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The Grocery Game Challenge #2 April 8-14, 2013~Tracking Grocery Expenses

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The Grocery Game Challenge #2 April 8-11, 2013

We’ve talked in the past about tracking grocery expenses in order to help cut expenses and stay true to your monthly grocery budget. The average household grocery budget is likely to accumulate more in unplanned products in the shopping cart unless they have a list of groceries and a plan of action.

When we started to track grocery spending seriously, I’m not talking when we felt like it, I mean every week, things started to change for us. What we thought were grocery savings actually ended up costing us more in the long run and that’s when things needed to change. No, we don’t use a fancy grocery tracking app, nor do we think it should take hours to know how much money groceries cost us each week.

The Grocery Game Challenge essentially is the simplest grocery expense tracker around and we are growing each week with more fans joining in on the action. The more we learn about grocery bills and how they affect our overall budget the more we want to improve the grocery game.

Many fans have sent in their suggestions and we have implemented them as we go along. The grocery game is a work in progress and  feedback from the fans will help us all to improve and enjoy the experience of how to budget groceries for the optimal learning experience.

We Are Family

I often thought we had some of the best grocery lists when we posted our grocery brags as I like to call them, but some GGC fans blow us out of the water with some impressive grocery lists and savings. Not all of our fans who post live in Canada either so don’t be discouraged if you live in another part of the country because you too can participate.

The best part is seeing how we are improving each week and knowing that there is a safe, non-judgemental environment to post our shops, tips, and questions to help each other out.

The Grocery Expense Tracker

I created a template that each player can use to share a summary at the end of their shop each week. You can customize it how you like as long as you tell us the important, juicy details 1- your budget, 2- How many people will the budget feed, 3- How much you spent along with the list of products you bought.

Follow the data with an overview of your thoughts and goals so we can offer our feedback. It helps us all to follow you but it’s mainly for you to keep track, week after week until the end of the year.

Grocery Game Template

Cooking Homemade Meals

Not everyone grew up eating healthy homemade meals every night of the week so we want to be able to help guide each other to grab an apron and get cooking. Creating meal plans, shopping lists and challenging ourselves to cook a new meal each week will help us all grow our recipe box so we have easy to make, go-to meals every week that are nutritious.

Some people don’t believe they have the skills to make a meal or the time so they generally purchase a ready made meal or canned goods. We try not to but canned or convenience food but like everyone we are working on making better choices.

My Grocery List

There are cases where someone might have picky eaters at home and may want to introduce different foods into their diet but just don’t know where to begin. Our friend, Alexa at Single Mom’s Income shared, “A Single Mom’s Grocery List-What I Buy” on her blog the other day. She is wanting to save money using coupons to lower her grocery budget and experiment to see what her kids will eat to incorporate more nutritious foods into their diet.

Always Ask For A Receipt

Learning how to track your expenses with the grocery game challenge is easy. All you need to do is save your receipts and input the data once a week or when you shop in the comment section of my Tuesday Grocery Game post, like this one today! If you are not used to asking or keeping your receipts it’s up to you to make that change.

Start asking for receipts and being mindful at the cash register. Find a safe place to store your receipts and then track the expenses here. Monthly household expenses differ from person to person, family to family so don’t be shy, post the truth and watch how you will make positive changes.

Monthly food expenses are the next highest category in the budget next to rent/mortgage and in some cases surpass consumer debt for those who make monthly debt repayments. Estimated monthly expenses can be tough and with the grocery game may help ease the pain of overspending especially if you are not tracking your grocery shopping.

Even if you bring cash to the grocery store you still may overspend when you buy products you really don’t need. Planning our meals has been a life changing experience but one that has brought us closer together as a couple and has inspired us to work more in the kitchen as a team.

So, if you think tracking grocery expenses is a waste of time, don’t bother but if you REALLY want to stick to your budget or if you know your food expenses are too high, post your shop and join the rest of us here as we work towards learning how to make a grocery budget work for our families.

Do you keep your grocery receipts? 

The Grocery Game Challenge

This is the Second Grocery Game Challenge for April 2013~~ Post your Shop and you might be our next Grocery Game Winner! Each week I will post the GGC Posts for the month below so you can click, post and catch up!  You have all month to post your shops.

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.

Past Blog Posts To Help You Shop and Save!
Our Grocery Game Challenge Results #2 April
Shop #1


  • 2x JandJ Floss $2.00-$2.00 coupons =FREE 

Total Out of Pocket $0.52 which is the tax, so not totally free, but close enough for something we will need

Shop #2

Walmart 2: I dropped in to a second shop while travelling for a meeting

  • 16 x cans of Clover Leaf Flavoured Tuna $2.00-$1.00 
  • 1x Bag of radishes $1.27
  • 1x Anise/Fennel $1.47
  • 1x Bag of Andy Romaine Hearts (3) Sale $2.00 reg $4.99
  • 2 x Old Spice Deoderant Sale $2.00 Reg $2.67- Buy 2 Save $3.00 Old Spice
  • 1 x Colgate White Sale $1.97-$1.50
  • 2 x JandJ Floss $2.00-$2.00
  • 1 x JandJ Bandaid (Plasters) 80 pack $4.96-$2.00
  • 1 x JanJ Bandaid (Plasters) $3.97-$2.00
  • 1 x 220g White Mushrooms $1.27
  • 6 x Prime Extra Lean Turkey Mince Reduced by 30%- Was $5.44-$3.80, Was $5.20-$3.58,  Was $5.59-$3.91, Was $5.26-$3.67, Was-$5.62-$3.93, Was $5.44-$3.80

