The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

Do food pictures tempt you to buy the product?-The grocery game challenge #1 Apr 28-May 4, 2014

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food pictures grocery store FOOD PHOTOS THAT MAKE YOU DROOL


I don’t know about you but food pictures really do play an important role when deciding on whether to purchase a product at the grocery store for many people.

We know that marketing in the grocery store plays to all of our senses because they know that if we smell, see and taste food that we are more inclined to purchase it.

Many grocery stores that have a full deli, fruit bar, sushi bar, fresh fish and bakery make it priority that the customers can see what they are doing.

They want the customers to get that food porn visual because they know it’s money in their pocket.

I for one don’t mind watching food being prepared and if your store has a butcher you can bet you will see the meat that you are putting on your BBQ packaged right before your eyes. Be prepared to pay for this premium service though.


Food Pictures


Today I want to talk a bit more about food pictures on products, posters and displays but mostly products. It’s just not convenience foods that have food pictures either.

When you pick up a product you may want to know what the product is, what’s ingredients are in the product but most of all what the product looks like. Even better is seeing the product prepared ready to eat.

In the picture above you can see prepared meals in the frozen food section of the grocery store. If those minute meals didn’t have food pictures on the packaging how likely would it be that you purchase them? Not as likely because we eat with our eyes as well as our nose and mouth.

No Name Hot Chocolate Food picturesThere are many no-name products out there and for the most part you’ll see food pictures on the packaging simply showing you the product that’s in there. The no-name product pictures tend to be very simple and as we would say in the UK “Does exactly what it says on the tin“.

How many times have you brought a product home and the product inside doesn’t reflect the food photo on the outside when you take it out or prepare it?

Whereas a brand name product tends to enhance the product by taking food picture of the product all dressed up with other ingredients or as a “serving suggestion”. The idea is being able to envision the meal on your dinner table for your family or even to give you ideas on what to make for dinner. All Bran Food Pictures

The manufacturer also wants to show you what the product looks like after they have prepared it but don’t be shocked if a food stylist wasn’t hired t make all the food pictures pristine. Just like photos on magazines that may be blessed with a jolt of colour from Photoshop so may be the food pictures you see on the popular foods you purchase at the grocery store.

Why? Well, taking photos is an art but some of the best food photography may be enhanced with technology. Professional food stylists that know how to dress up a meal they can take a drab food picture and turn it into a gourmet looking meal in a matter of minutes.

The basics at the grocery store really are what they are and you can’t really improve what corn looks like or bread in a bag looks like especially when the packaging is see-through.

If you are buying cans of soup or ready meals, puddings, coffee, chocolate chips with freshly baked cookies etc. these food pictures are used to draw you in as a customer. You may find products like milk, flour, tuna etc. with simple logos or representations of the product because it’s hard to take a photo of something that’s completely white.

At the end of it all food pictures really do make our mouths water and it’s the job of the manufacturer to sell their product and what better way than to show the customer just what it looks like or what you can do with their product to make something delicious to eat.

Do food pictures tempt you to buy?


May 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. :)

Congratulations goes out to our April WINNER…….. Jen Peacock!! Well done Jen!!


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 $3.77 and $3.97 (had a printable coupon)
  • Eggs $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $9.75

Food Basics

  • 2 x Pollock fish $8.99 Sale
  • 2 x perogies $1.99
  • Anise Fennel $1.97
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.77
  • Premium bananas $1.60
  • Liberte Greek Yogurt Coconut $2.99
  • Club House Spice $9.49
  • Tomatoes $1.54
  • Reduced produce $1.00 mushrooms
  • Seedless cucumber $1.00
  • Astro Original $1.99
  • Premium soda crackers Whole Wheat $2.99
  • 6 x Bavarian Multi-grain Bread Sale $1.99
  • Reduced Produce $1.89
  • Reduced Produce $2.99 (pomegranate)
  • Reduced Produce $1.98 cantelopes
  • Reduced Produce $1.89 limes
  • Reduced Produce $1.59 cherry tomatoes

