The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

Product strategy change may equal grocery savings: The grocery game challenge #3 May 12-18, 2014

Share to...

Pampers Swaddlers Size 5A MARKETING PLAN IN ACTION


Sometimes a new business strategy or product strategy forces a company to make changes to their product. In some cases it’s simply the packaging of the product that is changed.

Either way any of these new product design ideas mean that the manufacturer likely wants to get rid of old stock products off the shelves in the grocery stores and retail big box stores to make way for new product packaging.

I often wondered if the same product was on the shelf and you would see a new and improved label on a product whether the earlier product was any good or not.

I’m sure they mean that their other product was great but this is even better. I’m not sure but for the most part they need to keep the product fresh, up to date and appealing to the customers.


Product strategy


What is a marketing strategy? For the most part to me it means they want to find the best way to communicate a new or improved product to the customer, get our attention to purchase items and that means finding appealing ways to do it. It might mean product testing, new packaging and special prices.

New product innovation is important even if the product is not new but they will make it seem like it is to the consumer with minor changes.

You may also find with product strategy size may shrink or even get bigger or the ingredients list might change. I know many of you have talked about noticing product packages shrink. Where you may have found a product in the store last week it may change this week meaning shelving placement, display placements etc. It’s all about attracting the customer to the new product even if it’s not a new product, it just looks different.

It’s all about the money and just the other day my wife mentioned how at the corner shop candy has shrunk since she was a child and the price has gone up. It’s no different with any product if prices go up to make the product either they raise their price, replace ingredients with a lesser quality ingredient or shrink the product.

Yes we need to factor inflation into the equation but sometimes we see product prices keep soaring. The good thing these days is that product pricing wars are happening at almost all the shops around so it’s easier to score a deal because they are all fighting for your business.


Finding product deals


Just as technology changes and we rush out to buy the latest model same goes with every day products at the stores. Whether you buy something that is new and improved or the same product but with a new twist the product strategy might change just to get your mind thinking, I need that.

It’s always hit or miss finding products like this because you don’t know when they will be removing them and replacing the old packaging with the new products on the shelf.

How about that Hellman’s Mayo with Balsamic Vinegar or Franks Red Hot sauce with lime… there’s always something new and improved or just new. Sometimes these new products might not go over well so they discount them and get rid of them or try to find out why and make changes so they are new and improved.

You may also find they discontinue product sizing as well just like we noticed last night at the grocery store. The photo above of Pampers Swaddlers size 5 were sitting in the reduced shopping carts with pink stickers.

We wondered why that would be, so we took a gander over at the baby section and noticed that they no longer carry this package size for Pampers. They carry size 5 Pampers Swaddlers just not the packaging with 112 diapers inside.

Now, what they did have was a smaller box of size 5 diapers regular price $29.99 on sale for $22.99. These boxes that have the pink stickers the cashier told us they are no longer carrying that size diapers as they have a new package and size box in stock for size 5.

The regular price on the jumbo box was $44.99-50% = $22.49 which means if you are a smart shopper and have a child or will have a child in size 5 diapers this is a great deal. You will be getting more diapers in the box and the price is cheaper than the sale price on the new smaller Pampers Swaddlers sized boxes.


Do the math


There was also a full shopping cart of Sunlight dish soap that they were no longer carrying and it’s mainly product size because they do still sell the larger bottles. Not all products are discontinued due to packaging issues some just don’t sell and they want to get rid of it. If you know your prices and products you can easily look on the reduced racks and know straight away what’s a deal and what’s not a deal.

The problem here for most is that is you must do the math like we did with the diapers. You have to go and find the product and see what prices are on the current products and sizes to find out if it’s a great deal. Sometimes they may try to pull the wool over your eyes and you think you are scoring a deal on a discontinued or product with older packaging but you’re not.

I remember about a month or two ago walking around Zehrs and I know some of my grocery game fans might have scored this deal. They had shopping carts filled with Tide laundry detergent that sell for $8.99 or more reduced to a price of $2.99. We thought wow that’s great especially if you pair it with a coupon.

I’m pretty sure there were Brandsaver coupons out at the time for $1.00 off. We looked down the laundry aisle and sure enough the same Tide products were on the shelf BUT the packaging had changed just a bit.

