Product pricing less than the manufacturer advertised price : The grocery game challenge #3 Apr 14-20, 2014

pre-priced products Mr. Goudas honey mielPRODUCT PRICING IN YOUR FACE

 

Price monitoring may lead to us seeing more of the manufacturer advertised price printed right on the product we are purchasing at the grocery store.

Back in March I wrote a post about the suppliers fighting back because they no longer want to see their products viewed as the loss leader to get customers through the door.

Some places like Shoppers Drug Mart have a great deal on milk which is why we buy it there every week paired with their Shoppers Optimum program for points however the milk is advertised at below cost pricing from what we were told.

Now that’s not a bad thing from our perspective as a customer because we use milk every day and we want the best prices. We shop more at Shoppers Drug Mart not just because the milk is cheap but also because of the points program and great flyer specials they have.

Does the milk get us through the door? You bet! If we didn’t need milk and eggs which also go on for a great price at $1.99 most weeks we might not go in as much. You know you are a regular when the staff know you by name like they do us lol.

 

Manufacturer advertised price

 

It was the product in the photo above Mr. Goudas Honey with the manufacturer advertised price on the bottle that alerted me to something I haven’t seen before in terms of pricing. However as you can see the store price tag is selling the honey for less than the manufacturer advertised price at $6.49.

Even if it’s only the manufacturer suggested retail price on the product the retailer has to decide whether they want to sell it at that price or lower the price. You won’t see the price any higher than the labelled price because that would simply make no sense whatsoever.

In a way I see this as the manufacturer forcing the retailer to make a pricing decision based on what the manufacture advertised price is on the product. They know that the retailer won’t drop the price too drastic so they cap it off at what they believe the price should be and hope for the best.

I don’t know of any product pricing laws in Canada besides the scanning code of practice but that’s not a law it’s just voluntary however you never know what lurks around corners.

Sure, we look at that immediately as it’s a great deal because we are paying less than what they originally wanted. Who is they? The manufacturer of course by why are they putting prices on the products now?

Maybe they are trying to force the stores to sell the product at that price and this is what we have to look forward to in the future. This may also be a way for the manufacturer to control the pricing from going higher but not so much lower at the moment.

We often hear of friends and fans of the blogs going over to the USA to do shopping and it’s because the price gap between the US and Canadian products makes that trip worthwhile for them.

Even though you factor in toll costs and travel time and gas for cross-border shopping once you do the math with your grocery bill you still may save more money than if you simply shopped at home in Canada.

Do we want to keep the money in Canada? Sure we do but pricing and budgets matched with what Canadian families can afford may just draw them over the border.

Do you think we will see more products with a manufacturer advertised price on them? What do you think of this type of pricing by the manufacturer?

 

April grocery game challenge posts

 

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you. :)

 

Grocery saving tips

 

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the saving process in your grocery budget today.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!

 

Ultimate grocery shopping guide

 

Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email and let me know.

 

Food food and more food

 

shopping-cart-short-cash

Food Basics

4 x Frozen Wild Salmon- Sale $6.97 reg $10

Total out-of-pocket $27.88

Grocery shop results

 

 Wild Pacific Salmon

 

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Budget for March $235.00-$20.82=$214.18/4=$53.54
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $33.75
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $20.00-$20.00=$0
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $27.88
  • Total Spent So Far April: $202.45
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $39.31-$27.88= $11.43
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $n/a
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $
  • Weekly Overview: We are away for the week so we are eating at the relatives so we didn’t need too much in terms of shopping, well nothing lol. We did pick up the salmon since it’s such a great price and we love it. We don’t have much left to spend for thee month with the stocking up we’ve done. We do have $70 in PC points now to use if we need to.

 

Coupon Sleuth

 

We didn’t find any coupons this week since we didn’t really shop.

Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.

 

  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?

 

No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.

 

  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?

 

The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.

 

  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?

 

Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.

 

 

Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.

 

  • What is an FPC?

 

An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.

 

 

You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.

 

 

I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!

