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Inexpensive Meals-How To Stretch Your Food Budget

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lower grocery budget


I often get emails from fans who want to know how they can create inexpensive meals on a very tight food budget.

Another concern is how to stretch recipes so they last for a few meals which amount to a better bang for your buck.

One of the biggest budget busters in the food department begins when you eat outside of the home.

When you decide to eat out whether they are inexpensive meals or not you more than likely can always make it at home for less.

Think fresh food, plus you know what you are putting into the food you eat when you make it yourself.

You can’t put a price on that my friends.

If you want to limit the temptations of the outside world you must be prepared ahead of time.

I eat out from time to time but I certainly don’t make it a daily or weekly occurrence.

The answer is to arm yourself with a meal plan and a grocery list that suits your tastes and fits your food budget.

Not everyone knows product prices at the grocery store industry level which is a number one factor when it comes to meal costing but also what meals to make with the ingredients purchased.

It’s difficult for some consumers to set aside traditional recipes to look for something new so they stick with what they know.

Life in the kitchen doesn’t need to be that boring though and adding new ingredients can be fun.

Today I’m going to address how we create inexpensive meals on our $235 a month food budget for two adults and one toddler.

If you want to stretch meals you have to create recipes that can go a bit further than one meal.

Most often people think “Comfort Food” when they want to stretch a meal so they don’t have to cook the next day.

Comfort food is food that typically hits the spot and includes fillings such as minced beef, eggs, vegetables, and beans.

One of the biggest challenges my wife and I have is creating healthy inexpensive meals that both of us can eat, especially since she’s eating a low-carb diet.

Most often I find that I’m thinking about meals I can create for the three of us which include all the food groups or what is allowable for my wife.

Over the years we’ve created plenty of recipes that are budget-friendly meals which our family would eat over a few days.

Being busy parents with a toddler we have to be on top of the meals or we end up not sticking to our meal plan.

I am the first to admit that there are weeks where our meal plan is pretty boring or repetitive because like many others we go with what is familiar.

If I have time off from work this is when I try to create new meals to add to our recipe box so we don’t stay in boring food mode.

Over time we build up a stash of recipes of inexpensive meals that we can make any night of the week without spending hours in the kitchen.

Sometimes we boil up a dozen eggs and make egg salad to go along as a side dish to a meatless meal.

Eggs are inexpensive and a great way to get protein into your diet.

CBB fan Lisa C told us that the best part about making inexpensive meals in bulk is that “You only have to clean up once”, which is ideal for many families.

She’s right!

The rest of the week you will have general clean-up but nothing like batch-cooking night.

Our go-to inexpensive meals that are easy to stretch always revert to casserole type dishes and soups galore.

Inexpensive Meals With Soup

Soup will always go a long way and you can bulk it out with a variety of proteins, vegetables, and legumes.

Some of our favourite homemade soups;

Whether you make soup in the crock-pot or on the stove-top you know that it’s difficult to make a small pot.

I know I struggle but the leftovers are perfect for lunch or dinner throughout the week especially during the winter.

Inexpensive Meals With Meat

When I go to work I always take hot meals with me which means at least once a week I need to batch cook since I work 7 days a week.

There’s something about eating comfort food at work rather than a sandwich that makes me feel that I’m still eating dinner with my family.

Being away from home for such long hours can make dinner time lonely.

Typically, I don’t want to eat for dinner that night what I’m batch cooking for work so I try to prepare a meal that is easy that includes ground beef or other mince that we have in the freezer.

I find that there are so many ground beef recipes that we can whip up in a flash provided we remember to defrost the beef.

I’m horrible at remembering and my wife is no better.

Ground Beef Recipes

What can I make with ground beef?

Whether you like ground beef, lamb, pork, turkey, chicken any one of these mince meats can be turned into inexpensive meals that will stretch your food dollars.

Ground beef has been pricey the past year but that’s changing as prices have slowly been coming down.

I also notice that grocery store butchers are packaging beef and pork mince together.

This is a great option for those who want to make meatballs of any kind and it costs less.

Stretch your meals using vegetables and legumes

Any time we make meatballs whether for pasta sauce or in the crock-pot with a tangy sauce we use both pork mince and ground beef.

The best part about using ground beef or other mince meats in bulk cooking is the option to add vegetables and other legumes to stretch the meal.

Another trick we do is we batch cook pasta sauce which can later be used for chili, stew and even as a pizza sauce for our homemade pizza.

If you’ve got a load of peppers from your garden or you’ve found a great price at the grocery store stock-up and make a quick meal such as stuffed peppers served with pasta sauce and dripping with cheese.

If you go to Costco you can buy stuffed peppers pre-made for MUCH more than you would pay to make them yourself.

If convenience is what you are after you may struggle to find meals that are pre-made that will last you more than a day or so before the texture and taste goes off.

I’m not a fan of pre-made but I have had some good homemade foods from specialty shops and the grocery store. $$$

Use The FlashFood App For Inexpensive Meals

Also, if you’re looking to save money on fresh vegetables I urge you to sign up for the FlashFoodApp (See link below).


Well, Loblaws stores across Canada will list pretty much everything in their store near expiry on the app.

You’ll find exclusive deals at 50% off or more which you can purchase online and then go and pick up.

I’ve seen boxes of fresh produce posted for only $5. Trust me we use the FlashFood app and save money on our food budget.

Flashfood App

Click the link below to sign up for the Flashfood app.

Flashfood app CanadaSave 50% off food products close to expiry from participating Loblaws Stores such as RCSS, Zehrs, Dominion and Loblaws.

Inexpensive Meals To Fit Your Food Budget


Stuffed Green Peppers In Marinara On Mash

One of our favourite meals is shepherd’s pie which is traditionally made with lamb.

Lamb mince pricey in Canada to buy unless we can find it reduced which isn’t too often so we opt for using ground beef.

We can typically pick up a pack of ground beef between $4-7 or even less if we were to buy a family pack of ground beef.

I always run the numbers when deciding on what size package to buy because buying in bulk does have advantages most times.

The grocery store knows that ground beef is a staple in most families so you will find meat and pork on the cover on at least one grocery flyer every other week or so.

That is the time you will want to stock up so you are ready to create recipes that can take you through a few days without cooking again.

