Author Archive

September 24

6 Ikea Hacks to Save You Money

Posted by on September 24, 2015 at 8:00 PM

6 Ikea Hacks to Save You Money

I love Ikea.  Even though I can afford more expensive furniture, I still love Ikea for their simplistic modern design and functionality.  Of course, there are certain pieces of furniture that you should not skimp on when furnishing your home, because MDF particle board can only do so much in terms of stability, but in any case, I am a big fan of Ikea because of the low cost.  What better way to make Ikea furniture fancy by hacking and redesigning it into something even more amazing and personalized and less mass produced?

Here are a few Ikea hacks I found around the web that you can try to make your apartment or home Houzz or Apartment Therapy worthy, even if it is from Ikea and not Crate and Barrel. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (3 votes)
September 20

How to Save Money on Long Eyelashes

Posted by on September 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money on Long Eyelashes

I have for the longest time, been content with my eyelashes.  I tried false eyelashes (applied professionally by a make up artist for bridesmaid make up) and liked the look but they would always come undone in a couple of hours and I would always have an edge of the false eyelash peeking up.

I then had a friend apply eyelash extension for the first time ever and I was in love!  That is until 2-4 weeks later when the eyelashes start falling out and you are left with a weaker, shorter eyelash than before… or until your false individually glued on eyelash starts flipping upside down and doesn’t align with the rest of your eyelashes. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (1 votes)
September 17

6 More Ways to Upcycle Your Glass Jars

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

6 More Ways to Upcycle Your Glass Jars

As summer wraps up, it might be a good idea to find creative ways to spend time with your family (e.g., crafting) or have something to do or a project to work on while you are spending more time indoors.  Here are some easy crafty projects you can do with some glass jars you might have lying around the home.  In fact, creating your own home decor will help you save money on pricey home decor, and certainly impress your friends when they come over because you can say you made it yourself!

I’m a big fan of glass jars, especially those mason jars.  They just look so rustic and classy.   Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (2 votes)
September 13

How to Save Money When you Live Alone

Posted by on September 13, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money When you Live Alone

It is common knowledge that if you have a roommate or a boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancee that you are living with, you will cut your monthly living costs substantially because you are sharing rent or mortgage, sharing utilities, sharing internet costs and other monthly non-negotiables that come with….well, living.

However, if you are not ready to move in together yet, or if you are single and prefer not to have a roommate (or you have enough money to not have to share with a roommate) there are many luxuries to living alone, such as being able to leave the place as messy or as clean as you want to, being able to scoop up yogurt into your mouth directly from the yogurt container, being able to leave your clothes or the floor (or not), and well, not having to answer to anyone but yourself and perhaps your pet cat or dog or ferret.   Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (3 votes)
September 10

How to Save Money on DIY Manicures and Pedicures

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

How to Save Money on DIY Manicures and Pedicures

Monthly manicures and pedicures can really break the bank.  At $50 a pop or more depending on where you live of course, for both manicures and pedicures on a monthly basis, that’s $600 a year (at least, and not including tip and tax!) spent on keeping your hands and tootsies looking presentable and pretty.  Personally I don’t get manicures, but I do get the odd pedicure when I go away on a trip. I probably have a pedicure about three to four times a year.  Don’t get me wrong, I find pedicures very relaxing and a nice treat, but I find it difficult to fit the time in regularly, and sometimes I find the small talk at the salon tiring.  I didn’t think that it could be done, to have DIY pedicures look like salon pedicures until I saw my friend’s pretty feet the other day and she said she did it herself.  It really looked professional, so I convinced myself that it is actually possible.

The other downside of a salon pedicure or manicure according to Totalbeauty.com is that many instruments are not sterilized or as clean as you might expect. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (2 votes)
September 3

5 Ways to Save Money on an Engagement Ring

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

5 Ways to Save Money on an Engagement Ring

I believe that most people are surprised with a beautiful engagement ring and a surprise proposal, however, with the push and drive toward more equal and egalitarian relationships, where the person being proposed to has a bit of a choice in the matter (or sometimes a lot of choice in the matter), more and more couples are going engagement ring shopping together.  This seems to be more common than I thought previously.  According to Daily Mail (a United Kingdom publication) about one in three couples go engagement ring shopping together where the woman chooses her engagement ring.  That is 33 percent of couples, which is fairly high.

