grocery game challenge 2018


The Grocery Game Challenge -GGC (2012-2018) open world-wide is a food budget challenge for you and only you while hanging out with a gang of other like-minded savers.

The idea is to motivate you to challenge your grocery budget each time you shop. Most often when we feel like we are part of a group of like-minded people on the same journey it makes it fun to report back how you’ve done with your shopping trip as in this case.

Every Tuesday I post the Grocery Game Challenge which helped my family and countless others who have posted their shops over the past 6 years track and push us to stick to our grocery budget.

We also have a monthly stockpile budget of $25 which we use if necessary to stock up on any great deals we find. In 2018 we have committed to one shop-free week per month and are encouraging others to do this as well.

Since having our baby boy just over 3 years ago we have now recognized that our grocery budget needs to increase especially since we buy him foods we typically wouldn’t have bought in the past. In 2018 our monthly grocery budget will be increased to $300 a month from $265 for 2 adults and 1 toddler.


Object of the Grocery Game Challenge


You must commit to one year of tracking your expenses and you will see the savings. Once you read the Grocery Game Challenge rules in the bottom portion of this post you’ll see just how easy it is to participate and it’s FREE. There are no gimmicks and I don’t try to sell you anything. This is a family run blog with real people facing the same challenges everyone else does.

If you don’t spend all the money one week you can put that into a savings account and watch it add up or better yet put it into a TFSA or pay down debt. Some GGC players like to carry it over to the next months grocery budget just so they have extra to spend. Choice is yours.


The Grocery Game Challenge Rules


How to Play? It’s easy!

I post The Grocery Game every Tuesday which includes our grocery shop for the week. You share your shop by copy pasting the outline below, filing it in and posting it as a comment by copy paste.

  • Print the Grocery Game Schedule or save it to your computer for reference. The Grocery Week will be between Monday-Sunday. View, Save and Print >> The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 Schedule
  • Don’t forget to sign up for valuable savings through Coupon Apps on your cell phone. You can also sign up online from a desktop computer.
  • If you shop every 2 weeks or once a month, that’s fine as you can still play. The idea is to make sure you post your shops and keep up with the game. Try not to fall behind or you might just fall off. Pick the week to post your shop when you do your shopping.
  • The object is to work towards meeting your budget goals and getting used to them.
  • If it helps type out your Budget goals for the year each time you post so you keep them at the front of your mind!
  • I suggest typing your shop out in a word document, note pad of even in an email and save the draft just in case something happens as you won’t want to have to type out your shop twice.
  • Please include the brand of the products you buy so we can all compare pricing. This helps us to build our pricing knowledge.
  • I read every single shop and comment on them personally and hope you will motivate me by commenting on our grocery shop. Please note that all posts are moderated so you won’t see your comment until I read it and verify it. My aim is to have them moderated every Sunday.
  • I will track everyone who posts for the entire year and those who successfully finish the year will get to choose a door number from 1-12 and can win up to $100 Cash or a Gift Card. There will be mixed prize amounts up to $100.
  • For those of you outside of Canada you must have PayPal to win and able to accept your year-end prize in Canadian Dollars with no other fees for CBB.
  • If you don’t wish to win a prize at the end of the year post as you see fit and track your grocery shopping. You can chat and ask for suggestions along the way.
  • If you need help email me and I will help you in any way I can. Please put Grocery Game Help in the subject line.


The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 Template


Please use the Template Below to post your grocery shop in the comment section of the appropriate weeks Grocery Game Challenge post as it makes it easier for all of us to read your shop, follow your progress.

You can expand the template as you see fit but in order for us to truly follow your shopping experience the below is the standard posting template. Some players like to add their weekly menu plan, shopping list, goals and anything else they want to share or track throughout the year.

(Below is your sample weekly grocery game challenge chart.)

Once you fill it in copy paste it into a comment of the corresponding Grocery Game Challenge Post.

If you need help just ask me.

  • Name Your Store ex: Real Canadian Superstore
  • Total Coupons Used: $
  • Total Out Of Pocket: $

Do the above for each receipt you have then copy the template below and paste it to the bottom of your shop so we can see your results.

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings) Track whatever you want to track as this is just a template you can work with.

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date:
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Snap Groupon to date: $
  • Zweet to date: $
  • Cart Smart to date:$
  • Checkout51 to date: $
  • to date: $
  • Reebee to date: $
  • Caddle to date: $

GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

  • Stockpile budget 2017 ($25.00):$
  • Stockpile budget used to date: $
  • Total coupons used this week: $
  • Total coupons used to date: $
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $
  • Total spent this week: $
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $
  • Total left to spend for the month: $
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):


This challenge is for you and what you do with it affects your life not mine.

