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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Emergency Fund

Emergency Fund

Some of you may be familiar with the Dave Ramsey steps. For those of you who aren't they are:
1.Get $1000 in the bank
2.Pay off all debt(not including home)
3.3-6 months expenses saved
4.Maximize Retirement Investing
5.College Funding
6.Pay off mortgage
7.Build wealth
There are all sorts of different financial step plans out there, and I like to combine several to make our plan. What I notice, and I am sure you do too, is that whether or not we save for emergencies, they happen. So, getting the $1000 into the bank is a mini emergency fund, for when you blow a tire or the hot water tank goes! Now, $1000 is a good goal and is a great starting place. Sometimes, it feels like a monumental task and no sooner do you get your $1000, but you also get your first emergency! The good news is it's you you borrow from, not a credit card or a bank! Eventually, we will want to get the 3-6 months expenses saved. This is the step we are working on. It has been a step we have been on for a very long time. Finally, we managed to get one month's expenses stashed. It seemed like such a big climb to get to this point and so my mind set is I need to keep going forward, save another month, not backwards(have an emergency).What is an emergency? My definition is an emergency is something you must have, a necessity(unfortunately a trip to a sunny place seems like an emergency in winter, but it's not).The fridge goes, that's an emergency. Now, the next challenge is what kind of new fridge do you get? Top of the line, all the bells and whistles? That's where personal choice and personal goals come in to play.
We just recently encountered our emergency. Hubby's crown(on his back tooth) popped off! So, we visited our dentist and he said it was going to be a several thousand dollar fix! Hubby wanted a second opinion as he was sure there were other options. So, he saw another dentist who did provide several options.
Option 1: Glue it back in $125...this is a temporary fix
Option 2: Redo it $1500...good for another 7-10 years
Option 3: Implant $4000...good forever
He also told us that this crown should not have failed so soon, it's only 3 1/2years since it was done. He suggested we contact the dentist and see if he has the standard 5 year crown guarantee. This sounds great, but the original dentist lives a province away!
So, we are trying to figure out what to do. First, I will check to see if our dental plan will cover any of it, we are told it's unlikely. We are looking at all our options and trying to choose the best one.
This is an emergency and therefore it is reasonable to use the fund. This is why this fund is set up. The fund saves us money, we don't have to charge anything we just use our own money. The fund gives us a sense of margin, room to breathe when bad things happen.What are your thoughts? Do you have an emergency fund? What kind of world would we live in if everyone had a little margin?

Friday, May 28, 2010

This Week's Sales

This is a grosbeak!! Isn't he gorgeous! This time of year they make a quick appearance and then disappear! We had 7 of them visit.
May 30 & 31 only
Everyday Market Sugar 2kg $1.49 limit 4 (This isn't the lowest price ever but sugar has been pricey as of late and if it cycles like normal it won't go down again until Aug!)
Everyday Market Tuna 170g .59 limit 4
Costco until Sunday May 30th has the 1kg of Feta Cheese $8.99!!!It has never been this cheap! Our Costco Feta Cheese expires 2011!
Superstore May 29- June 4
Buy $250 worth of groceries get $25gift card
NN Salsa is $4.48 for the 1.89L(next time it cycles is Oct!)
NN TP is $4.48 for 24 rolls
Rooster Brand Coconut milk 398ml 2/$1
NN Liquid Honey 3Kg $15.98(freezes nicely, just pour into small containers,freeze,defrost overnight to use)
NN Sour Cream 1L $2.98
Pineapples 2/$4
Red Seedless Grapes $1.38/lb
Avocadoes .55 when you buy a bag of 5($2.75)
Zellers May 29-30th
Truly TP 24 rolls $3.99

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Free Potatoes, Free Samples, Midweek Sales

This little guy(baby quail) had a little trouble with a car...Isn't he sweet!

Do you like free things? Would you like to get emails with the latest free things?
Click here
An example of their 2lb bag of Little Potatoes
I have looked when at Coopers and Safeway and have not found a 2lb bag yet, let me know if you find it in the list of stores in the attachment. Here is the list for BC.
Choices Markets
Cooper’s Foods
Extra Foods
Federated Co-op Stores
Kins Garden Market
Price Smart
Urban Fare

In Alberta
Extra Foods
Federated Co-op Stores
Northern Light Produce
The Grocey People (TGP)
The Produce People (TPP)

Little Potatoes are available across Canada.

Free Grilling Cooking Ebook from Martha Stewart
Free allergy medicine trial
Free itunes songs.

