grocery game monthly challenge

25 Popular Hotel Food Ideas To Save You Money : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Jan 23-29

25 POPULAR HOTEL FOOD IDEAS

NOT EVERYONE WHO STAYS AT A HOTEL IS ON VACATION.

 

Why would you want to grocery shop when you stay in a hotel? Many reasons actually so I thought it would be a great idea to come up with a list of foods you could bring to a hotel to help cut costs.

One thing you will learn quickly is that food and drink cost mega bucks when staying at a hotel. On the other hand the hotel you stay at might have no amenities to offer you apart from a complimentary cup of coffee. Whether you stay in a 5-Star hotel or a budget hotel they both come with pros and cons one being the quality and price.

You might think that making meals in your hotel room is a waste of time especially if you are on holidays but what if you’re not? Some people have temporary stays for weeks and months at a time in a hotel for various reasons. Maybe you have one week left of University and your room rental expired. Instead of driving back and forth every day as it would take hours you decide to rent a hotel room for the week.

 

Hotels are filled with people who need a place to lay their head at night

 

It’s not always about fun when staying in a hotel but either way you have to eat or at least should eat. Coming up with food ideas that you can make in the hotel room rather than ordering room service or visiting the hotel restaurant takes some smart planning.

If you have kids in tow finding foods you can prepare and eat for cheap in your hotel room might be easier than slipping out to eat especially if you have no vehicle. Just because I said cheap doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the healthy foods. I’m comparing grocery food vs. hotel food so anything is cheaper. Even if you go to the local grocery store wherever you are staying and load up on fresh gourmet meals you will still save more money than had you eaten out. Plus… no tip.

Depending on the hotel you stay at you may be offered breakfast, lunch or dinner as a courtesy. You may even get your paid hotel food at a discounted rate if you stay with the hotel. Other hotels have nothing but a small kitchenette possibly with a toaster, kettle and mini-fridge. Others have nothing at all but a coffee pot on a table with instant coffee and tea bags. It’s the worst coffee and tea in the world but when you’re desperate it tastes like the best you’ve ever had. Ha! If the room doesn’t offer a glistening toaster ask if there is one available for use in the hotel food area for guests.

You do get what you pay for when you stay at a hotel so don’t rent a room with high expectations especially if it’s called Dodgy Hotel. In a ritzy hotel you may plan to dine on the club floor included with your gold package stay or use your credit card rewards points. Every hotel is different.

Related: 10 Smart Ways To Save Money On Travel Food

Even in a cheap hotel you might have to pay to have room service if it is available at all. A cheap hotel is anything under $100 a night without last-minute deals, discounts etc. Their continental breakfast might consist of horrible black coffee and packaged muffins to go.

 

Last-minute hotel deals

 

If you’re a frugal hotel shopper and get find a last-minute hotel deal you may get lucky and score the 5-Star perks with 2-Star pricing. That’s my kind of deal but you have to be ready for them as they go fast from sites such as Travelocity.ca (not affiliate).

Any time you are searching for a hotel to stay in always read the reviews. You’ll get a better sense of how you will be treated as a customer and what their stay was like.

 

Prepare for your hotel stay

 

If you have any hotels nearby where you live don’t be shy to pop in and ask the hotel manager if you could have a small tour around. This is a great time to ask questions and for tips on renting a hotel room and food ideas. Every hotel is different so the answers aren’t going to be standard across the board but you’ll get a sense of how a hotel works just by visiting and doing your research.

Make your way into three types of hotels so you get a good idea of what you are looking for. Depending on where you are travelling you can also see if the hotel offers a virtual tour online that you can check out ahead of time. In the mean-time I’d pass by a;

  • 5-Star hotel
  • Quality hotel
  • Budget hotel
  • Motel

Each one of these types of accommodations come with different price tags, hotel design and layout and options. Don’t forget to ask about high season and the best rooms in-house along with what’s all included. Don’t be shy to ask if the room has a refrigerator and freezer along with the size. This will help you determine how much food you can bring from home. Find out what will cost you extra, mainly food and drink is what I’d be worried about.

