grocery game monthly challenge

How often should you complete a food budget review? : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #3 Jan 18-24

how often should you complete a food budget review(1)how often should you complete a food budget review(1)PROJECT BUDGET CONTROL

 

Some people spend FAR MORE money on groceries than they need to like one  CBB fan who chopped her $1100 grocery shopping budget to a manageable $600 a month in less than 6 months.

She had to make serious changes but the biggest of all was a review of how much money she was actually spending every month. Without knowing that number she wouldn’t have known just how much she was spending.

Related: How I decreased my grocery budget from $1100 to $600 in 6 months

Understanding food cost can be overwhelming for anyone as I’ve learned from experience over the years. When I moved to Canada I had no idea what the cost of anything was so I had to learn from the ground up.

Last week we talked about how to calculate your monthly grocery costs and today I want to talk about how often you need to review your grocery budget to make sure it still fits with your overall budgeting goals. By know you already know how much your grocery budget should be BUT when should you review that number?

Some people like to review their grocery budget yearly which is what we do in our household although we do track our numbers every month so it’s easy to see if changes are needed. If you are someone who doesn’t budget or doesn’t use such a detailed budget like our excel budget spreadsheet you may not know exactly how much money you are spending every month.

Your grocery budget review is not intended to tap into any overspends it’s also to find out if you are spending less than you have budgeted for which means you have extra money. You may see your bank account increase but you may not depending on how well you are at balancing the money that you have. I’ve lost count how many times someone has said to me that they have more money in the bank than they thought they should have.

 

Review life events

 

Your food consumption may go up or down depending on life events that happen some of which may be an emergency and take you by surprise.

Some of these life events may be:

  • Job Loss/Income Cuts
  • Pregnancy/Addition to the family/Adoption
  • Health/Diet Changes
  • Family moving in/Death/Divorce/Relationship breakdown
  • Roommates
  • Raise or Extra Income
  • New Pet/ Death of a pet

Some of you may have experienced some or all the above and you know that costs in your food budget may be affected. I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface as there are likely many other life events that could take your budget by storm or ease you into a comfortable one.

If you include everything in your grocery budget and adopt a pet you will find extra expenses that will add to your budget. If you lose a pet because he/she has passed away then you may gain some money in your grocery budget.

When my wife was pregnant we started to buy food products that we didn’t normally buy such as whole wheat crackers and lots of them. After our son was born most of the food he ate was baby food but now that he is eating regular food we may start to see an increase in our food budget over the course of the year.

If you are pregnant and going on maternity leave you are also faced with an income cut until you are back to work which means budget cuts. A great time to review your budget is months in advance so you know how much you can live on.

Related: Surviving on a lower income on maternity leave

Whether you choose to adopt or have family or roommates move in all of these life events can add expenses to your grocery shopping budget. In the event that you lose your job you may not be able to afford those weekly steak dinners any long so it’s important to review your budget and revise accordingly.

An income cut can be just as devastating as losing your job but at least you still have a job. This also means you will have to make budget adjustments until you find another job of comparable income or you earn extra money.

Related: How to earn extra money without going crazy

If your grocery budget is lower than what you would like it to be but all of a sudden your boss calls you in to give you your employment review and then gives you a raise you may choose to increase your grocery budget.

On the other hand if you lose your job like my wife did when we bought our house you may want to review how you can cut costs until you have your bills under control. This is really where our drive for savings and couponing began because without a job and having a new mortgage we were worried. We vowed to never let that happen again.

Lastly if your spouse passes away or your relationship breaks down you no longer need to grocery shop for (insert number of people) and as difficult of a task this may be you must review your grocery budget and meal plan. This may take time to adjust if ever but it’s something that needs to be done because your finances depend on your support.

 

Too much food

 

If you find that you have too much food in the house because your freezer, pantry and refrigerator is stocked up you may find that you can adjust your grocery budget to see if you are able to cut back a bit. If you don’t need to tie up money in your overall budget there is no point keeping it in a category when it can be used somewhere else.

If you find many of your products are past their expiry date and not getting eaten up or there are lots of freezer burnt items int he freezer you likely have too much food and could do with buying less, thus spending less money.

You may also notice that food waste has increased because new meals are being prepared and leftovers are untouched. This is a sign of either hating leftovers or too many other delicious options to choose from in the house.

Keeping a pantry and freezer inventory list will help in this department as well. You can download them for free here.

 

Not spending enough or overspending

 

If you find that you are overspending it’s important to review your food choices and consider your options. Maybe you can buy in bulk rather than in small quantities if you want to save more money over the long-term. There are many reasons why people overspend when they go grocery shopping so it’s important to reconsider your grocery shopping process in hopes of making positive changes.

If you aren’t spending all of your budgeted grocery money then move that money to another budget category to help pay down debt or save for whatever you’d like rather than having it collect month after month.

 

Too little food

 

If your pantry and refrigerator is always bare and the kids are frustrated that there is nothing to eat then maybe you aren’t buying enough food for your grocery shopping period.  A review of your grocery expenses will show that you are buying too little.

In the event that your budget cannot handle an increase going to the local food bank or other community organizations may help to top up those extra products you need until your next shop. If you’re not participating in rewards programs, using coupons and coupon apps like Checkout51 are also great way so to spread your food budget. Know everything there is to know about grocery shopping by reading my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

 

Grocery price hikes

 

Cost of living increases happen every year but there are times when prices go above and beyond what any of us are getting as “raises” in our income if any at all. This means that it’s critical that you review your grocery budget as soon as you realize that prices are getting out of range for you.

The way you can tell is that many of your regular staples are increasing to the point where you struggle to buy them or you shake your head at the price. I know we’ve mashed the subject before but if you are a cauliflower lover and you notice that the cauliflower is no longer $0.99 like in the summer or $2.99 then keep an eye on everything in the produce department.

Food prices are steadily on the rise in Canada and is only bound to get worse before it gets better, if it takes a positive turn. There is only so much food on the reduced racks in the store so it’s critical you give your food budget a second look as soon as possible.

 

Fans speak up

 

I asked the fans how often they do a grocery budget review and this is what they had to say…

Mona M- I always adjust my budget to suit our needs. Most of our food is imported from Asia. So our budget can get inflated from time to time.

Christine W- I figure out the budget once a year but things can be changed at any time if need be.

Susan D- My husband keeps buying the sales even if it is not on the grocery list and then he wonders why we spend so much on food each month. Everything else is under control and we live well below our means otherwise so I am picking my battles.

Juanita P-We usually have a weekly set amount that we try to stick to for the year and some months we are over and others we are under. This is the first year that I am tracking my numbers weekly.

