grocery game monthly challenge

How To Create A Master Food List To Slash Expenses : The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #2 Jan 8-14

How to create a master food list to slash expenses main



Easing into the grocery budget process by testing the waters for a few months with a Master Food List might just be YOUR ticket to food shopping success.

If you’re anything like me when I was single I would tend to create the same recipes over and over only because it was easy, saved time and kept me from lingering around the grocery store.

Once I got married we decided to become a lingering grocery shopping couple who had a frugal mindset yet we were and still are working on cutting back on roaming. This got me thinking the other day how easy it is to overspend when grocery shopping even if you have a meal plan and a shopping list.

Besides having a focused mindset when in the grocery store it’s important that you stick to a food list that offers your meal plan all the staples. In the UK my list would have been small, certain vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, pasta sauce, tortellini, sardines, bread, butter. I was and still am a simple guy but once I got married, EVERYTHING CHANGED!

Our diet has been all over the place the past 11 years as has our grocery shopping. We’ve learned how to grocery shop, failed at many aspects of it and then learned from those mistakes. When one feat is conquered another always seems to take its place. Price increases on food come to mind.

Welcome to 2018 another year of working magic around a grocery budget, meal planning and getting the best bang for our buck. For grocery budget newbies who are frustrated about spending too much at the grocery store a master food list may be the perfect starting point.

Think Master Food List for a diet but this isn’t a diet- it’s a food lifestyle.


Grocery list vs. Food List


What’s the difference between a grocery list and a food list?

Well for starters a grocery list can always be modified and easily distracted without personal limits. Not everyone who grocery shops with a list uses a budget and not everyone who uses a budget grocery shops with a list. As you progress on your quest to grocery shopping and stretching the budget a grocery list is ideal.

A food list is a master document of products you need in your kitchen on a regular basis to create the meals and snacks that you enjoy. This type of shopping helps create a budget-friendly mindset for those starting out learning how to budget for food. You might even be that boring food lover like I was in the UK and prefer a food list not to over-complicate your shopping experience.


How to create a master food list for your budget


THE MASTER FOOD LISTIt has been years now that Mrs. CBB and I have run the grocery game challenge and we have tackled SO MANY ways to save money on food.

In fact, there are over 200 published articles on this blog dedicated to saving money on groceries that it can be overwhelming for someone new to food budgets.

What is easy for some is terrifying for others. Think about your child and the first time they attempted to do something on their own.

Most likely they were nervous but with parental guidance they did it! Treat adding new skills to your life starting from the most basic form and move on up.

This way it assures you that you learn as much as you can along the way without skipping valuable lessons.


Ways to ease into the grocery budget process


Since I announced the grocery game challenge would go ahead for 2018 I’ve had a few emails from concerned readers.

They were wanting to know how they can jump into the grocery savings game without having to fuss over the extremities.

Consider this post an option for those of you who want to keep your food budget simple and grocery shop on tunnel vision alone. The photo above of a Master List is just an example of something you can put together but on a larger scale to include all the foods on your food list.

You could easily use the above as a weekly food list as well. If you’d like a printable version, just let me know and I’ll add it to my list of printable money saving tools. 

Sounds boring BUT this type of grocery shopping with a master food list if you think about it can keep costs down. I’m sure by now you might be wondering what a master food list is or what it looks like. Don’t worry it’s not complicated and perfect for new food budget fans who want to simplify grocery shopping while learning along the way.

  1. Create a food budget whether it be daily, weekly, monthly etc.
  2. Decide on the most popular recipes or foods that are essential to you each month and document them on a spreadsheet or if you’re like us using old-school pen and paper brainstorm foods you enjoy and those that you need on a daily basis.
  3. Write them all down and separate by department
  4. Print your list and put it on the refrigerator and use this list as a master food list
  5. Create a meal plan for your shopping trip using those ingredients
  6. Shop for ONLY those ingredients nothing more

This food list idea is comparable to a meal plan and in most cases it sure is however the difference is this an introductory guide for those who aren’t keen on meal plans or learning to shop frugally.

The idea behind having a master food list is that it keeps you accountable to only the foods that are a must-have in your household without deviating from your budget. One of the easiest things that can happen at the grocery store it that you become consumer lured by marketing baits planted in your face and under your nose.