For some reason Old Town Farm Market did not send out a sales email this week???
Quality Greens May 26-31
Hot House Tomatoes .79/lb
Spartan Apples .49/lb
BC Mushrooms $1.99/lb
Radishes/Green onions .44
Red,Yellow,Orange Peppers $1.49/lb

Friday, May 21, 2010

This Week's Sales

Nesters May 21-23
Mushrooms .98/lb limit 5lbs
Chicken Drumsticks .88/lb!!!!no limit packaged in large packs and small

Superstore 22-28
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $2.78/lb!!!
Charmin TP 16 doubles $6.97(works out to .21/roll)
Wonder Hot Dog Buns 12's $1.67
Garlic Bread 450g $1.87
PC Toasted or Honey O's 1-1.3Kg $5.49
NN Coffee 907g $4.78 limit 2
NN Pretzels 1.36Kg $4.98

Shoppers 22-24only
Dole 100% Juice 12 cans $3.50(2/$7)limit 4
Life Brand Paper Towel 8 rolls $1.99 limit 4
Del Monte Juice 10X200ml $1.69 limit 4
Michelina's Frozen Dinners .99 limit 3

May 22-June 4
Large White Eggs $1.99 limit 2
Everyday Market Butter 454g $2.99 limit 2

Walmart May 21-27
Milk, Eggs, Bread, Butter still same price
Celery .77
Minute Maid Frozen Punch 355ml .57

Save On May 21-23
Cantaloupe .39/lb
Mennen Deodorant $1.95

The Bargain Shop until May 28th
Kraft BBQ Sauce 250ml $1
Kraft Salad Dressing 455ml $1

Safeway May 22-28
Chicken Breasts $2.99/lb
Lucerne Ice Cream 4Litre $3.99

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shopping Smart Tonight!

Rob with a hummingbird.

Tonight May 20th 630pm-900pm Shopping Smart Seminar
Open to everyone. Details on sidebar of blog.

Need some more money to get you to the end of the month?
Want to get paid to work at home?
Come learn how to drastically reduce your grocery spending!

Learn how to make and use a Pricebook to track the ever changing grocery prices.
When is it a good time to bulk buy?
Learn a different method of meal planning.
Learn how to feed your family health choices.

Please email me if you are planning on attending.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mid week Sales

The sky after some much needed rain!

Old Town Market May 19-24
Green Peppers .79/lb
Radishes/Green onions 3/.99
Bananas .59/lb
Cabbage .49/lb
Granny Smith Apples .79/lb

Quality Greens May 19-24
Watermelon .39/lb

Hopefully you were able to get the free Cheerios!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Shopper's Cheese Deal!

Quick Deal

Thanks Lynn for the until the 21st of May Shoppers has Cheese, the 340g for $3.99 plus in store coupons for .75 off!!!! I don't know if this it at every Shoppers, this deal was spotted at the Rutland Shoppers in Kelowna. Happy Shopping!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

This Week's Sales and Africa Seat Sale

This tree is sooo amazing!!!
So, May has been a month of great deals! I hope you have been able to stock up. Typically summer prices cycle some things not everything!

Shoppers May 15-21
Fruitopia 1.89L .99!!!No limit that I can see
Milk is still $3.99 this week
Dempster's bread is $2.49

Cooper's May 16-22
WF Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast 3Kg $19.78 or $2.99/lb
Regular Ground Beef $1.19/lb(not lowest price but I have noticed their ground beef seems to be pretty lean for regular!)

Walmart 14-20
Purex TP 24 doubles for $9.97!!!now if they only would have it in stock
Milk,bread,eggs,butter still on sale
Green Peppers .97/lb says limited time offer

Superstore 15-21
Gas Savings coupon on front
Buy $100 save 10cents/liter
Buy $150 save 15cents/liter
Buy $200 save 10cents/liter
Plus save 10cents/liter more if you use your PC mastercard
Buy groceries between May 15-21 and redeem coupon, get gas before May 26.
Large Size Fresh Whole seedless watermelon $3.97
French bread .97(you can make your own garlic bread with a simple spread of butter or margarine and some garlic(I buy the huge container of minced garlic at Costco)or garlic salt...mmm..BBQ
Mushrooms $1.98 454g package
Asparagus $1.77/lb
NN Ice Cream 4L $3.98

Nesters Market May 14-16th only
Navel Oranges .25/lb
Top Sirloin Steak $3.48/lb
Sun Rype Apple Juice 1L .99

Seat Sale to Africa!!!Wish we could go!(Miss my friends!

