Frugal Living | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

The Ultimate Guide Picnic Foods On A Budget

The purpose of going on a picnic and bringing picnic foods is to enjoy a day away from home.

It’s about bringing the indoors outside under the sun and perhaps near the beach or other body of water.

Heck, even a splash pad works for a day of splashing and picnic foods to finish up the excursion.

We’ve packed picnic foods numerous times while attending splash pads around our city.

You don’t have to bring big pots and burners to make pasta, lobster and other posh foods.

Picnic foods should be simple and delicious comfort food paired with healthy snacks.

The Ultimate Guide Of Picnic Foods On A Budget

Some Of The Best Picnic Foods Are Homemade

During the heat of summer if you spot a picnic area you’ll likely uncover a trendy food truck with delicious and unique foods that are hard to resist even if the costs are more than you budgeted for.

As well, grocery shopping hungry can be costly and so can having fun on the beach, camping, or visiting various summer attractions without any picnic food.

Fresh smells of summer foods are everywhere so you either pay for your meals on the go or save money and pack simple picnic food to get you by for the day.

Although I’m a fan of food truck creations some of the best picnic food dishes will be homemade and fit nicely into your grocery budget.

Chicken recipes are popular picnic foods such as;

Extra Crispy Southern Fried Chicken
Extra Crispy Southern Fried Chicken

Growing up picnic foods included chicken or fish recipe that was simple for my mum to make. 

Chicken has long since been the go-to picnic food because it’s inexpensive compared to beef and it’s delicious eaten hot or cold.

Two Canadian Budget Binder readers share their favourite Picnic Foods.

Christine WI just take salads like potato and macaroni in a cooler with ice packs…cookies of some sort. Lots of drinks in the heat!!

Pat CI like veggies and dip, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, pickles, crackers, sunflower/pumpkin seeds and fruit. Lots of flavored water. My favorite is cucumber mint.

Family Beach Time

My wife recalls going on many trips with her family to the beach in the summer from a young age.

Her family would always eat picnic foods pre-made at home and dad brought the charcoal grill.

She explained to me that, “It was a cheap staycation away from home in the same city for us to relax”.

Packing Up The Truck

Her father was in charge of the flame so he would load the charcoal BBQ on the back of the truck, bag of charcoal, and starter fluid along with any other outdoor necessities.

Into the truck went the fold-out lawn chairs, picnic blanket, beach ball, swimming gear, towels, and other necessities for the beach.

It was an exciting time for her family as they didn’t have a pool in their backyard and camping was never part of their family getaways.

This was like a trip away from home even though the beach was just down the road from their house.

A Day Of Picnic Foods and Fun Without Technology

There were no technology distractions just family fun whether it be swimming, finding seashells, building sandcastles, burying each other, looking for treasures and, making memories.

Related: This is cool learn How to make charcoal and how it works. It’s all about the Science.

Her mother would be busy in the kitchen washing out the big blue Coleman cooler and preparing juicy steaks in marinade,  sandwiches, salads, snacks, and other cultural side dishes.

As well, in a separate cooler, she would pack juice and lots of water for an entire day at the beach.

Since their beach trip a full-day event that also meant she needed a picnic lunch and a picnic dinner.

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Homemade Chocolate Chip Ice-cream

Of all the picnic food ideas I will share there is one that probably wouldn’t stand the cooler and that’s ice cream.

However, if you plan to eat freezies or ice-cream in an hour or two and have lots of packed ice you could still get away with it.

If my wife’s parents splurged at the beach food counter it would always be for ice cream or fresh-cut French fries.

You can enjoy the food vibes of the beach when you are having a picnic but unless you want to spend the day eating food from vendors and trucks.

Packing your own picnic foods is ideal and economical for anyone on a budget or tight on cash.

As the sun went down a large bag of marshmallows came out with long skewers to roast on the grill with what was left of the sparkling charcoal.

“It was always a memorable time for us and I smile just thinking about it”, says Mrs.CBB who wants to create the same memories for our little family.

Roasting Marshmallows on skewers over the open picnic fire.
Roasting Marshmallows on Skewers Over The Open Picnic Fire

Picnic Foods And Recipes 101

Depending on the occasion you can also ask guests to bring certain foods that they’ve made at home.

What lots of people do is create a picnic food pot-luck perhaps with a theme which is a great idea.

Apart from food, you’ll need something to drink and lots of it for a hot, sunny day. 

No picnic is complete without a stocked ice cooler filled with juice, water, pop with beer, and wine is permitted.

