Saving Money

March 3

5 Cheap Strategies To Curb Kid Clutter

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

5 Cheap Strategies To Curb Kid Clutter

If you have a kid or three, you may be experiencing a bit of toy and kid clutter around the house. I thought I had just cleaned out the toys before the holidays, yet every few days it looks like hurricane kid hit my living room. When our home gets so crazy we cannot see the floor, it means we lose items like hats, toys, books and that camera cable I meant to put away. We end up replacing items that are already in our house. Items also tend to become broken, which can add up to big bucks in replacements. Use some of these strategies and you too will stop wasting money on replacement items.

Bins, Bins, Bins!

Decorative bins and boxes are your best friend when trying to curb clutter. Bins are great for toys, and can be used for a variety of kid items. The secret to bin storage is keeping the categories broad so toys can be picked up quickly when playtime is over. My dear mother thought she would simplify my Barbie dolls when I was a kid, by placing similar accessory items in plastic bags. I found it such a hassle to sort each accessory type into the bags that I stopped playing with the dolls.  The alternative of leaving them in a pile on the floor was not an option with my mother (love you mom!). I know my parents spent a fair amount of money gifting me Barbie dolls they thought I would enjoy.

In contrast, one of the bins for my daughter’s toys we have simply named “stuff to take care of baby dolls.” In the bin, you would find a random assortment of clothes, bibs, play diapers and anything else that is used to take care of baby dolls.  I find that by keeping the bin categories broader, my daughter finds new ways to use them together and we can find them. You can pick up inexpensive bins at the dollar store or another discount store to help you get started on the cheap.

Utilize Under The Bed Storage

5 Cheap Strategies To Curb Kid Clutter

Under the bed storage is some of the least utilized space from speaking to friends. Buy a couple of slim containers such as this GIMSE bin from IKEA for $12.99 to take full advantage of this space. Under the bed is where I store extra clothing I have purchased on discount, but is currently too big for my child. Stashing these clothes under the bed in a slim but long bin helps me to see quickly what I have already purchased for the coming season. This also helps keep me from over purchasing clothing, as I have limited the amount of space for storage. By keeping everything together, I can keep the bins accessible but still slide it out of the way quickly. This storage space could also be used for extra linens, towels, storage for kids crafts to be saved and more.

Store Toys Up The Door

Use over the door shoe holders, such as this Whitmor version on Amazon.ca, as a cheap inexpensive toy storage. This type of storage is particularly great for small toys such as cars, action figures, small stuffed animals and Barbie type dolls. Check out this post from Organize Your Stuff Now for a great example of small action figures in a shoe holder. Eva here at Bargainmoose even mentioned she has used one of these shoe storage containers to keep the whole families mitts and hats in one place.

I like using clear plastic versions specifically for toys that have many small parts so my kid can find the accessory they are looking for.  It is much better to have those tiny toys find their way back to the back of the door then to destroy your vacuum.  It also means less times you spend replacing  a specific Minnie Mouse or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that has been lost… somewhere….

Create A Drop Spot Near The Front Door

5 Cheap Strategies To Curb Kid Clutter

A drop spot can hold a variety of items from your car keys, your purse, your kid’s book bags and the cookies you promised to bring in for that potluck. Creating a drop spot right by the front door ensures you will have everything together in one place. You will also spend less money replacing items on the go that you forgot at home. A simple small table or a few hooks by the door completes your space. DIY On The Cheap has a great basic example that includes a bench, some hooks and a basket for shoes. If you are handy with tools, they also give plans to build a the bench featured. Once you have your set-up, simply drop anything you need in the drop spot the night before or in the morning as you are preparing for the day. Save the last minute trip to the store for the replacement snack and use your drop spot to remember everything you need.

Toy Rotation

Extend the interest in your kid’s toys by rotating a few in and out of the play space. First find a small storage space that is somewhat hidden away from the kids such as a closet or a corner of the basement. Every few months pack up some of the toys from the bottom of the toy box and place them in your storage space. At the same time, you can rotate in a few new toys into the play space to keep things interesting. Fewer toys out all at once means less overall toy clutter.

Bargainmoosers, what do you do to curb the kid clutter?

(Image Credit: Sharon Drummond)

Moose Rating (1 votes)
March 1

Spring Break on a Budget

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

Spring Break on a Budget

Spring Break.  It isn’t simply a time where college students party hardy in Mexico at all-inclusive resorts.  Spring break is a time for families to get away or to spend time together at home.  It can also be an expensive time for families, understandably.  Parents have to take time off work to spend time with the children, or they have to arrange for alternate care or day camps for the children to attend.  Either way, even though it is a great break from school so that children can get back at the books refreshed, it can be an expensive week on the family budget.

Here are some ways in which you and your young family can do spring break on a budget this March.  Don’t let this one week of the year break the bank.

Have a Staycation

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of work, school, prepping for lunches and dinners can feel like a never ending cycle of the daily grind.  Even with getaways it can take an insurmountable amount of energy to plan the getaway and the stress leading up to it can be too much to handle.  Having a staycation can be a great way to spend March Break.  Exploring your own city can be a great fun, adventurous, and economical way to spend March Break.  For example, heading to the local mountains, exploring the closest U.S. city on a day trip, or even heading to the local aquarium are all great ways to spend some of the days on March Break.  Canadian Family has some more staycation ideas that won’t break the bank.  These include providing days in which your child can explore his or her passions (such as being a mad scientist or an artist) throughout the week, or even saying hello to your local heroes, visiting the fire department just by giving your local dispatch unit a call.  As you can see, staying around for March Break doesn’t have to be something negative.  In fact, having your child gain insight into what they like to do and for their local heroes is a marvelous March break idea!

Subscribe to Travel Getaway Deal Sites

One of my favourite travel getaway deal sites is Travelzoo.  I recently signed up for a two night stay at a Vancouver Island resort for $85/night, 50% off what it would normally cost at that resort.  Most of the deals have good “window times” of use, and the fine print of when you can redeem the voucher is very clear.  I was able to book with no issues and it was a fun and frugal getaway.  Using Travelzoo Canada to plan your Spring Break getaway can make your March Break much more affordable if you plan ahead.  Of course, there are other sites such as looking for last minute deals on other travel websites too. Of course, Bargainmoose also has a great section for you to find travel deals as well!

