Every now and then I hear someone say they want to start a new diet plan so they can shed a few pounds. We’ve all been there and some say it more often than others.
This time around it’s my wife and she’s on a mission to lose weight and get back her pre-baby body. She just woke up one morning and said, “Enough is enough, let’s get this diet plan going”. And, so it begins.
I know some people aren’t a fan of the word ‘diet’ but I don’t view it as a jail sentence like some people do. I believe the word diet encompasses our overall health and wellness.
A diet is filled with products that we as humans consume and they are either good for us or not. It’s about living longer and not just about living in the moment.
Losing weight fast is never recommended which means fad diets are just that, a fad and a waste of time. Some of them can cost your budget big bucks to if you get involved with a weight-loss clinic.
Once you pay for the consult and all the diet pill products you need to buy from them you’ll need to take out a second loan on the mortgage. I know one woman who spent thousands at a weight-loss clinic only to gain all the weight back. Lifestyle change is where it’s at, not the quick-fix diet plan. Not all weight-loss clinics are the same so choose your program wisely if you plan to go this route.
Introducing a new diet plan
Since my wife had our son last year she told me that she wants to start eating healthier to lose more of the baby weight that she gained. She’s aiming to lose about 25 pounds in total but wants to do it slowly and the right way. It’s been a tough year for us, especially her, so she wants to get back to working out and eating healthier like she used to.
While we were trying to get pregnant her doctor recommended she follow a Low Glycemic Index diet plan which she was doing very well up until she got pregnant. Then everything kind of went out the window with all the sickness and food cravings.
After our son was born it was hard to make meals and often she didn’t feel like eating at meal times so she ate when she was hungry. Waking up at odd hours or being up all night really put a dent in her eating patterns. She wants to stop that insanity and get back on track now that our son is a year old and sleeping through the night.
So, starting now she will be following an eating and workout plan from a friend of ours who has lost 150 pounds and kept it off. The diet plan is a clean eating diet that is not short-term, it’s meant for life with daily exercise routines starting out simple and progressing to a tougher regime.
There’s nothing funky about this clean eating diet plan, just balance and keeping active.
A diet plan change means you are looking at ways to change what you are eating to help achieve health and weight-loss goals. The great thing about finding a diet plan that works for you is that you are apt to stick with it.
We like to have a cheat day once a week but my wife has decided to stick to her new diet plan without caving in to any food desires because she wants to stay focused. I will likely eat the same foods she will because we already eat fairly healthy but I will continue to eat rice, pasta and potatoes because I need the fuel for all the energy I burn all day at work and working out.
For those of you wondering if I will still be creating recipes in the kitchen the answer is yes. I may shift my food focus to healthier blog recipes that we eat on a regular basis and some that my wife will be eating. My co-workers don’t mind the treats I bring in for them every once in a while so they’d be disappointed if I stopped.
Mrs.CBB will be eliminating sugar, using less salt and enjoying breakfast every morning with lots of veg and protein. One of her favourite meals is an omelet with lots of spinach for breakfast. Eating too much sugar and salt was her biggest downfall along with odd eating hours , especially when she was too tired to cook. I’m not one to point fingers because It’s easy for me to rush out the door with a sugar-filled coffee in my hand.
I try to workout every night at home or go for a run which is something I’m used to doing so my wife and I will work on ways to get her back into the home gym. If you don’t have a gym membership or a home gym there are still plenty of exercises you can do that won’t cost you a cent. Some days she will be working out on the floor while our son is in the room with her. That’s the way it goes when you have a baby I’m afraid.
Together we sat and talked about how her new diet plan would impact our $235 grocery budget. Thankfully, since we already eat fairly healthy we likely won’t see much of a difference in the grocery bills because of the diet plan change. We will see how the grocery budget goes for the last 2 months of the year and evaluate it again for 2016.
We may actually see more money being shuffled around since I won’t be buying so much of certain products. I still need my sugar in coffee so yes that’s still on the shopping list. Mrs.CBB is aiming for a low-carb diet plan fueled with lots of vegetables and proteins. She will continue to drink 8 glasses of water every day although she’s pretty good about that.
I want to support her through this transition to help get her back to the way she used to look and feel even though I love her just the way she is. In the end it’s all about how she feels though. Sometimes when you don’t feel good about yourself it’s hard to smile and she wants to get that happiness back again.
As an avid runner and creator of all things excruciating in the gym she should have no problem achieving her weight-loss goals. The hard part is starting the new diet plan which could easily be compared to when we quit smoking. It’s been almost 4 years that we quit smoking together so if we can slay that dragon she can do anything.
Although we may not see a huge change in our grocery budget with a diet plan change you might see one. It all depends on how much you spend now, what foods you currently purchase and what foods you will be purchasing.
Let’s take a look…
Keep in mind that grocery costs differ all over the world so depending on where you live things may be different for you. The best way is to buy what’s on sale but don’t skimp on the foods you do need because then you are only setting yourself up for failure.
If you want to stick to the plan of getting fit, healthy and happy then stop at nothing because your life is worth it. Even if you can’t afford a new diet plan making some changes is better than none at all.
Your grocery budget is only one piece of the puzzle BUT you can make it work if funds are tight by following many of the grocery shopping tips I’ve given you over the years. You can read them in my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
Buying more food
When you start a new diet plan you may notice that your grocery list is a bit bigger than your previous grocery list. Starting a new eating regimen may mean that you are stocking up your pantry at first but that overall cost will settle after the first couple of shops or so.
