grocery game monthly challenge

How to kill fruit flies fast with this simple fruit fly trap : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Sept 28-Oct 4, 2015




It was back in January when I wrote about pantry pests but I never gave much thought to pesky fruit flies.

We’ve never had a problem with fruit flies before although we’ve seen the odd one or two here and there in our kitchen.

Most people wouldn’t give a second thought to seeing a few fruit flies around the house but when you kill fruit flies and they return daily you know there is a bigger problem lurking.

When we got back from our summer trip we brought plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables back from our relatives gardens. Most of the tomatoes and a few fruits sat on the counter waiting to get eaten up.

We never store tomatoes in the refrigerator especially ripened tomatoes from an organic garden. A chemical process will occur and change the flavour of your tomatoes which defeats the purpose.

The best tasting tomatoes are from an organic garden or farmer. If you have unripened tomatoes and put them in the refrigerator the ripening process will stop and you will never see whatever colour your tomatoes are supposed to be.

Anyways, our tomatoes sat on the counter for about a week and we started to see fruit flies hanging around the kitchen. My wife HATES any and all bugs. She will freak out if she sees a spider or any bugs in the house especially because she thinks they will be crawling all over her or they will end up in her food.

Needless to say she was a bit unhappy about it so we donated most of our tomatoes to a friend who made a pot of pasta sauce. We could have blanched and froze the tomatoes but with the baby and working so many hours it has been near impossible to get things done around here.

We thought that the fruit flies would disappear once we got rid of the tomatoes and for the most part we thought we were home free. That wasn’t the case as we started to see a few everyday hovering around the cooker and counter in the kitchen. My wife again was struggling with this so I got to work doing my homework to see what the cause of these fruit flies could be.


What causes fruit flies?


This is not an exclusive list but are many of the reasons I located online about why fruit flies may potentially be in your home. Did you know that you can bring fruit flies home from the grocery store? That’s right, especially if you have rotting fruit you didn’t notice or you bought a reduced package of fruits or vegetables with rotting produce inside.

This is why you should always check your produce thoroughly when you get home from the grocery store,market or your back garden. Some people like to wash and cut their fruits and vegetables so they are ready for the week. That might be a smart option as well as long as you know you will eat them up fast.

I was not shocked to find out fruit flies may be in our house because of any of the below reasons but we needed to solve the problem, not mask it.

  • Dirty indoor garbage cans
  • Dirty outdoor garbage bins
  • Recycling bin when you don’t wash cans out
  • Fruit trees outside
  • Inside your kitchen drains
  • Your sponges, tea towels, wash clothes, dish scrubbers
  • Your neighbour has a problem
  • Fruit in the kitchen
  • Vegetables in the kitchen
  • Anything sweet in the kitchen including spills not cleaned up


Where do fruit flies come from?


Just because you have fruit flies in your kitchen doesn’t mean you are a slob and have a dirty kitchen. It means that somehow fruit flies are in your house and you need to find out why.

You don’t have to own a kitchen to have fruit flies either. If you rent a room and cook in your room or store any sugary foods, fruits or vegetables in your room you can get fruit flies. Like I mentioned above they can come from your neighbour’s house, grocery store, farmers market and so on. Fruit flies seem to be famous for hitching a ride.

I read a great article “What are fruit flies and where do they come from” and learned that fruit flies like to eat foods that are fermenting or decaying. That makes sense considering how fast they can detect what they are looking for. Once you set up my fruit fly trap that I will share with you today you will see just how fast they take the bait.

According to Wise Geek, Fruit flies will lay their eggs in the food they are enjoying and a female can lay up to 500 eggs where she can mate more than once in her life-cycle. Of course when my wife heard me read that to her she freaked out even more. She imagined swarms of them in the house so of course Detective Mr.CBB got to work.

These eggs usually hatch in less than a day, sometimes within just a few hours. After this point, they progress through the larval stage, which usually lasts around four days, and which can be further divided into three separate phases that include molting. They then enter the pupal stage, where they grow their wings and legs. Finally, they emerge as fully-grown adults, and the process, which typically takes 14 – 30 days, starts all over again.- Wise Geek (see link to full article above)


How to get rid of fruit flies


We started with the obvious and cleaned the entire kitchen including all the cupboards, floors, garbage bins and the kitchen sink. One idea I read online was to boil hot water and mix some dish soap inside then pour it down the sink. This will help get rid of any fruit flies that are hanging out inside the drain because food peels or other food bits got caught inside.

The obvious first step was to remove any and all fruit and vegetables from our kitchen counters. The only fruit we had out were bananas and in another bowl we had a red onion and organic garlic. We also had organic garlic hanging in our garage to dry.

The wife had me move out the stove and refrigerator as well so I could clean underneath them and sanitize the floors with hot water, soap and vinegar. This will help to get rid of any eggs that may be lurking around although we were convinced the problem wasn’t coming from the kitchen.

The fruit fly life span from what I could see was about 2-3 days after hatching because they would make their way to the kitchen and once we killed them another batch was soon on the way. It sounds horrible and it is. No one wants a kitchen with fruit flies hanging around.

If you want to get rid of fruit flies you must clean up the kitchen and other areas that contain food such as the basement, cold room and recycling bins. A good wash with soap and water is what I gave the bins although they looked fairly clean.

The refrigerator was practically empty so we gave that the once over while we could. All of the counters and baskets were washed in hot water, soap and vinegar as well as all the appliances. My wife and I were sure impressed with our cleaning and we thought for sure they would be gone.

