The Thrifty Three – Three Frugal Things I’m Doing

Putting money into a piggy bank as a result of your savings on food.

It’s the beginning of a new week, and therefore time for another edition of The Thrifty Three! These are just three of the things I’ve been doing lately to try to stretch our money further.

  1. Iced Coffee at home – Iced coffee is my favourite new drink. I think I’ve discussed coffee a few times here on the blog. (Like here and here.) I’ve also talked about how I haven’t had a Starbucks coffee in (gasp!) months! But, I still adore a good cup of coffee. Now that the weather is warming up a bit, cold coffee drinks seem just right. So, I’ve gotten into the habit of brewing up a big pot of decaf coffee (so I can drink the iced coffee any time of day) and then storing it in the fridge to get it good and icy cold. I also add a spoonful of vanilla to the coffee, to make it even more flavourful. Then, when I’m craving an iced coffee, I grab my cute Mason jar glass, add a few ice cubes, fill about 3/4 full with cold coffee and then top up with milk. (We’ve had 3.25% milk lately, as the store we go to always has that in lactose free. I’d recommend a thicker milk for this drink – it’s luscious that way!) You could also use cream instead. Yummeroo! And rather than spending $3-$4 each on a drink, I’m sure it’s only about $0.25 or so.
  2. Filling the soap dispenser with…body wash! Or, even a diluted mix of shampoo. Weird, right? But it works! We bought a few foaming soaps, and I wanted to keep reusing the dispensers for a while. (To be totally honest, I’ll probably keep reusing those foaming soap dispensers until they stop working. 😉 ) So, instead of diluted soap, I’ve used diluted shampoo or body wash. It works great, and provides a nice foamy pump of soap for us to wash our hands carefully. (Is everyone still singing while they wash their hands? To make sure they wash for 20 seconds?)
  3. Different kind of face mask – This time, we’re talking sleep masks! As the days get longer, and the morning sunlight starts to stream through our blinds earlier every morning, I was finding that I just couldn’t get back to sleep. (The sun rises awfully early here in the summer months – this morning I woke at 5:49 am because of the sun!) We had discussed getting blackout curtains and a new curtain rod, but…$$$$! Instead, I searched on Amazon and found these sleep masks, which reviewers claimed really worked at blocking out all light. Well, I’m a fan and now can’t recommend them highly enough! The masks are comfortable, snug without being too tight and when I wake up too early I pop on my sleep mask and fall right back to sleep. The pack of 2 were $19.95, which is a great deal compared to a new curtain rod and set of curtains.

Trying to save money comes in all sorts of different forms – I’d love to hear how you’re saving money during these difficult times. Please leave a comment and let us know the three thrifty things you’ve been accomplishing. 🙂

The Thrifty Three – Three Frugal Things I’m Doing Right Now – May 31/20

Putting money into a piggy bank as a result of your savings on food.

Ahhh, it’s a rainy day and one filled with some pretty aggressive thunderstorms. (Last night we had thunder so loud it woke us both up right out of our deep sleep!) There is nothing like a rainy day to do some writing…and therefore, here we are with another The Thrifty Three post! Please feel free to share what thrifty and frugal things you’re doing right now. It’ll inspire all of us to keep an eye on our wallets, especially with the economy how it is right now.

  1. Travelling online – Like pretty much everyone else still, we are definitely not doing any travelling right now. (Does our weekly jaunt to the grocery store count? Right, I thought not!) But, I’ve been satisfying that travel desire by visiting cool travel blogs and even vacation rental sites. I love looking at different locations, and seeing what kind of place you can rent. Just in case we ever do any actual travelling again! Obviously, this type of sofa travelling costs WAY less – as in nothing at all.
  2. Re-reading old books. I like to think of old books as being old friends. So what if I’ve read them before? Reading them again is like a good visit – since old friends are the best friends. By re-reading them, I’m saving money as I’m not buying many right now. So, zero dollars spent! (The last time I did order books, I used Book Outlet and got a handful of novels to read. I was very pleased with the whole experience!)
  3. No cost haircuts! So, I cut the Hub’s hair all the time, since it’s super simple and I just use a pair of good clippers to buzz it down. But my hair? Well, that’s a different story! My hair is rather long, and I like having some layering in it. But during this pandemic, I learned that a simple haircut can be as easy as putting my hair up into two ponytails and cutting! Really! Early on in the pandemic, when my hair was driving me nuts (mostly due to straggly and dry ends) I took matters into my own hands. I carefully parted my hair straight down the middle and made a ponytail on either side of my head. I made sure to brush out the hair again evenly, and then put another hair elastic about an inch above the ends of my hair on both sides. Then I cut! I took off about an inch, I’d estimate. It turned out pretty good, and it helped my hair feel a lot healthier again. I’m sure my hairdresser will let me know that it wasn’t perfect, but I was pleased with the results. (You can Google ‘ponytail haircutting technique’ to get other techniques, such as how to add layers to your hair. I wasn’t that brave!) I used very sharp kitchen shears, but Amazon has actual haircutting scissors back in stock now for around $13.00. Hair cutting and barber’s scissors were unavailable anywhere in April and much of May.

