grocery game monthly challenge

12 Practical Ways To Afford Expensive Food For Less : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Sept 26-Oct 3

12-practical-ways-to-afford-expensive-food-for-less-money

The most expensive meal you will ever eat is the one you can’t afford.

 

When you crave the most expensive steak but your budget can’t afford it there are ways to get what you want but the key is, patience. Luxury food differs from person to person depending on their grocery budget but it is possible to splurge without paying the price.

Most frugal consumers read the flyers and create their grocery list based on that alone. If you really want something that you just can’t afford it’s important to be mindful when you grocery shop. By that I mean scanning for prices. You may not be able to buy it at that moment but eventually you’ll get what you want.

We get a bit happy in the grocery store if we find 50% off packages of bacon or other expensive food that we would never buy full-price unless we had to. Even then we may never buy some of the more expensive food on sale because it’s not practical for our family.

Over the years we’ve experienced just about every way possible to purchase expensive food that we wouldn’t typically try for less. You may buy a fattier pack of bacon because it’s cheaper but when the expensive bacon goes on sale for the same price or less that’s when you stock up. Even then we’ve found premium bacon on sale and half-price making it cheaper than the least expensive brand in the bunker.

The wife and I were talking about this last week as we left the grocery store with milk as we had exceeded our grocery budget for the month. Mrs. CBB said to me, “You know we save so much money grocery shopping for reduced expensive food”. She’s right, we do and it all boils down to knowing your prices, room in your grocery budget, having a stockpile budget or extra cash to spend.

Below in no particular order are practical ways you can score the expensive food for less money.

 

Grocery Shop with a friend

 

What you could do in this situation is share a rewards card between 2 families and split the rewards. I don’t know if there is any fine print around this but I can’t imagine grocery stores and other rewards cards being too worried about it as long as money was being spent to achieve reward status.

By splitting a rewards card that gives you points when you grocery shop at the end of the year you can split the points 50/50. The key here is to find someone who shops at the same store and spends reasonably the same amount of money as you do.

Another great promo you could take advantage of is the spend x amount of dollars and get x amount in points back. So, if a Loblaws store offers Spend $150 get 20,000 PC Plus points which is worth $20 you could grocery shop together and then split the rewards points by paying cash to your friend.

This is a great idea especially if you know you might only spend $100 or that’s all you have in your budget. The only catch is that you have to put your order together to cash out so you either need to have cash to pay or cash to give whoever pays the full amount your portion for groceries.

 

Mail-In Rebate/ Try Me Free

 

This is the most obvious way to enjoy expensive food that you wouldn’t typically purchase. Keep your eyes peeled for promos or even peelie stickers on products that offer a mail-in-rebate or try me free marketing promo.

Related: How to grocery shop for free

The only catch to this is that you have to wait for your rebate to come in the mail. Some companies still offer free product coupons which is another target way to reach customers to try new products or existing products that need customer engagement. If people aren’t talking the product will be lost among the rest.

One example is almost free baby food. Our son used powder baby formula and pre-made formula to supplement breast-milk when he was a baby. Lucky for us (right)we picked one of the most expensive brands of formula because we didn’t know any better as new parents.

Enfamil is a pricey baby formula but you can always find coupons even if it’s only $5 off. Over the past 2 years we’ve seen coupons for $20 off Enfamil which is a HUGE savings for any parent. Although the product isn’t new this is a marketing plan used to entice parents to buy Enfamil or to keep on using it so the baby gets used to it.

 

Join a Food Panel

 

Mrs. CBB and I have been on many food panels in our years and the great thing about them is we get to eat free expensive food that we’d likely never buy. We are the voice for food manufacturers for marketing products all the way to taste and price points.

The best part is you’ll also get paid for doing it whether it be a focus group or becoming a secret shopper or joining the Nielsen Homescan Panel where you scan and earn points for gift cards and other free products in Canada.

(Note affiliate links above)

 

Work at a Grocery Store

 

If you want top pick on expensive food when it goes on sale or happens to be reduced working in a grocery store is a good place to be.  Many grocery store employees also get a discount on their groceries which means more savings for foods that typically might be purchased.

 

Reduced Products

 

This is the number one way we get to enjoy expensive food for far cheaper than regular price. We are food scanners which means when we grocery shop we have our radar on the go looking at prices. Products are labelled differently so concentration is important.

We’ve enjoyed cheap prices on expensive food such as organic produce, cuts of meat, lunch-meat/deli-meat, cheese, pasta and other food products we’d never buy full-price and may consider if on sale.

So far for 2016 we’ve saved nearly $500 on expensive food that was reduced in price by 50%. On occasion we may find something on sale along with a reduced price tag but only 30-40%. As long as the math works out and we’re happy with the price, we’ll take it.

The hard part is knowing when to say no because you can hike up your grocery expenses if you’re not careful. This is why we implemented a stockpile budget.

 

Rewards Points/ Loyalty Cards

 

If you don’t collect rewards points when you grocery shop you might as well throw money out the window. I don’t care what anyone says but if the opportunity presents itself where you can earn points for free food or other products with a rewards card or loyalty card you decline, you’re a fool or too rich to care.

Related: PC MasterCard is worth the Grocery Savings

Right now we have over $300 in PC Plus Points which means we could splurge buying expensive food or better quality than we are used to free or stretch that money to go further. This is free money so you can do what you please with it. Be Frugal or Be Free to spend.

 

Bulk shopping

 

Buy more save more is something you will see at the grocery store to encourage shoppers to spend money. The great part about bulk shopping at the grocery store buying larger sized products is buying multiples is that the deal can be lucrative.

Related: Is buying in Bulk worth it?

I’ve seen shoppers buy 1 of an item which costs them more than if 2 were purchased. Some people don’t care but for those who are budget conscious it’s important to always do the math. Figure out whether what you are buying is a deal or not.

