The Grocery Game

How To Adjust Your Grocery Shopping List After The Kids Move Out : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept 7-13, 2015

how to adjust your grocery shopping list after the kids move out TIME TO FINE-TUNE YOUR FOOD

 

Your grocery shopping list will need some adjustments now that your children have left home whether it’s for school or to start life on their own.

Budgeting household expenses is one of the biggest changes you will have when the kids move out apart from less noise in the house.

When the kids are finally gone you have to back-track to the days when you had no kids.

It will take time for this new adjustment so don’t get upset if you don’t knock it out of the park the first month or two.

I bet you can remember all those days you were scrambling to make lunches at the last-minute because you forgot the night before.

Your pantry and refrigerator were filled with foods that you could whip up in a flash because time was never on your side. We found that after our son was born everything we did was at warp speed where before we had just rolled along peacefully. Those were the days.

Parenting is hard-core work and with that you need to be organized especially with the monthly household expenses including the grocery budget. Now that we have a son we are slowly learning about changes to our grocery shopping list but he’ll be around for at least the next 18 years/

Although we’ve seen lots of changes with our grocery shopping list already, mainly adding more food. You on the other hand are looking for ways to adjust your food budget because you won’t need as much.

Just this past weekend we had a gathering at our house to celebrate the end of summer. My wife’s friend had just finished packing her daughter up and driving her to University for at least the next 4 years. She doesn’t know if she will be home in the summer time so it was a very emotional day for both parents as it would be for any couple.

You get used to having your kids around, tripping over their stuff, messy bedrooms and driving them here, there and everywhere. Life is an organized chaotic mess but it works somehow for families who love being a family. We could almost see tears coming from her eyes when she was telling us the story about the kids moving into their dorm rooms.

What was interesting in the conversation was when she said now that the kids are gone they are going to eat healthier and they are not buying any more snack foods.

Not all kids are home for dinner as they get older and take on full and part-time jobs to save money for school or whatever else they need money for.

Her son and daughter ate crap food as she put it even though there was always a healthy meal on the table. Kids will be kids and it’s easier for young adults to grab fast to-go meals and snack items rather than eating a proper meal. If she didn’t buy it they likely would have with their money so she stocked the pantry with 2-3 snack food items each grocery shop.

This got me thinking about how parents have to adjust their grocery shopping list once the kids are gone. If you weren’t one to make homemade school snacks like granola bars, cookies or even muffins then you won’t have to buy them any longer. Those little extras all add up in the grocery budget which means your grocery bill could get slashed in a big way.

I wanted to help her with some tips to get them started with their new grocery shopping list so I encouraged her to tell me more about what changes they were hoping to make. I thought since we were fresh out of the couple without kids stage that I could remind them of how it used to be.

Although what she told me is not unusual most parents don’t know where to begin.

The one thing she has already found is that she has more time than she did when the kids were home. This makes sense considering you were probably doing everything for your kids and less for yourselves. The time is now that you start thinking about yourselves again and get back into your groove.

It may make you sound like you are ready to retire but in a silly sense you have retired from holding the in-house position of parents. You can bet that your kids will come back time and time again looking for advice and even food so don’t get too comfy in your ways yet.

If you raised your children to understand money, how to grocery shop and cook meals they will be fine fending for themselves. You don’t have to worry which is what our friend was doing but mentioned she bought her daughter the best meal plan available at the University. Since she will be living on campus she will have access to all the foods at the school and off-campus where meal plans are accepted.

I thought that was great because she didn’t have to cook anything so it was easy-peasy for her.

I can’t imagine what it feels like to say good-bye to your child when they move out because you get so used to them being around. It’s likely a moment of being a proud parent and not knowing what to do with yourselves after they are gone.

I’m sure emotions will run high for just about every parent unless your child drives you mad and you couldn’t wait until this day arrived. Even so, changes to everyday living will be clear over time.

 

Grocery Shopping List Revised

 

So how can you adjust your grocery shopping list now that the kids have moved out? Well, I’ve come up with a few tricks to get you started on your way to romantic dinners alone again.

 

Talk about it

 

One thing I can’t stress enough is that you both need to talk about your new grocery shopping list. Some of the things you may want to discuss are foods you both enjoy eating, how much should you spend on groceries, where you should shop and how often and when should you cook.

Both parents need to be on the same page when it comes to eating because if you don’t you will end up with food waste and money wasted because you both aren’t talking about what your new needs will be.

