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

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 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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  1. Yearly Grocery Budget For 2016: $8,400 (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: $93.18
    Total Rewards Points used to date: 0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: ? + extra on M/C
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date: $1.00

    Grocery Shop This Week: February 19 – 25, 2016

    Can Coconut Milk 3 x .89 = $2.67
    Hunts Pasta Sauce 3 x .99 = $2.97
    Curry Powder $2.29
    Taco Shells $2.49 (12)
    Thyme Leaves $1.99
    PC Steel-Cut Oats $2.99
    Strawberry Applesauce $2.50 (4)
    Premium Plus Soda Crackers $3.49
    Barilla Spaghettini $ 0.99
    Yogurt Tubes $2.99
    Sour Cream (250ml) $2.49
    Minute Maid OJ Concentrate $1.50
    8 oz. Fresh Spinach $2.49
    Fresh Broccoli 2 x $2.50 = $5.00
    Iceberg Lettuce $3.49
    Roma Tomatoes $2.15 (3)
    Ricotta Cheese $6.99 – (50%) = $3.49
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 15.98
    **Used $30.00 of PC Points on M/C**

    Honey Bunches of Oats Cereal $7.99 – $3.00 = $5.89
    6 lbs. Bananas $3.98
    Bread 2 x $6.59 = $13.18 (6 loaves)
    Fresh Blueberries $5.89
    Fresh Strawberries $6.99 (2lbs.)
    English Muffins $3.59 (12)
    Submarine Buns $3.89 (12)
    Tortilla $4.89 (3 packs)
    Lunch Meat $13.99 (3 variety)
    Milk 4L 2 x $6.35 = $12.70
    Mott’s Fruitsation Snacks $10.99 – $2.00 = $8.99
    Cheddar Cheese $9.99
    2 L Chocolate Milk $3.56
    Cranberry Juice $4.99 + 0.20 deposit $5.19
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 102.99

    1 Green Pepper $2.42
    4 lbs. Carrots $2.99
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $3.38
    **Used $2.03 Gas coupon**

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    Eggs 2 x $2.29 = $4.58
    Kraft Peanut Butter $3.99
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $8.57

    Ritz $2.00
    Hot Dogs $2.97
    Riceworks Crackers $2.00 – $1.00 = $1.00
    Quacker Rice Cakes 4 x $1.28 = $5.12
    Quacker Cookies FREE (if you buy $5.00 of Quacker Products)
    Mr. Noodle 4 x 0.28 = $1.12
    3 lbs. Onions $2.27
    Cucumber $0.97
    Avocadoes $3.97 (5pk)
    Total Out-of-Pocket $20.35

    Total to spend this month: $700
    Total coupons used this week: $ 4.80
    Total coupons used to date: $25.28
    Total in-store discounts this week: $16.89
    Total in-store discounts to date: $161.62
    Total spent this week: $ 151.27
    Total spent so far this month: $606.56
    Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER $11.27
    Total over/Under spend for the month: OVER $46.56
    Total left to spend for the month: $93.44
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $706.52 +

    Weekly Overview:
    Sorry I am late, my computer died..but now I have a brand-new one!

    1. Hey!!
      Oh, you got a new computer, how nice. The same thing happened to us in 2013 so we bought a new laptop and desk top $4000 later… it was crazy expensive so these things better last us for a little while. What do you use your coconut milk for? I want to try and make my wife some coconut yogurt and for our son as he loves it. We have a few cans kicking around here. I also want to buy some coconut cream so I can make here some Keto Bounty Bars. I made Bounty Bar-like treats at Christmas and they turned out amazing…. Only thing I forgot to to was take photos. Oops. I may have to make another quick batch.. tis tis. Do you go through 6lbs of bananas before they get too mushy or do you plan to make banana bread? Cake? Pudding? Shakes? Mmm. That green pepper better have been GIANT sized lol.. breaks my heart to see that price. Where is summer? We used to grow peppers in our garden and they were lovely but we just don’t have the time to care for a garden.
      This made me QUACK!! Hahaha Quaker!!

      Quacker Rice Cakes 4 x $1.28 = $5.12
      Quacker Cookies FREE (if you buy $5.00 of Quacker Products)

      You picked up some great deals this week!! Well done and I’m impressed with your $100 Costco shop. It’s SO easy to go overboard in there. Do you ever order online from Costco?
      You get ballot #43. MR.CBB 🙂

