grocery game monthly challenge

Our Weekly Menu Plan Based On A Monthly $265 Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #1 Feb 27-March 5

our weekly menu plan cbb

MENU PLANNING INVOLVES MORE THAN A SHOPPING LIST.

 

If you are the family meal planner don’t get discouraged if you can’t make the same menu plan your friends or family make because their grocery budget may be different. Not only that but their savings skills and ability to use coupons, price-matching, rewards points and so on all aid in savings. Also, keep in mind that not everyone has grocery stores on every other street corner. Some of you who live in rural areas may have a small grocer in town but must drive into a bigger city to see further grocery savings.

Related: How a small town family saves money on groceries

 

Look to others for inspiration

 

Two of my home cook inspirations…

Canadian Budget Binder fan Mary has posted her grocery shop in The Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) for the past 5 years. Not only does she try different recipes she finds online to her menu plan but her monthly $190 grocery budget for 2 has remained unchanged for many years. You can follow her journey every week by reading the comment section of the Grocery Game Posts along with many other GGC players.

Mary makes the family menu plan work along with her husband who is as smart of a grocery shopper as she is. Her excitement when he finds a deal is contagious. When they eat out they might see if there are any available coupons or deals as would Mrs. CBB and I. They also stock up their pantry, fill the spice rack and create homemade meals that keep them excited for meal time.

I’m sure Mary has lots of other ways to save money and still eat delicious meals which attributes to her static grocery budget. They also buy foods that some might consider convenient such as sliced apples and that’s fine because she knows that it still works with-in her budget.

Another wonderful CBB fan Beth loves to forage for food which saves her money and offers her options for menu planning. Head over to Aunt B on a Budget and you’ll find plenty of delicious meals she’s created with her years of experience in the kitchen.

Related: How living on a limited income has helped me go Green (ish) Aunt B on A Budget

Unless I’m putting it by for future use, I don’t buy more food than I can eat. I try to use every edible bit of the food I do buy, including peels, cores, tops, leaves, skin, bones, shells, and fish heads. It saves me money, makes respectful use of the energy required to grow/catch, transport, and package what I eat, and it produces some wonderfully flavourful stocks and sauces.- Aunt B on A Budget

 

Variety in your diet plan

 

There are meal planning ideas all over the web so creating a menu plan for the week based on what you have on hand and what’s on sale is relatively easy to do. A well designed menu plan should challenge you to try different foods, create new meals and learn how to enjoy more for less.

In the CBB house we choose to stick with easy meal plans because we’re always on the go and don’t have the time like we used to before our little guy came into the world. One of the key aspects of our weekly menu plan is keeping it healthy although we do splurge from time to time. A healthy meal plan consists of the foods that are right for your body and lifestyle. Mrs. CBB as you may now follows a high fat low carb diet similar to a Paleo diet or the Keto diet.

Most of our meal planning ideas come from improving our recipes or creating new recipes from simple ingredients that we typically keep on hand in our stockpile. A pantry filled with spices, condiments and other food products that help build a  meal is essential to every kitchen.

Related: How I reduced our $1100 Grocery Budget to $600 in 6 months

For example: If you want to make a pot of chili it’s nice to have homemade jars of tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato juice on hand in the pantry. So we always keep a can or three. Spices are a must so our spice cabinet is always stocked up with the most common spices.

 

Evaluate your cooking needs

 

Once you have your basic pantry staples in place and on a rotation according to weekly flyer specials and recipes you like to make then you’re all set to start a meal plan. From time to time you will obviously need to buy products to complete a recipe or recipe idea which makes grocery shopping far easier.

Related: How to keep an organized pantry

Making your own spice mixes also helps to cut down on costs when grocery shopping. For example: We no longer buy packaged taco seasoning. Why bother when we have all the necessary spices in our cabinet to make it homemade taco seasoning and for far less.

I will always support homemade meals over store-bought meals because you can’t get the quality of homemade in a box, bag or carton.

For example: Frozen pizza may be on sale for $5.99 which we used to buy before we made homemade pizza. You don’t always have to enjoy a meat pizza that can drive the price up a bit and you can stock up on ham, bacon, pepperoni when it goes on sale.

Furthermore there is a science to menu planning based on personal tastes, food knowledge and a desire to cook and prepare homemade meals. You don’t have to be rich to cook homemade food. Mrs. CBB has a friend who has debt and struggles to get by yet she always cooks and bakes. She brags about her homemade bread, soups, crock-pot recipes on Facebook and I would be proud too.

Related: Homemade vs. Store-bought – Is it worth it?

The point is the more ways you can find to lower the onset of grocery expenses the easier it is to meal plan, include luxury foods from time to time and eat well. No matter where you grocery shop there will always be store deals that aren’t advertised, reduced products and ways to earn free food with a reward system. These perks allow us to menu plan for less.

Consequently engaging in ways that help lower your grocery budget also opens up your menu plan. The idea of a grocery budget is not to copy what other families do rather focus on ways to improve your own. Comparing what is in someone’s grocery cart is perhaps making assumptions based on products.

 

Twitter Question

 

I received a tweet from a fan whose husband doubted our grocery list and wanted to know what our weekly menu plan might look like. We’ve been asked before about our menu plan so today I’ll share with you what we will be eating this week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To see our recipes please visit our Free Recipe Index.

The word “Plan” is never concrete

 

A grocery cart of food does not dictate what meals a family will eat during the week since they may be stocked up on certain products.

For example: You might have been sick last week and all you survived on was chicken noodle soup and lots of water. The food that you had in your refrigerator and freezer didn’t get touched which means you won’t need much shopping unless it’s fresh produce the following week.

