The Saturday Weekly Review

What to do in the winter that won’t break the bank: The Saturday Weekend Review #54



It’s been no surprise with the cold snap we have had the past couple of weeks here in Canada that most of us want to just hibernate.

I’ll be honest and say that when I first moved to Canada I enjoyed the luxury of having all the different seasons especially watching the snow fall in the winter.

I was a lover of the winter white stuff, oh, for about 2 years until it just kept falling and falling and falling and getting colder and colder. I’m just about running out of places to shovel the snow. What is miraculous is that it’s been so cold that even photos of a frozen Niagara Falls keep surfacing on the internet and it truly is a beautiful sight.

I’m used to it now and for that brief moment in time I am still very excited to see the first snow fall and the beauty it brings to our surroundings. My family back home in the UK even though they get some snow are always jealous about the amount of snow we have in Canada and the kids wish they could do what the kids do here.

I love to take photos all year-long and when the big ice storm hit I wasted no time getting out my camera and wandering around to take photos of anything that was laced in ice that sparkled with a frosting that you only get to see not very often. Granted many people lost trees and bushes with the amount of build-up and lots of residents lost power for days it was certainly a time to remember and for others a time to forget.


Cheap winter outings


To be honest if you are a fan of the winter snow there is so much you can do that won’t break the budget. If you love to ski there are ski resorts all around Canada. Many cities have ice rinks set up that are free for the family so take advantage of any free family winter skates when you can.

Tobogganing is fun for the entire family not just the kids so if you are a fan of hills get out your magic carpet and go for a ride. Cheap winter thrills makes long-lasting memories for the family.

Long walks hand in hand with your loved one is also a special time to explore your city to see what winter wonderland activities are being offered for adults. Many cities put on winter art displays or light displays that are captivating and make for a very romantic night out of the house.

If you are like me and enjoy getting out to take photos grab your camera and set out to see what you can capture because you never know if that one photo you take will make the world go, WOW. I’m sure there are many things that you can do in the winter for less if you search your local ads to see what is offered in your community.

Don’t wait for the last-minute and talk to your friends and family because they might know something you don’t know and you wouldn’t want to miss out. It’s no fun to keep the kids indoors all winter long so trying to find something exciting to do that won’t empty out the wallet and bring smiles to the faces of your children really is a priceless memory not to be missed. We can’t get back time after all.

If you are not a big fan of the white stuff and maybe your kids aren’t either because not everyone loves the snow you can stay indoors and watch movies, play video games, make crafts together or maybe have your friends over for a play date. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the smiles have to stop.

There’s always something that needs to get done or something you’ve wanted to do for a long while but haven’t taken the time to put effort into it such as a hobby you’ve been meaning to catch up on or simply reading a book from beginning to end.

Enjoy the winter my friends, it’s here to stay for a little while longer but until then stay warm and enjoy what the season has to offer.

What do you do to keep busy in the winter time?



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 I’ve been a bit busy lately taking care of things around the house and sorting out all that has been going on behind the scenes here in the CBB home. Needless to say I’ve been doing my best to keep up and I’ve even got back into the running after a short stint away for Christmas which put a bit of a dent in my keeping fit.

Over the holidays I did not indulge in anything to be honest and I kept my diet relatively clean. I did go out with friends for some drinks and to a few restaurants but ate on the healthy side. I’ve always been big on eating healthy and cooking homemade as much as possible but to be honest it was so nice to get out with friends and family to hang out.

I also made my way around the city a few times to take some inspirational photos since photography has been a passion of mine since I was about 13 years old.

Other than that life has been pretty quiet, just counting down the days until the white stuff disappears.


Fan deals and inspirations


coupon deals 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.

