The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

The grocery game challenge Aug 19-25 #3, 2013- The role of the cashier

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Excellent Customer Service Is Part Of The Job

The job of a cashier can be a busy one depending on where you work but in a grocery store a cashier is on the go all the time. Working in customer services has its advantages and disadvantages and one thing I would like about it is that you get to interact with the people. If you are an extrovert like me then you enjoy chatting to people and making them smile.

Even though the job of a cashier can get frustrating at times especially when you have customers who take out their daily frustrations on you the only thing you can do is 1. smile or 2 get frustrated. When I pull my grocery cart up to the grocery store checkout the first thing I do is make contact with the cashier whether male or female.

Grocery store checkout line

It’s important for me to acknowledge the cashier from the start. It’s like building rapport before you even say hello. I learned most of what I will tell you today in leadership training because being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lead a team. You can lead someone by motivating them and making sure you leave your mark so they know they are appreciated.

Even grocery stores with self checkout have a cashier ready to serve you and the very first thing I always do is smile, say hello and use their name. It’s so important to use their name because that shows them you 1. took the time to read it and 2. you are acknowledging them as a person not just a worker.

I know that any time I’ve done it I get a smile and that’s because it’s nice to hear our own names once in a while especially when you work somewhere that does not have that awareness like in an office for example. Not all customer service employees wear a name tag but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind having someone greet them with their name.

If you work in a job especially one where you are alone and you enjoy being around people you know that you miss chatting to people. Working as a cashier gives you the opportunity to not only get your job of cashier done effectively but in turn make someone’s day. You want to make them smile just as much as you crave that attention from your customers.

Not all cashiers are this way but for those that don’t mind working in grocery store cashier jobs they love it. We have a few cashiers in our family who have been with the same company for over 20 years. They are dedicated cashiers and are on my wife’s side of the family. It’s not often you hear of people sticking around a job like that for too long so they must love what they do.

My wife sent a message to one of her cousins on Facebook to ask her a question to probe a bit deeper about the role of a cashier.

She asked her:

What is it about your job working as a cashier that you love the most?

I’ve been a grocery store cashier for over 20 years now and what I love the most is being able to smile and talk to the customers. I don’t think that I could ever work in a role that didn’t involve people since I’m a people person.

When I meet a customer that has a bad day I do my best to hurry them along but I also continue to smile and appreciate them as I would any other customer. I realize that the role that I am in I will meet people who will bring their grinds to my cash but thus life. If I can’t handle a grumpy customer then I’m not doing my job right.


What is the single most important thing a customer can do for you when they come to your checkout counter?

My role is to make sure your grocery shopping experience is 100% satisfactory from the time you walk in until the time you leave. I always ask my customers if they need anything else that I can help them with. Over the years I can tell you that I’ve seen many changes to the grocery industry but one thing has stayed the same and that is we have to load groceries on the conveyor belt so I can scan them when using a conventional grocery lane.

Since the coupon boom and let me tell you customers have used them for years but not like how they do today things have changed. What I find very important is to be efficient at my job while providing quality customer service. In order for the efficiency to take place I need the customers to work with me.

If a customer has coupons try to separate items in accordance to deals, bunch all the coupon items together and to let me know if you have coupons. The more organized a customer is the better the entire experience will be. If you are price matching then keep those together as well and be ready with the grocery store flyer you will use to PM with.

It’s always the small things that help out and this is what I find can cause delays. Lastly and I know you asked for one but if you can put your cell phone away while the order is scanning through that helps. I often find that mistakes are found after the transaction when someone is on the phone. You wouldn’t want to miss a wrong price and the application of the scanning code of practice so be aware. You might also save time if you find the error in-store rather than at home.  If you can watch the scanning so you know if something is wrong you can let me know right away. Often times I bear the brunt of the upset but that’s fine, it’s my job to control the situation but helping the situation is always good as well.

So, even though not all cashiers may be bubbly and friendly like me I recognize the importance of excellent customer service as a cashier and a customer myself. This is probably why I continue to see the same faces in my checkout week after week. That’s satisfying to me.

What do you do in order to make your checkout experience with a cashier a good one?

What are your expectations from a cashier?

August 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. We are currently on week 3 for August so week 1 and 2 is posted below if you still have to post your shop.