Another thing to consider is that food prices differ all over Canada and the world for that matter. Different cultures enjoy cuisines that may include simple ingredients or more complex foods that range in price. Also if you follow a diet plan or lifestyle that doesn’t include meat, vegetables, dairy or processed foods you’ll also see fluctuations in a meal plan and grocery budget.

 

Grow your food

 

I’ve always maintained that starting a garden from seed is the best way to eat healthy, can food and freeze organic fruits and vegetables to use throughout the year. Our garden typically would consist or tomatoes, green peppers, green onions and a variety of spices.

Related: Too much Basil? Here’s what you can do with it.

These days we only grow spices and stock up on fresh veggies, cherries, plums and apples from my in-laws once or twice during the summer. This does help lower our grocery budget which is a blessing but without it we’d still be eating just as well because it’s all about knowing your prices, getting lucky with in-store deals and knowing how to cook. Just because you are grocery shopping on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy delicious meals like the shopper who has more money to spend.

Related: Meal Planning For The Budget

You may not get the best cuts of meats but it’s all about the way you prepare the food you eat. That means you might have to marinate your meat over-night to tenderize it or opt for the no-name or lesser known name brand products instead of name brand. Even then if you read carefully you’ll notice that some products come from the same home just different quality control specs.

Related: How to Marinate MeatCooking Light

There are just so many variables that determine how much your grocery budget should be and what you can make with the food that you purchase. Does your meal plan include a new recipe every week? It’s nice if you can switch things up to keep meals interesting.

 

Our Weekly Menu Plan

 

Therefore to Susan, her husband and all the other readers of this blog below is our meal plan for this week based on food on hand and current purchases. When I work my long shifts at work I bring a lunch/dinner which is one meal for me and a fruit snack. I do drink coffee made free at work. When I work at my second job I don’t take a lunch or snack and just eat when I get home.

roasted tomato basil soup

I’m just going to type this in but we use our menu planning sheets which are free to download and keep it on our peg board in the kitchen so we know what we are cooking. This helps if we need to take food from the freezer to defrost the night before as well.

Monday

Breakfast- Coffee and Bullet-proof coffee (Mrs. CBB)

Bacon, 2 eggs, sautéed mushrooms and onions in butter half avocado (both)

Lunch- Pita stuffed with lettuce, homemade burgers and condiments

Dinner- Tomato Basil Soup with egg salad wraps and egg salad lettuce wraps for Mrs. CBB

Bedtime treat- glass of milk

Tuesday

Breakfast- Coffee and Bullet-proof coffee (Mrs. CBB)

2 egg Cheese omelet with mushrooms and a side of tomatoes and cucumber (both)

Lunch-Tomato Basil Soup with egg salad wraps and egg salad lettuce wraps for Mrs. CBB

Dinner- Roasted chicken drumsticks with garden salad, apple slices and walnuts

Bedtime treat- glass of milk (me)

Wednesday

Breakfast- Coffee and Bullet-proof coffee (Mrs. CBB)

Yogurt (me) Banana, Oatmeal

Scrambled eggs, ham and cheese- Mrs. CBB

Lunch- Tomato Basil Soup with tuna salad wraps and tuna salad lettuce wraps for Mrs. CBB

Dinner- Mashed potatoes, Sausages, Broccoli and homemade gravy

Bedtime treat- glass of milk (me)

Thursday

Breakfast- Coffee and Bullet-proof coffee (Mrs. CBB)

Oatmeal- Me

Asparagus and cheese omelet -Mrs.CBB

Lunch- Cesar Salad with Bacon and Renee’s Cesar dressing

Dinner- Cauliflower Mash Shepard’s Pie

Bedtime treat- glass of milk (me)

Friday

Breakfast- Coffee and Bullet-proof coffee (Mrs. CBB)

Bacon, 2 eggs (both)

Oatmeal with toast and homemade crab apple spice jelly (Me)

Lunch- Tortellini, peas, sausage, sauce with Parmesan cheese (when I go to my main job where the hours and days change I batch cook and portion my meals)

Dinner- Homemade chicken noodle soup with radishes, celery and onions, Grilled pita stuffed with cheese, salsa and sour cream (both- Mrs. CBB won’t have the pita)

Bedtime treat- glass of milk (me)

Saturday

Breakfast- Coffee and Bullet-proof coffee (Mrs. CBB)

Lunch-Tortellini, peas, sausage, sauce with Parmesan cheese

Dinner- Caesar salad topped with hard-boiled eggs

Bedtime treat- glass of milk (me)

Sunday

Breakfast- Coffee and Bullet-proof coffee (Mrs. CBB)

Lunch- Tortellini, peas, sausage, sauce with Parmesan cheese

Dinner- Slow Cooker Kirkland Ham, Mashed Cauliflower with garlic butter, homemade gravy, garden salad with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette.

Bedtime treat- glass of milk (me)

Snacks: We don’t eat snacks often but I like to have bananas and apples on hand, yogurt, popcorn, almonds, walnuts, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, homemade treats from time to time.

 

 Stretch your money

 

Even our grocery budget needs a workout and as a result helps keep our budget trim and fit. Most of all no matter what your food budget is ask yourself if what you are buying is worth it.

Quality, Quantity and Price go a long way in the food industry.

Discussion Question:

What advice would you offer to someone who is struggling to create a menu plan based on their grocery budget allowance?

 

March 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.

Congrats to Ballot #4  Christine for winning the February Grocery Game Challenge! Post your shop and you can be next.

