Top 5 Grocery Shopping Methods Revealed…What’s Yours? : The Grocery Game Challenge #5 Aug 31-Sept 6, 2015

top 5 grocery shopping methods revealed(1)THE RIGHT AND WRONG WAY TO GROCERY SHOP


Honestly, there is no right or wrong method to go grocery shopping BUT there may be consequences if you overspend.

While at the grocery store today I wasn’t in the mood for any shopping so my wife led the way with our handy grocery list.

What I did do was people watch other grocery shoppers while they were shopping. I guess you could say I was creeping their shopping carts.

At the same time I was trying to figure out their shopping method because I realize that not everyone is as organized as we are and walk into a grocery store armed with a grocery list.

I observed one woman walk through the grocery store doors with her cell phone in one hand chatting away and a basket in the other. She would wander around the store just grabbing items off the shelf as she toggled the phone from from her hand to her neck and ear.

I started to follow her from a distance and noticed she had no interest in sales because she put the more expensive products in her basket as opposed to comparable products on sale. I’m sure talking on the phone made a huge difference as to what she was buying unless she’s a master mult-tasker and from experience this can be a good thing or a VERY bad thing.

She may be partial to certain brand names but then again maybe she doesn’t even care about saving money because she doesn’t need to or maybe she does but has no idea how to grocery shop to save money.

This was starting to get fun but I didn’t want to get caught watching people grocery shop. It’s not like they would arrest me or anything but I was merely observing. I really wouldn’t know how to explain myself if I did.


Shopping to save money


I truthfully can say now that we have a child grocery shopping has become challenging. We used to carry a coupon binder which was extremely organized but we aren’t the super hero shoppers we once were.

These days it’s all about making sure we have what we need including a grocery list, coupons in hand along with the flyers. Lastly, we don’t have the time to shop at a few grocery stores as our son can get grumpy fast so we do our best to price match at one store.

On top of an already hectic grocery shopping trip I have to make sure that any rewards programs we have that require us to load coupons or points deals to our cards before we shop is taken care of. We don’t have a data plan on our mobile phone so if we don’t do it at home we’ll likely miss out on the savings. I’m sure that soon enough we will see almost all stores with free wi-fi available.

We are not as strict as we used to be while grocery shopping as our tastes have changed as well as our shopping knowledge however we continue to do our best to stay with-in our $235 monthly grocery budget limit. Using a grocery list is by far the easiest way for us to grocery shop while reeling in all the savings.

What really motivated me to write this post was not only what I observed but the number of times people email me asking for more secrets to saving money at the grocery store.

Not only do I reply back asking them how much their grocery budget is I realized that I also need to know what their method of shopping is like. There’s no point trying to save money if you are an impulse buyer, if you catch my drift. What I’m trying to say is that if you want to save money you need to evaluate not only how much money you have to spend but how you are spending it.

On this list you won’t find the people who use online delivery services to do their grocery shopping. I’m targeting those shoppers who physically go into the grocery store to complete their shop.


Firm grocery list


This is the method of shopping we use every week because without our list we would go broke. We love food that much and enjoy cooking that it’s so easy to just throw products in the cart if we don’t have a clear plan. With a concrete grocery list it’s easy for us to stick to our grocery budget so we stay on target for the year.

Keep in mind that just because you have a grocery list that doesn’t mean you are exempt from slipping away from it. We know this all to well and sometimes it can take months to get back on track with our budget.

The good thing is that with your list in hand you are less liable to spend more than you had intended to because you have your plan in place. If you find you are being called to a product that’s not on your list ask yourself if it’s worth it to your budget. Most often we can do without but only realize it after we get home.

You my friend use the grocery list method.


Stockpile deals with coupons


We used to stockpile heavy amounts of food, health, beauty, laundry and cleaning supplies back in 2010-2012 when coupons were at the height of their game.

This isn’t so much the case these days. Couponing has changed drastically but mostly just the wording on coupons and how much the coupons are worth. Let’s not forget coupons are slowly becoming extinct due to coupon apps.

There are still some people who only buy food or other products IF they have a coupon for it. They may use a list but on that list are only foods with coupons.

You my friend use the coupon savings method.


Flyer sales


I wish we could only shop the flyer sales but there are products that we use that aren’t always on sale. It amazes me though how many people can actually complete a grocery shop where every product in their shopping cart is a flyer special of the week.