So, if you are a smart shopper you can score some deals on products that are being marketed with new labels, containers, ingredients etc. as long as you do the math and make sure you are getting the best price possible.

Do you buy reduced products because of product strategy or new and improved changes on the original product?


New packaging product


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

  • Neilson 4L milk $3.97 x 3
  • 2 x Nativa organic granola cereal sale $2.49
  • 2 x Neilson cottage cheese sale $1.99
  • Eggs Sale $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $22.86


  • 4 x Cracker Barrel cheese sale $3.99
  • 2 x butter sale $2.99

Total out-of-pocket $ 1.94  used points  $20.00

Food Basics

  • Shreddies Sale $2.99
  • 4x Redpath Sugar Sale $1.44
  • 2x Philadelphia cream cheese (big containers) $2.88 ea.
  • 3x Yellow onions Sale $0.88 ea.
  • Bananas $1.29
  • 3 x Cavendish Russet potatoes Sale $0.98 ea. 5lb bags
  • 2 x bags of Basa Fillets Sale $5.99 ea.
  • 2 x seedless cucumbers Sale $0.88 ea.
  • Tomatoes on the vine Sale $0.88lb $2.87
  • Lactancia dark chocolate milk reduced $1.50- $1.00 coupon on carton $0.50
  • Lactancia iced coffee reg $4.99 reduced $2.50- $1.00 coupon on carton $1.50
  • 2 x Rudolphs Bavarian bread sale $2.00 ea.
  • Plain Yogurt 3% Astro Sale $1.99

Total out-of-pocket $51.79


Grocery shop results


grocery shop may 2014 Canada


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 : $2.00
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $35.75
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $20.00
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $20.00
  • 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: $76.59
  • Total Spent So Far May: $109.16+$76.59=$185.75
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: OVER $23.07
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $14.89
  • 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: Well we spent more than we anticipated but we are well stocked up on cheese, milk, fish, bread.. all sorts. I’m confident we will be able to stick to our grocery budget for the month plus we have a few dollars yet to spend in our stockpiling budget.


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.

Canadian Coupons May 2014


Frequently Asked Questions



Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.


  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?


No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.


  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?


The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.


  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?


Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.



Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.


  • What is an FPC?


An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.



You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.



I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!



Money Quote Logo CBB


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Our weekly budget is $125 a week and $500 for the month.
    $4×4-$1.50Cx4 90 load snuggle – clearance
    $1.50×2 cake mix and icing
    $13.80 total oop
    $6 total coupons
    $2.99×2 Cheetos (should have been $2!)
    $4.99×4 coffee (mothers day gift)
    $2.29 dzn eggs
    $6.99-$3C venus razor
    $3.99-$1C fudgesicles
    $2.99×4-$2Cx4 axe shower gel
    $41.55 total oop
    $12 total coupons
    $3.48×2 international coffee creamer
    $2.10×2-.75Cx2 half and half
    $1.96 romaine hearts
    $11.60 total oop
    $1.50 total coupons
    $15.95 eye of round cryovac (6lbs and 4 meals)
    $1.06 green pepper
    .70 tomato
    $1.76 total oop
    $6.99 case of KD
    $1.50 red pepper dip – clearance
    $1×2 greek yogurt dips – clearance
    $2 jalapeno cheeseball – clearance
    $1×4 kraft dressing
    $2.49 onion strings
    $2.99 santa fe tortilla strips
    $22.99 total oop

    $93.85 weekly total oop
    $19.50 weekly total coupons

    $243.24 monthly total oop
    $29 monthly total coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Did you call Shoppers Drug Mart so you could get your SCOP on the Cheetos? I would. Sometimes I don’t notice SCOP on items until we get home so I call and they still offer it next time I am in. You picked up a nice deal on the KD because I think I noticed it at $15.99 a case at Shoppers for regular price…ouch! So far so good for the month! You get ballot 23. Mr.CBB

  2. I am always for scoring a great deal. I scored great on the laundry soap deal a few months ago. Tons of tide and sunlight for 50% off plus coupons from multiple stores. I am now stocked up for at least two years! Same with a cat food deal that i found at target. I always check for these deals! :0 My shops were a bit larger this week :S

