Is customer service affected by the clothes you wear shopping? : The Saturday Weekend Review #65

customer service clothes shoppingIS YOUR MONEY GOOD ENOUGH?

 

I think just about everyone has had someone turn their nose up at them while shopping. If you are the owner of a business with employees who shy away from customers because of their look you might be losing tonnes of cash.

When I read a story about customer service and how you might not get service if you look homeless or dressed like you just went for a run true scenarios starting running through my head.

 

Time to shop

 

The writer called the Fashionista dressed down in gym attire to go shopping at some of the most prestigious stores to explore a Harvard study.

This was where a doctoral student and two professors found that shop assistants in Milan found that dressing down meant more buying power. Meaning that dressing in casual or gym attire might score you the best customer service.

So, armed with her gym wear and looking neat and tidy with make-up and her hair nicely kept the Fashionista and her friend Jeremy went shopping. Jeremy was around more to watch from the sidelines what was going on and he was well dressed. To be honest I would have loved to have done what Jeremy did because I’m always intrigued about customer service and employees.

They visited shops such as Bergdorf Goodman, Chanel, Barneys New York, Saint Laurent and Prada. Needless to say she had varied results but decided that next time she shops she won’t be wearing gym gear.

I applaud her for doing this because it’s important for business owners to realize how treating customers like their money is not good enough no matter what you think they are worth can bite you in the butt.

I’m pretty sure the shops she went to that took good care of her now are smiling because other customers are more likely to want to shop there now. I was not shocked at her results to be honest because my wife has been through the same thing.

Sometimes when it comes to customer service sometimes the customer has to take the reins even if it’s to prove a point. At least my wife is like that because she expects nothing less than excellent customer service no matter where she goes.

To her it’s the law of employment no matter where you work. You should enjoy what you do and do it with a smile or find a new job as harsh as that sounds. There’s no point living your life working in a miserable job if you hate it. Do something about it.

It’s not always about what you wear it’s about what you don’t wear or the accessories that go with the clothes you have or the type of credit card you use to pay for your purchases. Sometimes it boils down to reputation and whether the customer service associates know who you are in order to get some help these days.

 

Window shopping

 

When we were shopping in downtown London UK my wife was amazed at all the lovely shops including Gucci and Prada but noticed that each shop had security at the front door.

She did not want to go shopping in these stores because she felt she couldn’t afford anything anyways besides the security kind of freaked her out. I remember her asking me while we were admiring jewellery in a downtown London shop window why there were no prices. I told her that if you have to ask what the price is than you likely can’t afford to shop in there.

With a shoulder shrug on we went as she guessed I was right but only if you have an unlimited supply of cash I was right. If you are rich, whatever rich means you still need to watch your money.

It wasn’t that she couldn’t afford shopping in the stores it’s that she didn’t want to spend $200 on a t-shirt factoring the exchange rate etc. It’s hard to spend money when you have it on items you know you can find for less that are comparable.

 

Money mentality

 

When you have money and lots of it your life is taken up a notch if you allow it and that’s why you see some rich people go broke. They simply can’t keep up with the lifestyle change and it’s hard for them to move down because they have an image to uphold.

That is the mentality I’ve learned over the years living in the UK with all these high-end luxury shops and it’s no different in bigger cities like Toronto and Vancouver etc. Some of the small town shops are just as pricey for the town they service catering to specific clientele, those with cash.

My wife has told me many times that she can feel a difference in the way people treat her both men and women depending on how she does her hair and dresses. It’s not a surprise because many people judge people just by the way they look and start making assumptions about their life when they know nothing at all.

There have been many times when my wife has shopped and depending on how much effort she put into getting ready that day would reflect on how much customer service she receives.

She also notes that when she goes shopping she makes eye contact with customer service employees and the first thing she does is look for a name tag and greets them first. It’s like reverse psychology because now the ball is in their court.

She has in less than a minute or so shined with a bright smile and outgoing personality and now it’s up to the employee to ask if she needs any help. Each time she goes shopping with her hair done, make-up, boots or high heel shoes and sporting her accessories i.e. rings, handbag, necklace, earrings, sunglasses etc…. she is approached by a sales clerk.

