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!



Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

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  1. I feel its morale wrong not to shoplift from cooperate companies. In ideal world we should all shop from private family business not supporting these evil global cooperation’s
    I live in Australia where the minimum wage is at least lot higher than other artificial dollar imperialist countries like U.S and Canada however we are heading down to the road of fading middle class to increase poor working class and small elite
    I also try to avoid brand name rubbish particular clothing which is just cheap crap made by slave labour in Bangladesh and so on.
    As im 100kg bodybuilder I shoplift around $160 of salmon a week. I just open 2 packets a day and put them in fruit veg plastic and put in my cargo pants also all other expensive items are shoplifted only from cooperate companies the only problem with shoplifting is I have to visit 1 or 2 stores everyday.. Some of the females in my family use compartments in hand bags and even pregnancy suits.
    Its quite disgusting that 20 people own more than the poorest 3 billion people wealth – these elite are to blame.
    Despite what you thing of my family we are all working and I even do charity work at animal shelter. I an against theft from small business, vandalism, graffiti and charity’s – in Australia charities are scandal for cooperate companies- 80 precent of first year profit dose not have to be donated generally the charity are folded or re registered after first year.
    Thank goodness for shoplifting now my family can live decently – and a so called democratic country we are force to buy from only 2 supermarket chains and only one evil Jew shopping centre westfields.
    The world debtors the U.S government evil is growing people have no power and Europe is getting weaker as its turning into multicultural shit hole with corrupt government in debt – no one will be able to stand up to the evil – maybe china but that will be end

    1. As a person who spends 8 months of the year living in Australia, there is no reason to steal anything, no matter the price.
      Chicken is very cheap there…buy that instead of stealing salmon !!!
      My husband and I eat very healthy there on a total of $50 a week. ..hardly anything frozen or canned.

        1. CBB,
          It buys the same amount of food as in Canada. We buy what is on special and reduced. We go to fruit and veggie markets.
          Our shopping basket would generally contain a selection of fruit:, whatever the best deal happened to be…cantaloupes, strawberries, bananas, kiwi,oranges,lemons,pineapple and apples.
          Vegetables would be sweet potatoes, potatoes, broccoli,onions, peppers,lettuce, tomatoes,pumpkin,zucchini and mushrooms.
          Meat would be ground beef/pork, pork loin,chicken (whole/pieces) sausage,kangaroo,
          Milk, cheese, yoghurt,margarine, and eggs.
          Milk would go on sale a lot..then we would be able to by the flavoured ones cheap (strawberry, chocolate, iced coffee)

          Canned foods usually consisted of beans, tomatoes.
          Rarely buy anything frozen..but we freeze our excess meat.
          We can buy small quantities of flour, self raising flour, and sugars very cheaply.

          It’s the same thing there. There is always the same group of people who complain about the price of groceries, but refuse to actually cook anything. Or they buy too much, and toss a lot of it.

          For treats, we would buy anything that was on sale/ reduced that looked interesting.

          1. So essentially you shop like Mrs. CBB and I both do. Yes cooking does help. It costs more per meal to buy boxed or pre-made foods although we do buy tortellini and perogies frozen on occasion. I’m talking about pasta sauce in jars, pasta in boxes, cookies, etc.. they may be cheap but not always the best option and overall cost could be more than making it homemade.

          2. Absolutely.
            I remember one day we bought 4 ‘gourmet’ pizzas which retailed for $7.99 each ..we got them for 79 cents each.
            That, an a nice salad, make a cheap and nutritious meal…the ocassional treat food is fine.

          3. Now that sounds like a real bargain. We don’t tend to see the same deals we did a few years ago especially with coupons. Now we just look for the best prices, price match etc.

  2. May I ask a question about PCpoints? I figure people here would know the answer. I have collected a lot of points,but I haven’t redeemed the points on any PC Plus offers. I will when we get back to Canada, in a couple of months.
    The PC Plus sometimes offers you extra points if you spend $50 (for example) Do I need to spend the $50 via cash/credit card/debit OR can I redeem $50 worth of pc points, and still collect the PC Plus points?
    Hope this makes sense. It just seems in the the small print, it says, $50 purchase ‘after all discounts/coupons etc are applied’

    1. That’s a good question Kathryn but I’m betting they will want you to spend an actual amount of money and redeeming is not actually spending it because you are redeeming it. I’m going to see if Jen can help us out since she is a huge fan of PC points and uses them quite often.

