25 Foods We Stopped Buying To Strengthen Our Savings Power : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #4 Feb 20-26

25 foods we stopped buying to strengthen our savings power.png 4DON’T LET FOOD CONTROL YOU ESPECIALLY WHEN IT CAN SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACT YOUR GROCERY BUDGET.


You might be asking yourself the same questions everyone else is when it comes to food prices. When is this grocery shopping battle ever going to end? The answer is never because we have no control over price points or the state of the economy. What we do have is the ability to fight back by finding ways to slash our grocery budget with smart shopping choices. Ugh, I know that sounds like fun to some of you. Most often it’s not for the rest.

The biggest savings high for us is finding those unadvertised awesome deals or using enough coupons to get a product free or near free. Is that even possible to do with coupons today? Meh, some say yes and others say no. It depends on what you buy, but I can say with certainty that stockpiling and the lucrative deals are far and few these days.

You won’t believe how much money you are spending on empty foods that don’t add value to your meal plans or snack box. By adding value I mean, nutrition, cost and taste. Everyone wants to know how to save money on food because as motivated as we may be there’s one part of your brain that keeps winning the food fight.

Cooking food and coming up with food ideas for the week can be boring for the unhappy home chef but lots of fun for the inspired home chef who thrives on putting on the chef’s jacket. That’s me although no aprons or jackets I’m afraid.


Who are you talking to over there? Yes, you!


How many of you talk to yourselves when you are grocery shopping?  Not everyone does and for those that don’t they possibly spend a bit more money. For those that do question their shopping choices it’s just as easy to overspend especially when you should already know the answers. It’s important to know your grocery goals and aisles to avoid unless you need to go down them.

Being alert at the grocery store means a world of difference when it comes to savings. That means, turn off your cell phone, stop chatting to people (not including yourself) and pay attention to what you are buying and whether it’s worth it.

If you’re armed with a grocery list the only real question should be, “What foods can I remove to add this awesome deal I just found?”  Sounds easy enough but trust me we struggle with this question all the time.

We’re always on the hunt for money saving ideas in the CBB household especially when it comes to our grocery budget, the heart of our monthly budget. Over the years we’ve made many improvements when it comes to knowing prices and what foods we are putting into our grocery cart.

Related: Why you need to know your grocery prices

Both Mrs. CBB and I are partial to foods that are higher in quality and lower in price. Typically we only splurge on luxury foods if there is a 50% off sticker or a good weekly flyer deal.


Don’t let product marketing fool you


We’ve come to learn that we had a hidden talent to save money that was masked by our senses and our ability to say no. It’s amazing how the small stuff adds up and the foods you thought were saving you money was hidden under flashy grocery store marketing plans.  Buy 1 Get 1 Free comes to mind. Are you really saving more?

For example: In the Metro Flyer they have Buy 1 Get 1 Free Flamingo frozen chicken products. So, this means your chicken nuggets, chicken strips, chicken burgers etc. The regular price stated in the grocery flyer is $11.99 a box. What? Wait a minute? Each time we go to No Frills, Zehrs or Food Basics we see the exact product for $4.99, $7.99 max. We also had a Save $5.00 off a box coupon costing minimum $1.99 a box or less if on sale and there were no shortage of coupons to be had.

You do the math and come back and tell me if this would be a smart purchase or a huge fail on the part of the consumer. No, if you have other grocery stores in proximity and yes if you only have one grocery store to frequent and you want this convenience food.

Can I make homemade chicken nuggets for less with fewer preservatives and freeze them? <<< Answer that question and then return to, “Should I buy the frozen chicken nuggets?”

Choice is yours. No wrong or right answer here because we all enjoy varied eating habits and have different grocery budgets. Just remember the savings. It should always mean something to you rather than just a convenience.


Find a way to conquer these powers


We’re no different from the average family who visits the grocery store to stock up on deals but we often struggle with time and willpower. Do you want to know how to save money effectively so you don’t make the same mistakes over and over? Then strengthen your mind and fight the urge to let food control how much money you are spending.

Time is always on the back of our minds when creating a meal plan followed by a grocery list. Why? Because most people don’t have time to cook homemade meals every.single.night. of the week. Unless of course you are free to do so with limited interruption.

