The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

How to grocery shop like a professional personal shopper: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Nov 10-16, 2014

Share to...

grocery store personal shopperPASSION FOR FOOD AND SAVINGS


Some of you might be reading this and thinking it’s not that difficult to grocery shop but for some hiring a personal shopper is easier than doing the deed themselves.

If you are a grocery shopping ninja like Mrs. CBB and I there is no way in the world you would hire a personal shopper to complete this task.


Personal shopper to the rescue


Can you believe that there is an actual professional shopper career covering all things shopping related to make life as comfortable as possible. I’ve now come to the conclusion that there is a career for just about anything that requires time-saving chores or demand for such role. Essentially hiring a professional shopper is like eating out, it’s convenient.

With that convenience comes a price tag and for some of these personal shoppers they can earn a decent living working for a company and even more if they are hired direct by a family/individual without a third-party.

Who hires a personal shopper?

Anyone who wants to save time, has no idea how to grocery shop or wants nothing to do with a grocery store. This doesn’t mean that they don’t budget their finances it just means they have the extra money to pay for what they consider a responsibility they have no interest in completing.

Not everyone likes to grocery shop so paying someone else to do this is a huge weight off their shoulders. You might also find the personal shopper service being used by seniors or those with health issues who might not be able to get out and grocery shop on their own. It’s not that they don’t know how or want to but they simply can’t do it.

Not all professional shoppers are created equally so keep in mind I’m not talking about hiring a food consultant, nutritionist or personal chef. The personal shopper is hired to pick up your groceries and do all the simple steps I will talk about today that anyone can do on their own.

Saving money is important to us so we make sure we cover all of our bases to ensure we get optimal savings each time we grocery shop.

If your goal is to save money and your budget numbers make you realize that you are spending far too much on groceries each month hiring a professional shopper might be a smart idea.

I know it makes no sense to those of you who know how to save while grocery shopping but for those who don’t this service might be the smartest money saving weapon they have. With the money they would have blown by not shopping smart they spend it on the personal shopper who knows how to shop and save money.

I know there are some places on this planet where food prices are astronomical but I’m speaking for those of us who have local grocery stores at our convenience as well as prices that are comparable. With rising food costs in Canada it’s important for all families no matter what their income to take a realistic look at their grocery budget.

Whether you decide to hire a personal shopper or not it’s important to know that all you need is time and patience to successfully grocery shop like a pro along with grocery shopping skills I will list below.

If you want to learn even more ways to be your own professional grocery shopping pro just read my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.


Shopping Pro Tips


Here are some ways we shop like a professional shopper but without paying the high price to hire a pro shopper.

  1. First things first… you need a grocery budgetHow much should your grocery budget be? Well, only you can answer that by creating a budget and running the numbers according to your net income. If you don’t have a budget but you want to budget you’ve come to the right place… get your Free budget here!
  2. Meal plan– We are our own worst enemies most weeks because meal planning is not always  a priority but it’s imperative to the overall grocery savings in your budget. If you know what meals you will make in at least a 5 day working week you will know what products you need to buy. There’s no sense buying more food than you can handle unless it’s on sale and you can fit it in your budget.
  3. Shopping list– We love a list in the CBB  house and we offer all of our custom lists to you for FREE because we know how important they are to save time and money. Having a shopping list is critical for the successful money saving ninja shopper. If you think you are going to go shopping without one you can bet that your cart will have more than you anticipated on spending that week. We are creatures of habit and when grocery shopping they market food to all of our senses so it’s imperative to be armed and ready with the list.
  4. Pricing knowledge– This is such a huge category because not only does knowing prices on grocery store food important so are ways to save money buying them. You can cut your grocery budget by price matching, knowing the scanning code of practice, using coupons and rain checks to your advantage.
  5. Shopping plan- I know it sounds daft having a grocery shopping plan because for some people getting in and out is the easiest plan and can be the smartest. Know where you have to go in the grocery store instead of wandering around especially if products make their way into the cart that aren’t on your grocery list. Shop during hours that aren’t busy so you don’t get frustrated and take your attention from your grocery savings and putting it on surrounding customers.

