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When you see someone stealing food: The Grocery game challenge #4 Feb 24- Mar 2, 2014

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grocery store foodDON’T GET CAUGHT STEALING


I hope I don’t ever have to witness someone stealing food at the grocery store but the reality is that theft at the grocery store happens every day.

I don’t have to define stealing to anyone because we learn from a young age that if it doesn’t belong to us we don’t touch it and if you don’t pay for it then it’s not yours, full-stop.

Have you ever walked out of a store and the alarms at the door go off because one of your products has a magnetic strip that wasn’t scanned? Or you did steal something and got caught… oh, now what?

The alarms going off have happened to almost anyone and the first thing we do is shake our heads and say… I don’t know I paid for everything?

We are in a stunned state. I’m to the point where it’s happened so often i just walk back and have them check the products again.

A friend of mine had this belt he wore and it set off the alarms at every shop we went in. He got so embarrassed one day in the mall that he took it off and threw it in the bin lol.




It’s not easy to watch every single customer at any given time even with cameras located in most stores these days.

There is only so much the human eye can capture and if the security team is watching one person how can they be watching them all?

It also depends on how many people are on staff for a security team but to be honest when someone is hungry they will stop at nothing to get food.

Why do people steal food?

I don’t know every reason why someone would want to steal food because I’ve never been a position where I’ve not had food available to me. The most obvious reason would be that they are hungry.

I’ve touched briefly in another post about supermarket abuse and why people don’t respect stuff when they go into these stores but it goes deeper than that for some when stealing food becomes a way to survive.

A friend of my wife who was a cashier told her a story of a lady who put a roast up her skirt in between her legs and tried to walk out with it.

She was caught stealing the roast as she exited the grocery store and although it’s never a good situation getting caught stealing, people continue to do it.

huggies diapers with coupons

How many times do you see empty chocolate bar wrappers or food items opened and partly consumed sitting on shelves around the store?

Some people even open diaper boxes to steal coupons from the inside of the box. Manufacturers put coupons inside boxes now but that doesn’t stop some people from trying to get at them.

We were speaking to a customer service clerk at a local store the other day and asked why some boxes of diapers were open which we pointed out to her.

She said likely some people try to see if they can get the coupons from inside. It’s a pity we have to go so far to save a dollar these days.

Stealing is stealing whether it’s food, other items or even opening packages to get coupons out from inside. Is it worth risking getting caught? To some people they don’t care.

It’s all about consequences and not getting caught.

How many people drive a car without a licence or insurance?

Do they even know what would happen if they were in an accident or killed someone? Consequences to some people have absolutely no meaning whatsoever until it happens.

When people get into debt and literally don’t have any money to rub together their mind starts thinking survival. Like many they do the right thing and keep a tight hold on any incoming money or even start budgeting, find more work etc.

What are we going to do to either make money or get what we need? That is essentially the goal is it not?

Doing off the wall things like stealing is not something that everyone aims to do when they are short cash but it happens every day no matter how much money they have in the bank.

We hope that people take the opportunity to use the services of local soup kitchens, church offerings and even the food bank if they need it. That’s what these services are designed for.




The reality is not everyone is prepared to stand in line so everyone can see them asking for help. There is pride that just about everyone carries and it’s not until you get to the breaking point where you give up and don’t care what others think, at least for most people.

You shouldn’t care what other people think because we all have unique situations in life and we have to do what we have to do to survive. There are some people who wouldn’t be caught dead looking like they had no money and were struggling.

Reminds me of the time when someone said, “How can you shop at Value Village?” or “Why do you buy reduced items on the cheap rack when you can afford to buy them fresh?”

I don’t give a rats what anyone thinks but that mentality is out there. I don’t care how much money I have it has nothing to do with why I shop where I shop or why I buy what I buy.

It has to do about the budget and whether it fits with-in our budget. Some people will never understand and that’s fine.

If you have friends like that maybe they aren’t your true friends because they would understand.