-Mr.CBB

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Would you buy a jar of clean air? : PF Weekly grab a brew #67

grab-a-brew-online-review IF THERE IS A BUYER IT WILL BE SOLD

 

There have always been odd products on the market that most of us shake our heads at but would you jump at the chance to buy air?

I’m all for the entrepreneurial spirit and using your creative imagination to invent a product or service for the public in order to make a profit.

Forget about encouraging your children to be young entrepreneurs selling just the obvious like lemonade or making their way to Dragons Den when you can score some big bucks selling air. (I’m just having a laugh… please do encourage your children’s creative side.)

The most you have to pay for is the glass jar you store the air in and labelling because well, air is free as long as it is clean air. I know I’m having a laugh but really it’s true that not just one person but 3 people are selling air and making a nice profit from it.

 

Buy my air

 

That’s right I nearly fell off my seat this morning wih my coffee in hand when I read a Yahoo article about a male artist from Beijing who is protesting the poor air quality in Beijing. He was visiting France and brought back a jar of clean air and he sold it.

You read that right, he sold it for a whopping $860 in an auction among other artists. Sure air in a glass is art but it’s also life. What would you pay for that last breath of life or fresh clean air in a jar?

I remember on many occasions while grocery shopping and seeing products with odd names or just odd products and wondered, who on earth would buy them? It’s true that you can sell just about anything but whether it will make you the next millionaire depends on the demand for the product. The three men in the Yahoo article aren’t wasting any time selling air as they want to cash in early and I can see why.

Many would laugh and say nothing but for some like those in Beijing and other parts of the world air quality is a big deal. Wearing masks just to get on with their day is a daily occurrence and they want something to be done about it.

Point proved by selling air? I think so. I’m in the wrong business.

Environmental air quality and smog is nothing new as it’s been an ongoing topic for those citizens concerned about the air they breathe and not just in Beijing but all around the world.

Proving that point to the government and other officials that the air quality is so bad and that he is able to make a profit from selling air in a jar might just spark some interest from the right people.

The two other men who are selling air have pocketed cash on the air buying phenomenon because people are willing to pay for it. One man a millionaire is selling air in pop cans and has done so since 2012.

The thing is if you want something that bad you will pay for it even if it’s as silly as air which we breathe in for free. No human should ever have to pay to breathe air. Best part is one of the three men talked about in the article is selling mountain air and he’s a 22-year-old French student ready to cash in on this air seeking cash cow. From what I read it sounds like he was giving out free samples and the city people were hooked.

Now he’s rolled in over $22,000 just by selling mountain air to people all around the world including Canada from people who live in polluted cities and want to sample the mountain fresh clean air.

Yes, people from Canada are buying fresh mountain air. It’s true that some cities in Canada don’t have the best air quality but I never dreamed I’d hear people from our own country are pulling cash from their pockets to buy air.

As silly as it sounds if people are willing to pay for it why should he stop? Do you think it’s fraud by selling air? Some may say yes but others no. If there is a buyer for a product no matter what that product is than it will be sold legal or non-legal.

It makes you wonder where all these people are with that kind of money. How about just saving up for a vacation in your budget and going to scoop up all the free mountain air you want? At least you are getting some form of a holiday out of the deal.

So, the next time your kid or someone you know comes up with some crazy idea to sell something don’t say that it won’t work because there is a potential buyer for just about anything in this world.

Would I buy a glass jar of clean air? I don’t know maybe out of curiosity and that’s what many of the consumers of this air product are doing. They want to know what air outside of where they live is like and whether it’s worth taking a trip.

For others it may never be possible to leave where they live for various reasons so the next best thing is air in a can. Addicted to air? Maybe but for all the right reasons, they want to live a better quality of life.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen sold or had someone try to sell you? Would you buy fresh mountain air in a jar?

 

Top recipe

 

chocolate covered cheesecake bites

If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page online called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.

Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.

This week that recipe goes to a food blog called “All She Cooks” for these lovely Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites. Check out the recipe and the other amazing recipes on the blog.

 

Weekly CBB posts

 

If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

Weekly reads

 

Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.

 

Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #67. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.

