Are you supermarket loyal?-The Grocery Game Challenge Jan 20-26, 2014 #4

are you supermarket loyal?SEE YOU NEXT WEEK …INSERT NAME _____.


Being supermarket loyal sure does exist. In fact one of my wife’s friends who is single doesn’t even go to the traditional supermarket.

What she does is she goes to a local produce store which also has full section of pre-made meals.

The best part is she can walk to the shops from her apartment which is also a bonus for her.

Transportation reasons is a perfect example why some people may be supermarket loyal simply because it’s easier to shop there than going to another store further away and having to find an alternate means of transportation.

She told my wife she has no need to go to the big box grocery stores when she hardly cooks and the pre-made meals are perfect for her. The store has everything else she needs including milk and conveniently a bakery right next door so being supermarket loyal to her means that she has everything she needs in one spot even if it’s a few shops next to each other.

I’ve come to realize that everyone is unique when it comes to grocery shopping habits based on what their own personal needs are. Not everyone loves to cook nor does everyone care to use coupons or look at weekly sales in the flyers.

What I do know is that people love to remember excellent customer service and for many this is what drives them back as loyal customers wherever they shop for food.


Bargain hunters


We are loyal to pretty much all of the big box supermarkets in our city and every so often we may drop into the local Asian, Greek and Italian markets. We don’t always buy something but we like to have a look around to see what’s new and compare prices to the bigger shops we go to.

If you are like us you enjoy cruising around town and picking up all the bargains you find in the weekly flyer. You may even go a step further and match those flyer deals with coupons that you either found in-store, ordered online or was given by the manufacturer.

Money savings is very important to us especially when it comes to grocery items so going to more than one shop is what we do every week. The supermarkets we do frequent are all in the area of one another so we aren’t going so far.

With only Wal-Mart and No Frills price matching in our area we don’t always need to go into those shops but do price match when we can. As you will see with this weeks grocery shop for example we spent money at Metro which we find lately we have been going to more often.

The reason is because Metro gets the best vegetables or the A grade products to sell and although they are without a doubt pricier than any of the other supermarkets we go to they are high quality products.

If the Metro flyer has fruits and vegetables on sale for a competitive price in comparison to the other supermarkets we won’t price match we will go right to Metro.


In the family


I can remember growing up in the 70’s and 80’s going grocery shopping with my parents in our village which only had the one grocery store.

Mind you the next village was just around the corner and much bigger with many more shops that we could have easily gone to but hardly ever did.

In some villages not only would you have a grocer but you would might find the butcher and the bakery etc all on one stretch of road where everyone meets up on the weekends or randomly during the week to pick up some bits and bobs.

You see over the years you come to bond with the employees who work in the grocery store. There wasn’t a time when someone in the grocery store would not stop my parents to greet them by name and vice versa.

Relationships at the grocery store with the people who serve you goes a long way. This is just another reason I always read the employee name tag at the supermarkets we go to so I get to know the staff by name.

I’m not afraid to smile and have a conversation either, nor let them know they are doing a good job.

When you receive service from employees who go above and beyond for you it’s hard to imagine yourself shopping at another grocery store. In fact some people almost feel guilty when they do as if they are betraying the supermarket they frequent on a regular basis.

Some of these smaller grocery stores are independent and run by a family so the money stays in the family. Every dollar counts so making sure they retain their customers is a priority just as important as bringing the freshest quality products into the store.

We might not stick to one store these days but you can bet I do my best to make sure that the people who do serve me on a regular basis know how important their role is and how much I appreciate them.


Supermarket loyal because of familiarity


Are you stuck in a rut or is it because you are familiar with the store layout and know where everything is. I know many men who would rather go to the same supermarket every week only because they don’t have to think when they go inside.

Most men I know are very much so supermarket loyal and for most its for their own reasons but other reasons are simple enough to factor out.

Let’s be honest and say that most men aren’t big fans of grocery shopping so familiarity makes the experience less painful. I’m sure you’ve seen men in the grocery store who look completely lost but over time once they get used to it they don’t want to go through that same experience all over again if they don’t have to.

I’m sure the same could be said about some women as well who don’t fancy grocery shopping. They’d rather be at the mall shopping for new boots over buying produce to stock the kitchen.


