The Saturday weekend review #45: Outrageous online pricing deals gone wrong

pricing-errorsPRICING ERRORS HAPPEN EVERY DAY

No matter if you shop online or if you shop in store human error is possible and pricing errors can happen and sometimes depending on policy can be a perk for the consumer.

Just yesterday I noticed a sale at Metro for a product that boasted the regular price at $2.99 and the new lower price being $2.99 which was exactly the same. Sure I had a laugh and took a photo of it because it was funny, but it was also human error.

Online shopping has been going on for years now and its presence is only becoming much more powerful in the world of technology simply because people don’t have to leave home in order to go shopping.

For those that are super busy or have less than optimal amounts of time to spend with the one’s they love shopping online cuts down on time.

For some people who go into a store it triggers spending more than they earn because when they go to the store they tend to ‘want’ more because they physically can touch it.

The same could ring true with sitting behind a computer screen and shopping with the simple click of a mouse and entering your credit card info or using services such a PayPal to complete the purchase.

I was reading online the other day about how a glitch on the Wal-mart website in the USA caused a ripple of  “start the car” moments on social media. Apparently from what I read it was human error that occurred which caused pricing errors online.

Wal-mart is not fulfilling these orders and I can understand why as the prices were just too good to be true. Customers were scoring deals on computer monitors for $9.00 and absurdly low prices on televisions and other items that were clearly priced incorrectly.

The interesting part is that where you might save if you wanted to get that fancy computer monitor for $8.00 if you needed some kool-aid for your kid you were looking at around $70.00 a packet. Yes you read that correct and to be honest anyone would know these are all pricing errors simply because no one sells something for $70.00 that retails at best 2/$1.00 when on sale.

I think as consumers we must be ready for these types of online gitches even if retailers have a powerful technology team behind the scenes because no one is perfect. In Canada we have the scanning code of practice (SCOP) in many big box stores which I’ve talked about numerous times as it’s a big topic for shoppers. This would be a perk if the item was higher than the shelf price and for that Kool-aid if you were in-store that would have been free under the scanning code of practice.

Although there is no scanning code of practice that I am aware of in Canada for online pricing who knows if in the future stores will put together some policy for those that do get caught up in a computer glitch like what happened with Wal-mart USA customers.

 

Taking care of customers

 

Wal-mart is obviously not honouring the outrageous pricing deals that were posted on their website to those that actually purchased them but are sending out $10.00 Wal-mart gift cards in return for the glitch they were caught up in.

I think that it’s great that Wal-mart took that extra step for their customers but I also think that this might be a turning point for those online retailers who are scratching their heads now wondering how they would have handled this situation.

I don’t know if it will go as far as online pricing guarantees similar to a SCOP but if not I think a simple tweet or email to let them know of the problem will be just as helpful. One of my fans pointed out that even with SCOP and where stores are honouring pricing errors to customers as free or heavily discounted might be one of the reasons high prices comes back to bite us in the arse.

It may be true but at the same time a happy customer is also important because that is revenue that keeps coming back or looping if you wish because the customer returns over and over to spend more money.

One comment by a reader Charlie Sommers at Bloomberg.com where I read more about the pricing error was spot on when he left the comment he did below in quotes.

I believe that if a store has a policy in place such as SCOP then as a consumer you have the right to bring it to their attention if it falls under the policy and be awarded what the policy states.

If there is no policy then simply understanding that a problem has happened and needs to be sorted out but letting them know is also the right thing to do. If a cashier handed me back too much money I would without a doubt let her know and it give the money back.

I don’t have much to show for my journey through life so far but I do have a bit of integrity. I would not expect someone to honor an obviously incorrect price that was made because of a computer glitch but then I’m the kind of guy that will point out the mistake to a sales clerk if they give me too much change. Honesty is the best policy and it’s nice to think about karma.

As a consumer do you think Walmart should have honoured the online pricing deals?

What would you say to the consumers who are causing a stink about not getting the pricing deals?

 

Canadian Budget Binder this week

 

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

Happy Reading.

 

CBB at home and the blog

 

I’ve been super busy this past week and this upcoming week I’m out-of-town on business so I’ve been taking a back seat when it comes to the blog but am still coming around to read my favourite personal finance blog posts. I think one of the hardest parts about blogging is keeping up with social media and your networks of blogs that you read every single day.

With over 100 blogs that I follow and not all personal finance I do my best to get out there and read and comment as much as I can. I think that taking the time to read a blog post from start to finish and leaving a meaningful comment is more important than slamming up any old comment just to say I’ve been around.

I respect those bloggers and all of my fans that read my blog posts and leave comments.

At home all of our Fall decor is now down and put away for the season although the hanging fern plants are still wild as ever and as much as I would like to keep them indoors over the winter i won’t be this year.

We tried that last year and it turned into a right disaster in the kitchen with dead fern leaves falling to the floor and the dog just making a blinkin mess of them. No stress this year for us and the only plants that came in are the plants that need to be over-wintered like the lime, pomegranate, figs, mallow etc.

As soon as remembrance day is over I’ll be getting outside to hang our giant lit up wreath that we bought at the end of the Christmas season last year for dirt cheap. Then I will slowly work on decorating indoors with the bits and bobs we’ve collected over the years. The  Christmas tree I’m contemplating when to put it up.

When do you put up your Christmas tree?

 

Fan deals of the week

 

This week Canadian Budget Binder fan Cynthia shares her amazing garage sale find that I want to share with all of you. If you love to go to garage sales you can even find indoor garage sales throughout the winter or simply looking for deals on-line to save some cash.

I wrote a post a while back sharing some of my favourite ways for buying and selling at garage sales. If you understand or practice the art of negotiation you can negotiate just about anything you want.

