The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

Budget Friendly Easy Dinner Ideas: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Oct 20-26,2014

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Life in the kitchen was great until our son came into this world and now we are counting on easy dinner ideas just so we eat decent food.

Over the course of the past 7 weeks our diet has went from eating homemade foods with fresh vegetables and fruits to canned soup, sandwiches and cereal.

Lately I’ve been on the hunt for fast meals that pack a nutritious punch in a short amount of time. Sure we could have planned freezer meals ahead of time but we prefer to cook hot meals rather than turning on the oven to re-heat frozen food if we don’t have to.

We do enjoy frozen foods such as perogies, ravioli, tortellini, fish and some vegetables but we’ve never ventured into batch cooking.


Cheap meals


I know that many parents and working couples rely on 15 minute meals just to make sure they get something hot into their stomachs and to avoid the dreaded TV dinner or even costlier….eating out. Another reason that homemade quick meals are important is because most are budget friendly depending on the type of ingredients you purchase.

I know many of my colleagues lean more towards the ready-made meals because they are not only cheap meals but no effort is required. Yes, I work with lots of men who don’t know how to cook and easy dinner ideas are something we’ve talked about since they all know how much I love to cook.

Personally I’m not a huge fan of hanging out in the kitchen all day so if I can simplify a recipe, I’ll do it. If I can substitute expensive ingredients for comparable ingredients I will do that as well but I’ll never compromise quality in taste for cost.


Easy dinner ideas


When I had a look at all the recipes either Nicola or I have posted here I realized that a few of my meals are indeed easy dinner ideas that you can make when time is not on your side. I know when I get home from working a long shift the last thing I want to do is cook a meal that will take me ages to prepare.

We have more than one easy dinner in our recipe index and some of our favourites we make more than once a month. Below are some of the simple recipes that won’t break the bank especially if you are looking for easy weeknight dinners or desserts that won’t keep you away from your family for hours.

I’ve talked to Nicola about working on creating new recipes that can be done in a flash. Hopefully we will see more easy dinner recipes in the future coming out of the Don and CBB Kitchen.

They might not all be 15 minute meals below but they certainly are better than eating out and won’t break the bank. You can read the entire Recipe Index on the home page of the blog for all of our recipes.

I’m a huge fan of the crock-pot and find we tend to crave hearty crock-pot meals when the Fall season begins right through the winter. Some of my famous one pot meals below might take some prep work but once the ingredients are in the pot you pretty much set it and forget it.

In the winter some of our one pot meals might consist of making soups. We love soups and to be honest soup is not hard to make and it really is an easy dinner that you can prepare as long as you have the ingredients on hand.

Our son is still a baby so he’s still enjoying his breast milk at least for the next few months  or so until we start learning about how to make homemade baby food. For now we still have to come up with easy dinners for two which takes some planning especially if we don’t want to eat the same foods over and over again. That gets boing.

If you haven’t joined us om Facebook yet come by and join our nightly What’s For Dinner post where CBB fans share their favourite recipes and sometimes photos of what they’ve made for dinner. I learn about so many new recipes just from my fans who like good food and know how to save money to make these meals.

What are some of your favourite easy dinner ideas?


October 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!


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 are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.

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 game challenge 4 October

Grocery shop results


Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 3 x 2% Nielson Milk $3.97 each
  • 1 x Bag of Peanuts $2.79

Total out-of-pocket $14.70

Food Basics

  • 2 x cans of pineapple $0.99 each
  • 3lbs carrots $1.47
  • Celery $0.88
  • Red Mini Potatoes $0.88
  • 2 x Redpath Brown Sugar $1.99 each
  • 1x Ricossa Pasta $0.99
  • 2 x Smoked Bacon $1.97
  • Reduced produce $1.99 (limes)
  • 5 x Black Diamond Cheese bars $3.97
  • 4 x Bavarian Sandwich bread $2.49 each
  • Cauliflower $2.27
  • Multigrain flatbread $2.99-$1.50 coupons $1.50 each
  • Perogies $2.29
  • 4 x Quaker Harvest Crunch $2.49 each
  • Ferma Frozen Peas and Corn $1.99 and $2.19
  • 2 x Selection Eggs $1.97 each