Today I’m going to share with you some of the best picnic foods so you’re not paying a fortune eating out on park food.

Buckle up…here we go. Let’s start with dessert first!

Picnic Foods – Desserts

FUDGY BROWNIES are perfect to pack for picnic foods and desserts in the summer.
FUDGY BROWNIES are perfect to pack for picnic foods and desserts in the summer.

Right from the start, I’m going to say no picnic is ever complete without fudgy brownies.

Yes, you must pack homemade brownies for everyone, besides they are easy to travel with.

They are rich, creamy, and perfect to end a meal or snack on and you won’t need a plate.

Other picnic desserts that might grab your attention;

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
How to make strawberry cheesecake salad for picnic foods

Picnic Foods For Kids

corn dog mini muffins 2
Corn Dog Muffins

Not all kids like to eat steak, pork chops and seafood when at a picnic so it’s important to pack picnic foods for kids that appeal to them.

Most often parents are safe with hotdogs, corn dog mini muffins, and burgers along with cut-up vegetables and dip, fresh fruit, and snacks.

Make sure to have plenty of snack picnic foods such as;

  • Juice boxes
  • Water Cooler, Water Jug
  • Flavoured Waters
  • Water enhancers 
  • Frozen Yogurt Tubes make a great treat
  • Cheese Strings
  • Crackers
  • Chips

If your kids enjoy cultural foods that you make at home by all means pack those dishes as well.

In the UK the scotch egg is very popular because it’s easy to make and we grew up on them.

Packing scotch eggs would be a picnic food snack from my mum when we went to the sea for the day.

Healthy Picnic Foods

Eating healthy picnic foods keeps everyone fueled and awake for the day instead of sluggish.

The important thing to remember is to have balance in your diet.

Another thing to consider is that not everyone’s diet is the same, so some guests may bring food specifically for themselves. 

An Italian Charcuterie Board filled with meats, cheeses, nuts, olives, and pickled foods and vegetables.
Charcuterie Board Filled With Nuts, Cheese, Meats. Pickles and Veggies

Besides summer fresh picnic salads, you can also pack an antipasto tray known as a charcuterie board with deli meats, olives, cheese, peppers, and other pickled foods.

Check out this secret fruit salad but I’m not telling what the secret is. It sure looks delicious.

Fruity Picnic Foods

Sliced strawberries that are freshly picked and washed and packed for picnic foods.
Freshly picked and sliced strawberries for picnic foods.

Packing your cooler with fresh fruits makes travel easier when transporting to a picnic site. 

  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon
  • Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, etc. 
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Mangoes

Simple Vegetable Picnic Foods To Pack 

Fresh Vegetable Trays or Platters for Picnic Foods
Fresh Vegetable Trays or Platters for Picnic Foods

Every picnic should include a variety of cut-up vegetables that are healthy to snack on. 

Typically we pre-wash and cut up vegetables and put them in a large Tupperware container. 

Some of our favourite vegetables to pack for a picnic are from our garden, grocery store, or a local market in our community. 

  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber slices
  • Red peppers, Green Peppers and Yellow Peppers 
  • Whole Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower Florets
  • Broccoli Florets

Dips To Pack For A Picnic In The Park

Classic Ranch Dip
Classic Ranch Dip to bring to a picnic to dip your veggies in.

Keto Picnic Foods

Skip the rich desserts and pack homemade granola bars for a picnic dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth.

If you are on a special diet regime then bring along the foods that you enjoy.

This means to make them ahead of time, label them and ensure they are ready when you are.

Mrs. CBB is on a keto diet and her meals use specific ingredients so it would be important for her to plan her picnic foods accordingly. 

Two of her favourite keto dessert recipes:

keto dark chocolate peanut butter cups
Keto dark chocolate peanut butter cups recipe – Sugar-Free 
  • Oopsie Bread which can be made into pizza or used for sandwiches

Picnic Snacks and Desserts

Just about everyone loads up on junk food snacks when they pack picnic foods.

However, aside from chips, chocolate bars, granola bars, popcorn, pretzels, and cookies, there are plan ahead snacks to pack in your picnic basket.

Best Picnic Foods For A Light Lunch

  • Yogurt cups
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese or any other kind of cheese 
  • Pepperoni Sticks
  • Sliced Kolbassa
  • Olives – All Varieties
  • Dill Pickles
  • Crackers with peanut butter
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cold Cheesy Pizza Buns and Homemade Pizza

Lots of people like to make a Mexican layered taco dip, hummus, and other dips to enjoy with their tortilla chips, pita chips, or other dipping crisps.