A 10-pound bag of potatoes can cost around $2 when on sale which seems to be at least once a month or every other month.

If you stock up with a couple of bags you’re good until the next sale cycle.

Another great topping for this type of pie is low-carb cauliflower mash or sweet potato mash if you want to switch it up the flavours.

Common vegetables such as corn, onions, celery, carrots, and peas are five produce items that help to bulk out a shepherd’s pie.

You can even add black beans or chickpeas which are inexpensive to buy in bulk when dry.

However, you can re-hydrate the beans in the crock-pot overnight without fuss which is what we do.

Stop buying packets of spice mixes to make your one-pot meals and I promise you’ll save some money there too.

It’s so easy to make your homemade taco seasoning, shepherd’s pie seasoning, sloppy Joe mix and so on with the ingredients you have in your pantry and spice cabinet.

When we make shepherd’s pie we add spices that will bring out the flavour in the ground beef such as garlic, onion powder, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary.

As a thickener, we use a bit of flour and water along with either ketchup or tomato paste for an additional tangy flavour.

It turns out great every time!

I priced a shepherd’s pie for $13.99 at the grocery store but it’s basic on all levels and it’s not homemade.

You can make a shepherd’s pie at home for half that price if you bulk it out with vegetables and use your spices.

Homemade is best.

When I make a pan of shepherd’s pie it will last for all of my lunch meals for the week.

I might also divide it up with another batch meal that I make so I don’t get bored with my lunches.

If you’re a fan of sausage you can also create inexpensive meals like a delicious casserole such as Nicola’s Anytime Sausage Egg Pie or my Toad in the hole.

nytime sausage egg pie 1 (1)

Other great inexpensive meals with sausage:

cauliflower rice and broccoli stir fry with sausage 4(1)


Margherita Pizza


British Sausage Rolls 1 wm

hot n spicy bacon and sausage tomato soup

Mr.CBB's Sausage Potato Cabbage Tomato Stew

Italian soup with sausage

Inexpensive Meals That Are Meatless

We all know that going meatless is a great way to stick to a food budget but not everyone likes meatless meals.

Many times I’ve mentioned meatless and friends say that there is no way their spouse or kids would eat a meal without meat.

Fair enough but if you want to stretch meals without the cost of meat, go meatless.

meatless lentil sloppy joe

If you don’t mind them this is a great way to cut back on expenses and try new recipes that you may not have thought of.

Inexpensive meals such as my Lentil Sloppy Joe recipe is a hit with many of my readers.

Lentils are inexpensive to buy and you can use them in a variety of dishes.

Other inexpensive meals that are meatless that will stretch your food budget

Tomato potato pie


Rice and Beans Wrap

Italian Pasta Frittata

Although this recipe has sausage in it you can eliminate that and add vegetables of any description chopped small.

Pasta Frittata

Inexpensive Meals and Tips

What the fans say…

I do have some awesome fans at Canadian Budget Binder and when I ask them for feedback, they deliver.

I appreciate the time they take to tell me what they do to create inexpensive meals which they can stretch over the week or even month when frozen.

You heard it here first…. from the What’s For Dinner Gang!!

Mary C- We only cook 2-3 dinners a week and eat leftovers the remainder of the week. Soup is a great budget stretcher as are eggs, beans and lentils.

Chandra- I stretch when making a roast or turkey or chicken, they go into stews, casseroles, soups. I made homemade slow cooker Swiss Chalet style chicken noodle soup tastes just like a restaurant.

And eating leftover homemade ground up portobello/black bean/broccoli burgers.

soup and portobello mushroom burger(1)

Nicola DMaking big batches always help to save time and it stretches the dollars when needed.

For example, I made a huge taco tortilla lasagna yesterday and we will have the rest tonight with fries and a salad!

Della FOne way that I stretch my meals is to take the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Pam W- Soups and stews are a great way to stretch meals. Unfortunately, I’m the only one here who enjoys them.

I buy pork roasts and whole chickens which I can usually stretch each to make two or three meals.

Christine M- I cook a whole chicken for dinner and then the leftovers are used too – bones & meat for soup – I use the meat for sandwiches, or tacos, wraps, etc – I do the same for roast beef and ham.

Also with leftovers, I make a dinner plate of food and freeze it so when I’m in a hurry I take the dinner out of the freezer – pop it in the microwave and I have a healthy meal in no time.

Donna MI do not throw out any poultry carcass, I freeze for soups later on.

Mary D– I make leftovers which are great for lunches.

I cook roasts which you can use the leftover meat for tacos, fajitas or sandwiches.

Make a pot of spaghetti sauce it goes a long way, and easy enough to turn it into a pot of chili through the week if you freeze a container of it.

If you buy bone-in chicken you can use the bones to make your chicken stock for soups.

Colleen K- I still use a tip my mother used when there were 6 mouths to feed and not quite enough potatoes leftover from the night before she would cube up a couple of slices of bread and fry along with the potatoes in bacon grease.

Before draining turnips stir in 1/2 tsp baking soda to help remove some of the gas…drain and rinse and mash as usual.

Heather O- How we stretch meals or create cheaper meals is: a) price matching – even produce, and stocking up on sales b) creating simple meals like veggies and potatoes or veggies and rice, pasta without “meat” or in our case the vegetarian version of the meat.

Also making a large batch of something for either leftovers or next freezing some if possible for another time.

As well, if you have leftovers creating something new from it – for instance tonight we are having chili – with our leftovers, we could put the chili in tacos or potatoes ~

Beth Anne- I’m the leftover queen.

I plan leftovers and use them to make new dishes later in the week.

Other ways I stretch meals are by including more vegetarian meals in my menu plan and by using less meat and more grains, legumes, and vegetables in the meals that are not meatless.

I also make stock every week and, if I’ve made a large quantity of any dishes, I either freeze some of it or can it for later use.

That way I don’t get too bored with it.

Christine WI try to stretch any meat we have.

If it’s a small roast I try to get 2-3 meals for the 4 of us out of that roast!

I work to use up any leftovers somehow as a lunch or another dinner or part of the next meal.

Meat is expensive so I don’t serve a lot of it, more potatoes and veggies than meat for us!

