grocery game monthly challenge

How To Survive Food Cost Increases in 2016 : Join The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Jan 4-10

THE GROCERY GAME CHALLENGE 2016 CANADIAN BUDGET BINDER(1)

DON’T BE STICKER SHOCKED WHEN YOU GO GROCERY SHOPPING THIS YEAR   If you thought your grocery budget was tight in 2015 experts are saying to buckle up and expect to add $345 this year to your grocery expenses. With the loonie taking a nose dive and the fact that most of our produce is imported, prices in the produce section are about to get scary. Already we’ve seen cucumbers jump in price to $3.00 each from a cool $0.99 and celery that looks like it could use a bit of love with a shocking price tag of $4.99. Keep in mind, these are NOT organic prices either. Prices are slated to rise from 2.0%-4.5% for fruit and produce in 2016 according to the University of Guelph’s annual Food Price Report 2016 English For 2016, the Food Institute is forecasting food inflation rates across the country to be anywhere between 2.0% to 4.0%.- UofG Food Price Report In February 2015 Stats Canada released the consumer price index where you can clearly see prices aren’t moving down nor will they be anytime soon. In 2016 food and utility prices are expected to increase so now is the time to get your […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How We Downsized Our Food Costs By 41% To Fit Our Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Dec 7-13, 2015

how we cut our food costs by 41 percent (1)

WE HAD NO IDEA WE WERE SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY   Every year since starting The Grocery Game Challenge back in 2012 we have evaluated our food costs in accordance to our overall budget. Before then we were just two people in a loving relationship renting and grocery shopping like every other frugal couple, so we thought. Although we were just starting to clip coupons but not heavily stockpiling we also followed the sales. We were spending on average around $400 a month which only continued to increase. That might not seem like much to you but for us that was a huge amount to be spending on groceries for 2 people. Since we were saving for the down-payment on our first home saving money was critical to keep costs low. You may think you are doing well with all the grocery savings but all that money adds up every month whether you got a deal or not. When we bought our home in 2009 it was just shortly after the coupon craze hit Canada and everyone was going mad for free or near free deals, including us. Yes, we joined in on the fun because we wanted to save […]

grocery game monthly challenge

When Your Food Budget Is Out of Control You Should Do This! : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Sept 14-20,2015

when your food budget is out of control you should do this(1)

FINANCIAL TRUTHS OFTEN HURT   Most people struggle with an out of control food budget and maybe why you might want to read this post today. I’m here to tell you that there is only one thing you can do to fix your out of control food budget. Don’t worry, I’ll get to it below but I want you to read something first. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready for the truth when it comes to debt and their money until they need to do something about it. Self-control is easy for anyone to forget until we have to consider it in our lives. For some people it’s easier just to live free and go with the flow which only works on certain aspects of our lives. Our worst enemy was using coupons because we spent more than we should have just to save money. It turned out we bought too much food, went over budget and wasted quite a bit in the end. We kept telling ourselves that it would save us money in the future. To an extent it did BUT it got to the point we had no interest in the tonnes of food we were stockpiling. We […]

grocery game monthly challenge

9 Ways To DIY Fast Food To Save Money On Everyday Convenience Foods- The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Aug 24-30, 2015

FAST FOOD DIY 9 WAYS TO SAVE ON CONVENIENCE FOODS

CREATE YOUR OWN FOOD TO EAT   Life is always a balance between time and money. When we feel pressed for time, it’s easy to spend more money than we realize on fast food and convenience products. This can be true especially when there’s a whole industry based on making us believe that these foods will transform our lives There are instances when convenience is worth the price in terms of time and money. Most often we are paying more for less in terms of taste, nutrition and the time savings are not always as great as they appear to be.   It can make sense to buy prepared convenience foods   Frozen rising crust pizzas are a good example. These regularly go on sale for $3.99 and with the price of cheese and toppings it can be hard to beat that cost with homemade pizza. On a busy night, frozen store-bought pizza can be a definite money and time-saver. It takes just as long to bake one in the oven as it would to wait for take-out. We can make our fast-food and eat it, too. Pre-washed boxes of salad greens ($4.99 and Walmart and Superstore, $2.99 at Costco) […]

grocery game monthly challenge

11 Ways to Feed Your Family When You Have Little to No Money : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Aug 17-23, 2015

11 ways to feed your family with little to no money

I’LL NEVER LET MY FAMILY GO HUNGRY BECAUSE I LOVE THEM   We hear it more on the news these days about parents who have no money and feel that shoplifting is their last resort to put food in the stomachs of their children. It shouldn’t be this way. There is so much food on this planet that no one should ever have to starve, but they do. A CBB fan emailed me looking for tips about how she can feed her family of 4 during the months she has no money and the cupboards are bare. She is a single mom who relies on social assistance for money every month but that money is met with bills and earlier credit card debt she is still trying to pay off. Her comment about not letting her kids starve because she is poor pushed me to talk about this topic because it’s real. It’s heartbreaking to see children go without food for days or parents who give up eating for their children. They get shunned for not having a decent paying job (what is decent these days?), an education or for having habits that cost big dollars. Let’s not forget parents […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Top 5 Reasons Your Food Shopping Bill Is Expensive: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 May 10-17, 2015

top 5 reasons your food shopping bill is so expensive(1)

