How Customer Feedback Will Make You Richer : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 Apr 11-17

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As a consumer whether you are happy or unsatisfied where you shop they most likely have a customer feedback opportunity in which you can share your opinion in order to praise or help improve the shopping experience.

The last thing you want to do after finishing your grocery shopping is to fill out a customer feedback report for the grocery store even if there are perks involved. I’m here to tell you that if you do participate in customer feedback that the results will come back to you in the form of riches.

A couple of years back my wife took the time to fill out an online customer survey for Giant Tiger after a positive experience. The survey also offered a monthly prize although my wife was more interested in sharing how impressed she was with the service she was given by the lovely cashier who was absolutely pleasant.

The odds of winning a prize based out of all the Giant Tiger stores was slim. We received a phone call one late afternoon to be told that it was Giant Tiger and that we had won a gift card for participating in their online survey. She actually won the $50 gift card for sharing her feedback with the company. A total surprise for her.

Although working in customer service can be challenging at times my wife has always taken the opportunity to show an employee she values their role as a customer. When the same is reciprocated she wants to make sure their boss knows.

My wife is also one to not hold back if she has had an unpleasant experience or something to offer the store by way of potential improvement. This may be to quality control, customer service or simple marketing of products. It’s amazing what the customers will help you learn about your business so always listen to what they have to say. They are after all the money that feeds the bank account to keep you in business.

Why is customer feedback so important? It’s not just important, it’s critical. In a nutshell it’s about improving performance of the business but there are perks along the way. Customer retention is a HUGE business and if they can keep you coming back to spend money they are doing something right.

Just about everyone wants one thing and one thing only from a grocery store and that is the best prices. When I asked my fans what kept them going back to a certain grocery Colleen Knudsen said, “Prices…plain and simple economics.”

Customer service is important but not as important as the amount of money a customer can save. A cashier can be miserable but at the end of the day if you need to feed your family all you care about is the food you put on the table and whether you can afford to pay for it.

Bringing the package deal to the customers is very important because the customer never forgets. This is why product marketing and weekly flyer sales are critical to business success as an umbrella over everything else. The tricky part is keeping customers dry so they don’t end up out in the rain without any support from employees or the management team.

If you only have one grocery store to shop at or you have a variety of options everyone who has a voice counts towards the success of the business. You become richer when a business works with the customers to get them in and out efficiently while supplying quality products at the best price bundled with excellent customer service.


How far will a business go to get customer feedback?


Customer feedback will always return to the customer in many ways but only when a business listens. Not everyone takes the time to voice their opinion especially if they see it as a waste of time because they believe no one will listen. Keeping customer feedback surveys or opportunities short and to the point is in the best interest of the business.

Surprisingly not every shopper just wants the best deals when they are grocery shopping, they want much more.

Aldi: prices, treatment of employees (they pay a fair wage and allow cashiers to sit down while ringing the groceries) awesome environmental policies and the store is clean. Tonnes of gluten-free products along with other allergen free options and organic too.- Cynthia Sunshine Gardener (CBB FAN)

Just about any store that wants to grow their business wants a sneak peek inside of the minds of their customers so they can learn about their company and how it compares to competitors in the industry.

Isn’t it wonderful when you see a business make changes after requests from customers to improve their shopping experience? This happened to my wife recently after a visit to McDonald’s. She had an idea for the store so when she got home she read the receipt to find out where she could give customer feedback.

The next time we went in for coffee she was shocked to see exactly what she had emailed the restaurant about in full swing. It may have been a coincidence but the idea she offered was staring her right in the face and efficiency is now easier for the customer and the team according to feedback from an employee.

Needless to say my wife was happy that they had listened to her suggestion whether it was a direct result from her idea or not. This is why it’s important to offer feedback to a business in hopes of changing the restaurant experience in a positive way.


A feedback tool will answer important questions


Why does a business want customer feedback? For many reasons and although you may not think they are important or that your voice is not needed the information collected is mighty valuable.

  • They want to know how your shopping experience was
  • They want to know how to improve products and customer satisfaction
  • They want to know how to improve customer retention
  • They want to know how to better serve their customers
  • They want to know how to make better decisions about their business
  • They want to know Who, What, When, Where, Why and How
  • They want to make you happy

How are grocery stores capturing customer feedback?