I hope you take part and learn more about where your money goes each month. Post some savings tips along the way to help your fellow savers, that’s the best way to learn!

Look on the sidebar of my blog where I have the CATEGORIES and you will see the category The Grocery Game. Click on that and you will be able to find the week and month you are looking for to post your shop. If you don’t see the week there that mean’s I haven’t posted it yet but I aim to have it posted by Every Tuesday!

Check out my Free Downloadable tools for Meal Plans, Freezer Inventory Lists plus download the Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet FREE!! I’m always adding new tools and downloads so it’s a great page to follow.

Most of all I want all of my fans to have FUN and Motivate each other to stick to the Grocery Budget!

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions at all please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

Welcome to The Grocery Game 2018.


Do you want even more reward savings for your grocery budget in 2018?

Join Now Neilsen HomescanJoin Now Neilsen HomescanNEW: Sign up today! >>> Homescan Canada! Now Accepting Applications from CBB fans!

If chosen you will receive rewards by scanning the bar code on your grocery purchases and completing fun surveys with the scanner provided to you from Homescan Canada.

One registration per household. Once you sign up using the link above you will be put on a reserve waiting list and randomly selected households will be chosen.  Sign up now…it’s worth it!!





  1. Found it!

  2. I’m late! My target food budget for the 6 of us (age range 12 to 89) is $600 for the month. I don’t include personal care items in that budget. It does include pet food (but not barn animal feed). I’m aiming for roughly $150/week. I don’t generally clip coupons, and I don’t plan my meals around the sales flyers. My pantry is currently pretty well stocked, so that helps with keeping the budget down for this month. I stock up on items like flour, canned tomatoes, butter and baking goods when they are on sale. Half of the house is vegetarian, so we don’t eat much meat, which also helps keep costs down. This week I shopped only at Walmart and spent $97.05 on groceries – that included milk, cheese, produce, and packaged cereal on sale. I’m going to try using the envelope budget method for food this month and put any savings in our summer trip jar.

    • Hi Mary,
      Welcome! Are you participating in the challenge for 2018? If yes, have a read of the grocery game challenge rules as there is a format to follow. Each of your weekly, bi-weekly or monthly grocery shop (whenever you shop) goes in the comment section of the weekly Grocery Game Challenge post on Tuesdays. Last week I forgot to label the post The Grocery Game Challenge but you can find it here. If you need any help let me know. 🙂 Mr.CBB

  3. I am determined to do this and gain some tips on saving money on groceries and meal planning. 2017 was the year I started living by myself and $200/mo seemed reasonable for 1 person but every month I would go over by about $50. Part of it I know is the packaged meals/snacks. I also include dining out/takeout lunches/meals in this budget because I made the choice of not eating what I have in the fridge. I hope to start buying smarter and eating healthier in 2018.

  4. Hi Mr. CBB and CBB community members!

    I have downloaded the schedule and plan on doing the GGC in 2017. Is there somewhere specific where we sign up for the GGC, or are we automatically enrolled into the game once we post our first shop of 2017?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Lana,
      No you just go ahead and post and I track your entries on my end. You’ll get a ballot number with each shop which you can track as well. Mr.CBB

  5. I am very excited for a fresh start in 2017.
    I used the GGC and budgeting tool early in 2016 and I made some great progress in becoming debt / mortgage free, and then life happened and … well… I am back to recording every item and challenging myself to live comfortably on a budget.
    For 80$/week I should be able to feed myself well including healthy, less processed foods.

    The good thing is: I know THIS WORKS!

    When I started in 2016 I successfully reduced my debt quite quickly by 10k. I was amazed! Yes, granted it’s a little time consuming to flip through flyers and maybe even to clip coupons and match them with flyer specials. But it also pays pack! Quickly!

  6. keith durrant says:

    any amount of money for groceries is welcomed

  7. keith durrant says:

    the price of food now is crazy, so any amount of help is welcomed , 500 a month is a min base at this household lol

  8. Penny Gunderson says:

    I got a great dehydrator this week at the recycle centre for $3. I will use this to dry vegies like the peppers and mushrooms I don’t use in sauces and stir fries.I also will dry fruit like ripe bananas for my trail mix.

    • Hi Penny,
      Please check your email as I’ve sent you an email about the Grocery Game Challenge. If you do not get it check your junk mail or email me. 🙂 That’s a great price for the dehydrator as they can get pricey. I like the idea of drying the fruit. Let me know how you like it.