Nope, they were back again the next day so we were on a mission to catch fruit flies no matter what it took. I read that you could spray the fruit flies with a homemade mixture of soap, water and vinegar or rubbing alcohol. I decided not to do this because I could easily see me causing a huge disaster in the house. With a new baby I wouldn’t suggest running around spraying any form of chemical in the air to kill fruit flies.

There had to be an easier way to catch these pesky fruit flies.

You can set a fruit fly trap with a bowl, rotting fruit and plastic wrap which seemed reasonable to me. You put the fruit in the bowl, add plastic wrap and some holes and then wait. By morning you should have caught all of the fruit flies in the bowl where you could empty them out and kill them.

We opted not to do this because we didn’t want to be responsible for killing them after catching them. I couldn’t see the point emptying them in the sink when that is a source of the problem for some people. You would have to go outside your house to say good-bye and it was just too much work to be honest.

Another fruit fly trap you can test is putting a tall jar with rotting fruit and using a paper cone on the top to lure the fruit flies in. Once you have them all in the bottle you can literally, bottle up your fruit flies. Gotcha suckers. We still weren’t convinced with this method so we decided on something even easier.


The best way to catch fruit flies


Lastly we decided to try the apple cider vinegar and dish-soap in a small container and left it on the stove. You don’t need any fancy dish-soap either but you may want to go with the apple cider vinegar.

Fruit Fly Trap Recipe

  • Small bowl
  • 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Dish Soap

With-in seconds there were fruit flies coming together as if they just won the food lottery. The sweetness in the apple cider vinegar is alluring to the fruit flies. They can’t say no and the best part is they just drown in the sea of apple cider vinegar so no work afterwards except getting rid of them.

As you can tell from the photo above we caught the fruit flies and it all happened fairly fast. We got about 6 or 7 a day and we knew that just because we were killing fruit flies didn’t mean that solved the problem. We needed to find the source of our fruit flies.

Sure enough after reading about how fruit flies love beer I instantly thought of the grapefruit beer cans and bottles I was storing outside of the cold room. I was too busy to put them back in the case in the cold room so I left them outside the door until the next time I needed to go the beer store.

Sure enough when I checked them there were fruit flies having a party so I immediately got rid of the cans, cleaned up the area and we have had no fruit flies since. This was a relief for both of us especially my wife who is a bit of a clean freak and gets upset about bugs.

Needless to say, my wife is happy and so am I but now that we know all about fruit flies you can bet that we will make the right choices about how to clean and store our fruits, vegetables and beer cans!

If you have a fruit fly infestation it may be time to call in the professionals so they can come and spray your house. Fruit flies should be taken seriously because before you know it you could have up to 500 or more of them over for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Be proactive and kill fruit flies from the moment you see them and source out the problem spot.

Have you ever had fruit flies? What method do you use to kill fruit flies?


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.

New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card.

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 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)

Food Basics

  • Garbage Bags $3.99
  • 2 x Aurora Tomatoes $0.88 each
  • Bananas $1.13
  • Cauliflower $1.88
  • Seedless cucumber $0.97
  • 1lb white mushrooms $1.88
  • 2 x Beatrice Homo Milk  4L $4.97 each
  • 2 x Parmalat 2% Milk 4L $3.97 (Watch out for bags that are only 3Litres now. We stopped buying from Shoppers Drug Mart when we figured that out.)
  • 4 x Lactancia Butter $2.88 each
  • 8 x Rudolph Bavarian Bread
  • 4 x Unico Tomato Paste 2/$1.00

Total Out-of-Pocket $56.57

  • 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: $56.57
  • Total spent so far this month: $130.37
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over $under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $104.63
  • 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 $130.37+ October $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

I figured we would come under this month as it was such a busy time for us and we didn’t need too much. The one item we do need is cheese so with the handy coupon below we are on the hunt for a good deal. We are also slowly learning how to balance what is in the house and our grocery budget. It’s nice to see a stocked kitchen but it’s also nice to know it’s not overflowing like it used to be.


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?

Armstrong cheese coupon Canada Save 50 cents


Frequently Asked Questions


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

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!

You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2015!

Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.


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  1. Hey Mr.CBB
    I have found the melts on at sdm for .99 and gave them to her to try knowing that it wasn’t too big of an investment if she didn’t like them and well her and her big sis love them, lol I have gotten the puffs for cheap and she likes those too. I like to use them for when we are out and she needs a snack inbetween meals because well she gets a little hangry!

    • Yes that is what we do. We found 50% off puffs at Zehrs and loaded up while we could plus the coupon apps always seem to have deals on baby snacks.

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $625
    Save on foods
    $3.99 5kg wf flour
    $2.25×8 gerber yogurt melts – clearance and I don’t usually buy these but they were a pretty good deal
    .50×2 sand toys – clearance
    $23.05 total oop
    $2.22×4$1Cx4&$1.10airmilescoupon pure leaf tea
    $1×2 spicy kd
    $4.99×3 brick cheese
    $2.49-$1.25amC comp perogies
    $3.49 5lbs carrots
    $25.85 total oop
    $4 total coupons
    $4.30 4L homo milk – great sale!
    $3.99 lg international
    $1.97-$1C&$1snap Heinz cookies
    $2 nn sliced almonds
    .75×4 halls
    $10.15 total oop
    $1 total coupons

    $63.35 total weekly oop
    $9.30 total weekly coupons
    $570.54 total monthly oop
    $173.10 total monthly coupons
    $4855.68 total yearly oop
    1508.76 total yearly coupons

    I just realized that I had typed all the other four weeks with a monthly budget of $500 when really this month was $625
    Really stocked up on some great deals this month and am under budget 🙂