Any feedback tool will do as long as the customer has an outlet to provide information to the business. It’s always nice to have an ‘other’ section for a customer to fill out additional information if a survey is offered whether written or completed online.

  • In-store questions or survey, freebies and samples as lures or a contest
  • Online customer feedback survey
  • Online through social media outlets
  • Written feedback (old-school drop-box format)
  • Phone-call customer feedback

Most often the only way grocery stores are able to get the customer feedback is by offering an incentive for customers. The customer retention strategy will always be to engage the customers so they feel like part of the team. When you involve the customers they feel as if they are participating in making their grocery shopping chore which it is for most of us, an important one.

I know many of you read your grocery receipt before you leave the store to make sure you aren’t overpaying for any items. Sadly this is solely done because of the Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) but even for stores that don’t offer SCOP we should all take the time to review our shopping bill. Participating in SCOP may yield you a freebie but for the store it shares a deeper line of information about their pricing strategy.

The customer survey benefits everyone because when a business cares about their customers those customers will be customers for life. A winning combination if you ask me. If you are wondering how you will become richer by taking the time to express whether you had a good customer service experience or one with some hiccups you ultimately reap the rewards.

  • Cleaner store
  • Quality products
  • Better prices
  • In-store specials
  • Freebies
  • Coupons
  • Rewards
  • Options
  • Better hours
  • Cash Back/Rewards
  • Faster service
  • Happier service

Overall everything that you offer in your customer feedback to a store will be looked at and either implemented or considered for when the time is right. Part of good customer service doesn’t end at the cash register it never ends.

Offering an incentive to the customer might make you a little richer with rewards but the richness comes in the form of knowing that you are making a difference for a business who relies on your opinion. A successful business will always roll down the benefits back to the customer.

So the next time you see the opportunity to provide customer feedback in any of the various ways they are looking to get it, don’t be shy and speak up. You never know if you will make a difference to help improve a shopping experience for everyone not just yourself even if you don’t win a prize.

How have you participated in customer feedback?

What the fans say is important to them.

Are you listening?

Save-On-Foods. What kept me going there was the very high standard of service and, although Save-On-Foods is not as good it’s still better than the big box stores. Their pharmacy, in particular has been a boon to me. They were outstanding in their care and compassion during my husband’s final illness. Now I keep going back because I believe that such kindness deserves customer loyalty.- Beth Anne

The clerks at the Co-op are the best most of them know me and my hubby, and will tell each us if the other just came in and if we got something that the other just bought . we tend to go thru the same clerks till for some reason. The other day I was in and using my husbands Amex credit card. It wouldn’t take the chip so I swiped it and apparently that’s a no no there if it’s not your credit card.(used to be over $50 they needed ID). The cashier called the manager and he let it go thru with the clerks vouching for me being in the store as often as I was. –Mary D

I have the local Foodland right across the street but we were going there before we moved to this house. Compared to the other store in town the prices were good and the staff were super friendly and they still are. It is rather nice to have the staff know me by name.- Christine W.

Grocery store of choice is superstore. Love the points I get backCathleen R.

Price and convenience. I love the fruit and veggies from Costco and the local store is the only local store.Michelle K.


April 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.

April 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-$8.50=$226.50
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $226.50
  • 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: 149,000
  • 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



  • 3.25% Sealtest Milk $5.27
  • 2% Sealtest Milk $4.27
  • 2x Uncle Bens Stuffing mix $0.27 each
  • 2 x Kraft Peanut Butter (just peanuts) Sale $4.99 each
  • Bag of Bok Choy $3.00-50%= $1.50
  • Bananas $2.00
  • Maple Lodge Wieners $2.79
  • Sandwich Steaks Angus $17.24-50%= $8.62
  • Tomato Basil Pork Sausages $6.71-50%= $3.36
  • Marc Angelo Chicken Sausages $5.99-50%= $3.00
  • Hellman’s Mayo with Balsamic Vinaigrette $5.99-50% = $3.00 + 600 bonus points

Total Out-Of-Pocket $44.33

  • Total to spend this month $226.50
  • Stockpile budget 2016 ($25.00-$2.65 overage= $22.35)
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $21.60 $0.75 left
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $5.60
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$22.92
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $226.93
  • Total spent this week: $44.33
  • Total spent so far this month: $146.36
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $80.14
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11+April $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We didn’t need too much this week but what we did pick up was staples and a few of those pretty 50% off sticker items that we found. Since I’m working so much now we didn’t have time to shop at more than one store so our shopping was exclusive this 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.


