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Why a root cellar is beneficial for stockpiling: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Aug 4-10, 2014

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root cellar preserving foodsPRESERVING FOODS MADE EASY


Having a root cellar or cold room in your basement can be a beneficial area of your home when it comes to budgeting and living frugal. All too often I have seen the cold room full of everything but food though.

The root cellar seems to be the ideal place to store even more unwanted stuff when the garage becomes full.

During our rounds of house hunting visiting open houses we noticed some homeowners use a root cellar for bike storage, full of black bags containing unknown items, old furniture and everything else.

It seemed a bit odd to me but leads me to believe that not everyone needs or appreciates a root cellar like the next person.




Root Cellar


What is a root cellar?

If you’re unfamiliar with what a root cellar or cold room is then you may want to ask an older generation because they were far more popular years ago. The root cellar is a room in the basement with exterior walls and no insulation and no artificial heating or cooling. The ventilation usually comes from 2 vents to the outside where one vent acts as an intake and the other as an exhaust.

The root cellar tends to stay at a level temperature range as it is below the ground surface. The ground temperature regulates the cold room because it doesn’t fluctuate like air temperature. Think of it as a natural thermostat.

Stockpiling canned goods or non-perishable items can save you some cash in the long run if you purchase it cheap enough on sale but storing too much for too long can have the opposite effect on your finances.

We have been stung by the stockpiling too much bug on occasion but luckily it wasn’t on anything expensive. Buying too much when it is on sale and you can combine a coupon with can sometimes be too good of a deal to miss. The problem is, do you really think you’re going to be able to consume all the product you bought within a set time limit? If yes, that’s great but if no then you can donate the food but be aware this is costing you money.

Canned goods can last a fairly long time but also carry an expiry date. Keeping the food within a well maintained root cellar shouldn’t create too much to be worried about however leaving food in an area where temperatures fluctuate too much can cause premature food decomposition.

Having a well-organized root cellar should allow you to store food off the floor, in a well ventilated room which shouldn’t get hot during the summer months. The root cellar shouldn’t get moldy either or smell particularly damp.

Our root cellar which I call cold room because that’s the term I’m most familiar with  used to have a cheap internal door on it and made the walls sweat in the summer and freeze with ice in the winter.

Having replaced the root cellar door with a properly insulated exterior door and fitted draft door seals where needed we don’t get the same issues. The cold room stays at a more consistent temperature and humidity.


Root cellar uses


I built a set of shelves in the cold room to store all of our stockpiling purchases from laundry detergent to tins of beans, coffee to toilet roll.

The problem we had was buying too much of a good thing and regretting it afterwards. If you buy 50 cans of beans because they were at a ridiculously low price, make sure you can eat 50 cans of beans before they go off. It sounds like an easy task but beans can get really boring after the 15th can so beware.

We have made our own jam which is currently preserved in jars and has lasted us quite some time. The jam tastes great but even we had to forgo making jam last year because there is only so much jam one can consume. We tend to stick to storing dried foods in our root cellar which have a longer shelf-life with minimal food preservatives contained within them.

The rest of the contents of our root cellar is home to non-perishable goods like toilet paper which has no expiry date and other products similar in nature. There are a couple of items we don’t store in the cold room and that is aerosols or anything with an accelerant in them as this tends to leak out under warmer or colder conditions. Even aerosols will only last so long before a slow leak begins. Trust me we’ve learned the hard way.

Do you have a root cellar/ cold room and what do you use it for?


August 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!




You won’t find any shopping this week as we are at the relatives for a few days eating their food, lol.


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 August $235.00-$18.24=$216.76/4= $54.19 per week
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $46.25
  • 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): $17.56 (we went over in July)
  • 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: $0
  • Total Spent So Far August:$39.65
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $177.11
  • 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+May $223.62+June $275.37+ July $203.36
  • Weekly Overview: We are away this week so it’s a no-shop week for us. In the event that we do go to the store we will add the shop to next weeks grocery shop.


