The Ultimate Canadian Grocery Savings Guide

4 Simple Ways To Cash In On Weekly Specials To Stretch Your Budget : The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #5 Jan 29-Feb 4

weekly specials grocery budget savings how to



Weekly specials listed in your grocery store flyers are the number one way the shop gets consumers through the door to spend money. Once you’re inside be prepared for all sorts of well thought-out distractions that could cost you more money than you anticipated on spending.

I’ve run the grocery game challenge for 6 years now and price has and always will be the biggest concern for shoppers followed by quality, quantity and ingredients. From there shoppers might care about the layout of the shop, customer service, types of products, services and so on.

Although having a store that does it all in Canada sounds like a dream come true each grocery store offers unique services and savings for their customers. Some of our favourite grocery stores in Canada to shop at are Food Basics for the low prices, Zehrs for reduced prices and PC Optimum points and  finally No Frills for price-matching and PC Optimum Points.

Related: The best grocery stores in Canada to shop at

Over the past year we’ve been going to Costco as well which has worked out great for us since we also fill up with the cheapest petrol in town.

Related: Is the Costco Membership Worth The Money?

Not everyone will have the luxury of having a multitude of grocery stores in their city or town available to shop at so it’s important to be able to take weekly specials and turn them into what I like to say, food gold. This is when you can buy weekly specials and stretch them to fit multiple meals over the course of the month or longer.

For example: If the weekly specials in your local grocery store flyer says that 10lbs of potatoes are on sale for $1.47 instead of grabbing the one typical bag for $5.99 to feed your family buy 3 bags! Potatoes can last long and can easily be frozen with some prep work if need be.

Potatoes Expiration Date


How long do potatoes last?

Potatoes last about 3-5 weeks in the pantry and 3-4 months in the refrigerator. The shelf life of potatoes depends on a variety of factors such as the sell by date, the preparation method, the type of potato, how the potatoes were stored and the humidity of your climate.

Potato Pantry Fridge Freezer
Past Date Past Date Past Date
Russet or White Potatoes last for 3-5 Weeks 3-4 Months
Yukon Gold Potatoes last for 2-3 Weeks 2-3 Months
Red or New Potatoes last for 2-3 Weeks 2-3 Months
Fingerlings last for 2-3 Weeks 2-3 Months
Sweet Potatoes lasts for 3-5 Weeks 2-3 Months
Sliced Potatoes or French Fries last 1-2 Days 6-8 Months
Cooked Potatoes last for 5-7 Days 6-8 Months
Baked Potatoes last for 5-7 Days 6-8 Months
Mashed Potatoes last for 4-6 Days 6-8 Months
Instant Dry Potato Packages last for 1 Year 4-5 Days

Chart source- Eat by Date

If 3 bags seems a bit much for you buy 2 and use that extra money that you would have spent towards other weekly specials. Compare it to the round-about-effect where money keeps going round and round until it’s all gone. So, you have a grocery budget, use it until it’s gone or save what’s left for the next month. Choice is yours.


Stretching your food dollars


Whether you went walking, running or sailing into the start of the new year many of you still might have concerns about the costs of groceries and how it will affect your budget this year.

Dear Mr.CBB,

Thanks for your wonderful blog especially your grocery savings tips and budgeting tools which have helped us save money and get back on track financially. One of the questions I have had swirling around in my head is how we can use weekly specials at the supermarket to earn the most benefits.

Currently, we’ve started to meal plan but then notice that there are so many weekly specials that we could use as well but don’t have the money left over for them. We are a family of 4 with 2 adults and 2 teenage boys who love to eat and a budget of $600 a month.

Thanks everyone for any tips.

Carol W.


Take your grocery shopping to the next level


Hi Carol,

Thanks for a great question. Weekly specials and in-store specials or reduced product seem to be the pain of it all for Mrs. CBB and I. It can be tough to limit or walk away from weekly specials or other deals that you didn’t find out about until you stepped foot into the grocery store.

Although we have fallen more times than we care to admit we’ve succeeded far more than we had ever anticipated with our grocery budget. What we’ve learned in the past 6 years of intense grocery shopping and scrutinizing the system to help us save money is that the only person who can win the game, is you.

What I mean by this is that you have to figure out what you can and can’t afford and how you can add and take away from your grocery cart and meal plan IF you decide to buy something that is not on your list. Weekly specials are easy to spot because they are typically in your supermarket flyer.

