The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

The grocery game challenge Dec 16-22, 2013 #3: Who does the grocery shopping in your house?

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Not everyone enjoys grocery shopping but someone has to do the task each week or couple of weeks to make sure the house is stocked full of nutritious food.

If you are single or living on your own most often it’s yourself that has to do the grocery shopping alone unless you hire a grocery shopping helper or you shop in mom and dads pantry.

To be honest I’ve been grocery shopping on my own since I was about 18 or 19 years old and I never really appreciated the grocery shopping experience until I started to experiment more with recipes.

I had to learn how to grocery shop at a grocery store but the more times I went the easier it got especially after I created a meal calendar where I would write down what I wanted to eat all week.

I started travelling quite a bit in my twenties to different countries and was exposed to various cuisines which I wanted to create in my own kitchen.

That started my passion for good food with unique flavours from around the world and my collection of cook books that I would buy depending on what country I would visit.

For the most part I had always created a shopping list for healthy eating because I was never much of a sweets or convenience type eater. The only sweet these days that gets me fired up is brownies.

Since I was living on my own and bought my first house when I was young I had to budget my money and make sure that I created meals around what items I could find on sale. I know it sounds like a tedious task but you get used to it and you start to devise your own recipes by changing things up once in a while.

I also got involved with a program  that helped me save up points to purchase items like CD’s and a new refrigerator at the time. I was always a deal seeker and revolved my grocery shopping around the deals.

I was no surprise when I moved to Canada that I was a bit anxious when it came to the grocery store because I wasn’t familiar with most products and the prices were right over my head.


Grocery shopping in Canada


I’ve been in Canada for about 6 years now and I’m confident to say that I can easily do the grocery shopping on my own which I have done in the past but we grocery shop as a couple.

Shopping for grocery items as a team makes us realize what we really need as opposed to what we want when we try to deviate from the list. It happens to the best of us but we try to keep each other on the same level when it comes to the grocery budget.

There are times when one of us will spot an amazing in-store deal that was not advertised which would have been missed. It’s also a great time for us both to collaborate on new meals we want to create and finding new ingredients to go along with those meals.

Generally speaking if you are looking for things to do with your spouse it’s simple and a great way to get to know each other.

I know some people might laugh at us enjoying grocery shopping together but for us it’s something we enjoy doing. Saving money is great but spending time with your partner even if it is at the grocery store isn’t so bad.

Who does the grocery shopping in your house?


December grocery game challenge posts


If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you.


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!


Ultimate grocery shopping guide


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


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 December $235.00-$10.28 overspend= $224.72
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Stockpile Budget: $20.00 Used $0
  • Total Spent This Week: $3.97
  • Total Spent So Far for December $59.14+$3.97=$169.55
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $165.58=$161.61
  • Total Coupons Used This Month: $32.00
  • 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 + $245.28 (November) =  $2422.56 (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: We are off and away this week to spend a few days together on the road just because it’s been a long while for us. We picked up some milk for tea and coffee and have more than enough food in the house for our return.


Canadian Coupons Found


No coupons found this week as we did not go grocery shopping. Check back next week to see what we find. Post your finds as well in the comment section if you like.


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. our weekly budget is $100 a week making this month $400.
    There was a few last minute items we needed but still did good 🙂
    $6 case of kraft dinner – sweet deal!!
    $3.33×2 5lb mandarin oranges – kids really loved them this year
    $10.29 tylenol – really hated paying full price when they were on sale everywhere else but I really needed it at the moment and it is the only thing I can take for headaches and pain for the next couple months
    $3.49×3-$2Cx3 old spice body wash
    $2.50×12-$5Cx4 assorted febreeze items – got awesome points and we are stocked up now
    $3×2-$1Cx2 tostitos
    $1 jello
    $2.49×2 icing/brown sugar
    $1.59×2 canned pineapple
    $2.99×2-$1Cx2 pam spray – clearance
    $3.99 coffee creamer
    $2.76, $3.07-$1.50C prime chicken santa fe – clearance
    $59.75 total oop
    $31.50 total coupons