Personally, when time permits I like making homemade pita then cutting it into triangles and baking it a second time.

Finger Picnic Foods 

Everyone likes to pick at a picnic so having finger foods on the table for grazing is the best way to keep everyone entertained with food.

Some of our favourite picnic foods recipes at Canadian Budget Binder are;

Picnic Salads and Side-Dishes

Tuna macaroni salad and other pasta salads are very popular as well a traditional potato salad, radish faux-keto potato salad, and creamy coleslaw.

You can also stretch chicken or fish to make large portion recipes of picnic foods for big groups by adding pasta, vegetables, and cheeses.

I’m not a big fan of cold steak myself as I find it gets tough and chewy and not appetizing at all.

Good picnic foods can be eaten hot or cold and handle well in a cooler packed with ice for hours.

Side-Dish Picnic Foods Recipes

chicken bacon ranch layer salad perfect picnic food

These days garden greens, pickled beets, green bean salad, asparagus salad, chickpeas salads, cucumber salad, and tomato salad are just a few recipes on the picnic food scene.

More people are choosing to eat healthier foods and making better choices and salads cut.

With salads, you can also pack the dressing separately however, if you plan to make dressing pack it in a mason jar, shake and dress the salad before you want to serve it.

Pickled Beets, Pickles and pickled onions
Pickled Beets, Pickles and pickled onions

Picnic Foods: Sandwich Recipes

vegan sandwich
Vegan Hummus Sandwich Picnic Foods

Popcorn chicken salad lettuce wraps are easy to make and transport on the go to your picnic site.

We love bringing sandwich triangles to snack on in between swimming, kicking the soccer ball around, playing volleyball, lawn bowling, hide and seek, and running around the playground.

Keeping active when you are at a picnic or beach is a great way to build up an appetite.

Bagel Sandwich
Vegetable Turkey Cream Cheese Bagel for Picnic Foods

Some of our favourite sandwich picnic foods are;

Be Picnic Ready With The Essentials

Picnic Foods and Essentials  with a picnic table
Picnic Foods and Essentials

Take some time to plan your picnic by preparing a picnic menu plan, a grocery shopping list, and all the picnic essentials.

Taste of Home has some awesome tips for the perfect picnic including how to pack picnic foods.

A quick trip to the dollar store or Amazon Canada will net you just about anything you need for a picnic.

Picnic Essentials List

Packing picnic foods and preparing for a day in the park or at a beach is a fun day away from home. 

Discussion: What picnic foods do you like? If I missed a picnic essential comment below and I’ll add it to the list above. 

Enjoy your picnic.

Mr.CBB 

The Ultimate Guide Picnic Foods On A Budget

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21 Comments

  1. Week 4 – June 26 – July 2

    • Grocery budget to work with in June: $240
    • Total coupons used this week: $2
    • Total coupons used to date: $20.48
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used this week: $0
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $8.96
    • 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: $80
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $15
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $105
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts this week: $4.66
    • Total student discounts to date: $67.19
    • Total tax savings RCSS this week: $0
    • Total tax savings RCSS to date: $0
    • Total spent this week: $43.35
    • Total spent so far this month: $259.85
    • Total left to spend for the month: $0
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0 (removed to cover overspend)
    • Total overspent: $18.30
    • Total Spent To Date 2015: $1,313.30

    Walmart: Milk 4.27, Minigo yogurt drinks 2.97, Greenworks dish soap 2 x 2.00 less 1.00 coupon, crispers 1.64, great value chips 2 x 1.00, crackers 1.87, tax 1.24, less $15 prepaid visa from Neilsen homescan: 2.00 rounded up 1 cent

    RCSS: NN Pretzels 1.59, NN Ketchup 2 x 2.00, PC Penguin snacks 2 x 1.48, Christie crackers 1.88, Coke Zero 3.30 (PM), Peanut Butter 4 x 2.98 (rain check), Nestle bottled water 1.88, Helmans mayo 3.48 less 1.00 coupon, NN lemonade 2 x .90, NN raspberry lemonade 1 x .90, NN iced tea .90, NN cheese 4.48, watermelon 3.98, bananas 1.54 less 30% (.46), grapes 2.19 (PM), less student discount 4.66, plus tax .68: 41.35 rounded down 1 cent

    Lots of snacks for upcoming summer adventures and swim meets. We are over budget for the month by 18.30 after clearing out the carryover jar. It is what it is, we will figure it out but not likely until after July. July historically is our most expensive month, but we will recover, we always do.