 

Coupons

 

Using coupons is probably one of the top ways to buy expensive food for less. There have been many times that we opt for cheap over quality just because we can’t afford to spend more.

Over the years using coupons and now coupon apps such as Checkout51 we’ve been able to score great deals on expensive food and other products you’d never see in our shopping cart otherwise.

 

Scanning Code of Practice

 

Everyone should know about The Scanning Code of Practice by now as it has been all over the internet for years. For those of you that don’t know about it, read about it by clicking the link above. Once your SCOP radar is on you will almost always find something that is priced wrong and if you’re lucky it will be the expensive food that you need to buy that’s not on sale.

We needed to buy ricotta for a lasagna we were making once only to find out that a little container of a quality ricotta was on sale for $7.99 and we needed 2. That’s one pricey lasagna but we were having guests over for dinner. When we went to cash out we noticed that the ricotta rang in at $9.99 which was even more shocking but we let the cashier know so she applied SCOP and we got 1 free.

 

In-Store Promotion

 

I always say never to buy anything that is not on your grocery list but you know that’s easier said than done. Not that I’m advocating spending money that you don’t have budgeted for, however if you find a deal on expensive food you may want to reconsider.

For example, you go grocery shopping with your food list only to find out the grocery store has an in-store promo on Parmigiano Reggiano which is a very expensive food. You can pay upwards of $20 lb for this cheese. We’ve seen it go on sale unexpectedly twice now for 50% off and we just can’t say no. The most expensive food likely uses the best ingredients and when it comes to cheese there is no comparison.

 

Win Expensive Food

 

Every time I turn on the computer there is a contest waiting for us to enter. Plenty of companies and organic farmers who market on Facebook for example hold giveaways of their food.

Enter to win when you can even if it’s a simple survey on the back of your receipt. Some of those surveys when completed offer you a coupon or you’re entered to win money or free groceries.

My wife won an online Facebook contest once for Mother’s Day which landed her a cool $200 in President’s Choice Gift Cards. That extra money gave us the opportunity to buy food we wouldn’t typically buy or stretch it to buy more.

Over the holidays and other gatherings such as a stag and doe they may have a draw to win a turkey or other cuts of meat that are expensive. No harm in helping to support the bride and groom and possibly walking away with a food prize.

 

Say YES to dinner invitations

 

If you get invited out for dinner that you don’t have to pay for, don’t say no. Jump on the opportunity to enjoy foods that you may not typically buy as they are out of your budget range. You may also enjoy recipes that you’ve never heard of before but are simple to make.

My wife’s sister for instance has some pretty amazing dinner parties so we always go. We watch our nephew without cost to them which we don’t mind and they feed us like a King and Queen. In fact anyone they feed gets to eat some pretty amazing food. They don’t hold back when it comes to buying seafood, quality cuts or meat or other expensive food because they can afford it. We never leave starving and appreciate their kind gesture.

 

Volunteer

 

Every time we visit my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law during the summer months we’re always doing something to help them out. Whether it’s weeding, house repairs or building something I do what I can because they have health issues and can’t do things on their own any longer.

We never accept money from them nor do we expect anything in return for helping them out. They are so grateful that they send us home with lots of organic fruits and vegetables which we would normally never buy. Plus, they cook us some fantastic meals.

Buying organic can be pricey unless you shop the sales or find reduced products but overall you’ll pay near double if not more than regular food items. Our neighbour up the road is in his early 90’s and still has a vegetable garden every summer. Whenever he needs any help I’m there to offer it and he sends me home with organic tomatoes and garden flowers for our yard.

 

Expensive Food Items We Get For Less

 

  • Yogurt, Cream, Milk and Cheese with a short-date code
  • Meat and Seafood including bacon, ham, lunch-meat
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Bread is always reduced
  • Organic free-range eggs
  • Cereal
  • Instant coffee
  • Frozen items such as Burgers
  • Ice-cream

Overall, if you want something you can get it but you must learn the secrets to grocery shopping and put in the efforts before you go, while you’re there and when you get home. The process is the key to saving money.

Discussion Question:

How do you look for deals when you grocery shop?

 

September Grocery Game Challenge

 

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.

September Grocery Game Posts

 

Free Money Saving Tools 2016

 

You WILL want to check this out!

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-$40.93=$194.07
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $194.07
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $60
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 314,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum 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 : $22.00

 

Our Grocery Shop This Week

 

Zehrs

  • 2 x 2% Sealtest milk $4.27 each

Total Out-of-Pocket $8.54

  • Total to spend this month : $235.00-$5.23 overage from August= $229.77
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $15.36
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$8.54
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $482.34
  • Total spent this week: $53.03- $1.06 to stockpile= $51.97
  • Total spent so far this month: $238.12
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month:  -$8.38
  • Total left to spend for the month: $8.38 carry over to October
  • 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 + July $244.40 + Aug $201.30+ Sept $238.12

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

All we needed this week was milk which put us over for the month but not by too much. Our son is teething again with his molars coming in which is likely why he’s not eating again and only drinking milk and water. Next shop we’ll be stocking up.

 

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)
  • Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
  • 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 Know what stores accept coupons?:  If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  • 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. Mary F Campbell says:

    SEPTEMBER – Week #4 of 4- Sept 26-October 2, 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:

    It’s hard to believe that September is nearly gone! It’s been a fun month but can you believe we still have cash in our grocery budget? Even more shocking is that this is a NO SHOP WEEK!

    I think I will transfer the leftovers grocery funds to the US shopping because we have three more trips into the US in 2016 so the better funded the US shopping is…the better!

