Monday, August 27, 2007

Menu Monday- Ramen Noodle Stir Fry

Okay we are on a strict budget here, today I found out that I will lose $345 of monthly income, thanks to fundign cuts...errr! So have to tighten up the budget even more!

So here is another cheap recipe that we use when things are lean

Ramen Noodle Chicken StirFry

First I buy chicken breasts in bulk( I can often get 8 on sale for less then $12) One breast is good for one meal for me and Roo

So Chicken enough for your family
2 pkgs for RAmen noodles ( we sue 1)
Frozen chineese veggies( for us about 2 cups worth)
Seasoning mix(from Noodle pac)
We heat skillet add wee bit of oil, and brown our chicken, add in spices and a wee bit of liquid( this changes all the time in my house ie water, orange juice, soya sauce, etc..), add frozen veggies and add the noodles last..simmer and cook to your families liking..It is fast and it is cheap and that is what matters here!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Morning Talk with Roo

My daughter Roo and I had an intersting talk this morning about money..You see she was watching TV and a Plan Canada program came on, and my daughter who is a very empathic 9 year old was like mom why do some kids live like that? why cant we share? can we sponser all these kids? please mom what can we do...
Roo doesnt realize that to Canadian standards we are considered poor by many, even though we have a place to live, food in the cupboards, and well freecycled and garage sale material possessions. Our talk turned to what we do have materially and how that compares to the children in much of the world. Roo I think was realizing how rich we are on a global standard. It made her stop and think about her collection of toys in her room, and how some kids arent so blessed, and the shelves full of books she has..I think she is coming to understand that we can do our part by not buying into the material fantasy that is much of western thought.
You can live simply, make do, recycle, make concessions, and give too, they say karma is a great thing, and personally sharing as you are able to is a good thing in a world that says we need the newest computer, the newest gadgets to make our life easier, but would that really be the answer I think not, I like the lessons I have been learning myself about being cheaper then cheap..I too not that long ago was on that material rollercoaster looking for the next newest thing..simple is nice, simple is easy, simple is cheaper then cheap and leaves one feeling blessed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

So much to do, What are Your Weekend Plans?

There is so much going on this last Saturday of August, first of course there is tne CNE, but if you didnt prebuy before the 17th tickects are a bit pricey for this mom, but there is the $5 entrance fee after 5pm. You can go after 5pm and get in for $5 on Tuesday, Wendnesday and Thursday...for cheap food at the Ex there still is the 99 cent spaghetti, but much of it is now getting expensice so unless you have money to spare this weekend here are some other things to occupy your time.

Down on the Harbourfront there is Taiwan Ilha Formosa which is a free event, with music and the like to celebrate the beautiful island.

Over in the St Lawrence Market area is one of my favorites of the summer-Buskerfest! There are 40 performers strutting there stuff and all for a good cause too.

At Masaryk Cowan Park there is the Parkdale Festival. It is about celebrating music and creating new art.
Now on Sunday for all bargain hunters you want to make you way to the University of Toronto Varisty Stadium for the RedFlagDeals Bargain Hunters Pinic, for $5 you get barbeque, refreshments and a gift bag. If you RSVP to 416-628-3331 you can be registered for games and prizes too.
And dont forget Shakesphere in the Park at 8pm at High Park if you havent seen it this summer.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back to School -- Are You Spending Too Much?

Well I am done shopping for Roo who is entering grade 4 this year, so this year I struck a strict budget of $75 for back to school shopping and I stuck to it..want to see what we got for our bucks..

  • Bratz Backpack 9.99 (Walmart)
  • Pencil Crayons-24pack 1.68(Walmart)
  • Crayola Crayons-24 pack 1.16(Walmart)
  • Ruler(big one)-.99(Shoppers)
  • Bic Pens-FREE (scoped)
  • Erasers-8-$1 (Dollarama)
  • Pencils-12-$1( Dollarama)
  • Socks-$5.97 (Walmart)
  • Looseleaf Paper-2pkgs-$.98(Shoppers)
  • Markers (FREE from a friend)
  • Folders( using some left from last year so no cost)
  • T-shirt$3.99( Disney Store)
  • Long Sleeve Sketchers Top $3.99(Value Village)
  • Long Sleeve Cute Monkey Top$.99(Value Village)
  • Long Sleeve Gap Top$3.99(Value Village( tags were still on it)
  • Beige Gap Pants $7( Ages and Stages)
  • jeans$5(Zellers Clearance)
  • grey Lasenza Girl crop sweat $3.99(Value Village)
  • Jeans FREE gift from friend

This is what she is starting the year with as well as what is already in her closet. By setting a strict budget I was able to stay in it, and shopped for sales all summer long. As well Roo didnt need new rummers as I bought her sone on sale in the beginning of June, that she has hardly won as it has been the summer of the flipflop! I am finding there are lots of back to school sales but to be cheaper then cheap, think you dont have to outfit your child in NEW, new to them is just as dandy. Roo is all set, how about you are you ready for back to school yet?

