The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

How To Survive Food Cost Increases in 2016 : Join The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Jan 4-10




If you thought your grocery budget was tight in 2015 experts are saying to buckle up and expect to add $345 this year to your grocery expenses.

With the loonie taking a nose dive and the fact that most of our produce is imported, prices in the produce section are about to get scary.

Already we’ve seen cucumbers jump in price to $3.00 each from a cool $0.99 and celery that looks like it could use a bit of love with a shocking price tag of $4.99. Keep in mind, these are NOT organic prices either.

Prices are slated to rise from 2.0%-4.5% for fruit and produce in 2016 according to the University of Guelph’s annual Food Price Report 2016 English

For 2016, the Food Institute is forecasting food inflation rates across the
country to be anywhere between 2.0% to 4.0%.- UofG Food Price Report

In February 2015 Stats Canada released the consumer price index where you can clearly see prices aren’t moving down nor will they be anytime soon.

In 2016 food and utility prices are expected to increase so now is the time to get your budget under control.

Food prices advanced 3.9% in the 12 months to February. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis in February, after rising 5.4% the previous month. Price gains for meat (+12.4%), fresh vegetables (+8.4%) and fresh fruit (+3.5%) contributed the most to the February increase, although these gains were smaller than in January. Prices for food purchased from restaurants rose 2.8% year over year in February.- Stats Canada

Cauliflower has the been the big talk around the web coming in at $8.99 like one CBB fan Judy in Hamilton, Ontario found out while doing her weekly grocery shop.

Some of my fans laugh at me because I keep going on about the cost of cauliflower but when you buy a large head in season for $0.99 and then it sky-rockets to $8.99 alarm bells go off in my head. I understand seasonal price increases but this more than just that. You’re darn right it worries me and this should worry all Canadians who grocery shop without doing a bit of prep work.

Related: You can read more of my cauliflower rant in last weeks GGC post.

cauliflower 8 99 ontario canada

I certainly would never pay $8.99 for a cauliflower even though my wife wants to make cauliflower mash as part of her new eating regimen of low-carb eating. Cauliflower does make a nice mash comparable to potatoes but not at that price.

Needless to say once Judy saw this she knew that things were about to change. When I asked Judy if she bought a cauliflower for $8.99 her response was exactly as I had imagined it might be.


Heck no!!! But did come home with two cabbages. I’ll tell you, I was so shocked and confused by the cauliflower that the rest of the shopping trip was kind of spacey.- Judy C.


Food Cost increases over the years


The Consumer Price Index December 2015 shares retail price movement, inflation rates and the factors underlying to them. This is just another reason it’s SO important to budget, especially when it comes to food.

If you have a look at Stats Canada food and other selected items from November 2010-November 2015 the price increases were certainly an eye-opener for me.

Click the Stats Canada link above to get the comprehensive list of items to compare prices over the years… here is just an example of a few meat products with price comparisons up to November 2015.

Related: How to save money buying meat

comparison stats Canada to 2015(1)

Our 2016 Grocery Budget


Like most Canadians who have read the flood of posts showering the internet over the last month we are somewhat worried about how we can afford to feed our family on a tight budget but we will monitor it as we go along. As long as we continue to follow the way we have shopped and saved over the years we’re hoping we can have another successful year of food shopping.

In 2015 my wife and I set out with our monthly grocery budget set at $235 a month just for food. This does not include health and beauty or cleaning supplies because we want to see exactly what we are spending on just food costs alone.

We also included a $25 stockpile budget ever month which was available to us just in case a really good flyer special or in-store special popped up that we wanted to buy. The purpose of the stockpile budget was to curb our extra in-store spending which increases the cost of our grocery shop every time.

We are far from perfect and trust me when I say we messed up a few times in 2015 and had to make up for it which is always tough. Some people ask why our grocery budget is so low if we have the money in the bank to afford expensive food or a bigger budget and my answer is, it works with our overall financial goals.

We could certainly add more money to the grocery budget but at this point we don’t think it’s necessary as long as we are buying all the food that we need. Most of the time when we do over-spend we can easily look back and say, “We could have done without”. Our pantry is far from dry and our freezer is full so we aren’t starving by any means.

Part of our grocery shopping success is because we are always striving to be better is by playing The Grocery Game Challenge. The other part is sheer determination towards financial success and reaching our goals.

We are now starting the 4th edition of The Grocery Game Challenge and over the years anyone who has successfully completed a full year will easily support me when I say that we have all succeeded in reaching our goals. Not one Grocery Game player has reached the end of the year spending more than they had set for their grocery budget. That deserves a round of applause. I’m so proud of the GGC players and every week when I see their shops I know the GGC is making a difference in their lives.


Our 2015 Food Cost Review


What was our food cost total for 2015? Below is the run-down of numbers that I calculated throughout the year every month by playing The Grocery Game Challenge.

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $230.00
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0.98
  • Snap Groupon to date: $28.00
  • Zweet to date: $18.00
  • Checkout51 to date: $7.00
  • Stockpile budget 2015 : (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 $25.00+ Nov $25.00+ Dec $23.28=$281.38 ($18.62 under)
  • Total coupons used to date: $40.77
    Total in-store discounts to date: $718.82
    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+ November $249.04+ December $166.17= $2559.03 ($260.97 under)

What changes did we notice to our overall food cost numbers?

We hardly used any paper coupons in 2015 compared to the end of 2014 where we used $74.19. Clearly we are buying less with coupons or the coupons we need are no longer available. Keep in mind those coupon apps are taking over the coupon industry where we saved $52.00 for the year. If you do the math it sort of balances out for us.

Grocery shopping in 2015 with a baby was challenging but we survived. We have come up with ways to get through the shop without freaking out because he’s having a fit which forced us to the checkout or rapid shopping which can cost our budget dearly. If this does happen one of us takes him to the car and the other finishes the shop.

There are many times that I grocery shop alone for this reason. It may seem great to get the kids in the grocery store but sometimes it’s best to do when you have a small shop, that way they don’t get bored. Some parents play games with their kids which we will likely do once he understand a bit more.

As you will see we came under budget with our yearly food cost spending $2559.03 ($260.97 under) which was great considering we had $2800 to spend. Why the under-spend? If we had a month where our food cost was under we didn’t carry over the extra money to the next month. When we had a month that we had an overspend we would do a catch up which is why the number came up the way it did.

We certainly were impressed but know that without all the extra help via coupons, coupon apps, flyer sales and rewards points we potentially would see an increase in our grocery budget for 2016. In 2015 we were able to use $230 in rewards points which helped bring down our expenses. For the new year we will do our best to stick to the current grocery budget of $235 a month with a $25 stockpile budget.

In the event we see this is not working out we will re-evaluate but our goal is to see this through the year. Our stockpile budget in 2015 also came in under budget by $18.62 with $300 to spend. In this case if we don’t use it we don’t carry it over.

Where did we see the biggest food cost savings?

We saved $718.82 in 2015 buying reduced products. This was a big surprise for us and maybe for you too because most people pass by the reduced rack or forego buying any produce or meat products that are ready for fast sales. I hardly think we bought any meat this past year that wasn’t reduced and we will stick to that plan unless grocery stores no longer offer this option.


CBB fans share their food cost savings tips for 2016


Below are some comments Canadian Budget Binder fans said to me when I asked them how they would focus on food cost in 2016.

We will be planting a bigger garden this year and blanch and freeze more vegetables than ever before. We will shop the freezer first and make more meals from what we have on hand. We already make most of our own baked goods, so we will continue that. We will make more soup than ever during the colder months so that we can stretch the meals. We plan to buy less meat, not that we buy much as it is, and focus more on other sources of protein.- Angela M.

