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How to live on a raw food diet : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 June 1-7, 2015



If one would’ve asked me 6 months ago if I’d have considered switching to a raw food diet, I’d likely have looked at them as if they were looney.

We’ve always worked to find a balance with our eating, serving our favorite foods with a sprinkle of vegetables in between.

However, in the last 5 months, we’ve fallen in love with a diet that consists largely of vegetables, and this is nothing short of a miracle.

Our family’s love affair with food has been long-lived. We are foodies by nature; you know the kind of family where love = how much good and tasty (not necessarily healthy) food you serve people when they show up at your door.

As such, implementing a raw foods diet into our family has not been without its challenges. I remember going to Great-Grandma’s house on the weekends as a child.

Everyone was welcome, and her large family always ensured that at least a dozen people would show up to chat on any given Sunday or Saturday.

We’d walk in the door, unannounced (this is the way it was back in the day – you’d just show up to visit family or friends), and Great Grandma would say, “Oh, I wish I’d have known you were coming – I would’ve had some food ready!”

Then she’d head for the pantry and the fridge and pull out all of the leftover goodies from the week: leftover turkey dinners, casseroles, breads and cakes. And we’d chat and eat until the sun went down, laughing and sharing our week’s stories.

Following the traumatic birth of our oldest daughter (her and I both nearly died), my health went down the tubes fast, and soon I was all but bedridden, unable to care for our home or play with my growing daughter.

Tests at the doctor’s office showed nothing was wrong, but I knew something must be up in order for me to be in so much pain. I listed nearly 30 different symptoms that showed that my health was not good, but the doctor simply went off of his tests, and his tests showed that I was fine.

After dealing with these symptoms for over a year, in a desperate attempted to get well, I committed to 30 days on a raw food diet. I didn’t know what else to do, but I knew I had to do something.

I wanted desperately to be able to care for and play with my daughter, and to care for our home. I ate nothing but fresh veggies and fruits for the 30 days, and at the end of the month, 75% of my symptoms disappeared and I was once again a “normal” functioning wife and mother. That was my first experience with the role food plays in our health.


The Raw Food Diet in Today’s Society


Advertising and marketing have conditioned us to want crème-filled cookies and astro-burgers over carrots and lettuce. Our taste buds have been conditioned to abhor raw foods, and to crave salt and sugar.

Retraining your taste buds is never fun – they will indeed rebel at the first attempts to be re-conditioned to eating food the way that God made it.

Going from a mainstream or “normal” eating lifestyle to a raw food diet will likely be met with resistance from family, friends and your body alike.


Our Family’s Experiment With a Raw Food Diet


Fast forward 14 years and oldest child is now 15 and has three younger siblings. Oldest child is your typical oldest, perfectionist and driven.

As she pursues a career in comic writing and illustrating, she spends an immense amount of hours researching both her comic subjects (she specializes in writing comics that extend the story of vintage shows like Battlestar Galactica) and the current comic talent of today’s world.

In her research, she found that one of her role models eats primarily a raw food diet. His story and health results sounded intriguing, and she committed herself to her own test with a raw food diet.

Ironically, this same weekend that she declared her commitment to eating raw foods found the family and I watching the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, which chronicles a man who drank nothing but freshly pressed raw food juices for six straight months in order to get his health back.

So, in January of 2015, just as our bodies were recovering from holiday junk food overload, we committed to 5 days of juicing and to starting a raw food diet after that.

The first three days or so were TOUGH. We craved sugar and salt, and the Mean Green Juice recipe from the documentary was anything but pleasing to our palates.

I’d have to force the kids to drink their juice, and they did it none too happily. But something funny happened toward the end of the week: we began craving our juice much the way one would crave their evening glass of Chardonnay.

The next week, we implemented our raw food diet. We filled the house with our favorite fresh veggies and fruits, and continued to juice during the week as well.

Our health improved drastically, our moods were no longer erratic (this is BIG in a house of 4 females and 2 males who are often left to combat female hormone changes while being very outnumbered.

Oldest child, who is also proficient in Krav Maga (a form of self-defense used by the Israeli army) found herself vastly improved in focus and comprehension during combat classes.

The changes in all of us were beyond noticeable, and we soon fell in love with surviving on a raw food diet.


Raw Food Diet Foods


A raw food diet can consist of any number or variety of whole, fresh fruits and veggies, although we try and keep fruit to no more than 25% of total calories consumed.

I’m amazed at how good we feel avoiding dairy and wheat and focusing on veggies and fruits. Most people, when picking out their raw food at the grocery store, stick to their tried and true favorites: carrots, apples, etc.