You don’t always have to buy brand new because chances are you will find someone who has the same item you are looking for or a similar item like Cynthia found below. Just last week the wife and I found some face cream that she loves on Kijiji that was unopened but for a deep discount price.

Submit your Brag

If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

yard-sale-vs-outlet-mallCynthia-

I know I haven’t been around much lately but I had to brag a little! I couldn’t think about parting with $40 for those cute brown boots. Stopped at a yard sale, got a cute pair for $4!!

Making a difference

 

disease-called-debt

Hello! My name is Hayley and I’m a personal finance writer and blogger currently documenting my family’s journey to debt freedom through my blog A Disease Called Debt.  I started the blog in January 2013 as an outlet for my thoughts (and despair) at that time about our debt situation.

My hubby and I have been in debt for around 14 years now and although we have paid some of it back from time to time, it has only been this year that we’ve been heavily focused on debt repayment. Despite earning less than half of our salaries compared to a few years ago, we’ve actually achieved more success this year than ever before!

This success stems from changing our mindset about our finances once and for all. We have a shiny new budget that we stick to and we try to make extra money wherever possible to pay towards our debt.

I’m so glad I started my blog because whilst doing so, I became part of the brilliant personal finance community which I’ve found to be very inspirational and supportive. Throughout my blogging career so far, I’ve been motivated by the success stories from other bloggers and have found many resources and tools to help my family in our own situation. Blogging has also made me accountable to my readers – that in itself motivates me to tackle the debt with a vengeance!

Many people are in debt these days and it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m hoping that my blog will provide inspiration, help and advice to others in similar situations. By tackling debt in a positive and proactive way, it really is possible to turn a hefty debt situation around!

 

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.

Just one site shared CBB this week so a big thanks goes out to Urban Departures for recognizing CBB and taking the time to share with their fans. :-)

 

Carnival Glory

 

 

Google-web-search-terms

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.

  • Canadianguestroom- I kind of liked the sound of that for a blog name
  • It feels so good to have money in the bank- I think this is going to be my next blog post because it really does feel good to have money in the bank and although it is easier said than done I believe with motivation and education everyone can save something.
  • Money will kill the relationship- In many cases money is the number one reason a relationship will fall apart but I believe that if a couple truly is in love they will find a way to make money a part of the overall world they are creating together and make it fit. You don’t always have to have the best of everything.
  • Tired of lazy people- Well we can’t change the world but if we motivate the world and we motivate ourselves to be the best we can be then that is what matters the most.

Money-quote

Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

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The Saturday weekend review #39: New Blog Design Meet Greg at Engine1Media

splash-of-color-blog-design

Come On In And Have A Look Around

I started the journey to change the blog design of Canadian Budget Binder in late 2012 because I wanted to have a brighter, cleaner blog for my fans. I love getting feedback from the fans but it was one particular fan who told me how much she loved reading my blog but hated how dark and cold it was, like she was in a cave.

At first I thought, no it’s not that way but the more I kept looking at it I realized you get what you pay for and in that case my blog design was free on wordpress.com. I also wanted to take the blog from a free hosted blog to self-hosted which I’ve done now with Blue Host (Affiliate link) after much research for a hosting company.

I can’t count how many fans and personal finance bloggers have emailed me about the new blog design reveal a few days ago and some of you anxious and frustrated that it took so long. I apologize for that but I had to hire a new designer which was out of my control and with that came a new beginning.

It was a start of a new relationship with a designer that stopped short of nothing to make sure I understood every detail along the way. He had a plan in place and made sure that I understood how the plan worked and shared this information with me.

One thing you need to know about Greg is that he is a fellow blogger himself at Tellingdad.com and what I loved about reading his blog was that I was able to gain a bit better understanding about his personality and what I was getting myself into.

 

A splash of colour

 

Greg-engine1media

I’d like you to meet Greg above, a work from home blog designer, but you only have to look at that photo and that will tell you the type of guy Greg is. He loves to have a laugh and really does enjoy life to the fullest as a father and husband.

On his Telling Dad website Greg shares some questions and answers about himself that I hope you get a chance to read but the question about what kind of guy Greg is was what intrigued me the most.

Greg is a community man and supports many local organizations in his city and you must read the story behind Perry Engine1 and how it came to be.

What kind of guy are you?
Let’s just sum it all up by saying that I have never, and will never, be a “Something Guy”. I wracked my brain trying to label myself as a “______ Guy” and couldn’t. I suppose you can just refer to me as a Nothing Guy.

Car Guys talk about cars. Tool Guys talk about tools. Nothing Guys like me talk about nothing. I don’t know jack about cars, and this includes jacks. I’m a walking hazard around tools. I don’t hunt. I don’t drink. I don’t ogle women at strip clubs. I don’t like getting dirty. And I wipe sauce off chicken wings one napkin at a time.

What I am is a Dad. I love my family, I love what I do, and I love interacting with people. I suppose, in reflection, I’m a “Family Guy”. But that moniker is already taken by a fat slob with a talking dog. I’ll have to keep thinking.

Greg wanted to get to know my style, my personality and what my vision was for Canadian Budget Binder and what he did was so Disney in my eyes. He brought my vision to life but not in a day, not in a week, not in a month it took time. The great thing about Greg is that he never complained, not once.

Any changes I needed or wanted he was on it right away and went above and beyond for me. Greg not only re-designed Canadian Budget Binder he also had to move my site to self-hosted and this guy did it all. He simply blew me away with his take charge attitude especially at the end when we were getting ready for the reveal he was on top of everything.

You can’t rush perfection and Greg promised me from the start that he would do whatever it takes to make me happy and he sure did deliver that promise from start to end. Greg will show you right from the start how his design process works and he has it all laid out on his website.