THE POWER OF FOOD CHOICES   I’d like to think I know a bit about what I’m doing when it comes to food shopping especially since I enjoy writing about food budgets and saving money every week. I’m always finding reasons why people are spending too much money. I also find reasons why people are not finding the best deals they can when they are out there. It’s not just about the in-store savings… there’s more to food shopping than looking for dollar signs. When someone complains to me that their food shopping bill is too high and blames it on the cost of food I don’t disagree. Food costs are through the roof these days but with these price increases we also have to invest a bit of effort into our own budget. I also turn my head back to the shopper because most often that’s where the problem begins. Eating healthy on a budget is possible. It may not include some of the high-powered organic fruits and vegetables, but it could depending on what else you stuff in your shopping cart. I’ve heard just about every excuse under the sun about how it’s near impossible to stick to […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How to chop everyday food costs without coupons: The Grocery game challenge #3 June 16-22, 2014

Grocery Game Challenge June 2014 3

SAVE BY BUYING LESS   I know what you are thinking if you are a coupon lover and swear by the savings but you can also chop your everyday food costs without coupons. Just like the header says, save by buying less and it’s true. People tend to overspend when grocery shopping for everyday food for a variety of reasons and we’re included in that group. We’ve since been working on keeping that at bay and it’s not so bad as long as you find your grocery shopping triggers. Using coupons, especially if you aren’t a pro at it takes time to organize every week so you must be willing to make that time in order to reap any rewards. Sure some weeks may be better than others but for those who simply don’t have the time you don’t need coupons to save money on groceries as long as you are smart with what you buy.   Using coupons   We were heavily into using coupons during the years 2010-2012 until the big coupon rage took off and Extreme Couponing in the USA blew up the television screen. In that time more coupon bloggers joined the blogosphere which is now […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Do food pictures tempt you to buy the product?-The grocery game challenge #1 Apr 28-May 4, 2014

Money Quote Logo CBB

FOOD PHOTOS THAT MAKE YOU DROOL   I don’t know about you but food pictures really do play an important role when deciding on whether to purchase a product at the grocery store for many people. We know that marketing in the grocery store plays to all of our senses because they know that if we smell, see and taste food that we are more inclined to purchase it. Many grocery stores that have a full deli, fruit bar, sushi bar, fresh fish and bakery make it priority that the customers can see what they are doing. They want the customers to get that food porn visual because they know it’s money in their pocket. I for one don’t mind watching food being prepared and if your store has a butcher you can bet you will see the meat that you are putting on your BBQ packaged right before your eyes. Be prepared to pay for this premium service though.   Food Pictures   Today I want to talk a bit more about food pictures on products, posters and displays but mostly products. It’s just not convenience foods that have food pictures either. When you pick up a product you […]

grocery game monthly challenge

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

full price grocery shopping

YOU ACCEPT PRICES OR YOU DON’T   Grocery shopping for full-price items makes us cringe but the reality is in some cases you either accept the price or you don’t buy it. At the end of the day it’s either you can afford it or you can’t. If you can’t you don’t buy it and find a cheaper alternative or knock it on the head altogether, if you can. Should I or shouldn’t I? Sometimes when I see people staring at a product in their hand I wonder what they are thinking to themselves. Let’s face it we all talk to ourselves when we grocery shop, admit it. Is this good for me? What are the ingredients? How many calories? What does it cost? Or should I buy it or not? I often think questioning purchase price is the burning question in shoppers minds when they are holding products with a confused look on their faces. Who knows? Many times we convince ourselves that we will find it cheaper even if we have rumbled through the sale flyers for the week. We know that it might mean going from shop to shop looking for an item on sale. One product […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Pet peeves at the grocery store : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Mar 3-9, 2014

coupons-March-2014-Canada

NOTHING BOTHERS ME MORE THAN…   Some of the biggest pet peeves at the grocery store are what motivate people to get in and get out. I don’t know about you but my pet peeves can vary depending on the time of day to the day of the week that I go grocery shopping. While I was writing this I decided to put together a list of pet peeves that really get under my skin at the grocery store. They say not to sweat the small stuff and I really am a laid back kind of guy but there are some things that just make me shake my head. There are things that get under my skin but I don’t really show how it affects me because it doesn’t benefit anyone but me. That never solves the problem but deep inside I just wish things would be different. Back to the saying, ‘not everyone or everything is perfect’ and ‘go with the flow’.   Pet peeves   Not everyone will find my pet peeves bothersome but to be honest, they shouldn’t. They are my pet peeves and since we are all different I bet your pet peeves will be different […]

How to survive a winter storm with no power

broken-tree-branches

MAKING IT THROUGH THE STORM   While the ice storm that we had this week in Ontario created quite a sight to see, sparkling trees covered in glistening ice and an ice covering over everything, this Winter Wonderland also came with a lot of destruction, inconveniences for many and sadly a couple of deaths. With hundreds of thousands of people losing their power there are still a number of people who are waiting for theirs to come back on, 48 hours or more after the storm while others enjoyed Christmas Day in the warmth of their homes. Being prepared for an extended power outage can make getting through those long, cold days less of a struggle. The recent cold snap hasn’t helped the situation.   Staying Warm   Having no power means no heat in your home. Staying warm will be a challenge if you are not prepared. We had a little notice that this storm was coming and I have to admit I was not as prepared as I could have been. Beyond having lots of blankets and warm sweaters to put on, seeking out warming stations that many cities provided would have been an option if our power […]