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Does The Expiration Date On Food Matter To You?

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Does The Expiration Date On Food Matter To You


I don’t know about you but I don’t often see people examine the expiration date on every product they put into their shopping cart.

In fact, most people don’t even look at what they buy until they get home which is when they notice any errors or problems.

What is an expiration date?

The expiration date is also called many names as described below but they all mean the same thing.

  • Expiry Date
  • Best Before Date
  • Use By Date
  • Exp Date

The expiry date is simply a timeline as to when the product needs to be moved off the shelf more so than consumed.

Manufacturers always add a best before date that is at least a week before it’s time where you need to just throw it out.

Likely they trust that the grocery store has quality, fresh products that fall within a certain expiration date for consumer, especially if they are paying the premium price.

When you hand over the money you expect the best in return for what you are purchasing. 

I also know some people who wouldn’t dare put a product in their grocery cart without looking for the expiration date.

These types of consumers won’t pay full price for something that will expire in a couple of days.

Many consumers won’t even dare buy products close or on the expiration date no matter what the price.

Who buys products that fall on the expiration date?

Lots of people understand that the product is still good and that it will save them money.

That’s us!

The reality is that some products that have food expiration dates outlive that code as I mentioned above.

I’m sure the manufacturer creates it that way to give themselves room to pick products from the shelves before they go off and the customer sees it.

Products With No Expiration Date

Not every product has an expiration date either because I can’t tell you the shelf life of rice nor an expiration date cannot be found on a huge bag we have.

This is likely because the shelf life is over 90 days so an expiration date is not needed.

The best before date by code can be anywhere on the package but be aware that if it is close to date you may lose some of that nutritional value but you can still purchase it.

Expiration Date And Product Safety

The best before date also has nothing to do with “product safety” so be aware of that.

According to a must-read post about date labelling on pre-packaged food by the Canada Food Inspection Agency

Best before” dates must appear on pre-packaged foods that will keep fresh for 90 days or less.

Foods with an anticipated shelf life greater than 90 days are not required to be labelled with a “best before” date or storage information.

  • After the expiry date, the food may not have the same nutrient content declared on the label.
  • Food should not be eaten if the expiration date has passed. They should be discarded.

Food expiration guidelines are probably something that is imperative to any grocery store and they must adhere to them.

Even the grocery store knows that and likely why you see those pink 50% off stickers as well as any reduced stickers just so they can move the product out the door and fast.

As far as I’m aware grocery stores cannot sell a product that is expired not even at a discounted price, at least that’s what one manager told me.

You will even see reduced products on pet food although I’d likely not purchase near expired dog food or other pet food because we simply don’t know if it’s good or not although any vet would steer you away.

I wouldn’t bother trying to donate expired food either because most places simply won’t accept it.

There’s a difference between near expiry and expired so keep that in mind when purchasing products and donating them.

Product Loss Due To Expiration Date

The grocery store doesn’t want to lose money by having to throw the food in the dumpster or sending it off to the farmers for feed if they don’t have to.

Dumpster diving for food does happen in Canada even though you can’t go on private property that still doesn’t stop some people.

Although I’d never do it these people know most of the food is still good to eat according to the expiration date and it’s a shame that it has to get thrown away.

What’s better than reduced to them is Free… and if they can get it, they will.

Whether the stores recoup a percentage of the loss I don’t know as it depends on the product and the supplier.

What I do know is they likely would make more money if the customer purchased the near-expired product at a discounted price.

What To Look For When Searching For Expiration Date

We’ve bought reduced items close to the expiration date on many occasions without issue.

It got to the point where we knew what products would get reduced there and was no way we’d pay full-price let alone sale price when we knew we could get it for dirt cheap.

A good example of that is dairy, meat, bakery and produce which we always look for at a reduced cost if we can.

Yogurt seems to be one of the easiest products along with organic dairy products that are often selling at a deep discount before the expiration date.

We’ve bought yogurt with a pink sticker that has lasted us a further 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

When Zellers was open back a few years ago they had a frozen food and dairy section but it didn’t sell well.

The amount of discounted food we picked up out of there was insane and draws us back often.

You could almost count on going in daily to find milk, cream, cheese and yogurt with a huge discount just because of the expiry date.

We can honestly say we’ve never had any problems with a reduced product before and if we could freeze it, we would.

Expiration Date On Bread

Bread is another item we hardly if ever buy full price or sale price because some of the grocery stores have bread on a reduced rack on a daily basis such as the Loblaws stores.

There’s nothing wrong with the bread except it’s close to an expiration date and we freeze it.

We’ve never had a problem with reduced bread either although I’ve started to make my own bread here and there.

There was a time when paying $0.25 a loaf after sale price, discount and coupon which was great for stockpiling.

