A Smart Shopper Guide To Prepare For The Grocery Store : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Mar 28-Apr 3




If you want to become a smart shopper plan to invest time into your grocery shopping experience otherwise you’ll be spending money you don’t need to spend and saving less than you should be.

Knowing the ropes when it comes to the grocery store is a big deal especially if you are on a tight budget. A fan asked me how they could become a smart shopper like my wife and I have become over the years which caught me off guard. I thought I’ve shared just about every smart shopper trick that I could think of over the years but I haven’t shared exactly what we do.

I’m putting together this post to share how we go about grocery shopping to keep our monthly budget at $235 a month for 2 adults and one toddler. I hope by the end of reading this post you feel as if we all grocery shopped together. My aim is to virtually take your hand to have you become a smart shopper by following grocery tricks we’ve learned over the years.

Related: The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide (Become a Smart Shopper with tonnes of tips and secrets from just about every Grocery Game Post I’ve ever written over the years)

Going to the grocery store may be terrifying for the first time grocery shopper but for those of you who are seasoned shoppers it’s fairly straight-forward once you understand the road map from point A to Cashing out.


Smart Shopper 101


Here’s what it takes to become a smart shopper like us but remember that it takes time and the more you practice the easier it gets. Eventually you will tune out all the marketing ploys that encourage you to spend more money than you wanted to.

Things have changed since we had our son because we don’t have the time we used to in order to plan lucrative coupon adventures at the grocery store. To be honest though with the technology craze for coupon apps these days limiting coupon use has hardly changed the way we save money.

If you’re into couponing you’ll notice that there aren’t as many coupons available as there once were and the amounts they’re worth aren’t much to get excited about either. I know in the past I’ve said saving something is better than nothing. I still believe in this concept but it’s not coupons winning the savings battle these days.

If you are able to coupon stack you’ll likely disagree with me which is fine because we can’t stack coupons in Ontario but if we could I’d certainly be on that train as fast as I could be. Coupon stacking has huge savings benefits for the smart shopper.

On that note I’m going to take you through the process my wife and I take to plan our grocery shopping so we are able to continue with a low grocery budget.


Go fetch the grocery flyers


It’s Thursday…that mean’s the grocery flyers are in our mailbox by 5pm. I’m usually the one who gathers up the roll of flyers and brings them in the house. If I haven’t tripped over them because our not so smart paper boy decides to throw them on the ground under the mailbox I may even get them in good condition.

There have been days I’d have to play catch because they were on our front lawn, down the side of the house and on the windshield of our neighbours car. I’m not kidding! Anyhow these days I think it depends on his mood but none the less the grocery flyers are a huge influence to our shopping trip.

If you’re not a fan of waiting for actual flyers to flip through you can use the conveniently named “Flipp App” on your smartphone which will have all the weekly flyers in your area and compare prices for you on products you need.

Although Flipp is a great app the wife and I prefer the old-fashioned way of planning our shopping by reading the flyers together with a cuppa tea, pad of paper and a pen. We’re becoming our parents…we always joke about that.


Take Inventory of the Stash


Before we read the weekly flyers we take a quick inventory of what we have in the pantry, refrigerator and read our freezer inventory list. This enables us to sort out what we need to stock up on if we can find a good deal and what we immediately need because we are all out or close to it. This takes us about 15 minutes to complete.


Load our Online Coupon Apps


These days if you want savings from grocery stores that offer points programs like the PC Plus Points or the Shoppers Optimum and Metro online rewards you need to load them. I’m sure there are plenty more I haven’t mentioned but you get the idea. This takes mere minutes to do but it’s important to make sure we maximize on all the possible weekly savings that we can.


Print, Clip or Gather Coupons


Yes, we still use the occasional coupons but we don’t spend much time collecting them like we used to in terms of online trading. We do scour the grocery store as we shop and if we see a coupon that catches our attention we will grab a couple of them.

Related: Where to find the best coupons in Canada

Like I mentioned they aren’t as lucrative plus we have a stockpile in our basement that will keep us going for a few more years. We don’t count health and beauty in our grocery budget but we’re well stocked including laundry products.

Related: Coupon Apps In Canada

Related: How to chop everyday costs without coupons

This takes us about 15 minutes to look online for printable coupons etc.


Organizing a Shopping List


generic grocery list One of the biggest mistakes shoppers make is creating a generic grocery shopping list. Have you ever found someone’s shopping list in your grocery cart? I did last week and I took it home to read it because I’m nosey.

What I found was a list that was without any sale prices which leads me to believe the owner of the list did not review the grocery sales. I know many of you may write products you need and you can memorize what store has the best prices but leaving it up to the memory is a sure-fire way to go broke.

I’ve provided free printable grocery shopping lists that you can print and use to make things easier. We use them to write our grocery list BUT we make sure we include brand names and sale prices.

If we don’t know the price of the product we need we write it in as a product we need pending price. We are pretty good at figuring out what prices are the best prices and those that we can hang onto until the next sales cycle rolls around. In the event the store is out of a sale item we always make sure to get a rain check IF the store offers them as they don’t all have this great perk.

This process takes us about 10 minutes to scan the flyers and write down the products we will hopefully be buying or price matching.


Picking a Day to Grocery Shop


We normally like to grocery shop on Monday evenings after dinner if we can but sometimes we shop early or even at the end of the week because flyer sales overlap at some grocery stores. The name of the game for us is to go when everyone else is at home eating dinner or doing something other than shopping.