Colleen K- I don’t really have a budget. I have an ongoing list that gets added to or crossed off. I try and keep it to around $500/month. I know I could shave a bunch of $ off that but for quite a few years we did without a lot of things so now we are enjoying things a bit more.

Nicola D- All the time. I now shop every two weeks as it works out cheaper. It also depends on my larder/pantry and bulk items which we try and do with price matching with flyers and sales.

Beth-  I adjust my food budget every time I experience a change in income. If I have more income, I tend to stock up on staples for the lean times.

Pam C- Unfortunately it seems that my food budget has to be increased far too often, groceries and eating healthy is so expensive. 

Della F- I have a food budget and I look at it on a yearly basis unless some additional money has been added to my finances. Next year’s budget (2016) will appear to be lower but that’s because the personal necessities are included and I want to break that out and see how much each area is costing me.

Tina V- I don’t really budget but I keep an eye on how much I’m spending per month. There are times when I spend money on items that I want to use for a specific recipe. However, those are the items that tend to go to waste for various reasons. There are times I do splurge though.

Mary C- I do the budget as a whole at year-end. I don’t have any extra money to draw from so it’s simply a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul. I can already tell you that we’ll be sticking with $190 per month in 2016 as well.

Overall, there are no set standards as to when you should or shouldn’t review your grocery budget but in the end if you take the extra time to look into where your money is going every month you will certainly put your money to the best use possible provided you take your finances seriously.

How often do you review your grocery budget?

 

January Grocery Game Challenge posts 2016

 

Join in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy. Thanks to Mary for putting this together for us again this year. If you need any help please let me know.

New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only BUT If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10CDN. I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week here for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. This makes posting a bit easier although all you need to do is click on The Grocery Game Challenge on the homepage sidebar and you will see them all.

 

Free Money Saving Tools 2016

 

I know I blast you every which way I can on this blog about my free money saving tools and that’s because I want you to take advantage of them being FREE. So many people pay for budgets and tools on the internet to help them save money and honestly you don’t need to. Even a paper and pen will do the trick.

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

This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsDon’t pay someone for these services, I’ve done the work for you along with some help from other amazing bloggers.

You can 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!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

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. So many free resources at your fingertips.

 

Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2016

 

the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken over 4 years to create.

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.

Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.

Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.

The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the  many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

 

2016 Grocery Shop Results

 

Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2016: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.

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: $50
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 56670
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Over 700,000 points ( I will update this twice a year)

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

  • Snap Groupon to cash out: $40.00
  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $7.00

 

Grocery Shop This Week

 

No Frills

  • 1 x Cucumber $1.25 PM Freshco
  • 4 x IOGO Nano $2-$1.00 coupons PM Freshco
  • 4 x Bacon $3 PM Freshco
  • 4 x Redpath Sugar PM Freshco
  • 4 x Armstrong Cheese $2 each

Total Out-of-Pocket: $31.25

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 4 x Dozen Eggs $2.99

Total Out-of-Pocket: $11.96

Food Basics

  • Milk 2% $3.88 sale
  • Milk Homo $4.97
  • Onions $0.88
  • Red Onion $1.25
  • Spinach $2.99

Total Out-of-Pocket: $13.97

Zehrs

  • 4 x Butter 1lb Sale $2.99 ea
  • Mushrooms $0.99 sale

Total Out-of-Pocket: $12.95

Metro

  • 2 x 5pk avocado $2.88 sale
  • Organic spring mix $2.88 sale

Total Out-of-Pocket: $8.64

  • Total to spend this month $235.00
  • Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$0
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $15.88+$7.00=$22.88
  • Total coupons used this week: $4
  • Total coupons used to date: $4
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$128.10
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $128.10
  • Total spent this week: $78.77-$50 Gift Card
  • Total spent so far this month: $185.05=$28.77
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: N/A so far
  • Total left to spend for the month: $21.18
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We were kindly given a gift card from our neighbours for watching their house while they were on vacation and were waiting for a stock up sale to use it. This week the butter was on sale so we grabbed a few of them as well as eggs, avocado and bacon all of which are staples in my wife’s Atkins Low Carb High Fat diet. With only a small amount left for the end of the month I’m guessing it will be spent on milk and vegetables.

 

Canadian Coupons 2016

 

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

We didn’t find any coupons worthy of filling this space for the week. We’ll try again for next week.

 

Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s

 

  • 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. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
  • 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. If you choose to post monthly  or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. 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?: 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 in order to plan accordingly our budget.
  • Do you stockpile food? 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 longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
  • 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 with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • 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.

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 back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 get ready to examine your grocery budget by learning…

  • Where you are spending money
  • How much money you are spending
  • How much money you are saving every month

If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.

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 2016!

-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. Jan 15 to 21, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1400 (Joanne’s)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $12.11

    Human
    2 Delissio Pizza – $6.99 (1000 PC Points) (PM Zehrs @ $5.00) = $10.00
    Bananas – (400 PC Points) = $2.11

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1600
    Total Out Of Pocket: $23.84

    Human
    2 Ragu Spaghetti Sauce – $2.19 (PM Giant Tiger @ $0.98) = $1.96
    Pam – $4.49 (PM Zehrs @ $3.99) = $3.99
    High Liner Fish – $7.98 (PM No Frills @ $3.00) = $3.00
    Extra Lean Ground Beef (approx 4 lbs) = $14.89

    Cats
    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1890.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Grocery Budget for Wholesale Meat ($500.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for Canning Produce ($400.00)

    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $35.95
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: $121.34
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $88.66

    Total Cats this Week Period: $N/A
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: $(19.06)
    Total Cats to Date: $61.06

    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $0
    Total Stockpile to Date: $3.90
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $32.69
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $0
    Total Wholesale Meat to Date: $0.00
    Total Canning Produce this Week Period: $0
    Total Canning Produce to Date: $0.00

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $0.00

    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week Period: $
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $0.59

    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week Period: $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $10.00

    Total Snap rebates this Week Period: $0.00
    Total Snap rebates to Date: $1.00

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $11.88
    Total Price Match to Date: $27.88

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1600
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 21745

    Overview: This week went over by $0.95 but that’s minor in the grand scheme of things. There’s always next week to make that up. This week is another very small shop but that’s good since we need to use up the vegetables and such that we have in the house already. We have our supper list and that’s what I make sure we have ingredients in the house for but we don’t stick strictly to that list. Sometimes, we’ll decide that we want something else and therefore any meals that are not made that week are brought forward to the next week.

    • Hi Dee,
      Hey, that’s not bad only going over by $0.95 so far! I think that’s smart to bring foward the menu if you don’t use during one week. That means you are making sure that the products are getting used up. Do you both ever try new recipes ofr do you stick the the same tried and true? You get ballot 14 Mr.CBB

      • We do try new recipes from time to time. Our last new recipe was Chicken and Bisquick Bake. If we like the recipe it goes in the pile of recipes to pick from, if not it’s a lesson learned and move from there. We really watch what the ingredients are for the recipes because if we don’t like it, I don’t want a bunch ingredients around that will go to waste.