  9. I have a monthly budget of US $300. But, I’d like to lessen it down to $250 or even $200. I think we can because at this time everyone in the family is health conscious on what they eat and do so basically we have more veggies and less meat. And, I am trying to budget each meal we have on the table by looking for means to save money on groceries.

  10. Wait a sec…. am I in the right place to post? Uhhh?

  11. we have a grocery budget that fluctuates as we have 5 adults in the family but 2 have been away for most of the year for school in other places. so our budget when 3 of us are at home is $150 per week because I we eat tons of fresh veggies and they are expensive in my area. i need to increase the budget when the other two are around (like during Christmas and summer holidays) to $200 per week, because they like to eat more meat than the other three of us. I shop all over to get the best deals. In western Canada we have a great deal at Safeway on mondays–called Safeways’ Twitter deal. Like yesterday for example, you buy one each of the following and give the cashier the code (smart phone or on a piece of paper–as I don’t have a smartphone)… The deal was a package of Eggo waffles, a 2 litre Tropicana juice plus a bag of Compliments brand berries for $7.99, just on mondays. So I am sure to always go out and get the twitter deal which changes weekly as it is such an awesome deal. The berries alone have a regular price of $6.89. Now our Co-op grocery stores have a Tuesday deal (this week it is pumpkin pie and topping which we don’t eat). I do find the twitter deals to be more processed, but i like the convenience once and a while, and we would not be getting any orange juice without a deal like that. So I sent my husband and daughter out to the store to get the deal as well (1 deal per person). I buy all my toilet paper, peanut butter, milk and lots of things at Shoppers Drug mart because the points add up quickly if you use them on bonus redemption day too. There are good strategies to save money if you have the time and inclination.

    • Hi Lori,
      Thanks for stopping by to share some tips and how you score some great deals. I’m in Ontario so I didn’t know about the Twitter Deals. I’ve actually never heard any of my fans mention it before so I’m going to mention it to them. I think it’s a great way to score some deals and like you said you wouldn’t buy orange juice if it weren’t for the Twitter Deal. I’d love to have you post your shops with us in the Grocery Game. If you need any help just email me or PM me on FB and I can help you get started!! Happy Shopping and Saving Mr.CBB

  12. Hi re:your $235.00 a month grocery budget, is that just food or does it include personal toiletry items, pet food and also cleaning and paper products like paper towels/tissues and toilet paper? just curious. Our budget for 2 adults is closer to $400.00 thanks in advance, barb

    • Hi Barb,
      We had a pet but he had his own budget category as does our son for baby food and other products like diapers. wipes, kleenex etc. Everything is included in our grocery budget apart from health and beauty and healthcare and prescriptions. We are well stocked on toiletries from using coupons over the years so we don’t really buy much but if we do it likely ends up under health and beauty category. We also use vinegar and water mostly for cleaning everything now.

  13. Hi Mr. CBB, I have been challenged by this. I have tried this grocery challenge in 2014. As a matter of fact, it taught me a great lesson, how to manage grocery budget in a right way. It was hard during the challenge but it was all worth it in the end. I would try again this challenge. Thanks for the idea.

  14. I just realized I totally forgot to do my weekly overview lol. Anyways, I was a little over this week but can easily make it up as I was under last week and there are still two more shopping weeks left. I am trying eat a little healthier, snacking on less crap and more veggies and better portion sizes (I will NOT call it a diet…I don’t believe in diets, just changes of lifestyle) therefore there will be more veggies and fresh stuff on my list and maybe making it a little more expensive. I do try to just go by what’s on sale and price match to help out the budget.

    • I’m so happy to hear you are giving up the crap Jen…. i knew you would do it on your own… it takes willpower but if you don’t buy it you won’t eat it either as our bodies just don’t need it. Make homemade treats that are healthy or splurge once in a while making homemade cookies like we do and I know you already do.. or my brownies wink wink….. You will be able to stick to your budget even if you buy more veg because you are no longer buying what you don’t need. 🙂

  15. I cant thank you enough. I feel a weight has been lifted. For once I dont feel I tackling this challenge alone. Its a huge relief to know there is support out there with matters like this. Most often when these types of sights and online supports are found they are not Canadien.
    I look forward in connecting with other fans and joining the contest.
    Thanks Again

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Hearing your enthusiasm makes me so happy. If you need any help getting started simply email me and I will guide you along no problem. Mr.CBB

  16. Jeanette Belanger says:

    I just found youre site and thinks its what I have been looking for. I am just wondering where and how to find coupons and other tools to save to the extent others due. I struggle greatly with a very low income and 2 daughter with a gluten allergy. Trying to afford the healthy food they need is extremly costly. Also is often not sold in youre commercial grocery store.
    Thank you and i look forward in hearing from you.

