The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

The Grocery Game Challenge #4 April 22-28 ~We Blew The Grocery Budget Up!

What's In Mr.CBB's Shopping Cart #1 April

We blew the grocery budget up this month and it’s not surprising since we announced last week that Mrs.CBB was now on a Low GI diet. It’s going to take some time for us to get used to purchasing different types of products but for the most part it’s just loads more fruits and vegetables.

We already eat a healthy diet but those splurge days may be reduced to just me pigging out on those yummy treats I create in the kitchen. Ah well, guess that means the whole pan of brownies are for me now. I am fully supporting my wife and she has done so well this past week. She really is on a kick to drop the foods she doesn’t want to eat any longer and I think that’s great.

Last week since I talked about the GI diet and how it might affect our grocery shopping I’d like to start highlighting other special food diets  or lifestyles that people are on. If you are on a special diet (vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Organic) and want to tell us what it is and what types of foods and meals you buy and prepare send me a detailed post with the information. I’d like to share that in upcoming Grocery Game posts.

As of last weeks shop we were already over budget for the month by $93.33 and that’s using up our stockpile budget as well. We have lots to make up for and we will, I promise that to all of you. We went for dinner at our friends last week and after having a conversation about where they buy groceries we were convinced that the best places to shop for groceries on a budget are NOT the speciality shops like they go to.

They did get some posh foods which they shared with us and which you can’t buy in a normal supermarket but for us it would be like walking into the Costco of speciality stores. We splurged that night but can’t wait to have them over for dinner so we can knock their socks off with some of our homemade frugal recipes!

After Mrs.CBB and I both looked at each other and said, wow we are frugal aren’t we, and laughed.

How We Blew The Budget

This week we were super lucky to score some amazing deals on extra lean turkey mince at Zehrs coming in at just over $2.50 per pound. That was also far cheaper than the turkey mince haul we picked up from Wal-mart a couple of weeks back with 30% off stickers. We also managed to find a bunker at No Frills with the Piller’s half hams at a ridiculously low price. I was almost convinced that they priced them wrong but I wasn’t complaining at all.

These hams are not small by any means so I tossed 2 in the shopping trolley. I knew we were heading for disaster with the budget as soon as the meat deals came pouring in. While in Zehrs I was nosey and checked out the prices of the exact hams and no word of a lie they ranged in price from $17.50-$25 each! It took all the strength I had not to go back to No Frills to grab a few more at that lucrative of a price.

When we made our way over to Zehrs the pink stickers on the Australian Cheddar Cheese which is one of favourite cheese nearly knocked us on our feet. We hardly if ever find pink stickers on this premium cheese so we broke all the grocery budget rules vowing to each other that in May we would make up for every last overspend we are making in April.

I don’t suggest that you do what we did we probably deserve a slap on the wrist for it but with the wife now turning to new foods we really wanted to save money where we could while keeping the diet in check. She eats cheese in moderation where I love my cheese and am passionate about good cheese, good wine and good bread.

To make matters worse when we were in Food basics it was like they were begging us to shop. As we walked in the shop out from the back come to young men rolling 5 shelf high carts with all reduced fruit and vegetables. We only went in for a couple of items that we couldn’t price match at Wal-mart but were headed for budget trouble no matter what we looked at it.

We stocked up on sesame oil while at Wal-mart only because it’s the cheapest price plus picked up a Family size box of Chocolate Cheerios with our Free Product Coupon (FPC) since it didn’t state a size restriction, yay! We’ll keep the Cheerios as a treat for when the kiddies come over to visit us.

Since Mrs.CBB needs to eat lots of fruit and vegetables we loaded up avocados which were so cheap you couldn’t pass it up as well as red peppers, tomatoes, bananas, and limes, lots and lots of limes. Our kitchen coupled with the beautiful pineapples we bought is a vegetarians dream with such an array of fruits and vegetables sprawled on our counter tops.

Our Grocery Budget For 2

At this point we don’t feel with need to make changes to our budget because most of our shop was stocking up on prices we couldn’t pass up which doesn’t happen every week. Just like the POP’s point out it’s getting too easy to buy stuff these days whether it be online or by marketing ploys  in the consumer world. The hard part is deciding what the right decision for the budget will be.

It’s a fluke but I don’t recommend shopping like this if you are on a tight monthly budget that you can’t make up for. In all honesty we shouldn’t be shopping like this and are going to get smarter about it in the next months. We are confident that we can pull through for May for this set-back.

I know it sounds silly that we talk about saving money in the grocery budget but aren’t sticking to the plan but we’re human and we make mistakes too. The best part about this group is that you allow me to share our faults without condemning me for not living up to our own rules. The hardest part of our budget has always been groceries, hence the birth of this challenge and we continue to make positive strides and will continue to do so if we have to fight tooth and nail.

Watch out May, here we come! $235.00-$162.74= $72.26 to spend in May which will likely go to milk, eggs and vegetables!

Scanning Code of Practice

To end our shopping bonanza we did manage to help one lady use the scanning code of practice (SCOP) on her Nivea face cream which scanned in wrong at Shoppers Drug Mart. She just finished spending over $75 with her first order only after the cashier motivated her to spend a few dollars more to get the promo of bonus gift cards. Spend more at Shoppers Drug Mart the cashier is suggesting to get a deal. I thought that was great that she did that for the customer who had no idea of the promos.

So we were watching everything that was going on and when the second order was rung in she mentioned the cream was scanning at double the shelf price. The cashier calls for help to get a price check BUT that’s where the saving money ends with the cashier. Cashiers are some times told never to tell a customer about SCOP.

So, I did! I told the customer that if your product scanned up higher than the shelf price you get up to $10 off and that is the only time the cashier jumped in and agreed. The customer asked me about SCOP and I showed her the sign on the door only to have her thank me and ask me a few more questions about the program.

I was happy to spread the word and some cheer so I hope you do the same!

The Grocery Game Challenge

What's In Mr.CBB's Shopping Cart #4 April cart 2

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 #4 April
Shop #1

Food Basics

  • Cedar Black Olives Sale $3.49 Reg $4.99
  • Fleishmans Yeast- $3.99 (reg price ouch)
  • Bag of White Mushrooms $2.19
  • Navel Oranges 3lb Sale $2.97 Reg $4.99
  • Selection Four 10kg- Sale $7.99 Reg $10.99
  • Reduced Peppers -$1.59
  • Reduced Bananas- $0.69
  • Reduced Avocados- $1.49 x 2
  • Reduced Tomatoes- $0.99
  • Reduced Limes- $1.29 x2
  • Selection Coconut- $0.99

Total Out of Pocket $30.40

Shop #2

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2x Eggs $2.49 ea
  • Free Chips $1.99

Total Out Of Pocket- $4.99

Shop #3

No Frills

  • 2x Pillers Hams $6.35, $6.17
  • Bean Sprouts Sale $0.97
  • Red Seedless Grapes Sale $1.00 LB Paid $2.41
  • 2x Green Onions $0.57 ea

Total Out Of Pocket- 17.04

Shop #4


  • 2 x cucumbers PM Food Basics Sale $0.72 each
  • Red Delicious Apples PM No Frills Sale $2.29 (8)
  • 2x Pineapple PM No Frills Sale 2/$3.00
  • Bananas Sale $1.17
  • Chocolate Cheerios $6.77-FPC =FREE
  • 2x Sesame Oil $4.98

Total Out Of Pocket- $17.86

Shop #5

No Frills

  • 4 x Australian Cheddar with 5% off Pink Stickers $5.23, $5.83, $6.08, $5.68 ($2.62, $2.92, $3.04, $2.84)
  • 4 x Extra Lean Mince Turkey Sale $2.57, $2.68, $2.68, $2.50
  • Rooster Garlic $0.69
  • 2x Iogo Greek Yogurt 50% off $2.44 each-$0.75 coupons (great yogurt by the way)

Total Out Of Pocket- $25.90

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 : $10.26
  • 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:$96.19
  • Total Spent So Far for (April): $60.13+$69.83+$171.59+$96.19=$397.74 
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop$ just way over….
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (April): $162.74 (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 + $397.74
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 (this will be used for a date night or a summer holiday)

Weekly Overview:

Canadian Coupons Found This Week

Canadian Coupons Found This Week #4 April 2

More Coupons Found This Week

Canadian Coupons Found This Week #4 April 22

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. Goat caramel candy is like a Wherters caramel but made with goat milk. It has a distinctive flavor, pretty nice.
    The fish I clean myself, not my favorite job but I mind less than cleaning meat.
    For some reason I don’t get a notification anymore when you reply to my emails, not in my WP profile and not by email when I tick the box to be notified.

