Would you spend money at a restaurant without free Wi-Fi? : The Saturday Weekend Review #80

White petunias- free wi-fiTURN OFF THE TV AND EAT YOUR DINNER


When I was growing up nobody I know had heard of Wi-Fi (I’m showing my age). When we sat down to eat family dinner we enjoyed our food with no distractions except friendly conversations with each other.

Today it seems the complete opposite where families have dinner with the television on while surfing the net on their smartphones, tablets or other devices that hook up to the internet.

Family values certainly have changed and maybe if we just put our devices away we’d learn more about each other rather than what’s happening on Facebook.

Same goes with dating and devices. If you want to meet someone forget about your darn smartphone while you are out and look up.

No one will ever approach a face that is looking down. This is the reality though in many establishments in Canada and around the world.

Is free Wi-Fi really in demand?

What is Wi-Fi?

If you don’t know what Wi-Fi is then you must be living under a rock, right? Well, not everyone knows and I’m betting that my parents who don’t even own a computer let alone a cell-phone couldn’t tell you what Wi-Fi was nor would they care about it.

Wi-Fi is simply a facility that allows you to connect to the internet on your device i.e: Smartphone, iPod, Tablet etc. wirelessly with-in a certain area.


Wi-Fi hot spot


If you are someone like me who doesn’t own a smartphone with a data plan you likely won’t care about hot spots but for those that don’t have a data plan, internet access they might. A hot spot may be an area with free Wi-Fi although it might not be free for the taking.

It simply may be the homeowner or business owner forgot to protect their internet connection and now everyone is using it because they are on the hunt to find free Wi-Fi.

There used to be a family in our neighbourhood who didn’t protect their internet so it was wide-open for the taking. Sure, it’s not right but people do it because they can. Now, there is a password but certainly something to watch out for because if someone spots your hot spot, they’ll come after you for it.

If you rent a room in your house and there is no password on your internet be aware that your new roomies may be downloading movies and all sorts that might put you over your plan costing you big bucks too. Strong Passwords rule! Protect yourself.


Businesses and Wi-Fi


How to get free Wi-Fi just about anywhere? That’s easy. These days all you need to do is visit a restaurant, coffee shop or fast-food joint and you can instantly hook up to their free Wi-Fi. Why? They want your business and they are in huge competition with other businesses who are offering free Wi-Fi to the customers. I’m just waiting for the day that grocery stores start offering free Wi-Fi. You watch and see!

Just the other day I overheard a couple trying to decide where to go out and eat with the family and the wife said no to one restaurant because it didn’t have free Wi-Fi. I instantly thought about how I grew up and how it differs today.

We try to teach our children manners at the table and here we have some parents who think nothing of pulling out their smartphone to roam the internet while waiting for dinner instead of chatting with the most important people, their family.

It’s not uncommon, just look around next time you go out to eat and see how many people are buried in their devices and whether the business offers free Wi-Fi.

Personally, I’d rather chat to my family, but that’s just me. We survived before without the internet at the dinner table and I’m pretty sure we will survive again.


No more free Wi-Fi


I was reading an article on Yahoo about how Applebee’s in the USA is banning the use of devices on Tuesdays which they will call “No Tech Tuesdays” which I thought was brilliant. I’m not sure how well that will go over with this generation of tech savvy customers but it might be a stepping stone to get back to the basics.

I’ve been in many places that don’t have free Wi-Fi and probably never will. Some places are even ditching the Wi-Fi trying to get people to interact with each other.

Many people like to just chill out alone at a coffee shop with their laptop to do work or homework rather than doing it at home or at the office so no Wi-Fi could be a disaster for them. The end of the world, really!!

I suppose they could carry a Rogers rocket stick, Rocket Hub, Rocket Mobile Hot Spot or Rogers Express card (I don’t know what other providers have) with them but that costs money.

If a business is willing to pay for their employees to work outside of the job site than maybe it’s an option to pay. If you are doing it just because you can and are paying the bill you might want to ask yourself, is it really worth it unless you can haggle a deal from your provider?

Sure not everyone has kids or a partner in tow when they go out to eat but what happened to good old-fashioned conversation with new people? Why do we have to let opportunities pass us by because we are suffocating ourselves with what’s happening in others’ lives that we likely could care less about?


Table tablets


Then I read on to find out that the establishment was ordering tablets for all tables which sounds interesting…remember the jukebox? Well, this is the jazzed up version where you can listen to tunes, go shopping online and order more food.

Yes, you can even order food, play video games, surf the net and spend money. The games and fun are great if you are at Chuck E. Cheese but for a sit down restaurant, maybe it’s a bit much? So, not only are you spending money eating out which is fine as long as you budget the costs but now you are tempted with online shopping while eating and purchasing more even if your waitress isn’t around.

I suppose you could do all the above on your own smartphone but what happens if they ban the use of devices, there’s no free Wi-Fi and if you want to use the tablets you have to PAY. Would you fork out the cash to eat a meal and surf the web then?

When it comes time to pay your bill you don’t have to get frustrated if your server is missing in action, use the tablet to pay your bill. I wonder if servers will see tips go down because they are doing less in terms of service.