So, what have you guys been up to lately to save money? Are you in super frugal mode? Or, are you getting sick of this forced frugality? Tell us your Thrifty Three! 🙂

The Thrifty Three – Three Frugal Things I’m Doing Right Now

Putting money into a piggy bank as a result of your savings on food.

Inspired by ‘Five Frugal Things’ posts over at Non Consumer Advocate AND the Frugal Girl, I decided to change things up a wee bit and at the same time add my own frugal accomplishments to my blog! Instead of 5, I’ve whittled it down to the three best thrifty things I’m doing right now.

  1. Starbucks? Starbucks? Where art thou, dear coffee shop? (There, a little Shakespearean culture first thing on a Monday morning!) I love coffee. And for years, I’ve loved Starbucks. Truly everything about it made me happy, and the caffeinated boost it provided me in my busier (pre-pandemic) life was wonderful, too! But now, of course, everything is utterly changed. I’m working on our blogs (we also have a cat blog AND a gluten free blog) from home rather than working outside the house. So…the need for Starbucks and other takeout coffees has suddenly just vanished! Instead I stock up on good coffee deals, and brew it at home. The substantial savings of this are huge! (The best deal online I could find for you guys right now is this bag of Tim Horton’s coffee for $6.99)
  2. Eating leftovers – The hub and I have developed a pretty good leftover meal system over the years. When we cook dinner, we make enough food for at least two nights. Then the next night, supper is already cooked! We just need to heat it up. We used to use leftovers as our lunches, but discovered we’d save more money on groceries if we had a simple lunch instead (think soup and salad, or scrambled eggs with veggies and toast or a sandwich) and then used the leftovers for suppertime. And, knowing we don’t have to cook the next night is hugely beneficial too!
  3. Cheap entertainment – We’re watching lots of favourite shows on YouTube. Ever since I discovered Escape to the Country, that has become a true favourite of ours. British people escaping from London and other cities to find their perfect, charming cottage in the countryside? Yes please! It’s like travelling through all the sweetest spots of the UK from your sofa. Which is how we are all travelling right now. If you love all things British like we do, you’ll really enjoy this free show.

I’d love it if you left a comment with your Thrifty Three! What are you doing to save money right now, in these crazy and unprecedented times?

Giant Tiger Flyer (Ontario) Deals this Week – Bargains on Groceries in Canada

Hello bargaineers and all of you who love a great deal! Today we’re zeroing in on the Ontario region, and the best deals that Giant Tiger has in store for you guys this week.

Not surprisingly, Ontario has the most Giant Tiger locations in Canada. There are (as I try to eagerly count them all from the Giant Tiger website) a total of 87 Giant Tigers in Ontario. Wow! We’re talking places like Ajax, Acton, Deep River, Goderich, Hanover, Niagara Falls, Hawkesbury, Stoney Creek, Windsor and many more! (I hope I mentioned your hometown. Woohoo!)

Okay, enough chit chat – let’s get right down to the deals at Giant Tiger this week, one of our very favourite discount stores here in Canada.

Please note that these specials are in effect May 20-May 26, 2020.

Giant Tiger Grocery Deals this Week (Ontario flyer)