Judy CTo stretch meals I try not to throw anything out, make leftovers into something new, hubby takes leftovers for work lunches, and we’ll have soup more often.

I also find It goes better if I write out a menu for the week.

Pat CTo stretch the meals when I am home, I cook a big dinner like a roast chicken or roast beef, ham, etc.

Then I de-bone and divide into portions for future meals. Then boil the bones to make broth.

The leftover veggies go into the soup.

I also make extra foods that freeze well like rice and beans and portion them as well.

Finally, I just want to add don’t if you do decide to make a large batch of food do leave yourself enough time so you’re not rushing.

If you enjoy the process of cooking you are likely to repeat it which means more savings for your grocery budget.

Discussion: What other ways can you think of to stretch inexpensive meals so they last a bit longer?

Leave me your comments below and I’ll be sure to reply.


February Grocery Game Challenge

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

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 while they are 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

Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

Everything 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 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: 106779
  • 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

  • Beatrice 2L Homo Milk $4.29-50%= $2.15 (cheaper than buying a 4L bag $5.27)
  • 3 x Free Range Eggs Reg $6.99 reduced $3.29=$9.87
  • Iceberg lettuce $0.97
  • McIntosh Apples 3lb $1.97
  • 2 x avocado bags of 5 sale $5.00 for 2
  • 2 hothouse tomatoes $1.01
  • 1 seedless cucumber $1.50

Total Out-of-Pocket: $22.47


  • Danone cream blue yogurt reduced to $2.00-50% = $1.00
  • 3 x Philadelphia cream cheese Reg $3.29 marked $0.99 each
  • Fresh ground lamb $7.02-50% = $3.51
  • Tomato Basil Pork Sausages Fresh $7.37-50%=$3.69
  • Cauliflower Sale $2.00
  • Reduced oranges $1.49

Total Out-of-Pocket: $14.66

  • 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:$27.87
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $155.97
  • Total spent this week: $37.13
  • Total spent so far this month: $249.46
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over budget
  • Total over/Under spend for the month:- over budget $217.05-$249.46=$32.41 over yikes!!
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$32.41 carry over to March
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

Wishful thinking that we would come under budget this month and we would have if not for some amazing sales and that we roamed around the store. We were trying to waste time before our son’s vaccination appointment so he wouldn’t fall asleep, of all places.

In doing so we found some great 50% off deals which saved us $27.87 had we paid full-price.

All of the items we bought are typical of our grocery budget or foods we would only buy on sale.

I was particularly happy to find the lamb mince, Homo Milk, yogurt and free-range eggs for reduced prices.

We would never spend $6.99 to buy a dozen but for $3.29 we’ll give it a go. Why not, they taste better.

Overall, we have a carryover for next month. Avoidable-probably.

Although we are still buying reduced items as much as we can we will re-evaluate our grocery budget come the middle of the year to see if it’s us who is being naughty or the grocery prices. Time will tell.

How was your grocery shopping week?

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 Nielsen 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?

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 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 want 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 as many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hangout 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 look at 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. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $625
    .79 candy gummy
    $3.01 6pk pop
    $3.95 total oop
    .57 mushrooms
    $3.49×3 blueberries
    .67 bananas
    $2.19×8-$2Cx7(was 8 but she miss counted :/ ) dove mens soup – clearance
    $4.34×2 4L homo milk – rain cheque
    $22.85 total oop
    $14 total coupons
    H&W Produce
    $2.11 jalapenos
    $1.67 acorn
    $3.14 butternut
    $1.88 3lb onions
    $8.80 total oop
    $2.50×2 chocolate chips
    $2.97 4kg sugar
    $2.98×4-$1Cx4 philly cream cheese 2400P
    $2.09×2 1L coffee creamer
    $1.28 bananas 200P
    $1.98 alfredo sauce 500P
    $2×6-$2Cx6 jergens lotion – donation
    $23.65 total oop
    $10 total coupons
    $1.69 asparagus
    $1.29 romaine lettuce
    $3.99×4-$2Cx4 tums 50AM
    $2.29 1lb strawberries
    $1.05 candy cane tea
    $3 jalapeno cheddar popcorn
    $4.19-$2.1GMO tortilla shells
    $2.01 2L pop
    $2 red velvet cookies – clearance
    $3.99-$1C fresh mozza
    $2.99×9-$3Cx9 dove men soap
    $3.54×2 4L chocolate milk
    $38.80 total oop
    $33 total coupons

    $98.05 total weekly oop
    $57 total weekly coupons

    1. Hi Juanita,
      Where did you get the Philadelphia Cream Cheese coupons? Great deal with the Cream Cheese and points. Who is the blueberry fan in your house? I don’t see your comment section on the post did you forget it? I have had cashiers mess up coupons in the past and I blame myself for not paying attention so now before I leave the grocery store I always read the bill first. It can be challenging with our son if he is tired but we still do it. I hate having to go back if I don’t have to. I see you had $3 Dove for men coupons too..where did you find those? I never see these coupons in Ontario, you’re lucky. Well done. You get ballot 12. Mr.CBB

      1. hey Mr.CBB
        I totally forgot to leave a comment when I posted!
        The philly coupons were from websaver last year, expiry of five or six months, and I did some trading to collect them 🙂
        Little miss is the big blueberry eater in our house…..she would and could eat a container in one sitting if you let her.
        I have enjoyed being able to buy more fresh fruit and veg this year since we have our stockpile of items downstairs we don’t need to buy items like shampoo, cond, laundry soap, dishwasher tabs and a few other things. But with saying that if I can get it for .50c or just the tax I will buy stockpiled items so I can do some donations.
        I get pretty frustrated and rushed sometimes at the till and maybe need to force myself and the cashier to slow down.
        The dove mens coupons are from an insert maybe last year……it had a strip of dove men asstd coupons and $1 Palmolive dish soap in it. Great price especially since I will use almost all of them for donations!