    Food basics

    Babybel cheese 2.99
    Red cabbage 2.79
    ketchup 3.99
    apples 1.99

    total 11.82


    chicken breasts 2.99
    peameal bacon 4.00-1.20=2.80
    stir fry beef 5.18
    bean sprouts 0.98
    broccoli 2.50
    red pepper 2.11
    macaroni salad 2.25

    total 18.86


    crackers 2.47
    apple strawberry puree 2.54
    straws 1.00
    goldfish 2.97
    cheese buns 1.54
    apple sauce 2.00
    fleecy 2.97-1.50 coupon=1.47
    windex touchups 2.94-2.00=0.94
    oh henry bars 3.00-2.00=1.00
    reeses pieces 3.00-2.00=1.00
    apple snack bars 1.94-1.00=0.94
    kolbasa 2.97
    strawberry snack bars 1.94-1.00=0.94
    dawn dish soap 1.94X2=3.88-1.00=2.88
    salsa 1.97
    cheese sauce 1.97
    tostitos 1.97
    salami 3.99
    hawaian punch 1.99-1.00=0.99
    yogurt 2.99
    straws 1.00



    sunligh laundry soap 4.99-4.00 coupon=0.99
    lysol no touch hand soap dispenser 9.99-5.00=4.99 (plus 5000 PC points=5000) so technically free


    no frills

    bbq sauce 0.88
    bbq saue 0.88
    spring water 0.97
    milk 3.97
    lemonade 1.00
    cream cheese 2.77
    cheese strings 7.98-50% sticker=3.98
    macaroni salad 3.00



    Energy drinks 1.66X3=5.00
    Huggies little swimmers 10.00-2.00 target coupon=8.00
    Huggies pull ups 10.00-2.00 coupon=8.00-2.00 coupon=6.00-2.00 snapsaves=4.00
    huggies goodnites 10.00-2.00 target coupon=8.00-3.00 coupon=5.00


    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $33.50
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $72.7
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $241.01
    • 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: $=129.64
    •Total Spent So Far for may: $321.63
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $378.37
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A (had 175 left from last month)

    1. Hi Joanne,
      Two years without having to buy laundry soap, wow that’s great. We have about 10 years worth lol but it was so cheap back in 2010, 2011.. we couldn’t resist. Good for you finding the TIDE deal and using coupons. You have loads let to use for the month. Do you use all of the apps to get money rebates on products? Zweet, Snap saves, Checkout 51 and Cart Smart? You get ballot 22 Mr.CBB

      1. Well stocking up on laundry soap is a necessity for me as i have a family of four and three pets!! i must do at least a load of laundry a day :S. I only have an android phone so i only have check out 51 and snapsaves. I have no interest in getting an apple phone to get the other apps.

  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.

    Del Monte veggies (PM NF) 4 x $.77
    Heinz ketchup (PM Target) $2.89
    Vinegar $1.97
    Marshmallows (PM NF) 2 x $1.67
    Smucker’s jam (PM Loblaws) 4 x $2.49 – 4 x $1.00 coupons
    Eggs (PM FB) $1.97
    Milk $3.97
    Silk almond milk (PM Nations) 3 x $2.99
    Potato thins (PM NF) 2 x $1.77
    Kraft singles (PM Target) $2.99 – $1.00 coupon (earned 800 bonus PC plus points)
    Hummus (PM FB) 2 x $2.49
    BD cheese bar (PM FB) $4.44 – $.75 coupon
    Poppers $2.99
    Apples (PM Metro) $1.75 – $.25 CO51
    Mushrooms (PM Metro) $.99
    Grapes (PM Sobey’s) $.99
    Cucumber (PM FC) 2 x $.79
    Graham crackers (PM NF) $1.67
    Asparagus (PM Longo’s) $1.82
    Salad $1.99
    Oranges (PM NF) $2.31 (earned 400 bonus PC plus points)
    Tomatoes (PM FB) $.73
    Bananas $2.03 (earned 400 bonus PC plus points) – $.50 Zweet
    French bread $.97
    Magazine $3.49
    Coupons $5.75
    Rebates $.75
    OOP $70.26

