grocery game monthly challenge

Quick Tips For Buying Groceries Without A Vehicle: The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #3 Jan 15-21

tips for buying groceries without a vehicle



When I was in University I didn’t have a supermarket near me which meant I had to get creative with buying groceries and stockpiling sales so I didn’t go without or even worse, run out. It’s not like I wouldn’t have been without food since there were and still are take-away shops in just about every village in the UK.

Being a frugal guy all my life it was rare you’d catch me eating out when I could make it at home for less. I would and still do get more enjoyment out of creating delicious meals at home then heading to a restaurant.

My idea of eating out would be a restaurant or street vendor selling food that I’d have no idea how to cook, won’t cook or foods I’ve never tried before. Many people who do go out to eat get the same boring food that’s relatively easy to make. That’s not really why a majority of people eat out anyways, it’s the convenience.

When I get asked why so many people eat out I know that one of the biggest reasons is the lack of ambition to cook for the meal because it may have been a long day or there’s not much at home to cook.

Related: Eating Out v.s Eating In -The Comparison

You may be due for buying groceries and your pantry is getting slim so eating out is the next option until you make it to the food store. The problem with this way of buying groceries and eating out is that you get into an eating and spending cycle that revolves around added expenses.

Dear Mr.CBB I don’t drive

I don’t have a vehicle how can I save money buying groceries? This was a recent question I had messaged to me on Facebook from a reader who is trying to chop her eating out costs in order to cook at home this year. She’s also tracking her grocery expenses for the entire year like we do here at the Grocery Game Challenge. This will give her the numbers she needs to improve her grocery budget.


Buying Groceries and no vehicle


If you live in the city and are fortunate to have a grocery store in your neighbourhood or even a few you’ve got no excuse for spending money eating out if you can’t afford it. Not being able to cook is not one of them either. Learn. Google. You Tube.

As someone who has struggled to get enough groceries in the past because I lived a bit away from the food shops and didn’t have a vehicle I had to make do with what I had. I also had to make sure that I made a shopping list that consisted of sales items paired with must-have groceries so I was always able to prepare a meal.

Over 15 years later and I’m living in Canada and things have changed drastically for me when it comes to grocery shopping. I now have a large truck, live close to grocery stores and don’t need to make multiple shopping trips like I did back home.

Sometimes I’d even pay a bit more money if I had to and go to the local shop in the village which also doubled as the most expensive grocery store on the planet. There were deals only if you believed they were because you shopped there exclusively. Compare this to grocery shopping at 7-11.

If you are without a vehicle to get you to the grocery store you may be one of these types of grocery shoppers;

  • Walk and shop
  • Bike and shop
  • Motorcycle and shop
  • Uber and shop
  • Taxi and shop
  • City bus/Street Car/Subway and shop
  • Community service transportation and shop
  • Call a friend and shop
  • Scooter and shop
  • Swim and shop if the store is across a lake (a bit out there but you never know)

Any of the above means of transportation will only allow you to buy so many groceries because there won’t be enough space or it would be too much for you to handle once you’re dropped off. An example might be living in an apartment building and having to use the elevator. If you have far too many bags of groceries you’d either need help from someone or have to make a few trips. I don’t know if leaving your groceries alone would yield a theft but you never know.

Related: Big City Savings Tip For Grocery Shopping

One suggestion for this person might be to purchase a fold-able grocery cart that can handle multiple bags of groceries which can then be wheeled on an elevator. If your building doesn’t have an elevator consider your health and ability to get up and down the stairs over multiple trips. Sometimes less is more but may contribute to eating out more if you’re not buying enough of the right groceries until the next shopping trip.

For those who use a walker on wheels you will also be significantly affected so by purchasing one maybe two bags at most you may find that doable. If walking every day to the shop is not something you can or want to do then making the most of your groceries is imperative.

Come winter time this may change dramatically as you choose a different transportation option to buy your groceries. You may see an increase in costs to get to the store and back but they far outweigh eating out. Going without food should never be an option for anyone in Canada or anywhere for that matter.

Grocery delivery is always an option and I know you are going to say there is a cost involved but consider the costs involved with doing it yourself without a vehicle.

  • Extra time
  • More hassle if there are kids involved
  • Money for transportation even to pay a friend or family member gas money (always offer something)
  • Ability to buy less because of not being able to carry it all

You might as well enjoy surfing the grocery store website and get the groceries delivered. If none of this works you could always hire a professional shopper to do the work for you.


Grocery Pick-Up


You can now order your groceries online and have them ready when you get to the grocery store. How cool is that? It has been an ongoing service for well over a year now and it’s a busy one. If you do order Uber or a taxi you can easily order ahead of time, have the taxi park and have the groceries delivered to the vehicle. Time saved, money saved *not calling a second cab)

If you’re opting to walk, bike or use any other means of transportation to get your groceries your master grocery list must be supreme. Being as precise as possible with your meal planning and food list will get you more of the foods you need in your pantry and refrigerator to keep you from eating out until the next shop.