My final tip is to make sure you always keep a quarter in your vehicle and shopping bags handy so you don’t waste time looking for coins and spending money on bags to add to the pile you have at home.

Do you know someone who hired a personal shopper and would you consider this service for yourself?


November 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.


Grocery shop results



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!


  • Stacey’s Pretzels- $2.99 plus 100 PC Plus points
  • 2 x Neilson Milk 4L $7.94
  • Liberte Plain Yogurt $4.89-50% pink sticker
  • PC Mushrooms $4.49-50% of pink sticker
  • Bok Choy $2.79-50% pink sticker
  • Fresh Atlantic Salmon $12.93
  • Kaiser rolls $2.50-50% pink sticker
  • Kaiser rolls triangle $2.50-50% pink sticker
  • 3 x Neilson Butter $8.97

Total out-of-pocket $41.79-$20 in PC points =$ 21.79


 Check Out Our Grocery Budget


grocery game challenge November 2014 shop 1


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 November $235.00 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.
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $64.19
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $70.75
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $20.00
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $40.00
  • 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 + October $19.92+November $
  • 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: $21.79
  • Total Spent So Far November $36.89+$21.79=$58.68
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $0
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $0
  • 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+Nov $

Weekly Overview: We are finding that having a baby is saving us money grocery shopping because we aren’t going out as often or to as many shops. This week we made a quick trip into Zehrs for a few bits and used PC Points to cover half the costs.


 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.

The pic is a bit blurry but that gorgeous cheese coupon is for buy 2 Black Diamond Cheese bars and save $2.00 expiry May 31, 2015.. so a long expiry!


Black Diamond Cheese Coupons 2014 Canada

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that. You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track. If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general. You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge Canada 2014!


Money Quote Logo CBB

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
  • Check out my new Free Recipe Index
  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving Lists!

Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos/Ambro

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. 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.
    Milk $3.97
    Pizza Pockets 2 x $2.00
    Mushrooms (PM FB) $.99
    OOP $8.96

    Chocolate croissants $2.19
    Bread $1.59
    OOP $4.12

    Goldfish (PM FB) 3 x $1.88
    Hershey’s drops 2 x $3.00 – 2 x $1.00 coupons – 2 x $1.00 CO51
    NN coating mix $1.69
    Kellogg’s Jumbo cereals (PM No Frills) 3 x $4.77
    Ritz crackers (PM SDM) 2 x $1.88
    Unico shells $3.19
    Distilled water $1.29
    Eggs (PM SDM) $1.88 – $.25 Zweet
    Milk $3.97
    Almond milk (PM Metro) $2.99 – $1.00 coupon – $1.00 CO51 (earned 400 PC plus points)
    Almond/Rice Dream milk 9 x $2.00 – 9 x $1.00 coupons
    Apples $3.98 (earned 300 PC plus points)
    Potatoes (PM GT) $1.97 (earned 200 PC plus points)
    Romaine $2.49
    Bananas $1.24
    Bacon (PM Sobey’s) $3.99
    Wonderbread (PM SDM) $1.88
    Vitality bread (PM GT) $1.97
    Coupons $12.00
    Rebates $3.25
    OOP $62.65

    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. THE MEAT ORDER IS PAID IN FULL NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (we still have tons left too).
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $425 (5 weeks this month) + $32.79 carried over if needed
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $12.00
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $21.50
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $996.92
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $3.25
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $3.50
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $165.00
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Toal SCOP this month: $0
    • 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: $0
    • Total tax free day this month: $0
    • Total tax free day this year: $76.72
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $19.92
    • Total Spent This Week: $75.73
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $257.87
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $167.13
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $32.79
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $3678.56
    Weekly overview: I did better this week and stocked up again on milk for Adam 🙂 Oh and cereal! It’s looking better for catching up this month 🙂 We decided that for Adam’s bday next week we would just give him his dinner request (Chinese Food) and have cake for him (I think he’s baking it with my mom).

