The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 5-11, 2012- Holiday Baking Planning

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Holiday Baking Cupcakes

Holiday Baking can see the Grocery Budget sky-rocket as prices for baking ingredients typically rise up for the Holiday Season. This potentially just adds more pressure to the grocery budget and why planning is important. Last weeks Grocery Game Challenge I brought up the topic of  Holiday Baking and how it could be a budget buster. We don’t bake as much as we used to as we found we had more hanging around than we were giving away each year. I don’t remember making any traditional British holiday recipes myself when I lived in the UK  I do remember each year my mum would make a lovely British Christmas Cake, comparable to a fruit cake. Mrs. CBB fell in love with this cake (probably because of all the nuts and alcohol in the cake). Now we have narrowed it down to a few Christmas Balls that we enjoy making and packaging for friends and bringing to gatherings.

What we like to do is shop ahead of the festivities so we are ahead of the game especially when work parties start in November for some folks. This year we took advantage of Bakers Chocolate Squares found at the Dollar store for only $2.00 which normally cost $3.99 at the grocery store. Best of it is, they are the same product. Another ingredient that shocks Mrs.CBB is the price of nuts. Nut prices jump in price from Oct- Jan and we almost question whether baking certain holiday recipes for Christmas is worth it. We sit down each year and make a list of Christmas recipes we will make and plan all the ingredients we will need. There’s nothing worse than having to run out in the middle of winter to get an ingredient.

Yesterday at Freshco they had 300 g bags of Walnut pieces on sale for $3.77 which was a great deal considering last year we paid around $12.99 a pound for these nuts. We picked up 3 bags or 900 grams worth for baking as it is a main ingredient in most of our easy Christmas Balls recipes.  Sometimes we venture off and make special holiday cookie recipes we find on-line or in a magazine where you can get great recipe ideas. You do the math and you can see how much cheaper it was to stock up now on walnuts instead of waiting until the prices hit the roof.  We also shop for butter a few months in advance and freeze it for baking Holiday recipes or Festive Christmas Cakes.

  • When do you shop for your Holiday Baking Ingredients?
  • What are some of the best holiday cookie recipes you have tried?
  • Do you have any traditional Christmas recipes for cookies?
  • Do you budget money for Holiday Baking?

So although we won’t start the Holiday baking bonanza just yet planning for festive baking is important especially if you don’t have separate budget for these expenses.

The Grocery Game Challenge Canada MVP

Lastly, I want to send out some CBB Love for those fans that have committed to playing The Grocery Game Challenge each week with me. What I have seen over the course of the year from all of you is that you share an inherent passion for sticking to your grocery budget. I have seen many of you make impressive improvements and I commend you. I hope that next year we can grow even bigger and encourage others not only from Canada but from around the world to post their grocery shop. So please join in and post your shop. If you have any questions, ask I’m always around. -Mr.CBB If  I missed you I apologize, just let me know and I’ll add you in!

Grocery Game Challenge Results

Total Grocery Budget for the Month for 2 Adults:$190.00 at $63.33 for 3 weeks of shopping with 1 No-Shop Week per month.

Some Store Acronyms I might  use:
  • No Frills= NF
  • Wal-mart=WM
  • Food Basics= FB
  • Shoppers Drug Mart= SDM

Food Basics

  • 1 x bag of mung beans Sale $2.49
  • Fresh Ginger $0.62
  • Purex Laundry Soap $2.97-$1.00
  • Dempsters Farmhouse Bread $2.99-FPC
  • 2 x Hellman’s Mayo- Sale $2.97-1.00
  • 4 x pomegranates reduced rack $1.99
  • 2 x bread sale $1.59

Total Out Of Pocket: $14.49

No Frills

  • 8 x cheese bars (found more coupons at FB) Sale $2.47- $0.75
  • 4 x Hellman’s Mayo Sale $2.97-$1.00

Total Out of Pocket-$21.64


  • 4 x Ital Pasta Sale $0.77
  • 3 x California Walnuts 300 g $3.77
  • 5 x Limes Sale $0.20
  • Dates Sale $0.99
  • 6 x Nescafe Instant Coffee Sale $3.77

Total Out of Pocket- $39.00

Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results for Mr. and Mrs. CBB

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Week: $63.33
  • Total Coupons Used this Week:$5.99+$10.00=$15.99
  • Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
  • Total Spent This Week:$75.13
  • Total Spent So Far for November: $99.21+75.13=$174.34
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $11.80
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of November: $15.66
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $15.66
  • Total Coupons Used This Month : $45.33 + $10.00 Spending Card+$15.99=$71.32

Overall: Well we have one shop left for the month and one no-shop week left for the month. We stocked up on cheese, mayo and coffee this week which will do us into Jan 2013 and then some. It should be interesting to see where we will spend our $15.66. Stay tuned!

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.

  • Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry?

Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be effected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money. We are currently well stocked with those products since we used coupons heavily the past couple of years. We haven’t really stocked up on much but we have taken every opportunity to purchase more paper towel, toilet paper, fabric softener and a host of other items that are an excellent price with coupon.

There are many places you can find Canadian Coupons whether it be in store or via the mail. I would suggest following an on-line coupon community or coupon Facebook page in your area.

