The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

The Grocery Game Challenge Oct 15-21,2012~ Welfare Food Challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge

Yesterday I posted here at Canadian Budget Binder a post about the “Welfare Food Challenge -$26 For 1 In The Grocery Budget” that I was joining. The Welfare Food Challenge out of BC began today Tuesday Oct 16 and will run until Oct 22,2012. In that post I posted about what I would have liked to have in my grocery cart when I walked out the store all for the prescribed total of $26.

Shopping Overview

Waking up this Tuesday morning it was hard not to have my usual coffee so instead I poured my bowl of bran flakes with milk, popped a piece of bread in the toaster and whipped up a brew. Tea was much cheaper to purchase than coffee and although I drink coffee in the morning my day typically includes a tea or 2 so it wasn’t so bad. The only downside is I have no sugar for my tea but I’m not complaining at all. Probably best for me to be honest.

I’m sure once you read the pre-shopping list yesterday you thought it was near to impossible and you were right. I wasn’t able to get everything on my list and it sure did cause a bit of a panic for me. I struggled in the shop with pricing (good thing I brought the calculator) because I had to create meals on the fly with what I could afford.

We were tallying up our products in the aisles and honestly we had a cart filled with reduced produce such as peppers, mushrooms and apples all of which ended back on the shelf. They were a great deal but we just couldn’t account for them in our budget.

I had to think bulk and basics before anything for this first week as I wanted to put myself in the shoes of a welfare recipient starting from nothing. When I thought about what I wanted to eat so I wouldn’t go hungry I needed sustenance and that meant rice and beans. I figured that this week with my $26 I would get bulky items such as 2 kg of rice and 2 loaves of bread and a 2 lb bag of carrots etc and next week (hypothetical) I would buy other items such as different spices, condiments etc.

I thought if I could buy larger sized products it would save me money as it  bothered me to spend more money on smaller items when for a dollar or so more I could get a larger version. It made more sense to stretch my dollar that way. If I received money as a monthly payment from welfare I would certainly do the math and buy in bulk to make certain items last all month. So although I won’t have fruit in the diet this week I won’t go hungry and I can make up for it my next grocery shop. I would have loved to follow the Canadian Food Guide but I struggled to make decisions.

I didn’t get much in the way of meat as it just wasn’t feasible for this budget. I did manage to get fish which was on sale from $5.99 to $1.99. Almost all items were on sale or in the weekly flyers and I did price match some items. The shops I went to were Food Basics, No Frills, Wal-Mart, Dollarama and the Bulk Barn. Two of the shops were in walking distance of each other in one plaza and the other in another meaning 2 bus trips. Alternatively one could Price match at Wal-Mart or No Frills all the flyers sales to save a trip provided these shops were in their city or in their walking or biking vicinity. I know some fans I chat to have only 1 shop in their town or have far distances to travel so they have to shop at the grocery store closest to them. It really depends on where you live.

I did manage to use $6.00 in coupons on products that I purchased because I had the coupons to use. I certainly didn’t see the point of paying flyer price knowing I had coupons to save money. Canadian Coupons like I mentioned in my first blog post of this Welfare Food Challenge are generally available to a good proportion of the Country. Coupons are one way you can save a bit of money in the grocery budget to stretch your dollar like in this case.

Overall shopping for this food took more time than usual and Mrs.CBB and I got into some heated debates right in the grocery aisle about the money and what it should be spent on to make the food last the week. Mrs. CBB wanted to come along for the support to see if she could help out. We would put items in the cart and the numbers wouldn’t add up and we couldn’t make meals with the cost of some items and didn’t know what our next move was. I can see how easily one would opt for boxed food as the frustration to make a meal was heightened for us each time we didn’t have money for all the ingredients. This is why I opted to buy big this week so I could build up my pantry stock the next week and so on. I didn’t want to give in to the frustrations however we did opt for boxed pasta sauce which was on offer $0.25 reg $3.xx each. This will make 2 pots of Pasta Sauce and is dehydrated tomatoes and spices. I couldn’t afford to make a pot of pasta sauce unless I gave something else up so that option best suited my needs. Although the can of tomato paste I purchased could easily be transformed into a sauce with some oil, salt, chicken cube, lemon, pepper, water, garlic and onions.

Today for lunch I had an egg sandwich with one boiled egg, lettuce, salt, pepper on 2 pieces of bread topped with a little olive oil in place of typical mayonnaise or other condiments.  We already had a new loaf of bread out so I substituted one loaf that I purchased for the one I had out already. For beverages I’ve been drinking water and tea but might make a lemon water with my lemon and lime rinds for tangy flavour. Tonight for dinner I will make Black Bean and Fish Burgers with a side of 1 boiled beet, rice sautéed in garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and a touch of lime and a green salad with grated carrots, onions, salt, lemon and a touch of olive oil. I’ll post pictures later this week of all my food and my final thoughts or you can follow me on Facebook where I will update what I am eating daily and chat with my fans.

Mrs. CBB and I never bicker about money and this opened our eyes to an entirely different aspect of money fights and money problems in relationships. We later talked about the shopping experience as a couple and realized that even the best of plans can go belly up but we struggled through it with clear communication and look forward to how my week with this Welfare Food Challenge will unfold.

  • What recipes would you make with the items I purchased?
  • What Items would you buy if you had another $26 next week?