Total out-of-pocket $68.98


  • PC Pot Roast Sauce reduced $0.94 (seasoning of sorts)
  • PC Condensed Milk Sale 3@ $0.99
  • 3 x PC Juice Mango Reduced $0.57
  • White Mushrooms reduced $2.29-50%
  • Tomato Basil Cheese Sticks (oops) lol I was hungry! $4.49-50%
  • PC Burger thins $3.19-50%
  • 2 x Premium Dole Pineapples 2/$4.00

Total out-of-pocket $13.50

Zehrs #2

  • 2x Reynolds wax paper Reduced $4.68-50%
  • 3x Planters Sea Salt Cashews Sale $1.50 each (awesome deal)
  • Green Giant Peaches n Cream corn $3.99 ( bit pricey I thought but we like peaches n cream)
  • 8 packs of fresh extra lean beef min 1lb each and the prices blew me away…. not sure why no one else saw it haha..  $1.91, $1.90, $1.90, $1.90, $1.89, $1,88, 1.86, $1.86 $15.10 (Stockpile Budget)
  • Chunk of Fresh Asiago Cheese $5.30-50% sticker
  • Farmers market Quiche $5.00-50% off sticker *wasn’t that good but still cheaper than what I could have made with pre-made shells and at least 9 eggs.

Total out-of-pocket $32.03


Grocery shop results


Food Pictures Grocery Game Challenge

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 May $235.00-$20.89=$214.11/4=$53.52
  • 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): $15.10 (extra lean beef)
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+
  • Total Spent This Week: $124.26-$15.10 stockpile budget $109.16
  • Total Spent So Far May: $109.16
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: OVER $55.64
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $104.95
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $
  • 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 spent a good amount of money for this shop but we are stocked up on beef, fish and sandwich bread for a long while. All we really will need is fruits, veg and dairy for the rest of the month. Can we do it? I hope so!


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.

May Canadian Coupons


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. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $625.
    $1.27×3-b2g1fC-$2.39GC glade air freshener
    .30 total oop
    $1.27 total coupon
    $1×5 michelinas
    $2.49×4-$2Cx4 dove deo
    $7.45 total oop
    $8 total coupon
    $1.69×2-.75Cx2 coffee cream
    $3×2 sunchips
    $2×2 yogurt
    $3.47 taco kit
    $4.88 3L oil
    $2.47 tostitos
    $1.98 sour cream
    $1.68×4 no name frozen veggies
    $4.88 20lb potatoes
    $3.88 6pk peppers
    .94 monkey cultery for little miss
    $41.79 total oop
    $1.50 total coupons
    $2.99×2-.75Cx2 butter
    $3 2pk sausage-clearance
    $2 ricotta cheese-clearance
    $9.50 total oop
    $1.50 total coupons
    .97×2 kids body wash-clearance
    .97×5 kids detangler-clearance
    $1.32×4 12pk water – for summer
    $1.97×8 baby bum cream-clearance-had coupons but they wouldn’t take them, oh well I saved $7 each one!
    $2.66×2 6pk pop
    $7.39 24pk pop w/free2Lpop
    $51.15 total oop

    $110.19 total weekly oop
    -$50 found in a drawer
    $60.19 total weekly oop
    $12.27 total weekly coupons

    $642.65 total monthly oop
    $284.30 total monthly coupons

    We were over this month but I am okay with it since we really stocked up on staple items

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Great deal on the Glade since we don’t find those great deals on Glade like we used to. Monkey cutlery lol. You picked up potatoes for a decent price. I’m still looking on our end as they are pricey. What was the reason they wouldn’t take your coupons at Shoppers Drug Mart? You were a bit over but your coupon usage is insane. I can’t get over how well you use coupons. I think you might be the GGC leader in using coupons lol. Well done. You get ballot #12. Mr.CBB

      1. hey mr.CBB
        Apparently they changed how they enter a coupon and my coupon was buy 2 get $2.50 off but the item was $1.97 so technically more than the price of one of the items and the till wont let them over ride for the coupon. I was frustrated but didn’t wanna make a big scene about it so I just left it.

