grocery game monthly challenge

15 Grocery Savings You Might Be Missing At The Pharmacy : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #3 Jan 16-22

GROCERY SAVINGS THAT YOU MIGHT BE MISSING AT YOUR LOCAL PHARMACY

YOUR LOCAL PHARMACY MAY HAVE MORE FOOD DEALS THAN YOU’RE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF TO LOWER GROCERY COSTS.

 

One of the least read flyers that consumers miss out on chopping their grocery budget hands-down is at the pharmacy. When our weekly flyers would arrive Mrs. CBB handed them to me and the process I followed was to toss out the flyers we had no interest in which used to include pharmacy flyers.

It was easier for me to get through the flyers of stores that were familiar to me then those little shops. Boy did I learn a lesson from that mistake. If you haven’t taken the time to look around the pharmacies in your area you might be shocked to find out they offer more than just medicine.

The nearest pharmacy to us is a Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix) and a small family pharmacy located next to a doctor’s office. The main difference between the two is that the small pharmacy doesn’t carry food products like you’d find at almost all the big name pharmacies around Canada.

Since being purchased for 12.4 billion by Loblaws in 2014 almost all Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy stores have ramped up PC products and added even more grocery sales. This is great news for frugal shoppers who make a pit-stop at the pharmacy and want to grab some deals on food.

Typically we find in-store specials on the reduced rack as well 50% off any of the refrigerated or frozen foods that are near expiry. Consumers don’t associate a loaf of bread when filling a prescription unless the pharmacy is sharing space with a big box store. This is why we see more and more pharmacies offering rewards programs, flashy savings flyers and lots of marketing.

Some of the most popular free-standing pharmacies in Canada are

  • Shoppers Drug Mart/PharmaPrix
  • Rexall
  • Guardian
  • IDA
  • London Drugs
  • Lawtons
  • PharmaSave

 

Pharmacy savings with rewards points

 

You still don’t think going to the pharmacy to buy groceries is worth it?

It sure can be, let me explain more.

For even more savings a pharmacy like Shoppers Drug Mart offers a 20% discount on seniors day once a month which makes purchasing flyers specials even more lucrative paired with a rewards program. Toss in a few coupons and you can easily see rewards points add up, discounts grow and coupon savings mount.

Example:

Let’s look at a frequent offer from Shoppers Drug Mart, Spend $75 get 18,500 bonus points. If you stock up on sale items and use coupons to reach the target $75 you’ll get back $25 in points. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me.

Related: How to earn Shoppers Optimum Points Fast

Typically we order prescription medication online for our family or we call Shoppers Drug Mart and use their automated refill service. If we can’t make it to Shoppers Drug Mart they will deliver for no charge which is a wonderful service to offer customers.

 

We deliver

 

My mother-in-law (MIL) who stays home to take care of her husband typically will have Shoppers Drug Mart deliver their medications to the house. Not all Shoppers or Canadian pharmacies have a delivery service but if there is one then ask if they will deliver more than just medication to you.

What my MIL does is takes advantage of the flyer grocery savings and have them delivered as well. There are tonnes of things you can buy at most pharmacies these days besides medications and pharmacy gifts. Most pharmacies that have grocery for sale stock what looks like the mini grocery store version of the bigger supermarkets.

No, you won’t see a butcher, fish department, baker etc. at your local pharmacy unless your pharmacy has floor space inside of a grocery store which many do. What you’ll find at a pharmacy are convenient type foods and those loss leaders that likely drive you into the grocery store.

That’s marketing at its finest and for most of us who save wherever they can these sales come in handy. That type of convenience is part of the customer service package, keeping it all under one roof. If they can get you to fill your prescriptions and grocery shop at the same time it’s a win for both the store and the pharmacy.

Grocery stores such as Metro, Zehrs, Walmart, Sobeys, Costco and Real Canadian Superstore almost all have an in-store pharmacy. Zellers even had a pharmacy even though it wasn’t classified as a grocery store rather a department store. In the final years at Zellers we saw the grocery and frozen food section grow and then dwindle away. Once Walmart saturated the market with their one-stop shopping it was only a matter of time before Zellers became dust under the carpet.

Do consumers like to shop under one roof?

Many do because of the convenience and time saved without having to drag the family around. I can certainly sympathize now that I’m a father. If stopping at your local pharmacy to purchase flyer savings isn’t in the cards for you then go the price-matching route if possible. You can still get the same savings by letting your cashier know that you are price matching provided it is offered at the store.

I asked my Facebook fans last night whether they grocery shop at the pharmacy and what some of the top products are to stock up on when they go on sale. If you look at the list you can see that most of the items are staples and regular price for such products aren’t cheap.

