Product reviews for coupons saving you money : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Dec 22-28, 2014

product reviews grocery foodYOUR OPINION FOR SAVINGS!


Product reviews are a great way for bloggers to share their opinions but there is not always a kick-back such as a free product.

Companies are always looking for ways to reach the customer so coming up with innovative ways to get our attention is something they strive to improve on every day.

Even with a giant social media splash it’s hard to motivate customers to buy unless there is something in it for them.

Most times for someone to try a new product a good starting point is putting it on sale aside from offering it free or tastings. You might see sample booths set up around your grocery store for this reason.

I’ve received a free book to review on Canadian Budget Binder and the offer of other products here and there (nothing I was interested in) but one thing is for sure there has to be incentive for me to go out of my way to talk about.

The pleasure is not always monetary either as I am a blogger but for the most part if there is money to be saved and I’m interested then I’m in.

Just last week I told you about Nielsen Homescan which I participated in back in the UK. They wanted a peek into my grocery basket and for that I got $$$ savings. Hey it was worth it to me even though it’s not necessarily product reviews it’s more them reviewing the products you buy.

Grocery savings used to be simple you’d get a weekly flyer and you’d plan your shops. Now you can save money with coupons which you can print, order, clip or find in-store or savings through coupon apps (online as well for those without a cell-phone or mobile device with apps).

Just when you thought they would think of everything to dish out coupons to the masses now there is another offer on the table…. product reviews for coupons!

We’re not really the type of people who use food coupons on new products unless the coupons are for a free product or we’ve tried the product.

Essentially though we are absorbing the risk of purchase when we buy foods that are new or that might tickle our taste bud interests.

Would the offer of a coupon motivate you to buy a product you wouldn’t normally buy?




Just yesterday I received an email from Johnsonville Sausages Canada where the subject read

Write a Review and Get a $1 Coupon for Johnsonville Meatballs and Slices Products!

We’ve done food reviews in the past but they paid us cash plus we were given the product to sample which is a pretty nifty way of making extra money on the side for our opinion but it only happens if we qualify after an online screening.

At first I thought it would be a great idea until I read it a bit closer. The aim is to have the customer purchase the product first (ah they are smart see) then write a review. But there are always loop-holes. Once you’ve completed such product reviews then you get your $1.00 coupon. (I don’t know if it’s mailed or printable)

What’s the big deal?

Well, I’m purchasing a product I normally wouldn’t buy just to get a coupon. What if I don’t like the product? Do I get a free product coupon to pay me back the money I just spent to try and save a few bucks on my next purchase. Not likely as you see food purchases are just as big a risk as investing. OK, not as big but you never know what you’ll get.

If you are a hard-core Johnsonville fan (We don’t mind their products) and think you might like the product go ahead and take the risk after all everything in life is a risk. All you have to lose is the money you invested in the product.

I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t offer the FPC because I’m pretty certain coupon hoarders would come out to play. If all they have to do is say they weren’t satisfied to get a coupon for a free product, they’d do it.

Remind you of anything? Ya that McCain commercial where you can return the product if you are not satisfied for a full refund. The funny part is the customers are trying to return empty boxes of pizza saying they didn’t like it.

All the McCain customer has to do if fill out a form if they didn’t like the taste and they will get their money and postage paid back to them. McCain already knows a percentage of people will fill out that form just to get their money back yet they licked the box clean.

If you don’t love our pizza recipes, we’ll give you your money back**. In order to be eligible for your money back (a cheque for the amount you paid, excluding taxes, to a maximum retail value of $8.99 CAD) please send in a stamped envelope, with sufficient postage, all of the following items prior to December 31, 2014

Then again, upon review of the process for product reviews at Johnsonville you can simply lie that you bought the product (because they really won’t know if you did or not) just to get the coupon.

We all know people will do that because they are itching to get food coupons. That really doesn’t offer a proper reflection of the product to Johnsonville but I’m sure they already know this and have metrics in place when giving weight to the product reviews.

Trying to keep food costs down not only start with the consumer but the manufacturer so when they save we save. At least I hope the food costs trickle down to the consumer that way.

