Monday, August 31, 2009

Free stuff for New Moms

It can be very overwhelming for a new mother or a mom-to-be. Fortunately, there are companies that realize this and want to help. With freebies such as bags, formula, coupons, literature and advice, these goodies make the transition to motherhood a little bit smoother.

Below is a list for new moms or moms-to-be to receive free stuff for themselves and their babies. (If you know of any others, please send me an email and I will add them to the list. Your sharing will be greatly appreciated.)

Nestlé Baby

Similac Welcome Addition Club




Heinz Baby Club

Happy Shopping!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Building consumer loyalty through rewards programs

Rewards programs is a marketing tool businesses employ to build customer loyalty. Programs such as Optimum at Shoppers Drug Mart, Air Miles, Aeroplan, Cineplex Odeon's Scene, and Petro Canada's Petro-Points are all designed to get you, the consumer shopping at specific locations.

Rewards vary from one program to another. Air Miles offers free flights along with gift cards, gift certificates and merchandise. With enough points collected, Optimum offers money off of purchases at Shoppers Drug Mart. Petro-Points offers merchandise, savings on fuel and discounts on your CAA membership, Scene offers free movies, free concessions and free iTunes.

Reality is you can't join every program, however by being passionate about a few, avid collectors have travelled and received merchandise they wouldn't normally obtain for themselves. In the last year, I have received groceries, clothes, movie nights out, money off purchases, discounted fuel and car washes, all without taking out a penny.

When businesses realize they are building loyalty, they are apt to giving customers better service and selection. In the end, both retailers and consumers win.

Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Avoid being the victim of online identity theft

Identity theft is a major problem. You or someone you know has probably been a victim of fraud. Unless people are denied credit or perhaps receive a bill, most people do not realize that they have been victimized. If you have ever bought anything online or have joined any type of 'group' online where you have had to give your name, date of birth and where you are from, fraudsters can pick up information and gain access to your Social Insurance Number(SIN), address, bank accounts and credit cards.
Identity theft is almost impossible to prevent, as the people who commit it are always thinking ahead, but there are things you can do to minimize your chances of becoming a victim.


Avoid using your real name whenever joining online sites.

Avoid giving your real birthdate on online sites. If it is a public site such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., make sure the option is there to not broadcast it on your profile page.

Only shop from reputable online vendors such as Amazon or Ebay with secure payment options like PayPal.

Keep your credit report up to date. Contact credit report companies and ensure that your information is accurate. If you see any discrepancies, contact the company right away.
Equifax, TransUnion and Experian

If you have been victimized, call the company and explain the situation.
Call your local police and report the crime to

More information on how to prevent being a victim of fraud.

Happy Shopping

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Customer is King??

Today, I probably had one of the worst customer service experiences imaginable.

I approached an ice cream truck to buy ice-cream for myself and my children. I gave my order, which included a dipped cone, to the saleslady. I watched her do a poor job of filling my cone, almost drop it and then attempt to 'dip' it in the chocolate coating, which in turn was done even more carelessly. When she handed it to me, I could not contain my shock and disgust and politely requested that she prepare another cone. She responded by telling me, she would not give me another one. I then withdrew my order for the ice-cream altogether. This incredibly rude and belligerent woman snatched the ice-cream from me and called me a fool as I walked away. I asked her what she said and an argument ensued, in which I told her that she had no customer service skills and should be ashamed of herself for conducting herself in the manner in which she was doing. I also told her I would be contacting her company and filing a complaint.

This is just another example of the incredulously poor customer service that seems to be a part of the Canadian business landscape. Unfortunately, customer service does not appear to be of much importance to these companies. For them, it's about the bottom line. Make money and don't worry about how the customer is treated.

My husband, in an interview (with a manager at a very popular and well established Canadian department store-the oldest corporation in the world) was asked what he thought was the most important element to make one a successful sales associate. He responded that he thought it was having good customer service. The manager responded by laughing and then proceeded to tell him that 'they' were not in the business of providing customer service and that 'they' don't care about customer service. He continued to say that the most important element of the job (in order to be a successful sales associate) is making the sales, making the money.

The old adage, 'the customer is always right' should hold true to businesses. When the bottom line is all companies are after, in the end, it's not only the consumer that loses out, it's the companies as well. I will not be buying ice-cream from the ice-cream truck again.

Happy Shopping!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Car Insurance

Car insurance varies across the country. For some provinces, the government is in the business of selling insurance, while in other provinces, the government will not touch it. We all want the best insurance rates and the best way to get that is to go through an insurance broker. They will do the shopping around for you. If you choose to find your own, remember when dealing with insurance companies, it is best to do your homework first before calling them.

Get a copy of your driver's abstract. Have a clear idea of what is on it, tickets, points, suspensions, etc.

Clear up any discrepancies. If an infraction was to have dropped off and it hasn't, inquire as to why and how you can have it cleared.

Get a copy of your auto claims history report from CGI

If you are not using a broker, shop around. There are many of insurance companies out there, be sure you do your homework to get the best rate.

The law requires that all drivers in Canada must have car insurance and the basic policy and minimum coverage levels are set by the government in each province. This means that by and large, in each province the terms of the insurance policy you receive from one insurance company to the next are virtually identical. However, the rates charged for a given car and driver can actually vary by hundreds and even thousands of dollars between insurance companies. (courtesy of

For more information on car insurance regulation and requirements in Canada, visit

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Store Brand vs. Name Brand

You walk down the aisle of your favourite grocery store, you stop for your usual brand of apple juice, cereal, oatmeal, crackers and countless other items. Beside your trusty name brand is the store brand. The packaging is just as nice, the amount of food in the box or can is the same, do you dare trust the store brand?

