Monday, 22 August 2011


Ok so I am very much behind on posting here, but I'm not doing much shopping....kind of a Catch22 when you have a blog about saving money when shopping. You shop and have something to write have no money for shopping and therefore have nothing to write about!

Since my last blog I've been doing well. I've made 1 personal purchase of a t-shirt. This purchase was a celebratory purchase for passing my final driving exit exam and officially becoming the first driver in my 31 years of age.

I've been doing a lot better with sticking to my weekly allowance, and am getting better at not taking out more money when I run out. I've also been losing weight which I think goes hand in hand with spendig less of my weekly because I usually spend it on junk.

Groceries are doing well. We have a good rythmn of making purchases at No Frills and checking the fliers before we make our list. I sometimes go to Kensington Market as well.

I haven't hit China town really. I know I can get cheaper produce there, but from past expirences I wonder about the quality of produce I get there. I want to make sure I'm not saving a couple of bucks, but wasting the food later. We used to shop at a little market by one of our previous apartments and as much as I loved the savings gained seemed like the food was always bad without a couple of days.

That's really it for food shopping. I have heard of one grocery store in Regent Park (in one of the new builds), which is a divison of Sobey's having amazing deals. I think they price per the neighbourhood average costs of living. So there's somewhere to check out as well.

For clothing shopping, if you love designer clothing but hate the price, Winners is totally the place to go, but more than that the Winners at Gerrard Square I would say is *the* place to go. That place is HUGE and EMPTY (of people). The selection there was by far the greatest that I've seen so far of any Winners location I've been too.

If you love amazing shoes but can't afford to drop obsene amounts of money on them, I suggest looking into layaway. Layaway is no longer your Mother's Department store policy. Fluevog, probably my most favourite of shoe stores (though I only currently own 2 pairs) has a layaway program. So what's even better is they have some great sales (my 2 pairs I got for $60 total a couple of years ago) when you see a pair of shoes on sale that you must have, but don't have immediate capital to purchase....layaway them. This way you don't go broke up front and can ammortize the cost over a period of time.

Trust me...there are a pair of boots there right now that is making me test out how much of my weekly I can save a far...not enough.

There is a fluevog location on Queen Street. Go and check them out, the staff there are amazing.

Also, keep your eye out in Spring 2012. Body Blitz is opening a new location on King Street, close to the Distillery District. Body Blitz is a women's only spa. For a small price (really it's like $50), you can lounge in a salt water heated pool, cool in the cold water dip, detox in the aromatherapy steam room, sweat it out in the infrared sauna and then expirence the tingly sensation of the green tea dip.

I've already informed my sister of a date trip one day in spring. I expect to start in the distillery for a light bite to eat. Go to the spa. Walk form the spa to Merchants of Green Coffee, and then find a nice place on Queen for dinner to end it off. Sounds like I have something fun to anticipate for Spring!


Thursday, 28 July 2011

Feeling Full of Fail

Ok so I feel a bit like a failure.

Not for saving money on groceries. No, our July bill averaged $130 which is $120 less than it was last year. So when it comes to shopping cheap for food I think I'm winning - those numbers even include pharmacy items.

Where I fail is spending everywhere else. I mean we've cut the internet bill, and the TV bill. Our heating isn't so much as we've worked hard over the years to insulate and repair the building envelope.

But....if I am going to admit it, I'm a spendaholic. If I don't want to emotionally eat, then I emotionally spend.

My Husband and I have a pact. I don't do money at home as I do it at work, and he doesn't answer the phones at home because he does it at work....and it works for us.

Except I become oblivious to where we are with money, and I am doing most of the spending. If he says it's ok, I assume it's because he's checked the budget.

Well for the last 2 months....neither of us have been keeping an eye on the budget...and we may have gone a little over.

Now, a couple of the items were medical tests that aren't covered by OHIP, but we also went all out in updating the backyard so we would actually spend time out there....and it worked really. We find ourselves (him more than me, but I have allergies) outside working on models or suntanning and it's been great.

But, this over expenditure means that we cannot do the renovations we had planned. It means that we have to cut down on all shopping, and there is pretty much no entertainment from here on out.

But when brings to real home to me, is that my spending (going to be honest...I bought 3 pairs of shoes in 2 weeks...granted 2 were from Payless and 1 from Winners...but still, it's mostly my over spending) has potentially cost us to hold off on another treatment. This is the only post I am going to mention this in as I don't want to......I guess define myself by it, but we are doing fertility treatments. Up until now our budget has had it so that we have been able to do so without going into debt. But at the same time we weren't doing anything "fun". So after being married for 5 years we finally went on our honeymoon in March. We did an treatment in May and it didn't work. Initially we may have been able to do another by year end...but my spending means that if we want to do one and remain out of debt for it...we're looking at end of next year....possibly sooner. It depends on how well we do over the next few months.

