How to build a rock garden with weed prevention



A few years ago I travelled to England and my first comment when we arrived at our destination was where is all of the grass? Not one single house on the street had a lawn, rather they had a rock garden.

I was informed that being in walking distance from the Irish Sea the drifting salt water made it difficult to have vegetation growing on their properties.

Instead everyone had rock gardens. It looked great!

Rock gardens


Rocks gardens can look nice in the beginning but that can change quickly especially if not prepared or maintained properly. It’s not too often that we see entire properties transformed into rock gardens in North America though many people do enjoy the style and natural touch they can add to their properties.

Unfortunately, there are too many rock gardens that have been neglected or not installed well that are now overgrown and full of weeds, in some cases you are barely able to see the rocks or stones.

Why would you consider building a rock garden?

If a rock garden is properly prepared and installed, it can be a relatively low-maintenance required addition to your landscape which is easy on the budget.

Rocks also pair well with water so if you are thinking of installing a pond or waterfall a surrounding rock garden may just be the finishing touch you are looking for.

A rock garden can also help to improve drainage in your yard. Depending on the slope of your property and if positioned correctly it may even create a natural riverbed.

Rock gardens are often used as a focal point because unlike plants, rocks don’t die and look great year round.

Rock garden preparation


Building a rock garden

The tools and materials you use to build your rock garden will contribute to the amount of regular maintenance your garden will require.

An edger can be used to dig a deep edge that separates the garden from your lawn. You won’t have to replace as many stones overtime as they will settle in the edge and can then be put back in. It also makes it easier to cut any surrounding grass while avoiding hitting any rocks or stones with your lawn mower blades.

While landscape fabric is marketed as a magical way to prevent weeds from growing in your garden it will not prevent all of them. Laying down the fabric before adding soil to your garden will certainly help but while weeds cannot grow up through the fabric they can still grow down into the fabric.

Seeds that make it into your garden whether they made it there by wind, rain, insects or birds can still push their roots right on through it. You will still see weeds but not nearly as many.

When preparing the ground choose a good quality, weed free soil. If you are going to try cut corners by buying cheap materials, buying cheap soil for a rock garden is not a corner you want to cut, especially if you are planning to cover the majority of the garden with stones or pebbles.

Pulling weeds out between rocks is not only painful for your fingers as you are not likely to get a shovel or trowel in without disturbing the natural look of your rock garden but also often it is hard to remove the roots of a weed that is buried in rocks.

The weed will continue to grow back with a bigger and stronger root that will be even harder to remove.  Further in this post I will share some homemade weed killer ideas that can be applied to any weeds that may pop up or prevent the seeds from germinating in the first place.

A garden rake (hard rake) can be used to level and smooth out the underlying soil.

A large pry bar or wrecking bar and a fulcrum (wood blocks to use as pivot points) can be very helpful when trying to move and place a boulder. Moving large boulders is not a one person job they can be extremely heavy and while it may add a nice focal point to your garden it’s not worth throwing out your back.

Once the soil is prepared, you then will want to get any plants in the ground before laying any stone or mulch in the garden.

Rock garden plants


rock garden plants hens and chickens

rock garden plants hens and chickens

What plants can I use in a rock garden?

Really you could plant whatever you would like though some plants will look better and require less work to maintain than others.

Perennials, succulents and ornamental grasses are the best to use in a rock garden as you only have to plant them once and do not have to remove any stone that you would have to if planting annuals every year.

Among many plants that would work well in a rock garden, junipers, rock cress, sedums and hens & chicks are just a few. Hens and Chicks will also easily grow on rocks as you can see in the picture from my driveway.

Try to use a variety of plants with different textures that will compliment the stones and rocks you have used to achieve the natural look.

Keep in mind when choosing plants that some may need dividing to avoid growing too large and taking over your rock garden.

Dividing these plants will not be as easy as ones that are planted in a traditional garden as the rocks can make this a challenge.