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
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  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving List
  • Don’t forget to Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder by Email to get my daily email. Once you subscribe you MUST VERIFY your email account so check your spam folder and inbox for that email! By Subscribing you get all the inside scoops first plus any new finance tools and tips!

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  1. Hey MR.CBB
    I didn’t didn’t blink twice before grabbing 6 dzn of those eggs!! It looks like the packaging has gone from a cardboard to a styrofoam one so they had to get rid of them…..their loss my gain!
    Yes my stockpile is large and id taking over the basement, lol
    looks like I will be donating a lot coming up with the massive fires hitting fort mac and my local couponing ladies doing a collection to help them in anyway possible

  2. Our weekly budget is $125 making this month $500
    London Drugs
    $5.00×4-$5Cx4 pm royale velour
    $4.99×4-$.99Cx4 pm royale tiger towels
    $4.99×2-b2ttgwindexfC windex cleaner
    $6.99×4-$6.50Cx4 pm simple wipes
    $4.97×4-$4.97×4 whole blends shampoo/conditioner
    $6.80 total oop
    $95.88 toal coupons
    H&W Produce
    $3.27 butternut squash
    $2.99 2lb grape tomatoes
    $1.93 oranges
    $8.20 total oop
    Save on foods
    $3.98 apple pie
    .50×16-$1Cx4 pm campbells soup
    $5.27 total oop
    I was busy talking to the customer service lady and not paying attention to the cashier or the total when I paid because it looked like the till automatically took off a certain amount of money on the soup because of their own sale and didn’t realize I was price matching. I didn’t realize what happened till I was doing was ggc totals.
    $5.30 total oop
    $4 total coupons
    $1×6 5pk sch hot rods
    $6.99×2-fpcwub3schproductsx2 prime stuffed chicken
    $6 total oop
    $13.98 total coupons
    $1.99×6 dzn eggs – clearance
    $4.99×3-$2.50Cx3 sch hams – clearance
    $8.49-fpcwub3schproducts prime stuffed chicken
    $4.54 4L homo milk
    $2.49 6pk Kaiser buns
    $4.99×6-$2.50Cx6 ML hams – clearance
    $8.49×2-fpcwub3mlproductsx2 prime stuffed chicken
    $43.45 total oop
    $47.97 total coupons
    $3×12-$3Cx12 scrubbing bubbles cleaner 6000P
    $1.49×8-$2.50wub2Cx4 lady deo
    $1.98×4-$2.50wub2Cx2 lady deo
    $1.12-.50C delmonte mango nectar
    $3.28 5lb carrots
    $4.98 2lb strawberries
    $1.60 bananas 100P
    $5.97 cheese whiz 250P
    $2.50×4 gerber puffs 2000P
    $2.09×2 1L coffee creamer
    $39.55 total oop
    $56.50 total coupons

    $109.3 total weekly oop
    $218.33 total weekly coupons
    $269.07 total monthly oop
    $398.88 total monthly coupons

    Another busy week shopping. Lots of clearance deals again and awesome sales at rcss too!
    I am thankful and lucky to be able to find coupons (sometimes a few an other times tonnes) that I can use, give away and trade. Yes it can be time consuming but to me it pays off.
    I plan on doing up a few donations to be given to some ladies for mothers day so I look forward to dig out some things from my stockpile to give away <3

    1. Hi Juanita,
      You found eggs on clearance… ah.. I wish!! Great score. I’m just floored at the deals. All I can see is your freezer overflowing and a stockpile that is massive. I want a tour!! lol.. I see you have those $3 Scrubbing Bubbles coupons again. I’ve never seen them. That is nice of you to donate. We did the same thing with stuff we got free and couldn’t use. You get ballot #23. Mr.CBB

  3. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800.00
    (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
    Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
    Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$650.00
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $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: 29300
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $6.50($25.75)
    Checkout51 to cash out : $12.75($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week
    1 jug water -5.49
    4 pasta sauce @4/5.00
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    2 pasta @1.99
    1-18 large eggs -2.99
    1 bunch celery -2.99
    3lb bag onions -2.99
    2 packs Apple onion sausage-5.02+ 4.53, 30% discount- 1.51+1.36
    Total OOP -$35.11, $2.87 discounts
    No Frills
    3 lemons @3/2.00
    1 Dawn dish soap -2.00, .50 coupon
    1-4kg Whiskas cat food -14.49, 3.00 coupon
    1 soya sauce -2.49
    1 bag rice -2.99
    1 cranberry cocktail -2.47
    1 Cheerios -4.97
    1 pasta -.97
    2lb NN butter @3.97, 1200 PC points
    1 4l milk -4.27
    3 lb bag carrots -1.97
    10lb bag potatoes -2.99
    Bananas -1.24
    1 pork loin -9.91
    1 bagels -1.67
    1 pack Ziploc containers -4.99, 800 PC points
    Tax -2.79
    Total OOP -$63.86, 3.50 coupons, 2000 PC points
    Food Basics
    2 boxes chicken nuggets @4.97
    2 yogurt @2.97, 2X1.00 coupons
    2 W/W bread @2.44
    Total OOP -$18.76
    Jackson’s Pharmacy
    5 Pantene shampoo/conditioner packs @3.99
    Total OOP -$19.95, $18.52 stockpile

    Total to spend this month $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 -$25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $6.48+ $18.52= $25.00
    Total coupons used this week: $5.50
    Total coupons used to date: $41.49
    Total in-store discounts this week:$2.87
    Total in-store discounts to date: $75.39
    Total spent this week: $121.95
    Total spent so far this month: $162.50
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $379.67
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $605.28+ April $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts) Another week under. Hubby had an appointment in town so we went to No Frills and Food Basics. I was hoping to get my roasts that I have the rain check for fron Food Basics but no luck. They get one more chance before I complain. I am really not impressed with them right now.

    1. Hi Christine,
      I thought FoodLand gave 50% off meat reductions. Has that changed? You’re such a good shopper. I could learn lots from you. What is happening with the rain cheques? Are they not re-stocking the product? I thought they were only good for 30 days but I’m guessing they are renewing it for you. Let me know what happens. You get ballot #17. Mr.CBB

      1. I talked to a manager the other day and they will keep renewing that rain check as they won’t be getting more in. Apparently they only get so much in for a sale and that is it. Sounds like the main problem is with head office and not the store. I am very not impressed to say the least…..
        The discounts depend on the meat and the day, it’s been 30% lately with the odd 50% sticker but those are getting few and far between. I keep looking mind you. Plus I get 2-3 items a week that are reduced with my Air Miles card and then other items may not be on sale but I can score extra miles to add to my total I’m saving for Christmas and such.

  4. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults 5400

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $ 450
    Grocery Shop This Week

    • Organic Mushrooms- 1.89
    • Carrots- 1.99
    • Trail mix- 7.99
    • Organic bread- 2 X 3.99
    • Tropicana Juice
    • Cheddar- 8.99
    • Ham- 9.99
    • Mega pizza- 12.99

    • Carrots- 1.97
    • Large Bag Broccoli- 6.47
    • Butter- 3,97
    • Oats- 2 X 2.97
    • Eggs- -2.78

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Total coupons used this week: 0
    • Total coupons used to date: $18.90
    • Total in-store discounts this week: 0
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $ 107.00
    • Total spent this week: $79.47
    • Total spent so far this month: $192.74
    • Total under spend for the year: 84.96!
    • Total left to spend for the month: Total under spend for month: $257.26
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include pet foods, paper or personal) Jan $1490.04
    • Total PC Points cashed to Date 2016- $20
    • Total Airmiles this week = 13
    • PC Points this week= N/A
    • Checkout 51 this week= N/A
    • Shoppers Optimum this week= N/A
    Weekly Overview : Sorry I posted so late this week, I was just too busy. Small shop this week because there wasn’t very much I needed! The only deal to mention was the big ham I got for 9.99, it will make many meals.

    1. Hi Rose,
      That was a great deal on the ham you found. Anytime after a holiday we look at turkey and ham to see if we can score a deal but so far we’ve been unsuccessful. What is in your trail mix? So far you’re under budget which is great!! You get ballot # 13 Mr.CBB

  5. Week 2 – April 10 – 16

    • Grocery budget to work with in April: $200
    • Total coupons used this week: $0
    • Total coupons used to date: $1.99
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • 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 Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $20.25
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.51
    • Total student discounts to date: $29.14
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $48.85
    • Total spent so far this month: $86.75
    • Total left to spend for the month: $100
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent to make up in future months: $.70
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $750.70

    The Butcher Shop: 20 burger patties for 26 on sale: total 26.00 less the checkout 51 rebate cheque we received last week of 20.25, so total paid 5.75
    RCSS: Fudgee eggs 6 x .24 clearance, organic shampoo 7.98, bananas 1.94 less .58 (30%), celery .94, oil of olay soap 4.49, less student discount 1.60, plus tax 1.63: total 16.25 rounded up 1 cent
    RCSS: gum 2.98, ranch dressing 2.50, danino yogurt drinks 3.33, NN orange juice jug 2.78, apples 4.98, bananas 2.99, romaine club pack 5.98, oil of olay soap 3.48, less student discount 2.91, plus tax .76: total paid 26.85 rounded down 2 cents
    Decent sale at our local butcher shop on ready-made hamburgers and I got my second ever Checkout 51 cheque, so we applied it to this purchase. A nice bonus at that time, we are looking forward to the BBQ season.
    Our son needed shampoo this week, and it is always an expense, but we lucked out and got it for a dollar off the regular price. We bought two packages of olay soap, but two different sizes, so two different prices. We needed enough to get by.
    We needed more this week, so a more expensive week. We are so very, very close on covering the overspend we did in January, less than a dollar left to go! Yes! It may be taking us a little longer than we expected to achieve this, but we could have just let it go and said that it was okay.

    Since my college courses are coming to a forever close, we have to start looking to the future, super frugally right now. We have been a bit looser with the purse strings when I got the part-time job (weekend in Ottawa for hockey, a couple of takeout nights here and there), but this is a student job and it inevitably will end now that I am almost not a student. A shame, I love it there so much, but the real job hunt must start. And while that happens, the grocery budget must not be tampered with, lol. If anything, it will be cut possibly, something I am toying with, but my concern is tat $50 weekly is already too tight for three people to cover consumables (food, kitchen, bath, laundry soap, paper products, etc.). I have been lucky that our school has some things available to students who go and get it, so some of the consumables haven’t been part of the budget because they have been free – laundry detergent that my so can actually use, razors, tissues, hand cream and for a while deodorant. The time isn’t there for that yet, so I will not make any decisions at this point. And, yes, the occasional takeout (which we rarely did, and still didn’t do every week since I took this job) is gone. It was a nice treat while it lasted, and I know we could have set that cash aside, but it was nice to treat our son who doesn’t get that sort of thing as often. But, we will step up his cooking in the kitchen so it adds some flair and ownership of the meals. He is doing really well with this. So, I am thinking one more week and we will have that overspend gone, maybe we may be able to build the carryover jar again!

    1. Hi Angela,
      Was that a full celery for $0.97? I like how you spent the Checkout51 money to buy burgers. It’s nice to get that cheque in the mail. I find that many of us apart from Juanita are using coupons as much these days. Then again there aren’t as many kicking around. So do you have any leads for a job yet? Will you move if you find a job out of town? You get ballot 11… I’m interested to see what you do with your grocery budget. That is nice that there were some freebies available when you need them. Mr.CBB

      1. Yes, it really was a whole celery! I think the store just had too many. The display was massive. Occasionally I luck out into something like that. A year ago it was blueberries, two years ago it was cream. The big deals stand out over the years. Right place, right time. I find that I am having a tougher time finding coupons for things I need. A few years ago, they were everywhere, now it’s just harder to get. I know I can still get the Driscolls coupons I used to use, but I haven’t bothered since fresh berries are over priced. Beyond that, I am pickier. When I was working full time, I bought the brands we like or were used to, now I buy cheapest and best value. A practice I did in my early to late twenties.
        I haven’t got a job past school yet, but I am like a cat, I like to land on my feet. I have accepted that it may take a few months and life isn’t going to be magic right away after. I am not looking outside of the city at this point. But, I am looking within 1/2 hour driving distance at this point to various small towns. I am trying to add something to supplement hubby, he’s been at his job 13 or 14 years now, so we’re working small. Branching out may happen, but it will be a last resort. We like the city we live in, it is a great environment for our son, he has a great school and we are 1/2 hour away from plenty of family.

  6. 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 PC Rewards Points used to date: $50.00
    Shoppers Drug Mart Points: Used 50,000 = $45.11 (Grocery Portion)
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 1,000 + 47,760 (MC)
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date: $1.00

    Grocery Shop This Week: April 08 – 14, 2016

    Pinto Beans $2.50
    Red Lentils $2.50
    Popcorn 2 x $2.39 = $4.78
    Fruit Gushers $2.00
    Teddy Graham Crackers 2 x $2.50 = $5.00
    Kraft Natural Peanut Butter $3.99
    Cheddar Cheese $4.48
    Sunflower Seeds $3.99
    Radish 1lb. $2.29
    Green Seedless Grapes $3.62
    Canned & Creamed Corn 4 x $1.25 = $5.00
    Smoked Paprika $5.49
    Black Pepper $3.99
    Steel Cut Oats $2.99
    Canned Pineapple 4 x $1.25 = $5.00
    Smuckers Chocolate Syrup $3.99
    Greek Yogurt 3 x $4.49 – (50%) = $6.72
    Mozzarella Cheese $4.48
    White Mushrooms $1.94
    Tahini $9.99
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $ 65.00
    **Used $20.00 in Points**

    Kale $3.47
    Sweet Potato $3.14
    Brussel Sprouts $1.92
    Cabbage $1.89
    Celery Sticks $2.47
    Broccoli Crowns $0.80
    3lbs. Carrots $2.97
    Total Out-of-Pocket: $16.66

    4L Milk $6.35
    2L Chocolate Milk $3.45
    Spinach $3.69
    Coconut Oil $27.00
    Pepperoni $9.59
    Iogo Nano approx.. $8.00
    Sweet Thai Chili Sauce approx.. $7.00
    Pizza Crust (4) $7.49
    Bananas 6lbs. $3.98
    Apples 6lbs. & Oranges 10lbs. approx.. $21.00
    Total Out-of-Pocket:$ 103.20
    **Lost my receipt – This is all the food but I can’t remember exact prices**

    Shopper Drug Mart
    PC Kettle Chips 2 x $2.99 = $5.98
    Doritos $2.99
    Juice Boxes 2 x $2.50 + deposit = $7.00
    Eggs 2 x $2.49 = $4.98
    Butter 2 x $3.79 = $7.58
    Quaker Rice Cakes 4 x $1.25 = $5.00
    Dentyne Gum 2 x $3.29 = $6.58
    Cadbury Chocolate Bars $5.00 (3 bars)
    Total Out-of-Pocket:$ 0
    **On Saturday I redeemed 50,000 points for $100 worth of merchandise, other products included make-up, Advil & hair products. I paid $15.61 but didn’t include it in my grocery budget**

    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: $ 6.75
    Total in-store discounts to date: $263.82
    Total spent this week: $ 184.86
    Total spent so far this month: $ 434.23
    Total over/Under spend for the month:
    Total left to spend for the month: $249.37
    Total Spent To Date 2016: Jan $706.52 + Feb $816.19 + March $764.27

    Weekly Overview:
    This week I cooked a ham and with the leftovers made Hawaiian Pizza & Ham/Corn Chowder.

    I know I am always over budget but I don’t look at it like I have failed. I am using it as a learning experience for me and my family. So far in 3 months I have realized that I get bored with food very often and I am in constant need of trying new recipes. To help with this I have joined a cooking class at Superstore on Wednesday’s. You pay $10 and they feed you and then they give you a $10 gift certificate to sign up for the next class. WIN-WIN! I find the classes very inspirational!
    I have also realized we buy a lot of snack foods for the kids lunches and in the summer time this will be eliminated until September.
    As well, I realized that we don’t love frozen vegetables, we prefer fresh and to stay on budget I have ramped up my gardening efforts and I will be growing more food and growing earlier/later in the seasons to help with the overspending.
    These are just a few of the things that I have realized since writing all of this down and playing along in the challenge. I hope to keep improving and maybe even be on budget someday!

    1. Hi Lori-Lynn,
      I love how you are using the GGC as an experiment to see how your family is doing with grocery shopping and food likes and dislikes. More people should join in if only to do that. I think once the picture is painted it makes it easier to find ways to cut back if need be. I’ve seen the posting for those classes. I might have to check them out when I have free time which is not at the moment. Let me know how the cooking classes go. I’d love to do a blog post about it. If you can take photos please do. 🙂 We are not fans of frozen veg but once in a while get corn and peas. Thank-you for sharing this Lori… this just made my night!! Inspirational. You get ballot #9. Mr.CBB

  7. It is handy having the store across the street as |I can just walk over and they know me there. For those times I go out of town to Stratford I try to combine the shop with other reasons to be there as gas can be expensive for the truck. Food Basics is currently not in my good books as I am still trying to get my roasts that I have rain checks for……..One more chance before I go to higher ups to complain…..

  8. APRIL – Week #2 of 4- April 11-17, 2016


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



    We had a fairly substantial shop last week and even though I didn’t plan to shop quite so extensively this week… I did!

    Son of a gun, I need to stay out of the stores! I just couldn’t pass on some of these prices. Sound like a good justification to you? Me neither. What a pickle we are in! We’re only half way thru the month and I have no money left for grocery shopping.

    I still have a $1.76 Cash Back Coupon from our Gas fill-up at Safeway so if we need milk, I’ll use that to help hold this month’s overage to a minimum.



    THRIFTY FOODS – Maple Ridge –

    2 – Celery @ $1.99 ea = $3.98
    8 – Tomatoes on the Vine $1.49/lb = $3.43
    6 – Green Giant Steamer Veggies @ 3 for $4.98 = $9.96

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $17.37
    Total Re-Stocking Grocery OOP: $0.00

    ** Earned 2 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $14.65 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    WALMART – Maple Ridge

    5 – English Cucumbers @ $0.97 ea = 4.85
    2 Ground Chicken (2 for $12) = $12.00
    1 pkg of 5 Chicken Breasts = $10.00

    Total OOP: $26.85


    SAVE ON FOODS – Maple Ridge

    4 Green Onions – 4 for $3
    4 Radishes – 4 for $3

    24 bottles – 946 ml Motts Clamato Juice @ $1 ea = $24.00
    4 packs of 8 – Western Family Wraps @ $2.00 ea = $8.00

    Total OOP: $6.00
    Re-Stocking Reserve $32.00

    ** Earned 48 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $67.16 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $36.76 + Feb $160.96 + Mar $27.00+ Apr $96.10 = $320.81

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $20.46+ Mar $1.00 +Apr $3.00= $24.46

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

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

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar $3 +April 48= 243 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 2= 233 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200= April 2,900 = 14,900 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 $182.77 + April ($26.71+$15.00+$15.00+$45.00+$14.23+$3.00+$20.17-$32.00Trf from Re-Stocking Reserve+$32.00+$6.00+$26.85+$17.37= $189.33) = $762.62

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + April $190.00 = $760.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($2.62) OVER 🙁



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



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar ($45.00-$104.58)+ Apr $45.00= $75.42



    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 + Apr ($26.71-32.00)= $47.35



    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 +$15.00+ Apr $15.00= $138.12



    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61+ Mar $0.00+Apr $15.00= $679.11



    $ 760.00 Grocery Budget JAN-APR

    $ 9.88 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 180.41) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 252.34 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 75.42) Trf to US Grocery Reserve