  2. Our weekly budget is $100 making this month $400.
    had a some what quite week and was saving up for next week!!
    $1.99 clearance frozen doughnuts
    $2.86 strawberries 2lbs
    $1×7-$1Cx7 toothbrushes donations
    $1.49×5-scop & $1Cx5 (should have been $1 each) toothpaste donation
    $4.45 total oop
    $12 total coupons
    H&W Produce
    $3.99 2lb peppers
    $1.26 cherry tomatoes
    $4.79 20lb potato
    $10.04 total oop
    .99×8-.50Cx8 dr.oetker cakes/mousse
    $2.50 doughnuts (hubby took to work)
    $1.99-$1.50Cx2 greenworks
    $1.18 total oop
    $3 total coupons
    $1×2-$1Cx2 toothpaste donation
    $2 salad dressing
    $1.57 salad dressing
    $6.97×2-$5Cx2 (&multi buy) glade oil holder
    $7.83×2-bogoC (& multi buy) glade oil refills
    $7.67 total oop
    $19 total coupon savings
    $2.50×10-$2Cx10 olay soap bars donation
    $1.99 2lbonions
    $5.99×2-bogo sale club house spices
    $2.99 4pk corn (instore special)
    $5.99-.75C cheese
    $2×4-$3×2 (raincheck) old spice deodarent for the hubby
    $1 mushrooms
    $1.32 pop
    .50 pepperoni clearance
    $29.40 total oop
    $26.75 total coupons

    $59.16 total weekly oop
    $64.75 total weekly coupons
    $402.89 total monthly oop
    $477.63 total monthly coupons

    Well three dollars over but I’m good with that! Due to an amazing P&G insert, given to me, and the luck of finding crst toothpaste and oral b toothbrushes I was able to do many amazing donations this month 🙂 Also scored some other great deals!!

    1. Hi Juanita!
      I presume this is your last shop in April then. I can’t get over how much you saved using coupons It blows my mind and only going $3.00 over budget is simply amazing. I would love to track your grocery shops with photos each week to showcase a fans shops in the grocery game! Let me know if you are up for it!

      1. Mr.CBB I could try but most of my shops are multiple shops done over the week. But I just maybe able to take a pic of my 15% tuesday shop I did yesterday.

        1. Sure you can do that.. and then I’ll post the breakdown of your shop. Pick your best shop of the week or whichever to show the fans how you are saving and sticking to your budget. I’ll do a fan showcase… in my weekly post.

  3. Week #4 22 – 28 Apr 2013

    1 x Butter $2.99
    1 x Yeast $5.29 (What de?? I had no choice I needed it! Maybe I should have just bought regular bread instead!)
    1 x Glutino Muffin Mix $6.49 – Free Coupon = $0
    1 x Dr Bronner’s Castille Liquid Soap $14.99 ( For stockpile)
    3 x Frozen Juice @$0.79 = $2.37 (2 for Stockpile)
    1 x Organic Jam $2.99
    1 x Instant noodles @$0.24 = $0.72
    2 x Pack Chicken Legs less 30% off = $8.67
    1 x Bratwurst Sausages $3.99 less 30% off = $2.79
    1 x Bunch Organic Bananas $2.28
    1 x Cabbage $1.42
    1 x Box of Kiwis $4.99
    1 x Pack of Gourmet Tomatoes $3 less 30% off = $1.50
    2 x 100% Apple & Pear Juice @$4.99 – 50% off pink sticker $4.98
    1 x Live Clean Shampoo $3.99
    Total Out of Pocket $70.53 – $6.49 Free Coupon – $0.03 Free Bag Points = $64.01

    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 : $6.49
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $1
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0.03
    Stockpile Budget $20: Used Week #1 $0.00 + Week #2 $0.94 + Week #3 $0 + Week #4 $16.57
    Total Spent This Week: $75.06
    Total Spent So Far for (April): $46.56 + $82.38 +$74.55 + $75.06 = $278.55
    Total Over spend this shop: $15.06
    Total Over spend for the month of (April): $18.55
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    Total Coupons Used This Month: Week #1 $11.45 + Week #2 $0.90 +Week#3 $1 + Week 4 $6.49 = $13.35 = $19.84

    Ok so this week father & bro-in-law comes to stay again for a few days, I ran out of bread so wanted to try Wing Sze Blakes’ recipe for buns. Now I think that’s one of the best bread recipes I’ve tried. Bought frozen juice since they like them. And also sausages & tomatoes. I aslo saw Dr Bronner’s Castille Soap on sale, usually $16.99 and never goes on sale. Once I’m done with my hand soaps, dishwashing liquids I’ll use Dr Bronner’s. Probably lasts a super long time. I got the free coupon for the Glutino’s gluten free muffin mix cos of a previous bread box that didn’t rise like it should. And I forgot to bring my $1 Live Clean coupon! Well it was cheap enough.

    1. Oh, now I want Wing’s recipe. Where did she post it? What is that soap you talk about? What do you use it for? Is it like the bees knees of hand soaps? I have lots of live clean coupons. I think I”m going to get lots of different flours for the wife so I can bake her some sweets. ALmond flour being a popular one. So you are over by $18.xx oh oh.. you’ve ventured to the other side with me…. you get ballot 36

  4. Walmart

    Chocolate almonds – $3.48
    GV snack bars – $1.57
    Paprika – $2.00
    Can sliced beets – $.77

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $8.48

    Food Basics

    Kraft Salad Dressing – sale $1.99
    Fruite drink – sale 2x$1.50
    Cantaloupe – $1.99
    Selection tuna – sale 2x$1.00
    Pork Back Ribs – sale $16.81
    Selection chips – $1.69
    Canada Dry Gingerale (6’s) – sale 3x$1.97

    •Total Coupons Used: $0
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $34.77

    •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: $43.25
    •Total Spent So Far for April: $173.20
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: under $31.75
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of April: under $126.77
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $176.10
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $.50 + $8.94 = $9.44
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I don’t carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $996.81
    •Weekly Overview: So I am way under for the month. I must admit that I have been eating out a few times this month, more than normal so that will account somewhat for being under. I’ve spent about $50 over my small eating out budget. It was my birthday this week so I felt like treating myself and my daughter to a nice dinner out, so that I didn’t have to cook. so that accounts for a big chunk of the $50 overage.

    1. Hi Joanna,
      At least you are being honest with yourself about the eating out and why your budget may be lower for the month. Happy Belated Birthday! What we do is that we save all year in our projected expenses for times like Birthdays etc. If you know that next year you want to spend $100 on eating out then start saving the money in the budget now so you don’t have to bust the budget or your savings come time your birthday or whoevers birthday is in the budget that you save for comes up. You get ballot 28

  5. Sorry I’m late this week…..You are not the only one to blow the budget out of the water…… I picked up the gift card at the Independent the other day…. $10.00, beats a kick in the arse. But that place is so expensive to shop at even with the deals and coupons!!!!!!! I won’t be going back any time soon thank you very much……They did have things like Tide, Downie and Dawn dish soap on sale and I had coupons from P&G that were store specific to the Loblaw’s chain I used up. Figured I may as well do it now as I’m not planning to go back there. Everything I got there was on sale and the total still knocked me on my butt!!!!!

