The grocery game challenge June 17-23, 2013 #3: Best time to grocery shop


Grocery Shopping Isn’t Always Easy

The best time to go grocery shopping really depends on what busy means to you and how overwhelmed you get by the amount of people in your way while you are looking for items on your shopping list.

Have you ever wanted to get an item off the shelf but someone was standing in your way? You pick up any random item and pretend to read the label and ingredients even if you don’t know what it is just to pass time until the person gets out of your way. Sometimes you go as far as to pick the item up right next to what you need in hopes of inching them a bit further out of the space so you can grab what you need. If I’m in a real rush, I say excuse me but I don’t like to rush people either so I will just come back to the item if I have to.

That’s why we do our best to avoid the pre-dinner rush and opt to shop when it’s quiet rather than when the  store is flooded with people. Most people are rushing in after work in a hurry to get home and make a 30 minute meal so they can relax for the rest of the night with the family. I find there are peak and off-peak times in our area but not everyone is able to get to the grocery store simply because it’s “quiet time” or as we like to call it “feeding time” when people are at home eating dinner.

Find me a grocery store that is not busy between 2-7 pm and I’ll be shocked because it’s like walking into a concert hall in most of the grocery stores in our area. Kids are screaming, people are racing through the aisles with their grocery carts and sometimes even forget where they left them because they get side-tracked.

I’m sure if you think about it you can safely say that you are bound by grocery shopping habits whether it’s what stores you frequent, what day of the week you shop, what time you shop, how you shop. Grocery shopping on a budget for us means that even though we are only grocery shopping for two it can get just as frustrating as someone who has to shop for 3 or more people. When I need to go grocery shopping I plan out the grocery shops only because I know how terribly busy the stores can be and I just don’t function well in a busy grocery store.

Sometimes I think the best time to go grocery shopping is early in the morning when the shop just opens but that’s not always the case. Sure it may be quiet but you also risk that not all the product you want is out on the floor yet. The reduced products aren’t always marked for sale either although many times it’s hit or miss.

We have run into occasions where grocery stores run out of stock mainly flyer specials and they tell us a new shipment is coming in on the afternoon truck. Most often it’s because they sold out over the weekend when they are at their busiest. That means we would have to make a second trip to the grocery store. Alternatively we could head to another store that price matches in hopes of getting the same deal or go back costing us more in gas and time. The other option is just to cross it off the grocery list and move on.

What times are off-peak?

Good question but like I mentioned it all depends on where you live, what time your grocery stores open and close and what’s best for you. Some major cities may not have any off-peak time because they have people coming in and out like a revolving door. I often find that if I can get into a 24 hour grocery store like Metro late at night it’s the best time for me to shop. Sure there are people in the store but mainly late-night shoppers like me after work or those that just want to get in while no one else is around.

It does get fairly quiet, but the best part is being able to think and helps me to find deals without overlooking them because I’m getting side-tracked. I find that it’s the best way to grocery shop for me and if I need any grocery shopping help it’s not difficult to find someone to give me the assistance I need. That and it’s fast service. That’s some easy grocery shopping if you ask me.

Other off-peak times to shop are like I mentioned early in the morning and between 7 pm-closing when most people are at home tucking the kids into bed getting ready for the next day. The best time to go grocery shopping on Sunday is later at night as well because most people are again getting ready for manic Monday.

What times are peak times to grocery shop?

I avoid grocery shopping on Friday and Saturday at all costs. Now the only downfall with this is that we miss out on some of the weekly deals that happen only on the weekend. We don’t rule it out but if we can avoid the shops on the weekend we will do that the best we can. It’s just too busy and since most people work Monday-Friday it’s their only opportunity to get out without having time constraints like they would during the week.

Ultimately to do grocery shopping at various times of the day really depends on someone’s daily schedule. Although we may all like to have a standardized work week that just isn’t possible. If I need to go grocery shopping during peak hours I know that I have to keep focused, find what I’m looking for and get out.  When the wife and I go together it’s easier to shop and it’s easier to take our time to find the deals that aren’t advertised such as pink sticker deals at Loblaws stores or those that are on clearance and blow-out.

Questions: When are your favourite and least favourite times to grocery shop?

