grocery game monthly challenge

7 Money Smart Shopping Trip Essentials You Need : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #1 Jan 30-Feb 5

7 MONEY SMART SHOPPING TRIP ESSENTIALS

THE GROCERY SAVINGS BAG IS THE ONLY BAG WE THINK ABOUT BEFORE WE LEAVE FOR A SHOPPING TRIP.

 

Coupon Binder, what’s that? Yes, even the binder has become old school and the grocery saving newbies are wondering what we’re going on about. You mean, smartphone, right? No, coupon binder but don’t worry because not many people carry them around these days.

Planning for a grocery shopping trip in the CBB household either runs as smooth as my brownie batter or as lumpy as my mashed potatoes. Even before we became parents grocery shopping was a big deal and it still is although our priorities include a toddler who takes ages to get out the front door.

Related: How to successfully go grocery shopping with a baby

Over the years we’ve learned the easy way how to save money while grocery shopping and the hard way. The problem is that even though we have the best intentions sometimes not everything goes as planned. I bet even the ultra-organized shoppers screw up their own shopping trip from time to time.

I can’t tell you how many times Mrs. CBB and I have sat down to sort out our menu plan for the week and have never used it. Why you may ask? Well, we either forgot to take it with us before our shopping trip or things just got in the way where we skipped meals or had to switch them up. In the past this may have caused some food waste and even though that’s a no-no in our world we can’t always prevent it.

Some people think that saving money at the grocery store is as easy as picking up a flyer and meal planning as they go along. This may be their way of saving money compared to the way they used to shop but it’s certainly not the best way to save money. In fact, most shoppers spend MORE money when they “Insta-shop” as I like to call it with only the weekly flyer in hand.

But that’s not really what I want to talk to you about today. It’s the beginning of the year and everyone is in a frenzy trying to find their financial groove. The biggest culprit to attack any budget is the food budget which most people feel they can control but often fail miserably at. Some of you might be eating more than what your mortgage is worth every month and not because you eat too much but because you shop with little to no planning.

Related: How we lowered our food budget from $1100 to $600 in 6 months

I enjoy hearing from the readers but this email below from Carla shares her struggles with getting organized. She was also hoping to find out how we keep it altogether in the CBB house. The truth is, it’s tough work and from time to time we mess something up but we keep it simple, keep it neat and keep it by the front door.

Dear Mr.CBB,

I’ve tracked my grocery spending over the past few weeks and I seem to be struggling with organizational skills. One week I forgot my grocery list and I had to guess what I had written on it. I used to save it on my smart phone but when I accidentally deleted it I became frustrated.

Just the other day the cashier asked me if I needed bags and of course they were sitting at the front door at home. I just can’t get it together. How does the CBB family get ready to go grocery shopping?

Thanks,

Carla

Thanks for your question Carla.

Last year I wrote A Smart Shopper Guide To Prepare For The Grocery Store which shares details about how we plan and execute our shopping trip. When Carla emailed me I re-read that post and realized that I failed to mention how we keep our shopping trip organized without chaos or at least visible destruction.

There’s everything right about planning the shopping trip and everything wrong about forgetting what you planned. Below are valid reasons for you to stop and think about what you need before you shut the front door to go on your shopping trip.

Each and every one of these money saving essentials have been part of an ongoing family project for us because it’s not easy as parents to get it together even at the best of times.

Gone are the days where we had time to have a smoke, cup of coffee and a chat before heading to the grocery store. Picture daddy chasing toddler with one sock on and another in his hand, mommy filling bottles and getting snacks ready and trying to talk on the phone and get organized. We’re total disasters in this department but have worked hard to get back to basics with a mom and dad twist. Thank goodness for coffee, keeps us mellow.

Related: How we quit smoking for our health and our wallet

 

The Grocery Saving Bag to the rescue

 

When we venture out for our weekly shopping trip we go as a family most times so my wife and  boy can get out of the house. I also have one day off and like to do things with them even if it is grocery shopping. I’m afraid this time of year is too cold to be planning outside family events as our son doesn’t fancy the cold so much. I don’t blame him. This leaves us trips to the mall, grocery store and play centre for family fun.

Instead of leaving bits behind these days we’re all set and ready to go and have one thing to grab, The Grocery Savings Bag. While were window-shopping at The Goodwill shop we found this awesome little bag that we store all of our essentials in. If you love to knit or sew you can DIY something that suits you instead of buying a bag.

The key for us is to stock The Grocery Savings Bag as we plan our shopping trip so all we have to do is grab it on our way out the door. The best part is our bag is hanging on the peg board where our vehicle keys are so it’s hard to forget to grab it.

 

Each of these sometimes over-looked saving tools costs money if you don’t bring them along.

 

Re-usable Bags

 

How many times has the cashier asked if you needed bags and you look at him/her and say, “They’re in the car” or    “I left them at home” as if they care? Probably more than you can remember which is why you probably have a huge stash of shopping bags like we did.

There was a point where we looked in our garage on the wall and concluded that we had far too many plastic shopping bags. Literally we had 5 huge Value Village bags filled with shopping bags and had to do something about it. Now we have 4 or 5  re-usable bags that we roll up that goes in The Grocery Savings Bag as soon as we empty them. If we run out of bags I will look for boxes before we pay for shopping bags again.

