grocery game monthly challenge

6 Grocery Budget Sacrifices Of A Frugal Shopper : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #2 Feb 6-12

6 Grocery Budget Sacrifices of a Frugal Shopper

STOP AND CONSIDER WHETHER YOU ARE PUTTING ENOUGH EFFORT INTO SAVING AS MUCH MONEY AS YOU CAN WHILE FOOD SHOPPING.

 

Grocery shopping should not be difficult but without unlimited funds walking into a grocery store and putting whatever you fancy into a shopping cart can be costly.

Some shoppers don’t care about saving money but complain that grocery prices are too high. Then there is the frugal shopper who will pull out all the strings to save money but not without sacrifices.

Which shopper are you?

Frugal doesn’t mean you are cheap it means you are smart with your money. Don’t get me wrong there are still plenty of smart shoppers who aren’t frugal shoppers but just happen to land on deals wherever they go.

Lucky maybe?

We’re not in the CBB house so we opt for the frugal lifestyle so we can concentrate on paying our debts, increasing our retirement savings and enjoying life without the added worry of more bills. Why? We pay everything in full.

Related: Why are you being frugal when you don’t have to be?

Arriving at the point where money stress wasn’t getting in the way of our reasoning when grocery shopping has made us stronger consumers. We know what we want, how much we want to pay and reasons why being a frugal shopper is important to us.

If you’re someone who has tried to slash their grocery budget but is still struggling then either your amount is not enough for the people you are feeding or you’re buying the wrong stuff. By that I mean you probably shouldn’t be buying a $20 steak if your budget for 4 is $100 a week. You could but stretching your dollar is one of the trademarks of the frugal shopper. Opt for the roast that will go further for the same price.

Related: Are you eating too much?

If you want to follow the frugal shopper footsteps it’s time to ditch the expensive, regular priced food products and put on your bargain glasses. Start the hunt for deals that will jive with your family meal plan and save you money. It won’t happen on its own either so if you’re not ready to make sacrifices then you’re not ready to be a frugal shopper.

Everyone wants to save money but are you really making enough sacrifices each time you shop for a lower grocery bill? Sometimes a simple grocery list is best when it comes to cutting costs and eating healthy foods in your diet.

There is no reasonable grocery budget because everyone has different needs and bank accounts. Just because your neighbour with 2 kids spends $500 a month on groceries and you can only spend $300 doesn’t mean a thing.

Related: How much should my grocery budget be?

You can read all the grocery store shopping tips you want until you are blue in the face but if you don’t commit to change and sacrifice you’ll always spend more money.

Let’s dispel the myth that buying cheap groceries only happens if you shop at the Dollar Store, Food Basics, Freshco, No Frills or any other grocery store considered “Low-end” “Cheap Prices”.

Even Walmart grocery shopping has been coined one of the best places to grocery shop and price-match but not always offering the best prices. Just about every food store will generate grocery store prices that are competitive which means there are bargains everywhere, every day, every week, every month.

 

Sacrifices of the Frugal Shopper

 

Your monthly grocery expenses should be based from a grocery budget built into your monthly budget. In other words the only way to know how much your grocery budget will be is if you have a monthly budget.

You can’t just pick a number out of thin air and hope that it will leave you enough money for the month. Stop telling yourself that you know your money and how much you can spend. You can do better, way better than that.

If you aren’t using a grocery budget that is the first mistake you are making.

 

Grocery budget

 

You need a budget if you want to save MORE money when you grocery shop. Sure, you can save money if you shop the flyer specials every week however that still doesn’t tell you whether you are overspending. Most often those people who find themselves deep in debt have no idea how it happened.

A few dollars here, a night out here all adds up and before you know it you’ve got money you owe to a credit card company or an empty bank account. I’m the first to admit that budgeting sucks however it is very rewarding. No one wants to live on a budget but let’s be real here, we all don’t have personal chefs and live in a mansion. Even then the rich folk still need to know what’s coming in and going out because they are not above building debt.