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Welcome to CBB~ I would love to have you play The Grocery Game Challenge with us each week as this will put your grocery budget into perspective as it has with many of our GGC players. I have many posts which you can find in each weeks grocery game challenge post that are linked to important grocery saving posts. I do have a post on the blog called Where to find Canadian Coupons… which might help you out. A couple of my coupon blogger friends run blogs that have all the coupon resources you will need such as Save Big Live Better and Coupon Christine. If you need any help at all please ask as we are all willing to answer questions and help each other out. Please join my Facebook page as you will get to meet some the most amazing fans. I will also post your question there tonight in hopes of getting more feedback for you in hopes of helping you out further. The fans have a wealth of knowledge that they are not afraid to share with everyone. Thanks again and I look forward to chatting with you Jeanette.

  17. Our financial situation is changing a great deal next month and I found your site while researching ways to be frugal and still eat healthy. Your site is geared towards a 2 person household, I am wondering what advice you would have for someone to get started with a family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 10. Oh, and the adults are both trying to make healthier choices and lose weight. Any suggestions/advice would be most appreciated. Love your page!!

    • HI Christine!
      Thanks for dropping by and becoming a fan of the Canadian Budget Binder community. I would love to have you join my weekly Grocery Game Challenge so we can all motivate you along with your grocery budget. If you have any questions at all I am always here to help or any GGC fan is willing to help out. I took your question above to my Facebook page to share with my fans. ( I hope you are a fan 🙂 and below are all the answers from my fans for you.. I hope they offer you some insight to help you out. Please if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Cheers Mr.CBB

      • Jo-anne Tjerno When i was on maternity leave I had a budget of 150 a week for a family of four as well as three pets….i did very good at sticking with it between couponing and price matching. Recently we changed our life style to healthy eating and organic eating. Thought our budget would double. By cutting out pop, take out and processed foods my budget has stayed the same. I meal plan every week and stock up whenever there are sale items same as before.

      Sally Tieger Pyle Cooking from scratch is not only cheaper, it is healthier. You can edit out what you don’t want (such as sodium). If you are going for more organic foods – look for the list of the 10 dirty fruits and veggies and only buy them organic, the others don’t matter as much. Freezer cooking is also a great way to save money. Cooking in bulk saves fortunes.

      Beth Anne The best start is to cook from scratch. Choose lots of healthy fruits and veg, following the advice Sally shares above. I’ll also add that the more vegetarian meals you can incorporate, the further your budget will stretch. Eggs, beans, and whole grains are your friends. Pinterest is a great place to start if you’re looking for new ideas. Type an ingredient or a dish name in the search bar and you’ll have aceess to hundreds of recipe ideas.

      Penny Wise I frequently feature the website $5 Dollar Dinners on my FB frugal tips page Real Penny Wi$e, check both of them out for lots of great ideas

      Karen Smith I find meal planning really help. I make freezer meals many site with great recipe. Cheap health meals.

      Lisa Stockwell I have learned that couponing saves me a lot of money! We also buy fresh fruit and veggies when on a great sale, and freeze them. As said before cooking from scratch.
      Beth Anne Another tip? Even if you’re on a very tight budget, you should try to stock up on staples. You don’t need to do it all at once, but if you pick up something extra (flour, sugar, rice, pasta, barley and other grains, oatmeal, dried beans) every time you’re able, you’ll soon build a stock of foods to fall back on should the end of the budget fall before the end of the month.

      Lins Glover Can you link them sites Peggy thanks

      Christine Battrick McLean We use our slow cooker and bread maker – really keeps the cost of food down- canning and freezing in the fall helps too

      Lynda Rowan The pantry staples really do help a lot. Cooking with crock pot helps. Cooking inexpensive meals larger than needed and freezing the planned overage means you are stockpiling meals ready to heat n eat. Stew, chili, spaghetti, soups etc. Really are money savers. I have put all kinds of meals away in the freezer as planned overage. You can even individualize with the foil dishes and put intended persons name on with sharpie. Goulash is great planned over.

