start JUNE less $83.00 transferred to the various savings reserves less $0.00 transferred for Points Redeemed = $107.00 less an overage carried forward from MAY for $47.00 less plus an additional $0.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of JUNE with $60.00 available to spend on the Canadian side of the border PLUS we have spent $39.75 on our groceries (cash & points) so far this month and have a surplus of $20.25 AVAILABLE for the month of JUNE.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redeemed, rather than the budgeted cash in the amount of $50.29. Available as an offset, we currently have $50.29 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 $315.57 IS AVAILABLE for our next US shop currently scheduled for July 5th!

    Of the outstanding US Shopping Reserve $315.57:

    $113.07 is carried forward from 2014

    $202.50 is new 2015 Y-T-D savings

    Less $0.00 that we’ve actually spent in 2015

    = $315.57 US Reserve Available

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Safeway

    4 Signature Café Pizzas @ 2 pizzas for $9.00- Good ‘til June 19/15
    2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts @ $12 ea- Good ‘til July 4/15
    6 Skippy Peanut Butter @ BOGO – Good ‘til July 11/15
    12 Soft Drinks @ BOGO – Good ‘til Aug 18/15
    24 cans Heinz Maple Baked Beans @ 4 for $5 – Good ‘til Sept 4/15

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

    • Hi Mary,
      I agree it’s cheaper to make a pot but we don’t always have the time. We have a stash of baked beans too that we are getting through slowly. We paid $0.25 each I believe after coupon so it was hard to pass up and I’m pretty sure we couldn’t make a pot at that price. It’s all about the $$ but also about the importance to the spender at the end of the day.
      The eggs at SDM here go on sale for $1.99 so now I feel lucky when I see them at the price. I’m going to stock up although $2.99 is still a great deal. I guess it all depends where you live. I hope everything gets sorted out with the eggs as eggs are in SO many recipes.
      You pay $3000 a year for homeowners insurance? ouch! Our taxes are over the $3500 mark a year and our house taxes are just under $1000 I believe. I’d have to look that up for an accurate number. So no more crunch fests… do what’s best for you. 🙂

      I hear you about the expenses this time of year. All winter it’s nice to save and see that net worth go up but come summer watch out.. bam it hits hard but it’s worth it if you are improving the house.

      Great write-up Mary! yes I have my tea 🙂 You get ballot 5.
      Mr.CBB

  14. Gail Coulter says:

    I love to cook, but sometimes fast food is cheaper especially when you live on a very small budget every month. Also, too with the price of food and I have Celiac which makes grocery shopping that much more expensive. Healthy eating costs more as well.

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