Hi Mr.CBB and fans,

This was multiple shops to try to use up some coupons I didn’t want to go to waste before they expire on December 31, 2013.
-Jen P
  • Tiger Towel 2 x $4.78 – 2 x $3.00 coupons – 2 x $1.00 CartSmart rebates – 2 x $1.00 SnapSaves rebates=$.44 overage
  • Fleecy dryer sheets (PM Giant Tiger) 2 x $2.48 – 2 x $1.00 coupons (mail out from Colgate/Palmolive)=$1.48 each
  • Zantac 7 x $2.22 – 7 x $3.00 coupons=$2.46 overage
  • Mini Kinder Eggs 182g 3 x $2.64 (on Christmas clearance) – 3 x FPC
  • Secret deodorant 4 x $2.87 – 4 x $2.00 coupons=$.87 each
  • Coupons $41.92
  • Rebates $4.00
  • OOP $8.62
  • Doritos $.99 – FPC
  • Coupon for 8,000 optimum points for your birthday\
  • Coupon $.99
  • OOP $.13 (tax on the chips) + 8,000 points (worth $10)

Natura Almond Milk 6 x on sale for 3/$5.00 – 1 x $.75 coupon – 5 x $.50 coupons=$6.75 (plus I will get 2 free cartons when they get more stock in…I found about 15 expired cartons on the shelf that I pointed out to the manager on a previous visit. 

They were all still there on this visit and I was unable to get the exact product I wanted so he told me I could exchange what I bought at a later date and he would give me 2 free cartons for helping to clear out the old stock from his shelf lol)

  • Coupons $3.25
  • OOP $6.75
  • Arctic Gardens 8 x $2.50 (PM IGA) – 2 x $5.00 coupons – 4 x $2.50 coupons=FREE + I earned $4.00 worth of PC Plus points
  • Blue-ray DVD movie $5.00 on clearance (bought for a Christmas gift next year)
  • Buckley’s lozenges (PM Sobey’s) $2.99 – $2.00 coupon
  • Coupons $22.00
  • PC Points plus earned $4.00
  • OOP $7.02 (not including the PC Points earned)
  • Total coupons $68.16
  • Total rebates $4.00
  • PC Plus earned $4.00
  • Optimum earned $10.00 (8,000 points)
  • Total OOP $22.52 (not including optimum points and pc points)


Making a difference


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 friend Melanie the blogger behind the personal finance blog “Dear Debt”.

Hello CBB readers!

My name is Melanie and I am passionate about art, travel, music, living well and paying off debt. I am also passionate about education and received my M.A. in 2011. Unfortunately, between undergrad and graduate school, I accrued  $81k in student loan debt. After graduate school, I was determined to pay off my debt sooner rather than later. While my classmates were opting for the 25-year repayment plan, I was opting for the get-me-out-of-debt-now plan.

I didn’t want to be 52 years old still paying student loans. When I’m 52, I want to be traveling, donating money to charities and being financially secure. In the past 2 years, I’ve paid off $26k, while making a very small income. I attribute my debt repayment success to my frugality, side hustles and living without a lot (I don’t have a car, pets, kids, gym membership and for a while, didn’t even have health insurance.)

I started my blog in January of 2013 after feeling like I was at the bottom of my rope. I didn’t have a stable job, I was mired in debt, and felt burdened with this heavy load. I knew if I could reach out to others in similar situations, I’d feel less alone. Starting my blog has been the smartest thing I’ve done.

In August, I started writing “Dear Debt” letters, or breakup letters to my debt. I invited anyone to take part and write their own breakup letter. I found so much inspiration in their experiences and their voice. The dear debt letter project is intended to be a creative outlet for people in debt; to give people the strength and courage to dump debt and to say things we might not feel comfortable saying.

I hope to make a difference by letting people know they are not alone. They are not a loan. I know what it’s like to feel like your whole life is defined by debt, but I know there is so much more to life, too. I want to create a community where people can be open, creative and financially wise.

I’m interested in answering questions like: If you could talk to your debt, what would you say?  What is your relationship to debt? By examining all these questions I am better able to understand my situation.

