WELCOME OCTOBER WITH SEASONAL AROMAS USING YOUR CROCK POT FIT FOR ANY BUDGET.
It’s Crocktoberfest time friends which means you can dust off your crock pot if it’s hidden deep in your cupboard waiting for some kitchen time. Crock Pot lovers around the world are celebrating the beauty and convenience of the crock pot as we dedicate the month of October to this must-have kitchen gadget.
Creating easy, cheap crock pot recipes is important to our family because we are on a limited grocery budget so we like to stretch our dollars wherever we can. Your crock pot is a one man/woman show because it can cook anything from baked goods to complete meals without a stove-top.
Easy on the electricity bill
If you don’t have a gas range in your kitchen many of you are on time of use electricity programs which means you pay more or less money depending on the time of day you use your appliances. We used to only cook after 7 pm in hopes of saving some money but soon realized that we didn’t want to eat that late.
We know people who follow this rule because with rising costs of hydro they simply can’t afford to jump out of the electricity pricing range. The great thing about a crock pot is that it doesn’t take much electricity to run which means you can plug it in any time of day or throughout the night when you are sleeping and costs are even less.
Crocktoberfest creating memories
It’s amazing how many people think about using a crock pot once the Autumn season is upon us. There is something familiar and cozy about aromas in the air once the crispness of the morning and evening air sets in.
Sitting on the front porch watching the leaves fall to the ground on the trees that have turned colour and food smells in the air go hand in hand for us. We love using our crock pot this time of year and we know how even the simplest smells in our house will create family memories some of which our son will remember long after we’re gone.
Some people love using the crock pot all-year long which is a huge money saving approach to chopping your grocery budget and your time. If you aren’t familiar with the crock pot now is the time to cozy up to these cheap crock pot recipes that will bump up family time and reduce kitchen time.
Buying a crock pot
These days you can buy a decent sized crock pot just about anywhere for between $25-$100 when they are on sale. We have a large stone Rival crock pot that has an automatic programmable timer and shut-off convenience. That means when we go to work or to sleep at night we can set it and forget it.
If you don’t have the cash in your budget to purchase a new crock pot I can bet if you walk into any second-hand shop there will be a few sitting on the shelf. Many people are given crock pots as a wedding gift, Christmas gift or even birthday gift and they hardly get used only to be donated or sold on buy and sell sites for cheap.
The best part about the crock pot is waking up in the morning to amazing smells that have cooked away throughout the night. This time of year smells of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and apples can be very appealing to the senses and tummy.
Returning home at night after work to a crock pot of finished food is a time-saver and keeps you away from spending money on eating out or splurging on convenience foods that can be costly. I’m sure any of you who have used a crock pot before can say how your nose does a little dance when you take a whiff of the food you’ve cooked.
Cheap cuts of meat and reduced produce
If you find cheap cuts of meat on sale at the grocery store that needs time to go from tough to melt in your mouth your crock pot loves the challenge. When we buy reduced produce instead of washing it and putting it in the refrigerator most often we’ll come up with crock pot recipes based around what we’ve found. Once you invest in a crock pot you can experiment making cheap crock pot recipes that your family will love.
Crock pot recipes save time
Even if you are single or a couple without any kiddies using a crock pot is a super way to whip up a meal without the fuss of being in the kitchen. Before our son came along we were used to making crock pot meals for two but now we have to think about how to incorporate ingredients into our meals that he will enjoy. Gone are the days of spicy for us unless we add the ingredients after our crock pot recipes are waiting for us to dive into.
Any parent will tell you that kid-friendly crock pot recipes are our salvation because time is limited. When I come home from a long day at work having a crock pot full of food is awesome especially when soccer starts at 5:30 for our son so we’re literally eating and running out the door again to practice.
Crock Pot Recipes You Must Try
I’ve taken the time to pick out some of our favourite crock pot recipes on the web to share with all of you. Please take a moment to read them and visit the amazing foodie bloggers behind the crock pot. Depending on your food tastes you may or may not like them however what’s important is that you see the value in using a crock pot and how it can save you time and money.
Poor Mans Stew
Sarah over at The Magical Slow Cooker LOVES using the crock pot and has tonnes of amazing recipes that you must try including her poor mans stew. Not only is this crock pot recipe budget-friendly it incorporates many pantry staples that most people already have in the kitchen.
