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Retail at Yonge and Eglinton

My neighbourhood – Yonge and Eglinton – is an odd area for retail. Quirky stores open, assuming that the residents would love to spend their money buying ric rac baskets and silver-painted fawns. [Read more…]

Consign Toronto pop-up shopping this weekend


I’m a big fan of consignment stores as you can see from this article, this article and this blog post. Now that I think about it, a lot of my wardrobe comes from consignment stores, sample sales and Winners. I’ve also sold my clothes in consignment stores – the most recent a sparkly dress that just didn’t suit me. I’m not the only one who thinks this way according to this Forbes article.

So when a friend mentioned that he was holding a pop-up this weekend, I decided to mention it on my blog. Dag owns Consign Toronto (hey, small business owner!) and his pop-up store is this weekend in Yorkville at the Black Box Boutique, located at 106 Yorkville Avenue on the second floor.

Of course, buy if you need it and don’t have to use the credit card.

December 12 is Free Shipping Day in Canada

If you’re going to do some online shopping, try to do it on December 12. That’s Free Shipping Day in Canada. More than 150 retailers will offer free shipping.  [Read more…]

How to have the no-gifts talk

Christmas shopping can be expensive and let’s be honest, most of us don’t stay on budget. I try my hardest but I slip, trust me. So what do you do if you don’t want to give gifts for whatever reason that works for you?

I wrote this last year for AOL and considering shopping has ramped up, thought it would be perfect to revisit. [Read more…]

Ebates comes to Canada

The Canadian retail space isn’t very competitive. We can’t stack coupons, the sales aren’t as deep as the United States, there isn’t the variety and the only money-back option is to fill out a rebate form, mail it and hope to get a cheque within the next eight weeks, if you’re lucky.

Ebates Canada hopes to change all of that by addressing most, if not, all of these roadblocks to shopping online and adding a few incentives such as coupons and cash back – no rebates. [Read more…]

New Contract and Some Advanced Planning

Menu planning on my fridge

This week I start a four-month editing contract. Nothing out of the ordinary but this time my client wants me in the office. That means I’ve got to do some planning so I don’t fall off the wagon and end up buying lunch every day.

That gets expensive. I’m going to average $10 for lunch with a drink. Factor in coffee, say, $2 (rounded up) for a large Tim Hortons coffee or $4 for a tall coffee at Starbucks, maybe $1.50 for the mid-afternoon vending machine snack and the day’s spending is anywhere from $13.50 to $15.50.

Multiplied by five and that’s $67.50 to $77.50 a week. If I multiply that by 16 weeks, that’s $1,080 to $1,240 spent (maximum).

I could buy with that money:

A plane ticket to somewhere

Hardwood for one of the rooms in my home

Stocks, bonds, RRSPs etc.

Clothes, shoes, accessories

Two iPads or a nice camera with money left over

A lot of groceries

I’m writing this down so I can see the numbers, not just have them float around in my mind where I can ignore or justify them. Seeing that four-figure number makes it plain that I’m going to have to do some grocery shopping and some meal planning. I know myself. If I don’t plan this out now and come up with enough creative meals, I will get bored and lazy and end up buying my lunch and multiple coffees.

I’d prefer to have the money to spend on a plane ticket.


Where I Confess to Shopping But It was Planned

See that picture? That picture is of my feet on the Toronto Transit Commission’s subway at 1:00 a.m. I had just finished saying goodnight to my friend Gail McInnes. We met up for coffee then went to an event.

That’s not important. What’s important is what those self-satisfied feet represent. I spent money that day. I bought clothing, drinks and a meal.

Contradictory, you say? Well, yes and no. I said I was cutting back on spending but in a realistic manner. That means budgeting and sticking to it. I made a budget at the beginning of the month and knowing myself, knew it would be difficult to give up shopping entirely. Once I figured out how much I was going to save, my household budget and bill payments, then I calculated how much I could spend shopping.

It’s not a lot. With my goals for this year, I didn’t give myself a lot of leeway for shopping or entertainment but I knew I had to put something in there or I will end up writing whiny posts like this one. Just like fitness experts advise that you have one cheat day a week where you can splurge on junk food, I built in one day where I can shop but only up to a limit – and it’s a very low limit. It’s like a little release valve, you open it to release a bit of pressure so you don’t suffer from a catastrophic implosion.

It’s all about being realistic and knowing yourself. If you can go cold turkey, I fully respect you. Personally, I need to slowly cut back because going cold turkey guarantees disaster. Next month’s budget will have a smaller shopping budget and I plan on getting rid of a few items in my closet. I’m thinking of going the consignment route.

I got a top if you were wondering. It was on sale.