January 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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Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly. If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below. If you know a topic that should be discussed, speak up. I want to know. Happy reading.



Food food and more food



 Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x Cottage Cheese Sale $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $3.98


  •  1 x onion soup mix 4 pack Sale $1.49
  • 2 x avocado 5pk Sale $1.99
  • 1 x Romain hearts Sale $1.99
  • 2 X 1LB mushrooms Sale $1.99
  • 2 x grape tomatoes Sale $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $15.42

Food Basics

  • Ground beef $10.00-30%
  • 2 x whole wheat premium plus crackers $2.99
  • 2 x Lactancia 2% milk Sale $3.88
  • 2 x selection light tuna $1.19
  • Baby carrots $2.77
  • Red Peppers $1.88
  • Bananas $1.96
  • Fuji Apples Sale $0.88lb $3.79
  • Granny smith apples $1.63
  • Navel oranges (20) Sale $0.88lb $ 3.92
  • Fresh ginger $1.68

Total out-of-pocket $43.86


Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820


(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially 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 January $235.00
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $15.31
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $0.50
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $15.80 (ham) ($4.20 Chicken Breast)
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $63.26
  • Total Spent So Far January: $83.97+95.43+63.26=$242.66-$235.00=7.66 over budget
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $7.66 over budget
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $7.66 over budget
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $7.66 overspend
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: Jan $242.66 (does not include stockpile budget)
  • Weekly Overview: Well we went over budget for the month of January but thankfully not by much and next week is a no shop week for us which is fine as we are well stocked up.


Canadian Coupons Found


Canadian Coupons

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 and your weekly Checkout 51 offers 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 2014 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 2014!



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  1. Our weekly budget is $100 a week making this month $500.
    Well not much time or need to shop while our little miss is still in the nicu.
    $1.77×2 croutons
    $2.97 12pk texas cheese toast
    $1.57×2 gv salad dressing
    $3.97 international creamer
    $1.87 baby wipes travel pack
    .50 thread
    $1.14 bananas
    $17.33 total oop
    $1.12×2 1L juice
    $3.73 pepper salami
    $1.67 bologna
    $2 4pk onion soup mix
    $2×2 pizza pops
    $2 chip dip
    $2.52 4x1L pop
    $3.50×2 maragrine
    $2×2 dzn eggs
    $1 salad mixed
    $1 garlic butter
    $1 mushrooms
    $2.50×2 chips
    $37.52 total oop

    $54.85 weekly total oop

    $355.32 monthly total oop
    $57.36 monthly total coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      What a busy time this was for you so I can imagine food wasn’t the top of the list but we all have to eat. NOne the less you still stuck to the budget, good for you. You get ballot 17 MR.CBB

  2. I thought i had posted last week :S but i am not thinking that i might not have hit the post comment button :S and i threw out my receipts….Oh well…..I’m pretty sure it wasnt for much.
    When it comes to being super market loyal yes i tend to stick to one store more than others. I love the zehrs in our town because their produce and meat are always fantastic…they always have deals in store and the people that work there are fantastic. The other grocery stores in town are ok…but i tend to only go there if they have store specific deals which are great.

    Here is my shop for the week; again still not too big as we have had a lot of family and friends who have brought us home made meals which are in our freezer to be used 🙂


    Strawberries 1.99
    Carrots 2.99
    Milk 3.97
    Romaine hearts 4.49

    Total =13.44

    Shoppers Drug mart

    Milk 3.97*2=7.98

    total =7.98

    Total for the week =21.42

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $9,100 ($175/week) I shop for two adults, a five year, two year old, 2 dogs, 1 cat. Our budget includes food, toiletries, pet food, diapers and vitamins 🙂
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $2.00
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $2.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: 0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: 0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: 0
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $0
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    •Total Spent This Week: $21.42
    •Total Spent So Far for January: $78.28
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $564.72
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A

    1. That’s a shame that you threw out the receipts and didn’t hit comment lol. Oh Joanne 🙂 I like Zehrs as well but it’s a shame they don’t price match like the other stores otherwise I’d likely go there a bit more. I agree about the product selection as well as Metro.Well, great shop although it’s not much.. you hit Comment this time that’s the good news! You get ballot 4… see you next week Joanne 🙂 Mr.CBB

