The grocery game challenge June 24-30, 2013 #4: Fruit and vegetable preparation


Fruit and vegetable preparation is not a task most people want to tackle as soon as they get back from grocery shopping. I know after we have spent over an hour crossing off the items on our grocery list and getting them home we want to kick back with a cup of tea and relax.

Life gets busy for most  people especially with kids (if you have any), work, extra-curricular activities, school and a myriad of other commitments. The list never seems to end and for some, cooking isn’t a task they want to spend much time doing especially when it’s hot and sticky outside.

Food waste

We eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and do our best never to throw food away. Meal planning has helped us to create a weekly menu and we do try to stick to it the best we can. Sometimes things come up and we aren’t able to create the meal we intended to but we do eat up what we have on hand before it goes off. Another simple way that we have avoided any food waste is to prep our fruits and vegetables as soon as we get home from grocery shopping.


Fruits and vegetables

What we have done lately is wash, peel and chop fruits and vegetables that we will eat over the course of a few days. We don’t have a specific peeling procedure that we follow. A knife and peeler is about all we use to prep our food which you can find at any dollar store and in most home appliance sections. There are also sophisticated vegetable peeling machines you can buy but peeling vegetables by hand is all we do. It has been so convenient for us to open the refrigerator and to grab a tub of pre-cut carrots and celery to have as a snack with a piece of cheese. It also helps to keep our refrigerator clean, mainly the fruit and produce drawers.

We even take the time cleaning grapes and taking them off the vine so they are ready to eat, no effort required. Fruits such as apples, pears and plums we simply clean, dry and store. This process of food prep has allowed us to reach for healthier snacks and we find that we are eating more fruits and vegetables simply because they are ready to eat.

Cleaning fruit as soon as we get home has always been important to us especially since you don’t know who has handled the product or where it has been. We also take a few minutes to put towards cleaning vegetables before we put them away in the refrigerator especially the vegetables that we don’t prep in advance such as onions. Having the fruits and vegetables already cleaned also means you don’t have to worry if your child forgets and wants a quick snack.

Do you clean and prep your fruits and vegetables when you get home from grocery shopping?

June grocery game recap

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 below. Next week I will post the winner of the June Grocery Game Challenge in the first post for July.

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads were lists that were created to get us on track towards reaching our goals. 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

  • Chicken Thighs Sale $7.96
  • Bean Sprouts Sale $0.97
  • 2x White Mushrooms Sale $1.00
  • 2x Welch’s Blueberries  Reg $5.29 Sale $3.00 bag
  • 2x No Name paper towel Sale $3.00 = $6.00
  • Three pack of cucumbers Sale $2.00
  • Jar Candle Sale $3.00
  • Tomatoes on the vine Sale $1.80
  • Reduced long green peppers $0.99
  • Reduced coloured peppers $0.79

Total Out of Pocket: $32.64-$30.00 points= $2.64 

Food Basics

  • 6 x Black Diamond Cheese bars 500g Sale $3.66
  • 1x 2lb carrots Sale $0.88
  • Excel gum $3.29
  • 2 x Cashew Nuts Reg $2.99 Sale $1.99 for cashew stir fry
  • 1 x Pineapple Sale $1.44 (there was only 1 pineapple not 2. I put it in the picture twice for some odd reason)
  • 5 x Marc Angelo Sausages Reg $4.99 Sale $4.49-30%- $1.00 peelie coupons on each pack
  • Peppers Reduced Produce $0.99

Total Out of Pocket: $44.19

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 1 x Neilson 4L Milk Sale $3.97
  • 8 x Neilson Fat-Free Cream Reg $2.99 Sale $0.99-$0.50 peelie stickers on each
  • Danone Creamy Yogurt Sale 2/$4.00 x 3 paid $2.49 for 1- $5.00 coupon
  • 2 x Multibionta Vitamins Reg $10.99 reduced $5.49

Total Out of Pocket:  $21.78 + 3000 bonus optimum points 

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 ($72.24 is an overspend in May)
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $13.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $6.73 (sausages)
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $30.00
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used: $20.00 
  • Total Spent This Week: $68.61
  • Total Spent So Far for (June): $23.89+$44.68+ $78.83+ $68.61= $216.01
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: Over $53.25  ($68.61- $15.36 left to spend June)
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (June): $53.25
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $o we’re over budget
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$4.09+$5.00+$13.00= $22.18
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $53.25 overspend to July
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: $206.95 (Jan)+ $160.77 (Feb) + (March)$169.62 + (April)$397.74+(May) $155.68 + (June) $216.01=$1306.77
  • 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: We spent more than we should have this month because we needed to pick up vegetables, milk and cheese. While in the grocery store we noticed some great deals on meat again and of course we broke our rule of get in and get out.

I know we need more will-power.