The worst thing to do is shop when the store is busy because you can easily lose your focus with crowds surrounding you. If you find you are in that situation try to go down the quiet aisles to regroup and figure out where you still have to shop and what you are looking for.

Pick a day and time that works for you and your family and think about how and what distractions might deter you from reaching your smart shopper goals. Choosing to shop after we eat a meal helps us to curb overspending. Don’t shop hungry.


In the Grocery Store


Before entering the store you may notice product sales placed outside and in the lobby where the grocery carts are. Don’t turn a blind eye to these sales as they may be reduced or blowout sales. It’s easier to target the shopper with products they need to move fast before they step foot into the store. I’ve been able to score great deals on winter road salt, garden plants and much more.

The first thing the wife and I do is get a grocery cart to buckle our little guy into for his travels around the aisles. While I’m doing that my wife is over checking the coupon board for any new coupons. We tend to split up when we grocery shop to save time. We’ve already addressed what we are buying so we know what to look for. Since we split up we have 2 copies of the grocery list which makes finding products faster too.

The perimeter is your friend. Keep telling yourself that and you’ll be fine. Put your ‘Reduced Radar’ on and you’ll find all the in-store deals going. That means get to know your store and how they mark down products. You’ll be able to spot reduced product labels and blow-out specials while super scanning the store. That’s how we do it.

If there is no need for us to go down an aisle, we avoid it although we have found some smashing deals down those naughty aisles. Not every product down the aisles are bad for your budget so pick and choose wisely where your money is being spent.

Most often we circle the perimeter of the store and a few aisles before we cash out. The wife and I pretty much know where all the reduced racks and sections are in the grocery stores that we shop in so we always make sure to check them out.

If we find something we whistle or call for each other to come see the product. We don’t venture off from each other too far because we like to call each other if need be. If we score a great deal we review our grocery list and grocery budget to see if we can afford the deal. If not, it goes back. If yes, we quickly talk about it which ends up.. ya get it, no we don’t need it. Then we move on.

If we are in Zehrs we typically take a run through the clothing section quickly to see what kids clothing they have marked down but we don’t spend too much time in there. I’d say tops we are in the grocery store for 25-30 minutes because we split the task between us. It also depends on how big our grocery list is to determine shopping times.

If at all possible we try not to talk to anyone unless they know us or ask for help which I am more than happy to give. Sometimes we stumble across the sample person who we may make small talk with, try the product and ask for coupons if we liked it but that’s about it.


Shopping with our son


Depending on the sales for the week we may grocery shop at one store or travel to a few. The name of the game for us is to be prepared for anything. That means don’t forget the diaper bag, which I’ve done.

If the store offers Free fresh fruit for our boy we make sure to grab him an apple or banana for our in-store travels which seems to keep him happy. If there’s no fruit we get him a Free cookie from the Zehrs bakery or we bring snacks. That’s a little treat for him when we are out and he enjoys it and it.

Related: How to grocery shop with a child

When we get to the cash register we often use a cashier as we have reduced products which tend to take longer to ring up at checkout scanners as the main cashier has to tend to us personally to scan in the reduced items. For us that wastes valuable time so it’s easier to visit a cashier. Plus we enjoy conversations with the cashier and our son likes putting products on the belt and pushing the conveyor button when it’s time to pack our re-usable bags or boxes offered by the store.

We try to involve him in the grocery shopping experience as much as we can. I’m sure I’ll be writing an update post about grocery shopping with a toddler because as he gets older the process gets a bit tricky. Trying to keep a child engaged takes patience and prep work. Not every parent has the luxury to grocery shop alone so it’s important to the success of the grocery shop as well.


Review the receipt


If you aren’t doing this yet you must add it to your to-do list BEFORE leaving the grocery store. The last think you want happening is having to return because a product rang up higher than it should have.

Even though you may have a Scanning Code of Practice incident on your hands it’s easier to deal with it on the spot rather than having to call when you get home. I’ve had to make that call before and although everything went down smooth it was still a pain in the backside.

When we didn’t have our son in tow it was easy to watch what the cashier was doing and if we noticed an error it would get corrected on the spot. These days we are trying to cash out and get our son through the process with the least amount of hassle which means a receipt review is ever so important before we exit the building.

If all else fails and you find an error just call the store and let them know. They are always happy to accommodate missed pricing errors especially if you speak to the manager.


Ask for Rain Check


Whatever you do if the store is out of a sale item and you know you need it or will need it in the future by all means ask for a rain check from your cashier or from customer service if they offer them. Leaving without one when you need a product only means you will have to pay more for it when the stock does finally arrive.

We’ve got better at asking for a rain check and the thrill of it sometimes means we end up stretching our savings to the next month. If you are an eagle eye and can spot empty sales bins or shelves you may be able to score a rain check. You may not need the product now but if you know you will in a month or so the rain check is handy to have.


Visit the ATM


Before we head out the door we make a pit-stop at the automated teller machine to get some cash out from the bank while we can. Since we bank with PC Financial it’s convenient to have the in-branch bank available to us while we grocery shop.

There have been many times we needed some help and the lovely PC Financial employee was always there to help us. We don’t miss the traditional bank at all and have banked with PC since the beginning. Well, my wife has because it was hard to pass up no fees. I don’t blame here some of the fees banks charge in Canada are outrageous. Pick and choose your banking battles wisely. Options are out there.


