grocery game monthly challenge

7 Expensive Grocery Shopping Habits You Should Stop! : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Nov 23-29, 2015

7 expensive grocery shopping habits you should stop

DON’T FALL INTO THESE MONEY TRAPS   If you are spending too much money on groceries you likely display one or more of the seven grocery shopping habits I’m going to discuss today. This past weekend my wife and I were shopping at Zehrs where we always find great grocery deals up to 50% off that compliment our grocery budget. We also like the quality of food that we find compared to other grocery stores but we certainly aren’t  grocery snobs by any means. We shop where the savings are. Although not everyone jumps with enthusiasm when they see 50% off reduced stickers we both questioned just how much our grocery bill would be if they weren’t reduced. Realistically these reduced deals we find could disappear altogether one day where we are left with only flyer sales and coupon deals. We’d possibly see an increase in our overall grocery spending which means we’d have to re-evaluate our grocery budget or find other ways to keep expenses low. For the most part I think we would be fine as we are savvy shoppers, but ask yourself one question- Can we afford it? The biggest concern for us is our overall savings […]

grocery game monthly challenge

3 Ways You Can Have A Food Shopping List With Variety And Save Money : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Nov 16-22, 2015


FOOD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING   Having the same weekly food shopping list when we grocery shop is a part of our past. We’ve learned that we really don’t like eating olives every day if we don’t have to. These days we have plenty of variety in our diet and we owe it all to our grocery budget and a few other motivations that everyone should be aware of. I think most people buy the same foods out of habit because there’s no method to the madness of consistency in the kitchen especially if you have a busy schedule. Last week fellow personal finance blogger at Budget Blonde Catherine who is an amazing saver left the comment below on my blog post. Her words had me wondering if others create the same food shopping list every week because it’s cheaper on the grocery budget. I also considered that some people may want the same foods each week because they have recipes in mind that they’ve done over and over which saves time and in their opinion, money. I love to have some variety in my diet, but I’ve found that the more variety I seek the more money I […]

Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Italian Meatballs


HOMEMADE SOUP NEVER TASTED SO GOOD   Move over chicken noodle soup I have a cauliflower cheese soup that will hit the spot and it’s topped with Italian meatballs. Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that are underrated and most people use it for veggies and dip but you can make so many gorgeous recipes with cauliflower. Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds. Brassica oleracea also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, though they are of different cultivar groups.- Wikipedia You can buy cauliflower that is white, orange, green or purple but you’ll pay more for the unusual coloured varieties. Cauliflower can be eaten raw, roasted, mashed, boiled, fried, steamed and baked and is low in carbohydrates which makes it perfect for low-carb diets such as the Atikins diet and is used as a substitute for potatoes and rice. I can hardly tell the difference when we make cheesy mashed cauliflower compared to mashed cheesy potatoes. Come October my soup radar starts going off especially as the nights get colder and we start to crave meals that are comforting. I happened to buy a massive cauliflower for $0.99 and needed something […]

A Huge Water Bill Could Surprise You If You Don’t Do This Now : The Saturday Weekend Review # 147

The Saturday Weekend Review logo

WHY IS MY WATER BILL SO HIGH?   Homeowners and landlords must read this about their water bill because as shocking as what I’ve learned this past week it means any of us are at risk. As a homeowner in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) our water usage in the summer definitely makes a difference on our water bill. Starting around June we have plants to water and I am a bit obsessive about keeping our front and back grass the greenest out of all the surrounding neighbours. Now that we have a little boy running around he also likes to play in the sprinkler and we fill his water table and kiddie pool up just about daily in the summer so he can cool off. Even though we have a water barrel on the side of our home which helps save some money it’s just not enough to fill our outdoor water needs. If we had more space I’d add a few more barrels but that simply is not the case for us. Our neighbour is in the same position and would love to use outdoor water exclusively from his water barrel but can’t. Typically we see a monthly […]

grocery game monthly challenge

10 Breakfast Ideas That Are Budget-Friendly : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Nov 9-15, 2015

10 breakfast ideas (1)

THE MEAL OF CHAMPS   We’ve all heard that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day but for many people we let the busy morning get the best of us so we skip it. Everyday there are school breakfast program advertisements on the television because without breakfast it’s hard for kids to concentrate. The same holds true for adults which is why we need to eat a balanced breakfast in the morning. I’m probably one of the worst breakfast eaters since our son was born but I’ve been working on changing that. With a busy morning I am that person who puts my needs aside to help take care of everyone else. Typically grabbing a coffee in the morning would work for me but now I’m reverting back to my old ways where breakfast is king. I want our son to realize how important it is to sit around the breakfast table in the morning and why it’s important to get up early to do so. While grocery shopping, I always go down the cereal aisle to see what bargains we can find. Buying cereal used to be a big deal in our house when coupons made […]

Sweet Peach Crumble Bars


FRESH PEACHES NEVER TASTED SO GOOD   If you love peach desserts with fresh peaches I’ve created these gorgeous, sweet peach crumble bars for you that will take your mind off of anything that is bothering you while you sink your teeth into one of them. Although these peach crumble bars are perfect as a fall or winter treat they will also make a great peach dessert for your Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner. What I like about having easy desserts in my recipe repertoire is that I can turn to them in an instant to create something that tastes like a bakery made it. I’m a big fan of bar recipes because they are easy to eat and transport as a snack for work or for those who go to school. My coconut cherry pie bars are one of my favourite but I am also passionate about these peach crumble bars that are sweet and hit the spot.   Peach Varieties   In Ontario we are lucky to have delicious home-grown peaches in many varieties and produce 82% of the national production according to where you can learn all about Ontario fruits including availability, storage and handling and some […]