  1. Send Inquiry
  2. Share Ideas
  3. Questionnaire
  4. Mock design
  5. Collaboration
  6. Splice and code
  7. Fine tuning
  8. The reveal

You only have to go to his website at Engine1Media and the first thing you will see staring you in the face is his truth to you and you know what this guy knows what he’s doing and sugar coats nothing because his expertise speaks for itself.

If you’ve spent any amount of time searching for a web designer to work with, you’ve probably noticed that the majority spend an awful lot of time talking about themselves.

As for me? I’d rather talk about you. I’d rather talk about your business, your target audience, and your underlying goals. Only then can I do your project justice.

Designing pretty pixels is one thing. Providing technical expertise is another. And combining these two disciplines into one comprehensive solution is what I do best.

How I found Engine1Media

 

Let’s just say that when you do an excellent job word of mouth travels fast as well as simply having people seeing how amazing your work is and advertising your business.

After having to start my blog designer search once again in 2013 I did a guest post about budgeting for my friend Taya at Simply Frugal in early 2013 and that is where I found Greg from Engine1Media. A simple logo like you will find at the bottom of Canadian Budget Binder is how I found Greg and I’m glad I did.

The moment you click on the link to Greg’s website you will probably jump back in your seat because his site is so vibrant and full of colour and character. It is a very happy place to stop in at.

His website certainly does reflect his personality from all aspects and the way you read what he says to his customers is exactly the way Greg will talk to you and treat you, like a professional. You won’t hear any negativity from this guy and he will always offer you his opinion as well as options.

If anything I’ve learned when it comes to re-designing your blog or if I can offer you a blog design tip it’s to research your designer, talk to other bloggers whose site was created by the designer and get feedback on their services.

I know that since hiring Greg at Engine1Media I have had many personal finance bloggers email me wanting to know more about Greg and I’ll tell them the truth.

I have nothing to hide and to be honest his work should tell you all you need to know short of how easy it was to deal with him apart from the times that were our of our control so we had to put things on hold.

Like any other relationship online we had our ups and downs because as a dad who works from home Greg had to deal with things that came up in his life as did I especially with my wife the last few months being ill.

I appreciated his honesty and the fact that he didn’t try to sugar coat anything he would tell me how it was and the way it was going to go down.

Greg and I worked together every chance we could and even though frustration set in Greg stopped short of nothing to impress me with his professionalism in his responses to me and his genuine interest in making Canadian Budget Binder a very welcoming place for the fans.

Greg went above and beyond and if you can accept that not everything is going to go as planned in life and that to get the best it takes time because it won’t be thrown together in a day or two or even a few weeks.

Every detail was taken care of by Greg and all I did was sit back and watch him go to work for my fans and I.

Greg if you read this I know it must take lots of effort to deal with someone who does not know how to design a blog or might not understand what you need to do in order to bring a website to life but it was your patience, kindness and overall positive attitude that kept this project alive.

I’m sure on behalf of my fans and myself I wish you all the success with  your design and print business and that I encourage any readers of Canadian Budget Binder who are thinking of a fresh design or a new blog beginning to head over and chat to Greg at Engine1Media today.

Canadian Budget Binder this week

 

Making a difference

 

 moneyreboundlogo9

Today I’d like to introduce my mate Adam who is the blogger behind Money Rebound to all of you.

Thanks Mr CBB for giving Money Rebound a spot in your making a difference series! So why are we making a difference and what inspired Money Rebound?

As much as we’d all love to have fancy cars, big houses and large savings accounts, sometimes life just doesn’t pan out that way. It may be that you’ve been frivolous with your spending in the past and you know it, or maybe you’ve been hit by a tough economy or one of life’s many unknown financial hammers.

Whatever the reason, there are many people out there who have sadly hit financial rock bottom. Is there a way back?

This is where we feel we are making a difference over at Money Rebound! We’re doing our best to show people that it’s more than possible to make your way out of the financial doldrums and become one of those financially stable individuals or prosperous families that you have been envious of for years.

Whether you need to sort out your debts, start saving, begin investing or simply to create a budget and stick to it, Money Rebound was born for one reason and one reason only, to help you ‘Return to Financial Freedom’.

Many people throughout history have found themselves in a financially difficult position and many in the future will find themselves in that exact same position. How you deal with it is up to you!

Blog share

 

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.

A big thanks to these blogs for thinking of CBB even though I haven’t been around much this past month. Cheers!

 

 

What is a blog carnival?

 

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is 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

 

 

Google-web-search-terms

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 favourite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review: . Join me next week same time, same place to see what trouble I can get myself into.

  • I don’t say much- I can’t say that myself
  • Great budget for chocolate chip cookies- I’m still not sure how the budget and chocolate chip cookies go together here but oh well
  • Children have a kung fu dream- I guess that’s not so bad, I dunno
  • Crispy fresh- I guess that’s better than flimsy rotten
  • CBB budget law- No I have no law except “It’s not about how much money you make it’s how you save it”

Money-quote

Are you NEW to Canadian Budget Binder?

Related articles

The Saturday Weekend Review #36: Video Gaming costs, children and relationships

Yoshi-the-saturday-weekend-review

Get Lost In The Gaming World

It’s been talked about on numerous occasions how video games encourage children to become less active and for some they get lost in a fantasy world and find it difficult to let go of. Some children interact so well with the characters in video games that they do believe they are real which is no different from believing that Mickey Mouse is magical. While garage sailing I tend to be very attentive to what people are selling because everything for sale if all theirs paints a picture of a family.

I’ve also looked at novels that are for sale and you can tell what type of person might be reading these books in the home. One stark discovery is that almost all garage sales that I went to with children were selling off video games. They aren’t cheap either even at a garage sale especially since buying them new might run you upwards of $50 dollars or more depending on the game and the system. I’m not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination in fact I haven’t touched a video game since the 80′s and neither has my wife.

80′s Arcade games

Are video games good for kids?

