2.22.2010

BOX

This is how we are living right now.

Friday cannot come soon enough.











Frugally Yours,
Erin B.



2.19.2010

les ├ępices

Translation: SPICES

I just restocked all of the spices in my spice rack and the ones in my cupboard for under $10.

Did you know that you should be replacing your spices every 6-12 months...?!

Thank You Bulk Barn.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

2.18.2010

Frugal Move

Moving isn't cheap- in fact, it is pretty darn expensive when you consider all the things you'll have to buy or put money out for. When I look at our numbers for moving- even though they are the cheapest they can be...I'm still shocked. Despite the fact that moving is expensive, it is the best choice for my family- so I can look past the cost and consider all of the positives of this HUGE move.

In my research, I've stumbled across a few lists of frugal things you can do to cut costs. Believe it or not, they were things I was already doing, BUT for the sake of this blog- I will post them anyways, because they will probably be helpful to someone else down the line.

Frugal Moving Tips:
  • Move Yourself. It takes more time and energy on your part, but you can save between $400-$2000 (if not more!) if you don't hire professional movers. You'll need to gather your friends and learn how to properly pack a truck- but it will save you BIG money in the long run. A truck rental costs between $200-$300 *give or take, it depends on the company* and you can rent it for however long you need it for.
  • Free Boxes. Having matching boxes is really nice...but it is also quite expensive. I haven't spent a single dollar on any of the boxes that we have for moving. I put a post on Kijiji asking for free boxes, I went to Safeway and picked up some apple boxes and then a good friends Dad brought a TON over. All I had to buy was packing tape. I'm also going to be paying-it-forward after our move and giving all of our boxes to a friend who is moving in April.
  • Rubbermaid Containers. Relatively inexpensive and totally worth it down the line. They can be used over and over for numerous things. Not only are they pretty cheap (approximately $7 per bin) but they are handy for moving and storing things. Now I'm not suggesting going out and buying 50 bins...that is NOT frugal, but 4 or 6 is. I packed all my Christmas stuff in 2 bins and then all our clothes into another 3 bins. I also had a few from previous moves that we were able to use again. It's handy for me, and it saves me having to recycle extra boxes...
  • Feed Your Friends. You need to feed the people who are helping you move. Pizza and Beer are classic moving food- however, that's pretty expensive. For moving day #1, we will get the $5 Pizzas from Little Caesars...because it's cheap and easy. The following day, I made a HUGE batch of chili that people can enjoy when they help us unload. The total cost for feeding a small army? $40- that includes, pizza, pop, chili and buns. Totally affordable. And totally an expense that I am ok with- these people are helping us out, so the least I can do is give them a little food.
  • Donate/Sell/Trash. De cluttering is an awesome way to save money on a move. Getting rid of all the extra crap that you have is not only save you time when you move, but it will also ensure that you aren't on the show Hoarders in a few years time. Sell what you can (I made over $200 selling random items), donate what you can't sell, and trash all the other crap that you don't really need. I'm really proud that we were able to get rid of so much stuff this time 'round. We are moving into a much bigger house but I don't want to fall into the trap of needing to fill all the extra space. By getting rid of unwanted stuff NOW- I won't have to pack it or unpack it AND it saves me space.

The list above offers the most cost effective way to move. Now- for some this won't be practical...but for us, it works. We have a lot of great friends who are helping out here and in Calgary, and it is greatly appreciated.

The countdown is on- 8 days until the BIG MOVE...so I must leave you now and go pack...

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

OH- and if anyone else has any other frugal moving tips- please leave a comment! I'd love to hear how you save money on a move...

2.13.2010

Motto

Go Big or Go Home.

I was reminded tonight by a dear friend how ultimately I live this motto.

Packing up and moving cities with my family with less then 3 weeks notice? That's pretty freaking HUGE...

When I started drama in high school, one of my teachers shared this with us on our first day. It's always stuck with me, because it is how I am. Whenever I perform, I always go all the way...sometimes it's too much, and sometimes it is perfect. It is always easier to reign enthusiasm then it is to fake it, or vamp it up. I never need to remind myself to go big- because it is how I naturally am. It works in all aspects of my life- not just the performing side...

