Monday, 31 October 2011


Turn any surface into a Magnetic Chalkboard

I recently turned a bare wall in our living room into a magnetic chalkboard.  The wall is an odd shape as it is the side to our staircase and we hadn't figured out what to do with it in the 3 years we have been in our house.  I am always looking for activities for my kids to do and my oldest son Hunter (2yrs old) has taken an interest in colouring lately.  (Sorry I didn't have the pictures for each step)

Step1-  Wash the walls surface area where you want to paint
Step 2- Apply the magnetic paint to the wall and let dry over night (repeat the next day for the second coat)
Step 3- Apply the chalkboard paint over the magnetic paint and let dry over night (repeat the next day for the second coat)
Step 4- Put up a border around the chalkboard area (you don't have to do this but I like the way it looks.  If you don't want a border I suggest you tape off the area before you paint for a cleaner look)
Step 5- Put up magnets and write on it with chalk!

I also like to use the chalkboard paint on containers to label thing in my kitchen!  You can use either paint anywhere in your house.... it's not just for kids!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Shoppers Drugmart Deals for Bonus Redemption

I headed out to Shoppers Drug Mart early this morning before the boys woke up to take advantage of the Bonus Redemption Days I had posted about earlier.  I had no issues using any of my coupons and made off with some really good deals. Check out some my the deals I got!

6x Boxes of baby food on SALE @ $3.33 each= $19.98 (Saved =$7.36)
3x Unsalted Butter on SALE @ 2.99 each= $8.97 (Saved= $1.48)
4x Lays Chips on SALE @ $1.99 each= $7.96 (Saved=$4.00)
3x Kraft Peanut Butter on SALE @ $2.49 each=$7.47 (Saved=$3.00)
4x Life Brand Kleenex on SALE @ $0.59 each= $2.36 (Saved=$1.60)
2x Scott Paper Towels on SALE @ $4.99 each= $9.98 -2x $2.00 coupons=$5.98 (Saved=$8.98)
3x Cascade Action Pacs on SALE @ $4.99 each=$14.97 -3x $1.50 coupons=$10.47 (Saved=$11.00)
1x Mr Noodles Case on SALE @ $2.99 each= $2.99 (saved =aprox $2.50)
8x Nature Valley bars on SALE @ $1.99 each=$15.92 -8x$1.00 coupons= $7.92 (Saved=$19.92)
2x Catelli Pasta on SALE @ $2.00 each=$4.00 -1x$1.00 coupon= $3.00 (Saved= 4.00)
1x Milk @ $5.49
2x Chow Mein @$1.59 each=$3.18
4x Cheese @$7.99 each=$31.96

Tax @ $2.36

Total = $119.67 - $100.00 Bonus Redemption =$19.67

Total Paid = $19.67
Total Saved = $163.04!!!!!!!!!!!

I also got a coupon for a free Oasis juice on each of the Nature Valley Bar boxes (worth about $16.00 total) and I got bonus points for the Scott paper towels.

SDM  regular points for visit= 310
SDM bnus product points for visit=2000 (paper towelsx 1000 points each)
SDM points earn on the $19.67 purchase was  2310 (that is the equivalent of me spending $230.00!!)

Friday, 28 October 2011

Saving money at Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is such a fun time of year but between decorations, costumes, candy, chocolate, parties, games and lots of other things the Halloween bills can add up! Here are some fun frugal tips to save you money at Halloween!


1. Buy used- Go to second hand stores to buy you costumes for around 60% off the new sale prices
2. Borrow- Borrow Halloween costumes for yourself and your kids from friends
3. Reuse- reuse old costumes or make them into new ones. eg. use the cape from your dracula costume to make a witch or superhero one.
4. Sell- sell your old costumes online or at secondhand stores


1. Make your own- There are some very simple decorations the you and your kids can make together if you search online.
2. Reuse- Reuse your old decorations
3. Dollar store- The dollar stores have some excellent decorations to buy for just a fraction of the price.  


1. Use generic- use generic white paper plates and cups and add some colour by using coloured napkins
2. Limit the number of people- If it's for kids only allow a few friends to be invited
3. Potluck-   There is no reason why you can't ask your guests to bring something small especially when most people nowadays ask "can I bring something?" Food and drinks can be expensive so having some people bring items will help with the cost
4. Decorations- Use the tips from the decoration ideas above
5. Party favors- most people don't expect party favors now and if it's a kids party, have them do a craft and they can bring it home as a party favor
6. Ask for help- Ask each couple to do a game for the party
7. Homemade- Don't buy expensive Halloween cookies shaped like pumpkins and ghosts make you own!


