Getting ahead of the holidays with your grocery budget means you have to stock up and plan so you’ve got all you need but at a fraction of the price.
I’m not sure if you noticed (I’m sure you have) that any time a holiday or seasonal change is around the corner, prices tend to jump sky-high or drop on other products.
Coincidentally many of which you may need to cook or bake with through the year.
Stock Up On The Grocery Savings While Available
Getting ahead of the holidays with your grocery budget means you have to stock up and plan so you’ve got all you need but at a fraction of the price.
I’m not sure if you noticed (I’m sure you have) that any time a holiday or seasonal change is around the corner, prices tend to jump sky-high or drop on certain products, many of which you may need to cook or bake with.
Have you ever said, I bought that (insert product here) for $2.99 last week and have 10 in stock now while the price jumps back to $3.99 or even higher, $5.99?
We have, and those are the moments we are happy that we took advantage of a sale to put those savings towards other foods that will help bulk out our savings for the season.
Often what happens is for those of you who don’t plan, it may mean having to do without or buying a similar product but not the one you wanted.
Often products that aren’t on your radar may not taste the same, which means you are settling for something only because of price.
It doesn’t have to be that way if you plan your grocery shopping according to monthly sales and stock up when you can.
There have been a couple of times Mrs. CBB and I both made a mistake because we didn’t quite think of the aftermath of bringing home what we were going to stock up on.
Having much experience with couponing and extreme sales over the years, we’ve had to ask ourselves a few questions before we leave the house or before we even create our grocery list.
You will often find what you need in the local grocery flyer for sales to plan accordingly, but there are those times when you see “stock me now” products, or you lose out on a fantastic deal.
This is where our stockpile budget comes into play of $25 a month, but some months we sure could use a bit more, and others, we don’t use it as much.
Can you afford it?
A stockpile budget is an excellent way to stock up when the prices are correct but outside of your every-week grocery budget.
How much of it do you already have?
You really need to understand just how much food you need and can have before it goes off because even foods in the freezer can become freezer burnt. Nothing lasts forever.
Food Storage Area
Do you have the space to stock extra food products?
We built shelving in our cold room as well we have shelves in the basement to keep products organized.
Are your freezers empty or full?
This is very important and includes your refrigerator/freezer in the kitchen or if you have a second one in the home.
Always conduct a freezer inventory list so you know what you have and take a look to see how much space you have available so you can buy accordingly.
Processing Bulk Foods
Will you have time to process all of the meat, fish, fruits and vegetables that you buy?
This is a big one because they can waste so fast and typically should be done the same day you buy what you get for optimal storage and preserving.
If the meat and fish you buy in bulk needs to be processed into smaller packages you must do this before freezing it.
Products to Stock up on in October and November
After Thanksgiving and Halloween, you will find loads of sales on various Halloween or Fall vegetables brought into the stores in mass quantities.
These are the sales you want to jump on.
Let’s have a look at the foods you should stock up on now before the holidays and then again have enough to get you through to the next big seasonal sale in the Spring.
Pumpkins Are Practically Given Away
There are always way more pumpkins than people are buying them, so grab them when you can at a low price after Halloween.
You can process the pie pumpkins and freeze the flesh for up to one year or even longer. You can also do the same with other squash family vegetables.
There is always room for potatoes in the cold room if we want to stock up, so having a few bags on hand to get through the winter is ideal, especially if the price is right.
The grocery stores won’t hang on to them forever, so they may flog them off for cheap if they have an over-stock from Thanksgiving.
Keep an eye out for sweet potatoes, yams and other root vegetables that typically are in high demand during October and November but then taper off after that.
Flour For Baking
This one is hit or miss, but if you like to bake, whether it’s gluten-free or not, stock up when you see the sale happening in October and November.
You may find flour will go on sale in December, but prices may be a bit higher still.
We buy our almond flour at Costco, which is about $15.99 for 2kg, and that’s a standard price unless there is a sale, in which case we might buy 2.
Definitely Stock Up On Chocolate
Chocolate and winter kind of go hand in hand as it is comfort food that most people like to have lingered in their mouths.
At least I do.