Many people only have enough money in their grocery budget to stretch so far which means the only way to get everything they will need buying only products on sale that week will get them there. Included in flyer sales is the ability to price match which means this opens up the opportunity to find more flyer specials on products across more grocery stores.

You my friend use the flyer sales method.


Impulse shopping


When you rush into a store and you don’t know what you want to buy nor do you have a list then you instantly become the impulse shopper. Your mind is racing wondering what you can cook for dinner and buy for the next few meals to end the week.

I’ve typically found these people to be shoppers who despise grocery shopping and are not big fans of being in the kitchen. You may also find those people who use this method of shopping to shop frequently because a full-shop in one go is not the way they roll.

This method of grocery shopping could be the worst for your grocery budget BUT it could also mean you spend less. I know it sounds strange BUT if you impulse shop and only buy what you will eat and it’s on sale you might just save more than you think.

If you are the impulse shopper who fills a shopping cart well my guess is you don’t really worry about how much you spend at the grocery store. I kind of wish I could be this way BUT I’d rather not end up with a mish-mash of food at home. I’m betting the impulse shopper has more than the average amount of double products that a non-stockpiler has in their kitchen.

You my friend are the impulse shopper.


Bulk Shopping


My sister-in-law is this method of grocery shopping because she says she doesn’t have the time to go grocery shopping like most would traditionally do. It’s easier for her to run into Costco once every couple of weeks and load up on bulk products.

She will buy everything she can from Costco to save money and to buy time from having to go back again. Her theory is if she can buy in bulk and save money and time from shopping week after week waiting for sales she’s ahead of the game.

With a senior corporate job and family that takes up most of her time grocery shopping is a low priority for her but a big deal because she likes to feed her family healthy food. She says she saves money every year grocery shopping in bulk rather than just buying whatever she needs whether it’s on sale or not.

Bulk shopping can be a great way to save money provided you do the math. If you know your prices it will be easy to find out if a bulk product is worth the money or not. Even if it’s not the bulk shopper may not care because time is money to them.

You my friend are a Bulk Shopper

Overall, grocery shopping is a different experience for everyone is in charge of this task that we all need to do if we want to put food on the table and in our bellies.

If I asked you what your typical shopping method was how would you respond?


August 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


Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $235 per year or $25 per month.

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 $229.08
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $20.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 124736
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

  • Snap Groupon to date: $15.00
  • Zweet to date: $14.50
  • Cart Smart to date: $0
  • Checkout51 to date: $6.00


Grocery Shop This Week


(add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)


  • 4x Rudolph Bread Sale $2.00 ea
  • 2 x Tostitos Chips $2.00 ea (Birthday Party snack)

Total Out-of-Pocket $12.52

No Frills

  • 2 x 2% Milk $3.97 ea
  • 2 x Homo Milk 4L $4.97 ea
  • 4 x Armstrong Cheese Sale $3.77
  • Rice Vinegar $1.98
  • Apple cider Vinegar $1.98
  • 4 x Danone Activia Yogurt $1.88 ea
  • 1L Pop $0.99 (Birthday party beverage)
  • Bananas $2.24

Total Out-of-Pocket $47.80


  • Sponge Towels Sale $3.99- $1.00 coupons

Total Out-of-Pocket $7.01

  • Total to spend this month $235-$5.92 (over July) $229.08
  • Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$25.00+ May $25.00+ June $25.00+July $14.44+Aug $25.00+Sept$
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $
  • Total coupons used this week: $2.00
  • Total coupons used to date: $32.50
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $564.59
  • Total spent this week: $67.33
  • Total spent so far this month: $118.15
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over $8.58
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $110.93
  • 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+July $212.16+August $118.15+ September $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We hardly did any shopping in August with all the travelling around Ontario that we did so our refrigerator needed a bit of a stock-up. With all the vegetables we brought home from my relatives house we won’t need much for  a week or so. We got tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, eggplant, zucchini and Swiss chard. I still have to make my basil cubes this week too before I lose my basil.


Canadian Coupons Found


Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!

We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

I found a few coupons this week.

