grocery game monthly challenge

5 Ways To Slash Binge Shopping From Your Grocery Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Feb 1-7

5 WAYS TO SLASH BINGE SHOPPING FROM YOUR GROCERY BUDGET(1)

SELF-CONTROL IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT SAVING

 

I think just about everyone has had their fair share of binge shopping at the grocery store which attributed to spending more money than anticipated. We shop with our eyes and nose and at the grocery store so we have to be on high-alert because it’s simple to buy what you probably could have done without.

What does the word binge really mean?

It means you do something excessively in a short period. I don’t know about you but I don’t plan to hang out at the grocery store all day. Binge shopping happens when we let the grocery store do the shopping for us and not the grocery list. Major budget buster!

Guilt shopping is right up there with placing food in a shopping cart with no plan in place. What is guilt shopping? You know when you leave the house and the kids or your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend beg you to bring them home chocolate, chips or make you feel guilty when you say, “No, we can’t afford it this week”? Well, if you give into their demands that’s guilt shopping. Try not to do this if you can help it because you may end up forming a habit every time you go grocery shopping. Major budget buster!

Marketing is the biggest culprit of binge shopping because the marketing team knows what customers want. If a customer does not come armed with a shopping list it’s easy to fall into the marketing trap. The sights and smells alone will capture your wallet not to mention free samples and in-store deals that you weren’t aware of. Major Budget Buster!

In our earlier days my wife and I needed to give ourselves the compulsive shopping treatment because we were literally going to different grocery stores a few days a week. Our aim was to scoop up as many deals as we could with coupons without a grocery budget or plan in mind.

Sure, we had and still have a massive stockpile which has helped to keep our overall budget down these past few years but not everyone has the cash to do so. We can easily look back and find products we could have done without and this is why it’s important to slash the binge shopping for products you don’t need now before you look back at wasted money.

While renting a room we were mindful of our budget but we knew that we weren’t tied to it because we didn’t have any huge responsibilities in our life. It wasn’t until we bought our house that we buckled down and got busy with the grocery budget and cut the binge shopping out of our lives.

I’d like to say that we are free and clear of temptation but I don’t think it ever goes away. We just learn to live with shopping less and realizing that we can’t just pick stuff up whenever we want. We created our stockpile budget of $25 back in 2015 to help combat our binge shopping craziness mostly in the form of reduced products and coupons.

Finding reduced products, especially by 50% or more in the grocery store are the silent grocery budget killers for our family. It’s so tempting to resist such amazing prices on products you know you will use at some point. I think most people do the same and justify the expense so they can purchase it. This is not always a bad idea depending on how you can manage your money  moving forward. For some they carry over budget overspends and tackle it but for those of you that can’t, stay away.

The resulting conversation goes something like this, “We will use it and it’s so cheap”.  Then we rhyme off what the regular price is and do some quick math in our heads to see if it’s worth it. Sounds like a bit of a pain in the back-side but it saves us when binge shopping tries to takes over. This can be triggered by something that captures your attention at the grocery store. Most times it’s price for us but for someone else it may be smell.

Some people go wild when the sample food booths are offering snacks and coupons to buy a product (so you do), free kids cookies that prompt you to buy more or just the smells and advertising boards sucker you into making a purchase. Costco isn’t the giant bulk store that it is on prices alone…the food samples are what makes that place the money. Smart marketing if you ask me. It works! This can drive your expenses up especially if you give in because impulsive spending can be just as elusive as binge eating when you get home because you want everything on the spot.

 

Plan to combat binge shopping

 

So, in 2016 the wife and I are working VERY hard to make sure we slash the binge shopping from our grocery budget and we have a bit of a plan to go along with it. It’s not going to be easy because we love our frugal deals but it’s important for us to stay on track.

  1. Stick to the grocery list
  2. Only spend our Stockpile Budget
  3. Eat before we go grocery shopping (we are horrible sometimes)
  4. Price-match and use coupons “as needed”
  5. Avoid walking down the aisles unless needed (Major budget buster)

The first goal is the toughest part because we want to achieve our weekly grocery shopping goals but there are weeks we go over because of something we bought. Now, if the deal is outrageous and too good to be true as we’ll never likely see it again, consider how it may affect your grocery budget in the long-term. This is where I talk about being able to handle a possible overspend to get the “big deal” now to save in the future.

Canadian Budget Binder fan Angela is going to school and her grocery budget is super tight for her family. If you’ve ever read her weekly grocery game challenge posts you would know that they don’t always get the fruits, veg and dairy they need because their budget can’t carry the expense. She’s working hard to have a brighter future for her career and family but along the way there are sacrifices and financial decisions they need to make.

She is fortunate to have a student discount card available to her which helps with some grocery savings but it’s so important for her to stash deals when she can. Not everyone can afford to spend more money every month if they find an excellent deal but Angela did just that when she found out her local Valu-Mart grocery store was closing down.

Here is what Angela had to say and I’ll warn you it’s a bit long but worth the read because every once in a while we have to make financial decisions that aren’t easy to do.

We aren’t over budget yet, but it’s coming. In January Valu-Mart started to put on sales that can’t compete with many things. The local Valu-Mart store closes permanently at the end of the month and things are gradually being decreased in price. For the last two weeks, I have gone 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, both of which 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 this 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 in our house. I am still aiming to have one freezer empty by March to clean it out.

We have had very little meat in our diet so we can afford some meat this week. Thanks to great prices at Valu-Mart and RCSS having ground beef on sale where we could use PC Plus points. And, great timing to use my gift card from Christmas.

Time to calculate the last week.

So the verdict is we’ve doubled our January grocery budget. Anyone who knows me will know that we did this with thought and full awareness and not taken lightly at all. I am someone who was near tears for the month of October 2015 while grocery shopping. We are looking at short-term loss with a long-term gain.

Because we had an extra pay in December and had a little extra cash we will not miss any payments or needs for this, we made the choice to do this. We are not planning to stay over budget for the year. Our goal is to shorten or lessen each week’s grocery bills so that by the end of March we make up for what we have already spent.

A two month goal is not unrealistic, and it is making me focus on roughly $25 week or less to spend. At this point all we will need is milk, eggs and produce. We are now stocked up on everything else for the most part (dish soap and maple syrup will be our only other targets).

This is super important to us to make sure we save money overall. We did not really spend too frivolously, yes the pop is there but not in any real volume. And some snack food too but lunches and rice cakes are awesome.

Since the price of lettuce has been awful we have really appreciated the little amount that we have spent the last couple of weeks on it. Frankly, we hadn’t been buying lettuce and we’ve missed enjoying salads in our diet. We are just down to two iceberg lettuces to finish up and we will make at least half the week on this. The carrots were a bonus as well the great price on mandarins.

By the time I got to Valu-Mart on the last day there wasn’t much left for produce but I managed to find a few things to help us. A sad week for our city as another place closes permanently down. Valu-Mart is now gone, but I did capitalize on their sales.

They were selling it out and someone had to buy it however in the last week I have seen that place busier than I had in years. It was a diamond in the rough and we went in there periodically. They always had in-store specials on meat but if you didn’t check you didn’t get.

The staff was super nice in there and I wish them all the best as they are the happiest cashiers in our entire city. They just did something right. It was sad to hear that Loblaws didn’t think they profited enough. Some of my favourite deals this week at Valu-Mart was the massive can of mandarins for $5.00 which I will use to prep fruit parfait and salads.

Other great deals were lobster bisque, chicken gumbo and chili as well as the milk (milk at a reduced price with great dates is always awesome). These are the lunch soups/chili that they would prepare and sell as large frozen bags.

They sold everything right down to the plastic cutler and trays that food would be prepared on. No, I did not need any of that stuff but we did try to get the best that we could for our family.