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

Here are your Coupon Match-ups for Nov 9-Nov 15, 2012 the week  from around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better. Just one of my favourite Couponing sites for finding the hottest grocery deals in Canada!

Here are a few coupons we picked up while shopping this week.

Canadian Coupons November 2012

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.

If you want to write a Guest Post for Canadian Budget Binder start here!

Santa Cupcakes  Credit -Pinterest 

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  1. My grocery budget for the week is $80.77 for 2 adults and 1 child and includes all food, household items, personal hygiene items etc.

    Food Basics
    Swanson Dinners – sale 3x$1.44
    Betty Crocker fruit snacks – sale 2x$1.77
    Chicken burgers – sale $5.49
    Romaine lettuce – $1.99
    Grape tomatoes – $2.50

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $18.30

    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $350
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    •Total Spent This Week:$18.30
    •Total Spent So Far for November: $103.34
    •Total Under spend this shop: $62.47
    •Total Under spend for the month of November: $58.20
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $246.66
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $17.47

    Didn’t need much for this week, only had a small shop. Yes I bought some frozen dinners but they are for those times when I just need something quick, don’t eat them that often.

    1. Hi Joanna,
      Well that was a pricey Romaine lettuce you picked up considering it’s still hoovering around $1.00 in our neck of the woods. Sometimes what we like to do is if there is a sale on veg we price match it at WMart if we can because we find they get better product than No Frills and basics sometimes. Also if Metro has a veg sale we’d rather get it there if it is the best price in town for the A+ produce. You did well this week and sometimes we need to relax and that’s ok as long as you aren’t blowing your budget and you know where your money is going. That’s the great thing about posting your shop and seeing the numbers. Keep it up Joanna! You get ballot # 38 Mr.CBB

  2. 5 – 11 Nov

    1x Bag Milk = $4.29
    2x Eggs = $3.98

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $8.27

    1x Coffee Filter = $1.25

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $1.41

    No Frills
    1x Catelli Smart Lasagne $2.99 = $Free coupon
    1x Box Oatmeal Cookies = $1.99
    2x Marble/Medium Cheese = $9.98
    2x Ragu Sauce = $1.94
    1x C’try Harvest Bread Quinoa $1.99 – $0.75 coupon = $1.24
    1x C’try Harvest Vitality Bread 50% Off = $1.49 – $0.75 coupon = $0.74
    1x D’Italiano Bread = $1.87
    1x Pack Thin Crust Pizza = $3.99
    1x Peameal Bacon $13.15 – 30% off = $9.20
    1x Regular Bacon = $4.29
    1x Red Onions = $1.77
    1x 10lb Potatoes = $2.96
    1x Butternut Squash = $2.49
    1x Pack of 6 Tomatoes 50% Off = $0.79
    2x Huge Bag of Grapes 50% Off = $1.49

    •Total Coupons Used: $4.49
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $45.27

    1x Apple Chips = $1.67
    2x Quaker Oats = $5.00
    1x Cantaloupe = $1.97
    1x Bag Organic Bananas = $2.17

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $10.81

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $240 (2 adults & 1 child)
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $7.85 + $4.49
    •Total SCOP this Week : $0
    •Total SCOP for the Month: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $65.76
    •Total Spent So Far: $42.28 + $65.76 = $108.04
    •Total Over spend this shop: $5.76
    •Total Under spend for the month: $11.96
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $131.96

    1. Hi Adeline!
      How’s it going? You picked up some free lasagna noodles yay. Was that coupon from a survey? I think we have one somewhere. Your shop looks super healthy and I bet you are coooking up a storm in your kitchen. DO you cook alot of homemade meals? You did very well this wee even with a tiny over spend. Looks like you are going to smash this month! Keep at it..You get ballot #27 Mr.CBB

      1. It’s going good! Weather is quite nice, at least there’s a little sun. I’m excited cos my friends from Singapore will be staying at my place tomorrow just for the night and I’ll be cooking dinner. Got some things in mind but not sure yet, maybe butter chicken with my fav basmati rice. And let’s see what othe Canadian dishes I can throw in there. When they came initially the first and 2nd day the previous weekend, they brought the warm weather with them and broke the Toronto heat record for Nov since 74 years ago whooh!! Anyways,
        I can’t remember where I got the coupon from. I try to cook everyday except the occasional eating out. A number of photos of my dishes I put on . I was really happy to get the super deal on the tomatoes and grapes…they were awesome and the quantity was insane! I didn’t really like Quaker Oats, it’s just that there was no organic oats available that I normally buy.
        Oh you will be so proud of me, I have made the bread machine twice the last few days. And tonight I’ll be doing another loaf and also bake some banana bread with mini chocolate fudge. Hmmm ‘sedap’ – that means Delicious in Malay. Or ‘hern how cher’ in Mandarin – very good to eat. There you go you have learned a few words haha!

        1. Awesome thanks for the Mandarin lessons! SO what did you end up serving your mates from Singapore? I know when my parents came here we were trying to make them all sorts. We don’t eat out really, can’t remember the last time as we have more fun making a mess in the kitchen lol. If you ever want to submit an original recipe with photos for the SUnday recipe post email me as I”m always looking to fill that spot to showcase my fans skills!! Mr.CBB

  3. Hey Mr.Cbb, I actually do ALOT of baking during the holidays. I run a small home based business in Cake decorating, soooo…..the holidays for me generally means lots of cakes & cupcakes. I will put out at least a dozen different cheesecakes, pumpkin cupcakes, chocolate mint cupcakes, a chcolate cranberry cake, numerous cookies & squares. This year I am also going to try my hand at a spanish bar cake.