Do What Other Parents Do

Yummy Mummy Club has some great input from moms all across Canada on great ideas for March Break that will not break the family budget.  One great idea is to go to the local dollar store and have your children pick three or four items that they can use during spring break to keep them occupied.

Switch it Up

Kate from Huffington Post Canada has a great suggestion on joining forces with other parents you know in the idea of switching up some days so that you can do activities for their children and your children one day, and they can take care of the activities for another day.  This will allow you to get the alone time you need to rest and rejuvenate or it will allow you to keep another vacation day at work from being used up.  Definitely a win-win situation.

If Cabin Fever is Getting to You…

Globe and Mail has nine March break getaway destinations for all shapes and sizes of budget for your family.  The prices are based on a family of four.  Although the prices listed are from 2012, they are helpful to give you ideas on what to do depending on if you live on the West Coast, Central Canada, or on the East Coast.

Bargainmoosers, what is your favourite way to spend your March Break on a Budget?

Photo credit: Jeremy Hiebert

Moose Rating (2 votes)
February 28

How to Save Money Juicing or Making Smoothies

Posted by on February 28, 2015 at 8:00 PM

How to Save Money Juicing or Making Smoothies

The juicing and smoothie craze has taken North America by storm in recent years.  Many people tout the benefits of juicing and smoothies, benefits such as convenience (getting your meal in a drink is a pretty convenient way to go if you’re busy on the go), not to mention the nutritional benefits.  The nutritional benefits of drinking juice or smoothies include getting nutrients at the source (making it easily digestible for your body to absorb instead of working to break it down).

However, with all the benefits, juicing or smoothies can be expensive.  For example, a Vitamix (a very high powered blender) costs about $400 CAD and is considered to be every smoothie lover’s best friend.  Some people also feel that buying all those fruits and vegetables and blending it down to one drink, although nutritious, can be expensive (especially if you have to do that all the time for each drink you make!).

Despite the potential high costs of juicing or making smoothies, here are some ways in which you can save money on this nutritional diet change.

To Juice or Blend, That is the Question

First off, it would be prudent to decide whether to juice or blend smoothies.  They require different appliances.  To make juice, fiber is removed from the fruit or vegetable and often it is discarded.  To make smoothies, you drink whatever you throw in the blender (including protein powder, soy milk, peanut butter, etc.).

This great MoneyCrashers article can help you decide whether you want to juice or blend.   There are pros and cons to both.  I would personally lean more towards blending myself.

Buy the Right Machine

Although the Vitamix is $400 and is considered a fantastic blender for making smoothies (and soups, etc.) not everyone needs a industrial kitchen-grade blender.  The magic bullet (under $50) is great, however it does not grind ice down very well and does not grind seeds very well.  The switch to the Nutri-Ninja  ($100 at Canadian Tire or Walmart) was great and makes perfect smoothies.  Also, the Nutri-Bullet is similarly priced and works similarly well.

According to Fit Juice, the best juicers under $100 are the Breville 700W compact juice fountain and the Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor.

Save Money on What You Put In

There are several ways to save money on juicing or blending.

  • Buy your fruits and vegetables on sale
  • Only buy organic if you need to, for example, check out the list of the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen (for example, some of the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables include apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, imported nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes- these are fruits and vegetables that you would want to buy organic if you can)
  • Freeze your fruits and vegetables if you can, especially berries, blueberries freeze well and taste fantastic in smoothies
  • Raid your fridge, use leftovers that you have in your fridge for what you are going to throw into your juicer or smoothie
  • Throw in frozen kale and spinach before they wilt, which is a great way to avoid food wastage!  Make your greens and freeze them in cubes beforehand, so that you can just throw them in your smoothie when you’re ready to make it

Save Money on What you Take Out of the Juicer or the Blender

Many people discard the pulp after juicing, but using the pulp in recipes or using it in soup is a good idea to keep from adding to food waste.

If you have leftover smoothie, Whole Foods Market recommends that you can pour whatever is leftover to make a delicious smoothie ice-pop for a treat later.

Save Money By Making It Yourself

Of course, it goes without saying that you will save more money if you make smoothies and make your own juices.  Booster Juice, Jamba Juice all are delicious but you are paying $5 a smoothie or a juice.  I once went to a juice making shop and paid $8 for a 335mL amount of cold-pressed juice.  It was delicious but I definitely wouldn’t be able to drink that every day.

Bargainmoosers, do you juice or make smoothies?  Do you have any money saving tips to share?

Photo Credit: Bert Holf

Moose Rating (5 votes)
February 26

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

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

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

I love my tablet and phone, but  I do not like paying extra for all of the nifty accessories. While I feel strongly a good case is important to protect my device, I try to limit my accessory purchases. No need to do without those holders and chargers, hack it together instead. Here are some great DIY Accessories for your tablet or phone that you can make much cheaper than buying.

Wood Charging Station

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

This unique handmade docking station will look super chic in your house, or is fancy enough to give it as a gift. Check out this hack from Scarlett Words to create a simple charging station from a slice of wood and a lightning cable. A handmade docking station like this one would run $50-$80. This hack could easily be adapted to charge any device. Attach a small portable speaker and you can also jam to all your favourite tunes.

Tablet Holder For Your Kitchen

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

I do not use paper recipes very often anymore. I am always consulting my tablet or phone for new recipes to use in the kitchen. Check out this solution to spilling the flour on your iPad from Mamie Jane’s. This beautiful tablet holder made from an upcycled wood cutting board, a child’s block, and a scrabble tile holder is just my style. Beautiful and chic, no one will know you made it yourself instead of spending $40-$50 on a similar holder.

Bling Case

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

Love the look of a case covered in bling? I hate that $25-$50 price tag that usually goes with it. Use the tutorial at Crafting Rebellion instead to create a super shiny case on a budget. Pick up a less expensive case at the dollar store and let your glue and jewels do the magic.

Touchscreen Compatible Gloves

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

Picture this, you are out in the snow and something funny happens. You whip out your phone and your hands freeze as you try to snap the perfect shot. Rewind that scenario and turn your favourite gloves into tech gloves with this cool hack from natalme on Blogher. With a needle, metallic thread and your favourite pair of gloves, in just a few minutes you can make any gloves touch screen responsive. This blogger suggests special conductive wire, but it is possible to use any conductive metallic thread. Test the thread in a shop by holding one end of the skein while brushing the other end on your phone to see if it responds. A cheap pair of super thin gadget gloves will cost about $10-$15. A nicer pair that will keep your hands warm all winter can easily cost $40-$80.

