I am challenging you today! We are nearing the end of the month, money is tight and you are still hungry! Not many people think outside the grocery store box when it comes to grocery shopping. that is usally why people complain about how much food costs!
Here in Canada we are not blessed with many chains to choose from that offer more bites for our dollars. I envy blog posts for those in the U.S. that can shop for a family of five for a whole month and spend $200!
There are a few chains that have lower prices, but buyer beware: longevity of these foods are not a consideration!! I also have to warn you that sometimes you can find meat cheap, but it may not be Canadian. This is an issue for a whole different post that I may never get to.
Any-who, back to the stores* that sell food here in Ottawa (not going over to Quebec):
- Great Canadian Superstore
- NG cash and carry
- No Frills
- T&T (Asian)
- Food Basics
- FreshCo(Price Chopper)
- Produce Depot(which is exclusive to Ottawa)(Produce and meats are cheaper not dairy or shelf stable items)
- Giant Tiger
- Whole Foods
- Dollar Tree
- Note that there are major store names with the black bullet point, and other names with a white bullet point, well the white ones are all owned by the name above it with a black bullet point.
- Those names italicized are the cheapest available.
Back to my point! These are all available here but most are expensive enough to make you sweat- a lot if you have to pinch your pennies! Yup, I made the joke, there are no pennies left in Canada!!
So, challenge you to make as many meals as you can from shopping at Dollarama!
Using the free download below, plan your meals for a week using what you have in your pantry and what you can get from the Dollarama. Try it out!! Share your haul! Post me a picture of your menu and the items you purchased to my Facebook page! Let’s keep this conversation going!
Seriously? How many of these posts are out there?
It seems like everyone who has a blog that has thousands of followers have posts just like this. It also seems that they are the odd percentage of bloggers that post their monthly income reports to show staggering amount of money earned just by doing (point 1; point 2; point 3).
So, here I am with my little beginner blog trying to read ALL THOSE DAMN POSTS!! And it occurred to me there seems to be one large mistake that they all make…
HOW DOES IT ACTUALLY WORK?
I know that list of this app, or that affiliate program, or that plug in is in fact useful for us to know. But, I want to know how does it actually get you money? Because the “really good ones” cost money, which i don’t have.
All the helpful tips and suggestions are fab, but I must be daft when it comes to the odd inner workings of blogs, webs and income strategies, because it makes me more confused after reading them all.
I just spent all of last night reading each and every income report for the amazing blog makingsenseofcents, and am in awe of the dollar amounts I see there every month! There is information about what she does to earn that, but how in the hell am I going to do that?
It also occurs to me that the big bucks are being rolled in on e-books and e-courses that teach specifically how to blog, or affiliate market, or whatever else! Is that the clue? I don’t really need to worry about how to blog specifically as long as I can sell you a class that teaches you? That can’t be right, obviously. I mean many of these amazing ladies have been working their blogs for years! It has to pay off, all that experience.
I know that this (slight) amount of frustration is coming from my impatience…I want to see dollars accumulating! I want to see responses to my posts and feedback! I want to see followers!
Breath….I am impatient! So Sorry!!
I will figure it out….now I need to understand why I don’t see any ads from the Adsense account I linked to this blog. Any ideas what I did wrong? I went through the application, gave the proper web address…now what?
This post contains affiliate links!
Hey there, Momma’s!
I wanted to boast a little about a product that I designed and have been testing! It’s none other than the No Touchy! Diaper Rash Spray.
I am sure that many of you have been tortured when your littles’ get a bad bout of diaper rash and your forced to rub thick, white globs of poisonous petroleum based products! Then try not to cry when you have inevitably caused your baby more pain because of touching and pulling their delicate skin!
Let me tell you a little story. My second son had an allergy to milk based formula, which of course we didn’t know right away! So, his rashes were awful! And to top things off his rashes became worse when we used anything with high levels of zinc! He would see me coming with the tins and tubes of white glop and he would cry and repeat over and over “No Touchy, No Touchy, Mama, peeeese, no touchy.” What’s a Mom to do then? I get teary eyed just remembering his little voice!
Fast forward a few years, and I had an epiphany! I just wish it had come to me sooner! I could make a product and know for certain that it was the best option possible because I would use only plant-based organic products!