When I did eventually live closer to a grocery shop I was able to walk or bike and many times took my dog up for a walk when I needed to grab something small. Most times I would make a few trips a week since I didn’t have a large capacity refrigerator and because I could.

If you’re not that lucky to live a reasonable distance when walking but still walk consider the amount you will be carrying or wheeling back to your home and plan accordingly. Less of the junk food and more of the good stuff that will fill your belly is ideal.


Riding your bike/motorcycle/scooter/mobility scooter


Whether you are riding a bicycle, scooter or motorcycle you are left with minimal space to store lots of groceries. One idea I’ve seen in the past is adding a basket to the front or back of your bicycle. This way you can store a bag or two of groceries inside. Add a back-pack with more groceries and away you go. If you can balance anything on your head (I’m not that talented) you could get away with even more!

A motorcycle/scooter may be tricky to do all the above so you are left with what space your bike has to offer. Just make sure to create a grocery list that will get you through the week or even every few days until you can bike up to the shop again. You must have that mini-shop grocery mindset though. This means having to return more than once a week otherwise you may go the fast-food route and that will cost you even more.

Those with a mobility scooter will most often have a large basket at the front and possibly other space depending on the type of scooter they drive. Again making sure that staples you pick up along with sales that can be turned into good healthy meals until the next shop is imperative.


Riding the bus/street car/subway


A wire grocery shopping cart, backpack or good strong grocery bags are necessary. If you can only carry a few bags of groceries at one time choose wisely. It may seem like a good idea at the time to grab a case of pop or bags of chips but not if it taps into your ability to bring real food home. Leave that stuff, you will live without it and concentrate on foods that will keep you nourished.

If there is a time where you are out and about and run into a shop because you don’t need groceries but want to grab one or two things perhaps that might be a better time to grab some of those snack items. Keep in mind that whether you are riding the bus, streetcar or using the subway the number of people using the service may be a full-load.

If the service is jam-packed you may struggle if you have too many grocery bags or even risk your bags getting trampled on buy those not paying attention. I’d stick to two maybe 3 bags max if you are alone but one or two with a kid(s) in tow. especially if you have a purse, diaper bag and stroller.

The number is up to you and what you believe you can handle safely.


10 Grocery items to always have on hand for a quick meal


These types of groceries are subject to changed based on your diet and lifestyle. These groceries are based on someone who has no food restrictions so change it as you see fit. Make this a small exercise for you to do right now so you have your list ready to go. Print it and put it on your refrigerator or in your budget binder.

  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Cheese
  4. Bread
  5. Butter/Margarine
  6. Beans
  7. Hotdogs/sausages/mince/tuna/peanut butter
  8. Vegetables
  9. Pasta
  10. Pasta Sauce or canned tomatoes

With the above 10 or so ingredients (including a few vegetables) you can make a multitude of dishes to get you through until the next shop. If you struggle with transportation getting to and from buying groceries or you find you’re spending far too much than you need to rework a shopping plan that will suit your grocery budget.

There’s no reason you have to eat the same foods over and over unless you choose to do so. There’s also no reason to eat out more than you are buying groceries. Costs involved with eating out no matter where and how many times you do will always outweigh buying groceries and preparing meals at home.

Don’t let your grocery budget numbers fool you, track them yourself and you’ll see.

Discussion: What other ways can you save on buying groceries when you don’t have a vehicle? I know I’ve missed something so share your experiences or tips in the comment section below.


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

  • Grocery Budget Basics-5 Must-Read Tips About Your Food Expenses GGC#1
  • How to Create a Master Food List- GGC#2


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 $4.25 each
  • Eggs 24 extra large $4.99
  • Bananas $1.59
  • Apple Cider Vinegar $6.99
  • Mayonnaise $6.99
  • Spinach $2.99
  • Kale $3.99
  • Almond Flour $16.99
  • Avocado oil $11.99
  • Kraft Peanut Butter $5.99
  • Hotdogs $11.99
  • Baking Powder $5.99
  • Turmeric $3.99
  • Black Diamond Cheese Slices sale $4.49

Total Out-of-Pocket $97.87

Food Basics

  • 2 x strawberries $1.88 each
  • Cucumbers $1.29
  • Mushrooms $1.99
  • Astro Yogurt Coconut $1.97
  • 5 pk avocado $2.88
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.99
  • 3 small zucchini $2.20

Total Out-of-Pocket $14.09

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: $111.96
  • Total spent so far this month: $213.47
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $86.53
  • 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)

This week we did a bit of a stock-up at Costco which basically covers regular purchases for us. Our son loves going to Costco too so it’s a family outing type of grocery shop. Other than that we stuck to some basic sales to stock up on food from Food Basics. We did grab paper towels and Cashmere toilet paper on sale but that falls under a different budget category for us.



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?

