10 Simple Back To School Treats For Kids

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What School Treats Are In My Lunch Box?

It was back to school today for many Canadian kids, which meant the grocery stores were jam-packed, and it was near impossible to get help if you needed it as there just wasn’t enough staff.

The streets tend to get crowded when the students arrive for University and College, but we have learned to be patient.

Funny though, while at Shoppers Drug Mart, the University students were piling in, and the sheer amount of purchased snack items was outrageous.

The counter was filled with Red Bull, Mentos, crackers, cheese, snack packs, chips, and chocolate bars.

I was thinking about how unhealthy the food was and the cost of purchasing the items.

Back To School Treats, Snacks, and Drinks

While I was reading this week’s grocery flyers, you couldn’t miss the “Back to School” sales in just about every handout.

Many of the advertised deals were for convenience foods such as juice boxes, chocolate, cookies, various types of bars, and, get this, Perrier water.

I thought the same thing; what kid brings Perrier water to school?

I’m sure a sandwich is standard for many children, but including a salad with hard-boiled eggs and salad dressing is a great way to switch things up.

It’s also a great way to keep the lunch healthy for your child so their sugar levels aren’t fluctuating during the hours you want them to be alert, education time.

Back To School Treats Recipes

I remember going to school when I was young, and my mother made lunch for me.

Nothing in my lunch bag was ever convenience food, nor did I go hungry.

Often I wonder why we are persuaded by “convenience snacks” that can be packed in a lunch bag instead of something homemade.

Parents can experiment with many recipes and involve children, so they will eat what they help create.

I know not all parents can bake treats or cook, for that matter (I have a mate who will get the cooking experience of a lifetime the next time I see him, as he’s rubbish at it but needs to learn).

Still, I remember getting homemade treats once in a while in my lunch box and never complained about it.

Check out my RECIPE INDEX for some fabulous back-to-school treats recipes that are frugal and easy to make. 

Would we put healthy snacks, homemade cookies/bars, or other treats such as seeds, fruits, and cut-up vegetables in a lunch box that the children would get used to and then later crave the same tastes as adults?

Maybe if we do this when they are young, they won’t want to tear the cookies and chips from the shelves at the grocery store or reach for unhealthy snacks in their diet when they are older.

I was being nosey in other shopping carts today at the grocery store, and no word of a lie.

Some were packed with all convenience foods to the top.

If we had kids, I’d be inclined to peel and cut fruits up daily and bake on the weekends or when I had spare time and store some goodies in the freezer.

There has to be a plan, and that’s what we would do, plan our shops, lunches, and meals and prep them beforehand.

I guess what I would do will be a mystery since we have no kids, but I’d like to hear from other parents.

Discussion: What back-to-school treats do you send your kids to school with?

Please leave any comments, including recipe suggestions, in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by,


September Grocery Game Recap

Congratulations to our August Grocery Game WINNER, Christine Weadick  Ballot #8!!! Congrats Christine!!!

Send me your address, and I’ll get your coupon envelope sent out to you!!

Thanks to all of you that participated in August, and I look forward to spending September here with you!

Please let me know if you have any topic ideas you think I haven’t covered and I should. 

Grocery Saving Tips

Free Money Saving Downloads are lists created to get us on track to reach 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

Our Grocery Shops

Food Basics

  • 2 x 2lb carrots 2/$ 1.00 Sale
  • 2 x 2lb yellow onions 2/$1.00 Sale
  • Iceberg Lettuce $1.27
  • Chipits Chips $6.99 Sale
  • Chipits Chips $6.99 Sale
  • Hellman’s Mayo $2.99 Sale
  • 6 x Black Diamond Cheese $3.88 Sale
  • 4 x Lean Ground Pork $3.00-30%
  • 2 x White mushrooms $1.97 each Sale
  • Red field peppers $1.97 Sale
  • 2 x Lactancia Cream $2.49 -$0.75 Sale
  • Krinos Feta 1kg $13.99
  • 5 x Johnsonville Brats $2.99 Sale
  • 3x garlic $0.98
  • 2 x Collard Greens $3.00
  • 2 x Kale $3.00
  • 2x Swiss Chard $3.00
  • Mini White Potatoes 5lb $1.97 Sale
  • 3 x Watermelon $1.88 each Sale

Total out-of-pocket $118.79

Shoppers Drug Mart

4 x Neilson Cream $1.99 Sale

Total out-of-pocket $7.96


Grocery Tally For The Month

Yearly grocery budget for two: $2819.38
  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 per week with one no-shop week or $58.75 for four weeks per month. (During the months with five weeks, we make it work)
  • Total Budget For September: $234.57, which is $235.00-$0.43 overspend in August
  • Total Coupons Used this Week: $1.50
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $
  • Total Spent This Week: $126.75
  • Total Spent So Far for September $126.75
  • Total Over/Under spent on this shop:  $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of  (September): $ 0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month:$107.82
  • Total Coupons Used This Month:$1.50
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • 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 (August) $182.35=$1724.95 (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 me.