Budgeting is a must though for any serious frugal shopper who wants to tackle lowering their grocery budget and finding out how much money they are spending. Most often it’s an eye opener once someone tracks their food shopping for the first month or two because numbers can be shocking. Not only that but having a look at the amount of food we buy can help us put the brakes on buying too much food.

 

Compare grocery prices

 

The cost of food per month spent in each household is increasing for many Canadians which means that becoming a frugal shopper is a must. Food price comparison using a Grocery price book (download yours free) is a great way to learn your prices and know when you find the best deals.

We’ve been using ours for a while now and although some of the products we typically purchase have gone up some have gone down. Cream which we use everyday in our coffee used to be $3.99 for 1L but over the past year we’ve seen that price decrease as have a dozen eggs holding steady at $1.97.

 

Organic grocery/Specialty stores

 

You don’t have to sacrifice what you really want if you become a frugal shopper but that means you must take charge of your grocery budget. There’s no guessing games if you plan to tighten the budget and save money this year. Frugal shoppers don’t just hang out at the local big box grocery stores to buy their food.

Be open to new experiences, local small shops, markets and other places that sell food products in your area and explore the sales. You’ll probably wonder why you’ve bought meat at the grocery store for so long when the butcher will give you a better deal. Find out.

Organic grocery stores are known for having higher prices for obvious reasons but  there are savings to be had. If you take the time to read the flyers don’t toss local grocery stores that sell strictly organic foods. I’ve read the produce section many times and noticed prices on fruits and vegetables that were cheaper than your typical grocery store.

Why would you make a special trip to an organic grocery store?

Well, if organic is what you really want but can’t afford you might want to make that trip to scoop up the deals. Do the benefits outweigh the negatives? That means are the potential savings worth your time and travel expense. If yes then go.

You could also try price-matching to save time and transportation costs too. If you do end up making the trip have a look around to see if there are any other bargains while you are there. Budget sacrifices are a great way to save money but don’t brush what you really want under the rug if you can squeeze it in your budget. Even better if it’s on sale.

 

Master grocery list

 

Grocery shopping would be fun if we didn’t have to worry about money but this is not the reality many people face. Every frugal shopper has a master grocery list which they keep in their heads. By this I mean there are certain products that they will buy because they’ve done their homework and it’s the best price for their budget.

A master list might also contain only the products a shopper is willing to purchase unless a better brand is on sale. You basically have a back up for every product you might be sacrificing.

For example: If you love Heinz Ketchup but it’s out of your price range you will sacrifice what you want for what you need and that might be a no-name brand ketchup. Most likely the ketchup is the same, possibly came from the same production plant but just under a yellow or generic product label. The frugal shopper has the no-name brand on the master list but keeps Heinz on their radar.

Related: No Name vs. Name Brand

It’s a matter of knowing what you want, what you can afford and how you plan to get what you want provided you get everything else you need. Wow, that makes total sense to me so I hope you can work your way around what I’m trying to say here.

 

They track the cost of food per year

 

The frugal shopper always knows how much money they are spending every week, every month and every year on groceries. You might include food, health and beauty and cleaning supplies in your food budget but you must know how much you are spending on food.

Tracking your food is doing more than simply budgeting it’s having the ability to see what products you’ve bought, how much they cost you and where you are able to make improvements in the future. The Grocery Game Challenge has been going strong for five years now and every player who has been by my side will tell you how important it has been to their grocery success.

Know what you have to spend, Know what you are buying, Know where you can cut-back.

It’s that easy.

 

Make the time to save money

 

We’d all love to watch a movie at night, chat to friends or have fun with the family. Family night is important however so is money in respect to basic needs. I’ve heard myself say I don’t have time to do something but later realize that I could have better managed my times.

Time management is without a doubt the biggest reason that a frugal shopper can save so much money. They find the time to figure out the deals, order coupons, use coupon apps, grocery surveys, price-match etc. Essentially they plan their grocery shop and execute it almost meticulously.

