grocery game monthly challenge

Ontario Fall Fruits and Vegetables For Your Budget Meal Plan : The GGC #2 2018 Sept 10-16

Ontario Fall Fruits and Vegetables for your budget meal planning



Tis the season for root vegetables and lots of Fall smells of home cooking. If I’ve never mentioned it before I would have to say the Fall is my favourite time of year and not because it’s sweater weather but because of the Fall fruits and vegetables.

Meal planning over the Fall and into the Winter season proves to be easy for us especially since we find Fall fruits and vegetables to be reasonably priced. A walk through Food Basics the other day to buy groceries for my family and a bit of reminiscing about my father-in-laws garden prompted me to write this post.

A simple gaze around the produce department at the grocery store and I knew Fall was here at least for Fall fruits and vegetables. As I wandered around I noticed all of the Fall favourites apart from the spaghetti squash which I am on the hunt for as it’s one of our favourite comfort foods stuffed with a meat sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese.

While I was doing some price comparison it was nice to see that the price of lettuce, garlic, zucchini, raspberries, cucumber and even the celery were reasonably priced. We bought celery for the first time this year and only because it looked stringy and horrible throughout the Spring and Summer months. I didn’t mind paying a couple of dollars for something that looked hearty like it should be.

I also noticed that the rhubarb was quite pristine rather than wilted like it normally is over the summer only because the best months to harvest run into the Fall from my experience. We have one crop left for the season and it’s looking amazing and far better than the first crop we harvested in the summer. Typically we have 3-4 crops but I haven’t been able to take care of the garden like I had hoped this summer.

Our crab apples are in full-swing which means I will be climbing the ladder and giving them away for free to anyone who can use them. Food waste is a big deal in our house so if we can offer food of any description to someone instead of wasting it we will.


Fall Fruits and Vegetables In Season


Ontario Fall Fruits and Vegetables List

For those of you who are looking to add some pizzaz to your meal planning this Fall I’d suggest having a look at any of the Fall Fruits and Vegetables that are available at your local grocery store. If you are lucky enough to have planted a garden that you are harvesting than you are all set and certainly know the beauty and taste excellent produce and fruits can offer.

Not only do Canadians tend to turn on the oven during the Fall and Winter months but they dust off the crock-pot which tends to be perfect for many hearty meals that include Fall fruits and vegetables. I would have never thought to make an apple crisp in a crock-pot, but it can be done. Some people use the crock-pot all-year long but for us it is sporadic but we use it the most once the Fall weather arrives.


Growing Fall Fruits and Vegetables


Fall Vegetables and Fruits harvest

Although my father-in-law is no longer with us I can easily remember the abundance of his garden which is now a bundle of weeds. It’s heartbreaking to see and my wife struggles with going home because it’s the first time in her life she’s never seen a garden at her parents. The good news is there was garlic that we just recently harvested, figs still growing and lots of grapes.

The Fall fruits are ready for picking such as apples and pears although most of the Fall fruits have been offered to neighbours who help my mother-in-law out. The best thing you can do if you own a large enough property is to plant fruit trees. They are simple to maintain and the bounty you get based on the season of fruits you grow far outweighs what you will pay at the grocery store.

Related: How to start a Fall Garden

Shortly we will be planting garlic in the Fall around mid-September in our back garden from the garlic we picked at the in-laws house. We don’t have a big back yard but we plan to keep the garlic growing in my father-in-laws name. One day when we buy a property with land we will continue gardening just as he did and taught us because the Fall harvest was his best harvest of the year.

Related: Backyard to your kitchen- Fall Garden Tips

Just looking at this photo of one harvest he made for us of his Fall vegetables last year clearly shows you how he based his garden mainly around a Fall harvest.  In the photo we are missing the giant zucchini and of course he always grew his own pumpkins and squash. You’d also find an abundance of potatoes, leeks, spinach, rapini, fennel, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and loads of herbs.

Related: How to grow your own pot potatoes


You will find that Fall herbs hold up pretty good especially chives, mint, parsley and fennel. I find the basil tends to taper off around the Fall and if we don’t snip it and turn it into pesto basil cubes we lose what we have.

Click on any of the links below which will open in a new tab to give you a bit more information.







Brussel Sprouts





Celery Root



















Peppers (Bell)











Spring Onions


Sweet Potato


Wild Mushrooms




Fall Fruits and Vegetables Recipes


Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup


Stuffed Pepper Soup


Stuffed Peppers


Fire Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato and Fennel Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato and Fennel Soup

Creamy Radish Potato Salad

Creamy Country-Style Radish Potato Salad

Pumpkin Brownies


Cooking doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen but with proper planning with Fall fruits and vegetables you can whip up loads of hearty meals and sweet treats without much effort at all. This is the time of year that I love the most. Oh, did I mention that already. Ha!

Discussion: What are some of your favourite Fall fruits and vegetables where you live that are budget-friendly?


September 2018 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!


