The Grocery Game Challenge June 10-16,2013 #2: Grocery Store Self Checkouts

Grocery Game June 2013

Grocery store self checkouts are popping up in many food store chains around Canada in hopes of saving the company money and getting the consumer in and out of the store as efficiently as possible. Another one of those grocery store ideas gone mad and now many others are thinking it’s a smart way to save time and money.

I can see it now, the new grocery store name of the future, “Self Scan and Save“, but are we really that far ahead of the rest? It’s not only grocery stores needing “fewer employees” to run cash registers it’s also big box stores such as Home Depot and Wal-mart to name a couple. Pretty soon you might not be asking, “what grocery stores have self checkouts” as they might all have them down the road as their popularity increases.

Survey Says

Although a couple of years old, a survey conducted in 2011 by Empathica Inc. who specializes in customer experience management solutions across Canada and the USA. The survey of 16000 consumers asking about expectations being met at the grocery store turned up that many shoppers love self checkouts. The information below was shared at the progressive grocer website where you can read more about the survey.

When evaluating grocery technologies, 65 percent of U.S. consumers considered self checkouts important, compared to only 54 percent of Canadian consumers. In fact, more than half of Canadians said self checkouts were “not applicable” in their grocery experience, indicating that not all Canadian grocers have this option available in stores.

It’s obvious but no surprise that technology is very important to consumers and they want to shop at grocery stores that offer these perks to consumers. I think that self scanners are more visible in Canadian stores now rather than back in 2011 although I don’t know how the survey results would differ today.

What grocery shopping experiences do you value?

Self Checkout UK

Also known as self-serve checkout or self-service checkouts these services have been around for at least 8 years in the UK grocery store chains. I remember my wife being enthused when we went to Tesco’s for groceries and I used the self scanner as she had never seen them before. No different that the credit card with the chip another thing that was new to her because it simply was not yet available in Canada. I find we are behind with the times in Canada with everything from food to fashion and much more, but hey, I’m biased.

I’ve used the grocery store checkout for many years as it was a quicker way to get my grocery shopping done but things have changed over the years. In its infancy it was simple and although they had a computer where  someone would watch over the checkouts rarely did I ever see someone standing there like we do today.

Self checkout software has also improved significantly since I started to use the grocery store checkouts. I remember most shops back home you would use the touch screen to touch what the product was so for example, apples and a screen with all the apples and price per pound would pop up and you just touch which product you had. The simplicity of this system led to self checkout theft. What would happen is people would buy the most expensive apples yet say they bought the cheapest apples.

Today we find one cashier will stand at a desk and watch a computer screen so he/she knows exactly what the customers are scanning in. You now have to manually type in codes found on fruits and vegetables which is different but I presume deters people from trying to get products for less money. They also have cameras that look over the self scanners in many store to make sure customers aren’t cheating the system.

Pros and Cons of  Self Checkouts

One pro that I see consistently is the amount of space you have when checking out in ‘some’ not all Canadian stores. It’s great for those with disabilities, in a scooter or wheel chair that want to have that independence and space when checking out their groceries. You can take your time but as far as I’m concerned when it’s your time, it’s your time.

If you have kids with you while grocery shopping it’s also nicer to have the room for a baby stroller and for kids to move around. You also don’t have to worry, (yet) in most stores about chocolate bars, pop, chips, magazines in your face to entice you or the kiddies to ‘last-minute’ purchase while at the checkout sending your grocery budget out of whack.

Packing your groceries is made easier for some who want to pack them on their own like I do. I may be a bit more critical about what I pack with what products as I don’t want to have damaged products by the time I get home. When we shop at stores that don’t have self checkout I pack my own groceries in boxes or bags if that convenience is not already built into the price of the products with an employee dedicated to bagging orders like some stores still have. Another plus on the self checkout for those that struggle with packing their own groceries but it may cost them paying a premium for higher priced products.

We are seeing more stores with self checkouts because that means they can have less employees while getting more bang for their buck with new technology. Sounds great, but does it really save you, the consumer time. I’ve found it does and it doesn’t depending on what you are purchasing. I believe there are pros and cons to everything in life and self checkout are no exception. I’m sure on a personal level we can all come up with our own reasons why we like or dislike self checkouts simply from personal experience.

Coupons and Price Matching

We also find that when we have to rely on the cashier to come and manually put in our discounts from reduced items it takes longer and not worth our time to use a self checkout. If you plan to use coupons and price matching at a self checkout be prepared for an even longer wait depending on what time of day you shop. The good part is you don’t have to worry so much about the person having a fit behind you in the grocery lane for using coupons, although I rarely worry, because it’s MY TIME.

Some self checkouts allow us to put our coupons in and others the cashier still has to do it so there’s no real control over what gets entered. One pro about the self checkout is the cashier normally can manually override coupon usage but at a cash if your cashier doesn’t have that ability they have to call over a supervisor hen the total goes over a certain amount. At Zehrs it’s $10 where we shop and at Wal-Mart it’s a $50 coupon usage limit and once you hit that limit the cashier needs an override. More time wasted.

Either way you can still watch your order whether at a self checkout or while using the full-service cashier. From our experience most times we will go to a regular cashier. We would rather go to a cashier that can ring us through and give us his/her undivided attention especially if we have to have our coupons and price matches looked over either way.

There’s nothing worse than having to wait in a grocery store. Everyone just stands around and people watches, looks at the time, taps their feet, stares you down, looks in your cart and some make friends and score a date with a single shopper. It’s no wonder some people hate to grocery shop unless your single of course and want to find that foodie lover in a grocery store.

Compensation Claims

There may be less injury opportunity for a cashier working at self checkout. At self checkouts keep in mind you only have 1 cashier tending to upwards of 8 or more anxious consumers  at any given time. It’s not any less hazardous but the repetitive nature may be eliminated. Most self checkout cashiers may just look over the process and assist unlike a regular cashier whose work is repetitive and not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination.

Any time someone has to repeat the same actions over and over there is potential for injury. Workplace accidents happen every single day but with proper safety training and standards from both the employer and the employee this doesn’t have to happen. Certainly a huge plus for the store because compensation ratings can go through the roof the more claims they have especially if  it’s a “lost time injury”. Think, Safety First.

Using A Self-Checkout Checkout

If we have a regular shop, meaning no discounted or pink sticker items it’s not so bad getting through the self checkout. If we run into a problem when we scan items we have to wait until it’s our turn to get assistance from the on duty cashier. This can take quite a long time if there are lots of self scanners that are having problems.

How many of you that used a self scanner for the first time knew what you were doing? Learning to use a self scanner seems basic but some people really do struggle with them which backs up traffic.

