Should using the self checkout qualify you for a customer discount? – The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept 21-27, 2015

should using a self checkout quality you for a customer discount 3(1)NO EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT!


As of right now I don’t know of any grocery stores that will qualify a customer to a discount if they use the self checkout.

Not even a loyalty card that states if you use the self checkout 10 times you get a Free Steak is available as a perk. I like Steak!

You get ZIP Diddly as my wife would say, nothing.

While standing in line the other day waiting for a product check watching and shuffling my feet another customer spoke up from behind me.

“Hey, why doesn’t someone open up another cash register so we can get out of here faster?” says an older gentleman wearing a black business suit.

You see this grocery store has 10 checkout lanes but only 2 of them were open although the self checkout was also available. Was it even worth moving over to the self checkout?

Is the store purposely not bringing in enough staff to open the grocery checkout lanes because they rely on the self checkout? It’s all about the money. I’m sure there is some truth to this because if there wasn’t there would be more staff on duty to handle those customers who don’t enjoy the self checkout.

There are pros and cons to the self checkout as I detailed back in 2013 in a past Grocery Game post. What intrigued me about the gentleman behind me who seemed very upset about the way they were handling the situation was that there was NO incentive for him to use the self checkout.

They can’t even guarantee that it will be faster for a customer to use the self-checkout because let’s face it, we haven’t been trained on how to use them. Not only that but all the same issues happen at the self checkout as it does at the cashier.

Employees get full training on how to use the self checkout systems and the customers are supposed to just walk in and master it. As comedian Sebastian Maniscalco would say, “It doesn’t work that way.” He jokes in his video “Whats Wrong With People?” that the grocery stores gave up on us and that we weren’t properly trained on how to use these self checkout scanners, and he’s right.

He goes on to joke saying that he goes in at 3am to learn the self checkout system because he doesn’t want to be the problem. In other words, he doesn’t want to be the customer that holds everyone up.

The more I listened to Sebastian joke about the self checkout I knew one thing was for sure, we aren’t getting paid as employees to use the self checkout.

Scroll to 6:57 in the video to see his comedy skit about the self checkout at the grocery store. I will warn you, be prepared to laugh your socks off as he’s one funny guy. If you can’t help but continue listening enjoy the video but read the rest of my post first or please come back and read it.


Self Checkout for Free


There are no perks, not even a customer discount for saving the grocery store staff members, nothing. Hey, wait a minute here I want something out of the deal for using this self checkout.

Ever since then I’ve stopped using them because I don’t find them to be of any use to us. Not only are they cutting down on hiring staff which means cashiers are getting laid off but they aren’t offering incentives for the customers to scan and bag their own groceries.

Why would you want to do the hard work of a cashier when you can stand there and let the staff member getting paid to do it ring up your groceries? Are we being brain-washed into believing that the self checkout is the better way to go because it will get you out faster?

It hardly ever does because we always have to ask the one cashier they have monitoring the 8 or so self checkout stations to help us process our reduced items. If you have coupons you still have to wait until he/she is free to help you. So again I ask, what are the perks to you as a customer?

Unless you are someone who REALLY wants to know what it’s like to be a cashier you might enjoy this tedious process but it’s not for everyone and it’s not for me either. Hats off to anyone who works at a grocery store as a cashier because you need to have a certain patience and personality and that wouldn’t be me.

Let’s be honest, prices at the grocery store are only going up and now they want us to do the job of someone they typically pay without a discount or so much as a thanks for doing our job for you. Nah.


Paying for a full-service cashier


So, after we get groceries of course the gas light comes on so I cross the road and head to the gas station to fill up. It was there where I had this epiphany.

Back in the day if you didn’t want to pump your own gas you would pull into full-service where an attendant would come to your window, you’d roll it down and say, “Fill her up please.” You can still do this at many gas stations across Canada.

You’d roll up your window and stare outside basically doing nothing until it came time to pay. You’d pay a premium for this service because they did the work for you.

