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Flipp’s 5 Fab Deals – Healthy Choices

This week, it is all about making healthy choices in the food we eat. I have decided to eat more fruits and vegetables daily to become a better me. We all get to the point where some days we don’t feel like cooking so we order in or go out to eat. This can be costly and not always the best solution. Using Flipp always helps me find the right product for my needs, not my wants.

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Healthy Choices

Food Basics 

Healthy Choices

Perfect combo for adding to a salad or on their own

Healthy Choices

 

No Frills -$1, $2, $3 sale

Stock up the pantry and crisper.

healthy choices

Yes, No Frills alone has more than 5 deals but it is all on one page.

Giant Tiger – Grow your Own

Pick up some seeds and start your own mini garden.

Healthy Choices

All you have to do is plant the seeds and watch them grow.

healthy choices

 

There are many choices this week for us to make those healthy choices. What’s on your shopping list?

new_job

New Job First Job First Tax Return-What Does It Mean for Your Wallet #CDNmoney

In today’s world, all of us go through major life events more often. We are a fast paced world with change being part of the fabric of our every day. This past year, there were some major shifts in my life. I went from being a freelancer to having a full-time role with a great company. I love my new job. My teen is also facing change as she graduated from high school and well it is time for college and the work force. So what do all these changes mean come tax time? These are normal changes that almost every Canadian family will face at one time or another.

new_job

What Does a New Job mean?

First, let’s talk about the taxes. Whenever a Canadian gets a new job with a new employer, all of your employment insurance and Canadian pension plan are reset for the fiscal year. This means you may be due an overpayment come tax time. Check for this.

If you were paying into a retirement savings plan with your employer make sure you understand what this new job means for that old plan. Know your rights and obligations. Do the research.

Have Your First Job?

Having that first job is exciting. My teen’s first job was at her high school helping after school with a fellow student who needed supports in place at the end of her school day. Since every ; this receives a basic tax credit of $11,000, my teen was not required to fill out a tax form but here are the reasons she will.

Many first tax returns have to be submitted in paper. It allows the government to set the first time filer up on the CRA system, this also allows you to file online in the future if you qualify. The younger you do this first return as well sets the timeline for when your RRSP contributions begin.

Student-using-laptop-in-a-university-library

Starting college or university, or are you there and you haven’t filed your first return yet?

First, your tax return is used to determine if you are eligible for things like GST and the Ontario Trillium Benefit here in Ontario. Even if you have zero income, you can qualify for these payments.

As well to use your tuition, education and text book credit you have to submit them on your tax return in the year they occur even if you are not going to use the credit till the future.

There are several credits that you are intitled to as a student that you can save or transfer to a parent. The tuition amount can either be claimed by a student be transferred or carried over toward a future year.

With so many questions and because life can change on a dime, filing using TurboTax Canada makes sense. Every step of the way you are asked questions that enable you to get the best return. We love how fast and easy it is as well.

If you would like to win one of 5 copies of TurboTax Canada here on my blog, simply, leave a comment on this post, or you can join us for the #CDNmoney chat on Tuesday, March 28th at 7 pm ET as we talk about new parents and tax returns. There will be more chances to win that night as well.

Want more tax tips ready the TurboTax Canada blog and follow them on Twitter.

*Blog Giveaway ends March 27th at 11:59 pm and is only open to Canadian tax filers. This post has been sponsored by TurboTaxCanada, but as always my opinion is mine. 

 

 

yoda 8th birthday

What 8 Years on Twitter has Taught Me

yoda 8th birthday

Today is my birthday. My Twitter birthday that is.

In 8 years, I have learned a few lessons. There are also a few facts I thought I would share.

I have made many friends because of Twitter. Some are the tops in their fields. Twitter broke walls and allowed you to start conversations with anyone. Over the years I have had great conversations and even forged friendships with some pretty amazing people. I have even gotten work because of Twitter. I am afraid to start a list as the list is rather long now.

In 8 years I have tweeted over 88,000 times on topics as varied as personal finance, to recipes, to world events.

I have hosted or moderated hundreds of Twitter chats and Twitter parties.  I started the first personal finance chat in Canada Those parties produced over a billion social media impressions.

The two apps I helped launch on Twitter both grew rapidly. The second one, even got four dragons from Dragons Den wanting a deal partially because of the digital strategy and rapid growth of the app.

I now have a job I love because of Twitter.

So what has all of this taught me?

Seek knowledge. If you don’t understand a new platform, a new way to share your voice learn.

Share. Share great content.

Start conversations. Don’t just share content, have real conversations. Ask questions and listen.

Behind every handle is a real person. Treat them well.

Now over on Twitter this week, I am giving away a $100 gift card. All you have to do is tweet me a lesson I have taught you before Friday, March 24th at 8pm EST. My twitter handle if you need a reminder is @commoncentsmom.

 

 

 

 

Join the #BeFraudSmart Twitter Party

BeFraudSmartTwitterPartyPromo4

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada.

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. Tangerine Bank will be hosting a Twitter Party to help Canadians better understand how to deal with fraud with a focus on “phishing”. Join the “Be Fraud Smart” Twitter Party to find out how to protect yourself from fraud.

Twitter Party Details

#BeFraudSmart Twitter Party

Date: Thursday, March 23, 2017
Time: 7:00pm ET
Host: @TangerineBank
Guest: @KelleyKeehn If you have any fraud related questions, please direct them to @KelleyHeehn and include the hashtag #BeFraudSmart.
Moderators: @ShesConnected @SimplyLindaBlog @CommonCentsMom
Prizes: $500 in Mastercard Gift Cards (Prizing:  for Canadians only  except those in the province of Quebec)
Twitter Party Newbies: If you are new to Twitter parties, then use TWUBS, the Twitter party platform. Click here to join: http://twubs.com/BeFraudSmart

No RSVP Required

 

About Kelly Keehn

Kelley Keehn is a financial literacy advocate who has been on a mission to “Make Canadians Feel Good About Money”.The author of 8 published books Kelley served on the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy and is a consumer advocate for the Financial Planning Standards Council. You can learn more about Kelley at her website: KelleyKeeehn.com.

SPONSORED POST

This a sponsored post by Tangerine Bank. As always opinions are my own.

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Flipp’s 5 Fab Deals- Spring Fever Sales

It is hard to believe that the first day of spring is on Monday with all the snow and cold weather. When the weather starts to feel warm, we want to get outdoors and enjoy what it has to offer. Trees budding, flowers popping up and the birds chirping are just a few signs of spring. Flipp’s 5 Fab Deals this week will help with the spring fever and give you a head start on Easter, which is less than a month away.

There are many ways to gt into spring mode. Whether it be with outdoor items, spring clothes or toys for Easter, Flipp has you covered on all the deals.

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Flipp’s 5 Fab Deals – Spring Fever Sales

Toys R Us – Half Price Toys

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Lowe’s – Get your Garden Going

Flipp's 5 Fab Deals

Walmart – Paw Patrol Galore

Flipp's 5 Fab Deals

Giant Tiger – Garden Delights

GT-Flipp

 

Don’t forget to check out the available coupons.

Have a great weekend!

Sunnyside Beach

How to Plan a Staycation

Sunnyside Beach

Wouldn’t it be great to escape the chaos and day-to-day responsibilities of our everyday lives for a week of fun and relaxation somewhere far away?  But what if it’s not in the budget?  Airfare, hotel rooms, rental car, dining out, and other travel expenses can make getting away very expensive.  And even if money isn’t a factor, sometimes health issues or work obligations prevent us from going away anytime we feel like it. It’s March break here and I am feeling we could use some down time.

But that doesn’t mean when the kids are home from school for summer vacation that you can’t still have a great time! Why not plan to take a vacation right in your own backyard?  A true Staycation is more than just time off at home, it’s an intentional time of fun and relaxation for your family.  It may take a little effort to do it right, but ultimately, it can be just as fun as going out of town.

