4 Expensive Impulse Food Purchases You Should Dodge : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #3 Mar 13-19




Impulse buying behaviour is something that every consumer has to deal with whether you believe yourself to be an economical shopper or not. Frugal shoppers are as sensitive to the marketing process of luring shoppers into buying stuff they don’t need as are those who aren’t so thrifty.

As you already know I’m a grocery shopper with eyes and ears and occasionally a mouth that engages in food-related conversation. Most often I enjoy observing and listening to what others are saying if they are in my vicinity. Don’t worry I’m not a grocery store stalker, just a nosey customer.


Types of Impulse food purchases


Over the past 5 years that I’ve posted our grocery shops in the Grocery Game Challenge I’ve been more attentive to what people are buying. I’m not the best at multi-tasking but since part of my hobby (this blog) requires knowledge about other shoppers I tend to snoop a bit.

When you’re not looking I am because I want to know what you’re buying. I’m also interested in knowing what you’re reading on packages before you toss it in the shopping cart. Oddly enough the shopper who does the fly by shopping intrigues me the most. That’s the person who has their arm out and just tosses products in their cart without a second glance. How do you know that you’re getting the best deal?

  • Buying without reading labels
  • It’s on sale so I need it
  • Everyone else is buying it
  • Timed specials
  • Looks good, Smells good, Tastes good
  • In the moment

It’s easy to understand by reading the above list why so many of us tend to spend more for groceries if we give in to these impulse food purchases. Just about every week that I go grocery shopping with Mrs. CBB there are temptations all around us that even we have given in to with regret. You can’t just talk about something you haven’t experienced especially when it comes to the emotional side of finance.


Fix it or deal with it


Not one shopper is free from impulse food purchases because humans have the tendency to let their stomach win over their food budget. We eat to survive and when we smell something good or food looks good, we want it. Whether we need it or can afford it is a different story however today I want to talk about what impulse food purchases you should be avoiding while budgeting your groceries.

Dear Mr.CBB,

I’m trying to change the way I grocery shop and my biggest downfall is impulse food purchases that catch my attention or that I simply toss in my cart because I need it. I don’t always know price comparisons of everything I buy. What are some of the worst products I should be avoiding at the grocery store? – Sandy from Chatham, Ontario.

Great question Sandy!

I can explain to you impulse food products to pass up but most importantly you need to understand the underlying reason about why you are giving in to temptation.


Bulk Food


If we make our way into Metro or Zehrs they offer a bulk food section similar to what you would find at The Bulk Barn but on a MUCH smaller scale. Although prices at The Bulk Barn may seem higher than at the grocery store or other discount shops there are excellent sales they can offer because bulk food is what they specialize in.

Grocery stores don’t specialize in bulk food but offer it as a convenience or tactic to keep you buying from them and not the competitors. Don’t fall into this trap. Avoid the bulk food section at all costs because I’m 100% certain you’ll be paying far more than needed or what you would have spent at a shop specializing in bulk food.

If you find something in the bulk food section that you missed on your shopping list check the aisles first before you agree to buying in bulk. You may find that you’ll save more buying more. A great example was a jar of Planters peanuts were on sale for $1.99 at Zehrs last week. If you go to the bulk food section you’ll find peanuts for $3.99-$9.99lb for various types of peanuts. I did the math and buying the bottle of nuts was far cheaper.


New Products


Oh those sample employees know how to sell new products they are marketing not only with tempting samples but with coupons and a pretty display right next to their booth. Some shoppers feel as if they must buy new products especially if they sample them at the store. No. Another gimmick is new product labelling that boasts better flavour, new look etc.  Don’t fall for it. Manufacturers are just trying to keep impulse food shoppers alert.

Although new products are great when you want to experiment in the kitchen or try something you haven’t tasted before always be aware of the impact that product will have on your grocery budget. Just because cheese has improved flavour doesn’t mean it’s worth more than the brand next to it.

I often find using a coupon and waiting for a sale to be the best defense if you MUST try something new. The more you can save the better especially if you don’t fancy the product.