I found a great company in Oregon, but after a year I couldn’t use them anymore, as they couldn’t ship across the border! Then I found a great company based out of Toronto…perfect! So, after tinkering with the ingredients I felt confident enough to try it out on my third baby that had just been born. Eureka! Not only did it work, it worked overnight with one application! The more ferocious the rash the longer it did take, but there were no tears, no tantrums, no begging! Even now, as my youngest is 5 and learning to take care of his bathroom needs, there are inevitably a few “misses” and a rash ensues. Spray on this product and bam! by morning it’s gone!
I felt so strongly that I was on to something that I took a correspondence course in aromatherapy to learn more about essential oils! It was fabulous!
It’s Not Only for Diapers!
I have used this to help a child (and myself many times!!) heal burns to the hands from cooking. Heat rashes in the underarms, skin rubbing on thighs and even after a little bit too much exuberance with not enough lubricant (wink-wink)! This heals them all!!
Yes, I am tooting my own horn! Sure. Why not?
I have had friends buy this from me, and have experienced the same benefits! So, why not head over to Amazon and buy one for yourself! Try it out and leave me a review!
Note: Please do not consider this medical advice in lieu of direction from your doctor! This is what worked for me. It may not be right for you!
After my energy recovery from having my third child failed to actually recover I spent many hours on the web trying to come up with answers. of course, as many of you know this is the most DANGEROUS way to gain knowledge!
I had false self-diagnoses of a myriad of diseases that had me dying within the year! So, as any self respecting dying woman would do, I went to my doctor to have her confirm the bad news!
Thankfully, the news never came.
It turned out that one of the two thyroid hormones was drastically low. If any of you reading this knows a thing or two about thyroid hormones you’ll know that they can be fixed with synthetic thyroid replacement…of course my problem was one was low and one was high! Not quite normal parameters for a definitive diagnosis of Hypothyroid disorder.
So what does that mean? Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
This is not a thyroid disorder exactly, but an immune system disorder confusing the thyroid genetic make-up with foreign invaders to your body and attacking it. This causes hypothyroid symptoms, inflammation of the thyroid, unexplained weight gain, inability to lose weight, temperature management issues, severe fatigue. Anyway, you get the point!
Then with a diagnosis in hand, you then ask “What now?”
The basic recommendation is to avoid gluten…at all costs! Gluten has a genetic make-up almost identical to your thyroid so every time you eat just one cookie, or one muffin or bagel, you send a rush of antibodies through your system to protect against the dangerous invader! the more often you take this hit the more likely you are to have goiter, your thyroid swells and inhibits your ability to breathe, swallow or talk normally. Your neck feels tight and the lump directly in front of your voicebox feels sore and pronounced. Not at all cool!
Did you know that prepared gluten-free foods cost a serious fortune? Holy Baloney!
I ended up learning as much as I could over the years prior to this diagnosis because my body gave me different signs that I wasn’t digesting wheat very well. (Strange, huh? It was almost as though this was an early sign that I needed to stay away from gluten. But why I didn’t stay on the diet that time is another story!)
While the local Bulk Barn had all I needed in ingredients, I needed an arsenal of recipes to learn from! I couldn’t afford to eat the prepared foods all the time, so I would have to learn to make my own. I am still trying to find bread recipes that don’t feel and taste like eating a dry sponge!
As hard as it is to stick to this way of eating, I noticed a problem.
I didn’t feel better!
I tried adopting the Paleo Diet. It emphasizes meats, produce and some grains. There are Paleo purists that don’t consume certain produce, dairy or even certain “Gluten acceptable” grains, but this was really finicky for me.
I had a melt down! You see, my early teen years were plagued by the self-induced horror that is anorexia. I never sought professional help, but somehow managed to get through by getting tired of being hungry. But, I never really healed mentally.
Having to be incredibly nit-picky about every little thing was causing “My Diet” to be “My Everything”. I have kids, a husband, and extended family, a small business, and multiple things i’m working on as potential income strategies….and no time to have “My Food” consume my EVERY thought. It makes me anxious and agitated, therefore the melt down!
I still felt lousy, and exhausted ALL.THE.TIME!
Researching further about how food was causing my body to react I realized that Hashimoto’s is not the only problem I am facing. I am facing food sensitivities and systemic reactions that are giving my body constant upheavals. I have signs of joint degeneration in my knees. Yup at 38, my knees are those of an 80 year old. Great..
Diet. Hmm….so what causes inflammation in the joints? Animal Products. Interesting.
Now, I have to stick to a Gluten-Free-Vegan Diet? Stress causes more inflammation and now this diet causes me stress….
