Black Friday: Not just a one day sale anymore


SAVE NOW ON BLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS   No more crossing the border for Black Friday as the sales are set to begin on our home turf, many starting today or at the stroke of midnight. If you are not sure what to expect for Black Friday 2013 which falls on Friday, November 29 this year get ready to save some serious cash if you know what you are looking for. Black Friday is just about here and in some places the lines of people camping out in some cases for days at a time have already begun. There are lots of great deals to be found on Black Friday, many of which are in limited quantities meaning a lot of people are hoping to get their hands on one and many who have been unable to in the past. With Black Friday planned around the American Thanksgiving and originally being only an American sale day, Canadian retailers are trying their best to keep Canadians shopping for some exclusive Black Friday deals in Canada. As part of an attempt to keep more Canadians shopping at home instead of crossing over the border into the United States, many retailers are now offering, […]

How super are supermarkets in Canada?


THE CHANGING FACE OF THE CANADIAN SUPERMARKET   Every year I’m a resident in Canada it seems to me were getting more and more like the Britain I left behind. The Supermarket is a prime example of the changing face that always seems to be behind the times. But what I tend to notice is a large shift to emulating the old country and the ways we do things.   The point of points   The brand new PC Plus points and coupon scheme recently launched caught my eye mainly due to the fact that is so similar to Tesco’s Clubcard points program in the UK. Every time you shop in that supermarket data is collected and used to determine what you buy most often, how much, your average budget spend on groceries and other revealing facts etc. This data collected is analysed and used to send you offers and coupons that are more tailored to the individual rather than the masses through a flyer. Tesco’s Clubcard rewards launched in the UK approximately 9 years ago has been part of the huge success leading to the company’s phenomenal growth. The highly personalized Clubcard vouchers or coupons and offers it generates for its customer base tries […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge Oct 28-Nov 3, 2013 #4- When the price is right and wrong


I’LL TAKE TEN AT THAT PRICE…NOT!   For the most part as customers we expect product pricing to be accurate when we grocery shop. I’m betting that a good majority of people don’t watch the computer screen when their order is being scanned in. Not being mindful at the cash may mean you might miss out on opportunities to score some freebies and or help the store to correct issues in the system and in this case today outside of the scanning system.   Speak up and help   As a regular customer to a few local grocery stores I always do my best to help the store out if I see a problem and I at least hope they appreciate it. In my eyes we are the watch dogs for the grocery store because it’s such an intense system that even the slightest error could cause a customer to get upset or in this case laugh a little, OK I laughed lots. I don’t know about you but I’m pretty sure my wages won’t allow for me to purchase a box of Kraft Dinner at $172 a box. I’m also pretty sure that I’ll never have an opportunity to […]

PF Weekly grab a brew #33: Kindness from a stranger

Would You Do The Right Thing? I’d like to think that there are good people still in this world and I am one of them. There is nothing wrong with coming in second or third or not at all as long as you play the game right. We fear failure but when we see a way to buck the system we jump on it and for many with no guilt or after-thought. I can’t say that I’ve stumbled upon anything more than some loose change on the ground in a parking lot but you can bet if I found something that wasn’t mine I’d do my best to get it back to its rightful owner. My luck seems to be finding pets and  well, you can bet I’ll be do my best to get them home. So where are all these good people then? There are amongst us and although not everyone wants their good deeds broadcast to the world every so often something spectacular like this happens. Finding money One of those good people, Paul Williams of Sacramento who works at Wal-Mart did the right thing. He was on his way home and ready to catch the bus when […]

PF Weekly Grab A Brew #25:The Box by No Frills a smaller discount-store experience

Loblaws Ready To Help Canadians Save More  A few weeks ago Calgary got its first taste of a smaller discount-store experience with the opening of The Box a No Frills store. From reading the CBC article the new store stands at 10,000 sq ft compared to the big daddy No Frills stores at 25,000 sq ft. My understanding is that Loblaws which is Canada’s biggest grocer is testing out a smaller version of the larger No Frills stores to see if it meets the consumers needs in urban areas. I’m betting consumers will put this new store to the test wanting discounts and low prices just like they do any other store. It’s not going to be any different for those who want to save money so if the prices aren’t right they might just head else-where. What is an Urban area in Canada?  According to Statistics Canada, an urban area in Canada is an area with a population of at least 1,000 people where the density is no fewer than 400 persons per square km.- Wikipedia Loblaws already has over 1000 grocery stores from coast to coast but changing up the retail space and paring down what they sell might make a difference […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge #4 April 22-28 ~We Blew The Grocery Budget Up!

We blew the grocery budget up this month and it’s not surprising since we announced last week that Mrs.CBB was now on a Low GI diet. It’s going to take some time for us to get used to purchasing different types of products but for the most part it’s just loads more fruits and vegetables. We already eat a healthy diet but those splurge days may be reduced to just me pigging out on those yummy treats I create in the kitchen. Ah well, guess that means the whole pan of brownies are for me now. I am fully supporting my wife and she has done so well this past week. She really is on a kick to drop the foods she doesn’t want to eat any longer and I think that’s great. Last week since I talked about the GI diet and how it might affect our grocery shopping I’d like to start highlighting other special food diets  or lifestyles that people are on. If you are on a special diet (vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Organic) and want to tell us what it is and what types of foods and meals you buy and prepare send me a detailed […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Jan 28-Feb 3~Will You Target Your Budget

