The grocery game challenge #2 Sept 9-15, 2013: Why you should use the produce scale

grocery-scale

It’s Worth It To Always Check Your Numbers

You can go in just about any of the grocery store chains in Canada including small markets or even organic grocery stores and you will likely find a produce scale or a grocery scale depending on what department you are shopping in.

Today I want to focus on the produce scale only because I happened to notice while grocery shopping on Friday in the midst of chaos because we went at the wrong time that not many people actually use the grocery scale at all. In fact we must have noticed only 2 or 3 people bother to weigh what grocery store products they were purchasing before pushing their grocery cart off to the next fruits and vegetables.

Normally we go shopping during the day if we can when it’s quiet but since I’m on vacation we thought we would battle the aisles with the Friday crowd when the new flyer specials came out for the week. Bad Idea!

When I was talking to my best friend this morning and he told me that he never looks at the price when things are sold by weight, only the final price. This got me thinking because it’s just not fruits and vegetables he was talking about. How many of you do the math when you buy a pack of ground meat or sausages that are sold by weight?

I’m betting many of you don’t have the time to sit there and figure it out nor do you carry a calculator in hand, although most cell phones have one built-in. The reality though is that many people are clueless when it comes to doing math or they simply don’t care like my friend but does that really help your grocery budget if you are guessing how much the fruit you just packed up will cost you at the cash or whether the math is correct on the pre-packaged meat you are purchasing.

I’ll be the first to say that yes I’ve done the math in the meat department many, many times. I’ve actually found an error on the pricing that way and it was a start the car moment but unless you did the math you would not know. It goes both ways here so even though the meat department might be using a meat scale with a printer they need to make sure they are putting in the correct data.

I’m pretty sure all the scales are regulated and checked but human error can cost the store money if it’s not caught by someone.  The same goes with our grocery budget and paying attention to pricing, especially when items are scanned incorrect and you can apply the scanning code of practice.

Food Basics produce section

Pay attention

Mindfulness when grocery shopping can be so difficult and to be honest shopping on Friday was so chaotic when we were walking out of the store we both looked at each other and said that there was no way we could look for deals let alone pull out our coupons when looking at the grocery store food. When we plan our grocery list we estimate how much of each product we will purchase if it is in the produce section. You will see that for the most part all the prices for each product are clearly labelled as in the photo above so taking note of the price is important.

If we have $20 to spend for the grocery shop and apples are on sale for $1.00 per pound and we only want 1 pound so around 454 grams we need to make sure we weigh the apples on the scale to make sure we don’t get more than we need or want so we don’t go over budget. The last thing you want to do is be like my friend (sorry mate) who finds out just how much he has in the bag and the cost at the cash.

If you really want to stick to a  grocery budget you will weigh your produce. I can’t see everyone being picky about the cost of meat and whether the numbers all match up but for those of us who do the math I’m sure at one point you were happy you did because you made a pricing discovery that was indeed an error on the meat department.

price per kg/lb conversion chart

price per kg/lb conversion chart

Food waste

Another thing to consider and we’ve talked about this before and it is food spoiling in your refrigerator because you didn’t get to it on time. If you are guessing how much you are purchasing you may find you are buying too much and are eating the same thing every day or you can’t keep up and it goes rotten and into the compost heap for your garden.

When you set your grocery budget and when you look through your flyers to build your shopping list and menu plan take notice of how much the price is, how much you can afford to buy and weigh it on the grocery store to see if you are dead on because the scales are well-marked so you don’t really have to guess the metric system in your head.

Do you weigh your fruits and vegetables and/or check the math on meat products that are pre-weighed and priced?

September grocery game recap

I will post the previous weeks grocery game here for ease of finding them each week if you need to go back and post your shops for the month.

