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5 Ways To Spend Less Time Grocery Shopping And More Time Saving : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 Aug 8-14

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spend less time grocery shopping and more time saving



It may sound silly to some of you to time your grocery shopping trip but this is something Mrs. CBB and I have done the past few weeks only to be shocked at the results. It was time for a grocery shopping experiment to test just how well we were utilizing our time in the grocery store.

It’s so easy to get lost in the grocery store world especially when tuning out what’s happening in your life outside of the auto-sliding doors which is almost instantaneous when food is involved. No one wants to be stuck in a grocery store longer than they have to be but like surfing the web can be addicting so can grocery shopping.

The time spent on your grocery shopping trip should start the moment you get into your car or step out the front door to complete what most people either love or hate as a task that keeps us nourished.

It’s a food love or hate relationship that can be costly or for some strategic where savings and structured goals become more of a marked challenge than a need. This means that for those of you who would rather spend your time doing something else you divide task time on other important responsibilities that are priority.

You see the less time you waste at the grocery store the more money you will save because you spend less and you gain time to do what you love or what actually earns you money. Trust me when I say that your lingering ways at the grocery store will cost you big bucks.

The only way you’ll see it is if you break-down your shopping trip to evaluate it like we do or you run out of money. If you keep putting your groceries on a credit card without tracking expenses you’ll miss issues that should be worked on. The same goes with paying cash for groceries however it’s easier to control overspending because you only have x amount of dollars to spend.

There’s no need to wave good-bye to the traditional “bricks and mortar” grocery shopping experience if time is not on your side but time wasted may rest on the customers shoulders too. That means you may be the reason you are spending too much time at the grocery store and inviting your grocery budget to burst at the seams.

Talking about how valuable time really is

Today I’m going to share with you how to slash time at the grocery store and alternatives to making the trip to buy your weekly groceries that will help balance your budget.

I’m also going to briefly discuss how grocery stores put forward convenience services for customers to reduce overhead costs in order to increase profit while offering competitive pricing.

Are you willing to pay more just to save more? Time that is.

What is your time worth?

How much are you paying yourself to spend time doing the things that are considered life chores? Whether you believe it or not time costs money and it’s coming from your bank account.

When I was younger living back in the UK most small villages had a local grocer where we could pick up pantry staples but these days even my sister is using a delivery service. This helps her to spend less time out of the home travelling to the grocery store even if it costs a bit more for convenience.

PC plus points and using our rewards PC MasterCard Elite for example coupled with flyer specials and reduced deals is what makes us loyal customers at Loblaws stores. What we do find challenging is the size of the grocery store and the time we spend grocery shopping especially with a toddler with zero patience.

Most Loblaws grocery stores are massive all-in-one type shops with all services offered under one roof. Great for saving time travelling but you spend more time wandering around as if you were window shopping at the mall.


Catering to the customers


Those small locally run grocery shops are far and few these days since big box grocery stores have invaded Canada because convenience and bulk savings is what customers want. Grocery stores are very competitive and will come up with any marketing plan they can to keep the valued customers they do have.

As time goes on we’ve seen personalized experiences at the grocery store diminish with the advent of online grocery shopping, click and collect as well as self-scanners.

Related: Checking out with the self-scanner

It’s easy to see how far grocery stores have evolved with customer and employee interaction which has greatly diminished. Although profit margin is key what’s more important is keeping the customers coming back. Without them no grocery store will survive.

For many time is more important than having a conversation with the staff at the local grocery store so they get to know you as a customer. The personal experience of having front door grocery delivery service or trunk service has become something fashionable that will only trend higher as more consumers see how much time they can save with less hassle added to their day.


Time to Shop and Time To Stop


For the last 4 weeks the Mrs. and I have timed our grocery shops from start to finish. The results were about what we expected but there were times which surprised us based solely on a few key factors. Most of our grocery shopping happens on a Monday but if that’s not possible we try to sneak it in on Tuesday evening after soccer practice for our son. Big mistake!

  • Shop 1

Monday shop in the mid-afternoon at 2pm where the grocery store was less than busy. We managed to visit Food Basics and Zehrs with a total grocery shopping time of less than 30 minutes per store.