Will the tablets replace the servers? Probably not unless they hire robots to bring you food and drinks to the table and greet you. Then again I wouldn’t put it past a restaurant who has a conveyor belt that ships out food to tables…ha ha…way too far ahead in our times I think.

Then again there were servers on roller skates back in the day so never underestimate the power of the future. Look where we are at now. Scrambling to find a restaurant offering free Wi-Fi so we don’t have to use up data plans while eating a meal. That or maybe wireless providers should lower their rates so people don’t go nutty looking for free Wi-Fi. Just another reason I don’t own a cell phone in the first place.

Would you go to an establishment if it didn’t offer free Wi-Fi? What do you think of the tablets at each table that Applebee’s in the US wants to bring in? Would you use it?


CBB at home and the blog


romaine lettuce and butter lettuce from garden

What a week it was at home. We managed to get some small jobs completed around the house. We picked up a nice iron garden stand for $1.00 at a garage sale so I sanded it down and sprayed it black and back to new. I also did a few other bits like a peg board for the kitchen which I sprayed black around the edges as it was an ugly grey colour.

The garden is looking really good out front still although I have to do some weeding in the back garden this week. I’m planning on bathroom renos to be in full-swing with-in the week.

I have some over-time to do for work but that won’t put too much of a dent in my plans. I really need to get at least one bathroom done in the next month though so I’ll be working harder than ever but I’m particular so it has to be done right.

The basil is looking amazing as well in the pots and my wife and I are planning on picking the lot and making a basil pesto and freezing the cubes like last year. We could jar the pesto but it’s much easier for us to freeze them in muffin tins and put them in freezer bags to use during the winter months.

I also made a black bean, chickpea, eggplant dip the other day and it turned out amazing. I used herbs from the garden to jazz up the flavour and then layered it with plain yogurt, homemade salsa and shredded cheddar cheese to bring to a backyard BBQ with nachos. 🙂 I’ll be posting the recipe in an upcoming Sunday blog post so watch out for that.

We have some garlic scapes as well that we will toss in the food processor along with a suggestion of sunflower seeds from my online friend Aunt B. Brilliant idea if you don’t want to spend the money on paying for pine nuts which cost a fortune. You can also use almonds as well.

Our apple tree will have no fruit this year as it’s taking the year off. That is perfectly fine with me though because I have more than my fair share of work to get done around here.

I think I promised you last week I’d post a photo of the butter lettuce from my father-in-laws garden which we’ve been eating. It melts in your mouth. So forgive me but it’s up now.

We tried growing lettuce a couple of years in a row but apparently he says you need to stagger the times which we didn’t. Probably why we were overwhelmed with so much lettuce. Next week I’ll post more photos of the garden so you can see how it’s coming along.


Dairy Queen Treats

Other than that I lost a bet with the wife (no it had nothing to do with the World Cup either) so off to Dairy Queen we went where I bought a Banana Cream Pie Blizzard (my first blizzard) and she had a Buster Bar. It was nice to get out and enjoy some time together even if it meant spending $8.00 of our entertainment budget.


The blog……

If you remember me complaining about not getting emails with new blog posts from my fellow personal finance bloggers that I subscribed to, I’ve sorted that out. After I set up a new email account and started subscribing again to the blogs that I follow and had that email forwarded to my main email, I solved the problem.

I guess in my old blogs dashboard somehow a check box was check mysteriously all of a sudden which stopped any new blog posts from those blogs being sent to my email, including my own. I check my own blog posts every time I post to make sure the email version is working.

So, if you are a blogger and notice I’m unsubscribing don’t panic it’s because I’m now getting two of every new blog post. It’s just a huge time waste but I had to do it because it is the easiest way for me to read and respond to my favourite blogs with comments. I’m almost back on track.

As for the surprise I will be sharing…keep on reading The Saturday Weekend Review because this is the post I will let you all know what’s going on, very soon!!

Have a great week everyone!



Guest posts wanted


If you are a Personal Finance Blogger I’m looking to book High Quality Guest Posts for the months of September and October to help me get through a very busy period. It’s a great way to share your thoughts and the way you write with my fans.

If you are interested please contact me today as spots are filling up.



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


Jens garage sale finds July 12Jens garage sale finds July 12

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 Jen shares another garage sale score that she picked up for her family.

Do you go to garage sales?

Here are my deals for this week:

  • 3 globe light fixtures for the basement – $1.50 for all 3 (asking $3.00 each)
  • Other light fixture – $3.00
  • Dragon stuffie – Free
  • Kneeling mat (rainbow) – Free
  • Leapster game – Free
  • Boy’s suit – Free
  • Children’s book – Free
  • Workout DVD’s – $2.00 ($1.00 each – they were asking $5.00 each)
  • Large Mirror (Not pictured) for basement washroom – $1.00

Total spent: $7.50


Making a difference



If you know a personal finance blogger that is making a difference and want to nominate them please send me an email canadianbudgetbinder (@) yahoo.ca 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.

Hey Guys! J. Money here 🙂 Some of you may know me from my main blog, Budgets Are Sexy, but I wanted to share a few words about my latest project that I’m super excited about that’s really taking off: Rockstar Finance.