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. We didn’t do any grocery shopping this week as we are on holidays.


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!



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Photo Credit: Preserves/SimonH

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  1. We don’t have a root cellar but have a cold storage room that we use like a root cellar. We are also very thankful for it especially this year since we had an amazing 100lbs yield on our potatoes.
    Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500.
    $3.97×3 frozen pc fruit
    $2.29-$1C aero strawberry
    $1.94 candy
    $2.09 coke with my sons name on it
    $3.96 2lb blueberries
    $2.28 3pk cucumbers
    $2.78 5lb carrots
    $1.35 bananas
    $3.86 2lb peppers
    $2.28 1lb mushrooms
    $34.05 total oop
    $1 total coupons
    $2.99(rain check)x4-$1Cx4 novelties
    $2.66×3 goldfish crackers
    $16.40 total oop
    $4 total coupons

    $50.45 total monthly oop
    $5 total monthly coupons
    It was a very affordable week since we were in Calgary watching my son play rugby in the nationals. They came in fourth, losing in the last few seconds, but it was a great little holiday and a chance to watch him play five games was awesome. Needless to say he has a very proud family that supports him!!

    1. How long do the potatoes last in your cold storage room? What do you do with them if you find they are going off and there are too many to eat up? That’s great news about your son playing in the nationals. Keep up the great work! You get ballot 4. Mr.CBB

  2. There is that to consider but I figure I go to NF if I’m going to be in Stratford anyway so it’s not a special trip. This means I can look over the flyer then and make my list for there working around the deals there and in town. It can be a hit to that weeks budget but if it works out in the longer term like the month it’s not such a bad thing. Our next trip into town will be Sept 10 so that might be my monthly trip to No Frills then. Might go to Walmart that day too as the grandson’s birthday is coming up Sept 15 and I can get him something then. Or go to Bonnie Togs and see what clothes are on sale that week, they have nice deals and the clothes are good quality(and he is a typical boy…hard on his clothes!!!)
    I’ll keep an eye out for sales on sugar and let you know if I see a good one!!!

  3. I’m calling this week one for August so I can keep track my own way. I was in Foodland, Canadian Tire and No Frills this week so it wasn’t good. Going I to NF throws me off every time but the prices are so good compared to whet I pay here in town that I do grab the chance when ever we go into Stratford. Short term it hurts but long term not so much. It’s not a great start to the month but I do have 3 more weeks to get there.
    Foodland, August 1
    2 tomato soup @.79 -1.58
    2 pasta sauce @1.25 -2.50
    3 Power Ade @1.66 -4.98
    2 1kg brown sugar @1.69 -3.38
    Bananas -1.19
    1 pizza sauce -1.89
    1 celery -1.99
    1 3lb bag carrots -2.49
    2 bagels @2.50 -5.00
    2 frozen stir fry veggies @2.50 -5.00
    1 Miracle Whip -2.97
    2 cheese slices @2.97 -5.94
    1 dozen eggs -2.99
    1 Oktoberfest sausage -2.99
    1 bag onions -299
    1W/W bread -3.09
    1 yogurt -4.49, 1.00 coupon
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -.65
    Total $70.18, 1.00 coupon

    Canadian Tire, August 2
    1 2kg bag sugar -2.19
    1Folgers coffee -7.99
    2 SOS soap pads @1.00 -2.00
    1 Palolive dish soap -2.00
    Tax -.39
    Total -$13.57

    Foodland, August 5
    2 vegetable soup @.79 -1.58
    1 can pineapple -1.19
    2 pasta sauce @1.25 -2.50
    4 Power Ade @1.66 -6.64
    Bananas -.56
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.98
    1 raisin read -2.99
    1 W/W bread -3.09
    1 yogurt 4.49, 1.00 coupon
    1 4l milk -4.79
    1 jug water. -5.49
    Tax -.86
    Total -$36.16