Junk Food


Yes, yes it is the one of the worst impulse food purchases to make at the grocery store. Empty calories and deserving moments are costly to any budget. Opt to make homemade or look around for reduced bakery goods if you must feed into your sweet and salty mood.

Stay away from the chips, chocolate bars, bag of snacks and other treats at the cash register they are all too expensive. This is the stores final way to motivate impulse food purchases before you leave the grocery store.


Anything you Smell


This is the hardest for Mrs.CBB and I because no matter how much we eat before we go grocery shopping a tantalizing smell is intoxicating. You know the moment you walk into a grocery store that your nose is on the hunt especially those grocery stores that offer the in-store bakery, pizzeria, deli and hot food counters. Fortino’s in Burlington next to IKEA comes to mind. Walking in that grocery store is like coming face to face with a chocolate cake and nobody is watching.

You will almost always find these around the perimeter of the grocery store, the very place we believe to have the biggest savings. This is not always the case because grocery shops are getting wise to this so they are changing things around. Have a look next time you grocery shop and take note of product placement. You’ll see what I mean.

Fight impulse food shopping with consumer power

Ultimately, impulse food purchases will equate to one of the highest percentages of money-making profits for grocery stores. If it’s not you buying it someone else will however the more you continue to educate yourself about grocery store tactics and improving the way you shop you’ll see changes to your monthly expenses.

Discussion Question:

What are some of the hardest impulse food purchases for you to pass up?

If you have a grocery or budget question you’d like to ask send me an email: canadianbudgetbinder@yahoo.ca


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.

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: $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.



  • 6 x Nescafe Instant Coffee PM Freshco $3.99
  • 2 x Allens Apple Juice $1.47 each
  • Garlic Powder $2.00 bag
  • 3 x dozen large eggs $1.97 each
  • Bananas $1.16
  • 2 pk mozzarella balls $5.00
  • Grape tomatoes $1.57
  • 2 x seedless cucumbers $1.47 each
  • Celery $1.67
  • Broccoli PM Freshco $1.47
  • Whole Mushrooms Fresh $1.47
  • Romaine Lettuce $2.47

Total Out-Of-Pocket $52.42

  • 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: $52.42
  • Total spent so far this month: $232.03
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: over
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $32.97
  • 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 week we ventured into Walmart because of the snow storm and it was closest to us. The main reason was because they had the best prices on vegetables and we needed to price match Freshco. Unfortunately No Frills is at the other side of town as is Freshco so we don’t often make our way to those shops.

We still have $14 in our stockpile budget to use up and although I could have placed the instant coffee in that category this week I just left it as is. I’m sure with this month being 5 months that it will get used up with another great sale. If not, even better. Our pantry, freezer and refrigerator is sitting in a comfortable spot right now, not too full, not too empty.

That’s our food shopping 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!!

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?

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  • 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.
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  1. You mentioned watching for discounted items to save money. In Western Canada, we have had Safeway for many decades. A year or two ago, Sobeys bought out the Canadian Safeway chain. Since that time, we have seen prices slowly climb, accompanied by big signs proclaiming new lower prices! In addition, the Safeway stores, who have for years offered day-old bakery goods, have been discontinuing this practice. The dairy section, so far, still has a discount bin for short-dated cheese and yogourt and sometimes Kefir, but I don’t know if that will continue. None of the employees I have spoken to have any idea for the policy change, or what happens to the outdated product. Maybe it goes to the Food Bank, which would be fine.
    Meanwhile RCSuperstore still has racks in Bakery and produce sections.
    I think the Sobeys/Safeway action is shortsighted and may cost them customers. (Of course, my waistline is thanking them because I am less inclined to pick up a package of cinnamon buns or a cake slice if they aren’t on sale)

  2. I humbly disagree (partly) with your assertion about bulk food sections of supermarkets. Although bulk items may be more costly than prepackaged, itisnot always the case. Virtually everyone has a cell phone, and even if yours isn’t a ‘smart’ phone, you have a calculator in you pure or pocket. Use it to figure out the unit prices of the packaged item (some stores – most by my experience – put unit prices on the shelf tags, although in extremely small fonts). Compare the unit costs against those of the bulk items. Two other points about the bulk items: 1) they may be fresher, especially if comparing with canned products; and 2) if you need just a small amount of an uncommon item for a recipe, buying a package or tin of something may be just filling up the cupboard with an item that you won’t use again – poor budgeting.
    Shopping at Bulk Barn in Calgary is something we don’t do often, despite a discount coupon that is almost constantly renewed. The BB is a long way from us, on Macleod Trail, equivalent to driving from Mississauga to North York. Not quite, but it’s no too appealing a trip. There are also many ethnic stores that have spices and other baking items at good prices.

