Friday’s 5 Fab Finds with Flipp – Valentine’s Day Deals

For this Friday’s 5 Fab finds, I will be focusing on Valentine’s Day Deals. We all celebrate the day of love in many different ways if we celebrate at all. February 14th is not all about wining and dining with the one we love, especially for a parent. Spending time with our loved ones doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Whether you are staying in or going out, Flipp will have a deal for all your needs this week.

Valentine's Day Deals

Valentine’s Day Deals

 

Wilton Baking Accessories  -Sear’s

 

Valentine's Day Deals1

 

Plush Toys – Walmart 

 

Valentine's Day Deals

 

Boneless Pork Half Loin – No Frills $1.44lb

 

Valentine's Day Deals

 

Hearty Meat Deals –  Food Basics

Valentine's day deals

 

Create a DIY gift – Michaels 40-50% off

 

Valentine's Day Deals-Michaels

 

This week there are additional savings with 33 coupon matchups, just select the coupon and print it off.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

Friday's 5 Fab Finds

Friday’s 5 Fab Finds with Flipp -Game Day Deals

This weekend many will be getting comfy on the couch with family and friends to watch the Superbowl. Let’s celebrate early with this list of Friday’s 5 Fab finds with Flipp. Whatever it is you are looking for, Flipp has a deal for you. So before heading out to buy your weekend game snacks, open the app and get ready to save.

Friday’s 5 Fab Finds

While not all these items will be needed for Superbowl Sunday, many will come in very handy in order to help the celebration.

Samsung Smart TV from Leons – $599

Friday's 5 Fab Finds

 

 Game Day Finger Foods – M&M Food Market

 

Friday's 5 Fab Finds

 

Cottonelle Toilet Tissue (24 Double Roll) – Walmart $9.98

 

Friday's 5 Fab Finds

 

Fruits, Veggies, Cheese and Things – Food Basics

 

Friday's 5 Fab Finds

 

Salsa, Kolbassa and Ice Cream – Freshco

Friday's 5 Fab Finds

Need something to wash all the yummy snacks down with? No Frills has 2L bottles of Coca Cola or Pepsi brands for $.97.

For more great deals this week, head on over to the Flipp app and search the items you are looking for. Save them to your shopping list so they are just a swipe away. Don’t worry about visiting all the stores, price match at the one near you. (Food Basics doesn’t price match but you can use coupons)

Come back for next Friday’s 5 Fab Finds and check them out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

finding humour

Finding Humour in Life Lessons – One Day at a Time

Being a single parent isn’t always easy. As parents, we try to do our best with what life throws us. We don’t always know when or how to begin conversations with our children. Looking at finding humour in life lessons? That is exactly what you get with the new Netflix Original series One Day at a Time.

finding humour in Life lessons

Finding Humour in Life Lessons

Families will always argue or fight over certain issues, not everyone has the same opinion. We fight and we make up, it is what helps keep families strong. We agree to disagree. When finding the humour in life lessons through the eyes of a TV Show, it helps us understand the individuality of ourselves and of our children and gives us the strength to get through. If we can’t laugh at ourselves and find humour in our lives, we don’t learn a thing.

The show covers REAL issues that many families will experience. As a single mother, I sometimes struggle with raising my daughter. We pull together, we talk and we learn from each other in the changing times. Remember to spend time together and have fun.

Finding Humour in Life lessons

As a fan of the original show from the 70’s, I couldn’t wait to view the new version. While slightly different than the original series, it has the same all around theme. A single mom and her children and the granddmother, surviving life the best they can, dealing with everyday issues. Oh yes, we can’t forget the lovable handyman Schneider.

Check it out on Netflix and fall in love with this funny family.

I have been a proud member of the #streamteam since it was created and as always my opinions are my own and I have been a loyal Netflixer for years (long before the #streamteam was formed).

Taxes

Tax Trends that Will Effect You in 2017

Taxes

It is that time of the year again! It is January, and if you have been a reader of Common Cents Mom you know I start talking taxes in January to give you plenty of time to prepare. Again this year, I will be doing my own taxes and have once again agreed to partner with TurboTax Canada to bring you tax tips all tax season long. So what do you need to watch for in 2017?

This year Canadians are faced with a number of changes. Four of the child tax credits parents loved are gone. The tax credit for income splitting has changed dramatically and is now capped at $2,000. The good news is there have also been changes to Employment Insurance and the child tax benefit that are helping many Canadian families.

According to a recent TurboTax national survey, most Canadians are optimistic about their taxes and two-thirds do expect to receive a refund. More than half of Canadians will do their own taxes this year. With that said, it is really easy when using TurboTax.  I have used TurboTax for the past few years and have found it gets me all the money I deserve by automatically checking over 400 potential deductions and credits every year. This means I always get what I deserve guaranteed. You can read more about the guarantees here.

