PF Weekly Grab a brew #44: When should you put the Christmas decorations up?


If you are wondering when you should put the Christmas lights up there really is no specified date to put up Christmas decorations.

We often get asked when is the best time for putting up the Christmas tree and to be honest, it’s up to you. But, should you wait? Wait for what?

Now that Halloween has come and gone many people are packing away the scary decor  and looking for bells and garland.

I know that we store all of our Christmas decor including our fake Christmas tree in the basement. If there is no snow on the ground we just don’t get that festive push though.


Remembrance Day


Not everyone is rushing out this morning to see if they can be frugal and find half price Halloween candy that they can stash away for the year.

Some people are dusting off the Christmas decor and talking about what they want to do and where the decorations should go for the upcoming holiday season.

I was scrolling through my Facebook page this morning and already I noticed a photo saying not to put your Christmas decorations up until after November 11, 2013 which is Remembrance Day.

The date November 11 is known as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day or Armistice Day.

This day is recognized every year as a memorial day celebrated by our commonwealth countries to remember those that fought and died for us in the line of duty while serving in the armed forces since the end of World War I.


Putting up Christmas decorations


My understanding is that is out of respect for those that we recognize on Remembrance Day we should hold off on Christmas decorations until after November 11 and when we give those couple of minutes of silence to the brave fallen men and women.

I can appreciate that and by all means I do wait to put up our outside decorations until after that date.

I do admit that I leave the Christmas lights on the house all year-long only because the roof is so large and has many peaks that it seemed like the easier thing to do.

The lights are all white and you can hardly see them as I have them pointing down and behind. I’m sure people have walked by and pointed and said look at them but oh well, I’m not taking them down. I’m not the only one who thinks this way as there are many houses we’ve seen who keep them up all year.

At the end of season sales last year we picked up a massive lighted wreath which I will wait to hang over the garage as well as put out some Christmas ornaments to jazz up the front of the house to create the love we have for the Christmas season.

I know that some of the houses around us have their Christmas lights up already and they are ready to rock and roll as soon as Halloween is done and that’s fine too.

We can’t control what everyone does or feels even though taking a moment to hold back turning the lights on and decorating seems like the proper thing to do.

I’m not one of those neighbors who will speak their mind and say that someone has done something wrong because essentially they have not.  There is no law that I am aware of stating we can’t put our Christmas lights up until after Remembrance Day unless I’m missing something.

So for now we will take a break after Halloween and leave the Christmas decorations at home in storage while enjoying the Fall leaves as they continue to fall to the ground and turn colours.

When do you start putting up your Christmas decorations?


Top recipe



Every day Food Bloggers from around the world pass by my other love the Free Recipe Depot Facebook page to share a daily recipe which I share with my fans.

This weeks Top Recipe comes from a blog called Feeding Darragh who shared this lovely Tortilla Chip Crusted Salmon recipe which I thought sounded pretty delicious.

Have you ever used tortillas to crust any meat or fish?


Weekly reads


Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read over the past week with all of you.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Friday’s grab a brew #44 so happy saving and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.



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The Saturday Weekend Review #43: Demanding kids and budget Halloween costume ideas



Not everyone has the creative flair when it comes to Halloween and spending less on candy and decorations but with a bit of planning you can celebrate without breaking the bank.

Kids and costumes


Kids can get pretty demanding when it comes to Halloween because they want to dress up in what they want and once they have an idea in their head they stick to it.

My best friend’s daughter wanted to be a character from Pacific Rim and has her heart set on being a giant robot. He will do anything to make his daughter happy so he set out to Wal-Mart to buy all the materials to create this costume for her.

The cost for the materials came to $54 so far and he still has to figure out materials to make the arms.

That’s a pricey costume for a child but if you want to see your children smile and you can afford it in your budget than why not go all the way to make the night a magical moment for your child. Another alternative is to have the child save part of their allowance or if they have a paper route or earnings to set a portion aside as we do in our projected expenses account. This way you can pay a portion and the child can pay a portion and learn about saving money for what they need.