    • That’s ok as long as you know what you are doing but thanks for clearing that up. I was wondering. That was a great sale for the Homo milk as it’s just as pricey in Ontario. We saw those melts before but never bought them as they were pricey. I don’t even know if it’s a good deal or not. Our son probably would eat them but you never know and stocking up on baby treats can be a big fail for us. We have loads of baby jars in our cupboard we will be donating because we were overconfident that he would eat them all. lol. You get ballot 22. Mr.CBB

  3. Angela Mainse says:

    Week 5 – September 26 – October 3

    • Grocery budget to work with in October: $300
    • Total coupons used this week: $6.26
    • Total coupons used to date: $126.91
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $1.47
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $16.71
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • 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: $2.75
    • Total student discounts to date: $189.03
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $11.98
    • Total spent this week: $21.60
    • Total spent so far this month: $291.95
    • Total left to spend for the month: $8.05
    • Carry over: $8.05
    • Total in carry over jar: $61.85
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $2,402.00

    RCSS: Quaker Quinoa bars 1 x 2.00 – FPC, Manwich .97 (PM), PC cola 12 pk 2.97 (PM), Miss Vickies 2.49 – 2.00 coupon (PM), Campbells Asparagus box 2.00 – FPC, Campbells box broth veggie and chicken 3 x .99 (PM), Kraft turkey dressing 2 x .99 (PM), Unico sliced black olives .99 (PM), Sensitive organic shampoo 7.98, bananas 1.48, bosc pears 1.48 (PM), less student discount 2.75, plus tax 1.81: Total paid 16.65 rounded up 1 cent

    Food basics: Selection gingerale 2L, selection soda crackers 1.99, tax .11: Total paid 2.95 rounded down 2 cents

    This is another week I am behind, but keeping myself accountable. I didn’t have August as a 5 week month, so September is my 5 week month. I am getting caught up on life things, transitioning back into school, I’ve had to creating my balancing act again.

    Didn’t have a lot to spend this week. The shampoo for my son ate up about 1/3 of what I spent this week. However, we are on track. Next month is back to the 50 weekly amount. We had raised it July, August and Sept since we had run out of way too many things. Now, I am determine to get back to it. I am hoping we can go forward from here in very good shape. We even had carryover which is a bonus. Another step toward adding to our TV at the end of the year if we don’t have enough before then. Also, it’s nice to have things on the shelf. I can’t convince hubby, or myself, for that manner to give up the pop which I rely on for caffeine. If we have to, then we will. We aren’t quite there yet.

    And, yes, the Food basics trip was for illness. My poor sick kiddo.

    • Angela Mainse says:

      I’ve gone back over my months and added up my annual total again. It is actual 2408.15. I will adjust this for October. It just didn’t seem right, odds against having it end so evenly. Sure enough, I now have the math totalling up correctly again.

    • Hi Angela,
      I know what you mean about balancing act. I’ve been trying to balance my second job and family life and it’s tough but we’ll get there. Nothing is supposed to be easy in life, this is how we learn. It’s nice to hear that you are thinking ahead of ways you can cut back in the event that you have to. It may be easier to get rid of the pop and buy coffee as you may get more bang for your buck, if you like coffee or tea. What kind of TV are you hoping to buy? Let’s bring in October!! Almost to the end of the year. Can you believe how fast it’s gone by. I’m in awe. Well done. You get ballot 17. Mr.CBB

      • Angela Mainse says:

        I do drink coffee and tea, but I find both can be very difficult on my stomach and the pop is not. So, I split up the pop and the hot drinks. Also, I prefer to have a mixture of cold and hot drinks. By comparison to what we drank years ago, we really don’t go through much pop. I will cut it all out if I need to, but the caffeine will become a problem. I know it’s a crutch of mine.

        The TV we hope to find anything that’s 1080P 40″ or so, nothing extravagant. Whatever happens to be the best deal when we finally decide we have enough saved. My hubby wants to stick with Samsung since most of our electronics are, but I’m not as picky. We’ll know it when we find it 🙂

  4. My two week GGC.

    Sept 25 – Oct 8, 2015
    Name Your Store: Zehrs
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.17

    1 box Baking Soda = $1.39

    2 boxes Baking Soda = $2.78

    Name Your Store: St. Jacobs Farmer Market
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = N/A
    Total Out Of Pocket: $48.00 (Stockpile & Produce)

    2 Loaves Raisin Bread = $5.00
    Coffee Cake = $2.00
    3 L Basket Pears = $5.00
    3 L Basket Apples = $6.00
    2 pkgs Cookies = $4.00
    Sticky Buns = $2.00

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 200
    Total Out Of Pocket: $47.05 (Produce)

    4 kg Sugar = $4.00
    1 kg Icing Sugar = $1.98
    2 boxes No Name Crackers – 2/$3.50 = $3.50
    2-900 mL Campbells Broth – $2.67 (PM Zehrs @ $0.99) = $1.98
    2-890 mL Habitant Pea and Ham Soup – $2.39 (PM Sobeys @ 2/$3.00) = $3.00
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    Pillsberry Biscuits = $2.99
    10 lbs Beets = $2.48
    10 lbs Potatoes = $2.48
    10 lbs Carrots = $2.48
    Mushrooms = $1.97
    Bananas – (200 PC Points) = $1.56
    Mixed Peppers = $1.98
    Inside Round Steak = $7.03

    10 Cans Friskies – $0.79 (PM Zehrs @ 10/$5.00) = $5.00

    Name Your Store: Walmart
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $14.01

    Cream Cheese Icing = $1.82
    Thyme = $3.68
    All Spice = $3.78
    Basil = $4.73

    Name Your Store: Bulk Barn
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $32.07