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads is lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much moreall for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Free-stuff-download

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

Freshco

  •  4 x watermelon Sale $2.00 ea
  • 4 x cucumber Sale $0.66 ea
  • Hellman’s Olive oil Mayo $3.00 Sale
  • Field Tomatoes $1.04
  • Romain hearts Sale $1.00
  • 3 x lemons $0.40 ea
  • Celery $1.00
  • Fennel/Anise Sale $1.99
  • Oranges $3.00
  • Ed Smith Pumpkin Puree $3.19
  • Dried apricots Sale $1.00

Total out-of-pocket $27.06

Zehrs

  • 4 x pumpernickel bread $3.00- pink sticker %50 off
  • 2 x Bernadine labels $0.25 ea
  • 8 x Bernadine Standard lids $0.25 ea
  • 2 x 454g mushrooms – %50 pink sticker $$3.68 reg price
  • 2 x Lined Paper $0.15 ea
  • Pack of sweet corn Sale $1.88
  • 2 x grapefruit $0.99 ea

Total out-of-pocket $16.70

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Milk $3.97

Total out-of-pocket $3.97

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with 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 September: $234.57  which is $235.00-$0.43 overspend in August
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $0
  • Total Spent This Week: $47.73
  • Total Spent So Far for September $
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (September): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month:$107.82- $47.73= $60.09 left to spend in September
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$n/a
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83 (August) $182.35=$1724.95 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview:We had a fairly good shop this week mainly picking up fruits and vegetables. I think we are on track for a successful September.

Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. 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. 

  1. 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 players from around the world.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 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.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop?- 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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 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. You’ve made a wise decision.

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Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

The grocery game challenge Sept 2-8, 2013 #1- Back to school treats for kids

grocery-game-challenge-Sept-2013

What’s In My Lunch Box?

It was back to school today for many Canadian kids which meant the grocery stores were jam-packed and it was near impossible to get help if you needed it as there just wasn’t enough staff. The streets tend to get a bit crowded here when the students arrive for University and College but we have learned to have patience. Funny though while at Shoppers Drug Mart the University students were piling in and the sheer amount of snack items being purchased was outrageous. The counter was filled with Red Bull, Mentos, snack packs of crackers and cheese, chips and chocolate bars. In my head I was thinking how unhealthy all the food was and the cost to purchase the items.

Back to school lunches

While I was reading the grocery flyers for this week you couldn’t miss the “Back to School” sales in just about every flyer. Many of the sales that were advertised were for convenience foods such as juice boxes, chocolate, cookies, various types of bars and get this, Perrier water. I know, I was thinking the same thing, what kid brings Perrier water to school? I’m pretty sure that a sandwich is standard for many children but even including a salad with hard-boiled eggs or other proteins plus a dressing is a great way to switch things up. It’s also a great way to keep the lunch healthy for your child so their sugar levels aren’t fluctuating during the hours you want them to be alert, education time.

Back to school recipes

I remember when I went to school when I was real young and my mother made my lunch for me. Nothing in my lunch bag was ever convenience foods nor did I go hungry. I often wonder why we are so persuaded by the likes of “easy snacks” that can be packed in a lunch bag as opposed to something homemade. There are tonnes of recipes that parents can experiment with and involve the children with so they will eat what they help create. I know not all parents are able to bake treats or cook for that matter (I have a mate who is going to get the cooking experience of a lifetime next time I see him as he’s rubbish at it but needs to learn) but I remember getting homemade treats once in a while in my lunch box and never complained about it.

Check out my RECIPE INDEX for some awesome back to school recipes that are not only frugal but easy to make. 

I wonder if we put healthy snacks and homemade cookies/bars or other treats such as mixed nuts and seeds, fruits, cut up vegetables in a lunch box that the children would get used to it and then later crave that same tastes as an adult? Maybe if we do this when they are young they won’t want to tear the cookies and chips from the shelves at the grocery store or reach for unhealthy snacks in their diet when they are older. I was being nosey in others shopping carts today at the grocery store and no word of a lie some were packed with all convenience foods, to the top.

 If we had kids I’d be inclined to peel and cut fruits up every single day and bake on the weekends or when I had spare time and store some goodies in the freezer. There has to be a plan and that’s what we would do, plan our shops, lunches and meals and prep them ahead of time. I guess what I would do is all going to be a mystery since we have no kids but I’d like to hear from other parents.

What do you send your children to school with in their lunch boxes?

Do you save money by baking treats at home?

If you are a University or College student what is your food diet like while in school?

greens

September grocery game recap

Congratulations goes out to our AUGUST Grocery Game WINNER and that is Christine Weadick  Ballot #8!!! Congrats Christine!!! Send me your address and I’ll get your coupon envelope sent out to you!! Thanks to all of you that participated in August and I look forward to spending September here with you! If you have any topic ideas you think I haven’t covered and I should, please let me know. 