 

Learn to cook for two

 

Cooking for large families is easier than cooking for two so when it comes time to cut back it can be challenging. This may be the next hardest thing to do after sitting down to discuss what foods you both want to cook and buy to stock up the house with.

One of the best tips I can share with you is to pick out recipes you both enjoy and figure out how to cut the recipe in half or make the full recipe and freeze half of it for another meal.

Over time you will learn to chop recipes in half or stretch meals so you are eating them over the span of a few days. Cooking for two can be fun because you can be more creative and have the ability to buy smaller portion sizes which will also cut down on cooking time.

 

Cut the snacks

 

If you want to eat healthy now is the time to cut back on the chips, crackers, chocolates, candy, ice-cream and so on. If you only bought these items for the kids to eat then you won’t need to buy them any longer.

The money you will save is great BUT you can put that money towards buying organic products or any other health food or higher priced foods you may not have purchased when the kids were living with you.

If you only bought the cheap cuts of meat now you can splurge a little since you are cooking for 2 and buy better cuts of meat while staying on budget.

 

Buy smaller packages

 

Having kids in the house means that food is gone shortly after you unload the bags in the kitchen. Whether your kids had bottomless stomachs or friends over who ate you out of house and home you can lessen that bulk shopping.

Now that you only have two people to cook for you may want to consider buying smaller packages of food products especially if you won’t finish the foods on time before expiry. You don’t want to get back into any type of food waste. Stockpiling might not be such a great need as it once was so you scaling back on how much you buy during those big sales may be smart as well.

This was something we noticed with only the two of us so we stopped stockpiling so much food years ago. It made no sense to save money on foods that took us years to eat and we risked them going off in the process.

Smaller packages may mean you pay more so be choosy with what you opt to purchase and keep in mind whether the product can with-stand longer periods especially if it comes without an expiry date.

If you don’t want to pay the extra money to buy smaller packages such as meat you can still save money buy buying bigger packs of meat and portioning it before you freeze it. Many of you might already do this because it is part of smart shopping and savings. Meat and fish seem to be the biggest expense in the food budget.

 

Homemade Food

 

I know you might not want to admit buying pre-packed foods or foods in cans and boxes because they were easy to make and you didn’t have to listen to the kids whine about meals. Now that they are gone you can kick this habit to the curb too especially if your goal is to eat healthy meals.

Cooking homemade food is a breeze as long as you set the time aside that you need, plan your meals and make sure you have all the ingredients you need in your house. This means making sure your grocery list is filled and ready for cooking action.

 

Bring back date nights

 

If you are the type of parents that forget about enjoying date nights because of your kids then now is the time to revisit this. Just because you are married or in a relationship doesn’t mean you should stop going on dates especially if you have kids. It could be something as simple as a meal in the park or going out for dinner.

Dinner dates don’t need to be expensive either because there are plenty of low-cost cafes or family-style restaurants that won’t break the bank as long as you budget the expenses. The point here is to relax and take some time to rekindle that love you have for each other.

Life has changes in store for everyone….

Food Love will always be a part of every relationship with our without kids so adjusting your grocery shopping list based on your needs is essential to sticking to a budget.

Since my wife and I have both been the kids who have left home we have been able to see how our parents have changed their grocery shopping lists but until our son moves out we won’t know the full extent of it all.

If you have had kids move out how has your grocery shopping list been affected and what other tips can you add?

-Mr.CBB

 

September Grocery Game Challenge posts

 

Join in the Grocery Game Challenge Fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post.  Here are the rules to get you started and if you have any questions feel free to email me.

If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week here for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. This just makes posting a bit easier although all you need to do is click on The Grocery Game Challenge on the homepage sidebar and you will see them all.

Congratulations to Dee, ballot #6 for winning the August Grocery Game Challenge. Dee please email me for your coupon prize. Starting this month the prize for the grocery game will now be a $10 gift card to President’s Choice stores in the Loblaws family. The gc will be mailed after the winner submits their address to me once I announce their name.