1. Buy late- The closer it gets to Halloween the cheaper the candy gets at the stores because they want to get rid of their stock
2. Buy chocolate- You can freeze chocolate bars so if you have leftovers you can freeze and use as stocking stuffers for Christmas 
3. Buy the right amount- I know it's tempting to buy large quantities of candy but only buy what you will need. You will save money and your waistline!
4. Buy seasonal- Pumpkins, squash are great buys this time of year and are great to use in soups and pies.  Buy the seasonal fruits and veggies for your dinners
5. Give back- Some local malls and stores will buy back your Halloween treats for money and gift cards or better yet donate it to local shelters and soup kitchens
6. Homemade- Don't buy expensive Halloween cookies shaped like pumpkins and ghosts make you own!

Above all the best thing to do is be organized and start early.  Nowadays they have Halloween products out at the end of August and the earlier you start to look the better chance you will have getting the great deals! 
 Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Homemade Playdough

Homemade Playdough

I am always looking for ways to help my kids create, have fun and learn all at the same time.  A fun inexpensive activity to do inside the house is make your own playdough!  I have a few different recipes that I have used in my classroom and I have recently been trying them at home with my oldest son. Here are some of my favorite homemade playdough recipes! 
* for an added aroma touch add some vanilla extract and add food colouring to customize your shades!

1.Close to the real stuff playdough

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup salt
any colour of food colouring
  • Mix all dry ingredients together
  • Add the oil and water
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until reaching the consistency of mashed potatoes. 
  • Remove from heat  and food coloring
  • Divide into balls and work in color by kneading the playdough

2. No Cook/No Fuss Playdough Recipe

1 cup of flour
1 cup of boiling water
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
a half cup of salt
1 tablespoon of oil

  • Simply mix all the ingredients together. Be careful as it can be quite hot!
  • Divide into balls and work in color by kneading the playdough

3. Nutty Butter Playdough

*This is not a recipe for anyone with Nut Allergies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup powdered milk
1 cup honey
1 cup oatmeal

  • Mix together and play 

4. Rubbery Playdough

2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornstarch

  • Mix with a fork until smooth. 
  • Boil over medium heat until thick. 
  • Spoon onto plate or wax paper.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Shopper's Drug Mart Bonus Redemption Weekend

I am so excited the this weekend Oct 29 and 30th is Shoppers Drug Mart Bonus Redemption Weekend again!  It's not often that they hold 2 so close together!

50,000 points = $100 off your bill (an extra $15)
95,000 points = $200 off your bill (an extra $25)

Make sure you match up your coupons to the deals to get the biggest bang for your buck!

Check out a Shoppers Drug Mart near you for the deals!

Monday, 24 October 2011

My Evolving Blog

I have been getting such encouraging responses to my blog posts that I wanted to post a thank you to my friends and family.  Blogging takes a lot of time and organization and I truly appreciate every person that stops by to read what I have written!  Although the bulk of what I have written so far is about couponing, this blog is much more than that.  It is about ways to organize your home, finances and crafty ideas to save money for your family. I will be adding recipes and fun things for the kids as well!

My oldest (almost 2yrs old now) is starting to love to colour and paint and do crafts and having a background as a teacher, I have lots of fun projects that are inexpensive and fun for kids to do so I will soon be posting some of those ideas.

If there is anything you would like to see on here please feel free to send me an email and let me know I would love your suggestions!

Thanks everyone!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Organizing your home

Project #1 Organize toys in living room

Since I have 2 kids under two years old it is important to be well organized.  Toys were never a huge issue before because we had mostly baby toys and we would bring them out when needed.  Now that my oldest son is turning 2 in November, toys have exploded all over my living room, the basement, the bedroom and even in the bathroom!  Toys and parts of toys are getting lost, puzzle pieces are misplaced and we have lego in just about every inch of our house! I have shelving units for some of them but I have decided to undergo the task of organizing the lot of them.  I also want to tech my oldest son Hunter that each toy has a place and the importance of cleaning up.  Over then next couple of weeks I will take pictures of just how I will accomplish this with "before and after".  If you have some of the same issue hopefully this will help you as well!

Step1- Gather all of the toys in the living room and put into groups.

How can coupons save me money?

1. Using coupons at the optimal times to get lowest prices or FREE
The trick to couponing is using your coupons at the optimal times to get the best value you can.  A mistake many new couponers do is using your coupons when you get them instead of waiting for the item to go on sale unless you need the product anyways.  When you use a coupon with an item that is on sale you get your best value.  for example.  Laundry detergent is on sale for $5.99 (usually $7.99) and you have a coupon for $3.00 off.  You will get the detergent for $2.99 vs $7.99 you would normally pay.  Thats a savings of $5.00 just by using your coupon at the right time!! This is also the way to get items for FREE.

