Driven To Quit Smoking Challenge Has Ended- A Lifestyle Change For Love,Health,Money

As you may know we quit smoking on January 29,2012 because it was the right thing to do. We have been tossing the idea in the air for over a year and we had to jump in head first. Our mates were very excited for us when we finally told them because they truly wanted to see us live a healthier lifestyle.  I am naturally fit as my job keeps me that way but I do all the right things including lifting weights, sports and eating healthy. Smoking was always our downfall and a way to cope with stress and everyday life.

Here are some changes we noted since we have quit:

  • When I’m working out at the gym I don’t get winded as fast. I feel like my lungs are wide open and fresh and that I can carry out anything I set my mind to.  If you want to lead a healthy lifestyle just being active 3 days a week is important. You don’t have to be a big gym buff like I am but simply walking the dog or to the park gets you out of the house and moving is what is important.  This is what the Mrs likes to do with her mates and I think it is a great way to motivate your friends.
  • Eating Healthy has always been smart for us but challenging when we quit smoking so we had cravings  mainly sweets (My famous Mr.CBB Fudgy Brownies). We are hoping to keep our weight down and continue to fight the cravings although a treat here and there never hurts anyone! Work hard and reward yourself in money and in health!
  • Incorporating The Grocery Game Challenge at my blog has encouraged me to buy  fresh  vegetables, meats, dairy and grain products as opposed to convenience foods as we post what we buy. We are working hard at making these lifestyle changes.
  • My mates come around to shoot some hoops more often now that I am motivated more than ever to get outdoors
  • I don’t smell like smoke any longer and my sense of smell has gotten better.  This was a big deal for me especially as I love cologne and fresh smells.  I was always bothered that I potentially would smell like smoke.  I can smell smoke from a mile away if someone is a smoker but I don’t discriminate as I was once in their shoes. It’s not a pleasant after-smell and you won’t realize it until you quit.
  • Our overall appearance seems brighter and rosier, and we love to have a good laugh and take the piss out of each other even more now. We focus  on our relationship with the time we have gained back from not smoking. We wanted to do this so we could spend more time together in this world, after all Love is, what we make of  it!

So even though the Driven to Quit Challenge is over as of tonight March 31,2012 we are happy to say we have remained smoke free since our quit date in January 2012. We have saved over $300 in cigarettes and gained back weeks in our lives.

The cost of  smoking on your health and budget is phenomenal and if  I could beg you all to quit I would. It’s up to you to make that lifestyle change! We will continue this challenge as a lifestyle change and challenge ourselves to stay smoke-free for the rest of our lives.

Even if we don’t win a prize in this Challenge we know that there is no prize big enough to conquer the LOVE we have for each other and what the rest of our lives together will mean to us!

We want to thank all of our family,mates and fans for their continued support and of course The Smoker’s Hotline and The Driven To Quit Challenge. Without all of you this would never have happened. You need a great support system when you quit smoking and that is what we did get from all of you, so thanks! We love you all!

Cheers,

Mr. & Mrs. CBB~

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Mr.CBB’s Sloppy Joe~ So Good, So Easy, So Frugal $0.95 each

I was going to BBQ some burgers last night but time out with the boys at the gym brought me back a bit late to turn out my burger recipe. What I do is change it up by turning my lean beef into Mr. CBB’s famous Sloppy Joe’s. The wife and our mates just love these and I also make them when I’m in a pinch just like tonight.

The recipe makes 8 Sloppy Joe’s and trust me they will be gone especially if you have hungry mates like I did last night! The cost to make this recipe is  around $0.95 each Sloppy Joe and I was on the top end with prices. This could even be much more frugal than it seems!

So here we go……

Total Time start to finish under 30 minutes!

