YOUR NUTRITION SURVIVAL SHELTER
Over the years we have seen our food stockpile dwindle but back between 2010-2012 stockpiling our cold room, pantry and freezer using coupons and flyer specials was a way of life, not so much these days.
We’ve taken a different approach to stockpiling simply because we weren’t able to get through the food that we were buying in bulk using coupons. We are still trying to use up baked beans that are coming due this year.
Having an emergency food stash that is ready to eat up just in case something happens to your finances is great but having shelf-stable products are key to building the best stockpile. When I say shelf-stable I mean products that don’t really have a shelf-life or have a very long shelf-life like dried beans, a quality stockpile item of ours.
I know some of our friends who have a pantry it’s just filled to the top with junk and convenience foods and although it may fill your tummy you can still eat healthy and stockpile good food on a budget.
Why have a stockpile budget then if we don’t plan to stockpile lots of food?
A valid question, let me explain.
The Stockpile Budget
First off let’s talk about what a stockpile budget is or means to us because there is a distinct difference between having a stockpile and a stockpile budget. I will talk about both below.
Since we no longer stock hoards of food there are still times when we see a good deal on a product and stocking up is ideal. Yes, it will save you money over time IF you eat that product on a regular basis.
The overall reason to have a stockpile of food is to buy them in large quantities when you find the best prices in case you were to lose one income, failed health or other emergencies.
I don’t know HOW MANY times we bought food just because we had coupons and the product ended up being cheap. In our heads we would think that it’s food right? It’s cheap right? We might eat it, right? WRONG! Most times the food we stockpiled went into the garbage which I’m not proud of or was donated to our local Food Bank.
Some people may see a big pay off with stockpiling tonnes of food but in the end if it ends up in the garbage you’re not really paying anyone but the garbage man.
We know we will use the products but there will always be sales and whether you spend the money now or later it’s all money that will come out of your budget. There is no real budget surplus as some may believe just because one month you aren’t spending money on certain items. You’ve previously spent it in bulk so yes you’ve spent money which would have been used regardless.
Where we do see huge pay-offs is with toiletries, health and beauty and cleaning supplies because we haven’t had to buy them since our couponing years although on the odd occasion we might stock up on a good deal but this is not part of the grocery budget in our family.
In the past we used to add Health and Beauty into our grocery budget but we have since given that it’s own budget category with a projected expense of $17.00 a month to help us to really see a breakdown of numbers.
- Stock only what you will eat!
If you are wondering if we had designated food rooms in our house…no we didn’t have a house that looked like those on extreme couponing but there were times we had to question just how much food we needed in our lives.
Most times people eat more than they should and having tonnes of food around especially if you have no self-control isn’t always the best idea. That’s me by the way although we never stocked up on chips but there was a point were granola bars got out of hand and those are just as dangerous as real chocolate bars.
The reality is there is only so much food a family can eat with products that have expiry or best-before dates which are some-what important to us depending on the product. Cereal for example we had box upon box of them on the shelves. We hardly put a dent in them and even though they may have cost us a $1.00 a box it was money wasted in terms of our grocery budget because we never got the chance to eat them.
We never really donated cereal as we thought we would become big cereal eaters but that never panned out. That was our loss and learning experience. It wasn’t just the cereal either. We could stand in our cold room and although we had all the emergency essentials we needed food wasn’t an essential that would last forever like toothpaste might.
After all we were only two people eating in this house so it started to dawn on us that maybe leaning more towards meal planning and stocking limited amounts of certain foods was the SMARTER way to go, for us.
- Stock only what you will eat!
The great part is a few of The Grocery Game fans who post their shops each week have come to appreciate having a stockpile budget and have incorporated it into their overall family budget.
We really worked hard on our grocery budget when we started the grocery game not only to save money in our grocery budget and track our expenses but because we wanted to stop buying so much food. There is a fine line between being a money saver and someone who is dishing out our cash at the grocery store for nothing.
- Stock only what you will eat!
These days if you were to get a tour of our food stash you will be surprised to see just two small shelves filled with some basics, pasta, tuna, dry beans, sauces etc. but that’s the extent of it I’m afraid. Funny thing is that we belong to many Facebook group sites and it’s not uncommon for people to give away food from their stockpile that they can’t or won’t eat.
How does the stockpile budget figure into all of this?
Well, it came to the point where Mrs.CBB and I were analyzing the numbers in our grocery budget only to see that there were months where we would spend more and it was because we bulk shopped for one food item. A VERY popular item on our food shopping list is cheese.
If the cheese is on sale, look out because Mrs. CBB and I will run you down! Ok, not that bad but we do love our cheese, just not the plastic stuff or cheese in a jar or can. We like the real deal especially if we can get it with 50% off pink stickers at Zehrs or RCSS.
