The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

The Grocery Game Challenge #3 April 15-21, 2013- Can Your Budget Handle The Low GI Diet?

The Grocery Game Challenge

Low GI Diet and our budget are the two topics of The Grocery Game Challenge this week. Mrs.CBB is making some changes to her diet moderated by our doctor. She wants to make the changes in order to keep her insulin levels down while eating a healthy balanced diet low in fat and refined carbohydrates and sugars.

Diabetes and heart disease run in her family and now that we are in our 30’s she wants to make sure that she is doing all she can to keep fit and healthy. If you read the blog you know we quit smoking and that itself has had great advantages for us health-wise and in the budget saving us money from not buying smokes and cheap life insurance. My point is if we have to make changes in our life for the good it can be done with determination.

This is also a great opportunity for us to see how this impacts not only our grocery budget but others as well. We will work hard to keep spending only $235.00 a month on groceries as we work through this new way of eating.

What is Low GI Carbohydrates?

Well GI stands for “Glycemic Index” which is a scale that ranks how food will increase sugar levels in your blood after consuming a specific item in your diet. If you are aiming to reduce the amount of insulin in your blood it’s important to stick to a diet that includes foods that are low to moderately low on the GI scale and stay away from those that are high or choose these options less often. This is just not about  low carbohydrate foods, it’s more like a low carb low GI diet.

The Low GI Diet is not as bad as it sounds because all you have to do is swap out foods you already eat to make a better choices. Mrs. CBB would have toast for breakfast but now she has a bowl of oatmeal with a boiled egg for protein. Mrs. CBB and I have always managed our diet with exercise and healthy balanced eating meaning that having a cheat day once a week was OK .

We didn’t want to jump ship and go hell for leather on chocolates if we can eat something in moderation or make better choices in our diet. That’s why some diets fail, because we  restrict too much or simply don’t make the better choices for our cravings.

A low-GI diet is essentially the intelligent person’s way of healthy eating.- Rachel Anne Hill

That means all those delicious ooey gooey recipes and desserts I create in the CBB kitchen once a week will be eaten in moderation and shared with friends and family. Learning to make better choices will come slowly and we expect to make mistakes along the way. This isn’t just going to be a “diet” it’s going to be a way of life.

I really do hate saying the word “diet” because it should never be that but for the sake of what it is, I’ll do that. Another reason I believe many people fail is because of that word and if we just looked at food and exercise differently than we could jump those hurdles.

We will start to meal plan around low GI carbohydrates and different meals that we can create for the both of us. We are already creating a GI diet list of foods that we can work around. I’ll still do what I normally do to fuel up for my daily workouts because I eat more than she does.

Lean meats such as turkey and chicken are already a part of our menu although we do like our pork, lean beef and sausages once in a while. We normally always have fruit in the house and have it sliced up with yogurt but she will start to eat more bran (oh, great) by topping her desserts with it or having it for breakfast.

Nothing says, get out-of-the-way like a big bowl of bran! Low glycemic meals such as sweet potato, broccoli, and a chicken breast seasoned with lime, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and ginger is one simple low GI meal she has created. Learning to be a pantry magician like my friend Karen also helps to cut down on food waste and create new exciting meals your family will love.

This means she will be eating lots of beans and tonnes of vegetables while limiting her intake of high GI foods to a minimum which she is fine with. Some of my fans have recently had to make changes to what goes into their shopping cart each week such as the gluten-free diet or those that have dietary restrictions and lactose and Dairy Free.

Other diets that may impact the budget is cholesterol free, fat-free, Organic (pesticide free) or vegetarian and vegan. There are probably many others that I’ve not touched on but they all impact the way we eat, what we eat and most of all cost of the grocery budget.

What Foods Are High GI Carbohydrates?

It’s important to talk to your doctor or dietician to find out what’s right for you. We were just as shocked to find out that some of the foods that we had in our house such as Rice Krispies were a big, No-no in the diet.

Those pretzels the wife used to enjoy snacking on are no longer in our grocery cart or in our pantry. If she wants something to nibble on she will have to fill her hunger with low GI snacks instead of grabbing pretzels  To be fair she hasn’t bought them in ages but it’s that mindset that they are baked, low-fat so they must be good for me that gets people all the time.

Here are a few other high gi food but far from a master list:

  • Baked potato (she’s sad about this but will replace with sweet potato)
  • French Fries
  • Bran Flakes (who knew?)
  • White bread
  • Soda Crackers
  • Corn Flakes

You are probably wondering what she is going to eat now but like most people who are given foods to stay away from it can get overwhelming. We’ve spent the week reviewing foods she can include and types of easy meals she can make that are low on the GI scale.

For the most part we already eat these foods so it won’t be a shock to the system and it won’t be a hassle to cook different meals which takes a bit of the dietary restriction stress away from the both of us. I think when someone has to make abrupt changes to their diet it can be just as bad as quitting smoking because you crave certain foods all the time.

What Foods are Low GI Carbohydrates?

This is only a few of the foods she will eat but she pretty much has always included them in her meals except for the pumpernickel and the sweet potato. I’m sure as we learn more about other foods we will keep adding to the list and the meal planning.

