The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

The grocery game challenge #1 July 1-7, 2013- Cleaning out the refrigerator

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Keep The Refrigerator Clean And Organized

Cleaning out the refrigerator is one of those tasks most people don’t want to tackle, yet it’s necessary. I have a real problem when I see a dirty refrigerator inside or out because we should take pride in what we put in our bodies. If the space is not kept clean we are opening ourselves up to bacteria and general muck that you don’t want to see near the food you put in your mouth.

Keeping the box of baking soda inside to eliminate odours is only part of the solution and that box I’m afraid doesn’t send out an army of cleaning men and women to wash up the mess we make. Having a clean refrigerator also makes sure that you are using the food that you buy so there’s no waste.

You know what I mean when food gets tossed to the back never to be seen again until someone sticks their hands into a pot of furry mould. That makes fridge cleaning sound even more enjoyable doesn’t it now? Ewe, that is gross but keeping a clean refrigerator is your only solution.

I remember when I was a kid I would grab a chair and push it over to the refrigerator to see what was inside. I was trying to be a responsible mini Mr. CBB by making my sandwich. When I went to grab the mustard the lid popped off because I squeezed it too hard. Needless to say there was mustard everywhere inside the refrigerator and on the floor. Most people would clean this right up but there are people out there that don’t care when something spills inside the fridge. Whether it’s visible like yellow mustard or milk that you can hardly see a quick clean-up takes mere minutes.

Refrigerator cleaning chart

For that reason I created a refrigerator cleaning chart that we keep on the side of the refrigerator. You can keep it inside of a binder with other lists that you track which we do. Each time we give the refrigerator a full cleaning we mark the date of the cleaning on the chart, what was completed and who completed the task.

It’s that simple but it gives us a general idea of when and how frequent we are cleaning the fridge out. It’s not rocket science to clean your refrigerator but for those that have never done it you might want to just take it step by step, but it’s fairly straight-forward.

How to clean a refrigerator

We normally take everything out and set it on the counter while we clean. Generally it takes us 20 minutes to clean what we need to and then we put everything back inside. We can get it done even faster if we work as a team.

We wash everything with hot water and soap and scrub any little crumbs and stains that we see. This process includes the walls, ceilings and any joint or seam we can get the cloth into. We also clean the freezer part of our refrigerator but store all the food in the big freezer until we are done.

We are a bit detailed when it comes to our produce and fruit drawers and line them with either paper towel or cloths that we use only for the drawers. It’s important to make sure that you dry all the water up after cleaning and before putting all your food back inside.

We generally give our refrigerator a cleaning once a month inside and out and as needed with minor spills or leaks. Just last week our olives sprung a magical hole in the side of the package and I had black oil dripping down the drawers. I had to clean it up right away as I wasn’t going to wait until our monthly cleaning to do that.

We also make sure that everything has a place in the refrigerator and that all bottles are kept clean and free from food sticking to them. You know what I mean, inside the ketchup lid how it all builds up, we give that a cleaning as well.

OK, we may be a bit over the top but we just like to keep the space clean. It’s no different from buying food from a deli or food bar as consumers we want it to be clean as a whistle. I can already hear the mom’s cursing me saying, wait until you have kids. I know, I’m sure one day I’ll be back to say thank goodness for my refrigerator cleaning chart it’s kept us sane and our household chores in check.

How to clean refrigerator coils

Lastly, I unplug the refrigerator (this is a MUST for safety reasons) pull out the refrigerator once a month and give it a cleaning on the floor, the walls and hoover the back of the refrigerator coils where they can be build up of dust bunnies and hair as well as crumbs.

Depending on what model your refrigerator is your coils might not be in the back like ours are so check with your owner’s manual to see what they recommend. Don’t forget this process as it’s an important step in keeping the refrigerator clean and running at optimal efficiency, saving you money.

How often do you clean your refrigerator?

July 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.

The grocery game challenge WINNER for June was Sarah M # 15. Congratulations Sarah!!

  • This is the first post for July so there is no links posted in this section yet.

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

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 July: $235.00- $52.25 (over-spend in June)= $182.75 to spend in July.
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $0
  • Total Spent This Week: $0
  • Total Spent So Far for (July) $
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (July): $
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $
  • 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 didn’t go shopping, enough said 🙂

Canadian coupons found in July


Oh ya, gotta try me some Playboy shower gel… lol.

  • Save $1.00 on any Playboy Shower Gel or Body Spray UPC #06404068 Expiry August 31,2013, Found at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Save $0.75 off any Arm and Hammer toothpaste UPC #65334257 Exp October 31,2013, Found at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Save $1.00 off any Gay Lea Nordica Cottage Cheese UPC #02707945 Exp November 31,2013, Found at Metro

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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