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

  • 2 x Kikoman Soy Reg $5.49 (which I think was wrong as a small bottle is so expensiv but that’s what they marked down on the label) – 50% pink sticker- $0.50 coupon
  • 1 x Neilson 2% milk $3.97
  • 2 x bread- 50% pink sticker
  • 1 x fennel Sale $1.77
  • 1 x Kale Sale $1.97
  • 1 x White Mushrooms PM Freshco $1.00
  • 2 x Rooster garlic Sale $0.58 ea

Total Out Of Pocket: $16.73

Food Basics

  • 1 x Prime Chicken Thighs Boneless, Skinless Club Pack- $15.00- $6.00 =$9.00
  • 1 x Reduced Portobello mushrooms $1.29
  • 1 x Astro Original Yogurt Sale $1.88
  • 1 x Halal Yogurt Sale $1.88
  • 1 x Ferma Corn flour (for homemade dog treats and other recipes) Reg $1.99  Sale $1.69
  • 3 x Seedless Cucumbers Sale $0.88
  • 6 x Cedar Coconut Milk Reg $1.39 Sale $0.88 ea

Total Out Of Pocket: $ 23.66


  • 3lb bag of Sweet Vidalia Onions Sale reg $3.99 Sale $2.00
  • 2 x SOS Soap pads Sale $1.00 ea
  • 1 x 1kg Krinos Traditional Feta $13.99
  • 3lb Carrots $1.77
  • 4 huge Yam/Sweet Potato $3.20
  • 15 x limes Awesome Sale $0.15 each $2.25
  • 2 x Organic 3 pk Romaine Hearts Reg $3.99 Sale $1.99
  • Dark Rye bread Sale $1.69
  • Farmer Rye Bread 454 g Sale $1.69
  • Signal Thousand Island Dressing $1.42 ( I can probably make this can’t I?) -impulse
  • Worcestershire Sauce 284 ml $3.47
  • Green Seedless Grapes just under 1kg Sale $1.97
  • Red Tomatoes On the Vine Sale $1.99
  • Gay Lea Spreadables $3.59-FPC=FREE

Total Out Of Pocket: $55.45

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 1 dozen eggs omega Reg $3.99 Sale $2.99

Total Out Of Pocket: $2.99


Yearly grocery budget for two : $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 July)
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $4.09
  • Total Discounts this Week: $21.38 (reduced products)
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $20.00 (4 packs of sausage $12 and prime chicken thighs $9.00+ $21-$20= +1 to the regular grocery budget.
  • Total Spent This Week: $ 78.83
  • Total Spent So Far for (June): $23.89+$44.68+ $78.83= $147.40
  • 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-$147.40= $15.36
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$4.09=$5.00= $9.09
  • 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 is money saved if there is any leftover at the end of a month of grocery shopping for a date night for the wife and I.

Weekly Overview: This week we didn’t do as badly as we thought but we did manage to make use of our stockpile budget of $20 mainly the meat that we bought in bulk. We have just over $15 left for the rest of the month. We likely will have to buy milk next week and maybe eggs but that’s about it as we have more than enough vegetables. We also have our chives and spring mix ready to go in the garden. Next week will be a no-shop week besides the milk and eggs and the last shop for June. Phew!

Canadian Coupons Found In June


  1. Save $1.00 on any one Dr. Oetker Casa di Mama Pizza UPC 88623913-  Exp Dec 31, 2014 –  Food Basics
  2. Save $1.00 off Tabasco  UPC 07505717– Exp Dec 31, 2014 – Food Basics together with Dr. Oetker Pizza booklet
  3. Save $1.00  wub (when you buy) 2 Belvita breakfast biscuits  UPC 15043232- Exp Dec 31, 2013- Food Basics
  4. Save $3.00 wub 2 DanActive on DanAvtiv no sugar drinkable pro-biotic yogurt 8 x 93 ml packs- UPC 29506965- Exp Aug 31, 2013- Food Basics
  5. Save $1.00 when you buy any 2 Ritz Crackerfuls Crackers UPC 15043216- Exp Dec 31,2013- Food Basics

Note: All the above were found on displays.

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 affected 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. Can you believe it! For this period I had a “no-shop” week! lol

    I did shop the next day though lol so I might have 2 weeks worth the next week but I’m going to try not to!!! I want to make this budget better! 🙂

    1. Ya, ya.. brag all you want lol. I’m proud of you and I’m glad all of Ken’s testing is over so you can get back to your regularly scheduled program. I’m sure the past few weeks have been super busy for you both. Keep on truckin.. that’s what they say right?