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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. Week 3 – Jan. 15-21

    Total Grocery Budget $475 (Family of 4)

    Jan. 18, 2018

    • Shopper’s Drug Mart
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Shoppers Optimum Points Earned: 20
    • Total Out of Pocket: $2.86

    Wonder Bread $1.99
    Pepperidge Farms Cookies $0.99

    Jan. 20, 2018

    • Walmart
    • Total Coupons Used: $3
    • Total Out of Pocket: $74.38

    Lean Ground Beef $4.50
    Great Value Hotdogs $1.87
    Lean Ground Pork $4.00
    Kraft Shredded Cheese $3.97
    McCain Potato Pancakes $2.47
    Great Value Hashbrowns $1.78
    Great Value Waffles $1.77
    Great Value Pancakes $1.77
    Pillsbury Pizza Pops $4.72
    Hashbrown Patties $3.37
    2x Old El Paso Taco Kit $2.94
    VH Plum Sauce $2
    Great Value Kidney Beans $0.88
    Quia Cereal $7.97
    Great Value Pecans $3.17
    Old El Paso Ranch Shells $3.47
    Bisquick $3.37
    Garlic Bread $3.97
    Lucky Charms $2.44
    Dempster’s Bagels $3
    Snapea Crisps $1.99
    Veggie Straws $2.00
    2x Fresh Express Salads $4.47 – 50%
    Fresh Express Salad $3.47 – 50%

    • Sobeys
    • Total Coupons Used: $4.99
    • Total Fast Fuel Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $9.32

    Heinz Ketchup $2.99
    Sponge Towels $3.77
    2x Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup $0.50
    Zucchini $0.99
    Eat Smart Salad $4.99

    • Superstore
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total PC Points Earned: 3,400
    • Total Cash Back Offers Used: $0.25 Caddle
    • Total Out of Pocket: $32.36

    Nestea $1.00
    Brown Sugar $1.44
    No Name Pizza Sauce $0.95
    No Name Lasagna Noodles $2.49
    2x Pringles $0.50
    No Name Cottage Cheese $3.49
    Silk Almond Milk $2.99
    Strawberries 2LB $4.99
    Dave’s Killer Bread $5.49
    PC Naan Rounds $2.99
    Old Mill Bagels $1.99
    PC Chocolate Fingers $3.44

    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: 5,000
    • Shopper’s Optimum Points Earned in 2018 to date: 60
    • 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: $23.20

    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: $7.99
    • Total coupons used to date: $23.46
    • Total Fast Fuel Coupons used to date: $7.37
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $6.19
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $8.47
    • Total spent this week: $118.92
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: Under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $228.43
    • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $246.57

    Weekly Overview:
    I had an impromptu visit from my parents this week and had to prepare a large meal for them and some other family members that I wasn’t expecting, so this upped my spending a bit this week. Still pretty on track though so I’m hoping to end out the month strong with lots of unused grocery money to use to pay down my credit card.

    • Hi Erika,
      WOW you’re smashing Checkout51 congrats. I always struggle to find things to cash in but on occasion we find things. We certainly used the apps for diapers and still do but that’s near the end in our house, finally.
      What are your goals with the GGC?
      Congrats on joining the GGC… lots of new fans on board which is great!
      Make this the year!! 🙂

  2. Week 3 – January 15-21
    Weekly Budget ($140 for a family of 3)
    Total to date: $131.03

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $600
    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 to date: 20460
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $

    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to date: $

    STORE: Independent Grocer
    Total Coupons Used: $ 0
    Total PC Points Redeemed: 0
    Total PC Points Earned:
    Total Out Of Pocket: $8.10

    -Nature’s Path Cereal $4.00
    -Milk $1.49
    -Kettle Chips $2.49

    STORE: Real Canadian Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $ 0
    Total PC Points Redeemed: $20
    Total PC Points Earned: 3600
    Total Out Of Pocket: $42.20

    -No Name Whole Wheat Flour $6.98
    -PC Olive Oil $9.48
    -PC Taco Shell $2.28
    -No Name Large Flake Oats $4.26
    -Walnut $3.55
    -Mixed Nuts $0.63
    -Avocado Bag $3.74
    -PC Frozen Berries $3.97
    -Almond $2.44
    -Almond Breeze $7
    -Egg $4.78
    -Navel Orange $3.61
    -Radish $0.97
    -Organic Banana $3.31
    -YV Ham/Turkey Slice $5

    STORE: Bakery
    Total Out Of Pocket: $19.95
    -Black Forest Ham $5.54
    -Havarti Cheese $10.67
    -Salami $2.54
    -Croissant mini $1.17

    STORE: Safeway
    Total Out Of Pocket: $6.70
    -GF Hotdog Buns $4.70
    -Tomato $2.00

    STORE: Donald’s Market
    Total Out Of Pocket: $7.63
    -GF Bagel $3.25
    -Sausages $4.38

    STORE: BM Produce
    Total Out Of Pocket: $21.90
    -Apple $0.40
    -Organic Banana $4.69
    -Zucchini $0.78
    -Bartlett Pear $2.39
    -Potato $1.02
    -Cucumber $1.18
    -Glico Curry $2.28
    -Cilantro $1.18
    -Navel Orange $1.52
    -Roma Tomato $0.34
    -Cauliflower $2.28
    -Kabocha $2.59
    -Celery $0.65
    -Lemon $0.58