Why stealing happens


Getting back to the point of the post when someone for whatever reason finds themselves in a position to shop-lift they must feel they have exhausted their support, are too ashamed or again, don’t care.

You may have someone with an addiction and they are not in the right frame of mind who wanders into a store and just takes what they want and walks out. Some people have been successful just walking out in plain view with products and no one stops them.

Wal-mart combats theft such as having a door representative at the entrance/exit who checks receipts. It must be worth it to them to hire someone to do this and that’s because the cost of theft is high for these companies.

For some people they do it for the thrill of not getting caught and others they do it to survive. I have a friend who was a manager of the produce department for many years and he says don’t be afraid to ask.

Everyone’s management style is different but he’s had people ask if he had any reduced product in the back or anything he’d be willing to give away for free, and he has. You don’t have to risk stealing food and having the police called.

You risk a fine and potential jail time not to mention the humiliation. It’s important to think before you act when money is tight because there are always people and organizations out there willing to help.

Leave your pride at the door because you know that we all have been there or know someone that has close to us who has been in that position.

If you are stealing food for the thrill of it you should really seek some sort of help and hopefully once you do get caught (and you will) that is available to you. Most people don’t seek help on their own.


Someone is stealing food


What would I do if I saw someone stealing food in the grocery store?

Wow, that would be tough I wouldn’t know what to do. The right thing would be to alert anyone who works at the shop to let them know.

Stealing is wrong no matter what way you look at it. Some of you might try to offer money to this person or try to talk them out of it but that might not be such a good idea.

You don’t know where their mind is at and if they get violent even if they are seniors, young kids or looks like someone who is harmless don’t risk it.

Stealing is a huge reason why prices in Canada go up because the more money these organizations lose we take the fall. Sure there are other reasons but stealing food or other items from stores doesn’t help.

Have you ever seen someone stealing food? How did you handle it?

Have you been caught stealing or know someone who has been? What lesson did it teach you that you can share with others?

Why do you think people are too shy to use community services for free food and other items?


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. I will post the February Grocery Game Challenge winner here next week.


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…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!


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




  • Cucumber $1.27
  • Spinach x2 $1.27
  • Mushrooms x2 $1.27
  • Potatoes 10lbs $2.47
  • Baby Bok Choy $1.48
  • Radish $1.27
  • Raw almonds $8.45
  • Romain hearts 3 pk $2.00
  • Bananas $2.85 (0.57lb)

Total out-of-pocket $23.60

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x 4L Milk $3.97

Total out-of-pocket $7.94

Food Basics

  • Cheerios x 2 Sale  $1.44
  • Cherry Tomatoes Sale $1.44
  • Astro Yogurt Sale $1.44
  • Cream Cheese Lactancia Sale $1.44

Total out-of-pocket $7.20

No Frills

  • Hellman’s Mayonnaise PM Freshco $2.99 x 2
  • Basa Fillets Sale 850g bags x2 $4.98
  • 2 lbs Asparagus Sale $1.77lb

Total out-of-pocket $19.48


4 x Cracker Barrel Cheese -$19.08 Stockpile budget

Total out-of-pocket $19.08


stealing food


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 overpspend in January =$227.34
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $22.25
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • 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): $19.08 (cheese)
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08
  • Total Spent This Week: $58.22
  • Total Spent So Far February: $7.66 over budget to start month. January+$25.97+$80.04+$19.85+$58.22=$191.74
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $35.60 under for the month
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $227.34-$25.97-$80.04+$19.85+ $58.22=$191.74 = $35.60 left to spend
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74
  • Weekly Overview: I’m surprised we went under this month but at the same time we have plenty of food to eat up in this house. We haven’t bought much meat lately as we are getting through the freezer first.


Canadian Coupons Found


Believe it or not we didn’t find any coupons this week unless you count what’s at Coupon Zone but we didn’t use any.

Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.


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 grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like 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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