Tablet Mount For The Car Headrest

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

Blackcabbit has a great solution to turn your iPad or other tabler into a movie theater for your kids on long trips. Using some elastic and a few other small items, this dad creates an entertainment system that stays put. This is perfect if your kid falls asleep during movies on car rides. Most commercial headrest mounts range from $25-$40. I made a similar mount for my daughter before our last road trip and it worked perfectly.

Trick Out Your Earmuffs

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

If you spend some time commuting in the cold, you need to make these tricked out earmuff headphones from Brit+Co. These earmuffs do require some basic sewing skills, but even a novice sewer like me should be able to complete these. Make yourself a pair in any style instead of splurging for a $20-$65 pair.

Project Photos and Videos On Your Wall

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

I can remember sitting down in my grandfather’s living room while he proudly showed off his slides from years ago. Impress your friends without a pricey digital projector by displaying your photos on the wall. This projector from Photojojo will only cost you a single dollar. While the image may not be perfectly clear, a crisp digital projector will cost you $75-$200. Project movies on the wall for a fun movie night.

No Sew Phone or MP3 Player Holder For Running

8 Accessories To Make For Your Tablet or Phone

I love those armbands for running that securely hold my device while exercising. Each one can easily cost $30 and I am a fickle about keeping up my exercise program, so I am always hesitant to buy them. Enter this creative no-sew arm holder from Wonder How To. With a placemat, some strong glue and two hair ties you can make your own quick holder. For a more adjustable version, make the armband a little longer and add some velcro strips.

Bargainmoosers, what tech accessories would you love to have?

(Image Credit: ebayink)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
February 24

7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

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

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

Almost everyone has a tin can or three around the house. Many foods such as soup, beans, tuna, tomatoes, coffee and even maple syrup are more economical to purchase in a can. While I am not a huge fan of purchasing green vegetables in a can, I do always seem to have multiple cans go into my recycling bin every week. Some of the chic ideas below have changed my mind about saving those humble cans. Here are some amazing ideas that you can use to ditch the recycling bin and repurpose those cans to decorate  your home on the cheap.

Homemade Tin Can Clock

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

I love the pop of colour on this homemade tin can clock. Use these simple instructions from Easy DIY Toys to give your clock a new chic look. Wouldn’t this clock also be amazing in a matte gold for an antique look? Maybe I will take apart my old Ikea clock to make this project for my house. Expect a clock in a fun design and colour to cost you $20-$50 if you were to buy a similar clock at the store.

Tin Can Pedestal Stand

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

Need a pedestal stand in a snap to display cupcakes or other food for a party? This tin can pedestal stand from Sweet Paul will be super chic for your table. Use any decorative plate on top, some matching paint and some strong epoxy to create this fun look. I could see this project working for a wide variety of parties. This stand would look great at a chic brunch, or coordinate the design to match the decorations for your kid’s birthday party. A super basic cake stand will normally cost you between $25-$60 depending on the size and style of the stand if you were to buy a stand at the store.

Tin Man Family Marionettes

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

These marionettes are precious from Adventures at Home. Use several tin cans, empty leftover tea light metal wrappers, string and your craft supply stash to create this sweet little family of Tin Man Marionettes. This is a great project to pair with a Wizard of Oz movie night, or even read the classic book with a cup of tea. This is a great project for the whole family, or a super little gift to a child if crafted by an adult.

Tin Can Pendant Light

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

Need to shed some more light in your home? Shelterness featured these funky tin can pendant lights that will do the trick. This project could either use a bigger coffee can or several smaller cans for a multiple light fixture. Decorate using paint, drawing a bohemian designs with a sharpie, or using Mod Podge to decoupage a decorative paper onto the outside of the can. Ikea, Lowe’s and Home Depot should all have inexpensive pendant light hardware to complete your project. If you are replacing an existing light fixture that is wired into the ceiling, you may want to read over these tips from Do It Yourself first. Pendant lights normally start at around $50 and go up to well over $200 depending on the style.

Cork Covered Tin Can Pencil Cup

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

You can cover a tin can with almost any fabric, pretty paper or paint and turn it into a pencil cup. For a twist on this idea, I like the modern design of this cork covered pencil cup from The 3 R’s Blog. Using some contact paper and a printer, they were able to create stencils to paint a silhouette onto the cork. I could easily see these same decorative cups selling for $20-$30 in a boutique or gift shop.

Wall-Mounted Tea Light Holders

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

These chic tea light holders from Practically Functional are made using the smaller cans from wet cat food or tuna. Clean the cans well, then spray paint them with a metallic colored paint for extra shine. Wrap the outside in some pretty scrapbook paper or wallpaper and then mount on the wall. I would make at least three or four and group them together on the wall for effect. While a basic table tea light holder for a tabletop tends to be inexpensive, most wall mounted tealight holders generally ranged from $10-$40 depending on how many candles it holds.

Mosaic Multi-Purpose Decorative Cans

 7 Fabulous Ways To Repurpose Tin Cans

Wow, these decorative mosaic jars are impressive. Check out this Instructable by Creativeman as he turns tin cans and colourful craft foam into decorative mosaic pieces. This idea is so much simpler than cutting glass bits with tile cutters to make glass mosaic pieces. This is also a safer way to lets kids join in with the project, with an impressive end result. Use these cans to hold your kitchen spoons, art supplies, hairbrushes in the bathroom or just to hold miscellaneous items on your dresser.

Bargainmoosers, what would you make out of the humble tin can?

(Image Credit: Geofy Sowrey)

Moose Rating (1 votes)
February 24

2 Ingredient Play Dough (No Cooking)!

Posted by on February 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM

2 Ingredient Play Dough (No Cooking)!

Here’s a feisty and frugal little project that you can make with your young kids, as well as have hours of fun afterwards! It’s a home-made play dough recipe, made with only TWO ingredients. Yes, I said TWO ingredients! And you don’t even have to cook it!

All you need is one part hair conditioner and two parts cornstarch.

Make as much or as little as you like, just keep the proportions to those quantities to make your play dough.