  2. Week 5 – Feb 28 – March 5

    • 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: $0.03
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: $0.09
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • 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: $0
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $15
    • Total student discounts this week: $0
    • 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: $31.55
    • Total spent so far this month: $114.95
    • Total left to spend for the month: $0
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent to make up in future months: $82.25
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $532.25

    YIG: Mac n Cheese 2 x .44, NN Frozen Fries 2 x 1.00, Mini Sizzler sausages 3/4.98: Total 7.85 rounded down 1 cent

    Giant Tiger: Frozen chicken balls 6.00, Coke Zero 2 L .98, Jumbo sugar donuts .50 clearance, baby carrots 1.00, Cajun chicken cold meat 3.00, less eviro bag credit .03, plus tax .13: Total paid 11.60 rounded up 2 cents (LOL enviro bag credit didn’t help a lot this trip)

    Walmart: Coke zero pk 3.47, corn pops 3.88, hunts pudding 1.00, powerade 2 x 1.00, bananas 1.03, tax .71: Total paid 12.10 rounded up 1 cent.

    So a great month, and a perfect way to compensate for January’s expensive month. We managed to only spend 114.95 for the whole month and that left us making up ground of 135.05. We still hope to have the remainder made up by the end of March. It will be close, but possible, not much more to go.

    A lot of the food was for a hockey weekend away so that we could eat more in the hotel rather than eat out. We did two meals with the hockey team and spent about $80 for those two, and a quick takeout of $10 because we had to throw in an additional on the road game that we didn’t anticipate. It worked out really well. There was a continental breakfast, but so many people were sick and coughing all over the food we were really glad we had brought a lot of our own stuff. Our son ended up quite ill regardless, so I am glad he didn’t have that extra exposure. Thankfully it was an illness and not food related, so we saved ourselves and emergency trip and he got to finish out his weekend. The pop was for easy portable drinks aside from water and powerade for our son. In three days he played 5 hockey games (missed one for the fever). I don’t encourage the powerade often, but with that amount of exertion I allowed it. I figure at 10-years-old water is enough. In the end, I am glad I did based on the fever that he ended up with. Glad dehydration wasn’t part of it. Regardless, it was a fine weekend and a great deal of fun and bonding. We also used the opportunity to replace some items that we would pay more for or not fit as well from our town while in Ottawa. Our son had hit a major growth spurt and went from a size 4 shoe to 5.5, so we needed shoes desperately. Also, he needed a new hockey helmet, but it was properly fitted.

    Leftover foods came home with us and that got us through until grocery day. So happy we prepared for an away trip. We usually do, and I won’t stop! Great month!!!

    1. Hi Angela,
      What are frozen chicken balls? The same thing you get at Chinese take-out? That’s an awesome catch-up after an overspend month wow. I wish I was that good. Sounds like the hockey was good but the illnesses not so much. I’m glad to hear that you didn’t end in emerg. Our son isn’t even 2 yet and in a toddler size 8 shoe already. He’s going to have BIG feet I think lol. He also went through a growth spurt from a 6-8 with-in months. I should write a blog post on how to prepare food for a road trip and maybe quote some of what you’ve done. I think more people need to do this rather than eating out just because they think road trip = fast food or convenience eating. It doesn’t have to be that way. Well done… You get ballot 6 MR.CBB

      1. The frozen chicken balls are just like the Chinese takeout ones except they didn’t come with the sauce, so we used the sweet and sour sauce we had in the fridge. It’s a cheaper version of the takeout, convenient, and without the hassle of trying to make them. I do want to try to do this at some point, but that will be an experiment for the future.

        Our son also grew quickly with his feet in the early years, he was in a size1 by JK, however, it did level off and become more slowly growing from grade 1-4. In the last year we started jumping sizes again. I figure he’s due to sprout up again lol.

        I couldn’t imagine doing a road trip without the food prep ahead of time. The hotel stays are expensive enough, I couldn’t imagine adding constant eating out to it too. Our family went to Pennsylvania two summers ago and got a hotel room with a kitchen in it. We left home with a full Rubbermaid container of food (all allowed to cross he border – we checked first) and then just bought the fresh produce and meat there. Good thing too, we found groceries ridiculously expensive there like pasta, bottled water for the amusement parks we were going to, cereal, rice, condiments, all of the dry goods we brought with us), eating out the whole time would have been ridiculous. This hotel also had a continental breakfast, but served cantaloupe so what we got there was extremely limited and we asked staff to directly bring things out to us like milk and yogurt containers so that the cross contamination wasn’t an issue. They were lovely. But, in reality, the food we brought with us was the most helpful. Besides, growing up, my family brought snacks with us, food even depending how long we were gone, or stopped at the grocery store. My parents are a big part of my influence for taking food while travelling, it’s just what we did!

        1. I don’t even know how kids size shoes work yet so I should probably research that. Yes, we always prep when we go on a road trip so we aren’t spending any more than we need to. It’s so easy to say sod it and eat out.

  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: $30
    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

    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 jar pickles -1.99
    2 4l milk @4.88
    Bananas -1.25
    1 outside round roast -8.57
    1 bread crumbs -2.49, AM discount, 50% 1.25
    1 Sunmaid raisin bread -4.99, AM discount 50% 2.50
    1 W/W bread -3.79, AM discount 50% 1.90
    Total OOP -$32.68, AM discounts $5.65
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    6 pack Royale paper towels -4.99
    1 sunflower oil -4.59
    1 pancake syrup -4.29
    2 packs white rice @2.49
    1 can pineapple tidbits -1.19
    2 4l milk @4.88
    Bananas -1.34
    1 outside round roast -11.12
    1 Apple/onion sausage -4.51, 1.35 discount
    1 grated Parmesan cheese -4.49
    1 W/W bread -2.79
    1 Thompson raisins -5.99
    Tax -.65
    Total OOP -$64.83, 1.35 discount
    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: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $6.00
    Total in-store discounts this week:$7.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: $53.92
    Total spent this week: $97.51
    Total spent so far this month: $628.96
    Total over/Under spend this shop:under
    Total over/Under spend for the month:- under $21.04
    Total left to spend for the month: -$21.04
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Made it under again. This puts me just over $90.00 under for the year. This might come in handy later in the year so I will hang onto it as long as I can. The outside round roasts were a nice price considering how pricey beef has been, $3.99 lb. the Air Miles discounts were nice to have too. I get an email with those every week from Foodland and Air Miles just like with the PC Plus offers and Shoppers deals and I load every one just in case!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      The Apple Onion Sausage sound good. Have you tried it yet? I’m jealous of those Air Miles deals you are getting. I need to check it out further and get me in the on the action. That’s great you are under for the year considering the many mouths you feed and you are in a small town with one high-priced grocery store. It is possible to eat on a budget even when dealing with higher priced items. I write a bit about this in tomorrow’s blog post about Gourmet Food Shops. Well done Christine!! You get ballot #50. The last for February. 🙂 Mr.CBB

