Sunday, June 28, 2009

Living frugally doesn't mean depriving yourself

When some people here about someone trying to live frugally they picture... wearing 15+ year old clothing, living off of kraft dinner (more like mr noodles now a days), driving an old rusted out car... etc... well if that is what living frugally meant why would want to live that way. I would have thrown in the towel a long time ago trust me.

To me living frugally not settling for just the easiest solution without putting much thought into it... it means being wise with our money and not wasteful with our purchases. It also means use what you have already... being resourceful. I could go on but you get the idea.

I never buy everything one store as this is not being wise with my money when I can save so much more by purchasing at other stores. I don't make special trips but if I am in the area of the other store then I pop in and get what sale items are worth purchasing. I no longer obsess over the flyers that come in the mail. I know a couple of stores that usually have really good pricing and stick to them but I do ... look at the front pages of all the flyers looking for the really big loss leaders I might want to pick up espically in the meat area. I am trying to feed a good size family on very little here.

One thing we did was cut back on convenience food... it is loaded with preservatives and other things that really saving the time on it is not worth compromising our health. It really does work out to be cheaper to bake some muffins, make an egg on toast compared to buying it. Save money and eat healthy!

One thing I am trying to do is cut back on meat meals... and meat in general. Meat is very expensive and when it comes down to it... we can't afford it plain and simple. So I am looking for some good bean recipes... so I can put more beans into our diet.

Okay.. off to find some good bean recipes... I have not really tried my hand at cooking beans... but that is going to change... :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Shoppers Deals ~ May 30th to June 5th

Royale 24 single rolls, 12 double rolls or 9 supreme rolls $4.99
use your $1.00 off coupons from
Price before taxes: $3.99

Kellogg's All Bran original, Special K cereal $2.49
use your $2.00 off coupon found on cereal boxes
Price before taxes: $0.49

Kellogg's Special K or All Bran Bars, 100 calorie granola bars $2.49
use your buy two save $1.00 for bars found in stores
Price before taxes: $3.98

Intuition plus razor refills (3's) $11.49
use your $2.00 off coupon found in stores
Price before taxes: $9.49

Dove hair care products $4.99
use your $1.50 off coupons found in a recent newspaper insert
Price before taxes: $3.49

Cottonelle fresh moist wipes or refills (42's) $2.99
use your $1.00 off coupons found in stores
Price before taxes: $1.99

Crystal Light singles $2.49
use your $0.50 off coupons found in stores
Price before taxes: $1.99

Kraft salad dressing $2.49
use your $1.00 off coupon that came with Kraft's What's Cooking magazine
Price before taxes: $1.49

Christie Thinsations $2.49
use your $0.50 off coupon from Kraft's What's Cooking magazine
Price before taxes: $1.99

Campbell's Chunky soup $1.99
use your buy 2 get 1 free from
Price before taxes: $3.98 for three

Campbell's Healthy request soup bowls $1.99
use your $1.00 off coupons found in stores
Price before taxes: $0.99

Free Organic Gardening book....

Go here to download your free copy of this book.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I am posting some updates here today... I plan on posting free things to do in my hometown that are both fun and FREE oh I already mentioned free didn't I. Free is good!

I also plan on posting buying/spending tips as well as a few other things here and there. Frugal ideas!

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Now that it is nice out....

It is time to think about saving on laundry. I know hanging out laundry in the middle of a Canadian winter is not pleasing to anyone but now that the nicer weather is here why not take full advantage of it. I know for us it has made a huge difference in our monthly electrical bill. So now with the temperatures that have decided to bless us this pass weekend and the temperatures coming my laundry will be making it's way to the clothesline. We are a family of 6 mainly teens and adults and one little girl who LOVES to change her clothes whenever the mood strikes here despite our request not to.

Only a monthly basis we are probably saving $25 to $30/month.

I would love to have the clothesline with the cemented in posts like my mom used to have when I was a child but alas no room at our house and we don't have that kind of money sitting around so an umbrella clothesline it is. We use ours hard and I think this year I have to replace the cord to put on it as last year it was getting a bit warn. It does have to last through some pretty intense Canadian winters.

If you don't have money for an umbrella clothesline what about just picking up the nylon line and getting creative by using trees to hang it on or whatever you have in your backyard will work.

Here are a few tips for hanging your clothes outside:
  • hang your clothes inside out to avoid fading.
  • remember to give your a snap before hanging as it will reduce wrinkles
  • Hanging matches together like socks and corresponding tops and bottoms easier when you take it off the line.
  • hang shirts on hangers it takes one step away when taking it off the line it can go right into your closet
  • be sure not to hang things but their collar as you don't want the collar to stretch out

Monday, April 20, 2009

Check out my menu plan....

I have posted my menu plan on my main blog....

It's Just my Life...
Click on it to check out what is in the menu!

Errands for today and Sunday....

We needed desperately to do some errands and get some groceries mainly meat. I know buying grocery store meat isn't smoething every likes to do but for us we have to shop the sales even pick up cheaper cuts of meat as we are still dealing with a lack of income in our house.