    Distilled water 3 x $.97
    Mango 3 x $.97
    Hershey’s bar $1.58
    OOP $7.61

    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: $5.75
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $27.70
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $499.62
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $.75
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $10.25
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $106.75
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • 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: $77.87
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $247.77
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $126.80
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $1688.18
    Weekly overview: Under again this week, once again helping to make up for what I went over last month. What I think was the key to not going over the last two weeks was I didn’t look at any coupon groups “weekly coupon match-ups”. Maybe I overspend when I look at them? I have quite a stockpile of items now so I should be buying less except for fresh items. To top it off I didn’t cook dinner a single night this week. Mother’s Day my dad and Ken cooked and most of the food was provided by my dad, and then at my parents’ house Monday and the leftovers from their dinner for the rest of the week (oh wait…Friday we made hash brown patties and KD lol). My parents bought us take-out Saturday night and today (Sunday) we are invited to a friend’s house for dinner. It’s a frugal person’s dream! Lol 😀

    1. Hi Jen,
      One of these days I want to see a photo of your pantry and stockpile.. it must be packed with all the deals you get. Interesting concept about not looking at coupon groups. Can you explain that a bit further? How would that motivate you to buy more? I guess it does help when you don’t have to cook dinner haha…My mother-in-law sent home a pile of food with us as well. You have such a close family, good for you. You get ballot 19. Mr.CBB

  4. My shops for the week were here and there, mostly Foodland, a stock-up trip to Canadian Tire and hubby had me drive him into Stratford as he upgraded our internet package and that meant a new router and for our older boy to do the updating on the computers in house. Figured while I’m there I would grab the new flyer for No Frills and Shoppers for a change. I was over for the week but I still have room left in the budget to see through to the end of the month without too much trouble… I hope.

    Foodland, May 9
    2 KD @ .99- 1.98
    1 can tomatoes- 1.00
    2 Powerade @1.50- 3.00
    bananas- 1.22
    1 pasta sauce- 1.79
    1 unsweetened apple sauce- 1.98
    1 package pepper- 1.99
    2 W/W bread @1.99- 3.98, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    2 Dawn dish soap @1.99- 3.98, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    1 cranberry cocktail- 2.98
    3 packs sliced cheese @2.99- 8.97
    1 stir fry sauce- 2.99
    2 Cheez Whiz @2.99-5.98
    1 yogurt- 3.49
    1 2.5 kg flour- 3.98
    1lb butter- 3.99
    1 green pepper- 1.38
    2 packs ground pork @4.49, 2X 50% sticker, 4.50
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    1 case Dr Pepper- 4.99, 2.00 coupon
    1 jug water- 5.49
    1 case ginger ale- 5.99, 2.00 coupon
    Tax- 2.33
    Total $81.54, $6.00 coupons +$4.50 discounts

    Foodland, May 10
    1 tomato- 1.07
    2 locks chees @4.97- 9.94
    1 honey- 5.79
    1 1.4L saucepan- 37.99, sticker discount- 35.99
    1 2.8L saucepan- 49.99, sticker discount- 47.99
    Tax- .52
    Total- $21.32

    Foodland, May 13
    2 tomato paste @.65- 1.30
    3 Powerade @1.50- 4.50
    bananas- .61
    2 pasta sauce @1.79- 3.58
    2 Dawn dish soap@ 1.99, 1.00 WUB2 coupon
    2 W/W bread @1.99- 3.98
    1 doz eggs- 2.99
    2 bagels @2.99, 1.00+.50 coupons
    3lb carrots- 2.99
    1 pack paper napkins- 3.29
    1 yogurt- 3.49
    1 grated parmesan cheese- 3.62
    1 lb butter- 3.99
    1 green pepper- .99
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    1 Rice Krispies- 4.99
    1 jug water- 5.49
    Tax- 1.53
    Total- $64.38

    No Frills. May 15
    1 gatoer ade- .97
    1 Rice Krispies- 4.97
    1 216 count Tetley teabags- 9.29
    2 cans tomato sauce @.97- 1.94
    1 package chicken breasts- 7.02
    Tax- 13
    Total- $24.17

