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The Grocery Game Challenge #12 March 18-24,2013- Pass The Salt Please!

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Table Salt Sodium

How much salt do you consume on a daily basis in your diet? If it’s more than 1500 mg a day you may want to start learning more about sodium and how much you are shaking on your food, putting in you meals and purchasing in pre-made foods. It’s something we don’t normally think about when we buy food but after watching this past weeks Marketplace episode “What’s On Your Plate” things changed.

While at the supermarket we started investigating labels ourselves. Needless to say the wife and I were shocked when we turned labels over and started doing the maths. We literally walked up and down the cracker and pasta aisle reading labels and trying to make sense of it all. After watching the show we concluded that we likely have far more salt than we need in our diet and hope to make some changes.

Sometimes it’s television shows like this that really open our eyes to what most of us tend to just “forget” or pretend to hear. If you are not sure about your sodium level head over to Marketplace and test your plate for sodium with their interactive sodium calculator, I bet you will be surprised.  It’s interesting as you get to drag food to your plate starting with breakfast right up until dinner including snacks.

How Much Sodium Does The Body Need?

I used the interactive sodium calculator and this is what mine read: 

  • Breakfast– Oatmeal,  Coffee and Toast Total 167 mg sodium
  • Lunch- Club Sandwich, 2 shakes of salt, Bowl of Tomato Soup, Mustard – Total 2121 mg sodium
  • Snack-Banana, Latte Cafe -Total 67 mg sodium
  • Dinner- Pork Chop, Green Salad, Italian Dressing, 2 shakes of salt, Baked Potato, Spinach -Total 799 mg
  • Late Night Snack- Nothing, I don’t snack much

Total- 3154 mg sodium (ouch) consumed for the day which is 137% of the 2300 mg maximum daily limited recommended by Health Canada. You actually only need 1500 mg of sodium every day. In other words, I need to lower my sodium intake. Mind you I don’t really eat club sandwiches maybe a tomato sandwich with cheese, nor do I have a latte rather a cup of reg coffee. It was a good eye opener though so I hope you test your plate.

Although the recommended number above seems like alot once you start to read labels on products you consume you will quickly realize it adds up very quickly. The National average according to Marketplace is 3400 mg per person each day which is far too much. Our bodies need sodium as it is an “essential mineral and electrolyte  which controls the body’s acid base balance and fluid volume”.

Most times we turn a blind eye to all the health concerns that can surface slowly over the years because it’s not present now. What I mean is that it seems every time we turn around something is not good enough for us. I often joke that we should just live off of twigs and berries but in reality it’s not so bad of an idea to go back to basics. Sticking to a healthy meal of fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy especially organic home-grown fruits and vegetables if you can afford it in the budget.

Alternatively growing your own food from seed in the garden may encourage healthier eating. Probably one of the scariest tips they gave was “too much sodium has been linked to increased risks down the road such as osteoporosis  stomach cancer and severity of asthma”. They also state that if we take steps to “lowering your sodium intake will reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke as well as heart and kidney disease”.

Marketplace went around Canada taking urine samples of every day people including young students and athletes to see just how much sodium was in their system.  Just like the participants themselves we were in awe seeing how much sodium was in their urine.Even the people who thought they led a healthy lifestyle and ate top-notch meals and exercised had higher levels of sodium.

Bush's Baked Beans

Read Product Labels

I went in our pantry to check the labels on some of the products we have and one in particular was a can of bush’s baked beans. Seems healthy enough as they are beans and we have lots of them because we do enjoy them and used a coupon to get them for around a $0.25 a can. We don’t stockpile food so much these days as we weren’t going through it fast enough but this is some of the last cans of what we have left. The sodium was a whopping 550 mg, 23%, per 1/2 cup serving or 125 ml.

The wife and I can eat one can split between the two of us with a protein and vegetable. The beans alone rings in at 389 ml of beans per can which means there is just over 3 (3 x 125 ml = 375 ml) servings in one can. If we finish one can between the 2 of us we will have ingested around 825 mg of sodium, JUST WITH BEANS and that’s not including the rest of the meal. Needless to say we won’t be eating beans in the can any longer once the few cans we have are gone.

Our Plans

Now when we shop we are going to try and be aware of labels and look for foods that are “less than 360 mg of sodium per serving” according to the guidelines. One percentage that really hit home and I’m sure you can all relate is that 88% of the sodium in our diet is added when we are cooking our meal or was manufactured with salt added. That means that we are likely ingesting far more salt than we need that is not naturally occurring in the products we buy.

What we plan to do is learn how to make our own homemade vs store-bought baked beans so we can control the amount of salt that goes into out food. I know we only live once and trying to control every morsel that goes into our mouth might be tough but I thinks it’s at least important to be aware of what we are putting into our bodies. Just like budgeting, knowledge is power and the more you do something the better at it you should get. We will work on lowering our sodium little by little and see if it we can eliminate adding too much salt to our meals.

Tell us how you did if you used the sodium calculator and what you plan to do to lower the sodium in your diet?

The Grocery Game Challenge

Grocery Game Shop #12 March 2013

This is the third Grocery Game Challenge week for March 2013~~ Post your Shop and you might be our next Grocery Game Winner!

For Inspiration read about Canadian Budget Binder fan Donna R who shares her secrets for lowering her family’s grocery budget from a whopping $1100 a month to $600 give it a read now.

Our Grocery Game Challenge Results 

No Frills

  • 10 cans of tomato paste Sale $0.40 each
  • 3 Club Packs Boneless Pork Chops $5.71, $6.55, $5.66
  • 1 x Bean Sprouts $0.97
  • 1 x 3lb Onions $1.67
  • 2 x Rooster Garlic 3 pack Sale $0.59

Total Out of Pocket $25.74


  • 2x 60 count Wrigley Peppermint Gum Sale $2.04 each reg $4.99 each
  • Mexicana Cheddar Cheese $9.73-50% pink sticker
  • Hirten Cheese $11.01-50% pink sticker
  • Ace Olive Bread $2.49-50% pink sticker
  • Ace Sun dried Tomato Bread $2.49- 50% pink sticker
  • Romaine Hearts 3 pk Sale $1.99

Total Out of Pocket $19.44

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 : $0 (WOW) only on pet treats we used a coupon
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • 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 
  • Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month:$0 
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $20.00 (done for the month of March)
  • Total Spent This Week:$45.18
  • Total Spent So Far for (March): $169.62
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: Under $33.15
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (March): Under $65.38
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $65.38
  • Total Coupons Used This Month :$17.23+$7.50+$0
  • 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: Next week is a no-shop week for us but we shouldn’t need to run out to buy anything. There is a bit of money left in the grocery budget but let’s just see if we can stay out of the shops. This week we did find some great deals with pink stickers on pet treats. That will go in under our pet category in the budget not the grocery budget. We also were able to get some posh cheese with pink stickers 50% and since we likely wouldn’t buy it at full price it was a treat to find it half off. We can’t wait to try them out. Mrs.CBB also spotted boneless pork chops for half price at No Frills which we couldn’t resist. Another couple stuck their head in the bunker and we said, yes it’s a great deal so they walked off with 3 club packs as well. Great shopping week for us and some new coupons found as well! Next week is the last week for March Grocery Game Challenge so make sure you get all your shops posted.