Other times when she throws her hair in a bun and puts on her runners to go shopping it’s more about her putting the effort into the entire experience in order to get anything out of the store.

 

Money is no object

 

Sometimes she’s even pretended to be rich just to see what kind of service she would get. I remember in Niagara Falls we went into this store that was completely frosted with diamonds, high-end furniture, lighting, carpeting etc. and the store name had something to do with being Rich.

I can’t remember but she said let’s go in there and watch this. Sometimes my wife scares me because I never know what’s going to come out of her mouth but I just play along because I know there is a purpose for her.

There was one lady working and immediately she came over to us. We were both dressed up nice for a night on the town and she greeted us and asked if she could help us.

My wife said she was looking for new accessories, i.e. rings, necklaces, scarves etc. Well it didn’t take the pretty Shakira looking sales clerk long to start showing her rings and I’m starting to sweat hoping my wife is kidding.

Then the lady pulls out these colourful bracelets and says they are the “in thing” in California where they were brought in from. She says all the stars in California were buying them up so we should probably own one too. The pieces of coloured yarn cost just over $100 a pop.

The sales lady emulated herself being of the rich and famous crowd by the way she dressed and acted let alone talked with a flair or richness in her voice like money was no object. I also remember a sales clerk once told us that she had to wear what they sold in the store.

It was a form of marketing their product but also a way to make the customer feel as if they are living the experience as well. My wife didn’t end up buying anything but the 20 minutes or so that we were catered to was certainly an experience on its own. Thank goodness because I was getting worried there for a moment.

 

Customer service

 

What is good customer service?

Everyone who walks through the door no matter what they look like is a customer, never forget that.

I’m sure every business owner and customer will have their own ideals surrounding the topic of good customer service. I like to say excellent customer service. An example I can think of is being greeted with a smile and asking if you need any help and where to find him/her if needed.

There are a couple of clothing stores we go to in town and the ladies that work in theses shops which are in the mall are amazing. They take very good care of my wife and have always greeted us and placed us high on the priority list when it came to making sure she had everything she needed.

I also think they like that I go shopping with my wife as many men don’t tend to take much interest in what their wife wears. We both like to give each other’s opinions when we go shopping. It’s likely why my wife likes to shop there time and time again.

How to improve customer service?

If you don’t hire the right staff then your business will suffer. You might even have other employees who want to shine but can’t because of the negative cast in your business so it’s important to know what’s going on. Training and keeping the training ongoing even if it is refresher training courses to motivate your staff is imperative.

Know your staff and know what’s going on or you may just find that you are losing money because your employees are making their own rules of employment.

 

Customer service duties

 

I’m not sure if some employees even know the definition of work and customer service duties. I think many times people think they can handle working with the public or make themselves out to be better than they are.

I’m pretty sure that on the customer service skills list chatting in a corner about other customer experiences or daily life rather than attending to a customer is not part of the excellent customer service skills needed in such a role.

If you work in human resources or do the hiring yourself a customer service resume should be filled with an ongoing positive vibe that cares for the businesses they worked for and the customers.

Sometimes it’s difficult to judge a resume by its cover and it’s not until you bring in a candidate for an interview that you get the opportunity to dig a bit deeper into their personality and work habits.

Sometimes employers are even putting potential candidates through interview stages which is a great opportunity to see how they would act in certain situations as a customer service representative.

If you are a manager or own a business you need to make sure you know exactly what is going on in your business when you are there and aren’t there.

I know I’ve mentioned that I love the show Undercover Boss but it’s amazing when the boss is in the room how customer service skills are taken up a few levels and when the boss leaves some employees are out to play.

 

Milk dip

 

Just look what happened this past week at that Russian dairy plant who were caught on video celebrating the New Year in a vat of milk. Where was the boss? Who was watching over these employees? Sure they may work behind the scenes and not directly with customers but they are providing a product for the customers.

My point is some employees will do just about anything if they can get away with it even if it means not serving customers because of the way the dress, smell or look. Judging a book by its cover is never a good thing.