I couldn’t imagine producing a product solely based on product reviews unless they came from focus groups where free product was offered in return for an opinion.

After some thought about this I likely would not participate in this type of a marketing promotion. If Johnsonville offered free in-store product samples and then asked for product reviews of their new product lines then yes but I’m not willing to risk money in hopes I MIGHT like it nor am I going to lie that I tried it just to get a coupon.

Great idea with the product line but hey, I make my own meatballs and I love them!

Would you purchase a new product to review in order to get a coupon? Do you think people will simply lie to get a coupon?


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!

Note: I will be posting the 2015 Grocery Game schedule next week which resulted in a 5th week of shopping for December to start the 2015 year off on the right foot.

Next week will be the final GGC post for 2014 so get all your shops in on time to be considered for the monthly prize. The final post will share the schedule and our grocery budget year in review.

It would be great to see all of you put together a mini year in review for all of us to see how you did plus what your 2015 grocery goals will be.



Grocery Saving Tips


Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Join Now Neilsen HomescanJoin Now Neilsen HomescanNEW: Sign up today! >>> Homescan Canada! Now Accepting Applications from CBB fans!

Join the Nielsen Homescan consumer panel today!!

If chosen you will receive rewards by scanning the bar code 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 Home Chef Nicola Don and myself are shared every Sunday on the blog. Check it out!

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 1 x 4L Milk $3.77

Total out-of-pocket $ 3.77


 Check Out Our 2014 Grocery Budget


Yearly grocery budget for two 2014: $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: $3.77
  • 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: over $0.19
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: over $0.19
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $15.99-$5.96=$10.03-$6.45= $3.58
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: -$0.19
  • 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 $89.91

Weekly Overview: We only needed milk as we are away for 10 days and won’t be needing anything until we get back.


 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.

I managed to pick up one decent coupon this week when I made a mad dash into Zehrs with my wife to go to the bank. It’s buy any three of the products listed and save $2.00. This is a great coupon!

  • Saputo
  • International Delight
  • Armstrong Cheese
  • Neilson >>>> Can we all say BUTTER!
  • Heluva Good Dip!

Saputo coupon 2014

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!

There will be one more grocery game challenge post to end off the 2014 year next week! Get your posts in to be considered for the monthly coupon prize!



Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

Please note: When you sign-up for Nielsen Homescan CBB gets paid a portion of money as an affiliate which then helps to fund this blog.

Photos Courtesy of


Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. I shop for 2 adults and a 4 year old boy. Our budget is $85/week or $425 for this month and includes laundry, health/beauty, etc.
    Del Monte veggies 8 x $.77
    Lay’s chips 2 x $1.88
    Frosted flakes $3.97
    Ritz 2 x $1.47
    Milk $3.97
    Kraft cheese slices 2 x $2.97 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    BD cheese $3.97
    Carrots (10lbs) $1.67
    Potatoes (10lbs) $1.67
    Bananas $.73
    Bacon $3.77
    Kaisers $2.89
    Bread $2.50
    Hot dog buns $2.88
    Coupons $2.00
    OOP $45.31

    M&M’s candy 10 x $.78 – $10.00 CO51 (=$1.20 overage) X 2
    Rebates $20.00
    OOP $+2.38 (overage)

    Gum 2 x $2.00
    OOP $4.52

    Rice krispie square bars 2 x $1.66 – 2 x $1.00 coupons
    Coupons $2.00
    OOP $1.61

    Fresh Co
    Janes chicken 4 x $6.97
    Bacon $3.99
    NN Pam $3.19
    Distilled water 2 x $.97
    Spring water 4 x $1.97
    OOP $44.88

    Goldfish crackers 3 x $1.97
    Cashews 2 x $2.97
    Carr’s crackers 2 x $2.00 – $1.00 coupon
    Tostitos 2 x $4.49 – 2 x FPC
    Smartfood $2.00
    Tostito dip 2 x $4.19 – 2 x FPC
    Campbell’s soups 8 x $.48
    Diet coke 4 x $1.97
    Eggs $1.97
    Cream cheese $2.97
    Bananas $.98 – $.50 Co51
    Broccoli $.99
    Strawberries 2 x $2.98
    Chocolate croissants 2 x $1.19
    Bread $2.27
    Wonderbread $2.00
    Vaseline $4.98
    Coupons $18.36
    Rebates $.50
    OOP $57.48