You should have a handle on your grocery budget by then but remember that if you didn’t buy fresh produce, fruits, cuts of meat, fish and cheese bars before your grocery budget may see a spike in overall expenses. If you are shopping for a family and you are eating differently from then yes you will see higher costs.
Buying less food
On the other hand if you were spending your grocery money buying lots of processed foods, junk food and pre-made meals you will likely notice a decrease in your grocery budget. Why? You will be buying less of that food and more of the good stuff which you can easily score great deals on depending on the season.
Even better is if your entire family wants to get involved!
I’ve had people argue that buying more fresh fruits and vegetables will cost more money in the grocery budget but I don’t believe that is true. Any time we rely on food products that are pre-made or cooked and preserved we are paying a premium for that process. Learning to cook good food is fabulous fun and will keep you motivated in the kitchen.
Buying more expensive food
Yes, we will see price hikes in certain products depending on the time of year in the produce, fish, meat and dairy department but nothing like what boxed foods are like all year-round.
If you are on a specific diet plan such as gluten-free you will likely see an increase in your food expenses as they are pricier products to purchase.
A loaf of gluten-free bread may cost you up to $5.00 where you can buy any other loaf for $2.50 or less with a sale. Even less if you can get it from the reduced rack.
However even then once you get your grocery budget under control you can stabilize your expenses because you know what you will be paying.
Eating less food
Almost everyone eats more than they are supposed to only because we don’t really know how much we should be eating unless we get into the science of it all. I like to just eat clean and keep the plate simple, meaning not overflowing with food.
I have healthy snacks during the day and make sure to drink plenty of water. If I feel hungry the first thing I do is drink water because most times I just need to hydrate myself.
Believe it or not once we are mindful of the foods we are putting into our body we will start to eat less of the wrong stuff and more of the right stuff.
When we eat less food our grocery budget isn’t bulging at the seams just as our pantry would be. The great part is that we can stretch foods to last longer. A pack of pasta may have lasted you one meal where it may last you 3 meals now because pasta is not the focus of the meal any longer.
Let the lifestyle change begin
The first day of Mrs. CBB’s new diet plan has started so I’ll keep you updated on her progress. If you want to see the foods she/we will be eating follow along our grocery game posts to check them out.
I know this isn’t going to be easy so let’s all cheer her on!
Have you ever started a new lifestyle diet plan? How has it affected your grocery budget?
October Grocery Game Challenge posts
Join in the Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) 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. The odds are good right now to win each month but I hope to have more people join the GGC not to win but to get back control of their grocery budget. The more people who join the bigger the prize payout will be. Winning is just the perk.
I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.
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.
- President’s Choice World Elite MasterCard is helping us get loads of free groceries- GGC #1 October
- Is Being A Grocery Clerk A Bad Job To Have: GGC #2 October
- Click and Collect Online Grocery Shopping Is Here: GGC #3 October
Free Tools to get you started with your grocery budget
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
Free 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
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: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $140.00
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 54920
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0.98
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Snap Groupon to date: $28.00
- Zweet to date: $18.00
- Checkout51 to date: $6.00
Grocery Shop This Week
- 1.81kg dry chick peas $3.49
- 1.81kg dry red lentils $3.49
- Peanut Butter $2.88
- 10lbs of potatoes $1.67
- 2 sweet potatoes $1.00
- TaTa Tea $4.88
- Plain Yogurt $1.98
- Salsa 2/$5
- Ground cinnamon $1.49
- Real Lime Juice $2.69
- Real Lemon Juice $1.99
- 2 x Neilson milk $3.87 each
- 3 x Homo milk $4.87
- 2 x mushrooms $0.98
- Pomegranate 5 pk $4.85-50%
- 4 x avocado $0.98 ea
- Bananas $0.54
- Ginger Root $1.18
Total Out-of-Pocket $61.78
- Whole Wheat Bread x 4 2/$5 -50%
- Artisan Lettuce $4.49-50%
- King Oyster Mushrooms $4.49-50%
- PC tomatoes pint $2.50-50%
- PC grape tomato trio $3.00-50%
- PC Spinach bin $5.99-50% + 600pts
- Dole Spring Mix Bin $5.49-50%
- 2 x Broccoli $0.99
- 2 x Fennel $0.99
- 1 x English cucumber $0.99
- Ricotta Cheese $6.99-50%
Total Out-of-Pocket: $26.45-$1.00 (stockpile) =$25.45
- 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 $25.00+ Oct $
- Stockpile budget used this month: $23.94+ $1.00=$25.00
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $34.50
- Total in-store discounts this week: $23.54
- Total in-store discounts to date: $646.54
- Total spent this week: $87.23
- Total spent so far this month: $281.89
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over $42.91 over for the month
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: -$42.91
- 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 $281.89
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
Ouch! If you look at our grocery shop though you will see that we stocked up on milk for both the baby and us so that is where a big chunk of money went. We also managed to score lots of 50% off vegetables at Zehrs which was great. We would have bought this anyway regardless of the new diet plan.
Since we were under budget last month I can see why the stock up on some items this month such as the lemon and lime juice. The chick peas and lentils are stocked up after our mite infested pasta and bean cupboard incident so we grabbed them while they were a good deal. We saved over $5.50 for each bag.
Next month we will start our November grocery budget at $188.11 which should be fine since we are well stocked up now.
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?
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?:
YesNo, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- 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 Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- 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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