NOW YOU’LL HAVE TO GO BACK…WORDS YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR.
Grocery shopping is already expensive enough for consumers that the last thing we want to do is spend more money by not being focused on the task at hand. This is where an exit grocery store check-list will come in handy.
Beep, Beep, Beep the sound of the payment machine telling you to remove your card, but you don’t hear it. That’s how easy and fast it is to float off to la-la land at the grocery store. Seconds.
It only took once for me to mess up before I changed the way I made my grocery store getaway. After a long day at work, running errands and picking up the kids you’re probably ready for a hot bath, a drink and some relaxation. I know, I feel that way every day whether I grocery shop or not. Life gets busy and exhausting at times and this is when we choose to focus on what’s most important.
One of the worst things I hate about being a consumer is when I forget stuff that I need to get done or even worse leave behind at the grocery store. Imagine you live an hour away from the grocery store only to find out you’ve forgotten something very important. This is where you start thinking about all the things you Don’t want to forget, ever.
What if you live in a large city where it’s congested, parking is at a premium? The last thing you want to do is go back out when you’ve already battled the traffic. Sometimes it does pay to live in a small city, especially where everyone knows who everybody is.
Last week while I was bagging our groceries I noticed a wallet sitting in the packing area. Right away I knew it belonged to the young lady before me who was on her way out of the grocery store.
I grabbed her wallet and from behind was calling to her, “Maam, Maam, Is this wallet yours?” but she didn’t answer me. At that point she was making a phone call from her Iphone so I had to run up and kind of jump in front of her like a crazed grocery shopper. She seemed like she was in a rush to get out of there. Sounds like everyone, right? Pretty much.
I was hoping not to startle her while making my peek-a-boo appearance reminding myself that the cashier and other customers were waiting on me. As I stopped her with my arm held out gripping her thick wallet and a smile on my face I said, “Please don’t forget your wallet before you drive off, Ma’am”and then she stopped. Finally I thought. The look of relief that came over her face was overwhelming as it seemed she had something painful going on her life.
“Thank-you so much for bringing me my wallet sir. I was just on my way out-of-town travelling to see family and without my wallet I would have been penniless.” Imagine if you were going over the border to the United States or travelling without your wallet anywhere in Canada and something happened. How would you get access to the funds you need? Not everyone has the luxury to make a phone call to get emergency cash.
Round of applause
As she went on her way I hurried back into the grocery store where the cashier asked if I was able to catch her. Yay and a few claps then my total. Why were they clapping when all I did was bring a lady her forgotten wallet? “It happens all the time the cashier tells me”. Then it hit me.
Once we were all over the initial hoopla of the forgotten wallet I packed up, paid the cashier and was on my way to the car. It was at that moment where I started to question everything I had with me and whether I had forgotten anything. I didn’t want someone chasing after me nor did I want to risk losing money or wasting time coming back to the store.
Talk to yourself and save
Sometimes the best person to chat with is yourself.
Moving forward I created a 6 point grocery check-list that I give a once over in my mind before I leave the grocery store parking lot. It’s so easy to get distracted at the grocery store where consumers tend to zone out. I don’t know about you but there’s something about grocery shopping that’s comparable to hiding in the bathroom when you’re a parent. Don’t laugh, it’s true. You know what I mean, right?
Parent or not it’s hard to relate to a relaxing pace at the grocery store when all you can think about is;
- How your day went. Who made you happy? Who upset you?
- Things you still need to do.
- What’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner?
- Where are your kids?
- Groceries you need because you didn’t make a list
- Other important things on your mind.
Mindful grocery shopping
Unless you’re chatting to someone else while grocery shopping it’s inevitable that you will start talking to yourself. You’ve now entered the zone. Grocery stores will use marketing tactics to keep you out of the zone such as offering free food samples, intoxicating smells, music, creative displays etc. They want you to be alert so you spend more money.
Whether it’s about grocery shopping or other life issues it’s easy to carry those thoughts right out the grocery store doors and into your car. Mindfulness goes a long way when performing tasks whether personal or at work. You might even be the person who forgets their coffee on the roof. No, they’re not honking at you to say hi.
Grocery Store check-list
This isn’t about being organized either it’s entirely about learning to stay in the moment before completing a task. Our 6 point check-list that we perform before leaving the grocery store is fast, simple and complete.
You shouldn’t have to make a trip back to the grocery store ever again unless you’ve forgotten a product on your list or you have a complaint or return. Below are the things we check before leaving but your grocery check-list may differ.
The point of bringing this to your attention is that as consumers we have to stay focused when we are spending our money. There is never a smart time to be thinking about things you can’t control in the moment as you may just be creating an even bigger task for yourself.
Mrs. CBB is the WORST for forgetfulness while grocery shopping these days especially now that we have a toddler in tow. Before we exit the grocery store we both ask each other whether we have our wallets and purses.
