Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Simple Weekend

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
The weekend was frugally awesome. Dear daughter was home for last one week. It was her reading week. Usually during the reading week, she does everything other than reading. This was different: with a lot of assignments and unfinished academic stuff, she was bound to her room. 

The good thing about it was the TV was not working most of the time and I was escaped from the American political news. Then, there was a lot of home cooking. We made tofu, biriyani, baked rutabagas and chickpeas.

After the Carrot Experiment, I tried my hand on sauerkraut again. this time with regular cabbage and pickling salt. Half a cabbage is used. I found a big mouthed glass jar with lid for fermenting. Now it is in a jam bottle and in the fridge. Hubs love the taste. I didn't bother to add ginger or garlic this time. But, it still taste good. 

Crabapple Landing and Life after Money authors are walking out everyday. I am blaming the cold for not walking. So thinking of taking a walk at least one block before getting on the bus to work. Let us see how that will work! 

Till next post
With Love

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Investing with $100

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 

You all know that to have more money in the future, you have to live below your means and invest. It is a no brainer, right? 

So, you tried hard and saved $100. Now what to do? 
There are few choice. 
You can start a tax free advantage savings account with CIBC, before March 1st. They will give you 2.25% interest. Since it is a tax free one, you don't need to pay tax on the interest. 
You can start putting that money in a mutual fund. I am not talking about mutual fund now. 
The third option is you can invest in stock market. 
You can open a DIY account with Questrade. You can find some ETFs and invest in them for free. They have a minimum commission of $4.99/trade to maximum of $9.99, depending on the number of stocks you buy. 
You can register with one of the big banks too. CIBC has the lowest rate of $6.99 flat fee per trade. 
Now, let us talk about dividend paying stocks to invest. Since it is only $100, let us think of low cost shares paying dividends. 

I found the following 4 companies . all shares are less than $10/share as of February 23rd. All are paying dividends too. 

1. ACD
Accord financial Corp is a financial solutions provider for small and medium businesses. Dividend yield is 4%.

It is a real estate investment trust. They are interested in acquiring and owning multi residential properties. Dividend yield is 3.08%

Plaza Retail REIT is a real estate investment trust. dividend yield is 5.22%. Dividend distributions are monthly.

Aimia Inc is a Canada based data driven loyalty analytics company.
Dividend yield is 8.55%. Dividends are paid quarterly.

Buy one of these companies. when you get the dividend, keep them. Add more shares of the same company, till you can make enough dividends to buy at least one unit. Then ask your bank/institution about DRIP program. It is the short form for dividend re-investment. Once you are in the DRIP program, you bank will not charge a commission to reinvest the dividend to buy the stocks of the same company. 
Do you think it is a good strategy? 

Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert. I won't take responsibility of your investment decisions. Do it at your own risk.The ideas are just to make you think. 

Cleaning the blender

Dear visitor,
I like making milk smoothies.
It is really easy peacy.  Place all kinds of fruits, frozen or fresh, the add some milk. Pulse it first, and when it feels all fruits got mixed up, blend for a minute or two.

It is very very easy and refreshing. Some people make veggie smoothie. But Milk and fruit is my favourite. I bought my blender from Loblaws about 11 years back. It still works fine.
Now cleaning the blender after making the smoothie is little tricky. I used to take all parts apart first. If I was careless, got injured by the blades. Not anymore.
Easy way is to fill the jar half way with some warm water a few drops of dish washing liquid.
Then pulse it few times.  Empty the soapy water. Then take apart the blade and rinse off all the parts.
I do the same thing with my Magic Bullet too.  That way we can protect the rubber seal on the Magic Bullet for long.

Do you clean the blender like I do?
Till next post,
With Love

Monday, 20 February 2017

Frugal tip: Cleaning the cleaner

Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by.
We all have the cleaning tools: vacuum cleaner, mops, dusters, dishwasher, washing machine etc. 
I just have a vacuum cleaner. Nothing fancy like a Dyson. When I was buying it 5 years before, I was not thinking much about environment or frugal living. It was all about convenience. So, I bought a vacuum cleaner with disposable bag.
 It was working fine. Last week i noticed it is not sucking that much like before. Under the brush, thee was a lot of hair tangled and making the machine struggle. 
Tried to remove the hair with my hands. But it was very hard. The website called one good thing by jillie has a simple solution. Use a seam ripper . It worked so fast and effectively. 
a little bit of caring can make the machine work for more years. It is a wise investment of your time, I think.
Do you ever clean the cleaner?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

A Carrot Experiment: Fermenting

Dear Visitor,

Glad to see you here.
Since my sauerkraut experiment well I am ready to try my hands on fermented carrots. 

