The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

12 Delicious Inexpensive Childhood Food Recipes

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Childhood Food Recipes


Childhood food recipes will either be amazing or something to forget but for those you love why not share them with your family. Saving money on food products is the pinnacle of our monthly budget so we work extra hard to make sure we are getting the biggest bang for our buck.

Having a toddler in our house that is a picky eater we find that he doesn’t mind tucking into food recipes that are simple to make and inexpensive. Best of all most of the food recipes that he does enjoy are classics from when Mrs. CBB and I were kids. One of his favourite foods is grilled cheese with bacon. He also loves French Toast with Syrup. Easy, Cheap and filling.

Food recipes that come to mind when you think of your childhood are likely those that you love because we tend to forget about food recipes that just didn’t sit right. I can easily recall a plate of fried liver and onions and suddenly feeling ill. I never liked liver and never will. I don’t often talk or think about it either.

Those were the days

Money was tight back in the 70’s and 80’s and it is even tighter today where a minimum wage earner will struggle to find a 2 bedroom apartment that is affordable. It’s just not happening unless you get lucky but even then there are bills to pay no matter if you rent or own. It can be a struggle to keep up and when cost-cutting comes into effect one of the first targeted budget categories is the food budget.

Related: How much should my food budget be?

When you slice and dice your grocery budget to fit the needs of your financial situation you may find that being creative in the kitchen is critical. I know that many of us go to restaurants to enjoy food prepared by someone else but most of all it has to do with flavour and food styling.

Eat with your eyes

If we like what we smell and enjoy what we see then we will most likely eat it all up. The same goes when preparing meals at home and by using food styling techniques to jazz up your meals using food recipes from your childhood is a great way to add a twist on traditions that your children can pass on to their own.

Food Recipes and resources

These days we have Pinterest as one of the leading recipe hubs on the internet and where most people go for food recipes and inspiration. I never thought I’d join the bandwagon but here I am years into my Pinterest account and still love the incredible food recipes created all over the world.

Since starting The Free Recipe Depot Facebook page a few years ago I now have just over 3000 followers who want to learn more about cultural food recipes. Since I feature food recipes from all over the world I started to wonder what people ate as a child that they still prepare today. Was it expensive to make or did their parents put emphasis on getting more for their money when preparing meals? <<< For most people this hasn’t changed.

Childhood Food Memories

I can remember getting up in the morning and having toast with butter and mar-mite with a glass of cold milk or my mum would make me beans on toast with eggs. It was more about stretching the food budget by using what we had in the pantry limiting meat as it was very pricey unless it was mince beef.

On very rare occasions my mum would make bacon, eggs and toast for breakfast, breakfast sausages and beans or a bowl of cereal (boring). We had a fruit tree in our back garden where we were able to harvest pears which was our family go-to fruit.

Coming home for lunch was awesome since we didn’t live far from the school but most times I’d rather stay with my mates and play outside. After a heavy morning of learning it was nice to open my lunch box to find classics such as ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with butter on both sides, fruits and a drink. There were hardly any sugary snacks unless my mum made something special that week.

On occasion I’d get a flask of homemade chicken noodle soup in the Fall when the weather started to dip along with some bread and butter. I loved homemade soup of any description but chicken noodle, tomato beef and cream of mushroom were favourites in our house.

Whenever my mum made soup at home we’d get cheese toasties a.k.a grilled cheese but she makes it under the broiler in the oven. She still does this today! It is one of my favourite food recipes that I recall made my tummy happy and put a smile on my face. Other sandwich classics such as tuna salad, egg salad and roast-beef with cheese are still sandwiches we serve in our house today.

The classic Sunday dinner of roast beef with all the fixings was almost a weekly occurrence but only when my mum would find a deal on a roast. Buying a roast is less expensive than it is to purchase deli meats which we’d have on occasion for our sandwiches.

Potatoes were cheap back then so it wasn’t uncommon to find some form of potato on the table. Our family favourite was mashed potatoes loaded with butter or chips (french fries). You’ll still find that potatoes are a huge staple for many families because of the cost. You can buy a 5lb bag for $1.67 on sale or grow your own potatoes for even less.

Finding Food Sources

When I sat with Mrs. CBB and asked her about food recipes her mum and dad would prepare she was exposed to different meals than I was given that she lived in Canada. Her parents come from a European background so it wasn’t uncommon for her to have cheese, bacon, peameal bacon, ham, sausages, eggs and a tomato salad for breakfast.

Most of the meals she ate focused on the heavier being during the day with a lighter meal and snacks during the evening hours. Her parents were not rich or even in a position to buy expensive products but they did their best to buy quality foods that the entire family enjoyed.

Her father was an avid hunter so it was not a shock to find all sorts of meat in the freezer. Crossing over to fishing was his next hobby so they were always set with meat and fish as protein sources year-round. With a massive garden to top their food sources off they spent very little at the grocery store.

Lunch would be packed as school was too far of a walk home which typically consisted of a salami and cheese, ham and cheese, rapini or peanut butter and honey sandwich. She would always have fruit and a fruit drink or water. Sometimes she’d find chips or crackers but not often since it was something her parents bought on a regular occasion.

