Walmart USA getting smarter with pricing: The Saturday Weekend Review #64

Walmart savings catcher receiptsBEAT OUT THE COMPETITORS

 

Walmart USA is making headlines again with more pricing strategies which I think is smart.

Pricing wars are not only popular at the grocery stores in the USA but also here at home in Canada.

With recent talks of suppliers upset over the low pricing of products just to get customers through the door with what they call loss leader products things could change.

A loss leader is a pricing ploy where a product is priced under the marketed cost or what the store purchased it for just to get you, the customer through the door.

I was right when I said to save those receipts and now more than ever if you are using your receipts to save money with the new apps available you are thanking me for suggesting you keep them all in an envelope to do your budget.

Already retailers will do just about anything to drive customers in to use coupons, price matching and now introducing smart phone app programs such as Checkout51, Snapsaves, CartSmart and PC Plus points.

Just last week I was shocked when Food Basics in our area said they now allow printable coupons. There was a time that they never accepted them which meant we shopped elsewhere. The game of grocery just keeps on getting more competitive and it’s not going to stop.

I was reading an article this morning that says now Walmart USA recently came out with a new online tool called a “Savings Catcher”. Now the idea is that it tracks advertised prices of thousands of products online. If a lower price is found at another store the discounter will refund the shopper with an in-store credit.

I don’t know the in’s and outs of the Walmart USA program but it sounds interesting from what I read of it. My understanding is that you set up a Walmart account at www.walmart.com then log onto the Savings Catcher page.

When you come home you enter data from your receipt at the Savings Catcher page and the computer system does the checking for you. If it finds a product at a lower price they will give you a store credit. Brilliant!

 

Automated savings

 

I’m not sure why they would have to wait until the customer gets home to do all of this. Why not have it automatically set up at the store. If the customer signs up for an account have the cashier punch in a number or swipe a card and let the computer do the work right there and either give the customer a store credit or take the money off the bill. Seems too easy, but maybe in the future.

In Canada you can price match which would be similar as well as do a product price adjustment at many retailers provided they offer this.

For example if you make a purchase at Canadian Tire for a product and the next week it’s on sale in the flyer you can go back for a price adjustment although you will get actual cash back not a store credit.

What I thought was pretty cool is that Walmart USA simplified their price matching policy but having all the competitors prices on hand for the customer. This eliminates the need for the customer to drag in all the flyers, spread them on the grocery belt holding up other customers.

Most stores that allow price matching also allow you to show the price on your smart phone but if you are like me and don’t own one you have to bring the flyers into the store with you which is a pain in the backside.

I thought it was a brilliant idea to have the competitors lowest advertised prices for the week ready on hand so all the customer had to say was that they were price matching to such and such a store and the cashier had the info.

How smart was that? I’m pretty sure there are faster ways of doing it with all the technology we have today and in the future I’m betting it will all be computerized.

There will be no need to even tell the cashier the computer system will automatically detect the lowest price and you will get that price. Some stores like Freshco go a step further and beat that lowest price which would be an even bigger perk.

All I have to say is smart going for Walmart but who knows if we will ever see these time and money saving perks in Canada.

How far will retailers go to get you in the door to shop?

 

Weekly CBB posts

 

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

 

CBB at home and the blog

 

It was a super busy week for us here in the CBB house as we ventured over to the Home and Garden show right in Toronto which was amazing. We did manage to buy something for the house which I will talk about later on in a blog post.

It was interesting to see the dream home that they had on display. The layout and colour choices were similar to our tastes. They had a lovely sunroom that anyone would have loved to sit in all year long with a two-sided gas fireplace. The kitchen was grey which went well with the house and it’s an unusual but popular colour this year in many homes.

We spent the entire day roaming around and getting pulled in by salespeople to make a purchase. The best part was all the sampling. Boy did we have some yummy samples.

Other than that I’ve been sick with the flu the past few days and I just hope the sun gets here at a faster pace. Nothing too exciting happening with the blog at this time although it’s been nice to see more people commenting on blog posts. It’s important to me that readers leave a comment it shows me that they read the post and was interested in the topic.

Have a great week everyone.

-Mr.CBB

 

Fan deals and inspirations

 

laundry soap deals

Submit your Brag or Inspiration If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

This week Nicola shares here steal of a deal on laundry soap which is hard to pass up at this price.