    ****Because I am doing this so late I cannot remember what I price matched and to where and exactly what coupons were used and where so this may not be completely accurate****
    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: $340 + $43.37 carried over if needed
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $22.36
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $36.06
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $1049.98
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $20.50
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $33.25
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, $200.00
    • 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: 70,000
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 210,000 or $210.00
    • Total tax free day this week: $0
    • Total tax free day this month: $0
    • Total tax free day this year: $81.98
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $20.95
    • Total Spent This Week: $151.42
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $180.77
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $129.88
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $173.25
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $4015.88
    Weekly overview: I am $404.12 under budget for the year!!!!!!!!! I will be leaving my budget the same as I will have another family member in the New Year and if you look at what I used in gift cards plus reward points this year it comes to $508.04 so then I would have been over budget. I’m pleased with how we did this year. We still have meat in the freezer and are contemplating a meat order again this year as we did prefer the quality of the meat.

    1. Hi Jen,
      Congratulations!!! I’m SO PROUD of you. You worked your butt off to make this happen and I knew you could do it. All the extra work you put into getting points and gift cards etc paid off for you and that’s clear because the numbers don’t lie. Had you of not tracked your shops you would not have known how important this is to your overall grocery budget and financial health of the family. Well done. Where do you get your meat order from? Is it all of the GTA or just your area? Mr.CBB you get ballot.8.

  2. With so many new products out in the market, I as a customer normally take this chance because some of them are really free and some even give giveaways. However, I’d like to try out that grocery challenge. I haven’t encountered one here in our area. I hope there is one so that I can participate.

    1. Jason, join us here on the Grocery Game Challenge. We have folks that post from different parts of the world in several currencies. It’s interesting to know where you shop, the currency and we can see how some items are more expensive or less expensive in certain parts of the world. What’s really important, the tracking helps you see if you are on track each month & where you might possibly be able to trim a little. I personally shop in both Canada and the USA and use the GGC to help me stay on track in both countries in terms of my grocery budget. 🙂

  3. As far as coupons for my opinion, it really depends on the product. I’ve bought food that sounds good and was for the 1st or 2nd bite but after that, not so much. I realize that we need to take risk if we are going to expand our food choices but as you mentioned, my $ is not something that I can afford to waste.

    I’ll be back next year for GGC as it has it’s own page in my spreadsheet workbook.

  4. Last posting of the 2014 year for GGC…..

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 2800 (my daughter’s points)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $9.09 ($9.10 Human)

    NN Marshmallows = $2.79
    2 Simply Orange Juice – $2.97 (PM NF) = $5.94

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 1500
    Total Out Of Pocket: $112.43 ($34.14 Pet, $78.29 Human)

    1.6 kg Purina Cat Chow = $8.23
    3.18 kg Friskies Stuffed Morsels = $12.99
    Club Pack – Friskies Variety Pack (12 Cans) = $8.99

    White Chocolate Chips – $2.49 (PM FB) = $2.49
    6 Cans – NN Cream of Mushroom Soup – 3/$2.00 (1200 PC Points) = $4.00
    PC Hazelnut Spread – (300 PC Points) = $2.99
    2 Cans – Franco Beef Gravy – $0.67 (PM NF) = $1.34
    1 Can – Gold Seal Salmon – 3/$5.00 (PM NF) = $1.66
    2 Cans – Gold Seal Tuna – 3/$5.00 (PM NF) = $3.34
    2L 7Up – $0.97 (PM NF) = $0.97
    Honey Nut Cheerios = $3.98
    Bread Crumbs = $2.99
    Maple Extract = $2.99
    2L Sprite – $0.97 (PM NF) = $0.97
    PC Egg Nog = $2.99
    Extra Large Eggs = $2.97
    NN Salted Butter = $3.97
    2 Blocks – NN Framers Marble Cheese – $3.88 (PM NF) = $7.76
    2 lbs Chef Margarine = $2.59
    4L Skim Milk = $3.97
    BD Fat Free Slices – $2.99 (PM FB) = $2.99
    HL Battered Fish – $5.00 (PM FB) = $5.00
    Chapman’s Black Cherry = $3.98
    Green Giant Mixed Vegetables = $1.98
    10 lb Carrots = $1.67
    Sweet Potatoes – 1.575 kg @ $1.70/kg (PM NF) = $2.68
    Salt Reduced Bacon – $3.77 (PM NF) = $3.77
    2 Loaves Whole Wheat Bread – 2/$4.00 = $4.00

