grocery game monthly challenge

Picnic Food Ideas For A Frugal Summer Of Good Eats : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #5 June 27-July 3




In the heat of summer if you spot a picnic area you’ll likely uncover a trendy food truck with delicious and unique foods that are hard to resist even if the costs are more than you budgeted for.

Grocery shopping hungry can be costly and so can having fun on the beach, camping or visiting various summer attractions without any picnic food. Fresh smells of summer foods are everywhere so you either pay for your meals on the go or save money and pack simple picnic food to get you by for the day.

Although I’m a fan of food truck creations some of the best picnic food dishes will be homemade and fit nicely into your grocery budget. The purpose of picnic food and enjoying a day away from home is to bring the indoors out and have fun under the sun. You don’t have to bring big pots and burners to make pasta, lobster and other posh foods. Picnic food should be simple and delicious comfort food.

If I asked you what your favourite picnic food was I’m sure chicken recipes for picnics such as chicken salad, fried chicken, chicken fingers, chicken fried rice and so on would flash through your mind. I know because that’s exactly what happened to me just now only because I grew up eating lots of chicken and fish especially by the sea where we had frequent family picnics.

Chicken has long since been the go-to picnic food because it’s inexpensive compared to beef and it’s delicious eaten hot or cold. You can also stretch chicken to make large portion recipes of picnic food for large groups by adding pastas, vegetables and cheeses. I’m not a big fan of cold steak myself as I find it gets tough and chewy and not appetizing at all. Good picnic food will be perfect to eat hot or cold and handles well in a cooler packed with ice for hours.

CBB fans say…

Christine WI just take salads like potato and macaroni in a cooler with ice packs…cookies of some sort. Lots of drinks in the heat!!

Pat CI like veggies and dip, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, pickles, crackers, sunflower/pumpkin seeds and fruit. Lots of flavored water. My favorite is cucumber mint.


Family Beach Time


My wife recalls going on many trips with her family to the beach in the summer and they’d always eat picnic food. She says, “It was a cheap staycation away from home in the same city for all of us to just relax”. Her father was in charge of the flame so he would load the charcoal BBQ on the back of the truck, bag of briquets and starter fluid along with any other outdoor necessities.

Related: This is cool.. learn How to make charcoal and how it works. It’s all about the Science.

Her mother would be busy in the kitchen washing out the big blue Coleman cooler and preparing juicy steaks in marinade, tasty sandwiches, salads, snacks, beverages and other cultural side-dishes. They would make the beach trip a full day event which meant she needed a picnic lunch and a picnic dinner.

Into the truck went the fold-out lawn chairs, picnic blanket, beach ball, swimming gear, towels and other necessities for the beach. It was an exciting time for her family as they didn’t have a pool in their backyard and camping was never part of their family getaways. This was like a trip away from home even though the beach was just down the road from their house.

There were no technology distractions just family fun whether it be swimming, finding sea shells, building sand castles, burying each other, looking for beach treasures or making new friends and family memories.

Of all the picnic food ideas I will share with you today there is one that probably wouldn’t stand the test of time nor the cooler and that’s ice-cream. If my wife’s parents splurged at the beach food counter it would always be for ice-cream or fresh-cut chips with white vinegar sprayed all over them.

You can still enjoy the food vibes of the beach when you are having a picnic but unless you want to spend the day eating food from vendors and trucks packing your own picnic food is ideal and economical.

As the sun went down and the family got ready to retire for the day a large bag of marshmallows came out and long skewers to roast on the grill with what was left of the sparkling charcoal. “It was always a memorable time for us and I smile just thinking about it”, says Mrs.CBB who wants to create the same memories for our little family.


Picnic Food Recipes 101


Depending on whether your family or group party has a picnic theme you can ask guests to bring certain foods of that theme to cut costs. What lots of people do is create a picnic food pot-luck which is a great idea.