As much of a decision we made I am still nervous about putting so much out at once. We haven’t spent on average approx. $100 weekly in about 5 years. But, as long as I stay true and focus this will work. It will be happy eating for a while.

What I love about Angela is that she is a tough cookie with the shopping cart and so motivated to do the best she can for her family with limited funds. It’s so important to hang with like-minded people as you can be each others support system because giving something up or stopping a habit is never easy to do. This is what the Grocery Game Challenge Family is all about. We help and motivate each other to the finish line, the end of the year.

How do you control binge shopping?

 

February 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.

Congratulations to ballot #12 Birgit for winning the January 2016 Grocery Game Challenge!! You could be next!! Post your shop today!! I want to congratulate all the GGC players that are joining me in 2016. This is the biggest year yet for GGC players and I hope to see this grow. The savings will come. Welcome Aboard.

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week below for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. Alternatively, just click on the “Grocery Game Challenge” tab on the blog side-bar to see past posts.

 

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 $217.05
  • 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: 58570
  • 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: $0 (Cashed out $45.00)
  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $7.00

 

Grocery Shop This Week

 

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x dozen eggs $2.49 each
  • Neilson Cream 2/$5

Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 10.00

Food Basics

  • Broccoli Sale $1.28
  • Selection Ranch Dressing $1.79
  • Sunshine Bread Sale $1.88

Total Out-of-Pocket: $6.23

Zehrs

  • 1 x 2% Sealtest Milk $3.97
  • 1 x Homo 3.25% Milk $4.97
  • Planters Peanuts Sale $2.99 500g
  • 2 x Old No Name Cheese Sale $3.99

Total Out-of-Pocket: $19.91

No Frills

  • 2 x Hellmans Olive Oil Mayo Sale $3.47
  • 2 x Astro Coconut Yogurt $1.99 ea
  • Bananas $2.15

Total Out-of-Pocket: $13.07

Metro

  • Romaine Hearts 3 pk Sale $2.99
  • 2 x Cauliflower  Sale $1.99

Total Out-of-Pocket: $6.97

  • Total to spend this month $235.00-$17.95 over Jan = $217.05
  • Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $4
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $128.10
  • Total spent this week: $56.18
  • Total spent so far this month: $56.18
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month:- $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $160.87
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We didn’t need to buy that much since we are stocked up from last month. The goal the next few months is to try and eat down the freezer as there is lots of meat to get eaten up. We will be freezing the broccoli and using it as needed as well the cauliflower. I can’t believe they are $1.99… shocked but happy because %7.99 is a bit much. Overall a decent start to the month. The wife is still going strong on her diet and everyone has noticed a huge change, including myself.

 

Coupons and Coupon Apps 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 29 to Feb 4, 2016
    Name Your Store: Walmart
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = N/A
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.98

    Human
    2-1 Kg Peanut Butter – $3.97 (PM Zehrs @ $2.49) = $4.98

    Name Your Store: Zehrs
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1000
    Total Out Of Pocket: $14.02

    Human
    2 – 12 Charmin Toilet Paper = $7.98
    2 Quaker Oatmeal = $5.00

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1000 (Joanne’s PC Points)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $

    Human
    2 Rustico Funghi Pizza = $7.96

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $22.11

    Human
    6 pk Clover Leaf Tuna – $9.49 (PM Walmart @ $4.97) = $4.97
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    Bananas – (400 PC Points) = $2.74
    Ground Turkey = $6.43
    2 Wonder WW Bread = $4.00

    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: $30.10
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $39.90
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $139.22

    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: $18.97
    Total Stockpile to Date: $42.01
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $4.50
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $46.23
    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: $7.48
    Total Price Match to Date: $45.44

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 24985

    Overview: This is the last shop for my January budget as I’m paid 3 times in Januray. This week was a bit bigger but mainly because we different stores, but I still stayed under budget for the week. Everything that I purchased this week was to add to my existing stock pile stash or nice to have items in the house. I remember last year in the month of January and I was over for the month and this year, I have a stock pile budget along with a bit lower of a grocery budget and have stayed within those guidelines and even taken the excess and applied it to my debt to make it a win/win situation. That will be continued through-out the year to keep that debt going down but I also know that none of my debt will be paid off in full this year but it will be much closer than it would be if I didn’t make those extra payments.

    • Hi Dee,
      Your very last line says it all. So many people complain about debt but do NOTHING about it. You can’t fight the battle if you let the battle constantly win. You’ve done very well for yourself over the years here from what I’ve read so you should be proud of yourself. We were over in January which doesn’t surprise me so we’ll be staring the year making up for it. When do you think your debt will be fully paid? You get Ballot 1 . 🙂 Mr.CBB

      • I don’t want to remember where I started off at with my debt but I remember when I renewed my mortgage in November 2014, I was sitting at $55K and now around $35K. My goal (all things staying consistent) is to have all but maybe $2K paid off when I renew in 2019. That includes OSAP, car, loan and most of a credit card account that’s closed. I’m hoping that I can have that additional $2K gone as well and I’m working hard at making myself debt-free by next renewal date.

        • Hey Dee,

          It’s amazing that you’ve managed to pay your debt down $20,000 since 2014! I really admire your resolve to make every little bit count to pay down the debt quicker. 🙂

          • Hi Mimsie,

            I have a few things that’s giving me this motivation to pay it off as soon as possible. 1 is to be able having options available to me, such as renovations on the condo or travel, etc. 2 is to be able to ride the next interest rate change at renewal. 3 is probably the biggest…to show up my “financial analyst” at the bank where my mortgage is. When I was there before, he was not very encouraging about different options to assist me in paying the debt back faster. I feel he didn’t think that I couldn’t afford to make larger payments than what I was making. I actually can’t wait to see his face when/if I tell him that my mortgage is the only debt I have. When I did renew last time, my interest rate went down but I told him that I wanted to keep the payments the same. I don’t think he liked that too much but that also will help pay down the debt faster. I think it’s the “I’ll show them” attitude that’s keeping me motivated.

          • Those are awesome ideas on motivation to pay down debt Dee! I especially like the last one. People often have such weird ideas about what can be done with money. I think they get caught in the needs/wants trap thinking that things that are options are necessities. I remember a similar experience at the bank when I got my mortgage. The loan officer asked how much I paid for heat. When I told her the amount she said it was quite a bit lower than the minimum they could put on the application even though I had the bills to prove it. So limiting, as it might have caused them to reject my application. I agree that it feels great to show them that it can be done. Maybe you’ll be an inspiration for your “financial analyst”! 🙂

  2. I think guilt shopping has been my biggest issue grocery shopping, especially when my daughter was younger and she was with me. She has never really liked grocery shopping so to appease her while there, I would sometimes get her a treat. For the few times, that I didn’t, she was not a happy camper. Now that she is older and understands the limitation of money, she is better at not asking for treats but then I don’t get them as often so when she does and I have the fund available, I don’t feel so bad about giving in to her. I usually try and stay away from the sample stands because I don’t have plans of purchasing that item(s) for week anyways. In some way, I don’t think that anybody is free from binge shopping from time to time.

    • We are already starting to notice that our son is grabbing at food at the grocery store and at the check out and throwing a bit of a fit. I can see how tempting it can be to guilt shop, especially as a parent.

  3. Mary F Campbell says:

    FEBRUARY – Week #1 of 5- Feb 1-7, 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:

    Before we start our FEBRUARY shopping off though, I am going to make my usual monthly “reserve” transfers:

    Grocery:

    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($ 6.78) Overage from January
    ($ 15.00) trf to re-stocking – normally $15.00
    ($ 11.61) trf to holiday reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 11.61) trf to summer reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 45.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $45.00

    CANADIAN Grocery Balance $100.00

    This week our shopping is about the things I need to make this week’s menu only. I really didn’t need much BUT I did a little re-stocking while the prices were good!