    Independent, April 19
    2 Dawn dish soap@2.29– 4.58, 1.00 coupon WUB2
    1 Arctic Gardens frozen veggies, spaghetti mix- 2.99, 1.00 coupon
    6 lbs butter@2.99– 17.94
    1 Carnation hot chocolate mix- 3.99
    1 Iams catfood -11.49, 2.00 coupon
    1 small box Rice Crispies- 1.99
    2 Downie@ 5.99- 11.98
    2 Tide @5.99- 11.98, 1 coupon,3.00 off when you buy any two Tide/ Downie, 1.00 coupon for Tide, .50 coupon for Downie
    1 package bagels- 2.50
    2 w/w bread@ 2/5.00- 5.00
    2 Sensodyne toothpaste@ 3.99- 7.98
    tax- 6.24
    Total- $80.16, minus $10.00 GC
    OOP- $70.16, 8.50 coupons

    Foodland, April 19
    2 mac&cheese dinners@ .69- 1.38
    1 can pineapple tidbits- .99
    2 KD @.99- 1.98
    1 Broccoli- 1.89
    1 unsweetened apple sauce- 1.98
    1 package penne pasta-1.99
    1 Triscuits- 2.00
    1 pack egg noodles- 2.79
    1 frozen stir fry veggies -2.99
    1 raisin bread- 3.49
    1 green pepper- 1.13
    2 4l milk@ 4.79- 9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 sirloin tip roast- 8.21
    1 pack smokes- 9.69
    tax- 1.26
    Total- $56.84, no coupons

    Country Bulk, April 22
    pepper- 3.59
    honey- 5.56
    candy- 3.11
    Total- 17.98

    Foodland April 23
    4 mac&cheese dinners @.69- 2.76
    1 salad- 1.49
    1 cranberry cocktail- 1.98
    1 unsweetened apple sauce- 1.98
    1 Triscuits- 2.00
    1 frozen stir fry veggies – 2.99
    1 raisin bread- 3.49
    2 4l milk@ 4.79- 9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 pack smokes- 9.69
    tax- 1.26
    Total- $42.71

    Total budget for the year-$7800.00
    Total budget for the month- $750.00
    Total coupons this week- $8.50
    Total spent this week- $244.13
    Total spent this month- 143.31+152.55+179.22+244.13=$719.21
    Gift Cards-$10.00
    Total over/under for week- $94.13
    Total over/under for the month- under- $30.79
    Left for month- $30.79
    Total coupons for month- 101.97+14.95+9.54+8.50=134.96
    Total carry-over to next month- $66.15
    Total year to Date- (Jan)$818.08+(Feb)$598.07+(Mar) $770.12+(Apr) $719.21=$2905.48

    Over for another week!!! Even going to 5 weeks for the month I’m going over. But at least I’m still under for the month total. For a few days more it will look OK…Even without what I got yesterday I can’t see being able to spend only $30.00!!! Not the way we go through things like milk!! I’m still determined to balance this puppy!!! Clearly it will take me time but I hope to save some in the summer with the market and maybe a little bit of a garden… My meat is running low in the freezers so we can hope for some really good deals in meat…. Hubby has an appointment in Stratford tomorrow and I might stop off in Food Basics as they have butter and bananas on sale (yes I know I just bought some butter but we do go through it!!!) and Sobey’s has cheese and Royale on sale…. we’re down to our last 2 packs of TP!!!! I am not going back to the Independent any time soon!!!!! Not at their prices!!! I WILL do this!!!!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      You don’t have to apologize, I know where you live hahah. As long as you post your shops before midnight of the last shop of the month you are good! Kick in the arse.. oh oh someone’s talking like me now.. haha. Ouch you had a big week this week but you are under for the month, unlike us, we are just right done in for the month. Meat and dairy I find are the killers for our budget.. and cheese..but not so much yogurt and cream which are usually on sale for a decent price. The butter is a great deal at FB better grab it while you can I think it’s $2.75 each. Ah well, you’ll get there, just keep planing and weeding out the foods you really don’t need in your house. Do you ever throw food out or have you tried not buying something you always buy to see if you can live without it or buy it less often? You get ballot #23 Mr.CBB

      1. I made it to FB today and guess what I forgot to grab…….oh well, worst case I have 3 more days if I choose to go back and I still have 3 lbs in the freezer to use up. Hubby was with me and not feeling the greatest, but he didn’t want to wait in the truck…What tends to cause waste here is him not being hungry or interested in what we are having for supper and he says to make him a plate and he’ll eat it later…. later doesn’t happen. Frys me to no end!!! I don’t buy much in the way of meat much anymore, which does tend to help. What I do buy I try to get more than one meal out of it. Doesn’t work well if we are having something with hamburger like meatballs, meatloaf, or tonights tacos. I did get to Sobey’s and got some cheese so I have promised the boys I will make them home made Mac and Cheese tomorrow night….

  6. Total Human Grocery Budget for the Month: $75.00 – 2 Adults
    Total Pet Grocery Budget for the Month: $40.00 – 3 cats
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    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: $77.00 over
    Total Pet Over/Under spend this shop: $8.27 under
    Total Spent This Week: $113.73
    Total Spent So Far for April: $375.40
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of  April: Will probably always be over…..
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    Total Coupons Used This Month : $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month : $0
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $1193.53
    Weekly Overview: As per usual, I’m over budget. I’ve actually gone over my entire yearly food budget by this shopping. I have to get more food that I use to make homemade meals (I hope). Found out last night that my daughter can’t have ice cream, fatty, sugary and fried foods. Grocery shopping should be quite interesting going forward….

    4 Michaelinas – $4.00
    4 Hot Stuffs – $2.00
    1 Raspberry Jam – $3.50
    1 Wildberry Jam – $3.50
    Toilet Paper (12 rolls) – $6.99
    Soft Cat Food – $1.39
    Honey Oat Cheerios – $3.99
    Rice Krispies – $4.99
    24 Cheese Slices – $3.00
    Eggs – $2.00
    Mini-Marshmallows – $1.79
    2-28 bottle water – $6.00
    18 kg Cat Litter – $8.99
    2 Bags of PC Decandent Chocolate Chip – $4.00
    PC Hazelnut spread – $3.79
    Box of Agnus Beef Burger – $7.99
    Med Ground Beef – $4.49 + $4.52
    Club Pack Porkchop – $6.89

    Tax – $2.49
    OOP – $87.81

    2 “Its not Butter” Butter – 2/$3.00
    Bologna – $5.98 ($2.99 each)
    Toilet Paper (30 rolls) – $14.99

    Tax – $1.95
    OOP – $25.92

    1. Hi Dee,
      Planning is half the battle when it comes to grocery shopping, the other half is actually making the food. I think now that you have to make some changes for your daughter that you will undoubtedly be planning more in the kitchen to find out what works and what doesn’t for her. Any time pre-made foods are purchased they aren’t the best for us. Making hamburgers homemade are dead easy as is making pasta sauce from scratch and other meals that you can stretch the budget. Start with one or 2 recipes and start to build up spices and foods in your pantry so you too can create a masterpiece in your kitchen and share memories with your daughter. Keep up the good work and I’m sure you will get on track to make the changes you want, I know you have the desire to do it otherwise you wouldn’t be posting your shops. We’re here to support you Dee!!! Cheers mate.. Mr.CBB you get ballot #22

  7. 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

    Arctic Gardens large bag $5.00 – $5.00 coupon
    Almond fresh chocolate milk $3.99 – $1.00 coupon
    Bicks pickles (PM FB) 4 x $1.99 – 4 x $.50 coupons
    Chocolate Cheerios $5.96 – FPC
    KD Smart (PM Metro) 2 x $.99 – 2 x $.75 CO51
    BD cheese slices (PM FB) 3 x $1.88 – $1.50 wub2 coupon
    Almond Fresh Unsweetened $3.99 – $1.00 coupon
    Coupons $16.46
    CO51 $1.50
    CD $2.67
    OOP $15.39