    Here’s what we spent on having fun for the last week of our vacation:

    Yellow Deli in Chilliwack for lunch $23.55

    Burger King Fish Burgers $5

    Tim Horton’s coffee for Larry (I had water) $2

    Sonic Drinks – on 2 occasions $9.75 using a coupon < Still have 44oz in the fridge to split with hubby! 🙂

    RCSS Vegetable Tray $9.98

    This week’s splurges total $50.28

    Total cost of our 24 day vacation:

    Week 1 $271.24
    Week 2 $125.17
    Week 3 $ 50.28

    Total $446.69 << Not bad, if I do say so myself!

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Our next Canadian grocery shop will be NEXT WEEK as the fridges are currently full!

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE NEXT WEEK!

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

    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 $8.50+ July $46.99+ Aug $13.85+Sept $0.60 = $468.23

    •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+ July $0.00 + Aug $0.00+ Sept $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+ July $0.00 + Aug $0.00 + Sept $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar 3 +April 48 + May 96 + June 0+ July 573 + Aug 208 + Sept 11= 1,131 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 32 + May 24 + June 3+ July 0 + Aug 0 + Sept 0 = 268 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200= April 3,100 + May 0 + June 2,600+ July 0 + Aug 6,600 + Sept 0 = 24,300 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 0 + June 40+ July 0 + Aug 40 + Sept 20= 100 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 $182.79 +July $188.72+ Aug $171.07+ Sept (15.00+$15.00+$15.00+$55.00+$1.99+$11.07+82.59 trf to US shopping= $195.65) = $1,710.00

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + April $190.00 +May $190.00 + June $190.00+July $190.00+Aug $190.00 +Sept $190.00= $1,710.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $0.00 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+ July $0.00 + Aug $0.00+Sept $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 -$48.42 + July $45.00 + Aug $45.00+Sept ($55.00-24.97+$82.59= $112.62)= $206.83

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

    2016 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 + Apr +
    -$5.29+May -$9.70 +June $15.00+July -$41.81 + Aug $17.93+Sept $15.00= $43.77

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

    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+ July $15.00+ Aug $15.00+Sept $15.00= $218.12

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

    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 +July $7.62 +Aug (15.00-30.21=-$15.21)+ Sept $15.00= $638.54

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 1,710.00 Grocery Budget JAN-SEPT

    $ 14.57 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 383.59) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 419.67 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 206.83) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of 2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 1,539.25) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 0.00 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 POINTS REDEEMED will be added to our Holiday Reserve next Christmas.

    So far $1,710.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $871.06 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 43.77 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 218.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 638.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 206.83 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,121.63. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $871.06 that we have added in 2016, LESS $685.94 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    SAVE ON FOODS:

    6 Bags Western Family Kettle Potato Chips @ 3 for $7

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

    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, toaster waffles, hot cross buns 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: Apple-Red Onion-Cauliflower Salad for Mary / Ham & Cheese Submarine & Cheesy Noodle Cup of Soup for Larry

    TUES: Cauliflower & 2 turkey pepperoni for Mary / Homemade Egg McMuffin on an Onion Bagel, coleslaw, potato salad, kosher pickle & strawberry yogurt for Larry

    WED: Greek Salad, Tuna Salad Sub & cottage cheese for Larry / just Greek Salad for me

    THURS: Egg Salad Sandwiches with Carrot sticks, Cauliflower, Peppers & dip for Larry / just the egg salad and sliced Granny Smith Apple for me

    FRI: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, red delicious apple & yogurt for Larry / Chicken salad & raw cauliflower for me

    SAT: Chicken Meatball Submarines

    SUN: Taste tests at the Bruce’s Market Annual Apple-fest

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

    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Chicken Noodle Soup & toasted Onion Bagels

    TUES: Leftover Creamy Tomato Soup & Arby's Value Roast Beef Sandwiches with tomato, cucumber & red onion added

    WED: Denver Omelette with Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Peppers & Onions

    THURS: Pumpkin Pie French Toast

    FRI: Ham & Potato Crockpot Soup with Fall Spiced Cornbread

    SAT: Red Lentil & Garbanzo Bean Soup & Quick Peppery Cheese Bread

    SUN: Crockpot Chili with Grandma’s Honey Muffins

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

    • Hi Mary,
      You know I half expected I’d see pumpkin pie French Toast and now I want to try and make it. I’m not a huge pumpkin fan but I don’t mind it once a year. I like the idea of Fall spices in bread. I’m working on a scone recipe for the wife and I might add some Fall spices in for a nice kick of flavour.
      Have you ever sauteed cauliflower in butter and eaten it like that? It’s delicious.
      I loved this!! Why? Because so many people DON’T keep track of their money but you go the extra mile and it pays off doesn’t it? Well done. I’m glad that the two of you enjoyed your holidays. You get ballot #13 Mr.CBB

      This week’s splurges total $50.28

      Total cost of our 24 day vacation:

      Week 1 $271.24
      Week 2 $125.17
      Week 3 $ 50.28

      Total $446.69 << Not bad, if I do say so myself!

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        I run a pretty tight ship around here Mr CBB – but it means we can have some nice splurges every once in a while. As soon as hubby went back to work, he ordered the full series (10 seasons) of the tv show JAG from Amazon.ca ($100). He loves the show and will load the dvds into his iTunes library so that when we travel, we can watch them if there is nothing good on tv.

        I splurged yesterday and bought some clothes for winter. I’ve been waiting for the last 5 years to try and catch “long” winter nightgowns in the store because they sell out so darned fast! I bought 4 yesterday & I can finally throw out the worn and torn ones that I have been wearing. Yay! I also finally found a pair of sweatpants. It’s been years since I had a pair but they say we’re in for a hard, cold winter with oodles of snow so I am sure I am gonna enjoy them when we are out walking in the cold weather. 🙂 Next I am on the hunt for a good pair of waterproof walking boots.

