Author Archive

January 17

How to Save on GPS When Traveling in the United States

Posted by on January 17, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save on GPS When Traveling in the United States

On a recent weekend get-away road trip down to the United States, I decided last minute to sign up for a few days with Roam Mobility so I could access cellular data while I was in the United States of America to avoid the high data charges from my cellular account with Telus.

I thought it would be a good idea so that if I needed directions to get somewhere it would be easier.  It was probably the best $4 that I have spent in the past year.  It was only $2 a day, instead of the $10+ a day it would cost to rent an actual GPS from a car rental company or buy a GPS device (I personally don’t know how to operate them) for hundreds of dollars.

Here’s how you do it.

Sign Up for Roam Mobility

Roam Mobility allows you to talk, text, and use data in the United States without paying the expensive roaming charges through Telus, Bell, or Rogers.  All you have to do is buy a Roam Mobility SIM card (Regular price is $19.99 but often you an get two SIM cards for $15 or a discount on the $19.99 price tag).  With the SIM card you will need to make sure your Telus, Rogers or Bell (or whatever phone you have) is unlocked.   Alternately, if you do not want to unlock your cell phone you could buy a Roam Mobility cell phone instead of a SIM card, that way you have a designated phone.  Bargainmoose also has some great promo codes and deals on Roam Mobility SIM cards.

Sign up for Roam Mobility through their website and then choose how many days you want (you can even prebook it).  The options are talk, text, and data, or just text and data etc.  With the SIM card you will have your own “United States” phone number that you can use (it is yours for a whole year but you lose it after a year of inactivity with the SIM card).  I opted for the text and data plan.  You will be charged (after you give your credit card information) and you won’t have to pay any overage fees after that.  What you pay is what you pay! (Isn’t that a great feeling?)

Using the data (it is 2G data, so it was slow so when you are looking up actual websites, it is slower than molasses) was great because I always use Google Maps even when I’m NOT traveling and just driving around the city.  It was great for whatsapp and texting, as well.

Other Ways to Save on GPS Without Having to Buy a GPS

Another way to save without having to buy a GPS (or rent a GPS if you are using a rental car) is if you input your destination in Google Maps while you have free wifi (in your hotel or accommodation or whatever) you can use these tips by iPhonehacks to input “OK maps” in order to have the map saved offline.  Wired magazine also confirms that this is probably one of the best kept secrets.  It’s not the same as navigation but better than no map at all!  Google Maps directions should also work even if you don’t have data as long as you had data/ wifi when you inputted the original directions.  This is of course if difficult when you have multiple destinations you want to go to and when you’re on the go, which is why signing up for Roam Mobility makes so much sense, especially if you head to the United States often.

Here are some more tips on how to save money by not buying a GPS from HowtoGeek’s blog.

Personally I don’t know how I would have been able to handle driving on those highways without the navigation system (remember the days when we used to have maps on paper format?).  There would have been many wrong turns, I’m sure, which is part of the allure and adventure of road trips, but sometimes you just want to get from A to B without any added adventure, right?

Bargainmoosers, have you tried using Roam Mobility?  What do you use for your GPS navigation system when you are road-tripping in the United States?

Photo credit: Graeme Law

Moose Rating (4 votes)
January 10

3 Household Must-Haves That Will Save you Money

Posted by on January 10, 2015 at 8:00 PM

3 Household Must Haves That Will Save you Money

There are a few things around my home that have revolutionized my way of living and made it much easier.  Things that are so simple, yet so effective and important around the home.  Things that you wouldn’t normally think of being that great, but they are really that great.

Here are some household must-haves that will save you money (and of course time):

Dryer Balls (If you use a dryer of course)

My drying machine takes hours and hours (maybe two hours) to dry.  It’s too wet out in the winter to air dry my clothes and I really do enjoy that warm dry laundry feeling when you pull fresh laundry out of the dryer.  Even when I put the dryer setting on permanent press and add fabric softener, it comes out pretty wrinkled.  The bane of my existence is the weekly ironing sessions to iron out all the wrinkles in my work pants and shirts.

Then recently, I bought some merino wool dryer balls from Amazon.  I put about three dryer balls in and my clothes are fluffy, soft, they even SMELL better (more like laundry and more fresh) and the drying time has been reduced.

The dryer balls work by increasing air circulation, absorbing moisture, and rotating the clothes within the dryer.  The David Suzuki Foundation blog also confirms that dryer balls do work.  They are about $3 a piece, but they are the best three dollars I have spent in a while.  They are shown to reduce drying time by 30-50% and best of all (especially for me, since I hate ironing) they reduce wrinkles!

If you are interested in learning how to make your own wool dryer balls, head to Creative Bug!

What better way to help the environment and yourself by not having to iron as much. Alternately, if you want to REALLY save money, apparently Buzzfeed states that you can make your own dryer balls by throwing balls of bunched up aluminum into the dryer.  I have not tried this myself.

Crock Pot

A crock pot is probably one of the most inexpensive but yet practical tools/ pieces of kitchen equipment available.  For less than $50 for a decent crock pot you can save up to a thousand dollars a year in grocery bills.  According to US News, the crock pot or slow cooker provides leftovers for lunch, takes very little time and effort to prepare meals, and saves you from having to eat out.

Since I am busy working full-time and I pull long hours at work, at the end of the day I barely have enough energy to cook dinner.  The solution is that I batch cook on Sundays and then I have enough meals for the week.  It takes minimal effort and always produces delicious food.  I have made Cuban pot roast, slow cooker chicken, and short ribs, plus other delicious meals that I enjoy throughout the week.  I often freeze meals as well.

Here are a few slow cooker recipes to get you started:

 A Year of Slow Cooking- yes, you guessed correctly!  365 recipes to get you started! (Won’t be short of ideas, that’s for sure!)

New Leaf Wellness- 8 slow cooker freezer ready meals in under 75 minutes (and this includes clean up time!)

Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Lemon

When life gives you lemon, you don’t have to make lemonade, you can just clean.  According to Curbly.com, the must-haves for your household are vinegar, baking soda, and lemon.  With these free cleaning powerhouses, it will eliminate the need to purchase expensive household cleaners.  You can disinfect and clean your cutting boards by running half of a lemon over the cutting board surface.  You can make household cleaner with just vinegar and an orange rind.  You can use baking soda to polish silver, or you can use it as a scrub to scrub off stains and difficult to remove kitchen stains.  Same goes for a bathroom scrub, too.  Baking soda also works great as a deodorizer.  Finally, when your trash can smells funky, just add some baking soda and everything smells fresh again.

