Home > Category: Frugality

Viewing the 'Frugality' Category

Recession Busters: Make your own biscuit mix

October 9th, 2008 at 04:07 am

Why pay someone to make biscuit mix for you when its this easy:

Homemade Bisquick
10 cup flour
1/3 cup baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups shortening

Mix together til crumbly. Store in a a covered container.

Use in any recipe that calls for bisquick.

*To increase healthiness swap out some flour for wholewheat - do not recommend that you do more than 50/50 mix

*I've found baking powder cheapest at a bulk store.

*if this seems like too to make - halve the recipe (half of a 1/3 of a cup is equal to 2TBSP plus 2tsp)

*contains no milk so good for anyone who can't handle lactose or who is vegan

Recession Busters: No More Minute Rice.

October 9th, 2008 at 03:58 am

If you buy minute rice (or other instant rice) - learn how to cook it yourself from regular rice. You'll save money and it will still be pretty convenient - and you can do what I do and make twice as much rice as you need. Rice freezes nicely. So freeze the extra rice and have some that is ready in about a minute the next time. To heat up put with lid ajar in the microwave for a minute or two.

Text is and Link is

Just try to use coupons and price match at Walmart - dare ya...

September 19th, 2008 at 12:29 am

Monday I tried to pricematch and use coupons at walmart. The "cashier police" stopped me from doing that as that's one deal on top of another .. and once can't do that. Since I've done this many times at Walmart I let them reverse the items (all 9 boxes of cling wrap) and just bought the other items I wanted.

I didn't feel like waiting around for a manager and the supervisor (err.. other employee?) had backed up the cashier's statement.

So when I came home I sent walmart an email asking for clarification of policy.

Today ... manager at walmart called. Assured me the cashier was wrong and i was right .. and that they have been SPOKEN TO (uh huh). One can use coupons on price matched items.

So I asked if I could come by tonight and do it with no problem - he assured me I could and I have the name of the manager and the assistant working tonight.

My guess is that emails to head office get logged and the manager gets a black mark for them and a really big black mark if I have to write another email tonight. He assured me that I should phone him if I run into any other issues and he'll handle it "quicker than head office".

Still he was very nice and I did get his phone number.. just in case. I'm keeping that number.

So on the way home I go there and get my cling wrap.

Got to the cash, not a bad line up.. only two in front of me though dyno-boy on cash is straightening the baby clothes on the hangers before he takes them off of the hangers (it was interesting to watch...). Anyways the customer service manager - hey it said so on her tag- came over and took over cash. She assured me no problem about the price matching and coupons. Totally not an issue.

I smile and hand her over the 9 coupons I had - I bought nine boxes of cling wrap (price match for $1 and $1 off coupon .. the sort of deal one gets to like).

And of course you know what happened then don't you?

Yup she tried to tell me that it is one per purchase (you KNEW that was coming didn't you??). So I tell her yup, 9 coupons, I'm purchasing 9 items what's the problem. She looked dubious and she paged someone. I said, well if you want you can do it in 9 transactions. She didn't like that answer much. (and yes I'd have used my debit card for each transaction *grins*). Finally she gets an answer but not before she suspends my transaction and has dyno boy start on the next order.

Luckily for her she didn't end up up having to do 9 transactions for me as someone on the other end of the phone authorized her doing them on one bill. She took me to the cash at customer service so I'd not have to wait any longer. She was very pleasant but .. come on .. shouldn't a customer service manager know policy?

Never mind .. that last question was rhetorical

Gawd saving money is hard work.


Paper sorting is lucatrive

September 19th, 2007 at 02:45 am

In my paper purging today I have found a number of cheques (totalling about $12 .. a number of free product coupons (at least 3 all still good) and some uncancelled and some unused stamps..

Oh and a $10 bill

Who says purging is a bad thing? I'm finding it nicely lucerative!

Finally stopped procrastinating on these

September 1st, 2007 at 11:15 am

I did some things today that have been on my to do list for a long time

* Changed my home phone provider to the same provider as my internet - this should save me some $$

* got the password for my email from my internet provider so i can change my mail set up

* Got new bank card so i can use interac (debit) and not be refused cause the card won't work cause its too old (humiliation is a great motivator)

* ordered cheques from the bank (I have two left)

It feels good to have these taken care of!

Job Update

August 9th, 2007 at 05:22 am

I got told on June 18th that I was getting a letter regarding my attitude and how I had to shape it up during the next 90 days or start thinking about a new job.

