Inexpensive Long Weekend Activities Rain or Shine : The Saturday Weekend Review #224

BIRDS CHIRPING, EARLY SUNRISE, KIDS PLAYING, WATER SPLASHING, GRILLS ON FIRE, MUSIC AND LAWN MOWERS BLAZING-IT’S THE LONG WEEKEND VIBE!   The first long weekend of the year is upon us this Monday for Victoria Day 2017 and I’m at work, but maybe you’re not. You will want something to do even if it’s an hour or two just to get out of the house or short travel to destination to enjoy the sunshine. Don’t you just love the feeling you get go through your body and mind when you wake-up knowing it’s a long weekend and you don’t have to work? I do too but sadly that won’t be me for the Victoria Day long weekend. What I love about a long weekend is that people seem to be  relaxed and they tend to smile more and become engaged. This may be the best time to ask your neighbours to split a cost for a new fence or ask for help, haha! Even though we’re scheduled for some rain in the Greater Toronto Area on Sunday for the long weekend don’t let that hamper your plans. Grab an umbrella, rain boots and away you go whether you have a […]

One-Pot Meal: Courgette and Tomato Goulash

FILL THOSE HUNGRY BELLIES WITH THIS INEXPENSIVE ONE-POT MEAL.   It has been surprisingly cold and white (Yes that means snow) here in Manitoba,Canada the last couple of days. I think Mother Nature forgot to switch to Spring but that’s fine because it gives me more opportunity in the kitchen to create new recipes. Having said that it was time for me to make a pot of stick to your ribs goulash. Originally this was to be a soup recipe but I wanted it to be bulkier to fill everyone up easily. This is a great way to stretch a meal or to add any leftovers looming in your refrigerator that look like they could use some love.   What are Courgettes?   I knew you would ask! Don’t worry they aren’t something you have to source as they are found in every grocery store.   Photo Source: Rik Schuiling / TropCrop-TCS – Own work I love courgettes (a.k.a zucchini) and they generally go on sale quite often or you may find them on the reduced rack. Keep an eye out for green and yellow zucchini as most people tend to know more about the green then they do the […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Grocery Store Etiquette and How You Can Participate For Free : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #2 May 8-14

KINDNESS GOES A LONG WAY-EVEN AT THE GROCERY STORE.   Over the past almost 6 years that I’ve blogged at CBB I’ve rattled on about grocery store etiquette because it needs to be said. Today I’m dedicating this post to the lady in the grocery line behind us last week and to those of you who need a crash course on how to be polite. Understanding the code of etiquette and following through are two different things. Both need to be in place in order for you to be a nice person and not a hard-nosed grocery shopper (in this instance). With the rising costs of living everyone (almost everyone) is trying to save money wherever they can. Our biggest financial fight after the mortgage was the grocery store and we’ve battled it ever since and documenting our journey on this blog. Related: How we became mortgage free in 5 years First off let’s explain what the word “etiquette” means for those of you that may not be familiar with it. Your mom and dad might have told you to “be nice” or “treat others as you’d like to be treated” growing up. Ring a bell? If not, this post […]

Why This Senior Doesn’t Care If He’s Retirement Poor : The Saturday Weekend Review #222

DON’T LET MONEY KEEP YOU LOCKED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.   Finance has consumed Joe’s (changed name) entire life and now he says that he doesn’t care if he’s retirement poor. Who is Joe? Joe is a guy we met last week at the gym while babysitting his grandson. The gym has become a hub for parents/grandparents/caregivers who have little to no social life. We joke about this just about ever week. All wired up in the corner of the gym there were 6 of us parents chatting about the cost-of-living and how it’s been getting harder and harder. This is where Joe jumped in to say that he’s tired of worrying about money and he doesn’t care if he’s retirement poor or not. “I’ve lived a good life and seen more than I thought I would ever see”, as he calls over to his grandson to get out-of-the-way. Joe is an athletic almost retired man with white hair and a big smile that most people would gravitate towards. Even though he knows he hasn’t saved near enough he says being retirement poor won’t stop him from doing the things he loves especially when it comes with a free price-tag.   […]

