grocery game monthly challenge

Luxury Food Products That Are Eating Into Your Grocery Budget : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 3&4 May 15-28

LUXURY FOOD PRODUCTS

THE WORD GOURMET AND LUXURY ARE PARTNERS IN CRIME AND IF YOU MEET WITH THEM BE PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE.

 

The most expensive food is the food that you can’t afford to buy. Your grocery budget should be important to you especially if finance is something that you want to challenge and control.

For most consumers the  number one budget category to tackle is the food budget. The reason is because we can change how we shop and what we eat. Product prices differ all over Canada and for this reason depending on where you live the struggle to keep on budget may be near to impossible or at least seem to be.

One way you can help your grocery budget>>Investigate your habits.

Find out what gourmet really means and why you should consider chopping luxury food products that take up too much real estate in your shopping cart.There’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite luxury food products but when it becomes a habit you may be biting off more budget than you can chew.

Stop making excuses as to why you need a bag of chips every time you watch television or pop in a DVD movie. How about swapping that out for fresh-cut veggies instead? You might only get cucumbers and carrots for the price of a bag of chips but consider the health factor along with cost.

 

What can you afford?

 

Grocery shopping is not for everyone but for those of you who must endure it you should know what you can and cannot afford. The problem is that not everyone understands how luxury food purchases will affect the overall shop.

There is no one grocery budget that fits all because we all have different tastes which leads us to make the purchases we do. What I find interesting is how consumers define what luxury food products to be. We had a chat on Facebook in the What’s For Dinner feed recently and all of us considered luxury food products differently.

Last week on our road trip we made a pit stop at the grocery store to buy some snacks. While shopping Mrs. CBB’s sister mentioned that eating clean is part of her new diet regime. As they walked through the produce section she pointed to a container of spiralized zucchini. “Oh I’ve bought that to make zucchini pasta with”, she says.

The cost $5.99 a tub which would likely equal between 3-4 small zucchini or 1 medium-large zucchini. Consumers are paying the extra $3 or so for the employee to do the work and for the plastic container and labelling.

Now we know what to buy her for Christmas, a spiralizer to encourage her to do it herself. Something that we never quite thought of before was that consumers may purchase products because they don’t have the tools to do it at home. Another reason may be that they want to try it out in a small quantity before buying a larger version. It’s not about being lazy.

Being the frugal family that we are the only way we’d buy something like that is if it were half-price and cost less than buying them whole. Nine times out of ten buying a product untouched will cost you less than if it were processed. Any time we pull out our wallet to spend money on food products handled by someone to create ease of use we will pay the price.

Mrs. CBB always tries to help her sister understand the fundamentals of finance since it hasn’t been her best subject to date. Her worst habit is just buying whatever she wants although she’s been getting better and looking at prices. Living pay to pay is hard but no matter what your grocery budget is you MUST understand what you can and cannot afford.

 

What are luxury food products?

 

Luxury and Gourmet are hand-made products or foods that have been optimized to save the buyer time. They may also be products that are unique and rare with expensive ingredients. Luxury may also be the staples that many of us take for granted such as milk, bread, eggs, pasta etc.

Luxury food products are nice to have because they may cut time from the cooking process but they will also suck up a chunk of your grocery budget.

I watched this video yesterday and although it created in America I’m sure the same rings true for us in Canada. Obviously the stats will be different but what I found interesting was how the cashier made these customers stop and think about what was going on and why. Too often we are in such a rush with life that was forget to step back and think about how blessed we really are.

What it’s like to buy groceries in Poverty

A hidden camera in a San Francisco grocery store last year captured patrons’ reactions when their items ring up as five times more expensive, adjusted to reflect the cost of living near the poverty line. In “Poverty Line Prices,” above, people are shocked when they see their totals. When you’re poor, milk can have an adjusted cost of $24.

The name of the game when grocery shopping with a frugal mindset is to get as much as you can for as little as possible without compromising quality. That sounds like a tough challenge and sometimes it is but the more you keep with that mindset the easier it gets.

 

Saving money always comes with a lesson

 

While we were perusing the grocery store with her we took the time to chat about different foods, prices and tips to help her save money. Although she seemed a bit shocked at some of the things she’s missed or possibly spent more than needed what amazed her the most was the lesson.

She didn’t get this guidance growing up and although you might think it’s common sense I bet there are lots of people who could benefit from a grocery shopping 101 class. Trust me when I say, we would have been hands up first if someone were to offer back 5 years ago.