These days if you go to the gas station and you pull up to self-serve you will see that there is a distinct price difference per gallon for your gas. Why? Well, you’re doing the work so they compensate you while offering you a cheaper price. Hey, that’s great isn’t it. Of course it is as long as you are able-bodied.

So, that lead me to wonder if grocery stores should be giving customers who use the self checkout a bonus but wait just one minute. Does that mean if you use the cashier they can add a premium price to your grocery bill because you used full-service cashier?

Ah ha, I bet you never thought of that one coming and don’t be surprised if in the future we see something like this happen. If there is a way to make money businesses will do it but I think in this case there has to be more than just one place starting this new trend if it were to happen.

Could you imagine the grocery flyers… “This week shop at Papa Bobs Grocery and Use Our Cashier Free of Charge to Checkout” or “Enjoy a 10% discount if you use the self-checkout at Papa Bobs Grocery.”

What do you think about getting a discount for using the self checkout and paying a premium for using a cashier?

Either way someone is getting the raw end of the deal.


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.



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)

No Frills

  • 10 x Sugar Sale $1.44
  • 6 x Lactancia Butter $2.99
  • Carrots $0.99
  • Celery $0.99
  • Red Onion $1.25
  • Bananas $1.50

Total Out-of-Pocket $36.41- Stockpile $25.00 = 11.41


  • 4 x Pineapple Juice No Sugar Added $5.00
  • PC Stuffer Mushrooms $4.69-$2.35 pink sticker
  • 2x PC Organic Oyster Mushrooms $8.98 -pink sticker $4.50/2
  • Baby Bok Choy $2.34-50%= $1.17
  • Gourds $3.99
  • Oliveri Tortellini Large package and awesome deal! On Sale for $6.99-50%=$3.50
  • 2 x Oliveri Tortellini Large Packages On Sale $4.99-50%=$2.50 each

Total Out-of-Pocket $25.51

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2% Neilson Milk $3.97

Total Out-of-Pocket $3.97

  • 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: $25.00
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $34.50
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $16.52
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $581.11
  • Total spent this week: $40.89
  • Total spent so far this month: $73.80
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over $under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $161.21
  • 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 only needed a few things this week where the butter and sugar was a great stockpile item for us. Since Christmas is around the corner so we stocked up for baking. Last week we pulled all the basil and made our yearly basil cubes and were given lots of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, swiss chard and more. I’m sure we will use up the remainder of the grocery budget for our last shop but we’ll just have to wait and see.


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?

 Game Coupons Sept 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.


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
  • Check out my new Free Recipe Index
  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving Lists.

Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Hey Mr.CBB
    I do always look for instore specials and clearance carts when shopping and it is very easy to get carried away!!!

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 a week making this month $500
    $2.99 5lbs bananas
    $2.99×4-$4wub2Cx2 axe body wash
    $7.55 toal oop
    No frills
    $1.97×2 nn frozen veg
    $3.97×2 pizza pops
    $1.04, .94, 1.19, 1.41 acorn squash -46c lb!!! too bad there was no other squash types left but little miss will love these
    $16.45 total oop
    $6.88×2-$2C big j&j baby body wash
    $1.06×2 choco milk
    .96 tuna
    $2.38 4pk gum
    $5.40 4L homo milk
    $10 chicken kabobs
    $33.94 total oop
    $4.49 ham and cheddar sandwich
    $4 salt and vinegar chips
    $.99 mango iced tea drink
    $1.99 sm international creamer
    $3.99 6pk croissants
    $15.90 total oop
    .84 aero choco bar
    $2.09×2-.50C coffee creamer
    $1.38, $1.45 bananas
    $3.98×2 potstickers
    .94 French bread
    $1.88 wood chips
    $1.94×2 charcoal
    $1.24×4-$1Cx4 raid ant baits
    $2.44-$1C off skintastic
    $3.94×2-$1Cx2&$10snap off power pad 4000PC P
    $13 1kg feta tub
    .64 chalk – clearance
    $1.94×2 putty – clearance
    $1.88×2 cookies
    $6.98×7-$6.98Cx7 glad melts warmers – gifts 🙂
    $2.09×4 coffee creamer
    .64 Frisbee – clearance
    .64 jump rope – clearance
    .74 bubbles – clearance
    $2×2 Tetley tea
    $2.94 knorr box – clearance and I wish I bought more of them since they had eight knorr products in them!
    $4.98 2lb strawberries
    $76.16 total oop
    $57.36 total coupons

