grocery game monthly challenge

Why Free Food Offers Are Attractive Temptations For Shoppers : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 June 20-26

WHY FREE FOOD OFFERS ARE ATTRACTIVE TO CUSTOMERSFREE GROCERIES ARE HARD TO PASS UP ESPECIALLY WHEN FOOD PRICES ARE FORCING CANADIANS TO TIGHTEN THE GROCERY BUDGET

 

Free food offers may seem like a decoy for the unsuspecting shopper but they can save you some cash if you know how to approach these freebies the right way.

Go shopping just about anywhere and you will be bombarded with the word “Free” whether it be the grocery store, the mall or your local farmers markets. Free is everywhere and for good reason, it attracts customers.

I’ve always had apprehension with free stuff as I believed that there is no such thing as a freebie. Since we came into couponing years ago that mindset has changed but not without caution. I started to notice that free food offers were popping up everywhere. Perhaps my radar was on looking for freebies but in essence it’s a marketing mind game that the manufacturers play with shoppers.

A while back I blogged about how certain smells are released into the air to grab the customer’s attention. It works alright as I was hankering for a large double-double coffee while shopping at Staples only to be told by an employee it was a smell dispenser up above BUT they did sell coffee if I’d like to purchase some. Dang it… caught me off guard.

Related: Does the scent of a business play with your nose and budget?

This is exactly what happens to shoppers who take a minute to read flyers, grocery store signage and food packaging. They become mindful of their surroundings especially if their food budget is tight and they want to stretch their food dollar. Even then free food offers bat eyes at the wealthy or food shoppers who could care less about prices.

So, if you get struck by the free food offers at your local grocery store or any other place ask yourself one question, “How will I benefit from this?” If you can’t answer it with solid backing then just keep on walking and stick to your original grocery plan.

Types of Free Food Offers to watch out for

 

Free food offers might make you jump up and down because you think you are getting a deal but think again, especially if you’re unaware of grocery store tactics to enchant customers into spending more than they bargained for.

Here are few of the free food offers we’ve come across over the years. I’m sure there are many others out there so if I’ve missed any please leave me a comment so I can update this list.

 

Free Samples

 

Everyone loves free food at the grocery store. Last summer Pillars had free food offers outside of our local Zehrs of their delicious sausages. It’s hard to pass by the BBQ booth and say nah, I’ll pass unless of course you’re vegetarian or simply don’t care for sausages.

What these types of free food offers do is thank the customers in the moment, makes them happy and full and keeps them mindful of the product name. To sweeten the deal they even offered product coupons which may motivate even those who see no value in clipping coupons.

Have a look around Costco or talk to your friends who are regulars who shop there. I bet almost all of them will boast about their enjoyment of the free food offers around the store.

Related: Is the Costco Membership Worth It?

Our son loves it and he’s not even 2 yet and by the amount of samples you can get at the store you can bet that the manufacturers are turning on the taste buds for shoppers who will hopefully spend money to buy that product.

Again, you must ask yourself if you can afford this product that likely was not on your shopping list. You may simply be hungry. Maybe you can hold off until the next shop so you can factor that into your shopping expenses. Free is nice but don’t get too caught up in it or you may end up feeling the money crunch.

Free Product Coupons

 

free product coupon shreddies Canada 2016It’s a start the car moment when free product coupons (FPC) are being handed out at the grocery store or offered via online entities by the manufacturer.

Ironically as I write this post I find this Shreddies coupon for a free box of cereal that came in the mail today. The only catch is that you have to shop on specific dates to get the product free. Both dates are listed as the weekend which are the highest traffic days for grocery stores.

I’ve seen online war happening when a company post a freebie online for x amount of Facebook or Twitter followers. All hell can break loose especially if you have some people who did not successfully get in on the deal.

This by far is the best of the best because you pay nothing at all apart from taxes where applicable and it’s instant savings so no waiting time is needed. When you want to save money at the grocery store these free food offers come in handy especially if the coupon is already on the product. Ya, it’s happened before and I bet you missed it.