I peeled 4 medium sized carrots. Since i thought it will be easy to put carrot in the blender instead of grating, I did that. I don't have a food processor. The blender method was a disaster. 
So, the carrots got grated using a box grater. Then I added about a teaspoon of pickling salt, along with some grated ginger and garlic. 
That is my carrots mixed with ginger garlic and salt. After mixing it with hand, I transferred it to a glass bottle. The bottle is not full. I am searching for a small bottle. Meanwhile it is in this mason jar.
As you can see the juice is not covering it yet. Going to wait for a fe hours. Then if it is not getting more liquid, I will add more brine solution. 
Will give an update in about a week. Right now, keeping my fingers crossed to see how it goes. 
Have you ever tried fermenting veggies?  Any interesting tips or incidents to share with me?

Till next post,
With love

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

It is about Teabag and frugal

Dear visitor,
Thanks for coming back. 
As i said on the title, it is about the tea bag. 

Not really about one tea bag. About making more cups of tea from one bag. This green tea is from Costco. In a box, there are 100 bags. Each is individually packed. You might have got it from the picture of the packet itself, right? 

 Hubby likes to take green tea in a flask to work. That is about two cups of tea in the flask. He doesn't like it seeped for long. Just change the colour and little flavour is enough. 

After making his tea, i dip the bag in a cup of boiled water for myself. Then, the bag got dropped in an empty glass. I make about 4 cups of tea in the morning for myself with the same tea bag. 

It all started to tame my coffee drinking habit. Coffee was giving me acid reflux. This green tea is fine for me. In the winter, I have to force myself to drink water. The tebag gives a little colour and slight flavour to the water. Drinking something warm gives a good feeling too. I am extending the use of one bag and saving some pennies too.

How many cups of green tea you usually make from one tea bag? Or loose tea is your favourite?
Till next post,
With love

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

DIY Sauerkraut experiment

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for dropping by. 

Two weeks before hubby bought a red cabbage. It was on sale: he said. Half of the cabbage I used to cook. 
I was itching to try my hands on making sauerkraut. So, I chopped the half cabbage roughly. Chopped a small piece of ginger from the freezer. Chopped a few cloves of garlic too. 
Put about 2 spoons of regular table salt on it. (Most of the recipes asking to use non-iodized salt) Mixed everything together and placed in a glass bottle. I had a jar of distilled water. So added that to top of the chopped cabbage. Then just left it on the kitchen counter for 2 weeks. 
I took some and tasted today.
My sauerkraut is tangy enough for me. Wow!! Look at the colour!
It is really easy. Fermented foods are good source of probiotics, they say. 
Going to try some carrots next time. I am going to keep the sauerkraut in the fridge. 

Hubby bought me some pickling salt this week. Will post about the next experiment soon.Umm... may be in about 3 weeks. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Frugal Weekend

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
After a day of continuous snowing, today feels like nice. Because of the light reflecting on the snow, it is very white outside. 
When you are inside the comforting warmth of your home, it is very pleasant to view the snow falling down. When you are outside, walking or driving, it a different story. 

Since the last week was a no-shopping one, we did some grocery shopping this week. Actually there was no way we can survive another week without a grocery shopping. 

We bought a piece of meat, that costs a little less than $8. It got cooked and it is going to be stretched for the whole week. I am going to have more veggies cooked during the week. 

Did I told you that we pack our lunch and almost never buy lunch outside? 
The laundry is all done and getting line dried. I bought some tomatoes extra this week. They have to go to the freezer. 
The Valentines day is going to be on Tuesday. We will not be celebrating that. 

I did a DIY hair colouring to cover my greys. It costs $6.99 for the colour. 

I am really tempted to get a manicure after seeing my coworker's hand. She gets a manicure and pedicure for $30 every month.

 After thinking about it I finally decided not to do it. The important thing for me is to get financially independent. $360 invested will be good for that. Being a dental assistant gives me enough reasons not to colour my nails and having short nails.

Do you get manicure and pedicure every month? If you DIY your nails, what are the things you buy?

Hope, you had a relaxing weekend too.
Till next post,
With love
(The image is copied from a pinterest pin. If you want it taken down, please email me. I will remove it )

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Cleaning day!

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for visiting.