  1. Bread
  2. Butter
  3. Cereal
  4. Coffee
  5. Bacon
  6. Nuts
  7. Peanut Butter
  8. Eggs
  9. Icing Sugar/Brown Sugar
  10. Ice-cream
  11. Tuna
  12. 10% or Lite Cream
  13. Milk/Evaporated Milk
  14. Yogurt
  15. Crackers

On occasion we see tinned soup and beans go on offer as well Kraft Dinner, chips, cookies, frozen or tinned vegetables. If you drink pop the savings are at the pharmacy if you stock up when you see a sale which is quite often.

If you want the deals you must do one thing.

The key is to read your weekly pharmacy flyer so you know what deals they are offering and apply them to your grocery budget. There are ways to save on groceries and sometimes giving yourself a little extra time to shop might be the difference between stocking up or paying full-price somewhere else.

I was intrigued by the responses by many Canadian Budget Binder fans about who shopped for groceries at the pharmacy and who didn’t care too. Some of them have no interest in going into the pharmacy to get deals and others swear by the flyer savings as the best around.

I buy some grocery items at Shoppers and London Drugs, London drugs has a surprisingly great selection of ethnic and gluten-free food. And oddly enough they have an amazing sale on a good quality olive oil a couple of times a year, they just started a point system as well but don’t think I will shop there enough to earn much.

I buy milk, butter and eggs at Shoppers because of great prices and they are close to my home and I love Optimum points!! I can usually find something on clear out like popcorn or chips or frozen food. A bit off topic but I went for a walk with the dogs today and noticed a sign in the Mac’s convenience store advertising their 4 litre of milk for 3.99, guess I will be walking over for milk, that is at least a dollar cheaper than my Superstore.- Julie

I’ve never been grocery shopping at a pharmacy!- Melissa D.

Rexall Drugstore is good for bread; milk; sugar. They have soup ; canned tomatoes and peanut butter and jam on sale regularly; and priced better than the grocery stores. – Lisa F.

Never really shop at pharmacies unless they are in a grocery store. Not sure what I would buy.Pat C.

Shoppers always have great deals on eggs. Usually $1.99 or $2.29 most all the time.Wendy L.

I don’t shop at a pharmacy much unless they have an awesome sale. – Amy K.

Re drug stores: I shop their sales. Butter and soup often go on sale, along with cereal and snacks. It’s not a deal if it’s not something you would normally buy and it’s a bad deal (no matter what the price) if it isn’t healthy for you.Faith L.

When I lived in London, Ontario, I lived so close to Shoppers Drug Mart. Hubby and I picked up specials all the time. I took advantage of extra points days!! Then, we’d use the points to buy all of our stocking stuffers for the kids! Now I am 20 minutes to a shoppers, and I miss popping in and checking out Shoppers specials and their clearance section for beauty items!!! – Laurie B.

Sometimes we buy food stuff at Shoppers Drug Mart. Typically it’s milk, cream, eggs or bacon. Bought ice cream a few times when it was on sale for a decent price.Judy C.

I find my local drug store (Lawtons) often has tuna on sale. And mushrooms. Those are the two main things I buy there. But sometimes they also have sandwich meats and frozen burgers on sale too! Shoppers is great for eggs.- Melissa M.

I only purchase my drugs from a drugstore as the one I deal with doesn’t carry grocery items…they might sell coffee and a bit of diabetic foods but that’s it.Colleen K.

The closest we have to a major drug store here is the Guardian Drugs down the street. I buy mostly health and beauty products there but they will have pop or Gatorade on for good prices sometimes.- Christine W.

Eggs are usually the thing that gets me in when Shoppers and Pharmasave put them on sale. The local Pharmasave usually has milk on sale all the time.Thad T.

Re Pharmacy Shopping: I don’t live close to a Shoppers with Food Section anymore unfortunately. But when I did I would go for the loss leaders: unsalted butter, milk, sometimes cereals and cheese, sometimes bread, cream cheese and ice cream.Birgit N.

I don’t buy much at either pharmacy in town. They do have sales on convenience products like canned soup and such but I rarely buy packaged food.Michelle K.

We buy quite a few things at Shoppers and we try to capitalize on their points offers where possible (bought a lot of Christmas gifts using points this year!). Bacon, eggs, butter, chocolate milk, skim milk, cereal all go on sale pretty regularly so I stock up when this happens.Tracie R.

Our local shoppers often has coupon stickers on products that are Close to expiring but not off code yet….Wonder bread for $.49 for the freezer!- Tanja A.

I have used our local Shopper’s Drug Mart to price match against but have never bought actual groceries there. Snacks, drinks and health-related items, yes but not groceries such as bread, PB, milk, etc.Della F.

