Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Great Grocery Project: End of May Recap

Well, this month has definitely been our busiest month of the year (so far).

It was so busy, that I already posted a mid-way update a few weeks ago.  May 2017 will also go down in history as the month I discovered Rhubarb Lemonade - an amazing way to use up your abundant rhubarb, whether fresh or frozen.

I have to start off this monthly recap with a little note about what will likely be our biggest money save ever.  Ever!  Without going into too many details (all will be revealed in time haha), we are likely going to be selling our house in 2018.  To prepare for that, we thought that we needed to do a major renovation on our main floor and kitchen (we live in a bungalow).  This renovation was not for us, although I'm sure we would have enjoyed it, but strictly for resale purposes.  After getting the quotes and the renderings for the project we met with our realtor.  He came to our house and we went over the plans and cost with him.  His response was: "Why do you want to do this???  Your house is already worth X."  Long story short: we thought the renovations would be necessary to get our desired value for the house in 2018.  Our realtor said our house was already worth X and the renovations (although we would get our money back from them) would not be worth the cost and stress.  He suggested a few changes which we are now in the process of making, but they are a fraction of the cost of a full blown renovation on our main floor and kitchen.  So....hurray!!!  This is why it is always critical to research every angle of a project before beginning.  This saved us so much money and stress.  Now we are focusing on getting these smaller projects done - I will try to update along the way if possible.

Now that we have that out of the way...


In May, we spent $356.20 on groceries.  I am really happy with this.  
Especially because I did some stocking up at the end of the month.

What was all this spent on?
Produce = $84.25
Dairy = $58.57
Meat = $58.74
Pantry = $44.08
Frozen Food = $31.93
Bread = $24.20
Prepared Foods = $13.89
Dips and Spreads = $9.57  (this is hummous - which I have tried to make but have yet to find a recipe that I enjoy as much as Sabra Original Hummous and Fontaine Beet Hummous)

You may notice we spent ZERO on beverages this month.  Hurray!  (I count milk as Dairy just in case you are wondering).

How did we save money in the second half of May??

1.  Price Matching and Reduced for Quick Sale - The BIG Power of Small Savings

No Frills Bill
Twice this month I had great finds in the Reduced for Quick Sale shopping department.  The first was at another store, where I was able to pick up some bread (the kind we normally buy), crackers, and cheese at great reductions.  Score!!  The second time was just last week.  I went to No Frills to pick up a few things.  The No Frills where I shop will Price Match with Metro and Walmart.  I always bring both flyers with me when I go to the store.  Delissio Pizzas (which I don't typically buy - but which are very nice to have in the freezer for those emergency days) were on sale for $2.99 at Metro.  This is $3.00 off per pizza.  Also Breyer's Natural Ice cream was on sale $3.99 which is about $3.00 off as well.  I picked up 4 Delissio pizzas and 2 tubs of ice creams.  Price Match Savings = (4x3) + (2x3) = $18.00.  While I was in the store, ground beef was on sale for $2.77/lb which is about as cheap as it gets here.  However, I didn't want to pick any up until the following week....that is until I saw several packs of Lean Ground Beef an extra 30% off the sale price (Reduced for Quick Sale).  I picked up 3 packs, for a total additional savings of $12.69.  I picked up some Banana Chocolate Mini Muffins (I broke the golden rule of frugal groceries and went shopping when I needed a snack) reduced for quick sale (saved $1.50).  Finally, there was an unadvertised in store special - frozen turkeys were on sale for $0.77/lb.  This was a GREAT deal and I picked up two small turkeys for $8.00 each.  I also used a $10.00 coupon (I ordered it through Pampers Rewards) for a box of diapers. Excluding the turkeys, from Price Matching, coupons,  and Reduced for Quick Sale on this one shopping trip I was able to reduce my bill by *drumroll* = $42.19 before tax.  So let's round up to $45.00.
Let's just imagine that you were able to save $45.00 off your bill once a month.  That would be $540.00 a year.  That is a pretty significant savings.  Now, let's just take this one step further for some math fun........if you live in Canada and you have kids....imagine you took that $540.00 a year and deposited into an RESP account for your child.  This $540.00 would automatically become $648.00 (deposits into RESPs are topped up 20% by the government, maximum individual contribution of $2500/annually, for the first 14 years of a child's life).  If you were able to save $45.00 a month off your grocery bill and put it into the RESP for the first 14 years of their life, starting tomorrow, you would have $9,072.00 when they turn 14 and that is not accounting for any investment growth of interest.  That is nothing to laugh at.
OK, let's move on.