As a stay at home mom Mrs. CBB struggles to do this which is why we have to plan our meals accordingly even if there is a change in plans for the day. If you let the convenience of time beat you to the checkout be prepared to pay more for less which sometimes includes less nutrition.

Willpower is trying to avoid those short-term temptations that will only satisfy you in the moment but comes with an expensive price tag. Personal improvement while grocery shopping happens over time if you really want it to since control of one’s impulses can really make a difference.

For example: If your decision is to go into the grocery store and buy milk and butter you need the strength to carry out that decision especially if you struggle to say no.


25 foods we stopped buying over the years


creamy-cauliflower-tomato-soup-with-crunchy-baconWe all have our reasons why we buy one product which means just because it’s not right for you doesn’t mean it’s not right for someone else. If making bread is a must and you can make enough for the week or month to freeze that’s a huge savings. Not to mention tastier.

Any time we question having enough time to make homemade instead of buying it we need to understand why we aren’t making the time. Is that television program adding value to your life? No? Add savings and bake some bread if homemade is what you want but struggle to find time to make.

We are certainly entitled to rest after a long work-day or work-week but busting our butts at work to make money only to spend it with less effort makes little sense to me.

That being said our list is personal which means we found these foods to bulk out our grocery budget so we chopped them!! Ah-ya, like Ninja Food warriors we sliced and diced until we were in a happy place with our food shopping trends.

I might be missing some foods (list is always building) and there are times we screw up or just don’t care because we have a low-motivation day while shopping, forget our shopping list or aren’t prepared. It happens to everyone, just don’t let it happen often. As you can see from our list many of the products add no value such as pop, frozen pizza, pancake mix either because we don’t need it or it’s simple to make at home.

Obviously you might be a whiz at making homemade foods such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, Nut Butters and Salad Dressing etc. The savings will be huge when you think about removing preservatives and ingredients you can’t even understand from your diet.

  1. Frozen Pizza
  2. Soda Pop
  3. Salsa
  4. Pasta Sauce
  5. Bread Crumbs
  6. Hummus
  7. Pancake Mix
  8. Guacamole
  9. Pita Chips
  10. Tortillas
  11. Soup
  12. Jam/Jelly
  13. Basil Pesto
  14. Spice Mixes
  15. Salad Kits
  16. Croutons
  17. Cookies
  18. Pudding
  19. Cheap Grated Cheese ( The good stuff although pricey goes a LONG way and tastes far better)
  20. Frozen Fruit Bars (Make your own with fruit from the reduced rack or on sale)
  21. Quick Rice or Side Dishes (Simply a huge waste of money)
  22. Anything Snack-Size or pre-portioned (Another waste of money)
  23. Frozen Burgers
  24. Apple Sauce
  25. Granola Bars

To find more amazing homemade recipes that might help you chop foods from your grocery budget can be found in our Free Recipe Index.

Discussion Question: Think about the foods that might be on your chopped list or even better write them down and share them in the comments section below. Any other tips please feel free to share.


February 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

February 2017 Blog Posts:


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.

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 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 2017


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 5 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.


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: 431,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: Just under 850,000 Optimum points  (I will update this twice a year) $1500 worth of free stuff.

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



  • Buy 1 get 1 free Chicken Nuggets
  • Garlic Hummus
  • Mild Salsa
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Rice-A-Roni
  • BBQ burgers
  • Delissio Pizza
  • Frozen fries
  • Canned gravy
  • Salt and Vinegar Chips
  • Chocolate Chip granola bars
  • Butterscotch Pudding Cups
  • Flavoured Milk

Total Out-Of-Pocket $ Too Much. This might be your grocery shop. Think about ways you can improve it.


