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The Grocery Game Challenge Nov 4-10, 2013 #1: Holiday baking on a budget

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baking-supplies-ingredientsHOLIDAY COOKIE SMELLS FILL THE AIR

The holiday season is fast approaching and whether you buy cookies or enjoy baking cookies some of the best cookie recipes may cost your holiday baking budget some cash if you don’t plan in advance.

With less than 2 months until the festivities there’s no better time to get baking than the present. If you wait until the last-minute you might find you get overwhelmed with having to shop for gifts, plan a dinner, getaway to the relatives, work and friends Christmas parties and then bake on top of it all.

Some of my favourite Christmas cookie recipes that I like to bake and to eat are the butter cookies and the sugar cookies both of which are fairly inexpensive to make with butter being the costly baking ingredient. Making sugar cookies from scratch are probably one of my favourite cookies to make because it reminds me of home. My mum used to make shortbread but the butter, sugar and shortbread cookies all taste the same with a bit of difference in texture.

This past year I posted a few of our favourite holiday treat recipes such as chocolate peanut butter balls, coconut balls and snow balls all of which are my most popular blog post recipes this time of year. I haven’t been making cakes as much this year as I did in 2012 but they can get quite costly as well depending on what type of cake you are making.


Cost of  baking



Around the holidays using alcohol, sugar, butter, nuts, flour and even out of season fruits like figs and apricots can drive the price up of Christmas cakes that you might make for those special holiday gatherings.

The prices of walnut pieces are at $17.99 a pound right now in the bulk store and If I see a sale you can bet I’ll jump in and grab them while I can. Just yesterday we picked up 4 bags of granulated sugar on sale for $1.44 which is the cheapest I’ve seen in ages so I picked up the limit of 4 at No Frills.

I find I use lots of walnuts and pecans for holiday baking and the manufacturers know that bakers around the world commercially and in-house bakers like us will go through lots of nuts so expect the price to stay high for the most part. What we like to do is if I find them cheap throughout the year we buy them and freeze the nuts.

You might remember all the cashew nuts we bought a few weeks back in our grocery game post and it was for the $1.99 price tag that we bought them because we know that nut prices will sky-rocket. If you are peanut fan you can usually find large bags of seasoned or salt and roasted nuts at Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $2.50 a bag which is a great price in my opinion.

I have a friend whose mother makes a chex mix and bags it up every year for their friends and family in clear bags and wraps with a bow. They give these away as gifts with a bottle of wine as a gift rather than buying gifts and it may seem simple and it is but it is very costly. Nuts and some chips like Fritos are not cheap but certainly make this treat one that we all look forward to every year as a tradition.


Shop early


What we do is start looking for Christmas baking ingredients earlier in the year or even a few months before the holidays. Butter has been on sale the past few months for around $2.88 a pound so we loaded up on a few pounds here and there and store it in the freezer.

Butter will keep in the freezer for a few months but be cautious about how long it stays in there. We store it in a freezer bag and track dates on our freezer inventory list that is in our file folder. You can download a free copy from the blog if you want to track what is inside your freezer.

Some people stick to the very simple and make easy peanut butter cookies to munch on for the holidays and you can easily chocolate them up by adding some of your favourite chocolate chips or chunks. The best chocolate chips to use if you are making simple choc chip cookies (that’s how the wife says it but I say choccie) are a mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate for me personally but it differs depending on your sweet-tooth preference.

The price of chocolate chips can get very costly although if you watch you might find the bulk bag 1kg of Hershey’s Chipits on sale for $6.99 or even $7.99 which is a decent price. If you are a Costco member you might find the cost of baking ingredients to be cheaper in bulk packaging as long as you will use the product which most people do who like to bake over the holidays. We’ve always found the best baking ingredients to be found at the bulk barn but not necessarily the cheapest in price.

If there is an odd ingredient or you need fancy baking supplies especially if you want to make decorated holiday cookies usually the bulk barn will carry it unless you know of a baking supply store in your area or even try Micheal’s stores.

Do you make any Christmas cookie recipes or other holiday treats?

How far in advance do you plan to shop and bake?

How do you factor in holiday baking costs into your budget?


Grocery saving tips


Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the saving process in your grocery budget today.

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!


November Grocery Game Challenge Posts


Since this is the first installment of the November grocery game challenge I will announce the October winner here. The winner of the grocery game for October goes to….. drumroll please…… #14 MARY C. I really hope we can get more fans on board with the grocery game challenge this month so please help me spread the word.