Tools

  • Large frying pan
  • Spatula

Ingredients

8 fresh Hamburger Buns or any Round Bun

  • 1 can of Tomato paste 6 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 table spoons white distilled vinegar
  • 1 table spoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dry basil
  • 1/2 cup of  Tomato Ketchup
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 1 large green pepper chopped ( or any colour you like)
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar packed
  • 1lb of Lean Beef ( or whichever you prefer can be chicken or turkey etc)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

How to put it all together!

In the frying pan add a bit of olive oil if you are using a very lean beef just to help it brown for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Then add in the onions, garlic and green peppers you chopped earlier and saute for 5 mins or until the meat is no longer pink.

Add in the water and can of tomato paste and stir until dissolved in the frying pan.

Then add in the vinegar,Worcestershire Sauce and ketchup then stir. Once that is all mixed in add in all the spices including the brown sugar and let it simmer on low for about 10 minutes so the flavours have some time to concentrate and the liquid thickens up.

Once they are done scoop some inside of a fresh bun and enjoy! 

You can pair this with a nice side salad and a BEER!

Photograph of Picaroons Best Bitter, a Canadia...

Cheers Enjoy Folks,

Mr.CBB

Related Posts:

Mr. CBB’s Fudgy Brownies $5 a Pan

Mr. CBB’s Easter Dinner for 8 in the Crockpot $1.25 a plate

Mr. CBB’s Pasta Frittata Pie with Spciy Italian Sausage $9.00

There’s loads more Frugal Recipes on my blog so go check them out! If you try them let me know what you think!

You can also find me on Facebook HERE or on Twitter HERE… chat to you then! Mr.CBB

All pictures copyright- CanadianBudgetBinder

My Canadian Neighbour Paid Me To Walk My Dog ~ So Thanks!

When I started this blog I thought if I ever did any advertising I would be thrilled to make enough money for a case of beer a month.  I don’t drink often but in the hot summer I don’t mind a cold one or 2 out on the deck with me mates.

Although I love budgeting, quitting me day job to sit with you on a full-time basis is not yet a reality … although I’m optimistic.  Everyone knows Mr.CBB is a frugal young man who loves to save his pennies where he can.  If that means picking one up off the ground, ya damn right I will. Money is money even when it’s free money and every penny counts.

Last autumn we took a drive up to the local park where campers spent some of their summer. We were able to wander in free of charge as the sun was put away for another year. While walking round I poked my head in a bin. To my surprise I saw… yep you guessed it, “beer cans” and lots of them.

I normally keep a plastic bag in my truck so what began as a stroll in the park turned into “I wonder if I can get enough can’s to cover the cost of a case of beer”  ha!  You’re laughing I know but you won’t be when I tell you after one hour checking (every single bin in the joint) we managed to find enough cans to get 1 case of beer! That’s right folks 1 free 24 of BEER!

Now I”m not saying everyone should pop there head in bins looking for beer cans (unless you want to) but if it’s staring at you, grab it.  Although I wish I could go back once a week this was only a one time affair as the season was over like I mentioned earlier.

So what’s a man to do…..

I truly, could not believe how much Canadians throw away in the garbage, especially money.  I even found some wine bottles as well… you know you get money back for them too right?

Since buying our first home in Canada we have been walking the dog around the block 2 times per day once in the morning and once in the evening. The wife an avid couponer  (I assist) was always keeping an eye out for freebies in our neighbours  bins.

Once I started to pay more attention I started to notice…

You guessed it…

BEER CANS! lots of beer cans…. I thought my neighbours must be loaded (rich) to be able to toss them out! Who throws money away? I mean if you drink them you must go back to get more, so why are you tossing money in the bin?

Note** It may be a  by-law in some cities that people are not permitted to take from bins put out to the curb. If  it is a by-law you  simply could ask your neighbour if you can have what’s in their bin.  Call your local City as not all cities/towns have a by-law depending on where you live.

I’ve chalked it up to

1-Simply being lazy

2-The wife can’t stand finding the cans all over the house she just tosses them in the bin

3-Too drunk to organize them for return?

