Should your grocery budget increase with shrinking product packaging: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept 15-21, 2014

product packaging cheese barsSHRINKING FOOD


I’ve talked about whether we eat too much and potentially why a grocery budget might be high but now we have to tackle shrinking product packaging.

I often have people visit the blog wanting to find out what an average grocery budget might be so they can plan their own budget.

One problem is there are many differences from country to country not to mention the case of shrinking packaging and higher pricing.

The wife and I were at Zehrs the other day with our son grocery shopping and my wife mentioned that we were almost out of cheddar cheese.

Although I’m not a fan of these commercial types of affordable cheeses we opt to buy them as they fit our grocery budget. I am used to higher end cheeses from when I lived in the UK but try buying them in Canada and your grocery budget will take a huge hit.

The only time you might find us indulging is if the cheese has a 50% off pink sticker making the cheese half-price which works for our grocery budget. Sometimes it’s worth buying a stronger cheese because you use less but it depends on what the cheese will be used for.


Product packaging changes


The packaged food industry changes and it will continue to change to meet the needs of the manufacturer and in some cases the consumer.

While walking the back of the store my wife noticed the cheese was on sale. Great she said as she went to pick up a few bars of cheese for $4.77 plus she had some coupons for $0.75 which made it even cheaper.

When she started to look through the kinds of cheese she immediately noticed that the cheese bars were now 450g and not the normal 500g cheese bars we were used to buying. The specialty Black Diamond Cheese bars were 400g.

Shocked? Not really because manufacturers are using creative packaging to capture the consumers with colours and photos so we don’t take much notice to the weight of the product. The box design is what we look at first as well as what the photo depicts of the product inside the box which food professionals have made sure are drool worthy.

If you look at the photo above closely you will see the size difference with the Black Diamond Cheese bar compared to the other two bars. We are not sure if this is the new packaging and sizing for these cheese bars or a one-off trial to see how they sell. The no-name cheese is 500g and the Cracker Barrel is now 460g which also used to be 500g if I recall and perhaps why the other brands are shrinking to follow suit.

You may also notice that box designs on products get bigger but the product inside the box shrinks. You don’t normally notice this until you get home and open the box. Not many of us grocery shop by looking at how much product is in the box or packaging compared to the last time we bought the item. If anything we are looking at health notes, calories, fat and ingredient lists.

Cheese on the other hand is something that stands out for us as we buy it quite often and are always looking for it on sale. My wife immediately said she wasn’t buying it because it’s cheaper simply because the packaging has shrunk.

She walked away in a huff and said if this keeps up we might have to change our grocery budget because we will be going thorough more food in the CBB household. We don’t normally change eating habits unless we need to.


Grocery budget


Although innovative packaging designs might change the way we purchase products as a consumer we still need to be realistic with our grocery budget. We only look at our grocery budget once a year but it’s consistently gone up year after year for the above reasons. We aren’t eating any more than usual but like every other bill in our budget prices go up so we have to adjust.

My wife went back and bought some cheese bars but only the specific kinds you can’t buy in 500g bars for a cheaper price such as Gouda, Havarti and Monterrey Jack cheeses.

These typically run about $8.99 each so they were a great deal for the 400g bars however the basic mild, medium and old cheddar were not worth the money for us since other companies are still making the 500g bars which go on sale. It’s only a matter of time before all cheese bars weigh the same again.

For now we know that our grocery budget will likely change come January 2015 so we are keeping that in the back of our minds so we aren’t shocked.

Do you think your grocery budget will change because of smaller product packaging and less food?


September 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.

Note: The second grocery game post for September is missing because I was unable to post a shop. We did not shop that week so it’s a no-shop 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.


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


Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x Neilson 4L 2% Milk Sale $3.97
  • 2x Eggs $1.99 each
  • Corn Flakes $6.49 but used SDM coupon for $1.99 any size

Total out-of-pocket $13.91


  • 3x cheese bars $14.31
  • 4 x no name soup $0.47 each
  • Farkay noodles $2.48
  • Iced Coffee $4.99-50%
  • PC Greek Yogurt $3.49-50%
  • 2 x Orange Juice $4.19 each-50%
  • Liberte Caramel Yogurt $3.04
  • 2 x chicken thighs $12.87
  • Radishes $1.99
  • Stuffer mushrooms $4.49-50%
  • Bananas $2.15
  • Jersey Apples $3.46 (600pts)
  • Cucumber $1.99 (400 pts)
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.69
  • Panini rolls $2.50-50%
  • Thin bagels $2.99-50%
  • Dempsters bread $3.49-50%
  • 2 x Tresemme Shampoo Sale $3.98 each