    We also scored five nice rain checks for whole chickens, pork loins, pork roasts and ground beef. Keep those rain checks coming!! Love ‘em!

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Kin’s Market – Maple Ridge –

    2 bags of Broccoli Tops (2 @ $1.62) = $3.38

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $3.38
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $0.00

    —————————————————————–

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 Compliment’s GF Multigrain Sandwich Rolls $6.99

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $6.99
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $0.00

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

    —————————————————————–

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 4L Whole Milk (3,100 Points Redeemed to cover $5.19)

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $0.00
    • TOTAL Grocery Redeemed Points: $5.19

    ** Earned 0 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x Baby Spinach $2.97
    3 lbs Mushrooms $11.11

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $14.08
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 3400 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    1 Beef Sirloin Roast $7.88
    1 Beef Sirloin Roast $7.80

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $15.68
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 41 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $35.05 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Walmart – Maple Ridge –

    2 English Cucumber $1.47 ea = $2.94
    1 x 6-pack Cloverleaf Tuna in water = $4.97 ea
    2 x Great Value Shredded Cheese (2 for $10)
    2 LBS Maple Leaf Prime Ground Chicken (2 for $12)

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $24.94
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $4.97

    ** SAVED $5.36 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 Jalapeños $0.49
    1 Mixed Greenhouse peppers (6-pack) $5.99
    1 Parsley $1.69
    1 Johnsonville Sausage (loose) $5.49
    1 Case of Evaporated Milk $15.99
    1 – 8-pack Maple Leaf Chicken Breasts $18.00

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $8.17
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $39.48

    ** Earned 71 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $24.10 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 + Feb $64.51 = $101.27

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00= $0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 71 = 81 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 41 = 47 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 3400 = 5200 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 = 0 Points

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb ($83.22 trf to reserves+$3.38+$6.99+$5.19+$14.08+$15.68+$24.94+$8.17 = $161.65) = $358.43

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

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $21.57 AVAILABLE

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

    2016 POINTS REDEEMED RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $4.69+ Feb $5.19= $9.88

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

    2016 US GROCERY RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00= $90.00

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

    2016 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb ($15.00-4.97-$39.48 = -$29.45) = $138.40

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

    2016 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 = $108.12

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

    2016 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61= $664.11

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 380.00 Grocery Budget JAN

    $ 9.88 Redeemed Points to Purchase
    Groceries

    ($ 83.22) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves
    (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 109.10 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves
    (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 90.00) Trf to US Grocery Reserve

    ($ 9.88) Set in reserve to offset
    Redeemed Points

    ($ 294.31) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 21.57 AVAILABLE Y-T-D SPENDING

    • VALUE POINTS REDEEMED Y-T-D:

    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN
    $ 5.19 Whole Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB

    $ 9.88 Total $ Value of 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”:

    $138.40 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $108.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $664.11 Summer Season Fund
    $ 90.00 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 9.88 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,010.51. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $183.10 that we have added in 2016, LESS $109.10 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

    2 Pork Loin Roasts @ $3.88/lb – Good until April 28/16

    4 Ground Beef @ $3.88/lb – Good until April 28/16

    Save On Foods:

    2 Whole Pork Loins @ $1.89/lb – Good until Feb 11/16

    Thrifty Foods:

    6 Island Bakery WW Bread @ $1.00 per loaf – Good until April 22/16

    6 Island Bakery WW Bread @ $1.00 per loaf – Good until April 25/16

    1 x 2-pack BC Fresh Whole Fryer Chickens @ $2.49/lb – Good until April 27/16

    1 x 2-pack BC Fresh Whole Fryer Chickens @ $2.49/lb – Good until April 27/16

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

    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 cereal with skim milk

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

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

    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Roast Beef on Onion Buns au jus +16 Bean and Bacon Soup

    TUES: Chicken Salad Wraps & Rice Pudding

    WED: Refried Bean Burritoes with grated cheddar & hot sauce + 16 Beam and Bacon Soup

    THURS: Egg Salad Sandwiches + Rice Pudding

    FRI: Roast Beef on Onion Buns au jus + Christmas Banana Bread (has chocolate chips, maraschino cherries & walnuts)

    SAT: Swiss Chalet for lunch…I want the entree size Greek Salad

    SUN: Red Pepper and Red Lentil Soup with Garlic Bread

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

    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Spaghetti with Tomato Alfredo Sauce

    TUES: Leftover Chicken-Mushroom-Dill Soup

    WED: Cheese Omelette with Steamed Broccoli

    THURS: Leftover Chicken-Mushroom-Dill Soup

    FRI: Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana + buttered Cottage Cheese Bread

    SAT: Grilled Cheese and Fried Egg Sandwiches with cucumber, grape tomatoes, carrot & celery sticks

    SUN: Chicken Meatball Italian Wedding Soup + Garlic Bread

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

    • Hi Mary,
      I love all the soups and sandwiches. You must have a recipe box a mile high with all of the soups you’ve made. At first glance the chicken breasts seem pricey but if you consider going out for dinner you’ll likely pay that for one meal. The baby spinach that you buy is that a container or a bunch? Awesome price for the tuna. I would have stocked up. The cucumber was a decent price however the wife says the one we have tastes like eating eggplant as the texture is spongy. Any idea wh that might happen? Great shopping this week. You get ballot 2. Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        The spinach was a small bag only (for a soup), The chicken breasts were absolutely HUGE Mr CBB so we got them anyway and they’ll cover a lot of meals. The English cucumber – you have to eat them up quickly. It’s definitely an imported item in the dead of winter…so they don’t last like regular cucumbers do in the summer.

  4. Yearly Grocery Budget For 2016: $8,400 (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: 9,900
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date: 0

    Grocery Shop This Week: January 29 – February 04, 2016

    Superstore
    • Popcorn Kernels 2 x $2.49 = $4.98
    • Marshmallows $2.49
    • Barilla Spaghettini 2 x .99 = $1.98
    • Barilla Cut Macaroni $0.99
    • Sunbutter $6.49
    • 4lb. Apples 2 x $2.50 = $5.00
    • 3lb. Carrots $3.49
    • 10lb. Red Potatoes $2.00
    • 15lb. Russet Potatoes $2.99
    • Avocado (5) $2.50
    • Jane’s Chicken Burgers $4.88
    • Hamburger Buns $3.89 – (50%) = $1.94
    • Country Harvest Bread 2 x $4.49 – (50%) = $4.48
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 44.53

    PC Points Earned = 0
    Balance 9,900

    Wal-Mart
    • Grape Tomatoes $2.47
    • Celery Sticks $2.47
    • English Cucumber 2 x .77 = $1.54
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 6.48

    Costco
    • Pecans (908g) $16.49
    • Spinach (454g) $3.69
    • Pita (15) $3.89
    • 4L 2% Milk $6.22
    • 2L Chocolate Milk $3.47
    • Ground Beef ($3.55/lb) $22.66
    • Popcorners Kettle Chip (568g) $6.49
    • Ancient Grain Tortillas (15) $4.49
    • 9lb. Bananas $5.97
    • Frozen Mango $12.99
    • Golden Melon $4.99
    • Cheddar Cheese (907g) $9.99
    • Applesauce (24) $9.99
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 112.17

    Sobeys
    Catelli Pasta 3 x $1.00 = $3.00
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 0.42
    **Used Gas Coupon worth $2.58 towards purchase**

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    • Milk 2L $3.31
    • Quacker Rice Cakes 4 x $1.25 = $5.00
    • Eggs 2 x $2.49 = $4.98
    • Unico Can Olives $4.00 (3 cans)
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 17.62

    • Total to spend this month: $700
    • Total coupons used this week: $ 2.58
    • Total coupons used to date: $20.48
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $ 20.11
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $101.96
    • Total spent this week: $ 181.22
    • Total spent so far this month: $181.22
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER 41.22
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: OVER 41.22
    • Total left to spend for the month: $518.78
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $706.52 +

    Weekly Overview:
    This 5 week month may be a little tough!