Mary if you can contact me I will get your coupon envelope sorted out and sent off to you in the mail as soon as possible. You all make me proud. Thank you for participating with me every single month. We must have a GGC end of year online party 🙂 I’ll bake the brownies mmmm.


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Missed past Grocery Game posts? Catch up on all the latest grocery saving posts below!


Food food and more food



Food Basics

  • Sweet Potatoes $7.23 Sale $0.88lb
  • Pumpernickel Bread Sale $2.00
  • Bananas $1.18
  • 3 Mangoes $2.64
  • 2 x broccoli $0.88 each
  • 2x White Mushrooms Sale $0.88 227g
  • Reduced cucumbers x 3 $1.69
  • 2 x Egg Creations reduced $1.50-$1.00 coupons
  • 1KG Bucket Krinos Feta $13.99

Total out of pocket $33.25

Bulk Barn

  • 2x Organic Apple Cider $1.00 each reduced

Total out of pocket $2.00

No Frills

  • 4x Redpath Sugar  sale $1.44 each
  • 3x Catch of the day Basa Fillets Sale $8.88 each
  • Avocados Sale $1.88 5ct
  • Baby bok choy $3.36
  • Bosc Pears $1.31
  • 5lb Clementines $3.88
  • 6lbs Macintosh apples Sale $2.97

Total Out of Pocket $45.80

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 November $235.00
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $2.00
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $0 Used $0
  • Total Spent This Week: $81.05
  • Total Spent So Far for November $81.05
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of (November): $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $153.95
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $2.00
  • 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 + (October) $196.64=  $2177.28 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Rendezvous Account: $65.38+$17.24 =$82.62<> 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: This was a big shop for us and we wanted to load up on the fish since it was on sale and we love Basa fillets. We find that the cost of meat is getting so high now and if we can eat fish for less than we will opt for that choice instead along with sausages. We aren’t big red meat eaters so we don’t miss too much but it’s a pity the cost of chicken is so high at the moment.


Canadian Coupons Found




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.

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada!




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  1. Well this week was a very big week! I love to bake…however between me and hubby’s work schedule we find it difficult…and i have been in the process of finding *healthier* recipes as we have changed out diet and hope to keep it going into the new year

    So bare with me….I did a lot of stocking up this week as hubby got bonus….hoping the next few weeks are MUCH smaller!!!
    Also we had guests come over unexpectedly and had nothing pulled out of the freezer to make so we had to grab some stuff at the grocery store 🙁


    Corn 1.19
    Pineapple slice 1.49
    mustard 2.50
    croutons 1.99
    gatorade 1.00
    willowcrisp 1.14
    bleach 1.49
    cat litter 5.99
    fruitopia 2×1.29=2.58
    fruit punch 0.99
    pink lemonade 0.69
    white lemonade 0.69
    organic ketchup 5.49
    strawberry jam 2.99
    organic milk 8.89
    Organic chicken nuggets 9.49
    Potato wedges 3.99-1.00=2.99
    fish 4.99
    smoothie 3.33
    chocolate chip cookies 2.99
    organic spelt bread 2.99
    whole wheat bread 3.39
    kaiser rolls 3.99
    hot dogs 2.24
    honey ham 5.99
    free from pork chops 7.92-2.38=5.54
    free from pork chops 7.07-2.12=4.95
    free from chicken breasts 13.99
    organic romaine lettuce 4.99
    bbq chicken 3.99-2.00=1.99
    bbq chicken 3.99-2.00=1.99
    potato wedges 5.99-3.00=2.99
    scallop potatoes 5.99-3.50=2.49
    scallop potatoes 6.99-3.50=2.49
    apple juice boxes 2.49
    organic apple juie 2.98

    Total =136.40


    Oregano 1.89
    Gluten free gravy 1.25
    rosemary 1.25
    jam 2.49
    pasta 2.49
    toothpaste 4.49
    lemonade 4.79-2.40=2.39
    ice tea 1.00
    free from ham 5.79-2.90=2.89
    free from ground beef 11.09
    free from burgers 13.99
    organic grapes 7.99-4.00=3.99
    cream of mushroom 2.29
    organic blackberries 4.99
    organic romaine 5.00-2.50=2.50
    organic celery 3.99
    berry smoothie 3.00
    red peppers 1.67
    organic baby carrots 1.99
    carrots 2.99
    carrot fruit snacks 2.99
    apple juice boxes 3.29
    apple juice 2×1.89=3.78


    November 4-10
    Budget for the month 700$
    Total spent so far this month=228.01
    Left for the month=471.99

    Ouch….Extremely large shop this month 🙁 Had to stock up on some meat….which is quite expensive as i purchase the free from…but i figured i would buy a little extra as hubby got bonus….are now looking into having more vegetarian recipes each week so that our budget doesn’t go crazy!!