This is the last shop for January and I’m happy to say that we beat our budget for the month. I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it especially since we’ve noticed price increases of grocery store products since the beginning of 2013.  I find if we can time the flyer specials we are able to get products we need similar to last weeks 10 lbs of potatoes for $0.95 for a great price. Another thing we noticed is that coupons aren’t like they used to be. We’ve seen a dramatic change in wording and the amount of coupon savings from the manufacturer go down over the last few years and this year proves no exception thus far. Gone are the days where we would get products for free or near free, granted on the very odd occasion that still happens. Really, there’s nothing to complain about because no one has to give us anything.  For the most part they are holding out their hands waving deals and discounts in our faces just so we shop with them and not the competitor. Zellers was a great store to use coupons at and find deals, at least for us. […]

Make The Most Out Of Black Friday Deals Without Crossing the Border

With at least 18% of Canadians expected to cross the border to enjoy deals on Black Friday in the U.S., some might be wondering if it’s even possible to save money from within Canada? I’ve been blogging about shopping deals and frugal living in Canada for a few years now, and I wanted to share some of my best tips to get the most out of your Black Friday shopping in Canada. That’s right, there are some great discounts to enjoy on our side of the border too! Black Friday Deals in Canada Since the Canadian dollar is now on par with the U.S., many Canadians have picked up the habit of crossing the border to shop the Black Friday sales. Now, Canadian stores aren’t blind, they have taken note, so that more and more Canadian retail stores are also offering comparable deals on Black Friday to keep paying customers on Canadian soil. Shopping the Black Friday deals in Canada avoids the long waiting lines at customs and the crazy hordes in shopping centres while saving money on gas too. Some offers might not be as good as what’s on offer in the U.S. (it’s getting closer though). But you also need to take into consideration […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge June 24-July 1 Happy Birthday Canada!

The Grocery Game Challenge for June is drawing to a close this week and what a month it has been for us. Considering our small budget for grocery and health and beauty I must say we are happy with the progress we are making. We are no longer stockpiling food as we did the past year and this has helped put us in a better place. We are now spending that money on products to make food from scratch or testing new recipes. We are also staying on top of knowing prices at most of the shops in town and which have the best prices. We seem to believe that the more you allocate to spend, you will spend it. We want to see if we cut our budget to $190 a month if we can we actually stick to it. Will the fact that we have less money in our grocery budget impact our shopping habits? Truly it has and I’m sure we will continue to think twice before tossing something into the shopping trolley. I know many of our grocery game posters have said that their budget has significantly improved since posting their shop each week and I believe […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge June 11-17 Easy Savings!

I’m often asked how to get the most out of frugal easy cooking and I simply say plan your shopping trip. Know what you want to eat for the week by menu planning and stocking your pantry with healthy foods. Armed with our shopping list we took to the stores this afternoon looking for the best price on the products we love. This weeks shop I’m afraid is a bit boring and not near as exciting as last week. We’ve been stockpiling when a good sale comes up on items we will need such as vegetables,milk,eggs and bread. Our garden is also ready with plenty of spinach,fresh onions, basil,chives mint, rhubarb,and radish. We look forward to the peppers,tomatoes,celery and raspberries. There’s nothing better than an organic fresh tomato and green pepper salad with olive oil, fresh garlic,fresh basil,fresh chives, onions, salt, pepper and bocconcini balls. I’m also starting to think we need to find more recipes for rhubarb as we did a freezer inventory of this product and have about 15 bags of it. I was shocked when I was in food basics to see how expensive rhubarb truly is at $3.99 lb. I simply said to Mrs. CBB we […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge-March 19-25 Week 4

In light of today being the first day of Spring that means fresh fruit,vegetables and meats will be in our meals more frequently in our home. We love fresh vegetables and fruits for lighter meals in the hot weather. So I thought some juicy red Canadian cherries to be proper as this weeks picture of choice! Well as I mentioned to most of you we will be over budget this month in the grocery budget. I realize that budgets aren’t bullet proof and sometimes we will go over budget- we are human!  We start this week at $244.75 that’s already $54.75 over our $190.00 budget this month.- See all updates at the end of post as this number has changed! There are 2 reasons why we are going over budget 1- We are stockpiling items that are a great price 2- Shoppers Drug Mart 20x point event I don’t know that every time there is a Shoppers Drug Mart event we take part in that we will go over budget but this time we have. We will see our grocery budget eventually go up starting in July as we host students from Europe for the summer. We begin to stockpile items […]

How We Designed Our Budget Step 4-Notetaking

Hi there Folks~ Mr.CBB here… If we’ve learned anything about budgets over the past year it’s that you need to learn how they work before you carry out one.  I admit we jumped in feet first and have learned along the way. This tactic hasn’t been so bad but it can get frustrating, especially if budgeting is a new world for you.  Learning first then proceeding step by step is what we should have done. What we’ve learned over the past couple months is that there were ways to simplify our budget. We found errors in our budget and now realize that we need to have a completely separate Emergency Savings account. You will see all the changes when I post our February 2012 Budget Update. The one thing that has helped us to make these changes is that we kept such detailed notes. This is why I am taking you to this topic in Step 4 Notetaking. Notetaking is an essential part of budgeting. Why you ask? Let’s take a look together here: Scenario: When you were in high school and the teacher taught you a subject did you take notes? Probably, right? Why? So you could take the notes  home and study them to answer questions on a test […]