My boss was told by his boss who was told by his boss tht my attitude sucks. I have mega attitude and I did tell someone my opinion and they didn't want to hear it. Lesson learned yummy - shut up.

Anyways. It is now approximately 9 weeks later. No letter. My boss said that he thinks it might never show up. Last he knew he had brought the draft letter to HR. HR had issues about the letter being not specific enough and not giving the type of feedback one needs to address the issue. His boss had a meeting with HR to discuss it that never as far as I know happened.

Boss asked me if I wanted this followed up on. My answer was no. Why remind anyone its not done. I'm going to wait until Sept 18th and figure by then its pretty much dead - that being three month's after I was told about it.

Until then I am careful on adding to the Gross National Product by buying things.

Oh and the Sr Director was in today. I had two meetings with him where I got lots of new exciting projects.

My advice... if you are gonna do stupid stuff don't do it to people who have political connections and bitch to the very senior uppper management folks.

Make up Splurge Sort of

June 23rd, 2007 at 10:54 pm

I have had a hankering for some nice make up so I cashed in some of my drug store points and bought some of the good stuff today - Lise Watier foundation and base - yeah I bought the "you need'm both line hook and sinker". She did my face for me using both and I LOVED the look.

Along with some other odds and sods I needed the amount I spent out of pocket was less than $14.

I'm happy. And all made up for a date tonight curtesy of Make Up girl at the drug store.. (alas I'm of the age where make up makes me look younger and not older .. *sigh*)

Lazy lazy day

June 10th, 2007 at 11:50 pm

I've enjoyed today. Been lazy and relaxed. Did a little bit of decluttering but not much else.

It was a no spend day

Woo Hoo!

Dangerous Lotions and Potions

June 10th, 2007 at 12:02 am

Yes, I have to confess that we tried to smuggle Jergens Gradual Tanner and Lubriderm SPF 15 lotion to Toronto. However, A and I were caught by the salwart airport security. She was caught trying to smuggle on 150ml of Jergens self tanner and I surrendered my Lubiderm 300ml lotion once I realised that nothing could slip by the steadfast and vigilant gaze of the three young vibrant blondes manning the security counter.

We were then prohibited from going further until we had placed our potions, creams and devilish lotions into 1litre plastic bags supplied by our trustworthy goverment. Never mind that the other airport we travelled from allowed us to bring them in larger size bags. Of course being the frugal souls we are instisted on packing our stuff into the little bags ourselves. We wanted to make sure, in our frugal way to ensure if stuff had to get left behind it wasn't the expensive stuff A told those behind us in line that we might be awhile and that they might want to try another line. We were worse than the little old lady in front of you in the check out line at the grocery store purse diving for 2 pennies.

They were kind to us in that they did not demand I be able to seal my bag when they let me through. I think they were afraid I'd just repack it until I got it to work holding up the line for hours. Anyone who has seen what I can put into a small purse realises that I do have the ability to make much fit into a very small space.

I got so confused that I almost forgot to put my bag on rollers so it could be scanned - they had to remind me.

And yes we had them all laughing and joking with us by the time we were through - hell our flight was delayed and we had time to kill and they were there until the end of their shift regardless!

Decided not to be a princess

May 19th, 2007 at 02:26 pm

I really wanted to go for a pedicure today but I decided that I could do my own rather than be a princess and go to the nails place to get one done.

The sacrifices I make for frugality - self painted "grape sorbet toes".

Memory like a Sieve

May 9th, 2007 at 05:38 pm

One way to save money is to not remember what you planned to buy. I went into the drug store with the knowledge that I needed to buy some emery boards. I wandered around and left without the emery boards. It wasn't until I got most of the way back to the office that I remembered why I had gone in there in the first place.

Helping A friend

May 9th, 2007 at 02:47 am

I need to start this entry with the information that I am a Bzz agent, and they sent me coupons and free product coupon for Silk soy milk.

A coworker has had digestive difficulties for a while (I'm sure you need no more elaboration to get the picture) and finally had an appointment with a gastroenteritis's who has told her to not eat dairy for the next 6 weeks.

One of the things she wants to do it to try soy milk. It was great having a coupon for $1 off from the Bzz campaign - I wished I had a free product coupon for her so she could try it but the $1 off was nice and so is the fact that Silk has a low calorie one (she like I is trying to lose weight). I have the low calorie one in my fridge now and it tastes great! Like - it has a flavour -unlike regular skim cows milk.

I love when campaigns like this allow me to introduce people to a new product. If you are in Canada and would like to try this product please send me a private email and I'll send you a coupon for $1 off as I have a couple left.