    Honey Gram Cookies = $2.22
    Vanilla Holiday Baking Chips = $3.48
    Macadamia Nuts = $4.85
    Ground Nutmeg = $5.18
    Beer Buttered Peanuts = $2.58
    Reese’s Pieces = $7.58
    Quick Rolled Oats = $0.74
    Minced Onion = $1.27
    Ground Cinnamon = $2.22

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.38

    Gum Flossers = $3.38

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $9.19

    French Vanilla Cupcakes = $4.25
    2 L PC Carmel Pecan Crumble Frozen Yogurt = $4.39

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $6.25

    4 L Milk = $3.97
    WW Bread = $2.29

    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: $12.25
    Total Discounts/SCOP this 2 Week Period: $0.00
    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: $8.04
    Total Price Match to Date: $448.09
    Total Meat this 2 Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $484.17
    Total Produce this 2 Week Period: $11
    Total Produce to Date: $230.31
    Total Adhoc Stockpile this 2 Week Period: $13
    Total Adhoc Stockpile to Date: $436.30
    Total PC Points Received this 2 Week Period: 200
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this 2 Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 13635

    Total Over/Under spend this Human shop: $25.38 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Human Month: $25.38 reduction from October’s budget
    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+42.79+14.01+32.07 ; Oct $6.25+3.38+9.19 ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $1.568.20

    Total Over/Under spend this Cat shop: $18.82 over
    Total Left to Spend for the Cat Month: $18.82 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+5.65+2.78 ; Oct $ ; Nov $ ; Dec $ = $287.57

    Overview: 1st week – I’ve spent more than what I wanted to but I’ll be putting some more produce in the freezer and expanding on what I’m able to make this week. I’m looking at expanding the repertoire of what I can make to include more homemade items….time will tell how success I’ve been. I’ll be going over this month as I’m already over and the 2nd week hasn’t even started yet. But the purchases done at Bulk Barn and Walmart (for the most part) will be used to create some “cream of” soup bases. This will save me money in the long run (I hope) in buying any “cream of” soups. I would just need to purchase the ingredients to make that soup.
    Overview: 2nd Week – I tried to only pick a few things this week and shop around the house this week since I was already over budget. My daughter’s birthday was this past weekend so some cupcakes and frozen yogurt was picked up as part of the celebration. This overage will take a bit of time to clear but it will be cleared before the end of the year, if not within the next two weeks.

    • Hi Dee,
      It sounds like you are more in a testing the waters stage with your grocery budget and creating new meals and eating more homemade meals. It’s certainly going to be a learning process. You’ll eventually get it under control and sorted out. I’m excited to hear more about the homemade items you will be making. It will be a success! What are some of the soups you will be making? You get ballot #14. Mr.CBB

      • Soups can be anything “cream of”. I have canned tomatoes this year so I can blend some tomatoes and create cream of tomato soup or instead of buying cream of mushroom, I can now create it at home. The WFD and getting out of debt has helped me in changing what I buy and therefore make at home.

        • I’m so happy to see the changes in your budget and the way you prepare your meals Dee. I know it has truly helped Mrs. CBB and I as it’s a very weak area for the both us. I look forward to hearing about your soup adventures this winter.

  5. Christine Weadick says:

    Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $235 per year or $25 per month.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $650.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $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: $25.75
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $.75

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1 case ginger ale -6.59 ouch!!
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Rice Krispies -4.99
    1 Cashmere TP, 12 double rolls -4.44
    4 cans tomato sauce @2/3.00
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1kg baking soda -2.69
    1 Lb Crisco -2.49
    1 Apple sauce-1.49
    1 Rubbermaid lunch kit -2.99, 1.50 coupon
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 pack frozen tortellini -3.49
    Bananas -.78
    2 W/W bread @2/5.00
    Tax -1.82
    Total OOP -$65.00, 1.50 coupon
    Foodland #2
    1 case crush -6.59
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 Cashmere TP, 12 double rolls -4.44
    4 cans soup @4/3.00
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 jar pickles -1.79
    1kg brown sugar -1.79
    1kg icing sugar -1.79
    1 can pineapple 1.59
    1 Rubbermaid lunch kit -2.99
    2 4l milk @4.88
    1 doz large eggs -2.79
    2 packs frozen veggies @3.49
    Bananas -.95
    1 package sausages -5.72, 50% sticker-2.86 off
    1 pack lean ground beef -5.06
    1 bagels -2.99
    1 W/W bread -2.50
    Tax -1.82
    Total OOP -$71.66, 2.86 discounts
    Canadian Tire
    4 bags sugar @1.77
    Total OOP -$7.08

    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$22.43
    Stockpile budget used this month: $22.43
    Total coupons used this week: $1.50
    Total coupons used to date: $125.64
    Total in-store discounts this week: $2.86
    Total in-store discounts to date: $126.08
    Total spent this week: $143.74
    Total spent so far this month: $610.32
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over $under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $under
    Total left to spend for the month: $1.22
    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 $610.32+ October $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) I squeaked under!! So happy!! October is Thanksgiving and Hallowween so I might cash out some of the air miles cash to help pay for that but I want to hang onto most of it for Christmas as that tends to be brutal on the budget. Every little bit helps! I am looking forward to all those tasty leftovers from the turkey and I plan to keep an eye out for a sliced ham too. We haven’t had a big ham in so long. This is my best year with the grocery budget so far since I started here!!

    • Hi Christine,
      You just made my night! I loved reading that this has been the best year for your grocery budget since you started playing The Grocery Game Challenge!! Since I’ve been trailing along I can safely say that I can see the changes happening especially to your shopping trips. You have been saving more money and sourcing more deals. Well done! I look forward to that end of year number! 🙂 That gingerale may have hurt but think of what it would have cost if you were buying single cans. That’s scary isn’t it? So, from that perspective it’s a great deal. What do you use your Crisco for? I was contemplating buying some to make pie shells. You get ballot 13. Mr.CBB

  6. We use the exact same procedure you do to get rid of them and it works fantastically. After a few days they are usually all gone and most of the time they don’t come back!