        Our HUGE splurge this year will come in a couple of weeks. I only have 5 sessions left on my cardiac rehab program in Abbotsford. 🙁 It’s been fun and I really enjoy giving the instructors the gears. Everyone else is just too darned compliant and serious…we need to mix it up a bit. I guess a lot of them are scared after their cardiac event. I figure that I am here and I plan to live until I die. It’ll feel a lot longer if I am miserable about it but but I’ll enjoy every minute and make whatever time I have on this earth fun, fun, fun – laughing & joking all the way! I still do what I am supposed to do but with an occasional moan and groan about the torture session and the S&M cool down session. It gets everyone laughing & I don’t mind them thinking I am out of shape – I am but I am improving in great leaps and bounds!

        So, it’s time to join the “Continuing Cardiac Program” which is ta supervised program twice a week in Abbotsford for 60 minutes, instead of the 90 minutes I do now, for the next year ($600) + I’ll take out my Senior’s membership in Maple Ridge for the over days of the week ($351). Hubby gets a Corporate Fitness membership @ 50% off the regular Adult costs via a payroll deduction for $462 a year. All total that’s $1,413 for both of us for access to the pools & aquafit classes, squash courts, the gym, two skating rinks, spin classes, zumba classes, a curling club & an indoor track for me in Abbotsford. Fitness will be the focus of our entertainment budget this winter! We aren’t going to turn into couch potatoes just because it’s cold outside! LOL 🙂

        I am saving up though for a really good piece of equipment for the house hopefully next year for the really bad weather days. We already have resistance bands, weights, stability balls, mats & a stationary bicycle but I’d like to add either an elliptical or a treadmill, possibly both. Doesn’t everyone turn their formal living room into a gym? LOL

        We still have 3 weekends and a 4 night get-away left in 2016 and $553.31 of the $1,000 vacation budget I made up. A good chunk of that is going to paying hotels for 3 nights to keep our points balances active. We have more vacation money in our travel fund if we need it but… I have some nice things planned in 2017 and want to save as much of those funds as I can. We’ll see how close to the $1,000 I can keep it. I like a challenge but not at the expense of good meals and a fun time! 🙂

  2. Christine Weadick says:

    When the grandson was a baby and getting formula both my daughter and I signed up for Similac to get the coupons for that to help her costs. And she made most of his baby food and froze it in ice cube trays.
    I look for reduced meat every time!! Or I buy it on sale, but I don’t pay full price for meat. I look over any reduced product I see in case it is something I can use. I love my loyalty points!! I get the Air Miles from Foodland and I have it all over to cash so I am building up a good reserve fund with that. My PC points are coming but much slower as No Frills is out of town for me as is Shoppers. I do have the Guardian store here that has their loyalty card.
    I check the unit prices for things at the store as it isn’t always the best deal even if it is on sale. I usually buy bulk for baking stuff that gets sold in small packages like chocolate chips or such. Making my own baking is always a way to get really good for a nice price! I use coupons when I can. The younger boy here helps out at the food bank and will bring home food that is close to it’s date as they would be tossing it otherwise as they have to. The ladies are always asking him if we can use this or that. Free is good!! It does help a lot if you know your prices so you know something is a good deal or not.

    • Hi Christine,
      We signed up for everything as well and have picked up some great free baby formula coupons. Every little bit helps. We made most of his baby food as well especially fruits because he just loved fruit. He’s still not a big eater at all…. peanut butter on the spoon was his fav yesterday. I’ve got to do a post on unit prices as I’ve been thinking about it for about 6 months and putting it off. That’s nice that they ask if you need anything and that he volunteers at the Food Bank. I’d love to write a post about what it’s like to volunteer at the Food Bank. Maybe we’ll get your son involved on that one if he’s interested. Thanks for the great tips and sharing your insight Christine. Mr.CBB

  3. Week 39 – Sept 23 – 29, 2016
    Name Your Store: Zehrs
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.27

    Human
    4L 2% Milk = $4.27

    Name Your Store: Canadian Tire
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.76

    Cats
    15 Kg Cat Litter = $6.95
    22 Kg Cat Litter = 7.88

    Name Your Store: Amish Farmer
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $10.00

    Human
    Apples = $5.00
    Pears = $5.00

    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: $14.27
    Left for the Month: $70.00
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $1067.70

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $16.76
    Total Cats to Date: $236.40

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $198.43

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $226.21

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($500.00)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $297.27

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $25.96

    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: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $257.95

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 12455

    Overview: Didn’t need much this week so we bought as needed this week.

    • Hi Dee,
      I wish the wife and I had more weeks like this. If you were only allowed to have one way to save money on your groceries what would you pick? Rewards, price matching, SCOP, Rebates. Coupons etc. ? You get ballot 14 Mr.CBB

      • If I was allowed only option to save, that would be a toss up between rewards and price matching. It would really have to depend on the value of the rewards to make it more worth while compared to price matching. On the other hand, price matching can make the effort of scanning flyers worth it. The other options don’t really save me money much.

  4. month of Sept 1-30 2016

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0.67+0.06 +04+ .04=0.81(superbucks/PC green pts)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.43+6.00=22.43

    redeemed PC pts- $40.00
    Gift card-$26.39+7.87+2.97+7.17+17.36+$5.71+36.14=$103.61

