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Do summer foods cost you more money? : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 July 21-27, 2014

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square watermelon vancouver- summer foodsPICK YOUR OWN EAT IT FRESH


Summer foods are fresh, in-season and in some cases can drive up your grocery budget if you’re not careful.

For the most part Mrs.CBB and I have a standard grocery list that we use every week along with sale items that come up in the flyers. In the summer our grocery list seems to grow.

With such growth we really need to focus on how much money we are spending at the grocery store so we don’t overspend causing us to carry over these expenses to the next month.

This is what we did for the month of July as you will notice we were over budget by $18.24. The reason for this is because we are trying to catch up for going over budget the month previous.

It only seems to happen in the summer but come winter, things change. I know you might suggest giving ourselves a larger budget but it does seem to work out in the end. If by the end of 2014 we notice we need to make an increase then that is what we will do.

We won’t deprive ourselves and not buy what we need when we can clearly afford it but we also won’t give ourselves so much room that we are spending more than we have to.

Photo credit  Square Watermelon


Summer Foods


Why do we overspend on summer foods?

I can only speak for our grocery budget  but with the amount of family gatherings, baby showers, wedding showers and our own backyard BBQ parties’ costs can get pricey. It’s fine to be frugal when you have a summer party but most foods we buy are above and beyond that standard grocery list as I mentioned earlier.

Just the other day I read a Huffington Post article where a Vancouver grocery store was selling a square watermelon with a whopping price tag of $199.00. You read that right almost $200 to buy a melon and people are scooping these watermelons up. Why? Only because they are square and unique and a summer food that will be talked about by all of your guests.

Square watermelons are grown in Japan in a glass tempered box and are labour intensive. I also found a photo of a heart-shaped watermelon. Amazing what a bit of creativity can do in the garden but with that comes cost, and you will pay if you want it. So if you plan to be the talk of the party, bring along a square watermelon. Not for this guy.


Summer party food


It almost seems like every weekend there is a party invitation in which we have to make a summer food dish to bring along. Coming up with summer food ideas means using the freshest ingredients we can find. We don’t mind bringing food as it’s all part of the fun with friends however these expenses add money to the budget and the grocery list has added product we don’t normally buy.

Some typical summer foods that we like to make are garden salads, tuna macaroni salad with vegetables, vegetable platters with dip, nachos and dip, cucumber and radish salad, potato and tomato salad and the list goes on and on.

Although you may think that produce is cheaper in the summer it depends on where you buy it as prices will vary especially with organic produce. I do believe we can get more bang for our buck during the summer months in Ontario but it’s more quantity of purchase that drives up the budget expense.

What I do find though is come winter even though we may make basil cubes, jelly and store other fruits and veg in the freezer our budget is much easier to control. In fact I find it balances out the budget come winter where some months we might even have a few dollars left in the grocery budget to carry over to the next month if need be. Shocking, I know.

If you follow our grocery shops you can easily see where our money goes but now we find we are buying more meats, chips, cheeses etc. to make dips and all of those delicious summer foods for guests.

We also find that we are buying more vegetables to make party platters like I mentioned above. Sure we can buy from the farmers market which might give us better selection and Ontario’s best fruits and veg but most times we end up at the grocery store. When we do go out to the market it’s so we can support our Ontario farmers. Soon we will be buying plenty of local corn and other vegetables from a farm up the road. We’re just waiting for the corn sign to go up!

Growing a garden is great but keep in mind time and water = money. Sure you will get the best of the best produce but you still have costs that will drive your budget up during the summer months. This summer we mainly are growing herbs and lots of them.


Summer BBQ food


I don’t know if you noticed but meat has gone up in price and it’s getting costly to run the BBQ. I filled the propane tank (we have 2) the other day which ran me over $17.00 from Canadian Tire.

There’s something about being outside on the deck, at the beach or campground and having a BBQ feast. Most people I know don’t like cooking summer foods indoors so that means using the BBQ all summer long. Some BBQ’s are fully loaded with side-burners and a refrigerator although ours is not that posh.

The problem with the grill is that meat costs are rising and just to buy a pound of ground beef we are looking at around $9.00. I’m not talking those tubes of beef either.

