Why some people hate the grocery store: The Grocery game challenge #4 Apr 21-27, 2014

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grocery game challenge april 2014 grocery storeSHOPPING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE


I could teach you 10 ways to save money buying food but if you hate the grocery store there is nothing that I can say that will convince you to spend more time planning your shops.

Grocery shopping is one household task that some people cringe at having to do. I always seem to write about the positive side about grocery shopping but what about those people who hate the grocery store and would rather be doing something else.

Sure, grocery shopping isn’t my idea of fun but at the same time when it comes to our finances we both take pride in making sure we are spending according to our budget.

Today I’m going to talk a bit about those grocery haters and if you’re one of them leave a comment and tell us why you hate the grocery store and what you’d rather be doing.


Hate the grocery store


I know most men will be the first to admit that they hate the grocery store because it’s just too boring and not their thing. I can understand that because many men might not have went grocery shopping with their family growing up, even then it’s not our favourite thing to do.

Since I love to cook I don’t hate the grocery store rather I embrace the reason I am there and that is to buy good food to nourish my body so I can continue to live a healthy lifestyle.

I do hate the grocery store when it’s packed, out of stock and many other reasons but for the most part I do the grocery shopping and I’m ok with that.

If you hate the grocery store you might be someone like my friend’s wife who tells me that she can’t stand going grocery shopping so she sends her husband. If she does have to go she walks around and just throws what she needs in the grocery cart, with no grocery list and then gets out.

I thought her grocery bill must be huge when she does that and when I asked her she said yes for the most part it likely is higher than most people who are frugal when they grocery shop but she doesn’t care. It’s one of those chores that doesn’t sit well with her and she could think of a million other things to be doing.

She also mentioned that she would rather go to Costco and buy food in bulk which means she doesn’t have to go to the grocery store that often. How many of you can agree that you do the same thing?

I’ve been around Costco and some of the prices are good but if you are a smart shopper you know that you can find better prices in the grocery stores if you know your prices and wait for flyer specials.

Maybe she would benefit from hiring a personal grocery shopper who could help her save some money but if the owner of that grocery list doesn’t want to participate even the personal shopper will just get in and get out.


Food is not that important


Believe it or not we have friends who only eat because they have to eat otherwise they could care less about eating in general. It’s funny how something as necessary to life as food can mean so much to many of us and so little to others.

Do you remember that post I wrote once about whether we are eating too much food? Maybe we are and we put too much emphasis on eating food in bigger quantities rather than smaller portions. Sometimes people who don’t fancy eating because it is too time consuming or they simply don’t enjoy eating might just graze here and there just to get food inside them.

As long as they are getting proper nutrition then they see nothing wrong with that. Since food is not that important you can bet they won’t be a regular at the grocery store or the total opposite where you see them daily.

One friend of ours eats very little but when she eats the food is all healthy food but she likes to visit the grocery store every day for fresh fruits and vegetables. She is from Europe and said that when she lived there that is what they did. I can agree because I know that I went shopping more than once per week but mainly because my refrigerator was so small.

Although she may hate the grocery store she has no choice until the summer when the markets and farmers put out fresh produce for sale. In Europe she went to the market every day or they picked from their own crop fresh produce.

They didn’t really have it sitting around in the refrigerator like Canadians do. So although food is not that important when she does eat her meals she likes them to be the freshest they can be even if she doesn’t have her own backyard garden.


Money is no object


You could tell a grocery shopping hater all the money saving tips in the world but if they dislike grocery shopping they likely won’t care and block out all conversation.

Maybe you know someone who has a juicy income and shopping for clothes, yachts and jetting off on vacation is more their style rather than grocery shopping.

The last thing rich people or people who are well off because money is no object want to be doing is grocery shopping. Sometimes I wonder if it’s not that posh to be seen in a grocery store if you have money just as it is to not drive your own vehicle, rather be driven around by a driver.

There are some famous people who do love to shop. I remember reading about the Kardashians and even though money is no object for them they grocery shop and use coupons.

Sometimes even the rich and famous want to feel normal so grocery shopping on their own gives them back that sense of independence even though many people loathe going grocery shopping as a normal weekly occurrence.


Fast food rules


You might find these people might be single and not want to cook a meal or just simply love fast food and will pay for that convenience even if it’s known that fast food is not that healthy for our bodies.