  3. Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 300 including adding to stockpile
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 0
    Total Discounts this Week: .50
    Total Checkout 51 cheques this Week: 0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0
    Total Rewards Points Used: 0
    Total SCOP: 0
    Total Spent This Week: 51.73
    Total Spent So Far for January: 203.89
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 96.11
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 23.82
    Total added to emergency/carry over jar : 8.27
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 203.89
    Weekly Overview:
    No Frills: 6 containers of blueberries, 1 kg whole wheat flour: $7.00
    Food Basics: 2 bags of milk: $7.75
    Metro: Plum sauce, soya sauce, reduced salt bacon, grape tomatoes, mini marshmallow, romaine hearts, pre-packaged rice krispie squares for on the go: $15.90
    RCSS: 3 – 4pk of trident gum, cottage cheese, pears, bananas: $14.85
    Shoppers: 2 dozen eggs, tortilla chips: $6.23
    It’s been a good shopping week. I try not to think about how close I came to the $60 this week as I got some fabulous deals, some were just great sales, convenience items for going back and forth to hockey, and some stock up items. I love at this time of year the Chinese sauces are on sale with the Chinese New Year, and I always get a jar of the items we use the most for our shelves. However my best buy was No Frills, saved a large amount of money on things we normally buy and with the blueberries, we don’t buy a lot at this time of year due to the expense. With only 1 week left to go for the month, it’s looking good for us to come in under budget. Crossing my fingers!

    1. Hi Angela,
      Welcome Back 🙂 for another week of the Grocery Game!
      You know, I noticed the same thing that the Chinese sauces were on sale quite often and never thought about the Chinese New Year. It’s a great time to stock up especially if you have the new coupon that came out around Christmas in the booklet for VH. You know what? I think you can make it to the end of your grocery budget month under budget if you want to. 🙂 I’ll cross my fingers for you too! Do you freeze your milk if you buy an extra bag? Do you freeze your blueberries as well or make jam with them? Keep up the great work. You get ballot #29 Mr.CBB

  4. Finally getting here, It’s kind of good news/ bad news this week as I did go over the $130.00 amount for a 5 week month, but I still have room in the budget for the last week….I went to Canadian Tire for a couple of trips as they had the best price for pop and the liquid hand soap I like was on sale…..right after paying full price for some last week……
    Canadian Tire, Jan 17
    2 cases pop @3.33- 6.66
    1 40 count garbage bags- 2.99
    2 Method hand soap @ 5.77- 11.54
    Tax- 2.75
    Total- $23.94

    Foodland, Jan 18
    lemon- .99
    8 Swanson meat pie @ 1.00- 8.00
    4 1l chocolate milk @1.00-4.00
    1 can pineapple tidbits- 1.19
    2 SOS pads @2/3.00- 3.00
    bananas- .84
    1 jar apple sauce- 1.98
    4 W/W bread @ 2.00- 8.00, 2X $1.00 WUB2 coupons
    1 frozen french fries-2.00
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.98
    1 Oktoberfest sausage- 3.00
    1 cider mix- 3.99
    1 syrup- 3.99
    1 grated parmesan cheese- 4.28
    1 holiday Rice Krispies- 4.49, 1.12 discount, 1.00 coupon
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    1 inside blade roast- 9.15
    1 144 count Tetley tea bags- 9.99
    Tax- .91
    Total- $88.52

    Foodland, Jan 21
    4 Swanson meat pies @1.00- 4.00
    2 1l chocolate milk @1.00-2.00
    1 can apple juice- 1.49
    bananas- .97
    2 W/W bread@ 2.00- 4.00, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    1 4l milk- 4.79
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 block cheese- 6.49
    Total- $30.21

    Canadian Tire, Jan 22
    1 case ginger ale- 3.33
    1 Iams cat food- 9.99, $5.00 coupon
    Tax- 1.73
    Total- 10.05

