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Celebrate Crocktoberfest With Cheap Crock Pot Recipes : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Oct 3-9




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.

Related: 10 Must-have Kitchen Tools For The Budget Chef

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.

crock pot rival

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


crockpot recipes 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


homemade apple butter crock pot recipes

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


Discussion Question:

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


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.

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: 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

No Frills

  • 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!!

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)
  • 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
  • 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 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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  1. Week 1 – Oct 2 – 8

    • Grocery budget to work with in September: $320
    • Total coupons used this week: $1.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $50.19
    • Total RCSS gas coupons used to date: $16.00 (total – Superbucks program done)
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit this week: $0.06
    • Total Giant Tiger Enviro bag credit to date: $0.24
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed this week: $0
    • Total value PC Plus points redeemed to date: $110
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used this week: $43.19
    • Total gift cards/certificates/gifts used to date: $115
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used this week: $0
    • Total Neilsen Homescan Visa rebate cards used to date: $170
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheque used this week: $0
    • Total Checkout 51 rebate cheques used to date: $20.25
    • Total student discounts to date: $139.37 (total – Student discount done)
    • Total spent this week: $79.70
    • Total spent so far this month: $79.70
    • Total left to spend for the month: $240.30
    • Carry over: $0
    • Total in carry over jar: $0
    • Total overspent: $44.80
    • Total Spent To Date 2016: $2,421.50

    Giant Tiger: Egg rolls 4.00, Spring rolls 4.00, Sweet and Sour chicken balls 2 x 4.00, Lasagna 5.97 less 1.00 coupon, Cabbage rolls 4.98, canned mushrooms 2 x .77, Caesar salad kit 1.47 clearance, Pam BBQ grilling spray clearance 2.10, Black forest ham 4.98, less bag credit 2 x .03, plus tax .07: Total Paid 36.05

    RCSS: Robin Hood Oats 3.17, sour cream 1.48, milk 4.27, frozen blueberries 3.98, cool whip 2.50, potatoes 10 lb, bananas 1.35, grapes 1.59, spaghetti squash 1.65, sausages clearance 1.94: Total 23.60, used gift card so $0 paid

    Walmart: 40 pk K-cups 14.88, candy cane cookies 2.25, pringles 3 x .66, Armstrong cheese 2 x 3.87, frozen peas 2.27, baguette 2 x .87, tax .26: Total Paid 31.10 rounded down 2 cents

    RCSS: PC gingerale .88, Nutella on go .44, mushrooms 1.67, bacon 4 x 1.97 (PM), bread 3 x 1.59, dinner rolls 2.50, tax .17: Total 19.59, used gift card so $0 paid

    Rexall: Twistos 3 x 1.88, cheese sticks .99. chips 3 x .99, diet coke 2.49, tax 1.44: Total Paid 12.55 rounded up 1 cent

    We have some snack food and frozen food from this week to help speed up our time crunch nights. It’s still cheaper to buy some of the frozen convenience stuff than get takeout. We also hosted Thanksgiving this year, so there are chips and pop on there too. Overall not a bad week. I am very fortunate to have been gifted a gift card for the Loblaws chain stores from work, so it was completely unexpected and totally appreciated. It was a great thanks for a job well done. I loved it!

    1. Hi Angela,
      Ah, you didn’t do too bad at all and Giant Tiger always has great deals on their products. I agree that you can save money buying convenience food at the grocery store rather than eating out which can be very costly. My wife had a bowl of soup when she went out with her mates to celebrate her birthday and that alone cost $9 for a small bowl. Thankfully it was a free birthday meal. That’s nice that you were gifted a gift card. There’s always use for a gift card when it relates to groceries. What was your overall cost for Thanksgiving and how many people did you feed? You get ballot #10 Mr.CBB

