grocery game monthly challenge

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

grocery game monthly challenge

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

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 […]

grocery game monthly challenge

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

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 […]

grocery game monthly challenge

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

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 […]

grocery game monthly challenge

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

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 […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge July 8-14, 2013 #2- Out of stock, get a rain check

Don’t Forget To Take A Rain Check No one likes to see an out-of-stock sign but if it happens have no fear you may still be able to get your hands on a good sale price. Some people call it rain check or rain cheque or even raincheck but they all have the same meaning in the end. I’m not clear why there are so many ways to spell it but for the sake of  this post I will call it a rain check. Rain check definition If you tell someone, “Could I take a rain check” that simply means that you would like to do it some other time or in the case of shopping get it another time. The difference being that in most cases the product is out-of-stock and you want the sale price when it gets re-stocked. Rain Check Sample What is a rain check? I had no idea about a rain check when I moved to Canada and I’ve quickly learned I’m not the only one.  Many people are not aware that when a product that is on sale in the weekly flyer is out-of-stock, unless otherwise indicated “while supplies last” that you can get […]

Bust our budget update: June 2013 #6 Bills and payments

When The Budget Numbers Make Sense This was another one of those months where we had bills and payments come due that were big expenses so our budget took a hit on the nose. It won’t look as if we have any money going to our savings account for June as we spent $228.64 more than we earned but that’s not the case. The good part was that most of the big expenses were projected expenses so there will be a savings recognized in our net worth update for June. As you know our dog had to have some extensive work done at the veterinarian this past month so you will see the pet category well over $500 for June not including the work he had done in May. This should be (fingers crossed) the last month for high pet expenses. On a good note, he’s doing very well so it makes the money that we spent and saved worth every penny. We also had our annual tax installment due this month which was a bit higher than the last for this installment coming in at $935 although the money was saved. Other than that our home maintenance is still high as […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The grocery game challenge #1 July 1-7, 2013- Cleaning out the refrigerator

Keep The Refrigerator Clean And Organized Cleaning out the refrigerator is one of those tasks most people don’t want to tackle, yet it’s necessary. I have a real problem when I see a dirty refrigerator inside or out because we should take pride in what we put in our bodies. If the space is not kept clean we are opening ourselves up to bacteria and general muck that you don’t want to see near the food you put in your mouth. Keeping the box of baking soda inside to eliminate odours is only part of the solution and that box I’m afraid doesn’t send out an army of cleaning men and women to wash up the mess we make. Having a clean refrigerator also makes sure that you are using the food that you buy so there’s no waste. You know what I mean when food gets tossed to the back never to be seen again until someone sticks their hands into a pot of furry mould. That makes fridge cleaning sound even more enjoyable doesn’t it now? Ewe, that is gross but keeping a clean refrigerator is your only solution. I remember when I was a kid I would grab a […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge # 1 June 3-9, 2013: Organic Food Costs

Organic food costs can be a shock to the grocery budget yet for many people it’s worth buying organic with their hard-earned money and for many reasons. Are there benefits of eating organic foods? I think so but I’m no food scientist so I can’t tell you for sure. I’m just hearing all the hype about organic food and joining in although my wife now has to eat a low glycemic index diet I can understand how it’s difficult to find foods to eat when there are many you can’t. When we grow our vegetables and fruits we use no chemicals (pesticides) and add nothing more than good compost, water and sunshine. There has to be some benefit in that, wouldn’t you think? Our friend Karen at Lil Suburban Homestead finds there is money-saving benefits from growing a garden for the family and her garden certainly speaks for itself. There are people I have talked to who say yes there are benefits eating organic and others who think there is not enough evidence to prove organic food is beneficial to the diet and for most, the budget. We are eating exactly what we set out to grow but I’ll tell you […]

I Can Buy It, But Can I Afford It

Author: Katrina I can buy it, but can I afford it. Sounds pretty simple right?  It is! This last year has been a very educational year for me in terms of finances and managing my money. Every day I am improving and I am further along than I ever thought I could be. I’m actually really enjoying learning everything there is to know about personal finance especially when it comes to my bad habits. Since starting my landscaping business which is a passion of mine, earning extra money has been an eye opener for me. I have also been able to engage in a few money conversations and actually feel comfortable having an idea of what I am talking about. One of those conversations happened just this past weekend. What Can You Afford? I have always enjoyed talking with my one Uncle and this time we talked about money! I loved it! Even more I loved what he shared with me. He mentioned that when he talks finances with people he always brings up the phrase…. ‘I can buy it, but can I afford it’?  These were just the words I needed to hear. Simple and easy to say to myself, which I will…over […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge #2 May 13-19, 2013-Discount Days And Rewards Programs

  What would the grocery game challenge be without discussing discount days and rewards program perks to save money in the grocery budget? Essentially a discount day is a day or many days where a grocery store offers discounts to its customers and in some cases like Juanita’s, a further discount for holding a loyalty rewards card. I was intrigued by the deep discounts some of the fans, especially Juanita who scored some great deals on groceries at Sobeys during a discount day that offered a %10 discount to all customers and a further %5 if you were a Club Sobeys member. She may not have gotten everything free or a 98% savings but she saved a significant amount of money by planning this shop and the savings that came with it. I’m not too familiar with discount days at Sobeys as I don’t frequent that grocery store as it’s too far of a drive for us to the nearest shop. I find it interesting to read all about the different discounts and savings programs all around the world, not just in Canada because pricing isn’t always the same. In many cases staple foods are not the same either so our diets differ and […]