In 1981 we were given Donkey Kong then in 1986 Tetris blew up the screens, then there was Duck Hunt, Frogger, Pole Position, Centipede, Q-bert and then Pac-Man in 1980 with kids and adults going wild for these games. My wife recalls going to arcades as a child with her bag of quarters that she would get from the bank after swapping in her allowance bills from her paper route. Her recollection of her youth brings her back to spending most of the weekend after her chores and paper route living in a dream world of Arkanoid and Mario brothers which were 2 of her favourite games growing up.

She said she wasn’t happy until she could conquer the Arkanoid game and she did but it cost her many weeks allowance and then some. The game somehow challenged her until the end. She wasn’t going to let the game win and she was prepared to do whatever it would take to bring home the gold. There were times she said when people would huddle around her because she was doing so well.

The game literally encompassed her being on the weekends when she went out to play with her friends only because the arcade was a stone’s throw from her family home. Although her parents taught her about money from a young age she would set aside a portion of her earnings from her paper route to enjoy gaming when she wasn’t at home playing with her other love, the keyboards.

Just when she thought she could start banking her allowance though they came out with a new version of Arkanoid and the gaming started over again but this time she started to see it on hand-held systems where she didn’t need to insert coins. She later learned that the game although many would say is a waste of time and money taught her to never give up when she wanted something so bad if even a win.

In some ways she believes it has shaped her work ethic and the way she tackles her projects on a daily basis. She’s laughing as I type this because she thinks back to all the money she spent and how much work she needed to do to earn that money and she has nothing to show for it. Not everyone feels this way but for her the skills she gained were skills she could have formed via other outlets which may have inspired her further.

Best Gaming

What is the best video game system for kids?

Today new video game systems are much more intricate than they were in the 80′s and 90′s and interactive as such with the Wii, kinetic on X-box and the move on play station where the aim is to get gamers up and moving so they aren’t doing nothing for hours on end. You will find games on iPods, cell phones and really just about any device you can think of today. Like anything in life balance is important.

If kids are spending every waking hour playing video games, adults included they are giving up precious moments in life that could be spent building other successes. Many gamers have went on to become developers and it’s part of their life now so for a small percentage gaming could become their future income source if they are hired by the right organization. The reality is many won’t but for those gamers out there that want to still play or have their kids play I think it’s important to set limitations.

When I was young playing meant we went outside to play and we would run around for hours pretending we were characters we saw in the movies or in our morning cartoon sessions. The boys wanted to be superman and the girls Wonder Woman. We didn’t have scooters and battery operated vehicles to bring us from point A to point B we used our 2 feet and we made out fine.

There’s not much of that these days but if we could only recognize the pros and cons to how we choose to spend our time we’d accomplish much more and the children of the future may just bring us a new sense of commitment to getting the job done and not giving up. Sometimes the problem with gaming is when people don’t know when to stop. If you want to learn how to play kids games you can play along with them especially the educational games because family kids games include everyone.

The cost of games even if you do a trade at shops like EB Games with their trade-in options can get pricey and you can easily break the budget and fast. Alternatively there are video games online for kids which you can download and play that are free or may cost minimal charges. You won’t get back near what you paid for a game but you may be able to trade a few games to get another used game so the cycle of gaming continues on and on. I know many people who have all the gaming systems you can think of and the games to go along with it.

I sometimes think if they only invested the money they spent how much they’d have in 5, 10 or even 20 years time. Leave the video games and get up and get out and enjoy the freedom the world has to offer at no charge but that’s just not a reality in 2013 although many parents are opposed to even bringing a gaming system into the home.

Responsible gaming at any age

Video games are also responsible for marriage breakdown where one partner or the other becomes so engrossed in a particular game or many games and shuts him or herself out from the world like my wife may have done when she was younger trying to conquer Arkanoid.

One ex-couple we knew (We are friends with the wife) the husband was so into his games that he would barricade himself in a spare bedroom with a 2 litre bottle of coke and chips and game all day and night on  the weekends. Nothing would get done around the house and they lived in a brand new home. We are all entitled to down-time in a relationship, heck even I don’t want to be with my wife 24/7 but there comes a time where we need to get ask when is enough is enough.

She was left to cut the lawn and to do the home maintenance because it was near impossible for him to do things as he always complained he was tired from working yet he had no problem staying up pulling all-nighters with his love, the video game. Not only that but he was chatting online to people all over the world who were gamers and having fun while she sat waiting for him to romance her and do things with her. He left his wife to do what she wanted, and that she did. She divorced him one year after marrying him although for most they would say she knew this about him before she married him.

I think dating and marriage go hand in hand and it was something she simply over-looked because she loved him but later realized that she couldn’t compete with a video game. Although there may have been an educational lesson there for her and her when she was younger such as eye and hand coordination and challenging oneself without giving up if she was older and married she might have found her spouse packing his bags.

She says she does remember a negative about playing video games when she was young and that was she became very aggressive. She would easily get frustrated and angry out loud not caring what anyone would think. I’m sure if you are a gamer you can relate to this emotion as many do talk out loud, get angry and very aggressive which could spill into life dealings with people. Today video games are very graphic and some may not be suitable for certain age limits and for good reason.

Are more failed relationships around the corner?

Should there be an age limit to gaming? Well, no one can say for sure since it’s a form of entertainment and education for many but with a world full of so much beauty it would be a shame to see it pass us by living in a world of dreams. I do believe that parents should monitor their child’s use of games, internet usage and to keep the gaming in a common area and not a bedroom. I also think that if a certain behaviour is becoming apparent it’s important for a parent to step in and stop that behaviour before it gets out of hand.

Your child may not only exhibit a behaviour outside of the home and at school but they may just treat you the parent with the same oppressive behaviour in other facets of your parent-child relationship. If you factor in the cost of games especially if you are buying one game a week you are teetering on the realms of a costly sport at best. There’s nothing wrong with a good dose of gaming but I think being responsible and recognizing that balance is very important on many levels for children and for adults.