      1. Yes we had the apple onion sausage and it was very nice. You could smell the onion when I opened the package, even frozen. The onion taste was mild eating it but you got a bit of the apple sweetness at the end, almost as an after taste. I will be looking for that kind again as we all enjoyed it!!
        Check Sobeys for Air Miles deals. It works much the same as the deals you can get from PC Plus and Shoppers when you scan the points cards but you are scanning the AM card. You’ve mentioned that your in-laws have a Foodland near them too so they might know about this, hope so. I need to find a way to use up my regular miles with AM then I will switch the balance to all dream cash to help with shopping for groceries and such…

  4. Personally, I think the cheapest, meals are meat, potato and a vegetable.
    The expensive part…is eating more than you really need to 🙂

    1. Exactly and I wrote about that a couple of years ago. We are eating too much and that is costing our wallet. Thanks for the comment Kathryn.

  5. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults 6000

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 500
    Grocery Shop This Week

    • old cheddar – 5.99
    • Mozzarella- 5.99

    • Pinapple- 3.99
    • potato- 2.99
    • Compliments Organic Bread – 3 X $3.29
    • 2 L Milk- 3.49
    • 2 Frozen Pizzas Delisiosa 2 X 3.33
    • Organic tortilla chips- 3.50
    • Pickles- 3.50
    • Organic pasta sauce -2 X 3.00
    • Discounted Chocolate truffles- 2.50
    • Red Hot barbeque sauce – 4.99 – Free with refund
    • Omega 3 eggs- 3.50
    • Astro Lemon yogurt- 2.33
    • Butter – 3 X 3.99
    • Ice Cream- 4.99
    • Organic mushrooms-2.85
    • Whole ham- 12.99
    • Chicken thighs- 9.70
    • Hummus- 4.00

    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: 19.85
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $220.91
    • Total spent this week: $ 109.45
    • Total spent so far this month: 109.45
    • Total under spend for the year: 145.15!
    • Total left to spend for the month: $ 390.55
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include pet foods, paper or personal) Jan $854.85
    • Total Airmiles this week = 237
    • PC Points this week-
    • Weekly Overview : Great air miles this week! I had a 150 air miles coupon if I spent $125. Plus 30 air miles if I bought 3 butters. Plus extra air miles on the bread, ice cream, tortilla chips and pickles.
    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 : Vegetarian Tomato sauce with pasta with Garlic bread and salad, Cream of broccoli soup and pizza buns, Cod chowder and garlic bread, Macaroni and cheese and spinach salad, Pizza topped with frozen peppers and fresh spinach and salad and fruit salad, bacon/ eggs and hash browns with fruit salad

    So For next week I have a choice of- Pizza, chowder, oven roasted ham, curried chicken and rice, spaghetti, Lentil soup, ham and potatoes, ham quiche, ham fried rice.

    1. Hi Rose!!
      That’s a smart way to create your menu plan because you are starting with ingredients that you already have on end so you don’t end up buying multiples. Did you use the Air Miles coupon then? If you can’t find organic are you ok to eat non-organic foods? Considering this is the last shop of the month you have plenty of extra cash for next month if you carry over. Well done. I wish we could shop this well. I love the idea of lentil soup because it just sounds like comfort food. How big was your ham? You get ballot #49. Mr.CBB

      1. Ok I am a bit confused, isn’t this shop for March?
        Yes, I used the air miles coupon to get the mega air miles deal.
        Yes, I am OK buying non-organic, but I am always extra happy if it is organic.

        1. Hi Rose,
          This is the last shop for the Feb grocery game challenge as it’s 5 weeks. You don’t have to follow the weeks that we set out in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge Calendar which you can view and print over at The Grocery Game Challenge Rules page. Next week will be the first week of March Grocery Game. You do not have to follow my weeks as long as you track your own. So, if this is considered your first shop for March then so be it. Just keep posting your weeks. If you want to follow along the same weeks as The GGC then you can print the calendar and go from there. 🙂 If you have any other questions or you are still not sure… just ask. 🙂

  6. Our grocery budget has been through the roof since we started eating Paleo/Whole 30, especially since it emphasizes organic foods and grass fed beef. We feel better health-wise, but it does take a toll on our budget.

  7. Growing up my mother always made shepherd’s pie …cooked hamburg and couple cans of condensed vegetable soup…mix together…plop in a baking dish…top with mashed potatoes…pop into oven until bubbly around the edges.
    If I make it, and don’t have the soup, I improvise with canned tomatoes, spices, leftover vegs…

  8. month of Feb 1-29 2016

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $2.16+2.02 +1.99= $6.17 (superbucks)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.00+11.17+8.95=$25.12
    Gift card- $3.29+$8.03+ 6.64=17.96
    PC points redeemed—$30
    plastic bag rebate- $0.0

    camebert cheese $6.59 (reduced)= $3.29
    cooked chicken- $9.99 (reduced)=$4.99
    3lb parkay margarine 3 @ $3.33=$9.99
    reduced produce 3 @ $1.49= $4.47
    bananas= $1.75
    spicy kelbassa sausage $5.99 (reduced)= $2.99
    3- $10 super store gift cards= 30,000 PC pts
    coffee cream flavoring- $3.99
    mushrooms $3.29 (reduced) (200 PC pts)= $1.64
    produce reduced 2 @ $1.49 =$2.98
    PC mini naan breads 5 @$1.69 (reduced) (2000 PC pts) =$4.20
    400g cheese 4 @$4.48 (reduced) =$8.95

    Name Your Store: i.e. Dave’s Fruit & veg Market(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.00

    2 lbs carrots- $0.97
    2 lbs onions- $0.89
    1.41 lbs vine tomatoes= $1.82

    Name Your Store: i.e. U.F.O discount outlet(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $13.99

    1 kg Skippy peanut butter 2 @ $2.00= $4.00
    apricot jam 2 @ 2/$3.00= $3.00
    750 ml olive oil =$5.00
    nachos- $1.99

