grocery game monthly challenge

How I Grow My Edible Garden Right inside Our Kitchen: The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 #1 Nov 7-13

IT’S CHEAP, HEALTHY AND WISE   Why buy when you can plant an edible garden right inside your kitchen? Why toss your vegetable scraps into the trash bin when you can regrow them instead? This post is not about starting your own garden per se, but more about how to recycle and regrow your vegetable from discards.   Reaping what we sow from our edible garden   Before we started our edible garden, my family of four usually spent around $600-700 a month on groceries. Fruits, veggies (including those that are canned and frozen), rice and other perishable goods rarely come cheap so we usually spend around $70-90 for these items per every grocery trip. Now as our edible garden grows, we are saving around $20 per week on veggies based on their costs off the shelf. It might not be much now but having an accessible food supply 24/7 is so much worth it! Aside from saving a lot of money because I could dramatically reduce my trip to the veggie aisle, this practice is also something that had improved my family’s health. Growing veggies in the kitchen (and later transferring them to pots outdoors) has been a fun […]

$5000 Small Bathroom Renovation With Unavoidable Surprises

HOW TO RENOVATE A SMALL BATHROOM ON A BUDGET   Please don’t be alarmed by my renovation sarcasm hidden in this post but it gets depressing as a homeowner to find so many problems with the biggest investment of your life. Even though we paid our mortgage off 5 years after we bought this house we put off updating the house because it was livable the way it was, until things started to happen. In our house we have a small bathroom which is a standard 4 piece vanity, toilet, bath and shower and a large master en-suite in need of updating for top resale value. Although the dollar signs just keep on rolling we’re learning how to avoid potential problems in the future. Coming from the UK I’m still learning about Canadian homes and one thing is for sure, there’s not a lot of love in some of them. Problems have developed in our small bathroom on the second-level thanks to some awesome home building techniques since the birth of our house just shy of 20 years ago. What was supposed to be a small bathroom renovation has turned into a small budget grab only because it’s what we […]

Should gardening be a subject taught in school?

TEACH KIDS LIFE SKILLS   Gardening is a great way for adults to grow organic fruits and vegetables plus save grocery money throughout the year. What about teaching the kids about gardening and where the food they eat comes from? I believe that budgeting should be taught at school because some parents just don’t understand the financial concept of spending less than they earn. If you are a financial nerd like I am you will agree that teaching kids about money from a young age is important. If the education system could include every day living financial knowledge then maybe we wouldn’t have so many people swimming in consumer debt. Maybe your school does this already but not many do. Basic math isn’t enough. Why stop there though?  Why not make school fun and educational at the same time by teaching other basic life skills such as gardening. I’m not talking about teaching kids to be master gardeners just the simple process of growing food from seed.   Gardening when I was a kid   When I went to school although it’s a different system in the UK I can remember between the ages of 6 and 8 planting and […]

How our budgeted bathroom renovation saved us thousands

INCREASE YOUR HOUSE VALUE   You might not want to update your bathroom to an ultra modern bathroom but even the smallest of bathroom renovations need to be planned. Our bathroom renovation has gone on a little longer than I had anticipated because I didn’t predict problems along the way. Even the best project planning will be met with some issues so it’s imperative to leave room for completion dates if you need a project done by a certain time. This summer was no exception in the fact that I started yet another planned undertaking around the house.  After completing a full installation of the central vacuum system the en-suite bathroom was next on my home renovation list.   En-suite designs and planning   We didn’t suddenly decide that the en-suite bathroom needed updating because the tiles clashed with my underwear or some other ridiculous excuse. The shower cubicle which is of a plastic and aluminum construction which has quite literally done its job and after 20 years of service needs be put out of its misery. The shower faucet leaks, the toilet has to be flushed 3 times even for the simplest of excuses, the cheap steel sink is […]

How to grow your own fruit at home

HOME-GROWN FRUIT U-PICK   Many people enjoy going to the market to buy local produce but what’s even better is growing your own fruit trees and vegetables at home if you have the space to do so. Although you can easily buy fruit trees at your local garden centre, understanding how to properly plant and care for them takes a bit of research and sometimes trial and error. Growing up on the farm I was lucky enough to enjoy eating homegrown fruit from fruit trees such as crab apples, pears, bushes of elderberries, grapes, blackberries, currants and raspberries. They were all easily accessible and enjoyed by my family and our grandparents. My grandma made many elderberry pies over the years that we had the pleasure of eating. Having the opportunity to pick fruit from our own backyard is like nothing else and you certainly save money. The only drawback was the mess that some of them left behind, particularly the larger fruit trees. The beautiful flower blossoms add some vibrant colour to the spring landscape but once they begin to drop their fruit and leaves the mess and clean up begins. Cleaning up the fruit and leaves can not only […]