If you’ve ever left your expensive smartphone in a grocery shopping cart, on the shelf or at the cashier you probably go into a frenzy hoping it’s still there. Phones are a big business these days as technology is hot and there is a market for stolen cell phones if even for parts. Not everyone will be honest and return a phone they find left behind so if you value the hundreds of dollars you spend on one do a check before you leave.
Forgetting your kids at the grocery store might be easier than you think especially if they are chasing after each other or your mind is not focused. I know it might sound outrageous but how many stories have we read over the years about kids being left somewhere? Lots. Leaving your child alone in a shopping centre can be just as scary and for some kids, traumatizing.
Parenting 101- If you bring a child to the grocery store make sure you leave with that child.
Always give the shopping cart the once over from top to bottom. Use a flashlight if it’s dark outside or head towards some light to verify there’s nothing left in your shopping cart.
Yes, we’ve almost forgotten a box of diapers at the bottom of our shopping cart. The weather was horrible and cold and while one of us is strapping our son in the car seat the other is packing groceries. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment while rushing to get into the vehicle and forget something.
Whether you forget a bag in the shopping cart of something underneath that’s money you might be wasting if someone else finds the found products usable. Don’t expect everyone to be honest and kind when and if they find something you leave behind.
P.S don’t make the mistake of leaving kids toys, hats, jackets, gloves, diaper bag or snack and drink cooler. If you set your glasses down in the kids seat for whatever reason, don’t because you also forget those too.
We can’t stand having to go back to a grocery store or making a call about an error on our receipt. Paying too much for a product sucks especially when the money is needed for other things. Take a minute or two to pull over or sit in your vehicle to review your grocery receipt BEFORE you leave the grocery store.
If you find any discrepancies you’ll most likely find it then and save yourself the return hassle. Most people might suck up the extra charges but not everyone can afford to do so. Besides if the Scanning Code of Practice is in effect that’s money back in your pocket.
Do I have my keys?
You won’t be going anywhere if you don’t have your car keys. Not everyone who carries car keys into the grocery store have a vehicle though. Stealing car keys really isn’t something that I believe is hot on the market. Most people will return found keys to customer service.
Some people may argue that it’s smart to keep ID on your key chain in the event they are found and others say it’s more hassle than it’s worth. What if the person who found your keys has no intention of returning them? Now they have your name, phone number, address, house key and possibly car key. If you live close to a grocery store sometimes it’s nice to walk instead of drive.
If you carry keys into the grocery store tuck them away in a safe spot so you don’t need to touch them until you get home or need into your vehicle. Don’t carry them in your hands if you can help it. Picking up a product and setting personal stuff down is easy as eating pie to do.
Mmm, who wants pie now?
Plunge into chores with focus
The moral of the story today is to attempt your chores with a clear mind setting aside time for other concerns. Multi-tasking sure is great when it saves you time and money but not everyone can master the art.
Discussion Question: What else would you add to your exit grocery store check-list? Have you ever forgotten something at the grocery store before? Have you every found something that belonged to another customer?
March 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.
Congrats to Ballot #4 Christine for winning the February Grocery Game Challenge!
Post your shop and you can be next.
New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules
March 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.
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: $3180 or $265/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: $265
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $265
- 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 : $24.50
Our Grocery Shop This Week
All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- 2 x 4L 2% Milk Sealtest $4.27 ($8.57)
- 3 x dozen large eggs $1.97 each ($5.91)
- Bananas $1.75
- White Mushrooms $1.97
- Baby spinach container $3.97
- Celery $1.99
- Romaine lettuce $1.88
- Radish $1.99
- Tuna 4/$5
- Apple Juice $0.99 sale (Unsweetened)
- Cauliflower $2.88
- Chicken thighs $5.00
- Mild Italian Sausage $1.99
Total Out-Of-Pocket $41.96
- Asiago Cheese $20.00
- Parchment Paper $10.99 (2 large rolls)
- Rodelle Dutch Processed Unsweetened Cocoa $11.99
Total Out-Of-Pocket $46.65 – $10.99 stockpile $35.66
- Total to spend this month : $265
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $10.99
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $0
- Total in-store discounts this week: $0
- Total in-store discounts to date: $67.91
- Total spent this week: $77.62
- Total spent so far this month: $179.61
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total over/Under spend for the month: n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $85.39
- Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
This month we will be cutting it close with it being a 5 week shop. It looks like we’ll have one no-shop week and a tight week of final shops for the month coming up. That means we’ll be only buying what we need and extremely good sale prices.
We gave ourselves a $5 increase in the grocery budget starting in March 2017 after tracking expenses for January and February. This will be our final monthly number for the 2017 year unless something major happens in the food industry. The reason for the increase is mainly due to the price of buying nuts and nut flours in bulk. I’ll talk more about the low-carb diet grocery list in another GGC post but prices have gone up!
This week was a small shop but we stocked up on some Asiago cheese from Costco for the asparagus soup that we made on the weekend. The Costco trip was a mad dash at the end of the week after we posted the GGC so I’m just adding it here now.
That’s our week!!
Coupons and Coupon Apps
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 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!
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