grocery game monthly challenge

8 Costly Baking Ingredients To Include On Your Flyer Watch-List : The Grocery Game Challenge 2018 #3 May 14-20

costly baking ingredients to include on your flyer watch list



Walking down the baking aisle at the grocery store or even the bulk food shop is cringe-worthy at times when you start to see the prices of baking ingredients. Here’s the thing though, you have to understand that food costs money and eating well is possible on a budget but YOU must do the work to find the deals.

If you are a savvy shopper you need a flyer watch-list which simply means a master list of products that you WILL use but are far more expensive than others you purchase. This means that you will keep an eye on prices for those products in particular because when the time  and price is right you should stock up. This is where a reserve fund or stockpile budget really comes in handy for the everyday consumer.

Baking ingredients have always been higher to the consumer who values pre-made products over baking only because we see what we want to see when it comes to pricing. It’s far more convenient to buy a 6 pack of muffins for $5 rather than a bag of flour for $8 especially when you have other baking ingredients to purchase to create that same muffin.

These days just about anything that you don’t normally purchase can increase your grocery budget to the point where you must take something away in order to include something new. It’s not uncommon for consumers on a budget to use this method of savings because it’s one of the best and only ways to stay on budget if you want to get ahead.

Over the years I’ve been and still am a huge advocate of baking at home rather than buying pre-made foods from the grocery store. Everything from cookies to bread tastes better and costs less when you can make it at home but there is a catch. In order to maximize on the grocery savings you need to buy your main ingredients at a savings which means when products go on sale, you stock up.

I know it reads as if you should just buy pre-made instead of having to go through the hassle but trust me when I say it’s worth the hassle and you can stretch your money further. Consider if you purchase 2 loaves of bread from the grocery store on sale for $2.50 each or 2/$5 vs. a 2kg bag of flour for $8.99.

How many loaves of bread do you think you can make with that bag of flour? Probably far more than two however you have to consider that in order to make bread it takes more than just flour.

In our home pantry you will find a huge amount of baking ingredients including spices, extracts, organic ingredients all the way to pure saffron which is one of the worlds most expensive ingredients. It was gifted to us from my in-laws but we have yet to use it.

As an avid baker in our house especially since Mrs. CBB has been following a keto diet we’ve noticed that buying baking ingredients has been costing us even more money. Again, comparing pre-made to ingredient purchases homemade always wins.

Let’s have a quick look at this example below.

Nuts are used in place of flour for her keto lifestyle so purchases such as almond flour and coconut flour are staples but come with a price tag. A 2kg bag of Almond flour will cost us $16.99 from Costco but consider it really is just a big bag of finely ground nuts. Nuts are and always have been expensive.

Add to this other ingredients such as organic baking powder (aluminum-free) , baking soda, Splenda, Xanthan gum, Erythritol, Whipping cream and other crucial ingredients in her diet it can all add up.

We’ve found the best deals for a few of our baking ingredients online from Amazon. For example we use Natural Purest Baking Powder which has served us well. It’s not costly at all priced at $4.97 for 250g and it’s aluminum free.

Alternatively, she could purchase a large bag of blanched almonds and make almond flour herself which would be a bit more work but she could stretch the savings even further. If time is not on your side then you might find that time wins over going the extra mile. It really depends on your lifestyle and how you chose and value your time.

Some people have no option which means you do it or you don’t get it at all. Perhaps many of us have fallen prey to the convenience or busy lifestyle that we give in too easily unlike our ancestors who made everything from scratch including the gardening process.

Here’s the thing though, whether you are eating a certain diet or not almost all foods have comparable ingredients which means price increases or higher prices will always prevail. This is why it’s crucial for consumers who are on a budget (we all should be) to watch for flyer sales and use coupons to get the savings added to their grocery bill.

Buying in bulk doesn’t hurt either especially if you know you use certain ingredients on a consistent basis. Buying vanilla extract has shot through the roof in price recently which has not only consumers concerned but vendors or ice-cream and dairy businesses are having to increase prices on vanilla products or remove them completely.

That includes Toronto cupcake master Verge Manuel, who says the hike is exacerbating various financial pressures on his two gourmet shops, called Dlish.

“There are certain forces that we have no control over which is the pricing of certain ingredients that we have to obviously pass along at some point because you can’t absorb it anymore,” says Manuel, whose brand revolves around the use of real Madagascar vanilla.

“One of the rising costs is vanilla, absolutely.”


