Monday, 31 October 2016

Predicaments of Monday

Dear visitor,

One more weekend is over. To be precise, last weekend of October 2016 is over. Today is Halloween.

With no school aged kids at home, I don't plan anything for Halloween. No costumes, no decorations and no trick or treating. Is it good or bad??? I don't know. 

Mondays can be little bit miserable too. All working people will understand that right? After a full day of staying home, there is always an inertia to get out and go to work. 

Mondays really motivates me to be financially independent. It does not mean the work is horrible though. 

Most of the Mondays, it is just a matter of getting out and reaching to the work place. Once that is done, I am fine for the rest of the week. The running keeps you running, don't you agree?
Always the final weekend of the month is more stressful than other weekends. I really have to make sure there is enough money in the bank to pay the pre authorized  payments. sometimes my employer do not pay the cheque on the first day of the new month. Those times i might have to pay the fines imposed by bank.... Yeah sometimes life really sucks. 
Thanks for listening to my complaints.  Pretty sure this Monday will also be over. My frugal ways of living and saving will let me free from future money dilemmas, I hope.

I comfort myself: We always have to get out of the comfort zone to achieve something. 

So, how you handle your Mondays? Are they happy starting of the week? Are they struggle to overcome the inertia of staying home?

Till next time

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Frugal Mistake

Dear visitor,
Hope you are doing frugally well and on your way to financial independence.
I am a fan of Mustache. After discovering that blog in 2016, I followed many of his ideas. 

The main tip from his blog is to line dry clothes and use the car less. I do not drive. So, using public transportation is my way. Usually hubs pick me up from work. But, I either walk or bus to work. 
Last week, life got way too busy. I found myself drying clothes in the dryer. I used the dishwasher more times than ever last week. 
While thinking about the last week, I really feel guilty. 

If only I was doing a bit of planning, I could have line dry the clothes.  The dishwasher need not to be turned on for few dishes. 

But, sometimes we need to give ourselves a break too, right? We have to be freed from our regular chores sometimes.

So, what is your recent  frugal mistake? 

Till next time

Fabulous weekend

Dear visitor,

The weekend was over. It was really a frugal fabulous weekend.
We had company. Since we cooked at home, it was really fun.

The leftovers are in the fridge to finish off during the week.

I believe, if one big cooking is done over the weekend, the eek will go smoothly. I don't have to think about each meal of the day.
Just open the fridge and pop something to microwave and happy with that.

I made bread again. Homemade oatmeal cookies were a hit. The beef stew and baked potato wedges were really yummy. The guests loved it.

So all together the weekend was just fun. The good thing is it was all done on a low budget.

I am just being frugal this month. No investment is done for this month.
Think, it has to wait till the end of the year.

How was your weekend?

Till next time

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

One Milestone reached

Dear visitor,

Nice to see you back. Today I would like to share one happy achievement with you. 

I started this blog in February, 2016. When the blog started, I wasn't sure how long I will be able to do it. But, like my motto, (saving $1 at a time and investing to financially independent), I just did one post at a time. 

Woohooo... this is the 101st post. How did that happened??? 

So, it is achievable. Just one step at a time and you will be somewhere.

That is really something!!!

After starting my blog, my small family started to take care of our financials. We check the accounts, started investing in RRSP and TFSA. They are not maxed out. I am not sure they will be maxed out before we reach the retirement age. 

So, I am happy with my little achievement. As you can see, my blog is  not getting many comments. But, I can see that you are visiting, because the   report says how many visits I get each day. Since this one is hosted on free blogger site, and my writing is not that great, I am really happy to see that people just wander here. 

What is your newest milestone? Let us talk about that.

Till next post

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Recycling used tea bags

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for visiting.

I was heard so many uses for coffee ground. Are there any uses for tea bags? Any way to recycle the tea bags?

Seems like there are some ways. Of course you can compost them after brewing tea. I use my green tea to make more than one cup of tea. Sometimes, i will use one bag to brew 4 cups of tea. Then the tea will be in  vacuum flask.  Sometimes, I brew one cup and then keep the tea bag in the fridge and brew it again in the same day. It will not be as good as the first brew. Some people leave the bag in the water (about 1/2 litre) for some time. Then reheat the tea in the microwave.

While looking for ideas, i came to know that the the tea bag can be used to mend a broken nail. Just cut the bag and use nail polish to cover the broken nail and paint over it again.

Another idea is to place used and cooled tea bag over the eyes to remove puffiness and under eye circles.

You can use green tea or black tea to sooth the sunburn and other minor burns. 

One recipe for homemade shampoo for coloured hair uses black tea instead of water. Didn't you heard that black tea is good for hair?

Tea is good to absorb smells. So, dry tea bags can be used in the fridge instead of baking soda. Some websites suggest to sprinkle used tea (dry them first) on the carpet and to vacuum after 10 minutes to clean. 

You can spray some essential oil on the tea bag to use as air freshener. Since it comes with a thread, easy to hang. 
 You can use a bit of black tea to shine your dark hard wood floor. It can also be used to clean wooden furniture.

Since it absorbs smell, you can soak your feet in brewed tea to help smelly feet. 
What are other ideas for used tea bags?
How you recycle tea bags?