We have a single friend who hates to cook and she tells us that every day she heads across the street from her work to the gourmet food shop and picks up ready meals to bring home.

She tells us they are delicious and I’m not doubting her because they are all homemade and the price reflects that. You can find some decent home-cooked meals if you are not a fan of cooking but be prepared to pay out-of-pocket for someone else to do the cooking for you.


No time


The last reason I can think of and I’m sure there are tonnes more is that lack of time means that going to the grocery store is a less than desirable chore to get done. You may not hate the grocery store but you hate wasting more valuable time that you don’t have to spare.

In this case the shopper may again just rush in to get what they need and get out not worrying about the grocery budget and you’ll see that receipt disappear in to the bin before they get a chance to read it because they don’t have time. They trust the computer system and scanning code of practice is no big deal if the store allows it. If they pay more, they pay more but what’s most important is not the money it’s the time.

I know I’ve just touched on a few reasons why some people may hate the grocery store today and to be honest only you know what you don’t enjoy grocery shopping. If you are one of these people who hate the grocery store or know someone who does share your reasons why because I’d like to know.

Happy Shopping.



April 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 FREE 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


shopping-cart-short-cash grocery store

 Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 4 L Milk Sale $3.97
  • 4 x Armstrong cheese Sale $3.88 ea

Total out-of-pocket $19.49



  • 3 x Mango juice Sale $0.54
  • 2 x Pineapple Sale 2/$4.00
  • Mushrooms $2.29-pink sticker $1.15
  • PC Thins $3.20-pink sticker $1.20
  • Cheese sticks $4.49-pink sticker $2.25
  • 3 x condensed milk Sale $0.97

Total out-of-pocket $13.13


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-$20.82=$214.18/4=$53.54
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $33.75
  • 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): $20.00-$20.00=$0
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $32.62
  • Total Spent So Far April: $235.07
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $235.07-$214.18 over ($20.89)
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $20.89
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $235.07
  • Weekly Overview: We didn’t need too much this week but the cheese was such a great deal that we stocked up a bit more. I think we have enough cheese now for a little while.


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.

coupons Canada apr 2014 grocery store


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. What I hate about the grocery store is the LOUD music and near constant ads blasting out of the ceiling speakers. To combat this I wear my headphones and listen to music I like instead of their top 40 hip hop junk. Of course this means once I get to the checkout I have to remove my headphones so the cashier can ask me how I am and if want to donate to a charity. I usually use a self checkout so I can keep my headphone on.

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $625
    lots of sales this week
    $2.50×2-$2C superfries
    $2.29 aero chocolate bar
    $6.38 raisins
    $1.48 sweet chilli sauce
    $6.99×2 mexi mac & cheese bites
    $27.25 totaal oop
    $2 total coupons
    $2.99-$2C axe shower gel
    $1.15 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    $1.99×4-$2Cx2 old spice deo
    $4.35 total ooop
    $4 total coupons
    $4.49×4-$1Cx3&$2cashier mix up!!! -lady time stuff
    $13.75 total oop
    $3 coupons
    $2.99-$1C yogurt
    .99 lettuce
    $1.99 broccoli
    $1.32 mushrooms
    $1×12-.75Cx12 Barilla pasta
    $5.99×2-.75Cx2 cheese
    $19.77 total oop
    $11.50 total coupons
    .36 tomato
    $1×2 candy
    $1.50 chocolate bunny
    $9.87×2-$1Cx2 pampers wipes box
    $3.77 fritos
    $1 super glue
    .50×24 frozen juice
    $2×12 alfredo sauce
    $3×2-$1Cx2 CB cheese slices
    $4.86 4L milk
    $72.64 total oop
    $3 total coupons

    $138.91 total weekly oop
    $25.50 total weekly coupons
    $582.46 total monthly oop
    $272.03 total monthly coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Is that the strawberry Aero bar I read some of you chatting about? Great deal on the Axe shower gel. Was that a smart source coupon? That was some deal on the pasta. You must have traded for lots of pasta coupons unless they are out there and I didn’t see them. Overall, great shop and use of coupons to bring down your total. You get ballot 11. Mr.CBB

      1. Hey Mr.CBB
        The axe coupons were from save.ca and I traded for them.
        The pasta coupons were from inserts and I found a tonne of them in the recycle bins at our local mall.
        Yea that is the chocolate bar I am currently addicted to 😉

