Monday, August 31, 2009

Moving that body- for free



I have been lucky that the weather has been co-operating around here lately, and I have been able to get out for my morning walks daily.I walk for about 45 minutes on the walking path around the lake near here. I feel great that I can exercise and not have to pay a gym fee.The walk also includes some stairs and some smaller hills so it's great exercise. I have an exercise bike at home as well, ( which I picked up for $20 at a garage sale this year- worth at least $200 and in excellent shape.) My ipod I won in a contest this year, which supplies me my tunes.


I have a Wii fit, ( which my girls bought me for Christmas last year),and dvds/vhs of all sorts of exercise routines,( which were on clearance), which I prefer to use when I can't get outdoors and the weather turns colder.


Also note: Some areas where you live may also have schools, rinks, etc., that offer free exercise classes and programs.

How We Get Magazines For Free


We have gotten our magazines for free for some time now..we rarely buy them.Some of them are getting so expensive.I remember living at home and mom buying The Enquirer for .99- now it's $5!
It's simple to get mags free. Go to the magazine's web site and go to the "subscribe" section. Once there sign up and tick off: "Bill Me Later". You can do this with the magazine cards found in magazines , on the magazine's home web site, or sometimes in home mailers. Once you get the invoice in the mail, either send it back and mark "cancel " on the bill, or don't send it back. They will send you 1-2 issues at the very least. You can keep doing this with every issue you get, so you are always getting free magazines.
Also keep an eye out for some rebate offers where you can buy specially marked packages which may have an offer for free subscriptions as well.

Saving Money and Earning Money with e How


I recently came across eHow today. What a great site this is.Not only can you learn how to do almost anything on here,you can also write for them and earn money.I found many great articles on saving money here as well-
http://www.ehow.com/

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Contesting and Winning


You might wonder how contesting fits into my life of simple living and stretching a dollar.Well, I have been entering contests for years- and I have won many nice things in the past.Last year we went to Mexico, ( just before Swine Flu arrived there), and as well, this year have had some nice wins as well. Most contests and sweeps I enter online so they are free, but I do do the occasional mail in ones.I will keep you all posted from here on out on my wins.This month I won a blue ray player and movie collection worth $1,000 from Hershey on an online instant win contest.Also won a year magazine subscription to Tidings magazine and a Country Heat cd from CMT. All wins are most welcome as they are bonuses in our lives, and most times things we don't normally buy for ourselves. I also won an Ipod shuffle this year, which I really was happy about, as I was still carrying around a cassette player on my walks.
So whether you enter a few online contests, ones by mail or in store ballot boxes,take a few minutes to enter. You may be pleasantly surprised when you win!

Grade 12- Here I Come


Erika is starting back to school tommorow- grade 12- she'll have half days.She says it feels good to be going back- think it's more of a relief that it's your last year hey Erika?


Note: remember to let your children know to always check for student discounts as well.

Work


Well, Gerry is back to work tommorow after a week off.Nice having him around. We did go to The Pas one day, (which is an hour drive from here), and then this weekend were away.
He works at a mining company here in Flon Flon,Mb. and is a traffic manager-looking after rail cars and all transporting in and out of the company.
I am currently on unemployment insurance from part time work which I was laid off from months ago.The unemployment insurance will be done this December. For now, I also do the mystery shopping which also brings in a bit of extra $$.
Am hoping the blog site here will eventually generate some funds. If you all know of any way to make money with the blog, besides the Amazon site I have here that I promote, I would love to hear from you.
As soon as the book is completed, I will be listing it here as well.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just returned


I was away Friday and most of today. We had gone to the city to look for a grad dress for Erika- and just make it a weekend get away. It's a 5 hour drive to the city so tiring when you do it in 2 days.We have a savings account that is specifically for trips that we take, so aren't using the visa. This account is getting dry again,as we took a trip to South Dakota this summer and made a few small weekend trips too.
Some of the savings I did have on the road were:a mystery shop,( so was able to have pizza for lunch for the 3 of us, with drinks ). Also finally used my Keg gift cards we had gotten as a Christmas gift last year-$50, which helped towards supper. We only paid $3 plus tip, over and above what it cost. Got the one night hotel for $78-travel agent rate,( even though I am no longer a travel agent, this hotel still allows me to use my travel agent discount- which is about half price).I also had a 15% coupon off tasty Laura Secord if you buy $15.Went to Walmart with a $25 Mastercard gift card that I earned from a rebate on pop.Picked up a few things there.
Ria had given us 2 boxes of books to take in to the bookstores for cash, but unfortunately, they didn't like alot of what we had and we only were able to pawn off 5 books- or $30.She also sells them on Amazon but I think these were ones she didn't get much for on Amazon.
Unfortunately, I must confess, that I did "waste" some money on scratch tickets and a trip to the casino.I feel terrible.I am so careful otherwise. We just want to win a bit more money a bit too much and hoped to be lucky. It just didn't happen.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We saved $169 today!