What are your thoughts about video games in relation to cost, children and relationships?

Did you have a favourite video game growing up?

Garage sailing with Jen

brain-quest-kids

The garage sale season is wrapping up for us here and although many people still have indoor garage sales in the Fall and Winter it’s still a great way to find some hidden treasures at a fraction of the cost. So keep your eyes peeled online especially on Kijiji or on Facebook 24 hour auctions for your area to score some great deals. Jen went garage sailing this morning and oddly enough she found a kids game which are brain games that you can play with your kids for a great price.

Jen and her husband have made many improvements to their shopping habits and their budget. You can read all about it in her guest post, Budgeting With Mr. CBB Got Us Back On Track. Jen shares her weekly garage sale finds with us for the summer to show just how much she can save for her family.

Today I got 4 x Brain Quest deck packs. I’ve heard a lot of good things about these for brain exercises for kids. They were asking $2 each and I got them for $1 each.

Total spent today: $4.00

Gardening and Landscaping

Well, where do I start with our garden. To be honest, it hasn’t performed like we wanted it to and you might be stunned to find out that I’ve ripped it all out. It’s near the end of September and the tomatoes hardly grew up the posts, the peppers were struggling so I don’t know what went wrong this year.

I think back to what Katrina said about planting in the same spot year after year or it was too much rain or my soil didn’t have enough nutrients. I admit that with having to landscape the front yard this year I didn’t give as much attention to the back gardens like I did in the past when everything grew in abundance. We also decided to take out the raspberry bushes which have been there for about 20 years now. We don’t mind raspberries but we aren’t the biggest fans and they take up a huge chunk of our garden.

My aim for the back garden for next year will be to keep it simple. I don’t want to have to spend a fortune watering plants and flowers so I’m going to go with shrubs and few flowers. I will have a couple of hanging baskets instead of the many we have had in the past. The herbs we will continue to grow them in abundance since we use them quite frequently.If we had a bigger garden things might be different but we want to make the most of our space for next year.

How did your garden perform this summer?

Blog update

The blog is almost complete and we are putting the finishing touches on it and soon enough you will see a much more vibrant page for all of you to hang out on with me.

Make sure you are subscribed via email because once I leave free WordPress if you are not subscribed via email you may stop getting my posts in your inbox.

Blog Posts On Canadian Budget Binder This Week

You can now follow Canadian Budget Binder via Bloglovin and continue to get my daily posts in this reader.

If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts in your email or reader but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

PLUS…. check out the NEW FEATURE I’ve added which is my New Free Recipe IndexYou get all the recipes that I have posted here at Canadian Budget Binder in one spot so you don’t have to go looking for them.

Making a difference

mo-money-mo-houses

Hi there! My name is Jessica and I’m the owner, editor, and sole author of the blog Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses. I’m originally from Vancouver, but this June my husband and I took a big leap of faith and moved all the way to Toronto to pursue our dream careers.

I started my blog just under two years ago as a way to teach myself about digital marketing and to have an outlet where I could write about one of my biggest passions: personal finance. As much as I hoped to develop my web skills from it and maybe gain a few readers (besides just my immediate family), I never expected how much I would learn in the process or that I would become part of a huge community of frugal savers just like me.

Although it’s sometimes challenging maintaining a blog and it was a big risk choosing to use my real name and image to brand it, starting my blog is still one of my proudest accomplishments. My hope is that through my blog I can similarly inspire my readers to challenge themselves, take risks and do things that scare them in order to grow, all while making financially savvy choices.

Blog share

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.

What is a blog carnival?

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is 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

Google search terms

web search terms

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 favourite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

This has to be the first week that I struggled to find some funny Google Search Terms

  • Our agent was late to our open house: Uh huh and what exactly will searching that online do for you?
  • What do women want love or money?: I’m not sure you will find the answer you are looking for
  • A typical budJET: i never thought of my budget as a powerful engine but if you do think about it, it really is!!
  • Mr. Fruit Crisps: Nope not me

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The Saturday Weekend Review #26- Canada Day around the mulberry tree

Happy-Canada-Day-2013-Cana-lily

A Day To Celebrate Canada 

It’s Canada Day on Monday July 1, 2013 which is also a statutory holiday in Canada. We will be celebrating what will be 146 years of beauty in this land we call home on that day. Last year I wrote a blog post about Canada Day where I talked about wanting to explore more of this country but sadly we haven’t had the time. Maybe it’s more about not making the time because we keep letting everything else get in the way.

With me finishing up school we thought we could plan a few days away but we’ve only managed to take some day trips to explore surrounding cities. One of my favourite trips so far was a trip to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the lake. There was something familiar about staring down the main drag down-town at Niagara on the Lake that reminded me of the UK. The small shops, narrow streets and flowers in bloom no matter what direction I would look was a bit nostalgic for me.

Niagara Falls was, how shall I say, amazing. I know many of you that grew up in Canada may think, ah it’s only Niagara Falls big deal, but it is a big deal. Niagara was named one of seven wonders in Canada and we should all be proud of the beauty each city has to offer including, the Falls.

My favourite parts of Niagara was the Maid of the Mist, the walk under the falls and the butterfly conservatory which was out of this world. Walking around down-town and checking out all the little shops was fun especially when the town is painted in bright colours and the night-time air is filled with music and laughter. You can’t go wrong if even for a frugal romantic getaway for a few days with your loved one.

Although there are things I miss about the UK there is plenty I enjoy about Canada. Even though there are pros and cons living in Canada in comparison to the UK there are always going to be differences no matter where anyone lives. Home is where the heart is and I have two homes now, and I will always hold true to both.

