Does your meal plan include a new recipe each week?: The grocery game challenge #2 May 5-11, 2014



Including a new recipe when writing up your meal plan and grocery list is a great way to expand your own personal recipe index each week.

I know many people who love to experiment including myself so it’s no surprise that Canadian Budget Binder has a free recipe index that includes easy recipes for your family to enjoy.

If you follow the Sunday recipe post you likely know Nicola who has shared her recipes on the blog for about a year now. She’s such an inspirational woman and mom who loves to create new recipes, try recipes that others suggest and most of all share them.

What I like the most is that her grocery list each week is a bit different from the last because of the variety in her meal plan.

I know Mrs. CBB and I can easily get stuck in a food rut and each week you might see us buying the same grocery items mainly because we think trying a new recipe might take up more time. Lately we’ve been so busy that we need to remember that we can’t forget about us in the process.

Making excuses in the kitchen might only lead us out the door and into a restaurant where we can easily spend just as much as we would on a full weeks groceries on one meal.


Homemade food


Sure, eating out is nice but only as a treat once in a while. If you work full-time, part-time or have other obligations that deter you from cooking at home or creating new recipes find alternatives. You can prep the food in advance so it’s ready to cook when you get home.

I also know that if you own a crock-pot for many people it’s a life saver because there are literally thousands of crock-pot recipes available online so your meal is cooking while you are out and about.

Think outside the box and spend some time researching meal planning and what you want to include in your diet so it’s a balanced healthy diet. If you find you are missing food groups work on ways to incorporate them into new recipes.

Now that the sun is shining if you own a BBQ that is another great way to grill meat and fish to make other exciting recipes you never thought were possible. This is why we are going to pull out the cookbooks, turn on our imagination and continue to create new recipes and share them with all of you.

The best thing about trying a new recipe on top of saving money because you’re not eating out is that your family appreciates the home-cooked meal and the memories. Some of the best dinner recipes come from using your imagination and using flavours that complement each other.

Opening a can of soup compared to make a nice pot of homemade soup means you really taste the difference and the savings. Soup is so easy to make but I know some people who like to have a can or two around for convenience (including us) but trust me when I say, soup is fairly easy to make.

You can freeze soup as well. Another super easy recipe to make and freeze is pasta sauce. I can’t tell you how much cheaper and tastier it is to make your own homemade sauce from fresh or crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, meat and spices. So easy you’ll wonder why you bought cans and jars of sauce in the first place

There’s nothing better than hearing my wife say, “Honey, can you please make….” which means she either doesn’t want to cook or she actually likes a recipe I created, lol. Most times it’s because she enjoys that I take the time to make a new recipe for her to try or that I want to cook at home rather than eat out.

Experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen also means that you explore new flavours, textures and colours. Jazz up that grilled cheese with bacon, avocado, olives etc. to create a recipe that is new to you and maybe a signature dish when friends and family come around.

If you enjoy reading the flyers each week like we do to menu plan it’s easy to start buying products on sale. Once you have your pantry stocked then you are ready to get cooking. The most important thing is to have that stocked pantry with all of the basics you need in the kitchen.

This will help to motivate you to try new recipes. I know many people who either don’t have a pantry or it’s bare. This only means you have to try harder to create a meal with less ingredients but I’ve done it before so never say never. It just helps when you have more to work with so purchasing staples little by little helps the menu.


Coupon booklets and packages


How many of you are familiar with seeing recipes on any packaged foods that you purchase or in the weekly grocery flyer using the product you purchased? It happens all the time and that’s because the manufacturer wants you to try their product to help you create something new.

Just like in the photo above of the Tomato Basil and Garlic Halibut recipe in the grocery flyer you can easily create this recipe by making your own pasta sauce. You don’t have to always buy the products especially if you can make it homemade which is far tastier.

One other place I find recipes quite a bit is on coupon tear-pads. Many of you might cringe when you have coupon and a recipe attached but that’s good marketing on the manufacturer’s part.

They are trying to inspire you to cook but also spend money so make sure you pick and choose new recipes based on your budget and don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never had before.