Erika had started cleaning her car out today and the shop vac just didn't sound right.When Gerry went to look at it he realized the motor had seized up.So we started looking at prices for a new one and nothing was on sale.To replace the shop vac we had, it would have cost us $169.
So, he took it to the shop, ripped it apart, washed all non electrical parts, blew out the dust from the motor, with an air compressor, lubricated the shafts and put it back together.
Running as good as new now.

It's Only August and I'm Cold!


I hate to say it, but I get cold- easily! I was already thinking of an electric blanket on the bed last night. Mine died on me last year, so I was hoping over the summer someone would have had them on sale somewhere, but I didn't find anything...so, now that it's turning colder in the evenings,and the bed is getting cold, I'm going to have to start the search for one. We have a queen sized bed- so more of an expense for any bedding, the bigger the bed gets.We are heading out of town tomorrow so will see what I can find.I do have a heat pad, so may use that in the beginning, as partner doesn't feel it's cold yet.Unfortunately I have Raynauds,so I do have poor circulation and not as warm as most.
We are investing in an energy efficient furnace this year as well, so in the long run we will save money.
We will also be able to claim up to $1300 of that cost on next year's taxes.(Canada)
We do wear slippers around here as we find that if our feet are kept warm, we stay warmer.Sweaters are great too!
More great tips include:
-foam insulation
-window covering kits
-closing off unused rooms
-give your furnace a tune up and clean the filters
-take advantage of the sun- open all those curtains on sunny days
-use a space heater if you will be in one room for a few hours-example: watching a movie with the family.

Our Pets



I thought you all may like to see our pets.( Pictured here are 3 of the 4 guinea pigs). We also have 2 huge goldfish not pictured- I have tried selling them and giving them away but to no luck.I just feel like I am over run with pets some days.
Before I moved in with Gerry 3 years ago, we had one guinea pig that we didn't know was pregnant when we got her.She had babies and we kept the girls and gave away the boys to my sister. If your anything like me, I always feel bad about giving pets away- you always want to know if your doing the right thing or if they are going to a good home.Since guinea pigs live a long life, we have had most of them for at least 5-6 years.Although they started out as the kid's pets, they quickly became more my pets.They love to eat pellets and romaine so we seem to always need to buy both,as well as shavings for their cages.My daughter worked at the petting zoo this year so she did occasionally bring over some of the lettuce, carrots that the grocery store gave them.
We also have a dog named Chloe- she's around 9- and was here when I moved in- Gerry's dog, who quickly took a liking to me.She snagged her toe nail on something the other day and almost tore it out, so now we are hoping that she will heal it on her own.I have been putting antispetic on it though.
She also takes thyroid pills daily: costs us $65 for a 3 month supply.This will be a life thing that she will need.She was losing hair, had severe dry spots and gaining alot of weight.She has since gotten her nice coat back and lost 15 lbs in 5 months.
Prior to this, last month she picked up a stomache virus and was so sick that we had to get her all types of medication-a big vet bill.
So, if your planning on getting pets, please keep in mind the expense they can occur.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Backyard










I have lived here with Gerry for the past 3 years.
Originally, he had two gardens in the backyard, growing potatoes, peas, carrots,beans and cucumbers- that year everything grew well.
The following year we put in in a little less vegetables and the only things that really grew good were the potatoes.
This year was a poor, short growing season.( June,July, August).We didn't see alot of sun or feel alot of heat. We planted potatoes, the regular bush of raspberries and I tried growing sunflowers this year. (I always liked the look of sunflowers that others grew in their yards.)
The photos you see here is of our raspberry bush,sunflowers,( you can see how big they only got), the potatoes and some flowers.
We aren't big vegetable eaters and around here if we have plenty of potatoes, we're happy. Blueberries grow wild as well as raspberries.My niece and her friend had picked blueberries this summer and bagged them up in little baggies- they were selling them door to door for .25 a bag...little entrepreneurs.
I think next year I may add some carrots, onions, etc..Definitely nice to be able to have your own garden produce.