Free Tools to get you started with your grocery budget

 

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 $235.00
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $120.00
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $140.00
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 7975
  • 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)

Zehrs 1

  • Smartfood Dill Pickle Popcorn $2.99
  • 6 x 6 packs IoGo Yogurt Kiddies Reduced $0.50 instead of $3.99
  • Necatrines 2L $5.99-50%
  • Portobello mushrooms $4.99-50%
  • Shitake Mushrooms $4.99-50%
  • PC Italian sausage $4.99-50%
  • Lean ground beef $26.95-50%
  • Lean ground beef $26.93-50%
  • Roasted Red Pepper Dip $3.99-50%
  • PC Mediterranean chicken $10.00-50%
  • 2 x Chicken breasts $5.88

Total Out-of-Pocket $63.54- PC Points = $3.54 out of pocket

Zehrs 2

  • Tasters Choice Classic Sale $3.99 each
  • 4 x Royale Tiger Paper Towels $6.34-50% (no coupons with us but there were printables. We went back to see if there were any the next day and they were sold out)
  • 2 x PC Greek Yogurt Lemon $3.24 each-50%
  • PC Greek Strawberry Yogurt $3.24-50%
  • 2 x Liberte Greek Lime Yogurt $5.44 each- 50%
  • Organics Almond extract $4.54-50%
  • Salami $4.99-50%
  • Butterball Turkey Bacon $5.49-50%
  • Ziggys tortellini $3.99-50%

Total Out-of-Pocket $53.10- PC Points = Free (there were other items we bought for baby and health and beauty that aren’t part of the grocery budget that enabled us to pay only $1.33)

 

  • Total to spend this month $235
  • 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: $0
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • 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: $3.54
  • Total spent so far this month: $3.54
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over $under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $231.46
  • 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 finally took the plunge and used our PC Points for a couple of shops this week to top up some items in the house for our sons Birthday Party and other things we needed to buy. We are back under 10,000 points but we will quickly bring that back up again.

 

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 2015 coupons Canada GGC 1

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: Yes No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
  • Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest  Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I 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.

-Mr.CBB

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21 Comments

  1. Hey Mr.CBB
    the dish soap coupons were either from the red plum or smartsource insert but I can’t remember which one
    I use the semolina for making pasta from scratch 🙂 I use more semolina than flour and seems to be perfect when making ravioli, manicotti and lasagna sheets.
    Knowing my numbers for nov I am not sure if I will be able to beat it especially since I am stocking up on items so I don’t have to buy them next year

    1. I would love your pasta recipe if I could plase. You’re a rockstar in the kitchen. Not many people make homemade pasta apart from Nicola lol… she’s another kitchen rockstar mom. Will you adjust your budget next year to accommodate for end of year stocking up sales so you don’t go over your yearly goals?

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making tis month $500
    Canadian Tire
    $1.69×14-$1Cx14 1L palmolive soap
    $10.78 total oop
    $14 total coupons
    Safeway
    $4.99-$1C purex tp
    $5.42 4L homo milk
    $4.99×2$1Cx2 cheese whiz
    $2.97×2 margarine rain cheque
    $2.49×2 coffeemate coffee creamer
    .99 2lbs carrots
    $10.15 top sirloin steak (3 meals)
    $1.49 raisin bread
    $41.20 total oop
    $3 total cupons
    No Frills
    $1 jasmine rice – clearance
    $2.88 nutella
    $2.47×2-$1Cx2 mini wheats
    $1.88×2 crackcers
    $2 orange pekoe tea – gift
    $3.97 lg international
    $1.50×4 sour cream 500ml
    $1.97×3-$1Cx3 ego waffles
    $1.77 lettuce
    $2×3 sch wieners
    $3 sch bologna
    $1.97-.75C vh plum sauce
    $40.20 total oop
    $5.75 total coupons
    Superstore
    .98 mango tea drink
    .94 twizzler – clearance
    1.30×8 2Lpc pop
    $6.48-$1C iced tea powder
    .44 jelly beans – clearance
    $2.94×2-$3Ctimothys kcups – clearance
    $2.49×2 tetley tea
    $2.97-$1CZ cheese taco shells
    .44 marshmallow ice cream cones – clearance
    .98×2 macaroni pasta
    $2.48×3-$2.22pik sticker 454 mushrooms
    $3.98 10lbs onions
    $2.09×2 coffee creamer
    $43.22 total oop
    Sobeys
    $2.99×2 cool whip
    $3.9×2-$3.50C 2lb blueberries – rain cheque
    $5.99×3 brick cheese.
    $2 tray buns
    $2.40×2 semolina flour – clearance
    $1.32 2L pop
    $1.99 sm international
    $2.99 turkey slied meat
    $1.50 peppered salami
    .98 pepperoni
    $9.66 swiss cheese
    $53.77 total oop
    $3.50 total coupon
    Walmart
    $3.38 white chocolate coconut
    $2.77 gv spray
    $3 raspberry Danish -yum
    $5.40 4L homo milk
    $1.88 bread
    $1.51 bananas
    $1.10×2 chocolate milk
    $20.32 total oop
    Shoppers
    $2.99-$1.50C softsoap body wash
    $1.99×12-$4Cwub3x3 old spice deo – I think we are nice and stocked up on this sale price
    $1 donation
    $1.97×4-$1Cx4&$4snap Heinz biscuits
    $3.99 lg international
    $3.49×2-$2instoreCx2 bread
    $2.29×2 dzn eggs
    $3.82-$1C pure leaf raspberry
    $29.95 total oop
    $26.50 total coupons