  1. Set ground rules. The point of a Staycation is to make it feel as much like a real vacation as possible, without leaving home. To make sure the whole family is on the same page, it’s good to set some ground rules that everyone can agree on.  These could include some or all of the following:
  • No email
  • No computer or video games
  • No work
  • No fighting
  • Family time only—no independent activities
  • No cooking, cleaning or doing laundry
  1. Spruce up your bedroom. Make sure you have cozy soft sheets and that they are freshly washed. Add some scented fabric softener to the laundry so they smell great.  Unplug the alarm clock and hide it in the closet.  Put fresh flowers on your nightstand along with a book you’ve been looking forward to reading.  Fill a basket with your favorite snacks and some bottled water to keep in your room.  Place scented candles around to encourage relaxation.
  2. Be a tourist. Do you live in or near a city like we do where there are lots of tourist attractions?  If you do, you’ve likely never been a tourist in your own home town.  This is the time to explore where you live.  Visit local museums or monuments, try out a couple of the “hot spots” for dinner, go to the zoo, attend a sporting event or get theater or concert tickets. Here in Toronto, there are lots to do, and lots of them are free.
  3. Spend time in the great outdoors. Go on a nature walk at a nearby national park. With Rouge Park being a National Park and with all national parks being free for the 150th anniversary of Canada this one is budget friendly as well.  Do you live within a couple hours’ drive from a beach?  Take a day trip. If you’re not close to a beach or hiking area, go to a local park for a game of Frisbee, a long walk or some fishing.  Go camping or watch movies in the backyard. Here in Toronto, you might want to head over to the Toronto Islands which are just a short ride away.
  4. Enjoy a family night in. Play a board game together.  Have a movie night complete with popcorn and hot fudge sundaes.  Work on a puzzle or invent a new game.  Build a fire to roast marshmallows and tell scary stories.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or even travel out of town to enjoy a fun and relaxing family vacation.  I hope these ideas have inspired a few ideas of your own! We are looking forward to our next staycation right here at home.

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Friday’s 5 Flipp Finds – St Patrick’s Day Deals

This weekend begins the festivities for St. Patrick’s Day with a parade. St. Patrick’s Day is a week away and it is time to plan a meal for the occasion. Prepare some tasty dishes with these St Patrick’s day deals for meals. Whether you are preparing corn beef, cabbage,  Sheppard’s pie or an Irish stew, you will find everything you need and more with the Flipp grocery flyers this week.

St Patrick’s Day Deals 4 Meals

Meat Deals

Frescho – Corn Beef Brisket

St Parick's Day Deals

Food Basics – Ground Beef for Sheppard’s Pie

St Patrick's Day Deals

Loblaw’s – Beef and Sausages

St Patrick's Day Deals

Vegetable Deals

Loblaw’s – Veggies galore

St Patrick's Day Deals

 

Frescho – Potatoes

St Patrick's Day Deals

If you are wondering how to prepare an Irish meal, check out these recipes from Food.com.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Thrift Store Shopping

How to Make a Profit at Thrift Store Shopping

 

 

Hello Common Cents Mom readers, from Sneaky Pete the Savvy Thrifter. I’m writing this guest post, reacting to the article on Torontonicity, Secrets of a Thrift Store Technology Picker, which I thought was pretty clever. But I also reckoned I might share with you some of my own tactics for Thrift Store picking and especially the game we call Pick-n-Flip.

Pick-n-Flip – Participants shop local and then sell items online. We play over an entire shopping season (three months). No I’ve never won. And I have a half dozen friends who play the game with me, and they’ve never won either (you have to end the season in profit). Its a tricky thing and unless you watch yourself you could become a ‘hoarder’ when your merchandise doesn’t ‘flip’.  The secret to being a successful picker is to have buyers waiting in the wings, or at the very least a physical store shelf to properly display items for resale. If you don’t have that you’ll probably destined to become a Hoarder.

Meyersberg Flea Market near Campbellford Ontario – 26 Feb 2017

Thrift stores and flea markets are poor places to prospect for bargains compared to estate auctions, yard sales and community rummage sales. The last three venues are essentially clearing houses, and this is where most pickers find impossible deals and maximum profits reselling rare merchandise.

But let’s remember, auctions and yard sales are special occasions; they are time-sensitive events. Finding and buying anything at one of these big sales usually requires traveling some distance and waiting in crowds before bidding in live auctions. Thrift stores by contrast are everywhere, and easily accessible. and you can buy whatever you find right on the spot.

The charity thrift store model essentially resells donations from the public, . These stores are not charities; they’re for-profit businesses which donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. Rural community thrift bazaars like the Meyersberg Flea Market pictured above are better places for finding bargains as locals really don’t know international prices or even the market prices set in neighbouring urban centers.

the iron mongery behind the counter of neighbourhood thrift store Homemade iron ‘broad axe’ for sale,, only $79 including the Hickory wood handle!