Grocery saving tips

Free Money Saving Downloads is lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals. Get organized with a freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. I want to see you save money in your budget.

Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy

Food food and more food

What’s In MrCBB's Shopping Cart


Shoppers Drug Mart

2x dozen eggs Sale $2.29 each

1x 4L Neilson Milk $3.97

Total out of Pocket $8.55

Food Basics

  • Krinos Feta 1kg $13.99
  • Green Tea Sale $1.49
  • 2x Lactancia Cream $3.49-$0.75 coupons
  • Ginger $0.25
  • Swiss Chard $4.00
  • Reduced Produce $1.39 Tomatoes
  • Reduced Produce $).99 plums
  • Reduced Produce $1.99 Limes
  • Reduced Produce $1,77-1.00 Mushrooms
  • Reduced Produce $0.79
  • 3 x sausages Marc Angelo $4.29-$1.29 pack each

Total out of Pocket $40.14


  • Celery $0.77
  • 2 x cucumbers $0.99 each
  • 1x Watermelon PM Freshco $2.47

Total out of Pocket $5.18

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- $53.08 (over-spend in July) = $181.92 to spend in July.
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $1.50
  • Total Discounts this Week: $4.87
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $15.88 (Nescafe coffee)
  • Total Spent This Week: $53.87
  • Total Spent So Far for August $160.34
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (August): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $21.58
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$2.75+$5.00+1.50
  • 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 + (June) $216.01+ (July) $235.83=$1542.60 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • 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: Well we don’t have much to spend for the month of August which means we will have to watch every penny until the end of the month. Next week should be a no-shop week for us but I know we will need milk and maybe some vegetables but that’s about it. We should be able to come in under budget as long as we stay out of the shops. 

Canadian coupons found in August


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. What is an FPC? An fpc is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 ‘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. Week 32

    China House

    Dinner $26.62

    Total Out of Pocket $26.62

    Donna’s Restaurant

    Large Fish $13.24

    Total Out of Pocket $13.24


    Coke $1.05

    Total Out of Pocket $1.05


    120 loads Laundry deterg $11.97

    Total Out of Pocket $12.68

    Penn Dutch

    4 lb Salmon Fillet $23.65
    Green Bell Pepper $0.52
    Iceberg Lettuce $1.49
    Broccoli $2.99

    Total Out of Pocket $28.65

    Dunkin Donuts

    Breakfast $5.29

    Total Out of Pocket $5.29


    Eggs $2.78
    Froot Loops $3.88
    90 ft Foil Paper $2.97
    Triscuits $2.50
    Coffee Creamer $2.89
    Sea Salt $2.02
    Dole Juice $2.68
    Gallon Milk $3.78
    White Cheddar $2.48
    3 x Hawaiian Punch $5.94

    Total Out of Pocket $33.84

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4000
    Total Grocery Budget for august: $231.20
    Total Coupons Used this Week:  $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $121.37
    Total Spent for august: $211.80
    Total Underspend this shop: -$63.57
    Total Overspend for the month of august: $19.40
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $19.40
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $19.40
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $2,940.20

    Weekly Overview: Eating out because of lack of planning and pure laziness! Three times this week! Still working on it.

    1. Hi Dr.Sheba
      What I love about you is how open and honest you are with your grocery budget and that is the way to be. You did eat out lots this week and you could have easily been under budget had you not have. I notice you like to spend good money on meat and seafood which is great and you could probably get more out of that than eating out any day of the week. Better planning.. you can do it!

  2. 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.

    Lindt chocolate mousse 3 x $4.99 – 3 x 50% pink stickers – $7.50
    Bread 2 x $1.88
    Bananas $1.44
    Plastic bag $.05
    CD $1.28
    OOP $12.32

    Ring pops $1.00
    Chocolate almonds $1.00
    Strawberries (PM GT) 2 x $1.50
    OOP $5.26

    Brown sugar $2.17
    NN corn syrup $3.69
    Gummy candy (blowout) 8 x $.59
    Mini eggs 9 x $1.09 – 50% pink stickers – $4.95
    Almond milk (PM FB) 2 x $2.99 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Goldfish 4 x $1.98 – $1.00 coupon
    Bread 3 x $1.50
    Magazine $2.99
    Toddler toothpaste $3.99 – $.50 coupon
    Coupons $3.50
    CD $3.47
    OOP $35.79