Total Out Of Pocket $37.56

Total Stockpile Used $16.00 (tuna)

Shop #3

Food Basics

  • 3 x Pita Bread Sale $0.95 reg $1.19
  • 2 x Lactancia 1L Cream Sale $1.99-$0.75
  • 4 x Cedar Olives Sale $3.49 Reg $6.99
  • 1 x Reduced Golden Delicious apples $0.99

Total Out Of Pocket: $20.40

Shop #4


  • 6 x limes reduced $0.99 reg 6 for $3.00
  • 1 x Soy Sauce $1.99
  • 2 x Cool Run Seasoning Spices Sale $2.49 

Total Out Of Pocket: $7.96

Shop #5


  • Garbage Bags Ruffies $3.00

Total Out Of Pocket: $3.39

Yearly Grocery Budget For 2 : $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 : $34.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $10.28
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $16.00 (Tuna)
  • Total Spent This Week:$ 69.83
  • Total Spent So Far for (April): $60.13+$69.83
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $8.50 under for the week
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (April): $129.96
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $105.04
  • Total Coupons Used This Month :$26.00+$34.00=$60
  • 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) + (March)$169.62= $537.34
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 (this will be used for a date night or a summer holiday)

Weekly Overview:

Not too bad of a week as we stocked up on lots of proteins and vegetables for the week so we can start eating more salads. We just happened to get lucky at Metro with another pack of fresh limes on the reduced rack with nothing wrong with them. Metro is an expensive store for many products so even a small dent is not good enough for the higher paying clientèle.

We only have just over $100 left to spend this month with $4.00 remaining in our stockpile budget. We don’t need much but anything can happen between now and the next flyer inserts. I am going to make more olive bread this week but switch it up into flat breads. 

Canadian Coupons Found This Week

Coupons Found This Week April 2013

How was your grocery shop this week?

Grocery Game Frequently Asked Questions

Grocery Game Challenge RULES….. Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. 

  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. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  6. How Do I Grocery Shop? I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices. Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I don’t need to buy this or that. You may also substitute items in order to stick to your budget to make it work.

Quote-Budget and Money

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  1. Week #2 8 – 14 Apr 2013

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    2 x Eggs @$1.99 = $3.98
    1 x Neilson Cream $1.99
    1 x Neilson Milk $3.87
    1 x Bag $0.05
    Total Out of Pocket $9.89

    1 x Cheese 500g $4.97
    Total Out of Pocket $4.97

    1 x Milk $4.89
    1 x Envirokidz Koala Crisp Cereal $3.99
    1 x Fusili $0.99
    1 x Orange Juice $4.99
    1 x PC Organic Cookies @$2.99 less 50% pink sticker = $1.49
    2 x Blue Menu Pasta Sauce 3 Cheese @$0.94 = $1.88 (1 Bottle for stockpile)
    1 x Organic Bread $5.49 – 50% off pink sticker = $2.74
    1 x Pork Loin $9.65
    3 x Avocadoes @$0.99 = $2.97
    1 x Bunch Organic Bananas $1.80
    2 x Broccoli @$0.99 = $1.98
    1 x Cauliflower $3.99 – 50% off pink sticker = $1.99
    1 x Cucumber $0.99
    1 x Bag of Organic Kiwis $2.99
    1 x Organic Field Greens @$4.99 – 50% off pink sticker =$2.49
    1 x Bag of Organic Sweet Potatoes $5.99
    1 x Container of Organic Roma Tomatoes @$3.49 – 50% off pink sticker = $1.74
    1 x Squash @$2.66 – 50% off pink sticker = $1.33
    1 x Butternut Squash $3.59
    Total Out of Pocket $57.37 – $0.90 Gas coupon = $56.47

    Farm Beef & Chicken $11.05
    Total Out of Pocket $11.05

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $240.00 or $60/week
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.90
    Total Discounts this Week: Lots of 50% off pink stickers 😉
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0
    Stockpile Budget $20: Used Week #1 $0.00 + Week #2 $0.94
    Total Spent This Week: $82.38
    Total Spent So Far for (April): $46.56 + $82.38 = $128.94
    Total Over spend this shop: $22.38
    Total Over spend for the month of (April): $8.94
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $111.06
    Total Coupons Used This Month: Week #1 $11.45 + Week #2 $0.90 = $12.35

    Happy to see so many pink stickers on a Monday shopping trip. Bought more milk, squash, salad etc as we’re having the father & bro-in-lay come over for a few days so we had to feed another 2 adults X 3 meals and snacks to provide . However, I refused to veer too much off my budget for my own sanity. And just used my stockpile to feed them too. Let’s see the following week how I did as I spent a little more just becos it was my birthday and I wanted have No Anitibiotics No hormone be continued..

