The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

Why do snacks tempt our budget while waiting in the grocery line?: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Sept 22-28, 2014

snacks grocery store lineTEMPTATION AND YOUR BUDGET


Pretty much every grocery store you frequent will have snacks waiting to bust your budget if you give into temptation while standing in line.

They say to make sure you eat before you go grocery shopping so you don’t overspend and it’s true but what happens when you get the snack munchies instead?

You spend more that’s what happens and it can be even pricier than just buying snacks down the snack aisle if you give in to the cash register snack marketing ploy.

You would think it’s only the grocery store but it’s not. Have a look next time you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and you will see they sell chocolate bars, drinks and beef jerky for any hungry customers waiting to cash out.

There is always marketing behind the grocery store from the minute you open your weekly flyer to the time you walk in the front doors. Money has to be made and whether it’s from the full-priced products customers buy to the customers who don’t care about weekly specials to the snacks at the cash register.


Buy me a snack


If your goal is to stick to a grocery budget it’s important to take note of the marketing around you no matter where you shop. I am always watching people when I shop and just the other day I watched a father with two kids (I’m assuming they were his) waiting in line at the grocery store.

It’s always boring waiting for the person in front of you to get rung through the cash so aside from being nosy staring into their shopping cart, checking your Facebook status and chatting to other customers you may get tempted by the snack monster.

The snack monster is the racks at the cash register loaded with over-priced chocolate bars, gum, beverages and chips. You know you can find them much cheaper if you would have picked them up down the snack food aisle but you waited until you were in line to crush your budget because you let temptation take over.

The father I watched had his two kids touching the candy bars and other snacks and I was waiting for one of them to say “I want” which seems to start for all of us from a very young age. It’s when parents give in to the “I want” syndrome that we start the process of  “I am owed” or “I deserve” something.

It’s great to set goals and to get what we want but when it’s handed to us because we start crying or whining to someone then we don’t learn a lesson in the process. I know if our son plans on trying to get us to spend money on snacks at the cash or anywhere else while shopping it will because he’s earned it or has his own money to spend. (You can bet that I will teach him how much more he will be spending if he does buy while waiting in line.)

The boy started crying when the father said no to him but it was only a matter of minutes before he gave in and the little boy had a Kit Kat in his hands. The minute he got his snack he had a smile on his face. That is the smile of immediate gratification and relief from crying for the father. Where do we draw the line though?

It’s not just kids who fall prey to the snack wars at the cash register either. Plenty of adults load up the grocery belt with snack foods just because they get bored waiting and somehow convince themselves that spending double for a chocolate bar or pack of gum is worth it. I think not.

If you find that you can’t control your urges for snacks when grocery shopping pack some healthy snacks to take along with you for the kids and yourself. This will certainly curb that wish to buy something that your grocery budget doesn’t need.

In the end if you really want to stick to your grocery budget than you must be strict not only with yourself but to those you bring shopping with you.

How do you stop yourself from buying snacks at the cash register?


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!


PC Plus program No Frills Canada

Good news shoppers!! I just wanted to point out that I received a letter in the mail from President’s Choice stating that PC Points Plus program is now available at No Frills.

I was happy to finally see the PC Plus Points available at No Frills as we stopped shopping there as much because we weren’t getting the points like we do at other PC stores.








Grocery shop results


This is our last shop for September grocery game challenge. Next week will start October.

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • Campbells soup $0.49
  • Neilson Milk 4L $3.7
  • Neilson Cream $2.99 (for family who came this weekend and we sent it home with them as we no longer use cream)

Total out-of-pocket $ 7.25

No Frills

  • 4 x no name mushrooms $0.99 each
  • 2 x Habitant Soup Pea $0.99 each
  • Quaker Life cereal $1.97
  • Real Lemon Juice $2.49
  • 2 x Catch of the day Salmon $7.97 each

Total out-of-pocket $35.22

Food Basics

  • Tata tea $5.99
  • 2 x Bavarian Multi-grain bread $1.99 each
  • 3 x selection whole mushrooms $0.99 each
  • 3 x selection cheese $ 3.97 each
  • 2 x Shreddies $2.49 each
  • 2 x Jumbo Cheerios $3.88 each
  • Auroa Sea Salt $0.88
  • Irresistible popcorn $1.29
  • Melba toast $3.99-$0.50 coupon
  • 2 x Grissol bread sticks $1.99-$0.50 coupon
  • 2 x Astro yogurt $1.88 each
  • Yeast $3.49
  • Selection Dr $1.99 (forget what this is) lol
  • Bananas $1.25
  • Sesame Snaps $2.99 box (treat for the wife)
  • Sweet corn $3.94 -$2.00 in-store coupons
  • Jumbo bag Chipits $6.99
  • Quaker Oats $2.49
  • Selection Cocoa $2.99
  • Mr. Goudas rice $8.99
  • Fresh figs (case) $8.88
  • 2 x Triscuit $2.00 each
  • 2 x avocado $0.88 each
  • Tomatoes $1.67
  • Yellow Onions $3.34
  • Fresh ginger $0.73
  • Baking powder $3.22

Total out-of-pocket $114.62


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 : $1.50
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $59.19
  • Total Discounts this Week: $2.00
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $48.86
  • 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): $0
  • 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+ (September) $0
  • 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: $157.07
  • Total Spent So Far September:$43.57+ $72.16+$157.07=$272.80
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $49.30
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $49.30 leaving $185.70 to spend in October.
  • 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: We had a rough month for grocery shopping with the baby arriving. We have been eating fast meals such as soups, sandwiches, cereal, salads etc. We also had family over this past weekend so we stocked up on some things we normally wouldn’t buy like a case of figs, popcorn and crackers. Overall it was a decent month but we will work harder in October and hopefully have more time to make homemade soups rather than buy them.


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.

Canada coupons Sept 2014


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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