Are you an early bird when it comes to filing your taxes? It seems most Canadians- that is eighty percent file as soon as they have their paperwork ready. Over half of Canadians, say they will file in March but now is the time to prepare.

Did you know many Canadians aren’t taking advantage of all the tax deductions and credits as they should be? Now is the time to make sure you have these documents ready.

  • Only 44% of Canadians will claim medical expenses. Get your receipts in order, you can even ask your pharmacist for a copy of your receipts for the year.
  • Only 40% of Canadians with claim Charitable donations. Any time you give more than $20 to a charity get a receipt as it is a tax deduction.
  • Only 11% plan to claim rental receipts. Every year this helps my return soar here in Ontario.
  • Only 7% claim child care expenses. Save your receipts and have your care giver give the proper receipts.

Now is the time to get ready so you can get the best refund possible. Want to learn more ab0ut getting ready for this year’s tax season. Check out the tax tips section on the TurboTax website. It is filled with great tips that will help you get the best return possible. Also, remember to follow my blog and social this tax season as I bring you more information and tips. I also enjoy checking out the TurboTax blog all season long.

Let me know if you are expecting a refund this year and how you will spend it in the comments. I will be giving away 5 downloadable  TurboTax codes that will see you doing your taxes for free.

 

*Giveaway ends February 28th, 2017 and is open only to Canadian tax filers. 

money-habits

Seven Money Habits You Want to Break in 2017

money-habits

How much money you have is often linked to your money habits. For instance, if you like to eat junk food, chances are you over-spend on fast food.

Here are seven bad money habits that you might not even realize you have and how to overcome them in 2017 or any year.

1. Going into debt for wants rather than needs

Lifestyle based purchases, such as luxury handbags or an expensive phone, force you into unnecessary debt if you have to pay for it on a payment plan. If your wants continually push you into debt, you have a habit that you need to get rid of.

Cure: Debt is for essential and strategic purchases only. Going into manageable debt to buy a house or pay for your children’s education is fine. It’s not OK when you use debt to fund a luxury lifestyle.

2. Postponing financial decisions

How many times have you told yourself, “I will start investing next month” only to continually push it back every month because you did not save any money? Postponing good financial decisions is worse than making bad ones. With time, good investments generate additional income for you, so the earlier you start, the more you make.

Cure: Start setting aside money every month to put towards investments. The longer you delay, the less you’ll make in the long run.

3. Gambling rather than investing

Many people tend to dabble in the stock market without knowing what they’re doing. Maybe you got a tip that a particular stock is a good bet, or someone told you that Options are a great way to make money. But, if you’re putting your money into investments that you don’t understand, you are gambling and not investing.

Cure: Investments should be based on your goals. If you don’t know how to invest, hire a professional to help you or take a course.

4. Spending more than what you make

This is the worst habit for your financial well-being, when you constantly spend beyond your means. When the money you spend exceeds your income at the end of the month, you are overspending.

Cure: Start monitoring your spending habits. Take a look at your expenses and separate them into two categories – needs and wants. Cut out what you don’t absolutely need. Create a budget to get your spending under control.

5. Paying your bills after the due date

If you are constantly making late payments on your credit cards and utility bills, you are paying more than you need to, and it adds up. In case of credit cards, late payments could potentially add up to hundreds, thanks to high interest rates.

Cure: Always pay your bills on time to avoid late fees. Set up auto pay for your bills to ensure you don’t pay them late.

6. Indulging in habits that are expensive

Smoking, drinking, and eating out too often are habits that come with a significant price tag. You might think these expenses as small, but over time, they add up to significant amounts.

Cure: If you have a habit that has a negative impact on your health and your wallet, it’s time to break it. Get help if you need to, but your body and your wallet will thank you in the long run..

7. Not saving regularly

Saving regularly can be difficult. Especially if you tend to spend first and save whatever is left over.

Cure: Decide on how much you can save on a regular basis and set it aside as soon as you get paid. This will ensure that saving becomes a habit.

canucks_rock_new_year_giveaway_fb

Canucks Rock the New Year with a $550 #Giveaway

canucks_rock_new_year_giveaway_fb

It’s a new year and one of my personal goals this year is to partner more with some of the best digital influencers in Canada. There are several great Canadian bloggers who I count as friends and I am very thankful for that. In the year ahead you will see me coming together with some of my friends to offer original content, host Twitter parties and do a few Facebook Lives together. To start the year off though a group of Canadian bloggers are hosting a joint fun giveaway.