You can use any conditioner for this recipe. You may not want to use your expensive Tresemmé brand… but you could pick up some sweet smelling fruity conditioners from the dollar store, just for this project. And different conditioners may vary in consistency, so you might need to add a little less or a little more as you are mixing it with the corn-starch. It’ll be a bit of trial and error, but that’s part of the fun.

And as for the cornstarch, this is a staple item in my kitchen cupboards, though not in great quantities. You should be able to pick some up the next time you are grocery shopping.

You could even jazz up the play-dough recipe with a few additions:

  1. Food colouring for some funky colours
  2. Glitter for some sparkly fun

Just make sure your little ones don’t try to eat it!

And for storage, keep it in an airtight container. I don’t really know the shelf-life of this play dough recipe, but give it a try and let us know how you get on, in the comments below.

(Image credit: Jessica Wilson)

Moose Rating (2 votes)
February 21

Save Money by Preventing Food Spoilage

Posted by on February 21, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Save Money by Preventing Food Spoilage

According to the blog Ready for Zero, the average American wastes about 40% of their grocery budget on food waste.  I have a feeling that Canadians aren’t far off.  I try to avoid food waste but inevitably I have to throw away food because it has spoiled in my fridge, especially for vegetables that I don’t usually use on a regular basis or for meats that I keep in the freezer and they end up getting freezer burn or just smell “off’.

The American numbers are sobering, the NRDC (National Resources Defence Council) estimates that if we reduce a mere 15% of our food waste, we could feed 25 million people.

So to prevent throwing away 40% of your grocery budget through food spoilage, here are some ways in which you can save money on your grocery budget by preventing food spoilage.

Separate your Fruits

Contrary to the aesthetic appeal of how elegant a fruit bowl looks, you might want to think about separating your fruits.  When fruits are clustered together, they release ethyelene gas which speeds up ripening your fruits.  This includes separating your banana bunch into individual bananas because there is ethylene gas released in the banana stem.  Here’s a video as proof if you’re interested.

Resuscitate your Vegetables

Ready for Zero also says that if you soak your limp lettuce, celery, or broccoli in a cold water bath for 15 minutes, it gets rid of the limpness and helps resuscitate it.  Of course you should use it immediately after the cold water bath to avoid further food spoilage.

Keep It in the Bag

Certain fruits and vegetables are better left off in the bag.  Carrots, peppers, and apples are best kept in the bag that it came in from the supermarket as it will last longer.  Plastic wrapped cucumbers (you know, those long English cucumbers) last three times longer when kept in the plastic wrap, according to Love Food Hate Waste.

Know Your Fridge

Labelling your freezer items would help and furthermore, if you know your fridge inside and out like the back of your hand, you’ll be less likely to waste food.  Sometimes in the recesses of my refrigerator I see something that I forgot I had in there and get excited because I caught it in time before it went bad and can use it.

One way to “know your fridge” is to ensure you keep things that you opened (e.g., a package of deli meat for lunch) in the front and perhaps scope out your fridge on a weekly basis just to make sure you’re optimizing whatever is in there.

Look Up your Fruit or Vegetable

Whole Foods Market has a great list of all the fruits and vegetables that you can think of (including mangoes and grapefruits and gooseberries) and details how to select the fruit, how to store the fruit, and how to best use the fruit.  The food guide also says how long you can keep the fruit in the fridge (or even if you can keep it in the freezer) before it goes bad.  A little research goes a long way in preserving your fruit of vegetable that you bring home, especially if it’s from a more upscale grocer like Whole Foods!

Also, if you like charts and want something handy that you can hang in front of your fridge (you know, put those fridge magnets to good use), this great visual chart by Lifehacker shows you how long fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat lasts if you leave it on the counter/pantry, or if you leave it in the fridge, or if you freeze it.  For example, I knew I could freeze bread (it’s fantastic, life changer for me) but I did not know that bread would last happily in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Bargainmoosers, do you have any tips to reduce food waste and prevent food spoilage and save money at the same time?

Photo Credit: Nic Taylor

Moose Rating (3 votes)
February 19

5 Dollar Store Hacks That Will Help You Make Life Easier

Posted by on February 19, 2015 at 8:00 PM

5 Dollar Store Hacks That Will Help You Make Life Easier

After the holiday season everyone’s wallets are hurting but you may still have the itch of wanting to shop and buy things.  What better way to relieve that itch by going to the dollar store? Though don’t go too much because going frequently can really add up!

I am a huge fan of the dollar store because nowadays you can get just about anything you need there.  I make regular trips to my favourite dollar store, Dollarama on a monthly or every two monthly basis, just to get things that I need, like kitchen essentials or wine gift bags.

The next time you go into your dollar store, look out for items that can be hacked to make your life a bit easier.  Things that are great on the wallet and great on organization too!

Here are five dollar store hacks that will help you save money and make your life a little easier…and a little more organized!

Paint Palette as a Jewelry Holder

5 Dollar Store Hacks That Will Help You Make Life Easier

No more tangled jewelry or struggling to find the matching earring for the one you managed to find.  This cute idea comes from the Architectural Designs blog.  Just look for a cheap dollar store paint palette and paint it to whatever colour you want.  It’s small enough to hide in a drawer and pretty enough to keep out on display.

Dollar Store Shower Cap… For the Kitchen

5 Dollar Store Hacks That Will Help You Make Life Easier

This doesn’t take any tweaking or painting or crafting.  The dollar store shower cap works great for oddly sized items in your kitchen (like for example the kitchen colander in this photo), and also great for wrapping up leftovers when your usual saran wrap won’t stick to the glass container.  This brilliant idea comes from The Kitchen blog.

Ribbon Basket Storage

5 Dollar Store Hacks That Will Help You Make Life Easier

This comes as a timely post after Christmas when you go to the dollar store to buy discounted 50% off Christmas wrapping and decorating, such as ribbon!  So of course you’ll need a place to store all that ribbon without making it look like a mess.  And of course you’ll want to be able to easily access your ribbon without having to hurt your eyes looking for the end of the ribbon or getting frustrated and wasting your ribbon by having your ribbon all tangled up.  This dollar store hack Do It Yourself ribbon basket storage comes from the Minimoz blog, it looks super easy to do and a great way to organize your ribbon!