Read the packaging carefully, watch your online deals and coupon sites for free product coupon offers and get in on the action. Don’t forget to keep an eye out on those coupon apps that offer freebies as well or deals you can unlock to get freebies.

The downfall to this is that you may not like the product but who cares, it’s free! Some people just get it so they can trade it for another coupon that someone else has that they’d like. Hard to say no to these beauties.

 

Buy one get one free, Buy 2 get one free

 

Have a look at Maple Leaf Bacon right now and you’ll see peelie stickers on them for Buy 2 get 1 Free. How awesome is that especially since the price of bacon is so high that most people consider it a luxury to have. The only time we may consider free food offers like this is if we need it and it’s on sale. What you have to consider here really is the price.

If the price is at the top of the price list for the time you are shopping you probably aren’t getting any real free food offers. The reason behind this is because of sale prices that happen in cycles at the grocery store.

For instance, if the Maple Leaf Bacon is regular $5.99 for 375g (don’t get me started on the shrinkage from 1lb) but every couple of months goes on sale for $3.99 you aren’t really getting a freebie at all. In fact you’re paying for all 3 products as if they were on sale. Timing the sale cycles are important as are pairing them with free food offers and other coupons and deals.

Buy this product get this free

 

This is probably one of the most popular types of food product offers I’ve seen on the market these days. Over the years coupons have drastically changed as have the offers that manufactures dish out to consumers.

Not as distinct as they used to be but cereal boxes with free food offers seduce shoppers into buying a box and getting free fruit, free yogurt, free juice or even a free litre of milk. No mail-in rebates required as the coupon is inside the box on the cardboard.

I remember the online rampage for coupon swapping when these types of free food offers were rolling out a few years back. Everyone wanted them because cereal is HOT especially for parents who buy boatloads of the stuff.

Coupons these days have gone a step further with additions to get the free food offers. They might say buy a jar of jam and honey and get a free loaf of bread. I despise these coupons as they really do drop the budget bomb on unsuspecting shoppers. Watch those prices. Free bread is nothing when you can save $2.00 on your jam the next week in a flyer sale.

I remember a time we saw a peelie sticker on a package of shish kabobs that said “Buy this get free tzatziki sauce”. It’s not a product we would typically buy but we did because it was 50% off and a great deal because we get free tatziki. At the time we thought we’d get a coupon for a free product. Nope, no such thing. There was a tiny whoopdidoo packet of tzatziki sauce inside the packaging. You know something similar to a packet of ketchup.

Point being, don’t underestimate the big letters, read the fine print otherwise you might end up buying something you could have done without. Oh, and don’t forget to read for the expiry date too. That’s a bonus bummer if you miss out and buy the product.

 

Mail-in Rebates

 

This was always the controversial freebie for the wife and I especially if we forgot to mail something in OR the cheque didn’t come in the mail. Not only that you have to pay for postage as well so you knock that off the price tag and you’re still buying into the product.

The good thing is that if you wanted to try a certain product a mail-in rebate is a great way to test it out. The downfall is not sending in the mail-in rebate, not photocopying your receipt for proof of purchase or the manufacturer refusing to replace a lost rebate cheque.

Overall we’ve had positive experiences with mail-in rebates however when shoppers see that product sticker, hang-tag or signage it does make us stop and ask ourselves, “Should I bother?” and if the answer is yes remember you likely didn’t figure this expense into your budget so make sure you have the cash to pay for it even if you are to get it back in x amount of weeks.

An example of this was on a premium sausages we noticed at Zehrs over the last couple of months. There is a peelie sticker on the packaging that says, “Try me free” which is hard to resist for many shoppers without willpower to say no or those who see the value in free food offers.

Spend x amount and get free food offers

 

Whether it be a grocery store promo or a program that enchants the shopper because it comes with free food offers this is one to watch out for. It’s easy to get carried away spending more money than you had anticipated just to get a financial kick-back but in the form of free food.