I watch for the sales so knowing the prices of the most common things you buy helps to know a good price when you see it. I have a small stockpile amount to spend in the budget for those sales so I can stock up if it’s a good price for something we will eat here. I love having leftovers to stretch the budget and make meals easier and quicker! I watch the prices and grab the sales as much as I can. Mind you I’m close enough that when they have the 3 day loss leaders I can go a couple of times.- Christine W.
I am going to work on per portion size. I cook large meals and we tend to overeat which is bad for us and our budget. I also plan to use less meat when I cook meals which is good for us and our budget. We will also be gardening different crops this year especially growing and canning what is most expensive during the winter. I will also make jellies & jams which are cheaper and so much better- Donna P
When planning menu, try dishes that have sauces. This way, the sauce gives a lot of flavours so you don’t need to eat a lot of meat. I also like to save those “Inedible” parts of vegetables such as the woody part of asparagus, cabbage cores, hard stems of kale, etc in a Ziploc bag and freeze.Once full, I make vegetable stock saving me money rather than buying store-bought. We also like to have eggs for dinner. I know some of my coworkers give me a look and ask “Aren’t eggs supposed to be for breakfast?” No such thing, eggs provide complete protein and are cheap. If you happen to live in a diverse town that has ethnic stores – try to check them out. We recently have an “International (more like Asian)” grocery store not too far from our house and decided to check it out. Last weekend we bought 3 cucumbers for 2.50, 1 lb of sugar snap peas for 2.99 and a bag of bell peppers (mixed green and yellow, about 10) for 2.99! Best deal ever….that feeling when you know you hit the score!- Juyenty T
This year I’m planning on getting a grip on expenses. I’ll try to learn how to budget. I know that we throw out so much food when I don’t pay attention to expiration dates. Thanks for the posts everyone.- Mona
Garden. Tonight we had green bean soup for supper. Carrots (still fresh), onions & potatoes (dry storage) & green beans (canned) along with summer savoury (dried), ALL from my garden. I don’t expect to buy onions or potatoes in the store until at least March & the carrots will last a few more weeks. Plus it’s not a 100 mile diet – it’s a 100 meter diet. We have lots of meals like that.- Faith
CBB fan Beth Anne shares a good point for all fans about buying and butchering your own meat to save money.
I’m feeling grateful for my butchering and cooking skills just now. Thrifty Foods had whole pork legs (minus the trotter) on sale for $1/lb. I bought the smallest one in the bin – just shy of 18-1/2 lbs – brought it home, boned it and broke it down myself. I cut one large roast, three small roasts, a lovely hock for osso bucco, and about a pound of trimmings I’ll use for stir fry for supper tonight (served over rice cooked in veggie stock). The bone is in the stock pot as I type and should yield me about 3 quarts of strong stock for the pantry. The skin is rendering in a pot on the stove. It looks to yield me between 1-1/2 and 2 pints of good quality cooking fat (savoury pastry anyone?) and a nice batch of cracklings. I figure that’s at least 40 meals for me from an investment of less than $20. I’m very pleased.- Beth Anne

Food cost tips to save in 2016


If you read the Grocery Game Challenge post every week you will know many of these tips already, however if you are new you may want to do some reading on this blog. Check out my Ultimate Grocery Guide where you will learn all about ways you can save money when grocery shopping.

Although food prices vary around the world and in some places food costs are through the roof insane the premise still stands that if you want to save you can save but you have to be motivated to so.

  1. Always use a grocery budget (If you’re not sure how much your grocery budget should be then you should read this post: How much should my grocery budget be?)
  2. Plan your meals
  3. Get to know prices of products at all the local grocery stores
  4. Price Match, Watch flyer sales, buy reduced, get Rain Checks, Scanning Code of Practice, Price Adjustments
  5. Use Coupons and Coupon Apps A good coupon app is Checkout51
  6. Points Rewards Programs– Sign up for Nielsen Homescan Canada – I did this in the UK and I was able to score lots of free groceries and gift cards. Many CBB fans have the scanner at home and it takes minutes to scan in your products and then you are rewarded with points which you can redeem. Saving money wherever you can.  Also, if you have a credit card or loyalty card that offers points make sure you load your points to the card and use them to your full advantage. Examples: PC Plus, Shoppers Optimum
  7. Cook at home
  8. Shopping plan
  9. Take inventory of your pantry and freezer
  10. Eat less by portioning your food

If you’re ready join The Grocery Game Challenge today!!!



January Grocery Game Challenge posts 2016


Join in the 2016 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 where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy. Thanks to Mary for putting this together for us again this year. If you need any help please let me know.

New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only BUT If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10CDN. 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.

Our December 2015 Grocery Game Winner goes to….. Ballot #16 Kathryn. Congrats! Please note: I found that I made an error when I did a reply to the post. I must have thought it was Mary’s post so I gave the ballot to Mary. I review all winning ballots and found that error. Please make sure to write your ballot numbers and read my comments in case this sleep-deprived dad, husband and workaholic screws up.


Free Money Saving Tools 2016


Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.

2014 Free Money Saving ToolsDon’t pay someone for these services, I’ve done the work for you along with some help from other amazing bloggers.

You can 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!

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.

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. So many free resources at your fingertips.


Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2016


the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbbEverything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken 4 years to create.

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is on-going with new informative money-saving posts added every month.

Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.

Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.

The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the  many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.


2016 Grocery shop results


Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2016: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/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 $
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 31,947
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Over 700,000 points ( I will update this twice a year)

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: $7.00


Grocery Shop This Week



  • Homo Milk $4.97
  • Coconut Flour $7.99
  • 2x Sealtest whipping cream Sale $1.99
  • 4 x Sealtest Half and Half cream sale $1.99
  • 2 x sugar-free Jello $0.99 each
  • 2 x Pork Rinds $1.49 each (used for breading)
  • 1 x cucumber sale $1.29
  • 3lb carrots $1.69
  • Baking cocoa $3.69
  • Xylitol $5.99 (Natural sugar substitute)
  • Dare baby cookies $0.97
  • 4 x compliments diced tomatoes sale $0.77 large can

Total Out-of-Pocket: $48.56

Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 4 x dozen eggs $2.49 each
  • 1 x Sealtest Milk $3.97

Total Out-of-Pocket: $13.93 plus 3000 bonus Optimum points for spending $10 on food

  • Total to spend this month $235.00
  • Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$0
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $0
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $
  • Total spent this week: $62.49
  • Total spent so far this month: $62.49
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: over : over
  • Total left to spend for the month: $172.51
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We didn’t need much this week but my wife stocked up on some foods she will use to make her Atkins diet low-carb meals. It may seem that we are spending more money buying coconut flour and other items but with my wife eating low-carb that will significantly cut back on other food costs so it hopefully will balance out. It will be easier to know once we are a few months into the year and have more data to review.


Canadian Coupons 2016


Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

January 2016 coupons Canada


Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s


  • 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. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
  • What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
  • 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. If you choose to post monthly  or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. 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?: 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 in order to plan accordingly our budget.
  • Do you stockpile food? 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 longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
  • 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 with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • 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.

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 back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 get ready to examine your grocery budget by learning

  • Where you are spending money
  • How much money you are spending
  • How much money you are saving every month

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

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.

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 2016!


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
  • Don’t forget to Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder by Email to get my daily email. Once you subscribe you MUST VERIFY your email account so check your spam folder and inbox for that email!
  • Check out my new Free Recipe Index
  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving Lists

Photo credit cauliflower : Judy. C

Please note that some links may be affiliate links that aren’t related to CBB.

Similar Posts


  1. Week 1 – January 3 – 9

    • Grocery budget to work with in January: $200
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $1.39
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $1.39
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: .06
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: .06
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $0
    • Total student discounts this week: $2.19
    • Total student discounts to date: $2.19
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $48.65
    • Total spent so far this month: $48.65
    • Total left to spend for the month: $151.35
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent to make up in future months:$0
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $48.65

    Shoppers Drug: Clearance candy cane cookies 2 x 1.69: Total 3.40 rounded up 2 cents

    Mensens Farm: 1/2 bushel of potatoes 6.00: Total 6.00 (approximately 35lbs)

    RCSS: Milke 3.97, PC Candy Cane ice cream clearance 2 x 2.44, cucumber 3 x .97 (PM), wonton wrappers 1.50, bananas 1.48, grapes 3.09 (PM), Janes chicken strips large box 7.98, less superbucks gas .75 and .64, less student discount 2.19: Total paid 22.25 rounded up 2 cents

    Giant Tiger: IOGO yogurt 1.88, Fruitopia 2L .88, Giant Value k-cups 12 pack 3 x 2.97, pears 2 lb bag 2.88, Giant Value bread 2 x 1.00, less bag credit 2 x .03, plus tax .11: Total paid 16.60

    This was a fine start to the new year. I received a lot of coffee as gifts for Christmas, but hubby needed some too, so we stocked up on KCups this week. I know we usually use the grounds and the filter, but this price was just fine. The bread is on standby for when I can’t make a loaf if we get too busy. A few items I picked up at Giant Tiger that weren’t in stock at RCSS to price match on discount day which was yogurt, Fruitopia (treat for my kiddo) and pears which they don’t stock the bags of and won’t price match it since they don’t carry it similarly. That’s fair, but we wanted the pears. The ice cream and cookies in candy cane flavour are a favourite in our home and a great treat to have on hand. They are seasonal and we love the clearance on them. However, I really did not like the sticker shock on a few items since my last shop. But it is consistent everywhere, but really a 10cent increase on bananas alone, ouch. We go through a lot of bananas usually. I weighed it out carefully this week as I only had a certain $ value attributed to bananas. I will take this into account for future plans. We did run out of bananas this week. Price matching will be more and more critical. And, I may not be relying on my student discount as much this year since items that are able to be price matched don’t seem to be on the shelves. It doesn’t help to buy on Tuesdays, but I will do my best.