Here is a list of some of our purcases:

* Whole chickens 1.18/lb picked up two
o $5.02
o $5.30
+ each chicken should give us two to three meals
* Lean Ground Beef
o $11.93
+ this will do 5 meals for us

* Chicken Breasts
o $9.09
o $10.03
# both should give us 3 meals each pkg
* Ham Shank
o 13.93
+ this will do 4 meals for us
* Grapes
o $1.81 for 2lbs

* 7.47 Box meatballs
o Definitely good for 3 meals
* Hot House Tomatoes
o $1.77 for 4 of them
* Bananas
+ $2.00 for 3lbs
* Raisins
o $1.97 for 14 individual packs
* Doritos (treat for Rob)
o $1.97 for 1 bag
* Bugles Nacho Cheese (treat for Alyssa)
o $1.73 for 1 bag

Friday, April 10, 2009

Saving by buying Generic

In this house where money is not a surplus by any means we buy a lot of items that are generic if we don't make it from scratch. I remember growing up and my parents being pretty brand loyal about a few items. Here at this house we only seem to be brand loyal on our mustard. And for mustard we only buy French's but usually I can find coupons for this item. YEAH!

I used to be a big soda drinker or I should say a big Pepsi drinker so very much brand loyal but since giving up soda basically altogether I guess I would say no worries here about being brand loyal any longer. If I do drink it I will say my preference is definitely Pepsi!

I find generic over the counter medications a great savings. Seriously I save tons on what I do purchase.

Pantry staples again pretty much generic and so far we are surviving so why not think about giving generic brands a try??

Better for you Value Pack at Walmart

Word has it that Walmat has some better for you value packs for $5.99

The packs include some great items at a really good value.

500g Quaker Oat Squares Cereal
375g box of catelli healthy harvest ww macaroni pasta
8x26g quaker chewy bars chocolate chip
6 pack nestea pink lemonade singles(like crystal light)
4 motts fruitsation 100% juice freezies
200g box Dare Vinta crackers
single pouch nescafe cappucino
single pouch nescafe espresso
$0.50 coupon off nescafe latte or capuccino

Deals this week... starts April 10th for the most part

Kraft philadelphia cream cheese or dips ~ $1.99 (use your $1 off new philly dips found in stores)
Kelloggs corn flakes, all bran flakes ~ $2.99 (use your buy two save $2 found in stores)

Pantene hair care ~ $4.99 (use your $2 off brandsaver coupon)
Gain liquid 1.47L or powder laundry detergent 24-40 uses ~ $5.99 (use your $1 off coupon from paper inserts)
D'italiano bread ~ 2/$4 (use your $0.50 off cash for kids coupon)
Dawn or ivory dish soap ~ $1.97 (use your $0.50 off coupons found in stores)

Jos Louis 6 pack ~ $2 (use your $0.50 cash for kids coupon)
Pantene pro v shampoo or conditioner 675ml ~ $6 (use your $2 brandsaver coupon)
Purex Laundry Detergent 40 uses ~ $4.00 (use your $1 coupon)
Boys fruit of the Loom 6 pack socks ~$3 (no coupon but 50cents/pair is a good deal)

Sunny D 1.6L ~ $1.70 (use your buy two save $0.75 cash for kids coupon)
Catelli healthy harvest pasta ~ $1.79 (use your buy two save $1 on catelli pasta)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


The gardening season is almost upon us. I plan to get some seeds and get them started this weekend. If you are new to gardening like I am why not ask around to people you know and find out who has been gardening for a while and ask them some questions. If space is limited you can do some container gardening. Every little bit helps and I do know for me it tastes so much better.

If you don't have a friend who has gardened before why not hit your local library. Books are free to borrow if you return them on time. Or just google it and find a large amount of information on gardening and tips.

Start small .... if you are new to gardening it can be overwhelming so starting out small is the key here. Baby steps!

I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed gardening last year. It was a great stress reliever. Something I really needed and need even more this year. :)

Happy Gardening my friends!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ways to be Frugal

  1. Buy some seeds and grow your own garden.
  2. Make waffles and pancakes from scratch and freeze them for a quick breakfast.
  3. Shop early for all occasions including birthdays when things are on sale.
  4. Do not throw away socks that have holes in them use them for dusting.
  5. Try to make some meatless meals for dinner.
  6. Try your hand at making your own bread all the time.
  7. Line dry your clothes if you can.
  8. Get creative with your decorating by re purposing items you already have in your home.

Monday, March 23, 2009

On Saturday I went for a redemption day... I love free stuff! We were able to get everything we needed. I should have posted about the redemption weekend earlier.

Some of our purchases:

  • daughters meds $30
  • Fusion razors on sale for 6.99 less 5.00 coupon
  • granola bars
ugh... my mind is blank as I try to get back on track today... UGH!

Amazing deal on Jane's Chicken Burgers at Superstore right now a box for only 4.99 I think they also have on nuggets and chicken strips for the same price.