    Bulk Barn
    Coarse sea salt $.40
    Chocolate chips $4.77 – 30% off coupon
    Coupons $1.55
    OOP $3.62

    Smuckers jam (PM FC) $2.97 – $1.00 coupon
    Froot Loops $3.98
    Mini Wheats $3.98
    Chewy chips ahoy (PM FB) 2 x $1.88 (was hoping to get the CO 51 rebate of this as they were for my Aunt’s house but it ran out  )
    GayLea butter (PM Sobey’s) $2.88)
    Cheese whiz (PM FC) $2.97
    Opti free contact lens solution (PM WM) $12.00 – $1.00 coupon
    L’Oreal mascara $6.72
    Coupons $2.00
    CD $3.75
    OOP $33.82

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $450 (5 shopping weeks this month) – $66.85=$383.45 (I went over last month)
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $7.05
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $61.02
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $1290.02
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $7.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $108.00
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $8.50
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$34.07
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $384.14
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $3.41
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $90.81
    •Total Spent So Far for August: $371.55
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of August: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $11.91
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: I do not carry over to the next month.
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $2810.53
    •Weekly overview: Well, one shopping week left and I have a whopping $11.91 left lol. If I can stay within that I will finally be caught up on my overages in the past few months. I know I have to pick a few things up still so hopefully I can do it! Lol I just can’t seem to stay away from those bloody pink stickers! lol

    1. Dear Jen,
      I challenge you to go one week grocery shopping and not buy any chocolate at all… nada!!! Can you do it? lol hah Great shop and I really do enjoy seeing how well you track everything now. Compared to the beginning almost 2 years ago now.. bloody hell you’ve come a long way so keep on going… Do you find you are using less coupons these day? You get ballot 18

    2. I know you can do it Jen. For one week it needs to be about what you can afford, not what you want. I have been struggling coming back to a pretty bare fridge after our holidays but…we ate well. Maybe not what I wanted to have but good healthy meals nonetheless. I am cheering for you!

  3. Hi Mr CBB! I am in Mexico flying back to Europe today and I left my last receipt at home 🙁 I still had $58.63 to spend so it is a real pass this month and I have been emptying the fridge before leaving, although it was a real last minute decision so there were a few things left… I’ll be traveling for the next couple of month so no more grocery shopping in the traditional sense, if I had a budget it would go in the travel category lol. I am biking to Morocco from Paris, exciting! Hope your end of summer is going great, how is the garden doing?

    1. Wow, I had no idea you were taking off on vacation for a couple of months. How in the world do you manage everything going on at home lol. Amazing. The garden is ok not that great to be honest, last year was better. I think with so much rain and not enough sun this summer some of the plants suffered. I will make changes for next year I think. That’s awesome you are biking to Morroco from Paris.. take lots of piccies. Keep smiling beautiful…. you are on the rise! CBB

      1. Haha I had no idea I was taking off on vacation for a couple of months either, until last week! I am super excited. And will try to keep the running as well. We had a lot of rain too but I need to stop making excuses for the garden: I simply suck at it! The handyman will keep taking care of the animals, he looks more responsible than the previous one so I am not too worried, and I hired a lawyer to keep an eye on my bureaucrat friends. There are even people staying in the house for 3 weeks which is great and should pay the staff and maintenance while I am away!

    2. Have a fabulous trip Pauline… we’ll miss your grocery posts but do stop in and let us know where you are, what your are seeing, doing and of course… eating!

      1. thank you very much Mary, I just landed in Paris, enjoying the last warm days of summer at the moment. And hoping to keep the eating in check, I feel like having 6 meals a day to enjoy everything I’ve missed those past months haha. Hope summer is treating you well!

