Is one cent a grocery price savings? : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Mar 31- Apr 6, 2014

grocery price savings one centDEAL OR NO DEAL?


Pack it in for the one cent day coming to a grocery store near you.

Now if it were the million dollar penny that might be a different story but it’s far from it.

We always have our eyes peeled on grocery prices when shopping but this was one deal that had us a bit stumped.

Now normally a good deal is too good to miss so when I saw this latest deal I was more than a little confused. It’s not only grocery stores posting one cent savings we’ve seen it on Facebook with airline bookings as well.

While out shopping with my wife at the supermarket I came across a deal that looked strange to begin with.

The small pack of donuts in the picture above were originally marked for $1 but there was a one week sale on that no one could resist, What was the deal? Well it’s clear from the photo that you could save a whole 1 cent.

Wow I hear you cry, that’s not a particularly good deal at all. That’s what initially thought until I got thinking about and then realized that there is NO DEAL, or is there?


One cent savings


Since the Canadian Government phased out the penny coin last year getting a product for 99 cents has become all but impossible. Unless of course there is a new penny I’m not aware of but I’m pretty sure there isn’t.

Due to rounding up or down at 99 cents or a dollar the price remains exactly the same due to the rounding up. This would be true if the same deal was applied to most food products as they are tax exempt, so what would be the point?

If you add the 13% tax as a convenience food then things look a little different. The original price becomes $1.13 rounded up to $1.15. Take the 99 cents and apply the same rule and you get $1.1187 or $1.12 rounded down to $1.10. So now you have a 5 cents difference.

I’m not sure if it’s a marketing ploy, mistake or clever cunning by using the rounding rule to actually sweeten the deal as such and further discount the item without having to apply a discount of 5 cents.

Now I’m wondering if we will see deals like this more and more as the rounding rule applies to the tax collected from products sold. This then would affect the government’s tax collection and not the profit margins of companies.

This way the company only has to lower its $1 products by a single cent and the rounding rule gives the customer the rest of the discount.

I’m sure if this does become an issue that affects the government’s pockets they would certainly look into it. So, unless I’m missing something I still have to question is one cent a grocery price savings, deal or no deal?

What do you make of this one cent savings?


April 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. :)

This will be a 5 week month of grocery shops for us but you can shop as much as you need and post as you need per grocery game post as you will always get a ballot.

Congratulations to ballot #8 Mary….. you are the March Grocery Game Winner!!! Please email me with your address.


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 FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the FREE 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


Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email and let me know.


Food food and more food



Food Basics

  • Bananas $2.36 Sale $0.57lb
  • Green Beans Sale $0.99lb $2.96
  • Navel oranges Sale $0.99lb $3.48
  • 12x Gold Seal Tuna Sale $0.99ea.
  • 2x Lactancia cream Sale $0.99-$0.75
  • 1x Lactancia whipping cream Sale $2.49-$0.75
  • 2 x bags of Spinach Sale $0.99 ea.
  • Panko breadcrumbs Sale $0.99
  • Yellow onions Sale $0.99
  • Pacific Salmon $10.00
  • Red Peppers Sale $1.42
  • Pollock fish $10..

Total out-off-pocket $60.79

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x dozen eggs Sale $1.99

Total out of pocket $3.98


  • 2 x Shreddies cereal Sale $1.99
  • Kumato Tomatoes Sale $2.99
  • 2 x Old Spice body spray Sale $2.50
  • 4 x Tasters Choice instant coffee Sale $4.99-4.00
  • 3 x pkgs of chicken breast Sale $9.11, $7.97, $8.40 – $20.00 of this is stockpile for the month leaving $5.48
  • Gardein frozen chicken fingers Sale $3.99- FPC

Total out-of-pocket $56.98-$20 (stockpile)=$36.98


 grocery game 1 April 2014grocery game 1 April 2014


Grocery shop results


Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially 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 March $235.00-$20.82=$214.18/4=$53.54
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $6.25
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $33.75
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $20.00-$20.00=$0
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $101.75
  • Total Spent So Far April: $101.75
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $48.21 over
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $112.43
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $n/a
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $
  • Weekly Overview: We loaded up on eggs, veg, chicken and fish this week and used some coupons that were just about to expire at the end of March. Overall a good shop but that doesn’t leave us much for the month to spend.


Coupon Sleuth


Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.

coupons April 2014

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 and your weekly Checkout 51 offers 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 grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 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.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!





Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

The Saturday Weekend Review February #5~Wanted: Like-Minded People, Rounding The Penny Edition

Weekend Review

What’s Been Happening at Canadian Budget Binder?

Wanted: Like-Minded People who enjoy personal finance and are passionate about sharing and helping others, enquire with-in. Life gets kind of boring when the winter arrives in the CBB household because we have to find fun things to do that don’t break the budget indoors (ermmm) or we head outdoors into the snow for some fresh air and exercise to keep us motivated to keep fit. There’s something about the grey skies in the winter that can suck away motivation and we give up, put things on hold, or forget about them. Sometimes in life the dark side or the not so happy side of things tend to take us down and we give up on things that we really don’t want to because we are not sure what direction to go.