Remember the Millionaire Next Door book or the movie Pretty Woman. You never know who has money and who doesn’t and just because someone wears their sweat pants and t-shirt shopping at either a high-end luxury store or any store for that matter doesn’t mean you treat them any different from the person who rolls up with security.

Sure some customers can’t shut down an entire store for a private shopping experience like some of the rich and famous but customer service is customer service with a smile.

Have you ever been treated differently when shopping in a high-end store?

Have you been ignored in a luxury store because of the way you dress?

 

Weekly CBB posts

 

If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

Fan deals and inspirations

 

Deals of the week Canada

Submit your Brag or Inspiration If you have a brag that you want me to share email me at canadianbudgetbinder (@) [yahoo] [.ca] or fill out my contact form by Friday each week to have your brag considered for the Saturday post.

This week CBB fan Christine shares some of the money saving deals she scooped up. This is just another reason why picking up some coupons is not a bad idea. It’s money in your pocket.

Mr.CBB and Fans,

Here are some of the great deals I picked up this week while I was out shopping.
Jackson’s Pharmacy(Guardian Drugs)

  • 2 Dove shampoo @ $3.49
  • 2 Dove conditioner @ $3.49
  • Tax- $1.81
  • Total- $15.77

The Dove shampoo and conditioner was half price, regular price is $6.99 per bottle. Even without the coupons around for Dove hair products it was still a good deal for me.

Canadian Tire

  • Royale Toilet paper- 4.99- $1.00 coupon
  • 2 x Royale Velour Toilet paper-@ $4.99- $9.98- 2X $1.00 coupons
  • Royale Tiger Paper towels 6 pack- $4.99, $3.00 coupon
  • Tax- $2.59
  • Total- $16.55

The 2 coupons for the Royale Velour came from an insert and the toilet paper itself was marked as a special purchase although the regular Royale was on sale stating $5.00 off. The paper towels were saying I saved a total of $2.48. The $1.00 coupon for the regular toilet paper and the nice $3.00 coupon for the paper towels came from Gocoupons.ca.

Have fun,

Christine

 

Making a difference

 

Makinthebacon

 

If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email so I can reach out to them for a feature story.

Note: If you are a blogger who gives back and would like to be featured by all means get in touch with me as I am filling spots up for the rest of 2014 and they are going quickly.

Today I’d like to introduce you to my Canadian personal finance blogger friend Karen from Makin The Bacon.

Hi CBB readers!

My name is Karen, and like Mr. CBB, I’m a Canadian personal finance blogger. I’m the owner, sole writer and editor over at MakintheBacon.

I tend to think of my blog as a bit of everything-travel, lifestyle, food, frugality and fitness, because personal finance tends to be a bit of everything. My blog has a bit of sarcasm, dry humour, and ranting to it as well.  It’s similar to my personality.

I started this blog back in the summer of 2012, thinking that I could make a ton of money right away. Boy, was I greatly mistaken.  It really wasn’t until the end of summer last year that I decided to put more time and effort into my blog, but even now I still find it tough juggling a blog and two jobs.

I wish I could buy more time to work on my blog. However, I really do enjoy blogging about personal finance, so it’s worth it.

With MakintheBacon, I want readers to realize that there’s a lot more to personal finance than clipping coupons and setting aside a portion of your income every month for retirement, savings or an emergency.

Whether or not we like to admit it, money matters and plays a huge part of our lives. It creates positive and negative emotions in us. It allows us freedom.

It gives us power.  I want people to get excited about personal finance, think about it in different ways and be part of the conversation!

Aside from blogging on my own site, I’m a staff writer for another personal finance blog. When I’m not doing either of those things, I like to read, bake (not cook), work out, travel and play Candy Crush.

 

What is a blog carnival?

 

Some fans have asked me “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.

 

Carnival glory

 

A big thanks to these pages for accepting my blog posts and sharing them in the following carnivals and/or sharing my blog posts with their fans.

Carnivals

Blog Mentions

 

Google search terms

 

 

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. Keep in mind any spelling errors below are because I share with you the exact way they typed their search engine query to land on my blog.

