grocery game monthly challenge

Why do snacks tempt our budget while waiting in the grocery line?: The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Sept 22-28, 2014

snacks grocery store line

TEMPTATION AND YOUR BUDGET   Pretty much every grocery store you frequent will have snacks waiting to bust your budget if you give into temptation while standing in line. They say to make sure you eat before you go grocery shopping so you don’t overspend and it’s true but what happens when you get the snack munchies instead? You spend more that’s what happens and it can be even pricier than just buying snacks down the snack aisle if you give in to the cash register snack marketing ploy. You would think it’s only the grocery store but it’s not. Have a look next time you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and you will see they sell chocolate bars, drinks and beef jerky for any hungry customers waiting to cash out. There is always marketing behind the grocery store from the minute you open your weekly flyer to the time you walk in the front doors. Money has to be made and whether it’s from the full-priced products customers buy to the customers who don’t care about weekly specials to the snacks at the cash register.   Buy me a snack   If your goal is to stick to […]

Rethinking fashion to embrace personal style and budget

Fashion jeans budget clothing

 FASHION WITHOUT PRESSURE   Fashion trends to one person may differ to the next especially when it comes to quality fabrics and cost. A few months ago, I was folding some laundry and I noticed one of my sweatshirts was made in Bangladesh. I wondered if the people who had made it were still alive because in 2013 a large garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed and killed over 1,110 people. This factory manufactured clothes for a large number of brands that I happen to have in my closet. It was unsettling to think I was wearing something that had been produced in a sweatshop by workers making about 32 cents and hour. This brings a whole new meaning to the expression “slave to fashion”. I admit that I have closets and dressers overflowing with cheap, disposable clothing. I cannot believe the trash bags of clothes that we stuff into the donation bins at regular intervals. How many articles of clothing does one person need? How many of them do I actually wear on a regular basis? I read a statistic somewhere that people wear 10% of their wardrobe 90% of the time. Clearly, we need a lot less than we buy.   Fashion overflow   Why […]

Spiced Rum Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Spiced Rum Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

SPICE GOES A LONG WAY   If oatmeal raisin cookies are what you fancy you must try my spiced rum oatmeal raisin cookies. My wife and I are both fans of oatmeal raisin cookies especially if they are chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. I don’t know why I thought about spicing up the oatmeal raisin cookie but I’m glad I did. Now I can’t keep these oatmeal raisin cookies in the house long enough before the cookie jar is empty. The best part about these oatmeal raisin cookies is that they are easy to make and use everyday pantry items that most people have on hand if they keep a stocked baking pantry.   Making spiced rum oatmeal raisin cookies   I didn’t add traditional spices from the spice cabinet rather I soaked the raisins over-night in Bacardi Spiced Rum. You don’t need lots of rum to soak your raisins so don’t go hog-wild trying to drunken them up. All you need to do is add a 1/4 cup of spiced rum to 2 cups of raisins and cover over-night on the counter. In the morning you will have plump, juicy spiced rum raisins that will change the taste of your […]

Do you pay debt back on time? : The Saturday Weekend Review #89

red roses pay back debt

 NEVER TOO LATE TO PAY DEBT   Sometimes people think that paying back debt that they owe will disappear if they just forget about it. I have helped friends and family pay debt in the past and it has taken months if not up to a year to recover the money owed to me. It’s likely a reason why I don’t offer money to help people out of debt often because waiting to get the money back is sometimes hit or miss.   Pay debt back   Just recently I received money back from a relative which was borrowed well over a year ago and although I didn’t say anything it puts you in an awkward situation when people think their debts will go away. She told us that she didn’t think we wanted the money back right away since we weren’t in any debt and we both made good money with our jobs. The way I look at it is if you can’t afford to pay your debt than borrowing money will either get you by until money comes your way or you will get further into debt just by paying off one debt yet owing another. Sometimes the […]

Are you letting free money float away? : August 2014 Net Worth Update (+0.99%)

money float away water

MAKE REAL MONEY WITHOUT TRYING   I don’t have any money-making millionaire ideas up my sleeves but what I do know is that when free money is offered, I’ll take it provided it’s legal. The other day while visiting work with our son the conversation of money came up and how much it costs to raise a child. Although there is no concrete number since it depends on many factors including if you buy high-end stuff, too much stuff or are frugal with your cash. That’s only a few reasons of watching your budget grow when you have a child but we also got on the topic of pensions and RESP’s. One co-worker said he wouldn’t bother investing in an RESP if he had a child as he was going to save the money himself nor did he participate in the works pension plan. I was surprised considering how much it costs for him to get his University education however we don’t know if his education was paid in full by his parents or someone else. I know since I had to work to pay for my education I wouldn’t miss out on free money from the government for my […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Should your grocery budget increase with shrinking product packaging: The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept 15-21, 2014

shrinking packaging

SHRINKING FOOD   I’ve talked about whether we eat too much and potentially why a grocery budget might be high but now we have to tackle shrinking product packaging. I often have people visit the blog wanting to find out what an average grocery budget might be so they can plan their own budget. One problem is there are many differences from country to country not to mention the case of shrinking packaging and higher pricing. The wife and I were at Zehrs the other day with our son grocery shopping and my wife mentioned that we were almost out of cheddar cheese. Although I’m not a fan of these commercial types of affordable cheeses we opt to buy them as they fit our grocery budget. I am used to higher end cheeses from when I lived in the UK but try buying them in Canada and your grocery budget will take a huge hit. The only time you might find us indulging is if the cheese has a 50% off pink sticker making the cheese half-price which works for our grocery budget. Sometimes it’s worth buying a stronger cheese because you use less but it depends on what the […]

Child Budgeting: Teach Your Kids to Respect You and Money

Child budgeting with technology

FINANCES FROM A YOUNG AGE   Growing up, my parents hated shopping for me. It was stressful and usually led to rushed purchasing decisions. They would rather spend $300 now to get it over with than spend $200 after shopping around and researching. Now I always wanted more money growing up. So I realized I could both solve their problem and satisfy my desire for more cash. I asked to be given money instead of things. $200 for back-to-school clothing, $20 for school supplies, whatever the occasion, I preferred cash. If they didn’t want to shop around and do the research, I would – and I would feed my piggy bank the money I saved. My parents cheerfully agreed. However, reading CBB, I know you are already budget conscious. So you’re not like my parents who rushed their purchasing decisions. I’m looking to solve a different problem for you – your kids’ lack of interest in budgeting.   Child Budgeting   Child budgeting means your children are budgeting for their own lives. They are taking care of themselves. This can start as early as you feel appropriate. I began at age 13 – a little late because that’s when I […]

Homemade Cucumber Relish

homemade cucumber relish wm

A CONDIMENT WITH PIZZAZZ   Today I’m sharing my cucumber relish because it’s easy and tastes delicious. I am still picking vegetables out of my garden as it’s still giving plenty for us to eat even though summer is coming to an end. If I don’t have it in my garden I usually will pick up fruit at a reduced cost of 50% off which saves me lots of money in my grocery budget. Don’t turn your nose up at these budget saving gems! I don’t know how many times I have made jam or homemade lemonade or anything from the supermarket not good enough to sell at full price. It may have been dented, bruised or even have one disfigured piece of fruit or vegetable in the bag. This doesn’t mean it’s not good to eat it simply means you have to put a bit more work into preparing the food now rather than later. Typically food that I get on the reduced rack doesn’t last long in the refrigerator so I have to use them up right away which normally isn’t an issue as I have frugal recipes up my sleeve. There is actually a supermarket chain in France […]