Now we range in the $1.00 plus for discounted bread items on the reduced rack.

We’ve talked about blow out sales and that’s another reason you may see that tag because the expiration date is near and the price is so low it’s hard to resist.

Ask For Discounted Price Help

A fan was telling me the other day that she wanted to make banana bread but the bananas at the grocery store weren’t yellow enough.

I always say if you don’t ask you won’t know so don’t be shy to ask the produce clerk if they have any ripe bananas in the back for a discounted price.

Normally they always do and you can score a great deal, just like anything on the reduced produce racks.

You won’t find an expiration date on unpackaged fruits and vegetables rather you know visually and from touching the product how much life it might have left.

My father in law whose parents owned a farm in the 50 and ’60s said any of the rotten fruits and vegetables would go to the farm animals because no one would buy them.

He said there used to be fruit that would fall from the tree that would have a bruise but nothing would be wrong with them.

He would use his knife to cut out the bruise but the product was perfect. These days people will raid the reduced rack to grab a deal.

Eating Healthy On A Budget

Some people base their weekly meal plan around what’s on the reduced rack, discounted products on shelves and in bunkers.

We are known to grocery shop like this even when we go with a meal plan and list in hand.

It’s easy to make changes to meals as you shop based on the in-store unadvertised deals that you find.

I’m not afraid to buy something that is close to the expiration date or reduced in price depending on the product.

Most often you may only find one bad item in the bag and the rest are perfectly fine.  Apples come to mind.

Food Waste Is A BIG Deal

Food waste in Canada is a big deal and we know that it happens at every grocery store, restaurant and in our own homes.

Why splash out your dollars on food that is perfectly fine if you can clean it, chop it, freeze it or cook it up for a fraction of the cost?

Do the expiration dates matter to us?

Sure because without them we wouldn’t know if we can ask for a further deal or how much life there potentially might be in the product.

The reality is they are there for a reason.

If you are worried about buying a product close to the expiration date simply don’t buy it.

I don’t know any grocery store that wouldn’t refund your money and we haven’t had any issues with products that we have bought close to the expiry date in terms of our health or being inedible.

Related: Why you always need to ask for your grocery receipt

Everyone has their own reasons why they wouldn’t hesitate to purchase a product that was close to the expiration date and others why they wouldn’t bother.

The fact of the matter is money is tight for many Canadians and the grocery budget is a great place to try to save some of that money if you can.

Spend What You Can Afford Even If You Can Afford More

Living below your means may be the untold secret to some but many millionaires live and swear by spending only what you can afford to lose.

Our dentist who has owned his practice for over 25 years old my wife once that even though he’s a millionaire he still shops at Food Basics and Wal-Mart and looks for deals.

Smart guy, sure and it’s true we’ve bumped into him many times.

Hard work is a given but spending your money wisely and in a way that compliments your lifestyle is important to financial health.

It doesn’t mean you have to compromise on nutrition it simply means keeping your eyes open for food deals that will save you cash.

It also means finding ways to save money so you can afford to spend a bit more on the items that never go on sale.

Discussion: Do expiration dates on products matter to you and why?

February 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 FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.

CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel.

Ultimate grocery shopping guide

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 or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email and let me know.

Food food and more food


 Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 4 x 4L Milk $3.97

Total out of pocket $15.88

Food Basics

  • 2 x Harvest Crunch cereal Sale $1.99- $0.50 coupons
  • 1 x Romaine lettuce $0.99

Total out of pocket $ 3.97

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 February $235.00-$7.66 overspend in January =$227.34
  • Total Coupons Used this Week: $1.00
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $22.25
  • Total Discounts this Week: $3.80
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $0
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $19.85
  • Total Spent So Far February: $7.66 over budget January+$25.97+$80.04+$19.85
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $227.34-$25.97-$80.04+$19.85=$133.52
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: Jan $242.66 (does not include stockpile budget)

Weekly Overview:

We didn’t need much this week although we’ve been going through lots of milk lately and cereal.

So you see a big increase in our milk consumption. Maybe it’s just the winter cereal blahs… lol.

Canadian Coupons Found

If you want to know the specifics of any of the following coupons as they are hard to read simply email me or leave a comment and I’ll let you know as soon as possible.

coupons Feb 2014

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.

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 grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget as many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

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.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!


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  1. I just want to know if best before 2015 NO 05 1A means for kirkland signature mixed nuts. Is this still safe to eat?

