How to control pantry pests in your kitchen : The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 #3 Jan 19-25

how to control pantry pests in your kitchenPESTS  IN YOUR PASTA…


Pantry pests are the last thing I thought I would be sharing in the grocery game BUT it’s a very important part of your kitchen health and budget.

Most families like to buy more than one package of pasta, cereal and other packaged goods especially if they are on sale or by using a coupon it’s too hard to pass up.

The problem with stockpiling your pantry with food is that you MUST eat it. Some people seem to think that food will last forever if there is no expiry date and that’s just not the case.

We haven’t been stocking up much on food the past couple of years because we have struggled to get through it and this past week was another sign as to WHY we won’t be stocking up any longer.

We are very meticulous in the kitchen when it comes to using clips, cleanliness and making sure that food items are stored away properly. The other day though we were surprised to find a visit from the very pantry pests that we try to avoid, flour mites and weevils. They are more common than you think and unless you take notice you might even miss them.

Weevils are often found in dry foods including nuts and seeds, cereal and grain products, such as pancake mix. In the domestic setting, they are most likely to be observed when a bag of flour is opened. Their presence is often indicated by the granules of the infested item sticking together in strings, as if caught in a cobweb. -wiki

Although there are many types of pantry pests that can invade your kitchen flour mites/weevils are the most common and from what I read are harmless if eaten unless you are allergic. No, I don’t want to test that out either!

The bugs thrive in warm spaces and love processed foods such as flour, pasta, beans, pancake mixes, semolina and other processed foods in boxes and bags.

Just because a food product is sealed in a bag doesn’t mean you are safe from pantry pests because once they make an appearance they can poke holes in your bags and boxes gnawing away to get to the food.

When my wife went to get pasta from our dry foods cupboard in the kitchen she was shocked to see the black bugs on the shelf. She is a big baby when it comes to bugs because he HATES them. I mean, REALLY hates them. She freaks out and calls me to remove a spider if she sees it.

You didn’t need to use a piece of sticky tape on the outside of packages to see if there were any flour mites as we could clearly see them but that is one of the easier ways if you aren’t 100% sure if a product is contaminated. We took no chances and tossed the lot.

If you do find something that you think is safe they recommend you put it in the freezer for a few days to kill anything off that might be lurking.

Even though we had our pasta in the jumbo Ziploc bags we noticed they made pin point sized holes all over the bag. We saved nothing. I got a big bag and had to toss all the food into the bin. What a waste of money!


Clean-up of Pantry Pests


How to get rid of weevils or flour mites

Immediately I got a bucket of water and soap with a bit of bleach and cleaned all the cupboards out to make sure I had eradicated every last one of them. You can never be sure so give the space the twice over to make sure. Don’t underestimate where they will hide. I’ve also read that it is recommended to vacuum out the cupboard but you risk re-infestation if you don’t get rid of the bag. I opted just to clean everything very carefully.

Some people like to put Bay leaves in their pantry and cupboards as this is supposed to prevent mites and since we have a full jar of them that is exactly what we’ve done. I’ve also put Bay leaves in our flour to keep the pantry pests from infesting that as well. I don’t know how well it will work but I’m taking no chances.

The last thing you want is for them to keep breeding in your kitchen over and over again. Have a look around the counters, walls or anywhere else they may have gotten too just to be safe. I know it sounds disgusting, but it happens so it’s best to be prepared.


Preventing Pantry Pests


Now we are taking even more steps to prevent this from happening again. We’ve since stopped buying in bulk certain products and will make sure that product is properly sealed and put in hard containers not just Ziploc bags. We’ve added in the Bay leaf to our flour and our cupboards and are making sure that all environments are kept cool and dry.

When we grocery shop we will make sure to inspect products on the shelves before we buy them to make sure there are no sign of pantry pests of any sort. You can easily find them at the grocery store especially if stock is not rotated or packages are broken.

Keeping all the spaces in the cupboards free from crumbs and other spills is another smart way to prevent pantry pests. If you have kids make sure to teach them the importance of sealing up products and provide bag clips which you can buy at almost any dollar store or even Ikea for $2.99 a bag. We bought a few bags last year since we are crazy about making sure everything is closed up.

Don’t beat yourself up if it does happen to you because it doesn’t mean you have a dirty kitchen because these pantry pests find ways into your home when you’re not looking. Be smart and know what to look for and catch them before they breed and eat into your grocery budget!

