The Grocery Game Challenge #5 April 29-May 5, 2013- Ignore Your Grocery Flyers!

The Grocery Game April 29-May 5

The only time I would say to ignore your grocery flyers to save money is when your budget is set up for a no-shop week like ours is this week. You can do whatever you want but for our budget it’s imperative that we toss them in the bin and get on with our week. Another reason would be if you just have too much food in the house and you don’t need to shop.

The weekly grocery flyers offer up a great way to plan and save money but they can also hinder our grocery budget goals at the same time. Weekly flyers are simply another marketing ploy to get consumers off the couch and into their store to spend, spend, spend money.

A few weeks back I told you to “ditch your coupons and let them expire”, especially if you find you are using coupons just because you have them. There comes a point where you have to decide whether certain products are necessary and adding value to your budget.

If you have food that sits around and wastes because no one is eating it maybe you shouldn’t have purchased it in the first place. We’ve done that before but quickly stopped it. It’s just a waste of money, with or without a coupon.

Don’t let the grocery game photo fool you this week for April we can proudly say that we did not spend any money this week.

If you follow along the grocery game challenge and I hope you do, you know that we are well over budget for the month of April. Since my wife is now on a low GI diet we’ve stocked up on more fruits, nuts and vegetables than we normally do. Our pantry for the most part has always been well stocked but now we will be looking to fill it with brown rice, oat bran, All-Bran and many other items that will fit into her meal plan. You know, the kind of food that gets your engine started in the morning…….

Ignore Your Flyers and Save Money

Whether you are grocery shopping for 2 or more people in your family or if you are a single person who has a grocery budget that you want to stick to there may be certain situations where it’s best to toss your flyers in the garbage. I find that we sometimes struggle to stay out of the stores when we know we shouldn’t be in them in the first place.

One of our biggest excuses is that we are going coupon shopping, looking to see what’s out there for deals and pink stickers. Sometimes if you don’t get them when the coupon rep puts the pads of coupons out you might be hard pressed to ever find them.

When 5pm rolls around at the CBB house on Thursdays and the flyer girl shows up with our weekly grocery flyers we grab them and take to the couch to see who has the best prices on deals for the upcoming week. Some of our favourite weekly flyers are the No Frills flyers, Food Basics flyer, Sobeys flyer even though we hardly if ever shop there we use it to price compare typical products we purchase on a weekly basis.

I’m a sucker for the Canadian Tire flyer but that’s a whole other part of the budget, thank goodness or else we’d be in big trouble. I know it sounds kind of boring to do but part of the process for us in learning who has the hottest grocery deals and how we are meal planning and sorting out what we will price match for the week.

Weekly Grocery Store Ads Talk to Us!

Do you immediately say to yourself, “oh we need that, it’s on sale”! It’s because the weekly flyers talk to us, they reel us in like nobody’s business and that is the power of print media. Best of it is the food industry is such a lucrative business they will bring these weekly flyers to you via direct mail, meaning delivered to your home for free.

In-Store Grocery shop marketing is meticulous, just ask anyone who in charge of it and how important height, size, shelf space, placement etc is and they will tell you, it’s imperative to the sale and success of a product.

Grocery store competition is cut-throat so you can bet they make sure that everything has it’s place and that a keen eye and focus groups are in place to learn about our shopping habits, “the customers”. You know all the smells and the food samples  and beverages they offer you, it’s not because they think you look hungry or parched they want you to buy these products.

Coupons on the shelf, printable coupons, mail order coupons, insert coupons or coupons in the front entrance of a store are only a small part of getting us through the door. Many of us fail to see the signs because we tend to get in and get out and likely why we have to trek to the back to get the dairy and bread that we need.

They aren’t idiots that’s for sure and they know that if a coupon is there we will come running after all it’s no secret that the coupon industry has exploded. These companies know that if they want to move product all they have to do is attach a coupon and boom… they are well on their way to making profits.

We created this, they created this, we’re all responsible for what the industry has done in order to get us in the door and to the cash register. These companies are in business to make money after all. Our minds are on overload with the coupon phenomenon even bigger than when our grannies used to use them for the small savings they used to get. It’s a bigger deal as is the weekly flyer and in-store marketing ploys but almost every business is the same, they are no different.

Don’t be surprised if product packaging has shrunk and the coupon is just another way to have us think we are saving money when we are not. Pay attention to what you are paying for and you will know when a deal is a deal and when a dud of a deal is not worth your time and money.

The signs are marketing subtle just like the sample cheese and meats on a toothpick or the air freshener that smells like coffee that I was exposed to at one shop just to entice me to buy an in-store coffee. We can’t blame them, like any other business they are in the business to make money, it’s their job after all, no fault in that.

Sure you can view the grocery weekly flyers online if you like but that’s up to you to say, no we need to eat what we already have. It’s a great way to get creative with leftover food that sitting around. You can create the “kitchen sink” recipe meaning using all the bits and bobs in your refrigerator that your family might end up requesting as a weekly meal because it tastes so good.

This month since we are so far over budget we felt we were left with no other option this week than to take the weekly store ads and recycle them without even looking at them. If you don’t have any more money to spend and you start reading the flyers the temptation might be there to start writing up a shopping list, which you want to avoid. I know it may be the lowest price of the season but a budget is a budget and although it may be a tough decision to make, we need to close our eyes and  move on.

Forget About Savings

I know that if we were not in the position we are in now, meaning not having spare cash we certainly would be motivating ourselves even more. It’s not the best way to look at our budget and that’s why we are here so we don’t always think that it’s OK to fall back on our savings to fund our overspend at the grocery store. It’s easy to say, “we’ll just add more money to the grocery budget” if we are spending more but that is the trap.

Once we think we need more funds or are spending more  money for a couple of months we believe that, but it may not be true.  I’d evaluate what I was purchasing first (why the grocery game is so great so we can look back on our purchases to review them) and then make decisions based on needs and trends based on the previous 3-6 months of shops.

If we only had $50 to spend than that’s all we should be spending although that’s easier said than done. No, we don’t want to carry cash as it’s a huge inconvenience for us especially with the rewards that credit cards offer us. It’s a mindset that has to change and that begins with us so we are proud to say we ignored our grocery flyers this week and will cook from our freezer, refrigerator and pantry as we have more than enough food to get us by until next week.

Question: What do you do if you have no more money in the budget to spend but know you have savings or a credit card that you could easily use to fund the purchase? 

Grocery Game Weeks for April

This is the last shop for April 2013. Next week I will post the April Grocery Game Challenge WINNER so posts your shops today! You have until this Sunday at Midnight EST to post for April to get your ballots!


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!

