Overpriced Grocery Store Products You’re Wasting Money On: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #4 Oct 24-30




It’s not often that we go grocery shopping and consider buying a BBQ for the steaks we just bought on sale from the meat department. Some people do buy electronics, outdoor gear, toys and just about anything else that can get stuffed into a grocery store most often because it’s there.

Quite often the buyer is giving in to an overpriced product that can be bought for less somewhere else which is not an emergency to purchase. If you grocery shop when you’re hungry they say you will spend more money. These days if you let your mind wander and start to think about anything while you grocery shop you’re bound to spend more money unless you handcuff yourself to your grocery list. Most grocery stores stock everything and anything they can to bring in profits.

This is where it’s probably a good idea to stick to the perimeter but be warned even this area is getting plastered with marketing ploys to get us to spend more on stuff we don’t likely want but they try to convince us we do. I remember a Super Bowl display that offered buns placed in the meat department. On the bunkers were aluminum grilling pans, aprons, BBQ utensils, ketchup, mustard, relish and a BBQ with a price tag. Fall into that trap and you’ll see your budget soar.

The one-stop shopping has become a big deal for shoppers who don’t mind if the products are over-priced because they don’t have the time to shop around or go direct to the source. It’s easier for someone to convince themselves to pay a few bucks extra for a product just because they are already shopping in the store.

Some grocery stores in Ontario are already stocking beer and ramping up their wine shops to keep the customers shopping.  Again, these are filler products to draw customers in the door. I’ll stick to the LCBO and Beer store to buy my beer unless the beer store begins to sell meat and produce. ha!

Not all customers want to buy it all in one store. There are plenty of smaller businesses that offer great deals as well as store specific which means you’ll find better deals because they specialize in buying in bulk. You wouldn’t wander into Sobey’s looking for cedar planks to finish your deck would you? Not likely and just as mind-boggling it would be if Home Depot were to add an in-store bakery to lure customers. Oh wait, almost all Home Depot stores have Subway… see there is a marketing ploy everywhere!


Overpriced yet convenient


Grocery stores that I will be talking about today are actual grocery stores and not stores such as Walmart which I consider a department store that added in a grocery section. Do you remember when Zellers was around and they started to add aisle after aisle of grocery products and a refrigerated section? They were becoming the smaller version of Walmart to keep up with the competition even though they didn’t offer fresh foods.

It was a store filler or way to make money from over-priced products to balance out the deals that they offer in the weekly flyers or on products they must reduce just to move them out of the store. In essence it really is a balancing game to keep the store budget level.

Have you fallen prey to buying over-priced products at the grocery store? Probably, we all have. The key to avoiding spending more money than you should be while grocery shopping is to stick to the list. If it’s not on your grocery list then don’t buy it. If you needed it that bad you would have put it on your grocery list but most likely you didn’t think about it because the grocery store isn’t the place you planned on buying it from.

In the event you do find a smashing deal at the grocery store and you know that you will be saving far more than any other store and you need the item then it’s worth considering. Don’t just buy stuff because you think about it when you see it and then toss it in the grocery cart. You’re setting yourself up for some heavier grocery bills.




Once in a while when we are at Zehrs we have a look around in the Joe Fresh clothing section for our son to see if there is anything reduced to 75% off that we could use for him to wear. On the odd occasion we’ve found hats, seasonal wear and footwear but don’t expect it to last forever.

Related: Where can I sell my second-hand clothes?

I’m not a fan of cheaply made clothing because it just doesn’t feel comfortable on me which is why my wife no longer buys me clothes for gifts. I’d rather save up to buy a few nice pieces then to buy lots of clothing that will fall apart easily. If you plan to resell any George or Joe Fresh type clothing you buy at Walmart or Loblaws stores be prepared to practically give it away. You might as well just donate it to a family who could get a bit more use out of it until it’s ready for dish cloths.

Related: Is buying second-hand clothes worth it?

If your aim is higher-quality clothing you’re likely better off going to a second-hand shop, Winners, online shopping or even Facebook auctions to score some great deals on name brand clothing that you’ll get good wear from with higher resale value.

I don’t often suggest to shop at the mall however you can still find some great deals on clothing that will give you years of mixing and matching if you shop the deals, end of season and special occasions.


Pre-made Foods


Everyone knows that if you buy anything that is pre-made for you that you’re paying for the extra labour whether it be to slice something, bake something, catch something and so on. Baked goods from the grocery store bakery such as most often can be made at home for a fraction of the cost.