My $26 Welfare Food Challenge Grocery Shop

  • 1 dozen Large Eggs – Sale $1.99 PM Shoppers Drug Mart (SDM) to Wal-Mart (WM)
  • Black Pepper Corns – $0.07  Bulk Barn
  • Knorr Chicken Cubes (8)- $1.00 Dollarama
  • Wonder Bread 2 loaves Sale $1.97 each No Frills (NF)  (Used Buy 2 Save $2.00 coupon)  $3.94 – $2.00 = $1.94
  • 1x Head of Iceberg Lettuce Sale $0.97 (WM)
  • 1x 2 Lbs Carrots Sale $ 1.27 Food Basics (FB)
  • 1x 2 lbs Yellow Onions Sale $1.27 (FB)
  • 1x 5 lbs Beets Sale $1.00 (FB)
  • 1x 2 kg of Mr.Gouda Rice $2.49 (FB)
  • 1x Bag of Black Beans $1.19 (FB)
  • 1x 4 Litres of 1% Milk Sale $3.88- $1.00 coupon=$2.88 (FB)
  • 1x Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (500 ml) Sale $3.00-$1.00 coupon =$2.00 (NF)
  • 1x Lemon $0.37 (WM)
  • 1x Lime $0.33 (WM)
  • 1x Tomato paste $0.49 (FB)
  • 1x Box of salt $0.59 (FB)
  • 1x Bag (900 g) Primo Pasta Sale $1.25 (FB)
  • 1x Box of Bran Flakes Cereal $2.99- $2.00 coupon =$0.99 (FB)
  • 1x Pack of 3 Garlic $0.67 (NF)
  • 1x Box of Black Tea 40 bags $1.00 Dollarama
  • 1x Box of 2 sachets (50 g each) of Loney’s Pasta Sauce Sale $0.25 (NF)
  • 1x Bag (400g)  of Basa Fish Fillets Sale $1.99 PM Zehrs to (NF)

Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results for Mr. and Mrs. CBB
Total Grocery Budget for the Month for 2 Adults:$190.00
  • Dollarama $2.00
  • No Frills $6.85
  • Wal-mart $3.66
  • Food Basics $13.42
  • Bulk Barn $0.07
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Week: $26.00
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $6.00
  • Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
  • Total Spent This Week:$26
  • Total Spent So Far for October: $25.35+$0+$26=$51.35
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of October: $138.65
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $138.65
  • Total Coupons Used This Month : $4.00+$0+$6.00=$10.00

If you missed posting your shop last couple of weeks you can post it now.

What did you spend this week in your Grocery Budget? Post your shop to WIN!!

Also this month if we gain 5 new grocery game fans who commit to posting their shop I will draw a second winner. With grocery prices on their way up again in the new year 2013 it’s time to take control of the grocery budget and stick to it.

What are your reasons for joining the Grocery Game Challenge?

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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 posters 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 so if you miss a week you can go back and post so you still get your entry in the monthly contest.

Canadian Coupon Match-Ups- Match your coupons with flyer sales!

Here are your Coupon Match-ups for the week October 12-18,2012  from around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better. Just one of my favourite Couponing sites for finding the hottest grocery deals in Canada! Check it out!

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

If you are new Start here!

Grocery Game Challenge Rules

Do you have a Question for Mr.CBB please click HERE to ask him!

You can Follow Canadian Budget Binder on Twitter HERE or Facebook HERE and Pinterest Here. 

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”- No Spam, I promise!

Are you on Mr.CBB’s Blog Roll? Check HERE… if not and you want me to check out your blog and add you, come introduce yourself.

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

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  1. Yes totally jinxed! But on the mend now and happy to have gotten a good deal on halls when I use them so much, kinda like candy, when sickie poo.
    I do trade coupons and it depends on how much time I have as to how much I trade or looking for. Sometimes it really makes it worth my while and other times not so much.
    Sometimes working at a grocery store can lead to temptation and just the conveniece too can really test you and your budget, lol my freezer can prove it!
    Also really glad and thankful you did this welfare challenge. Opened the eyes of many! maybe some will apperciate what they have and maybe try to stretch their budgets a little further

    1. Sickie poo… now you’ve opened yourself up to some Mr.CBB teasing lol…. Sickie pooo. I’m sure working at the grocery store is great because you will see the coupons first and get some great deals and discounts. Thanks, I just posted my follow up to The Welfare Challenge so you can read my final thoughts. It’s in this weeks Grocery Game Challenge Post. Mr.CBB

  2. Ok…Bear with me….I did a HUGE shop this week….but most of this will last weeks!!!….only hope to buy bread and milk and maybe a couple fruits in the next few upcoming week or two. My freezer and fridge was completely empty…thawed it out and cleaned it…and my pantry was pretty bare too. So here goes

    Giant Tiger

    Yogurt 1.48 x2=2.96



    Lemonade 0.64×2=1.28
    cream cheese 2.98
    cheese slices 2.77
    cat food 12.00
    bagels 1.98
    cookies 1.88×2=3.76
    Bread 2.27 -FPC =free

    •Total Coupons Used: $2.27
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $26.33

    No frills

    Coating Mix 2=1.92
    Beef Broth 1.99
    Cake Mix 2/1.88=1.88
    Frosted Flakes 4.97
    Lemonade 2/0.88=1.76
    Cheese 3.88×2=7.76
    Dish Soap 2/1.97=3.88
    Purex Laundry Soap 3.97-1.00c=2.97
    Cat Treats 2.88
    Yoplait Tubes 1.97-0.50=1.47
    Butter Tarts 3.00
    Chicken Strips 4.88
    Chicken thighs 3.29
    Steak 6.57-1.97=4.60
    Ground Pork 5.52
    Chicken burgers 4.88
    Sausage 5.32-1.60=3.72
    Bacon 3.99 (OUCH)
    Hot dogs 0.88
    Ribs 6.23
    Ground Beef 5.99-1.80=4.19
    Ground Beef 5.94-1.78=4.16
    Potatoes 1.88

    •Total Coupons Used: $1.50
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $84.39


    Oranges 4.97
    Bananas 1.46
    Grapes 2.10
    Apples 1.49
    Dog Food 25.73
    Bleach 1.98
    Celery 1.27
    Cucumber 0.97
    Romaine Lettuce 2.47
    Dinner Rolls 2.67
    Hot Dog buns 2.14
    Sandwich meat 0.97 X 3=2.91
    Salami 3.97
    Gummie Bears 1.00 X2=2.00
    Orange juice 3.97
    Frozen veggies 2/4.00=4.00
    Fries 1.98
    Margarine 0.95
    Kids Flossers 2.70
    Frozen Dinners 1.97X4=7.88
    Juice 1.17×2-2.34
    Pasta sauce 2.00X2=4.00
    Baby food 6/3.00=3.00
    Hand sanitizer 1.26X2=2.52
    Disinfectant Spray 3.00
    Lysol Wipes 2.00
    Lysol Spray 2.00
    Toilet cleaner 2.00
    Toiler Paper 6.97