Whatever you do don’t bring your own kitchen appliances unless you are permitted to. That means no rice-cooker, crock-pot or other appliances that weren’t furnished by the hotel. There will be a fire code in place and you don’t want to find out the hard way that you shouldn’t have done that. If you get the appliance thumbs up by the hotel manager pack up your slow-cooker, rice cooker and toaster all of which would bring you huge savings for your hotel food budget.

Food News: If you can bake a cake with a light-bulb you can cook a meal in a rice cooker. You can prepare lots of food cooking in a rice-cooker from boiling, to heating up food. The rice cooker is comparable to a small pot with an element that you can steam, boil or even fry food in. Ah ha, smart thinking. Generally when we use our slow cooker we make rice and toss in other bits on top and it all cooks together.

 

The budget motel stay

 

I remember our trip to Tobermory and we stayed in a budget motel with an empty mini fridge, 2-cup coffee pot and access to a rusty barbeque if needed. Oh, if we needed a microwave that was outside on a table by the front office. Ya it was a cheap motel but the room was clean and there was no food included, not even breakfast.

Again, you get what you pay for. We didn’t plan the motel stay so that was our first mistake. Second we should have paid the extra money to stay in a hotel up the road if we wanted at least a 3 or 4-Star stay with hotel breakfast.

When Mrs. CBB and I made a trip to Niagara Falls we enjoyed our upgraded suit for free with a Jacuzzi and kitchenette that we didn’t use as I was ill. While I was in bed Mrs. CBB went ahead and had a look around the hotel restaurants and decided to have a drink at the bar. Not only did her drink cost her well over $10 but she left a tip because the place was pretty dead and the bartender was super friendly.

She decided to order food from the restaurant since I was sick and she told me that I didn’t want to see the bill. That only means that we could have purchased a weeks worth of groceries but we were enjoying our one day stay. Could we have avoided going to Subway for lunch $25 or buying snacks and appetizers at Casino Niagara? Sure if you want to cut costs and stick to a travel budget. When you’re out opt for the cheaper menu items if you know you will go back to your hotel to eat.

 

Drinks in the mini bar

 

Two words, Stay Away. If you want to pay premium prices for the mini bar then be my guest but you’re better off going to the liquor store and stocking up to bring to your hotel room. While you’re out buying booze don’t forget to buy your pop, juice and any other necessities such as cups.

 

Snack Machine

 

Every time you go to the front desk or even down the hallway on your hotel floor there probably is an ice-machine and a snack vending machine. This machine is a gold mine to the hotel because for many customers who don’t plan and bring snacks the snack machine gets attacked. You will pay a higher price for your snacks from the machine likely 2 to 3 times higher than what you’d pay at the grocery store or convenience store.

Bring along chips, crackers and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, fruits, nuts and dried fruit, popcorn etc. A huge savings on snacks will go along way for your hotel food budget.

 

Bed and Breakfast or Airbnb

 

Even if you splurge on a lovely bed and breakfast stay you only get the bed and a homemade breakfast in the morning. If you get lucky you’ll find a bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner which will cover all of your bases however if you are travelling the last thing you will want to do is keep trekking back to your hotel or bed and breakfast for meal time. It’s different if you are on a resort but not when you are planning a holiday with accommodations.

Airbnb accommodations are also a great alternative where you have to purchase groceries to cook saving you money. Typically your Airbnb will come fully stocked with a kitchen and all appliances.

Related: Airbnb is a homeowners gold-mine or potential disaster zone

 

Hotel Food Ideas

 

If the hotel you choose to stay at doesn’t offer you any food past breakfast but you don’t want to spend money eating out every night for dinner there are foods you can bring and eat in your room. Everyone likes different foods but for the person who loves to eat everything this list of 10 hotel foods you can fix in your room are worth noting.