When I had more time I would go to Shoppers to pick up their weekly specials, now due to time constraints I mainly shop at Superstore as their overall pricing is the best here.- Pam W.

My local drug store is the cheapest place in my little town to get eggs, bacon and milk.. even bread! and their bread is fresher than the grocery stores. – Jessica B.

Next time you plan to visit the pharmacy don’t forget to include a grocery list along with your medication list.

Discussion Question:

Do you grocery shop for sale-priced food items at your local pharmacy? What pharmacy do you visit as your family pharmacy?

 

January Grocery Game Challenge

 

Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.

New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules

January 2017 Blog Posts:

 

Free Money Saving Tools 2017

 

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 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 2017

 

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 5 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.

 

2017 Grocery Shop Results

 

Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3120 or $260/mth

(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: $260
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $260
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 410,000
  • 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

 

reduced produce items food basicsreduced produce items food basics

Food Basics

  • 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27
  • 6 x 10% Cream $2.48
  • 2 dozen eggs $1.99
  • Iceburg Lettuce Sale $0.88
  • 2 x reduced 6 pack avocado $1.99 each
  • Reduced white mushrooms $0.99
  • Reduced Portobello mushrooms $0.99
  • 2 packs of reduced broccoli $1.49 each
  • Sugar substitute Sale $1.99
  • Reduced Cauliflower $0.99
  • 2 x Almonds Raw Sale $2.88 each
  • Schneiders Pepperettes $9.29 -30%  ($2.79)
  • Romaine lettuce $1.98
  • Selection sour cream Sale $0.99
  • 3 x Bosc pears $1.16
  • Reduced Cumin Spice $1.50
  • 1 x Joe Louis half moon Sale $1.88
  • 1x Caramel Cakes Sale $1.88

Total Out-Of-Pocket $63.80

  • Total to spend this month : $260
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $0
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $49.66
  • Total spent this week: $63.80
  • Total spent so far this month: $205.55
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over big time
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $54.45
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $0

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

I didn’t know the regular prices for the reduced product I picked up so I couldn’t add the amount to my in-store discounts category. I fully expect this which is why the final number in this category may be lower then what actually shows. We did some unexpected stocking up on vegetables from the reduced rack which we cleaned and packaged as soon as we can home. What we bought from the reduced rack were the same products we would have bought apart from the portobello mushrooms. The cream still seems to be a wonderful price so we’ll just keep stocking up when we have the money to do so.  I see lots of soup in our future and one happy son who loves broccoli.

How was your grocery shopping week? Post your shop in the comment section below. Read Grocery Game Challenge Rules first for more details.

 

Coupons and Coupon Apps 2017

 

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 2017?

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

If any of these links are broken please report them to me.

  • 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 2017 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 2017 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-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal.  Please see GGC rules.
  • 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 2017 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 2017!

-Mr.CBB

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

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Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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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. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $500
    Rcss
    $1.97×8-$1Cx4 vh sauce
    .88×2 coconut milk
    .98×2 hunts sauce
    $1.88 orange kitkat
    $1.98×2 sour cream
    $3.98 blueberries
    $1.65×2-30% bread
    $5.98-30% boursin cheese
    $4.01-$1C international delight
    $2×2-.50cCx2 sunlight dish soap
    Sobeys
    $1.29-50%GMO flacked coconut
    .78 bananas
    $1.69 kaiser buns
    $5.80, $4.70 prime rib steaks
    $1 carrots
    .99×2 farmers sausage – clearance
    $1.10×2 chocolate milk
    $2.99×2 cheese
    $1.49×4-.75cCx4 activia yogurt
    $27.75 total oop
    $3 total coupons
    H&W produce
    $2.99 2lb broccoli florettes
    .98×2 cucumber
    $2.88×2 roma tomatoes
    $4.40 green grapes
    $1.98 pineapple
    .69×2 lemons
    .98 pomegranates
    $19.45 total oop
    Save on foods
    $17.65 boneless pork loin – 9 meals worth – roasts, chops, stirfry, kabobs
    Co-op
    $1×10 hunts spaghetti sauce
    $10 total oop
    Shoppers
    .50cx4 dried cranberries
    .50c delm monte very cherry
    $1×2 nature valley bars
    $4.70 total oop

    $117.65 weekly total oop
    $9 weekly total coupons
    $349.07 monthly total oop
    $20.50 monthly total coupons

    Lots of great sales this week!