  7. For the month of September

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $2.04+$2.02+$6.94+$8.79+$2.00+2.16+2.02
    Total Out Of Pocket: $27.65+$55.05+$6.22+24.00+52.56+2.00+$43.11+$7.46
    Gift card- $9.74+$4.42+5.58
    PC points redeemed—$20.00+30.00
    plastic bag rebate- $0.03+

    month of Sept- 1-30 2015

    froot loops (750 PC pts)-$2.99
    corn pops (750 PC pts)- $2.99
    rice krispies 2 @ $2.99 (1500 PC pts) =$5.98
    3 lb parkay margarine 3 @ $3.33= $9.99
    reduced produce (2 pineapples) $1.49
    1.035kg bananas –$0.77
    cinnamon buns $3.00 (reduced) =$1.50
    mini croissants $3.99 (reduced)- $1.99
    hummus $3.99 (reduced) = $1.99
    NN relish $2.69
    maple leaf canned hams 10@ $0.88= $8.80
    triscuit crackers- $1.88
    4L milk- $5.99
    Kraft cheez whiz- $2.99
    2 lbs blueberries $7.99 (reduced)- $3.99
    227g mushrooms (200 PC pts)- $1.50
    corn 4 @ $0.10 = $0.40
    2.5 lbs wild blueberries =$3.96
    PC naan bread (400 PC pts) – $1.99
    NN marshmallows 2 @ 2 / $4.00= $4.00
    Fluffo shortening $2.39
    Twix chocolate 2 x $0.50= $1.00
    Robin Hood Flour 10kg 2 @$8.99 =$17.98
    NN graham crumbs $3.99
    Tostito salsa (500 PC pts) $3.69
    Tostitos chips 2 @ $2.99 =$5.98
    12 pk can pepsi $6.94 ( – $6.94 coupon) =$0.00
    Red rose teabags 144ct- $8.79 (- $8.79 coupon)= $0.00
    Hellman’s mayo –890 ml $3.49 (-$2.00 coupon)= $1.49
    PC frozen brussel sprouts 4 @ 2/$5.00 (3,000 PC pts) = $10.00
    3 lbs carrots =$2.00
    10 lbs potatoes 2 @ 2.00= $4.00
    3 lbs onions $2.00
    reduced produce $0.99
    reduced produce –$1.49
    2L ice cream – $2.99
    pc mini naan bread 4 @$0.99 =$3.96 (reduced –$2.00) =$1.96
    hamburg buns $2.49 (reduced –$1.25)= $1.24
    Nutiva Coconut Oil 2 @$12.00 = $24.00
    1kg icing sugar 2 @ 2/$5.00 = $5.00
    200g NN coffee 8@ $2.99 =$23.92
    400g cheese 10 @ $3.79 = $37.90
    227g mushrooms $3.49 (reduced) =$1.74
    227g mushrooms $2.69 (reduced) =$1.34
    produce 2 @ $1.49 = $2.98
    .43kg sweet potato = $2.17
    .43 kg rutabaga= $0.75
    pork picnic roast $13.71 (reduced) = $6.85
    naan bread 2 @ $1.99 (reduced) = $1.98
    2kg white sugar 4@ $1.49 =$5.96
    coffee mate coffee flavours 2 @ $3.99 (1400 PC pts) =$7.98
    4L milk = $5.99
    800g roasted/salted peanuts $4.99 (reduced ) =$2.49
    4pk peppers =$2.88 (reduced) =$1.44
    1 lb strawberries 3@ $2.88=$8.64 (reduced)= $4.32
    reduced produce 2 @ $0.99= $1.98
    bunch broccoli =$0.99
    med ground beef = $5.36 (reduced)(467 PC pts) = $2.68
    med ground beef = $4.94 (reduced)(467 PC pts) = $2.47
    med ground beef = $4.68 (reduced)(466 PC pts)= $2.34
    whole raw chicken = $8.28
    robitussin cold/flu=$12.99 (-reduced $6.50)=$7.46

    Name Your Store: i.e. Shoppers Drug Mart(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $26.52+9.37
    lg eggs 4 @ $1.99= $7.96
    1kg Kraft peanut butter 2 @ $2.99=$5.98
    4 L milk- $5.59
    Habitant pea soup 3/$5.00= $5.00
    bailey’s coffee creamer- $1.99
    4 L milk –$5.39
    lg eggs 2 @ $1.99 = $3.98

    Name Your Store: i.e. Bulk Barn (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $3.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $7.11

    .15kg turkish apricots =$2.05
    1.23 kg rolled oats = $2.69
    .18 kg walnut halves = $4.88
    love hearts candy = $0.49

    Name Your Store: i.e. Lawton’s Drug store (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $1.25+$3.66

    saltine crackers- $1.25
    Xtra laundry detergent 2@$1.99 (reduced $0.80- 55+age discount)= $3.66

    Name Your Store: i.e. Sobeys (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $10.55+$22.50+$200+$5.99
    Gift card- $3.25
    redeemed Airmiles- $10.00+$10.00

    canned corn –$1.69 (-$.85)=$0.84
    canned peas- $1.29 (-$.65)=$0.64
    4L milk- $5.99
    18ct eggs $4.96 (-$2.48)= $2.48
    turnip- $0.60
    2- bits & bites 10/$10.00= $2.00
    1-sour cream 10/ $10.00= $1.00
    7-1 lb margarine 10/ $10.00= $7.00
    450g Kraft cheese 5 @ $ 4.44 (bonus 25 airmiles) = $22.20
    Bonus 10 airmiles with $20 transaction
    $200 gift card (get 50 bonus air miles)
    4 L milk- $5.99
    2.5kg flour $4.99(-50%)=$2.49
    Clark’s canned baked beans $1.59(-50%off)= $0.79
    pork shoulder- $9.97