If your grocery budget has the room and you need the food then by all means grab the free food offers but if not steer away otherwise you may find yourself struggling to stay on track with your budget.

Every year Pepsi Co. has put out a Superbowl promo where shoppers can get $20 back in Free Product Coupons if they spend $20 on certain products, mainly chips, pop and dip. I must admit it’s a pretty nice deal which is hard to pass up IF you stock these products in your house.

Other examples: PC Plus Program, Shoppers Drug Mart offers days that hook customers into spending money to get free stuff whether it be food, healthy and beauty or whatever the store offers. Shoppers Drug Mart often does a Spend $75 dollars get 18,500 Optimum points equivalent to $25 back on your card. That deal certainly is mind-blowing BUT if you’re just taking part because of the deal and you don’t really need the stuff it’s just money you are spending for nothing even if you do use the products down the road.

Related: How to earn Shoppers Optimum Points Fast

The PC Plus Program which is our grocery budget evil at times offers something similar where you spend x amount of dollars and get x amount of points back. Hard to say no to free food offers or other in-store products you can spend those points on.

Cash in or Cash Out

 

Ultimately the choice is up to you whether free food offers are worth your time, risk and money in some cases. There are pros and cons but the biggest manufacturing pitch is always going to push you to spend more than you came for. Don’t be led financially astray by food.

Question: Of all the free food offers I listed above which do you like the most, the least or do you not care at all about them?

Share your comments below and I’ll respond!

 

June 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.

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 $10 Canadian. 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 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.

June Grocery Game 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-$52.57=$182.43
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $182.43
  • 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: 223,000
  • 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)

  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $17.00

 

Our Grocery Shop This Week

 

No Frills

  • Kraft Peanut Butter $2.77 1kg
  • 6 x Jalapenos $2.60
  • Astro Yogurt $1.99 PM Freshco
  • 2 x Top Dogs Hotdogs $2.00 each
  • 1 x Pineapple $1.97

Total Out-of-pocket $13.33

Zehrs

  • 2lbs bananas $1.15
  • Hellman’s Mayo $2.99
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.99
  • Radishes 1lb $1.99

Total Out-of-pocket $8.12

Food Basics

  • 1 x Neilson 2% milk $4.27
  • 2x 1lb mushrooms $5.00
  • Bag of cooking onions $1.27
  • 2x mozzarella cheese bars selection $3.97 each
  • 1 x seedless cucumber $0.98
  • 2lbs asparagus $3.76

Total Out-of-pocket $19.25

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x Cream 1L $2.50 each

Total Out-of-pocket $5.00

  • Total to spend this month : $182.43
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $23.28
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $15.36
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $335.30
  • Total spent this week: $45.70
  • Total spent so far this month: $213.96
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: n/a
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over $31.53
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$31.53
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11+April $248.11+May $279.07+June $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We won’t have enough money to finish off the month due to my error in weeks but that’s find we have about $200 in PC points to use for the last week for milk and other bits as needed. Making mistakes means we are human so I made one and now we will have to pick right back up and sort it out. 🙂

Mr.CBB

 

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?

Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2016?

Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!

  • Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
  • Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
  • Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
  • MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
  • Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
  • Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
  • Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.

 

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 look at 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!

Please Note: Some of the links in the body of the blog post are affiliate links which means I may get paid if you buy something from Amazon. The items I’ve chosen are products we use at home or similar to.