  3. OK here is week 4 of 5 for the month…I went over for the week big time but I went to No Frills and did some stockpiling as butter was on a one day sale at Foodland and boneless skinless chicken breasts were on at No Frills…

    Foodland, April19
    1 unsweetened apple sauce- 1.98
    1 bagels- 2.49
    3 lbs butter @2.88- 8.64, stockpile
    1 Folgers coffee- 6.99
    Total- $20.08

    No Frills, April 19
    8 tomato soup @.67- 5.36, PM to Walmart
    3 cans pineapple @.77- 2.31
    1 6pack Powerade- 3.97
    1 Cheerios- 3.97
    2 Purex @3.77- 7.54
    4 Dawn dish soap @1.99- 7.96, $1 WUB2 couponX2, PM to Food Basics
    1 Downie fabric softener- 9.99, coupon
    1 Ziploc freezer bags- 3.27
    1 Whiskas cat food- 7.94, $2.00 coupon
    2 4l milk @3.97- 7.94
    2 Tetley teabags, 216 count @9.27- 18.54
    ! yogurt- 4.19, 1.00 coupon
    1 taco kit- 4.00
    1 bag rice- 2.97
    4 pasta @.88- 3.52
    2 KD @1.27- 2.54
    1 Bear Paws- 1.97, PM to Walmart
    1 premium crackers- 4.37
    3Royale TP @3.97- 11.91 3X !.00 coupons
    1 bagels- 1.67, 50% discount- .84
    2 Wholewheat bread @2.27- 4.54
    1 raisin bread- 3.58, 50% discount- 1.79
    2 packs chicken breasts, BS- 8.55+7.51, $7.72 was stockpile
    1 bunch celery- .97
    1 bag onions- 1.27
    1 bag carrots- 1.27
    bananas- .85
    1 Ziploc containers- 4.69
    1 NN shampoo- 2.00
    1 Dove shampoo- 4.77, coupon
    1 Dove conditioner- 4.77
    2 Dove body wash @4.72- 9.44
    1 mouthwash- 3.49
    2 Sensodyne toothpaste @4.97- 9.94, PM to Walmart
    1 body lotion- 2.74
    Tax- 14.45
    Total- $201.89, $13.00 coupons, $2.63 discounts

    Foodland, April 19
    1 sage-1.99
    3lbs butter @2.88- 8.64, stockpile
    Total $10.63

    Foodland, April 23
    1 bagels- 2.49
    1 Rice Krispies- 5.29, .50 coupon
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case Dr Pepper- 5.99, 2.00 coupon
    Tax- .78
    Total- $17.54, 2.50 coupons

    Total budget for the month- $650.00, 5 weeks- $130.00 wk
    Total coupons/discounts for week- $18.13
    Total spent this week- $208.37
    Total spent for month- $139.64+$121.03+$118.18+$208.37= $587.22
    Carry over- 0
    Over/under for month- N/A
    Over/under for week- OVER- $78.37
    Left for month- $62.78
    Total YTD-J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$587.22=$2596.34
    Stockpile- $25.00, spent $25.00- butter and chicken
    So I was over big time this week but I got to NF and did some stocking up on top of that. The butter and the boneless skinless chicken breasts were both a good deal. It was a 3lb limit on the butter if you were wondering….
    Some of the prices at NF are so much better than I can get here in town so I get what I can, not exactly stockpiling but certainly saving some nice change. I have my work cut out for me for the next week…..

    1. Hi Christine,
      So you went over.. join the club. We have some catching up to do. The butter was a great deal and we stock up as well when we get low and the price is low. I can see what you mean about the pricing difference every time you post your GGC. I know you are limited sometimes but you do pay a premium for some items but what can you do, right? Stock up when you can.. that’s what.. just like you’ve done. Is there anyone else in town you can carpool with to the grocery store to make it a cheaper trip on gas? Have a great weekend Christine. You get ballot. 6 Mr.CBB

  4. Oh my goodness I LOVE SHOPPING!! It gives me some time to myself. I love browsing the aisles and looking around. I am lucky as i have four large grocery stores near my house so i am able to browse without wasting a ton of gas!!! I think i went over budget this week….we will see how it goes!