  4. Our weekly budget is $100 making this month $400.
    This week ended up being a cashless week, meaning we used only debit and we usually always over spend. But we had a good week and are under budget again. 🙂
    I had a sneak peek at next weeks flyer and there is another 15% discount Tuesday for sept!
    We don’t need a lot but I will plan a little shop to get the good deals.
    $1.77×2-.50Cx2 top dogs hot dogs
    $1.37 caeser salad dressing
    $2.77 canola spray
    $3.17 jalapeno popper chips
    $1×2 michelas
    .57×4 frozen juice
    $4.88 4L milk
    $20.01 total oop
    $1 total coupons
    $4.99 cheez whiz
    .88 romaine lettuce
    $5.87 total oop
    .96 celery
    $2.96 2lb mini cucumbers
    $2.28 green peppers 4pk
    $2.98 red peppers 4pk
    $9.18 total oop
    $2 sour cream
    $1 garlic spread
    $2×2 ground chicken clearance
    $2.40, $2.27, $2.37 chicken drumettes clearance
    $1.13 powerade
    .99×4-bogo salex2 demi baguettes
    $2 white tray buns
    $1.25 mushrooms
    $1×2 strawberry croissants
    $1.39 nacho cheese mix
    $2.58,$2.64 pork back ribs clearance
    $2.66×3 Cheetos asstd
    $24.99 total oop

    $59.85 weekly total oop
    $1 weekly total coupons

    $208.96 monthly total oop
    $167.60 monthly total coupons

    1. Hey Juanita
      You had a great week this week, good for you. With the last week of the GGC posted now I’m sure you will come in under budget. I can’t get over how many coupons you use every month either. I hope you are tracking your numbers to see how much you have saved over the course of the year.:) You get ballot 17

      1. Mr.CBB
        Ever since I started tracking I have been saving our receipts per month in an envelope and they are all in a basket in order.
        Never would have thought of saving all of it but sure am glad that I have 🙂

  5. Finally got here to do my shops, I had planned to do it last night but the internet was blipping in and out…. Not good if you are trying to download something!! I had that trip to Canadian Tire for laundry detergent with coupons that they gave me a hard time about. The rest was all Foodland.

    Canadian Tire, Aug 17
    1 Arm and Hammer laundry detergent- 2.99, $1.00 coupon
    1 Method hand soap- 6.79
    tax- 1.27
    Total- $10.05, 1.00 coupon
    1 Arm and Hammer laundry detergent- 2.99, $1.00 coupon
    tax- .39
    Total- $2.38, 1.00 coupon
    1 Arm and Hammer laundry detergent- 2.99, $1.00 coupon
    tax- .39
    Total- $2.38, 1.00 coupon

    Foodland Aug 17
    1 green onion- .69
    3 1l chocolate milk@ 1.00- 3.00
    2 cans pineapple@ 1.19- 2.38
    2 packs pasta @1.19- 2.38
    4 Powerade @1.66- 6.64
    bananas- 1.04
    3 2kg bags sugar@ 1.88- 5.64
    1 unsweetened applesauce- 1.98
    1 celery- 1.99
    1 Triscuits- 2.49
    1 box cookies- 2.79
    2 MG Cheerios@ 2.99- 5.98
    2 raisin bread@ 2.99- 5.98
    1 bagel- 2.99
    1 IOGO yogurt- 2.99, .75 coupon
    1 basket peaches- 3.99
    1 AG frozen veggies- 3.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 Greek yogurt-3.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 4l milk- 4.79
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case KD- 6.97
    1 package chicken breasts- 8.93
    tax- 1.10
    Total- $87.85, 2.75 coupons

    Foodland Aug 20
    1 1l chocolate milk- 1.00
    bananas- .92
    1 2kg sugar- 1.88
    1 jar green relish- 1.99
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.98
    1 pancake syrup- 3.99
    1 box Tetley, 144 count- 9.99
    Total- $22.75, no coupons

    Foodland Aug 22
    1 frozen juice- .88
    2 MG Cheerios @2.99- 5.98
    1 grated parmesan cheese- 4.01
    1 4l milk-4.79
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 ginger ale- 5.78, 2.00 coupon
    tax- .75
    Total $25.68, 2.00 coupons

    Total budget for Year- $7800.00
    Total budget for week- $150.00
    Total coupons this week- $7.75
    Total spent this week- $151.09
    Total spent for month- $148.49+157.62+151.09=$457.20
    Total over/under for week- over $1.09
    Total over/under for month-N/A
    Left for month- $142.80
    Total coupons for month- $4.00+5.00+7.75=$16.75
    Total carry over to next month- $504.57
    Total YTD- J$818.08+F$598.07+M$770.12+A$938.07+M$650.13+J$876.78+J$734.75+A$457.20=$5843.20

    So I went over by $1.09…. I still have room for the month. Not a lot of room but a little bit. It hurt to pay that much for the Tetley tea bags but I was out and that was that. Things are looking a little bare right now so we shall see what kind of deals are out there. Might have to do some stocking up. we’re on the last pack of TP too… now that is serious!!! The older boy is still smoking but he keeps needing his fix right after I get groceries so I’ve been giving him the cash to go and get them himself so they are not being had with grocery money. He has cut back a lot since the days when he first got out of the military, he’s down to a pack every 2-3 days. I’d like him to quit but it has to be his call as you well know. Hopefully we will hear about him getting a disability payment soon, the papers have all been in since the end of last month. The biggest delay there was getting the doctor to fill things out between his holidays. Once we got those I took them right to Services Canada to be handed in. Here’s to hoping…..

