How to handle negative people who criticize your budget : October 2015 Budget Update

Canadian Budget Binder Monthly Budget Update Logo 2 compressed

BUTT OUT COMES TO MIND…   In most ways we have a combination of positive and negative character traits although not everyone recognizes when the negatives outweighs the positive. When we let negative traits suffocate us we find it difficult to see the reasoning that others have for doing what they do whether you believe in it or not. There will always be people who criticize and it’s up to the individual how they handle these situations. Just recently I was helping a fan get started with our free budget download because she wanted to test our budget. In conversation I learned that over the past year she has saved $5000 and paid off over $8000 worth of consumer debt. She was a mall rat and every opportunity she could get shopping was where you would find her. These days she’s sitting behind her computer figuring out how to budget and how much money she can spend every month. Kudos to her and others that do the same because it takes a determined person to push themselves to get of debt and fight through outside turmoil. In her case… Her boyfriend is not happy about the budgeting because he is […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Top 5 Christmas Baking Ingredients to Stock Up On Now : The Grocery Game Challenge #1 Nov 2-8, 2015


STOCK UP OR RISK PAYING MORE   We enjoy Christmas baking but it’s important for us to have the best baking ingredients stocked in our pantry but without the high costs. Today I’m going to discuss with you which of those baking ingredients you WILL want to stock up on now or risk paying a heavier price closer to Christmas and New Years. The moment Halloween is over and done with the Christmas flyers and holiday sales start appearing just about everywhere. Product sales throughout the year are orchestrated to perfection in chronological order because they know exactly what the consumer is looking to buy every month. Come November any savvy grocery shopper knows that the grocery stores start pumping out baking ingredients for great prices. Mrs. CBB and I don’t save money as a projected expense for Christmas baking ingredients so the money will come from our $235 monthly grocery budget or $25 stockpile budget. Each week when we menu plan we know that we have to start incorporating some of these baking ingredients if we intend to whip up our famous holiday treats in December. Most people don’t wait until the last-minute to bake for Christmas especially if […]

The Best Pumpkin Brownies with Chocolate Icing

pumpkin brownies cover

PUMPKIN LIKE YOU’VE NEVER EATEN IT BEFORE   I know you are probably sick of seeing pumpkin recipes BUT you MUST check out these pumpkin brownies if you are a brownie lover. I promise this will be the last pumpkin recipe for the season as we move over to festive treats, meals and side-dishes for the holidays. It’s no secret that I am passionate about brownies since I talk about them often since I created my signature fudgy brownie back in 2012. The best part about these pumpkin brownies though is that if I didn’t add pumpkin spices then you would have no idea about the pumpkin puree. This is a great way to sneak in some pumpkin nutrition to your diet. A bit of healthy works for me in a dessert of any kind. Since I’ve played with pumpkin in the kitchen these past few weeks I had some pumpkin puree left in the refrigerator that I didn’t want to waste. I was thinking about what I wanted to make and I remembered a CBB fan telling me that she makes zucchini brownies. From that moment these pumpkin brownies were created. I wanted my pumpkin brownies to have the […]

Not handing out Halloween candy makes neighbour feel cheap : The Saturday Weekend Report #145

The Saturday Weekend Review Halloween Candy Edition(1)

NO LIGHTS, NO CANDY… BAHALLOWEENBUG!   Mrs. CBB was out with her friend for the afternoon when the topic of Halloween candy came up in conversation. Her friend who is also our neighbour wondered if other neighbours would view those who weren’t handing out Halloween candy as cheap or boring. These days it’s easy to be a neighbourhood target of gossip and conversation. Many times while I’ve been around the block for a walk I’ve talked to neighbours who always seem to know something about someone in our neighborhood that they needed to share. Every year while our neighbours have lived in their current home they’ve handed out Halloween candy to the kids in our neighbourhood. Some years they would make up Halloween candy bags with mixed treats for the kids which the kids love because they get a mixed bag surprise. This year is different as they have a one year old daughter whom they want to take around to her parents house to go trick-or-treating for the first time. Her parents live in a small complex which makes going door to door easy and they get to be part of the first Halloween celebration with their granddaughter. These […]