    1. My advice to you would be to contact Costco with this important question regarding their product. Just ring them up and ask. Sometimes it’s best to get your answer right from the source. Hope that helps. Mr.CBB
      Ottawa, ON K2E 1C5 Shopping Support: 888-426-7826 FREE
      Monday to Friday 9:00am 6:00pm EST
      Saturday 11:00am 5:00pm EST
      Sunday Closed

      General Customer Service: 800-463-3783 FREE
      Monday to Friday 9:00am 6:00pm EST
      Saturday and Sunday Closed

  2. 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.

    Trident gum 2 x $1.98 (earned 300 bonus pcplus points per pack)
    OOP $4.47

    Royale Tiger Towel (PM Rexall) 2 x $3.99 – 2 x $3.00 coupons – 2 x $1.00 Snapsaves
    Coupons $6.00
    Rebates $2.00
    OOP $1.02 (taxes)

    Shout xl refill $8.97 – 50% pink sticker (-$4.49)
    Egg whites $2.49 – FPC
    Weight Watchers rolls $3.58 – 50% pink sticker (-$1.79)
    Poppers 2 x $2.99
    Romaine $3.99
    Bananas $.50
    Coupons $2.49
    OOP $17.32

    No salt added herb and garlic seasoning $5.39 – 50% pink sticker (-$2.70)
    Mini Wheats little bites $4.97 – 50% pink sticker (-$2.49) – $2.00 coupon
    Honeycomb cereal $3.95 – 50% pink sticker (-$1.98)
    Hershey’s Nuggets 2 x $3.00 – 2 x $2.00 CO51
    Barilla pasta $1.00 – $1.00 coupon
    Bag $.05
    Coupons $1.00
    Rebates $4.00
    OOP $9.98

    Cadbury egg $.69
    Gum $1.00
    OOP $1.91

    Piller’s $8.00- $.75 coupon
    Green Giant veggies (PM GT) 13 x $1.00
    Gummies $1.00
    Coupons $.75
    Gift Card used $21.25
    OOP $0.00

    French dressing $2.00
    AJ syrup (PM FC) $1.88 (earned 200 bonus pcplus points)
    Kraft peanut butter (PM NF) 2 x $2.97 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Hershey’s nuggets 2 x $3.00 – $4.00 CO51
    Milk $3.97
    Goldfish 5 x $1.98 – 2 x $1.00 coupons (earned 2500 bonus pcplus points)
    Ritz crackers (PM FB) $1.44
    Premium plus crackers (PM FB) $1.44
    Tostitos (PM) $2.50
    Mio (PM SDM) 2 x $2.99 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Turkey pepperoni $4.49
    Hummus (PM Metro) $2.50
    Wonderbread (PM) 2 x $2.00
    Pita (PM Ample) $.99
    ML bacon (PM FC) $2.88
    Mushrooms $1.98
    Cucumber (PM Ample) 3 x $.50 (earned 400 bonus pcplus points)
    Strawberries (PM FB) 2 x $1.44 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Fresh thyme $1.99
    Broccoli (PM) $.99
    Cauliflower (PM) 2 x $1.99
    Romaine $3.99
    Oranges $2.32 (earned 400 bonus pcplus points)
    Tomatoes (PM) $.88
    Potatoes (PM) $2.47 (earned 400 bonus pcplus points)
    Onions $1.78
    Carrots (PM) $.99
    Bananas $2.32 (earned 400 bonus pcplus points)
    Magazine $3.49
    Halls $2.48 – $1.00 coupon
    Mascara $4.97
    Coupons $9.50
    Rebates $4.00
    Gift Card used $45.00
    OOP $26.47

    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 -$13.58 (over last month)=$326.42
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $19.74
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $101.25
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $167.22
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $10.00
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $29.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $46.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $0
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $66.25
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $90.84
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 0
    • Total tax free day this week: $0.00
    • Total tax free day this month: $2.66
    • Total tax free day this year: $7.60
    •Total Spent This Week: $61.17
    •Total Spent So Far for February: $341.81
    •Total Over/Under spent for the month: OVER $15.39
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: N/A
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    •Total Spent To Date This Year: $695.39
    •Weekly overview: I tried to stay under budget by using gift cards but that didn’t even work. I’m just going to have to keep trying to play catch up. It has happened before and I more than made up for it so I am confident that I can get back on track. It’s not too much of a deficit.

    1. Hi Jen,
      I didn’t even have to read up to know it was you all I did was read the weekly overview lol. See I know you now 🙂 Are you making a shopping list in accordance with the flyer and a number figure? That might help you and that’s all you buy is what is on your list. That is if you want back on track. I know we had to go through it and it’s tough. Keep at it you can do it but find a way to make it work so it doesn’t linger week after week. Trust me, it’s not fun. 🙂 You get ballot 33. Mr.CBB happy shopping my friend.