The weekly specials should be a big focus for anyone who cares about how much money they are spending. Not all weekly specials will appeal to each customer obviously because of diet. Depending on what you can and cannot eat you may find limited amounts of weekly specials in the food categories you shop in. Sometimes specialty stores are your best bet for those types of weekly specials.

An example of this might be for those who enjoy purchasing organic products. A typical grocery store will have a health food/organic section and depending on the market for the product it could be a small section or a large array of products. The weekly specials may or may not reflect any deals for those shoppers however if you have a local organic grocery store you likely would find better weekly specials there instead.

It’s about knowing the market of food you are interested in buying and watching for the best deals.

Take it a step further you want to know how you can cash in on those weekly specials so they can last you longer and save you money. Well, there are a few ways Mrs. CBB and I do this and although it may not be ideal for everyone hopefully we can all share our secrets when it comes to weekly specials to help Carol and other readers.


Cashing in on weekly specials


Some of you may be reading this and plan your entire grocery shop around weekly specials and a few bits and bobs that aren’t on sale. Sometimes you get lucky and find out that the product that you expected to be full-price is in fact on sale as a manager’s special which means you might have more money to toss into those weekly specials.

The key here to remember is that when you go grocery shopping it’s important to shut your mind off to whatever else is running in the background and focus on the shop. One of the worst ways to lose money, waste money or miss out is by not putting your mind in the right place.

Trust me we know because our son has caused us to miss coupons, in-store deals, SCOP and other receipt errors because we were in a rush or he was ready to rumble. There’s something about a screaming baby and wanting to rush out of the grocery store. It’s a true thing, it is for parents.These days we’ve come up with a system for grocery shopping with our son that has helped us keep tabs on our shop far better than we had in the past.

Thank-you grocery stores for free fruit, cookies and entertainment for kids!! This helps.

Below are four ways we’ve come to scoop up weekly specials that work with our grocery budget and our meal plan.


Meal Plan Around Weekly Specials


I’m sure a majority of people who are budget savvy plan meals around weekly specials. This is ideal because you are saving money which enables you to keep money in your shopping budget. So, if you go to the shop with a $100 budget and shop and meal plan the weekly specials you can stretch that $100 further.

You might find you can get more by shopping the weekly specials which also allows you to buy regular priced items as needed. Most often waiting for weekly specials or other sales is the best way to build a pantry to help with further savings.


Weekly Specials+ Coupons and Rewards Points


If there is any way you can combine weekly specials with coupon or rewards points do it. This is a super easy way to save more money on top of weekly specials. Who wouldn’t? The concern for most people in this category is finding the time to do the homework. This means finding out what products offer you rewards points if any and sourcing coupons. This also means you will want to grab a few coupons here and there for products you WILL use but aren’t on special yet.


Stock Up On Weekly Specials


Check the front and back page of any grocery flyer and you will find the best weekly specials the store has to offer. Not always the case. We find the inner pages of a flyer to be filler pages with little to no discount but there are deals especially ones you can match up with coupons and rewards points.

You may even find an inner flap with great deals and that’s only to entice you to open the flyer. We just doe it anyways because missing a deal assuming that they will always be on the outside or inner flap might bite us in the butt one day.


Overstock Prices


Take advantage of overstock prices which are prices given to products where they ordered too much or the expiry dates are coming due. You might not find these as weekly specials rather in-store specials that you might find on occasion. If your budget allows you to stock up on these deals this is another great way to stretch and save your money.


Price Matching


Another great way to shop the weekly specials is to do it all in one spot if possible. This means price matching at local grocery stores that allow it. This is great for the person who doesn’t care to drive to multiple shops, has few in the area or doesn’t have the time or transportation available.

The only downfall is the shop that price-matches might not have the best produce which typically is a deal-breaker for some people. This may push consumers to do half-shops where they price match as much as possible at one store and buy produce elsewhere. Seems counter-productive but important for those who value quality for their money. Understandable.

Take your grocery shopping experience to the next level by allowing yourself to make changes to your meal plan as you shop or add and drop products from your grocery list as you see fit.

In essence you can shop weekly specials every week and that becomes your meal plan. Compare it to the clean out the fridge dinner menu. Grocery shopping this way may be a great way to stock up one month and save for the next to buy those other bits at full-price.

Discussion: What can you add to this post to help carol save by shopping weekly specials?


January Grocery Game Challenge


Join the 2018 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) but before you do you must read The Grocery Game Challenge Rules and Print the 2018 Schedule. In this section I will post each weeks grocery game challenge blog posts for the month.