Weekly Overview: We had a huge shop today and picked up quite a bit of food.

I’ve already cooked all the greens, so they are ready to eat all week for dinner with protein and salad.

I hope we can make it this month with 5 weeks of shopping.

Let’s see what happens; fingers crossed. 

Canadian Coupons Found In September

coupons sept

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 only must be Canadian to post your shops 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 on 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? Our Grocery Budget includes 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 anymore. 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.
  6. How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? You can find all your store coupon policies here. If unsure, it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  7. How Do I Grocery Shop? I can tell you about grocery shopping, what we do 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 how to say, no, I’m on a budget; I ‘need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items 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, which 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 where and how much you are spending and what you are saving.

You’ve made a wise decision.

Subscribe To Canadian Budget Binder


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  1. Our weekly budget is $100 making this month $400.
    Mcgavins bread basket
    $14 10 pcks of tortillas, bread, buns
    $14 total oop
    $1.49×2 dzn eggs
    $2.98 total oop
    Canadian tire
    $1×2-$2C glad sandwich bags
    .10 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    .96 broccoli
    .44 bbq lighter
    $2 instant oatmeal
    $2.98 graham cracker crumbs
    $6.35 total oop
    $2×2-$2C glad cling wrap
    $2.97×2-$2Cx2 vh steamers
    $2 instant oatmeal
    $9.97 Nyquil
    $16.60 total oop
    $6 total coupons
    $2 mesquite wood chips clearance
    $1×2 pie crust clearance
    $1×3 cake mixes clearance
    $3 5kg bread flour
    .99×2-bogo sale demi baguette
    $1×3-$1C sidekicks
    $1×2-.75C del monte veg
    $5.31 4L milk
    $1 pineapple tidbits
    $1×4 pizza pops
    $1 2lb carrots
    $1.99-fpc bubbly chocolate bar
    $2.18×4-$1Cx4 starbucks frappcucinos raincheck
    $1×2 mushrooms
    .20×5 koolaid mix
    $1×3 strawberry croissants
    $2.49×2 butter
    $3.29 breakfast sausage
    $4.89-fpc veggie bread
    $3.77 asstd deli meats
    $50.05 total oop
    $12.63 total coupons

    $90.08 total weekly oop
    $20.63 total weekly coupons

  2. My back to school snacks (for myself) have consisted of carrots and cucumber slices with roasted red pepper hummus, a banana, and strawberries mixed with yogurt. I send Adam to daycare with a mixture of healthy snacks (banana’s, strawberries, apples, grapes, apple sauce) and treats like gummies, granola bars and goldfish. His special treat is some M&M’s or Smarties if he goes poopoo on the potty lol 🙂

    I shop for 2 adults and a 2 ½ year old boy. Our budget is $90/week or $450 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    Food Basics
    Distilled water 4 x $.89
    Strawberries 2/$5.00
    Windex cleaner $2.99 – $1.50 coupon
    Apples $2.19
    Coupons $1.50
    OOP $12.63

    Almond milk 2 x $2.00
    Almond milk $3.50 – $2.00 coupon
    Vinegar $1.97
    Eggo’s $2.97 – FPC
    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    Brown rice $4.77
    Goldfish (PM Target) 4 x $1.77
    Rice cakes (PM GT) 4 x $.93
    BD cheese slices (PM Target) 2 x $1.88 – $1.50 coupon
    Pillers deli meat (PM GT) 2 x $3.00
    Wonderbread (PM Target) $1.88 – $1.00 CO51
    Romaine $.99
    Carrots $.99
    Potatoes $2.98
    Banana’s $1.82
    Baby wipes (PM NF) 2 x $2.00 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Coupons $8.47
    CD $5.11
    Gift card $5.00
    OOP $41.37

    Grapes (PM Metro) $.51
    Apples (PM Metro) $.70
    Strawberries $2.77
    OOP $3.98