    toilet paper 2.99×3=8.97-3×1.00=5.97
    body wash 2.99-2.00=0.99

    total =8.51


    toilet paper 2.99-1.00=1.9


    no frills

    babybell cheese 2.97-1.50=1.47
    corn 2.97 – 1.00 snapsaves=1.97


    Shoppers Drug mart

    chocolate milk 0.88
    Huggies 10.99-2.50=8.49-2.00 snapsaves=6.49
    enlish muffins 1.99-0.50=1.49
    milk 3.97×2=7.94
    baby wipes 2.99-1.00 coupon=1.99
    oreo cookies 1.49
    chips ahoy cookies 1.49
    pampers diapers 19.99-3.00=16.99
    coke 2.99
    energy drink 2.99
    coke 3.30
    candy 3.00

    Total =54.58

    I used a 20x the points event and tons of e-mailed points coupons and was able to gain 20800 optimum points on this trip! Stocked up on party supplies and diapers!

    Food basics

    frozen pancakes 1.99
    chicken nuggets 3.77
    reduced green peppers 0.99
    carrots 1.19
    whole wheat bread 1.99
    whole wheat tortillas 2.99
    pudding 0.99
    danactive yogurt drinks 3.97
    raspberries 2.75
    organic bananas 1.32
    romaine lettuce 3.47
    potatoes 1.88
    apples 1.99
    baby carrots 1.97
    tomatoes 0.85



    pasta 1.50-0.75=0.75
    pasta 1.50=1.00=0.50
    pasta 0.99-.75=.24
    cheese spread 2.99-1.00=1.99
    cheese slices 1.99-0.75=1.24
    sandwich meat 5.99-3.00=2.99
    sub rolls 2.50
    maple leaf portion chicken breasts 6.66-pink sticker 2.00=4.66-2.00 coupon on bag=2.66


    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $20.00
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $50.76
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $146.51
    • 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: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $4.28
    • Total SCOP this year: $4.28
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0$
    •Total Spent This Week: $=116.89
    •Total Spent So Far for april: $524.88
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $175.12
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: 175.12

    Awesome. I made it this month. I scored some great deals….and bought a bunch of pop and chips week by week for my daughters party. I am on vacation this week so am hoping to clear out the freezer and my cupboards and freezer are comptely full!! Shall see how the next week goes 🙂

    1. Hi Joanne,
      We have many around our house as well so we aren’t going too far to shop. We enjoy shopping too. I can see you are using the apps to save more money… good for you. We can’t wait to get corn but we might get it from a nearby farm that has peaches n cream that is to die for. It’s that good and fresh. We might give that Babybel a try once our coupon comes in. Speaking of which I need to go try again as the site was down the other day. You get ballot 5… awesome shopping. I love your use of coupons. Mr.CBB

  5. Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 280 including adding to stockpile ($70 per week)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 4.50 + 3.16 from taxes from tax free day
    Total Discounts this Week: 8.14
    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: 69.75
    Total Spent So Far for April: 320.86
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: overspend 40.86
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 33.04
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 1,070.64
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year in addition to total spent: 75
    Weekly Overview:
    RCSS: PC Zero 12 pk 2.88 x 2, 3 cream egg clearance 3 x .44: 8.00
    Shoppers Drug: Milk 1.50 x 2 – .50 coupon, popsicle 3.99, lemonade .88: 8.40 (rounded up 1 cent)
    RCSS: V8 Splash 1.44 x 2 less 50%, weight watcher bread 3.58 – 50%, lamb shoulder chops 5.79 – 30%, lamb shoulder chops 5.42 – 30%, mushrooms 1.67, asparagus 2.05, sweet peppers 2.98, bananas .70, acorn squash 1.47, vitamins 6.98: 28.00 (rounded down 1 cent)
    RCSS: cream clearance 14 x .25: 3.50
    RCSS: multigrain bread 3.08 – 50%, nn chips 1.37, vitamins 6.98, children’s motrin 7.99 x 2 – 4.00 coupons, tax free days take off 3.16: total 21.85 (rounded down 2 cents)

