Should You Include Toiletries In Your Grocery Budget? : The GGC 2018 #1 Dec 3-9

how to save money buying toiletries


Not everyone tracks their toiletries separate from their grocery budget but I want to explain why we do this and how it can help you gain better insight into your overall monthly and yearly budget figures.

For some of you going toiletries shopping becomes a fun day out because this part of your budget accounts for cleaning supplies, health and beauty and personal hygiene.

Who doesn’t like to shop for themselves especially when there are new products to try along with deals and coupons being offered?

Back many grocery game challenge posts ago you may have noticed we would add toiletries to our grocery budget which we found was a big mistake for us.

The reason for this was because we wanted to track how much money our family spent on food and food alone and by adding in toilet paper, shampoo and other related toiletries it was skewing the number we wanted to see.

Creating a grocery budget for the year was essentially our main goal so eliminating the costs of toiletries which assumed a new budget category under health and beauty became our new norm.

Related: How much should my grocery budget be?

In essence we still shop for toiletries at the same time as grocery shopping but they have their own place on our monthly budget.

Now that I’ve cleared that up let’s talk about what toiletries are and how you can create a toiletries list and budget for these expenses either together with your food budget or separate like we’ve done.

Step 1- Creating a Toiletries List

It’s important to create a toiletries list for home because this will be your guide as to what you need to buy when you run out or are getting low on product at home.

List what you need to buy for your house;

  • Laundry Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towel
  • Windex
  • Make-up
  • Cologne

There are two types of toiletries

  1. Necessary toiletries
  2. Toiletries I want

What this means it that you can get away with only buying the basics when it comes to toiletries such as no-name brands and every day products to keep you clean and healthy.

Anything above that is likely a want unless it is health related. You either budget for it or save up for it in your savings account.

For example, you would love to change your hair colour to black because it has been ginger for a long time.

Can you survive with your ginger hair or can you wait until you save enough money to buy your hair colour outside of your toiletries budget?

Only you can answer these questions as they are personal and affect each person differently and for various reasons.

Keep in mind that your toiletries checklist can include anything you want on it as the list is based around how you plan to track and budget your money.

Another thing to consider is that a personal toiletries list may differ for everyone in the household from babies, toddlers, kids, teens, adults and seniors.

Each and every person will have different needs and your budget either has to accommodate them all or they need to be paid for another way.

For example, if your teen wants you to buy a specific deodorant and shampoo that they want then have them pitch in the money to pay for it or to go buy it themselves with money they’ve earned.

This is where your toiletries list will come in handy and why sitting down as a family to discuss personal needs will benefit you.

Communication such as this can be important to the overall success of your toiletries budget or inclusion with your grocery budget.

What are considered toiletry products?

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bathroom supplies
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Health and Beauty

When creating your toiletries list go from room to room where you would typically store toiletries such as the kitchen, bathroom or storage area to see what you use on a daily basis.

Besides chatting to those in the family setting rules on how much should be used of certain toiletries will also save your family money.

I know some people who can use half a roll of toilet paper in one sitting (no pun intended) or overloading on toothpaste, conditioner and shampoo for no reason.

Being smart with the products you buy always falls back on the user and how well they manage what they have on hand.

Our stockpile that we grew back in 2010 is still being picked at but only toiletries. Mind you we are now starting to buy toilet paper, laundry soap and other products we found free or super cheap using coupons.

We were the equivalent of the American Coupon crazy shoppers that would use 30 coupons to get 30 free tubes of toothpaste if the coupon and store allowed it.

Yes, you probably hated being in the grocery line behind us.

It was a monster time for coupons and we jumped on the bandwagon and it saved us thousands upon thousands of dollars.

I know couponing is still big but nowhere near as lucrative in Ontario as it once was but any money saved is better than nothing at all.

Step 2- Budgeting for Toiletries

We took a year of tracking our Health and Beauty budget category by utilizing frugal shopping tactics, sales and promotions and then turned that year-end expense into an estimated monthly budget amount.

For example:

If in 2018 you tracked your toiletries and at the end of December you spent the grand total of $1200 for the year that means your estimated monthly budget amount will be $120.

If you are using a budget and keeping your receipts as I suggest in my budgeting series you can easily track back 3-6 months to see how much money you spent on toiletries to get an estimated figure.

You will need to make sure that what you have on your toiletries list from above is included on what you purchased over that time period to get the best estimated cost.

Tracking for 3-6 months moving forward works as well but be prepared to adjust your monthly budget figures accordingly when you have a number that works for you.

If you grocery shop for food and toiletries at the same time it’s hard to come up with a realistic number unfortunately.

What I would suggest is to track your toiletries expenses as above for a few months and then go from there.

You’ll have to consider what you are purchasing when tracking for a short period because you may only buy toilet paper once every 3 months or toothpaste twice a year.

These expenses need to be represented into the number you are using to estimate your monthly toiletries budget to include with your food budget or on its own.

Again, it would be ideal to track for a full year and then build your budget around those end of year numbers like we’ve done. You’ll be glad you did!

Step 3- Saving Money On Toiletries

Now that you have a toiletries checklist and perhaps an estimated amount of how much they are spending you each month it’s time to consider money savings.

How can you save money on toiletries?


Have a look at your toiletries checklist and consider what you can eliminate, reduce or even make yourself at home for less.

Over the years we started to make our window and cleaning solution using vinegar and water which saved us a bundle on buying Windex.

We also started using more cloths to clean rather than just paper towel which saves us a bundle. If you have a baby in the house making homemade wipes instead of buying them will also save you money.

You might even fancy making homemade deodorant or other health and beauty supplies for less. There’s always  a You Tube video for everything.

Other valuable ways to save money buying toiletries;

Discussion: How do you monitor your toiletries expenses?

December 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 November- How to create a Christmas Reserve Fund For Groceries

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: $300.00
  • Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $290.26
  • 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: 3,700,000
  • Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0

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

Our Grocery Shop This Week

Food Basics

  • Bananas $1.20
  • Italian Sausages $6.99
  • Sour cream $1.99
  • Old cheddar $3.88
  • Fennel $1.99
  • Mixed salad greens $2.99
  • 2 dozen eggs $1.88 ($3.76)
  • 2 whipping cream $1.88 ($3.76)
  • 2 10% cream $1.88 ($3.76)

Total out-of-pocket $30.32

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

  • Total to spend this month : $300.00-$9.74 overage Nov $290.26
  • Stockpile budget 2018 : $25.00/month
  • Stockpile budget used this month: $0
  • Christmas Reserve Fund : $35/month $420 Saved
  • Total coupons used this week: $0
  • Total coupons used to date: $1
  • Total in-store discounts this week: $
  • Total in-store discounts to date: $344.25
  • Total spent this week: $30.32
  • Total spent so far this month: $30.32
  • Total over/Under spend this shop: $under
  • Total left to spend for the month: $259.94
  • 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 $306.10+ November $309.74 + December $

Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)

In short, we’ve ALL been sick with stomach flu in our house since Thursday so our grocery shopping was limited and quick because there is no meal plan and eating anything is a struggle right now. We’ve been limiting our food to soup and sandwiches.


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!! 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 Wal-Mart Canada and enjoy this $10 from Me To You for first time shoppers!

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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