  2. Mary F Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #3 of 4- Jan 18-24, 2016

    2016 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:

    This week our shopping has a combination of a short list of needs plus a few stockpile items. I went over on the monthly budget by $6.78 but I’ll straighten out the overage in February.

    I am recording the value of any points redeemed for food in a reserve so that I can see how much we didn’t spend in cash. I am recording it as “spent” though. Any funds moved into the reserves are recorded as already spent so that I can use the savings if and when need be – even if it’s next year.

    The balance of the reserved redeemed points monies will transferred in December to become part of our Christmas Reserve. It’ll help out with the holiday dinners and baking.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 Family Pack Extra Lean Ground Beef $3.98/lb = $9.49
    8 x 28 oz NO SALT Diced Tomatoes (@2 for $3) = $12.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $9.49
    • Re-Stocking Reserve OOP: $12.00

    ** Earned 1 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $9.94 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 4L Skim Milk (3,100 Points Redeemed to cover $4.69)
    2 x Large Cottage Cheese (2 @ $4.99) = $9.98

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $9.98
    Total Grocery Redeemed Points: $4.69

    ** Earned 10 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $4.69 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE LATER IN 2016.

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $36.76= $36.76

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 = 10 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 = 6 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 = 1800 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 = 0 Points

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($90.00 trf to various reserves + $13.99+$23.77+$26.95+$17.91+9.49+9.98+4.69 trf to Points Redeemed) = $196.78

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

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $6.78 OVER

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

    2016 POINTS REDEEMED RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $4.69= $4.69

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

    2016 US GROCERY RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00= $45.00

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

    2016 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan ($15.00-$20.00-$32.65 -12.00= -$49.65) = $167.85

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

    2016 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 = $96.51

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

    2016 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 = $652.50

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 190.00 Grocery Budget JAN

    $ 4.69 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 45.00) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 64.65 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 45.00) Trf to US Grocery Reserve

    ($ 4.69) Set in Xmas reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 171.43) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 6.78 OVER ON OUR Y-T-D SPENDING

    • VALUE POINTS REDEEMED Y-T-D:

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

    $ 4.69 Total $ Value of Y-T-D Points Redeemed

    THE VALUE will be added month to month to our Holiday Reserve for next Christmas.

    So far $190.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $90.00 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $167.85 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 96.51 Holiday Season Fund
    $652.50 Summer Season Fund
    $ 45.00 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 4.69 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $966.55. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $94.69 that we have added in 2016 LESS $64.65 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Safeway:

    1 Compliments 10″ Tortillas. 720G – Rain Check for 10 Air Miles

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

    This week’s BREAKFAST menu plan:

    HUBBY: Earl Grey Tea with Lemon Juice + toast with peanut butter, English Muffins with cinnamon spread or Cheez Whiz, Bagels with cream cheese or Rice Krispies with Skim Milk

    MYSELF: Tetley Tea with Skim Milk & Equal + apple slices, mandarins or hard boiled eggs

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

    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with yogurt

    TUES: Leftover Chicken-Vegetable-Potato Soup with Multigrain Buns with Garlic Butter and Melted Mozzarella Cheese

    WED: Peanut Butter Sandwiches with Banana Chip Muffins with Nut Topping

    THURS: Egg Salad Sandwiches with Instant Chicken Noodle Cup of Soup

    FRI: Tuna Salad Sandwiches + Christmas Banana Bread

    SAT: Kathleen’s Cottage Pancakes

    SUN: Shrimp Salad Rice Paper Rolls

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

    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Leftover Chicken Vegetable Soup + buttered Cottage Cheese Bread

    TUES: Leftover Creamy Tomato Soup + buttered Cottage Cheese Bread

    WED: Cheeseburger Casserole with Steamer Veggies

    THURS: Leftover Chicken Vegetable Soup + buttered Cottage Cheese Bread

    FRI: Leftover Cheeseburger Casserole with Steamer Veggies

    SAT: Grandma’s Salmon Loaf with Sour Cream Dilled Pea Sauce and Roasted Nugget Potato-Onion-Carrot-Celery Medley

    SUN: Crockpot 16 Bean Soup with Rice + buttered Cottage Cheese Bread

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

  3. My shop this week

    No frills
    3x cheese @ 2.00 ea= 6.00

    Food land
    Grapes 5.49
    clementine 6.99
    bananas 2.85
    bread 2/5.00
    Han burger buns 3.49
    chocolate chips 9.29!!!! Gone up again
    lemon pudding 2×1.49= 2.98
    Fresh stir fry vegetables 4.44- 50%=:2.22
    Yogurt 3.49- .75 coupon = 2.74
    Ice creme 2/7.00
    Tax .82

    Total 53.87

    Total to spend this month: 380.00
    Total coupons used this week: .75
    Total in store discounts: 2.22
    Total spent this week: 53.87
    Total spent so far this month: 284.46
    Total over/under this shop: under 41.13
    Total over/ under for the month: under .54
    Total left to spend this month: 95.54
    Total spent to date in 2016: 284.46

    • Hi Farmgirl,
      I left you a message on the last post about your GGC post. How many people does your budget feed? I need you to add comments to your post like the other players and use the full template when you copy paste. You’re not really giving much to work with here and I would love to give feedback. It’s also nice if you can add what brands of products you buy so we can comment on pricing. If you have any questions by all means send me an email. 🙂

  4. Yearly Grocery Budget For 2016: $9,100 (5 people)

    Points Overview:
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $700
    • 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: 5,300
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date: 0

    Grocery Shop This Week: January 08 – 14, 2016

    Superstore
    • PC Pinto Beans 2 x $2.50 = $5.00
    • Oikos $6.99 – (50%) = $3.49
    • PC Creamy Yogurt $3.49 – (50%) = $1.74
    • 4 O’clock Tea 2 x $2.99 (12 each box) = $5.98
    • Apples (4lb bag) 2 x $2.50 = $5.00
    • Romaine Lettuce (bag of 3) $2.50
    • Green Pepper $1.85
    • Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread 9 x $1.00 = $9.00
    • Hot Dog Buns $4.49 – (50%) = $2.24
    • 1lb. Butter $5.29
    • Swiss Chalet Gravy Packets 2 x $1.50 = $3.00
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 45.04

    PC Points Earned = 2,800
    Balance 8,100

    Wal-Mart
    • Bacon 12 x $2.97 = $35.64 (-$12.00 coupons)
    • English Cucumber $1.47
    • Beets $1.47
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 26.58