Canadian Coupons Found This Week

Grocery Game Coupons #12 March 2013

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.
  5. Where can I find updated Coupon Policies? You can find all the updated Canadian Coupon Policies on hand at Mrs. January

Quote-Budget and Money

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  1. I shop for 2 adults and a 2 year old toddler. Our budget is $90/week or $360 for this month and includes baby items, laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    2% milk $3.97
    Petit Danino (PM Oceans) $.99 – $.99 coupon
    So Delicious Coconut milk yogurt $4.59
    Skinny Spud Sticks 2 x $2.24 – 50% pink sticker $2.24
    Vitality bread $3.19
    Banana’s $1.42
    Dole salad $1.99 – $1.00 Checkout 51
    Strawberries 2lbs $2.98
    Colgate toothbrush (PM NF) 2 x $1.00 – 2 x $1.50 coupon – 2 x $1.00 Checkout 51!
    Coupons $2.49
    OPP $20.30

    Food Basics
    Distilled water 2 x $.99 (used in our coffee maker and steam mop to prevent lime build up and ruining the appliance)
    OOP $1.98

    Milk 2 x $3.97 – 2 x $2.00 Checkout 51
    Arctic gardens frozen veggies $3.79 – $5.00 coupon
    Almond milk 2 x $3.99 – 2 x FPC
    BD cheese bar (PM FB) $3.97
    Bicks pickles (PM FB) 2 x $1.99
    Chipits chocolate chips (PM WM) $2.27
    Ritz (PM) 4 x $1.47
    Delmonte corn (PM) 3 x $.77
    NN beef broth $1.27
    NN tuna 8 x $1.00
    RB popcorn $2.97 – $1.00 coupon – $1.00 Checkout 51
    Danino (PM Oceans) 3 x $.99 – 3 x $1.00 coupons
    30 pack spring water $2.44
    Skinny spud sticks 2 x $2.24 – 2 x 50% pink stickers – $2.24
    Tenderflake pie shells (PM FB) 2 x $1.99 – $1.50 coupon – 2 x $1.00 Checkout 51
    Vitality bread 9 x $3.19 – 50% pink stickers – $14.40
    Bacon $5.27 – FPC – $2.00 Checkout 51
    Bananas $.62
    Broccoli (PM) $.77
    Onions 3 lbs $1.48
    Oranges $3.83
    Garlic $.59
    Pinwheel $1.00 (Easter present for Adam)
    Coupons $23.75
    Checkout 51 $9.00
    CD $8.24
    OOP $49.25

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $450 (5 weeks this month – but I am going to try to keep it under $360 like it’s a 4 week month…let’s see how I do!)
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $26.24
    •Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $9.00
    •Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $18.00
    •Total Checkout 51 rebates this year:$48.50
    •Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $8.24
    •Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$26.52
    •Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $146.88
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0
    •Total Spent This Week: $70.53
    •Total Spent So Far for March: $251.07
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of March: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $198.93
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $75.22
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I do not carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $919.73
    •Weekly overview: I’m continuing to impress myself for March. One more shop on Saturday and I’m done. I am going to finish this 5 week month under budget for a 4 week month!! I’m proud of myself for that. Almost the end of March and so far this year I’ve spent what I would have in just over a month in the past. Coupons, Checkout 51 and my MIL’s CD really help me out. I try my best not to shop until she’s working so I can use her card. I’m loving the GGC!!!!

    1. Hey Jen,
      You really rocked it with the Checkout51 this week wow. I’m sorta jealous haah.. You see how it feels good to be under budget Jen, that is sort of the feeling you get with debt freedom.. so keep working hard my friend, don’t give up and you will get there. Yes I would only shop when she’s working too. You need her weekly schedule haha.. How’s things with the new diet regime? Are you getting to know prices on products you need to start including in your shops? You get ballot #29…

      1. lol we call my MIL regularly to get her schedule lol, The egg and dairy sensitivities are taking some work. I have a lot of the big things cut out like milk, sandwich spread, cheese slices, eggs…but I can’t cut out the chocolate. I don’t have to cut everything since its a sensitivity and not an allergy but I’m trying my best. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing much of a difference as of yet.

  2. Our weekly budget is $100 a week making $400 a month.
    We have really gone over budget this month and hoping it doesn’t add up to be too much next week. There have been some amazing clearance deals too good to pass up at work that we took advantage of for next weeks budget. The hubby and I talked and okayed the overage for the month which I know we shouldn’t do but in the long run it should save us.
    $4.81 4L milk
    Save on foods
    $4.99-fpc spagetti sauce
    $2.49 old spice deo
    $1.50×4 scotch tape 3pk (sweet deal to stock up on)
    .99 kinder surprise (hubby sneeked it on the belt for my girl)
    $9.95 total oop
    $4.99 total coupons
    $20.59 cheese 2.26kg of cracker barrel ( I am in cheese heaven)
    $8.79 90ct recycle bags
    $29.38 total oop
    $4.99 cheese whiz
    $1.88×2 1lb strawberries
    $8.75 total oop
    $1.99×2 crackers
    $1.49×4-$4C cresents
    $2.49 chip dip
    .80 asparagas
    $2.79×2-$2C turnovers
    $1 sour cream
    $1.99×3 strawberries
    $6.69×2 sushi ( lunch treat for the kids)
    $33.63 total oop
    $6 total coupons

    $86.72 total weekly oop
    $10.99 total weekly coupons

    $374.02 total monthy oop
    $65.66 total monthly coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      The hard part for you is working in the middle of it all where the temptation is even greater. I might see if you want to do a blog post about what it’s like working in a grocery store. The first thing I would have asked myself is why shouldn’t we do it. We do it, we are guilty of it but we know that it won’t hurt us in terms of paying the bills. It just means we need to stick the budget even more the next week and make up for that overage. It’s a big reason why we created that stockpile budget of $20 a month. The old spice deoderant if you have the brandsaver coupon buy 2 save $3 is an awesome deal. I use old spice too! That was a good deal on the tape but I will one up you.. we got the 4 packs for $0.50 a couple years back at Zehrs.. thought it was a bloody great deal, even $1.50 is as tape can get pricey at least for the good stuff. I bet you are in cheese heaven, I would be too lol. Great deal on the asparagus. Do you get a discount at work? How do you factor that in your shops? You used a good amount of coupons this month. Just think how many hours you would have to work to save that money. That’s what we do so it really puts it into perspective. Keep up the good work Juanita! you get ballot #28

      1. Mr.CBB
        Working at a grocery store is very tempting and convient. But sometimes it really works and is to our advantage!! Bacon for .99 per package and smokies for $1, yes please!!!!!!!!!!!! Needless to say we really stock up then 🙂 But with that said I know what the best sale price for all our meat is and most other items as well. I feel that helps us alot with our day to day shopping and even the planning of a grocery shop. Sorting, clipping, oraganizing, trading and ordering coupons takes time but the hours I would have to work to make up the difference really makes couponing worth while! My hubby has full trust and faith in me and us keeping to our budget or as close to it as possible. I am proud that he feel that way about me 🙂 Also we used to spend $1000 to $1500 a month on food and take out. So to get down to $400 and month is huge for us!
        We are also goingto increase our budget for when the kids are here when needed.