Dinner might include stir-fried wild chicken mushrooms her father had foraged along with asparagus grown in the wild, fried potatoes with green peppers and a tomato salad. The acidic salads were important as her father liked to cleanse his palate after eating. They rarely if ever ate out at restaurants and when they did it was always Chinese buffet.

Other classic food recipes that her mum made were pasta Bolognese, pasta fritata, no-bake cherry cheesecake, homemade pies (Blueberry, Apple and Cherry). In there back garden you would also find a peach and pear tree along with apples, figs and plums.

Almost always Mrs. CBB was around her parents when they were cooking and participated in foraging, gardening and picking fruits and vegetables at the farm. She also was lucky to see how animals were processed with care rather than what we don’t see behind the scenes in the meat and poultry industry. All things grass-fed and organic was what her family was and still is about. Everything is done old-school which offered her many food memories from growing, picking to cooking.

Almost all the food recipes that we both remember and love were homemade and included as much as possible organic fruits, vegetables, meats and fish. There were recipe books, cookbooks but no Pinterest. Cooking shows were far and few so keeping meals simple and classic to our cultural background made sense.

Food Exploration and Experience

Today you’ll find that families tend to explore more where they have recipes online and an abundance of food cooking programs. We are able to live food through technology which encourages creativity in the kitchen which may throw classic recipes on the back-burner for modern cuisine.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with experimenting with food as we do it at least once a week but continuing with tradition and food recipes from the past will never die. Our parents worked very hard as I’m sure yours did to put food on the table. It’s those meals that stick with us forever and any experiences we learned along the way can be transferred to our children.

We take our son foraging, gardening and explore farms where he can find chickens, eggs, cows and milking cows, feeding goats etc. Nature is not only romantic and fruitful, it’s life for all of us. I wanted to take the time to talk about those food recipes that our parents made that didn’t cost a fortune and helped stretch the food that they were able to buy at the grocery store.

When I asked my fans about their favourite food recipes it was clear everyone still enjoys the simplicity of food as it was served to them as a child.

Keep in mind the next time you are putting a meal plan to incorporate food recipes that you want to pass on to your children from your memories in the kitchen. Take time to explore nature, grow food, forage and learn about how food was hunted and refined.

Trips to local farms and processing facilities that allow tours are a great way for kids to see how food is handled first-hand. Food knowledge is the key to success in the kitchen especially when you can take simple ingredients and make a meal out of them without digging too deep into your pocket.

12 Inexpensive Delicious Childhood Food Recipes

Rapini Pasta Frittata
Rapini Pasta Frittata

Mr.CBB's Ricotta Ball Soup

Childhood Food Memories From the Readers

When I was a kid, my mom would take 1 side of a hamburger bun, some pork and beans, 1/2 slice of bacon and 1/2 slice of cheese. She would put it in the oven and basically heat up the pork and beans and melt the cheese. I don’t know what it would be called.

For supper, my mom would make turtles which is 1/2 cleaned out acorn squash, ground beef mixture inside the hallowed out section and put it in the oven to cook. When I was young, my dad’s housekeeper would make french toast which I could eat with my handsDella Ferguson

Roast beef and homegrown carrots and potatoes.
Peanut butter and honey sandwiches for EVERY packed school lunch…year after year.
Recipe is pretty simple…slap peanut butter on a slice of bread…slap honey on another slice if bread…slap the 2 pieces of bread together
Catherine V. Robinson

Boiled cod with boiled potatoes and vegetables, every, I mean, every Friday dinner… I recall. And the cod was not removed of bones. I learnt to dislike fish growing up, but later in adulthood I grew to enjoy fish and still do.- Barry Robinson

As a kid my fave meal was when Kraft Dinner, corn and fries were put all on the same plate. My kids love it too. – Tracey Miller

My mom used to make baked chicken legs rolled in BBQ potato chips when my dad was out-of-town working. Leftovers in our school lunch was the best!!Pat C. Cuilka

One of my fav meals as a kid that comes to mind is pork chops with mushroom soup and used that gravy over potatoes.- Samantha Joan

My grandmother and my mom made creamed chicken served over mashed potatoes. Chicken cooked in that scary pressure cooker, shredded, a sauce of some kind, not white or brown, between and so good.Pat Stiller

The first thing that came to mind was fried potatoes, which were just a potato chopped up and fried in butter so just one side developed a crust. We usually had that with fried bologna or scrambled bacon in a gravy sauce. My other favourite was homemade corn chowder.Thad

Grilled cheese and tomato soup was a common comfort food at home. My mother also made corn fritters fried in deep oil and served with maple syrup. I’ve lost the recipe but I know it had a can of creamed corn. She also made potatoes fried in butter with bread cubes, so yummy. That came her Scottish mother who raised 8 kids. I tried them on hubby once and he thought that was just weird! Bonnie Brown

Grilled cheese onion tomato soupDavid Mackie

Mac and Cheese (homemade), Sloppy Joes and Fish and Chips with lots of ketchup. – Colleen Kleinsteuber

On a busy wash day when us kids came home from school for lunch I could always count on fried oatmeal or hash brown potatoes with homemade croutons in them to stretch the potatoes out more. Mom might even throw leftover vegetables in with the potatoes too. I especially loved the croutonsLouise Guillon

The meal I remember most as a kid was my dads chicken fried rice because we ate it so much but I also remember his homemade pizza.- Natasha Wiesenberg

What we’ve learned is that although it’s nice to create new food recipes it’s important to remember the classic recipes that we grew up with to pass along tradition to our children.