Related: Homemade vs. Store-Bought : Which is Cheaper?

A container of 6 large bakery style muffins at the grocery store will run you anywhere from $5.99-$6.99 full-price but you could make them for far less at home. If you’re looking for baked goods where you can’t recognize the ingredients or there are additives and preservatives to extend shelf life you may pay less but it won’t compare to homemade.

Another example is buying a whole ham and slicing it yourself at home or you can buy overpriced pre-packaged deli meats and get far less product. If you can use a knife or own a deli slicer you can save some money if you do the work yourself. The same goes for cheese and pre-made salads.




Once I became a dad I realized that batteries were needed for just about everything. Any toy that walks, talks, dances, poops and droops will need batteries. Any time we are at the grocery store I keep my eye open for battery deals however it’s very rare.

Buying batteries at the Dollar Store has been a huge savings for us because we get far more life from them or even equal to when compared to name brand batteries that are overpriced at the grocery store. Buying batteries at the grocery store are one of those grocery store filler products that someone might run in to get late at night because they need it for whatever reason.

We have also had many rounds of rechargeable batteries but honestly it’s a pain in the rear-end to charge them especially when you need as many as most parents do with young children. Try telling your crying child that they will have to wait 4 hours for a battery charge. You’d rather tear your hair out.


Office and school supplies


There is a huge mark-up on office supplies at the grocery store because these are products that are meant to be purchased in the event of an emergency. You know when your dog actually ate your entire pencil-case and you have no other option but to stock up at the grocery store.

No one says, oh let’s run to Zehrs to grab pencil crayons and lined paper for school. You will see the Back to School marketing where they offer lined paper for $0.35 a pack but beyond that you’ll pay. Save your money and go to the Dollar store or Staples where office supplies are sold. Even then Staples can be pricey at times unless you stick with the deals. In all my years of education the Dollar store hasn’t let me down.


Books and magazines


I recently wrote a post about buying children’s books at Value Village, garage sales, Facebook auctions and free sites blah blah blah, because it’s MUCH CHEAPER. If the name of the game for you is “New Release” and “Brand New” be prepared to pay the money for them.

A simple trip to Chapters, Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart and any grocery store that sells books or novels will show an astounding price tag on the back or inner cover. You’re better waiting and buying used or possibly joining a book club or hit up the library where it will cost you nothing for new releases.

I recently watched a video online that showed how many articles were in a magazine compared to advertisements. I remember being shocked but not really because a magazine is simply another tool to advertise to the masses with filler crap articles on how to lose 10 pounds in two days.

Save your overpriced book expenses by having a bit of patience.


Seasonal and holiday decorations


A grocery store was meant to sell food but these days you’ll find bits and bobs of products that are there to reel you in to spend more money than you anticipated. When a grocery store offers amazing deals on grocery products they often take a loss on the product hence the name loss leaders.

They use this opportunity once you are in the grocery store to bombard you with tonnes of products that are overpriced and in your face, especially seasonal decor and holiday decorations. These grocery stores know that life gets hectic for just about everyone so if they can fill their store with items that fill in the blanks for shoppers then they might buy them even if they are overpriced.

Just tonight we found Halloween decor that we’ve found at Value Village for $0.99 costing $11.99 at Zehrs. Come next week when Halloween is over you’ll see the prices of these products drop so low you must question just how much the product was overpriced to begin with.

If decorations and seasonal is what you are after go to the Dollar Store, Second-hand shops, buy used online or attempt to look at big box stores like Walmart, Home Depot or Canadian Tire. Odds are someone is selling something they no longer need for rock bottom prices.


Greeting cards


Call me frugal or whatever else you want but you won’t catch me spending $5.99 on a greeting card at the grocery store nor at Carlton or Hallmark Cards, no way. I’m a Dollar Store guy all the way for greeting cards. You can always write what you want to say in them anyways. Besides most people toss them in the garbage a week after any special occasion some even the day after. It’s not worth it so stick to the Dollar store for greeting cards or even have a look at second-hand shops. Even better, make a card yourself.


Kitchen utensils


If you must stock up on kitchen utensils at the grocery store please consider spending your money at the Dollar store. You will find the same type of quality products at the Dollar Store as you will at the grocery store. You can stock up on baking supplies, spatulas, rolling pins and all sorts of stuff for your kitchen for a buck or even two or three but still less than the grocery store.