Hey Mr.CBB

Here you go this is the deal I found this week while I was out grocery shopping. I price matched the following products with Canadian Tire at RCSS

  • 9 bottles of Arm Hammer $2.99 with $1.25 coupon = $1.74 each
  • 2x 6pks of Royal tissue paper $3.99 with $1 coupon = $2.99 each
  • Total spent $21.64

-Nicola

 

Making a difference

 Mario Bonifacio

If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email so I can reach out to them for a feature story.

Note: If you are a blogger who gives back and would like to be featured by all means get in touch with me as I am filling spots up for the rest of 2014 and they are going quickly.

Today I’d like to introduce you to my blogger friend Mario Bonifacio who blogs over at Adventures in Frugal. Check it out!

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans!

More than any other goal, my hope is that readers of my personal finance blog “Adventures in Frugal” are able to find inspiration to get a little more enjoyment out of life using frugality, debt pay-down strategies, and the other personal finance tools that I discuss.

I see my blog as something of a hybrid: I share frugal tips and other personal finance knowledge including thoughts on saving and investing. But I also discuss how to tie that personal finance knowledge back to happiness; and how to use personal finance as one tool to help me chase my passions.

I think that far too many people wrongly look at frugality where the only step is doing less of everything. I see it as a long process of getting to know yourself to figure out what you really care about – not just to spend less on the things that matter less, but to focus your time, effort, and money on those things you’re truly passionate about.

This has been true of my own experiences.

I started this blog at the beginning of 2013 as a way to document my personal journey out of debt and to hold myself accountable to the judging eyes of the internet.

What I quickly found was that paying off debt, learning ways to live more frugally, and otherwise getting my financial house in order, didn’t just help me out on paper; it made me more confident about chasing all the adventures I’m passionate about.

It’s this same confidence that I hope to impart on my readers.

 

What is a blog carnival?

 

Some fans have asked me “what is a blog carnival?” so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans.

A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web. Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed.

If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

 

Carnival glory

 

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals and/or sharing my blog posts with their fans.

Carnivals

Blog Mentions

 

Google search terms

 

 

Google-web-search-terms

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Optimum Shoppers Points Cheat- Ya, you don’t want to be cheating the system you’re only bound to get caught
  • Canada Pot Smoker Life Insurance- Hmmm not sure about that one.
  • I want women for….- I don’t know you finish the sentence
  • Is bread with an expiry date of Feb 25 too old?- I just don’t understand sometimes lol…
  • Never be proud of yourself- Way to motivate…

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #64. Have a great week and catch me here again next Saturday with more updates.

-Mr.CBB

 

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Photo Credit:freedigitalphotos.net/patpitchaya

 

The grocery game challenge Dec 16-22, 2013 #3: Who does the grocery shopping in your house?

 grocery game bananas food basics

 

GROCERY SHOPPING IS AN EXPERIENCE

 

Not everyone enjoys grocery shopping but someone has to do the task each week or couple of weeks to make sure the house is stocked full of nutritious food.

If you are single or living on your own most often it’s yourself that has to do the grocery shopping alone unless you hire a grocery shopping helper or you shop in mom and dads pantry.

To be honest I’ve been grocery shopping on my own since I was about 18 or 19 years old and I never really appreciated the grocery shopping experience until I started to experiment more with recipes.

I had to learn how to grocery shop at a grocery store but the more times I went the easier it got especially after I created a meal calendar where I would write down what I wanted to eat all week.

I started travelling quite a bit in my twenties to different countries and was exposed to various cuisines which I wanted to create in my own kitchen.

That started my passion for good food with unique flavours from around the world and my collection of cook books that I would buy depending on what country I would visit.

For the most part I had always created a shopping list for healthy eating because I was never much of a sweets or convenience type eater. The only sweet these days that gets me fired up is brownies.

Since I was living on my own and bought my first house when I was young I had to budget my money and make sure that I created meals around what items I could find on sale. I know it sounds like a tedious task but you get used to it and you start to devise your own recipes by changing things up once in a while.

I also got involved with a program  that helped me save up points to purchase items like CD’s and a new refrigerator at the time. I was always a deal seeker and revolved my grocery shopping around the deals.

