Family Dinner Ideas That Won’t Chop Your Budget: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Mar 23-29, 2015

family dinner ideas that won't chop the budget 2



I don’t know about you but having to cook every single night apart from the odd times we go to a restaurant can be tough when you need to come up with dinner ideas on a limited budget.

Add in a kid or two to the mix and you’ve got to think fast if you don’t already have your meal plan ready for the evening. We like to create meals that are fast which means 30-minute meals are a plus in our kitchen.

Meal prep goes a long way so sometimes less is better when it comes to week-night dinners and the amount of ingredients you use.

Save those hearty, complicated dinner ideas that take hours to cook for the weekend or for days you’re not working. This way you have more time to dedicate to the meal rather than having to rush.

One of the greatest successes of being organized is that if you are in charge of the kitchen and grocery shopping you know that meal planning and lists are VERY important.

I often get fans asking me and visiting the blog looking for meals that aren’t too heavy on the wallet as they run a tight budget but in general, fans just want dinner ideas.

The worst thing that can happen when you thinking about dinner ideas on the spot is your refrigerator is empty. Another downside would be that you don’t have enough of certain ingredients in the house to fling a meal together when you are in a pinch.

I know many fans tell me they prepare freezer meals for those situations but not everyone gets ahead of the game like that or enjoys re-heating cooked food.

I know my wife is particular about eating hot food right from the cooker and I don’t blame her. She’s not a big fan of frozen anything but we’ve made some delicious dinners from frozen products or created our own to freeze. (I get my way haha)


Chaos in the kitchen


Now that we are parents our lives have done a right turn-around. I can honestly say it was nice to have the freedom to cook any time I wanted to without distraction. Now, it’s a game of patience marked with making sure I don’t mess anything up.

Our son is still young so coming up with easy dinner ideas is important for my wife and I. Our son is about 2 months into eating solids but not so much what we eat. He eats mainly fruits and veg that we puree for him although he’s starting to eye up our meals.

Being a parent has certainly shown us how challenging it can be not only trying to keep the house running smooth with my wife but trying NOT to order out or slop together a meal because we are too tired.


Insert motivation here


I often go to the CBB fans for inspiration and dinner ideas and the What’s For Dinner thread on my Facebook page every night is a world of culinary delight. It’s all about home-cooking and the ladies and gentlemen that share their food and recipes with all of us certainly motivate us to think cooking outside of the box.

We can easily search online for dinner ideas like you might be today but what’s even better is when the people who make the recipes actually tell you if it tastes good or not. Every recipe on CBB has been created by myself, Nicola or a fan so we know what they taste like.

The CBB recipe index is filled with recipes that were created with the frugal shopper in mind.


Easy Family Dinner Ideas


Note: I’ve edited some of these to fit the blog.

Together with our CBB fans I wanted to create this post so I had them help me come up with a list of dinner ideas for those on a limited grocery budget like us.

I don’t have the recipe for each one of these dinner ideas but this is only meant to fire up your culinary senses to help you get cooking.

A huge thanks to all of my fans who shared their dinner ideas with us last night. If only we could have a huge CBB pot-luck now.

CBB Fan Pat S. had this to say…

I keep telling my hub that I don’t think it is always what you pay per-pound for something, it is the price you pay for the meal. Something might cost a little more per pound for a cut of meat, but if it feeds the two of us for a very reasonable price, then that is all that matters.