Have you ever had pantry pests invade your kitchen? What changes have you made to prevent that from happening again?


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!


Grocery Saving Tips


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

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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.

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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.


  • Double Cream Brie $7.49-50%
  • PC Havarti $10.99-50%
  • Cinnamon Sticks $2.58
  • 2x Maxwell House Instant Coffee Sale $3 plus a rain check (Smile Mary 🙂 for 6 more)

Total-out-pocket $18.82

Food Basics

  • 4 x Redpath sugar Sale $11.97

Total-out-pocket $7.90

No Frills

  • PC Chicken Spice $2.49
  • 2x Bag of cloves $1.99

Total-out-pocket $7.47


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: $20.00
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $20.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 9474
  • 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: $0.50
  • 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: $3.00
  • Total coupons used to date: $3.00
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $10.24
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $26.04
  • Total spent this week: $34.19
  • Total spent so far this month: $34.19  $60.74+$34.19=$94.93
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $24.56 under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $137.07
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Since we’ve all been sick with the stomach flu called Gastroenteritis this past week we don’t need much in the way of groceries. My wife is still recovering but baby and I seem to be doing well.


 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 didn’t pick up any coupons this week. Did you?


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?: Yes No, 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 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.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • 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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  1. Name Your Store: Foodland
    2 tomato paste @.59
    3X1l chocolate milk @1.00
    2 pineapple tidbits @1.19
    2 pasta sauce @1.49
    Bananas -.69
    1 jar pickles -1.79
    1 unsweetened Apple sauce -1.79
    1 W/W bread -2.00
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.98
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 bagels -3.89
    2X4l milk @4.88
    2 breakfast sausage @4.99, 50% off both
    1 case pop -4.99
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -5.35
    Tax -.65
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00, discounts -$5.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $57.87

    2 pizza sauce @.89
    2 Alcan foil @.99
    2 pineapple tidbits @1.19
    2 pasta sauce @1.49
    Bananas -.56
    1 bagels -1.99
    1 perogies -1.99
    1 bread crumbs -2.49
    1 frozen fries -2.79
    4 lbs butter @3.33, Stockpile
    1 raisin bread -3.49
    1 I e cream -3.99
    1 Royale paper towels -4.44, stockpile
    1 6pack Royale tissues -4.44, stockpile
    2 Royale TP @4.44
    1 4l milk -4.88
    1 yogurt -4.99
    1 country sausage -5.41, 50% off
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 case pop -5.99
    1 green pepper -1.94
    1 144 count Tetley tea -9.99
    Tax -3.34
    Total coupons -$0.00, Discounts -$7.71
    Total OOP -$96.82

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

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $650.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650.00
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0.00

    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0.00
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0.00
    PC Points Plus Earned to date:0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0.00

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

    Snap Groupon to date: $3.00
    Zweet to date: $12.75, .25 milk this week
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $$5.50

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

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): $22.20 spent
    Stockpile budget used to date: $22.20
    Total coupons used this week: $0.00
    Total coupons used to date: $3.29
    Total in-store discounts this week: $7.71
    Total in-store discounts to date: $15.02
    Total spent this week: $132.49
    Total spent so far this month: $493.18
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $30.01 under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $N/A
    Total left to spend for the month: $156.82
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $493.18

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Another week that I came in under for the week. The butter was a good price so I got more to park in the freezer for now. The tissues were stockpile as was the paper towels. I try to use rags and cloths for cleaning up but the paper towels are handy cleaning up messes that go straight to the garbage can. Looking good to make the month…

    1. Hi Christine,
      Great deal on the tomato paste. Did you know you could freeze it? I’ve never bought that pizza sauce in the can before but it’s small from what I remember. Does it really taste different than making a pizza sauce with huge can of tomatoes and some herbs and spices? I’m curious what goes in that little can of expensiveness. Your family buys lots of beverages in your grocery budget but it was nice to see you found a great deal on the milk AND it was 1 litre not the new smaller versions for the same price. Have you seen them before? Good for you stocking up on butter might as well now because with our luck it will double in price soon. I need to find paper towel on sale soon… 🙂 Keep up the awesome work.. yay! Jan is over! You get ballot 27. Mr.CBB

