grocery game monthly challenge

Free Printable Checklist Of Common Spices For Your Kitchen : The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #3 Mar 19-25

free printable checklist common spices for your pantry



Having common spices on hand that many recipes call for is one of the smartest and most inexpensive ways to flavour your dishes. It’s that time of year when we do a full spice cabinet wipe and clean along with an inventory of what we have on hand or need to replenish.

Get your FREE Printable Common Spices Checklist below!!


Storing Herbs, Spices and Extracts


My father-in-law would make sure his organic herbs were properly dried in parchment paper and sat in a box that resembled a pop case. He’d dry the herbs in the basement on a long 8 foot table during the winter and eventually he would have boxes of herbs to use.

There were always herbs hanging upside down from the ceiling as if there were bats in the house. “Be careful what you walk into”, he used to tell me if I would go down to grab something.

Once dried always store your spices in a dry space such as a kitchen cabinet where moisture won’t have the opportunity to get inside. Having a good kitchen extractor fan when cooking and using it helps remove moisture from the space. We avoid keeping any spices in our freezer for this reason.


How long do herbs and spices last?


common spices CanadaAlthough expiry dates are important just don’t throw out a spice because it is past-due. Most seed spices will last you up to 2 years sometimes 3.

We judge by taste and smell especially since not all spices have expiry dates listed. A strong aroma when mixed or crushed means your spice is not done spreading cheer.

If you buy spices in bulk you won’t have any idea when to toss it so use your judgement.

Many common spices such as organic bay leaf and basil as well extracts can last for years.

Most Pure Vanilla extracts for example should last a life-time due to the alcohol content but I always suggest buying what you will use. Vanilla bean paste and other varieties of vanilla may differ.

Don’t buy a gallon of vanilla extract and let it sit for years if you don’t plan to use it. Mrs. CBB made that mistake when she travelled to the Dominican Republic in her 20’s and brought back a gallon to Canada. She doesn’t even know what happened to that vanilla.

You don’t have to shop at a spice warehouse to get the best deals on common spices that every kitchen should stock especially when you only need small quantities.

Most of our spices come in varying sizes depending on how often we use the spices. Be careful though because some spices can get quite costly including saffron the worlds most expensive spice or buying pre-made spice packets.

We recently did the math on a bottle of Taco Seasoning from Costco for $4.99 compared to buying the packets of Taco Seasoning from the grocery store. The price difference will blow you away! For some reason I may have already shared this with you in an earlier post but just in case you missed it, here it is again.


  • $1.29 – $1.99 a packet for 30g
  • $4.99 for a bottle 735g

In the large bottle of taco seasoning there are 24.5 30g packets which would cost you on the high end $1.99 each approximately $48.75!! Buy the big bottle for $4.99.

Instead try making homemade taco seasoning and save yourself some money or buy it in bulk.

the perfect spice make it yourselfOne of the biggest tricks that we fall for as consumers is believing that we need to buy certain spice blends in order to flavour our foods. It’s not so much a trick but rather a convenience along with a great marketing plan that captures shoppers attention.

When customers see a big juicy steak grilling on that perfect steak seasoning product our stomach starts to do the shopping. You will pay for these pre-made spice blends however there is a way to cut grocery costs, make them yourself.

As you know Mrs. CBB has been on the Keto diet for almost 3 years now and one of the most popular bagel spices is Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend With Sea Salt, Garlic & Onion, 2.3 oz (65g)on Amazon Canada.

For many keto lovers this bagel spice has circulated as a must-try, although it comes with a convenience price of $18.39. I suppose that’s a great price for someone who doesn’t want to invest in a pantry of common spices. Alternatively you can make it yourself by just reading the ingredient list on your favourite spice mixes like we did below.


How to make homemade Everything Bagel Spice mix at home


how to make everything bagel spice mix

We’ve made our Everything Bagel Spice Mix twice now and tried to keep it as close to what we could remember of an Everything Bagel from Tim Hortons or The Great Canadian Bagel.

In a bowl mix together the following common spices below that you probably already have in your pantry. We don’t always have minced dry garlic or onion flakes so we substitute with the powder form which works just as well.

It’s that easy to make then store in an air-tight container. We keep ours in a small mason jar which seems to work perfect for all of our common spices. You can get a glimpse of our spice set-up from, It’s A Spicy Price To Pay For Convenience blog post back in 2012. We still have the same set-up today! It works.

  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (not toasted)
  • 3 tablespoons black poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried white onion flakes/powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried garlic/powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons Pink Himalayan Salt, coarse salt or flaked Salt, whichever you prefer

The idea is to play around with the ingredients to find your perfect blend of Everything Bagel tastes so you can add it to your favourite dishes and of course as a bagel topping.

Awesome Must-Try Bagel recipes

These days most of the popular spices revolve around organic spices which you will find cost you more money but taste far better. If budget-friendly is what you are looking for watch prices and only buy what you need since spices range in price from low to very high. Basil is very cheap to buy dried but also very easy to grow at home.

365 organic vanilla extra pureYesterday we received our order for a bottle of 365 Everyday Value Organic Vanilla Extract, from Amazon Canada because of the price, quality and size.

The vanilla smell is outrageous and it tastes delicious like a good pure vanilla extract should taste. There is no sugar added to this either so it’s perfect for the keto diet.

We don’t include vanilla as one of our common spices as we consider it part of our baking ingredients list. Yes, we keep two different lists for our spice and baking ingredients cabinet but you don’t need to do the same as us.


Just after our purchase we read that the price of vanilla will be increasing which means we can expect increases on this basic spice that most people have in their pantry.

Vanilla prices are the highest they’ve ever been, says David van der Walde, director of Montreal-based vanilla importing company Aust & Hachmann Canada.

He said the wholesale price now runs as high as $850 (Canadian) per kilogram for premium beans — a 10-per-cent increase from last year, which was 30 per cent more than the year before that.


Growing your own herbs


The Garden 2014 fig basil and lime

I’m not a huge fan of spicy spices, you know the one’s you have to hope and pray don’t upset any of your inner and outer parts the next morning. Many people including my father-in-law before he became ill would eat just about any type of hot pepper and loved spicy foods.

Related: Start Your Spring Garden Using Odd Containers

organic garlic tomatoes and basilThis is where my education on hot peppers including chili peppers began because although he couldn’t eat them any longer that didn’t stop him from growing them.

He once told me that if you want spicy food or good flavours grow it yourself but don’t add to much. The tiniest piece of a hot pepper may be all your meal needs for flavour.

His garden was filled to the brim with herbs and spices along with a variety of vegetables and fruits on his trees.

Although his garden will be no longer we will still have the bounty from his fruit trees. We can’t wait to celebrate his life through his fruit, an ever-lasting gift he left for us.

Related: Too much basil



Best Places to buy Spices in Canada


In Canada if someone wants a spice they aren’t sure about most often they go to the spice place known as the Bulk Barn. Although we love the Bulk Barn it’s not the only place you can buy your spices especially if you use them quite frequently.

The cost of spices can vary depending on where you purchase them but think cultural stores when considering your spices. You’ll be amazed to see lowered costs when you visit independent shops that offer culturally specific groceries. Our local Indian store has some of the best common spices and the prices are far cheaper than walking into your local grocery store.

Some of our favourite places to buy spices is at :

  • Costco
  • Food Basics
  • No Frills
  • Indian Shop
  • Chinese Shop
  • Italian Shop
  • Mail order spices, example Amazon.
  • Wherever the best deal is (read your flyers and check apps
  • Winners, Home Sense, Marshall’s


Checklist of Common Spices


common spices checklist free printableYou can download the PDF of this list from our Free Money-Saving Tools List for your inventory or to put into your budget binder. We keep ours taped in the inside of our spice cupboard.

The following checklist was created with common spices that may be used in most kitchens to create delicious meals.

We label our spice jars with pre-made spice labels that we bought for $0.25 in the reduced bin. If you shop around you can find mason jars with a chalkboard on them or the Dollar store has blank labels you can use.

√ All Spice

√ Black Peppercorns

√ Basil

√ Bay Leaf

√ Cayenne pepper

Chili powder

√ Chives

√ Cinnamon ground

√ Cloves whole or ground

√ Coriander seeds or powder

√ Crushed red pepper flakes


√ Curry Powder

Ginger ground

√ Minced or Powdered Garlic

√ Mustard ground

√ Nutmeg whole or ground

√ Onion Minced or Powdered

√ Oregano

√ Paprika

√ Parsley

√ Rosemary

√ Sage

√ Sea Salt or Salt of choice

√ Sesame seeds

√ Tarragon

√ Thyme

√ Turmeric ground

White and Black Poppy seeds

Now that Spring has sprung take the time to inventory your spices and replenish what you need and what you don’t have on hand from the following list above.

Have a Spicy Day everyone.

Discussion Questions: What other common spices might be on your master spice list? Leave me a comment below as I love hearing back from the readers.


March Grocery Game Challenge


Join the 2018 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) but before you do you must read The Grocery Game Challenge Rules and Print the 2018 Schedule which includes new prizes!


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 Optimum Points to Spend: 2,900,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

  • Zweet -$0.
  • Checkout51- $1.50


Our Grocery Shop This Week


Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 1 x 4 litres Sealtest Milk $4.27
  • 1 x Omega Eggs dozen $2.99
  • 1 dozen large eggs $2.49
  • 2 x Philadelphia Cream Cheese 2/$6.00
  • 2 x Neilson Cream 2/$5.00 plus 800 Optimum Plus Points

 PC Optimum points earned 1300

Total Out-of-Pocket $20.75

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: $0
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month  Jan,Feb $105 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: $64.90 (not too bad for 2 months)
  • Total spent this week: $20.75
  • Total spent so far this month: $156.88
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $143.12
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $169.42+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We’re eating from the freezer this week as we are too busy to shop. In the refrigerator we still have some mushrooms and half-head of Romaine lettuce. Downstairs we have lots of frozen vegetables we can use to make a sauce, chili etc. Our fruit bowl still has some mandarin oranges which I will finish up this week.


2018 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.

Related: Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll add it 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.


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 for review in order to make improvements for the next.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget does not include such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014 we no longer included such items in our grocery budget so we could see our actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly.
  • 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. Some of these coupons have an expiry date and others no expiry date so be sure to check.
  • 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!


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  1. 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: $40
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $80
    PC Optimum Points to Spend: 179251
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    Zweet -$13.25
    Checkout51- $13.50

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    No Frills
    1-10kg flour- 8.77
    1 144 count Tetley teabags- 4.97
    1 jar gherkins- 2.00
    2 boxes crackers @ 3.57
    1 box KD -1.57
    2 yogurt @ 3.33, 2X.50 coupons
    2 4l milk @ 4.274
    10 lb bag potatoes- 2.47
    3lb bag carrots -2.47
    Bananas -1.06
    4 frozen meat pies @1.07
    2 1lb tubes lean ground beef @6.00, 30% stickers- 3.60
    2 Oktoberfest sausage @2.47
    2 boxes chicken nuggets @4.97, 2X4.00 coupons
    1 bagels -1.69
    1 WW bread -1.65
    1 refill pouch Method hand soap -6.49
    Total out of Pocket -$76.98, $9.00 coupons, $3.60 discounts and 800 PC points
    1 jug water _5.49
    2 blocks cheese @4.99
    1 4l milk -4.27
    2 Baileys coffee creamer @ 2/5.00
    1 bag frozen fries -1.99
    1 pack lean ground beef -9.27
    1 grated parmesan cheese -6.94
    Total out of Pocket -$42.94

    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: $9.00
    Total coupons used to date: $25.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $3.60
    Total in-store discounts to date: $34.10
    Total spent this week: $119.92
    Total spent so far this month: $411.83
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $171.99
    Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $565.41+Feb $414.90+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Under again for the week. So far so good for the year. The coupons for the chicken nuggets came from previous boxes, printed inside. Worth the effort to cut them out to use! My freezers are in good shape to hold me for a bit. I’m just buying sale stuff for in there right now and eating our way down some. Having a ham for Easter but I’ll buy a turkey shortly before and switch it out for the ham already in there. Ham can thaw in the fridge for a few days. I need to go looking for that part container of herb flavoured cream cheese and get another block of swiss for the scallop potatoes we will have with the ham. Some cooked carrots and home made pineapple sauce and it’s a yummy dinner here!!!

  2. MARCH 19-25
    Yearly Budget for 1 Adult $2400 or $200/mo
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $200

    -2 Lemons (@0.87 each) $1.74
    -PC Cranberry Cocktail $2.20
    -2 PC BM Rotini (@1.27 each) $2.54
    -2 PC Chips (@1.99 each) $4.18
    -Leclerc Celebration Cookies $1.97
    -Sempio Hot Pepper Paste $3.77
    -Eggo Waffles (16) $4.87
    -Green Giant Frozen Corn $1.97
    -Green Leaf Lettuce $1.97
    Total Out Of Pocket $25.21

    -2lbs Strawberries $4.05
    Total Out Of Pocket $4.05

    -Large Eggs $2.79
    Total Out of Pocket $2.79

    -Chicken Breast (@3.89/lb) $22.08
    -Pork Shoulder Blade Steak (@3.99/lb) $11.69
    -Sliced Side Pork (@6.79/lb) $4.91
    -Candy (@0.89/100g) $0.93
    -Rice Crackers (@0.99/100g) $2.45
    -Spinach $1.79
    -Bunch Rosemary $2.49
    Gift Card Used $25.00
    Total Out of Pocket $21.34

    -Lunch $14.32
    Total Out of Pocket $14.32

    Total Gift Cards used to date: $25.00
    Total Rewards used to date: $42.61
    PC Optimum Points Balance: 755
    PC Optimum Points Redeemed: 20000 (For household items)
    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: $67.71
    Total spent so far this month: $105.38
    Total over/Under spend this shop ($50/wk): Wk1-2 under $62.33 + Wk3 over $17.71 = under $44.62
    Total left to spend for the month: $94.62
    Total Spent To Date 2018: Jan $217.46 + Feb $127.79

    I stocked up on some chicken and pork for some variety in my freezer (I only had beef in stock). I had been lacking in cooking motivation lately. I still am but I’m trying to force myself to cook.

    Food plan for Week 4:
    Lunch – Salmon Pasta Salad, because it’s easy.
    Dinner 1 – Korean style grilled pork belly/lettuce wrap
    Dinner 2 – either One Pot Mushroom Rice (with beef and garlic spinach); or Shrimp and Pea/Spinach Risotto

  3. Week 12 –March 19 -25

    Weekly Budget ($140 for a family of 3)
    Total to date: $65.20

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $600

    STORE: BM Produce
    -Organic Banana $4.88
    -Ambrosia Apple 5lb $4.98
    -Organic Celery $1.88
    -Tofu $2.18
    -Carrot $1.07
    -Glico Curry $2.28
    -Mushroom $2.54
    -Hardbite Chips $2.48
    -Apple Red Delicious $0.75
    -Mini Pepper $2.68
    -Pepper Mix $3.28
    -Tomato $0.67
    -Garlic $0.78
    Total Out Of Pocket: $30.65

    STORE: Bakery
    -Bread $3.00
    Genoa Salami $3.41
    -Honey Ham $2.15
    -Haverti Cheese $2.80
    Total Out Of Pocket: $11.36

    STORE: Whole Foods
    -GF Bread $3.99
    -Ground Beef $4.56
    -Pork Sausage $6.88
    Total Out Of Pocket: $15.33

    STORE: Donald’s Market
    -Sundried Tomatoes $3.25
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.25

    STORE: No Frills
    -Ambrosia Apple 3lb $2.97
    -Carrots 2lb $1.47
    -Yellow Potato 5lb $0.97
    *Used $25 gift card
    Total Out Of Pocket: $0

    STORE: Fujiya
    -Macha $4.52
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.52

    Weekly Overview:
    Since we were too busy with daily life, no time for grocery shopping this week, thus the spending was low. However, we had visited restaurants twice this week, spent nearly $40.

  4. Angela M says:

    Week 3 March 19 – 25

    March Monthly budget $240 ($60 per week)

    March Costco budget $80 ($20 per week)

    Total Spent Grocery this week: $0
    Total Spent this month: $181.30
    Total Spent Costco this week: $229.35
    Total Spent Costco this month: $229.35
    Grocery left to spend: $58.70
    Costco left to spend: $0
    Coupons used: $0
    Coupons to date: $0
    PC Optimum Redemption: $0
    PC Optimum Redemption to date: $0
    Checkout 51 Opening Balance: $136.55
    Checkout 51 weekly offers redeemed: $0.10 (watch video offer)
    Checkout 51 Current balance: $136.65
    Checkout 51 Cheque Redemption: $0
    Checkout 51 Cheque Redeemed to date: $0
    Grocery carry over: $22.95
    Costco carry over: $0

    Coke Zero 8.45
    Oasis Juice 2 x 9.99
    Honey Nut Cheerios 8.99
    Feta 12.49
    Brie 8.99
    Chicken breast cold meat 14.69
    Tzatiki 8.89
    Fibre 1 bars 9.79
    School Safe Owl Brownies 8.99
    Milk 4.25
    Kirkland Granola Bars 8.99
    Cheesestrings 2 x 11.99
    Babybel 13.49
    All Dressed chips 4.99
    Dunns Dill Pickle 2 x 5.99
    Tostitos 4.99
    Bananas 1.59
    Bacon Bits 13.49
    Hidden Valley Ranch 8.99
    Kiwi 7.99
    Red Delicious Apples 5.99
    Liberte Greek Yogurt 11.99
    Eggs 5.99
    Cucumbers 2.99
    Tax 6.40
    Total Paid 229.35

    A massive week for us. We had been planning a stock up trip to Costco for various items and made the conscious decision to do our entire grocery shop for the week there too. We had $80 for the month to spend at Costco with $31.45 carry over from previous months. This left 117.90 to be deducted from our monthly grocery money. Despite that, we still have a healthy amount left to spend next week as well. Many of the items are for school lunches or my husband’s lunch, they tend to like the prepackaged snacks. Costco makes those packaged items more affordable. We now have a bit of produce and more fruit, we were running very low and milk was essential. I like getting the big flat of eggs at Costco, dates are good and we go through enough to need a couple of dozen every time we shop for them. My son’s favourite breakfast food is Honey Nut Cheerios and the 2 pack of the big boxes it awesome for us. It means one opened up and one on the shelf. Bacon bits are the best for us since we like the real ones and this package size is more suitable than the little ones at the grocery store. Not to mention those packages are really small for around $5. We get so much more. Feta and Tzatziki is for upcoming meals, we plan to make some greek salad and souvlaki. The brie will be for gourmet elk burgers that we make with cartelized onions and pears. That will be on the menu in the next couple of weeks. My biggest dislike was the size of the apples. I am thrilled for the price, but the apple itself is 2 servings. It will be hard for school lunches, too big for my boy, but he and I will have to share them at home. Granted we did leave Costco with a bit of a bigger bill than this with cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent, etc. But those don’t count toward our grocery budget any longer – they used to!

  5. Week 12 – Mar 16 – 22/18
    Name Your Store: Food Basics
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $10.96

    Family Size Honey Nut Cheerios = $4.99
    2 Boxes Honey Bunches of Oats = $3.98
    Box of Honeycomb = $1.99

    Name Your Store: Zehrs
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points = 2,400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $40.69

    2 Classico Pasta Sauce = $8.00
    3 Can Tuna – 600 PC Points = $4.17
    2 – 680 g Yogurt = $4.00
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.35
    2 NN Frozen Vegetables = $3.00
    Bananas – 0.955 kg = $1.20
    NN Ham Deli Meat = $4.99
    2 Black Forest Ham = $1.98
    Cinnamon Raisin Bagels = $4.00
    2 WW Bread = $5.00

    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1820.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $51.65
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $547.19 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $530.87

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($390)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $176.31 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $128.42

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($390)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $98.00 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $73.73

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $2.25

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $40.02

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $1.18

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 2,400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 65,118

    Overview: Took advantage of some specials and PC Points

  6. Mary Campbell says:

    A few items that I have on my spice bookshelf that are not listed are Old Bay Seasoning, Zaatar, Dulse Flakes, Fortified Nutritional Yeast, Dill Weed, Dill Seed, Celery Seed, Caraway Seed, Fenugreek, Sumac, Mace, assorted dried chilies, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Wasabi Powder, assorted whole peppercorns (black, red, green and white), assorted ground chili powders from smoky to mild to fire engine hot! Then of course there’s my collection of hot sauces!! 🙂

    • Mary Campbell says:

      Oh I forgot rosemary!

    • Mary Campbell says:

      I took a look at the shelf and I also have cloves, saffron, star anise, dried parsley, bebere, Chinese Five Spice Powder, Garam Masala, Herbes de Province, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Pickling Spice, Poultry Seasoning, Greek Seasoning, Italian Seasoning and Berbere.

      I don’t cook with a lot of fat, sugar or salt but I do have a heavy hand with my herbs and spices. 🙂

      • Last night Mrs. CBB went out with her friend for a couple of hours to get out of the house as she’s been non-stop with funeral and estate chores the past month. They made their way to Winners and found a little container of Saffron on the reduced rack for $6.00. We have almost all of the spices you mention apart from Berbere and pickling spice.

  7. Mary Campbell says:

    MARCH – Week #3 of 4- Mar 19-25, 2018


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



    I’m looking forward to Easter…hubby has 4 days off for the holiday!


    Next week we’ll shop for our various holiday celebration supper needs but this week we just picked up a couple of items.



    No Frills – Maple Ridge –

    2 mini seedless watermelons @ $3.97 ea << Breakfast for me for the next couple of weeks

    Total OOP: $7.94

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


    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    2 Celery @ $1.00 ea << my afternoon snacking materials 🙂

    •Total OOP: $2.00

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






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $121.02

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 88 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 4 Air Miles

    •Total PC Optimum Points Earned This Year: 0 Points



    $ 570.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MARCH


    ($ 387.64) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 309.94 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 217.59 Holiday Season Fund + $260 PC Optimum Points ($220 Mary + $40 Larry) + $10 Dream Air Miles
    + $50 Save On Foods More Rewards ($25 Mary + $25 Larry)+ $50 Loblaws Card ($25 Mary + $25 Larry) =
    $ 694.59 Summer Season Fund
    $ 601.87 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 42.32 GGC Savings Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,866.31. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $345.80 that we have added in 2018, LESS $240.79 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.


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