We were low on meat so the past 2 weeks we’ve picked up great deals on sausages and chicken so now we are stocked up again. We will have to make up for it again in July but thankfully it wasn’t too much. The good point is that we used $30 in PC points for our No Frills order which helped saved us a bit. As you can see the grocery budget cycle similar to a debt cycle can continue over and over unless we can get it under control. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

Had we not overspent on groceries in May we would have come in under budget this month with money to spare for the rendezvous account which looks very lonely. Hopefully we can work on adding to that account some time soon.

Canadian coupons found in June


  • Save $1.00 wub any Smucker’s product UPC 51527062 Expiry August 30, 2013 (No Frills)
  • Save $1.00 on any Nordica Cottage Cheese UPC 02707945 Expiry November 30, 2013 (No Frills)
  • Save $0.50 on the purchase of any Bick’s product UPC 77008321 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)
  • Save $0.50 on the purchase of any Bick’s product UPC 77008246 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)
  • Save $0.50 on any Christie Potato Thins 115 g UPC 15043229 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)
  • Save $1.00 on any Bertoli Oil 500 ml, 1L or 2L UPC 59604860 Expiry November 31, 2013 (No Frills)
  • Save $2.00 on the purchase of any Reactine  UPC 04387220 Expiry  December 31, 2014 (Doctors office)
  • Save $1.00 on the purchase of any 2 Mr. Christie’s Snack Paks Fruit Crisps Cookies UPC 15043199 Expiry December 31, 2013 (Food Basics)

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. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do and this is why the grocery game challenge was created.

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. Our weekly budget is $100 a week making this month $400.
    We went to costco to look at fruit and veggie and came out spending twenty bucks!! Oh well it was all good deals and only need to buy a few of these items only once a year.
    $3.99 mushrooms (3little packs worth in one)
    $3.49 extreme dill ranch (tried it not knowing but it is yummy)
    $7.99 country time lemonade (a treat for my girl to make frozen lemonades like at tims)
    $5.39 hellenmanns mayo
    $20.86 total oop
    not bad shop there considering that only the mushrooms weren’t on sale that week.
    $2.97-$1C & $1CO51 whipping cream
    $1.95 total oop
    $1 total coupons
    $1.97 french fries
    $1.97×4-$2.50Cx2 mr.clean spray
    $5.24 total oop
    $5 total coupons
    $2.99×3-B2G1FC with orange juilus coupons on it cereals
    $2×5-$5C philly cream cheeses
    $1.79×2-$1Cwub2 crackers
    $14.50 total oop
    $8.99 total coupons
    London drugs (receipt from earlier this month)
    $1.99×8-$3.50wub2X4 herbal essence shampoo/conditioner
    $2.72 total oop
    $14 total coupons
    $1.99×4-$3Cx2 old spice deo – raincheck
    as I had donated outta the hubbys stash I wanted to replace what I took out
    $3.88 watermelon (sweet deal!!!!)
    $2.79 kraft cool whip
    $1.99 raspberries
    $1 mini doughnuts
    $2.69 lasagna noodles
    $1 strawberry croissant
    $1.65 pop
    $17.47 total oop
    $6 total coupons

    $62.74 weekly total oop
    $34.99 weekly total coupons

    $414.30 monthly total oop
    $654.72 monthly total coupons
    So we were over this month and I may have used my treat money to pay for stuff but not 100% sure so we will just take it as over in general.
    Hopefully our July is an on budget month as it is always a little bit hard for me to do when the kids come here and visit. But we have lots of snacks and cereals that should help keep us within budget. The only thing I see derailing us is a wedding and some day road trips but will try to keep things down!

    1. Haha.. ok that was funny. You went in to Costco to look at fruit and veggie. Now if I did that I’d be in BIG TROUBLE lol. at least you came out with $20 lol. Nice try.. haha! Sounds like this summer will mean that your budget gets kicked into high gear. Maybe for next year now that you will have all your monthly expenses you can budget accordingly so that way when the kids do come it won’t be such a shock to your budget, if at all. You donate from your husband stash lol.. oh oh. You have some great deals this week, I’m impressed. I can’t wait to see how your summer unfolds. Keep at it and you will get there. This Challenge for June is over now so no ballot I’m afraid. 🙁

  2. OK you have been warned this will not be pretty. What with picking a load of strawberries for jam and going into No Frills for the first time to shop with hubby in tow. I need to go there again when it’s not so busy (note to self…late Friday afternoon not a good time!!!) and go by myself. We did find deals and I price matched my tea to FB but there were things I didn’t find due to the crowds and bought in town for more…..