    STORE: Walmart
    Total Out Of Pocket: $7.40
    -Celery $1.77
    -Carrots $1.47
    -Green Grapes $1.88
    -Silk Coffee Creamer $2.30

    STORE: Fujiya
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.80
    -Soy Sauce $4.80

    STORE: Meat shop
    Total Out Of Pocket: $17.15
    -Pork Sausages $5.49
    -Ground Beef $8.48
    -Turkey Pepperoni $3.19

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Stockpile budget 2018 :$
    Stockpile budget used to date: $
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total spent this week: $131.03
    Total Under spend for the month: $8.97
    Total left to spend for the month: $
    Total Spent To Date 2018 (start Jan 15, 2018): $131.03

    Weekly Overview
    I realized that I spent too much money for ham and cheese at bakery (too expensive for small amount). I should check the price at Costco. Next Week, I start making bread again to see if our grocery expenses change.

    • Hi Blueai,
      You do lots of shopping at various shops. Is this a weekly thing you do? The reason I ask is because we found that the more shops we went to the more money we spent. We still have problems with that at times, but are working on it. The problem is we haven’t really focused on price matching as much as we could have this past year so that is certainly something we will be working on in 2018.
      What are your goals for posting in the grocery game challenge?
      Make this YOUR budget year!!

      • Yes, you are right, Mr. CBB! I shop at lots of places. We get our meat from a butcher shop (Hormone-Free, No Antibotics, Grass Fed), our fish from a fish store (who carries Ocean Wise Seafood), a produce from produce store (try to get local and organic if possible). Lots of trips. I wish I can combine all the trips to one store. Save money and gas. I tried Walmart to buy produce this week; however, I don’t like it : ( When our daughter was small, we budgeted $100 per week for grocery. Now she is growing and we bumped up the budget a little bit. We need to have a better budget for next month.

        • We had to do the same this year with our grocery budget as our son is growing up. I wish he would eat more though. I might look into the costs of the butcher in our area. Do you find the prices reasonable then?

          • It is wonderful to see kids grow healthy! We usually get Freezer Pack from our butcher. It is a quite good mix of meat (beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, buffalo) and variety (steak, stew meat, roast, sausages and burgers). It costs us $199 and usually last for 2.5-3 months. Where do you usually buy your meat?

  3. JANUARY 15 – 21
    Yearly Budget for 1 Adult $2400 or $200/mo
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $200

    -1Kg Korean Honey Citron Tea $8.00
    Total Out of Pocket $8.00

    -Red Sui Choy (@0.49/lb) $1.00
    Total Out of Pocket $1.00

    -Kalbi Sauce $5.98
    Total Out of Pocket $5.98

    -Mizkan Mirin $4.77
    Total Out of Pocket $4.77

    -Sesame Seeds (@1.99/100g) $1.59
    -Simply Organic Tumeric Powder (@20% off) $5.59
    Total Out of Pocket $7.18

    -Top Sirloin (@6.80/lb) $28.69
    -1L Chosen Foods Avocado Oil $13.99
    Rewards used: $42.61
    Total Out of Pocket $0.07

    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards used to date: $42.61
    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: $27
    Total spent so far this month: $115.85
    Total over/Under spend this shop ($40/wk): Wk1-2 over $8.85+Wk3 under $13 = under $4.15
    Total left to spend for the month: $84.15
    Total Spent To Date 2018: Jan $115.85
    I did some random shopping for dinner ingredients this week. I should have checked the receipt before leaving Save On Foods as they charged me for a more expensive bulk item than what I bought. I only checked after I made my dinner using those sesame seeds so I can’t return them. Lesson learned. Always check!
    My Costco membership is finished next month and I had to use up their reward coupon. I tried it because Groupon was offering a deal and I live fairly close to Costco, about 30mins walk. I was talked into upgrading to Executive membership (which I gave the extra card to my parents) and as you can see, the rewards did not cover the cost of the upgrade ($55). I found that I did not go there often, not when I have other options closer by. I also do not have the storage space to buy the Costco sized items. Costco is definitely not for me and I will not renew membership.
    This week, I signed up for a 20-week CSA box with a local farm which costs $356.25 (Regular $375, 5% discount for paying early). In effect, this is $17.81/wk which is what I will budget once it starts in June. All the produce is top notch, in season, certified organic, and local. This is my third year doing this and will be a deciding year if I continue next year or not. I chose the farm I use because they offered various sizes and seemed to be the only one that offered a “small” box. I always saved up for the CSA the year before so my weekly budget here is basically forced savings for next year, if I continue. If I don’t continue, I’ll probably use it as my farmer’s market fund.
    The first year I was still living with my parents and we were overwhelmed because of the variety of vegetables we’ve never bought/seen/cooked, like beets, fennel, leeks, celery root, rutabaga, parsnips, garlic scapes, etc. It was an experience that opened our eyes but we struggled to find ways to cook them. It was hard to adapt some of them to Asian cooking. We found vegetables we did not like (fennel, garlic scapes), and we found stuff we liked (beets, parsnip).
    The second year, I had moved out and was living on my own and found the amount of vegetables given overwhelmed me. It was hard to eat all of them by myself. It was a small box but it was still a lot of vegetables for one person. A small part of it, was because the duration was shortened due to a long winter (that’s the risk of CSA’s, you prepay but the farm can experience weather related production shortages). As a result, the farm added a bit extra to the rest of the weeks to make up for it. I gave some stuff away to my parents and coworkers to avoid wasting food. I am actually still using carrots and onions from the end of last season (October) and just finished the potatoes this month. In the end, I was getting used to the amount so I decided to try again but do things a bit different next time.
    This year, I am planning to cost the vegetables at the farmers market stand of this farm to see how much it would cost if I bought every single vegetable separately. I figure it would be good to be a bit more cost-aware and it would help to compare prices with other farmers/organic produce in stores. I’m also planning to prepare the vegetables when I get home so that most of them will be ready to be used (cleaning, cutting them up, roasting, etc). With some meal planning involved, I hope to be more prepared. If I’m still overwhelmed though, I think I’ll stop it next year and just focus on getting the vegetables I love instead. It would probably be cheaper and I would buy less. On the other hand, it’s always fun discovering new vegetables (last year my big discovery was hakurei turnips. So good!). I’m hoping once it starts I can ask for recipe suggestions, especially for fennel! I need to find a way to use this vegetable.