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 a week and $500 a month
    H&W Produce
    .50 Zucchini (little miss isn’t a big fan but we tried again)
    $3.99 sweet potatoes
    $2.28 b nut squash
    .98 cucumber
    $2.99 2lbs grape tomatoes
    $1.24×4 blackberries – they are even from dirscolls so I can do the surveys about them and get coupons 🙂
    $15.70 total oop
    $6.99×4-$3Cx4 folgers flavoured kcups – treat for the hubby
    $15.96 total oop
    $12 total coupons
    $3.33×3-$2Cx3 delissio pizza 1000P
    $1.44×4-$1Cx4 pringles tortilla
    $3.49 new toothbrush for little miss
    $2×6-$2Cx6 jergens lotion – donation
    $2 classic alfredo sauce 500P
    $2.33 asparagus
    $3.28×2-$2.50Cx2 ml bacon
    $3.48-30% sticker ww buns
    $3.49-30% sticker hot cross buns – hubby likes
    $1.98 new toothpaste for little miss
    $23.05 total oop
    $27 total coupons
    $5.99×2-$2Cx2 delissio pizza – bought lunch for my co-workers and I
    $8.01, $7.69, $7.42 bnls sknls chicken breasts – clearance!!!!! 25 pieces grand total 🙂
    $2.50 almond roca -clearance
    $1.61 pepperoni slices
    the following is from staff shopping day to get 10% off
    $1×10 comp 900g pasta
    $2.12×6-$2Cx2 international creamer
    $3.49×6-$1Cx6 astro greek yogurt – rain cheque w/ 100AM!!!!!
    $2.35×4 2L homo milk – great sale!
    $1×3 sour cream
    $2.49×2 blueberries
    $2.49 snap peas
    .52 bananas
    $4.99-50%GMO top dogs hot dogs
    $2.99×3-$2.50Cx3 pepperettes – clearance
    $6.99-Cwub3 ham and swiss stuffed chicken
    $8.29 total 10% discount -forgot to add that into all my totals that were already added up :/
    $85.07 total oop
    $28.49 total coupons

    $139.78 weekly total oop
    $67.49 weekly total coupons
    $507.48 monthly total oop
    $177.42 monthly total coupons

    Great month on stocking up on certain items even though I went over budget I am totally okay with what we got and know we will balance it out later.

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Where on earth did you find the Pringles and Delissio pizza coupons? I’ve never seen them in Ontario. Coupons are horrible right now. I kind of wish they would come back the way they used to be. The coupon apps are ok but you can’t get near the same deals like we used to because they limit what you can buy. You also had pepperettes coupons? They are all high value coupons too. WOW!! You scored a great deal on the chicken as well. You are lucky to work in a grocery store where you can jump on the savings like this. Well done. You get ballot #42. MR.CBB

      1. Hey Mr.CBB
        My gf in SK sent me the pringles coupons and then I found a displayer at a store here that had a displayer but the tear pad was already empty.
        I traded with a lady in Ont for the delissio coupons and I am not sure if they were from a demo or what. But I know they were never here. I have also had to trade with some people in QC to get some $1 off any astro yogurt as the demo was only in that province. We also almost never get international delight coffee creamer coupons here so I aways have to trade someone in Ont for those too. Yes the pepperettes are another great coupon and are part of the coupon peelie that are or in most cases supposed to be attached to the packages of ready crisp bacon or frozen prime stuffed chicken. It is a massive coupon promo that maple leaf has launched for a month or so to promote their products and “the great indoors” promo(which is basically spending time together as a family and cooking using their products) they are doing till March. I dont know how to post a pic here so I will post a pic to the cbb fb page of what they look like so you can keep an eye open for them.

  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 $650.00
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $10
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 26200
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money
    Zweet to cash out : $3.50($25.75)
    Checkout51 to cash out : $9.25($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week
    No Frills
    2 Palmolive dish soap @2.47, 2X1.00 coupon
    3 Downy @4.47, 2000 points
    1 case cream soda -4.99
    4 144 count Tetley tea bags @4.97
    1 Whiskas cat food -8.99
    1 Temptations cat treats -1.98
    4 pasta sauce @.97
    2 tomato paste @.52
    1 pack ground cinnamon -1.69
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.47
    4 apple sauce @1.29, 600 points
    4 cans tomato soup @.50
    1 Royale paper towels, 6 pack -4.88
    3 packs pasta @.97
    2 Sunlight dish soap @2/3.00
    2 yogurt @2.97
    1 doz large eggs -1.99
    1 lb butter -3.97
    3 4l milk @4.27
    2 bags GG frozen veggies @2.97
    3lbs carrots -2.29
    10lbs potatoes -2.97
    Bananas -1.34, 200 points
    3lbs onions -1.99
    1 pack sausage -7.13, 30% sticker -2.14 discount
    1 pack b/s chicken breast -11.85
    1 raisin bread -3.00
    Tax -5.48
    Total OOP -$143.78, 2.14 discounts, 2800 points
    1 jug water -5.49
    2 Cashmere TP @4.44
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 boneless pork loin -9.18
    Tax -1.15
    Total OOP -$27.68

    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00):$25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $23.75
    Total coupons used this week: $2.00
    Total coupons used to date: $6.00
    Total in-store discounts this week:$2.14
    Total in-store discounts to date: $46.63
    Total spent this week: $171.46
    Total spent so far this month: $531.45
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total over/Under spend for the month:- $n/a
    Total left to spend for the month: $118.55
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) Finally made it to No Frills and did some stocking up on stuff, not much of it will last all that long but I’m glad I got there. The boneless skinless chicken breasts were really big!! There were three In the pack and one fed the four of us!! Mind you we don’t have much meat on the plate here but still…. I still have plenty of room in the budget to finish the month. As well enough dish soap, TP, paper towels, tea bags, pasta and such to keep me going until I can make another run in next month. Even though I went over for the week I’m still in good shape for the budget and the pantry, fridge and freezer.