If you don’t mind moving the stones or rocks away so you can dig then by all means go ahead, but keep in mind it’s going to be more work for you.

Homemade weed killers


While pulling weeds by hand is an effective, natural approach to weed management it is not very enjoyable and can be painful for your fingers when working around rocks and stones.

Just because the use of herbicides is banned in many places it doesn’t mean there isn’t something out there that you can use to get rid of the pesky weeds that may pop up in your rock garden.

Depending on the design of your garden and the materials that you choose to use, mechanically removing the weeds with a hoe or a trowel will not be an easy way to make maintain a weed free rock garden.

Corn Meal


Sprinkling corn meal over your garden can used as a pre-emergent herbicide as it prevents the germination of all seeds. Not just the seeds from weeds too so make sure you are not spraying around any seeds that are planted in any of your gardens, including your vegetable garden.  Corn meal is often referred to as the birth control of seeds.

Boiling water


This is pretty self-explanatory. Take a kettle of boiling water and pour it on the weeds, being careful not to burn your feet.  The water will scald the leaves and the roots as the water is absorbed in the soil.

Vinegar and dish soap


I am sure most people on Pinterest and Facebook have seen the Homemade Weed Killer recipe that claims to work great to kill your pesky weeds.

  • 1 gallon vinegar
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 tbsp Dawn dish soap

Well I know firsthand that vinegar works well to kill weeds by clogging the leaves’ pores and preventing the process of photosynthesis to occur, eventually killing it.

While the dish soap is used to help the vinegar stick to the plant instead of it running off into the soil, I wouldn’t recommend adding salt. Salt is toxic to our plants, trees and soil and this mixture can really work without it.

Also, this homemade weed killer requires the weed to be leafed out, meaning it will not kill any weeds after you have pulled them out and the root stayed in the ground or if you have just cut the grass.

The leaves need to be present so that it can be absorbed, the more surface area the better. Spraying them after you have just cut the grass or was unsuccessful pulling it out will only be a waste of your money.

With both the boiling water and vinegar/dish soap methods keep in mind that just because it didn’t kill the weed the first time you doused it doesn’t mean it isn’t working. I have seen many dandelions over the years, even very small ones which have had a 2 foot tap-root.

The roots are what you are aiming to kill with these methods and as some weeds will continue to grow back. A couple of applications may be required to get rid of these stubborn weeds.

Always make sure the leaves of the weeds are completely saturated. Both methods can be used on your lawn, driveway, walkways, paths and rock gardens.

A humid, sunny day with no wind is always the best time to spray any liquid herbicide, homemade or not. Pesticide drift may occur when it is windy and can damage surrounding plants.

Don’t defeat the purpose


While the general idea behind a rock garden is add a natural look to your property you can really design one however you please or have a professional do the landscape work for you. Weed prevention is a very important issue to address when planning your rock garden.

A rock garden overgrown with weeds isn’t the natural effect you were likely aiming to achieve. It is inevitable that there will always be weeds but by being one step ahead of them we can control how big of a problem we allow them to be.

Do you have any rock gardens on your property? What experiences can you share?




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The money-box inspired my passion for finance



The money-box I had as a child is a memory that has inspired my love for finance which has continued to broaden as I get older.

My post today is for financial literacy awareness hosted by The Heavy Purse blog.

I’m participating with many other bloggers around the world sharing their Ah ha moment when it came to money at some point in their life.

I was asked to remember my first Ah ha moment in my life when financial sense struck me. For me the money-box was key.

Growing up in the UK for most of my life may differ from life in North America but saving money is universal.

After looking back and remembering things from an early age, I can say without doubt that I’ve been careful with my money for a long time.

The money-box

Even as a young child of roughly six, we got given pocket-money and mine went in the money-box I had. It was nothing special, just a standard looking cube with a coin slit in the top and a stopper in the bottom to get the money out.

I was never happy spending it on things at the drop of a hat. I had to save it, although I have absolutely no idea what I was saving for. We weren’t rich by any means. My mother was a stay at home mum and my father worked all week as a contractor.