    1. Hi Adeline,
      Glad to have you back in the action and catching up!
      We love pink stickers as well. It’s always a pretty sight. I don’t think you need to go off budget just because you have guests for a few days. Sometimes people go overboard and buy TOO MUCH food because they think they need it all but they probably don’t Happy Belated Birthday to you too! It was Joanna’s birthday as well. At least you got in $0.90 in coupons this week. 😉 You get ballot #33

  2. Food Basics
    Juice boxes – $2.00
    Sunshine bread – sale $1.88
    Hamburger buns – $1.99
    Lettuce – $1.97
    Cantaloupe – $1.99
    Hummus – $3.29 (plus will get $2.00 back from Checkout 51)

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $13.38

    •Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $3975 (I decreased my budget starting this month by $25 so my new weekly budget is $75.00)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $325
    •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: $0
    •Total Spent This Week:$13.38
    •Total Spent So Far for April: $63.03
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: under $61.62
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of April: under $86.94
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $286.27
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $.50
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I don’t carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $886.64
    •Weekly Overview: I didn’t end up buying much at all this week. Tried eating what I already had on hand and ended up eating out one night and being treated to dinner on another.

    1. Hey,
      Fancy seeing you again so soon lol.. looks like you are playing catch up with your shops but that’s ok. You’ve hardly spent anything in April so far and I’m impressed. You also use Checkout 51 good for you. Hummus.. you have to make it at home its so cheap and easy to make.. that $1.29 will seem like a lot of money after. lol.. I buy the big bags of dry chickpeas, tub of tahini paste, and the rest is easy.. garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice with olive oil.. that’s it. Keep at it.. you get ballot 29

  3. 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.

    Chocolate 2 x $1.00
    OOP $2.26

    Milk 2 x $3.97
    PF cracker chips $1.97 – $.75 coupon
    Yogurt $4.47 – $.50 coupon
    Vitality bread 3 x $3.19 – 50% pink sticker $4.79 – 3 x $.75 coupons
    Broccoli (PM) $.88
    Coupons $3.50
    CD $2.02
    OOP $14.75

    Fresh Co
    Strawberries 2 x $.98
    Turkey breast deli meat 2 x $2.50
    Barilla pasta $.99
    OOP $7.95

    Goldfish 2 x $1.97 – 2 x $.50
    BC Fruit by the foot (PM FB) $1.44
    BC Gummies (PM FB) 2 x $1.44
    BD cheese block (PM FC) $3.88
    Kraft Asain Sesame dressing (PM FB) $1.97
    NN sour cream $1.29
    Quaker granola bars (PM FB) $1.44
    RC spring water (15 pack) 6 x $1.00
    So Delicious coconut yogurt $4.59 – $.50 coupon
    BB Turkey pepperoni $3.99
    Bananas (PM NF) $1.51
    Broccoli $.98
    Carrots (3lbs) $1.67
    Salad (PM GT) $1.00
    Green apples $1.47
    Mushrooms $1.99 (ouch!)
    Oranges (PM FC) $2.85
    Tomatoes (PM NF) $.42
    John Freida hair dye 2 x Reg $14.99 marked down to $9.54 – 50% pink sticker=$4.77 (Great deal!!!)
    Softsoap refill $1.97 – $1.00 coupon
    Coupons $2.50
    CD $5.04
    OOP $49.53

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $6.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year:$48.50
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $7.06
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$14.65
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $165.17
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0
    •Total Spent This Week: $74.49
    •Total Spent So Far for April: $159.98
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of April: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $200.02
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $19.99
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I do not carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1107.69
    •Weekly overview: I looked and realized I have $59.00 worth of PC Points if I want to redeem them for free groceries. I also have $160.00 worth of gift cards for RCSS. Maybe I’ll save up for a month’s worth of free groceries! I didn’t find a lot of sales I was interested in this week. We haven’t bought much meat lately so I expect an expensive week soon. We looked in the freezer today and we don’t have much meat left at all. We’re having trouble with meal ideas lately so I hope with bbq season coming it will get a little easier. I signed up for and won that 7servings contest that plans a weekly menu for you but I forgot that I was such a picky eater and I don’t like what they have on the menu 🙁 I did do something different tonight with the quesadillas on homemade tortillas and we will be having pizza this week on homemade flatbread which is new as well but then we’ll be kind of stuck for the rest of the week (besides nanny day on Tuesday of course lol). I’m sure we’ll come up with something! lol Thanks for being such an inspiration Mr CBB! (Oh and I’m under budget again! lol)

    1. Hey!
      Good for you coming under budget. That’s alot more points than we have but the perks of using your card I guess which is worth it. That’s awesome with all those gift cards but I’m betting you will make them all work to your advantage. I don’t know about the 7 menu contest that you entered. The quesadilla recipe looked good.. so good I posted the photo in my blog post today!! That was a great deal on the hair dye? I didn’t know you Dye your hair. DO you change your colour often? My wife has never coloured her hair before she says not until the greys start coming in lol. I see lots of great food in your budget this week, keep at it and eliminate what you don’t need but I have to admit your grocery shops have gotten much healthier since the beginning except for your runs to the dollar store.. haha… might have to put a sign with your face on it.. don’t let her in!! 🙂 Keep up the great work Jen. You get ballot #10

