Wednesday, November 26, 2008


As an employee you are an asset not an expense.
Not only is this true for us, it is also true for people that we employ.

Now, remember the holiday season is upon us. Like you, everyone likes getting bonuses. Keep this in mind this time of year.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hair Cut

Today I cut my own hair for the first time in my life.
Quite an experience.
I'm actually thrilled that I did it myself.
Yay independence!!!

Do you HAVE to work?

I am surprised by the amount of people who like to question my family's financial status by the question "do you HAVE to work"? At times I am appalled. Other times I'm surprised. We live in a world where two incomes is the normality not the rarity. That is why I am surprised to hear these questions being asked of me.
Maybe people feel like it is no big deal to ask if I really have to work. Yet, for me I wonder what do they really mean? Do they mean: "hey are you just killing time working on your career before you have kids and drop it all?" Or do they mean: "hey, why should you work, clearly your husband works, is that not enough money for you two?", or is it possible that they are saying: "common, everyone knows that your work is silly, why don't you just give up and be a stay at home wife!?"
Well in any way that it is meant, I am totally shocked an appalled. Firstly, if I haven't told you otherwise, my household income is none of your business. Secondly, I, like you have obligations and clearly those include me working! Thirdly, why are you sticking your nose into my business!!! If I have shared with you that I am currently unemployed and looking for a job, then what I am sharing with you is that if you can help me out that would be great! If you can't, then hey know that we are available for Shabbat meals!
Its not that I am wishing hate upon people that are interested in helping me out, I'm just shocked an appalled at the level of intimacy that people are willing to go into. Of course I cannot respond with none of your business. Or, are you kidding me, are you really asking me this! I usually respond in a clear, level headed way "We are great till the unemployment runs out, then not so much". My husband on the other hand had a great idea, "why don't you just tell people that you wouldn't need to work if they would like to pick up the tab for our mortgage". Even though I do agree with him, I still think it's kind of rude to answer this way, though these people have no mind about how rude they are in digging into my life.
I am in shock that this is even a question in our day in age where most women I know work. Some work because they have to. Some work because they want to participate in the family finance and want some extra cash to kick in. Some work because of the combination of those two reasons. I am sure there are many, many more reasons why women and men for that matter work. Yet, I do not think that it is anyone's business which of these reasons is true for me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Saving money on Grocery Shopping

Is it possible that I like to save money, but that I like to do it with dignity!!!
Today I was in a produce store which everyone in our community claims is just so much cheaper than any other produce store. Well today I offer proof that it is not! Not only that, I feel that I have gone to a third world country and had to fight for food and then returned back to America.
It was truly an awful experience. I saw a man (one of the employees) with a razor blade cutting his nails by the bananas. Needles to say, we are not eating bananas this week! WHAT IS THAT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I was a little sick, thank g-d my friend was there and distracted me and told me its okay just keep going!
The service was less than expected of any store, let alone one located in North America. I had a box of chocolates that I bought thrown accidentally to the floor by the check out clerk. WHAT IS THAT! I was not so pleased.
Also, the quality of the produce is by far much worse than the 'other' produce store that people say is more expensive. In fact you really have to dig for what you want to buy.
In the end this store doesn't save you money at all.
You waste time trying to find something worth buying. You waste time trying to get anywhere because it is packed with people, with small aisles that are jammed packed.
In the end I saved no money at all. I spent exactly the amount that I usually spend in my favorite produce store. In my favorite produce store, it is always a positive experience. I can find good quality produce for decent prices. Not only that, but the workers are polite and diligent at their jobs, and none play with razor blades in public view!
Can you all guess where I'm not going to any time soon???

Monday, November 17, 2008

Instant Gratification

Coming from a generation of must have now, it is no wonder that I too as carefully as I try not to still fall into a cycle of Instant Gratification. Otherwise known as money wasting at its best!
When you want something quick and good you don’t want to wait for it. You don’t want to think about it, you just want it now. As children we were taught patients, as young adults that lesson is lost.
Yesterday falling under the MUST have it now category we went out for dinner. Was it a satisfying dinner? It was okay. The food was Okay, the service was okay, and it was marked with an okay feeling. Not one of hunger or desire or one of fullness and satisfaction it was just okay. For some people the price we paid for this feeling of blandness may not be that significant for others it might be overwhelming. For me it was a complete waste of money due in part to being an Instant gratification mongrel! I feel that I could have fed my family for a week on fruits and vegetables for what we paid for one meal. I feel that I have wasted! Maybe if the food was fantastic and the service incredible I would feel justified in spending money on it. But, since I’ve awoken with a feeling of guilt and started to speculate that truly it was not money well spent.
So, I embark on this new journey of not trying to be instantly gratified. I will try to make time for cooking, and preparing even more than what I do now. I will try not to run out of everything so that we have an excuse to go out. Most of all, I will try to learn the art of patience.