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

  • Fractured my foot in Dollarama. What do I do?- Could be a costly fracture.
  • Is the weekend making a difference- Depends on what you are comparing it to lol.
  • Why does my friend call me money bags- I can assume because you spend money like water. Ask them why.
  • I’m alone but happy- Not everyone needs someone to feel happy, happiness starts with-in.
  • Sexy women in kitchen for men- Not this blog

 

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #64. Have a great week and catch me here again next Saturday with more updates.

-Mr.CBB

 

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Photo Credit:freedigitalphotos.net/Stock Images

 

How my co-op program shaped my work ethics

Co=op program- Penguin by the pool EXPERIENCE LASTS A LIFE-TIME

 

Co-op programs have been around for ages now and the kids that do get involved have for the most part come out from the placement with a positive learning experience.

We’ve talked about career choices and how they should be your own and not up to your parents and taking advantage of any co-op program experience might be your ticket to self-learning.

While relaxing a little last night and watching some programs that had been previously recorded the show “Undercover Boss Canada” came on.

The television program is based on a British television show called “Back to the Floor” from a several years ago and encourages the Boss to get back to the nitty-gritty.

The Undercover Boss segment in question was about the “Toronto Zoo” which in itself was very interesting but also made me think about my involvement in a ‘Work Experience‘ as we call it in the UK a ‘Co-op Program‘ in Canada when I was still in school.

 

Co-op program

 

What is a co-op program?

Also known as co-operative education in Canada securing a co-op placement is a head start above the competition when it comes time to look for your full-time job.

If you work at a place that accepts co-op students then you know exactly what a co-op program may be and why it’s important to a young adult. You may also own a business and encourage a co-op program at your establishment to help build relationships with the very adults you may hire in the future.

A co-op program may be proper work experience in a field that you excel in or are interested in getting involved in as a career as you get older such as an apprenticeship, finance or working in the medical field etc. It was a way to get hands on experience so you knew what the job entailed from a basic standpoint for the most part.

You can participate while you are in High School, College or even University where you may also find that you get paid for working in a co-op program or job placement program.

Keep in mind that there are eligibility requirements when getting involved with a co-op program so do you your research so you know what it entails.

It’s a way to take what you’ve learned in school and apply it in a placement where you can experience what working in the real world in that position may be like. It’s like “test driving” your potential career as the government website states.

The smartest thing you can do while testing out your potential career is to network like crazy. They say it’s not what you know but who you know but I believe it’s both so chat away and be friendly.

If you are hoping to score a summer job as a student from the co-op placement don’t rule it out and don’t be shy to ask your boss or the Human Resources department while you are learning.

Just be aware that if you are accepted into a co-op program in Canada that any additional costs will be coming out of your own pocket. It may seem like you are spending more money to learn however this work experience will look great on your resume and you can’t put a number on that.

 

Growing up

 

As all children start growing up there are always a few repeating careers that pop up in their brains and I was no exception. I was determined to be a Veterinarian, mainly because I adored animals and loved the medical field.

While in school at the age of 15-16 I got the opportunity to complete my work experience in a Zoo. I’m not a complainer so cleaning out some of the animals although stinky was just part of the experience.

The high point during my co-op program for me was feeding the penguins and then having to clean out there pool. Picking up penguins is not easy feat, although they are not built for walking or should I say waddling they are quicker than you think.

The reason they needed to be picked up is that penguins don’t want to leave the pool so you end up with a few in the bottom of the pool once all the water is drained.

You need to pull out the penguins because you have to scrub the walls and floor of the pool, followed by a good rinse.

This may sound like I had a hard life growing up but I used to cycle to work in the morning and back again at the end of the day. Start time was 6am, so getting up early was not something I had considered before this co-op program.

What’s even worse is that we didn’t even get paid for our hours of work. I wasn’t bothered by this as the experience of working with such a variety of animals was enough in itself.

 

Life experience

 

Becoming a Veterinarian never came to fruition as I grew up my brain changed and things went in a different direction. The co-op program however did give me some skills that followed me into the early years of my working career.

One of the greatest parts of my co-op program was when I would be feeding the animals and visitors to the zoo would come to me and ask me questions. It taught me how to interact with people and not be shy in sharing my knowledge although I’m not that shy to begin with.