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $116.73

    Shoppers Drug Mart

    Water 1.49
    Chips 1.49X2=2.98
    Baby vapor bath 4.49 (OUCH)
    Milk 4.29
    Pop 3/9.99=9.99
    Baby Wipes 10.99
    Diapers 17.99
    Kids Gel 2.00
    Iced Tea 1.99×2=3.98

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $63.58

    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $6.00
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $1.50 (I lost my coupon binder :(……I found it today…arghhh)
    •Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
    •Total Spent This Week:$295.49 *OUCH*
    I am technically over by 145.59 this week…but dont plan on buying anything else…
    Total left for this month=123.00

    I will make it 🙂

    1. Hey Joanne!
      Wow that’s a huge shop! Is your grocery budget an error it says $6 for the month lol. I’m glad you found your coupon binder. Are you noticing any change to your budget or spending since posting? I don’t remember if I asked you but I always like to check in. I know Mrs.CBB has went off the deep end a couple times because she thought she lost it. It’s like losing a purse especially if all your FPC’s are in the binder. Looking forward to your mini shops.. Mr.CBB You get ballot #40

  3. CBB

    You asked about what we grow in the garden. Just about everything as we have a 2 acre garden. I grow enough beans ( different varieties) and peas to freeze for the year. Also can a lot.We also have animals that get put in the freezer at different times of the year. Tomorrow 26 chickens. It helps and we know where our food comes from. It seems to others the good like, but it is a heck of a lot of work!!!

    We have seven children in total. they were all here for supper tonight with spouses. That is 11 sitting down that I was not at all expecting. I had made two dished of lasagne ( homemade pasta), one for tonight and one for the freezer. But when they showed up, both were put on the table. And one daughter went down to the garden and picked fall lettuce and spinach and kale for a salad with homemade dressing. And fresh bread made this morning.

    We eat two meals a week no meat. One is Tuesday soup and bread.

    I would love to do your $26/week challenge but I would have a lot of angry people here if I did.

    One Simple Farmgirl

    1. Wow, that’s alot of people. The Welfare Food Challenge is not my challenge. I only incorporated it with my Tuesday Grocery Game Challenge as I was participating in the Welfare Food Challenge and I had to post my grocery shop in my Tuesday Grocery Game Challenge. I hope that makes sense. A few people were under the impression I put that together but in fact it was an organization called Raise the rates out of British Columbia. It was for one person to spend $26 for the week which ended today. I will have my follow up and our grocery shop for the week posted tomorrow Tuesday and then the Welfare Challenge is completed. I will still post my Grocery Game Challenge every Tuesday like I always do. Do all your children live with you then? Mr.CBB

  4. My grocery budget for the week is $92.31 for 2 adults and 1 child and includes all food, household items, personal hygiene items etc.

    Food Basics
    Selection croutons – $1.29
    Pork chops – sale $5.71 (enough for 2 meals)
    Pillsbury cresent rolls – sale $1.29
    Kraft salad dressing – sale $1.99
    White mushrooms (loose) – $1.19
    Grape tomatoes – sale $1.67
    Hothouse tomatoes (2) – $.77
    Celery – $1.99
    Raspberries – sale 2 for $3.33
    Green beans – $.52
    Baby carrots – $1.27
    Red pepper – $.50
    Romaine Hearts – sale $1.67
    Bag Empire Apples – $3.97
    Peek Frean Cookies – sale 2x$1.88 – BOGO

    •Total Coupons Used: $1.88
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $29.04

    Pringles – sale 2x$1.50
    Dr. Oetker Panbello Pizza – sale 2 for $6.67 – $2c – $1c
    Clover Leaf tuna – sale 2x$1.00 – $.50c
    Canada Dry Gingerale (12’s) – sale 4x$2.97
    Fruit by the foot – sale $1.98
    Scooby Doo fruit snacks – sale $1.98
    Becel margarine – sale 3 x $1.96
    Iogo yoghurt – sale $5.97 – $1c
    Bananas – $1.12
    Acorn Squash – $1.26
    Orville Red. Popcorn – sale 3x$2.98 – 3x$2c
    NN Cheese Twists – $1.69
    NN Pretzels – $1.49
    Mr. Creamy (like Oreos) – $1.99
    Chocolate Chip cookies – $2.88

    •Total Coupons Used: $10.50
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $51.09

    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $400
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $12.38
    •Total Spent This Week:$80.13
    •Total Spent So Far for September: $80.78 + $22.81 + $80.13 = $183.72
    •Total Under spend this shop: $12.17
    •Total Under spend for the month of September: $93.20
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $216.28
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $25.72 + $12.96 + 12.17 = $50.85

    Weekly Overview: So I had another week under budget. Got a feeling this coming week will be a larger shop as I am getting a bit down in some items and we will be eating the last freezer meal I have pre-made this week, so I will need to get supplies to make more. We did eat out/got take out 2 evenings this past week which also kept the groceries down. I didn’t realize how many cookies I bought until I was writing this up. Except for the chocolate chip cookies I myself will not be eating the others, they are for my daughter as a treat and will take her a while to eat them all (and the Peak Freans were a good buy with the coupon).

    Congrats Mr. CBB on taking on the Welfare Challenge. Sounds like you had a challenging week but managed to get through it on budget. Good for you! Sounded like you were also able to keep the meals healthy which can be a challenge in itself with such little money.