    $150 total weekly oop
    $65.36 total weekly coupons
    $507.19 total monthly oop
    $163.80 total monthly coupons
    $4792.33 total yearly oop
    $1499.46 total yearly coupons

    another week of great clearance deals and snap rebates!

    1. WOW you got some amazing deals this week. These are the weeks when we are happy but sadly these are also the weeks that can put us over budget as we can plan for in-store sales. Sometimes they are too good to pass up though. You get ballot 21. Mr.CBB

  3. We also don’t use the self check-outs.
    There is so much waste in supermarkets, so they can easily pay for cashiers.

    A family member worked at the warehouse for one of the major grocery stores, and he said you wouldn’t believe the waste.For example : whole order of watermelons were thrown out, because they were supposed to be seedless. (but they arrived with seeds)
    Another family member works at a drug store…she also tells of boxes and boxes of food thrown in the dumpster.

  4. Week 4 – September 20-26

    • Grocery budget to work with in October: $300
    • Total coupons used this week: $8.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $120.65
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $15.24
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $20
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $340
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $63.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $8.47
    • Total student discounts to date: $187.08
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $11.98
    • Total spent this week: $67.60
    • Total spent so far this month: $270.35
    • Total left to spend for the month: $29.65
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $53.80
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $2,340.15

    RCSS: Goldfish crackers 2 x 1.88, Greenworks cleaner 2 x 2.00 – 2.00 coupons (PM), 2 kg sugar 1.44 (PM), Carnation evap milk 2 x .96 (PM), PC 2L cola .97, PC 12 pk pop 2.99, PC croutons 1.88, Cloverleaf tuna 6 pk 4.98, Jumbo freezies 2 x 1.44, Excel multipack gum 2.38 (PM), Triscuits 1.67 x 2 – 1.00 coupons (PM), Christies Star wars portable snacks 2 x 2.00, Kraft family size dressing 2 x 2.00, Hellmanns mayo 2.99 – 2.00 coupon (PM), Sunlight laundry detergent 2 x 3.97 – 2.00 coupons (PM), milk 3.97, mushrooms .97 (PM), bananas .87, cauliflower 1.88 (PM), lettuce .99 (PM), grapes 1.18 (PM), acorn squash 1.07 (PM), butternut squash 1.31 (PM), Halal whole chicken 5.94, Q-tip 500 pk 2.88 (PM), Degree deodorant 2 x 1.88 – 1.00 coupon (PM), Brita filter 3 pk 13.9 (PM), less student discount 8.47, less PC Plus 20.00, plus tax 4.89: Total paid 56.70 rounded up 2 cents

    Dollar tree: Box chicken broth 1.25, alfredo sauce 1.25, pizza sauce 1.25, feminine products 1.25, canned peanuts 1.25, tax .16:Total paid 6.40 rounded down 1 cent

    Walmart: Greenworks dish soap 2 x 2.00, tax .52: total paid 4.50 rounded down 1 cent

    I’m late posting, but I am trying to keep myself accountable. It’s been hard with school this semester, but I am still tracking.

    We had a lot of items that weren’t food related this week. We have been running out of a lot of things and needed so much right now. However, with the price matching and the actual use of coupons this week, I think we did alright. There is a bit leftover for next week, and I can stay within that amount.