  2. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults and 2 cats -$7800
    (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
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $165
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 49310
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to cash out : $12.25
    Checkout51 to cash out : $29.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 8pack tetras -2.50
    2 Zcheerios @4.99
    2 cases ginger ale @3.69, 2X1.00 coupons
    2 4pack KD @3.49
    1 raisins -2.29
    1 Temptations cat treats -1.99
    2 4l milk @4.99
    3 lbs butter @3.99
    1 pack cream cheese -2.49
    4 Swanson meat lies @4/5.00
    4 packs frozen veggies @1.99
    2 bags cranberries @1.99
    1 celery -1.99
    Bananas -1.34
    2 bagels @2/5.00
    Tax -1.87
    Total OOP -$91.19, 2.00 coupons
    Foodland #2
    1 Rice Krispies -7.79
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 8pack tetras -3.99
    3 Cheerios @2.99
    3 cans pineapple tidbits @1.19
    2 4l milk @4.99
    3 blocks cheese @3.88
    1 ice cream -3.99
    10lb bag potatoes -4.99
    Bananas -.85
    1 bread crumbs -2.49, AM discount -.50
    2 raisin bread @2.99
    Total OOP -$69.23, .50 discount
    Canadian Tire, stock pile
    4 bags sugar @1.66
    Total OOP -6.64,stockpile
    Total to spend this month : $650.00
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $6.64
    Total coupons used this week: $2.00
    Total coupons used to date: $111.12
    Total in-store discounts this week:$.50
    Total in-store discounts to date: $157.08
    Total spent this week: $160.42
    Total spent so far this month: $160.42
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $ over for week
    Total left to spend for the month: $489.58
    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 $683.19+ Sept $568.28+ October $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    I’m over for the week but I still have 4 weeks to go. Should be able to do it with what is in the freezer after Thanksgiving and the turkey leftovers. The Air Miles cash is still building up as are the Canadian Tire money and my PC Plus points. These will help get through the rest of the year and the big dinner at Christmas around here. I can still be under budget for the month but I will have to work at it. I am making a couple of squares recipes for my nieces wedding shower coming up but I have everything I need here now. I am happy to be baking again as it is nice and cool enough to now!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      Ah so you’re over your first week, lol. Is this a 5 week month? Oh boy I better go check. It sounds like your turkey leftovers went far by your posts on Facebook. I made a chicken and that gave us quite a few meals and we’re still not done the soup yet. I want to do a blog post of the ultimate budget-friendly Christmas dinner. I’ll ask that question after Remembrance day on FB. Hopefully I remember. Baking is nice during the cooler months. We have a counter top convection oven which allows us to bake all year. It doesn’t give off as much heat as the oven does and it’s cheaper to run. Well worth the $60 bucks to buy it. WOW those Rice Krispies are pricey but I’m guessing are part of the squares you are making for the shower. Well done Christine. Lets’ see how the rest of the month turns out for you. Are you planning a trip in to No Frills? You get ballot #7. Mr.CBB

  3. Oh, I forgot to mention that we don’t have coupons or price match here. I check all the flyers for the stores I go to online and compare prices if I get a deal like with the mangoes I feel lucky. Hofer is about the cheapest store here, they have about 5 sale items a week, but I didn’t need any of those this week. I am trying to figure out how much or little to buy just now to get me over the week, I try to buy only so much that I don’t throw out food and money by the end of the week. If I don’t overspend I transfer the groceries surplus in a jar for later use and after a while if I don’t need it goes straight to savings.

  4. I’m going to try this for the rest of the year, my name is Christine and I’M from Europe hence you will see all my purchases are in EUR . I have been reading the blog for a few months now and I am more organised than before. I have also been able to lower my bills, yeah. I have a ton of allergies which makes it difficult sometimes but limits me eating out. I would love to be consistent with my meal planning like Mary.

    Total grocery budget for 1 adult
    12×190 = 2280
    Total stockpile budget
    12×50 = 600 (my stockpile counts anything that lasts me more than a week) my freezer is tiny so I can only stock up my pantry.

    October week #1 / October 1-9
    Calculated budget 55 for groceries

    Oct 1
    Name Your store Hofer
    Total OOP 17.56 (2.29 bulk)
    2 sweet potatoes 0.94
    6 apples 0.98
    Pomegranate 1.19
    2 bananas 0.51
    Frozen blueberries 750g 2.79
    Canned tomatoes 0.45
    Turkey ham 1.95
    2lbs oranges fair trade 1.79 (they didn’t have other oranges )
    Lettuce 0.99
    Tricolore bell peppers 1.99
    125g raspberries 1.69
    Baking spray 2.28 (b)

    Name Your store Spar
    Discount –
    Total OOP 2.98
    Frozen peas 1.39
    125g baby spinach 1.59