    This was a rough month overall. A couple of unexpected things happened. Hubby got told he needed a specific multivitamin daily and we priced it many places. We lucked into a sale at RCSS for a bottle of 200 at $6.98 and then tax free day led us to a second with no taxes at the same price (making it 3 cents a pill) and it’s will be enough for more than a year if he has to stay on 1 tablet daily and expiries are great. So many ear issues with my son, we have been going through children’s motrin like crazy (no tax day and coupons helped that cost), but we needed 2 bottles – maybe more by next week. The whole goal is to keep his ear drum from rupturing, lots of pain. So, the treats at shoppers were for him, hard to get him to eat – popsicles, chocolate milk, lemonade did at least get something into him, it seems like it was hard to chew for a while. I can’t predict the health things quite so much. If I buy too much and keep it on hand, we run the risk of expiry, if I don’t have an unopened bottle on hand, we run the risk of running out. My rule of thumb has been open the last bottle, it goes on the grocery list. Anyhow, that accounts for basically all of the overage. I’m not going to make this one up. Because we didn’t do much the last couple of weeks with my son being ill, we saved in gas going from activity to activity. So, we have already made up for the overage. I hope next month will be much better. We are still trying to get on top of some health issues, so we are hoping that won’t affect May.

    We did our second trip of the year to the U.S. This is not from the normal budget, but from an accumulation of $20 U.S. weekly we set aside. We have ample available and planned a big shop. We spent just under $150, I’m still tallying the exact amount separating the items from non grocery. It was a mix of various ketchup (hot and spicy, balsamic, no salt, jalapeño – we love ketchup and the chance to try new flavours is always welcome), coffee, Old El Paso gordita (6), taco (1 – double kit) and fajita kits (2), soft tortillas large packages of 6″ (2), 2% and fat free milk (non genetically modified was on sale for $3.69 a gallon – good pricing by standards in U.S. for the areas we shop – great for us because we all prefer the taste and consistency compared to Canadian), lactose free milk, yogurt (4), soup (3), raisins, real bacon bits (4), cold meat (2), Iams dry cat food (2), ice cream bars (2), cheese slices, ice tea 12 pack (3), crackers (3), Keebler cookies (2 large pack, 5 small), gum (2), velveeta shells and cheese individuals, bread (4), honey roasted peanuts and pad thai sauce. We drove an hour away today, but we still saved more than the gas it cost – gas was super cheap by comparison to what we pay per gallon after I convert the volume, especially with our points card we saved an additional $6. We also had two gift cards that were given to us at Christmas for a store closest to us being Watertown ($15 of the food cost was on gift card). Many of the things we buy across the border we can’t get in Canada. We loved finding our gordita kits on for 2/$4, the Keebler cookies, flavoured ketchups, yogurt, pad thai sauce and the individual velveeta shells and cheese are all items we travel for. Some other items are just so much cheaper, even with the exchange. Today we did pay duty, but we expected to and paid far less than expected. We had a lovely border services individual who was a pleasure to deal with. Groceries are not the only thing to come out of the U.S. budget – gas, clothing, books, toys (not gifts), games, home items (for example today was serta pillows for $5.99), even eating out come from that $20 weekly. We put the money saved from the Canadian budget gas into U.S. funds so gas covers gas as much as possible and increases the cash availability. So the upcoming week, we should be a good addition back to the account. Anyhow, long story short, it was a great trip over, the gift cards are gone, and next U.S. excursion gets to be closer to home. However, we do love Watertown since that’s my favourite Target within an hour to us. We could go to Kingston or Ottawa, both an hour away, but those Targets don’t compare to Watertown for us.

    1. Hey!
      I would love to check out the grocery stores in the USA but it takes me forever to get over the border so it’s a big waste of time. I’ve never tried Velveeta, Keebler or Gorditas before. What are Gorditas? So all the money you use in the US fund is that for US purchases only such as clothing, toys, books etc or is that for both Canada and USA use? I’m glad you had a good trip and it looks like you were able to get many savings for the items you wanted. Oh..when do you pay duty and when do you not pay duty? You get ballot 18. Mr.CBB

      1. Gorditas are a thicker type of soft tortilla (about triple the thickness, like a pita but the consistency of a tortilla). The U.S. fund is only U.S. use and separate from Canadian funds. We automatically transfer into that account weekly. The only time we take some of the Canadian portion budget is if we have leftover gas money after a fill up of gas in the U.S. so that the gas cost savings stay a savings. Everything U.S. needs to come from that account to keep us on track. Duty is a complicating sort of thing. Going over for the day, technically you can pay duty on any amount since the allowable amount to be brought back is $0. The more you spend, the larger chance you have to pay duty. Buy alcohol and duty is basically guaranteed unless you have an extended stay and stay within the allowable limits. Our rule of thumb is to keep it under $100 for regular trips and you don’t often get pulled in for duty. It’s not worth the paperwork for border security, especially if half or more is grocery. Biggest target is what you buy. Too much dairy (there are limits), meat products (some are allowed and some aren’t) and then taxable items like books, dvds, my pillows this trip, clothes, shoes and some grocery – like our iced tea. Because of the gift cards we received we anticipated duty regardless, so we made this our mammoth trip. Taxes on kids clothes and kids books are lower. Having multiple taxable price points on a receipt can be advantageous. For example, my shoes were on the same receipt as my son’s pjs, so this border security individual charged us lower tax on the whole receipt instead of separating each item. This is the first time we have paid duty in three years. Last summer we did our mammoth trip at the tail end of our holidays we spent in Pennsylvania, so we were not even close to our limits after a week. My biggest thing is to keep up to date on the rules for what items are allowed to be brought back and which items are a big no no. Fruits and veggies are essentially a big no no, but in our area, those items have no savings and if anything cost more across the border.