Lesson 1– How much is your grocery budget?

Lesson 2– What foods do you enjoy eating?

Lesson 3– How to create a menu plan?

Lesson 4– How to stock your pantry?

Lesson 5– Where are the best places to grocery shop?

Lesson 6– How to avoid mass marketing ploys at the grocery store?

Lesson 7– Well you get the picture and I’ve written posts on all the above topics.

 

Grocery Shopping challenge

 

If you think that walking into a grocery store without any prior prep work is the best way to save money on groceries then go for it. Over the past 5 years of investigating grocery stores and customer shopping habits including our own we stand firm that you must shop with a plan.

Here’s a mock scenario

You have $21 to spend on food.

Which would you rather have for the week? Are any of the items in either shop considered luxury food products for you? In either case there may be luxury food products that you just can’t afford however keep in mind that we don’t all view luxury in the same light.

Luxury food products for our family are items that we can do without, can make for less or wait until the product is on sale, reduced or lowered with coupons.

Shopper 1

  • Bag of chips $2.99
  • Bag of Milk 4L $4.27
  • Eggs dozen 1 $2.27
  • Pop Tarts $2.99
  • Frozen Pizza Pops $5.99
  • Case of Pop $3.99

Total Cost : $20.23

Shopper 2

  • Dry Pasta $0.99
  • Lettuce $1.99
  • Pork Sausages $3.99
  • Canned Tomatoes $1.99
  • Oatmeal $2.29
  • Milk 4L $4.27
  • Eggs dozen $1.99

Total Cost: $20.40

Challenge yourself next time you grocery shop to see how far you can stretch $21.

Clearly we would be the shopper 2 but there is no wrong or right answer here. It’s about choice and how you handle your grocery budget. Mrs. CBB and I were chatting while her sister was off doing her thing and we discussed these so-called luxury food products.

We started to point out different products that we considered to fit the bill. What we learned is that we have done well controlling our urge to spend more than we should on products we can afford but would eat into our overall shopping budget.

 

Your weakest link

 

It’s not easy being frugal and we screw up from time to time but we’re not super hero grocery shoppers. We’re human just like you and get suckered in at our weakest moments which is why I love the interaction I have with all of my readers.

Right now our weakest link is our son who can somewhat distract us at the grocery store. Our solution, we split up. It may seem easier to leave him at home but grocery shopping is a part of life and a lesson we hope to keep teaching him as he grows. Catch 22, I suppose.

Just remember what you consider luxury food products will differ from the next person. The important thing to remember is whether you really need it and what foods could you replace that product with to offer you more bang for you buck.

Would you rather have a bag of chips to eat for a week or 4 litres of milk? Choice is yours.

  1. Select pre-made and frozen products
  2. Deli meats and cheeses (from deli)
  3. Bakery products
  4. Chopped garlic in a jar – convenience
  5. Solid White Tuna vs. Chunk light tuna
  6. Select seafood products
  7. Junk food- chips, chocolate, cookies (tough one though)
  8. Pasta sauce
  9. Shredded or grated cheeses
  10. Single serve products

This took time and is hard to keep up with and we fail sometimes but the awareness is there which is most important. Like Mrs.CBB’s sister said, “I wouldn’t have known any better about coupons and savings if you didn’t help me”.  Don’t be afraid to share your grocery shopping tips with those you feel would appreciate the help.

If you feel you could use some help in the grocery shopping department you’ve dropped by the right blog. Give yourself a break, take deep breaths and look at your grocery budget, your shopping plan and what you hope to achieve from it all.

If your goal is to tighten up your overall monthly budget and your main target is food shopping then your homework. You may be pleasantly surprised what you will learn about money spent vs. money saved by applying simple grocery shopping concepts.

Good Luck.

Discussion Question: What would you consider luxury food products that don’t typically make it into your shopping cart? Why?

 

May 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.

Post your shop and you can be next.