Total out-of-pocket $58.25


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-$11.50=$223.50/4= $55.87 per week
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $2.25
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $57.69
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $46.86
  • 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): $
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00+$15.10 + $20.00 (June)+ $22.44 (July) + (August) $8.00
  • Snap Groupon to date: $19.25
  • Zweet to date: $4.00
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $10.75
  • Total Spent This Week: $72.16
  • Total Spent So Far September:$43.57+ $72.16=$115.73
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $107.77
  • 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+ August $228.26+ Sept $
  • Weekly Overview: As you might already know we had a baby boy this past week. 🙂 This meant there was no grocery shopping for us and no grocery game post for that week. If you have a shop for the second week just include it your post with this shop or any other September Grocery Game post. You will get ballots still as you do the budget tracking on your end so it doesn’t matter what week you post in as long as it gets posted for the month in question. We picked up a few bits this week with our son in tow so it was officially his first grocery shopping trip and he slept right through it.


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.


coupons Septemeber 2014 Canada


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

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Pork loin is a cut of meat from the piggy…..same part of the piggy as is the sirloin on Bossy the cow!!!!!

  2. Here’s my week 3 for Sept. Trying to get caught up on the iPad as the laptop is with the older boy at e moment. We share and he is my tech support. It works for us. I was at Walmart this week as our grandson turned 5 years old on Sept 15 so I got him a couple of t-shirts and a hoodie for his birthday. Also made him some chocolate cupcakes with Minion yellow icing…he loved them! I also hit No Frills for flour while I was in town with hubby..left him in the truck and just ran in for flour and a bag of milk.

    Walmart Sept. 12
    2 4l milk @3.97 -7.94
    1 frozen veggies -2.97
    Bananas -.94
    1 ziggys tortellini -5.00
    1taco kit -4.00
    1 216 count Tetley tea bags -9.27
    1 10 lb bag potatoes -3.97
    1yogurt -3.97
    8 Swanson meat pies @1.00 -8.00
    1 Bear Paws -1.97
    2 Whiskas cat food @.55 -1.10
    1 Folgers coffee -7.94
    1 Downie softener -6.94, .50 coupon
    5 Power Ade @1.3.7 -6.85
    Tax -3.57
    Total -$78.07

    Foodland Sept. 15
    1kg icing sugar -1.79
    1kg brown sugar -1.79
    1 unsweetened apple sauce -1.98
    1 bag rice -2.00
    1 freezer bags -3.18
    1 yogurt -3.29
    1 pack paper napkins-3.99
    1 case pop -4.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 block cheese -5.99
    1pork lion -9.32
    Tax -1.58
    Tatol -$44.39

    No Frills Sept. 15
    1 10kg bag flour -7.49
    1 4l milk -3.97
    Total -$11.46

    Foodland Sept. 18
    Bananas -.98
    1 unsweetened apple sauce -1.98
    2 loaves W/W bread @2.50 -5.00, 1.00 coupon WUB2
    1 10lb bag carrots -2.97
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.98
    1 bagels -2.99
    1 yogurt -3.29
    1 raisin bread -3.49
    1 pack ground cinnamon -3.99
    2 boxes Cheerios @5.49 -10.98
    2 Oktoberfest sausage @5.99, BOGO -5.99
    Total -$43.64

    Total budget for month -$650.00, $130.00wk -5 weeks
    Total coupons/discounts this week – 7.49
    Total spent this week -$177.56
    Total spent for month. -$460.48
    Total over/under for week – over $47.56
    Total over/under for month -N/A
    Left for month. -$189.52
    Total coupons/discounts for month -$22.81
    Carry over to next month -$26.00
    Total YTD – J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M$647.70+J$660.14+J$629.08+S$460.48= $7538.51
    Stock pile -$25.00, $15.21 spent with $9.29 left

    Over for the week yet again. It’s going to be very hard to make the month but I’m still doing better than last year. I can still balance out for the year. I have just over 3 months to go yet but it can be done. I need to work at it but it can be done.
    The apples I got cheap last week are slowly being used. I’ve made a couple of apple crisps so far and both disappeared quickly! As does any baking I do here!! Lol!! I look over the yogurt selections at the store to see what is on sale and get what looks best. Sometimes it’s the packs of small containers and sometimes it’s a bigger container, either way it doesn’t last around here.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Awe… you’re such a great mom. Will you make me some cupcakes for my birthday as well ha! 🙂 Do you make pumpkin pies in the FALL as well? I wish you lived near as I have a freezer full of rhubarb I’ll be donating to someone for free. We simply can’t get through it. I’m sure you will make the month if you try…. I know it’s easier said then done. I was just saying to KIPP another GGC player from the USA that we will likely have to increase our budget in 2015 and I swear we had a better year in 2013. We will find out soon as this year is drawing to a close. I have to ask… haha.. what is a pork lion? lol.. ok I’ll leave now! Have a great week Christine. You get ballot 20. Mr.CBB

  3. Hey Mr. CBB.

    Shopping is for two people, we stock up on meats whenever their is a decent sale so we probably only buy that stuff monthly. With the Won-Ton Wrappers we make this recipe my wife got from bob evans (but we just 1 roll of turkey sausage). You brown the sausage let it cool then mix it with 1 cup of ranch (we do less than a cup) and 8 ounces of shredded cheese. You bake the Won Tons empty for 5 minutes at 350 in a mini muffin pan, then stuff them and bake for another 9 min (or until desired crispiness). We made them last night – will tag you on a picture in twitter. The 10 for 10 with 11th free deal they usually do monthly. The items included in the sale are not always the same, so we don’t always take advantage of it when they do it.
    We tried dry black beans and I can’t get them to not really be chewy without doing ALOT of work and cooking for a long time. They remainder turned out ok in chili, so that is why I went ahead with dry kidney beans for making chili in the future. But we usually use the black beans as a filler with taco meat. We basically double the yield for a fraction of the cost and it doesn’t taste bad at all! And the first 1/2 of the bag of dry black beans didn’t seem to work with it… I couldn’t get them soft enough to mesh well with the taco meat it seemed. So anyways I will keep buying those canned black beans as long as checkout 51 gives me a 25 cent deal! I am also not near the $20 to get a check yet, but I think I am around $7 in total.
    Looks like I screwed up on the toilet paper buy, they have them on sale 50% off this weekend. On well I will stock up on it this week! Oh and the mega pack dishwasher tabs are on sale, score because I think I am down to a half a dozen :). Also looks like Pork loins are on sale this weekend (finally) at $2.00 a pound. I buy the 1/2 pork loin then cut it up into chops and get alot of meals out of that. But my weekly needs coming up are small, so I don’t think I will surpass my $70 remaining. Even with stocking up on the meat, TP, and the dishwasher tabs I think we will get to $50 ish.

  4. A week later is better late than never! Plus I do my shopping on the weekends, so I really didn’t have an update until Saturday.

    Name Your Store: Meijer
    Total Coupons Used: $6.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $53.19

    $5.00 off $50 shopping trip – Digital Coupon
    1 20ct Egg roll Wrappers $2.69
    1.69lb Cabbage $0.83
    .69lb Banansa $0.37
    1lb Carrots $0.79
    8oz Canned Water Chestnuts $1.09
    15oz Canned Baby Corn $1.59
    Celery Hearts $1.99
    1/2 Gallon Milk $2.29
    Wonton Wrappers $2.69
    25.6oz Dry Milk Powder $7.69
    Canned Black Beans $0.89
    Teriyaki Sauce $1.59
    1lb Dry Kidney Beans $1.69
    Saltine Crackers $1.99
    10lb Potatoes $2.99
    2 62oz Ocean Spray Juice $4.00
    2 5lb Pillsbury Bread Flour $5.00
    Crackers??? $2.50
    12 double rolls bath tissue $5.99 less $1.00 digital coupon = $4.99
    2 Peppers $2.00
    2 Pasta Sauce $2.00
    1lb Frozen Broccoli $1.00
    2liter Coke $1.10
    Aunt Millie’s loaf of bread $1.00 -$1.00 (11th dollar item free) = $0
    2liter Dr Pepper $1.10
    2 Packs of Tortilla Shells $2.00
    1 bag of Pretzels $1.00
    Total: $53.19

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $40.00/week ($160 for the month)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $6.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $8.44
    Total Discounts this Week: $15.26
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0.50 (black beans and bananas)
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $2.25
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total Rewards Points Used: $12.00
    Stockpile Budget: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $N/A
    Total Spent This Week: $53.19
    Total Spent So Far for September: $89.36
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of September: $N/A
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $70.64 (and only one more trip!!)

    1. Hi Kipp
      Great to have you back. I’m thrilled because we get to see prices in the USA compared to Canada and vice versa for you. I’m sure it will be a real eye opener. What do you make with your wonton wrappers? Have you ever bought dry black beans? They are much cheaper and easy to make. I like that 11th dollar item and it’s free. Do you get that deal every week or was that a one off? Awesome shop~~ I never did ask but is this grocery budget for one person? I see you picked up a rebate for the black beans as well. I just started using the apps earlier this year. I haven’t gotten a cheque in the mail yet but I’m hoping to at lest get one by the time the year is up. Well done mate!!! Keep at it!

  5. .here’s my week 2/5 for September. Another week of going over for a 5 week month but under if it was a 4 week month… There is one receipt from last week that is being added to this week as it went in the wrong spot with the grocery tags so it’s here. All the groceries were at Foodland but I did a little stockpiling at the drug store.

    Foodland, Sept. 4
    1 green onion-.77
    1 Power Ade -1.66
    Bananas -.51
    2packs rice @1.99 -3.98
    1 salad dressing -2.98
    Tax -.54
    Total -$14.72

    Foodland Sept. 6
    5 Whiskas cat for @.79 -3.95
    3 Power Ade @1.66 -4.98
    Bananas -1.10
    1 jars pickles -1.79
    1 pack rice -1.99
    2 packs perogies @2.49 -4.98
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 Royale TP 4.44, 1.00 coupon
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.98
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    1 yogurt -4.99
    1 package sausage -5.63
    1 black pepper-7.39
    8lb bag of apples 7.99, 50%sticker -4.00 off
    Tax -2.06
    Total -$64.32, 1.00 coupon and 4.00 discount

    Foodland Sept 10
    2 cans tomato paste @.79 -1.58
    4 Whiskas cat food @.79 -3.16
    2 cans pineapple @1.19 -2.38
    4 Power -Ade @1.66 -6.64
    Bananas -.34
    2 pasta sauce@1.79 -3.58
    1 8pack apple juice -2.00
    1 4l milk. -4.79
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -4.98
    2 Janes Frozen fish @4.99 -9.98, 2X1.00 coupon
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 pack extra lean ground beef -13.48
    Tax -1.60
    Total -$60.09

    Jackson’s Pharmacy, Sept 5
    1 Palmolive dish soap -1.49
    3 Pantene shampoo/conditioner packs @3.99 -11.97
    Tax -1.75
    Total $15.21, Stock pile

    Total budget for month -$650.00, $130.00 wk/5 weeks
    Total coupons/discounts for week -7.00
    Total spent this week -$139.13
    Total spent for month. -$282.92
    Total over/under for week -$9.13 over
    Total over/under for month -N/A
    Left for month -$367.08
    Total coupons/discounts for month. -$15.82
    Total carryover to next month -$26.00
    Total YTD -J$653.06+F$594.21+M$633.19+A$672.42+M$647.70+J$660.14+J$694.95+a$629.08+S$282.92=$7361.36
    Stock Pile $25.00 -$15.21 spent and $979 left

    I went over slightly for the week but I did get to stock up a little on shampoo and conditioner and some dish soap at nice prices. I still have room to make it for the month but I am going to Walmart as I need to get a birthday gift for the grandson and I will likely get some groceries there as things are cheaper there than I can get in town here and I’m there anyway. Hubby has a doctors appointment too so I might see what kind of deal can be had for flour as I am getting very low…

    1. Hi Christine,
      Great deal with the apples…. did you make anything special with them? Is that $4.99 for a large pot of yogurt you buy? You might as well see what you can grab while you are in town, I don’t blame you. If you can score a better deal than what you would get at Foodland you might as well grab it. You get ballot 16

  6. Here is my 3rd week of Sept GGC 🙂

    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.

    Grapes $1.35
    Bananas $.69
    OOP $2.04

    Quaker bars (PM WM) 3 x $1.44
    Quaker rice cakes (PM Metro) 3 x $.99
    Del Monte veggies (PM FC) 4 x $.79
    PC white mac & cheese 4 x $.89
    Smartfood popcorn (PM SDM) $2.00
    Resolve 2 x $2.00 – $2.00 coupon
    Frosted Flakes (PM Sobey’s) $2.99
    Froot Loops (PM Sobey’s) $2.99 – $1.50 wub2 coupon – $1.50 Checkout 51
    Mini Wheats family size (PM WM) $3.64
    Lucky Charms (PM Zehrs) $2.88
    Christie’s crackers (PM GT) 4 x $1.44
    Oxi Clean 2 x $3.98 – 2 x $2.00 coupons
    So Nice Milk 3 x $2.00
    Dream Rice Milk 3 x $2.00 – 3 x $1.00 coupons
    Baby carrots (PM GT) 2 x $1.00
    Potatoes (PM Zehrs) $1.88
    Bananas $1.72 – $.50
    Grapes (PM FC) $1.79
    Vitality bread (PM Zehrs) 4 x $2.00 – $.50
    Crest 6 x $1.00 – 6 x $1.00 coupons
    Rebates $2.50
    Coupons $17.50
    OOP $68.98

    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 (plus $11.96 leftover from last month if needed)
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $17.50
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $52.50
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $897.17
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $2.50
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $7.50
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $142.75
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $6.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $295.91
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 140,000 or $140.00
    • Total tax free day this week: $0.00
    • Total tax free day this month: $4.24
    • Total tax free day this year: $73.57
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $19.92
    • Total Spent This Week: $71.02
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $246.57
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $92.43
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $11.96
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $3009.09
    Weekly overview: Still doing well for the month 🙂 I haven’t been eating much as I still don’t have much of an appetite. Most of our dinners have consisted of bland convenience foods. We have lots of food in our stockpile plus meat in our freezer. We will try for healthier, fresh meals this week. There was also a new rebate app to add to the post today. There is now a rebate app 🙂

    1. Hey Jen,
      Your grocery shop looks like ours now, lots of cereal lol. We don’t have too much time to eat let alone cook so soup and cereal have been our friends. Where did you get the crest coupons from? Free toothpaste would have been great, I’m almost out. You get ballot 15. Mr.CBB.. Keep up the great shopping Jen, I’m jealous of you great deals!

  7. Since there was no week 2 posted here is mine 🙂

    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.

    Dempsters bread 2 x $2.00 – 2 x $2.00 coupons
    Breyers ice cream 6 x $.99 – 6 x $1.00 coupons
    Coupons $10.00
    OOP $0.00

    Butter $2.97
    Cheesestrings $4.48 – $1.00 coupon
    So Nice Milk 3 x $2.00
    Campbell’s soup (PM Target) 4 x $.44
    Magazine $3.49
    Coupons $1.00
    OOP $17.15

    Janes chicken strips (PM NF) 2 x $4.95
    OOP $9.90

    Croissants 2 x $.57
    Tide (PM Guardian) 4 x $3.99 – 4 x $2.00 coupons
    AJ syrup $2.48
    Rice cakes (PM Sobey’s) 3 x $.99
    Bick’s relish 7 x $.99 – 7 x $.50 coupons
    Plum sauce $3.97
    Doritos (PM SDM) 3 x $1.99
    Premium Plus crackers $3.27
    Miracle whip (PM NF) $2.97
    Water 2 x $2.66
    Butter (PM FC) $2.88
    Milk $3.97
    Cream cheese (lrg) (PM NF) $2.97
    Eggs (PM FB) $1.88
    Silk chocolate milk singles $17.48
    Coconut yogurt $3.99 – $1.00 coupon
    Baby carrots $2.99
    Romaine $1.99
    Bananas $2.04 – $.25 Zweet
    Oranges $3.42
    Apples $1.96
    Grapes $1.87
    Cucumber (PM) $.88
    Bagels $1.99 – 50% pink sticker (-$1.00)
    Head & shoulders (PM FB) 2 x $3.88 – 2 x $1.00 coupons – 2 x $1.50 CO51
    Coupons $13.50
    Tax free day $4.24
    Rebates $3.00
    OOP $89.30