New recipes


If you follow Canadian Budget Binder on Facebook you know that each night I post my “What’s for Dinner” post for the fans to chat about budgets, frugal living, recipes and all things food related. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with all of the fans who post each night.

Not only have they been posting for years they are dedicated to creating new recipes, making new friends and saving money while doing it all. I just smile when the fans share pictures of the food they created from new recipes they found and review them.

That is just another reason why I started The Free Recipe Depot page on Facebook so not only I could learn what amazing recipes were out there but so my fans could as well. I know that my fans who post in the grocery game challenge are working very hard to stick to their grocery budget so this is my way of giving back and helping out. I know they help me by sharing their food so I’m doing my best to help them.

Food is love and it’s true but if you keep serving the same food over and over, it can get boring so don’t be afraid to try a new recipe. The internet is one big cookbook plus You Tube is full of tutorials to help you learn anything you need to know about cooking.  A great recipe also doesn’t have to start with a recipe you find, create your own because you might even surprise yourself how good it tastes.

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail when you create or try a new recipe. I can tell you that we’ve messed up many new recipes but we learn from our mistakes. Don’t give up because eating home-cooked meals is better than eating out any day of the week.

Do you grocery shop with at least one new recipe on your grocery list each week?


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. :)


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



Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x 4L Milk 2% Sale $3.97

Total out-of-pocket $7.94

Food Basics

  • 3lbs carrots $3.65

Total out-of-pocket $3.65


  • Hot house tomatoes $1.88

Total out-of-pocket $1.88


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 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+$15.10 (May)
  • Total Spent This Week: $13.47
  • Total Spent So Far May: $109.16+$
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: under $40.05
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $91.48
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $n/a
  • 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 stocked up pretty good the past month so we didn’t need much this week. We picked up a few items which will get us through the week no problem. If we do need to pick something up I’ll add it to the next shop. Yes, I created a new recipe as well….  crock-pot roast beef with pineapple and fennel, carrots and potatoes. We loved the sweet flavour and will likely make it again.


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.


unilever Canadian Coupon


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!


Money Quote Logo CBB


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  1. hey Mr.CBB
    the chili slams are from recipe to riches two years ago and there was 4 or 6 in a pack and it is veggie chili surrounded with a cornmeal outside kinda like a pizza pop 🙂
    I am not picky about coffee and if it is cheap it is even better!!!

  2. our budget is $125 a week making this month $500
    save on foods
    $6.64, $7.04 bnlsknls chicken breasts
    $1.99 tims decaf-clearance 🙂
    $15.65 total oop
    Mcgavins Bread Basket
    $15.60 for 13 items
    $2×2-$1C vh sauce
    $1.88 pc croutons
    $3.50-$1C ice cream
    $1.68×2 nn veggies
    $3.48 1kg marshmallows
    $6.68-$1C iced tea
    $2.28 3pk cucumber
    $2.28×2 mushrooms
    $2.94 chilli slams-clearance
    $3.28 tortilla shells
    $5.94 heads phones for my girl 😉
    $38.40 total oop
    $3 total coupons
    $1.99 breakfast sausage-clearance
    $2.18 ground pork – clearance
    $7.10 pork baby back ribs
    $12.77 sirloin tip roast – 2 meals
    discount Tuesday shop
    $1.99×2 aero strawberry chocolate bar
    $2.99×2 cream cheese
    $4.99 pumpkin puree
    $2.69 icing sugar
    $3.88 bologna
    $1.99×2 pizza pops
    $3-fpc ginger ale 2L
    $1 canned manadrin oranges
    $1.79×2 butter chicken seasonings
    $4.49 Shave gel
    $3.45 breakfast sausage
    $1.99×2-$1Cx2 shave gel
    $2.09×2-.75Cx2 coffee cream
    $1.49 lettuce
    $1.03 jalapeno
    $2.29 mushrooms
    $2.09 asparagus
    $3.99×2 2lb strawberries
    $79.79 total oop
    $6.50 discount and coupons