New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules

May 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: $3180 or $265/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: $265
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
  • 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: 486,000
  • 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 : $24.50

 

Our Grocery Shop This Week

 

Costco

  • Banana $1.59
  • 2 x extra large eggs $4.99
  • Baby romaine lettuce $3.79
  • 4 x 10% cream $2.09 eac
  • Asiago Cheese $20.59
  • Brie Cheese $5.49
  • Green Beans $4.99
  • Sun-maid Raisin Bread $6.99 extra large packs

Total out-of-pocket $ 56.79

Food Basics

  • Royal Gala Apples $0.88lb 3lbs $2.65
  • 4 x selection bacon $3.47 each
  • Rapini $1.99
  • Astro Yogurt $1.99
  • Nano Yogurt $2.99
  • Planters Cashews $2.99
  • Apple juice NFC $0.99 each x 2
  • Schneiders pepperettes mild $10
  • Chocolate chip muffins $1.99 6 small
  • 2 x cucumbers $0.88

Total Out-of-pocket $39.35

All totals below already have tax factored into them.

  • Total to spend this month : $265-$8.83= $256.17 to spend in May.
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $20.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $1
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $529.07
  • Total spent this week: $96.14 (two weeks)
  • Total spent so far this month: $210.13
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $46.04
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $273.83+ May $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

You probably know we attended a funeral this past week which is why there was no GGC post last Tuesday. I’ve combined the two weeks in this post so go ahead and post both your shops in the comments below and moderated as normal. Thanks.

 Most of the food we bought the past week was for our road trip which was sudden so there was no time to pre-bake or make foods for the 10 hour trip.  What we did stock up on helped save us money from purchasing snacks at expensive pit-stops along the way.
While away we ate at our relatives house, a luncheon after the funeral and a dinner reception for the entire family at a fine dining restaurant which was all paid for.

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

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
  • Check out my new Free Recipe Index
  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving List
  • Don’t forget to Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder by Email to get my daily email. Once you subscribe you MUST VERIFY your email account so check your spam folder and inbox for that email! By Subscribing you get all the inside scoops first plus any new finance tools and tips.
  • If you notice and broken links or errors please email me or leave a comment below.
  • Note some links used in this post will be affiliate links.

Save

Save

Save

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

Comments

  1. Week 20 – May 19 – 25, 2017
    Name Your Store: Food Basics
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $30.67

    Human
    4 Cans Mushrooms = $3.96
    720 g Honey Nut Cheerios = $4.99
    2 Frozen Pizzas = $7.98
    2 Black Diamond Cheese = $8.88
    WW Tortillas = $1.88
    2 WW Bread = $2.98

    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: $30.67
    Left for the Month: $39.33
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $576.82 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $479.15

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $128.35

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $145.08

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $99.67

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $252.56

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $11.99

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $63.65

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $16.35

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 12,838

    Overview: This will probably be one of the last weeks where I can just get a little bit of things to stretch what we have in the house already. This is also one of the first times where we didn’t have to purchase milk as there was enough in the house from the previous week. Well to end this posting on a good note, I’ve done some very rough calculations and it appears that I should be able to have the consolidated debt paid off within the next year and the vehicle about 3 months earlier than anticipated.

    • Hi Dee,
      I love how you do these shops where you only buy minimal amounts to stretch what you already have in the house. I bet this really helps with the savings. OMG… this is exciting news DEE. A celebration is on the horizon and you WILL deserve it. What are the best frozen or store-made pizzas on the market these days? Our son loves pizza. I’m thinking about making him a keto waffle pizza in the press this week to see if he eats it. Picky eaters are so hard. Happy shopping Dee. You get ballot #8. Mr.CBB

  2. Week 19 – May 12 – 18, 2017
    Name Your Store: RCSS
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $26.28

    Human
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    890 mL Hellmans Mayo = $3.98

    Cats
    2 – 18 Kg NN Cat Litter = $18.03

    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: $8.25
    Left for the Month: $70.00
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $546.15 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $448.48

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $18.03
    Total Cats to Date: $128.35

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $8.16
    Total Stockpile to Date: $145.08

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $5.65
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $99.67

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $252.56

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $11.99

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $13.85
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $63.65

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $16.35

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 12,838

    Overview: Well the gift cards were a welcome sight considering last week was a little reckless. The cats really appreciated getting some litter, even though we didn’t need much.