2. Mail In Rebates
I often buy products that have a promotion on for a mail in rebate.  You buy the item upfront and then send in the mail in rebate form with you address and receipt and they company will send you a rebate often time it will be the full amount of the item including the tax! A way to optimize you savings this way is to use a coupon at the same time.  If a product is $10.99 and you have a coupon for $5.00, you pay $4.99.  Send in the mail in rebate and since coupons are treated like cash the company will send you the full amount of $10.99.  Not only will you get the product for FREE you are basically making money on that item!  Just look online for mail in rebates and print off the forms.

3. Weekly Flyers
Every week I wait like a kid at Christmas time for my weekly flyers!  I can't believe I actually use to throw them away!  Now as soon as I get them I start going through them and circling the deals.  If you use your flyers properly you can save a lot of money.  You can use them to price match items from different store to get the lowest price without going to a bunch of stores.  You can also match the items in the flyer to your coupons to have the best saving deals.  Some of the weekly flyer also have coupons right on the for their stores. I do this process when buying groceries, clothing, toys and household items.


Why do people use coupons?

In my family of 4 plus 2 dogs, couponing is a way of life for us. Coupons are a way for to save money on products that you would already need and use.  I have saved hundreds of dollars off of my monthly grocery bills from couponing with not a lot of effort.  Shopping smart, being organized and using coupons will save your family money with little time and effort.

Where can I find coupons?

1. The most frequent place I find coupons is online Coupon Websites.  There are many free Canadian website out there that will send you coupons in the mail. Here are a few of my favorites that are reliable and have great coupons.
P&G Brandsaver

2. Tearpads
In most groceries and drugstores you will find tear pads in almost every isle.  You may be tempted to grab the whole pad of them but good coupon etiquette is that you only take as many as you will need. I usually take about 5 because if it's something I really like I know I will use them.

3. Offers on Products
There are a lot of products that offer free coupons on the packaging.  A common one is cereal boxes.  Because companies makes multiple types of products, they often promote other products they sell on packaging.  Make sure to look in and on products you buy for special coupons.

4. Printable coupons
Many companies offer printable coupons online.  Sometimes you may need to sign up for the company's newsletter to get special coupons and promotions.  Another place to print coupons off of is websites like Smartcanucks . They have a list with the proper expiry dates listed.

5. Coupon Inserts
Every few weeks, you can find coupon inserts in your local newspaper. You can find Redplum every 4 weeks or so, Smart Source every 3 weeks or so and Brandsaver every 3-4 months.For those of you like me who like to save money by reading the paper online, I only buy the paper when I know these inserts will be in them.  I also ask friends and family who get the pare to hold onto them for me.

6. Coupon Trading: This is a great way to get coupons that have interest to you and get rid of ones that you don't need.  It is very popular in Canada and there are many website that offer it such as Smartcanucks If you want to start small you can trade with friends and family.

7. Contact the Companies
A few times a year I contact my favorite companies directly either through email or calling them and let them know that I enjoy their products and would send me coupons for their products.  Try not to do it too often usually 4 times a year works.  Even if they say no it doesn't take much time to ask and I have found that the coupons that they send directly are much better than any promotion. I have often got coupons for a FREE product!

8. Coupon Trains
Once you start couponing often, coupon trains are a great way to get coupons.  Coupon trains are not for the beginners though as they can be a bit complicated.  They are many websites out there that offer coupon trains. Make a post saying you would like to join a train. The person starting the train (conductor) will message you to get your address. They will send out an envelope with coupons and you basically take which ones you want but you need to replace them with ones of similar values that you won't need.  Each coupon train has it's own rules so you will need to join at the start of a train and get the guidelines for that train in the forum.

Good Luck and Happy Couponing!

Thursday, 20 October 2011


is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn digital dollars called “ Swag Bucks”. These bucks can be redeemed for things like gift cards, downloads and products in the Swag Store.
How do I sign up to start earning?
To sign up for Swagbucks, go to the Swagbucks website and register. You will earn 30 free Swag Bucks just for signing up.
Please note that you are only allowed to have one account per household.

How do I earn Swag Bucks?
There are lots of ways that you can earn Swag Bucks. I it up to you as to how many of these ways you want to try but here are a few.