      Christine Weadick To all the above I can add to join us on the What’s For Dinner link every night. We share our meals, recipes, ideas, sales and hints for frugal meals. I am feeding 4 adults and it isn’t easy to do!! I use up leftovers all the time!! I have a number of ways to use them up depending on what is left over… I get staples on sale and I use coupons for what I can. Sometimes if you look at the sale tag on the shelf you can tell how long the item will be on sale, my store across the street has price cuts that last 4-5 weeks so those things I do a slow stock up, buying one or two products every time I go in so by the time the sale ends I’ve got a nice amount stockpile.

      Geri Elkins-Alexander Coupon. Stockpile when items on sale, rotate your stock so it stays fresh. Milk freezes pretty well, sometimes texture changes a little depending on fat content. Watch sell by day.

      Sally Tieger Pyle Beth Anne’s tip for stocking up is a good one. I usually like to spend about $5 to stock up on sale items each week. Such as tomatoes, condensed soups, beans, rice. If you have coupons for those items – even better. You will build a good stockpile and then you can make just about anything from what you have in your pantry (just buying a few items to make the meal).

      Nicola Don I agree with the above also if you can get growing your veg/fruit that is a sure sign to save money. Then can as much as you can! I also do a meat pack every 3/4 months ($250).
      Nicola Don This feeds 2 adults and three kids (4,7 & 9) then I have three others occasionally (3,7&9)
      Heather Closet My favourite site is, it gave me the motivation to cleanup our eating habits as a family. Most of the baked goods use the same ingredients so you can make muffins, waffles, pancakes and bread with the same basic ingredients. The site also has info about how they lived on a very limited budget while eating organic and unprocessed food. I feel so much better and easily maintain my weight now.

      Mary Campbell I am a big lover of soup… it’s filling, nutritious and I can make a different variety every time. Dried beans or lentils really help stretch the budget. My slow cooker is my best friend. I throw all my ingredients in and come back later to dinner. I shop the sales…if it’s not on sale, I don’t buy it. I have a good pantry and freezer stockpile so it’s easy to do that now.

      Mary Campbell When hubby was temporarily out of the work force re-training a number of years back, we really needed to stretch our grocery dollars. Fortunately I knew how to be vegan or vegetarian so we ate at least 5 vegetarian dinners per week… omelettes, cottage cheese pancakes, pasta night with homemade sauce/pesto, a bean/lentil soup night and the last night we had a large fresh salad, be it fruit or vegetable depending on what we had in the crisper. One night a week we had a fish/seafood item that was on sale and one night had beef/lamb/pork/poultry depending on what was on sale and would give me good lunch leftovers for tuna/salmon/egg salad/ ham salad/chicken salad/peanut butter sandwiches for lunches with fresh fruit and raw veggies. Granted I was only feeding 2 adults but when we were really strapped, I could make our grocery budget about $100 per month and today we have it at $190 per month. It’s important to shop the fruits and vegetables that are in season. For example, cabbage is cheap right now…I can use cabbage a whole lot of different ways so that it isn’t boring.

      Nicole Jenkins Grocery dollars help, but also look at other areas… Cable vision – can you drop/reduce? Turn the heat down and put on sweater or slippers. Try thrift shopping for clothes, books, or other items, just bring the kids and involve them as well
      23 hours ago via mobile •

      • Christina says:

        This is awesome, and thanks so much for the great tips, but maybe I wasn’t clear in my question. I guess what I was asking about was tips regarding keeping the grocery amounts low with 2 school aged children. School lunches kill us more than anything! If I only had to worry about meals at home, it would different. Right now I spend a minimum of $200 a week on groceries, but most weeks more. I really want to cut that down. Oh, and Mr. CBB, I DO plan on joining the grocery game, I just have to do some budgeting first to see where we are. Again, thanks so much! 😀

        • HI Christine,
          We don’t have any kids so it’s difficult for me to make lunch suggestions as we simply don’t have to do it. That being said CBB writer Katrina just did a post recently on kids lunches that you might like…. I’ll link it here for you. Feel free to ask any questions in the grocery game to those with kids as they all answer each others questions so that might help you out even further. It’s important to build a network of people you trust and you will get that here at CBB. Cheers Mr.CBB

  18. Sarah M says:

    I just found your site this week and am very impressed with all the great info. I started using last month to track my spending and it was somewhat eye opening. All our budget was actually fine (actually surprised me a bit that we stayed within the budget on pretty much everything), except for the food spending, where we spent a RIDICULOUS amount – over double the VERY generous budget I had set. That combined with reading a stat that the average Canadian family spends $143 a week on groceries I knew it was time to crack down on the grocery budget. So I had been doing some research on the internet and came across your site – loving all the great info I have found and plan to start playing along with the Grocery Game too. I have set a budget of $120 a week (for three of us) but am hoping to get it down closer to $80 a week, which when I started building a weekly grocery list should be doable (I started making a list of the basic things we eat every week and their prices and started building a list that way).

