The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

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.


  • Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?
  • Follow Me on Social Media:  Twitter, Facebook , Pinterest , StumbleUpon, Reddit and Google+
  • Plus! Don’t forget to Subscribe to the blog so you get my daily email!!
  • If you need to get in touch with me the best way is on Facebook!


Similar Posts