grocery game monthly challenge

Should You Buy Into The Costco Membership Consumer Hype? : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 Feb 8-14

costco shopping(1)

COSTCO WHOLESALE STOCKS YOU UP BUT DOES IT STACK UP $$   Put away your coupon binder if you plan to shop at Costco as they don’t accept manufacturer coupons because they have their own coupons and promotions for private members. They also boast having the best deals because their buyers are able to negotiate great prices. Just how great are these prices though compared to your typical grocery store paired with sales, coupons and coupon apps? Let’s find out…. Related: How to chop everyday food prices without coupons I think not owning a smartphone and Costco membership at the same time either means you’re very frugal, don’t see the benefit or there is no Costco location nearby so there’s no point considering if there are any budget savings to be had. I don’t have either BUT we do have a Costco very close to our house so we wanted to see if there was a benefit for us to stop in and shop on my way home from work. What I found interesting was that Costco motivates shoppers who entertain saving money by buying in bulk every frugal persons’ dream but they also offer a Costco Concierge Service. Can […]

grocery game monthly challenge

5 Ways To Slash Binge Shopping From Your Grocery Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Feb 1-7

5 WAYS TO SLASH BINGE SHOPPING FROM YOUR GROCERY BUDGET(1)

SELF-CONTROL IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT SAVING   I think just about everyone has had their fair share of binge shopping at the grocery store which attributed to spending more money than anticipated. We shop with our eyes and nose and at the grocery store so we have to be on high-alert because it’s simple to buy what you probably could have done without. What does the word binge really mean? It means you do something excessively in a short period. I don’t know about you but I don’t plan to hang out at the grocery store all day. Binge shopping happens when we let the grocery store do the shopping for us and not the grocery list. Major budget buster! Guilt shopping is right up there with placing food in a shopping cart with no plan in place. What is guilt shopping? You know when you leave the house and the kids or your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend beg you to bring them home chocolate, chips or make you feel guilty when you say, “No, we can’t afford it this week”? Well, if you give into their demands that’s guilt shopping. Try not to do this if you can help […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Big City Savings Tips To Survive Grocery Shopping : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Jan 25-31

big city savings tips to survive grocery shopping (1)

OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS IN THE CITY   Many people who live in the big city choose not to drive, can’t drive or can’t afford to drive. This means rolling their shopping cart into a large parking lot to load groceries only to whiz home around the corner is not an option. Many of us take for granted the luxuries of living in a smaller city while shopping especially when it comes to parking and space. You’ll get more of that than you will living in the big city where space is at a premium. Related: How a small town family saves money on groceries The smartest tip that I can share with you today about shopping in any city is to be ORGANIZED. Without organization you risk having a less than ideal shopping experience. I find when we have things planned out it’s almost always smooth sailing. Unless of course we have a tired toddler, dirty nappy or it’s feeding time. Download my Free Printable Tools to get you started on the organizational train. With millions of people who live in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area you will certainly find just about every grocery store on the market. In […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How often should you complete a food budget review? : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #3 Jan 18-24

how often should you complete a food budget review(1)how often should you complete a food budget review(1)

PROJECT BUDGET CONTROL   Some people spend FAR MORE money on groceries than they need to like one  CBB fan who chopped her $1100 grocery shopping budget to a manageable $600 a month in less than 6 months. She had to make serious changes but the biggest of all was a review of how much money she was actually spending every month. Without knowing that number she wouldn’t have known just how much she was spending. Related: How I decreased my grocery budget from $1100 to $600 in 6 months Understanding food cost can be overwhelming for anyone as I’ve learned from experience over the years. When I moved to Canada I had no idea what the cost of anything was so I had to learn from the ground up. Last week we talked about how to calculate your monthly grocery costs and today I want to talk about how often you need to review your grocery budget to make sure it still fits with your overall budgeting goals. By know you already know how much your grocery budget should be BUT when should you review that number? Some people like to review their grocery budget yearly which is what […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How To Calculate Your Monthly Grocery Costs: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 Jan 11-17

how to calculate your monthly grocery costs(1)

BUDGET ONE STEP AT A TIME   One of the top questions I get asked is “How much should my grocery budget be?” and I reply,  “How much are your current monthly grocery costs?” Before determining your grocery budget it’s important to know what your current situation is costing you.  Most often my question goes unanswered or I get a response of “I don’t know” because for some consumers grocery shopping is simply buying food for the week and paying the bill. Unfortunately budgeting and frugality are not normally part of the shopping trip until it becomes necessary for some people. Don’t make this be you. A food budget should be essential for everyone unless you have unlimited income where money is of no object to you. Not many of us reading the blog are that fortunate I’m afraid. Typical grocery costs per month will differ from person to person depending on many factors such as size of the family, income level, health and special diets and so on. You can read all about that in the post I linked above. Currently it’s high-season for budgets now that new year has arrived and people want to get back on track […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How To Survive Food Cost Increases in 2016 : Join The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Jan 4-10

THE GROCERY GAME CHALLENGE 2016 CANADIAN BUDGET BINDER(1)

DON’T BE STICKER SHOCKED WHEN YOU GO GROCERY SHOPPING THIS YEAR   If you thought your grocery budget was tight in 2015 experts are saying to buckle up and expect to add $345 this year to your grocery expenses. With the loonie taking a nose dive and the fact that most of our produce is imported, prices in the produce section are about to get scary. Already we’ve seen cucumbers jump in price to $3.00 each from a cool $0.99 and celery that looks like it could use a bit of love with a shocking price tag of $4.99. Keep in mind, these are NOT organic prices either. Prices are slated to rise from 2.0%-4.5% for fruit and produce in 2016 according to the University of Guelph’s annual Food Price Report 2016 English For 2016, the Food Institute is forecasting food inflation rates across the country to be anywhere between 2.0% to 4.0%.- UofG Food Price Report In February 2015 Stats Canada released the consumer price index where you can clearly see prices aren’t moving down nor will they be anytime soon. In 2016 food and utility prices are expected to increase so now is the time to get your […]

grocery game monthly challenge

5 Ways Price Matching Can Significantly Lower Your Grocery Budget This Year : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Dec 28, 2015- Jan 3, 2016

PRICE MATCHING CANADA 2016

ALWAYS FIND THE BEST PRICE   Many stores have a price matching guarantee which means if you’re not taking advantage of this wonderful money saving tool then you’re throwing money out the window. Don’t believe me? You are because what takes a few minutes of your time might take you longer to earn the money you are splashing without cashing in on the savings. Prices hardly ever go down on groceries these days and with produce prices going up in 2016 consumers better start thinking about how their grocery budget will be affected. Have you seen the price of cauliflower these days? One head runs from $5.99-$8.00 at some grocery stores. My wife wanted me to buy one for her but I’m not “Splurging” on cauliflower when it was $0.99 in the summer. She can wait to indulge when it’s cheaper. If spending money on food is not a big deal to you then you probably won’t care but you likely wouldn’t be here reading this in the first place. If you are critical about the money you spend in your grocery budget or you’re trying to get back on track with your spending you should learn about price matching. […]

Tis The Season For Giving : Merry Christmas Wishes To All

Merry Christmas Red Ball Tree Ornament

SPREAD CHEER EVERYDAY OF THE YEAR   It’s Christmas Eve as I write this and apart from variety stores and a couple of gas stations everyone else is closed as loved ones gather to begin the Christmas festivities. Laid out on the dining room table are all sorts of Christmas treats, vegetables and dips, cheese balls and lots of fruits for the evening affair of spending time with the family. After some eating it was time to get out of the house to spread some Christmas cheer. No, I don’t mean by caroling although my wife is that woman who loves to sing and isn’t shy to go door to door. I on the other hand am not a singer, at all. The city was a ghost town as we went looking for Tim Horton’s coffee only to realize of course they are closed. I guess the only thing giving to us would be the kettle so back home we went after a quick drive around to see some Christmas lights. Although almost all shops are closed there are people out there that have to work, police, hospital and healthcare staff, paramedics, fire fighters and so on. Big thanks to […]

grocery game monthly challenge

15 Easy Lunch Sandwiches For Less Than Two Dollars : The Grocery Game Challenge #3, Dec 21-27,2015

15 lunch sandwiches for under 2 dollars

DELICIOUS SIMPLE LUNCH IDEAS DON’T HAVE TO COST A FORTUNE   Lunch Sandwiches have long since been a popular food to eat any time of the day for both kids and adults whether at home, work, school, picnics, gatherings or on the run. Although your typical homemade sandwich can range in price depending on how fancy of a sandwich you want you can’t go wrong by making it at home rather than buying it pre-made. Layering your sandwich with roast beef, Swiss cheese and bacon will cost more than having a simple roast-beef and cheddar sandwich so it’s important to know what ingredients you like in your lunch sandwiches so you can stock up when there are grocery store sales. Keeping prices in mind will help to keep costs low while allowing you to eat the best foods available. My wife and I are always looking for lunch suggestions because we get bored with eating the same foods all the time so we aim for variety in our diet. Although I enjoy taking a hot lunch to work every once in a while I don’t mind lunch sandwiches because they are easy meals to make paired with soup or other […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How to host a casual budget-friendly dinner party : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Dec 14-20, 2015

how to host a casual budget friendly dinner party

DINNER WITH FRIENDS DOESN’T HAVE TO BREAK THE BANK   Too often people shy away from hosting a dinner party out of  concerns for the costs involved and stress the evening may present.  Today I’m going to share with you some tips to ease that worry so you can enjoy entertaining in your home. You want everyone at your dinner party to have fun, enjoy the food and create memories but you also want to take part in the festivities. This means that you have some dinner party homework to do before the big day, including figuring out what your grocery budget will be.   Dinner party invites   You’ve already created your dinner party guest list and possibly sent out invitations but before you did any of this you reviewed your dinner notes to make sure you didn’t forget anything. The date and time are important but there are other details that should appear on the invitation. When you don’t include information for your guests on the invitation then you get a flood of emails, texts or phone calls depending on how many people you’ve invited. If your guests are unclear about the dinner party they may also decline […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How We Downsized Our Food Costs By 41% To Fit Our Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Dec 7-13, 2015

how we cut our food costs by 41 percent (1)

WE HAD NO IDEA WE WERE SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY   Every year since starting The Grocery Game Challenge back in 2012 we have evaluated our food costs in accordance to our overall budget. Before then we were just two people in a loving relationship renting and grocery shopping like every other frugal couple, so we thought. Although we were just starting to clip coupons but not heavily stockpiling we also followed the sales. We were spending on average around $400 a month which only continued to increase. That might not seem like much to you but for us that was a huge amount to be spending on groceries for 2 people. Since we were saving for the down-payment on our first home saving money was critical to keep costs low. You may think you are doing well with all the grocery savings but all that money adds up every month whether you got a deal or not. When we bought our home in 2009 it was just shortly after the coupon craze hit Canada and everyone was going mad for free or near free deals, including us. Yes, we joined in on the fun because we wanted to save […]

grocery game monthly challenge

If You’re Running Out Of Grocery Money Try This : The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Nov 30-Dec 6, 2015

if you're running out of grocery money try this(1)

WHEN THE CUPBOARDS ARE BARE   Running out of grocery money before the end of the month is heartbreaking for anyone especially families with children. We all deserve to eat and should never go hungry but sadly this happens every day to people all over the world. Nobody likes to admit defeat but there are times where we have to step up and ask ourselves why things are going the way they are and whether we can make successful changes to our lives. The wonderful news is that there are services to help those in need who run out of grocery money in the form of free support in almost every city. A huge thank-you to those who take time to donate to food banks and other local charities because your support goes a long way to help people in need. There are also other ways to help get back on track financially as long as you are motivated to see results. I received the following email from a wife/mother of 2 young children this week that I wanted to share with you. Hi Mr.CBB, I wanted to know if you could give me some advice about grocery shopping. I’m […]