  • Shop 2

This shop was done after soccer practice when we were hungry, exhausted and our son was tired. It was not an ideal time to go but shopping later in the evening was relaxing. The store was not a busy at 8pm and we find more deals at that time of night. Most grocery stores will start to reduce product around 7pm finishing at around 9pm and then overnight.

Since we were all on borrowed time we spent less time grocery shopping as it becomes more of a super shop. We don’t tend to look at as many products like we do when we are leisurely grocery shopping. This grocery shop had us in and out in 20 minutes with a crying toddler.

  • Shop 3

This shop was done after dinner around 6 pm and was a nightmare because Zehrs and Food Basics were both busy. We spent far too much time bumping into people we knew. The line-ups were longer and less cashiers were available when we went to Zehrs. We also spent more money because we felt rushed by other customers to get out-of-the-way. Even the music wasn’t enough to settle our shopping trip.

The self-scanners are great to use but there are still line-ups for them plus if you have reduced product you still need to deal one on one with a customer service cashier to manually input the deals.  These grocery shops took us 1 hour 10 minutes but our son was in a good mood. Parenting win!! Free cookies and bananas help from Zehrs too.

Related: How to grocery shop with kids in tow

  • Shop 4

We used the fourth week of grocery shopping to tackle a time we don’t normally choose and that is grocery shopping during the morning hours. Before I was working my second job almost all of our grocery shops were done during the day or we’d shop without a baby as our son wasn’t born yet.

This grocery shop is where we spent the most money but came out happy as pie. We had a good sleep, nice breakfast and ready to take on the day. Our son was in a good mood and the grocery store was busy but nothing like you’d see in the evening or on the weekends. We spent a total of 45 minutes from start to finish and came in under budget. Yes!

Just about every shop had pros and cons. You may not find the perfect time to grocery shop to save money and time but what an exercise like this will provide you is insight into your shopping habits.


You never get time back once it’s spent


The time you choose to grocery shop and the day WILL play a huge role in how much time it will take you to grocery shop. In our expert opinions the worst time to grocery shop is any time on the weekends day or night. It’s a zoo and will always be a zoo filled with people you probably know and will want to stop and chat.

There are also the sample food employees whose aim is to feed you food with smells, coupons and freebies. This time you spend gobbling up free food cost you money especially if you buy a product you hadn’t intended to first. Stop at your own risk!

You are also likely to run into more empty shelves and having to ask for rain check. Finding staff to help you might be challenging wasting more time and be ready to hang out in a line-up.

Service quality and service along with prices keep us coming back for more and lately this has seen us become loyal to Loblaws grocery stores and markets during the summer months.


Shopping list


I mean this is a given and for anyone who thinks a shopping list is useless well you keep on doing what you’re doing. I’m sure if you’re here reading this post you want to learn about grocery shopping savings tips which means…you need a shopping list.

This is the 101 of grocery shopping that everyone should make time for whether you grocery shop online, click and collect or visit the store.

Related: You must use a grocery shopping list


Design a grocery shopping route


Mrs. CBB and I have over the years mastered the grocery stores we frequent so we know were all the products we buy are located. Don’t get me wrong we still know where almost everything is until the store decides to change their layout which means more work for us, but manageable.

The key here is to plan your route. We almost always circle the perimeter first, then hit the organic and healthy food section, reduced sections and if we need to go down an aisle we bust down it grab what we need and get out.

Don’t mess with your budget by looking around. It WILL get you like the Gremlins of the grocery store. That would be our on who sees just about anything sweet or salty and wants it. Chocolate-check, Cookies- Check, Chips-Check…uh! Avoid grocery aisles at all costs with a toddler in tow.

You may ask why we bring him and the answer is simple. We like to get him involved with grocery shopping (he likes to push the conveyor belt button and arrange groceries in the cart) and to get my wife and son out of the house. Since they don’t have a vehicle grocery shopping is somewhat of an adventure for them both.


Grocery Shopping Alternatives


Although there is a convenience fee for these comfy services customers would rather spend the extra dollars instead of wear and tear on their car, gas expenses and time spent in the grocery store.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

One of the downfalls of online grocery shopping is that the customer may not have the opportunity to pick and choose the grocery store they are most loyal too. Not all grocery stores offer delivery or click and collect. You also don’t get to hand-pick your produce and vegetables but any smart grocer would only offer the best to such loyal customers.

