How to EARN money while you SHOP

How to EARN money while you SHOP

It's inevitable...even the frugal-est of people sometimes have to go on a shopping spree...but that doesn't mean that you can't do it smart.  If you've read my post about splurging for an Apple MacBook, then you'll know that I've found a way to get a big discount on my purchase.  What I didn't disclose in that post was that I also found another cost saving by signing up to Ebates Canada.

Is Ebates a scam you ask ? Really, this site seems too good to be true, but after reading through their website and have seen commercials on TV, they looked pretty legit.  Ebates is a "cash back shopping" and has been around since 1998.  They've only really started in Canada in 2012 and have international counterparts in the US, Korea, China and Russia.  If you're still skeptical, they have good reviews from highly regarded organizations like Cosmopolitan, Yahoo, CTV News ..etc.. If you're STILL not convinced, they have  Better Business Bureau rating of A+.

It's rare that there are any deals you can from Apple, but Ebates offer 1% cash back from Apple Canada... which is a lot when you consider how expensive Apple products are !

Here's what my cashback looked like from my last purchase:

Ebates Canada Apple

It really does work !!

Not buying from Apple ? Don't worry, they have tons of other well know brands you can shop from.

Ebates Canada Shop

It's true you can actually earn money while you shop ! So lesson of the day is just because you want to save money doesn't mean you can't buy anything just need to shop smarter!

Will you be using Ebates to shop smarter?

Grocery prices - what you need to know to stay on budget !

Product Review of Brooklyn Olde Lantern

Do you ever do your groceries based on what you want to eat ? I think most people do, but those impulse buys at the grocery stores might cost you if you're not careful and you stock up on "sales".  When we do our groceries we always have a reference price in our head to makes sure that we're in fact are buying something on "sale".  It doesn't happen very often, but some groceries might mark up their price and then slash it go make it seem like you are getting a big discount.

So how do you know or get a reference price to compare ?  I went to Google and found this list from Statistics Canada
Unit2015 PricePrice in Lbs
Round steak1 kg18.418.35
Sirloin steak1 kg21.289.65
Prime rib roast1 kg28.1612.77
Blade roast1 kg15.947.23
Stewing beef1 kg15.827.18
Ground beef, regular1 kg12.295.57
Pork chops1 kg12.935.86
Chicken1 kg7.413.36
Bacon500 g6.84
Wieners450 g4.37
Canned sockeye salmon213 g4.71
Homogenized milk1 l2.49
Partly skimmed milk1 l2.34
Butter454 g4.61
Processed cheese food slices250 g2.88
Evaporated milk385 ml1.81
Eggs1 dz3.28
Bread675 g2.83
Soda crackers450 g2.73
Macaroni500 g1.52
Flour2.5 kg5.12.31
Corn flakes675 g4.91
Apples1 kg3.731.69
Bananas1 kg1.670.76
Grapefruits1 kg2.731.24
Oranges1 kg3.26
Apple juice, canned1.36 l2.1
Orange juice, tetra-brick1 l4.19
Carrots1 kg1.880.85
Celery1 kg2.771.26
Mushrooms1 kg8.383.80
Onions1 kg1.770.80
Potatoes4.54 kg5.552.52
French fried potatoes, frozen1 kg2.721.23
Baked beans, canned398 ml1.34
Tomatoes, canned796 ml1.67
Tomato juice, canned1.36 l2.37
Ketchup1 l3.47
Sugar, white2 kg2.811.27
Coffee, roasted300 g6.41
Coffee, instant200 g6.74
Tea (bags)724.46
Cooking or salad oil1 l4.12
Soup, canned284 ml1.02
Baby food128 ml0.94
Peanut butter500 g3.57
Fruit flavoured crystals2.25 l1.74
Soft drinks, cola type2 l1.99
Soft drinks, lemon-lime type2 l1.9
Paper towels (rolls)22.59
Facial tissue2002.6
Bathroom tissue (rolls)42.6
Shampoo300 ml3.88
Deodorant60 g4.4
Toothpaste100 ml2.45

I hope you find this list helpful ! What other methods help you stay on budget?

How to make a Sous-Vide Cooker !

