The only time I would say to ignore your grocery flyers to save money is when your budget is set up for a no-shop week like ours is this week. You can do whatever you want but for our budget it’s imperative that we toss them in the bin and get on with our week. Another reason would be if you just have too much food in the house and you don’t need to shop.
The weekly grocery flyers offer up a great way to plan and save money but they can also hinder our grocery budget goals at the same time. Weekly flyers are simply another marketing ploy to get consumers off the couch and into their store to spend, spend, spend money.
A few weeks back I told you to “ditch your coupons and let them expire”, especially if you find you are using coupons just because you have them. There comes a point where you have to decide whether certain products are necessary and adding value to your budget.
If you have food that sits around and wastes because no one is eating it maybe you shouldn’t have purchased it in the first place. We’ve done that before but quickly stopped it. It’s just a waste of money, with or without a coupon.
Don’t let the grocery game photo fool you this week for April we can proudly say that we did not spend any money this week.
If you follow along the grocery game challenge and I hope you do, you know that we are well over budget for the month of April. Since my wife is now on a low GI diet we’ve stocked up on more fruits, nuts and vegetables than we normally do. Our pantry for the most part has always been well stocked but now we will be looking to fill it with brown rice, oat bran, All-Bran and many other items that will fit into her meal plan. You know, the kind of food that gets your engine started in the morning…….
Ignore Your Flyers and Save Money
Whether you are grocery shopping for 2 or more people in your family or if you are a single person who has a grocery budget that you want to stick to there may be certain situations where it’s best to toss your flyers in the garbage. I find that we sometimes struggle to stay out of the stores when we know we shouldn’t be in them in the first place.
One of our biggest excuses is that we are going coupon shopping, looking to see what’s out there for deals and pink stickers. Sometimes if you don’t get them when the coupon rep puts the pads of coupons out you might be hard pressed to ever find them.
When 5pm rolls around at the CBB house on Thursdays and the flyer girl shows up with our weekly grocery flyers we grab them and take to the couch to see who has the best prices on deals for the upcoming week. Some of our favourite weekly flyers are the No Frills flyers, Food Basics flyer, Sobeys flyer even though we hardly if ever shop there we use it to price compare typical products we purchase on a weekly basis.
I’m a sucker for the Canadian Tire flyer but that’s a whole other part of the budget, thank goodness or else we’d be in big trouble. I know it sounds kind of boring to do but part of the process for us in learning who has the hottest grocery deals and how we are meal planning and sorting out what we will price match for the week.
Weekly Grocery Store Ads Talk to Us!
Do you immediately say to yourself, “oh we need that, it’s on sale”! It’s because the weekly flyers talk to us, they reel us in like nobody’s business and that is the power of print media. Best of it is the food industry is such a lucrative business they will bring these weekly flyers to you via direct mail, meaning delivered to your home for free.
In-Store Grocery shop marketing is meticulous, just ask anyone who in charge of it and how important height, size, shelf space, placement etc is and they will tell you, it’s imperative to the sale and success of a product.
Grocery store competition is cut-throat so you can bet they make sure that everything has it’s place and that a keen eye and focus groups are in place to learn about our shopping habits, “the customers”. You know all the smells and the food samples and beverages they offer you, it’s not because they think you look hungry or parched they want you to buy these products.
Coupons on the shelf, printable coupons, mail order coupons, insert coupons or coupons in the front entrance of a store are only a small part of getting us through the door. Many of us fail to see the signs because we tend to get in and get out and likely why we have to trek to the back to get the dairy and bread that we need.
They aren’t idiots that’s for sure and they know that if a coupon is there we will come running after all it’s no secret that the coupon industry has exploded. These companies know that if they want to move product all they have to do is attach a coupon and boom… they are well on their way to making profits.
We created this, they created this, we’re all responsible for what the industry has done in order to get us in the door and to the cash register. These companies are in business to make money after all. Our minds are on overload with the coupon phenomenon even bigger than when our grannies used to use them for the small savings they used to get. It’s a bigger deal as is the weekly flyer and in-store marketing ploys but almost every business is the same, they are no different.
Don’t be surprised if product packaging has shrunk and the coupon is just another way to have us think we are saving money when we are not. Pay attention to what you are paying for and you will know when a deal is a deal and when a dud of a deal is not worth your time and money.
The signs are marketing subtle just like the sample cheese and meats on a toothpick or the air freshener that smells like coffee that I was exposed to at one shop just to entice me to buy an in-store coffee. We can’t blame them, like any other business they are in the business to make money, it’s their job after all, no fault in that.
Sure you can view the grocery weekly flyers online if you like but that’s up to you to say, no we need to eat what we already have. It’s a great way to get creative with leftover food that sitting around. You can create the “kitchen sink” recipe meaning using all the bits and bobs in your refrigerator that your family might end up requesting as a weekly meal because it tastes so good.
This month since we are so far over budget we felt we were left with no other option this week than to take the weekly store ads and recycle them without even looking at them. If you don’t have any more money to spend and you start reading the flyers the temptation might be there to start writing up a shopping list, which you want to avoid. I know it may be the lowest price of the season but a budget is a budget and although it may be a tough decision to make, we need to close our eyes and move on.