    SD coconut yogurt $4.59
    NN peas & corn 4 @ 4/$3.00
    Almond milk 4 @ 2/$7.00 – 4 x $2.00 coupons
    Mushroom soup (PM Metro) 3 x $.59
    Kraft PB (PM Metro) $1.44 – $1.00 coupon
    Foil (PM Cdn Tire) $1.00
    Glad wrap (PM Cdn tire) 2 x $1.00 – $1.00 wub2 coupon
    Natura soy milk (PM Metro) 2 x $1.99 – 2 x $.50 coupons
    Arctic Gardens frozen veggies 2 @ 2/$5.00 – $5.00 coupon
    PC BM plum sauce $3.28
    Natural Selections turkey deli meat (PM WM) 4 x $2.68
    Cucumber (PM FC) $.66
    Romaine $.99
    Oranges $2.74
    Onions 3lb $1.78
    Baby carrots (PM WM) $2.00
    Bananas $1.67
    Magazine $2.99
    Olay bars 4 x $1.29 – 4 x 50% pink stickers – $2.60 – 2 x $3.00 coupons
    Coupons $22.00
    OOP $45.28

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $450 (5 shopping weeks this month) – $14.50=$435.50 (I went over last month)
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $31.97
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $31.97
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $1364.82
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $2.00 (for using VISA)
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $2.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $117.00
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $5.11
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$5.11
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $394.31 (Unfortunately this is the end of using the card for us as we are no longer allowed to use it )
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $4.24
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $5.00 (used the $5.00 Kellogg’s gas card mastercard!)
    •Total Spent This Week: $103.26
    •Total Spent So Far for September: $103.26
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of September: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $332.24
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: I do not carry over to the next month.
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $2940.19
    •Weekly overview: Not bad! This is pretty much 2 weeks of shopping because the first 2 receipts are from Sept 1st. I just didn’t want to have to include it in last week and mess around with monthly totals  I’m feeling hopeful that I can catch up this month  I am really worried about the loss of the CD card. That saved me about $5-10 a week from my grocery budget. I will try to keep my budget the same and see if I can make it work. It will definitely change my shopping habits! I’ve also been worrying about the extra daycare costs now that I am back to work. I am paying an extra $25 a week to the babysitter and an extra $196 a month to preschool that I didn’t have to pay for last year. I hope we can still work things out like we have been. The plus side is that we can claim this babysitter on our taxes as well as the preschool where last year we couldn’t. I hope it makes a difference come tax time! We will need the extra money then as Ken was just asked to be his brothers Best Man for his destination wedding next October. We must start saving! I don’t want to go into debit for this trip!

    1. Hey Jen
      I’m happy to hear you are feeling hopeful that you can catch up this month. We hope we can stay on track after our catch up as well. Now that the cd card is gone you might have to cut back on items you buy that you don’t need. That is just life my dear. I think you can cut back in many areas of what you buy.Ask yourself if you REALLY need something. How many chocolate bars and bags of chocolate do you need every week? Can you go a week without them? It’s really just leaving stuff behind that is not benefiting you or that you might want to have as a treat every once in a blue moon. The thing is the more you buy the more you will want… that’s why we stopped buying all that stuff. I know you have Adam but you could always have a set amount you buy for him for snacks because you don’t need to go overboard with them each week. I don’t know it’s your call but I know you can figure it all out. You have the knowledge and the tools know that you have learned over the past almost 2 years with me. Make the changes, and you will see. Keep up the good work. You get ballot 6

  3. Week 34


    Lunch Combo $6.36

    Total Out of Pocket $6.36


    Multipack Chips $5.98
    3 x Capri Suns $5.94

    Total Out of Pocket $12.64


    Hawaiian Punch $2.34
    Red Onions $2.29
    Totato Paste $0.80
    Green Pepper $1.11
    1 lb Ground Beef $5.64
    Tomato Sauce $0.95
    Diced Tomatoes $1.99
    Broccoli $2.99

    Total Out of Pocket $18.26


    3 Happy Meals $11.27
    Big Mac Meal $6.49
    Fish Meal $5.99

    Total Out of Pocket $25.42


    Dinner for 5 $30.64

    Total Out of Pocket $30.64

    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: $75.06
    Total Spent for august: $308.38
    Total Underspend this shop: -$17.26
    Total Overspend for the month of august: -$77.18
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: -$77.18
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$77.18
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $3,158.15

    Weekly Overview: It’s been a while since I’ve put up my lists and that’s because I have been so busy, BUT I’ve been keeping my receipts!! Most of my eating out this week was because I was out of town and we ate out most nights. Clearly, I was over budget this month by $77. I thought it was much more, so I’m actually pleased. My plan for September is to plan more and spend less.

