The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

Do full-price items make it into your grocery cart? : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Mar 17-23, 2014

full price grocery shoppingYOU ACCEPT PRICES OR YOU DON’T


Grocery shopping for full-price items makes us cringe but the reality is in some cases you either accept the price or you don’t buy it.

At the end of the day it’s either you can afford it or you can’t. If you can’t you don’t buy it and find a cheaper alternative or knock it on the head altogether, if you can.

Should I or shouldn’t I?

Sometimes when I see people staring at a product in their hand I wonder what they are thinking to themselves.

Let’s face it we all talk to ourselves when we grocery shop, admit it.

Is this good for me? What are the ingredients? How many calories? What does it cost? Or should I buy it or not?

I often think questioning purchase price is the burning question in shoppers minds when they are holding products with a confused look on their faces. Who knows?

Many times we convince ourselves that we will find it cheaper even if we have rumbled through the sale flyers for the week.

We know that it might mean going from shop to shop looking for an item on sale. One product that we go through lots is cheese and without coupons it’s hit or miss with the cheese sales.

Mind you they do come out often but when they do it’s time to stock up otherwise face paying outrageous prices for a 500g bar of cheese.

Who pays $8.99 for a block of cheese that goes on sale for $4.77? The customers that don’t stockpile or simply are out of the product and need it for whatever reason, that’s who.


Full-price shopping


An example of full-price shopping we did would be a bottle of Tylenol we bought once. We needed to get Tylenol and the prices were astronomical. It was one of those times you wished you had a coupon for medications.

Funny enough we used to always have loads of coupons for pain killers but since we can’t order from SC Johnson any longer we haven’t really went online to look.

We are not big fans of printable coupons as we tend to get hassled more often than we use them. So we just forget about them.

If and when more retailers find a way to combat those people who are cheating the system with printable coupons we may change our minds.

We also don’t like those fancy install coupon printers for our computer for every bloody company out there. There has to be an easier way, plus ink costs money.

Who is saving the money now, you or the manufacture when they don’t have to pay to print thousands up thousands of coupons?

Anyhow, back to the Tylenol.  We needed it no matter what so whether we paid full-price or found it on sale it would make its way into our shopping cart.

Unless you want to waste time looking for a cheaper price you may have to do like us and pay full-price for the product or you do without. The problem is there are products out there that we can’t do without and many of them never go on sale meaning we pay full-price for them.

I know there are times when we pay full-price for an item like the Tylenol and a month later or even a week later a coupon comes out but there’s nothing you can do but grin and bear it.

Coupons are great for reducing your grocery budget as is using flyers to make a grocery list but when it comes to specific items having to pay full-price is the only way if you want the item. Another example we talked about last week were people who grocery shop in a rush and pay full-price for items.

Those grocery shoppers get what they shop for and nothing more. They are the grocery shoppers that these places rely on with full-price costing to balance out those getting the sales or the lost leader products that they sell just to get you through the door.


Suppliers have a say


Even now suppliers are fighting back saying they don’t want the grocery stores advertising their products as loss leaders just to grab customers.

Putting a strict product price on items may be in the future for some items and I certainly can see a war happening either between the grocery stores and the manufacturers or between grocery stores in general.

Either way they are fighting for top spot and for the customer’s attention. They know that if they put the right items on sale that you will shop with them which means all those full-price (I call them over-priced) items you will buy because you are already there.

Let’s face it, many families don’t have time to run from shop to shop looking for deals. Sure you can price match but only at select stores.

Our favourite grocery stores aren’t always the stores we like to price match in. To be honest we don’t really find Wal-mart to be any cheaper than other shops with various products so it’s all hit or miss. Whether you decide to pay full-price for an item or just wait it out is up to you.

If you have company coming over for dinner tonight last-minute and need to run out to pick up some groceries will you be fussy about whether you are paying full-price for snack items and other grocery items? Most often people just put the items in their cart, get in and get out.

They have the planning head going on and making sure that their guests are comfortable and have all the food and drink they need is priority. Mind you, if you plan a dinner party this could be much different.

The point of this post is there are times when we have to either pay full-price for products or we simply do without or go hunting around for the best current price for that week.

You never know what stores don’t advertise in the flyers but you also don’t want to waste your time and gas running around on hope.

Do you pay full-price for items sometimes? Why?


March 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…… 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



No Frills

  • Strawberries 1lb x 2 Sale $1.44 each
  • Bananas Sale $0.57 lb. x 2 lbs
  • Cantelope Sale $1.47
  • Vlassic pickles Sale $1.88 x2
  • Cucumber PM Freshco $0.69

Total out-of-pocket $9.94

Food Basics

  • Scotties tissue Sale $3.88
  • Cheese bars Old x 3 Mozzarella x3 Sale $4.44

Total out-of-pocket $30.52

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 3 x Sealtest Milk 4L $3.97 each
  • 1 x dozen white eggs sale $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $ 13.90


Grocery shop results


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 March $235.00
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $24.50
  • 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): $17.94 (chickpeas dry) + $2.06 (beef) =$20.00
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+
  • Total Spent This Week: $54.36
  • Total Spent So Far March: $27.69+ $69.33+$54.36=$151.38
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $235.00-$151.38=$83.62
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $
  • Weekly Overview: We didn’t need too much this week as we are still working our way down the freezer. We might look into investing in 2 medium-sized freezers to get rid of the large one we have now before we renovate. The reason is that it is so large that we would never get it up the basement stairs after renovations. It’s best to have smaller ones that we can manoeuver up and down without taking out walls.


Coupon Sleuth


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.

GGC coupons March 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.



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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  1. re; ” We also don’t like those fancy install coupon printers for our computer for every bloody company out there. There has to be an easier way, plus ink costs money.
    Who is saving the money now, you or the manufacture when they don’t have to pay to print thousands up thousands of coupons?”

    Completely concur with your statements.

    Eventhough lack funds for purchase of items, will not give personal and private information , tracking of coupon usage/redemption and consumer spending information to a third party for the sake of access to coupons.

    Yes, realize that there are large savings to be had combining sale price with redeeming a coupon,however unwilling to allow free marketing details be obtained.

    Just my opinion…..

  2. I really try not to buy full price items although sometimes it does happen. I have finally made space in my house to keep extra stock for items i get on sale so am hoping that will help with not having to buy things full price. I did quite a bit of shopping this week :S. So here goes.


    School glue 0.22
    Clear shampoo 1.70-2.00 coupon=free
    friskies cat food 2.34
    purina cat chow 3.58-3.00 coupon=0.58
    crest tooth paste 1.99-0.50 target coupon-1.00 manufacturer coupon=0.49


    Shoppers drug mart

    Ice cream 2.99
    Eggo waffles 1.99
    whole wheat bread 1.99
    jamieson kids vitamin d 4.49
    organic cookies 1.99
    chocolate milk 0.99
    chocolate milk 0.99
    janes chicken nuggets 5.99
    chips ahoy cookies 2.50
    chips ahoy cookes 2.50
    cream of wheat 2.99-1.00 coupon=1.99
    milk 3 x 3.97=11.91
    ginger ale 3.30-1.00 coupon=2.30
    eggs 1.99
    butter 2.99
    royale bath tissue 4.99-2.00 coupon=2.99
    lindor chocolate 1.19

    total=58.51 (now on this shop i did get 18500 shoppers points as i also spent 23 dollars on the frozen dvd bringing my total to 80.46….but i dont consider the dvd to be groceries so took it out of the total)


    Dawn dish soap 4.98-50% off stickers=2.48-1.00 wub2=1.48 for two
    nutrigrain bars 2.50-1.00 coupon=1.50
    pineapple juice 1.79
    sliced ham 0.79
    sliced turkey 0.79
    slices chicken 0.79
    stewing beef 4.31-1.29=3.02
    stewing beef 3.94-1.18=2.76
    lean ground beef 3.90
    ribs 5.02 (1000 PC points)
    Shaving Blades 4.99-2.00=2.99
    Degree deoderant 1.99-1.00=0.99

    Total =27.13

    NO frills

    Pasta 1.00-1.00 coupon=free
    gain laundry soap 3.77-1.00 coupon=2.77
    lysol cleaning wipes 1.97-1.00 coupon=0.97
    snack cakes 2.00
    hot dogs 1.88



    Vanilla almond milk 3.44
    english muffins 1.97
    garbage bags 6.97
    chips 0.97
    blueberries 2.47
    old spice hair and body wash 4.28 (was on clearance for 2.00) so SCOP=Free
    onions 1.97
    olay bar soap 2.00
    olay bar soap 2.00-3.00 wub2=1.00 for 2



    Cat food 4 bags @ 2.34 each

    Shoppers drug mart

    Chocolate milk 0.88×2=1.76
    Dial liquid soap refill 2.00 (on clearance from 10.00)
    kraft peanut butter 2.99
    ketchup 3.49
    olay bar soap 1.50-1.00 coupon=0.50
    strawberry milk 0.88
    milk 3.97
    milk 3.97
    chocolate ice cream topping 2.00-1.00 coupon-1.00
    vh steamers 2.99-1.00 coupon=1.99
    vh steamers 2.99-1.00 coupon=1.99
    coffee cream 1.99
    fries 1.99
    fries 1.99
    juice 1.50
    ice tea 1.50
    juice boxes 2.00
    juice boxes 2.00
    delissio pizza 4.99-2.00 coupon=2.99
    shampoo 3.99-1.00 coupon=2.99
    coke 3.30
    ice tea 1.50
    juice 1.50
    chips 1.88
    doritos 1.88
    dorittos 1.88
    bacon 2.99

    total=64.45 ( and received 13, 600 shoppers points)

    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 : $28.50
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $43.50
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $69.50
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: 0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: 1.00
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: 1.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $4.28
    • Total SCOP this month: $4.28
    • Total SCOP this year: $4.28
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0$
    •Total Spent This Week: $=194.37
    •Total Spent So Far for march: $496.97
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $203.03
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: n/a

    So i did go over a bit this week but got some fantastic deals (namely all the clearance bags of cat food from target….i now have enough for my cat for about 6-8 months!) It was such a great deal! I must say when target gets clearance they really hit it out of the park…and shoppers had some great sales when combined with getting all of the points was too good to pass up 🙂

    1. Hi joanna
      Oh Oh you have a stockpile room or closet now look out lol. We went over a bit in the month of March because of deals but will have to make up for it in April now. You picked up some great deals.How much is the cat food reg? Great deal on the SDM points… it’s awesome if you can save them up. Keep up the great work. You get ballot 22.

      1. The cat Food is normally between 6.50-10.00 depending on brand and where i purchase! so it was basically half off which Never happens!

  3. I try to not put any full price items in my cart. I do on occasion but I can normally save at least a little bit by price matching.

    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.

    Hershey’s drops $3.00 – 50% pink sticker (-$1.50)
    Hershey’s nuggets 2 x $3.00 – 2 x $2.00 coupons
    Broccoli (PM FC) $.69
    Romaine $3.99
    Baby spinach (PM WM) $2.27
    Potatoes (PM WM) $2.47 (earned 400 bonus PCplus points)
    Ombrelle Kids sunscreen 2 x $13.97 – 2 x 50% pink stickers (-$13.98)
    Coupons $4.00
    OOP $29.67

    Corn 4 x $.80
    Lipton onion soup mix $2.00
    Shredded wheat $2.44
    Cadbury dark (PM Guardian) 2 x $1.49
    Drano (PM GT) $2.99 – $2.00 coupon
    Sunlight detergent (PM FB) $2.88 – $2.00 coupon
    Tenderflake pie shell (PM FB) 2 x $2.49 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Eggs (PM SDM) 2 x $1.50
    Catelli pasta (PM NF) $1.00 – $1.00 coupon
    Ritz (PM SDM) $1.49
    MiO 2 x $2.98
    Cracker barrel cheese (PM Sobey’s) 2 x $4.44
    Cheez whiz (PM Foodland) $2.97 (earned 1300 bonus PCplus points)
    Panini rolls $2.69
    Janes chicken strips (PM NF) $4.97
    Apple $.95
    Mushrooms (PM NF) $.97
    Cucumber (PM FC) $.67
    Strawberries (PM FB) 2 x $1.97
    Broccoli (PM NF) $.97
    Cauliflower (PM FB) 2 x $1.67
    Spinach (PM WM) $1.27
    Romaine $3.99
    Tomato (PM FC) $.67
    Carrots (PM NF) 2 x $.97
    Bananas $1.93
    Coupons $7.00
    Tax free day $1.93
    Gift cards used $3.67 + $50.00=$53.67
    OOP $67.04 – $53.67=$13.37

    Food Basics
    Rice cakes 8 x $1.00
    Arctic Gardens lrg bag 2 x $4.77 – $1.00 coupon
    Coupons $1.00
    OOP $17.68

    Bulk Barn
    Pretzel twists $1.83
    Chocolate chips $8.61
    Coupon $3.00
    OOP $7.68

    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: $425 -$15.39 (over last month) = $409.61
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $15.00
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $84.60
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $251.82
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $0
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $3.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart): $49.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $2.50
    • Total SCOP this year: $2.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $53.67
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $220.84
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 0
    • Total tax free day this week: $1.93
    • Total tax free day this month: $3.03
    • Total tax free day this year: $10.63
    • Total Spent This Week: $68.40
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $275.88
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $65.33
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $1040.77
    Weekly overview: I was able to buy two bottles of sunscreen 50% off which is great. It’s the only sunscreen I’ve found to not cause Adam to break out into a rash. I don’t know why I am having such a hard time with my grocery spending this year. If it weren’t for my gift cards I’d be way over. Perhaps the healthier eating is affecting it a little bit? I know I could be more frugal when it comes to groceries but I find it hard to say no to food lol. I do donate a fair amount as well. I will be donating some pasta and laundry detergent that I have purchased this year already to the food bank or my Christmas families.

    1. Hi Jen,
      I don’t know how you do it but you always seem to get those Hershey’s drops at 50% off at RCSS lol. It’s like they know you are coming… hurry Jen’s on the way get out the pink stickers and chocolate.. 🙂 All I can suggest is to look at your shops and ask yourself what you don’t need. What can you live without and stop buying items like that. It’s a tough call. You can also look at what ‘healthy items’ you are buying now that you weren’t before and see what the costs of those items are being added to your cart. I hope that helps a bit. You get ballot 19. Mr.CBB

  4. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500.
    Bulk Barn
    .45 celery seed
    .53 chives
    .43 mustard seed
    .44 tumeric
    $1.22 montreal steak spice
    $1.25 cinnamon
    $1.23 cloves
    $5.55 total oop
    $4.80 4L milk
    $1.99 dzn eggs
    $3.99 international creamer
    $2.50×2 special K chocolate bars – yumm!!
    $5.99×2 cheese bricks
    .77×3 1L pop
    $25.65 total oop

    $40 weekly total oop

    $201.36 monthly total oop
    $25.48 monthly total coupons

    Love buying my spices at bulk barn…such awesome savings!!
    I’m really under budget this week because I purchased some items from thrive foods but haven’t gotten the final bill yet so I have just set aside the funds till I find out what my order costs and will post it as soon as I pay for it.

    1. Hi Juanita,
      We buy some items like soap, vanilla and parchment paper at the bulk barn along with some organics, nuts etc. The only time we do is when they offer their Spend $10 save $3.00 off coupon. I think it’s hit or miss with prices at the Bulk Barn so I’m always trying to be on the ball when it comes to pricing and whether I’m getting a good deal. You will get fresh spices that’s for sure. You get ballot 18.

  5. Made it here to post my shops… Last two weeks are going to be tight!!! I found a good deal on hubby’s juice he has in the morning with his meds at Jackson’s Pharmacy. Still haven’t found my way to NF….
    Jackson’s |Pharmacy, March 14
    4 bottles Ocean Spray cranberry cocktail @2.50- 10.00
    Total- $10.00
    Foodland, March 15
    2 pasta dinner @.69- 1.38
    2 tomato soup @.79- 1.58
    2 cans pineapple @1.19- 2.38
    1 can tomato sauce- 1.49
    bananas- .84
    1 fruit juice-1.78
    1 unsweetened apple sauce- 1.98
    2 frozen stir fry veggies @2.49- 4.98
    1 Oktoberfest sausage- 2.50
    2 W/W bread @2/5.00- 5.00
    1 ketchup- 2.97
    2 packs cheese slices @2.97- 5.94
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 cider mix- 2.99
    1 doz eggs- 2.99
    1 peanut butter- 4.98
    2 4l milk @ 4.99- 9.98
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 chicken nuggets- 6.99
    1 144 count Tetley tea bags- 9.99
    Tax- .62
    Total- $79.83

    Foodland, March 18
    1 tomato sauce- 1.49
    bananas- .99
    1 pickles- 1.79
    1 bread crumbs- 1.99
    1 turkey pop up timer- 1.99
    1 bag onions- 2.49
    1 yogurt- 2.79
    1 sausage- 3.99, 2.00 discount
    1 pack raisins- 4.29
    2 4l milk @ 4.99- 9.98
    1 sunflower oil- 4.99
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 grated parmesan – 5.76
    Tax- .26
    Total- $46.29, 2.00 discount

    Total budget for month- $650.00( $130.00 wkly,5 week month???)
    Total coupons/discounts for week- $2.00
    Spent this week- $136.12
    Total spent for month- $167.66+$172.33+136.12=$476.11
    Total over/under for week- over $6.12
    Total over/under for month- N/A
    Left for month- $173.89
    Total coupons/discounts for month- 9.00+4.00+2.00=15.00
    Total carry over to next month-N/A
    Total YTD- J$653.06+F$594.21+M$476.11=$1587.26
    Stockpile -$25.00, $1.08 left for month

    So I have been over the weekly amount every week this month. See how the month ends up as there are two weeks yet to go, assuming this counts as a 5 week month.If it goes as a 4 week month I’m looking better. I do have carry over from last month but I don’t really want to use that all up as I need some slack for June when the strawberries are ripe for picking. Hubby’s cranberry juice was almost half price and he goes through it so I bought 4 bottles. The turkey timer is for the Easter turkey, already in the freezer. That will help out things some but not until next month. I will try to be picking up the odd thing for that meal in the weeks before as much as I can. Late Easter this year. We have another birthday coming up as our daughter’s birthday is April 1. That will mean a carrot cake, her fave!!! It will be cut up and decorated as a bunny cake. Cream cheese icing!!! Yummy!!!! I wasn’t impressed with the price of the raisins but I was out so that is that…. I’m still trying to come in under for the month if possible or as close to it as I can….might depend on whether this is a 4 week month or a 5 week month…. I run Friday to Thursday and there are 4 Fridays this month…. How are you calling it????

    1. Hi Christine,
      I was thinking about you again when I was at Zehrs getting my parmigiano regianno blocks of cheese on for half off the price…. it was an amazing deal you would have loved. Do you ever make your own sauce? It’s much cheaper and you can freeze it and pull it out and slam it in a pot when you want to use it. That and it tastes far better than anything you can get in a can. This month for me is a 4 week month as I go Mon-Sun. Mary and Jen are also doing 5 weeks which is fine. When I start the April GGC just use the first week as your 5th week for March. As long as you let me know and you know and track the weeks you will be fine. You will always get your ballots no matter what now. I wanted to make some carrot squares I saw in the kraft whats for dinner book the other day but with me being ill I didn’t get a chance. Do you have your own recipe? You get ballot 16 Mr.CBB

  6. MARCH – Week #3 of 5- March 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



    We did some shopping on the US side of the border on the way home yesterday but we’ve already accounted for the US reserve funds so I am simply posting the purchases for your interest. 🙂

    I draw your attention to the fact that the following rain check expired while we were away on vacation:

    4 Butcher’s Cut Side Bacon @ $8.99 (Good until March 19th)






    Walmart – Burlington

    1 Diet Dr Pepper (COLD!) = $1.68
    2 pkgs Grated Sharp Cheddar ($9.98 ea) = $19.96
    2 Stuffed Green Olives ($2.24 ea) = $4.48
    2 x 2 lb pkg sliced honey ham luncheon meat ($6.48 ea) = $12.96
    2 x 2 lb pkg Smoked Turkey Breast Lunch meat ($6.48 ea) = $12.96
    1 family size sliced apples = $4.98 ea
    2 jars pickles ($2.46 ea) = $4.92
    1 Family Pack Hebrew kosher hot dogs $9.47
    1 box of 800 Equal $10.88
    Tax $0.14

    • US Grocery OOP: $82.43
    Costco – Burlington

    2 pkg Cheddar Slices ($9.99 ea) = $19.98
    1 x 2-pack Real Lemon Juice $5.79 ea

    • US Grocery OOP: $25.77



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan ($81.89) + Feb ($48.32) +Mar ($0.00) = $130.21

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan ($2.58) + Feb ($7.18) +Mar ($0.00) = $9.76

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

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

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan (456) + Feb (584) +Mar (0) = 1,040 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (25) + Feb (15) +Mar (0) = 40 Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

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



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($167.06) + Feb ($155.74)+ Mar ($12.50 borscht+$20.00 Xmas+$32.20 to US Reserve = $64.70) = $387.50

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $142.50+ Feb $142.50+ Mar $142.50 = $427.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $40.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($47.50)+ Feb ($47.50) )+ Mar ($17.50 to restocking reserve+$30.00 to US Reserve = $47.50) = $142.50

    •Total Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 = $142.50

    •Total Over/Under Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget: $0.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    2013 Fwd $125.00+Jan $17.50+Feb $17.50+Mar $17.50= $177.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $275.00+Jan $12.50+Feb $12.50+Mar $12.50= $312.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $20.00+Feb $20.00+Mar $20.00= $60.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $387.50 Grocery Budget
    $142.50 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =


    $570 may have been budgeted for JAN+FEB+MAR ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $177.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $312.50 Borscht Fund
    $60.00 Holiday Season Fund

    Total Reserves $550.00



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $40.00
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Safeway Gift Card $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $242.74
    – 82.43
    – 25.77
    = $134.54
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    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!!
      Oh no, did you know it was expiring and said ah sod it or forgot about it? This is the third shop I’ve moderated with US shopping in it and I’m amazed at the pricing in the USA. I can certainly see the appeal with shopping over there and how you get more bang for your buck. Well done with the shops Mary. Looking forward to your upcoming shops.. 🙂 You get ballot 15. Mr.CBB

      1. I didn’t realize the rain check expired while I was away but I have lots of bacon on hand at the moment and really didn’t need any more anyway. 🙂 I almost flipped though when I did the grocery post and saw the price of the cheese (hubby shopped). After I posted this, I questioned him on it & realized that that wasn’t grated cheese after all… it was 2 x 2 lb blocks of Sharp Tillamook Cheddar. $20 for 4 lbs is decent on a sharp cheese. LOL He decided it was a good deal and we could run it through the grater ourselves. 😀

        1. I guess you are going to teach him all about the price of cheese. A good cheese is worth it. We picked up the parmigianno regianno for half off this week and that was pretty amazing.

  7. Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 240 including adding to stockpile ($60 per week)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 11.04
    Total Discounts this Week: 0
    Total Checkout 51 cheques this Week: 0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 50
    Total Rewards Points Used: 0
    Total SCOP: 0
    Total Spent This Week: 35.30
    Total Spent So Far for March: 139.42
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 100.58 (made up ground from Feb in the amount of 24.70, leaving me over 10.24 over and above what I needed to make up from Feb)
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 20.03
    Total added to emergency/carry over jar : 10.24
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 705.45
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year in addition to total spent: 75
    Weekly Overview:
    RCSS 1: Oil of Olay soap 1.97 x 6 clearance, Oreos 1.44:14.39 rounded up 1 cent to 14.40
    RCSS 2: downy 4.87 – 1 coupon, jet dry 4.57 – 1.00 coupon, nesquick syrup 3.48 – .50 coupon, Oasis Health break 2 x 2 – .75 and 1.00 coupon, mini watermelon 2.50, bananas 1.15, crackers 2.77 – 2.77 coupon (FPC): 17.55
    RCSS 3: Old El Paso Salsa 3.47 – 3.47 coupon (FPC), cucumber .97, 3 lb carrots 1.98 – .55 coupon: 3.37 rounded down to 3.35

    Three receipts again this week. The first one was an separate shopping day, deals we came across for soap we need or an item want in the case of the cookies (we went in looking for clearance toys for my son to attend a birthday party on Saturday – which gifts has it’s own budget and I am happy to say we found a great Kre-O – like lego – set as well for $16.75 with tax on clearance, a large set too. The soap is the only bar soap we use, allergy friendly and buying 6 boxes at a time on clearance was being conservative, later down the road I may wish we had gotten more but I was determined to be tight with the cash this week. The cookies was a nice treat, and Oreos for that cheap aren’t common. The second and third receipts were to split to get the max amount of pc points possible between our two cards. Pretty straight forward this week. Basics, cheap juice with price match and coupons, and some household products. I had more on my list, but I’m hoping for a sale or at least a way to get some spices or yeast at cheaper price. I don’t run out of cream of tartar often, but I find it pricey to replace, and yeast I’m always watching for. We need glasses cleaner too, but I am not wanting to pay the price at Walmart right now and the dollar store seems to be out, so I’m holding off on that too, I thing we have a few spritz left in the bottle (barely). I am happy I made it past the overuse of funds in February. Now I am just needing to stay on track with it. I am at a bit of a surplus again which is a good feeling.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Great deals on the soap and cookies and the birthday gift. Nothing better than finding toys on sale… haha! Interesting how you maximize both your PC cards. Are they in your own names or you both own a card under the same account? We have one account but have a credit card each. For glass cleaner we have loads of greenworks when they were pretty much free years ago but we tend to use more vinegar and water these days even to clean mirrors. It’s much cheaper and works just as well. I’m happy to see how smart you were holding back on those sales to keep some of that money in your pocket. I know that would have been tough for me. Keep at it. You get ballot 14 Mr.CBB

      1. 🙂 Glasses cleaner – the kind for eye glasses. I’m still loaded in green works products of many kinds too and are switching to more natural as we go (when we need more it will come down to whether I can coupon out a product to less than vinegar). The stuff for my eyes is not cheap these days and water just doesn’t cut it – we can only hold out so long, but we’ve got a few sprays left. I’m trying not to ruin my coating since I am not getting another pair of glasses anytime soon – no more benefits. We don’t have a PC credit card, just the PC Plus cards which are new to our area last November. We each have an account. We are trying to rack up some points so that we can buy meat when our freezer runs out. Which will be sooner than I want, but I’m hoping to get hubby’s card to hit the 20,000 point mark, but I’ve got nearly 60,000. So as long as we pick our timing and sale it will be good.

        1. Oh the glasses cleaner yes that can get pricey. The PC PLUS card is great and if you use it wisely which I know you will you will have loads of points in no time.

  8. I pay full price for potato chips because when I want them I just have to get them. I would never stock up on chips when they are on sale because if I would eat too many.

    Better for the waist line to pay too much than to get a bargain. Of course I could really save money and not buy chips at all but that is just not going to happen.

  9. I do my best not to pay full price, but some things I buy when I need to. My son’s shampoo rarely goes on sale and it’s hard enough to find as it is, we almost always pay full price for it. We found it on sale once since a store that was clearing it out and bought every bottle. Since it’s over $20 a pop we got 5 bottles for that amount. It lasted a year. However, because that place doesn’t carry it anymore, there is only 1 that does and we pay it. Darn allergies. There is the odd thing I find tough to find on sale like yeast, regular bags of popcorn (not the microwave portioned bags), tortilla wraps that I buy it when I need it. And, I make my menu plan as far ahead as I can – up to four weeks at a time except during heavy hockey time and July and August since that depends on the garden. If there is something I absolutely need for a meal coming I will buy it if I didn’t find it on sale in the weeks ahead of time from making that menu. And, benadryl is the other thing I occasionally buy for full price (but I go to the store directly I know is cheapest in my area) if we run out and I don’t have a coupon. And those benadryl coupons are few and far between these days.

  10. I do the same with cheese, if I can get it on sale I stock up as much as I can. If it is a cheese I use in cooking like to make mac and cheese or lasagna I will sometimes grate the cheese and toss it into the freezer for a bit. I also freeze those little bits I have leftover from making an omelete to use as a topping for another meal. Grated cheese makes a nice topping for any baked dinner!!
    I do end up paying full price or close to it for things like fresh veggies and fruit, as there usually aren’t coupons for those and not so many sales. Frozen I buy on sale as much as possible and I do try to buy in season..
    As for the Tylenol, I just buy the generic. It works just as well and is cheaper. The closest I come to buying name brand medicines is the enteric coated ASA I get, there I buy Novasen and it is still cheaper than buying the Bayer product. Price wise it is the same price as the store’s brand.
    I had read something some one posted (Mary, maybe) that producers were getting their shorts in a knot over some of the deals we get offered and wanted minimum prices for some things that we like to buy on sale. That might help them out and help the store out but it won’t do anything to help us with our grocery budgets… In one way I can see the point from the producers side of it. There are only, what, 3 main chains going these days. Loblaws/Zehrs etc, Metro/Food Basics and the Sobey’s chain. The days of all those lovely independents is long gone I’m afraid. The little guys have been swallowed up by the big boys…
    I will still coupon if I can and price match for savings when I shop out of town. When I go out of town I need to make sure the savings cover the cost of my gas too. That includes shopping at Wal-mart now too. For all the fuss about Wal-mart opening you still need to know those prices in order to save the most for your family.

  11. I hate paying full price. I have a pretty good idea of when things will be on sale (tends to be 4-6 week cycle where I shop) so try to time purchases and mini-stockpile until next sale. Sometimes paying full price cannot be avoided – like you said for special events or exotic ingredients.
    For the tylenol maybe a store brand would have saved you a few dollars? I tend to go to the store brand if there are no sales.

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