The frugal shopper is not safe from the grocery store whispers either which means, we screw up too. Being mindful of your time management and incorporating time each week may be a sacrifice away from family or hobbies but it’s important.

Don’t be lazy about your money or it will conquer you- Mr.CBB

If you’re reading this then you probably want to become a frugal shopper and save money. Good for you and welcome to CBB.  A frugal shopper is a smart shopper and with that comes rewards. You choose them.

Discussion Question:

If you are a frugal shopper what are some sacrifices you’ve had to make so your food budget balances?

 

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

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

2 x Sealtest Cream $2.05 each

Kirkland Apple Smoked Ham $14.99

Total Out-Of-Pocket $19.10

Had to run in and pick-up a birthday cake so I grabbed cream too while I was there.

Zehrs

  • 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.99
  • Bag of Radishes $1.99

Total Out-Of-Pocket $12.52

  • 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: $0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $49.66
  • Total spent this week: $31.62
  • Total spent so far this month: $138.37
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $121.63
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

Hey everyone,

We didn’t need much this week after last weeks grocery shop plus we had dinner out again this weekend for a birthday party. I got the leftovers though, ha! A quick run into Costco to pick up the birthday cake meant I could quickly grab a box of wipes which were on sale. It was great because we typically buy Kirkland brand but the Huggies was on sale and it came with the refill bucket and travel case which we’ve always wanted.

Other than a zip in for milk and a few other bits at Zehrs we took a break from the food shopping this week.
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

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

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Free Image From- of galzpaka 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. 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: $10
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 57260
    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
    1kg Kraft peanut butter -2.99
    1-18 count large eggs -2.99
    1 W/W bread -2.99
    1 grated parmesan cheese- 5.75
    1 bread crumbs -2.49
    Total out of Pocket -$17.21

    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 cocoa -4.99
    1 bottle soya sauce -2.99
    1 jar Ggherkins pickles -2.49
    2 Rice Krispies holiday -1.99
    1 bag rice -1.99
    1 can pineapple tidbits -1.99
    2 4l milk @4.27
    1 yogurt -2.99
    bananas -.85
    1 fresh whole chicken -6.58
    2 bagels @2/5.00
    Total out of Pocket -$52.87

    No Frills
    2 Downy @4.47, $3.00 WUB 2 coupon
    2 Dawn dish soap @2.47, 2X.50 coupons
    1 Gain Flings -4.47, $2.00 coupon(for my Uncle)
    4-144 count Tetley tea bags @4.97
    2 tomato sauce @ 1.79
    2 pasta sauce @1.49
    2 MM tetra juices @3.00
    4 tomato paste @.52, 200 pc points
    3 cranberry cocktail @2.77
    4 NN apple sauce @1.29
    1 jar pickled onions -1.89
    1 NN plum sauce -2.69
    2 apple cider mix @3.39
    1 Cheerios -4.97
    2 boxes saltine crackers @3.77, 1200 pc points
    2 packages pasta @1.27
    1 pc greek yogurt -2.97, 300 pc points
    2 4l milk @ 4.27
    3lbs carrots -1.79
    bananas -1.06
    1 green pepper -.79
    2 boxes chicken nuggets PM to Food Basics @4.88, 500 pc points
    1 bagels -1.67, 400 pc points
    1 raisin bread -3.00
    1 pack beef tortellini- 5.00
    Tax- 3.27
    Total out of Pocket -$114.60, $10. gift card, 6.00 coupons, 2600 pc points

    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $6.00
    Total coupons used to date: $14.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $24.80
    Total spent this week: $184.68
    Total spent so far this month: $301.17
    Total over/Under spend this shop:over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $348.83
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $464.09 +Feb $

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Finally made it to No Frills this week. There was a lot of bulk buying there but not much that I would call stocking up as none of it will last that long. I was well under last week and last month so there is plenty of room building up for those expensive months…..