Food Basics

  • 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27  ($8.57)
  • 4 x dozen large eggs $1.97 each ($7.88)
  • Seedless Cucumber $0.99
  • Bananas $1.72
  • Avocados $2.97 bag of 5
  • Cumin $1.97

Total Out-Of-Pocket $31.80


  • 11 x Pounds of No Name Bacon $2.99-50% pink stickers $1.50 each ($16.50)
  • 2 x Schneiders Pepperettes 2/$11 – 50% off pink sticker  ($11.00)
  • Real Lemon Juice $2.79
  • Celery $2.79
  • No Name Mushrooms $1.29
  • Romaine Lettuce $2.69
  • Flax Bread $3.49-50% pink sticker ($1.75)

Total Out-Of-Pocket $38.81

  • Total to spend this month : $260
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $23.95
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $0
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $18.25
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $67.91
  • Total spent this week: $70.61
  • Total spent so far this month: $255.16
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $4.84
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

Well we were cutting it close this month but we’re happy with our choices this month and ours savings. There was no way I was going to pass up pounds of bacon for $1.50. Mrs. CBB and her low carb diet means she’s best friends with bacon. Our son also loves bacon. (who wouldn’t?) On to March to see what deals we can find.


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!!

Where can I find Canadian Coupons 2017?

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 to reflect changes 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 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 is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries.

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!


Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

  • Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
  • Check out my new Free Recipe Index
  • If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving List
  • Don’t forget to Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder by Email to get my daily email. Once you subscribe you MUST VERIFY your email account so check your spam folder and inbox for that email! By Subscribing you get all the inside scoops first plus any new finance tools and tips.
  • If you notice and broken links or errors please email me or leave a comment below.
  • Note some links used in this post will be affiliate links.





Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. 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: $10
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 57260
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Zweet to cash out : $13.25
    Checkout51 to cash out : $34.25

    Our Grocery Shop This Week

    1 jug water -5.49
    1 yogurt -2.99
    1 kg brown sugar -2.49, 25% AM discount- .62
    2 4l milk @4.27
    3 blocks Kraft cheese @4.00
    1 frozen fries -1.99
    3lbs carrots- 2.99
    3lbs onions -2.49, 15% AM discount- .37
    Bananas -.99
    1 pack lean ground beef- 13.09
    2 packs Oktoberfest sausage @3.00
    Total out of pocket- $67.71, .99 discounts
    Foodland #2
    1lb butter -3.99
    2 Cheerios @3.99
    2 cases ginger ale @3.69
    1 10pack tetra juice -2.98
    1 baking cus -.99
    2 4l milk @4.27
    2 yogurt @3.99
    3 Micaelinas@.99(for my uncle)
    8 Swanson meat pis @.99
    Bananas -1.25
    1 apple onion sausage -4.33, 50% discount- 2.17
    1 raisin bread -3.99
    2 W/W bread @ 2.49
    Tax- 1.09
    Total out of pocket -$64.20
    Jacksons Pharmacy #1
    4 Pantene shampoo @3.00
    Total out of pocket- $12.00
    Jacksons Pharmacy #2
    1 bottle Napraxen- 7.99
    1 Sensodyne toothpaste -3.99
    Total out of pocket -$11.98

    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
    Stockpile budget used this month: $0
    Total coupons used this week: $0
    Total coupons used to date: $14.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $3.16
    Total in-store discounts to date: $39.66
    Total spent this week: $131.91
    Total spent so far this month: $548.79
    Total over/Under spend this shop: under
    Total over/Under spend for the month: under
    Total left to spend for the month: $101.21
    Health and Beauty- $23.98
    Health and Beauty to date- $55.52
    Cats YTD -$9.71
    Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $464.09+Feb $548.79

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Finally got Feb done!! I came in under for the second month in a row so I will have a little room for March being 5 weeks. Hopefully I can be up to date by the end of the month. The ipad is giving me a hard time to post there so I’m using the laptop for the time I have it in the evening after dinner. The cats are finally on the second big bag of cat food we got at Canadian Tire back in Dec. but I’ll have to start buying catfood and litter again soon…I’ll be watching for the sales there!!
    Welcome to our new challenge members since I haven’t got that far as to say anything before!!