My wife got a multi-purpose Jamie Oliver peeler for Christmas and it was great to begin with but it has soon busted. The plastic pieces that held the blades in broke and down the drain that expensive gift went. Our Dollar Store peeler is still going strong and doesn’t come with any headaches.

Alternatively any second-hand shop is loaded with utensils and you can even find some high-end products if that’s what you’re looking for. Canadian Tire and Bed Bath and Beyond often have some great deals on kitchen products such as cutting boards, knives and high-end utensils. Shop specific for products you want to last for a long time or that will not waste your time.


Household and car accessories


We’ve all made our way down the grocery store aisle that sells air-freshener, motor oil, car wax, masking tape, paint, light bulbs, tools of all sorts and items you’d typically find at a hardware store. I can tell you right now that you will pay more at the grocery store for these products and I’ve rarely seen them go on sale. The reason for this is because these aren’t products that are bought in bulk because you and I don’t add these to our grocery list, they are fillers and costly at that.

Unless of course you live in a small town with 1 grocery store and nothing for miles then you might actually buy any and these items at the grocery store and you’ll pay for them alright.

When I posed this question to my Facebook fans many of them said they would not buy, alcohol, clothing, electronics and pre-made cookies just to name a few from the grocery store for their own reasons.

I’m sure there are tonnes of other over-priced grocery store fillers that are for motivating the shopper to spend money they hadn’t anticipated spending but that’s where determination to succeed with your grocery budget should kick in. Don’t be swayed by the convenience, be lured by the best price.

Discussion Question:

What products can you think of that are likely overpriced at the grocery store?

Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear what you won’t buy at a grocery store because you can find it cheaper somewhere else.


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.

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 this Month: $226.62
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $194.07
  • Total Gift Cards used to date: $65
  • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
  • Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
  • PC Points Plus Earned to date: 365,000
  • 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



  • 2 x Sealtest Milk 2% $4.27
  • 2 x Granulated Sugar Sale $1.50 each
  • Beatrice Sour Cream $2.99-50%
  • Olympic Coconut Yogurt Sale $3.99-50%
  • Cauliflower $2.50
  • Hot House Tomatoes $0.98
  • Tre Stelle Pearl Bocconcini $7.00-50%
  • Ricotta Cheese $6.79-50%
  • Procuitto and Parmesan Tortellini $8.99-50%
  • Bananas $1.35

Total Out-of-Pocket $31.27

  • 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:$14.90
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $503.74
  • Total spent this week: $31.27
  • Total spent so far this month: $232.50
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: -$5.88
  • Total left to spend for the month: $25.39-$31.27= -$5.88 over
  • Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95 + Feb $249.46 + March $211.11 + April $248.11 + May $279.07 + June $231.96 + July $244.40 + Aug $201.30+ Sept $238.12+ October $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We’re already over by $5.88 this month so a no-shop week is a must next week which is the 5th and final week of the October GGC. It looks like we may end up dipping into our PC points and possibly some Shoppers Optimum points unless we can pull off a no-shop week next week. The most we would need is milk so fingers crossed that we can do this. I’m sure there is more than enough food around the house to be eaten up.

How was your week of grocery shopping?


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
  • 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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  1. The boys and hubby like putting the Chiz Whiz on things like a meat pie or shepherds pie, I find it too salty. I also add macaroni to KD so I scoop a little in there. I keep an eye out for those sales here too and grab what I can when I see them.
    I know Foodland is a higher end store but the Your Independent Grocer is worse for price across the board. I do the best I can with what I have to work with. We have a trip into town coming up so I can do a stock up run at No Frills on my way out of town. I don’t get groceries in London as it is a longer drive home, especially for the perishables.

      1. Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs and Valu-mart are the high end of the Loblaws suite of stores so I’m not surprised about that. When I lived in Ailsa Craig, my dad would go grocery shopping either in London or St. Mary’s, depending on what he was looking for.

