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

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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!


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