    450g old cheddar- 2 @ $4.57=9.14

    4L milk – 5 @ $5.99 = $29.95

    reduced produce- 13 @ $1.49= $19.37

    pork boneless stew meat=$1.91

    pork boneless stew meat=$1.62

    chicken breast fillet- $2.76

    chicken breast fillet-2.73

    bakery- buns $3.49 (reduced)= $1.74

    hamburg buns $3.19 (reduced)= $1.59

    2 @ $3.99 coffee creamer- $7.98

    sugar kiss melon $4.99 (reduced) = $2.49

    10 lbs poatoes 2 @ 2/$5.00 (reduced) =$2.50

    bulk mushrooms- $1.93

    pork picnic chop (400 PC ps) = $2.44

    400g sole fillets =$4.99

    2 kit kat bars @ $0.69= $1.38

    Kraft miracle whip 2 @ $0.99= $1.98

    500 ml NN sour cream= $2.49

    227g mushrooms $2.69 (reduced) = $1.34

    10 lbs onions $7.99 (reduced) =$3.99

    bananas = $3.23

    bulk mushrooms = $1.34

    400g sole fillets – $6.99

    NN coffee-$4.69

    canned tomato soup 4@ $0.50= $2.00

    canned cream mushroom soup 4@ $0.50= $2.00

    canned veg soup 4@ $0.50= $2.00

    2L french vanilla ice cream – $2.99

    green seedless grapes – $3.81

    2 @ $2.99 hot italian sausage- $5.98

    Smoked toupie ham- $15.38

    med ground beef $ $11.07 (reduced) – $5.53

    med ground beef $11.05 (reduced) –$5.52

    6” apple pie – $1.99

    2 – PC flat bread @ $2.49 (reduced) = $2.48

    8 pk pizza pockets $3.44 (reduced)= $1.72

    10 lbs potatoes 2/$4.00 (reduced)= $1.00

    2L nectarines $5.99 (reduced) = $2.99

    2- duncan hines cake mx @2/$4.00= $4.00

    kidney beans 2 @ $0.77= $1.54

    PC Ketchup sriracha 6 @ $0.50 = $3.00

    diced tomatoes= $0.77

    whole tomatoes=$0.77

    10lbs red potatoes 2 @ 2/$5.00 (reduced) = $2.50

    whole chicken $15.42 (reduced) = $7.71

    lg Ziggy potato & egg salad $6.79 (reduced) = $3.39

    Name Your Store: i.e. Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $1.50

    2 kleenex @$0.39 = $0.79

    2- 100ml Colgate toothpaste @$0.25=$0.50

    Name Your Store: i.e. Dollarama (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.30+$1.00+$5.95=$9.25

    chocolate bars 2 @$1.00= $2.00

    kidney beans- $1.00

    500lm root beer pop -$1.00

    500 ml apple juice- $1.00

    2 chocolate bars 2 @ 2/$1.00= $1.00

    reese p.butter cups (pkg 10) =$2.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. Circle K – Irving(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $1.50

    rice krispie treat-$1.49

    Name Your Store: i.e. U.F.O outlet (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $12.97

    Dare single pak cookies 5@ 20c=$1.00

    1/2 lb croutons= $0.99

    2-salt / vinegar baked potato chips 2 @1.25=$1.25

    Dad’s Oatmeal cookies- $1.00

    4 pks hotdog buns 2 /50c= $1.00

    2 salt and vinegar chips 2@ 2/$1.00=$1.00

    coconut chocolate bar- $0.75

    2 deodorants @1.99= $3.98

    donair sauce dry mix- $2.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. Stirlings Fruit/veg market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $3.99
    Total Out Of Pocket: $6.85

    2lbs carrots=$1.49
    2 bs onions- $1.35
    apple pie-$3.99
    cherry pie- FREE

    Name Your Store: i.e. Lawton’sDrugs (Canada)
    Redeemed airmiles- $10.00

    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.15+0.36= $3.51

    campfire mini marshmallows 255g- (reduced) $0.79- (less 20% senior discount)= $0.63

    campfire mini marshmallows 255g (reduced) 7 @ $0.79 (cashier rang in at $0.00) = FREE

    triple antibiotic ointment- $7.99 (less 20% senior discount) – $6.39

    hickory sticks- $2.49 (less 20% senior discount) –$1.99

    Avon canned peas 12 @ 3/99c =$3.96 (less seniors 20% discount )= $3.17

    Name Your Store: i.e. Bulk Barn (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $3.00+3.00=6.00

    gift card- $5.00+5.00= $10.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $17.03+19.27+ 7.45+2.50=$46.25

    sesame honey almonds- $5.69

    sesame honey almonds- $12.88

    chili pwd- $0.65

    Buttery flav coconut oil 3 @$10.49=$31.47

    unsalted hulled sunflower seeds- $1.31

    shortening- $1.66

    sultana raisins- $1.46

    black mission figs- $1.87

    turkish apricots – $2.48

    2- $5.00 gift cards- FREE (w/$15 purchase x 2)

    Name Your Store: i.e. Giant Tiger (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $33.28+ 10.25=43.53
    Gift card-(Purchased with cash) =
    Gift card-$

    onion rings- $3.00

    premium deluxe pizza=$2.99

    953g sole fillets- $9.00

    canned corn 2 @ $0.79= $1.58

    canned baked beans 2 @ $0.88=$1.76

    454g canned ham= $2.97

    227g mushrooms 2 @ $1.00= $2.00

    3L canola oil = $3.99

    4L homo milk – $5.99

    3 lbs bananas- $2.31

    4 doz eggs @ $1.98= $7.92

    Name Your Store: i.e. Walmart (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $38.70

    Medium Cheddar 400g – 10 @ $3.87= $38.70

    Overall for the month of Sepember 2016

    $ 3.15 +2.30+ $17.03 + $19.27+$1.00+16.43 +38.70+0.36 +1.50+1.50+6.00+6.85+12.97+5.95+ 7.45+2.50+33.28 +10.25=$186.49 out of pocket
    $ 0.67+0.06+.04+3.00 +3.00 =6.77 (coupon /PC green PC pts/ star bucks)
    $26.39+7.87+2.97+$7.17+5.00+5.00 +17.36 + $5.71+36.14 =$113.61 gift cards
    $ 10.00+20.00+ 40.00=$70.00 airmiles/ pc points redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $100- 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

    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)+ $8.41 (July) + $6.00 (Aug) +$6.77 (Sept) =$123.56
    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: $Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month $under spent $=$730.43 (Jan-Sept)

    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) + $88.93(July) + $135.30 (Aug) + $186.49 (Sept) = $1221.14

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): I picked up 12 blocks of cheese …not a terrific price, but a good price…and I even had to buy most at Walmart, which I detest. As you can see we splurge on the almonds and butter flav coconut oil, but when we use the coupons it makes them a reasonable price. Spent more out of pocket than usual because of the stores we went to, but well worth it. We bought an insane amount of food this month, and I cannot fit any more into my fridge!!! The way to save money is to buy lots at a low price. Except for milk, we could easily not need to buy anything in Oct.