Forget about grilling lamb unless you know someone or have the cash to pay for lamb as it’s always costly. Seafood is a great alternative such as salmon, shrimps and scallops. I like to make Shish Kabobs as a summer food because they don’t require lots of meat and you can fill them with vegetables. You can always forget about meat and grill strictly vegetables if that’s what you enjoy. Meatless meals help cut grocery costs and are healthy meals.

During the summer months I find we enjoy more salads, smoothies which mean buying more fruits plus we make jelly when the apple tree gives us fruit. We also use the BBQ quite a bit in the summer which means we do plenty of grilling and use handy foil packets to create some unique summer foods.

I don’t own a charcoal BBQ but I may look into it for next summer since my neighbour believes the taste is better than a gas BBQ. I gave him wood from our apple tree and he uses it when he cooks his meat and says it gives the meat quite a bit of flavour.

Making jelly tastes great but that costs money in the budget that we don’t typically account for so we have to cut back on other areas. I know one grocery game challenge player picked strawberries this year and wasn’t sure how that would affect her budget. She made out well because she adjusted her grocery list to fit her budget which is what would have to happen to stay on track.




Another reason you might find your summer grocery list grow is because you enjoy canning. Sure once you buy the jars you can use them over and over but they cost money as do the seals. Not everyone has a huge garden to grow what they need to can so they go off and buy what’s in season for the summer and build a canteen full of jars for the winter months.

It’s something my parents do and so do my wife’s parents. We don’t so much but my wife’s mother said the costs in the summer do drive up their grocery budget but balance out in the winter when all they do is shop what is in the cold room. Makes sense. Homemade always tastes better but it takes hard work and upfront costs.


Summer treats


Finally, we all love popsicles and ice-cream in the summer along with various cold and frosty drinks. You might find you buy more Gatorade, bottled water, juice boxes, frozen juice etc. while grocery shopping.

If you make them at home they will be cheaper than buying them when you are out but let’s face it, we all do. When we are out shopping and it’s hot we want a cold beverage. If we are on vacation or doing day trips we buy treats such as ice-cream cones or frosty smoothies to cool us down.

All this adds up in the budget and although you might not add these expenses to your grocery budget anything you make at home is part of that expense. In the summer many people get out the blender and even the booze to whip up something special.

What other reasons might summer foods drive up the cost of your grocery budget?


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 name of the person who has the winning grocery shop of the month right here so make sure to check back every week.


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 could 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!


Grocery shop results


grocery game challenge July 4 2014


  • 6 x Black Diamond Cheese bars sale $4.49-$0.75= $3.74 (stockpile budget) $22.44-$20.00 =$2.44 over stockpile budget
  • 2 x Cheerios Sale $2.88

Total out-of-pocket $5.76 + $22.44 stockpile budget

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x Neilson Milk 4L Sale $3.97 each +800 bonus points
  • 1 x Dozen Eggs Sale $1.99
  • 1 x Oikos DANONE yogurt $3.99-$2.00 SDM coupon =$1.99
  • 2 x Wild Salmon Sale $5.99

Total out-of-pocket $21.91

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 : $2.00
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $45.50
  • 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): $22.44 so carry over to next month total to use $17.56
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+$15.10 + $20.00 (June)+ $22.44 (July)
  • Snap Saves to date: $0.25
  • Zweet to date: $0.25
  • Total Spent This Week: $27.67
  • Total Spent So Far July: $31.56+ $64.72+$79.41+$27.67=$203.36-$185.12 (July Budget)= $18.24 over for the month
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: -$18.24
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$18.24
  • 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 $203.36
  • Weekly Overview: This week we stocked up on cheese as we are running low but have enough fruits and veg to get by. We use loads of cheese in the summer time so it’s essential to have around the house. That means we used up the stockpile budget for the month. Overall we were happy but still could have done better and will carry over the $18.24 to August.


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. This week we didn’t spot any coupons where we went grocery shopping. I’ll keep posting here any photos of coupons that we do find.


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.
  • 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 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!



