grocery game monthly challenge

The Ultimate Guide To Find Recipes For Free or Cheap: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #3 Nov 21-27

the-ultimate-guide-to-find-recipes-for-free-or-cheap

LET ME SHOW YOU ALL THE SECRET PLACES THAT RECIPES MIGHT BE TUCKED AWAY

 

Years ago the father would be the head of the household and go to work and the mother would be a stay at home mum who cooked, cleaned, grocery shopped, paid the bills and looked after the kids. Both are uniquely full-time jobs except the wife got to stay home which meant cooking meals from scratch was popular as were finding new recipes to create for family meal time.

Picture the woman in the kitchen with her apron on and her family sitting at the dinner table while she serves the food. This was the image that was depicted back in the 50’s and 60’s but not everyone could afford to have a stay at home mother.

This is a rare position these days although just because two parents go to work doesn’t mean the job doesn’t have to get done. We all need to eat which means we either create recipes, find recipes, eat out or buy convenience foods which I don’t care for myself. Juggling the role of working parents and homemakers is a tough job,(I know because I do this) but it can be done with patience, planning and a willingness not to give up. Just because you work doesn’t mean you have to eat crap food all the time.

My mum was a stay at home mum and did exactly what I described in the 60’s and 70’s to take care of us kids while my dad went off to work. It wasn’t often that you would hear that a dad was a stay at home parent like you would today. It just didn’t happen. These days it’s almost impossible for a father or mother to be a stay at home parent because a dual-income is needed as expenses continue to rise.

With the cost of living, high mortgages, consumer debt, kids, education, retirement savings…it all adds up. We have friends where the wife stays home because daycare would cost almost as much as she would earn working a minimum wage job. Whatever the case these days families want fast, easy recipes that they can whip up in a flash. Mothers and father’s aren’t hard at work in the kitchen all day like they used to be as times have changed.

When both parents are out of the house working or even if you work from home cooking dinner needs to be simple, delicious, inexpensive and most of all fast during the week. Even on the weekends when time slots are filled with lessons, sports and other invites dinners might be from the crock-pot or baked in the oven.

Recipes have long been a huge part of every family with most kitchens having a recipe box where recipes were stashed away for later use. My wife’s grandmother had a little box in her kitchen where she would write on envelopes, paper scraps and pull out magazine pages. Finding recipes back then meant product labels, magazines, newspapers, television and swapping with your friends. She also had a hand-written recipe book which I’m sure is long gone trend apart from those people are hard-core into cooking and keeping recipes.

My mother had a copy of Mrs Beeton’s book that was handed down to her from her mother. I do believe the book is somewhere in the range of 90-100 years old now. Although not all the recipes in it sounded that appetizing she did use the base recipes for some foods as they were pretty much fool proof.

With computer technology it’s easier to type and save your recipe than it is to write it. I still think there is something special about the written recipe book which is why this is what I do. All of my recipes that I create are hand-written and eventually make it onto the blog.

 

Where are consumers getting their recipes?

 

Close your eyes and imagine this scenario in your mind for a minute after you read it of course.

You’re standing in line at the grocery store checkout and a magazine catches your attention because A) you’re hungry and B) the photo captures your attention. You immediately get the urge to pick up the magazine but don’t want to fluff through it because you don’t want to  look like your being cheap and reading the magazine for free, so you buy it. If you’re wondering why I said fluff it’s because when you flip you almost get to read some of the content but when you fluff you just fly by in hopes of seeing the one article that caught your attention.

You want the recipe of the drool-worthy dessert you see on the cover and you are willing to pay just to get it in your hands. Sound familiar? Well, magazine companies have marketed food and recipes for many years because food sells especially in women’s magazines. We the consumers are making the magazine companies rich even though there are multiple free recipes available all over the place even hidden in spots you might not have thought of.

With technology at our finger-tips it’s easy to source free recipes using some of the top websites which I will talk about shortly but not everyone has access to the internet. Some people are not concerned with using the internet or they don’t have the funds to pay for it. Even though we think we are getting free recipes online we are still paying for it by dishing out cash to our communications company for Wi-Fi access.

 

Free Wi-Fi or Hot Spot locations

 

If you don’t have the internet at home or data on your smartphone but want to look up recipes online simply visit public places or establishments that offer free Wi-Fi. Sitting at just about any fast food restaurant will net you free wi-fi as will any restaurant.