The Future Of Checkouts

I don’t think cashiers will be obsolete but they will be far less needed as the years go on and self checkouts take over. We will always have those people who enjoy the chat with their favourite cashier every week, who enjoy getting their products bagged or simply getting more bang for their buck at shops like No Frills, Food Basics and Freshco that don’t have self checkouts but reasonably lower prices on most of their products.

Any good consumer knows you will potentially pay higher prices for all the “conveniences” of  the shops that include grocery store self checkouts and grocery baggers but for some, these conveniences are worth every penny.

June Grocery Game Recap

This is the start of the June Grocery Game Challenge which means we are almost half way through the year. In July I plan to do a 6 month grocery budget recap to see just where we stand with our budget and if we need to make any improvements.

If you missed grocery game posts for this month just click on the links below and post your shops in the comment section. Each week I will add the previous weeks Grocery Game Post here.

Grocery Saving Tips

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~ Also look back on previous grocery game posts for loads of grocery shopping tips and information.

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart

No Frills

  • 5 x Armstrong Cheese 500g Sale $3.66-$1.00 coupons
  • 1 x Neilson Milk $3.97
  • 1 x Pomegranate $0.79
  • 3 bunches of Asparagus Sale $1.97lb $6.86

Total Out Of Pocket $24.88


  • 2 loaves of RYE bread $2.99 each-50% Pink Sticker
  • Neilson 2% Milk $3.99
  • 4 x Redpath Sugar Sale $1.77
  • Cherries Sale $1.97lb $4.75
  • Green Onions Sale 4/$1.00

Total Out Of Pocket $ 19.80

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 Budget For June: $235.00- $72.24= $162.76 ($83.42-$11.18=$72.24 will be carried over to June)
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $5.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $2.99
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $0
  • Total Spent This Week:$44.68
  • Total Spent So Far for (June): $23.89+$44.68 ($68.57)
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $ N/A
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (June): $N/A
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $162.76-68.57= $94.19
  • Total Coupons Used This Month :$5.00
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month : N/A
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68=$1090.76
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38 (this will be used for a date night or a summer holiday)

Weekly Overview: We ended up going back to Zehrs last week to pick up more plants from the garden centre and realized we forgot to buy sugar that was on sale. So we went in for “sugar” and came out with cherries, onions and milk… at least it wasn’t too much. It’s so hard but we’re getting better at it. We skipped all the middle aisles and find we are doing that more and more unless we need to go down them.

Canadian Coupons Found In June 

I thought I would try something a bit different for all of you. I had one fan ask if I could type out the details of the coupons that we find. I thought I would give it a try, that way if you want to trade coupons you have the UPC and expiry date of the coupons as well. I also added in where we found the coupons although you may find them in a multitude of grocery stores.

Canadian Coupons Photos June 2013

  • Vidal Sassoon Save $2.00 when you buy (wub) any Vidal Sassoon Shampoo or Conditioner UPC 66014052 Exp Sept 30,2013 (mail-out)
  • Save $3.00 wub any box of Vidal Sassoon Hair Color UPC 66014065 Exp Sept 30,2013- (mail-out)
  • Save $.200 wub any Vidal Sassoon Styling Product UPC 66014052 Exp Sept 30,2013 (mail-out)
  • Save $1.00 on any 2% Liberte Greek Yogurt UPC 1440099 Exp Sept 30,2013 (Zehrs)
  • Save $0.50 on any Oasis Smoothie 1.75L UPC 2250936 Expiry Dec 31,2013 (Metro, Food Basics)
  • Save $0.50 on any Oasis Health Break 1.75 L UPC 2250935 Exp Dec 31,2013 (Metro, Food Basics)
  • Save $0.75 on any 500ml or 1L Lactancia Cream UPC 13611877 Exp Sept 31,2013  (Metro)
  • Save $0.75 off Liberte baby  Yogurt 4 x 75g format UPC 1440096 Exp July 30,2013 (Zehrs)
  • Save $1.00 on Gay Lea Spreadables with Canola Oil UPC 02707932 Expiry Nov 30,2013 (Zehrs)
  • Save $3.00 on the purchase of any 3 Oikos Products UPC 29506923 Expiry July 31,2013
  • Save $0.75 on any one pkg of Keebler Waffle bowls or Waffle Cones UPC 84400157 No Expiry (NED) (Food Basics)
  • Save $0.50 on Christie Potato Thins 115g size any UPC 15043157 Expiry Dec 31,2013 (Zehrs)
  • Save $1.00 off any Skinny Cow Treat 76g-112g) UPC 10036785 Expiry Dec 31,2013 (Zehrs)
  • Save $2.00 off any KY, OB , Carefree, Stayfree, Tucks products Expiry June 30, 2014 (Call-In)

If you want to call SC Johnson they allow you in some areas to call in once per month to order max 2 coupons that are not available on their website. We call the SC Johnson Consumer Care Centre at 1-866-565-229 and kindly ask if we can order coupons.

Canadian Coupons Photos June 2013

Canadian Coupons Photos June 2013

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. If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving. You’ve made a wise decision.


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  1. 2 bell pepper $0.69
    0.66lb jalapeno $0.72
    2.75lb onion $1.06
    4.05lb tomato $1.62
    1 bunch spinach $0.25
    3 avocados $2.52
    3.24lb potato $1.25
    2.57lb banana $0.43
    1.84lb butternut squash $1.46
    30oz fried beans $1.47
    1 watermelon $1.01
    1 galon chlorine $1.81
    1 mop $1.82
    0.75L rum $5.6
    2lb jumbo shrimp $16
    1/2 gallon ice cream $5.6

    total $43.3

    weekly overview
    there was a guy selling shrimp by the side of the road, they fish it 200 miles away and they were awesome. I hope he’ll show up again.

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$274.20 in June.
    Total Coupons Used this Week : none
    Total Spent This Week:$ 43.3
    Total Spent So Far for (June): $432.03
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $25.25 under if you divide June by 4 weeks.
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (June): $158.83 over because of June’s initial big shop.
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: -$158.83
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $1,158.84 for two

    1. I know if we come to visit you that you will feed us well. You always have such good food at your house. I admire your shops because they remind me of back home. I would buy a little of this, a little of that. The ice-cream seems a bit pricey but it’s worth every penny when it’s hot out and you want a nice treat. How do you use your jalapeños? So you are over budget for the month. Will you carry over the over shop or just move on? Keep up the good work.