        1. That’s amazing that you have changed your shopping habits to reduce your budget so much. It makes sense that you would spend more when the kids are there. I can see the temptations working in the shop but you also score some amazing deals.

  3. Hi Kelley! Welcome to the Grocery Game Challenge. My shops tend to exhibit my personality…it’s either all or nothing! LOL I really do embody that saying, “Go big, or go home”.

    Many weeks I have to completely stay out of the stores because I went hog wild one week earlier in the month.

    Our shops are a little different because we shop both in Canada and the US. I can get some pretty awesome deals on the American side of the border – especially for my Gluten Free products. 🙂

    I am planning an Easter Saturday shop south of the border, so check out next week’s post to see if I can manage to stay under budget. Got my fingers crossed!

  4. I had to really watch my salt intake when I was having some kidney issues a few years ago. It is amazing the amount of salt you find in everyday foods which we don’t really realize unless we are looking for it. We really need to watch those food labels. Here’s my shopping for the week.

    Betty Crocker cake mix/frosing – sale 4x$.88
    Selection granola bars – 3 for $5.00
    Bag of onions – $1.47
    Green grapes – sale $1.85
    Selection juice boxes – sale $2.00
    Popcorn shrimp – sale $2.99
    Mushrooms – $1.97

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $19.73

    12 case pop – sale 2x$2.99

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $6.76

    •Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4200 ($80.77 per week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $350
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    •Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this month: $24.50
    •Total Spent This Week:$26.49
    •Total Spent So Far for March: $176.60
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: under $54.28
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of March: $65.71 under so far
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $173.40
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $14.00 + $.75 = $14.75
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I don’t carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $734.23
    •Weekly Overview: Didn’t do much shopping this week, just had to pick up a couple of things. Next week will probably be a bigger one for me as I may be making Easter dinner for the family. We will have to see. I think I may have to just consider lowering my budget again as I am being so much more thoughtful in what I have been purchasing since playing this game. I still have almost half of this month’s budget to spend with just a week left. Could certainly use it elsewhere such as when we go camping this summer and into savings. Certainly can’t have enough in savings and emergency as you never know when something may come up. Ended up having to get our drainage pipe from the house to the street repaired as it broke due to tree roots and was causing water to back up in the basement whenever we did laundry. Thankfully I had the emergency funds to pay for it!

    1. Hi Joanna!
      I bet it felt great not to spend or shop that much this week lol.. I know we are happy when it happens to us. I look forward to your last post for the month and with most posters the Easter dinner is costing more in the budget. I think for next year we may all have to look at these special occasions and figure out the best way to factor them into our budget so we don’t break it. I’m am so FREAKING happy to hear you are going to lower your budget. You must be over the moon Joanna!!! I hope we can too since we put it up in 2013 it saddened us but we aren’t really spending any more than usual although we can still work on it like everyone else. Good for you having that emergency fund. Trust me when I say the people that take control and I don’t care how they do it but if they have a genuine desire to take control of their finances they will lessen the stress on their shoulders when it comes to money. Having money set aside for an emergency, paying off debts and not making any more debts is a great feeling. Keep at it Joanna! I’m so proud of you. You get ballot #26

  5. Here is my weekly shop:

    No Frills
    Coconut Milk (Can) – Sale $1.00
    Canned Tomatoes – $1.97 (thought this was on sale, but apparently not)
    Classico Alfredo Sauce – Sale $2.00 x3
    Coca-cola 12 Pack – Sale $3.32 (+ $1.20 deposit) x2
    Cheestrings – Sale $2.00 (-$0.75 coupon)
    Smuckers Jam – Sale $2.00
    Uncle Ben’s Stuffing – Sale $0.97
    Bananas – Sale $1.61
    Spinach (bunch) – Sale $0.87
    Sweet Potato – Sale $0.97
    •Total Coupons Used: $0.75
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $26.10

    Giant Tiger
    Kraft BBQ Sauce – Sale $0.88 x4
    Milk (4L) – $4.36 (+ $0.25 deposit + $0.07 enviro fee)
    Eggs – $2.29
    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $10.50

    Chocolate Chip Cookies – Sale $1.00 x2
    Yogurt – Sale $1.67
    Yogurt – $2.97 (thought this was on sale, was with the sale yogurt)
    Roti – Sale $1.77
    Tea Bags – Sale $2.00 x2
    Frozen Punch – $0.57 x4
    Sour Cream – $2.27
    Deli Meat – Sale $3.67
    Frozen Lemonade – $0.64 x4
    Beef Broth – $2.00 x2
    Granola Bars – $1.57
    Grape Tomatoes – Sale $1.50
    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $29.70

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $370
    • Total Spent This Week: 26.10+10.50+29.70=66.30
    • Total Spent So Far for March: $355.20
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $14.80
    • Total Coupons Used This Month : $0.75
    • Total to Carry Over Next Month :
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $135.95(Jan)+$234.25(Feb)+$355.20(March)=$725.40
    • Total Grocery Budget for This Year: $3000 (or $250 a month)

    Weekly Overview: This is my first week trying posting on here. Our grocery budgets includes groceries, stockpile, personal products and pet food as well. We are two adults and have two larger dogs and two cats. I’m still working on fine-tuning how we track everything. I’ve added extra to this months budget to reflect what we have already spent – we’ve starting cooking more from scratch and bought a lot of staples this month. We use cash to pay for groceries so we often round it to the nearest dollar when we are entering it into our budget – the change usually ends up in a jar and I roll it when we get enough. It was great to find your website, I’ve really been enjoying reading the articles. One thing I noticed this week is I really have to pay more attention to sale prices ringing through at the till, I’m usually pretty good at catching things but I didn’t notice two things until I got home this week!

    1. Hi Kelley!
      I told all my fans on Facebook we had a NEW poster in the Grocery Game Challenge so now you are stuck with us!!! Many of us have been posting for over a year and have seen significant changes to our grocery budget. I hope you stick around, motivate yourself and never give up. If you need anything there is a forum on my Facebook page you can ask questions, or email me direct.

      Don’t forget about the scanning code of practice. If you don’t know what it is, I urge you to read this. It’s great for when items ring up incorrectly! There are so many tools and articles I’ve written here so take your time and read through them all. IT all takes time but what you WILL gain from posting your shops is a diary of what you are buying and where your money is going. Some fans have made changes because they see they are drinking way too much pop and it’s costing them a fortune. It’s a great tool this grocery game challenge to keep us on track towards our goals.