I was no surprise when I moved to Canada that I was a bit anxious when it came to the grocery store because I wasn’t familiar with most products and the prices were right over my head.

 

Grocery shopping in Canada

 

I’ve been in Canada for about 6 years now and I’m confident to say that I can easily do the grocery shopping on my own which I have done in the past but we grocery shop as a couple.

Shopping for grocery items as a team makes us realize what we really need as opposed to what we want when we try to deviate from the list. It happens to the best of us but we try to keep each other on the same level when it comes to the grocery budget.

There are times when one of us will spot an amazing in-store deal that was not advertised which would have been missed. It’s also a great time for us both to collaborate on new meals we want to create and finding new ingredients to go along with those meals.

Generally speaking if you are looking for things to do with your spouse it’s simple and a great way to get to know each other.

I know some people might laugh at us enjoying grocery shopping together but for us it’s something we enjoy doing. Saving money is great but spending time with your partner even if it is at the grocery store isn’t so bad.

Who does the grocery shopping in your house?

 

December 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 freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all 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

 

download symbol

Missed past Grocery Game posts? Catch up on all the latest grocery saving posts below!

 

Food food and more food

 

what_s-in-mrcbbs-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 December $235.00-$10.28 overspend= $224.72
  • 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: $3.97
  • Total Spent So Far for December $59.14+$3.97=$169.55
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $165.58=$161.61
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $32.00
  • 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 + (September) $255.69 + (October) $196.64 + $245.28 (November) =  $2422.56 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38+$17.24 =$82.62<> 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 are off and away this week to spend a few days together on the road just because it’s been a long while for us. We picked up some milk for tea and coffee and have more than enough food in the house for our return.

 

Canadian Coupons Found

 

No coupons found this week as we did not go grocery shopping. Check back next week to see what we find. Post your finds as well in the comment section if you like.

 

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 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.

 

  • 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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this t 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.

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada!

 

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Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Nov 18-24, 2013: Back to basics with more for less

grocery-shop-3-novemberIN-STOCK AND PRICES LOCKED DOWN

Food Basics wants to make sure they are taking good care of their customers and that’s a smart move on their part with new lowered and locked down prices and a new in-stock policy.

Always fresh is the new motto at Food Basics and if you aren’t satisfied they want you to let them know and you will get your money back.

Grocery is a big business so if they want the customers they have to make them happy.

While shopping last night at Food Basics I also noticed that they have new lowered prices and highlight “more for less” all around the store. What I found interesting was the color choice that they used to show us how they have lowered the prices on the products in-store.

If you look carefully you will see that the new locked down tags are a red tag. If you are a coupon fanatic or a deals guru like we have been and still are (although not so much couponing these days) your brain will immediately think “sale” or “reduced product” because those are the colors used by many other stores. In this case it is.

If you head to a PC store such as RCSS or Zehrs you will notice they have the pink stickers and everyone knows that they mean 50% off and in some cases less but for the most part it’s a super deal.

If they turned around and did the same thing as Food Basics and used pink to highlight “more for less” or “locked down” prices  your brain would automatically think, “amazing deal” and potentially you might spend more.

That’s they way I felt when I started to see all these red tags with lowered prices all around Food Basics. To be honest they were a bit distracting to me because it kept me thinking there were rock bottom deals all over the store and my eyes just kept staring at them.

I guess it’s a win-win for the store because they had my attention and focus that’s for sure. The price is essentially locked down meaning it’s the new regular price and not on sale. Is that how you would look at it?

If you are scouring the stores for deals and reduced or blow out products you know the types of mark down stickers and over time they catch your eye. You take note of the colors, the big giant X across a price or the rack with reduced products and make sure you check them out.

new lowered prices food basics 1

Don’t forget that in many shops you can ask for a rain check which we have also discussed here at The Grocery Game yet many people tend to forget about that perk which many stores offer.

Amazing weekly flyer deals at your local grocery store might mean that the shelves are empty if you don’t get to the sale on time. Not all grocery stores get enough stock in for a super sale and run out which means you are out of luck.

Food Basics also has another new policy and for many this is very important including us.

We all hate when a store runs out of product when a huge flyer sale happens and Food Basics is going to make sure that we are kept happy customers.

They have set out an in-stock policy which I will quote below for us.