    • Hi Sarah!!
      That’s great news! I think that no matter what budget anyone chooses to use as long as they know where their money is going is what is important. We designed our own budget because we wanted something simple that we customized and it works for us. You can read all about it on the blog how we designed our budget in 10 steps. The grocery game, well we have around 10 active participants right now and have for over a year. It’s not easy to convince people that just by posting your shop that you will see how much you are in fact spending. The fans that have been with me posting each week have all made changes to their budget and are saving more money than they did when they started. They would be so happy to have you join our elite little group of savers which we hope to grow with the more publicity that it gets. It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save. Welcome to Canadian Budget Binder Sarah. IF I can be of any assistance please don’t hesitate to ask.

      • Sarah M says:

        Thanks for the warm welcome! I have been budgeting for a while now but always get bogged down with recording the receipts and never make it past about the 10th of the month recording what I spend, so that was the allure of Mint. I am not 100% crazy about it linking up to my bank info, but from the research I did, I do feel comfortable enough to use it. I also just got a smart phone in late March, so like the access to my budget from their app. As I get my spending down (in particular for groceries), I may go back to doing on a spreadsheet at home, but for now, am really excited about working to crack down on our spending. I am working on my meal plan and grocery list for the week and will post once my weekly shopping is done.

        • That’s why we made our own budget as we don’t want to have all our personal info linked like that. It’s hit or miss some people love Mint. I say, use what works for you. I know the fans will be so happy to have you join us. There are about 10 of us now and growing as we are trying to spread the word. I post every Tuesday for the week but your weeks don’t have to match up with mine all you do is track it yourself and I read it, comment on it and give you a ballot entry. It’s all about your budget.. when you shop and how much you are spending. You just post it during the week I post mine no matter when your week begins or ends. You will see as we go along. It’s so easy! Cheers mate

  19. This is a great game/challenge to do each month. I live in the USA. Your budget is impressive. I work on this all the time; my grocery spending. Mines fluctuates every now and then, but tends to be somewhat in the same range. Normally, I spend about $70 per week/ $280 a month for a family of four. During the summer when I have a garden, the budget goes down a little. Plus, if I hit a great stockup on items, my budget goes down some. I love this challenge!

    • Thanks for sharing your insight! I hope you get a chance to start sharing your grocery shops with us weekly. We are a great bunch of fans who enjoy saving $$$ and lots of it just by sticking to the budget! Mr.CBB

  20. Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $115.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    Total Discounts this Week: N/A
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: N/A
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: N/A
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Week: N/A
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month: N/A
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: N/A
    Total Rewards Points Used: N/A
    Stockpile Budget: $enter amount Used: $0
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $17.46
    Total Spent This Week: $22.46
    Total Spent So Far for January: $158.62 
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of  January: $43.62 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    Total Coupons Used This Month : $1.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month : $0
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $158.62
    Weekly Overview: I’m not surprised that I’m over, even though I tried to stay on budget. Most of the stock pile has been depleted this month.

    5 Friskies Cat Food @.69 ea = $3.45
    2 HM Bread @1.79 = $3.58
    1 4L Milk = $3.99
    1 Cheerios = $3.99
    2 Bologne @ 2/$7.00
    Tax = $0.45

    OOP = $22.46

    • Hi DEE,
      You weren’t over by much this month but like you mention you had depleted your stockpile. What is your plan now that your stockpile is low? Will you work slowly to build it up? What do you normally like to stockpile in your pantry? Will you be taking the over spend and applying it to February or just pay the overage and move on? Keep on motivating yourself DEE, you will get there. Plan your shops, stick to the goals!! You get ballot #47.. Cheers Mr.CBB

  21. Hi Mr. CBB. I’m new(ish) to budgeting and newer to healthy eating. I always stick to a grocery list and as close as I can to a grocery budget, however as I try to buy as much organic as possible, I can’t help but notice the price gap between (for example) non-organic garlic from China and organic garlic from Canada (which is healthier and local). I do as much as I can to buy in season, to pick berries and freeze them, but I still can’t seem to knock off the few dollars from my groceries that I would like to because of the organic/non-organic paradigm. I try to buy local and especially try to avoid produce from countries in which the regulations are sparse or non-existent. What else can I do? Is this just a case of investment in one’s body to prevent health problems down the road? I do not buy anything prepackaged (safe for bread), which has cut much already.