    1. Hi Dr. Sheba
      I’m glad to have you back as I was wondering where you had gone to. I think in your overview you know where the bulk of your money went this week and you also state you are happy because you thought it would be more. I’m glad to hear you are being mindful of your expenses and you state a positive which is your plan for Sept. Lets see how that works for you.

  4. Okay, so here goes my shop.

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $1000
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    Total Discounts this Week: $104
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: 0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: 0
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Week: 0
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month: 0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0
    Total Rewards Points Used: 0 (but I collected over 4000!)
    Stockpile Budget: $enter amount Used: 0
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: Under $75
    Total Spent This Week: $175 (But I got $279 worth of stuff!)
    Total Spent So Far for (enter month): $175
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of (enter month): $75 September
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $825
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month : Unknown
    Total Spent To Date This Year: First month tracking it, so unknown.
    Weekly Overview: Save-on foods was having a truckload sale, so I was able to stockpile a bunch of food, like chicken, canned goods and cereals. Last month, I had purchased a hind quarter of beef, which ended up working out to around $91 a month for beef, but last month we moved and have expenses waaaaaay over budget since we were finding out what else we needed to buy for our house. Slowly over the year in preparation for the move I had started stockpiling things like laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash toothpaste and toilet paper so any leftover budget money over the time until those items run out will be stored in a TFSA garnering interest so I can buy more household items. This shop was mainly food items, but they had the 280 box of bounce dryer sheets for $10, I wish I had a coupon for them! All in all I was expecting (I had totals everything I wanted to buy) around $250, but I cut back and didn’t buy as much. I had a coupon to get an extra 10,000 points if I bought $225 worth of stuff, but I’d rather spend $175 and get what I needed! This will definitely help to judge how much I will spend on groceries, as well as allow me to see what we do and do not use food-wise! Excited to finally start my major journey into the budgeting and coupon savings world! <3

    1. Hey Allyson,
      I’m so happy that you decided to join us here for The Grocery Game. Rule #1 keep your receipts lol.. I think you mentioned that you misplaced them. Now that you have started to post your shops you will see over the course of the next few months the information you need to put together a proper grocery budget based on your patterns and needs. This is the crucial time because it tells you exactly what you are doing. I look forward to your journey and if you need any help please feel free to let any of us know. You get ballot #4… Mr.CBB

    2. Hi Allyson! Nice to see you posting!!

      I am having to skip the Save On Case Lot sale this time… my September Canadian budget is broke already since I am building some cash reserves and I took advantage of some rain checks before they expired. 🙁 I’ll catch it next time I am sure.

      May I suggest you print a copy of Mr CBB’s inventory list and mark down the date you bought your staples. It’s a good idea to see how much you actually need in between sales, so the stuff turns over before the next one or at least pretty pretty darned close to being all gone. Save On doesn’t pay interest on what’s stored in your pantry but your TFSA does. You can always go back and get more. This was a lesson I had to learn this year. I am trying to have no more than what I need on hand to carry me to the next sale. I was buying too much and eventually have to pitch expired food. 😀 Hope my mistake helps you!

      1. Welcome to the Grocery Game Challenge Allyson!!!! This is a great place to learn how to manage your grocery budget and we all help each other between here and the What’s For Dinner posts… With pats on the back and some of the best frugal recipes. We share it all with each other and we learn from each other!!! Again…welcome Allyson!!,

      2. Yes, all of our grocery money is currently being stored in a High Interest Savings Account. This way we still get a similar interest rate, without the penalty of having contributions going over our 5k/yr. And Mr CBB I did take a PHOTO of the receipt, but I put it down somewhere on the way home. I think it’s in the cup holder of the other car. Haha! But yes, all receipts are being kept in my snowman box. 🙂 So far I’m noticing we go through a lot of chicken and fresh vegetables and fruits. Mainly lettuce, carrots, sweet peppers, cucumbers, bananas and grapes. Oh, and bread, lots of bread and pasta. I buy bulk as much as I can and even my partner commented the other day “Wow, I’m glad you talked me into getting that 20lb bag of rice, it’s saving us SO much money!”

  5. Here are my shops for the week. Twice at Foodland and a trip to Canadian Tire as they had the Method hand soap we like on sale. I’m trying to keep this month as low as I can. I might see if I can slide another trip to Stratford and No Frills again. I just wish we got the ad, online is a pain in the backside.