We will try our hardest to ensure the items advertised in our weekly flyer are always in stock. Bit if one of them isn’t', we will give you a Raincheck + 10% off the advertised price for your next visit.

In most cases you might find the seasoned veterans who use coupons and source out deals and even newbies might end up price matching the sales at a store like No Frills, Freshco or even Wal-mart just to ensure they get the sale price, don’t have to go back for a second trip and so they don’t have to battle the masses of customers who want in on the grocery budget savings.

I’m a fairly frequent customer at Canadian Tire and we also love to go to Sears looking for deals. I know that if you find a lower price at each of these stores you can price match and they will beat it by 10% which is a great way to keep the customers happy.

I can honestly say that I think it’s great that Food Basics has promised us in-stock product, more great deals and locked down prices because in today’s economy not everyone can afford to shop at Sobey’s or Metro with the high prices that we all see.

The only reason they get me through the door is for the Air Miles program and the odd flyer specials that I know I can’t get cheaper anywhere else.

You’d be a fool to spend more money in your grocery budget than you had to IF you had the opportunity to shop at a store with the exact same product for less. I realize that not everyone has all the shops or might live in a small town with one grocery store but when options are available source out the best deals and save the cash if you can.

A bucket of feta at Metro is $17.99 and the exact same bucket at Food Basics is $13.99. I don’t know about you but I work hard for my money and that $4.00 could certainly be put to better use.

 

What do you think of the new Food Basics guarantee to the customers?

 

November 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 freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all 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!

 

download symbol

 

Missed past Grocery Game posts? Catch up on all the latest grocery saving posts below!

 

Food food and more food

 

what_s-in-mrcbbs-shopping-cart

Food Basics

  • Chipits $6.88
  • Produce $1/49
  • Selection Tea $2.49
  • Havarti- $10.00
  • 2x Cantaloupe Sale $0.99 each
  • Premium Bananas $1.69
  • Sweet Potatoes $3.03
  • Bread Crumbs $1.49
  • Avocado $2.97
  • 2 x lean ground beef sale $3.76
  • Oranges $1.97
  • Apple Red Delicious $1.97
  • Bok Choy $3.10

Total out of pocket $46.58

Metro

  • Selection Tea Bags Sale $2.49
  • 2x Pineapples Sale $2.50
  • Clementines case $3.44

Total out of pocket $15.22

 

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 November $235.00
  • 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: $0 Used $0
  • Total Spent This Week: $61.80
  • Total Spent So Far for November $142.85
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of (November): $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $92.15
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $2.00
  • 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 + (September) $255.69 + (October) $196.64=  $2177.28 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38+$17.24 =$82.62<> 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 didn’t need much in the way of meat this week so we loaded up on fruits at Metro for a great price and some other odds and sods at Food Basics that was needed in the pantry. We went with some lean ground beef this time so we can mix it up and make some meatballs, lasagna or even a pot of taco soup. We normally use turkey mince but since this was a great deal we opted for beef since it’s been a long while. We are not opposed to certain proteins we just moderate how much we eat and try to get leaner cuts when possible.

 

Canadian Coupons Found

 

canadian-coupons-november-2013

 

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 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.

 

  • 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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this t 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.

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada!

Money-quote

 

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

 

 

 

The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 4-10, 2013 #1: Holiday baking on a budget

baking-supplies-ingredientsHOLIDAY COOKIE SMELLS FILL THE AIR

The holiday season is fast approaching and whether you buy cookies or enjoy baking cookies some of the best cookie recipes may cost your holiday baking budget some cash if you don’t plan in advance.

With less than 2 months until the festivities there’s no better time to get baking than the present. If you wait until the last-minute you might find you get overwhelmed with having to shop for gifts, plan a dinner, getaway to the relatives, work and friends Christmas parties and then bake on top of it all.

Some of my favourite Christmas cookie recipes that I like to bake and to eat are the butter cookies and the sugar cookies both of which are fairly inexpensive to make with butter being the costly baking ingredient. Making sugar cookies from scratch are probably one of my favourite cookies to make because it reminds me of home. My mum used to make shortbread but the butter, sugar and shortbread cookies all taste the same with a bit of difference in texture.

This past year I posted a few of our favourite holiday treat recipes such as chocolate peanut butter balls, coconut balls and snow balls all of which are my most popular blog post recipes this time of year. I haven’t been making cakes as much this year as I did in 2012 but they can get quite costly as well depending on what type of cake you are making.