    1. Hey Christine,
      Great to see you made it to No Frills!! You had one heck of a stock up which is good because this really helps your overall budget. When you go to London are there no groceries stores along the way that you can stop in at? I figure since you go so much maybe that might help if you take a quick detour. 🙂 Great deal on the dish soap, I missed that one. I can always sense your excitement when you come home from a No Frills shop. You must be so happy to finally see reasonable prices compared to FoodLand. I know they have deals but you know that you’ll always pay more there for most items unless you get a good deal. They give your budget a run for the money in the small towns but you’re going to prove you’re going to beat them!! You get ballot #41. Mr.CBB

      1. I go past a few grocery stores in London but we never know just how hubby will feel after chemo so I don’t plan on it ever. So far he’s been OK and we stopped at Michael’s Crafts a few times in November and early December to do some Christmas shopping. He’s been having more issues lately with the runs so I make sure anywhere I stop off has public washrooms that are easy to get to.. We’re not sure if these are from the Velcade or the Amyloidosis, either/or there. Such is life…….

  4. Week 4 – Feb 21 – 27

    • Grocery budget to work with in February: $250
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $6.32
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: $0
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: $0.06
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $20
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $40
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $25
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $15
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $15
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.58
    • Total student discounts to date: $13.81
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $40.40
    • Total spent so far this month: $83.40
    • Total left to spend for the month: $50
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent to make up in future months: $100.70
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $500.70

    RCSS: Naturally imperfect apples 3.98 6lb: Total 4.00 rounded up 2 cents

    Food Basics: Sour cream .99, Eggs 2 x 1.98: Total 4.95 rounded down 2 cents

    RCSS: Yogurt raisins 3.69, Quaker granola bars 1.67 (PM), Dentyne Gum 4 pk 2.28, NN Chips .99, Lipton Cup of soup 1.99, Water chestnuts .99, Mushrooms 1 lb 2.98, bananas 1.24, broccoli .99 (PM), toothpaste 1.98, less student discount 1.89 plus tax 1.24: Total 18.15

    RCSS: Highliner fish 2 x 4.00, mushrooms 1 lb 2.98, cauliflower 2 x 1.87 (PM), bean sprouts .99, chicken legs 5.48 and 5.62, less student discount 2.69, less 20.00 PC Plus redemption: Total 4.10 rounded down 2 cents

    Shoppers: Milk 4.27: Total paid 4.25 rounded down 2 cents

    Food Basics: Eggs 2 x 1.99, baguette .99: Total 4.95 rounded down 2 cents.

    This is my week 4 of 5, I still count one more week for February budget, my weeks don’t always line up with everyone else, but here goes…

    A little above the goal I had for each week of $25 but under the allotment of $50. So, we gained another 9.60 ground on our January overage and are well on our way of meeting our goal to be on the plus side by the end of March.

    Lots of vegetables and some fruit this week. We almost ran out of fruit before Tuesday (we still had a couple of kiwi, but not enough), so a quick stop into RCSS netted us a nice big bag of red delicious apples for a decent price. I have no problem going into a store an just getting one or two things, just what I need. I did it twice this week where I only got one thing. The other was at shoppers for milk. I don’t get a discount on milk at RCSS, so I got the milk at Shoppers because I got 15x the points. Price was the same, so the extra points were nice. We really needed vegetables this week. So, a good portion of what we got were veggies. The remaining items had our upcoming hockey tournament in mind to help reduce the takeout costs while we are staying at the hotel. This included the yogurt raisins, chips, granola bars, cup a soup and the gum for hubby. I know it’s the items that I got for next weekend that brought me out of the goal target, but the savings we will have as a result are worth it. The eggs were also another huge item for us this week. 1.99 a dozen is huge. We have been know to buy 2 dozen a week at the expensive prices, so I couldn’t let the sale go by. In reality, we could go through double what we bought by their expiry, but I knew we would be on the higher end of costs this week. As much as I wanted to get 4 more dozen, I will try to be satisfied with 4. Eggs are our main source of protein and we will be travelling with 6 boiled eggs for breakfast at the hotel. This is a great snack or meal base for our entire family. I am hoping that we won’t have to buy a lot this upcoming week since we won’t be at home for three days, and I am hoping for quick meals with mostly what I have on hand, especially since the grandparents will be looking after my son for two of the evenings. What I can think of right now that we need is cereal for at the hotel to go with the boiled eggs we will bring as well as a few veggies again and perhaps some bananas and apples. They are really portable too!

    1. Hi Angela,
      What on earth are naturally imperfect apples? Were they reduced because they weren’t perfect or is that the name of the company? Your weeks are lined up with the GGC so far. You can view and print the schedule in the Grocery Game Rules post. Tab is on the home page or just do a search. I love how you travel and eat in the hotel room. I did this when I did my travelling or I bought food to cook in the rooms which I stayed that had a kitchen. It certainly saves lots of money. My wife eats lots of eggs on the low-carb diet because they are a great protein and cheap most times. If we can find a sale we will buy a few dozen like we did on the current GGC post which I’m sure you will read. I think you did great this shop and without being home for a few days you can easily catch up with that overage. Is your spouse on the same page with you when it comes to eating in, grocery budgets etc. or does he get bummed out that he can’t eat out? Keep up the awesome work.. and yes collect those SDM points whenever you can. You get ballot #40

