Grocery Shopping: September 15th

It’s been a long time since I posted! Things have been really difficult lately. I thought I had overcome most of my grief, but it just keeps popping back up. This just underscores the fact that I must be good to myself and my future self by making wise financial choices and living sustainably.  With that in mind, here are the details of my monthly grocery shopping trip.

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Meal Prep: Week of September 3rd

I didn’t have to do any meal prep last week except for a few smoothies, and I still have lots of rice and lentils in my freezer for this week!

I’ve come back from a small camping trip and was feeling pretty lazy, but I did take some time on this long weekend to whip up some meals for the week. Here is what I made:

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Taking Advantage of Loyalty Points: An Example

Loyalty point programs exist to get you to spend more money than you would normally. We all know this, right?

However, every once and a while, the stars align and there is a truly great promotion on things you were going to buy anyhow. Today was that day for me, and I managed to get 24x the regular PC Optimum points on my purchase, resulting in collecting 36% of my pre-tax total in points.

I’d love to say this was the result of careful planning, but it was largely a coincidence.

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Anatomy of a deal: Commuter Car Share

Living in south Etobicoke for most of my life, I didn’t get my full drivers licence until my thirties. I simply never needed it, nor had the time, money, or access to a car that would allow it. I still don’t own a car. I do maintain a Zipcar membership, which allows me to have quick access to a variety of vehicles. It’s a luxury, but for me it’s worth it.

Recently, I received an email advertising their Commuter service, which promised unlimited use of a dedicated car between 5 am on Monday and 7 pm on Friday (including gas and insurance) for $249 plus $0.30 per km. I gotta say, with winter coming I was pretty tempted to consider it! This post will break down the deal and help me decide if it’s right for me.

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Financial Independence and Risk Aversion

Recently, I received a LinkedIn message from a recruiter. I’m at the 5-10 year point in my career and earned a vital professional designation within the last year. From my end, this makes it a great time to make a move to increase my salary and pick up new skills. From the employer’s perspective I’ve got valuable niche experience and am relatively inexpensive.

But, I had to say no. The subset of the industry the recruiter represented is very high risk/high reward, depending on a mix of government contracts and contractor performance. I could do an amazing job, but if the billable hours aren’t there, there is no work for me.

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Meal prep: Week of August 20th

This week I decided I really need to get more serious about eating healthy, nourishing food. My weight has increased and my athletic performance has dropped. I believe at least a part of that can be attributed to the sheer quantity of potato chips and ice cream I’ve been eating.

I’ve still got some breakfast sandwiches and quinoa/cabbage stir fry left over from previous weeks in my freezer, but I took advantage of some downtime this weekend to add to my ready-to-eat stash.

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Breakfast Sandwiches

I am not organized in the morning. I love grab-and-go options for breakfast, especially if I am being active, e.g. biking to work. This post is an example of how I put together breakfast sandwiches that I can throw into my bag and microwave at work.

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Grocery Shopping: August 11th

I set out with the intention of only doing one shopping trip in August. I might pop over to the green grocer if I need fresh fruit and veg, but I have a pretty well stocked freezer at this time.

I decided to get a Zipcar for the trip, both for the groceries and because I had a few packages waiting for me at the post office, including a cat tree. It was an indulgence for sure, coming in at a total of $29.63 for the 3 hours, after my monthly “pre-pay” of $10 was deducted. It did allow me to buy large items, but it needs to be considered when thinking about the total cost. Maybe next summer I’ll buy a cargo trailer for the bike. (more…)