However, there is a wealth of foods out there that can make a raw food diet exciting and flavorful. Raw foods don’t have to consist of simply fruits and veggies, as there are a variety of raw nuts and seeds out there that will enhance your raw food experience.

Many raw foods recipe sites also include whole oats and the like in their recipe suggestions, as well as raw fish, raw cocoa beans, etc.

The great thing about a raw food diet is that you can customize it in a number of ways to lean toward your personal food likes.However, I would suggest that one be open to trying new things while experimenting with a raw food diet.


Raw Food Diet and the Budget


People often lament that a raw food diet is too expensive and wreaks too much havoc on the family budget. We haven’t found that to be true. As a family of six, we keep our grocery budget to under $500USD per month while still eating primarily raw foods.

We accomplish this a number of ways, such as:

  • Buying in bulk at the local warehouse clubs. We get a 10 pound bag of carrots there for $6.99.
  • Planning our menu and shopping around what’s on sale. If blueberries are on sale in a given week, then we’ll be stocking up on blueberries, for instance.
  • Growing a large garden. Each year we grow a large garden and fill it with various vegetables that can contribute to our raw food lifestyle. We also have some fruit trees and bushes in our yard, and use them to their full provision.
  • Taking advantage of deals at the local farmers markets. Vegetables and fruits are often cheaper at farmers markets and roadside vegetable stands.

By using these techniques, and by being creative with how we mix and match different fruits and veggies together, we can keep our grocery budget low and still eat healthy and delicious meals.


Raw Food Recipes


We do look online at the various raw food websites to find ideas for recipes that might fit in with our families taste preferences. Two of my favorite sites are Raw Guru and Raw Food Recipes . I would have to say, however, that most of our recipe ideas come from simply experimenting in the kitchen.


Raw Food Health Benefits


As I mentioned above, the health benefits we’ve experienced from living on a raw food diet are extensive. We are healthier, have more energy, require less sleep, are calmer, more relaxed.

I remember after about two weeks of juicing and raw food diet living that, as a treat, I took the kids to the local soft-serve ice cream shop for cones.

They ordered, got their cones and we left. On the way home, all of the kids remarked about how the cones simply didn’t taste as good as they used to. One of the younger kids remarked:

“It’s as if ice cream has become Mean Green Juice, and Mean Green Juice has become ice cream.” She said, referring to our Bizarro world in which the kids now begged me to stop at the store to re-stock our Mean Green Juice ingredients on a regular basis. If this is a dream, please don’t wake me.


Sample Raw Food Diet Meal Plan


A sample raw food meal plan based on what we eat in the Frugal Farmer household would probably look like this:


  • ½ cup of raw nuts (we choose from a variety: sunflower nuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc.)
  • 1 serving of fresh fruit


  • A salad buffet where each person throws into the lettuce whatever fresh fruits or veggies meet their fancy. We often use this homemade guacamole as the salad dressing.


  • Dinner often consists of any variety of raw meals, such as this Raw Pesto “Pasta” or these lettuce wraps. There’s no shortage of ideas when it comes to raw food recipes; use your imagination and the sky’s the limit.


Raw Food Diet Grocery Shopping List for the Week


  • 1 watermelon                                      $4.99
  • 1-10 lb bag organic carrots                $6.99
  • 2 bags organic romaine lettuce         $8.98
  • 3 boxes blueberries (2 lbs ea)          $19.47
  • 1 bag lemon kale salad                       $3.99
  • 1 box organic spinach (1 lb)               $4.49
  • 1-3 lb. bag almonds                            $16.99
  • 2 bags Asian salad                              $8.98
  • 2 bags sunflower nuts                         $3.98
  • 1-7 lb bag apples                                  $7.98
  • 2-6ct bag avocados                             $8.98

Total:                                                            $95.82

Our grocery list varies each week as we shop by what’s on sale and by the different kinds of meals we plan. We occasionally add in some organic brown rice or potatoes in the mix, depending on the mood, and we occasionally make a sweet treat, such as Mr. CBB’s Chunky Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.

When baking, we always use organic sugar, flour and butter in order to try and keep sweet treats at least a little bit healthy. Buying these things at the warehouse club saves a good deal of cash.

We usually buy a big bag of nuts every other week or so, alternating between almonds, walnuts and cashews, and the big bags last us a good while and allow enough for adding into meals and snacking on as well. Raw nuts are a great source of protein.

You may think that a raw food diet won’t fit into your food-loving lifestyle, but 5 months ago, I would’ve said the same about us. I’d encourage you to try drinking Mean Green Juice for 3-5 days straight as a kick-off to your raw food diet experiment, as the juice detoxes the body and helps re-train your taste buds.

