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Jun
23
2014
Jun 23, 2014

thingsthatwedo.com - staedtler pencil crayonsCopyright© 2014 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

I think it’s safe to say that regular readers of ThingsThatWeDo.com know that I’m not a big fan of shopping. In fact, I abhor it. I hate the crowds, I hate the excessive consumerism mentality which goes against every lazy bone that I have in my body, and I definitely hate spending money.

Having said that, I do like to keep my eyes open for a good deal because it reduces the amount of time I have to waste on shopping.

Do I sound like I’m making no sense whatsoever?

Allow me to provide you all with a concrete example of how I shop. – Continue Reading

Apr
21
2014
Apr 21, 2014

Copyright© 2014 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

It’s Easter Monday but today’s post isn’t about Easter Monday per se. It’s about being in the right place at the right time but it is related to Easter.

You see, last Thursday I needed to go to the grocery store. I can’t remember why (probably because I needed groceries) but there I was. I picked up the typical needs – bread, some fruit and veg, and then made my way to the cash. The line ups were huge (they always are after work) so there I am stuck in the lineup.

Of course, now I’m bored and my eyes start to glance at all the aisles that I couldn’t be bothered to go in to (remember, I’m lazy). That’s when I spot the clearance tags and the sale on Easter products. I couldn’t resist and headed towards it.

Boy, was it worth it.

Right away, I spot the Kinder Egg Surprises that come in a pack of 3. Normally, at regular price, they’re priced at well over $3 if not more. Sometimes, I’ve seen them priced close to $4 which is ridiculous. I never buy them at full price. They were on sale for under $2 which never happens. The cheapest I’ve ever gotten them for was $2.50 and that was years ago. Naturally, I picked up a few packs. My big kid loves to build the little Kinder toys and saves them for dramatic play.

Now, you may think that I unnecessarily spent money that I didn’t need to spend but you see, given that I’m not always as organized as I’d like to be, I was not ready for Easter. I had nothing prepared and on Thursday evening, I still hadn’t thought far enough ahead to realize Easter was around the corner (yes, that is how busy work is right now).

Thus, in the right place at the right time. A few more minor purchases this weekend and I was ready for Easter with minimal fuss but only because of that one random moment. The best part was, I spent a fraction of the money I would have otherwise spent on those Kinder Egg Surprises.

I may not like shopping but I sure do like catching amazing deals. Sometimes, it just happens!

 

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Apr
18
2014
Apr 18, 2014

Copyright© 2014 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

I had no idea I was going to write this post today until it happened.

What happened?

Allow me to explain.

I had to make an online purchase recently. I haven’t done it in a while (sadly, I haven’t even had time to do online shopping let alone regular in-store shopping. Yes, it’s been THAT busy) and there were a few “need” items that had to be dealt with.

So, I’ve put said items into my shopping cart and then I see this little saying on the site that asks me if I have a discount code. Well, I didn’t have one on me. Why would I have one? I haven’t used the site in AGES.

Then, I started thinking, “I wonder if there’s something in my files or emails…” so I did a little digging and guess what? I found a code from A FEW YEARS AGO.

No joke.

Well, on the off chance, I type it in and guess what?

It worked.

My jaw just about dropped. Had I not taken that one long shot of a chance, I would have missed an opportunity to save a nice little bundle of hard earned money. Sure, the stuff I bought was on sale already but who doesn’t like a little extra savings?

Thus, my money saving tip for today’s post (which quite frankly, I haven’t posted about since I haven’t been shopping much): before you finalize your purchase, always take a little moment to triple check for any coupons or deals that you might still have on hand. You might just find a hidden gem of a deal like I did!

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Jan
3
2014
Jan 3, 2014

Copyright© 2014 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Back in September 2012, I did a review about reading labels and specifically mentioned the Ivory soap bars that are marketed as pure and simple (99.44% pure clean and simple so they say).

Yeeeeeah, and I’m a 3 star Michelin restaurant owner.

Enough said.

Anyhoo…during a recent grocery shopping trip at my local health food store, I spot Val’s Veggie Bar on sale for $2.49. Val’s Veggie Bar sounds like a healthy granola bar but it’s not. It’s soap, chunky bars of soap and I’m not talking $2.49 for 1 Val’s Veggie Bar. I’m talking 1 pack of Val’s Veggie Bar with 3 individual bars each 105 grams. Terrible English, I know but you get the idea. Quite frankly, I’m too excited about this to even form decent sentences.