    1. Hi Angela,
      I changed the month to October but this is still a Sept budget post. That’s ok we know what it is. 🙂 Considering you needed to stock up you did amazing with your shop. You scored lots of great deals and for many you had a coupon. That’s the way it’s done. Where did you get the Sunlight, Hellmans and Greenworks coupons? Were they each $2 coupons or $1.00? The PC Plus points really are a help. I’m proud of you. Keep at it and you’ll make it through. I know one day when you are done school and you are raking in the cash you will look back and pat yourself on the back for all this dedication!! I know I would. You get ballot 16. Mr.CBB

      1. Sunlight and Hellmans coupons were from a flyer in the newspaper, the Greenworks were 1.00 each and they were stuck to the bottles in the store.
        This is a post for September, it was only the first post in the October week 4 – 10 where I forgot to change the month to say October. I didn’t have 4 weeks in September, I had five because I only had August as a 4 week month where everyone else had five.

        1. Yes I think I mentioned in one of my comments where I changed them all but realized after that it should have only been the one post. It’s ok as long as we know what’s going on. 🙂 I remember back in 2012 when Greenworks had hang tags with buy 3 save $5. Well we have hundreds of bottles of Greenworks. After the first batch of 10 there were 10 more tags and so on and the stores had them on sale for $1.99 each so we paid $1.00 plus tax out of pocket.

  5. Yearly grocery budget for four adults and two 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: $25.25
    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
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 ground cinnamon -4.49
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 4l milk -4.88
    2 packs frozen tortellini @3.99
    1 10lb potatoes -2.99
    Bananas -1.07
    1 pork loin roast -9.04
    Total OOP -$38.93
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 cans pasta sauce @1.50
    2 yogurt @2.99
    1 Temptations cat treats -1.79
    2 cans tomato paste @.59
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 block cheese -4.00
    Green grapes -3.09
    1 green pepper -1.49
    10lb bag onions -2.99
    Bananas -1.32
    1 pork loin roast -8.95
    1 ground pork -3.99, 50% sticker-$2.00 off
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -6.02
    1 bread crumbs -2.49
    Tax -.40
    Total OOP -$61.23, $2.00 discount
    Foodland #3
    1 case Kraft dinner -5.99
    6 cans soup @4/3.00
    1 Rubbermaid lunch kit -2.99
    1 doz large eggs -2.99
    Tax -.39
    Total OOP -$16.66

    Total to spend this month $611.54
    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: $22.43
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $124.14
    Total in-store discounts this week: $2.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: $123.22
    Total spent this week: $116.82
    Total spent so far this month: $466.58
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over $under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $under
    Total left to spend for the month: $144.96
    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) we are looking good to come in under for the month even with less to work with thanks to the overages in earlier months! I got those 2 pork roasts at a good price! The Rubbermaid lunch kit was on clearance price and I thought the grandson might like it… It was brought in for a back to school promo where you bought the kit and got some stuff free, like juice boxes, goldfish crackers and a couple of other things. I don’t remember all of it but I’m guessing that even with the freebies there were not that many people willing to pay $18.99 for it. I sure wouldn’t but $2.99 works for me!! Might get another one as I have one coupon for it at $1.50. Other than the usual weekly stuff there isn’t a lot we will need between now and the end of the month.

    1. Hi Christine,
      What kind of tortellini did you buy? That seems a bit pricey unless you bought Oliveri which is pricey. We try to look at Zehrs for them on for 50% off. How big was the pork roast? We have a couple in the freezer we need to defrost and use up. The hard part is defrosting the meat. We always struggle with this. What is in the lunch kit? That’s a great idea for any kids. We bought our son a sippy cup the other day from rubbermaid with a flip top and he loves it. Well done for the month… you’re doing amazing. You get ballot 10. MR.CBB