    1. Hi Stacey!! Link up with me at your site. If you want me to share one of your recipes each week when I post my Saturday Review all you have to do is share posts from CBB on your Facebook page… or link up to CBB… Check out my weekend reviews and you will see I link up to food blogs and recipes. Spanish Bar cake sounds delicious!

  4. I love christmas baking…I normally get together with my aunts and cousins and do a cookie/dessert exchange (my mom has 7 sisters….and i have 6 girl cousins my age) so it makes for a very large score. Everyone bakes one batch large enough for everyone to get some and we all take home desserts. More than enough for the christmas season. I have a love for making plain old chocolate chip cookies, snowballs, or holiday snowman shaped rice krispies for the kiddies. Most of the stuff i bake doesn’t cost too much and i normally have the items in stock (besides the holiday rice krispies) Here is my shop for this week:)


    Aluminum foil 1.87
    romaine lettuce 2.00
    glade solid air freshner 1.00
    five alive peach 1.00
    nestea 1.00
    kidney beans 0.78
    corn 0.87
    air wick refills 9.97
    air wick machine +refill 9.83-5.00 coupon=4.83
    Febreze set and refresh refills 5.97-1.00=4.97
    Dawn dish soap 1.97×2=3.94-1.00=2.94
    Baby Cereal 2.94-1.50=1.44
    Pizza Lunchmate 2.97-FPC
    Coke 2.97
    Clorox Spray 3.47-FPC
    Sandwich Meat 3.47×2=6.94

    Total coupons=13.94

    No Frills

    Cheese 2.47
    Case of Five Alive 3.97
    Fries 0.99
    Bread 1.87-1.5=0.37
    Ham 0.77
    Light bulbs 2.99

    Total coupons=1.50
    Total 12.45


    Formula 13.97



    Salami 2.50
    12 pack of buns 5.00-2.50=2.50


    Total Grocery Budget for the Week: 140.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week:15.44
    Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
    Total Spent This Week:$76.57
    Total Spent So Far for November: $76.77+50.32=126.89
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: 63.23
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 423.11

    Another Week under. Came at the perfect time. Scored a great tv for my daughter. Also managed to take advantage of the superstores 50% off christmas items and got all of my wrapping paper, cards, gift tags etc for well under 20 dollars. Finished christmas/birthday shopping for both of my children and also manged to score a great deal at a new salon. 50% off all services :):):) I must say it was a great week of sales for myself. Have a ton left this month for groceries…..and with me returning to work in two weeks will see how that plays out 🙂

    1. Hi Joanne,
      Wow, that’s one big crew of women that would be baking. Exchanges are great and help to get a variety of cookies together and less work. Oh, what are your snowballs… our Holiday Snowballs are my favourite and super easy to make. Another week under YAY!! So far all of you have been under I’m so happy! Wow, that sounds like a great deal at superstore on the Christmas items before Christmas as well. If you don’t spend all your money this month what will you do with it? Will you be going back full-time and how will that affect your budget? Mr.CBB You get ballot #21

      1. Yes my mom is from newfoundland….she has 13 brothers and sisters…..i dont know how her parents did it….LOL….definetly not for me. My snowballs are made with rolled oats, cocoa, butter, milk etc and rolled in coconut…not sure if thats how you make yours. But they are delicious….once i do the cookie exchange i will have to post pictures to show the awesome score of desserts 🙂 And yes i tried to be under this month as we had some unexpected things come up. I had to switch the daycare i originally had planned so it cost more so i had to account for that…..and i also donated some money to my friends who had a fundraiser this month for their little girl (my daughters best friend) who has recently been diagnosed with neuroblastoma. I go back full time….40-44hours per week….scattered all over the place….not looking forward to it…..but i have awesome holidays and benefits so definetly worth it.

        Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 00:32:31 +0000 To:

        1. nope your snowballs are different than mine but the coconut balls we make are very somewhat similar, well there’s coconut lol… I hope you take piccies and share them on Facebook if you can! Cookie exchanges are great just for variety and it brings people together. I don’t know about 13 brothers and sisters wow, life is so different today wouldn’t you say. Mr.CBB

  5. Finally getting to this, sorry it took so long.
    Everything was at Foodland as usual.
    Nov 3
    100 count sandwich bags-2.78
    2 raisin bread@3.19-6.38
    wax paper-3.29
    1 pack frozen stir fry veggies-3.49
    1 yogurt-3.49
    1 pack cider mix-3.99
    2-Royale TP@ 4.44-8.88(2 $1.00 coupons)
    1 4l bag milk-4.79
    1 jug water-5.49
    1 parm. cheese-5.99
    2 cases gingerale@ 6.29(ouch!)12.58($2.00 coupon /2)
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    1 big pack lean ground beef-14.53 (broke into 8 meal size packs for the freezer)
    Total $89.52, $4.00 coupons