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads is lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much moreall for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Free-stuff-download

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

Food Basics

  • 2 x 2lb carrots 2/$ 1.00 Sale
  • 2 x 2lb yellow onions 2/$1.00 Sale
  • Iceberg Lettuce $1.27
  • Chipits Chips $6.99 Sale
  • Chipits Chips $6.99 Sale
  • Hellman’s Mayo $2.99 Sale
  • 6 x Black Diamond Cheese $3.88 Sale
  • 4 x Lean Ground Pork $3.00-30%
  • 2 x White mushrooms $1.97 each Sale
  • Red field peppers $1.97 Sale
  • 2 x Lactancia Cream $2.49 -$0.75 Sale
  • Krinos Feta 1kg $13.99
  • 5 x Johnsonville Brats $2.99 Sale
  • 3x garlic $0.98
  • 2 x Collard Greens $3.00
  • 2 x Kale $3.00
  • 2x Swiss Chard $3.00
  • Mini White Potatoes 5lb $1.97 Sale
  • 3 x Watermelon $1.88 each Sale

Total out of pocket $118.79

Shoppers Drug Mart

4 x Neilson Cream $1.99 Sale

Total out of pocket $7.96

grocery-game-challenge-Sept-2013-1

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with 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 September: $234.57  which is $235.00-$0.43 overspend in August
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $1.50
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $
  • Total Spent This Week: $126.75
  • Total Spent So Far for September $126.75
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (September): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month:$107.82
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$1.50
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83 (August) $182.35=$1724.95 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview: We had a huge shop today and picked up quite a bit of food. I’ve already cooked all the greens so they are ready to eat all week for dinner with a protein and salad. I’m hoping we can make it this month with 5 weeks of shopping. Let’s just see what happens, fingers crossed. 

Canadian coupons found in September

coupons sept

Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. 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. 

  1. 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 players from around the world.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 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.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop?- 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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 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. You’ve made a wise decision.

Money-quote

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

The grocery game challenge Aug 26-Sept 1, 2013 #4- Customer care

grocery-game-challenge-aug-26-2013

Cashier Takes Service Too Far

Last week I talked a little bit about cashiers, the role of the cashier and how important excellent customer service is. With the good we get the ugly and today I have part 2 of the role of the cashier and customer care. Yesterday while standing in line at a local grocery store I was witness to a cashier having a bad day and a customer who wasn’t going to stand for her attitude.

My wife thought I was being nosey but I wasn’t the only one either as customers were watching and our own cashier was trying to listen in and find out what was going on. She was so entranced in the back and forth dealings with the cashier and the customer that she even took our coupons, removed the coupon amount then handed them back to us lol.

I told her that she might need those to balance her cash at the end of her shift. She laughed and lightly bopped herself at the top of her head with the palm of her hand. She said that she has her days. I said you and I are both too busy wondering what’s going on, that’s the problem. She didn’t disagree and was smiling from ear to ear. When she finished cashing me out I said to keep smiling and to remember that today is just another day.

The problem

Very briefly while standing in line I overheard the customer saying she didn’t want a product and the cashier was not so nice with her and told her to put it aside or put it back herself. Well the customer didn’t like her response and frankly neither did and the customer with a furious look (scared me) on her face asked to speak to a manager. Then you hear the cashier pick up the phone abruptly and with a stern voice ask the cashier manager to visit her cash. When the manager must have asked why she loudly winded that a customer wants to talk to her. Then she slammed the phone down.

The cash manager

We were all like a bunch of penguins lined up with our heads moving back and forth. I almost felt like asking the cashier to call a grocery boy to bring me up a bag of popcorn and a soda so I could watch this all go down. I know I’m having a laugh but I don’t often get to see these interactions between the customer and cashier. Normally it’s the cashier dealing with difficult people but in this case it was the customer dealing with a difficult cashier.

When the cash manager came down she asked what the problem was and the customer promptly explained the situation. The cashier spoke up said she wasn’t feeling well which was no excuse for her behaviour and that she wanted to go home. The manager calmly told her to take deep breaths and to go and have a break and that she would step in to finish up with her customers and then come and see her.

Well done, I was half expecting fireworks but the cash manager handled the very public situation as a leader should have without escalating the customer or the cashier. This is just another reason why it’s important for human resources to make sure they are putting people in leadership roles that are passionate about the people, their staff and their role. This could have easily gotten out of hand as blood was boiling but having a  manager easily defuse the situation by stepping in and releasing the cashier was the best option in my opinion.