 

Library

 

The library is also a source for free Wi-Fi so you can look up recipes but ideally you can look through many cookbooks and take them out for a week or so to review them and write down recipes. You can also watch for an annual book sale at the library where they sell books including cookbooks for cheap.

 

Friends

 

Your friends are a huge resource when it comes to recipes especially if you have tasted what they’ve made and MUST have the recipe. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or even someone you just met at a dinner party, pot-luck or bake sale for their recipe. Most often they are happy to pass it along unless it’s a family secret.

 

Cookbooks

 

Cookbooks are still a valuable resources for many home cooks who want to learn how to cook like the pros do by re-creating their recipes. Without consumers purchasing cookbooks professional chefs around the world won’t tell us their culinary secrets to make delicious food unless they score a spot on the Food Network.

In our house we have about 20 cookbooks many of which I brought over from the UK when I came. I typically would buy cookbooks when I visited a country on holiday. My wife loves cookbooks because she can take her time reading them and it feels personal for her.

I won’t replace my cookbooks but I have Pinterest so I don’t have to print out new finds.- Christine W.

 

Garage Sales

 

Yes, don’t forget about buying cookbooks at garage sales for cheap or you might even find a box at the edge of the garage sale that says, “Free”. So many people have no use for cookbooks with the internet so they just want them gone. You can also find free cookbooks on Frugal Facebook Groups, Free Stuff Facebook Groups or even Kijiji or Varage Sale.

 

Product Labels

 

Manufacturers of products want to lure you in to buy a product and what better way than to include a complimentary recipe on the back of a box, jar, container or can that you are interested in purchasing. The best example I can come up with is Kraft Peanut Butter where you will almost always find a recipe for Kraft Peanut Butter Cookies.

 

Magazines, Newspapers, Television

 

Just about ever magazine and newspaper will have recipes or a recipe section included because it attracts a certain demographic of readers. Again this is all about the one stop shopping than it is targeting one specific group hence the different sections in print.

The television has loads of food channels where you can watch chefs cook their recipes. You can even pop on Netflix or other online television sources to locate recipe show the most popular is The Food Network Canada or USA where some of the top chefs in the world have a cooking show.

 

Product Recipe Cards

 

You might find these product recipe cards in coupon holders in front of the product or on coupon boards at the grocery store or in odd places like your dentist or doctor’s office. Always be on the lookout for recipe cards because they are wise marketing tool used by the manufacturer.

Some of you couponers might know what I”m talking about when I say it sucks to open one of these information and recipe pamphlets only to find a recipe. Others love it. This is why you might see piles of these recipe cards or pamphlets spread around where they are placed.

 

Marketing campaigns

 

You might find free recipes when you stop by a sample booth at the grocery store. Those in-store samples often come with a coupon and recipe to entice you to make the food at home. If you love the sample they give you what better way to motivate you to buy what they are selling if that same recipe is included for free.

 

Food Bloggers

 

Food Bloggers like myself are a great source for free recipes. All you  need to do is find some of your favourite food bloggers, subscribe and you will get their latest recipes sent to your inbox or you can check them out on your smartphone, desktop, laptop, tablet, Ipod etc.

 

Restaurants

 

If you’re at a restaurant and you fall in love with your meal if you ask the chef nicely he/she may just give you that recipe for free. You may find that some chefs hold back because of a secret ingredient that put them on the map. Most of these types of restaurants will be family owned and bank on the customers coming back for these types of sought-after recipes.

Even if you get the basics of the recipe that might be enough for you to figure the rest out yourself or at least come close to the same finished product. Keep in mind that’s not always the case but it’s hit or miss although many chefs don’t mind sharing at all. Look at all of the cooking shows, cookbooks and recipes that surround us from up and coming chefs, famous chefs and home cooks.

 

Entertainment Websites

 

This is just an example of a website that will host recipes but you can pretty much read any entertainment type website that is recipe based exclusively or related to lifestyles, home and living etc. to find recipes. Most magazine prints have a website where you can access such resources. One example would be the popular magazine Cosmopolitan with a quick search of recipes you’ll see a host of them pop up.

As a past contributor to She Knows Canada which is a well-known website I wasn’t shocked to find they offer a Lifestyles page which showcases recipes. Websites like She Knows are the one-stop shop websites so you don’t have to flip from website to website and waste time. You could compare it to grocery shopping at Walmart and being able to buy clothes and a lawn mower if need be. Everything in one place is attractive to buyers and readers of online websites.