Fill a cooler with ice and stock up on beverages and any other foods you want to keep on ice if there is no freezer or refrigerator in your hotel room. Even if you plan to eat out one meal every day of your stay see if you can find local restaurants offering deals or those that have coupons you can use. Personally I would plan to eat out and a bigger meal at lunch as it’s cheaper than dinner.

Beverage Ideas- Protein Powder, Milk, Cream, Coffee, Tea, Juice, Pop, Water, Tomato Juice etc.

Condiments- Whatever you can’t get from the front desk or kitchen. (Ask ahead of time if they have condiments such as jam, creamers, sweetener, ketchup, mustard etc.

  • Instant Oatmeal/Cereal/Granola Bars
  • Homemade muffins, squares and cookies
  • Deli Meat, Cheese, bread, butter
  • Veggie bags cut up fresh
  • Eggs if there is a microwave
  • Pre-cook bacon and other meats at home and put in a container to re-heat
  • Snacks- Chips, Chocolate, Chips, Chocolate, Chips, Chocolate, Fruit etc.
  • Ramen Noodles – use the coffee pot to drip a pot of water for your noodles and instant oatmeal
  • Potatoes for the microwave with butter
  • Hotdogs or pre-cooked sausages (you could probably sling a few in the coffee pot add water and let them heat in the pot or microwave if available. Use your slow cooker or rice cooker if allowed and you bring them.
  • If there is a BBQ you can bring corn to roast and any other vegetables that you can wash and peel in the room.
  • Angel Hair or Spagettini pasta to cook in microwave (if you plan to use a microwave to cook or a BBQ pack your own bowls and utensils to use as well).
  • Make Ahead meals at home that were frozen and need to be microwaved- Meatballs, casseroles, lasagna, pizza having a hotel fridge is ideal with these foods. One of my favourites is my pasta fritata with sausage which is an all-in-one meal that you can eat hot or cold. You get your pasta, eggs, sausage and cheese.
  • Mac n Cheese made in the coffee pot
  • Cream Cheese and Bagels
  • Fried chicken or other foods that you can eat cold or at room temperature.
  • Pack tortilla wraps and stuff them with just about anything (sometimes I just eat them as they are)
  • Rotisserie chicken from grocery store
  • Pre-made Hard-boiled eggs or eggs you can microwave if available.
  • Cans of tuna (and a can opener)
  • Canned foods that you don’t need to heat or that you can heat

If you are on vacation consider how much food you are bringing as it will take up space in your vehicle as well the time and agenda you are working with. There’s no point packing lots of food if you don’t plan to be in your hotel room until the end of the night or into the wee hours of the morning.

Not everyone has a big budget for travel or hotel stays but when you can save in one area you can splurge in others. Alternatively you can forget everything I’ve said above and just order in, eat out and relax.

Post Discussion:

I’d love to hear what foods you’ve made in a hotel room to save money on lunches and dinners while you were on holiday. Please share your comments below. Was it worth it being frugal or should you have went all the way and just eaten out?

 

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) $1500 worth of free stuff.

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

 

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27
  • 6 x Neilsen 10% Cream 500ml $1.50 each
  • 2 dozen eggs $1.99
  • Bacon $3.99 sale

Total Out-Of-Pocket $25.51 plus 4000 bonus optimum points for spending $20 on food

  • 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: $25.31
  • Total spent so far this month: $231.06
  • Total over/Under spend this shop:
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $29.14
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $0

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

As you may have read I’ve been very ill the past few days so this week grocery shopping was a quick in and out at Shoppers Drug Mart. Coincidentally I was there picking up prescriptions, cough drops and cough syrup. The one stop shop is worth it during these moments of sickness. If we pick anything else up I’ll post it next week but we should be fine. Not a bad start to January I suppose minus the illness.

How was your shopping month?

