grocery game monthly challenge

4 Costly Kitchen Distractions To Avoid While Cooking : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #5 Oct 31-Nov 6




You might think what I’m about to say is NOT a big deal until something happens to you or even worse someone you love. Both mental and physical distractions while cooking can produce a ruined meal, injury, death or damage to your house or apartment.

Don’t turn your kitchen into an episode of Kitchen Nightmares.

It’s so easy to get caught up in everyday life that when we get home it’s tough to turn off from the work day. How we choose to try and do that may affect the way we prepare meals in the kitchen and potentially your wallet depending on the outcome.

  • You or someone else could lose a life
  • You or someone else could get injured
  • You burn and ruin your meal
  • You cause a fire

What are distractions?

Distractions are anything that takes your eyes and mind off the task(s) at hand.

Related: Should I get tenants insurance?

You may be one of those people who are able to multi-task and do it all but when I’m in the kitchen I like to think I’m on the job. Imagine you were a chef in a restaurant but you’re actually in your own kitchen. You decide to leave what you are doing at the stove to answer the doorbell. Not everyone has a kitchen at the front of the house so that means an even further distance occurs from the food cooking in the kitchen.

Instantly you might think, oh no I’m in the middle of cooking however it’s SO EASY to forget that once you start a conversation. We’ve all done it. Don’t be ashamed to tell the person you are cooking and to call or come back at another time.

It might only be once the smoke reaches the front door or even worse fire that you click back to chef mode. You can’t do this while you are at work in a kitchen and doing so at home is no different. You must always keep your mind in the kitchen and your eyes on the food.

If your spouse comes in the kitchen and wants to give you a hug, kiss make it quick. Tell him or her that cooking time is hands off time and to save it for later even thought it may seem harmless and fun. Why? because you’re cooking. If you must then turn off the stove and get on with your adventure otherwise save it for later.


Kitchen distractions apply to everyone


Today I wanted to touch on a few kitchen distractions as a reminder to be safe while you are cooking and to remember that it only takes seconds for something to happen. We are all human so even the most prestigious chefs will limit their distractions to keep focused on the task at hand.

Don’t allow kitchen distractions to cook up a disaster or you may be paying for it with money, emotion or lies that your meal was amazing.

Keep these kitchen distractions in mind before you start to cook so you prepare your space.




Hands up how many of you have burned a meal because you got distracted by social media? I thought so.

Just as texting and driving is a huge distraction the same goes in the kitchen with potentially fatal results or severe injury. We live in a time where we are always connected to the web which means it’s hard for some people to log off to take time to do what they need to do.

Whether it be your computer, your smart phone, the television or even taking photos with your camera keep in mind that these kitchen distractions which may seem like everyday normal distractions can actually set you back in the kitchen. If you have kids you will want to set an example for them as well because they may just follow the leader later in life.


Kids and Pets


When myself or my wife cooks our son is always there tugging on our pants, calling out for us or making a disaster because we’re not paying attention to him like we typically do. When you’re a parent it’s not easy to tell your child you’re cooking and to find distractions for them so you can limit your own.

The biggest worry is that if we lose our mind for a moment thinking about the meal that our son might touch a hot oven or oil might splat or even worse he touches a frying pan somehow and it spills on him. Even though keeping the handle of a pot or pan inwards is recommended for safety of the cook a child will always find a way.

When your child is of cooking adventure age and interested to help you in the kitchen which is a great idea this too can become part of the distractions of disaster. It’s important that if you do go this route to keep your eye on the prize otherwise you may be ordering in take-out food.

Related: Eating out vs. Eating In

Our dog loved food just like every other dog and as soon as he heard the pots and forks he was right there next to us watching every move we make. He was waiting for that piece of cheese or meat to accidentally fall to the floor so he could hoover it up or he would just be in the way so we were climbing over him or having to go around him.

It’s always best if you have a pet who can’t stay away from the stove to be put in another room or trained to stay away from the stove. Not only are animal distractions a hazard to your meal but the pet risks getting burned or injured if they come around while you have the stove open or you’re cooking with oil.




