Join The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 : 2014 Overview and Final Shop #5 2014 Dec 29-Jan 4, 2015

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 the grocery game challenge 2015 cover 2THE GROCERY BUDGET COUNTS!


I can’t believe The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 is upon us but as we enter a brand new year of grocery savings we get the opportunity to make it right.

If you are new to Canadian Budget Binder or landed on this page because you want to take control of your grocery budget in 2015 you’ve made a wise decision.

The Grocery Game Challenge Canada is now starting in its fourth year and I’m proud to have so many fans join me along the way.

I’d like to start this post off with a huge round of applause for all of the CBB fans that made it to the end of 2014 posting their grocery shops. I’m proud of your success and improvements along the way.

What is The Grocery Game Challenge?

The GGC as we like to call it is a weekly grocery budget update post by my family. We have a set grocery budget for two (now three as we have a new baby) and we do our best to stick to it.

Part of the grocery savings plan is meal planning, writing a grocery list and trying new recipes so we don’t get bored with the same foods every week. The best part about the GGC is the fans who participate are all willing to help each other out whether it be through motivation or simply answering questions.

Over the years I’ve started to put all the amazing GGC posts into one spot which are now part of The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide for Canadians. I will continue to do this in 2015 and encourage all of you to participate in topic ideas so we can explore together money saving tips to help keep our budgets in check.

If you have a topic you think hasn’t been covered and would like to recommend something please email me. I’m always open to hear what the fans have to say since this Grocery Game Challenge is to help all of us not just Mrs. CBB and I.

How do you participate in The Grocery Game Challenge 2015? I knew you would ask…..

I wrote The Grocery Game Rules years ago and not much has changed except for new coupon app savings programs that we’ve added to the weekly write-up. I encourage you to read the rules and if you have any questions to please let me know. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes as we are all here to help.

At the end of every month I draw a number from all the Grocery Game Challenge posts that all of you leave over the course of the month and a winner will get sent an envelope of money-saving coupons. This is just a small perk of the program because the biggest win will be the end of year numbers you get to drool over like we will be today.

The Grocery Game Challenge is open world-wide although the monthly prize is only for Canadians. We have had many participants from other countries join in the fun because they are dedicated to their budget and they want to gain control of their finances.

I don’t think Mrs. CBB and I would be where we are today, mortgage and debt-free if we didn’t stick to our guns when it came to the budget and how/where we spent our money. I know many of the GGC participants would certainly agree that posting their shops have not only saved them money but they’ve learned more about their shopping habits which helps them to make better decisions when grocery shopping.

The Grocery expenses next to rent/mortgage is one of the biggest expenses in the budget. We started the GGC for the simple reason that we were overspending on food every month. There had to be a way to hold ourselves accountable and this is how the beginning of the GGC started.


Our Grocery Game Challenge 2014 Final Results


In 2014 Mrs. CBB and I set a grocery budget of $2820 and of that we spent $2788.36 for the year meaning we spent less than we budgeted for in 2014. We were pretty happy about that considering we had some months we over-spent and had some serious catching up to do.

What was interesting was the amount of coupons we used in 2014 which amounted to a whopping $74.19 which does not surprise us. We have noticed little by little that we don’t use as many. Stockpiling food is not huge on our radar any longer as we simply could not get through the food on time.

As for household products we used so many coupons in 2010-2012 that we are well stocked for many years to come. We may buy the odd items but for the most part we have hardly put a dent in our laundry soap, toilet paper, toiletries and soaps of all kinds.

You will notice we added in a $20 stockpile budget in 2014 and it worked out great for us. The total stockpile budget available for the year was $240 and of that we used $185.18. Having the stockpile budget available worked so well for us that we have changed the budget from $20 to $25 for 2015. With grocery prices slated to increase in the New Year and changes to our diet this might just come in handy.

In 2014 we redeemed one cheque from Snap Groupon by using coupon apps. We started late in the year with the coupon apps and hope to see more savings in 2015 although it’s always hit or miss with the products they offer savings for. Our aim for 2015 is eating as fresh as possible!

Once you reach the bottom of this post you will see our final grocery budget expenses and savings for 2014 and I hope they will motivate you to join The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 with all of us.

For those of you who are reading this today and want to cut your grocery costs in 2015 really put forth the effort to participate as you WILL save money. If I still haven’t convinced you to join The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 I encourage you to read these two blog posts that will blow your mind!