  2. Here is my second week of joining in.


    Tostitos – $3.12
    Balsamic Vinegar – $2.87
    Organic Cane Sugar – $3.17
    Broccoli Crowns – $1.68
    Rice Krispie Treats $1.88 x 2 – $3.76
    Prego (Big Jar) – $5.17
    Yellow Onions – $2.97
    Strawberries – $3.97
    Chocolate Chips – $2.00
    Shredded Cheese – $5.97
    Tofu – $2.47
    Large Watermelon – $5.97

    Total Out of Pocket – $43.12

    Giant Tiger

    Cadbury Fruit and Nut x 2 – $2.27
    Kraft Shredded Cheese – $4.99

    Total Out of Pocket – $7.26


    Mountain Grain Bread – $2.59
    Prawns 4 x $5.00 (regular $12.99 – saved $31.96 on 4) – $20.00

    Total Out of Pocket – $22.59

    Shoppers Drug Mart

    Butter – $2.99
    Freezies – $1.49
    Eggs 2 x $1.99 – $3.98
    Milk (4L) – $4.59

    Total Out of Pocket – $13.12


    Salami – $9.89
    Chicken Cordons – $10.99
    Half and Half – $2.13
    Bananas 2 x $1.69 – $3.38
    Sour Cream (750ml) – $3.39
    Kraft Parmesan Cheese $10.49 less $2.50 in store discount – $7.49
    Coconut Oil (16oz) – $17.99
    Icing Sugar – $1.97

    Total Out of Pocket – $57.73

    Water Refills (self serve station at Tractor dealership – 18.9L $2.30 x 3) – $6.90

    Total Out of Pocket $150.72

    Total Grocery Budget for June: $560
    Total Coupons Used this Week: $0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Spent This Week: $150.72
    Total Spent for June: $234.37
    Total Left to Spend This Month: $325.63
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0

    I am generally quite happy with how I did this week. There are a couple of things I need to shop around for to find better prices and I am going to continue to look for coupons on some of the packaged things I buy regularly. I did stock up on a couple of things this week – the prawns because they were such a good deal (about 60% off), the coconut oil and Parmesan because we ran out this week. It turned out that the Parmesan was on sale at Costco, so it was a good price. I am curious how long these things last us, so have started writing the date I purchased the item on the package with a black marker so I am able to keep track. Will give me a better idea of when I will need to restock and can watch for sales.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Welcome back! I always know when a fan makes it back for a second week they are serious about getting control of their grocery budget. I think it’s smart of you to be analyzing your shop and finding the best prices you can on products you know you buy often. That was a great deal on the prawns and we use coconut oil as well. We bought it at the bulk barn using that $3.00 off when you spend 10 coupon. We bought Grace Coconut oil it seems to be good. Good for you writing the date of purchase as well, smart idea!! If you want I have free charts you can download and print for free to track information if you like. It’s on my home page under Free-Money Saving Tools. If you want to spend your money wisely I would can the Kraft parm and buy authentic real parmigianno regianno at Walmart or Food Basics for $7.99 or on sale for $5.99. You will find it has much MORE flavour because it’s real and you don’t need as much to flavour. That’s just me though… have you ever bought the real cheese? Eggs you picked up at a good price,good for you. Pasta sauce again to make it homemade is so much cheaper to do. I have a recipe on my blog and if you don’t have a spice pantry start building one with your favourite spices. For that amount of money I can make you a huge pot of pasta sauce that would last you much longer. Any time you buy shredded anything most times you pay premium for them to shred it. If you have a grater opt for the brick and shred it as soon as you get home and put it in a container or ziploc bag to save money. I know lots of tips and you can take them as you wish. I’m only trying to help or offer suggestions. I never judge I only aim to help 🙂 Keep up the good work. I look forward to see how your shops progress and what we can say looking back many months from now of what you have learned and how you improved. Cheers You get ballot 15

      1. Sarah, we grate our own cheese too. I keep some in the fridge for nibbling but the grated stuff goes straight to the freezer for cooking. It’s texture changes after freezing though so if you plan to nibble put some in the fridge and some in the freezer. It also prolongs how long it lasts. 🙂

      2. I just checked the Coconut Oil container and I was wrong on the size – it is 54 oz (1600ml). The previous jar I bought was Nutiva brand from Bulk Barn (the only brand of coconut oil they carry at the Bulk Barn here). It was $16.99 for 26oz (800ml) where the jar I got at Costco was twice the size at 54oz and only $1 more at $17.99. I know it goes on sale sometimes so am going to watch for that and probably pick one up. I do use real parmesan cheese sometime. We eat pasta so infrequently that I find I have a hard time using it up. I will have to try the pasta sauce sometime – I have a fully stocked spice cupboard. I need to find one that freezes well (would your’s?) as I don’t make large quantities as it is usually just my son eating it unless I make it with ground turkey (then my husband will eat it as he doesn’t eat beef). Shredded cheese is more of a dietary thing for us and is something I am willing to pay a bit extra to get – I typically will not buy it though unless it is on a good sale. I prefer the mix of cheeses as opposed to just one type and we both find that if we buy shredded we eat far less than if I buy blocks of cheese – usually just 2 to 4 tbsp at a time on top of a serving of a vegetarian casserole or burritos.

        1. Hi Sarah,
          Yes we freeze our pasta sauce all the time so go for it. The coconut oil you got was a great price. We don’t go to Costco but friends of ours do so maybe I will ask them to pick us up a jar. You could always buy different blocks when they go on offer and shred them up, mix them in a bag and eat a little at a time on top of your meals. That’s what we do to save money. We buy them and shred them as soon as we get home. We also clean and cut veggies. What are some of your favourite vegetarian meals? I presume you are vegetarian?

  3. OK…. my shops for the week… i went over again but managed a little stocking up as butter was on a 3 day sale and I went twice just during that sale, I also got bread on half price those 3 days. Strawberry picking and jam will be coming up and I think I might call ahead on Thursday as we go to London again on Wed. There is really no point in getting started there if I have that big chunk of time screwed up in the middle of things. Besides the berries the only thing I will have to buy at this time will be the snap lids for the jars. I always use new ones….

    June 7
    4 lbs butter @2.88- 11.52
    Total $11.52

    June 8
    4 Gatorade@ 1.66- 6.64
    bananas- 1.51
    4 loaves W/W bread @1.84- 7.36
    1 unsweetened applesauce- 1.98
    1 plant- 1.99
    1 pack beef liver- 2.16
    1 package W/W dinner buns- 2.79, 1.40 discount
    4 lbs butter @2.88- 11.52
    1 bag frozen peas and carrots- 2.99
    1 doz eggs- 3.19
    1 bread crumbs- 3.29
    1 box MG Cheerios- 3.97
    3 jars Chez Whiz @3.97- 11.91
    2 1kg peanut butter @3.97- 7.94
    1 box crackers- 3.99
    1 Franks- 3.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 IOGO yogurt- 4.29, .75 coupon
    2 4l milk@ 4.79- 9.58
    1 6pack Royale tissues- 4.97, 1.00 coupon
    1 6pack Bounty- 4.97
    2 12D pack Charmin TP @4.97, 1 coupon- 1.25 WUB2, 1 coupon- .50. these were used with the Bounty as well- 2 coupns- 3 product
    1 sunflower oil- 4.99
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case ginger ale- 5.78, 2.00 coupon
    1 pack smokes- 9.69
    1 144 count Tetley- 9.99
    Tax- 5.72
    Total- $148.72, $7.80 coupons