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-$42.74=$257.26
  • 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: 3500,000
  • 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


Food Basics

  • 3x Goldfish crackers $1.88 each 5.64
  • 2 x Bear Paws $1.88 each 3.76
  • 2 x PAM cooking spray $2.25 each (reduced rack) 4.50
  • Marquisde Grained Mustard $1.38 (reduced rack)
  • 2 x Italian Gluten-Free sausages $6.99 each (these are awesome) 13.98
  • 3lbs Paula Red Apples $2.88
  • Portobello Mushroom pack $4.99-50% $2.50
  • Grape Tomatoes $0.88
  • Cello Radishes $2.49
  • Bananas $1.15
  • 2 x zucchini $1.40
  • Green onions $0.98
  • Celery $2.25
  • Red Field Peppers $0.98
  • Romaine Lettuce $1.48
  • Red Tomato Cluster $2.77
  • Radicchio $2.24
  • Strawberries 1lb $2.88
  • Avocados 6 $2.88
  • Schneiders kolbassa Ring $1.99
  • 3 x Laughing Cow cheese $1.88 each 5.64
  • 2 x Yoplait Tubes $1.99 each 3.98
  • Butter $3.97
  • 18 eggs $3.99
  • Sour Cream $1.99
  • Selection Old Cheddar $4.99
  • Coconut Yogurt $2.69
  • Sundried Tomato Tortilla large $1.88
  • 2x Bavarian Bread $1.88 each 3.76
  • Artisian White Bread $2.88
  • 2x Apple Juice $1.00 each 2.00

Total Out-of-Pocket $96.78

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

  • Total to spend this month : $300.00-$42.74=$257.26 (includes over-spend from August)
  • Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month $280 Saved
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $1
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $2.50
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $177.44
  • Total spent this week: $96.78
  • Total spent so far this month: $96.78
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $0
  • Total left to spend for the month: $160.48
  • Total Spent To Date 2018: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $323.04+Feb $169.42+March $228.70 + April $337.84+ May $275.79 + June $271.88 +July $257.76 +August $342.74 + September $+ October $+ November $ + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

School started for our little guy which means we did a small stock-up on vegetables and fruits although we are still skeptical if he will even eat anything at school. His first half-day he had a few FISH crackers, 1 slice of bacon, 2 cookies, 1 cucumber slice and his milk and water with a 1/4 cup of not-from-concentrate apple juice inside. Today marks his first full day of school so we will see what happens when he comes home with his lunch.



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.

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


Everything 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 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 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: Find all the latest coupon apps in Canada right here>>  Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons

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 portals 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. this is one of my favourite times of the year for food. Stews – and we still have access to some late summer fruit and veg. Thanks so much for the comprehensive list. I am going to share it.

  2. Mary Campbell says:

    SEPT – Week #2 of 4- Sept 10-16, 2018


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



    It’s hard to believe summer is behind us but my tummy sure knows…it’s crying out for all things soup!


    This week we’re eating really well…I love soup and casserole season!



    No Frills – Larry’s Card – Maple Ridge

    6 Heinz Maple Baked Beans @ $0.97 ea = $5.82
    1 pkg Klondike Bars $2.97
    2 Cauliflower @ $2.47 ea = $4.94
    4 Green Onions @ $0.57 ea = $2.28
    8 Roma Tomatoes @ $0.97/lb = $1.79
    4 bunches radishes @ $0.97 ea = $3.88
    Tax $0.15

    • Total Summer Reserve: $21.83

    ** Earned 200 PC Optimum Points on this shop for Larry **
    ** USED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Save On Foods – Maple Ridge –

    1 x 4L Skim Milk $4.69

    Total Regular Grocery OOP: $4.69

    ** Earned 5 MORE Points on this shop **
    ** SAVED $0.00 in Rain Check Coupons **
    ** SAVED $0.00 Loyalty Savings on this shop **


    Walmart – Maple Ridge –

    12 Great Value Assorted Potato Chips @ $0.97 ea
    tax $0.58

    Total Re-Stocking Reserve: $12.22


    Meridian Farm Market – Maple Ridge –

    2 pkgs Marzano Grape Tomatoes #5.00
    2 bunches Kale $2.00
    6 Afourer Mandarins $2.21

    Total Summer Reserve: $9.21






    •Total Loyalty Card Price Reductions This Year: $264.06

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

    •Total Price Match Savings Used This Year: $0.00

    •Total More Points Earned This Year: 11,079 Points

    •Total Air Miles Earned This Year: 398 Air Miles

    •Total PC Optimum Points Earned This Year: 13,500 Points



    $ 1,710.00 Grocery Budget JAN-SEPT


    ($ 1,914.73) Actual CASH SPENT



    $ 109.42 Freezer Re-Stocking Fund
    $ 282.59 Holiday Season Fund + $280 PC Optimum Points ($230 Mary + $50 Larry) + $10 Dream Air Miles
    = $572.59
    $ 680.69 Summer Season Fund
    $ 262.42 US Shopping Reserve
    $ 147.92 GGC Savings Reserve
    $ 0.00 Points Redeemed Reserve

    OUR CURRENT TOTAL UNUSED RESERVES ARE $1,483.04. This means the 1,761.30 that we carried forward from 2017 PLUS AN ADDITIONAL $1,278.86 that we have added in 2018, LESS $1,557.12 that we have drawn out for use in 2018.

    NOTE: Although I appear to be overspending with my reserves lately, the reserves will be replenished with my October-November-December grocery budgets when we switch to using the funds in our vacation budget.


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