These days it seems that more and more supermarkets aim at the gardener in everyone by adopting a seasonal garden centre attachment.
It’s amazing how many of these stores will go out of their way to make sure they keep the customer happy.
I often wonder though if it’s really worth it for them but judging by the way these garden centres keep showing up year after year I’m pretty sure a profit is being made.
Garden centre choices
The garden centre is usually located in the car park or if you frequent such supermarkets as Walmart the garden centre is part of the exterior of the building.
The pro having the garden centre included with a grocery store is that it’s the one stop shop again. It’s all about competition though. If you decide to go to Zehrs garden centre for a sale you most likely will go into Zehrs to see what groceries are on sale or decide to buy your groceries there that week. Ah, smart marketing.
Either way, the big names in supermarkets just keep broadening their horizons to encourage a wider customer base. Every year we add some sparkle to the outside of our house by planting up hanging baskets and setting up the back deck.
Over the years we’ve gone from the Canadian Tire garden centre to Zehrs and then out to an independently owned nursery and back again.
What usually entices us in is the prices and variety of plants, even if it’s just the basics like annuals for the hanging baskets. Our final choice is not based on price alone however, size and general plant health are key too. I’m picky when it comes to choosing the right plants so I take my time. My wife on the other hand doesn’t know much about plants and flowers so she leaves this up to me.
The hanging baskets that you can buy from a garden centre that are pre-made are ok for the money if you don’t want to do the work yourself but not for us. The amount of plants we manage to stuff in our hanging baskets is pretty phenomenal so for us to buy a pre-made version would cost us around the $50-$60 mark each.
To keep our costs down we buy plugs because we can grow the plants on and our money goes further. We watch the flyers for potting soil to build up the hanging baskets and then start accruing plants from various sources.
Depending on how you want your hanging baskets to look you will plan your plant buying to achieve the maximum amount of floral excellence for the least amount of cash.
Concentrating on old favourites for your hanging baskets is easy and can provide a fail safe bloom of flowers during the summer. Adding in different plants to create a more interesting arrangement can create a more spectacular look.
Our hanging baskets start with some basics and are then interspersed with slightly more interesting plants with varied foliage and flowers but kept within a pre-determined colour scheme.
We will visit garden centre after garden centre and look for plants within our budget, colour scheme and size that is required. We’re not biased towards one place or another but larger plants are bought from dedicated garden centres purely because they have such a wide variety.
Like I mentioned above though as customers who walk into the garden centre of these grocery stores we end up in the store looking around. They know what they are doing and that’s why they are competing year after year by having a garden centre. They don’t want to lose you as a customer.
Do you buy your flowers at the grocery store garden centre and do you end up inside to buy groceries or look around afterwards?
July 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. Join in the Grocery Game Challenge fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each blog post… here are the GGC rules!
Each month I hold a draw and one WINNER is chosen. I will post the winners name right here so make sure to check back every week. I want to give a shout out to all the grocery game players who are making a difference in their grocery budget and sharing their shops with the world. If you want to join in read the rules and post your shops!! 🙂
These women make me so proud that they have taken this challenge seriously and not just for one month or two months but many since the beginning of this challenge a couple of years back. I hope they will inspire many of you to post your shops. These ladies can rock the grocery budget!!! ~Mr.CBB
Our June winner of the grocery game goes to….. Ballot #5 Christine!! Well done Christine… you know what to do to claim your coupons. 🙂
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 savings 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 and in large part a reason we were able to pay our mortgage off in 5 years, 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
If you are a foodie like I am you will enjoy going through my Free Recipe Index where recipes from CBB foodie Nicola and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out! Try a recipe and leave a review for other fans!
- 2 bags of Selection Tortilla chips for backyard BBQ party – $2.49 each
- Liberte coconut yogurt $2.99
- Sunflower seeds Sale $1.88
- Russet Potatoes $3.77
- Bavarian Sandwich bread $2.99
- Seedless cucumber $1.27
- Tomatoes on the vine $1.54
- Brie wheel $5.99
- Reduced produce apples $1.29
- Parmalat Milk 2% $3.97
Total out-of-pocket $31.56
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 July $235.00-$49.88=$185.12/4= $46.28 per week
- Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.00
- Total Coupons Used to date: $41.00
- Total Discounts this Week: $0
- Total Discounts Used to date: $43.61
- Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
- Total Rewards Points Used: $0
- Total Rewards Points Used to date: $20.00
- Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $0
- Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+$15.10 + $20.00 (June)
- Snap Saves to date: $0.25
- Total Spent This Week: $31.56
- Total Spent So Far July: $31.56
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: under $14.72
- Total Over/Under spend for the month: $
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $153.56
- Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$0
- Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $235.07+May $223.62+June $275.37+ July
- Weekly Overview: We didn’t have much to buy this week since we were going away so we managed to keep the grocery expense under budget.
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.
We didn’t find any coupons this week because we only went to Food Basics and they didn’t have any in-store.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: 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.
- Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: 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.
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons? : You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: 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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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/winnond