    Canadian Tire, May 9
    2 Folgers coffee@ 6.99- 13.98
    Total- $13.98, Stockpile

    Total budget for the month- $650.00, 4wk -$162.50
    Total coupons for week- $8.50, Discounts- $88.48
    Total spent this week- $191.54
    Total spent for month- $294.07
    Total over/under for week- Over $29.04
    Total over/under for month-N/A
    Left for month- $333.51
    Total coupons/discounts for month-$100.48
    Total carry-over to next month-N/A
    Total YTD- J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M294.07= $2975.61
    Stockpile- $25.00, spent $13.98, $11.02 remaining

    So there you have it….Over $29.04 for the week. I did get the coffee that was on sale at Canadian Tire. $6.99 was too good to walk away from especially as lately it’s been going for $7.99 on sale… The good news is I still have over $330.00 to last the rest of the month. I did get a flyer for this week coming for Shoppers and No Frills so I will be going to both places on our way home Sat. I also have included here the two saucepans I got with my stickers, quite the discount on those and they are really nice heavy pots!!! Sweet deal for $2.00 each!! In spite of going over for the week it looks like I am in good shape for the rest of the month, just wish I could say the same for my freezer as it’s getting low on meat. Makes meal planning a little tricky….I worked with the straight $162,50 for the week as I was under enough last week to absorb the overage from last month.

    1. Hi Christine,
      You weren’t over by too much for the week but like you said you should be ok for the rest of the month. I think you got an excellent deal with your pots and thank you for sharing it with the group. I’m pretty sure you will come up with plenty of meatless meals your family will love. How long would one can of coffee last you? You get ballot 17 Mr.CBB

  5. In all honesty even when it comes to certain produce that have the pink stickers, I’ll grab them when I’m eating them that day or was just coming in for a grab and go snack. It’s funny how some people think these products are “bad” now that they’re reduced but instead there are great savings to be had.

  6. I’ve noticed the downsizing of packaging for a while now. If I can get the old packaging at a reduced price I’m there. I always check out the reduced cart at the grocery store, I got a number of small bags of organic rice a while back for $.99, not sure what the original price was as there was no longer a space for it on the counter so I’m guessing it didn’t sell well and was being discontinued. My gain….

    1. If you can score a great deal, why not. As long as you know the price it’s important to know if you are getting that deal. In your case it sounds pretty obvious you are.

  7. Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: 200
    Total Coupons Used this Week : 1.56
    Total Discounts this Week: 2.65
    Total Checkout 51 cheques this Week: 0
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 10.44
    Total Rewards Points Used: 0
    Total SCOP: 0
    Total Spent This Week: 30.35
    Total Spent So Far for May: 121.46
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: 48.19
    Total Coupons Used This Month : 5.85
    Total Spent To Date This Year: 1,492.45
    Total Grocery Gift card used this year in addition to total spent: 85.44
    Weekly Overview:
    RCSS: greek yogurt 3.97 – 1.50 coupon, red delicious apples 3.97, eggplant 1.97 – 50%, roma tomatoes 1.45, pears 2.76, cucumber 1.28 – 50%, yellow pepper 2.03 – 50%, mango 1.25, bean sprouts .99: 15.50 (rounded down 2 cents)
    RCSS 2: baby spinach 3.99, celery 1.77, romaine 1.79: 7.55
    Food Basics: Frozen blueberries 2.44 x 2, frozen raspberries 2.44: 7.30 (rounded down 1 cent)
    Giant Tiger: deodorant 2.73, 3 lb bananas 1.47, clearance whole wheat bread .99 x 2, 3 cent grocery bag credit: 6.50 on gift card (43.50 remaining on card)
    Giant Tiger: milk 3.97, 3 cent grocery bag credit: 3.94 gift card (now 39.56 remaining on card)

    Another super tight week and trying my best to stay on top of it. We will be running very low on many veggies and fruit after this week, so a no shop week won’t happen next week, but I will try to keep that one small too and perhaps sneak a trip to the U.S. this weekend into our schedule for cold meat, cheese, milk and bread (I’ve been too busy to make bread lately and the U.S. fund is healthier than the food budget) so we can apply more to the fruits and veggies in town. I am staying on track to buy mostly healthy stuff and eating some out of the freezer – like the turkey on Mother’s Day, but I am totally craving some pop (particularly the caffeine and the bubbles) and I may cave a bit next week, just a little for us both since we both need to be more weaned off of the caffeine. Hubby is doing his best to eat much better for health reasons and it has given me the “out” to not buy the junk or somewhat junk type items. However, U.S. side, we will buy a bag of Keebler cookies for my kiddo, I want him to be healthy too, but not punish him for our income right now.