Back in the 1980′s life never seemed to run at the same pace it does these days and there just wasn’t the sheer diversity of children’s toys as there is today. It was harder to spend your money on rubbish in those days. Most of our fun was made up with the other kids on our street.
As I grew up it didn’t take long to realise that if I did jobs for people like washing cars and mowing lawns that I could save even more. I never had much desire to have the latest toys either so most of my cash sat in the money-box.

Piggy banks


Pigs piggy banks
One day while walking through town with my mother I was drawn towards a window advertisement in the local Natwest (National Westminster) Bank. There was a young savers account that allowed the account holder to be rewarded for every milestone they reached.
The incentives were a collection of Natwest Piggy Banks which were a variation on the money-box where every £25 saved got you the next Pig in the family.

You opened the account with a minimum balance and got the first (baby) pig and then it was up to you to keep saving for the rest.

I realized with my first Ah ha moment that saving is rewarding. It wasn’t long before I hit the £100 mark and had received the entire family of pigs.
Much to my amazement, when the scheme came to an end, the value of the complete family shot up. Years later I sold my pig collection for more than double what I had saved for.
I don’t remember any other bank running a children’s bank account anything remotely like this since.

That’s a shame, but it seems that the money-box idea has come full circle. Natwest have now decided to re-issue the young savers account but with “Pigby” to encourage a new generation of money savvy youngsters.
The money that I had put away to collect the pigs was eventually moved to a Post Office account at around the age of eleven where I got 10% interest in those days. I would pay in birthday money along with what I had earned.

The interest

Watching the money going up without actually putting more in amazed me. This is probably my second Ah ha moment. Interest was interesting. After asking my parents multiple questions on the basics of money I had worked out that my money needed to be moved and soon.
Moving my money to another account gave me full access and control over my finances. Looking back now it was a very small amount, but it seemed like a lot then.
The account was held with Halifax Building Society which was different from a standard bank but for reasons that currently elude me. The best of it was, when Halifax converted to a standard bank years after, I received a payout from holding money with them over that period.
All the experiences I had from a young age all centered around saving your money and watching it grow. From the lessons learned and the questions I asked I have kept the same principles running till this very day.

It was all of these money lessons starting with the money-box that allowed me to purchase my first home at age 21 and my second just a few years later.


Debt-free under 40


Now I’m married and we are both under the age of 40, debt free including the mortgage. My wife has grown to love finance as much as I have since she was young which helped us to get ahead all these years.

Money isn’t everything that is correct but you need money to live so saving money and spending it where it needed to get spent helped us get from money-box to the Canadian Budget Binder budget spreadsheet. Without our budget we can easily say that we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Saving and waiting to buy something you really wanted has been replaced by buy now and pay later. The anticipation from waiting was all part of the run up to buying it. Once you had bought it, you looked after it.

I’m not even what you would consider old but I still have values that are old school which I don’t think is a bad thing these days. One day when we have a child I’ll teach him/her about finance and maybe a money-box will be the beginning of the financial journey to debt freedom like it has been for us.

What can you say was your Ah ha moment when it comes to finance?


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Product pricing less than the manufacturer advertised price : The grocery game challenge #3 Apr 14-20, 2014

pre-priced products Mr. Goudas honey mielPRODUCT PRICING IN YOUR FACE


Price monitoring may lead to us seeing more of the manufacturer advertised price printed right on the product we are purchasing at the grocery store.

Back in March I wrote a post about the suppliers fighting back because they no longer want to see their products viewed as the loss leader to get customers through the door.

Some places like Shoppers Drug Mart have a great deal on milk which is why we buy it there every week paired with their Shoppers Optimum program for points however the milk is advertised at below cost pricing from what we were told.

Now that’s not a bad thing from our perspective as a customer because we use milk every day and we want the best prices. We shop more at Shoppers Drug Mart not just because the milk is cheap but also because of the points program and great flyer specials they have.