Getting used to a grocery budget


weekly menu plan jpg

Printable Weekly Menu Plan available on the Free Money Saving Tools page

Once you get a grip on using a grocery budget for the first time you can expand your food list to include other ingredients that might help create a new meal or snack.

You see, we are creatures of habit so a food list which is simple to follow makes grocery shopping simple, budget-friendly and efficient.

Some of you may have already done this or believe that having a master list at all stages of learning how to grocery shop with a budget is beneficial.

Therefore you might continue this way of thinking when it comes to food shopping and creating meals but expanding your options.

My parents come to mind now that I think about it.

They grocery shop weekly and buy the same foods and extras week after week. Cooking was not a huge deal in our house even though I hung around to learn from my mom. British recipes are traditional at best as our cuisine is slim compared to other cultures.

Toad in a hole

Sottish Baps

British cinnamon apple pie bars

British sausage rolls

Madeira Cake

Lemon Fridge Cake

Cottage Pie

Anyhow, creating a repetitive food list that you can to choose from every time you shop helps keep life simple, if that’s what you’re looking for.

My parents are frugal however they aren’t limited by what they can and can’t buy but they still tend to stick to classics over and over. Roast Beef, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, carrots, salad.

A meal like this happened just about every Sunday in our house. A meal plan, sure that happened on Sunday but nothing more, nothing less. There was no, ‘Oh look Brussel sprouts are on sale let’s add a bag of them to the shopping cart’.

This is where a master food list comes in handy. Keep a copy in your purse or wallet for reference if that helps. If you are smartphone savvy create a memo or document on your phone.

Brussel sprouts may well be on your master food list but consider foods outside of that list where you might get tempted but shy away because it’s not supposed to be on your radar. Selective choices come to mind. Some of you may have heard about sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store if you want to save money however we know that’s easier said then done.

There are times you MUST go down the aisles and if you aren’t stern with your grocery shopping goals you can easily get side-tracked. A food list will help rid of the food drool attack when products are staring you in the face. You know when you start creating meals and ideas in your head while shopping and decide to buy something based on ideals and what your tummy is feeling at the same time.

Never shop hungry and turn your recipe brain off.

There would always be a British cake in a tin on the counter every week in our house but the same kinds. The kettle sits in the same spot with the same tins of tea bags and a coffee tin filled with grounds. It was still this way when we visited after 10 years of living in Canada this past June. You wouldn’t catch my mom recipe book surfing much because cooking and shopping was not and still isn’t her favourite chore.


Benefits of a master food list


For those expert budget shoppers this may still come in handy for you especially when you find you are slacking off from your budget duties. Getting back to budget basics is always a way to reset your frugal mindset.

You still shop the flyer sales, use coupons and do all the same things you’ve done before to save money while grocery shopping but now you will have a master food list to hold you up to your end of the bargain.

  • No more looking where you shouldn’t
  • No more questioning whether you need to buy something or not
  • Less time spent wandering around the store
  • More time learning how to use simple ingredients different ways
  • Creating a stress-free shopping experience
  • Routine and standardization

Whether grocery shopping on a budget is a breeze for you or you’ve taught yourself how to over-come shopping obstacles you may well have conquered one of the toughest budget categories of the lot. Saving money on areas in your monthly budget that you can control contributes to money you can use for other categories.

Passing the buck, but in a good way. If you’re able to invest any extra savings, you know you’ve slayed the budget! Don’t be shy be informed and arm yourself with all the tools necessary to control what you can and let go of what you can’t.

Discussion: What other newbie grocery budget/food shopping with a list tips can you offer for readers of this blog post?


January Grocery Game Challenge


Join in the 2018 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) but before you do you must read The Grocery Game Challenge Rules and Print the 2018 Schedule. In this section I will post each weeks grocery game challenge blog posts for the month.

New Prize Schedule : See the Grocery Game Rules

January GGC Posts

  1. Grocery Budget Basics-5 Must-Read Tips About Your Food Expenses GGC#1


Free Money Saving Tools 2018


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 created to get us on track working 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 2018


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 6 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.