  3. Our weekly budget is $100 a week making this month $400.
    $4.99×4 brick cheese
    $1.29 strawberry pepps
    $21.30 total oop
    $1.44 ritz crackers-clearance
    $1.67×3 crackers
    $1.97 thinsations
    $1×2 michelinas
    $2×3-$1C yogurt
    $5 4L milk
    $24.10 total oop
    $5.99 12pk soup
    $1.99×4 bistro
    $1×4 sidekicks
    $1×2 lotto tickets
    $19.95 total oop
    $2×4 pizza pops
    $8 total oop
    Canadian Tire
    $1.47×4 2kg sugar
    $5.90 total oop
    $2×2 dzn eggs
    $2.70 6pk bagels
    $6.70 total oop

    $85.95 weekly total oop
    $1 weekly total coupons

    $309.63 monthly total oop
    $18 monthly total coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Your coupon usage is almost as good as ours lately lol. Do you not use many? Interesting how you put your lotto tickets in with your grocery budget. We have a separate category in the budget for that everyone does things differently. Great job this week coming in under budget. You get ballot 32 Mr.CBB

      1. Hey Mr.CBB
        I’m not sure how many coupons I use, I only keep track off how much I save. I am noticing that since our little miss has been born I don’t use as many as we are not shopping as often, I have passed up alot of sales and we are using up our stockpile downstairs. Also with almost all coupons expiring at the end of dec they haven’t replenished yet so I don’t have as many as I would like 😉
        We usually only buy lotto max tickets but I thought I would splurge on a scratch ticket for us.

        1. We have such a large stockpile from 2010, 1011 and 2012 that we hardly need to buy anything these days with coupons. We are trying to do the same thing but they aren’t as lucrative as they once were that’s for sure.

  4. Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 240 including adding to stockpile ($60 per week)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $5
    Total Discounts this Week: $12.76
    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: 127.95
    Total Spent So Far for February: 260.99
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: overspent by 20.99
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 0
    Total added to emergency/carry over jar : 0
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 556.38
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year: 25
    Weekly Overview:
    RCSS 1: no name mushroom soup x 2 – $1.18, Campbells chunky x 2 – $4, Dentyne gum $1.98, Clorets gum $1.98, Yogurt $4.98, Yogurt drinks x 4 $2, granola bars $1.57, Kraft cheese slices $2.88, Cheestrings $4.97 – 1.50 coupon, No name ham slices $2.97, No name pepperoni $3.29, No name bologna $1.69: total 32.61 rounded down 1 cent
    Food Basics: tortilla chips $3.19, lays chips $2.50: Total $6.43 rounded up 2 cents
    Walmart: Lysol soap $3.50 x 2 – 2 $1 coupons, Valentines cupcake wrappers $1, Valentines chocolate $1: Total $8.17 rounded down 2 cents
    Metro: soda pop 3.33 x 2, clearance chocolate 6.36 – 1.80: Total 12.68 rounded up 2 cents
    RCSS 2: Eggo $1.98, NN Burrito $1.29 x 2, Classico sauces x 4 $8, shoestrings $4.48 – 1.50 coupon, pork roast $5.88, pork chops $5.57, pork ribs $7.71, granny smith apples $5.03 – $2.52, bartlett pears $4.77 – $2.39, zucchini $3.57 – $1.79, green peppers $2.73 – $1.37, bananas $2.77 – $1.39, fresh pasta clearance x 6 $12: Total $68.05
    It was an expensive week filled with weakness. We bought a lot of wants instead of needs, so when it came time for the needs we had overspent. However, I am happy that I lucked out into a lot of clearance produce at RCSS and great deals on pork. The Lysol soap is the only type of liquid hand soap my son is not allergic to and it was a stock up, it was like getting 2 for the price of 1 with the sale and coupons to match, that was a worthwhile purchase. In the end, we are already over budget this month and likely will see it go further into the following week, but the goal is to make it a very small shop. I know for sure we will need milk.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Ouch, you went over but it happens to all of us. How do you make up for your overspends for the month? I know you mention you will try to have a small shop next week but what if you are over for the month? Will you carry that overage to the next month and minus that from the grocery budget for that month? You picked up some great deals good for you. What ways can you think of to help stop you from buying those wants instead of needs? You get ballot 29 Mr.CBB 🙂

      1. Yes, the overspending will get sorted out. I used to have huge self control with the budget and cash seems to be slipping too easily through my fingers. I avoid debit since it’s just too easy to spend. Cash I have a harder time to part with, just not the last month. I’m forcing myself not to make excuses and just suck it up. Self control is my key. Number 2 is meal planning. While I was working, I did a meal plan 4 weeks at a time, every meal and snacks. I made a grocery list of absolute needs to achieve that meal plan, a list of what I need to check in my pantry each week to achieve those meals and a bit to apply to sales for stocking up. Now that I am off, I have taken a more laid back approach. Problem is, my grocery shopping all these years has been around the meal plan, not the sales. While stocking up is important, I need to get back to at least a weekly meal plan so I’m less tempted by the sales, which the last couple of months is meat. I know I have meat in my freezer, but I have this fear that when my severance runs out, we just won’t have enough money to eat so I’m buying too much now. Catch 22 frankly. Buy now, have it later but costs more to my budget even on sale. Buy later, have less and maybe not enough, I’m afraid of not providing for my 8-year-old. I still hope to have a job before all of this becomes an issue, or figure out a way if I don’t.

