8 Gross Things That Turn People Off Your Food : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Feb 22-28

 8 gross things that turn people off your food (1)



You may not even realize that you are doing some of these gross things in the kitchen while you are cooking but your friends and family will, so stop it before no one wants to eat your food.

When you go to a party or enjoy the fun of a pot-luck you don’t get to see how the food was prepared which is probably just as well because I’m sure many of you might not want to eat the party food. The same goes with working in a restaurant but at least there are health and safety standards that must be followed or at least put in place for the staff to follow. Not so much with the home chef.


Some things need to be kept private


For the love of all things food please don’t tell me all of the places you had sex in the kitchen. If you used anything that you will be preparing my meal with during your kitchen adventure at least tell me you tossed it in the bin.

I’m not joking, a friend told me this happened to him once and I didn’t know how to respond besides, oh that must have been fun. I’m not denying it would be but keep that personal stuff to yourself and please sanitize your kitchen afterwards.


Kitchen Sins that most people won’t overlook


Cooking may be a passionate moment for you but you get discouraged because no one likes to eat your food or respond to your dinner party invitations. Something must be wrong with either the way you cook or the environment where you are cooking so you must get to the root-cause of the problem.

Not everyone enjoyed the pleasure of home economics in school nor did they have parents who taught them kitchen basics because they likely didn’t know themselves. I’m not talking about burning food or preparing disgusting food, I’m digging deeper than that today because there’s more to cooking a delicious meal that starts with some must-do basics.

I want to take a look at a few common mistakes that home cooks make that turn people away from their food. If your guests see or even read about you doing gross things, they won’t be coming over to your house to eat, ever.

I’m pretty sure that those friends and family have their fingers crossed that you never invite them over even for tea and homemade treats because they are terrified they will be forced to eat food that you prepared.

Doing any of the following below will certainly get you CHOPPED as the star host/hostess by your guests so take caution in the kitchen.


Hand washing


From a young age we teach our kids to wash their hands before and after dinner. As we get older we are supposed to do this on our own BUT so many people do not do this, especially after going to the washroom.

If I see you go to the bathroom and not wash your hands on your way out you can bet 100% I will NOT be going to your house for dinner. If I can’t see you not washing your hands I’ll just have to hope for the best even though most people just put it out of their head. Out of sight out of mind means that they don’t know any better but when you see it you must take action.

If you are handling meat or fish make sure you are washing your hands with soap and water before you start touching other foods otherwise you’ll start cross-contamination and make everyone ill. Any reason you need to be washing your hands in the kitchen…do it!

Hand washing is a basic habit that needs to be forming, forever.


Food Safety


If you cut your finger, lick off the blood and keep on cooking I may just look for the quickest exit out of your dinner party. It takes mere minutes to properly care for a cut so your food is kept safe from any blood.

Another thing you’ll want to watch for is leaving meat on the counter for hours to defrost or preparing food in advance and just leaving it to sit on the counter most of the day until the guests arrive. If something needs to be refrigerated then get it into the cold so no bacteria starts forming.

If you are using a cutting board please make sure that you have more than one and that they are designated for fish, meat, vegetables and fruits. A huge kitchen sin is using the same cutting board that you just butchered your meat on to cut vegetables. Gross things happen in the kitchen and that’s one of them.

Tip: Clean all of your cutting boards in hot soap and water and then disinfect with white vinegar and a bit of chlorine bleach to keep them nice and clean.


Foreign Objects


Just about everyone I know gets a bit grossed out when they find a long strand of hair in their food, even more so if it’s caught in their teeth like floss. What if you find the absorbent pad from underneath a packet of beef mixed in your chili, toothpicks, other packaging, shells or dirt still enveloping mushrooms you are about to put in your mouth?

Ewe…but these are some of the gross things that turn people off from your food so it’s so important to make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and what is going into every dish you make.


Touching Your Body


The last thing I want to see is a cook picking his/her nose, touching their mouth, face, picking the corners of their eyes, fingering an ear or touching other parts down below while they are in the kitchen cooking food that I will eat.

There are gross things and then there are really gross things and I’m sure many of you will agree they are all wrong. Making sure you wash your hands often in the kitchen is paramount to keeping everyone safe from food poisoning and other illnesses. Even if you wear gloves that doesn’t mean you can still touch yourself and prep food. It doesn’t make it any safer.

Are you getting squeamish yet? haha! Someone has to talk about this stuff, might as well be me.


Dirty Kitchen


Everyone has a certain organizational style to the way they keep their kitchen which is fine. On top of our refrigerator you will find boxes of crackers, cereal, baby snacks, Pasta bins and a few other bits. On the counters you will find everything from a toaster, cutting board to spices and oils.

We tend to use our space well in the kitchen which makes it look a bit crowded as we lack a proper pantry. There’s nothing wrong with that though as it makes a kitchen unique.