2.  Cheap Travel
We had to take another trip this month.  I know, I know, this girls claims she is frugal but she has taken TWO trips in one month.  It just worked out that way.  We had to go see my grandparents, and then we had to attend a baby shower for someone who is like family to us.  All out of town.  For our second trip we brought snacks with us.  I used a portion of the reduced meat to make meatball sliders and brought a whole bunch with us, among other things.  Breakfast was free at the hotel.  I always fill up my son's cup with milk at the end of breakfast and put it in the room fridge after breakfast.  We used gift cards that we received as a Christmas gift to pay for the hotel.  We brought all of our own food except for the pizza we ordered on Sunday night (hotel tradition).  We had lots of fun time in the pool as a family.  Son #1 and my husband had a fun day together when I attended the shower.  At the shower they gave out strawberry plants as a favour.  They were in beautiful pots with a sign on them that said "Watch Me Grow."  This was such a great idea for a baby shower favour!  We are going to plant ours in our garden.

3.  Christmas Shopping
A Graduation Gift
My mom texted me one day to tell me there was a 60% off sale at MasterMind Toys.  I had to pick up a new bath toy for my son (his were disgusting and full of black mold, I am a terrible mom....I know....) and while I was there I picked up one or two small things to put away for Christmas.  That night I went home and was thinking.  I realized the sales on quality children's toys were excellent and I would not find these kind of deals again before Christmas.  I decided to go back the next day.  Well, that turned out to be a great decision because the next day prices were reduced by 75%!!  I was able to finish almost all the Christmas shopping for the 13 kids (including our own) we buy for at Christmas.  I am thrilled with what I was able to get and the prices were unbeatable.  (Watch for an upcoming post about why I try to finish all my Christmas shopping by September).
Super fun Christmas Gift
I was also able to order a few things online from Chapters (using Ebates) for Graduation gifts and Christmas.  Hurray!

4.  Coupon Book
Recently, I wrote about needing ALL new shoes because of postpartum feet changes.  The shoes at the mall were so much money I almost choked (I only bought one pair at the mall because I needed them for my orthotics fitting).  I finally made it to the outlet mall and I was able to find a great pair of Asics for $75.00, which in Canada is a great price for quality trainers.  In addition, the mall was giving out free coupon booklets to members of my profession.  I found a coupon in the book for an additional $5.00 off.  Every dollar counts!!!

I gave almost all of my shoes to the Salvation Army.  I also put a box of boots (brown leather, black leather, winter, etc.) together for my friend's daughter.  She is going to keep what she wants and donates the rest.  I hope that my shoes go to good homes - they were all quality shoes and in excellent condition.

I hope you all have a wonderful month!!  Enjoy the beautiful weather.


  1. What a great bunch of savings! I'm also a No Frills shopper -- best prices in general, in Toronto. And fabulous prices at Mastermind Toys! I love the quality toys that they have there. I'm going to finish up this comment now, as I'm off to Shoppers to use some Optimum coupons combined with weekend sales!

    1. Yes, No Frills is great. Between the PC Points, the pricematching and the good prices they have anyway, it is hard to beat. Optimum is also fantastic - my hands-down favourite rewards program. I actually wrote a post awhile ago comparing Costco Rewards and Optimum, you can find it here if you like: Although I know I don't need to convince you about the greatness of Optimum :)

  2. It sounds like you had a great week! I'm glad you had a great time traveling! We love to travel as well.