    JUne 12
    2 pasta dinner @.69- 1.38
    1 can tomatoes- .99
    1 can pineapple- 1.19
    2 cans pasta sauce @1.33- 2.66
    2 packs pasta@ 1.50- 3.00
    2 Gator ade@ 1.66- 3.32
    bananas- .87
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.98
    1 raisin bread- 3.49, .75 coupon
    1 MG Cheerios- 3.97
    1 ap flour, 2.5k -3.98
    1 frozen stir fry veggies- 3.99
    2 4l milk @ 4.79- 9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case ginger ale- 5.78, 2.00 coupon
    Tax- 1.18
    Total- $51.04, 2.75 coupons

    Total budget for month- $600.00, $7800.00 yearly
    Total coupons this week- $10.65
    Total spent this week- $211.28, $61.28 over
    Total spent for month- $199.53+$211.28= $410.81
    Total over/under for week- over $61.28
    Total over/under for month-N/A
    Left for month- $189.19
    Total coupons this month- $9.00+$10.65=$19.65
    Total carry over- $304.35+$49.53+$61.28=$415.16
    Total YTD- J$818.08+F$598.07+M$770.12+A$938.07+M$650.13+J$410.81=$4185.28

    Well there you go, over again. On the good side I stocked up a little on some things we use regularly. Butter being the big one, plus Chez Whiz, Peanut butter, bread, TP, tissues, paper towels, and a little cereal.I had hoped to stock up on Powerade instead of the Gatorade but every time I went in there wasn’t any… I did finally get a rain check but could only get three that way. $1.00 was a good price, regular 2.29 per, Gatorade is regular about the same but is on price cut for the month. I still have a couple of pounds of rhubarb in the fridge thanks to the younger boy getting it for me at the farmers market. He knows if he buys it I’ll make something good with it that he likes!!
    I still have that nasty carry over building up to deal with but I hope to manage to stock up on some other things like meat that we are really low on. I am out of cheese which really sucks and I need a good sale in town to get some. FB has a good sale going in Stratford this week on cheese but I’m not going into Stratford until after the sale. I can hope… and I’ll be looking over the flyers as soon as we get them, local on Wed afternoon and Stratford, Thursday afternoon…….

    1. Hi Christine,
      We always use new ones as well and get them at Dollarama for $2.I believe or 2 /$3.00. Butter has been a great price the last couple of weeks and if we didn’t have such a mess of our budget we would have stocked up as well. You buy lots of Gatorade in the summer if I remember correctly. I hope you can catch up to your carry over. It’s not easy and I hope we don’t end up in that place again. It really sucks not having money to spend in the budget when we want to. It really will make me think twice about what we buy even pink sticker deals. Keep up the good work I’m sure you can make it under budge! Go Christine Go!! You get ballot 14

  4. Our weekly budget is $100 making this month $400.
    Really went over last week and spent more than I wanted this week, but our freezer is getting full before our girl comes out in a few weeks!
    H&W Produce
    .93 peaches
    .64 serranos(thought they were jalapeons)
    $1.57 total oop
    $1.77×2 dzn eggs
    $3.55 total oop
    .44×2 mini chocolate bars
    .97 french bread
    $2.48 asparagus
    $1.94 asparagus holder
    $1.99×2-.75Cx2 coffee creamer
    $1.68 butter chicken mix
    $1.42-.50C choco bar
    $3.48-$2C dove bar soap
    $13.18 total oop
    $4 total coupons
    $1 pie crust clearance
    $2.67 dzn eggs
    $2×7-$2Cx7 finish tabs
    $2 frosting
    $1.50 3lb carrots
    $1.97×10-$2Cx10 bbq sauce
    42.22×3-$3Cx3 zantac
    $2×2 saanta fe salad tortillas
    $1.28 lemonade
    $4.88 4L milk
    $1.97×4-$2.50Cx2 mr.clean spray
    $19.08 total oop
    $48 total coupons
    Save on foods(stacking)
    $4.99-fpc spagetti sauce
    $2.99×4-$1.50Cx8 hidden valley ranch
    $8.99×2-$3Cx2&$2Cx6 melitta kcups
    $7.99×6-$4Cx2&$3Cx6&$2Cx4 van houtte kcups
    $15.90 total oop
    $66.99 total coupons
    $19.77 3kg frozen chicken breasts
    $1.49 sour cream
    $3.49-$1C boursin cheese
    $2 apple strudel
    $1×2 salsa clearance
    $2-$1C la grille bbq sauce
    $2-$1C egg creations french toast
    $2×88-$2Cx88 bbq sauce donation (miscommunication with the grocery manager and they brought me in more than I ordered)
    I was able to donate almost 150 bottles of it in a couple of weeks!!
    $83.08 total weekly oop
    $295.99 total weekly coupons

    $242.24 total monthly oop
    $492.05 total monthly coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Sounds like you are excited to have your daughter home and you can take her shopping with you then. What is an asparagus holder for? Where were the BBQ sauce coupons from? Is that baby rays? Where is the Mr.Clean $2.50 from? I can’t get over all the stacking you can do at Superstore I’d never be allowed. WOW! Where do you get all those coupons from for the donations that’s awesome. You used so many coupons this month it’s amazing. Keep up the good work and I’m sure many are benefiting from your generosity. You get ballot 13

      1. Morning Mr.CBB
        I am going to take a pic of the aspargus holder so you can see what it looks like 🙂
        The bbq sauce is the sweet baby rays and I found over 250 inserts in a recycle bin on the way to the mall after work one day. Needless to say I jumped in grabbed all I could and took the bus home!!!!!
        The Mr.Clean coupons are from the p&g inserts.
        Stacking at save on foods has been awesome and I will be planning, organizing and shopping a lot more, especially since there is talk of them changing their policy again very soon. Stocking up on items that I can get for amazing prices!!!
        I keep my eagle eyes open for tear pad coupons, look for inserts(sometimes find some in the papers at work) and trade for many many coupons I can’t find or get in our province! It is alot of work but it pays off big time in our budget and donations I can make!
        The hubby and I have redone our budget and will include a stockpile budget seprate from our grocery one. So we can snap a good deal if our grocery budget is stretched thin that week or month. Also happy to say that we have been able to up our savings amount!!!!! working hard and staying within budget really pays off 🙂

        1. I’m so proud of you both!! Hearing that you can UP your SAVINGS ACCOUNT just makes me smile. With planning and some hard work it is possible and you proved that. Good for you and great score on the inserts! Looking forward to the asparagus holder 🙂