  • I have a pot of white beans soaking right now. I just have to slow-cook them and then they are ready to eat white beans that have absorbed most of the cooking water on bread and butter, add a dash of pepper. This was what my Dad cooked for us that he made back in the dirty thirties…only then there wasn’t the butter.- Colleen K.
  • #1 favorite super frugal meal in our house is called Cowboy Casserole. Take 2 cans of baked beans ( $2.50) one pound of ground turkey( $1.69), some chopped onion (.25), 2 slices of bacon (this is optional-.50), and some BBQ sauce (less than 1/2 bottle (.50). Fry the bacon in a skillet and remove when crisp. Then brown the turkey and onions til done. Add the 2 cans of beans and BBQ sauce stir and heat. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle it in. Serve with biscuits ( $1.00). Total meal for four healthy appetites for around $7. You will have enough biscuits to serve the next morning for breakfast too.- Cynthia
  • Ham steak (on sale this week for 3$) and mac&cheeseAndrea O
  • Most of the meals that we make are frugal. Some of what is on the hit parade this week: homemade Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese, French Onion Soup, Sloppy Joes, homemade Clam Chowder with Garlic toast and Slow Cooker Fruited Irish Oatmeal. Since there are only 2 of us…each of these dishes make multiple meals and we won’t need to cook the following week!-Mary C
  • Western sandwiches and homemade fries. Spaghetti is also inexpensive and filling…..and you can add all the veggies you want to your sauce. If you like curry dishes you can make a butter chicken fairly cheap……just add bottled sauce to your chicken and make some rice to go with it. Then if you have left over veggies from earlier in the week make a stir fry with them…you can add meat, or not!-Karen M.
  • Thrifty meals here tend to be pasta meals, spaghetti, mac and cheese, penne or tortellini with leftover spaghetti sauce. I get pasta and cheese on sale as much as possible. Eggs are another way to make a frugal meal. I make a potato cheese omelet here. Rice makes for a nice frugal side dish (try her pineapple rice dish) and makes great leftovers.- Christine W.
  • Some frugal meals we make are: homemade vegetable soup, chili, spaghetti, goulash, and I find as long as you have a bag of potatoes in the house there’s always something to cook. Fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, salad, homemade fries, baked potato, etc.- Wendy L.
  • Our cheap meals would be pasta tossed basil and oil with fresh chopped tomato and boiled peas mixed in. Or fried rice with black beans, onions and grated veggies and a touch of hot sauce to spice it up. I add leftover meat if we have any.-Pat C.
  • Red Beans and Rice. Hard to beat for bang for your buck. Crock-pot cooking makes it work for even the busiest households. I make garlic bread out of hot dog buns. If you can afford it, throw some sliced sausages in the pot. But if you add onions, garlic and peppers to the beans you really do not need the sausages.-Karol K.
  • Pasta bake with leftover or frozen veg, spaghetti sauce. Top with shredded cheese and parmigiana cheese.- Jen S.
  • Inexpensive meals I love are homemade pizza dough with whatever left over toppings we may have and wish to use,homemade shepherds pie and homemade chili.- Lucy C
  • Homemade mac n cheese with whatever left over meat or veggies.- Shellie C.
  • Cheap meals we make include stir fry, spaghetti and sauce, pancakes, soup, eggs and toast, pasta bakes, salads, baked potatoes served with steamed carrots and peas.-Angela M.
  • I think it depends on what part of the country you are from. Dry soup mixes work very well for being cheap meals. There’s always the 6-3-4 plan, 6 minutes to prepare, $3 per meal, feeds 4 people.-Adrian M.
  • My family’s cheap meals are macaroni and cheese with hot dogs or with vegetables and tuna. My mom used to make goulash but us kids called it “clean out the fridge” night as so many leftovers was put in it. I agree about the homemade pizza but you can use English muffins or wraps instead of a pizza dough so that everybody can have their own choice of toppings.Della F.
  • Poor man stir fry…..chunk bologna cut up in cubes (use as much or as little as you want to make it stretch), big chunks of onions and green peppers and a can of mushrooms….stir fry together…..add some cooked rice and soya sauce…done.-Colleen K.
  • I would go straight to the pasta in the cupboard. If I had to go several days, I would visit the vegetable sales at the local grocery store. Thinking loaded potatoes, stuffed acorn squash, carrots with onions and brown sugar. Tonight, after three days and nights with a yurpy granddaughter, I am on my own with rock-fish with red bell peppers and parsley potatoes.-Tanis G.
  • Soup is always an easy option. Have stock or stock cubes on hand and you can turn your hand to many hearty soups even using a can of soup you can dress it up. Add to ground beef or chicken for a great lasagne base or tacos. Make enough for a big pot and it will last a couple of days.- Nicola Don (Nicola has loads of recipes on CBB… check them out)
  • We love homemade pizza. We make our own dough. Then you can put on anything you have. Great way to use up vegetables or leftover meat.- Elizabeth H.
  • Inexpensive meals for me tend to be veggie meals. I love corn chowder, macaroni and tomatoes or omelets/fried eggs,and veggie chilli. I find any soup very inexpensive especially with homemade biscuits. Soups are filling and can be made of anything. A really good clean out the fridge meal that you can add any spice to make it great.-Michelle K.
  • When we were young and poor, our cheap meal was a box of mac and cheese (about 20 cents back then), a can of tuna and a can of cream of mushroom (or celery) soup. Threw in a few frozen peas for some color. We got 2-3 meals out of it.-Pat S.
  • Oven fried chicken, mashed taters and corn on the cob. I buy bone in chicken (boneless doesn’t cook as well and is more expensive). Heat oven to 425°. Then I get this chicken breaded (light coat)from Autry House. Spray chicken after breading w/ EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil for those of you that didn’t know that) or vegetable oil. Place in pan, cook for 45 mins. Breast, legs, thighs all cook the same amount of time. People are shocked after eating that it was oven cooked. It will be the juiciest chicken u ever eat. Simple, easy, & cheap!! Hope u enjoy!-Susan S.
  • Sloppy Joes makes a great cheap meal couple it with french fries and its a family favoriteJeffery S.
  • For best cheap eats, legumes are your best bet. I can easy add them to my favorite casserole, soup or one pot meal either in place of meat or with a reduced amount of meat.-Penny W.
  • Learned a recipe at a workshop, soak red lentils overnight, saute onions and tomatoes in a little oil until soft, add spices (cumin and paprika) soaked lentils and chicken stock. Eat with soft bread. So delicious and cheap.-Endie W.