In a nutshell, I scan over 150-200 financial blog articles a day, and then pick out my 3 favorites to feature on my homepage. I started it to not only bring more attention to the kick-ass articles I was finding – even some old ones from years ago – but also to help introduce people to other great finance bloggers in our niche. Since, let’s face it, not all of our own blog posts are always that amazing – contrary to what we’d like to think 😉

So this route helps give off a great first impression to a new audience, which in turn leads to more readers and subscribers so that everyone wins. And now that bigger sites like Lifehacker and Business Insider, and even Yahoo! Finance watches the site to re-share content, it promotes everyone’s content even further! It’s not unusual for some of these posts to get 300, 600, even 2,000+ hits from being featured. If it’s killer content, it’ll be passed around.

So, if you’re blogger reading this right now, do please shoot me a note and submit some of your favorite articles. If I’m not already following your site, I will so now 🙂

And if you’re blog reader following this right now, I highly advise you to check out RockstarFinance.com too since it’s awesome curated content just for you! Maybe you’ll find another great site you resonate with like you do here at Canadian Budget Binder!

Long live personal finance…

Thanks J. Money for sharing Rockstar Finance with us today!!! ~Mr.CBB


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


If you don’t see your blog it’s likely because I don’t know that you shared my post so send me an email to let me know.

Thanks to those bloggers who take the time to share my posts with their fans.

Your kindness is always remembered. ~Mr.CBB




Google 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.

  • Does it turn women on when a guy can cook?- Ladies…this is for you to answer, lol.
  • Will a pack of seeds set off Walmart alarms– Man, if you’re thinking about stealing seeds you’re a moron!
  • I keep stealing food and don’t get caught- I hope it’s worth it for you. Seek help or assistance before you get caught.
  • How to feed 125 wedding guests on a $300 budget?– Kraft dinner and hot dogs, lol. Just kidding but I’m sure that would be an interesting grocery challenge to take part in. Do you think you could make that happen? What would you serve?

Thanks for joining me for this edition of The Saturday Weekend Review #80. Join me here again for more crazy stories from around the web and at home!


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  1. i don’t feel comfortable using the internet at restaurants or hotels. Too many instances of stolen information and identity. Even if it says it is a protected network, I am still hesitant to use it.

  2. That’s really interesting about the Wi-Fi. I read an article this week about a study a restaurant did. They’d been getting complaints about the wait times and seen an increase in food being sent back to be warmed up. So they compared video surveillance of the place from 2004 to 2014 to see what their servers were doing differently and found that it’s actually the customers – texting, showing each other stuff, Instagraming their food, etc. On average a meal in 2004 took 1 hour and 5 minutes in their restaurant and in 2014 it was 1 hour and 55 minutes and the entire time difference was made up of people on their phones. Crazy.

  3. I would prefer to go to a restaurant without a free WI-Fi, in that way I’m sure we will have a good family day together without tapping their smartphones and gadgets. I totally agree, that the first thing we ask when we enter a restaurant or an establishment if they have a free WI-Fi connection.

  4. I love having WiFi in public areas since it saves my data usage however you need to know when to put it away. A family dinner isn’t appropriate! Glad you got your blog issue figured out 🙂 My offer re: blog post still stands, you let me know if/when you want me and I’ll do something up for you. I know you’re filling up so just keep me in mind when you need a break 😉

    1. I agree with you however some people are attached at the hip with their devices and think the world will end without them. We did fine before we had cell phones. 🙂

  5. WIFI in restaurants is cool if it’s a business traveler dining alone but otherwise, yucch! Mind you I used to travel on business a lot and I just brought a book with me when I went to dinner. WIFI in grocery stores might be handy for comparing prices though. Remember when grocery stores gave out free coffee? That lasted only a few years.

    How do you manage reading the blogs from your email, Mr CBB. Maybe I subscribed to too many, but my email is constantly buried. I have too many unread messages and sometimes I worry that I’m missing other important emails. Maybe I need to subscribe with a different email addy. But what I’m doing now is reading blogs through Bloglovin’ which seems to work best for me.

    1. I just subscribe to my email and delete anything i don’t need. I keep folders and move posts over to that folder for the week to read then I read them from there. I try to keep very organized. It’s just easier for me that way. Maybe I’m old school but I like it. I have Bloglovin as well and sometimes read from there too….. 🙂 I agree though.. you watch it will be in grocery stores soon!! Once one does it they wall will.

  6. Only time we search out a wi-fi place, is when we are travelling, for our netbook…..then it is a fast food place.We don’t have a smart phone…just the ‘old folks’ phone (no camera or anything).
    I don’t keep up with this new technology, and it seems to be going faster and faster.
    I had a giggle the other day. We offer local phone in some our rentals, via a land line..and the new tenant said she wasn’t familiar with them, or even how they work !!!

    1. WOW that’s really staying out of touch if she didn’t know how to use local phone but some people are like that. Most fast food joints have free wi-fi because it’s become the domino effect… same will happen with grocery stores etc… it’s just a matter of time.

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