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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Do you only buy groceries on sale? : The Grocery game challenge #2 June 9-15, 2014

Grocery Game Challenge On sale June 2014

WHAT’S IN YOUR BASKET?   Buying groceries on sale is a great way to save money in the budget but being selective about what you buy is also important. Not everyone has the same lifestyle so they will purchase different types of food for their diet. What we typically do is go through the grocery flyers to see what products are on sale and base our meal plan around those items. Those items are typically basic essential items and we also like to make sure our pantry is stocked to build a complete meal. If we can make our own homemade pasta sauce, soup and salads we will opt to do that over buying it pre-made. These are simple recipes that don’t take much time and are from what I calculated cheaper to make even when pre-made is on sale. I remember years ago we used to stock up on items with coupons such as those Stouffer’s pizza pocket thingys because they were cheap but looking back, what a waste of money. It didn’t matter that we only spent $0.50 on them I could have made them for less and they would have tasted better.  In a way we got […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Would you go back if you forgot your groceries? : The Grocery game challenge June 2-8, 2014

Cracker barrel medium cheddar with pink stickers

IS IT WORTH THE TRIP BACK?   Finding out your forgot groceries at the grocery store can be a big pain but it’s also money out of your grocery budget. Whether you decide to make the trip back to the grocery store if you forgot groceries you paid for depends on a couple of factors. I know we have in the past forgotten something at the cash register because we weren’t paying attention or the cashier didn’t send it down the chute or conveyor. (That’s what I call it). Sometimes items get stuck and if you or the cashier aren’t paying attention a product or many  products might get missed going in your shopping bag. Luckily we were in the parking lot when we noticed some of our groceries were missing. Now we seem to go through the self-checkout which makes it a bit more difficult to forget anything because it all has to go on the weigh scale once scanned. You are in charge of your groceries. Depending on what time of the day you shop it can be chaos at the grocery store so things are moving quickly and if you aren’t alert you can miss groceries you […]