I also learned life lessons by getting up early and being self-reliant by getting myself to work and back. I didn’t rely on my parents to knock on my door and start the car to get me to my co-op program.

Having my co-op program work experience on an early resume for part-time jobs helped along with the other jobs I did, like newspaper round etc.

Sometimes getting the job shovelling poo can also be rewarding because I was able to learn that hard work is part of life. There was a certain type of primate that you could go and clean and yet docile enough so they stayed in the same area as you.

Sounds dangerous but it wasn’t. If I remember correctly they were Lemurs a type of primate and would just be curious and drop on your head. They also liked to be hand fed as it’s easier than foraging.

Some of the students had terrible experiences during their co-op program learning absolutely nothing so getting covered in monkey poo was worth the early mornings. It can’t be that bad, I’m talking about it now.

This co-op program and the other jobs I had growing up were nothing huge but they taught me life lessons for which I am grateful now. Where I currently work we have students turn up for a co-op program and hopefully they take away experiences that they can apply to their future career.

Most of the students we’ve had come through have been great but you get the feeling some just don’t have the same work ethics as others. I’m not sure if it’s just the youth of today being of a different generation or whether we were just the same and yet thought we were just plain fantastic.

Although I didn’t learn how to budget as a student from my co-op placement I certainly walked away with some experiences that have taken me to different levels even in my career today. If you are thinking about a co-op program I can tell you that it’s worth the time and experience that you put in and get out from it.

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Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/Jenna Mackenzie

 

 

Glazed Finger Buns

glazed finger bunsA GLAZED BUN FOR EVERYONE

 

Glazed finger buns aren’t for just anyone, they are for everyone.

Since I love being in the kitchen so much I need to make sure it’s clean and well kept.

I’ve been getting organized and doing some early spring cleaning today, clearing out the cobwebs around the house.

The pantry has been cleaned out and re-organized, pots n pans moved, big freezer emptied and defrosted and the freezer inventory done.

(Note: You can download your free freezer inventory list here)

The last of the bits and pieces out of the freezer up are in the kitchen awaiting to be used into creating delicious meals for my family.

I enjoy making as many homemade meals for my family as I can because it’s something I really enjoy to do for them.

Homemade school treats

 

I am always looking for things to give my kids for pack lunches as they get bored with the typical sandwiches.

Now with the banning of microwaves in the school I have to be very creative in the lunch department.

This also includes the snacks I bake for the kids as it’s a peanut-free school too!

After rearranging and cleaning the pantry and freezer I have decided to get busy in the kitchen with some home baking.

My idea was to bake some finger treats so the kids have snacks for school lunches and when they come home after school so they wouldn’t tear the kitchen apart looking for something to munch on.

You know how hungry kids can get after school and I want my kids to always know that there is something waiting for them if they are hungry.

The kids adore the traditional Rice Krispie Squares and fudgy brownies as a snack along with their granola bars, fruits, nuts, crackers and other healthy treats but I wanted to do something different for them.

 

Glazed finger buns

 

After speaking to my mom on the phone in the UK about my school days she reminded me about the van that used to come around the estate we lived in that sold bakery items.

You don’t see that too much anymore because you either make it homemade yourself or you buy it at the grocery store if you want a sweet treat.

Although, food trucks have become such a phenomenon lately in certain parts of the world you might just get lucky in your neighbourhood or in and around the city to score some baked items from a popular food truck.

I remember now thinking back being able to get pancakes, glazed buns, iced buns, fairy cakes, muffins etc that the idea of glazed finger buns popped into my head.

If you don’t want to put glaze on the finger buns you can leave the finger buns naked and simple and enjoy them that way.

If you want to use a different glaze such as a cinnamon bun glaze you can easily make that as well. They are just as good with or without the glaze to enjoy with your afternoon tea.

If you aren’t interested in making the finger bun you can easily turn this recipe into teacakes which is essentially a small cake.