 

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 duron123 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. Hey Mr.CBB
    No I dont spoon dive the nutella. I like it on my toast though. Everyone liked the brownies I made with it so I will probably use it all for baking and not so much eating.
    No sorry I should have said I was buying for a friend of mine that is expecting her second kid next month and I have been trying to buy things I can get for cheap or free for her. So the formula is for her.
    The motrimax coupons are from the sample source box and tear pads and last year there was one in an insert that I used as well. I think lots of people still stack or at least thats what the cashiers at london drugs tell me.
    Lol now that I have commented on everything I think I am back in the corner 😉

    • Haha I had to ask because it seems to be the norm. Even when we had kids from Spain here they were spoon diving in the stuff. You’re going back to the corner? Or you want out of the corner haha!!

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $500
    $5.56×2 homo milk
    $2.99 snap peas
    $2.99 1kg peanut butter
    $7.49-50%GMO 1kg honey
    $3.99-50%GMO sliced cheese
    $1.49 dzn eggs
    $1.12 egg nog ice cream
    $3.39-50%GMO gg frozen veg
    $8.99 10lb oranges
    $10.14, $8.41 top sirloin steaks/stir fry – 5 meals
    $54.65 total oop
    Rcss
    .88×6, $1.28 noodle bowls – my older girl loves kimchi noodles
    $2×4 classico sauce
    $1.66-30% bananas
    $6.99 pm to London Drugs 1kg nutella – total splurge but a great deal!!
    $27.70 total oop
    Co-op
    $3.88×2 potstickers
    $7.75 total oop
    Shoppers
    $1.61×2 coffee creamer
    $3.20 total oop
    London Drugs – stacking 🙂
    $2.99×4-$3Cx2 bounce sheets
    $2.50×8-$16C dare candy
    $7.99×8-$7.99Cx8 motrimax
    $7.49×6-$6Cx6 nescafe sweet&creamy kcups
    $10.99×2-$20C ready to feed similac
    $25.65 total oop
    $141.96 total coupons

    $118.95 weekly total oop
    $141.96 weekly total coupons
    $468.02 monthly total oop
    $162.46 monthly total coupons

    Another week of great sales!
    Lots of work to stack at London Drugs and the rewards are worth it 🙂

    • Do you spoon dive the Nutella? Our son doesn’t like it but he does that with the peanut butter. Do you still buy formula? We’re going on holiday and if our son doesn’t stop drinking milk before the cow produces enough we’ll be buying some formula to take along with us. Damn stuff is pricey though especially the ready made. Motrimax is great!!! Where did you get those coupons OMG! or was that a stack? Nevermind I’m going with yes as I see it now. I wish we could stack. Are most people still using the stacking opportunity? I’d love to write a post about stacking but have no idea about it. We don’t have it in Ontario but it’s still an amazing way to save money on groceries in Canada. You get ballot #10. I’ll let you out of your corner for now… I’m watching you. haha. Mr.CBB

  3. Christine says:

    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats – $7800.00

    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.

    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 Downy softener -8.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.99
    1 bag rice -1.99
    2 4l milk @4.27
    1 frozen fries -2.79
    bananas -1.34
    2 packs honey garlic sausage- 5.41 +4.75, 30% stickers. discounts 1.62+1.43
    Tax -1.17
    Total out of pocket -$45.40
    Foodland #2
    2 Downy @5.99
    3 Tide @5.99
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 lb butter -3.99
    1 case cream soda -3.69
    2 cases ginger ale @3.69, 2x 2.00 coupons
    1 rice -1.99
    1 package penne- 1.99
    1 4l milk -4.27
    1 frozen fries -2.79
    bananas- 1.25
    1 package lean ground beef – 15.09, 30% discount- 4.53
    1 box chicken nuggets -9.99
    tax -5.33
    Total out of pocket- $84.17, 2.00 coupons, 4.53 discounts
    Canadian Tire
    2 Cashmere TP @ 4.00 (12 double rolls)
    Total out of pocket -8.00
    Canadian Tire #2
    1 22kg cat litter- 7.88
    2 50′ rolls Alcan foil @3.00, stock pile
    Total out of pocket- $7.88, cats …$6.00 stock pile