We talked about counting all the plastic bags to see how much money it cost us for our lack of organization but that seemed like a big waste of time. It wasn’t going to improve anything because we had already decided we needed to change our ways.

 

Grocery list

 

texting from every grocery aisleWe are old-school grocery shoppers and hand-write our grocery list on our printable grocery list that we created years ago. Even that started to become scribbles on paper because we weren’t prepared with our printout so we used something else.

I have to admit that I’ve forgotten the grocery list many times but I’ve not lost it as many as the Mrs. has. Both of us have a love-hate relationship with the grocery list. Some of you might use your smartphone to store your grocery list which is great if that option works for you.

There is no way Mrs. CBB and I are able to use our phone to grocery shop with a toddler or even alone, we’d miss in-store savings. Almost 98% of the time we are scanning products which means shopping without blinders on and looking after our son.

There is no time to be fluffing about with a phone for us, besides I’m sure we’d upset someone behind us. Mrs. CBB can’t even steer the shopping cart straight at the best of times with what strength she has let alone trying to shop and use her phone.

To save us even more hassle as soon as we create our grocery list into The Grocery Savings Bag it goes. It’s a little dark in there right now but soon enough there will be a bit of light.

 

Charged Cell Phone/Calculator

 

Not to get back to the smartphone conversation but we’ve given it an honest shot in the past only for the phone to run out of battery mid-shop or not even turn on at all. Back to square one without a shopping list. If you opt to go this route always make sure to supercharge your cell phone before you leave the house and limit usage until after grocery shopping.

Let there be light…

You will always find a calculator lighting up the inside of The Grocery Savings Bag. It’s just a small one we have as back-up just in case the above battery drainage scenario happens on the phone. Honestly, we’ve used the mini calculator far more than we have ever used the phone.

We don’t ever take the calculator out of the bag unless it is at the grocery store which ensures we keep it in one spot at all times.

 

Coupons

 

We used to hate when we left our coupons at home and went on our shopping trip. There were times that Mrs. CBB would call the store and ask them if they would honour a few that she had forgotten and meant to take. Although they were nice about it, I’m sure if it were a monster envelope full they would have told her to go stuff it.

As we all know coupon savings filter through many coupon apps that are available to Canadians who want to scoop up more money. Pairing the coupon app with paper coupons is a huge money saving investment tool for consumers which means bringing coupons along must be a priority.

Any coupons we will use for our shopping trip will go into an envelope and stashed in The Grocery Savings Bag. The rest of the coupons go in a large Ziploc bag that we keep in our sons diaper bag side pocket. This is optional but has given us even more savings with unadvertised in-store specials in the past.

Big money loss if you planned to use coupons and forget them.

 

Envelope

 

Whether you use paper coupons or not you should carry an envelope or zippy bag at all times. Part of our budgeting series talks about being organized and everything having its own place. With the envelope you now have a place to store your rain checks, grocery receipts and any other paper related items you may need to bring along with you.

Mrs. CBB hates looking through her purse for receipts, coupons and other bits from our shopping trip when we get home. We’ve lost receipts in the past only to find them in the bottom corner of her purse after we tear everything apart.

These days we keep an envelope inside The Grocery Savings Bag and as soon as we cash out in goes the receipt before we leave the store. Use your Grocery Savings Bag as you would your wallet or purse. Step aside after you pay for your groceries and get organized for a couple of minutes. It will pay off in the long-run.

 

Pen/Paper

 

We always keep a pad of paper and pen in The Grocery Savings Bag because you never know when you’ll need it. Your calculator might fail you and you want to manually work out the maths on products to see which one is cheaper. You may want to track your expenses as you grocery shopping.

Whichever the case a pen and paper is always handy to have. For you smartphone fans… it’s better to be prepared than to have nothing at all. Be smart about your smartphone and always have back-up.

 

Wallet/Purse

 

Only once have I left home without my wallet, completed a full grocery shop and had the cashier ring it through only to find out my wallet was in the car. Thankfully it wasn’t at home because my face was already red enough as it was. From that point forward I had to be mindful not to leave it in the vehicle. Time is money and so is petrol so if you don’t want to drive back home to get your wallet or purse, don’t leave home or your car without it.

Mrs. CBB typically keeps The Grocery Savings Bag in her purse and opens it up so she can get out anything if needed. We like that it’s all in one spot and there is no more frustration ripping her purse apart. If I do grocery shop alone I take The Grocery Savings Bag and sit it inside of a reusable bag in my cart.

 

Shopping Trip Success

 

Sometimes we have to take measures into our own hands when we notice a trend in our lives that doesn’t quite jibe with our goals. In this case we kept it simple and created The Grocery Savings Bag to replace the coupon binder we used to lug around with us.

Use whatever method works for you but if you find you’re forgetting any of these vital money-saving tools re-vamp your shopping trip organizational plan so you don’t rip your hair our or risk your wife sending you back to the grocery store over and over.

Discussion Question:

How do you keep your shopping trip tools organized?

What money-saving items are a must to always remember in your household?

 

February 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

Congratulations to Ballot #2. You are our January Grocery Game Challenge Winner! Email me to claim your prize.