Most shoppers would probably say they would stick to their brand name. Citing excuses such as the store brand is not as tasty, quality ingredients are not used, etc. Like most things these days, there are many generic brands of products we use everyday to be found at the grocery store. I have not been taken in by the fancy packaging of brand name manufacturers and have opted for the store brands of some of my favourite products. The results were as comparable or even better. The truth is, some of the companies that manufacture the brand names also produce the store brands.

On your next shopping trip, try the store brand, it just might surprise you.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Home Upgrades

Buying a new home is very exciting. The thrill of owning your own space, not having to worry about living in someone else's dwelling and not to mention the investment factor. Paying down on a mortgage means more equity in your home and hopefully more money in your pocket one day. But back to the buying process and namely upgrades.

Upgrades in a new home are those things that make your house a home. Those "luxury" items you don't think you can live without in your new home. There are hundreds of upgrades available for new homes, everything from soaker tubs, ensuites, pot lights, fireplaces, different types of flooring, cabinets, knobs, skylights, etc. Although these items help in making your new home look like the model home you've dreamed of, they come at a price. A very high price if you are not careful. It is not unusual for new homeowners to spend in the upwards of $20,000 to $50,000 and more for upgrades. This is fine...if you have the money. The problem with buying upgrades from the builder is that most are of a substandard quality. New homeowners should realize, with time and patience, they can buy upgrades for their homes on their own at a better price and receive better quality. It might take a little bit longer, as most people are short on cash after moving into a new house, but well worth it.
New homeowners should be wary of spending money on an investment they will not see a return on. Spend your money on items that will appreciate your home and you would have spent your money wisely.

Happy Shopping!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Loblaws slashing prices

There is a price war brewing in Canada between grocery stores. Loblaws issued a statement saying that they were slashing the prices of over 3000 items in their stores because of declining sales. Sobeys and Metro have not announced any price cuts....yet. It might just be a matter of time before we see their prices go down as well. Read more below.

Globe and Mail

Friday, August 7, 2009

Comparing Diapers

Having had my third child in less than five years, I think I am a little bit of an authority on diapers. When I had my son, I was intent on using brand names, after all, they are the ones you see on commercials, they have the snazzy websites and send you all those free coupons when you sign up with them online. I became a Pampers girl. By the time my daughter came along two years later, I had switched to Huggies. Not because I loved them or their performance, but because some friends had given us 2 boxes of what they had left over. Being on maternity leave and being low on cash sometimes, I would opt for the store brand diapers. Parents Choice at WalMart, Presidents Choice Teddy's brand and Comfort Fit from Shoppers Drug Mart. To my amazement these diapers performed just as well, if not better than the brand name stuff. I found they came in the assorted sizes like the brand names, they were just as absorbent with little leakage, they had no strong odours, they had pictures of popular childrens' characters and the best part was that the price was a fraction of what the brand names were charging. By buying the store brands, I was saving an average of $5 per case.

If you go through as many diapers in your house as I do, that's a pretty significant savings. The only time I buy brand name now is when I have a coupon and they are on sale. If not, I am more than happy treating my wallet to a break and buying store brand.

For those hooked on brand names, I have attached some links to get coupons.



I would love your reponses on your experience with store brand diapers. Email me.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Safety 1st Air Protect™

As any parent knows, the strength of your child's carseat is very important. Unfortunately, many parents do not find out the the strength of a carseat until an accident occurs. Safety 1st has come out with a new carseat with Air Protect™ Technology. It's primary focus is head protection of your child to avoid injuries or fatalities.

Air Protect™ Technology has been designed to defend against the biggest threat to children on the road today; side impact collisions. Side impact are by far the deadliest type of collision for children, accounting for one in three child fatalities; nearly all of which are caused by head trauma. (courtesy of:

To find out more about this new technology and carseat, click on the link below:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The web is a great place to find freebies, from coupons to free products, there are hundreds of websites giving things away. With some you have to register and others just require you putting in your mailing information. Below, I've compiled a list of some of the great sites you can visit to get some free stuff. If you know of any other sites and want it to be added, feel free to send me an email.


Canadian Free


Red Flag Deals

Free Stuff Hot Deals


I Love




Btemplates (templates for blogger)







Happy Shopping!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dollar Store Shopping Spree

If you do not have a "dollar store" near where you live or don't know what they are then you must live on the moon. Even then, I think there might be 2. Whether it be Dollarama, Everything for A Dollar Store (EFADS), Buck or Two or a mom 'n' pop shop, these stores are everywhere, with their lure of $1 or 2for$1 items. In February 2009, Dollarama went from being a dollar store to now a $1.25 and $1.50 store. I didn't know if I could go back, for fear I wouldn't be able to afford anything. No fear, I didn't notice a difference. I find these stores great for a host of products, whether it be dishwashing gloves, birthday cards, party supplies, wrapping paper, hair accessories or activity books for my children. Heck, I have even bought tights and socks. I really like these stores for their convenience however, I am selective about what I buy from there. I never buy baby products, grocery items (except for chips and pop) and I try to stay away from small toys because of possible choking hazards or lead content. I will however buy bigger toys that I know will not go into my children's mouths. Walking into a dollar store with $10, now there's a shopping spree. Zipping through the aisles collecting one item after another. It's nice to know that in these "tough economic times", there is still somewhere a $1, or excuse me, $1.25 can be spent.

Happy Shopping!!
Related Posts with Thumbnails