  2. Hmmm…i cant say that food pictures tempt me too much….i do see some pictures and sometimes want to try things out but i try to stick to a healthy eating style for me andmy kiddies (hubby is anohter store….all of the junk food i buy is for him!!!) but some of the pictures in the grocery store are quite tempting (especially when walking down the dessert aisle!) Well here is my shop for this week. It was my daughters sixth birthday so we did have to buy some things that we normally wouldn’t buy.

    Shoppers drug mart

    green works spray 2.50-1.00coupon=1.50
    organic animal cookies 2.50
    pull ups 10.99-2.00 coupon=8.99 -2.00 snapsaves=6.99 (plus earned 3000 shoppers points!)
    green works spray 2.50-1.00=1.50



    Scrubbing bubbles toilet gel 2.64-1.00=1.64
    mini wheats cereal 2.50
    fleecy fast dry 3.97-1.50=2.47
    cleaner 2.98-2.00=0.98
    scrubbing bubbles bathroom cleaner 2.64-1.50=1.14
    ziploc freezer bags 3.47×2=6.94-1.00=5.94


    Lucky Charms cereal 2.99
    stir fry beef 3.24



    febreze set and refresh 2.98-50% pink sticker=1.49-1.00 coupon=0.49
    febreze spray 2×1.94=3.88-3.00 coupon=0.88
    febreze set and refresh 2X2.98=5.96-3.00 coupon=2.96
    large veggie platter 13.98
    broom 9.97



    juice 2X1.25=2.50
    rootbeer 1.99
    gingerale 1.99
    sprite 1.66
    vanilla soy milk 2.59
    lays chips 1.77
    munchies chips 3.00 (plus 250 PC points)
    grape tomatoes 2.99



    milk 3.97×2=7.94


    No frills

    ice cream 0.97X3=2.91-3.00=plus 0.09
    blackberries 1.97
    green peppers 2.97


    •Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $21.50
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $21.50
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $168.01
    • 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: $=105.38
    •Total Spent So Far for may: $105.38
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $594.62
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A (had 175 left from last month)

    Wow….definetly under….but we did split on pizza costs twice this week and go out for dinner one night for my daughters birthday. I took my leftover money from lasts months groceries and was able to win a contest in which I could purchase the ever rare Elsa dress from frozen! It was an added bonus! SO far so good….if i come in under this month again then i think i am going to definetly look at changing our budget and lowering it!

    1. Hi Joanna,
      Sounds like you had one heck of a week shopping. Great deals on the febreeze with the coupons. Congrats on winning a contest. I think it’s great to hear that you might lower your budget. Here’s the thing… the more you give yourself to spend, you will spend it. If you say all we can spend is $250 a month then that’s the number you work with… it’s all in our heads that we need to spend more. We can get healthy creative meals in the kitchen with prep work and smart shopping.. that’s a fact.. we do it. The number is just an example. Keep up the great work. You get ballot 13. Mr.CBB

  3. I shop for 2 adults and a 3 ½ year old boy. Our budget is $85/week or $425 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    No Frills
    Breyers promo pack ice cream 10 x $.97 – 10 x $.97 coupons
    Bagels 2 @ 3/$5.00 – 50% pink stickers $3.34 – $1.68
    Coupons $9.70
    OOP $1.66 (saved 87% according to the receipt)

    Mott’s Fruitsations apple sauce (PM Metro) 2 x $1.88
    Mastro olive oil (PM WM) $3.97
    Country Harvest cereal $2.50
    Raisin Bran (PM GT) $1.88
    Cheerios (PM FC) $2.00 – $1.00 coupon
    Stride gum $3.29 – 50% pink sticker (-$1.65)
    Wrigley’s gum $3.99 – 50% pink sticker (-$2.00)
    Magnum ice cream bars (PM Target) $4.99 – $1.00 coupon – $1.00 Checkout 51 (these are $7.69 regular price!)
    Natura rice milk 3 x $2.38 – 3 x $.75 coupons (earned 1500 bonus PC plus points)
    Natura soy milk 2 x $2.58 – 2 x $.50 coupons (earned 1000 bonus PC plus points)
    Goldfish crackers (PM Metro) 4 x $1.88 (earned 2000 bonus PC plus points)
    Rice cakes (PM NF) $.97
    Potato Thins (PM NF) 6 x $1.97
    Jane’s chicken strips (PM GT) $4.88
    Cucumber (PM WM) $.77
    Strawberries 2lbs $3.44
    Salad $1.99 (earned 400 bonus PC plus points)
    Oranges $6.24 – OUCH! (earned 1200 bonus PC plus points)
    Green pepper x 5 (PM FC) $2.59 – 50% pink sticker (-$1.29)
    Carrots (PM FC) $2.00
    Potatoes (PM NF) $1.67 (earned 200 bonus PC plus points)
    Bananas $2.13 (earned 400 bonus PC plus points)
    Magazine $3.49
    NN brush $.84 – 50% pink sticker (-$.42) (for scrubbing laundry stains)
    Kotex (PM WM) $6.17 – $1.00 coupon
    Lever 2000 soap (PM FC) 2 x $2.00 – 2 x $2.00 Checkout 51 (bought to donate at Christmas)
    Coupons $6.25
    Rebates $5.00
    OOP $84.58