  2. Name Your Store: i.e. Food Barn (Australia)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $28.33

    Week 3- Jan 19-25, 2015

    Banana (.8 kg)= $2.71
    Cordial x2 @ $3.99=$7.98
    mixed nuts (500g)=$5.15
    smoked almonds (500) = $12.49

    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: $216.67
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $0
    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:0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

    Snap Groupon to date: $0
    Zweet to date: $0
    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 ($0.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $0
    Total spent this week: $28.33
    Total spent so far this month: $98.75
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $117.92(under)
    Total left to spend for the month: $117.92
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $98.75

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    2 bananas are expensive, but they are huge. As previously stated , our meals are included where we are staying for the next month, so this is just our ‘wants’. Trying to pick healthy snacks.Still eating these expensive nuts and cordial makes water taste better, when it isn’t really cold. Do I get a ballot Smile (i will be back in canada in May…ballots are not the reason I’m doing this, but it is the incentive…I’m competitive, that way)

    1. Hi Kathryn,
      I love those smoked almonds you buy. Is that a must have on your grocery list? The first thing I thought when I saw your bananas was the price was high. I would love to see a photo of how huge they are. Is the taste ok though? Sometimes huge fruit amounts to crappy taste. Haha.. nuts make water taste better.. .omg I’m laughing out loud right now mate.. that’s too funny. I give ballots for a monthly prize of coupons. If you will be in Canada for May if you win I can send them once you get here if you are ok with that. 🙂 I think the incentive of being competitive is good. We all like to fight for something we can control especially when there is a prize of savings in our pocket in the end. Keep up the great work! You get ballot 23. Mr.CBB If you had another shop this month just remind me and I’ll give you ballots for them too.

      1. The bananas did actually still taste good….but they were fat too. My husband and I usually shared one, at a time.
        The cordial, not the nuts, made the water taste good 🙂 Is cordial a big thing in the UK? When I was a kid we had a Watkins man (sold house to house, like Avon), and my mother always bought some cordial. I guess the closest think in Canada, would be the Crystal Lites water flavour concentrates.
        Almonds are because I am trying to get enough vitamin E in my diet. After we leave here, I assume we will still buy them, but maybe not as often
        . After cream is frozen, can it still be whipped when it thaws?

  3. Week 3 – January 19 to 25

    • Grocery budget to work with in January: $320
    • Total coupons used this week: $4
    • Total coupons used to date: $5
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $2.29
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $2.29
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $20
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $40
    • Total gift cards used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards used to date: $0
    • Total student discounts this week: $8.31
    • Total student discounts to date: $17.68
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: 1.95
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: 1.95
    • Total spent this week: $67.70
    • Total spent so far this month: $159.25
    • Total left to spend for the month: $160.75
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $159.25

    RCSS: Salt reduced bacon 2.98 x 3 (PM), Pork back ribs 15.44 less discount 2.44: 21.94 less 20 PC Plus redeemed became 1.95 rounded up 1 cent

    RCSS: Motts apple sauce 2 x 2, Pepperidge Farm sweet crisp 2 – 2 FPC, NN Granola bar 1.77 x 2, Campbells cream of mushroom ready to eat 1.50 x 2, Unico Vegetable oil 3.99 (PM), Unico sliced black olives .99 x 3 (PM), 2 kg Kraft peanut butter 6.97 (PM), whole waterchestnuts .59, Yoplait yogurt tubes 2 (PM), eggs 1.99 (PM), 1% milk 3.97, cauliflower 1.98, organic bosc pears 4.98, dole classic salad mix .99 (PM), bananas .94, red peppers 1.43 (PM), grape tomatoes 1.88 (PM), organic kiwi 1 lb 2.48, stewing beef 12.80, less student discount 5.87: 55.05 rounded up, returned item for 2: total 53.05

    RCSS: Pepperidge Farm sweet crisp 2 – 2 FPC, Downy ultra free 5.99 (PM), Bounce sheets free 5.99 (PM) No name chips 1 x 3 (PM), less superbucks .89 .79 and .61, less tax for tax free day 1.95: 12.70 rounded up 1 cent