From the Travelzoo Newsdesk: CANADA--MAY 14, 2010-- For three days only, KLM is sellingoff seats to East Africa for travel between September 10 andDecember 10. For $995 -- including all taxes -- fly roundtrip fromToronto and Montreal. Depart from Calgary and Vancouver foran additional $175. Travel to these destinations: - Nairobi, Kenya- Entebbe, Uganda- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Book by May 17 to save up to $1000 off other airlines.To book, click on the link below: Terms & Conditions:Mini/Maxi stay: Saturday night/12 monthsChanges: $200Refunds: non-refundable

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

12 hour 2010 Entertainment Book Sale and 2 for 1s

The Entertainment Book is having a 12 hour sale. $12US/book(for 2010) and free shipping plus $5 off of that if you sign up to receive it again next year. In our area there are free Cineplex movie admission, so two movies($8.99 here) and it's paid for. Plus if you need to rent a car, eat out, could save you some cash. I couldn't resist and ordered one!
So, I checked out the 2 for 1 sales at Safeway.
The Imperial Margarine is $6.99 for one so that's $3.50 each OUCH!
The Dad's Cookies are the big size(my hubby was just asking for them!)$5.48 so one is $2.74 Good price
Campbell's Soup 12 for $11.99 so $6/12 or .50 a can..not bad
The other things were pricey and so I didn't bother to mention them.
Quality Greens sent out this week's sales May 12-17
Kiwis 4/$1
Broccoli crowns .99/lb

Old Town Market May 12-17
Green Peppers .79
Broccoli Crowns .99
Bananas .59
Romaine Lettuce .79
Green Onions 4/$1.00

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What I learned about this week's sales

While shopping for the LOSS leaders this week this is what I found.
Superstore's Oil of Olay sale is a misprint. They meant the 4 bars not 8, but their policy is that if you bring the item to customer service they will honor their flyer price. It is an absolutely screaming deal and the limit is 4.
Also at Superstore the 2L($3.97) of syrup is cheaper than the one sale small syrup.(way to go Lynn!)Remember you can take your Shoppers flyer to Superstore and get the orange juice that's on sale.
Cascade is on sale at Costco. The 5.1kg is $7.99.
The pork loin at save on is a long, long piece of meat. I cut it up into 6 roasts.

Friday, May 7, 2010

This Week's Sales

My hubby took this picture as well as a lot of others I have posted! Isn't he a great photographer!!
This week...
Shoppers May 8,9,10 only
TP Life 24 $4.49 limit 4
Life Mouthwash 1L $1.49 limit 4
May 8-14 Shoppers
Milk 4L is $3.99
Dole Orange Juice 12 cans $3.33!!!I am happy when it goes to $3.50(This is pure juice and nice to have for those upcoming beach days!!)
Maxwell House Coffee 925g $4.99
Colgate Toothbrushes .99
Old Town Market May 5-10
Cantaloupe 2/$3.00
Bananas .59/;b
Baby Watermelon 2/$4
Kiwis 4/$1
Black Seedless grapes $1.29/lb
Quality Greens May 5-10
Grape Tomatoes 2/$3
Spartan Apples .49/lb(these are huge and really tasty!)
10lb potatoes $1.99
Superstore May 8-14
Spend $150 and get a 1.13Kg of burgers and a 600g PC Buns free(coupon on front of flyer)
Long English Cucumbers .76(3 count bag $2.28)
PC Wieners 450g $1.99
Club packs of
Pork Center Cut Chops $2.48(bone in)
Pork Chop Rib End or Sirloin End $1.88/lb
Fresh chicken drumsticks $1.88/lb
Bagels 3/.99
Sourdough 675g $1.68
Hot dogs buns Wonder 12's $1.67
Rooster Condensed Milk 300ml $2.28
Sea Quest Scallops 454g $3.88!!!!
NN Coffee 907g $4.78 limit 2
NN Syrup 750ml $1.68 limit 6
NN Oil $3.98 limit 2!!!!
Oil of Olay bar soap 8X120g $3.99!!!!limit 4
Exact Dental Floss or picks $1.99
Pineapples 2/$4
May 8&9 only
Cooked shrimp 340g $2.99!!!!!
Strawberries 2lb $2.87

Safeway May 8-14
Buy one get one free deals

Nesters May 7-9
4grapefruit for $1 limit 8
Chicken Legs Back Attached .88/lb $1.94Kg
WW Bread 450g .98

Zellers May 7-13
Allens Apple Juice 1L .88
Saporito Oil 3L $4
Colgate Toothbrushes or kid's toothpaste 75-130ml .99
Charmin TP 16 doubles $7.99(.25 roll)
May8&9 only Kellogg's cereals 275g-525g $1.99 and Mr.Goudas rice 8kg $6.99
Coopers 9-15
Lean Ground Beef $1.49/lb

Walmart 7-13
GV Bacon 500g $2.77
Milk,eggs,bread,butter still on sale
GV Chicken Wieners 450g $1.47
In Store Baked Croissants 4/$1
Field Cucumbers 3/$1
Celery .77

Canadian Tire
Charmin TP 12 doubles $5.77(.24/roll)

Save On 9-15
Boneless Pork Loin $1.89/lb!!!
WF Peanut Butter 1Kg $2.49 limit 1

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Saving on Your Phone Bill

My latest venture to save money has been in the area of the phone bill! As I mentioned in an earlier post we switched to VOIP with Vonage almost 3 years ago. Why? Instead of paying a home phone bill of $40 for just a home phone, we decided we needed long distance coverage, and lots of it. We moved away from all our family and friends and didn't want to lose touch. Vonage has 2 plans, 1)$19.95/month all calling features, and 500 minutes long distance anywhere in Canada or the US 2)$39.95 for all calling features and unlimited long distance. After a year we decided to pay one year in advance and thus saved another $100. So, our bill is $32.95/month...not bad, until I heard about MAGICJACK A family member uses it and has been quite happy with it. We are already familiar with VOIP and it's challenges and feel for us it is a good trade, so I started researching. I found out you can order it online for $39.95 plus shipping and handling.

