7 Ways to Keep Warm Without Turning up the Heat

They are calling for snow this weekend in Southwestern Ontario. We have had quite a few cold days already. Over the years I have tried a few things to cut costs and save on our heating bill. A little background - our house is over 160 years old and I don't like to keep my house really warm I have my thermostat set to 19.5c/67f. Here are a few things that have helped my family keep our costs down over the years. 

Winterize your windows - I live in an old house and find some of our windows very drafty, two of them in particular right now it is not in our budget to replace them so we winterize them with plastic over the top of them to keep the cold out and the heat in our house. 

Clean your furnace filters - Keep clean filters in your furnace helps maintain the efficiency of the furnace. 

Use your fan - Switch the direction of your ceiling fan and put it on a low speed so it can push the hot air from the ceiling back down. 

Grab a blanket - We have a few comfy blankets we keep in our living area to snuggle under to keep warm on the cooler nights. 

Hot drinks - Are perfect for warming you from the inside out. Grab a coffee or cup of tea. 

Layer up - Keep a sweater handle and dress in layers so they can be added and removed as the temperature changes in the house. 

Let the sunshine in - As soon as the sun comes up for the day I open all the curtains so the sun can warm up our house and when it sets I close them to keep the warmth in the house. 

Let's Chat!

What are some things you do in the winter months to reduce heating costs?


Next to paying for rent or a mortgage one of the largest expenses for most households including our own is food. The rising costs of food have really got me thinking about our food budget.

Have you noticed that the sizes of products keep shrinking but the price either stays the same or keeps rising. I can not be the only one that is noticing this. 

I have found a few tricks the grocery stores seem to be doing to make us think that we are still getting our monies worth when really the size of the product is getting smaller and the price is staying the same. 

1. Is it really a CLEARANCE price?
Have you ever noticed how the larger quantity of items goes on sale and yet when you double check in the aisle you can clearly see if you purchase a few of the smaller size items and make them equal the larger one that buying more smaller ones is more economical then buying the larger on clearance. 

2. There is a SALE tag so it must be a good deal right? Not always so. It is important to check your prices when buying anything on sale. It is not always a good deal because it has a sale tag, we are just programmed to think that it is. 

3. When paying by the pound you need to double check the pricing and the weight of the item. I do notice that a lot of places have pay by weight but yet they have no scale in site for you to double check how much you will be paying. Always ask for them to let you know before you give up your hard earned money on the item. 

Remember it is your money and you should always double check the pricing of the items you are purchasing. Follow these tips and you would be tricked at the check out to pay more for your groceries.

Let's Chat!

What do you do to save on groceries?


EASY ENCHILADAS (Video Included) #WhatsCookingWednesday

This week I am making Easy Enchiladas for my family. When I grabbed my tried and true recipe for this dish I was reminded that I haven't made this in a long time! I am not sure why I haven't because it is a family favourite but I think it just got pushed to the side for a while. Once I placed dinner on the table my daughter requested I make it more often.

1 lb Ground Meat
1/2 Onion, diced
1/2 Pepper, diced 
1/4 cup water
1 envelope Taco Seasoning Mix
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup Sour Cream or Yogurt
1 cup Cheese, grated

12 Tortillas 

Preheat oven to 350*.

Brown Ground Meat, onion and peppers together in a fry pan.

Add water and taco seasoning to browned meat mixture.

In another bowl mix together soup, sour cream and cheese.

Assemble enchiladas by putting in meat mixture and some soup mixture into each tortilla. 

Roll tortillas and place into baking dish. 

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.    


What do you make when you feel burnt out?

Have Yourself a Frugal Little Christmas

Have yourself a frugal little Christmas and make your wallet smile! 

It is never too early or late to talk about Christmas. Planning your Christmas is just as important as planning your weekly menu. The more planning you put into it the more you can save. 

Having a frugal Christmas doesn't mean being cheap it means being wise with your spending choices. It is possible to have a frugal Christmas and also have tons of fun! Trust me we do it at our house and fun is something we definitely do have.

frugal christmas

The pressure from retailers and our children and family members can be overwhelming, to say the least. Everywhere we look there are sparkling lights and decorations galore. Even grocery stores become a treasure chest full of offers and sparkling wrapping paper and chocolates.

The problem is that if you really take a look at the offers they are not really bargains or good deals at all. The buy one get one, 1/2 price sale is only good if you need two of the same item otherwise you are draining your purse on something that is not needed. These offers are great if you have a large family but if you don't it isn't really a good deal.

My best advice to stick to your frugal Christmas is to stick to your budget. Also, a frugal Christmas can be fun because it takes away the taxing shopping away and puts a little creativity back into your life.

The Tree:

The most economical is an artificial tree but I know some people love buying and cutting their down their tree every year. For us, we use an artificial tree mainly due to allergies. Yep, I am allergic to Christmas trees, talk about humbug!

frugal christmas

The Decorations:

So many thrift stores sell Christmas decorations and you can find some real treasures this way. Also if you have small children there is no greater joy then seeing their faces light up when they have made some Christmas decorations and you have proudly displayed them on the Christmas tree. Let's face it even if you don't have small children we all love to colour and what is more fun then spending time together colouring to ornaments for your Christmas tree.

Talk a walk through a forest and grab some pinecones and either dry them out and use them or spray paint them various colours to makes your decor. Add a little glitter to them to help them sparkle up any decor.

A favourite ornament among children is dough ornaments or even cinnamon dough ornaments. As a matter of fact this year we were unpacking our Christmas decorations and we found two cinnamon dough ornaments that were over 20 years old and both still smell wonderful and are in great shape.

For any candles, you use just use plain ones and add a ribbon it really adds a finishing touch. And here is my placemat idea for Christmas. A few years ago I hosted a table at the church where we decorate for the adult Christmas banquet and I didn't have anything that matched so I went out and wrapping paper was on sale at Zellers and I am always on a budget. So I purchased some wrapping paper for $2 and that did 8 placemats for my table and it matched so nicely. I will hunt up the pictures I have of it.

Card & Wrapping tips:

One of my favourite things to do is to go to the local paper and buy the end of roll newsprint. They sell them really cheap. I use it as wrapping paper with some red and green yarn instead of ribbon. If newsprint is left over I just use it for my kids to draw on afterward. Or if you want to have even more fun get out the pants and stamps and let your children decorate the paper for you.

For cards, I recommend making them yourself or using a family picture and printing it and sending it out. I find most people just end up throwing out their cards. I know for my family I don't I keep them and scrapbook them every year.

frugal christmas


I know for me, I have entered contests online and ended up winning some amazing gifts for my family. So bonus all the way around. Also if budget is a problem you have to be very creative in what you do and can buy.

Making your own gifts from things around the house you already have. Bath bombs, Epsom salts for the tub, hand lotion, personal care items you name it. I watch the sales like crazy to get what I do get on sale and not to mention combine coupons too! Save, save, save!

I almost forgot we limit the number of gifts we give to people. We usually don't buy for the adults because well they really don't need anything and it is not in the budget. Secondly, each one of our children only gets 4 gifts, a want, need, something to read and something to wear.

Let's Chat!

How do you have a frugal Christmas? What way do you save at Christmas time?