Friday, June 18, 2010

Some good coupon websites (thanks Gail Vax-Oxlade)

http://forum.smartcanucks.ca

www.save.ca

www.gocoupons.ca

www.brandsaver.ca/en_ca/coupons/

http://www.websaver.ca/en_ca/coupons/

http://www.fabuloussavings.ca/

www.dealstreet.ca

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Price matching

When we need something, we always look for a good deal.  This time around, we needed a new washing machine.

In order to get one, we waited and waited for a deal to come up - it sure did.  We google searched for them on www.redflagdeals.com and noticed that someone had pricematched them at a department store.  We ended up doing the same thing and purchased the set for cheaper than any price that has been advertised in the past two years (even lower than boxing day).

How?  The store we bought at was the most expensive; however, they had a price match + 10% of the difference.  The difference was huge, so it worked out in our favor!

Score one for the Frugalistas!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Going ballistic on the mortgage

If you know us, we are not fans of consumer debt (credit cards, lines of credit, etc).  We buy everything with cash that we've saved and never tap into credit.

While the mortgage rates were low, we were trying to break the mortgage and found out that we would have to pay hefty penalties to do so.  No matter how we tried, the bank wouldn't allow us to do it.

We have no idea what the credit/interest rate environment will be come summer of 2013 when we renew.  Will rates be at their historical lows again?  Will rates be in the double-digits to quell inflation or a currency crisis?

We certainly have no idea, but one thing is certain - we control how much debt we have left at renewal time, and we want that number to be as small as possible, no matter where rates stand.

So, we've decided to go ballistic on the mortgage.  We're going through our finances again and with a little voluntary austerity at our household, everything that we save will go into the mortgage.  At our current pace, we have 6 years left on the mortgage, but with a little austerity, we might be able to shave another 3 years off and pay it off before we renew.   That would be a dream come true.

We'll post updates from time to time!  Hopefully, this can be done!  After we're done we can have a mortgage-burning party!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sit-down dinners

Since we got married, we always agreed that dinner time would be sacred for our family. We made it a priority to sit down together for dinner every night with all other distractions like TV, computer, phones shut off.

We love having dinner together- not only just enjoying delicious meals together, but also just being able to catch up with each other's days, be silly with the kids and have a good laugh! I recently came across a great show on FoodTV called "Fixing Dinner". ( http://www.foodnetwork.ca/ontv/shows/Fixing-Dinner/show.html?titleid=83516) It has some great tips on how to help the modern super-busy family make dinner time together a priority! Delicious, fast and easy recipes are developed by Sandi Richard- who also happens to be a mother of 7!!!!

I've gotten so many good tips like:
-washing your fruit before you store them in the fridge so it's easier for kids to just grab and go
-freezing your pre-portioned and sometimes pre-marinated meat flattened in ziplock bags; it's way quicker to defrost and you don't have to deal with raw meat every meal!
-splitting up prep time for meals
-using cheaters
-having a meal plan for each week
-involving other members of the family to help with food prep

I'm a firm believer that involving children in the kitchen is great for teaching the life skill of cooking, responsibility and just a love of food! A family that eats together, stays together!

Do you have any good tips?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Unused Nalgene Bottles?

Do you remember how there was a point in time several years ago when we disposed of all our Nalgene bottles (and the like) because it was leeching bisphenol A into our drinks?

Well, while we were able to get refunds for some of our bottles, we still have several of them sitting in our cupboards and we aren't using them- at least not for drinking purposes!

With two toddler boys who are toilet trained, I found that my trips out with them could only be around 1 hour long so that they don't wet themselves, as it is difficult when you are in any store to bring three young children into the bathroom. We have had them pee several times in the van into old cups or even just on ground beside the van when they needed to 'go'.

Well, we found an even better solution- we just designated a pee bottle (a small Nalgene bottle) that we tote around. Now we can pee them anywhere, discretely and most importantly, without worrying that someone will spill the pee!!! It's made my life a whole lot cleaner and easier because it's SO convenient! We come home and dump the pee, rinse and use again!

...now we just have to label the bottle "pee"...and we don't have to worry about bisphenol A leeching into pee....

Any other ideas on how you use your old Nalgene bottles??

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Severe, we mean severe coupon stacking

We've been so busy with three kids - no time to sleep or do anything else, including blog.

We came across an INCREDIBLE coupon stacking event today.  We had purchased cereal a few months ago.  It was a buy one get one free (BOGOF) type event on cereal, and we ended up buying a few boxes (around 6 or 8).  The catch was that each box had one free juice coupon, for super expensive juice worth $4.  The cereal was around $2.50 per box.

That was such a sweet deal, but it gets better.

This week, there was a BOGOF event on the juice.  So, we 'bought' 6 juices for a total of $24, but using the coupons we had left (three of them), and the fact that each juice had a free counterpart, we ended up paying a grand total of $0.6 (for 10cent deposit on each carton).  In fact, we get back 5cents per carton, so in fact, we pay only 30 cents for $24 dollars of juice.

...funny thing is that we always have coupons on us in case things like this happen.... but those events have never happened until today.

INCREDIBLE INCREDIBLE.  That was the most extreme coupon stacking episode we have EVER had.  Tell us your experiences!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New application for an old thermos: keep diaper change water hot

Happy new year everyone! We hope that the new year will treat you and your family well financially, health-wise, and opportunity-wise.

We have been so busy over the past few months and have not been able to blog at all. We will, however, share with you some of our new-found ideas for the new year.

We just had our third child less than a month ago and discovered something really neat. We use a cloth to clean the newborn's bum after pooping and we often had to run the water to make it hot. Of course, we would either divert the cold water at the beginning to the water filter or to a bucket to flush a toilet, but lately we've found an even better way.

After taking a shower or using the hot water, we divert extra hot water into a thermos for the evening. That way, we don't have to run the water to get it hot for the diaper change. It simply comes from a hot water line that was already hot, and it's really no extra work. It saves time in the middle of the night, especially if you have to wait for water to get hot.

Happy new year again and all the best -

The Frugalistas