    We’re still ahead for the month by half the budget, and trying to stay there as much as possible. We had a couple of stock up items, a couple of FPCs which added to the total. Stock up came from olives, soup, downy and bounce. Tax free day was an incentive to PM a couple of laundry items and get without HST. We has been saving superbucks RCSS gas coupons since we had been buying gas in Canada again. Can’t afford the exchange rate to US and we aren’t going over often at all, when we need bread (in a couple of weeks). Chips were a weakness and a treat. I’m ok with 3.00 total with price match and no tax. That way we won’t feel too deprived of some favourites, that always gets us to a breaking point at some point and then we just cave. So, small doses this time around. We were doing our best not to buy meat, but a great deal on the bacon, ribs and stewing beef. We will be happy to have those. Schneiders bacon at 2.98 is a rarity these days. Redeeming PC Plus points helped reduce the impact. A big week for us, likely the biggest all month. Looking forward to a leaner week this week. Hoping to just focus on fruits and veg. We’ve had to spend more on basics than we wanted to this month.

    1. Hi Angela
      That’s a good sign when you have half your budget left for the month when it’s half over. I am big on fabric softener so I”m always on the lookout for it. I never thought to stock up on no tax event days. When we run out I’m going to do that. That’s ok to have a weakness as long as it doesn’t fill your shopping cart. I’ve seen people pushing around carts full of junk. I think we have one big week every month and that keeps us going. Meat is always the big hitter to our budget. Have you ever thought of getting a meat order like Jen does? She says it’s a great deal. You get ballot 21. Mr.CBB

      1. I haven’t really thought about doing a meat order. It takes too much of a chunk of money at once with a very squeezed budget. If we gave up meat for a month, and set aside that money we would have spent, then perhaps it’s possible. I am currently hanging on to a gift certificate I got last summer for a butcher, it’s only $20, but it could mean a couple of ground beef packages. I do plan on using that up in February.

  4. Jan 16-29, 2015
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $2.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $67.59

    2 Cartons Eggs – 2/$5.00 = $5.00
    4L Skim Milk = $3.97
    2 Green Giant Frozen Vegetables – 2.00 = $4.00
    Bananas – 1.995 kg @ $1.26/kg = $2.51
    6 Chicken Legs = $7.03
    3 Loaves WW Bread = $5.91
    Tresemme Shampoo & Conditioner – (2-$1.00 Coupon) = $5.96

    6 Can Friskies – $0.79 (PM Food Basics) = $3.48
    10.9 kg bag Whiskers Cat Food = $24.99

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 1400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $47.21

    2 Cans of NN Mushrooms – (400 PC Plus Points) = $2.38
    3 Cans of NN Tuna – (600 PC Plus Points) = $3.51
    12 Cans of Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup = $8.69
    4 Unico Pasta – $2.39 (PM Zehrs) = $5.00
    3 Boxes of Kraft Dinner = $3.00
    4 Jars of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce – $2.19 (PM Zehrs) = $5.00
    4L Skim Milk = $3.97
    2 Blocks of Black Diamond Cheese – $6.99 (PM Freshco) = $7.96
    Bananas – 1.92 kg @ $1.26/kg (400 PC Plus Points) = $2.42
    2 Packs of NN Hot Dogs – $3.54
    Panini Rolls – $2.48 (30% Pink Sticker) = $1.74

    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Human Year ($2080.00, for the pay period – $80.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Cat Year ($390, for the pay period – $15.00)

    Total Coupons Used this 2 Week Period: $2.00
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $2.00
    Total Discounts/SCOP this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $7.50
    Total Snap rebates this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Snap rebates to Date: $1.00
    Total Gift Cards Given Used this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total PC Points Received this 2 Week Period: 1400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this 2 Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 26890

    Total Over/Under spend this Human shop: $2.62 over
    Total Over/Under spend for the Human month: $N/A
    Total Left to Spend for the Human Month: $53.04
    Total Spent To Date – Human: Jan $69.59+$34.74+35.42+47.21 ; Feb $ ; Mar $ ; Apr $ ; May $ ; Jun $ ; Jul $ ; Aug $ ; Sept $ ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $186.96

    Total Over/Under spend this Cat shop: $17.17 over
    Total Over/Under spend for the Cat month: $1.67 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Cat Month: $1.67 reduction to next month’s budget
    Total Spent To Date – Cat: Jan $3.22+11.28+32.17+0 ; Feb $ ; Mar $ ; Apr $ ; May $ ; Jun $ ; Jul $ ; Aug $ ; Sept $ ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $46.67

    Overview: 1st week – This week was a good week. I was way over on the cat’s budget but their hard food will last about 2 months so all is good there. Definitely needed more food that what I can afford but money only goes so far so we’ll have to make due. 2nd Week – This week, I’m attempting a meal plan for dinners and based our groceries on that plan. I’ll have to see how that goes for future shopping trips. We used quite a bit of the stock pile that we had so this week was attempting to replenish what I could. I wish I had 1 week of unlimited money and could really stock up on the food that we would eat, but that’s only a dream.