    1. Hi Christine,
      Yes March being 5 weeks was tough so we kept out of the shops as much as we possibly could. I’m sure you’ll do fine. Too bad the Pantene didn’t have the $1.00 off stickers on them. That would have been a great deal. Mrs.. CBB loves Pantene but we still have tonnes of shampoo and conditioner in our basement from the coupon craze days. That was nice of you to get the Michalinas for your uncle. Does he like to eat anything else? I’m sure CT will have some new sales coming up. What brand of animal food do you typically buy? Catching up feels good I bet. 🙂 Nice to see ya getting back into your groove. You get ballot #19. Mr.CBB

  2. There are days where it’s just soo difficult to talk myself out of buying ingredients that I’m not supposed to even if I have a grocery shopping list! I do try avoid temptation as this year I plan to get through with the financial goals I made for myself this 2017 – sometimes I feel I barely survive but there’s some progress with my savings! wohoo! 😀

  3. Grocery budget

    Name Your Store: superstore
    Total Coupons Used:
    Total Out Of Pocket: $$170.32

    3X Begging Strips dog treats: $8.94
    2000 PC points
    Crisco shortening: 2.98
    Caeser dog Food: $11.44
    Bicks Sweet Pickles: $$4.47
    A&W rootbeer cans: $5.12 (with recycle and deposit)
    Woolite: $8.98
    7UP Cans: $5.12(including deposit and recycle fee)
    Snuggle fabric softener: $3.77
    Vlasic dill Pickles: $3.28
    International delight coffee creamer = yuk: $1.99
    PC Greek feta cheese: $5.98
    2X NN Butter: $7.94
    4x 1 Litre half and half: $8.68
    Foremost Ice Cream: $2.98
    2X Organic blackberries pint: $3.98
    6 LBS. pears: $ 6.98
    1600 PC points
    Lettuce: $1.98
    Radish 1 lb.: $1.98
    2.5 pounds imperfect peppers: $3.98
    PC baby red potatoesX2: $5.98
    2 LBS carrots: $ 2.97
    6 count mini cucumbers X 2: $7.96
    Pint grape tomatoes: 2.97
    3 pack romaine: 3.78
    2x Cantaloupe: $3.94
    6 lbs roma tomatoes: $4.00
    24 croissants: $10.00
    6 Bagels: $2.77
    12 Grain Bread: $2.97
    Garlic roast Beef Deli: $5.00

    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $750.00
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $750.00
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $
    • Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $
    • Total Rewards Points used to date: $
    • PC Points Plus Earned to date:2986638
    • Air miles Points:542
    Zweet to date: $5.50
    • Cart Smart to date:$
    • Checkout51 to date: $4.00 cashed out at 32.00
    • Save.ca to date: $
    • Caddle to date: 10.00
    • Optimum Points:162,000
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date:

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Stockpile budget 2017 ($75.00):$900.00
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $139.18
    • Stockpile budget Used this Week:
    • Total coupons used this week: $
    • Total coupons used to date: $66.42
    • Total in-store discounts this week:$
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $382.75
    • Total spent this week: $170.87
    • Total over/Under spend this shop: $16.63 under
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: $137.95 under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $
    • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) 1250.41
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    It was a rough shopping week this week, still feeling a bit off and it was a busy week of commitments and work. I just did a shop at superstore and didn’t shop the deals like I normally do. We had company twice this week and a birthday lunch for my oldest for 20 people today so caution was thrown to the wind, we have so many dietary restrictions in the family it gets difficult and there is a lot of extra planning when cooking for everyone. We have gluten, nuts, onions and dairy allergies as well as a son in law that is the fussiest eater, all he likes is junk!! I made homemade fries today thinking he would enjoy them and apparently he only eats frozen or take out…I .do a lot of tongue biting, I eat anything and I have no patience for fussy eaters. When we sit down as a family with spouses and grandchildren so it gets tricky and expensive. Anyway that is off my chest and I am looking forward to March, I am starting my tomato seeds this week and I am looking forward to planning my garden!
    I was still under for the month but know I could have done better, I think the busier you are the more you can let your budget get out of hand!
    I agree with cutting lots of convenience foods out of the budget, I think a lot of people’s palates are conditioned for convenience food and they don’t even know what a real pizza, Spanish rice or pancakes are supposed to taste like, even in my busy working full time days with kids at home I still do most of my cooking from scratch, but the kitchen is my happy place so it doesn’t seem like a chore. However if you are not an enthusiastic cook or don:t enjoy it I can see how the convenience wins over scratch cooking, it jsut isn’t for me.