Have you ever witnessed a cashier and customer show down? How was it handled? If you are a cashier how do you handle yourself when you are having a bad day? 

August grocery game recap

If you missed grocery game posts for this month just click on the links below and post your shops in the comment section. We are currently on week 3 for August so week 1 and 2 is posted below if you still have to post your shop.

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads is lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much moreall for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

A grocery store ( I don’t want to say to protect the identity of the store above)

  • Swiss Chard x 2 $1.97 each
  • Collard Greens $1.97
  • Lettuce $0.87
  • Radish $1.47
  • Peaches $0.97
  • Milk $3.97
  • 2 Downy Unstoppables PM Freshco $6.99 x 2- $3.00 coupon

Total out of pocket $22.01

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with 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 August: $181.92 to compensate for previous overspends.
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $3.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $15.88 (Nescafe coffee)
  • Total Spent This Week: $22.01
  • Total Spent So Far for August $182.35
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (August): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $22.01-$21.58 (left to spend for month)= I went over $0.43 for the month!
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$2.75+$5.00+1.50=$3.00= $12.25
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $ 0.43 over spend
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83 (August) $182.35=$1724.95 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview: This was supposed to be our no shop week however we did need a few bits so in we went. I will say that we did very well considering that we could have went overboard. This is a first for us. We had some sort of self-control. The overage will have to carry over to September. 

Canadian coupons found in August

canadian-coupon-arm-and-hammer-toothpaste

Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. 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. 

  1. 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 players from around the world.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 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.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop?- 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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 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. You’ve made a wise decision.

Money-quote

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

The grocery game challenge Aug 12-18, 2013 #2- Grocery shopping for seniors

senior-with-a-tablet

Seniors And Weekly Grocery Shopping Services 

I can remember my grandmother, a spunky little lady with a British attitude that could swipe you off your feet. She was strong, independent and wealthy and wouldn’t have anyone take her places. She wanted to do it all on her own because like many older seniors they don’t want to feel like they have to depend on others to get things done in their life as they age unless they are forced to for health reasons.

My grandmother would come over to my parents house for Sunday dinner and all she would talk about was food and recipes because she loved to cook. She also loved to grocery shop because back in her time everything was created homemade and there was no room for convenience foods yet she was a smart shopper.

Food shopping list

I asked my mother the phone other day about my grandmother while I called so I could learn more about her to share with all of you. My mother told me that my grandmother knew what she was going to eat ahead of time for the week so meal planning was essential to her saving money and saving time by knowing what to cook. She would sit down every weekend with a piece of paper and pencil and go through her pantry and refrigerator to see what she had on hand and what she needed to buy for her recipes. She was a very detailed woman and didn’t miss a beat.

Over the years as my grandmother aged that independence she once fought so hard to keep came to a stand still. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and slowly we were doing more for her than ever before. Grocery delivery for seniors may have existed back then but with my parents living in the same village it was just as easy for them to help her with her grocery list and pick up the groceries for her. Eventually we had to sell her amazingly gorgeous mansion (I call it), but it was a huge home on a well-kept property so she could be taken care of.

Some seniors can still live in their home but struggle to get out because they no longer drive or taking the transit is just too much for them. Even if a senior can make it to the supermarket they may find that loading and unloading groceries is too much to bear and trying to bring them home is a struggle. For many, the convenience to have family or friends to help out or paying a small fee for a grocery delivery service is well worth it to them.

Grocery delivery for seniors

These days grocery shopping businesses are opening up all over the place and for a small fee you can have your grocery shopping picked up, paid for and delivered for a small fee in Canada. It’s not a service just for seniors either anyone can use it if you are willing to pay the fee. Many elderly care services in local communities will include shopping services and trips to the supermarket together.

Grocery Angels Canada out of Hamilton, Ontario a store to door personalized grocery service will do your grocery shopping for you. They charge certain fees depending on how much your grocery bill costs. For example: If your receipt total is up to $115 the cost for grocery shopping is $10 and delivery another $10 which seems reasonable enough to me. Spending over $350 in groceries will only cost you  a mere $35 in shopping and delivery fees.

