4 Ways A New Diet Plan May Impact Your Grocery Budget :The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Oct 26-Nov 1, 2015

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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.

Just recently we’ve talked about 2 different diet plans on the blog, The Paleo Diet Plan and The Raw Food Diet Plan both of which are filled with good healthy food.

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.


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: $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


Food Basics

  • 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?

october ggc coupons(1)

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it all together. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: Yes No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
  • Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest  Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
  • Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households have gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
  • What is 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 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
    Yes 4L homo is usually $5.09 then enviro fee and deposit but sometimes on sale for a sweet price of $3.99 then enviro fee and deposit or an awesome sale for $2 then enviro and deposit for a 2L and it helps that we all switched to homo as a family.
    I do try to do a couple cash donations throughout the year at all the different stores if the budget allows it 🙂
    The coupgon credit was a Halloween celebration promo. I really like that app especially when it lines up with a store sale.

    1. We buy both 2% and 3.25% milk for our son with 2 milk jugs in the refrigerator which is a bit of a pain but my wife won’t drink the homo milk. I would stock up at $3.99 even it were that price here. We have bags so I’d freeze it. Can you freeze milk jugs? I may have to add it back.

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $500
    $2.01 bfham
    $1.97 pepperoni
    $4 total oop
    $2.99-scop 3lb organic Yukon gold potatoes
    $1 3lb organic Yukon gold potaotes
    $1 total oop
    $2.99 scop
    $2.61 bananas
    $9.99 10kg sugar
    -$2coupgon app credit
    $10.60 total oop
    $2.82 grapes
    $1 donation
    .57×3 campbells tomato soup
    $6.97×2-$2Cx2 Halloween choco bars
    $1.12 sobe drink
    $1.10 choco milk
    $5.40 4L homo milk
    $23.85 total oop
    $4 total coupons

    $39.45 total weekly oop
    $6 total weekly coupons/discounts
    $453.43 total monthly oop
    $155.52 total monthly coupons
    $5309.11 total yearly oop
    $1664.28 total yearly coupons

    didn’t need much this week making us under this month
    someone in produce ordered the wrong brand of potatoes, lol, their mistake my gain 🙂
    also great deal on sugar with the coupgpn $2 off your grocery bill

    1. Hi Juanita,
      It’s nice to see you made a donation. The price of Homo milk sure does jump up and down in prices. This was a small shop but still some great meals. I never saw that coupon. I don’t know if I still have the coupgon app on my wife’s phone. I’ll have to look. You get ballot 25. Mr.CBB

  3. 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 $650.00
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $10.00
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 21250
    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: $.75($25.75)
    Checkout51 to date: $2.25(25.50)
    Turkey Bucks-$2.00

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1-2kg Whiskas cat food -8.99
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 French’s mustard -2.99
    2 cans pineapple bits @1.59
    10 cans soup @2/1.00
    2 4l milk @4.88
    2 blocks cheese @4.49
    1 lb butter -3.99
    1 coz large eggs -2.99
    3 bags GG frozen mixed veggies @1.99(rain check) 1 50% AM discount
    Green grapes -3.09
    Bananas -1.25
    1 family pack lean ground beef -13.18
    1 pack Parmesan cheese, grated -5.30
    Tax -1.17
    Total OOP -$88.64, $1.00 discount
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 box saltine crackers -4.29
    1 yogurt -2.99
    4 packs pasta @1.50
    2 4l milk @4.88
    4 1l chocolate milk @.99
    4 frozen meat pies @.99
    Bananas -.85
    1 pack turkey wieners -4.99, 50% discount
    2 packs sausage -4.53, 4.49, 50% stickers
    1 bread crumbs -2.49
    2 W/W bread @2/5.00
    1 raisin bread 3.99
    Total OOP -$55.77, $8.02 discounts and $2.00 turkey bucks
    Total to spend this month $650.00
    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+ Oct $0
    Stockpile budget used this month: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $130.64
    Total in-store discounts this week: $8.02
    Total in-store discounts to date: $145.05
    Total spent this week: $145.58
    Total spent so far this month: $646.30
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $3.70 under
    Total left to spend for the month: -$42.91
    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 $646.30
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) I made it for the month even with Thanksgiving and Halloween! Looks like they are starting the sales in baking items so I can do a slow stock up for my Christmas baking. I will have to hit the bulk store soon for my candied fruit for the fruit cakes as I do try to get the deluxe fruits as they are bigger bits and nicer looking product. This matters as some of the baking goes as gifts. I’m good right now for pop for the boys from the last sale but it is on again this week so I will likely get more so I’m not paying full price next week. The green grapes were a nice little treat at half price. All in all I’m in a good spot for the rest of the year….