New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules

Congratulations to Ballot #

March 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

 

Food Basics

  • 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27  ($8.57)
  • 3 x dozen large eggs $1.97 each ($5.91)
  • Seedless Cucumber $0.99
  • Bananas $2.25
  • Avocados $2.97 bag of 5
  • Roma Tomatoes $2.10
  • Ground Mustard Sale $0.99
  • Ground Onion Powder Sale $0.99
  • White Mushrooms $1.99
  • 2 x Lactancia Cream 1L $2.49  ($4.98)
  • Flour Tortillas 12 inch Sale $1.99 (or I make homemade when I have time)
  • Astro Coconut Yogurt $2.49 (Sale)
  • Fuji Apples $3.65
  • Can of diced tomatoes $0.99 Selection Brand
  • Asparagus $3.75 2 bunches Sale
  • Baby spinach container $3.97 Sale
  • Oatmeal sale $1.99 bag
  • Shreddies cereal Sale $2.99
  • Selection flour $3.49
  • Celery $1.99
  • Romaine lettuce $1.99
  • Radish $1.99

Total Out-Of-Pocket $63.02

Costco

  • Large Hellman’s Mayo $5.99
  • Kirkland Almonds $16.99
  • 2 kg Lean ground beef $15.99

Total Out-Of-Pocket $38.97

  • Total to spend this month : $260
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • 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: $67.91
  • Total spent this week: $101.99
  • Total spent so far this month: $101.99
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $163.01
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March$

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

It always seems at the beginning of the month we do a stock up of foods we’ve run out of stock. Luckily there were some deals this week on spices, oatmeal and cereal. The meal plan above doesn’t include our son because he’s not really eating at all right now. A bite here and there or a part of a banana, cucumbers and apples. We’re working on transitioning him away from milk but the kid loves the stuff.

We made a pit-stop at Costco to get gas so we ran in to pick up a few bits espeically the almonds which we love to roast and snack on. It’s far cheaper to do it this way. I bought a small bag of white flour as no one uses it but me in the house and I don’t bake like I used to. The tortillas were on sale for $1.99 instead of $3.79 so I picked up a pack for some wraps. Typically I would make a batch homemade which would last me a few days but until I cut some of my hours I won’t be doing much of that. You can’t beat fresh though.

March is a 5 week month for grocery shopping so we’re going to fit in a no-shop week.

 

Coupons and Coupon Apps

 

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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Photo credit: Menu Plan Blogpiks.com

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Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB was born and raised in the United Kingdom who then moved to Canada where he is a permanent resident. He recently became a father to a very busy toddler who allows him to be a kid at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 after University and his second at the age of 24. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are Debt and Mortgage Free and they did it all in under 5 years using a Budget. Canadian Budget Binder is a place where he shares their financial experiences with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. Welcome to CBB!
Mr. CBB
Mr. CBB

Comments

  1. Mary F Campbell says:

    FEBRUARY – Week #4 of 4- Feb 27-March 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:

    The shopping every other week worked out well for us this month but wow…talk about close with only $0.86 leftover that I am now adding to the re-stocking reserve. Good thing I had planned for this to be a NO SHOP WEEK!

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    The LUNCHES I have planned for hubby are rather nice again this week:

    Monday – Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Potato Salad & Butterscotch Confetti Square
    Tuesday – Leftover Chuck Wagon Chili with Garlic Bread
    Wednesday – Imitation Crab Salad Wraps with GIANT Banana Muffin
    Thursday – Bologna Sandwiches, Yogurt & Amish Raisin Cookies
    Friday – Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Leftover Cream of Celery Soup
    Saturday – Chicken Quesadillas with tomatoes-peppers-Onions-cheese guacamole, sour cream, guacamole & hot sauce
    Sunday – Greek Nachos
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    The DINNERS I have planned for this week include new recipes, leftovers and even an evening out!

    (1) Hubby has pizza at work, I have a cup of soup
    (2) Kathleen’s Cottage Cheese Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday
    (3) Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup & Grill Em’s in Sausage Buns (hubby only…just soup for me)
    (4) Spaghetti Bolognese with a green salad
    (5) Chicken Pot Pie Soup & Marmalade French Toast Sandwiches
    (6) Creamy Clam Chowder
    (7) Slow Cooker Split Pea Stew

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    I am also offering the following desserts this week if your sweet tooth is calling to you:

    (A) Apples (Red Delicious, Granny Smith or Gala), Lemons or Limes
    (B) Leftover Christmas candies, chocolates and Danish butter cookies
    (C) JUMBO Banana Muffins
    (D) Leftover Amish Raisin Cookies
    (F) Lemon Quick Bread

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT SHOP WILL BE MARCH GGC #2

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP POSTPONED TO MARCH 19th!

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $30.52

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 45 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

    ($ 18.70) NET RESERVE TRANSFERS

    ($361.30) Actual CASH SPENT

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

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 77.44 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 $1,293.14. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $193.29 that we have added in 2017, LESS $174.59 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.