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Do you think you can pull off a full month without doing any grocery shopping?
      Why did you get a free cherry pie?
      Great price on the mayo.
      How do you keep your reduced food from going off so fast?
      That was a great price for cheese and it lasts long even in the refrigerator. We should have picked some up but we didn’t.
      Could you add butter to coconut oil when you use it and call it buttery coconut oil? What is the difference? I’m just looking from a flavour and price point. My wife mixes both often even when she bakes something.
      Great deal on the eggs!
      May I ask what you did with 15lbs of onions and do you keep them for longer?
      Awesome month wow!!! I know what you mean about loading up on the low prices. This is our downfall when we step away from the grocery list because we see so many non-advertised deals. We do our best to make it up again but I have a feeling we’ll see our grocery budget increase for 2017. Well done for the month. You get ballot #15. MR.CBB

      • I could go a month without grocery shopping, but I don’t see the advantage. At the moment, I’m buying products at really low prices, which I will use before they go bad.Our local fruit/veg market gives a coupon on every receipt for the next month. For Sept, if you bought an apple pie, you rec’d a cherry pie 🙂 We eat a lot of omelets, and baked potatoes (toppings) so I use produce there. Fruit is eaten much more now. If needed, I chop and freeze. We eat a lot of cheese, so we know it will stay good.This coconut oil is flavoured by “organic vegan buttery flav” and “organic unrefined red palm oil’ for color. Yes, I think you could mix reg coconut oil with butter, to use up the ‘reg coconut oil”. We use our reg when we bake bread. I find I use less margarine now. I’m finding we are always able to find eggs for $1.99 every month somewhere now.Onions stay in the fridge, and if we have no room…they stay in the cupboard for a couple of days….then back to fridge. I will start on this bag this week.

  5. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 4 – Sept 25 – Oct 1

    • Grocery budget to work with in September: $320
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $49.19
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0.56
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $16.00
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: $0
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: $0.18
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $110
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $115
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $0
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $170
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts to date: $139.37 (total – Student discount done)
    • Total spent this week: $82.95
    • Total spent so far this month: $253.60
    • Total left to spend for the month: $66.40 (moving to pay down overspend)
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent: $111.20-66.40=44.80
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: $2,341.80

    Giant Tiger: Quaker crispy minis 2 x 1.00, cream cheese 1.79, tax .26: Total Paid 4.05

    Walmart: Armstrong cheese 5 x 3.87, Saputo cheese 2 x 3.87, Giant Value frozen cool whip 2.17, clearance 18 pk eggs 2.13, 40 pk k cups 16.97, unsalted butter 2.97, Campbells chicken broth 2 x 1.88, milk 4.27: Total Paid 59.36 rounded down 1 cent

    RCSS: Chex cereal 2.98, PC frozen blueberries 3 x 3.98, Tenderflake pie shell 2 pk 2.50, onions 10lb 1.67, bananas 1.01, less superbucks .56: Total Paid 19.55 rounded up 1 cent

    This week was another stock up week for cheese. The eggs were a nice bonus. We have started a smoothie run again so it was a nice week for frozen blueberries to go on sale before we were completely out.

    Also, we had a surplus at the end of the month which has been applied to our overspend. We now have less than half of the overspend to make up for in October which will be not a problem. We have also used our last superbucks coupon. It looks like our RCSS is moving to PC Plus points only. I miss the immediate reduction at the cash, but we will be sure to use our PC Plus card when we fill up instead. Only drawback, the superbucks was a better value, but something is better than nothing. It depends how the next couple of months go, we are considering starting to just save the PC Plus points again in case I don’t have a job next summer. My one year contract is just a maternity leave with no guarantees of anything past the beginning of next August. It would be nice, but we aren’t going to go too crazy with the spending knowing that I am temporary. However, we do have our final appliance in place, our dishwasher, and it is wonderful. Now that our major purchases have been taken care of, we now need to get on top of some of our shortfall from two years at school and look to our future. We have a lot to discuss as a family with the budget starting January. It’s exciting!

    • That’s three stock up weeks now. 🙂 I’m not counting at all. haha.
      What are superbucks again?
      We save our PC points all year just in case but that’s a smart idea.
      Did you pay cash for your new appliances or are they on credit? If so how will you be paying them down?
      what are some important questions that you might discuss with your new budget?
      Lots of post ideas here…. thanks.
      You get ballot #19
      Keep up the awesome work
      Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        Yes, it’s all about stock up right now, especially with cheese. Cheese, cheese and more cheese. It is probably because cheese just wasn’t part of the regular budget a lot in the recent past, my family has been missing it so we are dedicating a lot to it. It was considered a luxury not a necessity. So, we are adding it in at a great price.

        The superbucks program was a cents of coupon for Superstore printed off at their gas bar. It didn’t amount to a lot over the years, but enough to make it worth it especially the last two years where every penny made a huge difference.

        Because I was working and we could manage on the one salary, the first month of pays were dedicated to the appliances and furniture. They were priorities, especially the refrigerator. The right deal came up. We saved first and prayed that the fridge would keep going. We had already lived without the dishwasher for 1 1/5 years but knew that it was something we had to do and hoped that no one else but me would cut themselves on the couch which was a hazard. However, to keep the purchase simple, we put it on the credit card and then immediately put the money down on it. I know we could have used that money to get ahead from where we were at, but it was a judgement call based on need and the sale that was just right.