Free Money Saving Downloads just for YOU!!! Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more!!! Click, Save and Print.. It’s that easy~

Our Grocery Game Challenge Results #5 April

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

We spent $0 shopping for groceries this week! We are working really hard to find out where our weak spots are and how to combat the overspending.

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 : $0
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • 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:$0
  • 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+$5.00+$10.26=$75.26
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month : ($ 162.74 over will carry over as a negative to catch up)
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74=$935.08
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 (this will be used for a date night or a summer holiday)

Weekly Overview: We did very well this week ignoring the flyers!

Canadian Coupons Found This Week

Week 5 Canadian Coupons Found This Week Apr 29 to May 5


One More coupon……

Canadian Coupons Found Grocery Game Challenge


That coupon if you can’t read it is Save $1 on Starbucks Refreshers Beverages with an expiry of Dec 31,2013

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. Here is my shop for this week, I have $142.82 to spend in France in May. It is a bit messy since they usually don’t give me a receipt or I lose it. This week I spent

    $15.47 for Ceasar salad staples, anchovies, parmesan cheese, a lettuce, croutons, and a fresh baguette.
    $26.4 for staples for a lasagna diner, a tub of Haagen Dazs cookie dough half liter (that was $7.25, more expensive than a gallon in Guatemala ugh), another liter of regular ice cream, a liter of milk, three bell peppers.
    $11.9 for a mature goat cheese 250gr, a baguette, big chocolate chunk cookies and another box of cookies, a liter of tropicana juice.

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $142.82 to spend in France in May, $35.7 pw.
    Total Coupons Used this Week : none
    Total Spent This Week:$ 53,77
    Total Spent So Far for (May): $53.77
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $18.07 over
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (May): $18.07 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $89.05
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $514.35+ $53.77

    weekly overview: I want to buy everything in the shops! it’s good to be home. Also, those shops are weird because I am invited places and buy the stuff my hosts need/want. Doing really good on alcohol so far, I haven’t bought any. Also, I don’t know how to add that spending since BF isn’t around, we spent $514.35 together so far, now it is only my spending so to get an idea I should assume he is well behaved in Guatemala and spending his $100 allowance only.
    I am giving myself a break from healthy, ready made, etc. since I am with my mum now, she has only two electric hobs to cook and no oven, I get depressed trying to cook at her place so it will be snacking for the next two weeks, which is expensive, so I will deduce the overspending from June.

    1. You are my worst case, you don’t budget and you lose receipts hahahah i’d be tearing my hair out if I had to work with you 😉 but I know you got all your numbers in order so thankfully I don’t! Your mom has no oven and 2 electric hobs… hmmm sounds like you are in for some real fun. I’m sure you will make it through. It goes to show we can’t always expect others to eat like we do. What is all the ice cream for? I’m envisioning you in front of the tele with the full tub and a big spoon haha.. Oh Pauline, the cookies, the salads, cheese and baguette, this is one heck of a trip but enjoy it mate, you deserve it. I’m craving cookies and might make some this week. I need to create something new. Then again the caramel brownies I saw the other day look amazing.

      1. ice cream was for a weekend with my girlfriends! except we don’t watch TV, we catch up and gossip :). I was buying more than my share because I was invited, so it didn’t end up all on my hips haha!
        My favorite cookies are macadamia nuts and white chocolate. When we went to NYC with my family we always went to Mrs Fields, they were the best I had ever tried.
        I want to start baking sweet things, chocolate is not very good and pretty expensive in Guatemala, maybe I bring some back and make cookies.

        1. Oh wow you and I like the exact same cookie made by the exact same company. Mrs. Fields Macadamia nut cookie is my all-time favourite cookie. If it goes on sale sometimes I will buy a bag but I haven’t for a long time. Maybe I need to create my own recipe. It’s good you shared the icecream lol.. I’ve been eating plenty of salads lately, fresh fruits, pita, boiled eggs, tuna, ham, steak… trying to really cut back on carbs if I can.

  2. So I noticed that you had this week as your last of April but I will be using it as my first week of May.
    Making May five weeks till June 2. So then our monthly budget is $500 and $100 a week.
    This week I really went over and next week I maybe over as well so I will have to try hard to keep the rest of the month in check! But with a 15% tuesday, because Target a block away was opening that exact day, I couldn’t not take advantage of it and using up my fpcs to get the overage on my other none coupon items.
    $3.97 feta cheese (need to try and return cause it was more like cottage cheese 🙁 )
    $2-$2C finish tabs
    $4.07 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    .99 romaine lettuce
    .99 cucumber
    $3.99 cheetos jalapeno cheddar
    $7.39 creamsicles (didn’t realize we bought fat free!! they tasted terrible a big waste of money)
    $15.45 total oop
    $2.11×2-.75Cx2 coffee creamer
    $5.29-fpc grillems blue jays jumbos
    $3.47×2 old el paso taco kits
    $2.23-free instore coupon wub2kits sour cream
    .36 jalapenos
    $3.98 2lb peppers
    $1×12-$1Cx12 toothbrushes donations
    $15.87 total oop
    $21.02 total coupons
    $1×6-$1Cx3 bacon clearance
    $1×3 strawberry croissant
    .50×2 limes
    .99 cucumber
    .99×2 2lb onions
    $1 salad bag
    $14.69 sirloin tip roasts (2 meals & leftovers)
    $1×2 mushrooms
    $2.78 chicken breasts clearance
    $2.59 chicken breasts clearance
    $2.73 chicken breasts clearance
    $3.49×4-$3Cx2 old spice body wash
    .50×4 lemons
    $1.32 pop
    $5.31 4L milk
    $1 cannd beans
    $1×5 pizza pops
    $6.99-$1C cheese
    $1×3-$1C sidekicks
    $3.49×2-bogoC healthy choice steamers
    $1×3-b3g1fC dr.oetker pie filling
    $2.99×3-$1Cx3 snuggle clearance
    $2.99×6-$2Cx6 sunlight laundry deter clearance donation
    $2.99×10-$2×10 sunlight laundry deter clearance
    $8.49×2-$1Cx2 folgers kcups
    $84.34 total oop
    $52.49 total coupons
    $20 club sobeys points redemption
    $1 checkout 51 wus$60 or more

    $127.75 total weekly oop
    $75.51 total coupons
    $20 club sobeys redemption
    $95.51 total weekly coupons/discounts

    $372.25 remaining for the month.