The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 Weekly Overview for our household will look like this below. I encourage you to use the same thing by copy/pasting the chart below into a word document, fill it out then copy/paste it into a comment for the relevant week Grocery Game Post.

You can design your own as well or something similar so we can all follow your shops. Always leave comments about your shop so we know what happened. Read the Grocery Game rules for all the details!

A huge thanks to CBB fan and GGC participant Mary who designed our Grocery Game Challenge 2015 weeks for us. You don’t have to follow the exact weeks but you MUST post your shops as you shop so we can follow along with your monthly progress. It doesn’t matter if you shop once or 5 times.

2015-CORRECTED-GGC-Weeks<<<< Click and print the weeks so you have them handy!

Please note I’ve updated the excel document since the beginning of the year and one date error was found. It has been corrected.


The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 Weekly


(Here is your sample weekly overview chart)

Note: Always…. copy paste this into word or email just in case something happens with the blog server and we lose it or you lose it while typing it straight into the blog comments for whatever reason. It’s better to be safe and type it up first then copy it over. (If you need help with this please let me know)

  • Name Your Store: i.e. Zehrs
  • Total Coupons Used: $
  • Total Out Of Pocket: $

Do the above for each receipt you have then copy the template below and paste it to the bottom of your shop so we can see your results.

Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date:
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $

Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

  • Snap Groupon to date: $
  • Zweet to date: $
  • Cart Smart to date: $
  • Checkout51 to date: $

GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $
  • Stockpile budget used to date: $
  • Total coupons used this week: $
  • Total coupons used to date: $
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $
  • Total spent this week: $
  • Total spent so far this month: $
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $
  • Total left to spend for the month: $
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):


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!

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 =Yearly Total $185.18
  • 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 $93.68

Weekly Overview: We finished another grocery game year.. Yippie!!


 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.

December 2014 Canadian Coupons

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 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!

Get ready… next week begins The Grocery Game Challenge 2015! Join in and start saving some money!



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  1. Hey Mr.CBB
    I will miss all the savings at Target a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I didn’t always spend the $125 a week during 2014.
    I just found out this week that when produce gets checked and refused at the Sobey’s warehouse it is sold to places like H&W Produce and that is why they can sell it so cheap and the quality not be 100% because the companies just wanna make some money on it even if it is at a loss.
    We love our eggnog and only paid regular price for it once and then managed to get it on sale the rest of the times.
    Happy new year to you and the family!

  2. This is actually my first shop of 2015
    I am going to try and go back to the $100 a week instead of the $125 a week I was doing in 2014. We will see how it goes and adjust if need be later in the year. I do have a large stockpile so I think it will help keep our budget in check.
    H&W Produce (making it habit to shop here more often because the prices are great but you must use the produce up quickly)
    $2.17 yams
    .47 jalapenos
    .40 pasilla peppers
    $5.42 butternut squash
    $3.98 20lbs russet potatoes
    $1.56 granny smith apples
    $4.87 ambrosia apples
    .50 lemos
    $19.40 total oop
    $4.99×2(raincheck) -$1Cx2 cheese whiz
    $8 total toop
    $2 total coupons
    $2.99-$1C dzn eggs
    $1.99-$1C ritz
    $3 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    $1.49 green leaf lettuce
    $2.31 2L egg nog – clearance
    $3.80 total oop
    $3.99×2-$3store couponx2 3pk coloured peppers
    $2 total oop
    $6 total coupons
    $1.79 icng sugar
    $3.47 whipping cream
    $29.98-$1C pampers diapers
    $35.75 total oop
    $1 total coupons

    $71.90 weekly total oop
    $11 weekly total coupons

    Got some great deals this week!

    1. Hi Juanita
      Are you going to miss all of those savings at Target now that they are closing? Did you actually spend the entire $125 a week in 2014? When you say you need to use the produce up quick are they seconds? You picked up some great deals… I like eggnog but didn’t buy any last year. Happy New Year and here’s to a successful year of grocery shopping. You get ballot 15.

  3. I did this as my first GGC of the year, not the last of 2014.

    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.