    No Frills, August 6
    1 unsweetened apple sauce 1.67
    2 2kg sugar @1.97 -3.94
    1 pack raisins -4.99
    1 Downie softener -5.88
    1 Tide -5.88, 1.50 coupon WUB Tide and Downie
    4 Whiskas moist cat food @.68 -2.72
    1 doz eggs -2.64
    2 4l milk @3.97 -7.94
    2 packs frozen veggies @2.97 -5.94
    2 Tetley ate, 216 count @7.99 -15.98, PM to Food Basics
    1 yogurt -3.97
    1 taco kit -4.00
    1 plum sauce -2.00
    2 KD @1.27 -2.54
    1 Bear Paws -2.47
    1 Premium Plus crackers -4.37
    2 Royale TP @3.97 -7.94, 1.00 coupon
    1 extra old cheddar cheese -6.47
    2 W/W bread @3.28- 6.56, 50%stocker -saved -3.28
    1 10lb potatoes -2.97
    Bananas -.86
    1 shampoo -3.97
    Tax -3.43
    Total -$103.35, 2.50 coupons,3.28 discounts

    Total budget for month -$650.00, 4 wks -$162.50
    Total coupons/discounts for week -$7.78
    Total spent is week -$223.87
    Total spent for month -$223.87
    Total over/under for week – over -$61.37
    Total over/under for month -N/A
    Left for month -$426.13
    Total coupons/discounts for mont -$7.78
    Carry over to next month. -$55.09
    Total YTD -J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M$647.70+ J$660.14+J$694.95+J$223.87=$6057.85
    Stockpile -$25.00, $0.00 spent

    OK so that’s another week done and closer to being caught up. Thanks to No Frills I was over for the week but I still have the 3 weeks to work with so all things are still possible. The coffee and other little things at CT will be handy to have, the sugar was a good price but NF had a better price. I’m in good shape for Christmas baking for sugar if nothing else. PM ing the Tetley will keep me in tea bags for a while nicely. If I can keep going to NF once a month it will help the total for the month to,stay in line but it can be brutal for the week. Other than some really good deals I’m trying to keep the grocery trips to what we need and not much more than that. I am trying to get back in line for the budget and get caught up with that carry over.

    1. Sure, sure blame No Frills for going over in your budget haha!! I’m looking for sugar on sale because I’m almost out. I didn’t see it on sale at Canadian Tire or I just missed it, darn. Shoppers used to always have it on sale for $1.99 each but not lately. If you keep going to No Frills once a month you will have to rethink your in-town shops otherwise you’ll go over all the time, admit it lol. It’s not easy I agree with all those good deals. That’s the hard part. Keep up the great work. You can keep this a 4 week month if you like.. we are doing 5 but it doesn’t matter you get ballots for every post no matter what month they fall in now. It makes it easier for me and for the GGC players. You get ballot 17. Mr.CBB

  4. 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.

    Goldfish 2 x $1.98 (earned 1000 PC plus points)
    Heinz ketchup (PM) 2 x $2.44 (earned 600 PC plus points)
    NN party mix $2.47
    Corn pops (PM Target) $3.99
    Frosting $2.00
    Cake mix $1.97
    Ritz cracker (PM FB) 3 x $1.67
    Potato Thins (PM NF) 6 x $1.67 – 3 x $1.50 Checkout 51 rebates
    Mio (PM Metro) 4 x $2.50 (earned 4800 PC plus points)
    Almond Fresh (PM WM) 2 x $3.00 – FPC – $1.00 coupon
    PC mixed veggies 2 x $2.50
    Apples $2.28
    Grapes (PM FC) $1.83
    Coupons $4.00
    Rebates $4.50
    OOP $53.84

    No Frills
    Royale tp 4 x $3.97 – 3 x $3.00 coupons – 1 x $1.00 coupon
    Potatoes $2.97
    Coupons $10.00
    OOP $10.91

    No Frills
    Royale tp 6 x $3.97 – 6 x $1.00 coupons
    Coupons $6.00
    OOP $20.92