How would you feel if you knew that the chef was washing dishes and cooking your meal at the same time? Even worse he took a bathroom break in the middle of sautéing your vegetables because he could no longer hold it any more? I’m sure many of you by now have said you’ve done this at home but wouldn’t want it to happen when you are eating out at a restaurant.

If you are by yourself in the kitchen cooking you should NEVER leave the kitchen unattended for anything. It’s best to turn off what you are cooking if you are alone and need to step away or find someone to watch over your meal while you bolt to the bathroom.

Leave the sweeping and dishes until the end of the meal so your main focus is the meal. This way you won’t forget ingredients, add the wrong ingredients or burn the meal.




Do you remember Pasquale the Italian TV chef who always sang and drank wine while he cooked? That style of cooking is fun and I do the same sometimes but alcohol should always be enjoyed in moderation. You wouldn’t want your chef at a restaurant preparing your meal and drinking a beer at the same time would you?

Probably not and if you try to prove that it’s different then I fail to see how. Maybe being on the job is different from cooking at home however the same results can happen if you are distracted from cooking a meal.

We all know what happens when we drink alcohol and how our bodies react to a few drinks. Alcohol not only distracts you from the job you are doing it may also bring on drowsiness. If you drink too much alcohol your body may react in such a way that you wander off to find a bed or couch and fall asleep.

You forget that you are cooking because all your body wants to do is sleep. If you plan to drink while you cook make sure that you have supervision or limit the amount that you drink so you don’t go overboard. Not many people are caught drinking and driving even know that they were behind the wheel drunk. The last thing you want to do is endanger people’s lives while you’ve got your chef’s hat on.

Cooking a meal and alcohol is never a great mix even when handling the BBQ in the summer. I have a beer or two just like everyone else but I don’t go overboard. When you’re at home it’s nice to enjoy the relaxation but also remember it’s not safe to do so if you plan to drink more than the kitchen police allow.

I’ve only touched on a few kitchen distractions today as a reminder to everyone that cooking is fun but it’s important to focus on your tasks and try not to get side-tracked by the little things that could cause unanticipated results.

Happy Cooking everyone!

Chef Mr.CBB (Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? Ha)

Discussion Question:

Have you ever been caught up with kitchen distractions that caused an undesirable outcome? Share your comment below and tell us what happened and what you would have done differently or do differently now.


October 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.

October 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 this Month: $226.62
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $194.07
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $65
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 365,000
  • 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



  • 1 x Sealtest Milk 2% $4.27

Total Out-of-Pocket $4.27

  • Total to spend this month : $235.00-$8.38 overage from September= $226.62
  • 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:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $503.74
  • Total spent this week: $4.27
  • Total spent so far this month: $236.77
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: -$5.88+ $4.27= -$10.15
  • Total left to spend for the month: $25.39-$31.27= -$10.15 over
  • 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+ October $236.77

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We bought milk and will survive on Halloween candy this week. Haha!! Wow what a month that was and I’m glad it’s over with this week. On to the last two months of 2016 Grocery Game Challenge. How are you all feeling so far with your shopping this year?


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?

If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.

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
  • 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 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.


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
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  1. Christine says:

    Can I post my November week #1 here or should I wait until next week when you start November?

    • You can post it now or next week it’s up to you. There were 5 shopping weeks in October that ran into November so we technically have started November but not really. If this is your first shop for November you can simply wait until next week if that will be easier for you and follow along that way. How’s that?

  2. Week 44 – Oct 28 – Nov 3, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $7.47

    2 Wonder WW Bread = $3.20
    4 L 2% Milk – $4.27

    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: $7.47
    Left for the Month: $0
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $1205.81

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $241.40

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $204.31

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $230.16

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($500.00)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $344.80

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $27.96

    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: $273.67

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 25923

    Overview: By the time I got to the grocery store to complete other things, I didn’t feel like grocery shopping so we just picked up the basics. The bread was picked up with “pink stickered” (30%).