Does the milk get us through the door? You bet! If we didn’t need milk and eggs which also go on for a great price at $1.99 most weeks we might not go in as much. You know you are a regular when the staff know you by name like they do us lol.


Manufacturer advertised price


It was the product in the photo above Mr. Goudas Honey with the manufacturer advertised price on the bottle that alerted me to something I haven’t seen before in terms of pricing. However as you can see the store price tag is selling the honey for less than the manufacturer advertised price at $6.49.

Even if it’s only the manufacturer suggested retail price on the product the retailer has to decide whether they want to sell it at that price or lower the price. You won’t see the price any higher than the labelled price because that would simply make no sense whatsoever.

In a way I see this as the manufacturer forcing the retailer to make a pricing decision based on what the manufacture advertised price is on the product. They know that the retailer won’t drop the price too drastic so they cap it off at what they believe the price should be and hope for the best.

I don’t know of any product pricing laws in Canada besides the scanning code of practice but that’s not a law it’s just voluntary however you never know what lurks around corners.

Sure, we look at that immediately as it’s a great deal because we are paying less than what they originally wanted. Who is they? The manufacturer of course by why are they putting prices on the products now?

Maybe they are trying to force the stores to sell the product at that price and this is what we have to look forward to in the future. This may also be a way for the manufacturer to control the pricing from going higher but not so much lower at the moment.

We often hear of friends and fans of the blogs going over to the USA to do shopping and it’s because the price gap between the US and Canadian products makes that trip worthwhile for them.

Even though you factor in toll costs and travel time and gas for cross-border shopping once you do the math with your grocery bill you still may save more money than if you simply shopped at home in Canada.

Do we want to keep the money in Canada? Sure we do but pricing and budgets matched with what Canadian families can afford may just draw them over the border.

Do you think we will see more products with a manufacturer advertised price on them? What do you think of this type of pricing by the manufacturer?


April grocery game challenge posts


If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up for the month each week here in this section for you. :)


Grocery saving tips


Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!

Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.

I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the saving process in your grocery budget today.

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 for FREE.

NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…… Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget.. check it out!


Ultimate grocery shopping guide


Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below with new information added monthly.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their own page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email and let me know.


Food food and more food



Food Basics

4 x Frozen Wild Salmon- Sale $6.97 reg $10

Total out-of-pocket $27.88

Grocery shop results


 Wild Pacific Salmon


Yearly grocery budget for two: $2820

(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $240 per year or $20 per month.)

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00 or $78.33 week with potentially one no-shop week per month or $58.75 for 4 weeks per month. (During the months with 5 weeks we just make it work)
  • Total Budget for March $235.00-$20.82=$214.18/4=$53.54
  • Total Coupons Used this Week : $0
  • Total Coupons Used to date: $33.75
  • Total Discounts this Week: $0
  • Total Discounts Used to date: $5.54
  • Total Gift Cards Used to date: $33.18
  • Total Rewards Points Used: $0
  • Total Rewards Points Used to date: $0
  • Stockpile Budget ($20.00): $20.00-$20.00=$0
  • Stockpile Budget Used to Date: $20.00+$19.08+$17.94+ $2.06+$20.00
  • Total Spent This Week: $27.88
  • Total Spent So Far April: $202.45
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $n/a
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month: $n/a
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $39.31-$27.88= $11.43
  • Total to Carry Over Next Month: $n/a
  • Total Spent To Date This Year: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $242.66+ Feb $191.74+ March $255.82+April $
  • Weekly Overview: We are away for the week so we are eating at the relatives so we didn’t need too much in terms of shopping, well nothing lol. We did pick up the salmon since it’s such a great price and we love it. We don’t have much left to spend for thee month with the stocking up we’ve done. We do have $70 in PC points now to use if we need to.


Coupon Sleuth


We didn’t find any coupons this week since we didn’t really shop.

Did you find any coupons? If so share the details in the comment section of this post where you found it and what the coupon is for with expiry.