    1. Hi Christine,
      Well done for the month!! That’s great news. Yes, I’ve also started to see the Holiday baking items all over the stores and in the flyers on sale. Now is the time to stock up. I’m hoping for at least one more butter sale before the end of the year. Do you use the Bulk Barn coupon? If you see the pop is on sale I would grab it too because you know they drink it. I also noticed the Gatorade is on sale at Food Basics but I don’t think you have one in the same city where No Frills is. What city do you go to when you shop at No Frills? Too bad you don’t get the flyers or have a smartphone to price match. Anything is good when it is half price lol. We love half price in our house! 🙂 Keep at it Christine… You get ballot 10. MR.CBB

      1. There is a Food Basics in Stratford as well as the No Frills but the older boy isn’t drinking the Gatorade as much this time of the year. Might try out the Bulk Barn in Stratford if I can find a coupon for it with the flyers when they come out for next week.

  4. I hope things go well for your wife. Whenever you change your eating habits by going on or coming off of a restrictive diet your grocery budget will definitely be affected. Thanks for sharing these possibilities and ideas of how your diets might change your budget . I think a lot of people forget about that.

  5. It takes time to find which healthy foods are more affordable. Actually losing weight is super motivating to find those foods! I keep looking for recipes that are healthy but inexpensive. It’s worth the quest!

    1. Yes, she is excited and enjoying the new lifestyle change for her as she’s been wanting to get back to the way it used to be for a while now. 🙂

  6. Week 4 – October 25 – 31

    • Grocery budget to work with in October: $200
    • Total coupons used this week: $.50
    • Total coupons used to date: $132.91
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $.82
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $19.19
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $360
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $63.76
    • Total student discounts this week: $3.85
    • Total student discounts to date: $202.71
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $1.62
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $13.60
    • Total spent this week: $49.55
    • Total spent so far this month: $188.60
    • Total left to spend for the month: $0
    • Carry over: $.45
    • Total in carry over jar: $73.25
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $2,596.75

    RCSS: Dentyne gum multipack 2.50, mars Halloween candy 9.98, less gas superbuck .82 and tax free day: Total 11.65 rounded down 1 cent

    YIG: 10 lb carrots 2.00: Total 2.00

    Giant Tiger: whole wheat bread clearance 1.00: Total 1.00

    RCSS: Goldfish crackers 2 x 1.99 (PM), Frosted flakes cereal 2.48, mini wheats cereal 2.48, bread machine yeast 4.59 less .50 coupon, Kraft peanut butter 3 x 2.88 (PM), eggs 2.49 (PM), bananas 1.83, broccoli .99 (PM), grapes 2.90 (PM), Oil of olay 4pk soap 2.98, shampoo 2 x 2.48, less student discount 3.85 plus tax .93: Total 34.90

    Final week of the month and we came in under budget 11.40 that we have added to the carryover jar throughout the month. On a month where we needed so many items that weren’t food related, this is a score. And it was a hard month where I am really feeling that we aren’t getting enough and the budget cannot change.

    Halloween candy ate 1/5th of the budget to hand out to trick or treaters, ouch. But, I can’t let my kiddo out trick or treating without providing something at home. So, one box containing 95 bars it is, and we are done right after. We normally get two boxes and then gradually eat what’s left. But, that’s ok, I will just have to let it go.

    Hubby and I have had to change shampoo again. Ugh. So tired of these companies changing the ingredients. What we normally used for the last year, is off the list again. I found something on sale and picked up two bottles. Crossing my fingers that my son won’t react. Everytime we change products, we have to watch to see his reactions. Can’t help it, just dealing with it.

    Nice to have cereal again, haven’t had any in the house for almost two weeks. We haven’t been going through as much milk, but of course I buy cereal the week I don’t buy milk, lol! At least I have some in the freezer which can get us through if needed. And, the wonderful thing is, the last box of mini wheats on the shelf was the last box in the store, so I got a rain check for it because it’s the current flyer. As much as I want to have a rain check for a lot of boxes, I only have it for two, because I know that $5 of a $50 week budget is huge. 1/10th of the budget is all I can allot to it in a week.

    Happy to have the peanut butter again. Hubby hasn’t been thrilled, but it just wasn’t a good enough price to just buy it and we needed other things. So, we have three jars. First jar was opened first day it came home, didn’t take long. Frankly, the grapes were half gone almost instantly as well.