Seniors and technology

There is so much information for senior shopping online these days as services geared to older adults and the elderly are sky-rocketing. When someone decides to use a grocery delivery service they need to weight the pros and cons according to the way they feel about the entire scenario. Using such a service will save time, save money on gas and for some a taxi, transit money, owning a vehicle and the ability to have someone find the best deals for them at the best price.

These days we see more seniors using technology then ever before even though I struggle to get my mum and dad on the computer for many seniors the internet is a window to the world as it is for everyone else. I’m in awe when I see seniors using a tablet, Iphone and a computer better than I can but that’s something they want to do.

Even though not everyone wants in on the world of technology being hooked up may be a great way to feel you are still very much part of society and the world around us, especially if the senior doesn’t get out much. Having the internet available to seniors allows them to make shopping online and easy process rather than a stressful outing they might not want to endure.

My grandmother is not with us any longer but she taught us that she wouldn’t take no for an answer and that if a woman says she can still do it, let her because it means she can.

Do you help your parents or other older adults or seniors to grocery shop? Have you used any type of grocery shopping service before? What was your experience like?

grocery-game-2-August

August grocery game recap

If you missed grocery game posts for this month just click on the links below and post your shops in the comment section. We are currently on week 2 for August so week 1 is posted below if you still have to post your shop.

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads are lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

Food Basics

  • 4 x Nescafe Instant Coffee Sale $3.97 (15.88 to stockpile)
  • Allen’s Vinegar Sale $1.99
  • 2 x Sunflower Seeds $1.99
  • 1x Iceberg Lettuce $0.88
  • 2 x Mozzarella Cheese Silani Sale $3.99
  • 2 x Lactancia Cream cheese Sale $1.77 ea
  • Tomatoes $2.19
  • Yellow zucchini Reduced $1.99
  • Mushrooms Reduced $0.99
  • Bok Choy Reduced $0.99
  • Limes Reduced $0.99
  • Grapefruit Sale $2.97
  • Navel Oranges Sale $2.97
  • Cantaloupe Reduced $0.49
  • Red Onions $2.96
  • 6 x Brats Sausage Reg price $21.50  - $6.45 stickers = Reduced Price $15.05

Total out-of-pocket $51.55 with $15.88 to stockpile

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x large dozen of eggs rain check $1.99 each
  • 1x Neilson Milk 4 litres $3.97
  • 4 x Danone Yogurt 750 ml tubs 1 with $1.00 coupon on it Sale 2/$4.00- $5.00 coupon = $2.00 for 4 :-)

Total of out pocket $9.95

grocery-game-August-2013

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with 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 July: $235.00- $53.08 (over-spend in July) = $181.92 to spend in July.
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $5.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $7.45
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $15.88 (Nescafe coffee)
  • Total Spent This Week: $61.50
  • Total Spent So Far for August $106.47
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (August): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $75.45
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$2.75+$5.00
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $ n/a
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83=$1542.60 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview: We spent more than we anticipated to this week but the coffee was on sale for a good price and we were almost out of our stockpile. The sausages are always hard for us to pass up as we eat them often so when we see them 30% off we grab them. This month shouldn’t be too bad as we are well stocked now. 

Canadian coupons found in August

We didn’t find any coupons this week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. 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. 

  1. 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 players from around the world.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 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.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop?- 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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 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. You’ve made a wise decision.

Money-quote

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Photo Courtesy of: Freedigitalphotos. net

 

The grocery game challenge July 29-Aug 4, 2013 #5: Food samples

yogurt-display-grocery-store

Free Food In Grocery Stores

Food samples are a great way for manufacturers to let you try a new food product or improved product right at the source. Getting free food doesn’t just stop at the grocery store because marketers use any way they can to reach out to the public.

Many companies will also offer you free product coupons (FPC) just as we used the last week to get the New Honey Nut Cheerios Hearty Oat Crunch which they marketed through a popular Canadian couponing website. If you like to get free things then you should keep your ears and eyes open because there’s always something up for grabs.

You’ve heard never go to the grocery store hungry because you are likely to spend more than your grocery budget allows. I can tell you from personal experience that yes that is correct. I like to think I have self-control but even at the best of times I get caught off-guard when I see a spectacular deal that I just can’t pass up.

Food samples

If you get cranky and your stomach is rumbling have no fear where there are free food sample displays there is free food and kids eat free too. One of our favourite grocery stores with free food samples hands down is Zehrs although Metro has been pretty good as well. I find most times it’s the higher end grocery stores where the products will get pushed the most when they first come out. That’s when most products, I find are at their highest price point as well.