How to make a Sous-Vide Cooker !

Want to make a juicy steak?? without all the mess and the timing stress to get the perfect cook ?  Well, the handy-guy in the household found a way to make a cheap sous-vide cooker to cook our food - saves time and tastes great !

Here's a list of materials if you want to get started on this project:

Get 50% off or 2 for 1 when you eat out in Vancouver, BC !

Product Review of Brooklyn Olde Lantern

BiteBC Vancouver

Just found this awesome app that for all the people that eat out in Vancouver ! As a young working couple, we know how hard it is to cook sometimes..and then our solution would be eat out all the time..but that also takes a toll on our bank account - that's why we always look out for deals in the city, but sometimes they just end up being pub food.  With this app we are hopeful that it will help us find other affordable restaurants !

We got a chance to ask BiteBC a few questions :

What is BiteBC?

Bite BC is a diners members club in the form of a new mobile app that allows you to enjoy 50% discounts (or 2 for 1 meals) at restaurants in Vancouver – all year, an unlimited number of times.

What's the story behind it?

As a company, Bite BC’s mission is to not only help restaurant guests save money, but also to help support local restaurant businesses by encouraging people to dine out more and enjoy more of what Vancouver has to offer. It’s a win-win situation!

How does this save me money?

Here’s how it works: after downloading the Bite BC app, you instantly become part of a large-scale diners club that allows you to locate all participating restaurants and bars, all through the app. Within a matter of taps, you can then make a booking and enjoy delicious food for half the price.Unlike with coupon competitors, Bite BC can be used almost any day of the year, as many times as you want. If you’ve fallen in love with a meal or enjoy treating your friends, you can enjoy those discounts without an expiration date or rushed “one time only” kind of deal.

How much does it cost?

a 3 month trial is free after which you can choose to purchase a 6 month ($29) or 12 month ($49) membership

Download the App !

My trusted skin care products for sensitive skin

My trusted skin care products for sensitive skin

I have very sensitive skin and eczema, so when I choose skincare it’s always a hit or miss.  Sometimes it works great, and then it doesn’t work so well after a while.  After many years of trying moisturizers, here some that I find works best with my sensitive skin.



Clinique has always advertised as a brand that is gentle on skin and dermatologist tested.

I like how light these feel on my skin and are not as oily as some moisturizers might be.


Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel or Lotion

The gel version of this is a bit light for me sometimes, but when the weather is hot and I’m in a humid environment, it works great.  The lotion can be a bit oily, but I usually switch between the gel or lotion depending on how dry my skin is.


 Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

This has been my favourite lately.  Although it says overnight mask, I use it as my everyday face moisturizer.  It has thick enough texture that it feels really hydrating for my skin, but at the same time doesn’t leave a floating layer that some of the oilier moisturizer has.

estee lauder

 Estee lauder Advanced Multi-Protection Crème – Oil Free SPF 25

This crème is great for those really dry days when you need a moisturizer to last you a whole day.  I chose the Oil Free version because of my sensitive skin and my skin can’t handle too much oil.  Another great thing about this moisturizer is the SPF included…perfect for my lazy nature ;)


Clinique Liquid Facial Soap – Mild

This has to be the gentlest cleanser I’ve used so far.  Usually other cleansers leave my skin really dry after I use it.  But this one actually feels moisturizing and gentle on my skin.

 As you can see, most of my products are from Clinique.  It has been really good to my sensitive skin, and unlike other brands, it is reasonably cheap – comparable to drug store cleanser prices!

If you have sensitive skin like me, I hope these might help you choose your perfect moisturizer!

Featured on :

8 Phone apps to earn some cash !

There is an app for that ! Here are a few apps that can put some money in your pocket !

1) EasyShift

How it works:

Youíre asked to review Shift instructions and product specs, while collecting information in stores. With this redesign, the focus was to make that experience even more effortless. Everything from finding to completing Shifts needed to feel fluid, responsive, and easy to understand.

Earn cash anywhere.
Find quick jobs at local stores and shops.

Take photos of products, check prices, and review promotions. Itís as easy as shopping.