    1. Hi Angela!!!
      That was a nice deal on the potatoes. How do you keep them so they don’t sprout on you? What is the Great Valu Bread like? Do you like it? Yes the banana prices went up huge considering they were only %0.59 a pound. With a 10 cent hike that’s big. We eat bananas almost every week as well and our son loves them. So is your student discount done and over with now? That sucks! You got some great savings from that discount. Shoppers always has great seasonal discounts. We bought a Spiderman watch for our nephew who is a huge fan for 50% off which was great. Well done… and I think the sticker shock is only the beginning I’m afraid. This will be the year the GGC tests us all! You get ballot 25 MR.CBB

      1. As for the potatoes, our basement is pretty cool, so we get through them in plenty of time. The Great Value bread we only pulled out of the freezer this week, it’s he same as any other processed bread so it’s alright, but homemade is best. I still have the student discount until August, it’s just getting harder and harder to get best deal at RCSS. There are fewer and fewer items that I can price match because their shelves are empty of the things I want, so I end up going to the store that has the sale. I will do what I can, but I’m still focusing on best price overall. And, when I post the last two weeks of the month, it’s not going to be pretty. I can fix it in February. We will be overbudget for the month. By a lot 🙁

  2. Hello 2016!!!!!!!
    We will be sticking to our same numbers as last year of $125 a week and the year being $6500.
    So this months budget will be $500. Sometimes there are great sales in Jan and Feb to get people shopping and back in the stores so I am hoping to stay within our numbers.
    McGavins bread basket
    $1.60×2 12 grain bread
    $3.20 total oop
    $6.49×2-bogo sale Imperial maragrine
    $2.05 bananas – they were .69c lb!!!
    $1×2 strawberry croissants
    $3×2-bogo sale ham&cheddar sandwiches -I was out of snacks in my locker and starving!
    $13.79 total oop
    $2×3-$2C 500ml sour cream – lots of dips and soup to make
    $2×5-$1.50Cx5 dove 2pk soap -hubby needs for washing fresh/healing tattoos
    $7 total oop
    $9.50 total coupons
    .33×3 limes
    $1.78×6 blueberries 4800P!!!!!!! and my girls favourite
    $2.44 gingerbread houses – clearance
    .24×4 xmas wrap – clearance
    $17.55 total oop
    .99 pc shortbread – clearance
    $1×3 xmas cards – clearance
    $1×6 lindor xmas balls – clearance
    $2.49×2 dzn eggs
    $5.81 4L homo milk
    $21.25 total oop

    $62.77 total yearly oop
    $9.50 total yearly coupons

    Nice to have a small totals this week with little misses bday party coming I am sure some extras will be needed.
    Yes I have xmas items in my total cause I chose to use this budget to buy them and well I couldn’t have been bothered to make separate transactions at the till. I paid more than I like to for milk but I did have a wub points promo for sdm of 3000P
    Looking forward to another awesome year 🙂

    1. Hi Juanita,
      You are correct. Typically in Jan and Feb and throughout the winter months the stores have some of the best deals as they try to lure people out of the house. Most times people would rather stay in and find something to cook rather than spend money buying more food. The shops know this so they pull out the big guns and hope that the marketing and sales draw us in. I’ve seen gingerbread houses for sale so cheap. Do you make them right away or store them for next year? Great start for the year Juanita. You get ballot 19 Mr.CBB

  3. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats – $7800.00

    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/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 $
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $10.00
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 23400
    Scanning 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: $2.00($25.75)
    Checkout51 to date: $8.76($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week
    No Frills
    2 Dawn dish soap @2.47
    1 Downie -12.99
    1- 12DR Charmin TP -4.97
    1 216 count Tetley teabags -9.27
    1vWhiskas cat food -6.97
    4 Tomato sauce @.97, 800 pts
    4 Spaghetti sauce @.97
    2 apple sauce @1.29
    10 cans soup @ 2/.99
    2 Cheerios @ 2.97
    1 box SOS soap pads -.99, PM to FB
    5 packs asst pasta @.97
    2 cases KD @ 6.97
    2 Kraft peanut butter @2.47
    1 yogurt -3.00
    2 4l milk @3.97
    3 jars Chez Whiz @2.97
    2 packs fresh cranberries @.99, Stockpile
    bananas -.95
    3 Janes chicken nuggets @4.44
    1 bagels -1.67, 400 pts
    1 pack hotdog buns -2.00
    Tax -4.01
    Gift card- $10.00
    Total OOP – $117.33- 1.94 stock pile
    2 Olay body wash @3.99, stock pile
    Total OOP -$7.98, stock pile
    1 water jug -5.49
    2 8DR Cashmere TP @ 3.99
    1 apple cider mix- 2.99
    1 Cheerios -2.99
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 jar pickles -1.99
    2 cans pineapple tidbits @1.19
    1 block cheddar cheese -5.99
    1 4l milk -4.88
    Bananas -.61
    1 grated parmesan cheese- 4.31
    1 bread crumbs -2.49, 50% savings- 1.25
    2 w/w bread @2.50, 50% savings on one- 1.25
    Tax -1.43
    Total OOP -$49.01, 2.50 discounts

    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$0
    Stockpile budget used this month: $9.92
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $0
    Total in-store discounts this week:$2.50
    Total in-store discounts to date: $2.50
    Total spent this week: $164.40
    Total spent so far this month: $62.49
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: over : over
    Total left to spend for the month: $485.60
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) Went over just a bit but I did go to No Frills. The chicken nuggets were a good price and the boys love those for lunch every so often. Same with the KD. Jackson’s had the body wash on sale so I figured I would stock up a little while I had the chance. We shall have to see how the sales shake out this month for how much I stock up on things. It’s a new year and a new chance to see how much I can save. I’m trying to think of ways I can grow more for us in the summer with limited space. Wish me luck on that one!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      We all know as soon as you venture out of town the budget gets close but that’s ok because you need to stock up while you can. I don’t blame you one bit especially with the prices at FoodLand most days. Did you see that $5 coupon I found for chicken nuggets? I posted it I believe this week in the GGC. I’m hoping for a good sale to use them up. Maybe you can start growing cauliflower and selling it for huge profit haha!! I know what you mean. I wish we had more space but even then it’s the time to take care of the garden I don’t have. I’ll be working most of the summer now at my second job apparently.. so no rest for me. If you would have waited to go to No Frills this week there is a huge sale. Maybe you can make it out again. 🙂 Well done. You get ballot 13. MR.CBB

      1. Other than going to London for hubby’s chemo appointment on Wednesday it isn’t looking like the weather gods are in my favour this week. Thursday is a maybe…depending on the weather. By then I will have seen the upcoming flyer to see what is on for next week too. The No Frills flyer comes with the local bunch of flyers late Wednesday.
        The one idea I had for growing veg in the summer is to use my grow bags along the drive where I have been trying to kill that chameleon plant for the last number of years and just plop the bags on top of those things. It is the south side so it will get lots of sun… Got the instructions for the bags from Pinterest and I get 6 bags from a 25 foot roll of landscape fabric. I figure it is worth a try. Wish me luck…..

  4. When I saw your statement of how much you saved on reduced food, it piqued my interest.
    I don’t know how much we saved, but I do know how much we spent on reduced food in 2015…$336.71.
    When they dump a lot of produce into food trays a put a ‘reduced’ sticker on it, I don’t know what the original price would be be, but most often it is 50% or more saving. Many times this allows us to have a variety of food, without killing the bank….and pick up treats, we normally wouldn’t have purchased.

    1. Yes we decided to track how much we saved last year. It wasn’t too bad as almost everything we buy is 50% off when reduced so we just do the math. On the odd occasion we will buy something that may be 30 or 40% off. It was interesting to see the change from high coupon usage to high reduced products.

  5. I posted in the wrong spot…

    Here goes my first shop to report!

    Name Your Store ie: Safeway
    Total Coupons Used: $ 4.25
    Total Out Of Pocket: $ 117.92
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 500
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $ Uhh?
    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:0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

    Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $4.25
    Total coupons used to date: $4.25
    Total in-store discounts this week: $45.39
    Total in-store discounts to date: $45.39
    Total spent this week: $117.92
    Total spent so far this month: $117.92
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $Uhhh???
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $ NA
    Total left to spend for the month: $ 382.08
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $ 117.92

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):
    I was really happy with the deals at Safeway this week- the above included lots of Organic items including- pasta sauce, arugala, kale, 2 loaves of bread and eggs! The eggs were %50 off but still has 4 days until the fresh by date. I also got two fillets of salmon. In addition I got 62 airmiles and 12 stamps towards their glass set offer. I will still need to stop by the produce stand tomorrow to get more apples etc.