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

    • Hi Mary,
      A no-shop week.. wow awesome. It is always a pat on the shoulder week if we can make it through without needing any shopping. Meal planning certainly does help though as I’m sure you’ve found out. Well done… here’s to another successful month of shopping. 🙂 You get ballot #1. Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        Hang on to your hat Mr CBB…next week is a NO SHOP WEEK as well! I will get back to shopping in a big, big way the week after that though with shopping on both sides of the border. 🙂

  2. Week 8 – Feb 24 – Mar 2, 2017
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 2200
    Total Out Of Pocket: $42.99

    Human
    3 NN Pasta – (600 PC Points) = $5.38
    2 NN Broth – $3.34 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $2.75
    2 NN Pringles – $2.16 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $1.90
    3 NN Rice Crackers – $3.00 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $2.48
    1 NN Mushrooms – $1.29 (200 PC Points) (Stock up 10 for $10) = $1.07
    2 NN Tuna – $2.18 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $1.80
    4 – 750 g NN Frozen Vegetables = $8.00
    2 Gravy Mix = $3.18
    450 g NN Marble Cheese – (1000 PC Points) = $4.98
    1 lb Gay Lea Butter = $2.98
    2 – 4L 2% Milk = $8.54
    2 Delissio Pizzas (Hawaiian & Canadian) = $7.96
    Bananas – 1.220 kg = $1.54
    2 Schneiders Hot Dogs = $7.96
    Beef Stir Fry – 4.54 & 4.68 = $9.22
    2 WW Bread = $3.00

    Cats
    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1820.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $15.96
    Left for the Month: $22.89
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $201.16

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $34.23

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $9.85
    Total Stockpile to Date: $64.23

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $41.82

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $17.18
    Total Meat to Date: $116.24

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

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $2.11
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $25.27

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $9.43

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 2,200
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 30,000
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 3,257

    Overview: I’ve redeemed my first PC Points for this calendar year so now my budget value has shrunk by $30.00. I was informed my daughter today that we have 17 cans of tuna so we are well stocked for tuna. I agree but tuna is a cheap meat and is so versatile to use. Next week should be interesting to see what will be purchased and made with the ingredients we have on hand, in addition of not going over the left over $22 budget.

    • Hi Dee,
      It’s always handy to have rewards points hanging around when you need them the most. WOW that’s lots of tuna however I agree with you on cost. I haven’t been too adventurous with tuna but by I’ve promised myself over the past few years that I will try a tuna casserole. How much are you willing to spend on a can of tuna? We are out and the only sale we see is 4/$5. Great deal on thee 10 for 10 mushrooms… I would have grabbed that too!!! Nice stock-up shop Dee! You get ballot #2. Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        I’m hanging on to my points for Christmas this year. I said that last year too and then never actually used them. I’d rather have points available, if I need them though, than wish I had some extra funds to use on splurges and treats. 🙂 We used to travel at Christmas but with our parents getting older (MIL is 96 in a few weeks and my Dad will be 87 on New Years Eve), we don’t want to miss sharing our holiday season with them.

        • My plan was to hold onto my PC Points but things happen and I’m glad they are there. Yes, some of the items were splurges but most were needed for the meal plan that was chosen that week or part of the staples of the house.

          The most I’m willing to spend on tuna regular price but will only pick up 1 or 2 cans (at most) and only if I need it for my meal plan that week. Typically I pick up tuna when it’s under a $1.00 and then it’s a number of cans so there’s a stockpile ready for use.

          I wish I could travel at Christmas but alias, the funds aren’t there at the moment.

    • Mary, How did you get 2 WW bread for $3

  3. My meal plan is for supper only, which usually means that includes my lunch the next day. I don’t break it down to specific meal on a specific day of the week. I like my life very planned but that’s too planned for me….besides I never know what I want to eat until that day. My meal plan is more like a restaurant menu but without the meal costs added and in a pretty laminated packaging.

  4. My second grocery store post for the month (I get paid twice a month, so group my shops into two main events)

    Name Your Store – Fresh Cut Meats
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $137.04

    Fries (bag) 3.97
    Fruit – bananas 2.30
    Fruit – grapes 2lb 1.67
    Meat – Pork Chops , gr beef, chicken, por roast, blade roast 105.55
    Meat – bacon, 1 pkg 3.94
    Veg – carrot, 5lb 1.97
    Veg – cucumber 1.47
    Veg – Lettuce 2.97
    Veg – onion – red 3lb 1.97
    veg – onion – white 2lb 0.97
    Veg – Parsnip 1.97
    Veg – Peppers 2.67
    Veg – Peppers 3.43
    Sour Cream 2.19

    Name Your Store – Independent
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $63.31

    Bathroom Tissue – Cashmere, 12dbl 4.99
    Cereal – GM Cherrios 4.99
    Cheese – Feta 5.99
    Chips, Tostitos 3.99
    Kefir, PC Strawberry 4.99
    Milk, Farmers, 4L 6.99
    Pepperoni, brothers, 2 pkgs 7.85
    Quinoa, PC 3.99
    Salsa, PC, 2 2.79
    Snack Food – chicken Wedges * 6.79
    Snack Food – Fried Chicken 2.99
    Yougurt, Danone, 2 6.96
    Name Your Store – Shoppers
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $8.08

    Items Purchased
    Chips, Tostitos 4.29
    Salsa 3.79

    Name Your Store – Sobeys
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $28.85

    Items Purchased
    Cat Treats * 9.99
    Fruit – strawberries, 4lbs 4.88
    Snack Food – Thai Chicken Wrap 5.49
    Salmon, cooked 5.00
    Salad – Spinach (prepared) 3.49

    Name Your Store – Supersotre
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $151.13

    Items Purchased
    Apple Sauce, 6 pk 2.59
    Cereal – GM Cheerios 2.99
    Cheese – Cheddar NN, 2 blocks
    9.14
    Chef Boyardee (various), 4 cans 3.96
    Chips, Ripple * 1.79
    Chips – Tostidos 3.49
    Coconut Milk 7.00
    Dog Food – Raw Meat 20.58
    Granola Bars – Nature Valley PB 2.98
    Milk, Farmers, 4L 5.39
    Milk, Farmers, 4L 5.79
    Papertowell, NN, 2 pk 1.29
    Pasta, nn 1.69
    Pasta Sauce, hunts, 2 cans 1.98
    Protein Powder – Vega 17.99
    Salsa, pc 2.59
    Smoked Oysters, pc 3.98
    Tuna, nn, 3 cans 3.99
    Veg – Avocodo, bag 3.99
    Veg – asparagus 3.79
    Veg – cucumber 1.49
    Veg – Mushroom (bulk) 3.56
    Veg – peppers 4.99
    Veg – Potatoe, 10lb 1.99
    Veg – sweet potatoe 2.76
    Veg – Tomatoe 3.34
    Wraps 8.00
    Cat Food(10 cans) * 7.00
    Cat treats – Whiskas 3.29
    Meat – Pork Tenderloin 7.72

    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 700.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $0
    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 year-to- date: 2,150.00
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date – on the list!!