    We were very fortunate over the weekend to get leftover “Thanksgiving” meal (late due to family scheduling) and we ate a couple of days off of that. I revamped my menu as a result. Also, my in-laws gave us almost a bushel of apples from a neighbour of theirs who has 15 apple trees and his family is grown and gone. They are not sprayed or anything, so the skin is marked up, etc. But they are the best tasting apples I have had all fall, not just because they were free, but because they are awesome. I think they were a mixture of Ida Reds and Macintosh. Yum, and we have loads of them in the fridge. I will make apple sauce this week so we don’t waste a single apple. Yahoo for free food.

    Looking forward to November. I will still allot the same amount weekly, but my goal is to spend as little as possible until the freezer(s) are empty. If they empty, we will save some money in electricity.

    1. Hi Angela,
      It’s nice to read your positive words in this post and see you came in under budget. Well done with the rain check now you can stock up if you have a few extra bucks to do so next month. The Peanut Butter in Ont is dirt cheap this week at $2.47 for 1kg. Our neighbours have a tree of apples that are not sprayed and marked as well but inside they are perfect. Great idea with the apples. How many freezers do you have? You get ballot #9. Mr.CBB

      1. October was a tough month, lots of ups and downs. Glad we could end it on a high note.

        We have two small freezers. One is just small, the other apartment size. When I stack things in there neatly, there is lots of circulation and I can pack loads in each. Fortunately I have bonused pumpkins, so I have restocked the freezer with a lot of pumpkin puree.

        1. Do you puree the regular pumpkins to make the leather? I checked out the recipe and I want to make it although it has to be when I’m home for longer than 4 hours to watch it or if my wife is home. It looks so good and our son loves fruit.

          1. I only used the regular/large pumpkins. We don’t get the small pumpkins sold for pie. Only challenge is you need to break down each of the pumpkins more than just cutting them in half. You get far more out of the big pumpkins. With all of my freebie pumpkins, we have about 60 lbs of puree in the freezer. Going to try making soup too, been hunting around pinterest for a recipe to use. It’s entertaining though, my one freezer seems to be fruit from the spring/summer from our local farm, zucchini shredded and pumpkin puree. I see baking in my future.

            The pumpkin leather is a winner here. Glad I found that recipe. But, it differs to every oven, mine takes about 5 hours to complete. I didn’t do the second batch as long and it was mushy. A quick 20 seconds in microwave while they were wrapped up in the tubes of parchment paper and it was good to go. I refused to waste it. Too much time went into it. We are down to our last two pieces. I’ll wait for a few weeks and then make another batch.

          2. So what do you mean about breaking down the pumpkin. What would I do? I had one small pie pumpkin and got rid of the other 2 we had. EEsh, I should have kept them. I was thinking about the leather but to run the oven for that long would be pricey. I might try it as I do have some puree.

  7. Years ago my Mom used T.O.P.S. to lose weight and it worked for her. It was a group meeting once a week and they shared recipes so she really enjoyed herself and lost the weight. My sisters-in-law use weight watchers. What ever works for that person is good. I remembered that Mom started to gain in her 30’s so once I hit there I started watching a little more what I was eating and such so my weight has never really been a big deal. I know…lucky me. One trick I found good to help with portion control is to use a smaller plate. Use a lunch plate instead of a dinner plate. It takes less food to fill the smaller plate working for you as we all have a tendency to fill the plate. It works for young kids too as they just can’t eat that much at one time. Even using a sandwich plate can work for kids or for a snack. The plate looks nice and full but there is less food to eat so you just don’t eat as much. Good luck to your wife with her challenge!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      That’s a brilliant idea! I’m going to mention that to her although I’m sure she will be reading all of the fans responses. 🙂 Thanks for leaving her a comment Christine.

  8. In my experience, finding a balance between healthy eating and saving money on food can be so challenging. I think if you’re just eating regular healthy food, then it can work out well (after some adjustments, as you point out), but if you’re in crazy diet mode (as I used to be), it can ironically get really expensive — for a while I was into buying all these expensive juices and smoothies in an effort to lose weight, and it was costing a TON. These days I’m much more in the healthy regular food camp though, which is much more affordable. 🙂

    1. That’s just it Sarah and really all most people need. I think all the marketing around these products is why people are jumping on the bandwagon.

  9. Good for you Mrs CBB!

    I always find that it impacts my grocery budget when I “go on a diet”. Healthy food is definitely more expensive. I don’t really find buying less balances it out.