    1. Hi Rose,
      Welcome to the Grocery Game Challenge! As we discussed in my email this looks great although you are missing the products you purchased, the cost and what store you bought them at which you will add in the next post. 🙂 It’s all a learning curve but soon enough it will be a way of life for your financial success. The Total over/under spend this shop is for those people who divide their monthly budget up per shop. So if you have 200 to spend over 4 weeks that’s 50.00 a shop. In that spot you document whether you overspent that week or underspent. You can add the amount there if you wish. This is for your own records and again a bit of motivation. The total budget with any carry overs means that if in January your grocery budget is $500 and you only spent $400 some people carry over that $100 to the next month so now you’d have $600 to spend the next month. Sometimes we go over budget so we spend more and we minus the amount from the following month to make sure we stay on track for the year. So if you spend $550 in stead of $500 the next month you will have a grocery budget of only $450. I hope that makes sense. It’s up to you how you want to play it out as it’s all suggestions. You get ballot 6. Mr.CBB

  6. Hey Mr. CBB – maybe this is something for the daily WFD thread:

    When I tell my friends of my new discovered hobby “saving money”, the often don’t seem to be as excited as I am. Some seem like they don’t even want to hear it since it reminds them of their own weakness of NOT budgeting, even though they should.
    Do others experience this? How do you deal with friends or colleagues? Do you share your excitement about a great deal you found or do you keep quiet and if so: why?

    1. The reason most people don’t want to hear it is because most people don’t stick to it like they don’t stick to a diet so people just nod their head… ya ya ya. Sometimes we do but we don’t often talk about our money with anyone we know. If anything I probe people to learn more about the way people save and spend and their debt for blog post ideas to help other fans and to share real stories. You are right sometimes you remind them of their weaknesses… good thing it won’t be yours this year!!

  7. SHOP: Bloorstreet Market
    Bay Leaves – 5.99
    Carrots 3 lb – 2.50 on sale
    Clementines 2 lbs – 3.99
    Beef Blade Roasts – 31.02 on sale
    Total Coupons used: $0
    Total out of pocket $44.50

    Onions 2lb – 99 cents
    Pork Butt (?? 7 lb??) – 24.06
    Total Coupons used: $0
    Total out of pocket $25.05

    SHOP: Shoppers Drugmart
    Milk 2 l – 4.99
    2x Loacker Wafers – 2.79 each
    Kashi Cereal Bars – 2.99 – 1$coupon – $1.50 CO51= $0.49
    Total Coupons used: $1
    Total Points used: $30 (also for bodycare and household items)
    Total out of pocket: $0

    SHOP: WALMART online
    5 Dole Fruit Jars – $15
    Total Coupons used: 0$
    Total out of pocket – $15

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $360
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $360
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $30 ($10 on food, $20 on bodycare/household items)
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $30
    PC Plus points earned to date: 33,800
    Airmiles earned to date: 217
    Shoppers Points earned to date: 55,378
    SCOP to date: $0

    Zweet: $0.50
    Checkout51: $4.50 ($75 total so far) $0.50
    Snap: $16.00

    • Total coupons used this week: $ 1
    • Total coupons used to date: $ 2.50
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $ 11.50
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $ 22.26
    • Total spent this week: $ 84.55
    • Total spent so far this month: $155.42
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: UNDER
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: UNDER
    • Total left to spend for the month: $ 204.58
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $155.42
    Hi everyone!
    As I am sitting here, writing up my shops of the week I am sipping on a free huge caramel latte that I got with my Starbucks rewards. I LOVE FREE!!

    This week I really didn’t need much and still managed to spend a whole lot of money, but I am within my budget and that’s great. I am aiming for $90 per week and if a friend of mine hadn’t introduced me to this Portuguese Butcher Shop on Bloor where I got a huge pork butt for $25… well you know how these stories go. It’s simmering as I type in the slow cooker and will be pulled pork for the next weeks to come.

    The week overall was great! Some of you may have read that I managed to break my Starbucks-habit 2 days in a row and I decided to do that more often now during the work week. Every Dollar that is not used for Starbucks goes into my savings account.

    My “spending highlight” was probably the free Desange Shampoo and Treatment I scored on Wednesday at Shoppers with a coupon, 1000 extra points and then 15$ cashback from Checkout51.

    Another small victory happened today. Instead of going to Metro to pick up Milk, frozen fruit and canned Dole fruit I decided not to do the trip, because I would end up spending more than I want. Guaranteed. Instead I went to shoppers. Picked up milk there, which was more expensive, but in the end probably still cheaper. I used shoppers points and managed not to overspend. This way I came in slightly under budget ($84.55 instead of $90) so I am a happy camper and can now prepare all my weekly foods without feeling guilty.
    Happy weekend y’all!
    My menu plan this week includes:
    Breakfast: Cream of Wheat and Rice Pudding with strawberries or mango chunks (cleaning out the freezer)
    Dole fruit jars, cereal bars and a cinnamon swirl cake (homemade) for snacks and desserts
    Lunch: Pulled beef / pulled pork with homemade bread
    Lunch: Pasta Spinach Cheese bake(2 portions, cleaning out the freezer)
    Diner: Homemade bread with cheese or salami

    1. Hi Birgit,
      I’m excited to get reading your post~ If you have a balcony or garden plant bay leaf and dry it after summer. It’s much cheaper and you can get a tonne of it. My father-in-law has the biggest bay leaf plant I’ve ever seen. Sweet deal on the Kashi bars. Too bad the apps have limits unlike coupons most often you can use as many as you need. The coupon craze will come to an end soon with coupon apps, you’ll see. When you shop Walmart online do they ship the products to you for free? Why is 2L of milk so expensive at SDM? Do you buy organic? Mind you we noticed that milk at SDM went from 4L to 3L for $3.97 so now we buy it at the grocery store. Sneaky. What kind of homemade bread do you make? I have a few of my own recipes on the blog. Great deal on the shampoo. My wife was tempted to go but we didn’t have a chance to get there. Overall you had a great week. I love that you came under budget and your enthusiasm. This is part of what will keep you going. You get ballot #5! 🙂 Mr.CBB

      1. Thank you Mr. CBB!
        Yes! I do have a balcony and this spring a Bay Leaf Tree is going to be on it – you bet!
        Walmart ships for free as soon as you order $50 or more. It’s definitely worth it if you see something on sale, like diapers and such!
        SDM really varies. The one here close to me just has 1.89l boxes of milk and I figured I’d better pay a bit more for one item instead of going overboard at a grocery store! But I am DEFINITELY going to check the amounts that are in the milk bags at my next shop! 3 l vs 4 l! Wow! Suckers!!! Thanks for pointing this out!

        My bread is a very simple yeast dough that I found by googleing “no time no knead bread”. In order to get this sour dough bread taste, it calls for 1 tbsp. vinegar and it works really well. Last weekend I also added 1 tbsp. baking soda to get a bit more “fluffy” texture and added 1 cup Pumpkin seeds. Delicious, easy and cheap!

        I love your recipe collection by the way!! Please keep adding! I am happy to share some recipes as well. If you like me to write down the bread recipe and send a pic I can do that too. Let me know.

  8. JANUARY – Week #1 of 4- Jan 4-10, 2016


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



    I am opening our year with the following carry-forward reserves AFTER I move the Borscht fund into the summer reserve. For health reasons, I need to make my own salt free and lower fat version of my Grandmother’s borscht, so I am moving the funds to reflect the change in my health and eating:

    $217.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund

    ($537.50 -$537.50 = $0.00) Borscht Fund

    $ 81.51 Holiday Season Fund

    ($100.00+$537.50 = $637.50) Summer Season

    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Fund

    $ 0.00 US Shopping Reserve

    Before we start our JANUARY shopping off though, I am going to make my usual monthly “reserve” transfers:


    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($ 15.00) trf to re-stocking – normally $15.00
    ($ 15.00) trf to holiday reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 15.00) trf to summer reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 45.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $45.00

    CANADIAN Grocery Balance $100.00


    $232.50 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund

    $ 96.51 Holiday Season Fund

    $652.50 Summer Season

    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Fund

    $ 45.00 US Shopping Reserve

    With the prices on the rise again this year and the low Canadian dollar, we’ll be working even harder to keep our costs under control.

    We have PC.Plus points equivalent to $80.00 starting off this year. We could redeem them if the funds were really needed but it’s a nice little buffer to have & I plan to simply hang onto them unless there’s a drastic NEED (not want).

    A wonderful belated Christmas gift came our way this week…4L of homemade Turkey Stock from my girlfriend. That’s due to become Turkey Vegetable soup at our house this week. I love a thoughtful food gift like that!

    There were a couple of re-stocking opportunities for our pantry this week, so you’ll note that I tapped into our re-stocking reserve.

    It seems to me that January last year involved re-stocking as well. Last year it was because we’d been away on vacation & the crisper was empty. This year we were home and made a dent in some of the supplies that I like to keep on hand.