Oh and the total spent was with taxes and all $54.22--Yeppers $20 under budget cause I didnt buy new runners!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday Freebie

Today I found a great way to help my daughter Roo make healthier choices when it comes to eating and guess what it is FREE! Got to love something that will come in the mail for FREE

Eat Right Be Right is a resource site for healthy eating and right now they have launched a NEW game called Staying Alive. It is geared for 8-12 year olds, my daughter fits that group. The kids real life choices will help them survive in this game where they get points for thier choices..I think it just may be a great learning tool! They even ship it out for FREE!
If you are looking for FREEBIES my favorite place to find them is Frugal Shopper..Lets see this week I registered for a few freebies that I found that other members left, isnt sharing when trying to do things on the cheap just the best!I found another new one just today and that is Smart Cannucks after visiting it is now apart of my favs--if you want to know where some of the great freebies are this is a bookmark location!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So what are You Doing this Weekend?

It is opening weekend of the CNE ( the EX)...if you have children then you got FREE passes in thier report cards hopefully, unforunately Roo didnt for some strange reason this year. If you are reading this today it is the Last day to get discounted tickects from Shoppers or you can get them online as well up till Midnight today but none later..This Monday and next monday are Kids days so kids can get in for a toonie, and they have 30 ride tickects that day for $20. If you are hitting the EX there is LOTS to do in thier for FREE without doing the rides. It is the one reason I LOVE the kid area so very much.

Otherwise in case the EX aint your thing, and by the way unless I find 2 free passes for me and Roo we wont be there this year. On Friday night Spiderman 3 is the movie over at Downsview Park. Speaking of things in the park dont forget over at High Park you have Shakesphere in the Park evernight night at 8 pm. On Sundays they do a great kids program starting at 5:30. If you are downtown hit the waterfront for some FREE entertainment. There is alot more going on for FREE around town and if you are ever at loss for what to do go to and simply look at thier list of events!

This weekend Roo and I are just hitting a local park and doing some bbqing. Keeping it simple here. Have a good weekend all..

Monday, August 13, 2007

Menu Monday-Yummy Bean Corn Salsa

Yes we are well into summer and one of my favorite things is fresh corn on the cob but I also like to include corn in other recipes. One of the ones that I found recently comes from Mommy Savers...and well it is so very yummy...Roo and I love SALSA..I also LOVE cilantro so it brings together some of my favorite foods and since so much of this is in season the recipe is cheap.
So here is todays recipe

Black Bean and Corn Salsa (a.k.a. Cowboy Caviar)

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels (I use either fresh or frozen; not canned)
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. lime juice
8 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ t salt
½ t ground cumin

It’s this simple: chop and dump. Refrigerate overnight to let all flavors blend. I seve this on nachos, and some times add this to nachos and cheese for a light dinner, and serve a salad on the side..

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Come this Weekend to my Neighbourhood

This weekend is one of my favorite of the on the Danforth it is time for Taste of the Danforth. What started years ago as a celebration of all things GREEK really has become more of a cosmoplitain event, and the best thing is it is FREE. There are lots of samples, and lots of games for the kids, face painting, you know all the fun stuff that you expect at a street party~ I am looking forward to the Salsa music...and Roo wants to play all the games that our local sports teams are hosting...Now if you havent for soem reason tasted the restraunts along the Danforth then you are in for a real treat. As for parking may I suggest you leave your car at home as the Danforth is on the Bloor line, just get off at Broadview, Chester or Pape. Yes the festival is that long on the street. I love living just off this area as it really is an area where you get all the very best of Toronto..So why not come and hang with me this weekend. My sister is visiting from Nova Scotia so it will be her and my nieces first festival so I am sure we will have a blast! Hope you see you all in my hood!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cheap Equals ECOGEEK!

In the days of global warming I think we are all thinking of ways that we can help lessen our impact here on planet Earth. I know I have been, but at first when I thought about going GREEN what flashed in front of me was dollar signs, okay what was it going to cost this queen of cheap?

Going green has actually SAVED me money..yeppers. Any money I have spent at all I have reaped the benefit from..

The 5 easiest ways to go ECO GEEK for me have been:

1. SHUT OUT THE LIGHTS: by actually turning off the lights when not in a room, and puting my computer and entertainment center on power bars that I actually shut off and unplug when not in use I am saving power and money. It so far has been my easiest..did you know it takes less then 1 minute to program a VCR and DVD player.

2. WALK and WALK: if we can walk there in less then 1/2 hour we are walking the distance instead of taking the bus, and we are only using taxies for big grocery days or if medically needed. By not having a car think of the money we save!