    Total budget for month- $650.00
    Total coupons/discounts for the week- $10.12
    Total spent this week- $152.72
    Total spent for the month- $116.29+$117.24+$114.82+$152.72=$501.07
    Total over/under for week- over $22.72($130.00/week)
    Total over/under for month- 0
    Left for month- $148.93
    Total carry over-0
    Total YTD- $501.07+ $16.91 stock pile($25.00monthly)

    There you go, over for the week this week but still well under for the month. Actually if this was a 4 week month I’d still be under but things have to stretch a little farther as it is a 5 week month. I was happy to get the meat pies, bread, hand soap, and the roast on sale. I got enough meat pies for 4 meals for the four of us. That roast was 3 meals. Stuart got some cat food as he was on the last of it and that coupon was so nice to have!!! He prefers Whiskas but this was there and just as good a deal once coupons were factored in. The variety will be good for him. He has his Temptations for being a good boy so he’s happy.
    This has been a good start for the year and I am happy with things so far….

    1. You certainly love that Method soap. I know for the longest time we had coupons for Method but never bought the product. I’ll keep my eyes peeled now that i know one of my fans likes the products. You also are a pop lover so that’s another coupon to be on the lookout for but you tend more to find them on the pop boxes than anything which works out great for your budget.

      We went over for the 5 week shop as well but we will work on it next month. Back to the grind we go as they say. My relatives have a cat now so I’m looking for cat food coupons when I can. Who knew they would take in a stray but it was a lovely thing to do. I hate to see stray animals out on their own like that especially in the winter. You picked up some great deals this shop you should be proud. Have you ever made oven fries from potatoes? They are much healthier and cheaper on the budget. Just a tip if you can pick up the bags of potatoes on sale. We used to get the frozen ones but not any more. It takes me 10 minutes to wash and cut potatoes and toss in a bit of olive oil and spices and put in the oven on a baking sheet. Sounds to me like you use as much tea as we do. 🙂 You get ballot 27 … smile! Mr.CBB

      1. I get the Method hand soap mostly because I have excema and dry sensitive skin and it doesn’t irritate my hands like some soaps do!!!! Things like hand and body lotions are a need here, not a want. I can scratch myself raw if things get too dry.
        Stuart wasn’t looking too impressed with his Iams but this morning he was paying a lot of attention to me getting up!!! Found out why when I got downstairs….his dish was empty!!! It was good of your relatives to take in the stray, clearly somebody turned their ‘pet’ out into the cold!!! If the cat was feral there is no way it would have gone into the house. Most of our cats over the years have come for the Humane Society. I think our first came from a friend and their cat’s kittens and one came from hubby’s aunt as this kitten was being picked on by other cats in her home. All our cats have been spayed/neutered. It’s a condition of life with us…And our cats stay inside, it’s so much safer and healthier for them to be inside cats.
        I have made my own oven fries, but the ones I got are for the really rushed days when I am going in a number of directions at once!!!
        I don’t drink coffee so tea is my choice of beverage!!! Thanks Grandma!!!!
        So far I’m under for the month still but I hope to stay there. This week went over so I’m trying to keep it cheaper this week…..Time will tell.

      1. Thanks Mary… Yes I think I might because there will be those months when I go over, much as I try not to. Call it my emergency grocery fund if you will…Lol!!!

  5. I shop for 2 adults and a 3 year old boy. Our budget is $85/week or $340 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    Neilson dark buds $1.48 – 50% pink sticker – $.74
    Vitality bread 4 x $3.08 – 4 x 50% pink stickers – $6.16
    Wonderbread 2 x $2.00
    Almond fresh 2 x $3.50 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Kraft Asian Sesame dressing (PM SDM) $2.49
    Smuckers jam $3.00 – $1.00 coupon (earned 600 pcplus points)
    Hershey’s nuggets 2/$6 – $4.00 CO51
    Cadbury eggs 3 x $.88 (deal of the week at the cash register lol)
    Finish dishwasher tabs (PM Metro) 2 x $5.88 – 2 x $3.00 coupons
    Milk $3.97
    Almond fresh 6 x $2.49 – 50% pink stickers – $7.50 – 6 x $.75 coupons
    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    Bravo pasta sauce (PM FB) 10 x $.99
    NN soya sauce $1.77
    BD Cheese slices (48 pack) 2 x $5.00 – 2 x $.75 coupons
    Strawberries 2lbs $4.44
    Romaine $3.99
    Green pepper (3) $3.53 – 50% pink sticker – $1.77
    Tomatoes $1.16
    Bananas $2.20 (earned 400 pcplus points)
    Magazine $3.49
    Vaseline (PM NF) 3 x $4.97 – 3 x $1.50 coupons – 3 x $2.00 CO51
    RC spring water 3 x $2.47
    Diet Coke (24) (PM FB) $6.47
    Coupons $19.50
    CO51 $11.00 (including + $1.00 for claiming over $5.00 this week)
    OOP $90.94