  • Aqua Star salmon fillets, frozen (1 lb bags) Save $2.00 – $4.99
  • Belmont chicken or turkey burgers, frozen boxes of 852 grams Save up to $3.00 – Now $7.97
  • Bick’s baby dill pickles, or Yum Yum pickles (or other varieties) Save up to $1.00 – now $3.47 each
  • Chipits chocolate chips – big 835-1 kg size bags – $7.97 each (Was $9.97 regular price)
  • Clark beans $0.88 each (regular price $0.97)
  • Coca Cola or AHA sparkling water beverages – pack of 12 cans – 2 for $9.00 (Has anyone tried this new sparkling water yet? I’d like to, since I’m a sparkling water fanatic.)
  • Dare Real Mallows marshmallow candies – only 2 for $4.00 (or $2.49 each)
  • Duncan Hines cake mix or frosting – 3 for $4.00 (Must buy 3 to get sale price) (Need gluten free cake mix? This is my favourite one, written about on my gluten free blog.)
  • General Mills cereals (like Honey Nut Cheerios and Lucky Charms – 526 – 725 gram size boxes) $3.77 (Regular price $5.47)
  • Giant Value flaked light tuna – $0.99 (Regular 1.17)
  • Heinz ketchup – Big 1 liter bottles – Sale price $2.97 (Save $1.00 – Limit of 3)
  • Highliner fish sticks or battered fish fillets (Regular price $8.47) Sale price $4.99! (Great deal on that…stock up and stock up the old freezer. ;))
  • Hill’s Bros coffee – 652 grams-708 gram tins – Save $3.00 – Now only $5.97 (That’s a good deal for coffee!
  • Iogo greek yogurt (Selected varities and sizes; regular price up to $5.97) $4.49 each
  • Kraft mayo OR Miracle Whip – 890 ml jars – Save up to $1.50 $3.47 each
  • Lactantia cream – HALF PRICE!! – Only $1.29 (You can stock up on your coffee cream or half and half — you can freeze milk and cream)
  • Lay’s Stax chips – 3 for $4.00 or $1.49 each
  • Leadbetters peameal bacon Save $1.03 – now $3.97 (500 gram packs)
  • Morning Star Farms or Gardein meat-free (plant-based) protein options – crumbles or meat-free tenders. Save $1 each $3.97
  • Oakrun Farm Bakeries muffins 6 pack – Save $2.00 – $2.97 (It must be breakfast time and my tummy is telling me that those muffins look SO GOOD! haha)
  • Piller’s black forest ham (800 gram ham) $6.97 – Save $5.00!
  • Planters or Billy Bee roasted peanuts – Save up to $1.52 each – now $2.47
  • Pogo corn dogs (or breakfast corn dogs – who knew?) Save $3 – now only $4.97
  • San Daniele or Mastro deli meat – Save up to $2 each – $3.97 (100 grams to 175 gram packs)
  • Schneider’s chicken wings or drumsticks (750 gram to 1 kg boxes); Flavoured. $6.99 each – Regular price is $9.99-$11.99 (Limit of 4)
  • Spam or Klik luncheon canned meat Save up to $1.10 – now $3.77 each
  • Stampede pork button bones – Save $1.01 – Sale price $3.99
  • SunChips or Munchies snacks save up to $0.60 – $3.27 each
  • Swanson frozen meals OR Cavendish fries (Save up to $2.59 each) Only $1.88 each (Limit of 6)
  • Swiss Chalet cans of gravy $0.99 each (save $0.58)
  • Twinings or Tetley teabags – Save up to $0.70 – $3.97 each (As a little side note of another bargain found on Amazon – they have some of their Tetley Antioxidant teas on sale for as little as $2.99 right now!)
  • Voortman turnovers – HALF PRICE – Only $0.99 each!
  • Wonder bread $1.88 each (Limit of 6; also includes Wonder wraps and English muffins) – Regular price $0.97

Giant Tiger produce sales this week (Ontario flyer)

  • Apples, Envy variety (2 lb bags) $3.97 each
  • Apples, Jazz variety (2 lb bags) $3.97 each
  • Blueberries, 1 pint basket $2.44 each
  • Celery – head of – $1.47 each
  • Green onions (I believe it’s a 1 lb package, it was tricky to tell on the flyer!) $1.47 each
  • Mini cucumbers, 1 lb package – $1.47 each
  • Romaine lettuce hearts, package of 3 $1.97 each
  • Patio planter (10″) of blooming flowers only $9.97 each!

Household and Cleaning products on sale this week (Ontario flyer)

  • Febreze plug in air freshener refills $8.97 each (Save $1.00) – 2 refills per pack
  • Giant Value garbage bags – 40 large black bags OR 20 tall drawstring kitchen garbage bags – $2.97 (man, that’s an EXCELLENT deal on the big garbage bags, everyone! Stock up price for sure.)

Health and Beauty and Baby Stuff on Sale at Giant Tiger this Week

  • Old Spice or Secret deodorant – larger size – $4.97 each
  • Tresemme hair care (regular price $5.27-$6.26 each) Now only $4.97 each (I did a little hunting and found THIS Old Spice deodorant on Amazon for only $3.17. I thought that was a pretty good deal. And it’s for the large 85 gram size.)

Clothing Deals on at Giant Tiger this Week

  • Boys tanks or t-shirts for summer 2 for $8 or $5.00 each
  • Boys twill shorts OR girls ruffle tops OR girls knit shorts $8.00 each
  • Girls cute summer swing dress (In really cute fabrics, too – the flyer shows some cute florals and a lemon print. I’m all about the lemon print!) $12.00 each
  • Girls or boys sunglasses Only $4.00 each
  • Girls or boys summer hats Only $8.00 each (One size fits all)
  • Girls or boys novelty slides (summer shoes like flip flops) $10.00 a pair
  • Men’s cargo shorts Sizes 30-42 – $22 each
  • Men’s jammers shorts $10
  • MyStyle Plus size women’s popover/hoodie tops – $18 each
  • Women’s off-shoulder summer tops (They call them ‘cold shoulder tops. Haha, that’s cute!) $12 each
  • Women’s knit short sleeved tops $14 (Also available in plus size 1X-3X for $16 each.)
  • Women’s knit sleep shirts $10 each (Cute little novelty shirts with adorable sayings like: Allergic to Mondays)
  • Women’s stretch summer denim skimmers $20 each
  • Women’s summer dresses only $8.00 each

Ooh boy, there were lots of goodies available at Giant Tiger this week. (Giant Tiger people, have I mentioned how much I would LOVE it if you’d open a South Calgary location? Oh right, I have mentioned that before, I’m pretty sure.)