There are expensive juicers out there that can cost as much as $500, but we bought a nice Hamilton Beach juicer for $60 at the local Walmart. This juicer suits our needs well, as long as we care for it gently and clean it completely after each use.

If you’re considering a raw food diet, or if you simply want to be healthier and feel better, I encourage you to give raw food eating a try. You may just fall in love with the raw food lifestyle.

Contribution Post by: Laurie is a wife, mother to 4, and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom, and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

If you enjoy a certain diet or lifestyle and want to share it at The Grocery Game Challenge please contact me today. – Mr.CBB


June 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!

Congratulations goes to Mary C for being the MAY 2015 GGC WINNER~  Please PM me for your coupon prize envelope.


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

  • 6 x Bavarian Bread $1.99 = $11.95
  • Large bag Perogies $3.99
  • 2x Parmalat 2% Milk $3.97 each
  • Miss Vickies Chips $3.99 (My dad wanted these)
  • 4 x Sealtest Tuna $0.99 each
  • Nutrigrain cereal bars $1.99 (Mom and Dad)
  • Shredded Wheat cereal Big box $2.99
  • Gluten Free Smoked Sausages $7.99-$3.20
  • 3 x Russet Potato bags $0.99 each
  • Bananas $1.61
  • Watermelon $2.99
  • Sweet Potatoes $3.55
  • Gaylea Sourcream $0.99

Total out-of-pocket $54.22

No Frills

  • 6 x Astro Coconut Yogurt $1.97 (our son loves this)
  • 2 x Packs of Chicken Breasts on sale $8.41, $8.34

Total out-of-pocket $28.57


  • Cheerios 525g $3.99
  • 2 x Eggs sale $1.50 each

Total out-of-pocket $6.99


  • 2 x Kraft Medium Cheddar Sale $3.88each
  • Turkey Breast slices $6.99-50%
  • 2x Cervalet Salami $8.49 each -50%

Total out-of-pocket $19.73

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 $206.91
  • 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: 90225
  • 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 $235-$28.09 (over May) $206.91
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$25.00+ May $25.00+ June $
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $22.00
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $15.20
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $459.60
  • Total spent this week: $55.60 (not including what I get back from coupon apps)
  • Total spent so far this month: $109.51
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $97.40
  • 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+ June $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): It was a busy week for us at the grocery store this week with 2 extra mouths to feed in our house. Although we are going away for a few days we still stocked up on some snacks my parents wanted for the road trip. There’s not much money left in the budget for this 5 week shopping month. This should be tight plus we have the stockpile budget to use up.


 Canadian Coupons Found This Week


Since we have my parents here I haven’t taken the time to scour the stores or check out the coupon board at Zehrs for coupons. I’ll hopefully have more to report next week once we do our next shop.

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?: 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  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 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 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. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500
    $6 coupons
    $7.20 oop
    $18 coupons
    $47.96 opp
    $8 coupons
    $67.79 oop
    $10 coupgon app
    $4.84 10% discount Tuesday
    $2.50 coupons
    $50.34 gift card
    $5.71 10% discount Tuesday
    $1 coupon

    $159.15 Monthly total oop
    $10 coupgon app
    $10.55 10% discount Tuesday
    $35.50 monthly total coupons
    $50.34 gift card
    $2956.96 yearly total oop
    $903.03 yearly toral coupons/discounts
    $155.36 yearly gift card total

    I can only post from my phone since my pc keeps saying there is an error everytime I post here. So I am only posting my totals until I get it fixed.
    This was a week of stocking up on meat and some other staples.

      1. Hey Mr.CBB
        Not sure what is up with the pc and between work and home I haven’t had time to try and figure it out.
        The Coupgon app is an instant coupon savings at the till that are available at select stores right now. For me I can use it at Co-op and Giant Tiger in my area and there are many stores to use the app at depending on where you live. They also have a facebook page and do credit giveaways all the time!! I won a $15 credit awhile back 🙂 used it to buy some sirloin tip roasts that were on sale.

        1. Hey Juanita,
          I added the app right after I read about it on your GGC post. I just have to read whether I can use it in Ontario. If I can save $$ I will.

          1. Hey Mr.CBB
            Have you checked on the coupgon app and are there any locations in your area?
            lately there hasn’t been anything amazing but they have been great with having some kind or fresh fruit, veg, bread or meat item on there on a regular basis for my local co-op.
            But they have been doing lots of credit giveaways on facebook lately so make sure you like them if your able to use the credit!

          2. Yes they approached me to do a credit giveaway on Facebook as well but I haven’t heard back from them after I asked how it would benefit me. It was more about advertising for them. I’m not sure I want to have contests that only bring people to CBB for that reason. I want people to come to CBB because they want to learn about saving money not getting free stuff.