    1. Hi Dee,
      That’s what I like to hear.. ” a good week”.. yay!! I want to try and find some chicken pieces so I can make a pot of soup this week if I can. Yes money does go only so far but with some good planning you can stretch it. Wouldn’t that be nice to win some money to spend on groceries. My wife won an online contest once $250 in PC gift cards. It was a nice boost to the grocery budget. Do you ever enter contests? You get ballot 20. Mr.CBB

  5. This is an old house I have my suspicions about the condition of the foundation given how many uninvited critters we get in here. I get the lidded pails from the grocery store, they sell them once empty…maybe $1.00 each. I passed the freaking out stage years ago, now I just want them dead and gone… The boys help out with the catch and kill. More big feet to stomp on them…
    Right now the sunflower seed for the birds is in a lidded pail, the Niger seed is in a recycled peanut butter jar and the suet bars are in a coffee container, it holds 4 just nicely!!
    I recycle glass jars for the pantry, they wash up nicely and have a bit of a rubber seal under the lid.
    Give Little CBB a few years and he will delight in stomping on those bugs for Mommy!!

  6. We had some moth critters get in ages ago from some bird seed. The bird seed was on sale and hubby thought it would be a great idea for the feeders here. Nasty little beasties found their way to the pantry. The larvae get into the food and the adult moths fly around the kitchen. I took everything out of the pantry, shelf by shelf, inspected and washed the shelves down good. The adults were on the ceiling out of reach for killing and kept getting back in. I was checking the pantry a few times a day with a flashlight and tissues to get those buggers and kill them. They would hide on the underside of the shelves back in the corners. If we saw the moths flying around we caught and killed them. It took the better part of a month to get all of them. Constant watching, checking and squishing……
    Being in a very old house, we get ants every summer. I wipe down honey and syrup bottles every time I use them so there is nothing to attract them. I try very hard to keep things clean so they go elsewhere. As the ants get in so do other critters, spiders, and such. Worst are those centapedes…oh those are nasty!!!! I call one of the boys to get them for me, hubby is worse than useless there. He catches it and plays with the bug while yammering on about how harmless they are…..I….Don’t…Care… Just get rid of it!! NOW!!!!
    The older boy is in charge of the mouse traps in the basement as the cats are not allowed down there. If the mouse is stupid enough to come upstairs the cats will deal with it, serves it right. We also have a trap for the odd squirrel that gets into the attic, it gets released as far away as possible. I know that you are supposed to release within a mile of where it’s caught……they can stuff that one!!! Rotten little bugger will beat you home if it is let go that close to home…..
    Whether it is bugs or other nasty critter, it needs to be removed as they can cause damage to the house itself as well as your food.
    I keep food in the pantry in hard plastic containers like the ones you can sometimes get from the deli counter at the grocery store, or in glass. Recycled pickle jars are nice for those small packages!! I don’t buy too much ahead in things like pasta and cereal now….hopefully just enough to get me from one sale to the next. Bird seed for the feeders goes in those containers too these days and we don’t buy much at a time anymore. The big bags might be cheaper to buy but they are not worth the trouble they can bring with them…

    1. Hi Christine,
      Wow that sounds like one heck of a mess. I’m going to seal up my bird seed now you have me worried. My wife is just like you.. freaks out. They are harmless. I’m going to see if I can find more plastic containers now for food in the pantry. I just don’t want to deal with the things I researched and just experienced AGAIN.

  7. Mrs CBB, it sounds like we have another item in common…no insects, snakes or other creepy items for me either!!!! Hubby is the great white hunter of spiders at our house too. I scream, he knows I am frozen to the spot waiting for him to rescue me! He’s not happy when it happens in the wee small hours though. LOL A garden snake brought out a blood curdling scream from the depths of my soul but when hubby wasn’t fast enough coming on the run…I did it a 2nd time! The neighbors must have thought I was being killed! LOL 🙂 So much for walking barefoot in the back yard grass!