Frequently Asked Questions



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.


  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?


No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.


  • When does the Grocery Game close each month?


The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long.


  • Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?


Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. 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 more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.



Here are your latest Coupon Match-ups of the week and your weekly Checkout 51 offers from 25 Newspaper Inserts around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge.


  • What is an FPC?


An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.



You can find all your store coupon policies here. If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.



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.

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.

You may also substitute items in order to stick to your grocery budget to make it work. Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2014 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.

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 Canada 2014!




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Where can I get cash for second-hand clothes?

cash for second-hand clothesEVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS


Don’t think that you can’t get cash for second-hand clothes  because you can if you know how to turn used clothes into money back in your pocket. 

These days your options span from selling second-hand clothes online to having customers come to your home for a garage sale to visiting a consignment store.

There was a time a couple of years ago when we shopped second-hand clothing stores because it was cheaper to buy clothes that were used rather than buying them new.

The problem is that so many people are now frequenting these shops that prices have gone up exponentially to the point where you have to justify a purchase price.

My new motto is “just because it’s used doesn’t mean it’s a bargain price” and it’s true, if you know your prices when you shop second-hand shops. You will be shocked at some of the prices these days although if you go to the right places you can still save some money.

Going into Value Village used to be a fun trip for us because we would try to see if we could find good quality items that we would have to pay out the nose for at the mall or other shops for dirt cheap.

I can’t tell you how many times a week our phone rings with an organization asking to pick up used clothing which they sell for profit. There’s certainly money to be made in the second-hand clothing industry these days.

We were very successful on many occasions even finding brand new clothing items with the tags still on them for prices you just couldn’t pass up. It used to be that garage sales had the best deals on used clothing and other items but it seemed that during the off-season it was best to shop second-hand. That’s not so much the case anymore.

Consignment stores are nothing new and were shops that people knew about but not many people shopped in them. These days it’s the other way around and everyone knows what a consignment store is and loves to shop at them.

You can easily find vintage clothing for a fraction of the price. The kicker here is that people make money from their used clothes and so cash for clothes is now exploding.




Why donate when you can get cash for clothes that are used? I know it sounds silly that you would just give your clothes away for free when you can get cash for them. Not everyone cares to make money by selling their used clothing but the reality is not everyone has money sitting in the bank waiting for someone to spend it.

Sure donating is a great way to give back to those that are in need but if you have debt that you are struggling to pay back or other financial problems and you can get cash for clothes you would normally donate why wouldn’t you?

The big fashion these days is finding used clothes for a great deal and it’s not just the people who are struggling to make ends meet it’s the people with good incomes who are saying they want in on the savings too.


Second-hand clothes


If you’ve ever asked yourself “where can I sell second-hand clothes?” there are a few popular options for you that I will talk about today.

The above question is what one fan emailed me about because she says she has 3 children and a basement full of baby and toddler clothing. She bought some of the clothing used and other items were bought full-price at fashion clothing stores for kids which cost her quite a bit of money.

She said if she can get cash for clothes rather than giving them away she could put that money to good use, maybe into the kid’s college fund. Good point. Why not recycle the money that she spent by making someone else rich. I’m not joking either.

Starting a second-hand clothing store might be a smart idea according to my wife who was out shopping with her friend for second-hand baby clothes at a consignment baby store.

My wife said when she entered the store it was a floor to ceiling shop full of baby and toddler clothes and everything else under the sun that you would need for a child. One thing she noticed right off the hop was the prices.

She was shocked at the prices of second-hand items in the store. One top that you could easily find on sale at Old Navy was costing $5.50 not to mention the bins of shoes. Here’s the funny part.

While looking through the used shoes a few pairs from the dollar store came into view of my wife. She said that she had seen them for $1 at the Dollar store. When she flipped the shoe over the second-hand store was selling them for $6.50 a pair. OMG.