    Distilled water 3 x $1.12
    OOP $2.25

    Dentyne gum 3 x $3.19 – 3 x 50% pink sticker (-$1.60 x 3)
    Bread $1.97
    OOP $7.36

    NN mushrooms 5 x $.88 (earned 1000 PC plus points)
    NN tuna 5 x $1.00
    St Hubert’s gravy 2 x $1.25 – 2 x $.50 coupons
    Almond Breeze 2 x $3.97 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Baby carrots $1.49
    Bananas $.71
    Oranges $3.51 (earned 600 PC plus points)
    Apples $2.26 (earned 400 PC plus points)
    Broccoli (PM) $.97
    Cauliflower (PM) $1.49 (earned 100 PC plus points)
    Cucumber (PM) $.79
    Bacon $3.88
    Bread $1.97
    Bread (PM) $2.00
    Contact Lens cleaner (PM WM) $11.97
    Coupons $3.00
    OOP $49.44

    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 – $40.61 (over from last month) =$384.39
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $23.00
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $46.75
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $777.13
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): I know I claimed rebates but I waited so long to do my post that now I can’t remember what I got rebates on lol
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $.75
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $132.50
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $6.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $284.08
    • 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: $62.82
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $11.08
    • Total Spent This Week: $144.72
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $228.47
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $155.92
    • Total to Carry over Next Month: N/A
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $2618.56
    Weekly overview: Well….here we go again. I went way over. I believe for two reasons. I bought a ton of Royale tp. Also, because we have both been off work our shopping days have been off and we have extra shops. Nothing I can do but keep trying. The problem is that a tax free day is coming lol. I will probably have to dip into PC points this coming week but that’s ok. I have $282.00 worth lol.

    1. We missed out on the toilet paper even though our intentions were there. The wife was so sick that week that we simply didn’t make it out. I think the extra shops are what is killing your grocery budget. The more you shop the worse it is especially if you start deviating from the list and see pink stickers or other deals you were intending to buy. Awesome deal on the Mio. How much does 4800 points get you? Is that close to $5.00? You seem to be doing well with the PC points good for you!! We have about half million Optimum points but sometimes it would be nice to have that many in PC points lol. You get ballot 10~ Mr.CBB

  5. Mr CBB, are you getting close to your due date? I was born Dec 26th but wasn’t due until March 31st. I started off small but I was a fighter and am 5’9″ now so I guess I was right on time! They’ve come a long way in the last 60 years, so I am sure your wife and son/daughter are in very good hands. 😀

    Hubby can do it especially since he’ll be with me on Saturday and Sunday morning using our “vacation budget” for meals. That roughly $30 only has to carry him for 9 days. If he can’t do it with all the goodies that I stocked up for him… I’d be very surprised. I gave him cash too – so that ought to reign in any excessive splurges. LOL 🙂

    1. Now, now I’m not pregnant haha! She’s going through too much right now that anything could happen. I’m trying to tie up loose ends just in case I can’t get to the blog. I have guest posters that will be providing us with content but I can’t promise my posts at this time. I’m going to work as hard as I can to balance everything out. OH,I’m sure Larry will be fine as you take such good care of him.

  6. Name Your Store ie: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $9.33
    Total Out Of Pocket: $133.90

    2 Nestea Half (Half Tea & Half Lemonade) = $1.98 (or $0.99 each)
    2 Muffin Mix = $5.96
    Soft Cat Food = $7.36
    3 Cat Treats = $4.74 (Coupon for 1 free when bought 2 = $1.58 coupon) = $3.16
    Canned Pineapple = $2.58
    Parmesan Cheese = $4.69
    5 Kg Whole Wheat Flour = $5.99
    Onion Soup Mix = $0.99
    Canned Mushrooms = $2.64 (600 PC Points)
    10 cans of Tuna = $10.00
    2 Tassamo Drinks = $17.96 ($5.00 coupon when bought 2) = $12.96
    2 Mayo = $8.94 ($1.00 Coupon) (1600 PC Points) = $7.94
    Marble Cheese block = $4.68
    4L Skim Milk = $3.97
    Cheese Slices = $3.99 ($1.00 coupon) = $2.99
    Ice Cream = $2.99 ($1.00 coupon) = $1.99
    3L Peaches = $2.98
    Banana = $1.68 (200 PC Points)
    Green Peppers = $1.09
    Celery = $1.69
    Tomato = $1.49
    2 Bacon = $7.76 (or $3.68 each)
    Lean Ground Beef = $28.76 (5600 PC Points)
    Halls = $3.99
    Deodorant = $1.98