Picture Frame Key Organizer

5 Dollar Store Hacks That Will Help You Make Life Easier

Long gone will be the days of hunting for your keys and getting annoyed and panicky because you are late for work and cannot find those car keys.  Here is a great dollar store hack to turn a picture frame into a handy key organizer.  It is #23 on Buzzfeed’s 23 brilliant dollar store hacks post.  The instructions are from Redfly creations.  You and your family will be able to find your keys in dollar store hack style.  This is super easy, all you need to do is find the perfect picture frame, not to big not to small and some screws.  And use some white spray paint (that you can find at Michaels, though spray paint does not usually cost a dollar, unfortunately).

Zoo Animal Bookends

5 Dollar Store Hacks That Will Help You Make Life Easier

What better way to organize your books then have funky hipster-esque zoo animals looking after your treasured books?  This would be a great dollar store hack for your children’s books too of course.  For this dollar store hack, all you will need are those dollar store plastic zoo animals, some wooden blocks (small and not too thick) and some primer and spray paint to whichever colour you want to make the zoo animals.  Teal looks nice, and I think a metallic gold would look nice too and add a bit of razzle dazzle to your bookcase.  This brilliant idea comes from Love Grows Wild and the step by step do it yourself instructions are super easy to follow.

There you have it, some great dollar store hacks to get your life a little more organized, one to two dollars at a time!

Bargainmoosers, do you have any other dollar store hacks that you would like to share?  What is your favourite thing to buy at the dollar store?

Photo credit: Shooteyeout

Moose Rating (3 votes)
February 17

4 Ideas To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

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

4 Ideas To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Sometimes it can be a bit tricky to save money. Our bills pull us one way and the stores are constantly pushing our wallet another. The end of the month comes by yet again and your savings are looking no better than before. Fear not, we have below four ideas that will help you trick yourself into saving some extra money.

Save Your Change

One way to very quickly save money if you use a lot of cash, is to save your change. Grab any old jar to be your savings jar. At the end of every day simply drop all your coins in. This process is simple and it can add up big if you pay for even a little in cash.

Now here in Canada you can do this full throttle, half throttle or the slow snail way. Full throttle would include adding all loonies, toonies and all change to the jar. Half throttle means adding all loonies and other change. The slow snail method would mean keeping your loonies and toonies out of the picture and waiting for a very long time for the smaller coins to add up.

Bill It To Yourself

Every month when the paycheques hit the bank, I automatically move a set amount from my chequing to my savings. I do this transfer as part of my bill paying routine every month. Every month I watch my savings grow. It feels good watching that account grow.

If you are not sure you will have the willpower to move the money over consistently, try automating the transfer through your online banking. Just like paying bills every month can avoid late fees, automating means you are always paying yourself too without missing the deadline. You do not need to lift a finger once the automation is set up. Simply watch your savings grow every month. I personally prefer physically transferring the money myself for the satisfaction.

Save Little Bits

We all know when you are on a tight budget, it can be difficult to save. If you have kids, the thought of shelling out for even more extras when they get older can be exhausting. Here is a neat little plan I discovered from Single Mom Income that will save $7,976 without much effort. Simply take your child’s age and save that amount once a week. So in the first year when your child is one year old, you save one dollar per week. Down the road when your child is fifteen, you save $15 per week. If you start when your child is first born (or play a little catch up) by the time your kid is eighteen you will have saved $7,976. That does not include any interest should you put that money into a bank account or invest it and let it grow a little bit.

This same technique could also be used to save for something for yourself, save for something specific or even save for vacation. Save every week using your own age and that cash will add up fast. For instance, let us pretend I am 32. If we multiple that age by 52 weeks in a year, I will have saved $1,664 by the end of the year.

Stash Away

We all receive extra windfall money we are not expecting. Maybe you found $20 you forgot in your coat from last spring. Perhaps you pulled out some change for your garage sale from the bank and never put it back into your account. Maybe Grandma sent you some birthday money. All of these things have happened to me in the last 12 months, lucky me!

Take that windfall money and save it instead of splurging it at the coffee shop or on a brand new electronic gadget. I have a little stash I keep just for this occasion. I call it my granny stash.

My husband’s granny was from a different era then I. When my husband and I went to help her move, she had money stashed all over the house “just in case” and was pretty distrustful of banks. The total we found while helping her move was well over several thousand dollars. A family member who had moved into the house later called us to let us know that a cheque worth over $1000 was headed in the mail to granny. That was just the leftovers from the granny stashes we missed when we helped clean out her stuff.

While I am not from a generation that is distrustful that my money will disappear in a bank, I still use the same concept. Any windfall money I have I tuck away in my granny stash. When it reaches $500, I deposit it into my savings so I can earn some interest. More than once in my early university years my granny stash paid the cost of a moving truck to help me change apartments. It also covered pizza and beers for my friends who helped lug my stuff into my new apartment.

Bargainmoosers do you have any tips for tricking yourself into saving money?

(Image Credit: Alan Cleaver)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
February 14

Ikea Hacks – 6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

Posted by on February 14, 2015 at 8:00 PM

Ikea Hacks   6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

Ikea is well known for having affordable furniture and storage solutions. I love walking through their showrooms and seeing how the designers having taken a cramped apartment and folded it away like an origami swan. While Ikea has many great home solutions on the cheap, sometimes you want your furniture pieces to look and function a little differently. If you are even a little handy, you can use IKEA furniture to create some fabulous pieces for your home.

I am so excited to show you some of the amazing uses of the infamous Lack Side Table. The Lack Side table retails for around $13 and sometimes goes on sale for even less. This basic side table comes in a whole host of colours from brown black, to white, birch, green, red and more. The super low price makes it a perfect piece of furniture to experiment with for a larger DIY project. With a little time, you can transform that $13 table into a whole host of amazing things for your home. Check out a few of the ideas below.

Upholstered Ottoman

Ikea Hacks   6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

Check out the fantastic upholstered ottoman created at Infarrantly Creative. Most small ottomans start at around $70 and only go up in price from there. Give your living room a pop of colour for much less with this fun project. Ikea has a whole host of fabric you can choose from at inexpensive prices right in the store. This project only calls for a yard and a half of fabric among a few other supplies such as foam for the cushion. I recommend finding a fun pattern while you are already at Ikea or shopping the remnants section at the fabric store to find a small piece of fabric on the cheap.