  3. Our weekly budget is $100 a week making this month $400.
    $1×8 canned fruit
    $1.09 canned fruit
    $1.89 bananas
    $1×2 ragu sauce
    $1×3 strawberry crossiants
    $3.49 vinager
    $2 icing sugar
    $3 cream cheese
    .78×6 pop
    $29.45 total oop
    Save on foods
    $14.61 whole chickens-2 – they were over 7lbs each!!!
    $1 cucumber
    $1×2 canned tuna
    $2 bread
    $2.01 apples -6
    $21.65 total oop
    $2.97 cheese toast
    $1.44×4 ritz-clearance
    $1.77×2-.50Cx2 top dogs
    .97 chips
    $1 bcc donation
    $4.83×2 infants & adults tylenol
    $4.83-$2C infants mortin
    $26.50 total oop
    $3 total coupons
    McGavins bread basket
    $13.99 hot dogs buns & bread
    $22.81-$5 boneless pork loin
    $11.49-$3 cordon blues
    $10.99 tums 4pk
    $37.84 total oop

    $129.44 weekly total oop
    $3 weekly total coupons

    $439.07 monthly total oop
    $21 monthly total coupons
    Well we ended up be over budget this month. But we stocked up on bread, tums, pork, medicine and chicken this week and that should last us a little while and we are okay with it. Thinking we will be raising the budget in March but not a 100% as my ei benefits still have not kicked in. So we will see how it will play out.

    1. Hi Juanita,
      I guess with the addition to the family the budget may increase. Are you finding you are going over each week now? As long as you have room for the increase certainly do what you need to if you find you aren’t making it on what you have. We had to do the same thing and likely will again some time soon if we find our budget is too light for us. The tums were a great deal. Keep at it…… Mr.CBB You get ballot 2.

      1. Hey Mr.CBB
        I am going to increase our weekly budget with an extra $25 a week making the month an extra $100.
        The reality is we will have to buy things for our princess whether we had planned on it or not. I did think we could try and keep with the old budget but I don’t think it will work as diaper and wipes cost money!
        We have been very very lucky and blessed and have been given tonnes of clothes and combined with what we had already bought new and used we will not need to buy her much only a few items as the seasons change if she doesn’t have it in that size.
        I am still kinda struggling on making all our meals, with help from the hubby of course, and being at home while exhausted as Chloe has had many nights of little sleep and if she sleeps during the day I don’t always get rest because I’m over tired or company is over. So I am noticing that we are snacking more especially during the wee hours of the morning when she is eating. Hoping we can get balanced out soon.

        1. Hi Juanita,
          Time to put that I’m not available sign on your door for guests. Your health comes first. Take time to relax and get the sleep you need while the baby sleeps. Coming up with healthy fast meals can be a challenge sometimes but it’s possible with planning. Little by little you will get there. I think increasing your budget sounds smart as long as you have the cash available. You clearly know you will need it to buy baby items so it’s necessary. Keep smiling! Mr.CBB

  4. As i re read this i think about my trip to walmart tonight. I was walking down the cereal aisle and low and behold i see a finished banana peel tucked away in between two boxes of cereal :S. Oh what has the world come to. I would definetly be the type of person to say something. I would never EVER have the guts to attempt to steal something!! Here is my shop for this week:


    Mr clean floor cleaner 0.89×4=3.56
    toilet bowl cleaner 1.19
    100 count fleecy sheets 1.79
    clorox cleaning wipes 0.80×4=3.20
    drain cleaner 1.28
    toilet bowl cleaner 1.19
    sunlight laundry soap 40 load 2.09×4=8.36
    Face paint crayons 2.10
    Face paint 2.19


    This trip totally wasn’t planned but oh boy i couldnt help it when i saw some of the sales on those clearance items! especially the laundry soap and cleaning wipes!!!

    Super store

    Chicken fingers 4.97
    huggies diapers 6.98-1.50=5.45
    huggies diapers 6.98 (-2.00 snapsaves rebate) =4.98

    Total =18.13


    Holistic dog food 10.57
    almond milk 2.00×2=4.00
    make up wipes 7.47
    cat food 6.47-2.00=4.47
    fries 1.98
    fries 1.98
    bananas 1.46
    light caesar dressing 1.46
    ketchup 2.87
    jam 3.00
    organic croutons 3.00
    marble cheese 4.97
    old cheddar 4.97
    mozzarella 4.97
    turkey breast 3.97
    chicken sandwich meat 3.47
    honey ham 2.97
    berry punch 0.92
    fruit punch 0.92
    berry punch 0.92
    fruit punch 0.92
    aluminum foil 1.27
    orange juice 2.88
    whole wheat bread 1.99
    pancakes 1.88
    paper towels 2.99
    paper towels 2.99



    Strawberries 3.98
    blackberries 2.98
    romaine lettuce *6pack* 3.98
    water *30 bottles* 2.98
    kolbasa 9.99
    grated parmesan cheese 9.99
    yogurt dipped granola bars 11.99
    florida naturals fruit snacks 8.99


    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 : $3.50
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $17.50
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $26.00
    • 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: $=186.26
    •Total Spent So Far for february: $577.31
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $122.69
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: $122.69

    Not too bad. Made it underbudget…and managed to score some great deals this week. 🙂

    1. Hey Joanne,
      Now that’s different putting a banana peel on the shelf lol.. maybe it was someone who had a snack on hand and decided to eat it but failed to find a bin. Sad really, lazy! Great deal on the 6 pack of romaine lettuce. Now that we know it has more nutrients than iceburg it will be all that we ever buy. Awesome month you had wow! Congrats!! You get ballot 37. Keep up the awesome shopping.

  5. Last week of shops for Feb!!! I did it!!!! Came in well under for the month!! The only place I went was Foodland so that helped out. I need some really good sales for meat as I am now out of ground beef!!! Here’s to hoping!!

    Feb. 21
    2 cans tomato soup @.79-1.58
    3 packs pasta @1.24- 3.72
    1 can piza sauce-1.89
    2 jars Cheez Whiz @1.99- 3.98, Stockpile
    1 pack sausage- 3.99, 50% off-2.00
    1 large chocolate bar-2.89
    1 pack ziploc freezer bags- 3.49
    2 yogurt @3.49- 6.98, 2X$1.00 coupons
    1 Pantene shampoo-4.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 Pantene conditioner- 4.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 4l milk- 4.99
    1 chicken nuggets- 5.99
    1 pack B/S chicken breasts1 12.55
    Tax- 2.13
    Total- $58.17, $4.00 coupons, $2.00 discount

    Feb. 25
    2 packs pasta- 1.24- 2.48
    1 tomato sauce- 1.25
    1 pasta sauce- 1.25
    bananas- .99
    1 jar pickles- 1.79
    2 Cheez Whiz @1.99- 3.98, stockpile
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.98
    1 lb Crisco- 3.29
    2 yogurt@ 3.49- 6.98, 2X$1.00 coupon
    2 4l milk @4.99- 9.98
    1 pack parmesan cheese, grated- 5.10
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case ginger ale- 5.99, $2.00 coupon
    1 pack B/S chicken breasts- 11.34
    Tax- .68
    Total- $65.66, $4.00 coupons

    Feb. 27
    2 cans pineapple tidbits @1.19- 2.38
    1 jar unsweetened apple sauce- 1.98
    1 Sensodyne toothpaste- 4.49
    1 box Rice Crispies- 5.29, 1.00 coupon
    Tax- .58
    Total- $13.72, 1.00 coupon

    Total budget for month-$650.00
    Stockpile- $25.00
    Total coupons- $9.00
    Total discounts- $2.00
    Total spent this week- $137.55
    Total spent this month- $594.21
    Total over/under for week- under- $24.95
    Total over/under for month- under $55.79
    Left for month- $0.00, month end
    Total coupons/discounts for month- $32.75
    Stockpile spent for month- $21.80
    Carry Over- $0.00
    Total YTD- J$653.06+F$594.21=$1247.27

    So I was under for the week by $24.95 and under for the month by $55.79!!! This is money I hope to carry ahead to June when the boys and |I will be picking berries for jam and maybe even some raspberries and cherries!!!
    We have had the discussion on the parmesan cheese, what I bought was grated cheese from the deli counter labelled, Grana Padano Parm cheese. country of origin Italy. The block stuff they have there is priced in the $15.00-$20.00 range for a rather small chunk. This works for us, they also have a larger grate of the same cheese. Kraft it isn’t…. It doesn’t last long here as I’m sure you can figure out.
    I’m hoping for some good sales so I can get more ground beef, preferred extra lean. I am also getting low on flour too. So far I am managing to stock up on a few things while staying under budget so I am happy about that. The stock pile amount helps there… This has been a much better start to the year than last year.

    1. Hi Christine,
      I love when I hear a fan is well under for the month, good for you. I love that your boys and you pull together to get things done the way you do. I always buy it in the chunk as it’s fresher. Trust me. lol.It’s up to you. Grana Padana is the second best Regianno is the best. I’m waiting for beef as well as it’s so expensive. We’re ok for flour so far but a nice sale would be good, you are right. I’m happy you are happy with your shopping for the year. What have you learned about your shopping since starting posting in the GGC? You get ballot 36. Mr.CBB

      1. I think I’ll stick to getting the ready grated stuff as I can put it in a container. Keeps grubby fingers away from the cheese itself!!! My fingers are clean…it’s not my fingers in there I worry about.
        I think one big thing I’ve learned from last year was about dealing with those months that have 5 weeks!!! That really messed with me last year!!! This year I can anticipate that more…..

  6. 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.

    Raisin Bran cereal 2 x $2.98 – 2 x $1.50 coupons
    McCain cake (PM Metro) $4.00 – $1.00 coupon (was asked to bring dessert to a get together that evening)
    Goldfish (PM WM) 4 x $1.67 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Coupons $6.00
    OOP $10.64

    Almond dream 2 x $2.00 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Campbell’s beef broth carton (PM WM) $1.67 – $1.00 coupon
    AJ syrup (PM FC) $1.88 (earned 200 bonus pcplus points)
    Eggs (PM FC) $1.88
    Silk almond milk dark chocolate milk singles 5 x $1.00
    Almond Fresh $3.99 – FPC
    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    BD cheese bar (PM FB) $4.99 – $.75 coupon (earned 1000 bonus pcplus points)
    Margarine (PM NF) 2 x $.88
    Mealtyme bread (PM NF) $1.88
    Vitality bread (PM NF) 3 x $1.88
    Mushrooms (PM NF) $.88
    Cucumber (PM WM) $.77
    Strawberries (PM Metro) 2 x $2.00 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Broccoli (PM) 2 x $.99 (earned 200 bonus pcplus points)
    Romaine $3.99
    Baby spinach $2.50
    Oranges (PM) $4.44
    Tomatoes (PM WM) $.52
    Carrots (PM FC) $1.99
    Bananas $3.36 (earned 600 bonus pcplus points)
    Magazine $3.49
    No tax day $1.10
    Coupons $9.74
    OOP $55.46

    Fresh Co
    Bobby pins $1.99
    Dempster’s tortilla thins $2.50 – $2.50 SCOP rang in at $3.00 🙂
    OOP $2.25

    Kit Kat mint $1.00
    OOP $1.13

    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 -$15.39 (over last month) = $324.61
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $15.74
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $15.74
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $182.96
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $2.00
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $2.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $48.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $2.50
    • Total SCOP this month: $2.50
    • Total SCOP this year: $2.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    • 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: $1.10
    • Total tax free day this month: $1.10
    • Total tax free day this year: $8.70
    • Total Spent This Week: $69.48
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $69.48
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $255.13
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $765.97
    Weekly overview: I redeemed $100 worth of PC Points in December to buy 2 Christmas presents and I already have a ton of points again. I currently have $126 worth of points 🙂 I will be saving them up for Christmas again. With PCplus now I will build them up faster and have more to redeem at Christmas and therefore will have to spend less out of pocket! I was thrilled to get my tortillas with SCOP this week too! I knew I was going to get it as soon as I saw it ring in wrong. I waited to see if the cashier would acknowledge SCOP or not. She did! I didn’t even have to say anything 🙂 My shop this week was just a lot of basics – fruit, veggies, milk, eggs, cereal & bread. It is nice to see. It will be a week tomorrow that I started Weight Watchers again and I’ve already lost over 4lbs and I feel good about eating healthier 🙂 And I made it under budget this week!

    1. Hey Jen,
      Where did you get the raisin bran coupons? Great deal. That’s a smart idea to build up money for food at Christmas time as gifts that you can buy at RCSS. Smart! That’s rare that you don’t have to say anything so you had a cashier that was certainly on the ball although many are told not to say anything so we can’t blame them. Good for you losing weight! I’m happy for you. Keep at it and stay under budget and you will be doubly (is that a word haha) happy! You get ballot 35. Mr.CBB

      1. lol The raisin bran coupons were on a door hang that came with the newspaper and flyers. I got one and asked my neighbour for hers. I’ve lost 5lbs already 🙂

  7. * 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 : 1.00
    * Total Discounts this Week: $0
    * Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    * Total Rewards Points Used: $0
    * Total Spent This Week: $108.75
    * Total Spent So Far for February: $77.65+46.69+93.83+108.75=$326.92
    * Total Over/Under spend this shop: $23.75 over
    * Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $7.35+38.31+8.83-23.75=21.91 under
    * Total Left to Spend for the Month: $13.08
    * Total Coupons Used This Month:2
    * Total to Carry Over Next Month:n/a
    * Total Spent To Date This Year: $313.89+326.92=$640.81
    * Weekly Overview: I saw some great deals for stocking up this week. Sugar for jam season and cheeses for making stuffed pasta. Once again I received about 30lbs in bruised apples. Have been making cookies and puddings as well as apple sauce for baking with it.

    Pantene shampoo Largesize-1.00 coupon 4.99
    Pantene conditioner Blowout sale 2.00
    Royal tissues 4x .69 2.76
    Always pads 3.99
    sugar 4x 1.77 7.08
    taxes 1.60

    Bacon 2.88
    Veal stew 4.62-2.00 2.62
    Grated Romano cheese 2x 1.00 2.00
    Grated Parm. Cheese 4x 1.00 4.00
    Ricotta 2.00

    Can green beans .89
    Can wax beans .89
    Greek feta 2 x2.00 PM 4.00
    Kraft dressings 2/4.00 4.00
    BBQ sauce 2x 1.00 PM 2.00
    Instant oatmeal 2x 1.98 3.96
    Kraft peanut butter 4x 2.47 PM 9.88
    milk 3.97
    yoghurt 3.98
    macaroni 2x 1.00 2.00
    Christy cookies 2x 1.99 PM 3.98
    Ocean spray juice 2/5.00 5.00
    Royal toilet paper PM 4.47
    PC cheese 2 x 4 48 8.96
    Chicken thighs Blowout 2.98lb 5.41
    cucumber PM .99
    clementines 4lbs PM 3.99
    Red pepper PM .69
    Red potatoes 10lbs 3.77

    Total 108.75

    1. Hi Lynaka!
      You picked up some great deals this week wow!! I also made apple sauce yesterday how do you make yours? Mine also tastes a bit like pie filling lol. I was thinking to use it in baking but I only had 7 apples so it made about 2 cups worth so I likely won’t bother. What else did you make with your apples? As far as your parm and romano cheese goes buy the brick of cheese which is the good stuff. It costs a bit more but you don’t need as much as the flavour is pungent and very distinct. The bricks will run you about $7.99 Tre Stelle at any store. It’s well worth the money and you can’t compare the taste to the pre-grated stuff because you don’t know what fillers they add. Hope that helps a bit. Keep up the great work. You get ballot 31 Mr.CBB

      1. Thanks for the tip. I do buy Italian cheese sometimes which is about $10. a brick and like you said taste is much better. I bought these cheeses to make pasta filler. I combine three different cheeses for the filling.

        I make German apple pudding which is really wonderful, but has a lot of sugar in it. My family cleans out the pan in one sitting.

        1. The pudding sounds nice Lynaka. Yes the cheese makes a huge difference in taste when you spend a little more on the real stuff.

  8. Can’t think of a time I saw someone steal from a store however I do know it happens as like you said opened packaging can be found. I will say that I do personally go through the box of Clementines and remove the rotten ones and put them up where the produce manager can collect them and repackage the same amount of Clementines I removed to fresh fruit into the box. If I were ever questioned my response would be, check the box I have, is it not equal, and it saves both me and the manager an issue if at the end of my shopping I have to go to the customer service to exchange.However I know this is not proper etiquette.

    How about turning the shoe though. Grocery stores that steal from customers!
    I was in our local small town grocery store on Saturday to purchase chicken breast on sale $3.99lb. They had lovely chicken breast all with stickers saying” special” all at the section where the sign said “$3.99/lb”. Only my math told me this was not right, these were not at a sale price. Rather at about $5.69lb! Yet people were they picking them up thinking they were getting a deal. Because meat is labled in kg people don’t do the math and figure the store is telling them this is the sale item. I when to the butcher behind the store and asked him for the chicken that was “on sale” he came out saw there was none there and brought out 4 trays of meat. I took three and gave the fourth to someone I had seem picked up one of the wrong ones and obviously had a family to feed. But this still meant there was no “sale” meat now in the cooler for other customers.

    Canadians need to know how to convert lbs into kg, grade 4 math everyone has forgotten.

  9. I’ve never witnessed anyone stealing, but I would inform the workers if I did. A co-worker would constantly tell us she would steal from thrift stores. Go in to try on clothing…and walk out with it on.She was teaching her 3 daughters.She also had a friend who worked in a supermarket at night. You basically give him the order, and he would steal it (meat mostly) and sell it at reduced rates. She thought it was funny.

  10. I saw two people steal from a grocery store in two separate incidents while travelling in Italy. I was surprised as I had never seen that before back home. I didn’t say anything due to the language barrier but it seemed like they definitely knew what they were doing. They appeared to be homeless which is unfortunate so I felt sorry for them. It doesn’t make it right but it was sad to see that they felt they needed to do that

    1. You are right it’s not right to steal but it’s hard when you can see they may be homeless or suffering. We are put in a hard position to do the right thing.

  11. The problem if you see some one stealing is it won’t matter. The store staff themselves HAVE to see it themselves……You can’t accuse someone with out proof. As in the staff would have to see some one pocket the product. They have to be able to tell the police if/when they are called that there is such and such in this pocket….or this was seen going into the purse. I think you get the idea. You need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that something was taken, and where it was hidden etc…. My sister-in-law works in a store and she has seen this stuff going on. The stores get to know certain people and will follow them if they are seen in the store. Not always discretely either. They will make sure you know you are being watched….

    1. So there is no real point in saying anything to anyone is what you are saying? Unless the staff see it they can’t accuse someone of stealing. Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Anyone else care to elaborate on this?

      1. Actually if you do mention it to staff they might be able to watch the person. The thing is some one that is staff must see something be taken in order to charge the thief…. Or deal with them in other ways..

  12. Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 240 including adding to stockpile ($60 per week)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 0
    Total Discounts this Week: 0
    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: 9.35
    Total Spent So Far for February: 270.34
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: overspent by 30.34
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 0
    Total added to emergency/carry over jar : 0
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 566.03
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year: 25
    Weekly Overview:
    Walmart: Milk $3.97, mini watermelon $2, Valentines cards clearance for my son to use next year $1.50, clearance chocolate $1.50: total $9.36 rounded down 1 cent
    I’ve already done my shop for this week, early, but I wasn’t getting much. We were out of milk, needed some cheap fruit and got my last dose of clearance chocolate. We got ahead on the Valentines for my son next year for Grade 4 as I buy them on clearance each year and hang on to them. We were already over budget last week, so this just put us further over. The goal next month is to make up the amount in savings. I’m sure I can do it, reducing the frivolous stuff will be key.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Good for you for spending very little this week just as you wanted to do. I’m happy to read that you were able to stick to your guns with your grocery budget. You’ve just answered my question in this post from the last post about making up the amount in savings. If you can make up the amount each time it will keep you on target for the year which is what you want or at least I’d imagine you’d want. Keep at it… You get ballot 30 Mr.CBB

      1. I used the surplus of almost $5 that was put into my jar from January. So, I have to make up just over $25 for the month of March. It is completely possible, and if I split the difference over 4 weeks, I should be golden. Although, I am still hoping for a true no shop week, or an FPC coupon week as I have a few of those piling up again. It’s funny, three years ago I did this on $30 week, wish I could again. However, with a growing boy and inflated food prices, it just isn’t as easy anymore. I may have to look at things differently throughout the year if including everything from stockpile, to food, to toiletries, cleaning, etc. It may be too much to ask for at this point.

  13. I know people steal food but I’ve never actually seen it happen. I guess I just don’t pay attention to other people at the grocery store! I don’t even know what I would do if I saw it other than maybe alert an employee. If I knew it was someone in need I might even have a hard time doing that to be honest.

  14. In our area, statistics indicate that the largest group of shoplifters is comprised of elderly women. Surprised? Don’t be: They are also the largest group of individuals living below the poverty line. They are also of the generation that was taught it is shameful to ask for assistance.

    Another group that often shoplifts are those struggling with addiction problems. Since many/most addicts suffer from mental health problems and our mental health services have been cut back so drastically, help is often not available to them and they take drugs/drink in an attempt to self medicate. Feeding their addiction leaves little or no money for the basic necessities of life.

    Those are two very different groups, indeed, and both are problematic.

    If I saw someone shoplifting my first assumption would be that they must be in need, but I would hesitate to intervene myself.

    Speaking to an elder seen shoplifting – even to offer to buy their groceries – would wound their pride terribly so, even though I know that the “right thing” would be to report them, I’d likely look the other way.

    Intervening with someone who suffers from addiction/mental health problems can be downright dangerous. I’d likely report someone who I suspected to be in this group because, sadly, they are more likely to receive assistance with their problems if they’ve been in trouble with the law.

    There’s a third group I haven’t mentioned: Those who shoplift for the challenge/fun of it. If I thought this might be the case with someone I saw stealing, I’d report them in heartbeat.

  15. FEBRUARY – Week #4 of 4- February 24-March 2, 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 is a “no shop” week for us. We are using up things in the fridge because we have a two week vacation closing in on us quickly and I want to make sure that we have used all of our perishables before we go.

    I am finishing the month OVER $37.80 BUT I will easily recoup that in March when we’ll be using our “vacation budget” for half of the month. I spent like a mad woman in January and February to make sure I got all the air miles that I needed to maintain our Gold status. Once Sobey’s does their take-over of our local Safeway in March, we may or may not be able to get air miles with them. Time will tell. So at least for 2014, we are in good shape for the Gold status booking of airfare for 2015.

    We’ll do a USA shop on the way back from our vacation, so the funds needed for our March groceries in Canada will be fairly minimal… except for my taking advantage of a bacon rain check on thick sliced bacon. Mmm… everything’s better with bacon! LOL









    •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) << Sigh!
    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. Hi Mary,
      You mentioned you’d be over the month but like you said you are going away for a couple of weeks so you can easily recoup that. I love your thinking ahead mentality with the Air Miles because if something does change at least you will be ok for this year. What are the plans if they kill the program at the grocery store? You get ballot 28 🙂 Mr.CBB

      1. If they do kill the program at the grocery store… no biggie. I can easily get the number of vendors and I will make sure to use our Air Miles car for more of the “large ticket” payments I make. I will still get my 1,000 miles but I may have to work a little harder to do it. 🙂 I can also watch the Air Miles site for deals with bonus points for vendors we’d use anyway. Instead of shopping for example at Amazon.ca, I’ll connect via airmiles.ca and shop using their connection to amazon.ca. Where there’s a will… there’s always a way. 😀

  16. Have seen it frequently by people who are too broke to purchase food because they have payments on a 50 inch tv or other luxury items & dont have bus fare to go to food bank. no excuse for this

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