September Canadian Coupons 2015


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
    $4.87×4 cheese brick
    $19.48 total oop
    $1.05 bananas
    $3.49 cheese buns
    $5.99-$2Coupgon 3lbs apples
    $8.55 total oop
    $3.88×4-$1x2CO51 kelloggs cereal – with mir for $5 gas card
    $3.97×2-fpcwub2kcereal 1lb strawberries
    $1×2 diaper shirt – clearance
    $5.40 4L homo milk
    $23 total oop
    $5.42 4L homo milk
    $4.52-fcmwub4Lmilk 2L choc milk
    $3.49-.75C harvarti cheese – clearance
    $1.95 green grapes
    $4.99-$1C reese spread
    .99 peeled garlic cloves
    $1.99-$1C feta cheese spread – clearance
    $2.99×3-$1Cx3 yogurt
    $23.35 total oop
    $5.75 total coupons
    $3.99×4-$2intoreC noname cream cheese
    $2.99×7-$2Cx7 off clip on
    $2.49 dzn eggs
    .99 nn chips
    $3.99×2 lg international
    $27.47 total oop
    $22 total coupons

    $101.85 total weekly oop
    $35.69 total weekly coupons
    $4386.99 total yearly oop
    $1371.35 total yearly coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      I forgot about the cereal gas coupon giveaway. How many did you send in for? We did it one year but didn’t get all of the gas cards back in the mail. Great deal on the cream cheese wow… smart shopping. Well done you get ballot 18. Mr.CBB

      1. Hey Mr.CBB
        I have sent away for 2 gas cards and fingered are crossed!
        It was an awesome score on the cream cheese and even had a month to use it before it “expired”

        1. You have more than a month after expiry. We buy 50% off dairy all the time and it lasts long. We’ve only had ricotta go off on us so I’d be leary of buying that and letting it sit if it were reduced.

  2. So I have been trying since June to get our finances and budgets tighter… its a work in progress.

    Our story:
    Myself and my husband and our dog Nala moved into a house which we purchased in February. We sunk most our our savings into our down payment and are trying to rebuild our savings so I am on the finances crunch. I am a supply teacher so I go 12 weeks a year just on EI which is 55% of my salary so we are definetly money conscious specially now that we own a house.

    Step 1: I started recording how much our bills and credit cards were and seperated into categories.. I have watched for the last couple months so I think I have reasonable budgets now.

    Step 2: After Reading your article about OSAP I convinced my husband to increase his payment to $100 a month rather than 80 and it cut down repayment from 61 months to 44 so thats a good start… would love to put more to this debt but not in the budget right now.

    Anyways after reading your articles and the GROCERY Challenge, I am going to join and start tracking starting next grocery shop. Your 235.00 a month seems crazy too me… I am so impressed… we spend nearly 500 a month for 2 people which I am realizing is ridiculous.

    I started using SNAP, and Checkout51 and other apps in January and I manged to get about 300.00 in cashback so far. Just switched to going to superstore to grocery shop instead of Walmart cause now I can price match and gain PC points.

    Thanks for inspiring financial smarts even further… I have enjoyed the articles I read so far and will be starting the Grocery Challenge Next week.

    1. That’s great news! It’s amazing how much you learn about your finances once you start to document them. We were in awe with how much we were spending on food even though we would shop the sales and use coupons. It wasn’t until we started the grocery game that we took back that control. It’s always an ongoing experience but now we have the support of all the GGC players and we are debt free because of using a budget. I look forward to your grocery shops. If you need any help don’t hesitate to ask.

  3. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $235 per year or $25 per month.
    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 $636.43
    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: 11250
    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: $24.50
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0, cashed out $25.50

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    Whiskas cat food -8.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 Gain laundry @3.99, 2.00 WUB2 coupon
    1 Cling Wrap -3.49
    2 cases ginger ale @3.33
    1 yogurt -3.00
    1 apple sauce -1.99
    1 box sandwich bags -1.78
    2 4l milk @4.88
    4 lbs butter @2.99
    Bananas -.69
    1 pack fresh beef liver -2.89
    1 raisin bread -3.49
    Tax -3.76
    Total OOP -$69.93, 2.00 coupon
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Gain laundry -3.99
    1 Cheez Whiz -3.99
    3 cases pop @3.33, (2 cream soda and 1 ginger ale)
    1 yogurt -3.00
    1 jar relish -2.49
    1 block cheese -5.99
    2 4l milk @4.88
    4 lbs butter @2.99
    4 frozen meat pies @.99
    10 lb bag potatoes -4.99
    Bananas -.72
    2 small ham steaks @ 2.00
    1 bagels -2.50
    Tax -1.82
    Total OOP -$74.65