And… that’s how it’s done my friends!

What other dinner ideas can you share for those on a tight budget? 


March 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!

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsFree 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


the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything 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.

Food Basics

  • Sandwich bags $0.99
  • White mushrooms $1.88
  • 2% Milk $3.97
  • Bananas $1.66
  • Broccoli $1.96 2@$0.98 each
  • 2x avocado $1.96 @$0.98 each
  • 2 x raspberries $3.76 @$1.88 each

Total-out-pocket $16.18


  • Harvest Raisin Bread $2.50-50% plus 600 PC points 🙂
  • Dry pinto beans $1.99
  • Dry red kidney beans $1.99
  • 2 x Tomato paste $0.49 each
  • Ground Pork $3.88 and $3.70
  • Ricotta Cheese $6.99-50%
  • 4 x Sesame Oil $6.49-50% pink sticker $25.69 (stockpile budget)

Total-out-pocket $17.29 plus $25.69 Sesame oil stockpiled.

No Frills

  • 3 x unsweetened apple sauce $1.67 (900 PC Points)
  • 4 x Sugar Sale $1.47
  • Banger Sausages $4.99-$1.50
  • Cantaloupe $0.97
  • 2 x Strawberries $1.97
  • Baby Spinach $2.97
  • Sweet Potato $2.90 (4) (400PC Points)
  • Astro Coconut Yogurt $3.19- $1.00 coupon

Total out-pocket $23.72

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: $20.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 54,298
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

  • Snap Groupon to date: $1.50
  • Zweet to date: $1.50
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $1.50

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

  • Total to spend this month $204.49 (includes overage from February)
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $25.69 (over by $0.69)
  • Total coupons used this week: $1.00
  • Total coupons used to date: $9.00
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $49.23
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $133.92
  • Total spent this week: $57.19
  • Total spent so far this month: $181.66
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $22.83 under
  • Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $ +Apr $

Weekly Overview: We spent quite a bit this week which means we only have $22.83 left to spend for this 5 week grocery shopping month. I’m sure we can do this! We picked up some great deals this week including dry beans which we are replenishing after the flour bug fiesta. The PC points sweeten the price when you get pink sticker deals. 🙂


 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.

This Kikkoman $1 off coupon looks to have been left by a store rep as I found a few tucked on the shelf at Food Basics.  Nice long expiry too! 🙂

Kikoman Coupon(1)


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.
  • 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.



its not about how much money you make its how you save it logo

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
  • Check out my new Free Recipe Index
  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving Lists!