    1. Hi Joanne,
      Sure you had a large shop this week but you have tonnes left to spend for the month and I’m sure you will have more than enough to make it through. I know you are an amazing shopper too! We eat meatless meals as well or we eat meats that aren’t so expensive and put them in the crockpot. We do love our sausages as well. Keep up the good work and kudos to the healthy eating….. you get ballot 8

  2. I shop for 2 adults and an almost 3 year old boy. Our budget is $90/week or $450 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    Mott’s Fruitsation Rockets (PM Metro) 4 x $1.88
    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    Gift cards 2 x $5.00
    OOP $2.10

    Cake mix (PM FB) $.99
    Water (30 pack) 4 x $2.47
    Milk $3.97
    Silk shelf stable (PM Sobey’s) 2 x $1.00 (I think the cashier might have made a mistake in my favour…I think it was supposed to be $1.79 each)
    Soy drinking boxes $2.27
    Almond Fresh milk 3 x $3.50 – 2 x $.75 coupons
    Piller’s deli meat (PM) 2 x $3.49 – 2 x $1.50 CO51
    Janes chicken (PM GT) $4.99 – $2.00 coupon
    Apples (PM WM) $2.41
    Cucumber (PM WM) $.97
    Romaine $1.99
    Bananas $2.87
    Sweet potatoes $1.84 (going to try your recipe for fries lol)
    Carefree/Stayfree/OB (PM Rexall) 6 x $2.50 – 3 x $5.00 coupon (donating to the Christmas families at work)
    Coupons $18.50
    CO51 $3.00
    OOP $45.91

    Carefree/Stayfree/OB (PM Rexall) 8 x $2.50 – 4 x $5.00 coupons (donating to the Christmas families at work)
    Bick’s pickles (PM FC) 4 x $1.99 – 4 x $.50 coupons
    BC frosting $1.44
    Deli Fresh (PM GT) 3 x $2.00 – $5.00 coupon
    Dempster’s bread 3 x $2.78 – 3 x FPC (free wub coupons)
    Coupons $35.34
    OOP $9.37

    Food Basics
    Hummus $3.00 – $1.00 coupon
    ICBNB margarine 3 x $.99
    English muffins 2 x $.99
    Coupon $1.00
    OOP $6.95

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $450 (5 shopping weeks this month) – $28.73 (over last month)=$421.27
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $54.84
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $128.28
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $1702.78
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $3.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $8.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $141.00
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this week: $0
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this month:$0
    • Total Colleague Discount (CD) this year: $394.31 (Unfortunately September was 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: $7.63
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $10 (2 x $5.00 Kellogg’s gas cards)
    •Total Spent This Week: $64.33
    •Total Spent So Far for October: $140.26
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of November: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $281.01
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: I do not carry over to the next month.
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $3593.30
    •Weekly overview: Well I remembered on one shop to use a gift card lol. I use my credit cards usually to earn points so I always forget lol. I’m under again this week which is nice 🙂 Adam’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks so I might need some extra money in the budget for then. It was nice to get some feminine product freebies this week to donate to my Christmas families at work. I remember last year in November and December I ended up under budget so I hope that happens again this year 🙂

    1. Hi Jen,
      Glad to hear you finally used that gift card lol. We use the credit card as well to earn points and that gives us some extra money once in a while if we need it. It all adds up. You could always add in birthday’s as a projected expense so that way you have the $$$ when the birthday rolls around. I can’t believe how time is flying because I remember when he was just 1 lol. Where did you get FP freebies? We don’t have time to follow the coupon sites any more so we miss everything. Keep up the great work…. you used plenty of coupons this week which was impressive. What do you reckon you will do for your grocery budget next year? When does the meat order end? Keep up the great work. You get ballot 5.