    Fresh Co
    ML bacon 2 x $2.97 – 2 x $2.00 CO51
    Dempsters bread (PM SDM) $1.99 – $1.00 coupon – $1.50 CO51
    CO51 $5.50
    Coupons $1.00
    OOP $1.43

    Food Basics
    Ground chicken $4.00
    OOP $4.00

    MiO 3 x $2.99 – $2.99 (b2g1 free) coupon – $1.00 wub2 (Kraft coupon booklet) coupon
    Silk almond milk 2 x $3.99 – 2 x $2.00 coupons – 2 x $1.00 CO51
    Barilla pasta (PM FC) 6 x $.99 – 6 x $.50 coupons
    Breyers ice cream 2 x $1.00 (blowout)
    Campbell’s soups (PM SDM) 2 x $.69
    Campbell’s cream soups (PM GT) 3 x $.99
    Eggo mini’s $2.99 – FPC
    Goldfish (PM FB) 2 x $2.00 – 2 x $.50
    Healthy Harvest pasta 3/$4.98 – 3 x FPC
    Michelina’s Health $1.47 (blowout) – $1.47 SCOP
    Natura soy milk $1.94 – 50% pink sticker -$.97
    So Delicious coconut yogurt $4.59
    Swanson Skillet Meals (PM WM) 2 x $3.97 – 2 x $1.00 coupons – 2 x $1.50 CO51
    Ziploc bags (PM NF) $2.00 – $1.00 coupon
    CH Vitality bread $3.08 – $3.00 coupon wub Ziploc
    Pork tenderloin (4) $6.57, $6.19, $6.25, $6.45
    Bananas $1.76 – $1.69 (SYB FPC)
    Apples $2.19
    Mushrooms (PM) $1.00
    Strawberries 2lbs $3.98
    Head & Shoulders 2in1 $4.97 – $1.00 coupon
    Neutrogena clarifying shampoo $11.99 – $3.00 coupon
    Vaseline moisturizer $5.97 – FPC
    Coupons $39.62
    Tax free day $3.97
    CD $11.04
    CO51 $6.00 (includes -$1.00 for a bill over $60)
    SCOP $1.47
    OOP $59.58

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $57.08
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $13.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $14.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $62.50
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $13.71
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$41.04
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $191.56
    • Total SCOP this week: $1.47
    • Total SCOP this month: $1.47
    • Total SCOP this year: $1.47
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $80.40
    •Total Spent So Far for April: $330.25
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of April: Under $29.75
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $29.75 (if I shop again between now and Wednesday lol)
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $129.10
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I do not carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1277.96
    •Weekly overview: Wow! Another great week for me! We were under budget again for the week and again for the month (as long as I don’t shop before Wednesday lol). I stocked up on pork tenderloin this week as well as some HABA since it was tax free and I had a few FPC’s. It was a slow month for CO51 for me until this week! I also got a SCOP this week so I added it to my tracking list. Look at all the stuff I got for $80!!!!!!!!! 

    1. And btw, I’m still so jealous that I have not been able to find any cheap ground turkey! We’re dying to have fresh burgers here but don’t want to pay full price!

    2. Hey Jen!
      I’ll be running the grocery game this Tues for the last week of April, but as you know you track it how you shop even if it isn’t in accordance to my weeks. Just let me know what you are doing in your posts that’s all. Awesome, what was the SCOP FOR? Wow, you did awesome this week shop, good for you. You are becoming a pro. Maybe we can start up a business together teaching people how to grocery shop ;-)Do you trade for coupons online? I notice you have lots of FPC’s and $5.00 artic gardens. Where is the Kraft coupon booklet from? Well done Jen!! Keep up the good work. You get ballot #21

      1. Nope. No Zehrs around me! I’ve been shopping along with your weeks for a while now 🙂 The SCOP was for a Michelina’s meal (not the typical kind something different I’ve never seen before) that was on blowout and came up the wrong price. Yes, I trade coupons online in a few different groups, that is how I’ve ended up with so many coupons/FPC’s. The Kraft coupon booklet was in the coupon zone at RCSS. Thanks!

        1. Oh that makes sense. We have so many coupons that we could trade in the binder but we haven’t been doing much trading lately. I didn’t see the booklets at Zehrs or maybe I did and thought they expired. I’ll have to go look.

  8. Hey Mr. CBB!

    I know that you went over your budget because you were tempted by the great deals, but its reassuring to me to know that you’re not perfect either! 😛 I know you guys will make it up next month as well.

    This is my week’s shop:

    Mom 10

    Bananas (pink sticker) 1.42
    Broccoli 0.98
    Cilantro 0.58
    Organic Field Greens 2.98
    Organic Spinach 2.98
    Spinach 1.47
    Zucchini 0.58
    Gum 3.13
    GST promotion -0.30

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of Pocket 13.82

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $1
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Spent This Week: $23.82
    Total Spent So Far for April: $104.82
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $26.18 under
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of April: $45.18 under
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $95.18
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: n/a
    Total Spent to Date This Year: $587.05
    Weekly Overview: I was continuing on my quest to clean out my freezer, but under estimated the amount of food I would need now that I was working, so got take out a couple of times unfortunately. 🙁 I will plan for more food this week for sure! Good news is that boy is helping out with the cooking (although I am still doing the meal planning and grocery lists) and he made me a roast dinner tonight with potatoes and veggies! AND it was pretty edible. 🙂

    Have a good weekend!


    1. Hey Vicky,
      Hell no, far from it and we aren’t here to say look at how awesome we are. We are here to say, we are the same as everyone else. We mess up, we catch up and we do our best to stick to the budget. That’s the one thing I am proud of, knowing that I feel part of the team with all of you rather than some hot shot throwing out rules and making it seem like I’m a superhero and never make mistakes. That will be the day haha… What are field greens, like spinach? How do you serve them? I was going to ask before I read the end of this post if you went out to eat more this week. Sure enough, you did. Take it one step at a time with him, guys are far from women when it comes to getting around the kitchen UNLESS they are in the profession or simply love cooking and planning. It takes time but the more you both experiment with NEW recipes the more involved you both will be. You get ballot #20…. Keep at it mate

      1. Hey!

        Haha, I think, to me, you guys do so well, and I’m always hard on myself when I feel like I let myself down. That’s why I have convos with you in my head when I know I am purchasing something I shouldn’t be. 🙂

        Field greens are a mixture of things, arugula, radicchio, red and green chard, mizuna, red and green romaine.. bunch of stuff. And yes, I had to go look at the package because I wasn’t sure. I rotate them with the spinach for smoothies in the morning, or I am eating them as my salad for lunch. It doesn’t taste very good though. 🙂 I might have to bug you for that ginger sesame salad dressing you guys use quite a bit.


        1. Oh ya, so what do you and I talk about in these private conversations, maybe I should start charging administrative fees haha. Field greens are a good mix and something I would certainly eat. I”m going to keep my eyes open for them. The salad dressing is just sesame oil, one lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, minced garlic, minced ginger…. that’s it. Just play around with the measurements… don’t ask me for anything concrete as I don’t have it. It’s a dressing with a little bit of this, a little bit of that but we love it, it’s tangy and perfect. Sometimes we add honey or toasted sesame seeds to the dressing as well.

  9. I try and stick to a low GI diet too, most days. One item that I’ve found as my “secret little low GI treat” is Organic Blue Agave. It’s kind of a mix between honey and maple syrup. I use it on my occasional treat of pancakes and find that I don’t have any of the normal symptoms (mood swings and fatigue) that I experience with syrup or other sweet treats. Apparently, though, there is bad quality Blue Agave out there, so get the good organic stuff. Mrs. CBB might like it.