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Hey Mr.CBB
    I am happy that will be the last time we gotta pay $4.99 for strawberries for awhile since I have been seeing them on sale for $3.99 for 2lbs and will take advantage of that!
    You know me! If I can find a good sale and a coupon then I will probably buy it.
    She really loves squash and sweet potato but we think blueberries are her favourite. She just turned 15 months!!! Time as been going by so quickly. We are glad we have been taking loads of pics so e don’t forget any moments.
    We have fed her yogurt a few times and she loved it, I tried her on astro organic vanilla but have forgotten all about it till now. Thanks for the reminder.
    I will carry over the $40 on the yearly amount to try and balance it out later.
    I got my envie in the mail yesterday and was wondering who it had come from. So Thank You!!!!!!

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500
    $4.992lb strawberries
    .99×2 kraft Russian dressing
    .99×18-$1Cx18 bush beans – donated to the food bank
    $2.97 asparagus
    $9.75 total oop
    $18 total coupons
    $4.99×2-$2Cx2 melita k cups -clearance
    $3.33×3-$2coupogonx3 fruit loops
    $9.98 total oop
    $4 total coupons
    $6 total coupgon
    $1.74×2 Heinz 3pk(ketchup,mustard.relish) – clearance
    $2.47 bistro
    $29.47×2-$1Cx2 pampers diapers box
    $65.84 total oop
    $2 total coupons
    $5.99 case of kd – awesome deal!! .49 each box
    $1.66×3-$3.50C toothpaste
    $7.72 total oop
    $3.50 total coupons
    H&W Produce
    $4.99×2 4L homo milk
    $3.18 zucchinix3
    $1.18 jalapenosx10
    $4.20 acorn squashx2
    $6.34 butternut squashx3
    .98×2 eggplant
    $2.09 snap peas pk
    $2.99 2lbs green grapes
    $1.49×2 blueberries
    $32.60 total oop
    $2.30 10% instore discount (before milk total)
    $1.97×4-$1.97C($2C)x4 fructis hair spray
    .69×2-bogoSDMC Kleenex
    $5.91 4L milk -ouch! at least I got 800 bonus points
    $7.05 total oop
    $8.57 total coupons
    11 clearance bread items $15 total oop
    No Frills
    $1×4-$1Cx2 hunts pudding
    $2.97×2-$1Cx2 pam spray
    $1.97×3-$1Cx3 vh soya sauce
    $2.97 imperial margarine
    $2.47×4 cream cheese -500pc points each!
    $1.27 bananas
    $22.95 total oop
    $7 total coupons

    $170.89 weekly total oop
    $49.07 weekly total coupons
    $540.70 monthly total oop
    $175.71 monthly total coupons
    $1572.13 yearly total oop
    $457.98 yearly total coupons
    $84.46 total gift cards used

    I am over for the month by $40 but I wanted to stock up on diapers before the coupons expired and not sure when more come out and bought enough food for little miss to last a week or a week and a half.

    1. Hi Juanita,
      The strawberries weren’t too bad at $4.99 for 2lbs as we are paying around $4.00 which is similar. I agree when you have coupons for diapers stock up while you can. You don’t just get handed coupons either. Your little one lovers her squash. How old is she now? Does she eat yogurt or pudding? Will you carry over the $40? You get ballot. 5 P.S Your coupon prize went into the mail today so let me know when you get it.

  3. I’m late posting, but I still have been keeping track. I want to make myself stay on top of the groceries this year, so better late than never, lol!

    Week 4 – March 22 – 28

    • Grocery budget to work with in March: $400 (Breaks down to $80 weekly, I classify March as a 5 week month)
    • Total coupons used this week: $6.22
    • Total coupons used to date: $22.47
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $5.37
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $90
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $38.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $5.42
    • Total student discounts to date: $66.51
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $4.25
    • Total spent this week: $75.00
    • Total spent so far this month: $306.80
    • Total left to spend for the month: $93.20
    • Weekly carry over: $13.20
    • Total in carry over jar: $197.10
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $804.15