If you want a certain kind of chocolate, whether it’s for eating, melting or baking, now is the time to stock up, especially after Halloween when the shelves are flooded with chocolates leftover from October 31.
Mrs. CBB uses Krisda Chocolate Chips sweetened with Stevia and runs $8.99 a bag, so we stock up if there is a sale.
It’s rare, but we may find that chocolate sales will start ramping up before the Christmas holidays.
One of our readers last week spotted a load of Bakers Chocolate and Chipits in the $0.99 bin, and she took advantage and did stock up.
Fall and Winter spices are fantastic in abundance for comfort food cooking and baking throughout the winter months.
This is when you will want to find any herbs that your family recipes include that you use more than average seasonally.
For example, we go through lots of cinnamon in the winter, so if we find a sale, especially on the cinnamon sticks, we will stock up.
We like to fill the house with a cinnamon smell, so we boil the sticks on low with some cloves, and it’s beautiful.
No matter what kind of sugar you use, if you see it on sale now, grab it while you can.
You may not want to bake for the holidays just yet, but if you get that urge, it’s best to have it on hand without paying premium prices.
Bags of sugar can go on sale for under $2 and jump to $3-4 a bag depending on the sales month.
Canned or Frozen Vegetables
You might have noticed in October that canned and frozen vegetables are on sale quite a bit, and that’s because root vegetables are at their peak, and everyone is buying them up.
This is the time you want to stock up and have a nice stash of vegetables for the winter when you WILL see prices skyrocket in Canada.
Canned and frozen are just as good as fresh when it’s the economical option.
Cranberries Can Be Frozen
Just after Thanksgiving, October is when you will want to buy fresh cranberries from the produce section of the grocery store and freeze them.
I made these delicious Cranberry Orange Muffins and they are keto-friendly with no sugar.
You can process your cranberries now and have them ready in jars for later if you have the time.
Butter Stock Up And Freeze
Not much to say about butter but buy it when you can, while you can or watch the price double!
We often stock up at $2.99 and cringe at $3.99-$4.99 IF we need to buy it.
We don’t use margarine in the house, and if we had to, we’d do without. You can freeze butter for up to 6 months without issue and quickly defrost it on your counter or in the refrigerator when needed.
Always Stock Up On Dried Beans
Dried beans last a long time, so if you know you like to eat lots of hummus or chickpeas is part of your daily diet, and you see a sale in October and November, stock up.
I find that dried beans tend to go on sale during these months as they are the bulk of the comfort food meals that we make during the winter. Buy off sale, and you’ll see the prices jump.
Buy it now before Thanksgiving if you find a sale or after Thanksgiving when the grocery store tries to get rid of them.
We bought a PC Spiral ham for 50% and had it ready to go.
Stock Up On Bacon
Bacon is great for appetizers, brunch and pretty much any meal of the day, especially if you eat a keto diet as Mrs. CBB does.
Bacon is pricey and can get even more expensive when you need it the most.
Running at near $7 a pound, if you find it for $3 or less, stock up while you can and freeze it.
Related: Keto Diet Staples We Stock Up On
Cheese Stockpile Is A Must
No matter what time of year, cheese is always expensive, so we are constantly on the hunt for deals but don’t always find them when we want them.
That means we either pay premium prices or go without.
We’d rather have our cheese as we love it, and everything tastes better with cheese, right?
When a sale comes up in October and November on cheese bars for $3.99, don’t be afraid to buy 10 bars as it will be fine in your refrigerator for months.
You can also freeze it, but it breaks into chunks, and you won’t be able to grate it after, but it is an option.
Nuts Are Expensive So Stock Up
Nut prices are just as nutty as butter prices in the Fall and Winter, so if you see a sale, stock up.
If you use cashews, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, or any other pricey nuts, take advantage of sales or any coupons combined with a sale that may offer you grocery savings.
We tend to freeze our nuts however read the package to see how to keep them once opened.
For example, a bag of almond flour once opened should be refrigerated.
We don’t use dried fruits as much, but as the winter months approach, many people ramp up their holiday baking, where dried fruits are used quite a bit.