Tightwad Travel in Niagara Falls

This week was March Break for our kids and family. We decided last minute to take a trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario as it has been years since we have been there about 14 years to be exact. Our son had plans to go to Brock University to visit a friend while we were in Niagara Falls.

I knew upon planning our trip that staying at one of the family resorts was not at all in our budget. Who has $200 to $400/night to spend on accommodations not this girlie! I went on and searched for accommodations for Thursday night. One night only. I was talking to my dear friend about the area since she was from the area and she told me to pick the Country Inn & Suites, well I am so glad she did. We got an amazing rate for a wonderful hotel that included a breakfast that was delicious. The hotel is about 2 years old, has indoor salt water pool and whirlpool. The workout room was a bit small but my middle daughter enjoyed working out in it. We all loved the pool and it was never too crowded. Sometimes we were the only ones in the pool area.

We walked down Ferry Street and Clifton Hill to the Falls on the Friday. The temperatures were not to bad and we enjoyed the sites. There was a Build A Bear on Ferry Street and our youngest daughter made a High School Musical Build a Bear and I couldn't believe how inexpensive it was. I was always lead to believe how much these were but ours was a great priced. So Gabriella now has a new home with us here.

We brought our own snacks and drinks with us to the hotel it seriously cuts down on expenses. We have a lovely time and I would go back at any point and time to this hotel. It was great.

I will say that a little dog we love was so happy to have us home. :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Meatless Meal Ideas

What do you cook as your meatless meals?

Pita Pizzas
Vegetable Lasagne
Grilled Cheese
Garden Vegetable Soup

Monday, March 2, 2009

Grocery Prices Soar (article)

There was an article in the London Free Press on February 28,2009 This is just not in Canada but every where. We need to use all the tips and tricks to save money grocery shopping and with cooking now more than ever.

  1. Always take a list to the grocery store stick to it
  2. Try to shop with what is on sale
  3. Make a meal plan
  4. Use coupons (yes there is coupons available for Canadians too)
  5. When recipes call for chicken breasts (the most expensive cut) substitute with cheaper cuts
  6. Keep your leftovers and freeze it and make it into a soup once a week
  7. Brown bag lunch to work
  8. Buy in bulk (sometimes cheaper)
  9. Buy fresh fruits and produce when on sale
  10. Avoid pre-packaged single serving items as they are more expensive
  11. Stock up on your favourite cereal when it is on sale
  12. Sales usually rotate on about a 12 week basis
  13. Be realistic about the food you really need
  14. Don't shop when you are hungry
  15. Compare prices by per unit
  16. Buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces as it is cheaper that way
  17. Make your own deserts (trust me it will taste better)
  18. Go without your kids
  19. Bring a calculator
  20. Make sure scanned price is posted price on the shelf

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Meal plans based on this week's sales flyers

There are some good sales on this week. I thought I would put together a healthy meal plan based on the sales flyers this week.

NOTE: Walmart is great for price matching anyone's flyers if it is the exact same product. Just helps make one trip only when shopping or at least cuts down on many shopping trips.

Spaghetti Pie

  • 6 oz. spaghetti, cooked and still warm (Food Basics Primo Pasta 0.99)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. cottage cheese (Food Basics 2.49)
  • 1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 (28 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce (Food Basics Ragu 0.88)

Combine hot cooked spaghetti with butter until butter is melted. Add egg and Parmesan cheese. Place in pie dish and form a "crust" with a well in the center. Spread cottage cheese over spaghetti in pie dish. Cover with spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350°F or until bubbly. Cut into slices and serve.

Spinach Salad
  • Spinach leaves* (baby) or spinach salad mix (RCSS 3.99)*will do 2 meals plus
  • Croutons
  • Sunflower seeds
  • grated carrot(A&P 1.00)
  • salad dressing

Wash greens thoroughly and pat dry. Mix half of spinach and "crunchy" ingredients together just before serving, Add salad dressing to taste just before serving.

Sloppy Joes
  • 1 Lb lean ground beef (RCSS 2.00)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped (Food Basics 0.99lb)
  • 1/2 Tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion, and green pepper; drain off liquids.
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Save 2 cups from this for Sloppy Joe pizza later in the week.
I make my buns from scratch to go with this.

Steamed Broccoli (A&P 1.00)

Sloppy Joe Pizza
  • 2 cups Sloppy Joe sauce (from few nights before)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1-1/2 cups colby-jack or Mexican blend* cheese
  • 1 recipe bread machine pizza dough, prepared and baked until almost done

In a skillet, combine Sloppy Joe sauce, corn, and green onions. Heat through. Spread mixture on top of baked pizza crust and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 425° for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

**Serve spinach salad with this **

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 2 1/2 cups wide egg noodles (No Yolk Egg Noodles 1.49-Food Basics)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 container chicken broth (1.99 - RCSS)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 cup chopped celery or Carrots or both
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups diced, cooked chicken meat (chicken thighs 2.00lb - RCSS)