  4. I drove all the way out to a Walmart Supercentre today just to look for marked down ground turkey! lmao I didn’t find any! 🙁 I’ll just keep an eye out. We need to stock up soon as we’re almost out of all meat! lol #CBB

    1. I find if you go early in the morning 7:30-8am or late in the afternoon, you’ll find the most selection of reduced meats at Walmart. 🙂

  5. Our weekly budget is $100 making this month $400.
    Got some great deals this week and some awesome donations!
    I had a fellow couponer give me money to pick up some deodarents for her backapcks of hope and the bissel center which I was more than happy to pick up for her. I picked them up from work and was able to do so on my breaks and after my shift so it was no problem for me to do so. I also preordered them so I wasn’t clearing shelves. 🙂

    10 loafs of asstd bread/buns
    $13.99 total oop
    $1.97×3-$3C toothpaste – donation
    $2.22×3-$9C zantac
    .97 french bread
    $2×2-$2C bistro rice
    $1×2 michelinas
    $1 chips
    $1-$2C shampoo – donation
    $2×2-$4C finish
    $1×4-$4C toothpaste – donation
    $6.67 total oop
    $24 total coupons
    $3.49×2-fpc dish scrunge
    .35 total oop
    $6.98 total coupons
    $1.47×2 sugar 2kg
    $2.94 total oop
    $4×2-$3C hair dye clearance
    $4.29×2-$7.98C tropicana orange juice (wub3quakerproducts)
    $2×3 chewy granola bars
    $3.99 strawberries
    $2 2pk large cinnamon buns
    $2.18×4-$4C starbucks frappuccino drinks
    $3.30×3 12pk pop
    $2×4-$6C pantene – donation
    .50×2 easter chocolate clearance
    $1.69 2ln onions
    $2-.50C yogurt
    $2.50×2-$3C febreeze
    .99×2 mushrooms
    $6.99-$3C habanero heat cheese
    $3.50×2-bogoC ($3.79) glade candle
    $1.99 easter eggies clearance
    $2 yogurt
    $1.50 soup – clearance
    $2×44-$66C old spice deodarents – donations
    $83.85 total oop
    $97.27 total coupons

    $107.80-$20 donation money give to me
    $87.80 total weekly oop
    $128.25 total weekly coupons

    $194.66 total monthly oop
    $212.85 total monthly coupons
    $205.34 remaining for the month 🙂

    1. Hi Juanita,
      You are on fire today! What toothpaste coupons are you using? I have inserts am I missing something lol. So you got 44 deoderants for $2 at Sobeys and used brandsaver I presume buy 2 save $3.?That’s one heck of a weeks shopping I’m impressed. I’m also impressed at how much you were able to save using coupons, good for you. You have loads left for the month.. what will you with all that extra cash. We’re watching you.. .let’s see if you can stretch it until the end! Mr.CBB You get ballot #9

      1. Mr.CBB
        I had a $1 colgate total advanced health(from an insert that came out last year) and $1 crest prohealth(from the p&g insert). I traded with multiple ladies for all those toothpaste inserts. I was also given 60 p&g inserts!!! So getting those deodarents were an amazing deal and getting club sobeys points was icing on the cake!!
        I am really hoping to stretch it till the end of the month!!! We are trying to ditch the pop and it is very hard for us!! I would compare it to an addiction, well at least for us it is. We will make it eventually but there will be bumps in the road and we all need an occasional treat.
        Also all stores like walmart, sobeys and shoppers are redoing the shampoo/hair dye aisles so look for clearance prices and peelies attached to help sell them and letting us buy them very cheaply. 🙂

  6. I finally got to post my shops for this week. I didn’t go to the opening of No Frills yet but the weather has been crappy especially for driving. I was at Foodland for most of it but went to the Independent the other day as well.

    Foodland, April 6
    2 small cans tomato paste@ .79- 1.58
    2 KD @.99 – 1.98
    3 cans tomatoes@ 1.50- 4.50, -.75 coupon
    2 ham steak@ 1.99- 3.98
    1bag peanuts in shell- 2.29
    2 cans tomato sauce@2.29– 4.58, 1.00 WUB2 coupon
    2 Kraft peanut butter@ 2.99- 5.98
    1 hamburger buns- 2.99
    1 yogurt- 3.49, .50 coupon
    2 cheese bricks@ 4.97- 9.94
    1 turkey sausage-4.99, 50% coupon, 2.50 off
    1 pack smokes- 9.69

    Independent, April 8
    4 pasta @.99- 3.96
    1 pack cookies-2.59, $1.00 coupon
    2 cases gingerale@4.99– 9.98, 2-$2.00 coupons
    1 box Cream of Wheat- 3.99
    2 packs Danone yogurt@4.29– 8.58, .50 coupon
    1 pack Liberte yogurt- 3.99
    1 lb butter- 3.89
    2 boxes cookies@ 2.50- 5.00
    1 bagels- 3.89, 50% sticker,saved 1.95
    Tax- 1.30