Money Quote Logo CBB


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  1. Hey Mr.CBB
    The hubby loves cheese whiz and I don’t! I only buy it when it is on sale!! Yes the diapers were on clearance. I was given peelies from the rep when I was still working and they are good till next year. I think if you go to their fb page they have a printable coupon from smartsource………or maybe it was a link I will look for you and let you know 🙂 I try my best to not go over budget but we only have cc that you put money on in order to use because we have learned the hard way and know we can’t have regular cc right now. So if we don’t have the cash we don’t buy it! As to if I think it is a good deal and worth our budget I really look at the cost of it, how much it saves us using coupons combined with a sale or promo and does it effect our end of budget. I was willing to spend $10 on 40 boxes of pasta for a number of reasons, they don’t expire till 2016, it is a staple in our house and usually once a week we have pasta, I donate all year to people in need and really if you bought a box or bag of pasta on sale you would pay $1 for one box so I was able to get 30 boxes for “free”. So with a stockpile of an item like pasta I can use our budget to get other items to stock up on or just be able to buy treats.

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 making his month $625.
    $4.98-free item through their app family size multigrain cheerios
    $2.47 J&J baby travel pack – clearance
    $3 clearance item
    $8.49×2-$3.50 rain cheque case of mushroom soup
    .75 deli ham
    .69×4 bulk bagels
    $19.15 total oop
    $4.98 app promo
    $2×20-$2Cx20 sbrbs
    $1.19×4-bogo sale jello
    $3.69×2-$1C&bogo sale quaker oats
    $7.05 total oop
    $41 total coupons
    $1.17 tuna
    $3.99(pm sobeys)x6-.75Cx6 bd cheese
    $1.20×4(pm sobeys)x8 2L pop
    $5.49×3-free instore promo wb4pepsix2&freewub4pepsiC juicy jumbo wieners
    .86×8 Arizona iced teas – for my girl and her bf
    $37.60 total oop
    $20.97 total coupons

    $63.80 weekly total oop
    $66.95 weekly total coupons
    $455.08 monthly total oop
    $156.38 monthly total coupons

    Lots of treats and good sales this week. Also stocking up on beans and bbq sauce before the coupons expire.

    1. Hi Juanita,
      I’m not a huge fan of cheese whiz but my wife likes it. What recipes do you use it in? Great deal on the diapers. Were they reduced? Where did you get the Liberte coupon? I want some… it’s my favourite. If you think it will save you in the long run then I’d say go for it although making sure the cash is available for the shop is important. Going over budget which some people do and putting it on credit card thinking they save with coupons etc really isn’t a deal when interest is factored in. We put everything on CC but pay it off each month. How do you decide whether it’s a worthwhile deal for your budget? You get ballot 18. Mr.CBB

  3. I keep trying to get this posted on the laptop but it isn’t happening so I’m on the iPad to try again…that’s what happens when you share a computer.. Such is life around here!! I was doing OK but hubby had to go into town to have bloodwork done so we went to No Frills on the way out df town. We go right by it. Hopefully I can get all caught up by the end of this month.

    Foodland, July 18
    4 Powerade @1.66- 6.64
    Bananas -1.26
    3 Temptations cat treats @1.79- 5.37, B2G1free coupon, saved 1.80
    2 Certo Light packs @1.99- 3.98
    2 raisin bread @2.99- 5.98
    2 bags frozen veggies @3.00- 6.00
    1 cucumber -1.50
    1 yogurt -3.49
    1 bagels -3.89
    2 packs ground pork @3.99- 7.98, 2X 30% stickers -1.20X2- 2.40
    1 yogurt -4.49
    2 4l milk @4.79- 9.58
    1 block cheese -5.49
    1 green pepper -1.45
    1 sirloin roast -8.61
    1 4kg bag Whiskas cat food -15.99, 3.00 coupon
    1 2kg bag Whiskas cat food -9.29, B1G1 coupon,saved 9.29
    Tax -4.61
    Total -94.08,14.09 coupons, 2.40 discounts

    Foodland July 20
    1 garlic bread -1.99
    1 pack perogies -2.99
    1 pack tortellini -3.29
    4 packs ground turkey @4.49- 17.96, 4X50% stickers – saved 9.00, stock pile -8.98
    Total -17.23, 9.00 discounts

    Foodland July 21
    4 Powerade @1.66- 6.64
    2 unsweetened apple sauce @1.99- 3.98
    1 case ginger ale-5.99, 1.00 coupon
    Tax -1.64
    Total -17.23, 1.00 coupon