    RCSS: sugar 1.88 (PM), peanut butter 3.00, eggs 1.99 x 3 less 1.00 coupon (PM), NN cheese 5.97, trutaste 1L milk .97 x 5 (PM), grape tomatoes 4.98, NN potatoes .98, apples 3.96, peppers 2.98, baby carrots 2.99, onions .99 (PM), romaine hearts 2.50 (PM), grapes 3.66 (PM), celery .99 (PM), pears .99 (PM) cucumber .79 (PM), blade roast 9.85, less student discount 5.42: 52.30 rounded up 2 cents

    Walmart: cream cheese 2.97 – less FPC, Saputo mozza 3.87 x 3 less 2.25 coupons, Armstrong cheese 3.87 x 2, Kleenex portable packs clearance 4.97, tax .65: 22.70 rounded down 2 cents

    It was an alright week. We’ve been going through a lot of veggies the last couple of weeks, so that was the focus. I just wish they cost less. Price matched as much as possible, but the veggies are going to be tough to keep up with at that cost. We caught up on the earlier overspending at the beginning of the month and finally had some to put into the carry over jar. That will leave us with really 80.00 to spend next week. Not bad at all. If we need to take some of that carryover it will come out of the jar, and I really don’t want to dip into that jar.

    1. Hi 🙂
      Where did you find those awesome egg coupons? I would have loved to get my hands on those. Great deal on that roast.. wow! I’m going to be writing about veggies savings tonight I believe. Last week I tackled meat and this week I will see what ways we can try and save with veg. No one ever wants to dip into savings.. BUT I have a feeling you will be fine. You had a great shop this week apart from the few higher priced fruits and veg. You get ballot. 2 Mr.CBB

      1. We got the egg coupons from The last couple of years they have put that coupon up buy 2 dozen save a $1. All the people I know that order snag that coupon for me. We love that one, and we go through a lot of eggs. From baking to eggs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is our cheapest protein, especially when we price match to Shoppers.

  4. Yearly grocery budget for four adults and two cats -$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $25 per month.
    No Frills
    3 cans fruit @1.00
    4 Apple sauce @1.67, 600 points
    1 sugar -1.88
    1-10kg flour -7.77
    1 case pop -4.50
    2 Rice Krispies @5.38
    2 Cheerios @3.99
    1 pack chocolate bars -1.29
    2 Dawn dish soap @247, 2x.50 coupons
    2 Whiskas cat food @8.49, 2×3.00 coupon
    2 4l milk @3.97
    4 bags frozen veggies @2.97
    1-216 count Tetley tea bags -9.47
    1 yogurt -319
    1 Taco kit -4.00
    1 soya sauce -1.@7
    2 tomato paste @.55, 200 points
    2 pasta @1.97
    2 KD a @1.29
    3 cranberry cocktail @2.47, 900 points
    4# butter @2.88
    1 cream cheese -1.97
    1 raisin bread -2.99
    1 bagels -3.37
    1 celery -1.79, 500 points
    10 # potatoes -1.49
    Carrots -2.29
    Bananas -1.23
    Onions -1.79, 100 points
    1 Dove body wash -2.97
    Tax -3.99
    Total OOP -$143.66

    4 cans pineapple @1.00
    2 raisin bread @2.99, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    2 w/w bread @3.69, $1.00 WUB2 coupon
    1 block cheese -3.99
    1 package ground turkey -4.49
    1 4l milk -4.88
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 par aspen cheese -5.74
    Tax -1.12
    Total OOP -$41.07