      1. Well, a whole foods store would probably be the most likely place. I’ve checked at the local Walmarts here, some have it, some don’t. Not sure what assortment of whole foods grocery stores you have up there, though. Also, I’ve heard you can use the good organic stuff for baking as well, though we’ve never tried this here. Maybe I’ll do that this weekend…..

  10. It’s sad that the cashier didn’t volunteer the $10 off for the mistake. I had the same thing with a handyman recently. His workers messed up a job. When I called him, he pretended like nothing was wrong until I mentioned the fact (they’d cut down the wrong tree in my back yard!). Only then did he say, “Yeah, I noticed that….” Really? Were you going to bring it up? Funny story: he had them come to my house for free to cut the right tree (big of him)…and….wait for it….they cut down the wrong tree again. Awesome.

    1. OMG.. bloody hell eh mate… why do people do such stupid things like that. Why can’t they own up. The cashier was probably doing her job where many are not supposed to tell the customer about SCOP… they leave it up to the customer to read the signs posts on the doors and counters about the program. Maybe you should have put a big florescent orange sign up that says “PICK ME”…

  11. Week 16

    Texas Toast $2.95
    Ground Beef $4.91
    Tomato Sauce $0.99
    Tomato Paste $1.49
    Diced tomatoes $1.99
    Black Pepper $2.85
    Thin Spaghetti $0.89
    6 Glazed Doughnuts $3.79

    Total Out of Pocket $19.86

    2 Bags Doritos $5.00
    Capri Sun $2.34
    2 Lunchables $6.00

    Total Out of Pocket $13.49

    Lg King Fish Dinner $11.12

    Total Out of Pocket $11.12

    Broward Health Pharmacy
    Kids Toothpaste $2.29
    2 x Secret Deodorant $3.68

    Total Out of Pocket $5.97

    32 oz. Thin Spaghetti $1.97
    Coffee $4.98
    3lb Rice $1.98
    Hawaiian Punch $2.08
    Hawaiian Punch $2.08
    Mini Bagels $2.98
    Garlic Toast $2.42
    Cream Cheese $2.38
    Coffee Creamer $3.18
    6pk paper towels $5.97

    Total Out of Pocket $30.64

    Broward Meat and Fish
    6 Snapper Steaks $21.28
    Jamaican Festival $1.79
    Chicken $3.89
    Candy $0.99

    Total Out of Pocket $28.01

    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: $109.09
    Total Spent for April: $311.67
    Total Underspend this shop: -$65.18
    Total Overspend for the month of April: -$65.18
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: -$65.18
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.50
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$65.18
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $1,346.75

    Weekly Overview: I ran out of food this week. I had to go shopping on Saturday which means I didn’t plan my meals accordingly. The laziness I am feeling towards meal planning has to end in order for me to stay within my budget limits. So far, I haven’t completed an entire month that has been within the monthly budget. I will aim for that in May.

    1. Hi Dr.Sheba,
      Tomorrow I will post one last week of shopping for April as it’s the 5th week of the month for us until we start into May. You can post your shop again this week but it will be the first shop of May for you. As long as you track your own shops they don’t have to fall in line with mine. I think you answer your own questions. That publix place, is it a pricey grocery store? I only ask as I notice the price on some products to be fairly high like the tomatoes and paste. We have a store here called Metro and it’s the priciest of them all and we would never buy something there if we can get it cheaper at the other shops. We would only buy items on offer that we know are still cheaper than the other shops. You know what you have to do, so motivate yourself to get to that place. Keep at it.! Mr.CBB

      1. I will make tomorrow’s post an April post. Publix is a higher end grocery store here. I could opt for Walmart since it’s cheaper, but it’s just less convenient for me. The next time I get my canned tomato products I will try Walmart to see if there is a price difference.

        1. One of the most important things you need to learn is your prices. That way if you go to Walmart and you know they have the cheapest price on certain products, buy them there. Don’t buy high end shops if you don’t have to and you don’t as long as long as you plan your meals and your shops. Those high end stores will suck the life out of your budget. Take some time to download my free product comparison sheet and mark in the items you regularly use in your home and write in the prices at publix and Walmart and see who has them cheaper. You can find the free download under free money saving tools on the blog.

          1. You’re welcome, I’m always here for support but it’s up to you to grab the bull by the horns and run with it. If I can do it, you can do it, I’m challenging you to stomp your budget by year end. 🙂

  12. Clearly changing the diet plan is being rough on the budget!! The good news I’m sure will be that once you get stocked up on the good stuff it will be much easier to stay with the budget as you won’t have the shock to the system you have now…. Those hams look so good!!! How do you cook them?? I don’t do anything other than heat them through, but I make a pineapple sauce to serve with it, let me know if you want that recipe… It’s quick,easy and yummy!! I also make my own cranberry sauce for all that turkey too if you are interested….much better than the canned stuff you can buy.
    I think I’ll pass on the fancy Cheerios thanks… The only kinds I buy are the multi grain or the plain. The rest just seem to be too sweet tasting….
    Looks like we are both working on the budget as it looks like I’ll be over again…. It frustrates me to no end but I will manage some how!!!!!!!!! Good luck with the new diet to the Mrs…..

    1. Christine, a while back we picked up hams like that… “buy 1 get 1 free” so it ended up being roughly $3.75 a ham. I have an electric meat slicer & hubby will do absolutely paper thin slices and then use it for his ham and cheese sandwiches. One little ham sure goes a long, long way around here! I enjoy the slice of ham at bedtime with a piece of cheese and I do it like a roll-up so I can skip the bread but it’s really nice to tuck a gherkin in the middle for a bit of crunch. I will say, this gluten free business and the cost of the bread products has really reduced my overall consumption in the grain category & that’s not such a bad thing. 🙂

      Keep plugging Christine, maybe when No Frills opens up the other local stores will get into more deep discount sales to compete against each other. That will help stretch the budget a little further. 🙂 Are you doing many meatless dinners?? That might be another way to get more mileage out of your grocery budget… just a suggestion. 😀

      1. Thanks for the vote of confidence Mary, I am plugging away at things. I do try for one or two meatless meals here when I can. Omelette is one, especially with those cheap eggs I can get now from a farmer. Mac and cheese is another when I can get the cheese on sale. We do like a little meat in the spaghetti sauce, mind you. It just seems to mellow out the flavour some. At least the boys aren’t fussy about what they eat. If you put it in front of them they will eat it. Hubby… not so much. There’s really not a lot of meat in my freezers these days. I’ve been stocking up on other things lately and it looks like there better be some good sales on meat soon or I’m going to be clearing out a freezer of meat…..and running low on dinner ideas…..
        No Frills is now open in Stratford but it’s a 15-20 minute drive to get there. We will be in Stratford tomorrow for an appointment so I might drop into Food Basics and/or Sobey’s as I have those flyers…. Sobey’s has cheese on sale and Food Basics has bananas and butter on. We don’t rate the No Frills flyer right now……I might see what I can do about that, give them a call and let them know I will shop at Sobey’s and Food Basics and why might work…..

  13. I have just started tracking my grocery purchases for the last 2 weeks. Was doing wonderful until I went grocery shopping today. Well that was a disaster! in the fact that I am seriously over budget. I definitely understand the specialty diet. I have 4 adults in the house, 3 of which need to be gluten free & not by choice! Ouch! that hurts the pocket book really hard. Grocery shopping has become a nightmare when it comes to budgeting.