      Both No Frills and Walmart have the scanning code of practice. If your products that came up with the different price are in the grocery flyer call the stores, leave your name and tell them you have your receipt and that the product rang up at reg price not the sale price in the flyer. Tell them you would like to apply the scanning code of practice and your name and next time you come in you will bring your receipt and you will those products for free up to $10~~~ It’s free money if it scans wrong.. so read the article on SCOP!

      Where are you located? You have a healthy budget for the month $370 what is your goal? If you grocery budge for the month is $250 how come you have it as $370? How are you doing your calculations? or did you factor in the extra week this month? I’m nosey. 🙂 There is still one more shop left for this month which is already posted. Is this your final shop for March? If not you will go over the budget this month but that’s ok you are learning and you will see how fast you make changes!!

      Keep at it and welcome Kelley!
      You get ballot #25

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for the warm welcome! I’m from Calgary, AB.

        I keep track of all of my spending (I used YNAB) and so I went through January, February and March and looked at what we had spent and any circumstances that would have made our grocery budget change in those months (ie: we went to Mexico for a week in January). Then I looked at what we had already spent in March – it was already around $300 because we had done two really big shops and stocked up on a lot of things (I hate to admit it, but we weren’t eating at home nearly as much as we should have.) So I set my budget to reflect what we had already spent, plus a bit for the rest of the month. I hope that make sense. Going forward, I hope to set a monthly budget of $250, but since I started the challenge in the middle of the month, I adjusted for what I had already spent. I hope that makes more sense! Gotta start somewhere 🙂

        I’m familiar with the SCOP and I have used it before while I was in the store, but I don’t usually if I noticed once I get home. I looked and the flyer didn’t have the sale listed that I thought I saw at No Frills so it could have been my mistake. I don’t shop at No Frills very often as there isn’t one close to my house. If it was a bigger dollar value, I would probably go after it, but the closest No Frills is about 25-30 mins away and I don’t go very often – I need to factor in gas/time.

        That was my final “big” shop for this month – I picked up a few smaller items that I think might push me over, but still not to bad for coming in half way through the month – I think 🙂

        1. Hi Kelley!! Welcome Calgary AB!!
          You know the important part is the ability to analyze your spending by looking back at your expenses like you’ve done. The data is so important in my opinion and for those that don’t budget I don’t know how they do it. Being honest with your budget is most important which you have done which is an important step to getting the budget under control. Yes, gotta start somewhere. You will be tracking your progress on your own so that’s the best part.. all you do is report it here so we can all review it, motivate and cheer you on! We call if we miss a SCOP and leave our name and they credit us next time we go in typically.
          I think April will be the start of your grocery budget journey with The Grocery Game Challenge as March was just a trial and so far so good! Keep at it.. I’ll be waiting for your posts! Happy Easter Kelley! Mr.CBB

  6. Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4200
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $350-4.46 for last month
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    Total Value Card Savings this Week: $8.91
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Total Spent This Week:$105.06
    •Total Spent So Far for (March): $354.67
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: $+9.13
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of (March): $+9.13
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $34.74
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : $ -9.13
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1000.85
    •Weekly Overview: I was certainly not on my game this week due to illness. I’ll be more careful next month.

    City Market
    Vanilla Soy Milk 3.19-.20
    Sunchips 3x 3.99-1.49
    Crackers 1.00
    Canola Spray 2.18
    Amy’s Tomato Soup 4×2.39
    String Cheese 8x.25
    French Bread .89
    Cookies 3.79-.80
    Shredded cheese 5.99-.265
    Turkey 1.67
    Ragu pasta sauce 4.79-.60
    Dreamfields pasta 2.69
    Gatorade 3×1.00
    Ibuprofen 4.18
    Kashi cereal 2×3.69-.69
    Waffles 2.19
    Dannon Yogurt 2.89
    Dannon Yogurt drinks 12 pk 4.99-.30
    Almond milk 2.99
    Lettuce 1.49
    Tax 3.91
    Total 75.82

    Cereal 3.12
    Kid’s Toothpaste 2.28
    Almond milk 3.32
    Asparagus 3.19
    Bananas .92
    Tax .41
    Total 13.24
    School Lunches $16

    1. Hey Kim,
      That’s ok the main point is YOU KNOW you are going over and YOU KNOW the numbers… that is the joy of budgeting and not doing it our heads. That soup was pricey was a special kind? How come Ragu pasta was $4.69 was that the super gigantic bottle? It’s so cheap here around $1 on sale. You should call your dentist to see if they have any coupons or next time you go have a look around or ask. When we go our dentist gives us a handful of $1.50 coupons so our toothpaste is dirt cheap. Just an idea! Keep at it KIm and get well… Mr.CBB

  7. OK Here’s the bad news for my shops…. I went way over!!! I suppose the good news is in the stocking up I managed but it’s still way over….. I went to 3 different places this week looking for the deals.
    Foodland March 17
    1 broccoli-1.99
    1 bag cole slaw-1.99
    1 raisins- 2.29
    1 doz eggs- 2.58
    2 raisin bread @2.99-5.98
    1 bag lemons-2.99
    1 cider mix-3.99
    2 4l milk@4.79-9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    Total- $37.40, no coupons

    Sobey’s, Mar 18
    2 chocolate bars@.88- 1.76
    2 cans tomatoes @1.25- 2.50
    2 yogurt drinks@ 1.79-3.58, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    1 broccoli-1.99
    1 Garden Cocktail-2.49
    2 Oktoberfest sausage@2.50– 5.00
    3 packs stir fry veggies@ 2.50- 7.50
    1 yogurt-2.99
    2 hot chocolate mix@2.99– 5.98
    2 cereal@3.99– 7.98
    2 Dove shampoo@3.99– 7.98, 1.99 B1G1 1/2 price coupon
    2 Dove conditioner@ 3.99- 7.98. 1.99 B1G1 1/2 price coupon
    1 toothpaste-4.79, 1.00 coupon
    1 honey-5.29
    3 bricks cheese@ 5.99-17.97, 3 coupons@ 1.55-4.65
    1 boneless chicken breasts-9.31
    candy- 2.72+ 2.59
    tax- 3.62
    Total-$98.18, $10.63 coupons

    Independent, Mar 19
    3 cases pop@3.99, 2.00 coupon for one
    1 hot chocolate mix-3.99
    1 box Triscuits-2.00
    2 Dawn dish soap@1.99– 3.98, $1.00 WUB2
    4 lbs butter@2.99– 11.96
    1 Iam’s cat food-9.74, 3.00 coupon
    4 jars Chez Whiz@ 4.77-19.08
    1 grated parm cheese-5.29, 2 coupons from booklet, $3.00 WUB3 Kraft product and $2.00 WUB2 Kraft product, between the Chez Whiz and the grated cheese I had 5 items
    2 144 count Tetley tea bags@ 7.99- 15.98
    1 Ziploc bags-2.79
    2 Ziploc freezer bags@ 4.19- 8.38, $2.00 coupon wWUS 10.00
    1 pack bagels-2.50
    tax- 4.79
    Total-$ 89.45, 13.00 coupons

    Foodland, Mar 20
    4 chicken noodle soup@.88-3.52
    1 celery salt-.99
    1 jar unsweetened applesauce-1.99
    1 pack dinner rolls-2.79, 50% 0ff sticker-1.40
    1 large tomato-.90
    1 package lean ground beef-4.10
    1 4l milk-4.79
    1 jug water-5.49
    1 pack smokes-9.69
    tax- 1.26

    Total budget for year-$7800.00
    Total budget for month, 4 weeks- $600.00
    Coupons this Week-6.00+13.75+25.03=44.78
    Total spent this week-$259.03, over $$109.14
    Total for month- 176.24+ 166.23+ 259.14= $601.61
    Over/Under for moth- over $1.61
    Left for month-0.00
    Carry over to Next month-$1.61
    Total year to date- $2017.76

    I really went over this week but there was stocking up and sales, especially at Sobey’s and the Independent. Sobey’s had the shampoo and conditioner with a couple of coupons to help, the stir fry veggies, cheese, pop, yogurt and the boneless chicken which will be combined withthe stir fry veggies to make a number of meals. Everything at the Independent was on sale and/or a coupon. Pop, dish soap, Chez Whiz (a food group here!) cat food, Tetley teabags. The ziploc bags are used a lot here and I had used my last freezer bags the day before with the chicken breasts, and the coupon helped. The butter was a good price too. So I’m good now for a number of things that can be higher priced items so that will help long run. There’s always a lot of milk…Now we see how long it takes me to get back on track…. Easter ill help as we will be at my SIL’s for Good Friday and I plan to get that turkey in my freezer out for Easter here, which will mean lots of yummy leftovers!! I picked up some bonus points along the way from Sobey’s including the ones from the yogurt so that might be handy down the road…. I’m still trying here…..

    1. Hi Christine,
      From what I can tell you struggle with what do at times and that is when we go to more than one shop we spend more than we want to. We try to limit our shops if we can to 1 or 2 stores and price matching but we have this nosey tendency and go in anyways. You tend to spend less when you only go to one shop I notice. Easter is around the corner and although you stocked up which is great and you really didn’t go over too much $1.61 however there still is one more shop for the month unless this is your last shop but I’m doubting that. Carry it over Christine and make up for it next month, you can do it! Happy Easter.YOu get ballot #24

  8. The car we got was a Toyota Cambry 2001. Soulds old but is in excellent shape, body and motor. Toyotas go a long way. I hate the V6 part ( gas) but I still have two kids in car seats and have struggled in the past to fit the teenager ( sitting sideways) in between the car seats. Now there is lots of room and good truck space for mom’s wheelchair.

    I found Metro expensive as well and like you went hunting for coupons. Did not find a one.

    What’s up with stores and coupons? Never see them anymore.


    1. You have to go at the beginning or end of the month or they are likely already gone by then middle of the month. As long as the car works and you are happy with your purchase that is all that matters. The link you add at the bottom of each post you don’t have to do that as they can click on the exact same link under your name. Just thought I would let you know. 🙂

  9. Week of March 18 to March 24, 2013


    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $142.50 x 12 = $1,710.00 for 2 adults
    •Total Stockpile Budgeted For Year: $47.50 x 12 = $570.00 for 2 adults

    •Total CANADIAN Grocery Budget for the Month of March: $ 142.50
    •Total CANADIAN Stockpile Budget for the Month of March: $ 47.50

    •Total Grocery Budget for the Week:
    $ 142.50/4 = $35.62 with FOUR “No Shop” Weeks Per Year
    •Total Stockpile Budget for the Week:
    $ 47.50/4 = $11.87 with FOUR “No Shop” Weeks Per Year


    March Grocery Budget (CDN): $4.40
    March Stockpile Budget (CDN): $0.00
    Safeway Gift card: $20.00
    Cash Hiding Spot (CDN): $5.00

    US Grocery Reserve: $19.43 US
    US Cash Hiding Spot $65.00 US


    I received a coupon this week from Safeway that was burning a flipping whole in my pocket and would have had me stepping outside our Grocery Budget to earn approximately 530 Air Miles on a $200 shop. This is how…

    200 Air Miles Bonus Miles on the actual items Purchased
    20 Air Miles for charging the purchase on my AMEX Air Miles Card
    300 Air Miles from Bonus Coupon
    10 Air Miles from Safeway on $200 spent

    I currently have my necessary 5 vendors and 423 Air Miles accumulated for the 2013 calendar year. I expect to earn an additional 200 miles on the AMEX April statement based on the monthly charges and this coupon would have brought me in well over 1,000 Air Miles required in the year to retain our Gold Status.

    I have the cash in the bank to do this, BUT we have a budget for the GGC and although I would love to have gotten these points, I just couldn’t! Either I am in this Grocery Game Challenge to stick to our budget, same as the rest of you folks, or else I am not! I sure didn’t enjoy that reality this week. 🙁

    See… Mr CBB and my fellow CBB fans kept me on the straight and narrow this week even though I REALLY, REALLY wanted to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND!

    So this is in fact, a NO SHOP WEEK for us!! Power to the people…I stayed strong! 🙂


    •Total CASH Spent: $0.00
    •Total HIDING SPOT CASH Spent: $0.00
    •Total GIFT CARDS Spent: $0.00
    •Total US Reserve Spent: $0.00
    •Total US HIDING SPOT CASH Spent: $0.00


    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions in MARCH:
    ($1.50+$85.90+3.68+0.15+7.12) = $98.35
    •Total Checkout51 Savings in MARCH: $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used in MARCH: ($5.00+$6.79) = $11.79
    •Total More Points Earned in MARCH: (0+ 113+8+18+12) = 151 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned in MARCH: (30+ 0) = 30 Miles


    •Total March Grocery Budget Still Available:
    ($142.50-35.62-$68.50-0.27-33.71) = $4.40 AVAILABLE

    •Total March Stockpile Budget Still Available:
    ($81.21-81.21) = $0.00 FLAT


    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    (Jan $40.04) + (Feb $44.48) + (March $98.35) = $182.87
    •Total Checkout51 Savings This Year:
    (Jan – $0.00) + (Feb – $0.00)+(March $0.00)= $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used This Year:
    (Jan – $60.46) + (Feb – $0.00)+ (March $11.79) = $72.25
    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    (Jan 265) + (Feb 248)+(March 151) = 664 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    (Jan 57) + (Feb 10) + (March 30) = 97 Miles


    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (Jan $217.50) + (Feb $198.39)+ (March $68.50) = $484.39
    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far:
    (Jan $190.00)+(Feb$190.00)+
    (March $142.50-33.71 trf to stockpile= $108.79) = $488.79
    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $4.40 UNDER

    •Total StockpileOOP Spent So Far This Year: $81.21
    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    (Jan $0.00)+(Feb$0.00)+(March $47.50+33.71) = $81.21
    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Stockpile Budget: $0.00 FLAT

    So, Mr CBB… as you know, I felt really poorly yesterday and like so many of us, retail therapy has in the past been a method of temporarily dealing with my feeling yucky. It took ever ounce of my strength to tell hubby to bring me home, do not stop at Safeway, do not pass GO, do not collect…I mean spend $200.00! LOL

    1. Hi Mary!!
      I’m SO PROUD OF YOU!! I honestly thought you might do it but I wasn’t sure as I know how much you love those Air Miles. It just goes to show everyone that we can sit back and say NO, we are on a budget. That is sometimes not the route we want to take but it’s the better route in the end. What is the Gold Status? What perks do you get with that? Keep up the great work Mary! #inspirational shop of the week! #22

  10. Not into salt here either. How I was raised. Dearest however was raised with two salt shakers at every meal. I always forget to put it on the table and he has to go up and get it.

    I didn’t see the program ( no TV here) but my father-in-law, the high blood pressure eat salt until he dies man, told me about it. hasn’t changed how he uses salt though.

    Not a good week for me in the grocery department. I have had a frustrating week with having to buy a used car and daughters car also needing much work. My folks had doctors appointments most every day this week, so I have been on the run and this plucks me into grocery stores. I went to metro for the first time, and won’t be returning and a different Sobeys for their chicken sale. Other then that I had a few coupons for Bulk Barn and used two of them.

    My report for this week.:
    Family of seven

    Total Grocery Budget for the Year: $ 4080.00
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340.00 or $85.00 week
    I have $283.90 to spend in March. The $340.00 minus the over spend of February of $56.10.

    •Total Coupons Used this Week :$8.00
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $- 0
    •Total Spent This Week:$118.55
    •Total Spent So Far for (March): $294.76
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop:$33.55 over
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of (March): $10.86 over
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month:0
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $13.00
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : 0
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1029.64
    •Weekly Overview: I shopped every store in the city this week and really stocked up on food. That said I went over budget! It was my first time in this Sobey’s and first time for Metro ( won’t be returning). teenager is having a party here next week. I found the pizza crust on the half price rack at Superstore, and the cheese half price as well. It will make affordable pizzas for 14 young ones. It does put me over budget though. I did some shopping at Walmart. I hate that store but I couldn’t count on No Frills having these items in stock. Wednesday when I shop at NoFrills is after the Child Tax Creidt comes out, the shelves would be bare and they were.

    clementines 4.47
    milk 2 x 3.97 sale 7.94

    Cat food 7.99
    grapes sale 2.89

    cheese 4x 4.44 sale 17.76
    Pizza crust 5 x 1.45 50% off 7.25
    Gluten free bread 3.69
    raspberries 2 x 1.88 sale 3.76

    No Frills
    Pizza sauce 4 x .59 2.36
    margarine 3.87
    Raisin bread sale 2.00
    pepperoni 3.29
    carrots 3lbs 1.77

    Fruit bars 5 1.99
    banana 1.95
    Baby carrots 1.

    yogurt 16 pack sale 3.99
    chicken 17.49

    Ketchup 2 x1.5L @ 2.97 sale 5.94

    Bulk Barn
    Choclate chips sale 6.85
    Skittles 2.75
    Oats 2.68
    coupon -3.00
    seasoning 2.78
    Hot chocolate 1.56
    Babybell cheese -25% and coupon -1.00 2.37
    Cow cheese -25% and coupon -1.00 1.77
    Jelly dots .84
    Jelly beans 1.59
    coupon -3.00

    Total 118.55


    1. Hey,
      I was raised with the salt shaker on the table but not my wife and we don’t do that now. We do however cook with salt which we are going to try and reduce. Sorry to hear you had a rough week. What model car did you buy? Mechanical work on vehicles can get so costly. Metro is one of the most expensive grocery shops I’ve been in. We go in to look for deals and coupons every month but other than that it’s just way over the top priced for us to shop. Half price cheese is a great deal isn’t it, we finally found more this week as well. You were probably smart just to PM at WM as that is what we do as well. There’s no point going in if the shelves are empty or they are out of stock because of a huge sale. You were over this week but like you said you stocked up. Keep your chin up, you will get back on track. Life throws us curveballs sometimes but we have to go with the flow and keep smiling. You get ballot 21

  11. Hi Mr CBB,
    Are you having trouble reading my posted grocery list? I can post it again, if you like. Sometimes I make mistakes when I do things which are computer related. I’m still a child of the manual typewriter era.

    1. Not that I’m aware of why? If you are wondering why your post isn’t showing right away it’s because they are all in moderation. I read each and every one personally and comment on each one so it takes me more time. I try to get to them as soon as I can. I hope that helps! If you have any suggestions please send them my way via email! Cheers Donna

  12. Total Human Grocery Budget for the Month: $150
    Total Pet Grocery Budget for the Month: $45
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $10.40
    Total Discounts this Week: $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: N/A
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: N/A
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Week: N/A
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month: N/A
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: N/A
    Total Rewards Points Used: N/A
    Stockpile Budget: N/A
    Total Human Over/Under spend this shop: $76.84
    Total Pet Over/Under spend this shop: $1.36
    Total Spent This Week: $144.20
    Total Spent So Far for March: $261.86
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of  March: N/A
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $65.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month : $10.40
    Total to Carry Over Next Month : $0
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $685.35
    Weekly Overview: I was able to stay out of the grocery store for past two weeks (Yah me!!!!!). Because this pay was an additional pay so I decided to stock up with some amazing deals, at least I thought they were amazing. I know that I’m over budget but the food will last that entire time and some yet. I had made a meal plan but I made it for only 1 week instead of two. Well the fact that I made a meal plan is a step in the right direction. I’m looking at this year as a base to start how to improve next year, not that I’m not trying to improve now but I can’t see where I am starting from how can I get better?

    Food Basics

    2 Bread = 4.54 (Received $2.00 of fresh fruit with purchase of 2 loaves of bread)
    Apple = 3.58
    Pam spray = 3.99 (Received a $1.00 off fresh fruit with purchase of Pam)
    3 Boxes Oatmeal = 7.47
    4 Hot Stuff = 3.96
    2 pints BlackBerry = 3.00
    2 L Orange Juice = 4.69 (Free with purchase of 3 boxes of Oatmeal)
    Gaylea Butter = 3.79 (.75 coupon)
    Uncle Ben’s Rice = 2.99 ($1.00 coupon)
    4 Cans of Pasta = 3.96
    Bologna = 2.44
    2 pack Ham = 5.00
    Pork Chops = 7.90

    Coupons = 9.44
    OOP = 46.91


    Cheerios = 2.00
    1 pint Tomatoes = 3.00
    2 lbs Carrots = 2.00
    4 Michaelinas = 4.00

    OOP = 11.00

    No Frills

    2 Milk = 7.94
    Frozen Juice = 2.00
    Butter = 2.97
    Eggs = 2.68
    Rice = 4.97
    2 Dry Pasta = 2.98
    Peanut Butter = 3.97
    Raspberry Jam = 1.97
    Raisin Bran = 2.00
    Hamburger Buns = 2.79
    2 Shepherds Pie = 2.00
    Ground Beef = 5.45
    Hot Dogs = 2.00
    10 lbs Potatoes = .99
    Dish Soap = 1.88
    Laundry Soap = 13.99
    Maxi Pads = 3.00
    Pantyliner = 2.99
    6 pack of Soft Cat Food = 7.38
    Cat Litter (18kg) = 7.98

    Tax = 4.36
    OOP = 86.29

    1. Hi Dee~
      I don’t know how you did that but I would be just as happy as you if I didn’t have to shop with the wife for 2 weeks. I think just posting your shops here is a great start as it will show you where you are spending your money, what products you are buying and where you can improve. Make small changes and if meal planning is your first goal then work with that first. You stocked up on some great deals this week yes. We have a stockpile budget of $20 a week, is that something that you may consider for the times when you find something that is a great deal? You get ballot #18

  13. When I cook, I don’t tend to cook with salt. I know growing up that if salt wasn’t added during the cooking/baking process, I just didn’t use it. One of my dads, need salt due to low blood pressure while my other dad couldn’t have salt as it put his hands to sleep. Like others in this forum, I tend to forget to put the salt shaker out when we have company and infact, the salt shaker sits in the cupboard behind closed doors.

  14. My mom pours buckets of salt on everything…even if it’s already a salty type dish. HBP runs in my family, and even mine is slightly high even though I technically do everything “right,” except perhaps worry a bit too much, causing stress. I know salt really isn’t a huge problem for me, but it’s something to give a lot more thought about.

    1. Not everyone does give much thought to health concerns until it is a problem so it’s good to take control now with what we learn from those that know how much our bodies need. We are trying to cut back now as this show really did remind us that there is more to flavours then just salt.

  15. Week 11

    PB Crackers $2.50
    Coffee Creamer $3.50
    Brwn Sugar $1.99
    Town House Crackers $2.50

    Total Out of Pocket $10.49

    3 Small Fries $3.00
    Cheesburger $0.99
    2 Filet-O-Fish $3.50
    1 Medium Fries $1.99
    2 Hamburgers $1.78

    Total Out of Pocket $11.94

    Bush’s Veg Beans $1.65
    Dozen Brwn Eggs $2.19
    Can Whole Corn $0.91
    Ackee $8.99
    2 x Chicken Vienna Sausage $0.80
    2 x Wheat Bread $3.15

    Total Out of Pocket $22.58

    2 x Hawaiiain Punch $4.96

    Total Out of Pocket $4.96

    Donna’s Resaurant
    Large King Fish $11.12

    Total Out of Pocket $11.12

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $3,500
    Total Grocery Budget for March: $254.98
    Total Coupons Used this Week:  $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $61.09
    Total Spent for March: $224.49
    Total Underspend this shop: -$6.79
    Total Overspend for the month of March: $0.00
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $30.49
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $30.49
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $919.66

    Weekly Overview: I’m so proud of myself this week. I was only over by $7. That’s a great improvement from my my previous shops. I was very mindful of shopping this week and I tried my best to stretch the items I already had at home to make it work. I also ate out twice this week 🙁 but who’s checking? 😉 It’s still a time struggle and totally due to lack of planning. For the last week of the month, I am determined to stay in the green!

    1. Hi Dr. Sheba!
      Well, good for you only over $7 this week and yes it is a great improvement. I see you made it to Macdonald’s again this week. How are your plans for cutting back on eating out every week? I’m checking, that’s who!!! haha. What about planning your meals in advance and doing a big cook on a Sunday and then heat the food up during the week? You can also batch cook and freeze it. This won’t happen unless you take the time out to make it happen. It’s a work in progress but make one small change each week and eventually they become a way of life. Keep up the good work… I’m watching you 😉

  16. This should be an interesting challenge, CBB. I’ve known people who have gone on low sodium diets and their shocked by how much more they can taste once their taste buds recover from all the salt in a regular diet. Keep me posted, I’m interested to hear how it goes!

  17. Mr CBB, it is scary to know how much salt and preservatives are in everything, not to mention the true health detriments! Your body will be greatful for your label reading and conscious avoidance of salt. Keep it up!

  18. Not the Bush’s baked beans 🙁 I should have figured that. Bf is pretty heavy handed with the salt. I’m always nudging him to stop shaking.

  19. budget for march: 260
    coupons used: 123.71
    spent this month: 62+84.3=146.3
    budget left for march: 113.70

    Giant Tiger
    Tetley tea PM freshco 2.00-1.00=1.00
    Coca-cola 12-pack PM food basics 2.99
    romaine lettuce PM Zehrs 1.98
    Easter Eggs 2×1.67-2xFPC= FREE (FPCs from Giant tiger’s egg hunt game)
    Glade sense & spray 7×4.94 -7×5.00=+0.42 overage !!

    Walmart & RCSS
    Asian noodles 6×0.79=4.74
    coconut milk 2×0.88=1.76
    Kelloggs frosted flakes 3×4.77-3xFPC= FREE
    Special K krisp 3.18 – FPC= FREE
    Iams shakeables dog treat 3.00-1.00=2.00
    Rice Krispies 3×5.99-3xFPC= FREE
    Special K shakes 7.99-FPC = FREE
    Wonderbread 2.87-50% off = 1.43
    Maple leaf bacon portions 4.99 -FPC = FREE
    Butterball turkey bacon 4.99-FPC = FREE
    campbell soup 2×1.97 = 3.94
    sugar 2×1.97 = 3.94
    spinach 1.47
    mushroom 1.00
    sweet potato 0.63
    pears 0.49
    cucumber 0.97
    temptations cat treat 2×1.47-2×0,50=0.97 ea
    Glade plugins 2×10/2 -2×5.00= FREE 😀
    Febreze car clip PM Zehrs 4×2.99-2×3.00 = 1.49ea
    Rice krispies 2×3.97-2xFPC = FREE
    Chapman ice-cream 2.97-5.00=+2.03 overage!!
    Nestea 12-pack PM Freshco 3.00
    Dog pads 2×17.97=35.94

    This week i bought 2 big packs of dog pee pads because it was on sale, $5 cheaper than usual plus 20 pads more, so i had to stock up, these 2 big packs will be good for 7 months for Gracie our dog! this is how i went over the weekly budget. maybe should start a monthly stockpile budget as well! another thing i spent this week was some socks and a pair of new legging for myself, and also a pair of earrings for my mother. these go to my seasonal budget, $50 every 3 months for clothes etc.

    1. Hey there WING!!!
      WOW I can’t believe how many coupons you have used in March you are a coupon Queen! You still have plenty left to spend for the month. I’m always fascinated by what people are able to spend and save in their budget. WOW, that’s alot of GLADE.. where were those coupons from again? If you want to start a stockpile budget and you can add that in it’ syour choice. We did and it works well for us. How old is your dog? You have so many FPC’s… I didn’t get half of them. See why I need you to post the FPC’s on my wall lol… I miss everything now!! Keep up the good work WING! You are doing so well. You get ballot #17

  20. I find most recipes can do without the salt. I hike up the amount of pepper and acid to add zing to the dish. Even baking, a lot I can just skip the salt. The solution with the baked beans Mr CBB is to get yourself a good Dutch Oven and make your own. Since a good chunk of the sodium is in the bacon…I simply omit it. 😀

  21. I’ll check the salt thing later but I learned to cook many years ago by cooking for my grandfather who was, at the time, on a low sodium diet. So I don’t add salt to much of anything, ever. We have a water softener but the kitchen cold water line is on a bypass so the water comes straight in without going through the softener. We’re like John, at Frugal Rules in that I don’t even put the salt shaker on the table. Actually if you don’t want to use the salt but want the food to taste good the usual recommendation is to use more herbs and such in the food. Because I use so little salt in my cooking I can taste it when some-one else does…..I still remember my mother-in-law using that Lipton onion soup mix on a roast she made when we were there, I had a hard time eating it as it tasted so salty. Her then boyfriend sat down he grabbed the salt shaker and added more!!!!!! It was all I could do to not gag! There are still the processed foods that I buy but I do try to make as much as I can from scratch, not only is it cheaper but it is better for you. I think once you really get into cutting the salt out of your diet as much as you can you will start to notice in other people’s cooking, when they do use it. There has been talk around town here about sodium levels in the town water being high. So even to, say, boil potatoes I don’t add salt. If I’m making a yeast product like buns or bread I add a lot less than the recipe says to add. There’s so much sodium added to food these days…. sugar is another one to watch, including high fructose corn syrup and the like….. all are added to food in quantity to manufacture the ‘foods’ as cheaply as possible, so now we don’t know what the food in question actually should taste like, if it isn’t as sweet or what ever as we have been taught it should taste we thumb our nose at it.

    1. It almost sounds like “out of sight, out of mind” with the salt shaker. We cook lots of homemade meals as well so we have the control over how much we shake in the meals so that’s a start. We really are watching what we buy now but it will be tough.

  22. According to the calorie counter I use, I tend to fall in 2000-3000mg of sodium per day. I’m not sure how accurate that is, however, because it is easier to choose pre-existing entries rather than my own recipe so will do that often and I don’t really cook with salt all that much at all.
    At the end of the day, though, I’m not really worried, because I don’t have a lot of family history of high-blood pressure and my own blood pressure actually tends to be a little on the low side (two weeks ago, it was 100/50)

    1. That’s true as we had to pick what they had to offer and like I said I don’t really eat club sandwiches nor eat them everyday. I’m sure the numbers are inflated because of that but what we do know is we likely get more sodium than we need.

  23. Those numbers are just crazy! Both of my parents use salt like it’s going out of style, which makes me wonder if it’s a generational thing. We do not cook with salt and do not even have salt on the table. If we want some we have to get up and go in the kitchen for it. There’s already so much in many items why add more? We get around of it as much as we can buy making as much as we can on our own and using our veggies to make different items as opposed to buying it.

    1. We use salt when we create our recipes otherwise some meals taste like, um… crap! The problem is we are maybe using a bit too much so we will try and cut it down a bit. Did you test your intake.. check it out, it’s pretty cool.

  24. Hi Mr. CBB,

    Here is my grocery list for the week. I’m cutting it close, I know. Check out my menu for this week on my blog. You are warmly mentioned as well.

    3 x 4L milk @ 3.97 = 11.91
    1 x Classico pesto = 2.00
    1 x salami = 5.00
    1 x sliced turkey = 5.00
    1 x canned black beans = 1.15
    2 x Classico pasta sauce @2.00 = 4.00
    2 x Catelli farfalle @ 1.00 = 2.00
    1 x Splenda = 9.97
    1 x canned corn = 0.64
    2 x Kraft salad dressing @ 3.37 = 6.74
    1 x peppermint tea = 2.00
    Bananas = 3.23
    1 x iceberg lettuce = 0.88
    1 x MIO = 3.47
    2 x fresh spinach @ 1.00 = 2.00
    1 x Cracker Barrel 500g cheese (PM Fortino’s) = 4.44
    2 x dozen large eggs @ 1.99 (PM Fortino’s) = 3.98

    Total OOP = 68.41
    Coupons used = 0.00

    Total Grocery Budget for the Year: $7300.00 /year
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $600.00 or $150.00/week
    Total Spent This Week: $ 88.77
    Total Spent So Far for (March): $ 488.43
    Total Over/Under spent this shop: $ under 61.23
    Total Over/Under spent for the month of (March): $ ?
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $ 111.57
    SCOP: $ 0
    Total Coupons Used this Week: $ 3.25
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $ 39.62
    Total coupons used this year: $ 222.65
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $ 0.00
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $1826.85

    1. Hi Donna!
      Tnanks for the mention on your blog! I’ll go take a peak! We bought that classico pest, it’s pretty darn good wouldn’t you say and for $2 that is a good buy. You still have plenty left to spend for the month> I don’t think you are cutting it close I think you have left yourself more than enough room in the budget to make it until the end. With some planning I”m sure you can do it. You get ballot #16~~ Keep up the hard work Donna! Mr.CBB

  25. No idea what my intake is, I rarely add salt but it is scary that just with a couple of shakes you were already twice over the limit.

    here is my shop for the week

    drinking water $2
    24 beers $11.2
    1.39lb potato $0.58
    8 box matches $0.37
    300gr cream cheese $3.2
    bunch of spinach $0.2
    4 avocados $2
    1.72lb banana $0.22
    2 bell pepper $1
    0.4lb jalapeno $0.44
    1 melon $1.05
    1lb nachos $2.12
    toilet paper $2.32

    total $27.70

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $171.29 or $34.25 times 5 weeks
    Total Coupons Used this Week : none
    Total Spent This Week:$ 27.7
    Total Spent So Far for (March): $122.16
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $6.55 under
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (March): $14.84 under
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $49.09
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $352.22

    Week overview:
    I still have 24 beers from last time but stocking up for Easter we have visits and it was cheap. Same for the nachos but I think BF will eat them before company arrives. I have to hide them. Considering half the shop was beer and nachos this is a pretty cheap week and still under budget.

    1. We use salt but we are starting to cut back now after watching that program. I’m jealous of your beer cost, really I am. I paid over $30 the other day for my case. Planning on making nachos or guacamole this week if the BF doesn’t eat them then lol.. wink** This is a classic beer and nacho menu although you did manage to sneak in some veg lol. Happy Easter Pauline.. loving your shops by the way.. !!

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