    No Frills, June 21
    2 Dawn dish soap@ 2.29- 4.58, 1.00 coupon wub2
    4 lbs butter@ 3.00- 12.00
    1 chocolate bar- 1.00 (hubby)
    6 cans tomato soup@3/2.00- 4.00
    2 Triscuits @2/3.00- 3.00, 1.00 coupon wub2
    1 Franks hot sauce- 3.93, .75 coupon (hubby)
    1 GG frozen veggies- 2.67
    2 Kraft cheese blocks@ 3.00- 6.00
    1 Liberte yogurt- 3.97
    2 4l milk@ 3.97- 7.94
    3l chocolate milk@ 1.00- 3.00
    1 PC hot sauce- 1.00 (hubby)
    1 package candy- 2.49 (hubby)
    1 box crackers- 2.92
    4 Powerade@ 1.37- 5.48
    2 bags Sally cereal@ .50- 1.00
    2 boxes SOS pads @1.00- 2.00
    2 Tetley teabags 216 count PM to Food Basics @7.99- 15.98
    1 V8 cocktail- 1.00 (hubby)
    2 raisin bread2 2/5.00- 5.00
    3 bagels @3/5.00- 5.00
    1 pack sausage- 4.64, 30% discount1.39
    bananas- 1.22
    1 bag peanuts in shell- 1.27
    2 Dove body wash@ 4.72- 9.44
    2 Dove hair conditioner@ 3.00- 6.00
    1 |Dove shampoo-3.00
    1 Exact shampoo- 2.97 (hubby)
    1 Exact mouthwash- 3.79 (hubby)
    1 Exact saving cream- 1.77 (hubby)
    Tax- 5.69
    Total- $129.61, $2.75 coupons

    Megens Berry Farm June 22
    9 3l baskets @1.50lb- $37.55
    Total $37.55

    Foodland, June 22
    2 Ritz crackers @1.67- 3.34, 1.00 coupon wub2
    1 box snap lids- 1.79
    2 Hayters ground turkey @1.99- 3.98
    2 Certo Light@ 1.99- 3.98
    1 coleslaw- 1.99
    1 bunch celery- 2.99
    1 6pack Gatorade- 3.97
    1 angelfood cake- 3.99
    1 GayLea whip topping- 3.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case rootbeer- 5.78
    1 package lean ground beef- 14.00
    Tax- 1.50
    Total- $54.79, 2.00 coupons

    Foodland, June 26
    2 cans Tomato sauce@ 2/3.00- 3.00
    1l chicken broth- 1.50
    1 Triscuits-1.67
    1 Ritz crackers- 1.67, 1.00 coupon wub2
    1 jar unsweetened apple sauce- 1.98
    1 bag onions- 1.99
    1 bunch green onions@ 3/2.00- .67
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.99
    1kg brown sugar- 2.99
    1 frozen stir fry veggies- 3.29
    1 6pack Gatorade- 3.97
    1 grated parm cheese- 4.15
    1 Iogo yogurt- 4.29, .75 coupon
    2 4l milk @ 4.79- 9.58
    1 raisin bread- 4.79, .75 coupon
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 pork tenderloin- 5.67
    1 case ginger ale- 5.78, 2.00 coupon
    1 Cheerios MG- 5.79
    Tax- 1.27
    Total $68.03

    Jackson’s Pharmacy, June 27
    1 case ginger ale- 3.33
    1 case Coke- 3.33
    2 Folgers coffee@ 6.49- 12.98
    1 dental floss- 3.39
    1 paper- 1.00
    Tax- 1.43
    Total- $25.46

    Total budget for the month- $600.00, Year- $7800.00
    Total coupons this week- 9.25
    Total spent this week- $315.44
    Total spent for month- $199.53+$211.28+$150.53+$315.44=$876.78
    Total over/under for week- Over$165.44!!!!
    Total over/under for month- $276.78
    Left for month-0.00
    Total coupons for month- 9.00+10.65+12.50+9.25=$41.40
    Total carry over-$304.35+$49.50+$61.28+$.53+$165.44=$581.10!!!!!
    Total YTD- J$818.08+F$598.07+M$770.12+A$938.07+M$650.13+J$876.78=$4651.25

    So there’s the bad news… mind you there was some stocking up, and I am good for strawberry jam for the year…I hope. I was a little disappointed in NF as it was so busy when we went in and hard to find things, plus I had hubby I was trying to watch out for. The ground turkey, pork tenderloin and the lean ground beef were all good prices so I did stock up there a little. The things at Jackson’s were the first day of the sale, sort of, the ad didn’t start until the next day but the prices were in the computer, coffee was too good to pass up and the pop was a nice price but I’m out of my nice coupons there. However Canada Dry is running a contest again where you register a pin from inside the box, I sent one in and won a free 2l bottle… coupon to be mailed… Yes we do go through the gatorade in the summer as well as the powerade as the older boy drinks it… cider in the winter and this in the hot weather as well as some of the pop and coffee. Such is life… these are constants so I get what I can on sale as much as possible…I’m good for tea now for a while… that was a nice price for that size box. Raisin bread is classed as a snack here so I get that a lot as well. I couldn’t get the cheaper brand at Foodland as there wasn’t any…. I’m trying to get more variety in the menu if I can get some one to eat it and to do it as cheaply as I can…. I’ll be getting a container of ice cream this week as we have a birthday on Thursday… the younger boy will be 25…. I’m trying to wrap my head around that fact!!!! That and the grandson will be 4 in Sept and starting JK!!!!!!!!! I will keep trying to get a handle on this!!!