    1. Hi Angela,
      How often are you getting gift cards from the Nielsen Homescan? Awesome deal on the Peanut Butter. Our son is now diving in with a spoon as he doesn’t care for bread although he will have the odd cracker with peanut butter. I think that makes 3 of us over for the month now. Summer is always tough on the grocery budget for all of us. It could be worse though if we didn’t track our expenses. Another month is upon us. Well done. You get ballot #8. Mr.CBB

  2. month of June 1-30 2016
    2 adults

    Name Your Store: i.e. Superstore (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $8.49(superbucks)
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card- $7.41+$5.83+22.47=$35.71
    PC points redeemed—=$20.00+$30.00=$50.00
    plastic bag rebate- $0.0

    red rose teabags –$8.49 (coupon) =$0.00
    Kraft 500g cheez whiz =$2.99
    Kraft 450g old cheddar 5 @ $3.99=$19.95
    produce- reduced =$1.49
    pint blueberries $2.99 (reduced) (800 PC pts)= $1.49
    Wonderbread ham buns- $2.99 (reduced) =$1.49
    lasagna noodles= $1.99
    large eggs 5 @ $1.99=$9.95
    10 lbs potatoes-$2.99
    3 lbs onions (600 PC pts)= $2.99
    whole chicken $12.16 (reduced) $6.08
    whole chicken $12.28 (reduced) –$6.14
    pork chops- $4.71
    Hummus chipotle $1.99 (reduced) =$0.99
    coffee mate creamer- 2 @ $5.49 (1400 PC pts) =$10.98
    4L milk- $5.99
    10 lbs potatoes $2.99 (reduced) (200 PC pts) =$1.49
    naan bread 3 @ $1.69 (reduced) = $2.52

    Name Your Store: i.e. Walmart (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.64

    chicken legs – $2.64

    Name Your Store: i.e. Dollarama (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.40

    peaches 3 @ $1.00= $3.00
    apple juice- $1.00
    titan chocolate bar 2 @ 2/$1.00= $1.00

    Name Your Store: i.e. Giant Tiger (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $5.94

    227g mushrooms-$1.97
    2 lbs peaches- $3.97

    Name Your Store: i.e. Bulk Barn (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $6.00
    Total Out Of Pocket: $23.50+20.95=$44.45

    sesame honey almonds .33kg = $5.85
    nutiva buttery coconut oil 414ml 2 @ $7.99= $15.98
    black mission figs= $1.74
    brazil nut pieces- $1.69
    nutiva buttery coconut oil 414ml 3 @ $7.99= $23.97

    Name Your Store: i.e. Masstown Market (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $10.93

    bakery $2.99 (reduced) = $1.49
    bakery –$1.49
    bakery $1.99
    bakery- $0.72
    bakery- $1.29
    bakery –$1.49
    bakery $4.99 (reduced) = $2.49

    Name Your Store: i.e. Sobeys (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $
    Gift card-(Purchased with cash) =
    Gift card-$12.69+ $11.38+1.38=$25.45
    redeemed Airmiles- $10.00+10.00

    10kg R.H. flour- $10.00
    4L milk- $5.69
    M.L. flakes of ham 5 @ $1.00= $5.00
    10lbs potatoes- $2.00
    4L milk- 2 @ $5.69= $11.38
    4L milk- 2 @ $5.69= $11.38

    Name Your Store: i.e. Avery’s Farm Markets (Canada)
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.45+3.90=$7.35

    227g mushrooms-$1.99
    bananas @ 77c lb= $1.46
    green peppers- $0.79
    red peppers-1.59
    mango 2 @0.77=1.54

    Overall for the month of June 2016

    $ 70.41+3.90= 76.71 out of pocket
    $ 8.49 +$3.00+3.00= $14.49(coupon and star bucks)
    $12.69+$7.41+ 11.38=$1.38+$5.83+$22.47 = $61.16 gift cards
    $ 20.00+$30.00=$50.00- airmiles/ pc points redeemed to pay for the groceries
    $20.00 +$50.00=$70.00 – PC pts (I use my PC points and Air miles to buy them- gift cards )

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

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

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

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

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

    Stockpile budget 2015 ($0.00): $0
    Stockpile budget used to date: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $15.31 (Jan)+25.48 (Feb)+ $14.59 (March) +$20.14 (April) + $12.37 (May)+$14.49 (June)=$102.38
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0.00
    Total in-store discounts to date: 0.00
    Total spent this week: $0
    Total spent so far this month: $76.71
    Total over/Under spend this shop: $
    Total over/Under spend for the month $under spent $=$491.14 (Jan-June)