Total out-of-pocket $71.54

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 October $235.00-$49.30 (overspend in September)=$185.70
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $3.00
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $64.19
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $51.71
  • 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): $ 19.92 (6 x Bavarian bread and 2 x Ta Ta Tea)
  • 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 + October $
  • Snap Groupon to date: $19.25
  • Zweet to date: $4.00
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $12.75
  • Total Spent This Week: $86.24-$66.79= $-19.45 over
  • Total Spent So Far October:$40.92+$77.99+$118.91+$0
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $19.45
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $19.45
  • 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 $272.80+ Oct $
  • Weekly Overview: It looks as if this will be a 5 week month for us but we have run out of money and are over budget for the month. We may have to use PC points or Shoppers Optimum points if we need anything next week. Likely we will only need milk as we have more than enough to get us by here.


 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 Oct 2014 minute maid, astro yogurt

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. This week’s GGC is as follows:

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.50

    2 Nestea Ice Tea (1/2 & 1/2) – 0.88 = 1.76
    Caesar Salad = $6.41
    4 Bread – 2/$4.00 = $8.00

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $60.00/week ($50.00 Human & $10.00 Pet)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $2.63
    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $1.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this week: 0
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0.00
    Stockpile Budget: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $43.50 under
    Total Spent This Week: $16.50
    Total Spent So Far for October: $693.07
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of October: $493.07 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $2,927.47
    Weekly Overview: This week was a slow week and didn’t need that much. This causes me to still to be over for the month. I can only go up from here….

    1. Hey Dee,
      It almost seems like this week was a slow week for most of us. That’s a good thing on our part because we just don’t have the money in the budget to spend right now. Do you think your budget will change for the 2015 year now that you are watching your shops and know what you are spending and buying? We will be looking at our budget in December again. You get ballot 2. Keep at it Dee!! 🙂 Mr.CBB

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

    Food Basics
    Water 6 x $1.88
    Romaine $2.27
    Bananas $1.52
    Wagon Wheels $2.49
    Nescafe $2.88
    OOP $20.44

    Goldfish crackers (PM) 3 x $1.88
    Smartfood (PM) $2.00
    Water $1.98
    Almond milk (PM) 2 x $3.50 – $2.50 coupons
    Coconut yogurt $3.98 – $1.00 coupon
    Apples $3.98 (earned 350 PC plus points)
    Bananas $1.02
    Tomatoes $.97
    Croissant $1.19
    Bread $2.00
    Colgate toothpaste (PM) 6 x $1.00
    Dove bar soap $6.98 – FPC
    OB tampons 3 x $4.99 – 4 x FPC
    Magazine $3.49
    Tax free day $3.15
    Coupons $25.45
    Rebates $.25
    OOP $35.50

    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 $32.06 leftover from last month if needed)
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $25.45
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $64.50
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $975.42
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $.25
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $17.00
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $161.50
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Toal SCOP this month: $.60
    • Total SCOP this year: $7.10
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $298.04
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 140,000 or $140.00
    • Total tax free day this week: $3.15
    • Total tax free day this month: $3.15
    • Total tax free day this year: $76.72
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $19.92
    • Total Spent This Week: $55.94
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $339.06
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $.73
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $32.79
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $3420.69
    Weekly overview: I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol. It might have to do with the fact that my parents fed me dinner for half of the week lol.

    1. Hi Jen,
      That was a great deal for the water that you stocked up on. What are wagon wheels? That’s so awesome to feel your energy at the end of this post Jen. If it was your parents feeding you that helped well it worked. I’m pretty sure that you have more than enough food in your house that you could have survived the month even if they didn’t feed you. It’s always nice when others cook for us. We know because our friend has done that for us this past couple of months a few times and saved us some money too. Well done Jen… you get ballot 22. Mr.CBB

  3. Finally got to my third week for October. A rough week as both the younger boy and I have been fighting a old of sorts, worst part is a cough that won’t quit. Lots of hot lemon and honey for us and Halls to get through this!! I used to buy Lipton lemon tea Gs but they areno longer available so I had to go out to the YIG store out the east end of town for some of the PC lemon thriller teabags. After trying a number of other brands of lemon teabags and these were the nicest for us. Good part was they were on sale so I got 2 boxes and I was able to snag a PC points card for No Frills!

