Reflection on summer days: The Saturday Weekend Review #87

SUMMER MEMORIES   Hot summer days might not be the appropriate words to use for summer 2014 in Ontario with the up and down weather we’ve been having. Since we are getting hammered with heat this week we’re still in the clear to enjoy the best days of summer holidays. I didn’t want to make this post the usual Saturday blog post because it’s the Labour Day long weekend which means school starts back up which brings financial changes for most people. I also wanted to make it personal in hopes you share memories of your summer days in the comment section. What’s open for the Labour Day Weekend? I don’t know what’s open in your local area but in the Toronto area we have some shops open. Many of you might be enjoying one of the last weekends at the campground or prepping for back to school. You might plan to attend some local attractions for the long weekend such as the Toronto Zoo, Wonderland, Toronto Science Centre, CN Tower, Toronto Eaton Centre or hit the beach but all government is closed including the LCBO so stock up today! It’s hard when summer days seem to end at the […]

grocery game monthly challenge

Do summer foods cost you more money? : The Grocery Game Challenge #4 July 21-27, 2014

PICK YOUR OWN EAT IT FRESH   Summer foods are fresh, in-season and in some cases can drive up your grocery budget if you’re not careful. For the most part Mrs.CBB and I have a standard grocery list that we use every week along with sale items that come up in the flyers. In the summer our grocery list seems to grow. With such growth we really need to focus on how much money we are spending at the grocery store so we don’t overspend causing us to carry over these expenses to the next month. This is what we did for the month of July as you will notice we were over budget by $18.24. The reason for this is because we are trying to catch up for going over budget the month previous. It only seems to happen in the summer but come winter, things change. I know you might suggest giving ourselves a larger budget but it does seem to work out in the end. If by the end of 2014 we notice we need to make an increase then that is what we will do. We won’t deprive ourselves and not buy what we need when […]

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

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

Organizing A Frugal Backyard Barbeque Party

  Frugal Backyard Barbeque Party, is that possible? Of course it is! Summer is now in full swing and if you are like us we are getting invited to parties left, right and centre. All these parties can add up and of course if you are hosting the party it can also cost you a pretty penny. We don’t budget in extra expenses for summer time parties so our expenses are coming out of our grocery budget. For example, we are going to a backyard party next week where we were asked to supply 2 boxes of burgers. We figure if we weren’t eating at a party we would be eating at home so the food we bring whether we eat it at the party or home is coming from the grocery budget. When we want to host a large party in our backyard we like to plan ahead to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.  Have you ever been to a party where there wasn’t enough food or so disorganized you get bored?  There’s nothing worse than your guests wanting to run to the nearest pizza joint after they leave your house because they are ready to […]

Mr.CBB’s Cucumber Radish Salad with Fresh Mint

Cucumbers and radish in the summer almost go together naturally,at least for us.Toss in some fresh mint and a lemon garlic dressing and you have a salad fit for any occasion that won’t dig into your pocket-book. It also looks elegant in a fancy serving dish perfect for any back yard gathering. We grow Mentha also called Mint every year BUT,we don’t put it in the ground. If you know anything about mint you know that it will grow and it won’t stop as it has a network of runners that just keeps on giving but is very aromatic. We have grown both garden mint and lemon mint although there are many species of mint around the world. We opt for putting it in a relatively decent sized pot so it has enough room to grow.The results are always..too much but we make good use of it. You know paying $1.99 for a small packet at the shops hurts the budget so growing it is our number one option. You can pick up packets at the dollar store for $0.50 and no effort required except water and partial shade but enjoys plenty of sun. If you have friends who grow mint, I’m sure they’d […]

Watch What You Sell At Your Next Garage Sale Warns Health Canada

Are you thinking about “Spring” or “Summer”  Cleaning for things you can sell for money? Most people wonder what to sell at a garage sale but now they need to know what NOT to Sell at a garage sale. Have you heard of the Health Canada 2012 Garage Sale Advisory? In the summer time especially, people come in droves to find the latest and greatest deals at garage sales in Canada. I know we’re part of those groups of people. I’m not so sure it will be as exciting as it once was maybe more stress than it’s worth. I recently posted about garage sale tips for buying and selling stuff  and felt it was important to write a new post to highlight the Health Canada Advisory for Canadians who want to sell new or used items. We are all looking for ideas for yard sales and the latest tips for yard sales but these tips today take precedence over any other. Do you understand the 2012 Advisory? If not you need to read on because I was even shocked during my research……. You are  legally, yes legally responsible for the items you sell, new or used making sure that they meet regulatory […]

Ways To Save Money On Your Water Bill This Summer!

Photo Source: Mr.CBB It’s amazing the things we take for granted in Canada and around the world and water is one of them. Water is free when it rains but turn on the tap or flush the toilet and you will pay! I didn’t have a big garden back home in the UK but we definitely made use of conserving water best we could as home owners. I remember seeing business offices run out of  old homes where an office water system using the rain barrel was being used. All they needed to do was walk out the office door, fill the watering can and water the plants. You have to save money in the budget wherever you can even if you are a business owner. When the rain decides to stop and we turn on the tap money is rolling out as fast as it’s coming in. Not everyone knows the facts on water and how to conserve and save money. Today I want to go over a few ways to save money on water using simple water collection systems, low-flush toilets/shower heads and rebate programs. Rain Barrel Photo Source: Mr.CBB I noticed last spring and summer our water usage during […]

Mr.CBB’s Cold Tuna Pasta Salad With A Kick

We’re always looking for a new recipe or variations for an easy cold pasta salad recipe but most times we settle for the classic cold tuna pasta salad for picnics, parties, pot-luck or back yard barbeques! When summer comes we want tasty,quick and friendly on the budget since there are so many parties to go to. I took to my Facebook page again to see what if any variations of pasta salad ingredients my fans might make of the classic tuna pasta salad. I was intrigued with some of the ideas that came up and thought of  some myself while reading such as: Tuna Pasta Salad with Peas and olives Cold Chicken Pasta Salad Tuna Pasta Salad with Bacon and Cheese Cold Tuna Noodle Salad using noodles such as spaghetti I’ve never had tuna pasta salad dressing before but a couple of my fans suggested I add salad dressing to the recipe to give a punch. All I had on hand in the pantry were 2 kinds, Italian which wasn’t what I wanted so I went straight for WOW with PC Yogurt and Asiago salad dressing. I also added low-fat Miracle Whip and Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise. Even better is if you know how […]

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