    1. Canadiankiwi, I am gluten free these days and have been able to find really good deals on GF bread, dried pasta and baking mix just across the border in the US. While we are there I also pick up dairy products and other deals. Are you close to the Canada-US border? Have a passport? if so, let me know and I’ll give you some less expensive brand names. 🙂

      1. I have found a marvelous bread that actually tastes like a normal bread. I buy it at the Franz Bakery Outlets for $4.99 US a loaf. They have a GF white and a GF 7 Grain and both are good. I use the white to make a homemade turkey stuffing. 🙂 If you don’t have one in your area, my girlfriend in Sudbury approached her store manager and they are going to bring it in for her. Here is the Franz link:

        My favorite dried pastas for me are either quinoa or rice. I prefer the quinoa though because the texture is almost identical to wheat basted dried pasta. I get the following pasta at Safeway in Lynden, WA:

        As far as rice pasta goes, I haven’t found anywhere cheaper than Trader Joes in Bellingham, WA. Here’s a link:

        I have found for lots of variety and my baking mix I go to Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA. They have a really big range of GF products but they are a little more expensive. I try to limit myself to 1-3 things per month that I can not get elsewhere. This is where I get my certified GF Oats. Here is the baking mix I use:

        Soups… well if you are sick, Campbell’s Chicken Rice soup is GF and I watch my local shops for a sale and then stock up. I try to get them for $1 a can to have on hand. We picked up about 40 cans recently so that will keep me for a while since hubby isn’t GF – he can still have his Lipton’s Chicken Noodle Soup when he’s sick. Pretty much, if it actually says GF on the can it’s going to cost you an arm and leg. Don’t bother! Make your own soups – it’s easy. The beef/chicken/vegetable stock is GF so throw in what you like. I can make a big pot of soup for say $10 which makes 8-10 really big bowls of soup that everyone can enjoy. (Enough with cooking 2 different meals)

        Cold cereals… Rice Krispies are available here but Walmart in the US carries Honey Nut Rice Chex, Chocolate Chex and Rice Chex. Watch your online flyers at to see when they have them on sale. I also LOVE to use the mix them, add some nuts and sesame pretzels for my own version of a Nuts N Bolts mix. By the way, I found sesame pretzels at Safeway Canada and they are a different flavor but I do enjoy them. Chocolate covered pretzels are actually cheaper at my Whole Foods in Bellevue than the Walmart in Burlington, WA! I was surprised and that’s when I realized I would have to set up two charts… one for Canada and one for the US for my GF products. I mark down the price at each store so I know what is cheapest to buy where.

        General cooking flour, I tend to use brown rice flour as a thickener or as a coating. I shop the bulk section of Save On Foods when they have it on sale. If you are in the west, make sure to sign up for their email GF discount coupons. They aren’t every week but they are nice to receive. If you aren’t out here… ask all your local stores how to get coupons from them on the GF items.

        Let’s admit that sometime all we want is junk food. Well, my new GF favorite is Annie’s GF Deluxe Rice Pasta and Cheddar. This I get at Safeway in Lynden, WA as well. I am still keeping my eyes peeled to see if I spot it cheaper anywhere else. Here are their products:

        I am not really a big sweets person but my GF girlfriend uses a baking mix with her old normal recipes to make all her cookies using a 1 for 1 substitution. She said her family scarfs them down, none the wiser that they are GF. For goodness sake, don’t buy cookies… the price is crazy! A Langley, BC bakery has started distributing their Double Chocolate Chunk and White Chocolate Cranberry cookies thru Safeway Canada and they are absolutely addictive. I would buy and freeze a box… dole them out 1 at a time. They make a really nice treat but they are not cheap. Since I don’t eat a lot of cookies, 1 box will do me for a year.

        For pancakes, I have tried and fallen in love with this recipe. I’ll never have your prepared GF pancake mixes again! I used the Pamela’s baking mix and it worked wonderfully. Here’s the recipe:

        I am going to take a moment to suggest that you check out the Forum area as I post nifty GF recipes that I find there. Also join in on the What’s For Dinner feed. I talk very openly about being GF and what I did to switch up a given “normal” recipe to make it work for my new GF status ( since Xmas). Several ladies are eating either GF, Paleo or vegan and all their recipes are terrific for us too!

        Another good resources is the Grocery Game Challenge because you can see what I am buying. I clearly identify GF products. For example I buy GF breakfast sausages at Save On Foods. They are not too expensive and I can have breakfast for supper with hubby without using every darned frying pan in the house.

        I strongly suggest you get a slow cooker, the biggest one you can find in either Walmart or Costco in the US. You can make frugal soups, stews and chilis that are filling and relatively inexpensive if you use dried beans, lentils and cheap cuts of meat. The low and slow cooking method tenderizes even the cheapest cuts of meat. And here I look for dried beans and rices at Costco and Safeway in the US. They have a much larger selection than we have here. Keep your eyes peeled for a bag of 16-bean soup dry soup mix at Safeway. Sure you have to soak overnight before making but it amounts to a big pot of bean soup for only a few dollars. I use that mix for my empty the fridge of veggies night. All my leftovers and wilting veggies go right in the pot and I extend their life for a couple more meals. If you keep the broth clear (ie no milk or cheese) it will freeze really well for future fast meals.

        I want to point out… corn tortillas are so much cheaper to purchase at Walmart in the US. I get 100 for the price that I get 20 here! I am not completely enamored with them but I am trying to adjust. When I really want a normal tortilla, Safeway has rice tortillas and I can make really tasty quesadillas with them. I really need to get off my duff and make my own tortillas but I haven’t done it yet. 🙂

        I shop regularly in Abbotsford at the Wong’s farm market for my fruits and vegetables to get 2-3 boxes for the same price I could pick up a few items at the local grocery store. It keeps me eating both local and “in season” which is always cheaper.

        As this is no doubt a huge change for your family… relax! Remember whole foods are gluten free. You can still make a garden salad, baked potato, corn on the cob and a barbecued steak. The only adjustment is to your salad dressings and sauces. A basic oil-vinegar with spices you like works for the salad and make your own barbecue sauce.

        I make a point to speak to the grocery store staff and find out where the GF products are located. In some stores, it’s a single aisle… in others, they are all thru the store.

        I google ingredients regularly to see if they are GF or not. Lea and Perrins Worcestershire is, so is Heinz ketchup. Both Save On Foods and Thrifty’s have a list of the GF products that they stock and many of those items are just normal items that I have always used. I also use to identify GF soups, candy, chocolate etc. Even if you don’t have those stores, the list is handy. There are some GF curries and soy sauces for nights when you just don’t want to start from scratch.

        If you need more help, feel free to “friend” me and we can chat more! Good luck! 🙂

      2. Thanks for all the tips Mary. Will be printing out your response. I am 20 minutes from the Niagara Falls/US border. Will have to see if I can find those US stores & products in NY state. I will have to check out the WalMart in NF NY, there is also a Wegmans grocery store so will have to check out all the products you suggested.

        I did check the web and found Franz’s Bakery is only in Washington state so will have to keep looking for a bakery in NY that doesn’t break the bank!! Gluten free bread is so expensive in Canada we don’t eat a lot of it!

        There is a Trader Joe’s coming soon to Buffalo so that is exciting. Also checking the web for Annie’s products I found that Wegmans carries them so will have to check. Costco in Canada also carries them so will check out the price there as well.

        I did buy cookies once but with the sticker shock–they were 50% off– and 3 adults eating them, they don’t last long. I have found a couple of muffin recipes the family likes and I am trying to find cookie recipes to make or adapt from my original recipes.

        I do have a slow cooker & have been using it more than I did before & I have just bought a tortilla press to make my own tortilla’s as nobody in the family likes the gluten free tortilla’s–they taste like cardboard.

        Mother’s Day came early this year, hubby bought me a cast iron wok. I am so excited. Who knew a kitchen accessory would be so exciting!!

        Hubby loves Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce & I was told is not gluten-free in Canada as it contains malt vinegar but in the US the ingredient is white vinegar.
        I checked it out on the web. Here are the links
        Must get some from the US.

        Thanks again for all the tips.