    Name Your store Spar
    Total OOP 11,46 (b5.38)
    Discount 2.97
    3 mangoes 1 each discount otherwise I would not have bought them but they are nice in smoothies)
    Mini pasta 1.39 (b)
    Goldfischli 1.19
    Whole Grain sandwich 1.89
    Cranberry preserve 3.99 (b)

    Name Your store Hofer
    Total OOP 22.83 (b3.68)
    Discount –
    2 banana 0.52
    Canned tomatoes 0.45
    Romans tomatoes on the vine 0.62
    2lbs lemons 1.99
    Organic Celery 1.99
    Cherry jam 1.39 (b)
    Spelt flour 2.29 (b)
    Parsley 0.89
    3 turkey ham 1.95 ea
    Veg f soup 0.79
    125 raspberries 1.69
    Can tuna 1.38
    2x 6 boiled eggs 1.49 ea

    Name Your store Hofer
    Total oop1.29
    Olive bread 1.29

    Name Your store Billa
    Total OOP 1.89
    Whole Grain toast 1.89

    Name Your store Billa
    Total OOP 3.46
    Discount –
    Romance tomatoes on the vine 0.58
    2lbs zucchini 0.99
    Whole Grain sandwich 1.89

    Total budget for bulk 50
    This week 11.35
    Bulk to date August 72.42, September 70
    Total bulk left to spend 38.65
    Total groceries this week 48.12
    Calculated 55
    This week under
    Total left to spend this month 141,88
    Total spent to date July 235, August 170.34, September 148.94

    Meal plan
    Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry
    Ham lettuce tomato sandwich
    Potato broccoli soup
    Weeknight pasta w sundrieds tomato pesto, with peas
    Egg salad sandwich w carrots
    Porridge w berries

    1. Hi Christine,
      Welcome to the Grocery Game Challenge!! The best part about this is that you can live anywhere in the world that you want. It’s a game to beat yourself because sometimes we need that motivation or we just let things slide which causes as we know, debt. You know Mary has been an inspiration to many of us since she came on board from the beginning of this challenge almost 5 years ago. Over those years her organizational skills have blown me away. Do you typically buy organic? How much more does it cost at the grocery store? What do you use Spelt flour for? It seems you eat a very clean diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. I know what it’s like to live in Europe with a small house and kitchen. I didn’t have a freezer when I lived in the UK apart from what I had in the mini fridge in my kitchen. I wasn’t able to stock up like I can here in Canada now. We have a massive freezer in our basement. What I’ve learned is that it can save us tonnes of money especially with our stockpile budget which you have also. Where in Europe are you from? You get ballot #3. If you win the GGC I will post money via Paypal to you. Mr.CBB

      1. Hi! I buy some organic stuff (potatoes and onions) and sometimes they don’t have the regular stuff at my store Eg celery or oranges and it’s either the same price or cheaper than the regular stuff in other stores (I compare the prices of the flyers and the unit prices). I use spelt flour for everything you use AP wheat flour, pancakes, waffles,… I want to bake some bread again in the autumn /winter months. Haha, it would be great if I really would eat clean all day. Our company pays for our lunches and the offer is not always the healthiest choice or I can’t eat the healthier meal due to my allergies (nuts especially ), so I try to balance it out with my home cooking. But on the other hand I feel really grateful that we eat free lunches I am saving a ton of money. I am from Austria.

  5. Thanks for the crock pot recipes! I just used mine tonight. I put the roast beef I bought on the weekend in there with potatoes carrots and gravy. It was really good! So nice to come home to after a really long day at work.

    I bought a new crock pot on the weekend, our lid to our old one shattered in the spring and I was unable to purchase a replacement lid from Canada and to get it shipped from the us was more than what a new crock pot would cost.
    The one I got was crock pot brand 6 quart from Walmart for 29 and change, I thought it was a pretty good deal, I even used a Walmart gift card my husband got from work, he gets one per month as long as they hit their goals.