3. GO CFS--by changing the light bubls to these we have saved more then I put out to buy them in the first place.

4. RECYCLE and REUSE-we have been very supportive to the city's recycling program and have gotten our garbage usage down to 1 bag every 2 weeks. As well we have shopped garage sales and second hand stores for those things that we need..You can call my place vintage chic!

5. Buying LESS PACKAGED goods..I have been trying to shop the outsides of the store and go less with the packaging, and of course I am briinging my own bags( bought 3 bags for $3) and they will last a LONG TIME, and I am saving the landfills of some packaging and plastics.

So you can see it is quite easy and cheap to go ECOGEEK! I had written about this very topic on Bloghers Act's Facebook group and was so amazed when today who comments on what I have written but the KING of the Canadian GREEN team--David Suzuki! Why not check out his challenge HERE and really go GREEN with the rest of Canada..I will be writing more about going GREEN on the cheap as the year goes on.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Menu Monday

Meant to get this done earlier but today has been super hectic as I have spent the day cleaning as I have compnay coming this family will be visiting from Nova Scotia..

It has been HOT here in Toronto so on HOT nights we like to have a COOL dinner and one of our favorites is to have a SALAD night..

Our Favorite is this Pasta Salad

Cook enough pasta for family ( for us that is half a bag) and we use the wheels as that is Roo's fav shape.
Italian Dressing
Turkey Pepperoni
Green Peppers
Yellow peppers
Throw all together in a big bowl..
For us this is enoug for a light easy dinner..if not enough for your clan add rolls and butter that way you dont have to cook anymore then is absolutely neccesary

This is a quick and easy fav of ours and for dessert we had Strawberries and Icecream, yum!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Beating Summer Boredom

I have an 9 yr old daughter and well it is summer time and we are in the big city and this year I wanted to make sure that we broke the summer boredom blues and mom wouldnt have to hear that "Iam bored" whine. At the beginning of summer I had my daughter Roo list all the things that she could do that cost less then $1..and then I had her list 5 biggies that she really wanted to do this summer ie go to movies, Ontario Place, Zoo, Wonderland, etc..

Now for the cheapies she has a great long list and if you would like to take her list to help you get thru the dog days of summer you can:
  1. go to the splash park
  2. go swimming
  3. go to the library
  4. watch a dvd
  5. play FREE games on the computer
  6. write a letter
  7. draw with chalk
  8. play with homemade playdough
  9. play in the sand
  10. weed the garden
  11. water the garden
  12. clean Norman( our pet fish)
  13. play with her barbies
  14. paint a picture
  15. learn a new recipe
  16. play with bubbles
  17. Swiffer for mom
  18. play with water toys in the tub
  19. go for an adventure walk in the neighbourhood
  20. go to the beach
  21. fly a kite
  22. play soccer
  23. ride her scooter
  24. play with bubbles
  25. make a collage
  26. do sheet wrok
  27. do Mad Libs
  28. play a board game
  29. practice Scrabble so she can beat mom
  30. create a page for her scrapbook album
  31. water paint outside
  32. do a science experiment
  33. walk the nieghbour's dog
  34. build a marshmellow creation
  35. make a puppet
  36. build a puppet theatre
  37. put on a play
  38. play dress up
  39. put on music and dance
  40. and my favorite take a nap!

This is not all on our list but it might help you start your own, it sure is a good cheap way to break the summer time boredom blues.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

So much to Do for FREE this weekend (or for a good price)

Well I am starting to feel better so it is time to plan the weekend there is so much to do this week end well you could go from FREE to FREE all weekend long..

First of course it is Caribana here in Toronto this weekend. The parade is on Saturday and starts at 10 am...get there early and get a good spot, maybe one near the food vendors cause the food is GOOD and not that expensive either. If you want to see all that is going on for caribana at Ontario place this weekend take advantage that is 680 NEWS day at Ontario place and you can go for $6.80..

If you not wanting to be part of the nearly million that will take in Caribana, there is still much to do..

Friday night you could hit Downsview Park and watch a movie for FREE..this week it is Happily Never After or perhaps you prefer the arts the FREE GAllery on Queen St has a great display called Two by Two that shows the lives of refugees. As well the Ballet in the park that I told you about last week here is still going on.

There are lots of FREE music events all across the town..There is the Irie Music Festival down at Nathan Phillip Square or at Queens Park. At Harbourfront if you dont want to get the caribeen feeling at CAribana you have Caribeen Soul.

So lots to do on this long weekend ...enjoy it all everyone! On Monday I will be starting something new here at cheaper then cheap...Menu Monday..a great inexpensive recipe great for families will be shared! Hoping to make it a regular feature of the blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Mail a Letter for FREE

Have you written your family or friends who are across the country lately..why not drop them a note! I know I would love to get more then just bills and ads in my mailbox. Canada Post is currently giving away a way to write your loved ones for FREE. Go check out this site and write for FREE while you can at Easy Post. It is a great way to send a note to someone who you cant email! I love finding these kinds of FREEBIES..