    $149.39 total weekly oop
    $9.50 total weekly coupons

    1. I love how you had that smiley next to your decaf coffee haha~ Not for me but it’s a great deal if you are a decaf coffee lover. Great deal on the shaving gel. I remember back a couple of years ago we were getting cans for under $0.50 or even free with coupons. I’m pretty sure we have a stash for the next few years for both of us lol. What are chili slams? You get ballot 18. 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.
    Potato thins (PM NF) 3 x $1.97 – 3 x $1.00 Checkout 51
    Planters peanuts (PM FB) 2 x $2.99
    Rebates $3.00
    OOP $10.44

    Water (24) 2 x $1.98
    AJ syrup (PM) $1.50
    Hershey nuggets (PM) 4 x $1.50 – $1.50 SCOP – 3 x $2.00 coupons
    Milk $3.97 – $.50 Zweet
    Silk almond milk (PM Metro) 3 x $3.49
    Coconut yogurt $4.59
    Hash browns $1.66
    Basmati rice $3.00 – $1.00 Zweet
    Planters peanuts (PM FB) 2 x $2.99
    Cheez whiz (PM FB) 2 x $2.88
    Hummus (PM Target) $3.00
    Cucumber (PM NF) 2 x $.77
    Strawberries (PM NF) $1.44
    Broccoli (PM) 2 x $.78 (earned 200 bonus PC plus points)
    Cauliflower (PM Fortinos) $1.99
    Salad $1.99
    Oranges (PM WM) $1.92 (earned 200 bonus PC plus points)
    Tomatoes (PM) $.46
    Carrots (PM) $1.96
    Potatoes $2.98 (earned 600 bonus PC plus points)
    Bananas (PM GT) $2.37
    SCOP $1.50
    Coupons $6.00
    Rebates $1.50
    OOP $60.66

    Food Basics
    Onions (2lbs) $.98
    OOP $1.00 (rounding)

    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: 6.00
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $21.95
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $493.87
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $4.50
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $9.50
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $101.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $1.50
    • Total SCOP this month: $1.50
    • Total SCOP this year: $6.50
    • 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: $72.10
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $169.90
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $204.67
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $1610.31
    Weekly overview: I was a little under this week which helps to make up for last week 🙂

    1. Hey Jen,
      Great job with the free chocolate and deal on the broccoli. Well done. Looks like you had a great shop this week and yes what you don’t spend one week will help to balance the weeks you go over. Keep up the great work. Mr.CBB you get ballot 18

  4. For this week i was on vacation! So i pulled out some freezer meals (chili….stews and such) so that i didnt have to spend the week cooking. Our freezer stock is beginning to dwindle down a bit…but all in all this week was another small shop as we have been using up what we have. All four of us in my house were sick as well for about two days so there was a good two days of just soup in the house. I try to use new recipes….not once a week but at least once every other week. It keeps things interesting as i get bored of cooking the same things all the time! I love trying new stir fry recipes. Hoping to keep this months budget under as we just spend 800$ on a new bedroom set. It was time though…we were sleeping on a box spring on the floor :S Here is my shop this week!


    Febreze set and refresh 2.64-50% sticker=1.32-1.00 coupon=0.32
    febreze set and refresh refills 5.99-50% sticker=2.99X2=5.98-3.00 coupon=2.98
    febreze candles 5.04-2.52=2.52-1.00 coupon=1.52
    glade scent refills 4.29-50% sticker=2.14
    glade decor scents 4X3.34=13.36-50% off stickers=6.68
    glade candles 2X4.19-50% off stickers=4.18
    glade refills 4.29-50% off sticker=2.14
    For all of the glade came to=15.14-5.00 coupon-10.14

    Total=18.20 ( i couldnt help myself with the cleaning products. I saved over 70%!)

    Food basics

    milk 3.97
    tassimo coffee 25.00
    energy drink 1.44
    energy drink 1.44
    hamburger buns 2.27
    strawberries 2.50
    blackberries 1.67
    raspberries 2.50
    clementimes 2.97



    almond milk 3.00
    organic apple juice 2X2.50=5.00
    turkey breast 3.84
    ham 3.84
    whole wheat bread 2X2.50=5.00


    No frills

    Reece pieces 2.67-2.00=0.67
    oh henry bars 2.76-2.00=0.67
    ice cream 4X0.97=3.88-4.00 in coupons=plus 12 cents
    coffee 1.00


    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $18.00
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $39.50
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $207.51
    • 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: $=86.61
    •Total Spent So Far for may: $191.99
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $508.01
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A (had 175 left from last month)

    Great week!