    I have just started to use checkout 51 this week and will not be including it in my coupon totals due to the fact that I don’t have the cash inhand and my actual oop doesn’t include that discount. If I remember I’ll add it into the post otherwise I will pretend it is not there till I have a cheque to cash and that money may go back into our grocery budget or become treat money. Haven’t decided yet and will do so when the time comes 🙂

    1. Hi Juanita!
      Yep you keep tracking your budget like you do as you don’t have to follow my weeks. What coupon did you use on the tabs for the dishwasher to get them free? Will you let us know when you get your checkout 51 cheque so you can minus it from your overall grocery expenses. Then again you say you might not even use it for groceries just treat money which is a great idea as well. Anything Fat Free tastes like crap. It’s better just to moderate or eliminate unless one is directed to eat Fat Free for health reasons. Great deal on the chicken breasts! The best Feta is at Food Basics it’s 1kg traditional Krino feta… if you want the best you buy the Krinos Original at Metro 1kg for $28. That’s the bees knees. keep up the good work.. love this shop. You get ballot #2!!

      1. Bees knees!!!!!! your the best!!!!
        Yes I will read all boxes/packages to avoid this fat free disaster again!
        The $2 finish is from a couple of different inserts and is a 8pk at walmart. It is also from mailed out samples from finish on facebook and a door hanger.
        I will look for that feta and maybe spurlge one day especially with all the tomatoes I am going to plant this year! 🙂
        Will keep you posted with the checkout51 cheques and if I use them for the grocery budget as an add on.

  3. I really hope you were not betting money that no one did as bad as you for going over this month on groceries……. Sad to say… I got you beat. We were in Stratford on Monday so we went into Sobey’s and Food Basics for the deals. I got some nice points on my Sobey’s card but the budget took a beating. I still haven’t been to No Frills as we don’t get the flyers so I don’t know what they have for sales unless I go online to look. I might give them a call about that one……
    On with the shops…..

    Foodland, April 26

    2 mac and cheese dinners @.69- 1.38
    4 tomato soup @ .88- 3.52
    2 pasta sauce @1.25- 2.50
    1 10 lb potaotes- 1.99
    1 Triscuits -2.99
    1 raisin bread- 3.49
    2 IOGO yogurt @3.79- 7.58, 2- .75 coupons
    1 cider mix- 3.99
    1 stir fry veggies- 4.29
    1 Oatmeal crisp cereal- 4.49
    1 Cheerios- 4.49
    2 4l milk@ 4.79- 9.58
    1 block cheese- 4.99
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case ginger ale- 5.78, $2.00 coupon from box
    1 ice cream- 6.99, 50% discount- 3.50
    1 pack smokes- 9.69
    1 pack b/s chicken breasts- 10.67
    1 sharpening steel- 29.99, minus stickers free
    1 utility knife- 29.99, minus stickers free
    tax- 2.53
    Total$89.68, $65.74 coupons

    Food Basics, April 29
    9 bananas- 2.08
    1 lean ground beef- 6.09, 30% off, 1.83
    1 small ham- 11.99, 30% off- 3.60
    2 multi grain bread @ 2.79- 5.58
    1 GG frozen veggies- 2.50
    no tax
    Total- $22.81, 5.43 discounts

    Sobey’s April 29
    2 taco seasonings @1.25- 2.50
    1 guava juice- 2.49
    2 boxes taco shells @2.50- 5.00
    1 box mini wheats- 3.99
    1 box Oatmeal Crisp- 3.99, .75 coupon
    1 Royle tissues 6pk -4.47, 1.00 coupon
    2 Royale TP @ 4.47, 2.00 coupons
    1 6pk gatorade- 4.99
    3 blocks cheese@ 5.99- 17.97, 1.55 coupons for each(4.65 total)
    candy- 1.88+ 2.19
    1 216 count Tetley tea bags- 9.99
    tax- 2.92
    Total- $62.92, 12.15 coupons
    Total Sobey’s points-63 +675=738 this trip

    Foodland, April 30
    1 can pineapple -.99
    1 Triscuits- 2.99
    1 raisin bread- 3.49
    1 IOGO yogurt- 3.79, .75 coupon
    1 bagels- 3.89, 1.50 coupon
    2 4l milk@ 4.79- 9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case ginger ale- 5.78, 2.00 coupon from box
    1 pack smokes- 9.69
    tax -2.01
    Total $43.45, 4.25 coupons

    Total budget for year- $7800.00
    Total budget for month- 750.00 (150.00 weekly)
    Total coupons for the week- 84.81
    Total spent for the week- $218.86, OVER- $68.86
    Total for month- 143.31+152.55+179.22+244.13+218.86=$938.07
    Over/ Under for the month- OVER-$188.07!!!!
    Left for month$0000000
    Total coupons for the month- 101.98+14.95+9.54+8.50+84.81=219.77
    Total carry over-$254.22
    Total YTD- J$818.08+F$598.07+M$770.12+A$938.07=$3124.34

    This was not a good week for the budget………Really I do better if I stick to one store, this going out of town sounds like a good idea but has yet to help me that much. The only thing that it’s helping is with gas making it more worth the gas money to go to Stratford..We got the boneless skinless chicken breasts but that will be a number of meals. The ground beef at FB was a nice deal but the meat wasn’t that impressive in itself, glad I didn’t pay full price. I’m doing better this week with ground beef as Foodland has the extra lean on for 2.97 lb. I’ll be getting more of that. There isn’t much in the way of meat in the freezers right now… a couple of pack of EL ground beef, a few chicken breast, the little ham and the turkey left from Easter. Oh… and some cold meat we were given in Dec… that might go shortly as with the warmer weather it means potato and macaroni salads with cold meat for meals…. known here as ‘a cold supper’… The boys love the macaroni salad. Hubby is starting to fuss about the BBQ which will likely mean getting meat for that. Hopefully I can get some good sales there and have the older son do the work on the BBQ…. he tends to do a better job than his Dad…Steaks hubby can do, or stuff from M&M Meats as that stuff gives a set time to cook so not so many burnt offerings. Hubby claims it’s just well done….. sorry, if it’s black and crunchy…….it’s burnt….
    I am still trying here….I’m not giving up without a fight. That’s one hell of a carry over to clear but I am determined to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for the encouragement and support here on those days I feel like crying and giving up.

