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Consumers Distributing

One of my childhood memories is Consumers Distributing. I loved this store – and I loved the catalog. You could “shop” at home, then go into the store, and just order what you wanted, and they would bring it to you (they also offered free delivery). There was a small storefront, with a few displays, but nothing that you could pick up and look at. They were similar to the Sears catalog, except that you would go to the store in person. Stock issues were a common problem, as many items were often out of stock, and attempts to fix the inventory issues led to overextending the company, and they ultimately went out of business.

Here are some flashbacks from 1979, and what they offered. Continue reading

Frugal Living: Doing more with less

A big part of frugal living is not only saving money, but finding ways to do more with what you already have. We are so used to running out and buying something new as the need arises. But how many of us will actually stop and think ‘what do I have that I could use instead of buying another…?’

It really is a shift in mindset. Especially when we are busy, it is easier to solve a problem with money, then to spend time trying to find a creative solution. When reorganizing my office this week, I realized that the small bookcase I bought at Canadian Tire 10 years ago had finally had it. I started automatically thinking about what I could replace it with, and how much it would cost.  As I put the books away, I started thinking ‘maybe I don’t really need to replace the bookcase – what would happen if I just moved a few things around?’ Continue reading

What you should and shouldn’t buy at the dollar store

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I read a lot of posts from people who sing the praises of dollar stores, and many of their household items there, including food. While there are a lot of great deals to be had, there are definitely things that you should leave on the shelf, and buy elsewhere.

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How to feed your family for $100/week

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I have been wanting to do a segment for a while on how to eat well within a budget. Every week, I scan the flyers, see what’s on sale, and plan around that for each week’s menu plan. When something I use often is on sale, and the sale is particularly good (good=only on sale once every few months at that price), then I stock up on that item. My rule of thumb is to buy enough to get me through until the next time it goes on sale. Continue reading

Apple Picking in Mississauga

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It must be getting close to fall. While in the garage the other day, I saw the scarecrow decoration, and wondered if it was too soon to put it up.

We decided to go apple picking today – I have missed it the last few years for one reason or another, and decided this year we were going to go, and set out today in the semi-rainy weather to give it a go.

There are a number of places to choose from if you live in the west end  – here is a rundown of the top ten to choose from:

Orchalaw Farms: This farm offers scenic views of the Credit River, along with a play area, free wagon rides, and a promise that they grow everything they sell onsite. Farm opens September 10 and offers over 20 varieties of apples. They do have Pick Your Own available or 2016. Also carry squash and pumpkins (with a pumkin patch for the kids). Continue reading

What does your key chain say about you?

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You can tell a lot about someone by looking at their key chains. When I was a teenager, I didnt have much of a one to speak of, because I didnt own anything. As time went on, my key chain got heavier, and more expressive of my personality. I would buy novelty key chains when I travelled, get special ones as gifts, and eventually it was so big and heavy that I wondered whether it would one day cause the car key to fall out of the ignition while I was driving.  After a number of years, there were keys on there that I couldnt even identify anymore. I eventually pared it down, but I couldn’t bear to part with the extra key chains I had been carrying around forever. It felt like I was throwing away a little part of history. Continue reading

Closet Cleaning Day

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So the other day I ran out of hangers, and decided that it was time to clean out my closet. I figure that I only wear about 20% of the clothes that are in there, so it was time to weed out the garbage.

So I started by taking everything out of the closet – from top to bottom.  It had become a catch all for things that have nowhere else to live. When I was done, the bed was stacked high with clothes, and the surrounding area was full. I couldnt believe that all that stuff was in there.     Continue reading

Coursera – Child Nutrition/Cooking Course


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I have to say that I love free stuff – coupons, samples, rebates, etc. But one of the best deals I have found is Coursera.

Coursera is a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) that is free to use, and makes University level courses available to everyone.  I have wanted to take some courses for the last few years, and since my schedule doesnt really permit me to be gone one or two nights a week, this is a perfect solution. You can complete these right from your own home.    Continue reading

‘The Tightwad Gazette’ by Amy Dacyczyn

This was a great book for me years ago when I was first starting out – I read it from cover to cover (and at 900+ pages, it’s a lot of book!). Amy was ‘green’ before being green was even in style.

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While transferring my books to another bookcase last month, I saw The Tightwad Gazette and put it aside. Continue reading