    1. Hey mate,
      What a relief to have all those freezer meals ready to go I bet. Sounds like you really did need that bedroom set. You really like the Glade and Febreeze lol. We have tonnes from years ago when it was lucrative at Zellers and using coupons.. sometimes Walmart after the holidays we’d get candles for $0.25 each lol. Great shop… you get ballot 14. MR.CBB

      1. Yes i love glade and febreze. I have two dogs and a cat so am definetly in need of them! LOL

  5. Things are looking good for the grocery budget this month, at least so far. I had 2 quick shops across at Foodland as I’m trying to keep things nice and cheap so I can get my strawberries next month without blowing the budget to hell and back This is a 4 week month for me which will likely help.

    May 2
    1 can crushed tomatoes- 1.00
    1 jar pickles- 1.79
    1 3pack of garlic- 2.49
    3 peanut butter @2.88-8.64
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.98
    1 3lb bag carrots- 2.99
    1 cider mix -2.99
    1 doz eggs- 2.99
    1 stir fry sauce- 2.99
    1 ice cream- 2.99
    1 pack super fries- 2.99, 2.00 coupon
    1 pack pizza meats- 3.49
    1 grated parmesan cheese- 3.62
    2 W/W bread @3.69-7.38, 1.00 WUB2 coupon
    1 bagels- 3.89, .50 coupon
    1 Oatmeal Crisp cereal- 3.97
    1 lb ground turkey- 4.49
    1 4l milk- 4.79
    1 pack ground beef- 6.42
    Tax- .39
    Total- $75.75, 3.50 coupons

    May 4
    2 Kraft dinners @.99- 1.98
    bananas- .86
    1 can pizza sauce- 1.89
    1 raisin bread- 2.99
    1 3lb bag apples- 3.99
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    1 jug water- 5.49
    Total- $26.78, no coupons

    Total budget for the month- $650.00- $22.42= $627.58, 4 weeks- $156.90wk
    Total coupons/discounts for week- $3.50
    Total spent this week- $102.53
    Total spent for month- $102.53
    Total over/under for week- under- $54.37
    Left for month- $525.05
    Total coupons/discounts for month- $3.50
    Total YTD- J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M$102.53= $2784.07
    Stockpile- $25.00, $0.00 spent

    So I am under by $54.00 for the week even after subtracting the overage from last month. A very good start to the month!!! Hopefully I can get to No Frills once this month for some good sales but I check the flyer online and see if it’s worth the drive. Especially if I am going into town anyway, as I take the back way in and go right past the NF store. My meat supply is low in the freezer so I would really like to see some good sales for meat. The farmers market is opening May 17 so I am looking forward to that too for some nice fresh goodies for here!!

    1. Hey Christine,
      That’s great that you are under. How much do your strawberries normally cost you each year? The sales have been ok lately but we are finding more in-store sales rather then sales in the flyer that we would need. We’ve also been buying more fish over meat but I know with the boys they like their meat. We can’t wait to go to the Farmers Market… although we have some good one’s in our area. What do you normally buy at the Farmers market? You get ballot 12.

      1. I pay by the pound for my strawberries at a pick your own place on the highway. Usually I get between $30.00 and $40.00 worth every year. i’ll let you know what I pay this year when I go. I want to get some rhubarb this weekend for muffins and coffee cake when I go….

  6. I don’t purposely add new recipes each week but I definitely like to try new things when I cook. I have a few good cookbooks so mixing up recipes is easy but often I’ll find myself going back to a few staples.

    Buying good cookbooks is worth the money. Those cheap $5-10 ones you see on sale at Indigo tend to be crap.