    1. Hey Joanna,
      Do you still think you will lower that budget? Remember the more you give yourself the more you will spend. The challenge for us opened our eyes to what we waste. Now we save all scraps from veg in the freezer and make a stock with it. So onion peels, carrot peels, you name it.. it goes in the bag for stock. (just not mushroom peel if you peel yours) Funny how you mentioned you didn’t notice how many cookies you purchased until you wrote it out. Right there is what I am talking about. Typing or writing out your shop makes us Aware of what we are spending our money on. Thanks for making that point. Great shop and looking forward to see what your budget gets spent on the next shop. Mr.CBB you get ballot #39

  5. our weekly budget is $100 for food, cleaners and haba items
    .78 kimchi instant noodles
    $2.97-$1cz tums
    .44×2 halls (clearance)
    $3.99-pink sticker cepacol lozenges
    $5.99-$3C tylenol col&sinus
    $9.15 total oop
    $6 total coupons and pink sticker
    Bought all this stuff cause they were awesome deals! But feel like I jinxed myself cause I have gotten a bad cold with days of buying this stuff!
    Save on foods
    $3.99-$1C Pizza pockets
    $9.99×4-$34C oylmel frozen chicken chunkies
    $8.10 total oop
    $35 total coupons
    $2.50×2-$2C old spice body wash
    $3.25 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    $4.50 pork tenerloin(2 in the package)
    $8.27 top sirloin steaks ( 3 meals)
    $8.91 top sirloin steak/stirfry (4 meals)
    $5.29 4L choco milk
    $6.99 12pk kraft dinner
    $1 mini crisps
    .99 cucumber
    $8.99-.75C cheese brick
    $14.49 boneless pork loin ( 7 meals worth)
    $1 pita chips-clearance
    $3.69 12pk pop
    $2.08 sliced bolo
    $3.39 pepper salami
    $12.01-$8C prime chicken breasts (4 packages)
    $73.07 total oop
    $8.75 toal coupons

    weekly totals
    $93.57 total oop
    $51.75 total coupons
    Under budget again 🙂
    even stocked up on some awesome deals of meat with awesome weekly ad sales! the bonuses of working in a grocery store you learn what good sale prices are. Also that everything is on a sale cycle and every dept sells something at a loss just to get you into the store and that is when you can get the best bang for your buck 😉

    1. Hey Juanita!
      Not a bad deal for Halls, they always come in handy this time of year. Oh no, you got a cold.. haha sorry I’m not laughing at you, with you.. because you think you jinxed yourself.. at least you were prepared! 🙂 You rock the coupons wow!!! Do you do online trading with people for coupons as well? Yes you are super lucky to work in the shop.. I’d be broke.. too much temptation. I don’t know how you do it but you rock it!! Keep at it mate. Cheers Mr.CBB you get ballot #37 I can’t believe how many people are posting their shops now!! Love this.

  6. First time posting

    Family of seven, two adults ( parents) 25yrs, 21yrs, 16 yrs,4 yrs, 3yrs,2 dogs and 2 cats, one income.

    Budget of $300./month

    This week:

    No Frills
    Beatrice yogurt 2.99
    Cheese strings 4.44
    frosted flakes 2.99 ( price match Sobeys)
    brown sugar (1kg)4.27
    icing sugar (.5kg) 1.68
    bird seed 5.88 ( for my chickens due to slaughter this week)
    2 cans black beans (.89 each) 1.78
    4 lbs ground beef ( 1.99lb) 7.96
    banana 1.79kg 1.84
    taxes 1.28
    Total 35.11

    Bulk Barn
    icing sugar .510kg 1.22
    chocolate squares .120kg 1.38
    chocolate chips .510kg 4.77
    candy .030 .21
    tea 3.19
    coupon -3.00
    Total 7.80

    From Jim’s
    cheese bread free
    bag of begals free
    sub buns (3) free
    3 chocolate bars free

    2 bags of milk 3.96 each 7.92
    60lbs of ‘ not for human consumption’ meat for dogs free
    10 lbs of onions ( 4 were bad) free
    3 grapefruits free

    Budget: $300.
    total grocery spent for the month :$297.40
    total coupons used this week :$3.00
    total spent this week:$50.83
    total under :$2.60
    Total left to spend :$2.60

    When I bought my milk at Foodland they did not have the advertised milk in store, but a different brand instead. I asked for a rain check for the advertised special and they gave them to me, enough for 4 bags.

    This week my husband went camping. he needed some special foods. I just got him cheese strings and baked the rest. Saved a bundle.

    I will be over this month. Too many good specials for the pantry at the stores this week, chickens go under the knife.

    However garden still producing root veggies, cold cellar and larder are full.

    1. WELCOME ONE SIMPLE FARM GIRL…>>>>Sorry for shouting but I am always so happy when new fans take the bull by the horns and want to post their shops! There are many of us so join in the conversation, leave comments, tips, advice we are all here to save $$…
      A rain check is always a good idea if a product is out of stock. You can’t go wrong really. The only down side is if there is a coupon expiring soon that you were matching with that weeks product. If you are over budget this month do you minus that amount from November’s budget to keep your Year To Date budget on Track? We haven’t but we will next year especially that we really want to not only stick to the monthly budget but the end of year. I’m impressed with your shop for 7 people and you might be the biggest family that posts their shop so it will be interesting to watch where your money goes. What are some of your favourite budget friendly meals to cook? Our veggies are done now and in the freezer. What do you grow? You get ballot # 36 in our monthly contest. I will always post your number at the end so if I forget it please let me know! Cheers Mr.CBB and Welcome!

  7. 15 – 21 Oct


    1x Organic Hemp Milk 50% off = $1.74 (1st time trying – not bad)
    2x Organic Nature’s Path Cereal($3.34 each) $6.68 – $2 coupon =$4.68
    1x Cornmeal Bacon = $4.13
    1 x Huge bunch of Organic Bananas 50% off = $1.38
    1x Broccoli = $0.99
    1x 5lb Oranges = $5.99
    1x 3L Apple Cider = $5.99

    •Total Coupons Used: $2.84 incl of gas coupons.
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $24.06

    Shoppers Drug Mart

    2x Dempsters Bread $4.58 – $1.50 coupons = $3.08
    2x Eggs $3.98 – $1 coupon = $2.98

    •Total Coupons Used: $2.50
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $6.06


    1x Organic Onion = $1.77
    1x Bag Organic Apples = $4.97
    2x Bag Organic Bananas = $2.43
    1x 3Pk Garlic = $0.47