    1. Hey Christine,
      I noticed the deal on the laundry soap when I was there the other day, great score on that. Yeah you went over but not by much at all. I know what you mean about the tea bags. I emailed Tetley and they sent me coupons because I told them how many cups I drink a day since I’m British. Yes, he needs to quit on his own. There is no one that can make someone quit if they don’t want to. We are coming up 2 years soon and it’s still tough some days when you smell it. I will keep my fingers crossed all works out for him. Cheers You get ballot 16

  6. AUGUST – Week #3 of 4 – August 20-26, 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

    1 Dole Chopped Romaine $3.95

    •Total OOP: $3.95

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $3.95
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge

    4 Schneider Hams ($51.98-$25.98)= $25.98

    •Total OOP: $25.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $25.98 using hiding spot cash
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    1 St Louis Cut Spareribs($11.79-$3.80 Coupon) = $7.99

    •Total OOP: $7.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $7.99
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge

    6 ears Corn on the Cob $1.92
    2 x 8-pack mini cukes ($2.28 ea) = $4.56

    •Total OOP: $6.48

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $6.48
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    +Au($25.98)= $291.42

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:
    J$60.46+F$0.00+M$11.79+A$12.48+M$1.50+J$54.54+Jy$ 42.16= +Au($3.80)= $186.67

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    J265+F248+M151+A26+M0+J59+Jy7+Au26= 782 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    J57+F10+M30+A83+M0+J161+Jy20+Au($0.00)= 361 Air Miles


    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    J$217.50+F$198.39+M$72.90+A$215.04+M$70.12+J$49.97+Jy$114.23 +Au($12.00+9.96+$16.07+$5.98+$3.95+$25.98+$6.48= $88.41)= $1,026.56

    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far:
    Jy$114.36+Au($50.90+$25.98+2.67) = $1,017.70

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $8.86 OVER


    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    +Au($0.00)= $338.31

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    Au$43.60 = $338.31

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


    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    J$0.00+Feb$0.00+M$0.00+A$0.00+M$0.00+J$0.00+Jy$17.50+Au $17.50 = $35.00 AVAILABLE


    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    J$0.00+Feb$0.00+M$0.00+A$0.00+M$0.00+J$120.00+Jy$32.50+$30.50= $183.00 AVAILABLE

    • TOTAL FUNDS SPENT IN 2013: $1,364.87 << $1,520 was budgeted for Jan-Aug '2013

    By adding cash repaid to us from others, bottle deposit refunds and a few spending money donations from hubby, we've managed to increase our available grocery funds to date by $62.87 and that translates into moving $218.00 into Canadian reserves ($183 Borscht $35 Freezer Re-stocking).

    The US Grocery money has been accounted for in the Canadian budget already, even though we haven't spent it yet. So really, we have spent $1,364.87-101.23 = $1,263.64 is what we have actually spent on groceries, but as I am not balancing my US grocery budget on a year-to-date basis, it's easier to say it is spent when I transfer some funds from the Canadian budget.

    Our US Hiding Spot Cash is actually money we had left from our vacation in Portland, so it's not reflected in my Canadian budgeting at all.



    Oh my goodness this sure has been a monumentally difficult month for our grocery budgeting!

    All I can say is… thank goodness for my Safeway gift cards and my hiding spot cash! I used $25.98 of my hiding spot cash for 4 hams that were on sale buy 1 get 1 free. I can do so much with ham so it really was worth it to me! I also used $2.67 of the hiding spot cash to reduce my grocery overage.