Get the heck out of there


Normally my wife will pack the groceries in the vehicle and put the shopping cart back while I am strapping junior into his car seat. Before our boy came along I would do the packing of the groceries and she would return the shopping cart. Anything we’ve ever done we’ve completed as a couple if possible.

Grocery shopping can still add up to about an hour from start to finish depending on how much you have to buy, whether you are waiting for help from staff, long line-ups, technology malfunction at the cash etc. For the most part we aim for one hour to get in and get out.

If by chance I grocery shop alone because I go after work I do my best to get in and get out. Even though that’s easier said than done I’m still working on this part of the smart shopper plan. Don’t give up and never give in unless you find yourself faced with a hell of a deal.


Bringing our Groceries Home


When we finally make it home I bring all the groceries in the house while Jr. CBB is out playing around the vehicle or in the garage with his toys. We are parents who have toy stashes just about everywhere to keep junior busy. My wife puts the groceries away while I’m hanging out with our boy. This creates less distraction for her which means the job of putting groceries away happens faster.

After all is said and done we put our grocery receipt in our Canadian Budget Binder folder ready for end of month budget calculations and the weekly grocery game challenge post. All of these steps have helped us to become the smart shopper family that we are today.

Without putting a plan in place grocery shopping would cost us much more and we’d like not be mortgage free today if it weren’t for our smart shopping ways. Don’t take for granted the obvious when you are faced with money-saving opportunities.

Do you consider yourself a smart shopper? Why?


March 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 $10 Canadian . 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.

March Grocery Game 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: 114,063
  • 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

  • Homo Milk Sealtest $5.27
  • 2% Milk 4L Beatrice $4.27
  • Romaine Lettuce 3 pk Sale $1.97
  • Pineapple $1.67
  • Strawberries $1.67
  • 2 x Lactancia Whipping cream $1.99
  • Mexico Bag Avocados $2.98
  • 2 x Dozen Eggs Sale $1.88
  • 1 x seedless cucumber Sale $0.98
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese $2.49
  • Saputa Mozzarella $4.44

Total Out-of-Pocket: $33.48

  • Total to spend this month $235.00-$32.41 over Jan = $202.59
  • Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00-$1 overage= $24.00)
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $26.64 (over $2.64 month)
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $4.60
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $157.75
  • Total spent this week: $33.48
  • Total spent so far this month: $211.11 (OMG I can’t get away from 11:11)
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: $8.52 over
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$8.52
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We are still over this month however we are catching up little by little. I’m sure April will be the month to sort this over-spend once and for all. Some great sales this week but we didn’t have the cash to jump on them. We did stock up on plenty of fruits and vegetables.
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 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 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!

Please Note: Some of the links in the body of the blog post are affiliate links which means I may get paid if you buy something from Amazon. The items I’ve chosen are products we use at home or similar to.


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  1. Hey MR.CBB
    Now that summer is on its way hot dogs will always be on sale till probably sept as the competition is on for each company to out do each other.
    I have found a couple sales and then the Get My Offers from sobeys/air miles I can sometimes save 50% off a package helping the cost of a quick and easy meal.
    We only have one fridge and one deep freeze downstairs and I would love more but that only fuels my shopping 🙂 But they are usually full and I am okay with that but I know hubby wants to have them emptied out.
    The deals are work can be awesome and hard to not buy all of it, lol

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $625
    Save on foods
    $2 bbq wieners – clearance
    $2.05×2 vanilla root beer float pop – clearance
    $6.25 total oop
    $2.48×9-$2Cx9 gain flings 14pk – clearance
    $2.48-$2C tide pods 10pk – clearance
    $6 total oop
    $20 total coupons
    H&W Produce
    .99 2lb snap peas
    $1.48 2lb carots
    $2.99 3lb new potatoes
    $4.98 20lb russet potatoes
    .99 grape tomatoes
    $1.49×2 blackberries
    $14.40 total oop
    $2.50×2 sun chips
    $1.79×5 nn cream cheese – clearance
    $1.88×4 lean cuisine/bistros
    $2.29×2 dzn eggs
    .99×4 stove top
    $30.25 total oop & 4000P
    $2.79 black forest ham
    $1.68 2L pop
    $8.22, $6.35 lean ground beef – 4-6 meals
    $8.09, $8.03, $7.84, $7.23 boneless skinless chicken breasts – clearance
    .50×7 4x100g greek yogurt – clearance/short dated
    $3.99 cheese sticks
    .99×10 quick set jam – clearance
    $68.20 total oop

    $125.10 total weekly oop
    $20 total weekly coupons
    $659.18 total monthly oop
    $662.12 total monthly coupons

    Went over our weekly and monthly budget but I am more than ok with it because the clearance sales were pretty amazing at work and I wasn’t gonna pass them up. Needless to say we are set for a bit on chicken breasts 😉

    1. Hi Juanita
      I’m starting to see the price of hotdogs come down. It got pretty crazy there for a few months at $6.99 a pack. Our son likes them so I’ll pick up a few when I can for him. Great deal on the yogurt and quick set jam. I think Checkout51 has more savings for the Tide Pods as Jen has been getting them $3.00 off. I have to ask how many refrigerators and freezers are in your house? If I worked at the grocery store I’d probably need to invest in doubles lol. Awesome shop as always… especially the chicken breasts. You get ballot #21. Mr.CBB

  3. Week 4 – March 27 – April 2

    • Grocery budget to work with in March: $200
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $1.99
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0.92
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $8.12
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: $0
    • 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: $2.85
    • Total student discounts to date: $24.63
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $37.05
    • Total spent so far this month: $131.70
    • 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: $13.95
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $663.95