    • Hi Juanita,
      Will your little one eat the granola bars too? Our son won’t eat anything like that not even oatmeal or cereal or toast or eggs or pasta or most fruits. Really we’re dealing with a picky milk drinking eater here. My poor wife.That Boursin cheese is very nice and tangy. Have you tried it before? It would go great with those dried cranberries and crackers. mmm. Awesome deals. You get ballot #9. Mr.CBB

      • Hey Mr.CBB
        She has never had a granola bar before so I am not sure but I would assume she would eat one if we let her! She does like those sun rype fruit leather bars lots and I only grab them when they are on sale at Costco. She isnt really a big fan of oatmeal either and hubby puts fruit, cinnamon and a little sugar in it too. Cereal is hit and miss with her so we dont always give it to her for breakie.
        We love boursin cheese!!! Mary did share a recipe yesterday to make it at home so I may try it out.
        I want to try and make homemade granola bars with those dried cranberries. Might even see if little miss will eat them cause she does love raisins.

  2. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800.
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $650
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 54660
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $13.00
    Checkout51 to cash out : $33.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    Foodland #1
    1 Tide laundry -5.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 12dr Royale TP @4.44
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.99
    1 pack celery salt-2.29
    2 4l milk @4.27
    18 pack large eggs -3.99
    3 lb bag onions -1.99
    Bananas -1.13
    Tax -1.93
    Total out of pocket -$43.22
    Foodland #2
    216 count Tetley teabags -11.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 case ginger ale -4.99, 2.00 coupon
    2 lb butter @3.99
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.99
    1 jar gherkin pickles -2.49
    4 packs pasta @2/4.00
    2 4l milk @4.27
    3 blocks Kraft cheese @3.99
    Bananas -.88
    2 bagels @2/5.00
    1 primula flower in pot -1.99….. a little treat!
    Tax -2.00
    Total out of pocket -$71.22, $2.00 coupon

    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $
    Total coupons used this week: $2.00
    Total coupons used to date: $4.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $
    Total in-store discounts to date: $17.22
    Total spent this week: $114.44
    Total spent so far this month: $325.52
    Total over/Under spend this shop: Under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $54.45
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $0
    Health and Beauty -$9.96
    H&B YTD -$9.96
    H&B discounts -$15.00
    Cats -$0
    Cats YTD -$0
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Under for the week. Stuart and Molly are still good from last year on cat food, treats and litter. Haven’t made it to No Frills in spite of being in town at least once a week but I’m usually getting close to dinner by the time the rest of my running around gets done. Visiting Dad, checking his house and now checking up on my uncle’s apt all takes time too. It will happen at some point, likely when things slow down with the two older gents. Hopefully my uncle gets back home soon but it will still mean more trips into town to look after him too. Right now he is in hospital here near me so i can pop in every day. Being this busy tends to cut down on shopping time!!

    • Hi Christine,
      When do you typically cash out on your coupon apps? I noticed the nice amount in your Checkout51. That’s a good point Christine and a great blog post idea. If we can fill our days with stuff to do that doesn’t include shopping we don’t spend money. Too often we become bored and go to the grocery store just because we want to see if we can find any deals. This is a bad habit that we needed to change over the years. The ggc has helped but having a kid has helped even more. Not to mention that I work so many hours in the week that I just don’t feel like going grocery shopping like we used to. I do like to get the wife and son out of the house since they are home most of the time since I have the vehicle so they come along too. We try to do something every week with our son at the gym and possibly putting him into something else. I have so much stuff to do… I try not to think about it sometimes. Where to begin? I hope you make it in to No Frills when you find some time but I’m sure you can make do with what you’ve been used to doing. You’re a smart shopper and know what meals your family likes. Great price on the cheese. I hope your flower pot brings you joy and strength every time you look at it Christine. This is a busy and difficult time in your life but you’ve got this. Have a wonderful week friend. You get ballot #14. MR.CBB

      • Christine says:

        Normally I cash out the rebate apps shortly before Christmas but didn’t get there this year. There isn’t that much on Zweet right now anyway. My uncle has a procedure coming up on Tuesday and if it comes back with a negative result we will be making plans to get him home again. Poor guy is so bored in hospital. Moving back to Stratford is looking better every day but I can’t manage it right now financially. It would make things easier in so many ways. I take things one day at a time as always……

  3. My Grocery Shop This Week

    No Frills
    Wonder Bread – $1.88
    2 Lays Potato Chips – $5.44
    Farmers Milk jug 4 Litres – $5.19
    Caramel Vanilla Coffee Cream – $1.97
    Tropicana Watermelon Juice 1.75 litres – $2.00
    2 6pk of cinnamon raisin bagels – 2 @ $2.00 = $4.00
    Sliced ham – $2.00
    Classico alfredo sauce 410 ml- $2.00
    2 Danone Yogurt 12 pack – 2@$1.00 = $2.00
    Whole Chicken – 1.99 per lb – $5.74
    Tax – $1.12
    Bottle deposit – .10
    Total coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out of Pocket – $33.44