    $65.75 total weekly oop
    $31.50 total weekly coupons

    $196.36 total monthly oop
    $251.29 total monthly coupons

    1. Hi Juanita!!!
      That was a good deal on the Kraft Dinner considering the price of a box these days can run $1.29 each. Oh, I know what you mean about paying full price.. i might even do a blog post on that. Since we have been ill it killed us to pay full price for Halls, other cough medicines etc. We did find a $3.00 off coupon at Shoppers but when you are ill the last thing we want to do is go looking for deals. Keep up the great work.. your coupon use is amazing. You get ballot 18. Mr.CBB

  2. Finally getting to this after all the Christmas rushing around!!! Get this done and then I can go to the next week and post that one…. I had a trip into No Frills late in the day of Dec 12 and I’m including it here as it wasn’t with the second week.
    Dec 12, NF
    2- 18 count cases pop @4.77- 9.54
    1 block cheese- 5.97, 1.00 coupon
    2 Chapmans ice cream @ 2.97- 5.94, 5.00 coupon
    2 Folger’s coffee @ 5.97- 11.94, PM Walmart
    3 bags frozen veggies @2.97- 8.91
    1 box Cheerios- 3.94, PM Walmart
    3 bags icing sugar @1.37- 4.11
    2 4l milk @3.97- 7.94
    1 bag rice- 3.47
    1 ketchup- 2.47
    1 box cookies- 3.47
    2 big box crackers- 4.37
    1 bag brown sugar- 1.97
    1 Royale 30D roll TP- 7.97, 3.00 coupon
    1 SOS pads- 1.78
    6- 72 count Tetley teabags @2.97- 17.82
    1 soya sauce- 2.29
    1 bag Whiskas cat food -6.99, PM Food Basics plus 2.00 coupon
    1 box salt- .99
    2 W/W bread @1.97- 3.94
    2 bagels @1.97- 3.94
    2 XL ground beef- 6.09+ 6.02
    bananas- 1.12
    1 10 lb bag potatoes- 1.47
    1 Sensodyne toothpaste- 4.58
    2 Dove body wash @4.72- 9.44, 1.00 coupon
    1 Dove shampoo-2.87, PM Walmart, 2.00 coupon WUB 1 BW and 1 Shampoo
    1 Dove conditioner- 2.87, PM Walmart,
    Tax- 5.99
    Total- $146.21, 14.00 coupons

    Foodland, Dec 13
    5 pasta, asst @ .99- 4.95
    1 eggnog- 2.49
    1 molasses-3.49
    Total- $10.93

    Foodland, Dec 16
    2 cans pineapple@ 1.19- 2.38
    1 raisin bread- 1.99
    1 W/W bread- 2.49
    1 turnip- 3.46
    1 cider mix- 2.99
    1 package napkins- 3.49
    1 ziploc freezer bags- 3.49
    1 pancake syrup- 3.99
    1 yogurt- 4.49
    1 4l milk- 4.79
    1 garlic sausage- 4.99
    1 jug water- 5.49
    Tax- 1.30
    Total $45.34

    Total budget for month- $600.00
    Total coupons for week- $14.00
    Total spent this week- $202.48
    Total spent for month- 180.80+148.98+202.48=$862.04
    Total over/under for week- $52.48 over
    Total over/under for month- $262.04 over so far
    Left fro month- 0000
    Total coupons this month- 6.50+8.50+14.00=29.00
    Total YTD- J$818.08+F$598.07+M$770.12+A$938.07+M$650.13+J$876.787+J$734.75+A$625.95+S$800.56+O$637.38+N$609.12+D$862.04=$8590.75

    Well that is way over for the month and there is still a week to go. Talk about shooting the crap out of the budget!!! I did get some nice deals at NF, between sales and PMs and coupons, I’m good for tea for a while, and TP. I did get one chuckle out of the trip to NF … for the third time in a row the cashier had to call a supervisor ads I went over the limit for coupons!!! I’m guessing the limit is $10.00 but I keep going over!!! The poor cashier is apologizing for the wait and I’m laughing about the fact I went over the limit again…..
    It’s a new year shortly and I really need to think about the budget for groceries and such.Hopefully some of the stocking up will hold us over a while into the new year. A stock up amount sounds like it will be a plan too. Another thing to think about is the possibility that we might move back to Stratford sometime next year. Not quite sure on that yet but we are thinking about it. My dad is not doing all that well it seems and it would be nice to be closer to him, just in case. He is 82 so I guess it is to be expected but it’s not something I’m happy about. We lost Mom in 2005. Time will tell. I’ll get to the last weeks posting tomorrow night….