    Shoppers: Milk 4.27: Total Paid 4.25 rounded down 2 cents
    RCSS: bananas 1.49, grapes 2.71, outside roast 11.24, pork tenderloin 6.32, chicken drumsticks 4.77, colgate 1.98, less superbucks .50 and .42, less student discount 2.85, plus tax .23: Total paid 24.95 rounded down 2 cents
    RCSS: McCain fries/hasbrowns 3/4.98, chicken bologna clearance 1.00, bread clearance 2 x .94: Total paid 7.85 rounded down 1 cent
    We came very close to our goal of clearing the overspend from January by the end of March. No we didn’t quite get it to zero, but it will be. I could list a million and one excuses, but really it comes down to it was a goal and we came close. I know it is only a matter of a short time and we will start having a carryover again instead of an overspend. Great two months!
    This week we needed some protein. When our family goes to the fridge and freezer, open and close the door a dozen times, we’re hungry and not filled enough, usually that’s from lack of protein. So, we needed some meat. I redid the weekly menu plan because of it too. Chicken was right away, then a couple days later my son made a lovely pulled pork, then I turned the roast into stewing beef (it was cheaper to buy the roast and cut it up myself, the stewing meat was outrageously priced) and I made a lovely stew that we had two meals from. But, all of the protein we got is gone, so it will have to be replenished quickly.
    Bread clearance is always great because it saves me having to get a loaf ready to go. As much as we love fresh bread and the lack of preservatives and other stuff in it, sometimes it’s nice to just have a loaf and go. This was especially important since I got a great deal on the bologna for a large pack. School lunches made easy, woo hoo!

    1. Hi Angela,
      Does your family eat legumes at all as a source of protein? I find they fill me up. I also like tuna and eggs as cheaper alternatives. We always can find bread clearance every week at Zehrs without fail. If we do buy bread we always buy it 50% off and freeze it. It’s always cheaper to buy whole and cut yourself. I would never buy pre-cut meat unless it was a super duper great deal. I’m so happy to hear that you came very close to clearing up your overspend!! Yay…. Well done Angela, I’m proud of you as I’m sure the rest of the gang is! Keep at it. Mr.CBB You get ballot 1

      1. We don’t buy legumes often. We used to with the intention to use it, but it always sat there. It may be time to look into it again. Mainly we make our own bread, we buy it only from time to time so that I have something if we can’t keep up. Our best deal on bread is when we get to the Weston’s outlet an hour away. It’s only a month away when we go and I am hoping for a decent stock up. April will be a big spending month since I know we are starting to run low, but not terribly low yet. I am just trying to figure out how I can eat healthier this month, less carbs and pastas. It is too rough on the body, looking at getting some of my beans hydrated. But, the focus on healthier eating will be in a month when I can focus on it lol! The time is coming to a close on my education. 2 1/2 weeks and it will be all over and then time to hit the streets again to get a job in my new field. It’s exciting!

  4. 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: 27300
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date -$0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $6.00($25.75)
    Checkout51 to cash out : $12.75($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    2 Royale paper towels @4.77, 2X1.00 coupons
    2 Royale 12DR TP @4.77, 2X1.00 coupons
    2 6pack Royale tissues @4.77, 2X1.00 coupons
    1 Windex -3.99, 1 FPC peelie from paper towel packs -$0
    1 Cheerios -3.99
    1 4l milk -4.88
    6lb butter @3.33
    1 pack lean ground beef – 11.51
    1 pack sausage -3.99
    1 bread crumbs -2.49, 50% AM discount
    1 raisin bread -2.99, 50% AM discount
    1 raisin bread -2.99
    Tax -4.24
    Total OOP -$77.04, 9.99 coupons ,$2.75 discounts
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -3.99
    2 Alcan foil @1.33
    5 lbs butter @3.33
    3lbs carrots -2.50
    1 pack lean ground beef -14.17
    1 W/W bread -3.79, 50% AM discount
    2 raisin bread @2.99
    Tax -.35
    Total OOP -$53.68, $1.90 discount
    Food Basics
    2 cranberry cocktail @2.99
    1 Charmin 12DR TP -5.99
    1 case cream soda -3.67
    2 Ziploc containers @2.99
    1 Ziploc freezer bags -2.99
    2 4l milk @4.27
    2 yogurt @2.99
    1 sour cream -1.49
    2 blocks cheese @4.44
    2 bagels @2.99
    Tax -2.42
    Total OOP -$57.90
    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 – $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $26.44, over $1.44
    Total coupons used this week: $9.99
    Total coupons used to date: $32.49
    Total in-store discounts this week:$4.65
    Total in-store discounts to date: $69.37
    Total spent this week: $188.20
    Total spent so far this month: $605.28
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $44.72 under
    Total left to spend for the month: $44.72
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $605.28
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) over for the week but under for the month!! Third month in a row!! Not sure how long I can keep it up but I have a good size cushion built up for now. We went to Food Basics as hubby had an appointment in town and wanted to prowl the bulk store and Dollarama, both are right by the Food Basics store so we went in. I was hoping to score a couple of sirloin tip roasts they had on ad but there were none to see. This was the second time this has happened but I got a rain check for two roasts and hope they have some next time I go there. It really was a sorry looking meat counter to be polite.