    $239.44 total weekly oop
    $57.75 total weekly coupons
    $4626.33 total yearly oop
    $1429.10 total yearly coupons
    lots of great deals this week

    1. Hi Juanita,
      What a great score for the dish soap. Were those smartsource coupons? What do you use the semolina for? I’m amazed at your yearly coupons. I wonder if you can beat that for 2016! Well done. You get ballot #19. Mr.CBB

  3. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats 2015 -$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 $611.54
    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: $24.75
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0

    Grocery Shop This Week

    (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    Foodland #1
    144 count Tetley teabags -9.99
    1 pack pasta -2.00
    2 yogurt @3.00
    1 Rice Krispies -2.99
    1 Apple sauce -1.99
    1 can pineapple -1.59
    1 pack ground pepper -1.00
    2 blocks cheese @6.49
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 cheese slices -2.99
    1 doz large eggs -2.99
    Bananas -1.24
    1 pack sausage -3.66
    1 Oktoberfest sausage -2.99
    1 grated paras end cheese -5.32 1 raisin bread -3.49
    Total OOP -$70.98
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 sunflower oil -4.59
    1 coffee filters, 400 count -3.58
    1 yogurt -3.00
    1 Miracle Whip -2.99
    2 cranberry cocktail @2.99
    1 can pineapple -1.59
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 doz large eggs -2.99
    Bananas -.98
    1 W/W bread -2.79
    Tax -.48
    Total OOP -$44.32
    Walmart
    1 4kg Whiskas cat food -13.98
    2 Apple sauce @1.57
    1 icing sugar -2.27
    1 brown sugar -2.27
    2 white sugar @1.97
    2 extra lean ground beef @7.00, 25% stickers-5.25
    1 4l milk -3.97
    Bananas -.95
    1 multi pack Apple juice tetras -2.00
    2 144 count Tetley teabags @7.99, PM to Food Basics
    Total OOP -$59.00
    Canadian Tire, stock pile
    5 Palmolive dish soap @1.69
    2 Purex laundry soap @6.99
    Total OOP -$22.43

    Total to spend this month $611.54
    Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): Jan $22.29+ Feb $24.5+ (Mar)+$22.18 April $18.32+ May $40.95+ June $24.15+July $145.32+ Aug $32.92+ Sept$
    Stockpile budget used this month: $22.43
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $121.14
    Total in-store discounts this week: $3.50
    Total in-store discounts to date: $121.22
    Total spent this week: $175.30
    Total spent so far this month: $175.30
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over $over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $under
    Total left to spend for the month: $436.24
    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) I went over for the week but I still have room left in the month and this is a 4 week month so it looks good. We went to Walmart to buy a birthday present for the grandson as he turned 6 years old on the 15th. Boy time sure flies!! There was some stocking up going plus the dish soap and laundry soap at Canadian Tire. I have a couple of Palmolive coupons but they are for the Ultra and the stock is the regular. I have time to find the Ultra on sale. The cats are happy with that big bag of catfood. The airmiles cash is building up nicely for my Christmas shopping fund.

    1. Hi Christine,
      Where did you get the Palmolive coupons? We still have to use our Air Miles as I believe we have over 1000. I’ve never bought sunflower oil. What do you use it for? We found a local farmer in our area who will meet us to buy large brown eggs for $2 a dozen. Is there anyone where you live that might have chickens and sell eggs? They last for a long time in the refrigerator too. Up to 3 months. Great shop and even though you are over you have time to recoup. You get ballot #5. MR.CBB

      1. The Palmolive coupons were in a goodie pack Juanita sent me so I don’t know where she got them. I use the sunflower oil for general cooking like you might use any veggie oil. I need the ask the dear older lady next door when she is getting eggs again so she can get me some. I’m not sure where the farmer is that she buys from, near where one of her girls live I think…. I’m not concerned about what colour eggs those chickens lay…lol!! With 4 of us I can go through eggs at a good rate. An omelette uses 8 right there for all of us.
        I wish Airmiles would bring back the gift cards, those were so nice to get! I’d get cards for Chapters and Zellers for Christmas and birthday shopping….