1. Search The Web
The number one way to earn Swag Bucks is to search the web. Just visit the Swagbucks homepage and every time you search for something using their search engine, you will have the chance to earn  Swag Bucks. You usually earn Swagbucks after a few searches and the searches need to be different everytime. If you search for the same thing over and over you won't get the bucks.

2. Play Games
For people out there that like to play computer games this is a good way to earn Swagbucks.  You can play the games alone or enter into tournaments to earn.

3. Watch Videos
Find something that you like watching, and for every video you watch your Swagbucks meter will fill up.  Once it reaches 100% you will be awarded various amounts of points. Most videos that I watch are less than a minute each so this is a fast way of earning  Swag Bucks when you are the computer anyways!

4. Take Surveys
If you visit the “Trusted Survey” dashboard and you qualify for a survey you will be awarded Swagbucks in various amounts according to the surveys.

5. Complete Time Sensitive Offers
There are quite a few offers that you can complete to earn bonus Swag Bucks, and many of them don’t require payment of any kind.
You can earn quite a few  Swag Bucks  by completing these offers, but be sure to only complete the ones you are sincerely interested in to avoid spam mail.
Check out the offers page to see if there’s anything that interests you.

6. Recycle Products
Swagbucks has a recycling program where you can earn Swag Bucks for handing over your old cell phone, game systems and books.
All you have to do is look up the product that you’d like to trade in, print the pre-paid label and trade-in receipt, stick the package in the mail and collect your Swag Bucks once your item has been received and processed.

7. View No Obligation Special Offers
Visit the “NOSO” page to view special offers with no obligation necessary to earn Swag Bucks. I look up the offers and rarely ever sign up for them and you still earn the points!

8. Answer Polls
There is a new poll every day on the  Swag Bucks website. Every time you vote in the current daily poll, you will earn 1 bonu Swag Buck.
This is such a simple way to earn around 30 Swag Bucks every month. It only takes a few seconds to do and is usually the first thing I do in the morning when I log on to the computer.

9. Referrals
Once you see how easy it is to earn great prizes through Swagbucks, you will want to tell all of your friends so that they can start earning prizes too.
Make sure you get them to sign up under your referral link so that you can earn points for referring them. Swag Bucks will match your referral’s points to your account – up to 1,000 points. This means that if your friend earns 50 Swag Bucks one day, you do too!
Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbours! Swagbucks is a great way to earn prizes and really doesn’t take much effort to earn them.Start earning here at  Swag Bucks.

10. Perform Tasks
When you do small tasks on the Swag Bucks website, you will be rewarded with bonus Swag Bucks.
Small tasks include things such as testing online discounts and promotions, finding biographical information for celebrity actors, finding great things to do in a particular city, etc.

11. Use The Toolbar
Be sure to install the Swag Bucks toolbar on your browser so that you can search for things on the web easily.
You can type all your searches into the toolbar instead of having to click on the homepage to do so.
You are also awarded 1 bonus Swag Buck once a day, simply by using the toolbar.

12. Make A Search Your Homepage
It is as simple as that!

13. Follow Swagbucks on Twitter
Just like Facebook, Swagbucks rewards their Twitter followers will special offers and codes, so be sure to add them to your list.

14. Read The Swagbucks Blog
The blog is always updated with news and offers and is a great place for you to find special promotions.
Occasionally, Swagbucks will pick a random follower and reward them with 1 FREE Swag Buck!
Look for blog posts from “The Swag Guy” (TSG) or “The Swag Girl” (TSGal) to find exclusive Swag Buck opportunities.

15. Follow Swagbucks on Facebook
  Swag Bucks will often post special codes and offers for their Facebook fans, so it’s a good idea to “Like” them on Facebook. Check their page every day or so to see if there are any new promotions or special Swag Codes available.
Swagbucks is one of my favourite “money” making programs to do from home.
For very little effort you can enjoy free gift cards and other prizes for doing something as simple as surfing the web. Start here!!!  
 Swag Bucks.

The start of my new blog!

I have been following a number of Blogs about organizing and living a frugal lifestyle for a while now and have had to look at numerous ones a day to find all I needed.  I decided to write my own and put all of the ideas in the same place.

I am a mother of 2 small children and I am always looking for ways to organize my life whether it be  in the literal terms of organizing different spaces in my house, or organizing our family finances and finding better ways to save money.  As I started looking I found so many ways to organize and save money doing it by using coupons or other ways.  This is not only a positive thing to do for my family but I also have a passion for it!

Many people have asked me questions on couponing, crafty ideas, finances, and organization so this is my way of letting everyone who wants to know how to do it all and how easy these things are.