2018 Grocery Shop Results


Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2018: $3600 or $300/month (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 or that you would like to track on your own)

  • Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $300
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $300
  • 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: 750,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: 995,000 points

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Zweet -$0.
  • Checkout51- $1.50


Our Grocery Shop This Week



  • 2 x Sealtest Milk $4.05 each
  • 2 x Jumbo eggs $4.99 each
  • 4 x Natrel Whipping Cream 1L $4.95 each
  • 6 x Natrel1L10% cream $1.95 each
  • Bananas $1.57

Total Out-of-Pocket $51.15


  • 10 x jalapeno cheddar cheese reduced Cracker Barrel 400gram brick $1.95 each $19.50 stockpile budget
  • 1 x green cabbage $2.50
  • 2 x strawberries $1.88 each

Total Out-of-Pocket $25.76- $19.50 stockpile budget = $6.26

Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.

  • Total to spend this month : $300
  • Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $19.50
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month  Jan $35 Saved
  • 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: $0
  • Total spent this week: $57.41
  • Total spent so far this month: $101.51
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $198.48
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $+Feb $+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

With another winter storm approaching I was instructed by the Mrs. to stock up on a few bits so I don’t have to make a mad dash in a sloppy mess on the roads this next week. You may notice that we now have a Christmas reserve fund as I’m following suit with Mary.

The reason is that we spent hundreds more this Christmas on food at my in-laws having to cook everything since they are unable. We couldn’t ask them to buy food so we did it. Just to be prepared for this upcoming holiday we want to make sure we have the money set aside so there are no surprises.

I’d like to do a GGC post on reserves soon once I get all the in’s and out’s sorted because I really believe it will help others break down their grocery budget savings plan even further.

Happy Shopping everyone.



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 2018?

Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!

If any of the links below don’t open properly please report them to my email address or use comment form.

  • 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
  • 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, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.


Grocery Game Challenge 2018 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 2018 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 prize payout?- I’ve changed the prize to yearly so I’ll be tracking everyone’s shop and draw accordingly for larger prize payouts.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month? Ideally you would want to have all your shops in by the end of the month so you can review your month so you make improvements for the next.
  • 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 2014-2017 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 that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile 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.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 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!  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 2018!


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
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  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving List
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Mr. CBB who was born and raised in the United Kingdom, moved to Canada where he is now a permanent resident. He is also a father to a very active 3 year old boy which keeps him young at heart. He bought his first house at the age of 21 in the UK after graduating University and his second at age 24. Mrs. CBB bought her first house at the age of 30. Both Mr.CBB and his wife are 40-ish year-old finance lovers who accomplished debt freedom before the age of 40. Canadian Budget Binder is a fun, family-friendly place where he shares their financial journey with his readers and hopes to learn about theirs. No silver-spoon just hard work and perseverance. Welcome to Canadian Budget Binder! You've got this!


  1. If you still find you’re eating like royalty at the beginning of the month and then scraping by at the end, take out cash for groceries every week instead of every month.

  2. Week 2 – January 8 to January 14th

    Yearly grocery budget for 2 adults- $5100 plus $300 for a stockpile ($25 month)
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 425
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $ 5
    • Total Air Miles/Points redeemed this week: $
    • Total Air Miles Points used to date:
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 7800 earned this week – total of 29290


    4 coffee cream $11.84
    Spinach 2.99
    Nann Bread 2.99
    Eggs * 2 = 10.99
    Pure Protein bars = 14.99
    Beef Jerky 12.99
    Greek Yogurt 8.99
    Bananas 1.99
    Feta 8.69
    Total – $73.55

    Tea – $10
    Mayo $4
    Milk $5
    Chicken $20
    Chips $4
    Cheese $5
    Juice $12
    Total – 91.35

    • Stockpile budget 2018 ($25.00 per month):$
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $
    • Total coupons used this week: $ 1
    • Total coupons used to date: $ 1
    • Total spent this week: $164.90
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $
    • Total left to spend for the month: $260.01
    • Total Spent To Date 2018:

    Weekly Overview :
    This week pretty good – I went to Costco on Friday and was proud with my purchase – I was really itching to go shopping on Saturday but with the messy weather decided to stay home – I did some shopping today at Superstore – I didn’t list everything I bought since I had to get a lot of little items but I think we are on track for this month!