-Mr.CBB

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How to keep weeds and other pests off your lawn

weed free lawnWEED FREE CAN SAVE MONEY

 

A well fed and well watered thick lawn will crowd out weeds and be less susceptible to damage from pests and disease.

Our bodies require fuel and adequate nutrition to function properly and fight off infection well so do our plants.

In the first part of a two-week series I am sharing some tips on how to manage some of the problems that most commonly affect our lawns.

Everyone has to battle some of the common problems I will talk about below but we can try to limit the problems with prevention.

Last week I talked about how to keep the grass-green on your side of the fence and this week I want to talk about those pests that like to invade our grass such as the ever famous weeds.

I have worked on many properties over the years and have dealt with each of the following problems multiple times. While it can be frustrating to look out your window and see a blotchy, sick looking lawn there are ways to repair without having to cost you an arm and leg.

Preventative maintenance and proper care will get you a lot further in your quest for a perfect lawn.

 

Grubs

 

What are Grubs?

Grubs, commonly referred to as white grubs, are the larvae phase in the life cycle of various beetles. Most commonly white grubs are the larvae of Japanese Beetles, June Beetles and European Chafers.

To identify what type of grub you have or to determine if you have a grub infestation using a container or some sort. A large metal coffee can works great.

Remove both ends of the can with a can opener, push it down into the affected area of your lawn leaving a few inches above ground and fill with water. Any grubs in that area will eventually be floating in the water allowing you to have a look to see what kind of grubs you have.

 

grub damageGrub Damage

 

When grubs first begin to feed on your lawn will begin to turn brown and wilt. Once the number of grubs in your lawn grows you will begin to see dead patches throughout your grass.

Since grubs feed on the roots of your grass the patches of grass affected will lift off the soil very easily as it no longer has roots anchoring it in the ground.

The grubs themselves do not cause as much damage to your lawn as the animals that will tear your lawn apart looking for those grubs to eat.

Skunks and raccoons are often the culprits when you find your lawn dug up, depending where you live you may have other animals to blame.

While there are pesticides available for treating for grubs it isn’t always a necessary requirement. Milky spore is a soil dwelling bacteria that will attack and kill larvae of only Japanese Beetles feeding off your lawn.

It can be purchased as a powder and spread over your lawn and is not harmful to any other birds, pets or insects it may come in contact with.

Apply Milky Spore granules in the late summer or early fall when the grubs are feeding at the soil surface will ensure optimal results. Having a healthy lawn will again be your best defense against grubs.

Grubs love soil that is compacted and undisturbed, such as a lawn. Aerating will not only reduce compaction and allow water, mineral and nutrients to flow freely but will also help to prevent the presence of grubs and the damage that comes with them.

Damage done to your lawn can be repaired by laying sod or re-seeding the areas where the grass has died. Most grub damage will be seen in the spring so this is the best time to repair your lawn when the bulk of the damage will be done.

 

Over-fertilizing

 

Too much of anything is never a good thing and that is true again when it comes to fertilizing your lawn. Be sure to read the directions on the bag of fertilizer you have purchased for the recommended amount to be used.

If you have any doubt regarding how much fertilizer to put down just always remember that less is more. The most important nutrient in lawn fertilizer is nitrogen (first of the 3 numbers on the bag).

Too much nitrogen will burn your grass and encourages rapid growth and shallow roots that will contribute to the amount of thatch that builds up in your lawn.

Most fertilizers require a good watering after it has been applied to your lawn, timing your fertilizer applications before an expected rainfall will help to keep your water bill down.

Avoid fertilizing during really hot, humid weather as you chances of burning your grass are much higher. Fertilizer should only be applied when the grass is actively growing, applying fertilizer while your grass is dormant is only a waste of your time and money.

Also avoid fertilizing during the day when the sun is hot as it may also cause your grass to burn. Using a proper fertilizer spreader will ensure an even application of fertilizer over your lawn.

Dividing the amount of fertilizer you will use into 2 and going over your lawn twice aiming to make a checkerboard pattern will guarantee you don’t miss an area.

An uneven application of fertilizer will be noticeable as you will have what appears to be stripes on your lawn as the fertilized areas will grow more rapidly than the areas you missed.

