I know, I know, I know we went WAY over budget this month leaving us with just over $100 a month to spend until the end of 2014 on groceries.
I’d like to say that we had a no-shop week like we were supposed to and that photo to the left is our empty cart but I’m afraid that’s not the case.
The shops you will read below are in between weeks and with 5 weeks of grocery shops in October it really put us in the red.
Although we don’t normally shop for groceries in-between weeks or more than once a week if we can help it this month has seen us visit the shops more than anticipated.
Having to go to the shops on my own and for various reasons one being that we have a newborn in the house ended up us stockpiling more than we normally do.
We opened a bank account for our son which brought us to the store twice because we didn’t have the proper documents to open the account. I guess that’s one downfall having your banking pavillion in a grocery store.
This is one of our struggles when going to the store too much and why we started the grocery game in the first place. The good news is that almost everything we bought was on sale or reduced with pink stickers.
Although we loaded up on quite a bit of groceries this past week and a half we won’t be needing much until 2015. I will have to do some serious catching up in November and December because we are left with a $100 grocery budget.
The good thing is we won’t be home much in December as we will be away for the holidays but I will still have to have a more honed plan to save money on groceries moving forward.
Out of the ordinary grocery shopping
Where did the money go?
Most of the foods we bought grocery shopping such as the ovaltine, steel-cut oats and brewers yeast are all for the wife to help produce more breast milk. The other big grocery shopping expenses were made stocking up on laundry soap, instant coffee, meat and fish while we could.
It’s not often we do a meat stockpile but since the winter is coming we don’t want to be running around too much with baby in tow so we loaded up on groceries we know we will use now.
We have more than enough meat and fish to take us into the new year now. In November we will limit our shops to milk and eggs as we have lots of bread and cheese. We have plenty of frozen vegetables that need using up as well.
This was a tough month for us having our lives turned upside down with the arrival of our son. I don’t think we could have ever planned for what was coming our way. In our minds we create the best scenario but that doesn’t always work out. He is still sleeping all day and up all night and he has went through a couple of surgeries on top of this so we are exhausted.
We certainly have lots to talk about in terms of shopping to get us to the end of December and to plan for the new year. I imagine with the snow on the way that I will be doing most of the grocery shopping which is easier since it’s close to my part-time job.
Planning our $100 grocery budget
How do we plan to spend our $100 grocery budget the next two months?
Good question and to be honest we have a well stocked pantry and freezer so that’s a plus on our side. Making budget meals such as homemade soups, pulled pork and other healthy easy dinners will help us to stretch our groceries.
I think it’s important to remember that we created this overspend and now we have to live with it. It’s certainly easy to brush it off because we have more than enough money in the bank to cover this but that wouldn’t be helping our budget. When we make a budget we do our best to stick to the budget even if we have months that just flat-out don’t work in our favour.
This months grocery shop leaves us $265.78 over budget!! Our November and December grocery budget total will be as follows $470-$265.78=$204.22 or $102.11 to spend each month to keep us on track for 2014.
WOW.. can we actually only spend $102.11 each month until the end of 2014? We might need some serious motivation but I’m going to be optimistic and say yes!!
There is however some slightly better news in that the stockpile budget each month wasn’t used to its maximum every month. The grand total of $35.46 is still remaining in the budget plus there is the budgeted amount of $20 per month. This gives us a little room for error to the tune of $75.46 if we really need it.
Time to get back on track.
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!
- How quick meals can be a lifesaver for new parents: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept 29-October 5,2014
- Should you really shop at a bulk food store? The Grocery Game Challenge #2 October 6-12, 2014
- Why you should always get a product price check: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 October 13-19, 2014
- Budget-Friendly Easy Dinner Ideas: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 October 20-26, 2014
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 shop results
All I am going to say is… brace yourselves!!
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 3 x 2% Nielson Milk $3.97 each
Total out-of-pocket $7.94
- Potatoes 10lb $1.88
- 4 x pomegranate $0.97 each
- Red tomatoes on the vine $1.33
- Premium bananas $1.63
Total out-of-pocket $8.72
- Bob Mills Steel Cut Oats $2.69
- 2 x Pork Loin Roasts $16.11, $14.40
Total out-of-pocket $33.20
- Brewer’s Yeast $2.27
Total out-of-pocket $2.27
- Schneiders Bologna $5.99- SCOP (was on sale for $2.99) 🙂
- Bread $2.99 – 50%
- I have no idea $2.34
- Greek Tzatziki $3.99- pink sticker 50%
- 2 x PC Greek Yogurt $3.99 each – pink sticker 50%
- Liberte Greek Yogurt plain large container $3.99-pink sticker 50%
- Liberte white chocolate yogurt $4.39-pink sticker 50%
- Soy beverage $3.49-pink sticker 50% (might end up in the garbage because now we read that breastfeeding mothers shouldn’t drink soy milk.) We will have to talk to our doctor about this but by then this will go off.
- 2 x Milled Flaxseed $4.49-pink sticker 50%
- 3 x 1.99 Beef Steakettes reg $5.99 sale $1.99
- 2 x sausages $1.99
- PC thins bread $3.19-pink sticker 50%
Total out-of-pocket $31.44 plus $2.99 scop
- 4 x Quaker cereal $1.88 each
- 6 x sunlight laundry detergent $2.97
- Ovaltine $3.99
- Steel cut oats $3.99 (I lost out with this one because it is much cheaper at Food Basics compared to any other grocery store. I looked after my wife was shocked since she remembered we paid under $3.00 a few days prior at Food Basics but I forgot and was shopping without her)
- 2x Maxwell house coffee instant $2.47
- 4x Triscuit $2.00
- 6x packs of sausages $3.64, $3.35, $3.24, $3.24, $2.02, $2.02
- Pork mince (huge bulk pack) $9.18-$2.75
Total out-of-pocket $70.20
- 4 x cream of mushroom soup $0.44
- 2 x basa fillets $7.99
- 2 x cucumber $0.99
Total out-of-pocket $19.76
- 4 x Nescafe instant coffee $2.88
- 2 x taco seasoning $0.97
- 1 x Italian seasoning $1.99
- 2 x dill rice cakes $1.37
- Stash Chai Tea $2.67
- Premium plus whole wheat crackers $2.47
- Fennel $1.67
- Bananas $1.22
- Mushrooms $1.97
- 2 x sesame oil $5.97
Total out-of-pocket $40.13
Our Grocery Shopping Results
Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
- Total Budget for October $235.00-$49.30 (overspend in September)=$185.70
- Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
- Total Coupons Used to date: $64.19
- Total Discounts this Week: $19.04
- Total Discounts Used to date: $70.75
- 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 $19.92
- Snap Groupon to date: $19.25
- Zweet to date: $4.00
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $12.75
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) $2.99
- Total Spent This Week: $231.66
- Total Spent So Far October:$40.92+$77.99+$118.91+$213.66=$451.48-$185.70=$265.78
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: $265.78
- Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $265.78
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $nothing omg
- Total to Carry Over Next Month: $265.78
- 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 $451.48 (OMG)
Weekly Overview: see blog post above.
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.
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.
- Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.
- 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 Know what stores accept coupons? : You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- 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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