    • Hi Lori-Lynn
      What is sunbutter? My wife is looking for KerryGold Butter but so far we haven’t found it. We like the spaghettini pasta too but we haven’t bought it in ages. Great price for the cucumbers. What do they taste like? We have one and it tastes like sponge. How long does it take you to go through 9lbs of bananas? That is a great price for the spinach as I saw that last night when we went to Costco. I noticed Costco had huge jars of olives. Do you ever buy them there? We get eggs at SDM as well because they always seem to have the best price. Well done. Yes it’s a 5 week month and it will be tough for all of us but don’t fear… you’ve got this!! You get ballot #3. MR.CBB

  5. Another awesome post Mr. CBB! Temptation is no stranger to me either. I pretty regularly have to fight off the temptation to buy things I don’t really need because they are a great price. For example, I have enough shower gel to last for years. I found Mary’s post earlier this year really helpful to combat temptation. She talked about making this year a no waste year and focusing on working through some of the things that she already had. It really got me thinking about my impulse to keep buying even though I already have quite a bit. It feels a little like an addiction where I get a rush from getting a great deal.

    This week I had an experience that really got me thinking about it more. I had a lot of temptation to go to No Frills, even though it is a half hour drive away, just because they had so many great deals. I also had a PC points offer of $3000 points if I bought $30 of product. Those kind of offers really suck me in (Shoppers 20x the points is another example). I wasted too much time thinking about how I could make it work so I think that unless I happen to be going past No Frills, I should stop looking at the flyer because it would seldom be worthwhile going because of the time it would take and the cost of getting there.

    This experience made me realize that I need to devote some time to thinking about how much is enough, how much time am I willing to devote to saving money, and develop some guiding rules.

    That being said I do have some strategies that I use to avoid overspending. Some of them reiterate what Mr.CBB has already pointed out so please forgive the repetion.

    I try to go by the Tightwad Gazette rule of stocking up a lot on things that infrequently go on sale and buying less of things that go on sale more frequently.

    I stay out of stores on Monday because the temptation is too great to buy things I don’t need at 50% off. Even on Tuesdays I still sometimes get caught by what they still have left over. This is my worst downfall Mr. CBB and I’m obviously less successful than you and your wife are at resisting buying too much.

    I go with a list and predetermine how to fit everything into the budget. This it’s probably the most important change I’ve made.

    I think to myself that I don’t want to have to report that I overspent. That’s the accountability of the GGC that Mr. CBB has mentioned in the past.

    I try to stay focused on my goal of graduating in April with no debt.

    In the past I would go into the store breathing through my mouth to avoid smelling all the yummy bread and fast food. Doesn’t seem to be as tempting anymore so don’t do it now but it really helped to avoid buying that kind of thing at one time.

    I look at the free food samples that stores put out as a way of sampling foods to determine if I might want to buy it in the future. It’s kind of a game for me not to buy any of it at the time unless it’s something I need and it’s an amazing price which is seldom the case when they offer samples.

    On a side note Mr. CBB, another great thing about Costco that I keep forgetting to mention is their low presciption filling fee. Vitamins and over the counter drugs are also very inexpensive there.

    Congratulations on staying under budget. You’re well on your way to making up for the overspend last month and your wife must be happy about the cauliflower too! 🙂

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

    Yearly Grocery Budget: $720.00
    Monthly Grocery Budget 2016: $60.00 ($15.00/wk/4wk month or $12.00/week/5wk month)
    Total Carried Over From Last Month: $4.32
    Total Spent This Month Previous To This Shop: $0.00
    Total spent this week: $10.29 (under $1.71)
    Total spent so far this month: $10.29
    Total left to spend for the month: $4.32 + ($12 – $10.29) + $48.00 = $54.03
    Total Grocery Budget Spent To Date 2016: Jan: $75.68

    Yearly Stockpile Budget: $480.00
    Monthly Stockpile Budget 2016: $40.00
    Total carried over from last month: – $1.10
    Total spent so far this month: $9.04
    Total left to spend for the month: -$1.10 – $9.04 + $40 = $29.86
    Total Stockpile Budget used to date: Jan $21.10

    Food Basics
    $1.28 Broccoli
    $2.88 Irresistible Frozen Blueberries (600g) (stockpile)
    $1.88 Kale (stockpile)
    $0.00 Tabasco sauce ($1.88 – $2.00 coupon)
    $1.94 Saporito canola oil (3 litres – 1.5 litres = 1.5 litres) ($3.88 – $1.94 shared with son)
    $1.88 Oranges (3lb)
    $9.86 OOP

    Loblaws
    $1.69 Potatoes (10lb) ($1.88 – 10% student discount)
    $2.50 Athentikos greek yogurt (2) (2 for $7.00 – 50% – $1.00 coupon)
    $1.00 Triscuits
    $5.19 OOP

    Farm Boy
    $0.99 leaf lettuce (for some reason my daughter insisted on paying for this so I won’t count it in the total)

    Costco
    $1.99 Dempsters tortillas (15 large) (915g) (stockpile)
    $2.29 Dempsters ancient grain tortillas (15 large) (915g) (stockpile)
    $4.28 OOP

    Was a good week for shopping. Always feels good to get things for free like the Tabasco sauce! They had some good deals on things I needed too so I stocked up a bit even though I still have a fair amount of frozen veg and fruit in the freezer and fridge. Going to cut up and freeze the kale. I often put frozen kale or collards in soups or stews and even omelettes for extra nutrition. It seems to give me more energy too. It also freezes beautifully. Just chop it up, bag it, and throw it directly in the freezer. Doesn’t get mushy or freeze together like spinach. Will probably freeze some of the broccoli too but since it doesn’t freeze as successfully I’ll probably make a soup of some kind with it or maybe crustless quiche.

    Going to have some fun with the tortillas. I have a couple of cans of refried beans and some salsa that needs to be used soon. Will also use them with some already cooked pork and chicken I have on hand. Might be good for an egg salad sandwich too! Haven’t had one for a while. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it!

    I tried something new this week to maximize my $s. For things that were sold by item I used the store scale to get the largest one. I was surprised that there was so much difference in the individual weights. The kale I ended up buying was 200 g heavier than most of the others so I will keep weighing things in the future even if it does get me some funny looks! 🙂

    Happy shopping everyone..M

    • Hi Mimsie,
      That is exactly what it is, a rush. We know that all too well. Our cold room has enough supplies for years and we bought it all back in 2010-2011 when couponing was booming. It was crazy how much we got free or near free but that temptation also means we spend money on things we don’t need. I can’t tell you how many stick deodorants we have in the basement that we got free and I don’t use it as I like the spray. We are actually donating them to a friend next week. We didn’t need to buy them even if we paid the tax. It was just so hard to say no to that high. You should check out my tortilla recipe on the blog. Nicola uses it all the time. You may love it! Oh I love that idea. I might add that as grocery shopping tip. Thanks for that. I always pick out the biggest too but never think to weigh them. Ah who cares what others think. They don’t work for your money. We struggle with the 50% off too but we have gotten many great deals. I agree you will do well if you just don’t look at the flyer unless of course the store you do go to will Price match. How many stores are in your town? 🙂 You get ballot 4. Mr.CBB

      • Yeah, I’ve had to give away stuff that I can’t use too! A least it can help out some of the people I know or the food bank and what goes around comes around too. I get a lot of things given to me too so it all works out.

        I’ve made my own tortillas in the past but find them hard to roll out and time consuming to cook so I don’t do it often. After reading your recipe I see why I might be having trouble rolling them though. There is a lot more fat in your recipe than mine and that might be making the difference. I’ll give it another whirl and see if it works out better. The basil oil sounds great, it must make the tortillas taste wonderful! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Tortilla recipe? Really? I may have to try those. How long does it take for you to whip up a batch?