        Looking ahead at the budget, we need to look at whether the new amount that we have dedicated to groceries and see if it is enough or too much, I don’t think that we would be raising it any more than we already have. We also need to balance what is coming in to what is going out again. Hubby has cut his hours so he isn’t working 7 days a week, but that changes the dollars in. Mine are consistent now until next August. We have changed our bundle internet, phone and television. We have to get a consistent read on how our Hydro bill is going to be over the next couple of months so we can predict it again. The rates have gone up ridiculously but we had the refrigerator constantly running. We need to look at ways to make sure we can stay balanced, pay off all debt of that we incurred while I was at school, build our TFSA accounts again so we can get the money invested, add to my son’s future schooling account which we were building, we would like to save for a vacation and we need to figure out whether that works. The vacation would really be something small, a long weekend away within driving distance. We need to make sure we can pay for any hockey related expenses, and change the budget for when some bills will be going up (but we already have those dates) because we got assistance with our Y membership so my son could swim and assistance with his hockey fees through a wonderful local organization. These expenses will come back to our budget in 2017. It’s all about getting the numbers organized, predictable, and do all of the budgets needed at each level so we think about it once and implement as things change. I prefer to have the jump on it rather than wait until things change. Hydro and natural gas are our biggest variables right now. Hydro One rates are awful and Enbridge has gotten permission to raise rates. We will do best guess which will be an average of the winter months for Enbridge plus 10% and Hydro will be an average of Sept to December. That will give us a decent start to Hydro knowing that the fridge will cost us less, but the dishwasher will increase it. I know this is a bit scattered, but it is all running through my head. Once we get it on paper, we will know what we have left to work with. The cat’s budget also has to change this year because his food costs have increased, he has a separate line all of his own.

  6. Date: Oct 1
    Name of Store:Walmart
    Total Coupons Used: 11.50
    Total out of Pocket:35.05 (0 from bank account)
    4x 2l pop – 0.97 each
    Finesse hair spray – 2.24 (stock pile)
    Old El Paso taco seasoning- 1.47
    Old El Paso taco sauce- 3.17
    Campbells cream of chicken cooking soup-1.76
    Armstrong Marble Cheese- 3.87
    10 Tortillas- 3.97
    10lb white potatoes – 1.44
    Milk- 4.27
    Mini drumsticks by nestle-3.97-2.00 coupon from signing up to their website
    Carmel Coffeemate creamer – 3.97-2.00 from nestle website and 1.00 co51
    Danone 0% tub of yogurt 2X2.00- 3.00 coupon from danone website
    4X oral b toothbrush 1.00 each – save 2 when you buy 2 = free!!
    Gay Lea sour cream big tub- price matched .97 used 50c coupon
    D’itialiano bread -1.88

    Name of Store: No Frills
    Total Coupons Used:4.50
    Total out of Pocket:53.67 used 50.00 in points and the rest cash
    No name chicken broth 900ml- 0.97
    4X franco beef gravy – 0.67 each
    Maxwell house breakfast blend small tin- 5.49
    Kraft Ranch dressing 1.97-.50 coupon
    Lactantia butter 2X 2.87 (stock pile)
    Organic bananas- 1.32
    No Name Boneless skinless chicken breasts 10.99
    Top Sirloin Roast-9.99
    Med Ground Beef 2X 5.77
    English Muffin-0.77
    Dove Shampoo 2X2.97 – 2X2.00 coupon

    Total Grocery Budget for the month: $ 375
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry overs:
    Total Gift Cards used this week:35.05
    Total Gift Cards used to date:158.21
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week:50.00
    Total Rewards Points used to date:50.00
    PC Points Earned this week:3300
    PC Points Earned to Date:5600
    SCOP Earned to date:0
    Zweet to date:0.50
    CO51 toda:1.00
    CO51 to date:4.50
    Caddle today:0.25
    Caddle to date:0.25
    Stockpile budget remaining 2016 ($92.02)-9.95=82.07
    Stockpile budget used to date:17.93
    Total coupons used this week:16.00
    Total Coupons used to date:42.09
    Total in store discounts this week: 12.50
    Total instore discounts to date: 63.30
    Total price matching this week: 6.07
    Total Price matching Year to date:22.42
    Total spent this week:78.77
    Total spent so far this month:78.77 (0 from bank account)
    Total over/under spend this shop over 3.77
    Total left to spend for the month:296.23
    Total spent to date 2016 (does not include stock pile budget)295.59
    Weekly Overview (Your final Thoughts)
    Condiments are expensive. I need to start buying when on sale and I have coupons and think ahead. Alot of the budget can be spent just on that and its not even the main meal! I am not happy about the price of 5.77 a pound of ground beef but no frills was all out of any other and they would not price match valumart at 3.99 a pound because theirs was a butcher pack.
    I always buy no name frozen chicken breasts but should look into buying fresh and freezing myself. I would probably save some money. I do have a food saver that I can seal my food and freeze which comes in handy.
    I realized by reading your post that in store savings was referring to items that were reduced to sell fast. At first I thought you meant items I bought that were on sale in the flyer and how much I saved from regular price. I am going to continue to track the savings like this.

    • Hi Andria,
      Was the Danone Coupon $3.00 off each container or for both? I agree that the budget can easily blow up buying condiments. I will write a blog post about condiments. Ground Beef is very expensive so grab it when you see it on sale. We’re not big meat eaters apart from mince meats and sausages. Buying the no-name chicken you’ll likely spend more for crappy chicken as it’s water injected and frozen. You’re much better going for the real deal and making the best of a whole chicken. You can get loads of meals and soup broth from it too.
      In store savings are from reduced items yes. We wanted to see just how much money we could save buying reduced in-store items. Some are in the flyers on sale and when we get to the store they might have pink 50% off stickers which is a bonus too. So far this is our greatest savings for our grocery budget. The hard part is realizing that most of the stuff is not on our grocery list so we are left to juggle things around a bit to make our grocery shops work. It’s worth it though. You can track however you like. As long as you track the basics I have laid out in the template you can add any other tracking ideas to help you with your grocery savings. Have a look at Mary Campbell’s GGC posts. She goes the mile and then some with her posts. She is queen of organization in our GGC group!! Keep up the great work. You get ballot #20. P.S It’s nice to see the use of coupons in your shops.