    1. Hey,
      Why did you say Yuk for the creamer, the price or the taste? I agree about being busy and letting your budget go. It’s so important to try and fight doing that and falling off track. If something is not on sale do you still buy it? Why? I had someone on Twitter say that buying frozen pizza is cheaper then making it and questioned whether our grocery budget was doable. You know what, do what works for you. Don’t let anyone ever say you can’t do something. My sister hates cooking and always buys frozen stuff that is pre-made or needs to be baked. I agree not everyone likes cooking. WOW that must have been tough to do. How did you handle that? What kind of planning went into that dinner? You might not think you did well and could have saved more and maybe you could have but keep your chin up and do better the next shop. You’ve got this! You get ballot #23. Mr.CBB

      1. Ha ha I said yuk to the creamer because I don’t like it but my company did!! Lots of planning for that dinner, I made chicken salad and a small version with no onions for the onions allergy, I made a gluten free Greek pasta salad (no onions) with rice pasta, lots of cut up fruit and veggies , a dairy free Caeser salad with croutons on the side, I roasted a small ham , I set out croissants and I had a few homemade gluten free buns in the freezer for the gluten allergy. For the birthday cupcakes I made coconut pineapple cupcakes subbing coconut milk and made a bakery frosting with coconut milk and shortening, a wonderful frosting but the shortening is a bit bad for you!! I made a gluten free apple crisp for the gluten allergy!! It’s a marathon but we do family dinners regularly so I am used to it!!

        1. oh hahaha. That sounds like lots of work. Ah so it’s your family that came over for dinner and they have different needs when eating. I guess if you’re used to it then it won’t be so bad.

  4. Well, I’m a bit of a dissenter because I do find that some things made from scratch are quite a bit more expensive that buying on sale, or bulk.
    Frozen pizza, spaghetti sauce, etc. are still on my list…I just don’t ever pay full price (although I feel somewhat bad for my favourite grocer.) I’ve made the homemade stuff, but it’s more. In order to get burgers for the grill, I buy 2 lbs. of ground beef and get 8 burgers….at $15 per kg, that’s about twice what I pay for the same amount of burgers. Although this weekend past, I made the patties and we barbequed….but the ground beef was a bargain ($8.00 for 1 kg. of decent quality.)
    So, I guess, it depends?

    1. Hi Anne,
      Yes you’re right it all depends on prices, sales and whether you still want to purchase the product. The good part about your burgers is you know what you are putting in them. That’s what it boils down to for us at times, preservatives. We still buy stuff in a box and bag because we have a picky eater and are struggling with him right now. It’s always a race to chop the budget any way we can. 🙂 Thanks for your comment Anne.

  5. Week 7 – Feb 17 – 23, 2017
    Name Your Store: Wal-Mart
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = N/A
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.45

    500 mL Baking Soda = $1.08
    Bag of chocolate eggs = $2.98

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $0.00
    Total Points = 400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $29.43

    2 NN Broth – $3.34 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $2.64
    2 Kg Sugar = $2.47
    NN Ketchup = $2.27
    4 NN Mushrooms – $5.16 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $4.08
    2 NN Pringles – $2.16 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $1.70
    2 NN Rice Crackers – $2.00 (Stock up 10 for $10) = $1.58
    NN Butter = $3.97 (PM Shoppers Drug Mart @ $3.49) = $3.49
    2 – 4L 2% Milk = $8.54
    Bananas – 0.985 & 0.955 Kg (400 PC Points) = $2.44

    No Shop

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1820.00, for the pay period – $70.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $33.88
    Left for the Month: $68.85
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $215.20

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $34.23

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $54.38

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $41.82

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $99.06

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $5.99

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $2.66
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $23.16

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $0.48
    Total Price Match to Date: $9.43

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 30859

    “Overview: I’m over budget by a whole $1.85 which won’t be anything to make up for the next two week cycle. Now if I didn’t purchase the chocolate eggs, we would have been under budget but I like my chocolate 🙂

    1. Hi Dee,
      Haha, I love how you start your overview…. “I’m over budget by a whole $1.85” which I find funny and amazing at the same time. Sticking to a grocery budget is hard work as you know. I can’t imagine just grocery shopping by just walking in the store and grabbing a flyer. I know I would spend FAR too much money. We love chocolate in our house too especially our little guy so we always have something around. He especially goes mad for Easter eggs he can unwrap. It’s a big reward for him. Were you able to score any 50% off chocolate after Valentine’s Day? Easter has a better selection in my opinion. 🙂
      What does “Stock up 10 for 10” mean? Do they offer a bunch of products and you get to pick 10 for 10? Are you noticing any price changes so far for 2017 compared to last year? How did you come up with your meat budget number? Were you able to average out your yearly expenses over the past year or years? I guess it helps when you have all of the data like you’ve been keeping all this time. See, it makes sense to do so.
      Well done you get ballot #20
      Have a great week shopping Dee…

      1. I’ll admit that I used to not keep track of my finances like I do but I have never walked into a grocery store with no plan of what I was going to purchase and what it’s going to cost. We don’t typically have chocolate in the house, which is a good thing as it never lasts long. You are correct, Stock up 10 for 10 is exactly that….10 items for $10.00 and currently I get that from RCSS. For the items that I purchase, not much (if any) changes from last year. I came up with my meat budget started from the year that I bought a 1/4 beef and some chickens from my friend, which was around $400. I padded it it a bit to take care of fluctuation of prices. I also had to take into account my existing bills in my bi-weekly budget. My meat budget is made up of sausages, chicken, beef, pork and some times hot dogs. I will compare the YTD but I will look at the percentage as a whole for each category (Savings, Life, Housing, Transportation and Debt). I could look at the figures on a monthly basis but don’t see any value added in doing that.

  6. FEBRUARY – Week #3 of 4- Feb 20-26, 2017


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



    Despite all the Valentine’s & Family Day weekend celebrating, we are still on track with our budget for the month. Woo hoo! Now that having been said, after this week’s shop…we are just squeaking by! We only have $0.86 left in the kitty for the month. It goes without say, next week will be a NO SHOP WEEK as planned. 🙂

    It also came to my attention that some of our GGC players are not following the What’s for Dinner thread on Facebook… so I have decided to include my recipe links whenever I am using a not previously posted recipe that’s available online. I have been known to play with the recipe and adjust to suit what I have on hand and to suit my family’s likes/dislikes. I will let you know my adjustments.

    Let me know folks if you are interested in these links or would prefer that I skip them. I thought perhaps it might be helpful to see what I actually make with our groceries.


    The LUNCHES I have planned for hubby are rather nice this week. His are packed lunches Monday to Friday but we get to eat lunch together on the weekend. I tend to eat raw fruit and veggies for my lunches or possibly have a cup of soup:

    Monday – Loose Meat and Refried Bean Burritos with guacamole, sour cream, Habanero cheese & tobasco sauce and a side of potato salad.

    Using leftovers from:


    Tuesday – Leftover Momma’s Mac and Cheese with a side of coleslaw & a Rice Krispie Square


    Wednesday – Leftover Zuppa Toscana Soup with Maple Corn Muffins and a Red Delicious Apple




    Thursday – Leftover Chuck Wagon Chili with Garlic Buttered Buns, Dill Pickles & a Nature Valley Granola Bar

    Friday – Greek Salad with Egg Salad Sandwiches & Leftover Amish Raisin Cookies


    Saturday – Leftover Split Pea Stew with Toasted Tomato-Cucumber-Onion Sandwiches


    Sunday – Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup & Kathleen’s Cottage Cheese Pancakes





    The DINNERS I have planned for this week include eating up a lot of leftovers from last weekend’s 4 days of celebrating. I number the dinners because I am more flexible as to what we have on a given day based on how we feel and how much time we have.

    (1) Modified bhan-mi-ramen-noodle-bowl skipping the pork & cilantro but adding mushrooms, snow peas & red onions.


    (2) Spaghetti with LEFTOVER Homemade Bolognese Sauce retrieved from the freezer


    (3) Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Corn and Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce – using leftover meatballs I had in the freezer


    (4) LEFTOVER Slow Cooker Chuckwagon Chili Served Steamed Cabbage-Potatoes-Onions


    (5) Celery Rice soup + Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins BUT I skip the cloves and use ground ginger instead




    (6) Homemade Chicken Rice-A-Roni + Steamed Cabbage, Sugar Peas, Snow Peas, Carrots & Onions


    (7) Tuna Shepherd’s Pie with a side of mixed vegetables.