    We started into a gift card that we have been holding onto for dire months. I would call May and June our dire months now that I found out yesterday that I will have to wait two more weeks later in June (June 28) for E.I. to kick in – I’m still hoping to go back to school in the fall, so the super tight food budget will be good practice again. June will be crazy tight too. However, I discovered a gift card that I got for Christmas to spend on myself from RCSS with printing of photos in mind. It has $12.12 left on it from $25, so happy dance, we have just that much more to apply to grocery gift card category. My mom is the only one outside of my immediate family (and this website, lol) who knows how bad it is right now brought me a container of my favourite local honey for Mother’s Day. It’s amazing, 5 years ago we had a grocery budget of $30 for three of us. Granted, my son eats more now than he used to, big difference between 3 and 8 years, but really the huge increase in the budget is the rising cost of food, particularly vegetables (and we have to watch the carbs now, so potatoes which was my easiest to stretch now has to be reduced dramatically). It’s been really hard to try and get back to the $30 weekly, and it can’t be long term. I’ve stopped checking the clearance rack, other than fruits and veg which are my first place to go, unless there is something specific I need to buy. I just won’t be buying from it and if I don’t look, I won’t be tempted.

    1. Hi Angela,
      You had a $30 grocery budget… wow I would love to hear that story if you ever want to share how you made those shops work for you. I think $30 would be very tight for us BUT if we had to or had no choice then we’d do what we had to do. I’m happy to hear you are sticking to buying the healthy foods although I know how hard it is to stop with caffeine. I got on that bandwagon for a while but I stopped right around the time I quit smoking. I don’t fancy pop any more but it can take time. Isn’t it nice to find gift cards you never knew you had or forgot about. My wife did that a couple weeks ago with a gift card to the cinema.. she had $10 on it which paid for our movies minus the tax which was a great surprise. I bet she’s had that for 2 years in her drawer. keep up the good work and you’ll get to where you need to go. I hope all your EI is sorted out for you and fast. You get ballot 16. Mr.CBB

      1. It seems like a $30 grocery budget is out of this world, even for five years ago, but it really wasn’t that tough and we often had money left over that I would just set aside for one big stock up shop of pantry items that we ran out of. It’s things like lettuce, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and carrots that really sock it to our budget now. I can’t even look at a cauliflower unless it’s on the half off rack at RCSS, $3.97 a head is awful or even the large portobello mushrooms which seem to be above $4 a package now. Those items 5 years ago were reasonably priced, healthy eating made easy and the junk was more expensive. I cringe every time I pick up celery and lettuce for 1.79. Some things you can get on sale still for great prices, like button mushrooms, but the sales aren’t often enough for the fresh produce to get a good price regularly. My brain seems stuck on my previous budget in a way that I want to get back to it, but it seems impossible to do so now. Shopping the sales is helpful, but it doesn’t get a balance into the house like it used to.

        Bonus find on the movie gift card Mr. CBB. I love those just as much as the ones I find to use for groceries. I tend to hang on to them for some time, once I part with the movies ones, the next trip to the theatre seems so far away.

  8. MAY – Week #2 of 4- May 12-18, 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



    This week is predominantly about shopping a couple of sales and scoring a rain check at Thrifty’s for 1.36 L Heinz Tomato Juice cans at $1.99 each. We use a lot of tomato juice, especially in the summer, so this is an exciting rain check for me!