    1. Hi Christine,
      It’s great to see you have learned about your grocery budget over the year. If you want to plan a stockpile budget like we have and it’s in your budget it has helped us out quite a bit this year. The important part of the GGC is learning about our shopping habits and how we can improve so we aren’t spending more than we think we are. I look forward to your shops in 2014 and hope to see us do even better in the new year. Keep up the great work. You get ballot 17 . Mr.CBB

  3. 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.

    Beef broth $1.77
    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    OOP $6.36

    Mini wheats (PM SDM) $2.99 – $2.00 coupon – $1.00 CO51
    Froot Loops (PM SDM) $2.99 – $1.50 coupon – $1.00 CO51
    Potato Thins $1.98 – $.50 coupon – $2.00 CO51
    Dove large shampoo 2 x $8.49 – 2 x 50% pink stickers (-$8.50) – $4.50 coupon
    Basmati rice $3.00 – $2.00 coupon – $1.00 CO51
    Coupons $10.50
    CO51 $5.00
    OOP $5.30

    Bread (PM GT) 2 x $2.27
    Bread $2.17
    Bacon (PM NF) $2.77
    OOP $9.48

    Mini Wheats (PM SDM) $2.99 – $2.00 coupon
    Potato Thins $1.98 – $.50 coupon – $2.00 CO51
    Coupons $2.50
    CO51 $2.00
    OOP $2.73

    Potato Thins $1.98 – $1.00 CO51
    CO51 $1.00
    OOP $1.24

    Tuna (PM) 4 x $.99
    Tomato soup (PM Target) 2 x $.67
    Pickles (PM FB) 6 x $1.99 – 6 x $.50
    Cheerios (PM Target) $2.99 – FPC
    Cheerios (PM Target) $2.99
    Shredded wheat (PM Longos) $2.49
    Turtles (PM Fortinos) 2 x $7.99 – 2 x $3.00 coupons
    Tenderflake $2.77 – $1.00 coupon
    Milk $3.97
    BD almond milk (PM) 3 x $2.00 – 3 x $.50 coupons
    Eggless mayo $3.68
    Almond Fresh 2/$7.00 – 2 x $1.50 coupons
    Tostitos (PM FB) $1.88
    Tostitos cheese dip (PM FB) $1.88 – $2.00 coupon
    Goldfish (PM Target) 3 x $1.99
    Ritz bitz (PM NF) 3 x $1.47
    Vegetable thins crackers (PM NF) $1.47
    Turkey pepperoni $3.99
    Pita (PM NF) $.87
    Mushrooms (PM WM) $1.27
    Grapes (PM) $2.16
    Strawberries (PM Metro) $3.88
    Broccoli (PM) $.88
    Bananas $.85
    Scotch tape $3.50
    Magazine $3.49
    Coupons $19.49
    OOP $85.35

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,680 ($90/week)
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $450 (5 shopping weeks this month – last month was supposed to be for us but ended up only being 4)
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $32.49
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $164.84
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $1927.26
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: $8.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: $18.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: $166.00
    • 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: $1.76
    • Total SCOP this year: $9.39
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $110.46
    •Total Spent So Far for December: $333.60
    •Total Over/Under spend this shop: N/A
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month of December: N/A
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $116.40
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: I do not carry over to the next month.
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $4132.85
    •Weekly overview: It pays once again for me to check my receipt before I leave the store. Once again the cashier accidentally hit an extra button when PMing strawberries. They were $3.88 and she put $23.88. $20 is a huge mistake! Lol. I will probably be under for the month however it might cost me extra this coming week to restock my fridge after the power outage. Overall I’m pleased with how well I’ve done this year 🙂

    1. Hey Jen,
      Coconut yogurt is one of my favourite yogurts… what brand do you use? Great job with the pickles… I think we have coupons for them somewhere but we are not home right now.. I would have stocked up as well. WOW… that is a huge mistake and why we should always read our receipts… i wonder if did a blog post on that yet? hmmmmm.. i’ll look but it’s smart to remind the fans. If you are interested in writing a post about the grocery game, your family, how it helped you, what you liked or didn’t like about it, if you will post in 2014 and why others should join I would love that… if you are interested… I know the fans know you and enjoy reading about your progress since the budgeting post. Let me know what you think…. I’d love to share that with the world. You get ballot 14 Mr.CBB

  4. 99% of the time I’ll do the grocery shopping. I’m not even sure how this came to be. 😛 I have a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping. I love using coupons, finding deals and other ways we can lower our grocery budget. We’re averaging about $300/month for 2 ppl, which isn’t too bad, but it could probably be a bit lower. At the same time I hate it, because it’s time consuming and a pain in the ass to meal plan, at least for me.