    Name Your Store: i.e. Gateway Meat Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $15.52
    gift card- $

    1 lb strawberrries 3 @$1.47= $4.41
    spinach- $1.99
    broccoli- $0.97
    1.46 kg sweet potatoes= $3.12
    cheddar cocktail sausages $1.96
    Brothers Honey garlic pepperoni- $3.07

    Name Your Store: i.e. Stirlings Fruit and Veg Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $4.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $11.89

    apple pie- $3.99
    10 lbs – apples- $5.95
    parsnips- $1.95
    $4.00 bag of apples (free with $10 purchase) –$0.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. Giant Tiger (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $8.40

    cantaloupe $2.47 (reduced) = $0.99
    rainbow pepper 4 pack = $2.47
    4 pk tomato=$2.99
    227g mushrooms= $1.97

    Name Your Store: i.e. Sobeys (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card-(Purchased with cash) $11.38+$14.37+$1.38+$15.37=$42.50
    redeemed Airmiles- $10+

    2-4L milk @$5.69=$11.38
    2- marmalade 2/$5.00 (10 bonus airmiles) = $5.00
    4L milk- $5.69
    1.89 L ice cream=$3.69
    2-4L milk @$5.69=$11.38
    2-4L milk @$5.69=$11.38
    sour cream- $1.99
    10 lb potatoes- $2.00

    Overall for the month of February 2016

    $ 5.00+ 8.40+11.89+8.03=33.32+$13.99 +4.00+$15.52_$8.95= $75.78 out of pocket (does not includes the $200 gift card I paid cash for, as I will deduct as I use it)
    $ coupons+3.00 +2.35+1.90+1.66+1.63+0.55 +2.06+4.00+2.16 + $2.02+ $1.99 =$25.48 (coupon and star bucks)
    $ 3.29+8.03+6.64=17.96 – gift cards
    $ 10.00 – airmiles/ pc points redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $ 30.00 (I use my PC points and Air miles to buy them- gift cards )
    $ 11.38+ $14.37+1.38+$15.37= $42.50 (Sobeys gift card that I purchased from cash)

    Do the above for each receipt you have then copy the template below and paste it to the bottom of your shop so we can see your results.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $216.67 (averages $50 week)..includes toiletries, cleaning supplies,
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $

    Total Gift Cards used to date: =$
    Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $3.50 (january)
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Snap Groupon to date: $0
    Zweet to date: $0
    Cart Smart to date: $0
    Checkout51 to date: $0

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

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($0.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $15.31 (Jan)+25.48 (Feb)=$40.79
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: 0.00
    Total spent this week: $0
    Total spent so far this month: $118.78
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month $under spent $97.89 (Feb)

    Total left to spend for the month : $96.35

    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) $218.21 (jan) +$118.78 (Feb)=$336.99

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Tried a couple new fruit/veg markets while in Halifax area, and the place was standing room only…literally.Got some amazing deals..especially the strawberries.Got another great price cheese blocks. Expect next month, our spending to be even lower.

    1. Hi kathryn,
      You sure scored some nice deals this month especially the strawberries. We haven’t seen anything like that price over in Ontario yet. The peanut butter was a great price as well because even that can go over the top with price at $7.99 for 1kg. When you go grocery shopping do you go straight for the reduced section or do you just start scanning for pink or black 50% off stickers? we go right for the gold if we can help it. Oh my I just noticed your free bag of apples. That’s like throwing food in the garbage if you don’t take advantage of that offer… I wish. Well done Kathryn, your shops always amaze me but like all of us we know that it’s not easy trying to eat well on a tight budget. You get ballot #48. Mr.CBB

      1. Yes, always head for the reduced produce and meat sections first…then back track and start over again, as many times they will have Manager’s Specials or discount stickers peppered along the way.
        I have found that my daughter and I have an informal barter system…she has too much of one thing, and we trade food items, which benefits both of us.
        We don’t eat a new meal every night. I had a leftover meat patty and mashed potatoes, and with all the talk of Shepherd’s Pie this week….that transformed into another meal.
        Breakfast is usually the same rotation…eggs of some sort, or a hot porridge….with fresh fruit, toast and tea.
        Lunch…if we even eat it…is usually a naan pizza, salad, or coffee and pie 🙂
        Supper is usually meat of some sort, potato cooked a variety of ways, a fresh veg, and possibly a salad.
        Snack…whatever we crave.
        Baking our own bread, in the bread machine is a huge saving

  9. 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: $45.95
    Total spent this week: $6.46 ($5.54 under)
    Total spent so far this month: $52.41
    Total left to spend for the month: $4.32 + ($12 – $10.29) + (12 – 11.27) + ($12 -11.53) + ($12 – $12.86) + ( $12 – $6.46) = $11.91 to carry over to next month
    Total Grocery Budget Spent To Date 2016: (Jan $75.68) (Feb $52.41)

    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 to carry over to next month
    Total Stockpile Budget used to date: (Jan $21.10) (Feb $39.99)

    This week’s shop

    Food Basics
    $1.80 Minute Maid frozen orange juice (2) (0.99 – 10% from rain cheque = $0.90 each)
    $1.97 oranges (3lb)
    $0.38 zucchini (0.99/lb)
    $0.51 tomato ($0.99/lb)
    $4.66 OOP

    $1.80 potatoes (10lb) ($2.00 – 10% student discount)


    I didn’t need to buy much this week as I have an alarming amount of meat and cheese on hand and was given some food by my kids who are starting a new diet. Works out well because we are hosting 11 people at Easter. That’s going to put quite a dent in my food budget for the month so I’m happy to have a little bit of a cushion from the
    $10.80 I underspent and carried over from January and February. I was thinking that next year I might adopt Mary’s idea of a reserve budget to cover the cost of entertaining on holidays. It probably reduces some of the stress.

    I really liked your post this week, Mr. CBB. As you and others pointed out, batch cooking can really save money because there is something already prepared so it is not as tempting to grab something on the go. One problem I have with it though is that I can’t prepare large quantities of foods I really love because I will overeat them. I had this happen last week when I made crustless broccoli and bacon quiche. It was really enough for 4-6 servings but got eaten in two meals. The things I’ve had the most success with are things like bean/lentil dishes, soups,or individually portioned cooked meats which are good but not good enough to eat a lot of.