Reclaimed Wood Coffee Table

Ikea Hacks   6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

This chic little coffee table made of reclaimed wood and two Lack tables will surely have your friends buzzing. Check out the great tutorial from Treasures and Travels for the full details of this amazing table. This great feature even has full video instructions included. I love the look of the wood on top of the table. No one will guess there is a Lack table hiding under there. A reclaimed wood table will cost you $200 and up for a basic coffee table.

Lego Table

Ikea Hacks   6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

Over at Kojo Designs they have Lego storage figured out. A Lego table will easily run you $100+ on sale. Pick up a Lack table instead and you will have a place for those bricks. Adhere several Lego plates to the table using epoxy, gorilla glue or some other type of strong glue that works with plastic. Once dry the basic part of the table is now finished. I love how Kojo Designs attached a magnetic strip to the side. Then they attached various larger storage containers to the end of the table. Maybe that will mean one less Lego my foot finds as I try to walk across the living room floor.

Cat Tree

Ikea Hacks   6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

Kitty lovers, I am talking to you! Check out this amazing Cat Tree at Ikea Hackers, one of the ultimate Ikea hack resources. For this project, you need four Ikea Lack tables, some metal brackets, some twine for kitty to scratch and a bath mat or two. This full size cat tree has two shelves, but if you only have one kitty you could consider building it a little smaller with one less shelf. If you have priced out a kitty condo anytime in the last few years, you know they easily start at $80 for a tiny version. Larger cat trees range to around $200. In addition, they are a huge carpeted eyesore in your living room. This amazing Lack hack will blend in to your living space easier, making life for both you and your kitty a bit brighter.

Mod Planter Table

Ikea Hacks   6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

This crazy easy Instructable teaches you how to install a planter into the centre of your Lack table. Plant a herb garden or your favourite flowers right in the center for a mod looking piece. The creator of this hack quickly discovered the centre of the table can be filled with all sorts of decorative fun. A few ideas they used to fill this table include shells, a small bubbling water fountain, pebbles with candles and more. I love all the different ways this hacker changed one inexpensive table to create multiple different looks throughout the year.

Brass Corners Side Table

Ikea Hacks   6 Ways To Repurpose A Lack Table

You can make your Lack table look like a much more expensive piece of furniture than it is with this hack from Our Chocolate Shavings. Pick up some brass corners at any hardware store for roughly $5-$8. Glue or nail the corners on to the edges of the table to give your table a chic look for very little time or effort.

Bargainmoosers, what would you create with a Lack table?

Moose Rating (5 votes)
February 13

Where To Buy Goodies From Fifty Shades of Grey (NSFW)

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

Where To Buy Goodies From Fifty Shades of Grey (NSFW)

*** BUMP – I first wrote this blog post a few years ago. The Fifty Shades movie is being released TODAY so there may be a few of you out there wondering where you can buy some accessories to spice up your love life. Read on… ***

If you’re getting caught up in the worldwide “mom porn” phenomenon that is known as “Fifty Shades of Grey,” you might be on the lookout for some of the bits and bobs mentioned in the books and the new movie – specifically the toys and accessories. There are a number of Canadian online stores where you can discretely purchase such items, get them shipped to your door, and your neighbours will be none the wiser as to what you have ordered.

You may have seen a few of these companies on Bargainmoose in the past, but I will do a little roundup and point out a few items on there that could be of interest to Fifty Shades readers.

Pinkcherry.ca – One of Ana’s dreams in Fifty Shades involved Christian and a leather riding crop, if memory serves correctly. There are a few riding crops to choose from on Pink Cherry, with prices starting at only $11.99 here. Shipping is free on a $49 spend, and you can use the various Pink Cherry coupon codes shown here for more discount on prices shown. For example, the current coupon code is GREY25 for a 25% discount!

Sextoyscanada.com – How about a pink luv paddle, for a little light spanking? It costs $34.95, but you can also get a more plain one in black and diamond for only $11.95. A cheaper alternative is also a ping pong paddle, or so I hear! Shipping is free on a $69 spend from this store, plus you can use these Sex Toys Canada coupon codes for a bit of an extra discount.

Stagshop.com – In the Fifty Shades of Grey novels, there were a number of mentions of Ana’s Jiggle Balls. At this store, they sell a brand called Luna Beads, which seem to be pretty popular. Prices start at $44.99 here for these kegel balls, but there are less expensive alternatives. Shipping is free on orders of $49 or more from Stagshop. And always check this Stagshop coupon page before you place your order.

More ideas: there are other places to get toys and accessories, and I don’t just mean walking in to your local Home Depot to buy a pack of cable ties.

If you’re looking for more Fifty Shades ideas, check out places like the accessory sections of lingerie stores. For example, there’s a naughty accessories section @ La Senza Canada, with a variety of kinky items to choose from.

You could also check out Lingerie Canada too.  You might find some fun items in there. I spotted these funky eye masks from $9.95, or this kinky whip for $29.95! Don’t forget to check the Lingerie Canada coupon codes for an extra discount if ordering there.

And finally, if you’re interested in some more fiction on a similar vein, there are a couple more books you might want to read (I’m linking to the digital editions on Kobo, but you might want to price compare to see where to find the best deals).

So, have you read the Fifty Shades of Grey novels? What did you think of them? And are you going to see the movie?

(Image credit: Ulleskelf)

Moose Rating (9 votes)
February 12

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

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

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

Valentine’s Day is almost here. If you lost track of the days and need a quick and creative idea, we have you covered. Print these free creations for your sweetie, family or friends in a snap. No one will know you did not have these ideas planned for weeks!

Emoji Valentines

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

I am dying laughing at these Emoji Valentines from My Sister’s Suitcase. Maybe I will print these off and surprise my friends. This is a perfect Valentine for teens also!

Love Potion Number 9

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

Add these funny labels from The Dating Divas to any red or pink drink for your next party or gathering. I might add it to a bottle of rode wine for my sweetie. You are sure to get a chuckle with the warning label. *Warning: Consumption MAY result in hot, passionate, romance!

Candy Bar Wrappers

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

I love these candy bar wrappers from Lil Luna. I like that these are cute but also generic enough to be a sweet gift for almost anyone. Even better they fit around most standard size candy bars.

Coffee Cup Wrappers

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

These coffee cup wrappers are simply adorable from Eat Drink Chic. Print this off then swing through your favourite coffee joint on Valentine’s Day. Surprise your honey with their favourite drink wrapped in style.