So, today I hope you enjoy my glazed finger bun recipe as it’s easy to make and I’m pretty sure your family will devour them before you can say… come and get em!

glazed-finger-buns-steps

glazed-finger-buns-steps

Glazed Finger Buns
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Glazed finger buns are great for a snack, for afternoon tea or any time of the day. If you like to bake homemade treats this is an easy finger bun recipe your family will love.
Author:
Recipe type: Treats
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • x4 teaspoons (14f) dry yeast
  • 2x tablespoons caster sugar (extra fine)
  • x2 Tablespoons Honey
  • x1 Cup warm milk
  • x4 Cups (600g) plain flour
  • 80g butter
  • ½ cup (125ml) warm water
  • x1 Teaspoon vanilla essence
  • x1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup (120g) sultanas
  • ¼ cup (40g) mixed peel
  • ½ cup (35g) shredded coconut
  • Glaze
  • ¼ Cup Jam (any flavour)
  • x2 Teaspoons water
  • ½ lemon
  • Icing
  • x1 Cup (160g) icing sugar
  • 20g butter
  • 2 Teaspoons water, approx.
Instructions
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, honey and milk in small bowl
  2. Whisk until yeast is dissolved. Cover bowl, stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
  3. sift flour into large bowl, rub in butter. Stir in yeast mixture, water, essence, egg and fruit. Mix to a soft dough.
  4. Cover bowl and stand in warm place for about 45 mintues or until the dough has doubled in sized.
  5. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead for around 5 minutes or until smooth intexture. Divide dough into 16 portions, knead into buns 15cm long.
  6. Place buns onto greased oven trays about 4cm apart, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, stand in warm place for about 10 minutes or until the buns are well risen.
  7. Remove plastic wrap. Bake buns in hot oven about 10 minutes. Lift buns onto wire rack, brush with glaze, cool.
  8. Spread evenly with warm icing, sprinkle with coconut.
  9. Making the Glaze: Combine all ingredients in small pan, stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar has dissolved.
  10. Icing: Sift icing sugar into small heatproof bowl, stir in butter and enough water to make a stiff paste, tint with colouring if desired. Stir over hot water until spreadable.
  11. (Note: If you want to make the 2 delicious teacakes instead of the buns you will need 1 quanitiy of ingredients for the basic mixture, as above.
  12. Prepare dough up to step 4.
  13. Turn dough onto floured surface, knead about 5 minutes or until smooth.
  14. Halve dough and shape into 2 x 20cm round teacakes.
  15. Bake teacakes in hot oven for about 15 minutes.
  16. You will need 2 quanties of icing and glaze for them.
  17. Prep Time:-1hr 20 mins (this includes rising of the dough at each stage)
  18. Cook Time:-10-15 mins
  19. Makes:- 16 or 2 teacakes
  20. Oven Temp:- 200oC/392oF

 

There you have it a simple recipe for glazed finger buns or teacakes great to add into any lunch bag or even to have as a snack with a cuppa.

Enjoy x

-Nicola

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The Saturday Weekend Review #51: Extreme couponing 16 yr old and the holidays

Christmas holidayHOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

 

After Sunday I’m officially on holidays which means we’re going home to see our friends and family to celebrate Christmas and New Years for the next 2 weeks.

Christmas is one of those times of years that our families can actually all get together in one room and celebrate with the drinks flowing and the chestnuts roasting in the fireplace.

Yes, we love roasted chestnuts. In fact it’s hard to stop eating them once you start as long as you have a cold beer in your hand.

What I love to hear about most of all is how giving people are over the holidays. I am a firm believer that we should all give to others in any way we can be it time or even donations like 16 Jordan from the UK.

It’s not everyday we read about extreme couponing in the UK let alone it being a teenager.

Heck, I’ve tried to get my sister on the coupon bandwagon with no success although she has always been surprised at how well we have done using coupons over the years in Canada.

Jordan started clipping and saving coupons all year while helping his single mother to shave money from the grocery budget. At the end of the year now he went to Tescos with his coupons in hand and his master plan.

With almost $1000 worth of groceries that he paid for with just 7 cents the cashier who has worked there for 19 years said she’d never seen anything like it. To be honest I’ve never heard of anything like that back home but it was nice to read about. Jordan went on to donate all of the groceries to a local charity.