This Canada Day we are celebrating with the family which means I’m on vacation, so just in case you think I am MIA I’m probably hanging out by the water enjoying a few beers and backyard BBQ. I imagine we may take in the Canada Day parade followed by good eats and fun around the city as Canada Day submerges the community where we will be.

What are your plans for Canada Day?

What is open on Canada Day?

There are stores open on Canada Day but not many so you might have to do an online search or make a phone call. Since Canada Day is a stat holiday most stores and government agencies will be closed. That also means the LCBO will be closed so get your booze this weekend if you want some “liquid courage” as my friend John calls it. You may find smaller corner stores open, gas stations and of course Tim Hortons will be open Canada Day. There are some groceries stores that are open on Canada Day.

Check the list for 2013 Canada Day Stores open for Food Basics and  Home Depot Canada Day 2013 Hours. All RONA stores will be closed and Wal-Mart will be closed from what I read online. Is Canadian Tire is open on Canada Day? Good question but the website is vague in answering and only states, Holiday hours may vary, please call ahead to confirm, so call.

What would be great is if all the stores would have a holiday hours tab for the customers to simply click on. That would eliminate phones calls to the stores and taking up time of the employee who could be doing something else for in-store customers waiting for customer service.

Let us know in the comments what stores you find open on Canada Day!

Gardening and Landscaping

Fresh Basil Weekly Growth Comparison

If you missed my Saturday weekend review post last week where I showed you photos of our garden and how much growth it has had since the beginning, it has done even better this week. The rhubarb is massive as are the raspberry plants which are just as tall if not taller than I am at 6 feet. The tomatoes and peppers are coming along but as always they take their time but give us plenty of vegetables in and around August or September.

The basil, what can I say except it’s out of this world awesome and we can’t wait to make our basil cubes. Just look at the photo above just one week since I took the previous photo and the plant has gone bananas. Not literally, I’m not doing any funky scientific gardening but I’m happy to say the garden is moving along nicely.

Our mallow is getting bigger and we should start to see beautiful pink and white blooms in the next month or two, which are absolutely gorgeous. The lime tree is now in the barrel and seems to be loving it although I keep a watchful eye on it behind the scenes just to make sure it survives my wife and her newbie green thumb. (love you darling)

Canada Day around the mulberry tree

Mulberry-tree-wm

I won’t be spending Canada Day around the mulberry tree but I’m betting with the amount of berries on our tree this year I could spend all day picking them. Our mulberry tree is enormous, and like you might have guessed we have what seems like millions if not billions of berries on the tree. The birds just can’t get enough of them nor can the wife who keeps picking them and eating them on the spot.

I was told to lay some sheets down and shake the tree as they would easily drop to the ground. It sounds like a smart way to harvest these purple berries with a sweet red juice that stains your hands (and my path) but seems to be worth it with all the health benefits of mulberries. We do try to pick the berries but there are so many and it’s a bit awkward to pick them under the canopy, so I might try the, shake the tree route.

Mulberries-on-the-ground-2

What are the health benefits of mulberries?

Good question and I had to go hunting for the answer because I’m not quite a dietician but I am rather curious about this mulberry tree that we have growing rapidly year after year on our property.

Mulberries are no doubt good for us and for many reasons as they are jam-packed with vitamins and even iron which is unusual for a berry, but this bad boy had it all. The mulberry tree is what they call a silkworm tree belonging to the family called Moraceae also known as Moras berries in Spanish with the scientific name being called Morus Nigra.

Mulberries contain the following benefits listed below, but if I were you and you want to know more about mulberries, check out Nutrition and You. This is where I learned all of my mulberry information you see here today but in greater detail.

  • Iron
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Lutein, Zea-Xanthin, B-carotene and A-carotene
  • Resveratrol (polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant)
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • B-Complex vitamins
  • B6, Niacin, Folic Acid (better get the wife out there eating away), riboflavin
  • Vitamin K

Free stuff

Free-stuff-gate-hardware

This is just another great find for free in the trash this week from another neighbour who moved out. Although we don’t need any gate hardware at the moment as I replaced it when we moved in, you never know when it will come in handy. I figure there is about $30-$40 worth of hardware here.

We also picked up another item from the guy that was moving from the same house. The wife noticed the item and went and knocked on his door to ask if he could hang on to it until I came home from work. I get the feeling when you see what it is you will know why she didn’t want to wheel it home. Once we get it all cleaned up and put it back together, I’ll show you what it is.

I also picked up one flat beer can in the middle of the road and the wife found a beer bottle on the boulevard while out for a walk with the dog. If my neighbours or whoever it was wants to throw away their beer cans and bottles, I’ll take them. A dime is a dime to us, it all adds up. (that and it goes towards my beer fund)

What did you find for free this week? 

Weekly blog post review

**NOTE…. you only have a couple of days left (July 1, 2013) before Google Reader is no longer available if you are an RSS reader. I’d miss you if you were gone so please hook up via another reader. You can now follow Canadian Budget Binder via Bloglovin and continue to get my daily post in your new reader.

If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts  in your email or reader but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

Jen’s garage sale finds

Jens-garage-sale-finds

Jen and her husband have made many improvements to their shopping habits and their budget. You can read all about it in her post, Budgeting With Mr. CBB Got Us Back On Track. Jen shares her weekly garage sale finds with us for the summer to show just how much she can save for her family.

Today’s garage sale finds:

  • Very large storage tote which can be used outdoors $5.00
  • Thermal gloves with grip (Ken uses these at work – they cost about $7-8 at Mark’s) $.25 (brand new)
  • 2 x Fleece once piece PJ’s for Adam $.50 for both
  • New track to fix kitchen drawer $.50
  • Bag clip $.25
  • Pouch for my sunglasses $.25
  • Total $6.75

Making a difference

cents-and-sensibility-blog

Hi, my name is Lindsey and I blog about my journey to becoming debt free over at Canadian Cents & Sensibility. I started my family early and had my daughter at age twenty. At that point, I had started college and her father and I tried to discuss our future. Dazed and confused, we managed to avoid the marriage pitfall and decided that we would be better parents apart, rather than together.