    • Hi Jenny,
      Thanks for joining the GGC!!!
      I notice you do many small shops. Is this typical of your weekly shop?
      I like that Farmers fund idea you have if you don’t continue with your box. We have the CSA box offered at the local school to help support the organic farmers and school which we may look into once our son starts school. I’ve never tried hakurei turnips before. What did you like about them? Being cost-aware is one of the first things I had to somewhat master when I moved to Canada. It was tough and I’m always learning but certainly has helped me with grocery shopping for the best deals. What didn’t you like about the fennel and garlic scapes? Mr.CBB

      • Actually, the first 5 stores was all one shop. I live close to a lot of stores, so sometimes I go from one end of the street to the other on my way home from work, especially if I’ve checked off what I want in flyers. Or sometimes if I have something in mind to make and shopping for ingredients, I’ll go to one store hoping to buy all ingredients (No Frills), but if I can’t find something, I’ll go to the next and so on until I find all the ingredients. There are also times that I just go out to buy one or two things.

        You seem to be a good gardener so you may not need to get a CSA. I have a small balcony and a brown thumb lol. I tried to grow 2 heirloom tomato plants but I only got 2 tomatoes ripened on the vine. The rest were still unripe before the fall chill came and I had to harvest and ripen them inside. This year I think I’ll focus on herbs and a cherry tomato plant.

        Hakurei turnips are sweet. I liked eating them raw or stir-fried. I ate the one bunch I received in one sitting and was so impressed I noted it down to remember to buy if I ever see it again. Fennel has that anise/licorice taste to it that I don’t like. I’m thinking of mixing it in with some ground meat and make sausage or burger patties with it. For garlic scapes, I didn’t like the texture of it when I stir-fried it with other vegetables so I’ll try making pesto with it this year.

  4. Grocery Budget per month – $800.00
    Family of 6 – 2 adults and 4 children age 4-14.

    Real Canadian Superstore
    Total coupons Used: $3.98 (Pantene Conditioner)
    Total PC Points Redeemed:0
    Total PC Points Earned:455
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used:$0.75
    Total Caddle Cashback Offers Used:$0.75
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Total out of pocket: $139.52
    Items purchased:
    Fajita seasoning mix (4) @ $0.97 each
    Unico sundried tomato (2) @ $4.48 each
    Pasta – $1.25
    Pasta – $1.48
    Gouda – $4.98
    Marble Cheese – $4.98
    Old Cheddar – $4.97
    Mozzarella – $4.97
    Carrots – $1.49
    Onions – $1.49
    Bananas – $1.83
    Granny Smith Apples -$5.49
    Broccoli – (2) @ $1.44 each
    Red Onion – $1.36
    Sweet Potatoes – $3.11
    Royal Gala Apples – $2.43
    Cucumbers – (4) @ $0.99 each
    Tomatoes – $7.03
    Peppers – $6.55
    Cilantro – $0.69
    Parsley – $1.49
    Strawberries – (3) @ $1.88 each
    Chicken Thighs – $16.69
    Whole chickens (2) – $14.19
    Sliced bread (2) – $2.37 each
    Deli ham – $4.54
    Deli turkey – $4.53
    Bagels – (2) @ $1.48 each
    Conditioner (2) – $3.98 with coupon (2 for 1)

    Store: Costco
    Total coupons Used: 0
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used: 0
    Total out of pocket: $53.76
    Items purchased:
    Pork tenderloin (5) – $19.79
    Wraps – $5.49
    Grapeseed oil – $14.99
    Babybel cheese – $13.49