    Food Basics
    Whole wheat tortillas $2.00
    OOP $2.00

    Cucumber (PM NF) $.97 (earned 400 pcplus points)
    Oranges $3.86 (earned 600 pcplus points)
    Mushrooms $.96
    OOP $5.79

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year : $4,420 ($85/week) + Meat order $172.85/month for 9 months $1555.65=$5975.65 for the year including the meat order.
    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $19.50
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $65.97
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $65.97
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $11.00
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $17.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $17.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $0
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $24.59
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 0
    • Total tax free day this week: $4.94
    • Total tax free day this month: $4.94
    • Total tax free day this year: $4.94
    •Total Spent This Week: $98.73
    •Total Spent So Far for January: $353.58
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month: OVER $13.58
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $353.58
    •Weekly overview: I’m over by $13.58 for the month 🙁 I did stock up on a few things this week that if I hadn’t stocked up, I wouldn’t have been over. I had run out of my favourite pasta sauce and it finally went on sale, we were out of bottled water so I got 3 since it was on sale, I got 3 vaseline lotions for a phenomenal price (I go through tons of that stuff lol), lots of cheese slices for Adam (two 48 packs) and 6 pink sticker almond milk for Adam. Perhaps I need to add the stockpile budget like you do Mr CBB? That would have saved me this month lol.

    1. Hey Jen,
      One day I’m going to do a post all about chocolate just for you lol. Don’t be sad that you are over for the month you did very well. I know it’s the beginning of the year but if you look at your grocery shops start to pick out what you really didn’t need to buy and stop buying it. There’s no sense getting down on your budget just wipe it as clean as you can. Great deal on the Vaseline lotions. I rarely get any coupons and deals or FPCs any more as I don’t have time to follow the coupon sites and pages like we used to. Goodness we were on top of everything before but I just can’t run the blog and do it all. I miss WING.. where is she boo….. she used to post all the freebies and her grocery shops. I think we need to hunt her down. Great deal on the almond milk. Do you like it? If you add the stockpile budget that’s fine as long as your budget balances and you are spending less than you earn. Remember you need to make sure the cash is available before you budget and spend it. 🙂 Keep smiling… how did the credit card mishap go? I might do a post on that too.. 🙂 You get ballot 26

    2. Jen, I was over this month too but as you say… I stocked up on sale items that I use all of the time! We’ll get it sorted out in February. 🙂

  6. I tend to shop at Loblaws chains. I like NoFrills for their prices and during the summer the selection of fruits and vegetables are great but this time of year it seems like a slum store. So I price match at Superstore. Our Freshco is nice here but I live 70km for any of these stores and my time and gas need to be used wisely. There is a Shopper’s right across from the Superstore. So if milk is not a good price at Superstore I walk to Shopper’s. I get coupons through email from Shoppers each week and sometimes milk is as cheap as $3.66 a bag.I like that both stores have point cards. What I don’t like is the size of the stores. Its a workout some days!! The town near us has a Foodland. Its a lovely store and great to pick specials or things I missed during the week. but they are pricey.