  2. Our weekly budget is $100 making this month $400.
    I did do a stockpile shop at save on foods and didn’t take it out of the stockpile budget this month. Trying to keep within our monthly budget and cut our treat budget drastickly for a little while.
    Costco (forgot to enter earlier this month)
    $15.26-$5 instore coupon boneless pork loin (9 meals for us)
    $10.26 total oop
    Save on foods stacking
    $4.19×2-bogoC, $1Cx4 egg creations
    $3×2-42Cx2, $1Cx2 vh sauces
    $7.99-$1C, .75Cx5 iogo 16pk
    $3×2 -$1C, .75Cx3 iogo orange manadrian
    $2.50×4-$3Cx2, $1Cx4 old spice doedarent
    $4.99-fpc spagetti sauce
    $6.99-$1C, $2Cx2 special k shakes
    $9.49×5-$3Cx10,$2Cx5 van houtte french vanilla & hazelnut vanilla ground coffee
    $9.49×6-$4Cx2,$3Cx6,$2C3 van houtte kcups
    $40.66 total oop
    $115.18 total coupons
    Mcgavins bread basket
    $1.59×5 burger buns, english muffins, pita shells, garlic bread
    $7.45 total oop
    $2.70-pink sticker!!!!! 1l chocolate milk
    $1.99×2-.75Cx2 coffee creamer
    $1.99 salt&vinager chips mmmmmmmmmmm
    $2.67 tortilla chips
    $3.98-$2C wubchips con queso dip
    $11.35 total oop
    $3.50 total coupons
    $1.97 crackers
    .97×2 nibs/twizzlers
    .97×6 armstrong cheese clearance wish I bought more!!!!
    $9.85 total oop
    $2.50×2 ice cream
    $1.88 starwberries
    $2.50×2 tortilla chips
    $3.90 doughnuts
    $1×6-$1Cx6 crest toothpaste donation
    $16.35 total oop
    $6 total coupons
    .25×8 corn on the cob clearance 🙂
    $1×2 oven cleaner clearance
    $1×3-$1Cx3 lysol cleaner clearance
    $1×4 kraft salad dressing
    .99×4 assorted items fromproduce (smoothie mixes,cheese sauce&caramel)
    $1.15 kaiser buns
    $13.40 total oop
    $3 total coupons

    $109.32 total weekly oop
    $127.68 total weekly coupons

    $351.56 total monthly oop
    $619.73 total monthly coupons
    I have $48ish left for the month and hoping I can keep within this. I am plannig a big shop on july 4 cause it is 15% again and it maybe for the last time and I love taking advantage of it!!!!
    With the floods here in AB I have really donated all I could outta my stockpile. I really wish I had more to give…my heart breaks with all that peole have lost!!! I also have made up multiple envies for a few different groups down south so they can help those they need and hand things out directly. I can’t donate cash to red cross or anything so if coupons can help that’s all I can do.

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Wow, you picked up some wicked deals.. that cheese was an awesome deal as was the coffee. How were you able to use all those coupons on the coffee? I need to come shopping with you some time. That’s great that you were able to help out. We have a friend who is in Calgary and keeps driving in food for people. Everything helps out. You had one heck of a shop here, well done. Keep up the awesome work. You get ballot 30

      1. Mr.CBB we are in cheese heaven 😉
        all those coffee coupons were from tear pads xtwo, printablesxtwo and stacked together at save on foods. Very happy to have a stash of coffee 😉 plus my sons rugby team is findraising with a special made local ground coffee so there is a tonne of coffee at our place!!
        It is nice to see the kindness in others when people are in need!
        Hope you have a great little holiday this canada day!!

  3. Finally got here to post the shops.Both were at Foodland. I came very close this week……

    June 15
    1 can tomatoes- .99
    1 can pineapple tidbits- 1.19
    1 bunch radishes- 1.29
    1 package macaroni- 1.49
    4 gatorade@ 1.66-6.64
    1 jar unsweetened apple sauce-1.98
    1 jar relish- 1.99
    2 bottles syrup@ 2.00- 4.00
    1 bunch green onions- .67
    1 pack green beans-2.36
    1 plum sauce- 2.98
    2 packs breakfast sausages@2.99– 5.98
    1 yogurt- 3.49, 1.00 coupon
    2 raisin bread@ 3.49- 6.98, 2- .75 coupons
    1 bagels- 3.89
    IOGO yogurt-4.29, .75 coupon
    2 4l milk@ 4.79- 0.58
    1 package rice- 4.99
    1 Tresemme shampoo- 4.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 Tresemme conditioner- 4.99, 1.50 coupon
    1 case root beer- 5.78
    1 case gingerale- 5.78, 2.00 coupon
    1 pack smokes- 9.69
    1 bag IAMS cat food- 12.99, 2.00 coupon
    tax- 6.61
    Total$106.86, 9.75 coupons

    June 19
    2 pasta dinner@ .69- 1.38
    2 BBQ sauce@ .97- 1.94
    1 pasta sauce- 1.33
    2 frozen french fries@ 1.47- 2.94
    3 gatorade@ 1.66- 4.98
    bananas- 1.24
    2 boxes snap lids@ 1.79- 3.58
    1 jar Miracle Whip- 3.29
    1 raisin bread- 3.49, .75 coupon
    IOGO yogurt- 4.29, .75 coupon
    1 4l milk- 4.79
    1 lean ground beef- 5.53
    1 gingerale- 5.78, 2.00 coupon
    tax- 1.86
    Total- $43.67, 3.50 coupons