    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 (plus $11.96 leftover from last month if needed)
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $24.50
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $35.00
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $879.67
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $3.25
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $5.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet): $140.25
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $6.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $295.91
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 140,000 or $140.00
    • Total tax free day this week: $4.24
    • Total tax free day this month: $4.24
    • Total tax free day this year: $73.57
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $19.92
    • Total Spent This Week: $116.35
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $175.55
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $163.45
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $11.96
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $2938.07
    Weekly overview: Good thing I was under last week because I was over this week! My almond milk singles contributed to going over as well as Tide and Head & Shoulders. All were great stockpile prices! Tide for $1.99 after coupon and H&S for $1.38 each and tax free is awesome. Ken won’t need H&S for over a year now lol. I am still on track for this month 🙂 I’m not sure yet if Ken switching to night shifts is going to affect our grocery budget in any way so I will have to keep an eye on that. It will definitely increase our income because he got a raise (should amount to $600/month)!

    1. So much for the work theory lol… I agree the Tide and Head and Shoulders was a great price not to pass up. Glad to hear you are still on track for the month. I’m hoping you can get by without going over. Did you use printable brandsaver coupons for the shampoo and tide? I didn’t know Ken was switching to nights. Glad to hear he got a raise!! That’s great news! You get ballot 14. Mr.CBB

  8. Whenever I do the grocery task, I am usually on the look-out for trying something new, but still on the budget. I compare products until I find the right choice. But, I notice that I usually go to try the cheaper product than the typical one. Then, if my family likes it, I’d stick to that product and buy it again at the grocery.

  9. I have noticed as well the down sizing of package sizes and have over a number of years. One we noticed back when our kids were small was the infant Tylenol drops. New Improved Dosages!!!!!!! Yea…they watered it down and doubled the dosage. The price stayed the same as did the size of bottle…… But the amount you gave the child was doubled…..
    With the cheese I did notice the weights going down, they didn’t change the size of the block so much as made it thinner. It used to be almost an inch thick but sure isn’t now!!! Memory serves me those blocks of cheese used to be more like 900 grams!!! I think the stores will be selling a lot less at full price and more when they go on sale as we savy shoppers get wise to the rip offs the manufacturers are trying to pull on us!!!!

  10. I’ve noticed lots of things in our grocery shop are now smaller – it takes me longer to do our shopping but I try and not get caught out! It’s sneaky by the supermarkets so I have to stay on to pot it – I don’t want to have to increase our budget by lots!

  11. SEPTEMBER – Week #3 of 5- Sept 15-21, 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 found a couple of sales this week that I simply couldn’t pass on, we got a grocery freebie from an in store pull tab contest and then there was my BOGO total indulgence! We’re now roughly $40 over on the month so I guess October is going to be both an exercise is re-jigging my reserves a little plus it will still be tight!

    Oh oh! Smack me silly, did I really NEED that ice cream or did I just WANT it???? Having gone back on my healthy eating lifestyle, I just feel better knowing that I can have a single scoop of ice cream any old time when I feel the need for a dessert in the evening. Perhaps that piece of mind is worth a little struggle in October. Knowing I have it in the deep freeze doesn’t mean I chow down on it though – it does make it easier for me to stay on the straight and narrow because I know I could have a relatively healthy treat if I was craving one. NOTE: the ice cream is deep in the deep freeze so I have to enlist hubby’s help to even have a scoop. There’s no such thing as sneaking a scoop…I’d go head first and end up a human popsicle trying to reach a carton! LOL 😀

    Let’s be honest…food is a lot more that just sustenance. It’s our “Atta Boy” at the end of a hard day, our entertainment & celebrations with friends and family, our emotional comfort when the world dishes up a nasty to us, it’s a reward for achievement, it can be an expression of love and just a moment of pure joy when you need to savor one. If sometimes you fall off the tracks budget wise – maybe feeding some of the other needs fulfilled by food is worth a small departure and the struggle to right your course again. Just my opinion. I know I have a turkey in the deep freeze and that has me thinking of the full harvest meal. This year I think we’ll have it for American Thanksgiving because it works with our schedule.

