grocery game monthly challenge

How to grocery shop like a professional personal shopper: The Grocery Game Challenge #2 Nov 10-16, 2014

grocery store personal shopper

PASSION FOR FOOD AND SAVINGS   Some of you might be reading this and thinking it’s not that difficult to grocery shop but for some hiring a personal shopper is easier than doing the deed themselves. If you are a grocery shopping ninja like Mrs. CBB and I there is no way in the world you would hire a personal shopper to complete this task.   Personal shopper to the rescue   Can you believe that there is an actual professional shopper career covering all things shopping related to make life as comfortable as possible. I’ve now come to the conclusion that there is a career for just about anything that requires time-saving chores or demand for such role. Essentially hiring a professional shopper is like eating out, it’s convenient. With that convenience comes a price tag and for some of these personal shoppers they can earn a decent living working for a company and even more if they are hired direct by a family/individual without a third-party. Who hires a personal shopper? Anyone who wants to save time, has no idea how to grocery shop or wants nothing to do with a grocery store. This doesn’t mean that they […]

How I budgeted my travel expenses for work and play

Air Canada Express Airplane

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE EMBRACE LIFE   Two words that comes to mind when I think back on the summer that has just passed is adventure and travel expenses. Not everyone has to worry about travel expenses when travelling for work but if you are on a budget this is critical to staying on top of your finances. Today I’m going to share with you my experiences from this past summer travelling for work and play with my family plus what lessons I’ve learned along the way.   Budgeting On The Road   Getting on and off 11 different airplanes in less than 2 months and several multiple hour road trips from one province to another certainly made for an adventure this past summer. When I was asked by my company to travel to various locations in Canada I was really excited, who wouldn’t be when offered the opportunity to travel when almost all travel expenses were covered? Though my company paid for all my flights, hotels and all but one of my rental cars upfront, I found that travelling for work wasn’t as easy as it sounded. If you are ever given the opportunity to travel through your employer […]

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cookies

EASY COOKIES FOR ANY DAY   Today is another horrible winter day here in Manitoba so I’ve fired up the oven to bake my old-fashioned gingerbread cookies. You might remember making gingerbread men cookies with your mom or dad when you were a child as they are fun to decorate. I’m biased but I still think this is the best gingerbread cookie recipe I’ve ever made or tasted. When I make them the plate is empty so I’ll let the results speak for themselves. Temperatures have finally dropped to the minus digits we have all come to expect living in Canada which means Christmas is around the corner. As the cold pushes in I move towards being in the kitchen more often to create new recipes for the upcoming year. I have made a holiday start with the perogies as requested by some of my kids teachers, easy but frugal. Next on the list is my sweet mincemeat pies and Christmas cake not forgetting to mention some apple pies too. My orders are also coming in for my chocolate peanut butter truffles which means I’m putting together a price list for all the different variations I make since it’s blossomed […]

Is Paying To View Apartment Rentals Just Another Money Grab? : The Saturday Weekend Review #96

rental fee rental apartment

IS IT GREED OR SIMPLY BUSINESS?   I don’t know about you but I certainly wouldn’t want to pay to view apartment rentals not now or not ever. For some people they are left with no choice if there on the hunt for a new place to live especially if they live where demand is high but choices are slim pickings. That’s what I read has happened in Calgary where resident Trish Nicholson who moved from Vancouver is going through. I immediately knew that it was happening, pretty soon everything and I mean everything will have a price tag attached to it. What I read is that some landlords are charging her a $25 viewing fee to check out these apartment rentals. I know, if you are shaking your head in disbelief, so was I however maybe there is some merit to why landlords should impose this charge. The last thing you need when you are conducting an apartment search is to find out what the ad says is not what it really is. How many times have you went to view apartment rentals or a rental house only to find out there were all these other fees on top […]

How our budgeted bathroom renovation saved us thousands

bathroom renovation

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 […]

grocery game monthly challenge

The 5 Most Important Food Shopping Features In A Store: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Nov 3-9, 2014

grocery shopping

FOOD SHOPPING IN YOUR WORLD   I’m sure if I asked you about where to buy food in your city you could come up with a list of grocery stores where you do your weekly food shopping or maybe just one that is above the rest. The problem is not every store is created equally starting from the family owned grocer to grocery store chains. This makes food shopping tricky for those that search out foods that meet or exceed their expectations but there’s more to the food when shopping that appeals to people. Unless you buy your groceries online or get groceries delivered there must be something about that hidden environment you don’t see that is important to you. Do you wonder how and where the products you buy are stored? You can’t see that when you do the above but it might be important to you.   Food Shopping Experiences   We met up with some friends tonight and the topic of grocery shopping came up and no I didn’t bring it up. They mentioned how dead Target was every time they went in and how less than happy they were with shopping at Wal-mart. The Wal-mart is […]

The Most Common Family Budgeting Mistakes to Avoid

Budgeting mistakes

A BUDGET PLAN IS PART OF THE SOLUTION   Trying to stretch your family’s income to cover the full month can be a tough task. However, you can give yourself the best possible chance of doing so by avoiding some of the most common budgeting mistakes. These mistakes can range from being too optimistic, to not being optimistic or ambitious enough. You could make your family budgeting schedule too rigid, but you could also make it too complicated. Simply put, if a budget is unrealistic then it simply won’t work. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the potential problems or mistakes mentioned above and see what we can do to avoid them.   Being Too Optimistic   It would be fantastic to be able to put a big lump sum into our saving accounts every month, wouldn’t it? This way we could very quickly build up a very nice sum of money in our accounts. Having said that, for most of us it simply isn’t possible to put away as much money as we would like to each month, so if you try and save more money than you can really afford then the risk is that […]

Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate chip muffins

HOT FROM THE OVEN   When my sweet tooth surfaces and I’m on the road for work I’m a big fan of Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffins. It’s the price tag that I don’t fancy so my aim is to always try to replicate what we like in our own kitchen so we can enjoy it for a fraction of the cost. What I like about the muffin is the high muffin top (the best part of the muffin), loads of chocolate chips and just how moist the muffin is. Although I’ll likely never nail the recipe I’m always trying to duplicate it as close as I can. Trust me when I say I’ve tried to make this recipe quite a few times and have now settled on this one as my go-to chocolate chip muffin. These are probably some of the best chocolate chip muffins I’ve ever made especially since nothing beats baking homemade bakery items at home vs. buying them at the shops. Granted this muffin recipe I’m sharing with you is not what you would call healthy chocolate chip muffins I consider them “once in a while” treat muffins. If I make a batch I don’t hesitate […]