My daughter takes after me. I haven't decided if this is good or bad thing yet, I'll let you know when she turns 13. I do know that my Mom laughs when I share stories with her and mumbles something about 'karma....'?! That being said- I will NEVER try to curb my daughters excitement for life. I will never try to kill the creativity that comes so naturally to her. I see other children who are able to sit through a 2 hour movie at 12 months and I thank my lucky stars that my child can't sit still for 2 minutes. I LOVE that my child is able to think outside the box at 18 months of age.

I believe that everything in life should be worth doing, and if it is worth doing then it should be done BIG. When I save- I save BIG, when I spend...I spend small but on BIG things (or lots of things). It is this skill that I have, that my daughter has, that allows us to live the way we do. It gives me confidence and allows me to share the real me. I can only hope that my daughter will look to me as inspiration one day- as I look at my Mom.

So- I encourage you all to try, just for one day- go BIG or go home. You may feel silly, you may feel self-conscious- but someone might see you and you might inspire a change.

I've received numerous e-mails thanking me for my frugal tips, for my environment-saving ideas...and I feel like I've done what I set out to do. I've gone big- I've put my heart out on my sleeve and shared with you the ins and outs of living Frugally. Some of you have started making small changes yourselves...which makes me happy. I'm glad I could help...

So this is me...going big....

Frugally Yours,
Erin B. *that is as big as I can go here...*

2.12.2010

I Believe

Never before in my life have I ever felt this proud to be Canadian.





*~ with glowing hearts~*


I Believe,
Erin B.

2.11.2010

Diva Cup REVIEW...or rant...

WARNING: TMI- like loads of TMI below, don't say I didn't warn you. If you don't want to read about my girlie parts, then I advise you close this window immediately.

Ok- so it arrived and I used it and I can honestly say that I was on the fence about it for a day or two. Not because I didn't want to like it- because I did...but because it hurt and it felt like it was going to fall out. However, I've figured out the trick to it and I can honestly say, I'm never going back to pads or tampons...eva!

So- the evil AF (read: Aunt Flow) arrived and I was all excited to try my Diva Cup. I've never anticipated the arrival of a period as much as I did this month- no lie. So anyhow- she arrives, and I'm all ready to try it out. I read and then reread the instructions- because I don't want to do this wrong. I mean, not that you can really do it wrong, but I didn't want to hurt myself or make it impossible for me to have more children- so I read the instructions like 10 times.



Sounds easy enough. So I did it, got it in and went on my business. Only, it didn't feel right...and I was worried that I'd done something wrong, so I removed it and tried it a few more times. Again, it never felt right, so I removed it and went online to ask my FP ladies WTF was up.

So there is this little tab thing on the end...

...why it is there is beyond me, because it rubs and it's irritating, so I cut it off. I tried it again with the little tab removed- and it felt a little better UNTIL it started feeling like it was going to fall out. All I can say, is that who knew your cervix was so high up- holy cow!!

Ok- so I'm still kind not liking this, and I was starting to doubt my decision to try it and then a friend suggested that I flip it inside out so that the tab and the outer ridges are on the inside. So I give it a try...and WHAM!

I'm in LOVE.

Not only is it easier to insert...(hehe, that's a funny word) but it's much easier to rotate the 365 degrees you need to create the seal...but it is a little smaller, so it sits up higher meaning it doesn't feel like it is going to flop out. Win and Win.

I wore it all night with no problems. None! We are talking 10 hours- with no leaks and no squishy diaper feeling...BONUS!

Now what turns people off the most is the blood. I get faint around blood- so I wasn't really looking forward to it, BUT seriously, it isn't bad at all. If you empty it regularly then you have no problems. Just be careful removing it if you've been wearing it for a while (especially on your heavy flow days) because it might be full and you don't want to spill it. Just imagine...blood everywhere...haha- GROSS.

So- my final word? Give it a try. It might take you a few cycles to get the hang of it- but when you do you will be instantly converted and you'll never go back. I'm. Not. Kidding.