So if you are one of the 33% of couples who is planning to shop for an engagement ring together, here are some ways to save money on the engagement ring: Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (1 votes)
August 30

Save Money When you Outlet Mall Shop

Posted by on August 30, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money When you Outlet Mall Shop

These days, outlet malls south of the border are a little more expensive now that the Canadian dollar is so low.  Nonetheless, many people (including myself) still find shopping south of the border more economical than staying up here in Canada shopping in the malls.  I’m a big fan of outlet malls and actually tend not to go shopping in regular malls very much.  What can I say, I love a good deal and bargain!

Recently, they opened up an outlet mall near the Vancouver airport and although there were tons of people there, I still found that going to the states (near Seattle) was better… maybe it is the idea that I went so far to get something so it must be special…?  Maybe not!

Here are some ways to save money the next time you outlet mall shop:

Skip the Foreign Currency Fee

With the low Canadian dollar, it makes sense to try and avoid any extra fees associated with foreign currency transaction if possible.  For every foreign dollar purchase (e.g., US dollars) not only do you have to pay the currency exchange rate (which is not favourable in the first place when you charge it on your credit card), you will have to pay an additional 2.5% foreign currency transaction charge just for using your credit card.

Skip that 2.5% surcharge by going with a Chase credit card (like the Marriott card or the Amazon.ca card) or holding US dollars in a US dollar account and getting a US dollar visa (there aren’t many that do not have an annual fee though).  In addition, you can go with a Royal Bank cross border banking (credit and debit account), which is a bank account based in the United States, so that you can avoid the currency exchange and currency exchange fee.

Look for Coupons and Sign up to be a VIP

Yahoo Finance recommends looking for coupons or free membership and signing up for them.  For example, with the Premium Outlets VIP membership (free to sign up), you get a discount on certain stores and they will email you to notify you of any major deals.  It gives you the chance to score better deals at the outlet.

Know Your Store

According to Wisebread, not all outlet stores are made equal.  There are three different types of outlet stores.  An actual outlet store, a regular retail store disguised as an outlet store, and a factory store.  Wisebread states that actual outlet stores are the ideal, where there are things you would find in the regular stores but at a largely marked down price.  Examples of actual outlet stores they quoted are REI, Land’s End, and Coldwater Creek.  A factory store contains clothes that you might not find at the actual retail stores and the quality may be different (e.g., worse).  Examples of factory stores include you guessed it, Banana Republic and Gap.  Gymboree and Eddie Bauer are other examples.  Finally, the least palatable in terms of outlet mall shopping is the regular retail store, where you find regular stuff (and prices) that you would find at the regular store.  Old Navy, American Eagle Outfitters, and Sunglass Hut are examples, per the Wisebread article.

Don’t be Afraid to Leave Empty Handed

Another way to save money is to understand when to walk away.  That’s why having a NEXUS card is beneficial because you didn’t have to line up for 30 minutes to two hours to go shopping at the outlet mall.  Five minutes, maybe, but not two hours.  Money Sense magazine also recommends not going over the allowable limit, of course.  Check out this Bargainmoose post on allowable limits for groceries if you’re planning to go grocery shopping on your way back from the outlet.

Wait for the Special Occasions

Oftentimes, the outlet malls will post additional savings (e.g. save an extra 40% off this weekend) during special occasions and holidays, such as Thanksgiving, May long weekend, Labour Day.  As long as you can avoid the crowds (perhaps by getting there early and leaving early) these will be great opportunities to get something at the outlet on an even deeper discount than you anticipated.

Bargainmoosers, how do you save money on outlet mall shopping?

Photo credit: Marite Toledo

Moose Rating (5 votes)
August 27

Save Money by Becoming a Mystery Shopper

Posted by on August 27, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money by Becoming a Mystery Shopper

I have not tried mystery shopping but have been intrigued by the idea for a number of years, and in fact, I think I have wanted to do it ever since I was in high school but never got around to it (talk about aspirations as a young teenager, right?).  I first heard about it when I was working in retail in a department store, and was notified that I had a positive review on a mystery shop.  I think I’m going to take the plunge soon and sign up.  I have talked to a number of people who have dabbled in mystery shopping and I have not heard of any negative experiences.  It seems like a fun way to try something different (on someone else’s dime!).

Here is how to save money on your family budget by becoming a mystery shopper: Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (5 votes)
August 26

Save Money Organizing For Back To School

Posted by on August 26, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money Organizing For Back To School

Sometimes it takes me the entire month of September to get back on track to get organized and ready for back to school.  Sometimes it just takes me a week or two.  No matter the amount of time it takes for you to get you and your family organized for back to school,  organizing for it is a necessity for a productive and happy school year.  There are great ways to get organized, and most of these do not require that you spend a fortune to do so.