    • Hi Dee,
      Not feeling like grocery shopping can either save money or cost money. lol. Too bad your pink stickers aren’t 50% off. 🙂 You get ballot #22. Bring on November and Decemeber!!! 🙂 Happy shopping Mr.CBB

      • I find if I don’t feel like shopping, I typically won’t spend much as I don’t want to be there. Yeah, it’s too bad that the stickers aren’t 50% but I’ll still take what I can get. I feel that I’m in really good shape to end the year in the black and I won’t be changing the human or cat budgets for next year.

  3. I now have a baby gate blocking off my kitchen – the two little mini dachshunds love to get under foot waiting for something to drop and the big coonhound has actually managed to turn the stove on once when I was upstairs in the shower which could have been quite dangerous.

    • WOW that could have been very dangerous. It’s so important to be mindful of kitchen distractions because they could be super costly. Thanks for sharing Nicole. Mr.CBB

  4. Mary F Campbell says:

    OCTOBER – Week #5 of 5- Oct 31-Nov 6, 2016


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



    This week we did a little more shopping than we have been doing but the budget is still intact for the last GGC week of October!
    Meridian and Thrifty’s both had some pretty sweet prices this week, ones that I simply did not want to ignore. 🙂

    Pat on the back for us this month for finishing UNDER budget BUT we need to be remain diligent and continue restraint the next two months to make sure we finish out the year on budget. I am transferring the leftover balance of available funds this month into our US Grocery Shopping rather than carrying it forward into November.

    It’s so easy to splurge unnecessarily over the holidays what with the pretty packaging and delicious smells…I’m going to be monitoring our purchases EXTREMELY carefully as to whether they are a NEED or a WANT. Any holiday wants have to come out of our “Christmas Budget” but I plan to tap the regular grocery budget for our needs. How do you handle all the extra holiday expenses?

    We’ve got a head start on our holiday “extras” with my having tucked away some snacks in the pantry, assorted pickles for my pickle tray and a Purdy’s candy order that arrives on December 15th. I plan to get our holiday cheeses and nuts in the US when we are down again. I’m also watching for another sale on hams and of this year I will pick up a small turkey. I’ve booked our lunches/dinners with friends and family… so bring on the holiday season!



    Walmart – Maple Ridge –

    6 x English Cucumbers $0.97 ea = $5.82

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $5.82


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 Cauliflower (2 for $5) = $5.00
    2 Cantaloupe (2 for $5) = $5.00
    1 Family Pack Lean Ground Beef $2.99/lb = $6.37

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $16.37

    ** Earned 1 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $12.84 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    MERIDIAN FARM MARKET – Maple Ridge –

    6 Tomatoes on the Vine $0.98/lb = $1.97
    4 Granny Smith Apples $0.58/lb = $1.57
    4 Lemons (2 for $1) = $2.00
    2 Limes (@ $0.20 ea) = $0.40
    1 x 1.5lb box mini mandarins = $2.50 << Christmas is starting for me! 🙂

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $8.44






    •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+Oct $12.84 = $481.07

    •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 Oct $6.32 = $43.69

    •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 Oct $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 + Oct 23 = 1,154 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 + Oct 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 + Oct 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 + Oct 31 = 131 Points



    •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 $195.65 + Oct ($30.00+$70.00+$2.94+$1.00+$7.69+3.98+2.29 +$18.00+$35.97-$35.97 Trf from Xmas Reserve+$4.98+$5.82+$16.37+$8.44= $171.51) = $1,856.70

    •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 + Oct $190.00= $1,900.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $18.49 AVAILABLE
    ** less $18.49 transfer to US Reserve = $0.00 **



    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 + Oct $0.00= $14.57



    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 $112.62 + Oct ($70.00-$26.12+$18.49=$62.37)= $186.61



    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 + Oct $30.00= $73.77



    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 $15.00 + Oct ($-15.19-$35.97 = -$51.16)= $166.96 + $130 worth of RCSS POINTS



