For the past number of days I have been following a friend who has been blogging from Africa about Compassion’s work over there. The pictures and videos spoke to my heart and my daughters as well . We see how very lucky we are. How even though by Canadian standards we are considered poor by many we are actually very wealthy by world standards. We made a commitment to sponsor a child…her name is Chelsea and she is now part of our family! For the cost of a can of diet coke or a cup of coffee and a muffin a day you could really help a child and their family become self sufficient… I couldn’t help but think of something that was recently by a very wise man.. “we live in a knowledge based world, and the best way to become self sufficient is through eduction”…so my hats and prayers are with the bloggers who went…they really showed us how blessed and lucky we are!
I read this interesting article on Yahoo today and wanted to share my thoughts on how being
cheap frugal need not cost us money.
First I never want my cheapness to cost me money over the long haul! That means I do NOT buy on credit. I love Dave Ramsey’s money envelopes..and follow a budget. I would never think to buy a car, or furniture no matter how needed on credit. For me this is a major no no. Why? Because of the interest attached, every company wants your credit purchases it means money in the bank for them, but for you it means paying more unless you pay off your credit card every month- lets be real how many people pay off their balance each month? Very few.
Right now there are 3 what I consider large purchases that I want to make this year- a laptop, a new sofa bed, a trip to Nova Scotia for Christmas…all are being SAVED for, and will not be bought till cash is on hand. Then I will look for deals and compare prices and sometimes I can even go into a store and ask for a cash discount and get it. As for the trip I am saving money each month so that I can buy my tickets in the early fall, I hope to take my Roo by train to finally see the ocean.
I do shop sale flyers and coupon collect but I don’t buy what I don’t need or can not use in rotation, and because our household is just the two of us well buying in bulk does not make sense except for buying packages of meat. This I take home and break down into smaller packages and it works this way I never spend more then $40 a month on meat. I only ever buy enough for 2 months at a max because I know sales rotate and come back.
As for buying the newest and latest well that just isn’t me…I can wait. Do I really need a plasma screen? does Roo need that latest video game? The answer is NO..do we lose out because we don’t have the latest find? I don’t think so.
As for clothes there is no reason for anyone to ever buy these on credit not with the many garage sales, discount stores, etc offering great buys. I have 3 leather purses all bought for less the$10 and they all get wonderful compliments. I buy GAP, ROOTS, and the like all at Value Village for my daughter and most are hardly worn, which is good for me and the pocket book. I don’t buy the latest trends and wear mostly classics found at Value Village, other consignment stores or Winners.
There are many ways to that being frugal ie stocking up at sales, could cost us money if we are not careful, but if you are careful use a budget, pay cash, and plan for larger purchases then it need not cost you a penny in-fact you could end up saving many more and isn’t that what being frugal is all about.
Here in Toronto many of us parents are waking up to a 4 day weekend with our children. Roo’s school has a Teacher Development Day today so she is off and on Monday we celebrate our new Satuatory holiday Family Day..So What do we do with the kids? Besides argue about computer time that…
Here in Toronto there are a number of things that are discounted especially on Mondaythat are great for kids, or even tweens like mine..
1. Casa Loma is letting kids in free with paying adult
2. If you are like me your child got a coupon for a free admit one child at the ROM. They have a really cool dinosaur display on right now.
3.At the Zoo Admission if half price.
4. There is a Family Day festival in the Beaches –It is scheduled to be outdoor fun but if it is COLD it will be moved indoor..
5. There is always the Bata Shoe Museum which is offering crafts for the kids..and admission is free.
6. Then there is one of our favorite places- Riverdale farm where the admission is free too.
Then there are the things that you can do closer to home….
7. How about going for a skate? All our local rinks have leisure skates and they are free.
8. We will be going tobogganing..with all the snow we have getting lately why not get out and have some fun it, just make sure you bundle up.
9. With this being reading month why not hit up you local library but not on Monday they are closed.
Now if you really don’t want to brave the outside world and want to stay home there is plenty to do inside..
10. You can bake something together–why not break out a recipe and bake together..Roo and I are making muffins.
11. Break out the craft supplies and see who can make the zaniest art piece
12. Make play-dough and create a sculpture of your family
13. Play board games
14. Have a movie marathon of family favorites( we are doing this tonight).
So there is lots to do even for us
cheap frugal parents. So take time and enjoy your children this weekend. I know it is something you wont regret!
Yesterday over at The Lucky Cannuck I wrote about Valentine’s day and being lucky in love even though I am a solo parent. Today for me a
cheap frugal parent there are lots of ways to make tomorrow special for my daughter and me….I think this year I spent $5 for the day.
1. First shhh..but she will wake up to her favorite breakfast of waffles and at her spot in the table she will find a wee present from mom —I used a left over clay pot, filled it with jelly beans and heart shaped lollipops both bought at the dollar store..it looks like a plant! Also from the dollar store was the cutes lil heart purse so she is getting that too. I made her card.