    Foodland July 23
    2 Powerade @1.66- 3.32
    Bananas -.55
    1 Bear Paws, damaged box -1.99
    1 jar relish -1.99
    1 breadcrumbs -2.98
    1 soya sauce -3.49
    1 yogurt -4.49, .50 coupon
    1 4l milk -4.79
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -43
    Total -32.91
    No Frills, July 24
    1 sugar -1.97
    5 Gatorade @1.00 -5.00
    1 RiceKrispies -5.00
    2 Cheerios @3.00 -6.00
    1 Downie fabric softener -9.94, PM to WM , .50 coupon
    2 Dawn dish soap @1.94 -3.88, PM to WM, save$1.00 WUB2 coupon
    5 Whiskas moist cat food @.68 – 3.40
    1 3kg bag Whiskas cat food -12.98,3.00 coupon, stock pile -9.98
    1 2kg bag Whiskas cat food -6.47, B1G1 coupon saved 6.47
    2 4l milk @3.97- 7.94
    1 216 count Tetley tea -9.27
    1 bag rice-3.47
    4 Barilla pasta @1.00 -4.00, 4X.50 coupon saved 2.00
    1 Clamato juice -1.00
    1 apple juice -2.77
    4# butter @3.00 -12.00
    2 bagels @1.00 -2.00
    1 green onion -.59
    1 10 # bag potatoes -4.97
    Bananas -.77
    2 packs tortellini @2.00 -4.00
    1 shampoo -4.49
    1 mouth wash -3.79
    Tax -6.49
    Total -109.72, 12.47 coupons

    Total budget for month -$650.00, 5 weeks -$130.00
    Total spent for week -$252.21
    Total coupons/discounts for week -$39.45
    Total spent for month -$643.39
    Total over/under for month – N/A
    Total over/under for week – over -$122.21
    Left for. Onto -$6.61
    Carry over -$10.14
    Total coupons/discounts for month -$49.92
    Total YTD -J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M$647.70+J$660.14+J$643.39=$5139.03
    Stock pile $25.00, $18.96 spent

    So I went over for the week big time. No Frills strikes again. Given that I have all of $6.61 left for the month I will be going over as that won’t even keep this house in milk, never mind anything else. It just means that my job of getting back into line will not be an easy one but I am determined to get there. I’m also hoping to be caught up in my posts by the end of August…. I called this on e a 5 week month just by the way it breaks down date-wise for me. Sept. will be a 4 week month so we shall see how much of the carry over there will be I can work off….

    1. Hi Christine,
      August will be 5 weeks for us as well. It’s amazing how fast we can go over budget and for those people who don’t track their spending this is how fast they can run out of money or add debt to their credit if they don’t have the spare cash. It’s important for all of us to see our shopping habits and find ways to keep on track. We’ve gone over many times this year so far and I don’t enjoy the catching up bit but there are those times where deals just jump out at us and we have to ask ourselves, ‘is it worth it’. I look forward to your shops. If the GGC stops because my wife has the baby keep posting on the most current GGC and I’ll moderate as soon as I can. It’s better we all keep posting no matter what is happening on my end. 🙂 You get ballot 11 Mr.CBB

  4. I shop for 2 adults and a 3 ½ year old boy. Our budget is $85/week or $340 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.

    Almond milk (PM Metro) $3.49
    Hot dog buns $2.00 (earned 200 PC plus points)
    Wonderbread (PM) $1.99
    Vitality bread (PM NF) 2 x $2.00
    OOP $11.48

    NN chocolate bars 2 x $.99
    Raisin bran 2 x $2.98 – 2 x $.50 coupons
    Frosted flakes $2.98 – $.50 coupon
    Coupons $1.50
    Water $2.66
    OOP $12.34

    Ivory pump soap 12 x $.99 – 4 x $1.00 coupons, 3 x $2.50 coupons, $1.98 coupon (adjusted by cashier so no overage above tax)
    Coupons $13.48
    OOP $0.00

    Lay’s chips 3 x $1.94
    Bananas $1.43
    Children’s foam spray soap $2.00
    Total $10.27 – gift card
    OOP $0.00

    Total Grocery Amount Budgeted For the Year: $4,420 ($85/week) + Meat order $172.85/month for 9 months $1555.65=$5975.65 for the year including the meat order.
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340 – $74.44 (over from last month) =$265.56
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $14.98
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $99.66
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $730.38
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $0
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $4.50
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $131.75
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $6.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $10.27
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $281.11
    • 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: $8.92
    • Total tax free day this year: $62.82
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $11.08
    • Total Spent This Week: $23.82
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $306.17
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: I am OVER $40.61
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $2390.09
    Weekly overview: I am still over for the month but I did better this past week. I forgot to use my PC points to make my shops free but I will eventually make it up.