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil chicken. Add egg noodles and oil, and boil for 8 minutes, or until tender. Drain, and rinse under cool running water.
  2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine broth, salt, and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil. Stir in celery and onion. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water together until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gradually add to soup, stirring constantly. Stir in noodles and chicken, and heat through.
**I have to be honest this is just the base I use pretty much for my recipe... I season as I feel like depending on the day. Always tastes different at my house but still very yummy!**

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

  • 5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins (2.00lb - RCSS or 1.49 - Food Basics)

  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients; add pork. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. Place the tenderloins in an 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with pan drippings.
** tastes great served with rice and glazed carrots **

Glazed Carrots
  • 1 bag baby carrots
  • 2/3 c. honey
  • 6 tbsp. butter

Cook carrots in a small amount of water until tender crisp. Drain water, add honey and butter. Cook on med. low until carrots are glazed, turning carrots once or twice.

Put some quick meals into the mix with this not to mention the turkey on sale at Foodland for only 0.99/lb... think of all the meals you can get out of that... turkey dinner ... turkey wraps (A&P has wraps on for 1.99) and then maybe a turkey pot pie or just hot turkey sandwiches.

Other things that caught my eye...

Price Chopper
Yams - 0.79
Seedless Cucumbers 0.99 (couple this with tomatoes on sale at RCSS for 1.00/lb it would make a great tomato & Cucumber salad a favourite at our house)
Tortilla wraps 1.99

Real Canadian Superstore
Oasis Orange Juice 1.00
Shredded lettuce 1.00
Watermelon 2.99

Apple Juice 1.00
Baby Carrots 1.00
Broccoli 1.00
Granny Smith Apples 1.49/lb (cooked apples good desert one night as a treat)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sam's Club closing in Ontario....

What deals today.... seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4.55 - Black Forest Ham (lunch meat 2pkg)
1.49 - Celery Hearts (pkg of 3)
1.99 - Coleslaw Mix (ready to use large bag)
1.98 - Shredded Romaine (large bag ready to use)
2.49 - Baby Spinach (large container)
8.37 - Spare Ribs (3 meals worth)
2.20 - Mini Babybel Cheese (red pkg of 20)
0.75 - 3lbs of Bananas
3.32 - HellovaGood Dip French Onion (large container)
3.52 - Turkey Bacon Butterball (2pkg)
9.89 - Chicken Thighs (3 meals worth)
1.99 - 3lbs Lemons
1.88 - Eggs (18)
3.88 - Orange Juice (3x 1.89L)
3.56 - Frozen Broccoli, Corn (bought 3 bags)
3.28 - Kolbassa Coil (very large)
9.18 - CheeseCake Mix (16pcs) treat for us all

Birthday Gift for Little One
30.00 - Leapster 2 Gift Pack with case and game (reg. 99.99 here)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coupons to go with Flyers... February 27th or 28th to March 5th of 6th

Please watch the dates I post for what the sales are running this coming week. I will update as I notice coupons that go with the ads.

Zellers - February 28th to March 6th
Kellogs nurti-grain or rice krispies bars $2 - $2 off and get it FREE (coupons found on cereal boxes)
Maple leaf flaked meats or holiday luncheon 2/$3 -Use your $1 off coupons and pay only $.50 each (coupon found in stores) msg me I have a few.
Secret or old spice deodorants 2/$3 - Use $0.50off coupon from (not available currently)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why are you frugal?

We are frugal because we have to be. We are currently in a situation that allows for no other option but that being said I have to say that I have been frugal most of my life but not to the extreme I am now. I guess I am naturally frugal.

If I was extremely wealthy and money was not an object I don't think I would change my ways too much. I think it is important to be wise with our money. Like to many things in life it can change just like that.

I value value so I wouldn't say that I am cheap. I am definitely frugal. I like to buy things of quality and know that they are going to last. I don't like to waste and it just contributes to the environmental problems already out there and not a very wise thing to do with the resources that have been given to us.

So why are you frugal?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Big Grocery Day

Today we did a very large grocery shopping with tons of savings thanks to No Frills Dollar Deals. The store was not even busy because I don't think too many people knew that it was Dollar Deals. For a family trying to survive on what little money we do have we are doing very well at maintaining our household, eating well, and getting lots of freebies in the mean time. It is really helping to watch the boards and clipping coupons. I can't even begin to put into perspective how much I have saved in coupons. I have decided to keep a running total in the top right hand corner so I know how well I am doing with my shopping.