Friday, November 14, 2008


In keeping with my new resolve of healthy food/diet/exercises I have decided to make sushi for dinner. :) OKAY so its not the BEST food but its not awful, and I saved a ton making it from scratch on my own! At the local store sushi that I made would cost $8.99 for 16 pieces, my cost $1.80 for 16 pieces!
Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Food Prices vs. Dieting vs. Working out vs. Coupons

I have now been unemployed for one week and three days. During this time I have found that food prices are just ridiculous. What is more ridiculous is everything else that is introduced into our daily diet.
My trip to the local grocery store proved very entertaining today. The prices of Kosher meat and poultry are now even more expensive than they were three months ago. Yet, when I lean over to the non kosher meet section I see that their prices have increased marginally compared to ours. Of course this has something to do with Mr. Rubashkin’s plant closing down just a few months ago. Now that there is no competitive pricing it seems to be perfectly fine to charge $5.99/lb for Chollent meat that was just a few months ago $3.99/lb. Chollent meat is typically the worst cut of meat possible, next to the roast beef that is $6.99/lb seems absurd to even buy. So, let us move onto the chicken that was $1.99/lb and is now $2.99/lb. See where I am going here?
Let’s move down the “Kosher Aisle” which is always my favorite aisle in the store. There is approximately 75% candy in this aisle, 10% sauces, 15% actual food. Now, it ALWAYS bothers me that the largest part of the aisle is dedicated to things which should be COMPLETELY ELIMINATED from every day diet. That being said I do buy sweets. Not sure how much longer I will continue to buy them. A favorite snack costs $2.59 for 150 grams. Putting that in perspective, for one pound of candy it would cost $7.80. Now, why is it that there are two choices of chicken each being $2.99/lb which is a BARGAIN compared to the mass amount of variety that we have of candy which costs $7.80/lb. Is anybody working this out? These are not even the expensive candies, they are actually moderately priced!
My husband and I have had many disagreements on how much money we spend on food. I have tried to cut back but obviously I am not doing a good enough job, since we can’t seem to get our food bill down. Now, I am determined. I am determined to cut our food bill down in half. I think we can do it. The delicacies that we used to buy will now be eliminated. No more $6.99/250g for cheese, no more $2.59/150g for candy. It will all be focused on the essentials needed, and of course me cooking the food and baking the desserts. I am tired of watching my hard earned money get literally eaten away. I’m DONE!
Now, comes the bit about dieting. With all these new resolves you knew this one was coming. We are now dieting. Our diet is of course for our health. We are fat. We need to be slimmer and now that I am determined and driven by food prices I believe diet fits in perfect. No, it does not mean that we will be eating tofu for substitutions, because that cost $9.0/lb, that is no substitution. We will eat what is in budget, and good for our health.
Working out is a mandatory part of the saving money process. You may ask how? Well, a Jewish community center membership which entitles you to separate men’s and women’s work out rooms, a wonderful pool with separate swimming is $300/year which is $25/month for a family of two. So if you eliminate 5 bags of candy (150grams in each bag), you have paid for your membership and of course your health benefits.
One last little trick to saving money, just because you have a coupon does not mean that you need to use it. There are times when coupons are cut with the best of intentions. Yet, if you do not need the product which you are about to buy with a coupon, you have wasted not only your time in cutting out the coupon but your money in buying a useless product.
Think before you buy.

Awesome city!!!

Yesterday I had to go downtown to meet with a placement agency. I had so much fun!
My experience getting to the agency was so nice. I was holding a map and every time I stopped to look for street names there were at least two people asking me if they could help me find my way. SO NICE!
The agency was good too, I want to take pictures and post them next time. Its actually really fancy and for me its free to use their fancy facility.
Now, all I need is a job.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fitness & Health

What can I say, I'm back to it.
I like working out. I like spending time in nature. So, while the weather is nice I'm on my bike. Today I rode, 4 miles!!! Is that not great! The first half of my journey was nice and easy with the wind at my back pushing me along. Coming back though, was nice and hard. Still it was nice.
I recommend that everyone take advantage of this weather! As of Friday we are supposed to get snow. So enjoy...I am :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall Day

Just to let everyone know that cool stuff totally happens in big cities here are a few pictures of me out on a walk around my neighbourhood in a large urban city this is not a suburb!!!