Click and Collect or grocery delivery services are becoming popular among businesses, parents with kids, physical constraints and shoppers who don’t have the time or want to grocery shop. Paying for a personal shopper these days is not necessary as it was a few years back since the boom of grocery delivery and now grocery collecting.

Related: Click and Collect Your Groceries with Loblaws

If you live in a busy city like Toronto or don’t own a vehicle grocery delivery services are a blessing. You will spend even more time if you have to take the bus, walk, bike or sit in traffic waiting to get from point A to point B.

The perks with click and collect from Loblaws or using a delivery service is that you aren’t spending valuable time roaming around the grocery store. The only time you spend is the time it takes you to place the order. Your time savings are just as important as your dollar savings.

This may prove as a downfall for the grocery store as less money may be spent in-store from shoppers who shop with their stomach instead of a grocery list. However offering less personalized services like self-scanners, grocery delivery and trunk service with a fee may boost overall profits for the company. Less staff needed = more money to improve on customer service alternatives to retain customers.

Grocery delivery businesses like that services the Toronto Area is booming with customers who would rather spend their time doing other things. I’ve never used the service but judging from the comments they’re doing a great job.

Businesses are cashing in on the time savings and convenience because they can keep a staff member at work paying them to do their job as opposed to grocery shopping to fill the office pantry or kitchen.

We decided in our office to locate a food delivery service to save us time. I did a lot of searching online and found The produce is always so fresh, and if there is anything that they cannot get they will substitute it for something else. The men that make the deliveries are all so very nice and on time. On the website when ordering, you can pick the time for the delivery to arrive at your office. So convenient. The products that they have keeps growing and the website is user-friendly. I will definitely recommend to other companies.

Raquel Figueira,


Time to stop shopping


How much time should you spend grocery shopping? Well that depends on you. If you have the option to use alternatives that may be something to consider or time your grocery shops so you aren’t spending more time eyeballing the products and more time focusing on your shopping list.

We’ve learned that if you plan to save time than working on being loyal to one grocery store because that limits travel time and more time spent at other grocery stores. If price-matching is your focus find a grocery store that will fill your needs. The more running around from store to store you do you’ll see an increase in expenses and time.

I’d say a relatively safe grocery shopping trip will take Mrs.CBB and I under 1 hour and for best results to stick to our grocery plan under 30 minutes is key. We live close to the grocery stores so factor in about 5 minutes travel time back and forth and we’re looking at 40 minutes for a successful grocery shopping experience either during the morning or later at night during the weekdays only.

The next time you go grocery shopping make sure you know your time limits and if you must time your grocery shop then do so. If you’re not sure how much time you spend grocery shopping do what we did and track it for a few weeks. You may unravel the answers to your budget problems and time concerns.

Just make sure to turn your phone alarm on high volume so that you don’t miss the “Stop Shopping Alarm”  otherwise you’ll keep on trucking with your grocery cart in hand.

How long do you spend grocery shopping every time you enter the store? Share your tips for a faster grocery shop that not only gets you in and out  but keeps your grocery budget in check.


August Grocery Game Challenge


Join in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy.

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.

Congratulations to Ballot #8 belonging to Angela M for winning the July Grocery Game Challenge! Please email me your address so I can send you your PC Financial Gift Card. Well done!

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.

August 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-$40.93=$194.07
      • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $194.07
      • Total Gift Cards used to date: $60
      • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
      • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
      • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 248,000
      • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
      • Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum 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 : $22.00


Our Grocery Shop This Week


Ironically we did not shop at our beloved Zehrs this week!


  • 2 x Cauliflower $1.44 each
  • Blackberries $1.88
  • Romaine Hearts $2.50 3pk
  • Hot Dogs 3/$5
  • 2 x mild Sausages reduced $2.50 reg $5.00

Total Out-of-pocket $17.26

Food Basics

  • 6 x dozen Omega Eggs Sale $2.44 ea
  • 2 x 10% Lactancia Cream 1L $2.49
  • 1 x Broccoli $0.88 ea
  • Seedless cucumber $0.88
  • 2 x 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27 each
  • Bananas $1.57

Total Out-of-pocket $31.49

  • Total to spend this month : $194.07 $235.00-$40.93 overage from July
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $23.88
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $15.36
  • Total in-store discounts this week:$5.00
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $407.65
  • Total spent this week: $48.75
  • Total spent so far this month: $88.44
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $105.63
  • 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 + June $231.96 + July $244.40 + Aug $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

Boring shop this week but again we didn’t need much. With the inlaws dropping by with veg from the garden we have had more than enough produce lately. I’m hoping we can get back to my inlaws house soon so we can load up on organic garlic and other garden goodies. 🙂 We will be putting a new roof on their house so it’s a win-win.. free labour, free food! I like it.


