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The Grocery Game Challenge #6 February 4-10, 2013~ What Foods Not To Eat, Organic and Gardening

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I was reading an article yesterday on Yahoo about 9 foods that we should never eat and wasn’t sure what to make of it. What I did realize though was how important growing organic food was and why we do it every summer. One of the items on the list was canned tomatoes which we use in the off-season for making pasta sauce. It states that it’s not that tomatoes that are the problem it’s the can. The can itself apparently has a harmful chemical called (BPA) Bisphenol A which is a chemical found in hard plastics and the coatings inside food and drink cans called epoxy resins. They behave in a way like estrogen and other hormones in the body. After reading more about the potential health effects of this chemical I’m shocked they are even allowed to be using it. The article goes on to say that it’s best to find tomatoes in a jar rather than a can. We typically buy our tomatoes in the can.

A few other foods in were deli meats which they say are crap, which for the most part may be true as they are full of sodium, hormones, antibiotics and nitrates. They say opt for a cooked turkey, tuna fish sandwiches or roast chicken instead which we could easily do and get plenty of meals out of it. Margarine and vegetables oils well those are other foods that we should already know are not good for us but that doesn’t stop everyone, someone has to be buying the stuff, we have. Salt is OK in moderation which is understandable but I rarely have ever thought to purchase a higher quality salt. I do have Fleur de Sel from France which was a gift, that sounds posh to me.

One product use that we did change is using sweetener in our coffee, tea and other foods. We noticed that we were craving sweets often and read up how sweetener is just not that great. You could opt to use something like stevia or revert back to granulated sugar which we did. No sense putting something that contains aspartame and potentially causes cancer and neurological disorders into our bodies if we don’t need to. Best of it is the article mentions a study that confirms artificial sweeteners cause weight gain and increased appetite. Bet that comes as a shock to those who use it NOT to gain weight. If you are a soy drinker they say drop the soy protein isolates and opt for coconut, almond milk and tempeh. We don’t use any type of soy products in our diet so this doesn’t apply to us but may for you.

Potatoes was another mention and they say to go organic if you can with potatoes. I had somewhat of an idea about what they were going on about and really it does make sense to me. Potatoes soak up all the nice chemicals in the ground because they are a root vegetable and heavily sprayed with fungicides and pesticides, no surprise there. I might actually try and grow some this year because our relatives do and you can easily taste the difference between organic and non-organic vegetables and fruits. If we had a bigger plot of land we would grow as much as we could. As soon as our garden is ready to eat, it’s like heaven in your mouth and you wonder why we buy what we do in the supermarket. I nearly fell over when they tried to charge me almost $4.00 for 4 tomatoes on the vine today which were NOT organic. The reason is organic is costly and not everyone can afford to spend $3.99 on 2 bulbs of organic garlic when they can get a 5 pk of non-organic garlic for $1.00 or less. It’s even more reason to dig up any part of your garden or plant a balcony garden as long as you get some sunlight to weigh in on all the organic nutrition in the  foods you can sow and grow and save money.

Sadly, they say our favourite movie snack in a bag is a big no, no. That’s right that microwave popcorn is coated on the inside and when you put it in the micro the coating melts onto your lovely popped corn. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it.  The bags liner apparently contains PFOA a proven toxicant and carcinogen in animals and may lead to infertility, liver and testicular cancer.  Are you heading to the pantry yet to start tossing out food? I know, very tempting but with anything in life that is processed or treated in any way we risk putting all of this into our bodies.

Sometimes we have to do what we have to do in order to put food on the table where it becomes more of a game of survival then anything else. It’s just not realistic for many to spend that kind of money in the budget especially with so many other bills and debts we have to pay. Unless of course your options are limited by your health and you have to make that choice. Maybe I’m jumping the gun but I would love to see what an all organic grocery shop looks like each week in terms of cost. Maybe we will score a grocery game challenge poster that does all organic shops. So, when fans ask me how much should my grocery budget be, the answer is simple, it’s up to you. No one can tell you what your budget should be but you. Problem is that anything that is good for us will cost us an arm, leg and other body parts if they can squeeze it out of us. Even if we can buy or grow a few organic foods and still stick to the budget that’s not so bad, I guess. I’m hoping to get more guest Bloggers that are professionals on the topic this summer to share some tips and tricks in the garden and talk more about organic foods for us.

There is so much we can and can’t eat in today’s world I don’t know if I’m sad or happy that they find all of this information out about products but know that an informed consumer is better than not knowing anything at all. One thing I do know is that the prices aren’t coming down fast on organic products, one trip to the organic section today and I struggled to put stuff in our shopping cart. What I want to know is how organic is organic when we don’t get to grow it ourselves?

You can read the full Yahoo article here.

How often do you buy organic and what do you normally purchase?

Coupons Found This Week

Grocery Game Challenge Coupons

Our Grocery Shop This Week

Our Grocery Shop This Week

Our Grocery Game Challenge Results 

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x 750g Yogurt Sale 2/$6.00- $2.00 each = $1.00 each
  • 2x Dozen Eggs Sale $1.99- $1.00 when You buy 2 coupon

Total Out of Pocket: $4.98

No Frills

  • 1x Olive Paste $3.99- pink sticker 50%
  • 4x Hunts Tomato Paste Sale $0.97 (large cans)
  • 2x Flax Bread Dempsters Sale $2.49-pink sticker 50%
  • 2x Fresh Mushrooms Sale $0.88

Total Out Of Pocket: $10.11

Food Basics

  • 2x Fresh Spinach Sale 2/$3.00
  • 2x Pita Sale $0.99 ea
  • 2x Bags of Dry Chick Peas Sale $2.49

Total Out Of Pocket: $9.96


  • 2x Wonder Bread Sale 2/$4.44- pink sticker 50%- $1.00 coupon

Total Out Of Pocket: $1.22

Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with one no shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $6.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $7.72 (pink sticker)
  • Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0 Don’t Use this service
  • Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $0 Don’t Use this service
  • Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Week: $0 I wish I had a discount
  • Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month:$0 see above 
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $ N/A right now
  • Total Spent This Week:$ 26.27
  • Total Spent So Far for (Feb): $26.27+
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $52.06 under
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (Feb): $
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $208.73
  • Total Coupons Used This Month :$6.00+
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month : $ n/a We don’t carry over + only –
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+

Weekly Overview: We didn’t need too much this week but found some great deals with pink stickers and the chick peas were a great deal as well. They will come in handy this summer when we make plenty of dips but also in loads of other recipes. Sadly, no organic products were purchased but we will keep an eye out for them on the reduced rack.

Congratulations to: FARM GIRL for WINNING the January Grocery Game Challenge!!!!  Please contact me with your address so I can mail out your prize!!

FAQ’s- Grocery Game Challenge RULES…..

  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?

No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have a few players from around the world.

  • When does the Grocery Game Close each month?

The Grocery Game Challenge Closes at Midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.

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

Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be effected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.

Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better.

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

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