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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

 

shopping-cart

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!

-Mr.CBB

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