Binary Code Wrapping Paper

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

My Valentine has a geeky streak and would love this Binary Code wrapping paper from 7th House On The Left. I love how this free printable comes in several different colours including black, red and pink.

Fruit Love Notes

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

Leave a cute love note in your valentine’s lunch with this fruit love note printable from Alpha Mom. I am digging the “I am bananas for you” tag.

Valentine’s Coupons You Want To Receive

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

I love this Buzzfeed list of 14 love coupons you would want to receive. Print out the images, cut them out and you have a quick book of love coupons that are awesome.

Valentine’s Party Hats

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

I love these heart party hats from Mr. Printable. Skip the Dollar Store and whip up these heart hats in a snap for your next Valentine’s Day Party.

EOS Monster Valentines

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

A friend of mine surprised my daughter and her friends with these cute monster EOS Valentine’s from The Idea Room.  Print and add a lip balm for the nose for a great way to tell your buddy Happy Valentine’s Day.

Personalized iPad Valentine’s Gift Box

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

Check out this awesome iPad Valentine’s Gift Box printable from Living Locurto. This template is customizable with your Valentine’s name and uses a cereal box as the base. You could this fun box to hold Valentines, but I would use it to wrap my sweetie’s gift.

Conversation Heart Banner

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

Decorate your space quick with this cute conversation heart banner from Hello Little Home. These conversation hearts can also double as Valentine’s if you write a message on the back.

Hershey’s Kiss Stickers

12 Last Minute Valentine’s Day Printables

Stick these Valentine’s stickers from Amanda’s Parties To Go on the bottom of some Hershey’s kisses and you have a sweet little gift in no time. Make the job go much quicker by using a ¾” circle paper punch to cut the stickers.

For more Valentine ’s Day ideas, check out my post 7 Inexpensive Ways to Spoil Your Sweetie This Valentine’s Day or print Free Lego Valentine’s Printables thanks to Anna.

(Image Credit: Tom Codd)

Moose Rating (3 votes)
February 10

6 Free Printable Classroom-Style Valentine’s Day Cards

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

6 Free Printable Classroom Style Valentines Day Cards

Valentine’s Day is coming your way whether you are ready or not. If you have kids, that can mean buying many little treats for all of their friends. My default last minute idea is generally to head to the Dollar Store and fill some bags with cheap candy or treats. I could be more creative even at the last minute and so can you. All you need is a printer and a few inexpensive items that will cost you less than the goody bags you were going to buy anyways.

Frozen

6 Free Printable Classroom Style Valentines Day Cards

Frozen is still super-hot these days. I have little doubt Frozen Valentines will be in many mailboxes and loved by many kids this year. I know my daughter wanted the Frozen Valentine’s for her class and your kid might too. Skip the boxed valentines and print some off at home for free instead. Disney Family has a nice selection of free Frozen Valentines that you can print off faster than Olaf melts in summer. I swear my daughter laughed at that Olaf joke and retold it a dozen times.

Minecraft

6 Free Printable Classroom Style Valentines Day Cards

Here are some fun cards for your favourite gamer. Check out these Minecraft Valentines from Cute As A Fox. Nine different designs are available such as “Diamonds are a Miners best friend” or “I’m no CREEPER, I just want to be your Valentine.” These cards are sure to be as popular with both gamer boys and girls.

Paper Airplane

6 Free Printable Classroom Style Valentines Day Cards

Check out No Biggie for a sweet little paper airplane Valentine. The Valentine proudly proclaims “You Make My Heart Soar.” All you need is a printer and some paper for this project. If you want to add a treat, No Biggie suggests something slim such as a stick of gum to tape into the plane. I would soar one of these over the cubicle wall to my coworker.

Awesome Sauce

6 Free Printable Classroom Style Valentines Day Cards

The next Valentine is a fun treat without the candy. Check out these yummy “You’re awesome sauce” printable labels from Creating Really Awesome Free Things. Simply print, cut and tape to the tops of individually portioned applesauces.  If you are feeling generous, you could cut them in rectangles and put them on the squeeze pouches of applesauces.  Simple, delicious and you can make them while you catch up on your favourite tv show.

Tiny Animals

6 Free Printable Classroom Style Valentines Day Cards

I love these Valentine’s that include a small toy animal from Sweet C’s Designs. Print out these Valentine cards and tie a tiny plastic animal or animal eraser onto the Valentine for a fun treat. I would highly recommend tying the animals on with string instead of taping to ensure they stay put on your card.

Traditional and Retro

6 Free Printable Classroom Style Valentines Day Cards

The Clumsy Crafter has a cute collection of printable Valentines. This free printable includes some cute standard valentines such as owls and cupcakes. Also included are a few valentines that are a little different such as a retro cassette, sewing machine and typewriter. You are sure to find a Valentine worth printing and slipping inside your sweetie’s coat pocket or your kiddo’s lunch. My husband might just find the “You are the cheese to my macaroni” Valentine inside his coat pocket.

Bargainmoosers, which card is your favourite Valentine from the long list above?

Moose Rating (2 votes)
February 8

5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead of Time That Are Cheaper Than Dining Out

Posted by on February 8, 2015 at 8:00 PM

5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead of Time That Are Cheaper Than Dining Out

As winter waxes on I want less to do with my kitchen. I feel busy all the time, so long complicated meals are not cutting it. I am often ready to give in and order take-out or grab something through a drive through. I have found I can avoid the temptation to go out for food by having a well-stocked freezer. I try to make my own pre-made meal items that I can easily grab and go. Bargainmooser Anna has mentioned she is trying to avoid take away food as a New Year’s Resolution in her Pizza Hut Deal post, are you?  Here are five foods you can freeze ahead cheaper instead of dining out.

Meatballs

5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead of Time That Are Cheaper Than Dining Out

Meatballs are one of my favourite freeze-ahead items, as they are easy and quick. Throw meatballs in your sauce of choice to put over top of spaghetti. Throw a few in tomato sauce for quick meatball subs. Toss meatballs in an Asian Sauce or BBQ sauce for a sweet twist. I usually keep homemade meatballs in my freezer as they cook up on the stovetop in sauce in about 15-20 minutes. I personally aim to buy extra lean pork or lean beef when it is less than $4 per pound to stock up my freezer. I also will grate carrots or zucchini into my mix to both extend the meat and to sneak in a few more veggies into our meal. I can usually get 2 dinners and a lunch or two out of a pound of meat made into meatballs for our family of 3. Compare that to a spaghetti and meatball dinner for one that starts at about $10-$15, plus tip. Check out this step-by-step directions of how to freeze homemade meatballs from Generation Y Foodie.

