Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stocking up your pantry for Christmas

Only 29 more shopping days 'til Christmas. Christmas at my home this year is going to be a tight one financially, but that does not mean it is going to be a bad one. My lights are up outside my home to get me into the festivities. Inside, I am checking my pantry, my fridge and my freezer to see what I have, what I need and what I want. I am making a list (and yes, checking it twice) to make sure nothing is left off. With each pay, I try to buy at least 5 to 10 items I know I will need to either make Christmas dinner, appetizers to offer guests or snacks around the house for my family. I try to stock my pantry now and save meats for closer to the day, as this is usually the time meats (turkey, ham and chicken) go on sale. Since I don't have a deep freezer, space in my fridge freezer is limited. Before I go grocery shopping, I add to my original list, items I need for Christmas. These items I know I will not be using immediately. As I buy these products, I cross them off my list. This way, I know what I have and what I still need.

Meal planning is important during the holidays, that way you know what you need to buy and what you can avoid. Plan out breakfasts, snacktime, dinners and what to serve guests when they drop buy. Don't forget drinks and desserts. Christmastime is also a time to treat yourself, so if there is something at the grocery store you have had your eye on all year to try, this is the time to do so. You deserve it.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Stork Craft Crib Recall

More than 2.1 million Canadian-made drop-side cribs are being recalled following reports of four infant suffocations. The cribs were made by Stork Craft Manufacturing of British Columbia. The cribs were sold in the U.S. and in Canada and include those sold under the Fisher-Price brand.

Calling the company may prove unsuccessful (as their lines are continually busy) and they suggest emailing with the following information, all of which can be found on the bottom right corner of the mattress baseboard:
-model number of the crib

-date of manufacture
-country of manufacture

Stork Craft is requesting parents include complete shipping information in order to receive a free repair kit that will modify the cribs so the sides are fixed.(Courtesy of

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Making money of H1N1

You cannot go anywhere these days, turn on the TV, the radio or internet without hearing or seeing something about H1N1 or swine flu. It seems to be the topic du jour. This post is not about how to cure swine flu or how to prevent catching it, it is however on how to not be ripped off by all the institutions and people that want to profit off of this pandemic.

In Canada, thousands have lined up in malls and civic centres day after day to receive vaccinations. Most have lined up for 3 hours or more. Imagine being in a shopping mall with small children. They would at some point get hungry or bored. This would be a perfect opportunity for parents to get food or a toy to keep their child(ren) occupied. In this case, food courts and various stores will profit.

The obvious, are the pharmaceutical companies that are making billions off the vaccines and seeing an increase in their stock values. Then there are the others, like pharmacies that are seeing the sales of surgical masks go up (companies that produce surgical masks are turning profits), an increase in the sale of vitamins and cold and flu remedies. Health food stores that have a seen a rise in sales, as everyone is trying their best to prevent contracting swine flu. Hand-sanitizers are flying off the shelves, therefore producing profits for the manufacturers. In addition, companies that produce "anti-bacterial" anything are sure to see increase in sales.

It seems, if marketed correctly, anyone can make money off swine flu. As sad as it is, there are those that will try their hardest to capitalize off others' fears about this pandemic. As consumers, at a time like this, it is very easy to have fear drive our decisions. Although the intention is right, the motivation (fear) behind our decisions may not be. Fear is not a justifiable reason, because it only leads to panic and bad decision-making. Bad decisions always end up hurting us in our pocketbooks. In dealing with this event, one needs to take their time, assess and reassess, ask questions and most importantly, be logical. Do not be hasty to shell out your hard earned money on frivolous, dubious, unproven "stuff", because there are those out there who will be trying and waiting to get you to do just that. Good Luck!

Happy Shopping!!
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