    1. Hey Christine,
      I love how you put (hubby) next to what he gets lol. Your floss is pricey. I thought the strawberries were a great price for all that you got and all the jam that you made. Pop and Gatorade seem to be big hitters for your budget each month, especially in the summer. Have you emailed Gatorade to see if they offer any coupons? Sounds like the most important part of tracking your grocery budget this year will be for you next year. You will, without a doubt have a clearer picture of how much you need to budget each month for 2014. This is why it’s so important to track spending habits. You know what you have to do, and I have seen such improvement since you first started. I have to ask you now, what have you learned since posting your shops? Keep at it… Happy July…. you get ballot 34. Mr.CBB

  3. Here we are at the end of my first month of participating. I am very happy with how I did this month and plan to continue to play along (albeit will miss the first bit of July due to holidays but will catch up once we are home).

    Water refills 3 x $2.30 – $6.90


    2 x 1L boxes of Apple Juice – $2.39
    Gala Apples (wasn’t happy with the ones from Walmart the week before) – $3.51

    Total Out of Pocket – $5.90

    Shoppers Drug Mart

    Eggs 2 x $2.29 = $4.58
    4 Cadbury Fruit and Nut (Special deal on 4) – $2.99

    Total Out of Pocket – $7.72


    Treetop Fruit Snacks – $10.99
    Half and Half – $2.13
    Mary’s GF Crackers – $7.49
    Freezer Bags (3×40 bags) ($12.49 – $4.00) – $8.49
    Salami – $9.89
    Zucchinni – $3.99
    Cran Raspberry Juice – $6.75
    Almond Butter – $7.49
    Miracle Whip – $5.49
    Sweet Onions – $4.49
    Bananas – $1.69

    Total Out of Pocket – $70.28


    Dempsters Vegetable Bread ($3.17 – $1.50) – $1.67
    Rice Krispie Treats – $1.88
    Excel Gum (Jar) – $3.78
    Chocolate Chips – $2.00
    Cumin (large jar) – $2.00
    Pickles – $3.78
    Jam – $4.27
    Cocoa Powder – $3.12
    4 Cans of Beans (4 for $4) – $4.00
    Orange Juice (frozen x 2) – $2.66
    Canned Tomatoes – $1.25
    Mushrooms – $2.97
    Watermelon – $5.47

    Total Out of Pocket – $39.63

    Total Grocery Budget for June: $560
    Total Coupons Used this Week: $0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    Total Spent This Week: $130.43
    Total Spent for June: $488.60
    Total Left to Spend This Month: $71.40
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0

    Well, there is my first month. Very happy with what I spent. While my budget was $560, I was aiming to spend between $400 and $500 which I was able to do. This week I had to stock up on a couple of things – Fruit Snacks for my son which I typically wouldn’t buy unless they were on sale, but we were in the home stretch for school and I needed something to throw in his lunches as a treat. The Freezer bags at Costco were on a very good sale, so I was glad to stock up on those (works out to $2.83 for 40 bags). I had to buy some juice this week as we had gone through what we had and my husband uses it to mix with his green shakes in the am.

    1. Hi Sarah!
      You made it through month number 1, congratulations. The best part is that you came in under budget. What you can do if you find July comes in under budget is decide whether you want to lower your budget. That will then free up money that you can put towards other categories in your budget. Sometimes when we know we only have x amount to spend then we will only spend x amount. That’s what we try to do although it’s still a struggle but for others they are champions at sticking to it. Keep up the great work.. and sure you can catch up as soon as you are back from holidays, I’m not going anywhere. You get ballot #33

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

    Dad’s cookies 4 x $2.00
    Cake frosting $2.00
    Blush $2.97
    Zantac 6 x $2.22 – 6 x $3.00 coupons
    Coupons $18.00
    OOP $10.41

    Sweet Baby Rays (rain cheque) 6 x $1.97 – 6 x $2.00 coupons
    NN vinegar $1.97
    Spring water (30 pack) 2 x $1.97
    PC BM jam $2.98
    Alcan foil (PM Sobey’s) $.88
    Glad wrap (PM Sobey’s) $.88
    Milk $3.97
    Almond milk (PM Walmart) 4 x $3.24 – 4 x $2.00 coupons
    SD coconut yogurt $4.59
    Cavendish fries 2 x $2.79 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Goldfish (PM FC) 2 x $2.00
    Nature valley bars 2 x $3.29 – 2 x 50% pink stickers – 2 x $1.65
    Ritz crackers (PM NF) 3 x 2/$3.00 – 3 x $1.00 wub2 coupons
    Bits n’ Bites (PM NF) 2 x $1.00 – $1.00 wub2 coupon
    Royale 12 dbl rolls (PM Sobey’s) 3 x $3.88 – 3 x $1.00 coupons
    BD cheese blocks (PM FB) 2 x $3.66 – 2 x $.75 coupons
    Deli Fresh chicken (PM FC) 3 x $2.00
    Fontaine Hummus (PM FB) $2.50
    D’Italiano sausage buns $2.33 – $.75 coupon
    Schneider’s sausage (PM NF) 4 x $3.00 – $10.00 coupon
    Apples (green) $3.54
    Apples (gala) $3.59
    Cucumber $.67
    Broccoli $1.98
    Asparagus $2.32
    Romaine (PM FC) 2 x $1.00
    Tomatoes $1.43
    Potatoes (10lbs) $3.98
    Baby carrots (PM NF) $1.00
    Bananas $1.68 – FPC
    Ozonol antibiotic cream $8.99 – 50% pink sticker $4.50 – $2.00 coupon
    Wax-a-way sugar $7.14 – 50% pink sticker $3.57
    Coupons $48.93
    CD $13.85
    SD $12.49 (this was listed as a seniors discount – she is a senior and it was her card – on the receipt, they just reformatted their whole system so my MIL didn’t know if this was an error or not. She told me just to go with it lol)
    Gift card used $25.00
    OOP $55.98

