Points and Scoping at Shoppers

July 5, 2008

Yesterday I got an email for my favorite Canadian drugstore: Shoppers Drugmart. It was giving me 20x the points if I spent $50 so this morning I made my list…

Bought $20 in Life brand products at 10 x the points

A Color on sale at 10x the points with a $3.00 off coupon

Milk was on sale so got milk

Bought $10 in grocery items so got a 1000 point bonus there

Bought Tide with a $1.00 off coupon and got another 1000 point bonus because I bought $20 worth of household items

Bought life brand sunscreen(on sale), got another 500 point bonus

Got another 500 point bonus for paper towels

Then looked at my $73 bill and notice that 2 items came in at the wrong price so got them both for FREE. I used the Scanning Code of Practice that states if an item is $10 or less and comes up wrong on the cash register from a posted price then that product is free…so with those gone I spent $52 today.

how many points does that give me how does 15,034 sound? That is a $25 redemption..so basically overall I average a 35% savings by the end of the year off everything. At Christmas time I usually redeem $200 for Christmas shopping…great way to get gifts without much work..oh and my Lindt chocolate and the acid reducer were great to get free.

If you dont have an Optimum card may I suggest you get one. They are so very handy! and it doesn’t take long before you are able to redeem for a purchase or two.

Works for Me: Summer Fun Bag

June 25, 2008

 Well today is the day! It is the last day of school for the kids of the Toronto District School Board! Woohoo! Roo is done with grade 4! As a grading present one of the things that works for me is a summer fun bag…what’s that?

Well I fill a backpack with everything Roo needs for summer fun, and I did it without breaking the bank too. Bought her a new backpack for $5 (on sale-gotta love clearance) and then bought the stuff to fill it. This year the pack includes: a new swimsuit(another clearance find), new flip flops(on sale), a set of Nerf balls and guns, a water gun, tattoos, bubbles and chalk…..everything to keep a ten year old content and playing this summer!

For me the idea of a summer fun bag simply works. The contents keep her content and busy playing for at least the first few days of summer. It is a fun way to start the summer off with a bang!

Now I am off to read what is working for everyone else this week here..

Church and Roo

June 23, 2008

Some of my readers will know that I am the parent of an amazing girl named Roo who is now a preteen. She is a quirky, impulsive, kind, helpful, compassionate child.  She also walks the line between ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome. The thing is Roo and church don’t equate. Since she was little i have tried to take her to church and have her learn the lessons God would want a child to know.

Well instead of learning about a loving kind compassionate Heavenly Father Roo has learned:

1. People who call themselves Christian are quick to judge. Many times I have been talked to both in front of Roo in private about how i should be parenting Roo and disciplining her more, better, etc.

2. Misbehave and well you arent welcome. Many a Sunday my whole time at church was spent with her in hallways after she had been asked to leave class or her by my side wherever I am.

Many people it seems do not understand nor do they want to understand what it takes to teach and love a child who has an invisible disability  without conditions attached the way God loves us. It is unfortunate.

When I take Roo to church I come home exhausted, not refreshed, not filled, not anything in a very long time. It is difficult. It leaves me as her mom wanting so much more for her and me too.

Starting a Summer Menu Plan

June 23, 2008

Do you find when the summer months come that you want to cook less, especially on those hot summer days? I know that is me..so in the summer I seem to lose my menu planning goals and substitute with quick and easy meals.

Basically I am doing a main grocery shop once a month, and then hitting a local fruit market for everything else we need. Then it is alot of packing of the cooler as we head off to local parks and pools.

Each day you will see the cooler full of juice boxes, pretzels, crackers, cheese, fruit and veggies and dip.

For us the summer is about relaxing. We rely alot on salads, sandwiches, veggies, and fruit along with hotdogs and hamburgers. Can you say summer staples?

So what do I have planned for this week….only 3 school days left till Summer begins for us.

Monday- porkchops(broiled), rice, and corn

Tuesday-Breakfast for dinner-scrambled eggs, toast, tomato slices

Wednesday-Let’s Celebrate !!! We are going out for dinner.

Thursday-Chicken Ceaser Salad

Friday- Cheese Pizza, veggies and dip

Saturday- Hotdogs, fries, and veggies and dip

Sunday-unplanned as we have been invited out.

Now I am off to laura’s to see what everyone is planning for the week

Harbourfront Nautical Festival

June 22, 2008

      Yesterday Roo and i and Roo’s best bud headed down to the waterfront to see the tall ships. The Nautical Festival was really advertised well here locally and I really thought as well as seeing the wonderful Bluenose II we would get a taste of Nova  Scotia. To be honest for me this was the most disappointing of the festivals I have seen on the waterfront. I excepted a taste of Nova Scotia and feel like I had a timbit instead. While we did have a good time, with two preteen girls with me can you say want to pull your hair out…

While they had entertainment, it was small scale on one stage right near the ship, as well the Nova Scotia tents were all about tourism. For me this festival was more an advertising ploy with the Bluenose II coming along.

After we checked out the deck of the Bluenose II, the girls played in the sand at the H20 park( for them that was the best part of the trip down to the Waterfront) while i took in an hour of the entertainment. After that we headed over to Shoeless Joe’s for some lunch. Then it was time to head home before the rain came.

Tall Ships Come to the Waterfront

June 21, 2008

One of my favorite things about living in Nova Scotia was going to visit the tall ships when they came to the harbor. Well this Nova Scotia tradition has come to Toronto for this weekend. The Bluenose II is here and it is a beautiful ship. You can find it down on the Harbrfront this weekend…that and alot of Nova Scotia’s beautiful culture. Some of Nova Scotia’s musical talent will also be performing,  If you get the chance make sure you take in the festival. We wll be there.

