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The Grocery Game Challenge #9 Feb 25-Mar 3,2013-No-Shop Week, No Means No!

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Maybe Yes No

Photo Courtesy/Stuart Miles/

We woke up yesterday morning with the intention of this week being a no-shop week, but that didn’t happen thanks to yours truly. So much for the no-shop clause as I’ve busted it for the month even though it’s the last shop for February. That’s right I’m the one to blame this week for making the wrong decision but that’s Ok we’re allowed to make mistakes. A no shopping day or week whichever you prefer to call it means “no shopping” including not even going near the stores. When you hear temptation call its you that has to make the final decision. Yes, No or Maybe is what runs through my mind and sometimes I lose to temptation, it happens to the best of us.

I don’t know what made me go into the shops yesterday but what I do know is that the decision cost me $47.73 of which I would not have spent had I stuck to the grocery budget. Typically we shop no frills then food basics as we can price match if we need to but yesterday I just had this urge to go in to 2 shops to see what’s on sale. The thing is when you have a grocery budget for 2 you really don’t need as much as you think in the house. I think we go overboard with spending on food items that hang around our house or we used to  but that’s all changing. Shortly I’m going to do a blog post on what we eat in a typical day and why we don’t need to spend so much on food. The premise of “if it’s in the house, you will eat it” stands true and sometimes we eat more than we should because of it. Going back to Pauline’s post of making the best of what is available it really makes me think of the amount of food we buy that is pure marketing in my eyes.

What is a No-Shop Week for us?

When we started this grocery game challenge part of the deal was that we would spend less time in the stores so we would save some money. We found the more we went in the more we would shop. You all know, you do it yourselves when you see something and you try to justify why you need to buy it. That’s you, having a back and forth conversation with your mind and the side of the brain that wins is the one that says no. In most cases or at least in my experience it’s typically something we don’t need although a good bargain has caught me off guard although it’s rare it’s a “must have now” purchase. Sometimes I wonder if we just like to shop to be nosey or to see if we are missing out on anything.

I’m not talking just about grocery shopping because it’s easy for me to go into Sears, Canadian Tire or Home Depot and pull the same stunt, the “just looking” to see what’s on sale that’s not advertised game. That game can get costly if you don’t have self-control or a budget but the problem I had was that I knew we had money left to spend so I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I was wrong but hey, we live and learn. This is our personal agenda, maybe not yours but it has helped us to save lots of money on crap we didn’t need to buy. I’m sure many people, us included can look around our house at items we spent money on while “window shopping” that we don’t even use. This is what the moral of the entire no-shop week is about for us, less spending more doing.

What did I learn from this?

I learned that there is no “maybe” and no “yes” on the dice, it’s No. No means No. If we take the time to put a plan into place we should stick to it although rules are meant to be broken, I know. I’m not saying stay out of the shop if there is an emergency and you need diapers I’m saying stay out of the shops if you don’t need to be in there. If you have no plan, no grocery shopping list then you likely didn’t anticipate the shop. If you run out of a spice to cook a meal, find a new meal to cook or eat it without that spice or substitute it. If you MUST go into the shop to pick up an item you forgot send the person with the most strength to say no, and that’s not always me. Mrs.CBB though is the one I have to watch out for but she will beg to differ stating that I’m the one who she has to control. Good thing we work as a team. What I would do the next time if I MUST go in is go straight to the product I need and right back to the cash. Get in, get out as the good saying goes and try to remember, No means No even if you have to say it over and over. Freedom from debt feels better than stuff.

How do you stop yourself from buying more than you need if you go in for one item?

Grocery Game Challenge No Shop Week Feb

Our Grocery Game Challenge Results 

Food Basics

  • 3 x Classico Basil Pesto Sale $1.87
  • 3 x Classico Sun-Dried Tomato Sale $1.87
  • 1 x Dried Apricots $0.97
  • 1x cumin Sale $1.00
  • 10 x Colgate Total Advanced Health Toothpaste Sale $1.99-$1.50 coupons (not in picture, forgot it …..oops)
  • 4 lbs Navel Oranges $3.97
  • Loose Weight Garlic $1.77 (I’m finding the 5 packs to be mouldy lately)
  • 2 x 1L Lactancia Cream Sale $2.49-$0.75
  • 1 x Pita Bread $0.99 
  • 4 x Dempsters Bread Sale $2.29- Buy 2 bread save $2.00 on fruits or vegetables
  • 1 x Pack of pork chops $10.00-30%
  • 2 x bags of fresh spinach $1.50 each

Total Out of Pocket $46.04


  • 1 x Gold Sour Cream Sale $2.69-$1.00

Total Out of Pocket $1.69

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 : $24.50
  • Total Discounts this Week: $3.00 (meat)
  • 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: $0 Already Spent for month of February
  • Total Spent This Week:$ 47.73
  • Total Spent So Far for (Feb): $26.27+41.50 +45.27+$47.73=$160.77
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop$47.73 over as it should have been a no-shop week
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (Feb): under $74.23
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $74.23 but this is last shop for the month 
  • Total Coupons Used This Month :$6.00+8.00+8.00+ $24.50 = $46.50
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month : $ n/a We don’t carry over 
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb)= $367.72

Weekly Overview:  Well you read my thoughts on no-shop and what it should mean and how we are going to make a plan of action. I’m not beating myself up by any means although I do try to understand our motivations and what drives us into the shops. We still came in under budget for the month which is great and the money we did not spend will stay in our savings account as we don’t carry over.

Some Coupons We Found This Week


How was your grocery shop this week? Post your shop exactly like how I did and let us all know. 

FAQ’s- Grocery Game Challenge RULES…..

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Where can I find Canadian CouponsHere are your latest Coupon Match-ups  of the week including Checkout 51 from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.

Canadian Samples

Giveaway! We have reached 4000 LIKES on Facebook and I must say I’m so proud of the community of fans that we are building because each and every one of you bring personal experiences to the table that we can all learn from. I thank you all for sharing your tips, opinions, tricks and secrets, personal stories but most of all for taking the step towards understanding your own personal finance. Canadian Budget Binder began with the people in mind and not only sharing our personal experiences or getting the experts in to share but for you to come forward and tell the world your story. We can all learn from each other, this is what CBB is all about and it will never change!

How To Enter

Win either a Canadian Samples Pack or a second prize consisting of an envelope of Canadian coupons. Thank you to Katrina Bearinger for donating the sample pack. If you missed her amazing story on CBB you can read about her initiative about how she turned her passion and skills into making extra money.  Click here to Enter Note: Contest Closes March 1, 2013 at 12 am EST. -Update, Contest Closed Winners Contacted. 

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