It doesn’t matter what day of the week you can be sure that the deli has some form of deli-meat to try in the dome-shaped sample display at Zehrs. If you are lucky you will also find another sample stand filled with some amazing cheese and crackers. Sometimes it’s hard just to take one, but they want you to crave the product enough so you buy it, so they won’t care. Munch away.

Sampling booth

These free-standing sample displays for customers are a brilliant way to market to the masses without having to hire someone to do it or convince you to try it. So, if you were wondering how to get free food stop by the grocery store for a nibble, maybe even dessert like some pudding or a cup of fruity yogurt. If you’re lucky they might even have a free beverage sample on tap that day to wash it all down with, It’s like a full portion controlled meal while you grocery shop.

On the weekends is when you will find the hired help where sample booth employees ( I have no idea what the job role is called) hang out at a booth and serve up the special of the day. Sometimes you will see them with a little grill next to them with sausage smell permeating the air. You can’t help but wander over and ask what the smell is all about.

Marketing foods

It’s akin to when you go to the mall and you can smell the Kernels popcorn popping, saturating the air with butter and they have the free product samples on the counter. It’s a win-win to let customers sample products at the source. Kernels popcorn costs a fortune but after you try their double butter caramel popcorn they KNOW you will be hooked.

They’re ready with the scoop in hand for your instruction of bag size. (You’re laughing because you know it’s true) Then there is Laura Secord with those tiny chocolate samples that just melt in your mouth. Any retailer, any good retailer knows that they can capture a person by feeding them then offering them the product right there and then.

I was watching Breakfast Television the other morning  and one of the hosts was talking about a successful Mexican restaurant owner in Toronto that started out in a truck selling art. When someone bought something they would get a free taco with their order (odd I know, art and tacos) and now he has this restaurant in Toronto that is doing very well. What I wonder is if you get free art work with a taco purchase now?

Food speaks volumes to people and if they like it or better yet love it, they will buy it. That’s why I mix food and personal finance together, even though food is in the grocery budget people love food. That’s what it’s all about, a love of food to make the senses happy.

Selling you the product

I’ve yet to meet a male sampler employee but all the ladies have been very friendly with me. They will give you what I call a “product pitch” for what they have in the little cups in front of them. They will rally you to try the free samples and most times smile and nod at you as you chew it. Even if you hate it you do the same. Merchandisers will make sure there is a product display if applicable in reaching distance because they want you to inspect the packaging.

Once you have the product package in your hand, it’s as good as sold. The best part about free food samples is 99% of the time you will find coupons on the display counter top. If you don’t see any, ask because you never know what they have stashed away behind those booths. ( oh come on couponers you all know you’ve looked when no one was around haha)

Share your comments > > Would you wander over to get free samples of products to try if offered? Do you ask for a coupon? Does the free sample entice you to buy the product? 

July grocery game recap

If you missed grocery game posts for this month just click on the links below and post your shops in the comment section. This week grocery shop #5 is the last weeks shop for the month of July.

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads are lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with 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 July: $235.00- $52.25 (over-spend in June) = $182.75 to spend in July.
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $18.08+ $1.92 (sausages)=$20.00 (for the month)
  • Total Spent This Week: $0
  • Total Spent So Far for (July) No spend shop+$86.94+$97.49=$184.43- $182.75 (budgeted July)=$1.68 over + $51.40 = $53.08 over for the month of July
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: over $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (July): $ 53.08 over
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$8.00+$20.65+$12.87= $41.52
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $ 53.08 overspend 
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83=$1542.60 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 This is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview: Well, we stuck to it this week with a no-shop week which leaves us over this month a grand total of $53.08. If you look at the monthly total it was actually $235.08 spent which means had we not worried about the overspend 2 months ago we would have just been over $0.08 this month.

That means in August we will have a total of $235.00- $53.08=$181.92 to spend plus our $20.00 stockpile budget. If we decide not to use the stockpile budget I will transfer that money to the grocery budget which will leave us  $201.92 to spend for the month. Either way you look at it, that’s the way it may end.

Canadian coupons found in July

ggc 5 july coupons

Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. 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. 

  1. 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 players from around the world.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 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.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 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.
  5. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop?- 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.

Money-quote

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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 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. You’ve made a wise decision.