 

Social Media

 

When you are social online there are bound to be recipes floating around because food sells and when food is attracting attention and clicks that means websites are making money if they are monetized to do so or have sponsors. Below are just a few of the top social media websites I use for Canadian Budget Binder recipes and that are popular among the top food bloggers and websites.

 

Twitter

 

Twitter is another social media outlet to share links to your website or blog of recipes you’ve created. It’s also a way for fans to tweet recipes that they like or want to try. Twitter is real time tweets of just about anything you can think of from breaking news, blog posts, quotes, recipes…you name you’ll find it on Twitter.

When sourcing recipes on twitter it helps if hashtags are used so you can do a search that way or by typing in what you are looking for. If you want just recipes I would advise to follow recipe blogs or blogs and websites that you know also share recipes like Canadian Budget Binder does.

Twitter is one of the biggest social media for entertainment and celebrities as is Facebook and Instagram.

 

Flipboard

 

Flipboard is like Pinterest where you can create boards and flip recipes that you find in your feed to read or print when you’re ready to prepare it. This is by far my favourite social media platform as the reach is amazing but only if you have what your followers are looking for. I enjoy reading articles on Flipboard as I find it simple to navigate and source what I’m looking to read and what’s currently trending. Recipes are very popular on Flipboard where I’ve had successful shares by the thousands which makes me a happy blogger. Check it out!

 

Facebook

 

This is the number one spot where people go to for recipes due to the sheer amount of people who are logged into Facebook at any given moment. Recipes float around Facebook non-stop and all it takes is a photo or video to reel people in. It’s one of the most effective ways to get clicks on your recipes or views on your videos even if it’s a homemade video and you have no website.

With the invention of the live video feed on Facebook it takes recipes to an entirely new level because home chefs, professional chefs and experienced foodie bloggers can go LIVE from home and create a recipe with an audience. In essence it’s like hosting your own television show which is a brilliant marketing tool for anyone looking to ramp up their website viewers and build their email subscription list.

 

Instagram

 

This is one of the newer places that food bloggers and foodies are sharing and resharing recipes that they find interesting. The great thing about Instagram is the ability to hashtag like you can on Twitter and Facebook. Almost all searches on Instagram are done through hashtags so the better the hashtag or popular the easier you will be to find. Soon Instagram will be introducing live video which will be a step up from the snapshot videos they currently allow. If you post a video on Instagram you only have an allowance of 60 seconds so you can still pump out a recipe if you can talk fast.

 

YouTube

 

YouTube is all about the video and views. The more views and subscribers that the You Tube host gets for their channel the more money they can make if they start getting sponsors. One of our sons favourite You Tube Channels is Ryan’s Toy Review which is totally unrelated to food here but my point is this kid has every toy imaginable and millions of subscribers.

Ryan is friendly, outgoing and explains what he needs by showing his viewers how the toys work. He also talks about what he likes, doesn’t like and tricks he’s found. If you are good behind the camera no matter what age you are and you can get the subscribers then you may just be in the money.

 

Reddit

 

Reddit is made up of communities where just about everything is shared from personal stories to breaking news and DIY. I use Reddit but there is lots to learn about what you can and can’t share. There are subreddits which are categories that you can use to tag what is being shared so those that do a search can find what they are looking for easily. You can search by author or subreddit. Most of the users that search for recipes follow a community and simply click on recipes that sound interesting. A huge following on Reddit and worth checking out.

Anyone can create a community on nearly any topic imaginable. Each community is independently moderated by volunteer users. Community members can share content including stories, links, and images.

 

Tumblr

 

I share all of my blog posts over at Tumblr which is essentially a news feed of blogs or pages you choose to follow. There’s definitely a large following and it’s a great place to find recipes without all the fuss.

 

Pinterest

 

On Pinterest you can create a board on your dashboard and call it whatever you want. These are places you can Pin recipes or just about anything under the sun that you find interesting. These may be recipes that you want to read at a later date or make when you find the time. Either way Pinterest has become the recipe hub for millions of people around the world. Why? One stop shopping as almost every food blogger pins their recipes on Pinterest. Easy to navigate and find what you are looking for through keywords or top picks of the day.

I won’t replace my cookbooks but I have Pinterest so I don’t have to print out new finds.- Angela M.

