The Grocery Game | Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide

The Ultimate Guide To Eliminate Kitchen Odours Quickly : The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #2 Nov 14-20




If you work or have worked in the restaurant industry then you know what it’s like to come home after work and you have a strong cooking smell on your clothes. This same cooking smell can linger in your home during and after cooking and stick around unless you take a proactive approach to rid of kitchen odours.

My house smells what can I do about it?

Well it depends on where the smell is coming from but most often house smells start in the bathrooms and kitchen. A musty smell in the house comes with age along with dust, old carpets and rugs, damp wood, hot spots, rundown walls, bathrooms and leaks. You may get even worse smells if you smoke in the house or have pets which need to be monitored and cleaned up daily to eliminate smell.

Related: How to get rid of musty smells in your house

We use a dehumidifier to get help with moisture in the air and humidity in the house. It also helps to freshen the air and remove any bacteria in the air.

What are kitchen odours?

Kitchen sink drain smells are one of the most common smells in your kitchen apart from kitchen odours from cooking. If you have ever had a smell from kitchen sink hit you in the nose you know it’s time to do some damage control.

A smelly drain can be clogged with all sorts of bits that come from your dirty pots and pans and get trapped. This causes build-up and then the smelly party starts. Today you’ll find out how easy it is to eliminate this type of nuisance in the kitchen along with other hacks to keep your kitchen in tip-top shape and smelly fresh and clean.


How to get rid of cooking smells


If you want to keep your stove off because it costs too much to run large appliances during peak time of Hydro rates then use the next best thing, your crock-pot. I know genius huh? One of the most important ways to eliminate kitchen odours is to clean your kitchen promptly after cooking.

If there are two persons one can cook and the other can clean which is what we do in our house. Leaving your pots and pans with grease, burnt food or stuck-on food with only add to the kitchen odours that you are trying to eliminate, so clean up and don’t leave it for the next day.

My wife goes nuts if I don’t have a sink of soapy water at all times when I cook because I’m notorious for just throwing everything in the sink and dealing with it later. She’s smart though as any cooked on food will start to loosen up in the water which also saves time in the kitchen during clean-up.


Clean your kitchen


You might think that you have a clean kitchen because your sink is empty and everything is put away. Think again. When was the last time you scrubbed your floors, cleaned your kitchen cupboards inside and out, sanitized your counters, back-splash and walls? Even your light fixtures can have grease film caked on which adds to the kitchen odors you might be smelling.

We clean our refrigerator once a month and keep a handy chart on the refrigerator so we know when it’s time to clean it again. We also pull out the refrigerator every so often and clean the compressor and condenser of dust and fuzz. This sill help your fridge run more economical because it can exchange the heat better. While we’re doing that, we also clean the floor underneath the fridge.

Many smells might hit you in the face when you open the refrigerator door but if you eliminate those odours at the source you’ll win half the battle. For strong-smelling foods in the fridge we use a small container of baking soda to help control funky smells.

Related: Free Printable Charts For Around the House

Once a week we clean the outside of our kitchen cabinets with vinegar and water and a touch of soap to get rid of any grease and other sticky messes that we may have missed from an original spill. Our kitchen cabinets are old and due to get replaced but if you have a brand new kitchen you may want to investigate what you can and cannot use on your kitchen cabinetry for cleaning.

If you have kitchen windows open the curtains or blinds and turn on the lights. Get down on your hands and knees or use a chair to sit and inspect the elements of your kitchen. I’ll tell you it’s amazing what you will find once you start investigating all the cracks. It may sound a bit obsessive but if you want to get rid of kitchen odours and dirt then you have to get right into it. If you do have blinds and curtains make sure to give them a good cleaning once a month too as they can both harbor kitchen odours.

Hot water, soap, vinegar, lemon and baking soda go a long way in the kitchen.


Stinky garbage


During the summer months we compost any kitchen scraps to help create luscious soil for our garden but during the winter that is not possible for us. If you find that you have a lot of vegetable peels, meat scraps, egg shells and other food waste that you don’t compost in the winter it’s important to clear out the garbage can as soon as you can. If there are any spills in the garbage bin clean them promptly with vinegar and water to eliminate kitchen odours.

Once a week we make sure to take our kitchen bin inserts out of the main housing and scrub it out with soap and hot water. This not only keeps it smelling nice but looking clean which is far more appealing than a garbage bin that is plastered in food, hand prints and over-flowing in your kitchen.

The worst is when you are a guest in someone’s home for dinner and you have to see something like this. It makes you wonder how sanitary the rest of the kitchen and diligence with food safety is applied. A few minutes a day will save you lots of headache and embarrassment so don’t be lazy, clean up your messes.


Open the windows


The most obvious way to begin the elimination process of kitchen odours is to open the windows in the house. In the Spring and Summer our windows are pretty much open all day unless the central-air is turned on. There is nothing better than fresh air in the house.

Once the winter is over and you finally open the windows in your house do you ever find you want to sit down and just enjoy the breeze and fresh air that flows through your house? It’s great, we enjoy that first moment after the snow melts but don’t often open them when it’s below temps and freezing outside.

When you are trying to keep a house warm in the winter opening the windows to eliminate kitchen odours will work but you’re also compromising the inside heated environment which will make your furnace work harder and longer. This will ultimately cost you more money however if you are willing to pay the price then it’s worth it to you.

You can open the fresh air intake damper on the furnace ducting in the winter to bring in fresh air from outside. That’s what it’s designed for. I had to replace ours because it wasn’t working properly and let high moisture content air through into the house in the middle of summer. That makes the air conditioning work harder, which in turn costs us more money.


Cinnamon sticks and cloves


I’m a fan of incense when I don’t like smells in the house and my wife is a cinnamon sticks and cloves kind of woman. A bag of cinnamon sticks will cost about one dollar and cloves you can pick up fairly cheap at the Indian store which is where we like to refresh most of our spices for cheap.

I remember when I was travelling throughout India and Thailand all I could smell at times was the use of incense as it’s wide-spread for ritual purposes, but it carries. I use incense sticks to combat kitchen odours that come from the potent spices used in the kitchen. We love spices too and have 2 large cupboards full but the lingering smell of certain spices is not so appealing afterward.

There have been many times where I come home from work and am fooled into believing she’s made a hot batch of cinnamon rolls dripping with vanilla icing only to be saddened to see a pot of cinnamon sticks and cloves slowing simmering on the stove-top. Sometimes she adds vanilla to the pot but that stuff is expensive so it’s not something we tend to waste.


White Vinegar


We always have a jug of vinegar in our cold room or under the kitchen sink for so many uses around the house. You’ll find that every bathroom has a vinegar and water spray bottle as does our kitchen.

We use vinegar to clean and sanitize many surfaces in our house including cleaning smears from our mirrors and windows. It’s a cheap way to clean your house without all the harsh chemicals that you’ll find in commercial cleaning products. When we became parents it was important for us to eliminate certain cleaning products so we weren’t filling the air with any toxins our son might breathe.

Related: The many uses of white vinegar and your budget

We also clean our kettle, coffee pot, toaster and toaster oven with vinegar and water to release any build up from hard-water and burnt on foods. Dish-cloths and cutting boards get a soak in bleach, water and dish soap. I then run dish clothes through the washing machine as they can hold lots of kitchen smell that can be disgusting.

How To Remove Fish Odour From House

If you aren’t a fan of buying acidic fruits such as oranges, lemon and lime certainly bust out the vinegar and put it to work. My wife and I have left a small bowl of white vinegar on the counter while we were cooking and after to eliminate kitchen odours especially if we were deep-frying, shallow frying or cooking any type of fish, onions or garlic. Some people like to add a few drops of pure vanilla extract or other essential oils that helps to mask kitchen odours and in most cases eliminate them.

The other option which we’ve used in the past is to set a small pot of water and vinegar on the stove-top and let that boil for about 15-20 minutes to help rid of any kitchen odours that are sticking around like a bad stain. You might not like the smell of the white vinegar but anything is better than smelling leftover food smells. Yuck!


Orange, lemon and lime peel


The acid in lemons is what helps to eliminate kitchen odours and unlike vinegar the sweeter smells of lemon, lime and oranges will be far more appealing than left-over food kitchen odours.

A super easy and frugal way to eliminate kitchen odours with lemon, oranges and lime is to fill your crock-pot with water and dump them in. You can run the crock-pot over-night while it is the cheapest rate or while you’re gone to work so you come home to a fresh smelling house.


Baking soda


In our refrigerator you will always find a small bowl of baking soda which tends to soak up the odours that creep into a refrigerator with left-over foods, rotten food or products with powerful smells such as onions and garlic. Most people don’t keep onions and garlic in the refrigerator but if you are prepping a meal you may store chopped onions or minced garlic for later use. It’s important to cover with cling-wrap or put in a Tupperware container to help reduce the smell.

Cleaning a smelly drain is not as hard as you may think when you have a bad smell coming from your kitchen sink. The cure for smelly drains can be as easy as a mixture of baking soda and vinegar and pouring it down the drain is a great neutralizer. You may just have to open the trap and clean it out if you are struggling to get rid of smells from the sink or dishwasher.

Baking soda is also a great way to get rid of odd smells for carpet. I can remember years ago shake ‘n’ vac adverts appearing on British TV and essentially using baking soda is exactly the same concept.


Range Hood and Ventilation


Invest in a good range hood for your kitchen because it will make a huge difference when you are trying to eliminate kitchen odours as they are happening and for those that linger. We have a crappy cheap builder grade range hood at the moment which you can buy at Home Depot for about $50. It’s really that bad however we picked up a $4000 range hood that was a display model for just under half-price from a reputable kitchen store in town and plan to install it when we do our kitchen remodel.

Our range hood vents directly outside but if you have a re-circulation range hood you will have to replace the charcoal filter on a regular basis as this is what controls odours.

I’ve even went as far to remove the bathroom vents that were the cheapest of the cheapest and did nothing but collect dust and installed brand new vent systems that cost me a bit more money BUT worth it in the end for any homeowner. There is a time to be cheap and a time to be smart with your money especially when it comes to home maintenance.

Always make sure to clean your range hood and replace or sanitize and clean any filters as needed as they will get clogged with grease and who knows what else over time. You can also turn on your furnace fans to help recycle the air in your house by bring in fresh air and ridding of old stale, musty, stinky air.

We have an ultraviolet air treatment system inside the furnace ducting which kills viruses, mold and bacteria which produce odours. The UVGI (UltraViolet Germicidal Irradiation) method has been used in various applications for years and is proven to control bacterial agents. There are also charcoal furnace filters available to help eliminate household odours.


Commercial kitchens and home kitchen gadgets


Kitchen odours can be tough to combat and get rid of, but there are these simple ways to fight back that won’t bust into your budget too much. Some people simply don’t have the time nor want to deal with kitchen hacks to eliminate kitchen odours so investing in a kitchen odour eliminator such as the OdorFree Ozone Generator which you can purchase for $379 USD for our American fans might do the trick. Note: The American spelling of Odour is Odor.

The OdorFree ozone generator is a strong kitchen odor eliminator that will kill microorganisms and is great for commercial or home kitchen odor removal.
Moisture is often present so microorganisms thrive in this type of environment. They can be found not only in the cracks and crevices but also on many surfaces, including walls and ceilings, so kitchen odor removal is very important for food safety.

Apparently this gadget not only eliminates food odour but pet odours, smoking odours, mold odours, home odours and car odours. Stop spending your money on aerosol can sprays, candles, incense  and other smelly things that just mask the smell of kitchen odours and other house smells.