When my wife brought this to the attention to the store worker she shrugged it off and said the prices were generated by a computer. So, if you don’t know what you are buying you could be blowing more money than you really need to.

Not only did my wife find that doozy of a deal she listened and watched. This shop accepts any type of baby or toddler clothing in which you can get cash for clothes that you were likely going to donate. The women and men were piling through the door with boxes of items and once you take your cheese counter ticket number they call you up to go through your items.

They check to make sure everything is in good shape and tell you how much they will give you per item. Don’t be shocked when I tell you they only give you $0.50 for tops and $0.75 for name brand jeans.

Oh ya, my wife was amazed because if you think you are going to get rich from getting cash for clothes you were going to give away think again.

Sure it’s money you wouldn’t have had but they turn around and sell that top you got $0.50 for $5.50. The profit on the clothing and baby items in this shop is enormous. A baby bath that are a dime a dozen online sell for $3-$5 for a bog standard tub but in the second-hand shop some beat up tubs were selling for $12.


Know your prices


While roaming around different stores recently I would look in to check the prices on some of the baby items and bath tubs can range in price from $15-$50 even cheaper if you watch for sales.

Baby onesies Carter brand with a zipper were on sale brand new for $6.99 at Sears reg $12.99 or you could buy them second-hand for $6.00+ at the second-hand store. Makes you wonder if they are hoping you don’t shop retail believing the prices are too expensive.

It’s no wonder more and more of these shops are turning up around town but are they the best place to shop for second-hand clothes?

I doubt it’s because more and more moms and dads are fighting back with the high prices at these second-hand shops by starting their own groups online and of course the traditional summer garage sales.

If you want to buy second-hand go where the prices are reasonable. Sure, you may find items at the second-hand store that are cheaper but if a majority of what you buy is close to retail when on sale are you really saving much?

Since this shopping trip my wife and I have been closely watching online sites to see where you can get cash for clothes and whether prices were better moving away from the second-hand store and you better believe they are.

The top two places were Facebook and garage sales to score the best deals if buying and selling your second-hand clothes for cash. If you want freebies well you’d better stick to freecycle.

Below are a few places you can get cash for second-hand clothes if you really want to sell them to make some money back but remember just because you sell second-hand clothes doesn’t mean the prices are the best to buy them.


The second-hand shop


Not all second-hand shops will offer cash for clothes but like the baby shop I talked about above you can earn some money back if you bring in all the items that are collecting dust in your home. I can’t promise you big bucks but you will likely get something even if you were given the items for free.




Are you looking to get rid of clothing and any other clutter in your home? Look no further than the social network giant, Facebook. There are so many groups that have been started for each city by people just like you who want to sell items.

If you have kids who have outgrown their clothes and you want to get cash for second-hand clothes get involved with these Facebook auction pages and see the money start to pile up.

You may even score more cash doing it this way rather than spending your time and gas going to a second-hand shop who offers you a small cut of the sale like above. Keep in mind not all second-hand shops may be like that one but it’s best to ring them up first to ask questions.

I didn’t explore further if other social media outlets like Twitter or Google Plus etc. have groups where you can get cash for clothes although it wouldn’t surprise me.


Consignment store


A consignment store is similar to the second-hand store above although I’ve seen more consignment stores accept adult and youth clothing over baby clothing and items. You may also find different styles of consignment stores such as clothing only or furniture only.

These shops will go over the items you bring in and they know the original price and will offer you a cut. They turn around and sell the item for profit. It’s a win-win situation like above but don’t expect to get rich.

I know my wife’s friend had a wedding dress that she had paid over $2000 for and a wedding consignment store offered her $150 dollars for it. You can bet they would turn around and sell it for 3 times as much.


Garage sale


It’s that time of year where garage sales are popping up every weekend. I always have people coming to CBB to find out more information on how to price items for a garage sale and that tells me it’s no easy task. I have shared my tips on how to buy and sell at a garage sale in the past but to be honest it’s not that hard as long as you know your prices. Garage sales weren’t meant to make you rich but if you sell your items for a reasonable price people will buy them.

