grocery game monthly challenge

How To Bring Affordable Organic Food To Your Kitchen Table : The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #4 Apr 23-29

how to bring affordable organic food to your kitchen table

NOURISH YOUR FAMILY, SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS AND PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT

 

I’m 100% certain no one can talk me out of why organic food is not better than the other stuff but I will agree that costs may be higher for budget conscious shoppers. There are ways around that though through savings, growing it yourself, trading, markets and home delivery which I will talk about further down.

The new organic food trend for the busy family is moving more towards delivery than digging dirt or picking and choosing at the local markets. I agree with my late father-in-law who once told me that the only way you know you are eating organic produce is to grow it yourself.

Just like anything in life if you want it done right sometimes you have be the one in charge however not everyone is willing or has the time to sow a garden.

Properties are also getting smaller and house prices are not getting any cheaper. This leaves little to no room for homeowners to grow a vegetable garden apart from using pots or even raised gardens although not everyone wants to do this.

Related: How to grow organic potatoes in a pot

 

What is organic food?

 

If you ask Mrs. CBB this question she will immediately tell you that organic food is what her dad would grow in the garden any chance he could get. This meant that his fruits and vegetables were grown organically without any chemicals to help speed up the process. It’s about QUALITY and LOVE rather than making a quick dollar. It takes lots of love to be an organic gardener/farmer and if you can handle it you’ve got food for life.

If organic gardening is not quite your thing you can purchase organic produce a number of ways in Canada. Back in 2013 when I first wrote about organic gardening there wasn’t as much hoopla as there is today around where to find organic food. Today, it’s everywhere so for the budget-minded consumer the opportunity to obtain better deals than you would have years ago have increased.

More competition = more savings

Going to the supermarket to buy organic food or local farms was the easiest way to grocery shop but these days organic food is brought right to your front door. The competition is fierce for the organic and health-food industry because they want to be right in your face with the best products for the best prices.

There is clearly a market for food delivery specifically organic foods because businesses are popping up in our area and continue to thrive year after year. You may find in the smaller areas that organic food delivery may be limited if offered at all with the amount of farms and organic meat farmers who dominate farming land and smaller villages.

Honestly, this is where I’d like to be one day because I enjoy showing up at an organic farm or production facility to see first-hand where and how food is grown. Ultimately if we have the land and the time we will start gardening again but until then our options are to buy rather than grow.

 

Gardening for trade

 

Gardening used to be a necessity for families as far back as one could imagine just to survive because it cost less to grow a garden than it did to go to the supermarket. This ideal has not diminished entirely as there are families who DO rely on the growing season especially if it is a business.

Produce was also used in the trading industry because there was little to no money only business transactions. Gardening was essentially a family job and that’s what they did to earn money.. My father-in-law told me that his mother and father would grow whatever they could on the property which was a farm in Europe mostly for trade. It was not uncommon to trade potatoes for wheat to make bread.

Also, consider that there are people who live in remote areas or those far away from other farms or supermarkets so traders would go house to house to make money or trade something. If you wanted something you needed one of two things, money or something to trade.

I’m betting this still goes on today all over the world and if it makes sense financially then sure, I’d do it to.

 

Gardening for love

 

Waking up to an organic garden in your back garden is not only satisfying but for many this has been a way of life for them since they were children. My wife for example grew up in a family where there was no grocery shopping for produce unless it was necessary. Everything that they needed was grown on the property including herbs and fruits.

Related: Too much fresh organic basil? Here’s what you can do with it.

It’s certainly a labour of love and something that takes time which most people simply don’t have. Unless gardening is your passion and you want to bring organic produce to the table and have the time to start your seedlings and go through the process you’re more likely to buy it rather than grow it.

 

Gardening for green

 

Today gardening is more about passion rather than necessity since we have grocery stores on just about every corner and lots of them. Let’s not forget the organic supermarkets and health food stores that now carry produce for their customers. It’s about marketing, money and making sure the customer gets their organic and other health food needs in one stop.

We’ve taken old-school organic gardening to new heights with a mainstream approach of brick and mortar rather than keeping it on the farm exclusively. The problem with this is no supermarket can survive alone on just organic produce with the costs involved with running a store. This is why you will see everything from A to Z in most organic shops or grocery aisles.

On the other hand organic food delivery and box service at local drop-off centres in many communities has become feverish because consumers want organic food. Having organic food delivered to your door or picking it up weekly in a box has become popular and opening customers up to other options, especially for the busy family.

Competition has brought free delivery, customization including fresh made foods, organic eggs and even packs of seeds for fruits, vegetable and flower gardening. You name it and you can buy it as long as it’s organic and healthy.

Just recently the idea of bringing milk delivery back in Ontario was a huge hit for consumers (at least on my Facebook page where a post was shared over 100 times). Perhaps it brings back nostalgia and some form of normal to a world that is changing faster than we can keep up. The Milk Man of Montreal Arnaldo de Castris who is 82 years old has serviced the area for 65 years and continues to do so. This is that passion I was talking about earlier.

He’s delivered milk, eggs and butter in the neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grace for seven decades and his customers have become friends.

Companies are working with local Ontario farmers to help bring their organic produce to the masses using a delivery service. This not only feeds the delivery business but local Ontario farmers who farm for a living.

It’s a win-win for the business owners and for the customers who don’t mind having the options of picking and choosing what they want delivered. On top of this you’ll also find the same freshness guarantee that most grocery stores offer with no commitment to buy week after week.

Although buying organic food may seem pricier for the average consumer you can find deals on all things organic if you watch your flyer sales. The idea about being able to afford organic on a tight budget boils down to saving in one area to afford spending a bit more in another.

 

Ontario’s Local Food Movement

 

mama earth organic food delivery OntarioA popular organic food delivery service in our area is Mama Earth (not affiliate) and although we have not signed up for this a few of our neighbours have.

It was interesting the first time we saw the Mama Earth truck pull up to our neighbour up the road but then it was happening week after week.

This is why I started to look into organic food delivery because I wanted to learn more about prices and the benefits for Ontario consumers.

What caught my attention was the marketing of nourish, support and preserve. This mindset helps everyone to eat healthy, pay the bills and give back to the earth.

Pricing for organic food boxes at Mama Earth are reasonable depending on family size. You don’t have to eat it all in a week either so it’s important to consider your eating habits.

Batch cooking, freezer meals and freezing produce is also an option if you find you have a too much in your box one week.

 

  • Small $30
  • Medium $40
  • Large  $60

Benefits of Organic Food Delivery mama earth 3 organic food delivery ontario

Although pricing is very important to you and I what I wanted to know more about is WHY we should order organic food delivery. What really are the benefits of such a delivery service?

  1. Quality
  2. Organic
  3. Convenience
  4. Local
  5. No Commitments
  6. Save Time

The only issue I would see above is about saving time because like others we still have to go to the grocery store which means we can buy organic all in one shop.

What I do like is knowing where the food is coming from and that we are supporting our local farmers. No one says you have to buy exclusively organic produce but if you are able to fit it into your grocery budget then why not enjoy it.

Discussion Question: What are your thoughts about home delivery of organic produce and other foods?

 

April 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: 3,200,000
  • 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

 

Costco

  • 4 10% Cream $1.95 each
  • 3 x Whipping Cream $4.95
  • 3 pack cucumbers $2.45
  • Organic Spinach $3.59
  • 2 x extra-large eggs $4.99 double pack
  • 2 x butter Natrel $3.29 each
  • Ricotta Cheese $4.49
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese $8.59
  • Avocados $8.99
  • Cauli-Rice $3.89
  • bananas $1.59

Total Out-of-Pocket $67.81

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: $48.28
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month $140 Saved
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $1
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $49.29
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $116.54
  • Total spent this week: $67.81
  • Total spent so far this month: $337.85
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over but still under
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$37.85
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $169.42+March $228.70 + April $337.84+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We went over budget this month including our stockpile however we had room from the previous month so it will even out nicely without issue. The grocery budget on the other hand will need to be looked at in May since we are over by $37.85 likely because of 2 Costco trips in one month which can add up. We’re hoping that what we have now will take us into a no-shop week for next week helping us to get back this overage.

How was your shopping week?

Mr.CBB

 

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 Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon. 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!

-Mr.CBB

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Comments

  1. I really love my CSA and I can’t wait for June when it starts up again! and yet… when I look at prices of organic produce at supermarkets, I can’t seem to part with my money. I wonder why because the produce at farmer’s markets are priced similarly but I would not bat an eye at spending money there. Is it the atmosphere? or is it the knowledge of where exactly the food comes from compared to organics from USA or Mexico? maybe a bit of both?

    APRIL 23-29
    Yearly Budget for 1 Adult $2400 or $200/mo
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $200

    STORE: SUPERSTORE
    -Watermelon $4.88
    Gift Card Used $4.88
    Total Out of Pocket $0

    STORE: LONDON DRUGS
    -1 London Plantation Honey Roasted Almonds $6.23
    Total Out of Pocket $6.23

    STORE: T&T
    -Mango Mousse Cake Roll $4.20
    -2 pkgs Frozen Pork Dumplings (@8.44 each) $16.88
    Total Out of Pocket $21.08

    STORE: IGA
    -12 cans Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup (@0.50 each) $5.99
    -1kg Cheerios $6.99
    -Lean Ground Beef (@3.99/lb) $7.30
    Total Out of Pocket $20.28

    POINTS OVERVIEW
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $41.21
    Total Rewards used to date: $42.61
    PC Optimum Points Balance: 2130
    PC Optimum Points Redeemed: 0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    COUPON APPS
    Checkout51- $6.95

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK
    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: $47.59
    Total spent so far this month: $121.50
    Total over/Under spend this shop ($50/wk): Wk1-3 Under $76.09 + Wk4 under $2.41= Under $78.50
    Total left to spend for the month: $78.50
    Total Spent To Date 2018: Jan $217.46 + Feb $127.79 + Mar $124.18 + Apr $121.50

    WEEKLY OVERVIEW
    Another pretty good month under budget with some more money left over. Instead of debt though, I’m going to move this into my home improvement fund (I want to put some screens up for the door and windows). I’m still well-stocked in beef, pork and chicken so I think there shouldn’t be too much to buy next month.

  2. Mary Campbell says:

    APRIL – Week #4 of 4- Apr 23-29, 2018

    2018 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

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

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

    REMARKS FOR THE MONTH:

    This is sure turning into an expensive month! We have accounting fees, dental fees, RRSP fees, a pest control annual service contract renewal, car servicing including having the summer tires put back on, the legal fees to re-do our wills, P.A.’s & Medical Directives not to mention haircuts and the MIL’s birthday….to the tune of well over $6,000. Thank goodness for our “Future Payments” account!

    I am also preparing our annual cheque to send off to the stock broker for our TFSA contributions, RRSP Contributions and our annual top-up of the funds in our joint non-registered account. That’s another BIG OUCH to our high interest savings account. I’ve been saving for a year though to be able to do this and on the plus side, our 2017 tax refunds came in last week… so at least the account won’t be totally empty. I’ll save those refunds to put towards our 2019 annual remittance to our broker. Maybe hubby is right…savings in our house are “never to be seen again” – at until you start drawing from your RRIF at the age of 71.

    This month’s massive payments are making a mighty big dent in our savings & I am going to have to scramble to try and get some more money saved up in order to pay our property taxes at the end of June…another big ouch! This month we’ve been spending $$ faster than we are making it. Not a good thing!

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    In view of all the outflow of cash, I decided that we’ll have a NO SHOP WEEK. I’m feeling, broke, broke, broke and a person can only wiggle and jiggle so much to try and make ends meet. On the plus side, we’re well stocked and will have no trouble making some pretty decent meals from our pantry, fridge and freezers. I will carry forward my April overage into May and sort it out then.

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

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT SHOP WILL BE NEXT WEEK

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

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING:

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE IN MAY

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

    2018 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $149.14

    •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: 135 Air Miles

    •Total PC Optimum Points Earned This Year: 9900 Points

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

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 760.00 Grocery Budget JAN-APRIL

    ($174.63) NET RESERVE TRANSFERS

    ($ 600.38) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ (15.01) AVAILABLE Y-T-D GGC SPENDING NOT INCL RESERVES

    • RESERVES Y-T-D:

    $ 289.47 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund

    $ 222.59 Holiday Season Fund + $270 PC Optimum Points ($230 Mary + $40 Larry) + $10 Dream Air Miles + $50 Save On Foods More Rewards ($25 Mary + $25 Larry) = $552.59

    $ 699.59 Summer Season Fund

    $ 606.87 US Shopping Reserve

    $ 88.80 GGC Savings Reserve

    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,907.32. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $507.28 that we have added in 2018, LESS $361.26 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.

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

    • Hi Mary,
      I see you are both racking up some Optimum points, that’s great. Where do most of your points come from, food, health and beauty or a good mix of both? Our month is turning out pricey as well but we are doing our best to keep it balanced. You’re right you don’t see the money again until retirement, IF one makes it that far. With my FIL passing away just before he turned 65 he didn’t see a thing however it was left to keep the family home going so there was much good from it. It’s always important to live today and make sure we save enough to live for tomorrow. Happy No-shop!! Mr.CBB

      • Mary Campbell says:

        Mr CBB, my Optimum points are all food related. I buy health items like hubby’s vitamins in the USA where they are much cheaper and I don’t buy beauty items ever…it’s a lot cheaper that way and dare I say I am beautiful without all that stuff?!

        If you look at my reserves, despite going over by $15 this month, I still have socked away $146.02 new reserve money over the course of 4 months so about $36.50 a month is left in the kitty each month.

        Now although we squirrel our savings away and invest the funds for retirement, we do have a decent sized, in my mind at least, Emergency Fund in cash that could and would be drawn if we had to. And it’s not like we are hard done by. We take nice vacations annually using points and miles. We enjoy our time now and prepare for a rainy day. I do keep in mind that hubby is a lot younger than me and the funds may have to last him after I am gone and no longer available to handle our investments.

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