Discussion Question: What are some of your favourite Childhood Food Recipes that you still enjoy today?


October 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.

Post your shop and you can be next.

September GGC Winner-  Congrats to DEE Ballot #6

New monthly prize: See the Grocery Game Rules

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.

Don’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

Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is packed into this amazing FREE grocery shopping guide that has taken over 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/month (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: 646,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: 983,000 O.M.G

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

  • Zweet to cash out : $18.25… no idea where the money went but it seems we have $0.
  • Checkout51 to cash out : $24.50 we cashed out so we’re back at O.

Our Grocery Shop This Week



  • 12 x Selection Bacon $1.88 $22.56
  • 12 x Natrel Butter $2.88  $34.56

Total Out-of-pocket $57.12

All totals below already have tax factored into them.

  • Total to spend this month : $265
  • Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $20.93
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $1
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $0
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $699.44
  • Total spent this week: $57.12
  • Total spent so far this month: $84.57
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total over/Under spend for the month: n/a
  • Total left to spend for the month: $237.55
  • Total Spent To Date 2017: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $231.06+Feb $255.16+March ($5 budget increase) $263.60 + April $273.83+ May $257.15 + June $65.43+July $226.84+August $283.51+September $208.69+ October $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

My wife and son are home now so we will be doing some grocery shopping later this week which I will add to next weeks shop. I don’t suspect it will be more than milk, cream, bread and eggs.

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 the links below don’t open properly please report them to my email address or use comment form.

  • Danone Coupons Get up to $25 in coupons
  • Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
  • Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
  • Printable Smart Source Coupons
  • Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
  • Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
  • Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.

Grocery Game Challenge 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 that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
  • What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
  • What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
  • What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
  • How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?:  If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.

Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why The Grocery Game Challenge 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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  1. Hi Mary,
    We’re getting a late start in Ontario with Fall colours etc too. Sounds like you had a nice time on your getaway. I love you how you prep food in your room. Does it come with a stove-top for you soup or is it a microwave soup? Happy Anniversary to you both and yes as soon as Halloween is over we all know what we will see the next day in full-force. It’s already happening now. 🙂 Happy No Shop Week. You get ballot #4.

    1. Yes the suite has a stove top, oven and a microwave so you can pretty much make anything you want. The fridge is small though so I am glad we had the cooler with us for cold drinks. 🙂

  2. Week 38 – Oct 6 – 12, 2017
    Name Your Store: N/a
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $

    No shop

    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: $
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $1,166.77 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $1,020.38

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($364, for the pay period – $14.00)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $
    Total Cats to Date: $294.34

    Total Grocery Budget for Stockpile ($507.69)
    Total Stockpile this Week Period: $
    Total Stockpile to Date: $163.05

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($182)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $202.63

    Total Grocery Budget for Meat ($499.98)
    Total Meat this Week Period: $
    Total Meat to Date: $391.90

    Total Coupons Used this Week Period: $
    Total Coupons Used To Date: $22.48

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $69.15

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $
    Total Price Match to Date: $48.67

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 10,514

    Overview: No shop week.

  3. OCTOBER – Week #2 of 5- Oct 9-15, 2017


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



    We had a fabulous Thanksgiving! Did you? We were chilling out in Whistler for the weekend but we hauled our groceries with us so that we could make meals in our suite…soups, sandwiches, Caesar Salads, pickle tray, all kinds of good stuff including dark chocolate! We were both surprised that the change of color has hardly even begun along the Sea-To-Sky Highway. It was rainy on the way up but it was a glorious sunny day with magnificent views on the way back! We stopped in to see my MIL at the nursing home but we couldn’t find her! She’s obviously feeling better and was out tearing around somewhere! 🙂

    Next month is our wedding anniversary and cause for yet another celebration! Before you know it, it’ll be Christmas. Wow, this time of year sure seems to pick up speed and move into fast forward the closer you get to the end of the year!


    This is a NO SHOP WEEK…next week will be more exciting I promise! LOL 🙂









    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $218.08

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 324 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 53 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 20,000 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year: 4,100 Points



    $ 1,900.00 Grocery Budget JAN-OCT

    ($ 371.06) NET RESERVE SAVINGS

    ($1,508.94) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 363.76 Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 170.70 Holiday Season Fund + $200 RCSS POINTS + $10 Dream Air Miles.
    $ 649.59 Summer Season Fund
    $ 421.87 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 39.98 GGC Savings Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,645.90. This means the $1,274.44 that we carried forward from 2016 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $1,254.36 that we have added in 2017, LESS $882.90 that we have drawn out for use in 2017.


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