    1. Hey Christine,
      I’m starting to think we all had a bit of a blip this month with the shops. It was a tough month for all of us. I agree with the one store theory that’s why we try to PM as much as we can. Most of our shops are all on the same street though. We do go coupon shopping so that kinda shoots us in the foot sometimes. We are trying though. Haha sounds like the Mr. should retire the BBQ lol.. No, don’t give up, just keep pushing forward.. the best part will be looking back on the year… You get ballot #39 last for the month of April shops GGC…

    2. I closed April over too Christine. I am dealing with it by having 2 no shop weeks in May. It’ll be interesting but at least one weekend we’re away so that will help and we are committed to a meal out for Mother’s Day on our gift cards. There’s 3 nights I don’t have to make a meal. 🙂

  4. 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

    Dempsters bread $1.99 – $1.50 CO51
    CO51 $1.50
    OOP $.50 (paid cash so I was ripped off $.01 lol)

    Marshmallows $1.99
    Barilla pasta (PM XS Cargo) 8 x $.88 – 8 x $.50 coupons
    Country Harvest Vitality bread 10 x $3.08 – 50% pink stickers (I asked for them) – $15.40 – 10 x $.75 coupons (that’s $30.80 worth of bread for $7.90!)
    Colgate toddler toothpaste $3.99 – 50% pink sticker – $2.00
    Coupons $11.50
    CD $2.42
    OOP $12.99

    Fresh Co
    Turkey deli meat $5.00
    Ground turkey $5.00
    Sour cream $1.00 – $1.00 coupon
    Chocolate milk 3 x $1.00
    Coupons $1.00
    OOP $13.00

    Glade aerosol 4 x $.97 – 2 x BOGO free (2 x $.97)
    CL tuna (PM FC) 6 x $1.00
    Almond breeze milk 3 x $2.00
    NN broth 2 x $1.27
    Almond Fresh milk 2 x $3.99 – 2 x $2.00
    Bicks relish (PM FC) 12 x $1.00 – $.50 coupon
    Fudgeeo cookies $2.47 – 50% pink sticker (- $1.24)
    Goldfish crackers (PM Target) 3 x $1.99 – 3 x $.50
    Quaker crispy mini’s (PM GT) 9 x $.93
    Mini Wheats jumbo box 2 x $8.49 – 2 x FPC (from a trade)
    Lucky charms (family size) (PM Fortinos) $3.97 – $1.00 coupon
    Mott’s fruitsations (PM Fortinos) 2 x $1.99 – 2 x $.50
    Natura soy milk $1.94 – 50% pink sticker (- $.97)
    PC BM Red lentils $2.47 (yes, I want to try one of your lentil recipes lol)
    SD coconut yogurt $4.59
    SunRype funbites $1.98 – $1.00 coupon
    Twizzlers $2.00 – $1.00 CO51
    Wonderbread $2.97 – FPC (from a trade)
    Prime chicken thighs $7.00 – $2.00 CO51
    Bananas (PM Fortinos) $1.32
    Broccoli (PM FC) $1.00
    Romaine salad $.98
    Oranges (PM FB) $3.07
    Tomatoes (PM WM) $.56
    Head & Shoulders shampoo $4.97 – $2.00 peelie coupon
    OPI nail polish (blowout) $5.24 – 50% pink sticker (- $2.62) – $1.00 coupon
    Childrens bath foam $3.99 – 50% pink sticker (- $2.00)
    Oral B replacement heads (PM Rexall) $27.99 – $3.00 coupon
    Secret deodorant (PM WM) 2 x $2.47 – BOGO Free coupon (- $2.47)
    Vileda dish scrunge 2 x $3.49 – 2 x FPC
    Coupons $44.84
    CD $14.63
    CO51 $4.00 (incl $1.00 for a grocery bill over $60)
    OOP $101.62

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $57.34
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $5.50
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $5.50
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $68.00
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $17.05
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$17.05
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $208.61
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $1.47
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $128.11
    •Total Spent So Far for May: $128.11
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: $38.11 Over
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of May: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $231.89
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $57.34
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I do not carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1406.07
    •Weekly overview: Wow! I pulled a Mr CBB and blew up the grocery budget for the week! I hope I don’t follow suit and blow it up for the month! Lol I know I can get back on track and even if it came down to it I have gift cards that I could use to make the month balance. I did stock up on quite a bit this week and have a good stockpile now 🙂

    1. Oh crap, not you too!!! You have your new budget Jen…. time to get on track.. focus, we all need to focus. We are going to be donating alot of food soon that we used coupons to buy as we just can’t get through it and it’s going to expire. We have about 80 cans of bushes beans, tonnes of bbq sauce… cereal etc. That is why we aren’t stockpiling food so much anymore unless it has a long shelf life. Stocking up is only good if you know you will eat all the product by expiry. How are you making out with the almond milk etc? Marc Angelo has $1.00 off peelies on their NEW Turkey sausages so keep your eyes out for them at zhers when they go 30% off. You used alot of coupons this week.. 🙂 YOu still have lots to spend for the month so don’t be negative just get on track again. Ballot #38

      1. I think we’ll have no problem getting back on track 🙂 I try not to stockpile too much so that it doesn’t go to waste. I’ve gotten a lot better at it since I started budgeting. Doing fine with the Almond milk. I have been finding coupons which is nice. I would still love to find some cheap ground turkey but you wouldn’t catch me with tukey sausage as I don’t like any kind of sausage lol

        1. Really? Is it the texture of the meat you don’t like in your mouth? Sometimes even though it’s the same product people don’t like the shape or form it takes in their mouth like the sausage in this case.

    2. Well, I see Mr CBB, Christine and I and now you all had a little oops in April. 🙁 Ok troops, we can do it… back to pinching our pennies until they not only squeak but they yelp and plead for mercy! 🙂

  5. Week #5 29 Apr – 5 May 2013

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    2 x Eggs @$1.99 = $3.98
    6 x Royale Tissue 4 @$0.69 & 2 @$.089 = $4.54 – $2 coupon = $2.54
    1 x Live Clean Body Wash @$6.99 – $1 Coupon = $5.99
    1 x Stayfree $2.49 – $1 coupon = $1.49
    Total Out of Pocket $15.62

    No Frills
    1 x Bag of Avocadoes $2.97
    1 x Bunch Organic Bananas $2.05
    1 x Bag Organic Apples $4.97
    Total Out of Pocket $9.99

    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 : $4.00
    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
    Stockpile Budget $20: Used Week #1 $0.00 + Week #2 $0.94 + Week #3 $0 + Week #4 $16.57
    Total Spent This Week: $36.66
    Total Spent So Far for (April): $46.56 + $82.38 +$74.55 + $75.06 + $36.66 = $315.21
    Total Over spend for the month of (April): $75.21
    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 + Week#5 $4 = $23.84

    1. I’m guessing this is your last shop of the month then. So you went over by $75 and really it was that extra week that did you in. We try our hardest with the extra weeks to stick to the monthly plan but it’s hard. we are going to catch up now in May with our huge overspend in APril so the yearly total averages out correct. How will you make up for your overspend?? You get ballot 37

    2. Adeline…those months with 5 weeks are just killer! I absolutely have to do a no shopping week on those months or I just end up blowing the budget. I obviously didn’t do very well in April so now I am facing 2 no shop weeks in May. That’ll be nasty. 🙁