It’s true that you can save hundreds if not thousands using coupons on every day items as long as you are willing to do the work putting it together. In time it gets so easy you do it without thinking.

When I hear about a teen who is money smart like this it makes me happy to see young people of today understand or begin to understand the value of money. His mother seems very proud of him that he understands money so well and is able to save.

I’m sure she won’t have to worry so much about him and finances down the road because he’s getting it now.

I don’t reckon Jordan will stop couponing but what I do know is that he surely has inspired others around the world to take some time to think about others in need and what you can do for them not only at Christmas but all year-long.

Do you know someone who donates using coupons?

 

Canadian Budget Binder this week

 

If you missed any of my posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!

 

CBB at home and the blog

 

Well, Christmas is around the corner so home-bound we are going starting on Monday. I presume the week will be filled with love, laughter and tears of joy. So much is happening in our lives right now that it’s going to be a great time to sit around and chat with our loved ones about where we are at and what the future might hold.

The dog isn’t doing so well at the moment and it’s hitting us pretty hard, so much it’s difficult to talk about right now. The gifts are all wrapped and I started making my traditional Christmas balls for friends and family last night.

I started with my Mr.CBB’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls which is a tedious job but someone has to do it. It’s worth the effort.

Today I’ll be working on my Festive Coconut Balls and a small batch of Snowballs to finish off the holiday baking. I’m afraid I didn’t have time to venture into different types of holiday recipes this year due to going away for a few days and falling ill this past week.

I trust 2014 will be an even better year and I look forward to what is down the road.

 

Fan deals and inspirations

 

 free-pillows

Submit your Brag or Inspiration

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

Hey Mr.CBB

I have a brag for you and the fans that I’m excited to share today.

Back in September/October Leon’s launched a giveaway where if you were one of the first 60000 fans to like their Facebook page you were eligible to request a voucher for 2 free pillows valued at $39.99.

I received my voucher via email and walked into Leons on December 6pm (redemption dates were December 6-8) and with no hassle whatsoever walked with two very comfy pillows. Cost:Free…. A good night’s sleep: Priceless :)

-Katrina B

 

Making a difference

 

michelle fitnpoor

Making a difference is a part of this post where I share a personal finance blog that I interact with daily and has made a difference in my life.

I have asked the blogger to introduce themselves, their blog and how they want to make a difference with their blog for the fans and for themselves.

Today, I bring you my good friend Michelle from FitnPoor who shares a little about what keeps her blogging at FitnPoor and how she was able to help a friend in financial need. If you want to read more of what Michelle has to offer head over to her blog an check it out where she blogs about her unemployment, journey out of debt and buying all the shoes she can handle.

Hi Mr.CBB and Fans!

My name is Michelle and I run the blog FitnPoor. I hope I am making a difference in my readers lives but below is what I’ve done for a friend that needed some help.

A friend of mine happened upon my post about wanting to be honest about my debt. She sent me an email the next day asking if we could sit down and talk about her money issues. She felt that no one out there was in the same position as her, and she was excited to see she wasn’t alone. Frankly, so was I!

Without our talks and my ability to research plans for her, she most likely wouldn’t have decided upon a debt repayment plan that worked for her or decided to find a side hustle to pay her student loan bills. In turn, she inspired me to keep going with my freelancing and to continue writing our stories.

Come by and check out the blog!

 

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.

 

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.

 

Carnival Glory

 

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

 

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.

  •  If I ain’t got a pregnancy test can I use an ovulation test?- I can’t even believe I read this
  • Can Starbucks run out of product and give raincheck? -hmmm what??
  • Something worth $85.60 for girls- That just seems odd to me…
  • CBB potato- Are you calling me a potato? lol

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Frosty Christmas pudding

Frosty-Christmas-puddingNO BAKING REQUIRED FOR THIS HOLIDAY TREAT

 

A no-bake holiday treat like my Frosty Christmas Pudding is easy to make and full of holiday flavours.

Well I am at it again only this time without my oven because It broke down on me and I feel as though I have lost a limb.

It’s just the wrong time of year for the cooker to go down but fortunately my neighbour has given me a loan of his counter oven which is awesome.

