Tag Archives: budget

Before and After – Refurbished Dressers for only $25!

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Lately the Princess has been saying “that’s a great idea” all the time.  Doesn’t matter if it is making dinner or telling her it is time for a shower, everything is a “great idea”.  My “great idea” was to refurbish the dressers that once were my parent’s wedding present, then became my dressers when I was a poor struggling university student and have been makeshift dressers and storage for the Princess.  From the photo’s below you will see that 29 years can really take its toll on furniture.   I’m all about making old look like new and on a budget, so for only $25, we were able to take these dressers and make them look brand new.  All that was needed was a 945 mL latex glossy paint, knobs from Ikea, sandpaper and wood filler.  As Hubby is the handy type, he already had the paint brushes, sander and sandpaper and the wood filler, so all we needed were the knobs and paint.

On Monday, we emptied the Princess’ room and began sanding the dressers and removing the remainder of the knobs.  Wood filler did its job by filling in the dings and scrapes that were caused over time.  After they were washed, the first coat of paint went on.  As we had to paint in the Princess’ room she had to sleep in our bed, which meant that Hubby and I took turns sleeping on the couch as the Princess takes up an enormous amount of room for her short stature.  The fans were on and the windows open so thankfully none of the fumes travelled to the rest of our home.  Tuesday and Wednesday added another coat of paint and Thursday the knobs went on.  After 4 days, Hubby and I are pooped.   The Princess was not happy about being kept away from her room and tried to supervise as much as humanly possible and took her frustration out on us while we were sleeping.  Needless to say, the dressers look amazing and as Hubby says “Mommy only has great ideas…like redoing dressers and getting me to do them.” 🙂

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How to Save Money on Groceries

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Hubby and I have been doing a full makeover of our budget, and our grocery bill took a big cut.  Prior to our budget cut, we were spending an outrageous amount a month on groceries for the two of us, Princess and our pets.  We didn’t plan our meals, had a lot of food that spoiled and leftovers that didn’t get eaten.  But once we sat down and really looked at what we were spending, we were able to cut our budget by approximately $200.  We still buy our pet food, cleaning and toiletries and include that in our grocery shopping.  So I have compiled a list of things that we do to cut down on our grocery costs.

  1. Plan your meals.  I plan only 5 meals a week.  Sometimes we have leftovers one night or we order take out or have family dinner’s elsewhere, but Hubby and I only cook 5 nights a week.  We try to eat 1 meal of chicken, pork, fish, beef and a vegetarian dish a week so not to get bored.
  2. Watch the cut of your meats.  Most people know that certain cuts of meats are more expensive than others.  Boneless, skinless chicken costs much more than those with the skin on and bone in.  Also, pre-made hamburgers cost more than ground beef and made at home.
  3. Coupons.  While I’m no extreme couponer, there are many sites online where you can sign up for coupons to be sent in the mail or printed at home.  You may not have your entire grocery bill covered, but a few dollars here and there definitely help.
  4. Don’t Shop Hungry.  This may sound silly, but if your tummy is rumbling, you are more likely to buy food on impulse.
  5. Buy Fruits & Vegetable that are in season.  Fruits and Vegetables that are in season cost less than those that aren’t, so when planning your weekly meals, try for those that are in season.  For an up-to-date list on in season fruits and veggies in Ontario, here is the Foodland Ontario list.
  6. Compare Prices.  At most grocery stores, they will list the prices and sizes and sometimes in small print, they will have the cost per serving.  I like to check these so while I may be paying a little more for a product, it costs less money per serving, so it works out in the long run.
  7. Make Big Batches and Freeze.  Hubby and I are notorious for this.  We like to spend a majority of our Sundays cooking soups, stews, and sauces and then we freeze them for future meals.
  8. No Name Brands.  Paying for name brands can really add up.  If you are to compare a name brand can of soup with a no name brand, the ingredients are very similar but the no name brand costs less as the cost for branding is much less than the name brand.
  9. Shop the Outer Parts of the Store.  Not only are the food on the outer ring of the store better for you, but they are cheaper than the stuff down the aisles.
  10. Bring a List.  When you bring a list with you and stick to it, you are less likely to buy things on impulse.
  11. Competitive Pricing.  Some grocery stores have weekly flyers and also have competitive pricing.  So if you bring a flyer to your usual grocery store and their item costs more than at another store, sometimes, depending on store policy, they will adjust the price to stay competitive.