Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cheapest way to pee on a stick.


Okay, so maybe there are CHEAPER (or free) ways to pee on any old stick, but I'm talking about the one that the average woman spends about $10 purchasing and waiting to see one line or two...yes, the good old pregnancy test!!

Many of my close girlfriends know that after too many months of thinking pregnancy was possibility and throwing money away to 'set my mind at ease', I began searching for a cheaper solution.
For my first pregnancy, I actually tested using ones I found on Ebay. I spent about $8 on 25 test strips. They were a little different that the ones you get from the store. They were TINY and you had to dip them into your pee...not too convenient. I actually ended up using all 25 within the first couple months of getting them because stupidly enough, took about 15 the first week I found out I was pregnant (I guess I had a hard time believing it to be true!). This is a good solution for anyone trying to get pregnant, if you are in a time crunch, you are still gonna run out to the store!

My second pregnancy I took a different route. I found pregnancy tests at DOLLARAMA!! At first I had the same doubts anyone would have which is 'they can't be accurate' but I was really shocked when after only being maybe a day late, I took one of their tests and it came up positive (I took 2 just to be sure) and it came up VERY dark, which means it's sensitivity levels were high. I found out later that they are the same sensitivity level as First Response. The only thing that is different between the Dollarama ones and the expensive instore brands, is that the Dollarama one is a small plastic stick enclosing the test, and it comes with a dropper (I like this idea, because most women don't use midstream tests properly. The dropper means you would get a more equal volume of the pregnancy hormone (HcG). So, all you need is a little dixie cup and you're set!!

So yes...this is a little taboo to be blogging about, but seriously, save the bucks....find out your pregnant (or not!) the frugal way!

P.S. Make sure you always look at your test within the guidelined time! If you look too early, the line may not have shown yet if you are very early in your pregnancy, or if you look too late, the test may show a FALSE positive by showing a faint line caused by evaporation on the test.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Puppy or Kitten? FREE STUFF!!


If you have a new puppy or kitten (or if you are willing to feed your dog/cat the puppy/kitten food) Purina has a great offer if you register online with them. They give you a 'puppy kit' or 'kitten kit' which includes the following:


PUPPY KIT:

-An in-depth care guide with straight-forward advice on puppy care
-Adorable puppy ID tag
-Coupon for a FREE bag of protein rich Purina® puppy food*
-Purina Pet Advisor contact information for quick and easy reference
-Health Chart to keep up-to-date with your puppy's growth


KITTEN KIT:

-An in-depth care guide with straight-forward advice on kitten care
-Adorable kitten ID tag
-Coupon for a FREE bag of protein rich Purina® kitten food*
-Purina Pet Advisor contact information for quick and easy reference
-Health Chart to keep up-to-date with your kitten's growth


Here's the link:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

'Tis the Season!

What season is that you ask? well...GARAGE SALE season! Decorating on a dime? this is a sure fire way to get a good start on your saving.

My tips to you:
-don't commit to just ONE garage sale (I used to do this)...map out a few...make a morning of it (Papaya & I have our little mother-daughters dates going)

-check your paper and http://www.kijiji.ca/ for your local garage sale listings (Kijiji actually allows you to plug in your address and shows you how close you are to each...in case you want to walk!)

-don't go in with expectations in mind for a specific item, you'll just end up disappointed...just keep an open mind to all items that catch your eye and keep others in mind as well.

-know your neighbourhoods, upper-end areas of town often have the best items for the lowest prices. They usually aren't looking to make money, just clear out storage!

-charity garage sale are often much larger (from the amount of donated items) and you won't go through as much 'should I or shouldn't I?'...it's for charity!!

-don't be closed minded to painting items. A jar of acrylic paint can go a long way! You can customize items that are lacking, chipped, or just the wrong colour for your decor...just like in real-estate...look at the BONES of the item!

These are just my own personal tips, I'm still pretty new at this garage sale thing. Besides helping at my parent's semi-annual ones, I wasn't much into them but in the past 2 years, I have seen the light. Some of my most treasured items are from garage sales.