    Total budget for the year- $7800.00
    Total budget for month- $600.00
    Total coupons this week- 12.50
    Total spent this week- $150.53, over .53
    Total for month- $199.53+$211.28+$150.53=$561.34
    Total over/under for week- over .53
    Total over/under for month-N/A
    Left for month- $38.66
    Total coupons for month-$9.00+$10.65+$12.50=$32.15
    Total carry over to next month- $304.35+$49.50+$61.28+.53=$415.66
    Total YTD- J$818.08+F$598.07+M$770.12+A$938.07+M$650.13+J$561.34=$4335.81

    Well I came so close to being under for the week but it didn’t happen. As I get strawberries for jam this month and I only have $38. left for the month it won’t work for the month. Damn…..I will keep trying and I have 6 months left in the year…. i won’t give up without a fight…..

    1. Hey Christine,
      That $2 pop coupon has served you well all this time. I think you’ve had them since last year have you not? The coupon that keeps on giving. We had Greenworks coupons a few years back that did the same. Now we have enough products to last us for a long time. You went over $0.53 this week. I’m so proud of you. We didn’t have such a successful week but when we read shops like yours it does inspire us to do better. We know what we have to do. Keep up the good work Christine!

      You get ballot 19

  4. I really like shopping Tuesday mornings. I find Monday mornings the produce selection is usually pretty slim, but by Tuesday everything is re-stocked. I am fortunate that I can shop week days during the day. I find it isn’t too busy which is nice because I am trying to shop at a couple of new stores and find it takes me longer to find somethings, so I’m not getting in the way as much wandering around when it isn’t as busy! I definitely avoid shopping on weekends at all costs, unless absolutely necessary.

    Here is my third week of participating;

    3 water refills at $2.30 each = $6.90

    Dad’s Organic Market

    Psyillium Husk x 2 – $22.10

    Total Out of Pocket = $22.10

    Shoppers Drug Mart

    4L Milk – $4.49

    Total Out of Pocket = $4.49


    Canned Tomatoes – $1.25
    Stoned Wheat Crackers – $4.27
    Cilantro – $.77
    Gala Apples – $4.86
    Portobello Mushrooms (2) – $2.00

    Total Out of Pocket = $13.15


    Shredded Cheese – $4.99 (was on sale for $3.00 off)
    Shredded Cheese – $4.99 (was on sale for $3.00 off)
    Astro Kik Yogurt Drinks 3 x $1.00 – $3.00

    Total Out of Pocket = $12.98


    Corn on the Cob (5) – $1.95
    Mushrooms (3 packs @ $1.15 each) – $3.45
    Frozen Corn – $2.49
    Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt – $3.99
    Cracker Barrel Cheese – $7.97 (was on sale for $2.02 off)

    Total Out of Pocket = $19.85


    Peppers (6) – $5.99
    Bananas – $1.69
    Zucchinni – $3.99
    Tortillas – $4.39
    Half and Half – $2.13
    Ciabbatta Buns – $5.49
    Salmon Fillet (enough for 4 meals) – $17.66
    Strawberries – $2.99

    Total Out of Pocket = $44.33

    Total Out of Pocket $123.80

    Total Grocery Budget for June: $560
    Total Coupons Used this Week: $0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Spent This Week: $123.80
    Total Spent for June: $358.17
    Total Left to Spend This Month: $201.83
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0

    I am really happy with the way the week went. I would have been right at about $101 but my husband ran out of pysillium husk so I had replace that for him. The two packs should last a couple of months although I am going to mark the dates on them like I have been with other items so I know how long they last. I did buy a fair amount of cheese this week, but likely won’t have to buy any again until mid-July as this amount should last until we go on holidays July 4th. I may look at buying blocks of different cheeses and shredding them myself then mixing them, but this week the sale was so good, I bought them pre shredded. Mr. CBB – to answer your question from last week, yes we eat mainly vegetarian. Or at least my husband and I do – probably about 5 nights a week on average. The other two we will have fish or my husband will have chicken. I have some great vegetarian casserole recipes – a zucchinni/black bean and rice skillet, a rice and chickpea casserole, confetti burritos (sweet potatoes and black beans). Those 3 in particular are go to recipes and end up in rotation most weeks. My husband won’t eat any fake meat products or tofu, so most vegetarian recipes I make have beans in them for some protein.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I think you will find that the blocks of cheese when they go on sale will prove to be a better savings over pre-shredded cheese. This week 50g was $3.66 and we bought 6. We will shred it up and mix it for the week. You did score some great coupon savings on the cheese though, good for you. I would be interested to read your recipes for the rice and chick pea casserole and zucchini black bean and rice skillet. We’ve had that happen where at last minute we run out of something an it hikes the budget. That just means we try and make up for it the following week or month.