There you have it, the three essential must-haves for a happy household!

Bargainmoosers, what are some household must-haves that are life changing for you (or at least household-changing)?

Photo credit: J D

Moose Rating (7 votes)
January 6

How to Save Money on Concert and Event Tickets

Posted by on January 6, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money on Concert and Event Tickets

We all know that concert and event tickets can be pricey.  Ranging anywhere from $30 to upwards of over $300 a ticket, we sacrifice a lot of money to see our favourite band or favourite sports team play.  Personally, I am not a big concert-goer or event-goer.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy them, watching Usher and Bruno Mars live was amazing but perhaps I am not as die-hard fan as I previously thought I was.  When my friends want to go watch an Opera, I suggest a matinee.  When I went to the Squamish Music Festival (which was pretty amazing because Arcade Fire, Nas, Bruno Mars, and The Roots were playing), the tickets were expensive (not to mention the camping in Squamish was expensive), however, we saved money by camping in a friends backyard and just took a taxi into the festival grounds.  There are definitely ways where you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to event tickets!

Here are a few ways that you can save on your next concert, sports event, or other event ticket:

 Instead of Tickemaster.ca…Try Bidding

Scorebig allows you to score tickets at 60% less than the typical face value for a ticket.  I find Scorebig is somewhat analogous to Priceline (where you can bid for a hotel stay).  The other commonality is that it is only applicable for tickets in the United States, unfortunately, and not Canada.  Scorebig has tickets for all sports events such as the NHL, NBA, and even has tickets for Broadway and city attractions.

Volunteer

Volunteering is an altruistic win-win situation.  Not only do you feel good about yourself by contributing to society and your community, you will also score free event tickets.  Kiplinger suggests volunteering as an usher because it will allow you to watch free events, concerts, and sports.  My friend previously volunteered for the Vancouver International Film Festival.  Because of this, she was able to watch all the movies and films to her heart’s (and time’s) content for free!  Tickets normally cost at least $15 per film from what I recall.  Another friend of mine works for Rogers Centre in Vancouver as an extra part-time side job and gets to watch all of the great concerts for free or for a big discount.

Buy Direct

Lifehacker suggests that you buy direct from the Box Office to avoid service fees (you know, the one charged by our friends at Ticketmaster).  This also works if the event is sold out, it doesn’t hurt to try at the box office to see if there are any tickets laying around.  In Vancouver, there is another “Box Office” that is called Tickets Tonight, where you can get half-price tickets however you have to pick up the tickets in downtown Vancouver and the tickets are bought the day of.  The ticket prices are half off, so that can be a great deal for some shows!

Try an Aggregator

Just like looking for flight deals on Kayak.com or hotel deals on Trivago.com, which are known as aggregators (the search engine that looks for flights or hotels on multiple websites in order to find you the best deal), there are some aggregators for concert, event, and sports tickets.  According to Seatgeek, you can search for millions of concerts and events in one place.  Another concert and event and sports event aggregator is Seathound, however this appears to target sports events slightly more.  These are established ticket marketplaces and a trustworthy place to buy your tickets (after all, if you’re spending so much money don’t you want to make sure you’re not getting a fake ticket a la Craigslist?).

Nosebleed Seats Aren’t so Bad?

 Benzinga suggests that you don’t be a seat snob.  Sometimes nose bleed seats are better than no seats at all!  Personally I would not pay hundreds of dollars more to see someone closer up, but that’s just my preference.  Why not go in frugal style, grab your zoom camera lens and your binoculars and make friends with people that are sharing the nose bleed seats with you?  It’s all part of the experience, right?

Bargainmoosers, what are some other ways that you save on concert tickets, sports event tickets, or other event tickets?

Photo credit: Jenny Baxter

Moose Rating (3 votes)
January 3

Easy Ways To Save Money Around The House

Posted by on January 3, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Easy Ways To Save Money Around The House

January is already a depressing time of year because of the “December hangover” and the large credit card bill most of us have to deal with.  In addition, with winter in full swing we are spending more times indoors and at home.  With the added time at home warming up, utility bills can add up quick!

Here are some easy ways to save money around the house and to reduce those utility bills to cut the sting out of January and February bills.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

According to Huffington Post Canada, about 40% of Canadian households have a programmable thermostat- however, only about 10% of programmable thermostat owners actually have them programmed.  Most other people just use the thermostat manually (which of course defeats the purpose).  Programmable thermostats can help you decrease your room temperature during the day when you are at work and at night when you are sleeping.  The savings can be very large, considering every degree you reduce the heat by, you will be saving money.  If used properly, a programmable thermostat can save you at least 6.5% on your heating bill.  On a $200 heating bill every month, that’s almost $25 a month in savings.

Watch for Phantom Electricity Usage

Even if you remember to turn out the lights when you leave the room or your home, other powers that be (pardon the pun) can still use electricity.  Phantom power usage is everywhere, from your television set to your laptop, to the cord that you plug your phone into the wall with to charge it.  The Globe and Mail estimates that it can comprise of up to 10% of your total electricity bill.  If left plugged in, a typical home theatre system can cost $125 per year- which doesn’t include the period of time when you are actually using the home theatre system.  A good solution to avoid this useless usage is to get power bars that can be turned off easily.

Get Rid of Cable Television

As mentioned in a previous Bargainmoose saving money post on cutting cable television by yours truly, skipping cable television can save you a ton of money. Considering that the average cost saving of not having cable television is $71 per month, the decision to cut the cord makes some sense.  There are plenty of alternatives to cable television including Netflix, Apple TV, and Roku to name a few.

I have recently subscribed to Netflix and have my hands full already with enough entertainment to last me for an entire year were I to be stranded on a desert island with Internet access.  It is no wonder that Netflix has become wildly popular and its stock has increased at least 3 times its original value earlier this year.

Cable television will end up being like the home telephone.  Available but not always useful or used in our current times- especially when you can avoid boring and time consuming commercials in between programming on “regular” television with Netflix.

Check for Leaks and Drafts

One of the biggest causes of increased utility and electricity bills is unsealed leaks and drafts because you are basically analogous to trying to fill air into a leaking balloon.  Finding them can be tricky as it can be something simple such as a window or something difficult to treat such as the wall.  Popular Mechanics has a great article on 7 ways to save money on leaks and drafts, and they recommend looking at anywhere from your attic, fireplace, wall, and to your windows and doors.