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $9.64


    1x Villagio Bread $1.99 – $1.50 coupon = $0.49

    •Total Coupons Used: $1.50
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $0.49

    Food Basics

    1x Orange Juice = $2.88
    1x Elledi Biscuits = $0! (SCOP $1.72 scanned it at $1.99)
    1x C’try White Bread $2.99 = $0 (Free Coupon)

    •Total Coupons Used = $2.99
    •Total SCOP = $1.99
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $2.88

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $240 (2 adults & 1 child)
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $9.83
    •Total SCOP this Week : $1.99
    •Total Spent This Week: $43.13
    •Total Spent So Far for Oct: $80.92 + $ 17.91 +$43.13 = $141.96
    •Total Under spend this shop: $ 16.87
    •Total Under spend for the month of Oct: $98.04
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $98.04
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $6.22 + $1 + 9.83 = $17.05

    Still under budget but gonna blow it in a few days by at least a few hundred. Got a call from our farm friend that our beef is going to be ready but haven’t gotten the full price yet! It’s gonna last us a year minimum.

    1. Hi Adeline!!
      As soon as I read Hemp Milk I started to think.. What does it taste like?.. in my head then I read.. It’s not bad. What can you associate the taste to? Is cornmeal bacon the pea-male bacon with the yellow crust on the outside (not sure I spelled it right) That was a good deal on the garlic.. cheapest I’ve seen is $0.57 or $1.00 for 4. We get it from our relatives who grows the organic garlic. OH, can’t wait to hear more about your beef. Mrs.CBB and I don’t eat much but was wondering the cost and what you get for it. Do you budget for this expense each year of just deal with it when it comes in? Great job… you are doing well. DO you find you are using less coupons now? Mr.CBB You get ballot #35

      1. Hemp milk tastes a little ‘almondish’, a little sweet. And yes, that pea meal bacon thingy is just that, have it for breakfast usually. My garlic in the container is growng well so far, it wil be ready after Winter so I won’t have to buy next year. We get half a cow every year. I can’t even recall how much. Once they let us know I’d have a better idea, cos last year they gave us a large cow and we still have some roasts, steaks in the freezer. So they’re going to give us a smaller one this year. So every year the costs is different. So far just deal with as it comes. Initially when I started couponing, I would buy stuff just because there was a coupon for it. Usually there’s a lot of coupons for GMO products but after I changed my diet, I don’t even bother with a lot of coupons, I use coupons from the Healthy Shopper usually or get 50% off at Independent. When I don’t have coupons for organic apples, I still buy them as this is my preference for my kid to bring for snack to school. So I’m willing to spend that money for his health. There’s no avoiding GMOs but I do when I can possibly can. Oh, from the above shopping list, I bought some breads, I’m wondering do you think it’s cheaper for me to bake my bread in the bread machine for 3 hrs and use that electricity and would be healthier or just buy bread? I realise that when I do bake bread, it last only 3 days cos it’s so fresh which I means I have to bake more often. While when I just buy bread they last a week. Hmmm.

        1. I would bake the bread on cheap rate first off and it’s up to you really. I think we can bake bread cheaper than getting it store bought. If you go to Walmart and get that .97 loaf of Italian bread, it’s pumped full of yeast so it expands more thus making more bread and the cheap price. Ever notices it’s crap after 1 day. The best breads are the ones you will pay for like ACE bakery..yes it’s $5.00 a loaf but when you eat it you will know why. So making it at home to me is cheaper in my opinion.. use the good stuff. Cheers Mr.CBB

      2. Ok so here it is, we got a 1/4 beef 161lbs @$2.35 and cut/wrap up of beef @$0.40. Came up to $442.75. But they said $440 was fine. Must have been a huge cow for 1/4. So this is how I’m gonna put in the budget for next year even tho we paid it already. We still have last year’s beef and I still don’t know when we’ll finish them to start on the new ones. The $440 cost will be divided over 52 weeks for 2013 grocery budget – which means that per week I would have $51.54 to spend instead of $60.

        1. Hi Adeline,
          Don’t you just love it when they round down lol. Awesome, that’s what I want to hear. Now you see how you can budget that money. You take the cow expense each month and save it in a separate account if you want like we do. We call it “projected expenses” which are expenses we are saving for each month as we know we have to pay for it at some time in the year. When the time comes the money is ready to go in that account. No need to worry about spending it because you never touch it, you just transfer your projected expenses to that account. We do that with everything we can think of that we know we will buy in the year. If you read my monthly budget update you will see everything we save each month in projected expenses. It was the BEST decision we made after budgeting so we didn’t have to use our emergency savings. Keep at it.. and thanks for sharing the costs of your beef. Mr.CBB

  8. I shop for 2 adults and a 23 month old toddler (omg he’s almost 2 years old!!). My budget is $100/week and it includes health & beauty, laundry, cleaning, etc.

    I had $26.97 left over last week 🙂 I bought a lot this week and also went shopping in the U.S. so I hope I didn’t do too bad.

    Cavedish fries (PM Food Basics) 2 x $1.99
    Dunkaroos $1.98 – $1.00 coupon
    Mott’s Fruitsations (PM Longo’s) 8 x $1.00 – $.50 coupon
    Premium Plus Crackers $2.97 – $.75 coupon
    Quaker Rice Cakes (PM) 3 x $.99
    15 pack spring water 6 x $1.00
    Source yogurt (PM) 2 x $3.97 – 2 x $1.00
    Vitality bread (rain cheque) 6 x $2.00
    Apples $3.28
    Banana’s $1.83
    Grapes (PM) $.66
    Strawberries 3 x $1.88
    Vaseline moisturizer 2 x $2.14 – 2 x $2.00

    Coupons $8.25
    CD $6.47
    OOP $51.00

    Food Basics
    Salsa $1.99
    MiO 3 x $2.99 – 3 x $1.00
    Lactancia milk(homo) $4.29 – $1.00 coupon
    Lactancia 1% milk 2 x $3.88 – 2 x $1.00