Earning potential: $3- $15
Payments will be made via PayPal and can be processed within 48 hours.

2) App Trailers

How it works:
Preview trailers about apps and earn points while youíre at it. Help the app makers improve their app trailers by sharing honest opinions about what they need to add to complete the trailer.

Earning potential: You get paid half a cent for each video you watch. For trying out a demo (of an app), you can get paid between 9 cents to a dollar. Joining via a friendís referral code may give you a head start of 50 points.

3) Iconzoomer

What to do: Take photos of what is asked in your assignment: your lunch, your drink, or the shoes you are wearing, and earn money for each snap. Share a comment about the snapshot (if you got a feedback you want the manufacturer the know, this is your chance), and thatís it.

Take photos of food and fashion products, send your photos in to the Icon Zoomer developers and designers, and earn PayPal cash for completing assignments.

Read more:

Earning Potential: Average Pay: $5+

4) Gigwalk

What You Do: Choose a gig or small errand around your town to complete.

Earning Potential: $10 to $15 an hour.

5) Shopkick

What You Do: Get "kicks" (points) just for walking into a store! You can trade those points in for rewards. Also, you can see which discounts are happening at any store you're in.

Earning Potential: $5+

6) TaskRabbit

What You Do: Choose between tons of random tasks, from moving furniture to taking photographs.

Earning Potential: $5 to $50

7) GymPact

What to do: Exercise at the gym and earn money. Once youíve made a week-long pact on GymPact, you get paid for every day you go, and you have to pay for every day you skip. Those who get to the gym to exercise get to claim their monies from those who didnít!

Earning Potential: Youíre getting $0.50 to $0.75 per workout which must lasts a minimum of 30 minutes. And you get to follow your exercise regime, and keep fit and healthy.

8) ESPN Streak For The Cash

What to do: Think you know your sports team? Then name your predictions for each game and make sure you get the longest winning streak of the month. To make it tougher, you have to make the call for 10 different sports and maintain your streak.

Earning Potential: The longest winning streak for a team or a player will win a monthly grand prize of $50,000.

Do you have any other apps that you use ? Comment below !

Swamped ? Here's my productivity solution

If you're starting your new blog, a new business or any project in general, you'll know how much time it takes to get things started. I'm currently trying to start my own consulting business and i've been so distracted by all the task i need to start doing !  If you've read  The 4 hour workweek then you'll know that it suggests getting a virtual assistant and outsourcing your work...well, that's exactly what i'm trying to achieve.  My first concerns are

  1. how do i choose a good reliable company?

  2. how can someone do my own work better than me ??

  3. do i really have the money to hire  a virtual assistant?

to answer those questions here's how I decided on getting help:

choosing a good company

i decided on using Fancy Hands because they charge by task where as other companies count by hours and each task is around $5, which is pretty affordable.  Another thing i like about this is they're based in the US, where as other VA companies might be based in India or Phlilppines and the lanuage barrier might be big and the quality of work might not be as good.

Can they do work as good as me ?

I realized that i have to let go of this thought if i need to get help.  Of course i'll always like doing my own work because i get to control the quality of my work, but when it comes to freeing up your time, you'd have to learn how to delegate.  What i realized too was that sometimes I don't do work as good as other people and one big this is that working with other people gives me new perspective which is really important.

Can I afford help ?

If you're starting a business one thing you'll have to learn is to use your resources.  When you can outsource your mundane repetitive work at maybe $10-$15 to someone else, it's worth it.  You won't get bogged down on the details and get to actually work and expand your business ideas.

Can you think of any start-up tips that would be useful? 

5 easy steps for a cleaner kitchen

A busy person’s cleaning hacks !

Let's face it...nobody likes cleaning...especially the kitchen!  It seems like it's always grab and go and the effort of cleaning the kitchen seems not be at the bottom of the priority list..I mean..I want FOOD not CLEANING !

Here are some quick cleaning tips that can help you clean faster the next time around:

Lemon Wedge your Sink and Taps

This is a simple way to get your sink to look shiny and brand new again, which will give you that wonderful feeling when you enter your kitchen every day. Something about a clean, shiny kitchen sink, just makes us feel better. Cut a lemon in half and rub the juice all over the metal. It cuts grease, disinfects and smells awesome!