So it’s my son’s birthday Sunday December 15th and he is having a small party with three friends at a local bowling alley.

I picked up a great deal at our local Superstore with a 50% off pink sticker for a cupcake cake since I would have struggled to make anything.

As his party is on the Saturday I said I would make him a cake for his actual birthday to celebrate with us.

 

Yes my oven is broken so how am I going to do this cake for him?

Well this Frosty Christmas pudding cake needs no baking and can actually be used instead of a Christmas pudding/dumpling on Christmas day.

 

Christmas pudding

 

What is Christmas pudding?

Christmas pudding/dumpling is a very traditional UK pudding usually served with a brandy Sauce. This Christmas pudding is what my mum would make a few days before Christmas and we would all get to take our turn to stir it and make a wish.

My mum would then mix in a 5 pence into the Christmas pudding and the  person who found the 5 pence would have there wish granted or come true. I know it sounds far fetched but we all have to believe in something.

She just had to remember to tell everybody that there was money in the Christmas pudding so it didn’t pose as a choking hazard.

My dad would proceed to pour brandy over the top of the Christmas pudding and light it up. The flame was very spectacular, a highlight for us when we were little.

The Christmas pudding is a very rich fruity cake/dumpling that has raisins, cherries, nuts, citrus peel and Brandy to flavour it up.

It is usually made a few days before hand then placed in a bowl with a saucer over the top to mould it and so all the flavours come together.

Next it was wrapped in a cloth (we called it a clootie dumpling.

What is a clootie? Well, let me tell you. A clootie is a cloth of material in Scotland). After the Christmas pudding is wrapped it then put in a pan of water and brought to a simmer until it was fully cooked.

Now my Frosty Christmas pudding can be made a few days ahead of time and kept in the freezer as its more like an ice-cream cake which my kids love.

We all like to save time and money during the holidays and baking and cooking at home is the perfect solution so we don’t go overboard with our budget.

The best part about this frosty Christmas pudding is that you can put almost anything in terms of flavour and texture from nuts, cherries and raisins to chocolate chips.

This traditional Christmas pudding is a versatile treat sure to put a smile on everybody’s face. I hope you enjoy this recipe and pass it along to your friends and family.

x Nicky

frosty-christmas-pudding

4.0 from 1 reviews

Frosty Christmas Pudding
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If you want an easy no-bake holiday treat filled with cherries, nuts and all of your favourite flavours this is your go to dessert.
Author:
Recipe type: No-Bake Holiday
Cuisine: Pudding Cake
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • Ingredients
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 28g butter
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2oz raisins
  • 2oz currants
  • 2oz glacé cherries
  • 1oz blanched almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Glacé cherries for decoration
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk gently.
  2. Place the cornflour, plain flour, sugar and egg into a bowl and blend them thoroughly.
  3. Pour the warmed milk into the bowl, stirring well.
  4. Return the mixture to the pan and cook it over a low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens and just begins to boil
  5. Remove the pan from the heat
  6. Beat the custard until smooth.
  7. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the custard mixture, stirring until it is completely melted and blended in.
  8. Leave custard in fridge until it is completely cold
  9. Now whip the cream lightly
  10. Stir it into the cold custard with your currants, raisins, cherries (whole or chopped) and finely chopped almonds.
  11. Finally add the cinnamon ensuring the mixture is well stirred together.
  12. Transfer mixture into a pudding bowl or mould.
  13. Wipe down inside or rim of mould so it comes out clean.
  14. Place in freezer for about 2hrs when it will be lightly frozen, firm and ready to serve.
  15. If it’s not required immediately, the pudding can be left in the freezer for up to a month before using. Allow it to thaw slightly for 45min – 1hr. Stand the basin in a bowl of hot water before turning out. This should not be refrozen!
  16. Prep time- 15mins
  17. Cooking time- 20mins for custard to thicken
  18. Freezing time- 2hrs
  19. Serves- 6-8 people

Once finished decorate with cherries on the top like have or whatever you fancy. As I mentioned this Frosty Christmas Pudding could be served as an alternative to the traditional Christmas Pudding.

Enjoy my Frosty Christmas Pudding everybody.

 

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