    Simply egg whites 2 x $2.97 – 2 x FPC
    Bananas $.83
    Mini chocolate bars $2.00
    Coupons $5.94
    OOP $3.09

    Almond Breeze 2 x $3.50
    Tuna (PM) 5 x $.99
    Froot Loops (PM) $3.97
    Peanut butter (PM NF) 4 x $1.97
    Source yogurt $4.98
    Cavendish fries $2.99
    Wonderbread $2.00
    Vitality bread $2.00
    OOP $35.77

    Goldfish (PM) 4 x $1.88
    Quaker bars (PM) 3/$5.00
    Apple juice $1.50
    Alphagetti (PM) 5 x $1.00
    Vinegar $1.88
    Ritz (PM) 4 x $1.88
    Kraft Parmesan cheese (PM GT) $4.88
    NN string cheese $4.48 (earned 300 PC plus points)
    Milk $3.97
    Salad $1.49
    Bananas $1.86 (earned 200 PC plus points)
    Apples $2.41 (earned 400 PC plus points)
    Tomatoes $2.13 (earned 400 PC plus points)
    Strawberries (PM) $2.99
    Hot dogs (PM) 2 x $.88
    Croissant 2 x $.57 (earned 200 PC plus points)
    Pita (PM) 2 x $1.00
    Coupons $2.00
    OOP $57.43

    ****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)
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $340
    • Total Coupons Used this Week: $7.94
    • Total Coupons Used This Month: $7.94
    • Total Coupons Used this Year: $7.94
    • Total rebates this week (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $0
    • Total rebates this month (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $0
    • Total rebates this year (Checkout 51, Snapsaves, CartSmart, zweet, Save.ca): $0
    • Total SCOP this week: $0
    • Toal SCOP this month: $0
    • Total SCOP this year: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Given Used this Week: $0
    • Total Gift Cards Used this year: $0
    • Total Reward Points Used this week: 0
    • Total Reward Points Used this year: 0
    • Total tax free day this week: $0
    • Total tax free day this month: $0
    • Total tax free day this year: $0
    • Colleague Discount (this year): $0
    • Total Spent This Week: $96.29
    • Total Spent So Far for this month: $96.29
    • Total Over/Under spent for the month: N/A
    • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $243.71
    • Total to Carry over Next Month (if needed): $0
    • Total Spent To Date This Year: $96.29
    Weekly overview: Starting off the year by going over budget for the week! Lol. I’m sure I can make it up somewhere in the next year! Happy New Year!

    1. Oh Jen, You never cease to amaze me or make me laugh. You’re starting off the year over budget haha!! Hilarious but I know that you now know what you need to do to keep on track. It’s not easy but it’s certainly a track I wouldn’t want to fall off from often because it’s a PITA to get back on. I learned that much many times last year. Stop buying that crappy filler cheese and get the real stuff… it’s the best. More expensive but it goes alot further as it’s the real deal!!! Who will do the shopping once baby comes? Ken? Mom? Dad? Shopping service? You? Ballot 9 coming your way. Mr.CBB Happy Days ahead!

  4. I need to finish up the month so I’m goingwith a short version of the posts week by week.
    Week 2, Dec. 5-11
    No Frills , Dec. 5 -$99.97, .30 coupon, $1.50 discount
    Foodland, Dec. 7 -$71.44, $2.00 coupon, 4X2.97=$11.96 stockpile(cheeze whiz)
    Foodland Dec. 10, $11.22
    Total spent for week -$170.67
    Total coupons/discounts -$3.80
    Total spent for month -$347.54
    Carryover -$63.17
    Left for month -$302.46
    Stockpile. -$25.00, spent -$11.96

    Week 3, Dec12-18
    Foodland, Dec 12 -$59.18
    Walmart, Dec. 13 -$67.02, 6X2.87=$17.22 stockpile(butter)
    Foodland, Dec. 17 -$26.54
    Total spent for week. -$152.74
    Total coupons/discounts -$0.00
    Total spent for month -$500.28
    Carryover -$63.17
    Left for month -$149.72
    Stockpile – $25.00 spent $11.96+$17.22=$29.18

    Week 4, Dec. 19-25
    Foodland, Dec. 19 -$130.19, 1.00 coupon, $27.00turkey bucks…didn’t notice until a few days later that I was credited $27.00 in Turkey bucks, thought I only had $21.00!!
    Foodland, Dec. 21 -$56.02
    Foodland Dec.24 -$31.93, $2.00 coupon
    Total spent for week -$218.14
    Total coupons/discounts -$3.00, $27.00 Turkey bucks
    Total spent for month -$718.42
    Carryover -$63.17
    Left for month – $0.00
    Stockpile -$25.00, spent -$29.18

