10 Best Frugal Living Blogs

Frugal living blogs keep us happily on a budget!

Frugal blogs are some of my very favourite blogs to read. While browsing through them, I am inspired, determined, and ready to take action to make an keep my budget! I love reading all of the creative ways that people around the world are finding to stay on budget, and still have a pretty amazing and fun life!

Many of my favourite blogs are from the UK – typical, since I’m a bit obsessed with that entire region! But, on my favourites list there are also a few favourites from Canada, and the US, too. So, here we go – here are some of the best budgeting/frugal living blogs online:

  1. The Non Consumer Advocate – This quirky blog has been a favourite of mine for years. Katy is a married registered nurse with a great income, and yet she lives life simply and fully. And is conscious of every penny! She’s currently funding her two college-aged children through university. While you’re there check out her 5 Frugal Things posts, which are the ones I always check for! (She came up with the popular concept first – kudos to her!) And, also take time to read through the comments section – her readers are true blue frugalites and I love reading their tips, too! Bonus points for: using beans so often! I need to up my bean game.
  2. Mean Queen – Life After Money – This British blog features Ilona, another quirky character that is a true inspiration to those of us who are trying to live a frugal life. Her frugality may at times seem extreme – such as how her meal plan may feature almost entirely marked down groceries! (In reality, I sort of respect that! HA!) And, she’s been blogging regularly for over 10 years! Quite a feat. Bonus points for: her artistic flair and downright individualistic attitude. (Oh, and even more bonus points for the fact that she loves cats so dearly. So do I!)
  3. SimplyFrugal.ca is a Canadian website/blog that features Canadian focused deals and bargains. Taya’s beautifully laid out website features all sorts of practical tips that are organized in such a way that makes finding the information you need a breeze! This includes budgeting tips, household tips such as organizing ideas, and much more. There are also sections that help you find Canadian coupons, and special deals. She even has exclusive Canadian coupon codes, so definitely worth your while to visit.
  4. Shoestring Cottage – is another British money saving blog. Oops, I guess my obsession with all things British is really showing itself here! This is another comforting blog that eases you in to your frugal lifestyle – especially if being money conscious is a relatively new idea to you. Jane posts frugal recipes, tips on saving on secondhand clothes, and is another one who posts Five Frugal Things posts that are awesome fun to read.
  5. Costco East Fan Blog and Costco West Fan Blog are two new blogs I recently discovered, and am amazed by! Each Monday, the writers go on a shopping trip to Costco locations in Canada to find all the secret sales and deals for that week! This is an incredible resource for Costco members who like to plan ahead, and budget for their shopping trip. These tips help you know when it’s time to stock up on a truly great deal on your favourite Costco items! (Whether that is toilet paper, spices, or OTC medicines.) And, I LOVE that they have two separate blogs- one for Eastern Canada, and one for Western Canada – because Costco sales can definitely be dependent upon region.
  6. Notes from the Frugal Trenches – is what I call a ‘comfort blog.’ Just as we sometimes reach for a piece of (ahem! I usually reach for a BAR of) chocolate or a bag of potato chips, there are some blogs that bestow upon us the same feeling of comfort as a portion of our favourite comfort foods. FT is a Mom of 3 living in Toronto, and has what may seem like overwhelming challenges in her life. And yet, she carries on like such a trooper, and makes life sweet on a very limited income. Her kindness emanates from her every word. Bonus points for: Her humanity. AND, how she squeezes delicious meals for herself and her children on a very VERY tight budget. Inspirational indeed. (This one hasn’t been updated in a while, but I love going through her old posts.)
  7. The Frugal Girl – is an incredibly popular American blog that features recipes, reviews, “What I Spent, What We Ate” posts about grocery spending, and much more. A very easy-to-read blog.
  8. The Frugal Canadian – is a site with all sorts of freebies and contests for Canadians, and other money saving ideas. All Canadian content, which is super helpful!
  9. Nana Pinches Her Pennies – is an American blog that is lovingly low-tech, and very raw in its realness. The writer shares her tips on how to live on a very low income. When you read her writing she sort of feels like your own Grandma, too. Bonus points for: wanting to hug the brave writer!
  10. Our New Life in the Country – is a beautifully written blog about a woman named Sue, who with the love of her life switched from a busy town life to one settled in the Welsh countryside. This blog is actually retired now, but Sue has created a new blog about even simpler living in a trailer (caravan) that she writes at A Smaller Life Living Simply. Bonus points for: the adorable pug named Suky!

