grocery game monthly challenge

Should you really shop at a bulk food store? : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Oct 6-12, 2014

Bulk Food Store Walnuts

THE MORE YOU BUY THE CHEAPER IT IS… OR IS IT?   Most people would assume that if they buy food from a bulk food store that it would cost less than buying at a local grocery store. I’m not just talking about a bulk food store like the Bulk Barn but also stores like Costco that people believe help slash their grocery budget. Almost two years ago when I participated in the Welfare Food Challenge I agreed that buying in bulk would help keep costs lowered for those who want to stick to a budget. It’s true as long as you are always getting the ‘best price’ for the size/amount you buy. What is also important to consider is here as well is quality of product. If you aren’t then likely the savings aren’t going to be great.   Bulk Food Store Savings   We don’t have a Costco membership which you have to pay for and factor into your overall costs. This cost can run you anywhere from $55 a year for a business membership to a $110 for an executive membership. Through the grapevine I’ve heard that if you buy a Costco gift card or one was […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How quick meals can be a life saver for new parents: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept 29-Oct 5, 2014

convenience food canned goods

MEALS ON THE GO   I honestly never thought we’d be writing about filling our shopping cart with cheap meals in a can, box or container but now is the time. As you all know in the past few weeks we welcomed a baby boy into the CBB family. One CBB fan asked why we didn’t prepare freezer meals ahead of time and to be honest we literally didn’t have the time. I’ve worked non-stop and trying to renovate and although I’m my worst enemy I knew something would have to give. My wife and I are simple when it comes to eating that we both decided that we’d be fine with soups and sandwiches, cereal and toast etc once baby arrived. Silly us! We have stretched our days so far that there wasn’t much time left although looking back maybe I should have bulked out some meals. I’m the first person to encourage people to make time to budget (solid advice) so taking my own advice here should have been a priority. Just another learning experience for us. Meals for us normally consist of fresh vegetables and a protein and we love cooking homemade meals from scratch not to […]

How going vegan affected our budget

vegan grocery budget

FOOD AND YOUR WALLET   About three years ago, my wife and I decided to switch to a vegan diet. The decision was a difficult one but after some quick research into the type of foods we were eating, we decided we wanted to make a change. Personally, I wanted to start avoiding meat products and processed foods that were heavy in calories and made me feel tired after consuming them. Along with the health benefits that come with eating a more healthy diet, the decision to go vegan affected our monthly food budget in a few ways (and some were surprising).   EATING VEGAN   What is a Vegan? A vegan diet eliminates meat products and ‘strict’ vegan diets also refrain from consuming eggs, dairy products and other animal-related by products. The term vegan is described as “non-dairy vegetarian” and typical vegan diets are usually high in fibre, magnesium, vitamin C/E and iron. They also tend to be lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc. Since most processed foods tend to include animal-related products, a vegan diet usually consists of eating more raw, lean and healthier foods. Some notable vegans include Ellen DeGeneres, James Cameron, […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Why do snacks tempt our budget while waiting in the grocery line?: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Sept 22-28, 2014

snacks grocery store line

TEMPTATION AND YOUR BUDGET   Pretty much every grocery store you frequent will have snacks waiting to bust your budget if you give into temptation while standing in line. They say to make sure you eat before you go grocery shopping so you don’t overspend and it’s true but what happens when you get the snack munchies instead? You spend more that’s what happens and it can be even pricier than just buying snacks down the snack aisle if you give in to the cash register snack marketing ploy. You would think it’s only the grocery store but it’s not. Have a look next time you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and you will see they sell chocolate bars, drinks and beef jerky for any hungry customers waiting to cash out. There is always marketing behind the grocery store from the minute you open your weekly flyer to the time you walk in the front doors. Money has to be made and whether it’s from the full-priced products customers buy to the customers who don’t care about weekly specials to the snacks at the cash register.   Buy me a snack   If your goal is to stick to […]

Rethinking fashion to embrace personal style and budget

Fashion jeans budget clothing

 FASHION WITHOUT PRESSURE   Fashion trends to one person may differ to the next especially when it comes to quality fabrics and cost. A few months ago, I was folding some laundry and I noticed one of my sweatshirts was made in Bangladesh. I wondered if the people who had made it were still alive because in 2013 a large garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed and killed over 1,110 people. This factory manufactured clothes for a large number of brands that I happen to have in my closet. It was unsettling to think I was wearing something that had been produced in a sweatshop by workers making about 32 cents and hour. This brings a whole new meaning to the expression “slave to fashion”. I admit that I have closets and dressers overflowing with cheap, disposable clothing. I cannot believe the trash bags of clothes that we stuff into the donation bins at regular intervals. How many articles of clothing does one person need? How many of them do I actually wear on a regular basis? I read a statistic somewhere that people wear 10% of their wardrobe 90% of the time. Clearly, we need a lot less than we buy.   Fashion overflow   Why […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Should your grocery budget increase with shrinking product packaging: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept 15-21, 2014

shrinking packaging

SHRINKING FOOD   I’ve talked about whether we eat too much and potentially why a grocery budget might be high but now we have to tackle shrinking product packaging. I often have people visit the blog wanting to find out what an average grocery budget might be so they can plan their own budget. One problem is there are many differences from country to country not to mention the case of shrinking packaging and higher pricing. The wife and I were at Zehrs the other day with our son grocery shopping and my wife mentioned that we were almost out of cheddar cheese. Although I’m not a fan of these commercial types of affordable cheeses we opt to buy them as they fit our grocery budget. I am used to higher end cheeses from when I lived in the UK but try buying them in Canada and your grocery budget will take a huge hit. The only time you might find us indulging is if the cheese has a 50% off pink sticker making the cheese half-price which works for our grocery budget. Sometimes it’s worth buying a stronger cheese because you use less but it depends on what the […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Would you shop at a 24 hour grocery store? : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept 1-7, 2014

24 hour grocery store

PAYING FOR CONVENIENCE   We all love convenience but for many people the need for a 24 hour grocery store is vital. Who uses a 24 hour grocery store anyways? The customers who roam the aisles of the grocery store late at night when most people are sleeping are those that aren’t tucked up in bed. I know it sounds simple enough but for one reason or another sleeping is not on the agenda. You may find shift workers, students, party goers and even those with disabilities or someone who might be afraid of /dislikes crowded places who visit the 24 hour grocery store for late night shopping. There are also the customers who run out of an item and it’s needed in the middle of the night or someone falls ill and a medicine is needed. Your child may come down with an illness and you need some medicine and the only shop open besides the local convenience store is the 24 hour grocery store. Granted that not every 24 hour grocery store has a pharmacy section open for those that do it is a huge benefit to those seeking relief in the middle of the night. If you […]