    After re-stocking some dry goods, the reserves are now as follows:


    $179.85 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund

    $ 96.51 Holiday Season Fund

    $652.50 Summer Season

    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Fund

    $ 45.00 US Shopping Reserve



    Costco – Port Coquitlam –

    1 x 2-pack Nat Turkey Pepperoni $13.99

    Total OOP: $13.99


    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    1 x Celery $3.99
    1 cinnamon spread $4.28
    1 x 2L Skim Milk $2.00
    2 x 398 ml Crushed Pineapple @ $1.79 ea = $3.58
    2 lbs Lean Ground Beef $9.92

    8 Classico Tomato Alfredo Sauce (2 for $5) = $20.00

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $23.77
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $20.00

    ** Earned 2 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $22.13 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 pkg Chicken Breasts (BOGO) = $20.61
    1 Green Cabbage $0.69/lb = $1.95
    1 Low Sodium Tamari Sauce ($5.49-$1.10 Sale) = $4.39

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $26.95
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 3 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $24.40 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    4 Barilla GF Penne ($10.76-$2.00 Cpn) = $8.76
    4 Barilla Spaghetti ($10.76-$2.00 Cpn) = $8.76
    2 Compliments Lasagna $7.34
    1 2.6Kg Minute Rice $7.79

    • TOTAL Grocery Budget OOP: $0.00
    • TOTAL Stocking Up Budget OOP: $21.65

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $4.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $22.13= $22.13

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00= $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 = 0 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 5 = 5 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 = 0 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 = 0 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan ($90.00 trf to various reserves + $13.99+$23.77+$26.95) = $154.71

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00 = $190.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $35.29 AVAILABLE



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $0.00= $0.00



    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan ($15.00-$20.00-$32.65) = $179.85



    2015 Fwd $537.50-Jan $537.50 Trf to Summer Reserve= $0.00



    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 = $96.51



    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 = $652.50



    $ 190.00 Grocery Budget JAN
    $ 0.00 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries
    ($ 45.00) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)
    $ 52.65 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)
    ($ 45.00) Trf to US Grocery Reserve
    ($ 0.00) Set in Xmas reserve to offset Redeemed Points
    ($ 64.91) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 0.00 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN

    $ 0.00 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

    THE VALUE will be added month to month to our Holiday Reserve for next Christmas.

    So far $190.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $90.00 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $179.85 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 96.51 Holiday Season Fund
    $652.50 Summer Season Fund
    $ 45.00 US Shopping Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $973.86. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $90.00 that we have added in 2016 LESS $52.65 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    1 Compliments 10″ Tortillas. 720G – Rain Check for 10 Air Miles (not a price rain check)


    This week’s BREAKFAST menu plan (Thanks for the idea Brigit!):

    HUBBY: Toast with either peanut butter or Cheex Whiz, English Muffins with Cinnamon Spread, Bagels with Cream Cheese or Rice Krispies cold cereal with milk

    MYSELF: assorted fresh fruits


    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Imitation Crab Wraps & Apple Slices

    TUES: Green Salad with Tomato & English Cucumber, sliced Garlic Sausage, Sliced Cheeses & a buttered Whole Wheat Dinner Roll for hubby

    WED: Peanut Butter Sandwiches & Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

    THURS: Tuna Salad Sandwiches with Gingerbread Muffin

    FRI: Egg Salad Sandwiches & apple slices

    SAT: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    SUN: Macaroni and Tomatoes with sliced green onion


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Maple Baked Beans + buttered rolls (for hubby)

    TUES: Spaghetti with Tomato Alfredo Sauce

    WED: Homemade Turkey Vegetable Soup with diced turkey breast, potato, celery, carrot & onion using stock we were given as a gift

    THURS: Spinach Dip with cubed bread + sliced garlic sausage & mozzarella cheese for hubby / 2 hard boiled eggs for me

    FRI: Large Caesar Salad + Jewish Apple Cake for dessert

    SAT: Peasant Cabbage & Tomato Soup with homemade Cottage Cheese Dill Bread

    SUN: Boston Baked Beans with Coleslaw & homemade Apple Cornbread


    1. Hi Mary,
      WOW is all I have to say. I’m almost tempted to go back a few years and pull your first GGC post to compare the two hehe!! I love how much you have evolved your tracking system just to know where your money is going and where the savings are at. That’s how to do it, but you already knew that. I think the meal plan at the end is brilliant. Your friend that brought you the turkey broth was very kind in doing so. We have some great friends like that to so we do the same for them. Like you I don’t mind a nice food gift. I’ve seen cinnamon spread at the grocery store but I’ve never looked at it. What does it taste like? Is it just butter and cinnamon mixed together? I love butter and cinnamon sugar on toast. You get ballot 4. Welcome to 2016! You are right it’s going to be tough with the way the dollar is going and everything else.

      1. The cinnamon spread is like a cinnamon sugar butter. It’s a throw back to a childhood treat my mother gave us. I still only have it as a treat 1-2 times a year but hubby really enjoys it. He’s not a fan of honey or jam on his toast so cinnamon spread it is I guess. I could make it myself, but there are so few things he really enjoys as a nice little treat, I’ll try to keep this one in the budget for him on occasion. 😀

        1. I love jam on my toast but not a big fan of honey. My wife likes honey but she doesn’t even eat bread any longer. Once in a while I’ll make the cinnamon sugar and add to my toast with butter. I don’t eat lots of toast either but when I do I like that little treat like you say.

    2. Oh I love your menu plan Mary! Thanks for that! It gives me some great additional ideas for what I could make over the week!

      And cinnamon spread: YUMM!! Never tried it, but I do remember having Zwieback (like melba toast) with butter and cinnamon sugar when I was a kid and it was delicious!!

      After making the German Apple cake last weekend I think I’ll make the Jewish Apple Cake next weekend. Using up apples, butter, flour from my pantry. Win win win!

  9. Mr. CBB I have joined in too. We are a large family of two seniors, six adults and five children eating $380.00/ month or $4560.00 year. That said we have a farm and grow, butcher a lot of our own. Hence I can keep costs down. That said winter I need fresh store fruits and cereal like everyone else.

    I am typing from a tablet and I don’t know how to cut and paste from my blog my weekly shop. So please excuse this and allow me to direct you to the post. Thank you. It’s a big haul and a lot of typing ( first time around).


    1. Welcome back Farmgirl,
      I don’t generally allow links in comments because I’ve had major issues on the blog with my hosting company over the past year to the point I had to switch companies. If you’d like to participate in the Grocery Game Challenge on Canadian Budget Binder I can certainly help you with the copy paste from your blog to my Grocery Game Posts. This was you can also get ballots and entered in the monthly contest to. 🙂 Thanks for sharing CBB on your blog and the Grocery Game Challenge. Mr.CBB

      1. Thank you. It was just a big haul because I had not shopped a complete shop since mid-November. Anxieties about crowds at the holiday season. Next week I will type it out. Lots of vomments, all grest.

  10. Food has been going up for years and we kept our budget to adjust with it, Food prices set to rise much faster than inflation in last yr. For dealing with increased food costs I cut down on fancy coffee, pop, candy, cookies and salty . And most of the time I prefer to prepare One-pot dishes. One most important thing I do i.e I always buy all my grains in bulk

  11. Hi everyone,

    This is my first post but I’ve been reading the blog for a few weeks now. I have always been interested in frugality but sometimes find it hard to stay motivated. This leads to overspending so I’m hoping that participating in the challenge will help keep me on track this year. It seems like a great group and I’m looking forward to learning from you all! Thanks Mr. CBB for maintaining the site and all the information and encouragement you provide.