Baking Soda and Vinegar

These two general household items you have in your cupboard will help you with a myriad of cleaning problems. Mix a paste of a half a cup of baking soda with a few teaspoons of water and apply it to your sink, your oven door, your stove, or in your refrigerator. Let the paste dry completely so that it really permeates the tough grease and dirt. Then spray with vinegar. Beware it will start sizzling! But this is exactly what you want, because that means that you don’t have to scrub for hours. Once the vinegar has done all the hard work for you, take a hard sponge or steel wool and scrub the remainder of the dirt. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth once clean.

Hot vs Cold Water

Washing dishes has to be the worst, most miserable, time consuming task in the kitchen, but you could be making the task so much more difficult by not understanding the difference between hot water and cold water for certain dishes. For caked on egg and milk that has been burnt into a pan, hot water will make it worse. These items are proteins and will become more resistant when in contact with heat. Use cold water for cleaning egg, milk, yoghurt, caked on cheese or any other protein based food item.

Bowl of Vinegar in the Microwave

For those annoying, hard splatters of food, the best way to clean it is to place a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar in the microwave for 5 minutes. It will loosen the grime and you can very easily wipe it off.

Cream of Tartar

This works wonders on stainless steel appliances. Make it into a paste and rub it on your toaster, kettle, or refrigerator door with a soft cloth to get rid of those grease splatters and dirty finger marks. Wipe it off again and you will have shiny, clean appliances.

We procrastinate when things aren’t easy, or when it seems like such a mission to do. So, all you have to do is find a way to make cleaning the kitchen simple.

Want to learn more time saving cleaning tips?

Get this ebook ! 

Why you should buy refurbished Apple products

I recently was searching for a MacBook Air and was discouraged by the fact that it was SO expensive !  I was really hoping to get one because I was finally tired of lugging around my heavy laptop around ( plus side was that it had a large screen!).  The battery was next to nothing and some keys on the keyboard was starting die on me.

So there I was at the Apple store gawking at the slim and battery efficient MacBook Airs, wondering where I can get the best deal from for getting an Apple product- since they're luxury products, they rarely go on sale.  I obviously considered buying second hand and looking on Craigslist and Ebay, but they're a hit or miss sometimes.  I need more reassurance if I'm going to fork out $1000 for my MacBook.

Then a thought came to me...

What about a refurbished Mac?

I then went on handy Google and searched.

And it was then that i was certain that I should definitely get a refurbished MacBook Air from the Apple store and here's why.

Apple has a really great refurbishment process and policy

The refurbished products come with a new outer shell, new battery, and the same one-year warranty that new hardware comes with. Pretty much a new MacBook, physically and performance wise

A huge saving

You would be able to get a MacBook Air 11" for $950 after taxes and shipping is always free !  That's around $300 of savings - which would be hard to find with Apple products.

Not happy with it ?

You still have the same 14 day return policy as if you are not satisfied with it.

Will you buy refurbished now?

5 signs you're an entrepreneur !

I'm currently amazed (and a bit obsessed !) by entrepreneurship so I did some reading.  These are some interesting things that I've picked up.  I think it's so interesting to see how entrepreneurs have a completely mindset compared to the rest of the people (apparently called "consumers" ).

Here are 5 signs that make you an entrepreneur:

1. You know your time is valuable

you outsource whenever you can and get other people to carry out mundane tasks for you.

2. You didn't just buy yourself a job

being an entrepreneur doesn't mean that you are working 24/7- you work smart but hard.  When you're spending all your time running the business you maybe be spreading yourself thin, with little to show for.

3. You are a big picture person

you are not bogged down by the details.  You know how to bring resources together to work for you.

4. You're not a nice person... least some of the time.  You can't be a push over if you want to achieve your goal.  You know your limits and know when to put your foot down.

5. You always think "what's in it for me ?"

you are always interested in your return on investment.  Even if you're running on Passion, you can only do so much based on that.  If you don't start making any return on investment, your business will be a flop.

 What do you think? Do you have any other characteristics you can think of ?