Creating a homemade costume can be a frugal idea or a costly idea depending on how far you want to take the details and accessories and of course where you purchase them and for how much.

Creating a costume also teaches children how to bring out the creative monster inside of them because we don’t always have to run to the store to purchase convenience such as the ready-made costume.


Halloween costume ideas


A friend of ours was telling us the other day about how her and her best friends all purchased pizza slice costumes off the internet and went to a huge Halloween party together. They managed to all lay on the ground to get a group pizza photo of the entire pie.

True friendship in the form of a pizza and to be honest I thought it was a brilliant idea. I didn’t ask how much the pizza slice costume cost but like any other costume you could list it on Kijiji for sale and I’m sure you could make back some of the cash.

Suiting up for one night of fun for those that are Halloween fanatics spending the money is of no object. I think it’s a great idea as long as the money is in the budget and not coming from savings that really should be used for emergencies only. Friends of ours up the road decorate the entire house and front yard coupled with scary Halloween music for the October 31 night of fun.

They also make sure to bring out the shots of alcohol for any parents who need a pick me up while walking their kids from house to house. They became our new best friends on Halloween when they gave us a few shots each… geesh and we thought Halloween was just for kids.

It’s nice to see adults getting involved with Halloween like the kids because it is a time when we can let out the kid inside or whatever you fancy.

Our friends said they try to come up with couples Halloween ideas because they want to encourage couples especially with kids who might not be able to head out to an adult Halloween party to get in the spirit of it all.

I’ll admit I’m not a big Halloween fan but my wife is however I do love to decorate the outside of the home. My wife hands out the candy as I’m also not a big fan of doing that although she forces me at times because she runs off nowhere to be found and then the doorbell starts ringing.

The year just past she encouraged me to sit in the garage with the pumpkin lit, candy bowls, tea and scary music.

It was a great time and although I don’t dress up it’s great to see all the kiddies in their costumers whether they are a store-bought costume or the quick Halloween costumes that are budget friendly such as the pumpkin on the head (haha no kidding) and street clothes. A real, walking, talking pumpkin head. :)


Best Halloween costumes


I was reading this year online at Yahoo that twerking and Miley Cyrus was going to be the top pick for best Halloween costume and it doesn’t surprise me. Neither does the fact that a Scotia Bank poll revealed Canadians will spend an average of $70 per person on Halloween including the candy.

I wonder if going out in a naked suit with a chain and wrecking ball attached is going to make headlines around the world after her successful wrecking ball song and video which has astronomical views on You Tube with over 250 million views.

Now I’m not sure what sexy male Halloween costumes are going to be popular this year but a sexy fox costume or any costumes in the YLVIS music video “What does the fox say?” might be a hit with all ages. Robin Thicke the sexy male singer who dresses in a black suit, white dress shirt opened wide with black sunglasses and a hair style that puts Robert Pattinson to shame might grace adult Halloween parties for any male who wants to dress down but still look hot for the crowd.

Some of the best costumes I’ve ever seen are not expensive costumes and are homemade Halloween costumes. If you don’t want to fork out the cash you can head to your local charity shop and scour the store for some awesome Halloween costume ideas.

I find that Value Village is getting pricier and since we were in the shop this past week and the prices really aren’t much different from buying something new at the big box store.

If you locate articles of clothing or accessories that aren’t labelled Halloween you may find the bargain you are looking for which I suggest. Any time you go into a store for a seasonal product be prepared to pay until the season is over.

The best deals are at end of season when you can pick up decorations, costumes, candy etc for a fraction of the cost up to 90% off at times depending where you shop and how fast they want to move the product out of the store.

We normally go in the next day to see what markdowns we can find to save money in our budget for the following year. If you want to save money you have to think smart and thinking ahead is never a bad thing especially if you know that you will need something at that point in time.