    Coupons $6.00
    OOP $ 18.18

    Arctic Gardens stir fry veggies $3.79 – FPC
    PC Honey Hoisin stir fry sauce $2.99
    Romaine $1.28

    Coupons $3.79
    CD $.43
    OOP $3.84

    Mini packs of chocolate bars 11 x $1.00
    OOP $12.43

    Giant Tiger
    Chocolate milk 4 x $.99
    OOP $3.96

    Food Basics
    Distilled water $.89
    English muffins $1.79 – FPC
    Tenderflake pie crust $1.99 – $1.00 coupon
    Lactancia 1% milk $3.88 – $1.00 coupon
    Lactancia homo milk $4.29 – $1.00 coupon
    MiO $2.99 – $1.00 coupon
    Ground chicken $2.94
    Coupons $5.79
    OOP $13.37

    Tops (U.S.A.)
    CLR Cleaner $4.99
    Magazine $2.99
    Homo milk 2 x $2.29
    Baby wipes $.98
    OOP $10.55

    $51.00 + $18.18 + $3.84 + $12.43 + $3.96 + $13.37 + $10.55=$113.33
    $13.33 over but $26.97 left over from last week
    $26.97 – $13.33=$13.64 left over still 🙂

    I did well for stocking up on milk and going to the U.S. 🙂

    1. Hey Jen,
      Yep I heard they grow up fast.. better start teaching him about coupons now!! haha I bet you never thought you would say you went shopping in the USA and you didn’t think you did too bad with your grocery budget.. that’s awesome to hear. English muffins FPC.. what did I miss? Crap I miss everything. That ground chicken was cheap yay!! You did well with the milk as it was a rock bottom price.. Wipes for a buck.. how many did you get? We saw Huggies at Dollarama today for $2 refills 64. WOW you are still under I’m so impressed WOOHOO..(that’s what you ladies say right lol) at least I saw Julia doing it.. Keep at it Jen… awesome.. Mr.CBB You get Ballot #34

  9. Thanks Mr.CBB for your post about the Welfare shopping challenge. This week was a tight one for me too, but wish I had of read this post first. You really do inspire me to shop cheaper!! I already do a meal plan & try to coupon everything.

  10. OK Here’s the shops for this week.. again all at Foodland…
    Oct 13
    2 Tomato soup@ .88-1.76
    1 Michalinas frozen dinner-1.99
    1 bag cranberries-1.99
    1 3lb bag carrots-1.99
    1 elbow macaroni-2.49
    2 Oktoberfest sausage@2/5.00
    1 w/w bread-2.99
    2 raisin bread@3.19-6.38
    2 4l bags milk@3.97-7.94
    1 4l chocolate milk-3.97
    1 3 fruit bread-1.99(had a half price coupon so would have been 3.99)
    1 cider mix-3.99
    1 lb ground turkey-4.49
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    1 roast beef, eye/round-10.41
    Total$68.85, 2.00 coupon on bread

    Oct 15
    1 bag potato chips-1.66
    1 plum sauce-2.98
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    1 box(216) teabags-10.99
    Total$ 26.80, no coupons

    Oct 17
    2 spaghetti sauce@1.33-2.66
    1 Toronto Star-1.43
    1 jar unsweetened apple sauce-1.48
    1 bag crannberries-1.99
    1 4l bag chocolate milk-3.97
    1 4l bag milk-3.97
    1 cider mix-3.99
    1 lb ground turkey-4.49
    1 raisin bread-4.49(.50 coupon taped on)
    1 bag dainty rice-4.99
    1 jug water-5.49
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    Total$49.99(.50 coupon)

    Total for the week-$145.64, with 2.50 coupons
    Under for the week by $4.36
    A slow week for coupons but a couple of good sales for here, the milk was on for 3.97 including chocolate so I got some. It’s the only time I buy chocolate milk. I had to buy the sunmaid raisin bread the one day as that was all they had. I was almost out of tea so I had to pay the price and so you know what’s on sale this week!!! Yup….. Tetley teabags, 144bags for 6.97. I will be getting at least a couple of boxes. The new sale flyer looks good this week so we shall see how it goes. The roast is in the freezer, once I cook it we will get 3 meals out of it. I find the better cuts have much less waste than some of the cheaper cuts. Foodland had started the Turkey Bucks again for Christmas, first week you get 2 bucks for every $50.00 you spend. After that it’s one for $50.00. The Michalina’s and the potato chips were by request.

    1. Hey Christine,
      I think it was you I was telling that the Toronto Star was free at Canadian Tire. Last time we went the box was gone from in the store. Mrs.CBB had a big frown because she always would get one. Did you happen to look? What kind of tea are you drinking for $10.99 for 216 bags? I normally drink about 4 tea a day but I go to the dollar store 40 for $1.00 or wait til the Red Rose goes on offer for $1.99 for 72 although I don’t fancy it as much as the Black tea from the dollar store. We haven’t used many coupons any more because we are either stocked up on items or just don’t need items with coupons. Haha,, I just read about the tea again at the end of your post. I was going to say it’s on sale and Tetley mailed coupons to me when I emailed them for coupons. We didn’t need any tea as a while back PC had it on offer and a coupon for $1.00 off so we picked up a few. Ah well, if I was you stock up if you like tea. Turkey bucks never heard of them. Do you find they add up fast? Thanks for posting keep at it mate. You get ballot #33 Mr.CBB

      1. I think the turkey bucks are just at Foodland, I’ve collected them since they started with this maybe 3 years ago. Usually I get enough to put a good size dent in the cost of the Christmas turkey, this year may not be so much as I really have to watch the money. I have picked up 2 boxes of my Tetley, once each time I was in the store, if I go in again I might grab another. I find the Tetley doesn’t have quite as bitter an after taste if you leave the bag in the cup too long, but that’s me…..I did look around for free Toronto Star’s but the only place I found them free was when we were at Princess Margaret Hospital yesterday for appointments in Toronto so I think it’s just the GTA that they do that for the most part unless they are running a promotion in these parts to get folks to subscribe to it.