New Prize Schedule : See the Grocery Game Rules

January GGC Posts


Free Money Saving Tools 2018


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 created to get us on track working 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 2018


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 6 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.


2018 Grocery Shop Results


Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2018: $3600 or $300/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 or that you would like to track on your own)

  • Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $300
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $300
  • 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: 815,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
  • Shoppers Optimum: 995,000 points

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

  • Zweet -$0.
  • Checkout51- $1.50


Our Grocery Shop This Week



  • 4 x PC Apple Juice not from concentrate $1.49 each $6.00
  • 24 x Cloverleaf Tuna Sale $0.77 $18.48
  • 2 x large eggs $2.27 $4.54
  • 4 x salted butter Sale $2.99 each $12.00
  • 3 x Nielsen Milk $12.81
  • English cucumber $1.79
  • Spaghetti Squash $4.58
  • Mann’s Sugar Snap Peas $5.99-50% $3.00
  • 2 x PC Bacon $3.99 $8.00
  • 2 x Double Brie Wheels $10 on sale for $6.00 -50% = $6 for 2 big wheels.
  • Astro Yogurt Cherry $2.64-50% $1.32
  • Bananas $2.00
  • Romaine lettuce $2.69
  • Mushrooms $1.99

Total Out-of-Pocket $85.20

Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.

  • Total to spend this month : $300
  • Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $19.50
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month  Jan $35 Saved
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $0
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $10.32
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $0
  • Total spent this week: $85.20
  • Total spent so far this month: $323.04
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$23.05
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

So, we went over this month by $23.05 which we will carry to February grocery game challenge in hopes of making up for it. This week we stocked up on butter and got lucky with the brie we set out to buy when we found some with pink stickers.

Our meal plan this week includes spaghetti squash which was on sale but still came out a bit pricey but the Mrs. requested it. We both love it though. Keep in mind it’s not in season either. Overall, we are happy with our shops this month.

As you may have read we are dealing with a very ill family member which has taken up a huge chunk of our time at the moment. Although I’m absent I do check in and read your posts. It has been terrible for us and we haven’t scratched the surface yet. Keep us in your prayers please.

Bring on February!!!




2018 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 2018?

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.

  • 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
  • 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 2018 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 2018 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 prize payout?- I’ve changed the prize to yearly so I’ll be tracking everyone’s shop and draw accordingly for larger prize payouts.
  • When does the Grocery Game close each month? Ideally you would want to have all your shops in by the end of the month for review in order to make improvements for the next.
  • 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 2014-2018 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. Some of these coupons have an expiry date and others no expiry date so be sure to check.
  • 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.

If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 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!  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 2018!


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  1. Week 5 – Jan 26 – Feb 1/18
    Name Your Store: Frescho
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $36.57

    4 L 2% Milk = $4.27
    Honey Nut Cheerios = $4.99
    Honey Bunches of Oats – 2.99
    2 – 650 mL Classico = $3.98
    2 – 1 Kg Peanut Butter = $5.76
    4 – 900 g Pasta = $3.52
    2 loaves of Bread = $3.30
    2 – 650 g Astro Yogurt = $3.76
    Nutella Spread = $2.88
    2 Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup – $1.15 (PM Giant Tiger @ $0.57) = $1.12

    Name Your Store: Giant Tiger
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.40

    6 Cans Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup = $3.40
    Name Your Store: Giant Tiger
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points =
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.40

    6 Cans Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup = $3.40

    Name Your Store: No Frills
    Total Coupons Used: $
    Total Points = 3,400
    Total Out Of Pocket: $81.25

    2 – 450 g Armstrong Marble Cheese = $7.54
    Bananas – 1.240 Kg (200 PC Points) = $1.53

    2 – 9.1 Kg Whiskas Cat Food = $54.17
    2 – 18 Kg NN Cat Litter – (3,200 PC Points) = $18.01

    Grocery Game Challenge Results
    Total Grocery Budget for the 2 Adults ($1820.00)
    Total Human (Adults) this Week Period: $
    Total Human (Adults) to Date: $75.39 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $59.07

    Total Grocery Budget for the 3 Cats ($390)
    Total Cats this Week Period: $72.18
    Total Cats to Date: $120.07 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $72.18

    Total Grocery Budget for the Personal Hygiene ($390)
    Total Personal Hygiene this Week Period: $
    Total Personal Hygiene to Date: $29.29 (minus Debt pymt & Gift Cards) = $5.02

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

    Total Grocery Savings for this Week Period: $13.99
    Total Grocery Savings to Date: $25.75

    Total Price Match for this Week Period: $1.18
    Total Price Match to Date: $1.18

    Total PC Points Received this Week Period: 3,400
    Total PC Rewards Points Used this Week Period:
    Total PC Rewards To Date: 15,228

    Overview: Sorry for the delay in posting this shop. Stocked up on items that were needed and some items that were wants, just to liven up the cupboards a bit.

