How To Train Your Spouse To Be A Clever Clogs Food Shopper : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 May 23-29



I’m sure that you’ve met someone who thinks they are a clever clogs when it comes to knowing everything about anything there is to know in life. Some may profess to be an expert only to lack the skills needed to complete a task such as being the household food shopper.

If you’re tired of always having to do the food shopping because your spouse doesn’t want to take the time to follow your frugal lead then it’s time to get them on-board with a bit of Grocery-101.

What is a clever clogs?

A bit of humour in this post to get your attention but serious stuff if you are struggling to meet your grocery budget needs because you or your spouse is not participating in the process.

The word clever clogs originates in the UK so it’s certainly a term I’m familiar with and now you are. If you’re child is a fan of the television cartoon Peppa Pig you’ll have heard that Edmond Elephant is a bit of a clever clogs. This means a clever clogs is someone who is too clever or commonly called a smart-alek. Edmond is very smart and knows everything about anything. The adult TV version of a clever clogs would be Sheldon Cooper played by Jim Parsons on The Big Bang Theory.

You get the idea now.

The idea is to train your spouse so temptations and food prices are understood and most certainly how they add up over the course of the year. You may have your work cut out for you if your spouse has no intention of participating.

Some people just don’t have a clue, they really don’t when it comes to understanding the makings of a grocery store and how it’s marketed to the consumer.

I was that guy once but I had a legit reason, I was a new resident to Canada and while my wife worked I was home twiddling my thumbs until school started. I needed something to do so she suggested I go to the grocery store so we could have more time to spend together when she was home. I was up for it but I quickly learned I needed some help to understand the Canadian grocery shopping system.

Equally there are households where…

  • Both partners love to grocery shop
  • One partner hates grocery shopping
  • Both partners hate grocery shopping
  • Both partners are smart shoppers
  • One part is a smart food shopper
  • One partner blows money as a food shopper
  • One partner saves money

It’s a wonderful thing when a couple can grocery shop without worrying about whether one or the other will go hog-wild buying food they shouldn’t be. If your spouse is not cooperating in the food budget department I’m going to share with you tips on how to train your spouse to be a frugal food shopper. Plus, I received this email a month or so ago about this very topic which I hope to shed some light on today.

If you have a question you’d like to ask me please send me an email.

Dear Mr.CBB,

My husband is a horrible food shopper and although I create a weekly grocery list for him I swear he doesn’t read it because he comes home with products, not on the list. No matter how many times I’ve told him that we can’t afford the extras he continues to dance around the excuses and seems to think there’s nothing wrong with buying more food than we need.

These little money confrontations do take its toll on our relationship as I don’t think he takes me seriously. As a nurse I’m concerned with his overall health and wellness and I know he needs to cut back on the junk and start eating healthier foods. I’m the one who takes care of the finances because if we left it up to him we’d clearly be broke.

Our monthly grocery expenses are currently hovering around $850 for the two of us and a toddler BUT should only be $600. If he spends an extra $50-$75 every week you can see how easily we can overspend. My husband does the grocery shopping because I work long 12 hour shifts and he’s home in the evening which makes it easier on us if he goes with our daughter. Oh, and he blames our daughter for stuff he buys because he says, “she wanted it”, which is not an excuse in my opinion.

What can I do to seriously get him on board with food shopping?


A wife who cares.



A food shopper is born


When I moved to Canada I was frugal-minded but I had no idea what the costs of any products were across the board at all stores. My wife would send me to the grocery store and there were times I’d come home with stuff that was too expensive, the wrong product or I forgot to use our coupons. It was overwhelming for me to grocery shop in a new country let alone trying to be the frugal food shopper that my wife was hoping for. She sent me off alone to help me become independent in my new country and to be honest, it worked. I was forced to ask questions, something I don’t often do if I don’t have to. I’ve since changed my ways.

Before things got out of hand the wife and I sat down and I explained to her that I needed her help. This is the first step in accepting that you could use some guidance. Although she knew I was struggling with food prices she didn’t realize how much of a fight it can be for someone to enter a grocery store with a savings mindset yet everything is foreign territory.

