grocery game monthly challenge

Do summer foods cost you more money? : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 July 21-27, 2014

square watermelon vancouver

PICK YOUR OWN EAT IT FRESH   Summer foods are fresh, in-season and in some cases can drive up your grocery budget if you’re not careful. For the most part Mrs.CBB and I have a standard grocery list that we use every week along with sale items that come up in the flyers. In the summer our grocery list seems to grow. With such growth we really need to focus on how much money we are spending at the grocery store so we don’t overspend causing us to carry over these expenses to the next month. This is what we did for the month of July as you will notice we were over budget by $18.24. The reason for this is because we are trying to catch up for going over budget the month previous. It only seems to happen in the summer but come winter, things change. I know you might suggest giving ourselves a larger budget but it does seem to work out in the end. If by the end of 2014 we notice we need to make an increase then that is what we will do. We won’t deprive ourselves and not buy what we need when […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Do you spend more or less when grocery shopping alone? : The grocery game challenge #3 July 14-20, 2014

grocery shopping alone

YOU AND THE GROCERY BASKET   Grocery shopping alone for some people is like a holiday away from the hectic life they lead at home and in the workplace. Would you agree or disagree with the above statement? Not everyone enjoys to shop alone but if you are one of them you might find you spend less than if you have your spouse, partner, friends or the troops alongside you. I’m one of those who grocery shop with my wife although there are times where I have to go grocery shopping on my own because she is busy doing something else. I don’t mind shopping alone but what I did notice is that when I shop alone we spend less money. The only reason I thought about this was because when I went shopping alone this week three things happened. I was in and out of the store faster even though I still took my time I didn’t deviate from the list nor was I thinking about it I spent less because we didn’t try and convince each other that we needed a certain product I find when we shop together we start talking about food and recipes and conversations […]

Why your Facebook feed is flooded with a lucrative gift card offer

Free Facebook

FREE DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN FREE   I know many of you who are on Facebook may have noticed a spike in Facebook fans sharing posts about how they managed to grab a $500 Costco gift card by sharing. Sounds lucrative and typically these types of advertising schemes on social media are too good to be true. Pop-ups suck! Why? Many are just hoops, read on!   What is the easiest way to make money? Work for it! Yup, I know it’s hard to swallow but that’s life. If you were one the many people who thought that internet money was going to fall into your lap with 5 easy group shares you’re not alone. I can’t even begin to tell you how my Facebook feed was flooded with Facebook fans who were sharing a giveaway not sponsored by Facebook or Costco in any group they could find. Ads on Facebook plague social media users on a daily basis and many people have thrown in the towel moving on to other platforms because they simply can’t handle how Facebook has become such a showcase for money grabs. Then again what comes free such as the Facebook platform means that the company […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Should you can the canned goods? – The Grocery Game Challenge #2 July 7-13, 2014

Del Monte Peaches Canned Goods

LEARNING ABOUT WHAT WE EAT   Canned goods are in just about everyone’s shopping carts when we go grocery shopping and I can only assume it’s for convenience and the longer shelf-life. Sure price may be a deciding factor like it did for us this week but it wasn’t the only reason. My wife wanted to buy Del Monte canned fruit which is out of the ordinary for her. There is always a time when I’m asking for pineapple and we don’t have a fresh one on the counter to use up. It’s not a bad idea to have a few cans of fruit for ease of use even in recipes for marinating or baking. She noticed the cans were on sale for $1.00 at Freshco so she did the weight and price comparison to the larger cans. It was certainly worth the price since the larger can was approximately twice the size but ringing in at $3.29. This time of year fruit is reasonably priced but my wife is picky about her peaches. She hates buying peaches that have no flavour. Apparently they are picked before they are ripe and go through a process to keep them from becoming […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Should grocery stores bother having a garden centre?: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 June 30-July 06, 2014

garden centre

KEEPING THE CUSTOMERS HAPPY   These days it seems that more and more supermarkets aim at the gardener in everyone by adopting a seasonal garden centre attachment. It’s amazing how many of these stores will go out of their way to make sure they keep the customer happy. I often wonder though if it’s really worth it for them but judging by the way these garden centres keep showing up year after year I’m pretty sure a profit is being made.   Garden centre choices   The garden centre is usually located in the car park or if you frequent such supermarkets as Walmart the garden centre is part of the exterior of the building. The pro having the garden centre included with a grocery store is that it’s the one stop shop again. It’s all about competition though. If you decide to go to Zehrs garden centre for a sale you most likely will go into Zehrs to see what groceries are on sale or decide to buy your groceries there that week. Ah, smart marketing. Either way, the big names in supermarkets just keep broadening their horizons to encourage a wider customer base. Every year we add some sparkle […]

Does Buying Secondhand Leave You Out of Touch with Real Prices?

second-hand, used, for sale, discount

PRICING MONSTER ON YOUR SHOULDER   Over the years as a couple, we have come up with ways to save money in our budget by buying things we need secondhand. More Canadians are finding bargains and are realizing that they too can save money without having to go broke. We buy clothing secondhand when we need to although we are picky with what we buy because not all secondhand prices are equal these days. Some thrift type stores are taking advantage of the secondhand pricing wars of used items and prices are becoming over the top. They see more people buying so they boost the prices to the point of craziness, considering they got it free. Pretty soon they may find some people will head back to buying new because it’s worth it if you know your prices. It’s always hit or miss but it’s not just clothes on our secondhand hit list. Clothing only scratches the secondhand surface as we tend to look for everything we need that is new to us or never been used. Why? It saves us money and it’s not just us, many people do it. You only have to look at the hordes of […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Do you buy magazines at the check-out?: The grocery game challenge #4 June 23-29, 2014

magazine rack

BORED AT THE CASH MIGHT COST $   Not everyone falls prey to the marketing ploy of magazines at the check-out although there are many of you that just can’t go without your weekly or even daily dose of  “worldly news”. We do not subscribe to magazines so unless it is a free magazine like “Melt magazine” or “Ingredients Magazine” it will never end up in our shopping cart. Although those magazines in Canada revolve around food they are not costing us any money. Maybe that means we are boring people? With the internet at our finger tips you can find just about anything you need to know online. You can pretty much find free magazines online which will give you hours of reading entertainment. Magazines are not cheap either as you can expect to pay anywhere from $2-$5 and then some just to read something and toss it in the garbage.   Magazine fever   I notice my wife falls prey to the celebrity gossip magazines while waiting at the check-out and will look at In Style magazine, Chatelaine magazine and Canadian Living magazine. She has never bought a magazine though and to be honest I just don’t think […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How to chop everyday food costs without coupons: The Grocery game challenge #3 June 16-22, 2014

Grocery Game Challenge June 2014 3

SAVE BY BUYING LESS   I know what you are thinking if you are a coupon lover and swear by the savings but you can also chop your everyday food costs without coupons. Just like the header says, save by buying less and it’s true. People tend to overspend when grocery shopping for everyday food for a variety of reasons and we’re included in that group. We’ve since been working on keeping that at bay and it’s not so bad as long as you find your grocery shopping triggers. Using coupons, especially if you aren’t a pro at it takes time to organize every week so you must be willing to make that time in order to reap any rewards. Sure some weeks may be better than others but for those who simply don’t have the time you don’t need coupons to save money on groceries as long as you are smart with what you buy.   Using coupons   We were heavily into using coupons during the years 2010-2012 until the big coupon rage took off and Extreme Couponing in the USA blew up the television screen. In that time more coupon bloggers joined the blogosphere which is now […]