    I am planning to use my $20 worth of Safeway gift cards to take advantage of a sale on Extra Lean Ground Beef @ $2.99/lb so I can make meatballs, an Asian meatloaf, Roughneck chili and an Italian Skillet Pie for the freezer. We also need milk and that will all be in next week’s post. I had hoped to hang onto my Safeway gift cards until Christmas, but perhaps with the coming change of ownership over to Sobey’s in November… it’s smarter to just use them now.

    In my budgeting defense though, I will draw your attention to the fact that I have $469.23 set aside in 4 funds for future groceries… $183.00 for Borscht, $35.00 for freezer re-stocking, $101.23 for US Groceries and in my $150.00 US Cash Hiding Spot.

    So, even though this month has been extremely tough to stay on budget – so far I have only gone over by $8.86! I feel good about having my reserve funds in place, so I guess the struggle was worth it. Please God don't let me spot an amazing sales next week.

    I also decided to be realistic when I looked at my rain checks and decided to let most of them go… because the budget simply won’t support using them before the expiry dates. I’ll catch the next sale, it's not like they are going to stop selling these items.

    I only kept the China Lily soya sauce rain check but I will re-start saving rain checks next week. 🙂



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($8.86)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    2014 BORSCHT: $183.00
    Safeway Gift card: $20.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Re-Stocking Funds: $35.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $101.23
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $150.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    4 China Lily Soya Sauce Refill bottles @$2.99 ea (Good until Nov 13th)


    1. HI Mary,
      That was a nice stock up on the hams. We only ever found them for a great deal once and like you we can do so much with ham. I like making meatballs and if I can score a great deal on beef I’ll grab it when I can. I think if you use the Sobeys card then so be it. If you need to you need to. I still think you did awesome this month and with all the reserves you I believe you will make your goals this year. Keep up the great work.. 🙂 yOu get ballot #15 Mr.CBB

  7. I have been a cashier at the same supermarket for 24 years. I know the regulars who are polite, courteous, organize, funny and pleasant. I also know the regulars that are grumpy, miserable and unorganize. I know their name, their babies name. Heck some of those babies are teenagers and working with me now. Most customers are a joy to wait on but some make me grit my teeth and hurry to do their order. The weird thing is some of the ‘grumpy customers’ will tell me I’m their favorite cashier. All in all it’s just another day at the office 🙂

  8. hello mr CBB and ladies!!

    I am back once again!! Sorry for not being here for almost 2 months. but i have the most unwanted reason of all, I was sick. Fortunately I got better and now i am back! (i kept all my receipts from shopping and just finished my grocery game post now) Since i haven’t posted any for July or August, i am doing it right here in one post, hope you all don’t mind.

    Grocery budget for July 2013

    July 1-7, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    July’s spending: 11.65
    July’s budget left: 250-11.65=238.35
    July’s coupon used: 0
    My shops for the last week: 11.65
    Food Basics Total: $11.65
    Cantaloupe 1.97
    Acorn squash 2.79
    sweet potato 1.14
    Bok Choy 1.88
    tomato 2.90
    Cucumber 0.97
    July 8-14, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    July’s spending: 11.65+29.97=41.62
    July’s budget left: 250-11.65-29.97=208.38
    July’s coupon used: 0
    My shops for the last week: 17.07+12.90=29.97
    Giant Tiger Total: 17.07
    Salmon portions 5.00 (on sale half price!)
    frozen vegs 2.27
    broccoli 0.99
    cucumber 0.67
    bread 2.17
    Classico spaghetti sauce PM 3×1.99=5.97
    Asian Store Total: 12.90

    July 15-21, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    July’s spending: 11.65+29.97+143.96=185.58
    July’s budget left: 250-11.65-29.97-143.96=64.42
    July’s coupon used: 58.68+12.88
    My shops for the last week: 8.78+3.49+103.52+0.50+27.67=143.96
    Giant Tiger Total: 8.78
    Strawberries 2.00
    Pops 3×2.00=6.00
    HST 0.78
    Superstore Total: 3.49
    Vermicelli 1.29
    Chinese brown sugar blocks 2×1.39=2.78
    instant noodles 5×0.79=3.95
    Walmart Total: 103.52
    Reese 2.00
    Milk 4L 3.97
    Basa fillet 9.00
    frozen corn 2.47
    frozen peas 3.97
    scratch post 12.93
    tomato 0.94
    bok choy 1.78
    campbells soup 2×1.97=3.94
    cucumber 2×0.67=1.34
    shorts 5.00
    acorn squash 1.49
    sweet potato 1.34
    margarine 3.87
    delissio pizzas 2×3.97-8.00=+0.06
    Sugar 2×1.99=3.98
    Cesar dog food 2×10.98-2×3.00=15.96
    m&ms 6×1.08-6xFPC=FREE
    Glade car clips 2×3.97-2xFPC=FREE
    Clover leaf tuna 2.78-FPC=FREE
    Cadbury chocolate bars 2×1.77-2xFPC=FREE
    Zantacs 6×2.22-6×3.00=+4.68
    Minute maid orange juice 2×2.97-2xFPC=FREE
    Bathroom tissue 9.98
    pops 24s 2×5.97=11.94
    HST 12.36
    Walmart #2 Total: 0.50
    Glade car clip 3.97-FPC=FREE
    Fiber1 cereal 2×2.97-2xFPC=FREE
    Cheerios cereal 2.97-FPC=FREE
    HST 0.52
    Giant Tiger Total: 27.67
    Cream 3.07
    Brownie 2.00
    Friskies cat food PM 40×0.50=20.00
    HST 2.60

    July 22-31, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    July’s spending: 11.65+29.97+143.96+24.97=210.55
    July’s budget left: 250-11.65-29.97-143.96-24.97=under 39.45
    July’s coupon used: 58.68+12.88+8.51=80.07
    My shops for the last week:17.57+7.40=24.97
    Giant Tiger Total: 17.57
    pasta 0.99
    beans 0.68
    pasta sauce 0.99
    onions 1.29
    lettuce 0.63
    frozen veg 2.27
    parsley flakes 1.50
    mashed potato mix 2×0.87=1.74
    Cream PM 3×2.49-3×0.75=5.22
    pops 2.00
    butter 3.78-FPC=FREE
    whipped cream 2.48-FPC=FREE
    HST 0.26
    Giant Tiger #2 Total 7.40
    Lettuce 2×0.63=1.26
    mushroom 0.99
    red hots 2.00
    pasta 0.99
    bread 2.17


    Grocery budget for August 2013

    August 1-11, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    August’s spending: 80.89
    August’s budget left: 250-80.89=169.11
    August’s coupon used: 10.03
    My shops for the last week: 32+12.91+8.71+0.95+20.55+5.77=80.89
    Farmer Al’s (local butcher in Hamilton): $32.00

    Walmart Total: 12.91
    Veg Oil 4.97
    Delissio pizzas 2×3.97=7.94

    Asian Store Total: 8.71

    Giant Tiger Total: 0.95
    Cantaloupe 0.99

    Food Basics Total 20.55
    Delissio Pizza 5.99
    Ground pork 3.00
    pork shoulders 5.89
    Juicy jumbo 1.88
    Chinese cabbage 1.49
    Acorn squash 2.30

    Giant Tiger #2 Total: 5.77
    onions 1.29
    cucumber 1.00
    carrots 1.29
    Onion powder 2.00
    Doritos 1.49-FPC=FREE
    Old El Paso 2×4.27-2xFPC=FREE
    HST 0.19


    August 12-18, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    August’s spending: 80.89+50.93=131.82
    August’s budget left: 250-80.89-50.93=118.18
    August’s coupon used: 10.03+3+6.27
    My shops for the last week: 24.50+12.00+14.43=50.93

    Shoppers Drug Mart Total: 24.50
    Pops 4×2.00=8.00
    Pops 2×4.99=9.98
    Egg 2.29
    Oreo 1.88
    HST 2.34

    Giant Tiger Total 12.00
    Lettuce 1.97
    Green Onion 0.79
    Carrots 1.00
    Bananas 1.71
    Bread 1.00
    Cream 4×1.00-4×0.75=1.00
    Potatoes 4.57

    Giant Tiger #2 Total: 14.43
    Veg oil PM 2.97
    Eggs PM 2.99
    Cucumber 2×1.00=2.00
    Strawberries 1.50
    Onions 1.00
    Milk 4L 3.97
    Old el paso kits 4.27-FPC=FREE
    Yop 2×1.00-2xFPC=FREE


    August 19-25, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    August’s spending: 80.89+50.93+36.16=167.98
    August’s budget left: 250-80.89-50.93-36.16=82.02
    August’s coupon used: 10.03+3+6.27+41.88
    My shops for the last week: 5.17+1.55+12.32+17.12=36.16