How to handle negative people who criticize your budget : October 2015 Budget Update

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BUTT OUT COMES TO MIND…   In most ways we have a combination of positive and negative character traits although not everyone recognizes when the negatives outweighs the positive. When we let negative traits suffocate us we find it difficult to see the reasoning that others have for doing what they do whether you believe in it or not. There will always be people who criticize and it’s up to the individual how they handle these situations. Just recently I was helping a fan get started with our free budget download because she wanted to test our budget. In conversation I learned that over the past year she has saved $5000 and paid off over $8000 worth of consumer debt. She was a mall rat and every opportunity she could get shopping was where you would find her. These days she’s sitting behind her computer figuring out how to budget and how much money she can spend every month. Kudos to her and others that do the same because it takes a determined person to push themselves to get of debt and fight through outside turmoil. In her case… Her boyfriend is not happy about the budgeting because he is […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Top 5 Christmas Baking Ingredients to Stock Up On Now : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Nov 2-8, 2015


STOCK UP OR RISK PAYING MORE   We enjoy Christmas baking but it’s important for us to have the best baking ingredients stocked in our pantry but without the high costs. Today I’m going to discuss with you which of those baking ingredients you WILL want to stock up on now or risk paying a heavier price closer to Christmas and New Years. The moment Halloween is over and done with the Christmas flyers and holiday sales start appearing just about everywhere. Product sales throughout the year are orchestrated to perfection in chronological order because they know exactly what the consumer is looking to buy every month. Come November any savvy grocery shopper knows that the grocery stores start pumping out baking ingredients for great prices. Mrs. CBB and I don’t save money as a projected expense for Christmas baking ingredients so the money will come from our $235 monthly grocery budget or $25 stockpile budget. Each week when we menu plan we know that we have to start incorporating some of these baking ingredients if we intend to whip up our famous holiday treats in December. Most people don’t wait until the last-minute to bake for Christmas especially if […]

The Best Pumpkin Brownies with Chocolate Icing

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PUMPKIN LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN IT BEFORE   I know you are probably sick of seeing pumpkin recipes BUT you MUST check out these pumpkin brownies if you are a brownie lover. I promise this will be the last pumpkin recipe for the season as we move over to festive treats, meals and side-dishes for the holidays. It’s no secret that I am passionate about brownies since I talk about them often since I created my signature fudgy brownie back in 2012. The best part about these pumpkin brownies though is that if I didn’t add pumpkin spices then you would have no idea about the pumpkin puree. This is a great way to sneak in some pumpkin nutrition to your diet. A bit of healthy works for me in a dessert of any kind. Since I’ve played with pumpkin in the kitchen these past few weeks I had some pumpkin puree left in the refrigerator that I didn’t want to waste. I was thinking about what I wanted to make and I remembered a CBB fan telling me that she makes zucchini brownies. From that moment these pumpkin brownies were created. I wanted my pumpkin brownies to have the […]

Stay at home new mom causing financial strain and marital upset

new mom stay at home mom(1)

LIFE CHANGES WHEN THE STICK IS POSITIVE   So many people get divorced after having kids and now I know why, parenting is not easy but 110% worth the effort. I don’t think there is anything that could prepare you for becoming a parent, not even having lots of siblings. When we found out we were having a baby we knew that our lives were going to change, including our finances. My wife also knew that she was going to be a stay-at-home new mom and feared not knowing other moms to hang out with. Over the past year she has met plenty of other moms on social media, at the park and other community events. She says it’s getting easier but she does miss getting out whenever she is inside for a few days at a time with our son. These days we tend to do lots together as a family which helps our relationship to grow and our son build a bond with the two of us. Mrs.CBB is a people person so it’s important for her to get out of the house to keep her spirits up even though our son is the light of her life. […]

grocery game monthly challenge

4 Ways A New Diet Plan May Impact Your Grocery Budget :The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Oct 26-Nov 1, 2015


I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT   Every now and then I hear someone say they want to start a new diet plan so they can shed a few pounds. We’ve all been there and some say it more often than others. This time around it’s my wife and she’s on a mission to lose weight and get back her pre-baby body. She just woke up one morning and said, “Enough is enough, let’s get this diet plan going”.  And, so it begins. I know some people aren’t a fan of the word ‘diet’ but I don’t view it as a jail sentence like some people do. I believe the word diet encompasses our overall health and wellness. Just recently we’ve talked about 2 different diet plans on the blog, The Paleo Diet Plan and The Raw Food Diet Plan both of which are filled with good healthy food. A diet is filled with products that we as humans consume and they are either good for us or not. It’s about living longer and not just about living in the moment. Losing weight fast is never recommended which means fad diets are just that, a fad and a waste of time. […]

Eggplant Meatballs


A TASTE OF ITALY   If you are Italian your parents may have or still do make Eggplant Meatballs also known as “Polpette di Melanzane) which are delicious on their own or dipped in a marinara sauce. Today I’m sharing my version of this classic Italian recipe but I actually have meat in my eggplant meatballs. If you don’t fancy the meat in my version don’t run away just yet as you can simply eliminate it. Combine all the other ingredients the same way adding breadcrumbs as needed until the mix comes together. If you eliminate the mince pork and beef you’ve made the Italian Polpette di Melanzane which is a great vegetarian dish. We were given eggplants from my wife’s parents who tend to have legions every gardening season because my father-in-law who is retired loves to grow just about anything in abundance. I think eggplant must grow like weeds because we end up with quite a few in our summer box from them every year. In the past I’ve made cheesy eggplant lasagna which is amazing as well we enjoy eggplant parmigiano but I wanted to try something different. I considered making eggplant parmigiano pizza which I saw […]