      1. If by FP you mean the feminine products lol the $5 off coupons were in one of the inserts like redplum or smartsource buy 2 save $5 and they went on sale for $2.50 each so free 🙂 I’m picky about my products and I won’t use this brand but if I’m only paying the tax it’s worth it to me to pick them up and donate them 🙂 I bought a ton of baby food earlier in the year to donate this Christmas. It cost like $.50 a jar or less so why not help the less fortunate out? 🙂

        1. That’s awesome Jen that you do so much donating all year. I might have to see if we can do a blog post about that and you can help me out and share you experience? Interested? Yes I meant..err… FP as FP haha… I know what coupon you are talking about now… thanks 🙂

  3. Our weekly budget is $100 making this month $400.
    Spent a little extra this week but worth it considering what we got.
    $9.99×4-$6Cx2&bogoCx2 xmas glade warmers(purchased for a friend)
    $5.99-$2TC&$1C cottonelle toilet paper
    $13.15-$9(friends payment) $4.15 total oop
    $34.98 total coupons
    $3.97×2 pizza pops 8pk
    $11.65 2kg bag of hershey chocolate chips (works out to be $1.45 per 250ml/per bag and will last a year)
    $2.99-$1C xmas rice krispies
    $1.97 bistros
    $1.50×2 tortilla shells
    $2×4 windshield washer fluid (don’t normally use your grocery budget for it but I am not doing multiple transactions for it)
    $34.55 total oop
    $1 total coupons
    $1 comp frozen dinner
    $1.32×4-$2C 2L pop
    the following are 15% discount tuesday shops
    .30×5 hot dog buns
    $4.99-$1C royale toilet paper
    $5.31 4L milk
    $3.99×4-fpcx4 spagetti sauce
    $1.29 celery
    $1.99 romaine lettuce
    $2.50×2-$2Cx2 special k breakfast sandwiches
    $2.99-$3C casa de mama pizza
    $1.09×2-bogoC mars bar
    $3.29×3-buy2get1freeC smartfood white cheddar popcorn
    $6.99-.75C cheese brick
    $3.99×2-fpcx2 active fruit juice
    $3.99×6-$1.50Cx6 international creamer
    $9.99×2-fpcx2 kelloggs family size cereal
    $22.99 3kg frozen chicken breasts
    $3.99×2 gm cereals family sized
    $1.79×2 butter chicken mix
    .79×2-bogoC twix
    $4.49 shave gel/cream
    $1 ground pepper
    $1.25×4 tomato sauce (for butter chicken)
    $2 perogies
    $73.36 total oop
    $68.24 total coupons
    $23.52 total 15% discount

    $112.06 total weekly oop
    $127.74 total weekly coupons

    Used lots of fpcs this week to get the extra discount and the monthly staff coupon is spend $40 get 400 bonus points so I split my discount shops into two transactions and at the end of it made $10 in club sobeys points. 🙂

    1. Hey Juanita,
      Where did you get the cottonelle coupons from? I’d love to get some of those. We hardly ever get any fpc’s anymore because I’m not on any coupon sites and don’t know when they are available. Your shop is loaded this week with lots of food and lots of coupons which is awesome. I still need to learn to make those perogies one day. Keep up the great work.. and look at those club Sobeys points… good for you. DO you plan to keep the same budget for next year|? You get ballot 4 Mr.CBB

      1. hey Mr.CBB
        The cottonelle coupons were from targets flyer, I’m sure you can print it off their website, for $2 and the $1 coupon was from an insert that expired on the 9th, because you can stack a target and manufacture coupon at target you can save a lot if it matches up with a sale like this did 🙂 If you are using more than two coupons in a transaction it is probably best to go to customer service otherwise the cashier supervisor has to come and approve every coupon.
        Making homemade perogies is great but only if you have the time. I forgot to redeem the checkout 51 for the perogies I bought and missed out on $1, oh well.
        Most of the fpcs have been given to me by company reps and I will miss them next year!! But I may have more time on my hands to keep my eyes open on fb or other promotions. I am not sure what our grocery budget will be next year and will have to make decisions once we find out what my ei benefits will be and go from there. We may just have to wing it at first 🙂

  4. NOVEMBER – Week #1 of 4 – November 4-11th, 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



    We planned to shop in the US this long weekend but I decided to push my shop back until November 21st … so I only have some “too good to miss” Canadian grocery items to report this week.

    Before we start our November off though, I am going to make my “reserve” transfers:


    $142.50 for the month
    ($32.50) transfer to borscht reserve

    Balance $110.00 for November


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

    Balance $20.00 for November



    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    3 dozen Lucerne eggs ($8.97-$4.98 Loyalty Savings) = $3.99

    •Total OOP: $3.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $3.99
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $4.98 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Not only did I get in on the sale but we also picked up a rain check for another 3 dozen eggs @ $3.99! Yippee!!!