    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Checkout51 to date: $15.75
    Save.ca to date: $0 – tried to print apps, printer messed up, couldn’t reprint :(-
    Reebee to date: $0
    Caddle to date: $ 8.30
    Ebates to date: $ 5.00

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK
    Stockpile budget 2017 ($.00):$0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total in-store discounts this week:$16.38
    Total in-store discounts to date: $42.48
    Total spent this week: $ $ 387.26
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $ 37.26
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $ 16.94
    Total left to spend for the month: $
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $ 716.94

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    Over budget on my first month 🙁 but I did set my budget a bit lower than what’s actually been happening, so that’s a plus. This was my big shopping period. I noticed that I went to many stores and several times picked up “food on the go”. I haven’t been successful figuring out how to incorporate coupons, points are relatively easy. I tend to save my points.

    • Hi Mary Ann,
      Thanks for letting us know you get paid twice a month so your shops will follow suit. That helps all of us follow along on your grocery game challenge journey with you. I enjoyed reading your overview because it was nice to read how the grocery game posts have been able to let you see a glimpse into your actual shopping habits. Are you able to price match where you are instead of going to many stores? Like you I like to visit certain shops only because I know there will be deals that I might miss out on. This makes grocery shopping a challenge for us since we tend to buy more which means we buy less of something else.
      Do you collect coupons by mail, at the store, flyers or by using coupon apps? Maybe we can all help you get a bit more savings from coupons. We save our points as well like a little savings account or emergency savings. It’s always nice to watch the number grow.

      Where you add “snack food” is that the food on the go you are talking about? If so, do you do any meal prep or snack prep ahead of time? Can you make the time to do this? If yes you can drastically cut down on eating out. Also, bring snacks with you when grocery shopping if you tend to over-shop. Everyone who is human struggles with buying more than intended because food is part of survival.
      What will be your actual grocery budget moving forward?
      How many people will that feed?
      Do you have certain lifestyle diets you are purchasing products for?
      Lots of questions but all worthy of investigation.
      Glad to have you back Mary Ann…. anything you need just let us all know.
      You get ballot #3. Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        Mary Ann…are you going to carry your overage forward and try to make it yup next month? If I have money left over, I put it into my reserves. I carry overages forward so that I can try and keep my annual budget on track by spending a little less until I get back on track. I hate overages! I have a pretty lean budget and even $20 makes the next month rather nasty for us. I do a lot more vegetarian meals when we are trying to recover. 🙁

      • Mary Ann says:

        Thanks for your comments and continued support Mr CBB

        Re Price Match – haven’t been organised enough for that yet (been talking about it!)…and to complicate things our flyers stopped being delivered. I called and am waiting for them to start again and plan to utilise price match to avoid the running around.

        Re: Grocery budget…at this point I plan for $800 per month for 4 people, or $9,600 per year. I tend to include all grocery store purchases in that figure however, so am pairing it down and dividing it between the various categories to get a better handle on things. I would like to get our grocery budget to $600 per month.

        Re: snack food – that’s my husband 🙂 ..I almost always leave the house with snacks, although once I left my lunch home and had to drop into the grocery store to buy something, almost killed me! lol …I finally have him bringing home receipts! one step at a time 🙂

        Re: lifestyle/diet – my husband has gone gluten-free. Which has changed many of our purchases. Still trying to figure that one out.

        It took me 1.5 hours to post that shop 🙁 any tips on doing it in less time.

        • Do you use a smartphone at all? There is an app you can load called Flipp which shares all of the flyers wherever you live. You can use your phone to price match as well. That’s great to hear he is bringing home the receipts. Yes one step at a time is great but keep a timeline in mind so you don’t get stuck in the steps for too long.
          I just copy, paste the outline into my post and fill it in. Maybe Mary or one of the other ladies has some tricks up their sleeves. It does get easier and faster as you go along. You shouldn’t have to type everything out every week if you keep a copy in a word document. All you would have to do is adjust the figures and comments then copy paste it into the comment section of the appropriate Grocery Game Post. Let’s see what others have to say. 🙂

  5. Ok. Considering you called me out I have to comment. The funny thing is I saw the email with the article title and first thing I thought was that I would read it on the way home with hubby (we commute together).
    So just a couple of observations. I don’t see any meals for your child. Also there are a couple of days with no breakfast but I figure that was overlooked due to typing it out. Hubby said you guys sure like bacon (especially after your score last week). I also told him about Mrs. CBB’s food plan.
    There is one day where you have a Caesar salad as your dinnner. Now I think that is due to work hours and your lunch was really your dinner but hubby didn’t feel like that would be a satisfying meal on its own. Not sure how big you are but my husband is 6’6″ so he eats quite a bit.
    Next, we have 2 sons living here. One is 20 and the other is 16. They are also tall so feeding those growing machines is a constant challenge. We go through at least a bag of milk per day. So even if we were to double your budget for 4 adults I think they would be starving. That said, I could probably get by on this and maybe even come out slimmer for doing that. But there are choices we make that cause us to spend more. For example the frozen pizza vs homemade. In our house that homemade pizza would cost a fortune due to all the stuff (meat) they would load on. So we get the dominos WagJag deal when it comes around ($7 any size unlimited toppings). and for snacks we try to have fruit and veggies rather than chips.
    So is our budget able to be pared down to yours? No. But is there room for improvement? Definitely. And having articles like yours allows us to have a conversation with a starting point.