  7. I really try to look at two or three new recipes a month. It’s tough trying new things with young kids in the house…gotta think about whether or not it’s going to be received well by them. I know there are many things I would love to try that they would not appreciate as much. 🙂

  8. I look over recipes all the time. I even have the younger boy collecting his own recipes but he needs to get into the kitchen and try a few. The last one he tried was fudge from condensed milk and chocolate chips melted together…he was quite happy with that one!! I have a large collection of cookbooks and previous milk calenders to look over. The biggest handicap to try new recipes is hubby. He’s not usually one to try new stuff and can be very quick to thumb his nose at something without trying. Especially anything veggie. Our daughter loves trying different things and ate vegatarian for years. She eats chicken since our grandson was born but that’s it for meat. The boys will eat pretty much anything you put in front of them… Like it or not.

    1. I kind of figured the boys will eat anything just from reading your posts the past two years. Sometimes if we don’t encourage kids to try something new from a young age they may not be open to it as an adult. I know I had no choice, eat it or starve. Now I love to try anything as long a it’s not moving lol.

    1. I remember a time when you were loving all that cooking in the kitchen.. 🙂 I’m happy to hear you are working hard at not eating out. You can save so much just by eating in and likely eat better for less. Cheers mate.

  9. Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 200
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 4.29
    Total Discounts this Week: 2.29
    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: 31.14
    Total Spent So Far for May: 121.46
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 78.54
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 4.29
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 1,192.10
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year in addition to total spent: 75
    Weekly Overview:
    RCSS: Raspberries 2 x 2.49 – $4 coupons: 5.95 (rounded down 1 cent)
    RCSS: Bananas .60, Pears 1.96: 2.55 (rounded down 1 cent)
    Walmart: tomato .59 (rounded up 1 cent)
    RCSS: Peanut butter 3.97, grape tomatoes .97, broccoli .97, cauliflower 1.77 – 50%, chicken breast 14.15, whole wheat dinner rolls 2.79 – 50%, gas coupon .29: 22.04 (debit purchase, no rounding)
    I had a couple of super small shops this week. I was trying not to overbuy and use everything he have, and if I needed something for a meal I combined the trip to the grocery store with other errands so I didn’t waste gas. And, I was on a mission and didn’t deviate – lol yes I got a tomato at Walmart 🙂 . I got only what we absolutely needed. We will be needing more next week as our fruit and veggie supply is crazy low, but I’m hoping that will be a bigger shop and then the last week of May small again – or my first ever true no shop week. Meatless meals will be a more regular thing on our menu. I just need to keep it desirable for all in my house, not just me.

    1. Hi Angela,
      I like how you try to combine all of your errands so you aren’t running around wasting gas, smart. I’ve bought one tomato before ok.. maybe two or three min lol. where did you get coupons for raspberries? We don’t need any as we still have some in our freezer. Great shop…. I love how you stick to the plan. You get ballot 11. Mr.CBB

      1. I had to pick my husband up from work that day (we just have the one car and I needed to go downtown in the a.m.), he works across from Walmart and RCSS. So I often work it into that. I also needed to stop at TSC to get some sheep manure for my garden. So, three stops and 1 trip. The raspberry coupons come from Driscolls. They have an online survey that you fill out with a code on the bottom of the container. They are printables, so I can only use them two places locally. You fill in the survey and they email you a coupon and then print it. It starts at 50 cents, moves to 75 cents and caps out at 1.00. For each survey you fill in, you can go up a level. Each coupon has a unique QR code on it so the grocery stores can track its validity. I don’t have a colour printer and RCSS here in Brockville is amazing. Wit the printed coupons having a limited time expiry (1 month from filling in the survey), I peel the codes off of the bottom and fill in the surveys when the fruit goes on sale. We mainly buy raspberries from Driscolls since that is the product they consistently have in the stores locally. But we have also used them on blackberries and strawberries – the coupon is good on any Driscolls product, any size.