I had to do a double take. I hadn’t even picked up Val’s Veggie Bar from the shelf to read the label yet but a quick calculation told me each bar was only about 80 cents. At that price point, Val’s Veggie Bar was comparable if not cheaper than most big store brands with a gazillion chemical ingredients that I could never pronounce.

I’m having an ‘OMG, this is a really good deal’ excited moment in the store (silent squeal because loud squeals really aren’t a typical supermarket occurrence).

I picked up Val’s Veggie Bar and read the label. Can you guess what Val’s Veggie Bar is made with?

 

– Continue Reading

Nov
3
2013
Nov 3, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

My daughter is currently in a serious lemon and lime phase. She’s loving lemon yogurt, loving lime yogurt, wants a fizzy lemon drink, you get the idea. So, on our recent trip to watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, it seemed like the perfect treat: a lime ice drink.

Don’t know what I’m talking about? You know, that frozen icy drink that comes in a million flavours except this one was lemon lime. I knew it was artificially flavoured (the radioactive green gave it away) but I thought I’d get it for my kid as a treat. She’s not a big pop drinker (thank goodness) and we were having popcorn too so why not splurge this once?

BIG MISTAKE.

– Continue Reading

Sep
10
2013
Sep 10, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

There is always a new toy out there desperately trying to get your attention, trying to claw at the money in your wallet that you worked so hard for. As a parent, it’s hard not to give in to your child’s pleas for that latest toy or gadget.

But, should we?

Every family has to make the best decisions for them. Every family is different and there is never just that one right answer. What’s considered excessive spending for one family may just be an average day for another. Question is: does your child really need all of that stuff?

Take a look at today’s pic. There’s Optimus Prime, a basic Transformer we picked up at McDonald’s YEARS ago before my kid even went through her Transformers phase. I can’t even remember why we bought it. Those blocks you see came from a puzzle ball. You know, the blocks went put together ‘just so’ will recreate the perfect sphere.

What does my child do?

Well, on this particular occasion, she chose to box Optimus Prime in with all those little blocks. I can’t quite remember what she told me but it was her idea. There are a bunch of other Transformers lying around to finish off the play scene.

Those same wee little blocks have been used to make stages and stairs, light fixtures, ramps for her Lego skateboarder and the list goes on and on. Wooden train tracks have become benches for her Playmobil toys. A simple blank sheet of paper with some squares added becomes a chess board with Kinder figures used as the chess pieces.

I didn’t come up with any of those ideas. Give a child the freedom to create and the results are so inspiring. As an adult, I see a sheet of paper and I think, “it’s white”. Give it to my kid and she’s turned that same sheet of paper into a chessboard, a comic strip, a menu, a paper airplane, puppets, and more.

And how much did all of this cost?

Not very much.

The magic that’s going on in my kid’s brain while all of this happening: that’s priceless.

Sure, there’s merit to convergent thinking. After all, we all need to know that 2 + 2 is 4 and that red + yellow makes orange. But, divergent thinking and the ability to think creativity is equally important. There will be moments in the future where conventional thinking just won’t be enough and innovative problem solving will win the day.

And all that started with a few blocks, some paper, and the freedom to be.

 

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

May
29
2013
May 29, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been in much of a mood to type and post lately mainly because I spend more time holding a tissue to my nose or covering a sneeze with my elbow than I do on the keyboard itself. So, whatever thoughts I think I may have probably went out of my brain with the tissue.

You can imagine my ‘ah HA’ moment when the idea for this post came to me (note: I also did just take my allergy medication about 30 minutes ago which may explain my moment of clarity). I noticed that I haven’t written a post on money saving tips in a while. It’s not that I’ve stopped trying to save money. That happens daily. I think I’ve just neglected this section because I am doing so often that I just don’t remember to capture it in words.

Thus, today’s money saving tip: pass it on.

– Continue Reading

Apr
22
2013
Apr 22, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

Whenever I think of Earth Day, I think of this picture my daughter made for me a few years back. It was one of those magical moments when she just brought the picture up to me and told me she had drawn the Earth.  The mind of a child is a beautiful thing.

Today is April 22, 2013,  Earth Day, a day we devote to all that is good on this Earth and a day to make a positive change. Whatever you do today, think and consider the impact you may be having on this world but let us do it everyday and not JUST today.

