PF Weekly Grab a Brew #52: Boxing Day madness wasn’t so mad

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DEALS WORTH GETTING UP FOR   I don’t mind going shopping on Boxing Day as long as long as I don’t have an agenda. I find that every year we tend to head out to the stores with no goal in mind only to see what bargains are to be found. It’s more of a tradition each year now just to roam around and see what the stores are getting rid of at rock bottom prices. We set out early on Boxing Day bright and early at 5:30 with our first stop being Future Shop for 6am only to notice that the line-up wasn’t near as long as it was in 2012. What is going on? Are people not wanting to spend money on Boxing Day? Are the deals not worth getting up for? To be honest we didn’t even read the Boxing Day flyers as it’s been so busy. Is online-shopping taking front seat to getting up and venturing out into the cold waiting in line? Not everyone is comfortable shopping online yet but I’m betting over time we will see more people staying home unless the stores come up with better in-store deals. Future shop even went as […]

Double-Crust Mincemeat Pies Part 2

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CHRISTMAS MINCE PIES A couple of weeks back I promised you that as soon as 4 weeks was up after making part 1 of this recipe the mincemeat filling we would get started on making some mincemeat pies. You can read about “What is mincemeat pie?” and “The history of mincemeat pie” in the link above if you want more background about this lovely festive treat. Today I am using the mincemeat that has been maturing over the last few weeks. As I opened the jar of mincemeat filling that I recently made my heart just melted it took me right back home to eating Christmas pies with my family with a cuppa tea! My sisters and I would always fight over the mincemeat pies as there was five 0f us in the family. There would always be couple of mincemeat pies left and after mum got hers we were down to the last one which we would wrestle over. My dad on the other hand doesn’t really like mince pies as he prefers his apple pies. My kids were there when I opened the jar of mincemeat asking what we were going to make today as a family because […]

Stollen bread for the Christmas holidays

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SWEET AND SIMPLE THIS FRUIT BREAD IS PACKED FULL OF FLAVOUR   If it’s a sweet treat you crave but don’t want to indulge in chocolate or something ooey gooey then this recipe is a must try. Christmas prep is in full swing at my house and the hustle and bustle in the kitchen only means that I’m baking up a long list of holiday favourites for everyone to enjoy. I like to be ahead of the game and get some treats and breads ready in case of unexpected guests or even just as a sweet treat on a cold winter’s day! With so many rich, traditional foods at Christmas, it can be a welcome change to be offered a slice of delicious home-made Stollen bread with butter, cheese, or a homemade preserve such as my carrot marmalade which I also use in this recipe. With the coming and goings of expected and unexpected guests during the Christmas holidays it’s a good idea to have a stand-by recipe for bread suitable for all occasions. This Stollen bread recipe offers just that and it’s not that difficult to make but it’s the culture behind the bread that most people often wonder […]

The power of plastic points

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If you’re like most people, you probably have a wallet full of colourful plastic cards that are taking up space and making it harder and harder for you to close the clasp! If you look through them, you’ll likely discover that while some of these cards are useful credit and debit cards than a few are loyalty cards you just never use. It’s understandable how anyone can end up with such a collection. Practically every retailer offers a loyalty point scheme. At the time, it can be hard to think of a good reason to refuse and with a little effort, the points we collect with plastic can be worth it … as the following tips show.   Be selective   Before saying yes to every loyalty point card which is put under your nose, think about how often you shop in a particular store. Is it really worth the effort of filling out the application form? Think about where you would shop regularly even if you weren’t part of a loyalty scheme. Once you’ve identified these stores then take advantage of the schemes that they offer. On the other hand, if you only shop somewhere once in a while […]

PF Weekly Grab a Brew #47: Work Smart…How important is family time to you?

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SPENDING TIME WITH LOVED ONES Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the very people who love us the most. As I get my Friday dose of Yahoo personal finance reading in it was twice this morning that family time came up. I was intrigued to read an article about a young couple who both want to retire at age 50 with just over a million dollars in a Money Sense article on Yahoo.   I’d love to retire early and if you play your financial cards right that could just happen to you. I read some of the comments (that’s where it gets all juicy in any Yahoo article) after reading the personal finance breakdown of this couple which looked amazing to me given their young ages of 26 and 32 with her being a nurse and him an engineer. They are doing it right working hard while they are young in their chosen careers and investing and saving money like my wife and I both did from a young age. When I read the post I was thrilled for this couple as I do enjoy reading about couples who are making money work for them and not against them […]

XBOX ONE or PlayStation 4: Does it pay to wait?

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INSTANT GRATIFICATION OR WAIT AND SAVE   The world of technology is constantly changing and companies are continuously trying to out-do each other with the coolest and most innovative products on the market. With Christmas just around corner, many youth and even some adults may have the new PlayStation 4 or Xbox One on their Christmas wishlist. Though I do enjoy a video game here and there I will not be one to jump on the bandwagon of purchasing either a PS4 or Xbox at its release or even months afterwards. I would one day like to own a PlayStation console but I am content waiting right now as a $399.99 purchase is not something I am willing to make on a brand new product that will still need a few glitches worked out.   Pick a console   Which console is best for you? I am not a huge gamer though I am the Guitar Hero in this house and it really is the only video game that I can successfully play. I have played on all the gaming consoles; Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Wii with my preference being the PlayStation 3. I often joke that I […]

PF Weekly Grab a Brew #46: Gift Exchange Wish List and Holiday Contests Win $1000+ cash

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YOU CAN’T WIN IF YOU DON’T ENTER Ah, the good old saying that you can’t win if you don’t play reminds me of budgeting. You can’t get ahead financially if you don’t play the budget game and know exactly where your money is going. The budget is a game because you play to beat yourself at spending less than you earn. Sure you can be one of those people who can figure it all out in their heads but I personally am a fan of seeing the numbers on paper and knowing where my cash is going at all times. I’m not one to judge but we all manage our finances the way we want and if you are getting ahead and meeting your goals, more power to you. It was early this morning the Christmas gift giving text came in as we had to draw names again due to a glitch in the system… OK I confess we forgot to draw names in January like we traditionally do so it had to get done as soon as possible. This year we are now spending up to $150 per person that we have to buy a gift for in our […]

The Saturday Weekend Review #44: Holiday flyer gimmicks that gets your wallet fired up

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HOLIDAY SALES START NOW… ARE YOU READY?   Time to ring in the holidays with flyers, flyers and more flyers. Are you ready Canada? A better question might be, Is your budget ready? Boredom for many people can lead to spending more money than they need to, but we should be able to control these urges.   Holiday flyers   Yesterday I wrote about Halloween coming to an end and the best time to put up decorations so it came as no surprise opening the weekly flyers that the stores have wasted no time with Christmas marketing. The hard part is when the holidays surround us and the flyer gimmicks entice us to shop til we drop. Many of you know the shelves are already in the making before Halloween is even over. For most stores Christmas is the biggest time of year when it comes to sales and consumer traffic so every day counts especially if the shelves are not ready to go. The glamour of Christmas for many puts them in the ‘spending spirit’ and it may be tough but it’s a time that we all have to buckle down and get control of our finances. I know […]