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360.00
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $9.33
    Total Discounts this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $1.50
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $1.50
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Week: $0.00
    Total Colleague Discounts (CD) this Month: $0.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this week: 8000
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0.00
    Stockpile Budget: $enter amount Used: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $63.90
    Total Spent This Week: $133.90
    Total Spent So Far for August: $190.96
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of August: $188.72
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $171.28
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $13.58
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $1791.45
    Weekly Overview: I realize that I went over budget quite a bit this week. This week, there was lots of good sales which will enable me to create lots of different meals that I don’t normally would get. I have got back on the coupon bandwagon which has enabled even more savings.

    1. Hi Dee,
      I’m so happy to have you back. I’m sure the rest of the GGC clan is as well. We are a tight group and love to motivate each other. At the end of the year we have a grocery budget celebration!! Not many people can stick with a budget and posting here is proof that if you can do this all year you can budget without fail. Keep at it!! You scored some great deals on the peaches and tuna. When we went shopping the other day peaches were $1.49 a pound so we decided to wait and see if they would go down in price. We are always so hesitant to buy fruit until we can taste it first. So many times we get it home and it tastes like nothing. Have you ever experienced that? Keep up the great shopping!! You get ballot 6. Mr. CBB

    2. Hi Dee,
      I’m so happy to have you back. I’m sure the rest of the GGC clan is as well. We are a tight group and love to motivate each other. At the end of the year we have a grocery budget celebration!! Not many people can stick with a budget and posting here is proof that if you can do this all year you can budget without fail. Keep at it!! You scored some great deals on the peaches and tuna. When we went shopping the other day peaches were $1.49 a pound so we decided to wait and see if they would go down in price. We are always so hesitant to buy fruit until we can taste it first. So many times we get it home and it tastes like nothing. Have you ever experienced that? Keep up the great shopping!! You get ballot 6. Mr. CBB

  7. I unfortunatelly do not have a cellar. My parents are moving this month to a larger house which will have a root cellar so i will be able to store some things things such as some of my stockpile and some homemade preserves which i would love to try and make. This shop wasn’t that large. Stocked up on some meats and things like that. Good start to the month so far.


    Turkey burger 4.99-5.00 coupon=free
    probiotic vitamins (PM superstore) 3.98X3=11.94-3×2.00 coupons=5.94 for all three. (these are regular 14.50 at walmart)
    chicken breast filets 1.58
    chicken breast filets 1.56 (gotta love price matching nationally!!!….these packs were marked at about 7$ each)



    juice boxes 1.49X4=5.96
    ribs 4.57
    ribs 4.95
    cereal 1.59
    cereal 1.59
    bread 1.99



    chicken drumsticks 3.78
    lactancia butter 1.99 X2=3.98-2X0.75 coupon=2.48 for both
    cheese slices 1.99X2=3.98-2X0.75 coupon=2.48 for both
    cream cheese 1.97-1.00 coupon=0.97
    12 pack pudding 0.98X2=1.96
    bananas 0.76
    bacon 2X2.50=5.00
    mayo 3.99
    chicken legs 2.34
    romaine lettuce 0.77
    green pepper 0.41
    whole wheat tortillas 2.97
    chicken strips 5.57
    cat food 5.99-2.00 coupon=3.99
    onions 1.77
    blackberries 2.97
    strawberries 2.47
    fries 1.97
    fries 1.97
    bread 2.00-0.75 coupon=1.25
    apples 1.32
    celery 0.97
    ,milk 3.97
    peaches .297
    lucky charms 3.97
    tomatoes 1.49
    raspberries 1.00


