As you may know Mrs. CBB and I have out-of-town guests staying with us for 3 weeks.
My parents are visiting from the UK which means our lovely grocery budget of $235 a month may just take a beating.
Setting up the guest room and bathroom was the easy part. We cleared out the closets, put fresh linens on the bed, dusted and cleaned both rooms so it was ready for our guests.
When we created our grocery budget we never thought much to having guests staying over at our house or to factor that in.
If you are having guests stay over for a few days it likely won’t impact your budget much at all but if it’s for weeks or even months you may want to consider how you can budget the extra expenses into your grocery budget.
Eating out is convenient when you have guests staying at your house but if you are anything like us YOU will pay the bill not your guests. That can get pricey if you start to eat out often so we opted to buy good food and cook it at home.
The great thing is that my parents are perfectly happy with that because they are also budget conscious and they know eating out costs a fortune. After all, they did teach me about money from a young age.
Sure we could just relax and eat out and we will once we are on some road trips but for the sake of daily meals while we are home we needed to come up with a game plan so we didn’t kill the grocery budget by too much in May/June.
Is it rude if you are a guest and offer to buy groceries?
No, I don’t think so but I also don’t think that you should have to especially if you are family. I don’t think it will cause a rift in the relationship but don’t feel that you have to do it.
If you are being welcomed into someone’s home as a guest then they are accepting taking care of you for the duration of your stay. At least that’s the way I was brought up when guests would come to our house. My wife says the same thing of her family.
Budgeting for guests
We do have a stockpile budget of $25 each month which is great because we could easily use that to supplement any extra food that we buy. This month you will see we used the stockpile budget to purchase a pack of gorgeous steaks.
My wife and I did however not know how to proceed with grocery shopping before they arrived.
We talked about the menu plan for the 3 weeks that they would be here but there was something we couldn’t do and that was make a shopping list. Why? We didn’t know what my parents like to eat and don’t like to eat.
The last thing you want to be doing is stocking the pantry, freezer and refrigerator full of food your guests don’t want to eat. One time we hosted a student from Germany and she ended up being a vegan which we did not know until she arrived.
Lots of good having a freezer full of burgers, sausages and chicken did us that time so we had to revisit the grocery budget and factor in vegetarian meals.
Considering my parents were flying across the Atlantic I didn’t expect them to bring their own groceries as some might suggest as proper etiquette when staying at someone’s house.
They are my parents and I would never ask that of them. There is a time to be frugal but that’s just being down right cheap in my opinion.
Even though my parents might try to pitch in money for groceries I would politely decline as they are our guests and when they stay in our home we will feed them.
They do the same for us and when it comes to family there is no exchange of money when it comes to food and visiting, never.
My wife’s parents when we visit them for a few days we like to bring them a gift such as cheese or a nice bottle of wine. They do ask what we will eat and my wife’s mother will go over some of the meals with us just to make sure they are fine.
We have never had a bad meal and although neither one of us are on any special diets or eat a certain type of menu she always asks just to be polite.
You never know if someone’s diet has changed and are too shy to speak up because they don’t want to cause any extra work for the hosts. Some might say it would be up to the guest to make that known and I don’t think there is nothing wrong with that.
The reason I say that is because if the host can’t accommodate a certain diet because they don’t have the food in the house now that gives them time to create a shopping list and go shopping before the guests arrive.
If your guests are from the same country that seems easy enough as they probably already know the types of products that are stocked in Canada but if your guests are from out-of-country you might want to do what we did… take them grocery shopping with you.
We had to get our son’s photos done at Zehrs so while we were there we decided to take a trip around the grocery store to pick up some groceries. Before we made the trip we sat down with my parents and created a grocery list like we always do.
This time we included foods that my parents liked so they had something to munch on if we weren’t around or if we were busy. What we were really looking at was easy meals and snacks for them that they could create on their own.
Now that we have our baby boy and I am still working it made sense to have foods that were quick and readily available for my parents. You will see in this shop we bought cheese slices, lots of yogurt and even steaks.
The steaks were a great deal because they were more than 50% off and perfect for a BBQ meal that we could have easily gotten at a restaurant BUT decided to stay home and cook.
My parents loved the steak dinner with corn on the cob, macaroni salad, garden salad and strawberries with yogurt for dessert.
The one thing my parents did bring with them was their own tea and coffee since they both drink decaf and the wife and I don’t. That was fine with us besides tea and instant coffee is a bit cheaper in the UK compared to Canada.
Considering they are getting $1.91 Canadian to 1 British pound even if they did decide to buy groceries while they were in Canada they would be getting a bargain.
We also found out that my parents LOVE rhubarb which works out great since we have so much rhubarb in the freezer and in the back garden. Our rhubarb was ready for picking the other day so my dad picked it and my mum stewed it with a bit of sugar.
They enjoy this with a bit of vanilla yogurt. This was great because it was food that was home-grown and had we not of asked then we might not have offered it to them since we hardly ever eat it. We keep saying we will try to think of ways to use it up. Our son loves it too so now we know what we will be doing with our stockpile in the freezer.
So, overall we now know what my parents like to eat, we are stocked up and we no longer have to worry about them waiting to eat because they have full reign in our kitchen.
How to budget groceries for out-of-town guests
- Take your grocery budget and do the math… $235/2= $117.50 each per month plus $25 stockpile budget $12.50 each. If you have 2 more adult guests for the month you could easily double this budget to accommodate 4 adults who eat similar to you.
- If your guests include children I would likely budget much less as kids don’t tend to eat as much unless they are teenagers in which case I would just stick with calling them adults for the sake of the visit.
- For kids I’d stick with $0.75-$1 per meal extra including snacks. Adults $1.00-$2 per meal including snacks and depending on your budget. I’m just using ours as an example. I know it doesn’t sound like much but meal prices add up over the course of a month so be cautious.
- If you know ahead of time that they are coming maybe you can save a few dollars in your budget each week in a jar as extra money
- If you know what they like to eat in advance you can stockpile some of those foods when they go on sale
- If you don’t know what they like sit down with them and talk about meal plans you have put together to see if there is anything they can’t or won’t eat. Maybe then you can make substitutions and purchase them.
- When creating meal plans keep them simple with foods that fit in your budget. You don’t have to be superstars in the kitchen to show off to your guests if you don’t have the money to do so.
- If you have a garden by all means use some of the foods you grow when your guests are staying with you.
- Think about going to the local farmers market where you can buy local and in bulk possibly for less money than the grocery store since you are going right to the source.
- If you don’t have any extra money in your grocery budget you will have to create easy meals and snacks that work with any dietary accommodations. There are recipes all over the internet so don’t be shy to look something up and bake or cook it ahead of time. You can easily freeze snacks and meals so you aren’t doing much cooking when your guests arrive.
- If your guests insist on grocery shopping, let them. If they want to give back let them because that is their way of saying thank-you. If you don’t feel it is necessary by all means let them know that they don’t need to but let them do as they wish.
- If you overspend on your grocery budget for the duration of their stay consider carrying the overspend to the next month until you can catch up your grocery budget.
- If you find that you often have guests throughout the year you may want to consider adding some money to an emergency grocery stockpile budget for when your guests arrive. Saving in projected expenses every month will certainly help to offset the extra expenses when your guests come to visit.
At the end of the day we just want to spend time with my parents while they are here and the only expectations we have is for them to keep their room and bathroom tidy which is never a problem as my mum loves to clean.
What other tips can you think of to help the grocery budget when you have out-of-town guests staying at your house?
May 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!
- How to grocery shop 7 days a week and save money- The Grocery Game Challenge #1 May 4-10, 2015
- Top 5 Reasons Your Food Shopping Bill Is Expensive- The Grocery Game Challenge #2 May 11- 17, 2015
- When to use negotiation strategies at the grocery store- The Grocery Game Challenge #3 May 18-24, 2015
Grocery Saving Tips
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE. CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.
NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide
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.
- Parmalat 2% milk $3.97
- 2 x Kraft Peanut Butter $2.97 ea
- 2x Whole Wheat crackers Premium Plus $3.49 ea
- Avocados $2.94
- Seedless cucumber $1.34
- Red Hothouse tomatoes $2.35
Total out-of-pocket $13.61
- 2x Danone Creamy Vanilla Yogurt $7.78-50% $3.90
- Neilson Milk 4L $3.97
- 2 x fresh strawberries 2/$5
- 3 x Lean Beef $5.65, $5.65, $5.60
- Ziggy Macaroni Salad $4.99-50% $2.50
- Cheerios $4.99
- Dark Chocolate Sweet and Salty bars $4.98
- Kraft Singles 2/$5
- 1 x Astro Coconut yogurt $2.99
- Olympia coconut Yogurt $4.19-50% $2.10
- 4 pk Corn $2.50
- 2 x Stuffer mushrooms $3.99-50% $2 (700 pts)
- 2 x Oyster mushrooms 2/$8 -50% $4 (700pts)
- Bananas $2.11
- Red Onion $1.30
- Romaine Lettuce $2.49
- Striploin Steak $54.41 reduced to $24.41
- Halal Chicken Leg Quarters $4.40, $4.24
- Kaiser Rolls $2.50-50% $1.25
- Raisin Bread $2.49-50% $1.25
- Roasted Red Pepper Dip 2 x $3.99-50% = $4
Total out-of-pocket $108.08
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $190.03
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $190.03
- 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: 90295
- 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: $6.50
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $4.50
GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
- Total to spend this month $190.03 (this is minus overage $44.97 April)
- Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$
- Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
- Total coupons used this week: $1
- Total coupons used to date: $22.00
- Total in-store discounts this week: $45.00
- Total in-store discounts to date: $444.40
- Total spent this week: $55.60 (not including what I get back from coupon apps)
- Total spent so far this month: $46.57+$55.60+$19.26=$121.43+$96.69
- Total over/Under spend this shop: under $over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: -$28.09
- Total left to spend for the month: -$28.09
- Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44+May $218.12
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) Considering we have two extra adult mouths to feed I didn’t think we did too bad. We couldn’t pass up such a great deal on those steaks which will go right to the BBQ as soon as we are home. We will have to make up for the overspend in June.
Canadian Coupons Found This Week
Last week we found quite a few coupons so check last weeks GGC post if you missed reading it as I’ve scanned in all the great coupons found in Ontario stores right now.
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month 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 Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
- 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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