    Like Mary I stockpile a lot. Mostly because the distance I need to drive. I have it for ” That what if factor” ( ice storm, power outage). I have a huge cold cellar in the basement lined with shelves for canning and bins for vegetables.The root veggies from the garden are being put into stews and soups right now. The apples into sauce as everything is beginning to go punky.
    # Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340.00 per month or $85.00 for 4 weeks per month. ( for six people)
    # Total Budget For January $340.00
    # Total Coupons Used this Week : 0
    # Total Discounts this Week: $0
    # Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $10.00
    # Total Rewards Points Used: $0
    # Total Spent This Week: $99.95
    # Total Spent So Far for January: $87.10+ $98.69+ $99.95=$285.74
    # Total Over/Under spend this shop: $14.95 over
    # Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $2.10+13.69+14.95=$30.74 over
    # Total Left to Spend for the Month: $54.26
    # Total Coupons Used This Month: $1.00
    # Total to Carry Over Next Month:0
    # Total Spent To Date This Year: $285.74
    # Weekly Overview: I’m over again this week. I seem to have a full freezer but little in the way of meat that won’t take forever to cook like turkey and full chickens. I have to sit down and have a day where I just cook. I am finding rising prices in fruit, vegetables and anything to do with baking. Did a lot of price matching this week. A little discouraging but I’m not in the hole yet!!
    A note that the last two weeks I entered a comment I had the wrong weekly price down. I had it at $70.00 a week, but in fact it is $85.00 a week I am allowed to spend.
    You can see the breakdown of what I bought on my blog.

    1. Hi Lynaka
      I know what you mean about the produce this time of year although we are finding that we end up at Metro more often or Zehrs to get better quality produce although we are still looking for sales. We tend to buy milk at SDM as well but I’ve never seen it at $3.66 that’s an awesome price. We also stock up like Mary and have a cold cellar with shelving so we can store all sorts in there. It does come in very handy. Sounds to me like you are a smart shopper. I’ve also noticed rising prices and with the CDN dollar the way it is we can expect prices to get even pricier. 🙂 Keep up the great work. You get ballot 24. Mr.CBB

    2. I know what you mean about big items to cook Lynaka. I was just thinking this morning that I need to start cooking up some of the roasts/hams/turkey I have in my deep freeze.

      Hubby just told me that they are eliminating the staff kitchen at work so what I send for lunches now has to be suitable to be eaten cold as he’s losing his access to a microwave. 🙁 We’ll see how long it lasts before the staff start complaining. LOL

      I know what you mean about the fruit & veggies… I am resorting to using a lot of my frozen stock at this point and I have completely abandoned buying potatoes by the bag… they are ugly. I pick out what we need for the week and sure the price is higher but at least I don’t end up tossing the darned things because they are rotten inside. 🙁

  7. I have two grocery stores we most of our shopping, and the others for sales/specials. They are all within 10 minute drive, so no big deal.
    When I was growing up the 60s & 70s we lived in a small village, and we had 2 general stores, and a butcher. My parents did all their shopping there, as the nearest town was 30 minutes away. Going to town, was something you did when you went to the dentist..rarely. They had a running bill, which they paid off every payday, so I’m sure that had a lot to buying their groceries there. Small community and everyone knew everyone. My mother was very brand loyal..which I’m not.

    1. Times have changed for some depending on where you live. My sister still lives in a small village and she has her groceries delivered or goes to the general store as the nearest town is a short drive but not worth it for her to drive in her eyes. Thanks for dropping in Kathryn

  8. I’m in the same boat as your wife’s friend in that I go to the one store because it is right across the street from us!! I can walk over and walk home with no problem. If I’m getting more than I can carry in one trip I can just leave the second load right by the cashier and come back for it. Or I just bring the boys with me and they help carry everything.The fact that the prices there are better than the other grocery store in town helps too. I can get better prices if I go out of town to shop but I haven’t yet this year. I can understand why the friend shops the way she does as it is hard to make meals for one person…..Her way there is less waste in the long term, I’m sure.
    We are in a small town as you know and it’s works out much like when you were young shopping with your parents, you see people here and there that you know from somewhere else. Gossip Central here tends to be the Post Office as everyone goes there to get the mail!!! Here the owners of both grocery stores are involved in the community in various ways and we all know about it. Stories and pictures tend to show up in the two weekly newspapers. I’m on a first name basis with half the staff at my grocery store. I don’t know all of the students but I’m getting there. It was better when the kids were all at home as I knew the students working as kids that went to school with my kids!!! It can be quite the gossip-fest getting my groceries!!!

    1. I was thinking of you when I wrote that post because I know you have the shop across the road and you go there. Many people who live in the smaller towns do the same and do get to know the entire staff by name. I know when you get to town you can find some greater deals but it’s only when you get in and not something you always do.