February 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: 431,000
  • 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

 

Costco

4 x Sealtest Cream $2.05 each

Total Out-Of-Pocket $8.20

Zehrs

  • 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27
  • 3 x Nescafe Instant Coffee $3.99
  • Planters Peanut Oil $6.49
  • Parsley Flakes Dry large $4.49
  • No Name Unsweetened Coconut $2.79
  • 2 x 2kg Kraft Peanut Butter $5.99 each
  • 2 x NN Pizza Mozzarella $3.77 450g
  • 1 dozen large eggs $1.97
  • PC Spinach Bag $1.99
  • 2 x Cauliflower organic reduced $1.49 each
  • Celery Root $5.16
  • Schneiders Black Forest Ham $8.99-50%
  • Low Salt Top Dogs $4.99-50%
  • 6 x Smokehouse Tradition Bacon $1.99 each
  • 2 x seedless cucumbers $1.79 each
  • Roma Tomatoes $4.99-50%
  • Whole chicken $7.61
  • Chicken Thighs $5.00
  • Chicken Drumsticks $5.00
  • 4 x Oliveri Tortellini 2/$14- 50%
  • 6400 PC Plus points earned

Total Out-Of-Pocket $122.50- $11.98 Peanut Butter $11.97 coffee= $98.55

  • Total to spend this month : $260
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $23.95
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $0
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $23.50
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $49.66
  • Total spent this week: $106.75
  • Total spent so far this month: $106.75
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $153.25
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

Hey everyone,

It’s February already wow. That means we have 11 months until Christmas, haha!! Start the savings today for tomorrow. You may have a 5 week January which is fine just keep posting your shops accordingly even if you are off a week from my shops. Ballots will always be entered for you no matter what. We did a bit of a stock up as you can see as we were running low on a few bits.

The wife practically hugged that celery root when she found it at Zehrs as she wants to work on making fries with it together with me.  I’ve never had one before have you? Expect a recipe for that one soon if we can make this happen. The peanut butter was an awesome deal that we couldn’t pass up for out little guy. He only likes it on the spoon though, no bread.

The instant Nescafe coffee was on sale so we stocked up on that too. There were plenty of 50% off stickers when we went it was hard to control ourselves. We ended up making adjustments to the grocery list to accommodate the deals. Not too shabby of a start even if it is over budget but we’ll catch up.

How was your shop?

Mr.CBB

 

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 to reflect changes 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 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 is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.

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

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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. Week 4 – Jan 27 – Feb 2, 2017
    Name Your Store: Food Basics
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $22.95

    Human
    8 Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup = $3.96
    4 Primo Pasta Sauce = $3.96
    St. Hubert Tourtiere = $5.99
    2 – 1 lb Baby Carrots = $1.98
    2 Cavendish Fries = $1.98
    4 – 1 L Chocolate Milk = $3.96
    1.75 L Raspberry/Lemonade = $.99

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 4200
    Total Out Of Pocket: $51.10

    Human
    3 NN Broth = $3.00
    2 NN Egg Noodles – (400 PC Points) = $4.00
    2 Canned Gravy = $2.00
    Quaker Instant Oatmeal – $2.50 (PM Freschco @ $1.99) = $1.99
    2 Classico Alfredo Sauces = $5.00
    375 g PC Hazelnut Spread = $2.67
    475 mL NN Ranch Dressing = $1.79
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    2 – 650 g Astro Yogurt = $4.00
    Bananas – 1.985 kg = $2.50
    Stewing Beef – (3200 PC Points) $8.26 + $7.41 = $15.67
    Tortilla – (600 PC Points) = $4.19

    Name Your Store: Frescho
    Total Coupons Used: $5.99
    Total Savings: $8.20
    Total Out Of Pocket: $9.99

    Human
    12 pack Astro Yogurt = $0.00 (Mfg Coupon Free – $2.99)
    4 Habitant Pea & Ham Soup = $3.96

    Cats
    2 Kg Whiskers = $4.99 ($3.00 Mfg Coupon)

    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: $42.49
    Left for the Month: $20.74
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $126.01

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $6.03
    Total Cats to Date: $13.92

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $19.92
    Total Stockpile to Date: $34.68

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

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $15.69
    Total Meat to Date: $86.32

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $5.99
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $5.99

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $8.20
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $10.70

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $0.51
    Total Price Match to Date: $5.51

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 4200
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 27926

    Overview: I’ve made up the overage from last week and still have $ left for next week basics. Took advantage of some more $0.99 sales and found more recipes that we want to try. This year will be an expansion of the meal roster so it should be interesting of some of the meals that are made.

    • Hi Dee,
      Great job on the yogurt Freebie. Where did you score that coupon from? This almost seems like a stock up shop for you which is always good especially when there are so many deals. The stewing beef gave you a nice chunk of PC points back. I really want to focus on PC points this year as we’ve been naughty and not looking as close as we could be. Where do you find most of your new recipes? Well done. You get ballot #1.

      • The yogurt coupon was in the flyer bundle, if I remember correctly. The recipes are from emails that I receive from different blog recipe sites, such as Kraft. I’ve put the new recipes on the WFD site and converted them into Pinterest for ease of finding again. If something catches my eye and sound good, we’ll put it on the list to try. I’ve always looked at the PC points but they don’t always connect with that week’s shopping.