 

 Dogs

 

A dog may be a man’s best friend but that is not the case when it comes to your lawn. Often dog owners find they brown patches in their lawn where their best friend went to relieve themselves.

The best and easiest solution to this is to obviously keep your dog off your lawn though that may not be possible for all. Watering down the area where they went either with a hose or even just a glass of water will dilute it as it washes away therefore not killing the grass.

Your dog’s urine is concentrated with urea which is a form of nitrogen which may burn your grass.The pH of dog’s urine may also be making this more of a problem for you and your wallet.

The higher the pH (more alkaline) the greater the chance that letting your dog go to the bathroom on your lawn will have a negative effect on your grass.

If this has been a major problem or concern for you having your dog’s urine tested to determine the pH may ease some of the work for you. A pH around 6.5 is ideal. The pH levels in your dog’s urine may also indicate other underlying health problems your dog may have or be at risk for.

Covering the area with about an inch of compost may also help to re-balance the soil pH and reduce the amount of burn damage caused.

 

weedsWeeds

 

What is considered a weed to one person may not be considered to a weed to someone else.

A weed is basically defined as an unwanted plant that takes light, water, food and nutrients away from your desired plants.

While there are some people who don’t mind the sea of yellow when the dandelions take over, there are many more people who can’t stand the intrusive plant.

Dandelions may be pulled out by hand if you have the time and doing this before they set seed will slow down the chances of more spreading throughout your yard.

Isn’t it amazing how quick those suckers pop back up after cutting the grass? It drives me nuts!

If your municipal laws allow for it a selective herbicide may be applied, selective meaning it would only kill the weeds not your grass. Mechanically removing the dandelions by hand is more environmentally friendly and cheaper, if you have the time to do it.

Always try to make sure you are remove the entire root so they just don’t grow back. I have seen many small dandelions that have had a 3 foot tap-root on them.

Sometimes the roots break and you will likely see that dandelion growing new leaves again in a matter of a few days.

 

Crabgrass

 

Crabgrass has a slight resemblance to  grass though it has much wider leaf blades and are also much coarser than the grass in your lawn. Crabgrass will also typically lighter in colour that the rest of your lawn.

Large or ‘hairy crabgrass’ as it is often called will have noticeable hairs on the leaf blades where as small crabgrass is a smaller plant and lacks the presence of hairs.

Crabgrass prefers undisturbed soil so a lawn is an ideal place for it to grow. You must be diligent in your quest to remove crabgrass from your yard as it will be an ongoing process.  One single plant can produce over 100,000 seeds in a growing season.

Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring will kill off any  seeds that are just about to start germinating in your lawn. The frosts in the fall will kill off the actual plants but the seeds are able to overwinter and are just waiting to pop up once the snow is gone and it starts to warm up outside.

It is a common practice to apply a pre-emergent herbicide for crabgrass when the lilacs are in bloom. A thorough-watering after applying the herbicide will ensure it is most effective.

It is not likely that you will kill off all the crabgrass seeds in one application so re-applying will be a good idea to kill off the seeds that may germinate a little later than the others.

Read the directions on the product for guidelines on how long you should wait to reapply. Avoid using pre-emergent herbicide on newly laid sod or grass seed as it will kill it.

There are fertilizers that can be purchased that have a crabgrass preventer mixed in. This can be applied to your whole lawn but it should be applied to newly seeded areas and a few feet surrounding the new areas to prevent the seeds that are hanging around from the winter from germinating.

If your lawn is severely infested with crabgrass removing the existing lawn and replacing it may be the easiest solution as it is very hard to kill off once it has taken over.

Over-seed any bare patches in your lawn quickly before crabgrass and other weeds have a chance to make it their new home. Ensure you are watering your lawn thoroughly each time to promote strong growth of your grass’ roots.

Crabgrass has shallow roots and light frequent watering will encourage their growth. Adjusting the height of your mower blade to the highest setting and leaving the grass a bit higher will deprive the crabgrass seeds of the light they need for germination.

Pouring boiling water on crabgrass followed by covering the area with some compost and fill with grass seeds may be an option if it has not taken over your lawn.

