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.
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
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!
- Join The Grocery Game Challenge 2015: 2014 Overview and Final Shop Dec 29- Jan 4, 2015
- Why having a stockpile budget will save you money: #1 Jan 5-11, 2015
- How to select fresh food at the grocery store : #2 Jan 12-18, 2015
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!! Read all about Nielsen Homescan here.
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.
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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)
- 4 x Redpath sugar Sale $11.97
- PC Chicken Spice $2.49
- 2x Bag of cloves $1.99
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.
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?:
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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