    Costco
    • Ketchup (2.77 L Can) $5.99
    • Cashews (1.13 kg) $18.99
    • 2L Chocolate Milk $3.47
    • Craisins (1.8 kg) $10.49
    • 4L 2% Milk $6.22
    • Asian Pears (8) $9.99
    • Spinach (454g) $3.59
    • Sandwich Bread (3 loaves) $6.99
    • English Muffins 2 x $3.59 (12 per bag) = $7.18
    • Cheddar Cheese (907g) $9.99
    • Sirloin Chops $2.57/ lb. = $21.16
    • Miracle Whip (1.77 L) $6.79 – $2.00 = $4.79
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 116.18

    • Total to spend this month: $700
    • Total coupons used this week: $12.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $15.00
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $ 9.55
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $68.68
    • Total spent this week: $ 187.80
    • Total spent so far this month: $539.51
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER $12.80
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: OVER $14.51
    • Total left to spend for the month: $160.49
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $ 252.54 + $99.17 + $187.80

    Weekly Overview:
    This week I had a few surprises! I picked up bread at Costco 3 for $6.99 and then I went to Superstore and they had it on as an in-store special for $1.00 per loaf. I picked up 9 more loaves as we go through a lot of bread. (School/Work lunches).. Shopper’s had a special on butter $3.29 for 1 lb. but we checked both locations and they were out and I ran out of butter as I was halfway through a recipe so we had to pay $5.29 for 1 lb.

    • Hi Lori,
      What do you use your pinto beans for? Great score on the Ice-cream as I rarely see it 50% off. Where did you get the bacon coupons? What brand of bacon was this? It’s always nice to see the brands so we can all jump in our cars and run!! I’m working on making sure I add all the brands to my posts too. 🙂 What a great deal you got. I’m not too sure about Costco yet. We still have to go in for one more round together to compare prices before we make a decision whether to get a membership. Some say the gas alone is worth it. I was going to say the butter was quite pricey. We picked it up for $2.99. That’s when we stock up. That was a good price at SDM too. I know that feeling running out in the middle of a recipe. Can you use MFG coupons at Costco too? Well done this week!! You get ballot 17 Mr.CBB 🙂

  5. Total Yearly Food Budget for one adult (combined Grocery and Stockpile Budgets): $1200.00

    Yearly Grocery Budget: $960.00
    Monthly Grocery Budget 2016: $80.00 ($20/week/4wk month or $18.46/week/5wk month)
    Total Spent This Month Previous To This Shop: $34.38
    Total spent this week: $27.47 ($7.47 over)
    Total spent so far this month: $61.85 ($1.85 over)
    Total left to spend for the month: $18.15
    Total Grocery Budget Spent To Date 2016: Jan: $61.85

    Yearly Stockpile Budget: $240.00
    Monthly Stockpile Budget 2016: $20.00
    Total spent so far this month: $15.13
    Total left to spend for the month: $4.87
    Total Stockpile Budget used to date: Jan $15.13

    Food Basics
    $0.88 carrots (2lb)
    $2.34 Carnation evaporated milk (3 x $1.28) – (3 x $0.50 coupons) = (3 x $0.78)
    $1.12 Selection chips ($0.99 + $0.13 tax= $1.12)
    $5.00 Maple Lodge air chilled boneless skinless chicken breasts (645gm)
    $0.99 Maple Lodge wieners (1lb)
    $10.33 Total Out Of Pocket

    Your Independent Grocer
    $3.43 Boneless centre cut pork chops ($1.99/lb) ($4.21 – $0.42 student discount – $0.36 Superbucks)
    $3.43 Total Out Of Pocket

    Metro
    $3.97 Selection cheese (450g)
    $9.68 Irresistible spiral cut ham ($1.99 lb) ($19.36 split with son)
    $0.06 Laura Secord candy canes ($0.25 – 75% off)
    $13.71 Total Out Of Pocket

    This week I went quite a bit over budget because a ham my son and I love finally went on sale for a price we were willing to pay. Although it puts me quite a bit over for this week, the past two weeks I’ve been under so in total I am only $1.85 over budget and have plenty left for next week. I think I’m getting close to the no buy time for meat but it’s getting into the expensive time of the year so I’m hesitant to stop stockpiling it now when the prices are right. What is everyone else’s experience? How much meat do you keep in your freezer? Do you only buy at certain times of year? Do you have a price you won’t pay more than?

    Have a great week everyone!

    • Hi Mimsie,
      Welcome back! 🙂 What do you use your evaporated milk for? You haven’t went over budget by much at all. Sometimes it’s nice to have those weeks where you don’t spend lots. We are always looking for meat specials but you’re right the prices are going up. We keep as much as we can get for cheap and that we will eat. We keep a freezer inventory so it helps to make sure we are eating it in rotation as well. You can download my free freezer inventory on the blog under the free downloadable tools. We like to get all of our meat at 50% if we can. If not we do without and wait unless the sale price is amazing. Thanks for typing the brands of the products. I’m working on this as well as it makes it easier for all of us understand and learning pricing of products. You get ballot 18 MR.CBB 🙂

      • Hey Mr CBB,

        I use the evaporated milk instead of milk or cream. Very rich but only a saturated fat reduction if you get skim. I try to reduce sat. fat because it seems to aggravate my arthritis.

        What’s your strategy for buying meat at 50% off. The prices may be lower where you are. Most times at 50% off here it is more expensive to buy that way than to wait for it to go on sale for an amazing price. For example, I had a rain cheque for pork at $1.99 lb. The package I gave the butcher was over $15 which would have been over $7 at 50% off. With the sale price applied it was only $4. I keep an eye out for 50% renductions on sale items but it seems to happen quite seldom. Wish we had a No Frills because their prices seem amazing. It might be reason the $50% off thing works for you

  6. Lori-Lynn says:

    Hi Mr. CBB,
    I make a huge batch of pinto beans in the crockpot and then I freeze them in smaller dishes and put them in the freezer. When we are ready to use them I thaw them out and we fry them in the frying pan.We usually use them in wraps with egg, bacon, lettuce, mushrooms, tomato & salsa, or we make kind of a rice bowl and put sautéed veggies on the top. If you go to google and search “Foodgawker”, they have millions of recipes with pictures from around the web. If you put a food in the search area, it will give you loads of ideas for that particular food. I find her website helpful & inspirational! The bacon that I purchased was Smithfield. Before Christmas Superstore had the coupons posted and I just held onto them until I found a deal. As for the Costco membership, I believe that you can go to the store and ask for a visitor’s pass. Just explain you are thinking of signing up and I am sure they will let you look around. You could then compare prices. I live in New Brunswick so the prices I post may be higher than what is available at your local Costco. For an example, bananas here at the grocery stores range in price from .75 – .85 cents per pound but at our Costco it is 3lb. for $1.99 (.66 cents per pound) so I am thinking that the prices would be adjusted for your area. If the grocery stores sell bananas for .66 cents per pound then your Costco would probably offer them cheaper. We don’t have the gas bar option available here, but I am sure if you filled up every time you were there then that would pay for the membership itself over the course of a year.