 

Cost of  baking

 

baking-ingredients-food-basics

Around the holidays using alcohol, sugar, butter, nuts, flour and even out of season fruits like figs and apricots can drive the price up of Christmas cakes that you might make for those special holiday gatherings.

The prices of walnut pieces are at $17.99 a pound right now in the bulk store and If I see a sale you can bet I’ll jump in and grab them while I can. Just yesterday we picked up 4 bags of granulated sugar on sale for $1.44 which is the cheapest I’ve seen in ages so I picked up the limit of 4 at No Frills.

I find I use lots of walnuts and pecans for holiday baking and the manufacturers know that bakers around the world commercially and in-house bakers like us will go through lots of nuts so expect the price to stay high for the most part. What we like to do is if I find them cheap throughout the year we buy them and freeze the nuts.

You might remember all the cashew nuts we bought a few weeks back in our grocery game post and it was for the $1.99 price tag that we bought them because we know that nut prices will sky-rocket. If you are peanut fan you can usually find large bags of seasoned or salt and roasted nuts at Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $2.50 a bag which is a great price in my opinion.

I have a friend whose mother makes a chex mix and bags it up every year for their friends and family in clear bags and wraps with a bow. They give these away as gifts with a bottle of wine as a gift rather than buying gifts and it may seem simple and it is but it is very costly. Nuts and some chips like Fritos are not cheap but certainly make this treat one that we all look forward to every year as a tradition.

 

Shop early

 

What we do is start looking for Christmas baking ingredients earlier in the year or even a few months before the holidays. Butter has been on sale the past few months for around $2.88 a pound so we loaded up on a few pounds here and there and store it in the freezer.

Butter will keep in the freezer for a few months but be cautious about how long it stays in there. We store it in a freezer bag and track dates on our freezer inventory list that is in our file folder. You can download a free copy from the blog if you want to track what is inside your freezer.

Some people stick to the very simple and make easy peanut butter cookies to munch on for the holidays and you can easily chocolate them up by adding some of your favourite chocolate chips or chunks. The best chocolate chips to use if you are making simple choc chip cookies (that’s how the wife says it but I say choccie) are a mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate for me personally but it differs depending on your sweet-tooth preference.

The price of chocolate chips can get very costly although if you watch you might find the bulk bag 1kg of Hershey’s Chipits on sale for $6.99 or even $7.99 which is a decent price. If you are a Costco member you might find the cost of baking ingredients to be cheaper in bulk packaging as long as you will use the product which most people do who like to bake over the holidays. We’ve always found the best baking ingredients to be found at the bulk barn but not necessarily the cheapest in price.

If there is an odd ingredient or you need fancy baking supplies especially if you want to make decorated holiday cookies usually the bulk barn will carry it unless you know of a baking supply store in your area or even try Micheal’s stores.

Do you make any Christmas cookie recipes or other holiday treats?

How far in advance do you plan to shop and bake?

How do you factor in holiday baking costs into your budget?

 

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 freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all 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!

 

November Grocery Game Challenge Posts

 

Since this is the first installment of the November grocery game challenge I will announce the October winner here. The winner of the grocery game for October goes to….. drumroll please…… #14 MARY C. I really hope we can get more fans on board with the grocery game challenge this month so please help me spread the word.

Mary if you can contact me I will get your coupon envelope sorted out and sent off to you in the mail as soon as possible. You all make me proud. Thank you for participating with me every single month. We must have a GGC end of year online party :-) I’ll bake the brownies mmmm.

 

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Missed past Grocery Game posts? Catch up on all the latest grocery saving posts below!