We are giving away $550.00! That is quite a bit of cash, and it will go to a Canadian blog reader! Sweet right.

What would you do with it?

Here are a few options I might consider:

  • buying a new laptop
  • paying for a week at summer camp
  • a new camera
  • a weekend away in Niagara Falls
  • a series of city adventures for my teen and I
  • photography lessons
  • French lessons

That is how I might spend the cash but alas I can not win, either can any of the Canadian bloggers who are hosting this event! Want to know how you can win share with us how you will spend the cash.  Is there something you want to do that becomes possible with the extra cash? Would you splurge?

To enter, comment and let us know how you would spend the cash. There are also a couple of other free entries as well.

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How to Eat Fresher and Cheaper on a Budget

How to Eat Fresher and Cheaper on a Budget

If one of your New Years’ resolutions is to cut your grocery costs while buying fresher groceries,  it can be done.  There are a number of strategies that you can use to save money every time you grocery shop.  I love heading to my local FRESHCO where I can definitely get fresher and cheaper on a budget.

 

Meal Plan

When you plan your meals before you head to the grocery store you know what you need.  You know what your meals will be for the week. You are not simply scanning the aisles for what looks good.

 

Make a List

Research has shown that if you can avoid impulse buying you can save at least 20% on your weekly grocery bill. Always shop with a list. I use an app to keep my list handy.

FRESCHO shopping trip

Eat Your Veggies and Fruit too

You can save 25% by adding more fruits and vegetables to your cart. You can have a healthier and fresher grocery list simply by choosing fresh for snacks and the main event. Not only do you save money, but you are getting healthier as well! You have to love that!

FRESHCO flyer

Shop Seasonal and Sales

If you know me, you know I love to shop seasonally and love a great deal.  Have a freezer? Stock up on meat when it is on sale. I love checking my local flyers on a flyer app. You can always find the FRESHCO weekly flyer here as well. It lets me know what sales I can find that week, as I meal plan I am often referring to this list.  Fruit and vegetables in season are always cheaper.  Choose fruit that is ripe and ready to eat and some that needs to ripen in a few days. That way there will be no waste.

 

When you stock up on staples like rice, beans, pasta you have them on hand to make great healthy meals. Watch for these when they are on sale as they do have a longer shelf life.

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Shop the Perimeter

 

I love shopping at my local FRESHCO. I walk into the produce section and from there I do 80 percent of my shopping around the perimeter. That is where I pick up my fruit, my vegetables, my meat, my eggs, my cheese, the basics for a healthy meal. When I shop the inside aisles I am looking for healthy staples like beans, nuts, and healthy whole grains. I am also looking for my spices.

Let me know, how you save at the grocery store.

 

*This post has been sponsored by FRESHCO, as always the opinions are my own.

 

Three Words for 2017 #3words

3 words for 2017. #3words

For the past number of years, I have chosen three words to guide my year. Some of the words of the past have included creating, connect, cultivate, brave, trust, habit, choice, community, courage, and faith.  All helped guide my goals and aspirations for the year. This year I am choosing three words again: connect, health and gratitude.

CONNECT

I want to truly connect more in 2017. Relationships are important. The family is important. I hope to connect with mine in more meaningful ways in 2017. I also want to connect more with the blogging community and with my followers in ways that can have a positive impact on their lives.  I also want to connect more to grow business wise.

HEALTH

I will be making my health and our family’s health a priority in 2017. My daughter and I are committed to getting healthier physically, and you will be able to follow my journey on Instagram where I will be sharing my journey with the hashtag #healthyme. I will also share on this blog how to work on your financial health. You can follow my #cdnmoney hashtag to follow those posts.

GRATITUDE

Life is simply better when you are grateful. I want to record every day this year what I am thankful for. It helps me to enjoy the moments of the day. Again on Instagram, you can follow my gratitude or perhaps share your own with the hashtag #365gratitude.

Do you use guiding words? If you do, please share yours with me.

td_fraud_alert

Don’t Let Fraud Ruin Your Holidays

If you are anything like me, the last month has been busy – and life doesn’t show signs of slowing down until after the holidays are through. When life is busy, it’s easy to be distracted and click “yes” on something you shouldn’t have and then boom! Your bank account is compromised and the holidays become even more stressful. Over half of Canadians say they plan to do all or part of their holiday shopping online this year, making them a target for ‘ishing’ scams that can compromise banking or credit cards and make them a target for identity theft.  (Currently, there are three types of ‘ishing’ scams differentiated by how they are sent. Smishing is via text message, phishing via email / online notification, and vishing is via the telephone) There is no one thing you can do to completely protect yourself from these scams but there are a couple of tips from TD Bank that can help you stay ahead of the scammers.