  6. Hi CBB, as promised, i am on board again! 🙂 Let’s see how i do this month! haha.

    But before i start my grocery game, i wanted to share something with you all. I actually did something very against my money saving goal last week, you know i have been couponing for more than a year now, the goal is to save as much as we can.
    last week, i found out that marks & spencer will ship to canada for free shipping. Since i came to canada 2 years ago, i haven’t been able to find the right kind/size of undergarment for me. and in Hong Kong(where i come from) i always bought marks & spencer’s undergarment all the time, so i thought superb! i can just buy from marks and spencer and get them nice and comfy with the right kind and right size! So i ordered some online and waited for them to get here. When i ordered, i did see a line saying import charges and duties might apply, i thought the HST here in Canada is 13% so it can’t be worse than that, so i just hit the order button anyway. yesterday my package from marks and spencer came via DHL, the gentleman from DHL asked me for $24.58, said it was the import and duties. oh crap, i didn’t save money but spent even more than i should!! so i learned something yesterday, no more buying from elsewhere other than within canada lol i also found out that the import duties Canada customs charges for clothing from another UK is 100% of the value of what you buy. i understand the reason behind it, evey country has similar policies to protect their own economy, ust that i got bumped big time this time anyway haha. ok enough of my silly undergarment shopping. 🙂

    My grocery shop for the week 🙂
    Budget for May: $250 for 2 people+ plus 3 animals
    Paid: $51.58
    coupons used:$62.42
    May’s budget left: 250-51.58=198.42

    pancake mix 1.97
    reese 2.00
    Oral B 5.96
    Jumbone 4.37
    Cesar dog food 9.98-3.00=6.98
    scrubbing bubbles kitchen cleaner 2×3.77-2xFPC=FREE
    beneful dog food 1.92-1.50=0.42
    Knorr soup mix 4×4/5.00-1.00=1.00 ea
    Meow mix cat food 0.66-FPC = FREE
    Zantacs 2.22-3.00= +0.78 overage
    party mix cat treat PM 4×1.00
    Nestea PM 2.88

    Food Basics
    veg pack 0.89
    cabbage 2.29
    green onion 0.67
    sweet potatoe 1.67
    raisin 2.50
    strawberry 1.44
    milk 4L 5.99-FPC=FREE
    Ziploc bags 2×2.49-2×1.00= 1.49ea
    m&ms 10×0.99=10xPFC=FREE
    snicker 0.99-FPC=FREE
    Bounty 0.99-FPC=FREE
    Mars 0.99-FPC=FREE

    chocolate cheerios 7.29-FPC=FREE
    Kashi cereal 2×5.29-2xFPC=FREE
    Liberte yogurt 3.99-FPC=FREE
    kraft caesar dressing 3.00-FPC=FREE

    1. Hi WING!!!
      So glad to have you back in action!!! GO WING GO!!!
      You rock the grocery budget that’s for sure and I enjoy reading your shops. WOW, that’s crazy that cost. FREE doesn’t always mean free. Next time you go home load up on knickers so you have lots. I need to do some homework on all the duties as I want to buy some stuff from the USA maybe from online but don’t know what they will charge. I don’t order from the UK though. Thanks for sharing that story. Wow that’s alot of chocolate. Where were the FPC’s from, an online game? You got lots of FPC’s I must have missed the Kashi and Liberte never sent my yogurt. I ordered it but it didn’t come. ah well. Keep at it…. You get ballot 34

  7. Food Basics

    Latancia 1% milk – $5.99 – FPC
    Liberte greek yogurt – $3.49 – FPC
    Kaiser rolls – $2.69
    Tortilla chips – $2.00
    Dempster’s bread – sale $2.00 (plus will get $1.50 back from Checkout 51)
    Dempser’s Hamburger buns – sale $2.00
    Christie cookies – sale 2x$3.00
    Miracle whip – sale $2.99 (wish I had a coupon for it)
    Sour cream – $1.99
    Ground beef – $5.01
    Pork loin chops – $5.96
    Luncheon meat – sale 2x$2.00
    Sliced Cheddar – sale $1.00
    Seedless cucumber – sale $.97
    Strawberries – sale $2.00
    Cluster tomatoes (4) – sale $1.08
    Mushrooms – sale $1.00
    Corn on the cob – 3 for $1.00
    Koolaid Jammers – sale 2x$2.00
    Fruite drink – sale 4x$1.50

    •Total Coupons Used: $9.48
    •Total Out Of Pocket: $56.64

    •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 : $9.48
    •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: $56.64
    •Total Spent So Far for April: $229.84
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: under $18.36
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of April: under $95.16
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $95.16
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $.50 + $8.94 + $9.48 = $18.92
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : I don’t carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1053.45
    •Weekly Overview: So I’ve had a good month on the groceries but as stated on last week’s post that I did eat out more than usual this month which accounts for some of that underage. I also went to a family birthday party so not only did not have to cook that day, I came home with leftovers which we ate with some meals so I saved there as well. I am only including my April shops in this post, I will include anything bought May 1st onwards in next weeks post so as to keep the months separate. Next month I should be back on track and will probably splurge on a few items as we will be going camping for the May holiday weekend.

    1. It’s you again hahah… I’m just making fun of the 4 posts in a row!
      Well you did point out that you ate out more this month than normal. It’s good that you brought home some leftovers, smart cookie you are. That saves some money and no cooking. You can post your shops whenever you want as they don’t have to fall in line with mine The important part is that YOU track them with the template at the end. Just let me know what shop it’s for that’s all. That’s the great thing about the GGC it’s all about your budget, your shopping habits. Keep up the good work!! Mr.CBB Ballot 32.

    2. Are you saving the $95.16 for the May long weekend splurge? I carry forward my overage/underage to the following month so I can stay on track with the annual budget – but that is just me. 🙂

  8. *This is my first post and to be honest I haven’t been keeping track quite as closely as this before now.
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $75-100 per week
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $1.00 + $3.99
    Total Discounts this Week: $0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0
    Stockpile Budget: *We haven’t determined this yet
    Total Spent This Week: $177.24
    Total Spent So Far for (May): $177.24
    Total Over/Under spend this shop:
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (May):
    Total Left to Spend for the Month:
    Total Coupons Used This Month : $1.00 + $3.99
    Total to Carry Over Next Month :
    Total Spent To Date This Year:
    Rendezvous Account:

    Weekly Overview: I consider the stock up’s at stores #4 and #5 as being most of the meat we will need for the summer and well worth the money and going over budget. However, we had taken out cash for this trip and we didn’t over spend and actually came home with money in our pockets.

    **Also we have been doing an inventory of all dry goods in our apartment right now and realize we don’t need much during May other than fresh veggies/fruit, milk, cheese, eggs, and bread.