    • Hey there..
      I guess I don’t have to wait long to read the No Frills shop, haha! I actually like that when I look forward to reading a GGC post and it just so happens to be the next one I moderate. Not much to stock up on at No Frills? Well, you can’t just buy stuff for the heck of it so yes building up your money for stock is a great idea which seems to work well for your family. Now that I see the apple cider mix I realize in the last post I said you would be buying tea for the boys in the summer but it’s apple drink. Are you still noticing a considerable price difference between the two stores? The Cheerios at No Frills was $4.97 but your Foodland shop last GGC was $4.99 not much of a difference unless the box size differed. Have you started a garden or any considerations for one this year? We’re likely doing herbs only this year again.
      Well done this shop even with the pit-stop at No Frills.
      You get ballot #22. Mr.CBB

  2. Thank you so much Mr. CBB, I received my gift card today!!!

  3. Grocery budget

    Name Your Store: Independent
    Total Coupons Used: 1.65
    Total Out Of Pocket: $130.96

    3 X 12 grain Bread: $9.00
    3 X Orville Redenbacher popcorn chips: clearout 1.65 x2 3.30
    One bogo coupon 1.65
    2 x No Name rice crackers: 3.00
    800 pc points
    3 X PC Brand Rice Crisps: 8.37
    Purex TP: $4.99
    2 X Healthy Harvest pasta clear Out $ 1.35: 2.70
    1.00 check Out 51
    2 x Catelli gluten free lasagna noodles clear out 1.99: 3.98
    2 x Christie Rice thins: 5.00
    Hellman’s Light Mayo (large) 8.99
    ChecK out 51: 1.00
    Astro vanilla yogurt x 2: 5.98
    4 litres milk: 4.79
    2 X Green giant mixed veggies: 5.98
    Pint blackberries: 3.99
    2 x organic pears 3lbs: 11.98 pink sticker 5.99
    1200 pc points
    Large container mushrooms: 4.98
    Bananas: 3.51
    Roma tomatoes 1.99 pink sticker: .99
    4 avocado 7.56 less 50%:3.80
    2 mini sourdough bowls 2.98 less 50%: 1.49
    Sour dough loaf: 2.79 less 50%: 1.40
    Sesame hamburger buns: 2.99 less 50%: 1.50
    6 pitas: 1.79
    600 pc point s for bakery rolls
    Mexican 5 layer dip: 5.49 less 50%: 2.75
    700 pc points
    Artichoke and asiago dip 6.79 less 50%: 3.40
    700 pc points
    Turkey breast deli meat 2 x 7.94 less 50%: 7.94
    Montreal Smoked Meat 21.98 clearout 9.97
    Shaved Ham 7.14 less 50% 3.57
    4200 pc points for self serve deli meat
    Traditional blue cheese: 4.98

    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: $3.00 cashed out at 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: $ 1.65
    • Total coupons used to date: $66.42
    • Total in-store discounts this week:$44.57
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $336.55
    • Total spent this week: $131.78
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $55.72 under
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $88.53 under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $463.53
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $777.54
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    I have been really under the weather this week and my grocery shop reflects that. I went on a bit of a rice cracker binge!! Everyone seems to be scarfing them down with ginger ale as we all had a stomach bug.
    I got lots of deli meat on clear out and was happy to see the smoked meat on clearance, will make Reuben sandwiches on pumpernickel this week, the pc packaged smoked meat is very similar to the Dunns brand Costco carries and we love it as a treat. We have company coming so that will be supper one night with homemade turkey soup from the freezer.
    I was very disappointed to see the notice in Independent regarding the cancellation of using PC points to redeem for gift cards due to the security breach of many people missing PC points. This applies to all Loblaw’s banner stores, I am hoping it is just temporary but I am not holding my breath.

    • Hi Julia,

      WOW, what an impressive shop. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling ill. We had almost 3 weeks of illness here the past couple of months. Our son is still coughing with a runny nose as is the wife and I. You know I’ve never tried a rice crisp in my life however I love deli meat.