    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



    $ 1,900.00 Grocery Budget JAN-OCT

    $ 14.57 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 413.59) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 434.86 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 269.20) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of 2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 1,652.07) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 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 $1,900.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $888.47 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 73.77 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 166.96 Holiday Season Fund + $130 PC Plus Avail.
    $ 638.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 186.61 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,080.25. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $906.96 that we have added in 2016, LESS $763.22 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:



    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: Creamy Tomato Soup & Tuna Salad Sandwiches for hubby / leftover poutine for me

    TUES: Chicken Meatball Sandwiches with BBQ Sauce & Mozzarella plus a Cheesy Cup of Soup for hubby / tomato-cucumber-red onion- cauliflower salad for me

    WED: Leftover French Onion Soup with Cheese & Onion stuffed bagels for hubby / 1/2 cantaloupe for me

    THURS: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Celery + Carrot Sticks & dip for hubby / Green Apple-Carrot-Walnut Salad for me

    FRI: Leftover Caribbean Sweet Potato Soup & Peanut Butter Sandwiches for hubby / just the soup for me

    SAT: Leftover French Onion Soup + Toasted Tomato-Cucumber-Onion-Cheese Sandwiches

    SUN: Cheese Omelette with scallions


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Soup…chicken noodle for hubby, boullion for me

    TUES: Gingerbread Pancakes

    WED: Caribbean Sweet Potato Soup

    THURS: Sloppy Joes with coleslaw + make up a one pound batch of meatballs for the freezer

    FRI: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

    SAT: Pappa Al Pomodorro Soup

    SUN: Nine Vegetable Hot & Sour Soup


    • Hi Mary,
      I’ve heard of Purdy’s chocolates but have never tried them before. What do you typically order from them for Christmas? Do you just put a tray of them on a table for guests? What are some of the best nuts to get for the holidays? I agree that it’s easy to overspend on food when the holidays are here. I’ll see if I can put together a post on this to help the fans ease into it if not for this year but for next. Like the both of you we have a Christmas budget which I believe is one of the smartest things to do since the holidays are pricey for most of us. You know when the mandarins are out that Christmas is around the corner. They are so good.
      The next couple of months will be busy in the grocery game for all of us. I’m certain we’ll see an increase in our grocery budget for next year which is fine. I can’t expect it to stay the same with the wife eating low carb and the boy growing up. Even if we do put it up that doesn’t mean we have to use it all every month, right?
      I have to ask.. what is Pappa Al Pomodorro Soup? Tomato soup. I have to make some meatballs with the wife again soon as we used the last batch about a week ago. It’s such a smart idea and relief when we know we have foods prepped in the freezer. Great month Mary!! Here’s to November and December. You get ballot #21. Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        The Pappa Al Pomodorro Soup is an Italian favorite. It’s a tomato and stale bread soup. Waste not, want not right? I got hooked on it at Pallino’s in the University Village in the US but now that I am gluten free, I simply make my own but I still love their amazing salads!–i-pappa-al-pomodoro-i–tuscan-tomato-and-bread-soup-

        Check out Pallino’s…they make amazing foods from scratch and I get email discounts from them which makes everything all the better. Mmm…soup & salad for me!

        I don’t usually order from Purdy;’s but seeing as our budget was in super good shape this fall & hubby got a 25% discount thru the office – we splurged! This year we ordered dark chocolate Sweet Georgia Browns (think Turtles), Mint Melties, Turkish Delish (a childhood candy in my home), Peppermint Bark and Fruit Jellies (hubby loves these & Spearmint Leaves from the US). We are going to be traveling 15 days out of 31 in December plus eating out with family and friends another 4 days in the month, so it really doesn’t make sense to bake for our holiday season. I always buy a couple of light fruitcakes at RCSS each year, ’cause hubby loves them in his lunch, and a couple of boxes of mini mandarins for me. We can open one box of the Purdy’s treats at a time and have a piece as a sweet ending to a nice meal to celebrate our holiday season. They also come in handy if we need a spur of the moment gift! We aren’t big sweets people though so don’t be surprised if the stash lasts us all the way thru to next Christmas chilling out in the bottom of the fridge in the garage. 🙂

        The nuts I like to pick up for the holidays are Brazil Nuts in the shell, cashews (both roasted and raw), dry roasted peanuts, salted peanuts, Deluxe Nut Mix without peanuts, macadamia nuts, lots & lots of almonds (blanched, sliced, slivered, Spanish salted, dry roasted & seasoned), lots of pecans (raw), walnuts (raw both shelled and in the shell) and then there’s an annual splurge at Costco with chocolate covered or spiced nuts from the candy section. Can you tell that nuts are a much bigger purchase than any sort of sweets for us? I stock up and freeze them to last us all year long.