        1. I like my brew to be strong so I like to leave it brewing for a couple minutes then I take the bag out. That was a great deal on the tea either way. Ya, was at Canadian tire yesterday and no more free paper still.. ah well all good things come to an end. Mr.CBB

  11. Another No Shop week for us. Most of our meals this week were included with the hotels. We had one meal out courtesy of a 2 for 1 coupon and also made sandwiches along the way. This coming week I plan to mostly cook at the villa but we have got some 2 for one specials planned but we use vacation funds I have saved for our meals and the no shop weeks grocery funds are saved for our Christmas frivolities.

  12. Mr. CBB, I’m getting the hang of this for sure with some minor hiccups. We had 234.64 remaining in our $350 budget.


    Pepperidge Farms Bulk Goldfish carton 8.99-3.99-1.25 coupon
    Safeway Granola Bars 2.29
    Lays Potato Chips 4.29-1.80-.50 Just 4 u savings
    Keebler cookies 4.19-2.20
    Chocolate Milk 1.99
    Wheat Thins crackers 2x 7.98-1.98-2.02 Just 4 U
    Campbells Select soup 2 x4.98-1.00
    Campbells Harvest Soup 2.49-.50
    South Beach Granola Bars 3.49-.50
    Pillsbury cookie dough 2x 5.98-.98-1.00 Just 4 U
    Nestle Cookie dough 2 x6.38-1.38 (cookie dough is for humane society bake sale not for us to eat)
    Eggs 2.49
    Shredded Cojack cheese 8.99-3.00
    Shredded Mozarella cheese 8.99-3.00
    Ice cream 5.99-3.00
    Soy milk 3.19-.75 coupon
    Shedds Spread butter 3.79-.50-.30 Just 4 U-.50 coupon
    Dannon yogurt drinks 4.99
    Lean pockets 2 x 2.59-.39
    Wheat bread 2.79-1.30-.50 just 4 U
    Bacon 7.99-4.06 just 4 U
    Hot dogs 3.99-1.00-1.50 coupon
    Bananas 1.08-.16 just 4 U
    Lettuce 1.15
    Red bell pepper 1.50-.61 Just 4 U
    2.25 lbs grapes 5.60-1.12
    3lbs apples 3.99
    Red leaf lettuce 3.19
    Raspberries 3.99-1.00

    Total 93.35, card savings=28.13, just 4 u savings 9.90, paper coupons=4.90 Total savings=42.93

    Husband spend 20.81 on a separate trip. He was supposed to get Sprite or Gatorade for our daughter who had a sore throat and also bought some cold cuts and things for his lunches. Didn’t use any coupons or save receipt! That’s been a problem of ours. We go in the store for one thing and buy more while we’re there. He felt bad and I don’t think will do it again. Still for the week 114.16. That leaves 120.48 remaining for the month, and I shouldn’t need that much more. We still have enough meat and basic staples in the freezer for a while, but when I have to replace those, we’ll see how well I can do. I went shopping this week with the goal of under $100 and hit it, so I am really proud and thanks again for drawing my attention to runaway spending. I’m also finally working on a budget for everything for the upcoming year. It is not as scary as it once was. Have a good weekend.

    1. Hi Kim,
      Well that’s a good start with the budget $234.64. It gets super easy as you go along as long as you keep organized with your receipts. Honestly we are over for the year already but that’s ok this year was a HUGE learning experience for us and next year will be better. Posting our shop has opened our eyes to how much we actually spend. We have cut down on the items we don’t need significantly.If we go into a store for a certain item we can do the same buying other things. That’s what the store wants and anticipates you will do. My advice is go straight to the item you leave, look up to the ceiling right to the cash, pay and get out. If you even as so look around… YOU ARE DOOMED!! haha.. try it that’s what we do. You have a healthy budget until the end of the month. Budgeting is super easy, really it is and most people get scared of their finances. Even if someone is in debt or spending more than they earn they need a budget. We all need to know where our money is going and I will promise you that the budget will become your lifestyle after a while and you will be SO HAPPY for it, just like the grocery game. In only 3 years we have saved about 100k just by couponing,watching our expenses and budgeting. Was it worth it giving up trips, clothes, dinners.. YOU BET IT WAS… No mortgage and now we can enjoy. It’s not for everyone as people want to spend, travel, and do whatever they do but for others financial freedom is important. We all set our goals and boundaries and for us we chose debt freedom first mixed with fun just not the expensive kind. Now we’re planning our trips!! Cheers Kim!!! Mr.CBB

  13. I’m curious what this does to the nutritional value of the food you purchased. Was it less nutritional then usual? I’m curious because there’s a theory that many welfare people are overweight because the cheapest foods aren’t necessarily provide good nutrients. I’m curious to hear your observation.

    1. Hey! I’m confused with what you are asking me about nutritional value as everything I bought was pretty darn nutritious. As for overweight, there are people who work full time and are overweight. It’s all about how you spend your money… it’s that simple. Mr.CBB

  14. It really shows that false scarcity can really help you get your grocery budget down. Nice work. I think the lowest we’ve ever had our food budget was around $190-$200 per month, back when we first got married. We’re at about $300 now, and it would take quite a bit of cutting to get it back down to $190 (especially with a little one around).

    Congrats on your extreme frugality, now what are you doing with the savings?!

    1. Oh, this is just for one week mate. This Challenge is run by an organization in BC but I posted it in my weekly Grocery Game Challenge because I report my weekly grocery shop there. It was not easy to do this as we had to start from nothing this week but I will make it through. I’ll have another update shortly today. Mr.CBB

  15. Hi Mr. CBB,

    I finally got my shops updated! 🙂

    Bananas 3.43
    Kale 1.27
    Parsley 0.77
    Strawberries 2.27
    Onions 1.00

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 8.74

    Spinach 1.27
    Broccoli 0.97
    Cans of Soup (4) 4.00
    Strawberries (2) 4.54
    Mushrooms 1.47
    Carrots 1.00
    Chili flakes 2.00

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 15.25

    Steaks 10.00

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 10.00

    Thanksgiving pot-luck 15

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    Total Spent This Week:$ 48.99
    Total Spent So Far for October: $95.98
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: -$1.01
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of October: -$4.02
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $104.02

    I spent some time looking over flyers for the first time this past weekend, but still am unsure how the price match will work at Walmart if I don’t have the physical flyer (I tried to get a price match for a video game a couple weeks back and they insisted that I need the actual flyer).