    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $6.00
    Total coupons used this week: $4.00
    Total coupons used to date: $8.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $7.58
    Total in-store discounts to date: $24.80
    Total spent this week: $135.57
    Total spent so far this month: $464.09
    Total over/Under spend this shop:under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $185.91
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $464.09
    Health and Beauty -$9.96
    H&B discounts- $15.00
    Cats -$7.88
    Cats YTD- $7.88

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Came in well under for the month so this will help later in the year when I pick my strawberries and such for jam as well as other times I go over. We really didn’t need the cat litter but it was on sale so we got a box. It will get used eventually. As will the foil, hubby got me two packs to have in the drawer. The pop was a good price and having the coupons from earlier cases was nice to take the price even lower! Still doing a lot of running around for my Dad and Uncle. Hopefully that settles down soon. The older boy has a birthday Feb 8 but I have what I need for his cake and ice cream here now.

    • Hi Christine,
      You bank what you have left at the end of the month for the strawberry fest don’t you or do you save up for that? That mindset is smart, “It will get used eventually.” If you know you will use it especially if it’s something like kitty litter and it’s on sale that is the time to stock up. Once in a while Canadian Tire has the tin foil on sale. It’s the monster box of tin foil for around $8.99. We just leave it on our counter and it lasts ages. What kind of cake will you be making him, carrot? Ginger-ale still has those nice coupons I see. Have you noticed any difference in prices at FoodLand for 2017 as of yet? Well done Christine…. You get ballot #4. Mr.CBB

  4. Hi Everyone,
    Just a heads up for tomorrow that our son has a virus and was throwing up so much tonight. He’s been in and out of the shower about 4 times in the last 2 hours. I don’t think I’ll be getting the GGC finished in time for Tues morning now. I may have to push it to Wednesday. Mrs. CBB and I had the same thing the last 2 days and thought he got lucky and missed it.. nope. Any ways… that’s what’s going on. Oh.. does everyone have a 4 or 5 week for January? I wasn’t sure if I did the calendar wrong to start the year or not. I left a note for Mary since she is the pro scheduler to have a look at it for me. Thanks all and keep us in your thoughts please. It’s never easy seeing your child in pain like this. Poor little guy.

  5. Grocery budget

    Name Your Store: Costco
    Total Coupons Used:
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $53.46

    Bob’s Steel cut Oats: $11.99
    Broccoli 2:$9.98
    5X Half & Half Cream: 1.95×4: 9.75
    Deposit: .25
    4 Lite Milk: 4.54
    Deposit: .25
    Enviro fee: .12
    Corn starch: 4.39
    6 pole & Line Tuna: 9.99
    2.5 extra large eggs: 6.99

    • Name Your Store :IGA
    Total Coupons Used: 13.99
    • Total Out Of Pocket: 64.27

    • Quick rise Yeast: $7.99 less $1.00 checkout 51
    • Yakisobii Noodles X 4: $7.96
    • Feta cheese: Sale $5.99 coupon 1.00
    • Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn X 2: 2.99 Bogo Coupon
    • Pancake Syrup: 2.99
    • Swiss Cheese slices: sale $4.99 coupon 1.00
    • 1 Pound baby Carrots X 2: 3.00
    • Cauliflower X 2: sale : $6.00
    • Green Onions X2: $1.38