-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. 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: $100.33
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 40760
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $9.25
    Checkout51 to cash out : $15.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    Farmers Market
    Bunch radishes -2.00
    Total OOP -$2.00
    Canadian Tire
    1 Folgers coffe -7.99, Stock pile
    Total OOP -$7.99, stock pile
    Foodland #1
    1 case ginger ale -5.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Kraft peanut butter -3.99
    2 Cheese Whiz @3.99
    2 yogurt @2.99
    3 Power Ade @3/5.00
    1 kg baking soda -1.79
    2 cans pineapple tidbits @1.19
    2 4l milk @4.99
    4 1l chocolate milk @1.00
    1 ice cream -3.99
    Bananas -.56
    1 honey garlic sausage -6.62, 50% sticker-3.31
    2 W/W bread @2/5.00
    Tax -1.43
    Total OOP -$66.85, $3.31 discounts
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 packs pasta @2/5.00
    3 Powerade @3/5.00
    1 8pack tetras,apple juice -2.00
    4 cans pasta sauce @1.00
    2 blocks cheddar cheese @5.99
    2 4l milk @4.99
    1 pack frozen fries -2.79
    Bananas -1.19
    1 bunch green onions -.99
    4 packs extra lean ground beef -5.89, 5.68, 5.55, 5.47, 50% stickers -2.95, 2.84, 2.78, 2.74
    Tax -.65
    Total -$60.33, Gift Card, $11.31 discounts

    Total to spend this month : $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $31.93, over $6.93
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $84.63
    Total in-store discounts this week: 14.62
    Total in-store discounts to date: $121.33
    Total spent this week: $$70.23
    Total spent so far this month: $676.89
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: over $16.89
    Total left to spend for the month: -$16.89
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpil budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $605.28+ April $584.23+ May $475.36+ June $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Clearly over for the month with a week to go. I had a gift card to use so that covered the one trip to Foodland. I do have some wonderful friends!! I’m thinking of doing a rundown on how the grocery budget is doing half way through the year next week, just to see how it is going. This is the first month this year I have been over.

    • Hi Christine,
      Great score on the beef wow. We hardly ever find that deal. I think you should load up on a case of the Gatorade for $15.99 as it would be far cheaper in the long run since the kids drink it all summer. I’d love to see a rundown of your grocery budget for the year. 🙂 I’d say you’re doing pretty darn good if this is the first month you’ve been over this year. We struggle every month which only means we probably will increase our grocery budget for 2017 a bit. Keep at it Christine. You get ballot 24. Mr.CBB

      • Christine Weadick says:

        Actually I did get a case of 24 at Food Basics a while back but the cases contain grape and the older boy isn’t a fan. His brother has been drinking up the grape every so often. I do see sales through the summer for the smaller 6 packs for 2.99-3.99 and if I can score some of those I will be stocking up on flavours that go over better than grape here!!!

  2. Gail Coulter says:

    Just finished reading your latest blog about freebies at the grocery store. You made me laugh, because I fell victim to the bacon deal. Seemed like a good deal when I was in the store and in a rush. It was not until I got home and did the math and discovered it was more than just a bad deal. I ended paying more for the two than I would have on normal price. I kept one and took the other two back. I did however score decent on flavored water it was on sale for a buck a bottle and it was buy one get one free, and I had a .50 cent coupon for everyone I bought! That was worth it each bottle ended up costing .25 cents.

    I only do the mail in rebates on my gluten free items, because the cost of gluten free is mind blowing and its worth the work to get my $10.00 in free product coupons from the manufacturer. My PC points are life saver some months because in some months the food budget is tighter than other months. So I tend to buy the deals to get the points. If I don’t need the product or can’t eat it, I donate to the local food bank on the way out of the store. With Shoppers Drug Mart I can never ever justify spending $75.00 dollars on stuff that is never on sale to begin with just to score the extra points. It makes no sense there to me. Especially when the item will go on sale the following week. I don’t shop at Costco any longer because I spent way to much in the first place.
    Love your blog and thanks for doing it.