Getting out of Comfort zone

Dear Visitor,
How you are doing?

 It was very foggy here in Toronto, yesterday.
It was raining most of the time. The day was very dull and sleepy.
I was supposed to go to work. My inertia was keep telling me to call in sick and sleep in.

Then, I remembered: Getting out of your comfort zone is the way to riches.
So, I dressed up and walked out of the door, into the slow rain.

I can assure you it was good. The visibility was poor. I saw an accident happened on the way. Glad that no one was hurt.

Even the work place was unusually quiet. A very slow moving day. It was not cold either.

So, without working that hard, I managed to finish the work day.
Yes, get out of your comfort zone .
There is more fun waiting for you outside.
So how you tame a dull day? Any ideas to share?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Making some pasta sauce

Hi Visitor,

Nice to see you again.
So, what is happening in the frugal, saving and investing world of yours?
The weather is cold. The central heating of the condo is not turned on yet. So to keep myself warm, decided to cook something.

This time it is Pasta sauce. There are fresh tomatoes in the pantry. Then of course, I have onions and garlic. 

It was easy to make. Just a small batch. Enough for two days, I think.

Here is the recipe:

2-3 onions chopped.
3 meaty tomatoes chopped
2-3 garlic chopped
Oil of your choice (I used canola oil)

Heat the oil. Stir fry the onions to make them really translucent. Then add the garlic and stir for 2 more minutes. It will give a nice fragrant. Now add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat and simmer. If you have any herbs like basil or thyme add to the pan. Add salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Cook to the desired thickness. 

I think, I can experiment more with this sauce by adding grated carrots or zucchini. May be I can try meatballs in it? 

Thinking, if I get time to cook, I can stop buying the pasta sauce from store. Less cans to the recycle bin : that will be nice!

Share your ideas on being frugal and saving money. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Stocking Freezer: Beetroots

Hi visitor,
How things are with you? 
We are on a mission to buy the veggies when they are cheap and to stock up the freezer. (Guess all frugal people do that)

No, I don't have a chest freezer. The veggies are going to be in the freezer that comes with the fridge. 

Now couple of weeks ago, beetroots were on sale in 10 pound bags. I got one bag. I should have picked 2 bags, because, the week after, there was nothing to see. 
Beetroots are easy to prepare for the freezer.
I just washed them up and boiled them on stove top. Once they are cooked, wait for them to cool down. The skin will come of easily . You can do it with your hands. Then just slice the way you wanted them for your future dishes. I love them roasted. So, mine were cubes and wedges. I popped them in ziplock bags and kept in the freezer. 
I have seen picked beets on the store. May be next time when they are on sale I should try that. 
Oh and the water I boiled them: can be used to dye your white fabrics. I tried once, and it gave a pale pink. 

What do you do with a big bag of beetroots?

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Stocking freezer : Onions

Hello visitor,
I am glad you come here. There is one more frugal story this week.
October is the month to stock up fridge. Like all other frugal people, i also love the veggies on sale.

Last weekend, hubs got a big bag of onions on sale. Yes, of all the things, he bought 10 lb bag of onions. Now, I am on to taming that one. For the thanksgiving dinner, we used up lot of onions for the stew. But, still there are more onions left over.

I will tell you one more secret: October is the less working month for dental assistants. My bosses love to take the dental off season to take vacations. That makes less income for me, (No work, no money.)
So, I have tons of time in my hand right now. So, I am chopping the onions (yes, crying too). Then the chopped onions are going to be on the stove top, getting caramelized. Once they are done, I am going to keep them in the freezer. (I am doing this batch by batch. )
They will add flavour to mostly anything I make. Don't you love caramelized onions in your stir-fry?

What do you do with such big quantity of onions? 
Until next post,
Loving you

Pumpkins on Sale

Hello visitor, 

It is October.Getting cooler. 
What is in plenty? I see a lot of pumpkins. 
I love the pumpkins. And, they are on sale now.
Buy them when they are available, right? But, what to do with them other than making pies and soups???

If I buy more than we needed for a week how can it be kept in the fridge? 

First of all, I don't want to make pie. The pie pumpkin we got on sale is very tempting. 
So, as an experiment, I cut it in small manageable size. Then removed the skin using my knife. It is hard skin. Then cubed and microwaved in a bowl wrapped in plastic wrap. It was in microwave on high for 12 minutes. 
When it cooled a bit, mashed it with some salt and curry powder. (it is very sweet, so spiciness of curry powder seems good).
 It was so yummy! I ate it with bread. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

No Spending week

 Hi Visitor,
If you check my Blog List, you can see the first one as Frugal Queen.  That is the newest blog got added to the list.

I read the latest post and commented thinking, buy nothing means you cannot go even grocery shopping. The Frugal Queen corrected me: I can buy groceries and fuel. But there is no other shopping.
Doesn't that sound so cool!!!

Think of it! I was having a buy nothing month in October. There were only grocery purchases!!! Nope: I bought a bread machine this month. Hum... Too bad.