  14. Good luck on the spending $70 in May Mr. CBB! That would be a major challenge for us. We’ve seen the chocolate cheerios and just made me shake my head and laugh. Another sign of taking something healthy and making it not healthy. 😉 That said, I’d probably get the box if it was free like yours, but I think it would ruin the kids for any other kind of cereal. 🙂

    1. Haha it might yes.. but it would only be a snack if our nieces and nephew came over. Now they have peanut butter cheerios too! Thanks about the budget next month, we’ll need all the support we can get lol.

    2. John, I think his only hope is to go in with only $35 cash in his pocket every second week. No debit, no credit… it’s hard to over spend. When times are really tight with us… I have had to resort to that method!

  15. Mr CBB, has the Mrs got a diet plan to help her with this new GI lifestyle?

    This is what I was given many moons ago for me:

    Mary’s Daily Meal Plan = 1700 calories per day

    Category: 1 Serving Equals: Quantity

    Grain Products (6 servings) ** Note: rice serving is 1/3 cup not 1/2 cup **
    1 slice bread
    30 g cold cereal
    3/4 cup hot cereal
    1/2 pita
    1/4 bagel
    1/2 bun
    1/2 cup pasta or grains

    Fruits (2 servings)
    1 medium size or
    1/2 cup diced

    Vegetables (4 servings)
    1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned
    or 1 cup salad

    Dairy (2 servings)
    1 cup skim milk
    1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
    1 oz fat free cheese
    3/4 cup yoghurt

    Meat and Alternatives (3 servings)
    3 oz uncooked meat, poultry, fish
    1/3 can fish = 3 oz.
    1 egg = 2 egg whites
    1/3 cup tofu
    2 tbsp peanut butter
    1 cup beans, lentils etc.
    2 oz. veggie meats

    Fats, Oils, Sweets (1 tsp)
    use sparingly (Max 3 tsp. Per day)
    and reduce other calorie intakes if max is used
    since 5 fat grams = 45 calories

    I pick mostly low GI items in each category and if I am adding something with either added sugar or fat, I reduce portion size of the treat and also reduce the number of servings from the grains category to make it work.

    For example, tonight we are having pulled pork tacos on corn tortillas with grated cabbage on top. I will also sliced mini cucumbers on the side. It all fits on a sandwich plate and is a better portion size for me in terms of my blood sugar management and control. I can always have some fruit salad and a hard boiled egg for my evening snack. 🙂

    This was designed for me by a registered dietician at St Paul’s Hospital. I have found that Gluten Free products tend to be higher calorie so I count each serving as 2 servings to stay within my plan. 🙂

    Hope this helps.

    1. No she hasn’t been to a dietician at all but has talked to our doctor about the changes she wants to make to her eating. She’s not one that enjoys fat free foods as she would rather eat full fat in moderation. The other part she will work on is measuring her foods until she gets used to portion sizes. She doesn’t eat large potions now but she wants to track it manually just to really make sure. I’ll print this and pass this along to her as I’m sure she will be more than happy to read it and use the suggestions you have here for her. Thanks Mary. MR.CBB

  16. Week of April 22 to April 28, 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


    Well, I have to say I was relatively unimpressed with this week’s sales. Some weeks are like that though.

    Saturday is going to be an expensive day what with car servicing and having the summer tires put back on. It’s a big servicing and will take several hours so we are using a gift card to treat ourselves to a nice breakfast at ABC Country Restaurant while we wait.

    We have the exterminators coming in the afternoon to deal with some ants that have gotten into the house & we’ll have to evacuate for 6-8 hours so it’s the perfect excuse to head to the US for a little supper. Since I haven’t had my tooth fixed yet, and I am eating gluten free, our dining options for me are somewhat limited. I am looking forward to stopping at Woods Coffee in Lynden for a cup of Joe. We haven’t done that in a little while and I even have one free coffee on my punch card so coffee for two is 50% off! Love it! I figure we’ll snoop a little in the shops and maybe take a walk along the boardwalk. I am planning to do dinner at Applebee’s so I can have their spinach salad with grilled shrimp and toasted almonds. It really is yummy!

    Sunday we are planning to make a pot of my Peasant Cabbage and Tomato soup for lunch and that’ll give me lots of lunch leftovers during the week. Sunday is also my mother-in-law’s 92nd birthday so we’ll be taking her out for supper to celebrate. No cooking required at our house that night either. We are certainly slacking off this coming weekend. I have to say though, the joy of eating out is certainly diminished when what I can manage to eat with this broken molar is pretty much mushy foods. Yuck!

    I have done our meal plan though for next week and we’ve got everything we need in the fridge to have a nice week of suppers, so it’s been easy to hold the groceries this week to a very dull roar! LOL

    The shopping we did this week took our stockpile budget over by $10.76 so we transferred some surplus funds from the grocery budget to the stockpile to make the stockpile budget zero out. This left $33.59 in the Grocery Budget but next week is a NO SHOP week for us, so I am transferring the available funds over to our US Reserves for June when we’ll shop on the way home from our vacation.



    SAFEWAY – Maple Ridge

    2 pkgs Eating Right Tortillas ($7.38- $2.38 Price Reduction) = $5.00
    1 Green Cabbage $3.11
    5 large Sweet Onions $5.48

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions: $13.31
    •Total Checkout51 Savings: $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    •Total More Points Earned = 0 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned = 0 Points
    •Total OOP: $13.59

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $13.59
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    SAVE ON FOODS – Maple Ridge

    1 Turkey Breast Roast $15.00

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions: $0.00
    •Total Checkout51 Savings: $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    •Total More Points Earned = 15 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned = 0 Points
    •Total OOP: $15.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $15.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    COSTCO – Port Coquitlam

    1 pkg Crab Delight – 4 pack $8.99
    1 Pepperoni $13.59
    1 Pepperoni $13.59

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions: $0.00
    •Total Checkout51 Savings: $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    •Total More Points Earned = 0 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned = 0 Points
    •Total OOP: $36.17

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $13.59
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $22.58



    •Total Grocery Budget OOP:
    (16.07+$39.90+$42.18) = $98.15

    •Total Stockpile Budget OOP:
    ($10.75+24.93+$22.58) = $58.26

    •Total CASH Spent: ($26.82+$64.83+$64.76)= $156.41
    •Total HIDING SPOT CASH Spent: $0.00
    •Total GIFT CARDS Spent: $0.00


    •Spent from US Reserve: $126.23
    •Spent from US HIDING SPOT CASH: $0.00

    • US Reserve Remaining:
    ($122.95-126.23+$88.08 Repaid+$33.59 from Grocery Budget) =
    $118.39 AVAILABLE
    • US HIDING SPOT CASH Remaining: $65.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    (Jan $40.04) + (Feb $44.48) + (March $98.35) +
    (April $27.77+$13.31+$0.20+$2.38)= $226.53

    •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 11+15=26)= 690 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    (Jan 57) + (Feb 10) + (March 30) +
    (April 23)= 120 Air Miles


    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (Jan $217.50) + (Feb $198.39)+ (March $72.90) +
    (April $98.15
    +10.76 to Stockpile
    +$33.59 transfer to US Reserve = $142.50)= $631.29

    •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: $0.00 FLAT

    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (March $81.21) +
    (April $58.26-$10.76 from Grocery =$47.50) = $128.71

    •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: $0.00 FLAT


    CLOSING APRIL Grocery Budget (CDN): $0.00
    CLOSING APRIL Stockpile Budget (CDN): $0.00
    CLOSING APRIL Safeway Gift card (CDN): $20.00
    CLOSING APRIL Cash Hiding Spot (CDN): $5.00
    CLOSING APRIL US Grocery Reserve: $118.39 US
    CLOSING APRIL US Cash Hiding Spot: $65.00 US