      You found so many awesome deals on your produce and meats that it really chopped your grocery budget. Not everyone likes to take advantage of reduced price products but we’ve hardly had any issues at all. Have you ever made chocolate avocado pudding? Mrs. CBB goes mad for it and I don’t mind it at all. It tastes like chocolate pudding. The recipe for chocolate avocado pudding is also super easy.

      I loved the organic pears that you found also with a 50% off price tag. The original price was very pricey but that’s what it costs to buy organic. Like you we will choose organic only if it’s 50% off but otherwise it’s too pricey for our budget.

      Could you really buy PC gift cards with points? I had no idea. I wonder if we can do this in Ontario. Does anyone know?

      Overall, great shop with lots of excellent deals. Keep up the great work. I hope you’re loving the GGC because now you can really see where your money is going. You get ballot #13. Mr.CBB

      • Yes you used to be able to buy gift cards Canada wide with your PC points, that is until the recent suspension of the program. I have always cashed in points for gift cards at Christmas, they did announce that the suspension of buying gift cards is temporary until they can get their security issues in order. Shoppers had the same issue years ago, you could buy gift cards with Shoppers points and then they had a security breach similar to this one and they have never brought it back. Oh well things change and I guess we just have to roll with it!
        No I have not tried the avocado pudding, I have looked up the recipe and just haven’t done it. I do have some in the fridge that are looking a bit dodgy so it might be the weekend to try it!! So many recipes so little time!!

        • Wow I had no idea. Darn I would have loaded up with our points. I buy them for the Grocery Game Challenge too so that would have come in handy since I don’t make lots of money on the blog. Darn, too bad. Yes we just have to roll with it. I wish we could stack in Ontario though. I’m still jealous for that.

          • THE STACKING HAS GONE BY THE WAYSIDE HERE.SAVE On foods USED TO BE THE BEST, so many free things. I think London drugs still does in some cities but they are miserable at my store and usually find a reason to decline your stacking purchase.Sorry my phone has its own ideas about the use of upper and lower case tonight!!

          • Oh no worries about the phone. 🙂 I believe Juanita who posts in the GGC gets some amazing deals at London Drugs stacking. I remember back in 2012 that it was a mad race for trading coupons to stack. Coupons were worth big money to many couponers.

        • You will LOVE the avocado chocolate pudding. If you use sugar then you could use that instead but I’d make sure it was powdered or blend granulated in a coffee grinder first.

  4. Mary F Campbell says:

    FEBRUARY – Week #1 of 4- Feb 6-12, 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:

    Before we start our FEBRUARY shopping off, I am going to make my “reserve” transfers:

    Grocery:

    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($100.00) trf to re-stocking – normally $15.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to holiday reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to summer reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $45.00

    CANADIAN Grocery Balance $90.00

    This month I decided the Re-Stocking Reserve needed a MAJOR cash infusion… so I skipped adding funds to the other reserves.

    I have a sweet treat dinner planned for my sweetie, at home just the two of us, to celebrate another Valentines together…this makes 27 for us.

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

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    I feel like I have some breathing room this month because I only have 4 weeks to cover with the remaining $90.00, after I made the reserve transfers. As you’ll see, I went a little hog wild with my shopping this week so I’m back to squeaking and scrimping for the balance of the month. I must LIKE penny pinching, I set myself up for it regularly! LOL 🙂

    Once again, my reserves have saved the day in terms of my budgeting! If all this shopping was coming out of the $90…I’d be in the hole & that’s certainly no way to kick off the month! 🙂

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

    The dinners I have planned for this week are:

    (1) Cauliflower Soup & Hot Dogs – for hubby but I had a sliced green apple with my soup, (2) Amish Country Casserole with a side green salad including tomato-cucumber-red onion and sugar peas, (3) Russian Cabbage Pie with a Greek Salad (4) Loose Meat Sandwiches with Coleslaw, (5) Roasted Chicken Tender Caesar Salad with hot buttered croissants (6) Crockpot Potato & Dill Soup, Apple-Fennel-Celery Salad & Mushroom Sandwiches, (7) dinner and a movie night with Slow Cooker Two Ingredient Quesao Dip & Low Salt Lime Tortilla Chips.

    I am also offering the following desserts this week if your sweet tooth is on a rampage:

    (A) Leftover Amish Raisin Cookies, (B) Butterscotch Confetti Squares (C) Apples (Red Delicious or Gala), Mandarin Oranges, Pears or (D) Leftover Christmas candies, chocolates and cookies.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    Rexall – Maple Ridge –

    2 GRADE “A” LARGE WHITE EGGS 1 Dozen @ $2.49 ea = $4.98

    Total OOP: $4.98

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

    —————————————————————–

    MERIDIAN FARM MARKET – Maple Ridge –

    8 Roma Tomatoes @ $0.88/lb $1.36

    Total OOP: $1.36

    —————————————————————–

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 French’s Mustard (Dijon) @ $2.99 ea + 10 Air Miles= $5.98
    Less Bag Return 0.03

    Total OOP: $5.95

    ** Earned 10 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x 2Kg Romaine $4.98
    1 Large Coleslaw $4.98
    1 Large Green Salad $4.98
    1 x 3-pack English Cucumbers $4.41
    Deli Roast Beef $9.58
    Deli 12” Meat Lovers Pizza @ 30% off =$3.50
    1 x 500 ml 2% milk $1.60

    Total OOP: $34.03

    1 No Name Paprika $2.00
    12 No Name Salt & Vinegar Pringles $12.00
    6 PC Maple & Bacon Popcorn $6.00
    4 Mott’s Clamato @ $2.77 ea = $11.08
    Ecology Fee $0.16
    Deposit $0.80
    4 Lipton’s Cream of Chicken Cup of Soup = $3.92
    2 Wiener Wraps $3.94
    1 PC Frozen Onion Rings $5.99 + 1000 Points
    1 kg Bulk Ju Jubes $3.59 < hubby’s Valentines treat
    2 x 12-pack No Name Wieners $8.96 + 1600 Points

    Total Re-Stocking Costs: $58.44

    ** Earned 2600 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    No Frills – Maple Ridge –

    2 Snap Peas (2 for $5)
    2 Sugar Peas (2 for $5)

    Total OOP: $10.00

    ** 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: 21 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 2,600 Points

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

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 380.00 Grocery Budget JAN-FEB

    ($ 78.80) NET RESERVE TRANSFERS

    ($209.08) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 33.68 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 137.54 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 95.70 Holiday Season Fund + $160 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 $1,353.24. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $192.43 that we have added in 2017, LESS $113.63 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.

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

    • Mary F Campbell says:

      Woops! I thought I type checked this carefully but nope. Dinner #6 should read:

      “(6) Crockpot Potato & Dill Soup, Apple-Fennel-Celery Salad & Grilled Habanero Cheese & Mushroom Sandwiches”

      While I am at it…did you notice our RCSS points balance has inched it’s way up to $160 for our Christmas spending? We may not even have to touch our Xmas reserve at all this year because I have Christmas dinner at my Dad’s place and I only have Christmas Eve, New Years Eve & New Years Day to cover. I am holding out for a Boxing Day birthday dinner at The Keg this year & I have gift cards that we can use to cover our holiday splurge! Christmas Eve will have an amazing brunch covered by out Travel budget because we’ll grocery shop on the US side of the border and have a bite before putting pedal to the metal yo get home for our Christmas movies and a pot of homemade clam chowder and a freshly baked loaf of bread.

      I know this is only February but it takes time to cover the additional holiday expenses that hit in December. Hubby and I have a promise to each other…on December 31st each and every year we have $0.00 debt. This means not only do I have to budget for the holiday expenses but I need to pull in the reigns hard on occasion so that any spending I do on the credit cards, in order to gain reward points, is all paid in full before the close of the year. It’s like a throwing down of the gauntlet that I do will myself. 🙂

      Have you started your Christmas grocery savings plan?

