Tuesday, April 28, 2009

31 cent ice cream at Baskin Robins

Tomorrow is 31 cent ice cream day at Baskin Robbins. It's 31 cents a scoop, up to 3 scoops per person.

Their website, http://www.baskinrobbins.ca, for locations!

Bring your family and friends to the
31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin-Robbins to show
your support for firefighters and enjoy scoops of
your favourite ice cream for 31 cents.*

As a thank you to our customers and the firefighters
who protect them, Baskin-Robbins is donating
$10,000 to Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
All collected consumer donations will be used by CFFF to build the Canadian Firefighters Memorial in Ottawa.

*3 oz. soft serve cone or 2.5 oz. hard scoop are 31 cents plus tax where applicable. Limit three scoops per person.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Quick tip - Coffee cubes

Left over coffee can be frozen in ice cube trays.
Use those frozen coffee cubes in your iced coffee or home made frappuccino 

Iced coffee is easy, just place coffee cubes in a cup and top with cooled coffee. The ice will cool it down even more so it doesn't have to be too cold before pouring.

Frappuccino is those same cubes and coffee put in a blender. blend until smooth. I like to add some half & half before blending too. 

Flavour your drinks with chocolate syrup, caramel, honey, cream, milk or any combination. Coffee flavours are good too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contest tips part 2

2)Read the newspaper
*I find that contests in the delivered paper are quite rare. I personally do not subscribe to the paper nor do I read it on a regular basis but when I do there are not often contests in it. The kind of paper I am talking about is the local events/news paper. It's hard to describe this kind of news paper. They are usually free papers and usually have a lot of local events and contests in them.
*In Victoria BC this paper is called the Monday magazine.
In Winnipeg MB this paper is called the Uptown Magazine.
Find your local paper / magazine, ask around or google it.

Often times this magazine/paper will have a contest where the only requirement is to email them your information and the contests are often listen on their website.
In Winnipeg's uptown magazine (for example) the home page for their magazine is THIS PAGE. From surfing the site you will find their contests HERE.
The contests will vary from time to time so check back weekly and enter any you are interested in. I win this way a lot

Another website in winnipeg with local contests is Accesswinnipeg

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Win something already! (contest tips part 1)

Here's something I didn't really want to share because the more people playing this game the less of a chance I have of winning. We're talking about contests here! 
Now I understand that some people "professionally" enter contests using auto fill programs on their computer and have all the angles worked out to get the best odds of winning a new washer and drier or a lifetime supply of instant noodles but I am not going to go into that here, mainly because I do not do that myself and do not really have any advice on that topic. The kinds of contests we are going to talk about today are quite small, the prize is something like a CD or DVD and movie, concert or event tickets. Sometimes you can win CASH! 

1) Listen to the radio 
*If you pick the right station you not only listen to the kind of music you like but they also have contests for similar items. You won't win a rock music album listening to a jazz station. Usually the contest will require someone to be the -somethingith- caller and often need you to answer a question or play a game, but not always.
*Set the radio station(s) you listen to's phone number in your speed dial, in your cell phone or house phone, or memorise the phone number. 
*Listen to the requirements for winning. 
*If you only need to call in, no trivia or anything else then call it! You probably won't get in the first time but if you try often you will win eventually. 
I used to win this kind of a contest once a month (the radio station I listened to had a rule where you could only win a maximum of once per month)
* If you need to know the answer of a trivia question and you either know the answer, someone with you knows the answer or you think you have a pretty good guess call in. 
* If it is a game you have to play like answer a few trivia questions in a row CALL IN. Many times these are multiple choice games or have somewhat easy questions. They also often still have smaller prizes if you don't get all the answers right and a large prize for getting it all correct.
*To win radio contests keep calling in. Call in when you think you will win and when you think the odds are stacked up against you. Just call. You will win more often than you think!
* Check out the station's website. Sometimes they have more ways to win or earn points online.

More tomorrow

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Financial Peace University

Educating yourself is the the best start to managing your money and Dave Ramsey has an amazing program available through out Canada and the USA. 
It's called Financial peace university. I have been taking this course for a little over a month now and I love it. I have already saved money and payed off more dept that I would have without this money managing course. It is funny and serious and smart. Dave Ramsey talks with such bluntness about how being in debt is wrong that needs to be told to so many people today. 
Now you probably know that debt and poverty is not the way you want to live and know how to educate yourself, you are in a cheap living blog reading my posts and probably read many others or even have your own, but do you know everything you know to fight debt and win in the game of finances? 