    1. Hi Christine,
      I love when you say you are under for the month and I honestly am amazed given the higher prices you are faced with and occasional trips into the city to go to No Frills. Awesome. I guess you just answered my question from the last GGC post you submitted where I asked if you ever go to Food Basics. 🙂 Reading my mind were ya? Ya Food Basics doesn’t have the best meat counter. Where did you get the Royale Coupons? Great deals and coupon usage this week. 🙂 You get ballot #31. 🙂 Have a great week.

      1. We went to Food Basics this trip as hubby was with me and he wanted to go to Country Bulk which is right by the Food Basics…lol!!
        The Royale coupons were in the pack from Juanita, our fave coupon fairy!!
        I’ve hit some good sales lately to help with the budget, hopefully I can keep things stocked up nicely as the year goes….

  5. Sitting in my kitchen planning out menus for the month. Moved to a monthly shop and boy did I ever save money!! I always check the fridge to update my weekly “fresh” shop. Month three and I am beginning to see a real pattern in what I use and how much I use. I have a hungry 9 year old with multiple allergies (dairy, egg, shellfish) and sensitivities to gluten, corn, barley, and other items. That means that the cost for many items like bread and non dairy milk are about 3/4 more expensive. On the other hand I cook fresh mostly so it is slightly less expensive then processed food. It is an ongoing challenge to shop frugally and provide a well rounded healthy diet for my son. THere are three of us in the house. I portion almost everything I make or buy. That certainly goes a long way. I am going to play the game offline to get the hang of it. I am not sure $65/week will cover our specialty items. My goal to start would be to get to $100 per week. I am currently $150/170. Any tips? Wish me luck!! 🙂

  6. month of Mar 1-31 2016

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $2.15 +$2.06+$3.28=$7.49(superbucks)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card- $16.25+14.95+11.64+15.64+8.04=58.48
    PC points redeemed—$50
    plastic bag rebate- $0.09+0.01+0.01=$0.11

    Miracle Whip 4/$5.00= $5.00
    10 kg R.H. flour- $8.99
    croissants- $1.77
    PC Rounds (bread) $2.99 (reduced) =$1.49
    PC naan bread $2.49 (reduced) =$1.24
    mushrooms $2.79 (reduced) = $1.39
    melorange melon- $3.99 (reduced) =$1.99
    reduced produce $1.49
    whole chicken $14.36 (reduced) =$7.18
    honey garlic sausage $4.99 (reduced) $2.49
    naan bread 2 @2.49 (reduced) = $2.48
    cucumber dressing= $1.88
    International coffee creamer =$4.79
    NN sour cream =$3.49
    hot cross buns $2.99 (reduced) = $1.49
    eggs 4 @$1.99 =$7.96
    450g cheddar cheese 2 @3.99=$7.98
    reduced produce 2 @1.49= $2.98
    smoked picnic pork (99c lb)= $8.04

    Name Your Store: i.e. The Bargain Shop!(Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.40

    Dads oatmeal cookies= $4.39 (reduced) =$2.00
    NN Bar-B-Q sauce =$1.59 (reduced) =$0.40
    Utopia canned tomatoes 2 @$0.79 =$1.58 (reduced) =$1.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. MacQuarries Pharmasave (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $15.09

    12- 1.36L Graves apple/cranberry juice 2/ $0.99= $7.14
    doz eggs 3@ $1.99= $5.97
    Classico Bruschetta 4 @ 2/$0.99= $1.98

    Name Your Store: i.e. Gateway Meat Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $34.65+1.97+$14.11=$50.73
    gift card- $

    5-1 lbs strawberries @ $0.97=$.4.85
    mushrooms= 2 @ $1.97=$3.94
    10 lbs potatoes= $2.97
    bananas 1.05 kg= $1.61
    kiwi 6 @ $0.33= $1.98
    broccoli- $1.47
    cauliflower- $1.97
    lb asparagus= $1.87
    .865 kg sweet potato =$1.85
    avocados 2 @ $0.97= $1.94
    cantaloupe 3 @ $0.97= $2.19
    honey garlic pepperoni= $3.37
    whole raw chicken @ $1.77 lb= $3.89
    spinach= $1.99
    5 lbs carrots= $2.97
    1.53 kg bananas= $1.49
    broccoli= $1.47
    3.53 kg sweet potatoes =$2.12
    honey garlic pepperoni= $4.07

    Name Your Store: i.e. Stirlings Fruit and Veg Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $3.99
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.00

    apple pie- $3.99
    cherry pie–free with purchase of another pie =$0.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. Masstown Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.42+2.58+1.29=$7..29

    6 donuts-1.29
    bakery item-3 @ $1.29= $3.87
    lemon/blueberry buns=$1.69 (reduced) =$0.84
    bakery @1.29

    Name Your Store: i.e. Bulk Barn (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $3.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $9.91

    2.1 kg lg flake rolled oats- $6.31
    .24 kg molasses=$1.19
    .05 kg oregano=$0.75
    .03 kg sweet basil = $0.50
    .04 kg thyme –=$0.63
    1.68 kg brown sugar=$3.53

    Name Your Store: i.e. Sobeys (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card-(Purchased with cash) =27.54+5.69+2.18+14.07=49.48
    redeemed Airmiles- $10