Use a Space Heater Instead

Space heaters are an efficient way of heating up a small space in a small amount of time.  You get the heat where you want it and when you want it.  Instead of heating up the entire room, space heaters can heat up the area where you are hanging out, which is the main idea of course.  For a great article on how to find the perfect space heater to save money and energy and stay warm, check out this article by Life Hacker.

There you have it, five simple ways for you to start the process of saving money around the house.

Bargainmoosers, do you have other easy ways you save around the house?

(banner image credit: James Thompson)

Moose Rating (4 votes)
December 30

Which E-reader Will Save You Money?

Posted by on December 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Which E reader Will Save You Money?

With technology so quickly changing and our environmental awareness increasing, typical books are fast becoming a thing of the past with the new-fangled e-readers out there.  Personally, I have not yet made the leap from actual books to e-reader books, but I do have a Kindle app in my Apple iPad which has fared quite well for me so far.  However, sometimes the glare of the books gets to me (e.g., gives me eye strain) and sometimes it’s hard to read at night from the bright background light.  It’s also very heavy compared to some of the e-readers that my friends have.  I am sort of in the market for an e-reader and thought it might be a good idea to share my decision making process, should I take the plunge that many others have already taken, and actually get an e-reader.

Why an e-reader?

There are a few reasons why more and more people are taking the plunge and getting an e-reader:

  • E-ink

One look at what e-ink looks like makes my eyes widen in amazement.  E-ink is very easy on the eyes and there is no glare, and your eyes just feel comfy reading the e-reader page.    You will need an external light source (e.g., a bedside table lamp) for reading in the dark with e-ink (hey, just like regular books!)

  • Light and Packable

E-readers are nice and light, small and portable, and can easily fit into a purse. My iPad on the other hand, cannot fit into my purse and is very heavy especially in the keyboard cover that I put it in

  • Less book clutter

Unless you like to have a bookshelf full of books so that you can appear well-read when your friends come over, less book clutter means well, less clutter.  And that’s usually a good thing

  • e-reader discounts

Usually when you download books (e.g. when you purchase a book) the e-reader price is more economical than the actual book price… plus you get to save money on shipping costs

  • Long battery life

Some e-readers with e-ink have a long battery life, of up to 70 hours of reading time.  This is much longer than the typical iPad.

As you can see, there are many “pros” as to why one would want to take the online purchasing plunge through buying an online e-reader.  Low impact, easy to use, and pretty intuitive to use.

How much to e-readers generally cost?

The price of e-readers vary, some have tablet functionality, some are just strictly e-readers.   In general, expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $130 for an e-reader with e-ink.  However, prices are much higher if you are buying a tablet-type e-reader.

For more information, check out this handy eBay article on how to save money on an e-reader.

Although the prices seems generally quite stable, there are some discounts, for example, during Boxing Week.

Which e-reader will save you money in the long run?

There are a number of e-readers in the “less than $100″ category, including Sony e-reader, Kobo, and the Kindle with the 6″ display and e-ink screen.  Also, the Barnes and Noble Nook is another contender this year.

The e-reader that may save you money in the long run is an e-reader compatible with your local Canadian Public Library.  Yes, that means borrowing books without having to leave the comfort of your own home, and borrowing them on your e-reader.

These include:

  • Sony Reader
  • Kobo e-readers
  • Other devices (such as Kindle), but you will have to download the Overdrive app (which is free to download) in order to download ebooks for free at the Canadian Public Library)

Unfortunately, Kindle devices can only download library books from the United States Public Libraries, therefore a Kindle e-reader was out of the options for me.  You can check out this handy list from Overdrive to see which e-reader will work with the Canadian Public Libraries.  There is a handy PDF chart on e-readers from the Vancouver Public Library website which allows you to see what e-readers would be best for you.   Some of the e-readers allow you direct downloading privileges from the library.

Bargainmoosers, do you have an e-reader?  Which one is your favourite e-reader so far?

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon

Moose Rating (4 votes)
December 27

5 Tips to Make your Beauty Products Last Longer

Posted by on December 27, 2014 at 8:00 PM

 5 Tips to Make your Beauty Products Last Longer

As mentioned in a previous Bargainmoose post, the average person spends $1200 a year on makeup, or about $100 a month.  That’s a pretty penny if you ask me and it is equivalent to an international flight or an all inclusive vacation after a year of makeup purchases.  Therefore, it makes sense to try and make the makeup last longer if you are able to.  Even though typically, the items that are usually in your makeup bag need to be tossed after a year or two due to accumulation of bacteria, there are some ways that you can make your make up last longer.  Besides, sometimes it can be hard to part with great beauty products, or it can be difficult to find the same products in the stores.  So when this happens, making your beauty products last longer will definitely help keep your  peepers pretty.

Here are five small tips on how to make your beauty products last longer than the usual one to two years.  Of course, making sure you clean your makeup brushes at least would be helpful to keep things running smoothly to avoid bacteria accumulation.

Mascara

Mascara is a girl’s best friend but the problem with it is that it can dry up quickly or get smelly quickly.  General care tips such as not pumping the mascara wand each time you use it can help you increase the longevity of your mascara.  Pumping the mascara wand causes air pockets to form in the mascara tube and encourages bacteria to grow (source: Glo).  Personally, it is a bad habit of mine to pump the mascara before applying it so I need to fix that.

If your favourite mascara is already drying out and getting clumpy, as mentioned in last year’s Bargainmoose post makeup on a budget, just add a few drops of Visine or other normal saline solution the mascara and you will get 9 more lives out of that mascara wand.

Perfume

According to a great article by Learn Vest  perfumes change over time and often lose their smell, so in order to make your perfume last longer, it is best to keep perfume in a cool, dry place.  In addition, some people advocate putting your perfume in a fridge to keep it cool and dry, but the constant temperature changes when you take the bottle in and out of the fridge can cause it to deteriorate sooner.  So basically the rule of thumb is to keep it somewhere cool, dark, and to keep it there instead of taking it in and out of the fridge regularly.

Nail Polish

In order to keep nail polish clump fee and less solid (so that it can glide onto your finger  nails juuust right) one great easy tip is  to apply a small amount of nail polish remover to your nail polish bottle.  This thins the consistency of the nail polish and makes it much easier to apply next time you have a home pedicure or manicure.

