Saturday, December 25, 2010

Top 3 Leftover Turkey Recipes

Now that the holiday banquets are over, you're probably wondering what you should do with all that leftover turkey. The monotony of eating the same turkey sandwich all week is enough to drive anyone to the brink of insanity. So I've scoured the web to find the top 3 quick and delicious recipes to make your leftover turkey go further. It'll be a nice way add some variety to your leftovers that your family will love and help you save lots on your grocery bill.

1) Leftover Turkey and Stuffing Casserole

2) Turkey Noodle Soup

3) Turkey and Artichoke Pizza

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Scanner Price Accuracy Code

I just recently learned about something called the "Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code" (SPAVC). That sounds like quite a mouthful, but it can lead to some pretty big savings. The way the SPAVC works is that if an item under $10 is scanned and the price that shows up at the till is not the price that matches the one on the shelf you get the item free! If the item is over $10 than you get $10 off the price of the item.

Some retailers will try to get away with just giving you the lower price of the two (the shelf price or till price), but you should request to have the item free of charge. This worked for me the other day at Valu-mart when I was purchasing some juice. The price on the shelf was $2.99, but when I got to the till it scanned in at $3.99. I asked the cashier about the price discrepancy, she then called a clerk to check the shelf price. I was indeed correct so I got the juice free!

This may not seem like huge savings but it adds up. According to a recent study, approximately 2% of items scanned are mispriced (Marketplace 2009). If you are spending about $500 a month on groceries this can amount to $360 is savings each year. Here is a short list of major stores in Canada that participate in the act:

Shoppers Drug Mart
A & P
Home Depot
Canadian Tire
Toys r Us
Wal Mart
Giant Tiger
Best Buy/Future Shop

Be sure to check out this CBC Marketplace video on the SPAVC:

Also check out this related article:

Here's a bonus video about getting free stuff online:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fire Your Investment Adviser!

This may be some radical advice, but I truly believe that your investments (retirement fund, child's education fund, new home account) are best left to the person who cares about them the most. That's you! When we let others handle our investments (i.e. Manulife, Sunlife, Investors Group, etc...) we believe that they know better. How could they not, with all their sophisticated certificates and fancy business cards. Well it is statistical fact that investment advisers on average have underperformed the market indices (Malkiel B., 1973). So why do we constantly fork over our hard earned dollars to somebody in a suit who has convinced us that they know better?

One main reason that we continue to seek out investment adviser services is that we are led to believe that we cannot handle the responsibility ourselves. There is a multi-billion dollar industry built on this mentality. The more complicated they make the investment world seem, the more likely it is we will have to seek their services. A great book written by Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad series, entitled Conspiracy of the Rich talks about how we are deliberately led to believe that we cannot handle our own investments so that the banking industry and other financial institutes can continue to reap large profits. For more information check out: conspiracy-of-rich.html.

When you are looking at investment vehicles be sure to ask about the Management Expense Ratio or MER. The MER is a % annual fee of the capital you invest that goes into the investment adviser's pocket. MER's typically range from 0.5% to 2%. Paying this fee does not garuntee positive growth of your investments. In fact, even if the markets take a tumble and your investments take a loss the investment adviser still gets paid. Although 2% may not seem like a lot of money over the long haul it adds up to big bucks and companies that offer portfolio management services know this.

My suggestion is to seek out the lowest MER's or even better learn how to handle your investments yourself. Low MER's can be found in the form of Index Funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). For more information on ETF's traded in Canada visit Claymore investments ( and iShare ( These types of investments offer some of the lowest MER's. Over the long term low MER's and funds that mirror the market index will outperform 70% of all actively traded funds (Bogle J., 2007).

Even better is to manage your investments yourself. After all nobody cares more than you do. Another plus is that although you may have a couple losses in your investment career you can use those losses to build on your investment knowledge and develop your own investment style. If you pay someone else to do it, they can lose your whole nest egg and what you're left with is an empty pocket and no new investment knowledge to help you get out of the hole. The only thing you may gain from that experience is not to trust investment advisers.

Investing is risky business. As you increase your investment knowledge and gain valuable experience the risk levels will decrease. One key to unlimited wealth and prosperity is literacy and a local library card (free-books-magazines-dvds-and-music-cds.html). There have been a plethora of literature about how to build and keep your wealth. That being said, it's important to focus on the best books, because a lot of rubbish has been published on the subject. I've included a short of good reads I've come across at the end of this article

Knowledge is the new wealth. You can only attain this knowledge through actively managing your own investments, not by paying someone else to do it. Vultures are waiting around every corner to put their hands in your pocket. You can handle your own investments and you can develop your own investment style. Why pay others to gain valuable investment experience and play roulette with your nest egg?

Here is a short clip about ETF's:

Great Personal Finance and Investing Books Worth Reading

Start Small by Fred DeLuca (entrepreneurship)

4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris (entrepreneurship)

The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton (personal finance)

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki (personal finance)

The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley & Danko (personal finance)

The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach ((personal finance)

The Warren Buffett Way by Robert Hagstrom (investing)


Bogle J.C. 2007. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey.

Malkiel B.G. 1973. Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, N.Y.