    1. Well it sounds like you know what you want and where to get it when it comes to the food you purchase, Good for you Clarisse.

  9. I usually stick to three stores for my groceries — one primary, inexpensive (relative to NY prices), close store; an ethnic market for bulk, dry and pickled foods, and Amazon for big purchases. A sale has to be pretty spectacular — or at least scalable — to makes it worth the extra trip when everything has to be hand-carried, walked, transported by subway, and taken up stairs.

  10. JANUARY – Week #3 of 4- January 20-26, 2014


    •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 week we are working what’s in the fridge, freezer and pantry. We are well stocked but I may need to do a few ingredient substitutions to make it all work. That’s okay… I rarely follow the recipe EXACTLY anyway! It’s a standing joke at our house that the printed recipe on the counter may/may not even remotely resemble what’s for dinner! LOL Hubby knows to ask me what I need next… I have doubling, substituting, adding/subtracting of ingredients all in my head.

    I thought I could get away with a “no shop” week this week – but hubby ran out of his lemon juice for his morning tea. What a grumpy hubby I’d have with no morning tea! It was an absolute necessity to buy his lemon juice. LOL Did you notice my free sweet treats that we won in the Safeway scratch and win contest?? Sure I love treats, but I really love FREE treats even more!!!

    Also, I have about $50 cash in my purse leftover from Christmas so I gave hubby $3 of it to get 24 x 100% whole wheat crusty rolls at Safeway to go with all the soups I have planned this week. I am coming clean here in the remarks section because that $3 was not part of our grocery budget but he did scoop himself one devil of a good deal!

    I am saving the remaining $5.02 for our final January grocery shop in week #4. I will need to pick up a 1 L milk and a loaf of bread for hubby & that’ll pretty much wipe out the remaining budget. It’s going be a really fast shop next week! LOL 🙂



    Safeway – Maple Ridge – Jan 18

    1 x Nestle Smarties ($1.29-$1.29 Store Contest Coupon) = FREE!
    1 x Aero Peppermint Chocolate Bar ($1.29-$1.29 Store Contest Coupon) = FREE!

    •Total OOP: $0.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $2.58 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge – Jan 18

    1 Real Lemon Juice= $2.48

    •Total OOP: $2.48

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $2.48
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    NO US SHOPS UNTIL FEBRUARY 10th <<< when we are away for an early Valentine's Day get-away



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: Jan ($7.77)

    •Total Coupons Used This Year: Jan ($2.58)

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: Jan (0) Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: (70) Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year: (0) Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: (0) Points


    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    Jan ($12.50 to borscht reserve+$20.00 to holiday baking reserve+0.11 from 2013 overage+$9.00+$6.54+$10.00+$10.77+$32.85+$12.44 +$30.79+$2.48= $137.48)

    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far: Jan $142.50

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget: $5.02 AVAILABLE



    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    Jan ($17.50 to restocking reserve+$30.00 to US Reserve = $47.50)

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget: Jan $47.50

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



    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    2013 Fwd $125.00+Jan $17.50= $142.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $275.00+Jan $12.50= $287.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $10.00= $20.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL FUNDS SPENT IN 2014: $137.48 Grocery+$47.50 Stockpile = $184.98

    $190 is budgeted for JAN ‘2014 but with the unused 2013 unused reserves, we have these funds already accounted for but not yet spent:

    $142.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $287.50 Borscht Fund
    $20.00 Holiday Season Fund

    Total Reserves $450.00



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $5.02
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    2014 HOLIDAYS: $10.00
    2014 BORSCHT: $287.50
    Re-Stocking Funds: $142.50

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $150.54
    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)
    4 Butcher’s Cut Side Bacon @ $8.99 (Good until March 19th) – SECOND RAIN CHECK !!!!