  4. Week 2 – September 6 – 12

    • 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: $2.75
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $15.24
    • 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: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $63.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.55
    • Total student discounts to date: $171.17
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $11.98
    • Total spent this week: $62.35
    • Total spent so far this month: $92.80
    • Total left to spend for the month: $207.20
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $53.80
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $2162.60

    Walmart: Oil of olay 8 pk soap 6.67, Pert shampoo 3.98, tax 1.38: Total 12.05 rounded up 2 cents

    RCSS: NN Lemonade 3/1.98, NN Hazelnut spread 2.97, PC cola 2.99, PC granola bar 24 pk 4.48, rice krispie squares 1.78, peanut butter 2.88 (PM), Kraft dinner 4 pk 2.47, yogurt tubes 1.98, Eggs 2 x 2.49 (PM), frozen pizza 3.88, Orange juice concentrate 3 x 1.00, bananas 1.19, grapes 3.72 (PM), romaine hearts 3.99, schneiders bologna 2.97 (PM), student discount 4.55, tax .87: total 41.60 rounded up 2 cents

    RCSS: NN Freezies 24 pk clearance 4 x .44, kisko freezies clearance 1.94, rice noodles 1.19, green onions .89, bean sprouts .99, less gas superbucks coupons .99 .90 .86, tax .48: Total 4.50

    RCSS: Crush freezies 100 pk clearance 2 x 1.94, tax .50: Total paid 4.40 rounded up 2 cents

    This is the start of school week for my son and myself. Crazy week and exhausting. It was so hard to get groceries done efficiently. I went into the store after helping with the frosh day absolutely exhausted and overheated with the hot weather. No list, no focus, and toting hubby and son. Not the best main shop I’ve had. We needed the soap and shampoo prior to grocery day, so I bought those items that were best prices at Walmart. RCSS I felt disorganized and unfocused on my menu plan. So, we bought a few things we could have lived without and forgot things we really needed. I hate going in without a concrete plan. So I made a trip back later in the week to get a few items for a meal that was on the menu plan and then found the clearance freezies. I guess a blessing in disguise. I never buy freezies the summer I intend to use them. I always get the clearance ones for winter and the following summer at a fraction of the cost. Winter for times when my son is sick and of course summer early in the season they want way too much money for them. So we are now stocked up again on freezies. Will it be enough to last a full year? Maybe, maybe not. But I was completely out. Back to making my full list and not going on a day that I am so exhausted that I can’t think straight. September is always a big month for us because it’s our annual stock up month. We are making great progress with the stocking up.

    1. Hi Angela,
      Grocery shopping when tired is just as bad as shopping when you are hungry. We’ve done this many times before but try not to any more. There are times when life gets hectic like in your case and you try to make do BUT you can safely look back and see the difference. We bought cases of freezies too for $0.50 last year and never got around to enjoying them all. The plan was to give them way for Halloween which many people do, frozen. They are still good. I tried a few. 🙂 Do you store them all in the freezer or do you keep some on a shelf or in a cold room? You get ballot 4.

  5. I am still afraid of this situation when kids are moving out as we’re still cherishing this moment because my twins are just 7-years old. Now, I think they could stay at our house as long as they want to despite the possibility of making our expenses less. And it this time comes, I assure that they eat healthy food and when it comes to our grocery list, it definitely will change but we’re making sure that it is on the healthy side still.

  6. Here is my 2 week GGC shopping…

    Aug 28 – Sept 10, 2015
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 1800
    Total Out Of Pocket: $52.24

    Human
    2 Campbells Chicken Broth – $2.67 (PM No Frills @ $1.97) = $3.94
    3 cans Habitant Pea & Ham Soup – $2.39 (PM Sobeys @ 3/$5.00) = $5.00
    4 Boxes Kraft Dinner – 4/$5.00 = $5.00
    Honey Bunches of Oats (Greek Yogurt Mixed Berry) – $5.19 (PM Sobeys @ $2.00) = $2.00
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    Astro Yogurt Cups = $3.98
    2 kg NN Perogies = $2.98
    Bananas – 1.100 kg @ $1.26/kg = $1.39
    Schneiders Hot Dogs – $4.99 (PM Zehrs @ $1.88) = $1.88
    2 Jumbo Harvest Grain Bread = $6.48
    Pads – (1800 PC Points) = $9.98