I went both to College and then University. After about seven years of majoring in this and that, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (in Psychology) and a monstrous $45,000 student loan. As it turns out, trying to go to school and raise a child can be an expensive endeavour to undertake – especially when paired together.

Over the years I accrued credit card debt and every other kind of debt for most of my twenties. I used to spend money to distract myself from difficult emotions and stressful situations – I used it like a crutch. It wasn’t until I hit my early thirties that I realized I had a real problem and needed to change my life and my finances.

Success is as much in the trying as it is in the achievement.

I worked hard to learn and grow from my past decisions – both good and bad. I started my blog to share my experiences about learning how to manage my money differently. My goal is to help empower others to take control of their financial futures and understand that it’s okay to try things, mess up, and then try things again. I believe I can learn as much from my readers as they might learn from me.

Blog share 

I really appreciate when other blog owners recognize my hard work here at CanadianBudgetBinder.com and share my posts with their fans.

Carnival glory

What is a blog carnival?

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is 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

Google search terms

web search terms

What are Google keyword search terms?

Keywords for search engines help me to understand what people are looking for at Canadian Budget Binder. Although I get thousands of  keyword searches from Google users that come in each week I pick out a few that catch my eye and make me smile.

Top pick- “True Leaders Don’t Create Followers, They Create Leaders”- Awesome!

  • House making- I’ve never heard it called this maybe home building.
  • Best Financial Advisor’s in Canada- I’d like to know too!
  • Oreo Brownie with Chocolate icing I think I know what I’m going to make next, thanks for the idea.
  • The Cadillac Budget- It there such a thing?
  • British donuts- If I make them are they considered British then?
  • Sensual Man and Woman On a motorcycle- I guess they weren’t going for the rough and tough look.

That’s all for this weeks edition of the The Saturday Weekend Review. Thanks for stopping by to read and please join me again next week when I do it all over again.

Happy Canada Day!

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The Saturday weekend review #24: Limes are our new money tree

he-Saturday-Weekend-Review

Looking Back Over The Past Week

New blog

When Saturday rolls around it has to be one of my favourite days for writing a blog post because it’s a time that I just let loose and tell you how great or miserable my week has been. I know that I’m teetering on very busy territory shortly as my new blog design and move to self-hosted is on the horizon. I hope you really do enjoy the new look that’s been created and that I continue to improve upon this site that has been built for you and for me.

I must admit that WordPress is one of the best free blogs I’ve ever used. It’s so easy to learn and navigate once you get used to it and support here has been absolutely wonderful to me. Moving to self-hosted has meant that I’ve had to find a hosting provider and I’ve decided to go with Bluehost which came highly recommended to me. You can read all you want online there will always be the good, the bad and the ugly so experimenting is what I plan to do. I’m sure I will do a small bluehost review once I’m settled in and have spent some time with them.

If you are a WordPress follower and if you still want to read my daily blog post once the blog sets up its new home you should probably subscribe via email from my home page as I’m pretty sure all you kind WordPress readers will be left behind at the free WordPress blog wondering why my posts are not showing in your blog reader.  Better yet, maybe subscribing now via email is the best way to go.

I know many of you have waited so long and believe me, so have I so I look forward to all the mess and magic I’m going to create at the new site. Please be patient with me as I make my way around behind the blog scenes to get everything sorted. You may notice some errors, blips or better yet nothing at all but the new blog design but we’ll work through all the kinks the best that we can and as efficiently as possible. It may take me some time so your patience and continued support is appreciated.

Gardening and Landscaping

The front gardens are as good as done. Now I need to focus on sealing the steps. I did manage to seal the drive this past week and it really makes a difference to the overall landscaping of the property. Our driveway seems to take a pounding each winter although it’s in perfect condition. We were going to replace it at a cost of over $12,000 but decided not to fix what’s not broken. I take my time and tape and measure so it’s perfect. How many driveway DIY sealing jobs have you seen where the black sealant is all over the place. Not at our house. A little planning and patience goes a long way.

I managed to get a new garage track and seal at Home Depot for a decent price so I figured I might as well get that replaced while I can. If I’m going to be landscaping the front and pouring money into it I might as well go the full yard and make it all new. I’ve also taken the caulking around the windows out as they were looking a bit discoloured and unsightly. I’ve re-caulked them and they look as good as new. Then I managed to pop off part of the trim and spray paint it white and it looks brand spanking new again.

I read a post on wise bread the other day about black spray paint is the new decorators weapon and I had a laugh because it’s so true. I can’t tell you how many cans of spray paint I’ve picked up but I have. I have sanded and spray painted anything in and around our house that I could. It all looks brand new and not worn at all, especially any light fixtures, tables, chairs, mail boxes, decorations, baskets. You name it and I’ve layered a black coat of spray paint on it. It makes a world of difference for the small price of a can of black spray paint $3.99 plus tax at Canadian Tire.

So, any time you see a bargain at a garage sale, online or free at the side of the road that needs some new life put into it, pick it up if you fancy it. All you need is some sand paper, a wire brush, black spray paint and good ole elbow grease. Do you remember that free roadside find, the barrel planter? If not take a look at the before and after photos. Stunning!

Price adjustment 

I ran out of driveway sealant and of course I paid a bit of money to get a good sealant from Canadian Tire but it was on sale the previous week that I bought it. I knew I had to go back and pick up another bucket so now I know the next time I seal the drive I need two. Unfortunately I had to pay full-price which happens as we can’t get everything in life on discount or with a coupon.

