Tag Archives: shopping

Shopping When You Dont Want To

Well yesterday was intersting in my house. Miss Roo decided to play around and was jumping on my hideabed. Guess what broke? It wont even open.

So n0w I have to shop for somewhere to sleep for me. Last night it was an uncomfortable sleep on the brown loveseat. I have posted on my local frecycle that Iam shopping for a fouton and frame as that is what I think will fit in the space. I was also looking at the ads on craiglist. Now if I go the new route I will be looking at $200, now that is spending that was not in the budget.  Ever had a week where your budget just got thrown out the window?

Freebie Alert- Ebook of Poems for Scrappers

If you are a digital scrapbooker like me this will excite you. It is for a free ebook of poens that they are giving away as part of their countdown to Christmas.You put the item in your shopping cart and proceed to the checkout. You will NOT be asked for credit card info. After transaction is complete you can download your book on the last page.

But you must be quick because the offer expires today at Midnight EST! I have mine!

Go Here to shop for your free ebook! Thanks Computer Scrapbook!

Shopping with Points in Canada

We are in the day and age where companies in an attempt to keep customers coming in the door have taken to point cards and cash back type offers.

I use these to benefit me! I collect airmiles and if you don’t I highly recommend them especially when you can use the Fresh or free guarantee and shop at Dominion . Collecting airmiles you can shop at many stores and you have one redemption place. I love there bonus offers and it makes collecting a snap.

I also shop at Zellers and the Bay so I do have their Club Z card. For me because of pricing it hardly gets used unless they have a really good sale on.

The one I do use the most is my Shoppers Optimum. I love the fact that you can go to the ATM machine and get bonus coupons right in the store! I often shop the loss leaders here. Today they had a bonus redemption day and I walked out of the store with $114 in goods and paid $14. I was able to get Roo a few Christmas gifts for the cost of the taxes.

At Canadian Tire you can collect Canadian Tire money. I have done this but my collection always goes to Roo at school where it is collected for a local charity.

If you are careful in how you collect and redeem your points you really can make out well. I know I have and I am loving redemption days! Usually it makes it so everything I buy at Shoppers I get for about 40% (by the time I figure in redemptions, and the like) off by combining points and coupons-that is why so much of my shopping is done there now.  

Toronto Life and Cheap Finds

Living in the big city there are so many ways to save and find things on the cheap. We have a local magazine called Toronto Life that celebrates all things To and in this month’s magazine there is an article on Good Stuff Cheap, but they aren’t cheap. They are merely good deals for those with decent pocket books.

Now for really going cheap ( well actually frugal) in this city read what I have to say instead of the magazine. As a mom living on less here in the city there is much you can do to do almost everything on a way that keeps your money where it belongs in your wallet.

So first for clothing finds: I love Value Village ( the ones at Danforth and Woodbine and the one on Queen Street both have great selections-thanks to good donors from the Beaches)! I have found so many great finds here. Designers even with tags attached for under $15. My beautiful leather purse that gets lots of compliments was $3.99.For Roo I also love Ages and Stages on the Danforth. It is a great small consignment shop that does a brisk business. This week I saw a wonderful in new condition Gap winter coat for $18. 50

 If you have to have new we have so many warehouse sales through the year by almost every company, the Toronto Star always lists these every week. As well I shop the end of the season this way I can get what I want and well save some. I also try and buy mostly classics but have one or two funky for fun days items in my closet.

For furniture: Yes I dumpster dive, well not actually dive but I have picked up pieces that others are throwing out, as well here again Value Village comes in handy, but so do garage sales and Craigslist and freecycle. I can get any piece of furniture that I need here in this city for under $100, and it be a good piece not the stuff sold at Walmart. Roo’s cast iron day bed cost me $100 in like new condition with mattress. Her dresser was a freebie, as was my leather love-seat from the 60’s. Can you say our place is vintage!

Once you get to know neighbourhoods here in Toronto you can do anything and everything on the real cheap. As for you who live in other cities well all these skills and transferable to where you live.

Works for Me Wednesday

It’s another Wednesday so what has been working for me lately around here? We all know I love a great deal, games and contests right. Well there are two Canadian websites that I want to recommend and no I am not getting referrals, these are sites I use and know by experience do what they say!

First is Pigsback, it is new on the Market, but what a great find it was. You collect points for not only shopping online from major retailers we all know and love but by entering contests too! Guess which I do more of? There redeemable awards are great too ie you can get a Gift certificate without having to have a zillion points. They mail them out too within the time frame given.

The second is for Chapman’s Icecream Kid’s Club. It too has a point system where you play games and can earn rewards. My nine year old daughter loves it and has gotten stickers, activity book, pens, beach ball, and calculator in the mail all in great condition!