    Cats
    Friskies Hard Food – $6.77 (PM Zehrs @ $4.99) = $4.99

    Name Your Store: St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $64.00 (Meat)

    Human
    10 lbs Frozen Ground Beef – $3.99/lb = $39.90
    5 lbs Fresh Ground Beef – $4.99/lb = $24.95

    Name Your Store: Walmart
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $6.83

    Human
    Deodarant = $3.27
    Soap = $2.77

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 800
    Total Out Of Pocket: $27.76

    Human
    NN Mushroom = $1.19
    2 NN Tomato Soup – (400 PC Points) = $1.50
    375 g Nutella – $3.97 (PM No Frills @ $1.97) = $1.97
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    2-450 g Black Diamond Marble Cheese – $5.48 (PM Food Basics @ $4.44) = $8.88
    750 g Frozen Peas – (200 PC Points) = $2.78
    Bananas – 1.315 kg @ $1.26/kg (200 PC Points) = $1.66
    Green Pepper – 1.47/lb (PM No Frills @ $0.77/kg) = $0.50
    Celery – $1.98 (PM Frescho @ $0.79) = $0.79
    Cabbage Savoy – 1.075 kg @ $1.74/kg = $1.87
    Paula Apples – 0.995 kg @ $2.16/kg = $2.15

    Cats
    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the Human Year ($2080.00, for the pay period – $80.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Cat Year ($390, for the pay period – $15.00)

    Total Coupons Used this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $11.25
    Total Discounts/SCOP this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $9.59
    Total Checkout 51 rebates this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $10.00
    Total Snap rebates this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Snap rebates to Date: $1.00
    Total Price Match for this 2 Week Period: $11.65 + 5.73
    Total Price Match to Date: $395.79
    Total Produce this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Produce to Date: $93.80
    Total Adhoc Stockpile this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Adhoc Stockpile to Date: $492.30
    Total PC Points Received this 2 Week Period: 1800 + 800
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this 2 Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 10795

    Total Over/Under spend this Human shop: $1.09 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Human Month: $N/A
    Total Spent To Date – Human: Jan $69.59+$34.74+35.42+47.21+47.89+24.54; Feb $32.86+39.96+32.86; Mar $26.70+0.80+50.41+5.00+26.07+52.01; Apr $11.23+58.66+17.83+6.84+7.74+3.96+28.58+23.51; May $90.90+18.36+3.94+45.75; Jun $41.920+61.15+28.90+24.52; Jul $43.63+21.36+30.63+41.96+36.59; Aug $35.28+40.00+15.82+46.60; Sept $27.26+6.83 ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $1,388.67

    Total Over/Under spend this Cat shop: $1.33 under
    Total Left to Spend for the Cat Month: $1.33
    Total Spent To Date – Cat: Jan $3.22+11.28+32.17+0+0.98; Feb $12.50+$0.00+9.58+4.59; Mar $16.04+0+13.06; Apr $9.58+11.77+1.96; May $10.15+9.20+5.65; Jun $10.15+7.89+2.00+18.61+(-9.59); Jul $5.65+0+5.63+5.63+6.76; Aug $5.63+19.58+3.45+5.64 ; Sept $ ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $238.75

    Overview: 1st week – Well I’ve purchased another small freezer so that I have enough room for my 1/2 piggie that I should soon be getting soon. I am definitely looking at ways that I can save money during the winter on groceries and I think by having the corn and pig will be a start. Next year should be even better with more produce either frozen or canned, depending on what I make. There’s a never a dull moment when it comes to my finances 😀
    Overview: 2nd Week – Went over just a little bit. That won’t be hard to make up on the next pay. On Saturday, I picked up 15 lbs of lean ground beef from one of the market vendors. So now I have ground beef in my new freezer and some fresh beef for this week’s meals. I’m surprised that I stayed under budget this week since there wasn’t much left to spend. I’m working on Thursday so I’m going to see if I can pick up some more ground beef, if it’s on sale. I sure can’t beat that price.