    Total to spend this month $650.00-13.57=$636.43, overage from July
    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): Jan $22.20+ Feb $24.50+ Mar $22.18+ April $18.32+ May $40.95 June $24.15+ July $45.32+ Aug $32.92+ Sept$
    Stockpile budget used this month: $32.92
    Total coupons used this week: $2.00
    Total coupons used to date: $121.14
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $117.72
    Total spent this week: $144.58
    Total spent so far this month: $674.89
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over $17.30
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $38.46 over
    Total left to spend for the month: -$38.46
    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 $760.66+ July $552.91+ August $674.89+ September $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) Crap!! Over again!! On the good side I am stocked up some in laundry soap, pop, and butter. I grabbed the 2 cream soda cases as hubby likes to have one sometimes and they haven’t had any in stock so I grabbed what I could when they did have it in. I was I there today and there wasn’t any again. Nice timing on the butter sale too as I was down to my last couple of pounds in the freezer. Laundry stuff is a constant and I was getting down there. I opened the last bottle I had here this morning so getting more was good. Crazy as it may sound I’m fairly happy with the month. Yes I’m over, but I was over last month and this was a 5 week month so all in all it’s not that bad. sept is a 4 week month so it should be doable. If I can get through the month on $600.00 as a target it will be all good in the long run. Even that gives me a little wiggle room. I’m hoping for sales in baking supplies soon as I’m almost out of brown sugar, icing sugar, baking powder and flour!! I’ll be watching those sales!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      Just when you thought you were on a roll haha! Have you noticed potatoes haven’t been particularly cheap this season? I often found them to go on sale for $1.99 here and there but hardly at all this summer. Another small shop this week for you. You should be ok for the month, I’m sure of it. You’re a great shopper but sometimes we go over. I’m hoping to see some sales too although I don’t think there will be much baking again this year in our house. What will you be baking this year? You get ballot 27. Mr.CBB

      1. I find potatoes are expensive this time of the year always. The new are coming in and at a premium price…
        It can be difficult doing the Christmas baking with the small ones in the house, been there a few times. I do a dark fruit cake every year that is very well liked around here. I’m not much for cookies but I do squares…cranberry, butter tart, pineapple, and three kinds of naniomo squares, original, cherry and mint. Plus a cherry almond cake. A lot of baking but I don’t do it all in a day, more like one thing per day. Not that it lasts around here!! You are very welcome to pop in for some treats over Christmas with the family Mr CBB!!

  4. AUGUST – Week #5 of 5- Aug 31-Sept 6, 2015


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



    We are still very well stocked so I am letting the following rain check expire without using it:

    24 cans Heinz Maple Baked Beans @ 4 for $5 –
    Good ‘til Sept 4/15

    We really did not need much this week, as you will see.

    It is hubby’s birthday this week and the start of some vacation time for us so we are having a number of meals out this week.

    Hubby has some relatives in town from the UK so there’s a family dinner gathering one night. It’s not in my current abilities just 3 weeks out of the hospital, so hubby will go stag.

    Traditionally we have a birthday lunch with a friend of ours to celebrate both her and Larry’s birthdays together. She’s turning 65 this year so I have encouraged hubby to join her for the landmark celebration… even though I won’t be able to attend.

    I have a ton of medical appointments scheduled while hubby is off on vacation, so this is going to be a staycation for us… but that suits me just fine!



    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 Club Size Chicken Breasts $18.81
    1 Green Salad $4.98
    1 Chopped Romaine $4.98
    2 dozen eggs $5.28

    Total OOP: $34.05

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE in 2016 when I am in better health.