Stay at home new mom causing financial strain and marital upset

new mom stay at home mom(1)

LIFE CHANGES WHEN THE STICK IS POSITIVE   So many people get divorced after having kids and now I know why, parenting is not easy but 110% worth the effort. I don’t think there is anything that could prepare you for becoming a parent, not even having lots of siblings. When we found out we were having a baby we knew that our lives were going to change, including our finances. My wife also knew that she was going to be a stay-at-home new mom and feared not knowing other moms to hang out with. Over the past year she has met plenty of other moms on social media, at the park and other community events. She says it’s getting easier but she does miss getting out whenever she is inside for a few days at a time with our son. These days we tend to do lots together as a family which helps our relationship to grow and our son build a bond with the two of us. Mrs.CBB is a people person so it’s important for her to get out of the house to keep her spirits up even though our son is the light of her life. […]

grocery game monthly challenge

4 Ways A New Diet Plan May Impact Your Grocery Budget :The Grocery Game Challenge #4 Oct 26-Nov 1, 2015


I WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT   Every now and then I hear someone say they want to start a new diet plan so they can shed a few pounds. We’ve all been there and some say it more often than others. This time around it’s my wife and she’s on a mission to lose weight and get back her pre-baby body. She just woke up one morning and said, “Enough is enough, let’s get this diet plan going”.  And, so it begins. I know some people aren’t a fan of the word ‘diet’ but I don’t view it as a jail sentence like some people do. I believe the word diet encompasses our overall health and wellness. Just recently we’ve talked about 2 different diet plans on the blog, The Paleo Diet Plan and The Raw Food Diet Plan both of which are filled with good healthy food. A diet is filled with products that we as humans consume and they are either good for us or not. It’s about living longer and not just about living in the moment. Losing weight fast is never recommended which means fad diets are just that, a fad and a waste of time. […]

Eggplant Meatballs


A TASTE OF ITALY   If you are Italian your parents may have or still do make Eggplant Meatballs also known as “Polpette di Melanzane) which are delicious on their own or dipped in a marinara sauce. Today I’m sharing my version of this classic Italian recipe but I actually have meat in my eggplant meatballs. If you don’t fancy the meat in my version don’t run away just yet as you can simply eliminate it. Combine all the other ingredients the same way adding breadcrumbs as needed until the mix comes together. If you eliminate the mince pork and beef you’ve made the Italian Polpette di Melanzane which is a great vegetarian dish. We were given eggplants from my wife’s parents who tend to have legions every gardening season because my father-in-law who is retired loves to grow just about anything in abundance. I think eggplant must grow like weeds because we end up with quite a few in our summer box from them every year. In the past I’ve made cheesy eggplant lasagna which is amazing as well we enjoy eggplant parmigiano but I wanted to try something different. I considered making eggplant parmigiano pizza which I saw […]

Home buyer is scared to submit house offer for one reason : The Saturday Weekend Review #144

The Saturday Weekend Review logo

THE ENDLESS REAL ESTATE SEARCH   Buying a home is a big deal or should be a big deal to anyone who is in the market to buy real estate. Every now and then my wife and I enjoy trolling through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to see what homes are for sale in our area. It’s nice to get any idea of where the house prices are at and what people are selling. While at work the other day I was having lunch with a colleague and I knew that she was looking to sell their home to buy a new one. They were struggling because they have looked at houses for the past 2 months and nothing has come up that caught their eye. Every evening after dinner they would sit at the kitchen table and look at MLS listings writing down any potentials and letting their agent know that they would like to book a viewing. If it wasn’t the price that pushed them away it was the shady renovations or the property was too small. It was always something. They are not new to the home buying process as they’ve owned 2 other homes prior to […]