We have seen on many occasions tables and racks filled with adult and kids clothing and prices that you just can’t beat. The best part is you can haggle with the seller because they want cash for clothes and you want to pay the least amount.

Negotiating is something you don’t get in second-hand shops or consignment stores that I’m aware of but you can haggle on Facebook depending on the group you join as they all have different rules.

What we learned from this quick research project over the past month is that if you want to get cash for second-hand clothes you no longer want you can easily make some money but you won’t be sailing off to the Caribbean with the profits. Explore all of your options first and knowing your prices are the key factors to take away from this post.

Have you got cash for clothes at a second-hand or consignment shop?

Do you use Facebook to buy and sell items?

What other tips can you share for the readers that I may have missed?




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Creamy Rice Pudding



I know many of you have asked for a few of my “What’s for Dinner” recipes from our nightly chit-chat at the Canadian Budget Binder Facebook page so here is the creamy rice pudding recipe that we had the other week.

How to make rice pudding?

It’s so easy you will wonder why you never tried it sooner. Don’t worry though because we all have to start somewhere when it comes to creating new dishes for our families.

Trial and error is always important although getting it right the first time helps. I can easily say I’ve learned from my mistakes over the years but that has made me a better cook for my family.


Rice pudding


This is an ideal rice pudding that you can make any time of year as this can be eaten hot or cold and perfect to bring to parties, pot-luck or even a family BBQ in the summer.

I know I always have my friends asking me for recipes that they can whip up in a flash that are unique so they can bring them to gatherings and rice pudding is a dessert my family loves.

One good thing about rice pudding is that it is an inexpensive dessert to make and doesn’t take much effort at all as long as you have all your ingredients in the pantry.

If you think rice pudding is boring on its own you can easily jazz it up with a multitude of flavour toppings. My kids enjoy putting a dollop of jam or compote into their rice or even chocolate chips are a hit to add a bit more sweetness to the rice pudding.

This rice pudding recipe will fill you up and hit the spot especially if you are craving something creamy with a bit of sweetness, I promise! Not only is this rice pudding easy to make it’s light, fluffy and creamy and even though it’s made with Arborio rice it doesn’t give you that heavy feeling after you eat it like some puddings can.

What is Arborio rice?

Arborio rice is a short-grain Italian rice which is used in many rice pudding recipes. You can find Arborio rice in just about any grocery store in the international section or Italian section. You can also easily find it at any bulk food store in your area.

There are many kinds of rice from Basmati rice, brown rice, black or red rice, white to Arborio rice and sweet jasmine rice. They all make wonderful dishes but the ideal rice for this recipe is arborio rice.

It’s mostly used in risotto as it soaks up the liquid that you put into the dish. This is why it’s an ideal candidate for rice pudding and what gives it a really creamy texture.

You will definitely be going back for seconds or even thirds of this creamy rice pudding so make sure you make a double batch.

Creamy Rice Pudding steps

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Creamy Rice Pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
If you love rice pudding then you will love this easy, inexpensive rice pudding recipe.
Recipe type: Rice Pudding
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 6-8
  • ½ cup of Arborio rice per person
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 nob butter
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 cups milk
  • 250ml whipping cream
  1. Place milk, rice, sugar and butter into the pan and slowly bring it up to a boil.
  2. Once boiling turn it right down to low. Stir frequently as to not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. If you see that the rice has soaked up the milk and the rice is still hard just keep adding a little milk at a time until rice has fully cooked.
  4. Once cooked take off heat and cool.
  5. Whisk up your egg white until stiff. Do the same with the cream.
  6. Now fold in egg white then your cream this must be done whilst the rice is cool.
  7. You can now eat it cold or heat it up gently in the pan.


You can now eat it cold or heat it up gently in the pan.If you are looking for an easy rice pudding recipe that tastes delicious look no further. Trust me when I say I make it often and that I don’t have leftovers.


-Nicky x



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