Zellers Deals Today and Walmart Deals from Wednesday

Zellers Deals

Glade Plugin Scented Oil - $7.49 - FPC = $0
Glade Wisp Flameless Candle - $9.99 - FPC = $0
ABC Laundry Detergent - $2.49 - $1 off = $1.49
Princess Heart Candy - $1.49 - 50%off = $0.74
Tissue Paper - $2.39 - 50%off = $1.17 (scanned wrong FREE with SCOP)
Mr Clean Wipes - $1.50 - $1off = $0.50
Mr Clean Wipes - $1.50 - $1off = $0.50
Dad's Cookies - $2.00 on sale = $2.00

Original Price - $ 34.88
Sale Price - $ 29.77 (taxes included)
Total Purchase Savings - $5.12
Coupon Total - $ 23.18 (includes SCOP)
Total OOP (out of pocket) - $6.59 (taxes included)
Total Savings - $ 28.30 (81.1%)

Walmart Deals

Nutrigrain Bars - $1.97 - $2off = $0
Glade Plugin Scented Oil - $5.87 - FPC = $0
Glade Wisp Flameless Candle - $9.99 - FPC = $0
Kelloggs Mini Wheats $3.44 - $1off = $2.44*
Kelloggs Mini Wheats $3.44 - $1off = $2.44*
*B2G$2 off coupon but boxes include $10 in coupons

Original Price - $ 27.75
Sale Price - $ 25.47(taxes included)
Coupon Total - $ 19.83 (includes SCOP)
Total OOP (out of pocket) - $5.64 (taxes included)
Total Savings - $ 22.11(79.7%)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Zellers Deals on Saturday....

Glade candles 2 for 2.50 had B1G1 Free coupon.... 2.50 for 2 so 1.25ea
Huggies diapers Mega pack 9.77 less $2 .... 7.77ea x 2
Huggies wipes large refill .... 8.97 less $5 ... 3.97
Soft & Dri .... 2 for 2.50 when you buy 2 .... 1.25 less $0.50 .... $0.75
Right Guard ... 2 for 2.50 when you buy 2 .... 1.25 less $0.50 .... $0.75
Mr Clean All purpose cleaner ... 2 for 3.00 less $3.00 .... $0.00

Regular Price - $59.04
Sale Price - $39.01
Total Coupons used - $15.50
OOP - $23.51
Saved - $35.53 (60.2%)

Friday, February 13, 2009

25% off one item at Chapters....

Thought I would share a wonderful coupon you can print out via smart canucks.... it is for 25% off one item at chapters until February 14th.

Click here for coupon and post about it.

Nothing like going to chapters for some browsing. I love books so for me this is exciting.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Toronto Zoo - 50% off Admission to everyone(Feb 13 to 16)

This is their way of celebrating Family Day. A whole weekend of savings.

General Admission (ages 13 - 64) $20.00
Senior (ages 65+) $14.00
Child (ages 4 - 12) $12.00
Child (ages 3 & younger) FREE

Take these prices and discount them by 50% off.

Parking is free until March 1st.

Rentals * (plus $5.00 refundable deposit)
Single Strollers (1 Child) $5.00*
Double Strollers (2 Children) $8.00 *
Wagons (2 Children) $6.00 *
Wheelchairs FREE *
Note: Rentals are sold through our Front Entrance Shop - Monday through Friday

How I save money...

I thought I would share how I save money where I live in Southwestern Ontario.

I buy cheaper cuts of meat and tenderize/marinate them. I find also by cooking them in the slowcooker it realy makes the meat tender because of the long slow cooking process. Our local grocery store has a large selection of meats on sale for 50% off first thing in the morning but you have to be there early to cash in on this deal. We have gotten a prime rib for $6 and it fed our large family. The meat deals are a hit and a miss first thing in the morning.

For us we attend a potluck two times a month currently and with everyone contributing to the meal you get wonderful company and lots of different food for a fraction of the cost.

Our local drug store has a great points program where you collect the points and it adds up to money in your pocket. I only shop on the 20 times the points weekend there and with coupons I might add so I get the benefits of both using coupons and earning money. I also find they do have great sales on health and beauty products as well as some food products.

We do have a few indulgences that we do like ... for instance my children really like French Vanilla Cappacino and we have it at our local Bulk Barn store so every now and then in their flyer they have coupons for $3 off a $10 order. I try to stick to the $10 as much as possible so it is like getting a 30% savings.

I also keep a list of when the coupons come out in the local newspaper and I will sometimes run out and buy it if the coupons are really good. Otherwise I will wait and pick up the coupons from my inlaws here in town who get two copies of the coupons and always keep them for me.

Weekly menu planning helps a whole lot with saving money and makes it a lot easier for not having to go out and buy any meals.

I try to buy clothes second hand from consignment shops, garage sales, and online sales.

Use coupons but I find to do this you can not have brand name loyalty to get the complete savings from it. If I can't find it on sale I end up buying store brand.

Budget creatively.... some people use envelope system for all their months or weeks spending and when the money is gone from that envelope than that's it no more spending in that area.

Grab your scissors and cut fabric softener sheets in half as well as sponges and scouring pads.

If you want to treat yourself by going out for dinner or lunch than remember to use coupons.

And lastly.... start a coupon group. I plan on doing this here shortly as soon as a come up with a method on how to run one. You might have coupons other might use and so forth.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coupon Binder

I have a binder that I keep my coupons in as well as this weeks current flyers. I have all the coupons organize into a system I understand and so I can find them at the drop of a hat. I will take pictures of my coupon binder later today for you all to see.