    1. Hi Jen,
      I’m betting I’ll find something on your list I should have bought. Lately your shops make me wonder why I’m missing such great deals. You’re a great shopper. You know I’m going to ask where the soap coupons are from lol. Are they Brandsaver as well? Well done this week. You get ballot 8.

  5. Yes there are a few things that i tend to buy more of in the summer (popsicles and ice cream) but i make sure to try and get the best deal possible and stock up. Same for my meats. Stock up when on sale. We tend not to have backyard parties. But when we do it is usually a pot luck so that helps to save on costs. We also split the cost of the propane tank with the people that we live with. My family is not a fan of watermelons so im lucky i dont have to search for those. We are a berry kind of family and luckily there are always greats deals in the summer for those. Did some stocking up this week. Found out my walmart price matches nationally so scooped up some FANTASTIC deals. SO here goes….


    variety of popsicles and ice cream sandwiches 5X2.50=12.50-5X1.00 coupons=7.50
    iogo probiotic yogurt 4.98
    fries 1.94
    tasti taters 2.04
    eggos 4X2.00=8.00-4X1.00 coupons=4.00
    pizza snacks 2.99-1.00 coupon=1.99
    silk almond drink boxes 5X1.00=5.00 (take these to work so i wont be tempted to drink POP)
    lean ground beef (large pack) 9.81
    lean ground beef (large pack) 9.71



    Heinz ketchup (price matched Oceans market) 0.99X5=4.95


    oatmeal 2X2.50=5.00
    cookies 1.88X4=7.52
    blueberries 1.97
    tuna 1.17
    tuna 1.17
    apple juice boxes 2.00
    cheese slices 2.00X3=6.00-1.00 coupon and 1.50 coupon=4.50
    hamburger buns 2.50-0.50 coupon=2.00
    dempsters whole wheat bread 2.78-1.00 coupon=1.78
    cereal 2.78-0.50=2.28
    soap refill 3.00-1.00 coupon=2.00
    ketchup 0.99
    romaine lettuce (price matched gateway) 0.17X2=0.34 (WHAT an awesome deal)
    bananas (price matched mourelatos) 0.83 (for about 12 bananas) -0.50=0.33



    toilet paper 2.99-3.00 coupon=free
    soap 4X0.99=3.96 -2X1.00 coupons and 1 2.50 coupon =plus 0.50 cents

    total=0.35 cents


    large box of chicken nuggets (have a two year old going through a very picky phase) 6.97
    macaroni salad 1.50


    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $600
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $23.00
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $64.44
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $434.66
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: 0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: 0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: 7.500
    total snapsaves this month:2.00
    total snapsaves this year 38.75
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $4.28
    •Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: 0
    •Total Spent This Week: $= 97.65
    •Total Spent So Far for july: $336.05
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $263.95
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: 350 left from last month.

    Looks like i am going to finish this month again with money left over! How exciting! I absolutely love being able to price match nationally I will never pay full price again!!

    1. So no $200 watermelons are in the cards for you then, lol. We don’t have many backyard parties either but I think it’s great that you have potlucks as they are much easier on the host. When one family has to host a huge party that can cost more. Our friends who have a pool say that their grocery budget skyrockets in the summer because everyone wants to come over. Well, of course you have to feed them so if they don’t bring food or drink, guess who pays? Great shop this week and yes you will have more money to carry over. I think you are sitting on a mini savings account… that’s my guess. 🙂 So when you say you price match nationally I presume you use a smart phone to do this? Is that correct? You get ballot 16. Mr.CBB

      1. Yes when i do my price matching i use my smartphone. Super easy to do and awesome to save money.

  6. Okay, I’m not the most frugal gal in the world, but $200 for a watermelon – and people are actually buying them??? We tend to spend more in the summer too, but I never thought about why until this post!!! Ice cream and chips (via our many bbqs) are to blame, I suspect. 🙂

    1. Ya, I was a bit shocked myself Laurie but I guess when you have more money than…. you know what to do with you buy square watermelons lol.

