grocery game monthly challenge

Should grocery stores bother having a garden centre?: The Grocery Game Challenge #1 June 30-July 06, 2014

garden centre

KEEPING THE CUSTOMERS HAPPY   These days it seems that more and more supermarkets aim at the gardener in everyone by adopting a seasonal garden centre attachment. It’s amazing how many of these stores will go out of their way to make sure they keep the customer happy. I often wonder though if it’s really worth it for them but judging by the way these garden centres keep showing up year after year I’m pretty sure a profit is being made.   Garden centre choices   The garden centre¬†is usually located in the car park or if you frequent such supermarkets as Walmart the garden centre is part of the exterior of the building. The pro having the garden centre included with a grocery store is that it’s the one stop shop again. It’s all about competition though. If you decide to go to Zehrs garden centre for a sale you most likely will go into Zehrs to see what groceries are on sale or decide to buy your groceries there that week. Ah, smart marketing. Either way, the big names in supermarkets just keep broadening their horizons to encourage a wider customer base. Every year we add some sparkle […]

Celebrate Canada Day enjoying our beautiful country: The Saturday Weekend Review #78

Celebrate Canada wm

APPRECIATE YOUR SURROUNDINGS   Canada Day is just around the corner and many people are gearing up for a long, long weekend of fun. If you are lucky you may even have a couple of days off next week with the holiday falling on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. This past week I had the opportunity to take some day trips around Ontario as I’m on holidays from work and I can’t get over the beauty that surrounds us here in Canada. I don’t often take the time to sit and enjoy what nature has to offer and breathe in the surroundings but I’m learning to take that break from life. I’ve been going non-stop with work and my education since moving to Canada from the UK almost seven years ago. Last year I wrote about the five things I love about Canada and as another year has passed I still love Canada perhaps more than I did the previous year. There is so much to explore here and I’ve only barely scratched the surface. I know many people like to jet off to other countries but I think we will stay here a while to see what secrets surround this […]

First day of summer and family activities: The Saturday Weekend Review #77

First Day of Summer family activities

SHOW US SOME SUNSHINE   It’s officially the first day of summer and family activities are swirling around in many parents’ minds. I can understand how so many parents want to find exciting yet educational things to do for the family when the sun is shining. Family activities are heightened in the summer because it’s a time when the students are done school and can get bored very easy. I know growing up I was always outside getting into some sort of trouble (all good fun though).   Family activities growing up   Even though my parents owned their own business it wasn’t hard for them to have hired help watch over the place while we enjoyed family activities together. Those are the times I remember the most and will cherish because as you get older the memories stay with you forever. It’s funny though because going on day trips and planning our family activities was something my mother would do and my wife says I’m a planner just like her. She’s right! When we plan family activities together I always research online what’s going on, where and if there are any discount codes, coupons or if available ways to […]

How far would you go to fund your child’s education? : The Saturday weekend review #75

childs education

MAKING SACRIFICES FOR YOUR CHILD   Education in Canada isn’t getting any cheaper and parents are struggling to find ways to help their kids financially. Not all parents feel the need to fund their kids’ education but many would do just about anything. I wasn’t surprised when I read an online article sharing results of a survey of over 600 Canadian families by Abacus Data. The survey was of parents who had children in post-secondary education, on their way to school or have attended in the past 5 years. We know that debt looms high in many Canadian households plus saving for a child’s education can make any budget tight. With over 74% of parents saying they feel financially responsible to help pay for their kids’ education I’m wasn’t shocked to read how far some parents are willing to go to make sure the money is available. I’m not sure if I agree with them all but one thing I am sure of is that if you have a child and can set money aside into a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) as soon as they are born you don’t have to do wild and wacky things to find money […]

Making extra cash with a part-time job: May 2014 Net worth update (+1.15%)

make extra cash

LIFE CHOICES AREN’T ALWAYS SIMPLE   It’s been one of those months for me where I’ve worked non-stop and although I’m making extra cash it’s been a month of exploring options. The good thing about our net worth update this month is that we no longer have a mortgage which is a great feeling on its own. We are also faced with something that we’ve dreamed about for many years and that’s the freedom to do what we want with the extra cash that we have. My parents purchased homes with extra money they had and now those homes are fully paid and rented so a nice portion of the rental income funds their retirement and maintaining the homes. It’s nice to see that my parents are secure financially in their retirement years and are able to travel throughout the year to destinations we could only dream of. They earn more money retired than they did working, go figure that out although they still work part-time together while they are not vacationing although they don’t consider house-sitting as work. I guess it gives them something to do which is great for them. I’m not sure if we’ll be following in […]

Updating the budget breakdown after paying off debt: Our family budget May 2014

bust-our-budget-budget-update

BUDGET MONITORING IS ESSENTIAL   Now that we are debt free since paying off the mortgage updating the budget breakdown is something we need to consider for July. We never gave much thought to making changes to the budget breakdown until we both sat down to put the numbers together for the budget update today. Scratching our heads and not knowing what to do next was pretty much what we had left sitting on our financial plates. We’ve talked about getting rid of the budget and net worth updates altogether since we no longer have a mortgage. That may be a possibility or we will combine the two posts and have percentages instead of monthly figures or a scaled down version with less personal financial detail. I’m not sure how much benefit the readers get from this post due to lack of feedback so if it’s not something the fans care for I won’t spend 8 hours per post putting it together. For all you readers who read behind the scenes and not comment, thanks I appreciate your support. The fans that do comment, thank you as well because this is one of the ways I can tell what you […]

grocery game monthly challenge

How a cooking skillet caused a customer to argue: The grocery game challenge #4 May 19-25, 2014

Frying Pans

KEEPING CUSTOMERS HAPPY   This is a case where the cooking skillet wins and the customer who doesn’t care to listen or understand the rules rather just wants her product for less. Happy customers spending their money are what most businesses aim to have, but what happens when you can’t make a customer happy and they start a public argument with you?   Cooking skillet frenzy   This happened the other day at the grocery store where a couple was chatting to the cashier about a cooking skillet that scanned wrong and they wanted to have the scanning code of practice (SCOP) applied. Yes, the store honoured the scanning code of practice so you would think it would be a cut and dry situation like most of who have had SCOP applied before. Not this time. Apparently the cooking skillet was put on the wrong rack by another customer who clearly noticed that the other frying pans were on sale. Instead of putting the more expensive frying pan back where it belonged they just swapped it out for the frying pan that was on sale. That meant the more expensive cooking skillet was on the same rack as the cooking […]