    Total left to spend for the month : $

    Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) $218.21 (jan) +$118.78 (Feb) +$141.90 ( Mar)+ $150.20 (Apr) + $104.62 (May)+$76.71 (June) = $810.42

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts): Started using the buttered flavoured coconut oil, and it is delicious. Great prices on eggs, and I now make sure I stock up.Next door neighbour gave us a free box (50 lbs) of bananas…so we’ve been sharing that with family/friends. I look at my food list, and it seems like we don’t really buy anything….but we really do Smile

    1. Hi kathryn,
      My wife actually told me about the butter flavoured coconut oil. We have never tried it. We use the Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil which we picked up at Costco for $21.99 2kg. OMG that’s lots of bananas. What on earth were they doing with that many bananas? Bananafest at Kathryn’s house! Your grocery expenses are amazing. I’d love to write a blog post about all the ways you save one day both in Canada and Australia. Will you be travelling this year? Yes stock up on eggs when they are on sale as they have a decent shelf life. Where did you find the Red Rose FPC? nice. What an awesome month you had!! Keep at it. I bet you will have a record breaking year. You get ballot #28 Mr.CBB

    2. Hi Kathryn,
      You won the June GGC!! Congrats. Could you please email me your address so I can send off your gift card please. Thanks. 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: $140.00
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 40760
    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 : $9.50
    Checkout51 to cash out : $16.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    Foodland #1
    1 bag white rice -5.99
    2 cases pop @5.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -5.49
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 Compliaments mayo type dressing -2.98
    3 Powerade @3/5.00
    1 2kg bag sugar -2.4.9
    4 tomato paste @.59
    2 blocks cheese @5.99
    2 4l milk @4.99
    1 container ice cream -3.00 ( cookie dough flavour)
    Bananas -1.36
    1 raisin bread -3.99
    Tax -2.20
    Total OOP $39.59 plus $39.67 gift card
    Foodland #2
    1 case Kraft Dinner -11.99
    1 soya sauce -3.49
    3 Powerade @3/5.00
    1 bagels -3.99
    2 W/W bread @2/6.00
    Tax -.65
    Total OOP -$31.10

    Total to spend this month : $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $31.93
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $84.63
    Total in-store discounts this week:$0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $121.33
    Total spent this week: $70.69
    Total spent so far this month: $747.58
    Total over/Under spend this shop: n/a
    Total over/Under spend for the month: over $97.58
    Total left to spend for the month: -$97.58 over
    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+ June $ 747.58
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Well I went over for the month, first time this year. That is the bad news. The good news is that I worked out how I was doing for the year as we are half way through the year. Six months of grocery budget would be $3900.00, I have spent $3621.10 in those 6 months so I am under for the year by $278.90. Not too bad. Even the stock pile budget, I’m over for this month by $6.93 but under for the year so far by $5.08. Mind you I still plan to stay under the $650 a month for the rest of the year. This just encourages me to work at it even harder to stay under each month! Even with picking our strawberries for jam we are OK and have a nice amount of jam for the year. I can do this!!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      I love when I do a catch up of the GGC posts every Sunday and questions get asked and answered without me having to wait haha!! WOW… you are under by almost $300!!! I’d say that’s awesome! Yes continue to work as hard as you can because the money you save can always be used for something else to better your current and future financial situation. I’m very happy for you. Do you have any plans for the money you don’t spend? You get ballot #27. Mr.CBB

      1. Thanks for the encouragement!! My plan is to keep trying to stay under for the year. Now Foodland takes the Air Miles and I do get deals personalized much like from PC Plus and SDM. I have all my miles going to the cash miles side and as of right now I have 1097 cash miles worth $110.00 in groceries if needed. I am hoping to add some gift cards with those miles for Christmas shopping along with those I get from doing surveys and such. I’m pretty sure if I bought, say, a $50 gift card along with fifty some odd worth of groceries in the same transaction I will be able to use my miles for the grocery part of the deal. At least in their books. Plus the miles can help pay for holiday baking supplies and holiday dinners…..

  4. JUNE – Week #4 of 4- June 27-July 3, 2016

    2016 GROCERY BUDGET / STOCKPILE BUDGET AND US RESERVE:

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

    ==============================================================================================

    REMARKS FOR THE WEEK:

    We didn’t need an awful lot this week … so we let one rain check expire but we used another.

    I admit though, I did go a little hog wild splurging for some wonderful eats this week in anticipation of the long weekend. Unfortunately, I came down sick and the whole menu plan had to be revamped with the focus on liquids only for me and hubby eating up leftovers.

    Here’s the rain check we let EXPIRE without using it:

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

    And this is the one USED:

    2 x Island Farms 750g 2% Cottage Cheese @ $5.39-50% Off = $2.70 each

    ==============================================================================================

    OUR “CANADIAN” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    2 Island Farms 750g Cottage Cheese @ 50% off RAIN CHECK = $4.98
    1 x Tetley Tea 144’s $5.49
    1 Sour Cream $3.99

    • Grocery Budget OOP: $14.46

    ** Earned 3 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $8.50 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    —————————————————————–

    Meridian Farm Market – Maple Ridge –

    1 Colossal Cut New York Steak $12.99
    12 Tomatoes on the vine $0.98/lb = $2.92
    1 Pint Orange Grape Tomatoes $1.50
    1 Pint Red Cherry Tomatoes $1.50
    3.52 lb Sliced Watermelon @ $0.99/lb = $3.48
    2.44 lb Green Seedless Grapes @ $1.78/lb = $4.34

    Total OOP: $26.73

    —————————————————————–

    Golden Ears Cheeseworks – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 250 g Fresh Dill Curds $6.00
    100 g Chive Havarti $3.65
    100 g Chili Gouda $3.65

    Total OOP: $13.30

    —————————————————————–

    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x 2lb blueberries $4.96

    Total OOP: $4.96

    ** Earned 0 PC.Plus Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check/ Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    ==============================================================================================

    OUR “US RESERVE” SHOPPING THIS WEEK:

    Franz Bakery Outlet – Bellingham

    4 Loaves WW Bread $5.00
    3 pkgs Chocolate Covered Mini Donut 6-packs $1.00

    • US Grocery OOP: $6.00

    —————————————————————–

    Walmart – Burlington

    14 Yoplait Yogurts @0.58 = $8.12
    2 x 28 oz cans Green Enchilada Sauce @ $2.98 ea = $5.96
    10 cans Chunk Chicken (500 oz) = $14.96
    4 cans Diced Ham ($1.18 ea) = $4.72

    • US Grocery OOP: $33.76

    —————————————————————–

    Fred Meyers – Burlington

    10 x 6-pack English Muffins ($1.00 ea) = $10.00

    • US Grocery OOP: $10.00

    —————————————————————–

    Costco – Burlington

    1 x 2-pack lemon juice $5.79
    Hot Wing Curds ( 2.5 lbs) $13.99
    Plain Cheese Curds (2.5 lbs) $13.99
    1 x 10 lb Grated Mozzarella $9.89

    • US Grocery OOP: $43.66

    OUR NEXT USA SHOP WILL BE IN SEPTEMBER 2016.

    ==============================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SAVINGS:

    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year:

    Jan $36.76 + Feb $160.96 + Mar $27.00+ Apr $117.96 +May $55.61+June $8.50 = $406.88

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year:

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year:

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

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar $3 +April 48 + May 96 + June 0= 339 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 32 + May 24 + June 3= 268 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200= April 3,100 + May 0 + June 2,600= 17,700 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 0 + June 40= 40 Points

    ==============================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D GROCERY SPENDING:

    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb $193.74 + Mar $182.77 + April $255.43 + May $143.05 +June (15.00+$15.00+3.23+$45.00+$2.94+$7.98+$4.58+$27.03+$14.46+$26.73+$13.30+$2.28+$4.96 = $182.79) = $1,154.26

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + April $190.00 +May $190.00 + June $190.00= $1,140.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: ($14.26) OVER

    ==============================================================================================

    2016 POINTS REDEEMED RESERVE:

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

    ==============================================================================================

    2016 US GROCERY RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar -$59.58+ Apr $45.00+ May -$22.79 + June ($45.00-$93.42 = -$48.42)= $4.21

    ==============================================================================================

    2016 RE-STOCKING RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 + Apr +
    -$5.29+May -$9.70 +$15.00= $52.65

    ==============================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D HOLIDAY SEASON RESERVE:

    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 +$15.00+ Apr $15.00 +May $20.00 + June $15.00= $173.12

    ==============================================================================================

    2016 Y-T-D SUMMER RESERVE:

    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+ June $3.23 = $631.13

    ==============================================================================================

    • SUMMARY OF FUNDS Y-T-D:

    $ 1,140.00 Grocery Budget JAN-JUNE

    $ 14.57 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 244.92) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

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

    ($ 4.21) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of 2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 1,229.66) Actual CASH SPENT

    $ 14.26 OVER Y-T-D SPENDING

    • VALUE POINTS REDEEMED Y-T-D:

    $ 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 $1,140.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $504.80 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 52.65 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $173.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $631.13 Summer Season Fund
    $ 4.21 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $875.48. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $504.80 that we have added in 2016, LESS $565.83 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.