    Vlasic Pickles 2 @ $3.49 (=10 airmiles) = $6.98
    green chow = $3.49
    4L milk 2 @ $5.69= $11.38
    4L milk 2 @ $5.69= $11.38
    4L milk=$5.69
    10 lb potatoes= $1.88
    Haddock fillets $5.95 (reduced)=$2.97
    hot cross buns $3.29 (reduced)=$1.64
    4L milk 2 @ $5.69= $11.38
    coffee creamer cinnabon-$2.69

    Name Your Store: i.e. Foodland (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.00

    10 lbs potatoes

    Overall for the month of March 2016

    $ $15.09+9.91+$3.40+$34.65+3.42+2.00+4.00+2.58+1.97+$14.11+1.29=$92.42 -out of pocket (does not includes the $200 gift card I paid cash for, as I will deduct as I use it)
    $ 2.15 +.09+0.01 + $2.06+3.00+ ).01+$3.28 +3.99=$14.59 coupons (coupon and star bucks)
    $ 16.25+ 14.95+ $11.64+15.64+8.04= $66.52 gift cards
    $ 10.00- airmiles/ pc points redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $ 50,000 PC pts (I use my PC points and Air miles to buy them- gift cards )
    $ 21.85+ $5.69+5.69+2.18+14.07= $49.48(Sobeys gift card that I purchased from cash)

    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)+ $14.59=$55.38
    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: $141.90
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month $under spent $97.89 (jan &Feb)-=$172.66 (Jan-Mar)

    Total left to spend for the month : $

    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) $218.21 (jan) +$118.78 (Feb) +$141.90 ( Mar)=478.89

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): I’ve been able to score some amazing deals. Strawberries for 97c lb. Sweet potatoes for 27c lb. Easter pork for 99c. Cantaloupes for 97c…these weren’t reduced foods…but loss leaders. Whole chicken for under $4. Very pleased. Have a ton of food in our home, and our meals are getting cheaper and cheaper all the time, because of this. 🙂

    1. Hi kathryn,
      I always look forward to your monthly post because you shop the same way we do and it really amazes me how many deals are out there. How do you prepare for a grocery shop each week? What a great little deal on the BBQ sauce. Loss leaders are great to cash in on when they are available. Often times we find that they are unadvertised as well which tends to throw our budget off. Many people ask how we can eat so well on such a small budget and this is the answer. It’s about putting on the discount radar and hoping for a few scores. Well done, I’m impressed!!! I bet your pantry looks amazing. You get ballot #30 Mr.CBB

      1. hi. I actually don’t really prepare for a grocery shop, except I read the store flyers, and if we happen to be close by, we stop in and stock up on that sale item. If we miss it, usually not a big deal, because I most likely still have some at home. The barbeque sauce, just happened to be in a ‘reduced to clear’ cart at a little town we were diving thru.
        Today we thought we’d go for a drive…and the sale was 400g cheese for $1.97 (bought 6) , bought 15 kiwi for my daughter…at 7c each.
        My pantry consists of 6 large tote boxes stacked on top of each other. Might not be pretty, but saves us a lot of money 🙂

  7. I don’t always do these things before going to the grocery store, but when I do take the time to do them I definitely save more money and end up with better ingredients and a plan to use them all up so we don’t waste any food or money.

  8. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults 6000

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

    • Oranges- 3.97
    • Apples- 4.99
    • Brussel sprouts- 3.87
    • 10 lbs potatoes- 4.99
    • Organic lemons- 3.99
    • Organic Mushrooms- 1.99
    • PC chocolate chips- 3.29- %50 off coupon= 1.65
    • Eggs omega 3 large—3.89
    • I l. cream- 2.99
    • Plain greek yogurt- 6.49- %50 discount
    • Cheddar- 4.99
    • Vanilla ice cream- 5.49
    • Bacon- 4.99
    • Organic bread- 2 X 3.49
    Hot cross buns- 2.99
    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Total coupons used this week: 1.65
    • Total coupons used to date: $16.40
    • Total in-store discounts this week: 3.25
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $ 97.75
    • Total spent this week: $64.13
    • Total spent so far this month: $442.45
    • Total under spend for the year: 202.70!
    • Total left to spend for the month: 57.55
    • Total under spend for month: $57.55
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include pet foods, paper or personal) Jan $1297.30
    • Total PC Points cashed to Date 2016- $20
    • Total Airmiles this week = 23
    • PC Points this week= N/A
    • Checkout 51 this week= N/A
    • Shoppers Optimum this week= N/A
    Weekly Overview : So I am going out on a limb to say this is working… I am under this month again. Initially when I set my goal at $500 I thought it would be tough. I had been consistently spending between $600 and $800 a month before the challenge. But this year I have been able to stick to my budget by meal planning based on deals, having %50 off my meals be vegetarian, sticking to my list, making food from scratch and shopping only once a week. If I run out of something tough. I make do, or substitute as needed. Even though I work full time this has worked and we still eat out only once in a while. So I have made a decision I am going to cut my grocery budget down to $450 a month. That is $5400 per year down from $6000.
    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 Chinese fried rice, Chicken stir fry, Barbequed Pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and peas, Barbequed Pulled pork on rice, Creamed spinach and poached eggs with mash potatoes. Ham dinner with scalloped potatoes, brussel sprouts, fresh biscuits, sautéed onions, apple crisp and lemon cupcakes.
    So For next week I have a choice of- spaghetti, Ham, ham quiche, ham and bean soup, Chicken stir fry, Pork fried rice, Mushroom omelets.