You not only be benefiting yourself and your health *who doesn't like that?* (click here to read up on tampons) but you'll also be saving our environment *who doesn't like that?*. You might also want to click here for more information regarding disposable menstrual products. Clicking here would also provide you with some useful information regarding whats in them and why they are bad. We all need to take little steps towards creating a better and healthier future for our children and ourselves! I know at least 10 women who have switched from traditional feminine protection to the Diva Cup, that is saving our landfill from hundreds of used maxi pads and tampons. That is taking steps in the right direction.

I want my baby to see this...

...and I want our Earth to look like this...

...so I'm going to do my part.

Give the Diva Cup a try and say BYE-BYE to pads and tampons and WASTE that will kill our earth.

Preach Preach Preach...you're welcome.
Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

2.10.2010

s l a c k e r

My bad.

Forgive my lack of posts in the last week. After finding out that we were going to be moving at the end of February- Charlotte and I made an impromptu trip to Calgary to look at houses. After 2 devastating places- we found the perfect home. I filled out the application, gave the guy our security deposit and then went back the next day to sign the papers. It's ours as of February 27th. We couldn't be more happy!

I've since been arranging to have things transfered from our place here to our new place. Changing addresses, arranging for utilities, water, gas, Internet etc...it's kept me on the phone for 2 whole nap times in the past 2 days.

Things are moving slowly on the packing front. I really feel like I want to pack and then when I start packing I think, "oh, I might need that next week" so the packing stops. I need to get over that, because chances are I won't need it and in the end I'll be rushed to pack everything- like our last move.

That being said- I know everything will get packed on time...because I have a lot of helpers this time 'round. We have friends and family on both ends who are going to offering some help. It is greatly appreciated- trust me.

In other news- I'm not buying groceries again until after our move. We have enough food in our freezer and pantry that we should be able to not shop (aside from milk) for the next 17 days. I'll let you know how that goes. I figure the more we can eat here, the less we have to move there...that being said- I will have one LARGE shopping bill once we move. Oh well. That's how it goes.

Ok- well I'm off to do recycling and clear out some room in my pantry for boxes...

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

2.04.2010

STRESSED

Ok- so today....

shit

hit

the

fan.

Hello, my name is Erin, and I love making my life difficult. Really- it's a serious problem that needs to be address.

Today, after 4 days of trying to contact our landlord, we FINALLY received a return phone call and were told we are able to move out March 1st. Great! And then it sunk in...holy crap- I'm moving in 22 days and I have to pack up my entire house! Damn February for being so short.

Long story short, I've literally spent all afternoon on the phone- renting trucks, scheduling carpet cleaners, calling Landlords about viewings, and of course, giving my Father a play-by-play...the list goes on...it's retarded!


Initally, Tuesday was going to be the day to view potential homes but after calling 2 places and being told they were already rented, I had a mini meltdown, bumped my trip to Calgary and am now going on Saturday so I can see the places, make a choice and then sign a Lease so that we aren't homeless. *takes a breath*

Moving is not Frugal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Especially since we are moving into a more expensive city, meaning: higher rent, higher electricity/heat/utilities bills, higher insurance etc etc etc...


This is my second time moving in less then a year...BUT it will be my last time moving for a few years. There are some really nice places that I am going to be looking at...and I'm feeling hopeful that one of them will feel 'right'.

Until then, I have a lot of packing, purging and organizing to do. Stay tuned tomorrow for Frugal Moving tips...because there are some. :)

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

2.01.2010

Call for help!

We. Are. All. Sick.

It sucks.

Just a nasty cold, but we all have it and we are all pretty much miserable.

Believe me when I say that there is very little that I can do for my little grumpy monkey.

I don't believe in drugging my child- so I've been giving her a homeopathic remedy during the day and a very small (1/4 the recommend dose) of Mortin at night. I've been pumping her full of apple juice (1/2 juice, 1/2 water) and giving her lots of oranges and other fruits high in Vitamin C. She won't nurse because she can't breathe and she wants nothing to do with her milk. She doesn't want to eat anything.

Me? I have a sore throat, a killer case of the chills and a lot of aches and pains. I slept from 7:30pm-8:30am. I'm still not feeling 100%.

What do you do to make yourself and your children feel better when you all feel like crap? I don't want to go out to buy anything, and I'm not a fan of OTC medications.

Comment below and let me know what gets you on the mend ASAP.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.