The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide | 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

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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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  1. I could have been going over because I was babysitting my cousins daughter and buying extra snacks and stuff for the kids. I also had a little but more of an appetite then. I will try on my next post to calculate what a product costs with the PC Plus points taken into account.

  2. Lol Mr CBB!!! I used to write to a friend of hubby’s all the time as hubby wasn’t one for writing letters and it drove me nuts him complaining about not knowing where the guy was now!! But John used to say reading one of my letters was like sitting across the table over a cup of tea talking to me!!! I’ll take it as a compliment!!!! Thanks!!!

  3. Hey Mr. CBB,

    Ok so for stock piling here is what I do:
    No produce
    Meats – freeze them
    Non-perishables (like toilet paper, that stuff)
    Canned or Boxed Stuff (Like cereal if there is a sale, the ketchup, the black beans, spaghetti, even cheese [the dates when sealed are usually a decent amount of time], other baking stuff when on sale like bread flour [I use 5 pounds, one bag, typically in two weeks time], the 2 Liters of pop – just a couple extra so we aren’t tempted to drink more)

    Stuff going bad is usually only if we open something and forget about it or don’t get to it. Since July I can only think of a couple things other than produce – A can of spaghetti sauce in the fridge that I had no idea when I had opened (that was probably waaay before July) and some mozzarella cheese I had bought in a 1lb package and had planned to do pizza the following week but it got pushed back due to the ignitor going out in my oven. So by the time I got back around to it, the other half went bad. I typically now just get cheese in the 8 oz (half pound) packs, I use one whole chunk for a pizza and getting them on sale is $2.00 when a 1 pound on sale might be like $3.88… only 12 cents savings, but if something goes wrong such as that I am out $1.88!

    Replied to your message.

  4. Mr CBB, I make quick breads, muffins, pumpkin spice cookies & various bars using pumpkin (hubby loves my Pumpkin-Banana Bread and my Pumpkin-Apple Giant Muffins) plus it’s great in soup or a stew. I have some pumpkin squares that I plan to make for Thanksgiving and hubby enjoys a pumpkin pie at Christmas if I make it & leave the cloves out…just cinnamon, nutmeg, a little ginger and allspice. 🙂 Pumpkin can be used in so many things…to replace mashed banana or applesauce. I also use my pear sauce in my baking as well to switch up the flavor a little. I like using the canned pumpkin in my autumn vegetable soups as well. Hubby isn’t a fan of most squashes, so this is one way to get them into his diet in a way that he actually enjoys…without facing the chunks of pumpkin. He says it’s a texture thing that he doesn’t like. 🙁 I love fresh pumpkin and totally love roasted pumpkin seeds (those he’s completely happy to scarf down!) but there’s not nearly enough seeds in a pumpkin for my liking! LOL We historically have been traveling in the fall and I miss getting to the “pumpkin patch” down the road…literally two blocks away. This year, I am going to make the trek! Woo hoo! I can almost smell those seeds roasting in the oven! The actual pumpkin flesh will be roasted first then turned into a pumpkin soup that I puree until absolutely smooth and run through a manual food mill – so hubby will enjoy it too. 😀

  5. Finally getting caught up to where I should be! This is my week 4 of 5 for Sept. It’s not looking pretty for the month but I have 3 months left in the year. The only place I went was Foodland for this week.

    Sept. 20
    3 Whiskas cat food @.79 -2.37
    8 Swanson’s meat pies @.99 -7.92
    2 cans tomato soup @.99 -1.98
    1 can pineapple -1.19
    4 Power Ade @1.66 -6.64
    Bananas -1.31
    1 pickles -1.79
    2 pasta sauce @1.89 -3.78
    3 Temptations cat treats @1.99 -5.97, coupon B2G1 free -saved 1.99
    1 frozen fries 2.49
    3lbs onions -2.49
    18 pack eggs -2.99
    2 raisin bread @2.99 -5.98
    1 yogurt -3.29
    1 case ginger ale -3.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 sunflower oil -3.99
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    1 big box Rice Krispies -7.99
    1 chicken nuggets -8.99
    Tax -2.47
    Total $84.01, 2.99 coupons

