Food

Free Coffee Rewards: A Review of Starbucks, McDonald’s McCafe and Tim Hortons Loyalty Programs

Free Coffee Rewards: A Review of Starbucks, McDonald’s McCafe and Tim Hortons Loyalty Programs

Getting free stuff can be a high for some of us, especially when it comes to food and drink.

Because who can resist getting a tall, skinny, non-fat mocha with extra whip – all for free?

And to get the most free coffee, let’s do a comparison of the top 3 food and drinks rewards in Canada:

Three different fast food reward programs...But which gives you the most cuppa?

The Skinny on Starbucks Rewards

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Tasty Recipes That Won't Break The Bank

Tasty Recipes That Won't Break The Bank

Eating delicious, nutritious and filling foods don’t have to cost you a fortune...

Even if your tastes are more refined (read: picky) ‒ or you prefer to eat out ‒ it’s possible to find homemade recipes that satisfy both your hunger and wallet.

Because as long as you’re willing to do a bit of planning and cook most meals at home, then you’re bound to have money leftover to spend on a few meals out at the end of the month.

Embrace The Meal Plan

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The End Of Bread Price-Fixing With This Home Experiment

The Bread Fix Home Experiment

Just before Christmas 2017, news broke that several grocery retailers in Canada were allegedly participating in the price-fixing of bread for the past 14 years.

14 years of artificial bread prices? Wow!

But, what exactly is price-fixing? Price-fixing is essentially consumer fraud when two or more competitors make an agreement to raise, lower, or keep the price of something constant.

In Canada, if you’re caught doing this naughty thing it can lead up to millions of dollars in fines and even result in jail time.

List of priced-fixed bread

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How To Eat Healthy On A Budget

How to eat healthy on a budget

If you’ve seen all the tricks and the listicles about saving money on groceries, but none of them ever really hit home? Yeah, same here.

You can read all the frugal articles about how oatmeal, bought in bulk, costs pennies per meal, and all the recipes for rice and beans that you want, but they might not be the right way to eat healthy on a budget for you.

And that’s OK.

Everyone has different food preferences, dietary needs and schedules, so what works for someone else might not work for you. That said, it is possible to eat healthily on a budget if you follow a few key steps ‒ and yes, some of them involve a bit of legwork.

It’ll be worth it when you scale down on what is the second-largest budget category for most of us.

Step One: Figure Out What Healthy Is For You

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Eating Out At Restaurants: The Ultimate Guide To Spending Less

Eating out at restaurants: The ultimate guide to spending lessEating out is great isn’t it?

No cooking, no cleaning, no groceries, and no hassle -- what’s not to love?

There’s just one problem: eating out is expensive. Ok, two problems. Restaurant meals often aren’t as healthy as a home cooked meal either, but they sure taste good!

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to make the bill that comes at the end of your meal a lot more palatable so you can eat out more often without feeling nearly as guilty, or just pocket the extra dough for something else you enjoy.

Want to save money when eating out? Grab this PDF download with 34 strategies – including a 1-page worksheet to list your top 5.

Here’s how you do it:

Related: Do You Splurge?

Combine As Many Discounts As You Can

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How Much Is Reasonable to Spend on Alcohol Every Month?

How much is reasonable to spend on alcohol every month?

With all of the articles you see about the fact that millennials are spending more on coffee than they’re saving for retirement…

I’ve been waiting for the follow up article:

Millennials are likely spending more on alcohol than they’re saving for retirement, too.

And I’ve been waiting for that article precisely because, even as a person who enjoys the occasional (or, if we’re being honest, not-so-occasional) latte, my monthly craft-beer-and-wine budget often tops my coffee budget.

And based on what I hear anecdotally from friends? I’m not alone on this.

So if beverages are ruining millennial’s retirement, and if we’ve already talked lattes to death…

Let’s switch gears for a second and ask a different question.

Less “Will a $5 latte sink my retirement?”, and more:

“Am I spending too much on beer, wine and alcoholic drinks? And uh… how do I know if I’ve hit that point?”

The answer will likely be highly personal. Because alcohol itself is highly personal.

From your favourite type of wine, to the reasons you don’t indulge.

But here’s a look at why we’re spending so much on alcohol, and how to get a handle on your booze budget.

How did alcohol become such a big budget line item?

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Pointers On Building Your Stockpile

Pointers on how to build your own stockpileThere’s many sizes of products in any brand lineup…

And it’s not surprising that it can get confusing sometimes as to when they should purchase short term or long term supply of many items.

I know I get confused. And so do other stockpilers.

I’m more at ease when I’m ahead by a month’s supply in many non-perishable items. But sometimes the savings are greater when we don’t supersize everything.

That being said, good stockpiles are built over a longer period of time, through strategic shopping using couponing techniques, loss leader shopping, clearance sales, etc.

If you’re purchasing items for your stockpile at full price, it defeats the purpose.

To get started, first things first...

How to Unit Price

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8 Apps For Spending Less On Groceries

8 apps for spending less on groceries

We can’t do much to lower some of our monthly expenses, as much as we’d like to chop that mortgage payment in half…

But groceries are one of the variables we can control.

Choosing generic products over name-brand products can sliver a bit off the grand total. And so can looking for sticker deals on items that are about to expire.

But one of the easiest – and most effective – ways to spend less at the grocery store is by using the apps designed for this very purpose.

Grab your phone, sit back, and I’ll share my favourite digital apps for saving money on groceries...

Plan ahead

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The War On Debt: Reining In The Food Budget

The war on debt: reining in the food budgetI 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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How to Set - and Stick to - Your FUN Budget

How to set and stick to your fun budgetWhen people hear the word budget, they don’t hear “fun.”

Instead, they tend to hear one of two things.

“Booooooring.”

Or the ever-popular,

“So I have to stop going to the pub so much, right?”

But here’s the great thing about budgeting:

It can actually help you spend guilt-free on the things you really love.

And I speak from personal experience on this.

My Budgeting Journey

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