  6. Week 40 – Sept 30 – Oct 6, 2016
    Name Your Store: Herrle’s
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $16.24

    6 Raisin Butter Tarts = $5.99
    Pumpkin Pie = $6.29
    Quart Bean = $3.95

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $1.00
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $25.64

    2 Cheerios – $5.98 (PM Zehrs @ $3.77) ($1.00 Coupon) = $6.98
    Large Eggs = 1.97
    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    2 – 450 g Kraft Marble Cheese = $7.56
    6 Bagels = $0.88
    2 WW Wonder Bread – 2/$5.00 (PM Shoppers’ Drug Mart @ $1.99) = $3.98

    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: $41.88
    Left for the Month: $28.12
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $1109.58

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $236.40

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $198.43

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $226.21

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

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $1.00
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $26.96

    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: $5.00
    Total Price Match to Date: $262.95

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 12748

    Overview: Stayed under budget which is good 🙂 The baked goods from Herrles’ are all homemade goodies.

    1. Hi Dee,
      Are the baked goods from a shop where you live or from St. Jacobs? I’m going to be doing some baking this morning with the wife or by myself depending on how our son gets on. It’s always great to hear when we can stay under budget. It would be nice it would be us saying it for once though, lol. It’s posts like this that inspire us. Keep up the great work. You get ballot #2. Happy Thanksgiving Dee!!! Mr.CBB

      1. Herrles is another form of another “farmer’s market” as they sell all kinds of produce. There’s activities for kids, not that my daughter ever did any of that. Herrles also sells baking goods from a local vendor called “Anna Mae’s” which is Mennonite baking.

        I try and stay under budget and we now a system that works for us.

  7. OCTOBER – Week #1 of 5- Oct 3-9, 2016


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



    Before we start our OCTOBER shopping off though, I am going to make my usual monthly “reserve” transfers:


    $ 190.00 for the month
    ($ 30.00) trf to re-stocking – normally $15.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to holiday reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 0.00) trf to summer reserve–normally 15.00
    ($ 70.00) trf to US Reserve –normally $45.00

    CANADIAN Grocery Balance $90.00


    This month I beefed up the Re-Stocking Reserve and US Reserve transfers because we are in good shape with both our Holiday and Summer Reserves. I will resume topping them up in Jan 2017. For now, I’ll just keep beefing up the Re-Stocking and US Shopping reserves for the months of November and December but in December, I will also transfer the balance of the Redeemed Points Reserve into our Holiday Season Reserve.

    Since we lost the ability to earn points on prescriptions with a Supreme Court ruling, we don’t earn a lot of MORE points anymore and redeeming points for groceries isn’t as attractive an option as it once was (as you can see from the balance we have actually redeemed in 2016).



    Shopper’s – Maple Ridge –

    2 GRADE “A” LARGE WHITE EGGS 1 Dozen @ $1.99 ea = $3.98

    Total OOP: $3.98

    ** Earned 30 Optimum Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Walmart– Maple Ridge –

    1 bag carrots (3 lbs – $1.47)
    1 bag of onions (3 lb – $1.47)

    Total OOP: $2.94

    Meridian Farm Market– Maple Ridge –

    2 Green Onions (2 for $1.00) << really nice large bunches too!

    Total OOP: $1.00

    Save On– Maple Ridge –

    2 x 2lb baby carrots $4.00
    2 Celery $0.89/lb = $3.69
    1 Turkey Breast Roast $5.49/lb = $15.19 << roasted, sliced and ready for sandwich material

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $7.69
    Total Holiday Grocery OOP: $15.19

    ** Earned 23 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $6.32 Loyalty Savings on this shop **



    Fred Meyers – Burlington

    Peppermint Mocha Creamer $2.50
    Kroger’s Iced Coffee $3.19

    • US Grocery OOP: $5.69


    Costco – Burlington

    1 case black olives $9.79

    • US Grocery OOP: $9.79


    Walmart – Burlington

    2 Pickles @ $1.96 = $3.92
    24 Cup of Soup @ $0.28 = $6.72

    • US Grocery OOP: $10.64



    •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 $13.85+Sept $0.60+Oct $0.00 = $468.23

    •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+ Sept $0.00 Oct $6.32 = $43.69

    •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 + Sept $0.00 Oct $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 208 + Sept 11 + Oct 23 = 1,154 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year:

    Jan 6 + Feb 43 +Mar 182 + April 32 + May 24 + June 3+ July 0 + Aug 0 + Sept 0 + Oct 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 + Sept 0 + Oct 0 = 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 + Sept 20 + Oct 30 = 130 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 $171.07+ Sept $195.65 + Oct ($30.00+$70.00+$2.94+$1.00+$7.69+3.98 = $115.61) = $1,825.61

    •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 +Sept $190.00 + Oct $190.00= $1,900.00

    •Total Over/Under on Year-To-Date Grocery Budget: $74.39 AVAILABLE

    * I decided to do a run to Portland, OR to enjoy the Fall Harvest offerings at Souplantation… thanks to their email discount coupons. 🙂 A girl can only take so much temptation. lol After driving six hours to get there, we'll go at least twice before we come home.

