The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 5-11, 2012- Holiday Baking Planning

Holiday Baking Cupcakes

Holiday Baking can see the Grocery Budget sky-rocket as prices for baking ingredients typically rise up for the Holiday Season. This potentially just adds more pressure to the grocery budget and why planning is important. Last weeks Grocery Game Challenge I brought up the topic of  Holiday Baking and how it could be a budget buster. We don’t bake as much as we used to as we found we had more hanging around than we were giving away each year. I don’t remember making any traditional British holiday recipes myself when I lived in the UK  I do remember each year my mum would make a lovely British Christmas Cake, comparable to a fruit cake. Mrs. CBB fell in love with this cake (probably because of all the nuts and alcohol in the cake). Now we have narrowed it down to a few Christmas Balls that we enjoy making and packaging for friends and bringing to gatherings.

What we like to do is shop ahead of the festivities so we are ahead of the game especially when work parties start in November for some folks. This year we took advantage of Bakers Chocolate Squares found at the Dollar store for only $2.00 which normally cost $3.99 at the grocery store. Best of it is, they are the same product. Another ingredient that shocks Mrs.CBB is the price of nuts. Nut prices jump in price from Oct- Jan and we almost question whether baking certain holiday recipes for Christmas is worth it. We sit down each year and make a list of Christmas recipes we will make and plan all the ingredients we will need. There’s nothing worse than having to run out in the middle of winter to get an ingredient.

Yesterday at Freshco they had 300 g bags of Walnut pieces on sale for $3.77 which was a great deal considering last year we paid around $12.99 a pound for these nuts. We picked up 3 bags or 900 grams worth for baking as it is a main ingredient in most of our easy Christmas Balls recipes.  Sometimes we venture off and make special holiday cookie recipes we find on-line or in a magazine where you can get great recipe ideas. You do the math and you can see how much cheaper it was to stock up now on walnuts instead of waiting until the prices hit the roof.  We also shop for butter a few months in advance and freeze it for baking Holiday recipes or Festive Christmas Cakes.

  • When do you shop for your Holiday Baking Ingredients?
  • What are some of the best holiday cookie recipes you have tried?
  • Do you have any traditional Christmas recipes for cookies?
  • Do you budget money for Holiday Baking?

So although we won’t start the Holiday baking bonanza just yet planning for festive baking is important especially if you don’t have separate budget for these expenses.

The Grocery Game Challenge Canada MVP

Lastly, I want to send out some CBB Love for those fans that have committed to playing The Grocery Game Challenge each week with me. What I have seen over the course of the year from all of you is that you share an inherent passion for sticking to your grocery budget. I have seen many of you make impressive improvements and I commend you. I hope that next year we can grow even bigger and encourage others not only from Canada but from around the world to post their grocery shop. So please join in and post your shop. If you have any questions, ask I’m always around. -Mr.CBB If  I missed you I apologize, just let me know and I’ll add you in!

Grocery Game Challenge Results

Total Grocery Budget for the Month for 2 Adults:$190.00 at $63.33 for 3 weeks of shopping with 1 No-Shop Week per month.

Some Store Acronyms I might  use:
  • No Frills= NF
  • Wal-mart=WM
  • Food Basics= FB
  • Shoppers Drug Mart= SDM

Food Basics

  • 1 x bag of mung beans Sale $2.49
  • Fresh Ginger $0.62
  • Purex Laundry Soap $2.97-$1.00
  • Dempsters Farmhouse Bread $2.99-FPC
  • 2 x Hellman’s Mayo- Sale $2.97-1.00
  • 4 x pomegranates reduced rack $1.99
  • 2 x bread sale $1.59

Total Out Of Pocket: $14.49

No Frills

  • 8 x cheese bars (found more coupons at FB) Sale $2.47- $0.75
  • 4 x Hellman’s Mayo Sale $2.97-$1.00

Total Out of Pocket-$21.64


  • 4 x Ital Pasta Sale $0.77
  • 3 x California Walnuts 300 g $3.77
  • 5 x Limes Sale $0.20
  • Dates Sale $0.99
  • 6 x Nescafe Instant Coffee Sale $3.77

Total Out of Pocket- $39.00

Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results for Mr. and Mrs. CBB

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Week: $63.33
  • Total Coupons Used this Week:$5.99+$10.00=$15.99
  • Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
  • Total Spent This Week:$75.13
  • Total Spent So Far for November: $99.21+75.13=$174.34
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $11.80
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of November: $15.66
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $15.66
  • Total Coupons Used This Month : $45.33 + $10.00 Spending Card+$15.99=$71.32

Overall: Well we have one shop left for the month and one no-shop week left for the month. We stocked up on cheese, mayo and coffee this week which will do us into Jan 2013 and then some. It should be interesting to see where we will spend our $15.66. Stay tuned!

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • 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 a few posters from around 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 so if you miss a week you can go back and post so you still get your entry in the monthly contest.

  • Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry?

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 effected 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. We are currently well stocked with those products since we used coupons heavily the past couple of years. We haven’t really stocked up on much but we have taken every opportunity to purchase more paper towel, toilet paper, fabric softener and a host of other items that are an excellent price with coupon.

There are many places you can find Canadian Coupons whether it be in store or via the mail. I would suggest following an on-line coupon community or coupon Facebook page in your area.

Canadian Coupon Match-Ups- Match your coupons with flyer sales!

Here are your Coupon Match-ups for Nov 9-Nov 15, 2012 the week  from around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better. Just one of my favourite Couponing sites for finding the hottest grocery deals in Canada!

Here are a few coupons we picked up while shopping this week.

Canadian Coupons November 2012

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

If you are new Start here!

Grocery Game Challenge Rules

Do you have a Question for Mr.CBB please click HERE to ask him!

You can Follow Canadian Budget Binder on Twitter HERE or Facebook HERE and Pinterest Here. 

You can also subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder so you don’t miss a blog post. Fill in your email address on the HOME page of the blog off to the left where it says “Subscribe Via Email”- No Spam, I promise!

Are you on Mr.CBB’s Blog Roll? Check HERE… if not and you want me to check out your blog and add you, come introduce yourself.

If you want to write a Guest Post for Canadian Budget Binder start here!

Santa Cupcakes  Credit -Pinterest