    With regard to low cost foods, soups and stews are awesome and filling enough to prevent overeating. Pea and lentil soups are dirt cheap, full of nutrition, and extremely filling. It’s hard to imagine a cheaper source of protein than orange lentils, split peas, or tofu. Even eggs and dairy seem pricey in comparison. When I first started thinking of low cost foods to cook I started looking for ethnic recipes because I thought they’d be both nutritious and good. Its hard to beat hummus and Indian lentil soups for example and they’re so easy to make in usually 1 pot. Tofu is also incredibly cheap. There is 2/3 the protein in a block of tofu that costs a dollar as there is in a dozen eggs that are usually two to three dollars. The texture can be gross if you buy the extra firm variety but the regular and firm are usually okay. I like it best fried in a pan coated with cooking spray then put in a bun and topped with PC peanut sauce and veg. It’s also great in a stir fry or asian style soup.

    Out of curiosity, how is everyone planning to keep costs down over Easter?

    Happy shopping everyone 🙂

    1. Hi Mimsie,
      We love Indian inspired dishes in our house and make our own hummus as well as use lentils to make lentil sloppy joes and so on. We haven’t experimented much with lentils but we were told what we should and shouldn’t use from a friend of ours who uses a pressure cooker to hurry up the cooking process. Eggs and dairy can be very pricey depending on what you want to buy. Organic Free Range eggs here cost $7.99 a dozen which is pricey but worth it because they are nice eggs. I’m not a tofu lover myself but my wife doesn’t mind it. What brand do you normally purchase? Good luck shopping in March!! You get ballot 47. Mr.CBB

    2. Mimsie,

      My March costs are going to be contained by changing my St. Patrick’s Day feast to Colcannon Soup and Welsh Tea Bread instead of the usual Corned Beef Brisket with potatoes, cabbage, carrots and onions. For Easter, I am making a turkey a la king…still turkey but a really small amount compared to doing a whole bird. 🙂

  10. I have lucked out a time or two getting ground pork reduced that I mix into the ground beef here. My local store has never sold the two mixed together. I’ve found ground chicken and turkey here too that is reduced. I grab it fast when I find those deals! With the size of the batch of spaghetti sauce I make, there usually isn’t that much leftover so I freeze it to use later with some frozen from another night. Usually gets used in a pasta bake like penne or tortellini.
    My shepherds pie is a cleanup of the leftovers from a roast! I’ve never tried making it from ground beef….
    All in all some very good ideas to stretch the grocery budget!!

  11. Good information Mr. CBB. Thanks for including my soup recipe and my comment. I’m honoured. I’d like to mention, as well, that a meatless version of Shepherd’s Pie (I call it Peasant Pie when vegetarian) can be made with lentils cooked in mushroom stock or with cooked chick peas that have been chopped in the food processor. Coarsely chopped chick peas give a texture similar to cooked ground meat. If you season your pie well, many folks won’t even notice that the meat is “missing.”

    1. What a brilliant idea Beth. We love lentils, black beans and chick peas and often eat them in our house. I may give this a try once the wife is back on eating beans.

  12. 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: $30.00
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 13,000 + extra on M/C
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date: $1.00
    Grocery Shop This Week: February 26 – March 03, 2016

    PC Cinnamon Raisin Bread 2 x $4.29 – (50%) = $4.28
    PC Thins Hamburger Buns $3.69 – (50%) = $1.84
    Folger’s Classic Roast 2 x $8.49 = $16.98
    Smuckers Strawberry Jam 2 x $3.99 = $7.98 – $6.00 = $1.98
    (Coupon 2 x $3.00 if you buy Folgers & Smuckers Products = $6.00)
    Iogo Nano 3 x $2.99 – $3.00 coupon = $5.97
    Fresh Spinach Mix $5.99 – (50%) = $2.99
    10 lbs. Russet Potatoes $2.00
    Fresh Broccoli $1.99
    Snow Peas 2 x $1.50 = $3.00 –(50%) off 1- 0.75 = $2.25
    Maple Leaf Bacon $3.44 – $2.50 = $0.94
    Frozen bag Popcorn Chicken $10.00
    Wonder Bread 4 x $2.25 – (50%) = $4.48
    Danone Creamy $1.49
    Kraft Cheese 2 x $4.48 = $8.96
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 66.14

    Fruit by the Foot $9.79
    Veggie Straws Chips $6.49
    Milk 4L 2 x $6.35 = $12.70
    Frozen Strawberries $13.99
    Babybel Cheese $11.59
    Nutella $13.99 (2 jars)
    Ancient Tortillas $4.49
    3 lbs. Bananas $1.99
    Spinach $3.69
    Fresh Blueberries $4.99
    Applesauce $9.99
    Chris Brothers Pepperoni $9.59
    2L Chocolate Milk $3.56
    Maple Syrup $12.99
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $121.96

    Shoppers Drug Mart
    Butter 2 x $3.49 = $6.98
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ $6.98

    Celery Sticks $2.47
    Cucumber $0.97
    4 lbs. Oranges $3.97
    Swiss Chalet Gravy $1.65
    Butternut Squash $2.02
    Grape Tomatoes $2.47
    Total Out-of-Pocket $13.55

    Can Corn $1.00
    Total Out-of-Pocket $1.00

    Total to spend this month: $700
    Total coupons used this week: $ 11.50
    Total coupons used to date: $36.78
    Total in-store discounts this week: $17.42
    Total in-store discounts to date: $179.04
    Total spent this week: $ 209.63
    Total spent so far this month: $816.19
    Total over/Under spend this shop: OVER $69.63
    Total over/Under spend for the month: OVER $116.19
    Total left to spend for the month: $0
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $706.52 + Feb $816.19

    Weekly Overview:
    I am going to try and make up for the overage next month by spending approx.. $30.00 less per shop. If I don’t catch up next month I am thinking that when the garden starts producing and some of the prices go down in the spring/summer I should be able to make up the difference.

