grocery game monthly challenge

10 Affordable Meatless Meals To Help Shrink Your Grocery Bill : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 May 2-8

Affordable Meatless Meals

  BALANCE THE MEAL PLAN TO HELP BALANCE YOUR BUDGET   Meatless meals have become a regular on our menu plan not only for the savings but because we enjoy the simplicity of a veg dish with simple alternate proteins other than meat and fish. That might sound a bit awkward to someone who doesn’t use a grocery budget but for our family a budget is essential to keeping us accountable for the food that we purchase.   Meatless meal day is any day   If you aren’t already aware there is a day dedicated to meatless meals and that day is Monday. Just because it sounds good though doesn’t mean you are required to forgo meat on a Monday. After a weekend of comfort food with the family a Meatless Monday is a nice way to start the week but it’s also a nice way to end the week or slow it down in the middle. What I love about ditching the meat once or twice a week is that I can batch cook easy meatless meals and enjoy leftovers the next day. I’m not a huge fan of re-heated meat especially if it is a steak, chicken, roast […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Must-Have Kitchen Tools For The Home Chef On A Budget : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #3 Mar 21-27

MUST-HAVE KITCHEN TOOLS for the home chef on a budget(1)

FROST YOUR KITCHEN WITH THE RIGHT TOOLS   There are some pretty cool kitchen tools on the market but most often they are a waste of money because they are valuable in the moment but then fade away deep into the back of a kitchen cupboard. You all know what I’m talking about because you likely have some of those kitchen tools you’ve forgotten all about screaming to be used. I know we do. Under the cupboard we have an apple corer, grilled cheese machine, Pampered Chef cheese grater and I’m sure I could find a few more if I left the computer now and had a look, but you get the point. One of these days I’ll be the one selling these kitchen tools on Kijiji because I’m sure there will be a buyer out there looking for these items that will complete their kitchen gadget list. Some of you might dig this All Ware Stainless Steel Pineapple Easy Slicer and De-Corer kitchen tool but for others it’s just another expensive addition to the kitchen that will likely collect dust. The original price is $28.95 but if you are certain it will add value to your kitchen tools list […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How To Enjoy Gourmet Food On A Tight Budget – The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Mar 7-13

gourmet food shops(1)

EATING GOURMET FOOD CAN FIT INTO ANY GROCERY BUDGET WITH A FEW KEY PANTRY INGREDIENTS TO SPRUCE UP A MEAL   Long before the big box grocery store there were and still are gourmet food stores, specialty stores, farmers stands and markets across Canada that supply some of the freshest food to our country. Locally produced foods in Canada are often thought to be out of reach for those who think they can’t afford to eat gourmet food at it’s finest. Not only that but unless you submerge yourself into the foodie scene you don’t often hear about places you can buy gourmet food, organic or farm grown products. Educate yourself with what is available in your local area and go see for yourself. I’m here to say, yes you can include gourmet foods in your diet if you plan your meals accordingly. I’m almost positive that if I conducted a survey and asked what the word gourmet meant I’d be told: Higher Price Tag Rich tasting Unheard of brands Imported products The word gourmet has long since been associated with being posh and possibly ingredients that only chefs or hard-core foodies would use in the kitchen. Gourmet is like […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Inexpensive Meals-How To Stretch Your Food Budget : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #5 Feb 29-Mar 6

INEXPENSIVE MEALS (1)

YOU ONLY HAVE TO CLEAN UP ONCE   I often get emails from fans who want to know how they can create inexpensive meals on a very tight budget. Another concern is how to stretch recipes so they last for a few meals which amounts to a better bang for your buck. One of the biggest budget busters in the food department begins when you eat outside of the home. When you decide to eat out whether they are inexpensive meals or not you more than likely can always make it at home for less. Think fresh food, plus you know what you are putting into the food you eat when you make it yourself. You can’t put a price on that my friends. If you want to limit the temptations of the outside world you must be prepared ahead of time. I eat out from time to time but I certainly don’t make it a daily or weekly occurrence. The answer is to arm yourself with a meal plan and a grocery list that suits your tastes and fits your food budget. Not everyone knows product prices of the grocery store industry which is a number one factor when […]

grocery game monthly challenge

8 Gross Things That Turn People Off Your Food : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Feb 22-28

8 gross things that turn people off your food (1)

  YUCKY KITCHEN MISTAKES EVERYONE WILL NOTICE   You may not even realize that you are doing some of these gross things in the kitchen while you are cooking but your friends and family will, so stop it before no one wants to eat your food. When you go to a party or enjoy the fun of a pot-luck you don’t get to see how the food was prepared which is probably just as well because I’m sure many of you might not want to eat the party food. The same goes with working in a restaurant but at least there are health and safety standards that must be followed or at least put in place for the staff to follow. Not so much with the home chef.   Some things need to be kept private   For the love of all things food please don’t tell me all of the places you had sex in the kitchen. If you used anything that you will be preparing my meal with during your kitchen adventure at least tell me you tossed it in the bin. I’m not joking, a friend told me this happened to him once and I didn’t know […]

grocery game monthly challenge

5 Ways To Slash Binge Shopping From Your Grocery Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Feb 1-7

5 WAYS TO SLASH BINGE SHOPPING FROM YOUR GROCERY BUDGET(1)

SELF-CONTROL IS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT SAVING   I think just about everyone has had their fair share of binge shopping at the grocery store which attributed to spending more money than anticipated. We shop with our eyes and nose and at the grocery store so we have to be on high-alert because it’s simple to buy what you probably could have done without. What does the word binge really mean? It means you do something excessively in a short period. I don’t know about you but I don’t plan to hang out at the grocery store all day. Binge shopping happens when we let the grocery store do the shopping for us and not the grocery list. Major budget buster! Guilt shopping is right up there with placing food in a shopping cart with no plan in place. What is guilt shopping? You know when you leave the house and the kids or your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend beg you to bring them home chocolate, chips or make you feel guilty when you say, “No, we can’t afford it this week”? Well, if you give into their demands that’s guilt shopping. Try not to do this if you can help […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How often should you complete a food budget review? : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #3 Jan 18-24

how often should you complete a food budget review(1)how often should you complete a food budget review(1)