For example, when visiting the Meyersberg flea market be sure and visit the iron monger who sells handmade iron broad axes for what Sneaky Pete perceives as a mere fraction of their true market value. What cottager wouldn’t want a homemade iron implement like the one seen above on hand to split kindling and log wood for their fireplace? You just don’t see this stuff, or these prices here in Toronto.

Salvation Army and Value Village are two of the biggest chains here in the city, but there are many smaller shops, Like even Black Market Vintage on Queen, seen below. has deals that frugal moms might miss while knowledgeable Fashionistas can spot vintage North American classic clothes that are still cheap and plentiful here, but hard-to-find and expensive overseas.

Black Market Vintage on Queen – photo courtesy of BlogTO

When Picking for Profits in Toronto Area Thrift Stores…

Experienced shoppers who do set about ‘picking’ through Value Village and Salvation Thrift Store shelves might be tempted to peruse the clothing section looking for vintage leather jackets, flight suits, satin shirts, and handmade Alligator skin shoes.  Or they might wander the kitchenware aisle hunting collectible coffee mugs, Jadeite cups and saucers, and real silverware. While there, experienced pickers would be surely scour the bottom shelves looking for unusual shaped chocolate molds.

A quick search for rare books usually yields something in every store in Toronto. Sneaky Pete seeks out original graphic novels, and ‘official’ corporate colouring books and Big Little books.  Near the book section there’s generally two racks of paintings and commercial art; like this vintage Lucas film poster art which sold for $60 new and is available here in Value Village today for ten bucks. That’s a steal.

Star Wars storm trooper Lucas Film poster 1983 Star Wars storm trooper Lucas Film poster 1983 for sale in Value Village for $9.99

Finding such obvious bargains at these places often requires perfect timing because every picker worth her salt knows that Star Wars stuff sells – but what else is there? How else can you know what’s in demand before you buy the item in a thrift store?

Kijiji ‘Wanted’ Lists can become Daily (or Hourly) Shopping Lists

Why not take a minute and explore online the many ‘Wanted Lists’ published online everyday? The Toronto Wanted section of Kijiji,and on Craigslist and other smaller (less frequently updated) ‘swap and shop’ type sites – check the lists once or twice a day. Desperate people on these pages are always looking to replace proprietary phone chargers and battery backs and power adapters etc. Lori mentioned how Standard Telecom buys and sells office phone networks, and to keep a particular eye out for the Nortel 9417CW.

battery chargers for technology Value Village thrift store tech picker

And this brings Sneaky Pete to reflect on the tenacious Thrift Store price tags (also mentioned in Torontonicity’s Thrift Store picking article). How does one remove those pesky stickers off painted surfaces, and especially plastics.without damaging the finish?

Lorpon Labels, sticker adhesives, glue on labels strengths, Canada

The tiny square paper price tag labels on items for sale in Toronto area thrift stores are often welded right onto the objects with the objective of deterring label swapping and other fraudulent activities that happen in these stores. View the entire adhesives cheat sheet from the product label printing experts at Lorpon Labels to understand which combination of oils and soaps to use (Sneaky Pete uses peanut butter) to remove those pesky price tags off plastics and other smooth surfaces

computer chips - price tag

A2ZPC computer repair store in Toronto buys and sells used computer chips

There’s about eight bucks worth of rare earth metals (including gold) in a desktop computer, and even more in a laptop computer.

The good people at KPDI digital solutions agency in Toronto accept e-waste from thrift stores which scrap for charity and Sneaky Pete sometimes helps out in the fun.
Tech scrapper at KPDI com digutal solutions agencyTech scrapper at KPDI com digital solutions agency
Broken computers and laptops are not ‘junk’ until they have been stripped of the chips and capacitors. When stripping computers search for monolithic capacitors, rhodium and  Tantalum capacitors. Its common for these chips to have silver conductors, but more importantly the rare earth metals inside these cylindrical components are worth more than gold. Do not open them up to look, as they are toxic and worse the metal will oxidize quickly and be worth less money.

Polaroid camera for sale in Thrift Store, image courtesy of Torontonicity Polaroid camera for sale in Thrift Store, image courtesy of Torontonicity
Old Polaroid cameras are almost always worth the asking price if they still work. See here this definitive article on buying selling Polaroid cameras by Dan Finnen shows this camera and how to appraise its value with links to the (his) Polaroid camera section on eBay.