      Keep up the great work… this was a great shop for you again!
      You get ballot 18.

  5. Just finished typing up my grocery game entry for this week and i am very upset with myself. I blew it for the month now. 🙁
    The Nicorette gum for husband did part of it, but my sweet tooth did it as well. bought 2 packs of PC molten cookies mini. they were on sale for half price $3.94 each=7.88. you probably know how much i love sweets by now lol then i also bought some raisins for baking $4.24. then some more strawberries for Gracie the dog again this week, on sale for just $2. then some garlic powder which i am out of but can actually do without.. there goes 3.00. all in all these were 17.12, plus the nicorette gum for husband’s quitting smoking 28.99, i over spent 46.11 this week and blew my monthly budget 🙁 next month i need to add my monthly budget by $60 because of the Nicorette. so this is how i blew my budget (and it isn’t over yet, i still have 1 week to go):

    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    June’s spending: 146.13+34.33+76.27+
    June’s budget left: 250-146.13-34.33-76.27-
    June’s coupon used: 31.43+37.19+77.32
    My shops for the last week: 43.07+4.20+4.62+23.25+1.13=$76.27
    Coupons used: 77.32
    No tax day saved: 16.81
    Zehrs (NO TAX DAY): $43.07
    Kraft dinner 2×0.59=1.18
    Knorr Sidekick scalloped potato (on sale) 3×1.00-1.00WUB3=2.00
    Lindt chocolate bar 3.49-FPC=FREE
    Mars bar 1.19-FPC=FREE
    PC iced tea 2.99
    PC molted cookies (on sale) 2×3.94=7.88
    Gilette razor 14.49-FPC=FREE
    John Frieda hair color foam 4×11.99-4xFPC=FREE
    Nicorette gum 33.99-5.00=28.99
    Glade car clip 4.19-FPC=FREE
    HST16.81- 16.81(no tax day)= 0

    Food Basics: $4.20
    Acorn squash 2.01
    Nappa cabbage 2.17
    Asian Store: $4.62
    Bean sprout 1.34
    egg noodles 2.49
    green onion 0.79
    Giant Tiger: $23.25
    Garlic powder 3.00
    Tomatoes 1.19
    Cucumber 0.50
    Strawberries 2.00
    Oats 2.47
    Coffee filter 1.00
    Raisins 4.24
    Milk 4.23
    Coke 2×2.00=4.00
    Bring your own bag -0.03
    HST 0.65

    Dollarama: $1.13
    Trellis 1.00
    HST 0.13

    1. Hi Wing!
      Don’t be so hard on yourself. At least that’s what you all tell me when I am down because we went over budget.Now that he is using the Nicorette he will be smoking less frequently meaning less money spent on smokes. 🙂 You have one week left but that doesn’t mean all is a fail. You just carry over the money to next month and work hard to make it all work out. That’s what we’ve had to do. It’s tough but worth it in the end. Keep up the good work. We are all here to support you.
      You get ballot # 17

      1. thank you mr CBB!
        Husband stopped using the Nicorette gum, gave him toothache. he hardly ate much for the 3 days he used it. bummer.

  6. I gotta admit I never think about the time I go. I go when I need stuff..that’s my strategy (although I seem to notice prices go up on Monday so I tend to avoid that day)…but I buy small amounts more frequently because that helps me not waste any food. I also don’t notice people in the store that much. If they’re in my way I just say “excuse me.” 🙂

    1. You are so kind Tonya!! I guess shopping for one might be different but when I was single I shopped many days a week only because I had a small refrigerator and like you didn’t want to waste food.

  7. Week 24

    Hawaiian Punch

    Total Out of Pocket $17.00

    5 lb Potatotes $2.77
    Coffee $4.98

    Total Out of Pocket $7.75

    Paper Towel $5.97
    Charmin Toilet Tissue $9.97
    5 lb Potatoes $2.77
    Shrimp $5.00
    Beef Stew $4.98/lb $13.10
    3 x Totinos Pizza $4.14
    Ketchup 36 oz $1.48
    6 pk Corona Beer $7.97
    Fiesta Cookies $1.98
    Ground Beef $4.58
    Pringles $1.00
    BBQ Sauce $2.18
    Peanut Butter $2.54
    Mackerel $2.58
    1lb Carrots $0.78
    3 lb Rice $1.98
    Vegetable Oil $3.18
    3 Bell Peppers $3.50
    Glass Cleaner $1.97
    Celery $1.58
    1 Dozen Brown Eggs $2.28
    2 pk Hawaiian Punch $3.98
    Cocoa Butter $3.88
    Bleach $1.64
    Hand Soap Refills $2.22
    8 pk Bar Soap $4.27
    Suave Lotion $2.83
    Laundry Detergent $7.97
    Sponges $3.38
    Dryer Sheets $3.98