    Nov 4
    1 box salt-.99
    1 4l bag milk-4.79
    Total $5.78, no coupons

    Nov 6
    1 3lb bag carrots-1.50
    1 jar pickles-1.79
    2 dish soap @2.79-5.58($1.00 coupon for 2)
    1 triscuit-2.79
    1 raisin bread-3.19
    1 cider mix-3.99
    1 Royale TP-4.44($1.00 coupon)
    2 4l bags milk@ 4.79-9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 box Kashi cereal-6.49( FPC-6.49)
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    Total $49.12, 8.49 coupons

    This was a total of $144.34 for the week, under by $5.66 with $12.49 in coupons. The cereal was nice with the FPC, tasty too. We got cinnamon squares. The box is already gone!!! I’d get it again, especially with a coupon. The ground beef will last a while, some of the packs are small for things like spaghetti sauce and some are enough for meatloaf or meatballs.

    1. Hi Christine!
      That’s ok if you don’t get it in on time you have all month to submit it. You were under budget this week, that’s a good thing and you rocked out with some great coupon savings. Ya FPC’s are always nice to get! Wow you really got hit on the gingerale, best of it is it will probably go on sale lol..sux when that happens. If we buy a value pack or a big roast we portion it out as well as we can’t eat so much at once, smart you did that. Do you carry over your overage or save it? Well seems like you have your budget under control, let’s see how next week turns out for you. Mr.CBB You get ballot $20..

      1. I try to hang on to the overages as there is likely to be a week I go over….. I have more of the coupons I used for the pop and it looks like a couple of places are having nice deals on pop coming up so I can use my coupons then and save some nice change!!! I need to sort through today`s goodie package as I got an envelope from Shoppers Voice today!! Even the hubby was slightly impressed…. It was a nice thing to come home to today!

  6. Hey MR.CBB
    For the liberte coupon I used the $1 tear pad and $1 coupon zone, I know not all superstores let you do that but one of mine do.
    The wonton wrappers I bought on a whim cause my gf told me some recipes she had been making, the other day a sprayed a muffin tin put two wontons in each cup and scrambled some eggs put them in the cups with precooked up bacon and cheese – made some with cheddar cheese and some with feta cheese, and baked them at 350 till the eggs were cooked yummarama
    The condensed milk was the cheapest I have seen this season and it was purchased on the 10% shop so it helped a little bit and would love to find it for $1.88!
    My cheese brick was 907g the biggest one and was black diamond and bought on the 10% shop too.
    My weekly money starts on thurs or fri of each week so some weeks there maybe some remaining than others are pennies left cause most of our shoppping happens on the weekend or a weekday after I’m done work if I’m not too tired. Depending on the week the remaining money might go towards my weekly treat money – tims for the weekend if it is my turn to buy about $10 or just saved or used for the next weeks groceries and the weekly amount given to me is lower.
    Some shops and deals are hard for me to passby but it is an internal thing about food that I struggle with and try to deal with weekly. Also we are lucky to have jobs and paychecks everyweek that I try to donate when I can wheather it is free with coupons or just a few dollars here and there. A fellow couponer here in my area is loading up backpacks item to keep them warm and a few basic things we use without thinking of. So I emptied my stockpile of items to help out and am looking for other things while we are out and about shopping. There are many that have so little it is the least we can do 🙂

    1. Liberte is my favourite yogurt, I actually found some in the store the other day so I’m waiting for a sale. I wish they would put some out for the tubs though, haven’t seen them. We try to donate as much as we can each year as really we don’t use everything especially all those samples or the one’s they keep offering or sending. Mrs.CBB is like you and I have to tell her no we don’t need it and she stops. You have to step back. I do sometimes read families that are comparable to Mrs.CBB and I when they post their shop and wonder who eats all the food as there is so much every week. We don’t stocpile food so much as it just goes off as we don’t eat it fast enough.

  7. There is metro in the city, but I live 58km away from the city and Metro does not send out their flyers in our Wednesday paper. I know I could go on-line to see their specials but they are way on the other end of the city from where I usually am. Need to watch gas too. Thansk for the heads up on BD cheese though.

    1. Wow, that’s far. We would like to move to the country as the city is too hectic. How do the kids like country life? We worry about having to drive them in and out all the time for activities or to see friends (if we had kids). Yep, they were at metro and at Food Basics… Mr.CBB

  8. I shop for 2 adults and a toddler (who is almost 2!!! :-S). Our budget is $100/week and it also includeshealth and beauty, laundry, baby items, etc.

    I am carrying over $67.92 over from last week which I am hoping to save for Christmas time.