One year of free local and long distance calling to the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, along with all the other great magicJack features are included with your initial purchase.
As, I did more research I found that the issue people had sometimes was receiving it quickly. The 30 day money back guarantee starts as soon as your order is placed. Then, I found it was available at London Drugs for $49.95 and they will take it back in the first 2 weeks. So, I headed to LD to get one. I was surprised to find they had completely sold out. They already had a waiting list for their next shipment! The LD employee told me they have been carrying them for about a month and haven't had any returns. The next day I was able to get one.
1)VERY EASY to install...plug your phone cord into the MAGICJACK and then plug the MAGICJACK into a USB port on your computer
2)Cost for the year $49.95 plus tax plus $10 for a Canadian area code, this is about $5 a month for a phone line and unlimited long distance, as well as voicemail, caller ID,and call waiting.
3)You get to pick your number(from a list of available numbers)
4)Year 2 you just pay $19.95 for the whole year!!!!or you can sign up for 5 years and it's $69.95, $13.99/year $1.17/month
5)anywhere you can get high speed you have your phone!
6)your messages are online in your email
1)The area code for Canada is our area code, but not a local call for people in our area!
2)VOIP isn't perfect so there are sometimes issues
Solution for us. We don't want the people we live in the same area to have to pay long distance to call us, so we will change plans with Vonage, switching to $19.95/month($240/year seems like alot now!)We will keep the MAGICJACK and forward all our calls to our Vonage number to the new number. Total cost this year $300(saves us $100 this year).Total cost year 2 $260 or $22/month. For us this is a good savings and because we use so much long distance, well worth it.
Telus(from their website)
Nothing I found at Telus or Shaw could compare long term. I will wait to use it for awhile before I would sign up for 5 years. They say it's a limited time offer...we'll see.
PC Magazine did a review on it, you can read the article here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Car rentals

This past weekend we took a little trip to Vancouver. It was wonderful to spend time with family and see Vancouver in bloom! Hubby and I thought maybe I should blog about keeping expenses down on trips like this! First, a little background info. We were given(YES, GIVEN!!)a wonderful vehicle 3 years ago. It is 4 wheel drive(now 13 years old), which is exactly what we need in the mountains, and for our driveway! It has been reliable and very helpful for hauling lots of people and suitcases from the airport!! All this to say we are extremely thankful for it. As you can probably imagine, a 4 wheel drive that can seat 8 isn't super fuel efficient. So, in preparation for this trip I spent a little time researching what it would cost to drive it to Vancouver and back. Gas buddy is extremely helpful for this, just go here and click on trip calculator. We discovered that our vehicle would cost at least $150, in gas alone. Now, wear and tear is a very real cost too, so I researched some sites for calculating that and found this neat site. I used a calculation of 21.5 cents/mile(I had to do lots of converting back and forth with metric, but gas buddy has a little drop down window on their fuel logbook that lets you easily change this). Our trip was a total of 917km or 569 miles, so to drive our vehicle would have cost $159 in fuel and $122 in wear and tear for a total of $281. I then spent a little time looking for car rentals. I figured if I could rent one at a decent price it would save us money. With this site you can book most rentals without a credit card and therefore you can change it if the price goes down. I ended up getting a fairly good price(I am sure you can do better)for a weekend rate and it ended up costs $56.23 all taxes and charges in. We DID NOT use their insurance as that is where it gets really pricey. Our car insurance and our credit card fully covered us in the event of an accident or theft. Our total gas costs for our rental car were $50.70!!! So even before wear and tear we were saving money! The total cost to drive there and back was $106.93. Our vehicle would have cost $159 in fuel and $122 wear and tear for a total of $281, so we saved $281-$106.93= $174.07!! Not to mention the peace of mind of driving a brand new vehicle!
One last note...hubby says, It's good to take your vehicle on a long highway drive so you blow out some of the carbon!(We just went to Kamloops recently so we had given ours a good drive already)Speaking of carbon, gas buddy also has a carbon footprint calculator as part as their trip cost calculator. Our vehicle's footprint 744.15 lbs the Ford Focus rental 340.21 lbs!less than half. So, it was a good pocket book and enviromental choice!