October Money Saving Calendar

Happy October! Get ready for the quickest blog post ever that will save you a TON of money!

It’s a new month and I’m trying something new for you guys. I thought it would be fun to create a calendar each month with a super easy money saving tip each day of the month.

So this month, you get the NEW Money Saving Calendar for October 2019!

You can grab your calendar for FREE here.

I’d love to know what you think of this and if you think I should keep doing them each month for you!

Fall Bucket List for Frugal People

Create the BEST Fall Bucket List with these ideas. These ideas are perfect for frugal people, who are looking for free or low cost activities to do this fall.

Create the BEST Fall Bucket List with these ideas. These ideas are perfect for frugal people, who are looking for free or low cost activities to do this fall.

Fall is nearly here! One of my favorite seasons (besides Christmas time) is Fall! I love the comfort food, the way the light changes in the evening, the crisp fall air, and warm, cozy sweaters. Along with those things, Fall is a great time to do fun, frugal activities specific to the season.

Here is a Fall Bucket List for Frugal People that you are going to love! There are plenty of ideas to fill up your fall calendar with frugal fun.

  1. Go to a Pumpkin Patch.
  2. Have a pumpkin carving contest with friends/family.
  3. Find fall festivals and harvest events happening in your area.
  4. Go to a local apple orchard to pick delicious apples.
  5. Go for a hike. The temperature will be much more bearable than in the summer time!
  6. Try Halloween themed cookies. Like Oreos. You can only get them this time of year.
  7. Try using fallen leaves in one of these ways.
  8. Go to a thrift store to find your Halloween costumes.
  9. Make apple crisp! This recipe is amazing!
  10. Throw a football watching party. To save money, make it a potluck and have everyone bring something.
  11. Make your own fall wreath.
  12. Make a pot of chili.
  13. Enjoy a pumpkin spice latte or apple cider.
  14. Make a Frugal Fall bracelet.
  15. Go through a corn maze.
  16. Take your own fall pictures.
  17. Rake up the leaves into big piles, then jump in them!
  18. Make a scarf out of an old sweater.
  19. Have a Halloween (or Fall) movie night at home.
  20. Bake pumpkin cookies.
  21. Visit your local library and check out some fall themed books.
  22. Check the kids’ school calendars to see what free family-friendly events are coming up.
  23. Attend a high school football game.
  24. Volunteer.
  25. Go geocaching
  26. Take a scenic drive around your city.
  27. Visit your local farmer’s market.
  28. Try a new soup recipe.
  29. Host a fall brunch, pot-luck style.
  30. Light fall candles around the house.
  31. Decorate your home with a few Fall decor items from the dollar store.
  32. Help a neighbor rake their leaves.
  33. Make a batch of these Fall M&M Monster Cookies.
  34. Create your own haunted house.
  35. Make your own Halloween costumes.
  36. Check your city’s website, you will find a ton of free events and activities happening around you.
  37. Knit a fall scarf.
  38. Write little happy fall notes to your friends.
  39. Decorate your porch with fall foliage from the neighborhood.
  40. Toast pumpkin seeds.
  41. Have a fall canning party.
  42. Go on a hayride at a local farm.
  43. Eat dinner by candle light.
  44. Have a nap!

How To Cut Your Grocery Bill Without Sacrificing

Did you know that with just a little bit of prep work and an open mind you may have the possibility of cutting your grocery bill in half?

It’s totally possible to eat better quality, healthy food while spending less on groceries. Here are some ways for you to cut your grocery bill without sacrificing taste or your health.

It's totally possible to eat better quality, healthy food while spending less on groceries. Here are some ways for you to cut your grocery bill without sacrificing taste or your health.

Plan Your Meals Ahead Of Time

I have many articles about meal planning, but this is because I can’t stress enough how important meal planning is. Especially if you want to cut down your grocery bill.

There are two ways to go about meal planning. You can plan meals based on what you already have at home or plan based on what is on sale in the flyers at your local stores. The first option would be your cheapest option since you’re using ingredients you have already purchased. It’s still quite possible that you will have to fill in missing ingredients with a trip to the store.

If you go with the second option, you can then plan and base your meals on the sale items. Most of the sale items will be in season so your meals will be too. By planning your meals to match what’s on sale, you’ll be surprised at how much that will cut from your grocery budget.