  3. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 3 – June 19 – 25

    • Grocery budget to work with in June: $240
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $18.48
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $8.96
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: $0
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: $0.09
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $70
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $29.55
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $80
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $0
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $90
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts this week: $5.38
    • Total student discounts to date: $62.53
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $67.10
    • Total spent so far this month: $216.50
    • Total left to spend for the month: $23.50
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $1.55
    • Total overspent: $0
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $1,269.95

    RCSS: Smuckers syrup 2.79 less 30% (.85), Diet Dr. Pepper 2L .99, Maynards Fuzzy Peach 1.74 less 30% (.52), Maynards Sour Patch 3 x 1.00 less 30% (.90), Trident layers multi pack 2 x 2.84 less 30% (1.70), Old El Paso Nacho taco shells 2 x 2.50 (PM), Cadbury bar 1.94, Christie crackers 2 x 2.00 (PM), Kraft Peanut butter 1kg 4 x 2.77 (PM), Imperial margarine 2.97 (PM), blueberries 3.98, bananas 1.10, grapes 2.03 (PM), cucumbers 3 x .57 (PM), iceberg lettuce 1.47 (PM), Schneiders cold meat 2 x 3.97 (PM), less student discount 5.38, plus tax 1.20, less gift card 29.55: Total Paid 19.75

    Dollarama: Waffle rounds 2.00, Old El Paso taco sauce 2.00, Old El Paso tortilla shells 2.00: Total paid 8.00

    Westons: Country Harvest bread 8 x .50, Wonder big buns 5 x .95, Old Mill 5 x .95: Total Paid 13.50

    Freshco: Crispy Minis 3 x 1.33, Manwich sauce 4 x 1.00, peanuts 1.00, Catelli pasta sauce 3 x 1.00, Black diamond cheese slices 2.99, Pad Thai seasoning 7.99: Total Paid 25.85 rounded down 2 cents

    This is my week 3 for the month of June, we had a 5 week month in May.

    Used the last of the gift card I received from my mom. We were out of peanut butter and it was an awesome sale. I have some rain checks from RCSS that will cover some future purchases of peanut butter at good prices within the next few weeks. I have three rain checks and I hope to use them all to get a decent stock pile of it on the shelf, I hope they have it in stock on Tuesday which is my next grocery day.

    My mom had an appointment in a nearby city which has the Westons outlet. Super awesome deals this time. It is a bit hot in the house right now to do a lot of bread making, even in the bread maker, so we stocked up the freezer with bread. I bough as much as I thought the freezer would hold. If I thought I could get more, I would have. In this case, it was bang on, I couldn’t have gotten another loaf in between the two freezers. It’s amazing, with the last three weeks of shopping, our two freezers are full and hopefully that means we can apply the grocery budget to other items we need like shampoo and soap. I wish we could get back to separating the food from other consumables, but that may be coming.

    The trip to Frescho was expensive, yet necessary. Manwich hardly ever goes to 1.00 when that used to be regular price. And we used the last jar of pasta sauce a week ago, and all of the homemade stuff from the freezer is gone as far as I know. The snacks are for an upcoming family excursion to a water park where we are allowed to bring in our own food so it reduces the cost dramatically when we don’t have to buy the food at the park. Besides, they have cantaloupe everywhere and that is a logistical nightmare for my son’s allergy (anaphylactic). The Pad Thai sauce is our second favourite version since our favourite can only be gotten in the U.S. right now and with exchange rates we have not been travelling across the border. Frescho is the only store we can find this sauce, so I get it when I feel it will pop up in the menu in the next month. I have all of the ingredients now except for the bean sprouts and I can work them in anytime. I just want the weather to cool a bit so I can use my stove.

    This week leaves us very little to finish out the month with. But, with only one week of shopping it may be possible, but if I am using my rain check for 4 jars of peanut butter this week, $12 of that is already spoken for. Hmm….it’s going to be a close one.

    • Hi Angela
      What a great deal on the Country Harvest Bread. Why is it so cheap? Defective slices? Short slices? What is the name brand of the Thai sauce? I’m not a fan of cantaloupe myself. Do you carry the epi-pen with you then wherever you both go? The only thing about summer is using the stove that we don’t like doing but we do. We have a small toaster oven though that we use in place of the oven if we can which makes things a bit easier on the house temps.That is a great price for the PB though. I’m interested to see how this plays out for you. If you plan it well you may end up sticking to the budget. If not you keep on trying Angela. You’re a rock star! You get ballot #23 Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        The bread is just overstock the outlet has. It is at the actual Westons factory in Kingston. So, the more overstock they have, the cheaper it is. This is a place I try to go to at least three times annually. It would be more regularly if we didn’t live an hour away. They never sell anything more than 1.50 for the freshest off the line, cheapest is .50, most clearance is .95. Their bread is the same condition at the grocery store or fresher. 1.50 is considered their regular price and you are guaranteed selection, but the clearance is hit and miss.

        The Pad Thai sauce is A Taste of Thai.

        We should break out our toaster oven, I keep forgetting we have one since I don’t have counter space for it and it is put away. Thanks for the reminder.

        We do go over budget this month, unfortunately, but not by too much. I will have my final week posted soon. It is ok though, we have gone over by far more and made it up. I figured it was worth it for the savings we will have by not eating food at the park when we go to the waterpark this weekend. The return is immediate even if I don’t make it up right away.

        • Angela Mainse says:

          I should clarify, the Pad Thai sauce we prefer is A Taste of Thai, the one we bought was Thai Kitchen

          • Angela Mainse says:

            We do carry epi pens wherever we go. I usually have two. One for my son and one for my husband who is an idiopathic anaphylactic individual who can have an anaphylactic reaction anytime anywhere, but we will never know why, so much testing has been done and no cause has been determined. I only carry an epi pen for myself when I have to have antibiotics. They are common place for us. The allergist has commented that it isn’t typical that all three of us have allergies this severe and in no way did our allergies create a situation for our son, it’s coincidental. Actually my husband is the last one to end up with and epi pen. First my son, then me, then hubby. Crazy world we live in!

  4. Week 25 – June 17 – 23, 2016
    Name Your Store: No Frills
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.72 (plus $10 Gift Card and Stockpile)

    Human
    2 Kg Brown Sugar = $4.27
    2 – 1 Kg Kraft Peanut Butter – $6.87 (PM RCSS @ $2.98) = $5.96
    1.4 Kg Minute Rice = $5.49

    Name Your Store: Bulk Barn
    Total Coupons Used: $3
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $21.05

    Human
    Pumpkin Seed – 0.180 Kg = $3.17
    Skittles – .290 Kg = $4.28
    M&M Peanut Chocolate – 0.175 Kg = $3.59
    Reese’s Pieces – .200 Kg = $2.86
    M&M Peanut Butter – 0.210 Kg = $4.30
    Bright Sequins – 0.050 Kg = $0.64
    All Vegetable Fussilli – 0.450 Kg = $3.26

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 2500
    Total Out Of Pocket: $83.83 (Including Meat and Stockpile)

    Human
    2 Classico Alfred Sauce – $2.50 (PM Food Basics @ $1.97) = $3.94
    2 Kraft Peanut Butter – $6.87 (PM No Frills @ $2.77) = $5.54
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    2 Pizzas – $5.99 (PM Freschco @ $3.00) = $6.00
    1.89 L Reese Pieces Ice Cream – $5.99 (500 PC Points) (PM Zehrs @ $3.99) = $3.99
    Bananas – 1370 Kg = $1.73
    Cherries – 1.030 Kg = $6.77
    Apples – 0.985 = $2.17
    2 English Cucumber – (800 PC Points) = $1.14
    2 pk Hot Dogs – $5.49 (PM Zehrs @ $3.99) = $7.98
    Beef Vegetable Pot Pie = $7.98
    Chicken Legs = $9.44
    Chicken Breast – $8.47
    Ground Turkey = $6.93
    Pork Chops = $11.97

    Cats
    1.5 Kg Friskies Chef Blend = $4.98
    18 Kg NN Cat Litter = $6.98

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1890.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $52.54
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: $17.46
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $700.85

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $13.51
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: $7.35 over
    Total Cats to Date: $162.58

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $133.27
    Total Stockpile to Date: $125.76

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $127.13

    Total Grocery Budget for Wholesale Meat ($500.00)
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $36.81
    Total Wholesale Meat to Date: $162.70

    Total Grocery Budget for Canning Produce ($400.00)
    Total Canning Produce this Week Period: $
    Total Canning Produce to Date: $0.00

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $3.00
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $7.00

    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week Period: $
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $4.09

    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: $28.36
    Total Price Match to Date: $194.72

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 2500
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 20000
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 8384

    Overview: This week was a stock-up of meat products so that we have a variety in the house. We also picked up a few things at Bulk Barn so that we could make a large batch of cookies. I think we will be living on cookies next week as the budget is very, very tiny for next week 🙂

    • Hi Dee,
      Did you have a bit of a sugar craving at the Bulk Barn? That store is deadly for me too!! Most often the wife goes in alone lol. If our son comes in all hell breaks loose. Good score on the cucumbers with points. I was thinking about buying some cherries but I’ll be the only one eating them and I’m rubbish at eating fruit sometimes. Overall you picked up some great deals especially stocking up on the peanut butter at that great price. I wouldn’t dare think about it at regular price. Well done!! 🙂 Have a great week eating those cookies lol. You get ballot 19. Mr.CBB

  5. Mary F Campbell says:

    JUNE – Week #3 of 4- June 20-26, 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:

    We didn’t need an awful lot this week … it’s salad fixings all the way! Welcome summer!

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 Green Salad $4.98
    1 Coleslaw $4.98
    1 Romaine $4.98
    3 x 3-pack English Cucumbers $2.28 ea = $9.12
    1 Baby Spinach $2.97

    Total OOP: $27.03

    ** Earned 2600 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 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 $160.96 + Mar $27.00+ Apr $117.96 +May $55.61+June $0.00 = $398.38

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $20.46+ Mar $1.00 +Apr $5.23 + May $10.68 + June $0.00 = $37.37

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

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

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar $3 +April 48 + May 96 + June 0= 339 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 32 + May 24 + June 0= 265 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200= April 3,100 + May 0 + June 2,600= 17,700 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 0 + June 40= 40 Points

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb $193.74 + Mar $182.77 + April $255.43 + May $143.05 +June (15.00+$15.00+3.23+$45.00+$2.94+$7.98+$4.58+$27.03 = $120.76) = $1,092.53

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

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $47.47 AVAILABLE

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

    2016 POINTS REDEEMED RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $4.69+ Feb $5.19+ Mar $0.00+ Apr $0.00 + May $4.69 + June $0.00= $14.57

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

    2016 US GROCERY RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar -$59.58+ Apr $45.00+ May -$22.79 + June $45.00= $97.63

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

    2016 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 + Apr +
    -$5.29+May -$9.70 +$15.00= $52.65

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

    2016 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 +$15.00+ Apr $15.00 +May $20.00 + June $15.00= $173.12

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

    2016 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61+ Mar $0.00+Apr $15.00 + May -$51.21+ June $3.23 = $631.13

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 1,140.00 Grocery Budget JAN-JUNE

    $ 14.57 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 244.92) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 324.53 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 97.63) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of 2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 1,074.51) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 47.47 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
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAY
    $ 14.57 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

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

    So far $1,140.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $504.80 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 52.65 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $173.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $631.13 Summer Season Fund
    $ 97.63 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $968.90. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $504.80 that we have added in 2016, LESS $472.41 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    2 x Lilydale Fresh Turkey Breast Roasts @ $6.99/lb – Good until June 29/16

    2 x Island Farms 750g 2% Cottage Cheese @ $5.39-50% Off = $2.70 each – Good until July 3/16

    2 x 1 LB Strawberries @ $2.88 each – Good until July 19/16

    Safeway:

    6 x Compliments Garden Salad 340g @ $0.99 ea – Good until Aug 11/16

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

    This week’s BREAKFAST menu plan:

    HUBBY: Earl Grey Tea with Lemon Juice + Bagels/English Muffins with fat free cream cheese spread, peanut butter or Cheez Whiz OR Rice Krispies cereal with skim milk

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

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

    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Leftover Broccoli & Cheddar Soup, Turkey Salad Sandwiches & Yogurt

    TUES: Ham-Cheese-Tomato on Multigrain Buns, BLT Macaroni Salad, Low Sodium Dill Pickles, Leftover Onion Rings and a thermos of Orange Juice

    WED: No lunch for hubby – he’s in Vancouver on course with lunch provided. Take a walk on the dyke when he gets home.

    THURS: Imitation Crab Wraps, a side of Chopped Israeli Pasta Salad & thermos of Orange Juice

    FRI: Baked Beans, Artichoke Tomato Salad, Leftover BLT Macaroni Salad, Garlic Buttered Buns and Red Delicious Apple

    SAT: Walk and Picnic at Deer Lake Park – Creamy Devilled Egg Layered Pasta Salad & Apple-Coleslaw

    SUN: hubby has lunch in the US + does a little shopping

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

    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles with Crab Cakes

    TUES: Balsamic Roasted Potato Salad, Caesar Salad, Chopped Israeli Pasta Salad & Greek Salad

    WED: Layered Garden Bean Salad, Leftover Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles with Crab Cakes

    THURS: Mediterranean Tuna Salad with Spinach and Feta Muffins

    FRI: Walk on the Vedder River Trail, Burgers at Carl’s Jr in Chilliwack then check out the Yarrow Twilight Farm and Art Market

    SAT: Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes with Greek-Seasoned Grilled Pork Chops with Lemon and Oregano, Steamed Cabbage, Carrot & Onion

    SUN: Austin’s Fish & Chips (treat for hubby) / coleslaw for me

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

    • Hi Mary,
      I like the idea of the balsamic potatoes. Do you make your own balsamic reduction? I’m into those lemon poppy seed pancakes because I love anything lemon. I never thought to pair them with pork chops but why not? Do you put maple syrup on them still? I love your Sunday meal the best though. Free lunch sounds good for Larry! Your picnic sounds nice. The wife and I should do something like that. I might do a post about having a frugal picnic now that you brought it up, thanks Mary. 🙂
      Your romaine lettuce was that for 1 head of lettuce? If yes, wow that’s pricey!! We can get it for under $2 in Ontario although organic will be more. We don’t need much this week as well as we are heading away for a few days. 🙂 Finally! Well done!! You get ballot 19 Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        Mr CBB, yes I make my own balsamic reduction…easy peasy!

        I don’t use syrup on the lemon poppy seed pancakes but I do smear them lightly with a homemade lemon curd. Actually lemon and Greek oregano makes a wonderful pairing , hence the pork chops. The pancakes are just a way to make a change of pace from bread, potato or rice. I get bored eating the same thing all the time! LOL

        Larry loves his fish and chips too but hasn’t been to Austin’s since I went gluten free. He deserves a special treat though after all the trials and tribulations he’s had to endure over this last year! God bless him for his loving attention in my time of need. Now that I am getting stronger and more fit, I am planning outings again so this is one that I wanted to squeeze in especially for him.

        The romaine is a 2Kg chopped bag Mr CBB…roughly equivalent to 6-7 Romaine Hearts. So it’s not as bad a price as it sounds, provided that it’s very fresh. If it’s not, we get the 3-pack of romaine hearts at about $2.67 a pack.

        Picnics are great and with about half a dozen lakes, a couple of rivers, the dykes & sloughs and about 2 dozen parks within a 20 minute drive (many a lot closer), we have awesome places to choose from for our little outdoor lunches/suppers. I try to plan an activity in as well…swings, teeter totters, walks, badminton, frisbee, building sand castles, skipping rocks, hitting golf balls and on & on. If it’s not raining, it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors! 🙂

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