Monthly Archives: March 2012

Weekend Ramblings & PF Blog Love: A Nickel for Your Thoughts Edition

So with the new federal budget the Canadian government decided that the penny is useless and that the Royal Canadian Mint will stop producing pennies.  Hence the “a nickel for your thoughts” edition, because pretty soon, there won’t be any more pennies!

In addition, the federal government plans to cut a lot of public sector jobs and increase the age of OAS payments from 65 to 67.  I think there are probably going to be a lot of pissed off seniors out there!

Short rambling for me today but I hope y’all enjoy your weekend!  Anything planned?  I might watch Hunger Games this weekend- anyone seen it yet? Good or bad?

PF Blog Love (Canuck Edition in light of the Federal Budget)

Carnival Love (to me)

10 Easy Ways to Save Hundreds of Dollars Each Month

 

Here’s a guest post by Rick who approached me to share a guest post he had written.  Rick blogs at Invest In 2012, a blog where he talks about investing in stocks and commodities.  He’s part of the Yakezie Challenge and since he wrote this no-nonsense (and practical) guest post I thought I would share it with you.  Enjoy!

Obviously, everyone’s been talking a lot about saving money. But what most people don’t realize is that it’s actually quite easy to do so! You don’t need to dig for those intricate ways to save a few thousand bucks each month; there are many small money saving opportunities right beside you that when added up, will be quite a shocker. So here’s my take on a couple of easy bills to cut.

  1. Cut the cable! Back when we still had cable (that was 2 years ago), it was pretty expensive. I think it cost about $36 bucks a month, which, if you add it up over the course of a year, is quite a bit of money. So we simply decided to stop watching TV (oh, the horror!). But honestly, it wasn’t that bad. With the internet nowadays, you really don’t need cable anymore. I used to watch all my movies and favourite TV shows on Megavideo (I’m searching for an alternative right now). Also, TV is a huge timewaster. You know how some people can just plop themselves on a couch and watch programs straight for 4 hours? That’s why Steve Jobs called TV “the worst invention ever”. But I still have my flat screen TV connected to my desktop when I want to watch something, and it’s free!
  2. $500 Pictures, Images and PhotosMy wife is one of those fashion obsessed women. Every time a new model of the iPhone comes out, she just has to upgrade. And it’s pretty expensive too: her data plan costs around $100 a month, which is insane next to my Xperia which costs around $30 a month. I keep telling her “do you really need an iPhone? It’s not much of a status symbol if there are millions of people around the world who own one.” So by trading your iPhone in for a cheaper smart phone, you’ll end up saving hundreds of dollars a year.    [Editor's Note: I don't consider an iPhone a status symbol :) My iPhone is like my mini-computer and I find it very useful.  However, I'm not the type to upgrade willy nilly either... even though Siri seems so cool!]
  3. Same goes with the iPad. Do you really need it? Before I bought it, I asked a couple of friends for their opinions on the iPad. The basically said the same thing, which was that besides for playing games and typing in a few notes on the go, the iPad isn’t really that great. Most of my friends regretted their decision to buy an iPad, but I still did, because I travel a lot. [Editor's Note: I don't see the utility in an iPad but I agree that if you travel a lot it might be useful.  I don't think I would feel comfortable typing on the iPad screen- but I shouldn't knock it until I try it ;) ]
  4. My parents still drive a Toyota, despite being millionaires multiple times over. Why? Because there’s really no point driving an expensive car: you’ll have to worry about the insurance, pranksters wrecking it, etc. A lot of young people like to buy BMW’s as a status symbol, which is insane because most of them can’t afford it! [Editor's Note: I definitely agree with this one.  Some people are obsessed with driving nice cars.  Me? As long as it gets me from A to B and is low on gas, I'm happy!]
  5. In the neighborhood where I live, a lot of families like to keep their outdoor lights on at night. This not only annoys me (because I need total darkness when I sleep), but also wastes a ton of money!  Can you imagine keeping 10 really bright lights on at night. And with the government consistently increasing electricity prices, that probably amounts to a hundred or so dollars wasted each month. [Editor's Note:  I don't know if keeping your outdoor night on at night would save you hundreds of dollars a month, but I do agree that if we all turned off our lights, it would be better for the environment.  The more important question is, WHY do businesses and office buildings keep their lights on at night????]
  6. Eating out is a huge money waster (I would know, because we used to eat out 4 times a week). Each meal costs around $30, and not only is it expensive, but also isn’t really that healthy! [Editor's Note:  Where are you eating? :)  For me, eating out sometimes costs less than cooking!  But I agree that it can be very unhealthy for you]
  7. Speaking of electricity, the government implements on-peak and off-peak electricity times. During office hours from Monday to Friday, electricity costs a lot more than it does on the weekends. So if you can push all your laundry and cleaning to the weekends, then you’ll be saving a lot of money on electricity bills.
  8. I’m a big fan of Starbucks, but honestly, $4 per latte is pretty expensive. If you brew your own coffee with Starbucks grounded roast, it’s much cheaper. [Editor's Note:  I definitely agree with this one because of the latte factor effect.  I bring my lunch to work too!  I would rather spend that money wisely and go traveling instead.]
  9. Don’t leave your car idle! Some people just hit the ignition key and wait for half an hour, while their car is guzzling all that gas! With gas prices skyrocketing these days, turning off your car is a prudent idea.  [Editors Note:  They recently implemented a no idling policy in my city where you can get fined if you are seen idling.  It begs the question for me... the only people I see idling these days are the cops.  Who gets to fine them? ;) ]
  10. Book your vacations ahead of time. If you book 4 months before your vacation, airplane tickets are usually a lot cheaper, and so are hotel prices.
  11.  Go to the library more often, or borrow ebooks from others via the Kindle Lending Club.
Rick asks you to check out Invest In 2012′s great post on Why Markets Go to Extremes.