Razors

Unfortunately blades do get dull (and we know dull blades are bad news).  One excellent tip from Glamour magazine is to add baby oil to your shaver blade, this keeps your blade sharp for longer.  The way you do this is by shaking the blade dry, drying the blade well, and applying baby oil to coat the blade so that this prevents the dulling of the blade from the minerals in water.

Use a Different Weapon of Choice

When I mean weapon, I mean instead of using a cotton ball to dab up your toner/ astringent/ nail polish remover or other beauty product, use a cotton pad instead.  Cotton balls absorb too much liquid and will end up causing you to use much more product that you needed.  Besides, cotton pads (in my opinion) seem to exfoliate a bit better than cotton balls do.

Perfume, nail polish, razors, and mascara… There you have it, hope these tips help increase the life span of your makeup!  Keeping what we put on your face clean and dry from bacteria can help us keep our skin healthy.

Bargainmoosers, do you have other beauty tips to make your beauty products last longer than they were intended to?

 (Photo credit: Reji)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
December 23

5 Boxing Day Strategies to Save You Money

Posted by on December 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM

5 Boxing Day Strategies to Save You Money

Boxing Day is a big day for most bargain hunters (not to mention Bargainmoosers) in Canada.  It is analogous to the American Black Friday where retailers have deep discounts on goods.  Thousands of shoppers brave the cold to line up in the middle of the night starting at 3:00 am at electronics stores like Best Buy or Future Shop just to be one of the first to get the door crashers.  I used to be an avid Boxing Day shopper and nowadays I just usually shop online or I avoid it altogether (because I know I will usually impulse buy and end up spending money on something that I don’t really need nor will use).

Here are some Boxing Day strategies to save you money:

Focus on Lining Up Where it Counts

According to the Globe and Mail, the big ticket items where the biggest deals happen are usually electronics (such as television sets, which can be 40-50% off what you would normally pay), clothing and apparel, and home appliances (think fridges, dishwashers, washer and dryers).  Research beforehand what you want and need (make a list and check it twice).  Check out Bargainmoose regularly right before the ‘big day’ to make sure you scope out where the best deals are to be had.

Chatelaine says that another place to focus your shopping is on seasonal goods.  Just like how Halloween candy goes on sale on November 1, focus on buying Christmas cards, wrapping paper, Christmas trees or anything seasonal.  You will see steep discounts of at least 40-50% off and you can save these things to use next year.  Chatelaine also says to check online deal sites such as Bargainmoose for great bargains. We’ve got a very handy dashboard with all the most up-to-date deals during Boxing Week.

Shop Online

A lot of Boxing Day deals online start just after midnight on Christmas Day. One thing to make sure you do before you start clicking away is to register for the online shopping sites (e.g. if you are planning to buy on Futureshop online make sure you sign up for an account first) before you shop away.  This will save you time and frustration as sometimes there may be glitches such as the site freezing.  A few years ago I bought my Apple Macbook Pro online and saved a few hundred dollars, the same price that I would get by shopping in store at Future Shop.

Stick to a Budget

The most important way to save money on your Boxing Day shopping is probably sticking to a budget.  Have an idea of how much you want to spend (you know, to avoid post-holiday January credit card bills blues syndrome (PHJCCB syndrome)) so that you don’t regret it afterwards.

Shop Beforehand

Another way to save money (and time and energy) on Boxing Day is to shop BEFORE boxing day.  Gail Vaz Oxlade bought something at Best Buy about two weeks before Boxing Day and was able to save on her purchase by getting money credited to her credit card simply by bringing the receipt into the store.  She took advantage of the fact that companies like Best Buy match their prices to competitors within 30 days of purchase and they also match the sale price (if you find the item you bought on sale within 30 days of purchase).  Check with your retailer to see what their rules are.

Gear Up

Finally, bring a bottle of water, bring one friend (because too many will be inefficient), dress comfortably with good walking shoes that you can take on or off easily, wear a small tank underneath your coat so that you can slip sweaters on without having to line up in the dressing room and even leggings so you can slip pants on without having to line up.  Also, try and go shopping where there isn’t a mall if you can help it to avoid the anger you may experience at trying to find a parking spot!

Bargainmoosers, what are your Boxing Day strategies?  What was your best Boxing Day deal ever?

Moose Rating (4 votes)
December 22

5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

Posted by on December 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM

5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

Four of my closest friends and I started a holiday tradition a few years ago, where instead of spending $25 to $40 per person for gifts, we make “Do It Yourself” gifts.  We go away for a girl’s weekend trip and talk about our resolutions for next year and exchange our home made presents.  We have all agreed that making the Do It Yourself gifts has been a great idea and I am always excited to see what my friends come up with because we are all creative people, in our unique ways.

This year, my friends of course didn’t fail to impress me.  I love all of my Christmas gifts and having something that is home made from my good friends is priceless.  It means more to me than any gift card can!

Also, instead of spending upwards of $150 on gifts for four girlfriends, I only spent $40 this year.  $10 of that went to getting needle nose pliers which I can use for future jewellery making sessions.

So, if you are worried about some last minute gift giving or want to start making your own Do It Yourself Gift, here are five ideas that can get you started.  They are very easy to make and are very easy on the holiday budget.  Even though these gifts are frugal, they are far from scrooge-like!

Gold Hex-Nut Earrings

5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

I made these and my friends were impressed.  They are very easy to make and involve a trip to your local hardware store and Michael’s (or other craft store).  I got the idea from a previous post of DIY gifts and had the chance to make them this year.  All you need is:

  • E-6000 jewellery glue ($8 for a pack of five small glue tubes)
  • Hex Nuts (Brass) (about $0.17 for each nut)
  • Jump clasps ($4 for a ton)
  • Earring hooks (about $3.50 for a pack of 3 sets)
  • Needle nose pliers to open and close the clasps

I made variations and different styles for each friend, depending on their personal style.  I made a bracelet too which looked nice as well.