    Canadian Tire
    3 bags sugar @1.77, stock pile
    Total OOP -$5.31

    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 $737.24( 650.00+$87.24 from Jan and Feb)
    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: 6250
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Snap Groupon to date: $3.00
    Zweet to date: $17.75
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $17.50
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Total to spend this month $681.32
    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): Jan$22.20+Feb$24.50+Mar$22.18
    Stockpile budget used this month: $22.18
    Total coupons used this week: $1.009.00
    Total coupons used to date: $17.79
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $32.97
    Total spent this week: $188.73
    Total spent so far this month: $681.32
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
    Total left to spend for the month: $55.92
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $640.13+Feb $572.63+Mar$
    Weekly Overview: I went over for the week but did get to No Frills again this month. I’m using the savings from Jan and Feb to cover some of it. I will still have my work cut out for me getting back on track. Cooking the turkey in the freezer for Easter will help as I will get a good number of meals out of the bird…. The sugar was a 3 day sale at Canadian Tire.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Great deal on the apple sauce with the PC points. We did a trial at home and we can’t even make it for that cheap unless we find apples reduced for a REALLY good price. I was hoping to use the rhubarb in our freezer this summer to make apple rhubarb puree or strawberry rhubarb puree for our son to eat. I always miss that darn sugar sale at Canadian Tire but that is the best time to stock up. The good thing about a turkey is how much we can stretch that bird for more meals. I had a friend who used to throw the carcass away instead of making soup. I used to just shake my head because of the potential wasted. Ah well, can’t save everyone right Christine? Your flour was a great deal as well! Keep at it…. we’re already in April, can you believe it? You get ballot 27. Mr.CBB

  5. Name Your Store: i.e. IGA (Australia)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $18.95
    Week 9- 16-22 March, 2015

    5kg potatoes- $6.99
    500g margarine @$.99 x 2= $1.98
    3L milk- $3.00
    250g strawberries- $3.99

    Name Your Store: i.e. Caboolture Fruit Supplies (Australia)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $1.40

    .75kg bananas- $1.40

    Name Your Store: i.e. Aland’s Fruit & Veges (Australia)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $6.90

    2kg sweet potatoes-$3.89
    500g mushrooms(reduced)-2.99

    Name Your Store: i.e. Aldi Stores (Australia)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $48.20

    crumpets- $1.19
    700gr bread @ $.85= $3.40
    1 kg carrots-$1.69
    1kg margarine- $1.59
    1.5 kg whole chicken- $5.49
    2.096 kg ground beef- $12.56
    3L milk- $2.99
    750g corn flakes- $2.69
    100g rice crackers 2@ $0.89 = $1.78
    320g cranberry chutney =$2.69
    500g ginger marmalade= $1.45
    425g baked beans 2 @ $0.69 = $1.38
    corn starch- $1.39
    sesame snaps- $1.49
    1L UHT milk-$0.95
    250g strawberries- $3.49

    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 (averages $50 week)
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs :284.59
    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: $48.81 +$3.28=52.09
    Total spent this week: $0
    Total spent so far this month: $85.62+23.20=108.82
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $131.05(under)-$23.20=$107.85 (under)=(09-15 mar)-$75.45 (16-22 March)=$32.40 (under)
    Total left to spend for the month: $286.61+131.05=$417.66 –23.20=$394.46(09-15 march)-$75.45( 16-22 March)=$319.01
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) $332.35+23.20=$355.55 (09-15 march)=$431.00 (16-22 March)

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    This week we didn’t have have any reduced food, except the mushrooms, and I don’t know what the original price would be. The rest were buying what we needed, at the lowest price. Aldi is about 45 minutes away, but it was more of a ‘let’s go for a drive’ kind of day. The chicken was frozen, but cheaper. The hamburg was bulk, but like getting 500g free. The other stores never had it cheaper while we shopped. Strawberries are still expensive, but we splurge on them. The bread was cheap, so we stocked up.

    1. Hi Kathryn,
      It always amazes me how prices can be cheap for one product that I compare to Canada yet others are pricier. I found the potatoes to be far more than I would ever pay as well as the mushrooms I was on the fence about for reg price. I would pay $2.99 for what you were able to get. Other than that you picked up some great deals. How do you enjoy your avocado? Do you get one big one for the $1.99? I was able to get a 6 pack on the reduced rack today for $1.29 and a 6pk of pomegranate. My wife was happy about that because she loves them both. Great job this month. You certainly came in under budget wow! You get ballot 18. MR.CBB

      1. Those mushrooms were in a fruit/veg market, but the local grocery store was selling them for $12.99kg. The avocado we usually just slice up, and add to a chicken sandwich, or in a garden salad. Yes, it is just one big one. They do have bags of smaller one,.6 for $6.99, I think, but they would be mostly pit (not much fruit). I don’t find they have much flavour, but they are good for you.These washed potatoes were cheaper than the unwashed. The regular price for strawberries keeps jumping around at the store.One day it is 2.99 and 4.98 another..without even been reduced.

