The Grocery Game Challenge Oct 14-20, 2013 #2 : Go on vacation and save on groceries

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no shop week


Fly Away And Save


Unfortunately we didn’t fly away somewhere for vacation this week or book ourselves into an exotic resort.

We are on vacation though and not at home and it feels good to get away.

The good news is that we aren’t going near any grocery stores.

One of the hardest things for us to do this past week was trying to eat up all of the fruits and vegetables in our fridge.

When you go on vacation the last thing you want is food rotting in the fridge causing waste and costing you money. The process of rotting fruits and vegetables is called heat of respiration.

What happens is the more fruits and vegetables in your fridge the harder it is for your fridge to maintain its temperature.

Fruits and Vegetables in a controlled environment like your fridge will give off heat as they start to decompose, so not only will the produce spoil but you’ll be paying more to keep bad food if you don’t clear out the fridge.


Eat up


I think near the end of the week we had eaten so much fruit and vegetables that our 5 a day quota was more than met and our vitamin levels should be good for a while.

What we learned was that we shouldn’t buy so much food before we go on holidays. That way we won’t have to worry about having to eat it all up, and fast. A sure-fire way to save on groceries is to go on vacation because you simply don’t have to go into the grocery store for food to cook.

It’s been a bit since we’ve actually not gone into the grocery store for a full week so it will be a nice change for us and hopefully get us back on track with our no-shop weeks.

It seems like lately even on no-shop days that we are always running out of something so that means we need to work on better grocery planning so that doesn’t happen.

One of the number one items we run out of is milk but other than that if we can conquer keeping on top of making sure we are stocked on food we can keep the no-shop weeks going all year-long.

It’s important for us to balance how often we go into the grocery store because we find the more we shop the more money we spend especially if we didn’t intend to.

You and I have talked about why it’s important to take a step back from going to the grocery store so much and how it can cost you more money in your grocery budget even if you have the best of intentions.

You have all had the intention of going into the grocery store for one thing but come out with 10 so sometimes a grocery store vacation is the best way to save even if you don’t actually go on vacation.

This week we are on holidays and gone out of town for the week so no shopping for us.

There are some benefits to using up the food in the house, it certainly cleared out the fridge for us which left it easier to clean the inside. On the cleaning front, we also did the usual pre-leaving house cleaning, just in case burglars break in we want them to know that our house is clean and our stuff is worth stealing.

Clean items are easier to sell off once you’ve stolen them.

Once your ready to leave the house, for some reason I will do exactly what my parents used to do and check the locked door 3 or more times just in case it has suddenly become unlocked. What strange or unusual habits do you have when going on holidays or a well deserved break?

Do you use up everything in your refrigerator before you go on vacation?

Do you plan your grocery shop before you go on holiday so you don’t have food waste?


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.

NEW!! You can now download the Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!


October Grocery Game Challenge Posts


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Food food and more food



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 October $235.00-$21.12 (overage September)= $213.88
  • 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: $0 Used $20.00 (ham)
  • Total Spent This Week: $0
  • Total Spent So Far for October $67.71
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of (October): $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $146.17
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $0
  • 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 + (September) $255.69 = $1980.64 (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: So far so good since we have not been in the grocery store this week.

Frequently Asked Questions



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.


  • 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 fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.


  • 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.


  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?


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.



Here 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.


  • What is an FPC?


An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.



You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.



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 t 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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