    • Mary F Campbell says:

      Nice comeback on your overage! We recently hit the Walmart Cream of Mushroom Soup sale and scored ours for $0.44/can. Patience is a virtue when it comes to getting the right price, isn’t it?

      I was wondering, your Meat Budget…is that for you to use with a butcher when they have a package sale? Does it help? I haven’t bought a lot of meat/fish lately and I am just wondering if this might work for us too. We both like barbecues so it might be a way for us to have them more frequently without pinching & twisting our budget all out of shape. Here I go again…another reserve! LOL 🙂

      • Thanks Mary. Since we use Cream of Mushroom Soup in so many dishes, the right price is great but hard to find. I recently went back to Wal-Mart for the first time since they banned the Visa credit cards there.

        The meat budget/reserve was started so that I’d have the funds when my friend would butcher his cows or pigs and I could get a large quantity for decent money. Now I set money aside in my PE account so that when I need to get ground beef, chicken, etc the funds are there or supposed to be there. I set aside around $20 every two weeks (since I’m paid bi-weekly) for my meat budget so that gives me approximately $500 to spend over the year.So far it has worked well for us but this year, I think we are going to have to look at things differently since I’ve gone thru 1/5 of the budget but not 1/5 of the calendar year.

        I understand, I had to create another PE reserve myself this year to start saving for next year’s taxes. Never thought I had enough money left to cover it but I managed to squeak by.

  2. I find that my keeping my bags/bin in the car, that’s one less step to forgetting them. I usually have my daughter with me so I did forget them in the car, I send her out to get them. I have been known to forget my grocery list at home so I’ve taken to putting the list into my phone case since the phone is right there.

  3. I love these 7 items for shopping success.
    We started doing better before our youngest was born because we were finally starting to get a solid Routine.
    I think routine is every thing (after all routine done long enough becomes habit)

    I think having a printed shopping list is one of the most important for me. Hate looking on a device just for the device to go dark
    or have to take a call or one of the many other problems like a dead battery or needing for calculations.

    Keeping the phone/device separate and just having a list I think is the best way to go. Easier to check off too. .

  4. Mary F Campbell says:

    Mr CBB, you didn’t say who ballot #2 is. I went back and looked to find it is Julie. Congratulations Julie!

  5. Mary F Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #5 of 5- Jan 30-Feb. 5, 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 hate the last week of the month! My coin purse is ALWAYS pretty light so I had to re-work, massage & manipulate the meal plan, and consequently the grocery list, just in order to stay on budget. I generally pout for a few hours when I realize I can’t make a certain dish until next month because the funds simply aren’t there to support the ingredients that I do not have on hand. Don’t get me wrong, we eat and we eat very well, but not necessarily exactly “what we want” “when we want it”. That delayed gratification thing crops up every single month end at our house! LOL I have to be “the strong one” with enforcing the budget and meal plan because hubby has no idea what’s scheduled on the meal plan for a given day until I tell him but that has it’s advantages…if I don’t FEEL like what’s on the schedule for tonight, I can swap it with another night scheduled for this week. 🙂

    The first month of the 2017 grocery game challenge is behind us and I am happy to say – we managed to stay on budget! Woo hoo! FYI, rather than carry any leftover funds forward into the next month, assuming we have leftover funds which we did this month for a whopping $2.43, I will add them to our Re-Stocking Reserve.

    On the other hand, any overages will be carried forward and reduce the available funds for the following month. That’s definitely not a desirable scenario because I’m running a pretty darned tight budget as it is! 🙁 Starting out in the hole can lead to several months of trying to catch up, as I have learned from experience, so if I have any doubt that last week of the month as to whether or not I can stay on track…I am staying home and making it a NO SHOP week! I can ALWAYS make a week’s worth of meals with what we have on hand if I need to. 🙂

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    What can I say…it’s a LOW SHOP WEEK … I mean really how much can a person buy when all you have to spend is $16.50?!

    The dinners I have planned for this week are:

    (1) Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad, Garlic Sausage, Cheese & Crackers for hubby (I had a cup of broth because I felt poorly), (2) Ham & Cheese Waffles + an Omelette with cheese & onion for hubby only as the waffle was enough for me, (3) Russian Cabbage Pie with roasted potatoes & onions & Steamer Veggies, (4) Baked Lemon French Toast with roasted dilled carrots & an Apple-Fennel-Celery Salad, (5) Apple Pancakes with a Caesar Salad (6) Slow Cooker Potato Dill Soup with Greek Nachos (yum!) & last but not least (7) a Low Carb Crab Florentine Bake served over rice with a side of buttered peas & onions.

    I am also offering the following dessert choices this week:

    (A) a slice of Date Loaf (B) Blueberry Biscuits with a slice of cheddar (C) a Butterscotch Confetti Square, (D) Apples (Red Delicious, Granny Smith or Gala), Mandarin Oranges or Lemons or (E) Lemon Pudding.