    •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 + July $0.00 + Aug $35.63 = $75.19

    •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 + July $0.00 + Aug $0.00= $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 + July $0.00 + Aug $0.00= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 22 + Feb 45 + Mar 140 + Apr 12 + May 6 + June 12 + July 0 + Aug 160= 397 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 + July 0 + Aug 4= 328 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1200 + Feb 900 + Mar 900 + Apr 1,500 + May 0 + June 1800 + July 0 + Aug 900= 7,200 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 30 + Feb 40 + Mar 0 + Apr 0 + May 0 + June 20 + July 0 + Aug 0= 90 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $199.31+ Feb $180.69 + Mar $274.41 + Apr $105.59+ May $237.00 + June $171.34 + July $53.25 + Aug (trf $15.00 Xmas Reserve+$21.31 to Summer + $20.00 trf to Re-Stocking Reserve + $12.50 trf to Borscht Reserve + $0.00 trf to US + $9.98+$56.98+$14.24+$6.79+$21.06+$8.00+$14.50+$22.56+$9.73+$26.19+$26.07+$34.05= $319.00)= $1,540.15

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + Apr $190.00 + May $190.00 + June 190.00+July$190.00+Aug $190.00 = $1,520.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($20.15) OVER!



    2014 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00+Feb $3.83+ Mar $32.09 + Apr $4.99 + May $4.69 + June $9.38 + July $4.69 = $59.67



    2014 Fwd $325.00+Jan $22.50+Feb $22.50 + Mar $17.50 + Apr $18.44 + May $17.50 + June $6.56 + July $20.00 + Aug $20.00 = $470.00



    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50 + Mar $12.50 + Apr $0.00 + May $20.00 + June $30.00+July $0.00 + Aug $12.50 = $512.50



    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00+ Mar $10.00 + Apr $10.00 + May $25.00 + June $10.00 + July 15.00+ Aug 15.00= $215.00



    2014 Fwd $90.00+Jan $10.00 + Feb $10.00 + Mar $15.00 + Apr $15.00 + May $35.00 + June $36.44 + July $13.56+Aug $21.31= $246.31



    $ 1,520.00 Grocery Budget JAN-AUG
    $ 59.67 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($505.91) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 202.50) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 59.67) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 818.27) 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
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JUNE
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JULY

    $ 59.67 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    So far $1,520.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2015 and we have recorded these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $470.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $512.50 Borscht Fund
    $215.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $246.31 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,443.81 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $506.31 in NEW 2015 savings.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start AUGUST plus $108.81 carried forward from JULY less $68.81 transferred to the various savings reserves less $0.00 transferred for Points Redeemed = $230.00 plus an additional $0.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of AUGUST with $230.00 available to spend on the Canadian side of the border LESS we have spent $250.15 on our groceries (cash & points) so far this month and have an overage of $20.15 the month of AUGUST that we will carry forward into SEPTEMBER.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redeemed, rather than the budgeted cash in the amount of $59.67. Available as an offset, we currently have $59.67 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!

    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:


    24 cans Cloverleaf Tuna in Water @ $0.97 ea –
    Good ‘til Sept 14/15


    1. Hi Mary,
      Will you be stocking up after the holidays? That’s nice that you both have relatives visiting and although timing doesn’t always work for some of us I’m glad to hear you are taking good care of yourself. Enjoy your holidays the best you can dear. You get ballot 24. Mr.CBB

      1. We are actually in relatively good shape Mr CBB…I have oodles of frozen vegetables and fruit so I am just shopping the sales for anything fresh that we want. I will be using our tuna rain check this coming week though to re-stock – we go through a lot of canned tuna. These days we are rinsing any canned products though to remove whatever salt we can. The cardiac dietician says that 2 rinses and a short soak will likely remove 10% of the salt used in packaging. I use an extremely fine mess chinois for the process. It’s not much of a reduction, but ever little bit counts when I am counting every mg of sodium! 🙂

        Since the salt restrictions and fluid restrictions were added to my way of eating, as a result of the congestive heart failure, I am still using the “regular” products we had on hand and cutting them 50/50 with “salt free” items or diluting the stocks with water depending on the dish. It lowers the sodium count per serving and when it’s water… it also lowers the cost per serving too! It feels a little like Depression Era cooking…make those goods stretch like an elastic and then stretch them a little more. 🙂

        Hubby is still eating the processed & cured meats that we have in the freezer (such as ham, corned beef and bacon) but I am holding those meals to no more than once a week in his meal plan. I don’t want him to develop cardiac issues and now that I am fully aware of the sodium contents, he’s being rationed too but not quite as stringently! LOL 🙂 God bless him for being so compliant to the various dietary changes that we have made over the years…more meatless meals, we tried out vegan for a while, then a diabetic diet, gluten free and now a cardiac and diabetic diet with gluten free products combination. He says he knows whatever we have will taste good and if he has a craving, he can go out for a meal. When we were vegan, he went out every few months for a lasagna supper while I had a nice salad. It sure beat having him eat meat every day or even every week. 🙂