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge

    2 Maple Leaf Hams ($29.98-$14.99 Coupon) = $14.99

    •Total OOP: $14.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.99
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 15 MORE Rewards on this shop **
    ** USED $14.99 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge

    2 Island Farms Yogurt (2 for $5.00)= $5.00 + 50 Bonus Points
    2 Island Farms Cottage Cheese $4.49 ea = $8.98 + 30 Bonus Points
    4 Avocados (2 for $3) = $6.00 + 25 Bonus Points
    2 Cauliflower (2 for $5.00)
    5 Lemons (5 for $2.00) = $2.00 + 25 Bonus Points
    5 Limes (5 for $2.00) = $2.00 + 25 Bonus Points
    1 bunch spinach $1.29

    ** PLUS 2X Rewards on Every Dollar Spent Nov 6-12th **
    ** PLUS 11 Bonus Rewards on purchases in produce dept. **

    •Total OOP: $30.27

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $30.27
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 321 Thrifty Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Walmart Supercentre – Port Coquitlam

    1 Green Olives $1.68 ea = $3.36
    2 Guacamole $1.00 ea = $2.00
    2 bags coleslaw $1.00 ea = $2.00
    1 GF Chocolate Covered Pretzels $4.97
    1 GF Alfredo Sauce $0.97
    1 GF Chicken Gravy Mix $1.47
    1 GF Roasted Garlic Crackers $2.97
    2 English Cucumbers $0.97 ea = $1.94
    1 pkg mini carrots $1.00
    1 bunch green onions $0.47
    2 Zucchini $0.98
    1 pkg grape tomatoes $1.47
    GST $0.25

    •Total OOP: $23.85

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $23.85
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **





    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    J$40.04+F$44.48+M$98.35+A$50.00+M$3.00+J$0.00+Jy$55.55+Au$36.66+S$52.74+O$71.36+N($4.98)= $457.16

    •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+O$$21.98+N($14.99)= $262.27

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    J265+F248+M151+A26+M0+J59+Jy7+Au26+S0+O141+N(15)= 938 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    J57+F10+M30+A83+M0+J161+Jy20+Au1+S208+O80+N(0)= 650 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year: << Starting to track
    Jan-Sept 988+ O297+N(321)= 1606 Points



    •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$130.85+O$111.97+N($32.50 to borscht+$3.99+$30.27+23.85=$90.61)= $1,372.07

    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far:
    J$190.00+F$190.00+M$108.79+A$142.50+M$142.50+J$50.00+Jy$114.36+Au$99.62+S$110.00+O$133.69 +N$142.50 = $1,423.96

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $51.89 AVAILABLE



    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    J$0.00+Feb$0.00+M$81.21+A$77.55+M$17.45+J$82.86+Jy$79.24+Au$0.00+S$20.00+O$47.50+N(27.50 to restocking)= $433.31

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    J$0.00+Feb$0.00+M$81.21+A$47.50+M$47.50+J$82.86+Jy$35.64+Au$43.60+S$20.00+O$47.50+N($47.50) = $453.31

    •Total Over/Under YTD Stockpile Budget: $20.00 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+O$27.50+N$20.00= $110.00 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+Au$30.50+S$32.50+O$12.50+N$32.50= $260.50 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL FUNDS SPENT IN 2013: $1,805.38

    $2,090 is budgeted for JAN-NOV '2013 INCL. but with cash additions from a gift, recycled bottles, cash hiding spot money and repayments of funds owed to us…we increased our reserves to also have:

    $110.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $260.50 Borscht Fund

    Total $370.50



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $51.89
    Stockpile: $20.00
    2014 BORSCHT: $260.50
    Cash Hiding Spot: $9.06
    Re-Stocking Funds: $110.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $148.73
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $17.25


    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)
    3 dozen Lucerne Large Eggs @ $1.33 (Good until Feb 7th)


    1. Hi Mary,
      I see you picked up some limes.. my favourite. The price is already going up on them in Ontario so I will miss them this winter. I don’t think I will pay the crazy prices for limes so lemon it is. Our lime tree has not produced any limes as of yet but maybe in the future we will have our own limes to pick instead of buying them. Great deal on the eggs, I’m impressed with that score and you picked up another rain check for them. How do the Thrifty points work? I’m liking those green olives and chocolate coloured pretzles. Sounds like you are off to a bangin start for the month Mary especially with all the rewards points. Well done. You get ballot 3 Cheers Mr.CBB