 

Food food and more food

 

what_s-in-mrcbbs-shopping-cart

Food Basics

  • Sweet Potatoes $7.23 Sale $0.88lb
  • Pumpernickel Bread Sale $2.00
  • Bananas $1.18
  • 3 Mangoes $2.64
  • 2 x broccoli $0.88 each
  • 2x White Mushrooms Sale $0.88 227g
  • Reduced cucumbers x 3 $1.69
  • 2 x Egg Creations reduced $1.50-$1.00 coupons
  • 1KG Bucket Krinos Feta $13.99

Total out of pocket $33.25

Bulk Barn

  • 2x Organic Apple Cider $1.00 each reduced

Total out of pocket $2.00

No Frills

  • 4x Redpath Sugar  sale $1.44 each
  • 3x Catch of the day Basa Fillets Sale $8.88 each
  • Avocados Sale $1.88 5ct
  • Baby bok choy $3.36
  • Bosc Pears $1.31
  • 5lb Clementines $3.88
  • 6lbs Macintosh apples Sale $2.97

Total Out of Pocket $45.80

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 November $235.00
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $2.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $0 Used $0
  • Total Spent This Week: $81.05
  • Total Spent So Far for November $81.05
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of (November): $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $153.95
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $2.00
  • 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 + (September) $255.69 + (October) $196.64=  $2177.28 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38+$17.24 =$82.62<> 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 a big shop for us and we wanted to load up on the fish since it was on sale and we love Basa fillets. We find that the cost of meat is getting so high now and if we can eat fish for less than we will opt for that choice instead along with sausages. We aren’t big red meat eaters so we don’t miss too much but it’s a pity the cost of chicken is so high at the moment.

 

Canadian Coupons Found

 

Canadian-Coupons-November-2013

 

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 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.

 

  • 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 budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this t 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.

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada!

 

-Mr.CBB

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The Saturday Weekend Review #44: Holiday flyer gimmicks that gets your wallet fired up

flyers-canada-ontario-november-2013HOLIDAY SALES START NOW… ARE YOU READY?

 

Time to ring in the holidays with flyers, flyers and more flyers. Are you ready Canada?

A better question might be, Is your budget ready?

Boredom for many people can lead to spending more money than they need to, but we should be able to control these urges.

 

Holiday flyers

 

Yesterday I wrote about Halloween coming to an end and the best time to put up decorations so it came as no surprise opening the weekly flyers that the stores have wasted no time with Christmas marketing. The hard part is when the holidays surround us and the flyer gimmicks entice us to shop til we drop.

Many of you know the shelves are already in the making before Halloween is even over. For most stores Christmas is the biggest time of year when it comes to sales and consumer traffic so every day counts especially if the shelves are not ready to go.

The glamour of Christmas for many puts them in the ‘spending spirit’ and it may be tough but it’s a time that we all have to buckle down and get control of our finances.

I know that is easier said than done because we battle the very same desire to window shop when we don’t really need to make a purchase, especially around the holidays. It’s that one awesome sale in a flyer that draws us in or we simply want to see what’s out there.

 

Christmas budget

 

The decision to not fall for all the holiday flyer specials was to pace ourselves and make a plan.

Our Christmas budget has changed over the years and now we draw names at the beginning of each year. The Christmas budget for us is a projected expense which means we save the money all year-long just in case we find it on sale and so we have the cash come Christmas and no credit cards are required. We only buy for one person now and we spend $100 on them and with that name comes a list of what they might like.

The flyers above were sent in to me by a fan who was surprised how the stores word the cover of their flyer in hopes of bringing in scores of customers although many of them seem to have the same deals like the grocery store $0.88 sales at Metro and No Frills.

Food Basics is waving the fans in with a “Mania Sale” getting much more for less. Canadian Tire flyer has Christmas trees on the front claiming “Bright Holiday Deals” to put you in the shopping mood.

Not only do you get the colorful banners at the top of the weekly flyer they make it even more enticing by almost forcing you into the store with a 1 day sale, 2 day sale, 3 day sale or a moonlight or midnight madness sale.

You might also find these words stand out on the flyer because those are the words they want you to remember. The notion of saving combined with being happy is how M&M Meats wants to inspire their customers to shop with them and rightfully so if the consumer will save money in their grocery budget.

Appetizers are a huge deal over the holidays so they will stop at nothing to pass along savings to the customer to get them in the store. They know their products sell and most people like Costco go in for one thing and come out with 10.

The problem with all of these enticing holiday flyers that are coming out is that they drive the traffic, meaning you and I into the stores with our wallet fired up and ready to spend. If we find it difficult as consumers to tighten the strings on the wallet it may be a dangerous holiday game of shopping each week because of the marketing involved during the holiday season. This could only prove to motivate us to overspend unless we have that plan of action and stick to it.

How do you handle the flyer gimmicks and giant sales this time of year so you don’t break your budget?