Infinity Scarf

5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

This beautiful scarf took my friend one evening of knitting to make.  An infinity scarf is basically a big circle, it doesn’t have ends and it makes for a beautiful elegant look to keep you cozy all winter.  I don’t think I would ever be able to make this because I can’t even knit a regular rectangle shaped scarf, but if you have the knack for knitting, this is an easy DIY gift.  Here are instructions from instructables on how to knit an Infiniti scarf, as known as winter’s hot new accessory.  It’s so hot that it’ll make you want to dive into an infinity pool! 5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

Home Made Granola

5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

This granola tastes absolutely delicious, especially with thick and creamy vanilla yogurt!  It is a perfect start to the day.  Tis particular granola recipe is from the 100 Days of Real Food blog.

Sharpie Mug

5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

My friend made personalized mugs for each of us with a blank white mug (it’s such a wonderful size, it’s big enough for soup!) and a sharpie pen.  She baked the mug to make the sharpie permanently absorb into the ceramic.  She added special flair by making white chocolate park and putting it in the cup too.  Here are some instructions on how to make a DIY sharpie mug from the blog Savvy Sugar.  I haven’t tried putting it in the dish washer yet, and I have heard that they might not be dish washer safe/ might bleed, but it sure looks cute anyways.

Citrus-Bergamot Body Butter

5 Last Minute DIY Christmas Gifts that are Surprisingly Easy

This smells absolutely amazing and invigorating.  Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make this body butter using different essential oils from the blog, She Wears Many Hats.  I personally love the smell of citrus fruit and bergamot (the same smell in Earl Grey tea).  The texture of this is quite solid, but it melts very quickly in your hands.

It’s pretty remarkable that although we each had no idea what the other friend was making, we all made something very unique, practical, and special to our hearts!  Something to appeal to each of our senses, taste, touch, smell, and sight (because jewellery is really eye catching, of course).

Readers, have you made these before?  Any other last minute DIY gift ideas?

Photo credit: Kasla

Moose Rating (5 votes)
December 20

5 Ways to Save Money on your next Electronics Purchase

Posted by on December 20, 2014 at 8:00 PM

5 Ways to Save Money on your next Electronics Purchase

I remember when flat screen televisions used to cost $2000 to $3000 for the latest LED technology or plasma technology.  Nowadays you can get a flat screen television for well under $1000.  Technology and electronic gadgets have a very unique characteristic about them that is unlike any other thing that you can buy… newer, smaller, faster, more updated versions keep on coming out to the public.  Some even more frequently than yearly (such as the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 6).  Remember the first iPod?  Then the iPod touch? Now the Apple watch?  Sometimes it is hard to keep track of it all.  One thing is for sure though, electronics are not cheap.  Especially the “first” for something, these products are is never easy on the wallet.

Whether it is new electronics or older technology electronics, here are five ways that you can save money on your next electronics purchase so that you have more money for the important things in life!

Take Advantage of Discounts

The Apple Store gives you an education discount if you go to a school that is on their list or are a parent of a student or a teacher etc… You even get the discount if you are enrolled in school but have not started school yet.  Head to The Apple Store for more details and to see if your school is on the list.

 Sell Your Old Stuff

Consumer Reports recommends that you sell your old device first (or at least make sure you can sell it) because over time it will depreciate even more.  Oftentimes you will be able to get some good money out of your old device.  A lot of people want to use it for parts even if it’s too slow for you or not working properly.  For example, my 2009 Apple Macbook Pro could probably still fetch $300 or more (which will give you a nice “discount” on your new Macbook Pro purchase, which will likely cost over $1100).  You can easily sell it on Craigslist, or even trade it on Amazon.com for a gift card (though you would have to ship it from the United States and that can be tricky with customs).

Don’t Snub Refurbished

I am a pretty big fan of refurbished goods.  What are refurbished goods?  Refurbished electronics are electronics that have been returned to the manufacturer and restored to a like-new or almost-new condition and resold.  Often the discounts from a new product can be 30% or more off.  For example, I got a laser fax/scanner/printer many years ago that was refurbished.  I’ll admit, I was a little wary at first but was very happy with the steep discount of 40% off what it would normally cost.  Also, usually refurbished products have the same warranty as the new products, so there we go, peace of mind!  The printer is still working amazing and I am still very happy with it.  Payoff.com suggests that refurbished electronics can save you a lot of money in the short run.  It’s also good for the environment because you’re taking it away from where it would normally go, the garbage.

Time Your Purchase

If you time your electronics purchase throughout the year you might be able to save a bit more money.  According to Lifehacker, there is a perfect sweet spot time to buy anything.  Electronics, televisions, and computers etc., are best bought in November and December, which does not surprise me with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day deals in full effect during these two months.

Ask to Price Match

One great thing about Canadian retailers is that electronics stores are pretty liberal about price matching.  Check out Hippowises’ easy-to-read table and easy-to-use guide on how to price match in Canada.  It tells you each electronics retailer information and how much their Price Match Guarantee is.  For example, Best Buy and Future Shop are on the list, so is Memory Express, Staples, and NCIX to name a few.  Most companies will match the price and also beat it by about 10% or even better.  It all varies according to what was advertised and which store is being pitted against which store.

Bargainmoosers, how do you like to save money on your electronics purchase?

Photo credit: Vassilis Galopolous

Moose Rating (2 votes)
December 17

Save Money on Your Christmas Tree

Posted by on December 17, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Your Christmas Tree

With Christmas around the corner, many people are taking their Christmas trees out of storage and getting them ready to be the centre of attention for the next few weeks.  Even more people are probably going to their nearest Christmas tree lot to look for the freshest and nicest tree… ready to shell out $100 for that fresh scent and authentic tree experience.

However, if you’re like me and you live in an apartment (where many by-laws do not allow you to have a fresh/ real tree in your apartment because of fire risk) then you may want to think about alternatives that can be good for the environment (and plastic Christmas trees tend not to be the best for the environment) and also good for your wallet.

Admittedly these ideas are probably more practical if you don’t have young children in the home, but they are still great ideas!

Here are a few ideas to save you money on your Christmas tree this year, especially if you’re open to thinking about an alternative Christmas tree:

DIY White Christmas Tree

Save Money on Your Christmas Tree

For the ultimate frugal Christmas tree, why not make it out of paper?  Popsugar has a great Do It Yourself article on how to make a Christmas tree entirely out of paper.  Extra props if you use recycled paper or paper you are planning to recycle anyways to make your tree.  I love how modern and minimalist it looks!

Tomato Cage Tree

Save Money on Your Christmas Tree

From Buzzfeed I love how this looks so amazing and is yet so simple.  Just grab a tomato cage and some lights and wrap it around and around and you are ready to make a beautiful tomato cage tree (it will be the centre of attention and discussion at your next party, I’m sure–“How’d you make that?”)

