Black Friday Shopping Is Now On Our To-Do List For 2 Reasons

black friday shopping is on our to do list for 2 reasons

MISS THE SAVINGS AND YOU MAY END UP PAYING THE PRICE   Black Friday shopping may be just another day to you but for many consumers it’s a day to save money in their budget and a great way to buy gifts for the holidays. I really don’t know why they call it Black Friday though when most retailers are starting sales on Thursday and some even going all week-long. Black Friday is not a one day sale anymore which I discussed last year but it seems every year some retailers add an extra day or wow factor to the day. Even the 2015 Canadian Tire flyer states “Black Friday Starts with Red Thursday“. Retailers may as well offer Black Friday shopping with a full month of savings for consumers in November and be done with it. Sooner or later it will be Maroon Monday Turquoise Tuesday White Wednesday Red Thursday Black Friday Sky Blue Saturday Sea Green Sunday There, I’ve done the work for them. All joking aside you get the point. My email inbox has been flooded with Black Friday promos this past week and once that’s done there will be another marketing extravaganza for the next big […]

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7 Expensive Grocery Shopping Habits You Should Stop! : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Nov 23-29, 2015

7 expensive grocery shopping habits you should stop

DON’T FALL INTO THESE MONEY TRAPS   If you are spending too much money on groceries you likely display one or more of the seven grocery shopping habits I’m going to discuss today. This past weekend my wife and I were shopping at Zehrs where we always find great grocery deals up to 50% off that compliment our grocery budget. We also like the quality of food that we find compared to other grocery stores but we certainly aren’t  grocery snobs by any means. We shop where the savings are. Although not everyone jumps with enthusiasm when they see 50% off reduced stickers we both questioned just how much our grocery bill would be if they weren’t reduced. Realistically these reduced deals we find could disappear altogether one day where we are left with only flyer sales and coupon deals. We’d possibly see an increase in our overall grocery spending which means we’d have to re-evaluate our grocery budget or find other ways to keep expenses low. For the most part I think we would be fine as we are savvy shoppers, but ask yourself one question- Can we afford it? The biggest concern for us is our overall savings […]

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pancakes (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)


ADD THESE CREAM CHEESE PANCAKES TO YOUR BREAKFAST MENU   I’ve created my version of low-carb cream cheese pancakes and they taste delicious for a quick breakfast on the run. Lately I’ve been talking about my wife being on a low-carb diet to help get rid of some weight she gained during her pregnancy. As an avid runner she would like to get back into the gym and back to the active lifestyle she once had. Part of her inspiration comes from the popular Atkins Diet that has proven successful for so many men and women around the world. You only have to look at photos and read stories on social media sites to see how the Atkins Diet has changed lives. The most important part I like to remind my wife about is that eating should be part of a “lifestyle” and not something you do just because you think you have to do it. I’ve read all that I can about the Atkins Diet over the past few weeks including Atkins recipes so I could help my wife prepare or create her meals. Although she only went through the Atkins induction stage for 2 weeks to jump-start her […]

Stealing Outdoor Christmas Decorations Is The New Money High : The Saturday Weekend Review #148

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IF IT’S NOT NAILED DOWN YOU’LL LOSE IT   Just when you thought your home was safe because you installed a home security system now you have to worry about theft outside your home, including Christmas decorations. We’re told to lock our doors before we retire for the evening and to never leave valuables in our vehicles. These days homeowners are faced with not leaving anything worth value outside the home because their house might be the next target for thieves. Don’t think that something won’t be stolen because it’s too heavy or just not realistic. There’s always a plan if someone wants something bad enough. The world is filled with people whose only goals in life are to come up with ideas on how to commit crimes to earn money. Many are good at it too because they never get caught but one day they might. Maybe that’s all part of the risk or the thrill for them. Just last week our neighbour put out his Christmas decorations as most of our neighbours had. He typically has Christmas lights around the house and this year he put out some ornaments that he picked up during the end-of-season sale last […]

I Doubled My 20% Savings Rate By Cutting Out These 5 Things

how i doubled my 20 percent savings rate (1)

YOU CAN ALWAYS SAVE   By: Des from Half Banked One of the fastest – and safest – ways to reach your financial goals is to increase your savings rate. I say that as a millennial who isn’t making the “big bucks”, so this is a widely applicable concept. Increasing your savings rate isn’t just for people looking to retire early! Related post: A Beginners Guide To Early Retirement Let’s say you’re saving $100 a month, and your goal is to build a $5000 emergency fund. At $100 a month, it will take you just over 4 years to hit your goal, assuming you’re saving your emergency fund in a high-interest savings account that pays 1% interest, compounded monthly. If you were to double that savings rate, and put $200 towards your emergency fund every month, you’d reach your goal in just over two years. You’ve just slashed the time it will take you to reach your savings goal in half, just by increasing your savings rate. You didn’t need to rely on any high-risk investments, and your emergency fund is good to go a lot sooner.   Why did I increase my savings rate?   As a millennial, I’m […]

grocery game monthly challenge

3 Ways You Can Have A Food Shopping List With Variety And Save Money : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Nov 16-22, 2015


FOOD DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING   Having the same weekly food shopping list when we grocery shop is a part of our past. We’ve learned that we really don’t like eating olives every day if we don’t have to. These days we have plenty of variety in our diet and we owe it all to our grocery budget and a few other motivations that everyone should be aware of. I think most people buy the same foods out of habit because there’s no method to the madness of consistency in the kitchen especially if you have a busy schedule. Last week fellow personal finance blogger at Budget Blonde Catherine who is an amazing saver left the comment below on my blog post. Her words had me wondering if others create the same food shopping list every week because it’s cheaper on the grocery budget. I also considered that some people may want the same foods each week because they have recipes in mind that they’ve done over and over which saves time and in their opinion, money. I love to have some variety in my diet, but I’ve found that the more variety I seek the more money I […]

Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Italian Meatballs


HOMEMADE SOUP NEVER TASTED SO GOOD   Move over chicken noodle soup I have a cauliflower cheese soup that will hit the spot and it’s topped with Italian meatballs. Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that are underrated and most people use it for veggies and dip but you can make so many gorgeous recipes with cauliflower. Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds. Brassica oleracea also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, though they are of different cultivar groups.- Wikipedia You can buy cauliflower that is white, orange, green or purple but you’ll pay more for the unusual coloured varieties. Cauliflower can be eaten raw, roasted, mashed, boiled, fried, steamed and baked and is low in carbohydrates which makes it perfect for low-carb diets such as the Atikins diet and is used as a substitute for potatoes and rice. I can hardly tell the difference when we make cheesy mashed cauliflower compared to mashed cheesy potatoes. Come October my soup radar starts going off especially as the nights get colder and we start to crave meals that are comforting. I happened to buy a massive cauliflower for $0.99 and needed something […]

A Huge Water Bill Could Surprise You If You Don’t Do This Now : The Saturday Weekend Review # 147

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WHY IS MY WATER BILL SO HIGH?   Homeowners and landlords must read this about their water bill because as shocking as what I’ve learned this past week it means any of us are at risk. As a homeowner in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) our water usage in the summer definitely makes a difference on our water bill. Starting around June we have plants to water and I am a bit obsessive about keeping our front and back grass the greenest out of all the surrounding neighbours. Now that we have a little boy running around he also likes to play in the sprinkler and we fill his water table and kiddie pool up just about daily in the summer so he can cool off. Even though we have a water barrel on the side of our home which helps save some money it’s just not enough to fill our outdoor water needs. If we had more space I’d add a few more barrels but that simply is not the case for us. Our neighbour is in the same position and would love to use outdoor water exclusively from his water barrel but can’t. Typically we see a monthly […]

Worry about your financial future now not when you retire : October Net Worth Update 2015 (+2.50%)


RETIRE HAVING THE MONEY YOU NEED FOR THE LIFESTYLE YOU WANT   Some people dream about when they get to retire where others forget about their financial future the moment they get their first pay-cheque. If you really don’t care about money and saving for your future you likely won’t be shocked if it doesn’t go as planned for you. I know times are tough but learning to save a dollar here and a dollar there is better than nothing at all. Canadians are worried about their debt and retirement and rightfully so, it’s a tough world out there. Even though I started buying houses when I was young I always kept telling myself that my financial future depended on what I did. I’m glad I listened to myself.   Your financial future depends on you   The time is now to start worrying about where you will be financially when you retire not when you retire. You shouldn’t have the burden of debt on your shoulders when you are a senior but many do and it’s tough. Not everyone has that golden opportunity to retire early but even if you have to continue working at least knowing there is […]

grocery game monthly challenge

10 Breakfast Ideas That Are Budget-Friendly : The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Nov 9-15, 2015

10 breakfast ideas (1)

THE MEAL OF CHAMPS   We’ve all heard that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day but for many people we let the busy morning get the best of us so we skip it. Everyday there are school breakfast program advertisements on the television because without breakfast it’s hard for kids to concentrate. The same holds true for adults which is why we need to eat a balanced breakfast in the morning. I’m probably one of the worst breakfast eaters since our son was born but I’ve been working on changing that. With a busy morning I am that person who puts my needs aside to help take care of everyone else. Typically grabbing a coffee in the morning would work for me but now I’m reverting back to my old ways where breakfast is king. I want our son to realize how important it is to sit around the breakfast table in the morning and why it’s important to get up early to do so. While grocery shopping, I always go down the cereal aisle to see what bargains we can find. Buying cereal used to be a big deal in our house when coupons made […]

Sweet Peach Crumble Bars


FRESH PEACHES NEVER TASTED SO GOOD   If you love peach desserts with fresh peaches I’ve created these gorgeous, sweet peach crumble bars for you that will take your mind off of anything that is bothering you while you sink your teeth into one of them. Although these peach crumble bars are perfect as a fall or winter treat they will also make a great peach dessert for your Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner. What I like about having easy desserts in my recipe repertoire is that I can turn to them in an instant to create something that tastes like a bakery made it. I’m a big fan of bar recipes because they are easy to eat and transport as a snack for work or for those who go to school. My coconut cherry pie bars are one of my favourite but I am also passionate about these peach crumble bars that are sweet and hit the spot.   Peach Varieties   In Ontario we are lucky to have delicious home-grown peaches in many varieties and produce 82% of the national production according to where you can learn all about Ontario fruits including availability, storage and handling and some […]

Should I Spend $35,000 to Renovate My House or Move? : The Saturday Weekend Review #146

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HOME OWNERSHIP ISSUES   How much does it cost to renovate a house? Well, to renovate anything to do with your house can cost as little or as much as you’re prepared to spend. With everything on the market these days there are high-end products and for those who don’t wish to spend too much money you can be frugal and spend less on lower-budget fixes. With each of the above your choices can make or break the sale of your home depending on what you choose to renovate and how much money you put into the renovation itself. When I say make or break I mean how much money you’ll get for what you put into the house or for what it’s worth. A friend of mine who is single bought a 25-year-old starter home a little over 5 years ago in a great area of town. His house is around 2000sq feet with a fully finished basement that needs updating. Other areas of the house he wishes to renovate are both the full-bathrooms and the kitchen. The roof and windows have already been replaced since he purchased the home. The most common areas of a house to renovate […]