    Thanks for your advice. LOVE the blog!

    • Hi Louise,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m also going to paste it on Facebook to see if any of the fans can help you out. Organic costs money there’s no doubt about that. Do you have land where you can garden? We grow alot of veg and some fruits in the summer and store them for winter use. Going to the farms is also a good way to get a better price in Ontario. I’m not sure where you live. You might also look into your local community to see if they have land for use if you volunteer your time. We try to eat organic when we can but it’s not all year long as we can’t justify the prices. We’ve cut back on prepackaged and are working hard at sticking to the basics ourselves. Would you be willing to post your shop in the Grocery Game for one week so I can see how you shop and where your money is spent and what your grocery budget is like? The fans who post their shops, myself included have seen positive results just by posting our shops, planning, and more. Let me know! I’m going to post your question now! Mr.CBB

    • Hi Louise, I do buy organic when I can and these are the produce that I buy organic – apples & bananas. Regular apples have tons of pesticides. I buy them from WalMart and sometimes at the Independent store (check out Loblaws/Zehrs) & No Frills. Organic bananas are only a few cents per lb cheaper than regular ones. If possible also organic celery, I’ve gotten them at 50% off and also carrots as well. But last year I grew my own non-genetically modified celery, carrots & tomatoes, so saved money. Lately, I’ve seen organic potatoes and I’m so happy and I’ve been buying them versus the regular ones. Garlic you’d probably can just get regular ones. Need to know the prices when organic is on sale & they become the same price or cheaper than conventional. I’ve gotten organic milk at same price as regular milk too. Where do you shop?

  22. amie pepper says:

    Great ideas..
    I so have to try this . it will so save me some money and better then that some time.. no more shopping two times a week. I like the once a week or every other week idea.

    we have a budget set for the month but i think i will split it up in to weekly amounts instead;

  23. Joanna Cheevers says:

    This is my third month of playing the Grocery Game Challenge, and I was lucky enough to be the winner of the August draw! I have enjoyed being a part of it as it makes me a little more conscious of what I am buying and I appreciate the hints and comments that Mr. CBB makes. Anyone is welcome to comment and offer suggestions on ways to improve our shops. It’s a way for all of us to work together to encourage each other to make good choices and save as much as possible.

  24. I really love the Grocery Game Challenge! It really has really helped me to lower my grocery bill and follow a budget 🙂 I love that more people are joining in the savings!

  25. joanne tjerno says:

    Hi There! Love this game….even though i have only posted twice i’m on a mission to stay under budget… the past few months i have managed to bring my budget down from 200 a week to 150 a week for 4 people. Thank you for everything 🙂

  26. great step by step post!

  27. Linda Leroux says:

    sighs……..I really need to follow this more closely…..spending way to much on groceries! Thanks again for all you do Mr. CBB!

  28. Crystal Englot says:

    I love how you have laid this out step for step. I am new and am definately going to try doing this. I already love to use coupons, but have never really thought about setting a weekly limit on grocery spending. I live in a small area where we have only a choice of 2 stores to shop from and they are both a 30 minute drive. So to save any money when we go grocery shop is a must for our family.

  29. lvoe reading the posts, wish I was more organized – my receipts are usually lost by the time I get home! Hopefully will start to do this more regularly!

  30. started the challenge about a month ago on this site….its easy. I always was aware of what I spent as I am on a budget but this makes me more accountable for what I do spend.

  31. patti townsend says:

    thanks so much for all the great articles and contests that make ppl aware of how much they really are spending!! i know grocery shopping was a HUGE spending flaw for us, and now with coupons, preplanned meals and a budget, I can feed a family of 4 ( plus 3 cats and a puppy) for under $6o.oo a week 😀

  32. I gather all the local groecry circulars, circle the special sales, each store usually has at least five. I then go through my coupons and match up with the sales and if I have any rebate offers. I then set my route since gas is so expensive and go shopping, I don’t deviate from a list I make up before shopping and I save a lot of money.

  33. Wow. That is impressive. We used to spend $1000 on food a month – for two people! – and that didn’t include the eating out! I’m down to under a $100 a week, including lunches, and I’m even making my own coffee – somthing I never did. 2012 is a big frugal change for me – after years of debt and ignoring the credit card bills, I’m paying for my sins of the past and making a new life with fiancé where I can still live well, but smartly and responsibly – so, I really appreciate your FB and blog entries – I find them really inspiring!