Here are some ideas and way to save money while you are organizing for back to school.  Many of these are do it yourself projects and do not require expensive supplies.  In fact, most of these supplies can be picked up at your local dollar store. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (5 votes)
August 23

4 Ways to Upcycle Old Tires

Posted by on August 23, 2015 at 8:00 PM

4 Ways to Upcycle Old Tires

Not sure what to do with your old tires that you can’t seem to get rid of on Craigslist and that don’t have very much tread on them?  Feel bad about adding it to the junk yard?  Have enough space in your backyard and outdoor space area (or even living room)?  Well, have no fear, for here are some ideas on how to upcycle your old tires. Repurposing the tires to something beautiful will have your house guests in awe and disbelief of what it was in its former life. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (4 votes)
August 20

Save Money on Your Summer Staycation

Posted by on August 20, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Your Summer Staycation

Summer holidays are halfway over now that we are in August, but that does not mean that you should start panicking about your lack of vacation plans.  If you have some time off in the summer but aren’t planning to use your passport for your summer vacation because of our slow economy, or the expensive US dollar currency or the expensive fuel surcharges on international flights, you still have some time to make your staycation a memorable and great vacation.  Here are some ways to save money on your summer vacation through doing a staycation.

What Makes a Staycation Great?

According to Moneysense, what makes a staycation great (and feeling like you just had a vacation) is being able to switch off from the typical grind or day-to-day routines. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (6 votes)
August 16

Save Money for Back to School by Upcycling

Posted by on August 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money for Back to School by Upcycling

The days are getting shorter and the school season is about to start.  Unfortunately it is that time of the year again when summer holidays are coming to an end and all the back to school supplies are displayed on store shelves.  Back to school is usually an expensive time of year because children get new shoes, new book bags, new lunch boxes, and of course, new clothes.  In order to offset some of these costs, try upcycling or recycling.  This will hopefully help you save a bit of money in your budget to spend on your children for things that matter more, like extra-curricular activities and team sports or lessons.

Here are a few ways to save money on back to school, by upcycling: Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (2 votes)
August 12

How to Save Money at Universal Studios

Posted by on August 12, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money at Universal Studios

Universal Studios theme park has a location in both Hollywood, California and Orlando, Florida.  As a kid, I was lucky enough to have gone to both.  It is often the quintessential addition to a trip to Disneyland (especially since they are both in the same locations).  A day at Universal Studios, the ultimate Hollywood experience, doesn’t come cheap though.  The usual price of a one day pass to Universal Studios is $99 US Dollars and $199 US Dollars for a Front of Line ticket.  With the poor conversion rate, it is even more expensive for us Canadians.  A trip with your family can add up to hundreds of dollars very quickly, and that does not include the flight or the accommodation.

Despite the high cost, it’s a great place to visit and there are indeed small ways that you can save that will pay off big time for your trip to Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Studios Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (6 votes)
August 1

Save Money on Your Landline

Posted by on August 1, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money on Your Landline

According to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) the average monthly cost for a landline varies from $35 to $55 a month.  Annually, the landline costs anywhere from $420 to $660 a year.  The lower end is for a basic landline with  no caller ID, no voicemail, no call waiting, and no bells and whistles.  When you add caller ID and call waiting and other necessities to a landline, that adds up a lot more monthly.  Over $600 is a lot of money for something that isn’t considered a necessity.  These days, the Internet is considered more of a necessity, something that we need to use on a daily basis, more than the landline telephone.

Who still has a landline?  Well my mom still does and I do call her on that even though she has a cell phone (she has limited daytime minutes). Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (3 votes)
July 26

Save More Money on Your Vet Bill

Posted by on July 26, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save More Money on Your Vet Bill

Last year, Bargainmoose shared 4 Tips to Save Money on Your Vet Bill, and it focused on preventative care like brushing your dog’s teeth to avoid tooth decay and shopping around with your veterinarian for quotes.  Pets are expensive so you should think twice about whether you can afford a pet before you get one.  However, if you are planning to get a pet, check out this Bargainmoose post on how to save money on a new animal.

This year, my article will focus on another way to save more money on your vet bill, and it is related to the dispensing of medications. Read the rest of this entry »

Moose Rating (5 votes)