  5. Oh gosh no….there are certain things i will never pay full price for and will always look for those pretty pink stickers…i love the zehrs in town…if i go later at night there are tons of goodies to be found….i will always buy my bread and meat if there is….as i freeze it right away and its provides a great way to stock up 🙂 There are certain things like fruit and dairy products that i wont purchase.

    Here is my shop for this week

    Shoppers drug mart

    milk 3.97
    chocolate ice cream 2.99
    vanilla ice cream 2.99
    royale bath tissue 3.99-3.00=0.99

    total =11.46

    Shoppers drug mart

    milk 3.97


    candy 3.00
    milk 3.97
    free from chicken thighs 3.56
    free from chicken things 3.12



    berry punch 1.87
    cranberry punch 0.59
    fruit punch 1.18
    pink lemonade 0.59
    lemonade 0.59
    brown eggs 3.89
    milk 2×3.97=7.94
    almond milk 3.79
    fries 1.99
    fries 1.99
    vh teriyaki steamer 2.99-1.00=1.99
    fish 4.99
    chips ahoy 2×1.99=3.98
    cheese and crackers 2×2.50=5.00
    sour cream 1.49
    sopressata salami 4.99
    whole wheat bread 1.99-1.00=0.99
    hot dogs 2.99
    sliced ham 0.99
    sliced turkey 0.99
    sliced chicken 0.99
    peameal backon 3.06-0.92=2.14
    chicken strips 7.99
    blackberries 2.49
    strawberries 3.00
    blueberries 3.99
    bananas 2.47
    romaine lettuce 1.99
    kids omega 3 vitamins 8.99
    organic apple juice 3.58
    organic granola bars 2.50
    organic cereal bars 2.50
    organic arrowroot cookies 2.50


  6. Oh gosh no….there are certain things i will never pay full price for and will always look for those pretty pink stickers…i love the zehrs in town…if i go later at night there are tons of goodies to be found….i will always buy my bread and meat if there is….as i freeze it right away and its provides a great way to stock up 🙂 There are certain things like fruit and dairy products that i wont purchase.

    Here is my shop for this week

    Shoppers drug mart

    milk 3.97
    chocolate ice cream 2.99
    vanilla ice cream 2.99
    royale bath tissue 3.99-3.00=0.99

    total =11.46

    Shoppers drug mart

    milk 3.97


    candy 3.00
    milk 3.97
    free from chicken thighs 3.56
    free from chicken things 3.12



    berry punch 1.87
    cranberry punch 0.59
    fruit punch 1.18
    pink lemonade 0.59
    lemonade 0.59
    brown eggs 3.89
    milk 2×3.97=7.94
    almond milk 3.79
    fries 1.99
    fries 1.99
    vh teriyaki steamer 2.99-1.00=1.99
    fish 4.99
    chips ahoy 2×1.99=3.98
    cheese and crackers 2×2.50=5.00
    sour cream 1.49
    sopressata salami 4.99
    whole wheat bread 1.99-1.00=0.99
    hot dogs 2.99
    sliced ham 0.99
    sliced turkey 0.99
    sliced chicken 0.99
    peameal backon 3.06-0.92=2.14
    chicken strips 7.99
    blackberries 2.49
    strawberries 3.00
    blueberries 3.99
    bananas 2.47
    romaine lettuce 1.99
    kids omega 3 vitamins 8.99
    organic apple juice 3.58
    organic granola bars 2.50
    organic cereal bars 2.50
    organic arrowroot cookies 2.50


    1. Hi Joanne,
      I’m the same like you there are certain items we won’t pay full price for. Zehrs is smart moving their product out the door fast with those 50% off pink stickers. It’s better than taking a loss or maybe only getting a percentage back. It works too because people flock to the stores to look for those stickers, we do all the time. It’s worth the savings for us. Keep up the great work!! You get ballot 26 Mr.CBB

  7. Finally getting here to post my shops for week 3….I was all over this week as hubby had a doctors appointment in town and Canadian Tire had sugar on sale. I got to shop at No Frills and do a little price matching while there.