May be I can do a buy nothing week now. There was some shopping for groceries during the weekend. It was thanksgiving weekend. Yesterday, i found out that I needed yoghurt. Since I don't want to go to grocery for yoghurt alone and to get tempted, made yoghurt at home. Thankfully, there was a bit of yoghurt left in the container to use as culture. It is getting really good.

Have you ever done a buy nothing week?

Ever thought about not spending for at least one day?
I would love to know. Do you like any other blogs to be added to my list? Please please tell me.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Simple Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday. There are so many things to be thankful in this year.
The colourful October is not yet bone chilling cold. The autumn colors are amazing. Time for pumpkin flavoured everything!

I am thankful that we are living in a free country. The luxuries in life are amazing! Did I ever dreamed of having a laptop and smart phone when I was a kid?

We are thankful that we both have jobs now.

The thanksgiving dinner was delicious and fun. Hubby made delicious beef and veggie stew. The homemade bread was delicious. Then we had the pumpkin pie from Costco. Can you believe, it was just $6.99 this year? I believe, it was $9.99 last year. 
We love the pumpkin pie from Costco. I tried smaller pies before, but this one is amazing!
Then there was wine too. since dear daughter is an adult now, she also enjoyed some wine with us. 
So,there was no turkey. The simple dinner didn't break the bank. 

Friday, 7 October 2016

Making bread

Fresh baked bread are so divine, don't you agree with me?
But, making bread at home? I tried it with some recipes on internet. It needed a lot of kneading, and time to rise .
So, to bake bread, I need to plan. Most of the time, I don't like to plan for cooking. I don't want to stay at home for hours to make a loaf of bread.
So, bread machine is a good choice. Yes, they are just very easy to use and comes with recipe book usually.
The one recently bought can be used to make jams and cakes too. The dough option is there, in case I wanted to make pizza...

The problem I found is the bread machine recipes in the book all asked for bread machine flour. I have a 10 lb bag of all purpose bag sitting in the pantry, un-opened. I don't want to go and buy the bread machine flour  now.
Yes, Mr.Google has solutions for me. Add wheat gluton. Brilliant idea, right? But, I still have to go to the store and buy it.
 So, I decided to just substitute all-purpose flour to bread flour, cup for cup. After all, I might be losing some flour right?
Wait a minute... check for a recipe for white bread and voila! I got one from internet. Since my booklet of recipes says Canadian flour has more protein, I added 1 table spoon of water extra for each cup of flour.
I used the basic cycle, and finished in 3 hours. The bread turned out really well. It was soft and tasty.
I am going to try substituting all purpose flour to bread flour cup for cup in some of the recipes in the booklet. Will update about the bread machine soon.

Previously on Pellrides: September Passive income

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

September passive income

Since October started, time to update on September passive income. All personal finance bloggers do give an update on it, right?

I was thinking of working all possible hours and it really sucks...I realized slowing down is actually better. When you get tired, i tend to follow un-mustachian ways of drying clothes in the machine, and eating out.

The passive income for this month is below $100 if I consider only my TFSA and RRSP. But, we have another account, started with $10,000 and totally ignored for some weird reasons. I started taking care of that one too. That is with Scotia iTrade. Scotia has great site, but, if you don't have minimum of $25,000 there, the fees can really kill you. So, my new strategy is to buy their commission free ETFs.

All those 3 accounts combined, I made a total of $130.  For me, it is a good amount of money for a month in passive income. Most of the money is reinvested along with some new money.

The one ETF on iTrade commission free list is ZWB/ BMO covered call Canadian bank ETF. I bought at  $16.70/share. The price a bit high now.  In another post I will try to explain what is a covered call.

Around the time I started saving and investing, hubby stopped saving in RRSP and TFSA. Now, we are going to start that again for him: this time DIY investments. So, let us see where it goes.
Oh, by the way, the blog receive $0.02 during the last month as well. Since it is less than what I can take out, it is going to stay with Google.

Previously on Pellrides

Create Emergency fund without having cash

Personal finance gurus advised us all to have an emergency fund with at least 6 months expenses.
So, the emergency fund depends on the way you live your life. Some say, you might need at least $5000 kept away easily accessible.
Do we really need to keep that much liquid cash?

If I keep that money in my checking account, it is not going to give me any interest. may be we can put that money in a high interest saving account or flexible GIC. Another option is to put in a high interest TFSA.

In this modern world, we all have credit cards. We all have bank accounts.Money is available easily, if you have a credit card. Even bank will let you have some money without having that much in your account. There are line of credits, and over draft facilities.

So, think of having a real emergency, like the car broke down, or the furnace stopped working in the middle of winter. Then, you can really put it on your credit card. There is a grace period for paying that bill. You can use your credit card to pay that bill. Get some points on that expense too. Then before the end of the grace period, un-park your money from the GIC or high interest savings account or the money market fund.

If you are using the line of credit from bank, you will have to pay for the insurance on that money. I can't remember what they call it: but, CIBC charged me about $7  for using line of credit, even though I paid back within 20 days.

If you are sure you can pay the money back to your credit card within the grace period, you really don't need to keep the liquid cash in checking account.

So, there you have the emergency fund, without having liquid cash sitting around doing nothing.
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