    Name Your Store: Target
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.94 ($3.94 Human)

    2 Loaves Whole Wheat Bread – $1.97 = $3.94

    Name Your Store: St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $8.75 ($8.75 Human)

    Grapes = $2.00
    Strawberries – 2/$6.00 = $6.00
    Bananas – $0.29/lb = $0.75

    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 : $0.00
    Total Coupons Used This Month: $2.00
    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Month: $3.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this week: 1500
    Total Rewards Points Used:
    Stockpile Budget: $0.00
    Total Over/Under spend this shop: $60.08 over (Human); $24.14 over (Pet)
    Total Spent This Week: $100.08 (Human); 34.14 (Pet)
    Total Spent So Far for December: $57.43 + $42.26 +$134.22= $233.91
    Total Over/Under spend for the month of December: $33.91 over\
    Total Left to Spend for the Month: $0.00 Human; $0.00 Pet
    Total to Carry Over Next Month: $N/A
    Total Spent To Date This Year: $3,456.44
    Weekly Overview: This week, I finished my grocery shopping for the year. The only thing that I can see still buying is milk and I might make my daughter purchase that with her PC Points since she received 2800 points for some OJ that was part of her PC offers. Its hard to believe that this year is just about over but the nice thing with a new year (just like a new month) is a clean slate takes place. Old things are put away but new things are not forgotten and if you are lucky, you won’t be making those same mistakes for the new year.

    1. Hi Dee,
      Yay, you finished the GGC for the year although I believe you started part way through. It will be nice to have you start the 2015 year off fresh to see how you progress over the course of the year. I’m hoping we can make some changes to the way we eat and how we make our purchases this coming year. We really struggle with sticking to our list. You are right a clean slate is a good thing. So, from what you’ve posted this year in the GGC what have you learned about your grocery shopping, grocery budget etc.?You get ballot 9. Mr.CBB

      1. Well the biggest thing that I’ve learned was about price matching and I will have to start recording what the price was at the store that I’m using to price match at to see what the actual savings I’m actually receiving. This year, I’m also going to leverage my daughter’s PC Points so that when she obtains the 20,000 points, she can buy items that she wants or we need and it’s outside of my budget.

        This coming year, I’ve expanded the categories that I can record all my purchases (groceries and all else). This will help assist me on knowing where the most of my money is going. I’ll be also continue on how I record my purchases for the GGC (as shown above) as well as how I break down the purchase on the result section.

  5. I would prefer having the coupon first if I am going to try a new product…… Back when hubby was still working Maple Leaf/Schneiders brought out those Naturals meat products and the plant had a bbq for the workers so they could try the products. He had a hotdog I believe but didn’t like it so I have never bothered with the product line. I did get some tea bags sent to me after doing a survey and they are supposed to send me another survey for my opinion….Yorkshire Tea…… Hear of that one??
    I think I would only be interested if it was a product I would use if I was to try a new product. Sweeten the deal with a good coupon and/or samples and I’d think a little harder about trying something.
    I’ll see how the schedule goes for the GGC for next year before \I decide how I want to do it. This month has been hard to get to posting and even harder to stay in line…definately something I need to work on and learn from. Not quite the learning curve as last year but there is still one there. I’m trying and it’s going to get harder as prices are going up but not the income right now….
    Merry Christmas to you and the family……