    No Frills, Feb 14
    1 cheese slices- 3.00
    1 double pack chocolate bar- 1.00
    2 packs frozen veggies @2.79- 5.58
    2 lbs butter @ 2.95- 8.85, PM to Sobeys
    2 packs HL fish @3.97- 7.94
    4 KD @ .50- 2.00, PM to Walmart
    1 doz eggs- 1.67
    1 frozen fries- 1.47
    2 4l milk @3.97- 7.94
    1 NN rice- 2.97
    1 NN apple sauce- 1.57
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.97
    1 pack lemon tea bags- 2.49
    1 can mixed nuts- 3.0
    1 Temptations- 1.63
    2 boxes 144 count Tetley tea bags @4.97- 9.94
    5 cans tomato paste @5/2.00- 2.00
    2 bagels @ 2/3.00- 3.00
    2 W/W bread @1.77- 3.54
    4 ML meat pies @1.00- 4.00
    bananas -.65
    1 Dole salad- 2.99, 50% discount, 1.50
    2 GH tomatoes- 1.68
    1 Jergens soap- 2.99
    Tax- 1.12
    Total- $84.49, 1.50 discount

    Canadian Tire, Feb 15
    4 bags sugar@ 1.47- 5.88(Stockpile)
    2 cases pop @3.49- 6.98
    Tax- .91
    Total- $13.77

    Foodland, Feb 15
    2 tomato soup @.79-1.58
    2 cans tomato @1.00-2.00
    2 pasta sauce @1.25- 2.50
    1 ketchup- 1.99
    1 hot cross buns- 3.49, 50% discount, 1.75
    1 apple juice- 3.49, 1.00 coupon
    1 yogurt- 3.49, 1.00 coupon
    1 cider mix- 3.99
    1 ground turkey- 4.49
    1 jug water- 5.49
    2 Downie@5.99– 11.98, $2. WUB 2 coupon
    Tax- 2.08
    Total -$40.82, 4.00 coupons, 1.75 discount

    Foodland, Feb 18
    bananas- 1.24
    4 Cheez Whiz @1.99- 7.96(Stockpile)
    1 garlic bread @1.99, 50% discount, 1.00
    2 W/W bread @2.79- 5.58, $1. WUB 2 coupon
    1 plum sauce- 2.98
    2 yogurt @3.49- 6.98, 2X1.00 coupon
    1 Maple French Toast bagels- 3.89, 1.00 coupon
    2 4l milk@ 4.79-9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    tax- 1.23
    Total- $45.91, 4.00 coupons, 1.00 discount

    Total budget for month- $650.00, 4 weeks- $162.50 wk
    Total coupons/discounts this week-$12.25
    Total spent this week- $184.99
    Total Stockpile for this week- $13.84
    Total spent for month- $456.66
    Carryover- $0.00
    Total over/under for week- over- $8.65
    Total over/under for month-N/A
    Left for month- $204.50+ 11.16 Stockpile
    Total YTD- J$652.06+F$184.99= $1109.72

    So I went over for the week a little but I’ve been under for the first two weeks so it balances out and I still have over $200.00 plus $11.00 stockpile for the last week to go. I’m not going to NF this week and the sales are not that great this week at Foodland so I can get a few things plus what we need and stay under. The cheez whiz is on price mark down until the 27th so I will grab a few more jars as it tends to be a staple here. Usually it is almost $6.00 so I will take advantage…. All in all things are looking very good for this month in spite of going into town to shop and having hubby with me. That double chocolate bar was his and it didn’t make it home…. no surprise there to be honest….

    1. Hi Christine,
      What a great deal on the sugar. I didn’t get a chance to get to the shop to get the deals. Your husband sure does like his chocolate lol. Sometimes we go over one week and try to balance it out the next weeks which is perfectly fine. It gets difficult when there is no balance and that’s happened to us before as well. Grocery shopping really is a game of being able to stick to the plan. Keep at it. Mr.CBB You get ballot 24.

  8. * Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340.00 per month or $85.00 for 4 weeks per month. ( for six people)
    * Total Budget For February $340.00
    * Total Coupons Used this Week : 0.50
    * Total Discounts this Week: $0
    * Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    * Total Rewards Points Used: $0
    * Total Spent This Week: $93.83
    * Total Spent So Far for February: $77.65+46.69+93.83=$218.21
    * Total Over/Under spend this shop: $8.83 over
    * Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $-7.35-38.31+8.83=36.83 under
    * Total Left to Spend for the Month: $121.79
    * Total Coupons Used This Month:.50
    * Total to Carry Over Next Month:n/a
    * Total Spent To Date This Year: $313.89+ 218.21=$532.10
    * Comments: Due to bad weather and not having a vehicle at home I missed out on Monday specials that I really needed like Olive Oil. I shopped at a more local grocery store for one trip and it cost me dearly. Other then that a good week.