  2. Week 5 January 29-February 4
    January Monthly budget $300 ($60 per week)
    January Costco budget $100 ($20 per week)

    Total Spent Grocery this week: $44.00
    Total Spent this month: $292.5
    Total Spent Costco this week: $96.70
    Total Spent Costco this month: $96.70
    Grocery left to spend: $7.50
    Costco left to spend: $3.30
    Price Match Refund/Pick-up Fee Refund: $5.25, 3.00 = 8.25
    Coupons used: $0
    Coupons to date: $0
    PC Optimum Redemption: $0
    PC Optimum Redemption to date: $0
    Checkout 51 Opening Balance: $134.45
    Checkout 51 weekly offers redeemed: $0
    Checkout 51 Current balance: $134.45
    Checkout 51 Cheque Redemption: $0
    Checkout 51 Cheque Redeemed to date: $0
    Grocery carry over: $7.50
    Costco carry over: $3.30

    Welch’s snacks 7.99
    Kirkland granola bars 8.89
    School Safe Owl Cookie 8.99
    Kirkland Probiotic Yogurt 7.99
    Bacon bits 12.99
    Naan 2.99
    Apple chips 6.99
    Dunn’s chips 5.99
    Tostitos 4.89
    Cheese strings 11.99
    Babybel 13.49 ($3 Zweet, I don’t track it as I have never redeemed, but would like to one day!)
    Tax 3.61
    Total 96.70

    Quaker Oatmeal club pack 13.99
    Coke Zero 6.35
    Cup a Soup 4 x 1.00
    NN Orange Juice 3.28
    NN Cream Cheese 2 x 2.48
    Milk 4.27
    Banana 1.27
    Kiwi 2.99
    Old Mill whole wheat bread 1.68
    Pick-up fee 3.00 (freemonth promo didn’t go through)
    Tax 1.22
    Total 44.00

    Made a trip to Costco for various items, stayed on budget for the month. Snacks for lunches basically are stocked up for a bit.

    Did another click and collect for Superstore. Was disappointed that the free month promo didn’t carryover the way it should have, contacted them, fee reimbursed as it should have been active for 31 days. It wasn’t such a good trip in this time. Instructions were not followed and the staff member rude and made me feel like I was inconveniencing her. So this week was not a positive experience, even though the first two were. Time wise, I could have done the shop quicker myself.

    Received a refund after requesting for price match for last week’s order. It takes 2-4 days to process. So, 5.25 refunded to me for last week’s shop which helped reduce this month’s budget. We stayed on target this month and actually under budget. This was a good start to the new year. We may have guessed a good new budget. We will see if we can see it through.

  3. Store:
    Real Canadian Superstore
    Total coupons Used:$1.14
    Total PC Points Redeemed:0
    Total PC Points Earned:89461
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used:$1.50
    Total Caddle Cashback Offers Used:$1.00
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
    Total Zweet Cashback Offers used:$3.00
    Total out of pocket:$133.08
    Items purchased:
    Terra Sweet Potato Crisps – $3.48
    Avocado – $1.98
    Peppers -(3 4 packs @ $2.98 each) $8.94
    Cantaloupe – $1.50
    Green beans – $5.35
    Zucchini – $5.90
    Strawberries – (2) @ $1.50 each
    Bananas – $1.75
    Granny Smith Apples -$3.09
    Broccoli – (2) @ $1.48 each
    Cauliflower – (2) @ $2.47 each
    Royal Gala Apples – $4.48
    Cucumbers – (4) @ $1.27 each
    Tomatoes – $5.82
    Red Onion – $1.42
    Green Seedless Grapes – $4.17
    Ground Beef – Value Pack – $13.77
    Fleischmann’s Yeast – $4.48
    Cheese (4 blocks) – $16.12
    Nutritional Yeast – $9.98
    Seaweed Sheets (Nori) – $2.98
    Sparkling Water (4 @ $2.98) – 11.92
    Ham Steak – $5.99

    Total coupons Used:0
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used:$3.00
    Total out of pocket: $37.75
    Items purchased:
    Roasted Red Peppers – $5.99
    Mini Bocconcini – $6.99
    Mayo – $5.79
    Babybel Cheese – $13.49
    Dijon Mustard – $5.49