  5. I shop for 2 adults and a 2 ½ year old boy. Our budget is $90/week or $360 for this month and includes baby items, laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    Marc Angelo sausage 30% reduced sticker $3.41 – $1.00 coupon
    Nice n’ clean $9.97
    Almond dream milk $2.87 – FPC
    Zantac 6 x $2.22 – 6 x $3.00 coupon (= $4.68 overage)
    Reach floss $2.00 – $2.00 coupon
    Prime ground turkey 5 x $5.77 – 5 x FPC
    NYC pressed powder $2.97
    Cucumber $.88
    Mini carrots 2 x $1.00
    Hummus $2.77 – $1.00 coupon
    Coupons $53.72
    OOP $18.99

    Deli meat $5.00
    Buns $2.20
    OOP $7.20

    Almond milk (PM Target) 2 x $3.04 – 2 x $2.00 coupons
    Bicks pickles (PM WM) 5 x $1.97 – 5 x $.50 coupons
    Cavendish fries $2.79 – $1.00 coupon – $.50 CO51
    Chewy granola bars (PM Guardian) $1.79
    Glade car freshner 2 x $3.99 – 2 x FPC – $4.00 CO51
    Eggo mini’s $2.97 – FPC
    Lady finger biscuits (PM FC) 2/$1.00 x 2
    Goldfish (PM FC) 3 x $2.00
    Healthy harvest pasta $1.97 – FPC
    M&M’s 2 x $1.09 – 2 x FPC
    Mushrooms white (PM WM) $1.00
    OEP taco kit (PM GT) $2.97 – $1.00 coupon
    PC BM corn $.99
    PC BM plum sauce $2.99
    Rice cakes (PM GT) 2 x $1.00
    Resolve spray 3 x $1.97 – 3 x $1.00
    Deli fresh (PM FC) 3 x $2.00
    Kaiser rolls $2.79
    Janes chicken bugers/strips (PM Longos) 2 x $4.99
    Apples (PM) $1.47
    Bananas $1.51
    Apples $2.79
    Mushrooms – can $.99
    Romaine (PM WM) $1.50
    Tomatoes (PM) $.64
    Dove bar soap 8 pack $6.97 – FPC
    Magazine $2.99
    Huggies swimmers $10.97 – $2.00 coupon
    Children’s Motrin (PM WM) $3.92 – $2.00 coupon
    Tax free day $4.49
    CO51 $5.50 (includes $1.00 off for a receipt over $60)
    CD $10.25 (a friend of my MIL’s let us use her card)
    Coupons $37.57
    OOP $60.67

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $91.29
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $152.38
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $907.99
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $5.50
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $9.50
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $97.00
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $10.25
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$21.95
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $267.64
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $3.41
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $86.86
    •Total Spent So Far for June: $287.93
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of June: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $72.07
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: I do not carry over
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $1940.36
    •Weekly overview: Uh oh! Two more shopping weeks and I only have $72.07 left! I’ve said it for a few weeks in a row now; I need to get back on track. I just can’t seem to stop spending. I really need to start letting a few deals go. My deep freezer is literally full to the top! I was thrilled with making $4.00 on the glade car freshners! I think I have also decided to take baby items out of my grocery budget for now on. That would have saved me a little this week and when we have another little one in diapers and possibly on formula it will eat up our whole budget.

    1. Hey Jen,
      You can take out whatever you want in the budget but you still need to have the money to pay for it. It won’t matter if it’s in the grocery budget or not if that makes sense. If you are taking it out to track it separately like we did with dog food that’s a different story but we had to take money from our emergency savings fund each month and transfer that to pet otherwise we would have had to deduct that from the grocery budget because the money has to come from somewhere. Only you have the power to stop yourself from shopping so much. Clearly you know you need to and your freezer is full, you said it yourself. Just like budgeting Jen, if you want it, make a plan and stick to it. No more excuses and yes I need a kick in the arse once in a while too because I’m just as bad sometimes with deals that are great but bust our budget. Look what happened 2 months ago now and I’m still trying to catch up. Keep the faith Jen.. you can do it!!! Great deal on the Turkey mince. You did some great shopping this week. You get ballot 12

  6. my husband loves the self-checkout, he uses it whenever he can. cause he hates the lines lol but not me, i use lots of coupons so i better use the traditional cashier lines. but at Loblaws (PC banner stores), like you said, they have $10 coupon policy, when your amount of coupons exceeds $10, they have to call their supervisor to come and override it. when you are lucky it takes 2 more minutes for the supervisor to come. there were a couple of times that i had to wait for a supervisor for 10 mins as they were all busy. however with the money i save from coupon, the 10 mins of waiting is worth it!!

    Looks like this month i am going to blow my budget since i over spent in the beginning of the month. then next week we have to really spend money on nicotine gum for my husband. he started to quit smoking back in January but after 30 plus years of smoking he has had his relapses. tried the patches, worked for a little while then relapsed. tried using his own mind, worked for a tiny short period but the crave won. Since there is a printable coupon of $5 for Nicorette, we are going to try and get him some Nicorette gum. they aren’t cheap i looked today. $30 for 100 gums. cheapest at walmart.

    this week i almost made it, but i over spent $1. it was the cat food that i had to spend on, or it would have been way within budget. had 2 coupons of $10 each for hills science diet cat food that will expire this month. Petsmart had them on sale so there i spent the money. but i won’t be too harsh on myself since it is food for our daughters. and right now i have enough cat food for 3 months, so it was money well spent.

    This is how i did this week 🙂

    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    June’s spending: 146.13+34.33=180.46
    June’s budget left: 250-146.13-34.33=69.54
    June’s coupon used: 31.43+37.19=71.62

    My shops for last week: 0+25.18+5.18+3.94=$34.33

    Zehrs: $6.51-$10 giftcard=$0
    Glade car vent clip 4.19 –FPC=FREE
    Maple leaf bacon portions 3×3.99-3×2.00=5.97
    HST 0.54

    Petsmart: $25.18
    Hills Science Diet cat food 2×19.99-2×10.00=19.98
    HST 5.20

    Walmart: $5.18
    VH Steamers 2×2.97-2×2.00-0.24 multi-buy=1.70
    Zantac’s 2.22-3.00=+0.78 overage
    Frozen peas 3.97
    HST 0.29

    Giant Tiger: $ 3.94
    bread 1.97
    Strawberries 2.00
    Bring-your-own-bag -0.03

    1. Hi Wing!
      Have your husband read my 3 blog posts about when I quit smoking last Jan/Feb if that will help him. If you ask your pharmacy they might have samples of the gum for free and your doctor. We got so much for free from our doctor we didn’t have to buy any. Our pharmacy gave us like 6 free packs of gum too. Sometimes if you look on Kijiji people sell them as well for cheap because they bought them and failed to quit. Wish him luck for me, it’s not easy but I’m still smoke free today.
      You didn’t do too bad this week and I think that besides the nicorette gum you should be able to stick to the budget if you plan it well. The hills science is so expensive our dog hated it, we tried. I didn’t know they take money off your bill at GT if you bring a bag.. interesting. Keep up the good work Wing! You get ballot 11

  7. Week 23

    4 pk Charmin Toilet Tissue $3.36
    25ct Trash bags $3.97
    Coffee $4.98

    Total Out of Pocket $12.75

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4000
    Total Grocery Budget for May: $285.92
    Total Coupons Used this Week:  $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $12.75
    Total Spent for May: $151.63
    Total Overspend this shop: $+36.26
    Total Overspend for the month of May: $0.00
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $134.29
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $134.29
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $1,935.74

    Weekly Overview: I only made one trip to the store this week. Of course, it’s because I stocked up last week, but so far June is looking pretty good. I’ve been doing more meal planning, but I have to start making things from scratch. The only way that will work it if I work on manage my time better.