    CheeCha puffs 2 x $2.47 – 2 x FPC
    Crispers 2 x $1.00 – $1.00 wub2 coupon
    Coupons $5.94
    OOP $1.90

    Eyeshadow (single) $3.99 – $2.00 coupon – $2.00 coupon
    Eyeshadow (tri) $6.49 – $2.00 coupon – $2.00 coupon
    Venus 3 pack disposable razors 2 x $5.99 (sale) – 2 x $2.00 coupon – 2 x $2.00 coupon
    Coupons $16.00
    OOP $9.38

    Heinz ketchup (PM GT) $2.88
    Bick’s pickles (PM FB) 3 x $1.99 – 3 x $.50 coupons
    Bick’s relish (PM Ample) 6 x $.95 – 6 x $.50 coupons
    Diet coke (24) $5.97
    Ziploc freezer bags $3.17 – $1.00 coupon
    Vitality bread $3.08 – $3.00 coupon wub Ziploc
    SD coconut yogurt $4.59
    Honey hosein sauce $2.67
    Special K cracker chips (PM Ample) 6 x $.75
    Cheese whiz $2.77
    Margerine (PM FB) $1.00
    Wonder bread $2.18
    ML bacon (PM NF) $3.00
    Apples (PM FC) $1.62
    Strawberries $3.97
    Watermelon (PM FC) $2.97
    Broccoli $1.79
    Romaine $.99
    Tomatoes (PM) $.71
    Coupons $9.45 (I think they might have made a mistake and given me more)
    CD $5.58
    OOP $44.90

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $98.32
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $250.70
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $1006.31
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $9.50
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $97.00
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $31.92 (I so lucked out this week!)
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$53.87
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $299.56
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $3.41
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $25.00
    •Total Spent This Week: $122.57
    •Total Spent So Far for June: $410.50
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of June: OVER $50.50
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: I do not carry over but I will deduct $50.50 from what I have to spend in July.
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $2062.93
    •Weekly overview: I still need to work way harder on not spending especially now that the summer is here and I am laid off. I really have a fear of missing a deal and not having what I want/need in my stockpile when I want/need it. I got some great deals this week! I tried to stock up on a few things I know I’ll need this summer while I’m babysitting. Babysitting my cousin’s daughter will bring in some extra money this summer but it will also cost me a little more to have an extra one around to feed and entertain as well as utilities since we will be home. I will try to do as many free activities as I can this summer. If I had waited until Tuesday to shop I would have come under budget for the month lol.

    1. Those were some great discounts from the MIL. Where did you get the Cheecha puff FPC’s? I’m impressed with the coupons you used this month but you always seem to use a high number for your grocery budget which is great. We haven’t been to Target since they opened. Do they allow stacking? I noticed double coupons on the make-up? Awesome month, even though you were over. I’m sure July will be better because the more I read the more I can hear that you understand where you need to make changes to stay under budget. Keep at it my friend!! You get ballot 32. Mr.CBB

      1. Thanks Mr CBB. I will definitely be trying harder this month but at the same time it will be more difficult being home all day with more mouths to feed. Yes Target allows you to stack manufacturers coupons with Target coupons, that’s how I did so well there.

        1. That sounds interesting, thanks for letting me know. You will do fine Jen with your groceries. It’s no different than going to work and having a lunch or having to pay for day care.. I know you can do it!! 🙂 P.S any great deals let me know ok… 🙂

  5. Totally over-budget this month. For 32.78, so not as bad as i thought, but still over! I will try hard to stick to my shopping list next month.

    we eat a lot of vegetables as well, mainly me, i have a nickname– veggy monster lol. While Gracie our dog loves fruits, so we get her some strawberries, apples, bananas, etc for her a few times a month. she loves them! Because we consume them fast enough, i have no problem of throwing them away. So lazy me only cleans them before use. no prep work whatsoever lol

    so here’s how i blew my budget for june, need to work harder, like you. 🙂

    June 24-30 2013

    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    June’s spending: 146.13+34.33+76.27+26.05=282.78
    June’s budget left: 250-146.13-34.33-76.27-26.05= -32.78
    June’s coupon used: 31.43+37.19+77.32+7.50=153.44