  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 this 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 : $12.75
    Checkout51 to cash out : $30.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    Foodland #1
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 Cheerios -4.99
    1 case ginger ale -4.99, $2.00 coupon
    1 Royale TP 4.44
    1 cranberry juice -3.19
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 plum sauce -2.98
    1 gherkins -2.49
    1 Thompson raisins -2.29
    1 Temptations cat treats -1.99, .50 coupon
    2 4l milk @4.77
    1 lb butter -4.19
    4 Swanson meat pies @4/5.00
    Bananas -1.16
    1 box chicken nuggets -6.99
    2 W/W bread @2/5.00, AM discount on one -.60
    Tax -2.13
    Total OOP -$71.74, $2.50 coupons, .60 discounts
    Foodland #2
    1 case ginger ale -4.99, $2.00 coupon
    3 Chez Whiz @3.33- Stockpile
    2 Kraft peanut butter @3.33 -stockpile
    4 cans soup @.59
    2 4l milk @4.77
    4l chocolate milk @.99
    1 bag frozen fruit -3.99
    Bananas -1.04
    3lb bag onions -.99
    1 pork roast -6.84
    Tax -.65
    Total OOP -$32.36+$16.65 stockpile =$49.01
    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $23.29
    Total coupons used this week: $4.50
    Total coupons used to date: $113.62
    Total in-store discounts this week:$.60
    Total in-store discounts to date: $159.35
    Total spent this week: $104.10
    Total spent so far this month: $506.85
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: $
    Total left to spend for the month: $143.15
    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)
    Under again for the week plus I got some Chez Whiz and peanut butter added to the stockpile so that will help later. I even have a nice little cushion for that last week of the month!! So I am happy with how it’s going right now. All those meals from the Thanksgiving turkey and there are more in the freezer!! Looking good at this point to finish the year under budget. Next run into town is Nov 7 and London is Nov 10. Have to see how those go for the rest of the year.

    1. Hi Christine,
      I love how you are always under budget most weeks. I wish I was that lucky, but we’re still working on it or we’ll be increasing the budget come January. I agree your turkey went a long way which helps to fill up days in the month which means less expenses. That’s the beauty of stretching meals isn’t it? I’m not a fan of Cheese Whiz but you did score a great price as it’s expensive. How do you use the Cheese Whiz?
      The peanut butter was also a good deal. Now that we know our son loves it we’ll be on the hunt for similar deals. So you have $143 left to spend for the month.. wow that’s some shopping Christine. Considering you have one of the most expensive grocery stores to shop at I’d say you’re killing it in the grocery game. Well done… You get ballot 19. Mr.CBB

  3. Hi! Is THIS where we are supposed to post the store we shopped at and how much we spent, etc. to join in the game? It doesn’t look like anyone else did? So confused…

    1. Hi Jo-Anne,
      Yes this is where you post your grocery shop. I moderate all of the comments and try to do my best and read them once a week from top to bottom and comment on each one. Once I moderate them you will start to see them there. 🙂 Feel free to ask any questions. Don’t worry if you make an error we will all help you out. It’s a great team of GGC posters here. 🙂 Welcome.

  4. 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 #4 /24-31
    Calculated budget 49 €

    Name Your store Spar
    Total OOP 1.89
    Whole Grain sandwich 1.89

    Name Your store Hofer
    Total OOP 21,95
    Bulk 2,58

    2pck avocados 1,49 sale instead of 2,19
    Tomatoes 1,49
    750g frozen spinach 1,59 (b)
    2lbs pears 1,29
    3x sweet potato 1,17
    Cauliflower 0,79
    Parsley 0,89
    2x turkey ham 1,95
    Instant yeast 70g 0,99 (b)
    Creme de cuisine 15% 0,79
    Dominosteine 1,49 (cookies)
    Lettuce 0.99
    2x hard boiled eggs 1.49
    Gouda cheese 250g sliced 1,49
    5 bananas 0,71

    Name Your store Natur& Reform
    Total OOP 5,02 (2,19 b)

    750g oats 2,19 (b)
    You peach mango yoghurt 4 pack 2,99
    -3% discount of 5,18 €

    Name Your store Denns
    Total OOP 11,35
    Bulk 4,38
    2x mango apple sauce 1,39 (b)
    GF rice noodles ginger&pumpkin 2,99 (sale instead of 3,99)
    Organic Smoked tofu 2,59
    Pukka 3 Cinnamon tea 2,99 (-25% from original price 3,99) (b)

    Name Your store Hofer
    Total OOP 5,77
    Bulk 1,79

    Oranges 4lbs 1,79 (b)
    Spread 1,19
    Frozen fish 2,79

    Total budget for bulk 50
    Total spent this month 11, 35 +0 +0 + 10,94 =22,29
    This week 10,94
    This month under
    Left to spend 27,71 (goes straight to savings )
    Bulk to date August 72.42, September 70
    Total groceries this week 35,04
    Calculated 49
    This week UNDER
    Total spent this month 48,12 + 31,79 + 3,79 + 35,04 =118,74
    Total left to spend this month 71,26 (went straight to savings )
    Total spent to date July 235, August 170.34, September 148.94

    Final thoughts
    I think the last time I had a bill that low was in college 🙂
    Although my meal plan this week did not work out (I forgot the national holiday where I went to the family ), I am really happy with the outcome this month. I think week #1 of November (1-6) will be a low spend week again.
    For next month and despite the upcoming holidays I’m lowering my grocery/bulk section to 190 combined (160+30), let’s see how that works for me.