      1. This tortellini is a different brand, in the freezer section but it is a 1 lb package so it goes a little further than others kinds. I’ve scored the Zehrs and Oliveri half price the odd time. Any way I go it takes 2 packs for a meal here but this kind I might have leftovers! I think the pork roasts were around 3 lbs. I don’t thaw them before cooking to be honest. So long as I can get the packaging off to toss the roast into the roaster or slow cooker it’s good. I bake at 325F and just cook it longer. A couple of hours for a 2-3 lb roast works without drying it out. It thaws as it cooks.
        The lunch kit was a set of containers to pack the lunch in with a small freezer pack that fits on the lid of the biggest one. I thought the grandson might like it for his lunch at school but I’ll talk to my daughter and see what she thinks. Yea, sippy cups are great at his age…he will learn to drink from a glass soon enough!!

  6. I refuse to use the self help check out. It takes away jobs. I wouldn’t use it even if I could save a few cents.This is just my opinion.
    If you notice Walmart has way less checkers & more machines. They can afford to pay people a few cents over paying workers salary ,taxes & health care.

    1. Yes there should at least be a discount for the work of checking out your own groceries and share the wealth with everyone not just the one percent. The self serve gas stations at least have lower gas prices than full serve.

  7. Sept 11 – 24, 2015
    Name Your Store: Erbcroft Farms
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = N/A
    Total Out Of Pocket: $300 (Meat)

    1/2 pig – broken down to Sausages, Roast, Side Ribs, Pork Chops and Bacon = $300.00
    Sausages – 13 (Honey Garlic – 2; Garlic – 6; Plain 5)
    Side Ribs – 2
    Roast – 4 (Ham – 1; Shoulder – 2; Leg – 1)
    Pork Chops – 17 (Smoked – 8; Fresh – 9)
    Bacon – 11

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1500
    Total Out Of Pocket: $72.97

    10 lbs Five Roses Flour – $13.97 (PM No Frills @ $7.97) = $7.97
    Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner = $3.00
    Campbell Beef with Vegetables – $1.99 (PM Food Basics @ $1.25) = $1.25
    Campbell Cream of Broccoli – $2.49 (PM Food Basics @ $1.25) = $1.25
    2 Campbell Cream of Chicken – $1.99 (PM Food Basics @ $1.25) =$2.50
    Realime Juice = $1.00
    4 L Milk = $3.97
    Highliner Fish – $7.98 (PM Freshco @ $3.99) = $3.99
    10 lbs Carrots = $1.88
    10 lbs Potatoes $1.88
    Broccoli – $1.98 (PM Food Basics @ $0.88) = $0.88
    Schneider Weiners = $3.48
    2 Loaves of Wonder Bread – $1.00 – 30% = $1.40

    8 kg Purina Hard Cat Food – (1500 PC Points) = $21.98
    Friskies Soft Cat Food = $1.43
    20 kg Cat Litter = $9.19
    Baking Soda = $1.29

    Name Your Store: St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = N/A
    Total Out Of Pocket: $97.75 (Produce & Meat)

    1/2 bushel Field Tomatoes = $10.00
    1/2 bushel Peaches = $20.00
    10 lbs Fresh Lean Ground Beef – $4.99/lb = $50.70
    Ham Hock = $17.05

    Name Your Store: Side of the road Amish Farmer
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = N/A
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.00 (Produce)

    Apples (Small basket) = $4.00

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $1.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $61.77 (Produce)

    4 jars Ragu Spaghetti Sauce – $2.29 (PM Giant Tiger @ $0.96) = $3.84
    Quaker Instant Oatmeal = $2.50
    Split Yellow Peas = $2.69
    4 Cans Tuna – $3.19 (PM Zehrs @ $0.99) = $3.96
    Pam Cooking Spray – $4.77 (PM No Frills @ $2.97) = $2.97 (+ $1.00 Coupon)
    Cheerios – $5.98 (PM Zehrs @ $2.99) = $2.99
    Realemon Juice = $2.79 (Produce A/c)
    4 boxes Certo Liquid = $17.45 (Produce A/c)
    Sunlight Dish Soap – $2.29 (PM Walmart @ $1.67) = $1.67
    Eggs (18 carton) = $4.69
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    Black Diamond Marble Cheese – 6.99 (PM Giant Tiger @ $4.97) = $4.97
    Bananas = $1.42