At the end of the day, I believe our relationships create the meaning to all of our successes and failures, so I am changing my relationship to debt. I am the protagonist in this story, and not the victim.


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 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.

  • Women sexy cooks– I’m pretty sure that any woman or man who cooks is sexy
  • I love Canada stuff– Canada stuff loves you
  • I don’t know if I will be a mother one day– Never say never a miracle can happen when you least expect it
  • Canadian Budget Finder- Close, very close but you still found CBB!
  • Donna bought 5 bags of dog treats for $14.50. How much did each bag of dog food cost Donna?- Hmmm.. you do the math.

That’s all for this weeks edition of The Saturday Weekend Review: What to do in the winter that won’t break the bank. Have a great week and catch me here again next Saturday with more updates. -Mr.CBB


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  1. I live out west of Canada prior to that I lived in Quebec and Ontario and when I lived out east the cold could not keep me in, I was out taking pictures and walking downtown taking in the activities, skating on the rink even though I really suck at ice skating. But since moving west, I have become an hibernator, I try to talk myself into doing activities outdoors but find myself sleeping, reading and drinking lots and lots of tea. I don’t mind the reading and tea drinking part but I miss the outdoors and doing things outside but it is just so cold here, that whatever plans are made are abandoned a few minutes outside. I am still working on it as the winters here are longer than those in Ontario.

    1. You don’t have to tell me about drinking lots and lots of tea, so do I although I’m rubbish at reading and it’s one of my goals for 2014. I bought a great book last summer at a garage sale and I’m still trying to get through it.

  2. I like snow but I feel like I have been very stuck in the house this winter. Ice and extreme cold have kept me and I am starting to get a little stir crazy. Today I cannot go for a walk because the rain has washed away all the snow and the ground is covered in thick ice. I cannot afford to be off work with a broken wrist.

    Overeating or shopping were the old cures for feeling trapped in winter but instead I am trying extra napping, hot baths and reading lots of reading financial stuff online.

    1. The ice has been terrible and walking on is only an accident waiting to happen. In our neighbourhood many of the seniors struggle to walk their pets because of the snow and the ice but I’ve fallen quite a few times myself.

  3. I’m not a big fan of the cold and white stuff, that might come from being at the business end of the snow shovel!!! Like you, we are running out of places to throw the snow when the boys shovel. The drive way runs between the house and the driveway next door!!! So there is just the top and bottom end of the driveway to throw anything… Mind you the furnace and hot water heater both vent on that side of the house so we can and do use that hot air to melt some of it!!! There is a hill behind us and a couple of houses over it’s open and gets used for sliding down the hill. Not the safest place but the kids still use it. Problem is the house behind us, their driveway opens out to where everyone is coming down the hill and they have had the crap scared out of them a few times when they go to back out and somebody comes flying down the hill right behind them!!!!! The popular hill in town is the daycare hill or out by the golf course off the main street.
    If you are interested for next winter we have a light show down by the river here that starts in mid-November and runs until early January. Most of it is down by Milt Dunnell Field, commonly called The Flats in town and there is a loop road around so you can see most of the Winterlights from the warmth of your vehicle!!! The lights start when the Christmas parade goes, the second Friday of Nov. …Just saying…..Lots of photo chances there….
    Wow, Jen got some nice deals there!!!! Looks like some more blogs to check out and read!!!!

    1. I’ve pretty much run out of room so I’m just piling up.. gosh I can’t wait for the Spring. That would be great to come and see the light show. Jen is always finding those deals. I hope to get more fans involved with submitting their grocery deals like Jen does. Next week Nicola shares her great buys!

  4. Thanks for having me be a part of the Making a Difference feature today. During winter, I like to drink tea, watch movies and mostly be a homebody. I am trying to enjoy the outdoors more in Portland, where it’s currently raining nonstop. It’s hard though.

    I hope you have a great weekend and stay warm!

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