Classic Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs wm

ANOTHER WAY TO ENJOY EGGS!   If there is something that I really crave this time of year it has to be classic British Scotch Eggs! Scotch Eggs were invented by the London department store Fortnum and Mason in 1738 way before my time but they are just as popular today as they were back then. I love to pair Scotch Eggs along with pork pies with a chunk of strong cheese and some pickled onions. Let’s not forget the homemade chutney and of course homemade bread! Oh yum. This meal is typically called a ploughmans’ where you have a variety of cheeses and pickles and bread typically found at the pub to drink with a nice dark ale. I’d often have this if we were out and about at a lunchtime. Today I am going to show you how easy is it to make Scotch Eggs but first lets talk about how to boil an egg. I really wanted to use smaller quails eggs for this recipe but there were none on the shelf at the grocery store so I am using large eggs. The reason for the quail egg was so I could serve them as appetizers for […]

Postage stamps can hit the budget hard at Christmas: The Saturday Weekend Review #100

Canadian Permanent Stamps P

SENDING COSTS MORE THAN GIVING…   Postage stamps rise in price just as the gas prices do in Canada. The only difference is that gas actually goes down in price just like we’ve seen lately. You’ll never see that with postage stamps. You know it wouldn’t be so bad if we bought Hallmark greeting cards but when you shop for a greeting card at the dollar store and then stick on a stamp that’s worth almost the same it seems a bit much. Having friends all over the world seems that the cheapest route for us is using the internet to say, “Happy Birthday”, “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year”, “Happy Easter”, “Congratulations on your Wedding, Baby, Pet” etc. well, you get the point. Mind you we haven’t stopped sending cards but we have noticed the difference postage makes to our budget. I don’t miss opening a greeting card that comes in the post which eventually ends up being tossed in the garbage. My wife and I are always asking each other “How much is the price of a stamp?” but mostly for my International stamps. The permanent “P” Canadian stamp that we can buy means that even if prices go […]

Why you should think about your 2015 budget plan now: November 2014 Budget Update

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DON’T JUST PARK YOUR VEHICLE…   The end of 2014 is staring us in the face and now is the time to start thinking about putting together your 2015 budget plan. The worst thing you can do is leave budgeting until the last-minute if your plan is to track your expenses over the entire year. Sure the ideal time to put a budget plan into action is the beginning of the year but starting a budget any time is better than no budget at all. Why is planning important? The first thing you need to ask yourself is why you are planning? Do you have a mission in mind? If yes then you need a plan. If using a budget is your mission then you need a plan. Planning is part of a strategic planning cycle that starts with a mission then goals, desired outcome, strategies, measures/target and finally results. That’s how we measure success and in our home the budget is critical to managing our financial success even more so now that we have a son. As we were going over the November budget we talked about how not having a mortgage has affected our budget. It really does […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Types of food bank donations and ways to save: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Dec 1-7, 2014

food bank donations

FILLING THE FOOD PANTRY   Donations and food drives around the holidays are ramped up all over the world in hopes of making sure that all families have something to eat for the holidays. It’s not easy to come forward and ask for help but there are people who could really benefit from your generosity. Last year was the first time at my place of employment that we were able to help a family in the community who wasn’t able to provide their children with gifts to open on Christmas morning. Not only did we make sure that the kids were taken care of we all donated a few dollars to buy them a gift card to a local grocery store so they could buy food to make a festive family dinner.   Ways to give   During the year we make Salvation Army donations and give away free clothing and other items we don’t need via Kijiji and Facebook. Most of these places make it easy to donate like the Salvation Army drop-off centers so you don’t even have to go into the store. You can make a Goodwill donation, Bibles for Missions and a Value Village donation much […]

What pushes people over the edge financially?

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FALLING ON HARD TIMES…   We all know someone who has struggled financially at some point in their lives and although it’s not easy to stay above the water how some people handle it is shocking. It seems like each time September rolls around the media is filled with articles about people who are getting into trouble with the law for reasons relating to money. Financially holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas can be a tough time for people who struggle with their money. Many struggle in silence. It’s no wonder talking about personal finance is taboo especially if people are ashamed of their debt load. This time of year it seems as if we hear more about thefts, robberies, fraud and scams leading into the Christmas holiday. Just the other day on Facebook my wife read a message on a group board from a mom advising other moms to make sure they lock their doors and take their gifts inside as someone had broken into her car and she lost everything. It only took me a few minutes online this morning to read another article about a couple who faked a pregnancy so they could steal products from an […]

Savoury Cheese Straws

savoury cheese straws wm

CHEESY APPETIZER YOU CAN DIP   Since the holidays are around the corner I’m sticking to easy on the wallet appetizers like my buttery, flakey, savoury cheese straws. All that rolled into one delicious snack food. These melt in your mouth cheese straws will be a hit at any party or even better if you want to enjoy them on your own. The best part is that you can make these cheese straws ahead of time so that you are not hunting last-minute when company shows up unexpectedly at your door. (we all know that happens over the holidays) I like to keep the homemade theme in my family as much as possible. Not only are you paying premium for convenience foods but you are missing out on creating traditions for your family. I find store-bought baked goods have so many ingredients that you don’t want or you can’t pronounce. I prefer to be able to tell everybody exactly what ingredients goes into my recipes and most times people say, “Is that all?”.   Types of Cheese Straws   There are many variations of these delicious cheese straws because you can flavour them up so many ways starting with different […]

Rent-to-own can be an easy debt trap : The Saturday Weekend Review #99

rent-to-own

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO…   Rent-to-own is a popular way to get stuff for your home that you can’t afford to buy new or you lack the credit for a payment plan option. I was reading an online article yesterday about a couple Tom and Debbie McKercher in Manitoba who got in over their heads with the rent-to-own option available at their local Easy Home store. I guess people rent-to-own because they want or in some cases need “stuff” for one reason or another. Back in the day hand me downs or donations worked just as well, not to mention having to go with-out until it was affordable. There are plenty of options available including rent-to-own but it comes with a price tag that often motivates people because it is so small. Easy Home after all is a legitimate business and offers a service that may help people who seem to need it. Often people don’t have the money upfront to buy brand new furniture so they turn to these rent-to-own shops. One friend of ours didn’t like the size of the television in their family room so they opted for the rent-to-own option at Easy Home. It […]

I’m ashamed I owe money because I chose to conform

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 LIVING IN A PLAY PRETEND COSTS $   No one likes to owe money and there are times that people push the thought of paying back debt to the side until it comes time that the bills are mounting up. I don’t think we purposely set out to create debt but I also think some of us have misconceptions about life and money and how it’s all going to roll out in our favour. Often that’s not the case and the motto “work for your money” or “spend less than you earn” is not as important as it is to be socially compatible with friends. A hefty price to pay for friendship although we fashion a lifestyle that we believe will get us ahead and for some it works but for many it does not. I’ve always been someone who didn’t try to fit in rather I made my fun. I figured that if I needed to make an effort to be someone I’m not I likely shouldn’t be hanging around certain people. Even though one might work hard to bring in an income every month it’s important to allocate that money towards the most important parts of of their […]