Homemade Halloween costumes for kids can be more expensive but they don’t have to be as opposed to shopping at the big box store or costume shop to buy a Halloween costume in a bag or one that is ready to go.

You can also check out Freecycle to see if anyone is offering Halloween costumes for free or hand me downs from friends and reduced prices on Kijiji from others looking to swap out last year’s costume.

Canadian Budget Binder this week


Just in case you missed any of the awesome posts at CBB this week I’ve got them all below for you. Happy Reading.


CBB at home and the blog


If you weren’t aware I was on vacation the past week so I haven’t been around much to comment on blog posts or chat to the fans like I normally do. To all the bloggers and fans who still came around to read CBB posts and comment thank you kindly. I respect that you take the time to visit and read even when I’m not always around or passing by your blog. It really shows me who really likes hanging out and listening to my ramblings every day!! So big thanks to all of you.

The blog has been moved and re-designed as you know and Greg is still working with me to remove any bugs or problems that we had missed but so far so good. I haven’t yet ventured into any form of major advertising but the emails keep coming in.

Other than that I hope to see the blog make some money so I can put it back into the blog and share it with my fans. I do this because I love it. I don’t do this for the money although making some extra cash on the side would be great to continue to make CBB the number one stop for personal finance, budgets and just a community of fans who are dedicated to making this space their own.

My wife has recovered from her surgery so to all of you that have emailed or sent kind notes to her she says thank you so much for the support during her recovery.


Jen’s garage sale finds


garage sales

Jen set out in the rain this morning to tackle a few garage sales and wanted to share her awesome finds with all of us. I thought the end of season for garage sales was over but the season just keeps on going. I guess until the snow is on the ground there will be garage sales and more deals to find.

Buckets of sidewalk chalk 2 x $.50=$1.00 LED light up garland (matches one I already have so now I can decorate my whole banister instead of half lol) $1.00 Total $2.00


Making a difference



Hi, my name is Anthony. I’m a 34-year old husband, father of two beautiful little girls, and the dad behind the blog – A site dedicated to influencing and empowering parents to make better financial decisions for themselves and for their children.

My story is not a terribly exciting one of overcoming massive amounts of debts in a short amount of time. Rather, it’s one of growing up and making mostly responsible choices that never got me into debt in the first place.

Then I met my wife! An amazing woman, carrying a less-than-amazing $40,000 debt load (now zero!). But it opened my eyes, to not only how easy it was to fall prey to debt, but I also learned how making a few better decisions, can quickly reverse the trend.

Growing up, my parents rarely lectured me about money, but their behaviour and attitude towards money went a long way into shaping my money habits. And it’s those lasting impressions we make, that can influence our children’s money habits for a lifetime. started in September 2012, where I share my thoughts on saving, investing and all things thrifty and uncomplicated.

As much as it’s become an outlet for me, it was created as a way to connect to others in the hope that we can reverse-engineer our bad money habits and exchange them for good ones.

When we’re all better informed, we can all make better financial decisions together.

Blog post sharing


I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work at Canadian Budget Binder and share my posts with their fans or even mention my blog on their blog or website.

Here are the blogs that did just that this past week, so please head over and check them out. If I’m missing you it’s because I didn’t get a ping back so please send me an email and I’ll add you next Saturday.

If you missed my Interview with EVA from Teens Got Cents it’s a must read as the spin she takes with the interview is brilliant!!! -Mr.CBB -Anonymous Blogger Revealed


What is a blog carnival?


Some fans have asked me just what is a blog carnival so a little explanation is due here for anyone reading for the first time or for my long-time fans. A blog carnival is where a blog or website hosts what we call a carnival of blog posts from around the web.

Most blog carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed. If you are a blogger and would like to learn what blog carnival directories I submit to each week you can find the information in a previous Saturday Weekend Review post that I wrote.

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals………..


Carnival glory




Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Here are a few of my favorite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Canada Budget Game- That’s great… come on down and play The Grocery Game Challenge!
  • Women want money-  I don’t know many people who would say they don’t want money
  • Money can buy everything even happiness- I’m not sure I agree with this
  • Recycling bin strawberry growing- This is a great idea

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #43.