    Sept. 23
    2 tomato paste @.59 -1.18
    3 Whiskas cat food @.79 -237
    3 Power Ade @1.66 -4.98
    Bananas -1.65
    2 packs pasta @1.88 -3.76
    1 bagels -2.99
    2 raisin bread @2.99 -5.98
    1 green pepper -.90
    1 yogurt -3.29
    1 case pop -3.99, 1.00 coupon
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -4.80
    1 jug water -5.49
    Tax -1.47
    Total -$51.43, 1.00 coupon

    Total budget for month -$650.00, 5 weeks -$130.00 wk
    Total coupons/discounts for week – 3.99
    Total spent this week -$135.44
    Total spent for month -$595.92
    Total over/under for week – $5.44 over
    Total over/under for month -N/A
    Left for month -$54.08
    Total coupons/discounts for month -$27.30
    Total 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$694.95+A$629.08+S$595.92=$7673.95
    Stockpile $25.00, $15.21 spent with $9.29 left

    I am still under for the month but here isn’t much left for the month. This is going to be a rough month but there is still hope for the year. Especially with the holidays coming and all the extra baking and such there. I am looking for some good sales to stock up on and see what I can do with my various points programs to help out with that and the year end.

    1. Hi Christine,
      I have to chuckle when I read your posts sometimes because it’s like I can actually hear you speaking to me. With the months left for the year do you think you will come in under budget for the year? Can you see your budget increase for the new year? I think with the holidays around the corner planning and shopping now is a smart move. Butter for example is on cheap these days but will increase in the next month or so. Keep up the great work. You get ballot 23. Mr.CBB

  6. 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.

    Water $3.79
    Water $2.66 (earned 400 PC plus points)
    Cavendish fries (PM FB) 2 x $1.88 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    HL fish fillets $6.97
    Magazine $3.49
    Coupons $2.00
    OOP $19.12

    Quaker bars (PM WM) 4 x $1.44
    Alphaghetti (PM Fortinos) 5 x $.99
    Smart popcorn (PM Fortinos) $2.50
    PC mac & cheese 6 x $.67 (earned 800 PC plus points)
    Bear paws $1.50
    Raisin bran (PM) $2.99
    Mini wheats (PM WM) $3.64 – $1.00 coupon
    Maxwell house coffee (PM) $5.99
    Barilla pasta (PM FC) 10 x $.99 – 10 x $1.00 coupons – $.25 Zweet
    Mushrooms (PM FB) $.88
    Garlic $.34
    Carrots (PM FC) $.99
    Bananas $.83 – $.50
    Grapes $2.40
    Apples (PM WM) $3.55 – $.50 (earned 600 PC plus points)
    Cucumber (PM) $.77 (earned 400 PC plus points)
    Croissant 3 x $1.30
    Bread (PM) $1.97 – $.50
    Pita $.87
    Turkey pepperoni $4.49
    Turkey kolbassa (PM FC) $3.99 – $.75 coupon
    Coupons $11.75
    Rebates $1.75
    OOP $53.21

    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: $13.75
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $66.25
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $910.92
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $1.75
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $9.25
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $144.50
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Total SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $6.50
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    • 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: $72.33
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $318.90
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $20.10
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $32.06
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $3081.42
    Weekly overview: I did it! I made it under budget this month without gift cards or points! I even have money to carry over! I guess my lack of appetite and nausea are helping out the grocery budget lol 🙂

    1. Hi Jen,
      Do you do the math when you PM and get PC Points to see how much each product actually was costing you after points? I’d be curious to see the math in your next shop. Great job this week. I see you loaded up on lots of your family favourites. I’m proud of you being under budget this month. What did you learn about shopping this month? Why do you think you were going over in the summer besides your lack of appetite. You get ballot 21…. 🙂

  7. SEPTEMBER – Week #4 of 5- Sept 22-28, 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 couldn’t ignore a sale of Bartlett pears at Safeway as I want to make another batch of my pear sauce. So hubby generously gave me a loonie from his coins so I could use $1.41 from my cash hiding spot with his little gift and I could get 9 Bartlett pears! I was fishing out pennies, nickels and dimes from my coin purse to cover the purchase. The sales gal must have thought money must be very tight for me when the guy behind me in line had to throw in a $1 to cover my purchase! LOL 🙂

    I scored a nice rain check on 100% pumpkin @ 2 for $4.00 on a dozen cans at Save On Foods plus a rain check for 4 packages of Ground Pork @ $2.99/lb from Safeway. They’ll certainly get used through the holiday season.