    Week 5, Dec. 26-Jan. 1
    Foodland Dec.28 -$58.16
    Foodland, Dec. 31 -$42.23
    Total spent for week -$98.89
    Total coupon/discounts -$0.00
    Total spent for month -$817.31!!!!!!ouch!!!!
    Carryover -$63.17+$167.31=$230.48 over for year…
    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$647.69+D$817.31=$8030.48
    Stockpile -$25.00, spent -$29.18

    So there is the good, the bad and the ugly… I was doing OK until Nov. then it went to hell for Dec. I need to seriously watch that next year. My best month all year was Feb. and Dec. was the worst. I was within $10.00 of my budget amount in Jan., March, May, June, Oct., and Nov. April, July, Sept., and Dec. we’re the bad months for me. Other than Dec. I’m not sure why they were so rough but I now know where I really need to work on things a lot better. I am over for the year by $230.48!!! That is not good. It’s less than half of my overage form last year but I still need to do better. My budget amount has to stay the same as last year as income is the same. So $650.00 a month with $25.00 stockpile for the month.
    I saved the template for next year and will try to use that, with help I’m sure from the boys. A new year and another chance to work at this and get things in line next year….

    1. Hi Christine,
      I like the overview… lol but you are right you should watch next year. Look at the December figures and know that Dec may be a busy month for you and factor that in. You may want to consider a projected expenses account for December so you put aside a bit of money every month so it’s available in December for your busiest month or buy what you need along the way but keep in mind this will still add to your overall budget no matter what way you slice it. Our budget amount is staying the same and our stockpile budget has gone up $5. You went over quite a bit don’t beat yourself up over it. You WILL do better this year PLUS you are really tracking your expenses now and have a more accurate idea of where the money is going. I don’t know how we would survive financially if we didn’t track our finances. You’ll make improvements and I can’t wait to track them. P.S keep in mind you shop at one of the most expensive grocery stores until you can get to No Frills.. that’s pretty darn good. You get ballot 11. Mr.CBB

      1. I do realize that Foodland is not the cheapest place but it is cheaper than my alternative here in town. I try to get to town for the shops when I can. I’m working on cleaning out the freezers to start the year which will give me more room to, hopefully, start the Christmas food shopping earlier and toss in the freezer. The biggest problem getting to places like No Frills this time of the year is road conditions. We live in the snow belt and lake effect snows are a fact of life to be dealt with. I like the idea of setting money aside for Dec. groceries to help out there but that might mean hiding some money in my wallet to use when I see a really good sale or can get to the bulk stores. I’m also hoping to save up things like the PC points to use too…..
        I am getting better but there is still plenty of room for improvement and I am lucky that I have my friends here to help me out with recipes and ideas!!!! Thanks!!!!

        1. This is why you have to give yourself a pat on the back because given your options you did pretty darn awesome Christine. What are some of your goals for 2015?

    2. Christine, ever thought of setting up a Christmas reserve like I have? I set aside $10 per month and it gives me an extra $120 for December. I haven’t used it the last couple of years because we are away on vacation at Christmas but one of these days, I will stay home and be grateful for having saved it up. 🙂

      I am also changing the stores I shop at a little. Now that Thrifty’s, IGA and Safeway are all giving Air Miles and I can’t use those for food…RCSS & Extra Foods became top on my list for PC.Plus Points (curently have $60 redeemable saved up) and Save On Foods for MORE points because those are redeemable for food too. SDM still runs the best egg sales in town though so they have my egg business. 🙂

  5. DECEMBER – Week #5 of 5- Dec 29, 2014 – January 4, 2015


    •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



    Finally! Shopping to report this month!!! LOL 🙂

    If you look at the analysis that I did below, we are a few $’s over on the Canadian shop this month, came in under on the US monthly shopping figure, we increased our reserves that we saved this year and (drum roll please!) the Year-to-Date Grocery final tally is UNDER by $43.64.

