SAY YES AND TAKE THE GROCERY GAME CHALLENGE 2017
Cost control doesn’t mean that you can come up with prices at the grocery store (imagine the chaos) rather it’s about controlling your costs by uncovering where the savings are each week. Regulate cost control of your grocery budget and you will notice that being mindful when you grocery shop really does pay off.
I can’t believe we are starting the fifth year of The Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) which began in 2012 when I started this finance blog. This goes to show you how much of an impact The Grocery Game Challenge has had on our budget and those who participate year after year.
What I’ve found interesting over the years is that for those that joined and bowed out for whatever reason many have come back to try again. Sadly, once you let a month or two go it can be hard to get back on track but not impossible. No matter their decision those of us who continue to post our shops know the importance of being;
- Open to Change
For those who have survived my dry British humour and have stuck around over the years have seen some form of success in all facets of their grocery shopping. The biggest obviously being not spending more than the grocery budget allows.
- We learn from each other
- We motivate each other
- We help each other
- We never give up trying
I’m always excited to read GGC posts from the players every week to find out how they made out grocery shopping. What I really want to see is their overview where the shops are discussed. Have they learned from their mistakes? Are they willing to share them? Are they open to fix them? I want to see that they are making changes to the way they spend and save money. This is why the breakdown of each grocery shop is important along with a weekly overview.
For those of you who join The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 (which is totally free) you will find the financial numbers you document will be a blessing at the end of the year. I know a couple of the GGC players have all their numbers from the past years of playing which help them review their shopping habits and expenses.
Control your expenses with cost control
You are in charge of your grocery budget which means you lead the way with cost control. If you aren’t taking your food expenses seriously you can easily spend double or even triple the amount of money that you can afford. Do you even know how much you can afford to spend? You should. Don’t be the person who can’t figure out where all the money goes every month, document it, budget and be informed. It’s your money after all.
With food prices slowly decreasing near the end of 2016 I’m curious to see what will happen in 2017 and whether that will impact our grocery budget. In 2017 we’ve decided to increase our grocery budget by $25 to include other foods for our 2 1/2-year-old toddler and my wife’s low-carb lifestyle. This means we will have $260 a month to spend on groceries plus a $25 stockpile budget.
For many there is no room to move up so the only way is down or stay the same which means tightening up the grocery list. This may mean less meat, stretching meals and sourcing other ways to save money on groceries.
I know a few of the GGC players will not increase their grocery budget but that doesn’t stop them from pushing to meet their shopping goals. Most times I’m jealous just how well they shop and try to improve our own shops because screwing up is not the name of the game.
It may be tough at times which means we fail one week but we keep going and catch up the best we can. The GGC isn’t about being the perfect shopper it’s about meeting your budget goals and learning about shopping mistakes and how not to make them.
You can now download the 2017 Grocery Game Schedule and read the updated Grocery Game Challenge 2017 Rules which also includes the new prize structure for those who play along.
I encourage you to begin reading my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide (200 blog posts) as a starting point if food expenses and cost control are your top priorities in 2017. You’ll learn all the tricks, tips and get solid advice from other shoppers on this blog just how they make their grocery budget work. You’ll also learn about ways to save more money if you aren’t hooked up to all the ways to save on food in Canada already.
I wish you all the luck in your shopping journey 2017 and invite you to document your food expenses with Mrs. CBB and I by contributing to The Grocery Game Challenge 2017.
How much will your grocery budget be for 2017 and how many people will that feed?
January Grocery Game Challenge
Join in the 2017 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are The Grocery Game Challenge rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the 2017 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
Congrats to DEE Ballot #6 for winning the last GGC for 2016~
January 2017 Blog Posts:
- 15 Ways To Save Money On Food In 2017– Last GGC post for 2016
Free Money Saving Tools 2017
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.
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 2017
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.
2017 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2017: $3120 or $260/mth
(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: $260
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $260
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 410,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $
- 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 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27
- 4 x 10% Cream $1.99
- 2x bags of avocado reduced $0.99
- 2 x bags of avocado $2.88
- Romaine Lettuce $1.99
- Apples $1.87
- 3 x cauliflower reduced $0.99 each
- 4 x broccoli doubles $0.95 reduced each pack
- 1x loaf of white bread $1.50
- 1 x Little Debbie’s Brownies $2.25
- 4 x butter $2.88 each
- 12 x Lactancia cream cheese sale $1.99 each
- 1 x large whole wheat pita $0.99
Total Out-Of-Pocket $73.93
- 1 pack Old Mill Crumpets $0.99
- 3 boxes of Shreddies sale $1.67 each
- 1 bag of Truvia $1.95 reduced saved $8
- 2 x old cheddar 1 x mozzarella Black Diamond sale $3.77 each
- Quaker Instant Oatmeal $1.88
- 100% Whole Wheat Bread $1.69-50%= $0.85
- Wonderbread $2.49-50%= $1.25
- Mild Italian Sausages Club pack $15.07-50%=$7.54
- 3 x lean ground beef sale $2.95,2.92,2.97
- Pork Chops $5.47-50%=$2.74
Total Out-Of-Pocket $42.36
- Total to spend this month : $260
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $49.66
- Total in-store discounts to date: $49.66
- Total spent this week: $116.30
- Total spent so far this month: $116.30
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over big time
- Total over/Under spend for the month: $56.30/over
- Total left to spend for the month: $260-$116.30=$143.70
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
Talk about making use of the new grocery budget. It was hard to control costs this week but we went easy even though there were so many specials out there to stock up on. The year is off to a raging start for us as we stock up on items we’ve been running low on or that we found great deals on. There always seems to be some amazing deals after the holidays and I’m right there to scoop them up if we can.
This particular shop did come with a grocery list as always however those in-store 50% off stickers were worth it for us. The vegetables were so cheap it was hard to pass up. I even had a full package of celery however I forgot it. I was hovering around the 3 large reduced racks holding like 28,000 packages in my arms up to my face waiting for the wife to come back with the shopping cart. Every time she has it she wanders off.
I was protecting my stash of reduced items until she arrived even though I must have looked like the reduced rack security guard who needs to shave. One little old lady asked me if I could grab her the oranges on the top shelf. Sure I said let me just drop these 500 million packages in my arms and I’ll be right with you. Ugh… little old ladies are so loving though.
The cream cheese was an amazing price and doesn’t expire until May so we loaded up on it for the wife who enjoys it more than the block cheese with her meals. Typically cream cheese can run on average $3.79 per 220g when not on sale up to $4.
With one shop being a no-shop every month let’s cross our fingers we at least conquer month one.
Coupons and Coupon Apps 2017
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!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
If any of these links are broken please report them to me.
- 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 2017 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 2017 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-$20-$50 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $CDN via PayPal. Please see GGC rules.
- 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 2017 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 2017!
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