    Foodland,Oct 17
    2 tomato paste @.50 -1.00
    4 cans pizza sauce @.79 -3.16
    1 can tomatoes -.99
    1 bag onions -1.50
    Bananas -1.10
    2 pasta sauce@1.89 -3.78
    1 unsweetened Apple sauce -1.98
    1 bag rice -1.99
    1 bagels2.49, .50 coupon
    1 Thompson raisins -2.99
    1 doz eggs -2.99
    2 raisin bread @3.49 -6.98, $2.00WUB2 coupon
    1 pizza pack meat -3.99
    1 green grapes-/2.88
    1 Parmesan cheese grated -4.61
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    1 yogurt-4.99, .50 coupon
    1 case ginger ale-4.99, 2 00 coupon
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 honey -5.79
    Tax -.65
    Total -$69.10, 5.00 coupons

    Foodland, Oct 18
    1 Halls cough candies -2.79
    1 Tetley teabags 144 count-9.99
    Tax -.36
    Total $13.14

    Your Independent Grocer, Oct 19
    1 Dawn dish soap -1.99
    2 PC lemon teabags,20 count @1.99 -3.98
    2 Cashmere TP @4.49 -8.98
    Tax -1.43
    Total -$16.95

    Foodland Oct 21
    Bananas -1.07
    1 jar pickles -1.79
    2 cans pasta sauce @1.89 -3.78
    2 bagels@2.49 -4.98, 2X.50 coupons
    1 bottle lemon juice-2.89
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.98
    1 doz eggs -2.99
    1 W/W bread -2.99, .50 coupon
    1 baking powder -3.98
    2 4l milk @4.79 -9.58
    2 packs breakfSt sausages @4.99 -9.98, 50% stickers 2X250 -5.00
    2 case pop @4.99 -9.98, 2.00 coupon
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 honey@5.79 -11.58
    1 sirloin tip roast -8.07
    Total -$76.06,3.50 coupons and 5.00 discounts

    Total budget for month -$650.00, 4 weeks-$162.50wk
    Total coupons/discounts – -$13.50
    Total spent this week -$174.68
    Total spent for month -$161.79+$155.32+$174.68=491.79
    Total over/under for week -$12.18 over
    Total over/under for month -N/A
    Left for month -$158.21
    Total coupons/discounts for the month -$6.50+$8.25+$13.50=$28.25
    Total carry over to next month-$108.59
    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$732.59+O$491.79=$8302.41
    Stockpile $25.00, spent$25.00

    I was over for the week by a little bit. Part of that was having to get the Halls,lemon teabags,lemon juice and honey for the colds and coughing going on here…$27.00 worth as honey is quite pricey right now. I bought small containers of Compliaments brand as it was the cheapest thing on the shelf, I checked the unit pricing on the shelf tags. I could have got the Tetley teabags cheaper in town but I wasn’t feeling up to the drive so it didn’t happen. Such is life. I still have a reasonable amount left for the last week of the month for me….

    1. Hi Christine,
      Sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling so well. I’m glad you found a tea that you like. It’s amazing how the weather changes and so does the way we can feel sometimes. I think it’s great that No Frills offers PC PLUS now. It’s about time. Those little expenses for your cold put you over but that’s ok there wasn’t much you could do about that. This is just one of those times when things happen that are unexpected and why an emergency savings would come in handy although your expenses were very small compared to a bigger emergency that would cost much more. Keep up the great work Christine. Mr.CBB You get ballot 18.

  4. I love easy meals but only if you have time to prep it in advance. When my daughter was little, Sears had a little hand mixer that you could put food in the tube and the turn the handle and it would be cut up and ready for them to eat. That was of course when she was on solids. I used to feed her pablum which was easy to make since you only mix it with water.