    4 Cans Friskies Soft food – $0.79 (PM Walmart @ $0.50) = $2.00

    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: $1.00
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $12.25
    Total Discounts/SCOP this 2 Week Period: $
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $10.19
    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: $14.54 + 28.72
    Total Price Match to Date: $440.05
    Total Meat this 2 Week Period: $300 + 50.70 + 17.05
    Total Meat to Date: $484.17
    Total Produce this 2 Week Period: $20 + 10 + 4 + 22.51
    Total Produce to Date: $291.31
    Total Adhoc Stockpile this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    Total Adhoc Stockpile to Date: $423.30
    Total PC Points Received this 2 Week Period: 1500 + 0
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this 2 Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 13075

    Total Over/Under spend this Human shop: $7.07 under
    Total Left to Spend for the Human Month: $78.93
    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+34.84+37 ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $1,460.51

    Total Over/Under spend this Cat shop: $10.39 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Cat Month: $10.39 reduction from October’s budget
    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 $38.13+2.26 ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $279.14

    Overview: 1st week – Blew the cats budget out of the water this week but other than just some soft food, I don’t need to get them much for the next month or two. I picked up my piggy and it’s in my freezer waiting for me to use it. I just went back over my previous shopping trips that I’ve done and noticed that back in February, I started making meal plans and shopping according. It seems that it hasn’t been that long since I was doing that.
    Overview: 2nd Week – This week I received my 1/2 pig, stocked up on produce to make peach jam and crushed tomatoes, most ingredients to make home made “Habitant” soup. I now have two freezers, which are both stocked full so things should be good. I’m also under budget will is a bonus as well. I’ve changed how I’m going to save for the produce so I’ve now going to be adding it to my projected expenses and therefore save up a little every pay. I don’t think that I’ve ever adjusted and refigured my budget as much as I have done this year. Hopefully I have all the bugs worked out and things will settle down next year and I can really see how things are for my finances.

    1. Hi Dee,
      If you find a great deal on pet food there is nothing wrong with grabbing the deal as long as you can manage the overage. We’ve done that many times but we hate catching up. What size freezers do you have? I bet you will be coming up with all sorts of new recipes with your piggy. It hasn’t been that long you are right but you have done so amazing.
      I would love to get the recipe for your homemade habitant pea soup. We love pea soup. I’ve made pea soup before but I always like to try new recipes. Good for you using the projected expenses because so many people forget about how this can benefit them. I know we love and live for them. You will always find bugs along the way but eventually you will be at a happy place. Well done, You get ballot 8. Mr.CBB

      1. I have 2 small ones…..5 cu ft and less. Right now they are both stocked full of produce, prepared foods, meat and flour. IL have to look through Pinterest to see if there’s a recipe that I have the ingredients for and I can do. I don’t know if it will be new recipes but definitely different ones than before. I’ll need to calculate again my PE as I’ll need new tires by end of winter, if not sooner.

        1. Now is the time to do that if you need tires. I know my truck will need some tires soon so I’ll be saving up for that. We want to get rid of our big freezer and get 2 smaller ones especially once we finish our basement.

  8. I’m in a small town and we don’t have the self checks here but hubby and i did try to use one once, forget where it was. It confused the crap out of hubby!! He can get confused easily and this drove him batty. I still use coupons when I can so having to wait for help inputting them would be a pain. There are usually 2-3 check-outs going at a time across the street but with this being a small town we chat away while the groceries are being rung through. If the express lane is not busy but the others are they will take us there just to move things along, nobody fusses about it….
    I’ll have a look at the video once I can do so in peace and quiet….not always easy to do here…

    1. Haha… did you watch that part in the video I mentioned to watch. You will laugh so much. It just reminds me of your husband now. Ah, ok I just read the last line. Yes watch the video you won’t stop laughing, he’s hilarious.