    ==============================================================================================

    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:

    Thrifty Foods:

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

    Safeway:

    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: Turkey Salad Sandwiches, BLT Macaroni Salad and thermos of Orange Juice

    TUES: Ham-Cheese-Tomato on Multigrain Buns, Low Sodium Dill Pickles, cottage cheese, Greek Salad, thermos of Iced Tea

    WED: Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Cottage Cheese, thermos of Pink Lemonade

    THURS: Turkey Salad Wraps, Key Lime Yogurt, Yogurt and 3 GF Maple Cookies

    FRI: Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

    SAT: Soft Chicken Tacos with a side of cottage cheese

    SUN: Chicken Noodle Soup

    ==============================================================================================

    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Chicken Nuggets with choice of Ranch or Sweet Thai Chili Dip, mashed potatoes, broccoli with cheese sauce

    TUES: Chicken Chow Mein

    WED: Turkey Salad Wraps with raw veggies & dip

    THURS: Chicken Taco Salad

    FRI: Deep Fried Prawns and Leftover Chicken Chow Mein

    SAT: Caesar Salad with garlic toast

    SUN: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with coleslaw

    ==============================================================================================

    1. Hi Mary,
      What lettuce do you typically use for your lettuce wraps? We find romaine lettuce to tough and think maybe we should try something else. I love sweet Thai chili dip for lots of things. We used to buy it years ago but haven’t in a while. It’s fairly inexpensive too unless you make your own. How many meals will you get from your steak? Great price for the lemon juice. What are hot wing curds? Flavoured cheese curds? The strawberry rain checks will come in handy especially when prices start to climb as the season ends. Well done with your shopping especially all the goodies you picked up in the USA. Maybe one day I will make it over to have a look inside their shops to see what they have to offer. You get ballot #26. MR.CBB

      1. I use whatever I have on hand for my lettuce wrap. I have even lightly steamed cabbage and used that. What made you think of lettuce wraps? They aren’t on my meal plan. Hubby does his wraps in flour tortillas. I just have the filling and skip the wrap entirely.

        The steak initially was going to be for both of us but as I said, illness changed the plans. Hubby had 2 steak dinners and 4 monstrous big Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches for his lunches. Now that’s the way to stretch a steak!

        The Thai Chili dip came with some sushi that we had but didn’t use the dip. I’ve never actually bought it. It would certainly be easy enough to make though.

        We haven’t opened the cheese curds yet but they are a “hot sauce” flavor and would be great to kick up a pot of chili, or baked beans or even soups a notch. I suppose it would do the same for poutine if you wanted to make some. 🙂

        All the shopping applause go to hubby for these shops! With my coming down so sick, the shopping has fallen on him & he’s been a total trooper about handling it for me. 🙂

        1. Hi Mary,
          Oh I thought I read lettuce wrap on your meal plan unless I was hungry and fabricated it. We love philly steak and make i homemade however steak is so pricey these days. Sometimes it’s nice to splurge though. I love your idea of the curds in the chili but put that on top of fresh cut chips yum.
          You’re lucky to have a man who knows how to shop like I do for my family. Not many men and women invest the time in learning about ways to save on grocery expenses especially with the rise in bills and products across Canada. It’s only going to get worse unless something drastically changes.

          1. Yes…a lot of bananas. Kids got more than they probably wanted. Daughter took some to her co-workers. Today I bagged and froze the rest..for banana bread. I can’t stand the regular flavour coconut oil by itself, but I use it for my homemade bread.The flavored stuff is great on toast and frying eggs. No plans for going back to Australia this year…I love being home .
            Last year I bought a box of Red Rose teabags. The bags literally fall apart, if the water gets too hot. I wrote and complained and they gave me a free coupon for a box. Then I wrote them this year, and asked if they changed the formulation of the bags, because if they hadn’t , I wasn’t going to buy anymore. They said they had, and sent me another free coupon 🙂
            If you add up the value of our free PC pts and airmiles, I spend about the same as many people here, I think.
            We have a good breakfast, around mid-morning…generally don’t eat lunch unless it is fruit or something…and a good supper…with a snack before bed.
            I number my egg cartons, so I always use up the oldest first.

  5. My family isn’t a picnic-ity type of people. If we go some place, I’d rather have the food there so the mess stay there. I get the purpose of having picnics or taking snacks with you on a trip. I’ve done the snacks on a trip but have the snacks in baggies so they could be either recycled or thrown out and the mess didn’t come with me.

  6. Week 26 – June 24 – 30, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 1000
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.93

    Human
    4 L – 2% Milk = $4.27
    Eggs – 2.78 (PM Shopper’s Drug Mart @ $1.99) = $1.99
    4 NN Tuna – $1.17 (PM No Frills @ $0.97) = $3.88
    Bananas – 1.030 Kg = $1.30
    2 Kraft Dinners = $2.58
    3 Unico Pasta – $2.19 (PM No Frills @ $0.97) = $2.91

    Cats
    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: $16.93
    Over/Under this week: Under
    Left for the Month: $0
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $770.78

    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: $7.35 over
    Total Cats to Date: $162.58

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $125.76

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $5.63
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $132.75

    Total Grocery Budget for Wholesale Meat ($500.00)
    Total Wholesale Meat this Week Period: $36.81
    Total Wholesale Meat to Date: $162.70

    Total Grocery Budget for Canning Produce ($400.00)
    Total Canning Produce this Week Period: $
    Total Canning Produce to Date: $0.00

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $3.00
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $7.00

    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: $15.27
    Total Price Match to Date: $209.99

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 1000
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 10033

    Overview: I did it…Yeah. I’ve made it through this two week round under budget and still have enough food for this week’s meals. I had a whole $0.53 left but I’m going to keep that exactly where it is instead of making such a small payment on debt. There will be more additional payments on debt during the month of July as I’m paid 3 times that month.

    1. Well done Dee!! It’s so nice to read the excitement that you have for your grocery budget. I wish everyone was as thrilled as you are. Isn’t it great to get that extra pay cheque and putting it towards your debt? How many more months until it’s paid in full? You get ballot #25. MR.CBB

      1. Oh I still have a few more years (2019) before the debt will be totally paid off. The first debt is scheduled to be paid off this year (my schedule). I can’t wait.

  7. My picnic food really depends on where I am going and what we’ll be doing when we get there.

    If the picnic location is nearby and we’ll eat before we do anything else…then I can take hot dishes in thermos containers i.e. this coming weekend I will be using our Thermos travel bowls for soup. I am taking a homemade Rich Clam Chowder with Spinach-Feta Muffins to the Water Park about 5 minutes away where we’ll eat first before our activities.

    I’m not a blanket on the ground kind of gal so we take our lawn chairs and table with us.

    If we are doing things first before eating, like walking/hiking, then something on ice in the cooler, left in the trunk until we are ready for it, is a better option. Another example is we’ll be checking out Farmer’s markets in Abbotsford this weekend before taking a walk at Mill Lake and finally having a picnic by the water.

    There’s no reason a picnic has to be boring…in fact it’s the perfect excuse to try out new recipes for finger foods and all kinds of salads preferably not mayonnaise based. Squares,cookies or bars are always a welcome finish to any picnic but ice cold fruit is also a favorite.

    If we are eating while in the canoe, in a middle of a lake…simple is better. Sandwiches, fresh fruit, veggies, seeds and nuts get top billing when you really don’t want to rock the boat! LOL 🙂

    I have a set of cutlery, plates and proper cups and glasses & cloth napkins & vinyl tablecloths strictly for our picnics. I hate using disposable plastic and paper. It’s expensive to throw away, I’d rather wash the dishes when I get home.

    When I meal plan for the week and my grocery shop, I plan the picnic eats + what we’ll do for fun…is there free music or some sort of entertainment? movies in the park? is there a sports facility? walking trails? water to skip rocks or swim? open space for a game of badminton or to catch a Frisbee? Is there a beach to build sand castles? how about swings or teeter totters? I find planning the meal away form home plus an activity just heightens the enjoyment. 🙂 And we always take lots of non-alcoholic beverages to drink…ice water, lemonade, iced tea, sometimes hot tea or coffee. No meal is complete without a nice drink but remember water on the boat & beer on the pier!

    I forgot to mention be a considerate picnic goer…pack out what you pack in. No garbage should be left for someone else to have to deal with or that becomes a blight on the beauty that you just freely enjoyed. Keep things pristine!! And stick to the paths…they are there for a reason. Please don’t kill the plant life by trampling all over it! 🙂

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