5 Important Budgeting Rules We Won’t Break : Our April 2017 Budget Update

Budgeting rules are not laws that will strip you of your financial independence. They are your guide to financial success.   Your budgeting rules may not help you get out of debt in 12 months but it will help you get out of debt according to your payment schedule. The more money you can pay on your debts the faster you will get rid of them. Earn more> Pay Debt> Save More> Repeat which also means for some people that a second or even third job is needed. I can’t tell you what you SHOULD do because I don’t know your numbers this is why it’s crucial to have in-depth look with your financial planner. Since Mrs. CBB and I do our monthly budget together we were talking about what we’ve accomplished and continue to do to make our budget work for us. Besides being on the same page financially we both follow budgeting rules that we feel have been crucial to our zero debt success. This month will mark three years of us having total debt freedom since paying off our mortgage. Often we wonder how we managed to pull that off before the age of 40 when so […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How To Tell If Your Grocery Expenses Are Too High or Too Low : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #1 May 1-7

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING TO FIND SPACE TO STORE MORE FOOD OR RUNNING OUT YOU MAY NEED TO RE-ADJUST YOUR GROCERY EXPENSES.   Your grocery expenses may be something you’ve been thinking about lately with rising costs in just about every budget category this year. Who’s going to want our money next? It’s best to always be prepared even if that means making sure you have a stocked pantry but not overflowing. In the meantime I’m going to show you just how you can figure out your grocery expenses to find out whether you need to increase or decrease them. You either have too much food, too little food or just enough with a back-up plan. These are two situations that everyone runs into every week unless they have figured out their food plan. Should you shop or call it a no-shop week? The choice is yours but your best indicator is your grocery budget and what you’ve already got at home. One of the most important aspects of food shopping is to create a balance between what you need to eat and how much you do eat. This will give you a better sign just how much food you […]

grocery game monthly challenge

5 Simple Grocery Savings Tips For The Busy Shopper : The Grocery Game Challenge 2017 #4 Apr 24-30

IT’S HARD TO WINDOW SHOP AT THE WHEN YOU’RE IN A RUSH.   If you’re consistently seeing that you’re spending more money on groceries then you’d like to perhaps you’re a busy shopper who needs to back up a step before moving forward. Like a harmless day of retail therapy after work grocery shopping therapy is just as exciting for those who love food. Both of which come with a high price tag if not careful. Do we put enough time and effort into what food we put into our bodies? For the most part I think we buy what we can afford and often go without so we can have something that’s a bit pricey. Those that follow this routine are in-tune with their food expenses and understand the idea behind stretching the food budget. If you have $100 to spend it depends on how many people you are feeding with the $100 and for how long. Those who are shopping for one or even two people at $100 a week every week may be able to afford less for more money. Not everyone wants to get value from their grocery expenses as missed opportunities to save their money […]

5 Inexpensive Gadgets All New Parents Should Own : The Saturday Weekend Review #220

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A BABY SHOWER GIFT THESE GOODIES HAVE BEEN THE BEST PARENTING INVESTMENTS YET.   I’m sure many parents reading this can think back to some baby gadgets or products which made their new role as parents a bit easier. Hands up if you’re one of those parents who bought too much useless baby stuff just because you thought you’d need it. Yes, that was us. >>>Both hands in the air. Now that our son is almost 3 years-old (wow where did the time go) Mrs. CBB and I have gone through boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of baby clothes (I know, right?) and piles of stuff we never used. The biggest problem was that we read too much, believed too much and fell into the “new parent syndrome” mode making sure we were fully stocked with what we needed. Related: How having a baby affected our monthly budget I will admit that we have boxes of baby diapers that haven’t been opened yet, clothes that still have the tags and other crazy things that have never come out of the box. We have a formula mixer that we bought just in case our son […]