Yesterday for example I found a bin jam packed with cans and I mean jammed (though not all cans o’ booze).  I wasn’t sure that my bags would hold them all but they did.

I ended up with 21 beer cans and 2 wine bottles from one house! That’s $2.50 of free beer for me or money in my budget!

You can see from the picture above those are most of the cans I simply collected from a blue bin at my neighbours house while walking the dog. So I just wanted to write this and say, Thank-you to  my neighbour  for paying me to walk my dog!

You all make me so happy! :-)

Cheers,

Mr.CBB

You can Follow me on Twitter  HERE or Facebook HERE!

Related Posts:

Top 6 Reasons People Go Into Debt

Keeping The Costs Down- Spring Cleaning In The Canadian Sun

It’s a Spicy Price To Pay For Convenience Foods

Copyright Picture- If you would like to use it contact Mr.CBB.

Freezer Inventory List- Why A List Is A Smart Savings Move

What's Inside Your Freezer

Yes, a freezer inventory list can save you money, and lots of it. If you don’t know what you have inside your deep freezer or if you have products at the bottom that have been there since the dawn of time read on. I hope by the end of reading this blog post you will be printing my free freezer inventory list for your home.

It doesn’t matter if you have a mini deep freezer or a full size deep freezer if it’s frozen you need to know what you’ve got. The use of a freezer is a great tool to save money but it can also cost you money if you are having to throw food in the garbage.

Are you as good at taking food out of the freezer as you are at putting it in? Do you buy something and later find you have 3 more near the bottom of the freezer? You know you are nodding your head while reading this or at least saying Yep! No we’re not having a “Freezer Wars”  here but we are taking inventory of what we have in stock.

When you have leftover food and are looking for ways to keep it until you can eat it up most people turn to the freezer. Freezer food is a great way to prep meals for down the road, lunches or lazy nights when you don’t want to prepare a meal.  Making sure you come up with ways to  never waste food is important as so many people in this world wish they had a meal on the table. Some of us take food for granted not to mention the money it’s costing our wallets every time we have to shop at the grocery store.

I know we have looked at ways to make sure everything gets eaten before it turns to lost money in our budget. We don’t tend to stockpile food much any more because we simply can’t keep up with the expiry dates and end up wasting food. Many Canadian Budget Binder fans were asking me to design a printable freezer inventory list so they knew exactly what was in their freezer. I thought it was a brilliant idea since 99% of the time we are moving bits around to see what we have. Most times we are shocked to see we purchased more of one item we did not need.

Freezer Inventory List

Freezer Inventory List 2013 preview photo

The photo above is a quick snapshot at part of the freezer inventory list that is yours today, free if you want it for your home. It doesn’t have to be fancy with photos and colour just something to tell you the important information you need. You can easily hang or tape these sheets beside your freezer or keep them in a 3-ring binder for easy reference.

Another aspect of freezing products to keep in mind is life expectancy of the product. When stockpiling items especially if you use coupons or get a great deal on reduced items (especially those pink 50% off stickers) you must be aware of the expiry date and how long a product can be frozen for. Keeping a clean freezer also helps to make sure you rotate your stock so you eat the food on time before it expires.

Mouldy Butter

mouldy butter

We all have food for the freezer that we bring home when we go grocery shopping. If you buy food in excess be aware of how you are storing it and for how long. You don’t want your butter to turn out like this do you? This is what they call mouldy butter which happens from being in the deep freezer too long. If you are wondering how long you should keep items in the deep freezer check out this magnificent list detailing how stockpiled items and frozen items should last. Click here to read this up to date list.

What are the best methods for freezing food?  

There are many methods for freezing food but finding out the methods that are correct for different types of food will help you stop wasting food that you don’t need to if you just prepare it and freeze it properly.

The best method is the coldest method, the faster the better. When big companies freeze their food it goes through a process called “Flash Freezing” which is the process of freezing very fast at a very cold temperature. (Crikey  if it wasn’t obvious enough BUT I thought I should explain it)

So enjoy your food, keep it fresh and healthy and you will eliminate waste and money in your grocery budget. There’s no sense stockpiling and using coupons if you are only going to let the product waste.