At my church this course is free but it may not be free in all locations so search your area for a course starting now and call the location to find out if it is free or if there is a fee. If you can not find any up coming courses in your area check for classes that are currently in progress (by choosing 'advanced search" from the search page)and call the location to ask when they will be starting again or if you can join in part way through. I have two friends that are just starting on week 4. In my church the course is 18 weeks long but this will vary by location as well. It is also requested that you purchase the workbook. In my area it is rather pricey ($130, Yowtch!) but I am finding that taking notes instead of buying the book is working out really well. They hand out any important paperwork in class so I don't feel you need the book, but some people like it.

There are many testimonials on the FPU website. Surf the page and read a little about it. I'll wait.

On top of this there is a special presentation, Town Hall For Hope. This is a special event that will be broadcast live to several locations and is about the recession in particular.  "I am an American and I am not participating in this recession" is the tag line found on the Town hall for hope website. I wish I could attend but I found out about it too late to inform my church about presenting it and it is not showing in my area. You can search for your area from the search section of the homepage.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

More things to do with T-shirts

Sorry I don't have a full real post today. We are all getting together for Easter and hope your family have a great holiday full of old and new traditions.

So to make this at least a little bit of a normal "Cheap N' Cheerful" here's a link for more things that you can do with an old t-shirt.

You guys are never going to throw out clothes again.....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter egg tips and tricks

Ditch the packaged egg decorating kits! You probably already have everything you need for great Easter eggs in your house.

Basic colouring
Did you know that you can use regular food colour to dye your eggs? I have been using it since I was a child and gives a very vibrant or light pastel colour, which ever you like, it just depends on how many drops of colouring you put in your water.
Here's how; Combine 1tsp of vinegar with a half cup of hot water and a few drops of food colouring. Many boxes of food colouring comes with a colour chart or you can follow this one that I found with a quick google search. Keep in mind that all brands on the colouring will vary slightly and that using less will give a more subtle colour while using more will create a deeper colour. Food colouring can also dye your plastic containers and wooden items like your table.  Coffee mugs work great for this project because they are deep enough to submerge the whole egg and are made out of a ceramic which is not likely to stain. As with all craft projects with kids you might not want to do this while your kids are dressed in their Sunday best as it may stain clothes. The chances of staining will depend on the brand of food colouring you choose though I find it's pretty safe. For best results, let the water cool before you start dipping the eggs.

To dry the eggs
I hope you have been saving toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. Take a few of these and cut them into half inch disks. These disks are perfect for placing the wet dyed eggs on instead of back into the egg cartons to keep the colour from smearing and to display them right away. 

A little more fun?
Sneak into the kids crayon collection and collect the white crayons. If you find your kids don't actually use white crayons you can keep them with the rest of your adult crafting stuff too. If you don't have any white crayons yellow ones will also work but I think the white ones are way cooler.
Let the decorator draw or scribble all over the egg with the crayon before dipping in the dye then when it's dipped the dye does not stick to the wax and leaves cool patterns on the eggs. 

Hope you and your family have a traditional Easter, either with new traditions or old!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Make your own Swiffer accesories

I can not take credit for this. This collaboration of links has been put together by Tipnut and am just sharing them with you here.

15 homemade Swiffer cloth patterns includes patterns for knitting, crocheting, sewing and even a no-sew option for the craft challenged (it uses an old sock... brilliant!) 

It also includes a link to a pattern to make your own Swiffer duster and how to take the cap off of a Swiffer wet-jet canister so you can fill it with whatever cleaner you prefer.

The link to the full article in tipnut is HERE.

I personally saw a reusable Swiffer style cloth at Dollarama an just picked one up the other day and then use a spray bottle to get the floor a little damp with a home made cleaner. I'm not as fancy as some people with the whole "Swiffer system" but it works for me.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pancake mix recipes: Deep fried goodness

This tutorial starts with the pancake mix recipe posted earlier this year 
but any pancake mix can be used. 

You will need to prepare the mix as directed to make pancakes. 
In the case of the home made pancake mix you will need:
1 cup of mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
 And then mix it together to create the batter

Now the fun part, picking the ingredients

You can deep fry almost anything. Yes it's true. I use this technique to deep fry sweet things. 
 things you might want to fry are:
Oreo cookies
Chocolate bars
Fig Newton
Reese's peanut butter cups
Cheese cake
Chocolate chip cookies
Oatmeal cookies

Pictured on the right are some things I chose to fry up. There is an Oreo type cookie that I made from scratch, some chocolate bars, fig newton style fruit bars and some peanut butter cups.
Cut everything to bite size pieces. 