  3. Week 10 – Mar 10 – 16, 2017
    Name Your Store: Wholesale Club
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $26.13

    4 L 2% Milk = $4.25
    3 WW Bread – 50% Pink Sticker = $1.89
    Bananas – 1.330 Kg = $1.64
    Honey Garlic Sausages – 30% Pink Sticker = $8.65
    Pork Loin Chops – 30% Pink Sticker = $9.70

    Name Your Store: Superstore
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.99

    3 Unico Pasta = $3.99

    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: $11.77
    Left for the Month: $128.23
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $231.09

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $54.16

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $76.12

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $5.64
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $73.92

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $18.35
    Total Meat to Date: $134.59

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $11.99

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $9.79
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $35.06

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

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 4,085

    Overview: We are going to wing this week as I didn’t feel like making a meal list so I only purchase the bare necessities this week.

    1. Hi Dee,
      We do that sometimes if we get too busy. It’s easier for us just to make meals from what we already have in the house. Typically we always have enough staples like you to make certain meals that we know we like so it works out well for us. Does the Superstore ever have 50% off meats in your area? It’s hard to go from 50% pink stickers to 30%. I think we’ve been spoiled. 😛 Have a great week Dee!! You get ballot #9. Mr.CBB

      1. I don’t recall ever seeing RCSS ever having 50% stickers for anything. With the changes to the layout of RCSS, which I’m not a fan of, I probably will be reducing my shopping there and find other stores within Waterloo Region where I can shop (under Loblaws/PC umbrella).

          1. We have a Zebra close to where I work but a lot of the time, the prices are more expensive as it’s the high end grocery store. So I have to be selective on what I buy from Zehrs or even price match against.

          2. I would love to shop at your “Zebra” hahahaha!! We don’t find the prices too far different at our Zehrs but like you said there are price differences. It’s important to know your prices. It doesn’t hurt to do a quick walk through if you have a stockpile budget to play around with either. You never know what 50% off pink stickers you will find.

        1. Out West, at least, RCSS does have a discount rack in the bakery, but the tags are usually 30% only. Unlike Safeway’s (apparently extinct) day-old discounts, which had the original price in the corner of the 50% sticker, most of the baked goods had prices on the regular labels.
          Can’t argue with your assessment of RCSS layouts. One more reason to stay away.

  4. The toughest impulse buy for me to refuse is the marked down baked goods rack. It is soooo easy to talk myself into a blueberry pie or powdered doughnut dessert when it is marked down at 50% off and still smells delicious! Sometimes the rack wins, sometimes I do. It’s still a work in progress.

  5. My greatest temptation is the child I shop with…and the thought of those at home and their tastes. They love potato chips, pop, etc. I find that I can get the cheese, meat, etc. that I need if I shop store to store. I had my daughter (who was making a run to town) pick up some chicken breasts today as the Metro sale ended tonight. All’s well that ends well. My biggest pet peeve with myself is that sometimes I don’t make that extra effort to get a really good price on something I know I’ll use. Case in point, good price on Stew Beef two weekends ago at Zehrs. They had run out when I got there in the afternoon, more to come on Monday…yet I didn’t take the time to stop on the way home from work before the sale expired.