    1. Hi Dr.Sheba!
      Wow, congratulations!! I’m going to have an upcoming post about staying out of the stores so I hope it will shed some more perspective for you. In terms of meal planning I would start with what foods interest your family, what you want to try. I encouraged Jen (another GGC poster) last year to start creating one homemade recipe a week and now she’s on fire. We are so proud of her and she and her husband are enjoying creating meals. I know that she uses some of my recipes here on the blog as well as from Kraft Canada. They tend to keep them simple and family friendly which many people enjoy. Once you start meal planning you will see your grocery budget shrink as you may only buy what you need for the week unless you spot a great deal and bulk shop. Keep up the good work.. I’m so happy for you!

  8. If it is a quick and simple checkout, then I prefer to do it myself; I find it sort of fun. 🙂

    I find that some people take advantage of the self-checkout and “forget” to ring in some groceries as well. I agree that I don’t think they will replace all cashiers, but it does help during times when it is hard to hire people as Calgary faced a couple years back.

    Here’s my 2 weeks shop as I didn’t get to post last week:

    Mom 10

    Cakes 32.01
    Organic Greens 3.58
    Organic Spinach 3.58
    Cottage Cheese (x3) 11.58
    Listerine 10.5

    Total Coupons 0
    Total Out of Pocket 61.25

    Chips (x2) 4.14
    Ramen (x5) 3.00
    Pop (x2) 4.12
    Almonds 10.98
    Peanut Butter 4.98
    Yogurt 2.97
    Cucumber (x3) 2.58
    Mushroom 1.12
    Avocado (x5) 2.97
    Broccoli 1.00
    Broccoli Coleslaw 1.00
    Carrots (5lbs) 3.28
    Bananas 1.66

    Total Coupons
    Total Out of Pocket 43.80

    Mom 10

    No Frills
    Avocado (x10) 4.9
    Broccoli 1.47
    Spinach 3.97

    Total Coupons 0
    Total Out of Pocket 10.34

    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: $1
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Spent This Week: $20.34
    Total Spent So Far for June: $135.39
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $29.66 under
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of June: $35.39 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $64.61
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: n/a
    Total Spent to Date This Year: $1,006.32

    Weekly Overview: I definitely went overboard last week, but a lot of the items were for a party; I took it easy this week, but it will be tight for the rest of the month. I think it is doable, and we are still going to aim to hit the target! Nice score on the cheeses; I am planning on taking a bit of a break as we have spent quite a bit on cheeses recently and they add up pretty quick! 🙂

    1. Hey Vicky,
      Oh how the little things make us happy. It’s a great way to experience somewhat what a cashier would have to do and yes for some they fancy using the scanner. It’s not hard but I understand where you are comign from. I’m glad to hear that you are both set to hit your target. It may be difficult but once you do it the accomplishment will feel awesome. The best part Vicky is this dedication spills over into the rest of your budget categories as you continue to challenge your dedication to succeed and stick to the budget. It will go a long way for the both of you, especially that you are both so young. How much did you spend on Listerine again lol? If you use Listerine.. in the GGC post I just put up call the 1-866 number for SC Johnson and order 2 Listerine coupons each month for $2 off I believe.. there is also girly coupons and baby coupons and tylenol etc.. it’s worth it.. we get free floss with the listerine/Reach coupon. You get ballot 10

  9. I like self check outs if you only have a couple of items, but I prefer the cashier if I have my coupons or closeout items. I’m like you and like to bag my own groceries. It makes them easier to put away if I can keep like foods together. Sometimes if the store is not busy, there is an employee who helps put your groceries up on the check out counter. I hate it when that happens because they throw it all up there haphazardly and it gets all mixed up. I guess that’s a bit OCD, but I like it done a certain way.

  10. Thankfully we don’t have those here …yet.. As I’m in a small town I’m inclined to agree with Beth for the same reasons. I know most of the cashiers at my store whether I see them at work or some where else around town.. (post office is gossip central!!!) It’s nice to chat as things get rung through. We know each other by name…. I think we tried the self serve once back a while ago in Stratford I think it was, drove hubby crazy trying to figure the thing out and a couple of things didn’t scan…. it didn’t like that we used our own bags….. not an experience I am looking to repeat. Hopefully the self serve machines have worked out the bugs by the next time….

    1. In a small town that would really hurt the jobs if they started to automate everything but is this something we should look forward to Christine? Are people preparing for the fact they may do away with jobs to automoate the system and save money?

      1. Small towns tend to be proud of giving service you don’t get so much in the ‘the big city’ so I think it will be quite a while before we have to deal with it. Plus there is a large population of older people here that would fuss about this coming into town. The grocery store still delivers, at least the one across the street does. The older lady 2 doors down gets her stuff delivered regularly, she has mobility issues so she just loves it….We don’t have a regular bus service in town but we have the Mobility Bus for those that have problems getting around. The Mobility Bus runs a regular service to both grocery stores for the older people on Wed so you know the stores are going to be busy. I you don’t use that the girls at the store will call you a cab if need be, no problem…The drug stores in town are the same way, they deliver and will call a cab for you any time…..So I don’t think it will be an issue here in the small towns….

        1. It’s great to have those personal services that have disabilities or are unable to get where they need to go or get stuff done around the house. They do come at a premium but for some that is the option they are left with if they want a service provided. The mobility bus is a great idea and I’m sure many are appreciative of this service.