    1. Well Mary you never cease to amaze me with your GGC post each week as it is so detailed and organized. It sounds like you will have one heck of a couple of weeks coming up. It’s too bad they can’t sort your tooth out any faster. geesh, seems like a while now. As soon as I read that you had to evacuate in my head I though < OH I bet she will go to the USA…I don't know much about going over the border and shopping and what you can and can't bring back but I'm sure you will make the most of the day. I've never been to APplebees before either. I think we are done shopping for the month as well. I know you said we have to get the pantry sorted and I thank you for being so optimistic with our month as it's been a bit of a blow but we are the one's to blame with all the shopping we did. We easily could have said NO but the deals were great especially to make sure we have enough in the house for the Mrs. to eat. The pepperoni that you buy is that for pizzas or how else do you use it? The soup you make sounds good but now that the hot weather is coming we eat soup in moderation and like you crack out the salads, all kinds of them. The rhubarb is growing in our yard and all sorts are sprouting up. I can't wait to do some updates on the garden!! You get ballot #17!!! Keep up the good work, and enjoy your upcoming weeks even if your tooth is a bummer for ya! Cheers Mary

      1. Thanks Mr CBB… you’ll be fine with your budget!

        I originally had the diet done as a non-diabetic meat eating person originally but over the years, I have been vegetarian, vegan, pesco-vegetarian, diabetic, now gluten free and they all fit the simple design with a little wiggling and jiggling. My grain category is where I draw from when I want an extra or I have gone nuts in another category. For example, I have had days where all I want is milk, cottage cheese fruits and vegetables. Fine, it won’t kill you to ignore the protein and grains for a day or two.

        If you figure that a woman who is diabetic gets a MAXIMUM of 15 servings of carbohydrates in a day and most of what is above is in our diet is classified as a carbohydrate on the diabetic diet, you get very picky!

        Grain… carbohydrate

        Fruit …. carbohydrate…berries are best because serving size = 1 cup and apples and pears are great too! Oranges, cherries, ripe bananas (1/2 banana is a serving), melons, and particularly pineapple cause blood sugar spikes (fast rise and fast crash) so they should be handled as “little treats” in the week rather than the normal fruits to consume regularly. If it tastes sweet…it converts faster to sugar in the blood stream, spikes, crashes & leaves you hungry again faster.

        Vegetables… carbohydrate and basically peas, carrots, corn, beets, sweet potatoes are nasty on the blood sugar. Like fruit, if it tastes sweet to the palate, it’s nasty on the blood sugar. Stick mostly to loads of cruciferous vegetables or if you are having a sweet vegetable have a couple of spoonfuls and keep the rest very low GI. All the basic rabbit food… lettuces and cucumber are freebies. Eat huge bowls if you like! Again, peppers are sweet so reduce the portion size of the quantity you eat. For example, if I am having 1.5 cups of veggies… I have a strip or two of red pepper, and fill the rest with cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli etc.

        Protein… not a carbohydrate UNLESS you choose beans or lentils, then this too is a carbohydrate. You count it as a protein and a carbohydrate. If you wife is concerned about diabetes, she’d be well advised to choose heart healthy proteins since the number one killer for diabetic women is HEART DISEASE. If you develop diabetes, you are 5 times more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than the rest of the population. Remember that beans and lentils only require 1 serving from the grains category within 24 hours of ingesting the beans/lentils for the protein to be absorbed by the body as a “complete protein”.

        Dairy… carbohydrate again unless you are eating extremely high fat cheese (say higher than 25%) and then it falls under the Fat category. You don’t want to do the high fat thing very often or in large quantities again because of the heart disease risk. Diabetic management teams recommend lower fat items like skim, 1 or 2% milk products instead of whole milk, half n half or cream.

        Fats… all sausages, bacon, high fat cheeses, nuts, seeds, oil and salad dressings are in this category and are to be eaten very sparingly. If the Mrs leans more towards the vegetarian end of the scale 1 serving of nuts or seed per week is actually heart heathy as she hasn’t got all the animal proteins clogging up her veins.

        So if you only get 15 servings of carbs as a woman in the course of a whole day… this sort of sums it up what a day might look like:

        Breakfast: Protein (an egg?) + Carb (1/2 Cup Oatmeal) + Carb (milk?) = 2 carbs

        Morning Snack: 1 carb (small apple or 1/2 medium apple) + 1/2 Fat Serving
        (Say some almonds or 1/2 oz high fat cheese) = 1 additional carb

        Lunch: 1/2 Protein + Carb (say a serving of hummus) + 1 Carb + Freebie lettuces (large green salad with 1 serving of either added vegetables or fruit ) + 1 carb (1/2 pita for the hommous) = 3 carbs more

        Afternoon Snack: 1 pear with serving of cottage cheese = 2 Carbs + 1 Dairy => 8 used / 7 to go

        Dinner: 1 Carb (Small salad with tomato, cucumber, peppers etc) + 2 Carb serving (potato/sweet potato/rice/pasta/bread) + 2 carbs (low GI vegetables) + 1 Protein = 5 Carbs

        Bedtime Snack: 1/2 Protein + 1/2 Fat (1 tbsp peanut butter) + 1 Carb (piece of bread) + 1 Carb (1/2 banana) = 2 carbs

        ** Note ** If you are eating a processed item like a rice cake, remember 15 grams of carbohydrates is considered to be a serving. In case you want to look at say a Fibre One bar as a snack for convenience.

        As part of the smoothing process for her blood sugar, as well as feeling full longer, the diabetic recommendations I have received are to eat either a “Carbohydrate + Protein” or a “Carbohydrate + Fat” every time you eat. It’s a lot easier on the pancreas and liver.

        Also: meals/snacks should be no more than 4 hours apart. Breaking the overnight fast with breakfast as soon as possible takes the pressure off the liver and puts the pancreas back to work on regulating the blood sugar.

        Hope this helps. 🙂

      2. No, the pepperoni I cut in half and regularly have 1/2 pepperoni + a fruit or vegetable as my bedtime snack. I need protein at bedtime or I awaken at midnight-3:00 am with low blood sugar. 🙁

  17. Chocolate Cheerios? Does life get any better than that? My all time favorite cereals are honey nuts but chocolate sounds fabulous. almost $7 is a lot though. Good luck spending only $70 in May!

    1. It was free so we didn’t care and it’s for the kids if they come over for a snack as they like cheerios. I like my wheatabix lol. It is pricey cereal and that’s only because they know they can get away with it because many parents go through boat loads of it for the kids.

      1. haha it is written weetabix in French, probably because no one knows wheat is pronounced weet… anyway, here is my late shop for this week

        1 gallon ice cream (to bring to a lunch we were invited to) $5.6
        1/2lb cheese, 3L pop, 10 goat caramel candies, $6
        1lb tomato 2lb onion $1.33
        3.5lb fresh fish $6.9

        total $19.83

        Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200 – $1.09 over budget this year, $198.91 or $39.78 times 5 weeks.
        I will divide per 5 weeks since we usually shop on Monday or Tuesday and there are 5 of them.
        Total Coupons Used this Week : none
        Total Spent This Week:$ 19.83
        Total Spent So Far for (April): $113.26
        Total Over/Under spend this shop: $19.95 under
        Total Over/Under spend for the month of (April): $85.65 under
        Total Left to Spend for the Month: $85.65
        Total Spent To Date This Year: $514.35

        Weekly overview
        those are mostly things we didn’t really need but felt like eating before leaving the house for a month, I am happy we didn’t waste too much food, I froze a few things but overall we ate what was there and will need a big shop when we go back. Now I have $85.65/2 from this month plus $100 for my share of next month, that is $142.82 to spend in France in May.

        1. Sure sure… I bet the gallon of icecream is your treat haha… I haven’t had it in ages. My fav is rum and raisin. What are goat caramel candies? You knew I would ask right haha.. Your fish is so cheap.. do you have to clean it or does it come cleaned? I hope you are having fun on your holidays while I’m still stuck here.. have a few beers for me mate. I can’t wait to see the results of France!

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