      • Hi Mr CBB
        The Danone coupon was save 3.00 when you buy 2. They were each 2.00 so that made them 0.50 each! The yogurt was on roll back at Walmart. I’m not sure if it goes any cheaper than that but I will keep an eye on it since I have a few more printable coupons.
        I usually try to buy my meat on sale and freeze it but we needed ground beef for tacos we wanted and no frills didn’t have much selection left I wasn’t too happy.

        I love using coupons 🙂 it’s free money!

        • Wow that was a super bargain. It almost makes you want to eat a big pot every night at that price lol. The best place I find to buy cheap meat is always Zehrs or RCSS… if you are lucky and they offer 50% off you can get some real bargains.

  7. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800
    (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- $33.19= $616.81
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $616.81
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $165
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 49310
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $12.25
    Checkout51 to cash out : $28.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    No Frills
    3 Palmolive dish soap @2.39, 3X1.00 coupons
    1 Downy -9.99, 2000 points
    2-216 count Tetley teabags @9.27
    1 pack snack chocolate bars -2.49
    1 4kg Whiskas cat food -14.99, 2800 points
    6 pasta sauce @.99
    1kg icing sugar -2.27
    1kg brown sugar -2.27
    1 bag white rice -2.99
    2 cans pineapple @1.29
    3 cans tomato paste @.52
    3 cranberry cocktail @2.77
    4 apple sauce @1.29, 600 points
    1 jar NN dill pickles -1.99
    2 jars pickled onions @1.89
    1 box Premium Plus crackers -3.29
    3 packs pasta @.97
    1kg Kraft peanut butter -3.97
    1 Sunlight dish soap -2.29
    2-18 count large eggs @2.88
    2 4l milk @4.27
    1 Highliner fish -2.97
    4 GG frozen veggies @2.99
    10lb bag potatoes -4.49
    Bananas -1.27, 100 points
    2 lemons @5/3.00
    2 packs Oktoberfest sausage @1.97
    1 pack lean ground beef -13.92
    1 pack chicken thighs -4.78
    1 raisin bread -3.00
    1 W/W bread -2.99, 50% sticker -1.50
    1 St Ives lotion -4.97
    Tax -7.26
    Total OOP -$157.89, 3.00 coupons, $1.50 discounts and 5500 points
    Foodland
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 jug water -5.49
    1-400 pack coffee filters -3.68
    2 tomato soup @.75
    2 4l milk @4.99
    1 block cheese -3.99
    1 bag frozen fries -2.49
    4 Swanson meat pies @1.00
    4 packs mushrooms @3.99, 50% discount @2.00
    1 whole chicken -7.11
    Tax -.48
    Total OOP $52.17, $8.00 discounts
    Jackson’s Pharmacy, stockpile
    2 Dove shampoo @2.99
    2 Dove conditioner @2.99
    1 Herbal shampoo -1.50
    1 Herbal conditioner-1.50
    1 Palmolive dish soap -1.99
    2 Sensodyne toothpaste @3.99
    Total OOP -$24.93, stockpile

    Total to spend this month : $650.00-$33.19 overage from August= $616.81
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $24.93
    Total coupons used this week: $3.00
    Total coupons used to date: $109.12
    Total in-store discounts this week:$9.50
    Total in-store discounts to date: $158.08
    Total spent this week: $210.06
    Total spent so far this month: $568.28
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $48.53 under
    Total left to spend for the month: $48.53
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan 252.95 579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $605.28+ April $584.23+ May $475.36+ June $747.58+ July $631.00+ Aug $683.19+ Sept $568.28
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts-
    Even with the stock up run to No Frills I am under for the month! I made up last month’s overage as well. My fridge, freezers and pantry are looking pretty good. Mind, I had help from a gift card from our resident coupon fairy!! This year is going quite well in spite of the rising costs of groceries, I have found some very nice deals. That whole chicken was what we have been eating, I got 3 meals for the four of us plus three 3 cup containers of stock for that little clucker!!
    I’ll talk to Raymond about his work at the food bank. Things will be picking up there as the Thanksgiving food drive is on and once that is in they start working on the Christmas baskets. There will be stuff the cruisers by the OPP here and other drives for the Salvation Army soon. The stuff has to be mostly in by early December so things can be sorted and such in time for delivery for the big day. It’s a lot of work but very gratifying to get done. We always man the kettles at the grocery store across the street and they give us a block of time we work out between us. We know that no matter how rough we have things here there are people that are having a worse time.

    • Hi Christine,
      The No Frills shop finally!
      Great deal on the brown sugar and icing sugar. It can get expensive at $3.99 a bag regular price and with Christmas coming up a great time is now to stock up. The Palmolive was a great deal with the coupons. Do you grocery shop alone when you go to No Frills or does the husband and boys come with you? With your husband being a picky eater how does he contribute to the grocery shopping list? I would love to hear Raymond’s story about volunteering. The last line of your post says it all…. you are very right.
      Do you think your grocery budget will go up in the new year? You do have a healthy sized budget which is great so that gives you wiggle room, besides you work that budget so well. This year has been challenging more so than all the other years with cost increases. I’m sure we will see an increase ourselves. Let me know about Raymond so we can put something together for the Christmas season posts on Food Bank volunteering etc… 🙂 You get ballot #21. Mr.CBB

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