    These don’t even include the Amish Raisin Cookies, granola bars & Rice Krispie squares that we have leftover from last week nor the literally PILES of candy, nuts and chocolate leftover from Christmas. There’s no shortage of treats to entice your sweet tooth in this house but I like “salty” more than “sweet” so the treats last a long time to use up and tend to end up in hubby’s lunches! LOL 🙂

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x 8 oz Bag Cremini Mushrooms
    1 Shallot
    1 Large Sweet Onion (about 1 LB)
    2 Green Onions
    1 small Fennel Bulb
    1 Sour Cream

    Total Budget OOP: $14.07 << I misplaced the receipt so I only have the total from the credit card charge

    ** 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: $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

    ($ 37.24) NET RESERVE TRANSFERS

    ($ 152.76) Actual CASH SPENT Y-T-D

    $ 0.00 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 95.98 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 $1,311.68. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $92.43 that we have added in 2017, LESS $55.19 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.

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

    • Hi Mary,
      Bit of an onion-fest this shop hehe! Would dinner number 4 be a sweet dish then? I’m only asking because of the french toast. Did you always carry over money in the past? I always thought it went to the reserve. Good luck with us having any leftover money. The rate we are going we’ll never have any reserve. Maybe though since we increased our budget for the little guy. Mrs. CBB has slowed down on the baked goods and using the different flours in the kitchen. She’s sticking more to the simple recipes of vegetables and protein. How long are you staying in the USA when you go? Day-trip?
      Congrats on making it to February considering you weren’t sure how that was going to fly in your books but I knew you could do it!!!
      Well done Mary. You get ballot #2. Almost summer!! haha…

  6. Ok, I’m in…I have been struggling to get our grocery budget down, without avail, for over a year, so am intrigued by this process. Not sure how to get started but here goes….along with my questions…

    ​Family of 4
    Name Your Store ie: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0 (Having a hard time with this one, finding coupons to use. I did download the apps you recommended)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $89.53
    Points Overview : 2000 today, 22,975 accumulated (I’m saving these for Xmas spending)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $800.00 (this includes all things bought at the grocery store, should I break it down?)
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $700.00 (starting out behind the 8-ball)
    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: 22.975
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $- applied, waiting for approval – yay!
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Snap Groupon to date: $ – do they have grocery store coupons usually, don’t see any besides Costco
    Zweet to date: $ – hoping to start using this this month
    Cart Smart to date:$ – can’t find this app
    Checkout51 to date: $15.00 (been using this about a year, haven’t made it to $20 yet)
    Save.ca to date: $ (just printed my first two coupons)
    Reebee to date: $ (is this essentially the same as Flipp…I see flyers but no coupons)
    Caddle to date: $1.75 (just signed up, cool)
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Stockpile budget 2017 ($25.00):$25.00 (never thought of this before, will start with this)
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total in-store discounts this week:$8.84 <– is this including all sale items?
    Total in-store discounts to date: $8.84
    Total spent this week: $72.55 (I deducted a takeout chicken and potatoe wedges from this amount, correct?)
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $102.45 under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
    Total left to spend for the month: $627.45
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $72.55
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): I really went in with no plan other than to pick up supper and the things we really needed. I did look at the Superstore flyer for any specials and I scanned the grocery store credit apps afterwards to see if there was anything I cold redeem. I will likely make another stop today or tomorrow, which I assume should all be included as one submission? But I wanted to get this in to get your feedback. 🙂

    • Hi Mary Ann,
      Thanks for your GGC submission and I hope we can get that grocery budget of yours under control. Everything looks great here apart from we need to know the products that you purchased. If you have a look in the comment section of the grocery game post you’ll see how the other GGC players do their write-up. You can also simply look at our shop at the end of each GGC post to see how we share the products we purchased. This helps us all get a better sense of what you are spending your money on rather than only seeing a number. Yes, once you are finished your shopping for the week you will put your GGC post up. Once in a while we shop when we are not supposed to after we posted because once we shop in the CBB house we try to avoid the stores so we add that amount to the following week. We also don’t carry over any extra money from the month of grocery shopping if we underspend but if we overspend we carry that over and try to make it up otherwise your end goal just gets further away.
      If you have any other questions feel free to ask and any of us will reply. I’m sure some of the GGC players will chime in here with some tips for you as they’ve been doing it for years.
      You get ballot #3. Mr.CBB

    • Mary F Campbell says:

      Hi Mary Ann! Welcome to the GGC!

      I swear by posting my shops…it keeps me accountable, on budget and is a HUGE motivator to not “just this once” justify a purchase when I know I have to own up to it in front of my fellow posters. 🙂 The biggest thing for me is that in all the years of posting here, I have never had to raise my budget! How many folks can say that? I have learned more budget friendly dishes on the What’s for Dinner feed on Facebook (Canadian Budget Binder’s page) & I have email recipes daily in my Inbox to review for tweaking to suit my family. By reducing the cost of my meals… I can keep pace with the ever increasing food prices without having to spend more. I’ve learned to buy less, shop my pantry and freezer first, that sales will come around again so I don’t need to buy today and a huge saver has been eliminating waste.