    Total Out of Pocket $119.30

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4000
    Total Grocery Budget for June: $285.92
    Total Coupons Used this Week:  $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $144.05
    Total Spent for June: $341.68
    Total Overspend this shop: -$99.91
    Total Overspend for the month of June: -$55.76
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: -$55.76
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$55.76
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $2,125.79

    Weekly Overview: This week was a heavy week. I didn’t use cash at the store and found myself buying more than I expected. I’m still trying the once a week trips and so far it’s going okay. I have to focus more on not over shopping to meet that goal. I also need do better with my deal and bulk shopping so that the products I use frequently don’t run out so fast.

    1. Hi Dr.Sheba,
      What I like about your shops is how you set goals for yourself at the end. I hope you can work towards achieving them so you put yourself in the spot that makes you happy. You did purchase many items this week and it’s a great idea to buy in bulk if the price is right on those items you use frequently. Do you shop with a grocery list by chance? or Do you walk around the store and find things to purchase? Keep at it…by the end of the year you will be a shopping pro!

        1. When you make your grocery list do you start with x amount and then price items out as you shop or from the flyers? It’s tough going sometimes and we use a calculator sometimes to add up the extra items to try and stick to our budget. How will you plan to stick to your list moving forward or to the amount you have to spend? We struggle as well. 🙂

  8. I find grocery shopping really stressful if it’s busy at the store. I tend to get flustered and just end up throwing a bunch of stuff in the cart to get it over with and out of the store. My husband has taken over this responsibility and he seem to cope better with the crowds.

    But if we shop at Superstore, we find that Sunday evenings are bad because things are really picked over and what’s left is a little seedy and/or run out. Saturday morning seems to be the best times for us!

    1. Hey Lindsey,
      That’s exactly what I mean and why it’s so important to pick a time to shop when you are relaxed and can take your time to make the best decisions. We’ve watched people shop and just toss item after item in the cart and at regular price with no worry in the world. For all we know they could have been stinkin rich but the point was we just watch how people shop at certain times when we are in the stores.

  9. I like to go on Tuesday if I can. That’s when the week’s new sales start and you can find the best deals on produce that is likely to sell out. For markdowns, I like to check on Sunday afternoon, but you really have to get lucky sometimes. I will only buy steak when it goes to mark downs, but I tend to get all they have when I can find it.

    1. I didn’t know you had such a plan of action to score some deals. That’s great to hear and it’s also nice to know I’m not alone in looking for marked down deals. They may be hard to find but when we find them first it’s a great win! Cheers Kim

  10. Oh Mr CBB… we are gonna have no problem getting to the month-end on track. I have $22.98 in my Canadian cash hiding spot so if we need milk, I will tap that. It is after all only 12 days until July. 🙂 I still have lots of fresh salad fixings, scads of tomatoes and oodles of onions. We are good. 🙂

    I am like Jen right now – the freezer is loaded right to the lid. I don’t expect to do much shopping at all for the next while but at the beginning of July I will use my rain checks that are coming up for expiry. 🙂

    I have been thinking… do people do rain checks the way I do? I don’t get them when I am planning to buy something and they are out of stock, although that does happen on odd occasion. Hubby / I usually make a deliberate trip either on the Tuesday after a long weekend or on the very last day of the sale to see if they are in fact out of stock. Then, if they are, we get our rain checks. It the item is in stock, we walk away because we already have some at home. If it is a too good to be true sale… we both go to the store and each ask for a rain check!

    The coupons I was using are Save On Foods coupons out of the weekly flyer plus an email coupon from them as well.

  11. Hi mr CBB! I was just thinking about you and how my shops are a complete mess. BF has taken initiative and started buying stuff to the handyman, he brings him cakes and stuff from the village and I forgot to take that into account but will go through my receipts asap an log in the last shops! Have a nice evening.

      1. Hi Mary, thank you so much for that link! I mainly use avocados for guacamole so that would be perfect. We are expecting the avocado season any time now in Guatemala and have a big avocado tree so hopefully will freeze part of the harvest. Thanks again!