  3. WEEK 2: Jan. 8-14
    Monthly Budget ($475 for a family of 4)

    Jan. 12, 2018

    • Atlantic Superstore
    • Total Coupons Used: $6.00
    • Total PC Plus Points Redeemed:
    • Total PC Plus Points Earned: 1,200
    Total Check Out 51 Cashback Offers Used: $0.25
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $34.75

    No Name Garlic Powder $2.29
    Bear Paws $1.67
    2x Italpasta Mac and Cheese $0.59
    PC Mozzarella Shredded Cheese $4.48
    2x Baxter’s Milk 2L $3.49
    2x Cracker Barrel Cheese $4.99
    Silk Almond Milk $2.94
    Apples 4LB $2.99
    No Name Bologna $1.79
    Carvers Bacon $1.99
    Old Mill Bread $2.00 – %50
    Old Milk Blueberry Bagels $2
    3x Lunch Blox Sauce Containers 2 Pack Reduced to $0.54 – %50
    Lunch Blox Condiments Containers 3 Pack Reduced to $0.94 – %50

    • Walmart
    • Total Coupons Used: $5.47
    • Total Caddle Cash Back Offers Used: $0.25
    • Total Out of Pocket: $31.65

    Great Value Fries $1.78
    Great Value Hashbrowns $1.78
    Great Value Pancakes $1.77
    Yoplait Tubes $1.48
    2x ML Hotdogs $0.97
    Pillsbury Pizza Pops $4.72
    Quaker Harvest Crunch $1.98
    Goldfish $1.88
    Grape Tomatoes $2.48
    Activia 8 Pack $2.88
    Toaster Strudel $1.88
    Ben’s Hotdog Buns $2.66
    East Smart Salas Kit $4.47
    Red Pepper $1.77
    Cucumber $1.27
    Bananas $0.36
    Red Grapes $1.03

    • Sobeys
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Fast Fuel Coupons Used: $2.55
    • Total Out of Pocket: $0.80

    Compliments Waffles $1.49
    Potatoes 10LB $1.88

    • Shopper’s Drug Mart
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Shoppers Optimum Points Earned: 30
    • Total Out of Pocket: $3.76

    2x Eggs $1.88

    • Tomavo Fruits
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $2.42

    2X Blackberries $0.99
    Bananas $0.44

    Points Overview
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $475
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $475
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    • Total PC Plus Points used in 2018 to date: 20,000
    • Total PC Points Plus Earned in 2018 to date: 1600
    • Shopper’s Optimum Points Earned in 2018 to date: 40
    • Shopper’s Optimum Points used in 2018: 0
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0

    Coupon Apps
    • Zweet to date: $24.00
    • Checkout51 to date: $247.50
    • to date: $5.00
    • Caddle to date: $22.95

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Stockpile budget 2017 ($25.00): $25.00
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    • Total coupons used this week: $
    • Total coupons used to date: $15.47
    • Total Fast Fuel Coupons used to date: $7.37
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $2.28
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $2.28
    • Total spent this week: $73.38
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $Under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $347.35
    • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $127.65

    Weekly Overview:
    We were able to use quite a few more items from our freezer and cupboards this week which was nice, so most of our grocery items were fresh produce, dairy and lunch or snack items for the boys. I also found some Lunch Blox containers that are the same kind as I use for my kids’ lunches and I’ve been wanting a few more of these sizes. They were greatly reduced (marked down from $4.49 and $4.99 each to $0.54 and $0.94) and then 50% off on top of that! So even though they aren’t grocery items I put them in as such since I hadn’t budgeted for them otherwise and they only added $1.28 to my order opposed to the regular $18.46 they would have cost. And I was still under budget.

    • Hi Erika,
      Smart score on the containers… wow!! I have to ask about the ITAL pasta mac and cheese. Our son is a picky eater and won’t eat KD. Is there a difference? I’ve tried making homemade pizza, mac n cheese etc and he just won’t touch it. I just thought I’d ask.
      What are your 2018 grocery game goals?

      • I find the flavour is a bit different with the Ital Mac and Cheese but my boys are also not too picky when it comes to their Mac and Cheese options and I generally but whatever is on sale or cheapest.
        And I was super excited about the excellent deal on the containers and it was at just the right time!
        My goal is to have the grocery game challenge keep me accountable to really tracking my spending this year. We’re trying hard to be very intentional with how we spend our money and to pay off our credit cards for good. It’s also helping me to track our other spending not just on groceries. And so far it’s doing it’s job!