100 Thing Challenge

June 19, 2008

Recently in Time Magazine they featured a guy named Dave who is doing what he is calling the 100 Thing challenge. His challenge is to live with only 100 personal items. Family items such as sofa, pots, pans are not in on the count. We are talking things that belong to one person like for example a belt, purse, ipod etc.

I have decided to take up the 100 thing Challenge and am encouraging Roo to do the same. Maybe if we get rid of the clutter there will be room for the blessings to come in. For some things we will do groupings.

WE are going with 3oo items for the house

100 for Roo

100 for Mom

100 shared

In the 100 shares we have the major household stuff of which there are several groups that will count as one each.

Here is what I am thinking of for household groups:

  • cutlery-enough for eight
  • cooking utensils( one of each that we need)
  • pots and pans( 4 pots, a good skillet, a roasting pan, 9×13 pan, 2 cookie sheets, a square pan)
  • plastic storage containers( limit 12)
  • water bottles(4)
  • dishes( set of 6)
  • towels-eight
  • dish towels-eight
  • hairbrushes/combs
  • books
  • family pictures
  • files
  • candles
  • scrapbooks
  • christmas ornaments( limit of 1 box)
  • fish stuff (we have a beta)
  • books
  • craft supplies (limited to a rubbermaid container)

That is my list so far but I am sure there will be more as I begin to purge this apartment. I think the first area I am going to attack is my closet. What do you think of the 100 Thing challenge? Could you do it?

Is this frugal? Minimualist? Will it help me to be more organized? Time will tell.

Who’s Going to be Maria?

June 19, 2008

Well this week CBC launched a new show. They are looking for the new Maria for the Sound of Music.

Well when I was watching who should pop on to the screen but Sam Walkes. Sam made the top twenty but was not one of the top 10. Now Sam i know personally from our years of living in Hamilton. The Walkes family were dear friends of ours. Sam’s parents watched Roo for me, Sam’s mom and Sam helped me clean up after my devastating fire, Sam’s mom and her younger sister hung out at the hotel when we couldn’t go back to our home…..Sam would of been a great Maria. In fact she had played Maria in a local Hamilton production last year and from what I heard she was amazing..Now I spoke to Sam’s Mom and was told that Andrew Lyold Webber was great with her and recognized that she has amazing talent. She really does. Get to know the name Sam Walkes I am sure you will see her on Canadian stages if not world stages in the years ahead, She is a talent to be reckoned with.

Carbon Tax= Political Suicide

June 18, 2008

Well one the front page of the Toronto Star today is an article that tells us that the Liberals are planning to unveil a carbon tax program in tilled the “green shift”. Well lets just say I am one Canuck who had an advance look at the plan. Last month I was part of a focus group of Canadian women that crossed all age groups and included women from many different backgrounds. Now I will also state this, in the last election I voted liberal and have done so for many years.

We at the focus groups were first introduced to the carbon tax as part of the “green revolution”, a title we quickly shot down. Then the plan as it stood was put before us. It is planned to be tax neutral. What’s tax neutral according to the liberals? Every dollar brought in under this tax come back to us Canadians in the form of tax breaks, or other programs. Every Canadian and every company of the plan I saw pays the same rate. Now here is the kicker in that focus group we weren’t told the rate.

We were told some of the ways that they were thinking of putting the tax dollar back into our pockets. Some of them had nothing to do with the environment at all.

Under the plan I saw even the best conservationist would pay the same rate as those that pollute on a regular basis. One of the things we as women told them in the focus group was that this tax really didnt help us to be more motivated to help the enviroment. There were no real incentives, and no real punishments or caps on consumption. Well thankfully that has changed in the plan.

We talked about plans to help those who would be hit hardest by another tax. I am hoping tomorrow when the plan is unveiled it includes measures that will help the poor or will have some sort of relief package attached.

Then at the focus group we talked about the enviorment and the election. Every woman in the room thought that if the Liberals took the plan to voters as an election issue that they would lose the election. I stated then it would be political suicide. I will stand by that statement.

Now the plan is the not only the brain child of the Liberal child but was pieced together with talks that included some of the best envirometal minds in our country. There were several groups that had a hand in this. Does something need to be done to help the enviroment? Yes. Do we need a carbon tax? This is one Canuck who is not convinced. As well if the plan is anywhere near the one I saw last month well this is one less vote for them.

Revamping the Price Book

June 17, 2008

One of the things I use is a price book. What’s that? Well there are 5 stores I regularly shop at

  • IGA
  • Food Basics
  • No Frills
  • Dominion
  • Shoppers Drugs Mart

All except the Dominion are within walking distance except the Dominion which is 4 subway stops away. I keep track of their regular prices on what I use most, as well as a normal sale price at that store. That way when I looking through the weekly flyers, first I can spot a good deal, two I know that I can get the best prices for milk and eggs at SDM which surprised me. Usually I hit Dominion only when they have good sales and I know I can use there policy of fresh or free to maximize value for dollar spent. My regular stores are the No Frills and Food Basics which give me the best bang for my dollar.

Now with the rising food prices it is time to revamp the list. Some of my basics have gone up in cost, so a price book if to be used effectively needs to revamped with regularity…so yeah use a pencil. Do you know which stores in your neighbourhood give you the best price? For me this helps this mom make the most out of my grocery dollar.