        1. I’d like to learn more about cross border shopping and maybe do a post on what we can and can’t buy etc. Is there a website you go to so you can learn this information or do you call? I can see how it wouldn’t be worth their time to pull every car over because they are really looking for the big guys. Although, saying that every little bit counts but clearly not to them. It’s more about prioritizing who should be pulled over and why. How often would you shop in the USA?

  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.

    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    Dr Oetker pizza (PM NF) $2.97 – $3.00 coupon
    Potato Thins (PM FB) 4 x $1.44
    Tostitos $3.00 (earned 300 PC plus points)
    Cheez Whiz (PM Metro) 2 x $2.99
    Vitality bread (PM) 2 x $2.50
    Wonder bread (PM GT) $1.97
    Hot dog buns (PM GT) $1.97
    Popper $2.99
    MLF hot dogs (PM Sobey’s) $1.00 – $1.00 coupon
    Mushrooms (PM FC) $1.00
    Broccoli (PM) 2 x $.97
    Tomatoes (PM WM) $.89
    Carrots (PM Foodland) $2.79
    Bananas $2.00
    Ritz crackerfuls (PM FB) $1.44 – $2.00 Checkout 51
    Kraft Dinner (PM Atlantic Superstore) 4 x $.59 – 2 x $1.00 wub2 coupons
    Catelli Smart (PM Atlantic Superstore) 3 x $.99 – 3 x $1.00 coupons
    Dole baby spinach $3.49 – $.75 coupon
    Miracle whip (PM NF) 2 x $2.97 – 2 x $.75 coupons
    Trident $2.50 – SCOP (rang in at 3-something)
    Kraft Singles (PM Metro) 2 x $2.99 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Oranges (PM WM) $3.23 – $.25 Checkout 51 (also earned $.60 in PC plus points)
    Almond Fresh (PM Target) 3 x $3.50 – 2 x $1.25 – 1 x $1.00
    Bravo pasta sauce (PM GT) 4 x $.93
    Sour cream (PM Sobey’s) $1.00 – $.50 coupon
    Dove deodorant 2 x $2.98 – 2 x $2.00 coupons – 2 x $1.00 Checkout 51 (also earned $1.25 in PC plus points)
    John Frieda hair colour 3 x $12.99 – 3 x FPC (also earned $3.75 in PC plus points)
    Milk $3.97 – $.50 Zweet
    Diet Coke (PM SDM) 5 x $3.30 – 5 x $2.00 coupons
    Coupons $68.19
    Tax free day $9.13
    Rebates $6.75
    SCOP $2.50
    OOP $75.52

    Royale Velour TP 2 x $2.99 – 2 x $1.00 coupons=$3.98
    Tax $.77
    OOP $4.76

    Turkey pepperoni $4.17 – $5.00 coupon
    Pita (PM FB) $1.44
    Ritz bits $1.44
    Hand sanitizer $4.89
    Bobby pins $2.47
    Coupons $5.00
    OOP $10.37

    Fresh Co
    Campbell’s soup pack of 6 cans 2 x $2.88
    OOP $5.76

    PC mac & cheese $.97
    Bananas $.55
    Vitality bread (PM Fortinos) 3 x $2.50
    OOP $9.02

    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
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $73.19
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $174.78
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $471.92
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $6.75 (this includes the mail in rebate).
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $40.50
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $91.50
    • Total SCOP this week: $2.50
    • Total SCOP this month: $2.50
    • Total SCOP this year: $5.00
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $270.84
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 0
    • Total tax free day this week: $9.13
    • Total tax free day this month: $21.66
    • Total tax free day this year: $32.29
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $11.08
    • Total Spent This Week: $105.43
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $390.43
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: OVER $50.43
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: N/A
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $1440.41
    Weekly overview: Well, once again I’m over for the month and need to try to make it up next month. I don’t even know what to say anymore lol