  4. JANUARY 8-14

    -1 can Holiday Luncheon Meat $1.00
    -2 x 1L Lucerne Chocolate Milk (@1.00 each) $2.00
    Hellman’s Mayo $3.99
    Total Out Of Pocket: $6.99

    -Smuckers Raspberry Jam $2.87
    -Corn Flakes $2.54
    -Cheerios $2.77
    -Lime $0.47
    -Cilantro $0.63
    -2 x PC Diced Tomatoes (@1.00 each) $2.00
    -PC Chicken Broth $1.77
    -Barilla Spaghetti $0.94
    -2L Milk $3.43
    Total Out of Pocket: $17.42

    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    PC Plus Points Balance: 11278
    PC Plus Points Redeemed: $0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Checkout51- $6.95
    Total to spend this month : $200
    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: $0
    Total spent this week: $24.41
    Total spent so far this month: $88.85
    Total over/Under spend this shop ($40/wk): Wk1 over $24.44+Wk2 under $15.59=over $8.85
    Total left to spend for the month: $111.15
    Total Spent To Date 2018: Jan $88.85

    • Oops, forgot my overview…
      Bought a few things for meals this week and replenish some pantry items. I’m still drawing down my freezer which I still have mostly seafood and 1 steak. All out of chicken and pork now so next week may start stocking up on chicken and pork again.

    • Hi Jenny,
      Is this grocery budget for 1? I have to ask… have you ever tried chocolate milk and corn flakes before? I have …not too bad. 🙂 I always like Corn Flakes because they are delicious and inexpensive.

  5. Week 2: January 8-142018
    Monthly Budget: 500 (family of 4 and a dog)

    Independent Grocer
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $110.64
    ketchup 3.49
    Pc granola bars x3 @1.99ea
    Pc sriracha mayo 2.99
    Pc dog kibble 23.99
    Bread yeast 2.29
    Vlasic Pickles 4.99
    Saputo shredded cheese 15.49
    Shredded cheese 4.99
    Skin slice cheese Kraft 4.99
    Organic raisins 2@ 3.49ea
    2 pints grape tomatos @ 4.99 ea
    Ground pork 2.64
    Panini rolls 3.30
    Package of pepperoni 10.00

    Food Basics
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $65.47
    ranch dressing 3.99
    Franks red hot 4.29
    Classico pasta sauce x2 @ 1.49ea
    Pizza sauce x2 @ 1.49ea
    Ground beef 8.43
    Lettuce 1.97
    4sweet peppers 3.98
    2 cucumbers @ 1.77 ea
    Deli turkey breast 7.00
    Eggs 12 pk 2.27
    Almond milk 2.88
    Hamburger buns 3.49
    Tortillas x2 @ 4.19 ea

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 500
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $300
    PC Points Plus Earned to date:133990
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Coupon Apps
    Used none (will need to download them)

    • Stockpile budget 2018 ($30.00)
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $12.95
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $0
    • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $176.14
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: over
    • Total left to spend for the month: $234.83
    • Grocery carry over (to next week): $0
    • Total Spent To Date 2018: Jan $265.17
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): went over the budget. I figured I would with additional school snacks/food. I think my school food will be my “stock money” and I increased to 30$ a month.
    A little disappointed. Oh and the dog food was an additional purchase of 23.99(not every week) after this month is over I will look at places where I could have cut/saved etc. However I have been sticking to my food ingredients only and stuff we are out of.