      1. We balance out the dining in the hotel with a meal a day out. It took hubby years to get used to it, but he doesn’t complain and is cautious about what he picks out. He knows that this year is especially tough while I finish school and he doesn’t want to work any more than he has to. That extra takeout meal could mean that he would have to take on more hours, and since he works 7 days a week most weeks (I insist he takes one Sunday off a month), he doesn’t protest. And, because the weekend we were gone, he was losing three days worth of pay and we need to make sure the bills still get paid.
        The naturally imperfect is a new PC brand introduced in our RCSS. They aren’t regularly available, but when they are the deal is much better. The idea is that it isn’t the typical size or shape that people expect, basically more natural like it came right from the garden. It’s cheaper and it saves potential waste that companies may have by selling the less desirable products. It’s not rotten, not even close, not even 30% of sticker quality. In the case of the apples we got, they were just smaller, which actually made a great portion size and we got so much more. The naturally imperfect produce we have purchased or seen at RCSS includes apples, potatoes, pears and mushrooms. It is like No Name fruit and veggies. Can’t wait for them to have more. We haven’t seen the potatoes in a while, we are needing some.

  5. Eeew! Those are disgusting. That’s why whenever I dine outside, I pick the restaurant well. I have to make sure that the preparation of food is really clean or I know that it’s clean and the food is properly cooked. Hair in the food is a no-no. I would return it actually.

    1. Haha.. these are just things that not many people want to talk about BUT they happen. If someone is offended by this post or anyone bringing this up then that’s their choice. I prefer to eat homemade for that reason but we do eat out now and again. Sometimes what you can’t see won’t hurt you I guess. lol.

  6. Oh uhm, I just realized that the Challenge Schedule counts next week in February, not in March. Mmmhh… well… I hope it’s o.k. if I write next week already in my March budget sheet. Makes it easier to “start fresh” and by April 3rd I am back on track. In the end it’s week by week anyway, right?!?

  7. Feb 22-28, 2016

    SHOP: Bloor Street Market
    (will post details again next week)
    Total out of pocket – $60.00

    SHOP: Longos
    (will post details again next week)
    Total out of pocket – $61.26

     +++++
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $240
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs: $240
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $30 ($10 on food)
    PC Plus points earned to date: 42,100
    Airmiles earned to date: 164
    Shoppers Points earned to date: 116,938 (190$)
    SCOP to date: $4.99
    Zweet: $1.25
    Checkout51: $18.00 ($80 total so far)
    Save.ca: $0.50
    Snap: $16.00
    Total coupons used this week: $ 0
    Total coupons used to date: $ 55.50
    Total in-store discounts this week: $ ?
    Total in-store discounts to date: $ 60.98
    Total spent this week: $ 121.26
    Total spent so far this month: $221.80
    Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER
    Total over/Under spend for the month: UNDER
    Total left to spend for the month: $ 18.74
    Total Spent to Date 2016: Jan $511.74 / Feb $221.80 / Mar $

    Hello everyone!
    I am back from vacation which was AMAZING but also returned sick, so I allowed myself to go the “convenience” route this week for groceries. I bought only what I needed, but spent more of course due to WHERE I shopped. I am o.k. with that though, because I am still within budget for the month and – even better – I stayed within my budget on vacation! Yay!

    My friend and I had mainly breakfast and lunch at our vacation home and diner at different beautiful restaurants – never spent more than $30 per person and often had a Margharita or dessert with it. Divine!

    So it’s good that next week is a new month and I can start fresh into March with more diligent accounting.

    1. Hi Birgit,
      Welcome back from vacation!!! Sorry to hear you’re not feeling so well. I’m looking forward to all of the juicy details of this shop. You get ballot #39. Mr.CBB

  8. GCC 21/02/16

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

    Yearly Grocery Budget: $720.00
    Monthly Grocery Budget 2016: $60.00 ($15.00/wk/4wk month or $12.00/week/5wk month)
    Total Carried Over From Last Month: $4.32
    Total Spent This Month Previous To This Shop: $33.09
    Total spent this week: $12.86 (over $0.86)
    Total spent so far this month: $45.95
    Total left to spend for the month: $4.32 + ($12 – $10.29) + (12 – 11.27) + ($12 -11.53) + ($12 – $12.86) + $12 = $18.37
    Total Grocery Budget Spent To Date 2016: (Jan $75.68) (Feb $)

    Yearly Stockpile Budget: $480.00
    Monthly Stockpile Budget 2016: $40.00
    Total carried over from last month: – $1.10
    Total Spent this week: $6.06
    Total spent so far this month: $9.04 + 23.79 + 6.06 = $39.99
    Total left to spend for the month: -$1.10 – $39.99 + $40 = -$1.11
    Total Stockpile Budget used to date: (Jan $21.10) (Feb $)

    This week’s shop

    Food Basics
    $1.98 Selection tortillas (340g) (2 x $0.99)
    $0.99 Minute Maid frozen orange juice concentrate
    $0.99 Broccoli
    $3.96 OOP

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    $4.27 Nielson 1% milk (4l)

    Your Independent Grocer
    $9.09 Black Diamond Cheese (450g) ($4.48 – 10% student discount – $1.00 coupon) = $3.03 each x 3
    $1.60 Coconut Dream beverage (1l) ($2.00 – 10% – $1.00 coupon) = $0.80 each x 2
    $10.69 OOP