    ($ 9.88) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 759.13) Actual CASH SPENT
    $ 2.62 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 $760.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $370.29 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 47.35 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $138.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $679.11 Summer Season Fund
    $ 75.42 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 9.88 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $949.88. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $370.29 that we have added in 2016, LESS $356.92 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


    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

    2 x Lilydale Fresh Turkey Breast Roasts @ $6.99/lb – Good until June 29/16

    2 x Island Farms 750g 2% Cottage Cheese @ $5.39-50% Off=$2.70 ea
    – Good ’til July 3/16


    This week’s BREAKFAST menu plan:

    HUBBY: Earl Grey Tea with Lemon Juice + Bagels/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, or hard boiled eggs


    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Roast Beef Sandwiches with Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup for hubby / imitation crab salad on cucumber slices for me

    TUES: Bologna Sandwiches with Coleslaw & Banana Bread

    WED: Egg Salad with Corned Beef & Cabbage Soup

    THURS: Deviled Ham Sandwiches with side of Cottage Cheese

    FRI: Tuna Salad Sandwiches with Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

    SAT: Pulses Soft Tacos

    SUN: Chicken Corn Soup with garlic bread


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Assorted raw veggies and dip with Dry Garlic Chicken Meatball Subs topped with coleslaw

    TUES: Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese, a casserole of Roasted Potatoes, Onions, & Peppers alonside a Spinach-Garlic-Ham- Quiche Muffin

    WED: Hawaiian Pasta Salad using gluten free fusilli in place of the tortellini and adding a can of water chestnuts

    THURS: Sweet N Sour Chicken served over rice

    FRI: Slow Cooker Rich French Onion Soup with Cheesy Garlic Bread

    SAT: Cornmeal Pancakes with Sugar Free Maple Syrup and German Cucumber-Tomato-Onion and Dill Salad

    SUN: Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes with Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars for dessert


    1. Hi Mary,
      I’ll admit I almost spit my tea out laughing but not at the expense of your grocery budget just the remorse you feel about going into the grocery store. I’m the same way. It’s so hard sometimes. How have you been doing with the meal plan? Have you been able to stick with it or do you find there are nights where you just don’t feel like cooking what you set out to cook in the plan? The Clamato juice was a great deal so I can see why you loaded up on it. Do you drink it straight up, make drinks or use it to cook? Well, let’s see how the rest of the month plays out for you. I’m sure you’ll make some magic happen or join the catch-up GGC gang lol. I think I’m still leading that one. You get ballot #8. MR.CBB

      1. My meal plan usually stands but not necessarily on the night I say…life happens and sometimes we just hit up the leftovers and sometimes we re-arrange the order. This week, I have been switching things…a couple of times we had veggies and dip just because I want a crunchfest and I can get hubby to eat a rainbow of colors at a single sitting that way.

        I am struggling to keep on top of the baking for hubby though. This last week I have had a lot of pain so, with his help, we got all but one dessert made. He’ll get that dessert another week…I just pushed it forward in my meal plan.

        I have too much soup in the fridge right now (2 different kinds – French Onion and the last of the Corned Beef and Cabbage) so I postponed making the Chicken and Corn soup. The fridges are so full at the moment that we need to eat up some leftovers first! 🙂

        I drink the Clamato juice straight up with a dash of tobasco and worcestershire sauce in it. I allow myself a 225 ml glass as my treat before supper…my evening mocktail. LOL 🙂

  9. My store of choice is RCSS because of the PC Points, Price Matching option and for the few times that I needed staff assistance, they have been very helpful. Oh, it’s also close to my house. I could drive to a few other stores in the city as they are not too far away but why spend all money on gas when I can get most of what I’m looking for at one store.

  10. Week 15 – Apri 8 – 14, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $

    No Shop

    No Shop

    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: $
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $140
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $427.07

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Over/Under this week: Over
    Left for the Month: 20.12
    Total Cats to Date: $118.34

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $89.19

    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: $125.89

    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: $7.98
    Total Price Match to Date: $87.15

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 115415

    Overview: Decided to make this week a “no shop” week. With the working at the market on Thursday and such, we didn’t really go thru our meal plan. We are using most of that meal plan this week so we didn’t any things.

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