Take Advantage Of Coupons

The great thing about coupons and couponing is that you’ll never have to shop and pay full price for your groceries, it really becomes a fun game when you’re paying less than full price for your items. So, take advantage of all the coupons you can use to get discounts on grocery items.

You can start collecting coupons from your local newspaper or even from mobile phone apps. There are also websites like Simply Frugal that lists all the most recent Canadian coupons.

Purchase Generic Items

Name brand items can be really eye-catching but they can also have the ability to empty your pockets as well. Often the only difference between a grocery’s brand-name product and a store-brand product is the packaging.

If you take a closer look at the list of ingredients, in most cases, you’ll actually see that they are nearly identical. It’s just the price that’s different. So, before you take that name brand item off the shelf, do your research and you’ll definitely be rewarded with the best deal.

Tip:  Ingredients are listed in order of the amount in the item, so if sugar is the first ingredient in your cereal, you know there’s more sugar in it than anything else in the box. So, when checking ingredients between generic and brand name, be sure they are listed in the same order to ensure you’re getting the same “taste”. This is always a great way to determine which version is the more healthy version, if that is your goal with ingredients.

Buy In-Season Fruits And Veggies

Sometimes you just want to satisfy a craving with out of season fruits and veggies but to really make a dent in your grocery bill, you’ll want to purchase in season produce.

Out of season fruits and veggies will definitely be more expensive because they cost more and take more effort when they are not in season.

Plant A Garden

Growing your own food is the best way to go when you really want to lower your expenses and save money on your grocery bill. A great example is having your own herb garden.

If you buy a bunch of herbs they can be expensive and you may only need them for a meal or two (this is again where meal planning can be helpful). But if you have some potted herbs in your garden or kitchen, you’ll save a lot of money and have those herbs at your fingertips anytime you need them. Plus fresher always tastes better.

Cutting your grocery bill without sacrificing is definitely doable. It will just require you to make a few changes and find what works for you and your family. Taking control of how your money is spent and saved is a great feeling when you’re trying to stay within a budget.

Do you have some tips you can share to help cut the grocery bill? Please tell us in the comments below.

10 Reusable Household Items that Will Save You Money

One of the ways I began to save extra money was by ditching some of the disposable products we used in our home and replacing them with reusable household items.  

In the beginning, this did cost us a few more dollars but quickly turned into big savings each month we weren’t purchasing the disposable versions!

Now, I know the appeal of disposable items. They can be so gosh darn convenient! But by simply switching out one disposable product for a reusable product, not only will it have a positive impact on our planet, it will also have a positive impact on your wallet! Before you know it, you’ll be trying to replace every household product with a reusable one!

By simply switching out one disposable product for a reusable product, not only will it have a positive impact on our planet, it will also have a positive impact on your wallet!

The Best Reusable Household Products

Below, I’ve listed the best reusable household items that we’ve been loving in our own home lately! 

Wool Dryer Balls

For years now I have been using wool dryer balls in place of dryer sheets and fabric softener. In fact it’s been a while since I bought my wool dryer balls so they’re finally starting to fall apart!

If I ever feel like having a bit of a scent to the laundry, I’ll add a couple drops of essential oil to a couple of the balls.

When purchasing wool dryer balls, make sure they are 100% wool. This will ensure fluffiness, reduce static and reduce drying time.

Reusable Water bottles

Before we leave the house, I make sure all of our reusable water bottles are filled up so we can avoid buying a bottle of water when we’re out and about.

While any reusable water bottle will work, our favorites are the ones that are insulated. They keep water cold for much longer! My husband and I are using these bottles while I like the Thermos ones for our daughters.

Kitchen towels

Ditch the paper towels once and for all! I have one roll of paper towel on hand and that is to check the oil in our vehicles and for wiping up cooking grease. Other than that I use kitchen towels, cloths, and big bath towels for cleaning up spills, and wiping dirty fingers and faces. Basically reusable towels are used for everything paper towels are typically used for.

I also still use those baby wash cloths all. the. time for cleaning up messes, wrapping freezies and even wiping out their Wipe Clean activity books.