  7. You guys are all doing really well! Congratulations!
    I am looking at a no shop week – or at least a “only absolutely necessary” shop week and think it’s possible, considering that my freezer and pantry is well stocked. The only thing I’ll get is Orange Juice as I really like my OJ in the mornings. Maybe some ground beef if I can get some from No Frills – it’s on sale this week and I should get extra PC points. So … it’s a chance to stock a little.

    @ Mimsie
    I don’t like to keep meet in the freezer. I prefer to cook it right away – make it into whatever dish I want – and then freeze it in portions for lunches. Also – as a single person with little freezer space there isn’t much I can stock. I’ll have to bite the bullet when it comes to price hikes and to be honest: if the prices are too high I’ll go without meat. I’ve been vegetarian for the last 2-3 years and didn’t miss meat at all. I can do that again, especially once the winter is over and fresh spring fruit and veggies are out.

    • Thanks for the ideas Birgit. You’re obviously more organized than I am but I love your idea. What I typically do is buy a large quantity of meat when it’s on sale, freeze it, then cook a large quantity and freeze the resulting meals. Your way could really clear up a lot of the problems in my chest freezer as prepared meals would be more compact and stackable. The only problem I see with it in my case is that the meals would have to be used fairly quickly as it is not recommended to keep meals frozen longer than a month.

      You could also consider going partially vegetarian and limit meat consumption. There are so many awesome vegetarian and vegan choices out there it certainly wouldn’t be that hard to do. What are some of your favorites?

  8. Man, you hit on right spot, overspending for food that is never been eaten is what everybody should watch out. In last 6 months, me and my family managed to save 2000$ by just reducing grocery shopping. Now it happens that we stay out of some groceries during weak since we do shopping on Friday. But we do not have in fridge food which is smells out.

  9. SHOP: NOFRILLS
    2x KitKat 4 Pack @$3 each (+1500 PC points)
    2x Loacker Waffles @$2.39 each
    1x large jug Tropicana OJ @$6.97 (+1200 PC points)
    1x Bananas @$1.31 (+2100 PC points)
    HST $0.78

    Total Coupons used: 0$
    PC Plus points: 4800
    Total out of pocket – $19.84

     +++++
    POINTS OVERVIEW
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $360
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $30 ($10 on food)
    PC Plus points earned to date: 38,900
    Airmiles earned to date: 232
    Shoppers Points earned to date: 70,778 (105$)
    SCOP to date: $4.99
    COUPON APPS
    Zweet: $0.75
    Checkout51: $9.50 ($80 total so far)
    Save.ca: $0.50
    Snap: $16.00
    +++++
    Total coupons used this week: $ 0
    Total coupons used to date: $ 45.50
    Total in-store discounts this week: $ 0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $ 60.98
    Total spent this week: $ 19.84
    Total spent so far this month: $379.54+$19.84= $399.38
    Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER
    Total over/Under spend for the month: OVER
    Total left to spend for the month: $ 0
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $399.38
    +++++
    This week was a really good week! I managed to spend NOTHING since Monday – didn’t even stop at Starbucks – and today I decided to do the little shopping I have to do during lunch break. With a list and pressed for time I really just picked the things on my list: OJ, Bananas and a few treats for the office stash. With $19.84 out of pocket and a whopping $4.80 back in PC points I am a happy shopper!

    Otherwise I will do with what I have in my fridge, freezer and pantry this weekend and coming week. There is plenty to work with. The big hurdle will be to resist the sales and offers and to stay away from Shoppers, Metro & Rexall.

    +++++

    My weekly meal plan includes:

    BREAKFAST: cereal & milk, rice pudding w frozen fruit, cream of wheat w frozen fruit, bread pudding (I didn’t get to make it last week) and probably a loaf of homemade raisin bread

    LUNCHES: anything the freezer offers: pulled pork and a slice of toasted rye bread, meatballs with rice, pasta bake with blue cheese and spinach, butter chicken w rice

    DINNER: different sandwiches made with homemade bread, possibly a pasta bake with frozen peas, buttered brussel sprouts and if I feel like it frozen pizza.

    • Hi Birgit,
      We love pasta with peas! What kind of bread will you make for your sandwiches? I used to make bread often before our son was born but with working 2 jobs it’s tough. Haha.. you must have scored bit in PC points to get that back. Good for you. We find lately we are in Zehrs more than any store as we find the best deals plus we get PC points on top. No Frills although a PC store doesn’t have the same pink sticker deals in our area. What are Loaker Waffles? Well done. I’m proud of you!!! You get ballot 20 MR.CBB

      • Mermaid3011 says:

        Thanks Mr. CBB!!
        I wish I had a zehrs close by, all i can walk to that is cheaper is the no frills and yes, I’ve been looking for marked down meat but there wasnt any. But that’s o.k. – trying to be a bit more vegetarian and less meat-eater again.

        The bread I made was a raisin-cherry-cranberry bread. Rather sweet and nothing for sandwiches. I had planned to make another quick bread, but was too lazy. Maybe next weekend! 🙂

        I’ve hit my monthly spending limit, but it’s all good. If I can stick to 80$ this weekend (and I am quite confident I will) then all is good in the world.

        • At least you can price match at No Frills as we can’t at Zehrs which kind of sucks! They should change that policy. That bread sounds great especially with a cuppa tea. Check out my bread, tortilla and pita recipes on the blog if you’re interested. 🙂 We went over our grocery budget for the month. Let the fun begin!!

  10. If anyone wants cauliflower, and live close to Dartmouth/Halifax NS area…Gateway Market is selling cauliflower at 97c (limit 4)
    .this week

    • Time to stock up!!!Thanks for the tip Kathryn!

    • My wife says yes please, she’ll take a dozen. Can anyone ship to Ontario?

      • Cauliflower must be the hot item. Another market about 20 minutes away, have them on sale for $1.97. So maybe check the places, other than supermarkets, for loss leaders?