Christmas Card Tree

Save Money on Your Christmas Tree

Don’t know what to do with all the Christmas cards that you get?  Instead of placing them on the mantle or hanging them on a string across the room like everyone else does, why don’t you try making it into a Christmas card tree?  Simple and elegant and a great reminder of all the loved ones you have.  Home Life suggests that you use blue tack to stick them on your walls, that way you can re-arrange your ‘tree’ as you get more cards.  Also you probably don’t want to damage your walls which might be the case if you use regular tape of course!

Get a Potted Christmas Tree

Save Money on Your Christmas Tree

There are over a few hundred million trees cut every year just for Christmas.  The best alternative to buying a new tree (and throwing it away) is to buy a live, potted tree where after you use it, you can plant it into the ground (or have someone plant it for you) so that it is still alive for the next few years where you can dig it up and repot it again in your living room.  A small potted Christmas tree can look great in your living room, especially if you raise the bottom part of the tree, so that the tree looks bigger than it actually is.

Personally I would get an even smaller potted tree, but they are difficult to care for (e.g., they don’t last well indoors).  One option is to go with a tree rental service where they drop off your live tree and pick it up and replant it for you.  However, this option probably isn’t very economical, but it is good for the environment!

Go for a Cardboard Tree

Save Money on Your Christmas Tree

Instead of a paper tree you can get an even easier tree where you just need cardboard and scissors.  The Style at Home blog suggests getting a cardboard tree.  Literally thinking outside the (cardboard) box.  You can make a small one for your table or a larger one for the floor. Perfect for small spaces and great if you have pets (pets love tinsel, baubles, and can break your ornaments unfortunately), all you would need to do is fold it up when the holidays are over.  Although the company that made these cardboard trees doesn’t seem to be in business anymore, I don’t see why anyone couldn’t make this themselves.

Bargainmoosers, have you ever used an “alternative” tree?  If not, do you usually have a “real” tree or a fake one?

Photo credit: Stephen Woods

Moose Rating (3 votes)
December 9

Accounts and Apps that Will Save You Money if You Like to Travel

Posted by on December 9, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Accounts and Apps that Will Save You Money if You Like to Travel

I’m a huge fan of travel, especially international travel.  Over the years and almost 40 countries that I have visited, there have been a few accounts and apps that have been helpful for me when I plan my travel and also during the actual travel itself.  Here are five apps and accounts that may be of interest to you for your next vacation abroad.

Tangerine Chequing Account

I recently signed up for the Tangerine Chequing Account (I already have savings accounts with Tangerine, which used to be known as ING Direct) solely because Tangerine waives International ABM Access Fee (which can usually be upwards of $5 per transaction from your usual bank, in addition to the $3-5 that the International ATM charges you).  The International ABM Access fee is waived except for in Colombia and Panama.

The great thing is that the interest rate is better than any big bank chequing account too, 0.25% as of writing this post.  For current rates, check out Tangerine’s website here.

On a recent trip I tested it out (made a few purchases on an ATM internationally in the Netherlands and Denmark) and checked my Tangerine account when I got back.  Low and behold, the only transactions I saw was the conversion rate, thankfully there were no extra fees charged from Tangerine.

If you are interested, Tangerine often has great cashback discounts for opening an account.

Amazon and Mariott Rewards Visa Credit Card

This is a popular travel credit card, however, I do not own it myself.  The foreign transaction fee is preset by Visa and Mastercard, at 2.5% of your purchase.  With the Mariott Rewards Premier Visa Credit Card, you can stop worrying about the foreign transaction fees that your typical credit card will charge you (which are usually hidden and you won’t be able to see it directly on your credit card bill).  Same goes for the Amazon.ca Visa credit card in Canada.  These are both from the bank, Chase.

Check out The Toronto Star’s article on credit cards to save you foreign transaction fees for more information.

Pay Back App

The Pay Back App if one of my favourite apps and probably the app that I have had the longest, pertaining to travel.  I have used it when traveling with friends and they are a big fan of it too.  No more ambiguity when it comes to who owes who for what.  No more complicated charts and records.  With the Pay Back App, you can record multiple trips and use different currencies (as long as you double check with the current conversions to make sure they are accurate).  All you do is input the friends involved in the trip, input the expenses (and to make sure you click on who paid for the expense and who is involved in sharing the expense), and at the end of the trip, click “PayBack!” and you have a summary of who owes what, which can be emailed as well.

XE Currency App

I have had the XE Currency App for years.  It uses live and mid-market rates (but you need access to the Internet, though it can save the exchange rate if you leave the wifi area) and you can add the currencies you want to compare.

You can download the XE Currency App here, the cost is free!  It is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and Firefox OS devices.  Although the currency exchanger that you use or the credit card rate that is charged will be different than the lives rates that you obtain from the XE Currency App, you will at least know how much it should be…roughly.

Google Translate

According to LifeHacker, one of the best apps to get if you travel abroad often is either Google Translate or iStone Travel Translation.  For Google Translate, you can either type your phrase or say it to Siri.  Google Translate has the capability to translate 58 languages in text or 23 languages by voice.  Pretty amazing if you ask me!

There you have it, there are some tricks from the trade on how to save money if you travel abroad often.  I hope these will be of utility for you on your next adventure!

Bargainmoosers, do you have any tried and true tips and tricks to save money while traveling abroad?

Image credit: Peter Rowley

Moose Rating (3 votes)
November 21

5 Tips to Save Money on Christmas This Year

Posted by on November 21, 2014 at 8:00 PM

5 Tips to Save Money on Christmas This Year

As we all know, the holidays are expensive.  In 2012, according to an article by the Financial Post (and a survey conducted by Bank of Montreal), shoppers planned to spend an average of $674 in gifts during the holiday season and just shy of another $1000 for trips and travel during the holiday season.  People planned to spend an extra $100 compared to 2011.  For some reason Christmas spending inflation beat the average inflation for times outside of Christmas.

Here are some more ways to prevent overspending and to achieve holiday deflation instead of holiday inflation!

Make a List and Check it Twice

Just like Santa does, making a list and checking it twice is a great way to stay on budget.  You will be surprised how much everything adds up.  As mentioned in a post on how to save money on Christmas shopping, it is important to have a budget for each person so you know in general how much you plan to spend.  Try to make a goal to spend under the average amount the average Canadian spends on holiday gifts.