The boiling water will kill the plant and by placing compost and over seeding the growth of new grass will help to smother out the weeds. Regular cleaning of your mower blades will help to slow down the spread of crabgrass and other weeds.

The grass clippings from the mower can be spread through your lawn distributing weeds all over the place. As you have read maintaining a healthy lawn is your best defense for preventing any damage and unnecessary stress for your lawn.

Unfortunately we have no control over the actions of others and at this point there is no pesticide available for neighbours who neglect their properties. Remember when I talked about renting a goat to get rid of weeds? I wasn’t joking. All you can do is take care of your lawn and hope that they keep their weeds to themselves.

Every year at Halloween I remind my kids to stay off other people’s lawns as the sidewalks and driveways are there for a reason.  There is no need to cut across the grass and add more foot traffic to someone’s lawn that they may be working hard to maintain.

Next week I will continue with this topic as they are a few other things to consider when identifying and dealing with problems in your lawn.

Have you overcome any major problems with your lawn? Do you have any tips to share?

 

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Do full-price items make it into your grocery cart? : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Mar 17-23, 2014

full price grocery shoppingYOU ACCEPT PRICES OR YOU DON’T

 

Grocery shopping for full-price items makes us cringe but the reality is in some cases you either accept the price or you don’t buy it.

At the end of the day it’s either you can afford it or you can’t. If you can’t you don’t buy it and find a cheaper alternative or knock it on the head altogether, if you can.

Should I or shouldn’t I?

Sometimes when I see people staring at a product in their hand I wonder what they are thinking to themselves.

Let’s face it we all talk to ourselves when we grocery shop, admit it.

Is this good for me? What are the ingredients? How many calories? What does it cost? Or should I buy it or not?

I often think questioning purchase price is the burning question in shoppers minds when they are holding products with a confused look on their faces. Who knows?

Many times we convince ourselves that we will find it cheaper even if we have rumbled through the sale flyers for the week.

We know that it might mean going from shop to shop looking for an item on sale. One product that we go through lots is cheese and without coupons it’s hit or miss with the cheese sales.

Mind you they do come out often but when they do it’s time to stock up otherwise face paying outrageous prices for a 500g bar of cheese.

Who pays $8.99 for a block of cheese that goes on sale for $4.77? The customers that don’t stockpile or simply are out of the product and need it for whatever reason, that’s who.

 

Full-price shopping

 

An example of full-price shopping we did would be a bottle of Tylenol we bought once. We needed to get Tylenol and the prices were astronomical. It was one of those times you wished you had a coupon for medications.

Funny enough we used to always have loads of coupons for pain killers but since we can’t order from SC Johnson any longer we haven’t really went online to look.

We are not big fans of printable coupons as we tend to get hassled more often than we use them. So we just forget about them.

If and when more retailers find a way to combat those people who are cheating the system with printable coupons we may change our minds.

We also don’t like those fancy install coupon printers for our computer for every bloody company out there. There has to be an easier way, plus ink costs money.

Who is saving the money now, you or the manufacture when they don’t have to pay to print thousands up thousands of coupons?

Anyhow, back to the Tylenol.  We needed it no matter what so whether we paid full-price or found it on sale it would make its way into our shopping cart.

Unless you want to waste time looking for a cheaper price you may have to do like us and pay full-price for the product or you do without. The problem is there are products out there that we can’t do without and many of them never go on sale meaning we pay full-price for them.

I know there are times when we pay full-price for an item like the Tylenol and a month later or even a week later a coupon comes out but there’s nothing you can do but grin and bear it.

Coupons are great for reducing your grocery budget as is using flyers to make a grocery list but when it comes to specific items having to pay full-price is the only way if you want the item. Another example we talked about last week were people who grocery shop in a rush and pay full-price for items.

Those grocery shoppers get what they shop for and nothing more. They are the grocery shoppers that these places rely on with full-price costing to balance out those getting the sales or the lost leader products that they sell just to get you through the door.

 

Suppliers have a say

 

Even now suppliers are fighting back saying they don’t want the grocery stores advertising their products as loss leaders just to grab customers.