      1. At Zehrs and RCSS, you can scan your own coupons in to cut down on the cashiers work and to get thru quicker. You still give them to the cashier after.

  9. I used to use the self-check out but now that I do price matching, I can’t use the self-check out unless it’s a week with no price matching. I think that a decent discount would be a nice incentive since the store doesn’t hire as many people now.

      1. Not at RCSS can you price match so I now only deal with cashiers. There’s times when dealing with myself is just enough for me to handle, without dealing with the cashiers as well.

  10. SEPTEMBER – Week #3 of 4- Sept 21-27, 2015


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



    We are making a couple of nice soups this week (a Stuffed Sweet Pepper and a Red Lentil & Garbanzo Bean Soup) plus we’re finishing off our Peasant Cabbage & Tomato homemade soup leftovers that are already in the fridge. Can you tell that fall is here and it’s time for soup?

    This is a week where there’s not a lot of meal preparation involved – just a couple of soups and possibly some quick bread. Yay! Hubby is using some cold meats (smoked ham, roast beef we cooked up on Sunday and a little chicken we’ll turn into chicken salad) for his lunches… so life is really easy peasy this week!

    We managed to get 2 rain checks for 4 blocks of 700g cheese on each rain check for $5.99 a block, We also earned another 5 cent per liter gasoline discount. My discounts and rain checks envelope is back to collecting little cost saving tools again! I do love a full envelope!!! 🙂



    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    1 Purex Double Roll Toilet Paper = $4.99
    1 Purex Double Roll Toilet Paper = $4.99
    1 Purex Double Roll Toilet Paper = $4.99
    8 Hot House Tomatoes ($1.49/lb) = $3.48
    2 Compliments WW Flour Wraps (COUPON 2 @ $4) = $4.00

    Total OOP: $27.86

    ** Earned 1 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $4.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $18.20 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    ** Earned $0.00 per liter reduction on gasoline **



    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE in the late spring of 2016 – when hopefully 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 + Sept $83.42 = $158.61

    •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 $40.75 = $54.75

    •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 31= 428 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 + July 0 + Aug 4 + Sept 152= 480 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



    •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-$120.00 FROM Re-Stocking Reserve+90.38+26.93+$27.86= $160.85 )= $1,701.44

    •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: $8.56 AVAILABLE



    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



    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-$120 = – $102.50) = $367.50



    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



    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



    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



    $ 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
    ($435.76) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 202.50) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 64.36) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 1,049.71) 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
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JULY

    $ 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”:

    $367.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $525.00 Borscht Fund
    $225.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $256.16 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,373.66 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $436.16 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 PLUS we have transferred $120.00 from the Re-Stocking Reserve back into the available grocery funds LESS we have spent $231.44 on our groceries (cash & points) so far this month and have $8.56 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:

    Save On Foods –

    4 x 700 GR WF Cheese (all varieties) @ $5.99 per pkg – good until Sept 30/15

    4 x 700 GR WF Cheese (all varieties) @ $5.99 per pkg – good until Oct 1/15


    1. Hi Mary,
      It was a toilet paper stock up week for you I see. We haven’t had to do that for years since we have so many packages from using coupons. We used to get teased saying we had a wall of toilet paper in the basement. I loved the sound of that soup and although I’ve only made one pot so far this season I know there will be more on the horizon. Since our family is so sick right now it would have been nice to have some in the freezer to heat up. The last thing we want to be doing is cooking. My plan is to make enough and find some plastic containers I can use to freeze pots of it for times like this. Do you have a recipe for the stuffed pepper soup? I really want to make that one although I suppose I will need to buy some peppers. You get ballot 7. Mr.CBB

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.