I thought about leaving my cards at home so I wouldn't be tempted, but that doesn't work as I do grocery shopping on the way home some nights, and I should keep a credit card in case of emergencies. I've been very stern with myself in my head...but I think it will take time to get over some of my spending habits.

I decided today that I will use this handy coinpurse my sister got me in the shape of a frog head. If I go out at lunch (which is when most of my spending happens), I will put exactly X amount for lunch only in the coinpurse, and leave everything else behind (keeping in mind we give eachother an allowance each overspending is above and beyond that money).

From now on I am going to really question whether I really need or just want...any item. This afternoon I was thinking about how great it would be to lay in bed with a down comforter all snuggled with cool fall air. Then I thought..oh we should get a cover for our comforter, and I started to think about what colour we should get and where I could get one...without even realizing what I was doing. I finally had to shake myself and scold myself for thinking of something so trivial. Something that I really don't need and shouldn't be thinking about buying.

So here I am writing a blog about saving money, when I am over spending it. I feel like that chick from the Shopoholics series, except I only have the one credit card and very little to no debt...and I want to keep it that way!

I thought maybe I could think of some ways to make money on the side. I'm not creative really...I'm not good enough at any craft to sell anything. I'm too busy with work and school to think about doing anything part-time and my Husband wouldn't let me because it's not like we are broke...we are just needing to tighten the purse strings.

So the next few months are going to be a test of retraint for me. I am really going to do my best not to spend anything unless a) it's totally necessary or b) I've consulted with my Husband and the money is there to be spent.

It's going to be hard. It really is...all the Tokidoki stuff I would like...the Hello Kitty Doc Martens...going out to movies with my Husband or out to dinner, getting my hair done....lots of stuff I need to put out of my head.

But I will remain strong. I can do this....and I feel by writing it down here will help. It just gives me the added boost of confidence.

So. Who wants to go out for coffee? Just kidding.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Blogger you are tormenting me.

Trying to reply to epi-lj....not working so I am just going to post my reply here...because I can...because it's my blog.


Epi, sorry I took so long to reply.
Yeah we watch netflix for the TV shows. Lots of BBC on there which has been awesome. It is a lot cheaper using it currently for us then it is to do pay-per-view. We really hope by looking into getting satillite soon we can eliminate the TV and still get some channels with some shows we like to watch.
I also have no problem with torrents, but that messes with your internet bill (though not with tekksavvy as we have their unlimited plan, and our downloads since moving have been amazingly fast).
Odd it won't let me reply as me...
Thanks for replying!


It's amusing to me this whole buying bulk concept. I mean yes it's simple, but man do some people take it to extremes.

I was shopping at No Frills this weekend and they had this half back pork sirloin on sale. I got this HUGE hunk of meat for $11. I noticed that the freezer has a big yellow sign stating 8 per family. I just stared at it for a second and then back at the meat in my hand. I tried to picture taking home 8 of these things. It's an assload of meat.

Ok perhaps if I had a large family, or was having a big party, I might take 8 of them home. The same sign was also on toilet paper that was on sale (and cleaned out might I add. 30 rolls (extra rolls so it was really 60) for $ we still have some left from the last sale so I didn't grab any...not that there was any to grab...but still  I pictured someone taking 8 of these suckers home. Are they preparing for the apocolipse??? Did they anticipate a lot of Mexican food in their future (no offence, I myself like a mean taco).

I have heard of people with their storage cellars filled with enough product to last them months. I started this blog in April and we are still working through a lot of the stuff we stocked up on. But I mean there is a limit.

I took that hunk of meat home and I looked it up on the internet to see how you cook it (again not big pork eaters in my house). Turns out it's just like a steak. So my Husband sharpened his knives and started cutting.

...and cutting....and cutting.....17 steaks. 17! And some of them we both agree are too big and could be cut in half. So lets assume someone bought 8 of these packages and cut them up into steaks...that's 136 steaks!!!!!!!!!! 136!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's a lot of pork. I feel porky just thinking about it all.

We've slid back a bit into our old routine (ok I have), and our bills have been going up a touch. I feel like such a failure. But to be honest coupon cutting was exhausting. I mean I can still just order the coupons and have them sent, but keeping track of what's what, which expires when and's nuts. And while coupon swapping is a great idea, it just takes up sooo much effort. Perhaps I am lazy...but I have a finance course to be working above and beyond my everyday job, but house work and upgrades....I just don't have the time.

I will get back on the boat again. Maybe I just need to take it back to basics, slow down a touch...not go too big too fast like I was doing. I am still checking sales (wicked sale of berries at No Frills this week too), and trying to get more bang for my buck, but I really could be doing more.

With medical treatments on hold, and the need to save up money so we can try again, I have great incentive to save up. I just need to get over my inner child who whines about having to go to more than one grocery store at a time.

Anyway rant over...happy shopping!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

So it's been awhile

I've missed you all. But life got in the way. I did a medical didn't work...but there is always next time. Just means more opportunities to find ways to save money.