        • That’s a good idea Kathryn. I wrote a bit about the cauliflower crisis in today’s recipe too. 🙂

          • These 2 places I was speaking of for cauliflower, came to us because my husband had signed up for their on-line flyer. Maybe search out these smaller venues on-line or via their FB page?
            I know paper flyers are expensive….so it may be worth the time to search them out and sign up for online flyers

  11. Week # 3
    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults 5000

    Name Your Store – Safeway
    Total Out Of Pocket: $ 106.06
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 500
    PC Points Plus Earned to date:0

    Grocery Shop This Week

    Safeway
    • 1 dozen free run eggs $3.39
    • 1 Lucerne 2 litre milk $3.39
    organic liberty coconut yogurt (500 ml) $3.49
    Tropicana OJ- $3.50
    • Frozen Compliments cherries 600g 2 X $3.99
    • Frozen compliments organic Edamame 2 X 2.99
    • Soyabutter $5.20
    • Newmans own pasta sauce- $2.99
    • Chocolate chips 300g- $2.99
    • Almond Breeze vanilla- $4
    • Bananas- $2.93
    • Organic super spinach blend- $4.49
    • Baby potatoes 2 lbs- $3.49 – $2 coupon = $1.49
    • 3 lbs Tangelos- $4.76
    • Family pack Johnsonville Italian sausage 2 X $6.99
    • Compliments Hummus 3.99
    • Artisan Kalamata olive with 50% off sticker 2 X $3.99 – 50%= $3.99
    • Value Pack croissants with 50% off sticker $5.99 – 50%= $2.99
    • Natures blend multigrain bread 4 X $3 = $12 and 35 airmiles

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Total coupons used this week: $2
    • Total coupons used to date: $7.75
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $44.63
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $122.52
    Total spent this week: $ 106.06
    • Total spent so far this month: $361.83
    • Total over/Under spend for the month:
    • Total left to spend for the month: $ 138.17
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $361.83
    • Total Airmiles this week = 91
    • Weekly Overview : I found some great %50 off bread and croissant deals. I will use the croissants to make some lovely Breakfast sandwiches and lunches this weekend. I will also freeze the Kalamata olive breads to serve with some inexpensive soup meals this week. I love it when I can serve an expensive fancy bread with some rib sticking but lowly bean or potato soup.
    My meal planning consists of me making a list of meals based on what I have in the freezer and pantry. Then as I make the meals I cross them off the list.
    So last week we had 1) Baked salmon, oven roasted rosemary potatoes, mixed green salad 2) Vegetarian tomato pasta, mixed green salad 3) 4) Oven baked breaded Chicken drumsticks twice( at the beginning of the week and half frozen and eaten yesterday) once with pasta and tomato sauce, and baked squash and once with homemade oven fries & coleslaw. 5) Navy Bean, potato, carrot soup made from the ham bone I froze at Christmas (This also provided lunch for most of the week, 6) Asian stir fry with one chicken breast and greens and rice 4) Butternut squash soup with French Garlic bread and Kale salad 7) Curried Chicken, vegetables, chickpeas and rice. My daughter also made apple muffins to snack on.

    So For next week I have a choice of- New Orleans Red beans and rice, Sausage and potato stir fry, Chicken Asian Stir fry with Edamame , Home made Mac and cheese with vegetables, Perogies with bacon and fried onions, Salmon fillets, Lentil curry, Creamy pasta with sour cream, Sausage cream gravy with biscuits, Oven baked sole, Pasta Marinara.

    • Hi Rose,
      You eat a very healthy diet I can see. Good for you!! Where did you get the potatoes coupon? Your menu plan has so much variety. Sadly ours does not at the moment as we are eating 2 different types of meals. Where do you get your recipes from or do you create them? I love Kalamata olive bread and you will find my recipe on the blog too. 🙂 Awesome shop Rose. I love the way you share your post with all of us like this. 🙂 Well done You get ballot 23. Mr.CBB

      • I got the potatoes coupon through the airmiles site. I think they are user specific, but they might not be… When they send me the next ones I will look more carefully and see if I can post them. They usually aren’t as good as the potatoes coupon though. I used that coupon twice this month, the other week the starting price for the potatoes was 4.99, so not a good deal!
        I try and eat as much organic and locally produced as my budget allows. For health (fresher) and environmental reasons. One of the ways I keep my budget low is: I eat a no meat dinner at least 3 times a week, and our meat dinners, have the meat streeeetchhhhed….. to as many servings as possible. I feel this is win, win, win…. healthier, more environmental, cheaper. All my breakfasts and lunches are no meat and i aim to do 50% vegan, if I can.
        Not all our meals are healthy! Like the peroghies and bacon, LOL. But you have to have fun too, right?
        My meals are mostly made up by me, because then I can use what I have. But I do use recipes as well.

        • Hmm, I’m going to check that out. I didn’t know you could get coupons there. 🙂 Meatless meals are great for keeping costs down provided that produce isn’t going through the roof. I was talking to my hair stylist last night whose family is vegetarian and they said it’s still a struggle with their budget at times. They are Indian and eat lots of cauliflower but said with the prices so expensive they haven’t bought any for 3 weeks. Not all of our meals are healthy either BUT we try our best to eat a balanced meal. Made up recipes are the best. Do you write all of your own recipes down or memorize them?

          • Well…. I usually just make up the recipesas I go along and they are never the same, but their is a familiarity to them based on flavors I like. For instance tonight I want to make something with chickpeas (I cooked up a large pot of dried chick peas this weekend) and normally I would make a curry, but I have no coconut milk. Before I would run out and get some coconut milk (and of course I would add what ever would catch my eye while I am there, hence my high grocery bill before. So instead I thought what do I have, ummmm, onions, garlic, spinach OK, now if only I had olives and feta, but I don’t SO I decided to make it like cajun dirty rice, lots of pepper, a dash of red hot and woah it is turning out YUMMY!!!!!

          • Sorry, I hit post before I meant to and before I proof read that.

            And as far as vegetable prices go, my other mantra is trying to buy as local as possible, which results in seasonal produce selections. At this time of year it is a lot of kale, cabbage or frozen greens from my garden, and if I need/want cauliflower it will be frozen. I only have a fridge freezer, but cooked greens don’t take much freezer space. Neither does frozen fresh herbs.

  12. Penny Gunderson says:

    Penny Gunderson
    Month Jan. 20, 2016 to Feb. 20, 2016
    • Name Your Store: Nutters
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $3.73

    • Name Your Store : Country Food Mart
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $17.06

    • Name Your Store : Bulk Barn
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $24.42

    • Name Your Store : Highwood Natural Foods
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $19.29

    • Name Your Store : Shoppers
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $17.32

    • Name Your Store : Safeway
    • Total Coupons Used: $
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $16.25

    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $100
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $
    • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
    • Total Rewards Points used to date: $
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date:
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $
    • Shopper Optimim points: 5170
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    • Snap Groupon to date: $
    • Checkout51 to date: $3.50
    • Save.ca to date: $
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Stockpile budget 2016 ($30.00): $
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $
    • Total coupons used this week: $
    • Total coupons used to date: $
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $50.54
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $50.54
    • Total spent this week: $97.87
    • Total spent so far this month: $97.87
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $1.17
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $
    • Total left to spend for the month: $1.17
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $97.87
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):
    My cheques come once a month after the 20th. The first part of the month was a no spend month. So I am starting my February budget this week. My total discounts between in-store close dated and Checkout51 is $54.04 and shop is $97.87. Budget is $100/month for groceries and $30/month for stockpile. I am using up meat and other freezer and pantry foods.