    Store #1 (Sobey’s
    Philly Steak Pizza $)4.99
    Cling wrap $2.39
    Total $7.69 (April 30th- when we got home from the States and we needed a quick supper)

    Store #2 (Sobey’s)
    Pears $2.71
    Tomato $2.01
    Crystal Light Liquid $2.99 x 4 (10 extra airmiles)
    Frozen Veggies $2.99 -$1.00 (coupon)
    Greek Yogurt $3.99 -$3.99 (free product coupon)
    8 Kiwi $4.00
    Watermelon $2.22
    Total: $24.89

    Store #3 (Walmart)
    Ketchup $1.98
    Total: $1.98

    Store #4 (Stop n Save)
    Tin foil $1.89 x 2
    Jello Dessert $2.50 x 2
    English muffins $2.50 x 2
    Mini Ravioli $1.00 x 2
    K-Cup coffee $5.99
    Chicken Sausages $4.49 x 2
    Steak $3.26 + $3.17 + $3.05
    Round Roast $7.24
    Whole Chicken $5.01
    Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts $8.56 + $8.76
    Total: $69.99

    Store #5 (IGA)
    Ice $1.19
    Ground Turkey $2.99
    Pork Chops $7.10
    Chicken Thighs $4.02
    Country Creamer $1.49
    Maxwell Coffee $6.99
    Cottage Cheese $3.19 x 2
    Hand Soap $1.00
    Velveeta and noodles $2.00 x 4
    Romaine Lettuce 3 pack $1.99
    Ground Pork $2.57
    Stew Beef $4.36 + $4.32
    Round Roast $7.77
    Pork Cutlets $2.53 + $2.59
    Popcorn shrimp $2.99
    Total: $72.69

    Total: $177.24

    1. Hi Christina
      Welcome to the GGC and I’m sure that you will look back on your first grocery shop one day and say WOW I am doing so much better now. That’s what’s happened to ALL of us. We fail here though, we are not perfect nor am I so don’t be ashamed if you overspend, just tell us and tell yourself what you are going to do the next week to make it right. We are all here to support each other. It’s amazing how much food some can have in the pantry and when they do an inventory there is much to get eaten up. Will you be carrying over any overage at the end of the month? So for example if your monthly grocery budget is $400 and you spend $425 will you spend only $375 the next month so your yearly totally averages out? That’s what we do as well. IF we have extra money each month we put it into a rendesvous account so we can save up for a date! Well done.. what are your goals posting your shops with us at The Grocery Game? Yes I like to ask questions to new players so we all get to know you and how we can support you. Keep up the good work and you get ballot #27 in my monthly contest!!! Good Luck .. come back next Tuesday to post your next shop! Mr.CBB

  9. APRIL
    Week of April 29 to May 6, 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


    This was supposed to be one of our NO SHOP weeks, but Thrifty’s had their Dollar Daze that I just couldn’t ignore, there were bonus Air Miles on my sweetie’s pizza and Extra Foods has Johnsonville Sausages on dead cheap!

    What can I say? Mr CBB went a little off the rails… I am just following the leader! Ha ha ha!!! The great news is, the bonus Air Miles brought us to our 5 Vendors and 1,000 miles requirement to keep our Gold Status for another year! So I can put away the Platinum Air Miles until
    January 1, 2014.

    Even more exciting is that we will now use our Starwood AMEX to collect SPG points for our vacationing until December 31, 2013. I do love my SPG points!!

    SAFEWAY – Maple Ridge

    2 Pizza Supreme ($18.98- $3.00 Price Reduction) = $15.98
    2 Ener-G GF Pretzels $3.58
    3 Kraft Cheez Whiz ($26.97- $3.00 Price Reduction) = $23.97
    1 Campbell’s Healthy Request GF Clam Chowder
    ($2.84- $0.34 Price Reduction) = $2.50

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions: $6.34
    •Total Checkout51 Savings: $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    •Total More Points Earned = 0 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned = 60 Points
    •Total OOP: $46.03

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $15.98
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $30.05

    Thrifty’s Foods – Maple Ridge

    1 bunch celery $1.00
    1 lb fresh strawberries $1.00

    •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: $2.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $2.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Note #1:

    Hubby got rain checks for 4 bags of yellow onions @ $1.00 each and 4 bags of green salad @ $1.00 each. We’ll pick those up at a later date. I also have a rain check for 10 Spite Zero 2L bottles for $0.99 each. Happy, happy, happy!

    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge

    2 pkg Johnsonville Sausage Meat @ $3.48 ea = $6.96
    2 Wiener Wraps $4.58
    1 Mustard Pickles $3.78
    1 Pickled Beets $3.38
    1 Iced Caramel Coffee $3.98 – $0.50 Coupon = $3.48
    1 Potato Salad $4.69
    1 Warehouse Pack Chicken Breasts $22.71
    1 large bag romaine lettuce $4.98

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions: $0.00
    •Total Checkout51 Savings: $0.00
    •Total Coupons Used: $0.50
    •Total More Points Earned = 0 Points
    •Total Air Miles Earned = 0 Points
    •Total OOP: $54.56

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $54.56
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    1 bag Safeway Potato Chips – FREE
    1 Chocolate Bar – FREE
    1 dozen eggs – FREE
    1 Miracle Whip Salad Dressing – FREE
    1 six pack of Jello Pudding Snacks – FREE

    •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: $0.00

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

    Note #2:

    These were all items that we won in the Safeway pull tab sweepstakes. I do love our freebies!



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    (Jan $40.04) + (Feb $44.48) + (March $98.35) +
    (April $43.66+6.34=$50.00)= $232.87

    •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+0.50=$12.48)= $84.73

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    (Jan 265) + (Feb 248)+(March 151) +
    (April 26)= 690 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    (Jan 57) + (Feb 10) + (March 30) +
    (April 23+60=83)= 182 Air Miles



    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (Jan $217.50) + (Feb $198.39)+ (March $72.90) +
    (April $142.50+$2.00+$15.98+$ 54.56=$215.04)= $703.83

    •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: $72.54 OVER

    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (March $81.21) + (April $47.50+$30.05=$77.55) = $158.76

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    (March $81.21) + (April $47.50)= $128.71

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Stockpile Budget: $30.05 OVER



    For the month of May, my first week of the month will be very minimal shopping. I am thinking that I will need milk but that’s really about it.

    I am transferring one week’s equivalent of our shopping ($47.50) over to the US Reserve right away this month, because I will be away for 8 days and hubby is very well stocked for the period that I am gone with all the “man stuff” I don’t usually put on the menu.

    In case hubby needs to pick up something while I am away, I am not moving any further funds to our NEW Re-Stock account until I am home and see what he needed to pick up, if anything. It’s not like I am flush this month but we do have about $35.00 left after we pick a jug of milk. We’ll be shopping in the US on June 2nd so really, what could we possibly NEED between now and then??