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. 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
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 43810
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $10.50
    Checkout51 to cash out : $24.75

    Our Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -3.99
    1 Miracle Whip -2.99
    1 10pack tetras -2.98
    3 Powerade @3/5.00, AM discount -15%, .37
    1 jar relish -1.99
    2 cans pineapple tidbits @1.19
    2 4l milk @4.99
    1-18 count large eggs -2.99
    1-10lb bag potatoes(new) -4.99
    Bananas -1.47
    1 pack lean ground beef -5.30
    2 bagels @2/5.00
    Tax -.60
    Total OOP -$54.76
    Foodland #2
    2 Tide laundry @4.99
    1 Cheerios -3.99
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Sunlight dish -2.49
    3 Powerade@3/5.00
    12 cans soup @.59 (4 tomato, 4 chicken noodle, 4 vegetable)
    1 block cheese -5.99
    2 4l milk @4.99
    2 ice cream @4.49
    Bananas -1.08
    1 pack pork tenderloin -8.08
    2 W/W bread @2.99, AM discount on one -20%, .60
    Tax -2.27
    Total OOP -$73.73
    1 organic tomato -1.00

    Total to spend this month : $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $96.62
    Total in-store discounts this week:$.97
    Total in-store discounts to date: $136.04
    Total spent this week: $129.49
    Total spent so far this month: $349.23
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $300.77
    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+ July $631.00+ Aug $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    I just squeaked under for the week!! I still have $300 for the rest of the month. I should be able to have that last the 3 weeks left. Hopefully the weather cools down a little so hubby isn’t fussing so much to BBQ and for ice cream. The pork tenderloin was a good price and I may get more for the freezer. There are two loins in the pack so I still have one that I froze. The tomato was a little pricey but so very tasty!! Slater Organics has some lovely produce, as do the local Mennonites at the market. Well worth the walk over there Sat. mornings.

    1. Hi Christine,
      This is going to be a long month with 5 weeks of shopping but you’ve got this!!! Oh so does your husband like BBQ and ice-cream then? He’ll be happy with this grocery shop won’t he then, hehe? I wish you lived near as I have so many tomatoes. My inlaws have so many that are just falling from the vines. How far of a walk is the market? Great shop Christine… you get ballot #7 Mr.CBB

  2. I’ve been doing this for a while now. Once you learn your store and where things are at, you can order your list accordingly. I normally look at the ad and write my list (noting sale prices, coupons, and how many I need to buy), then re-write my list in the order that I’ll pass things. It makes it easy to work from one end to the other and even skip isles you know you don’t need to go down. Call me obsessive, but I can get everything I need a lot faster than other people I see enter around the same time.

  3. Week 32 – Aug 5 – 11, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0
    Total Points = 800
    Total Out Of Pocket: $19.13

    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    2 – 450 g Kraft Marble Cheese = $7.96
    1.66 L Breyer’s Cookies & Cream Ice Cream = $3.98
    Banana – 1.125 Kg = $1.42
    1/4 Watermelon – 0.870 Kg = $1.50

    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: $19.13
    Left for the Month: $70.53
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $894.07

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $186.27

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $165.53

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

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($500.00)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $297.27

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $8.00

    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: $235.68

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 800
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 19710

    Overview: Didn’t have much room left in the budget and didn’t really need anything so I was able to stay within the leftover value of my budget.