    • Hi Patricia,
      You could always call it School Snack fund and track what you are spending on school snacks for the year. This way you have an indication for the following year how much you might need. Just an idea. Mr.CBB

  6. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults- $7800. or $650 month (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 or that you would like to track on your own)

    Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $650
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $40.
    Total Rewards Points used to date: 380 Air Miles cash
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 96560
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Shoppers Optimum: 48123 points
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Zweet -$13.25
    Checkout51- $8.50

    Our Grocery Shop This Week
    1 Downy- 6.00
    1 jug water- 5.49
    4 Hunts tomato sauce @4/5.00
    1 bag rice- 2.79
    8 Barella pasta @ 1.00
    6 Tomato soup @2/1.00
    1 block med cheddar cheese- 5.99
    1 4l milk -4.27
    1 Baileys flavour coffee creamer- 2.99
    2 frozen fries @2.00
    8 Swanson meat pies @1.00
    Bananas- 1.17
    1 Inside round roast- 9.61
    2 Extra lean ground beef- 5.29 & 4.92, 30% stickers saved 1.59 &1.48
    1 package bacon -4.00
    2 WW bread @2.00
    Total Out-of-Pocket $87.29-380 AM cash points($40.00) = $47.29, $3.07 discounts, 38 Air Miles cash

    No Frills
    1 can Friskies cat food- .67
    2 Tomato sauce @.97
    2 hot chocolate mix @3.99, 2X1.00 coupons
    1 yogurt- 3.97- 50% sticker- 1.99
    1 doz large eggs -1.97
    4 1l chocolate milk @1.00
    Bananas -.75
    1 pack lean ground beef- 11.26
    1 pork tenderloin -8.03
    1 bread crumbs -1.99
    1 L’Oreal shampoo- 3.97
    1 L’Oreal conditioner -3.97
    Total Out-of-Pocket $49.91, $2.00 coupons, 1300 PC Points
    Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.

    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
    Stockpile budget used this month: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $4.00
    Total coupons used to date: $6.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $3.07
    Total in-store discounts to date: $4.52
    Total spent this week: $97.20
    Total spent so far this month: $206.42
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $443.56
    Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $+Feb $+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Managed to stay under for another week. I had a fair amount here by the end of last year so right now I’m getting sale items and a few basics that we get all the time. Our male cat has had dental issues and I’ve been getting him soft food to eat. He hasn’t been eating much and needs to gain him some weight but we are trying to tempt his appetite. Poor cat…..
    I used some of the Air Miles cash we have built up to help keeps things in line and to simply use them. I might go that way once a month or so. It’s been a good start to the year and I want to eat our way down some in the freezers as they need to be defrosted soon, easier when there is less in them to start. Need to figure out where hubby put the picnic coolers this time…again.

  7. Week 2 January 8-14

    January Monthly budget $300 ($60 per week)
    January Costco budget $100 ($20 per week)
    Total Spent Grocery: $62.00
    Total Spent Costco: $0
    Grocery left to spend: $179.05
    Costco left to spend: $100
    Coupons used: $0
    Coupons to date: $0
    PC Plus Redemption: $0
    PC Plus Redemption to date: $0
    Checkout 51 Opening Balance 2018: $133.95
    Checkout 51 weekly offers redeemed: $0
    Checkout 51 Current balance: $133.95
    Checkout 51 Cheque Redemption: $0
    Checkout 51 Cheque Redeemed to date: $0
    Grocery carry over (previous months): $0
    Costco carry over (previous months): $0

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    Milk 4.27
    Total 4.25

    Real Canadian Superstore
    Minute Maid Frozen Concentrate 4 x 1.00
    PC Frozen Pomegranate 3.88
    PC Frozen Cherries 3.88
    PC Frozen Blueberries 2 x 3.88
    Blood Orange 2lb bag 4.98
    Bananas 1.57
    Iceberg Lettuce 1.48
    Frozen Meatballs 10.00
    Chapmans Holiday Cones 3 x 2.24 Clearance
    Chapmans Holiday Sandwiches 4 x 2.2
    Tax 2.04
    Total 58.75

    We did not need a lot this week, so I took the opportunity to stock up on a few things. Our household is on a smoothie kick again and frozen berries went on sale, so win for us. We’ve seen on so many cooking shows the use of blood oranges and we always said as a family that we wanted to try them, so for the first time they appeared at our grocery store, so in the cart they went. No, they weren’t on the list, but trying something new is always a good thing. Meatballs were still a good price, so we got another box this week and we will next week too if the price stays the same. At this time each year, I go looking for the Chapmans holiday frozen treats and ice cream because they always go on clearance. This was the week. Not on the list, but something we always get. I’m sad that they didn’t have the candy cane tubs this year, but cones and sandwiches are a great treat without having the expense of Dairy Queen or even sale prices for these items. Basically this week turned out to fill the freezer. Can’t wait to try the oranges, and they may make a lovely addition to our smoothies! No Costco trip this week.