Join me next week same time, same place to see what trouble I can get myself into.

Have a great week everyone.



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Canadian Budget Binder-The Saturday Weekend Review #3 November 2012


Saturday Week In Review Mr.CBB

Mr.CBB’s  Saturday Weekend Review

Well, Halloween has come and gone but I did promise that I would post a picture of the pumpkin I carved. Please don’t mind the obvious blurry picture as clearly I would have gotten out my tripod. Mrs.CBB said, “nah, it will be OK”. So this is her version of “OK” in the following pictures (after a few drinks).

Halloween Pumpkin

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I also scooped out the pumpkin seeds like others said they do. I know it sounds strange but it’s only my third pumpkin that I’ve carved. I cleaned the seeds, added some sesame oil, salt, pepper, paprika and steak seasoning lol.. (gosh I hope that’s not odd). Then I roasted them in the oven 2 days after Halloween so I could let them dry out a bit.

That’s not entirely true. The tray was taking too much room up on the counter so we tossed it in the oven. Well 2 days later Mrs.CBB says, “Babe, I think we forgot to roast the pumpkin seeds”. They don’t look so appetizing in the picture but I’m currently munching on them as I type this and they aren’t so bad, if you like cardboard. A nice cold beer to wash these beauties down sounds good to me.

Sample Source 2012 Samples

On a final note our Sample-source package came in the mail (can never have enough razors) in the house. I like that Downy Unstoppables sample as it really jazzed up the smell of my socks.’-)

That’s all for now, this week I’m working on some final yard work and then it’s indoor renovation time! Are you all ready for this, Mr.CBB and his tools?

Financial News

What’s Been Happening at Canadian Budget Binder

First I’d like to say Happy 1 year  Blogoversary to my mate Jason at Work Save Live. Head over to his site to ENTER his awesome give-away  to win an Apple Ipad Mini, $100 Amazon GC and $50 PayPal.  Check it out!

This week at CBB has been busy with lots of great guest posts coming in which we love here at Canadian Budget Binder. If you want to guest post or share a story send me an email today. I’ve also been working slowly on transforming CBB into a brighter environment for all of us. More on that to come.

The Grocery Game Challenge is growing and I’m thrilled to share with all of you that do post your weekly shops how impressed I’ve been with your progress over the course of the year. For those of you that just started to post your shops keep at it and keep those dollars in your pocket.

Canadian Budget Binder’s Weekly Post Recap

Top Blog

This is a NEW Feature I started last week on Canadian Budget Binder. This is where I will share your website so my fans can check you out if you send me the most traffic for the week! The Top Blog To Drive Traffic To Canadian Budget Binder for this week goes to…… Mark at My Own Advisor! Check him out!

Weekly Top 2 Honourable Mentions

  1. How To Save Money.CA

I Like You

Blogs From Around The Web That Shared Us With Their Fans!

(If I miss You..please let me know and I will include your post next week as this runs Sat to Sat so if you linked me on Sat it will show up next week)

Top 5 Recent Blog Commenter’s- These are my top 5 fans that read and comment on blog posts at Canadian Budget Binder. Thanks :-)

  1. John at Frugal Rules
  2. Christine Weadick
  3. Plunged in Debt
  4. Jen Peacock
  5. Mary F. Campbell

web search terms

What People Searched to Find Canadian Budget Binder on the Web

Search terms of the week are really a hoot! Here are a few of them for your viewing pleasure.  What are you saying about them? Any typos below are simply the person who searched who made the error or me ;-)

Top 8 How we found Mr.CBB>>>>>>Only 8 that caught my eye this week.