- Stock only what you will eat! (I know you are seeing a trend here)
Spending $20 on cheese is very easy for us to do but it would eat into our monthly budget. One of our fans always had this stockpile budget she talked about in her grocery game shops that started the wheels turning in my head. Why don’t we have one?
How do you use the stockpile budget?
Here’s the kicker, if you don’t spend it one month you lose it. It’s not a shopping game to us either. There is no point where we try and find something, anything to buy just because we want to use up the stockpile budget every month. That’s defeating the purpose.
We don’t carry over our stockpile budget but we have $25 available to spend on bulk shopping only. It’s not $25 to use to balance out our grocery shopping because we spent too much.. no, no, no don’t abuse it that way. If you do that than you might as well just add another $25 to your grocery budget and be done with it.
It’s your choice if you carry over month to month what you don’t spend but we opt not to. I can share with you all the budgeting tips that I know or that we follow but it’s ultimately your decision based on your unique situation how you handle your money. We track our stockpile budget in our weekly grocery game challenge posts as you will see below.
Keeping a running total helps us to see how much we are spending and it helps with the end of year figures. If we notice we spent the stockpile budget every month than we may consider adding a few more dollars like we did this year.
In 2014 our stockpile budget was $20 but since we made such good use of it we have now changed it to $25. Another consideration for the jump is grocery prices are slated to rise in 2015 so having that extra $5 will help cushion that blow.
This week for example we found Gold Seal tuna on sale for $0.99 so I bought a case of 24 that will last at least a few months. We love our tuna and know it won’t be sitting around.
On the other hand we had coupons last year for $1.00 off tuna that was filled with jalapeno, sun-dried tomatoes etc. and although I would still eat this tuna it’s not my favourite.
I could have picked cans of them up for near free last year but turned away because I knew they would be sitting for ages and regular cans of tuna would always bump them out-of-the-way when it came time to make tuna sandwiches or tuna and noodles.
This is where we had to ask ourselves if it was worth the money to spend on that tuna just because it was near free and we MIGHT eat it all up. We aren’t bothering any longer if we can’t look at a product and drool, we don’t buy it.
We also limit how many of one item we keep as a stockpile item so we don’t have too much food sitting around. Our aim is not to turn our basement into a grocery store but to be sensible with our spending and opt for healthy food choices that help keep our budget and pantry well-balanced.
The stockpile budget has been a surprisingly easy way for us to buy what we need in bulk when it goes on sale without the guilt of using up our actual grocery budget leaving us no wiggle room. This was the intention of the stockpile budget and it might just work for you!
Only you can decide if the stockpile budget is right for you but don’t forget it’s not like your regular grocery budget it’s simply money that you tuck away for those rainy day specials that you MUST have.
Do you have a stockpile budget?
January 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!
The GROCERY GAME WEEKS 2015 <<<< Click and print the weeks so you have them handy!
Congratulations to DEE (Ballot #4) for winning the December 2014 Grocery Game Challenge! Email me for your prize Dee!
Grocery Saving Tips
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
NEW 2015!!: 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.
2015 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!
Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month.
- Fuji Apples $1.36
- 2 x English cucumber $0.88 each + 800 PC Plus points
- 5ct Avocado $2.47+ 400 PC Plus points
- 1lb Radishes $1.47
- 2 x broccoli $1.27 each
- Bananas $1.92-$0.25 Zweet rebate
- Sweet Potatoes $1.47
Total Out-Of-Pocket: $12.99
- Knorr Beef cubes 4 x $0.99 each
- 24 x Goldseal Tuna $0.99 each $23.76 (Stockpile budget)
- 2 x whole wheat Premium Plus crackers $2.99 each
- 2 x Vitasana gnocchi $2.29 each
- Porchetta Marc Angelo $11.99-40%
- 3 x grape tomatoes $0.99 each
- Romaine Lettuce $1.97
- Tuscan tortillas 2/$3.00
Total Out-Of-Pocket: $33.17
- 6 x 4L Neilson Milk Blowout $2.97
Total Out-Of-Pocket: $17.82- $1.24 to (Stockpile budget) $16.58
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 1200
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
I reset this for 2015 to see earning potential.
- Snap Groupon to date: $ 0
- Zweet to date: $0.25
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $0
GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
- Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $25.00
- Stockpile budget used to date: $25.00
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $4.80
- Total in-store discounts to date: $4.80
- Total spent this week: $62.74
- Total spent so far this month: $62.74
- Total over/Under spend this shop: $4.00 over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $4.00 over
- Total left to spend for the month: $172.76
- Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): We definitely took the opportunity to use our stockpile budget this week as we needed to stock up on a couple of items that were great prices.
Clearly adding the $5.00 extra for 2015 to our stockpile budget will benefit us. Tuna costs a fortune when it’s not on sale as does milk and we picked up both for a great deal this week.
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.
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 but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?:
YesNo, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. 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.
- Canadian Coupons: 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 Betterthat 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.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: 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 2015 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. If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
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 2015!
Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.
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