    Foodland, Aug 30
    1 jar pickles -1.79
    1 jar unsweetened apple sauce -1.98
    1 container mini eggs -1.99, 1.00 discount
    1 loaf W/W bread -2.29
    1 jar peanut butter -2.97
    3 chez whiz @2.97 -8.91
    3 cases pop @2.97 -8.91
    1 package frozen stir fry veggies -2.99
    2 raisins bread @2.99 – 5.98
    1 Oktoberfest sausage -2.99
    2 Iogo yogurt @2.99 -5.98, 2- .75 coupons
    1 field tomato -1.30
    1 green pepper -.79
    2 4l milk @4.79 – 9.58
    1 10lb potatoes -4.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -1.29
    Total -$74.57, 1.00 discounts, 1.50 coupons

    Foodland, Sept 3
    2 frozen juice @.88 -1.76
    1 pasta sauce -1.79
    Bananas -.90
    1 unsweetened apple sauce -1.98
    1 can tomato paste -.67
    1 soya sauce -2.18
    1 cornstarch -2.28
    1 2 lb onions -2.79
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 bagels -2.99
    1 raisin bread -2.99
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    2 honey garlic sausages 4.86, 2.43 discount, 5.24, 2.62 discount
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 book -4.99 (to be stashed for Christmas)
    Tax -.65
    Total -$57.05, 5.05 discounts

    Canadian Tire, Sept 5
    2 Method hand soap @ 5.69 -11.38
    Tax -1.48
    Total – $12.86

    Total budget for year -$7800.00
    Total budget for Month -$600.00
    Total coupons and discounts this week – 7.55
    Total spent this week -$144.48
    Total spent for month -$144.48
    Over/under for week – N/A
    Over/under for Month -N/A
    Left for month -$455.52
    Total coupons/discounts for month- $7.55
    Total carryover -$530.52
    Total YTD -J$818.08+F$598.07+M$770.12+A$938.07+M$650.13+J$876.78+J$734.75+A$625.95+S$144.48=$6156.43

    Well this was a good start to the month being under by a few bucks. I plan to try very hard to keep the numbers under this month. I was so close last month!!! I think this is a 4 week month, at least by my way of figuring so we shall see. Needing to get meat might make it harder but if there are some good sales and discounts I might do it. I will certainly be trying!!! The book is one the older boy was eyeing the other day when he was with me and it’s part of a series he has part of. It’s 24 books all told in 4- 6 book sets. This is the very last book and getting it for $5.00 is a very nice deal.it has been hidden for Christmas now…. He will be happy with it, I know.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Well I guess we will be keeping an eye on you because you will be working extra hard to stay under budget this month and might need the cheerleading squad to back you up.. ra ra ra… lol. Whenever we add meat into the grocery budget we see it skyrocket and that’s why we always get meat from the reduced bin which seems to work for us if we go on the right days. We don’t make any special trips in. Keep up the good work and great deal on the book.. you said the C word which means it’s all going to be starting very soon. You get ballot # 3 Cheers Mr.CBB

      1. Actually Mr CBB, I’ve been known to start shopping for the big day in December on Boxing Day. When the kids were small Canadian Tire used to put the toys on half price as well as the decorations so I’d be in there getting Birthday gifts to stash and the odd other gift idea!!! For half price it was great!!

  6. Hello again everybody!

    I am from Hong Kong, china. Growing up there it was just half day school in primary school, so we didn’t need to bring lunch to school. then in secondary school, we had an hour break at lunch. parents gave lunch allowance so i usually went out to have lunch with my schoolmates. not anything fancy, just some tiny retaurants or stalls nearby. there were a few friends of mine that brought lunch boxes to school i remember. Usually leftovers from the night before, you know chinese, it would be rice with stuff. haha i also remember there was one friend in school that went home for lunch because her home was just right across the school and her mother made fresh lunch everyday for her and her siblings.

    we have no children but 3 animals so we dont have to worry about lunches at all, lucky us lol But i went to walmart the sunday before school started last week. oh it was full of parents and kids. that was super crowded. the store had all the cash registers open, still there were lines! i am not going to the store again the weekend before school starts. scary lol

    so here’s how i did for the past week

    September 1-8, 2013
    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250/month
    September’s spending: 119.39
    September’s budget left: 250-119.39=130.61
    September’s coupon used: 70.56+