So I've done a lot of talking about saving money on groceries in Toronto, let me now venture into another

Up until recently we were paying well over $200 a month for cable and internet. INSANE. We had all the fancy channels, the movie networks....we were doing a lot of downloading on our computers (yay itunes) etc etc....

We'd done a lot of complaining about the costs and how it's too much, but we never did anything about it until recently.

A month back we switched our internet to Tekksavvy which allowed us more speed, less clogging of our computers and smoother game play all at the same time. The price was a real savings (we were spending aournd $100 before, now we are about $50) as well. It also uses our Rogers line so we only had to switch our modem. YAY!

We also got rid of all the movie networks, HBO and the like which was $20+ a month and switched to Netflicks. Netflicks is like $8 a month and can work through your xbox, ps3 or you can purchase a system that will allow  you to use it. Currently the selection isn't all that and a bag of apples, but that is due to licensing issues with Rogers not wanting to give them up. But we hope soon they will offer more selection, even still there is a lot of different flicks. OMG the BBC selection, wicked.

For our everyday TV viewing we have stuck with our regular package, but are considering on switching to using bunny ears. Only now you can put a dish on your roof to transmit the signal. If you don't know already, the closer you live to the CN Tower the more channels, and quailty of channels, you will recieve and for free! How can you beat that! Now this is mostly for casual watchers. But that's why you have your tekksavvy internet....lots of channels are starting to put full shows available on their website. So go view them there...might be a day after airing, but who cares!

So there you have it, some simple and easy ways to save more money at home! Enjoy!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Tis the season for Farmer's Markets

Ahhhh summer. I love it. Everything is green and ripe and just.....fresh.

One of the things I love about this season is all the farmers markets in the city.

Nothing but fresh produce grown locally, hopefully organically, and readily available.

The best way to save the most money here is to shop for items in season. You will be getting the freshest items that way. It's great to support local farmers. But also note that like grocery stores, depending on the area that the market is happening, the price will also adjust. Well that's my expirence as it were.

I've also noticed that there are a lot of booths with items that are not necessarily local, they just have someone who will sell the product locally.

When going to the farmers market, talk to the people beind the booth. Take a moment to learn about their farm, where they are located and what their practises are with growing food. Appreciate what these people do to get the food to your table. has a list of the different farmers markets in the city.

I have been to the one by City Hall downtown which I find tends to be a bit pricey, and sometimes less farmers, more artists. I'm not saying that, that is a bad thing...just be prepared to maybe not find what it is you want.

I've also been to the one at Metro Hall. This one has a honey vendor there every year. If you ask him if his honey is organic be prepared for an interesting lesson. He will tell you how no real honey is "organic" and I know some of you might be rolling your eyes, but he has a point. He says that he does not use any pesticides or chemicals on the hives, but he cannot say for sure that his bees have not travelled to a neighbouring farm or home which has used pesticides. Point taken. But that he does not use pesticides won me over, even if I don't know what those bees have been up to.

There is a flower booth there every year, and I would say probably only 4 or 5 farmers, and the prices don't vary too much but some items do so it's good to walk around. There is another booth that carries some of the most yummy and interesting jams, and the best tarts ever. Seriously if you ever want to treat me to something  yummy, I'll take some tarts please...the ones with the chocolate.
Beside that both will be their truck and they sell some fresh cut flowers there. Across are 2 vendors. One selling breads (which I have never bought from before), the other selling meats (again I find them pricey and haven't tred them yet). There is seating and bands playing at lunch.

Be aware of a couple of things though. This market is in the heart of a bunch of commercial buildings, and one whole area is just restaurants selling quick and easy fare for lunch. So long line-ups and very busy during lunch.

If you are there and are hot hot hot, try out the lemonade shack in the back. It's a little booth that sells fresh made lemonades and some curry fare. Very very yummy.

Another farmers market I go to and enjoy a lot is the East Lynns Park market. It happens on Thursdays and they block off one end of Woodmount for the people to walk around and for the trucks of the farmers. I've had great bread there (zuccini bread yummm), awesome veggies and you really get close to the community. It's small, but there are still about 7 or 8 vendors.

Now if you have a car, I would suggest making a day trip outside of Toronto.Visit farms that allow the public to come to directly to buy products. Walk around, check it out. A lot of blood, sweat and tears goes into having a farm and show the farmer that you really appreciate it. It's a great outing for children as well.

So happy shopping. If you have a favourite market that you like to go to in Toronto, tell me I always like to check out new places.

Monday, 16 May 2011

I'm still here!!!

I've been away for awhile. Been doing some medical stuff behind the scenes and it's had me feelin' icky.

But I haven't forgotten!

We spent all of $22 last week on groceries. How...I'm not sure. I know we've worked hard on building up a stock pile of stuff when it's on sale, so that's helped.

But we have ordered which we've spent out of our allowances which doesn't get counted in the grocery bill...cheating? Not sure.

I hope to have a longer post with some more tips soon...I have a few other things up my sleeve, and I might actually make my first Costco trip....scary.

Take care people!