I got a few hours to myself. No work and no pressing issues to solve. So, I decided to just clean up the place. I have my re usable wipes to use.  Took one out. The smell of Lysol was powerful. Instructions on the bottle clearly says to add water to dilute it before use. Silly me, didn't read it while making the wipes.

So, I put one wipe in a bowl of water and rinsed out before using it. It still had the Lysol smell. With one wipe, I managed to wipe all the kitchen counters and backsplash.
Dusted the whole place and vacuumed too. Wow! There was still time to clean the bathtubs and bathroom flour.  My vinegar soap solution was good to clean the tub.
So, I am thinking, may be once a week, I can do this cleaning ritual.
Paper filing is another chore I have to pay attention. Tax season is coming up. I need to get everything organized. Hopefully, we will manage to do the tax by ourselves. All the necessary papers are in one place already.
Do you guys started thinking about tax filing? How you organize things? Do you have a fixed timetable for cleaning the home?

Till next post
With love

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Frugal Freezer

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for dropping by.

Since this is a no grocery shopping week, I am depending more on my freezer.

Now, let us think of the freezer. I don't have a chest freezer. We just use the freezer that comes with the fridge. No, it is not a fancy fridge. Just a regular one, with a freezer compartment on the top. 

Now, what do I freeze?

At present, we have carrots, beetroots, and spinach. Then few tomatoes and some fruits.

Carrots were plenty in the fall. Same was the case of beetroots. We peeled and sliced the carrots and freeze them in freezer bags. Beetroots were boiled first, then removed skins. They also got sliced before getting in the freezer. 

I have ginger in the freezer. Whenever we buy ginger, I wash, peel and slice into cubes and then freeze them. Want ginger tea? Just drop a small piece in the boiled water and seep. You got it right? Do you know you can freeze the curry leaves? It will turn slightly blackish, but the flavour will be same. Green chillies can be frozen too.  I like to freeze garlics too. Just put a few frozen garlic cloves in your stews or soups. It is just fine. (Wash and peel them before freezing)

I even freeze the store bought bread. Costco has the 3 packs of bread. I place them in the freezer. Before using, you just have to put in the fridge and let it thaw. It is good for making sandwich or toast. 

I do even freeze the vegetable scraps. I keep a plastic container in the freezer to keep my veggie scraps. Once the container is full, I make veggie stock in the slow cooker. 

What you have in your freezer? Do you use the freezer to save money?

Till next post,
With love

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Getting out , to work

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
Toronto suppose to have a freezing rain today. I was having the assumption that it will be finished by 11am. But, it hasn't started in the early morning as every one was expecting. It is really a windy day.
Yeh, well that doesn't matter. Still have to go out and work, right? 

By the way, that is my motto for the year.: when there is work go and work. But sometimes, when the weather is cold staying inside is more desirable. I have to push myself out on those days. 

Today is also not different. You know, getting out of comfort zone is the only way to achieve your goals. Hopefully, I will be fine with my boots and layers of clothes. Hopefully, I won't slip and fall.

Think of the patients going to come. then I have to be there to help the dentist deliver the treatment. Yes, right, I am in the business of taking care of people!

NB: I am still sticking to not visiting the grocery shop

Monday, 6 February 2017

Frugal Weekend

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for dropping by. 

It is back to Monday. The weekend is over. 

It was really cold. But we did went to Costco, to get some prescriptions filled. The shop was so full of people. We got the meds and then bought a rotisserie chicken. Then dashed out. It was very tempting to buy a Adidas brand walking shoe there. Since i already have enough shoes I managed to tame that temptation. 

We had dinner at home, as usual. I managed to do big loads of laundry and line dried them inside. That was big achievement. But, the things aren't dried enough to do iron all work clothes for the week. 

Hubby was watching Super Bowl. But we didn't have any guests. He called me to watch half time performance by Lady Gaga. Oh boy, it was one fine performance! Hope you all watched that one.

I told you my attempt to not to go grocery shopping  for this entire week. Hopefully, we can do that. 

The weather prediction is for freezing rain on Tuesday. I think, I really have to find motivation to get out tomorrow.

I have to look on my personal finance and think of doing some investments. 
Hope, you all had a frugally awesome weekend.

Till next post,
With love 

Sunday, 5 February 2017

No Shopping Week

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Dear visitor,
Thanks for dropping by

It is Sunday. It was snowing from the morning itself in Toronto. 

Sundays are usually for chores and to enjoy being at home. But, since we didn't do the weekly grocery shopping on Saturday, we were thinking of doing it today. One look outside, and I wanted to stay home. Hubby also liked to stay home. 