    The plan is to shop the freezer and our pantry first until both are exhausted. Any unused funds left at the end of the month will go into a Re-Stock Account for when our larder is bare and it’s time to start re-stocking as sales and coupons permit.

    Here is how we’ll start with our MAY budget:

    Grocery Budget (CDN): $142.50
    ($72.54) overage
    ($30.00) trf to US Reserve
    $39.96 AVAILABLE

    Stockpile Budget (CDN): $47.50
    ($30.05) overage
    ($17.50) trf to US Reserve
    $0.00 AVAILABLE

    Safeway Gift card (CDN): $20.00 AVAILABLE

    Cash Hiding Spot (CDN): $5.00 AVAILABLE

    Re-Stocking Funds (CDN): $0.00

    Grocery Reserve (US) $118.39
    + $ 30.00
    + $ 17.50
    $165.89 US AVAILABLE

    Cash Hiding Spot (US): $65.00 US AVAILABLE

    1. No you are NOT supposed to follow the leader this month, I sucked bad at shopping. That’s awesome you have your airmiles status already wow. Holy moly.. what is the pull tab sweeps.. you got tonnes of free stuff wow.. I’m so impressed with you right now Mary! I think what you are doing is smart, shopping the freezer until exhausted and then re-stocking. We might be loading up on chicken breast this next week but we plan to do the same as we have too much as it is but the chicken is so cheap. So you did well this month with the overage not as bad as we did but I bet no other GGC did as awful as us lol. Keep up the good work.. stellar evaluation of your budget each week. You get ballot #26

  10. Thanks for giving me permission to ignore my flyers and to let coupons expire. Your other advice that is saving me money is to buy only what I need for my menus that week, unless there is an incredible sale on something. I was always looking at the flyers and trying to stockpile, and blowing my grocery budget every month. Now I just buy what I truly need, which is usually produce. Love your advice Mr. CBB!

    1. Hi Cathy,
      That’s what we were doing and the coupon phenomenon took off and we were hooked but we were spending WAY TOO MUCH and we are still using up product from years ago. I’m pretty sure we won’t need laundry soap for about 10 years nor dishwash tablets. Planning, and eating a well balanced meal which is enough nutrition and calories for the day is what really does help us. The bigger the portions we eat the more money it costs in the budget and most times people eat enough for 2 people if they are not careful. I’m glad you enjoy CBB!!! I would love to have you join the GGC and see your shops!

  11. Printable grocery lists are great because once you have it printed you can put it in your coupon binder, budget binder, on your refrigerator or wherever it’s most convenient for you to plan your grocery shop. I find if I just grab a piece of paper and start scribbling a list on it that I tend to spend more rather than taking the time to plan. A list that is easy to read and organized may encourage the money conscious consumer not to overspend. Over time you will find what works for you because it’s different for everyone.

  12. Man, I have to keep an eye out for coupons in the Metro?

    This is my week’s shop:

    Mom 10

    Cottage Cheese 2.83
    Sesame Seeds 1.59
    Yogurt 2.69
    Peanut Butter 7.99
    Skor Minis 2.63
    Olives 3.50
    Asparagus 2.27
    Avocado (10) 4.00
    Chinese Cabbage 1.43
    Mushrooms (pink sticker) 1.98
    Gum 5.25

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of Pocket 36.16

    Chicken 9.5
    Organic Spinach 3.49
    Organic Greens 3.49
    Blueberries 10.99

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of Pocket 27.47

    Chips 4.25

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of Pocket 4.25

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $200
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $1
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $2
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Spent This Week: $77.88
    Total Spent So Far for April: $182.70
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $27.88 over
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of April: $17.30 under
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $17.30
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: n/a
    Total Spent to Date This Year: $664.93
    Weekly Overview: Darn chips! 🙂 I managed to squeeze under this month, but cheated as it was a 3 week month for us. Next month is a new month! 🙂

    Have a great week!

    1. OMGoodness yes.. Metro has the best coupons at the end or very beginning of the month but if you don’t get there before the coupon machines come in they might be all gone. some people tend to take all the coupons in our area instead of 4 or 5 each. Awesome deal on the avocados? How do you serve them? Wait til you see my crispy avocado fries… to die for! well not that good but real good. You did well for April to be honest… but yes if you would have used the last week you would have made it or just went over by a bit. You rock your budget! How’s the boy in the kitchen? You get ballot 25

      1. Wait.. Metro is a store for you? 🙂 I was thinking the Metro as in the newspaper out here!

        The avocados were a good deal, and the boy had some of them in his burgers, while I put some of them in my salads for lunch. Otherwise, I just cut it up and eat it straight. Avocado fries?? Tell me more! 🙂

        The boy is.. definitely learning in the kitchen. He gets full points for trying! 😛

        1. Yes it’s a grocery store in Ontario not a newspaper haha! The avocado fries will be up in the next couple of Sundays.. I have spring rolls coming up.. and so many other amazing recipes from Nicola and myself! Nicola is our resident Brit chef and mom who shares what she’s cooking up in her kitchen for the fans at CBB! Essentially bread your avocado thick slices like you would fish and bake! Enjoy!

  13. I have been off kilt with things lately and didn’t get last weeks challenge done on time. So I am rounding off the rest of the month in one go here.

    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 :$1.00
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $- 0
    •Total Spent This Week:( two weeks $128.00)
    •Total Spent So Far for (April): $346.09
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop:$6.09 over
    •Total Over/Under spend for the month of (April): $6.09 over
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month:$0
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $4.00
    •Total to Carry Over Next Month : 0
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1402.77
    Weekly Overview: Wow I am impressed. I am only over by $6.09. I say this for two reasons, one: I now shop with my mom and she needs a scooter to shop, so we have to shop at bigger stores and Superstore is her favourite. I find it $$$$! I found I had to keep watching what I was putting in my cart and often took things out to make it work.
    Second:I really wasn’t keeping tabs as much as would normally. Todays write-up is an example because I have been really stressed out with dealing with the after math of my fathers death ( government paperwork). So I am doing a happy dance right now I didn’t go overboard too much.
    Superstore April 25/13
    yogurt 5.00-1.00 coupon 4.00
    Dog food 2x 1.38 + tax 3.11
    bread 2.19
    Sandwich thins 3.69
    bread glutenfree 3.69
    apples 4.98
    banana 1.75
    Baby carrots 2lbs 2.50
    kiwi 1 kg 2.50
    Romaine heart 2.50