    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $600
    •Total Coupons Used this Week : $17.75
    •Total Coupons Used This Month : $17.75
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $481.89
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this week: 0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this month: 0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebates this year: 8.50
    total snapsaves this month:0
    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: $= 96.78
    •Total Spent So Far for august= $96.78
    •Total Left to Spend for the Month: $503.22
    •Total to Carry over Next Month: 463.56

    did quite well this week and completely stoked up on meats for a few weeks at least. I really love being able to price match nationally. It has been saving me so much money. I think if this month goes well i will drop my grocery budget to 120 a week.

    1. Hi Joanne,
      That’s great news about the root cellar. What do you want to make? Where did you get the $5 coupon for turkey burgers? What kind turkey burgers are they? We tried the butterball once and they were awesome. Awesome score on the butter as well. I never find Lactancia butter coupons. You’ve done well this shop. I’m impressed. You get ballot 5. Mr.CBB Happy Shopping!!!

  8. AUGUST – Week #1 of 4- Aug 4-10, 2014


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



    Before we start our AUGUST off though, I am going to make my “reserve” transfers for the month:


    $142.50 for the month
    ($1.93) July overage
    ($12.50) trf to borscht reserve-normally $12.50
    ($ 0.00) trf to holiday – normally $20.00
    ($ 20.00) trf to Summer Reserve – instead of Holiday
    ($60.00) trf to US Reserve
    ($17.50) trf to re-stocking – normally $17.50

    Grocery Balance $30.57 for AUGUST


    $47.50 for the month
    ($17.50) trf to re-stocking – normally $17.50
    ($30.00) trf to US Reserve – normally $30.00

    Stockpile Balance $0.00 for AUGUST



    I am vacationing, without hubby, for most of this month and I have left the fridge extremely well stocked with his “bachelor” dining preferences. So, I am only leaving him $30.57 to pick up a few small items like romaine lettuce, milk and hot dog buns. I am also leaving him some very nice rain checks – just in case he wants a little something extra. Hubby will be reporting shopping to me by email so I expect to continue posting my GGC posts while I am away.



    NO SHOP WEEK – Will report any little bit of shopping that hubby does starting next week!






    •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 + Aug $0.00= $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 + Aug $0.00 = $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 + Aug $0.00 = $5.31

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

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

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

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

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year: NOTE: On Sept 12th –
    14 Thirty’s = 1 Air Miles Roll-over

    Jan 25 + Feb 15 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 39 + June 11 + July 145 +Aug 0 = 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 + Aug 0= 11,750 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 30 + June 0 + July 100 + Aug 0 = 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 ($110.63)+ Aug ($12.50 trf to borscht+$20.00 to Summer + $60.00 to US Reserve+$17.50 trf to re-stocking = $110.00)= $1,199.43

    •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 + Aug $142.50 = $1,230.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $30.57 AVAILABLE



    •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 ($47.50) + Aug ($17.50 trf to re-stocking + $30 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $470.00

    •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 + Aug $47.50 = $470.00

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



    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    2013 Fwd $125.00+Jan $17.50+Feb $17.50+Mar $17.50 + April $17.50 +May $17.50 + June $0.00 + July $17.50 + Aug $17.50 = $247.50 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 + June $0.00 + July $12.50 + Aug $12.50= $362.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Holiday Season Reserve:
    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 + Aug $0.00= $110.00 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Summer Season Reserve:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $0.00+Mar $0.00 + April $0.00 +May $0.00 + June $0.00 + July $0.00 + Aug $20.00= $20.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,199.43 Grocery Budget
    $91.50 Hiding Spot Cash
    $20.00 Safeway Cash Card
    $470.00 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 =


    $1,520.00 may have been budgeted for JAN to AUGUST ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $247.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $362.50 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 20.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $740.00 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $340.00 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $2,135.20 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $340.00 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $181.00 we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $1,614.20!! That is $94.20 over the $1,520.00 we budgeted for January through August.