Apart from food you’ll need something to drink. Most people stock their cooler with juice, water, pop with beer and wine if permitted. If you are into other funky drinks pack them along but they are costly so stick to the cheaper drinks and you’ll keep costs lower.

Today I’m going to keep it simple and share with you some of the best picnic food to pack so you’re not paying a fortune to eat out every time someone says they are hungry.

Buckle up…here we go!


Picnic desserts


picnic berry cobblerRight from the start I’m going to say no picnic is ever complete without fudgy brownies. Yes, you must pack homemade brownies for everyone. They are rich, creamy and perfect to end a meal or snack on.

Other picnic desserts that might grab your attention;

strawberry cheesecake salad



corn dog mini muffins 2

Picnic food for kids


Not all kids like to eat steak, pork chops and seafood when at a picnic so it’s important to pack picnic food for kids that appeal to them. Most often parents are safe with hotdogs, corn dog mini muffins, and burgers along with cut up vegetables and dip, fresh fruit and snacks. Make sure to have plenty of juice boxes, water and even yogurt tubes and cheese strings.

If your kids like cultural foods that you make at home by all means pack those foods as well provided they will fare well outside of the kitchen. In the UK the scotch egg is very popular because it’s easy to make and we grew up on them. Packing some scotch eggs would certainly be something we would have gotten from my mum back home when we went to the sea for the day.


Healthy picnic food


Of course you can eat healthy picnic food because not every picnic has to end with having to be rolled home. The important thing to remember is balance. Besides all the gorgeous picnic salads you can also pack an anti-pasto tray with luncheon meats, olives, cheese, peppers and other pickled goodies.

secret fruit salad(1)That’s a secret fruit salad but I’m not telling what the secret is all about. It sure looks delicious.

Packing your cooler with pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, oranges, apples, strawberries, cherries and any other fruit you fancy will be refreshing.

Every picnic should have cut up vegetables such as carrots, fennel, tomato, cucumber, peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and dips. Don’t forget the dips!! Skip the rich desserts and pack homemade granola bars for a picnic dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you are on a special diet regime then bring along the foods that you an enjoy. This means make them ahead of time, label them and ensure they are ready when you are.

My wife being on a low-carb diet can eat meat until she’s blue in the face but her meals are specific without certain ingredients so it would be important for her to plan her picnic fiesta so she’s not left out from all the good snacks.

Two of her favourite low-carb recipes:

low-carb dark chocolate peanut butter cups(1)



Picnic snacks


keylime pie dip with graham crackersJust about everyone loads up on junk food snacks when they head to a picnic but aside from chips, chocolate bars, granola bars, popcorn, pretzels and cookies there are other snacks you can make at home ahead of time to bring.

Picnic snacks can also be yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese slices, crackers, peanut butter, hard-boiled eggs and even cold pizza buns.


Lots of people like to make a Mexican layered taco dip, hummus and other dips to enjoy with their tortilla chips, pita chips or other dipping crisps.

Personally, when time permits I like making homemade pita then cutting it into triangles and baking it a second time.


Picnic finger foods


British Sausage Rolls 1 wmEveryone likes to pick at a picnic so having finger foods on the table for grazing is the best way to go about keeping everyone entertained with food.

Some of our favourite recipes at Canadian Budget Binder are Sausage Rolls, Twice Baked Potato Skins, Spring Rolls and quiche.

Other great finger foods that I found on Pinterest

cherry tomato parmesan galettes


Best picnic salads and side-dishes


caprese salad party food with a twist 1(1)

The great thing about bringing salads to a picnic is that you can eat them cold and everyone loves them especially if they are loaded with summer fresh vegetables. Tuna macaroni salad and other pasta salads are very popular as well a traditional potato salad and creamy coleslaw.

chicken bacon ranch layer salad(1)

These days garden greens, beet and carrot salad, green bean salad, asparagus salad, chickpeas salads, cucumber salad and tomato salad are just a few newbies to enter the picnic food scene.