    Final thoughts

    I was a bit unfocused this week but it worked out well in the end. Makes me aware though that I must refocus or things could easily get out of hand. Would have been better to have not bought the dream beverages but I was curious to try the new kinds and the price was right. I’m looking forward to the fresh broccoli as I’ve been eating the frozen kind for a while now and don’t really like the mushy texture. One of the cheeses I bought is gouda so I’ll make a batch of broccoli cheese quiches for future use. Might throw in some of the bacon I bought a while ago too. I’ll also make some individual portions of homemade mac and cheese. Come to think of it bacon would be good in mac and cheese too! Now that I’ve got bacon on the brain, I’m remembering these amazing baked beans my mom used to make. The recipe used canned baked beans to which she added onions and bacon which had been fried together. She also added ketchup and probably a bit of mustard powder. I’d like to try it this time around with barbecue sauce instead of ketchup. The cheese that doesn’t get used in the above recipes will probably be frozen in individual foil wrapped packs to use when I’m going out or grated for future use in omelettes, grilled cheese, etc. I usually freeze two of the 3 milk bags for future use as well as I don’t use a lot and don’t want to waste it.

    Happy shopping everyone 🙂

    1. Hi Mimsie,
      We freeze our milk as well and have never had any issues. Some people say they do but it tastes fine to me. What do you snack on when you are hungry? I love bacon and you’re right the baked beans and the mac and cheese both would be perfect with bacon. I’ve done that both before when I’ve made mac and cheese and beans from a can. I have yet to make homemade baked beans though. I like how you prep food and individually freeze them for meals. That’s smart and certainly much better than any tv dinner you can buy. Frozen broccoli is much different because they par-boil it so enjoy that fresh broccoli!!! You’re in good shape for the month. Maybe we should take some lessons from you on how to resist temptation. Haha!! Well done Mimsie You get ballot #38. Mr.CBB

  9. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults 5000

    Total Out Of Pocket: $ 118.95
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 500
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 10600

    Grocery Shop This Week
    No Frills

    • old cheddar – 4.97

    • PC OJ- $2.97
    • Frozen peas- 2.47
    • Frozen broccoli- 2.47
    • Bananas- $3.97
    • Apples- 5.99
    • 1 kg Spinach -4.97
    • Pinapple- 2.97
    • Clemantines- 3.97
    • Mangos- 3.42
    • Sweet potato- 3.14
    • Maple leaf bacon 2 X 3.97
    • Cod Fillets- 5.97
    • Bread – 2 X $3.99
    • Thin pizza shells – $3
    • Garlic Toast- $3
    • Sourdough- 1.99
    • Harvest granola- 2.47
    • Pasta- 2 X $0.97
    • PC Coffee- 6.99
    • PC Mayo with olive oil- 3.69
    • No Name oats – 2 X 2.19
    • No Name olive oil- $5.79
    • 2 L Milk- 3.47
    • 1 L Cream 2.19
    • 2 Frozen Pizzas Delisiosa 2 X 4.44

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Total coupons used this week: N/A
    • Total coupons used to date: $14.75
    • Total in-store discounts this week: N/A
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $201.06
    • Total spent this week: $ 118.95
    • Total spent so far this month: 480.07
    • Total over/Under spend for the month:
    • Total left to spend for the month: $ 19.93
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include pet foods, paper or personal) Jan $734.36
    • Total Airmiles this week = N/A
    • Total PC Points- 2700
    Weekly Overview : I had to get some basics Olive oil, oats, mayo etc… But I am still on target for my monthly goal. I still have a 19 dollars left if I run out of something.
    My meal planning consists of me making a list of meals based on what I have in the freezer and pantry. Then as I make the meals I cross them off the list.
    So we had : Barbeque Ribs with Mash Potatoes and ceasar salad, Vegetarian Tomato sauce with pasta with Garlic bread and salad, Pizza topped with frozen peppers and fresh spinach and salad and fruit salad, Chicken and kale soup with Grill cheese, salmon with oven roasted vegetables and spinach salad, Nachos and leftover chicken soup.
    So For next week I have a choice of- New Orleans Red beans and rice, Sausage and potato stir fry, Home made Mac and cheese with vegetables, Sausage cream gravy with biscuits, Oven baked cod, lentil soup and sandwiches, bacon and pancakes, homemade pizzas with bought crusts, cream of broccoli soup with garlic toast.

    1. Hi Rose,
      WOW your in-store discounts are killing it.. well done!! You have 19 dollars left and you still have one week to go. You’re doing better than most of us but it’s hard to keep on budget during the 5 week months. Mary and I both decided that we may have to do 2 low-shops or no-shops on 5 week months if we can pull it off. How do I make the New Orleans red beans or is that just a type of bean? Oh I’d love the recipe for the sausage cream gravy with biscuits. I’m hungry right now can you tell haha!! You have an awesome meal plan this week. I love the variety. How do you come up with your meal plan? When do you experiment with recipes? or how often? Great job. You get ballot 37. Mr.CBB