Then coat it in the batter and place in deep frying oil on a high heat.
The pieces will float so you will have to turn them over once they are browned on one side.

When you take them out of the oil after several minutes of cooking the snacks need to be placed on a plate with a paper towel on it to drain the oil off. 
Let it cool for a little bit. You want it to still be hot in the middle but not boiling. It is easy to burn yourself on hot melted chocolate so be careful, especially when serving this to children!

It is also really easy to over eat these and feel fat. So delicious!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Customer service, Warenties and Gurantees

My husband bought Transformers Stratego, a board game by Milton Bradley. It was on discount at 'The bargain shop' and I think I know why....
It was missing the stickers you put on all the little pieces, in other words the game was unplayable.
That was about a month ago, today I looked at the box and they listed their website. From there I navigated the page to find the customer service phone number. I called them during regular business hours and explained that I bought the game a month ago and told them about the piece that was missing. She then took my information and said that they would be mailing me the missing stickers for free.

This is the kind of service I regularly get when I call companies. I say this because I know that people are afraid to call companies to complain sometimes, but they will usually do their best to satisfy your needs.
Did you know that most companies guarantee their product? They want you to be happy with it!

Here are a few more examples of times I have called customer service and been totally satisfied.

Last year I bought a $50 breast pump for milk for my baby. I only bought the one for occasional usage, not the heavy duty one and I used it too much and it broke. I called the company that made it (the first years) and after walking me through some troubleshooting steps and found it was beyond repair they replaced it with a more heavy duty model. I only had to pay shipping to send my broken pump back to them. I saw the newer model at the store and it was worth $150! 

Several years ago after Halloween I bought some Halloween M&Ms discounted at the store. They came in small individual bags and I was putting them in my lunch. I was disappointed to find that some of the bags of candies only had 2 or 3 M&Ms in them, so on a whim I emailed the company about it. They called me a few days later, apologized and mailed me coupons for $10 of free M&Ms. Funny thing though, Christmas was coming so just after the holiday I stocked up on $10 worth of discounted red and green candies. That was a lot of candy.... 

Pretty much the same story about Bicks pickles. I bought a jar of mixed veggies and there was only one pickled onion in the jar, sent them an email and they called me get my information so they could send me coupons for 2 free jars of pickles. Well the coupon didn't state what size the pickle jars had to be so I went to the superstore and got the biggest jars they had. This was just last year too.

More recently, my baby gate broke (1st choice brand). From wear and tear I guess. I called the company and they mailed me a form to send them back with the broken piece from the gate. I am now waiting the coupon for a free baby gate to replace the broken one.

Here's my point. Companies have a customer service and will guarantee most anything they sell. They want you to be a happy customer and want you to try their products again. They hire people to do this. Nervous about calling them, send an email. There are often email addresses on the company website as well as phone numbers. I have also never had to prove purchase with copies of receipts when contacting the companies directly. 

Stores also guarantee the items they sell. I know many big box stores will accept exchanges on many products so long as you have the receipt. Wal*Mart is particularly good when it comes to returns with a receipt and will exchange anything within a year so keep those receipts! I find a lot of stuff from Wal*Mart breaks so this is handy to know. 

I wonder though. With the board game I called about today, could you call about a game you bought used? She never asked me where I bought it, just when. They do want you to be able to use their game and play with more people to get them to buy their own copy too so it wouldn't be stealing unless you lied if they asked whether or not you bought it used.
I will have to try it next time I buy a used board game that is missing pieces. But then again, sometimes it's fun to use random marker pieces.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

$5 challenge

Living with Lindsay is having a $5 craft challenge. The button has been there on the right for a little while now. Have you noticed it? Either way, I decided to use the cute box tutorial that I posted in February as my entry, but add to it a little bit to freshen it up.

The directions are the same, but I prettied up 2 boxes that I use several times a day.
 These boxes under my baby's crib hold her clothes and her diapers. Kind of like a make shift drawer they were meant to be a temporary measure until we bought a new dresser for her. They are in such a convenient place and just the right size though they have been there about 6 months now. 

This is them all wrapped up like presents.

 Lowering the safety bar for the crib keeps the troublemaker out of the "drawers".

Check out other crafts that have been entered into this contest at Livingwithlindsay