    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 $1,148.43 of the budgeted $1,520.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $371.57 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you don’t pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then the seemingly $94.20 overage will easily be absorbed into the value of an additional 5 weeks x $47.50 = $237.50 vacation we will be taking later on in 2014 and still leave us an additional $143.30 to add to our cross border shopping budget.



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $30.57
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $12.51
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $91.00+$60.00+$30.00 = $181.00
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    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,
      That’s quite the budget you left him. I can’t wait to see what he reports back in your ggc posts. 🙂 In the event something happens with the wife and I can’t post GGC for the month just keep posting in the latest GGC until I can moderate them. She’s been ill lately who knows what the docs will be doing. We will know more soon. 🙂 You get ballot 2. Have fun on your holidays Mary!!

  9. Root Cellar, at home, is used for old furniture and other stuffs only. While writing this comment, I’ve just told my mom that we should clean it up and use it for storage of food like how you described it. She seems like she’s buying into that idea. Hope that we could turn it into the ideal “cold room” as how it should be.

  10. The house I grew up in didn’t have a cold room but it had a small basement under the kitchen portion of the house. Mom kept her canned pickles and such down there on shelves. It was a very old house and I hated having to go down there with all those creepy crawlies!!! The house Dad lives in now has a cold room but I have no idea what he keeps there if anything. They used to keep the dog food down there until our dog died. The mice loved the dog food! When we lived in the country years ago the previous owners had disconnected the cistern and knocked out a chunk of wall, putting in shelves for their stockpile. I used to keep canning and things like potatoes down there along with some mouse bait. Our cats were not allowed in the basement so they couldn’t get at the bait or the mice. Mind you, if a mouse was dumb enough to come upstairs (and the odd one did) it was open season for the cats.
    Here there is no way I would keep anything down in the basement, it’s damp, smelly and so not nice down there and there are plenty of in-invited guests, with 4 paws or plenty more. Again the cats are not allowed down there. My jams are kept in a cupboard in the laundry room off the kitchen. Temperature isn’t an issue as the heating vent in there is the very last one on that run. Most of the run is through an Unheated dirt crawl space. The air coming out of it even in the winter is cold. The only heat is drifting in from the kitchen or from the dryer when it is running.Not that the jam I make every year lasts long enough to worry about. Other than hubby’s vast collection of tools the only thing down there is the old freezer. I still use it but if we moved I would try to leave it behind. It was a serious pain in the backside to get down there in the first place, so I am in no hurry to attempt trying to get it back upstairs. Hubby has used it as a work bench at times and it shows. Poor thing.
    Other stockpile items here are usually kept near where they are used. Dish soap under the sink, TP in the bathroom, paper towels on top of the kitchen cupboards,cat food in the pantry or near the feeding station. Laundry stuff by the washer and dryer. Foods are in the pantry. I can’t afford to buy a whole lot at one time so there is usually a good rotation going on the stock piled goods. Reminds me, a couple of the pantry shelves need to be wiped down so I’ll be doing all of them and checking on things just to be sure everything is good to go…..

    1. Sounds like you have it all sorted out Christine. It’s perfectly fine to have a pantry upstairs that you can stockpile canned goods and anything you make canning. Not everyone has a basement they can use or one for that matter. I never had a basement in the Uk.

  11. My root cellar is currently full of snakes. I should really evict them and reclaim the space!

    …off to get my paintball gun. It’s a good snake killer if you’ve never used one.

    1. OMG are you serious mate, lol. You always make me smile. I don’t know what it is but when I read your comments or blog I always end up shaking my head or smiling.

  12. Due to living in a condo, there’s no root cellar but my mom did and that’s where all the canning went when it was finished and cleaned off. If I had one, that’s where I would be putting the onions and potatoes that I buy.

    1. That’s smart… most people don’t use all the space in their root cellar so if you have a family member willing to open up space for you that’s great.

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