    • Love your Greek yogurt deal! Mmm especially if it is lemon or coconut. My favorites.

  6. Congrats on winning the monthly draw Birgit!

  7. Hi my name is Juanita and I am a binge shopper!!!
    I admit and know I can be a binge shopper but I want and need it to fit into the budget and make sure that the year end totals and goals are met or are even under.
    There is and always will be amazing deal to be had and gotten.

  8. Large family living on a farm, having to shop in the city.

    I go into binges sometimes but normally when I am rushed, or worst no menu plan.
    This weeks shop.
    No Frills
    Crackers 2.29
    Quaker oatmeal 18pk 5.29
    hot chocolate 4.49
    chips 3.17
    chips 3.29
    beef broth powder 1.99
    chicken broth powder 1.99
    Special K 2.97
    Nature Valley bars 3.00
    Fuddgee-O 2.97
    yogurt 3.97
    yogurt 3.97- 1.99 = 1.98
    tart shells 3.99
    Frozen corn 2.69
    celery 2.97
    mushrooms 1.97
    baby carrots 2lbs 3.47
    cantaloupe 2.97
    field cucumber 1.27
    romaine lettuce 2.77
    tomato 1.18
    2x raspberries 1.97 ea= 3.94
    snap peas 1.88
    brown bread 1.97
    cinnamon bread 2,29
    2x Bavarian Multigrain 1.97 ea= 3.94
    tortilla 3.00
    4x grated Roma cheese @ 1.00 ea= 4.00
    4× grated parm cheese @ 1.00 ea= 4.00

    Tax .98
    Total 86.68

    Food land
    Turkey gravy 1.99
    ice cream 3.49
    whip topping 3.00
    chicken wings 9.99
    bacon 3.99

    Total 22.46

    Total to spend this month: 380.00+January reserve 39.05=419.05
    Total coupons:
    Total in store discounts: 1.98
    Total spent this week:109.14
    Total spent so far this month: 109.14
    Total over/under this shop: over 14.14
    Total over/under this month:
    Total left to spend:309.91
    Total spent to date this year: January 365.86+ February 109.14=475.00

    http://www.simplymadecountrylife.blogspot.com

  9. Hi, my name is Birgit and I am a shopaholic.

    Since being on a budget my shopping is reduced to food, body care and cleaning supplies and my downfall are coupons combined with sales and additional cash back rebates from Checkout51. I have stashed enough toothpaste, shampoo, soap and laundry detergent for the rest of the year.

    This week I vowed to only buy a few things since I am going away on vacation coming Monday.
    It still didn’t keep me from spending $100.54 at No Frills and Walmart. Sigh. I had a few coupons that I wanted to use before expiry and also had a shopping list for a couple staples to replenish. Everything has been or will be used, but I could have kept it to half of the amount, I am sure. And the good thing is: I practiced price matching! It was fun and I will do it again, now that I know how it works (and how easy it is).

    Since I’ve been sick this week and am also trying to get ready for the trip on Monday morning (4 am to the Airport) I will skip the detailed write-up this week.

    This is my overview though:
    SHOP: NOFRILLS
    Total out of pocket – $58.37

    SHOP: WALMART
    Total out of pocket – $42.17

     +++++
    POINTS OVERVIEW
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $240
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $240
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $30 ($10 on food)
    PC Plus points earned to date: 41,250
    Airmiles earned to date: 232
    Shoppers Points earned to date: 82,578 (125$)
    SCOP to date: $4.99

    COUPON APPS
    Zweet: $1.25
    Checkout51: $16.00 ($80 total so far)
    Save.ca: $0.50
    Snap: $16.00
    +++++
    Total coupons used this week: $ 5.50
    Total coupons used to date: $ 51.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $ ?
    Total in-store discounts to date: $ 60.98
    Total spent this week: $ 100.54
    Total spent so far this month: $100.54
    Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER
    Total over/Under spend for the month: UNDER
    Total left to spend for the month: $ 139.46
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $511.74 / Feb $100.54

    • The first step is admitting it and it’s no joke because the high that many shopoholics get from buying or getting the deal can really put a dent in their finances. You’re gonna crush your ways with the GGC team!! If you want when you come back you can re-submit with the products so we can see them. I just don’t want to get into the habit of it otherwise it defeats the purpose. I don’t mind one bit waiting for your post. I’m strict because you have to be when it comes to money. There are no corners to be cut. Your envelope is in the mail from winning the January GGC!! Congratulations again, you’ve done so well. Mr.CBB

    • Hi Birgit
      I have a real problem with trying to maximize my savings too with Checkout 51, PC points, coupons etc. It’s incredible how much time I’ve wasted on it over the years. Sure I’ve gotten some amazing deals but overall it’s been a waste of time and money because I’ve had to give some of it away and could have done something more productive with my time. It hasn’t stopped me yet though as I spent a good hour this morning trying to see how to get PC points on some things I don’t really need. It’s a tough one to beat because it feels like you’re doing something that will help you in the long run when in fact it ain’t necessarily so. Mr. CBB has a good point though that it’s a necessary step to post everything spent here because to be honest, some weeks it has been the only thing between me and a binge.

      Don’t be too hard on yourself though. It is a process and none of us get everything right all at once. Expect that there will be plenty of slip ups. As long as we can use them as learning experiences and get up and try again instead of beating ourselves up we are doing great. We are not here to judge you but to support your efforts in working towards your financial goals. All of us have failed at times so you are not alone in this. You have taken a big step in starting to post your purchases and I admire your courage to post that you had fallen short of your goal.

      It’s also important to remember that even though you spent more than you wanted to this week that at least you will be able to use it all so it wasn’t wasted and you will have a head start when you come back. You’ve also been sick and probably stressed about leaving on vacation. Those kind of things can make us more susceptible to impulse buying. Not to say you didn’t have any control but just that sometimes things are harder to do because of extenuating circumstances. I’ll be excited to hear how you will make up for the overspend! 🙂

      I hope you are feeling better soon and especially before next Monday!

  10. Yes! Binge shopping at the grocery store is hard to beat because food is a necessity, but then we end up buying things we don’t really need at the store too.

    • Yes, I saw this today on another forum (which shall remain nameless) that mentioned the “Great deal” on Kit kats and PC points. I can’t remember all the details but the end result was you would get about $20 worth of Kit Kat bars for $6 or something like that. So many members were jumping on board and said they were going out to get this “great” deal. All I could think was why would I want to spend even $6 on those things? I don’t like them no matter how cheap they are (now coffee crisps that is another matter entirely 😉 ) Granted some of the women had little ones and they were going to give them out to their children’s class for valentines day (brilliant idea!), but some planned to keep them to eat… LOL. Anyways it made me think of this discussion, of trying to get the best possible deal but in the end it isn’t something you need in the first place, so any amount spent above Free, is too much.

  11. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 1 – January 28 – Feb 5

    • Grocery budget to work with in January: $250
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $4.42
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: $0
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: $0.06
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $20
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $25
    • Total student discounts this week: $0
    • 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: $0
    • Total spent so far this month: $0
    • Total left to spend for the month: $200
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent to make up in future months: $167.30
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $417.30

    This is a no shop week. First week ever. We had everything we needed, and no desire to buy anything. It was a good start to making up for the choice we made in January. The goal is still to keep it around $25 a week until the short fall is made up. This will not change. It would be nice to make it up before March, but realistically our goal is to have it straightened out by the end of March. We have listed what we would normally spent as the budget for February (at $50 week and a 5 week month=$250), but in this case it’s really just a number. The real number we are interested in is the overspent line getting smaller and smaller. We will need some basics next week. But not much more. Can’t believe it, first no shop ever! Not even shampoo!