This list of 10 favourite frugal blogs is, of course, just scratching the surface! The Internet is awash with beautifully written blogs that really help us frugalites try to stay on budget. Please leave a comment if one of the above frugal blogs is your favourite too, OR let us know about one we didn’t include. Happy frugal living, all!

No Frills Flyer this week – the Huge Sale (Dollar Days) – starting October 30, 2020

Hi everyone! For all of us who love shopping at No Frills for their super low prices, then this week you’ll be especially happy. Why? Because this week they have their HUGE SALE going on (I also think of it as Dollar Days, because most of the sales are in even dollar amounts – $1, $2, $3 and so on.)

Let’s review what some of the best deals are at No Frills this week! And remember that you can collect PC Optimum points at No Frills – a great way to earn up points, and save up towards getting something special for free. Or, it’s an excellent way to bank up points so that you can get free groceries if you ever need to. Remember that 10,000 points equals $10 of free stuff.

These flyer prices are in effect October 30-November 5, 2020.

No Frills PRODUCE Deals

  • Acorn squash, butternut squash, kabocha or spaghetti squash – only $1/lb
  • Ambrosia apples – 3 lb bag of orchard run apples for $3 (That’s only a buck a pound. Good deal on Ambrosia apples.)
  • Ataulfo mangoes 2/$3 (Or $1.77 each if buying less than 2)
  • Beefsteak tomatoes $2/lb
  • Celery – 1 bunch for $2
  • Eggplants $2/lb
  • Farmer’s Market grape tomatoes $2
  • Farmer’s Market mini cucumbers (package of 6) – $3
  • Farmer’s Market sweet peppers $3 for a package of 4 peppers
  • Green onions 3/$2 (if buying less than 3 it’s $0.87 each bunch)
  • Limes – 3 for $1 (Or if buying less than 3 it’s $0.47 each)
  • Navel oranges $1/lb
  • Organic avocadoes – package of 3 for $4
  • Organic blackberries or raspberries $4 (6 oz clamshell)
  • PC Organics salad blends (organic salads) $3 each
  • PC Organics whole white mushrooms – 227 gram package – $2
  • Pomegranates $1 each
  • Red plums $2/lb
  • Russet potatoes – 5 lb bag – Only $1
  • Sweet potatoes $1/lb

No Frills MEAT Deals

  • Boneless pork chops – 300 gram packs – $3
  • Chicken drumsticks $3/lb
  • Janes boneless chicken bites OR fillets – selected types and varieties – frozen – 800 gram size – $12
  • Outside round oven roast $5/lb (or $11.02/kg)
  • PC Free From bacon $5
  • PC Free From Whole chickens $4/lb
  • Regular ground beef, 375 gram tray – only $2
  • Schneiders protein kits OR Lunchmate stackers OR Burns wieners $2

No Frills DAIRY AND MILK Deals

  • Armstrong or PC shredded cheese (320 grams) OR Armstrong cheese bars (400 or 450 gram size packs) $4
  • Babybels 120 or 129 gram size $3 (Or PC topped hummus $3)
  • Bellaberry Cheesecake – 100 gram individual cheesecakes $1.00 each
  • I Can’t Believe It’s not Butter margarine spread $1
  • Joyya ultrafiltered milk (super high protein milk) $2 for 1 Liter size
  • Dairyland cottage cheese (500 gram tub) $3
  • Nestle shakes, Beatrice or Dairyland chocolate milk (different brands depending on which province you’re in) – 473 ml size $1 each