    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $32.78 overspend to July
    My shops for the last week: 4.90+11.54+9.61=26.05
    Coupons used: 7.50

    Giant Tiger: $4.90
    Lactantia cream 10×1.00-10×0.75=2.50
    Onion 1.27
    Duck tape 1.00
    HST 0.13

    Asian store: $11.54
    Noodles 3.99
    Noodles 3.99
    Noodles 0.99×2=1.98
    Noodles 0.79×2=1.58

    Giant Tiger shop #2: $9.61
    Eggs 2.99
    Hotdogs 1.00
    bread 1.67
    Spaghetti sauce 2×1.00=2.00
    Lettuce 2.00
    Bring-your-own-bag -0.03

    1. Hey Wing!
      Now you’ve done it Veggy Monster… that’s your new nickname 🙂 We eat lots of vegetables as well as we are trying to stay away from any boxed or convenience items. Awesome deal on the cream wow. I missed that but if you ever see a wicked deal on cream again let me know especially lactancia because I have those coupons. I think your July GGC will go a bit smoother as you had a few things to deal with this month in your budget. Keep up the great work Veggy Monster… he he 🙂 You get ballot 31

  6. We prep the fruit and vegetables here as well. And the multi-slow cooker gal is pleased to say I have a couple of juicers as well.

    I have the “quick clean” inexpensive one and although it juices just fine… it leaves a lot of pulp and requires small quantities for the feed so more chopping is required. I do like using this one though if I am going to be baking as I just add the pulp to the mix. Veggies are great for a meat or nut loaf, I like to add the fruit pulps to my quick breads. No waste required.

    I have my Jack LaLanne’s Ultimate Power Juicer that has a larger chute and leaves less pulp but the time I don’t spend chopping everything small, I do spend on cleaning the beast. If I am doing a lot of juicing though… this is the one I reach for.

    Because of my recent change to gluten free living, I am now looking at the Vitamix 5200 Super Package which is good for both juicing and also includes a second durable, precision-designed 32 oz “dry” container best suited to grinding grains, beans, rice and soybeans into fresh flour. But I may forego having another juicer and go with something like The VitalMill, by Kitchen Resource which mills wheat (both hard and soft), whole oat groats, rice, triticale, kamut, spelt, dried pinto beans, dried green beans, popcorn, dried sweet corn, split peas, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum, dried mung beans, soybeans, dried corn and chick peas. (The Vitalmill is not suitable for herbs, spices, oily seeds like flax or sesame, or fibrous materials.) The flax is not an issue though, I have an herb-flax coffee grinder that I use. 🙂

    If you love your tomatoes Mr CBB, juice them once & you’ll never go back to store bought after you have fresh juiced! It adds so much flavor to your cooking!!! And, you REALLY want to juice your watermelon for homemade popsicles. You can do “juice only” but I mix the juice with yogurt for a creamsicle type consistency.

    You will use a juicer a lot IF it has pride of place on your kitchen counter.

    1. Thanks for all the feeback about the juicer as I really have no idea where to begin. My father-in-law wanted to get one for all the vegetables in his garden as well plus he loves tomato juice so he figured, why not. I’d like to see if I can learn more about juicing and the benefits about it. I’m sure if I try it once like you suggest I might never go back. 🙂

      1. Mr CBB… I am thinking that the juicer would help 1. lower sodium levels in your vegetable juices, 2. lower the sugar and therefore GI in your fruit juices, 3. give you and the Mrs better access to the vitamins & minerals and 4. add a world of flavor to your cooking while avoiding anything canned/processed. Imagine how powerful the taste of pineapple would be if you made Christine’s pineapple rice with fresh squeezed pineapple juice! 🙂

  7. Week 25

    Chicken Drumsticks 5lb $5.98
    Kleenex $0.86
    Frosted Flakes 26.8oz $3.88
    Milk gallon $3.68
    Tyson Chicken Nuggets $4.97
    1lb Turkey Slices $4.98
    3 x Totinos Pizza $4.14
    12 ct Ice Cream Sandwiches $2.97
    2 L Coke $1.38
    Bread $2.78
    5lb French Fries $5.98

    Total Out of Pocket $41.74

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4000
    Total Grocery Budget for June: $357.40
    Total Coupons Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $41.74
    Total Spent for June: $383.42
    Total Underspend this shop: -$26.02
    Total Overspend for the month of June: -$26.02
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$26.02
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $2,167.53

    Weekly Overview: Not too bad this week. I know by friends at Publix miss me since I haven’t been there in a month. I have to go where the prices are right, so it is what it is. I managed to shop once last week, but I still went over budget. My plan is to go once next week and so far it’s looking good. My goal is to start looking for sales a coupons to get more bank for my buck.

    1. Well done Dr. Sheba and great attitude to have. Yes, they might miss you but you have to go where the prices are affordable for your grocery budget. I can already see how you are progressing since you started posting your shops. I can’t wait to see how July works out for you!!