    Store: Longo’s
    Total coupons Used:0
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used: 0
    Total out of pocket: $14.48
    Items purchased:
    Sausages (2 packages) @ $5.99 each
    Basil – $2.50

    Store: Shoppers Drug Mart
    Total coupons Used: 0
    Total Optimum Points Redeemed: 0
    Total Optimum Points Earned: 60
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used: 0
    Total out of pocket: $7.52
    Items purchased:
    4 dozen eggs

    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $ 0
    Zweet to date: $ 0
    Checkout51 to date: $0.75 to date: $ 0
    Reebee to date: $ 0
    Caddle to date: $ 2.55
    Stockpile budget 2018: $ 25.00
    Stockpile budget used to date: $ 0
    Total coupons used this week: $3.98
    Total coupons used to date: $3.98
    Total in-store discounts this week: $14.72
    Total in-store discounts to date: $14.72
    Total spent this week: $215.28
    Total over/Under spend for the month: + $15.28
    Total left to spend for the month: $184.72
    Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan: $215.28 (third week of January)
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):
    I probably doubled the amount of time that I spent planning my grocery shop, but I am trying to get used to this new process. One good thing that happened was that, since I am now itemizing everything that I am buying, by using my receipts, I noticed that I was charged for 5 fajita mizes, rather than 4. If you bought a maximum of 4, you only paid $0.97 but any more than 4, the cost was $1.47. I only purchased 4 and was charged for 5 so I took my receipt, which would usually be on the bottom of a grocery bag, out of my budget binder and went right to the store for a refund. For a brief moment, I thought that it was only $1.47, but then I remembered our financial goals, as well as the fact that I could buy a whole head of broccoli for $1.44, and went right back to the store for my refund. That is a big change in behaviour for me.

    • Hi Cynthia,
      Thanks for joining the GGC!!!
      The process will certainly get easier as time goes on and you get used to it but you can bet you won’t be sorry. You’ll see exactly where your money is going and what you are spending it on. THANK-You for looking at your money with a SMART SAVER mindset. One thing we do if we find an error is call the shop and let them know that I will be coming in my next shop with my reciept and have never had a problem. I leave my name or talk to a manager. This saves you going back and forth spending more on petrol and time than you need. It is certainly a smart way to get involved with your receipt especially since most people just toss them out.
      What are your 2018 goals with the GGC?
      Mr.CBB 🙂

      • Calling a shop ahead of time is a great idea. I was able to go to the location that is closer to home and they (reluctantly) gave me the refund. I am just very proud of myself for paying enough attention to my receipts to have noticed and then I started wondering about the many other times that it happened and I did not catch it. It was a great lesson to learn.

        In terms of my goals for the GGC, we have a large family and our kids are all big eaters. I also have to follow a very restricted diet due to kidney stones so meal prep can be a bit of a pain. My goals are to
        1) figure out a grocery budget that works well for our family
        2) maximize savings through coupon apps/rebate programs
        3) plan better in order to avoid food waste.

        So far, this is going well, even though I am only 1 week in. I love a challenge and so this is a good motivator for me.
        Have a great evening everyone,

        • Cynthia,
          Once we starting reading our receipts we couldn’t believe the errors!!! I wrote a post about it too that got some media attention.
          We love a good challenge too and we’re in year 6 of doing the GGC. You know we never thought we would do it this long and considered letting it go this year but with SO MANY people wanting me to keep posting I’ve done just that. I just like to see people think more about where the money is going and then seeing it on paper or the computer. You’ve got this!! Mr.CBB

          • I have very vivid memories of grocery shopping with my grandmother. She always had me load the groceries onto the conveyor belt and she watched the cashier like a hawk. I much prefer to go grocery shopping without my kids, but that is one bonus of going with them. They can load the conveyor belt while I watch the register.
            Thanks again for all of the support.
            “See” you next week,

          • Hi Cynthia,
            Our son loves pushing the button on the conveyor belt and everything about grocery shopping. Although I do grocery shop without him most often Mrs. CBB and I will take him along. The memories are worth it for us! See you!! Mr.CBB

  5. Week 3 – Jan 12 – 18/18
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $12.00

    3 NN Mushroom Soup = $2.61
    NN Shortbread = $2.17
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.25
    2 Wonder WW Bread = $2.97

    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1820.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $12
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $75.39 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $59.07

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($390)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    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: $
    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:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 40,000
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 11,828

    Overview: It was a quick, not much required shopping week.