    • Hey DEE
      That’s great I’m glad you were able to put them to good use!! Still $50 up for grabs. Seems most players are MIA… always happens in the summer. Glad to see both yourself and Mary still holding strong. I can clearly see how important budgeting and food expenses are to both of you as it is for our family. Keep at it DEE…. You get ballot #7. Mr.CBB

  3. Anne Russell says:

    Oh, if it were only me! I’ve compromised quite a bit, learned how to make some of our favourite prepackaged foods (ie. lasagna), etc.
    Still battling the soda battle though with the family. Dear husband works on the road, and water just doesn’t cut it most times. The children act like it’s heaven when they have a can of pop. Then I dump half of it down the drain (that has gone flat because they can’t finish it.) The SodaStream is ready to go, but it lacks something for them (maybe the can!)
    I bought lots of frozen juice this week, at 50 cents a can. Maybe if I hide the pop…the juice will disappear faster.
    Seriously though, I stock up on items in the sales cycle, look to save and make a substitute when I can. I have a pretty close substitute for Leadbetters Cowboy steaks and the marinade. The key is finding something that can be substituted….then not offering the more expensive option.

    • Good for you Anne
      When I was reading your comment my first thought was to get the soda stream. You’re right it’s probably the can. Compare that to people who don’t make coffee at home but go to a coffee shop. It’s the cup I bet for most people. Let me know how the juice goes down, lol. Oh and is your marinade top-secret?

      • Anne Russell says:

        Not really top secret at all! It’s called “Best Steak Marinade in Existence” by Kookie on allrecipes.com. I buy the big sirloin roast in cyropak from No Frills when it comes up on special and slice it up 3/4″ thick. Then I make the marinade and marinate the “steaks” for a bit. I always end up portioning it out (pop a couple in a freezer bag with some marinade and repeat) and freeze it for another few meals. In the summer, I occasionally have my older kids pop over, so we are good to go for a steak barbeque.
        As for the juice, we’ll see. The kids are pretty crafty and may find the pop “stash”.

  4. Great points Mr CBB! Ever since following your blog, I’ve been much more mindful of our purchases. Avocados continue to rise in price and are a luxury, I’m thinking they may have to go on the chopping block.

    Did you recently come across this article on The Star? The comments blow me away. I live downtown and shop at the No Frills weekly. What a relief when it opened five years ago – it actually put the Sobeys across the street out of business after a couple years.

    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/05/12/grocery-store-snobbery-provides-food-for-thought-keenan.html

    • Hi RB,
      Thanks for sharing that post. I gave it a read and it reminded me of this post I wrote in 2012…. http://bit.ly/2qTkU74 about grocery store snobs. You’re right avocados are getting pricey. We always look on the reduced rack and if we find them we grab them. I’ll pay 2/1.00 or $3.99 for a bag of 5 or 6 but that’s it. I know what you mean about the chopping block. I should start a chopping block list. Thanks for your comment. 🙂 Mr.CBB I shared the post on FB too.

      • Thanks for sharing the 2012 article. Ugh it’s so spot on and I can completely relate to that snobbery,I come across it regularly. People try to say they simply do not like the fresh vegetables and fruits as much, but they can’t get enough of our cooking when we host (HA). I’ll continue to hold on to and invest the money I save. Speaking of investing, do you have an article on investing in Canada and what your portfolio looks like?
        Thanks again! RB

        • Hi RB,
          No we haven’t done a investing portfolio post yet but possibly something we could look at for sure. Where do you invest your money?

          • Thanks Mr CBB, an investing post would be great!
            I’m new to the finance blogging world, monthly budgeting/expense tracking (I started in January and love it!) and I’m looking to improve my knowledge on investing and updating my investments. Many American bloggers speak to Vanguard and low cost index funds. I’m wondering if you have a similar portfolio. I currently have bank stock, Ishares (XIT), and Monthly Income Mutual Funds. I’m not satisfied with my MF returns and would like to make some changes but feel a bit lost. Curious to see what Canadian finance bloggers invest in 🙂
            Thanks again!

  5. You raise a good point. Some foods do add up and they’re not even necessary, from a nutritional point of view.

    We’ve reduced our grocery shopping significantly after giving up on buying chips and frozen pizzas or even cartons of soda! The interesting part was, we didn’t stop buying junk food because of a tight budget, we actually did it because I needed to lose some weight and decided to cut off junk food cold turkey and replace it with healthy veggies &whatnot. After a while we realized how much these “luxury foods” were actually costing us 😀

  6. Mary F Campbell says:

    MAY – Week #3 of 5- May 15-21, 2017

    2016 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults

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

    REMARKS FOR THE MONTH:

    I had planned for hubby to be on vacation for 3 weeks this month but I am not feeling terribly well. I cancelled our trip & shifted our plans around so that we have lots of even better plans later in the year.

    I did however keep a nice 4-day getaway for this month and the best part is that both breakfast and evening snacks are included with the room.