    Fortunately we have SPG points to use for the hotel and we got the very last room available for points…kind of meant to be, wouldn't you say?

    So the vacation budget will handle some lovely meals for us – Red Lobster, Souplantation, Black Angus, Goldberg's, the Columbia Bar and Grill and Red Robin. The clothing budget will get tapped for a little "tax free" shopping at Costco since hubby needs new runners.

    Weather permitting, we'll be enjoying some scenic walking as well. I want to do the Japanese Garden, Bob's Red Mill outlet and the boardwalk along the river.

    Needless to say, there'll be no big Thanksgiving festive meals coming from our grocery budget this month and that $74 we have available will more than do our needs. I have scheduled a Ricky's Senior's night 3 course turkey dinner night after we get back so that we still get to enjoy a nice turkey dinner. 🙂



    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+Sept $0.00 + Oct $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+Sept $112.62 + Oct ($70.00-$26.12=$43.88)= $168.12

    ** There's no US grocery shopping planned again until November when we do our one night get-away for our anniversary celebration.



    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+Sept $15.00 + Oct $30.00= $73.77



    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+Sept $15.00 +
    Oct $-15.19= $202.93



    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)+ Sept $15.00= $638.54



    $ 1,900.00 Grocery Budget JAN-OCT

    $ 14.57 Redeemed Points to Purchase Groceries

    ($ 413.59) ADDITION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    $ 434.86 REDUCTION TO: Misc Reserves (Re-Stocking, Xmas & Summer)

    ($ 250.71) Trf to US Grocery Reserve Net of 2016 Spending

    ($ 14.57) Set in reserve to offset Redeemed Points

    ($ 1,596.17) Actual CASH SPENT YTD



    $ 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 POINTS REDEEMED will be added to our Holiday Reserve next Christmas.

    So far $1,900.00 has been budgeted Y-T-D for 2016 and we have recorded $888.47 of these funds as “spent” and in fact they have been “saved”:

    $ 73.77 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 202.93 Holiday Season Fund + $130 PC Plus Avail.
    $ 638.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 168.12 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 14.37 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,097.73. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $888.47 that we have added in 2016, LESS $727.25 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:


    6 Bags Western Family Kettle Potato Chips @ 3/$7 << going to expire unused


    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: Imitation Crab Sub with macaroni salad for hubby / Chicken Boullion for me

    TUES: Ham & Cheese Sandwiches & Greek Salad for Larry / Greek Salad for me

    WED: Egg Salad Sandwiches & Kosher Pickle for Larry / Hard Boiled Eggs, Green Apple & Carrot Sticks for me

    THURS: Tuna Salad Sandwiches & Cottage Cheese for Larry / cottage cheese & sliced roma tomato for me

    FRI: PB & J Sandwiches

    SAT: Souplantation

    SUN: Red Robin


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Vegetable Soup

    TUES: Denver Omelette with Roasted Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Celery & Peppers

    WED: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Creamy Tomato Soup

    THURS: Spaghetti with Tomato Alfredo Sauce

    FRI: Red Lobster

    SAT: Black Angus

    SUN: Souplantation


    1. Hi Mary,
      Wow this adventure certainly sounds like fun. I hope you both enjoy your well-deserved getaway together. I think it must have been fate that you got the last room, huh? What will you do with a case of olives? Are they black sliced olives? I’ve been to a small Japanese garden before and it’s quite detailed and I’m glad we had the time to see it. I hope you do too. Happy Thanksgiving Mary and Larry. You get ballot #1. Mr.CBB

  8. My tip for Costco is NEVER get a buggy! If you can’t carry it to the cashier, you probably don’t need it! Hubby and I each have 2 hands so it’s amazing how much we can carry without using a cart. 🙂

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