  • Canadian Ladies what they want from men- well, you’ve come to the right place.. have a read and you shall know.
  • A Sausage Cabbage Tomato- That must be one of those rare types of tomato breeds long and round. You should always watch who your tomatoes are hanging out with.
  • Sower Cream… at least it wasn’t spelled sewer (like I’m one to talk about typos, I’m rubbish with my fingers sometimes (get your minds out of the gutter lol)
  • How much is one pound of walnuts in the supermarket? Oh crap where is that magic wand, I’ve lost it again. Sorry can’t help you mate.
  • Unusual frugal recipes- So what do you mean like unusual, banana peel nut loaf…  I’d call that unusual, wouldn’t you although common in India and South East Asia ! Banana Peels also aid in digestion and bowel movements  so it’s doubly unusual. I think I just learned lots about Banana Peels, did you?
  • Can You Eat Too Much Fresh Basil- Yup and if you’re not careful you’ll start growing it out your nose and ears (now that’s organic).  Did you know basil is considered a “holy herb”  although I knew it was medicinal. Me either. I don’t think basil will cause you any problems, so eat until you just can’t take it any more.. yum,yum,yum.
  • Turkey Costs $4.99 a pound, About How much would 2.79 pounds calculate- I wonder if this was on a math exam….
  • Scary Picture of Vegetable Carvings- Oh ya, that would certainly freak me out!

That’s all for this weeks “The Saturday Weekend Review” tune in next week when I bring you more of the best and worst from around CBB!!

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

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Do you have a Question for Mr.CBB please click HERE to ask him!

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The Grocery Game Challenge-Oct 30-Nov 4,2012 Halloween and Rain!

Happy Halloween!

One day until Halloween and today is the start of the November month for The Grocery Game Challenge. Rain, rain go away and take Hurricane Sandy with you so the kiddies can trick or treat! I know some cities are talking about re-scheduling Halloween due to the weather conditions. If you are stuck indoors you could always make a quick batch of some Halloween treats I made on the weekend, Mr.CBB’s Scary Witch Finger Cookies. I have a hard time saying no to these buttery cookies.

With the last two months of the year approaching we are looking back and reflecting on our grocery budget of $190 since we started this game in February. We had some blips along the way and will share our goals for 2013 some time in December.

This week we didn’t have too much to purchase but we spent more than we should have, oops. Sometimes those in-store deals can get ya and we are just like everyone else having to make the split decision of yes or no. How will this decision effect our grocery budget for the month? We are not over for the month but we will have to concentrate on sticking to the budget the rest of the month.

With spending pressures of Christmas just around the corner we are thinking ahead. We like to plan our shops in advance for the holiday season as we do some baking for friends and family. I will be sharing with you our famous peanut butter ball, snowball, and coconut ball recipes in the upcoming month. Yum, you bet, chocolate, you bet. So we will keep an eye out for great deals on nuts in the next month or so. Butter and peanut butter are other baking budget busters so we will keep our eyes peeled for any great deals.

Question: Do you stock up on items for the holidays?

Grocery Game Challenge Results

Total Grocery Budget for the Month for 2 Adults:$190.00 at $63.33 for 3 weeks of shopping with 1 No-Shop Week per month.
Some Store Acronyms I might  use:
  • No Frills= NF
  • Wal-mart=WM
  • Food Basics= FB
  • Shoppers Drug Mart= SDM
Grocery Game Challenge Nov
Wal-mart $73.97
  • 16 cans of Clover Leaf Albacore Flavoured Tuna PM NF $1.99 – $1.00 and Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) Coupons enough for 16 cans
  • 10 x Pedigree Marro Bones/Stix Sale $3.47- BOGO and buy 2 save $2.00
  • 1x Onions Sale $1.00 3lb bag
  • 1x Carrots Sale $1.00 3lb bag
  • 1x celery PM NF $0.97
  • 2x Mushrooms Pm FB – Sale $0.88 each
  • 2x Fennel/Anise PM FB -Sale $0.88 (these are massive)
  • 1x Cauliflower PM FB -Sale $0.88
  • Gala Apples PM NF $0.79 lb $2.58
  • Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayo PM NF Sale $2.99-.75 = $2.24 ( you can’t make it for this cheap)
  • 6x Dentyne Gum PM NF Sale $1.99
  • 4x I can’t believe it’s not butter PM Zehrs- Sale $1.00
  • 3x Colgate Advanced Toothpaste $1.97-$1.50
Food Basics $23.78
  • 6 x Rapini Sale $0.88 each
  • 3x Basmati Rice Sale $4.99 each
  • 3 x Primo Pasta Sale $0.88 each
  • 1x Coconut Sale $0.89
Shoppers Drug Mart $1.46
  • 2 bags of peanuts Sale $2.00 each
  • 5 1L Neilson Cream Sale $1.99
  • 4 x Nivea Creme Soap Bars Sale $1.99- $3.00 coupons =150 Optimum Points
  • 1x Powerade $1.39- Free Product Coupon (FPC)