What drives people mad is when they see gross things like food on the floor, dirty floors, dirty counters, dishes piled high that have been there for days, mold, stove-top is filthy, ashtrays, overflowing garbage bins, filthy appliances and I can go on and on.

Keeping a kitchen clean is essential not only for a homeowner but for a restaurant which you would expect if you ate out. The same would apply if you invited guests to eat at your house because they won’t say anything to your face, they just won’t come back the next time. Do you blame them?


Insects and rodents


If I’m at your house and I see a mouse, rat or any other type of insect running across your floor, counter-top or hanging out lounging on a chair, I’m NOT eating at your house.

Same goes if I see animals walking around your counter-tops or eating off plates that I have to eat dinner on. I’m sorry but that just doesn’t sit well in my stomach. I know some people have no issues with that which is their prerogative but not this guy.

Sometimes you may even find that your food gets infested with bugs in the pantry or cupboard because of improper packaging, expired product or flour mites that invade.

Related: How to keep flour mites out of your kitchen

It’s imperative that you inspect your kitchen for bugs at least once a month and for heaven’s sake always watch what you are cooking. The last thing you want to do is serve pasta that is riddled with bugs because you didn’t bother checking the food you had stored in your pantry before serving it.

It’s the gross things that make people run…don’t let this happen to you.


Under-cooked food


I can handle a burnt steak or eggs that have been cooked until they are well-cooked but what I can’t stomach is food that is under-cooked. Runny eggs that still have the whites swimming around or raw meat will make me turn my nose away. I’d prefer that the animal I’m eating not look like an animal that was just slaughtered on my plate.

Under-cooking chicken is the worst enemy of them all as that can make you really ill. If you’re a fan of al-dente vegetables at least make sure they are slightly cooked and not half raw and heated up then served on a plate. There is a right way to cook vegetables and then raw…take your pick.


Smoking while you cook


Lastly, one of the worst things you can do while cooking is cook with a smoke hanging out your mouth, in your hand or even near you in the kitchen. I’m not a fan of smoking in the house and I will avoid eating at anyone’s house where they smoke in the house.

Related: How we quit smoking to save our health and budget

I will run even faster if I see my dinner party host smoking and stirring a pot on the stove. It’s just wrong on so many levels. You wouldn’t expect that kind of service from a restaurant so why do it at home. Gross things like this top the list of “I’m busy I can’t make it to your dinner party” replies.

What other gross things have you seen go on in the kitchen which turn your stomach?


February 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 below for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. Alternatively, just click on the “Grocery Game Challenge” tab on the blog side-bar to see past posts.


Free Money Saving Tools 2016


I know I blast you every which way I can on this blog about my free money saving tools and that’s because I want you to take advantage of them being FREE. So many people pay for budgets and tools on the internet to help them save money and honestly you don’t need to. Even a paper and pen will do the trick.

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 over 4 years to create.

The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing 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 $217.05
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $50
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 58570
  • 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 cash out: $6.50
  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $7.00


Grocery Shop This Week


Food Basics

  • Bananas $1.85
  • Beatrice Sour Cream $0.99
  • 2x Oakrun Farm English Muffins $0.99
  • Broccoli $0.99
  • Smoked Sausage Butchers Beset $0.99
  • Radish bunch $0.99
  • Allen Apple Juice $0.99
  • Romain Lettuce $0.99
  • 3 x Selection Bacon $2.44 each

Total Out-of-Pocket: $17.09


  • 2 x Black Diamond Cheese Bars Sale $4.48
  • Astro Yogurt $2.99
  • 2 x Baken-ets Pork Rinds $1.49 each

Total Out-of-Pocket: $11.95


  • Double bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch $5.99
  • Bocconcini $11.99
  • 3 x 10% Cream $2.05 each
  • 2% Milk $4.25
  • Homo Milk $4.95
  • Mozzarella 2kg brick Salerno $20.99
  • Manzanilla olives $4.99

Total Out-of-Pocket: $59.31- $20.99 stockpile- $4.99 stockpile= $33.33


  • Total to spend this month $235.00-$17.95 over Jan = $217.05
  • Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $26.00 (over by $1.00 to carry over March)
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $4
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $128.10
  • Total spent this week: $62.37
  • Total spent so far this month: $212.33
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month:- $n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $4.72
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

There is still one more week to go for the month but I’m sure all we will need is to stock up on some milk as we are fully stocked at the moment. You may have noticed we went back to Costco again. My wife went with her friend and thought she would grab a few items that she felt were reasonably priced compared to other stores. The bocconcini balls are a steal at $11.99 and the Salerno mozzarella cheese is the best. There’s a celebration this month as well which will take us out for dinner one evening as a family.


Coupons and Coupon Apps 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?

Sign up for the Neilsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2016?

Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!

  • Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
  • Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
  • Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
  • MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
  • Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
  • Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
  • Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.


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 Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca 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!


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