Coupon Codes and Promo Codes and Why They are so Awesome

I’m not sure if many of you readers were around when I wrote my beloved post: Ode to Promo Codes but I thought of that post the other day and thought I would elaborate on why I love coupon codes and promo codes.

I’ve been doing a lot of online shopping lately (BAD girl, I know!) because I have been too lazy to go out to real stores to buy things (and I don’t have the time to find parking, walk to the mall, get side tracked at other stores), and on top of that, I think I’ve become more antisocial (I blame it on the blog?) so the social interaction with actual sales people who are obviously out for your commission tends to bug me and make me cringe.

Yeah, I know, I need to get a life.

Anyway, I’ve done a lot of shopping online (some of my favourites are Amazon, Forever 21 when they have free shipping, and yeah, Victoria Secret because we don’t have one here in Canada!).

Before I shop online and actually go through with the purchase, I always see a box that says: “Promo Code” or “Coupon Code” and because there is an empty box there, I always do a quick Google search to find coupon codes or promo codes that will fit in that box and give me free shipping, or a 5% discount, or even just $5 off.  Sometimes I can’t face the fact that the box has to remain empty.  It was such an unhealthy obsession that I wrote about the extreme extent of my obsession with coupon codes, where I literally spent four hours of my time to save FIVE DOLLARS when I was booking a hotel online.

I was excited that I finally found a coupon code but deflated that it was only worth $5… and wasted four hours of my time.

Yup..!  So sad, so sad.

Now, I usually just hit up the regular coupon code websites to search for coupon codes that I can use in Canada.  If I can’t find a coupon code, a little remorse kicks in when I have to click “submit payment” and that box is empty, but at least I know I tried!

Some great Promo Codes Websites

  • CouponCodes- This site shows you the top 50 coupon codes, the expiring coupons, and the new coupons.  It also has an area for travel coupons.  This site also has printable coupons.
  • Retail Me Not- I like this one because it tells you what percentage of Retail Me Not customers had success with the coupon code recently
  • Savings.com- They even have grocery store savings, and printable coupons as well.
  • Discounts.ca- is based out of Toronto and they seem like a small start up (10 employees) but are dedicated to saving you money, even on Daily Deal sites (check out my ultimate guide to Canadian Daily Deals post)

Also, if you’re an eBay addict (I used to be but sort of grew out of that phase when I realized shipping to Canada and within Canada can often be ridiculously expensive…case in point, I bought something worth $3 and paid for shipping really quickly when I realized that the shipping was $30!  It was too late to reverse it at the time.  Yup…. first world problems!), the CouponCodes website has eBay coupons too for specific eBay stores.

Readers, do you regularly search for coupon codes and promo codes when you make purchases online? 

What’s your personal success rate? 

Do you often find good coupon codes? 

Which one is your favourite coupon code/ promo code site?