  10. The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 Weekly to February 21st, 2016
    • Name Your Store No Frills
    • Beneful Dog food 8 kg $20.99 (missed price match $17.43)
    • Heinz beans X 4 @ .88 (reg. $1.59) Flipp price match
    • Broccoli X 2 @ .99 (reg. $2.47) Flipp price match
    • Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli 4 X .99 (reg. $1.99) Flipp price match
    • Whiskas Temptations sale $2.50
    • PC Macaroni & White Cheese X 2 @ .77
    • No Name 6 bean mix X 2 @ .78
    • No Name yellow prepared mustard X 2 @ $1 (Heinz $1.97)
    • No Name potato chips X 3 @ .97
    • Case Barqs root beer $4.99
    • Hellmanns Mayo 890 ml $3.47 (reg. $4.79)
    • Cat Maxx litter $7.99
    • Basmati Rice 3.83 kg $8.49 ( $2.22 kg vs. Minute Rice $4.14 kg)
    • Baby carrots $1.27
    • Cauliflower $1.88 (reg. $3.97)
    • Red Onion $1.87
    • Tomatoes $1.64 ($5.45 kg)
    • Deli ham $4.00 (reg. $5.00)
    • Advil Liquid gel 72 $13.49 (reg. $19.99 at other store)
    • PC Points redemption $50
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • PC Points earned: 400
    • Flipp price match: $9.80
    • Instant savings: $16.26
    • Zweet for vegetables: .25
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $47.00

    • Name Your Store Shoppers Drug Mart
    • PC 12 pk soda 2 X $2.99 (reg. $4.22)
    • Eggs 2 X $2.49 (reg.$2.99)
    • Neilson Cream X 4 @ $2.50 each (reg. $3.99)
    • Five Alive case $3.99 (reg. $6.47)
    • Campbell’s soup kit $3.49 (reg. $4.99)
    • Neilson’s milk $4.27
    • No Name freezer bags $2.99 (reg. $3.99)
    • Instant Savings $19.26
    • Optimum Points 8400
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $44.76

    • Name Your Store Bulk Barn
    • Turbinado sugar $3.03 (.50/100 g vs. .62/100g)
    • Grated Parmesan Cheese $7.88 ($7.43/250g vs $5.99/250 g – no deal)
    • Wild & Brown rice mix $2.94 (.405kg @ $7.25kg)
    • Honey and Almond Granola .73 (.145kg @ $5.05 kg)
    • Total Coupons Used: $3.00
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $11.58

    • Name Your Store Walmart
    • Bounty Paper Towels (6=18) $9.93 (reg. $16.76)
    • Armstrong Cheese 450 g X 2 @ $3.88 ( reg. $6.77)
    • Fresh Attitudes spring mix $2.97 (vs. Dole $3.49)
    • Head Lettuce $1.47 ($2.97 last week)
    • Whiskas cat food 10.9 kg (20% bonus) $24.73
    • Great Value yogurt tub $1.97 (vs. $2.97)
    • Astro Yogurt tub $2.50 reg. $3.99 (Flipp price match)
    • Dempsters bagels X 4 @ $2.49 reg. $3.48 (Flipp price match)
    • International Delight French Vanilla $3.97 reg. $5.97 (Flipp price match)
    • 12 pk Pepsi $3.99 reg. $5.99 (Flipp price match)
    • Total Coupons Used: $0
    • Instant savings $14.63
    • Flipp price match $9.45
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $40.70

    • Name Your Store: Food Basics
    • GayLea Sour Cream X 4 @ .99 (vs. No Name $1.99)
    • Beatrice 1L Chocolate Milk X 4 @ .99 (reg. $2.99)
    • Instant Savings: $12.00
    • Total out of Pocket: $7.92

    • Name Your Store: Critter Cove and Pet Valu
    • Crickets $7.91
    • Cans of organic cat food $8.10
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out Of Pocket: $16.01

    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $940
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $981.90
    • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $50.00
    • Total Rewards Points used to date: $235.00
    • PC Points Plus Earned this week: 400
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    • Zweet to date: $1.25
    • Checkout51 to date $19.50
    • Flipp to date $168.55
    • Caddle to date $7.55
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Total coupons used this week: $3.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $88.01
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $62.15
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $546.34
    • Reduced grocery savings this week: $0
    • Reduced grocery savings to date: $15.21
    • Total spent this week: $201.52
    • Total spent so far this month: $685.58
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $33.48 under
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $57.36 under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $250.46
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (stockpile budget, personal care etc. is included) Jan $1113.10+Feb 7 $258.73 + Feb 14 $229.29 + Feb 21 $197.56 = $1822.64
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):
    Used $50 PC points, no Checkout 51 etc., not a lot of coupons, and the reduced groceries section were all poor quality. Win some and lose some.
    This week I bought dog, cat and specialty lizard food (2 month supply for all), plus the weekly pet supplies in the amount of $82.49; paper towels and personal care items amounting to $34.36. With not having to buy meat this week, I could afford to stock up on other items that were on sale.
    Of note: I missed a price match on the dog food as I was distracted at the checkout. $3.00 isn’t much, but it annoyed me.
    After Bulk Barn, comparison shopping showed me that it’s cheaper to buy some things there, others not. Turbinado sugar is 50 cents per 100 gm loose vs. 62 cents per gm packaged. Parmesan is not cheaper, $7.43 per 250 gm vs. $5.99 per 250 gm. The coupon made up for the difference, it’s hard to price comparison there on the fly.
    I have bought Minute Rice ($4.14 per kg) and decided to try bulk bagged rice instead at $2.22 per kg. I used my Canadian Tire money (earned when I buy gas there) to buy a rice cooker for $6.09….although I don’t buy a lot of gadgets, I’m looking for convenience. Instead of standing over a pot of boiling rice, I think I’ll enjoy setting it and forgetting it.