Paper work

May 7th, 2007 at 01:47 am

Spent a couple of hours today getting caught up on paperwork, bills and coupon trains.

I still have some to do but got the urgent stuff dealt with.

On a good note it was a no spend day.

Shopped but didn't spend

May 5th, 2007 at 12:08 pm

After work last night I went crazy "shopping", but only spent about $5

I went to Home Depot and looked at flooring to see if they had any mats/runners/floor covering that would work for my balcony. I had seen something at a hotel that might work but didn't see it there. So spent nothing.

Headed to the local shopping centre and went into Marks Work Wearhouse - they had some nice priced t-shirts but nothing inspiring enough to bring it home. Then to check out their shoes. Lets just say their selection seemed pretty crappy to me (sorry Marks, but this is my blog I get to say what I think here). I have to say though that both staff members I talked to were genuniely friendly and helpful.

Checked out a woman's clothing store but nothing inspiring there. Reitmans is one of those "catch as catch can" stores for me. Caught nothing this time. Tempted for one shirt on sale but it had this weird keyhole thing in the back that showed off my bra (and if I turned it around it one would might start using the words wardrobe malfunction)

Then to the Superstore (a grocery store modelling itself on SuperWalmarts). You know the store is bad when the kid at customer service trashes the staff as lazy assed (it took three loudspeaker requests to get someone to call him back about the item I was asking for). I ended up just getting a raincheck for toilet paper from there.

Then to two dollar stores where I splurged and spent $4 at one and $1 at another on some headbands.

Trades vs RAOKs

May 3rd, 2007 at 03:03 am

On so many trading boards I hear people having long discussions about "I don't want to get ripped of if I trade this coupon". What is that coupon really worth?

I gave up on all of that. I now send people coupons they need with no expectations. I do this in one of my smaller groups where I have gotten do know the people. And since I've been sending with no expection of getting I seem to be getting more coupons - both from other people in that group doing the same thing and from other sources.

It is strange but I like that while I'm saving money I'm also fostering that part of me that likes to give. Coupons cost me little (or nothing) and I can send them to others they can help. I have little stress after I put the stamped envolope in the mail. I have smiles when I think of them opening the good mail. This makes me happy.

Life isn't for me only about savings. It is also about being the person I want to be and being able to do things for others!

Random Acts of Kindness Rock!

An Excellent Sunday!

April 30th, 2007 at 04:18 am

A friend called me up this morning before 9am. Not surprisingly he actually woke me up! He offered to buy me breakfast as he arrived in town today for work meetings Monday and Tuesday! As I very much enjoy his company I got up and picked him at the airport here and took him up on his offer! We enjoyed a great breakfast of steak and eggs. Yummy...

We both enjoy flea markets so we went out to local, fairly large, flea market called Dr Fleas (yes i feel itchy just thinking about the name). We enjoyed a good walk around. I kept pointing out really gaudy stuff and saying I think he'd really like it for his place - Yeah I was being a brat! He bought a belt for himself and I just enjoyed myself.

Then we headed back here for a cup of tea and some chat! I asked him about where he was staying and then asked (in my subtle way) about if they had a pool and whirlpool and if he brought his swim suit. He had, so I invited myself back to the hotel for a swim and hot-tub (he was quite amenable to this!)

We headed to his hotel where he stays frequently enough that it seems all the staff know him by name and he's on the concierge floor. I didn't know this but they offer light food as part of this "special" service for their good customers. So we snacked on some chicken, cheese and delicious cole slaw before heading to the pool and hot tub.

We spend a couple of hours alternatively swimming and hot tubbing (is that a verb?) before heading back to the "important people lounge" and enjoying a cuppa tea, cookies, chocolate mouse and custard flan. I could get used to that kind of a day.

My cost was $6 for the parking at the hotel!

This was one excellent day!

Donations donated

April 26th, 2007 at 04:07 am

On Monday, after a few weeks of carrying around in the car trunk the donations I had for the local drop-in centre and food-bank I was able to get there at a time that was open.

They were very appreciative and treated me very nicely with a couple of people coming and and helping me get the items out of the car.

I'm definitely going to see what I can give them again in a few months. I love saving but I never want to become miserly. There is something about giving that is good for the soul; and I felt that goodness on Monday.

How to save money and still buy those things you want

April 21st, 2007 at 09:50 pm

One of the easiest ways I have found to save money is to implement the 24 hour rule on unplanned purchases that you "have" to have. This rule doesn't say you can't have them, but it says you have to wait until the next day to purchase the item.

I'm always amazed at how that stuff I had to have today, I've forgotten about by tomorrow, or realised I can easily live without. Or is just too much bother to go and get.

I love this rule because I don't feel deprived and because it stops a lot of impulse purchases. The stuff I go back for I usually end up loving and using to death.

The other nice thing about this is that you don't feel deprived of anything. It doesn't say you can't have something! You can have whatever you want that you are willing to go back for the next day.

Why are you frugal?

February 8th, 2007 at 01:25 pm

I love being frugal because it allows me to be generous in other ways. My objective is to spend my money mindfully not to be the stingiest on the block. So frugality for me directly leads to mindful generousity... and allows me to have my financial house in order at the same time!

Why do you love being frugal?

Paid Back and the gift was a success

February 2nd, 2007 at 12:41 am

We gave the gift to your teacher after our mid-class break. She was very surprised and touched by the gift. The teddy bear was a real hit - I'm glad I added that as a last minute thing. She really likes the Aveeno products we got her as they are very mild and moisturizing.

And on a nice financial note - one of my coworkers collected $7 from each of the people in our department who she has taught and gave me that money. Woo hooo! Other than my time and my contribution this wasn't as unfrugal as it felt last night when I forked out the entire amount for the gift.

I'm glad I'm learning the lesson of being both frugal and giving. There are times when one has to be frugal to get through life - but once certain issues (debt, earning enough income) are addressed then once has to balance the monetary and the spiritual.

Save me money - please keep chatting amongst yourselves

January 30th, 2007 at 03:05 am

Those sweet gals at bath and bodyworks saved me some money today. I had a coupon for $10 off something so I stopped off in there to see if I could score a good deal.

I found the product but it looked way more expensive then $10. The gals working there were standing and talking amongst themselves in the back corner of the store - ignoring all the customers wandering around - there were at least 2 other people in the store other than me...

I might have been tempted to spend money had they encouraged me. I love crappy sales help when they help me save money I shouldn't be trying to spend. Yeah, I know I shouldn't have gone in there in the first place...

I'm sure their employer is equally enamored of their lack of effort to part me from my money.

Today No Spend Day; Tomorrow Spend Day

January 10th, 2007 at 01:02 am

Thanks to my not figuring out where I put my debit card I didn't get gas today - that made it a no spend day.

My gas tank is on E - so it will be a spend day tomorrow.

Pfffffffffft, I know its just "someplace safe" and not lost so I'm not panicky but damn it, I hate when I misplace stuff.

Controlled Myself

January 8th, 2007 at 03:37 am

Sated my need for lotions with $20 worth (plus $10 for a friend who will pay me back) from Bath and Bodyworks.

Bought some groceries on the way home but kept it limited to a B1G1 for cherry tomatoes, one package of ground beef and some dairy and eggs.

Thought about hitting the duty free but skipped it. Probably should have gone there but was done with shopping if that makes any sense.

I likely need to do some grocery shopping but will try to keep that to necessities - and it can wait a few days!

More games and sweet wine

December 31st, 2006 at 06:05 am

The theme of this holiday season has definitely been sweet wines and games.

Tonight we traveled to a friends house for wonderful casual dinner and a night of fun and games! While I wasn't feeling gamish I did enjoy some good conversations and ensured I would be invited back by doing the dishes (I was rewarded by the shriek of the hostess when she found me in the kitchen - it was a happy shriek).

And I got to enjoy more wine Smile This year it seems wine is getting sweeter and sweeter. However it is fun trying different types - and not being the one having to drive home (as if I was I'd be not having but a small sip)

Beans and Monopoly

December 30th, 2006 at 05:02 am

Another nice night here.

I made a simple supper - Minnesota Bean Pot, roasted sweet potato, squash and potatoes and some chicken and broccoli for the non vegetarian in the group. A friend joined us for supper and brought dessert - a nice apple cranberry crisp.

After dinner we cleared the table and played monopoly.

A good time was had by all - and no money spent. A few of us did enjoy a beer or cooler or two Smile

Tomorrow night we are off to another friend's for dinner and more games.

A Lightfilled Fun Free Night

December 27th, 2006 at 02:08 pm

Last night was a fun free night.

I made dinner for my boyfriend and another friend. Quick and easy and tasty. Pasta and clams in a simple garlic oil sauce. Not low calorie but delicious. We had it with some wonderful wine donated to the cause by our friend!

Afterwards we all piled in the car and went to see Christmas lights. We weren't looking for elegant but for overdone and trashy. And we found a few places!. One house we went to had a yard full of lit presents. One box opened and up popped a Merry Christas sign -though had "Its" hand popped out we'd have been happier. We have a strange sense of humour!

Lots of deer out there. Some mechanical, some not. A few snow globes with scenes inside - snowmen, santa, and in cone case a moving merry-go-round with elves on reindeer Smile. Quite a few snowmen around too. Less people have multicoloured lights than I remember from my youth and the flashing strings of lights must be totally passe (or not made anymore).

Reusing Wrapping Paper

December 25th, 2006 at 07:41 pm

Yup I admit to doing it! Do you ever do it? Come'on admit it.. *grins*

I did it today as a matter of fact. I'm not to proud to admit it. I had a couple of gifts left to wrap and i reused some paper that had been used to wrap a present for my boyfriend.

This likely just proves I'm 1) frugal and 2) the child of my parents.

Next step is carefully ironing the used wrapping paper and then saving it to use next year. My parents do that. So does my aunt. I'm not there yet. I have not yet reached the pinnacle of frugalness.

Kennel costs and a change of plan...

December 19th, 2006 at 03:21 am

I sent an email the fabulous kennel I've found for my old kitty cat, to see if he could stay over Christmas. The woman who runs it is fabulous with animals but a lousy business person.

I was expecting a charge of about $20 a day - it had been $18 a day but then last time she indicated it was $21. I found that weird but didn't question it and she didn't explain. Still I was okay with that price. Mao loves the place and is relaxed there and it would save him having to travel. He's been in my life a long time. I like to do the best for him I can.

So I get the email from her today. Its now $24 a day at least during the Christmas Period from Mid Dec to Mid Jan plus $1.50 per medicine dose - and Mao gets two per day. So the price for 18 days is nearly $500.

So the Maoster is coming with me to the States. As much as I'd like him to be happy there that is way over the top for a stay at the kennel. I know she'd treat him well and all but I can't justify it financially - and yes I feel badly about that.

I dropped in at the vet's office on the way home and made an appointment for Mao to get a rabies shot on Friday. The vet will give him rabies but none of the other immunizations (a 23 year old cat isn't at high risk). And he only needs the rabies shot so he can come back in to Canada from the US. Domestic Animals don't need rabies shots to go to the US, but Canada requires they have them to re-enter.

I am expecting a bill for that for less than $100 - or cheaper if I don't need to pay for an exam. I hope not I was just there. A huge savings over the cost of the kennel.

And Mao is a pretty good traveler. He tends to sleep all the way. We have routine down. I don't make him stay in a carrier but put him in the front passenger seat foot area. He's so old he doesn't wander. At my boyfriends he'll stay in the laundry room (on the main floor) most of the time, with the ability to roam around and enjoy lots of attention and cuddling when we are there to make sure he doesn't get disoriented - he's blind and that happens quite frequenly now. The problem with him getting disoriented is when he has to pee...

Oops.. TMI I'm sure...

Shopped til I dropped

December 2nd, 2006 at 04:28 pm

Went on a bit of a shopping spree last night. My frugal guardian angel must have had the night off.

Liquor store
*3 bottles of wine
*2-4pks of Mikes Light Hard Lemonade

Clothing store
*top on sale that fit really nicely
*necklace and earings to match top

Salvation Army
*two relish dishes to take to family gathering as I dont have any and in case they don't return home

Grocery Store
*toaster for Killer Kringle gift
*containers for Xmas gift
*relish tray items (pickles, onions, olives, mushrooms)
*carrots and jam for veggie dish for potluck (carrots glazed with citrus)
*chicken wings and pasta salad for supper

Didn't use coupons (though likely not many if any for what I bought). Didn't really shop for the best deal. Let the lady at the clothing store pressure me into the necklace and earings (though they are cute).

It used to be my favourite grocery store...

November 26th, 2006 at 06:13 am

.. before the renovation!

They renovated. They took out most of the produce area and replaced it with a deli counter that sells lots of hot foods.

The veggies are now scarce. And the ones that are there are very expensive and most of them are shrink wrapped (why on earth does broccoli and cauliflower need to be shrinked wrapped anyways?)

I went to this place tonight - probably for the last time. Good deals on meat, but what point is a store where you can't find reasonably priced produce? That and a lot of the prices seemed to have gone up. Amazing how the cost of a renovation gets passed along.

The worst part of this? I'm not done with my grocery shopping. I have to go out again tomrrow for groceries.

<< Newer EntriesOlder Entries >>