  2. 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.
    Canadian Tire #1
    4 bags sugar @2.88, stockpile
    Total OOP $7.08

    Bananas -1.01
    1 apple sauce -1.79
    1 Certo Light-2.29
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 jug Compliaments lemonade -2.99
    1 soya sauce -2.99
    1 yogurt -2.99
    4 pounds butter(salted) @2.99
    2 pounds butter(unsalted for baking)@2.99
    1 pack beef liver -3.40, 50% sticker minus 1.70
    1 Rice Krispies -3.99, FPC -free
    1 yogurt -3.99, 1.00 coupon
    1 lb ground turkey -4.49
    1 lean ground beef -4.57
    2 4l milk @4.88
    3 Powerade @3/4.98
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 grated parmasen -6.49
    Tax -1.04
    Total OOP $81.98, 4.99 coupons, $1.70 discount

    CanadianTire #2
    4 sugar @2.88, stockpile
    Total OOP -$7.08

    2 Whiskas cat food @6.47
    2 packs lean ground beef @10.00, 25% sticker $7.50 each
    2 Temptations cat treats @1.66
    Tax -2.11
    Total OOP -$33.37, $5.00 discounts

    No Frills
    1 Apple sauce -1.97
    1 ground cinnamon -1.49
    2 6packs Gatorade @3.99, PM to FB
    2 cases pop @3.97
    1 Rice Krispies -5.38, FPC -free
    2 Cheerios @3.99
    1 frozen fries -2.29
    1 frozen stir fry veggies -3.29
    1 frozen veggies -2.97
    4 144 count Tetley teabags @4.99
    2 cranberry cocktail @2.47
    2 Royale TP @3.97
    1 6pack Royale tissues -3.97
    2 Armstrong cheese @3.88
    2 packs Kraft singles @2.84, PM to WM
    2 bagels @1.66
    2 raisin bread @3.00
    1 W/W bread -3.38
    2 packs chicken fillets -9.21 + 9.12
    1 pack sausage -4.99
    1 large pack Janes chicken nuggets -7.97
    1 bag carrots -2.49
    10# potatoes -2.97
    1 bag onions -1.49
    Bananas -1.49
    2 Dove body wash @2.97
    Tax -4.83
    Total OOP -$160.58, $5.38 coupons
    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
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 10550
    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: $21.00
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $18.50
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00 -Jan $22.20+ Feb $24.50+ Mar $22.18+ Apr $18.32+ May -$40.95
    Stockpile budget used this month: $14.16, sugar at Canadian Tire
    Total coupons used this week: $10.37
    Total coupons used to date: $96.40
    Total in-store discounts this week: $6.70
    Total in-store discounts to date: $74.83
    Total spent this week: $275.93 (not including what I get back from coupon apps)
    Total spent so far this month: $275.93
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
    Total left to spend for the month: $374.07
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $640.13+ Feb $572.63+ Mar $786.52+ April $515.95+ May $621.33+ June $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): I did a shop at No Frills so that drove up the total as it usually does, big time. But I am good for a number of things for a while..tea, some meat, butter, sugar, cat food. I had to get the Whiskas at Walmart as it had the best price but I didn’t get a flyer from them and haven’t now for the last few weeks so I couldn’t price match the cat food. I grabbed a flyer while there and PM’d the cheese slices as I was in and out of there. I just happened to see the reduced ground beef on the way to the check outs. The girl didn’t scan my card at No Frills so I missed out on points.. Darn!! I can still do this for the month!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      How did you only pay $7.0x at Canadian Tire for the sugar. Did you use CT money? I’m pretty sure you can bring your receipt in and have them manually do it. Don’t miss out on points! Call the store and ask them about bringing the receipt in next time you are at the store.
      At least you found the Gatorade on sale at No Frills and the beef sale at Walmart. You still have lots to spend for the month and now that you are well stocked that should be pretty easy for you to use up without going over. It looks like Zweet has been kind to you for coupons compared to the other apps. Do you find that Zweet offers the best coupon deals?
      Great shop, I’m impressed!
      You get ballot 12

      1. Oops… I put the wrong single price for the sugar…should have been $1.77 each!! I PM’ed the gator ade to Food Basics that day so we were happy.
        It’s a toss up between Zweet and CO51. CO51 has been around longer and I have cashed out a few times before this year with them. I’m finally at the point where I can cash out with Zweet. I usually do let things go past the $20.00 so the check is for more.