    Oh Henry 12ct (PM NF) $1.97
    Hummus $3.69
    Bread $1.88
    Vitality bread (PM GT) 2 x $1.88
    OOP $11.56

    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 – $50.43 (over from last month) =$374.57
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $15.95
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $15.95
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $487.87
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $5.00
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $5.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $96.50
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • 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: $0
    • Total tax free day this month: $0
    • Total tax free day this year: $32.29
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $11.08
    • Total Spent This Week: $97.80
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $97.80
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $276.77
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $1538.21
    Weekly overview: All I have to say about this shop is never go shopping when you’re hopped up on fertility drug hormones lol. I commented to Ken about how unhealthy our cart looked (the junk stood out more than the healthy stuff) lol. I hope to break even by the end of the year lol 🙂

    1. Hey Jen,
      You had some good shops in this week with lots of coupons and savings. I never find gum with pink stickers (lucky you). Did you shop with a grocery list? I’m only asking because of your statement about not shopping on fertility drugs. I was wondering if items landed in your cart that normally wouldn’t be there. How far off are you right now with your yearly grocery budget and what are your plans to get back on track? Lots of questions… I know but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t ask. 🙂 Have a great week Jen. Mr.CBB You get ballot 9.

      1. lol yes I had a list but put stuff in the cart not on the list. I’m not doing too bad with the budget. I haven’t finished doing the latest numbers but I think I am less than $50 over. I’m just going to keep trying to have better control shopping.

  4. Made it here… this will be week 5 of 5 for April. Eventually the weeks will get back into sync. It was just a couple of quick trips across to Foodland to get as little as I could.
    April 25
    4 Swanson meatpies @.99- 3.96
    1 pasta sauce- 1.25
    1 tomato sauce- 1.49
    1 bread crumbs- 1.99
    2 Palmolive dish soap @ 2.50- 5.00, 2X .75 coupons
    1 apple juice- 2.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 Oktoberfest sausage- 2.99
    2 cases pop@3.33– 6.66
    1 yogurt- 3.49
    1 parmesan cheese, grated- 3.62
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    1 juh water- 5.49
    Tax- 1.52
    Total $48.58, 2.50 coupons

    April 29
    2 tomato paste @.65- 1.30
    1 tomato sauce- 1.49
    bananas- .83
    2 yogurt @1.99- 3.98
    1 plum sauce- 2.98
    1 soya sauce- 2.99
    1 case ginger ale- 3.33, 2.00 coupon
    2 4l milk@ 4.79- 9.58
    1 20 lb bag potatoes- 4.97
    1 jug water- 5.49
    Tax- .43
    Total- $36.62, 2.00 coupon

    Total budget for month- $650.00, 5wks- 130.00wk
    Total coupons/discounts for week- $4.50
    Total spent this week- $85.20
    Total spent for month- $139.64+$121.03+$118.18+$208.37+$85.20=$672.42
    Total over/under for week- Over $22.42
    Total over/under for month- Over $22.42
    Carry over to next month- $22.42
    Left for month- 0
    Total coupons/discounts for month- 12.27+1.50+9.29+18.13+4.50=$45.69
    Total YTD- J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42=$2681.54
    Stockpile- $25.00, left- 0