  10. MAY – Week #1 of 4- May 7-13, 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



    Before we start our MAY off though, I am going to make my “reserve” transfers:


    $142.50 for the month
    ($4.12) April overage
    ($12.50) transfer to borscht reserve
    ($20.00) transfer to Holiday Season reserve
    ($15.88) transfer to US Reserve
    ($17.50) transfer to re-stocking reserve

    Grocery Balance $72.50 for MAY


    $47.50 for the month
    ($0.00) transfer to re-stocking reserve
    ($0.00) transfer to US Reserve

    Stockpile Balance $0.00 for MAY

    I find that I am cooking with a lot less meat these days and it’s sure helping our budget! I have a good freezer supply on hand that we are using up slowly but I am not replacing what we use as this point. The closer we get to summer, the more vegetarian meals we tend to eat!! I would rather save the funds to re-stock whenever we eventually get to the bottom of the freezers.

    This month had some good prices on staples that we regularly stock. So for this month only… we topped up our stockpile and reduced the usual transfer of funds to the US Reserve. We did “time” our re-stocking shop though to take advantage of a FREE 4 L jug of chocolate milk PLUS we got a $10.00 Cash Card for FREE – thereby reducing the overall cost of our shops. Gotta love that!

    I will be doing a day trip to the USA next week so I expect the shopping in Canada for the rest of this month will be completely non-existent. It’s a little tough starting the first week of the month $13.34 over budget for the entire month BUT when you consider we still have $149.42 available for cross border shopping… it’s all good.



    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    2 x Heinz 1L Squeeze Ketchup ($9.38 – $2.38 Loyalty Savings) = $7.00
    2 x Heinz Chili Sauce ($10.24 – $2.04 Loyalty Savings) = $8.20
    1 x Lea and Perrin’s Worchestershire Sauce ($4.89 – $0.90 Loyalty Savings) = $3.99 << Buy 5 Heinz products = 40 bonus Air Miles
    1 x Safeway Long Grain Brown Rice ($4.29 – $0.43 Loyalty Savings) = $3.86
    4 x Miracle Whip ($19.16 – $3.16 Loyalty Savings) = $16.00
    1 x 4L Chocolate Milk ($6.19 – $6.19 COUPON) = FREE
    1 x Garlic Spread $3.49
    6 x Crest Toothpaste ($17.94-$9.00 Loyalty Savings) = $8.94
    2 x Green Onions $0.69
    1 x Green Cabbage $3.78
    6 x Corn on the Cob ($5.34 – $2.34 Loyalty Savings) = $3.00
    2 x Bunches of Radishes $1.58
    2 x Anjou Pears $1.13
    1 x English Cucumber $0.99
    6 x Tomatoes on the Vine ($4.10 – $1.02 Loyalty Savings) = $3.08
    2 x Red Peppers $4.71
    1 x 5 lb bag Yellow Potatoes ($5.99 – $1.00 Loyalty Savings) = $4.99
    2 x pkg Baby Spinach ($7.98 – $2.00 Loyalty Savings) = $5.98
    2 x Lighthouse Dilly Dips $8.98
    1 x $10 SAFEWAY $10 Cash Card (Exp May 22/14) = FREE
    GST $0.45
    PST $0.63

    •Total OOP: $91.47

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $43.97
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $47.50
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 44 Air Miles on this shop **
    4 Grocery Base offer of 1 per $20
    40 Heinz Bonus Miles
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** USED $6.19 in Printed Coupons **
    ** SAVED $25.67 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge

    9 x No Name Chicken Broth (3 for $3) = $9.00
    2 x Garlic Sausage Coil $3.98 ea = $7.96

    •Total OOP: $16.96

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $16.96
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 800 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Thrifty’s – Maple Ridge

    4 x Green Giant Veg Steamer in Sauce $1.00 ea = $4.00
    4 x China Lily Soya Sauce (RAIN CHECK @ $2.50 ea) = $10.00

    •Total OOP: $14.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 28 Thrifty’s Points on this shop **
    ** USED $10.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    4 Dare GF Crackers ($13.92-$6.96 L. Svgs)=$6.96 << Buy 1 Get 1 FREE!
    1 x Stop Lite – 3 pack peppers ($4.99 – $2.50 Coupon) = $2.49
    1 x Mini Watermelon ($5.79 – $3.81 PRICE MATCH RCSS) = $1.98
    1 x Cantelope ($2.99 – $1.50 PRICE MATCH SAVE ON FOODS) = $1.49