Weekly Grocery Game Challenge Results for Mr. and Mrs. CBB

  • Total Grocery Budget for the Week: $63.33
  • Total Coupons Used this Week: WM-$31.84+ SDM $10.00 Spending Card+$13.49=$45.33 coupons+$10.00 spending Card
  • Total Scanning Code of Practice: $0
  • Total Spent This Week:$99.21
  • Total Spent So Far for November: $99.21
  • Total Over/Under spend this shop: $35.88
  • Total Over/Under spend for the month of November: $90.79
  • Total Left to Spend for the Month: $90.79
  • Total Coupons Used This Month : $45.33  + $10.00 Spending Card

Overall: Well we are off to a fast start to this month and we have spent a good chunk of our budget all in one shop. It will be challenging to see how the next 3 weeks play out and whether we can make it to the $190 without going over budget.

Grocery Game Challenge winner

October Monthly WINNER: The winner for the month of October is Ballot #41 which belongs to Vicky! Congratulations Vicky! Please email me for details on how to collect your prize.

True Random Number Generator Result:41

Question: What are your reasons for joining the Grocery Game Challenge?

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?

No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops only to win a monthly prize. We have a few posters from around the world.

  • When does the Grocery Game Close each month?

The Grocery Game Challenge Closes at Midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month. You can post your shops all month-long so if you miss a week you can go back and post so you still get your entry in the monthly contest.

  • Does Your Grocery Budget Include Health and Beauty and Laundry?

Yes our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be effected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any more. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money. We are currently well stocked with those products since we used coupons heavily the past couple of years. We haven’t really stocked up on much but we have taken every opportunity to purchase more paper towel, toilet paper, fabric softener and a host of other items that are an excellent price with coupon.

There are many places you can find Canadian Coupons whether it be in store or via the mail. I would suggest following an on-line coupon community or coupon Facebook page in your area.
Canadian Coupon Match-Ups- Match your coupons with flyer sales!

Here are your Coupon Match-ups for Nov 2-Nov 8,2012 the week  from around Canada compliments of Save Big Live Better. Just one of my favourite Couponing sites for finding the hottest grocery deals in Canada!

Here are a few coupons we picked up while shopping.

Canadian Coupons 2012 October

It's Not About How Much Money You Make It's How You Spend It

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

If you are new Start here!

Grocery Game Challenge Rules

Do you have a Question for Mr.CBB please click HERE to ask him!

You can Follow Canadian Budget Binder on Twitter HERE or Facebook HERE and Pinterest Here. 

You can also subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder so you don’t miss a blog post. Fill in your email address on the HOME page of the blog off to the left where it says “Subscribe Via Email”- No Spam, I promise!

Are you on Mr.CBB’s Blog Roll? Check HERE… if not and you want me to check out your blog and add you, come introduce yourself.

If you want to write a Guest Post for Canadian Budget Binder start here!

Photo Credit: Copyright (c) <a href=’’>123RF Stock Photos</a>

Spooky Frugal Halloween Fun! Mr.CBB’s Scary Witch Finger Cookies!