    Shoppers Drug Mart

    1 dozen eggs – $1.88
    Wonder bread – $1.88
    2 boxes Kraft Dinner – 2 @ .99 = $1.98
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out of Pocket – $5.74
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200.00
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $200.00
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0.00
    • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0.00
    • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0.00
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 23,650
    • Shoppers Optimum: 19,290
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0.00
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    • Snap Groupon to date: $0.00
    • Zweet to date: $0.00
    • Cart Smart to date:$0.00
    • Checkout51 to date: $0.00
    • Save.ca to date: $0.00
    • Reebee to date: $0.00
    • Caddle to date: $0.00
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Stockpile budget 2017 ($25.00):$0.00
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $0.00
    • Total coupons used this week: $0.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $0.00
    • Total in-store discounts this week:$0.00
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $0.00
    • Total spent this week: $39.18
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: Under $10.82
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: Under $10.82
    • Total left to spend for the month: $117.07
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $117.07
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    Another great week. Very pleased I came in under budget again. I scored an amazing deal on yogurt, getting 24 for $2.00.
    I enjoyed your post this week. I always look at the drug store flyers first. They often have food items priced quite a bit less than the Grocery store. My Shoppers Drug Mart always has a great price on eggs, bread and butter. Everything I bought at Shoppers this week was on sale.

    Have a great week! Jennifer

    • Hey Jennifer,
      I love the enthusiasm in your words when you share your deal about the yogurt. That’s awesome. Finding deals has become a game for us over the years at the grocery store. Most often Mrs. CBB and I both split up and then whistle or make noise if we find a deal, haha. No matter what store we go into we always search around for a reduced rack but first we try to find out how they reduce products and what to look for. Many people don’t know how to source these items because of labelling. In Ontario especially at Zehrs we can almost always find 50% off yogurt and that’s where we will buy it unless we find the Astro Coconut on sale for 1.99 as it’s our favourite. I hope this week we can score more vegetable deals like we did last. The other good thing about SDM is the points which it looks like you already know about. They all add up!! Well done Jennifer. You get ballot #13. I hope you have a wonderful week as well.
      Just to clarify: How many people does your grocery budget feed?
      Do you buy organic?

      • Thank you for the kind words. My budget feeds me and then my granddaughter for the three days a week she is with me. I do buy organic when I find a good sale. I must try Astro coconut yougut. I love coconut!

  4. Grocery budget

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    • Total Coupons Used: $4.00
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $55.46

    Nestea Iced tea x 2: 6.78 Sale 3.98 (1.00 coupon plus 500 points each) $7.96
    Deposit and ecology fee: $2.65
    4 X VH sauces: 2.97 sale 1.97 (2 X 1.00WUB 2 plus300 PC points each) $7.88
    2 X Astro Coconut yogurt: 2.97 sale 1.98: $3.96
    4 x half & half cream: 2.97 Sale 1.99 plus .10 deposit: $ 8.36
    Organic Lemons 2 lbs.: 5.98 Sale $3.98
    3 X Green Peppers 4 pack: 4.98 (price match No Frills @ 2.00): $6.00
    Mushrooms reduced: 2.46 less 30%: $1.72
    Imperfect Pears 6 pounds: $3.98
    Yellow onions: $1.47
    Celery Stalks: $1.98
    Clementines 3 lbs.: $3.98
    6 lbs pink lady Apples 7.35 reduced 30%: $5.14
    Made 12700 points

    • Name Your Store :IGA
    • Total Coupons Used:
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $16.05
    • 4 X Tuna 1.69 Sale: 1.00: $4.00
    • 2 X 2 Litres Milk:3.79 Sale 2.00 : $4.00
    • 750 g plain Yogurt 2.99 Sale: $2.00
    • .5 kg roma tomatoes: 2.05
    • ½ pint Blackberries x 2:3.99 sale2.00: $4.00


    • Name Your Store : Coop
    • Total Coupons Used:
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $6.38
    • 2 X Crushed Tomotoes.2.09 sale 1.00: $2.00
    2 X Enchilada Sauce: 2.29: $4.38

    • Name Your Store : Independent
    • Total Coupons Used:
    • 5 pack mini cucumber $3.99 pink sticker:$ 1.99
    • 2 lbs grape tomatoes: 5.99 pink sticker $2.99
    • Spiral Ham: 46.35 Clearout $23.37
    Total Out Of Pocket: $28.35

    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $750.00
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $750.00
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $
    • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
    • Total Rewards Points used to date: $
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date:237975
    • Air miles Points:452
    Zweet to date: $5.00
    • Cart Smart to date:$
    • Checkout51 to date: $27.00
    • Save.ca to date: $
    • Caddle to date: 9.00
    • Optimum Points:162,000
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date:

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Stockpile budget 2017 ($75.00):$900.00
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $84.44
    • Stockpile budget Used this Week:
    • Total coupons used this week: $4.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $27.48
    • Total in-store discounts this week:$94.21
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $223.00
    • Total spent this week: $106.24
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $63.76 under
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $170.96 under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $345.77
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $334.48
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    I am under quite a bit under in my shopping so far this month, I am concluding that I have been far more mindful of what is going in the cart and how often I shop, I also had a huge amount of pantry items and freezer items left over from the holidays so I had planned this month to be a clean out the extras month. This is a learning curve and I may revisit my allotted budget I set for myself if I am consistently under by the end of March. I know spring will be a higher amount spending as we have a cabin that we spend weekends at once the weather warms and I am stocking 2 of everything until fall, plus the added company that comes with a lake cabin. My stockpile budget looks like it is very high but I am including personal and cleaning in this as well, I had a lot of this stocked from coupon and am coming to the end of these reserves. I was very happy with all the reduced fruit and veggies this week and could really plan menus with lots of healthy choices. The spiral ham was a total impulse buy but the price was great and so many meals will come from that purchase!!

    • Hi Julie,
      You’re right this is all a learning curve. I find we needed a good 6 months of the GGC to evaluate our shopping habits and whether we needed to increase or decrease the budget. You’re also right about being mindful when grocery shopping because now you have to report back to yourself and all of us. 🙂 This summer will be a great time to see how much more you spend during those months. You can either start a summer stash meaning you add up how much you spent over the summer and save that money every month in your budget as a projected expense so when the time comes you have that reserve ready to go. Talk to Mary Campbell about reserves she the Queen in that department. You can learn lots from her. How many people does your budget feed each month? You probably told us in your first GGC post but my memory is rubbish sometimes especially when I’m as ill as I am today.

      What a great price on that spiral ham. That was the perfect time to scoop that up. On your first shop you mention you earned 12,700 points… how did you do that? We love our PC points too and have the MasterCard to collect even more. They sure do come in handy. Thanks for letting us know about your stockpile budget. Our cleaning stash has lasted us since 2012 but we’re getting down on many products now. Coupons are nothing near what they used to be in Ontario.Welcome to the GGC again Julie if you need anything we’re here just comment, email or message via social media. You get ballot #12.
      Mr.CBB

      • Good Morning and congratulations on booking your trip home!!!
        Yes I think Mary Campbell is the queen of budgeting, I read her posts with interest and envy!! We have four people here and two dogs to feed, my last two kids are both in college locally, so much can be saved when they stay at home to attend, there will be a day when they have to move to attend University, but they will do as much here to save on housing costs. We all pack a lunch every day, and it can be challenging meal planning with four different schedules and my husband eats very little wheat and carbs, no allergies he just feels better with this lifestyle.
        I earned the 12,700 PC points because I had a rare offer of earn 10,000 on a 50.00 spend, and a few other points for some products. I used to use my MasterCard exclusively for groceries for the extra points but for now I switched to cash for now while I start this challenge to see if I spend less, just a little personal experiment!! Your correct, coupons have devalued greatly but you can still find the odd offer that is really great, I kind of went overboard when I started couponing like most people but it has sure been nice to have all the paper products etc that I know I paid next to nothing for however things are running low so I will just restock slowly with great sales. Enjoy your week!!

  5. I buy most of my milk at Shoppers because it’s quicker to get in and out of then the grocery store. I often stop to look over the grocery section. I have found great deals on cheese, eggs, ice cream, pop and frozen vegetables. They have the same stickers that Zehrs has for grocery items that are getting close to the sell-by date

  6. I shop the food sales at my local pharmacy, just like I shop the personal care sales at my grocery store. Since the stores are all within a short distance of my home, it doesn’t matter which store it is, the best price wins!

  7. Week 2 – Jan 13 – 19, 2017
    Name Your Store: No Frills
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 3600
    Total Out Of Pocket: $42.65

    Human
    Case of Kraft Dinner = $6.88
    2 Tubs of Danone Yogurt = $1.76
    450 g NN Cheese – (1000 PC Points) = $4.97
    10 lb Potatoes = $2.88
    Bananas – 1.100 kg = $1.35
    Cabbage – 1.990 kg = $2.59
    Club Pack Honey Garlic Sausage = $11.71
    Stew Beef = $10.51

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 3650
    Total Out Of Pocket: $77.98

    Human
    Quaker Instant Oatmeal – (250 PC Points) = $2.48
    NN Tomato Soup = $0.57
    NN Egg Noodles – (200 PC Points) = $2.29
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    2 1L Chocolate Milk = $3.00
    PC Cremin Mushrooms = $1.67
    3 lb Carrots = $1.49
    Green Pepper – 0.425 kg = $1.59
    Celery = $1.99
    2 Schneiders Hot Dogs – $5.49 (PM Sobeys @ $2.99) = $5.98
    Club Pack Lean Ground Beef = $27.46
    Club Pack Chicken Breast = $14.97
    PC Grocery Tote = $3.00

    Cats
    18 kg NN Cat Litter – (1200 PC Points) = $6.98

    Name Your Store: Zehrs
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 600
    Total Out Of Pocket: $7.95

    Human
    4 – 1 L Chocolate Milk = $3.96
    1.66 L Breyers Ice Cream – (600 PC Points) = $3.99

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1820.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $43.18
    Left for the Month: $96.82
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $49.93

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $7.89
    Total Cats to Date: $7.89

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $6.88
    Total Stockpile to Date: $6.88

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $17.45
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $17.45

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $70.63
    Total Meat to Date: $70.63

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

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $2.50

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $5.00
    Total Price Match to Date: $5.00

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 7850
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 22993

    Overview: I am quite surprised that I spent so little on this week’s grocery shop. I do have a nice full fridge freezer, my daughter packed it so there is no wasted space. Since I have the meal plan for this week and next and the groceries bought for it, we shouldn’t really need much to purchase next week. I’m thinking the basics which is milk, bread and maybe eggs. There is a couple of new recipes on the plan so I’m hoping they turn out so they can be added to the roster of possible meals. I did buy some treats for us. We typically don’t have chocolate milk in the house and we have decreased the amount of ice cream as well.

    • Hey Dee,
      Some great deals you picked up this week which attributed to your low grocery expense too. Let us know how those new recipes turn out. Once in a while having treats are fine, we do too. Beer is a treat for me but that comes from my allowance. I take you both like your ice-cream. Do you order the Chapman’s coupon every year? You get $4 off which is a free bucket of yum. Well done Della you’re off to a raging start. You get ballot #11. Mr.CBB

      • Yes, I’ve ordered my Chapman’s coupon and can’t wait for it to arrive. We’ll probably use it this summer since we have enough to last quite a while. So far we’ve had one of the new meals (When the Bishop Calls) and I thought it was good, my daughter not so much. It seems that she’s not a fan of mushrooms that isn’t canned. So I don’t know if it will stay in the roster of meals or not.

  8. Wow! That’s a whole lot of avocados! If you want to add the savings, I would assume that a net with 5-6 avocados usually sells at $4.99. What are you planning to do with them? I assume they are already quite ripe?

    I am asking because I had a slight overflow of avocados last week when I accidentally shopped double. In the end I let them ripen a bit and eventually mashed and froze them all. They may not taste as great as fresh avocado on a salad or sandwich, but they are good for smoothies or to make guacamole.

  9. Mary F Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #3 of 5- Jan 16-22, 2017

    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 MONTH:

    So far, so good! I went a little hog wild with the shopping last week but I stayed within the confines of our budget by using the Re-Stocking Reserve to take advantage of some good buys.

    Originally that particular reserve was intended for replenishing the freezer but I find we are eating a lot less meat these days so last week I tapped it for some non-meat protein items like peanut butter & baked beans plus soya sauce while it was $1.00 off per bottle to use in the preparation of our meals.

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    What can I say…it’s another LOW SHOP WEEK for us. During the 5-week months, I find that having at least one week with NO shopping or possibly a couple of LOW shop weeks are critical for us to stay on budget.

    I am watching for a couple of sales though – whole chickens so that I can make a Sicilian Chicken Soup and one on gluten free pasta.

    The dinners I have planned this week are: Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup, Slow Cooker Potato Dill Soup, Tuna Shepherd’s Pie, Southwest Salad, Greek Salad, Spinach Salad & a Chef Salad. I am not going to exactly kill myself getting dinner on the table this week, am I? LOL 🙂 I am however on a mission…a crisper clean-out!

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    No Frills – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 1.5Kg McCains Crinkle Fries $2.00
    1 No Name Orange Juice $3.29

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $5.29

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

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE FEB 13th!

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $10.70

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 15 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 11 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 0 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year: 4,040 Points

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 190.00 Grocery Budget JAN

    ($ 53.14) NET RESERVE TRANSFERS

    ($ 101.84) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 35.02 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 111.88 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 95.70 Holiday Season Fund + $140 RCSS POINTS + $10 Dream Air Miles.
    $ 653.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 466.46 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,327.58. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $90.00 that we have added in 2017, LESS $36.86 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.

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

    • Hi Mary,
      You know that’s a concept that I’ve never discussed on the GGC and I’ll add it as a topic, Low Shop Week at the grocery store. I agree that this year Mrs. CBB and I are going to work on this for the 5 week months and the other months have a low or no shop week too. I really think avoiding the flyers is the only way to stay out of the grocery store as well, finding something else to do in the time slot that we typically grocery shop. How do you go about having a no shop or low shop week?
      Nice to hear that you’ve been eating less meat. We don’t eat that much either in our house although we like our mince. When you make the potato dill soup do you use fresh or dry dill? I love all the soups. This is what we do in the winter… lots of soup although the wife doesn’t eat potato (but I do).
      You get ballot #10

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        The LOW or NO Shop week starts with 2 things for us. First I look at how much money I have left in the GGC budget to cover the remainder of the month and generally gulp a few times. 🙁 Then the second and saving point is that I go to the pantry and freezer to see what I already have on hand. Now I am ready to start my menu plan. 🙂

        What can I make with what I have on hand? Do I have any way to kick it up a notch? For example if I have the ingredients to make pancakes…I can spruce up those pancakes into apple pancakes with a single grated apple and a few seasonings and now those pancakes taste and smell like apple pie!

        I am a big lover of soups, obviously, because depending on what you choose…they can eat like a meal with a little dunking material, save waning veggies in the fridge from the waste bin and give them a second life by making a homemade vegetable stock for either soup or to use instead of water in your cooking, fill out a light meal night alongside endless possibilities of hot/cold salads, are great for hubby’s packed lunches because he has a microwave at the office and there’s no end of soup variations that can be made… so there’s no need to get bored! I plan to make 1-3 soups/stews/chilis from scratch every week & my slow cooker is my very best friend! I’ll admit it, I am too darned lazy to stand there for hours stirring the pot and a slow cooker means I don’t have to. In a hurry, that’s what pressure cookers are for! Those dried beans can be ready in a jiffy and cheap cuts of meat can be braised to tender in a fraction of the time! 🙂

        Once I figure out what I can make, and I sometimes google the central ingredients for ideas, then I am finally ready to look at the flyers. The items I need, are they on sale? Is there a substitute that I can use on sale? Or, should I postpone a certain dish until what I need goes on sale again (because it will) and go instead with something that is on sale? Remember when I pushed a bunch of soup options back in my meal plan because pork steaks were on sale and I got dinner and a couple of lunches out of them? I think flexibility is key to the success of LOW and NO shop weeks. Work your meal plan, bend and stretch, reach for the sky, stand on tippy toes…oh so high! LOL

        This is a huge point I want to make…it doesn’t have to be fancy! How difficult is it to use a Frittata as the vehicle to use up your leftovers? A few bits of veg, a little grated cheese, maybe a chunk of diced meat or fish…voila! You’ve got a whole new meal using leftovers. Re-purposing those “little bits” is the name of the game! Plan a fridge clean-out night each week into your meal plan. Your ingredients will be fresh that way and fresh always tastes better! 🙂

        How about committing to a meatless meal or two each week? I’ve never heard anyone turn down a homemade mac and cheese or spaghetti & garlic bread and you can even add a few veggies to spruce up your dish. I’m a big lover of the One Pot Meal…remember I am lazy and don’t want to devote an entire evening to washing dishes. 🙂

        For the really fancy occasion, how about buying 2 lobster tails and turning your Plain Jane Mac and Cheese into a Valentine’s Day Special? It’s a lot cheaper than 2 whole lobsters with drawn butter for your romantic dinner at home PLUS a romantic dinner at home is always scads cheaper than trying to dine out with your sweetie on a special day!

        A well stocked larder means you can go weeks without shopping if the sales just aren’t there. It’s the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a NO SHOP week or two. I won’t pay full price. Will you? I know with what we have in the house already, I could make meals for 6 months to a year just replacing a few basics or adding a few highlight items but more importantly, I could go completely without shopping if I had too. Now that’s a good feeling! I remember being thrilled when Grandma put a pitcher of iced cold water on the supper table for us to enjoy with our meal. Simple can be the stuff that memories are made of!

        Eating according to the season you are in sure helps the LOW and NO shop weeks too. Here in the dead of winter, a good supply of potatoes, carrots, onions & other root vegetables & cabbages on hand can be the basis of so many meals. So, Mr CBB at this time of year I make my potato-dill soup with the dried dill that I have on hand. In the summer though, I prefer to use fresh dill from the farm markets, keeping in mind 1 TBSP dried = 3 TBSPs fresh. 🙂

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