    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    9 x Bartlett Pears ($4.87-$2.46 Loyalty Svgs) = $2.41

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $1.41
    • Gift from hubby: $1.00

    •Total OOP: $2.41

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $2.46 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 $19.68= $249.71

    •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 –
    14 Thirty’s = 1 Air Miles Roll-over

    Jan 25 + Feb 15 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 39 + June 11 + July 145 +Aug 0 + Sept 24= 259 Points << No Longer Avaliable

    •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+$2.41= $185.68)= $1,415.68

    •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: ($43.18) OVER



    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $47.50 + Feb $47.50 + Mar $47.50 + April $47.50 + May $47.50 + June ($47.50) + July ($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:

    $1,415.68 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 $2,450.08 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 $1,830.12!! That is $120.12 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: ($104.04 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+ $1.00 gift from hubby’s spending money) = $519.31 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 $120.12 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 $117.38 to add to our Canadian & cross border shopping budget.



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($43.18)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.02
    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:

    Save On Foods:

    12 Western Family 100% Pumpkin canned 398 ml @ 2 for $4.00/lb (Good until Oct 4th)

    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)
    4 pkgs Ground Pork @ $2.99/lb (Good until December 22nd)


    1. Hi Mary
      My wife was emptying out her purse this past week and found lots of change at the bottom. I don’t know why she doesn’t use her change purse sometimes lol. That was a great deal for pears and since you enjoy the pear sauce it only makes sense to take advantage of the deal. I wanted to make an spiced apple cider this week. There is something about the Fall an the changing colours that gets me in the mood. What will you make with your pumpkin? I want to make a pumpkin pie BUT I want to pick up a couple of the small cooking pumpkins from the farm rather than using the can. I want to roast them in the oven and see what the difference in taste is over the canned version of Pumpkin. Have you ever roasted pumpkins? Great job this week. You get ballot 21.

  8. Just completed my last shopping trip for the month and came in under budget! I also stockpiled a decent amount of stuff on the last few trips as well, so it is possible to near repeat this performance, say $180 next month since I don’t have the rewards or gift card to use. Anyways, here it how my last week went.

    Name Your Store: Meijer
    Total Coupons Used: $1.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $66.57

    1.53 lb Bananas $0.81
    Deli Pepperoni $0.95 (going to try on pizza!)
    Coffee Filters $1.05
    1.07 lb Tomatoes $1.59
    2 X Coles Garlic Bread $2.59 (BOGO)
    ~12 oz Fruit Loops $3.29
    ~9.5 oz JIF Cereal $Free (BOGO – Kellogs)
    10 lb Pork Loin $19.84
    RC Cola $0.98
    Cherry Dr. Pepper $0.98 (we only drink one 2 liter a week, but they usually aren’t on sale this low so stocked up!)
    15 oz Black Beans $0.89
    2 x 24 oz Hunts Ketchup $1.69 (BOGO)
    4 lb Powdered Sugar $2.89
    4 pack Tissues $4.23
    6 double rolls Angel Soft TP $2.37
    2 x 8 oz Kraft Mozzarella Cheese $4.00
    11 oz Starbucks Caramel Ground Coffee $6.99 less $1.00 digital coupon = $5.99
    90 count Finish Power Dishwasher Tabs $10.59
    Meijer Ice Cream $1.84
    Total: $66.57

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $40.00/week ($160 for the month)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $1.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $9.44
    Total Discounts this Week: $23.36 (doesn’t count meat sale)
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0.50 (black beans and bananas)
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $2.75
    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: $66.57
    Total Spent So Far for September: $155.93
    Total Under spend for the month of September: $4.07
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $4.07

    1. Hi Kipp,
      I might write a blog post about why we don’t really stockpile food any more. How do you decide how much you buy so it doesn’t go off before the expiry date? Do you ever find you throw stuff out or donate because you simply can’t eat it all? You did great for the month, congrats! It’s rare we come in under budget these days. I swear we had a better year last year. I’m almost certain our budget will increase for 2015 as prices are just going up and up and coupons really aren’t like they used to be in Canada. Sure, they save money and we use them but not like we used to save. Great job mate! Looking forward to your October shops! Mr.CBB.. . P.S I left you a message on Twitter.