Putting a strict product price on items may be in the future for some items and I certainly can see a war happening either between the grocery stores and the manufacturers or between grocery stores in general.

Either way they are fighting for top spot and for the customer’s attention. They know that if they put the right items on sale that you will shop with them which means all those full-price (I call them over-priced) items you will buy because you are already there.

Let’s face it, many families don’t have time to run from shop to shop looking for deals. Sure you can price match but only at select stores.

Our favourite grocery stores aren’t always the stores we like to price match in. To be honest we don’t really find Wal-mart to be any cheaper than other shops with various products so it’s all hit or miss. Whether you decide to pay full-price for an item or just wait it out is up to you.

If you have company coming over for dinner tonight last-minute and need to run out to pick up some groceries will you be fussy about whether you are paying full-price for snack items and other grocery items? Most often people just put the items in their cart, get in and get out.

They have the planning head going on and making sure that their guests are comfortable and have all the food and drink they need is priority. Mind you, if you plan a dinner party this could be much different.

The point of this post is there are times when we have to either pay full-price for products or we simply do without or go hunting around for the best current price for that week.

You never know what stores don’t advertise in the flyers but you also don’t want to waste your time and gas running around on hope.

Do you pay full-price for items sometimes? Why?

 

March grocery game challenge posts

 

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you.

 

Grocery saving tips

 

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the saving process in your grocery budget today.

Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!

 

Ultimate grocery shopping guide

 

Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email and let me know.

 

Food food and more food

 

shopping-cart

No Frills

  • Strawberries 1lb x 2 Sale $1.44 each
  • Bananas Sale $0.57 lb. x 2 lbs
  • Cantelope Sale $1.47
  • Vlassic pickles Sale $1.88 x2
  • Cucumber PM Freshco $0.69

Total out-of-pocket $9.94

Food Basics

  • Scotties tissue Sale $3.88
  • Cheese bars Old x 3 Mozzarella x3 Sale $4.44

Total out-of-pocket $30.52

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 3 x Sealtest Milk 4L $3.97 each
  • 1 x dozen white eggs sale $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $ 13.90

 

Grocery shop results

 

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Budget for March $235.00
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $24.50
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $17.94 (chickpeas dry) + $2.06 (beef) =$20.00
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+
  • Total Spent This Week: $54.36
  • Total Spent So Far March: $27.69+ $69.33+$54.36=$151.38
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $235.00-$151.38=$83.62
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $
  • Weekly Overview: We didn’t need too much this week as we are still working our way down the freezer. We might look into investing in 2 medium-sized freezers to get rid of the large one we have now before we renovate. The reason is that it is so large that we would never get it up the basement stairs after renovations. It’s best to have smaller ones that we can manoeuver up and down without taking out walls.

 

Coupon Sleuth

 

Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.

GGC coupons March 2014

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.

 

  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?

 

No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.

 

  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?

 

The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.

 

  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?

 

Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.

 

 

Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.

 

  • What is an FPC?

 

An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.

 

 

You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.

 

 

I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!

-Mr.CBB

 

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How my co-op program shaped my work ethics

Co=op program- Penguin by the pool EXPERIENCE LASTS A LIFE-TIME

 

Co-op programs have been around for ages now and the kids that do get involved have for the most part come out from the placement with a positive learning experience.

We’ve talked about career choices and how they should be your own and not up to your parents and taking advantage of any co-op program experience might be your ticket to self-learning.

While relaxing a little last night and watching some programs that had been previously recorded the show “Undercover Boss Canada” came on.

The television program is based on a British television show called “Back to the Floor” from a several years ago and encourages the Boss to get back to the nitty-gritty.

The Undercover Boss segment in question was about the “Toronto Zoo” which in itself was very interesting but also made me think about my involvement in a ‘Work Experience‘ as we call it in the UK a ‘Co-op Program‘ in Canada when I was still in school.

 

Co-op program

 

What is a co-op program?

Also known as co-operative education in Canada securing a co-op placement is a head start above the competition when it comes time to look for your full-time job.