It’s not that they haven’t been there but more people are choosing to eat healthier foods and making better choices.

With salads you can also pack the dressing separately and if you plan to make your own dressing pack it in a mason jar, shake and dress the salad before you want to serve it.


Picnic sandwich recipes


popcorn chicken salad lettuce wrapPopcorn chicken salad lettuce wraps are easy to make and transport on the go. We love bringing sandwich triangles to a picnic to snack on in between swimming, kicking the soccer ball around, playing volleyball, lawn bowling, hide and seek and running around the playground.

Keeping active when you are at picnic or at the beach is a great way to build up your appetite, keep fit and have fun with your friends and family.

Some of our favourite picnic sandwiches are tuna sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, Genoa salami and provolone sandwich, Prosciutto and mozzarella with roasted red pepper sandwich, egg salad sandwiches and peanut butter and cheese slices for the kids.

Check out this Pressed Picnic Italian Sandwich from, “What the “Forks” for Dinner?” I could eat a couple of these right now.

pressed picnic italian sandwich

Be Picnic Ready


diy picnic ideas the pioneer settlerTake some time to plan your picnic by preparing a menu, grocery shopping and making sure you have all the picnic essentials. The Pioneer Settler has some awesome tips for the perfect picnic including DIY picnic baskets. Don’t buy into those expensive baskets when you can make your own and it’s just as beautiful.

A quick trip to the dollar store will net you just about anything you need for a picnic party or picnic food on the road. You won’t miss a thing if you stick to good homemade eats.

What picnic food do you like? Any other cool tips you’d like to share?


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


This is a no-shop week for our family. OH my, did I actually just say that? Finally!!!

  • 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: $0
  • 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 $231.96

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

Although we are over by $31 we ended our month as a no-shop week which is pretty awesome. We are heading out for a few days so we’ll be eating at the relatives and making picnic food to take with us to the Canada Day Festivities so this was a timely post to write for us. Bring on July!!!



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
  • 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, 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 that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile 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.


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  1. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 4 – June 26 – July 2

    • Grocery budget to work with in June: $240
    • Total coupons used this week: $2
    • Total coupons used to date: $20.48
    • 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: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $80
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $15
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $105
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.66
    • Total student discounts to date: $67.19
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $43.35
    • Total spent so far this month: $259.85
    • Total left to spend for the month: $0
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0 (removed to cover overspend)
    • Total overspent: $18.30
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $1,313.30

    Walmart: Milk 4.27, Minigo yogurt drinks 2.97, Greenworks dish soap 2 x 2.00 less 1.00 coupon, crispers 1.64, great value chips 2 x 1.00, crackers 1.87, tax 1.24, less $15 prepaid visa from Neilsen homescan: 2.00 rounded up 1 cent

    RCSS: NN Pretzels 1.59, NN Ketchup 2 x 2.00, PC Penguin snacks 2 x 1.48, Christie crackers 1.88, Coke Zero 3.30 (PM), Peanut Butter 4 x 2.98 (rain check), Nestle bottled water 1.88, Helmans mayo 3.48 less 1.00 coupon, NN lemonade 2 x .90, NN raspberry lemonade 1 x .90, NN iced tea .90, NN cheese 4.48, watermelon 3.98, bananas 1.54 less 30% (.46), grapes 2.19 (PM), less student discount 4.66, plus tax .68: 41.35 rounded down 1 cent

    Lots of snacks for upcoming summer adventures and swim meets. We are over budget for the month by 18.30 after clearing out the carryover jar. It is what it is, we will figure it out but not likely until after July. July historically is our most expensive month, but we will recover, we always do.