  7. In the summer, we’re fortunate enough to have to spend less money than in the winter. We have 3 gardens, so vegetables are a plenty in our household. We just have to buy the staples and a few small things. It’s a great feeling to need a fruit or veggie and just be able to walk out into the garden and get it. Plus, you can brag about your side dish that was made with home grown fresh picked ingredients. Like Alexis, we do most of our shopping at Aldi. It’s amazing there.

    1. WOW, three gardens is impressive Ryan. Who maintains the gardens in the summer? I agree it’s nice just to walk out to the garden and grab what you need to prepare a meal.

  8. Since it is the summer time, I believe I have been spending more money on food because of BBQ gatherings and camping trips. Although I love going out and spending time with friends, I also need to find ways to save money and get more bank for my buck. I like to do all of my shopping at Aldi’s because there is food is the absolute cheapest around in my city.

    1. Many people don’t realize just how much all these summer gatherings cost the budget. If we factor in the cost of booze as well that drives the budget even further.

  9. Hmm interesting thought. Fruits ddfinitely drive up our spending in summer (they can be pricey and let’s face it are mostly water so not very filling, yet SO tasty). But we still need to buy veggies in winter and while I try to stick to the in season root veg and the odd canned/frozen veg, sometimes you just need to splurge on fresh imported stuff.

    1. We try to freeze as much as we can from the summer so we aren’t buying as much in the winter. For example we will buy green peppers on sale or we have grown them as well or used jarred tomatoes that our relatives canned and give to us (lucky us, I know). I agree about the fruit and yes it’s very good!! Do you garden at all?

  10. I have my jam made to get me through the winter months after the boys and I picked strawberries last month. I might make some blueberry jam from the frozen berries downstairs. When I was a kid my Mom and I did a lot of canning and putting foods down for the winter. We had a garden so that helped but the big expenses once you have the jars are, sugar, vinegar, spices and new snap lids. I do not re-use those. I have a big boiling water canner and if i want to use it Mom’s big kettle is still at the house with Dad.
    As hubby worked nights steady for so many years we have never really gotten into the going over to friends all that much. We do have family get togethers but those are usually at his one sister’s place. We all bring something for the meal and pitch in to all help. She lives roughly half way between us and his other sister so it works well for all of us.
    During the summer months I find going to the farmers market might add a very little to the budget getting some fresh goodies there but all in all not a great amount. Hubby has a habit of turning his nose up at a lot of veggies but the boys and I eat them. I don’t have a big enough back yard to have a garden so I’m stuck that way. The price of meat has gone up and I find we are getting less variety in the meat as it is so expensive now even watching the sales like a hawk!!! With that increase in price for meat I find we are using the bbq much less that past years. We had the bbq hooked up to the natural gas line years ago so we don’t worry about the propane running out.
    I’ve been getting some nice prices on ice cream this summer so there is our big treat for the hot days. Hubby used to get himself a load of treats for when he went camping but he hasn’t gone camping now in a few years due to health issues. Oh well, saves us money in the grocery budget at least….

    1. You were who I was talking about 🙂 Strawberry girl~~ I could have hooked up to gas and maybe one day I will but for now we don’t really use the BBQ that much with only two of us here. I might even look into supplementing next summer with charcoal. It can be a pain to run out of propane though.

  11. JULY – Week #3 of 4- July 21-27, 2014


    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $142.50 x 12 = $1,710.00 for 2 adults
    •Total Stockpile Budgeted For Year: $47.50 x 12 = $570.00 for 2 adults
    •Combined Grocery Budget for 2013: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00



    I had planned for this to be a “no shop” week but the fridge in the garage died the other night and there were a few things that needed replacing to make the dishes I have on the meal plan for this week. I drastically simplified the menu plan to work with what we have so I could hold off on replacing things at full price. It sure hurts to lose a full fridge and freezer worth of food!

    One thing I did decide is that I am going to set up a small reserve starting next month for when hubby and I are shopping at farmer’s markets, directly at a farm or an orchard. We enjoy it and setting aside a few dollars a month means we’ll have money available next summer.