Use Discount Gift Cards

As mentioned in CBSnews, using discounted gift cards is a great idea to save money.  Buy your gift cards with your cash back credit card (make sure you are able to pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month though) through sites like cardswap.ca or through Costco.ca to save anywhere from 1-2%, and then purchase the presents with these gift cards.

Don’t Buy Cards or Wrap

Personally I don’t buy Christmas or holiday cards every year and I have re-use my wrapping paper and gift bags to help my wallet and the environment!  Here is a great Bargainmoose post on how to save money on Christmas cards.  Here’s another great Bargainmoose post on how to save money on Christmas gift wrap.

If you are going to buy Christmas cards or holiday themed wrapping paper, buy them after Christmas is over for the following year.  That way you will get at least 50% off in savings.

Use your Points

A great point that Heather from Bargainmoose made is to use your Air Miles, Shoppers Drug Mart, or cash back credit card points for your Christmas purchases.  This is a great idea because then you know how much you have allotted for your Christmas shopping ahead of time.  It will make the “sting” of Christmas spending less painful because you know that this is money that is “bonus” and not something coming out of your actual pay cheque.    Of course, you likely won’t be able to get presents for all the people on your list with this method, but it will definitely help the holiday budget a little (or a lot), that’s for sure.

Give Homemade Gifts

For about five of my close girlfriends, we had agreed a few years earlier to give homemade gifts to each other.  We give the same present to each other (e.g., make a batch of the same homemade gift) and we actually look forward to ‘guessing’ what has been made for us.  This has worked out really well as otherwise I would be spending at least $150 extra per  year.  We keep the costs of the homemade gift on the low end.  In the past, I have made homemade Bailey’s, bath bombs, jewellery (earrings and bracelets).  My friends have made me an infinity scarf, a personalized mug, homemade hot chocolate mix… the list goes on!

I find that homemade gifts are a great way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas without the consumerism attached to modern Christmas.  The most important part of giving homemade gifts to your friends is to ensure that they are understand they will be giving home made gifts too!  The last thing you want is someone to feel ‘short changed’… not that they should, but you never know how people end up feeling.

We all usually get together on a small weekend getaway and give the gift at the same time.  The Lifehack article on 10 Ways to save money this year without losing the sparkle emphasizes that we should focus on the celebration of the holidays, and not the gifts.

Bargainmoosers, how do you save on Christmas shopping?

Photo credit: Kevin Dooley

Moose Rating (4 votes)
November 7

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

Posted by on November 7, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Wont Break the Bank

With fall comes more dinner parties and with the holiday season around the corner, it is time to get prepared for the holiday season of dinner parties at your friends and family’s homes.

I always have a great time at dinner parties, though I’m not usually a big fan of hosting dinner parties myself (perhaps it is too much pressure and too much spotlight for me).  That is why, when I have the opportunity to go to a friend or an acquaintance’s home to have a meal, I am very grateful.  To show your gratitude, most people usually bring a small gift.  Although I usually bring wine, there are much less expensive alternatives to wine that can show your gratitude and impress your hostess with the most-est.

Here are six fun and frugal hostess gift ideas that will be easy on your budget:

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Wont Break the Bank Put a Cork In it: Cork Coasters

I love this idea, of course it is chic and classy disguised as frugal.  Martha Stewart has a great Do It Yourself Cork Coasters gift idea.  All you need is some cork coasters, a stencil, craft paint, and some masking tape.  I personally like this idea because it can be personalized and it is a welcome change from the usual hostess gift of wine or soap.

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Wont Break the Bank

I’m a Little Tea Pot

I am a really big fan of this teapot as suggested by Woman’s Day because it looks “expensive” but can be very inexpensive and is an easy Do It Yourself project.  All you need to create this teapot are your favourite teas and a tea pot (one can easily be purchased for cheap from the dollar store).  You can also add the rock sugar swirl stick for cheap but it may be difficult to find and I personally do not think it is completely necessary.

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Wont Break the Bank

This is Art: Art Print

Although this would be harder to replicate yourself if you were not artistically inclined, this art piece is affordable and very chic at the same time.  Here is the posting from glo for 11 inexpensive hostess gift ideas.  For the art print it is under $15, though you would need to pay for shipping of course.

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Wont Break the Bank

Give an M&M, a Monogrammed Mug

If you are running out of time, a great personalized gift that will usually (I’d say 80% likelihood) be liked is a monogrammed mug.  All you need to do for this one is go to the dollar store and buy a mug, and then add a stencil to it to monogram it and make sure that the stencil does not come off (may need to put in oven to harden it).  It is an easy gift and will not break the bank at all.  You could buy it through Anthropologie instead if you’d like.

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Wont Break the Bank

Wash Your Hands: Soap

Of course, a classic gift for the hostess is soap.  Soap can be very inexpensive if you buy it (even fancy soap that is bought from stores).  In addition, if you wanted to go the Do It Yourself route, you could always make your own soap.  Here is a link to Pinterest for hundreds of recipes on how to make your own fancy soap, pretty soon you’ll have your friend asking for soap for Christmas!  They will be a hit especially if you customize it with different smells.  One time I received homemade soap in a “mojito” flavour, it was great and I really enjoyed using it.

Frugal Hostess Gift Ideas that Wont Break the Bank

You Da Bomb: Bath Bomb or Bath Salts

Finally, the last alternative to a typical gift of wine to the hostess is bath salts or bath bombs.  Bath bombs and bath salts are super easy to make and make a great hostess gift because you are encouraging the hostess to pamper herself (or perhaps if she doesn’t really like it  then she can always regift it).  You can decorate it and put it in a cute mason jar.  Here is a homemade bath bomb recipe from the Living on a Dime blog.

Bargainmoosers, do you have any easy to make and easy to give (aka well appreciated and loved by the hostess) gift that you love to give?

Photo credit: Susanne Nilsson

Moose Rating (3 votes)
October 31

Save Money on Prescription Drugs

Posted by on October 31, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Prescription Drugs

According to CBC, Canadians spent about 23 billion dollars on prescription medications, which roughly equates to about $667 per person on an annual basis in 2012 to 2013 ($667 per person is the national average across Canada).  British Columbia has the lowest spending across Canada with $511 per capita and Quebec has the highest spending, with $820 per person being spent on an annual basis on prescription medications alone.   I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money and a lot of medications.  Although a lot of the time, we are fighting against faulty genetics when we have to take medications, there are ways in which we can save some money on prescription drugs.  Although we are very lucky in that medications are subsidized by the government according to your income, prescription medications can still be costly.