In a way she knew what I meant because while in the UK I would bring her grocery shopping and she claimed that it was overwhelming for her to see so many new products. Combine that with learning a new currency that made for a challenging grocery shop. I wanted to get in and get out and the wife was taking her time reading just about anything she could get her hands on.

You would think that both men and women who were born in Canada would have the upper-hand on the grocery store game however that’s not the case. I’ve spoken to young adults who say that they had never been grocery shopping on their own before. Yes, this does happen when the kids stay home and the parents do all the shopping from an age where they should be learning grocery shopping basics.

Most often I have readers coming to the blog complaining that their spouse spends too much money and are looking for advice. It’s not just the women either… it’s both men and the ladies. I often find it entertaining to read what people search to find my blog. Just knowing that there are men and women who take to the internet looking for help on this topic meant I needed to do my part and share what worked for us.


Watch how people grocery shop


All you have to do is look around the grocery store next time you visit and watch how people grocery shop as their body language can tell you lots about their shopping knowledge. Just the other day we saw a guy walk up to the cheese counter at Metro where cheese bars were on sale for $4.44. I don’t find one lick of difference between Cracker Barrel and Black Diamond Cheese likely because I don’t view it as proper cheese comparable to what I’m used to in the UK grocery stores. It’s a cheese that fits the budget and doesn’t taste that bad.

There are far better cheeses out there that will cost you much more but for the average grocery shopper these are affordable go-to brands when on sale. The gentleman proceeds to grab a mozzarella Cracker Barrel cheese bar for $8.99 ignoring the Black Diamond Cheese Bar Sale Sign for $4.44.

My wife speaks up and says, sir the other cheese is on sale and points to it. As he rushes off he shrugs and says, “ah well that’s fine”. Really? So he paid about $4 more for a block of cheese which is practically the same in taste as the one on sale.


He either didn’t care, was particular about his cheese (no idea why) or simply has no clue how to be a frugal food shopper. It happens. Look in grocery carts and you’ll see what I mean.

Another example was the guy who picked up a case of 24 bottles of no-name water for $3.99 when a name-brand was on sale for $1.88. Haha.. right next to each other. He threw 2 cases on the bottom of his cart and strolled away. That was a head-scratching moment.


Prices really do matter


Saving money on groceries is becoming harder and harder as prices continue to rise even with the competitive nature of most grocery stores. You may have noticed banana prices come back to a reasonable price but that’s just to get you in the door.Prices on bacon for example have shot through the roof and even a pack of hotdogs that typically goes on sale for $1.88 costs $5.99. WOW!

Those dash and grab shopping trips like Mr. Cheese Man all add up over the course of a month or year. That means buckling down in the food department sticking to flyer sales, reduced foods and lowered prices with coupons and rewards points. This also means finding recipes that are nutritious that still fit your budgeting needs.

Just about every finance blogger who talks about finance has covered grocery shopping but I’ve taken it a bit further with my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide because it’s a huge expense for the monthly budget. Just about everything and anything you need to know about Canadian grocery stores is in my guide, free to you and I’m always adding more topics on a weekly basis.

It’s great to have all of these food shopping tips easily available to consumers online but if you have a spouse who is not on-board with your frugal mind-set and sticking to a family grocery budget you’re in for some work especially if they are the main food shopper like I used to be.

It’s not easy dealing with a shopper who doesn’t see the validity in overspending on food as some of these types of shoppers view food as a necessity that shouldn’t be scrimped on. Although I agree that eating good food is important we all have our financial limits that MUST be met.

How did my wife train me to be a clever clogs from start to finish?

Well, I’ll tell you there never is a finish-line with learning about the food industry as it’s diverse and marketing and pricing is always changing. Much of what I learned was applicable to most grocery stores so it wasn’t too much of a hassle to get educated.