        1. It’s amazing how much salt is in food. I wrote a post a year or two ago about salt in our diets and it’s shocking. My father-in-law has had 5 heart-attacks and he has to cut out all salt. It’s been so hard for him but he knows he has to do it. My mother-in-law has done the same and now cooks with hardly any salt at all but it is on the dinner table for whoever wants to salt up their meal. It can be blah when we go over to eat but we know that it’s better for us. Keep at it… glad to have you back Mary. 🙂 Mr.CBB

  5. I don’t think I fall into any single category. I shop with a list, use coupons that fit into what I need, buy flyer items on sale, and the only bulk shopping I do is at RCSS or at Weston Bakery outlet when I get there, haven’t been in Costco in years. I do buy bigger items to save money like flour, vegetable oil, jars of yeast rather than packets, and multiple loaves of bread products at the discount prices and freeze them. However, I do consider buying flyer items in quantity a type of bulk shopping. I guess it’s all about perspective. I don’t proceed without my list, but I don’t always do the other things, and if they don’t make the list, it has to be one great deal better if it’s on clearance for me to put it in the cart. In a way that’s impulse, but I plan to stop and scope out the clearance shelves. I guess I will never fit into a category, but for me, the system works!

  6. Week 1 – August 30 – September 5

    • Grocery budget to work with in September: $300
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $109.65
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $12.49
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $320
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $25
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $63.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $5.22
    • Total student discounts to date: $166.62
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $11.98
    • Total spent this week: $30.45
    • Total spent so far this month: $30.45
    • Total left to spend for the month: $269.55
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $53.80
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $2100.25

    Halls Apple Orchard: U pick @ 1.50 lb mixture of Lobo and McIntosh apples: 22.00

    RCSS: Alcan Foil 50′ 2 x 2.00, Hunts snack pack pudding x .88 (PM), Lantic Sugar 2kg 1.99 (PM), Christie Crackers 2 x 1.88, NN Sour Cream 2.19, milk 3.97, I can’ believe it’s not butter light 3 x 1.00 (PM), Johnsonville sausages 2 x 1.98 (PM), tax .47, less student discount 2.17, less PC Plus 20.00 redeemed: 3.81 used gift card… so total OOP $0

    RCSS: Allens apple juice 2 x .88 (PM), trident gum 3.29, PC Zero 2.99, Mini Wheats cereal 2.99 (PM), Eggs 2.49 (PM), bananas 1.14, tax .73, less student discount 1.47: 13.92 used gift card so total OOP $0

    RCSS: NN garbage bags 2 x 4.00, Minions baked snacks 4 x 1.98, tax 1.40, less student discount 1.58: 15.74 redeemed remainder of gift card 7.27, so total OOP $8.45 rounded down 2 cents

    So, for the next few weeks, I am on a different time line. I classified August as a 4 week month and September as a 5 week month, so this is my first of my September shops.

    This month is a stock up month for us and I am getting my ducks in a row to buy toilet paper for the next year and hopefully Kleenex, etc. It’s unfortunate that these items are part of our grocery budget, but it has to be. And, that can’t change for a long time. Last year about this time I bought these items to last a full year, my guess was pretty good as we are on the last dozen rolls. So, we are working with a split of $60 weekly for the next 5 weeks to a total of $300 for the month of September.

    My sister gave us a gift card of $25 when they visited in July and I took the opportunity to use it up this week. Purchases were spread out again due to PC Plus cards. My mom knows our financial situation and she feels bad, so she collects PC Plus points and just hands me her card to redeem. So, thanks to my mom, the PC Plus points redeemed came from her. Another bonus. We were getting some snacks for school and the upcoming hockey season. Things to keep us out of he drive thru and keep my kiddo at least fueled aside from the fruit and veg he eats. This is the time of year we hardly buy and vegetables. We work with the garden for the most part and the vegetables gifted us.