Tip: If you think you may have too much of a product or that you won’t use it all in the months before it expires you can donate it to your local food bank. As always check to see what they will and will not accept by kindly giving them a simple phone call. There’s no point packing up food and wasting your time and with the cost of gas bringing items to the food bank they won’t accept.

I’ve always been the type of person who enjoys keeping organized and lists are what keeps me on top of my game. I’ve complied many free lists for you to download to your computer and print. It is an excel inventory template so you can customize each list as you see fit meaning you can add and take away what you don’t like. That’s the beauty of having the list already made for you in that you have control of the contents.

I hope you will take the time to get organized as well and see how easy a freezer inventory list actually is to use and put into place for your home. Saving money in the grocery budget is more than using coupons and getting deals it’s about how you are keeping the products you take home to your family.

What other tips do you have to offer to the fans who want to keep organized in the freezer?

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The Grocery Game Challenge- March 26- April 1 Final Week

I thought I had better get this up and running so everyone could post their shop. What I might do is post The Grocery Game Challenge by Monday  Tuesday of each week so shoppers can post instead of waiting for me to shop.

I will then update this post as we shop to show what’s happening in our grocery budget.  This week is supposed to be a no-shop week for us but we may end up spending a couple bucks.

Starting $329.85+8.16+9.85+7.93+43.65= $390.93+ $9.25=$400.18  ouch That’s $ 210.18  over budget for March- Final. We will try even harder next month to stay on track. We stocked up on a few items for summer time that we had coupons for that were expiring.  Sometimes if you have the savings in coupons and there is a sale you have to take advantage and that’s what we did.

This week we went to Metro as we were told it is the best place to redeem our FPC’s but it made NO and I repeat NO difference to Air Miles. As a matter of fact  we received 0 Air Miles but the 5 from a coupon we presented that came in the mail.

We also went to Walmart to price match a couple items that we wanted to stock up on for summer.

Here is the Break Down:

Walmart

5x FPC Cracker Barrel Cheese  $4.98=FREE

1x Hellmans Mayo PM Freshco -$3.00

5x Black Diamond Slices $2.00-.75= $1.25 each ( the kids like this in the summer for grilled cheese and sandwichs)

Total Coupons-$28.65

Total $37.90

Total OOP- $9.25

Metro

4x Oasis $1.99- FPC

2x Stouffers Bistro Pizzeria $3.79-FPC

1x Stouffers Meal $3.79- FPC

2x Stouffers Sensations $8.49 each -FPC

1x Stouffers Easy Express $3.99- FPC

2x Dr.Oetker Mousse -$1.67 each -FPC

1x Nestle Aero Bubbles $3.99-FPC

3x Right Guard Deoderant $ 3.99- FPC

1x Old Spice Spray Deoderant $5.49-FPC

2x Febreeze Candles $10.49 each- FPC

1x Dads Cookies -$3.99- FPC

1x Always Pantyliner- $8.99- FPC

$102.65 + tax $6.67 = $109.32

Total oop-$0

There you have it.. what a MARCH.. let’s see what April brings for The Canadian Budget Binder household. We are tightening the belt in April are you?

So, if you have finished your grocery shopping for this week post up your budget, what you bought and used  coupons on , and what you saved!

When you post you get a ballot in The Grocery Game Challenge for your chance to WIN a monthly prize! If you post once a week you can get up to 5 ballots a month depending on how the weeks fall.

Good Luck and share your SAVINGS here today!

Mr.CBB

Related Posts March The  Grocery Game Challenge

The Grocery Game Challenge March - Week 1

The Grocery Game Challenge March 5-11 Week 2

The Grocery Game Challenge March 12- 18 Week 3

The Grocery Game Challenge March  19-25 Week 4

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