The pictures are of my best two finds in the past couple of weeks. The lantern was $1, the large vase/bowl was 25cents (the candle was from a Zellers 25 cent sale, and the stones leftover from a previous craft, but valued around 50cents...for one dollar...a table centerpiece!).



So get out there! enjoy the beautiful spring weather, meet some new neighbours and brings some coin-age!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Make your own art!




One of my first big home decor blunders was art! I found it so expensive, and even with a cheap poster...you're looking at $20 for a frame etc. etc.
So one day I went to Michael's Arts & Craft store and picked up a 2 pack of art canvases (on sale for $7/per 2 pack...regular $12, but you can always use your weekly flyer's 40% off coupon!). I bought 4 acrylic paints ($1 each at either Michael's or Dollarama) and sat with my sister on my kichen floor and made my own art!
I used masking tape to tape off the canvases before painting and when it came off, it left a nice soft edging, but still a clean line. If you are not artistic like me, you can completely pull this off!

After this accomplishment, I decided to pick up 2 more and do some for my girl's bedrooms...this time using one basic colour for a background and placing a vinyl wall sticker in the middle and monogramed it with their name (handpainted) below in white. I got the wall stickers from a great website called http://www.vinylwallart.com/. Resonable prices, and cheap shipping!
My biggest project and my favourite one so far was is the image you see at the top of this blog! I went to Michael's with my 40% off coupon and picked up a LARGE canvas (I believe it's 24"x64") for around $20. I then went to Fabricland and beelined for the clearance section (of course!) and found this beautiful textured fabric. Lucky for me, Fabricland was have a 'buy one yard, get 2 free' sale and I got 3 yards worth of this beautiful fabric (when I only needed maybe 1 yard and a bit!). This fabric ended up being the point of inspiration for our livingroom's colour palate (which we were decorating since we didn't have a 'livingroom' in our last home. The fabric was stapled onto the wood framing of the canvas (by my dad) and it really turned out great!
TIP: if you don't always remember to cut out the weekly 40% off coupon from Michael's flyers, go to their website and join their email subscriptions to have them Emailed to you each week (just print and go as needed!)

Mini vacation on a small budget...



My hubby and I are going to be celebrating our 5th anniversary this summer. Typically, we vacation each year at a generous relative's condo in Florida, but this year...it just didn't seem to be very budget-friendly for us to travel (free condo is great, but add on a rental car and 7 days of eating...not to mention a flight...it adds up!).

So, one thing we realized is that since our honeymoon we have NEVER stayed in a hotel together. Oh, the luxury! haha. So I began my search for a great vacation spot. Being Canadian, going to the States is always a great time (Target-here we come!) so...as I always do, I began to google deals! Priceline was a great option..you can BID on your hotel price and win it as low as $35/night (so I've heard from friends)!
We were looking to stay at the Millenium Buffalo hotel, and when I was looking at dates of availability and pricing, I noticed the space commonly seen in the checkout of any website for a 'promo code', like any good googler would do...I googled any Millenium Buffalo promo codes...and found one!!

HERE'S THE DEAL:

For $110/night (US) you receive a $100 voucher for dining at the hotel restaurant, pub or room service! You receive a voucher for each night you stay.

They have a deal similar to this mentioned on the website, but it costs a bit more for the room ($150/night).

Here's the promo code to all that would be interested : ZOO

The deal seems to be only available in the months of May & June with some blackout days in there.

Remember that if you are looking for another deal, stay for 2 nights and take advantage of DUTY FREE on your way back!!

Ikea Hacker...pure genius!


This week I came across this fabulous blog/website called "Ikea Hacker". I've seen this before when googling different IKEA things, but always avoided it because of the word "Hacker" (spyware and viruses come to mind!), but after realizing what this site was...I was blown away. The blog gives you everyday ideas using Ikea furniture (and who hasn't grown out of a piece of Ikea furniture, thrown it out and bought something new?). The site allows you to post different projects of your own and read through the ideas of others. Loving it!

Here's the link:


The picture is of one of my favorite finds, of a simple drawer unit, covered in beautiful paper that completely takes the unit up a notch or two!! (and looks about $100 more!)

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