    My splurge this month was an inside beef round steak marked down 50% to $4.38. I marinated and froze it in a freezer bag. The bulk barn shop was for nuts, seed and dried fruit to make a huge batch of trail mix which will last several months in the freezer. The receipt offers a $5 gift card if I shop on a certain week and spend $15. I think I’ll shop for some of my monthly stockpile for some pantry items and save the gift card for Christmas.
    My bargains were discounted fruits and vegetables: orange peppers eight for $2, 2 dozen extra large white mushrooms for $3, six limes for $1, 50% off organic Brussel sprouts 3 lbs for $6.80. (I try to buy organic if I can) Close dated: 2 packages all beef hotdogs for .99 a pack, Sour cream at $2 off, El Paso soft taco kit close dated for $2 off I froze it, eggs were $2.29 for a dozen large at Shoppers. I bought beef soup bones and chicken necks and backs for bone broth, bulk 12 bean soup sale on sale at Nutters and also a package of sprouting seeds for .99. (with vegies so high I thought I’d try sprouting some seeds)

    I shopped several stores since I was in two larger towns for dentist and Dr. apts.

    • Hi Penny,
      Thanks for dropping by!! For your next shop if you can share what products you bought at each store by name and how much you paid that would make it easier for us to track. Have a look at the way we all post our shops. It’s a bit of a learning process but dead simple once you do it. 🙂 How do you make your trail mix? Do you just mix the different seeds together? Is that cheaper than buying it already done at the Bulk Barn? Wow you scored some amazing deals this week. I wish I could find that many. How does your broth turn out? I find ours tastes watery and we still have to add chicken cubes. Does that happen to you? Maybe we are doing something wrong. Hmmm. Well done!! I’m looking forward to your shops this year. 🙂 You get ballot 24 Mr.CBB

      • Penny Gunderson says:

        Next time I’ll list what I purchased.
        Brown your soup bones (raw bones or uncooked chicken pieces) in an oven proof pot at 400 F for 1 hr uncovered. Cover bones with water add a good splash of cider vinegar or lemon juice (brings the collagen into the broth). Add herbs (parsley, bay leaf etc.) salt and pepper, a whole onion clean but unpeeled (adds color from the onion skin), a couple of carrots cut in chunks, celery cut in chunks. Cook on stove on low or in crock pot minimum of 8 hours.
        If you find it too watery take out all solids (discard everything but meat) and heat to reduce by half to concentrate flavor.
        Good broth should jell when refrigerated. Add some Oxo if you think you need it.

  13. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
    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: $10
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 23400
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Snap Groupon to cash out: $0
    Zweet to cash out : $2.50($25.75)
    Checkout51 to cash out : $8.76($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 cranberry cocktail -4.49
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 jar pickles -2.49
    2 cans pineapple @1.79
    1 4l milk -4.88
    1 yogurt -3.49
    Bananas -1.21
    1 package boneless chicken breasts -12.02
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -4.31
    1 bread crumbs -2.49, 50% AM discount
    2 W/W bread @2.99, 1 50% AM discount, 1X .98 AM discount
    Total OOP -$54.67, 3.73 discounts
    Foodland #2
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 -12DR Royale TP -4.44
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 pack pasta -1.99
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 doz large eggs -2.99
    Bananas -.94
    5 ham steaks @3.99, 50% discounts on all
    3 packs breakfast sausage -3.92, 3.85, 3.19, 50% discounts(1.96, 1.93, 1.60)
    Tax -.58
    Total OOP -$44.56, 15.49 discounts
    Jackson’s Pharmacy
    2 Sensodyne tooth paste @3.99, stock pile
    Total OOP -$7.98, stockpile
    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$0
    Stockpile budget used this month: $9.92+$5.98+$7.98=$23.88
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total in-store discounts this week:$19.22
    Total in-store discounts to date: $32.88
    Total spent this week: $99.23, $7.98 stockpile
    Total spent so far this month: $359.33
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: N/A so far
    Total left to spend for the month: $290.67
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) I didn’t get to No Frills but that is life. Likely a good thing for my budget. I don’t think we will be going into town this week coming but who knows with hubby. Wednesday will be our last time in London before the older boy’s birthday the beginning of Feburary so we might stop off at Michael’s Crafts to see what we can get him there. He has been asking about some balsa wood to do things with…we will see. We are a crafty bunch!! With the sales at Jackson’s we have been able to pick up some H&B products to stockpile at a nicer price. Should be good for the month but next month will be tougher being 5 weeks.

    • Hey Christine!!
      When you go to London is that where you go to No Frills? Awesome deal on the ham and sausage. I love those 50% off stickers. Did I tell you we went into No Frills and my wife was so upset that they only had 30% off stickers eesh. Some have 50 but others 30. I guess it’s up to the franchise owner what they use. She said it was so hard to shop because she was not interested in 30% off. Sometimes when they give us something then take it away or modify it then it’s hard to change. I can’t imagine what would happen if they get rid of the 50% which is a good possibility if the price war is on and everyone is scooping up the pink stickers. It gets to the point where the owner knows it will sell at 30% so why give 50. That’s why Value Village has such high prices on stuff now. The more people that shopped there to buy the used clothes the more they saw dollar signs. We never win. You get ballot 28. Mr.CBB

      • Christine Weadick says:

        For No Frills I go to Stratford. I use the back road to get there from here so I go right by the Stratford store. It’s handy when hubby is seeing our family doctor and I can pop in to see my Dad as well.
        I have seen both the 30% and 50% stickers at NF and Foodland. The lower stickers seem to be more on the higher end product. We shall have to see how that goes as prices go up, especially on things like meat that people will be buying less of as it prices out of reach. I’ll be watching the sales and those stickers a lot more the way prices are going. Given that our income isn’t going anywhere but prices are going nuts I have to.