  11. I’m not a fan of the self-checkout system for a number of reasons:
    -The savings all go to the grocer, not the customer. We are not given a discount for doing the store’s job. If we’re going to do their job, we should receive some sort of compensation for making the effort.
    -I almost always have pink sticker items in my cart, and sometimes coupons too. It actually takes longer to deal with them at the self checkouts (at least in our area) than it would to have a cashier rang them through.
    -Personal contact is important to me. I would rather budget sufficient time to go through a check out (and in some stores, even pay higher prices) in order to receive pleasant customer service and the courtesy of having my groceries bagged, with an offer to carry them to my car.
    -Choosing to shop at a smaller store, with real cashiers, and unionized staff means that not only am I acting in support of my personal beliefs about the value of labour but also ensures that I know the staff I deal with. In a small community, knowing the folks you deal with on a regular basis can actually save you money. Many is the time when my cashier has alerted me to an upcoming sale, suggesting that I wait a week or two to make my purchase. Knowing my produce manager and meat counter manager also means that they are more willing to offer me discounts when I purchase large quantities for canning.
    -JOBS are important to me. I know the argument that automation still provides jobs, and it does, but fewer of them than regular check stands, in a more specialized field, and usually outside my community. We all need to be concerned that sufficient employment is being provided to support our local economies but this is especially true in small towns like mine, and in rural areas.

    1. Hey Beth! What you describe is essentially what happens to us and why we choose to go through a cashier. Pricing is no different,like I mentioned it’s all at a premium in these stores and it takes WAY TOO LONG to check out with pink stickers and coupons as well as price matching. We’ve been watching lately since we’ve been going into Zehrs the past few weeks using the checkouts and it’s been a disaster.

  12. June – Week #2 – June 10 – 16, 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

    I find that for me, working on a monthly budget is far more effective than fiddling around trying to figure whether I am over or under on any given week. That’s just me though. Basically I keep track of where I am in the spending for the current month and in terms of the year to date. That’s all the information that I require to stay on the straight and narrow. 🙂



    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    2 cases – 5 lbs ea avocado $15.98 (Warehouse Sale)
    1 case – 5 lbs Packham Pears $6.99 (Warehouse Sale)
    1 case – 5 lbs Tomatoes $4.99 (Warehouse Sale)

    •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 = 161 Points
    •Total OOP: $27.96

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $27.96
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge

    2 Foremost Sour Cream (on sale @ $1.98) $3.96
    3 Old Mill Whole Wheat Bread (on sale 3 for $4.98) $4.98
    1 Becel Light Margarine $4.98

    •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: $13.92

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $13.92
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    London Drugs – Maple Ridge

    12 Colgate Total Toothpaste (on sale 3 @ $5.00) $20.00

    •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: $20.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $20.00


    Not applicable this week


    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    (Jan $40.04) + (Feb $44.48) + (March $98.35) +
    (April $50.00)+ (May $3.00) + (June $0.00)
    = $235.87

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:
    (Jan – $60.46) + (Feb – $0.00)+ (March $11.79) +
    (April $12.48)+(May $1.50) + (June $0.00)
    = $86.23

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    (Jan 265) + (Feb 248)+(March 151) +
    (April 26)+(May 0 ) + (June 0)
    = 690 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    (Jan 57) + (Feb 10) + (March 30) +
    (April 83) + (May 0) + (June 161)
    = 341 Air Miles


    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (Jan $217.50) + (Feb $198.39)+ (March $72.90) +
    (April $215.04)+ (May $70.12) + (June $7.09+$27.96+$13.92)
    = $822.92

    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far:
    (Jan $190.00)+(Feb$190.00)+ (March $108.79) +
    (April $142.50)+(May $142.50) +
    (June $142.50-$72.50-$20.00 = $50.00) =

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $0.87 UNDER


    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (March $81.21) + (April $77.55) + (May $17.45) + June ($20.00)
    = $196.21

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    (March $81.21) + (April $47.50) + (May $47.50) +
    (June $47.50+72.50+20.00-120.00= $20.00)= $196.21

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Stockpile Budget: $0.00 UNDER


    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    (March $0.00) + (April $0.00) + (May $0.00) +
    (June $120.00)= $120.00

    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget: $120.00 UNDER



    Well, we broke the $1,000.00 dollar mark on our groceries this month. All I could think was ouch! I am really glad to be posting my GGC submission each week as I know that would have been a lot higher if I wasn’t working so hard to stay on track. If you aren’t posting yet… please do. You’ll be surprised the changes it makes in your shopping!!

    I planned to do my annual borscht run to this month but I worked out that the gas, food, hotels & borscht purchase would be about $600.00 all together. I love the drive plus it’s a 2 day break for hubby and I from each other and I think a little break is a good for a marriage once in a while. But, I think I’ll try and save up the entire amount before I depart. Then, I can make the trip in the summer of 2014 with an absolutely clear conscience & without having to tap our vacation funds & rob my sweetie of some treat on our vacation.

    I have the borscht reserve set up… let’s see how creative I can get to raise another $480.00 over the next year! I have transferred the money for the borscht purchase into what I lovingly call my “2014 borscht fund”. Hopefully I can do this but if not 2014 then it’ll definitely be in 2015! See what I mean about the accountability? A year ago, I made the trip without a second thought as to the “true cost” of my borscht.

    I spotted a great deal for hubby in the online flyer for London Drugs on his toothpaste. He is now well stocked for the next year. When regular price is about $3.50 a tube… who can pass on a deal of 3 tubes for $5???

    I am lucky enough to get the little sample size tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste from the dentist every 3 months when I get my teeth cleaned, as does hubby. I use those samples rather than actually buying toothpaste for me. What can I say, it’s the brand I used to buy anyway.

    With summer almost here, we took advantage of a couple of containers of sour cream this week. I am making homemade guacamole with the avocados from Safeway’s warehouse sale, I already had salsa on hand and now we are topped up on sour cream as well… nachos, tacos, tostados – here we come!

    I also made up a batch of Country Herb Dressing for dipping raw vegetables and a batch of Uncle Dan’s Southern Dip for a chip dip. Even though the weather is still cool, dark, rainy and gloomy most days – I am already planning our weekend of barbecue suppers for our holiday weekend.
    I made a yummy pear sauce with the Packham pears. froze the sauce in small portions to dole out to myself a little at a time. I do love my pears! Hubby is not a fruit fan, so I don’t even have to share! Ho Ho Ho!

    I’ll be heading down to the US to stock up on my Gluten Free bread on the 18th, and maybe I’ll luck out and get some more freebies for hubby! I’ll hold off on any other US shopping until the weekend we are in Bellevue during July. It’s only a couple of weeks later.

    Our Canadian shopping will be pretty much non-existent for the next two weeks but that’s okay, we are in good shape to handle a couple of NO SHOP weeks.

    This was a rather expensive week with $41.88 on regular groceries and $20.00 on stockpiling. If I absolutely HAVE to have something, we do still have the hiding spot cash or the Safeway gift cards but it would have to be a dire emergency or a not-to-be-missed kind of sale!