Mr.CBB's Scary Witch Finger Cookies

Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead.. and Halloween is just around the corner! If you are looking for an easy cookie recipe that is fun and frugal this is the one. With so many Halloween parties happening in October this scary quick cookie recipe will be a hit for any party whether with your friends or co-workers. These are also great little treats to send with the kids to school or day care if they are permitted. You can’t buy these cookies around where I live but they are so cheap to make. I would say all said and done not including time and hydro they cost us around $5.00 to make. That’s not bad for a yield of just over 36 cookies. The best part is they are fun to make and making these with the kids, well you can’t buy memories can you now.

The ingredients in these cookies are basic ingredients although the almonds, almond and vanilla extract and red decorator gel are something you might have to head to a bulk store to pick up. Believe it or not the bulk barn actually the cheapest price on the almonds and decorator gel. If you can get your hands on the Spend $10 save $3.00 coupon it will make this recipe even cheaper to bake up which we did.

Mrs. CBB has made this simple witch finger cookie recipe at Halloween for about 10 years she says but she doesn’t recall where the original recipe came from. Back in the UK my mum would make cookies that were similar but not for Halloween just every day shortbread butter cookies. You could easily switch this recipe up for any occasion as long as you have a creative mind.

The only changes she has made over the years is adding the almond extract flavouring. The original cookie had just the vanilla and it wasn’t tasty enough for her liking. You can find all sorts of variations of this recipe on the internet so test them out, and dress them up how you like it. If you want to add warts as soon as they come from the oven put a chocolate chip into the finger. If you don’t like Almond extract, try lemon or add in some orange, lemon or lime rind to the dough.

Happy Halloween from our home to yours!

Mr and Mrs. CBB

Halloween Scary Witch Finger Cookies

Scary Witch Finger Cookies

Recipe Yield: 36

Total Time:  10 minutes to make, 30 minutes to refrigerator dough

Oven Time: 7-10 minutes see *Tip* below

Oven Temp: 350 degrees

TIP: Cook for 7 minutes then check the bottom. If the bottom has browned pull them and move them to a rack to cool. If you over-cook these cookies they will get too hard. They may not look done on the top, but they are.


  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Knife
  • Spatula
  • Non- Stick Baking Sheet
  • Cooling rack
  • Dish
  • Parchment Paper or baking spray


  • 1 tablespoon Almond Extract
  • 1.5 tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar (icing sugar) and a bit for your surface 1/3 cup
  • 1 cup of butter (soft)
  • 2 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour ( don’t put any more than this or it will get too dry)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tube of red decorator gel
  • About 45 blanched  whole almonds ( I added in some extras)


  • In a mixing bowl or stand mixer add in your butter and mix until blended.
  • Add in your extracts and mix
  • Add in your egg then mix 1 minute until blended
  • Slowly add in your flour,salt and baking powder mix until it is all blended
  • Put in a bowl, wrap with cling wrap and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill (this makes it easy to handle)
  • Sugar your surface with icing sugar then take a chunk of the dough in your hands

witch finger cookie

  • Roll the dough into a snake-like figure that is nice and even

witch finger cookie

  • Cut the first finger about 1.5 inches in length and use this as your cutting guide for the rest.
  • Make sure you roll them thinner or they will turn out chubby like some of mine did. They do grow in the oven.
  • Once you cut your fingers squeeze the top of the finger so the sides come in then press in your almond.
  • In the middle of the finger squeeze again to form the knuckle, then using a knife cut in some knuckle lines
  • Place on a greased baking sheet or like I did on parchment paper.

witch finger cookie

  • Bake for 7-10 minutes but I check at the 7 minute mark. If the cookie is brown underneath, pull them out. Don’t wait for colour on top or the cookie will be too hard.

witch finger cookie

  • Remove cookies to a cooling rack for 5 minutes

witch finger cookie

  • With your decorator gel, remove the almond, squeeze some into the nail bed then replace the almond.
  • There you have it!! Enjoy.


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