  8. Prepping your fresh foods ahead of time is a definite bonus when it comes to ease of use and keeping your fridge clean and organized! I know having fruits and veg already cleaned and cut has been a great factor in our family eating much healthier, and if it turns out we chopped too much and it might now last, we juice it! Nothing goes to waste! 🙂

  9. here you go, on time this week 🙂

    12lb pork ribs and lean beef $30.53
    30 eggs $4.66
    2 fried chicken breasts $2.66
    2.07lb tomato $0.87
    1 lettuce $0.25
    celery $0.55
    0.5lb zucchini $0.25
    2.15lb banana $0.36
    2 cans anchovies $5.99
    220gr cream cheese $2.1
    0.22lb mushroom $0.91

    Total $49.11

    Weekly overview: That should conclude June save for drinking water, $240 or so over

    budget. Next month starts at -$40 if I take out $200 for a normal month for July.
    I am so frustrated that we don’t have the error policy you have when they give you the

    item for free if the price is wrong. They make SO MANY mistakes, this time I got

    really annoyed they overcharged my mushrooms and lots of people were queuing so the

    cashier wouldn’t refund my money until the manager arrives, the manager didn’t come,

    and people say nothing when that happens not to lose time so they keep charging

    whatever price. Multiplied by 1,000 customers that is a ton of money.

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$274.20 in June.
    Total Coupons Used this Week : none
    Total Spent This Week:$ 49.11
    Total Spent So Far for (June): $512.54
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $19.44 under if you divide June by 4 weeks.
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (June): $238.34 over because of June’s initial

    big shop.
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: -$238.34
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $1,238.34 for two

    1. You picked up some great deals especially your vegetables. The great thing about the scanning code of practice is that it helps the store to see where they need to improve as well. We have found so many items that were priced wrong. So you have enough food stockpiled for a while now it seems. The meat you picked up for a good price as well I think. What do you use your anchovies for? I used to buy them when I was in the UK all the time but not so much here, the wife hates them. I’m interested to see how July turns out for you now.The hard part for us is getting back on track. Cheers mate

  10. I definitely try to, because if I don’t there is a high likelihood that it will go to waste in my fridge. Speaking of which I just got home from Detroit and my fridge is empty! Can’t wait to start eating “my food” again!

  11. We recently signed up for a local farmer co-op, so we are getting better at cleaning and prepping our produce because it is coming straight from the farm. It will also give us a chance to expand a bit in receiving produce that we wouldn’t normally buy. It is a little pricey, but at least we are helping out the local economy.

  12. One way that we help to eliminate our food wast is to juice vegetables and fruits. If we have leftovers or it is going to go bad soon, we simply juice it and drink it. It is a great way to get a ton of extra nutrients besides!

  13. Well you are looking good for groceries now, and really not that much over. Like you said, if you hadn’t had the carry over you would be under. Plus, you are lower this month for the carry over than you were for last month…. slowly working it down…..You are doing a lot better than I am at overages. This week will not be pretty…… I have the strawberries we picked for jam, that will be a big hit. Hubby and I went to No Frills on Friday for another hit. It was so busy, the first time there so I didn’t know my way around and having him with me made for a not fun time…. I need to go back there when it’s not so busy all by myself….The good news with all the overage coming in this week is there was some stocking up. Jam for sure, and a few other things that will, hopefully help the bottom line long term…. The only place I have points to use for groceries is Sobey’s and I hope to save those to pay for the Christmas dinner, when our daughter and grandson will be here as well as my dad and uncle. Day to day it’s not easy feeding 4 adults, the boys are good and eat what you put in front of them, hubby…..not so much…I don’t buy treats so much but we do have a family birthday coming up next week so ice cream will be on that list to go with the chocolate cake( fast look in the pantry…I need icing sugar too!!!)

    1. I’m glad to see that you are viewing the overage this month the exact same way I am. I keep saying, but, but, but haha! We didn’t even know how many points we had until we asked. When she said enough for $30 we said, “we’d take it” lol. If not our bill would have been higher so we are going to stick with it for July. We need to get back on the boat!

  14. We also managed to get a new rain check for 3 dozen eggs for $3.99 so here’s where we stand with our rain checks now:

    Safeway – near expiry:
    – 10 x Sprite Zero 2 L bottles @ $1 each (Good until July 7th) << we need to use this next week

    – 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)

    – 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)
    – 3 dozen Lucerne Large Eggs @ $1.33 per dozen (Good until Sept 21st)

    1. I love how you get all your rain checks the way you do. I think I might do a small GGC post about rain checks one week to see how many people do in fact get them and remember to use them. It is a smart way to shop the way you do.