    Pringles 3 x $1.77
    Cheerios $4.99 – FPC
    Eggs (PM) $1.99
    BD cheese slices (PM) $2.88 – $.75 coupon
    MiO (PM) 2 x $2.99 – 1 x $1.00 coupon
    Chocolate milk 4 x $.88
    Chicken broth $1.61
    PC Mac & cheese 2 x $1.00
    Peek Freans (PM) 2 x $1.88 – BOGO coupon (-$1.88)
    Premium Plus crackers (PM) 2 x $1.88 – 2 x $.75
    Raisin Bran $2.75
    Ritz crackers (PM) $1.88
    Yoplait tubes $2.77 – FPC
    Deli fresh turkey $3.97 – $1.00 coupon
    Deli fresh chicken $3.97 – $1.00 coupon
    D’Italiano sausage buns (PM) $1.87 – $1.50 coupon
    D’Italiano buns (PM) $1.87 – $1.50 coupon
    Bananas $1.47
    Oranges (5lbs) $4.99
    Strawberries 2 x $3.27
    Degree deodorant $1.97 – $1.00 coupon
    Dove soap (PM) 8 x $1.94 – 8 x $2.00 coupon
    Frizz Ease serum (PM) 3 x $6.99 – $10 coupon wub 3
    Baby vitamins $9.99

    Coupons $42.89
    CD $14.71
    OOP $65.33


    Hershey’s Drops 3 x $2.50 – 3 x $2.00

    Coupons $6.00
    CD $.75
    OOP $1.63

    Total for the week $65.33 + $1.63=$66.96
    $100 – $66.96=$33.04 left over
    $33.04 + $67.92 (from last week)=$100.96 overage to save for Christmas! 🙂

    I’m going to be under for this coming week too! 🙂

    1. Jen,
      You are going to be under budget again AND you made homemade barely stew.. holy canoli I’m so excited for you!! If you can keep going this way you will have all the extra cash you need for Christmas. I’m sure soon enough Jen You will see that you might be able to drop your budget and put that money in another fund. Slowly but surely. Keep it up!! Mr.CBB You get ballot # 19

  9. Thanks for all your information. I just started couponging and enjoying all the saving and rips. I love making cherry balls…Simple and easy and has been a tradition in my family for years

    1. Hi Rona! Thanks for sharing that! I would love it if you posted your grocery shops each week!! You can read the rules, its super easy!! How do you make your cherry balls? We make peanut butter balls with nuts,dates and cherries.

  10. I make an Eagle Brand Xmas cake that is so tasty and moist! No one will eat a traditional Xmas cake except me and I sure don’t need all those calories (besides I’d rather have some dark chocolate!). But my Mom can’t do baking anymore and she was always the one who made the cake…. Now I do it for her. Other items that are a must in our house are Chelsea buns, shortbread cookies, thumbprints, fudge and rum balls. I already started stocking up on baking goods – Walmart has butter, all kinds of sugar and Philly cheese on sale now. Chocolate chips have been on sale in several places. A way to keep the cost of the nuts down is by whole nuts in bulk with coupons or store discounts (ie Bulk Barn) and chop or smash them yourself. After Thanksgiving cranberries wereon sale, so I froze some. Seems crazy to be thinking about Xmas when it’s supposed to be plus 13 here tomorrow!

    1. Hi Marlene,
      I’m interested to hear more about that eagle brand cake it sounds lovely. Do you have a recipe? My mum don’t bake as much as she used to either as she’s getting older now and there’s no one to eat the stuff but me dad. We enjoy thumbprints as well with mint jelly in the middle. I guess you could smash the nuts if you have the time. I’m hoping there will be a good sale so we can pick up more nuts. I know the weather is great today and will be tomorrow. Can’t wait! Mr.CBB

  11. Being the first week of the month that includes 10% tuesday so our weekly budget of $150 for food, laundry, cleaners and haba items.
    $1.64 halloween jujubes
    $1.94-$1C degree deo
    $4.83-$3 mortin
    $4.83 total oop
    $4 total coupons
    $3.49×2-bogo sale+$1C clorox toilet cleaner
    $2.66 total oop
    $1 total coupon eventhough I gave her two she was in training and really having a hard time with every transaction so I just left it trying not to add to her already frustrating day she was having
    $2.78-$2C librete greek yogurt
    $2.10×2 coffee creamer
    $11.65 2kg choco chips (it is a lot at once but I did the math and it works out to be $1.45 for a pk if you bought the individually)
    $2.97 xmas rice krispies cereal
    $7.97 1kg liquid honey
    $3.98 1kg mini marshmallows
    $6.47 10kg all purpose flour
    $38.20 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    Sobeys-multiple transactions
    .50 choco snowman
    $1.59 pop
    $1.49-$1C up2u gum
    .50×5 halloween candy
    .88 noodle bowl
    $2×8 alberto hair mousse-doanted to the backpacks to warm the heart
    .99×32-$32C carnation evaporated milk- all donated to the food bank
    $5.19 4L milk
    $2.99 pizza pops
    $3.19 candy cane viva puffs
    $1.50×2 cake mix
    $1.99×2 frosting
    $1.99 x2 icing sugar
    $1.25×4 pudding
    $1.29 lettuce
    $1.29 broccoli
    $3.39 green peppers
    $1.50×2 mushrooms
    $2.59 bologna
    $2.99 wonton wrappers
    $2.95 5lb manadrian oranges
    $3.99×2-$1C international creamer
    $2.99 condensed milk
    $6.99-fpc prime djion chicken tenders
    $2.50×2-$1.50C special k fruit crisps
    $1.99×2-$2C crisco shortening
    $2.99-fpc clorox2 stain remover
    $3.59×3-$10.77C iogo manadrian orange yogurt
    $6.99-$4C iogo dessert 16pk
    $4.41-$4C ground beef
    $3.99 taco kit
    $9.99-.75 cheese brick
    $1.19×2-fpcx2 kit kat bars
    $70.55 total oop
    $84.38 total coupons
    $13.29 10% tuesday shop
    $97.67 total discount&coupons

    weekly total oop $116.24
    weekly total coupons/discounts $104.67

    we made it underbudget and also got $10 worth of club sobeys points which I will probably redeem next month with the kids and holidays coming 🙂