    • Stockpile: 2 X Finish dishwasher tabs: Sale 15.49
    • less 2X 4.00 coupons
    • Less 8.00 Mail in rebate
    • Earned 100 Air miles: Woth about 10.00
    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:542
    Zweet to date: $5.25
    • Cart Smart to date:$
    • Checkout51 to date: $28.00
    • 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: $107.42
    • Stockpile budget Used this Week:22.98
    • Total coupons used this week: $ 27.48
    • Total coupons used to date: $40.77
    • Total in-store discounts this week:$7.00
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $230.00
    • Total spent this week: $120.73
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $66.77 under
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $237.73 under
    • Total left to spend for the month: Carry over $237.73
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $512.27
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    I am happy with my shopping this month, I am way under but like I said before I started the month with a very well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer, and we did not entertain much this month. I think I will be a bit higher and more realistic to my budget next month. I did go over on my stockpile budget but I am not concerned, will do some tweaking as this progresses. I had to go to Costco to pick up some specific things for my husband so picked up a few things there, I am not a fan of Costco but do go once in a while, I find there are a few things that are an exceptional buy but the rest in just average pricing, I hate the crowds, I hate all my things tossed in a box with no rhyme or reason and honestly I resent paying for membership. We do have ours through our company and I take as many people shopping with me that want to go that don’t have a membership and shop for my older daughter’s when they need things to try and make it worthwhile.
    I was very happy with my dishwasher tabs, after sale, coupons, mail in rebate and air miles I ended up paying $4.98 for 110 dishwashing tabs.
    I am trying to post on the What’s for Dinner chat on Facebook but I am finding it isn’t working with my evening commitments and I do not use my phone for social media often, I don’t allow my kids to be on their phones when we are eating at supper and when we are together as a family, I just find kids are not present at all if they are constantly on the phone so it is hard for me to be!! I also do office work from home in the evenings for our business and it is time to connect with my husband. A quick walk and tidy and the evening is gone!! Will try to sneak in once in a while! Good luck next month everyone!!

    • Hi Julie,
      I agree with you as it’s hard to judge from the first month or possibly the second if you started the year off with a well-stocked pantry. Technically the best would be to start off with nothing and to see what it would cost for an entire year of eating. Great score on the Finish tabs! I remember getting them for $0.35 a box back in 2011-12 when the coupons were Save $3.50. We’ve got boatloads of them here BUT no dishwasher lol. We plan to get a dishwasher when we renovate our kitchen. Hopefully by then the dishwashers still take the tabs otherwise I will donate them to the in-laws. Being on What’s For Dinner is not part of the Grocery Game Challenge or a requirement so please pop around if you can, if not that’s fine too. 🙂 I would never expect you to be on your phone during your dinner time either. I agree dinner is time for the family. .
      We recently picked up a Costco Membership. We love it for the gas savings…today for example everywhere was $1.12 and Costco $1.00. I fill up on my way to work or if we are there picking up baby wipes or other bits. I agree it’s hit or miss and consumers really need to know their prices when shopping there. Do you buy your gas at Costco too?

      Well done… You get Ballot #17. Again, welcome to the GGC Julie.

      • I just ran out of my free or almost free finish dish Tabs from the good old days of couponing in 2012!! Our Costco is a bit out of our way but I do buy gas there often, as well as propane. I bought the Tabs on Friday morning and the electrical panel on our dishwasher went on Friday night!! After doing some fast reading on dishwashers we found a refurbished Bosch for 250.00 about the same as the repair for the old one so it was installed today.

        • That’s great that you found such a great deal on a dishwasher. Oh, did you jump on the free dishwasher tabs back in 2012 too? There were so many opportunities to get them for free or paying hardly anything for them. I don’t often see such high value coupons any longer. How about you?

  6. Hey! I’m new here and interested in participating. We are a family of 4 and I plan for $700 per month (that seems really high in comparison to your budget). For over a year I tried to get our budget back to about $600 with no luck. I do recognize that I buy lots more than just groceries at the grocery stores, should I be moving that to a separate category for this purpose? That alone may instantly reduce our actual “grocery” budget.

    One of the challenges I have found with coupon shopping is that I don’t buy alot of the stuff you can get coupons for (prepared foods, household products, etc.). I signed up for Checkout51 a year or more ago and still haven’t made it to the minimum $20 to cash out 🙁

    • Hi Mary Ann,
      We used to bundle our grocery and household items in one however we wanted to know the real amount we spent on food every year. You may reduce your grocery budget to $600 but what if only 400 is actual groceries and the rest, ‘other stuff’. That’s up to you though. We used to use tonnes of coupons but they’ve changed over the years. Our Checkout51 is at about $20 or so I believe. You don’t need coupons to save money on your groceries but if you find one that will help, use it. That’s all we do now. Do you need any help with your first Grocery Game Challenge Post? If yes or if you have questions you can email me canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca or respond to this comment. Nice to have you on board with us Mary Ann!!! Mr.CBB

  7. Cathy Bryant says:

    I think the tip about using a cooler and ice from the free ice machine is the best one suggested, especially if there is no in-room refrigerator. You can keep butter, cream for coffee, grocery store premade deli food or sandwich meats, anything, just like camping out. I once stayed in a nice place for several weeks on business, but had no in room fridge or microwave. I went to a local big box store and bought one of those cheap styrofoam coolers to keep drinks cold and all the other things I listed above. I also bought one metal fork, knife, and spoon and some disposable plates plus a real, but cheap, coffee mug and large plastic glass, and travel size dishwashing detergent. And a roll of paper towels.

    One end of the dresser became my crackers, snack and bread pantry, I kept mayo and other cold items in the cooler filled with ice, plus beverages. There are usually free cups and plastic glasses in the room, and the maids will give you a new batch each day if you ask. I just hate how flimsy they are, so bought “real” cheapo replacement items. I saved a ton of money making sandwiches for lunch, using real cream for coffee, eating chips out of one big bag instead of the higher cost individual bags, etc. plus I had my favorite things to snack on at night.

    More expensive than at home, but way less costly than eating out. Be creative!

  8. Week 3 – Jan 20 – 26, 2017
    Name Your Store: SJFM Apple Vendor
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.00

    Human
    1/5 bu Apples (2nd grade) = $5.00

    Name Your Store: Bo-De Sweets
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $11.90

    Human
    10 packs Kool-Aid = $3.80
    Sleeve of Social Tea Cookies = $1.00
    Dark Fudge Cookies = $1.89
    Shortbread Cookies = $3.19
    Original Fig Cookies = $1.99

    Name Your Store: Wholesale Club
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $24.57

    Human
    700 mL NN Chocolate Syrup = $2.79
    2 Tubs ICBINB Margarine = $1.94
    4L 2% Milk = $4.25
    12 Firecracker Popsicles = $0.99
    2 NN Weiners = $4.94
    3 WW Mealtyme Bread = $4.71
    1.66 L Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream = $0.99
    2 L Chapmans Tropical Wave Sorbet = $0.99
    2 L Chapmans Triple Berry Sorber = $0.99
    2 L Chapmans Vanilla, Chocolate Chunks and Carmel = $.099
    1.5 L Chapmans Pink Marshmallow, Blue Cupcake and Vanilla Ice Cream = $0.99

    Cats
    No Shop

    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: $33.59
    Left for the Month: $63.23
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $83.52

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

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $7.88
    Total Stockpile to Date: $14.76

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $19.87
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $37.31

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    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: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $5.00

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

    Overview: I’ve gone over budget by a whole $6.77 which won’t take much to make up. I can’t believe the score that I picked up at the Wholesale Club today. I couldn’t turn down these deals and even my daughter knows that I typically only pick up one frozen dairy item but for $0.99, I couldn’t resist picking up more. The apples that I picked up at the market will probably be used for apple sauce since my kid loves apple sauce as much as Christine’s husband does.

    • Hi Dee
      You have that awesome deal on ice-cream now and a big bottle of chocolate syrup and plenty of cookies to dip or crumble on top mmm. Oh if your daughter loves applesauce that much then yes you’ll need lots haha! So what are the plans for all the ice-cream? You should send me that for the brag of the week. I think you should invite us all over for an ice-cream party don’t you think everyone? Great shop… you get ballot #16. MR.CBB

      • I made the apples into apple sauce which are sitting in the freezer now. Plans for the ice cream is to eat them which we have eaten some of it already. It will take a little time to go thru all the tubs but not too long, unfortunately. I’ve sent the brag over to you.

  9. Colleen K says:

    After working in the Hotel Industry for many years….there are a few things that most don’t know either….often check in time is 3 pm and although not common, early check ins or late check outs can be arranged….sometimes at a cost but often free if the hotel isn’t busy…smaller places also usually have an iron or ironing board available for guest use and no cost, be wary of renting movies from the establishment as they can be very pricey…..and even in this day and age….many older places will still charge for local calls made from the in room phone..

  10. Mary F Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #4 of 5- Jan 23-29, 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:

    I will have to watch the funds available for the month very carefully and re-design our meal plan a little since I only had $35.02 when I started the week and I am down to $16.50 remaining for next week. It’s gonna be a squeaker! Week 5 will have to be as LOW a SHOP Week as I can possibly make it!

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    The dinners I have planned for this week are:

    (1) Ham, Pepper Jack Cheese and Diced Red Onion Omelette with a side of Sauteed Mushrooms, Yellow Onion, Garlic & Spinach and a small green salad, (2) a pot of Creamy Spinach Soup with Cucumber Sandwiches, (3) Slow Cooker Potato-Dill Soup with Grilled Ham-Cheese-Onion Sandwiches, (4) Leftover Cheesy Italian Sausage Skillet with a cup of homemade Creamy Tomato Soup for our starter, (5) Tuna Shepherd’s Pie with Green Beans and Creamed Spinach, (6) Devilled Mushrooms on Toast with Leftover Potato-Dill Soup and a side of coleslaw (7) Homemade Cream of Celery Soup with Grilled Hawaiian Ham Salad Sandwiches (I throw in diced peppers, green chilies, pimento, diced red onion and pineapple chunks).

    I am also getting back in the groove of having some desserts on hand this week:

    (A) Leftover Amish Raisin cookies (great with a glass of skim milk), (B) Butterscotch Confetti Squares, (C) Lime Jello, (D) Fresh Fruit…Apples (Red Delicious, Granny Smith or Gala), Mandarin Oranges, Anjou Pears or Lemons.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    Meridian Farm Market – Maple Ridge –

    2 Red Peppers $1.25
    1 Yellow Pepper $1.17
    1 Orange Pepper $1.36
    8 Red Delicious Apples @ $0.68/lb = $3.84
    4 Gala Apples @ $0.68/lb = $1.71
    2 Anjou Pears @ $0.78/lb = $1.21
    1 large Cauliflower $1.98

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $12.54

    —————————————————————–

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 Picked Ginger

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $5.21

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    6 Barilla GF Penne (3 for $5) = $10.00 < pasta sale I was waiting for!
    6 Barilla GF Elbows (3 for $5)= $8.33

    Stockpile Budget OOP: $18.33

    ** Earned 18 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $17.86 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Walmart – Port Coquitlam –

    1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup $0.77

    Total OOP: $0.77

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

    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: $28.56

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 33 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

    ($ 34.81) NET RESERVE TRANSFERS

    ($ 138.69) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 16.50 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 93.55 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 $1,309.25. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $90.00 that we have added in 2017, LESS $55.19 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.

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

    • Hi Mary,
      Woah…cutting it close this month but I’m sure you can pull it off. What does the GF pasta taste like? I typically see it pricey so that is a great deal which is why you were likely waiting for it. What does one picked ginger mean? I really want to make those Amish raisin cookies. Well that was an easy enough post for me to read, tame compared to the usual. 🙂 You get ballot #15 Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        Woops…make that pickled ginger! LOL 🙂 The pasta is very similar in taste to normal pasta but the texture is a little denser.

        • Ah ok, that makes more sense to me now. 🙂 Does it sit heavy in the tummy?

          • Mary F Campbell says:

            It depends on how much of it you eat…my serving size is 1 cup because of my diabetes. So no, it’s not heavy on the tummy when you only have a small amount.

          • I could never be that portioned with pasta although I do try when I eat it. I don’t eat it much unless I bring it to work since the Mrs. doesn’t care for it and our son has no interest. Thanks for letting us know.

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