      1. I don’t actually cook with the limes and lemons usually Mr CBB… I eat them as a fruit. One of my medications reacts with grafefruit, pomello, tangerines etc so I eat lemons and limes that don’t diminish the effectiveness. The Thrifty points are good for cash redemption at the register…$5 here, $5 there… it all helps. I have saved my points so far for the day when we don’t have enough cash to cover the bill and need to redeem some points. 🙂 I was actually impressed with the 2 Cauliflowers for $5 – I see a soup in our near future!

        We have oodles of Cowboy Bacon Beans left from last night’s supper but no soup in the fridge! Yikes! Can’t have that!!! Can I??? LOL I think I’ll make a nice Chicken-Potato-Vegetable rustic pot of soup tomorrow. It’ll be chock-a-block full of vegetables…celery, carrots, onion, tomatoes, potatoes, cauliflower, turnip, parsnips, rhutabaga, green beans, lima beans, corn niblets and peas!!! Really it’s more like a chicken stew…maybe I should make that instead. I haven’t had a nice creamy chicken stew in a long time! OMG it’s going to be delish!

        This is a very nice week for us…we are celebrating our wedding anniversary today but our actual celebration will be on Sat-Sun. We have a “FREE” AMEX rewards night at a local Westin hotel and we plan to treat ourselves to a nice supper out – back in the city where hubby and I met nearly 30 years ago. The hotel is out by the Vancouver International airport, we’ll be on the Club Floor so we’ll be able to watch planes taking off and landing as we share a soft drink and some appetizers to toast another wonderful year together. 😀

        1. Wow you and my wife could have a citrus party I think as she just loves eating them too… lol. I don’t mind limes and lemons but they are very sour for me to eat as is unless it’s with a shot of tequila,then we’re talking yum. No, I think you must make another pot of soup Mary lol. I had a lovely bowl of homemade cream of mushroom and potato soup with mushrooms found outside in the local community by my father in law and it was simply amazing. Happy Wedding anniversary to you both, congrats!!! Have fun on your romantic date with Larry and hey it makes saving all those points worth it doesn’t it just. Talk to you soon Mary. Mr.CBB

  5. we are no holiday baker here. husband doesn’t like sweets, so i am the only one. with the cookies and cakes i bake for myself it is good enough lol so no extra cost there. ~phew good thing hehe.

    still have some money that i need to save from september’s over-budget. let’s see if i can pull it this month… looks a little hard after i type them all out lol here’s my budget for the last long week :

    November 1-10, 2013

    Budget for 2 people + 3 pets: $250-45.2(over-budget from Sept)=$204.80
    November’s spending: 143.28
    November’s budget left: 204.80-143.28=61.52
    November’s coupon used: 23.49
    November’s giftcard used: 10

    My shops for the last week: 26.92+24.96+23.74+13.24+2.85+14.05+3+17.86+16.66=143.28

    Bulk Barn 2.85
    Dog treats 2.53
    HST 0.35

    Food Basics total 13.24
    Chicken breasts 8.20
    Nappa cabbage 3.22
    Broccoli 0.88
    Sweet potato 0.94
    Pepperoni 2×5.49-2xFPC=FREE

    Giant Tiger total 23.74
    Lettuce 3.27
    green onions 1.29
    sugar PM 2×1.44=2.88
    Friskies cat food PM 36×0.47- 6xB5G1=14.10
    HST 2.20

    Zehrs total 24.96
    Campbell’s soup sale 3×3/4.00=4.00
    Lipton soup mix sale 3×1.00-1.00WUB3=2.00
    Pops 24’s sale 2.50
    Chicken thighs sale 3×5.00=15.00 on sale
    Cotton swabs sale 1.00
    HST 0.46

    Walmart total 26.92
    Scotties facial tissue PM 3.99
    Pet stain remover 8.93-2.00=6.93
    Sunlight dish soap sale 2×1.88=3.76
    Pops 3×2.97=8.91
    HST 3.33

    Giant Tiger #2 14.05
    tomatoes 1.97
    Card 3.00
    Broccoli 1.57
    Cesar dog food PM 8.98-3.00=5.98
    HST 1.56
    Rounded down -0.03