    • Well hello Susan!!
      Thanks for stopping by. I didn’t call you out in an evil way hehe… it was more a reminder that we’ve been asked a few times what our meal plan was and I’ve been meaning to do a post on it. When I get up at 4am the last thing I want to do is eat so I just grab coffee. On occasion if I want I might grab a banana and yogurt but it’s never a planned meal so I don’t document it as such. Mrs. CBB doesn’t eat breakfast on the weekends either just coffee and then lunch at around 11 and dinner when I get home or before because sometimes we have emergencies come in at the last minute and I’m needed.
      The moral of the story is we can’t compare what one family eats to another nor can we compare food budgets because it’s just not possible.
      I’m 6ft tall and like to think I’m a strong guy so I tend to eat well, run daily and workout (pending our son) but we’ve changed the way we eat over the years. We eat less then we used to. I wrote a popular post titled,”Are You Eating Too Much?

      So is our budget able to be pared down to yours? No. But is there room for improvement? Definitely. And having articles like yours allows us to have a conversation with a starting point.

      ^^^ This is exactly what a post like this is supposed to do, you’ve got it!!! That makes me very happy. There are weeks where we spend more money and go over our monthly budget because we buy more, overspend or just don’t find the deals like we do other months. Food shopping really is a game of savings but without extra effort apart from using the flyers it will cost more.

      We’d love to have you post your shops with us for the rest of the year!! Get the Mr. involved too!! 🙂 I’m sure as our son grows so will our grocery budget because like you mention growing boys eat lots. That used to be me and I still can but I monitor how much I eat as I get older.

      Thanks for your comments… I always enjoy feedback. 🙂

      Mr.CBB

      • It’s ok. I didn’t mean called out in a bad way. It just closed the loop. And I find that the only way these things work is a gradual change. Like budgeting or dieting if you try to make an extreme change overbite won’t work. But if you do it little by little it doesn’t seem that painful. Right now I am trying to focus on reducing wasted food. Leftovers are not a hit here. So portion planning and using what we have is something we are working on. I will definitely read the other post you mentioned.

        Susan
        PS. Wish we had a Zehrs nearby. They seem to have great prices.

        • You are very right Susan. It takes time. We have a friend who tosses all of the leftovers because no one will eat them. YES Zehrs has great 50% off prices as does Food Basics on produce. Walmart also has $1 bags stuffed with fruit and veg on their reduced racks. You can also find tonnes of bread at both stores for cheap even better if there is a coupon. Over time you learn more and more about where to look, what to look for and the savings start rolling in. As you mention portion control is a big deal in your house right now. Does anyone eat the leftovers? What would you do with them? How do you go about the portion control?

  6. Your ground beef pack was 2lbs or 2kg? Cause it seems pricy for 2lbs……I havent looked lately at their everyday price since I only buy it on sale for $6.59kg or less.
    I have noticed lots of people buy almonds from there. It is a great price!!

    • Hey Juanita,
      It’s KG good catch thanks I’ll update that thanks. Yes the almonds are cheapest at Costco. For Mrs. CBB if she wants to roast them or grind them up for almond meal it’s her best option. We all love almonds even the little guy but right now as you know he hardly eats anything at all. His nurse and doc aren’t worried because they said kids his age go through stages.

  7. #1 – Feb 27 – Mar 5
    Yearly Grocery Budget for 2 Adults – $3300 or $275/mth (Includes Stockpile Budget)

    • Store: Walmart
    • Total Coupons Used: $ 0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $ 62.73
    • Bananas – $0.56/lb – $4.00
    • Store Brand Split Peas – $2.57
    • Hungarian Paprika – $2.00
    • Store Brand Pasta – $1.00
    • Dasani Water Drops – $2.97
    • Bick’s Pickled Hot Peppers – $3.97 (Store brand is cheaper but Bick’s is better quality)
    • Sweet Potatoes $0.88/lb – $0 – (SCOP – charged for Purple Sweet Potato $1.27/lb)
    • Milk 4L – $4.27
    • Evaporated Milk – 14 x $1.00 – $14.00
    • Tortilla Chips – 2/$5.00
    • Potato Chips – 3 x $0.97 – $2.91
    • Club House Gravy – $1.47
    • Store Brand Cottage Cheese – $2.97

    • Store: No Frills
    • Total Coupons Used: $ 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $52.62
    • Tetley Tea Bags (144) – $4.97
    • Crushed Chili Peppers (400g) – $1.88
    • Unico Crushed Tomatoes – 2 x $0.75 = $1.50
    • Russet Potatoes – 10lb for $2.00 = $2.00
    • Carrots NN Imperfects – 5lb = $1.79
    • Apples – 3 x 3lb for $2.00 = $6.00
    • Lantic Sugar – 2 x $1.97 = 3.94
    • NN Lard – $1.77
    • PC Raisin Bran – $2.67
    • Corn Flakes – $2.97
    • Imperial Margarine – 2 x $1.97 = 3.94
    • Table Salt – $0.99
    • Seasoning Salt (900g)- $3.49
    • Cream – $3.57
    • Ground Beef – $2.77/lb – $11.14