  5. My weekly GGCs…..

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $1.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $55.61

    8 cans Friskies – 2/$1.00 = $4.00
    McCain Fries – 3/$4.98 = $4.98
    Bread – 2/$4.00 = $4.00
    6 cans Campbell’s Soup – 2/$1.00 = $3.00
    18 kg Cat Litter – (3200 PC points) = $7.00
    Habitant Pea Soup – 2/$3.00 = $3.00
    Toilet Paper = $5.00
    Mayo = $3.00
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    Cheese Slices = $3.00
    Maple Walnut Ice Cream – ($1.00 Coupon & $1.00 Checkout 51) = $3.00
    Bananas – 1.075 kg @ $1.48/kg = $1.59
    PC Shepard’s Pie = $5.99
    Cinnamon Raisin Bread = $3.00

    Name Your Store: Erbcroft Farms
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $455.21

    Beef – 94.25 lbs @ $4.00/lb = $377.00
    Chicken – 26.07 lbs @ 3.00/lb = $78.21

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $60.00/week ($50.00 Human & $10.00 Pet)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $1.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $2.63
    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $1.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $1.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this week: 3200
    Total Rewards Points Used: $0.00
    Stockpile Budget: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $450.82 over
    Total Spent This Week: $510.82
    Total Spent So Far for October: $676.57
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of October: $483.15 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0.00
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $2,910.97
    Weekly Overview: As you have heard by now, I stocked up on beef and chicken. I am setting money aside to cover this for next year if the opportunity presents itself. If not, then extra money will be available for something else. There is never enough money available for things that are needed/wanted. I’m trying to keep the spending down to a minimum since so much has gone out these past few weeks.

    1. Hi Dee,
      That would be a smart idea if you can pull that off in your budget to set the money aside for the meat. We do that with many things and save up as we go along each month. It makes things much easier financially. We are in the same boat as you and are trying to cut back until the end of the year. Although your expense for October was high I’m sure it’s giving you an idea of what you need to do for your upcoming budget. Thanks for sharing Dee! You get ballot 17. Mr.CBB

      1. I have a “projected expenses” account and started that after finding you online. Yes, I agree that account has been a life saver but it’s also been a curse in the sense that if there’s something that I need to get and don’t want to touch the credit cards, I’ve dipped into that account. I’m hoping that will be better next year and after my daughter has a job so she can pay for her own bills.

        1. I know it’s super hard to make sure we don’t touch that money unless it’s for what it’s intended for otherwise we are starting that revolving door.

  6. I like to freeze leftover turkey or any other meat. I just cube it first, and then it’s ready to throw together a stirfry. Instead of making a complete casserole to freeze, you can also get the components of a casserole and turn it into a freezer kit. Cook the meat (bag it), veggies go into another bag, and when your done put everything into a bigger bag with a label and cooking directions. And when you’re ready assemble the casserole throw everything into the dish and pop it into the oven. And you avoid the cardboard taste that some casseroles take on when cooked twice. Essentially you are splitting the time between assembling and cooking. A better way to deal with leftovers! I have noticed in the last few weeks there has been an onslaught of wonderful quick and fast recipes on facebook and pinterest. And of course the librarie also has lots of ideas. And atthough it is a little early to be thinking of this now, this could be the time to start thinking of whether or not you will be making or buying baby food. With apples and squash now in season, it may be worth making a batch of baby food to keep in the freezer until your little one is ready for it. Good Luck!

  7. Hopefully the Little Mr’s schedule settles out soon!!! I usually do have pasta sauce in the freezer, make a big batch when you get that far and freeze a good portion of it for easy meals. I have used frozen sauce on more spaghetti, cooked penne and top with cheese for the oven, on top of tortellini……you get the idea. Make up a stew in the slow cooker and freeze half for later. Mary’s idea of a slow cooked roast or what ever in a slow oven will give two or three meals if you plan it out. The larger recipes that say they feed 4-6 adults would be good to try as you have more than one meal for the amount of work. Good luck!!! Hugs for the Little Mr!!!!!

    1. I hope so too~~ I’d like to start using the crock-pot now that the winter is on it’s way… I know curse me. I love the tortellini with pasta sauce. I used to make that for my dinners all the time in the Uk because they were cheap to buy.

  8. Thank your for this!! As a mom of two little ones, ages 2 and 1, I am constantly on the hunt for easy, healthy recipes! We eat way too many PB sandwiches, chicken nuggets and cereal over here!! It’s a constant battle though – the kids don’t eat my healthy meals, haha. I’ll have to try some of your suggestions!!

    1. Thanks Sarah for the comment. It’s not what we expected having a child and we are appreciating all those times when we had the time to make whatever we wanted. I’m sure in the next few months things will slow down and we can get back on track, sort of.

  9. Mr CBB… you know what a soup/chili/stew fan I am. If I haven’t thrown it in the crockpot or a roaster in a slow oven, it just doesn’t happen and I sure don’t want pasta every night even if it is with my homemade sauce. It’s inherent laziness on my part, I know, but I really don’t want to stand around and stir for hours upon hours every day of the week either! Obviously rissotto is a weekend project around here. LOL 😀

    I am working from home so, I’ll prep our meal and serve it, but the time in between – I have other things to do. I am also a big lover of homemade baked beans cooked in the oven in a bean pot or even in my crockpot. Mmmm! I also have a 7 quart Dutch Oven that’s simply wonderful for my One Pot creations in the oven. Not only does dinner roast up nicely without my attention but it’s a quick clean-up too. I throw whatever vegetables/potatoes/sweet potatoes I have in the pot, drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle with S & P and whatever other herbs/spices I choose that day and drop my poultry or roast on top. Easy peasy!

    And don’t forget the eggs… you can whip up all kinds of treats in your muffin tins. They bake up nicely and can be quickly re-heated in the microwave for a fast meal with some steamed veggies and a little toast. If all else fails, breakfast for dinner works – I love a night with French Toast, gluten free breakfast sausage and my homemade apple or pear sauce. 🙂

    Get yourself 14 choices and simply alternate them every two weeks. You will get through this time crunch period and settle into a more manageable lifestyle once baby CBB’s sleep patterns are more normal.

    1. Thanks for the tips Mary. I think once we get our son on some sort of a schedule we will work a plan into how we will cook moving forward. I think doing all the prep work ahead of time might be our saving grace. I like your idea of alternating choices and maybe updating them every couple of months or so for more variety. 🙂

  10. OCTOBER – Week #3 of 4- Oct 20-26, 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



    Well I am REALLY in the mood for all things “soup” and nice homemade baking to go with it! Fall meal plans have arrived at our house! LOL 🙂

    We made a Ham and White Bean soup and a Cream of Chicken Soup so far this week. Both a Curried Pumpkin Soup with Ginger and Pear and a Creamy Tomato-Basil-Red Pepper Soup are still to come. See what I mean?

    Baking wise I am on a roll as well… Quick Molasses Oat Bread, a Double Batch of giant Banana Raisin Muffins, a totally delish Roasted Garlic and Herb Bread that lends itself nicely to a slew of variations and last but not least for my sweet tooth… a loaf of Date Nut Bread.

    As you’ll see, we hit our freezer for a small ham and our shredded chicken, the pantry for the majority of the baking supplies and really only needed a little fresh vegetable/fruit/dairy this week.

    I hadn’t planned to make a Coleslaw Soup this week but when I found a 50% off coupon on the Safeway Facebook page I grabbed it & threw the coleslaw in the freezer for a future soup.

    Fortunately, next week is a “No Shop” week as we’ll be emptying the crispers & eating up leftovers. It looks like we’ll finish the month in good shape!! Woo hoo! Nice to have a month so close to the end of the year that’s right on track!



    Safeway – Maple Ridge #1

    2 x heads Garlic = $1.58
    3 x turnips = $1.48
    1 x pkg fresh dill = $2.50
    1 x pkg baby spinach = $3.99
    1 x jar of Basil Pesto = $4.28
    1 x jar Roasted Red Peppers = $5.39

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $19.22
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $19.22

    ** Earned 2 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Safeway – Maple Ridge #2

    1 x Coleslaw ($1.79-$0.80 Coupon) = $0.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.99
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $0.99

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $0.80 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge #1

    2 x Bartlett Pears @ $1.29/lb = $1.58

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $1.58
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $1.58

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

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge #1

    1 x Dairyland Whipped Cream = $1.89
    4 x Degree For Men AP ($19.48 – $19.48 Vendor Coupon) = $0.00
    6 x Habitant Pea Soup 796 ml ($17.76 – $7.76 Loyalty Svgs) = $10.00
    GST $0.97
    PST $1.36

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.22
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $14.22

    ** Earned 31 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $19.48 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $7.76 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    IGA – Pitt Meadows #1

    2 x Orange Peppers = $1.05
    1 x Yellow Pepper = $0.53
    3 x Red Peppers = $2.04
    1 x bunch celery = $1.22
    2 x 3 lb bags carrots = $2.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $7.82
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    •Total OOP: $7.82

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Checks **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $4.34 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+
    Oct $7.76= $257.47

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks 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+Oct $33.28 = $109.97

    •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+Oct $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+Oct 31= 131 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+ Oct 2= 1,631 Air Miles

    •Total Thrifty’s Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 25+Feb 15+Mar 0+April 0+May 39+June 11+July 145+Aug 0+Sept 24= 259 Points
    Program Discontinued on Sept 12th – We received $20.00 + 14 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0+Feb 0+Mar 650+April 0+May 5,400+June 2,400+July 3,300+Aug 0+Sept 1,450+Oct 0= 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+Oct 10= 140 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 $185.68+ Oct ($12.50 trf to borscht+$10.00 to Summer+$7.50 trf to re-stocking-$20.00 Stockpile Addition+$7.82+$19.22+$0.99+$1.48+$14.22+$7.82= $96.45)= $1,512.13

    •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 +Oct $142.50= $1,515.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $2.87 AVAILABLE



    •Total Stockpile OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $47.50+Feb $47.50+Mar $47.50+April $47.50+May $47.50+June $47.50+July $47.50+Aug $47.50+Sept $47.50+ Oct($20.00 re Sept overage+$7.50 trf to re-stocking + $20 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $565.00

    •Total Year-To-Date Stockpile Budget:
    Jan$47.50+Feb $47.50+Mar $47.50+April $47.50+May $47.50+June $47.50+July $47.50+Aug $47.50+Sept $47.50+Oct $47.50 = $565.00

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



    •Total 2014 Re-Stocking Budget:
    2013 Fwd $125.00+Jan $17.50+Feb $17.50+Mar $17.50+April $17.50+May $17.50+June $0.00+July $17.50+Aug $17.50+Sept $17.50+Oct $7.50= $272.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Borscht Stockpile Budget:
    2013 Fwd $275.00+Jan $12.50+Feb $12.50+Mar $12.50+April $12.50+May $12.50+June $0.00+July $12.50+Aug $12.50 + Sept $12.50+Oct $12.50= $387.50 AVAILABLE



    •Total 2014 Holiday Season Reserve:
    2013 Fwd $0.00+Jan $20.00+Feb $20.00+Mar $20.00+April $20.00+May $20.00+June $0.00+July $10.00+Aug $0.00+ Sept$0.00+Oct $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 + Oct $10.00= $50.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,512.13 Grocery Budget
    $104.04 Hiding Spot Cash
    $20.00 Thrifty’s Points Redemption
    $20.00 PC.Plus Points Redemption
    $20.00 Safeway Cash Card
    $565.00 Stockpile Budget
    $80.00 Cash Repayment from neighbor
    $24.27 2013 Costco Rebate Cheque
    $0.00 2014 Costco Rebate Cheque – $13.45
    $250.00 Safeway Gift Card =


    $1,900.00 may have been budgeted for JAN to OCTOBER ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $272.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $387.50 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 50.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $820.00 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $420.00 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $2595.44 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $420.00 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $172.97 ($78.97+94.00) we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $2,002.47!! That is $102.47 OVER the $1,900.00 we budgeted for January through October.

    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 $1,483.16 of the budgeted $1,900.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $416.84 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you don’t pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then the seemingly $102.47 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 $135.03dd to our Canadian & cross border shopping budget.



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $2.87
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.02
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $78.97
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


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


    1. Hi Mary,
      That’s lovely that you were able to get a coupon for the coleslaw on Facebook, good for you for taking advantage of that deal. I really like the Curried Pumpkin Soup with Ginger and Pear and a Creamy Tomato-Basil-Red Pepper Soup that you plan to make. I mmake a tomato basil soup in the summer with the fresh basil we grow but have never done the roasted red pepper. I once had a roasted red pepper soup with a nice fresh bread toasted with garlic and it was delicious but at a restaurant. I might look into getting a jar of the roasted red peppers too now. I hope we can make lots of soups to get us through to the end of the year. You get ballot 13. 🙂

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