  • Lentils (no bun with the Sloppy lentil Joe replaced with pumpernickel or pita
  • Pumpernickel (not the boat load we bought in this weeks shop)
  • Barley
  • Sweet Potato
  • Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • 100% Stone Ground Whole Wheat
  • Oat Bran

There are some foods she can consume in moderation as they are medium GI such as pita, rye, oatmeal, cous-cous, sweet corn, Basmati rice, whole wheat, popcorn etc. She will also make sure not to skip meals which at the best of times she’s great at doing. All the meals she will eat are going to be small portions and will complimented with a protein to better regulate the impact of the carbs in her system.

Low GI Shopping Tips- The Budget

Since we already eat plenty of the foods on the GI index it’s important to remember as always your number one tip is to stick to the plan. If you have a shopping list that you prepared don’t go off and fill your shopping cart with foods you don’t need in your body. If you bring food home that you aren’t supposed to have, you will eat it.

If you have to shop for others in your household make sure you stock your pantry with foods you can eat so you are not tempted to eat the foods you should not. You will also spend more than intended in your budget because you start to buy products that just shouldn’t be included.

For a more extensive list of tips and ideas check out Rachel Anne Hill the Low GI Guru for everything you need to know about the Low GI Diet! 

Are you on a Low GI Diet? What tips can you share to help us out?


The Grocery Game Challenge


The Grocery Game Toilet Paper

This is the Third 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.

The Grocery Game Challenge for us was started to motivate us to save money and stay under the grocery budget each month. We never said we were perfect and this month will prove that. I’m sure after today’s math we will be over budget and although it saddens us we know we will have to do better next month. Any overage we will carry into the next month and try to catch back up for our yearly grocery budget total.

Grocery Game Weeks for April 


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. If you have a budget story you want to share email today!

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

The Grocery Game Challenge April Week 3

Shop #1

Food Basics

  • 1x Real Lemon Juice Sale $2.29 Reg $2.79
  • 3 x Oatmeal Sale 3/$5 Reg $2.47 each
  • 2 x Excel Gum Sale $2.99 Reg $3.99
  • 4 x Pumpernickel Bread Sale $1.79 Reg $2.79
  • Fresh Ginger $0.60
  • 4 x White Pita Sale $1.00 Reg $1.15

Total Out Of Pocket $26.81

Shop #2

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 4 x Life Brand Paper Towel Sale $1.99 Reg $5.99 (spring cleaning)
  • 1 x Vichy Cleansing Gel Sale $15.69 Reg $20.99
  • 1x Multibionta Vitamins Sale $11.99 Reg $15.99
  • Royale Facial Tissue 6 pk Sale $3.99-$1.00 Reg $7.99
  • 4 x cloverleaf Tuna Sale $1.99-$1.00 coupon Reg $2.99
  • 1 x Nielson Cottage Cheese Sale $1.99 reg $2.69

– $10.00 when you spend $40

Total Out Of Pocket $39.73

Saved $40.76 plus the $10 and received 490 Shoppers Optimum Points with over 126,000 points to spend (I’m happy they finally have added password protection to our Optimum account)

Shop #3

No Frills

  • 1 x Natural Yogurt Sale $1.77
  • 4 x Cashmere Toilet Paper 30 Double Rolls Sale $8.97 reg $19.99
  • 2 x Nescafe Instant Coffee Sale $3.77 reg $5.99
  • 1 x Pumpernickel bread no sale $2.79 but later found it cheaper at basics
  • Fuji Apples $2.84
  • 2 x English Cucumbers Sale $0.67 ea
  • Seedless Grapes Sale $1.99 lb $4.25
  • 2 x 2pk Romaine Hearts Sale $1.27 each (the lettuce has looked horrible lately, can’t wait for summer crops)
  • Tomatoes Sale $0.67 lb $ 1.44

Total Out Of Pocket $65.05 (ouch)- $4.00 to stockpile budget $61.05

Shop #4


  • 8 x Black Diamond Cheese Sale $3.88 no coupons but there are $0.75 coupons I haven’t seen them

Total Out Of Pocket $31.04

Shop #5


  • 3 x Dried Green Peas Sale $0.44 each
  • 6 x PC Premium Hickory Flavoured Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) Sale $1.97 Reg $8.99 each

Total Out Of Pocket $12.96

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 : $5.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $10.00
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $4.00 this shop for a grand total of $20
  • Total Spent This Week:$ 171.59
  • Total Spent So Far for (April): $60.13+$69.83+$171.59 ($301.55)
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop$98.33 (OVER)
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (April): $66.55 (OVER)
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total Coupons Used This Month :$26.00+$34.00+$(N/A)> Will update on last post of the month
  • 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+ (April)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 (this will be used for a date night or a summer holiday)

Weekly Overview:

Well we completely blew the budget out of the water this month but for a few reasons. One we stocked up on toilet paper, cheese and paper towel. We also stocked up on bread for the wife and she needed vitamins and face wash which all come out of the grocery budget.

That means that we have on more money to spend for the month. We can pretty much nix our rendezvous account of the money we put in it or spend less in May. If we do no more shops for the month of April that means in May we will have $168.45 to spend for the month. We can do this, can’t we? I’ll need some motivation to get through this one I think. We should have plenty of food now until the end of the month.

Canadian Coupons Found This Week

Canadian Coupons Found This Week April 14

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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