    Can dog food 2 x 1.79 3.58
    Hamburger buns 2.99
    milk 5.27
    Cat food 4kg 8.99
    Burgers 10.99
    taxes 1.63

    Olive oil 4.98
    Icing sugar 1kg 2.17
    Chocolate chips 1kg 7.49
    raisins 4.69
    Spring water .99
    Cooking oats 2.28
    cereal 3.98
    Dog food PM 6kg 9.97
    milk 2x 3.97 7.94
    Granola bars 4.99
    Cereal bars 1.88
    Mandarin oranges 3.98
    banana .57lb 1.64
    Maxi pads Coupon-.50 3.40

    bread 2x multigrain loaves free

    Dozen apples free
    Bag of lemons free

    Local groceries
    Baby carrots( organic) 14 bags free
    Celery 2 stalks Free
    bags lettuce 3 bags free
    romaine lettuuce heads Five heads free
    grapes 11 bags free

    Total 93.83

    1. Hi Lynaka,
      It’s hard to not be able to get the weekly deals especially when they are a good price. It can really make a dent in the budget when you have to shop the local shops where you may pay regular price. How long of a drive is it to the other grocery shops for you? You get ballot 23~ Keep at it. Mr.CBB

  9. I have a great relationship with my local grocery store. The advantage of being a farmer as I request food that would normally get throw out ( presumed for livestock) Sometimes they call when there is too much. For example grocery stores freshen up their lettuce and celery but taking the outer bits off, but the down side to that is that the heads no longer look uniformed. A head of lettuce get too small it goes in a bin and believe it or not a cooler. So a perfectly good but small head of lettuce goes in a bin in the cooler.Sometimes they over purchase produce and it gets not just reduced but removed into the cooler! This is what I collect for free. Because I requested so. However I have to take the rotten stuff as well for the livestock. Its a big sorting game every Tuesday when this box is collected. I will never buy meat at full price. Either a sale or 30-50% off. I had a dog last year who was 17 years old and loosing weight too quickly. I asked a grocery store butcher for the trimmings for him. A box arrived at the end of the day with about 60lbs of roast beef, steak, pork chops. I was shocked. I thought of all the families that could have been fed on this. Needless to say the dog loved it.

  10. Expiration dates matter to me. I want to get the one with the longest time before it expires because for some reasons we may not consume it for at least a couple of months.
    We also don’t have grocery stores here that offer discounts for items that are about to expire, so consumers must really look into each expiration dates to get the most out of their money.

  11. I always check the date on some items (milk, bread, meat, yogurt) while on other items it doesn’t matter (canned goods) because the expiration is so far into the future. I know I will have eaten that product by then.

    1. It’s good to hear that you check them all. We’re not that diligent but we do try to check anything that is under a 90 day shelf life just to be sure. Sometimes you can ask for a further discount if the date is near expiry.

  12. I get the reduced foods and have for ages!! These days I look even harder to find them!! Meat I can fire into the freezer and most times I thaw it in the pan as it’s cooking. Sausage is a prime example there, I find reduced sausages all the time. I pop them into the fry pan frozen when I go to cook them and it’s all good. Worst case there it takes a few minutes longer to cook it. A roast will go into the pot frozen as well to be cooked low and slow. We check out the reduced cart at the store across the street, look over the meat counter and check the bakery reduced cart as well. There isn’t much in the way of fruits and veggies there reduced but I will have a look around, just in case. I found the reduced cart for bakery goods at No Frills too and that gets a good look over. Pink is such a lovely colour!!!!!

  13. I don’t care so much about the date as I do the smell or look of the product. When I buy something that has a short life span at a big discount like meat, I freeze, or veggies I process them asap.
    But in Guatemala it is hot all year so the frozen food doesn’t last as long, especially if it is local meat, unlike supermarket meat so you have to eat it quickly.
    Dairy you can keep long past expiry, just in the fridge.

    1. It’s great to get a different perspective from across the world. I’m with you where I like to smell and look at the product.

  14. At the store, they do matter to me. Since not many stores price discriminate based on expiration date, I might as well get the one that has a date that’s a little later, all else equal.

    I wrote something about this once. It turns out that much more important than that date — which should be better understood as a “best by” date used by stores to know when to rotate stock — is the amount of time the food spends in the “Danger Zone,” which is 40 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Well sealed stuff put in a freezer can pretty much last forever.

    What is rumored to be coming someday is discounted ugly fruits and vegetables. I can’t wait 🙂

    1. Discounted ugly fruits… now that’s new on me. I guess it also depends on the regulations where one lives as they may differ. We put stuff in the freezer as well.