Over the course of the past few years, our family has made a more conscious effort to green up our lives. We use glass more often and try to reduce our reliance on plastic items. We use vinegar and water to do most of our daily household cleaning and we try to remember to turn off the lights when they’re not needed. In our daughter’s school, the children are encouraged to use both sides of each sheet of paper and correspondence is digital whenever possible.

If you’re a coffee lover, you probably already know that Starbucks is giving out free coffee to anyone who shows up with a tumbler or mug.  You even have your choice of coffee, tea, iced coffee or iced tea. Sure, they’re hoping you’ll buying something else too but it’s still a nice gesture especially if you were going to get a paper cup that day anyway.  The notice was printed on my receipt but I only checked it today or I would have posted it sooner.  Now, I’m not sure if this is global, so do check your local Starbucks for more details.

To all our readers at ThingsThatWeDo.com, let’s continue making Earth a better place to live. Let’s make it cleaner and healthier for our children and our children’s children and our children’s children’s children….

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Let others know about this deal: it!

Mar
14
2013
Mar 14, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

It’s been ages since I’ve posted any money saving tips which is odd considering I’m constantly looking for ways to save money. The obvious way to save money is to NOT spend money period. For that, my 30 day habit has allowed me to save more money than anything else. Simply by bringing my coffee from home every day, I’ve been able to avoid the long coffee line ups and all the doughnuts, muffins and sweets galore that I don’t need. That in and of itself could easily translate into a savings of $480 if you factor in that your average cup of coffee costs $2.

Unfortunately, we humans do spend our money and that’s where good decision making comes in handy. Good decisions can only be made when choices are informed and you can only be informed if you keep your eyes open. If you don’t know how much things cost at regular price, how will you be able to spot a deal?

On the rare occasion, keeping your eyes open and a little luck and good timing may also lead to super duper deals that you stumble on to without meaning to. This past week, for example, I was at my local Loblaws in search of dinner. I needed a protein so I figured a quick dinner of spaghetti was in order. I head over to the meat section and as I’m waiting for my pound of ground beef, I catch this sign “Free Sauce” and I’m like, “HUH?”

I ask the butcher what the sign was all about and he tells me that for each purchase of meat, I get a free sauce and again, I scrunch my face. I even go so far as to ask, “But is the sauce worth carrying home?” and the butcher says, “It’s free, why not?” I decide I’d go and investigate.

Turns out Summer Fresh has these new sauces that they’re promoting. I’ve tested the Summer Fresh brand before and the list of ingredients wasn’t particularly atrocious so I took advantage of the offer and headed to the checkout lines. It wasn’t until the cashier rang the sauces in that I learned their price – $4.99 each! Are you serious?! I ended up with 2 free sauces worth almost $10 all because I had purchased 2 meat products and kept my eyes open.

I’ll be posting about the Summer Fresh sauces soon enough but I’m still stunned at how much they cost and that I got them for free. Had I not been paying attention, I would have left with just the meat for spaghetti and nothing else. Mind you, that free Starbucks coupon is a pretty good deal too! (all in moderation, of course!) 😉

Money Saving Tip: keep your eyes open and you may be surprised and what deal you’ll stumble across too!

 

Reminder: this post was written by and for thingsthatwedo.com only. If you see this post anywhere else except on my site at thingsthatwedo.com, know that I have not consented to having any part of this post (or this website for that matter), to be re-produced, copied, or re-printed anywhere else. Practice ethical posting!

Jan
15
2013
Jan 15, 2013

Copyright© 2013 ThingsThatWeDo.com. All Rights Reserved.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any money saving tips. I really should post them more often. After all, we’re all financially pressed no matter what we think our financial circumstances are. After my January Blahs post, I thought the least I could do is post something semi-helpful.

Here’s a quick money saving tip: don’t shop on Boxing Day or Boxing Week unless there is something you absolutely positively need right then and there. I mean, I personally can’t fathom lining up and beating the crowds to attempt to get a good deal. That is just so not in sync with the lazy bones that reside in 99.9% of my body. Besides, I really don’t need to instill that kind of consumerism in my kid. I’d much rather spend Boxing Day hanging out with her.

Instead, keep an eye out for super awesome deals in January. What I’ve noticed over the past few years is that the best deals often happen in January. You know, there’s new inventory coming in to the stores with Spring around the corner and while that may be so with every season change, the added bump of the holiday season means more merchandise needs to be cleared out.

– Continue Reading

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