    My shops for the last week: 82.67+16.55+20.17=119.39
    Walmart Total $82.67
    m&m’s 12×1.08- 12xFPC=FREE
    Royale tissue 8.97-1.00=7.97
    Zantac’s 12×2.22-12×3.00= +9.36
    Miniwheats cereal 2.88-FPC=FREE
    Cheerios 2.97-FPC=FREE
    Cookie mix 2.77
    sweet potato 0.94
    Reese’ 2.00
    Classico spaghetti sauce 4×2.00=8.00
    Scatch pad for cats 3.93
    Friskies cat wet food 60×0.50-10xB5G1=25.00
    Dog pads 26.93
    HST 14.48

    Superstore Total 16.55
    Coconut milk 0.99
    Corn starch 1.08
    Rice 9.98
    asian noodles 6×0.64=3.84
    Asian noodles 2×0.33=0.66

    Giant Tiger Total $20.17
    Pops 2×2.00=4.00
    Pants 4.00
    Lettuce 1.88
    Green onions 1.00
    Onions 1.29
    Gay Lea butter PM 3×2.48-3×2.00=1.44
    Cream 3.07-0.75=2.32
    Always pads 2×2.98-3.00=2.96
    Bring your own bag 2×0.03= +0.06
    HST 1.34


    1. Hey Wing
      Nice to have you back mate. I wish my mum and dad gave me money to eat out every day when i went to school.. wow. I was given a lunch everyday although school was never a far walk so I could have went home if I wanted to. You always sem to make good use of your coupons which is great. That seems to help keep your budget in check so I’m very proud of you. We don’t have any kids either but when we went to the stores they were packed with kids and parents going bananas lol. Keep up the good work Wing, you always impress me. You get ballot 2… lets see if you can stick to it all month.

  7. Mr CBB, we didn’t have any convenience foods at home when I was growing up. Mom made everything from scratch and times were really tight. Growing up I knew money was an issue even as a wee tot – because Mom and Dad never had a lunch, only me.

    Spending summers at my Grandmothers farm instilled my love of fresh fruits and veggies. On the farm we separated the cream and churned our own butter, milked a cow for milk, collected eggs for breakfast and canned all summer long. Grandma’s home was vegetarian so that also influenced my palate plus the fact that she always had soup on the stove and bread in the oven. 😀 What a lovely memory it is to think of the days in her kitchen.

    In grade school I ate lunch at home because we lived close enough & I could zip home for a hot meal. In high school I went “on shift” skating 6:00 am-12:00 noon every day and then going to school from 1:00-7:00 pm. Here my meals flip-flopped and I ate a sandwich and a piece of fruit or some vegetable sticks while Mom drove me from the arena to school and dinner became the hot meal of the day using a thermos eating on the way back to the rink, after I had laced my skates, for more training until 10:00 pm. I graduated at age 16 and was working split shifts as a professional figure skater the following September and attending CEGEP during my breaks in teaching. I tended to eat hot and big lunches again because I was on the ice at supper time and might be able to catch few bites of a sandwich while they re-surfaced the ice, after I had run to use the facilities and finished talking to any parents or students waiting to see me. Supper might be a bite at a time thru the entire evening.

    I didn’t actually learn to cook until I moved into my own apartment in my 20’s. That was a very dark time in terms of meal preparation! I had spent 10 years on the ice and had no time with Mom in the kitchen. Imagine… I called her to ask how to make a hard boiled egg! Totally clueless!! I still remember my first husband asking if we could have mashed potatoes instead of boiled…and I said, “sure but how do I make them?!” Giggle. Stupid bugger had the audacity to say my first batch was lumpy… guess how long he waited for a 2nd batch! I have been known to do like my mother… retrieve you plate and dump the whole darned thing in the garbage if you complain. What can I say, monkey see monkey do! Ha ha ha! My first turkey was a hoot… I studied the cookbook for weeks. I knew exactly how long to cook my bird and at what temperature. Imagine my surprise when it was still frozen after all those hours of cooking! :-O It didn’t say in the book that you had to defrost that sucker or for how long. My second turkey fared better but only slightly… who knew there was a bag inside to remove and then wash the cavities?? Cookbooks really need to be more specific IMHO! The third time was the charm! 😀

    Cooking is fun to me! I love creating something new, different, tasty and I have evolved into quite an adventurous cook. I never was much for following the rules once I knew what they were and how far I could step over them…ask my Dad what a terror I was as a teenager! Ha ha ha! I bake from a recipe keeping the proper proportions if not the ingredients but cooking is a free for all at my house and hubby knows the end product has very little to do with the recipe on the counter… it was merely a suggestion that I didn’t take too seriously! LOL I think this comes from the fact that I am not afraid to fail – how could I be?? Learning a new figure skating jump, I must have gone splaaat on the ice thousands of times until I got the feel of the correct mechanics. Same thing in the kitchen…it’s about the mechanics first and then you fine tune based on the day of the week and your mood. 😀

    So, growing up having both Mom and Grandma cook from scratch did definitely influence what I did when I was cooking for myself.