Hope we helped you save a wee bit of money this week all!

Buy Bulk spices online in Canada – Money saving grocery tips

We’re all trying to keep stocked up on groceries during this pandemic, and yet we’re also trying to keep within our grocery budgets, too. Not an easy task, bargaineers! And one thing I’ve noticed that can be insanely expensive during our weekly jaunts to the grocery store is spices.

Whatever type it is: cinnamon, basil (which, yes is an herb!), parsley, nutmeg, cloves…and on and on. Any type of dried herbs or spices can be very expensive, especially when we’re just shopping at one store right now. (We have, in fact, discovered one store that is pretty quiet early in the mornings. So, we just shop there, and only one time per week. But boy, are their spices PRICEY!!)

So, I discovered some online choices that will allow you to buy your dried herbs and spices in bulk and save a LOAD of money! You could even buy a bag or two and share with a friend to save even more money.

1 pound bags (454 grams) of Organic Cinnamon


Splendor Garden organic Cinnamon Ground,454.0 Gram
This is an awesome deal right now! (As always, prices on Amazon can change quickly, so snag this deal while you can. I am too!) We go through an awful lot of cinnamon – to sprinkle on homemade lattes, to add to oatmeal in the morning, and to use in baking. So, this 1 pound bag is a great deal. $10.85

Half pound bags of Organic Thyme (227 grams)


Splendor Garden Organic Thyme Leaves, 227 Grams is another great bargain by Splendor Garden! A great big bag for only a bit more than a fancy (and tiny) jar would cost you in the supermarket. Thyme is a wonderful addition to all sorts of savoury cooking, especially roasted meat or tomato sauces. $10.99

Organic Basil Leaves (dried) – Large 1 pound (454 grams) bag


Splendor Garden organic Basil,454.0 Gram
Basil is one of my very favourite herbs to cook with! I put plenty into any homemade spaghetti sauces I’m making, and it’s also delicious added to homemade salad dressings or dips. This big bag is on for only $16.30 – a bargain!

Large 1 pound bags of Organic Ginger Powder


Splendor Garden organic Ginger Ground,454.0 Gram
Yum! Dried ginger powder is an essential ingredient in scrumptious homemade baking like gingerbread cookies, ginger cake, and spice cake. This large bag will last you a long time! $13.43

Storage Tins and Jars for your Spices

When you buy bulk herbs and spices you definitely save oodles of money. But, since they’re not sent to you in cute little jars or bottles, you’ll need a few options on how to properly store these spices. Remember to keep your spices in a cool, dry place to retain the flavour and intensity of the spices the longest. All of the containers we chose are highly ranked for sealing well, which means your spices will stay fresh longer.

12 Pack Bernardin 125 ml Mason Jars with Labels


Bernardin 20125 125ml Regular Mouth Mason Jar, Clear – Pack of 12
You can’t beat a well made Mason jar! These useful jars are just perfect for storing large quantities of spices. Plus, they come with cute decorative labels to properly label and organize your new spices. $8.99 for a pack of 12

Stainless Steel magnetic spice jars and tins – pack of 12


Bekith 12 Pack Magnetic Spice Tins Multi-Purpose Storage Tin, Clear Top Lid with Sift or Pour, Magnetic on Refrigerator and Grill.
If you’re short on space, these magnetic spice jars might be exactly the solution you need! You can literally fill them up with your favourite spices and herbs, and then store them on the side of your fridge!! And, this is a great gift for a grill master – they can keep all their favourite BBQ rubs and spice blends in a tin and store it on the side of the BBQ! (Awesome, right?) These jars have openings on the side so you can just shake out the spices, rather than having to open the tin up. And, this set comes with 144 labels. Can you tell I really love these? Ha! $26.99 for a pack of 12 with 144 labels

I hope our post helped you snag an amazing deal on some dried herbs and spices. Instead of paying up to $10 for a small jar, you can pay around the same and get about ten times the amount! That is a huge grocery bill savings, and we can use all the savings we can get right now.

Links are affiliate links. When you purchase via one of our links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much!

Giant Tiger Flyer Deals this Week

Oh, how I love Giant Tiger flyer day! While I don’t shop the Giant Tiger very often here in Calgary (it’s just too far away from where we live), I always make sure to do a big GT shop when we visit Nova Scotia. I find everything there – groceries, cute clothes, housewares and so much more!