      You might wonder why the girls call me the Queen of Soups – I throw everything in the pot rather than pitch it so that I get a little extra life out of my purchases. If it’s really in wobbly shape…I freeze it in my Ziploc to make a vegetable broth when it is full of scraps & peelings. We run a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with only 1 bag of garbage per week and honestly if I was willing to work a little harder on my recycling & possibly composted, I am sure we could reduce that to 1 bag every 2-3 weeks. But honestly, we live near a river so I am unwilling to compost and attract the rodents to my back yard. 🙁

      I hope you get out of the posting all that you need to find. I sure did! 🙂

  7. Julie Anderson says:

    Oh my I did have ballet number 2!! How exciting! I have been away this week and what a nice surprise!! Thanks! Will be posting my shop tomorrow!!

  8. I never do my grocery without my list and eco-bag. These help me save money and time and makes me productive..

  9. Julie Anderson says:

    Grocery budget

    Name Your Store: Independent
    Total Coupons Used: 24.00
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $133.49

    Tide Pods 4 X $4.99 – 4 X 2.00 coupons: $11.96
    4000 pc points
    Nescafe sweet & creamy: $5.99 sale $3.99
    Beneful Dog food X 2: 7.99 sale $6.49 less $3.00 X 2 coupon: $6.98
    Begging strips dog treat: $3.49 sale $2.99
    Pedigree dog food X 2: $7.99 Sale $7.00 less bogo coupon: $ 7.00
    1900 PC Points
    PC Maple Syrup11.99 sale 9.99
    1900 PC Points
    2 L chocolate milk x 2: $3.99: Sale $2.49: $4.98
    Lentil chips clear-out: 2 X $1.98: 3.88
    Mushrooms $4.99 pink sticker: 2.49
    Chipotle Caeser dressing: $4.99 less$1.50 coupon: $3.49
    Caesar dressing: $6.99 less $1.50 coupon: $5.49
    Romaine Heart: $3.49
    Bananas: $2.07
    Pears: $4.74
    800 PC Points
    English cucumber: $2.19
    800 PC Points
    Yellow Peppers$3.54 pink sticker: $1.77
    Johnstones Apple Sausage: 5.99 pink sticker $1.27: $2.54
    Cilantro: .99
    Grape tomatoes: $3.99
    Green Pepper $3.99 pink sticker: $1.99
    Ground turkey 5.99 Less pink sticker: $4.29
    Chicken Thighs (ware house pack) X 2: $40.20 less pink sticker $28.20
    6600 PC Points on fresh poultry
    Chicken Sausages Mango chipotle: 5.99 Clear-out 2.77 X 2: $5.54
    Sesame hamburger buns: $2.99 pink sticker $1.50
    Gorgonzola Cheese $9.99 clear-out $3.97
    800 PC Points
    PC cheese and Bacon Dip: $5.99 clear-out: $3.00
    Pillars Chorizo sausage: $9.99 Clear-out: $4.27
    1500 PC Points for shopping the first Tuesday of the Month
    1550 In digital Offers
    30500 in PC Points total

    • Name Your Store Superstore
    Total Coupons Used:
    • Total Out Of Pocket: 21.20
    • 3 fryers chickens at $1.99 a pound
    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:269525
    • Air miles Points:542
    Zweet to date: $5.50
    • Cart Smart to date:$
    • Checkout51 to date: $32.00
    • 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: $128.62
    • Stockpile budget Used this Week:21.20
    • Total coupons used this week: $ 24.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $64.77
    • Total in-store discounts this week:$61.98
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $291.98
    • Total spent this week: $154.69
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $32.81 under
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $32.81 under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $595.31
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $645.76
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    Wow February already!! I did well with using coupons and points this week, Our local stores offer 15% off the first Tuesday of the month and Independent offers 7000 PC points on a 50 dollar spend or 15000 on a 100 spend so I made a total of 30500 in points on a 133.00 shop so it was a very good return plus the use of 24.00 in coupons. I stocked up on whole chickens and thighs so that should be good for the month unless I find some great unadvertised sales. I have lots of veggies so it should be a good week!!
    I am the worst at forgetting my shopping bags but have done so well this year. As soon as I put my groceries away they go right back in to my car, hope I can keep this up. I always do a list matching points and coupons beside each item and I find it keeps me on track.

    I had a surplus from shopping last month but I won’t carry it over, I will just carry on using what I have budgeted and put the surplus in my Christmas account.
    My menu plan this week, is turkey chili, homemade turkey pot pie from the freezer for family dinner tomorrow with salad, a new recipe for shawarma chicken, Vietnamese lettuce wraps with duck, moose steak with blue cheese and mushrooms and chicken fajitas to use up my peppers, will make homemade corn tortillas to go with those. Wishing everyone a great shopping week!