    • Hi Angela,
      I’m jealous of you having a no-shop week as it’s been terrible for us the past 2 years trying to fit one in every month. We really ought to get back to that because the more we shop the worse it gets. How do you tell yourself, NO I’m not doing it… I”m not shopping this week? You picked up lots in January so you’re off to a great start with the stockpile. Haha.. oh this is your first ever no-shop. How did it make you feel? You get ballot 8 Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        It felt great. I know it isn’t something that we can do regularly since our budget is for all consumables, but at least we managed once. I figure it’s got to happen again at some point, and I will celebrate it just like this time. I just didn’t go into the stores this week, no reason to. So, if there were deals, I have no idea what I was missing. But the next week isn’t going to be much of anything. One of our biggest weekly necessities is milk and we still have 4L left of it from Valumart. And, the date is still great, so that saves a good chunk of our budget (or at least weekly aim).

  12. Angela Mainse says:

    Thanks Mr. CBB for this post. I am happy to say that we have not regretted what we did and will stay determined to remain on track. We still have a bit of lettuce left, one bag of the mandarins and lots of milk from the fresh stuff we got the last week. We won’t need a lot next week either. We are already seeing the benefit of our decision. It has been a week of balanced meals and no worries about not having enough. The decision we made to “blow” our budget was not made lightly and prompted a full family discussion, it was not random while in the store and I shopped mainly by myself so that too many “extras” weren’t put in the cart. I know my hubby and son would have had a harder time walking away from some of the deals that I did, and yes, there were many. Do we plan on doing this again? Not a chance. I certainly hope we don’t have another grocery store close in town, however that’s the only way that we could get so much for so very little. Binge shopping is not part of our repertoire, but I know this will help us if we stay true to our goals.

  13. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults 5000

    Total Out Of Pocket: $ 117.74
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 500
    PC Points Plus Earned to date:0

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Shoppers Drug Mart
    • 2 dozen run eggs 2 X $2.49
    • 1 L. Cream- 1.99
    • Sugar 2 X 2.29
    • Salsa 2 X 2.49
    • PC Choc. Chips 2 X1.99
    • Windsor Salt- 1.99

    Safeway
    • 10 Kg Flour- 8.99
    • Sunflower oil- 4.89
    • Brown sugar- 4.39
    • Coconut milk- 1.50
    • 1. Kg old Cheddar- 13.99
    • 1 Lucerne 4litre milk $4.69 – $1.50 coupon!
    • Tropicana OJ- $3. 99
    • Frozen Compliments cherries 600g 2 X $3.99
    • Frozen compliments Broccoli 3.19
    • 1 Kg. Frozen Mixed vegetables- 2 X 2.79
    • Bananas- $2.01
    • Pineapple- 3.99
    • Gala Apples- 4.66
    • Kale/ spinach blend- $3.39
    • Baby potatoes 2 lbs- $2.99 – $2 coupon = $.99
    • 3 lbs Tangelos- $5.28
    • Organic lemons- 3.99
    • Organic Mushrooms- 1.49
    • Ground Italian sausage 3.99
    • Whole Fryer- 8.72
    • 6 pk Cheese croissants with 50% off sticker $2.99 – 50%= $1.49
    • Raisin Bread- 1.99

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Total coupons used this week: $3.50
    • Total coupons used to date: $11.25
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $35.78 (Safeway only)
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $158.30
    • Total spent this week: $ 117.74
    • Total spent so far this month: 117.74
    • Total over/Under spend for the month:
    • Total left to spend for the month: $ 361.83
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include pet foods, paper or personal) Jan $479.57
    • Total Airmiles this week = 55
    • Weekly Overview : I was pleased with the milk coupon! We don’t drink much milk, it is used mostly for tea, cooking and baking so I usually buy a 2 litre carton. But with The $1.50 off coupon (in the safeway flyer) the 4 litre was cheaper than the 2 litre, so I will be cooking with milk this week. I also used the potato coupon one last time because it was about to expire and this week the potatoes were on for $2.99 minus $2.00 that is .99 cents for new baby potatoes!!!! That was better than last week. I did better than I expected even though I knew I needed to buy some pantry staples (flour, sugar etc), so I cut back on meat ( I still have some in the freezer), but not on produce. Even though there were not as many good options for organic at reasonable prices… maybe next week.
    • 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) Crockpot roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed green salad 2) Vegetarian tomato pasta, mixed green salad 3) Chicken a la king with vegetables over rice 4) Chicken vegetable soup and Buttermilk biscuits, Fruit Salad 5) Lentil tomato soup with left over biscuits 6) Baked Salmon fillets with over roasted potatoes and vegetables, Fruit salad. My daughter also made lemon muffins and chocolate chip cookies 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, Chick pea curry, Creamy pasta with sour cream, Sausage cream gravy with biscuits, Oven baked sole.

    • Hi Rose,
      What do you use sunflower oil for? What does it taste like? Don’t say sunflowers either lol. The first thing I thought was, WOW she had a milk coupon. We never see them anymore unless it’s for the expensive milk which we would never buy. The coupon for the potatoes was great too. Where did you find that one? I love the lemon muffin idea. We love lemon in the UK as you can tell from Nicola’s long list of lemon recipes on the blog. I think I may have a couple myself. I like the lentil tomato soup.. that sounds so good. Is that red or green lentil? Or another? My father-in-law buys organic and he has noticed the price spike in the produce but checks in daily as he’s retired and doesn’t mind going to look and see if he can find deals. Are there certain price points on organic that you will buy and won’t buy? I’d love to make a price list of organic products and compare them with reg produce. Well done this week and love the menu plan. You get ballot 9. Mr.CBB

      • For organic prices I don’t really have a price point. My decision is based on how the product price compares to the non-organic equivalent. I guess .50 cents or less per pound for fruit then I will choose organic, and less than a $1.50 difference for vegetables. Some things I buy only organic regardless of price. For instance lemons and oranges if I plan to use the zest in baking. And sometimes organic is the same (or LESS!) price as non-organic. Then I will buy extra and freeze it.

        I use the sunflower oil for baking things like cake, when olive oil would just be too strong tasting.

        I only use green lentils, I have actually never used red lentils LOL. Maybe I should one of tthese days. Same as split peas, I only use green and have never used yellow. Kind of strange now that I think of it.

        The potato coupon was still the personalized one from air miles. It is no longer available and my air mile offers this month are really lousy.

  14. Hi Mr. CBB,
    Sunbutter is sunflower seeds made into a butter, it is found in the health food section at Supersore. It’s a nice change from Peanut Butter. The cucumbers were good. We probably eat between 3-6 lbs. of bananas a week and then I throw the rest into the freezer for baking muffins and smoothies. I don’t buy olives at Costco as we would never eat them all before they went bad. You mentioned you went to Costco, how did you make out? Did you get a membership or just compare prices?

  15. 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)
    Zweet to cash out : $3.00($25.75)
    Checkout51 to cash out : $8.76($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    144 count Tetley tea -9.99
    1 6pack Royale tissues -4.44, rain check
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 case ginger ale -3.49
    1kg icing sugar -3.29
    1 yogurt -3.00
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1lb Natrel butter -3.99
    Bananas -.90
    Tax -1.03
    Total OOP -$44.88
    Canadian Tire
    3 2kg sugar @1.77, stockpile
    1 Palmolive dish soap -2.00
    Total OOP -$7.31, $5.31 stockpile
    Jackson’s Pharmacy
    1 Gain laundry -3.99
    Total OOP -$3.99
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 case ginger ale -3.49
    1 jar pickles 1.99
    2 cans pineapple tidbits @1.19
    2 tomato paste @.50
    2 4l milk @4.88
    2 bags frozen fries @2.49
    Bananas -.77
    1 mild Italian sausage -5.99, 50% sticker,3.00
    1 pack beef liver -1.97
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -3.95
    1 pack hot dog buns -3.79
    2 W/W bread @2/5.00
    Tax -.45
    Total OOP -$57.88, $3.00 discount
    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $5.31
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $4.00
    Total in-store discounts this week:$3.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: $37.53
    Total spent this week: $108.75
    Total spent so far this month: $108.75
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month:- $n/a
    Total left to spend for the month: $541.25
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69 Feb $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) a good start to the month. I have lots of room even for a 5 week month. I am starting to need a trip into No Frills to stock up on a few things and there are deals up my alley in their flyer but it all depends on the weather and such if I can make it there. That is not looking good. I am finding some deals in town that I don’t need to drive to get. If I can get to No Frills fine, if I can’t….well that is the way it goes. I am not going to risk the roads in bad weather unless I have to.