    1. Hi Jen,
      Happy Birthday to Adam… I guess you can update your GGC post now 🙂 hehe!! How much milk does Adam go through each day? That’s great news that you are potentially going to catch up this month. We went over so December will be VERY tight for us. If that’s what Adam wants for his birthday then go for it. It’s much cheaper than some of the birthday parties I’ve seen some parents put on. My sister in law spent $100 on a character cake and a dozen cupcakes… not even worth it!! Keep up the great work Jen. You get ballot 11. Mr.CBB

  2. Here are my shops for the second week of Nov. it’s not a great week as I went to Stratford and hit No Frills as well as Country Bulk for my Christmas baking. Now I just need to get my fanny in gear to bake.

    Country Bulk, Nov 7
    Candied fruit -7.88+7.31
    Candied cherries -5.60
    Raisins -5.59
    Butcher ground pepper -2.76
    Cinnamon -3.05
    Total -$32.39

    No Frills Nov 7
    2 sugar @1.97 -3.94
    1 10kg flour -7.97
    1 case ginger ale -3.33
    1 peanut butter -3.97, PM to WM
    1 pack Ziploc sandwich bags -2.47, 1.00 coupon
    1 puff pastry -2.47
    2 4l milk @3.97 -7.94
    2 frozen stir fry veggies @2.97 -5.94
    2 frozen mixed veggies @2.97 -5.94
    2 frozen peas @2.97 -5.94
    1 Folgers coffee -7.97, PM to WM, 2.00 coupon
    1 216 count Tetley teabags -9.47
    2 20 count lemon tea bags @2.79 -5.58
    1 yogurt -3.97
    1 taco kit -4.00
    2 cans tomato paste @.79 -1.46
    2 KD @1.17 -2.34
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.47
    1 pineapple juice -1.57
    1 Royale TP -3.97
    1 6 pack Royale tissues 3.97, 1.00 coupon
    1 pack cheese slices -3.00, PM to WM
    1 bagel -1.97
    1 bag apples. -2.97
    1 bag carrots -1.49
    Bananas -.93
    1 tortellini -5.00
    2 Dove hair conditioner @4.77 -9.54, 2X1.50 coupons
    2 Synsodyne toothpaste @3.98 -7.96, PM to GT
    Tax -4.06
    Total $126.60, $7.00 coupons

    Foodland Nov. 9
    1 frozen orange juice -1.79
    1 cider mix -3.49
    3 bagels @3.89 -10.47, 2X.50 coupons – SCOP – free!!
    1 green grapes -2.39
    2 cases pop @3.99 -7.98, 2X1.00 coupons
    1 block cheese -4.44
    1 honey garlic sausage -4.99, 50%sticker -2.50
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 honey -5.79
    Tax -1.49
    Total $32.35

    Foodland Nov. 12
    Bananas -.91
    1 4l milk -4.79
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 honey -5.79
    Total $16.98

    Total budget for month -$650.00, $162.50week
    Total spent for week -$208.32
    Total coupons/discounts for week -$12.50
    Total spent for month -$156.17+208.32=$364.49
    Total over/under for week -over $45.82
    Total over/under for month -N/A
    Left for month -$285.51
    Total coupons/discounts for month -5.99+12.50= $18.49
    Total carryover to next month -$106.73
    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$648.14+N$364.49=$9317.08
    Stockpile -$25.00, none spent

    So I went over for the week by a fair chunk, but I have my candies fruit for baking. That’s always a big expense every year but so worth it in the long run as the baking is well enjoyed by the whole family. I still have my stockpile and that is a good thing looking at the upcoming flyers. I have that stockpile amount plus almost $300.00 to get to the end of the month.

    1. Hi Christine,
      With baby here this year I don’t think I will have time to get any baking in as I’m too far behind with things. My wife is equally as busy. What will you be making? I know that December is always a huge grocery expense for many families and another good reason to factor this shop into the overall budget for the year OR save for it as a projected expense. How much do you figure you spend on Christmas baking and Christmas dinner? You get ballot 10. Mr.CBB HAPPY BAKING CHRISTINE!