The other day I received an email from a fan who wants to start budgeting but doesn’t know how to do it. She tried to set up a budget on her own but slowly lost the motivation to keep on going. She stated that when you have no one to challenge you but yourself sometimes that can be the hardest obstacle to overcome in anything that you do. It had me thinking about why some people give up before they start and maybe it’s because they set themselves up to fail.

True a challenge is a great way to pump up the volume but we have to learn to challenge ourselves rather than worry about comparing ourselves to others. When I started the grocery game challenge that was the premise behind it. It wasn’t because I wanted to peg people against each other, no, heck I can’t tell who telling the truth or not. What I wanted was people who not only wanted to spend less money in their grocery budget but who also wanted somewhere to document their shops and talk about it with a group of like-minded people. We really do have a great group of fans that gather take initiative to help each other out, chat to each other and share ideas with each other. Wow, friends like that don’t come around every day even if they are virtual friends.

I read a blog post by my mate Deacon Hayes  at Well Kept Wallet who talks about 5 habits of broke people and although each situation is unique one thing I do agree on is that we should surround ourselves with people who are successful if that’s a place you are aiming for. I’m not saying drop all of your friends as they are not good enough, far from that but what I am saying is network out of your circle. You can have more than one circle of friends. If you want to learn how to get out of debt or how others did it surround yourselves with these people. So when you feel like giving up, hang out with people who you can learn from, that set an example and that are able to give you some of their time even if it is a pat on the back or a few words of encouragement. Pay it forward and always remember. Make someone’s day by taking the time out of your busy schedule to offer a helping hand, you’ll be glad you did and they will be forever grateful. Teaching or helping someone how to use a resource may just be the push they need to get over that wall even if it seems so obvious to you.

resources like-minded people

The Penny

The other day while Mrs. CBB and I were running errands and buying groceries, I grabbed a couple of much-needed hot drinks from Tim Horton’s. As I opened the door I noticed a piece of paper taped to the glass produced by the Canadian Government regarding the phase out of the 1 cent coin. You guessed it; I became door boy for a few minutes so I could actually read what it had to say because it was posted on the door going in. There’s nothing like backing up traffic or doing your duty of opening the door for each customer walking in just to read about a penny.

The “rounding” up or down system that the government will be introducing got me thinking as the Canadian Mint will stop distributing “Pennies” as of Feb 4th 2013. You have a choice; you can keep your 1 cent coins and use them as normal when paying by cash as the government will not be rendering them worthless. The 1 cent coin today will still retain its face value in 5 years time. The alternative is getting them all rolled and taking them to your financial institution for exchange to higher denominations.

If you head to your local dollar store a bag of 18 rolls will cost you a dollar + tax and will be enough to roll $9 worth of pennies. Anything less than $9.50 it would actually be cheaper getting them exchanged at one of those coin exchange machines even though they charge 11.9c for every dollar exchanged. That’s just a little math’s to help you decide on one of the options you have. There are also some Canadian banks that have free coin sorting machines, some even for non-customers. The premise behind it is that once they have you in the branch it’s an opportunity to get a new banking customer. Nothing in life is free, there’s a catch somewhere, somehow, isn’t there? If I were you, I’d call first to see if they have the machines, if they are working and if they are free and finally, do you need to be a customer.

The larger issue that got me thinking was about the rounding up or down scheme itself to the nearest 5 cent increment. As set out on the Government website any total including tax that comes up on a transaction will be subject to rounding if you’re paying by cash but not by cheque, credit card or debit as they are settled electronically.

Here’s an example:

  • Mr. CBB bought a box of “not a lot” for $2.36 + Tax of 13% for a grand total of $2.67 and with thanks the rounding down scheme if I pay by cash I’ll only pay $2.65 saving me 2 cents. If I decided to pay by credit/debit card I’d still have to pay the $2.67.

That’s fantastic if you’re paying by cash right? Well it works against you when it’s round-up time.

Here’s the other example:

  • Mr. CBB bought a box of “cheap fluff” for $2.37 + Tax of 13% for a grand total of $2.68, but now thanks to the rounding I have to pay $2.70 if I was paying by cash, so it actually cost me 2 cents more.  If I paid by credit/debit card I’d have paid the proper price of $2.68.

It doesn’t sound like much but think how many smaller transactions you do every year. If the rounding is always against you think of the money you’re having to hand over. If you have cash, you could save a little every time it’s in your favour.  The other alternative is paying with the pennies you never took to the bank if the business is still willing to accept them. The penny will always retain its value according to the government site and there is no time limit for redeeming them. Just a handy hint people!!!

What will you be doing with all of your pennies?

The New Website!