No Frills GROCERY Deals

  • Annie’s snacks (such as their bunny grahams) OR Smart Sweets low sugar candy $3
  • Aylmer accents tomatoes OR Clover Leaf tuna (85 gram or 170 gram cans) OR Brunswick sardines or fillets – $1
  • Betty Crocker cookie mix OR Super Moist cake mix OR frosting $1
  • Coca Cola OR Pepsi in the 2 liter bottle size – only $1 each
  • Dare Bear Paws cookies OR Wagon Wheels OR Viva Puffs $2
  • Enjoy Life gluten free cookies and bars $3 (Very good deal on these! And we know a bit about gluten free food ;0) )
  • Five Alive drinks – 1.75 L – $2
  • Gatorade sport drinks OR Sparkling Ice flavoured water $1
  • Heinz beans OR Heinz Alphagetti $1 a can
  • Kellogg’s cereal like Rice Krispies or Froot Loops $2 (regular size boxes)
  • Knorr sidekicks side dishes OR Uncle Ben’s fast and fancy rice packets $1
  • Knorr or Lipton soup mixes OR Campbell’s chunky soup OR Everyday Gourmet soup $2 each
  • Kraft Dinner (KD) Package of 4 boxes for $3
  • Kraft salad dressing OR Diana BBQ sauce $2
  • Larbars (16 pack) OR Larabar protein bars (12 in a box) $14
  • M&M’s or Skittles bagged candies $2
  • Maxwell House coffee (631 grams or 925 gram size) $7 and get 1000 bonus PC optimum points
  • Minute Maid OR Nestea iced tea drink boxes – packs of 8 or 10 individual drinks 2 for $5
  • Monster drinks OR Red Bull OR Evian natural spring water (1.5 l size on the water) $2
  • Mott’s Fruitsations (6’s) or Fruit bowls OR Go Go Squeeze pouches $2
  • Mr. Noodles instant ramen noodles 4 for $1
  • Nature Valley bars, Betty Crocker or Mott’s Fruit snacks $2
  • Nissin noodles 2 for $1
  • Oasis juice OR Del Monte nectar OR PC 100% juice $1 each
  • Old El Paso taco seasoning packets $1
  • PC Tortilla chips OR salsa $2
  • Pepperidge Farms goldfish crackers $2 (assorted varieties)
  • Pillsbury frozen cinnamon rolls (or other refrigerated baking goods) $2
  • Pringles mega size potato chips $2
  • SkinnyPop popcorn – large bag – $5
  • SunRype juice – 900 ml or 1 liter sizes $1
  • Terra Vegetable chips $3
  • Tim Hortons granola bars $2 (This must be a new product – I’ve not seen these before. Has anyone tried them?)
  • Tim Hortons canned soup $2
  • Tutto Bene noodles OR Mario’s canned chicken $1
  • Quaker Harvest crunch cereal OR instant oatmeal $2
  • Unico canned beans OR chickpeas OR tomatoes $1
  • Unico vegetable oil – 2 liter bottle – $2

No Frills FROZEN Deals

  • Astro yogurt OR No Name processed cheese slices $2
  • Chapman’s Original ice cream (2 liters), or Chapman’s Collection novelties frozen ice cream treats (such as ice cream bars) – $3
  • Cheemo perogies $2
  • Dr. Oetker Momenti frozen pizzas OR Giuseppe garlic fingers $3
  • Highliner fries and fish OR Fish burgers $2
  • Liberte Miditerranee yogurt or Greek blueberry yogurt OR Astro Smooth ‘n Fruity yogurt OR yoplait yop smoothies $1
  • Michelina’s frozen meals $1 (Wow! Excellent price)
  • No Name frozen waffles (8 pack) OR No Name frozen orange juice concentrate $1
  • Parlour ice cream treats – such as ice cream sandwiches – $2
  • Pillsbury toaster strudels $2
  • Swift frozen meat pies (beef, chicken or turkey pot pies) – 190 gram size – $1 each
  • Yoplait Source yogurt (650 gram tub) or Yoplait tubes OR Minigo $2

No Frills Deli Deals

  • Piller’s deli meats – 125 gram or 175 gram size – $2
  • Sunrise tofu dessert – $1

No Frills Bakery Deals

  • Country Harvest bread OR garlic bread $2
  • Deli World light rye bread OR Casa Mendosa tortillas OR La Baguetterie miche bread $3
  • Old Mill English muffins – 6 pack – $1
  • PC Organics bread $3
  • Wonder bread or rolls $2

No Frills Cleaning and Household Deals

  • No Name white napkins – big pack of 250 for $2
  • Purex laundry detergent $3
  • Renuzit air freshener $1
  • Vim liquid cleanser $2

No Frills Health and Beauty Deals (and Baby Stuff)

  • Colgate toothpaste OR Colgate or Oral-B toothbrushes $1 (regular varieties, not the fancy types)
  • Dove bar soap (3 pack) OR Dove Body wash OR Dove Deodorant or Antiperspirant OR Degree Men’s deodorant or body spray $4
  • Pampers, Huggies or PC baby Wipes $2

Lowest price groceries at No Frills

This week I’m convinced all over again that the lowest price groceries are to be found at No Frills! Hope this round-up of this week’s deals and specials helped you plan your grocery shopping AND helps you save a bunch of money.