Smoothies

5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead of Time That Are Cheaper Than Dining Out

I love smoothies for a nice healthy breakfast or treat. The idea of all that prep work for the different ingredients first thing in the morning is not as appealing. Traveling to a smoothie shop or even McDonalds, I will easily spend $4-$5 and up per drink. Make your own smoothie packs instead by pre-bagging individual portions that you can dump in your blender and your waistline will thank you.  I Should Be Mopping The Floor has a great post that includes how to incorporate Greek yogurt into your packs with no need for ice cubes. Dump, blend and enjoy for the same convenience of the drive-thru.

Pizza

5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead of Time That Are Cheaper Than Dining Out

Pizza is my nemesis when I am trying to avoid eating takeout. My husband and I usually have a backup frozen pizza in the freezer. The problem is takeout almost always tastes better. Check out this step-by-step recipe from the kitchn on how to make your own homemade frozen pizza. These pizzas will taste better than store bought pizza or even takeout and are much cheaper than the $10-$30 you will spend on takeout pizza. If you have a bread machine or a dough hook on your mixer, you can save even more by making the dough from scratch.  Have no time to prep homemade dough? Try making pizzas on naan bread from the grocery for a delicious and cheap alternative.

Pancakes

5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead of Time That Are Cheaper Than Dining Out

Pancakes are a super simple warm breakfast that can be made as healthy as you prefer. Going out to a restaurant you will easily pay $8-10 for a plate of pancakes. Make a batch at home for much cheaper and the whole batch will cost less than one pancake brunch out. Pop frozen pancakes in the toaster oven and pair with some fruit for a quick, yummy and cheap breakfast. Check out this post from Frugality Gal as she takes you step-by-step on how to freeze pancakes. Follow her advice and you can pull them out one at a time as you need them throughout the week.

Soup

5 Foods You Can Freeze Ahead of Time That Are Cheaper Than Dining Out

Make a batch of soup (or use leftovers from dinner) and freeze it in individual muffin tins. Pop the soup rounds out of the pan by running warm water on the back. Store in freezer bags or storage containers. You now have perfectly individually portioned soup for lunches or dinners. Canned soup runs easily $2.50 or more per can. Use this quick convenience soup from your freezer instead and skip the can for a delicious and cheap lunch. Check out this post from Organize Yourself Skinny where she freezes her homemade healthy chicken and rice soup in muffin tins. Pair with a sandwich and you have a quick lunch or dinner for much less then the $10-$15 you would spend eating the same meal out. I particularly like freezing chilli this way, as one portion of chilli is the perfect amount for over a baked potato.

Bargainmoosers what is your favourite food to freeze ahead?

(Image Credit: lamoix)

Moose Rating (5 votes)
February 6

Fun and Free Family Day Ideas

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

Fun and Free Family Day Ideas

Family Day helps us Canadians from getting depressed in the cold, long winters, but there isn’t a federally declared Family Day.  According to Wikipedia, Family Day is called Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and Islander Day for the folks on Prince Edward Island.  British Columbia finally joined the bandwagon in 2012 and Family Day in British Columbia is celebrated on the second Monday of February.  Elsewhere in the country, it is celebrated on the third Monday in February.

Family Day allows you to focus on your family instead of working Monday to Friday for the daily grind and getting depressed.  Studies show that family time can boost children’s self esteem, enhance relationship bonds, and improve social skills.  However, for many, it is another reason to spend a lot of money, especially if you are already busy paying off the aftermath of the expensive holiday season still.

Family Day doesn’t have to be another reason to spend a lot of money though.  Here are some fun and free Family Day ideas that won’t break the bank.

Explore and Go Geocaching

Geocaching is a great fun family thing to do that inspires curiosity in your children and also in yourself!  What is Geocaching?  Geocaching is live outdoor treasure hunting.  To geocache, you are given coordinates and you attempt to hunt these coordinates down through your GPS to find a small container with the treasure inside.  All you need is a GPS or a GPS-enabled mobile phone (e.g. Google Maps or the Maps on your iPhone) and a Geocaching membership.  Also, you would probably need access to a vehicle too as I think geocaching might be difficult using public transportation.  It is free to register and you can do it through this link.

Snowshoe the Winter Blues Away

Snowshoeing is a great activity for both younger children and older children alike.  Although if you do not have snow shoes you will need to rent a pair (or even better, borrow a pair), which will set you back about $10 for a day rental.  There are many trails that are public access and do not require a snow shoe trail pass.  In fact, you can also try snowshoeing in your neighbourhood, if you are lucky enough to have a big blast of snow.

For some inspiration, you can check out Snow Shoe Mag for more ideas on how to get started with snowshoeing.

Camp in Your Living Room

For a warm and toasty indoor activity (or if it is raining cats and dogs outside) and if the space in your living room permits, set up your tent and roast some marshmallows over the stove and make some s’mores.  The main idea is to just avoid having a camp fire in your living room Fun and Free Family Day Ideas The  Campfire chic  blog has a great post on how to host your own indoor camp out to beat the dreaded cabin fever.  My Kids Adventure blog also has another how-to on creating a fantastic family time night in your living room.

Granted you won’t be able to camp in your living room all weekend long (that would seriously create a bad case of cabin fever), spending one night in a tent is still fun!

Go for a Ride

Some of the fondest memories I have as a child  are from road tripping in my dad’s Dodge Caravan.  There was nothing quite like sitting in the car, driving to a new adventure.  I remember playing games and counting how many things are the colour blue or the colour red.  Playing another game and thinking of countries that start with the letter C (e.g. Canada) and then taking the last letter of that country and thinking of another country (Antarctica)… and the game goes on until everyone is mentally exhausted.

Also, if you are interested in some frugal Family Day activities that might not necessarily be free (but still frugal, and almost free), Today’s Parent has a great list of fun family activities and things to do on Family Day across the country.

Have a great Family Day, and most importantly, enjoy the new memories that you will create with your family!

Bargainmoosers, how do you like to spend your Family Day?

Photo credit: Jonathan

Moose Rating (2 votes)