    So I went over bu $22.42 for the month. I can make this up next month. May will be a 4 week month. The lack of meat sales might make a little harder to do but I will see how the sales work, hopefully in my favour. I’m hoping for a nice amount of slack going into June for my strawberries. The farmers market should be opening for the season very soon. I want to get some more rhubarb for muffins and coffee cake!!!! Yummy!!!! See what other goodies I can get there too!!
    That trip into No Frills hurt for the month but it needed to be done as you know what kind of prices I deal with here.
    There is only a couple more weeks left of the promotion at Foodland to get cookware. Last year it was knives, but this year cookware. I have enough stickers to get a medium pot for $2.00 and I’m 7 short of getting the small pot for $2.00. They look like really nice pots!! I don’t need the big one and the fry pans there all have the no stick coating I don’t like. Don’t need one anyway, as I have 2 cast iron ones and a ceramic coated one. All three are a good size!!
    Hopefully it won’t be as long until another trip to No Frills so I don’t need to get as much but time will tell…

    1. Hey Christine,
      Considering this 5 weeks, well done!!! SO you went over a bit but that was a great month of shopping for you. Don’t worry about your weeks if they jive with mine great if not they all still count a long as you are tracking them. 🙂 I wish I lived close to you because I’d give you a boatload of rhubarb. Maybe if we come up your way I’ll bring you some 🙂 Do you have recipes for the coffee cake? I really need to use what we have in the freezer. SO MUCH, plus our plant gives us loads every year. That’s great with the cookware, you’ll have to show us what you score. You get ballot 8. Mr.CBB

      1. I should be able to get back on track with the budget this month as it’s only 4 weeks and so far I’m good for the week. I’d love to get hold of some of your rhubarb!!!!!! I posted the recipe with pictures on your site last year so it’s likely still there if you go back far enough. If you can’t find it I can always post again, just let me know. The rhubarb coffee cake is so good!!!! We had a neighbor that hated rhubarb but loved my cake!!! Figure that one if you can!!!
        I was thinking of posting for the Saturday deals on the blog once I get my cookware, I’m 5 stickers short of the second pot so it will be in the next week or two….

        1. Yes, please send me your deals!! If I go back it might take me about a year lol… when you find the time send it my way and I”ll make it then post it for a recipe making sure to say it’s your recipe. If I come your way I’ll let you know and bring you a few bags. I already can see the rhubarb is huge out back now.

  5. Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 200
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 0
    Total Discounts this Week: 4.02
    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: 90.32
    Total Spent So Far for May: 90.32
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 109.68
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 0
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 1,160.96
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year in addition to total spent: 75
    Weekly Overview:
    RCSS 1: Rice vermicelli noodles 1.59, peanut chunks .79, whole wheat spaghetti blue menu 1.57, cucumbers 2.94, baby carrots 1.49, mini watermelon 2.98, greens mixture 3.99, green onions .69, red onions 2.16, blackberry 3.98, snap peas 4.99, avocados 3.97, bean sprouts .99, mushrooms 3/$5, chicken breast 13.73, ground chicken 6.50, basa fillets 4.88: 62.25
    RCSS 2: bananes .97, zucchini 1.18, romaine 1.28, tomato 1.99: 4.40 (rounded down 2 cents)
    Shoppers: Feminine products 3 x $2, 1 x $1, children’s advil 2 x $2: 11.87
    RCSS: frozen blueberries 4.97, orange peppers 2.17 – 50%, bananas 2.85, zucchini 2.33 – 50%, eggplant 3.52 – 50%: 11.80 (rounded down 2 cents)
    So, based on some recent health news, I’m revamping what we are eating again. I started out at the beginning of the week with a huge shop and then have had to fill things in as I go. However, at the end of the week I had to redo the budget again, to worst case scenario. While I can’t regret the purchases we made, there is nothing on it awful at all, one of the healthiest shops I’ve done in a very long time. But, it will become creative for the rest of the month to eat. My severance ended two weeks before I expected and until we get used to new eating, we have no idea what food will be costing us. Stress, stress, stress. So, I am hoping we can still hold ourselves above water while being healthy at the same time. I am taking new measures on our entire budget, but I do this part solo, it’s not hubby’s thing. Food is a sensitive subject right now and I am digging through my recipe books to improve use of the new stuff we are bringing in the house. I can’t waste a single drop of it. The next couple of weeks will be lean for purchases, and I have a gift card still left over for Giant Tiger… and they have lots of fresh produce and dairy. So, bet on seeing that show up this month 🙂