      1. I make a number of squares at Christmas and through the year plus the dark fruitcake is for Christmas as is the cherry almond cake so the candies fruit is really the only ‘special’ items bought. Cinnamon and raisins are something I keep on hand for this and that. Besides the fruitcakes I make cranberry, butter tart, pineapple and three kinds of naniomo squares..regular, cherry and mint. I make the stuff up and most of it is stashed in the freezer. Too bad you don’t live closer…I love sharing my goodies!!! I try to spread the cost out over a good amount of time. I already have my Christmas turkey in the freezer as I got it in October when it was .99 lb for grade A!!!! Foodland has it’s turkey bucks again (I keep forgetting to add those to my GGC but you get one for every $30.00 spent, as of today I have $10.00 worth) I will get a bird with those and save it for Easter…..I grab a little of this and that as I can with sales. I have bags of cranberries in the freezer for sauce too. I would guess I spend under $100.00 for the works spread out over 2-4 months…..

        1. I make a cherry almond cake too but not sure if I will be able to this year. I also make almond biscotti with cherries and slivered almonds. I’m going to have to see where I am for time but right now I don’t have any.

  3. GGC for November 16, 2014….

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.50
    Total Out Of Pocket: $57.62

    2 Cans Primo Soup – $1.00 (PM Zehrs) = $2.00
    Purina Cat Food – (700 PC Points) = $3.98
    18 Kg Cat Litter (PM NF) = $6.97
    Toilet Paper = $3.29
    Club Pack Cheerios – (1000 PC Points) = $7.99
    Miracle Whip – $3.48 ($0.50 Coupon) = $2.98
    2 Duncan Hines Cake Mix – $.97 (300 PC Points) (PM NF) = $1.94
    Fruitopia Juice – (200 PC Points) = $1.48
    4L Skim Milk = $3.97
    4 Minute Maid Frozen Juice – 2/$1.00 (PM Zehrs) = $2.00
    2 Frozen Vegetables – $2.78 = $5.56
    2L Chapman Frozen Yogurt – Mint Chocolate Flakes = $3.98
    Bananas – 1.195kg @ 1.26/kg (0.50 Checkout51) (PC Points 200) = $1.51
    Hot Dogs (PM VM) = $3.99
    2 Loaves WW Bread – $1.97 = $3.94

    Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $50.00/week ($40.00 Human & $10.00 Pet)
    Total Coupons Used this Week : $0.50
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $1.00
    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0.50
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $0.50
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this week: 2400
    Total Rewards Points Used: $20.00+40.00
    Stockpile Budget: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $7.62 over
    Total Spent This Week: $57.62
    Total Spent So Far for November: $84.68+39.56+57.62
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of November: $N/A
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $18.14
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $3,109.33
    Weekly Overview: Today is tried to take advantage of my PC Plus offers, in addition, to the PC Points around the store, all the while, staying within my budget. I would have stayed in my budget but I forgot that we were down to 1 box of cereal so I knew that I would get PC Points for Cheerios (over $7.00) so that’s what put me over. I’m getting better with practice, especially now that I can price match to my little heart’s content 🙂 I have saved so much money by price matching and I’m thinking that too bad, I didn’t know about this earlier. Only can get better next year 🙂

    1. It’s too bad that so many people don’t take advantage of price matching if their grocery store offers it. I know that not all stores do but the money that can be saved with a bit of planning is huge. I can’t wait to see how your grocery budget changes over the course of next year. I bet you will be able to look back at all of these posts to see how much better of a shopper you’ve become. Keep up the great work. You get ballot 9.

  4. I personally wouldn’t hire a professional shopper but I have a cousin who is one. I think she is for clothing though, I couldn’t really see her going thru the grocery store in her high heels and puffy hair grabbing packages of ground beef. Of course she was a model and now owns that modeling agency, which doesn’t help with my picture of her 🙂

    I don’t like grocery shopping myself but at least by me doing it myself, I can pick out the kinds of food that I like and for the price that I can afford.