    I am also offering the following desserts this week if your sweet tooth is calling to you:

    (A) Leftover Butterscotch Confetti Squares


    (B) Leftover Date Loaf


    (C) Apples (Red Delicious, Granny Smith or Gala), Lemons or Limes

    (D) Leftover Christmas candies, chocolates and cookies or

    (E) Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf -I add 1 cup chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins depending on my mood.




    Safeway – Maple Ridge –

    4 Compliments Imitation Crab @ $2 ea = $8.00

    • TOTAL Re-Stocking Reserve: $8.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    RCSS – Pitt Meadows –

    3 Deli World Light Rye Bread 3 for $5.00

    Total OOP: $5.00

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


    MERIDIAN FARM MARKET – Maple Ridge –

    8 Beefsteak Tomatoes 4.42 lbs @ $0.88/lb = $3.89

    Total OOP: $3.89


    Walmart – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 10 LB bag Red Potatoes $5.47
    1 Real Lemon Juice $2.77

    Total OOP: $8.24


    No Frills – Maple Ridge –

    3 English Cucumbers @ $1.00 ea = $3.00

    12 Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup @ $0.50 ea = $6.00
    6 x Weston Bagels 4-pack @ $1.00 ea = $6.00
    12 x 1.89L Mott’s Garden Cocktail @ $2 ea = $24.00
    Ecology Fee $0.48
    Deposit $2.40

    Total OOP: $3.00
    Total Re-Stocking Reserve: $38.88

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


    RCSS – Mission –

    2 Kraft 2Kg Peanut Butter @ $7.38 = $14.76

    • Total Re-Stocking Reserve: $14.76

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 4L Skim Milk @ $4.69

    1 Gluten Free Bread $4.99
    1 bunch Celery @ $0.99/lb = $2.33

    Total OOP: $4.69
    Total Re-Stocking Reserve: $7.32

    ** Earned 12 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $1.96 Loyalty Savings on this shop **






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $30.52

    •Total Coupons/Rain Checks Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 45 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 21 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 2,600 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year: 4,040 Points



    $ 380.00 Grocery Budget JAN-FEB


    ($363.02) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 76.58 Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 95.70 Holiday Season Fund + $160 RCSS POINTS + $10 Dream Air Miles.
    $ 653.54 Summer Season Fund
    $ 466.46 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,292.28. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $192.43 that we have added in 2017, LESS $174.59 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.


    1. Good Morning Mary,
      I have a large cup of coffee beside me before I read this…. what a long weekend.

      Thanks for including all of the recipes for those not on What’s For Dinner as I’m sure it would be appreciated. The only problem is all of the links can be overwhelming for the system especially if they become broken. I have to manually go through and check every link posted to make sure they are legit sites and even then I’m faced with potential broken links. Google will penalize my blog for this thus lowering my rank. This is why I pick and choose what I link to with my blog these days very carefully. Even now I know there are broken links and I have to hire someone to help me fix them. Bigger websites have the cash flow and resources to handle this expense. If you could limit to one or two that would make it easier on my end and ensure the url is followed by a .com and not @wordpress.com because these bloggers are using free platforms. Thanks

      That being said I’m excited to try the pan roasted red pepper soup recipe you posted as I’ve always wanted to try that. We’ve had roasted tomato soup and that was gorgeous with the smokey flavour from the oven char.

      I know what you mean about squeaking by with the grocery budget although we haven’t been going through as much food in our house this past month with all of the our illnesses. We made up for it buying cough medicine though. 🙂

      You picked up some great deals on the 2kg peanut butter, celery and cucumbers. These 3 items have been off and on sale in Ontario since the beginning of the year as well. Does your Walmart have a reduced rack? Ours does and they sell off their produce in huge bags for $1! It’s amazing. Lots of great deals this week Mary!! You get ballot #19. Mr.CBB

      1. I didn’t think about the extra work it would be creating for you Mr CBB so I will leave the links out of my post entirely. If anyone wants a particular recipe they can request it. 🙂

        1. It is for me to check them but also continued maintenance without a program to track broken links. Google credits websites that keep their site links fixed. With over 1300 posts it’s overwhelming. Maybe one day I’ll save enough money here to purchase something to help me sort out the links. Thanks for the great suggestion of having GGC players to request the recipe. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.