These two sites help this mom be a frugal Cannuck while doing what I love..saving money, and having fun! So they both work big time for me.

PS. If you want (or actually let me) refer you to Pigsback, then yes I can get referral points, and they have a contest the person with the most referrals in a week gets $10,000 points and that is 4 $25 gift certificates! Leave a comment and I will email you within 12 hours.

Now head over to Shannon’s for the rest of what is working for everyone!

Save Money on Your Holiday Grocery Shops

Okay did anyone else notice that right after Halloween, not only the malls pulled out their Christmas finery but so did the grocery store!

Since when is the local grocery store the place to buy presents?

Here are some suggestions to save money in this season that seems to grab for your wallet…

 1. Plan your Dec meals NOW! Menu planning and then shopping with a grocery list of needed items only has helped me so very much. It hinders that impulse buy of that box of chocolate that is so conveniently located at the end of an aisle.

2. Bake and freeze now for your holidays needs it will stop you from the mad dash to pick up something to take or have on hand when guests stop by and we all know this is the month for visiting right..

3. Continue your flyer shopping for those loss leaders( hopefully this is something we all do), but only buy what you normally would and can and will use.

4. Shop during the week and day if you can, if you cant shop early in the am after a good breakfast. This stops the tiredness of the holiday line ups.

5. Only shop once or twice for your Dec groceries..I for some reason find December a hard month on my grocery budget so this helps me keep things in check.

6. If you can shop without kids…

7. Use what you have on hand: empty out that freezer because we all know that January brings better food prices right..

8. If you live in an urban area like I do here in Toronto I love to use certain food/treat warehouses. This too helps me to save. First I always hit the Peek Freans warehouse outlet on OConner, and did you know there is a Lindt/Lindor one now on Markham Road as well. Both of these will keep my chocolate spending in check!

With all this said and done hopefully we can keep some of our loonies and toonies in our wallets where they belong! Consider this my Christmas tip of the day!

Today I am thankful for a sister who I love to call my friend who is turning the big 40 this week!

New or Used that is the Question

I have been thinking about this especially when it comes to how I shop. Are there certain things that I have to buy new or can I get away and enjoy used just as much? There are certain things that I buy that have to be a certain brand even but when it comes to these goods I think it is because I am a smart or should I say wise consumer. Now most of what I buy is used.

When it comes to clothing I buy used mostly. I love the feel of a pair of well worn jeans. Now who really likes to break in a new pair? I went shopping this week at Value Village and used one of the $35 GCs that I won last week at stocked up on a few wants: one was a beautiful silk red blouse($4.99) that will look great over my basic black dress( also a VV find for $7) for the holidays. I love finds like this and I cant tell you how many compliments I have gotten for my brown leather bag that I got for $3.99. Yes I know by buying clothes second hand you have to bring them home and wash immediately etc etc and you don’t have the latest trendy items but I am a vintage classic gal, so it works well for me.

When it comes to furniture I buy used and you can always find great deals either at Kijiji or Craigslist. There is not a NEW piece in my apartment. Now this means my apartment is a hodge podge but that again is ok with me but I guess if you are trying to achive a certain look then you might buy new. As for colors in my apartment. I use throws and pillows to bring things together.

When it comes to electronics unless it has been gifted to me( ie my current tv I buy new). My computer was a great deal when I bought it two years ago ( for $349). I got the last one Staples had when they were clearing out stock for me it has more then served me well. My MP3 player was a gift with a purchase I made.

For my music needs I don’t buy CDs anymore if there is a song I like I can usually get it for free? How I enter and win enough downloads from contests through the year. I have not paid for music in over a year-Thanks Rip to Win and the other contests that have netted me 56 downloads in the last 6 months. If you like music don’t buy CDs download them it is so much cheaper!

Now if my location ever changed( living in the heart of Toronto allows me to be a walker and TTC user) and I had to buy a car I would buy used. A car loses much of its value as you drive off the lot.

When it comes to groceries this is where I skimp alot without losing quality. Dominion here has the fresh or free policy which nets me about $30 a month in free quality groceries simply by checking expiry dates. I also coupon collect. Save.ca is great for coupons and then there are the  that line the stores. There are certain foods where the store brand simply will not do. We buy real Kraft dinner and Campbells soups only. They are the main stays of our lunches. Now for cookies I bake or go to the factory for them. I spend about $200 a month for the both of us and that includes cleaning and bathroom stuff too.

Now when it comes to toys here is where you have to be careful. Our kids come first right! I buy new mostly–mostly at Walmart or Toys R US when on sale. We have bought some toys second hand ( like Roo’s kitchen), a barbie dollhouse, and  the like. We have bought games second hand at garage sales after checking for pieces. As for books we love second hand and make great use of the library.

So does my use of second hand make me cheaper then cheap? I think it makes me a great consumer and smart shopper.