Pinterest has definitely replaced my recipe box…or I should say recipe magazines; I love Pinterest. There’s no way I could name a best recipe from Pinterest, I’ve found so many recipes on that site that I love. My favorite way to cook is to try new recipes.– Pam W.

 

AllRecipes

 

AllRecipes.com in my opinion was the top website to source recipes before Facebook and Pinterest came along. Even when Facebook was born we didn’t see near as many recipes and recipe pages like the millions we see today. It’s incredible the amount of followers some of these page owners have. Food is love.

With AllRecipes the people who hang around have been true members for a long time. What I like about All Recipes is the ease of the website search and the reviews. There is something about reading how a community of foodies come together and chat about the recipes that are featured, tweaks they made and general feedback. I know you can get the same thing on blogs and websites but All Recipes has that family feel to it and I like that.

I am probably one of the last hold outs on Pinterest…I have an account but think I have only been on there maybe a half-dozen times. I find I use Allrecipes.com a lot. – Colleen K.

 

Search Engines

 

Using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo seems to be one of the quickest ways for someone looking for recipe or possibly the go-to place for people in a rush. I know I’ve done it because for some reason it seems to be a natural thing to do. Some of the best recipes are found through search engines simply by typing in the ingredients you have on hand. If you want a recipe using beef, pasta and mushrooms you can type those 3 ingredients in a search engine with the + sign after each followed by enter and you’ll get a list of recipes to check out.

Another great thing about using a search engine is the ability to look at the images tab. I use the images tab when I do a search and want to see photos instead of just text. Some text links on Google have photos visible but not all. Most people enjoy the visual aspect of photography when deciding to click, similar to wanting to look at a house for sale.

 

Epicurious

 

With over 330,000 recipes online I can see why Epicurious is a popular website for foodies to look through for exciting new recipes. They also offer a create a Menu Plan option which you can share with your friends and family. It’s a bright website with lots of colour, photos and certainly a large fan base.

 

Top Smartphone Apps to find recipes

 

There are apps for just about anything these days and the same goes for popular recipes from Buzzfeed.com Tasty, Instagram and many others. What is great about using a mobile app for recipes is that it’s handy and you don’t have to go searching for it especially if you are grocery shopping and want to quickly access the recipe or a grocery list that you may have created with-in the app.

 

Tasty

 

If you are on Facebook and haven’t been blasted with a Tasty recipe yet you’re missing out. Tasty on Buzzfeed garners attention through video seduction. The videos are fast, bright, simple and overall the reaction most people give is positive otherwise they wouldn’t be getting millions upon millions of views for each recipe. You can also find them on Pinterest, Twitter, Vine, You Tube and Instagram sharing their popular recipes.

You can read a full review of the following top recipe mobile apps over at Reviews.com but the top 3 are popular and well-known to most users.

What the fans say…

I love Pinterest and cook many recipes I’ve found on there. I also like the Tasty videos on Facebook and have tried a few of those too.- Sandra B.

I look around the grocery store for free handouts that have recipes. I get older cook books at my local library book sales, some of those older books are amazing for the really good fuss-free recipes and basics I can play with. Usually someone here that is on my friend list posts something and I follow that link to the recipes. Free handouts at the store are good, or the library and the book sales there can get me a cook book for pennies on the dollar!!- Christine W.

I use all types of recipes….pinterest, google, my own, hand me downs, shared ones from friends and the good old paper cookbooks. – Juanita P.

I don’t have much use for Pinterest. I find it annoying to go through so much information. So happy to just use Google and my recipe books.– Mona M.

Pinterest is my go-to search engine for recipes and craft ideas. Like Della, I tend to add them in print to my recipe collection because then I can be assured of finding them later.– Beth Anne.

Discussion Question:

What are some recipe resources I may have missed and should add to the Ultimate Guide above? Let me know in the comment section and I’ll make sure it gets added.

 

 

November 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.

November 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 $3.00
  • 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

  • Emmental Cheese (Swiss cheese) $11.00-50% $6.50
  • 2 x 2% Sealtest Milk $4.27 each
  • Bananas $1.85
  • 2 x Instant Maxwell house coffee $2.99
  • 2 x Country Harvest Bread $1.99-50% off
  • 2 x PC Chicken Strips Sale $3.88
  • 1 English cucumber $1.29
  • 2 x coconut Astro Yogurt Sale $1.99
  • 2 x eggs large dozen $1.97 each
  • Broccoli $0.99 reduced
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.59

Total Out-Of-Pocket $44.33

Metro

  • 2 x bags of 6 avocados 2/6
  • 4 x Philadelphia Cream Cheese $2.49 each
  • Bag of carrots $0.99

Total Out-Of-Pocket $16.99

  • Total to spend this month : $235.00-$10.15 overage from October= $224.85
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $24.03
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $15.36
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$3.50
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $507.24
  • Total spent this week: $61.28
  • Total spent so far this month: $194.95
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $30.60
  • 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+ November $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

Not too bad of a week for shopping and we still have a bit of money left for the last week of November which is great news. The cream cheese was on sale as were the avocado so we took advantage and stocked up. It was nice to see the eggs still lowered in price which is about standard at most places. Prices are dropping at some stores. Keep an eye open for those changes and stock up while you can.

I’m on the hunt for peanut butter… hope there is a sale soon as our little guy loves it. He also likes chicken nuggets so we bought a couple of boxes since they were on sale. We tried the homemade strips breaded but that was an epic fail. He’s such a picky eater. He as though started to eat broccoli which we are thrilled about.

 

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
  • 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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Photo Credits Freedigitalphotos.com: nenetus (woman in kitchen) Mister GC (Spring form pan and recipe book) marin (Notebook among vegetables) Simon Howden  (recipe book)

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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:

    NOVEMBER – Week #3 of 4- Nov 21-27, 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:

    This is another NO SHOP WEEK for us.

    Somehow my accounting was majorly off in the YTD summaries & also $1 off this month in what I had left to spend so I have corrected the mistakes that flowed right thru and I am heading into December with the accurate figures.

    Fortunately the YTD corrections are painting a slightly more positive picture for 2016, even if I do have $1 less in the kitty for this month! LOL

    With only 40 days left in the year, I just counted 20 of those days we’re not eating at home what with get-togethers, travel and treats…my birthday counts as a treat right?

    Don’t expect a lot of shopping from our house when we are dining out that often! I expect there will be a few basics but not much else. I saw Japanese oranges this week but they were completely ugly & bruised so I’m watching for a nice box as I am the only one who eats them. I’d like to get thru them before they go off.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    THIS IS A NO SHOP WEEK!

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING LAST WEEKEND:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE AFTER CHRISTMAS 2016…bring on those post-Christmas sales!

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

    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+Oct $12.84+ Nov $0.00 = $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+ Nov $0.00 = $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+ Nov $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 + Nov 0 = 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 + Nov 0 = 290 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 + Nov 1400 = 25,700 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 + Nov 0 = 131 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 $195.65 + Oct $190.00+ Nov (Trf to US $100 + Trf to R-Stocking $15+$22.23+$22.84+$13.50 = $173.57) = $2,074.57

    •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+ Nov $190.00= $2,090.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $15.43 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 + Oct $0.00+Nov $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 $112.62 + Oct $62.37 +Nov ($100.00-56.26 = $43.74)= $312.94

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

    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 + Oct $30.00+Nov $15.00= $108.17

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

    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 $15.00 +
    Oct ($-15.19-$35.97 = -$51.16)+ Nov $0.00= $166.96 + $130 worth of RCSS POINTS

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

    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+Oct $0.00 + Nov $0.00= $638.54

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 2,090.00 Grocery Budget JAN-NOV

    ($ 1,124.15) TO VARIOUS RESERVES

    $ 819.48 FROM VARIOUS RESERVES

    ($ 1,769.90) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 15.43 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 108.17 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 166.96 Holiday Season Fund + $130 PC Plus Avail.
    $ 638.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 312.94 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.57 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,241.18. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $1,124.15 that we have added in 2016, LESS $819.48 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.

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

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    None!

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

    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: Chicken Noodle Soup & Roast Turkey Sandwiches for hubby/ just the soup for me

    TUES: Tuna Salad Sandwiches with side of pickles / Thai Chili Tuna stuffed celery sticks for me

    WED: Egg Salad Sandwiches with Cream of Celery Soup for hubby / Just the soup for me

    THURS: Ham & Cheese Sandwiches with Creamy Tomato Soup & a side of raisins for hubby / Just the soup for me for me

    FRI: Turkey Sandwiches with Cheesy Broccoli Soup & apple slices for hubby / just the soup for me

    SAT: Grilled Ham-Cheese-Onion Sandwiches

    SUN: Oatmeal with Brown Sugar, Raisins & Dice Apples

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

    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Take-out Chinese food

    TUES: Homemade Cream of Celery Soup

    WED: Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup

    THURS: Cheesy Velveeta Broccoli Soup

    FRI: Easy Pumpkin Waffles

    SAT: Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Amish Raisin Cookies for dessert

    SUN: Mamma’s Mac & Cheese with Green Salad

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

    • Hi Mary,
      I’m finally catching up, ya!
      Oh, you like cream of celery soup as well. It’s a lovely soup and certainly very inexpensive to make. I never thought to use a Velveeta cheese in soup. I’ve actually never tried it before. Why do you choose this over cheddar? I would love to try so many soups but with the wife eating low carb and practically gluten free I try to come up with soups we can both eat. The other day I made a cream of broccoli with minced beef which was amazing.

      Haha, bring on the post Christmas sales! What products would you be looking for or scoop up after the holidays? I often find prices drop or there are more sales because most people have had enough food and eating after the holidays and shopping slows down. You have certainly proved that a meal plan helps the grocery budget tremendously as does planning the finances around it. It will be interesting to see how a full year of meal plans turn out for you. I would be thrilled to go back and see exactly what you ate for the entire year for your overall budget. How cool would that be. Proof that you can eat healthy on a limited budget. Well done Mary. You get ballot # 7 Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        I prefer to use real, sharp cheddar in my soups but I have a Velveeta package open and this isn’t a bad recipe to use it up on. Hubby enjoys it and it’s a nice way to warm up his meal when he has soup leftovers as a part of his lunch. 🙂 I guess you’ve noticed that I am doing more vegetarian soups than meat based ones these days. It’s so much cheaper! I found a nice 15 Bean and Turkey Soup to help use up the holiday leftovers and can’t wait to try it. Perfect timing on this one for our American friends that will be facing down Thanksgiving leftovers in a few days time:

        http://www.southyourmouth.com/2015/11/15-bean-turkey-soup.html

        I always look for sales on nuts, seeds and baking materials after Christmas and load up the deep freeze for the following year. Have I mentioned that I have 2 deep freezes in the garage in addition to the extra fridge? It’s a good thing we have only one car to squeeze in there! LOL 🙂 One freezer is for fruit/veggies/meat/seafood and the other is my baking materials and pre-made dishes (casseroles & soups). I know, I know…it’s hard on the hydro bill but our heat pump helps balance out the hydro & gas costs because our BC gas bill is just over $30 a month. I can handle that.

        I actually have all of my GGC posts saved since the start of my posting. It’s amazing that I have managed to have exactly the same budget for 5 years now despite rising prices and shrinking packaging & without sacrificing good healthy meals. Sure, I have had to work a little harder to make it work but I certainly haven’t had to work as hard, nor be as creative, as the women did during the Depression. I am grateful to have learned from my Mom and Grandmother how to stretch a meal just a little further. 🙂

        • I always notice your soups. Meat is pricey unless we can find it at 50% off which is really the only time we will buy it. The last stock up was 50% minced beef for us. I wish our hydro bill was that low. Really? You have all of your posts. That’s pretty cool. I guess they are all on the blog as well. I think it’s beyond amazing how well the two of you have been able to keep the same budget all these years. Stretching meals and being creative but not difficult with meals is important. I’d love to see a chart of the last 4 years of your GGC to see how it all worked out for you. 🙂

  2. Hi I am still wonder if Changio still in “business” I checked my account 3 months ago I deleted because all the offer were not availble in my area. Also, the offers were mostly online shopping, I tried many times and never can reach past the first page even I email them for support. Nobody answer it. I uninstalled the app. from my phone. Regards,

  3. Week 47 – Nov 18 – 24, 2016
    Name Your Store: No Frills
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points = 2200
    Total Out Of Pocket: $19.77

    Human
    NN Peppers (6 pak) = $3.97
    2 Hot Dogs – 2/$5.00 = $5.00
    Ground Beef – (2200 PC Points) = $10.80

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points = 1000
    Total Out Of Pocket: $43.70

    Human
    1 Kg Smooth Peanut Butter – $3.98 (PM Frescho @ $2.99) = $2.99
    Honeycomb Cereal = $5.99
    4L 2% Milk = $4.27
    Astro Yogurt – $2.28 (PM Food Basics @ $1.97) = $3.94
    2 L Chapman Carmel Praline Ice Cream = $3.98
    5 lb Clementines = $3.77
    10 lb Potatoes – $3.48 (PM Zehrs @ $2.50) = $2.50
    Gala Apples – $1.48/lb (PM Food Basics @ $0.67/lb) = $1.34
    907 g PC Angus Meatballs – (1000 PC Points) = $9.98
    Chicken Breast Strips = $4.94

    Cats
    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: $26.77
    Left for the Month: $43.23
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $1304.14

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $277.86

    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: $234.67

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($500.00)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $30.72
    Total Meat to Date: $412.61

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

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $3.83
    Total Price Match to Date: $277.51

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 3200
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 32820

    Overview: Under budget is the phrase of the month 🙂 Picked up a few treats to munch on and some extra meat for future meals or meals to make in place of something that was planned for the week. We need to start thinking about the sibling Christmas dinner in January.

    • Hey DEE,
      You found a deal on the PB.. I should have bought some but we hardly get a chance to price match these days. We only have No Frills and Walmart and hardly ever go there. What did you think of the PC meatballs? The beef was a great deal with the PC points. It actually cost less than the beef you bought last week. You reminded me that we have a $4 Chapman’s coupon to use up before the end of the year. I suppose I will buy our yearly bucket of ice-cream. The little guy will be thrilled. He runs around the house with the ice-cream scoop from time to time. We actually found proper scoops at Value Village a month or so ago. I like them for making muffins as well. What happens at the Christmas dinner? What should you bring?
      You get ballot #8. We’re getting closer to the end DEE. Exciting. Mr.CBB

      • The meatballs are good but I think they would be better if they are done in the slow cooker versus oven or microwave so yes, I would buy them again if they are good price. Yes, the beef did cost me less in both size and dollars but it is only Lean and not Extra Lean so right there is a price difference. I don’t shop at Value Village as they are so expensive considering they don’t pay for their goods. My siblings and I (if I go) get together the 1st Saturday in January for Christmas. We do potluck style lunch so that means a main dish and a dessert.

        • That makes sense especially when they are frozen like that. I often find meatballs in the crockpot are nice BUT we only put them in raw and the same goes for when we make a pot of sauce. Raw meatballs.

  4. NOVEMBER – Week #4 of 5- Nov 21-27, 2016

    Calculated budget 37€

    Name Your store Spar

    Philadelphia 1,51
    2x whole grain sandwich 1,89
    Mango juice 1l 1,99
    Smoothie 0,99
    Smoothie 1,19

    Total OOP 9,46

    Name Your store Hofer

    Lebkuchen 1,49
    Dominosteine 1,49
    4 lbs oranges 1,79 (b)
    Cake 2,49
    Hardboiled eggs 1,49
    Twisted cheese Sticks 0,98

    Total OOP 7,94
    Bulk 1,79

    Name Your store Hofer
    Lettuce 1,19
    3 tomatoes 0,87
    Ketchup 1,48 ( b )
    ground meat 2,99

    Total OOP 5,05
    Bulk 1,48

    Summary
    Bulk budget this month 30
    Spent so far w1 0 0 + w2 12,30 + w3 3,38 = 15,68
    Spent this week 3,27
    Left to spend 11,05

    Groceries budget this month 160
    Spent so far w1 0 30,25 + w2 27,24 + w3 27,55 = 85,04
    Spent this week 22,45
    Left to spend 52,51
    Total over / under this week under
    Total over / under this month under

    Final thoughts

    Really good that I was under in week 1-4 so there is room for week 5 🙂 which I only figured out last week. I have to do a meal plan again too. Really helps to stay focused . I got a lot of cookies this week to snack on, pity that they are gone so fast. I still haven’t gotten around to bake anything myself . I am waiting on a deal on butter hopefully it will come.

    • Hi Christine,
      How much does 1lb of butter cost where you are? What kinds of cookies do you bake? I agree that a meal plan helps to keep things in perspective. Mary has a lovely meal plan that she posts every week in the GGC. Have you seen her posts? Yes there are 5 weeks for Nov… I always hate that fifth week but it’s a great way to learn how to stretch that budget. Well done!! You get ballot #9.
      Mr.CBB

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