    1. Hi Angela,
      Well it sounds like you have lots on your shoulders to deal with but I’m confident you will make it through the grocery part of it. Your shop is amazing this week with so many delicious, healthy foods. Once you get used to creating new recipes it all gets easier. I think getting used to new products as well helps. One example where we save is buying dry beans now instead of canned beans. You’ve been with us here for a while so you know all the important things you can do to save and make healthy meals while watching your budget. If you need support, call on all of us. We’re here for you. You get ballot 7 Mr.CBB

      1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’m embarking on a new journey with my situation and I love this site. While I know budgeting isn’t my Hubby’s thing, there is an amazing group of people here. I am scared, but I’m not afraid… sounds like an oxymoron but it applies to different aspects of my life. I’m scared about losing everything we worked so hard for financially (our house), but I’m not afraid to take on the challenge. I don’t give up, it’s not my thing.

        The healthier eating part I’ve been gradually moving us toward again (we used to eat right and I started eating “cheap”) and I’m rediscovering many recipes that I used to love. And, over the last few months I have been adding dry beans into the mix to reduce the sodium. I’ve also gone back to a lot of steel cut oats rather than instant. I’m home at this point, I don’t need it to be convenient 🙂 just healthy.

  6. I like the beef prices too Mr CBB but I have a couple pre-cooked pounds in the fridge freezer and another 5 pound pack in the deep freeze so I don’t need any more at the moment. I need blinders when the freezer is full… and to repeat the mantra, “Use what’s in the freezer first!”. LOL

  7. I still need to post last week plus this week. Looks like I will be over for April a little but we can make it up as we go along like I have so far this year. Those extra lean ground beef prices are to die for!!!!!!!!! I would have grabbed those babies too!!!!
    I’m calling April a 5 week month so I might be a week out of sync with you but that is neither here nor there. I’ll get things posted as soon as I can, might have to wait until May 1 as we are getting up there with internet usage….

    1. I know I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw packages of beef for that price… I called my wife over. She said, grab them all lol. You can post as soon as you can you’ll still get ballots for May even if it’s Aprils posts. It’s up to you to keep on track but you always do! Every Sunday my inbox is full of GGC posts from everyone hehe!!

  8. APRIL – Week #4 of 4- April 28-May 4, 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



    I was looking at my rain checks and decided that I have more than enough ham on hand at the moment, so we are going to let the following Safeway rain check simply expire. It’s really only a “good price” if you actually need the item is my philosophy on rain checks:

    4 Butcher’s Cut Boneless Honey Dinner Ham 1 Kg @ $10.99 (Good to May 4th)

    Similarly, we have a Thrifty’s rain check for bread but after a stop in the US, we don’t need any more bread so we’ll let this expire:

    6 loaves 100% WW bread @ $1.00 (Good until April 28th)

    As it happens, the bread is on sale again this week at the same price and we managed to score ourselves another rain check for when we do actually need some bread. Happy Dancing here! 🙂

    And I still have a good amount of my last 10 lb bag of onions so this Save On Foods rain check will be allowed to expire as well:

    1 x 10 lb bag onions @ $2.99 (Good until May 4th)

    The thing about sales and rain checks is that there will always be another one. It’s far better to keep the cold hard cash in our pockets until we really do NEED an item & are not spending simply because it is a good price.

    There are a few things that I stockpile but the list of stockpile items is actually shrinking. Right now we are watching for a sale on 48 oz cans of Heinz Tomato Juice and 28 oz cans of Habitant Pea Soup with Ham. I won’t buy either though if it’s not on at a fairly good sale price. I know, I know… pinching my penies again. LOL

    We did finish up the month $4.12 short but I can live with that. Our “reserves” continue to grow each month and I have a good amount set up for our US Reserve for our next shop south of the line so, I figure we are doing well.