  3. Week 1 – May 31 – June 6

    • Grocery budget to work with in June: $250 as a 5 week month for groceries (Translates to $50 weekly)
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $32.03
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $.69
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $10.75
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $20
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $180
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $38.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.88
    • Total student discounts to date: $104.59
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $1.76
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $11.33
    • Total spent this week: $67.80
    • Total spent so far this month: $67.80
    • Total left to spend for the month: $182.20
    • Weekly carry over: $0 (used some of the money from the rest of the month, need to balance it out before I decide if there will be carry over for this month. Once it balances, the remaining will go to this jar or be removed as needed)
    • Total in carry over jar: $53.90
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $1407.50

    Shoppers Drug Mart: Milk 3.97: Total paid 3.95 rounded down 2 cents

    RCSS: Yogurt raisins 3.69, clearance cheese and cracker sticks for school lunches 3 x .33, clearance cheese and pretzel stick .33 x 2, PC Zero 2.99 x 2, NN chips . 97 x 4 (PM), less super bucks .34 and .35, tax free day 1.76: Total paid 14.50 rounded down 1 cent

    Winners: Dried pears clearance 4.00 x 2, Dried peaches clearance 4.00, Salted caramel coffee grounds clearance 5.00, salted caramel coffee grounds clearance 6.00, bananas foster coffee grounds clearance 4.00, apple chips 2.20 x 2, tax .57:Total paid 31.95 rounded down 2 cents

    Dollar Tree: Peanuts 1.25 x 2, pizza sauce 1.25, tax .33C: Total paid 4.10 rounded up 2 cents

    Shoppers Drug Mart: Milk 3.97: Total paid 3.95 rounded down 2 cents

    RCSS: Quaker Oat Squares cereal 2.50 x 2 (PM), Heinz ketchup 3.29 (PM), NN baking powder 2.99, NN flour 7.99, bread yeast 4.28, redeemed 20.00 pc plus points, less student discount 2.36: Total paid 1.20

    RCSS: Sugar 1.79 (PM), eggs 1.50 (PM), blueberries 18 oz 3.98, mushrooms 1 lb 2.98, 4 pack peppers 3.98, baby spinach 4.49, bananas 2.04, asparagus 3.31 (PM), tomatoes 1.10, less student discount 2.52: Total paid 22.65

    Ok, this was an expensive week. There are no excuses, should have had more self control. Everything we bought, we do have a use for and some things were cheaper than normal. For example the Winners purchases. We were almost completely out of coffee. I had no idea that there were so many choices there and the prices were reasonable. I looked at the regular prices, and I know I will be back there at some point to even purchase more coffee. However, I stuck with the clearance section with it. It’s nice to have coffee around again. The apple chips are an indulgence, I just love them. The dehydrated fruit is for on the road stuff we do all the time to avoid expensive snacks or drive thru.

    We went through a lot of milk this week, not every week is the same. No tax day is a time to stock up on some indulgences for hubby and our son. Like the chips and soda. I do have a soda weakness and it does seem to be cheaper in the summer.

    And, we were desperate for a lot of staples. It’s hard to work within our house without flour, sugar, baking powder and yeast.

    Big thing, while I am almost 18.00 over for my weekly, there is lots of time to make up for it by the end of the month. I will take it a week at a time. With it being a 5 week calculated month, we have some wiggle room and finally plenty of food in the house. I do still plan to have some carry over added by then end of the month to build back up after our big meat purchase last week.

    1. Hey,
      That’s quite the shop. I love how you score all these clearance deals. I agree with stocking up on non-tax day if you know you need certain products. No point paying the tax and a bonus if they are on sale too!
      This is a 5 week month so yes you will have time to make up the difference.
      I’m glad to hear you have stocked up the house. See, you can do this!!!
      You get ballot 8. Mr.CBB

  4. Quick question about SCOP. Do you have to pay for the item and then ask for a refund? Or if they ring it in wrong, do you ask for it free right then and there? My soy sauce was rung in incorrectly this week, so I corrected them, but didn’t bring up SCOP because I wasn’t sure exactly how to go about it…

    1. Yes, I would stop the cashier there and then, let her know that the product was scanning an incorrect price so she could have it price checked and then ask to apply SCOP. They won’t offer it to you. If you went home just ring the store and let them know. Many times we have come home and noticed a scanning error on our receipt and all we do is call and it’s never an issue with any participating store. Hope that helps.