Be Vigilant Online and at Home

Don’t respond to emails or phone calls asking for details about your banking or credit card accounts. A popular telephone scam going around right now has someone claiming to be “from your credit card provider” – no company, and they cannot tell you which card when you ask. Your actual credit card company will KNOW the details of your account, and while they often ask a question to verify your identity when you call in, it won’t be your credit card number or the Credit Card Validation (CCV) number found on the back. NEVER give these numbers out over the phone. Similarly, if you get a text message or email from a bank, be wary. No bank will ask you for account details via email or text message. If you get a suspicious message, do not reply but do save it. You can forward the message to your bank and their fraud department will look into the details.When shopping online make sure that the address in the address bar of your browser matches the store that you are shopping at – especially if you have clicked a link from an email to get to the site. Any page that is asking for payment information should have a little padlock icon and start with https:// instead of the usual http://. This indicates that you are on a secure site.

td_fraud_alert

Work WITH Your Bank / Credit Card Provider

Banks like TD have Fraud Alerts in place to help protect their customers from having their card compromised. If you are a TD Canadian customer, all you need to do is add your mobile number to your account via Easyweb or in person at a branch. Once you’ve done this, if the bank detects unusual activity on your TD Access Card, they may temporarily block your account and will send you a free[1] text message with information about the suspicious activity. A unique feature with TD’s fraud alerts is that if you recognize the activity – like you made an unusually large debit purchase yourself – you can reply to the text with a “Y” and your card will be unblocked without you having to call the bank or go into the branch to have it unblocked. If you don’t recognize the activity, you simply reply with an “N” and your card will be blocked, and you can contact your bank for the next steps to take. It is important to note that TD will never ask you to reply to a Fraud Alert text with any personal information or ask you to click on any links in your reply. If you want to learn more about this really cool feature from TD, check out their video here: https://www.tdcanadatrust.com/products-services/banking/electronic-banking/access-card/access-card.jsp#tdfraudalerts

By staying vigilant and working with your bank / credit card provider, you can stay a step ahead of the fraudsters and keep your money as safe as possible this holiday season.

This post has been sponsored by TD Bank. All opinions are my own.

Minimize your risk: The information above is provided to help you protect yourself, but it’s not foolproof: it’s a fast paced and constantly changing world so make sure you are keeping up-to-date on and monitoring security features and preventative measures to minimize your risk of fraud.

 

[1] TD does not charge any fees for TD Fraud Alerts. However, standard wireless carrier message  rates may apply.

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Celebrating the Holidays with Hallmark with a #Giveaway #LoveHallmarkCA

Tis the season of decorating, card sending, tree decorating, baking and celebrating the holidays with family, friends, and Hallmark. Hallmark has been a part of my life, especially for the holidays since I was born. There have always been Hallmark cards and gifts each and every year. I am thankful to be a Hallmark ambassador and love the boxes they send out each year. This year whether you are celebrating a December birthday like me, Christmas, Hannukkah or New Years, you can find the perfect card, gift, gift wrap or decor with Hallmark.

peanuts_holiday_book_and_snowman_blanket

This year’s Hallmark box, was filled with things both Rachel and I loved. Rachel gravitated to the snowman blanket and the Peanuts Holiday book. Both would make great gifts.

 

Do you still send out Christmas cards to family and friends? Hallmark has a wonderful selection of cards including those from Dove decorated Hannukah cards, Wonder-Folds White Christmas Tree cards, Home and Native Land Canadian Exclusive boxed cards and Signature boxed cards.

hallmark-ornaments

Have you finished decorating your tree yet? Ours seems to be a work in progress every year. This year there are some beautiful Hallmark ornaments. Some of my favorites include the Red Poinsettia Glass Ball, the Itty Bitty Star Wars: The Force Awakens BB-8, the Scottie Dog Ornament, the Coffee Signature ornament, and the Itty Bitty Elsa ornament.

hallmark-holiday-bags-1024x891

My almost 19 year old spotted the Cheers Bottle Bag and thought that would be perfect for a bottle for her birthday. I laughed out loud!! They also included a couple of other gift bags.

I then showed her the Not on the Naughty list Toe-of-a -Kind socks and told her she is on the naughty list.

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Now, here is the best thing about being a Hallmark Ambassador, I get to share a giveaway with my readers. I am giving away one of the beautiful Red Poinsettia Glass ball ornaments this Christmas season. To enter the giveaway, tell me how do you decorate.  Do you have ornaments that are sentimental? A color scheme? An angel or a star on top? This giveaway will end Christmas eve and you will be able to add this heritage ornament to your collection for Christmases to come.

Please use the Rafflecopter below. This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway