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7 Ways To Declutter Without Spending A Fortune

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Organization storages bank on the fact that we’re attracted to those clear lucite boxes, monogramed fabric bins, or classic wooden divided trays…

They’re crisp and beautiful, with the promise that we can buy our way to a more streamlined, organize life.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t far cheaper options available elsewhere – including in your own home right now.

Here are some of my favourite ways to get organized without a costly trip to the store for sets of matching bins and baskets.

Make your own

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A Surprising Way To Save $50 On Shaving

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I love to save money where I can.

After all, a penny saved (or a nickel now) is a penny earned, right?

So, while you can probably find amazing deals (whether through Dollar Shave Club) or your local flyers…

I’m going to suggest that the best way to save money with shaving is go to back to the future and use a very old technology:

Double-edged safety razors.

Old is new again

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The War On Debt: Reining In The Food Budget

thewarondebtreigninginthefoodbudget.jpgI must admit, I don’t even look at sales flyers.

The blue plastic bag is tossed on our driveway Thursday night. On Friday morning, I drop the whole thing straight into the recycle bin.

After talking with Katie Peterson, a registered dietitian, mother of five and meal planning expert, it looks like this is one more thing I need to change.

Katie’s blog is filled with tips on organization and time-savers, particularly for busy, young mothers. She also teaches how to eat on a budget (she calls it “Frugalicious” meal planning) via home parties and Facebook.

After speaking with her, I felt better about our $800 grocery bill in January, since she told me she aims for $780 per month for her family of seven.

“You have five adults,” she says. “Eight hundred is not too bad. I tried to cut back to $600 in January and found it quite challenging. But our grocery bill includes eating out, toiletries, laundry soap, coffee—everything.”

Of course, I didn’t admit that $800 was likely a cheap month. Sometimes we’ve spent upwards of $900. What usually blows it wide open is the purchase of convenience meals on a weeknight when we don’t feel like cooking, or eating out too often for the same reason.

This, Katie tells me, is the problem in most kitchens.

“If you want to stick to a budget, you need a plan. I’ve been doing it for 11 years, so now it only takes me about 30 to 40 minutes for the whole month.”

Frugalicious Meal Planning

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18 Ways To Save A Bundle By Repurposing Your Wardrobe

18waystosaveabundlebyrepurposingyourwardrobe.jpgWhen clothing shrinks, gets stained, or no longer fits…

Your first impulse might be to toss it into a donation bin.

But think again!

Canadian Smart Savers know how to take those pieces and turn them into something new. Whether it’s a refreshed outfit, a tote bag, or something beautiful for their home.

Here are some creative ways to turn old clothing into something NEW.

Give Clothes A New Life

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7 Reasons Why Buying Household Basics Online Saves You Money

7reasonswhybuyinghouseholdbasicsonlinesavesyoumoney.jpgIt’s fun to shop online for personalized gifts, cute shoes or a new rug for the living room…

But have you ever thought about going online for boring basics like dryer sheets, dish soap, plastic wrap and paper napkins?

This surprising life hack can actually save you quite a bit of money every month.

And I’m here to tell you why...

Save money now...

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Canadian Stores With Free Shipping

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Picture yourself whimsically browsing the internet…

Maybe it’s a new pair of jeans you’re after OR a great book to whisk you away on your next incredible adventure...

Browse … Click … Read … Like … Add to Cart … and THEN you see it ...

FREE Shipping - BUY NOW.

But, it doesn’t always go that way does it?

Sometimes you see this instead:

Shipping: $10

What do you do?

Run for the hills of course - you’re out of there faster than The Flash.

Free shipping makes all the difference in your buying decision. Sure, the cost of shipping is built into the price anyway … but after you’ve decided to buy you want to know the price isn’t going to skyrocket at the checkout.

Some companies like Amazon.ca are able to offer low prices AND free shipping because of their size and lack of expensive storefronts to maintain. Then it’s win-win.

My favourite trick?

Find the lowest price at one store, and then price match at a different store that has cheap or free shipping for increased savings.

Here’s a big list of all the Canadian stores that ship for free so you’ll always know where to get it.

Where Do You Want To Shop?

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How To Get The Best Deal (With This Little Secret)

howtogetthebestdealwiththislittlesecret.jpgThe word “deal” is SO overused.

Everyone and their mom thinks they got an AMAZING deal on the latest thing-a-majig they bought from so-and-so.

Psssssst. Here’s a little secret:

You likely got an average deal at BEST.

At worst - you got taken for a ride and paid an inflated price for something that was camouflaged as a deal.

Marketers are so good these days they know what you’re thinking even BEFORE you do - if you caught a good “sale” - then you paid exactly what they wanted you to.

Don’t get me wrong, smartly shopping sales and clearances can land you some pretty good deals, but that’s just the start of what’s possible.

The real secret?

In one word ... STACKING.

What Is Deal Stacking?

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Canadian Rewards Programs: Are You Loyal?

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Rewards programs are meant to create loyalty…

Repeat customers and repeat business are the name of the game.

But my experience has been that it doesn’t pay to be loyal. Shopping around for both the best prices AND the best rewards bonuses and perks is 100% the way to go...

IF you’re willing to invest the time.

A quick check shows that I am currently a member of at least 30 rewards programs. I don’t use them all on a regular basis - I have my favourites just like anyone. (Don’t miss my top 5 below.)

Then, there’s other times when rewards programs just aren’t worth it.

But, I do try to keep my eyes open for amazing opportunities in any one of those 30+ programs. If they make me an offer I can’t refuse - then I’ll take it!

That said, it’s hard to know what’s out there and targeted specifically at Canadians. I’ve put together a pretty comprehensive list below - please add any I missed in the comments!

Cash Rewards For Shopping Online

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Costco’s Crazy Return Policy

costcoscrazyreturnpolicy.jpgI’m going to get a lot of flack for this one - I can feel it in my bones.

You’re waiting to judge me…aren’t you?

Ok here it goes.

In case you aren’t aware, Costco has the most amazing return policy in the history of return policies.

They will allow you to return practically anything, for almost any reason, with no time limit on when you can make the return. There’s only a few reasonable exceptions.

Sounds insane, right? How can this be profitable?

It’s actually a genius marketing and psychological play that gives customers a huge sense of security and trust in the products Costco carries. They open their wallets without thinking about it or even checking the reviews.

Much of the time Costco can charge back any returns to the manufacturer anyway - and the sheer volume of sales they do and annual membership fees makes up for the rest of the potential losses.

In short…it’s why I shop at Costco.

I’m always pressed for time. The draw of that warm security blanket return policy and reasonable prices is just too hard to resist.

I'm not the only one who can't resist either - here's a blogger who lists her favourite Costco buys.

My $1,000 Costco Return

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Extreme Price Comparison - ALWAYS Find The Lowest Price

extremepricecomparisonalwaysfindthelowestprice.jpgI don’t know about you…

But, whenever I buy something, I’m always wondering if I got the lowest price. There’s often a lingering doubt that I could have found it cheaper elsewhere.

I don’t like that feeling - but I don’t always have the time or energy to make sure I got the best deal. And that’s ok!

When I DO find the time though - I can be pretty fanatical about it. In fact, I’ve developed a handy process that you too can use for tracking down rock bottom prices.

The best part is you can pick and choose those steps you have the time for and skip those you don’t. You’ll still wind up with a REALLY good price after all.

Here’s what you do:

1) Choose Your Product

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