  14. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500
    No frills
    $2×6-$2Cx2 Armstrong cheese
    $3×2-$1C cream cheese
    $2 hot dog buns
    $3.33 raspberry pure leaf iced tea
    $17.35 total oop
    $6 total coupons
    Save on foods
    $4.99 1kg black forest ham – clearance
    $5 total oop
    Co-op
    $1×10 hunts spaghetti sauce
    $1.99×2 18 pk eggs – rain cheque
    $1.49 reusable bag – needed one to carry in the groceries into the house quietly after work
    $1×5 sidekicks
    .99 tortilla chips – clearance
    $21.55 total oop
    Superstore
    .60×5 MM frozen juice
    $4.96 blueberries
    $1.44 bananas 200P
    $1.96 broccoli
    $4.98 2lbs grape tomatoes
    $1 stickers for potty training 🙂
    $17.35 total oop
    Sobeys
    $2×3 cookies/wafers – clearance
    $2×2-.18cmulti buy thinsations cookies – for my locker at work
    .88 twix – after work treat 😉
    .88 6pk Kaiser buns
    $3.45, $3.16, $3.08, $2.96 bnls sknls chicken breasts – clearance
    .25×12 mr. noodles – my bigger girls fav and will last all spring break and summer
    $3.49×6-$1Cx6 greek yogurt 100AM!! – everyone loves this stuff
    $14.23, $11.84 lean ground beef – my asst store manager let me pm another local sobeys and so far I made, cooked and froze 45 meatballs, two meatloaves (one for the freezer and the other one was cooked right away and leftovers for two days) and have four med sized freezer bags ready to go for whatever we want so I am hoping to get at least 12 meals out of this
    $3.99×6-$2Cx6 natural selections hot dogs – scored these coupons when I was at save on foods earlier in the week!!!
    $59.66 total oop
    $20 air miles cash redemption
    $18 total coupons

    $122.70 total weekly oop
    $18 total weekly coupons
    $20 air miles cash
    $376.67 total monthly oop
    $33.53 total monthly coupons

    I am gonna track my air miles and gift cards this year. But will be keeping my staff coupons and store discount like 10% Tuesday under the coupon section. I am really nicely stocked up on chicken breasts and lean ground beef for this month. Also got a few rain cheques from work and save on foods so I am happy.

    • Hey Juanita
      Where did you get those amazing Armstrong Cheese $2 coupons from? Oh, I look forward to your AM and GC tracking this year. I’m still jealous about those store discounts but you work there and you earn it. 🙂 I should write a post about how to save money if you work at a grocery store lol or Strange things customers do that waste time in a grocery store. Great deal on the beef!!! You get ballot #33. Mr.CBB

      • Hey MR.CBB
        Those lovely $2wub3 coupons were out late last year and are good till the end of feb and are good on the Saputo products but this time they are restricted to certain provinces but still great for my budget!!
        I have been lucky to be able to score great deals and clearance at work and I do find myself passing up deals all the time because we don’t need it or have room in the freezer for it.
        This week is the first week of combined safeway and sobey flyer and some great loss leaders this week especially with the whole chickens at $4.39kg and lean ground beef at $6.59kg and lately the suppliers have not been able to keep up with the demand and we have been getting shorted product so not only have I chosen to skip buying them so other customers can I have gladly taken a raincheck or two instead which actually works out better for me.

  15. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 3 – January 17 – 23

    • Grocery budget to work with in January: $200
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $3.03
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $4.42
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: .06
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: .06
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $20
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $20
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $20.14
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $20.14
    • Total student discounts this week: $2.56
    • Total student discounts to date: $7.25
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $101.95
    • Total spent so far this month: $185.65
    • Total left to spend for the month: $14.35
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent to make up in future months: $0
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $185.65

    Valumart: Chipotle salsa 2.00, hot chocolate k-cups 2 x 5.00, NN ice cream cones .75, NN bacon bits 2 x 3.00, NN blueberry waffles 16 pk 2.99, PC Angus sliders 6.99, blade roast 8.61: 37.35 rounded up 1 cent

    Valumart: PC dried black beans 3 x 1.00, candy cane k-cups 2 x 4.00, cool whip 2 x 2.00, pork liver 1.09, ground pork 3.71 less 30%: 18.70 rounded up 1 cent

    Valumart: PC Cola 2 x 1.00, NN chips 2 x 1.00, Certo less sugar crystals 4 x .50, BBQ peanuts 2 x 2.00, Renees dressing 2.64, Marzetti dips 3 x 2.64, iceberg lettuce 2 x 1.29, hip steak 6.94, pork chops 5.00, pillers pepperoni 2 x 3.54, tax 1.04: 43.20

    RCSS: Ragu 2 x .98 (PM), Unico sliced olives 2 x .99 (PM), PC Candy Cane ice cream clearance 1.94, PC frozen blueberries 3.98, mushrooms 1.67, 4 pk peppers 2.50, bananas 2.18 less 30%, bananas 1.58, cauliflower 2.50, snap peas 1.88, toothpaste 1.98, less superbucks 1.22 1.16 .65, less student discount 2.36, tax .23: 0 (gift card 18.34)

    RCSS: Cucumber 2 x 1.00 (PM), less student discount .20: 0 (gift card 1.80)

    RCSS: ground beef club pack 11.36, 11.34, PC Plus redemption 20.00: 2.70

    Ok, so expensive week. We aren’t over budget yet, but it’s coming. January Valumart started to put on sales that can’t compete with many things. The store closes permanently at the end of the month and things are gradually being decreases. For the last two weeks, I am going every few days. As a family, we agreed to blow this months budget to help us reduce the need later in the year. We can stock our freezer and pantry again, which both were looking very sad. We don’t really have a total to spend in mind, but we are looking at what we can make up realistically. So, it will be interesting to see what the final tally for the month will be. We aren’t too bad at tis point, but we do have common sense and won’t go too crazy. It has to be something we will use, want and can’t usually afford, or is a fantastic stock up price. I am happy to say the shelves are looking better already and the freezers look healthier. I am still aiming to have one freezer empty by March to clean it out.

    We have had very little meat in our diets, so we were able to afford some meat this week. Thanks to great prices at Valumart and RCSS having ground beef on sale where we could use PC Plus points. And, great timing to use my gift card from Christmas, and there is still a little left on it.

    Time to calculate the last week.

    • Hi Angela,
      As I was reading down I thought this was a busy shopping week for you and then I read your first sentence. lol. This kind of makes for an interesting blog post for the GGC. Would you blow your grocery budget on a store closing sale? I may just use that this week. 🙂 So you have 2 freezers? We want to get rid of our giant freezer and get 2 medium sized ones. The reason is once I finish the basement there’s no way I want to haul that sucker up the stairs. I’d rather bash walls now while nothing is done lol. I noticed all of the meat you bought and that’s great. If you can figure it out with the budget to get more meat in because it’s on sale.. go for it!! I’m interested to see how it all works out. You get ballot 39 MR.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        It was a busy shopping week, probably the busiest I had in many years, until the last week of this month. The only way it’s worth blowing a budget is if you intend to make it work back into the budget so in the end you get more for less. It’s not worth it if you spend more overall in the year. Since I know I can come in under budget, I know that I will be able to make it work. It will take discipline. We do have two freezers, one is medium and one is small. We have the smaller one on our main level and the medium one in the basement.

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