    1. Hi Dee,
      Have you ever bought chicken bouillon cubes before? They are much cheaper and pack a great punch. I’ve never used broth in a container so maybe I’m missing out too! What is it like? Great news that you have another freezer now. How much did you pay for half a pig? Sounds like you are well ahead of yourself with your finances. I can’t believe how far you have come since the first day you posted on the GGC. I’m so proud of you Dee! WOW you did get a great deal on the Beef. Stock up while you can especially come winter all the prices seem to go up so much on meats. Well done Dee!! You get ballot 2.

      1. I paid $300 for my pig but unfortunately that didn’t come with any bones…maybe next time. I have bullion cubes but some recipes call for both broth and bullion cubes.

        The pig will be on my next GGC posting. I can and can’t take the credit for how things have changed for me financially. The missing piece for me was projected expenses account. This has definitely been a life saver in so many definite ways. I’m going to look on Saturday to see if I can still get the ground beef at the sale price.

        1. Oh, I didn’t think there was a different. I use the cubes for everything. I’m glad that the projected expenses account has worked for you like it has us. So many people complain they don’t have the money when something comes due and that is because it is a once a year expense or more and it’s not being accounted for in the budget every month. I can’t tell you how much stress this has taken off our shoulders over the years. So a full pig would cost about $600 but I bet that’s lots of pig. Looking forward to your GGC!

  7. The only one of our kids to leave the nest here and not come back has been our daughter. We did have a test run having just one kid at home a number of years ago when the older boy was 19 and his sister was 17. He was in Naval Reserve then and went for a few weeks of Basic Training at CFB Borden(the Naval branch is the only one to actually have Basic for reservists) and his sister was in Ste Boniface Manitoba for 5 weeks for a second language immersion program, university level. That left just the younger boy here with us. Both kids left the same day!!!
    The older boy spent a total of 8 years with the military. He went full time reg force when he couldn’t get a job around here. He got a medical discharge in 2008 with depression and we found out later that he has Aspergers. Two doctors have questioned his ability to live on his own. The younger boy was only able to find P/T work after high school so has never left. It is looking like neither one will be moving out. I’ll be honest, with the health issues with their dad I’m quite fine with them being here. They help me out with things so much around here. I can look after their dad and they keep an eye on me. Being a caregiver to their father is not easy but that’s our life these days.
    I remember my sister-in-law talking about the meal plan when her son was at Western University a few years back. I forget what she said she paid for it but there were no ways for him to cook himself a meal if he wanted to in residence. The older boy wasn’t supposed to cook in Barracks either but they overlooked his bar fridge, microwave, kettle and coffee maker during inspections. And he came home every chance he could.

  8. Within the past 5 years, my daughter has gone to 2 different colleges so I was on my own. I found that I don’t like cooking for one person so I tend to make large quantities and then have leftovers for many days, buy take-out (couple of days worth) or buy processed foods (such as TV dinners). Back then I found it a waste of time to cook for just myself. If put to the test today, I would probably feel similar but would take the route of large quantities and eat leftovers or put the extras into the freezer. Since my daughter and I have been on our own for her entire life, it will definitely be a change when she does finally move out on her own for good but that’s the nice part of going off to school, it prepares you for the future changes that come along.

    1. That’s a good point which even two people could do if they aren’t keen on being in the kitchen. You are right it does prepare you for the future. I’ve noticed over the years how you have changed as well in terms of cooking more and what you buy at the grocery store. Cooking can be fun but often we need inspiration and I know I certainly get that from the WFD gang and posting here in the GGC just seeing what everyone else buys. 🙂 Congrats on being the August winner! Your envie will be in the mail shortly. Mr.CBB

  9. SEPTEMBER – Week #1 of 4- Sept 7-13, 2015

    2015 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

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

    ====================================

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

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

    Grocery:

    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($20.15) overage from August
    ($12.50) trf to borscht reserve- normally $12.50
    ($ 17.50) trf to re-stocking – normally $17.50
    ($ 10.00) trf to holiday reserve–normally $10.00
    ($ 9.85) trf to summer reserve–normally $10.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $50.00

    Grocery Balance $120.00 for SEPTEMBER

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    We are shopping sales, using coupons and enjoying a rain check this week. Hubby even got a pizza treat to throw in the deep freeze for his next craving!