      2. Yes, he is the nice one in the team haha, I have to play bad cop once in a while to balance things… now he is off to eat a roasted pig the workers just killed! There is a weather station by the lake with barbecues and they are roasting it there.

        here is my shop for the week:
        2x 5 gallon water $4

        3lb chicken breasts with bone $5.6
        1 gallon ice cream $11.2
        sweet cakes $3.33

        bunch cilantro $0.25
        2 avocados $1.32
        3.21lb onion $1.63
        1 lettuce $0.25
        1.77lb potato $0.68
        3.41lb tomato $1.36
        1 carrot $0.2
        3.52lb banana $0.59

        total $30.40

        Weekly overview: I went shopping too early because I had to go to the council, otherwise I would have shopped 3-4 days later. Didn’t know what to buy since the fridge was still stocked and now I think I don’t have enough for the week. I hope I don’t have to go back, will have to be creative in the rice/pasta/stockpile department…

        Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$274.20 in June.
        Total Coupons Used this Week : none
        Total Spent This Week:$ 30.4
        Total Spent So Far for (June): $463.43
        Total Over/Under spend this shop: $30.15 under if you divide June by 4 weeks.
        Total Over/Under spend for the month of (June): $189.23 over because of June’s initial big shop.
        Total Left to Spend for the Month: -$189.23
        Total Spent To Date This Year: $1,189.23 for two

        1. You a bad cop, never 😉 Someone has to keep things in order. Sounds like a great time roasting the pig. I love roasted pig. Do you enjoy it as well? I can’t get over how cheap so many items are but then the ice-cream is so expensive. What other items do you find pricey in Guatemala? So you are $189 over budget… not too bad considering how well your year is going. That’s amazing.

  12. I tend to try and go Friday when the ad breaks for the best selection and then try again Thursday to pick up any items I couldn’t get before, and possibly a rain check if need be. I had a cashier from Food Basics in Stratford that Monday morning it’s not busy at all!!! Not sure why that would be but I won’t argue. I try to avoid going in on Wed as that is the day the Mobility Bus takes the seniors and such to the stores.

    1. Sounds to me like you have a solid plan of when best to shop but that’s good. That’s what you need to know so you can get the best deals at the best prices with the least distractions. Unless you are a cool cucumber like Mary which I am not lol.

      1. Oh I am not cool as a cucumber Mr CBB. I just went thru 3 levels of customer service with Telus (our land line telephone & internet) to complain about the telemarketing sales call I received that was rude and just inside the line of dishonest. I am like a dog with a darned bone when you get my back up.

        I have been known to argue with a grocery store manager or tow in my day as well. In fact, I was behind a fellow yesterday that got his TP free because of SCOP but had to call for the store manager to get it. We talked while he waited about RCSS refusing to honor the SCOP transactions locally. He says if the manager refuses, he takes his iPhone and snaps a picture of the advertisement and takes that and his recipt to the local cop shop and files a charge for false advertising. He says as soon as he tells the manager what he is going to do… amazingly the SCOP transaction is honored. 😀 I am feisty enough to do that too! It’s the principle. I don’t like being lied to or stolen from!!!


        1. Want to come shopping with me some time? 🙂 I understand completely what you mean. I guess I meant that the crowds don’t seem to bother you and you are cool as cuke about the all the people. I don’t know how you have such great patience but I wish I did. 🙂

  13. We usually try and shop after we’ve eaten… a good way to keep my little on entertained before she’s off to bed. And it’s a little less busy then. But sometimes I can’t make it there until the weekends and lately, I’ve been getting really peeved at the No Frills and Superstore’s in my area that are low-stocking everything. There’s been a few times I’ve went, where there was no produce and no bread at all, let alone a couple of items. And I’m not kidding!

    1. We try to PM at WM and have gone as far as to spend a few extra cents at Metro to get better product depending on what it is. I don’t know why they don’t stock as much but we find the same especially if we don’t make it until Monday.

    2. I’ve found the same thing here at our local Extra Foods. Three weeks in a row they advertised items in their weekly flyer that either never did arrive in the store (that’s what the produce manager told me) or they only had a couple bags left & never got anymore for the sale (salmon). Very frustrating & I think it may be time to email the company about it.

  14. Funny, the only place that really bothers me when it is busy is Costco…it can be insane! Our regular grocery stores can be busy but I have a lot more patience than hubby does when it comes to just waiting my turn and standing in line. I usually tell him to go across the parking lot and get a Timmies if the lines are really long. 🙂

    1. I don’t mind so much standing in line it’s trying to take my time looking for items without people smucking into me, getting in my way. I’ve never been to Costco in Canada but I have been to Ikea.. that’s a bitty nutty and all.

  15. For me – Sunday night or Monday night are the way to go. I hate crowds and find them overwhelming. So Saturday or Sunday afternoon are the worst!