    • Hi Christine,
      Who’s the big tea drinker in your house? I think you drink as much as we do. You picked up some great deals this week and stockpiled a few things. That butter is a decent price but it’s worse in some places. I noticed at Zehres it’s almost $6 pound.. ouch. If it gets any worse it’s probably better financially to buy baked goods just not as good as homemade though. How long of a drive is it to No Frills? The snow is here again… maybe it will all go away and you can make a mad dash up there to get what you need. Do the boys drive you around at all or do you do the driving? Either way I’m sure you’ll make do. You get ballot 10 MR.CBB

      • Christine Weadick says:

        I’m usually the one drinking all the tea, thanks to my English grandparents!! Hear-tell Grandma gave me half tea and half milk in the bottle after telling Mom ‘Oh she doesn’t want to drink milk all the time!!!’
        The butter runs over $5.00 if you get the fancy brand name stuff at Foodland. I keep looking for sales or the best price I can find. No Frills is about a 15-20 minute drive from here, highway all the way but we are in the snowbelt and those roads can get nasty real fast if you get a streamer off the lake. Been there, done that. So not fun. I’m the driver here, technically hubby can drive but he needs a qualified driver in the shotgun seat so I just do the driving, easier that way. Plus he can get confused easily if his BP acts up.
        Took the truck for a quick run around town and the roads are not bad but not great either….such is life.

  16. It means you are doing one thing excessively inside a brief time period. When i don’t be aware of anyone although When i don’t want to go out for the food store throughout the day. Overeat purchasing transpires when we let the food store accomplish the searching for all of us instead of the food market number. Key finances buster!

  17. Penny Gunderson says:

    I tried to post this last week but think I posted in the wrong spot.
    Penny Gunderson
    Month Jan. 20, 2016 to Feb. 20, 2016
    • Name Your Store: Good Food Box
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $23.00
    This is the Box ordered through the Community Kitchen program and a Facebook group in a local nearby town:
    3 large red peppers
    1 bunch of celery
    1 head of garlic
    1 cauliflower head
    3 medium oranges
    4 medium Spartan apples
    1 large grapefruit Ruby Red
    5 Roma tomatoes
    3 beets (2 medium and one large)
    2 lbs carrots
    5 lb Russet potatoes
    2lb yellow onions
    Cost: $23.00 ($20.00 for the 20 lb. box and $3.00 towards the Good Food Box of the person taking delivery at their home for the group)

    • Name Your Store : Country Food Mart
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $15.30
    For Stockpile:
    2 jars butter chicken sauce 2/$6.00
    3 L of MM orange and apple juice 3/$4.98
    2 broccoli and cheese soup $2ea -$4.00
    Plus deposit and ecology fee
    Total: $15.30

    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 $21.83 over
    • 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: $ 50.50 Cashed out Jan. 29
    • 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 ($600/yr or $30/mo): $15.30
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $15.30
    • Total coupons used this week: $
    • Total coupons used to date: $
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $38.30
    • Total spent so far this month: $136.17
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $21.83 over
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $21.83
    • Total left to spend for the month: $0
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan 20-Feb. 20 $137.17
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):
    The Facebook Group leader for the Good Food Box said they had 115 new sign ups this month. There is no qualifying beyond being willing to say how many people use the box. People are really feeling the rising cost of food in Alberta. Any income level can order it. She encouraged me to see if I could arrange for a group in my town. My church is looking into it.

    I thought the Good Food Box was good value and grocery store quality produce. Next month it goes up $5/box, the first cost rise in 4 years. They come in 20 lb, 30lb, and 40 lb. boxes. The larger boxes have the same content just more quantity. I ordered the 20 lb. box for myself and another single friend. She was amazed that there was cauliflower in the box.

    I’ll wait until I get the $50.50 Snap cheque and apply it to my grocery budget it should take care of any overages.

    My stockpile purchases were a little indulgent but I love butter chicken and it is much less expensive to make at home.

    • Hi Rose,
      If this is the right spot then I’ll leave it here. It looks like I’ve moderated 3 GGC posts already for you in February so I presume this has been moderated in the other spot. 🙂

  18. Penny Gunderson says:

    Not sure if this is where to post about good buys but had a few successes this week that I wanted to share.
    1. Used $9 in Amazon.ca cards from Swagbucks to purchase 10,000 seed in 30 pack of seeds from Seeds for Survival. These garden seeds grow plants with seeds that you can save for the next year’s plantings. $12.99 cost, $5.44 shipping, less $9 Amazon cards final cost $9.53 for the all the seeds for my garden for several years.
    2. Rexall had a great sale on vitamins and supplements, several brands buy one get one free or buy one get one half price. I have several that I am on to treat chronic illnesses so I’m always looking for good prices. The best bargain was 2 bottles of SW super stress B 60 caplets $21.99/bottle less $10 in store coupon so two bottles for $11.99.
    3. Rexall had postage stamps on sale 10% off limit 3 books of stamps. I rarely find stamps on sale so I bought my stamps for the year. 3 @ $7.65 total $22.95.
    4. Rexall little girls Disney lipstick $.17. I buy little things like these and put them in a box to gather up treasures for my granddaughter for a Christmas gift.

    • Love that you shared these great deals Penny! Helps to know where the deals are in case a person needs something so they can run out & save some money potentially. Thanks & please keep sharing!

  19. Hi Mr. CBB & everyone else again! Thought it was time to post my grocery shops again since I have the time to & since I’m tracking our grocery spending closely while I’m off work right now. When you say you & everyone notice a big difference with your wife on her new diet (? was it Atkins-like or Paleo), what difference are you noticing in her? Weight, mood, self-confidence, cost of food? Just curious ’cause I’m always tweaking my diet & esp. while we’re down here in the U.S. and my environmental allergies are so bad unless I REALLY restrict what I eat. It’s taken me 4 yrs. to figure this out (quick learner!) but I feel so much better this year for it.

    As everyone knows, the CDN$ is not doing well compared to the US$ right now so we’re definitely noticing how much more things cost this year than even last year at this time. Still, I find deals & menu plan roughly enough with the sales that I think we’re spending less here on groceries than we were in Canada before Christmas, even with the exchange rate adding roughly 40% to the cost of everything.