Coupon alert

*** Shop & Save coupons were in February 7th newspaper ***
$1 any tide laundry detergent
.50 on any tide to go
$2.50 WUB any 2 spot shot products
$1.10 on any spot product
$1.20 on any No-Mess Pen
$1.80 on any 2 2000 flushes products
.80 on any 2000 flushes product
$2 on any Iams dry dog food
$2 on any Iams dry cat food
$5 on any one febreze noticeable starter kits
$2 on any febreze candle
$1 on any febreze fabric refresher
$1 on any febreze air effects
B1 cascade powder or gel and get 1 cascade actionpacs bag Free
.50 any cascade
.50 WUB any dawn product
$1 on any Gain laundry detergent
$1 on any Gain fabric softener
$10 off tax preparation services at Liberty tax service

*** Smart Source Coupon in February 14th newspaper ***

Pictures of coupon binder will follow sometime today.

Walmart Deals from Monday

Tampax Pearl....4.56... -1.00 off ..... paid 3.56
Corn Pops .... reg 5.88... sale 3.44.... -1.00off.... paid 2.44
Corn Pops .... reg 5.88... sale 3.44.... -1.00off.... paid 2.44
Olay Bars.... 3.82 x1
Olay Body Wash 3.82 x2 = 11.46 .... -10.00off... paid 1.46
Glade Flameless Candle ... 9.98... -9.98off.... paid 0.00
Glade Plugins scented oil warmer.... 5.87...-5.87off... paid 0.00
Herbal Essence Shampoo .... 2.43.... -0.50off... paid 1.93
regular prices 46.06
sale prices 41.18
total coupons 29.35
paid 11.83
***The corn pops had $10 worth of coupons on them so with this purchase I got back $20 worth of coupons. ***

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Things to do in your community for free...

  1. Check out your local community calendar online for those in my community check out the city's paper online they have the community listed on the right hand side. You will be amazed at the things you can do in your own community for free.
  2. Work on a puzzle.
  3. Visit your local library. I can't tell you how many books and DVD's we borrow from our local library. It works out great because we can put them on hold and make it a quick trip in to pick them up. But honestly going to the library for me is never quick. I love books.
  4. Start a workout routine.
  5. Do a makeover of a room by rearranging furniture in the room.
  6. Blow bubbles.
  7. Check out some podcasts online. There are so many different podcasts online for free of varying interests.
  8. Start a journal.
  9. Build paper airplanes. Let everyone try their hand at making them and see who can make their paper airplane go the furthest.
  10. Play Frisbee at the park.
  11. Play board games. We loved playing Settlers of Catan and it is on to buy list soon we will own it soon. Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue and Candy Land. (okay our daughter is 4)
  12. Take a long bath.
  13. Visit a local museum, zoo or art gallery for free. Many of these places allow free admission on certain days. Check out their websites and see when their free admission time is.
  14. Cook some meals ahead of time. This is fun to do with your kids and husband. What a great way to spend an afternoon cooking together.
  15. Donate some unneeded items to charity.
  16. Learn to juggle. This is on my list of things to learn but it is fun and you can impress your children or grand children by learning how. Check out for a tutorial.
  17. Meet your neighbors. I think this is something that we need to do more intentionally to reach out to other.
  18. Play soccer.
  19. Organize a walking tour in your community. Every community has historical sites that we too often take forgranted and at the same time forget to remind our children of these historical sites. Pick a day and go for a walk.
  20. Build a blanket fort. My daughter loves making these and actually so do I.
  21. Teach yourself how to knit. You can pick up needles at a dollar store and yarn for that matter also. You can make some dishclothes or knit a hat or a scarf. Check out this tutorial on youtube.
  22. Visit your family and extended family.
  23. Go on a hike or long walk.
  24. Take some pictures. Go for a walk with your camera and take pictures of things that interest you.
  25. Read a book.
  26. Start a blog on a topic that interests you. That is what I have done. :)
  27. Do some stargazing.
  28. Make homemade cards.
  29. Have a DVD screening. Pop some popcorn and put in a favourite movie.. .invite some friends over and have a DVD screening party.
  30. Build a castle out of cardboard.
Does anyone else have any ideas?? I would love to add them to the list.

The heat debate...

My husband loves our house warm... beyond warm in my opinion... in the winter you can wear sweaters.... layer clothes so I have decided to turn the heat down in our house in an effort to conserve resources. (ie. decrease our bills) My husband has agreed to go along with it. So off on this journey we are going.

Other ways to stay warm in the colder temperatures:
  • put plastic over your windows (our windows are fairly new so we don't have to do this but trust me it helps)
  • Use heavy curtains over windows
  • caulk around windows that are drafty.
  • my favourite dress in layers.
What temperature do you keep your thermostat at during the winter?

Frugal is definitely a way of life...

I find that many people in our economic times are turning to being frugal but to be honest for us it has always been sort of a way of life. We have always been raising our family off of one income. It works best for our family.

There is one thing that I would love to try...and that is powder milk. I am seriously considering using it for baking. Here is an article I read today... Saving Money with Powdered Milk. Does anyone else use powdered milk??? I do use powdered buttermilk and it is fine so I guess this could be no problem.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Siimple ways to be thrifty....

I have often been asked about ways to be thrifty and I thought I would post a list of ways that I have found to be thrifty and were others can comment on ways they find to be thrifty.

  1. Plan meals for the full week or two weeks By limiting grocery store visits it saves you money as you don't pick up any extras that you don't really need.
  2. Cash only! I find this an amazing way to save not only because you are not using credit or debit cards but cash only really makes you think before you make your purchase. Not to mention banking fees your saving.
  3. Buy gifts ahead of time I find buying items at the end of season and clearance prices saves a bundle.
  4. Make gifts this is better than buying on clearance make the gifts yourself.
  5. Use the Library This is our biggest saver we are all big readers in our house not only that we borrow dvds for free from the library and we get them for a week. You can put them on hold right online and they will email you or call you when you want to pick up that specific book or dvd.
  6. Crockpot cooking I find if I cook anything in my crockpot no matter the meat it comes out so tender.
  7. Clip coupons local stores are running coupons a lot and you can also find them at your local walmart right on the shelves.
  8. Go thrift shopping or yard saling one of my favourite things to do in the nice weather is yard sale. We have picked up some great items over the years.
  9. Consignment clothing we have a local consignment store in town that I take my daughters clothing to and I get money back in return. Win win both ways. I usually find great deals there also.
  10. Buy in bulk and freeze this works great during meat and frozen veggie sales
  11. cook from scratch we have started making all our own buns and breads as well as other items at a fraction of the cost of store bought. It tastes better too.
  12. Enjoy free activities like walking, hiking and biking.
  13. Stay organized this saves you from buying things you already have so you are not buying things at full price.
  14. Cash in on reward points for us here Shoppers Drug Mart is great for giving rewards points back in money. They have certain times when you redeem you get more than usual too.

Please share with me any thrifty tips that you may have... share away...

Thoughts on coupon clipping...

Many people have told me that clipping coupons is not something worth while here in Canada because we don't really get any here. Well to my surprise I decided to start collecting them in November and let me tell you the amount I have saved is unbelievable. I am making a spread sheet of how much I have saved so far this year to see how much I actually am saving as well as posting all my finds using coupons and I will start posting where I got the coupons from.

I have found to be a wonderful site for coupons. I go on all the time to request coupons for things we always buy. Then I watch for sales on the items and get the items for really good prices. I tend to stock up on certain items that we go through a lot so that allows me to just hit the sales with the coupons as I usually have a surplus. I will also say that I have been doing this only since December let's say and I already have a stocked cupboard on most health and beauty type products.

Enough babbling... time to show you all some tips...One of the biggest tips I can give is... Smart Canucks this site is beyond amazing... the deals and things people work out are terrific. I love it there.

Shopping this coming week...

Due to circumstances and just life in general we are really watching our spending on everything. So today I was going over some of the flyers to see where the deals would be this coming week.

Food Basics (not one in my city but there is one in my parents and we are going there Sunday)
$0.99/lb grapes (red and green)
$0.99/lb Turkey Utility frozen
$0.99 Baby carrot
$0.99 Kiwi Fruit (1lb)

$1.97 Satin Care or Gillette series shave gel *$2 off coupon making it free

$3.88 Crest Pro Health Mouth Wash plus bonus toothpaste *$1off coupon

Canadian Tire
$29.97 Slowcooker 7qt with Bonus mini cooker Bravetti brand
$0.48 White Swan Kleenex (no rainchecks)
$0.48 Heritage Paper Towels 2pk (no rainchecks)
**Their flyer is quite good this week I will not be purchasing the slowcooker but it really is a good deal if you don't have one. **

A & P
$1.99/lb Lean Ground Beef
$1.49/lb Pork Side Ribs
$0.99/lb Apples
$1.99/lb Turkeys
$13.99 Pampers or Huggies mega diapers or pants *coupons for both

No Frills
$5.55 Armstrong Cheese 750g
$0.49 Campbell's Soup (tomato, cream of mushroom)
$14.99 Pampers Mega Diapers

Real Canadian Superstore
$2.99 Black Diamond Cheese Slices 500g
$1.99 Green Giant frozen Veggies 350g or 500g

Shoppers Drug Mart
$4.99 Every day Market Cheese 540g
$0.99 Irish Spring or Coast 3pk bar soap
$3.99 Scott paper towels 6pk *use $1 off coupon
I will be picking up more stuff if it turns out to be redemption weekend. :)
**it could be a bonus redemption weekend... waiting for it to be verified.

Also note instead of going to all the different stores go to Walmart or Zellers and they will price match all your flyers... please remember to have the flyer with you. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Walmart deals today....

I can't begin to tell you all how excited I am today about the deals I got at Walmart. It even made my husband smile. I also had a wonderful cashier at Walmart.