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Where did you ever find a $2.00 Liberte coupon.. that is my all time favourite yogurt, What do you make with your wonton wrappers? Wow, condensed milk hit your budget this week… I usually can find them around $1.88 at food basics here. Holy cheese brick? What size was that, I presume it’s Black Diamond? That’s a huge haul of coupons this week, good for you. You also got points.. wow, I’m super impressed with you this week. Do you carry over the money or do you pretend like you spent it all so you fall under budget for the month? Mr.CBB You get ballot #18

  12. Christmas is an excuse for me to spend an ungoldly amount on groceries! I absolutely love sugar cookies. Plus Christmas is when my Mom always bought babybel cheese and other awesome snack things… a tradition I am totally okay with perpetuating!

    1. That baby bel cheese is nice.. I remember eating it in the London UK with Mrs.CBB as that’s where she had it for the first time and she was in love not only with me but the cheese. Cheese is #1 in her books… I enjoy shortbread cookies to no end.

  13. Grocery Challenge for the week of Nov 11,2012

    Budget for the month $300.00

    This shopping trip:

    2 x Lion Chops 6.49 – 50%= 3.23 ( 10 pieces)
    Honey Shreddies 3.99
    Chicken Tights 6.19 ( 14 pieces)
    Total 13.40

    No Frills
    2 Black Diamond Cheese(300g) @ 2.47 each = 4.94
    Family size Multigrain Cheerios 3.49
    NN Instant pudding .78
    NN peas 2.29
    PC chocolate chips (1kg) 6.99
    yogurt 3.89 – 3.89c= free
    2 x bread @1.87 ea = 3.74
    cinnamon bread 1.99
    Italian sausages (20) 6.71
    banana @.67lb = 1.61
    celery 1.47
    clementine 3.77
    English cucumber .69
    mushroom 1.97
    green onion .57
    box of baby spinach 4.49
    8 tomatoes 2.57
    Total $48.07

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    2 x 1% milk 4.13 each =8.26
    Total $8.26

    3 x semi sweet chocolate squares @2.00 each =6.00
    chicken bullion 1.00
    Total $7.00

    Hot chocolate 3.79
    Raspberry tea 2.49
    Total 6.28

    3x cranberry juice free
    2 cow tongues for the dogs free( yuck!)

    Total grocery budget for the month is $300.
    Total coupons used this week $3.89
    Total spent: $83.01
    Total Spent so far :$164.05
    Total left to spend for the month: $135.95

    This week was a frustrating visit to stores. I shop No Frills because that is where my father with dementia likes to shop. He knows the store. However Sales from Freshco could not be matched at NoFrills because of sizing issues. I found myself doing the math on my phone to figure out weather the deal was better at NF or if I should make another trip ( across the city) to FC. I stuck with NF and different options.

    We are eating three vegetarian meals this week verse the two we usually do. One always being soup. I got some vegetarian magazines from the library with some India dishes in it that look really good. I will incorporate this in our home schooling somehow to make it fun.

    I went to Superstore to get the ground beef on for 1.98/lb and round roast for 1.98lb . This store is huge,( I rarely go there) but neither item were in stock, so I got rain checks from a lady that shouldn’t be working there because she treated me like an alien when I asked for rain checks. Good thing about her lack of knowledge of rain checks is she didn’t put a quantity down. I could buy the store out of ground beef with this rain check…… long as it fits the budget! Not having the beef put a damper on my set menu planning for this week. Shall have to dig around for alternatives.

    1. Really, that doesn’t sound like fun. Some of our stores are across town as well so we try to price match when we can. Do you save all of your veg peelings etc and make broth? We do. I have a couple Indian Cook Books as well. I went to India on a trip and just love their food although in the UK it is as dominant as Chinese is to Canada. So do you set a day aside each week to meal plan? What do you do like in the case where a shop was out of a product? You got the deal at Dollarama for the Bakers Chocolate I see, good for you! I see you didn’t have any luck finding the Black Diamond coupons which would have went great with your cheese sale. We found them at Metro. You did well this shop provided all the set backs you were having. Keep it up.. looking forward to your next shop. Mr.CBB You get ballot #17

  14. New stragegy this month Mr. CBB. I am borrowing Mandy at Master Money Mom’s idea having one enourmous day of cooking to last for the month. I made 7 different dishes for about 23 meals last Sunday. It’s all stored nicely in the freezer for me to pull out each night’s meal. I am also going big and adding household and dog food into our monthly budget of $350. I may fail, but I’m setting a tight goal, and I think cooking everything is going to help tremendously.

