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Happy New Year-2018 Already!?!

Holy Cow, Friends!

I can’t believe it’s already January 2nd!  Where does the time go?

I have been working on a Christmas post, saving it as I went and BAM! it passed me by!  So, the only thing to do is scrap it and move on.


Up next…


The Plan.

I’ve got one.

Do you?

Image result for 2018

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How to build your safe pantry

Everyone knows that with food sensitivities and special diets that eating WILL become a chore! However, I believe that preparation is the key to success for your health!

You couldn’t possibly be able to come home late from work and put together a quick meal if you’re gluten-free and all you have is regular pasta in your pantry!

Recipe for disaster!


You need a plan!

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Dollarama Grocery Challenge- Budgeting Series Part 2

Hi There!

Welcome to the Dollarama Grocery Budget Challenge!  Where you eat lunch, dinner and dessert or snacks, from foods purchased at the Dollarama!

I thought I would continue from my last post with a few examples to help you get your creative mind in action!

I know for a fact that there are many reasons why planning for a week can be hard, and budget is the Number 1 reason on my list.  I want to be able to make whatever I want, when I want it, but there are too many things that make that an impossibility! So, that makes your grocery budget and its flexibility( or lack there of) incredibly important!

So, I am going to assume that healthy eating is important, and that you have no specific dietary restrictions other than cutting out the crap!

I am also going to assume the you are short on time as well as cash, so getting what you can all in one shop is helpful.  Generally, I wouldn’t advocate that kind of grocery shopping because splitting your shopping to get you the best quality and the best price are very important tips to keep in mind. Plus Dollarama doesn’t carry foods like cow’s milk, eggs or cheese. (But almond and soy milk are available!For $2 a carton!)

But this is just one week, and it’s a game. So there!

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Running out- Budgeting Series

Dollarama Challenge

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):

  • Loblaws
    • Independant
    • Great Canadian Superstore
    • NG cash and carry
    • No Frills
    • T&T (Asian)
  • Metro
    • Food Basics
  • Sobey’s
    • 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
  • Costco
  • Dollar Tree
  • Dollarama


  • 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!

Menu Planning

In our busy lives it’s really hard to eat well and on a modest budget.  If you have the right tools you can make it easier!  That’s why I’m here!  I can help!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent many hours scouring the internet and subsequently many fabulous blogs that tout the benefits of meal planning.  Well, I hate doing it!  I am terrible at it!  You sit down with every cookbook in your arsenal and a few dozen of your favourite blogs and recipe sites open on your computer or tablet and try to fill in a whole month’s worth of meals.

The hard part is trying to anticipate everyone’s schedules.  Then there’s those days when nothing goes right!  How about a sudden snow storm! Or the very worst thing to happen to your family…viruses!  Nothing kills a menu plan and a fridge full of perishable food more than a virus screaming its way through your family!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why it works and how it should work.  I find it the same as an actual budget- really hard to stick to.

I like variety, and spontaneity and find that a month already mapped out is constricting!  I actually look at the plan for the day, week and month and decide that I don’t like any of those options!  Can I get any more self-defeating?  The whole purpose is to ACTUALLY save time AND money!  I know I need to work on this!


Life is a work in progress!


So, that being said I am including a free menu planning printable for you to use!  I hope you find it useful!  I purposely designed it to be one week and only one week!  That way there is less pressure!  And the bonus is after a few weeks, you can shuffle them and create new menus!

Weekly Menu Plan

This is my newest creation!  I designed a menu plan that works for one week!  It contains a shopping list, a pantry list, a legend, and a future planning list.  Inside there are detailed instructions on how to use this file!

I hope you like it, but if you feel that there is something missing that could be uber useful, let me know and I can add it in!  Leave me a comment with a picture of your chart! I’d love to see what you’ve done and what you’ve been eating!