    I pushed back my little “run” to the US after I looked in the fridge and realized that I have enough gluten free bread at the moment. I really don’t need to try crossing the border until the Victoria Day & Memorial Day traffic is behind us. I have picked a mid-week quieter crossing for my next little shop. If I go by myself, I also get to “look” to see what’s new and exciting. Hubby likes to get in, get what we need and get out. 🙂

    I can get Barilla gluten free pasta here locally and even if it is rather pricey, my hubby likes it. It allows me to space out my cross border shopping trips out to suit myself and I do not have to run across the border simply to get something that doesn’t taste like cardboard. Gluten free products are certainly improving as the competition heats up. If I had to develop a sensitivity, I sure picked the right time to do it.

    Safeway has a nice price on fresh corn on the cob this week (6 ears for $3) but the stuff they have in the store is absolute garbage – it’s not a deal if it’s not worth eating! There will be other sales now that summer is almost here. I can wait, right? Right???

    I am happy to say that hubby and I are doing a “Borscht Run” late August this year! My cousin and his wife invited us to a local event in Grand Forks, BC so we are driving up and will try to squeeze in a a little visit with my relatives in both Castlegar & Grand Forks while I replenish my borscht supplies.

    BUT two things need to happen before then… I need to scrimp and save a little extra for the borscht reserves plus I need to make room in the fridge in the garage for 18 quarts of the liquid gold! LOL In order to make the room, I need to shop less. Shop less = save more… so win-win for me! Hubby doesn’t care for the borscht so literally, I mean it’s a win for me. We won’t be able to stock all the bread, English muffins, buns etc we normally have on hand for him – we’ll have to keep a week’s supply on hand only until I make a dent in the deep freeze. Where there’s a will there’s a way! 🙂



    Thrifty’s – Maple Ridge

    5 x Heinz Tomato Juice 1.36 L ($1.99 ea + $0.20 deposit) = $10.95

    •Total OOP: $10.95

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $10.95
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 11 Thrifty’s Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Shopper’s Drugmart – Maple Ridge

    2 x Dozen Eggs ($2.29 per dozen) = $4.58

    •Total OOP: $4.58

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $4.58
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    I forgot to give hubby my Optimum card so no points on that purchase. He has since scanned my card into his phone using the “Cardless” app so that won’t be an issue in future. It’s not like we spent a lot but every point counts! LOL






    •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 (39) = 79 Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

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

    Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan (0) + Feb (0) +Mar (11) + April (0) + May (0) = 0 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+10.95+4.58= $167.25) = $741.37

    •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: ($28.87) 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:

    $741.37 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 $1,343.14 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 $943.72!! That is still 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.

    Still looking good, but only just! I can’t shop at all in Canada for the next 2 weeks if I want to stay on track. 🙂



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($28.87)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $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)
    12 Heinz 1.36 L Can of Tomato Juice @ $1.99 each (Good until Aug 9th)


    1. Hi Mary,
      I’m going to have to buy tomato juice to make that tomato soup you suggested. What brand do you like best? I know most men want to get in and get out when grocery shopping so I can understand how your husband is. I like to grocery shop on the other hand because I really do enjoy grocery shopping. You are smart to hold off on the US shop especially if you have plenty in the freezer. We have a local farm close to us who has the best peaches and cream corn and we hold out for them. We bought some last year for the first time and now we are hooked. Unfortunately it was one week before the end of season… so we need to get it early this year. That’s good new that you will be getting your borscht finally. Good luck with the shop less.. and fitting the 18 quarts in the fridge lol. You get ballot 15 Mr.CBB

      1. Mr CBB… I like Heinz Tomato Juice here in Canada but Campbell’s from the US is also good. 🙂

        1. Ok, Heinz it is… I’ll keep my eye on it going on sale and pick up a can so I can make the fastest soup in the world. I just love your quickie route.

  9. I’m always pretty suspicious when I read about “new and improved” formulas — particularly when it comes to food. What new technology have we discovered that could make food taste any better? But yes, I would definitely buy closeout versions of the same product. Most of the time, it’s usually just a change in design rather than usability, and the prettiness of a package isn’t terribly important to me.

    1. Haha, that’s exactly what we said about the food although it’s likely the type of products they use… or quality that gets replaced. Many of these companies hold focus groups to get feedback from customers and pay them well for their honest opinion. I did one today and got paid $30 cash… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.