    The Butcher's Cut sausages were in the store this week so hubby checked the ingredients and they have wheat in them. 🙁 As a result… I am discarding these two rain checks as we won't be using them:

    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,
      I didn’t prepare a tea for this one because you said it wasn’t nothing too exciting 😉 I love the price of those eggs wow $1.33 is amazing. I love free chocolate any time… nice score winning that contest. Jen would be all over that 😉 Not too shabby paying $3.00 for the rolls and if you have the GC to use than it’s a great way to use it up on bits and bobs although it’s still part of the grocery budget. You get ballot 23. 🙂 Mr.CBB

      1. Mr CBB, the cash in my purse was my little bit of cash leftover from my Christmas gifts budget. I am not adding it to the hiding spot cash because I am planning to use the rest of the cash to have a zipper replaced at the seamstress.

        So really the $3 for hubby’s rolls… it isn’t a gift card or part of the money we “budgeted” for groceries. It’s kind of in the same category as when hubby uses his “spending money” to pick up something for me… like my loaf of gluten free bread for Valentine’s Day last year. 🙂 I report the purchase in the remarks section because 1. it’s nominal, 2. it helps us stay on budget BUT it was a gift – albeit a food gift, from one spouse to another. LOL I guess we’ve been together long enough that chocolates and flowers are passe… we’re on to bread, buns and an occasional hot chocolate! 🙂

        I am glad the freezers were totally loaded coming into January as it has made really very small shops possible this month because I have been making a lot of soup. January to April are HUGE soup months around here! It makes one pack of meat last a whole week!

        Remember when I hit the Dollar Daze and stocked up on the evaporated milk cases last year? They have been a godsend for my soup making this month! In fact, I have a creamy chicken rice soup that I am making tonight that calls for an evaporated milk & that soup will give us enough for 2-3 meals each. As long as I have celery, carrots & onion… we are good to go. I am still using up the 20 lbs of carrots and onions I got on the sale at Thrifty’s in mid-December. I have about 10 lbs of carrots left but the onions… maybe only another dozen. 🙁 I am keeping my eyes peeled for another really good sale on celery and onions… then I will stock up again.

        I am getting better at my soup making innovations… I’ve discovered that the evaporated milk mixed with a little rice flour makes a great creamed soup thickener and if I have any leftover sour cream… I toss that in because it’s another way to add real creaminess without worrying about picking up either half-and-half or whipping cream. Pureed canned beans is a high protein way to add creaminess plus it’s also a thickening agent. Where I am really seeing a drop in my supplies is the beef/vegetable/chicken stock. I am down to maybe one case total left. Eeeek!!!! I have my eyes peeled for upcoming case lot sales on assorted stocks and diced tomatoes.

        1. We make lots of soup in January and February as well and having the carrots, celery and onions on hand is imperative. I am finding though that the celery is quite pricey during these months but carrots and onions are reasonable. Where do you store your onions and carrots so that they last longer? I’m always afraid to buy such big bags for the two of us.

          1. The carrots are in the fridge in the garage – it’s handy having a second full size fridge. The onions are in a dark corner, on the floor of the garage. Winter here is cold but not generally so cold that it isn’t a great place to keep them. It’s a lot harder once the weather warms up. I am finding that for celery, it makes sense for us to buy it when it’s on sale… chop and freeze for future use in soups. We eat a little fresh but one bunch easily covers a couple of weeks. I would say that I use at least one onion, frequently two, every single day though so my onions, even a huge sack of them, don’t hang around long. Now what I don’t stock up on is potatoes…we buy them as we need them because those we don’t use enough of to make it worth even buying a small bag. I also find, I get better potatoes selecting them individually. Sure it’s a little more but how much is a bag worth if it’s either poor quality or you can’t use them before they go off? This week I need 8 potatoes for a chowder but I can’t tell you when we last had a potato! 😀

          2. That’s a good idea with the celery. I might just do that next time it goes on offer. I know one year we loaded up on peppers when they were some ridiculous price like $0.66lb and I washed, chopped and froze them all. My wife loved that and so did I as it was easy to just pull out a bag and use whenever we needed it rather than paying the high prices in the winter.

  11. I am very loyal, because there is only one supermarket in town 🙂 otherwise I’d go for the best deals and probably make two stops. Well there is a smaller supermarket but it caters more for tourists so it’s more expensive, although I go there sometimes to buy cheese or other imported products. It is great to know it’s there, even for a couple of shops per year.

    1. Oh I bet it’s expensive if it caters to the tourists. You sometimes take the bus to get big shops, do you still do that?

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