    Here are my shops for this past weekend:

    City Market-City Market was having a Mega Event sale, where if you buy 10 of selected sale items, you get and extra $.50 off the sale price. Those have the -.50 after the final price

    Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup 1.49-.30-.50
    Campbells Tomato Soup 2x .79
    Campbells Cream of chicken soup 2x 1.49-30-.50
    Amy’s Tomato soup 2 x 2.79-.29
    Star Extra Virgin Olive Oil 8.49-3.50-.50
    Kroger Enchilada Sauce 2.59
    Swanson Chicken Broth 5x 1.79-.80-.50
    Green Giant French Style Green Beans 3 x 1.49-.50-.50
    Green Giant Cream Style Corn 3x 1.49-0.50-0.50
    Kroger Large Black Olives 2 x1.39-.10
    Kroger Creamy Peanut Butter 2.79-.30-.50
    Nature Valley Peanut Granola Bars 3.28-3.28 free coupon!
    Dreamfields Pasta2x 2.69-.50-1.00 coupon
    Kroger popcorn 1.25
    Quaker Granola Bars 4x 2.39-.50
    Ortega Taco Shells 2×1.49-.24-1.00 coupon
    Kroger Turkey Breast 3.19-.69
    V8 Fusion 3x 4.49–2.00-.50
    V8 Splash 2.09
    Old El Paso Taco Seasoning 5x.79-1.00
    Long Grain Rice 1.99-.50-.50
    Wheat Thins Crackers 2.77-.78
    Kroger Blueberry Waffles 2.19-.69-.50
    Kroger 1 lb cheese blocks 4x 5.89-2.55-1.00 coupon
    1 Container Ricotta Cheese 3.79-.30-.50
    Kroger Grated Parmesan cheese 2.77
    Kraft Singles Cheese 2.99-.50-.50
    Kraft String cheese 2.79-.80-.50
    Kroger CoJack cheese snacks 10x.25
    Kroger Steak Fries 1.99-.32
    Turkey Bacon 2.98-.10
    Almond Milk 2x 2.99-.50-.50-.55 coupon
    Kroger Swiss Cheese 1.99
    Kleenex tissues 5 x 1.99-.50-.50
    1 yellow, 1 red, 1 orange bell pepper 3x 1.99-.99
    1 Zucchini .63
    1 cucumber .79
    Raspberries 4.99-2.49
    Carrots .79
    Romaine Lettuce 1.79
    Iceberg Lettuce .99
    Marzetti Fruit Dip 4.19-2.00
    Celery 1.22
    3 lbs apples 3.49
    Blueberries 4.99-2.49
    Whole Pineapples 4x 3.99-1.99
    boulder chips 2x 2.79-.80-.50-1.00 coupon
    Kroger tortilla chips 1.49-.49
    French Bread .79
    Kroger Marshmellows 2×1.37-.38-.50
    Pretzels 3.29-.80-.50
    Wheat Rolls 1.49
    Marie Callendars Chicken Dumpling soup 2.99-1.50-.50
    Kroger Cereal Bars 2.19
    Kellog Dis Mod (no idea) 3.83-.54-.50
    Kroger Croutons1.00
    Diet Pepsi 12 pack 3 x 5.49-3.97-.50-1.50coupon-1.00 coupon
    Tax 7.13

    Total value card and mega event savings 91.41. total coupon savings 8.55
    Total savings 99.96 Total spent =160.16


    Beneful Dog food 2 x 19.99-4.00-2.00 Just 4U
    Low Carb tortillas 3.99-.50
    Dog biscuits 5.49-1.99
    Facial Tissue 2x 3.18-1.60 coupon
    Safeway 32 oz yogurt 1.89
    Silk Vanilla Soymilk 3.19
    Safeway cold medicine 2 x 4.98-5.00 coupon
    Safeway Whole grain bread 2.79-1.30
    2.35lb grapes 5.85-2.35
    Cherry tomatoes 2 x 3.99-3.99
    Tax 3.34
    Total card savings 18.13 Total Just 4U savings 4.00,Total coupons 6.60 Total Savings 28.73
    Total spent 58.93

    School lunch for November 13×1.60=20.80

    Total spend so far this month=239.89
    Remaining in monthly food, household, and dog food budget =110.11

    1. Hey Kim!
      I’m so proud of you trying to add in the pet food. I bet you will see that you can do it. Great that you are cooking all your meals in one go. We don’t mind doing a meal or two but we like to cook fresh every night. We do make a pot of soup that we will eat over the course of a week every weekend or a pot of chili or pulled pork in the crock pot, minestrone etc. I don’t think Mrs.CBB would go for the defrost a meal each night but for some it’s a life saver. My mate Julia at Save Big Live Better did this as well and it helps as she has a little one and her website as her full time job. I can’t believe the price of cherry tomatoes, wow. I’m rootin for ya this month… keep it up and before you know it you will surprise yourself and see your budget shrink even more. The more creative you can get in the kitchen with homemade meals especially now that you are batch cooking the better. Cheers Mr.CBB

  15. I usually make a number of squares recipes…. They seem to freeze better and are less fuss. Besides everyone here loves them. Butter tart, cranberry,pineapple,nanimo, cherry,mint, I make these and watch them disappear!!! I also make a dark fruitcake and a cherry almond cake too. Yes I know it’s a lot but very little of it will be left by New Years. I’ve been picking up a bag here and there of cranberries as this is the only time of year they are available. Just toss in the freezer as is works fine. I give some of it as gifts, my daughter’s former boss loves my fruitcake so he gets some, and I usually get some goodies from the store he owns in return. They sell that Gourmet Village hot chocolate and I use in tray in the Christmas mugs as a centre piece on the table…. I have the basic stuff here already but have to buy the candied fruit of the fruitcake and some chocolate squares for the nanimo squares and such. Pretty much everything else is here. I like to bake this and that for treats and for company so I keep a lot of what I need around..