  15. June – Week #4 for the period of: June 24 – 30, 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 Grocery Budget for 2013: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00

    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge

    4 pkgs No Name Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins = $4.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $1.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $3.00

    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    1 dozen Lucerne Large Eggs = $1.33

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $1.33

    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+$1.00= $49.97)
    = $823.92

    •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: $0.13 OVER

    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    (March $81.21) + (April $77.55) + (May $17.45) + June ($82.86)
    = $259.07

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    (March $81.21) + (April $47.50) + (May $47.50) +
    (June $47.50+72.50+20.00-120.00+58.53+4.33= $82.86)= $259.07

    •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
    • TOTAL FUNDS SPENT IN 2013: $1,082.86

    This certainly wasn’t much of a shopping week but we did get some nice deals to round out what we already had on hand. I had to dig into my hiding spot cash to get $3.00 towards hubby’s English muffin stockpile and $1.33 for a dozen eggs though.

    I expect to need some fresh vegetables and milk next week so next week should have a larger shopping session to report.


    Groceries: $0.87-$1.00 = ($0.13)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    2014 BORSCHT: $120.00
    Safeway Gift card: $20.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $22.98-$4.33 = $18.65
    Re-Stocking Funds: $0.00


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

    1. Hi Mary,
      What a great deal for a dozen of eggs. Is $1.33 a sale price or regular price? A dozen in Ontario has been around $1.99 on sale but I’ve never seen them that cheap. I’m impressed. The hubby I’m sure is a happy bloke since you picked up his raisin muffins. I haven’t had those in ages and I remember seeing a recipe for them on Facebook that I wanted to try. I might do that one day just for me as I fancy one with lots of butter and a hot cup of tea once in a while. Great month for you… keep up the awesome job! You get ballot #21

      1. Hubby really enjoys his cinnamon raisin English Muffins and I don’t eat them so 1 pack lasts him a whole week for his breakfast! That’s a month’s supplies for $4. I don’t think if you factor in my time, I couldn’t make them any cheaper. Next week if the border isn’t too crazy on the Wednesday (in between Canada Day and the 4th of July), I’ll zip across the line for some gluten free bread and possibly get him some more freebies at the bakery outlet! 😀

        The eggs are a 3 day sale price… that’s why I both bought the eggs and also got a rain check for 3 more dozen. They had good expiry dates too! Eggs are just such an inexpensive protein… even if you throw out the yolks like I do when I am baking & use twice as many egg whites.

        1. I thought the eggs were an amazing price. I would have stocked up because you are right they are an inexpensive protein. We try to boil up eggs each week if we can to have them ready to munch on.

          I always like that bread border run of yours. You always seem to score some great deals.

  16. 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: 2.21 over
    Total Spend This Week on Human: 54.06
    Total Spend This Week on Pet: 18.15
    Total Spent So Far for June: 144.25
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of June: 4.25 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 0
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month : N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 1809.43
    Weekly Overview: Went and stocked up on bread this week. This will last quite some time and can’t pass up a deal of a $1.00 each instead of spending over $2.00 per loaf. Again I went over budget but not by much which I’m very happy about. I know that things will only get better as time goes on. In a couple of months, my house becomes an empty nest for a school year. Will have to see how the budget changes with that. Starting this week, I’m going to working 7 days a week so that will be bring it’s own challenges of making sure that groceries are bought and not much eating out happens.

    Weston Bakery Outlet

    15 Loaves of Bread = $15.00
    2 Bags of “Teddy” cookies = $2.00
    2 Boxes of 10 Kool-Aid = $2.00

    OOP = $20.00


    1.15 kg Green Grapes @.98/lb = $2.48
    1.08 kg Red Grapes @.98/lb = $2.33

    OOP = $4.81

    Food Basics

    2 4L Bags of Milk @ 3.97 each = $7.94
    2 packages of Bologna = $5.98
    12 cans of Friskies Cat Food @ .59 each = $7.08

    Tax = $0.92
    OOP = $21.92


    Case (30 Bottles) of Water = $1.97
    Instant Oatmeal = $2.49
    Jam = $2.98
    Peanut Butter = $3.48
    Cheerioes = $7.49
    Cat Litter = $8.98

    Tax = $1.73
    OOP = $30.29

    1. Hi Dee,
      Great deal on the bread , cookies and juice at the Weston outlet store. Do you shop their often? What do they normally have in that store? Best of luck to you working 7 days a week. I’m sure with all that you have learned here at CBB and from the fans you will be prepared to tackle the grocery and meal prep of your week. Looking forward to hearing how it goes and keep up the good work. You get ballot #20

  17. I wish I could say that I haven’t thrown any food away but I try and keep it to a minimum. Fruit in my house basically never goes bad, my daughter eats it too fast. Case in point, I bought grapes on Sunday and it’s now Tuesday with no grapes in the house. Because of that, I don’t buy as much fruit as I probably should.

  18. One thing my wife and I do to avoid waste is to turn old fruit into fruit smoothies. And, of course, when the bananas start to turn black we make them into delicious banana bread.

    1. We do the same with our fruits even though we try to only buy what we will eat. We love banana bread but if we don’t have time to make it we peel the banana and store it in the freezer until we’re ready to make it. You and your wife sound pretty kitchen savvy when it comes to keeping costs down from waste in your kitchen. Cheers Terry!

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