    We have great meals planned for our little stay-cation since we have a extra time for preparing the “from scratch” foods that we love. 🙂 This week I plan to make the Candied Salmon Salad that they serve at Whitespot for a fraction of the price. It’s totally loaded with yummy stuff too…candied nuts, craisins, red onion, candied salmon & loads of fresh spinach plus I plan to add fresh mushrooms to the mix. Yesterday we made a nice big pot of our Peasant Cabbage and Tomato Soup adjusted using salt free tomatoes and broth. As the weather starts to turn, there’s nothing like a nice hot bowl of soup! 🙂

    ====================================

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    6 Corn at (6 for $1.98 on Weekend Sale on Sept 4-7) = $1.98
    2 Haas Avocados ($1.99 ea) = $3.98
    1 celery = $1.99
    1 8 oz pkg sliced mushrooms = $4.49
    1 pkg spinach = $3.99
    24 cans tuna (@ $0.97 ea Rain Check – reg $2.38) = $23.28
    1 x 28 oz Compliments NO SALT Diced Tomatoes $1.99
    1 x 28 oz Compliments NO SALT Diced Tomatoes $1.99
    1 Larry’s Deli Pizza Supreme Pizzas (with 50% off coupon) = $3.39
    1 Simply Orange Juice (2 for $7) $3.50

    Total OOP: $50.82

    ** Earned 52 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $33.36 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $8.25 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    5 x Island Bakery WW Bread $0.99 ea = $4.95
    250g candied salmon @ $4.49/100 g = $9.97
    1 red onion $1.21

    Total OOP: $16.13

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $8.09 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 2lb Clamshell Green Grapes $2.94
    6 x bulk buns $1.56
    4 x pkg of Old Mill English Muffins (2 for $3) = $6.00

    Total OOP: $10.50

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

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x WF Spicy Guacamole = $3.69
    1 x 4L Skim Milk (3,100 Points Redeemed to cover $4.69)

    Total OOP: $3.69

    ** Earned 4 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    ====================================

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

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

    ====================================

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •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 + Sept $16.34 = $107.87

    •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 + Sept $36.75 = $50.75

    •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 + Sept $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 + Sept 4= 401 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 + July 0 + Aug 4 + Sept 52= 380 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 + Sept 0= 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 + Sept 0= 90 Points

    ====================================

    2015 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •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 $319.00 + Sept (trf $10.00 Xmas Reserve+$9.85 to Summer + $17.50 trf to Re-Stocking Reserve + $12.50 trf to Borscht Reserve + $0.00 trf to US +$50.82+$16.13+$10.50+$3.69+$4.69= $135.68 )= $1,675.83

    •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 + Sept 190.00 = $1,710.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $34.17 AVAILABLE

    ====================================

    2015 CANADIAN UNUSED RESERVE:

    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 + Aug $0.00 + Sept $4.69= $64.36

    ====================================

    2015 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    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 + Sept $17.50 = $487.50

    ====================================

    2015 Y-T-D BORSCHT RESERVE:

    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 + Sept $12.50 = $525.00

    ====================================

    2015 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    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 + Sept $10.00 = $225.00

    ====================================

    2015 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    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 + Sept $9.85= $256.16

    ====================================

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 1,710.00 Grocery Budget JAN-SEPT
    $ 64.36 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($555.76) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 202.50) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 64.36) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 904.10) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 34.17 AVAILABLE FOR Y-T-D SPENDING

    • VALUE POINTS REDEEMED Y-T-D:

    $ 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
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – SEPT

    $ 64.36 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    So far $1,710.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2015 and we have recorded these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $487.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $525.00 Borscht Fund
    $225.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $256.16 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,493.66 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $556.16 in NEW 2015 savings.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start SEPTEMBER less $20.15 overage carried forward from AUGUST less $49.85 transferred to the various savings reserves less $0.00 transferred for Points Redeemed = $120.00 plus an additional $0.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of SEPTEMBER with $120.00 available to spend on the Canadian side of the border LESS we have spent $85.83 on our groceries (cash & points) so far this month and have $34.17 available for the month of SEPTEMBER.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redeemed, rather than the budgeted cash in the amount of $64.36. Available as an offset, we currently have $64.36 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:

    NONE! 🙁

    ====================================

    1. Hi Mary,
      Sounds like Larry is set for his next treat and I agree I can’t wait to start making soups again. I just don’t get that urge so much during the summer like I do in the winter. Your candied salmon salad sounds great. What are craisins? I’ve seen them but never picked up the bag to read what they are. You loaded up on lots of goodies this week for great prices and you got those lovely Air Miles! Great Rain Check with the Tuna. We need to get some soon. I think we have about 10 cans left. You get ballot #1. Mr.CBB

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