  8. Oh yuck I am with your wife on this one hate bugs! I am so observant when it come to packets they are always inspected! Heard too many stories from my sister as she use to work in a superstore and would see these all the time! Guess what she never shopped there!

  9. I no longer keep a stockpile anymore. I have learned that in my home the food just goes to waste. There are too many hungry people in this world to waste food. Honestly I had a visitor that stayed at my home for a few days and I was kinda embarrassed that my shelves were not fully stocked. I found myself explaining to her that I do meal planning and only purchase what I need for me and my daughter to eat bi-weekly. I look back now and realize how silly that was for me too feel house poor because my pantry was not overflowing. What was I thinking?

    1. I agree with you that there are too many starving people. Don’t be embarrassed if your shelves are bare and you shouldn’t have to explain. I never gave much thought to that. We have friends that don’t keep much in the house and shop a few times a week just like I did when I lived in the UK. Did your guest say anything to you?

  10. I remember a few years back, I was cooking some porridge, and some bugs floated to the top. I looked at my canister (it was clear glass) bottom, and I could see them. Now, every time I cook porridge, I look at the bottom.

    I have only ever had to throw away food twice because of bug.
    A box of macaroni, and the oatmeal.
    I think they came home infested…because nothing else was affected.

    So not bad after 37 years.

      1. not often (hanging my head in shame)…I would wipe up an obvious spill…that’s it.
        No one would ever call me a compulsive cleaner.

  11. JANUARY – Week #3 of 4- Jan 19-25, 2015


    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults



    This is a REALLY tight month for us BUT I can make it work in combination with February’s reduced spending. I know I’ll be over this month but I am trying desperately to hold it to a very dull roar!

    Here’s the list I have for this week:

    GGC #3 (Jan 19-25): 1 x 4L Skim Milk

    I have decided that this year I am going to show the redemption of points in my summary BUT they will not serve to increase the cash reconciliation of our grocery funds spent. I am strictly balancing the cash funds that we budgeted for groceries that month.

    I feel mixing the cash/cheques used in grocery purchases with points redemptions is like mixing apples and oranges. This year, I want to be able to see exactly how much of the $2,280.00 annual budgeted cash was used to:

    – purchase groceries
    – saved in our various reserves for future purchases
    – saved in the US budget for our next cross border shop
    – what if any cash remains unused at year end

    If the cash remaining at year-end is at least as many $’s as the value of the points redeemed…clearly the 2015 budget is functioning as intended. 🙂

    Last year, mixing the apples and oranges muddied the waters and made it difficult for me to both see & explain exactly how our budgeted funds had succeeded. This ought to paint a clearer picture.

    The meal plan for our week 4 has been modified to work only with EXACTLY what I have on hand. The stomach bug that I have been fighting is both reducing what I eat and it is also changing what I am eating. It’s actually having a beneficial effect on our budget though because the dishes that I am making are going further! 🙂

    Week 3 will have 4 new soup/stews: Split Pea with Ham that I made yesterday, a half batch of Peasant Cabbage & Tomato Soup, a Beans, Greens and Vegetable Soup to use up some spinach plus a batch of my modified version of Donna Pierce’s Cowboy Bacon Beans. This week I need to reduce the spicing in everything we make though for the sake of my already tender system. Our week 4 will be all about leftovers! I love those weeks…leftovers are a girl’s best friend IMHO. Our revised grocery list for week 4, to go with all those leftovers, will now be:

    GGC #4 (Jan 26-Feb 1): a dozen or so multigrain rolls for hubby (approx $3)

    Check out what we actually ended up buying this week to see if we stayed on track this week!



    Save On Foods– Maple Ridge –

    1 x 4L Skim Milk $0.00 << 3,100 MORE Points Redeemed

    •Total OOP: $0.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 = 0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22= 22 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0= 0 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200= 1200 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30= 30 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($12.50 trf to borscht+$22.50 to Re-Stocking+$10.00 Xmas Reserve+$10.00 to Summer+$60.00 trf to US Reserve+$18.35+$3.88+$3.88+$3.98+$17.98+$2.79+$25.94 = $186.80)= $191.80

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00= $190.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($1.80) OVER



    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50= $347.50 AVAILABLE



    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50= $425.00 AVAILABLE



    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00= $120.00 AVAILABLE



    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00= $100.00 AVAILABLE



    $178.33 Grocery Budget
    $ 0.02 Hiding Spot Cash
    $ 13.45 2014 Costco Rebate Chq



    $ 4.98 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Points

    $190.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for ‘2015 but we have recorded these funds as “spent” but in fact they have been “saved”:

    $347.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $425.00 Borscht Fund
    $120.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $100.00 Summer Season Fund

    TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES $992.50 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $55.00 in NEW 2015 savings Y-T-D.