    Fortunately, October is another month when we are using up our supplies in the house as we are staring down the start of a wonderful 20th wedding anniversary vacation for 19 glorious warm & sunny days! We are only back home for 24 days before we are off again… this time for 17 days to celebrate our holiday season. This vacationing and using our “vacation budget” will certainly help our chances of finishing off our year on budget grocery wise. 🙂



    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 789 ml Palmolive Dishwashing Soap <<= FREE with pull tab contest instant win

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

    •Total OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $3.19 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    6 x Bartlett Pears ($5.03-$1.27 Loyalty Svgs) = $3.76 << making slow cooker apple-pear sauce for baking & the freezer

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $3.76
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $3.76

    ** Earned 5 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $1.27 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x Reeser’s Potato & Egg Salad $3.77
    1 x Reeser’s Coleslaw * PINK STICKER – 50% off * = $1.88

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $5.65
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $5.65

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x Island Farms Cherry Supreme $7.99
    1 x Island Farms Orange ($7.99 -$7.99 on Buy 1 Get 1 Free) = $0.00
    1 x Island Farms Caramel Supreme $7.99
    1 x Island Farms Neopolitan ($7.99 -$7.99 on Buy 1 Get 1 Free) = $0.00
    Less Bag Return ($0.03) << we always use our cloth bags to save these few cents

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $15.95
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $15.95

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $15.95 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $81.89 + Feb $48.32 +Mar $0.00 +April $22.88 +May $44.18 + June $39.58 + July $4.10 + Aug $0.00+ Sept $17.22= $247.25

    •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 $12.98 + Sept $5.19 = $73.82

    •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 + Sept $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 +Sept 32= 100 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 456 + Feb 584 +Mar 0 + April 4 + May 125 + June 3 + July 210 + Aug 88 + Sept 157= 1,629 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year: NOTE: On Sept 12th – 196 Thirty’s = 14 Air Miles Roll-over

    •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 + Sept 1,450= 13,200 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 30 + June 0 + July 100 + Aug 0 + Sept 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 $130.76 + Sept ($12.50 trf to borscht+$20.00 to Summer + $2.50 to US Reserve+$17.50 trf to re-stocking +$4.69+$1.49+$8.00+$32.35+$23.73+$7.99+$12.77+$14.39+$3.76+$5.65+$15.95= $183.27)= $1,413.27

    •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 + Sept $142.50 = $1,372.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($40.77) OVER << Woopsies!!!



    •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 $47.50+ Sept($17.50 trf to re-stocking + $30 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $517.50

    •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 + Aug $47.50 + Sept $47.50 = $517.50

    •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 + Aug $17.50 + Sept $17.50 = $265.00 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 + Aug $12.50 + Sept $12.50= $375.00 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 + Sept $20.00= $40.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,413.27 Grocery Budget
    $102.63 Hiding Spot Cash
    $20.00 Thrifty’s Points Redemption
    $20.00 PC.Plus Points Redemption
    $20.00 Safeway Cash Card
    $517.50 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 =


    $1,710.00 may have been budgeted for JAN to SEPTEMBER ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $265.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $375.00 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 40.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $790.00 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $390.00 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $2,447.67 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $390.00 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $229.96 ($135.96+94.00) we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $1,827.71!! That is $117.71 over the $1,710.00 we budgeted for January through September.

    BUT if you also take out the cash that was either a gift, some non-budgeted earning method or a loan repayment: ($102.63 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+ $20.00 Thrifty’s Points Redeemed and $20.00 PC.Plus Points Redeemed) = $516.90 then we actually only used $1,310.81 of the budgeted $1,710.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $399.19 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you don’t pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then the seemingly $117.71 overage combined with 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 $119.79 to add to our Canadian & cross border shopping budget.



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($40.77)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $1.43
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $135.96
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    8 Organic Walla Walla Onions @ $1.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th)
    2 Family Size Extra Lean Ground Beef @ $3.49/lb (Good until Oct 12th)


    9 Barilla Spaghetti @ 3 for $4.98 (Good until October 10th)
    4 lbs Purewel Blueberries @ $7.98 (Good until October 12th)


    1. Hi Mary,
      Snack me silly…. haha!!! We went over budget this month as well. I think we are gearing up for the Fall season, cold weather and soup patrol. I wish I was going on vacation as well but after 20 years you both deserve a lovely holiday together. You get ballot 12. P.S those rain checks are lookin good!

  12. I’ve noticed that items in the grocery store are going up….chocolate milk is now 750g vs the old 1L, bologna more commonly being at 375g vs the traditional 500g. I’m trying my best to stay on budget, especially now that I have an increase in grocery budget. I think I should be able to keep it going for the time being and as debt reduces, create a stock pile pile or increase my food budget. That has to be my priority right now so that I can breathe easier for future fluctuation in finances.

Leave a Reply

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

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