    Name Your Store: i.e. Medicine Shoppe (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.05

    4 kleenex @$0.39 = $1.56
    4 toothpaste @ $0.49= $1.96

    Name Your Store: i.e. Stirling’s Fruit Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $3.99
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.99

    apple pie –$3.99
    cherry pie –coupon $3.99=$0.00

    Overall for the month of September

    $ 313.05 out of pocket (does not includes the $200 gift card I paid cash for, as I will deduct as I use it)
    $ 32.92 coupons (coupon and star bucks)
    $ 22.99 gift cards (I use my PC points and Air miles to buy them )
    $ 40.00 redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $1.22 (Sobeys gift card that I purchased from cash)

    Do the above for each receipt you have then copy the template below and paste it to the bottom of your shop so we can see your results.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $216.67 (averages $50 week)
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $

    Total Gift Cards used to date: =$76.08+$6.46=(25-31 May)=$82.54 + $50.39 (month of June)= $132.93= $86.07 (July) = $219.00+$60.64 (Aug)=$279.64+$24.21 (Sept)=$303.85
    Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Snap Groupon to date: $0
    Zweet to date: $0
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($0.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $9.73+24.23 (month of June) =$33.96+$18.52 (month of July) =$52.48+$32.92 (Sept)=$85.40
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: 0.00
    Total spent this week: $0
    Total spent so far this month: $313.05
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month $

    Total left to spend for the month : $353.02+$216.67 June=$569.69-$36.90 (spent in June)=$532.79+ $216.67 –$4.15 (spent in July ) =$745.31+$216.67-$149.53(spent in Aug)=$812.45+$216.67-$313.05 (sent in Sept)=$716.07

    Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) $730.33+ $36.90 ( month of June)=$767.23+ $4.15 (month of July) =$771.38+$149.53 (Aug)=$920.91+$313.05 (Sept)=$1233.96

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): We were really able to stock on some great deals on cheese, flour, sugar and lots of other pantry supplies, which should last quite a while.Since I’ve run out of my stockpile of PC points and Airmiles, we are taking advantage of prices in other stores too. I did buy a $200 Sobeys gift card, because we got 50 airmiles, but I didn’t add that into my total. Instead, I will consider it similar to cash, and deduct it as I use it.

    • Hi Kathryn,
      Would you look at all the food you got for $300, wow!! You like to shop like we do and that is the way to do it. You got some great deals on the mince. We find if we shop at PC stores especially Zehrs they have the best reduced products out of all the grocery stores. The key is to make sure that we check in during the right day of the week. I see what you are doing with the gift card. I would have done the same only because we would have had the extra cash to do it. I can see why you did it. Free money is good. Well done this month, I’m impressed! You get ballot 12. 🙂

  8. Mary F Campbell says:


    SEPTEMBER – Week #4 of 4- Sept 28-Oct 4, 2015


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



    This week there were some very good produce prices that I simply could not resist! They have me dipping into the reserves in a very big way! Oh well, the supplies will carry us for a while.

    I also managed to get a decent rain check on NO SALT diced tomatoes…love that! Hubby also got one for WW bread at $1.00 per loaf. On a roll this week with our rain checks! LOL

    Here are the reserves that I am tapping:

    Re-Stocking Reserve $167.50
    Summer Reserve $106.16
    US Reserve $115.57

    This adds another $389.23 to the September grocery budget. We finish off the month with $52.09 still available… I will carry it forward into October to help with our Thanksgiving shopping. 🙂



    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    4 Cheez Whiz 900g @ $5.97 ea – limit 4 = $23.88
    8 Brunswick Sardines in Spring Water @ 2 for $2.16 =$8.64

    Total OOP: $32.52

    ** Earned 2,000 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    10 lb bag russet potatoes $3.48
    2 Celery $3.54
    2 Radishes $1.56
    2 Green Onions $1.34 (200 points)
    2 English Cucumbers $2.98
    2 Club Size Cloverleaf Flaked Light Tuna 6 x 170 g – $4.97 ea = $9.94
    4 Old Mill English Muffins (2 for $3) = $6.00
    2 Glutino Cheese Bread $11.98
    2 cans garbanzo beans $2.36
    1 PCBM Red Split Peas and
    1 PCBM Yellow Split Peas – Mix N Match $5.18
    6 Habitant Pea Soup @ 3 for $6 = $12.00

    Total OOP: $60.36

    ** Earned 200 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    1 Shredded Cheese = $4.47
    1 Shredded Cheese = $4.47
    1 4L Lucerne Chocolate Milk $4.99
    1 dozen Large Eggs = $2.99
    1 dozen Large Eggs = $2.99
    4 Hot House Tomatoes = $3.28
    1 pkg Grape Tomatoes $2.99
    1 Imitation Crab ($3.99 ea) = $3.99
    1 Imitation Crab ($3.99 ea) = $3.99

    Total OOP: $34.16

    ** Earned 12 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $11.15 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 4L Skim Milk (3100 points redeemed for $4.69)

    Total OOP: $4.69

    ** Earned 0 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 Green Cabbage $0.38/lb = $2.17
    1 Acorn Squash $0.67/lb = $2.21
    1 Cauliflower = $2.46 ea
    1 3lb bag mandarins = $4.96
    2 Diet Orange Pop = $2.42
    1 Club Size Boneless Pork Loin Roast $2.98/lb = $17.73
    1 Club Size Boneless Pork Loin Roast $2.98/lb = $17.58
    GST = $0.10

