The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

5 Healthy Office Snacks you should stock for cravings : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 June 22-28,2015



Are you wondering how to eat healthy at work? Easy! A healthy eating plan is a must so bring a nutritious lunch plus office snacks that won’t attack your waist-line and budget.

Office snacks are probably one of the main reasons people gain weight when they don’t want to especially if they are unhealthy snacks being consumed.

Whether you get in your car to drive to the office or you work from home in an office environment like many of my freelance blogger friends, eating snacks will be a part of your day.

My friend and personal finance blogger John over at Frugal Rules just posted his amazing transformation “How I lost 100Lbs” and he works from home. He has learned just how important eating healthy is and working out.

Empty calories add up over time so it may not happen after one office snack but you keep eating chips, chocolate bars, cookies or other office snacks brought in by your fellow workers and you may just wish you held back a little.

Working in an office environment has provided me with insight into what happens when those snack cravings hit. If I were to give in to all the temptations around me I’d be working out even longer but I don’t want to do that.

I eat all foods in moderation which means I like to have snacks like everyone else but they have to be healthy snacks especially when I’m at work. When I’m at home I may indulge in something a bit more naughty once in a while but it’s not often.

Snack breaks at work are not like those cheesy commercials that suggest the snack attack will happen at 3pm so grab a chocolate bar to satisfy the craving. It’s the WORST thing you could do.

Nothing like a sugar high then a sudden crash where you want to go for a nap. I’m not sure if many businesses in Canada offer nap time for their employees after a big meal or sugar-filled snack. (If they do you work for a pretty awesome company, I might add)

I don’t judge anyone at work by what they choose to eat as it’s none of my business. When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle focus on what goes into your body to help you fuel the day and less worry about what others are doing.

What I do care about is ME!


Office Snacks fuel the day


I’m not a nutritionist so I’m not here telling you what your best snack selection is but what I will share with you are some healthy snacks my wife and I would bring to work.

Depending on your diet  and grocery budget you may require something different so always base your office snacks around what your body requires. Also, ask your doctor or nutritionist for recommendations if you are struggling as I’m sure they will have plenty of ideas.

Since both my jobs keep me on the go all day when I retreat to the office setting that is when I feel my stomach rumble. Not everyone is like me which means you might stash snacks in your purse, pockets, jackets etc. so you are prepared wherever you are in the office setting.

Healthy office snacks are always going to be your sure winner. Not only do they keep you alert and ready to conquer the rest of the day they won’t wear you down. One of the most common complaints of office workers is the lack of exercise they get and potential for weight gain especially if they are sitting all day.

My wife and I both have worked in office environments and know this feeling all too well. Over the years we’ve had to come up with office snacks that fit our budget and that were delicious.

The last thing you want to be doing is snacking on cardboard wheat breads to satisfy a craving or to relax after a busy day. You might as well just dunk your head in a bucket of water because they are so dry and boring.

When I’m at work I like to take at least 2-3 office snacks with me every shift. I work long shifts however I don’t often get a chance to eat at regular intervals sometimes not at all.

Having office snacks stashed away for a quick bite has saved me on more than one occasion. I know my wife gets a bit upset when I come home with my lunch untouched but there are days where I simply don’t get time to eat a proper lunch.

I’m not one for eating lunch on the go either. I like to sit down to enjoy my hot meal because that’s what I typically bring. I’m not a sandwich type of guy.

My wife on the other hand would rather snack all day then have a proper lunch. We are a bit different that way but I think everyone has different eating habits while at work.

When we are home or have the day off from work our eating is different but It’s mainly because you don’t have the pressures of deadlines or projects on your shoulders.


Office Snacks Monster


One of the pitfalls of working in an office is vending machines. Almost all vending machines are placed in office environments as well as hospitals.

If you are lucky your office has a cafeteria like mine does so it makes getting office snacks on the go a bit easier but if all you have is the vending machine, beware.

Not only are vending machine snacks typically unhealthy they will cost your budget some big dollars. The price you pay for convenience and pre-packaged single servings are always higher than packing an office snack at home and bringing it with you.

Now that the hot weather is here creating easy summer snacks to enjoy outside at work or in your office is easier with seasonal produce. That means if you love watermelon, pineapple and other summer fruits you can enjoy munching on a container for a quick afternoon refresher.

When I think up snack ideas for work though I like to bring along good protein snacks. Why? Well protein seems to fill me up so if I pair it with a fruit it seems to keep my blood sugar from spiking and falling.

This might not happen to you but I can certainly feel it with my body. One idea is to bring along hard-boiled eggs as a quick protein snack.

I’m not a huge fan of those commercial protein or health bars but on ‘occasion’ I may enjoy a protein bar such as Quest or Chef Robert Irvine Fortifix Fit Crunch Bars. Calorie intake may be higher than 200 calories for bars so beware.

I always read the nutritional values on the packaging. I aim for high protein, low sugar most times. Check your local health food store or you can order almost all protein bars online shipped right to your door.

Fruit has natural occurring sugars so beware however you should consume fruits every day according to the Canadian Food Guide.(<<Download for Free)

For males it is suggested we get 8-10 servings per day and females 7-10 servings per day.

Canada Food Guide

I also aim for low-calorie snacks so I’m not eating all my daily calorie intake just in snacks. That is super easy for me today especially if it’s a sugary snack from a bake sale or something a teammate has brought in and voluntarily sits on my desk.

My aim is to eat snacks that are less than 200 calories each and that are relatively healthy so I’m not busting my butt harder than I have to working out.

I guess the good thing is I’m not always at a desk and it’s just used for paperwork purposes.

So, what do I bring? Below are a my top 5 office snacks.


 5 Office Snacks that pack a punch!


  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Baked Chicken Breast, Can of tuna or other protein
  • Cheese cubes and yogurt
  • All fruits- I like Bananas, apples, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries etc.
  • Protein bar or Almonds, raisins, walnuts, peanuts, (mixed nuts)

What are some of your favourite office snacks that keep you going throughout the day? If you are retired or no longer work what are some office snacks you used to bring with you?


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!


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.


  • 2x 2% Milk 4L $3.97- Gift Card

Total out-of-pocket: $7.94- Walmart Gift Card =$0

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: $7.94
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $20.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 99718
  • 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 $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $26.50
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $539.38
  • Total spent this week: $0
  • Total spent so far this month: $235.67
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $28.76 over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $28.76 over
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$28.76
  • 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 $235.67

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

Like we anticipated we didn’t need anything but milk this week so we used some money from a gift card at Walmart that we had. I received it when our son was born as a gift from a work mate.


 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 now that my parents are gone and life gets back to normal.

Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!

June 2015 Canadian Coupons GGC

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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