    1. Hi Rose,
      I have to admit I’ve never found 50% off chocolate chips before. Great deal! I’m waiting for a deal right now as our son loves chocolate chip muffins so I want to make him some. That’s great news that the Grocery Game Challenge and budget is working for you. It’s interesting that you want to cut your budget further because most of us have done the exact same thing. Once we see what we can achieve we challenge ourselves and you know most often it works. We spend if we have the money to spend but if we take away x amount here and there we realize that we can use that money somewhere else in the budget. Great shop! Vegetarian meals are great ways to save money. Meat is very price so a great alternative for sure. The creamed spinach, poached eggs and mash potatoes sounds like something my wife would love but with cauliflower mash. Id’ eat it too. How do you make your creamed spinach? This is a wonderful shop to read today!! Keep on going you’re on your way to finding out just how strong we can all be when we put our financial future at the top of the pile. You get ballot #29. Mr.CBB

  9. 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: 18,200 + 35,444 (MC)
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date: $1.00
    Grocery Shop This Week: March 25 – 31, 2016

    PC Salsa 2 x $2.49 = $4.98
    Corn Flakes 2 x $3.99 = $7.98
    Danino Go $5.49 – (50%) = $2.74
    3lb. Carrots $2.99
    Broccoli 2 x $2.50 = $5.00
    Boneless Roast $10.44
    Chilli Seasoning $1.49
    Tomato Sauce $0.99
    4L Milk $6.59
    Celery $2.99
    White Mushrooms $1.36
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 47.55

    Cloverleaf Tuna 4 x $1.25 = $5.00
    Danino Yogurt $2.99 – (50%) = $1.50
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $6.50

    3L Vegetable Oil $5.97
    Kids Multivitamin $6.00
    Sirloin Steak $15.82
    Ground Chicken $5.08
    Skinless Boneless Chicken 2 x $7.50 = $15.00
    10lb. Potatoes $2.47
    Grape Tomatoes $2.47
    Radish $1.97
    Avocadoes (5pk) $4.47
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $59.25

    Total to spend this month: $700
    Total coupons used this week: $ 0
    Total coupons used to date: $62.98
    Total in-store discounts this week: $ 4.25
    Total in-store discounts to date: $228.62
    Total spent this week: $ 113.30
    Total spent so far this month: $ 764.27
    Total over/Under spend for the month: OVER $64.27
    Total left to spend for the month: $
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $706.52 + Feb $816.19 + March $764.27

    Weekly Overview:
    We had quinoa chili, Beef Roast with potatoes & broccoli, salmon cakes. I have started a new diet (low carbs/high protein).

    1. Hi Lori-Lynn,
      The PC Salsa with black bean and corn is nice if you’ve never tried it before. Have you ever roasted or mashed radishes before like mashed potatoes? The taste surprised me! It’s a low carb option to not eating potatoes. We tried those little Danino yogurts once for our son. I think he could eat about 4 or 5 on his own. He loves yogurt. How do you make quinoa chili? I have a bag of quinoa but I didn’t have luck the first time I tried it. My wife does low carbs high protein, hence the recipes I post since she has me helping to create them. You must try the oopsie bread it’s awesome and you can use it in place of bread. You get ballot #27 Mr.CBB

  10. GCC 21/03/16

    Hi, this post is for last week. I’m getting way behind. Your post was really helpful this week Mr.CBB because I am not very efficient so it takes me a long time to do everything. It helped that you laid out your plan. I have kind of a plan but it’s not as organized so it helped me to think about ways I can routinize it to save time. Your time estimates were especially helpful because it made me realize I’m spending too much time trying to maximize savings especially at the planning stage. Thanks 🙂

    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: $11.91
    Total Spent This Month Previous To This Shop: $0.00
    Total spent this week: $22.66 (over $7.66)
    Total spent so far this month: $48.49
    Total left to spend for the month: $11.91+ ($15 – 11.37) + ($15-14.52) + ($15-$22.66) + $30 = $17.40
    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: – $1.11
    Total Spent this week: $5.88
    Total spent so far this month: $36.65
    Total left to spend for the month: -$1.11 – $36.65 + $40 = $2.24
    Total Stockpile Budget used to date: (Jan $21.10) (Feb $39.99)

    Food Basics
    $1.31 Bananas
    $3.98 Roberts walnut halves (300g)
    $5.29 OOP

    $1.99 Nielson cottage cheese

    $3.99 Organic arugula/kale mix (354g)
    $8.49 Oceanspray craisins (1.8 kg)
    $12.48 OOP

    Herb and Spice
    $1.41 Organic sunflower seeds ($8.83 /kg)
    $1.49 Organic black kale
    $2.90 OOP

    Sorry I’m way behind. Really got thrown off by entertaining my fam on Easter. The stress got too me and I’m losing track and eating out too much. Good thing about fessing up though is that I see it wasn’t as bad as I thought with the groceries and it is possible to still make it through the month on budget.

    1. Hey…
      I was wondering where you went to. There’s nothing wrong with re-setting. Glad to have you back working towards your grocery shopping goals. How much time do you spend every week working on your groceries and budget? You’ll get there, don’t give up. We’re here to support ya! You get ballot #26

  11. MARCH – Week #4 of 4- March 28-April 3, 2016


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



    Well, I thought I would finish without an overage but no such luck. At least it is a small one! I’ll get that cleaned up in April.



    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    4 x Bunches of Radishes (4 for $3) << let the crunchfest begin!