10 Natural (and Cheap!) Ways to Treat and Prevent Heartburn and Acid Reflux

It happens to all of us occasionally – heartburn strikes! There is that terrible, burning sensation in your chest, and you may feel that acid burn right up in your throat. Not a lovely feeling. And if it happens at night, heartburn can even cause you insomnia. But, instead of always reaching for a prescription medication, are there natural heartburn remedies you can try instead? Yes! We’ve researched 10 tried and true ways to treat heartburn at home with common items you likely have around anyway.

These are helpful tips to try, but please always talk to a doctor about any new health issue you have. Heartburn could be a sign of something more serious.

1. Battle heartburn with baking soda

Baking soda is one amazing ingredient to have around the home! (We’ve also written about 10 Ways to Use Baking Soda to Clean your Home, so check that out for other ideas.)Once you’ve tackled your heartburn, you can go and clean the toilet with the same ingredient! Huh!) What we most often think of as a rising agent in baking, can also help treat heartburn naturally. Simply add about one teaspoon of baking soda to a small glass of water and stir well to dissolve. Then, drink up! Baking soda is naturally alkaline, so it can help to reduce acid. (But, if you’re watching sodium content then please be careful before trying this tip. Just one teaspoon of baking soda contains a whopping 1250 mg of sodium!! If you have high blood pressure, you also shouldn’t try this tip because of the very high sodium content in baking soda. But don’t worry, our other tips should be helpful for you!)

2. Drink a glass of milk

Again, milk is an alkaline – not acidic – substance, that can naturally help to combat either heartburn or acid reflux. Some people find a lot of relief by drinking a small glass of cold milk when their heartburn is acting up.

3. Prevent heartburn by reducing how much coffee you drink

Ahhh, sweet coffee! I love it too, but too much coffee – which is, again, very acidic – can create more problems for those of us with regular heartburn and/or acid reflux issues. Limit your coffee and overall caffeine intake to help prevent more problems with heartburn. And if you do have a cup of coffee, it helps to add milk to it rather than pure coffee alone. (Or milky coffees like lattes or cappuccinos will cause fewer problems than very strong coffee like an espresso.)

4. Limit how many citrus fruits (oranges, lemons) you eat

Delicious as they may be – and healthy too! – citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and mandarin oranges – are all packed full of acid. (This is why they’re damaging to teeth enamel too. Side tip: drink a glass of water after eating citrus fruits to limit the damage on your teeth.) Limit how many citrus fruits you eat, or how much citrus fruit juice you drink. Some people find that if they have a small glass of orange juice with food, they’re okay. (The food may help absorb the acid of the fruit juice.) But, some people are very sensitive to citrus fruits, and need to make them only an occasional treat.

5. Drink a little aloe juice

Now, aloe juice may not be an ingredient we all have in our pantries regularly. But, you may have an aloe plant somewhere in your home! Drinking a little natural aloe plant juice is a wonderful way to soothe away some of the discomfort of heartburn. You can also purchase actual aloe juice at health food stores. If you’re prone to heartburn, this might be a good item to keep on hand to treat it naturally when it strikes next. The juice is easy to drink, whereas the aloe gel that comes straight from the plant may not be quite as palatable.

6. Eat a banana

Bananas are naturally very alkaline, and they seem to soothe a lot of stomach problems and ailments! Eating a banana can help ease away the pain and discomfort of heartburn or acid reflux. And hey, they happen to be pretty yummy, too. Delicious snack plus heartburn treatment all in one little yellow package.

7. Eat a few plain crackers (soda crackers)

I remember my Mom suggesting this when I was a child, and it works! Eat a few soda crackers or other very plain crackers. It seems to help absorb some of the excess acid in your stomach and makes you feel a bit better.

8. Don’t eat so late at night

I know, I know! This sounds so judgey. But, if you cut back on late night snacking, you may find that you have fewer problems with heartburn in the middle of the night.

9. Raise your head up on a pillow (when trying to sleep)

Raising your head up a bit higher on an extra pillow will help prevent the additional acid from sneaking up your esophagus and causing you discomfort. This simple tip really works! But hopefully it won’t give you a neck ache the next morning!