    Superstore #2 April 18/13
    apples 4.98
    banana 1.83
    mandarin 6.98
    potato 3.97
    cheese 2 at 4.44 each 8.88
    Instant oatmeal 3 at 2.48 each 7.44
    Orange juice free
    milk 3.97
    yogurt 3.98
    spinach 2.77
    Ice tea frozen 1.27
    vanilla 2.99
    Dog food 11.98 x tax 13.54
    rice 3.99
    margarine 2 at 1.77 3.54
    Chocolate chips 1 kg 6.99
    Ranch dressing 2.27
    Welches grape juice frozen 1.49
    bread 2.33

    Almost Perfect
    corn 2kg 2.97
    Steak blend 2 kg 2.97
    Mix vegetable 2kg 2.97
    popcorn 2.99
    Table salt .99
    crackers .99

    Total 128.00

    1. Hi,
      Considering all you have been through and maybe are still going through you have done well so give yourself a pat on the back. Shopping in times when the family is not itself can be tough and you conquered that. You are only over by a small amount this shop and that is only because you are “aware” of your shopping and budget. I’m sure soon enough things will be back to normal for you. Cheers and you get ballot 24 Mr.CBB

  14. It’s always about finding that balance. You can use their marketing ploys against them if you’re paying attention to details. Really find the good deals, and like you said, identify the needs from the wants and only accept something that’s really of value.

  15. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when they shrink the packages, thinking they can dupe us into believing the price has stayed the same when everyone else’s has risen. FYI, daughter #2 and I are working on some oatmeal raisin cookies using the Organic Blue Agave instead of sugar for your wife. I’ll let you know how/if they turn out. 🙂

  16. I must have missed the ditch your coupons post. That is really good advice if you are spending on things that you don’t need.

    We haven’t been on a no spend week, but we’ve been on a “use everything up before vacation” week. Our weekly spend so far is about $10.

  17. Week 17

    Keebler Club Crackers $3.87
    Keebler Town House Crackers $-
    Whole Corn in can $0.91
    Gallon of milk $3.75
    Ackee $8.99
    Corned Beef $5.49
    Green Pepper $1.00
    2 Plum Tomatoes $0.88
    2 Yellow Onions $0.88

    Total Out of Pocket $25.77

    2 Fish Sandwiches $6.78
    2 Cheeseburgers $1.98
    6 pc Chicken Nuggets $2.99
    3 sm fries $3.00
    2 med fries $3.98

    Total Out of Pocket $19.86

    Wheat Bread $3.15
    Frozen Vegetables $1.59
    Glazed Doughnuts $3.79

    Total Out of Pocket $8.53

    Alcohol $17.99

    Total Out of Pocket $19.07

    Frosted Flakes 26.8oz $3.88
    Hambuerger Helper $1.50
    Envelopes $0.94
    Hand Soap $2.97
    Bar Soap $2.97
    Nail Polish $3.97
    Toothpaste $1.47
    Hawaiian Punch $2.08
    3 x chips $1.26
    Digiornos $5.47
    Totinos Pizza $1.36
    1 lb Lean Ground Beef $4.58

    Total Out of Pocket $33.32

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4000
    Total Grocery Budget for April: $308.12
    Total Coupons Used this Week:  $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $106.55
    Total Spent for April: $418.22
    Total Underspend this shop: -$44.93
    Total Overspend for the month of April: -$110.10
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: -$110.10
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$110.10
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $1,453.30

    Weekly Overview: I totally bombed this week. I think I may have to increase my unrealistic budget $500 annually. I am realizing that (minus the eating out) I can’t seem to stay within my budget. Could it be that I have decreased my budget too much this year? I will change it for May.

    1. Hi Dr.Sheba,
      Well you may well have done that but they say that if you give yourself $100 to spend and that is all you have you will spend it wisely. If you REALLY want to reach your goals then ask yourself, do you need to buy this or that every week can I buy it once per month, can I eat out once per month. The same happens to us. We know we have money saved by so if we spend more grocery shopping, sure we go over budget but we aren’t worried about where the money will come from. THat has to stop for us, hence the groery game. If you feel that you can’t possibly stop spending more than your budget then add more but remember all those convenience foods cost an arm and a leg. You might not think 41.97 for hamburger helper is alot but it is when you can easily make or buy a pack of pasta and use a mix of spices to make that meal for well under that price. I give myself an allowance and maybe you need to do that as well since you buy alcohol quite often. I buy maybe 1 case of beer a month for me as spending $500 a year on booze with that 1 case is enough money for me as it is. Evaluate your shopping habits and make your own decisions based on that and your goals. Cheers! Mr.CBB

  18. I can’t post catching any major deals this week…..I have not done a ton of shopping but I bought my daughter a cake at Whole Foods “The Chantilly Cake” by the way which is amazing this had more to do with time than anything and while I was at Whole Foods they talked me into some pepper parmesan bread and they sliced it for me Yes I got sucked in….what’ a girl gonna do! The glamour of the bread slicer was more than I could take 🙂

  19. I use the flyer as a starting point for making of my meal plan. If chicken is on sale for a good price, then I’m going to incorporate more chicken-based meals. If it is full price, I’m going to limit myself to what is left in the freezer.

    1. That’s pretty much what we do, work around the sales as long as they are items we already use. We do like to incorporate some items that we have never tried to branch out as well.

  20. I’ll get to posting my shops later… a couple more days to my shopping week and let’s hope the cow doesn’t run dry on me again…. I went to FB and Sobey’s in town this week as we were there anyway. Not a great idea to be sure but done is done……. I hear you on the Canadian Tire ad…. that place is referred to as Dad’s Toy Store around here……. I’ve known about the tricks the stores use to encourage shoppers for a long time and tend to look beyond where they want me to. I worked retail years ago.

    1. Canadian Tire is my weak spot as I enjoy just wandering around and checking out the bits in store. I try to look beyond too but sometimes it just comes up and rubs me in the face and says, hello!! haha Cheers mate

  21. Good for you CBB household!

    I can’t look at the flyers either or I am doomed. This was supposed to be a NO SHOP week for us but, well, I looked. 🙁

    I still had money left at the end of last week but I transferred it over to the US Grocery Reserve towards a shop on June 2nd and there it will stay.

    I am shopping this week BUT I will carry the overage into May and deal with it there. I simply couldn’t pass up the chance to shop the Dollar Daze at Thrifty’s with all the good vegetable and salad deals or miss my chance to get the last of the Air Miles I needed to keep our gold status for another year. You watch though…we’ll be back on track by the end of the month. 🙂

    1. It’s tough when we see those sales and know that we easily have the money in the bank. We really want to stop that mindset but it’s not going to happen overnight. At least your next month isn’t going to be like ours. We’ll need some luck but we will do it, we have plenty here to eat. 🙂

  22. This post reminds me of a quote I once read on a fridge magnet. It said something along the lines of ‘I save my Husband a fortune, I never miss a sale’. Stay strong Mr.CBB!.

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