        I think nuts are a much healthier treat. In fact, as a child, Mom put a Christmas orange, a couple of walnuts in the shell with a nut cracker, a candy cane and toothbrush in my stocking every year with a Christmas book to read and keep me amused for a wee while longer on Christmas morning. I was expected to read my book, eat my treats and brush my teeth before we went downstairs for Christmas breakfast. It was so hard waiting for Mom to finish the last sip of her coffee before we were allowed into the family room to see what Santa had brought…the sliding door was shut! 🙁

        Our budget will remain the same for next year’s GGC making it 5 consecutive years at exactly the same budget! Woo hoo! I find the budget is sufficient & we are not doing without any good/fresh foods or treats. It’s meant eating “with the season”, limiting our junk food severely, saving for re-stocking and coming holidays plus taking advantage of any terrific sales that I can manage to sniff out. I have learned to be patient & wait for a sale. Whatever it is that I am coveting, will be on sale at some point. Wait til you see next week’s post, I scored big at Meridian Farm Market! 🙂

  5. month of Oct 1-31 2016

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0.04+0.05+$0.01 + 0.06=0.16 (superbucks/PC green pts)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $0.15+$5.00=+10.15= $15.30

    redeemed PC pts- $30.00
    Gift card-$17.02+$16.39+$9.46 + $23.94 + $4.49+$17.11 =$88.41

    4L milk -5 @ $5.99 – $29.95

    gift card- $5.00

    1 lb strawberries 2 @ 1.88= $3.76

    227g mushrooms – $1.29

    reduced produce –6 @ $1.49= $8.94

    broccoli 2 @ 77c= $ 1.54

    nn bacon- $2.99

    coffee creamer- $4.49

    coffee creamer 2 @ $3.49 = $6.98 (reduced) = $3.48

    PC salsa 2 @ $2.49 = $4.98

    carrot chia dip =$0.99

    4 kit kat bars 4/$3.00= $3.00

    2 crunchie bars 2/$2.00= $2.00

    apple juice = $1.00

    honeykiss melon $5.99 (reduced)= $2.99

    green grapes = $3.93

    pork rib chops $2.78(reduced)= $1.39

    pork butt chops $3.05 (reduced) $1.52

    pork boneless $2.54 (reduced) = $1.27

    pecan pie $8.99 (reduced) = $4.49

    folgers instant coffee –$3.99

    bananas- $0.83

    pork picnic- $9.06

    Name Your Store: i.e. Sobeys(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $

    Airmiles redeemed – $10.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $0.95

    iced pound cake – $5.99

    tuna 5 @ $0.99= $4.95

    Name Your Store: i.e. U.F.O outlet (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $$27.55

    2- 2.87L apple sauce @ 2/$5.00= $5.00

    canned corn 2 @ $0.99= $1.98

    cream of wheat 2@ 2/$3.00= $3.00

    canned pineapple slices $1.35 (reduced) = $0.68

    50ct soft taco shells= $0.50

    canned pop- 2 @ 5/$1.00= $0.40

    20 single serve size tartar sauce 20 / $1.00= $1.00

    3 whole grain mustard @ 3/$2.00= $2.00

    240ct red rode teabags – $7.99

    1/2 lb garlic pwd= $2.00

    can spray baking oil= $3.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. Stirlings Fruit/veg market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $1.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.00