    Total coupons Used 0
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used:0
    Total out of pocket: $20.96
    Items purchased:
    Sausages (3 packs @ $5.99 each) – $17.97
    Stonemill Bread – $2.99

    Store: Food Basics
    Total coupons Used: 0
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used: 0
    Total out of pocket:$7.52
    Items purchased:
    4 dozen eggs
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $ 0

    Store: No Frills
    Total coupons Used: 0
    Total Checkout 51 Cashback Offers Used: 0
    Total out of pocket: $1.50
    Items purchased:
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $ 0

    Stockpile budget 2018:
    $ 50.00
    Stockpile budget used to date: $
    Total coupons used this week:
    Total coupons used to date:
    Total in-store discounts this week:$1.14
    Total in-store discounts to date: $42.04
    Total spent this week: $200.81 plus $19.20 for Stockpile
    Total over/Under spend for the month: +0.81
    Total left to spend for the month: $ $ 600.00
    Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $ 200.81

    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts):

    I don’t know about everybody else, but the switch over from PC Plus and Optimum to PC Optimum was so frustrating for us. We were not able to get our points when we did our shop, because the system was down. We then logged in online and spent a great deal of time trying to figure out things there. I then called and spent an hour on hold before I spoke to someone about getting everything set up. In the end, I was happy that I persevered because, not being the most patient of people, in the past I would have given up but I wanted my points! I am hoping that we have worked out all of the glitches and that it will be smooth sailing from now on. Also, we have two birthdays in February, mine and our eldest daughter’s so I am definitely going to try very hard to stick to the food budget for this month. It is going to be a challenge but we have a plan and we are in a good place to execute it as well.

  4. Week 5 – January 29-Feb 4
    Weekly Budget ($140 for a family of 3)
    Total to date: $95.11

    Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $600
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $
    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:
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $

    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
    Zweet to date: $

    Total Coupons Used: $ 0
    Total PC Points Redeemed: 10000
    Total PC Points Earned:

    STORE: T & T
    -Rice Noodle (2) $3.95
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.95

    STORE: BM Produce
    -Apple Gala 5lb $4.28
    -DH Ramen Noodles $2.68
    -Organic Broccoli $2.68
    -Bean Sprout $0.30
    -Carrot Rainbow 2lb $2.28
    -Tomato Grape (2) $4.56
    -Zucchini $1.94
    -Onion Yellow $0.94
    -Organic Banana $4.73
    -Garlic Calif $0.78
    -Potato Yukon Gold $1
    -Mandarin Kinno $0.18
    -Green Onion $0.58
    -Organic Oyster Mushroom $2.98
    -Eggplant $2.62
    -Celery $1.98
    -Yellow Potato 10lb $3.28
    Total Out Of Pocket: $37.72

    STORE: Independent
    -PC Frozen Mango $2.99
    -Kettle Chips $2.49
    -Carrots 2lb $1.49
    -Onion 3lb $1.49
    Total Out Of Pocket: $11.40

    STORE: Save On Foods
    -Organic Banana $2.35
    Total Out Of Pocket: $2.35

    STORE: Superstore
    -Walnut $3.85
    Total Out Of Pocket: $3.85

    STORE: Safeway
    -Yves Bacon (2) $6.28
    -Sockeye Salmon $11.36
    Total Out Of Pocket: $17.64

    STORE: Donald’s Market
    -GF Chocolate Chip Cookies (2) $3.00
    -Organic Berry Jam (2) $4.00
    -Almond Cashew Butter $3.95
    -Red Peppers (2) 0.76
    -Grape Tomato $2.29
    Total Out Of Pocket: $14.00

    STORE: Pomme
    -Organic 3lb Apple $3.00
    -Organic Banana $1.05
    Total Out Of Pocket: $4.05

    STORE: No Frills
    -NN Tom Paste $1.18
    -NN Rice Crackers $0.97
    -Ambrosia Apple 3lb $2.97
    -Carrots 2lb $1.47
    -Yellow Onion 3lb $1.47
    Total Out Of Pocket: $0.15
    Redeemed points for $10

    Weekly Overview
    This week was huge success for underspending. I stayed away from bakeries and COSTCO.
    Made two loaves of bread, banana bread and GF muffins. I should research good GF muffin recipes.