  • Set a time aside to review the grocery budget with your spouse.
  • Remind them how much money they have to spend and if they spend more than they should what the consequences will be for the both of you financially.
  • Review what a grocery list is and how to use it along with teachings of how to master a meal plan around your pantry inventory, freezer inventory and flyer sales.
  • Review the grocery store flyers so they understand sales and prices
  • Run down store policies such as returns, rain checks, price-matching and the Scanning Code of Practice
  • Teach your spouse about how to use coupons and where to find Canadian coupons online and at the grocery store.
  • Take a tour of the grocery store and explain each section and different products (this should take about an hour)
  • Show your spouse where the grocery store typically stocks reduced items and how to read product labels and stickers to spot amazing marked down deals or blow-out prices.
  • Send your spouse grocery shopping with cash only until they get it right.
  • Remind them the importance of the rewards card and why it needs to be swiped.
  • Show them how to load deals on the computer of with the aid of a smartphone app or email. Plus have them set time aside to read the latest coupon app deals of the week so they can plan around them if need be. More savings.
  • Explain how bringing re-usable grocery bags is overall cheaper than buying them at the store.
  • Remind your spouse to always get receipts and to read them before they leave the shop.
  • Most of all motivate them to ask questions to the staff at the grocery store and to make a phone call if need be to sort out any issues. No question is a silly question, male or female.

There are no fast and steady rules about learning how to be a smart shopper apart from practice builds confidence like it did for me. My wife no longer has to worry about the way I grocery shop because after one year of doing it on my own after I was done school taught me the value of learning how to be an expert in a field I already thought I had conquered.

I hope that helps you out a bit Mel. You can email me if you have any other questions about this post.   Mr.CBB

Has your spouse gone from a spender to a clever clogs food shopper?

Share your comments below as I’d love to hear what you have to say.


May 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.

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.

May 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: 191000
  • 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)

  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $17.00


Grocery Shop This Week



  • 2lbs of bananas $1.59
  • 2 x 18pk Large Eggs Sale $2.99 = $5.98
  • Bucket of Boston lettuce $0.99
  • 1 x 2% Milk Neilson $4.27
  • 6 x Schneiders Bacon Sale $3.88 – Buy 2 get 1 free $11.64
  • Pork Tenderloin $10.02-50%= $5.00
  • Boneless stewing beef Angus $10.88-50%= $5.44
  • Pork Chops Boneless $8.69-50%=$4.34
  • PC buffalo wings uncooked $12.08-50%= $6.04
  • Fresh Ground Lamb $6.63-50% plus PC points earned $3.31
  • Fresh Ground Lamb $6.51-50% plus PC points earned $3.25
  • 3 x PC Mild Chorizo $2.99-50%= $4.50
  • Salerno Romano Cheese $10.00-50%= $5.00
  • 4 x Farmers Market Quiche $7.49-50% = $14.98

Total Out-of-pocket $76.33

  • Total to spend this month : $226.50
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $22.35
  • Total coupons used this week: $7.76
  • Total coupons used to date: $15.36
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$57.30
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $284.23
  • Total spent this week: $76.33
  • Total spent so far this month: $279.07
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month:- $52.57
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$52.57 over
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11+April $248.11+May $279.07

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We spent over our budget this month however we had a bit of an experiment going on. The wife and I suggested that since it was going to be the Victoria Long Weekend that we should go to Zehrs just before closing to see if there were any meat sales. SCORE!! This weeks i-store discounts totalled a whopping $57.30 with no coupons used.

We just happened to pop in when the butcher was applying 50% off stickers. I also don’t normally buy pre-made food but it was hard to pass up Market Fresh Quiche for half-price especially since I can’t make it for that much. I will use them for my lunch or dinner along with a garden salad.

We also bought boxes of diapers and used coupons to bring our total to $150 so we’d get 15,000 PC Points back along with the in-store PC Points we picked up.

Our freezer was getting low so this was the perfect opportunity to stock up outside of our traditional meal plan and grocery list which we don’t do often. We also found out that we can give our boy 2% milk now which means no more expensive Homo milk. Overall, we’re happy with this shop and will kick-butt next month as we are left with $182.43 plus stockpile budget. 
Do you find deals just before a holiday?