Book Closeouts!


I love reading books, but my library doesn't always have what I am looking for, nor can they get it through the inter-public library loaning sytem. I stumbled across Book Closeouts- they have tons of great books at great, below cost prices.

Please copy and paste this link in your browser to check them out!


http://www.bookcloseouts.com/default.asp?N=0&rid=gme123

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Everything Old is New Again


I'm not a big fan of using bleach..I've ruined clothes in the past because I've gotten it on my sleeves or somewhere else on what I was wearing.But at times I do like what it can do with regards to whitening, brightening and sanitizing.

Case in point is my stove dials. I should have had a before photo for you, but they were getting a bit black looking around parts of the dials.Since they were easily pulled off, I took them off, and put them in a bowl with about a tablespoon of bleach and let them sit. The result is new looking dials that my rag and cleaner couldn't get clean on their own.

I also use a little drop of bleach inside the coffee mugs that sit and become stained- cleans them white as white.

For more great uses for bleach see Clorox bleach:

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Mystery Shopping Trip


If you want to make a little bit of extra money on the side, as well as get some freebies at the same time, you may wish to try mystery/secret shopping.As well as shops I do in town, we ventured out for a few jobs I had in another town- an hour away. It was worth the drive. For one job,( and I can't mention which places I visited), I was given a 10 piece chicken supper with the works plus paid $10. For another job we visited a grocery store-I got to evaluate a few departments, shop for $15 worth of whatever food I wished, and paid a $20 shopper fee.The biggest shop was for a phone company- because I had to travel out of town and they needed someone to vist here, I was given $25 for the shop plus .36 a km for gas expenses- and I travelled a total of 230 kms. It was a good day.

The only thing I don't like about mystery shopping is that you will initially have to outlay your own money for the shops where you are required to pick something up. But you will be reimbursed within 2 weeks- 1 month. Usually by direct deposit, pay pal or cheque.

I know for us it's a real treat to have someone else foot the bill in exchange for my comments.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Cost of Living Up North


Next time you complain about your grocery bill, keep these northeners in mind!!!! These are from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut last week.
Milk costs here for 4 litre jugs of milk range between $12-$14

***Price of Life in
the North
The average cost of
living in the North is
60% higher than in
Southern Canada.
Here are some average
prices you would pay:
Return Flight Iqaluit
to Ottawa $1500
4L Milk $12.99
Bread $ 3.99
Basic Cable $58.85
Basic Phone $30.00
plus hook-up fees
***(These facts taken from:

Club Pack Savings


I must admit , that although I save money with buying alot of my food items on clearance, I have only recently started paying more attention to club pack and warehouse items. I certainly can see where the money saved will add up, by buying this way.It will also save on more frequent trips to the grocery store.


Today I bought a case of soup for example that would have normally costed me $1.07 a can, but by buying the case, I only paid $5.99 for the case. Saving me $6.85 on the case. We also bought a bag of 19 pork chops for $17.00- normally this would have cost $42 if bought pre-packaged, and a pack of 12 pizza pops for $5.99 which would have cost $3-$4 more if bought in the smaller boxes.


This is just a small example of how club pack and warehouse packs can save you money.


Of course if you also have coupons for any of these items, this is another added bonus.

Drying Clothes


Where I live, we don't get alot of good weather for line drying clothes.The line goes up sometime in May and is gone by September. Even for those months that we do get warm weather, we do get alot of rain and cooler, sunless days.I try to dry outside when I can.

When I do dry indoors I check clothes often and take them out as soon as they are dry enough to be folded or ironed. My daughter,Ria comes to do a load of laundry once or twice a week and hates "crusty" clothes as she calls it, so utilizes the dryer...her laundry is always heavy items that take a while to dry, so I am always visualizing my meter hands going round and round-LOL

I was thinking of maybe hanging some of the clothes over night on a clothes rack indoors. I still like my towels , and underwear dried in the dryer though. What works for you?