    Total OOP: $49.63

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

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    4 Island Bakery WW bread $1 ea = $4.00
    2 Compliments Coleslaw 454g $1 ea = $2.00
    2 Compliments Green Salad 454g $1 ea = $2.00
    4 Baby Carrots 454g $1 ea = $4
    1 Pomegranate $4.99
    1 3lb bag yellow onions $2.49
    200g smoked salmon nuggets $8.89
    Less $0.06 bag return fee

    Total OOP: $28.31

    ** Earned 4 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Coupons **
    ** SAVED $17.41 Loyalty Savings on this shop **
    ** Earned $0.00 per liter reduction on gasoline **

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    2 Mix N Match Deals – Olympic Yogurt (Lemon, Blueberry) $7.98
    4 Mix N Match Deals – Pillsbury Weiner Wraps $5.00
    1 Large No Name Light Ranch Dressing $2.98
    1 Large No Name Light Caesar Dressing $2.98
    1 Large No Name Coleslaw Dressing $2.98
    Ecology Fee $0.04
    Deposit $0.20
    2 x 2L PC Diet Orange $1.94
    Ecology Fee $0.08
    Deposit $0.40
    2 x 2L PC Diet Lemonade $1.94
    Ecology Fee $0.08
    Deposit $0.40
    1 x 2L PC Diet Lemonade $0.97
    Ecology Fee $0.04
    Deposit $0.20
    2 PC Rice Cereal @ $4.99 ea = $9.98
    2 NN Thousand Island Dressing – $1.57 ea = $3.14
    4 Dole Chopped Romaine = $4.98
    1 Cantelope $2.58
    3 Red Peppers $1.63
    GST $0.25

    Total OOP: $50.53

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

    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    1 Shredded Medium Cheddar Cheese $4.47
    1 Shredded Mozzarella Pizza Cheese $4.47
    4 Bananas $1.21
    1 Garlic Butter Spread $3.49
    1 Deli Chicken BBQ Roasted $9.99
    1 Imitation Crab ($3.99 ea) = $3.99
    1 Imitation Crab ($3.99 ea) = $3.99
    GST $0.50

    Total OOP: $32.11

    ** Earned 11 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $8.04 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2- 3lb bag onions $1.99
    2 Rhutabaga $0.79/lb = $1.24
    2 Turnips $2.24
    1 x WF Medium Cheddar Cheese $5.99 (Rain Check #1) = $5.99
    3 x WF Old Cheddar Cheese $5.99 (Rain Check #2) = $17.97

    Total OOP: $29.43

    ** Earned 29 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $24.00 in Coupons / Rain Checks **
    ** SAVED $1.31 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 x WF Mozzarella Cheese $5.99 (Rain Check #2)
    2 x WF Havarti Cheese $5.99 (Rain Check #1)

    Total OOP: $23.96

    ** Earned 24 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $24.00 in Coupons / Rain Checks **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE when hubby crosses the line to purchase AT&T cards to top our cell phones for another year.



    •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 $121.33 = $196.52

    •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 $88.75 = $102.75

    •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 84= 481 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 + July 0 + Aug 4 + Sept 175= 503 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 2,200= 9,400 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+$32.52+$60.36+$34.16+$4.69+$49.63+$28.31+$50.53+$32.11-$167.50 FROM Re-Stocking Reserve-$106.16 FROM Summer Reserve-$115.57 FROM US Reserve+$29.43+$23.96= $117.32)= $1,657.91

    •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: $52.09 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 $9.38= $69.05



    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 – $167.50= – $270.00) = $200.00



    2014 Fwd $412.50+Jan $12.50 + Feb $12.50 + Mar $12.50 + Apr $0.00 + May $20.00 + June $30.00+July $0.00 + Aug $12.50 + 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-$106.16 = -$96.31)= $150.00



    $ 1,710.00 Grocery Budget JAN-SEPT
    $ 69.05 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($162.10) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 86.93) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 69.05) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 1,395.41) 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 – SEPT
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – SEPT

    $ 69.05 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”:

    $200.00 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $525.00 Borscht Fund
    $225.00 Holiday Season Fund
    $150.00 Summer Season Fund

    OUR TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,100.00 … that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $162.50 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 $509.23 from the various reserves back into the available grocery funds LESS we have spent $577.14 on our groceries (cash & points) so far this month and have $52.09 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 $69.05. Available as an offset, we currently have $69.05 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 $200.00 IS AVAILABLE for our next US shop!

    Of the outstanding US Shopping Reserve $200.00:

    $113.07 is carried forward from 2014

    $202.50 is new 2015 Y-T-D savings

    Less $115.57 that we’ve transferred back to the grocery funds

    Less $0.00 that we’ve actually spent in 2015

    = $200.00 US Reserve Available


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods –

    14 x 14 oz Compliments NO SALT Diced Tomatoes @ $1.00 ea – good until Dec 27/15

    4 x WW Bread @ $1.00 ea – good until Dec 29/15


    • Hi Mary,
      Great rain check for the tomatoes! What kind of cheese do you buy grated and how much is in the bag? I have never seen a $5 pommegrante before. I must be massive. My wife can eat 2 or 3 of those no problem. That would be a pricey snack lol. Those no-name dressings are good. I’ve tried them before and they are much cheaper to buy than the name brand. All I have to say is that I’m jealous of all the amazing cheese sales you got. We are almost out of cheese now and are on the hunt for some deals. What a great shop Mary. You came in under budget which is awesome. I wish we did that more often than go over. Are you cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner? We are going to the relatives so we won’t be doing anything but making dessert for the dinner. You get ballot 11. Mr.CBB Can you believe the year is almost over, oh my!