  9. I don’t usually have a problem with snacks at the cash register. My goal is to get in and out of the supermarket as fast as possible. I know exactly what I am going to bur before I enter the store.

    However, its a completely different story if one, or both, of my teenage boys come along. They fall for all the sales tricks that he store has to offer. They are a work in progress.

  10. I cannot go shopping when I am hungry. That is my biggest downfall. I end up purchasing a lot more food and lots of things that I know I don’t need. I need to work on my self control apparently.

  11. I remember, as a little kid, always getting to pick a candy bar at the check out line. It was the best part. But thinking about it now, between myself and my two other siblings, my mom paid over 3.00 just for candy.

    1. Good point Michelle… my wife told me today her grandfather bought her an Oh Henry every time they went out and this is a vivid memory she has. Maybe sometimes that expense is worth the memory.

  12. If I have tight budget, I don’t let my kids come with me to the groceries coz they get almost anything from snacks to clothes. My strategy also is I bring a list of items to buy so that I know how much I will spend and I won’t forget anything. The most important thing is no snacks, keep those eyes off from the snacks (chocolates) at the counter please!

  13. Hey Mr.CBB
    Freezer meals don’t need to be 100% pre made even just having spaghetti sauce, chilli, pot pie filling, already cooked meatballs, premixed and formed burgers, bread, buns are big helpers to get a meal together faster 😉
    Hope you guys figure out the time thing and your little man gives you guys some time to do so! Our little miss was on a three hour schedule that made things very interesting for us!! Glad we had a full pantry, fridge and freezer to get us through it.

  14. Every time I go to the grocery store, I really can’t help myself buying my fave snack shawarma. 🙂 I tried to eat before going to the grocery and yes, I can say that it’s very effective that you can avoid buying snacks when you’re full but still the smell of the newly cook shawarma really tempt me to buy.

  15. The snacks at the till was someone’s marketing success and a lot of companies are making big money because of it!!
    I hope you and the mrs can start eating different things soon. Too bad you didn’t do freezer meals or have family close by to help out or bring by a homemade meal for you guys. I always make some meals and treats for friends and family that have a little one or are just in need because I know how hard it can be.

    1. We had one friend bring over about 3 meals but we aren’t big fans of freezer meals otherwise we would have done that. Maybe we should have just for the sake of having hot meals ready to go. Ah well, next child we will be better prepared.. if that’s possible. lol

  16. I am very happy to see that NF now takes the PC points card!!!! Looks like I will be getting the card now as I refused before due to not being able to use it at NF and I wasn’t about to go to the east end of town just to shop Zehr’s. If I’m going that far into town I’ll go to Food Basics or Walmart thank you very much!!!
    It’s quite the adjustment with a new baby in house especially for meals. It can be very risky trying to cook and look after the little one at the same time…. Been there and done that. Clearly you are helping your wife out more with Baby CBB a lot more than hubby ever helped me in those days. He was on midnights then so was working through the night and sleeping during the day.
    I am usually too busy unloading my groceries on the belt or watching the till prices to pay much attention to the candy and such there but my kids learned fast that whining at any time was a sure fire way to change a maybe to a strong no. If they were lucky they got one warning…Are you whining??? With one of those looks that we parents can get very good at. They learned that when Mom says no she means it. It was a very handy lesson to have them know by the time the teen years hit!!!LOL!!
    Hugs for the Mrs and the Little CBB!!!!

    1. I know we were just as happy to hear they finally offer the points at No Frills. I change nappies, feed baby, wash clothes, fold clothes, cook, clean, hoover up… I do it all!!!

  17. I actually picked up a package of sugar free cough drops in the check-out line-up a while back. It wasn’t on my list but I was coughing like a crazy person and I had finished the package I always keep in my coat pocket. It was a small expense and all but one cough drop is in my coat pocket for the next time I need one…not a bad thing at this time of year. 🙂

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