    Points Overview
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 275.00
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $ 275.00
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $ 0
    • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $ 0
    • Total Rewards Points used to date: $ 0
    • Total PC Points year to date: 113,915
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 979,525
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $ 2.37
    Coupon Apps
    • Checkout51 to date: $12.25
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK
    • 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: $10.98
    • Total spent this week: $115.35
    • Total spent month to date: $115.35
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $159.65
    • Total reserve: Jan $103.53 + Feb $53.99 + Mar $159.65
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (Includes stockpile budget) Jan $171.47 + Feb $221.01 + Mar $115.35
    • Savings to the end of February 2017 over same period 2016: $572.38

    Weekly Overview:
    We made it through to the end of February with only one shop. The fridge was all but empty and we were out of a few pantry staples, but, astonishingly, the freezer is full of prepared meals, frozen veg, homemade bread, and meat. If we had to, I think we could easily make it through March with what we have on hand.

    It is astonishing what a difference meal planning is making to our grocery budget. I’ve added a savings year over year line to remind myself of the difference the relatively little bit of work we are putting in is making. I did find in planning our menu for a month it’s easier when I assigned certain meals to certain days. Saturday is Meat & Potatoes day; Monday is Soup day, etc.

    Making bread is a great savings as well. $0.62 per loaf versus a couple of dollars for store bought. I make five loaves at a time and my husband has half a loaf a day for his breakfast and lunch. I figure we’re going to save about $250 for the year on bread alone.

    We don’t feel as though we’re sacrificing. We’re just eating far more efficiently. We have zero waste and we’re saving on time and electricity by making double the food we are going to use then freezing half as a prepared meal for later.

    My March goal is to limit ourselves to one more shop for perishables only.

    • Hi Libby,
      I’m impressed with your grocery budget for 2 including stockpile. I’ll be watching your shops carefully as we are buying for 2 as well which can be challenging. Our son hardly eats a thing so he’s also included in the grocery budget but doesn’t account for much other than milk and a few other bits here and there.
      Meal planning certainly helps the grocery budget and lessens any stress or tension about dinner when nothing is planned. I know that can be overwhelming for just about anyone which is why it’s easier to say, “let’s eat out” or “Order in”.

      Yes, please go ahead and add any lines you’d wish to the GGC as long as you are willing to track that number for the year.

      Would you buy bread that is 50% off? We can get it for under $2 a loaf sometimes under a $1 a loaf from Zehrs. I love making homemade bread and eating it too. I agree you can make it for less depending on ingredient costs and utility costs. A savings of $250 on bread alone for the year is HUGE savings! We don’t eat much bread at all these days but see folks the savings to be had making homemade foods vs. eating our or buying pre-made.

      I love the idea of making double the food and freezing it. I also like the zero waste program you are on. What are some ways you fight waste in the kitchen? I agree that Bicks has a great quality product and it’s impossible to compare No Name pickles to Bicks Pickles.

      You get ballot #4. Keep at it. Mr.CBB

      • Hi Mr. CBB;

        If I saw bread for under $1, I would definitely buy a few loaves for the freezer as a backup in case I couldn’t bake homemade. I find, however, that my concern is increasing over the preservatives added to things like commercially prepared bread so I prefer to make homemade.

        The biggest assists to our zero waste program have been meal planning, back to basics meals, using what we buy and the freezer. My uncle used to tease my aunt, “Make sure you put that in the fridge until you get a chance to throw it out.” He could have said the same to me. Often the leftovers I intended to use sat until they were unfit for human consumption. I’d even buy food and not get around to using it before it went bad. Now, if there is a little bit of anything left over it goes in the freezer to be used later in a soup or casserole. I even freeze chicken bones if I don’t have time to make stock. If I buy anything that won’t be used up quickly it’s prepped and goes directly in the freezer. These changes have also led to a savings on garbage bag tags ($2.50 per bag in our community) and reduced the amount of food packaging in our recycling bin. I’m embarrassed to admit we used to use a bag tag a week. Since adopting meal planning and mindful grocery shopping strategies inspired by everyone’s GGC posts, we’ve used one bag tag so far for 2017.

  8. Mary F Campbell says:

    March is when hubby and I do our annual pilgrimage to the US to stock up on reduced corned beef the weekend after St Patrick’s Day. I usually buy 2, one to enjoy right away and 1 to look forward to later in the fall. 🙂

    You are so right that meal planning is crucial to budget success. I will add though that sometimes you need to build the meal plan around the “too good to be true” sale prices. We may want to have a certain vegetable BUT if I can get something equally healthy for half the price…we’re going to eat the cheap one this week. The other vegetable will be on sale at a later date so it’s not like we are doing without it forever. 🙂

    • Hi Mary;

      Very good point on selecting a cheaper substitution. I’ve been keeping that in mind when shopping and it is making a difference. You’re right that the one you want will be on sale later, usually the week after I bought it at full price:)

      I’ve been wondering, do you keep your reserves in a separate account to help you keep track, or do you just keep a record of the amount?

  9. Mary Ann says:

    I use Flipp all the time, but thought you had to have the actual flyer with you get the store to price match…no?

    I do have a template in Excel, maybe I will get faster the more I do it 🙂

  10. My week…

    Grocery Game Challenge – 2017
    Name Your Store ie: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $273.00 (Dear Lord! That’s almost your Monthly budget Mr CBB)!