  15. Expiry dates do matter to me. Sometimes it means getting that great deal on meat to throw into the freezer, or getting the “stale bread” price at the Westons bakery factory outlet. But most of all, I want to know that what I put into my cart isn’t already expired. I do try to trust grocery stores, but have sound that some in our area are reliable to clear things out quickly if it expires soon…RCSS particularly. However, I’ve been in our Food Basics many times, taken product off the shelf to staff or cashiers to show them expiry dates that have well past any grace period. For example in 2013, I found something on the shelf I was interested in and it expired in 2011, and this isn’t an isolated incident (It was juice by the way). Hmm.. not ok. Only to find such products placed back on the shelf again – I do look as I’m curious and this store’s lazy approach is going to hurt someone or make them very ill eventually. More than once I’ve taken the same stuff to staff or brought them directly to the shelf – talking to manager hasn’t helped either. I am very careful in that store if I am in there as many times this happens. I learned it the hard way half a dozen years ago after blindly trusting stores for so many years, I came home with something and opened it, inside it was disgusting (it was KD). At that time it prompted me to look at expiry and I sure wasn’t impressed. I tried to return it to the store and they accused me of lying. At that point I went to the shelf, found another one with the same expiry. They didn’t even apologize, but with attitude refunded me my product – I even had my receipt to show it was only purchased days before. I never leave that store without thoroughly checking their product. If I can, I will always price match to another store and am thrilled when I get their flyer. I do regularly buy milk from that Food Basics, but I will never buy anything from the freezer coolers, they always seem to be in repair or under temp. Fortunately the fridges are good. So from that experience, I check everywhere. However, it hasn’t stopped me from buying clearance meat or some produce and always bread… I just won’t pay full price 🙂

  16. FEBRUARY – Week #3 of 4- February 17-23, 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



    I looked at our bacon & ham supply and decided to let the following rain checks expire without using them because we have a really good stock of each at the moment:

    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)



    Costco – Port Coquitlam – Feb 16

    1 x 3-Pack 100% WW Dempster’s Bread $5.99

    •Total OOP: $5.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $5.99
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00


    Safeway – Maple Ridge – Feb 16

    1 Extra Lean Ground Beef ($6.44 – $2.58 Lovalty Savings) = $3.86
    1 Extra Lean Ground Beef ($6.44 – $2.58 Lovalty Savings) = $3.86
    6 Dove Chocolate $ (2 for $3 – Manager’s Special) = $6.00

    •Total OOP: $13.72

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $13.72
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons on this shop **
    ** SAVED $5.16 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan ($81.89) + Feb ($48.32) = $130.21

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan ($2.58) + Feb ($7.18) = $9.76

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) = 0 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan (456) + Feb (584) = 1,040 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (25) + Feb (15) = 40 Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) = 0 Points


    •Total Grocery OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    Jan ($167.06) + Feb ($155.74) = $322.80

    •Total YTD Grocery Budget So Far:
    Jan $142.50+ Feb $142.50 = $285.00

    •Total Over/Under on the YTD Grocery Budget:
    ($37.80) AVAILABLE



    •Total Stockpile OOP Spent So Far This Year:
    Jan ($47.50)+ Feb ($47.50) = $95.00

    •Total YTD Stockpile Budget:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 = $95.00

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



    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    2013 Fwd $125.00+Jan $17.50+Feb $17.50= $160.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $275.00+Jan $12.50+Feb $12.50= $300.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $20.00 + Feb $20.00= $40.00 AVAILABLE



    $322.80 Grocery Budget
    $95.00 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =


    $380 may have been budgeted for JAN+FEB ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $160.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $300.00 Borscht Fund
    $40.00 Holiday Season Fund

    Total Reserves $500.00



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($37.80)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Safeway Gift Card $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $180.54
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    4 Butcher’s Cut Side Bacon @ $8.99 (Good until March 19th)
    4 Butcher’s Cut Boneless Honey Dinner Ham 1 Kg @ $10.99
    (Good to May 4th)
    4 Mann’s Broccoslaw – Buy 2 or more @ $1.45
    (Good to May 4th)

    Thrifty Foods:

    6 loaves 100% WW bread @ $1.00 (Good until April 28th)
    4 China Lily Soya Sauce @ $2.50 each (Good Until April 30th)

    Save On Foods:

    1 x 10 lb bag onions @ $2.99 (Good until May 4th)


    1. Sometimes it’s hard for people to let coupons or rain checks expire but like you mention it’s smart to see how much stock you have and to go from there. You got a great deal on the beef I think. A small shop this week, well done. You get ballot 21. Mr.CBB

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