    Safeway – Maple Ridge

    4 x Fresh Express Green Salad @ 1.25 = $5.00
    1 x Whipping Cream $2.59
    2 x Green Cabbages $4.00
    Bonus Air Miles Coupon = 75
    Base Air Miles = 3

    •Total OOP: $11.59

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $11.59
    • Safeway Cash Card: $0.00

    ** We bought some “on sale” non-grocery items (summer picnic stuff) that earned us a 5 cent gas discount on our next fuel purchase that’s good until August 31, 2014 PLUS 75 bonus air miles!! **

    ** Earned 78 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 Price Matches **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    Superstore – Pitt Meadows

    1 x 5 pack corn on the cob $3.48 + 200 points
    1 x 4 lb flat of tomatoes $3.76 + 300 points

    •Total OOP: $7.24

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $7.24

    ** Earned 500 PC.PLUS Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 Price Matches **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    IGA – Pitt Meadows

    2 x avocados @ $0.99 ea = $1.98

    •Total OOP: $1.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $1.98
    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge

    1 x Bag of Spinach ($3.49-$1.00 Loyalty Svgs) = $2.49

    •Total OOP: $2.49

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $2.49

    ** Earned 25 More Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 Price Matches **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $1.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge

    1 Bag of Nugget Potatoes $3.47

    •Total OOP: $3.47

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $3.47

    ** Earned 4 Thrifty’s Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 Price Matches **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    Shopper’s Drugmart – Maple Ridge

    2 dozen eggs @ $2.29 ea $4.58
    2 Sour cream 500 g @ $2.99 ea = $5.98

    •Total OOP: $10.56

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $10.56

    ** Earned 100 SDM Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 Price Matches **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    Walmart – Mission

    1 Caramel Macchiato Iced Coffee $3.97 << Hubby wanted to make Ice Caps at home with our Snow cone machine and
    he said everyone else in town wanted $6.00 a carton so he picked up this one… nice catch!

    •Total OOP: $3.97

    • VACATION Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $3.97

    ** USED $0.00 Price Matches **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $81.89 + Feb $48.32 +Mar $0.00 +April $22.88 +May $44.18 + June $39.58 + July $4.10= $230.03

    •Total Coupons Used This Year:

    Jan $2.58 + Feb $7.18 +Mar $0.00 + April $9.20 +May $20.19 + June $1.00 + July $15.50 = $55.65

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 +Mar $0.00 + April $0.00 +May $5.31 + June $0.00 + July $0.00= $5.31

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 11 + April 0 + May 5 + June 0 + July 52 = 68 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 456 + Feb 584 +Mar 0 + April 4 + May 125 + June 3 + July 210 = 1,384 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 25 + Feb 15 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 39 + June 11 + July 145 = 235 Points

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 650 + April 0 + May 5,400 +June 2400 + July 3,300 = 11,750 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 30 + June 0 + July 100 = 130 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $167.06 + Feb $155.74+ Mar $105.76 + April $145.56 +
    May $228.38 +June $186.11+ July ($12.50 trf to borscht+$10.00 to Xmas + $18.70 to US Reserve+$17.50 trf to re-stocking +$5.07+$2.79+$5.00+$2.97+$6.99+$11.18+$17.93= $110.63)= $1,089.43

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $142.50+ Feb $142.50+ Mar $142.50 + April $142.50 + May $232.50 +June $142.50 + July $142.50 = $1,087.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $1.93 OVER



    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 + April $47.50 + May $47.50 + June ($47.50) + July ($17.50 trf to re-stocking + $30 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $422.50

    •Total Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 + April $47.50 + May $47.50 + June $47.50 + July $47.50 = $422.50

    •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 + June $0.00 + July $17.50
    = $230.00 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 + June $0.00 + July $12.50
    = $350.00 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 + June $0.00 + July $10.00
    = $110.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,089.43 Grocery Budget
    $91.50 Hiding Spot Cash
    $20.00 Safeway Cash Card
    $422.50 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 2013 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $0.00 2014 Costco Rebate Cheque – $13.45
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =


    $1,330 may have been budgeted for JAN to JULY ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $230.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $350.00 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $690.00 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $290.00 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $1,977.70 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $290.00 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $91.00 we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $1,596.70!! That is $266.70 over the $1,330.00 we budgeted for January through June.