    Shoppers drug mart total $3.00
    Eggs sale 2×1.99-1.00=2.98
    m&ms 1.19-FPC=FREE

    Asian store total $17.86
    Dried chrysanthemum 2.79
    Noodles 2×3.99
    Preserved veg 0.89
    Bean sprout 0.76
    White noodles 2.99

    Giant tiger #3 total $16.66
    Pollock sale 8.00
    Maple leaf deli meat sale 2.00
    Carrots 1.09
    Milk 4L sale 3.97
    Wonderbread sale 1.97
    Lactantia cream PM metro 4×0.99-4×0.75=0.25
    Friskies cat food sale 18×0.50-3xB5G1=7.50
    HST 1.17
    Giftcard -$10 off WUS $25

    1. Hey WIng,
      Ah well at least you like your sweets… you’re cool in my books lol. So your grocery shopping month is off to a bangin start with a good chunk of your budget already used up. I wonder how the rest of the month is going to work out for you|? I’m sure with proper planning you can make the budget this month but we will all be here to cheer you on and see how well you do. Keep up the great work.. you get ballot 2. Mr.CBB

  6. Time to post my shops for the week. Both shops are at Foodland.

    Nov. 2
    2 boxed Mac and cheese dinners @.69- 1.38
    1 chicken broth -1.50
    1 beef broth -1.50
    Bananas -.84
    1 pasta sauce -1.79
    2 W/W bread @1.97 -3.94
    1 unsweetened apple sauce -1.98
    1 raisin bread -2.79
    2 peanut butter @2.97- 5.94
    2 chez whiz @2.97 -5.94
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.98
    2 Librete yogurt @ 2.99- 5.98, 2-$1.00 coupons
    1 cider mix -2.99
    2 frozen veggies @2.99- 5.98
    1 bread crumbs -3.29
    2 packages ground turkey @2/7.00- 7.00
    1 bagels -3.89
    Tomatoes -2.31
    1 cheese slices -3.99
    1 Cheerios -3.99
    1 hot chocolate mix -4.29
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    2 packages sausage @4.99 -9.98, 50%off -2×2.50
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 case pop-5.78
    1 block cheese -5.99
    Tax -1.14
    Total $105.25, $7.00 coupons

    Nov. 5
    Bananas -1.06
    1 pack apple juice boxes -1.97
    1 W/W bread -1.97
    1 raisin bread -2.79
    1 chez whiz -2.97
    2 Liberte yogurt @2.99- 5.98 2×1.00 coupons1 frozen veggies -2.99
    1 bagels -3.49, 50% discount -1.75
    1 soya sauce -3.49
    1 cheese slices -3.99
    1 pancake syrup -3.99
    1 case pop -4.29
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -.95
    Total -$54.24, 3.75 coupons/discounts

    Total budget for year -$7800.00
    Total budget for month -600.00
    Total coupons this week -$10.75
    Total spent this week -$159.49
    Total spent for month -$159.49
    Total over/under for week -$9.49
    Total over/under for month -N/A
    Left for month -$440.51
    Total coupons this month -$10.75
    Total carryover to next month -$567.90
    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$800.56+O$637.38+N$159.49=$7609.38

    Well that is a decent start to November, over slightly but not by much. I have three weeks now to work on coming in under budget and maybe get some baking supplies for the Christmas baking. My challenge for this month for sure…. The cider mix is no longer on sale but I managed to get 8 boxes so that should keep us going for a while. The older boy is happy about it. I bought one case of store brand ginger ale and that worked out OK. It went over well enough. I do have to watch the brand there as there is one brand nobody likes, one the younger boy can’t drink as it bothers his tummy and the one I normally buy. They were out of the one I buy so I tried the store brand. It’s on sale this week and they got the right brand for us in so that will show next week.

    1. Hey Christine,
      I’m just curious but is it cheaper to buy the chicken and beef broth in the cubes for you than in packets or cartons already pre-made|? Great deal on the bagels getting fifty percent off. Overall you had a great week of shopping but like you say it’s the first shop of the month and anything is possible. I think after the first week everything else is supposed to fall into place. At least that is the plan right? lol… keep up the great work… you get ballot 1. Mr.CBB

      1. I buy the broth in the Tetra packs already made. I find the cubes just seem to be salter tasting than the broth, could be just me but that’s the opinion. I have the rest of the chicken broth I made yesterday in the freezer now too plus the turkey broth from Thanksgiving. I do like the broth I make from cooked bones and such leftovers…it just seems to have a little more flavour and it’s darker, not as watery looking….