The best part is when I was reading the weekly flyers the driveway sealant is on sale again this week at Canadian Tire which means I can go back and get a $13.oo price adjustment. If you aren’t checking your receipts and flyers each week to get a product price adjustment, don’t miss the savings, start today. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve saved by reading the newspaper.

Limes

lime-tree-in-a-barrel

The limes, you know how much we love our fresh limes and lime juice dressings as there are so many lime health benefits it’s hard to say no to them. Limes are great for digestion, constipation, respiratory disorders, gout, to fight scurvy, excellent for skin care, eye care, gums, piles, weight loss, urinary disorders and other health benefits. I really enjoyed reading that article and makes me feel good that we enjoy limes the way we do.

We can’t get enough of that tangy flavour in our salad dressings, jelly, salads, rice and pasta dishes. We use lime every chance we get and if we see a deal on limes you can bet we will get in on it. While picking up some odds and ends at Home Depot while visiting friends last week we wandered back into the garden centre as I needed to pick up some bushes for the front yard.  Sometimes it pays to check in to big box stores that aren’t in your city because they all seem to carry bits that the other might not. Another couple of hundred dollars gone to landscaping but it looks beautiful.

While pushing the cart around if the wife doesn’t see a blinkin lime tree for $24.99 on the shelf. There were quite a few of them the last time we were there I just didn’t say anything to her. She was so excited and wanted one so she could grow it at home. I told her that she was responsible for learning how to grow a lime tree and that I had nothing to do with its life or death. She kills plants if you missed a previous post of mine.

So the lime plant is sitting pretty in a mini plastic whiskey barrel that I will drill holes into for her so she can baby her lime tree all she wants. I’m happy she’s happy and since she doesn’t often spend money on herself I thought it was a great to see her so excited about something she wanted.

I’ll keep you updated on the life of the lime tree. The lime tree is our new money tree so if we actually start growing limes it may save us a buck or two. Either way, it’s a great conversation piece when you have guests over and smells beautiful.

Weekly blog post review

If you are a regular reader you would have already received these awesome posts  in your email but just in case you missed reading one I’ve put them all together here just for you.

Garage Sale finds

For the summer I will feature garage sale finds from Jen and the fans. Since Jen has started budgeting and saving money she tends to find her best deals at garage sales. Join in the fun! I’ll pick one fan each week along with Jen’s finds if you send in your photo and write-up no later than noon on Saturdays. If I don’t get any submissions I’ll just skip the post for that week.

Jen’s garage sale finds

Jen sent me a quick email to let me know that she is taking this Saturday off from garage sales but should be back in action soon. If you would like your garage sale finds featured simply send me an email with the products you purchased, the prices you paid and a photo of your garage sale bargains.

Making a difference

Starting a blog is not an easy task and for those who leave the corporate world to start their own online business it is serious stuff to them. You can find many blogs for free around but I hope you take the time to check-in and read the blogs that I recommend for you here each week.

Today a shout out to my mate Sean who is ready to share with you why he’s making a difference to his fans from all over the world.  If you run a blog or a website and you want to share your blog with the CanadianBudgetBinder.com fans why you are making a difference, email me today.

OneSmartDollar-making-a-difference

Hi my name is Sean. Some of you might know me from OneSmartDollar.com however in 2006 I started the couponing and deals blog FreeSnatcher.com.  I had only been out of college for a couple of years and I quickly realized how expensive it was to buy groceries when I saw my two bags add up to over $50. That is when I began to learn the in’s and out’s of using coupons.

It was then that I became passionate about showing other how much money they could save. I wanted to help as many people as I could cut their grocery bill so their family could use that savings to pay for the fun things life has to offer.

As a former banker I decided to get back to my roots in 2011 when I launched OneSmartDollar.com. This new blog helped me hit a completely different side of personal finance. It allowed me to take my education and work experience to help others better their financial situations. Financial literacy is the backbone to making our society a better place.

My goal for the years to come is to continue to reach new people and help them towards financial happiness. That could be by helping someone improve their credit score in order to get the best rate on a mortgage or showing someone the importance of saving for retirement at an early age.

Blog share 

I really appreciate when other blogs take time to recognize my hard work here at CanadianBudgetBinder.com and blog share it with their fans. My way of saying thanks is blog sharing your page with my fans so a big round of applause for some amazing blogs and websites that shared us with their community of fans. Thank-You! Don’t forget to subscribe to these blogs and tell them Mr.CBB sent you.

Carnival glory

Some fans have asked me just what a blog carnival is 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 carnivals have a theme and certain rules for submitting which must be followed.

Each week I dedicate about 3o minutes to submit my best blog posts from the past week to blog carnivals. You can too. Blog Carnival HQ , BloggerCarnivals.com and Blog Carnival are just a few carnival pages I visit each week to submit my posts so they get shared around the web.

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

web search terms

Google keyword search terms

Keywords for search engines help me to understand what people are looking for at CanadianBudgetBinder.com. Any typos below are simply how the person who searched Google and typed it in search incorrectly, or me ;-) Although I get thousands each week I pick out a few that caught my eye. It’s great what you get to see behind the scenes so I want to share some laughs with all of you.

  • Canadian Is Me Budget Binder: Not sure what to make of this one. you?
  • Love Letter About Money: I love you but money is important you know……..
  • Woman Only Want Money: What about us men?
  • Dash For Cash Jamaica Supermarket Game Show- Nope, no Jamaica here man!! I’d be interested to check that game show out though lol. Only have the grocery game challenge I’m afraid.
  • 25, Single, Homeowner: Ha, no dating site here, this one was great.
  • Pot in fence: Well, if you’re growing pot it’s a good sign your neighbour can tell what it is. Look… pot in fence.

That’s all for this weeks Saturday weekend review, please join me again next Saturday for more happening in and around the blog and at the CBB home.

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