    Yearly Budget for 1 Adult $2400 or $200/mo
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $200

    -2 x Peace Tea (@0.88 each) $1.76
    -Living Lettuce $2.99
    -Sourdough Bread $2.79
    Total Out Of Pocket $7.54

    -5 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes $2.50
    -Oranges (@1.29/lb) $2.93
    Total Out of Pocket $5.43

    -3 leeks $3.97
    -Tropicana Watermelon Drink $3.37
    Total Out of Pocket $7.34

    -Celery (@1.27/lb) $2.06
    -Chicken Thighs (@7.49/lb) $15.92
    Total Out of Pocket $17.98

    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards used to date: $42.61
    PC Optimum Points Balance: 20541
    PC Optimum Points Redeemed: $0
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

    Checkout51- $6.95

    Total to spend this month : $200
    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: $0
    Total spent this week: $38.29
    Total spent so far this month: $217.46
    Total over/Under spend this shop ($40/wk): Wk1-4 over $19.17 + Wk5 under $1.71=over 17.46
    Total left to spend for the month: $
    Total Spent To Date 2018: Jan $

    I went a bit over budget this month which I’ll carry over next month. I bought stuff early on for my meal plan this week and also bought stuff this weekend for next week’s meal plan, so I probably won’t buy much next week except ingredients for the following week’s meal plan.

    -Lunch 1: split pea soup (pantry/fridge) Recipe: which I plan to freeze 1-2 bowls worth for another time. Don’t need to buy ingredients next week.
    -Lunch 2: Fried egg on sourdough toast. Don’t need to buy ingredients.

    -Dinner 1: Baked chicken wings (freezer/pantry) Recipe: Don’t need to buy ingredients.
    -Dinner 2: One pot garlic parmesan pasta with grilled chicken (fridge/pantry) Recipe: – I need to use up some of the milk. Don’t need to buy ingredients.
    -Dinner 3: Noodles in homemade chicken stock (freezer/pantry) w/ leftover grilled chicken and vegetables.

  6. Yearly grocery budget for 4 adults -$7800 or $650 month (The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.

    Total Grocery Budget for this Month: $650
    Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $650
    Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
    Total Rewards Points used to date: $40.380 Air Miles Cash
    PC Points Plus Earned to date: 98210
    Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
    Shoppers Optimum: 48123 points
    Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)

    Zweet -$13.25
    Checkout51- $8.50

    Our Grocery Shop This Week
    Foodland #1
    1 jug water- 5.49
    2 cases ginger ale @3.79
    1 VH soya sauce -2.49, 4 AM bonus
    2 can Friskies cat food @.79
    1 4l milk -4.27
    1 Baileys coffee creamer -2.99, 3 AM bonus
    4 1l chocolate milk @1.00
    1 bunch celery -2.79
    Bananas -.69
    1 loaf W/W bread -2.49
    Total out-of-pocket- $35.56, 8 Air Miles

    No Frills
    1 Downy softener -4.47
    2 144 count Tetley tea bags @4.97
    1 pack Whiskas soft cat food -6.98
    1 pack PC chocolate chips -7.99
    1 NN plum sauce -2.00
    2 12DR Royale TP @5.97
    1 6pack Royale tissues -3.97
    1 6 pack Royale paper towels -4.97, $1.00 coupon
    1 Ritz crackers -1.97
    2 4l milk @4.27
    4 Cheez Whiz @2.97
    1 10lb bag potatoes -3.97
    Bananas -1.00
    1 pack B/S chicken breasts -8.94
    1 PC raisin bread -3.77
    1 OM bagels -1.69
    Total Out-of-pocket -$99.99
    Foodland #2
    1 jug water -5.49
    1 6pack Royale tissues -5.00
    2 12DR Royale TP @5.00, 2X1.00 coupons
    1 4l milk -4.27
    1 yogurt -3.00
    Bananas -.98
    1 whole chicken -8.72
    2 Dempsters bagels @3.00, 25 AM bonus
    Total Out-of-pocket -$45.76, 28 Air Miles

    Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.

    Total to spend this month : $650
    Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
    Stockpile budget used this month: $43.97
    Total coupons used this week: $3.00
    Total coupons used to date: $9.00
    Total in-store discounts this week: $0
    Total in-store discounts to date: $12.48
    Total spent this week: $181.31
    Total spent so far this month: $565.41
    Total over/Under spend this shop: over
    Total left to spend for the month: -$84.59
    Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $565.41+Feb $+March $ + April $+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $
    Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
    Well I’m over for the week but under for the month, lots of deals had for the month and the stockpile is over for the month. That overage in the stockpile will carry forward to the future months. I’m hoping to be able to have enough grocery overage built in to carry forward to June and strawberries for our jam for the winter. All in all a good start to the year and I’m hoping to stay under for the year…that’s my goal. I try to get to No Frills when I’m in town visiting Dad but if the weather is not good I pass on No Frills. Seeing Dad and checking the house are the priorities and then getting home safely.