    1. Hi Lori-Lynn,
      Where did you get the $3 Nano coupon? Our son LOVES Nano which we learned when we were at Costco and they were giving them out as samples. Our son went mad for them but they can get pricey compared to a container of yogurt. It looks like quite a few of us have overage this month and it’s likely due to there being 5 shopping weeks to compete with. What are some ways that you will target the $116 overage? You get ballot 46. Mr.CBB 🙂

  13. Good morning 🙂
    Great post!!
    I think it will help a lot of people looking to stretch their meals and budgets.
    I find it interesting that many stores sell a beef and pork blend and wonder if it is processed by an outside company. My store would fail the santitation audit with the possibility of getting shut down for mixing the two meats together in the grinders because they would now be contaminated. We have a small machine to grind pork and a large machine to grind beef. Also many people that shop our store either dont eat pork or beef due to dietary reasons or religious beliefs.

    1. You could always ask the store but I believe you are correct it’s mixed outside the company. How do you find the prices of beef these days since you work in the meat department? I really like sharing feedback from the fans in my posts because it’s real people sharing real stories and tips. This is what the people want. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  14. FEBRUARY – Week #5 of 5- Feb 29-March 6, 2016


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



    This is a LOW SHOP WEEK for the last week of the month. I needed milk so we bought a jug of Island Farms at Thrifty Foods with the $5.00 Facebook coupon I had. I love getting the milk for FREE!

    It’ll be nice to get back in the shops next week though…produce department here I come! I have enough crunch material for this week but I’ll be looking to stick up next week. 🙂



    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 4L Island Farms Skim Milk @ $4.99 ea = $4.99 – $5 COUPON = $0.00

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $0.00
    Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $4.99 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 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 or hard boiled eggs


    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Coleslaw & Red Delicious Apple for hubby / apple-walnut-celery salad with poppyseed dressing for me

    TUES: Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Cottage Cheese & thermos of chocolate milk for hubby / tuna salad on cucumber slices for me

    WED: Egg Salad Sandwiches, Creamy Tomato Soup & Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bread for hubby / hard boiled eggs with tomato-onion salad for me

    THURS: Peanut Butter Sandwiches with last of the Apple Cinnamon Raisin Bread plus a thermos of chocolate milk for hubby / Sardine Sandwich for me

    FRI: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Leftover Peasant Cabbage and Tomato Soup for hubby / just the soup for me

    SAT: Whitespot for lunch using $10 discount coupon + gift card to cover

    SUN: Tomato-Cucumber-Onion-Cheese Sandwiches with homemade macaroni & cheese salad with diced celery, onion and carrot for hubby / just the salad with shrimp added for me + cucumber spears


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Ricky’s 3 Course Dinner @ $12 each for late Valentine’s Day celebration – last day for using 2 x $5 discount coupons (we had Caesar Salads, Turkey dinners and hubby had hot Apple Crumble & brought home Hot Fudge Mt. Baker (he always brings home mine as it’s not gluten free)

    TUES: Greek Salad on a bed of spinach & Iceberg lettuce with a Greek vinaigrette

    WED: Caesar Salad and last of the Pumpkin Cornbread

    THURS: Peasant Cabbage and Tomato Soup with Quick Peppery Cheese Bread

    FRI: Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with steamed asparagus & tomato-onion salad with an Italian vinaigrette

    SAT: Apple Bacon & Tomato Soup with Quick Peppery Cheese Bread

    SUN: Slow Cooker Beef Stew & Sweet Potato Biscuits with a small wedge salad


    1. Hi Mary,
      I know what you mean about starting a new month and getting back into the game. I feel the same way as it’s renewal time where we get the opportunity to make it right. Does the store on Facebook offer the free $5 coupon to anyone who is on the page or do you have to do something to unlock it and print it? I’m interested in your Friday meal of lentil shepherd’s pie which I never thought of making before. I bet it will be delicious. What recipe do you use? Here’s to March!!! You get ballot 45. Mr.CBB

      1. Mr CBB, I follow the Thrifty Foods page on FB and they announced that the 1st 750 followers to register for a coupon would receive a link to print off their coupon. It was a really nice treat considering I needed milk and was over budget already! 🙂

  15. Feb 26 – Mar 3, 2016
    Name Your Store: Zehrs
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.49

    375 g Hot Dogs = $1.99
    3 lb Carrots = $3.50

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $4.00
    Total Points = 800
    Total Out Of Pocket: $38.34 (including stockpile)

    4 – 900 g NN Pasta -1 @ 1.87 or 2 @ 3.50 (800 PC Points) = $7.00
    4 – 500 mL Ragu Sauce – 4/$5.00 = $5.00
    1.89 L PC Blue Menu Blueberry drink = $2.88
    5 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup – 5/$4.00 = $4.00
    2 – 4 L Skim Milk = $8.54
    2 – 2 L Chapman’s Ice Cream – 4.99 (PM No Frills @ $2.88) = $5.76 (minus $4.00 coupon)
    Thomas Cinnamon Raisin Bread – $4.99 (PM No Frills @ $1.88) = $1.88
    2 Wonder WW Bread – $2.99 (PM No Frills @ $1.88) = $3.76
    Bananas = $3.83

    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: $31.83
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $(49.34)
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $342.38

    Total Cats this Week Period: $N/A
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: $22.94
    Total Cats to Date: $61.06

    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $12.00
    Total Stockpile to Date: $54.01
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $91.36
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $
    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: $4.00
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $4.00

    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: $12.43
    Total Price Match to Date: $61.93

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 800
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 0
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 27090

    Overview: Well to attempt to make up for the overage, this week is my last shop for my “February”. I received my Chapman’s Ice Cream coupon in the mail so I scored a nice deal on the ice cream this week. To make up for the shopping over the past couple of weeks, I have enough food to make it last, except for minor things like milk and bananas.

    1. Hi DEE,
      We’re over for the month so we’ll have to make up for it next month. We haven’t received our coupon yet but hopefully soon. Great dwal on the raisin bread. Our son loves raisin bread after his grandmother made him french toast with it. Overall you had what I consider a low peaceful grocery shop this week. We’ll be alongside you next month working our way back into the grocery game as we clear up our overage. You get ballot 44. Mr.CBB

      1. I have one more week under my “February” because of when I get paid. I don’t buy cinnamon raisin bread unless it’s under $2.00. I need to try and make it from scratch. Next week will be a no shop for the humans but will have to get the cats a few items.

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