    •Total OOP: $12.92

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $2.92
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    • Safeway Cash Card: $10.00

    ** Earned 79 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $5.31 Price Matches **
    ** USED $2.50 in Printed Coupons **
    ** SAVED $6.96 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge

    1 x Half Flat Strawberries ($9.99 – $2.00 Loyalty Savings) = $7.99

    •Total OOP: $7.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $7.99
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 5 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** USED $0.00 in Printed Coupons **
    ** SAVED $2.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan ($81.89) + Feb ($48.32) +Mar ($0.00) +April ($22.88) +May($34.63) = $187.72

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan ($2.58) + Feb ($7.18) +Mar ($0.00) + April ($9.20) +May($18.69) = $37.65

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan ($0.00) + Feb ($0.00) +Mar ($0.00) + April ($0.00) +May($5.31) = $5.31

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) +Mar (11) + April (0) + May (5) = 16 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan (456) + Feb (584) +Mar (0) + April (4) + May (123) = 1,167 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (25) + Feb (15) +Mar (0) + April (0) + May (28) = 68 Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) +Mar (650) + April (0) + May (800) = 1,450 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($167.06) + Feb ($155.74)+ Mar ($105.76) + April ($145.56) + May ($12.50 borscht+$20.00 Xmas+$15.88 to US Reserve+$17.50 to re-stocking $14.00+$16.96+$43.97+2.92+7.99= $151.72) = $725.84

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $142.50+ Feb $142.50+ Mar $142.50 + April $142.50 + May $142.50 = $712.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($13.34) OVER



    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($47.50)+ Feb ($47.50)+ Mar ($47.50) = April ($47.50) + May($47.50) = $237.50

    •Total Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 + April ($47.50) + May ($47.50)= $237.50

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



    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    2013 Fwd $125.00+Jan $17.50+Feb $17.50+Mar $17.50 + April $17.50 +May $17.50= $212.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $275.00+Jan $12.50+Feb $12.50+Mar $12.50 + April $12.50 +May $12.50= $337.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $20.00+Feb $20.00+Mar $20.00 + April $20.00 +May $20.00= $100.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $725.84 Grocery Budget
    $10.00 Safeway Cash Card
    $237.50 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =


    $950 may have been budgeted for JAN to MAY ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $212.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $337.50 Borscht Fund
    $100.00 Holiday Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $650.00 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $250.00 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $1,327.61 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $250.00 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $149.42 we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually only spent $928.19!! That is well under the $950.00 we budgeted for January through May. The surplus is not available for spending on the week-to-week shopping though – it’s buried in our reserve funds for future needs.

    Looking good!!!!



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($13.34)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $133.54+$15.88= $149.42
    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,
      Great shop. Your point about eating less meat in the summer is somewhat true for us. We don’t normally eat lots of meat but I find in the summer we create more salads than anything although a smaller portion of meat might accompany or none at all. We love fish as well. Do you like fish? What types of summer dishes do you find on your menu time and time again? Eliminating the meat from the budget takes a huge chunk off the bill. We eat eggs and other proteins so we do get enough. You get ballot 10. P.S Love your reserve funds.

      1. Mr CBB, I use a lot more beans, nuts, seeds, eggs and fish in the summer. We eat a lot of salads & it’s just so easy to incorporate them. For example, for lunch today, I am just finishing some avocado stuffed with tuna salad and having about 1/4 cup of cashews to nibble on… just because I am still a little peckish. Dinner this evening will be an ear of corn on the cob to start off and a nice big Spinach Salad with real Bacon Bits, Sliced Egg, red pepper strips, diced cucumber, sliced strawberries & slivered almonds with a Thousand Island dressing for our main dish. I still enjoy my soups all thru the summer as well… I like cold soups but it’s hot or nothing for hubby. Hence, I have my fruit soups, gazpacho etc for lunches. I am also a big fan of fruit/vegetables and cottage cheese for a meal. Pretty much… I am far more comfortable as a vegetarian. 😀

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