Did you know that there are 250 Giant Tiger locations in Canada? Huh! Hello Giant Tiger owners – could you please open another Giant Tiger in the South of Calgary? There is only one Giant Tiger in Calgary – in the area of Forest Lawn. In Edmonton, there are 3 locations. Even Red Deer has its own Giant Tiger, too! I hope you have a Giant Tiger near you, because their deals and sale prices in their flyer cannot be beat.

Best deals in the Giant Tiger Flyer this Week

Okay, enough of my chit chat. Onto the deals, bargaineers! These sale prices are good from April 29, 2020 to May 5, 2020.

  • Giant Value bread (I only see white bread listed in the ad; but I’m sure they have a whole wheat variety, too) Regularly $1.79 each – Buy 2 for only $1.25 each
  • Nabob ground coffee – large tin size of 930 g – Regular price $18.99 – Sale price $9.97
  • Nuts for Nature creamy peanut butter – 1 kg size – Regular price $3.99 – Sale price $3.79
  • Kraft Pure jams – 500 ml size – Regular price $4.79 – Sale price this week $2.99
  • Grimm’s pepperoni bites – 375 gram size – Regular price $7.29 – Sale price this week $4.49
  • Campfire bacon – 375 grams – Regular price $3.47 – Sale price $1.77 (Wow, that’s a great price for bacon!)
  • Snack Pack pudding packs OR Voortman’s turnovers – Regular price $1.47-$2.00 each – This week only $1.00 each! (The flyer says 5 for $5, but also says only $1 each. So, I don’t think you need to purchase five to get that special price.)
  • Pogo corn dogs on a stick – 20 pack – Regular price $16.99 – Half price this week! Only $8.49
  • Nestle Coffeemate coffee whitener – 1.4 kg – Regular price $8.39 – Sale price $6.88
  • Swanson frozen dinners – 280 grams to 345 grams in size – Multibuy sale this week $2.00 each (You must buy four to get that price. Otherwise, the single unit price is $2.68 each.)
  • 3 lb bags of Red Delicious apples $2.99
  • 5 lb bags russet potatoes (Canada No 1.) OR 4 pack tomatoes (Canada grown, Canada No. 1 grade) $2.99 each
  • Iceberg lettuce OR green onions 3 for $4 or $1.33 each
  • Ronnie’s peanuts (assorted varieties; 227 gram packs) OR Nature’s Bounty fruit or nuts 2 for $5
  • Belmont Meats Cheese & Bacon Burgers (852 gram box; 6 burgers) – Regular $10.99 – Half price this week! Only $5.49 (Wow, this seems like a great deal on burgers, too!)
  • Habitant canned pea soups – large 796 ml cans – Regular price $3.09 – Sale price 2 for $4.00 or $2.00 each
  • Pillsbury Pizza Bites – 693 gram size bag – Regular price $6.59 – Sale price this week $3.99
  • Prego pasta sauce – Regularly $3.59 – Sale price $2.00 each
  • Crispers OR Ritz Crisp and Thins crackers – Regularly $2.29 – Sale price $1.79
  • Pepsi soft drinks/pop/soda – Multibuy deal (Must buy 3) $1.33 each. Single unit price is $1.97 each
  • Maple Leaf Top Dogs hot dogs (10 hot dogs in a pack) – Regularly $4.69 – Multibuy sale price $3.00 each (Must buy 2.) Single price is $3.47 each
  • Swift frozen pot pies – Regularly $1.59 – Multibuy sale price of $0.88 each (Must buy 4.) Single pie price is $1.00 each.
  • El Monterey wraps – Regularly $1.69 each – Multibuy deal of $1.25 each – must buy 4. (Single unit price is $1.50 each)
  • Best Value bagged cereal (270-300 grams) – $1.99 each
  • Oasis juice boxes – 8 x 200 ml size – Regular price $3.39 – This week’s sale $2.50 each
  • Best value lean ground beef chubs (400 gram size) – half price this week! $2.50 each if you buy 2. (Single unit price is $3.99)
  • McCain potato breakfast patties – 1.34 kg – Regular $5.19 – Sale price $3.79
  • Cool Whip in a can OR Lactantia whipping cream (473 ml) Sale price $2.50 each
  • International Delight coffee creamer OR Little Debbie snack cakes – Regularly $2.49-$2.99 each – Sale price $2.00 each
  • Tootsie rolls (large size) or Double Bubble pops – Sale price $1.25 each
  • Cheetos snacks (280-310 gram size bags) Multibuy deal $3.00 each – must buy 2 for sale price – Single unit price is $3.29 each