    1. Hi Jen
      Don’t back down you’ll get back on track with your grocery if you just believe that you can do it and follow through with it. We’ve been there. Great job with the points and FPC coupons. I think my wife got an FPC in the mail for hair color but she doesn’t colour her hair. (yet) Great deal with the Checkout 51 I seem to be missing the savings as they go pretty fast. I’m still trying to find that groove when it comes to the apps but I’ve submitted two times so far lol. Our SDM points are nearing the half million mark so we’re happy about that! I”m sure they will come in handy. Our PC is at around $80 in points and we’ll build that as well. Keep at it! You get ballot 17! Great shopping btw.

  7. No…how do I get it?
    We also have $425 in PC points and $50 in Air Miles waiting for us when we return…so that should keep us in groceries for 10-12 weeks…very happy with that.

    1. You can email Chapmans Canada once per year and ask them for an ice-cream coupon. I also like to give them feedback on their product. That’s lots of PC Points… good for you! What do you plan to spend the points on?

      1. We put all our business related expenses on our PC master card…which gives us lots of points.(costs a lot to pay off the card though)
        We’ll spend it on specials and reduced food 🙂

        1. It’s worth it if you can make money back like you are with the points but interest rates no matter how we look at them are not the best. We try to not leave any balance on our CC and just reap the rewards. We spend ours on specials and reduced food as well.

          1. It’s hard for some people when they have that temptation. I know someone who simply won’t own one because they don’t know how to use it and pay it. Sounds odd but it happens every day.

          2. Oh Mr CBB… I just applied for the AMEX Gold card and as part of the financial disclosure the gal read off to me that the interest rate is 30%!!!!! I started laughing! Who cares what the interest rate is if you are never going to pay it though?

            That’s what used to be called “loan shark” interest rates! It doesn’t matter to us though. We don’t spend what we can not pay off in full, every single month. They never collect interest from us. 🙂

            They have a great points system though plus I can transfer their points over to SPG should I choose… so it just made more sense for us to have that card rather than an AMEX Aeroplan Gold card. We absolutely never fly using Canadian airline carriers – they are just too expensive! The last flight we had on a Canadian carrier was 18 years ago when I found a “buy 1 get 1 free” flight on a now defunct discount carrier. The leg room was none existent though and I swore to never travel that way ever again!

            I don’t use credit cards for groceries or gifts. For me it’s all about free travel!

          3. I love how you travel with points and you are right who cares what the interest rate is especially if you know you won’t be carrying a balance. Good point.

  8. My husband and I both like to go the grocery store. We never take a list, but buy specials and reduced food. We take our time, as it is relaxing.

    1. It sounds like the both of you are smart shoppers. We both like to go together as well when we can. Does your husband actively participate in looking for deals?

      1. Yes, he does. He loves when we get stuff free with the ‘scanning code of practice’ deals 🙂

        The other day, a fruit and veggie shop had a deal on onions. Fill a bag ( store provided) for $2..but you needed to be able to tie it. Here we are, filling it with the smallest onions, because you can get more in the bag that way…and tying the tiniest knot…just to get it to close.

        We always have fun looking for deals.

        1. Do you think that most people by-pass deals because they don’t know about them or simply don’t care? Sometimes we see great prices on food or even a reduced coupon and people will just walk by it or buy the reg priced items when there is pretty much nothing wrong with the reduced produce or meat (for example).

          1. I think there are basically two types of shoppers. Ones that are frugal and others that aren’t. I had co-workers who would never buy anything reduced. To them, it was half rotten. Of course they are the same people who have money problems.
            When I see people in the grocery store bypass these deals, I just smile, and think there is more for me.

            It’s like the family of 4 who spend $300 a week on food,and really think they are being careful. Their shopping carts are loaded up with ‘on sale’ junk and convenience food, but no fresh fruit or vegetables to be seen (or even can/frozen).
            They will say it is because they both work and don’t have the time to cook. In reality, one could stay home if they started cooking from scratch (if that is their desire) and still bring in the same income….but that’s another subject

          2. We do our best to keep the junk to a minimum but we may still buy a box of crackers or canned goods such as tomato paste, fruit etc. but we always stock up on veggies, fruit, dairy, meats and poultry etc. We don’t really eat junk food unless I bake something which isn’t too often these days as I”m so busy.