    1. Good Morning Christine!!
      I love that I read this was one of the lowest bills since you’ve been to College! It’s always nice to read that. It’s important as you go along with the GGC that you reward yourself for your hard work. Tracking your numbers will certainly give you that pat on the shoulder or that kick in the butt (that’s mostly what I get, lol) The fact that we get to challenge our shops every week is motivating and so are the savings and end of year figures.

      Many of us who have been posting since day 1 anticipate the end of the year to see whether or not we beat the Grocery Game Challenge. It’s fun to know that our hard work pays off or we may find we need to tweak it or work a bit harder. At the end of the day we are all successful because we have taken the first step to control our financial health in the grocery department.

      The mango applesauce sounds great. I never thought to make it as an applesauce. How do you enjoy your gouda? I’m thinking a nice apple and gouda grilled cheese sandwich, mmm.
      When you say 2x hard-boiled eggs do you mean only 2 eggs or 2 dozen eggs?
      I was wondering the same for the avocados. When you say 2 pack do you mean only 2 avocados or 2 pks of 5 (that’s what we buy typically for $3.99 or $2.99 on sale. If we buy organic they are about $1.49 for 1 avocado.
      Well done,
      You get ballot #18. Happy Halloween Christine,

      1. The hard boiled eggs are 2x 6 eggs, the avocado is 2 pieces in one bag 🙂 I’m too lazy for grilled cheese , normally I’m on the run out of the door and grab a slice of cheese with toast, which holds me over till lunch. I know that may sound weird but I love mango apple sauce with granola. This is a perfect snack for me.
        Happy Halloween for you too!

        1. Haha… that’s my lazy food the grilled cheese. How do you like your avocado? Have you ever baked an egg in it or even put it in the frying pan with butter, then crack an egg in it and put the lid on to cook … so good.

  5. I also hit the dollar stores for greeting cards. I’ve been trying going to ethnic stores, some of them are cheaper than American grocery stores. =)

  6. Week 43 – Oct 21 – 27, 2016
    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $8.85

    4L 2% Milk = $4.27
    2 Wonder WW Bread = $4.58

    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: $8.85
    Left for the Month: $59.24
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $1190.34

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $241.40

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($520)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $204.31

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $230.16

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($500.00)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $344.80

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $27.96

    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: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $273.67

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 25808

    Overview: Didn’t need much as we are still going thru what we have on hand. We’ll see what next week holds. We came really close to having a “no shop” week 🙁

    1. Hi Dee,
      This is what our grocery shop better look like next week, lol. We need to get back to the no-shop week in our house just to make things easier plus it opens up more free time for the family. We tend to grocery shop together because we don’t get much time out of the house as a family so we do it when we can. Do you have grocery stores in walking distance of your house or do you drive? Sometimes I think the close they are the more we spend. lol. You get ballot #17. Happy Halloween Dee!! Mr.CBB

      1. The grocery store that I go to most often is within walking distance but I drive as I don’t want to lug the groceries back on foot. We typically do grocery shopping together for 2 reasons, 1) gets us in and out quickly and 2) gets my kid out of the house.

  7. Bandaids! So expensive. I always buy the ‘heavy duty fabric’ ones at the dollar and they’re fine. For $1.25 instead of $5 or so.

    1. The bandaids from Walmart, their generic brand, is not good at all. Will try the Dollorstore one. The prices at Dolorama is mostly same as Walmart though.

  8. Most cleaning products, shampoo and paper goods ,ex. toilet paper are more expensive at the grocery store. Watch for very good sales, buy no name or buy at discount stores.

  9. OCTOBER – Week #4 of 5- Oct 24-30, 2016


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



    This week we did a little shopping but the budget is still very much intact! Most of what I picked up has been set aside for our Christmas holiday enjoyment. 🙂

    I just can’t seem to get in the mood to grocery shop these days nor do I give a fig what’s on sale! I think a good chunk of the reason is that the weather has shifted and it’s been just miserable. Who wants to be loading groceries into the trunk in the pouring rain? That’s a better time to hunker down, make a pot of soup with whatever is in the pantry & enjoy a good book IMHO.