    The $26 dollars a week per person may be tough, especially if you start from scratch. But if you slowly build up your spices/pantry, and have a 2 person home, which boosts up the weekly allowance to $52, it wouldn’t be as bad? Especially since my target right now is $50 a week for 2 people.

    I never thought of checking out Dollarama for stuff; might be a good place to look at spices etc?

    1. Hey Vicky,
      If the gov’t gives a lump sum check and we had $109 for one person to spend I could easily do it with coupons I believe. Like you said it would take time to build the pantry and spices etc but it’s far better than trying to pull it off with $26 a week. Have you noticed any changes in your shopping habits since posting the past month? I just went over our year to date starting with Feb as I believe that’s when I started this challenge and my numbers are off. As the year progressed we got tougher but there were months we were well over our budget. I believe next year will be a winning year for us as we have learned so much about our eating,diet and shopping habits just by posting. The big lesson I learned in the Welfare Food Challenge you can read next week when I do a final report but it’s amazing what I feel. Cheers Vicky.. keep up the great work. MR.CBB #29

      P.S Why don’t you have a Walmart flyer?
      Yep dollar store has loads of stuff!

  16. I am very intrigued by this whole challenge. We are not on Welfare or any government payments, but are a one income family of seven. My budget for food is $300. a month. I hit that mark yesterday with $2.00 to spare. It now means eating what we have. Milk has to be watered down with half dry/half milk. eating from the pantry/freezer and baking with whatever there is. I love that you call it a game. Because to me that is exactly what it is.I do price match, coupons, bulk buying and day old shelves. I calculate and re-calculate in the store, menu check and switch if need be, It is a bickering in my head at the store. I think you have done a terrific job in what you bought a sI can see a few dishes that would get two people through the week. great job, look forward to tomorrows post.

    1. Hi Marlyn!
      Thanks for commenting. The Grocery Game Challenge is something that I started earlier this year. I post my weekly grocery budget and shop and my fans post theirs. When the Welfare Food Challenge came up I incorporated it into my weekly Grocery Game Post since I post my grocery shop in it and $26 is part of my shop. I would love to see your grocery shops and budget and how you spend it each week. Might I encourage you to post your grocery shop? You can read my fans who post their shops in the comment section of each Grocery Game Challenge post which I post every Tuesday of the month. Cheers Marlyn! Mr.CBB

  17. Wow! All I have to say is good for you and you’re doing great! I don’t even know what recipes I’d make with what you bought as most of those ingredients I wouldn’t eat! LOL 🙂 You never cease to amaze me Mr CBB 🙂 lol

  18. i really don’t know how to make it with $26 a week for a person. no clue at all. but as a chinese, i eat rice everyday anyway, so i would pick rice as my main food all week long. i am not that much of a meat lover anyway, so maybe i could do that. however, my husband is a meat and potato guy so cant do the challenge together with you in this house, mr CBB!
    you do know you have my support though. you sure do!!! 🙂

    monthly budget: $260
    already spent for this month(my month starts on 24th according to my husband’s payday): 95.79

    my shop for the past week:
    Giant tiger:
    A&H detergent 2×3.47-1.00-BOGO=1.23each
    resolve 2×1.97-2×2.00=FREE
    veg oil 2.47
    cream 2×1.97
    carrot 1.00
    pumpkin pie 2.97
    pops 2×2.97

    Food Basics
    delissio pizza 2×4.99
    nappa cabbage 2.75
    sweet potato 2.02
    ginger 0.46
    lettuce 1.67
    garlic 1.15
    acorn squash 0.99

    Asian store
    chinese BBQ sauce 4.97
    japanese noodles 4.99
    egg noodles 2.49
    green onions 0.59
    bean sprout 1.00

    Total spent: 56.54
    coupon used: 8.47
    remaining budget: $107.67 (should be able to make it for the very first time, since i started sept 24th!!)

    1. Hey Wing,
      It’s been an interesting week that’s for sure and I can’t wait to write my final blog post on the week. ALl I can say is thank goodness for rice and beans this week. I just went over my gg for the year totals and we are off from our goal. We didn’t start the gg until Feb but this year I’m using as a learning experience. Next year we are buckling down hard for this grocery budget. Some months we were way over and I don’t want that to happen next year. I think as the year progressed we got tougher and that’s a good sign. You have a huge budget left for the rest of the month.. wow… you might make it.. are you excited!!!!!!! What are you doing differently now? You get ballot #28. MR.CBB

  19. Looks like you are doing pretty good with the challenge!! Some days I really wish we were in a bigger centre with more stores that I could work the price matching… We only have Foodland and the Independent so that limits things. Foodland is right across the street but I’d need to drive to the Independent so gas prices becomes an issue too. We are too small to have bus service and it is quite the walk to get out to the east end, with hills to add to the fun. My younger son walked out there once to apply for a job out there and the only thing he got were some nasty blisters on his ankles from his boots rubbing. The Independent has a bigger selection but I haven’t been impressed enough with the prices there, other than the odd sale to make it worth the gas.

    1. Yes that’s where I mentioned that some people may only have 1 shop in their town or have to travel so it might not make sense weekly. You seem to go to Foodland and that works for you which is great. You find some great deals there. Cheers Christine!

  20. Wow. It would be a challenge to get by with $26/week for groceries. Great point on the temptation to buy a boxed meal when finding you could not afford all the items needed to make a certain meal. In terms of what to buy next week, I would look to expand on what you’ll have left over to give a little more flexibility in terms of what you can make.

  21. The thing I notice the most about these types of challenges is the amount of time required to feed oneself. Like you mentioned, the completely new level of grocery store calculations, let alone the time to prepare things from scratch and figure out meals to make out of things you can afford.

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