    1. Hi Anne,
      My wife gets very annoyed as well if she misses something like a coupon or price match. She goes back and has them adjust the receipt or calls the store and they make note of it for next time she shops to adjust the receipt so think about making that call. I agree that there are some things that you can get cheaper at the bulk barn if you buy them on sale and use their $3 coupon like you did. The cheapest parm cheese I’ve seen is at Costco otherwise Zehrs. This is the good stuff though not the stuff with all the fillers. Brilliant you’ll love that rice cooker. We have one and use it any time we make rice. I always wash the rice very well and add a touch of oil to the rice and water before I put the rice cooker on. I never let it sit on warm either as i find it sticks then. What brand did you buy? Ours has a steamer on top so we can toss some veg up there too. Overall, you seem to be pleased with your shop apart from the missed PM. Great job!! You get ballot 36. MR.CBB

  11. Feb 19 – 25, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 200
    Total Out Of Pocket: $37.89

    3 – 540 mL Tidbit Pineapple – $1.49 or 3/$3.99 = $3.99
    4 – 900 g NN Pasta = $4.00
    908 g NN Corn Tortilla Chips = $3.99
    685 g Honey Nut Cheerios – $6.77 (PM Walmart @ $3.88) = $3.88
    450 g Black Diamond Marble Cheese = $3.98
    4 Mixed Pepper Pack = $4.99
    Bananas – (200 PC Points) = $1.70
    Green Pepper = $1.58
    Onion – $0.99 (PM Freschco @ $0.50) = $0.50
    2 Wonder WW Bread – $2.22 (PM Shoppers Drug Mart @ $1.88) = $3.76
    2 WW Tortilla = $5.00

    Name Your Store: Wholesale Club
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $146.34 (Including Meat)

    3 kg Nutella = $23.97
    8 kg Long Grain Rice = $7.97
    4 L Skim Milk = $4.25
    2 lb Baby Carrots = $3.27
    Celery Stalks = $1.97
    4.54 kg Diced Cooked Chicken = $44.97
    1.8 kg Italian Meatballs = $10.00
    2 – 2.27 kg Shredded Cheese – 25.97 or 2/$49.94 = $49.94

    No Shop

    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: $129.27
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: $(17.51)
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $310.55

    Total Cats this Week Period: $N/A
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: $8.94
    Total Cats to Date: $61.06

    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $42.01
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $45.13
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $91.36
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $54.97
    Total Wholesale Meat to Date: $96.97
    Total Canning Produce this Week Period: $0
    Total Canning Produce to Date: $0.00

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

    Total Discounts/SCOP this Week Period: $
    Total Discounts/SCOP to Date: $4.09

    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: $4.06
    Total Price Match to Date: $49.50

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 200
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 26290

    Overview: Short and simple…I blew the budget this week. I bought some items that can be used to make additional or different kinds of meals from our normal everyday meal. I know that it will take a number of weeks to have the budget cleaned up but it will be done very carefully.

    1. Hi Dee!!
      Where did you buy the bulk items? Did you really buy a 3kg jar of Nutella, woah!! Those peppers were a bit pricey but hopefully we will start to see prices come down a bit with summer around the corner. Most of your shop went to the bulk buy but for the most part you picked everything up on sale. Could you imagine how much it would cost you to shop if there were no sales. One year I might tally up all the regular prices vs the sale prices to see exactly what I would have spent but what we did actually spend. Would be an interesting read that would be. Keep up with it you’ll catch up. Stay motivated. We’re here for ya! You get ballot 35. MR.CBB

      1. The bulk items were at The Wholesale Club which is like Costco but without the membership fees. This store is under the Loblaws umbrella, like Zehrs or RCSS or No Frills. Yes, I did buy a 3 kg container of Nutella but I determined if the price per unit was worth it. I did that for all the large quantity foods. I do plan on getting out from this overage but don’t have an exact time-frame of when it will happen. I don’t plan on shopping there often but it has given me different options of what I can make and there’s enough food here to last a while.

        1. Oh, I’ve never heard of the place before. Are there many around? WOW that’s a big jar of Nutella. You’ll have to send me a photo hehe! Compared to Costco besides the membership have you ever looked at the price comparisons between stores?

          1. The Wholesale Club is located in 9 provinces. I checked Ontario alone and found 21 cities that has a location, such as Whitby, Toronto and Mississauga. I’ll put a pic on WFD tonight so you can see my large jar of Nutella. I’ve only been in Costco once and that was with my sister so no, I’ve never compared prices before between the two stores. I don’t like driving from store to store to look at prices. Their website is http://www.wholesaleclub.ca, check them out online to see what they stock. They do also sell the smaller versions, just a regular grocery store.

  12. FEBRUARY – Week #4 of 5- Feb 22-28, 2016


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



    There’s not a lot of cash left in the kitty for this month so I decided to let one of our rain checks expire without using it. Chicken breasts will be on sale again… I’ll simply catch them on the next sale.

    Unfortunately, the fresh produce & egg purchases this week have pushed us ever so slightly into the red for February but it’s only ever so slightly. I guess we are destined for a LOW SHOP WEEK for the last week of the month. I will need milk so unfortunately I can’t avoid the stores completely. The good news is, I have that Thrifty Foods $5 coupon so at least I won’t go any further in the hole.