    • Hi Angela,
      How often are you getting gift cards from the Nielsen Homescan? Awesome deal on the Peanut Butter. Our son is now diving in with a spoon as he doesn’t care for bread although he will have the odd cracker with peanut butter. I think that makes 3 of us over for the month now. Summer is always tough on the grocery budget for all of us. It could be worse though if we didn’t track our expenses. Another month is upon us. Well done. You get ballot #8. Mr.CBB

  2. kathryn says:

    month of June 1-30 2016
    2 adults

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $8.49(superbucks)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card- $7.41+$5.83+22.47=$35.71
    PC points redeemed—=$20.00+$30.00=$50.00
    plastic bag rebate- $0.0

    red rose teabags –$8.49 (coupon) =$0.00
    Kraft 500g cheez whiz =$2.99
    Kraft 450g old cheddar 5 @ $3.99=$19.95
    produce- reduced =$1.49
    pint blueberries $2.99 (reduced) (800 PC pts)= $1.49
    Wonderbread ham buns- $2.99 (reduced) =$1.49
    lasagna noodles= $1.99
    large eggs 5 @ $1.99=$9.95
    10 lbs potatoes-$2.99
    3 lbs onions (600 PC pts)= $2.99
    whole chicken $12.16 (reduced) $6.08
    whole chicken $12.28 (reduced) –$6.14
    pork chops- $4.71
    Hummus chipotle $1.99 (reduced) =$0.99
    coffee mate creamer- 2 @ $5.49 (1400 PC pts) =$10.98
    4L milk- $5.99
    10 lbs potatoes $2.99 (reduced) (200 PC pts) =$1.49
    naan bread 3 @ $1.69 (reduced) = $2.52

    Name Your Store: i.e. Walmart (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.64

    chicken legs – $2.64

    Name Your Store: i.e. Dollarama (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.40

    peaches 3 @ $1.00= $3.00
    apple juice- $1.00
    titan chocolate bar 2 @ 2/$1.00= $1.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. Giant Tiger (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.94

    227g mushrooms-$1.97
    2 lbs peaches- $3.97

    Name Your Store: i.e. Bulk Barn (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $6.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $23.50+20.95=$44.45

    sesame honey almonds .33kg = $5.85
    nutiva buttery coconut oil 414ml 2 @ $7.99= $15.98
    black mission figs= $1.74
    brazil nut pieces- $1.69
    nutiva buttery coconut oil 414ml 3 @ $7.99= $23.97

    Name Your Store: i.e. Masstown Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $10.93

    bakery $2.99 (reduced) = $1.49
    bakery –$1.49
    bakery $1.99
    bakery- $0.72
    bakery- $1.29
    bakery –$1.49
    bakery $4.99 (reduced) = $2.49

    Name Your Store: i.e. Sobeys (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card-(Purchased with cash) =
    Gift card-$12.69+ $11.38+1.38=$25.45
    redeemed Airmiles- $10.00+10.00

    10kg R.H. flour- $10.00
    4L milk- $5.69
    M.L. flakes of ham 5 @ $1.00= $5.00
    10lbs potatoes- $2.00
    4L milk- 2 @ $5.69= $11.38
    4L milk- 2 @ $5.69= $11.38

    Name Your Store: i.e. Avery’s Farm Markets (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.45+3.90=$7.35

    227g mushrooms-$1.99
    bananas @ 77c lb= $1.46
    green peppers- $0.79
    red peppers-1.59
    mango 2 @0.77=1.54

    Overall for the month of June 2016

    $ 70.41+3.90= 76.71 out of pocket
    $ 8.49 +$3.00+3.00= $14.49(coupon and star bucks)
    $12.69+$7.41+ 11.38=$1.38+$5.83+$22.47 = $61.16 gift cards
    $ 20.00+$30.00=$50.00- airmiles/ pc points redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $20.00 +$50.00=$70.00 – PC pts (I use my PC points and Air miles to buy them- gift cards )

    Do the above for each receipt you have then copy the template below and paste it to the bottom of your shop so we can see your results.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $216.67 (averages $50 week)..includes toiletries, cleaning supplies,
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $

    Total Gift Cards used to date: =$
    Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $3.50 (january)
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Snap Groupon to date: $0
    Zweet to date: $0
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0