Health and Beauty and Gift Items on Sale at Giant Tiger this Week

  • Glade scented candles OR wax scented melts – Regular $4.99-$5.09 – Sale this week $4.49 each
  • Calgon mini gift sets of fragrance mists (Scents shown are: Japanese Cherry blossom, Morning Glory, Hawaiian Ginger and Tahitian Orchid) Sale price $9.99
  • Calgon moisturizing bubble bath (Scent shown is Lavender and Honey – ooh, I love a good dose of lavender in my baths!) – large 887 ml size – Sale price $4.99
  • Calgon body mist (236 ml) OR Bath Fizzies – Regular price $7.49-$7.99 – Sale price $5.99 each

Giant Tiger Sales this Week on Pet Stuff and Household Cleaners

  • Giant Value Big chew dog chews OR Pop ‘n Bites dog treats (regular price $1.29-$1.49) Sale price $1.00 each
  • Dawn or Ivory dish soap – 532-573 ml size – Regular price $2.99 – Sale price $2.00 each
  • Simply Tide laundry detergent or pods OR Downy fabric softener – Regularly $5.69-$6.79 – Sale this week $3.99 each (Good deal for Tide detergent!)

Plus, the spring clothing is coming out now! Cute tops, capris, sandals and more are featured in this week’s flyers. Men’s activewear shorts are on an impressive sale of only $6.00 each – maybe grab a couple of pairs at that ultra low price. 🙂

How to Have Your Dream Vacation on the Cheap?

The colosseum in Rome to show a dream vacation location

How to have a dream vacation on the cheap? The obvious answer is that you don’t! Sure there are those all inclusive deals you see advertise all the time but to go somewhere truly exotic, historical or cultured it is going to be expensive. So, do I find a cheaper location to go to? Perhaps, but there are ways to save that can help you still have that dream vacation that you have always wanted. Here are three tips to help you below.

Travel Off Season, on Your Dream Vacation!

This one seems obvious but you would be surprised how many people do not do it. However, that has a big cost and it could be the difference between having a dream vacation or not. For example, I went to Tuscany in November which is low season for Italy. The weather was cooler and there was a bit of rain. However, the savings was huge! The loft apartment my wife and I stayed was 50 Euros a night. In high season which is the summer months, the same place was 250 Euros a night. Just think of the savings! One week(seven nights) in Tuscany costed me 350 Euros as oppose to 1750 Euros in high season. And the place I stayed at was awesome as it was overlooking an olive grove in the Tuscan countryside. Travelling off season can save you a ton of money!

Cook Your Own Meals and Save!

I know a lot of people will say, “who wants to cook their meals while they are on their dream vacation?” I get that but to eat out everyday for every meal is really expensive! For example, if my wife and I ate out every meal for a week in Europe and tried to find cheap places to eat, we will still be paying upwards of 100 Euros a night at the very least. However, if our accommodation had a kitchenette or stove, and we cooked our own meals than we will be paying around 100 Euros a week. That’s a massive savings! Also, if you want go out for a romantic meal out, you can splurge on it and still come out ahead and you will have that special memory to boot. It’s a win, win!

Look for Free or Low Cost Activities

This seems impossible and at first look you are right because all the attractions at your dream location usually have costs. However, there are free or low costs options out there which can lower you expenses significantly. For example, when my wife and I were in London a while ago, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that all the major museums in London are for free! These were not second rate museums, but some of the best the world has to offer. It was an incredible experience and it was all free.

Avoid Tourists Traps

It is easier said than done but the reality is that any store, restaurant, business, or shop near an attraction is a tourist trap and you will pay a lot more then you should. So, you need to do some research and venture away from these locations and you will save yourself money. For example, when my wife and I were in London, we were looking to buy a cheap throw away phone for our trip. We were staying in a tourist area and the store that was selling phones were charging 40 pounds. I decided to do some research and found a store two miles away. The store had the same phone for five pounds! Avoiding the tourist traps as much as you can will be a big savings.

Conclusion, Your Dream Vacation is possible!

Yes your dream vacation is possible. With a little planning and finding a few alternatives here and there, you can do it! Yes, there are a few sacrifices you might have to make to get there, being going off season, cooking your own meals, looking for free or low cost options and avoiding tourist traps. But the benefits far out weigh the costs. So start planning that dream vacation and have memories that will last a life time. Save travels my friends!

You Might Also Like: https://bargainblog.ca/10-ways-to-save-money-on-rent-saving-on-apartments-and-condos/

10 Ways to Save Money on Rent – Saving on Apartments and Condos

There is no greater cost for most of us than our housing costs – either our monthly rent, or mortgage. In some large cities – I’m looking at you Toronto and Vancouver – monthly rental costs can easily swallow up half of our paycheques! (Or, sadly sometimes way more!!) With rent prices skyrocketing, we thought it would be helpful to discuss some ways you can save money on renting an apartment, house or condo. If you can lower your rent costs, then you’ll be able to live within a budget. So, here are our 10 favorite tips!