    Foodland, April 9
    1 Temptations treats- 1.79
    1 bag peanuts- 2.29
    1 cider mix- 3.99
    1 pack sausage- 4.35
    1 box Kashi cereal- 4.49, $2.00 coupon
    1 box Cheerios- 4.49, .75 coupon
    2 4l milk@4.79– 9.58
    3 bricks cheese@ 4.97- 14.91
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 pack smokes- 9.69
    Total $60.33

    Total budget for year-$7800.00
    Total budget for month (4 weeks)$600.00
    Total coupons for week-$14.95
    Total spent this week-$$152.55
    Total spent this month- $295.86
    Total over/under for week- 2.55 over
    Total over/under for the month- 4.55 under
    Left for the month- $304.14
    Total coupons for month -$116.92
    Carry over- $66.15
    Total spent year to date- $2482.13

    I went over just a tiny bit for the week but I’m still under for the month itself, so things are still looking OK so far. The coupon for the yogurt at the Independent was scanned in wrong but I didn’t notice until I got home. I called the store and the most the woman told me was that I would have to go back to get the one dollar difference. It would be more in gas to do that . But… There was a website listed for a survey on what I thought of my shop at the store so I went online to fill that out. I said that my concern was that they needed to watch that coupon as there were two bar codes on it. Fifty cents to buy one pack and $1.50 if you buy 2 packs. The powers that be do read those comments, I got a phone call from the store manager and we had a very nice talk. I made my point and he thanked me for letting them know. It will be raised with the cashiers to watch this. Plus he said he would leave an envelope at the front desk for me with a gift card in it to pick up next time I go there!!! I have no idea how much it will be for but, clearly they do care about what we think and to thank me for bringing this to their attention!!! I am impressed!!! I’ll let you know what the value is when I get it, I don’t expect it will be much but the thought sure counts!!

    1. Howdie Christine!!
      Once this weather blows over I’m sure you will be gracing No Frills with your presence. It’s always nice to say we went over for a shop but we are still under for the month. It seems to make things a bit better, doesn’t it? They told you that you had to go back then on the spot? I would have told them to sod-off it was their error and you’ll get there when you get there for the return of your money. Good for you Christine. see what happens when we aren’t shy to speak up. Sometimes though we are forced to take a different route like you did. Yes they do care and that should be a part of your consideration with that store. It would be great if it was a GC good for groceries for life hahaha.. Keep up the good work mate.. you’re over this week but with your GC I’m betting you can get everything back on track. You get ballot #8

  7. Week 14

    2 pks coffee $6.99
    2 x Hawaiian Punch $4.67

    Total Out of Pocket $11.95

    3 pk Paper Towel $2.00
    Shout Laundry $2.50
    Smoked Sausage $2.99
    Bush Vegetarian $2.39

    Total Out of Pocket $10.15

    12ct Toilet Tissue $3.99
    4ct AA Batteries $3.99
    Royal Dansk Cookies $4.49

    Total Out of Pocket $12.95

    Absolut $19.07

    Total Out of Pocket $19.07

    Wheat Bread $3.15
    2L Coca-Cola $1.50

    Total Out of Pocket $4.74

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $3,500
    Total Grocery Budget for April: $246.49
    Total Coupons Used this Week:  $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $58.86
    Total Spent for April: $133.22
    Total Underspend this shop: $2.76
    Total Overspend for the month of April: $113.27
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $113.27
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $113.27
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $1,168.30

    1. Hi Dr. Sheba,
      No final comments.. awe… I always like to hear what you have to say about your shop. That shout laundry you bought we got tonnes of it free with a coupon here.. great stuff that is. Well you still have a couple of weeks left to shop for the month so hopefully you can get that money to last you until the end of the month. I noticed you didn’t post any trips to a fast food restaurant so I’m guessing you did not go, good for you. How much do you normally spend on alcohol per month? I buy a case of beer with my allowance which I get every month although some months I go over or some months I don’t buy anything so I can double up my money to pay for a case. Keep at it mate!

  8. Hey Mr CBB, here is my shop

    0.57lb mushrooms $2.2
    1 bunch spinach $0.23
    3.31lb tomato $1.32
    0.19lb jalapeno $0.21
    2 packs of stuffed olives $2.12
    1.33lb potato $0.58
    10lb flour $8.24
    6 heads garlic $1.09
    1lb garbanzo beans $1.59
    2lb pasta $0.71
    salty crackers $2.05
    5lb rice $3.41
    2L sparkling water $1.19
    3 dish washing soaps $1.77
    3 clothe washing soaps $1.45
    7 sponges $2.33
    1.25L rhum cocktail $9.33

    total $39.86

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200 – $1.09 over budget this year, $198.91 or $39.78 times 5 weeks.
    I will divide per 5 weeks since we usually shop on Monday or Tuesday and there are 5 of them.
    Total Coupons Used this Week : none
    Total Spent This Week:$ 39.86
    Total Spent So Far for (April): $47.59
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0.08 over
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (April): $31.97 under
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $151.32
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $448.68

    Week overview:
    I bought mushrooms to put on a pizza, they are quite rare over here and usually already old and wrinkled by the time they reach the store, but that is for a change and we are having guests for pizza. I see you only paid $1.27, mine felt quite expensive.
    Also, the flour I just bought expires in July, I think it is very short, never paid attention before, I wonder if the supermarket gets a deal for selling products with a short expiration date. In France they remove from the shelves cans that have less than 3 or 6 months left, maybe Gold Medal sends its old flour to Guatemala…

    1. Hey!
      Yes the mushrooms were $1.27 but normally they go on offer for $0.99 which is pretty good. What do you use the stuffed olives for, bread or pizza? The chick peas are they dry? I bet the do and that’s why it’s so important to read expiration dates… sometimes the shops get a mass shipment. We picked up flour with a short expiry and it’s fine still, I wouldn’t worry so much I guess. You are rockin the budget so far.. I’m always impressed. We’re eating more salads now.. lime, sesame oil, fresh garlic and ginger rice with soy sauce.. Awesome.. try it! If you love limes you will love the rice.. if you don’t have sesame oil use evoo to fry up the rice instead.

      1. Stuffed olives were just aperitizers for guests but I am thinking olive bread tomorrow. And yes, chick peas are dry, the canned ones are rare here, they do all sorts of beans but not too much chick peas. Yes the budget is going really good, I should be in Europe at the end of the month so don’t know what to do, take a break or track what I spend there, since I will be hosted by friends and shop for them this is not the usual shop… we’ll see. I had to google evoo lol don’t forget the French here 🙂 I just had salad with feta cheese but had to freeze the cheese since it came from the capital, tomorrow my stomach will say if it was still good haha!

        1. Glad to hear you are getting away for a bit. You had to Google EVOO… oops did I not put what it meant? Extra Virgin Olive Oil.. and those stuffed olives I could eat them like bonbons.. Freeze feta, interesting, let me know how that goes. Depends on how you are tracking your money Pauline. If it will still come from your grocery budget then yes track it but if it’s from a holiday budget then yes track it still haha… I like to know where my money is going… more for motivation sake than anything. Take lots of piccies whil you are away… and create some new memories so you can make them all blog posts ha!!

          1. I don’t budget! But I’ll track the whole thing and probably deduce the food part from my $100 grocery budget for May. That is not a lot of wine and cheese!

          2. No it’s not but even so I’d want to know where my money was spent especially on a holiday… I dunno, I’m a numbers guy that way. You are so lucky.. I would eat cheese and bread all night long..

    1. Come join the fun! I have to say, I am certainly making my dollar stretch further since I started posting with Mr CBB!

      I admit, I look a lot harder at whether I NEED it or I simply want it. It really is sad how much I was buying to stockpile simply because I wanted it. This remains my biggest challenge on every item I pick up in the store… is it a need or is it a want? Am I using it this week, will I use this before the next sale? It has certainly changed my thinking! 😀

  9. My Pantry Challenge for April
    •Total Pantry Budget for the Month: $70.00
    •Total Coupons Used this Week :$0
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $- 0
    •Total Spent This Week:$8.97
    •Total Spent So Far for (March): $8.97
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop:
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of (March): under $61.03
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $61.03
    •Total Coupons Used This Month :$0
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : $0
    •Total Spent To Date This Year:$243.59
    •Weekly Overview:Stumbled upon this sale.

    Foodland :3x Kraft peanut Butter @2.99 each = 8.97


  10. My grocery shopping for this week.
    A little grim! Just me dealing with stuff.
    Family of seven, with two large dogs and two cats.

    Total Grocery Budget for the Year: $ 4080.00
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340.00 or $85.00 week
    I have $340.00 to spend in April.
    •Total Coupons Used this Week :$2.00
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $- 0
    •Total Spent This Week:$97.27
    •Total Spent So Far for (March): $124.31
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop:$12.27 over
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of (April): $215.69 under
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month:$215.69
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $2.00
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : 0
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1180.99
    •Weekly Overview: With dealing with the death of my dad and having to be in the city a lot to deal with his estate I bought some convince food for quick preparations. This is out of norm for me, but I am dealing with a lot of stress at present and felt I could not make simple decisions like planning meals ahead of time. Having food for seven people present all the time is changelling when I am the one dealing with everything.Oh and stomach flu hit the house this week!! That said I did pretty good, even though I wasn’t keeping account this week.! Next week will be much better as things calm down.