    1. What a great story Mary, thanks for sharing that. It’s great to look back at all the memories and another reason why it’s so important for parents to create those memories with their children. I’m betting many kids today don’t know how to milk a cow or how butter is made so those skills you learned are priceless. I have never made a turkey so you are well ahead of me and boiled eggs and mashed potatoes, well making a hard boiled egg is an art. Most people screw it up so it wasn’t a bad thing to not know. I read my delia smith books and she has a step by step guide on how to make hard boiled eggs. Anyways, a skater you were… what memories you must have. Thanks for sharing a piece of your life with us today.

  8. I work with first-graders, and it´s always fun checking out what food their parents are giving them. I have to say, I´ve been positively surprised. it´s whole wheat bread all the way, no sugar, and loads of fruit and vegetables! Things have certainly changed since I was a kid.

  9. It does look like you got some nice deals… I saw reduced meat in there too!! I was in getting a few things today and got 2 packs of honey garlic sausages half price. There were more packs but I just got the two, that will do us for now. I’m hoping to see some ground beef on and maybe if I’m lucky some stewing beef or roasts that I can get 2-3 meals out of one pack of meat.
    Thank you so much for picking my name!!!!! I think you should have my address on file but I will PM it to you again to be sure!!!!
    When our kids first started school we were Living in the country so they took lunches. Good thing I didn’t have to worry about peanut butter as that’s the only kind of sandwich the older boy would eat… He has never cared for any other kind. Variety came from different jams with the PB. With the younger boy he didn’t need lunches until high school, but I had him with me the first few times I was getting lunch things for him so he could pick out what he wanted in his lunch. He usually had some juice, a meat in a W/W bun of some type, a one cup container of pudding I made and a muffin or two that I had baked or some such. Once in a while he had supper leftovers but those usually went in hubby’s lunch at work that night. I had plastic dishes for both of them that came home and were washed to be used again. The son would be using the same plastic spoon for his pudding for months at a time as it came home with everything else to be washed. One pack of Jello pudding mix was split between the two lunches every night. I didn’t want to put milk in the plastic container as it was difficult to clean thoroughly of something like milk. He had his pudding,that was a good serving of milk right there.
    I wonder if a lot of the convenience food is bought because that is what the kids have grown up with and they have no real idea of what to cook or how. Not sure either what the kids in residence would have in the way of kitchen access. I know with the older boy in barracks he had no access and they were not supposed to cook in their rooms. But if some one had a microwave, or a coffee maker or kettle the powers that be tended to look the other way. Our daughter had an apt when she was in college and I got a lot of phone calls…Mom, how do I cook this or that?????? She learned. The younger boy has learned to make himself a few things and does help out around the kitchen a little. He’s not helpless and can read a recipe as well as anyone.

    1. “I wonder if a lot of the convenience food is bought because that is what the kids have grown up with and they have no real idea of what to cook or how.” This is exactly what I’m talking about in the post. If we teach them when they are young that all these snacks are what they should have will they do this as they get older, likely.

  10. SEPTEMBER – Week #1 of 5 – September 2-8, 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

    Before we even start the month, I am allocating my total grocery funds for the month as follows:


    $142.50 for the month
    ($32.50) transfer to borscht reserve
    ($ 0.87) to cover last month’s overage
    (47.50) transfer to US Grocery reserve

    Balance $61.63


    $47.50 for the month
    ($27.50) transfer to re-stocking reserve

    Balance $20.00

    This is an interesting month for us… hubby is celebrating a birthday mid-week so I have a lovely dinner planned for him when he gets back from his chiropractic appointment.

    We have a weekend in the US this month & that means a US Grocery shop but because we’ll be heading away on a 17 day vacation to Scottsdale, AZ very soon, it will only be a very small shop.