Reusable straws

It’s so easy to make the switch to reusable straws! We’ve got two different kinds that we use at home. Stainless steel and super fun silicone ones. I don’t have a preference, but my daughters like the silicone ones the best. Probably because they’re soft and fun colored.

Be sure to get a small straw brush to keep you straws clean!

Reusable K-Cup

We were gifted a Keurig coffee maker years ago and it’s still one of our favorite appliances and gets daily use. The one thing I don’t like about it is the k-cup waste. However, we recently switched to a reusable K-Cup and love it! It’s so easy to use and the coffee tastes just as good. Plus now we can get a big bag of ground coffee beans (cost effective) or use the locally roasted beans that we love.

Reusable shopping bags

Now that most grocery stores are charging for plastic grocery bags, I want to avoid that unnecessary expense as much as I can! I have reusable grocery bags stashed in the car and both of my bags in hopes that I won’t have to use a plastic bag.

The reusable shopping bags that I have are similar to these ones and fold up really small and are so easy to stash in my bags. I love that they are washing machine friendly so I can toss them in the wash once in while!

Silicone baking mats

With silicone baking mats, there’s no need to spray your cooking sheets or use parchment paper. That means you could possibly eliminate two grocery items from your list saving you a bundle in the long term.

Silicone baking mats are really easy to clean and hardly take up any space in your cupboards.

Mason jars

Open up the cupboards or even your fridge and you’re bound to find some sort of glass jar! Wash and reuse the glass jars that you find for so many things. I use mine for storing dried beans/lentils/rice, freezing broth, holding makeup brushes and so much more.

Mason jars are fairly inexpensive to buy if you want matching jars. Scour the garage sales too!

Reusable Sandwich Bags

This is a new purchase for us and I’m loving it! I used to wash our plastic sandwich a few times before tossing them, but I’m liking this alternative way better.

These reusable storage bags are freezer friendly, leak-proof, come in various sizes and clean easily.

Travel Mugs

These are a must-have in our family! Every morning, instead of hitting the drive thru, my husband makes a travel mug full of coffee for his morning at work. Saves a ton of coffee money over the long run! I’ll bring mine along when I’ve got a bunch of errands to do. But even if you do go to a coffee shop or something, many places offer a small discount if you bring your own mug. (Starbucks, for example.)

Using these reusable household items is such a great way to begin moving towards a more eco-conscious way of living plus you’ll be saving a lot of money over the long haul!

I’d love to know what you would add to my list!

The Ultimate Frugal Okanagan Summer Activity Guide

This was such a big hit in past years, that I took the time to update it with this year’s dates!  Hope you enjoy 🙂

Are you living in the Okanagan or planning on taking a trip there this summer?  The Okanagan happens to be the place I call home, so I thought I’d create a guide full of fun, frugal activities that take place in the land of sun.  The goal is for this to be The Ultimate Frugal Okanagan Summer Activity Guide.  If you have an event or know of a really cool place to visit, let me know and I’ll add it to the list!

Farmer’s Markets:

Food & Wine:

The Okanagan is well know for its award winning wines and wineries.  Many of them offer free tours and wine tastings. See a huge list of Okanagan wineries, here.

Canada Day:

Arts:

Beaches:

U-Pick Fruit & Fruit Stands:

Sports:

Golf Courses

The Okanagan has many amazing golf courses to play!  Enjoy one round or make a vacation out of it!  See this list of Okanagan Golf Courses.

Hiking Trails:

Festivals, Fairs & Community Events:

Father’s Day Events:

Places of interest:

Vernon & Area:

Kelowna & Area:

Penticton & Area:

Okanagan Tourism Websites:

Looking for deals?

Groupon has a ton of local discounted restaurants, spas, things to do and more! Check it out for great savings on the things you want to do in the Okanagan.

Reader Question – What are Your Must-Haves in your Pantry?

Simply Frugal reader question

Here’s a question from Christine:

Here is what I would like to know: a friend of mine is trying to start a pantry or a stockpile so that she is not constantly out of everything and so that she can maybe save a bit of money.

What would you consider your must-haves in your pantry?  What staples do you always have on hand?

Do you have a question you would like to ask the readers of Simply Frugal?  Send your question along to us here.