          3. Don’t get me wrong, we buy some convenience stuff too, like crackers. I’m referring to the ones who have frozen pizzas, hot pockets, fish sticks and chicken nuggets, TV dinners, ice cream novelties, french fries etc…..Bags of chips/nachos and dips, cheesies, pop and poptarts, sugary cereals and on and on…

          4. Yes I understand about the convenience. I’ve always cooked my own meals even for work so I’m not a big fan of that stuff. We do enjoy nachos but like organic blue corn chips… but only if we can find them for 50% off haha. Once in a while we get icecream… but only because we have that Chapmans $5.00 coupon each year which makes it virtually free. Do you order that coupon?

  9. APRIL – Week #3 of 4- April 21-27, 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 just returned from a 5 night junket in the USA for Easter and we picked up some US groceries while we were away… not the most thrilling of groceries mind you. LOL 😀



    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x Romaine Lettuce $4.98
    1 x No Name Caesar dressing $3.19
    1 x Whipping Cream $3.19

    •Total OOP: $11.35

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $5.98
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Thrifty’s Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    Franz Bakery Outlet – Bellingham

    1 GF Franz White Bread $4.99
    1 NEW GF Franz Seed Bred Bread $4.99
    1 x 4-pack GF Hamburger buns $4.99
    1 x 4-pack NEW GF Apple Cinnamon Muffins $4.99
    1 x 8- pack Potato buns – FREE
    1 x 8- pack Hamburger buns – FREE
    1 x 8- pack Sesame Seed hamburger buns – FREE
    1 x 8- pack Onion Hamburger buns – FREE

    • US Grocery OOP: $19.96
    Fred Meyers – Burlington

    6 loaves Cob bread (3 for $5.00) = $10.00
    4 x 12-pack English Muffins (4 for $5.00) = $5.00

    • US Grocery OOP: $15.00
    Clark’s – Rancho Mirage

    1 GF Quick Rolled Oats $7.49
    1 GF Rolled Oats $7.49

    • US Grocery OOP: $14.98



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan ($81.89) + Feb ($48.32) +Mar ($0.00) +April ($17.90) = $148.11

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan ($2.58) + Feb ($7.18) +Mar ($0.00) + April ($2.00) = $11.76

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) +Mar (11) + April (0) = 11 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan (456) + Feb (584) +Mar (0) + April (2) = 1,042 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

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

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) +Mar (650) + April (0) = 650 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($167.06) + Feb ($155.74)+ Mar ($105.76) + April ($12.50 borscht+$20.00 Xmas+$18.94 to US Reserve+$48.19+$4.69+$11.35 = $115.67) = $544.23

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $142.50+ Feb $142.50+ Mar $142.50 + April $142.50 = $570.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $25.77 AVAILABLE



    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($47.50)+ Feb ($47.50)+ Mar ($47.50) = April ($17.50 to restocking reserve+$30.00 to US Reserve = $47.50) = $190.00

    •Total Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 + April ($47.50)= $190.00

    •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 + April $17.50= $195.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $275.00+Jan $12.50+Feb $12.50+Mar $12.50 + April $12.50 = $325.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $20.00+Feb $20.00+Mar $20.00 + April $20.00= $80.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $544.23 Grocery Budget
    $190.00 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =


    $760 may have been budgeted for JAN+FEB+MAR+APR ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $195.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $325.00 Borscht Fund
    $80.00 Holiday Season Fund




    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $25.77
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Safeway Gift Card $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $183.48 – $15.00-14.98-19.96 =
    $133.54 balance
    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,
      I’m curious but is that $4.98 for one head of Romaine lettuce? I love all the bread deals you get when you go the USA. They must just love when you come in the store and vice versa. It’s too bad you can’t score the same deals in Canada. Welcome back!! You get ballot 14 Mr.CBB 🙂

      1. No… that’s a HUGE bag of pre-chopped romaine! It makes 3 extremely large family size salads or about 8 side salads.

  10. I’m proud to say that I really love going to the grocery store, for me it’s one of my stress reliever. Strolling in the supermarket, picking my favorite foods, but before I go to the grocery store, I made sure that my list is with me as well as my loyalty card.

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