    • It’s amazing how we learn after the fact in some cases. I’m glad you are trying to make a better life for your and your fiance. Just making your coffee at home is saving you a boat load of money. Did you read my coffee/lunch comparison? I hope you keep posting here at CBB as I would like to follow you through the year to see how you are making out. It’s important to talk to others that can help and motivate as budgeting is not easy and sometimes we can fall off track.
      As for this month we fell off track in the grocery department which we knew might happen. We are planning for summer time which I will explain in my March Budget Update. I’m sure we will see our grocery budget go up a bit at that point. (not by much)

      Cheers Erin! Mr.CBB:-)

      • I sure did read it! The eating out less is really saving huge money – I’m a foodie, and also trained as a Sommelier, so I would pay a small fortune to go out and eat and drink and put it on the credit card and then pay interest on it, etc., etc.. The goal now is to put as much as possible on the debt, finish paying for some crazy dental work, and pull off a classy wedding on a budget. I’m lucky, even with the stupidity of the past, I own a great property that has increased in value, and my credit rating is high since I pay all my bills on time (even though, in the past, I carried a balance). I love seeing the debt numbers drop, I love seeing the credit card bill get paid off at the end of the month, I love seeing how much I save using price matching and couponing. I’m getting a rush saving, as I did buying a stupidly expensive designer purse. It’s a different life right now, but I’m happy and don’t feel deprived.

        • You can’t compare the feeling waking up in the morning knowing you have no debt as opposed to having piles of debt on “stuff”. I’m glad you figured it out sooner than later as most people have no idea about money. Good to see you have an investment property. One day we would like to as well. Watching how much you save is fun compared to how much you owe! Keep up the good work Erin and keep me posted on your success!!! MR.CBB

  34. Hey, Mr CBB – Your $64 a week for groceries – does that include lunches to take to work?


    • Hi Erin,
      Yes that includes my lunches to take to work. Cheers Erin, and no problem. Mr.CBB:-)

      • I used pantry items. My use of counops with in store sales increased. I had to find new recipes because eating on a budget can become redundant. I found aCrock pot recipe that was great! I used my garden produce lettuce, dill, onion, spinach, swiss chard, cilantro, lemon balm, radish.Less coffee and pop purchases because I didn’t want to put it on the budget.Read and tagged more blogs from ALL You post.Fresh fish caught by my dad provided 2 meals for me and one for family. My best purchase was 4 boxes of cereal at $10.00 plus 1 free gallon of milk. It gets better, I used 2 manufacturer counops which got me down to $8.00 for 4 boxes of cereal and 1 free gallon of milk.

  35. dwayne taylor says:

    i can’t spend more than $200 a month so it’s $25 a week plus going to food banks…..i know it’s low but i do it! it is tough .


    • Hi Dwayne, thanks for your comments. We budget $190 a month for the 2 of us for groceries and health and beauty which is a challenge. Please go ahead and play the game even if it is $25 a week you spend. You might end up winning here at CBB and learn how to make the dollar stretch at the grocery store. Cheers mate!

  36. Sandie Kurisu says:

    I have a budget of this is very bleak…………. 57.00 per month I shop 2x per month buy only what I need, and cash coupons and price matching. By doing that I have brought in over 300.00 per month to our home of 2 keeps the lights onHow do I sign up for the contest bit lost

    • Hi Sandi,
      Thanks for stopping in first off it’s been a pleasure chatting with you. What I do for The Grocery Game Challenge is I set a budget for my family which is $190 a month for groceries. I then post my weekly grocery shops here at Canadian Budget Binder. We have a no shop week in our budget but I still post that week so everyone can participate as not everyone has a no week shop.

      What you then do after I post my weekly shop is in the comment section you post your budget for groceries for the week and post what you bought, what coupons you used, how much you spent. What we are looking for here is to be mindful of your grocery budget.

      So you have between 4-5 chances per month to post a weekly shop and for this you get a ballot in our monthly draw. Once a month I draw a winner and the winner right now is getting $50.00 in coupons mailed to their home. As the game gets bigger I will have more exciting prizes like $$$$$ ..etc.

      If you need more clarification simply ask I will be more than happy to help.
      Here are my 2 weekly shops for March below. If you know what you bought during those weeks and you know your grocery budget than go ahead and post. Good Luck! Mr.CBB

      The Grocery Game March 2012 Week 1

      The Grocery Game March 5- 11 Week 2

    • Lisa Swetlikoff says:

      I liked you to have Facebook site. 😄


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