    1. Hi Christine,
      Yes I’ve heard of Yorkshire tea. I agree that having that FPC would certainly help. I ALWAYS see a decline in GGC posts at Christmas. It’s busy for us as well but I don’t stop budgeting because the minute I take my foot off the petal and put the brakes on it’s hard to get back on track. With grocery prices slated to increase in 2015 it will be essential for all of us to track our expenses closely. At least that’s our plan of action. We’ve learned lots this year about our grocery buying habits. Have a Merry Christmas Christine and Family! Mr.CBB

  6. DECEMBER – Week #4 of 5- Dec 22-28, 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



    There are no shops to report this week as we are away on vacation and using our “vacation reserves” for whatever we purchase. I do plan to shop on the 28th in the US but by the time we have my FREE birthday dinner, get home (another couple of hours at least), we offload the car from our vacation and unpack the laundry to be done plus get the water, heat and internet turned back on and a furnace filter changed…it’ll be late…too late to start working on my GGC post.

    I made the decision that I will post whatever groceries I pick up stateside in my GGC week #5 rather than try and deal with it late at night. I won’t need much though as hubby and I will be in the US in February.

    I got a nice free little perk this week. I got an email from AMEX that they were giving me a 200 Air Mile Bonus simply for being a card member and shopping at an Air Miles sponsor. Seeing as I hardly grocery shopped this month to get any air miles, that was a nice surprise perk! 🙂



    NO SHOPS UNTIL Dec 29th!



    NO USA SHOPS UNTIL Dec 28th! < will be included in my GGC week #5



    •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+ Dec $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+Dec $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+Dec $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 103= 236 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+Dec 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+Dec 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 40+Dec 0= 180 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$158.81+ Dec($12.50 trf to borscht+$20.00 to Summer$67.50 trf to US Reserve=$4.59 = $104.59)= $1,775.53

    •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+Dec $142.50 = $1,800.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $24.47 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 $47.50+Dec($17.50 trf to re-stocking + $30 trf to US Reserve = $47.50) = $660.00

    •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+Nov$47.50+Dec $47.50 = $660.00

    •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+Nov$35.00+Dec$17.50= $325.00 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+Dec $12.50= $412.50 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+Nov $20.00+Dec $20.00= $90.00 AVAILABLE


    • TOTAL SPENT Year-To-Date:

    $1,775.53 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 =


    $2,280.00 may have been budgeted for JAN to DECEMBER ‘2014 but we have these funds already accounted for and not yet spent:

    $325.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $412.50 Borscht Fund
    $110.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 90.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $937.50 … that is a $400.00 carry-forward from 2013 and $537.50 in NEW 2014 savings.

    So, if you look at the $2,854.25 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $537.50 we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $240.80 ($146.80+94.00) we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $2,080.54!! That is $199.46 UNDER the $2,280.00 we budgeted for January through December.

    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 $1,561.23 of the budgeted $2,280.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $718.77 still sitting in our bank account.

    IF you pay any attention to how we paid for the groceries, then we seemingly have $718.77 AVAILABLE. If you count all grocery purchases regardless where the funds came from, we have actually have $199.46 still available this year but most of it is buried in our reserves.

    We still have 2 weeks of vacation coming this month that will help us finish the year pretty darned close to on budget.



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: $24.47
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.02
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $146.80
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    NONE! :'( << I just cleaned out my coupon/rain check envelope this morning and I have lots of bonus Air Miles coupons good until March 2015, one 6 cent gas discount good until Jan 20, 2015, one free product coupon for $10.00 with Gold Seal good until 2016 but not a single rain check. I'll do my flyers this week while I am still away… and the hunt is on to re-stock my rain checks for deals in 2015! LOL


    1. Hi Mary,
      That was a nice surprise to get in the mail. Sometimes we get little offers in the mail that are unexpected like that too. I hope your holidays are going well. Where do you get your gas discount coupons? I can’t wait to see how your rain checks work for you in 2015. I think I might try to do the same if I can. I’m not sure how so I might need some pointers from you. 🙂 You get ballot 8. Mr.CBB

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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