    1. Hi Dee!!
      How are things with you? I’m on vacation now so maybe I’ll take a trip up to the market with the family. Were the cheese bars $7.50 each? WOW if they were that’s pricey. I see you bought a 1/4 watermelon which is something the wife and I were discussing last week. We all love watermelon but since my wife doesn’t eat it any longer a whole watermelon wouldn’t get eaten fast enough here. My wife pointed out the half watermelon at the fruit counter and said that was an alternative. It may cost a bit more but at least I’m not wasting it. I don’t mind freezing fruit but there’s only so much a freezer can handle of fruit. You get ballot 6. Mr.CBB

      1. The cheese was $7.96 for 2 cheese bars so they were $3.98 each. We wouldn’t eat an entire watermelon ourselves but a 1/4 one was a nice dessert, which we finally ate last night. I haven’t done much freezing of anything besides leftovers this year. Since we are looking to downsize our house, we are starting to get use to having less around which includes our freezers. I think that’s going to be the biggest adjustment in this whole process.

        1. Ah ok that makes sense. I agree buying the quarter makes sense even for myself. I don’t think I can freeze watermelon. What do you mean downsize your house? Did I miss something?

  4. Before we grocery shop we make a meal plan and shopping list. I try and do it in order of departments. I will have all the produce listed together, bread items, dairy and eggs, frozen items and finally grocery (middle rows of the store). I will note on the list if there is anything we are planning to price match. We do our major shop at No Frills because it has the best prices (and I know how the store is set up and where everything is). We have a 15 minute drive there. I would say we spend about 30-40 minutes max in the store.

    We do have a Zehrs close enough to walk to but the prices aren’t as good as No Frills and the lines are much longer. We do occasionally go to other grocery stores because there are some things we just can’t get a No Frills or there is a really good sale item we want. I will swing by the other stores while I’m running other errands or on my way home from work. We also keep a running list on the fridge for things we get at Costco and will go there every few weeks.

    I can see some disadvantages to shopping with the trunk service. My sister does it through Loblaws and frankly she spends much more on groceries because it is an expensive store (compared to No Frills). Sometimes they have “substituted” items when they don’t have something she wants. She does not get to examine the fruit, vegetables and meat. I am probably much more careful making sure my apples aren’t bruised then a store employee filling a grocery order. For her it is worth it because she saves time on shopping and she cannot resist impulse purchases. The Joe Fresh aisle and non-grocery offerings are just too tempting for her. Trunk service keeps her out of the store entirely so she cannot be tempted.

  5. Before I go to the grocery store, I make a list and come up with an estimated amount that I will spend by browsing prices at a local online grocery delivery service. Then my mind is primed with a an amount I am going to spend on each item. I’ll be more reluctant to spend more on an item than what I have written on the list. I’ll pay in cash because when you have the money sitting in your purse, you’ll be more reluctant to part with it. It’s very effective in controlling grocery costs but it takes extra effort and willpower.

  6. AUGUST – Week #2 of 5- Aug 8-14, 2016


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



    We are going from feast to famine this week. lol 🙂

    This is a NO SHOP WEEK for us after all the holiday splurging, we needed to reign things in again.

    We also let a rain check expire unused this week:


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



    OUR NEXT CANADIAN SHOP WILL BE NEXT WEEK…AFTER we have used up the groceries from last week..






    •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+ July $46.99+ Aug $9.82 = $463.60

    •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+ July $0.00 + Aug $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+ July $0.00 + Aug $0.00 = $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 10 + Feb 182 + Mar 3 +April 48 + May 96 + June 0+ July 573 + Aug 23= 935 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 32 + May 24 + June 3+ July 0 + Aug 0= 268 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 1800 + Feb 5000 +Mar 5200= April 3,100 + May 0 + June 2,600+ July 0 + Aug 6,600 = 24,300 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year:

    Jan 0 + Feb 0 +Mar 0 + April 0 + May 0 + June 40+ July 0 + Aug 40 = 80 Points



    •Total OOP Year-To-Date:
    Jan $196.78 + Feb $193.74 + Mar $182.77 + April $255.43 + May $143.05 +June $182.79 +July $188.72+ Aug($17.93+15.00+$15.00+$45.00+$2.23+$4.58+$30.21-$30.21 Trf from Summer Reserve+$10.19+$29.86= $139.79) = $1,481.86

    •Total Year-To-Date Grocery Budget:
    Jan $190.00+ Feb $190.00 + Mar $190.00 + April $190.00 +May $190.00 + June $190.00+July $190.00+Aug $190.00= $1,520.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $38.14 AVAILABLE