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
  • 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, 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 that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you 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. Week 4 – May 22 – 28

    • Grocery budget to work with in May: $250
    • Total coupons used this week: $.50
    • Total coupons used to date: $4.50
    • 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: $70
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $0
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $35
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $30
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $90
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts this week: $3.88
    • Total student discounts to date: $46.49
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $53.85
    • Total spent so far this month: $210.15
    • Total left to spend for the month: $39.85
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $1.00
    • Total overspent: $0
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $1014.15

    Westons Outlet: Large tortillas 2 x 2.00. stale bread various types 9 x .95: Total Paid 12.55

    Giant Tiger: Frozen chicken sale 5.00: Total Paid 5.00

    Dollarama: Waffles in a box 2.00, hot dog buns 1.50, marshmallows 1.25, Hershey bar .77, parsley flakes 1.00, tax .26: Total Paid 6.80 rounded up 2 cents

    RCSS: Hellmans mayo 2.99 less .50 coupon (PM), 18 pk eggs 3.98, milk 4.27, strawberries 2.97 (PM), blueberries 4.98, grape tomatoes 3 x .97 (PM), bananas 2.05, iceberg lettuce 1.47 (PM), asparagus 2.232 (PM), cucumber .88 (PM), Oil of Olay 8 pk soap 2 x 6.98, less student discount 3.88, plus tax 1.63, less Neilsen Homescan visas 2 x 15: Total Paid 10.05 rounded up 2 cents

    Food Basics: Eggs 1.97, Minute Maid OJ 2 x .79: Total Paid 3.55

    RCSS: Stewing Beef 3.26: Total Paid 3.25 rounded down 1 cent

    RCSS: Listerine 6.98, NN tortilla chips club pack 4.29, tax 1.47: Total Paid 12.75 rounded up 1 cent

    This is week four of what we classify as a five week month. So we still have some left to spend on groceries next week, but we have to be careful as it is less than $40. This week our soap was on sale and we needed it. Normally we would have purchased one, but it was worth it to get two. Also, we made smores from ingredients from Dollarama. It made a couple of batches, so much cheaper than the kits and we much enjoyed it on the waffle cone discs. A treat for the week.

    Our son had a bit of an accident with his tongue at school with biting a chunk of it. So, an emergency trip to RCSS to get listerine to disinfect it for days. We were hoping to avoid a trip to the doctor and antibiotics. He hates it, but it is doing a wonderful job. The tortilla chips were a splurge but a perfect match to the ripe avocados we got a previous week.

    Lots of shops this week. Unfortunately I have gone in repeatedly with family and friends, but I have tried to keep those other trips small and only getting something we truly needed or could use like the eggs, juice and stewing beef.

    Overall a good month so far. We hope to have a bit more for the carryover jar, but we need more fresh fruit and veg. I am excited though, we have got the garden in for this year! We can’t wait for it to start producing. It’s looking awesome so far!

    1. I’ve seen those kits before and they are a HUGE waste of money. Anyone who knows how to put together 2 cookie with a marshmallow and chocolate can make them for FAR less. I’ve never had one before but I’ve seen them made over open flame and they look delicious. Ouch that must have hurt. How did he manage that? I never thought to use Listerine on a cut. Going in the grocery store multiple times is scary. We have problems with this and always overspend. What did you plant? I’d love to see a photo!! Keep at it. You get ballot #1. MR.CBB

      1. So far we have planted a few varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, red pole beans, carrots, potatoes, peas, acorn squash, celery and zucchini.

        The tongue bite was accidental, not sure if it was falling or something, but he came home from school still bleeding (not just a little, it was icky), and sadly no call from the school even though he said he told a teacher who just told him to ask his parents about it. I was a bit annoyed as I could have had ice on it and working on the bleeding rather than him have it bleed for two hours and swallowing it, poor kid, what a trooper, rotten teacher should have sent him to the office as this is procedure. Either way, we didn’t want it to get infected and figured salt water wasn’t going to be enough. With Listerine having an antiseptic in it, we figured it would be a good way to reduce risk of infection and hopefully eliminate the need for antibiotics, he’s got enough allergies, antibiotics are used very sparingly. He didn’t like it very much, it was very strong for a 10-year-old, but it may have done the trick. No visible infection and it is healing quite nicely. It was a big enough chunk so we were concerned.

        1. Oh yes, we also have green onions and one jalapeno plant! I am aiming to get spices in soon!

          1. Spring onions are great and they come back a couple years in a row sometimes, at least for us. What do you use your jalepeno for? Do you just flavour meals or do you make those poppers?

        2. I would have been pissed off if that were my kid bleeding and no phone call. That’s smart then that you used the Listerine. Glad to hear that everything is ok. I would have been more than concerned. Parenting. 🙂

  2. 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: $40
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 38160
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $9.00($25.75)
    Checkout51 to cash out : $14.75($25.50)

    Grocery Shop This Week

    Farmers Market
    1 Romaine head, organic -2.00
    1 lb bunch rhubarb -3.00
    1 bunch fresh radishes -2.00
    Total OOP $7.00
    Foodland #1
    1 Miracle Whip -4.99
    1 relish -1.99
    2 Kraft BBQ sauce @1.79
    1 paprika -1.00
    2 lbs ground chicken @4.99, 50% sticker-2.50
    Total OOP -16.54, 5.00 discounts
    Foodland #2
    2 Whiskas cat food @7.99, B1G1 coupon -7.99
    1 Zcheerios -5.49
    1 jug water -5.49
    4 Certo Light @1.99
    1 can pineapple tidbits -1.19
    2 4l milk @4.99
    Bananas -.58
    1 raisin bread -3.99
    1 W/W bread -3.19
    Tax -2.08
    Total OOP -$47.94, 7.99 coupons
    Total to spend this month : $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $13.95
    Total coupons used this week: $7.99
    Total coupons used to date: $78.44
    Total in-store discounts this week:$5.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: $97.79
    Total spent this week: $71.48
    Total spent so far this month: $475.36
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month:- $0
    Total left to spend for the month: -$174.64
    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $579.69+ Feb $628.96+ March $605.28+ April $584.23+ May $475.36
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    I didn’t get much this week at all even with the market being open now. I really didn’t need much after last week but I did grab some Certo Light for next month when I make jam. I’ll be looking to get a couple more and I need to check my supplies of standard snap lids too. Stuart and Molly are in good shape for cat food but I might need treats soon, only a couple of packs left in the pantry. Can’t run out of treats for them!!’m

    1. Hi Christine,
      What will you be making with your Rhubarb? Is the market in St. Marys? Will you be making strawberry jam again? Want our entire tree of crab apples this year? Haha… I won’t be needing them. They make delicious jam. You did awesome this month congrats. You get ballot #20. MR.CBB

  3. Hubby can be a pain in the fanny to take shopping. He has fussed around with the odd budget (not overly thought out so he would go over on something and give up) and going over my grocery list questioning everything. I still remember the time he informed me that I wasn’t allowed to buy anything that wasn’t on the list and he came with me to make sure I didn’t get anything not on the list…….yea…… That lasted until he saw something he decided that he wanted…Nope, can’t buy that, it’s not on the list he gets told… So he pulls out a pen, grabs the list from me and writes the item on the list!!! It’s on the list so now he can have it!! No joke….he really did. I swear, tell that boy he can’t have something and he could give a toddler tantrum lessons!!
    He could learn to do better with the groceries and be allowed to get them by himself but he won’t listen and if he can’t find something on the list, meaning it didn’t jump out and land in the cart for him, he doesn’t get it. Mind you since the money has gotten a lot tighter with him not working he is getting better but only because the finances have forced him to. He still fusses.

  4. I have to say…if anyone is going to blow the budget with splurges, it’s generally me but not on junk…a really good cut of meat, a 50% off sticker on meats or really super fresh fish/seafood do me in. Hubby is better about sticking to the list unless it’s something that he sees on sale that he knows we are out of but hasn’t mentioned to me. The worst offender is the last of the mayo for his lunches. He simply won’t do without it!

    Now, I will own up to the fact that this week’s shop at the farm market cost us a LOT more than it would have if I had just sat in the car and sent hubby in. He was prepared to pick up 2 teeny weeny steaks at $4.99 apiece (I saw them and the best I can say about them is that they were the loss leaders) and then he would have rushed for the counter to pay. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200! Ha ha ha!

    However, we spent $51.21 getting a couple of decent sized Rib Eye steaks (an extra $3 apiece but beautiful meat), a gorgeous Baron of Beef (for him but certainly not on the list), corn on the cob (also not on the list but hey it’s Victoria Day) and re-stocking our yellow and red onion supply (at decent prices, but sense a theme here…also not on the list).

    Can you tell who is far better at justifying her purchases? LOL 🙂

    I am the keeper of the GGC records though and am fully aware of how much we can or can not afford to spend at any given point. I won’t put us into a deep, dark hole of over spending and I am the stronger one of us when it comes to completely cooling our jets on spending at all but I believe once in a while…you just have to make room for a treat or two.

    Long weekend behind us, back to grocery restraint for this week! LOL 🙂

  5. MAY – Week #4 of 5- May 23-29, 2016


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



    What a wonderful week we have coming in terms of meals! The best part is that the exercise and picnic/barbecue schedule are now incorporated with the meals so that we take full advantage of our spring and summer weather. Like a lot of people, if I don’t schedule it, it doesn’t happen. It’s a lot easier to sit on our duffs but nowhere near as fun nor as good for you. 🙂

    I am holding the line on this month’s overage by shopping only at the farm markets using our Summer Reserves. I know… I spent a lot on the “free range beef” BUT it’s a holiday weekend and 1. we didn’t travel, 2. we didn’t spend any money on entertainment activities and 3. I used cash we had in the reserve for summer splurges. We will continue to enjoy the extravagance too…in an upcoming we have a beautiful steak salad and hubby’s roast beef and dijon sandwiches in his lunches. Once the roast is sliced, half of it will be placed in a ziploc and frozen for future sandwiches…the beef that keeps on giving! LOL 🙂



    THRIFTY FOODS – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 3-Pack Multi-Seed GF Buns @ $5.99 – $5.99 SCOP = $0.00 < I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself!

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $0.00


    MERIDIAN FARM MARKET – Maple Ridge –

    4 Corn on the Cob @ $0.47 = $1.88
    1 3lb Yellow Onions $1.88
    1 3lb Red Onions $2.98
    2 Free Range Rib Eye Steaks $15.98
    1 Free Range Baron of Beef $28.49

    SUMMER RESERVE: $51.21






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $36.76 + Feb $160.96 + Mar $27.00+ Apr $117.96 +May $55.61= $398.38

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

    Jan $0.00 + Feb $20.46+ Mar $1.00 +Apr $5.23 + May $10.68= $37.37

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

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

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar $3 +April 48 + May 96= 339 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 32 + May 24= 265 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200= April 3,100 + May 0 = 15,100 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 0= 0 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb $193.74 + Mar $182.77 + April $255.43 + May ($11.28+$10.00+$10.00+$25.00+11$9.71+$9.24 +$22.50+$0.03+$12.72+$24.80 + $4.69+$20.98-$20.98 Trf from Re-Stocking Reserve+$3.08+$51.21-$51.21 Trf from Summer Reserves =$143.05) = $971.77

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + April $190.00 +May $190.00 = $950.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $21.77 OVER



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $4.69+ Feb $5.19+ Mar $0.00+ Apr $0.00 + May $4.69= $14.57



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar ($45.00-$104.58)+ Apr $45.00+ May ($25.00-$7.29-$10.00-$30.50 = -$22.79)= $52.63



    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 + Apr ($26.71-32.00)+May ($11.28-$20.98 = -$9.70)= $37.65



    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 +$15.00+ Apr $15.00 +May $20.00= $158.12



    2015 Fwd $100.00+ $537.50 Trf from Borscht Fund+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61+ Mar $0.00+Apr $15.00 + May $-51.21 = $627.90



    $ 950.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAY

    $ 14.57 Redeemed Points to Purchase

    ($ 211.69) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves
    (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 324.53 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves
    (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 52.63) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of
    2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset
    Redeemed Points

    ($ 932.98) Actual CASH SPENT

    ($ 21.77) OVER ON Y-T-D SPENDING


    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – JAN
    $ 5.19 Whole Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – FEB
    $ 4.69 Skim Milk- 3,100 MORE Pts – MAY
    $ 14.57 Total $ Value of Points Redeemed

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

    So far $950.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $426.57 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 37.65 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $158.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 627.90 Summer Season Fund
    $ 52.63 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $890.67. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $426.57 that we have added in 2016, LESS $472.41 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

    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 each Good until July 3/16
    2 x 1 LB Strawberries @ $2.88 each – Good until July 19/16


    6 x Compliments Garden Salad 340g @ $0.99 ea – Good until Aug 11/16


    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, bananas or hard boiled eggs


    This week’s LUNCH menu plan:

    MON: Mexican Egg Cups with Mild Italian Sausages on Herbed Hoagie Buns for hubby/no buns for me

    TUES: Pork Roast Sandwiches, Mini Donuts and a thermos of Orange Juice

    WED: Leftover Creamy Tomato Soup with Leftover Mexican Egg Cups with Guacamole and Sour Cream, Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies and a thermos of Chocolate Milk

    THURS: Roast Beef on Multigrain Buns with Dijon Mustard, a side of Mom’s Macaroni Salad and a thermos of Orange Juice

    FRI: Creamy Tomato Soup, Leftover Mexican Egg Cups & thermos of Orange Juice

    SAT: Italian Egg Drop Soup + Leftover Mexican Egg Cups

    SUN: Lunch at Red Robin in Bellingham, WA and a walk at Cornwall Park


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: BBQ Ribeye Steaks with Foil Baked Mushrooms & Buttered Corn on the Cob

    TUES: Creamy Tomato Soup after we take the old lawn mower to the transfer station

    WED: Mamma's Macaroni-Chicken-And Cheese with Steamed Broccoli then a walk & cup of tea at Allouette Lake in Golden Ears Park

    THURS: Chinese Chicken and Corn Soup with Cubed Bread and Spinach Dip + Walk at Kanaka Creek Park in Maple Ridge

    FRI: Walk on the path along the slough in Pitt Meadows then Greek Steak Salad on a bed of iceberg lettuce and fresh buttered corn on the cob

    SAT: Coleslaw starter & Cacio e Pepe (Spaghetti With Black Pepper and Pecorino Romano), sauteed mushrooms and fried cabbage followed by a Bike Ride on the TransCanada Trail

    SUN: Day Trip to the US and Abbotsford then Low Carb Salmon Nicoise Salad + Walk


    1. Hi Mary,
      I’m with you on the planning bit. Is that now your second SCOP of the year? lol Considering they are free-range you picked them up at a decent price. I love the price of corn too. I never ate corn in the UK but once I tried it here on the cob I was in love with it. My dad hates it though. The roast beef on the buns sound awesome. What is the recipe for the egg drop soup? Maybe the wife can have it? I could eat Romano cheese with a hunk of bread, haha!! Well done Mary.. good thing for that summer reserve. You get ballot 16 Mr.CBB

  6. I don’t have a spouse to make a “clever clogs” but I do have a daughter and she’s learning about looking for specials and such things. I have sent her to the grocery store to pick up some things for me and she has a list in hand. She is told how much she has to spend and has done very well. She will from time to time, spend some of her own money to get food for the house which has impressed me very much.

    1. Hi Dee,
      You know this approach works for just about anyone not just a spouse so yes teaching your daughter your smart shopping ways is a great way to get her started. Your efforts will carry with her for life.

  7. Week 21 – May 20 – 26, 2016
    Name Your Store: Zehrs
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1200
    Total Out Of Pocket: $25.72

    2 NN Pasta – 2/$3.00 (400 PC Points) = $3.00
    2 Quaker Oatmeal – 2/$5.00 (800 PC Points) = $5.00
    18 Grade A Large Eggs = $2.99
    Bananas – 2.370 kg = $2.99
    3 Bacon – B2G1F = $7.76
    2 WW Wonder Bread = $3.98

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 0
    Total Out Of Pocket: $7.96

    2 Ragu Spaghetti Sauce – 4/$5.00 = $2.50
    NN Mushrooms = $1.19
    4 L Milk = $4.27

    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: $33.68
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $36.32
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $611.11

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $28
    Total Cats to Date: $127.23

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $118.77

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $127.13

    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: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $148.09

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1200
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 21770

    Overview: Just a short shop this week so you just need a sip or two from your cuppa. Still getting by and staying on budget.

    1. Hi Dee,
      Bit of a small shop for you this week but it looks like you picked up a few staples. How goes the eating out that you are working on? Sorry to hear about SJ I hope they are up and running for you quickly so you can get back to working on the weekends. You get ballot 15 Mr.CBB

      1. The eating out will always a work-in-progress but I think it’s doing okay. Yes I hope Peddlars Village building will be open soon but I’m glad that I don’t include that in my budget.

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