Lastly – Ask to see what’s not on display, or behind the counter

Sometimes the managers of donation based thrift stores have problem pieces which they don’t know how to display or price properly. They may be convinced to sell these difficult objects to you for whatever price you divine assuming you can prove some market price index using eBay or another online catalog. Even more fruitful is to find items with problems you can solve at home – repairs, missing components, and TLC.  What”s hidden behind the counter, and not on display is sure to be more interesting than the rest of the rummage.

Bakingdoda1

10 Uses for Baking Soda in Your Home

Bakingdoda1

You may find baking soda listed in the ingredients of many of your favorite recipes, but did you know that it also has some great household uses? We love using our Arm & Hammer Baking soda every day here at home. There are so many uses for it!  Here are 10 great ways you can use it save time and energy when cleaning around the home.

Microwave Cleaner:

If you’ve got a grungy microwave, clean it quickly and easily by adding a couple of teaspoons of baking soda to a bowl of water and place in microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, depending how dirty it is. When the microwave stops, keep the door closed to give the steam from the heated bowl of water a few minutes to work. Remove the bowl and take a moist, warm cloth and wipe the inside of the microwave. The grime should wipe off easily.

Grease Buildup On Range Hood:

If you have grease buildup inside the hood, you can easily clean it with baking soda. First, make a thick paste with baking soda and water. Take a cloth and wet it with hot, soapy water; then scrub the grease with the paste in a circular motion. Wipe off as much of the grease as possible then rinse the cloth in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Reapply the paste and repeat until most of the grease is removed. Once the majority of the buildup is gone, wash the hood with hot, soapy water to remove any traces of the paste.

Dirty Stovetop:

Sprinkle baking soda around the stovetop generously then spray hot water (boiling if possible) over top, enough to dissolve the baking soda without making it run all over. Let it soak for about 30 minutes then scrub it clean.

Smelly Dishwasher:

Freshen your dishwasher up by sprinkling a layer of baking soda on the bottom. Close it and let it sit overnight. The next day use a damp sponge to scrub the baking soda into the inside walls and door of the dishwasher. Remove most of the powder then run a full cycle on empty to remove any last traces.

Mattress Freshener:

When stripping the beds down to wash the sheets; freshen up the mattress by sprinkling a thin layer of baking soda on top of it. Let it sit for a few hours then vacuum the powder up.

Trash Can Deodorizer:

Mix 4 teaspoons Eucalyptus oil with 4 cups of baking soda. Store it in an airtight plastic container. After cleaning the trash can, sprinkle a handful of the mixture inside the dry can.

Blood Stain Remover (Laundry):

Blood stains, if fresh, can be removed by washing in cold water. If the stains are hard and dry, soak for a few hours in cold water with a pinch of baking soda. Wash the clothes in cold water. Never wash blood stains in hot water.

Slippery Sidewalks:

Generously sprinkle baking soda on icy patches on walkways. It’s friendly to your sidewalk than salt and makes a slip free zone.

Curling Iron Cleaner:

Clean the gunk off of your curling iron by scrubbing it with a paste made from baking soda and water, then wiping clean with a damp cloth. Be sure the curling iron is turned off and unplugged first.

Crayon On Walls:

Remove crayon scribbles from walls with a paste of baking soda and water then use it to gently scrub the marks. You could also just sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and rub clean.

*I am a brand ambassador with Church and Dwight, however, we have used baking soda in our house for many years. I was taught most of these tricks by my mom and grandmother. As always my thoughts are my own. 

Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday with Flipp – 5 Fashion Finds

Shopping isn’t always about finding a deal that fits into your fridge, sometimes it is about refreshing our closets with new clothes with a Fashion Friday edition using Flipp.

Over the past few weeks, I have been able to stock up on dollar items. This has given me a few extra dollars in my pocket to focus on something other than groceries. This week it is all about fashion for the entire family.

Fashion Friday with Flipp.

Giant Tiger – Women and Children’s Fashion Deals

Fashion Friday

Fashion Friday

Sears Canada – Suits, shorts and Shirt deals

Fashion Friday Screenshot_20170302-194749

 

Marks’ – Door Crasher and buy 1 get 1  Deals

Fashion Friday

No matter what you are looking for, there are some great deals happening this week. Pull out your phone and swipe your way through the flyers with Flipp. Fill you closet with some fresh new fashions to start off spring.