    I am also currently trying to lose the baby weight. The eating part is the hardest for me. I have no problem working out. I spoke to my naturopath about options for losing the weight and I started a program that involves having a shake for breakfast and lunch and then a sensible dinner. Of course the shakes are not cheap but this works for me right now. Sometimes I do better when my meal is dictated to me and portion controlled. I have also been doing a workout DVD called Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. I have being doing these two things for a month now and have noticed quite a difference in my body. The scale says I have dropped 8lbs since the beginning of September when I bought a fitbit (started the shakes and workouts at the end of September) but I did some measurements and have lost a lot of inches. I feel great too 🙂 I definitely have more to go (7lbs more to what I was when I got pregnant and my ultimate goal which is 15-20lbs – my weight before starting the horrible fertility treatments). Best of luck!

    1. Who are you? lol..
      Right so when you start buying shakes and all those fancy meals you WILL see a spike in your grocery expenses. If that works for you then go for it. Portion control is what my wife struggles with. She either eats too little or she loves something and has too much. Good for you Jen!! Keep up the great work. You’ll be there in no time. Thanks for sharing I’m sure Mrs. CBB will be motivated.

  10. OCTOBER – Week #4 of 4- Oct 26-Nov 1, 2015


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



    Can you believe it’s almost November? Wow! This year has simply evaporated! Before you know it, we’ll be celebrating our wedding anniversary and then it’s a quick hop-skip-and-jump to Christmas.

    We scored a nice sale on No Name canned pumpkin for our holiday baking (and therefore there is another a $15 transfer out of the Holiday Reserve). I can almost smell the fall/winter spices just thinking about it.

    This week I was on an absolute spending spree and totally blew the monthly budget out of the water by going $130.94 over budget. I went shopping sore, tired and hungry…and look what happened! I can get this back on track before the year end but it’s going to take some pretty sever belt tightening in November.



    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    6 x Habitant Pea Soup @ 3 for $5.00 = $10.00
    4 x Granny Smith Apples $2.02
    1 lb White Whole Mushrooms $3.16

    Total OOP: $15.18

    ** Earned 15 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $9.94 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Extra Foods – Maple Ridge –

    6 28 oz cans NN Pumpkin (2 @ $5.00) = $5.00 – for Christmas

    •Total OOP: $15.00

    • Christmas OOP: $15.00
    • Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00

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


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 Dole Chopped Romaine $5.48

    •Total OOP: $5.48

    • Christmas OOP: $0.00
    • Grocery Budget OOP: $5.48

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


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    12 Compliments NO SALT Diced Tomatoes (Case Lot Sale) $9.99
    2 x 2lb Mini Carrots @ $2.99 ea = $5.98 + 5 Air Miles
    1 Beef Top Round Roast $13.90 << Hubby sliced paper thin for sandwiches
    1 Family Pack Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs $10.40
    1 x 2-pack Top Round Steak $9.12 << In the freezer for an upcoming stew
    200 g Smoked Salmon Nuggets $9.99 + 3 Air Miles
    200 g Candied Salmon Nuggets $$9.58
    200 g Smoked Trim Lox $5.22
    1 Smoked Salmon Vegetable Roll $6.99
    Less Bag Return Fee -$0.06

    •Total OOP: $81.45

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $81.45

    ** Earned 12 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check/Coupons **
    ** SAVED $26.01 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    4 Red Tomatoes on the Vine = $3.38
    1 x 5 lb box Mandarin Oranges = $4.88
    3 x 907g Becel $3.98 ea = $11.94
    2 x Imitation Crab @ $3.99 ea + 10 Air Miles when buy 2 = $7.98
    1 x Oasis Orange Juice = $5.29
    EHC = $0.04
    Deposit = $0.20

    •Total OOP: $33.71

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $33.71

    ** Earned 12 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check/Coupons **
    ** SAVED $12.24 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    2 Celery $1.46 ea = $2.92
    1 x 2lb clamshell green grapes $2.94
    1 x Dole Chopped Romaine $4.98
    1 x 3-pack English Cucumbers $3.84 + 400 points

    •Total OOP: $14.68

    • Christmas OOP: $0.00
    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.68

    ** Earned 400 PC.Plus Points **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 Smoked Salmon Vegetable Roll $6.99

    •Total OOP: $6.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $6.99

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check/Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.50 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 Bananas $1.32

    •Total OOP: $1.32

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $1.32

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


    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    2 Deli Pizza Supreme Pizzas 12” (with 50% off coupon) = $6.79 << One for the freezer, one for hubby's treat
    1 x Europe’s Best Strawberries (with $1.00 off coupon) = $4.00 << Just because I had the coupon 🙁

    •Total OOP: $10.79

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $10.79

    ** Earned 2 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $7.79 in Rain Check/Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    OUR NEXT USA SHOP MAY BE in December while hubby is on vacation.