Kelloggs cocoa krispie straws... reg 2.97 sale 1.47 coupon 0.75off paid $0.72
Glade wisp flameless candle reg. 9.98 coupon 1 FREE paid $0.00
Glade scented oil plugins reg. 5.87 coupon 1 FREE paid $0.00
Olay body wash reg. 4.97 *PM 3.99 (x3) coupon $10off paid $2.97
Dove body wash reg. 4.72 (x2) coupon B1G1 paid $4.72
Pantene reg. 3.00 (x2) coupon 2.50(when buy 2) paid $3.50

regular price total... 49.17
sale price total... 44.73
coupon total... 33.82
Total paid... 11.91

I plan on using the glade candle products as gifts coming up when I do some gift baskets up. I really can't believe how much I saved today... I also have more lists and coupons to use at other stores we shop at if we are near them this week. I am not going to go out of my way to get the deals... I figure if I am in the area doing something else than I can stop in otherwise I would be wasting my gas getting the deals.

*PM = price matched

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Valentine's Day Ideas

I have been searching the internet for inexpensive valentine's ideas... okay basically free...ideas to celebrate this occasion with my family. Here are some of the things I have found so far.

Scavenger Hunt

Heart Pancakes for Breakfast

Best Quick Pancakes (Martha Stewart)

2 T. melted butter
1 C. flour
2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 C. milk

Heat griddle to 375 or medium heat. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in bowl. Add egg, milk, and 2 T. melted butter; whisk to combine. Cook.

If you don't have heart shapes for the pancakes why not put batter in a plastic bag... cut off the one corner and make heart shapes that way. You can make so many different fun shapes it is not funny. Your kids will love it. Don't forget you can always add blueberries or chocolate chips to your pancakes or any other fruit you choose.

Craft Ideas

Candy Maze
I love you book
Egg Carton Heart
Heart Shaped Animals
Valentine Pillow Boxes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Deals from Shoppers Drug Mart this week...

I went to Shoppers Drug Mart to pick up some milk. I love the price of milk and that I get points to earn $$$ to spend...

I had a few coupons... they are as follows:

Olay - Daily Facials - deep cleansing clothes ... Reg. $10.99 on sale for $5.99ea x2
Olay - Botanical Fusion Body Wash .... Reg. 6.99 on sale for $4.99ea x1
Mini Baguettes.... reg $3.49 sale for $0.99ea x2

Coupons redeemed
Olay Daily Facials B1G1... $5.99
Olay body wash $2.00
Total redeemed... $7.99

Regular price cost $35.95
Sale prices $18.95
After coupons $10.96

Got to love savings like that!
I have more Olay coupons to use up... I hope to get there again to redeem some more. Some will be expiring soon so I need to use them up.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Reality Check now our family(3 adults, 2 teens and 1 preschooler) is living off of less than $20,000/year or for this year anyway. This is reality for us . Most dinner meals we have 3 adults, 3 teens and 1 preschooler.

We are trying to feed our family on less than $50/week. I am posting this not for pity... prayer yes.. pity no... but also to solicit ideas you might have on inexpensive meals.... free fun entertainment....and frugal ideas you might have.... please... share away with me.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Coupons do they really save you... and other grocery tips

Are coupons really the time and effort put into them? Do you really save?

I have started a spread sheet for my savings this year.... and so far... mind you we are only 4 days into the year... but I have saved... $12 off the sale prices. I usually only like to use coupons in conjunction with sale items. So that they are even more of a benefit and I only buy items we would normally use. It is not a savings if it is something extra. I also find that you really can not be brand loyal.

Regular price $ 75.37
Sale price $ 41.87
Price I paid after coupons $ 29.87

We are a family of 6 (3 adults, 2 teenagers and 1 preschooler, oops a dog also) and I am trying to feed my family on very little. I want my meals to cost less than $5 to make for all of us. Trust me this takes some work and knowing your grocery stores. For instance I buy certain items in bulk like flour, rice, potatoes, oatmeal and other staples.

I tend to shop at Sam's Club, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Price Chopper, A&P and sometimes even Walmart. We live in a small city where I usually go by the grocery stores atleast once a week so I can run in and pick up all their sale items. This takes good budgeting to do because I find stocking up the best way to save money.

I also go to some wonderful websites that help me a lot with coupons and upcoming sales to watch out for. Here is a list of them in no particular order:
Smart Canucks

Remember to check out the forum at smart canucks where you can see the deals others have found and even what is coming up on sale and where you can get the best deal using your coupons.

I also find at our local grocery stores if you go first thing you can catch the sales on meats they are clearing out, as well as fresh veggies and bread products. I get most of our meat this way for our family at a fraction of the price. This really is a saver for us as well as buying large cuts and cutting it up ourselves.

I also find that by making a weekly meal plan it helps me save money and spend less. So every weekend I sit down and make a meal plan based on what I have and some of the sales for that upcoming week. Our sales run here from Friday to Thursday.

That is all the tips I can think of right now but I am sure more will come to mind after I post this.