    4 QT apples- $3.99- coupon= $2.99

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

    Total Coupons Used: $0.81
    Total Out Of Pocket: $15.45+$6.50=$21.95

    1 kg peanut butter- 5 @ $3.25 (-0.81 discount)= $15.44

    1 kg peanut butter – 2 @ $3.25= $6.50

    Name Your Store: i.e. Avery’s Farm market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.10


    cantaloupe- $2.49

    Name Your Store: i.e. Dave’s Fruit Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.05

    2. – 2 1/2 doz pee wee eggs @ $0.97= $1.94

    salami -4 @ 50c= $2.00

    potato chips 2 @ 2/$1.00= $1.00

    3.94 lbs sweet potatoes= $3.82

    cauliflower- $1.49

    produce- reduce- $1.20

    2.89 lbs bananas- $1.94

    5 lb stew pak- $2.49

    Name Your Store: i.e. Gateway Meat Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: 13.88
    fresh pineapples 2 @$0.97= $1.94
    Brother’s honey garlic pepperoni- $4.29
    fresh chicken- $5.68

    Overall for the month of October 2016

    $ $101.78 out of pocket
    $ $1.97 (coupon /PC green PC pts/ star bucks)
    $88.41 gift cards
    $ 10.00 airmiles/ pc points redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $ 50.00 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

    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) + $1.97 (Oct )=$125.53
    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 $=$845.32 (Jan-Oct)

    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) + $101.78 (Oct ) = $1322.92

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): My fav purchase this month was the 5 doz pee wee eggs for $1.94.Also the 20 single serve tartar sauce for $1.00.Always on the lookout or unadvertised specials.

    • Hi Kathryn,
      I have to admit you are by far one of the smartest shoppers I’ve run into on this blog over the year along with a few others who simply blow me away. What are pee wee eggs? I’m thinking about writing a post on how to properly store reduced produce and near expiry food so it doesn’t go bad. If you have any tips please send them along to me for the readers so I can include them in the post. My guess is that you are a pro in this department.
      I see you did a big stock up on the peanut butter. I hope we can find a sale as well because our little guy loves it. Who knew? He hardly eats but give him a spoon of peanut butter and he’s in heaven with a glass of milk. He doesn’t even want the bread or crackers. What does a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner look like at your house? Unadvertised specials are a great way to save money!! Were the taco shells on sale? That’s an amazing deal for a 50ct. I don’t think I’ve written about that either so another excellent topic to bring to the table. What a great month/year you’ve been having Kathryn, I’m super impressed!!! Keep up the awesome work mate. You get ballot #20. Mr.CBB

      • Pee Wee eggs are small eggs..usually when chickens are just starting to lay eggs.It was the first time we saw them at this market, so I don’t think it is a regular item.
        Reduced produce is tricky. You really need to incorporate them into every meal, whenever possible. We eat a lot of omelets with a side of fruit. Or we will have cooked oatmeal porridge with chopped up apples, nectarines or peaches.
        At supper time, we have baked potatoes with toppings of onions,peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms etc. Meat or fish is served too…depends on what was on sale. We also make a stew with doughboys a couple of times a month.
        Spaghetti sauces or chili is another great way to use reduced vegs. If we are losing the battle…. we freeze what we can, or at least cook them…that will buy us a few more days.
        For fruits, you can make them into a jam, or a dessert. …also freeze them. Sometimes I will use a bunch of odds and ends of fruits, stew them up, add sugar, pectin, apple juice….to make fruit jam/jelly. Bruised bananas get frozen to eventually get made into a banana loaf.
        I have started eating peanut butter directly on the banana, and forgoing the toast.
        Lunch is our ‘bad food’…,, a muffin, or chocolate bar with a coffee 🙂
        Evening snack could be fruit, toast, junk food, pie, toast etc
        Breakfast and supper are our healthy meals.
        Taco ( flat) shells were bough that this place where they always have different stuff…as they buy out ‘lot sales’ from stores etc (close to expiry) Probably never see them again.About the size of a cup saucer.
        Right now I have some avocados, which I’m not really a fan, but I know they are good for us. I hid one in the omelet. to find 3 more hiding spots.

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