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



    2015 Fwd $0.00+Jan $45.00+Feb $45.00+ Mar -$59.58+ Apr $45.00+ May -$22.79 + June -$48.42 + July $45.00 + Aug $45.00= $94.21



    2015 Fwd $217.50+Jan -$49.65 + Feb -$140.69 + Mar $25.48 + Apr +
    -$5.29+May -$9.70 +June $15.00+July -$41.81 + Aug $17.93= $28.77



    2015 Fwd $81.51+Jan $15.00 + Feb $11.61 +$15.00+ Apr $15.00 +May $20.00 + June $15.00+ July $15.00+ Aug $15.00= $203.12



    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+ June $3.23 +July $7.62 +Aug (15.00-30.21=-$15.21)= $623.54



    $ 1,520.00 Grocery Budget JAN-AUG

    $ 14.57 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 338.59) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 419.67 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 94.21) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of 2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 1,468.73) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 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 $1,520.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $688.47 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 28.77 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 203.12 Holiday Season Fund
    $ 623.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 94.21 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $964.01. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $688.47 that we have added in 2016, LESS $660.97 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    32 x 1L Diet Pesi @ $0.50 per bottle – Good until Nov 20/16


    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, toaster waffles, hot cross buns 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: PB Sandwiches, Blueberries and cottage cheese

    TUES: Mixed Olive Tapenade Crostini for me, Egg Salad Sandwiches for hubby, Greek Salad, Pink Lemonade

    WED: Ham-Cheese-Tomato Sandwiches, Dry Roasted Peanuts & Orange Juice

    THURS: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Blueberries, thermos of iced tea

    FRI: Tuna Salad Sandwiches, Yogurt & thermos of pink lemonade

    SAT: FASTING for Blood work

    SUN: Sonic in Ferndale, WA


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Zucchini Walnut Pancakes & Steamed Green Beans with Watermelon Agua Fresca

    TUES: Taco Tuesday

    WED: Nicoise Salad

    THURS: Steamed Cabbage-Onion-Red Peppers with Easy Cheesy Breakfast Casserole

    FRI: Grandma’s Cottage Cheese Salad + Raw Veggies & dip (hubby only, I like mine plain) for our picnic supper

    SAT: Cheesy Vegetable Soup with Salmon & Zucchini Burgers

    SUN: Jack in the Box in Lynden WA followed by a coffee at Woods Coffee


    1. Hi Mary,
      Well, that was easy enough, a no-shop week. I hate fasting for blood work only because I really want a coffee in the morning. What is a Nicoise salad? Well… that’s all for this week. Happy shopping Mary. 🙂 You get ballot #5. Mr.CBB

      1. Here’s a link Mr CBB. I am sure your would love this salad! I have a little shopping to report next week so it’ll only be a slightly better read than this. LOL 🙂

        Although hubby went to the US yesterday, his shopping was for medications and vitamins because we’ll do the groceries in September when I am there to help. They are about half the price we usually pay at home, so it’s really worthwhile doing the drive to stock up – especially when we take a fair number of them between the two of us! Hubby takes a men’s multi-vitamin for 50+, niacin, low dose aspirin, Omega 3-6-9 (because he hates oily fish) and vitamin C. He also wanted to re-stock our supply of Nyquil & sugar-free menthol cough candies. I take a multivitamin, B50 & iron (by prescription though). I may add B-12 to the mix after my next blood work if my levels are low again. My last B-12 shot was in the summer of 2015 and I am not sure if my levels are still good or have fallen again. I know we should probably both add vitamin D and possibly calcium but I’ll talk to the cardiologist in October before I add anything new to the mix.

        Hubby did treat himself to lunch at McDonalds – breakfast burritos are so cheap down there if you get in before 11:00 am! They don’t work for me because they are flour tortillas but it’s a nice treat for hubby. He also picked up some Arby’s value sandwiches (about $1 apiece because I sent him with a coupon) for his lunch at the office today, our Sonic drinks (at 50% off because he picked them off during the 50% off peak hours between lunch and dinner) and a quart of iced coffee (using a manufacturer’s coupon for 50 cents off) so all total the food that came back was only about $7. I won’t bother to report as an expenditure in the GGC that because I sent him with US cash from my wallet that’s been sitting in there for about 3 years. I still have a $20 in there for future splurges though! 🙂 I will make mention of it in the GGC comments next week though.

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