    • Hi Julie,
      Sweet deal on the Tide Pods. So you paid approx $1.99 after points plus tax. Oh the days of buying dog food and treats I remember that. I remember one year we got so much free dog food we were giving it away. I’m interested in the Apple Sausage. I keep seeing more sweet type sausages pop up in the meat department but haven’t tried anything but Maple. You get PC points for shopping the first Tuesday of the month? Fill me in. How do you know this? I love watching those “In store discounts” add up. Last year we saved more on in-store specials then we did using coupons. I’ll be talking about that on the blog soon. Is this the first time you’ve tracked your savings grocery shopping? After a few months of posting your shops you can then sit and evaluate what you purchased, did you use it, was it worth it and can you use alternatives or eliminate it in the future. This is why the GGC documentation is so important. Well done and yes we do the same with grocery bags although I typically look for boxes if I can find them in the store to pack groceries. Those lettuce wraps by the way sound amazing. Mrs. CBB loves the lettuce wraps too. They are handy instead of the high carbs in tortillas. What recipe do you use for the corn tortillas? Well done… great job. You get ballot #5.. MR.CBB

      • Julie Anderson says:

        Yes i definitely utilize store points and that is my best savings over coupons, I try to use coupons for things we normally use but I don’t chase after coupons like I did a few years ago. This is the first time I have tracked my groceries and it is an eye opener, my biggest downfall is my love of cooking and I would see a new recipe and run to the store to get the ingredients, I now look at what we have and look for new recipes to use my current stock up. I am proud to say my wastage has gone way down in the last month especially with produce.
        The sweet sausages are actually really good, my family really enjoys the Marc Angelo Mango Chipoltle ones, I thought I would give the Apple ones a try because the price was right!
        Yes most of the stores here offer extra points the first Tuesday of the month, maybe it is just in the Western provinces? Independent Grocers offers 7000 PC points on a 50.00 spend or 15000 points on 100.00 spend usually the first Monday and Tuesday of the Month. Sobeys, Safeway and IGA offer 10 % off any shop over 50.00 or 20x the Air Miles, it used to be 15% but I noticed the flyer said 10% this week. Save on foods offers 15% or 25 times Save On reward points on a spend over 50.00. Sometimes I go to two different stores depending on the sales.
        I do make my own corn tortillas, it is important to use Maseca corn flour, it has taken a few attempts but I think they are darned good!!I don’t have a tortilla press it just isn’t worth the money for the amount of times you use them so I just hand roll them between two sheets of saran wrap, a bit time consuming but it works! Here is a link to tips on making them.http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/fix-dry-corn-tortillas
        and here is the recipe http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/fresh-corn-tortillas.
        I have also used a recipe that uses some wheat flour with the Masa as well and it comes together a bit easier but if you are eating gluten free the one with just the corn flour is the way to go. I check value village regularly for a tortilla press, i will hit the jackpot one day!!

        • I’m going to look into that and see if we have anything similar in Ontario unless someone else already knows. We used to be hard-core coupon users but not anymore. The odd time we may score something special but back in 2010-2012 it was insane the free stuff we got. We are just seeing a big dent know in our stockpile which I was going to write about. I wish I kept tabs on how much we saved and the regular price. It was easily in the thousands…. and we haven’t had to buy hardly any health and beauty or laundry at all since.

    • Mary F Campbell says:

      I saw those fryer chickens @ $1.99/lb and I was totally tempted but I didn’t NEED them this week what with the pantry/freezer items already on hand. I’ll try and catch the next sale because I am dying to make a batch of Sicilian Chicken Soup. Seeing as you have the chicken though you might like this recipe:

      http://www.adashofsanity.com/2014/03/sicilian-chicken-soup/

    • Mary F Campbell says:

      Could you please post your corn tortilla recipe here or the link that you use. I would love to have a tried and true recipe so I could make my own. Thanks! 🙂

  10. My Grocery Shop This Week
    January 30 – February 5

    No Frills
    Water Chestnuts – $1.69
    Christie Triscuit crackers – $2.47
    No Name Sour Cream 500 ml – $2.47
    Wonder Bread – $2.47
    2 Snairs Bread round loaf – 2 X $2.79 = $5.58
    2 Bartlett Pears – $.395/kg – $1.45
    2 packs of Old Mill 6 pack of Cinnamon Raisin Bagels – $3.97
    Farmers 4 litres jug of 1% milk – 5.19
    Oasis Juice – $2.99
    Lays Chips – $2.47
    No Name Cheese Crunchits – $1.79
    Tax – $.64
    Bottle deposit – .10
    Total coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out of Pocket – $33.28

    Sobeys

    Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix – $2.29
    Red Pepper – .235/kg – $1.81
    Orange Pepper – .220/kg – $1.69
    Beef Stir Fry Strips – $3.59
    Montreal Smoked Deli Meat – $2.84
    Honey of Ham Deli Meat – $2.49
    5 pack of cooked Chicken Wings – $4.99
    Tax – $.75
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out of Pocket – $20.45
    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: 24,050
    • 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 ($200.00):$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: $53.73
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: Over $3.73
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: Over $3.73
    • Total left to spend for the month: $146.27
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $151.16, February $53.73 = $204.89
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    I went over a bit this week as I bought ingredients last minute to make a Spinach Dip for a party I attended. I missed posting last week, but I did come in under budget by $48.84 for January.
    I keep my grocery bags in the trunk of my car that way they are always with me. No Frills charges 5 cents a bag and I refuse to pay for bags. Our municipality is looking at getting rid of plastic bags. I really try to have everything organized and planned before I head out to the grocery store, if not I find I always overspend.

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better! Have a great week! Jennifer

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Go ahead and post your shop for last week it still counts and will help you on your journey. We are the same. If we don’t plan we overspend which is why we started The Grocery Game back in January 2012. Our biggest issue is balancing in-store specials with our budget because sometimes they are too hard to pass up although we’ve gotten better at saying, no. What are your goals with The Grocery Game Challenge? What seems to be your biggest concern? Welcome and well done. You have money left to spend for the month so you’re still on track. You get ballot #6. Mr.CBB

    • Mary F Campbell says:

      Hi Jennifer!

      I’ve been able to mostly combat the overspending of a last minute purchase by setting up my “reserves”. Do you think a little slush fund for those “last minute must haves” or “I want it but it’s not in the budget” kind of purchases would be useful to you? It’s just a suggestion but it sure has save my bacon over and over again! When I get a craving for candied smoked salmon strips (on sale for 400g it is nearly $20), and my hubby wouldn’t touch them for love or money, it helps me justify my splurge & I don’t feel like I am depriving him. As long as I keep tasty food on the table for him 3 meals a day, I can accept the occasional splurge that’s just for me. I watch for his treats on sale too…popcorn, Cheetos, Freetos, potato chips, dip for his veggies, tater tots, hash browns, fries and onion rings not to mention those RCSS deli meat lover’s pizzas . 🙂

      We all post our progress here but I strongly encourage you to walk to the beat of your own drummer! Track the things that are meaningful to you and that help run your grocery budget in a way that works for your family.

      Did you see my Summer Reserve? I have 2 FREE trips to the Okanagan planned this summer, using Air Miles for my hotels & part of our meals and a gas gift card to cover the trip. My Vacation Budget has 2 categories… Travel (ie hotels, car rentals, admissions & airfare) and the Food and Gas section where I already have the funds on deposit earning interest for our 2017 trips…9 of them in total for 2017 but many just a weekend here and there. The Summer Reserve will allow me to stock up on fresh from the orchards and farms Okanagan fruit and vegetables. Freezing, canning and dehydrating days are ahead for us. 🙂

      You’ll see as the year progresses that I share my vacation spending here because I am not buying our food at home when we are away. Hubby has extra holidays this year – 7 weeks in total. If you look at our budget $2,280 per year/52 weeks is $43.65 approx per week X 7 weeks = $305.55. If I stay on budget the rest of the year…that $305.55 should end up increasing my reserves budgets and will replenish my Summer Reserve spending that we have planned. It’s all about the big picture at our house.

      Congratulations on being under $48.84 in January. Could you use that to set up your slush fund? 🙂

  11. 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 : $13.25
    Checkout51 to cash out : $33.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    1-6pack Powerade -3.99
    1 plum sauce -2.99
    2 pasta sauce @2.29
    2 4l milk @4.27
    2 packs perogies @1.99
    bananas -1.44
    1 W/W bread- 2.49
    Tax -.52
    Total out of pocket -$34.02

    Foodland #2
    1-214 count Tetley tea bags -11.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 pack tetras apple juice- 2.50
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 box soda crackers -3.79
    1 ketchup -3.49
    2 kg Kraft peanut butter @2.99
    6 cans past sauce @3/5.00
    2 packs pasta @1.99
    1 can pineapple tidbits _1.39
    2 4l milk @4.27
    2X18 large eggs @2.99
    15 lbs potatoes -4.99
    Bananas -1.40
    2 bagels @2/5.00
    2 W/W bread @2.49
    Total out of pocket -$82.47
    Jackson’s Pharmacy
    2 Herbal Essence shampoo @2.00, Health and Beauty
    2 HE conditioner @2.00, Health and Beauty
    2 Arm and Hammer laundry @2.99, stockpile
    2-6pack Royale tissues @3.99, stockpile
    Total out of pocket – $8.00 H&B, $13.96 stockpile
    Canadian Tire
    2 Method hand soap @6.79, H&B
    4 sugar @1.97, stockpile
    1 cat litter -5.74, cats
    Total out of pocket – $6.79, H&B, $1.97 stockpile, 5.74 cats

    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $21.84
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $8.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $24.80
    Total spent this week: $116.49
    Total spent so far this month: $116.49
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $533.51
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $464.09+Feb $

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Well under for the week which will leave me a nice cushion for a trip to No Frills one of these weeks!! There is room left too from last month for those more expensive months. We really didn’t need the cat litter at CT but it was on sale for the big box and I hate having to pay full price for it. The Method hand soap is gentle and I have sensitive skin, most liquid soaps irritate but this doesn’t. That tends to make it worth getting but, again, I buy on sale as much as I can. It isn’t warm enough yet for the older boy to drink the Powerade but it was a good price so I got it for later.

    • Hi Christine,
      You have the Powerade on the go again. I suppose you will be stocking up on that and tea for the summer months if you find some great sales. A trip to No Frills always needs a good bouncy cushion, ha! I know how tempting it can be especially if you only have a small shop in town with higher prices. I had the same problem living in the UK. Living in a small village we only had the village shop and you would pay far higher prices than driving into the main city.
      If you know you are going to use something and if you have the money budgeted then buy it. I don’t blame you as anything pet related can get pricey. I remember we stocked up many times when our dog was still alive. Great shopping… looking forward to your NO Frills Shop. You get ballot #21. Mr.CBB
      P.S great deal on the peanut butter. Remember when it was $7.99… it probably is when it’s not on sale. I haven’t checked lately.

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