    2 Activia Yogurt, Sale $2.50ea (reg $4.27)
    Iogo Greek Yogurt (8%mf for kiddo), $3.48-30%
    International Delight, Sale $2 (reg $3.17)
    Creamsicle Bars, Sale $2.98 (reg $3.77)
    Red Grapes 2lbs, $3.97
    Bananas, $2.01
    3 Large Hams, Sale $0.98/lb (reg $2.99/lb?) = $9.95, $9.30, $8.20 (Stockpile Used: $17.50)
    2 “Country Alps” Bread, Sale $1.98 (reg $2.98)
    Bagels, $4.27-30%
    2 Spatulas, $2ea
    – In-Store Discounts: $65.73
    – Coupons: $0
    – Out Of Pocket: $57.15 (- stockpile $17.50) = 39.65

    4 Itchiban Noodles, Sale $0.25ea wub4 (reg $0.39ea)
    Lily Soy Sauce, Sale $3.98 (reg $4.38)
    Bulk Sunflower Seeds, $1.13
    Bulk Slivered Almonds, $6.30 – ouch!
    Bananas, $2.29 + 400 Pts
    Green Onions, $0.77
    Bulk Bread (5/pkg), $5-30%
    Gerber Graduate Puffs, $2.77
    – In-store Discounts: $2.46
    – Coupons: $0
    – Out of Pocket: $21.90

    STOCKPILE 2 Cheerios, Sale $1.49ea (reg $3.99)
    2 Peak Freens, Sale $1.49ea (reg $3.88)
    Banana Cream Pie, Sale $3.99 (reg $8)
    Cabbage ($1.50/lb), $7.31
    Mushrooms ($3.99/lb), $4.57
    Watermelon, Sale $4.99 (reg $7.99)
    – In-store Discounts: $16.78
    – Coupons: $0
    – Out of Pocket: $26.82 (- stockpile $3) = $23.82

    Grocery & Health/Home Budget for the Month: $500
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $500.00 + $92.99 from May + $83.78 from April
    Gift Cards used to date: $34.07
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 2100
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    Checkout51: $10.50
    Zweet: $1.75
    Snap Groupon: $0
    Cart Smart: $0

    Stockpile budget 2015: $225 ($25/month Apr-Dec)
    Stockpile used this week: $20.50
    Stockpile used to date: $96.74 (Apr$22.79+May$53.45+June$20.50)
    Coupons this week: $0
    Coupons to date: $70.30 (Apr$20.49+May$49.81)
    In-store discounts this week: $84.97
    In-store discounts to date: $203.79 (Apr$36.17+May$82.65+June$84.97)
    Total spent this week: $85.37
    Total spent so far this month: $85.37
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $14.63 under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $
    Total left to spend for the month: $414.63
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (not including stockpile budget) Start Apr: $905.38 (Apr$416.16+May$404.75+June$85.37)

    Weekly Overview:
    Great deal on ham this week. When buying ham for Easter or hubby’s birthday supper, I usually pay $30/ham (yowch!)…so thought I’d snap up a few to freeze for future use. So much for baking bread this week, so crazy busy. Maybe next week. Also, this week I got my first EVER rain check! Before meeting you guys, I didn’t even know those existed! So next time we run out of cheerios, I’ll be able to get them for $1.49/box again. Sweet! 

    1. Hi Megan,
      That was a great deal for the ham. If your grocery budget has the money and you can grab a few at that price to freeze it’s worth the savings for sure. The same goes with a turkey or roasts of all kinds. I bake bread and although I’d love to bake daily or even weekly that’s never going to happen. Once in a while when I have some time I will bake bread but it’s not that often these days. A huge savings though. Congrats on the rain check!! We got one too!! Yes, always ask for a rain check because it typically lasts for one month which means if you go in the store the next day when a shipment comes in you don’t need to use it just buy the product on sale and keep the rain check for the weeks the product is back up to full price but you need to buy it. Mary is our in-house rain check pro if you have any questions just ask her. She documents her rain checks in her GGC write-up with expiry dates so she can track them. You don’t want them to expire.
      Well done with your shop Megan!! You get ballot 6.

    1. If you click on the Grocery Game Rules on the front page of the blog you will see there is a download of the GGC weeks for 2015 that Mary put together for all of us. 🙂 Hope that helps.

  6. A very interesting article! Something to consider but hubby and the boys do like their meat and such. This time of the year I can get for fruits and veggies in season and at the farmers market here in town. I have looked into a couple of different diets in an effort to save a bit on the grocery budget and to give us a little variety in meals here. While we may never go fully raw food diet it does look good and something to look into.

    1. I always say that lifestyles like this are subject to personalization, Christine. You could absolutely add some meat in with your salads or raw veggies. Every step towards a healthier lifestyle is a success, and if you’re eating grass fed, free range meats you’re getting vital nutrients with that too!

  7. I would not be able or willing to eat a raw only diet. Salads are my limit. I like to eat cooked, hot foods 🙂
    Some foods are actually more nutritional when cooked.