So, no grocery shopping done. I am thinking, we can live one week without buying fresh produce from the shop. 
There are frozen carrots, and beetroots in my freezer. Then there is still milk. There are few onions, garlic and some potatoes. I have a packet of frozen spinach. Then the essentials : oats, rice and wheat flour. Lentils, chickpeas and soybeans also in my pantry. 

It looks like we can survive. Only thing that can drive us to grocery store will be fruits. Grapes and oranges are not going to last till next Saturday. Apples can be fine. They can stay fresher longer in the fridge. Think, I will finish other fruits first and save the apples for the Friday. 
I have some dried fruits and nuts. So, altogether, it seems manageable to postpone grocery shopping for a week, for two people. 

Have you ever skipped weekly grocery shopping? 

Till next post
With Love

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Dinner At Home

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for dropping by. 

It is really cold in here. But there is no snow. Is it really good? I am not sure. But, I think, when it is snowing, it will be less cold. 

We had some sweet potatoes from last weeks grocery shopping. I love baked sweet potatoes. We bought a Costco rotisserie chicken. 

Since the sweet potatoes were not enough, we added some regular potatoes too. 

We made a yoghurt sauce to go with it. I grind garlics, a piece of ginger and a small green chilly with a little yoghurt. Added some salt to taste. It really worked! 

We got a low cost lovely dinner.  There is some left over chicken. It will get converted to some tasty dish later.

Till next post,
With love

January Passive income

Dear Visitor,
Thanks for dropping by. 
January is over and February is here. Now it is time to check what kind of passive income I got for January.

My passive income is only from stocks and bonds. We don't have any real estate investment. I would love to, but you know the Toronto real estate market is very high. I am afraid to even think about it.

So, the two RRSPs, and TFSAs combined to give us a passive income of $229. That is the money worked instead of me working hard. That is really nice. The next month I don't think that much is going to come. Some shares/ETFs distribute dividends quarterly only. 

How  your January turned out? Since all the groundhogs predicted early spring, let us wait for it to come.

Till next post,
With love

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Review : Minimalism ,A Documentary about important things

Dear Visitor,

Thanks for dropping by.

I heard a lot of good things about minimalism. So, I was very eager to watch it. We rented it on Google Play. 

Hey, I am watching a documentary about Minimalism, right? I don't want to own a copy of it on my hard drive. 

The documentary features the book tours of the authors,  Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Their first book signing had the minimalistic turnaround. But in the end of the movie you can see they were getting a much bigger  crowd.  

I am a bit disappointed by the documentary. It did not show how they minimized their life. I wished to see the inside of the tiny house and how many pots and pans they actually have. 

The documentary says again and again about how great a life with less stuff is. 

Less stuff in your home means more free space. Less things to organize, clean and dust. 

When I look around my apartment, I saw some books. clothes etc. can be counted as more than we needed. But, I am not going to get rid of my plates, cutleries, and cooking utensils. I can see i have only one set of 6 plates. All of the utensils are really needed in my home. 

Thing is, if you are already in to spending restrictions, no need to see this movie. 
If you are not doing shopping for fun, you don't need to see this .

If you really needed to know about minimalism, just do a google search. No need to buy this or rent this documentary. 

Just listen to me folks: Don't spend money to see this documentary. 

Till next post
With love.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Homemade re-usable wipes

Dear Visitor,

 Thanks for dropping by.

A free day just landed on me. That means, there is time to find ways to do a project I wanted to do.

I was thinking about making some re-usable wipes. But, never find the motivation, or time. Today is the day to make those.

I took few old t shirts, that won't fit anymore.

Then I cut just below the sleeves.

Now the shirt is two layers. Cut off the side to make it two pieces. Now two wipes are ready.

I got an empty plastic container. The pickle finished. So, it was waiting to go to the recycling bin. Now that will be the reusable wipes container.

I filled the bottle with my "wipes". I had a bottle of Lysol at home. Hubby bought it for me and I can't even remember when. So, poured bit of Lysol in to the bottle to keep my wipes moist.

Now after using the wipes, I am going to put them in another container and wash it later. 

Making the bottle pretty is another project for another day. 

When the Lysol is finished, I am thinking of using diluted dish detergent or Vinegar-soap mix. 

 I am thinking, Lysol in a bottle is cheaper than those Lysol wipes.  This way, there will not be much plastic containers to get rid off.

Do you have any other green ideas to save money? Hope you will share your thoughts with me.

Till next post,
With Love