Monday, August 29, 2011

Is it so bad to expect what's advertised?

In the past year (possibly longer), the Real Canadian Superstore started offering a "Deal of the Day" at checkout.  Once your groceries are scanned, the cashier will offer the deal of the day.  As per the advertisement sign, if the cashier does not mention the deal of the day, you get one for free.

Well this past Sunday, the cashier did not mention the deal of the day.  And so once I finished paying, I pointed to the sign and nicely mentioned to the cashier "You didn't mention the deal of the day"

She pauses a moment and I can hear her let out a sigh.  Then she turns to the cashier in the lane behind her and although I didn't hear what she said exactly, I heard her mention the deal of the day.  She then gets on her phone and after a minute, hangs up and instructs me to go to customer service.

I get to customer service and am there for over 5 minutes while I wait for the customer service cashier to fill out some paperwork and ring in my free item.  I sort of felt bad, because I could see that the paperwork was specific to tracking cashier that missed mentioning the deal of the day.

In the end I got a free bottle of body wash.  Retail value: $2.99.  Although I got the free item, I felt bad for asking the cashier.  But this could have been avoided if she had done her job right?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Really shouldn't.. but it's so good

Every last Friday of the month, employees at my office are allowed to wear jeans to work.  I own one pair of good jeans and I rarely wear these jeans, the last time I wore them must have been a couple months ago.  Well, a couple months is all it took for me to gain a couple pounds, due to a lack of exercise and healthy eating.

I'm wearing the jeans today and I have to admit, it's not very comfortable... there's a bit of a muffin top.. and I feel like the button is going to pop on me.

That being said, there's another reason's for me to not eat a big breakfast today: the food at our work cafeteria is so overpriced.  The other day I decided to have an omelet, hash browns and a bottled juice, and it cost me close to $9!

Expensive food on top of snug fitting jeans should mean that I stay away from a big expensive breakfast.

But I'm weak.. I just finished eating an omelet and hash browns.  It was so good, but I'm sure I'll pay for it later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It really sells...

Since I've starting my PF blog and reading other PF blogs, one thing that I've become more focused to do is declutter my closet to make some extra money.  I'm happy to say that after a month or so of selling items on eBay and on a local Facebook page, I have made $185!  Yay!  And actually that total is probably short $40 or so, as I had sold some items but didn't set aside the earnings and rather spent the money.

A big thank you to all my fellow PF bloggers who write posts about ways to make extra money!

Such a great way to end the night!

Good night!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More thought needed...

My last couple posts haven't been the greatest reads.  Short and a bit sporadic.  I will try to set aside a dedicated time, first thing in the morning to blog.

I updated my budget/balances spreadsheet this morning.  I can't like, it was a little depressing.  I don't think I can even write down the balance here.  I'm not going to ask myself how it happened, because I know how it did.  But I do need to focus more on paying the balances off.

What worries me the most, is that currently DH and I don't have an emergency fund.  We have a savings account with $100.  That's it.  We don't really have any available credit on our credit cards either.  So that's not really an option.  I definitely need to look into putting more money aside, just in case.

Looking at that balance, was an eye-opener.  Although our debt isn't increasing, it's not getting any smaller either.  This is my turning point.  I need to focus.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Each bit helps...

Sold another $20 worth of DD's outgrown clothes.  Felt great!  Motivated me to go through more of her outgrown clothes, take pictures and post the items online.  Very excited to think that I'm slowly passing on her clothes!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week Recap.

Yesterday I went down to Grand Forks for the day with my sister, cousin and girlfriends.  It was a day of shopping, only rule.. no kids!  DH stayed home with the kids and although I missed them while I was away (drive is just over 2hours away from where I live), it was so nice to shop without hearing "I'm hungry... I'm thirsty.. I want to go home now".. hehe.. I was able to pick up some groceries,mainly snacks that aren't available here, and I found some awesome deals on clothes for myself.  Also picked up a few things for the kids and a couple Christmas present.  Total damage:  $300 eek!  ($100 went on the credit card, so I'll have to make sure I pay that back later this week on pay day)

Groceries: $80, this was a good shopping trip.  We got chicken, sausage and seafood and lots of fruit.

My focus is to not spend money on lunches this week.  I've got to cook tonight and make sure I have a lunch to pack for tomorrow.

Still working on selling things on eBay and on a local Facebook group.  No huge earnings yet, but I'm decluttering my closet once piece of clothing at a time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Credit Card - Fraudulent Activities

I got home from work yesterday to find a letter from Capital One informing me that they suspect fraudulent activity on my MasterCard and therefore have put a hold on the account.  I immediately logged into my account online and was the "Account Restricted" message.  This would explain why I couldn't use my credit card to purchase a pair of shoes online (sounds bad, but I was actually ordering a pair of shoes that my sister and cousin were going to buy me for my birthday.. hehe)

Looks like someone had tried using my credit card a few times late in July.  A couple times at a gas station and once at McDonalds.  I'm quite impressed that Capital One took the steps to put a hold on my account.  DH had a similar experience, and they didn't catch any fraudulent activity so close to $400 in unauthorized transactions had gone through on his credit card.  At least when he called to report the fraud, they were nice and reversed all the transactions.  Of course DH has to confirm that all fraudulent transactions have been cleaned up.