    • Hi Mary,
      I couldn’t remember if I was supposed to get a tea for this one so I made one just in case. 🙂
      Ah that was it you mentioned you spent more than you had anticipated so now you’ve beefed up the reserve. Gotcha. By the looks of it you mainly did stocking up and few bits an bobs here and there for some great points too. I would love a 1kg bag of jujubes for Valentine’s but I’m sure the wife wouldn’t dare buy anything like that for me. She knows I’d eat them all in a week. lol. Have you tried the frozen onion rings yet? I’ve seen them before but have never bought them. Making them fresh is nice but who has the time to do that in our house right now. Not me. I want to make a blooming onion one day. Have you had one before? I heard they are delicious. I have yet to try those Amish cookies but I want to. I’m cutting back on the sweets since it’s only me here and I’m watching what I eat all the time. I’m hoping to get a few stress pounds off me and get my blood pressure back down from high to normal. I can’t wait for holidays…. Great score on the maple bacon popcorn. I loved it. I had it at Christmas at the inlaws house. I might try to make it one day as I made a lovely caramel corn back in November. That was really good. I love popcorn too. Well have fun penny pinching the rest of the month, haha!! Yup.. you love it!! Keep up the great work Mary and Happy Valentine’s Day to you both 27 years is amazing. 🙂 You get ballot #12 Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        We’ve tried the Onion Rings but I am giving them a mixed review. I suppose the are better than nothing…but that’s not really saying much is it? I find them mooshy…that’s even worse than mushy! LOL Save your money and make your own or better yet make a Bloomin’ Onion with a nice chipotle dipping sauce. 🙂

        Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Mrs CBB as well!

        I love this holiday and trying to go the extra mile special for my hubby. Can you tell? How many people do you know that turn their Family Day weekend followed by Valentine’s Day into 4 solid days of celebrating the love they are so fortunate to share? It just goes to show that it doesn’t have to cost a lot to have a wonderful time & build loving memories. We still have two more days of celebrating to go…tonight we are creating the Olive Garden All-You-Can-Eat Soup & Salad dining experience at home. Hubby is going to love this! I even have hot out of the oven bread with olive oil and balsamic planned for our dipping pleasure. 🙂

        And the crowning glory on Day 3 will be a double feature of Valentine’s Day movies! Hubby has his ju jubes for snacking material and I have a fresh fruit salad for me. Fun times all around!

  5. Week 5 – Feb 3 – 9, 2017
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 1400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $38.67

    Human
    2 NN Marble Cheese = $7.96
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    Scilian Pizza = $3.98
    Bananas – 1.475 kg = $1.86
    Xlean Ground Beef – 1.671 kg = $12.71

    Cats
    18 kg NN Cat Litter = $6.98

    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: $18.04
    Left for the Month: $2.70 (Not carrying forward)
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $144.05

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $7.89
    Total Cats to Date: $21.80

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    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: $12.74
    Total Meat to Date: $99.06

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

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

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

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 29326

    Overview: This week list is very short as not much was needed or purchased but I did stay under budget. Since 1/5 of the meat budget is gone, we are definitely going to have to look at alternatives so that we can make the budget stretch.

    • Hi Dee,
      You know we are starting to enjoy having a not so full refrigerator. Most times it’s hard to find spots to jam stuff we buy but lately we’ve cut back quite a bit and it feels good. My point is we are learning that we don’t have to buy a tonne of stuff as there is always next week. 🙂 What is the Sicilian Pizza? Is that a frozen pizza? I’ve only tried Delissioso and it was nice back then but they changed the recipe. It was good for a decent frozen pizza instead of ordering from the shops. Well done this week. You get ballot #11 Mr.CBB

      • That’s the thing, my fridge isn’t that full. The things that takes the most room is containers, such as, juice jugs. I know there’s always another week to purchase groceries but I don’t like grocery shopping and don’t have a large budget to purchase a “ton” of food. So the less often I have go into the store for food (of any nature) the better. Sicilian Pizza is a kind from Giuseppe and yes it was a frozen pizza. It wasn’t bad flavour but I still prefer the freshly made pizza from next door.

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