  6. MARCH – Week #4 of 5- March 23-29, 2015


    •Total Grocery Budgeted For Year: $190.00 x 12 = $2,280.00 for 2 adults



    Hubby scored a bunch of awesome rain checks this week at both Safeway and Thrifty Foods and the next time he has a “feed me pizza” moment…we’ll be able to do it relatively cheaply.

    Our favorite marinara base was on sale so it was time to get a rain check for those as well. I still have 3 jars in the pantry, but a rain check means I don’t have to pay full price on the next re-stock.

    We scored big time with two rain checks for 4 dozen eggs on each rain check priced @ 2 dozen for $5.00. That’s 8 dozen eggs for $20.00! I can freeze a supply at that price!!

    Hubby and I decided that we’ll postpone our US shopping trip until we are vacationing in May. It’s really not that far off and I am really tired after the tax season.

    We also decided that we would consciously “go over” on our Canadian budget this month 🙁 and then make it up from the funds that would normally go into the US reserve, borscht & re-stocking reserves in April. We’ll add to the those reserves again in May and we are going to continue to contribute to the holiday and summer reserves during the month of April… so not all the reserves have been abandoned.

    Here is our Canadian Grocery List for this week:

    Save On Foods

    1 celery
    2 x 2lb bag organic carrots $1.79 ea
    6 large onions
    3 Limes
    2 bananas
    6 Red Delicious Apples $1.00/lb
    2 cucumbers $1 ea
    1 pkg mixed deli sprouts
    8 white potatoes
    6 Campbell’s Condensed Beef Broth $1 ea
    2 Green Onions (2 for $1)
    1 Miracle Whip
    1 Becel
    2 cans diced clams
    1 L Half and Half
    1 x 500 ml Whipping Cream

    Thrifty Foods

    2 Island Gold Large Brown Eggs (2 for $5) << rain checks instead!
    4 tomatoes $1.99/lb
    10 Lemons (5 for $3)
    2 Compliments Ketchup $3.49 ea

    Superstore – No Tax Day

    1 GF Cheese Bread (900 pts per $4 spent)



    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    10 x Lemons $6.00
    4 x Tomatoes on the Vine $2.96
    2 x Compliments Ketchup $6.98
    Less Bag Return ($0.06)

    •Total OOP: $15.88

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $15.88

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


    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 celery $3.18
    2 x 2lb bag organic carrots $1.79 ea = $3.98
    6 large Walla Walla onions $7.16
    3 Limes $1.77
    4 bananas $1.56
    6 Red Delicious Apples ($7.90-$3.94 Loy Svgs) = $3.96
    2 cucumbers ($3.98-$1.98 Loy Svgs) = $2.00
    1 pkg mixed deli sprouts ($2.59 – 1,000 More Points $1.60) = $0.99
    8 white potatoes $3.31
    6 Campbell’s Condensed Beef Broth ($13.14-$7.14 Loy Svgs) = $6.00
    2 Green Onions ($1.98-$0.98 Loy Svgs) = $1.00
    1 Miracle Whip ($4.49-$0.50 Loy Svgs) = $3.99
    1 Becel $6.49
    2 cans diced clams (2 x $2.69) = $5.38
    1 L Half and Half $2.89
    1 x 500 ml Whipping Cream $3.68

    •Total OOP: $57.34

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $57.34
    • Redeem 1,000 MORE Points: $1.60

    ** Earned 140 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** Redeem 1,000 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $14.54 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x Glutino GF Cheese Bread $4.48

    •Total OOP: $4.48

    ** Earned 900 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $3.58+ Feb $0.00 + Mar $14.54= $18.12

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.0 = 0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 +Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.0= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22 + Feb 45 + Mar 140= 207 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 = 1 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200 + Feb 900 + Mar 900 = 3,000 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30 + Feb 40 + Mar 0 = 70 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $199.31+ Feb ($180.69) + Mar ($12.50 trf to borscht+$17.50 to Re-Stocking+$10.00 Xmas Reserve+$15.00 to Summer+$50.00 trf to US Reserve+$20.51 trf to Unused Funds Reserve+$40.23+$3.69+$4.93+$7.98+$4.99 Trf to Unused Funds+$2.79+$15.88+$4.48+$57.34+$1.60 Trf to Unused Funds= $269.42 )= $649.42

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00= $570.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($79.42) OVER



    2014 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $3.83+ Mar ($27.10)= $30.93



    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50+Feb $22.50 + Mar $17.50= $387.50



    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50 + Mar $12.50= $450.00



    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00+ Mar $10.00= $140.00



    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00 + Feb $10.00 + Mar $15.00= $125.00



    $ 570.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MARCH
    $ 30.93 Redeemed Points to Purchase
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($165.00) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking,
    Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($170.00) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 30.93) Set in a reserve to offset
    Redeemed Points
    ($ 300.95) Actual CASH SPENT

    ($ 79.42) SPENDING OVERAGE


    $ 4.98 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB
    $ 4.99 Whole Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 1.60 Sprouts- 1,000 MORE Pts – MAR

    $ 30.93 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    So far $570.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2015 and we have recorded these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $387.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $450.00 Borscht Fund
    $140.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $125.00 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,102.50 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $165.00 in NEW 2015 savings.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start MARCH less $55.00 transferred to the various savings reserves less $10.53 transferred for Points Redeemed during JAN/FEB = $75.51 + an additional $50.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of MARCH with $74.47 available to spend on the Canadian side of the border, less an overage of $0.00 carried forward from February, PLUS we have spent $153.89 on our groceries (cash & points) so this month and have $79.42 OVERAGE for the month in our CANADIAN budgeted grocery funds and will carry the overage forward into April.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redeemed, rather than the budgeted cash in the amount of $30.93. Available as an offset, we currently have $30.93 in our UNUSED CASH RESERVE. As at this moment, we need and additional $0.00 in the UNUSED CASH RESERVE. If our budget is truly sufficient, when we reach December 31st, the unused funds should still be equal to, if not greater than, the value of the points redeemed. It’ll be interesting to see if they actually are.

    Note: Another reserve of $283.07 IS AVAILABLE for our next US shop currently scheduled for May 18th!

    Of the outstanding US Shopping Reserve $283.07:

    $113.07 is carried forward from 2014

    $170.00 is new 2015 Y-T-D savings

    Less $0.00 that we’ve actually spent in 2015

    = $283.07 US Reserve Available


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    Broccoli Florets @ $1.99/lb – Good until Apr 7/15
    4 Lean Ground Pork @3.49/lb-Good ‘til Apr 26/15
    4 Signature Café Pizzas @ 2 pizzas for $9.00- Good ‘til June 19/15 << NEW RAIN CHECK
    6 Ronzoni Sweet Onion Marinara @ 2 for $5.00- Good ‘til June 20/15 << NEW RAIN CHECK

    Thrifty Foods

    4 Island Gold Large Brown Eggs @ 2 for $5.00- Good ‘til April 21/15 << NEW RAIN CHECK
    4 Island Gold Large Brown Eggs @ 2 for $5.00- Good ‘til April 23/15 << NEW RAIN CHECK


    1. Hi Mary
      You are so proud of those rain checks and you should be they are great. Eggs are always a welcome savings if you can snag a deal these days. Your reserve for the US in May is a decent amount. How much would you typically spend in the USA on a grocery trip?

      Do you buy organic if it’s cheaper than regular produce? We will. What do you typically use your whipped cream for? Overall you did well this month Mary. What I like to point out is that both yourself and Larry talk about spending money and your budget which you pointed out at the top of the post. I think that’s incredibly important to do. Well done. You get ballot 16. Mr.CBB

      1. I spend somewhere between $200-250 usually on a US trip if I am doing a big re-stock after a long absence from shopping south of the line. This next shop will be the first time though that we are shopping in the US since the Canadian dollar free fall… so it may be less. I will only buy the items that are actually a saving after the exchange or that are gluten free and I can not get in Canada.

        Yes, we do buy organic BUT ONLY IF it’s cheaper than the regular produce. My whipped cream is for a batch of our homemade Creamy Tomato Soup. I haven’t made it yet but this summer…I’ll use whipping cream in a homemade batch of Doukhobour Borscht (no beets involved). 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.