8 Baking Ingredients that are costly for home bakers


If you are like us and enjoy baking homemade it’s important to take note of rising costs especially on everyday baking ingredients in the list below. Keep in mind that you can stock up and put items such as butter, cream cheese, chocolate and even whipping cream in the freezer. This is a practice we commonly do especially with butter which can topple near $7lb depending on whether it is organic grass-fed or not.

  • Nuts/Seeds of all descriptions
  • Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Butter/Grass Fed Butter
  • Cream Cheese/Ricotta Cheese
  • Flour (bread, cake, gluten-free etc.)
  • Dark Chocolate, Chocolate chips etc.)
  • Whipping Cream 35%
  • Greek Yogurt

So, the next time you are considering whether to add baking ingredients to your grocery list try to time it so you are buying during sales cycles so you can stock up.

Discussion: What are the most expensive baking ingredients that you purchase for your lifestyle and how do you go about getting the best savings doing so?


May 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 which includes new prizes!


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 Optimum Points to Spend: 3,200,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

  • Zweet -$0
  • Checkout51- $1.50


Our Grocery Shop This Week


Shoppers Drug Mart

  • 2 x 4 litre bags of milk $4.25 each plus 2850 PC Optimum points

Total Out-of-Pocket $8.50


  • 2 x Protein Up Carb Down Bread  $3.47 each.

Total Out-of-Pocket $6.95


  • 4 x 1L whipping cream $3.95
  • 4 x 10% cream $1.95
  • Mild Pepperettes $12.99
  • Cheerios $6.99

Total Our-of-Pocket $43.58

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

  • Total to spend this month : $262.16
  • Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month $175 Saved
  • 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: $116.54
  • Total spent this week: $59.03
  • Total spent so far this month: $179.00
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: under
  • Total left to spend for the month: -$66.15
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $169.42+March $228.70 + April $337.84+ May $ + June $+July $+August $+September $+ October $+ November $ + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

protein up carb downSo, everyone has been raving about this Protein Up Carb Down bread that could be purchased at Wal-Mart so Mrs. CBB and I went and bought a couple of packs. We had a couple of reasons for our purchase especially since we like to make homemade breads when possible.

The first is so we could taste the product and the second is to figure out how to make it at home instead of buying it pre-made. So far it has been a good product and I have yet to test anything in our kitchen but that is the plan once I get some time in the next week. Mrs. CBB likes them to make quick pizzas or just to roll up a sandwich.

She did managed to make a loaf of low-carb bread this week which turned out pretty good considering she used coconut flour. We have so much coconut flour that we bought 50% off a while back so she’s been working on ways to use it up by creating recipes. Perhaps a coconut flour flatbread or wrap is in the future.

Milk at SDM is still the best bang for your budget if they offer you 20x the points on your Optimum Plus App. It turns out to be almost a free bag every 4 you purchase.

That’s all for now. My apologies again for the late post as my MIL is very ill and we’ve been driving back and forth. I’m sure it will only get worse this summer so please bare with me as we battle through this.



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.

Related: Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?

If you notice I’m missing a valuable link please message me and I’ll add it 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.


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 does not include such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014 we no longer included such items in our grocery budget so we could see our actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly.
  • 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. Mary Campbell says:

    MAY – Week #3 of 5- May 14-20, 2018


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



    The weather being all over the map this month…one day it’s sunny and warm, the next it’s wet, cold & miserable. As a result, one minute all I want is soup & the next I want nothing but salads. Along with the weather changes, I am also still struggling with dental issues. Eating this month has been challenging & not my finest hour but at least my teeth will all raring to go for all the upcoming farm fresh summer fruits and vegetables! 🙂


    Our shopping this week is about produce…I just could not pass on the nice green onions at such an affordable price.



    No Frills – Maple Ridge

    3 bunches green onions

    Total Grocery OOP: $2.00

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






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $238.06

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 11027.76 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 397 Air Miles

    •Total PC Optimum Points Earned This Year: 11,900 Points



    $ 950.00 Grocery Budget JAN-MAY


    ($ 875.19) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 117.74 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund

    $ 237.59 Holiday Season Fund + $270 PC Optimum Points ($230 Mary + $40 Larry) + $10 Dream Air Miles = $517.59

    $ 687.50 Summer Season Fund

    $ 611.87 US Shopping Reserve

    $ 88.80 GGC Savings Reserve

    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,743.50. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $612.27 that we have added in 2018, LESS $630.07 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.


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