    I recorded things as spent but they are actually in saved in our reserves (Borscht, Re-Stocking, Christmas and Summer Reserves) so not all of the $2,886.93 that we recorded as spent was actually spent… only $2,236.36 was and hence the actual figure of $43.64 under on the year. Note: this included replacing the contents of my full size garage fridge when it gave up the ghost and died this year. That hurt! I almost cried!!!

    I budgeted $2,280.00 into the bank account for groceries BUT I found other ways to pay for some of them including points redemptions, rebate cheques and gift cards so the actual cash amount I used was $1,717.05 of the budgeted $2,280.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $562.95! But, I did not receive any grocery gift cards for Christmas this year- it was cash that will go straight into our TFSA’s.

    Therefore, for arguments sake, let’s say $43.64 UNDER is the figure we use when approaching the 2015 grocery planning.

    I don’t see the point in carrying the monthly overage of $3.62 into next year when I am actually under on the year-to-date so, I am going to close off 2014 and open fresh in 2015.

    Now… I have a deep freeze chock-a-block full and 2 fridge freezers the same way so I think it’s safe to say, I can hold the line for another year with the current budget. My pantry: both dry and canned goods are bursting at the seams so we are in excellent shape to open up 2015. As prices are on the increase, I’ll simply do more vegetarian/vegan meals when needed to hold firm to the same budget. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! 🙂



    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 x Red Peppers @ 2 for $3.00
    1 x Orange Pepper $1.21
    1 x Yellow Pepper $1.13
    2 x Red Pepper $2.48
    1 x Green Cabbage $4.57
    1 x bunch of 8 bananas $3.24
    1 x bunch celery $2.49
    1 x 5lb Russet Potatoes $4.99

    •Total OOP: $23.11

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $23.11
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00

    ** Earned 1 Air Mile on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x Dole Chopped Romain $4.98

    •Total OOP: $4.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $4.98
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 5 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    Franz Bakery Outlet – Bellingham

    4 pgs bagels (6-pack) @ 2 for $3 = $6.00
    6 LARGE loaves 100% Whole Wheat Bread @ $1 ea = $6.00
    1 LARGE loaves 100% Whole Wheat Bread FREE

    • US Grocery OOP: $12.00
    Costco – Burlington

    2 KS Crumbled Bacon ($10.59 ea) = $21.18
    1 Spiral Ham $23.68 << Our treat for New Years!
    1 – 2 pack real lemon Juice $5.79

    • US Grocery OOP: $58.94
    Walmart – Burlington

    3 bags Mom Cereal – Rice Krispies ($4.88 ea) = $14.64
    1 Gal FF Milk $3.85
    2 dozen eggs ($1.98 ea) = $3.96
    1 Sour Cream $1.98
    2 Daisy 2% Cottage Cheese ($3.58 ea) = $7.16
    7 Yoplait Light Yogurt ($0.60 ea) = $4.20
    4 pgs Olive Loaf luncheon meat ($3.98 ea) =$15.92
    1 family size sliced apples $4.98

    • US Grocery OOP: $56.79



    •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 1= 1,632 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+23.11+4.98 = $132.68)= $1,803.62

    •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: $3.62 OVER



    •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:

    $1,803.62 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 $2,886.93 calculation that we have spent in 2014 and subtract the $537.50 we recorded as spent but we have actually saved in our “reserves” and the $113.07 ($19.07+94.00) we have recorded as spent but is actually set aside for future USA grocery shopping… we have actually spent $2,236.36!! That is $43.64 UNDER the $2,280.00 we budgeted for January through December. So, we may be over on the monthly Canadian shopping but we are actually under on the year.

    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 $1,717.05 of the budgeted $2,280.00 have a Budgeted Grocery Balance SURPLUS of $562.95!



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($3.62)
    Stockpile: $0.00
    Cash Hiding Spot: $0.02
    Safeway Cash Card $0.00
    Safeway Savings Reward $0.00

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $146.80-12.00-58.94-56.79 = $19.07 Balance
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    NONE! 🙁


    1. Hi Mary,
      WOW, Congratulations you came in under budget! Well done mate! Makes the Grocery Game and a desire to succeed pleasing to accomplish. I agree I wouldn’t carry it over. You might as well start with a clean slate. I’m really going to try hard and track points this year. It may be challenging as it’s another thing on my plate and time is not my friend right now. Congrats again and here’s to another successful shopping year moving forward. You get ballot. 10. Mr.CBB

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