    1. I hear you, Kathryn. There are days when we eat cooked food too, but we love the raw food lifestyle. Yummy! It took us a while to find recipes pleasing to our palate, etc., but we are loving it!

  8. Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $1.86 (starbucks)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $0

    Week 17- 25-31 May- 2015

    tuna 3 @ $0.99= $2.97
    miracle whip= $2.99
    Minute Maid orange juice=$1.88
    PC sour cream $4.29-50% pink sticker= $2.14
    parsnips (reduced)= $1.49
    yellow peppers (reduced)= $1.49
    apples (reduced) = $1.49
    .4kg tomato= $1.16
    ground beef = $9.96
    PC naan bread= $1.99

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $2.14 (starbucks)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $0

    blueberry watermelon juice –$0.99
    4L milk- $5.99
    3lbs onions 2@$1.79 =$3.58 (600 PC pts)
    oranges/apples/banana tray 2@$1.49 = $2.98 (reduced )
    pork chops $6.43+ $5.88 = $12.31 (2400 PC pts)
    Bros Pepperoni $6.47

    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 $

    Total Gift Cards used to date: $82.54
    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: $4.00
    Total coupons used to date: $9.73
    Total in-store discounts this week: $2.15
    Total in-store discounts to date: $117.31
    Total spent this week: $0
    Total spent so far this month: $61.41
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month =$155.25(under)
    Total left to spend for the month : =$353.02
    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) =$730.33

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Got a great price on pork chops, and still paying for most of our food with PC points.

    1. Hi Kathryn,
      Was the sour cream the 500ml container? I find PC products are nice and thick like back home. I can’t stand watery yogurt and sour cream. How do you prepare your parsnips? Was that a special kind of milk for $5.99? My father in law bought watermelon juice and boy was it ever delicious. What did you think of the juice you bought? I suppose it’s easy to make watermelon juice though. Great deal on the pork chops and the points! What a great shop. You score some great deals on reduced products. Do you shop on a certain day or time of day? You get ballot 2. Mr.CBB

      1. Yes, it was a 500ml…and really nice and thick….best I ever had actually. I’m pretty boring with parsnips, I usually boil them in a stew or soup. I really like the blueberry/ watermelon juice, I think it would be also great as a ‘filler’ for making homemade jam/jelly. Price of milk in NS is expensive…and this is just regular homo milk. Usually we try to shop mid morning, but these days, we just stop when we drive by…we live really close.

  9. JUNE – Week #1 of 4- June 1-7, 2015


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



    Before we start our JUNE off though, I am going to make my “reserve” transfers for the month:


    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($ 47.00) Overage from May
    ($ 30.00) trf to borscht reserve-normally $12.50
    ($ 6.56) trf to re-stocking – normally $17.50
    ($ 10.00) trf to holiday reserve–normally $10.00
    ($ 36.44) trf to summer reserve–normally $10.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $50.00

    Grocery Balance $60.00 for JUNE


    We used our Save On Foods rain check for Cheese Smokies 1 Kg package that was 54% off for a cost of $5.99 a pack before the rain check expired.

    The rest of the groceries include stocking up on our bread supplies to get us thru to until our US trip and another redeeming of points for a 4L jug of milk. It’s all we needed this week.

    I am watching for an egg sale, because of the Canada Customs barring of all poultry and egg products from the US. Really – that’s all we need to keep our eyes peeled for though before the end of the month.

    I expect we’ll use up the balance of this month’s grocery money though by taking advantage of the rain check for hubby’s favorite pizzas.

    We haven’t been using tomato products lately so I am letting the following Safeway rain check expire:

    6 Ronzoni Sweet Onion Marinara @ 2 for $5.00- Good ‘til June 20/15

    We are almost half way through the year and so far so good when it comes to having the grocery budget work for us. We are eating a lot less meat but perhaps that’s a good thing! 🙂



    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge

    2 x 1KG – Cheddar Smokies @ $5.99 = $11.98 Rain Check
    1 x 4L Skim Milk $4.99 – $4.69 = $0.00 re 3,100 Points Redemption

    •Total OOP: $11.98

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $11.98
    • Stockpile Budget OOP: $0.00
    • Cash Hiding Spot: $0.00
    • Points Redeemed: $4.69

    ** Earned 12 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $14.00 Rain Check Savings on this shop **

    Superstore – Port Coquitlam –

    2 x Glutino Cheese Bread @ $4.98 ea on sale
    (save $1.50 ea) = $9.96 + 1800 Points
    4 Old Mill English Muffins (2 for $3 on sale) $13.49
    (save $0.67 ea) = $6.00
    4 Old Mill 100% WW Bread (4 @ $1.78) = $7.12