    Hmmm, these 5 week months are now requiring 2 low/no shop weeks in order for us to stay on budget. Thank goodness for the GGC posts because if I was not tracking every penny we spend…this could get really ugly, really fast!



    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    3 x English Cucumbers = $3.96
    8 Roma Tomatoes $0.96/lb + 200 points for every $1 = $1.53
    1 2.5lb pack peppers $5.96 + 200 points for every $1 = $5.96
    1 bunch bananas + 200 points for every $1 = $1.78
    2 apples (for a soup) = $1.60

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.83
    • Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 1600 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    4 dozen Compliments Large Eggs $6.00

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $6.00
    Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 1 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $5.96 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $36.76 + Feb $160.96 = $192.72

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $20.46= $20.46

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 = 192 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 = 49 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 = 6800 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 = 0 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb ($83.22 trf to reserves+$3.38+$6.99+$5.19+$14.08+$15.68+$24.94+$8.17+$3.29+ $5.98+$1.99+14.83 +$6.00= $193.74) = $390.52

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 = $380.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($10.52) OVER << 🙁



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $4.69+ Feb $5.19= $9.88



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00= $90.00



    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb ($15.00-4.97-$39.48-111.24 = -$140.69) = $27.16



    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 = $108.12



    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61= $664.11



    $ 380.00 Grocery Budget JAN-FEB

    $ 9.88 Redeemed Points to Purchase

    ($ 83.22) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves
    (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 220.34 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves
    (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 90.00) Trf to US Grocery Reserve

    ($ 9.88) Set in reserve to offset
    Redeemed Points

    ($ 437.64) Actual CASH SPENT

    ($ 10.52) OVER Y-T-D SPENDING


    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN
    $ 5.19 Whole Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB

    $ 9.88 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

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

    So far $380.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $183.10 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 27.16 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $108.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $664.11 Summer Season Fund
    $ 90.00 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 9.88 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $899.27. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $183.10 that we have added in 2016, LESS $220.34 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    2 Pork Loin Roasts @ $3.88/lb – Good until April 28/16

    4 Ground Beef @ $3.88/lb – Good until April 28/16

    2 Whole Fryer Chickens @ $1.99/lb – Good until May 4/16

    12 Motts Clamato Juice 945-960 ml @ $1.00 ea – Good until May 6/16

    12 Motts Clamato Juice 945-960 ml @ $1.00 ea – Good until May 8/16

    2 dozen Compliments Large eggs @ $1.50 ea – Good until May 16/16

    2 dozen Compliments Large eggs @ $1.50 ea – Good until May 16/16

    Thrifty Foods:

    6 Island Bakery WW Bread @ $1.00 per loaf – Good until April 22/16

    6 Island Bakery WW Bread @ $1.00 per loaf – Good until April 25/16

    1 x 2-pack BC Fresh Whole Fryer Chickens @ $2.49/lb – Good until April 27/16

    1 x 2-pack BC Fresh Whole Fryer Chickens @ $2.49/lb – Good until April 27/16

    2 x 3-packs Romaine Hearts @ $2.50 ea – Good until May 16/16

    2 x 3-packs Romaine Hearts @ $2.50 ea – Good until May 16/16


    This week’s BREAKFAST menu plan:

    HUBBY: Earl Grey Tea with Lemon Juice + toast with peanut butter, Banana Raisin Giant Muffins, English Muffins with cinnamon spread or Cheez Whiz, Bagels with cream cheese or Rice Krispies cereal with skim milk

    MYSELF: Tetley Tea with Skim Milk & Equal + yogurt, mandarins, bananas or hard boiled eggs


    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Leftover Cream of Mushroom Soup & Red Delicious Apple

    TUES: Egg Salad Sandwiches, Leftover US Senate Bean Soup & yogurt

    WED: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Giant Banana Raisin Muffin, thermos of Orange Juice

    THURS: Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bread & Thermos of Orange Juice

    FRI: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Potato Salad & thermos of chocolate milk

    SAT: Blueberry Biscuits with Creamy Tomato Soup

    SUN: Grilled Ham & Cheese & Caramelized Onions Sandwiches with Leftover Creamy Tomato Soup


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Ham & Cheese Omelette with toast

    TUES: Greek Salad over Mixed Greens with roasted chicken leg

    WED: Tuna Casserole with side of coleslaw

    THURS: Leftover Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore over rice

    FRI: Veggie Packed Frittata & Roasted Chicken Leg

    SAT: Celery Rice Soup with Pumpkin Cornbread

    SUN: Greek Salad over Mixed Greens, Crockpot Baked Beans and Quick Peppery Cheese Bread


    1. Hi Mary,
      Great job on the eggs, what a deal!! At least you scored some points with your shop as well which add up fast. I agree with you about the 5 week months as they can be difficult. Maybe you are right we should opt for 2 low-shop weeks instead of one. We may go over ever so slightly as well this month depending on how things roll next month. Looks like your menu has lots of eggs in it this coming week hehe!! I think I might try that tuna casserole but half the recipe since our son loves tuna. I don’t mind tuna at all,even hot. Do you have a special recipe for yours? Well done… let’s see what next week brings your GGC Mary!! Keep on shopping strong. You get ballot 34. MR.CBB

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