  16. Great deal on the vidalia onions. I used to be timid about asking people to let me sneak in and grab something off the shelf, but after having 4 kids, that timidness is all gone, LOL. I just do my best to be polite about it yet get my point across clearly. That being said, we do try to avoid the heavy shopping times like you do. Otherwise I find myself just grabbing and going and therefore spending more money. Not good!

    1. That’s exactly what happens and why people spend more money than intended in their budget. Grab and go because the hustle and bustle around them almost dictates that go go go mentality. I prefer the quiet shops.

  17. I definitely do what you mention about pretending to read the label on something waiting for someone to move! I hate having to go to a busy grocery store, but my wife and I both work and I never want to go back out after getting home. Is it weird that one of the things I think would be the best about being a stay at home parent is avoiding grocery store lines? The few times I can shop during regular working hours are great, but it doesn’t happen much.

    1. You would certainly get that option to avoid the crazy hours at the grocery store if you were to be a stay at home parent, that is if you have transportation as well. I’m not big on the crowds as I find I tend to spend more money.

  18. Oh… I forgot! The current rain checks I hold are as follows:

    – 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)

    – 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)
    – 2 x Coast to Coast Sausage Buns (8 per pack) @ $2.50 per package (Good until Sept 13th)

    1. It’s amazing how many people don’t think to get rainchecks. DO you think it’s worth the space for a grocery game post one day? I’m not sure how much I can write about them though.

      1. I get them all the time Mr CBB… especially when I have some of whatever it is already in the fridge/freezer. It locks in my sale price for 90 days in case I don’t find it even cheaper. It’s how I stay well stocked for as little as I do. 🙂

  19. June – Week #3 – June 17 – 23, 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
    •Combined Total Annual Grocery Budget for 2013: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge

    4 pkgs Maple Leaf Thick Sliced Bacon ($29.96-$14.98 Cpn) = $14.98
    4 pkgs Schneider’s All Beef Wieners ($23.96-$11.98 Cpn) = $11.98
    4 pkgs Schneider’s Cheddar Sausages ($23.16-$11.58 Cpn) = $11.58
    2 pkgs Turkey Breast Roast ($30.00-$15.00 Cpn) = $15.00
    1 pkgs Corn on the Cob ($5.99-$1.00 Cpn) = $4.99

    •Total Coupons Used: $54.54
    •Total More Points Earned = 59 Points
    •Total OOP: $58.53

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $58.53

    We funded this shop by returning our empty pop bottles for $60.00 and topping up our cash hiding spot and then transferring the needed $58.53 to the stockpile budget. The remaining balance of $1.47 remains with Canadian cash hiding spot cash. What can I say… with the Canada Day weekend right around the corner, I had to stock up & we have all kinds of barbecue materials now to celebrate all weekend long! 😀

    NO SHOP week in the USA

    •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 $54.54)
    = $140.77

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    (Jan 265) + (Feb 248)+(March 151) +
    (April 26)+(May 0 ) + (June 59)
    = 749 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+$58.53 = $78.53)
    = $254.74

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    (March $81.21) + (April $47.50) + (May $47.50) +
    (June $47.50+72.50+20.00-120.00+58.53= $78.53)= $254.74

    •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


    Larry managed to pick up a rain check for sausage buns at Safeway this week! Yeah!! Nice cheap buns for his Canada Day weekend barbecue splurges! So not only was the meat cheap…so are the buns going to be!! Love it!


    Groceries: $0.87
    Stockpile: $0.00
    2014 BORSCHT: $120.00
    Safeway Gift card: $20.00
    Cash Hiding Spot:
    Open with $21.51
    Bottle Depot Cash $60.00
    Trf to Stockpile ($58.53)
    Closing Cash $22.98 <<< A big $1.47 increase… LOL
    Re-Stocking Funds: $0.00
    2014 Borscht Fund: $120.00

    Our Reserve: $165.89
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $65.00


    1. Well hello there, fancy meeting you here again 🙂
      Where on earth did you get such fabulous coupons for all that meat. What an amazing deal you have here. You did amazing and I want to be invited to your Canada day festivities.. oh ya!!! Can you make it to the end of the month? Let’s see how it all unfolds. You get ballot 16. You were right, only a few items but good ones that’s for sure! You get ballot 16. Cheers Mary! Mr.CBB
      I love this layout


      Groceries: $0.87
      Stockpile: $0.00
      2014 BORSCHT: $120.00
      Safeway Gift card: $20.00
      Cash Hiding Spot:
      Open with $21.51
      Bottle Depot Cash $60.00
      Trf to Stockpile ($58.53)
      Closing Cash $22.98 <<< A big $1.47 increase… LOL
      Re-Stocking Funds: $0.00
      2014 Borscht Fund: $120.00

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