Life as Normal with #SavingMadeSimple

I have been participating in the Saving Made Simple Financial challenge inspired by Gail Vax-Oxlade’s book Money Rules for the last 3 weeks. For me life has been normal and I have really had to make no changes. We only spend on needs, not wants unless we have budgeted for it. We do not use credit cards and I am a coupon queen! Many years ago we we decided it was best for us and our family for me to stay home with the kids, we made a lot of changes. One income meant limited finances and we had to save somewhere. I began clipping coupons and checking out flyers for deals. I signed up for ever reward cards (point card not credit) I could. They are free and we are shopping at these stores anyway, so why not get the rewards? Cards like the Shopper Drug Mart Optimum card, Sobey’s club card  and Air Miles. These all get me free groceries, eventually. There are a few others, like the SPC that you have to pay for, but we get two free every year. My boys both have youth accounts at BMO and as a part of their no fee banking, they send these cards as a perk 🙂 This means added savings on items I would need to buy them any way. Items like clothes and gifts at the holidays etc. 


A few things I have learnt over the last few weeks are 

Meal plan

Since the grocery store is so convenient I am bad for shopping daily. I have gone back to making a shopping list ( no impulse purchases) and shopping for the week. This has also made me start meal planning (something I never did before). The only problem I have is my teens eat a lot and I am having to hide the snacks so they last the entire week. I have been trying more recipes and making meals that have leftovers. Great for my lunch the next day. 

Buy quality products

At one time in my life I skimped on quality for price. Yeah sometimes the cheaper items is ok. But when you buy items that are poor quality you end up using more and wasting your money. Items like Tide I never use to buy as it was more than what I would normally spend. But once I started using it (with coupons) I actually saved. The pods are great for accurate measurements and getting the most for my money. 

Items like Ultra Dawn, Cascade ActionPacs, Bounty Basic, Charmin Basic and Puffs allow a little to go a long way. 

Having fun does not need to cost money

We have been having a few unexpected and unplanned snow days here. So the kids have been getting bored. Not wanting to plant them in front of the TV I have gotten old school. we have been breaking out the board games, colouring and doing crafts. A few crafts I purchased items at teh dollar store, but others I used things I have around the house. As a bloggers I have tonnes of boxes, packing popcorn and brown paper. These things are gold to a five year old. Plus they are FREE! 

RULE #17: Needs must come before wants

Like I said I really have not done much different. Having one income and four kids we have lived a frugal life and buy what we can afford. However it is always nice to learn new tips and tricks about saving. This week will be all about clothes and for me, that means spring cleaning. Be sure to watch the #SavingMadeSimple hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates. 

Until then, happy saving! 


Disclosure: I am a P&Gmom/mamanP&G. As part of my affiliation with this group I receive products and special access to P&G events and opportunities. The opinions on this blog are my own.


  1. It is always a good idea to revisit your finances and make sure you are on track. We have separate accounts for our "fun money" if we want to go on a trip or do something fun, the money for it must come from there.
    My recent post Celebrating Golden Moments with Edible Oreo Olympic Medals

  2. I find now that my one child is gone I can buy better quality meats and I don't have buyers regret anymore (when they were really small and I'd buy myself some pj bottoms for $5 I'd have buyers regret as I spent money on myself and $5 is bread and eggs at the time and that's taking food out of my kids mouth etc etc) now its way better financially for us.
    And with the pods, I found that they did NOT disolved in my machine, so I went back to liq (And I measure it out because if you see SUDS like crazy going down the drain, you've used too much)

    I often would go to sites that say how to save money and they'd be like, cut the cable (We NEVER had cable, take lunch to work (I did if there were any leftovers, otherwise just didn't eat!!) don't buy that take out coffee , etc etc. and I was like, THESE PEOPLE ARE RICH wth, LOL ….

    ONE thing I did , though, from the start, was take what was then the family allowance money (I don't know what its called anymore, sorry) and I put EVERY penny into RESP'S for both kids (my sons in first yr and my daughter got accepted into both courses she wanted, so will be going in the fall to one of them)
    THAT is MY financial tip, because believe me, they will need EVERY penny they get (and HEY ITS FREE MONEY and its really not yours , its the kids!!)

  3. I never meal plan either, it's hard to tell when there will be left overs or not and when I tried I either had too much food or not enough, so I tend to wing it! lol

  4. Meal planning is one of my favorite things to do. I sit down with coffee, my iPad and Days Of Our Lives and go to town haha. I do need help with budgeting and other financial information, I love Gail so I am going to have to look into this a little more.

    Thanks Kim!
    My recent post Chicken Fajitas Served With Cauliflower Tortillas

  5. Love Gail Vaz-Oxlade's books – really fantastic ideas and the best part is they are Canadian! Perfect for those retirement savings questions.
    Some great tips – I need to chant "Needs before Wants" before I go shopping next time!
    My recent post Our Pets, Our Family, Our Shop Petsmart #CollectiveBias #shop

  6. multitestingmommy says

    It's almost that time of year again when we go through all of the closets to donate clothing that no longer fits!
    My recent post Financial Challenge Update! #SavingMadeSimple #PGMom

  7. Cheryl Grandy says

    With many things, the less expensive product is as good as the expensive one, but you're right, sometimes it is better to buy the more expensive item (especially if you can buy it on sale and with coupons). It takes a bit of trial and error (ie: trying out a few products) to figure out when you will actually save by spending more, though.
    I'm enjoying hearing how your challenge is going.

  8. I watch Gail's TV show and try to follow her tips

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