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

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($0.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $15.31 (Jan)+25.48 (Feb)+ $14.59 (March) +$20.14 (April) + $12.37 (May)+$14.49 (June)=$102.38
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: 0.00
    Total spent this week: $0
    Total spent so far this month: $76.71
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month $under spent $=$491.14 (Jan-June)

    Total left to spend for the month : $

    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) $218.21 (jan) +$118.78 (Feb) +$141.90 ( Mar)+ $150.20 (Apr) + $104.62 (May)+$76.71 (June) = $810.42

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Started using the buttered flavoured coconut oil, and it is delicious. Great prices on eggs, and I now make sure I stock up.Next door neighbour gave us a free box (50 lbs) of bananas…so we’ve been sharing that with family/friends. I look at my food list, and it seems like we don’t really buy anything….but we really do Smile

    • Hi kathryn,
      My wife actually told me about the butter flavoured coconut oil. We have never tried it. We use the Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil which we picked up at Costco for $21.99 2kg. OMG that’s lots of bananas. What on earth were they doing with that many bananas? Bananafest at Kathryn’s house! Your grocery expenses are amazing. I’d love to write a blog post about all the ways you save one day both in Canada and Australia. Will you be travelling this year? Yes stock up on eggs when they are on sale as they have a decent shelf life. Where did you find the Red Rose FPC? nice. What an awesome month you had!! Keep at it. I bet you will have a record breaking year. You get ballot #28 Mr.CBB

    • Hi Kathryn,
      You won the June GGC!! Congrats. Could you please email me your address so I can send off your gift card please. Thanks. Mr.CBB

  3. 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: $140.00
    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
    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 : $9.50
    Checkout51 to cash out : $16.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    Foodland #1
    1 bag white rice -5.99
    2 cases pop @5.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 Compliaments mayo type dressing -2.98
    3 Powerade @3/5.00
    1 2kg bag sugar -2.4.9
    4 tomato paste @.59
    2 blocks cheese @5.99
    2 4l milk @4.99
    1 container ice cream -3.00 ( cookie dough flavour)
    Bananas -1.36
    1 raisin bread -3.99
    Tax -2.20
    Total OOP $39.59 plus $39.67 gift card
    Foodland #2
    1 case Kraft Dinner -11.99
    1 soya sauce -3.49
    3 Powerade @3/5.00
    1 bagels -3.99
    2 W/W bread @2/6.00
    Tax -.65
    Total OOP -$31.10

    Total to spend this month : $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $31.93
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $84.63
    Total in-store discounts this week:$0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $121.33
    Total spent this week: $70.69
    Total spent so far this month: $747.58
    Total over/Under spend this shop: n/a
    Total over/Under spend for the month: over $97.58
    Total left to spend for the month: -$97.58 over
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $605.28+ April $584.23+ May $475.36+ June $ 747.58
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Well I went over for the month, first time this year. That is the bad news. The good news is that I worked out how I was doing for the year as we are half way through the year. Six months of grocery budget would be $3900.00, I have spent $3621.10 in those 6 months so I am under for the year by $278.90. Not too bad. Even the stock pile budget, I’m over for this month by $6.93 but under for the year so far by $5.08. Mind you I still plan to stay under the $650 a month for the rest of the year. This just encourages me to work at it even harder to stay under each month! Even with picking our strawberries for jam we are OK and have a nice amount of jam for the year. I can do this!!!