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $3.00
    Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 3 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $2.96 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    ½ Red Cabbage $3.29

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $3.29
    Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 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 + Mar $27.00 = $224.72

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $20.46+ Mar $1.00= $21.46

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $0.00 + Mar $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar $3= 195 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182= 231 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200 = 12,000 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0= 0 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb $193.74 + Mar ($25.48+$15.00+$45.00+$43.39+$25.55+$2.00+$2.99+$4.00+$13.07+$3.00 +$3.29= $182.77) = $573.29

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 = $570.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $3.29 OVER 🙁



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



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar ($45.00-$104.58)= $30.42



    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 = $52.64



    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 +$15.00= $123.12



    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61+ Mar$0.00= $664.11



    $ 570.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAR

    $ 9.88 Redeemed Points to Purchase

    ($ 123.70) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves
    (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

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

    ($ 30.42) Trf to US Grocery Reserve

    ($ 9.88) Set in reserve to offset
    Redeemed Points

    ($ 639.51) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 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 $570.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $268.58 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 52.64 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $123.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $664.11 Summer Season Fund
    $ 30.42 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 9.88 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $880.17. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $268.58 that we have added in 2016, LESS $324.92 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 + Croissants/English Muffins with fat free cream cheese spread, peanut butter or Cheez Whiz OR Rice Krispies cereal with skim milk

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


    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Leftover Cornmeal Pancakes + Cheese-Red Onion-Pepperoni Omelette

    TUES: Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Celery stuffed with Cheese Whiz + Banana Bread

    WED: Bologna Sandwiches+ Beef & Pepperoni Soup

    THURS: Imitation Crab Wraps + Apple Slices

    FRI: Roast Beef Sandwiches + Creamy Tomato Soup with Wheat Thin Crackers

    SAT: Italian Egg Drop Soup with Caramelized Onion and Spinach Olive Oil Quick Bread

    SUN: Fried Egg Sandwiches with Greek Salad


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Asparagus Spinach Pasta Salad for supper

    TUES: Roasted Chicken Breasts, Russian Cabbage Pie & Broccoslaw

    WED: Potato Egg Bake with Old Fashioned English Pea Salad

    THURS: Creamy Tomato Soup + Carmelized Onion Spinach Olive Oil Quick Bread

    FRI: Roaster Potatoes-Onions-Carrots-Celery, + Russian Cabbage Pie + German Salad

    SAT: Chicken Caesar Salad with Garlic Bread

    SUN: Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup with Caramelized Onion and Spinach Olive Oil Quick Bread


    1. Hi Mary,
      Your Sunday dinner sounds amazing. I’ve never bought a corned beef before but I’d like to. What is a reasonable price to pay for corned beef? Do you always buy the radishes with the greens? We don’t but wonder if maybe we should start. We would just buy the bagged radish. We always have good intentions for not having overage but at the last minute a good sale pops up and messes with everything lol. How on earth did you score a rain check for eggs? Were they actually all out of eggs? lol..awesome! Great shop and I’m sure you’ll clean up the overage next month. I look forward to your meal plans every week now. They are delicious. I miss having the time to cook more but we are trying. 🙂 You get ballot 25 Mr.CBB

      1. I buy my corned beef in the US after St. Patrick’s Day I can usually get a $25-30 brisket on sale for $8. Yes buy my radishes with greens. I takes a few minutes to wash and trim everything but they are generally much nice than the bagged ones. I got the eggs rain check when they were all out on a late Saturday afternoon. Hubby and I each asked for rain checks so that we could get 2. 🙂 There are advantages to us shopping together!

        1. I love how you just gave me a blog post idea! 🙂 I’ve been the the USA once and it took forever to get over the border so I haven’t been back since.

  12. Mar 25 – 31, 2016
    Name Your Store: Food Basics
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.90

    Schneiders Bacon = $2.88 (Rounded to $2.90)

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1200
    Total Out Of Pocket: $30.94

    200 mL Vanilla Extract = $2.99
    2 NN Crackers = $3.50
    500 mL NN Cocoa = $5.79
    3 L NN Vegetable Oil = $4.47
    4 L Skim Milk = $4.27
    3 lb Carrots = $2.49
    Bananas – 2.195 kg = $3.25
    Celery = $1.98
    Ground Stirloin = $6.99

    18 Kg NN Cat Litter = $6.98
    1.6 Kg Purina Cat = $6.98

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1890.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $18.63
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $23.85
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $409.19

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $15.21
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $12.79
    Total Cats to Date: $97.67

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $73.37

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $91.36

    Total Grocery Budget for Wholesale Meat ($500.00)
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Wholesale Meat to Date: $96.97

    Total Grocery Budget for Canning Produce ($400.00)
    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: $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: $10.21
    Total Price Match to Date: $79.17

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1200
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period: 20000
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 11035

    Overview: I believe that the overage will be done next week. I’m so close to clean up that shop to Wholesale Club. Even without having that overage, there really wasn’t much that we needed so it was a relatively small shop.

    1. Hi Dee,
      It’s a great feeling cleaning up that overage isn’t it? What is the toughest part about catching up with your grocery budget? I notice you don’t use many coupons like us? Have you ever been a big couponer? Have a great week Dee. You get ballot #24 Mr.CBB

  13. I will look at the app Reebee for the flyer deals as my household doesn’t get flyers delivered. I’ll “clip” the deals that I see but at the end of the day, I also write down all the grocery items that I need to purchase. I do that so that I can make notations of price matching that I’m going to do and make note of the store’s regular price to see how much of a savings I’m getting by price matching.

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