This is a big time for the dried fruit industry as other months will be slower, so expect higher prices on dried fruits.
If you find a sale, stock up, and they will last you a while since they are dried.
We stock up on dates so I can make my amazing Date Squares then I freeze them.
I’ll eat the entire pan if I’m left alone with them.
Stock Up On Beverages
Beverages aside from the food can get costly during the holidays and throughout the seasons, so stock up when you get a good sale.
Suppose you see a case of pop for $3.99 or even less that’s a great deal.
Please keep a watch for sparkling water, juices (pineapple, cranberry), especially as they are great for mixed drinks.
You might even get lucky and find deals at the local LCBO and Beer Store on beer, wine and spirits that you can buy before any gatherings, so you’re not paying premium prices.
Keep in mind that if milk is on your list of beverages, you can freeze it, which we do since we go through so much of it.
We jump on that sale and stock up when we get 20x the Optimum points at Shoppers Drug Mart.
You get enough points back, so that one full bag is FREE!!
Take advantage while you can
Going for the stock up isn’t for everyone, but if you have a grocery budget that you are trying to balance and know you can save today for tomorrow,
The best part is you won’t have to cringe when you see the product you need at an nflated price.
Discussion: What other products do you stock up on in October and November for your meal planning?
October 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!
Last Shop from September– 5 Pointers To Find The Best Prices At The Grocery Store
- Freebies We Get From Our Favourite Canadian Grocery Stores– GGC #1 October
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: 3,500,000
- 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
- No name sour cream $2.49
- Large Eggs $2.27
- Lactancia Cream Cheese $3.49 x 2 $6.98
- Iceberg Lettuce $1.99
- Radish 1lb $2.49
- PC Kale Slaw $3.89-50%= $1.95
- PC Mushrooms x2 $2.79-50%= $2.80
- PC Field Greens $6.99-50%= $3.50
- 3-pack english cucumbers $3.88
- Spaghetti Squash $4.48
- Tomato $1.10
- Red Cabbage $0.99
- Ground Chicken $6.23-50% $3.12
- Ground Chicken $6.20- 50% $3.10
- PC Split chicken wings $6.10 – 50%=$3.05.
- Pork Bellies $10.89-50%=$5.35
- Inside round sandwich beef $6.42-50%=$3.21
- Veal Cuttlets $12.63-50%=$6.32
- Chicken Split Wings $11.44-50%=$5.72
- Boneless Chicken Thighs $10.08-50%=$5.04
- Boneless pork centre chops $8.48-50%=$4.24
- Honey Garlic Sausage Meat $3.73-50%=$1.87
- Top Sirloin Roast $29.13-50%-$14.57
- PC Shrimp bags x 2 $19.99×2 -50% = $19.99
- 6 x Saputo Marble Cheddar Reg $6.99 Sale $1.00 for 200grams shredded
Total Out-of-Pocket $113.97
Note: All totals below already have tax factored into them.
- Total to spend this month : $300.00
- Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
- Stockpile budget used this month: $17.08
- Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month $305 Saved
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $1
- Total in-store discounts this week: $115.87
- Total in-store discounts to date: $318.29
- Total spent this week: $113.97
- Total spent so far this month: $176.92
- Total over/Under spend this shop: over
- Total left to spend for the month: $123.08
- 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 $255.69+ October $+ November $ + December $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
This was one of those unplanned shops that we made only because we knew there would be deals right before the Thanksgiving holiday. In light of that we made no grocery list but had somewhat of a budget idea of how much we could spend.
I’d say we did damn good considering all of the deals we found saving us $115.00 mainly on meats and cheese! We had a major stock up, I’d say. We did pick up a few staples but for the most part our meals this week will be based around what we purchased for 50% off.
See you next week!
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.
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
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!! You can also sign up for PineCone Canada and $3 completing surveys and checking out products before they hit the shelves!
Walmart Grocery is seriously the best! Order fresh groceries and more online, and Walmart will load your car for you… free! How easy is that? Here’s $10 to try it. You can thank me later
Order your online groceries from Walmart Canada and enjoy this $10 from Me To You for first time shoppers!
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.
- 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
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals
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 Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon. 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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