    Total Yearly Food Budget for one adult (combined Grocery and Stockpile Budgets): $1200.00

    Yearly Grocery Budget: $960.00
    Monthly Grocery Budget 2016: $80.00 ($20.00/4 or $16/5 week months)
    Total spent this week: $16.43
    Total spent so far this month: $16.43
    Total left to spend for the month: $65.57
    Total Grocery Budget Spent To Date 2016: Jan $16.43

    Yearly Stockpile Budget: $240.00
    Monthly Stockpile Budget 2016: $20.00
    Total spent this week: $11.63
    Total spent so far this month: $11.63
    Total left to spend for the month: $8.77

    This weeks shop:

    Coupons Used:
    Total Out Of Pocket: $13.98

    $11.63 ground pork ($4.00/kg)
    $02.35 Silhouette yogurt cups (12)

    Food Basics
    Coupons Used:
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.59

    $1.98 Maple Lodge chicken wieners (2 x $0.99)
    $0.99 carrots 2lb.
    $1.15 firm tofu
    $0.47 garlic

    Coupons Used: $0.54 (Superbucks)
    Student Discount: $0.64
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.29

    $2.50 4 lbs. Empire apples
    $3.97 4 l Nielsen milk

    Coupons Used: $2.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.20

    $2.96 Nordica cottage cheese (2x$2.48) – (2x $1.00 coupons)
    $1.24 gingerbread cookie dough

    1. Hi Mimsie,
      Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge and for finally taking the step to get your grocery expenses under control. It took us a bit of work and we still struggle BUT we still maintain that without posting our shops we would spend much more money. It helps when you are holding yourself accountable every week. Every one of us that participated in 2015 stuck to the budget and came under for the year. This was great news!! I wish you all the luck and if you need anything at all please email me or leave a question here. If you are on my Facebook page every night from 5-10 we have a live chat where almost all of the GGC gang hangs out to chat. Feel free to join in and introduce yourself. It’s a fun time and mixed with both men and women but mostly women who love frugality and with many years of savings experience.
      Do you use any coupon apps to get further savings on your food? We’re looking into a Costco membership this year. We’ll see what happens once we go for a visit with a friend. It is close to us and gas is always cheap. Do you buy gas at Costco too? Great deal on the cottage cheese by the way. $1.48 is a great price. What do you create with your tofu? You get ballot #3. Write down your ballot numbers so when I draw a number at the end of the month you’ll know that you won. Mr. CBB 🙂

      1. Hey Mr. CBB – if you decide to go for the membership let me know! I’d love to have a look at Costco some day as well and see if it’s worthwhile. I am also going to research our company memberships… there may be a reduced option available.

        I also heard that, if someone with a membership buys you a giftcard from Costco you are allowed to shop at Costco without being a member.

        that might be a way to try out Costco for a while without having to get the membership right away!

        1. I’m going to do the same but I’m not sure if there are any corporate discounts. It’s worth a shot though. Yes, I’ll definitely be reporting back.

      2. Thanks for the welcome Mr. CCB

        I have used Snap from time to time but since they haven’t been sending me offers for the fresh fruits and vegetables anymore I seldom look at it because I don’t use many of the other products they offer rebates on. Same for coupon sites. Usually if I use coupons it’s the tear off pad ones. If I see them in the store, I’ll take several then if the product goes on sale I’ll buy some.

        If you’re thinking of getting a Costco membership, Birgit’s right that you can use the Costco gift cards even if you’re not a member or at least you used to be able to. I haven’t tried it for a few years and it’s possible they’ve changed their policy. They also may still allow you to use the gift cards for more than their face value, so you have a $10 gift card you can buy as much as you want, pay for the first ten dollars with the gift card and the balance by another payment method. Another thing you might consider is to split the membership fee with others. It works for our family because I live with my adult children and they allow 2 cards per household. We also often shop together. Probably not as do-able for you.

        I do sometimes get gas at Costco but usually only at off times and if I need lots because the lines can be really long and there is a Canadian Tire bar nearby that is fairly competitive. When I think of it I use the gas buddy app to see where it’s cheapest as there are several gas stations near where I live. I usually go after 7 and try to get it on the weekend because it seems less expensive here in Ottawa then.

        I don’t do anything exciting with the tofu. Usually I just add it to an Asian style soup or stir fry. This week I want to try a new baked tofu recipe that includes a five ingredient peanut sauce. Any other ideas about what to do with tofu would be appreciated because it’s an incredibly cheap source of protein. The container I bought has 56 g of protein and the regular price is only $1.15 at Food Basics.

        Hope your wife is succeeding with the Atkins plan.

        Thanks again

        1. Hi,
          Yes I heard something about being able to use the gift cards at Costco. I forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder. You are right the coupon aps are changing and I plan to write about it soon. I’ve noticed changes and I really don’t care for them. I think they are taking this way out in left field now. I could ask the question on the “What’s For Dinner” post on Facebook and see what the fans say. Are you part of my Facebook page? Check it out and join in the nightly chat. The Atkins plan certainly is different and yes she’s lost weight and is back in her pre-pregnancy jeans only 2 months in so she’s happy. She will we transition slowly back to regular eating but limit carbs significantly.

          1. Hi again Mr. CBB

            Great news about your wife’s success on the Atkins plan. My daughter’s done well with a similar plan. It’s amazing how quickly the weight came off but it did seem to cost more then normal so it’s awesome that you were able to meet your budget goals for the year.

            I don’t use Facebook now but after checking out your page I may look into getting an account at some time in the future.

            Best of luck this week with your goals.

          2. Oh she just started in November so it wasn’t all year-long. It actually has cost less for her so far although it is the flour that we find that costs the most. IF we find butter on sale we will stock up and the coconut oil she uses isn’t too expensive. We had a couple of cans kicking around for a long time now along with walnut oil. That would be great if you got a FB account. If you do, look us up but until then you can chat here all you like. I love reading comments. Mr.CBB

    2. Hey Mimsie!

      I have to say: RESPECT! Getting through a month on $100 bucks sounds really challenging to me and I am going to take you as my good example to reduce my own budget over the next few months. Did you have a full pantry/fridge last week that resulted in your smaller shops or do you just don’t need much?

      Looking forward to learning more from you and everyone else!

      1. Thanks for the welcome and support Birgit.

        You should probably save your respect until I’m successful though:) Right now it’s just a goal and I don’t know if I can pull it off yet. I do have a large stockpile of frozen fruits, vegetables, meat, and pantry items so that should help at least initially. I also benefit from my kids giving me soon-to-be or recently expired items they find when they clean out their fridges and freezers so it won’t be as difficult as you might’ve originally thought.

        Look forward to hearing more from you

        1. Lol…my daughter does that too….every once in a while, she cleans out her cupboards of ‘naughty’ foods….or something she bought to try and doesn’t like…. and when we have tenants who leave food behind (unopened) we give her stuff too. I’m sure you can do it.!!

        1. You asked about my grocery budget. My grocery budget including cleaning, vitamins, supplements and personal hygiene supplies is $270/month. That is 13% of my income. I want to budget separately for my food budget. I am on disability so the income won’t change but something has to as food price are going up and other expenses will increase in Alberta once the carbon tax comes in and they start to phase out the coal power plants etc. I have quite a stockpile of canned, pantry items and some frozen vegetables, fruits and meat. I plan to focus food spending on fresh fruits and vegetables while I use up some of the meats and pantry items that are becoming close dated. I would like to still have a budget for a stockpile as the prices I pay now will be less than I’ll pay in the future.
          I plant a community garden and try to can windfall fruit such as crab apples. I will plant more from seed this year and purchase no greenhouse seedlings. I will attempt to grow some seedling at home from organic seeds I harvest from my produce.Vegetables I can’t grow myself, I will buy at the best price from the farmer’s market or see if they come in the Good Food Box I plan to start purchasing monthly.(A box of fresh produce delivered to a local town monthly except for Summer for a low price aprox $20 for a single person).
          For the first 6 months of the year my food budget will be $100/month with $30/ month for stockpile. I will evaluate then to see what food prices are doing and whether I have to stock pile more meat once I have used up the current meat in the freezer.

          1. I love the idea of the community garden as my sister does the same in the UK.Too bad you weren’t here as we have tonnes of crab apples every year that we give away. We’ve made jam from them but there is only so much we can eat. So you want to see just how much you are spending on food. This is what we did so we removed the “other stuff”. I look forward to your GGC posts and at any point if you need any help or you find you are falling behind or need some motivation, we’re all here to help. If you can make it through one year here at the GGC I can promise you your food budget and the way you grocery shop WILL change and for the better.

  12. Hi Rose and Lori Lynn! I am pretty new too, only started practicing in December and starting January the GGC will help me to “get real” with my budget!
    I am also a Friday/Saturday shopper, since I work during the week and do all my food prep on the weekend, so my weekly shopping post will be on Sunday/Monday morning.

    It’s great to have such a nice group together! I am really looking forward to learning from each other!
    Oh and the Costco comparison is very interesting for me too. I’ve always said it’s not worth it for just one person, but some of the prices you posted are definitely better than what I pay for smaller quantities!

    1. I am a single person also. I find that Costco works out for me because I get my gas there at a discount. It is the lowest cost in my area (in the country). I buy gas when I go to the nearest larger town. Their clothing, socks & underwear are often good quality for lower prices if you shop the sales. For groceries I do buy some of the things I use a lot of or if fruit/vegies are a good price I might buy and freeze or can. I buy Christmas gifts there for my grandchildren, little girls party dresses, toys,&books are good quality at a good price.I also often buy the movie passes with popcorn and drinks for two for adult presents.

      1. Hi Penny,
        Thanks for your input. My wife and I are contemplating getting a membership. We will ask a friend who has a membership to bring us along so we can make a final decision. We will track prices for a year and compare if we do.

        1. A friend can buy you Costco gift cards (with money from you) and you can shop that way until you decide. Costco allows nonmembers to shop with gift cards to encourage their purchase and to get people to try it out. You won’t be able to purchase gas, or get member discounts on purchases though.

          1. Hi Penny,
            Yes another fan was just reminding me of this as I forgot. It’s better to do this than drag our friend around the store if they don’t need to shop. Do you shop at Costco then? Do you find the savings worth your while?

      2. Hi Penny,
        I think once my wife and I go in and start checking out the prices further we will have a better understanding whether it will work for us. I know we love their baby wipes.

  13. Hi Mr. CBB,
    I live in New Brunswick. The 2 different brands of milk available are Baxters & Northumberland (that I am aware of)..The price for 4L at Costco is $6.22 and that is cheaper compared to the grocery stores. I haven’t bought milk at the grocery store lately but I believe it is around $6.45 -$6.65 for 4L. It also never comes on sale..I don’t usually price match I just go to the different stores and get what’s on sale.. We also don’t go out to eat at restaurants (unless we are away from home) so for the pizza pack for an example it makes it feel like a special night at home because it is more like the restaurant pizza. I do also make pita & flatbread pizzas. I am definitely going to look through your recipe index and try some new recipes. Sometimes I am brand specific but I wait until I see it come on special and then I will stock up on a few. There are some brands that I grew up with and I find it hard to switch (i.e Kraft PB, Heinz ketchup, Miracle Whip)..

    1. Check out 51 and snap apps sometimes have discounts on milk, vegies and fruit. It helps if these are on sale but you still get .50 cents to a dollar off.

      1. I agree Penny and support the use of coupon apps on Canadian Budget Binder to save money in the grocery budget. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to hear more great tips from you. MR.CBB

    2. hi Lori-Lynn,
      Have you tried Shopper’s Drug Mart? Every couple of weeks in NS, they have Baxter 4 L milk on for $5.39, and the regular price is $5.59…while at the grocery stores, it is always $5.99+

  14. Thanks for the welcome. I will see how some of the other posters come through and then hobble it together. But I am not a face book user… so will have to stay in touch through the blog. Talk soon. BTW I am a BCer.

  15. OK, I am in. I have been lurking and reading your blog posts for a few months, and I have finally decided to take the plunge.
    I feel I am pretty frugal, and my shopping habits are not unreasonable but there is still room for improvement. We have been spending between $700 and $750 a month on groceries and sundries (soap, cleaning and paper products). We have two college aged daughters still living at home with us so there are 4 of us to feed. So if I double your monthly amount that would put us at $ 470 a month, not including sundries. Not sure if I can make that target but it is something to shoot for.
    I already have some frugal habits including
    • Eating only a little bit of meat
    • Eating few processed foods or snacks
    • No pop
    • Having a small garden which supplies most of our fresh and cooked greens, herbs and tomatoes in the summer.
    Some of our road blocks include
    • Trying to eat organic and local as much as possible
    • We have a tiny house so stockpiling isn’t really possible and we don’t have a chest freezer
    • I own my own business so sometimes my hours are crazy and then I want convenience!!!- like ordering on line or premade foods…. So there is room for improvement here.
    I haven’t gone shopping yet this week, but I still have quite a bit of holiday leftovers etc, so I will post my shop as soon as I do go, maybe Friday. Wish me luck.

    1. Hi Rose,
      This is great and although you have set a challenge for yourself you will see as the months go on that you will not only become better at shopping but you will trust your instincts. We all fall in the GGC but we get right back up. Not one of us came in over budget again this year which is awesome. We have a few new people joining us this month and I hope the fans keep coming. Thank-you for reading my posts the past few months. I know some of them are long but I talk from the heart and share real life stories with everyone. If you need any help at all please feel free to email me and I can get you through your first post. After that it will be a breeze!! Welcome again!! Oh and make sure to join us the GGC team on Facebook. We chat nightly in the “What’s For Dinner” post on my page. Lots of laughter and money-saving tips… 🙂 Here is my email canadianbudgetbinder @ yahoo . ca I space it out to prevent spammers.

    2. My husband and I live in a tiny one bedroom apt (by choice). There is always room to store stockpiles of food. I remember Amy Dycyzyn (Tightwad gazette) saying years ago about …If someone offered you $50 a month to store a case of peanut butter under your bed…would you?
      In our case, we have stackable storage bins where we keep our food storage.
      We have a smaller apt size fridge too, We have debated back and forth on whether we want a chest freezer.. At the moment we have a variety of meats in there, because we separate the larger packages into meal portions, and then store in plastic tubs (repurposed large 6lb margarine containers). At the moment, we think we will stick with what we have. This keeps us rotating our meats.
      Hope this helps 🙂

  16. Yearly Grocery Budget For 2016: $9,100 (5 people)

    Points Overview:

    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $700
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $700
    • 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: 4300
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date: 0

    Grocery Shop This Week: January 01 – 07, 2016

    • Iogo Nano $7.99 (12)
    • Black Diamond Cheese (907g) $9.99
    • Pizza Kit (4 crusts with sauce) $7.49
    • Mott’s Fruit Snacks (68) $10.99 – $2.20 = $8.79
    • Welch’s Fruit Snacks (50) $10.99
    • Almond Breeze $11.99 (6)
    • Celebration Mini Cookie Pouches $8.89 – 2.00 = $6.89 (30)
    • Asian Pears $ 9.99 (8)
    • 2% Milk (4L) $6.22
    • 6lbs. Bananas $3.98
    • 2L Chocolate Milk $3.47
    • Spinach (bag 454g) $3.59
    • Black Diamond Cheese Slices $6.59 – 2.00 = $4.59 (48 slices)
    • Ancient Grains Tortillas $4.49 (15)
    • Frozen Strawberries $15.99 (3kg)
    • Baxter Sour Cream $2.49 (500 ml)
    • Goldfish Crackers $9.89 (1.64 kg/3 bags)
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 131.40

    • Special K (620g) 2 x $3.88 = $7.76
    • Rice Krispies (640g) 2 x $3.88 = $7.76
    • Special K Fruit Crisps $1.97 (5)
    • Yoplait Yogurt Tubes 4 x $2.47 = $9.88
    • Can Black Beans 2 x $1.27 = $2.54
    • Kashi Quinoa Bars $3.48 (5)
    • Peach Cups $1.97 (4)
    • Nescafe Hazelnut Coffee 2 x $3.88 = $7.76
    • Smucker’s Jam $3.47 (500 ml)
    • English Cucumber $0.97
    • Zucchini Squash $2.48 (2)
    • Kale $2.97
    • Carrots $2.47 (3lb)
    • Uncle Ben’s Rice Tub (2kg-white 1.6 kg-brown) 2 x $5.88 = $11.76
    • Grape Tomatoes $2.47 (283g)
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 70.16

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    • Christie Crackers 2 x $1.88 = $3.76
    • Large Eggs 2 x $2.49 = $4.98
    • Lantic Sugar $1.99 (2kg)
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 10.73

    Current Points Balance: 53,006
    Regular Points & Bonus Points Earned: 3,100
    New Balance: 56,106

    • Hunts Tomato Paste (369 ml) 2 x $1.00 = $2.00
    • Hunts Original Sauce (680 ml) 3 x $1.00 = $3.00
    • Beef Bouillon (500 ml) $4.89
    • Shreddies Cereal (550mg) $2.50
    • Mozzarella Cheese (460g) $5.79
    • Chapman’s Vanilla Ice Cream 2 x $2.00 = $4.00
    • 4 O’Clock Tea 2 x $2.99 = $5.98 (24 tea bags)
    • PC Cinnamon Raisin Bread $4.29 – (50%) = $2.14
    • D’Italiano Bread $3.89 – (50%) = $1.94
    • Jamieson Vitamin C $4.23 (120 pills)
    • Jamieson Kids Multivitamin $5.73 – (50%) = $2.86 (60 pills)
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 40.25

    PC Points Earned: 0

    • Total to spend this month: $700
    • Total coupons used this week: 0
    • Total coupons used to date: 0
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $18.89
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $18.89
    • Total spent this week: $252.54
    • Total spent so far this month: $252.54
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER $77.54
    • Total over/Under spend for the month:
    • Total left to spend for the month: $447.46
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $

    Weekly Overview:

    I am a stay-at-home mom to 3 children (ages 17,10 & 8). We are debt-free and will be mortgage free in approx.. 4 years. Our monthly budget allows for $1,200 ($300/week includes fuel, allowances, haircuts, clothes, etc..) for variable expenses and I had allotted $700/month on groceries but I am always going over that amount and that means less money for other things in the budget. So I am really hoping that by keeping track I can get back on budget with the grocery spending.
    My shopping week starts on Fridays for 2 reasons. We get paid on Thursdays and we also receive the flyers on Thursdays so I do the majority of my shopping on Fridays.
    The kids went back to school on Tuesday and we had let our snack box get really low so we had to spend a little more money filling it up again.
    Most of the time I go to Shopper’s Drug Mart just for eggs, but I had a bonus offer of points if I spent $10.00 (3,000 points) so I bought a few extra things.
    The rice buckets at Wal-Mart each contain coupons for 2 x $2.00 off Fresh Chicken and other coupons that equal up to $10 in savings.
    Also the reason I put the amount of items beside the price is I am trying to compare to see if shopping at Costco is really saving me money.
    I can’t believe I am starting the New Year already over budget! Note to self: Bring re-usable bags for points at Superstore!
    Some meals we ate this week were Spaghetti, Quinoa stir-fry, Homemade vegetable soup, Poutine with leftover beef roast & Chinese Food.

    As for the cauliflower…In the summer when cauliflower is cheap, you can put it through the food processor and it makes a fine rice like texture. You can then freeze it in portion sized bags and when you are ready to eat it you thaw it out and fry it up in a pan. Cauliflower rice and then we top it with stir-fried veggies. I thought it would be watery because it was previously frozen but it wasn’t, it’s delicious!

    1. Hi Lori-Lynn,
      Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge! Thanks for introducing yourself and sharing a bit about your budget. Don’t worry we have all went through what you are experiencing but the GGC has really helped to get us back on track. Last year every GGC player came in under budget for the year which is great news. You are right by holding yourself accountable it will help and what has helped all of us. I love the idea about cauliflower. I had no idea you could do that. My wife wants to make the rice with it and a few other recipes that she’s been dreaming up for me to cook. We keep a huge bag of bags in our vehicle as we used to always forget to. If I do forget and the store offers boxes I will use them in stead. I’ve always been a bit skeptical about Costco. We don’t have a membership but recently talked about getting one. I love how you are doing a comparison. Maybe we can use your data at the end of the year to write a blog post about your Costco experience vs the grocery store.
      This week it looks like you did a mad stockup of snacks for the kids, likely where a big chunk of your grocery budget went. If you can keep the rest of the month lighter you should be able to come in under budget. Sometimes stocking up really stocks up the budget, even for us.
      What kind of milk do you buy? We pay $3.97 for a 4L bag unless you are buying organic or another brand of milk that is pricier.
      Do you price match? I have some great pizza recipes on the blog as well as pita bread that you can make ahead of time. This may save you a bit of money. Do you typically buy what is on sale or are you brand specific when you shop? That means whether it is on sale or not you buy it. Sorry so many questions, I’m just trying to get to know your shopping habits so I can better assist you throughout the year. You will see I comment on every shop and I certainly expect that you do the same with ours. We’re all in this together! You get ballot 2. *don’t forget to write down your ballot number in case you win the gift card at the end of the month. 🙂 Mr.CBB

  17. Looks like we will all have our work cut out for us keeping our grocery budget in line!! Lots of good ideas here and I am hoping to use my grow bags I made up from landscape fabric to grow some things to help the budget here. Trick might be finding a place to put them that gets enough sunlight….. Good luck everyone!!!

    1. You know Christine I said the same thing to my wife tonight. We were at Dollar Tree the other day looking at seeds for the garden. I think we may have to go back to planting a bit more although we do get stuff from the relatives when we go over.

  18. Do I enter my Grocery Shop Challenge by posting in Comments? I can’t find an e-mail address to send it to. I won’t be posting in January since I am having a no-spend month just eating out of pantries and freezer.

    1. Hi Penny,
      Yes you just post in the comments. You can email me at canadianbudgetbinder @ yahoo . ca and I can help you if you’d like. Mr.CBB

    1. You don’t have to post every week you can post once a month Colleen. You will then be entered in the contest. If you decide to play and need any help just let me know.

      1. Thanks…received card today. Showed it to daughter, and she said “he didn’t even put it in a card.” I said it is a frugal site…”.oh”, she says….”.instead of using new paper…he should have enclosed it in a used Xmas/Easter …card 🙂 ”
        we had a giggle…very much appreciate the PC card.

        1. The only reason I didn’t do that was because I get worried if it gets stolen. Lord knows we have tonnes of Christmas cards kicking around. We used to send lots of out but haven’t over the past couple of years. I figure if it doesn’t feel like a holiday or birthday card then it might not be as obvious. I’m sure I did send one to Christine in a card but even then I was worried.

  19. Due to other lines of my budget increasing and breaking health and beauty or cleaning supplies, my grocery budget had to take a hit this year. When I did complete my 1st shop of the year, I found bananas increased in price to $0.67/lb (from last year’s price of $057/lb). So far I’m sitting okay, with 2 small chest freezers full and a nice stocked storage room.

    My daughter and I have discussed the increase of food prices and how that might change what we are eating/buying, I did this so that she’s on board with me as to how to make the grocery budget stretch as far as possible. We have discussed what we would like to can/freeze this summer when the prices are a little bit more reasonable so that when the prices are ridiculously stupid, we are okay because we have our stockpile at home. We are looking making freezer jam, applesauce and possibly tomatoes at the moment but who knows until I look at the prices during those seasons.

    1. You are right about the bananas as I saw them at the same price yesterday at FreshCo which is supposed to be a cheaper store. That was smart to sit and discuss with your daughter. She will take all of these life lessons with her when she is on her own. I agree with freezing stuff that will skyrocket in price. We’ve done that with peppers and fruits over the years. keep us updated on your savings progress throughout the year and what you are doing although I know you always do. 🙂 Have a great day Dee.

  20. The 1st posting of 2016 GGC is as follows:

    Jan 1 to 7, 2016
    Name Your Store: No Frills
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $9.44

    Case of Kraft Dinner = $6.97
    1 Kg Smooth Peanut Butter = $2.47

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $27.07 (includes stockpile)

    2 Boxes Quaker Oatmeal – 2/$5.00 = $5.00
    4 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup – $0.97 (PM Food Basics @ 2/$0.99) = $1.92
    4 L Skim Milk = $3.97
    2 tubs ICBINB Margarine – $2.99 (PM Food Basics @ $0.99) = $1.98
    Bananas = $4.69 (includes 30% pink sticker)
    2 Schneider’s Hot Dogs – 5.99 (PM Valu-mart @ 2/$5.00) = $5.00

    1.5 Kg Friskies Chef’s Blend – 3.77 (PM Zehrs @ $3.99) = $3.99

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1890.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Grocery Budget for Wholesale Meat ($500.00)
    Total Grocery Budget for Canning Produce ($400.00)

    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $18.66+9.44
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $28.10
    Total Cats this Week Period: $4.51
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Total Cats to Date: $4.51
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $3.90
    Total Stockpile to Date: $3.90
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $6.71
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $6.71
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $0
    Total Wholesale Meat to Date: $0.00
    Total Canning Produce this Week Period: $0
    Total Canning Produce to Date: $0.00

    0Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $0.00

    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week Period: $0.59
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $0.59

    Total Checkout 51 rebates this Week Period: $0
    Total Checkout 51 rebates to Date: $10.00

    Total Snap rebates this Week Period: $0.00
    Total Snap rebates to Date: $1.00

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $11.66
    Total Price Match to Date: $11.66

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 15470

    Overview: This week I’m doing what many others are doing and that’s shopping from my freezer/pantry first. I didn’t need anything to make this week’s suppers but many of the items that was purchased were wants and will be used up over time. While shopping today, I noticed the increase in price of bananas and for me the $0.10 increase is huge. I realize that many people have made comments about cauliflower but that’s something that I can take or leave but we (or should I say my daughter) eats many bananas so we never have them last an entire week here. Well I’m off to a good start this year and my daughter has been informed and is on board with the stricter budget based on the prices of food.

    1. Hi Dee,
      I love the layout of your GGC post. It’s easy to read too. Did you buy lots of bananas or did the price go up? I noticed they are about $0.67/lb where we live now compared to $0.57 before. Haha.. I just read your overview lol. It was like you read my mind. Do both you and your daughter eat the same foods or does she buy what she wants if it’s not on your grocery list? I think it’s great that she is on-board as it will certainly teach her to do the same when she is on her own one day. I’m looking forward to seeing how your budget categories turn out this year. You get the first ballot for 2016… Mr.CBB 🙂

      1. My daughter doesn’t work so the only time she can buy her own food or add to our grocery shop is when she gets the quarterly GST/HST payment. The only time we don’t necessarily eat the same foods is when it’s fend for yourself nights. This year will be definitely interesting with the increased prices.

          1. Well that depends what your income is and if you have dependents. I don’t know what my daughter gets for GST.

          2. Oh I see. I’ve never really looked into it. I just know we don’t get it as we don’t qualify. I might look into that just to know. Thanks Dee. 🙂

Leave a Reply

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

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