  6. Week 3 – January 15th to January 21st
    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: 2 + 87 already have
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 8900 earned this week – total of 38190

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

    Sugar x6 $8.64
    Snacks $5
    Maple Sypru &7.99
    McCafe Café x2 $37.98
    Turkey $12
    Rice $4.99
    Cheese $2.99
    Bread $2.49
    Total – 97.91 ($25 use for stockpile of coffee and sugar)

    Local Produce Store
    Juice $20 ish
    Cauliflower x2 = $4
    Squashes $5
    Celery $2
    Total Spent $45

    Campbell soup $2
    Biscuits mix 2.79 + 1.99
    Carrots x2 $2
    Pork $7
    Eggs $4.79
    Onions $1.48
    Total spent $36.77

    $36.77 + $45 + 97.91 = 179.68 – $25 stockpile = total spent this week154.68
    • Stockpile budget 2018 ($25.00 per month): $25
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $25
    • Total coupons used this week: $ 1
    • Total coupons used to date: $ 1
    • Total spent this week: $154.68 + 25 stock pile
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $
    • Total left to spend for the month: $414.69 + 25 stock pile
    • Total Spent To Date 2018: $439.69

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):
    This week I found myself spending a bit more then expected… I filled up on a lot of different stuff for the house… I did find all the little items really added up… I did have to stock up on sugar and coffee… that is something that we really like to have in the house and I had a really good bonus offer at superstore… I am little bummed that I only have $10.31 left for my grocery budget this month but I do have a lot of stuff in the house… and I did buy some very expensive juice… so its good i can’t resist it lol so next weekend shopping trip I will only buy the necessities!

  7. Week 3 January 15-21

    January Monthly budget $300 ($60 per week)

    January Costco budget $100 ($20 per week)

    Total Spent Grocery: $69.90

    Total Spent Costco: $0

    Grocery left to spend: $109.15

    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 Paid 4.25

    Food Basics
    Strawberries x 2 1.88
    Grapes 6.05
    Total Paid 9.80

    NN Beef Broth 1.48
    PC Caesar Dressing 2 x 2.00
    NN Sour Cream 2 x 1.78
    Eggs 2.27
    Cream 2.98
    Mushrooms 1.99
    10 lb onions 2.99
    Watermelon 2 x 1.98
    Pineapple 2 x 2.98
    Lettuce 1.98
    Ribs 7.68
    Chicken 16.61
    Subtotal 55.46
    Pickup fee 3.00
    Free month -3.00
    Tax .39
    Total Paid 55.85

    Weird week. So busy the fridge was empty. I found out about the free month for click and collect service at RCSS so if there was ever a time to try it, this was it and I am not a person who likes to spend anything more than I have to. Dislike: tax on the service fee, varying rates, not all selections online, not quick the first time, need to put in credit card information online. Pros: I can turn off substitutions, can select quantities, can put in information on items (my meat I requested the size of chickens around 4 lbs and around $7 for ribs), quality of food was pretty good and dates were selected accordingly, representative came and got my bags and bagged it, plastic bag fees were included, debit machine brought to me, food brought to me while I never left my car. Would I use this service again? Every week, no. When my schedule doesn’t allow for a decent grocery shop, absolutely. Quality overall was good, there was only one item I would have selected differently, but I wasn’t in store and I don’t know if all the lettuce was same. We will eat it quickly enough so no waste. Eggs were all in one piece. Watermelons, one was ready to eat, one will be. Pineapples were one ripe and one will be in a few days. I like that with multiple items not everything was ripe to eat now. The same way I would select my own groceries. For every week, it would not be worth the fee for me, but for weeks that chaos has taken over or a massive shop that would take a lot of time, the fee is worth it. No line ups, no grumpy customers, instructions followed, etc. For the next month, I will use it again because I have free month and it is worth the tax to sit down at night and make my selections. Currently time slots are easy to get, we will see if the popularity increases.

  8. Is it too late for me to join the challenge for the year? Do I need to sign up somewhere? I just stumbled upon this wonderful site yesterday, and I’m boggled by all the wonderful info and can’t wait to have time to look around.

  9. 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.

    Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $650
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $40/380 Air Miles
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 97060
    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 jug water- 5.49
    1 Rice Krispies- 2.99
    2 cans pineapple @1.39, 4 AM
    1-18 pack large eggs -3.00
    4 Swanson meat pies @1.00
    Total out-of-pocket -$18.26

    No Frills
    2 Friskies cat food@.67
    2 2kg sugar @2/2.88
    1 plum sauce- 2.00
    1 case KD -5.88
    2 Kraft peanut butter @2.88
    2 yogurt @3.97, 50% discounts 2X 1.99
    2 4l milk @4.27
    1 3lb bag carrots -1.77
    1 10lb bag potatoes -2.00
    Bananas -.98
    3 Oktoberfest sausage @2.88
    2 bagels @.88
    4 packs tortellini @1.88
    Total out-of-pocket- $55.03, discount- $3.98

    Jackson’s Pharmacy(Stock pile)
    2 Dove shampoo @3.99
    2 Dove conditioner @3.99
    1 Palmolive dish soap -1.99
    2 Arm & Hammer laundry soap @2.99
    2 Olay body wash @5.99
    1 Atoma napraxon- 7.99
    Total out-of-pocket- $43.97-stock pile

    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: $43.97
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $6.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $3.98
    Total in-store discounts to date: $8.50
    Total spent this week: $73.72 +$43.97 stock pile
    Total spent so far this month: $280.14
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $369.86
    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)
    Another week under plus some decent sales to add stock pile items. Even the napraxon was a good sale price, half price. I just opened the previous bottle which was bought on sale as well. As messed up as the budget got last year I have plenty of meals and meal ideas in the freezers so I only buy the sales right now. It’s things I know we will eat, easy meals and family favourites. There are a lot of basics in the freezer and pantry right now so it’s keeping supplies up to what we can use in a reasonable time frame. I should be able to look over the new flyers some time tomorrow to see what sales I might be interested in.Plus going to visit my Dad every week means I can get in to No Frills for a few things and not have it be a major shop. Or work in a trip into Walmart after seeing him and checking the house.

  10. Mary Campbell says:

    JANUARY – Week #3 of 5- Jan 15-21, 2018


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



    This trying to keep my January shopping to a real dull roar is really kind of fun! I think I will adopt this habit every January. It’s a great way to kick off the year. 🙂


    This week the only things I really NEEDED to purchase were a few greens & a little produce.



    No Frills – Maple Ridge –

    2 x Mushrooms @ $2.97 = $5.94
    2 x 3lb Yellow Onions @ $0.88 ea = $1.76
    3 x Dole Classic Mix @ $0.88 ea = $2.64
    3 x Dole Coleslaw @ $0.88 ea = $2.64
    1 Mini Seedless Watermelon $3.88

    Total OOP: $16.86

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


    Walmart – Maple Ridge –

    1 Cauliflower @ $1.44
    1 Great Value Crinkle Fries $1.78

    Total OOP: $3.22



    OUR NEXT USA SHOP MAY BE IN FEBRUARY but 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


    ($ 30.83) 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.


    • Hi Mary,
      Thanks for sharing your shopping week post.
      I have a question: What value do you find in pre-cut fruits and vegetables? Is it more time related then it is monetary or do you find better deals? Perhaps there is a serving size you prefer. I know sometimes we don’t buy a deal because it is too much food for us to finish. 🙂 Mr.CBB

      • Mary Campbell says:

        I don’t buy pre-cut anything Mr CBB…it’s always less expensive to cut it yourself!

        The only time I will pay for pre-cut fruit and vegetables is when we are on a road trip thru the USA. I make picnics for our meals instead of eating at restaurants. It’s cheaper and healthier unless we are in a state where there is a Souplantation or Sweet Tomatoes restaurant and we can do their all-you-can eat soup and salad. We also get to check out & explore new beaches and parks along the way when we have the picnic meal option.

        I will buy bagged salads though because like this week – why not when I can get them for 88 cents a bag? The serving size is perfect for hubby and I to have a good sized salad with our meal. Basically as soon as I open the package of salad, it’s gone! There’s no possibility it’ll get wasted. They also stack nice & neatly in the fridge so I can see exactly what we have on hand. On the other hand, if I buy salad fixings, sometimes they get lost in the fridge and wasted – unless I make the dish on shopping day. Hubby is bad for hiding my greens under and behind other veggies in the fridge so it’s up to me to remember what we have and how long it has been there. When I was running back & forth to the hospital every day for the last month…salad fixings were not the top priority in my mind so we stuck with bagged salads to avoid waste.

        BTW, the mushrooms are “distressed 1.5 Kg packages” so these packaged mushrooms are much cheaper than buying them by the pound. Hubby spotted that at NO FRILLS but we do compare the prices every single time we purchase mushrooms to make sure that is still the case. Again, once we open a package…they are gone. We love mushrooms and will slice, saute or roast them up and simply bury our meal in sliced mushrooms. Mmmm…simply heaven! 🙂

        We also buy our cheeses & cold meats in bulk sizes (i.e. 5lb blocks at Costco US) and slice them at home with our electric slicer. It’s also a perfect appliance to have when I cook a ham, a roast or a turkey breast. Hubby gets some lovely lunches simply because we do the work! If I had to pay for little packages of meats and cheeses…he’d be eating a lot of peanut butter! LOL

        I will buy chicken breasts or thighs ON SALE for the convenience but I also like to buy whole chickens, turkeys, cornish hens etc and carve them ourselves and make broth with the bones. Our favorite meat shop has started selling beef and poultry bones but at a crazy expensive price!!! Colleen Knudsen and I were talking about how, with a good sale, we can have the meat and the bones for just a little bit more and still make our own broth! 🙂 She’s another gal that slices, dices and preps all her own groceries too.

        Where I will pay for the convenience of having something cleaned and prepped is with fish. Hubby is not a big eater of fish so if I convince him to eat a filet, he sure doesn’t want it twice in one week. There’s no point in buying a whole fish for our house. 🙁 On the other hand, he will eat fresh seafood like it’s going out of style so I will buy vast quantities of fresh seafood and make great soups and chowders using the shells for my stock. We are lucky to have a really good local fish monger, down by the docks, so we buy our fish and seafood from them. They also stock bison that is grass fed and a nice lean treat once in a while. I do love a bison burger! If I want a fish stock…I will buy the bones from them as it would take me years to collect enough bones in the freezer to make a batch. Ha ha ha!


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