  7. I’ve vastly reduced my grocery spending by using the strategies outlined above. I’ve learned that my time spent plotting and planning and then scheduling and revisiting the grocery list are so worthwhile. I visualize the money I save (kind of grab it out of thin air) and track my savings to bolster my resolve to continue shopping smart.
    I’ve been a little off track with some changes in my household that mainly are due to pets and one child changing to “vegetarian” which for her means prepared food…sigh. I have other vegetarians in the family and cook a main dish without meat but I believe she is craving the additives and not truly adopting the lifestyle. However, support her I will.
    The biggest challenge is the motivation to look for the best values after a very busy work week.

  8. Week 4: Jan. 22-28
    Total Monthly Budget: $475 (for a family of 4)

    Jan. 24

    • Giant Tiger
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $8.24

    2x Baxter Sour Cream $1.00
    Hummus $1.50
    Clementines $2.97
    Wonder Bread $1.77

    • Tomavo
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $10.51

    3x Bananas $1.14
    Tomato $0.41
    Yam $1.17
    2x Spaghetti Squash $7.79

    • Costco
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $30.48

    Spinach $2.99
    Blackberries $3.49
    Broccoli $4.99
    D’Anjou Pears $8.79
    Kirkland Granola Bars $8.89

    Jan. 26, 2018

    • Walmart
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $53.24

    Chicken Breast $10
    Ground Pork $4
    Eat Smart Broccoli Slaw $1.97
    Bean Sprouts $1.67
    FreshExpress Coleslaw $1.77
    3x Eat Smart Veggie Stir Fry $2.97 -50% off
    2x Eat Smart Broccoli/Cauliflower $2.97 – 50% off
    Fold it Bread $3.27
    2x Lunchables $0.97
    2x Strawberries $1.97
    Goldfish $1.66
    Milk 2L $3.41
    International Delight Creamer $3.97
    Great Value Yogurt $1.77
    Baxter Whipping Cream $2.84
    Olive Oil $4.94

    • Costco
    • Total Out of Pocket: $17.86

    Clementines $4.89 – $1 instore discount
    Broccoli $4.99
    Rivaj Naan $2.99
    Crystal Margarine $5.99

    • Sobeys
    • Total Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Fast Fuel Coupons Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $28.29 – $16.39 Stockpile Budget = $11.90

    Bear Paws $1.88
    Black Diamond Cheese Slices $2.49
    Frozen Brussel Sprouts $1.99
    Red Grapes $5.54
    11x Smart Ones Frozen Meals $1.49 ($16.39 from Stockpile Budget)

    • Superstore
    • Total Coupons Used: $1.00
    • Total PC Points Earned: 9,500
    • Total Cash Back Offers Used: 0
    • Total Out of Pocket: $65.42

    Smuckers NSA Jam $3.99
    No Name Chicken Broth $0.99
    No Name Vegetable Cooking Spray $2.79
    ED Smith NSA Syrup $3.39
    Glad Kitchen Catchers $6.99
    No Name Cheddar Cheese $3.99
    No Name Mozzarella Cheese $3.99
    3x Eggs $1.99
    3x No Name Frozen Veggies $1.99
    Liberte Yogurt $3.99
    Popcorn $1.00
    Baby Carrots 2LB $3.99
    Carots 3LB $1.99
    Turnip Sticks $1.49
    Celery $2.53
    Medium Ground Beef $9.18

    Points Overview
    • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $475
    • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $475
    • Total Gift Cards used to date: $0
    • Total PC Plus Points used in 2018 to date: 40,000
    • Total PC Points Plus Earned in 2018 to date: 14,500
    • Shopper’s Optimum Points Earned in 2018 to date: 60
    • Shopper’s Optimum Points used in 2018: 0
    • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0

    Coupon Apps
    • Zweet to date: $24.00
    • Checkout51 to date: $247.50
    • to date: $5.00
    • Caddle to date: $23.20