    NN Chocolate Pudding x5 , 5 for – $5.00
    NN Beans x 5 for – $5.00
    Friskies Cat Food x 10 for – $7.00
    Goldfish Crackers x2 @1.98 – $3.98
    Classico Past Sauce – $2.99
    Planters Peanut Butter 1kg – $2.79
    NN Soda Crackers – $2,99
    NN Pasta x2 @1.69 – $3.38
    NN Ketchup – $1.69
    NN Tuna x 3 for – $3.99
    NN Decaf Coffee lg tub – $9.99
    NN Pasta Sauce – $3.99
    PC Salsa x 2 @ 2,79 – $$5.58
    NN Cavatappi – $1.69 <– I have no clue what this is 🙁
    NN Chips – x2 for – $3.00
    Campbells Soup x 6 @.50 – $4.00
    Mini Wheats Cereal, lg box – $8.99
    Hellmans Mayo – $3.99
    Eagle Condensed Milk – $2.94
    NN Cottage Cheese – $3.29 <– hmm, forgot I bought this, haven't seen it, must go search the fridge :0)
    PC Gouda Cheese – $3.29
    NN Cheese Blocks x2 @ 5.49 – $16.98
    Farmers Milk, 2%, 2L – $5.79
    NN Frozen Corn – $3.99
    PC Frozen Fruit – $4.99
    NN Fries – $3.99
    NN Waffles – $4.00 <– total impulse buy. NOT on the list but on sale!
    Scotts Ice Cream – 2 @ $4.49 – 8.98<– received a call while in the grocery store from my son, his request.
    Silk Cocnut Milk x2 @3.99 – $7.98
    Murrays Honey, 1kg – $9.99
    PC Spinach 227g – $2.99
    Bananas – $1.34
    Cauliflower – $3.49
    English Cucumbers 2@1.49 – $2.98
    Spagetti Squash – $5.51
    PC Chicken Nuggets 2@3,88 – $7.76
    PC Chicken Breast, fresh, 2 pkgs – $20.32
    Seaquest Frozen Shrimp, $9.99
    Fried Chicken (prepared for son's lunch) $2.25
    Sushi Combo 2@7.99/50% off – $6.98
    Canned Coconut Milk – $.99
    Dry Beans – $2.99
    Graves Apple Juice – x3 for – $3.99
    Ricotta Cheese – $5.79 <– Ouch! For a recipe
    Brita Filter 5pm – $29.99 <– now that hurt ALOT!!…but Hubby kept hounding me to get them and I can't stand paying $8 each

    No Frills
    Total Spent $10.79
    Nature Valley PB Bars x3 @1.97 – $5.91
    Oranges – $3.99

    Sobeys
    Total Speng $12.91
    Strawberries, 2lb – $4.88
    Celery – $1.99
    Bananas – $1.59
    Green Onions – $.59
    Poached Salmon (lunch for work) – $3.86

    Fresh Cut Meats
    Total Soent – $13.94
    Carvers Choice Bacon 2@1.97 – $3.94
    Eggplant – $1.84
    Mushrooms – $2.47
    Chris Bros Peperroni – $.97
    Med Ground Beef .5kg – $4.57

    Giant Tiger
    Total spent – $19.72
    Cashmere Toilet Paper. 12drolls x2 @5.98 – $11.96
    Case Mr. Noodles (12 pkgs) – $3.00
    Johnson Smokes Sausages – $3.00 <– for a recipe

    Points Overview
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $ 683.06 (overspent last month)
    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: 28.950 ***26,800 THIS SHOP!
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $ <– just received my scanner this week 🙂
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Checkout51 to date: $15.75 (no change)
    Save.ca to date: $1.39
    Caddle to date: $8.60
    Lyoness to date: $12.94

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Stockpile budget 2017 ($25.00):$0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $2.28
    Total coupons used to date: $1.39
    Total in-store discounts this week:$28.11
    Total in-store discounts to date: $70.59
    Total spent this week: $273.00
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $98.00 (based on weekly amount, but I will have higher amounts twice per month)
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $98
    Total left to spend for the month: $427.00
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $989.94
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Did some meal planning this week, pulled out the slow cooker, ended up buying items I wouldn't normally buy. Did bigger shops with less trips this week.

    • Hi Mary Ann,
      I noticed you purchase No Name quite a bit. Could you tell me your thoughts on No Name products? Different tastes? Are they really cheaper? Do you stock up on name brand if you find them on sale or do you stick to No Name? The slow cooker is our friend too!!!! I always check the sushi to see if it has a 50% off tag as we both love it but the wife no longer eats it. I would though. Great deal. Ricotta cheese is pricey. The only time we use it in a recipe is if we find it 50% off. This is one of those ingredients that might pop up at Zehrs and we do the happy dance.
      Do you like to travel to the different shops to see what deals you can find? We do even though it might take a bit more time and gas money. However most of our shops are on the same road or close to so it’s not that bad. Now that you’ve posted a few times in the GGC have you reviewed your shopping habits or do you think it’s too early? Keep at it, this will pay off in a big way for you. You get ballot #7 Mr.CBB 🙂 Have a great week Mary Ann.

      • I typically purchase NN because of the price. I’m not partial to any brand typically. Used to be a die-hard Heinz Ketchup fan but gave that up years ago 🙂

        I think that’s the first time I’ve bought Ricotta. Not sure I’ll buy it again full price but the lasagna was delicious!!

        I tend to shop 4-5 stores regularly. They’re all within the same area where one of our offices is located so I usually do my shopping run that day. 🙂

        Ive been keeping a copy of my posts so I can review them once I get a few solid months in. I also have been breaking out the non-grocery expenses to help fine tune it.

        Oh, and I cut my posting time to almost half 🙂

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