 

Canadian Budget Binder this week

 

Just in case you missed any of the awesome posts at Canadianbudgetbinder.com this week I’ve got them all below for you.

Happy Reading.

 

CBB at home and the blog

 

Not too much has been happening the past week in our house but we have officially busted the budget again this month which you will read about next week when I post our October budget update.

I’ll also be looking at the numbers closely the next few months to see how the seasons might impact our shopping habits. We have found that the colder the weather gets the more inclined we are to head out shopping or pouring into the stores that have those 50% off signs or end of season sales in the windows. We wanted to start doing more as a couple by getting out of the house and the first place it has brought us is to the shops.

On the blog nothing exciting has been happening although I’m hoping to get a few fixes sorted out with my designer but it’s nothing that you can see on your end.

I did make an oops this past week with the way I presented the layout and it was my error which I later fixed in the day. Now that the blog is on self-hosted I am responsible for any problems that happen above and beyond what my designer has created although he helps me out quite a bit. It’s great to work with someone who cares about his design and the blog owner like he does for Canadian Budget Binder.

Don’t forget to put your clocks back as we Fall behind one hour this Sunday morning Nov 3, 2013 at 2am and enjoy the extra hour of sleep.  I know I will.

 

Fan deals of the week

 

Since garage sales are pretty much done now with the upcoming winter months my idea is to have you the fans submit either an awesome deal of the week that you got, a freebie worthy of mention, kijiji score or other online buy that was amazing or any other major savings you want to brag about.

So, starting today send me in your photos and a write-up explaining the deal, prices and where you got the item and I might choose your steal of a deal in an upcoming Saturday Weekend Review. You can email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) yahoo (dot) (ca) with your picture and details.

Today our in-house awesome shopper Jen P is sharing her RCSS score from last week which cost her hardly anything out-of-pocket meaning she saved money in her grocery budget. Jen is also an avid grocery game challenge player and has seen her grocery budget decrease over the past 2 years since posting her shops but not without challenges like we all much endure.

Jen-coupon-shop-deals

This shop was at RCSS

  • Catelli pasta 3 x $1.00 – 3 x $1.00 coupons = FREE
  • Country Naturals bologna $4.99 – FPC = FREE
  • 2 pack Playtex sippy cups $9.58 – SCOP (rang in at $11.99) = FREE
  • Pull Ups 2 x $16.74 – 2 x 50% off pink stickers (- $8.37 each) – 2 x $5.00 CZ coupons = $6.74 or $3.37 each boxCoupons $17.99
  • SCOP $9.58
  • Pink stickers $16.74
OOP $7.08 (5% tax on the Pull Ups)

 

Making a difference

 

stumble-forward

My name is Chris Holdheide and I’m honored to be a part of Mr. CBB’s Making A Difference segment. For those of you who don’t know me I’m an entrepreneur, father of three, and a financial junky.

Some of you may have read my blog Stumble Forward which is a blog dedicated to helping others avoid financial mistakes and live a higher quality financial lifestyle.

I started Stumble Forward as way to help others avoid some of the big financial mistakes I made in my younger years. Some of these mistakes include buying a $4500 timeshare, spending over a $1000 on rip off companies to help me sell it, to getting a mortgage that ended up costing me more than I was paying off on it.

In 2008 I decided enough was enough and decide to make a change for the greater good and started my blog to help others get their financial lives on track as well as mine and by 2013 I managed get my budget under control, clean up all of my credit card debt, stash some extra cash way, and even build a brand new house.

In the end my goal is to lead by example by share the painful mistakes that I have made in hopes to help others make a difference with their finances.

 

Blog post sharing

 

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website.

Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

Just one site shared CBB this week so a big thanks goes out to Urban Departures for recognizing CBB and taking the time to share with their fans. :-)

 

Carnival Glory

 

 

Google-web-search-terms

Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • OSAP please forgive my loan: Oh boy do you have something to learn about money and debts…. nothing in life is free!
  • Money will kill the relationship: That is true, it can.
  • Happiness isn’t in saving money: It is for us to an extent as we tend to balance savings with enjoying life but for others it’s in spending it…depends on your goals.

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #44.

Join me next week same time, same place to see what trouble I can get myself into.

Have a great week everyone.

Mr.CBB

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