Many of you have emailed me about the new Canadian Budget Binder (CBB) website and when it will be up and running. I know we are a little behind from our launch date but that’s only because we are doing our best to make sure it is 100% ready to go. I told you I would keep you in the loop and that my friends is where it’s at! On a good note we ended January with almost 40,000 views so I’m proud of the way CBB continues to grow with people from around the world. Please spread the word and share CBB with your mates.

That’s all for this Edition of the Saturday Weekend Review, have a great weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl!

- Mr.CBB

Canadian Budget Binder Mentions Around The Web

Canadian Budget Binder is fun place where people come to not only learn about personal finance but also to share. 


homemade pretze bites

Just when I thought I was ready for the Super Bowl game with my mates these popped into my life. These pretzel bites are perfect to pop in your mouth and seem dead easy to make plus you can add flavours such as parmesan, cinnamon, sugar, glaze, my mouth is watering. Thanks Get off your butt and bake for this awesome recipe and photo!

Canadian Budget Binder’s Weekly Post Recap

I’m currently accepting guest posts. If you are a blog owner or fan who wants to share a story email me today with your topic ideas! I can’t guarantee everyone a spot but give me your best topic pitch and show me what your work looks like!

web search terms

What People Searched to Find Canadian Budget Binder:

Search terms really help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder! Any typos below are simply how the person who searched typed it in search, or me ;-) There were thousands of searches this week.. but not too many juicy ahahaha ones.. so I picked out some of the best ones for you.

Top Pick: Do Ground Nuts Make My Balls Bigger>>> No kidding haha.. not sure about that. Please tell me they are baking!

  • How Much Can I Ask For My House- So you are going to rely on the internet to make that decision for you, smart, not!
  • Value Village Clothes Smell- Well what did you expect, they are USED>>> wash them.
  • My LYF My Rules…- Tell me what you think is wrong and I’m betting you’re spot on!
  • CBB Kitchen Spain- Because we have homes all over the world.. Spain is just one of those places lol..

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

If you are new to Canadian Budget Binder >>>Start here! Follow Mr.CBB on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest

Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder>> Everyone else has, why wait!

Do You Have A Question For Mr. CBB? The best way to get in touch with me is on Facebook

Photo Credit-Resources (Pinterest)

How We Designed Our Budget Step 1-Gathering All The Information

You made it this far so you must be curious how we went about designing our budget. Don’t yawn, it truly can be a fun experience especially when you see your savings grow!

So…. Let’s get at it!

You know all those bills you have in a shoe box or in the “junk drawer” it’s time to fish out those paper critters and get organizing.  Some of the steps we took to get organized in preparing our first budget are:

Gathering All The Information

  • Locating all bills including credit cards! Anyone you owe money to including the mortgage/rent.
  • Organizing bills into piles by date ie: Rogers, Union Gas, Hydro, Reliance or finding data from logging into the respective websites
  • Make a list of dates and cost of each bill in an excel document
  • Make a list of dates bills typically need to be paid by but this may vary.
  • Make note of interest rates if you are not paying bills off in full. If you don’t know get on the blower and find out!
  • Make note of the cost of each bill whether it was variable or fixed

It was imperative to ensure we had all the information at our finger tips so we could accurately design a budget for our needs. It’s important to remember that every penny counts so you don’t want to forget anything.

If there is a certain bill you cannot locate call the company and ask for assistance. Don’t put off the budget until next month as the time is NOW!

We then made a list of everything we knew we would have to pay for each year for example,

  • Dog licence
  • Stickers for vehicles
  • Krown application on vehicle
  • Tax prep
  • Christmas
  • Dentist

I think you catch my drift, if you know you are going to pay for it, save for it!  I know you can’t possibly think of everything so keeping a miscellaneous  section in your budget is key.

Once you have all your debts, variable ie: grocery,miscellaneous,pet, transportation etc and fixed expenses ie: mortgage,taxes, insurance etc you can start to put your budget together.

Another important point to remember is using your net income not your gross income.  Some people may believe your gross income is the golden ticket but its your net income that puts a roof over your head and food on the table.

Net Income = What you take home at the end of the day once all deductions are paid (taxes, expenses etc.)  Essentially it is the amount deposited into your bank account from your employer. (Note: If you are self-employed you need to know what your net and gross figures are)

If you have any other income sources these figures are also important to factor in but to me if they are variable then I don’t count them as fixed income more as variable income as it can fluctuate. It’s not something I personally would design my budget around . It’s a nice to have at the end of the month and more for your savings.

If you have to design your budget around a variable income try to collect 6 months of income and do an avg income to base it on. Unless someone has another suggestion I’m not too familiar with this type of income.

  • Document, Document, Document everything!

You have done plenty of work today, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back and come back to read where we went from here.

Read on with Step 2 in designing our budget.

Please feel free to comment or ask a question.

What were the first steps in designing your budget?

Photo compliments of:Copyright (c) <a href=’’>123RF Stock Photos</a>