    Here’s what I bought this week:
    Yearly grocery budget for 2 adults 2016: $5400 ($450/month)

    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $450.00 – $68.92 (this week’s spend) = $381.08 remaining
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $0.00
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0.00
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: Unsure (will check when we get back to Canada)
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Shoppers Optimum: Unsure (will check when we get back to Canada)
    Coupon Apps (I don’t really find it’s worth my time to try use the apps bcz we don’t eat processed food & the produce deals seem to be few & far between plus I can only eat certain veggies with my allergies)
    Snap Groupon to cash out: $0
    Zweet to cash out : $0
    Checkout51 to cash out : $0

    Fry’s Food:
    2 organic kale – 1.98
    Total Spent: $1.98

    Trader Joe’s:
    1 bottle organic red wine (Green Fin) – $3.99
    1 dozen eggs – $1.99
    4 cans coconut cream – $5.96 ($1.49/each)
    Total Spent: $12.28

    Sprouts Farmers Market:
    1 container shiitake mushrooms – $2.99
    1 bag low-sodium chips – $1.50
    2 trays fresh chicken breast tenders – ($3.75 + $3.65) ($1.69/lb.)
    Total Spent: $11.89

    Sam’s Club:
    chia seeds – $9.98
    large plastic container spinach – $3.98
    5lb. bag organic carrots – $2.98
    Total Spent: $16.94

    Walmart:
    2 bags Tostitos chips – $5.96 ($2.98/each)
    1 bag Lays low sodium chips – $2.48
    Hershey mini chocolate bars (large bag) – $9.98
    raw cane sugar – $3.98
    1 large pkg. green onions – $1.18
    5 kiwi – $1.00 (PM Food City) (regular WM price was $0.38/each)
    5 avocado – $1.00 (PM Food City) (regular WM price $0.44/each)
    1 lime – $0.25
    Total Spent: $25.83

    We needed to stock up on some more meat & since chicken was on sale, I bought some of that. It’s SOOOO much cheaper than in Canada & always is–I’m not sure why–but lucky us while we’re here! We’re running low on steak & see it as our way of treating ourselves a bit instead of eating out somewhere (plus we love the food we cook at home versus what you can buy in any restaurant). We buy cheaper cuts on sale & make the portion sizes smaller so I’m hoping for a sale soon to replenish our freezer.

    • Hi Leona,
      My wife has dropped a few sizes back into her pre-pregnancy jeans using the Atkins diet philosophy of eating. Now she will incorporate exercise back in like she did before we had our boy. It’s been a tough ride for her but she’s getting there. Her mood has certainly changed and she feels much better looking in the mirror than she did 4 months ago. She never cheats either…. right now the food she eats is pretty much what we eat… eggs, meat, salad. The only out of the ordinary items they bought were coconut flour, almond flour, peanut butter and coconut oil from the bulk barn. These expenses were paid by her friend who in turn comes over here and uses our kitchen to prepare and cook food with the both of us. Her friend rents a room so it’s easier for her to come here. It’s a sharing thing they have going on and they get time to hang out with each other while I’m out of the house. You eat healthy. The wife wants to try chia seeds but doesn’t know what to expect. She almost had me buy a bag but was leary about it. What would you say they are like? Have you had hemp hearts before? Meat is always on sale around here so we keep a watchful eye on it. With my wife eating less food products we don’t need much but once she starts adding in the new ingredients she uses we’ll see how that affects the budget. A bag of potatoes may have lasted a month before but now we can go 2 months because the boy and I are the only 2 who eat them. Bread doesn’t get consumed like it used to either, not even close. I’m the only one who drinks milk as she uses very little cream in her daily coffee. It’s certainly a life-style change but she enjoys it. There is a great Paleo post on the blog that a fan wrote. I think with any diet the more products you buy the more it will cost you. My wife doesn’t care for much variety so she waits to see something on sale and then decides if she wants it and if our budget an afford it. Well done this week!!You get ballot 20. MR.CBB
      Oh.. just curious.. what is a typical daily meal plan for you?

      • That Paleo post that a fan wrote–that was me who wrote that for you last year! Lol! And the pics are meals I actually cooked at home in our kitchen.

        Chia seed doesn’t really taste like anything so your wife is pretty safe there & it seems to last indefinitely in the pantry. It really helps stave off hunger & blood sugar swings so it’s wonderful to have with a meal that is lacking in protein. I will toss 3 tbsp. on my apple streusel for breakfast & I find I like it better that way than baking it into the streusel, plus I get more chia per serving that way too. The only warning is that it gets slimy when it gets wet because it forms mucilage on its coating & this is normal but some people don’t like that. It reminds me of tapioca in texture when its like that. If you put chia seeds in a smoothie, you have to drink it right away, otherwise they just keep absorbing more moisture making it more like pudding. Chocolate chia pudding is a recipe for breakfast I want to try soon that many people love on a fb page I follow. Hemp hearts are great to put on salads to increase protein & healthy fat. They have a chewy texture & taste similar to sunflower seeds to me. Also very healthy for you. Bread, dairy, potatoes–all that stuff I find I react to after testing on The Plan, plus I find my environmental allergies really flare down here in Arizona when I eat those items so like your wife, I don’t eat them. Plus, I gain weight on them too.

        • Hahahaha… That’s hilarious. I guess I should have checked. You wrote a good post. I hope you enjoyed reading it again hehe! I’ve never looked into chia seeds yet but she has talked about buying them. I haven’t tried the hemp hearts but I”ll give it a go if they are similar to the sunflower seeds. I’m not sure about chia seeds though.. slimy and me don’t mix lol but it’s my wife’s stuff not mine. I’m just the guinea pig.

  20. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $500
    Co-op
    $1.85 Bananas
    Walmart
    .75cx4 instant noodles
    $1.85 sweet potatoes
    $1 6pk doughnuts
    $5.75 total oop
    Shoppers
    $2.49×2 dzn eggs
    $5 total oop
    Superstore
    .74×4 buttercream cream cheese icing – clearance
    $3.33×2-$2Cx2 delissio pizza 2000P
    $2.27×2 tostitos
    .98×2 mandarin organs canned nn
    $2.29×2 coffee creamer – I think the price went up cause they used to be .19c cheaper
    $4.96 blueberries
    $5.48 20lbs potatoes 1000P
    $3.34-$1(30%off sticker) 454g mushrooms
    $5.48-$1.64(30% off sticker) mini caramel filled coffee cakes -I think the price was wrong but we needed to leave asap so no time to go back and check and go back to customer service to get it fixed
    $33.55 total oop
    $4 total coupons
    H&W Produce
    $2.84 acorn squash
    $2.04 butternut squash
    $2.98 cauliflower
    $1.99 blackberries
    $2.32 sweet potatoes
    $1.29 cucumber
    $1.99×4 1lb strawberries
    $21.45 total oop
    Sobeys
    $2×3, $2.10 yogurt – clearance
    $1.75×2 organic light cream cheese – clearance
    $4.55 4L homo milk
    $1.49 Kaiser buns
    $1.95, $1.64, $1.51 chicken thighs – clearance
    $1.30, $1.24, $1.21, $1.18 chicken split wings – clearance
    this is one of my missing receipts from last month
    .79cx4 spicy kd
    $9.99×4 907g cheese brick – rain cheque
    $3.49×2-$1Cx2 yogurt
    .97 bananas
    $20.51 lean ground beef (min 6 meals)
    $3 ham&cheddar sandwich
    $1×2 strawberry croissant
    $7.66 10% discount
    $28.89 gift card
    $2 total coupons
    $93.65 total oop

    $161.25 total weekly oop
    $13.66 total weekly coupons
    $28.89 total gift card

    Got some great deals as usual 😉

    • Hi Juanita,
      Great deal on the cream cheese icing. I’m sure it will come in handy. Woe you scored big on the chicken clearance and the cream cheese was a great price too. I think everything is going up. Funny how we remember these things though when we see prices because we analyze grocery shopping so much in the GGC. I thought this was a great shop. Does your daughter eat the squash exclusively or is it a family affair? You get ballot 26. MR.CBB

  21. Hey Mr.CBB
    I was jacked about the icing with an expiry of next year I almost bought more!
    I tried that organic cream cheese and it would be better in a dip or sauce as the texture was a little weird for me in the stuffed jalapenos I made but it was cheap and the hubby didn’t mind it.
    We eat lots of cheddar cheese so it is always nice to have and use a rain cheque.
    Yes everything is going up in price and down in size 🙁
    I am lucky to work in a grocery store and get deals other wise things would be a little harder.
    Yes only our little miss eats squashes, sweet potato and zucchini.

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