If you work at a place that accepts co-op students then you know exactly what a co-op program may be and why it’s important to a young adult. You may also own a business and encourage a co-op program at your establishment to help build relationships with the very adults you may hire in the future.

A co-op program may be proper work experience in a field that you excel in or are interested in getting involved in as a career as you get older such as an apprenticeship, finance or working in the medical field etc. It was a way to get hands on experience so you knew what the job entailed from a basic standpoint for the most part.

You can participate while you are in High School, College or even University where you may also find that you get paid for working in a co-op program or job placement program.

Keep in mind that there are eligibility requirements when getting involved with a co-op program so do you your research so you know what it entails.

It’s a way to take what you’ve learned in school and apply it in a placement where you can experience what working in the real world in that position may be like. It’s like “test driving” your potential career as the government website states.

The smartest thing you can do while testing out your potential career is to network like crazy. They say it’s not what you know but who you know but I believe it’s both so chat away and be friendly.

If you are hoping to score a summer job as a student from the co-op placement don’t rule it out and don’t be shy to ask your boss or the Human Resources department while you are learning.

Just be aware that if you are accepted into a co-op program in Canada that any additional costs will be coming out of your own pocket. It may seem like you are spending more money to learn however this work experience will look great on your resume and you can’t put a number on that.

 

Growing up

 

As all children start growing up there are always a few repeating careers that pop up in their brains and I was no exception. I was determined to be a Veterinarian, mainly because I adored animals and loved the medical field.

While in school at the age of 15-16 I got the opportunity to complete my work experience in a Zoo. I’m not a complainer so cleaning out some of the animals although stinky was just part of the experience.

The high point during my co-op program for me was feeding the penguins and then having to clean out there pool. Picking up penguins is not easy feat, although they are not built for walking or should I say waddling they are quicker than you think.

The reason they needed to be picked up is that penguins don’t want to leave the pool so you end up with a few in the bottom of the pool once all the water is drained.

You need to pull out the penguins because you have to scrub the walls and floor of the pool, followed by a good rinse.

This may sound like I had a hard life growing up but I used to cycle to work in the morning and back again at the end of the day. Start time was 6am, so getting up early was not something I had considered before this co-op program.

What’s even worse is that we didn’t even get paid for our hours of work. I wasn’t bothered by this as the experience of working with such a variety of animals was enough in itself.

 

Life experience

 

Becoming a Veterinarian never came to fruition as I grew up my brain changed and things went in a different direction. The co-op program however did give me some skills that followed me into the early years of my working career.

One of the greatest parts of my co-op program was when I would be feeding the animals and visitors to the zoo would come to me and ask me questions. It taught me how to interact with people and not be shy in sharing my knowledge although I’m not that shy to begin with.

I also learned life lessons by getting up early and being self-reliant by getting myself to work and back. I didn’t rely on my parents to knock on my door and start the car to get me to my co-op program.

Having my co-op program work experience on an early resume for part-time jobs helped along with the other jobs I did, like newspaper round etc.

Sometimes getting the job shovelling poo can also be rewarding because I was able to learn that hard work is part of life. There was a certain type of primate that you could go and clean and yet docile enough so they stayed in the same area as you.

Sounds dangerous but it wasn’t. If I remember correctly they were Lemurs a type of primate and would just be curious and drop on your head. They also liked to be hand fed as it’s easier than foraging.

Some of the students had terrible experiences during their co-op program learning absolutely nothing so getting covered in monkey poo was worth the early mornings. It can’t be that bad, I’m talking about it now.

This co-op program and the other jobs I had growing up were nothing huge but they taught me life lessons for which I am grateful now. Where I currently work we have students turn up for a co-op program and hopefully they take away experiences that they can apply to their future career.

Most of the students we’ve had come through have been great but you get the feeling some just don’t have the same work ethics as others. I’m not sure if it’s just the youth of today being of a different generation or whether we were just the same and yet thought we were just plain fantastic.

Although I didn’t learn how to budget as a student from my co-op placement I certainly walked away with some experiences that have taken me to different levels even in my career today. If you are thinking about a co-op program I can tell you that it’s worth the time and experience that you put in and get out from it.

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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/Jenna Mackenzie