    Food Basics Total: $5.17
    Sweet potato 1.67
    Cabbage 2.11
    Corn 0.80
    tomato 0.59

    Dollar store Total: $12.32
    Candle 1.25
    Whisk 1.25
    Cake mix 3×1.00=3.00
    Foot file 1.25
    Lip balm 1.00
    Clips 1.25
    Cards 1.00
    Manicure set 1.25 HST 1.07

    Walmart #1 Total: $1.55
    Reese 2.00
    Lays chips 2.00
    Zantac’s 6×2.22 -6×3.00=+4.68
    HST 1.57

    Walmart #2 Total $17.12
    Lettuce 1.97
    Bok choy 1.48
    garlic 0.57
    green onion 0.57
    acorn squash 2.02
    cantalop 1.27
    tomato 0.70
    sweet potato 0.70
    biscuit mix 1.27
    Ice cream 3.00
    frozen peas 3.97
    Yop yogurt 5×0.97-4xFPC-0.85store discount=0.12
    Zantac’s 6×2.22-6×3.00=+4.68
    Arctic garden frozen veg 2×1.97-2×1.00=1.94
    HST 2.25

    1. Hi Wing!
      I was wondering where you had gone to as I haven’t heard from you in ages. I was going to send you a message but wasn’t sure if I’d be bugging ya but I’m glad you are back . Your August seems to be going well and you still have plenty left for the last week of the month. I read up your three posts so I am giving you 3 ballots. If you miss a GGC post you can still post in that weeks GGC if you want unless this is easier for you. You get ballot 12.13.14 Keep up the excellent work.

  9. I almost always try to smile at them and make small talk because it doesn’t really look like a fun job. Some places, like especially trader joe’s always have really nice, friendly people. But my main grocery store consistently hires unfriendly, sourpuss people. I remember one time when this cashier woman complained to me the entire time about the customer who was there right before me. WTF! I finally told her to stop and that I didn’t want to hear it because it was none of my business. Luckily if it’s really bad or really good, they now have surveys you can take after EVERY experience and I actually do it.

  10. You have inspired me , at age 68, to really think about how I spend at grocery stores. For the first time ever, I have made this week’s meal plan, starting with items I already have. I am delighted to realize that I only need to buy ground ginger and sesame seeds this week for 7 lunches and dinners! Now I’m challenging myself to follow my plan, and do the same next week, first using items I already have. Thank you so much, I think I can actually do this!

    1. Hi Cathy,
      I wanted to smile today, and today my smile comes from you. Thank you SO MUCH for this. I sometimes hope my voice reaches out to others. I want to see others take that control to make the best they can with what they are given. I hope we can hear more about your journey and how it works for you. Please check in and say hi! Cheers Cathy. MR.CBB

  11. I always segregate my coupons before heading towards checkout. This makes easy billing process and saves time for both cashier and me

  12. As I have gone to the same store for a good number of years I do tend to know most of the cashiers that work during the day, some of the newer students not so much but if they stay long enough I get to know them. I do as the article mentions and have all my products with coupons together, usually last so they know I did, in fact, buy the product the coupon is for. Same with any price matching, I keep things together towards the end of the line up. I also take a highlighter pen and highlight the expiry date and where the coupon is to be sent for redemption. This makes for some very happy cashiers!!! It makes their job easy and my trip through the checkout faster for everyone involved….

  13. I guess my expectations of a cashier is to be treated good. I always smile and greet cashiers, so I expect to be treated the same way. it´s really that simple! Oh, and that they ask if I want the receipt! very important! Hate it when I have to ask for the receipt!

  14. Ah yes… and there is the rub Mr CBB – can you stay out of the shops except for your milk and veggies???? Bet you can if you want it badly enough! C’mon oh great and glorious leader… lead us to an on budget month! ROFL 🙂

    I am shopping this evening and it’s going to be interesting! Here’s where I stand going into the store:

    August grocery budget left: $ 2.94
    Hiding Spot Cash Remaining: $ 2.67
    Safeway Gift Cards: $20.00

    for a grand total of : $25.61!

    This is going to be challenging! I am going to have a NO SHOP week for my week 4 obviously but can I manage to get through week 3 without breaking the bank? The heat is on this month!! LOL 😀

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