    1. That sounds so good.. I hope you share some recipes on the blog for me and the fans. I make a cherry almond pound cake each year and we love it. I don’t make any squares but would like to try a recipe this year. Maybe I will try a fan inspired recipe…. send them in!! Cheers Christine…

  16. I think about the only thing I bake is chocolate chip cookies. And even that is dangerous because I want to eat what I made. I think people sometimes feel more obligated to bake, even though every single person on the planet seems to overeat that time of year. Those desserts in the pic though are so creative!

    1. Oh I know everyone overeats at Christmas but what I do like is homemade treats that I can try or that are unique. Chocolate Chip cookies ya, I would want to eat them but at Christmas they don’t get me excited. I want stuff I don’t normally have or have never seen.. I still exercise every day though lol..

  17. Prices of nuts go up during the last quarter, hey? I don’t think I noticed that before, but I will definitely keep that in mind next year!

    Here is my shop for the week:

    Mom 40.00

    Half&Half Cream 1.10
    Broccoli 1.47
    Carrots 1.28
    Cilantro (x3) 0.96
    Cucumber (x3) 1.74
    Kale (x2) 2.56
    Mushrooms 0.64
    Onions 0.97
    Green pepper 0.62
    Spinach 1.48
    Zucchini 0.73

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 13.55

    Mushrooms 1.47
    Sesame Seeds 1.50
    Large Eggs 2.63

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 5.60

    Chicken 8.85

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of pocket 8.85

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $68.00
    Total Spent So Far for October: $68.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $18.00
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of October: $18.00
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $132.00

    A bit over, but the flat amount to my mom doesn’t help. The next few months should be interesting as the Christmas invites are slowly coming in, so eating out is going to increase quite a bit. I should be able to keep groceries on budget though.

    Love those santa things. 🙂

    Have a good week!

    1. Hey Vicky,
      I presume you saw my message about the Sarichi.. I probably spelled that wrong. It’ so hot but it does have a nice flavour. I’m sure you will think I’m a baby but I’m not used to hot stuff. Mrs. CBB doesn’t mind it at all. She used it on her pork chops tonight for dinner lol.. Yes the $40 does bring you down a bit but it’s for good reason so keep smiling. How do you plan to combat the Christmas Season? What I think I would do is see how much I spend this year or potentially would spend and create a projected expense for it so it doesn’t hurt your budget. That way come Christmas next year you have the money set aside in your budget for all the partying.. and no budget woes… Those santa things rock and are super easy and frugal for any party… Keep at it Vicky.. and looking forward to your holiday spending reports… Mr.CBB You get Ballot #14

  18. I’ll be grabbing some butter next weekend in the US before we cross back over the border. It is a heck of a lot cheaper in the US than at home, even when I find a sale. I have oodles of nuts at home already so there’s no need to stock up on those. I already have a jar of mincemeat at home so I won’t need baking supplies this year. 🙂

    This is my last week where I am using vacation funds for food so I won’t have a grocery post again this week. Another $47.50 goes in the Christmas kitty fund for gatherings with our friends. Yeah!

    I make a few things for the holidays IF we are staying home but this year we aren’t. Normally I like to make my Grandmother’s shortbread, spice bars and a cherry pound cake. As we aren’t big sweets fans, that’s about it usually.

    This year, one dozen jumbo mincemeat muffins will be the sum total of my baking this year…just a hint of the holiday season.

    Next week I’ll be back in the grocery game with actual grocery posts…

    1. Hi Mary! Cherry Pound Cake is one of our recipes that we will make, we love it. We also have a tonne of cherries we got from my father in law who got them near free at a store closing sale. Spice bars sound interesting. I don’t mind sweets myself just not lots of them. Once in a while for a treat is nice. I’m all about the food, food… See ya next week in the game, thanks for checking in. You get ballot #13! Mr.CBB

  19. Interesting that you see baking products go up in price. We actually see them start to go on sale, at good prices too, in October. We usually will start stocking up then because the sales go away as it gets closer to Christmas. My wife usually makes numerous types of cookies for us as well as to give out to some friends as gifts.

    1. It’s the nuts we see go up in price and butter. If you can grab a deal, go for it. Sure sugar, icing sugar, flour etc you can find deals but marachino cherries, chocolate are other items we notice go up. I think it’s really about watching for deals and actually buying them rather than waiting the day before you bake. What’s your fav holiday cookie? Mine is Coconut Balls…

      1. Yea, most of those things go on sale for us as well. We like to stock up when they do go on sale because it can be quite a nice savings. My favorite…hmmm…would be one my wife makes. It a peanut butter cookie with melted and drizzled Rolo’s over them. They’re out of this world.

        1. Rolo melted on top of a PB cookie.. hmm now that sounds interesting. I like Christmas just so I can taste all sorts of treats that I would never buy or might not have heard of. We stock up on items that we know we will use, it only makes sense especially if we find it a great price. Cheers John Mr.CBB

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