  7. Mrs Scrooge here… no Christmas baking at our house! Neither one of us are big on holiday treats but we do look forward to the President’s Choice Candy Cane ice cream as a treat. We usually pick up a couple of cartons thru the holiday season. I make lots of quick breads throughout the year though, so I do keep my eyes peeled for good sales on nuts and chocolate. The pantry is bursting at the seems with goodies though so I expect we can pass on the high ticket items now until 2014. I am watching for Hershey’s chocolate chips for my sweetie’s homemade muffins. I usually get 1 bag at Costco in the US and it lasts us for a year.

  8. Week 43

    El Bodegon
    yellow tail snapper $21.81

    Total Out of Pocket $21.81

    Vinegar $1.49
    Coffee Creamer $2.50

    Total Out of Pocket $3.99

    2L Dr. Pepper $1.99
    5 lb Parboiled Rice $3.69
    Gal Milk $3.99
    Coffee $4.29

    Total Out of Pocket $14.08

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4500
    Total Grocery Budget for November: $360.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week:  $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Spent This Week: $39.88
    Total Spent for November: $39.88
    Total Underspend this shop: $50.12
    Total Overspend for the month of November: $0.00
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $320.12
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $320.12
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $ $3,644.99

    Weekly Overview: I remained cool this week because, clearly, I didn’t have to do much shopping. I must’ve been stocked up from October’s shops. With only 9 weeks left, it seems I’m on track with this grocery thing. Next week may be a little heavy since I am trying to shop for 2 weeks worth of food at a time.

    1. Hi there Dr.Sheba,
      A reminder there is only 7 weeks left until the end of the year and when we all get to look back over the year to see how we made out in the grocery game challenge. I think for us it will be an eye opener like it was last year and we are thankful that we are tracking the grocery expenses as they can easily get out of hand and cost a fortune. I notice you don’t post much about going out to eat like you did when you first started posting in the grocery game. How is that going for you? Well done with the shopping this week. I look forward to seeing how your month rolls out. Keep up the great work… Mr.CBB

  9. Bulk Barn has their $3.00 off coupons right now. You can get them on-line at Bulk Barn sight as well. $3.00 of a $10.00 purchase. Brown sugar is on sale there as is chocolate chips right now.

  10. I always start out with the holiday baking with the best intentions, and end up throwing in the towel and buying the treats. I lack commitment, and I’m always incredulous as to how expensive holiday baking can be. It really ends up costing an arm and a leg.

  11. I am always shocked as to how expensive baking is. Flour is cheap, and so is sugar, but anything to make the baking actually tasty is so costly! Not that I need any more baked goods in my diet, anyway. But during the holidays, we always find ourselves baking something.

  12. I do a fair bit of baking for Christmas but not cookies so much. I make a dark fruitcake and a lighter cherry almond cake plus I make a lot of squares. I make cranberry squares, buttertart, pineapple and three kinds of nanimo squares(regular, cherry and mint)… I might make an Irish Cream nanimo square this year, not sure yet.. I also make a cranberry coffee cake and bark, with white, milk, or dark chocolate wafers and with crushed mint candies or with dried cranberries and almonds. We’re not that big on walnuts here, we use almonds more.Hubby complains about the cost every year…..usually while he is scarfing down the latest treat…. I’ll hit the bulk store for the good quality candied fruit for my fruit cakes… and some spices like cinnamon. I’m hoping for a good sale very shortly on flour, that nice big cheap bag I got a little while ago at NF is over half gone!!! I have butter in the freezer as well. My sugar supply is in good shape now. I buy a few bags every time I find it on sale. When the kids were in school I sent trays of goodies to the teachers and the bus driver as a Christmas gift. Took some into the staff room the last day of school before the break too, it was very much appreciated!!! I also take a fruitcake and a few goodies to my daughter’s former boss every year as a gift, it makes him so happy!!!!! I stash the baking in metal cookie tins in the freezer for safe keeping!!!! Lol!!
    I find the bulk store has the best quality product for my baking and I try to spread out the cost as much as I can, not always successfully. There are some things that are classed as basics here I get there, cinnamon, chocolate chips, sliced almonds, Thompson raisins are all things I don’t want to run out of any time of the year!

  13. Mr CBB… did you pay $41.88 for avocados? How many did that give you?? Or is that suppose to be 4 x $1.88?

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