Southwest Crock Pot Chicken And Rice
Carrie over at Eating On A Dime will make your mouth water with her Southwest Crock Pot Chicken and Rice dish. Not only is this budget friendly but it’s filled with black beans, rice, chicken, spices that eats like a soup. Perfect on a cold evening or for afternoon lunch.
Crock Pot Cherry Dump Cake
Over at the Crock Pot Ladies, Heidi, Katie and Sarah know what they are talking about when it comes to creating frugal crock pot meals. If you love to bake but don’t have the time this crock pot cherry dump cake might appeal to you.
I also love the idea of bringing this dessert to a pot-luck. I bet everyone will be in shock that you can actually use a crock pot to bake with. If you don’t care for cherries you can use a different pie filling. In 2 hours you will have dessert ready to go for after dinner, snack time or breakfast.
Cinnamon Roll Crock Pot Oatmeal
This is one of my favourite crock pot recipes. I think you will agree that Amanda over at Moms with Crock Pots has nailed it with this cinnamon roll crock pot oatmeal. With flavours of cinnamon and oats topped with a simple glaze your family will be asking for this cheap breakfast favourite over and over.
Homemade Crock Pot Apple Butter
Michelle over at The Gracious Wife has literally perfected the art of making homemade crock pot apple butter. Can you already imagine what your house is going to smell like once you have crock pot recipes like this one bubbling away on your counter? I can and I love it.
Crock Pot Turkey Meatballs
Our turkey meatballs with a homemade honey BBQ sauce is one of many crock pot recipes Mrs. CBB and I have created and one that our son loves. It’s so important for us to create kid-friendly crock pot recipes that our family will enjoy so we aren’t cooking different foods every single time.
Other Frugal Crock Pot Recipes on Canadian Budget Binder
- Easter Dinner in the Crock Pot for 8
- Easy Crock Pot Slammin Chili
- Crock Pot Pulled Pork with Homemade BBQ Sauce
- Crock Pot Beef Stew
- Cheesy Crock Pot Lasagna
What are some of your favourite Fall or Winter Crock Pot Recipes?
October 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.
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.
September GGC WINNER goes to Ballot #8 Christine W. Congrats Christine.
October Grocery Game Posts
- 12 Practical Ways To Afford Expensive Food For Less– Last shop for September
Free Money Saving Tools 2016
You WILL want to check this out!
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.
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 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: 314,000
- 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
Shoppers Drug Mart
- 1 x Nielsen 2% Milk
Total Out-of-Pocket $4.27
- Broccoli $0.99
- 4 x Nielsen 35% Whipping Cream $1.99 each
- 4 x Selection Bacon $2.88
Total Out-Of-Pocket $20.47
- 4 x Butter $2.87 each $11.48
- 2 x old cheddar Cheese bars $3.87 each
Total Out-Of-Pocket $19.22
- Big Bag of Brussel Sprouts $4.95
- Mozarella Saputo $20.99
- Philadelphia Cream Cheese $15.95
- Tub of organic lettuce greens $3.87
- Club Pack of Sausages $10.80
Total Out-of-Pocket $56.55
- Total to spend this month : $235.00-$8.38 overage from September= $226.62
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $15.36
- Total in-store discounts this week:$0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $482.34
- Total spent this week: $100.50
- Total spent so far this month: $100.50
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $ over by double this week
- Total left to spend for the month: $126.12
- 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 $201.30+ Sept $238.12+ October $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
As you may have noticed we bought a Costco membership to test out for a year. If we don’t find we are getting the savings we want then we will get rid of it. We did buy the executive Costco membership which seemed fair enough for us at the time provided we spend enough in the store throughout the year. If not then they will reimburse us the extra costs. I’m not sure if we will given our small grocery budget but in 2017 we will likely see a hike in our grocery budget with the rising costs. The great part is I can grab cheap gas on my way to work.
This month is going to be tight with the Costco shop so we will have to evaluate our shopping habits now that we have this dangerous card that can either save us or break us… time will tell.
Do you use a Costco Membership? Any tips to share for us?
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!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- 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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