10. Try a little Apple Cider Vinegar in water

This seems totally counterproductive, right? Why would you want to consume additional acid when you’re already suffering with too much acid in your stomach? And yet, many people find that their problems with heartburn are caused by too little acid being produced in their stomachs. For some people, a spoonful of natural apple cider vinegar (the good kind, with a ‘mother’ in the bottle) in a small glass of lukewarm or cool water can be very helpful. It can help balance out the healthy acid in your stomach.

We hope these tips have helped soothe your heartburn, and that you’ll be able to get on with your day, or even have a wonderful nighttime sleep. If you have other natural heartburn tips that are tried and true, please let us know about them!

5 Tips to keep Cut Flowers Fresh Longer – Frugal tips and hints

A beautiful bouquet of flowers is a real treat! It brightens your home, and adds a lovely splash of the outdoors into your indoor space. You don’t need a special occasion to splurge on flowers, since they are a real pick-me-up any time of year. And those beautiful blooms are especially appreciated once the garden is finished for the year – which here in Canada comes quite quickly! So, how do you make beautiful fresh cut flowers last even longer? You know that here at BargainBlog we’re about making every Canadian nickel stretch further…so here are our best tips for flowers! And look at the end of the article for our favourite tip on finding cut flowers for 50% off!

1. Spray them lightly with water

Mist them – That’s right! Simply use a spray bottle set on a fine mist setting, and spray the flowers with water morning and night. We were recently watching an old episode of Escape to the Country (Find it for free on YouTube – it is one of our favourite shows!) and a flower arranging expert said that this was his best tip! Just be sure to use a bottle that hasn’t had any chemicals in it before, or if it did, be sure to wash it out very thoroughly with hot water and dish soap. Fill with cool tap water (filtered water would be even better) and spray those blossoms and blooms every morning and night. The floral expert said it could help make your floral bouquets last up to five days longer! Wow!

2. Cut flower stems properly

I think most people who love flowers will have learned this a long time ago. But, if you’re new to buying flower bouquets, you might not know. Trimming the stems of flowers and other greenery that comes with the flowers will help it to stay fresh and beautiful a lot longer! Use a sharp pair of kitchen shears or scissors. Cut off an inch or two from the bottom of the stem, and cut at a 45 degree angle. Rather than cutting straight across (a 90 degree angle), the 45 degree angle allows exposes more surface area of the bottom of the stem. Exposed to what? The water of course! And if your flowers are able to drink in more water, they’ll simply last longer.

3. Use the flower food enclosed in the bouquet

If you bought your bunch of flowers from a florist, then it’ll often have a little packet of flower food enclosed within the folds of wrapping paper. Use it! People sometimes ask: ‘Does that flower food really work?’ Yes, it does! Simply sprinkle the packet of flower food into the water in the vase before adding your flowers.

Do you wonder what’s actually IN that flower food? Interestingly, the packets usually contain a combination of sugar, an acidic component, and bleach in a powdered form – all ingredients that will help your flowers look their best.

4. Add Fresh Water – AKA Change the water

People often forget that – just like our pets – flowers really enjoy a slurp of fresh water, rather than a stale, days-old drink! With that in mind, you can change the water your flowers are sitting in. (Also be sure to pluck off any greenery, such as leaves, that are below the water level. It can cause mold to grow!) Cool tap water or filtered water is ideal. You can change the water daily, if possible, or at least every couple of days.

5. Refrigerate your flowers

Florists use this tip constantly – that’s why their beautiful creations and luxurious bouquets are stored behind glass in a refrigerator. You can do the same at home! Granted, you’ll need a rather large fridge to pull this off. (We do not have this! haha Our fridge would be swamped if we put a bouquet of flowers in it.) If you have a monster sized fridge, then simply pop your bouquet of cut flowers in the fridge at night. It’ll keep the flowers fresh and lovely a lot longer. Then when you wake up in the morning, display them as you had them before. Voila!

We hope these fun tips have helped inspire you to keep those lovely blossoms fresh and beautiful for longer. When you spend the money on a nice bouquet of flowers, then you really do want them to last! If you have other tips on extending the life of cut flowers, please let us know.

Find Cut Flowers and Bouquets at 50% off

P.S. Bargain Finders Tip: I’ve often found stunning flowers at the supermarket marked down at 50% or more! So, if you want to treat yourself to some flowers around your home, check the floral department at your favourite grocery store. You could even ask when the flowers are reduced, and time your grocery shopping trips to match the markdowns. Yes! Floral beauty at a much cheaper cost.

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.

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