Almost everyone I know has points cards of some description especially cards that offers points to be redeemed for groceries.
I was reading a post by my friend Alicia at Financial Diffraction where she discussed “Tallying the other money” ie: rewards points redeemed, PC Points, Shoppers Optimum points, Swagbucks, Coupon apps and so on.
What I found interesting is that she considers the money as “found money” or “other money” where I call it “extra income” which means I didn’t spend as much in our budget. My wife and I are both on the fence with this topic as we aren’t sure how we will tackle it moving forward with our budget.
I have a section in our budget where we can add in money earned from points, rebates, cheques (ie: coupon app rewards) etc. so it’s put back into the monthly budget as income. I look at it as money I would have spent from the budget but since I was able to redeem points I didn’t have to so I put that money back into the budget as income but it comes back out when I input budget data.
I find it will help to keep a very tight budget but on the other hand you could just forget about the money and pretend that you found it and what you purchased really didn’t happen. We’re just not sure what way we will go with this so I thought I ask how all of you track money or rewards from points cards in your budget.
I don’t think there is a wrong and right answer here only an answer that will give you a more accurate number over the other. Essentially if we didn’t have the points cards then we would get nothing back. It’s really a bonus but it’s also money back. See what I mean about on the fence?
Motivate and Celebrate
Earlier this year we started using the coupon apps and began tracking the amount of money we were saving with them. I don’t tally up every points card I have but I should be if I am using money-back to pay for expenses.
If I redeem points to pay for my gas in the budget I put the regular price minus the points card redemption which gives me the price paid. We could track that as coupons or cash-back in the form of a gift-card which is essentially a form of cash.
Without the points you would have had to use money from your grocery budget to purchase grocery items you buy thus making the money redeemed from points cards money earned. It’s like the store is paying you for shopping there like EBates does so it’s income back in your pocket. You earned it at one point, spent it but then got it back again. Does that make sense? In my crazy budgeting mind it does!
I remember I had asked CBB fan Jen who is a killer shopper especially when it comes to using coupons and getting the most money back from coupon apps if she could track her savings in the Grocery Game Challenge. She’s been posting her shops for the past three years and now each week that she posts we’re able to see just how much money she has redeemed to date.
The part I enjoyed reading was how happy Jen was when she was able to use her points cards rewards towards her groceries. I found that by tallying her numbers on an ongoing basis it was motivating for her and for us. She motivated us to apply for the coupon apps to start saving and we just redeemed for our first cheque from Snap Groupon for $23.xx. Once that cheque gets here it will go back in the bank as returned income as if we never spent it.
We are late starters with our points rewards so starting in 2015 we will be tracking all the coupon apps and points cards ie: PC Plus that give us money-back to use towards products or in the form of a cheque. At the end of the year we should be able to see just how much of our income we spent at some point which was returned to us.
Do you track points redeemed from points cards? How?
December 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!
NEW: Sign up today! >>> Homescan Canada! Join the Neilson Homescan consumer panel. If chosen you will receive rewards by scanning the barcode on your grocery purchases and completing fun surveys with the scanner provided to you from Homescan Canada.
One registration per household. Once you sign up using the link above you will be put on a reserve waiting list and randomly selected households will be chosen. Sign up now…. it’s worth it!!
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!
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 1 x 4L Milk $3.97
- Dozen Eggs $1.99
Total out-of-pocket $ 5.96
Check Out Our Grocery Budget
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: $74.19
- Total Discounts this Week: $0
- Total Discounts Used to date: $74.23
- Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
- Total Rewards Points Used: $0
- Total Rewards Points Used to date: $40.00
- Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $20.64
- 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 $0+Dec $20.64
- Snap Groupon to date: $2.00 (cashed out $23.xx this week)
- 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: $5.96
- Total Spent So Far December $73.73+$5.96=$79.69 (we have $89.72 to spend for the month)
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: $ n/a
- Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $0
- Total Left to Spend for the Month: $15.99-$5.96=$10.03
- Total to Carry Over Next Month: $ n/a
- 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 $114.50+ Dec $
Weekly Overview: Well we know we weren’t going to spend much this week as we are heading home shortly. We needed to pick up a few bits but we have more than enough food in the house to keep us going. I think we may make it until the end of the year with this grocery budget. Fingers crossed!
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.
Since we only made a trip to Shoppers for milk this week we have no coupons to report.
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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