    The apples season started early at our local orchard. It was ok with me as I know once school starts for my kiddo and myself we won’t have much time to get ready for it. Prices are up this year since it’s a small crop, but frankly the grocery store isn’t doing well with apples either. At 1.50 lb we didn’t go crazy, but got almost 15 lbs of Lobos and McIntosh mixed. We have plenty of apples in the drawer, but these are tart this year. My son made his first apple crisp ever, yay. I also prepped 3 apple crisps worth of apples and froze them individually. Also from that we did a crockpot of apple sauce. Half of it is frozen, the rest to be eaten now. Lots of mileage already out of those apples, and my son is eyeing some of the remaining ones in the drawer for another crisp. I’m considering a pie and perhaps oven apple pancakes. Yum.

    We gained a lot of ground with only using just a hair over the weekly allotment which will go towards our paper products needs, and there is still the carry over jar amount. Looking ahead to October, we are hoping to reduce the budget back to $50 weekly and hold steady until Christmas.

    1. Hi Angela,
      That’s nice of your mother to help you out like that with the PC Plus points. We gave away all of our crab apples this year as we don’t have time to do anything with them. There is never a shortage of people who want to come and get them either. So do you just buy toilet paper on sale from this point on to last you the full year? We’ve got enough to last us a few years lol… although if we see a great deal we may buy it especially if there is a coupon and we can get discounts from the apps. Great shop and your first for September! Well done. You get ballot 23. Mr.CBB

      1. Yes, we only buy once a year and hope it lasts. I find the key is to have it on hand at a cheap price, which usually happens in November and then not be tempted the rest of the year. I don’t even keep coupons for toilet paper unless it’s expiry is longer than the end of September the following year. It helps keep my grocery budget on target and we save the carry over as much as possible for a shop like this. Now, if the sales don’t come, we will have to buy a package until they do, but here’s hoping Walmart comes through again this year.

  7. I am all these types of shoppers. I use a grocery list based on my meal plan for the week. If I check flyers against what I need for the week and if I can price match, I will but if I can find a similar product that I’ve used in the past which is cheaper, I’ll grab the cheaper product. If there’s room in my grocery list and I’ll find something that looks good, I’ll get that as well. I don’t have membership to Costco but I’ll use Bulk Barn and need to check out a public version of Costco which is under Loblaws called Wholesale Club. I haven’t been in it for many years.

      1. That’s the nice thing about Wholesale Club…no membership required to shop there. Even better yet, it’s under Loblaws so PC Points 😀

          1. Yes, Wholesale Club is a store where you can buy larger than normal sizes/quantity. It’s similar to Costco (or Sam’s Club from the states) but this store is open to the public. In the GTA, there used to be a store called Knob Hills followed the same concept.

  8. I am likely all of those at one time or another. I always have my list and I check the flyers for deals, look over my coupons to see if I can use any, especially on a sale item!! I have the coupon apps on my ipad so I check those while making my list and check what items are points grabbers on things like PC Plus as well. No cell phone for me to use there. I do tend to go in the store more than once a week as hubby has his banana every day and they really don’t last in the house in the current heat. I don’t have access to a Costco but I will go to the one bulk store in town to stock up on things like baking supplies and spices. Once I have my list, have looked over the flyers for deals and pulled my coupons I go in and try to stick to the list, get what I need and get out. I will look over the meat, and veggies for any sticker deals. Hubby is usually the impulse shopper here. He wanders off while I’m getting what needs to be got and will try to get things not on the list. I will grab some meat if I see a good deal. It takes a little work to keep things within the budget but I do it. I just sent in the notice to cash out for Check Out 51 so that I will have that cash handy for Christmas shopping once the grandson’s birthday is dealt with. He will be 6 Sept 15.

  9. Your article on how you shop was very interesting. I am a combination of all of them,but the Cosco shopper, and the impulse shopper. I do however shop bulk barn to save on seasoning items. I do a ton of price matching, and scored huge this past week end. All the stores had amazing back to school deals, plus my Real Canadian Super Store had some real amazing digital savings that I loaded to my pc card. and they had some amazing in store sales that were not advertised in the flyer. My total bill was $158.00 dollars. My monthly grocery costs are $150.00 a month Which is over my monthly budget, but I had extra money from last month of $75.00 dollars. With the price matching, I saved $60.00 dollars, with the digital savings I racked amazing points on my pc card. Plus the in the store sales, and the multi buys I saved an additional $30.00 dollars. This has been my best haul in a long time. I did manage to use two coupons which brought the sale item down even cheaper. I am a very happy shopper.

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