1. Look for apartments in the ‘off season’

Sometimes you just can’t control when you need to rent a new place. For instance, if you’re a student – well, you need to rent an apartment to be ready for the new school year! But, if you are in a situation when you can be flexible about when you look for your new digs, choose winter time to search. Fewer other people will be searching then, and you might secure a lower lease because of it.

2. Add up all the costs – rent plus utilities

Sure, that gorgeous little downtown condo sounds like an impressive bargain! But, make sure you include all costs in your total rent payment. If the rent is $1500, but then parking is $150 and utilities are $200 your total rent payment is actually $1850! If there’s another condo located in the same building for $1750, with all costs included then you’re better off choosing Condo B. Do your research to discover what your full monthly housing costs will be.

3. Negotiate a lower rent

If you’re a brand new tenant, you may be able to negotiate rent by being knowledgeable about the area and what typical rental costs are. You can even print out similar properties with the rent that is currently being charged. If the landlord is reasonable, they may be willing to lower the rent. Or, if you’re a long-term tenant, use your record of excellent payment and tenancy to negotiate to either stay at the same rent or even lower it. Or, sometimes landlords are willing to negotiate for other freebies such as free additional storage space, or free parking. (I’ve recently done exactly that – received free parking that would’ve otherwise cost $65/month, because we are long-term, excellent tenants.)

4. Offer to do repairs, maintenance or lawn work

Your landlord may really appreciate it if you’re willing to do some of their hard work for them! It never hurts to ask if you could do some repairs around the place for a lowered rent. Or, you could do regular maintenance or yard work – such as raking up leaves, mowing the lawn, or shoveling snow. Ask them if you could negotiate your rent based on offering these maintenance services. Then, if they agree – get your agreement in writing.

5. Manage an apartment building

Some people get free rent by managing an apartment building! Others will receive reduced rent for doing this job. But, make sure you know what you’re signing up for. Other tenants will come to you with complaints, and worries and even possibly to drop off rent cheques. Make sure you want to take on this responsibility before signing up to be a resident manager. If this kind of job sounds ideal, then you may snag some very cheap rent!

Home sweet home

6. Get a Roommate

Sure, getting a roommate may be an obvious choice to reducing your overall rental costs, but make sure to do your research. As in: know the person you’re going to share your home with! Ask around your friends to see if anyone needs a good roommate, or even at your workplace. Set up careful rules about how rent will be paid, how utilities will be divided, and even how food will be shared.

7. Sign a longer lease

Have you found your dream place? Are you worried that rent prices are just going to continue going up, up, UP? Well, then sign a longer lease. Ask your landlord or the management company of your building if a longer lease is an option. This could be 1 year, or even 2 years or longer. Then, you’ll have locked in your housing costs for that period of time and won’t have to worry about that dreaded letter being slipped under your door telling you about rent increases.

8. Rental Incentives

Especially in areas where there are a lot of rentals available, and too few qualified renters – there will be rental incentives. Take note of signs in the areas you’re looking to live in of these special offers. $500 off, Free Parking, 1 month free rent, and other offers may be used to entice new tenants to sign a lease at that apartment or condo complex. And, if there are incentives, you know too that the landlord may be willing to negotiate a bit more in other areas – such as free cable or internet. It’s always worth asking! (Just be polite about it, and don’t seem as if you’re trying to take advantage.)

9. Refer a Friend

Often, larger condos or apartment buildings may have a referral system in place to reward you if a friend moves in. At one point, where we live, both we and our friend received $150 off rent, and all because we referred her! It’s worth checking it out, and seeing if there are any perks for referring people to live in the same complex you do. And hey, then you’ll know the neighbors, too!

10. Rent an unfurnished apartment

If this is the first time out on your own, you may be very tempted by gorgeous, glossy looking, fully furnished apartments or condos. But, the price for these can be outrageously high! Instead, choose a small first apartment and then furnish it very cheaply. You can do so by letting your family and friends know (it seems like everyone’s Auntie or Grandma has some extra, old furniture lying around unused in the attic) or also by finding freebies or very inexpensive furniture on Craigslist or Kijiji. It’ll take a little time to furnish your place, but this way you’ll also make it more your own, unique space.

No Frills Flyer Deals this Week – Grocery savings in Canada

Does No Frills have the cheapest grocery prices in Canada? We’re going out on a limb and declaring that YES, they do! And, even if you can’t get to a No Frills to do your shopping this week, you can download their latest flyer on your Flipp app, and shop somewhere like Walmart or Superstore – where they price match. A post on price matching is coming up soon! Watch for it.

(Oh, and before you head out to No Frills to stock up on bargains check out our article on our favourite eco-friendly produce bags. These are environmentally friendly ways to tote your stash of fresh fruits and veggies.)