2.For dinner we will actually be doing something different then I had planned on the menu. We are having one of OUR fav meals —Lasagna.
3. To take care of me and show me some love–after she goes to bed well it is ME time..a nice bubble bath, and a good read are in store.
There are lots of ways to celebrate the day and be frugal at the same time and include the kids. One of the themes we are doing all month so we can really see the love in this house is to document it on our LOVE WALL. When we catch each other being loving and kind we cut out a read heart and write a note sharing what we saw..we then put this up on our love wall( we have one wall dedicated to hearts).
So how are you celebrating tomorrow? Don’t forget that ecards are a great way to show lots of people a little love! Now off to Dont Try This At Home to see what is working for everyone else today.
Well this week it has been one of organization. I have been purging big time. I have bags ready to go- 2 to Value Village and one to the local kids consignment store–so for all the work I will in the end get back a few dollars too. I am finding that the key to being
cheap frugal is being organized. What helps me?
1. A Calendar– 4 times a year I do what I am doing this week, each day I am attacking one room of my apartment. This morning it was my under the stairs storage area. While I am cleaning and purging I am also noting what I already have on hand so I don’t dare splurge and buy more of something I don’t need. When I do my daughter’s bedroom I will inventory clothes on hand and what she might need for the up coming year that way as I am out I know what is on that list.( this list is in my purse- in my daily calendar in the back so I am not tempted).
2. Menu planning with flyer’s in hand- for me this works and saves me money. I spend about 30 minutes on Saturday morning looking through them and planning my menu for the week accordingly. If it is a real good buy I try and stock up( but I never by more then what can be used in 8 weeks) Why? Because I find that the sales cycle and will be on sale again within 6 to 8 weeks.
3. A budget- I only have a certain amount that I spend no mater what each week. For me a single mom that budget is no more then $50 for groceries ( and I use coupons when I shop).
By doing this I find I am able to stay on top of things and at the same time be frugal. For me this was one of the biggest challenges to cheapness.
Okay sometimes you need to get rid of the food you have in your house before you spend another dollar- that is where I am at right now! So with that said for the rest of the month I will only be buying eggs, milk and fresh fruit and veggies. I am cleaning out my freezer and pantry so I can clean them in time for spring.
So with that in mind here is my menu
Monday- spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, dessert- lemon cake with vanilla icing ( had company in)
Tuesday-eggs, bagels and tomato slices
Wednesday-bbq chicken breast, rice, carrots
Thursday- Veggie Soup and Grilled Cheese
Friday- Hotdogs and french fries, mixed frozen veggies
Saturday-cheese pizza, salad
Sunday- Shepard’s pie or leftovers
Now off to Laura’s to see what is on the menu everywhere else.
Okay we all know i am cheap right and I love a good deal well there is a shopping portal site for us Cannucks that I want to recommend and that is Pigsback. Not only is it a great portal to flowers, books, and almost everything Canadian that we would want but you can collect points and those points can be redeemed for gift cards. I got me FREE Timmie’s card yesterday in the mail and by the way it didn’t cost me a dime. I simply played a few games and did some quizzes.
Another thing I love is silver jewelery, well I found a site where you can get it FREE! You do pay for shipping though. The Silver Jewellery Club is a great place to get a birthday present for a girl friend or even pick up a piece or two for yourself.
Now I am off to one of my fav blogs to see where everyone else is shopping these days.
I think most of are trying to find ways that we can go green and be enviromentally friendly. I know I am! I am also looking for ways to be
cheap (frugal). For me I really can do both.
1. The first thing I have done and am continuing to do is to do meatless meals in every week’s menu plan. I try and go meatless at least twice per week.
2. Second I shop with reusable bags and NOT plastic bags.
3. Buy seasonal and local. This not only saves on the enviroment but saves on the pocket book as well.
4. I try to bulk buy as well so I can save on trips to the grocery store and cut costs at the same time.
5.Visit your local farmer markets when you can. Great way to shop local and meet some locals too!
I have been thinking alot lately about the future I want and dream about for my daughter and I. I have decided that as she enters junior high and high school I don’t want her here in the city. It is very expensive to live here especially doing it on $1200 a month. So where do we go, I am investigating several possibilities.
While doing this I am trying to also make sure I am prepared for whatever the future might hold. I am doing my will, and learning all I can about fiances here in Canada. There is FREE help out there for us Cannucks. The Canadian Financial Security Program offers free downloadable books that can help us achieve our goals whatever they are. There is the Will Preparation Kit, Shopping for Life Insurance, Starting a Home Business and Investing Wisely. Why not take a read? For us cheapies out there knowledge equals power and the ability to do more while being prepared.
Well many of you know I am cheap! Well I also love to contest and love freebies so I have started another blog dedicated to being what I am –a lucky cannuck! Over at The Lucky Cannuck I am even doing a giveaway…