    GROCERY SHOP THIS WEEK (add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
    • Stockpile budget 2018 ($25.00): $25.00
    • Stockpile budget used to date: $16.39
    • Total coupons used this week: $1.00
    • Total coupons used to date: $24.46
    • Total Fast Fuel Coupons used to date: $7.37
    • Total in-store discounts this week: $8.40
    • Total in-store discounts to date: $16.87
    • Total spent this week: $197.65
    • Total over/Under spend for the month: Under
    • Total left to spend for the month: $30.78
    • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $444.22

    Weekly Overview:
    This week my husband started a new eating plan which required a number of grocery items that we don’t normally buy and a ton of produce. It definitely bumped up my spending for the month and ended up putting me just below of my total budget this month. I was really hoping to be far under this month but I’m hoping now that we have some of these items and a ton of fresh produce for him to snack on then the next week or two will go back to normal and be smaller spending weeks. I’m also going to try to remember to only shop at Costco with a shopping list. I ended up forgetting a couple things when I went the first time this week. Luckily, it’s a very short drive from my house and I could go back later in the week but the time spent actually in the store and sometimes just getting a parking spot makes it something I’d rather only do once a week rather than twice. Overall, I’m glad I came in under budget for the month even with a few unplanned meal expenditures and it’s a good start to the year.

  9. JANUARY – Week #5 of 5- Jan 29-Feb 4, 2018


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



    The weather here has been terribly wet & windy…so it’s easy to talk myself into postponing our grocery shopping! LOL 🙂

    The No Spend Challenge that I joined (on another page) for the month of January showed me a lot…despite budgeting $190 per month for my groceries, this month I kept my spending to just shy of $50 and we still had lots of fresh fruit and vegetable along with the everyday needs of bread, milk, eggs and cheese. The loss leader sales are my friend and if I focus on eating “in season”…it shaves oodles off of my grocery spending.

    I am going to adopt this challenge again next year and every year thereafter. It’s a fabulous way to: 1. start a new year on a strong financial footing, 2. make sure all the holiday leftovers are used up – no waste for us!, 3. give yourself a break from all the hectic frenzy of the holiday season shopping not to mention trying to find parking, 4. time to take stock of your pantry and freezer supplies to whittle them down for a complete inventory turnover and 5. be ready for the inevitable case lot sales that appear late January / early February. 🙂


    It was time to re-stock hubby’s bread supplies & I am thrilled to get it on sale! I’ve taught him to get rain checks so he’s got 1 so far, let’s see if he can make it 2 before the sale changes. 🙂

    I am also transferring the remaining $0.76 available to spend into our GGC Savings reserve to zero out the funds we available at month-end.

    Nice Suppers at our house this week:


    Wiener Wraps with Leftover Fries (hubby only) and Soy roasted Mushrooms for both of us


    Green Salad and Crab Pie


    Homemade Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese with Steamed Broccoli


    Chicken Caesar Salad with Herb Bread


    Cream of Cabbage Soup with homemade Buttery Sweet Cornbread


    Spinach Pasta Salad seved alongside a Roasted Bell Pepper and Tomato Breakfast Casserole with Feta and Oregano


    Slow Cooker Split Pea, Potato, Ham and Leek Soup with Quick Peppery Cheese Bread



    Kin’s FARM MARKET – Maple Ridge –

    10 Roma Tomatoes @ 10 for $2.00 << hubby scored on his lunch hour!
    2 Cauliflower @ $1 ea = $2.00 << I LOVE raw cauliflower!!!

    • Total OOP: $4.00


    Thrifty Foods – Maple Ridge –

    4 Buttercup WW Bread @ $1 ea = $2.00

    • Total OOP: $4.00

    ** Earned 0 Air Miles on this shop **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $1.95 Loyalty Savings on this shop **

    * Hubby will check daily on his lunch hour walk to catch the bread and English muffins “out of stock” so that he can get rain checks for 8 more of each. So far he has 1 rain check for the English muffins. The last day is today but one rain check is better than no rain checks. 🙂



    OUR NEXT USA SHOP MAY BE IN FEBRUARY but health issues may push that shop back until Easter



    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $12.14

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 0 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 0 Air Miles

    •Total PC PLUS Points Earned This Year: 0 Points

    •Total Optimum Points Earned This Year: 0 Points



    $ 190.00 Grocery Budget JAN


    ($ 49.24) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 520.69 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 117.59 Holiday Season Fund + $210 RCSS POINTS + $10 Dream Air Miles + $10 RCSS Gift Card +
    $50 RCSS Gift Card = $397.59
    $ 664.59 Summer Season Fund
    $ 556.87 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 42.32 GGC Savings Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,910.06. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $148.76 that we have added in 2018, LESS $0.00 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.


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