    •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 $138.97+Oct $65.17 = $279.34

    •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 +Oct $7.79 = $110.54

    •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 + Oct $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+Oct 29= 496 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 + Mar 1 + Apr 1 + May 322 + June 0 + July 0 + Aug 4 + Sept 176 + Oct 72 = 576 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 + Oct 1,411 = 10,811 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 + Oct 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 $117.32 + Oct (trf $25.00 Xmas Reserve+$17.09 to Summer + $17.50 trf to Re-Stocking Reserve + $12.50 trf to Borscht Reserve + $50.00 trf to US +$21.93+$12.00+$6.38+$4.69 Trf to Unused Reserve +$7.56-$8.82 trf from Christmas Reserve + $8.82 + $5.00 +$24.26-$15.00 trf from Christmas Reserve + $15.00 +$5.00+$15.18+$81.45+$33.71+$14.68+$6.99+$1.32+10.79= $373.03)= $2,030.94

    •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 + Oct $190.00 = $1,900.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $130.94 OVER << Mamma Mia! 🙁



    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 +Oct $4.69= $73.74



    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) + Oct $17.50 = $217.50



    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 + Oct $12.50 = $537.50



    2014 Fwd $110.00+Jan $10.00 +Feb $10.00+ Mar $10.00 + Apr $10.00 + May $25.00 + June $10.00 + July 15.00+ Aug 15.00 + Sept $10.00 + Oct ($25.00 – $64.88 trf to US Reserve – $8.82 trf to groceries- $15.00 trf to groceries = -$63.70) = $161.30



    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) + Oct $17.09= $167.09



    $ 1,900.00 Grocery Budget JAN-OCT
    $ 73.74 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 0.02) Hiding Spot Cash – SPENT
    ($ 13.45) 2014 Costco Rebate Chq – SPENT
    ($ 145.49) Trf to Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Borscht, Xmas, Summer)
    ($ 201.81) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 73.74) Set in a reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($1,670.17) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 130.94 OVER FOR Y-T-D SPENDING


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

    $ 73.74 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    So far $1,900.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2015 and we have recorded these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $217.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $537.50 Borscht Fund
    $161.30 Holiday Season Fund
    $167.09 Summer Season Fund

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,083.39… that is a $937.50 carry-forward from 2013 & 2014 and $145.89 in NEW 2015 savings after spending $597.93 of the reserves in SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER.

    This also means that with $190.00 to start OCTOBER plus $52.09 available carried forward from SEPTEMBER less $72.09 transferred to the various savings reserves less $0.00 transferred for Points Redeemed = $170.00 plus an additional $50.00 saved in our US grocery reserve, we opened the month of OCTOBER with $120.00 available to spend on the Canadian side of the border LESS the funds we have spent of $250.94 on our groceries (cash & points) so far this month and have $130.94 OVER for the month of OCTOBER.

    We have groceries that have been purchased using points redeemed, rather than the budgeted cash in the amount of $73.74. Available as an offset, we currently have $73.74 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 $110.21 IS AVAILABLE for our next US shop!

    Of the outstanding US Shopping Reserve $110.21:

    $113.07 is carried forward from 2014

    $252.50 is new 2015 Y-T-D savings

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

    PLUS $64.88 transferred from our Christmas Reserve funds

    Less ($9.98+$5.00+$15.32+$34.58) = $64.88 Christmas spending in the US

    Less ($10.00+$71.86+$57.93) = $139.79 that we’ve actually spent in 2015

    = $110.21 US Reserve Available


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods –

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

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


    1. Hi Mary,
      Oh wait… I’ll be right back I need a tea. Ah, ok that’s better.
      This has to be the biggest grocery shop I’ve seen from you all year. You did get some smashing deals and I can see why you went over budget by $130. The case of tomatoes was a nice deal as was the idea of using a roast to make sandwiches for the week. I bet you anything that you can get more bang for your buck doing that rather than buying from the deli. What do you think? Overall, you’re going to be having lots of pumpkin in your future (great deal at $2.50 a can). Now, I’m really interested in how this all unfolds for the rest of the year but I have lots of faith in your ability to get back on track. You get ballot #7. Mr.CBB 🙂

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