    This doesn’t mean I don’t watch the flyers though, I managed to score a rain check for 50% off on Butcher’s Cut Thick Sliced Bacon this week as they were out of stock & at that price I am not surprised. I do love locking in a really good sale price for 90 days with a rain check!!!!

    Right now I have the following rain checks in my purse but three of them need to be used next month:

    Thrifty’s: – 4 x small green salad @ $1 per bag (Good until July 26th)
    – 4 x bag of yellow onions @ $1 per bag (Good until July 26th)

    Safeway: – 10 x Sprite Zero 2 L bottles @ $1 each (Good until July 7th)
    – 2 x Butcher’s Cut St. Louis style pork spareribs @ $7.99 per package
    (Good until Aug 30th)
    – 2 x Butcher’s Cut Thick Sliced Bacon (50% Off) (Good until Sept 13th)

    Here is how we are doing with our month of June:

    Grocery Budget (CDN):

    ($0.16) – Overage from May
    $142.50 – June grocery Budget
    ($72.50) – Transfer to Stockpile Funds for Borscht
    ($7.09) – WEEK 1 purchases
    ($27.96) – WEEK 2 purchase
    ($13.92) – WEEK 2 purchase
    ($20.00) – Transfer to Stockpile

    $0.87 – Remaining for JUNE

    Stockpile Budget (CDN):

    $47.50 – June Stockpile Budget
    $72.50 – Transfer from Grocery Funds
    ($120.00) – Reserved for Borscht Purchase in 2014
    $20.00 – Transfer from Grocery Funds
    ($20.00) – WEEK 2 purchase

    $0.00 – Remaining for JUNE

    2014 BORSCHT Stockpile Budget (CDN):

    $120.00 – Transfer from Regular Stockpile Budget

    Safeway Gift card (CDN): $20.00

    Cash Hiding Spot (CDN): $21.51

    Re-Stocking Funds (CDN): $0.00

    Grocery Reserve (US): $165.89 US

    Cash Hiding Spot (US): $65.00 US

    1. Hi Mary!
      I’ll tell the truth and say I saved your post for last today and got a hot cuppa to go along with it as I like to read right though it all.
      “I find that for me, working on a monthly budget is far more effective than fiddling around trying to figure whether I am over or under on any given week.”- exactly the way I feel!
      WOW look at all those avocados and tomatoes what a great deal… amazing! You have quite a bit of Air Miles saved up for June already that’s awesome. We’re rubbish with collecting them. I want to do a full blog post all about AM so I can better understand them. One thousand dollars for the 2 of you since the start of the year is awesome, congrats to you for sticking to it like you do. I’m so proud to hear that. You and your funds, I think it’s awesome but smart it’s essentially like a projected expense for us. The wife using Sensodyne as well but she doesn’t mind other sensitive toothpastes. We stock up when we can. Have you asked your dentist for coupons? I’m not a big pear fan but I do love my fruit. Do you have recipes for your dips?

      I can’t wait to see if you score another load of freebies with the bread that was an awesome trunk haul the last time. I should do a post about rain checks but I need to figure out all the pertinent info to talk about maybe for next weeks GGC just a few paragraphs about why they are important and how they help the fans to save… if you would like to add to that post a paragraph send it my way. I always like to talk a bit about something grocery related now each time I post the GGC so any topic suggestions are greatly appreciated. I think GGC day is a great day to be devoted to all things grocery here at CBB.

      Looking forward to seeing how the rest of your month rolls out.


      You get ballot 8


  13. I like the self checkouts. If I have a lot of coupons or multiple discounted items I go through a register with a cashier. I prefer the self check out to the whining, incompetent, or I can’t be bothered attitudes. When a cashier acts as if I have disturbed their day by checking out, it irritates me. On a lighter note at the self check out the only person I have to deal with is myself and if I irritate me? It’s my problem 🙂

    1. That is true, you only have to deal with yourself and no one else. I do find though that we have to give the coupons to the cashier and she puts them all through anyways so it makes no difference if the cashier whines at self checkout or in the checkout lanes. Do you find that you have to give your coupons to the cash person to put them through no matter where you are?

  14. When I can, I use the self-service check-out. I love the convenience of basically getting in & getting out quickly. I do my own bagging because I swear some of the people that they have bagging groceries, doesn’t know how to bag properly. I understand the cons perspective as well but personally I think the pros outweigh the cons. What I don’t like is still waiting inline but I don’t think that is going to be going away any time soon.

    This bi-weekly grocery shopping is as follows:

    Total Human Grocery Budget for the Month: $100
    Total Pet Grocery Budget for the Month: $40
    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: $0
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: 4.38
    Total Spend This Week on Human: 49.62
    Total Spend This Week on Pet: 24.76
    Total Spent So Far for June: 74.38
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of June: Month not over yet
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 70.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month : N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 1754.05
    Weekly Overview: This shopping trip went really well. Yes I went over budget but this has been the closest to budget that I’ve been for as long as I can remember. I think I picked up some good deals (even some pink stickers :)) But like I’ve said since the start of me being part of the GGC, it’s baby steps. I’ve pulled out the “dining out” from my food budget so that I can monitor it better. I received a nice yearly raise this pay so I was able to alter some of my categories to be more realistic, unfortunately my food budget wasn’t one of them but now my credit card shouldn’t be hit as hard as it has been in the past.

    4 cans of Campbell Soup – 4/$5.00 = $5.00
    2-500g blocks of cheese – 2/$10.00 = $10.00
    Friskies Hard Cat Food – $11.86
    2 boxes of Whole Wheat Minute Rice – 2/$6.00 = $6.00
    18 kg Cat Litter – $8.98
    Mustard – $1.00
    Can of Soft Cat Food – $1.07
    4 Old Mill Bagels – 3/$5.00 + $3.37 (50% Pink Sticker) = $6.68
    Chicken Legs – $5.29
    Bologna – $3.99
    Ham – $3.49
    Hot Dogs – 3/$4.98 = $4.98
    Asparagus – 0.510kg @ $4.34/kg = $2.21
    2 – 200 gram Snow Peas – 2 @ .98 (50% Pink Sticker) = $0.98

    Tax – $2.85
    OOP – $74.38

    1. Hey Dee,
      I think self scanners are great for some and for others they have no interest. I’m used to them from back home as so many shops have them. Glad to hear this has been one of your best budgets ever (I’m betting it won’t be the last) i love a good challenge. It makes shopping more fun for us when we stick to the budget. Those pink stickers is like a game always trying to spot them. It’s like hunting for Easter eggs lol. I think pulling out the dining out is a great idea. We keep that seperate in our budget so we know how much to factor in for entertainment. Congratulations on your raise!!I”m so proud of you for making informed decisions with your budget. I just know the more you stick to this you WILL have everything running smoothly. IT all takes time but if we want something so bad, we CAN achieve. We just need to think positive!! Keep at it. You get ballot 9.

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