  5. I don’t meal plan so much as look at what is on sale and figure what I can make with what’s on sale and how many meals worth I can manage. Plus I have to consider how much room is there in the freezer to hold it all for a few weeks.
    How I figured my grocery budget was to keep track what I was spending for a month without worrying about what I spent….then I took that figure and started cutting back to get it as low as I thought would work with what I had to spend every month. If you are going to work with a budget for groceries you need to know what you are spending in the first place to see how much you need to cut it back.
    I always have my list! I make that list after looking over the flyers, the pantry, fridge and freezer to see what is on sale and what we need to get. You definately need to know your prices and with things going up in price every time you turn around it really helps to check the unit pricing to see what size is the best deal!! I have seen a number of times where the smaller package on sale is the better deal than the big package!!! Right now I have been buying small bags of rice for $1.99, for a 900g bag. This is cheaper for me to buy than the big 2kg bag currently priced at $5.99!!!!! Seems to be on a managers sale for a few weeks so I try to get a bag when ever I go in so long as the sales holds….

  6. I had NO idea that you could be a personal shopper for someone and shop for food – I’d love to do that! I can’t imagine not wanting to do my own food shopping but, as you say, there could be numerous reasons why someone couldn’t. It’s given me something to think about, thank you 🙂

  7. I don’t think I have ever heard of someone having a personal shopper, but I guess it makes sense for people who cannot physically goto the store, are extremely rich, or have a deep paranoia towards grocery stores. On a side note, I plan on posting my grocery trips again, I did very well in October, but I was lazy on the internet side of things.

    1. The grocery budget is an area most people struggle with,us included. Posting in the grocery game the past three years has helped us understand our shopping habits. I look forward to reading your shops to see how you made out Kipp. Thanks for sharing a CBB post with your fans.

  8. NOVEMBER – Week #2 of 4- Nov 10-16, 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



    This is another “No Shop” week, on both sides of the border since we are still away on vacation and using our “vacation funds” for groceries. We did a $200 shop last week (in 5 different stores to take advantage of the sales) so that we can have healthy meals but also lots of little treats that we only indulge in on vacation. That $200 is covering 16 nights so it’s only $200/16 = $12.50 per day for the two of us. That’s really not much when you consider that if we didn’t have a kitchen/fridge here at the villa, that could easily be $100 per day!

    Next week there will be some shopping to report but really, not an awful lot of shopping since we have the Xmas holidays coming up relatively quickly. I don’t want too many perishables on hand to deal with.

    This is when making a meal plan and absolutely sticking to it comes in really handy!!! It means no waste and also keeps the budget in check when all the goodies in the store could easily lead to a budget downfall, if you let it. My plan is to only purchase exactly what I need to make our meals in a given week and nothing more.

    I did discover on Kauai it was very hard to find gluten free bread that I liked & I was really glad that I brought a couple of my Glutino Cheese Bread loaves purchased at RCSS with us. I think I will do the same thing when we head to Palm Desert.









    •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 $7.75+Nov $0.00= $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+Nov $0.00 = 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+Nov $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+Nov 0= 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+Nov 0= 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 2400+July 3,300+Aug 0 + Sept 1,450+Oct 0+Nov 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+Nov 0= 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 $96.45+Nov($12.50 trf to borscht+$20.00 to Summer+$17.50 trf to re-stocking+$60.00 trf to US Reserve= $110.00)= $1,622.13

    •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+Nov $142.50 = $1,657.50

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $35.37 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$47.50+Nov($17.50 trf to re-stocking + $30 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $612.50

    •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+Oct $47.50+Nov$47.50 = $612.50

    •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+Oct $7.50+Nov($17.50+$17.50= $35.00)= $307.50 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+Nov$12.50= $400.00 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+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+Nov $20.00= $70.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,622.13 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 =


    $2,090.00 may have been budgeted for JAN to NOVEMBER ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $307.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $400.00 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 70.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $887.50 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $487.50 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $2,705.44 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $487.50 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $262.97 ($168.97+94.00) we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $1,954.97!! That is $135.03 UNDER the $2,090.00 we budgeted for January through November.

    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 $1,435.66 of the budgeted $2,090.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $654.34 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you don’t pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then we seemingly have $135.03 AVAILABLE have actually been expended earlier in the year as the reality is that we have $35.37 AVAILABLE to spend before November 30th.

    We also need to remember we still have 2 weeks of vacation coming in December that we’ll transfer to cross border shopping and our “reserves”.



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $35.37
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.02
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $168.97
    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)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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