How do you explain to meat eating Europeans that there is more to a vegan diet than a bowl of lettuce? or that the potato salad from KFC is not actually a salad?? (Breathe…focus…problem solve)
When I stick to it for more than three days…i feel it works. My knees don’t hurt as much, I have energy to spare, most times…and my gut health has improved! I figured out a way to make it work without anxiety…keep the foods i need to eat, easy to prepare and ready to go!
A little bit of work in advance helps me make the right choice. And bringing my own food with my everywhere helps, too!
For the third year in a row, my family and I pack up the car and head down to Vermont for a vacation. Every year we noticed how expensive this beautiful state is and every year we say the same thing “We should not be vacationing here!”
Well, that may not be entirely true! It takes careful planning and prep work. If you are creative enough and happened to choose your time during the warm season, then cheap may be an easier option than you think!
While we haven’t traveled to Stowe during the winter months, summer time can be fun, if it’s warm! We were there the last week of August this year and it was cold!! (FYI~ sweaters are not easy to find!!)
Anyway! Getting back to my point. There are many alternatives for accommodations but many fill up fast so planning for a week in the summer is mandatory in January!
For example, Camping. You can sleep in tents, for the hard core camper. Or use RV’s and campers, use state provided lean-to’s or even a cabin in a state park. Vermont State Parks has a great website to book online from. We booked a cabin for five days, while cooking has to be done the on fire or a coleman propane cooker it was more fun and a hellofalot cheaper than eating out every meal!
We chose a cabin at Lake Carmi, yes, it is at the very top of the state, but as Canadians, it was ideal because it was close to the border crossing off highway 108 (That’s right, not the 89! No hour-long wait times!)
Next to the park is a small town by the name of Enosburg Falls, and it has a Hannafords. The prices at this grocery store aren’t crazy exorbitant, I can tell you we got steaks for dinner and fed five people and two dogs for $5!! Meanwhile, when we stayed at a hotel for two nights in Stowe a small steak that barely fed 1 person went for $30! U.S.!
So, now you’ve got cheap accomadations, bring your own bedding and equipement, but you’re only 45 minutes from Burlington, and an hour from Stowe, less if you choose to take the interstate, we never did.
And let me tell you about the GAS!!!!!
As an Ottawa native we pay a fair bit for gas! We left town at $1.05 per litre and returned to see it at $1.30 per litre. granted that is higher than normal. Harvey has made an impact there, as well. But, as I was saying, gas prices in Vermont averaged about $2.43 per GALLON! Upon quick glancing it may seem as though Vermonters are paying more for gas, but look again….4 litres make up 1 gallon….so if we choose the lesser amount I showed above, I paid $4.20 for the 1 gallon of gas.
So, filler up! Especially before you leave the state! We have to drive through Montreal to get home and they had prices in the $1.40’s!!! per litre!!
Now, I used many different online hotel searching/booking sites to get a great deal on a hotel for a couple of days after we left the camping site…think clean sheets, warm showers, wi-fi and tv for the kids!
After comparing we noticed a flaw in the system! Many of the sites that claim to find you the best deal cheat you on those deals…read the information on the actual hotel info page before booking anything…there are hotel fees that are not included in the big bold prices tag that got your interest! many of the sites had fees listed that the hotel will charge you upon arrival that caused you to end up paying more than another booking site that didn’t hide all those fees but included them in your quote. So, be cautious!
Choose one hotel and compare on many sites, including their own! Many times I have found a better deal by going straight to their own site! If it’s not a busy weekend but weekday dates you are searching for, try just driving in, like we’ve done in the past. I knew the rates online, and decided to let fate decide if we would stay in Vermont a few extra days or just go home…and ended up with an upgraded room for far less than the regular room we would have booked online! But don’t do this over the weekends…there are usually no vacancies anywhere!
Now onto food while staying in Stowe, Vermont! Talk about freaking crazy insane!! We grabbed the dining magazine and noted which restaurants were labelled as budget friendly…and had actually dined at that location on a day trip while still camping…not budget friendly at all!! We paid $80 usd for burgers, fries and milkshakes…not cheap at all!
There are many great dining experiences, and if saving money there is not your worry then go ahead and eat where ever you want…but if cheap is better then there are only a few options open to you that I found out this summer…
Shaws a grocery store at the outer edge of Stowe Village on Mountain road…but as it’s the only grocery store for miles, it’s not incredibly cheap, but much better than an $80 lunch bill.
How about your hotel? Does it offer breakfast? Grab a few pieces of fruit and a couple of bagels and use them with your lunch! You can actually build a bacon bagel sandwich and wrap it up to take with you! Use your refillable water bottles and fill with juice, then use your camping cups to share it.
Edelweiss deli on Mountain road, after the Smuggler’s Notch Resort but before you get to the main Village (On the right side) they cook their own deli and have bread from a local bakery, and even have gluten free buns…while they are expensive (Think $10 for one sandwich) I have a solution!
Got your own cups? You should, you’ve just been camping! Buy a bottle of juice to share.
Have four mouths to feed? Get two sandwiches from the deli, and a loaf of bread and split the sandwiches outside at the picnic tables and make four for the price of two! They are generous with the amount of meat they put in there so no one will feel their sandwiches are stingy.
Don’t forget to bring along a backpack filled with water bottles and snacks…smaller restaurant bills can be had if you’ve been snacking! you can get cheap snack at the grocery store, don’t think convenience stores will do you any good! you pay for that little shop!
Also, try to keep your activities bills low and keep to hiking trails, free outdoor events, hotel amenities are great, too! We recently stay at Innsbruck Inn and they have a pool, three hot-tubs, a tennis court, soccer nets, (and the equipment to use them), s decent sized lawn to run around with the kids and a play structure. There is also free use of four bicycles! This part is great as the property is adjacent to the bike trail that leads you right into Stowe Village! So check out your hotels amenities, there may be more than you realized!
This post contains amazon affiliate links.
I am not in any way linked to the Vermont State Park, Hannafords, Shaws, Edelweiss Deli or Innsbruck Inn and am not earning benefits by my recommendations.
As I promised, I would update you often on the “Work from home Options” options that are available. Granted it is still summer around here and the schedule is CRAZY! I do hope that with the kids going back to school in two weeks that I can settle into a better schedule of research and implementation!
I have started with Toluna.ca (For Canadians.) There is a .com for Americans. It is a survey site that earns you points for every survey that you complete, either fully or cancelled by the system based on the demographic questions you’ve answered at the beginning of each survey.
It is a bit tedious, so far, to be honest. I think I may have gone through 10 to 15 surveys already and most run about 20 to 30 minutes. While you can earn 1200 to 2000 points for that time frame, or alternatively 200 points if they don’t “need” you to finish the whole thing, it does take a lot of points to redeem for gift cards. It is a bit time consuming for a work online experience, that seems to give moderate return for the time investment. However, as this post says this is the first one under my belt!
It takes 30,000 points to get a $10 gift card, $75,000 points to get a $25 gift card. There are many different retailers, restaurants and services that are available in gift card format, like Starbucks and Itunes. But there is also another option that is not right up at the top: The Paypal gift card. At 60,000 points for $20 increment redemption it is possible to get cash outs.
There are also entries earned for every survey completed to earn large totals of points. While clicking around I found a tab for Test Products, while there are no products available currently, it is an option with this company that you can be sent products that you test and review(and get to keep) So, as I achieve more with this site I will add updates to this post.
If you have been working with Toluna, leave comments below on your experiences with them!
Thanks a bunch!
**IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not earning anything from this post, nor any click throughs to Toluna that you may do. It is entirely all my opinion and am not receiving any compensation.
In our never-ending world of Pinterest Posts showing off Blogging Income Reports where people are making well over $80,000 a month, surely I can figure out how to make $1000!
I will spend my time reading the “How I did it” blog posts and all the “How you can too” posts. I’ll try to keep detailed notes on all the steps and how they worked. (or how they failed!) So far, I’ve encountered many posts about “How to start a money-making blog in 5 easy steps!” Now let me tell you something…5 steps may SEEM easy, but for a beginner navigating the world of WordPress is riddled with many step-by-step guides and YouTube videos. Yet, you can STILL easily SCREW IT ALL UP!
Choosing a Theme isn’t as simple as you think! WordPress gives you an image and you are supposed to know exactly how your blog is going to look using that image…um…NO! Then you spend hours trying to figure out how to make everything “fit” only to find out that it doesn’t have the options you wanted in the first place. Or the page looks like a glossy magazine layout instead of a friendly blog page.
Don’t get me started (not yet anyway) on linking to Amazon! I couldn’t even tell you what happened to me there, yet. I haven’t figured out how I messed up that one…but monetizing with Amazon is hard.
It all seems too good to be true! However, someone really is making money somewhere…I just wonder if the money they are making isn’t actually from their “blog” but from the posts and ebooks that teach you “how” they did it! Do you see the difference?
So, I will start with this pre-fortune post and keep adding more as I Learn and Earn! If I am lucky enough to have income reports I will add them as well! I can be hopeful, right?