    Charlotte Pantry
    buns 2.99
    loaf 3.99

    Hot chocolate 9.97
    Nutella 4.88
    Gingerale X2 @ .88+ tax 1.92
    PC Maple Cereal 3.99
    Brown sugar 2.39
    cake12.99-50% 6.49

    banana 1.93
    mandarins 3.99
    milk 2x 3.99 7.98
    veal 8.99
    Chocolate chips 1kg 7.49
    Hambuger buns 2.22
    Beef bugers 9.99
    Ground beef 8.13
    banana1.77-50% .88
    Red onion 1.62
    Green pepper .65

    Oatmeal cereal 3.79- 1.00 coupon 2.79
    milk 4.99 -1.00 coupon 3.99

    Total 97.27


    1. Hey mate,
      Sorry to hear of the passing of your father. Sending prayers and thoughts your way. I’m sure once you get yourself sorted you will continue on just as he would want you to do. YOu went a bit over budget this week but like you mentioned it was more about the convenience of the week to help keep things going. You’ll pick right back up, I know it. Stay strong mate. You get ballot #7

  11. Looks like you got some nice deals!! I’m always looking over the meat for the deals. We love the ground turkey here, I make meatballs with it and I add a little ground sage to it on top of any other spices and such you add. I add the sage to my soup too when I make my own…. turkey and sage go together so well!! I’ll post my shops in a few days but I think I’m done for the week or at least very close to done…. I hope….
    Welcome to the club Alexa!!!!! I hear you with trying to feed kids…. I raised 3 of them and I have a 3-1/2 yr old grandson. He can be a bit of a fussy one with meals too…. it’s the age of food jags, i tried to sneak some good stuff into food they were already eating. The little stinker will eat some things, especially if my sister-in-law’s hubby eats it. He just loves his Uncle Wolph and will eat what Uncle Ralph eats…. but only if it’s exactly what Uncle Ralph eats!!! My daughter tried adding to the food…..didn’t work. It will get better….. hang in there!!!

  12. Week of April 8 to April 14, 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 April: $ 142.50
    •Total CANADIAN Stockpile Budget for the Month of April: $ 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


    APRIL Grocery Budget (CDN): $125.63
    APRIL Stockpile Budget (CDN): $36.75
    APRIL Safeway Gift card (CDN): $20.00
    APRIL Cash Hiding Spot (CDN): $5.00

    APRIL US Grocery Reserve: $3.28 US OVER << I will deal with this at the month-end
    APRIL US Cash Hiding Spot $65.00 US


    This is a NO SHOP WEEK in terms of our grocery budget. I can only manage to do this if I do not look at the flyers because I invariably spot an absolute “must have” item. LOL

    When I returned from the US last week, I took a long hard look at the amount of food we have in this house and it’s time to stop buying. We need to work on using what is here first. We’ve emptied the 2 fridge freezers and one deep freeze and they are already completely re-stocked. That’s lots for just 2 people even whe we are running our household Gluten Free for me and not necessarily Gluten Free for hubby! We still have one more deep freeze to empty a little at a time because the stuff has been there too long & I have been working on the process for the better part of a year.

    We are also still offloading lots of wheat based pantry items that hubby won’t eat (never did) and I can no longer eat because of my gluten intolerance. I feel like I am in a sea of groceries that need to be removed from the house but at one bag of trash per week, this could take a very long time. After discussion with hubby, I want to get 6 big jumbo bags worth per week and make an run to the dump until we get to the point where what is here stays here and has not been sitting around too long.

    Sure we’ll need bread, milk and eggs along the way and a few other staples but it’s time to just eat what we have here on hand before we get anything more.

    Meals may get a little interesting by doing this but… so be it. I wonder how little I can spend on groceries until we have eaten our way thru the current stock?? Well, that’s my new Canadian grocery goal! Let’s see how little I can manage to spend in a month… I am competing against myself here. Wish me luck!

    In terms of the US grocery shopping, I don’t expect to change much in my shopping habits. We still buy certain staples in the US simply because they are so much cheaper and we use them all the time… mostly it’s bread, yogurt, cheese and gluten free items.

    I will admit though that despite this being a NO SHOP WEEK, we did in fact shop a little this week but not by using our budgeted grocery money. So I am reporting the groceries we bought & how we paid for them.

    I found a $5 bill in my sweater pocket so I picked up 2 apples and 2 bananas and put the remaining change in my coin purse. The 2 apples are for making a batch of Michael Smith's version of Apple Brown Rice with Raisins to go with our pork sausages, steamed asparagus & broccoli later this week. The two bananas, hubby has requested some jumbo banana muffins with chocolate chips. I haven’t made him muffins in a long while and this will help get rid of some of the All Purpose flour that I still have in the house.

    Also, my hubby took some of his personal spending money to buy me a couple of treats this weekend. I was working on the accounting, investing, banking and making RRSP and TFSA contributions like a mad woman for four days in a row. All the tax assessments arrived on Friday afternoon so I then had income tax matters to deal with as well that I wasn’t expecting to come up so soon. I must have looked like I need a little treat because he picked up some glazed gluten free donuts for me to have on hand in the freezer and some frozen gluten free fish sticks. I haven't had any of either yet but it's nice to know they are there. 🙂 That pretty much wiped out half of his spending money until next payday! What a sweet dear he is!! Remember me telling you the last time I was in the dumper he brought me flowers (from the grocery store that were on sale…he knows I hate to waste money). I truly am a very lucky gal!

    Hubby also won some money in his office lottery pool and at my suggestion put $20 aside for the next time they call for money for the pool, another $20 was used for a recharge on his Tim Horton’s card and he voluntarily used $12 of his remaining $20 to buy 4 frozen pizzas using a couple of "2 for $6" coupons I had for Safeway & he is still up $8 cash in his pocket! By the way, those coupons saved him 2 x $5.99 = $11.98!

