grocery game monthly challenge

Nielsen Homescan Canada: Shop, Scan and get Rewarded! : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Dec 15-21,2014

Neilsen Homescan

HAVE YOUR SAY, ENJOY THE REWARDS!   Who thought that going shopping would be so rewarding? Believe me when I say joining the Nielsen Homescan Canada panel will open up a window of rewards to you because I’ve done it in the UK. Nielsen studies consumers in over 100 countries because they want to know what you like to buy! I remember the time when my wife came to the UK and we went grocery shopping together for the first time. Not only was she reading just about every product she could get her hands on (it took forever to shop with her) I was also explaining to her a little about this program I was involved in. I think it made more sense to her once I showed her my scanner and exactly what I needed to do. When we got home she wanted to help me put all the groceries away but I told her that we had to wait a moment so I could check everything over and scan them in. Scan them in? She had this look on her face like I was nuts but clearly she had never heard of the program I was part […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Do you track money-back from points cards as part of your budget?: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Dec 8-14,2014

points cards grocery store

IT’S YOUR MONEY TO SPEND!   Almost everyone I know has points cards of some description especially cards that offers points to be redeemed for groceries. I was reading a post by my friend Alicia at Financial Diffraction where she discussed “Tallying the other money” ie: rewards points redeemed, PC Points, Shoppers Optimum points, Swagbucks, Coupon apps and so on. What I found interesting is that she considers the money as “found money” or “other money” where I call it “extra income” which means I didn’t spend as much in our budget. My wife and I are both on the fence with this topic as we aren’t sure how we will tackle it moving forward with our budget. I have a section in our budget where we can add in money earned from points, rebates, cheques (ie: coupon app rewards) etc. so it’s put back into the monthly budget as income. I look at it as money I would have spent from the budget but since I was able to redeem points I didn’t have to so I put that money back into the budget as income but it comes back out when I input budget data. I find it […]

A Beginners Guide To A Grocery Price Book (Free Template Included)

grocery price book

Why Make A Grocery Price Book   For many families, groceries make up a large portion of their monthly spending. If you’re looking to spend less every month, it’s possible to save a considerable amount of money on groceries. Knowing your prices is one of the best strategies to save money on groceries. It helps you evaluate the sale flyers to know if a sale really is the best price in town. Prices are always changing. If you track the prices, you’ll know when to stock up and how much to buy. The simplest way to really understand your local food prices is to create a grocery price book. What is a grocery price book? A price book, also called a price comparison chart, is a sheet that tracks the prices of the items you buy most often. It takes sometime to set up, but you’ll earn back your time quickly. To really see this in action, take the example of my favorite brand of bouillon, Better Than Bouillon Chicken Bouillon. Here are the prices at my local grocery stores: Wegman’s: Regular price of $3.99 Giant: Sale price of $3.99, Regular price of $4.49 Walmart: Regular price of $3.58 When […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How to grocery shop like a professional personal shopper: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Nov 10-16, 2014

grocery store personal shopper

PASSION FOR FOOD AND SAVINGS   Some of you might be reading this and thinking it’s not that difficult to grocery shop but for some hiring a personal shopper is easier than doing the deed themselves. If you are a grocery shopping ninja like Mrs. CBB and I there is no way in the world you would hire a personal shopper to complete this task.   Personal shopper to the rescue   Can you believe that there is an actual professional shopper career covering all things shopping related to make life as comfortable as possible. I’ve now come to the conclusion that there is a career for just about anything that requires time-saving chores or demand for such role. Essentially hiring a professional shopper is like eating out, it’s convenient. With that convenience comes a price tag and for some of these personal shoppers they can earn a decent living working for a company and even more if they are hired direct by a family/individual without a third-party. Who hires a personal shopper? Anyone who wants to save time, has no idea how to grocery shop or wants nothing to do with a grocery store. This doesn’t mean that they […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How we plan to spend $100 a month grocery shopping: The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Oct 27-Nov 7, 2014

shopping-cart-walmart

I’M NO SHOPPING CART HERO   I know, I know, I know we went WAY over budget this month leaving us with just over $100 a month to spend until the end of 2014 on groceries. I’d like to say that we had a no-shop week like we were supposed to and that photo to the left is our empty cart but I’m afraid that’s not the case. The shops you will read below are in between weeks and with 5 weeks of grocery shops in October it really put us in the red. Although we don’t normally shop for groceries in-between weeks or more than once a week if we can help it this month has seen us visit the shops more than anticipated. Having to go to the shops on my own and for various reasons one being that we have a newborn in the house ended up us stockpiling more than we normally do. We opened a bank account for our son which brought us to the store twice because we didn’t have the proper documents to open the account. I guess that’s one downfall having your banking pavillion in a grocery store. This is one of […]

How going vegan affected our budget

vegan grocery budget

FOOD AND YOUR WALLET   About three years ago, my wife and I decided to switch to a vegan diet. The decision was a difficult one but after some quick research into the type of foods we were eating, we decided we wanted to make a change. Personally, I wanted to start avoiding meat products and processed foods that were heavy in calories and made me feel tired after consuming them. Along with the health benefits that come with eating a more healthy diet, the decision to go vegan affected our monthly food budget in a few ways (and some were surprising).   EATING VEGAN   What is a Vegan? A vegan diet eliminates meat products and ‘strict’ vegan diets also refrain from consuming eggs, dairy products and other animal-related by products. The term vegan is described as “non-dairy vegetarian” and typical vegan diets are usually high in fibre, magnesium, vitamin C/E and iron. They also tend to be lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc. Since most processed foods tend to include animal-related products, a vegan diet usually consists of eating more raw, lean and healthier foods. Some notable vegans include Ellen DeGeneres, James Cameron, […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Why do snacks tempt our budget while waiting in the grocery line?: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Sept 22-28, 2014

snacks grocery store line

TEMPTATION AND YOUR BUDGET   Pretty much every grocery store you frequent will have snacks waiting to bust your budget if you give into temptation while standing in line. They say to make sure you eat before you go grocery shopping so you don’t overspend and it’s true but what happens when you get the snack munchies instead? You spend more that’s what happens and it can be even pricier than just buying snacks down the snack aisle if you give in to the cash register snack marketing ploy. You would think it’s only the grocery store but it’s not. Have a look next time you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and you will see they sell chocolate bars, drinks and beef jerky for any hungry customers waiting to cash out. There is always marketing behind the grocery store from the minute you open your weekly flyer to the time you walk in the front doors. Money has to be made and whether it’s from the full-priced products customers buy to the customers who don’t care about weekly specials to the snacks at the cash register.   Buy me a snack   If your goal is to stick to […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Should your grocery budget increase with shrinking product packaging: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept 15-21, 2014

shrinking packaging

SHRINKING FOOD   I’ve talked about whether we eat too much and potentially why a grocery budget might be high but now we have to tackle shrinking product packaging. I often have people visit the blog wanting to find out what an average grocery budget might be so they can plan their own budget. One problem is there are many differences from country to country not to mention the case of shrinking packaging and higher pricing. The wife and I were at Zehrs the other day with our son grocery shopping and my wife mentioned that we were almost out of cheddar cheese. Although I’m not a fan of these commercial types of affordable cheeses we opt to buy them as they fit our grocery budget. I am used to higher end cheeses from when I lived in the UK but try buying them in Canada and your grocery budget will take a huge hit. The only time you might find us indulging is if the cheese has a 50% off pink sticker making the cheese half-price which works for our grocery budget. Sometimes it’s worth buying a stronger cheese because you use less but it depends on what the […]