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 […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Would you shop at a 24 hour grocery store? : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept 1-7, 2014

24 hour grocery store

PAYING FOR CONVENIENCE   We all love convenience but for many people the need for a 24 hour grocery store is vital. Who uses a 24 hour grocery store anyways? The customers who roam the aisles of the grocery store late at night when most people are sleeping are those that aren’t tucked up in bed. I know it sounds simple enough but for one reason or another sleeping is not on the agenda. You may find shift workers, students, party goers and even those with disabilities or someone who might be afraid of /dislikes crowded places who visit the 24 hour grocery store for late night shopping. There are also the customers who run out of an item and it’s needed in the middle of the night or someone falls ill and a medicine is needed. Your child may come down with an illness and you need some medicine and the only shop open besides the local convenience store is the 24 hour grocery store. Granted that not every 24 hour grocery store has a pharmacy section open for those that do it is a huge benefit to those seeking relief in the middle of the night. If you […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Protect your wallet from the pickpocket at the grocery store: The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Aug 25-31, 2014

Pickpocket steals wallet from purse

SECURE YOUR VALUABLES   You don’t think the pickpocket pro will target you but all it takes is you to turn your focus for one second and your wallet will be missing. Learning how to pickpocket doesn’t require a degree rather it’s simply practice and you don’t want to be the one they practice on. I don’t know if any of you, especially the ladies have had your wallet stolen from your purse before but you can feel so violated knowing you were right there. I could have probably taken my camera and went around a few grocery stores this week and snapped pictures of lonely shopping carts with open purses sitting in them. It happens all the time and for some reason I notice these things and maybe because my instincts kick in wondering how someone could leave their purse alone for someone to steal boggles my mind. I make sure my wallet is always in my back pocket even though many men will tell you keeping your wallet in your front pocket is likely a better place to deter any pickpocket. Yes a pickpocket will put their sticky fingers in your back pocket to steal your wallet or […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Free product coupons and promo codes that expire before the product: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Aug 11-17, 2014

promo codes cereal box cinema coupons

PROMO MARKETING ON PRODUCTS   Promo codes and free product coupons that you find on everyday products you buy are there to entice you as a customer to make a purchase. I’m not talking about coupon codes you might find on McDonald’s promotional offers or Tim Hortons coffee cups either. Today I’m talking about coupons and promo coupon codes on products you get at the supermarket. I know many of you love to source out coupons in the grocery store or anywhere you can get your hands on them. We do to because savings in our pocket is worth the effort. Coupons seem to fly off the pads faster than most customers can get to them so manufacturers like to promote product savings via putting the coupon or promo codes right on the product. It’s also a great marketing tool because as a customer you see the coupon right on the product rather than hunting it down. Even cases of pop or canned goods have coupons on the packaging.   Promo Codes   I think it’s a brilliant idea to lure customers to purchase or even test out new product although not all free product coupons and promo codes are […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Why a root cellar is beneficial for stockpiling: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Aug 4-10, 2014

root cellar preserving foods

PRESERVING FOODS MADE EASY   Having a root cellar or cold room in your basement can be a beneficial area of your home when it comes to budgeting and living frugal. All too often I have seen the cold room full of everything but food though. The root cellar seems to be the ideal place to store even more unwanted stuff when the garage becomes full. During our rounds of house hunting visiting open houses we noticed some homeowners use a root cellar for bike storage, full of black bags containing unknown items, old furniture and everything else. It seemed a bit odd to me but leads me to believe that not everyone needs or appreciates a root cellar like the next person.       Root Cellar   What is a root cellar? If you’re unfamiliar with what a root cellar or cold room is then you may want to ask an older generation because they were far more popular years ago. The root cellar is a room in the basement with exterior walls and no insulation and no artificial heating or cooling. The ventilation usually comes from 2 vents to the outside where one vent acts as an […]