    This means that with $190.00 to start the month less $55.00 for the various reserves, & $60.00 for US grocery budget, we opened the month of JANUARY with $75 available, but then we actually spent $76.80 and we created an overage of $1.80 in our CANADIAN budgeted grocery funds to carry forward into February. 🙁

    We also have groceries that have been purchased using points redemption(s), rather than the budgeted cash, in the amount of $4.98. If our budget is truly sufficient, when we reach December 31st, those funds should still be available in the form of unused cash. It’ll be interesting to see if they actually are.

    Note: We also have another reserve of $173.07 AVAILABLE for our next US shop – currently scheduled for February 9th!



    CANADIAN $’s

    Groceries: ($1.80)

    US $’s

    Our Reserve: $79.07
    US Cash Hiding Spot: $94.00

    Total US Grocery Available $173.07


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    Broccoli Florets @ $1.99/lb – Good until Apr 7/15


    1. Hi Mary,
      I understand where you are coming from with the points and how you are wanting to see the actual numbers. I look forward to seeing that data as well. It’s not often we take the time to break down expenses as far as you are so I’m excited to find out just how well your year will turn out. I’m pretty sure it will be great but not without plenty of planning and hard work which you always seem to put into your finances.
      I really wanted to see just how much we were redeeming in points and using towards our groceries which I’m hoping to see at the end of this year.

      I miss Donna have you heard from her? Also I hope Beth is doing well, thinking of her as well.
      Do you have a recipe for your cabbage tomato soup please?

      You get ballot 13. Mr.CBB 🙂

      1. Mr CBB, I have an original recipe on:

        that I used as a starting point originally for inspiration BUT…I always play with what goes into the soup to suit what I have in my pantry and what jumps out at me and sounds good. The soup is seldom the same twice! 🙂

        This morning, I jazzed the recipe as follows:

        1/2 green chopped up green cabbage
        28 oz can of diced tomatoes
        1 tbsp brown sugar (to smooth out the acidity)
        2/3 cup brown rice
        32 oz of Heinz low salt tomato juice
        32 oz. low sodium vegetable stock

        I skipped adding in the couple of diced onions & tobasco sauce this time since I am recovering from the flu and my tummy would not handle hot n spicy well. Hubby can hit his soup with hot sauce if he wants it. 🙂

        1. P.S. I had a Christmas card from Donna but haven’t heard anything since. I assume Beth Anne is in the early stages of grieving and it will be a while before we hear from her.

  12. So far (knock on wood), I haven’t been infested but I grew up with having flour in the freezer, for that exact reason. My mom was big on Tupperware products and many of the products that she would buy ended in a container for future use (without the bugs).

    BTW, I received my Nielsen hand scanner last night and after reading how to use the machine and such, even my daughter is excited to use it.

    1. I’m thinking I might put our flour in the freezer as well too. I put bay leaves in the bag though. Great news that you got your scanner!! Make sure to share the post with your friends and hook them up. Let me know how it goes… I love feedback.

  13. We’ve had mice in our house from time to time, but I’ve yet to find anything hiding in our flour. We just keep the flour in the original bag, so if we did have a problem, it would be pretty easy to upgrade our system! Hope the pests stay away from now on because that’s gross!

    1. It’s amazing how those critters can get through the smallest cracks or when people leave their garage doors open in the summer… bam in they go!!

  14. I learned years ago to keep bay leaves in my dry goods after 2 similar experiences, one with weevils and one with a colony of ants and all their relatives! Now I keep small amounts in hard containers and keep larger quantities in the upright freezer which is handy to my kitchen. I absolutely hate throwing food away, shades of our years of rations in the UK before emigration to Canada.

    1. Interesting about the Bay Leaves and now I have them in our products too now. We actually have a bay leaf plant growing in the house. I hate throwing food away too. It was heartbreaking to do but it had to be done. I think I might do what you do. What kind of containers do you suggest to buy?

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