Best No Frills Deals this Week – Starting July 5, 2019 – Includes amazing 50 Cent deals

Please note that these prices are for Western Canada:

  • Baby carrots, 2 lb bag $2.97
  • Chicken drumsticks $1.77/lb
  • Cherries (!!!) only $1.97/lb this week. Ahh, does anything taste more like summer than fresh, delicious cherries? (Okay peaches, I see you. Hopefully you’ll be on sale soon, too.)
  • Clover Leaf light tuna or Brunswick sardines – $1.00 each
  • Country Harvest bread $2.00 – STOCK UP PRICE! Pop a few of these in the freezer.
  • Dove – 8×90 gram bar soap; or 650 ml body wash $5.97 (Compare the price on Amazon HERE.)
  • Lindt Excellence chocolate bars 100 grams $2.97 (Lots of varieties of dark chocolate available. Mmmmm chocolate.)
  • Maxwell House coffee – large tin of 631 gram to 925 gram size – $6.97 (Compare the price on Amazon HERE.)
  • Navel oranges $1.00/lb
  • Organic bananas $0.87/lb
  • Organic strawberries, 1 lb – perfect for slicing and dishing up with fresh whipped cream – $2.97
  • Palmolive HUGE 3 liter liquid dish soap/detergent $5.97
  • Peace Tea iced tea – 695 ml cans – $0.87
  • Piller’s Turkey Bites or Pepperoni pepperettes $4.97
  • Robin Hood All purpose flour – large 10 kg size – $8.77
  • Stouffer’s or Lean Cuisine frozen entrees $1.97
  • Ziggy’s salads 1.25 kg – includes potato salad and macaroni salad and other varieties – $5.00

Crazy 50 Cent Deals at No Frills

These are mega deals! These are all of the fifty cent deals on at No Frills, starting tomorrow – July 5, 2019. Stock up on those your family loves!

  • Aylmer soup, No name sauce (such as poutine sauce) or soup cups $0.50
  • Beatrice or Dairyland 237 ml chocolate milk $0.50
  • Britannia Nutro wafers or Good Day biscuits $0.50
  • Carl Buddig sliced deli meats, 55 grams $0.50 (great bargain on this one!)
  • Foremost dairies peach or strawberry yogurt 175 gram $0.50
  • Friskies or Fancy Feast small tins cat food $0.50 (this seems like an especially good deal on the Fancy Feast!)
  • Kiwis $0.50 each
  • Lemons $0.50 each
  • Mr Noodles instant noodles 2 for $0.50
  • Nestle Pure life 1.5 L water $0.50 (Wow, this is an awesome deal!!)
  • No Name tomato paste, 156 ml $0.50

Wow, it’s a great week to stock up on some deals at your local No Frills! Happy shopping, bargaineers. If you find a bargain we missed, or just have a great shopping tip to share, then please leave a comment.

Reusable produce bags – grocery bags for your green life

Shopping for our daily groceries is just one of those tasks that you can’t avoid. Want to feed the family? Then you just have to go to a local farmers’ market, grocery store, or supermarket. After years of using flimsy (and often non-recyclable) plastic produce bags to stock up on onions, potatoes, apples and more – many of us are discovering that there are much better options.

Today, we want to share with you some of our picks for the best reusable produce bags. With care, these bags should last you years – and you won’t add even a smidge of waste to your local landfill! Making these small choices over time really add up to huge results. Okay, onward to our favourite shopping bags!

Cotton Mesh Shopping Bags

This 10 pack of Reusable Cotton Produce/Veggie Bags is a great starter pack for the home shopper! Say goodbye forever to plastic bags with this set of 10 produce bags. The tare weight is included on a tag, so you won’t pay extra for the weight of the bag at the grocery till. Set includes 3 small, 4 medium, and 3 large mesh shopping bags. To wash these cotton mesh bags: simply hand or machine wash in cold water, then lay out flat to air dry. Easy! Simple Ecology Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bags are a wonderful set of 6 bags. These natural, organic cotton bags are very breathable – much better for your fresh fruit and vegetables than plastic bags. This set of 6 comes with 2 each of the small, medium and large sizes. Simple Ecology is a wonderful, ethical company with high standards.

Farmer’s Market Shopping Set – Jute bag plus Cotton produce bags

This Set of 6 Simple Ecology Reusable Shopping Bag Gift Set would make a perfect gift for an environmentally conscious friend! This starter set is perfect for heading out to the local farmer’s market – it comes with a well constructed jute shopping bag, a beachy mesh shopping bag, plus 4 produce bags in both muslin and mesh. An awesome set – and at time of writing, it was $15 off! Hooray bargaineers!

Shopping should be fun! Yes, that even includes grocery shopping. But, for those of us trying to reduce our footprint on the planet, it also means making wise choices of how to carry our food purchases. Instead of automatically relying on plastic bags, choose to carry jute, cotton, mesh or muslin bags instead. When stocking up on produce, our choices for eco-friendly produce bags make it a breeze to shop! Your health and the planet will both thank you.