    •Total OOP: $23.08

    ** Earned 1800 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $5.68 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $3.58+ Feb $0.00 + Mar $14.54 + Apr $15.76 + May $0.00 + June $5.68 = $39.56

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 + May $0.00 + June $14.00 = $14.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 +Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 + Apr $0.00 + May $0.00 + June $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22 + Feb 45 + Mar 140 + Apr 12 + May 6 + June 12 = 237 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 = 324 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200 + Feb 900 + Mar 900 + Apr 1,500 + May 0 + June 1800 = 6,300 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30 + Feb 40 + Mar 0 + Apr 0 + May 0 + June 0 = 70 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $199.31+ Feb $180.69 + Mar $274.41 + Apr $105.59+ May $237.00 + June (trf $10.00 Xmas Reserve+$36.44 to Summer + $6.56 trf to Re-Stocking Reserve + $30.00 trf to Borscht Reserve + $0.00 trf to US Reserve +11.98+$4.69 points redemption+$23.08= $122.75)= $1,119.75

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + Apr $190.00 + May $190.00 + June 190.00 = $1,140.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $20.25 AVAILABLE



    2014 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $3.83+ Mar $32.09 + Apr $4.99 + May $4.69 + June $4.69 = $50.29



    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50+Feb $22.50 + Mar $17.50 + Apr $18.44 + May $17.50 + June $6.56 = $430.00



    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50 + Mar $12.50 + Apr $0.00 + May $20.00 + June $30.00= $500.00



    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00+ Mar $10.00 + Apr $10.00 + May $25.00 + June $10.00= $185.00



    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00 + Feb $10.00 + Mar $15.00 + Apr $15.00 + May $35.00 + June $36.44= $211.44



    $ 1,140.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MARCH
    $ 50.29 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($388.94) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 202.50) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 50.29) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 514.84) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 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
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAR
    $ 4.99 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – APR
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAY
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JUNE

    $ 50.29 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    So far $1,140.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2015 and we have recorded these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $430.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $500.00 Borscht Fund
    $185.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $211.44 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,326.44 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $388.94 in NEW 2015 savings.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start JUNE less $83.00 transferred to the various savings reserves less $0.00 transferred for Points Redeemed = $107.00 less an overage carried forward from MAY for $47.00 less plus an additional $0.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of JUNE with $60.00 available to spend on the Canadian side of the border PLUS we have spent $39.75 on our groceries (cash & points) so far this month and have a surplus of $20.25 AVAILABLE for the month of JUNE.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redeemed, rather than the budgeted cash in the amount of $50.29. Available as an offset, we currently have $50.29 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 $315.57 IS AVAILABLE for our next US shop currently scheduled for July 5th!

    Of the outstanding US Shopping Reserve $315.57:

    $113.07 is carried forward from 2014

    $202.50 is new 2015 Y-T-D savings

    Less $0.00 that we’ve actually spent in 2015

    = $315.57 US Reserve Available


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    4 Signature Café Pizzas @ 2 pizzas for $9.00- Good ‘til June 19/15
    2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts @ $12 ea- Good ‘til July 4/15
    6 Skippy Peanut Butter @ BOGO – Good ‘til July 11/15
    12 Soft Drinks @ BOGO – Good ‘til Aug 18/15


    1. Hi Mary,
      So you had a rain check for the smokies but you found them for 54% off? Great deal!! Pays to have those golden rain checks. We only need so much meat in our diets and for most we eat too much. I know I could polish off more than I need. We are like both you and Larry and have been eating less meat as well. We love our veggies.
      What is happening with the egg products and the USA? I haven’t heard anything, mind you I’ve been away from the computer quite a bit this past month.
      You get ballot 1. I got your note about being 1 of 5 shops… I forgot too. It’s going to be a tight month for us.

      1. Avian flu is spreading like wildfire across the US and it’s hitting all forms of poultry and eggs. They expect there are not going to be anywhere near enough turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas this year so put on your thinking cap and plan a different celebratory meal. 🙂

        Here in Canada we have salmonella outbreak in our live poultry industry across 5 different provinces…BC thru the prairies and it’s spreading. 🙁

  10. I have heard about how beneficial being on a raw food diet can be to your health. I’m going to assume that alot of people like me really want to try something like this, but too chicken to do it. What I think is great is that your whole family is in on it and you all did it together. That’s awesome!!

    1. Petrish, I’d encourage you t o try it for a week or two. The benefits are amazing! Now on the occasions we do eat “regular” food, we always can’t wait to get back to the good stuff. 🙂

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