I’ve never used anything like it but if you have the cash maybe you might want to invest in researching if this or a similar kitchen toy is right for you. For our Canadian readers I found the Ozone Power 3500 that ships free from Canada at wholesale prices for $156 plus tax instead of the $500 retail price tag that typically comes along with purchasing in-store.

Always do your research if you plan to purchase something like this for your home. I’m not an affiliate in any way with these products just another consumer looking for answers.


Kitchen hacks from CBB Facebook fans


Colleen K- Run a package of Tang orange juice crystals through an empty cycle on your dishwasher and it will clean even iron build up from your water.

Donna PMean Green cleans grease & gunk off cabinets. Slick & span is great for cleaning cabinets & even walls.

Mona M-Light up one of my scented wax burners. Anything you cook will smell, but the worst one is of fried fish. I love fried fish, I don’t like the smell it leaves in the house.

Colleen KSimmer a pot of water with orange slices and a cinnamon stick or a pot of water with some vanilla in it. To get onion smell off your hands before you wash them run them along your kitchen faucet then wash. This takes the onion smell right out of your hands.

Cynthia GI like to use Clove and lemon essential oils in baking Soda as a sink scrub. Smells amazing!

Judy COpen the window!

Mary D– When cooking seafood brew a pot of coffee, i usually have a pot going at all times but it will clear up seafood or stinky smells.

Christine WHubby complains about the smell of cooking broccoli but if I’m cooking something on the stinky side I just use the exhaust fan to kick the air right out of the house.

Pam WI like to simmer cinnamon sticks and orange peel to rid the kitchen of cooking odours.

Donna P-Lighting matches and blowing them out helps odours. The sulfur in them does the trick . Keep up out of reach of children though. I also put baking soda down sink drain & then pour in vinegar. Keeps the trap clean and fresh.


Bake away your kitchen odours


If all else fails nothing beats the sweet smells of baking homemade cookies, cakes or bread which we don’t mind smelling over and over again.

By the way if you do find your clothes smell of cooking add a bit of baking soda, Borax or vinegar to your laundry wash and you’ll see those kitchen odours disappear.

Discussion Question:

What ways do you eliminate kitchen odours from your house?


November 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.

November 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 $3.00
  • 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


Food Basics

  • 2 x Sealtest 2% milk $4.27
  • 3 x cauliflower $0.69 each reduced rack
  • 2 x mixed peppers $0.99 reduced rack
  • Mushrooms $2.50
  • Cucumber $1.50
  • Bananas $1.85
  • Oreo cookie minis $2.99

Total Out-Of-Pocket $17.16


  • 2 x Parmigiano Regianno Cheese $12.50 and $11.53 (stockpile $24.03)
  • 3 x PC Ketchup reduced $1.00 each
  • 1 x PC Egg Nog $1
  • 1 x 4pk of Excel Gum SCOP FREE saved $3.00
  • 1 pint blackberries $3.99
  • Spring onions $0.99
  • 4 x Kraft Cheese Singles $1.00 each reduced
  • 2 x Tomatoes $1.65
  • Cesar Dressing $3.99
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.99

Total Out-Of-Pocket $20.61

  • Total to spend this month : $235.00-$10.15 overage from October= $224.85
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $24.03
  • 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: $503.74
  • Total spent this week: $37.77
  • Total spent so far this month: $132.97
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $91.88
  • 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 $236.77+ November $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

We found some great deals at Zehrs this week but we didn’t need too much as we are stocked up and want to continue eating down what we already have before adding more. A quick trip into Food Basics last week net us some reduced cauliflower and peppers. We’ve grated and froze the cauliflower and will use up the peppers this week to make stuffed cauliflower beef peppers. Recipe to come!


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?

If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll get it added to the savings list below.

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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Photo Credits Dirty Kitchen and modern kitchen – phaendin, clean glasses and plates alex_ugalek, Dirty Dishes in Kitchen Sink ModerGC, Young Couple In Kitchen imagerymajestic







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