January 13, 2016

Little ways we save money...Part Two...

My previous post about the little ways we save money was quite popular, so I thought I would share another...or more so a continuation of what we do daily/weekly/monthly to save money. These are in no particular order...just what sprang to my mind at the moment...

~cloth diapering & diapering in general...we use both cloth and disposables. The cloth I had from when Felix was a baby and some were given to us second hand and some as gifts. I like one particular brand especially (Applecheeks) since Felix was a baby. They have great re-sale value (as in, I made more money back selling them than I did buying them new!). I don't want to turn this into a cloth diapering post though...but I should mention that we rent and don't pay for water...so cloth diapering is even cheaper for us. The disposables that we do buy, we buy no name brands/store brands. They aren't as pretty and as sturdy looking as the name brand one's, but they are soooo much cheaper in the long run. You might score a great sale on the name brand diapers sometimes, but do make sure to compare the price to the store brand one's first...they usually are still cheaper, even when there is a sale. Same goes with baby wipes...no name/store brand. They are fine to use, we have had no leak issues! :)

...which brings me to the next point...

~When grocery shopping we usually buy store brand/no name brands. There are only about a handful of products I refuse to budge on and still buy name brand for (Heinz ketchup...it has to be!). It might seem like no big deal...but an extra ten cents here and there will add up!

~We are part of a points program with our grocery store (President's Choice)...it doesn't cost a penny and you earn points every time you shop there. It goes towards your groceries. Every 1,000 points I believe is a dollar. They will have deals on for certain products to give you for example 3,000 points etc. They will also email you weekly deals to upload to your card...and they usually use products that you already purchase regularly (which I really like!). We used our points (over a $100!) in the Fall on our groceries, and we already have almost $85 saved up again to use towards groceries! I should mention that particular store also sells home products and clothes etc...so you can always use your free money towards that too!

~Speaking of President's Choice...we also use their banking. Absolutely no monthly/yearly fees and free cheques! We were with a different bank before that was charging us almost $13 a month each for our chequing accounts! That is a lot of money going down the drain a month! 13x2=26...26x12=312...$312 that could be saved a year...by just switching to a no fee bank!

~Since we live in an apartment, we have washers and dryers in the basement...that you have to pay for...Our landlord is awesome and allowed us a portable washer for our cloth diapers. We very rarely, if ever, use the dryers downstairs. They are $1.50 per cycle...again, seems like a little bit of money, but in the long run adds up...if we dried our laundry twice a week at two cycles each...equals $6 a week....$288 a year...on just drying clothes. So we hang everything up to dry. We bought two fold up drying racks from Ikea and they are always in use. It honestly takes usually less than a day to dry. We have gotten so use to it. We can even pat ourselves on our backs for being environmentally friendly! :)

That is all my brain can think of at the moment...I'm sure I will come up with more...so stay tuned for a part three! Happy saving!

January 3, 2016

Hello 2016...

This is the first new year that I officially have no idea what it will bring...I hope for good things...I have my fingers and toes crossed.

We celebrated New Year's eve with copious amounts of Chinese food and watching "Back to the Future" while both little one's slept...it was a good night. The next day we headed to the Toronto zoo...which started out a bit rough, but ended with a lovely thick snowflake winter wonderland...which was absolutely lovely and calming...perfect really.

I am excited and scared of what the new year will bring us. Last year, I feel, was all about getting our money in order. The last few years (since we moved to NB and then back to ON) our finances took a big hit...we had a rough three plus years. This past year we finally feel in control again and have been able to set up not one, but two saving accounts. I feel very proud of us, and it feels good to be back in control of everything. We lost a lot that first year being new parents, with Justin going back to school, with moving provinces, not once, but twice! It's been hard staying in one place, but financially we are better for it. We built a nest egg that we hope to add to for years to come...and damn it, we sacrificed (still are) for it and worked our butts off! (like I said, I am proud of us :) )

I don't know where we will be at the end of this year...still in this apartment at the same work places? Still in this apartment and Justin being on the supply list finally? Yukon? Germany?
Having more knowledge about the international teaching world, it is a far fetch for us to be in Germany at the end of the Summer, but one can still dream and apply for teaching positions when they come up. The more than likely scenario is right here...with hopefully some supply work added to the mix. Another year or two to save up a bigger nest egg and lay low and safe doesn't sound as stifling as it use to. We have connections here now, friends, family, familiar places we grew up around, routines we enjoy...living in the now (and enjoying it), but never stopping the daydreaming.

I am not huge on New Year's resolutions, but I do want to make a couple things happen this year...

~take more photos (and be in them too)
~blog more (it makes me feel good)
~keep saving!
~finally take care of myself better and get rid of those few little pounds that weigh my mind & confidence down so heavily

I hope you had a good start to the new year...I hope that you are filled with good thoughts and excitement for the coming year too!

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