    • Hi Christine,
      I love when I do a catch up of the GGC posts every Sunday and questions get asked and answered without me having to wait haha!! WOW… you are under by almost $300!!! I’d say that’s awesome! Yes continue to work as hard as you can because the money you save can always be used for something else to better your current and future financial situation. I’m very happy for you. Do you have any plans for the money you don’t spend? You get ballot #27. Mr.CBB

      • Christine Weadick says:

        Thanks for the encouragement!! My plan is to keep trying to stay under for the year. Now Foodland takes the Air Miles and I do get deals personalized much like from PC Plus and SDM. I have all my miles going to the cash miles side and as of right now I have 1097 cash miles worth $110.00 in groceries if needed. I am hoping to add some gift cards with those miles for Christmas shopping along with those I get from doing surveys and such. I’m pretty sure if I bought, say, a $50 gift card along with fifty some odd worth of groceries in the same transaction I will be able to use my miles for the grocery part of the deal. At least in their books. Plus the miles can help pay for holiday baking supplies and holiday dinners…..

  4. Mary F Campbell says:

    JUNE – Week #4 of 4- June 27-July 3, 2016


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



    We didn’t need an awful lot this week … so we let one rain check expire but we used another.

    I admit though, I did go a little hog wild splurging for some wonderful eats this week in anticipation of the long weekend. Unfortunately, I came down sick and the whole menu plan had to be revamped with the focus on liquids only for me and hubby eating up leftovers.

    Here’s the rain check we let EXPIRE without using it:

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

    And this is the one USED:

    2 x Island Farms 750g 2% Cottage Cheese @ $5.39-50% Off = $2.70 each



    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 Island Farms 750g Cottage Cheese @ 50% off RAIN CHECK = $4.98
    1 x Tetley Tea 144’s $5.49
    1 Sour Cream $3.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.46

    ** Earned 3 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $8.50 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Meridian Farm Market – Maple Ridge –

    1 Colossal Cut New York Steak $12.99
    12 Tomatoes on the vine $0.98/lb = $2.92
    1 Pint Orange Grape Tomatoes $1.50
    1 Pint Red Cherry Tomatoes $1.50
    3.52 lb Sliced Watermelon @ $0.99/lb = $3.48
    2.44 lb Green Seedless Grapes @ $1.78/lb = $4.34

    Total OOP: $26.73


    Golden Ears Cheeseworks – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 250 g Fresh Dill Curds $6.00
    100 g Chive Havarti $3.65
    100 g Chili Gouda $3.65

    Total OOP: $13.30


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x 2lb blueberries $4.96

    Total OOP: $4.96

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



    Franz Bakery Outlet – Bellingham

    4 Loaves WW Bread $5.00
    3 pkgs Chocolate Covered Mini Donut 6-packs $1.00

    • US Grocery OOP: $6.00


    Walmart – Burlington

    14 Yoplait Yogurts @0.58 = $8.12
    2 x 28 oz cans Green Enchilada Sauce @ $2.98 ea = $5.96
    10 cans Chunk Chicken (500 oz) = $14.96
    4 cans Diced Ham ($1.18 ea) = $4.72

    • US Grocery OOP: $33.76


    Fred Meyers – Burlington

    10 x 6-pack English Muffins ($1.00 ea) = $10.00

    • US Grocery OOP: $10.00


    Costco – Burlington

    1 x 2-pack lemon juice $5.79
    Hot Wing Curds ( 2.5 lbs) $13.99
    Plain Cheese Curds (2.5 lbs) $13.99
    1 x 10 lb Grated Mozzarella $9.89

    • US Grocery OOP: $43.66




    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $36.76 + Feb $160.96 + Mar $27.00+ Apr $117.96 +May $55.61+June $8.50 = $406.88

    •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 3= 268 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



    •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+$14.46+$26.73+$13.30+$2.28+$4.96 = $182.79) = $1,154.26

    •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: ($14.26) OVER



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



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar -$59.58+ Apr $45.00+ May -$22.79 + June ($45.00-$93.42 = -$48.42)= $4.21



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



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



    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



    $ 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)

    ($ 4.21) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of 2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 1,229.66) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 14.26 OVER Y-T-D SPENDING


    $ 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
    $ 4.21 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $875.48. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $504.80 that we have added in 2016, LESS $565.83 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

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


    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: Turkey Salad Sandwiches, BLT Macaroni Salad and thermos of Orange Juice

    TUES: Ham-Cheese-Tomato on Multigrain Buns, Low Sodium Dill Pickles, cottage cheese, Greek Salad, thermos of Iced Tea

    WED: Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Cottage Cheese, thermos of Pink Lemonade

    THURS: Turkey Salad Wraps, Key Lime Yogurt, Yogurt and 3 GF Maple Cookies

    FRI: Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

    SAT: Soft Chicken Tacos with a side of cottage cheese

    SUN: Chicken Noodle Soup


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Chicken Nuggets with choice of Ranch or Sweet Thai Chili Dip, mashed potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce

    TUES: Chicken Chow Mein

    WED: Turkey Salad Wraps with raw veggies & dip

    THURS: Chicken Taco Salad

    FRI: Deep Fried Prawns and Leftover Chicken Chow Mein

    SAT: Caesar Salad with garlic toast

    SUN: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with coleslaw


    • Hi Mary,
      What lettuce do you typically use for your lettuce wraps? We find romaine lettuce to tough and think maybe we should try something else. I love sweet Thai chili dip for lots of things. We used to buy it years ago but haven’t in a while. It’s fairly inexpensive too unless you make your own. How many meals will you get from your steak? Great price for the lemon juice. What are hot wing curds? Flavoured cheese curds? The strawberry rain checks will come in handy especially when prices start to climb as the season ends. Well done with your shopping especially all the goodies you picked up in the USA. Maybe one day I will make it over to have a look inside their shops to see what they have to offer. You get ballot #26. MR.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        I use whatever I have on hand for my lettuce wrap. I have even lightly steamed cabbage and used that. What made you think of lettuce wraps? They aren’t on my meal plan. Hubby does his wraps in flour tortillas. I just have the filling and skip the wrap entirely.

        The steak initially was going to be for both of us but as I said, illness changed the plans. Hubby had 2 steak dinners and 4 monstrous big Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches for his lunches. Now that’s the way to stretch a steak!

        The Thai Chili dip came with some sushi that we had but didn’t use the dip. I’ve never actually bought it. It would certainly be easy enough to make though.

        We haven’t opened the cheese curds yet but they are a “hot sauce” flavor and would be great to kick up a pot of chili, or baked beans or even soups a notch. I suppose it would do the same for poutine if you wanted to make some. 🙂

        All the shopping applause go to hubby for these shops! With my coming down so sick, the shopping has fallen on him & he’s been a total trooper about handling it for me. 🙂

        • Hi Mary,
          Oh I thought I read lettuce wrap on your meal plan unless I was hungry and fabricated it. We love philly steak and make i homemade however steak is so pricey these days. Sometimes it’s nice to splurge though. I love your idea of the curds in the chili but put that on top of fresh cut chips yum.
          You’re lucky to have a man who knows how to shop like I do for my family. Not many men and women invest the time in learning about ways to save on grocery expenses especially with the rise in bills and products across Canada. It’s only going to get worse unless something drastically changes.

          • kathryn says:

            Yes…a lot of bananas. Kids got more than they probably wanted. Daughter took some to her co-workers. Today I bagged and froze the rest..for banana bread. I can’t stand the regular flavour coconut oil by itself, but I use it for my homemade bread.The flavored stuff is great on toast and frying eggs. No plans for going back to Australia this year…I love being home .
            Last year I bought a box of Red Rose teabags. The bags literally fall apart, if the water gets too hot. I wrote and complained and they gave me a free coupon for a box. Then I wrote them this year, and asked if they changed the formulation of the bags, because if they hadn’t , I wasn’t going to buy anymore. They said they had, and sent me another free coupon 🙂
            If you add up the value of our free PC pts and airmiles, I spend about the same as many people here, I think.
            We have a good breakfast, around mid-morning…generally don’t eat lunch unless it is fruit or something…and a good supper…with a snack before bed.
            I number my egg cartons, so I always use up the oldest first.

  5. My family isn’t a picnic-ity type of people. If we go some place, I’d rather have the food there so the mess stay there. I get the purpose of having picnics or taking snacks with you on a trip. I’ve done the snacks on a trip but have the snacks in baggies so they could be either recycled or thrown out and the mess didn’t come with me.

  6. Week 26 – June 24 – 30, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1000
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.93

    4 L – 2% Milk = $4.27
    Eggs – 2.78 (PM Shopper’s Drug Mart @ $1.99) = $1.99
    4 NN Tuna – $1.17 (PM No Frills @ $0.97) = $3.88
    Bananas – 1.030 Kg = $1.30
    2 Kraft Dinners = $2.58
    3 Unico Pasta – $2.19 (PM No Frills @ $0.97) = $2.91

    No Shop

    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: $16.93
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $0
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $770.78

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    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: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $125.76

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $5.63
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $132.75

    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: $15.27
    Total Price Match to Date: $209.99

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1000
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 10033

    Overview: I did it…Yeah. I’ve made it through this two week round under budget and still have enough food for this week’s meals. I had a whole $0.53 left but I’m going to keep that exactly where it is instead of making such a small payment on debt. There will be more additional payments on debt during the month of July as I’m paid 3 times that month.

    • Well done Dee!! It’s so nice to read the excitement that you have for your grocery budget. I wish everyone was as thrilled as you are. Isn’t it great to get that extra pay cheque and putting it towards your debt? How many more months until it’s paid in full? You get ballot #25. MR.CBB

  7. Mary F Campbell says:

    My picnic food really depends on where I am going and what we’ll be doing when we get there.

    If the picnic location is nearby and we’ll eat before we do anything else…then I can take hot dishes in thermos containers i.e. this coming weekend I will be using our Thermos travel bowls for soup. I am taking a homemade Rich Clam Chowder with Spinach-Feta Muffins to the Water Park about 5 minutes away where we’ll eat first before our activities.

    I’m not a blanket on the ground kind of gal so we take our lawn chairs and table with us.

    If we are doing things first before eating, like walking/hiking, then something on ice in the cooler, left in the trunk until we are ready for it, is a better option. Another example is we’ll be checking out Farmer’s markets in Abbotsford this weekend before taking a walk at Mill Lake and finally having a picnic by the water.

    There’s no reason a picnic has to be boring…in fact it’s the perfect excuse to try out new recipes for finger foods and all kinds of salads preferably not mayonnaise based. Squares,cookies or bars are always a welcome finish to any picnic but ice cold fruit is also a favorite.

    If we are eating while in the canoe, in a middle of a lake…simple is better. Sandwiches, fresh fruit, veggies, seeds and nuts get top billing when you really don’t want to rock the boat! LOL 🙂

    I have a set of cutlery, plates and proper cups and glasses & cloth napkins & vinyl tablecloths strictly for our picnics. I hate using disposable plastic and paper. It’s expensive to throw away, I’d rather wash the dishes when I get home.

    When I meal plan for the week and my grocery shop, I plan the picnic eats + what we’ll do for fun…is there free music or some sort of entertainment? movies in the park? is there a sports facility? walking trails? water to skip rocks or swim? open space for a game of badminton or to catch a Frisbee? Is there a beach to build sand castles? how about swings or teeter totters? I find planning the meal away form home plus an activity just heightens the enjoyment. 🙂 And we always take lots of non-alcoholic beverages to drink…ice water, lemonade, iced tea, sometimes hot tea or coffee. No meal is complete without a nice drink but remember water on the boat & beer on the pier!

    I forgot to mention be a considerate picnic goer…pack out what you pack in. No garbage should be left for someone else to have to deal with or that becomes a blight on the beauty that you just freely enjoyed. Keep things pristine!! And stick to the paths…they are there for a reason. Please don’t kill the plant life by trampling all over it! 🙂

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