    I did get 2 nice rain checks this week – on 4 honey hams at Safeway @ $8.99 each and on 4 x 1 lb Pantry Essentials Side Sliced bacon @ $2.99 each and I was some thrilled! Now I have locked in good prices for the next 3 months. Love it! We are still trying to get a rain check for a couple of cross rib roasts @ $3.99/lb. No luck today, but hubby will try again tomorrow. 🙂

    I’ll be meal planning very carefully this month to avoid any waste! I took advantage of some rain checks for thick sliced bacon and St Louis Style Ribs. I was going to let them go but the recent sales on both were a lot more expensive than my rain check prices. Not only did it wipe out my stockpile budget but it put me back in the hole again. Oh well. I went over by $21.72 for September on my Canadian grocery budget and therefore I will not be shopping again in Canada until the week of October 21-27th.

    I can bring back milk and little essentials that we need from the US on September 22nd when we return from our weekend get-away and I’ll do a larger US shop on October 20th after our vacation.

    I’ll get us back in good shape again by the end of October… just watch! LOL


    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge

    1 x 900g Romaine Lettuce $4.98

    •Total OOP: $4.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $4.98
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    1 Coleslaw Salad ($5.49-$0.50 Loyalty Card Svgs) = $4.99
    1 Devilled Egg Salad ($5.49-$0.50 Loyalty Card Svgs) = $4.99

    •Total OOP: $10.48

    ** Buy 2 salads Get 30 Bonus Air Miles **

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $10.48
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    1 Kikkoman Rice Wine Vinegar $2.99
    4 Old Dutch Potato Chips ($15.12-$5.12 Loyalty Card Svgs) = $10.00
    4 Unico White Kidney Beans ($9.96-$1.96 Loyalty Card Svgs) = $8.00
    1 loaf Garlic Bread 60% WW ($3.69-$1.19 Loyalty Card Svgs) = $2.50
    4 Lucerne Yogurt ($2.64-$0.64 Loyalty Card Svgs) = $2.00
    1 Extra Lean Ground Pork = $3.99
    3 x 170g raspberries (Rain Check) $5.00
    4 bananas $1.17
    1 cantelope $3.88
    2 bunches radishes $1.58
    2 bartlett pears $1.58
    1 x 4lb bag oranges $2.99
    1 x 3lb bag carrots $2.79
    1 bag broccoli crowns $3.04
    1x 2L Lucerne Ice Cream *** FREE WITH A SAFEWAY PULL TAB ***
    4 x 1.5 lb Butcher’s Cut Thick Sliced Bacon
    (Rain Check – $10.99 @ 50% 0ff) $21.98
    2 Butcher’s Cut St. Louis Style Spare ribs (RAIN CHECK) $15.98

    ** Earned 178 Air Miles on this shop **

    •Total OOP: $87.89

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $67.89
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $20.00



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    +Au($36.66)+S($52.74)= $303.10

    •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)+S($38.57)= $225.24

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    J265+F248+M151+A26+M0+J59+Jy7+Au26+S0= 782 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    J57+F10+M30+A83+M0+J161+Jy20+Au(209)= 570 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($100.49)+S($47.50+4.98+10.48+67.89)= $1,169.49

    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far:
    Jy$114.36+Au($99.62)+S($142.50-$32.50-$47.50=$110.00) = $1,147.77

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $21.72 OVER


    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    +Au($0.00)+S($20.00)= $358.31

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    Au$43.60+S($47.50-$27.50=$20.00) = $358.31

    •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 +S($27.50)= $62.50 AVAILABLE


    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    Au$30.50+S$32.50= $215.50 AVAILABLE

    • TOTAL FUNDS SPENT IN 2013: $1,527.80 <<$1,710 is budgeted for Jan-Sept '2013



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($21.72) << Woops!
    Stockpile: $0.00
    2014 BORSCHT: $215.50
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Re-Stocking Funds: $62.50

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $148.73
    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)


    4 Safeway Select Boneless Honey Hams @ $8.99 (Good until Nov 29th)
    4 Pantry Essentials 500g bacon @ $2.99 (Good until Dec 2nd)


    1. Hi Mary
      Well you have lots going on this month with the birthday and planning for your trip away soon. You picked up some great rain checks for the ham wow I wish I could find some of those myself as it’s hard to get a good deal on ham these days. You know I pulled out all my raspberry plants this past week and if you were here I would have given them to you. I think you will be able to make the budget this month depending on your US shop but if not you will catch up in October I don’t doubt that for a minute. You get ballot #1 Cheers Mary, well done Mr.CBB

  11. CBB!!! My parents must have saved an S-load on lunches. My entire life was sandwiches. Come to think of it, I still like them somehow. All kinds of sandwiches, really. I cannot recall buying lunch at school until like 10th grade. Cripes!

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