    London Drugs – Maple Ridge –

    17 x Ocean Tuna in water @ $0.88 ea =$14.96

    •Total OOP: $14.96

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.96
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00


    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    2 x Strawberries ($9.98 – $4.98 Savings) = $5.00
    1 x 4L Skim Milk ($4.99 – $2.00 Coupon) = $2.99
    2 x Bunches Celery $2.98
    4 x Broccoslaw ($9.16 – $5.20 RAIN CHECK Discount) = $3.96

    •Total OOP: $14.93

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.93
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 2 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $7.20 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $4.98 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan ($81.89) + Feb ($48.32) +Mar ($0.00) +April ($17.90+$4.98=$22.88) = $153.09

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan ($2.58) + Feb ($7.18) +Mar ($0.00) + April ($2.00+$7.20=$9.20) = $18.96

    •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+2=4) = 1,044 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+14.96+14.93 = $145.56) = $574.12

    •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: OVER BY $4.12



    •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:

    $574.12 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: ($4.12) << Close but no cigar! Ha ha ha!!!
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Safeway Gift Card $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $133.54
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    6 loaves 100% WW bread @ $1.00 (Good until July 28th)
    4 Compliments Sweet Green Relish @ $1.00 each (Good until July 28th)


    1. Hi Mary, You did awesome this month. How much do you need to save in your Borscht fund for the year? The fund is growing well. I would have stocked up on the tuna as well. What an amazing price that was. I agree with you that it’s better to keep the money in your pocked as there will always be sales. One item we always toss up about is cheese because we love it. When it goes on sale we like to stock up because if we run out paying $8.99 for a block when it goes on sale for $3.77 hurts lol. I looked into our Air Miles and we have 1900 but not in the cash account the regular Air Miles. I hope that makes sense.. it’s all learning to me. It looks like most of our Air Miles comes from Metro an our insurance company and other small shops. I find it hard to collect them because Metro is so expensive here. I need to learn some tricks. You get ballot #1… good luck in May Mary.. and well done for April. Mr.CBB

      1. Those are called “Dream Miles” Mr CBB… they do expire. Watch that you use them before they do. 😀

          1. Mr CBB, the expiry thing is relatively new. Here’s how it works:

            Balance Dec 31, 2011 ………………………………. expire Dec 31, 2016
            Miles Earned Jan 1-Dec 31, 2012 ………………. expire Dec 31, 2017
            Miles Earned Jan 1-Dec 31, 2013 ………………. expire Dec 31, 2018
            Miles Earned Jan 1-Dec 31, 2014 ………………. expire Dec 31, 2019

            I am balancing the above so I don’t lose any Miles. For example I have:

            15,038 Air Miles – 4,379 miles Expire Dec 31, 2016 /
            4,343 miles expire Dec. 31/2017 /
            4,604 miles expire Dec. 31/2018 /
            1,712 miles expire Dec. 31/2019

            They were a job to collect so I want to make sure to use every single one of them. 😀

          2. Thanks for letting me know. I’m going to have to look into that. Do you think we should bother keeping them as Dream Miles since it’s taken since 1997 to get to 1900 lol or just redeem them now while we can. I’m no good with this stuff…. I trust you since you’re a pro!

          3. Mr CBB… I would redeem them but that’s me. As I said, the cash redemptions in BC are limited. The air miles are for economy seating on the airlines… yuck IMHO. I don’t particularly like the hotel options. I am using mine for car rentals but they do have merchandise that you can use as gifts rather than paying cold hard cash for.

          4. Thanks Mary, I’m going to ring them up next week and talk to them to see what the expiry is on them. I’d hate to see them waste.

      2. My Borscht Fund is going to pay for the trip upcountry to see the relatives and pick up the borscht put up by the ladies in Glade. We aren’t going this year so by summer of 2015 I should have enough to pick up about 24 quarts to bring back. Total cost gas, hotel, food, borscht… probably $600-700 but it’s a nice trip as well. I could make the stuff like my sister does and freeze it for sauteing in butter and adding of the cream when I want it. But, this also gives me a reason to see my mother’s side of the family. My sister hasn’t seen them since long before my Grandmother passed on and that was 15 years ago. 🙂

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