  6. If anything is going to make me do an impulse buy, it’s those darned 50% off stickers on expensive cuts of meat! I will rearrange my budget, meal plan and other weekly purchases to be able to grab a really good deal. I haven’t liked the pricing on lamb for a long time, so I always scan the section for discounts but I haven’t been lucky enough to find a 50% off sticker…YET! 🙂

    Watch your price per pound though…sometimes those 50% off stickers are no deal at all if the price per pound is inflated!! I regularly find the 50% off stickers are actually either not a sale / at least not a good sale when you compare them to “loss leader” pricing especially on a warehouse pack. So why go through the contortions of cooking it up tonight because the best before date is today or tomorrow?

    I need to remember the store is in the business of making a profit, one way or another. It’s my job to catch their little marketing schemes. LOL 🙂

    1. Hi Mary,
      I agree that and cheese really get us bad because the prices are so high. It’s difficult to pass up 50% off. We will do the same if we find a good deal as well. I love lamb but it’s too pricey for my liking in Canada. I believe Costco sells a whole lamb for $99.99. The meat guy at Zehrs comes out around 8-9pm and just plops stickers on the packages of meat. He doesn’t change dates and prices but I know what you mean. I’ve seen exactly what you describe. $$

  7. MARCH – Week #2 of 4- Mar 13-19, 2017


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



    This month has my favorite holiday of the year, St. Patrick’s Day, and that comes a lot of Irish dishes. Is there anything better than a nice corned beef supper with colcannon, carrots and cabbage?


    This week I hope to be making the long awaited shop on the US side of the border! Please Mother Nature, could you hold up on the snow storms?



    OUR NEXT SHOP WILL BE GGC MARCH WEEK #4…2 NO SHOP WEEKS in a row on this side of the border!



    I will post our shop next week IF our weather cooperates & the shop actually happens?



    •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: 58 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



    $ 570.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAR


    ($401.22) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 177.44 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 $1,393.14. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $293.29 that we have added in 2017, LESS $174.59 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.


    1. Hi Mary,
      I’m pretty sure over the past 5 years this is the smallest WFD post you’ve ever submitted, lol. Here I have a big mug of coffee next to me too. I hope your US shopping trip is fun and you grab lots of goodies. Looking forward to reading all about it. You get ballot #8.

      1. What can I say? I am going through a real NO SHOP period again.

        Hubby went to the US for me yesterday or that shop wouldn’t have happened either. LOL 🙂 However, I notice he found 4 items, that were not on the list, to bring back this time. Three of them he knew we were out of but one was a present for me…gluten free Girl Guide cookies. He lucked out because it was the last week of their annual campaign.

        The border guard coming back into Canada was suitably impressed with his computer generated grocery list supported by all the receipts… broken out by store that he had stroked out the available items on – as he picked them up. He couldn’t find my Golden Syrup or Horseradish Cheddar but I’ll grab them at Easter. Fortunately with spring and walking season having arrived, he even found his running shoes on this trip…finally! He’s mighty lucky though, he just crossed the border on a day trip and they didn’t even make him go inside to pay duty on his 2 pairs of runners for $34. The paperwork probably costs more to process than they would actually get from us. 🙂

        1. Get out of town… no pun intended hehe. I had no idea they did Gluten-Free Girl Guide Cookies. What kind did he get you? What happens at the border generally when you bring groceries back? I should do a ggc post about that as I’m sure plenty of people would like to shop but aren’t too sure how it all goes down. Personal experiences are always welcomed by readers as opposed to websites although they do offer excellent information. I bet they have better things to do as well. Lucky Larry… haha! Well done he’s a good shopper~!

          1. The cookies are Toffee-tastic!

            The groceries never get dinged as long as you stick to certain rules like no fresh fruits or vegetables that have pits or seeds, no potatoes, one fresh turkey per trip only IF no currently banned (last I heard that included all poultry) and no more than $20 of dairy per person with a further condition that the dairy items must be on different receipts for each person. Also…no alcohol or tobacco if you want a smooth re-entry.

            They had every right to charge him duty on the running shoes (2 pairs @ $17 ea) and we are always fully prepared to pay any duties or taxes they might impose.

            Also, if we accidentally pick up a newly prohibited item that we did not know about…we are completely willing to garbage the item in compliance. We assume they have imposed the ban for the benefit of all Canadians and that they know far more than we do about the product.

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