    On top of that, there’s only 8 weeks of GGC left in 2016 after this…56 days total and 27 of them, we are on vacation… even if we are at home. We eat differently during vacation times. There’s more socializing involved (especially in December), lunches out with friends/family & I make a lot more soups/stews/chilis so that can just meals can be heated up quickly when we eventually get in from our running around.

    This year I want to attend the Celebrate The Night festivities & fireworks uptown on Sunday, do a day trip to Harrison Hot Springs if we get a nice sunny day, see lots of pretty Christmas lights, check out a couple of Christmas parades, meet the CPR Christmas Train & enjoy the live entertainment, attend a whole bunch of holiday craft fairs (just to snoop…we don’t Christmas shop), go to a live holiday comedy locally, enjoy a few coffee/tea dates with my sweetie & schedule some visiting with our families.

    I am also anxious to start my marathon of Christmas movies and books. I’m such a sucker for a happy ending and hallmark kicks off there Christmas schedule this coming weekend. I will start this year’s reading enjoyment this coming weekend – I have my first book all picked out! 🙂 Who has time to shop when there’s movies to watch and books to read? LOL




    1 Sweet Mustard Pickles $11.99
    1 Mixed Headley Hot Pickles $11.99
    1 Pickled Carrots $11.99

    Total Holiday Grocery OOP: $35.97 << Stock up for Christmas & New Years


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    1 x 1.36Kg Green Salad $4.98 << we sure enjoyed our Southwest salads!

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $4.98

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






    •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+2.29 +$18.00+$35.97-$35.97 Trf from Xmas Reserve+$4.98= $140.88) = $1,850.88

    •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: $49.12 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+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



    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-$35.97 = -$51.16)= $166.96 + $130 worth of RCSS POINTS



    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

    ($ 1,621.44) 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 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
    $ 166.96 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 $1,061.76. This means the $936.51 that we carried forward from 2015 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $888.47 that we have added in 2016, LESS $763.22 that we have drawn out for use in 2016.


    The valid rain checks I hold are as follows:



    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: Velveeta Ultimate Penne and Cheese for hubby / Carrot-Celery-Apple-Walnut Salad for me

    TUES: Egg Salad Sandwiches & Carrot and Celery Sticks for hubby / cucumbers in vinegar for me

    WED: French Onion Soup with Cheese Stuffed Onion Bagels for hubby / just the soup for me

    THURS: Ham Salad Sandwiches & mini donuts for hubby / Apple-Celery-Onion salad for me

    FRI: Leftover Creamy Tomato Soup with California Rolls for hubby / just the soup for me

    SAT: Cheese Omelette and Toast

    SUN: Gingerbread Pancakes


    This week’s DINNER menu plan:

    MON: Take-Out Chinese for hubby / just a glass of Fresca for me

    TUES: Wonton Soup with BBQ Pork and a Fried Egg Sandwich

    WED: Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Maple Cinnamon Apples

    THURS: Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Toast

    FRI: Slow Cooker Ham, White Bean and Vegetable Soup

    SAT: Creamy Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole with Steamer Veggies

    SUN: Nine Vegetable Hot & Sour Soup


    1. Hi Mary,
      I love a good fried egg sandwich. Do you put anything else on it? Tomato sauce, cheese? I want to make a creamy tomato and bacon soup topped with parmigiana shavings. I think that will be my next soup unless I get the chance to make the French Onion Soup. Your Saturday meal sounds nice. OMG now I want a cheese stuffed onion bagel. It’s been ages since I’ve had a bagel. We don’t eat much bread around here these days. Oh the gingerbread pancakes sound nice. WOW Larry sure is lucky to have a lovely wife to cook all this amazing food. I’d be in heaven. Those mustard pickles sound nice. I’ve never had anything like that before.
      I know what you mean about the change in season. After Halloween is done tonight everything will shift to Christmas for most people and again for the rest after Remembrance Day for us. We also tend to make more soups and stews and grocery shopping in the winter will likely consist of myself as it’s too much hassle bringing the boy out in the cold. It’s all miserable if you ask me. I agree, I’d stay in and have a cuppa tea, movie or read a book.

      Enjoy your week Mary…. Another year is coming to a close. We’ve almost made it yet again…yay! You get ballot #15 MR.CBB

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