    • Note: the RCSS trip should have listed the Chapmans Sandwiches at 2.24, lol. Noticed as soon as I hit post that I was missing it!

  8. Week 2 – Jan 5 – 11/18
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points = 11,400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.60

    1.4 Kg Minute Rice = $5.98
    NN Vanilla Extract = $3.48
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    2 Boxes “Ready to Bake” Cookies = $3.76
    Bananas – 1.130 Kg (200 PC Points) = $1.42

    2 – 18 Kg NN Cat Litter – (4,000 PC Points) = $15.77
    4 – 48 NN Garbage Bags – 2/$6.00 (3,600 PC Points) = $12.00
    4 – 30 NN Garbage Bags – 2/$6.00 (3,600 PC Points) = $12.00
    5 – 500 mL Baking Soda = $5.00

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1820.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $18.92
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $63.39 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $47.07

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($390)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $47.89
    Total Cats to Date: $47.89 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $0.00

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($390)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $24.27
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $24.27 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $0.00

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

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $11.76

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

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 11,400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 40,000
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 11,828

    Overview: Doing some stock up of cat supplies and personal hygiene while I don’t have to pay for it out of my budget. Didn’t really need much this week on the food front but now I have to start over in saving the PC Points and such. Thanks for the boost to this year’s budget Mr. CBB.

  9. Mary Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #2 of 5- Jan 8-14, 2018


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



    It’s time to start making soups again…BUT unfortunately this week continues to be devoted to leftover re-makes. How can we still have so much food to use up?


    The good news is that we’ve almost finished the appetizers. There’s enough for me to have in my lunches this week supplemented by either fresh fruit or vegetables. We have finished the Balsamic Beef roast! Yay! Hubby will finish off the cabbage rolls tomorrow in his lunch…we are getting there! 🙂

    That just leaves ham, turkey and eggs to clean up along with some raw vegetables. So, the meal plan this week will be:

    1. Take-out Sushi (on a night I came home rather battered from my hospital out-patient care)

    2. Turkey & Vegetable Fried Rice

    3. a Denver Omelette with Roasted Multi-Colored Peppers and Yellow & Red Onions

    4. Pizza Penne Bake with Steamed Broccoli

    5. Imitation Crab and Cream Cheese Filled Crescent Rolls with Celery and Carrot sticks

    6. Tomato-Cucumber-Onion Salad with Mom’s Tuna Casserole AND

    7. Homemade version of McMuffin Sandwiches with a bowl of Vegetable Soup

    This week the only things I really NEEDED to purchase were milk and some bread for hubby’s lunches… so that’s my exciting bit of shopping plus a discounted pizza that hubby grabbed to supplement his lunch materials.

    My sweetie always checks to see if his favorite pizza is on at 30% off & I have said go ahead and buy it when it’s on sale since he spends $3.50 and gets 2 really good lunches from it. I was impressed that he also managed to score our milk at 50% off! Even the bread we purchased was on sale this week…hence we loaded up. It wasn’t a bad week really – we only spent $10.75!



    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x 50% Off 4L Skim Milk $2.25
    1 x 30% off Deli Pizza $3.50

    Total OOP: $5.75

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $3.75 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    5 Buttercup WW Bread @ $1 ea = $5.00

    • Total OOP: $5.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $1.95 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    OUR NEXT USA SHOP MAY BE IN FEBRUARY but my health issues may push that shop back



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $5.70

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 0 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 0 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 0 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year: 0 Points



    $ 190.00 Grocery Budget JAN


    ($ 10.75) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 520.69 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 117.59 Holiday Season Fund + $210 RCSS POINTS + $10 Dream Air Miles + $10 RCSS Gift Card +
    $50 RCSS Gift Card = $397.59
    $ 664.59 Summer Season Fund
    $ 556.87 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 41.56 GGC Savings Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,901.30. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $140.00 that we have added in 2018, LESS $0.00 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.



  1. […] post How To Create A Master Food List To Slash Expenses : The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #2 Jan 8-14 appeared first on Canadian Budget […]

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