grocery game monthly challenge

How we plan to spend $100 a month grocery shopping: The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Oct 27-Nov 7, 2014

shopping-cart-walmart

I’M NO SHOPPING CART HERO   I know, I know, I know we went WAY over budget this month leaving us with just over $100 a month to spend until the end of 2014 on groceries. I’d like to say that we had a no-shop week like we were supposed to and that photo to the left is our empty cart but I’m afraid that’s not the case. The shops you will read below are in between weeks and with 5 weeks of grocery shops in October it really put us in the red. Although we don’t normally shop for groceries in-between weeks or more than once a week if we can help it this month has seen us visit the shops more than anticipated. Having to go to the shops on my own and for various reasons one being that we have a newborn in the house ended up us stockpiling more than we normally do. We opened a bank account for our son which brought us to the store twice because we didn’t have the proper documents to open the account. I guess that’s one downfall having your banking pavillion in a grocery store. This is one of […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Budget Friendly Easy Dinner Ideas: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Oct 20-26,2014

Easy Dinner Ideas

SIMPLE RECIPES IN A FLASH!   Life in the kitchen was great until our son came into this world and now we are counting on easy dinner ideas just so we eat decent food. Over the course of the past 7 weeks our diet has went from eating homemade foods with fresh vegetables and fruits to canned soup, sandwiches and cereal. Lately I’ve been on the hunt for fast meals that pack a nutritious punch in a short amount of time. Sure we could have planned freezer meals ahead of time but we prefer to cook hot meals rather than turning on the oven to re-heat frozen food if we don’t have to. We do enjoy frozen foods such as perogies, ravioli, tortellini, fish and some vegetables but we’ve never ventured into batch cooking.   Cheap meals   I know that many parents and working couples rely on 15 minute meals just to make sure they get something hot into their stomachs and to avoid the dreaded TV dinner or even costlier….eating out. Another reason that homemade quick meals are important is because most are budget friendly depending on the type of ingredients you purchase. I know many of my […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Why you should always get a product price check: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Oct 13-19, 2014

price checker free product

BE A GROCERY BUDGET MONEY SAVER   Not everyone has patience when they are grocery shopping and the last thing you want is to hop into a line when the customer ahead of you needs a price check. I know what you might be thinking….Moron, why didn’t you check for a price before throwing it in your grocery cart!! Don’t be so harsh because one day it might be you. These days we rely on computer scanning systems along with a UPC scanning bar code to bring up the price automatically. The problem is not every product has this code and some stores don’t have computer technology. Back in the day the cashier had to manually input prices which was even more reason to watch your prices. Even the cashier can make a mistake today putting in codes to bring up a product’s price. While watching a comedy show on Just For Laughs the other evening with my wife one comedian had me think of all the times I shut down a line for a price check. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco said he has a problem with people who hold up the grocery line and he would rather tell the cashier […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]