      • Mary F Campbell says:

        I am actually making 2 special meals for the Thanksgiving weekend. One will be a pork roast because we are saving the turkey for our Christmas feast. The second celebratory meal is a Mushroom Parmentier. Think an assorted mushroom version of a shepherd’s pie. It’s a hangover from our vegetarian days that I truly love. Me and my meatless meals huh?

        The pomegranate is HUGE! I like them a lot too (hubby has no interest) so I figure I can get at least 2 huge salmon-spinach-pomegranate salads worth from this one!

        The grated cheese is generally either Cracker Barrel or Kraft. This sale was Kraft. Here the usual price on a bag is $6.99 or more so at $4.47 each, we splurged and bought some. We usually just grate our own but it is nice to have some ready to go, in a resealable bag, for when you just want to sprinkle some onto your dish. Since getting out of the hospital, hubby has been great doing all kinds of “extras” for me that I can’t manage yet. I thought he deserved a wee bit of a break. 🙂

        Our cheese drawer is nicely topped up again and all set for the start of the holiday season. We’d normally have another 4 weeks of holidays coming before the end of the year but this year, even though hubby will have the time off in December, we’ll be staying home. It means our Vacation Savings Account is getting really flush 🙂 but instead I am using more grocery money to provide treats and celebratory meals. I expect to make a big dent in my Christmas reserve later in the year. By saving little-by-little all year long…the money is there so I can afford to make whatever Christmas dishes that our hearts desire and I can also do a special treat for both our wedding anniversary and my birthday.

        • That Mushroom Parmentier sounds amazing. I love all kinds of mushrooms. My wife could eat pomegranate every day if she could. We had a tree growing indoors last winter but it died. I didn’t have time to take care of it properly but my father-in-law has one that is doing very well. When it comes to cheese as soon as it’s on sale we load up. We love cheese too much not to have any in the house. Now we are waiting for a good sale to go with some coupons we have. Good for you saving little by little for the big dinner. If more people thought ahead about these expenses and saved for them all year they’d be that much further ahead financially. Well done. I want to know more about that Mushroom Parmentier. 🙂

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  10. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe! We usually make sure to clean our area especially the kitchen and get rid of the stagnant water.

  11. We use the same recipe for our trap so I’m glad to hear it worked well for you. We normally get little groups of them for a day or two every so often but they seem to disappear fairly quickly for us. Look on the bright side, because you had them you ended up giving the kitchen a solid cleaning!

    • Haha, no kidding! We are usually really good about cleaning the kitchen as we keep a cleaning schedule on the refrigerator but yes an extra cleaning won’t hurt.

  12. Chrsitine Weadick says:

    I’ve had a few around the odd time but it’s never been a big deal for numbers of them. The boys have empty beer bottles in the laundry room and pop cans in the front porch but I don’t see anything flying around either place. Both places get cleared out fairly regular as we go on a beer run or the cans are set out for recycling pick up. Funny you mentioned the sink drains as mine were just done with vinegar, baking soda and hot water to deoderize. Hubby has his bananas in the kitchen but I don’t buy many at a time so there is a good turnover. This is an old house so I do get critter life here at times so it’s kill and remove job here. I think we might be setting up the mouse traps in the basement again soon as the weather cools and the rotten little beasts start looking for a winter home. I won’t be welcoming them here. There will be traps in the basement and Stuart and Molly on the main levels.
    I’ve heard of using variations of your fruit fly trap to use outside for wasps and the like. Nice to know it works!!

    • I don’t think it was my beer that was the problem. There were some cans of grapefruit beer from a recent gathering which they seemed to like. We only buy a few as well because I am the only one that eat bananas besides the little one here and there. Most people have mice in their house but they don’t even know it. They hide behind the walls, in basements or in the attic. How many people can see what is going on unless they start ripping down walls or going in the attic. I would set up a few to be safe yes!

      • Christine Weadick says:

        We get the mice in the basement, we know that but the attic will get squirrels and starlings in there so we have the havahart to set up there any time we hear signs of life. Then the critter gets a one way ride in the back of the truck. We have called someone to see about fixing the area under the eaves, soffit and facia so that might help. I’m looking forward to serving those eviction notices.
        I try to keep the cupboards and kitchen clean so as to not encourage the mice here. Between that and the cats I haven’t had mouse droppings in the cupboards since we did the kitchen over, 20+ yrs ago. The odd one running across the floor for Stuart to sit on but that’s it.
        I’m using the iPad for this comment by the way…..

  13. We come across fruit flies a lot, when vacating tenants leave….and leave most of their rotting food behind. Usually the cupboards have hundreds flying about (no exaggeration). First, I clean up the area…and that gets rid of 75% of them. I wash the cupboards inside and out..usually sugar spilled in there. For ‘fun’ I take dampened paper towels and try to squish as many as possible…then I take a can of bug spray……and spray them. That usually solves the problem.

    • That’s horrible but I guess there is only so much you can control when you are renting. My parents go through the same thing although I think they are selling off their houses as they have had enough with tenants and just want to enjoy retirement.

  14. Yes, I have had and still have fruit flies in the house. Mainly because of fruit that’s on the counter. There will be a reduction once that ugly white stuff comes. Those pests have caused me to work on produce that I didn’t necessarily have time for but had to make the time so that the flies would partially go away.

    • Yes, come winter we never see them but to be honest we rarely ever did until recently. Thankfully we haven’t seen any since the big clean and removal of the beer cans.

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