  5. I do the grocery shopping here. I’ve tried sending hubby and it didn’t work well. If he can’t find something he just doesn’t bother looking, it basically has to jump out at him most times. But he will find all kinds of goodies for himself!!! I don’t even like having him come with me as he finds things to buy for himself like cookies and candy and such. He thinks having a budget for groceries or for other things is a great idea…… until he sees something he wants and gets told no, it’s not in the budget. Then it’s to hell with the budget I want it NOW!!!! Then he wonders why I get so mad at him. …….. I will have some serious thought over the grocery budget for next year. This year didn’t go all that well but it was sure a learning experience!! Time to put those lessons to work!!

  6. My husband does our shopping, and honestly, he’s gotten pretty good at spending little while making some killer (and, occasionally, healthy) dishes. We spend around $55 (US) a week, and that’s actually down from where we were at the beginning of the year. Generics help bring the cost down, but honestly, the best way to keep things cheap is to buy lots of fresh produce, particularly stuff that’s in-season. Makes all the difference.

  7. I think people always think about cutting the food budget, but never do. My wife does most of the grocery shopping, and has become very adept and comparison shopping and using coupons. She also knows which stores give you the item for free if it rings up wrong, and the exchange/refund poliyc if you don’t like a particular item of the store’s own brand. You guys are ahead of us on the budget, though, because we’re right around $3200 for the year now, so we have some ground to make up!

  8. DECEMBER – Week #3 of 5 – December 16-22nd, 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



    This is the last week before we take off on a week of Christmas vacation.

    We are deliberately not shopping this week… so that we can use up whatever we have left in the fridge before we leave…that’s actually a fair bit and we have great meals ahead this week!

    MY post next week will be posted to the blog after we get back so I just want to say…

    Merry Christmas everyone!









    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:
    +Au$36.66+S$52.74+O$71.36+N$17.25+D($6.00+5.77=11.77)= $481.20

    •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$24.43+D($3.00)= $274.71

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:
    J265+F248+M151+A26+M0+J59+Jy7+Au26+S0+O141+N15+D(12+132=144)= 1,082 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:
    J57+F10+M30+A83+M0+J161+Jy20+Au1+S208+O80+N30+D1= 681 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:
    Jan-Sept 988+ O297+N321+D0= 1606 Points

    •Total PC Plus Points Earned This Year: 6,400 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$144.75+D($14.50 to borscht+$2.25 overage+$110.00 trf to US-$10.00 trf from Stockpile+$2.99+$11.98+10.21= $141.93)= $1,565.89

    •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+D($142.50) = $1,566.46

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $0.57 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$59.46+D($15 to re-stocking+$10.54 to US Reserve+$10.00 to Groceries=$35.54)= $500.81

    •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+D$47.50 = $500.81

    •Total Over/Under 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+O$27.50+N$20.00+D$15.00= $125.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    $275.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL FUNDS SPENT IN 2013: $2,066.70

    $2,280 is budgeted for JAN-DEC ‘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:

    $125.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $275.00 Borscht Fund

    Total $400.00



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $0.57
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    2014 BORSCHT: $275.00
    Re-Stocking Funds: $125.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $120.54
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    3 dozen Lucerne Large Eggs @ $1.33 (Good until Feb 7th)
    4 Butcher’s Cut Side Bacon @ $8.99 (Good until Feb 20th)
    4 Butcher’s Cut Boneless Honey Dinner Ham 1 Kg @ $8.49
    (Good to Feb 26th)
    2 Butcher’s Cut Beef Sausages 500g @ 2 for $5.00
    (Good to March 6th)
    2 Butcher’s Cut Beef Sausages 500g @ 2 for $5.00
    (Good to March 6th) – SECOND RAIN CHECK !!!!



    1. Hi Mary.
      The end of year is here and it’s time to bring out the final numbers. I can’t wait to see your numbers. Well, I look forward to hearing all of the GGC players numbers. Some players went MIA this year but many of you stuck it through and I’m so proud of you all. You get ballot 11… last one for the year 🙂

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