Here are a few ways to save money the next time you fill your prescription drugs.

Ask your Prescriber for a Higher Dose

One great way to save money on prescription medications according to WebMD is by asking for a higher dose, but of course this only works if your medication is a pill form rather than a capsule form.  For example, for certain costly medications like cholesterol pills come in doses of 40mg and 20mg and 10mg (etcetera etcetera).  These are also the same cost (e.g., the 40mg costs the same as the 20mg tablet).  If you are prescribed a 20mg dose, you can ask your prescriber to write 40mg tablets and to have the pharmacist cut the pill in half (or you can do it, just buy a pill cutter).  This will save you half of what it would normally cost.

Get it Filled All at Once

The key here is to get it dispensed less.  Oftentimes you will get one month’s worth of medications and then have to return to the pharmacy to pay for another month, and repeat once more…, but you may be able to get three months worth just by asking.  That’s two less trips to the pharmacist and less dispensing fee cost.  Win-win if you ask me!

Go Generic

Another way to save money on prescription medications is to ask if there is a generic version of the medication.  Oftentimes, the pharmacist will usually substitute for a generic option (or ask you if you would like that).  However, one reason why prescribers may be wary of generic medications is that it is often difficult to tell whether there will be the same effect as the brand name medications.  The brand name medications are the ones that are involved in the drug trials and therefore considered more “reliable”.  With brand name prescription drugs, you are paying for the marketing, and the research and development costs.

Talk to Your Primary Care Provider and Pharmacist

This is where it pays to get to know your primary care provider.  A lot of the time, doctors are very busy (as we know).  Oftentimes, pharmaceutical companies and drug representatives are busy visiting doctor’s offices to provide samples, to provide lunchtime teaching sessions, and to show your primary care provider the most recent novel new drug that is out there.

Oftentimes, these new drugs can be expensive because of the marketing associated with it, because they are brand-name and not generic.  Your doctor may know of an alternative that is not so expensive.  All it takes is a discussion and your doctor should be able to suggest an alternative that may work well.  Of course, there are some medications that cannot be substituted for generic, like certain thyroid medications because the composition varies between manufacturers.

Talking to your pharmacist will be helpful too.  Ask what their dispensing fees are.  Dispensing fees vary between pharmacies.  Here in British Columbia, it can vary anywhere from $5 to $12 (that’s over 100% of the lower end cost)!

Go Au Naturel

Finally, one of the best ways to save money on prescription drugs (especially drugs for cholesterol, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions that can be improved with lifestyle changes) is to change your lifestyle.  Oftentimes we think it is easier to “pop a pill” rather than make lifestyle changes, but changing your lifestyle for the better is so much more rewarding and effective (no side effects!).  Watch this video for some inspiration by Doctor Mike Evans, titled “23 and a half hours”.

Bargainmoosers, do you have any tips on how to save money on prescription medications?

Photo credit: Mattza

Moose Rating (3 votes)
October 24

5 Ways to Save Money While in School

Posted by on October 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

5 Ways to Save Money While in School

Whether it is your first time in university or college or whether you are returning back to school after a long period of being in the workforce, it is generally agreed upon that school is expensive.  Although furthering your education can help you develop your career and improve your income by leaps and bounds, it might not feel like this at the time.  You might just feel like a poor student.  However, sometimes being a poor student does have its perks, and so being able to save money while you are in school becomes less difficult and easier to accomplish.

Here are some strategies that will help you save money while you are in school.

Max Out Your Student Perks

Just like Gail Vaz-Oxlade suggests in this Moneysense article on saving money at school, max out your student benefits.  The rest of the world knows that you are a starving student, why not take advantage of it while you can?

Bus passes, museum tickets, concert tickets, Greyhound bus pass, Air Canada flight passes, Vancouver International Film Festival tickets… the list goes on.  There are many places that offer a discount for students.  One of the most recognized student discount pass (especially if you plan to go abroad) is the ISIC card, or the International Student Identity Card.  It lets the people from the foreign places you plan to go to know that you are a starving student.

Hit the Student Gym

If it’s already included in your fees, why not use it so you are saving money on a gym membership or a monthly yoga class?  Student Universe also states that most schools have a student gym and some even have classes like yoga or pilates that you can take.  These classes are normally very expensive so it makes sense to take advantage of it while you have a student gym pass/ access to enjoy.

Get a Part-Time Job

I personally worked throughout University (both times I went) with a part-time job.  Sure, there were times when I felt really time-crunched, however, I think working allows you to prioritize and to focus on things that matter.  Plus, knowing that you will finish your education program without as much debt as you could have had is priceless.  I believe that working gives you the onus to prioritize and get organized, two skills that are essential as a student.  Of course, you cannot work so much but personally I like to feel productive and I like the organization.  Being organized in my life helped me become organized for my main job.  Although, I only worked 10-15 hours per week with the part-time job in the evenings and weekends.

Buy Used Textbooks

Skip your university or college bookstore, the best place to buy your books is (like most things nowadays) online.  From Bargainmoose, here are some places that you can buy used text books.  Personally, I saved a few hundred dollars buying my textbooks from Amazon.com and then picking it up across the border, rather than going to my university bookstore to buy the books that they recommended.

You could also take advantage of the coupons we have here on Bargainmoose for stores like Bookmob and Textbook Rental and even rent your textbooks.

All you need is the ISBN number from the list your instructor tells you to get, and you just plug that into Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.  Of course, there are a lot of other places to buy your used text books, instead of Amazon.com.  The great thing is that you can resell your books to Amazon.com and then get a gift card for the value of your used books.  No fuss, no muss really.

Pack Your Lunch

Finally, just like for those who work full-time, packing your lunch or avoiding that daily coffee is going to save you ton of money in the end.  Considering a lunch is at least $5 to $10 per day, that’s at least $1000 per year (averaging 4 lunches per week).  That is enough for a last minute ticket to Mexico for spring break!  Besides, packing your lunch is good for your waist line too, and at least you know what you are putting in the food.  Knowing that you are saving day by day is priceless.

Bargainmoosers, are there other ways that you saved money while in school? 

Photo credit: Beraldo Leal

Moose Rating (4 votes)