So now I am waiting for a new credit card to be mailed out.  I suppose this is a good thing, as a girlfriend and I are going on a no-kids shopping trip this Saturday.  We're driving down to Grand Forks which is 2 hours south of where we live.  I had planned on bringing my credit card just in case, but now I will have to stick to the cash I will be bringing with me.

Monday, August 15, 2011


I have a confession to make... I spent a good chunk of my Saturday (while DH was staining the deck), watching the Twilight movies.  And other fall-in-love type of movies.  And not even the entire movie, I would just watch the parts where the characters were falling in love, admitting their love to each other, denying their love.  The parts that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside... hehe..

I especially love watching movies where it's a Romeo and Juliet type of romance.  They're from different worlds (rich/poor, human/vampire) but they've fallen in love, and no matter what they do, they can't stop loving each other. 

I definitely need to purchase a book, a romance book, a Romeo and Juliet type of romance book.  In the past couple months I've been able to earn enough Swagbucks to redeem $20 in Amazon gift certificates.  Which means, free book! yay!

Weekend Recap and this Week's Plan

Another beautiful weekend filled with sunshine and hot weather!
We finally stained the deck in our backyard.  Although the expenses weren't in our budget for this month, we decided to go ahead and stain the deck as it may be one of the last nice weekends before it starts to cool down.  Total cost to stain the deck:  $94.04

The total above includes a plant that DH really liked and purchased.  It came in a plastic pot and so we had to go buy a pot to transfer the plant into.
Total cost: $22.17

We spent a few hours at the park/beach on Sunday.  Had to pick up some drinks and snacks on the way there.
Total cost:  $12.39

We also ate out a couple times this weekend.  Last night DH had a craving for chinese food.  It's very rare that DH will suggest going out to eat, and he did a great job of staining the deck, so I thought it would be a great idea to go out for dinner last night.
Total cost:  $32

We also went grocery shopping yesterday, spent just under $70.

This weeks menu:

Monday - Seafood alfredo
Tuesday - BBQ Ribs
Wednesday - Chicken wings (not sure how I'm going to prepare them)
Thursday - Salmon
Friday - not sure

I suspect that I will need to run to the grocery store during the week.  I'm hoping to keep our total grocery bill under $100 for this week. 

In terms of activities/outings, I have nothing planned with the kids this week.  I'm hoping to take them to the park or for bike rides around the neighborhood.  That will be nice, free fun.  If we do end up going out for ice cream, the shop by our place has kiddie cones for $0.85 so I can get both kiddies a small cone for just under $2.00.

Bad news, I didn't prepare anything for my lunch today.  Which means I will go out with coworkers to grab a bite to eat.  My goal for today is to keep lunch under $7.

Right now, I feel like I have things under control.  Haven't made any extra payments to debt, but will see what I can do this week.  I need to do a bit of organizing of our expenses/finances, then maybe anything extra can go towards CC debt.

Friday, August 12, 2011

$$$ eating out..

Not spending a huge amount... $18 sushi dinner last night, $4 crepe for dessert.  $8 taco lunch today.  $8 dinner.  The sushi dinner was with a couple friends, we had gone shopping yesterday.  I did really well and didn't buy anything, wasn't really tempted either, so that was a good thing.

It was an unproductive day at work today, in total I think I did 1hr of actual work.

I sold a few baby items this week, feel bad because I didn't put away the $20 that I made from the sales.  I actually spent that money on today's lunch and dinner.  Not good.  I must get better at putting that money aside.

Hoping for a fun weekend, with minimal spending :)
No plans yet, but we'll probably take the kids to the park.  I'll pack up snacks and juice boxes to help not spend.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Additional % off...

I love Clearance signs that start with "Additional % off lowest ticketed price"  In the past I'd always use these sales as an opportunity to shop shop shop!  Today on my lunch hour, I walked through the Bay and they were having a huge clearance event.  I was with my coworkers and we went to check out some massage chairs/hand held massagers/foot massagers.  Extra 70% off!  There was a nice homedic handheld massage on sale for $17.99.  Definitely a good deal, regular price is around $50.  It was so tempting to buy one right there and I know I'd get great use out of the massager, but I stepped back and told myself to think it through and not purchase.  Then as I was walking through the children's department a few items caught my eye.  Additional 30% off... they had some really nice things.  I started grabbing items, putting together a Christmas shopping list in my head.  Had 4 items in hand when I had to step back and stop myself.  I considered the prices again, and decided that although the items were cheap, I would be able to find other gifts in the same price range.  I don't have the money in the account to buy Christmas gifts right now (scheduled to start in September/October).  So I put the items back and I walked back to the office.

We did go by Home Depot today to look at colors to stain our deck.  Picked up a sample can for $5, a couple paint brushes for $6 and a solution to Prep the deck prior to staining. That cost us $16.  Hopefully the stain color I picked out looks good tomorrow after it's dried and we can go ahead and purchase a gallon or two.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I should be sleeping...

Sunday night.  I should really be sleeping, but I'm here sitting in bed surfing the internet.  Thought I'd write about our day.  It was a good day.  The most I spent today was $20 at the Zoo for admission.  We had a fun time, packed juice and snacks, so didn't have spend money buying food.  And even after we left the zoo, it was just after lunch time, and we were thinking maybe we'd go out to eat, but we decided to just go home and have lunch at home.  We had some meat marinating so DH fired up the bbq and we had a delicious lunch.  Dinner was at home too, so I think this is one of the first Sunday's that we didn't spend any money eating out!  This is a huge achievement for us, as we're usually out on weekends and tend to spend anywhere between $20-$50 eating out.  I also sold a bag and pair of pants on eBay.  I did spend $5 on bubble envelopes to ship the items, and I will have to pay for shipping costs tomorrow, but I can deduct that from the payments.

Great way to end the weekend.  Kiddies are exhausted from a fun and busy weekend.  DH's payday is on Thursday, car is filled with gas, and there's food in the fridge, and $80 left in the bank account.  So far so good!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

playing around with Blogger themes

So I thought I'd try playing around with the design of this blog.
In the process of applying different themes, I lost my list of blogs I read.  So in the next few days I will have to re-populate my Daily Readings list.

Today we had a 1st birthday to attend at a buffet restaurant.  I woke up hungry and thought it would be great if the kids and I joined DH to the party.  The original plan was to cut back on our spending and he would go alone.  Often when a party is at a restaurant, the birthday gift is presentation ($$$).  So when I woke up  morning I was prepared to gift an extra $30 so that the entire family could go.  Then I realized that the $30 could be better used for something else, and that the kids and I could make lunch at home.  I suspect had we gone, I would have felt guilty afterwards for deviating from the original plan and spending more money than needed.

I've had a sinus headache since yesterday and my body is just aching.  Not a great feeling.  Today will be a good day to stay in and rest.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Halfway through this short work week...

Monday was a Civic Holiday for us (Canadian holiday) so this week is a short work week.  So far, spending wise, it's been a good week.  I brought a sandwich for lunch on Tuesday and ate it, but I did also pick up an order of yam fries (under $4).  I worked from home yesterday so didn't spend any money on lunch.  We did make a small trip to Sobey's to pick up burger patties and hamburger buns for today's supper, both DH and I had a craving for hamburgers fresh off the bbq!!  I think the frivolous spending was on lotto tickets.  We spent $11.  I checked my ticket this morning, not a winner.  I've never kept track of lotto ticket purchases, but I suspect we spend close to $50 a month.  Whenever we're at the gas station, we'll pick up lotto tickets or scratch n' win tickets.  The spending definitely adds up, and we're not winning big either.  I do need to make more effort to cut back on lotto tickets.

We're taking the kids to see The Wiggles tonight.  I'm sure they are going to have a great time, not sure yet if they'll sit through the entire show though.  Tonight's challenge will be to leave the show without purchasing a Wiggles souvenir.  The last time we took the kids to a show, it was Sesame Street.  DD left with toy binoculars,  $15 and I'm not even sure where they are anymore.

We also have a birthday party to attend, but this time I'm prepared and have budgeted for the gift. Yay!  What a great feeling to know there's a party and I don't have to move things around with the budget.

I'm still brainstorming on ideas to make extra income.  I love the idea of selling handmade items on Etsy.  I just haven't really figured out what I can make that people would want to buy.

Today at work, I feel like my mind will be wandering on Etsy ideas, rather than actually work.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rough weekend...

It's been a busy and fun filled weekend.  My nephew's baptism and 1st birthday, and my daughter's 4th birthday.. both events I didn't plan enough for.. in terms of my budget.  I had to use my MasterCard, didn't feel good.  But I've given myself a challenge for this upcoming work week.  I am bringing a lunch, and I will not spend money on lunch.  As long as there are no major unexpected events, we should be ok until next pay day, which is 14 days away! eek!!  seems so far away.  Oh.. and I also dipped into my ing direct savings account.  Didn't feel great about that either, but I didn't want to put anymore on the credit card.

Good news is that I maxed out my EI contributions this year, so each paycheque for the remainder of the year will have about $50 more.  And then next month, I will max out my CPP contribution, and that will add another $140 to my paycheque.  I need to be very careful with that extra money and use some of the money to pay off debt and to put away into an emergency fund.

Ok, as I type this out now, I don't feel so bad.  Feel focused to stay on track this week.