    It was Pizza Central here last night, baking pizzas, cooling them, cutting them and wrapping them in cling wrap before putting them in the fridge for his lunches for the rest of the week!

    He did offer to share his lottery winnings money with me but I declined. He’s so good about sticking to the budget and working with me to get us ahead…he certainly deserved a splurge that was just for him! 🙂


    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    (Jan $40.04) + (Feb $44.48) + (March $98.35) +
    (April $27.77)= $210.64
    •Total Checkout51 Savings This Year:
    (Jan – $0.00) + (Feb – $0.00)+(March $0.00)+
    (April $0.00)= $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used This Year:
    (Jan – $60.46) + (Feb – $0.00)+ (March $11.79) +
    (April $ 11.98)= $84.23
    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    (Jan 265) + (Feb 248)+(March 151) +
    (April 0)= 664 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    (Jan 57) + (Feb 10) + (March 30) +
    (April 0)= 97 Air Miles


    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (Jan $217.50) + (Feb $198.39)+ (March $72.90) +
    (April $16.87)= $505.66
    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far:
    (Jan $190.00)+(Feb$190.00)+ (March $108.79) +
    (April $142.50)= $631.29

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $125.63 UNDER

    •Total StockpileOOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (March $81.21) + (April $10.75) = $91.96
    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    (Jan $0.00)+(Feb$0.00)+(March $81.21) +
    (April $47.50)= $128.71
    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Stockpile Budget: $36.75

    REMAINING APRIL Grocery Budget (CDN): $125.63

    REMAINING APRIL Stockpile Budget (CDN): $36.75

    REMAINING APRIL Safeway Gift card (CDN): $20.00

    REMAINING APRIL Cash Hiding Spot (CDN): $5.00

    REMAINING APRIL US Grocery Reserve: $3.28 US OVER

    REMAINING APRIL US Cash Hiding Spot $65.00 US

    1. Hey Mary,
      You know funny you should say that because if we even open the flyers on a no-shop week are doomed. Sounds like you need a big clear out from the house. Could you donate any of the food at all? I think you can do it. We also have loads of food in our house and only try to buy the basics each week. If we keep buying we just have food that sits. That’s a smart challenge you are taking on Mary.Will you make me some jumbo banana muffins with chocolate chips too 🙂 That’s what I would have done as well with the winnings, and I think it’s a great idea. That way he has money ready to go for the office pool and he treats himself as well. Hope the pizzas were great! Cheers mate you get ballot #6

      1. Mr CBB, I have all kinds of open items…all kinds of grains, various flours, dry pasta, crackers, snack materials but they are in glass jars along the top of the kitchen shelves & on my pantry shelves. They are open and no longer in the original packaging, so no I can’t donate them anywhere. The canned soups & dried pastas, hubby will use up… I’ll just cook two types. The rest needs to go.

        1. Yes, I guess that makes sense if they are already opened up. Ah well, you got to do what you have to do. Here you could list them opened on Freecycle and people would pick them up in a box.

  13. Thanks for including me in the post. I think you could tell I was in need of some help 🙂 I want to join in on your grocery game challenge and post my next trip. Do you post in the comments section or on the Facebook page? Hopefully by joining this group I can keep my bill low, add some variety, and start cooking some of my own meals.

    1. Hi Alexa,
      You’re welcome and I really was hoping to reach out to you as I think our group may be able to guide you and motivate you to where you want to be. You simply post your shop just like mine in the comment section of the grocery game BLOG post. You can see last weeks post which I post every Tuesday how others posted their shop. If you read the grocery game rules page you will learn all about it. So many of us have lowered our budget, created new meals and stay under budget because we are a group that wants to save!! If you need any help just post a comment or email me.. we will all help you. We have a few other PF bloggers that are from the USA that post each week as well so you can lean on them for comparisons in the USA…

    2. Hi Alexa! Welcome!

      I actually post comments on the FB page just to try and get folks to come over here and look. Last week I am sure everyone wanted to know what 12 FREE items did I get! Well, I am nosey and if someone hung a “hook” like that out there like that…I would surely have to head over to the blog and snoop. 🙂

      The actual grocery post goes here. Don’t panic if you post it and it doesn’t come out of moderation for a while. Mr CBB reads all of them and it takes him time to comment and try to encourage us all.

      You may actually enjoy some of my grocery posts though because I am shopping on both sides of the border and couponing on both sides as well. This week my post is boring as it’s predominantly dialogue. I do shop once a month in Washington state and hubby and I spend 4-6 weeks vacationing usually in Arizona and California but we have been known to spend time in Nevada and Florida. In addition to coupons, I have signed up for the email flyers and discount offers for all the grocery stores, Walmart, CVS in the Palm Springs area. I can shop the flyers and get the discounts loaded right onto my loyalty card. I save a ton. Unlike in the US, we don’t have much chance for coupon stacking but maybe a US couponer can give you some tips and tricks. 🙂
      Glad you’ve decided to join us! 😀

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