Forget About Savings
I know that if we were not in the position we are in now, meaning not having spare cash we certainly would be motivating ourselves even more. It’s not the best way to look at our budget and that’s why we are here so we don’t always think that it’s OK to fall back on our savings to fund our overspend at the grocery store. It’s easy to say, “we’ll just add more money to the grocery budget” if we are spending more but that is the trap.
Once we think we need more funds or are spending more money for a couple of months we believe that, but it may not be true. I’d evaluate what I was purchasing first (why the grocery game is so great so we can look back on our purchases to review them) and then make decisions based on needs and trends based on the previous 3-6 months of shops.
If we only had $50 to spend than that’s all we should be spending although that’s easier said than done. No, we don’t want to carry cash as it’s a huge inconvenience for us especially with the rewards that credit cards offer us. It’s a mindset that has to change and that begins with us so we are proud to say we ignored our grocery flyers this week and will cook from our freezer, refrigerator and pantry as we have more than enough food to get us by until next week.
Question: What do you do if you have no more money in the budget to spend but know you have savings or a credit card that you could easily use to fund the purchase?
Grocery Game Weeks for April
This is the last shop for April 2013. Next week I will post the April Grocery Game Challenge WINNER so posts your shops today! You have until this Sunday at Midnight EST to post for April to get your ballots!
- Week 1 ~1-7 The Grocery Game Challenge #1 April 1-7, 2013 Price Comparison Grocery List
- Week 2 ~8-14 The Grocery Game Challenge #2 April 8-14, 2013 Tracking Grocery Expenses
- Week 3 ~15-21 The Grocery Game Challenge #3 April 15-21- Can Your Budget Handle The Low GI Diet?
- Week 4 ~22-28 The Grocery Game Challenge #4 April 22-280 We Blew The Grocery Budget Up!
- Week 5 ~29 – May 5- No shop week for the CBB family- Ignore Your Grocery Flyers
For Inspiration read about Canadian Budget Binder fan Donna R who shares her secrets for lowering her family’s grocery budget from a whopping $1100 a month to $600 give it a read now. If you have a budget story you want to share email today!
Past Blog Posts To Help You Shop and Save!
Free Money Saving Downloads just for YOU!!! Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more!!! Click, Save and Print.. It’s that easy~
- Let Your Coupons Expire And Save Money
- Knowing Your Prices Is The Key To Saving Money In The Grocery Budget
- Product Price Adjustments Don’t Miss The Savings
- Scanning Code of Practice In Canada (SCOP)
- How To Start Saving Money On Groceries In Canada?
- How Much Should My Grocery Budget Be?
- Top Ten Ways To Cut Your Grocery Budget
- Meal Planning For The Budget
- The Grocery Game Challenge and Our Grocery Budget
- Grocery Budget Saving Tips
- Food Shopping On A Budget
Our Grocery Game Challenge Results #5 April
We spent $0 shopping for groceries this week! We are working really hard to find out where our weak spots are and how to combat the overspending.
Yearly Grocery Budget For 2 : $2819.38
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with 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 Coupons Used this Week : $0
- Total Discounts this Week: $0
- Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
- Total Rewards Points Used: $0
- Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $4.00 this shop for a grand total of $20
- Total Spent This Week:$0
- Total Spent So Far for (April): $60.13+$69.83+$171.59+$96.19=$397.74
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: $ just way over….
- Total Over/Under spend for the month of (April): $162.74 (OVER)
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
- Total Coupons Used This Month :$26.00+$34.00+$5.00+$10.26=$75.26
- Total to Carry Over Next Month : ($ 162.74 over will carry over as a negative to catch up)
- Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74=$935.08
- Rendezvous Account: $65.38 (this will be used for a date night or a summer holiday)
Weekly Overview: We did very well this week ignoring the flyers!
Canadian Coupons Found This Week
One More coupon……
That coupon if you can’t read it is Save $1 on Starbucks Refreshers Beverages with an expiry of Dec 31,2013
How was your grocery shop this week?
Grocery Game Frequently Asked Questions
Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. 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 a few players from around 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? 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 effected 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.
- Where can I find Canadian Coupons? Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week including Checkout 51 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.
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?- 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 don’t need to buy this or that. You may also substitute items in order to stick to your budget to make it work.
Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?
- You can Follow Canadian Budget Binder on Twitter or Facebook and Pinterest.
- You can also subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder so you don’t miss a blog post. Fill in your email address on the HOME page of the blog off to the left where it says “Subscribe Via Email”
- Let Your Coupons Expire And Save Money! (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- Money and Finance: Why I Care About Financial Literacy (canadianbudgetbinder.com)
- 8 Ways To Save At The Cash- (savebiglivebetter.com)
- Saving on One Of Life’s Biggest Expenses..FOOD! (savebiglivebetter.com)
- The Grocery Game Challenge And Our Grocery Budget- Square Pennies (squarepennies.blogspot.ca)
- Grocery Budget Saving Tips We Use To Save Money- (bargainmoose.ca)
- Smart Budgeting And Grocery Shopping For Two-(weonlydothisonce.com)
- A Reader’s View: The Evolution Of Our Budget (outliermodel.com)