PROJECT BUDGET CONTROL   Some people spend FAR MORE money on groceries than they need to like one  CBB fan who chopped her $1100 grocery shopping budget to a manageable $600 a month in less than 6 months. She had to make serious changes but the biggest of all was a review of how much money she was actually spending every month. Without knowing that number she wouldn’t have known just how much she was spending. Related: How I decreased my grocery budget from $1100 to $600 in 6 months Understanding food cost can be overwhelming for anyone as I’ve learned from experience over the years. When I moved to Canada I had no idea what the cost of anything was so I had to learn from the ground up. Last week we talked about how to calculate your monthly grocery costs and today I want to talk about how often you need to review your grocery budget to make sure it still fits with your overall budgeting goals. By know you already know how much your grocery budget should be BUT when should you review that number? Some people like to review their grocery budget yearly which is what […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How To Calculate Your Monthly Grocery Costs: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 Jan 11-17

how to calculate your monthly grocery costs(1)

BUDGET ONE STEP AT A TIME   One of the top questions I get asked is “How much should my grocery budget be?” and I reply,  “How much are your current monthly grocery costs?” Before determining your grocery budget it’s important to know what your current situation is costing you.  Most often my question goes unanswered or I get a response of “I don’t know” because for some consumers grocery shopping is simply buying food for the week and paying the bill. Unfortunately budgeting and frugality are not normally part of the shopping trip until it becomes necessary for some people. Don’t make this be you. A food budget should be essential for everyone unless you have unlimited income where money is of no object to you. Not many of us reading the blog are that fortunate I’m afraid. Typical grocery costs per month will differ from person to person depending on many factors such as size of the family, income level, health and special diets and so on. You can read all about that in the post I linked above. Currently it’s high-season for budgets now that new year has arrived and people want to get back on track […]

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

5 Ways Price Matching Can Significantly Lower Your Grocery Budget This Year : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Dec 28, 2015- Jan 3, 2016

PRICE MATCHING CANADA 2016

ALWAYS FIND THE BEST PRICE   Many stores have a price matching guarantee which means if you’re not taking advantage of this wonderful money saving tool then you’re throwing money out the window. Don’t believe me? You are because what takes a few minutes of your time might take you longer to earn the money you are splashing without cashing in on the savings. Prices hardly ever go down on groceries these days and with produce prices going up in 2016 consumers better start thinking about how their grocery budget will be affected. Have you seen the price of cauliflower these days? One head runs from $5.99-$8.00 at some grocery stores. My wife wanted me to buy one for her but I’m not “Splurging” on cauliflower when it was $0.99 in the summer. She can wait to indulge when it’s cheaper. If spending money on food is not a big deal to you then you probably won’t care but you likely wouldn’t be here reading this in the first place. If you are critical about the money you spend in your grocery budget or you’re trying to get back on track with your spending you should learn about price matching. […]

grocery game monthly challenge

15 Easy Lunch Sandwiches For Less Than Two Dollars : The Grocery Game Challenge #3, Dec 21-27,2015

15 lunch sandwiches for under 2 dollars

DELICIOUS SIMPLE LUNCH IDEAS DON’T HAVE TO COST A FORTUNE   Lunch Sandwiches have long since been a popular food to eat any time of the day for both kids and adults whether at home, work, school, picnics, gatherings or on the run. Although your typical homemade sandwich can range in price depending on how fancy of a sandwich you want you can’t go wrong by making it at home rather than buying it pre-made. Layering your sandwich with roast beef, Swiss cheese and bacon will cost more than having a simple roast-beef and cheddar sandwich so it’s important to know what ingredients you like in your lunch sandwiches so you can stock up when there are grocery store sales. Keeping prices in mind will help to keep costs low while allowing you to eat the best foods available. My wife and I are always looking for lunch suggestions because we get bored with eating the same foods all the time so we aim for variety in our diet. Although I enjoy taking a hot lunch to work every once in a while I don’t mind lunch sandwiches because they are easy meals to make paired with soup or other […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How to host a casual budget-friendly dinner party : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Dec 14-20, 2015

how to host a casual budget friendly dinner party

DINNER WITH FRIENDS DOESN’T HAVE TO BREAK THE BANK   Too often people shy away from hosting a dinner party out of  concerns for the costs involved and stress the evening may present.  Today I’m going to share with you some tips to ease that worry so you can enjoy entertaining in your home. You want everyone at your dinner party to have fun, enjoy the food and create memories but you also want to take part in the festivities. This means that you have some dinner party homework to do before the big day, including figuring out what your grocery budget will be.   Dinner party invites   You’ve already created your dinner party guest list and possibly sent out invitations but before you did any of this you reviewed your dinner notes to make sure you didn’t forget anything. The date and time are important but there are other details that should appear on the invitation. When you don’t include information for your guests on the invitation then you get a flood of emails, texts or phone calls depending on how many people you’ve invited. If your guests are unclear about the dinner party they may also decline […]