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    Once again, this is a NO SHOP WEEK but hubby did a freezer dive and came up with 2 family packs of chicken so we are eating mighty well despite not shopping!

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT SHOP IS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 6th

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP IS SCHEDULED FOR MAY 29th

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $54.64

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 58 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 22 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 4,600 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year: 4,100 Points

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 950.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAY

    ($195.86) NET RESERVE SAVINGS

    ($752.27) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 1.87 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 202.44 Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 95.70 Holiday Season Fund + $170 RCSS POINTS + $10 Dream Air Miles.
    $ 653.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 518.62 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,470.30. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $571.89 that we have added in 2017, LESS $376.03 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.

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

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

    MAY – Week #4 of 5- May 22-28, 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:

    We will use our vacation budget for an 4 day get-away weekend but since breakfast & afternoon snacks are included with the room, we’ve planned some lovely lunches…Ivar’s (love their clam chowder), Cali Burger (PNW version of In N Out) and our beloved Goldberg’s Deli (cold beet soup here I come!).

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    Once again, this is a NO SHOP WEEK because we are using up the produce we have in the fridge.Remember the rib eyes I got on the “Twelve Days of Christmas” sale at Meridian Meats? Well, tonight’s the night we get to enjoy them. 🙂 We are breaking out the barbecue and having steak, baked potatoes and 2 foil packs of vegetables…green beans with dots of butter and mushrooms done in a light sprinkling of soya sauce.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT SHOP IS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 6th

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP IS SCHEDULED FOR MAY 29th AND WILL BE REPORTED IN MY GGC #5 POST

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

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $54.64

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 58 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 22 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 4,600 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year: 4,100 Points

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 950.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAY

    ($195.86) NET RESERVE SAVINGS

    ($752.27) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 1.87 AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 202.44 Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 95.70 Holiday Season Fund + $170 RCSS POINTS + $10 Dream Air Miles.
    $ 653.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 518.62 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,470.30. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $571.89 that we have added in 2017, LESS $376.03 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.

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

    • Hi Mary,
      Sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling so well. That’s great that you had a getaway for 4 days. Outside of your accommodations are there any attractions you go to while on holiday? Finding two family packs of chicken is a great freezer dive score… lots of soups, salads and sandwiches would be in my menu plan.
      You get ballot #6.
      Mr.CBB

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        It all depends on where we are going Mr CBB and when it is. This last weekend we decided to stay in air conditioned comfort because we went from 65 F to 86 F overnight…literally. The med’s. that I am on don’t play nice with heat and direct sunlight so we tend to be out and about either early morning or late after the sun sets. This was also our annual “post-income tax get-away” as I had just paid the corporate taxes.

        Basically, this is the vacation each year where I am totally exhausted after completing the year-end, personal & corporate taxes, making the TFSA and RRSP contributions and paying the RRSP & TFSA fees for another year and just NEED a re-charge for my batteries because I don’t seem to know how to do that when I am at home and there’s work to be done. So, we just hung out at the hotel and our outings were for nice lunches, in AC comfort. Sometimes we shop in Bellevue or attend Apple computer FREE seminars & at Christmas time we do the holiday lights sight seeing. This year we have a long trip to Portland OR scheduled they have no sales tax in the state – so we’ll shop when we are there. 🙂 Every little bit of savings counts!

        Our next little get-away will involve more roaming around because we’ll be up in Whistler and there’s lots of walking paths that are shaded. I am planning to hit Cowz (ice cream parlor) and Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt for a treat each day after we “earn” them with some exercise. Of course the hotel has a gym and an outdoor pool and hot tub so we’re planning an evening swim in the midst of all the mountains. We’re staying at a Westin and each have suites with full kitchens. I am taking a cooler of food with us to cover our breakfasts, lunches and evening snacks because you don’t want to grocery shop in Whistler because it’s crazy expensive! I’d estimate everything is 3 times the price!! We will go to The Spaghetti Factory for supper on the Saturday night as a treat and then wander the village when it’s all lit up. I can get a gluten free seafood pasta and salad combo there for a decent price…so no breaking the budget on that trip either. 🙂

        We cooked up the chicken but only used half before we went away and I froze the remaining chicken into serving sized packages. I defrosted a single breast for this evening as we our making Chicken Yakisoba with Grilled Peppers-Mushrooms-Onions for dinner. Yum!

Add Your Comment

*

%d bloggers like this: