The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

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

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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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