Buy the least expensive house in the most expensive neighbourhood

neighbourhood house for sale

BE PICKY WHEN HOUSE SHOPPING   Typically we like to buy quality when we shop which included shopping for our home. This is why we scoured every available neighbourhood around our city for the best deal. The only thing we don’t like is paying full-price which meant we had our work cut out for us. Thankfully, it worked out in our favour. When buying a house you want to make sure that if you are buying a $400,000 house that the neighbourhood matches the price tag or you might struggle to sell as fast as you’d like down the road. This is why we hear over and over not to over-renovate but then again a smaller house in a bigger neighbourhood might have more luck finding a buyer than a house that costs far more than smaller surrounding homes. Today I have an email from a guy who is a first-time home-buyer with his wife and wants to know if they should spend the money and get the biggest house they can or a smaller house but in a more expensive area. Note: If you have a question for me please send me a detailed email similar to below so […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Click and Collect Online Grocery Shopping Is Here : The Grocery Game Challenge #3 Oct 19-25, 2015


GROCERY SHOPPING HAS GOTTEN EASIER!   Have you ever dreamed of having a personal shopper? Don’t we all. Well dream no more if you live in Edmonton, Alberta because Loblaws launched Click and Collect Online Grocery Shopping in some of their Real Canadian Super-Stores (RCSS). To be honest it almost sounds like a drive-thru grocery shopping opportunity. I did a bit of research because I wanted to learn about this new click and collect online grocery shopping in Canada. At Tesco UK, they have done home deliveries ever since I can remember but now they do click and collect so it’s not a new concept. You might even remember your grandparents or great-grandparents tell you that they worked for a grocery store delivering groceries. Do you remember the milk man? Fresh milk brought right to your door. These times are all coming back but with a twist, technology. With the snow on the way the click and collect online grocery shopping service could be a VERY popular service for Loblaws and make them a fortune. They are not targeting all those people who would rather not shop, those who can’t shop or those who don’t have the time to shop. […]

Pumpkin Biscotti with Pumpkin Spice Icing

pumpkin spice biscotti

THE PUMPKIN SCONE SWITCH-UP Last Sunday I shared my Pumpkin Scone with Pumpkin Spice Icing recipe on the blog and the moment I bit into it I knew I could change-up the recipe and make Pumpkin Spice Biscotti. I love when recipes can double-up, which means you can create two different recipes at the same time. This is always handy when you have a bake sale to bake for or you are having a party or lots of guests over to the house. My wife adores biscotti because of the crunchy texture especially with a hot cup of strong coffee or mug of tea. The last batch of biscotti I made was Nicola’s lemon biscotti because my wife wanted me to try her recipe. She was more than thrilled that I was finally making pumpkin biscotti and when they were done she gave me the thumbs up which made me proud. I never know how a recipe will turn out but this one I was quite confident that it would be a success. I’ve made biscotti recipes many times but I’ve never created one from a scone recipe before.   Making Pumpkin Biscotti   If you’ve already make my pumpkin […]

Should the wealthier sibling have a financial obligation to help the parents? : The Saturday Weekend Review #143

The Saturday Weekend Review logo

EMOTIONAL BULLYING CAN LEAVE SCARS   Dealing with financial obligation is a big deal for just about everyone because without money it’s hard to pay for all those things you have budgeted. When you have kids you have a financial obligation to care for them and make sure they are kept safe. Nowhere do I ever remember reading that we have a financial obligation to care for our siblings and parents “wants” just because we earn more money than they do. I received an email from a fan who is clearly upset about the way his brother is treating him and hopes that maybe we can all shed some light on the definition of financial obligation surrounding family and who should pay for what or if anything at all.   Family financial obligation dilemma   Hi Mr.CBB, I’m hoping you can clear up an argument my brother and I are having about our parents. Our parents are not wealthy and when they retire they will have some retirement savings and their house to sell so they can downsize so they can afford to live. The problem is they always need something done around the house whether it’s the roof or […]