    BUT if you also take out the cash that was either a gift, some non-budgeted earning method or a loan repayment: ($91.50 Hiding Spot Cash from bottles etc + FREE $20 Safeway Gift Card + $80.00 Cash Repayment from a neighbor + $24.27 from a 2013 Costco Rebate Cheque + $0.00 used out of a 2014 Costco Rebate Cheque for $13.45 + a Christmas present of a $250.00 Safeway Gift Card) = $465.77 then we actually only used $1,155.20 of the budgeted $1,130.93 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $199.07 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you don’t pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then the seemingly $266.70 overage will easily be absorbed into the value of 9 weeks x $47.50 = $427.50 vacation we will be taking in 2014 and still leave us an additional $160.80 for cross border shopping.



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($1.93)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $53.81-11.59-7.24-1.98-2.49-3.47-10.56-3.97= $12.51
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $91.00
    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) << << FOR LARRY for while I am away
    8 Organic Walla Walla Onions @ $1.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th) << FOR LARRY for while I am away
    2 Family Size Extra Lean Ground Beef @ $3.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th) << FOR LARRY for while I am away


    2 Coast-to-Coast Italian Sausage Buns – 8 pack $2.49 (Good until Aug 24th) << FOR LARRY for while I am away
    10 Coke/Pepsi 2L Pop @ 5 for $5 (Good til Sept 1st<< FOR LARRY for while I am away
    9 Barilla Spaghetti @ 3 for $4.98 (Good until October 10th)
    4 lbs Purewel Blueberries @ $7.98 (Good until October 12th)


    1. Hi Mary,
      Got my tea ready!! 🙂
      Looks like Larry will be well stocked while you are away. Great deal on the bread too $1.00 is hard to come by these days. I need to check out these Walla Walla onions as I’ve never seen or tried them before. Are they generally available in most stores? That’s too bad you lost the contents of your refrigerator. Will insurance cover that or is it not worth the claim? I’d be like you and wait it out to stock up when prices are at their best rather than rush out. I don’t blame you for buying bits and making the best meals you can around them. Well, sounds like Larry is all set to be on his own. You’re such a good wife! You get ballot 14. Mr.CBB

      1. I don’t imagine you’ll see Walla Wallas Mr CBB as they are grown in Washington state. The closest onion in your area is probably a Vidalia onion. They are a nice sweet onion with very little pungency.

        It’s not worth a claim on the insurance for the fridge contents. A few hundred dollars worth of food would wipe-out our claims free discount for the last 30 years. 🙁 That’s worth a lot more on an annual basis. 🙂

        Hubby is pretty predictable… he takes sandwiches for lunch everyday and I have lot of fruit supplies for him to use to round out his lunches. He’ll probably alternate between apples and blueberries. 🙂 For supper, his bachelor meals tend to be large Caesar salads, hot dogs, cheeseburgers & fries, grilled cheese and soup, omelettes with toast, Chicken Rice-A-Roni or Kraft dinner. We have everything in the house except the hot dog buns (for which he has coupons) and the romaine. He’s got popcorn, pretzels, chips, cold cereal or ice cream to choose from for his evening snacks. I have learned over the last 20 years… he isn’t going to start cooking anything major like a roast or a ham while I am away. 😀

        1. Gotta love those bachelor meals. I typed out the question asking if he would cook a pot of soup if you were away until I read the last line of your comment. I guess that answers my question. Best to keep him stocked up then.

  12. I have been reviewing our budget and it’s funny that you picked this topic…I was just considering the same thing. 🙂

    Hubby and are are really enjoying hitting the farmer’s markets and shopping directly with the local farms. It’s not only grocery shopping for us but a social outing as well – where we meet up with friends and hubby’s co-workers. As I work from home, the social interaction is of a huge value to me and therefore something I want to build into our budget.

    Next year I will be home all summer long as we aren’t planning on taking a summer vacation in 2015, except possibly a few days upcountry to see my relatives. Therefore, I plan to do a little canning and growing tomatoes, cucumber and dill. Between the summer markets and the canning possibility, I need to set up a “summer reserve”.

    I have a reserve for Christmas extras but we have already saved $110 towards treats later in the year. We don’t do a lot of extras over the holidays so I think that will be sufficient since we tend to vacation a lot over the holiday season. That $110 is really for 3 get-together lunches… one with the MIL, one with Larry’s friend and one with a girlfriend of mine.

    So, I am now switching the remaining Christmas saving for this year over to a SUMMER RESERVE. As a newbie to canning the plan is to start out very small with water bath canning to see if I even enjoy it before I take on the pressure canning. I have oodles of canning jars and rings but I will need to invest in some new seals and pickling supplies. 😀

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