Ingredients

Money saving products are the focus of the Ingredients section. They can help serve up a tastier financial future. Some make a big difference. Others are just easy hacks. They don’t get added unless they are reputable and tested. We don’t accept payment to list offerings, but we may get a referral fee if you check out or buy these products and services. Web sites are usually to the company, but shop around to get them at the best price.

Housing

Nest thermostat – great investment. Set it to reduce heating at night or while you are away. Same idea for AC in the summer. Pays for itself in a year and helps keep the planet green. Forget to turn down the heat on vacation? Control it from anywhere with wifi. Brilliant.

The Monitoring Center – Same monitoring service as the big guys, just a lot cheaper. I switched from my original provider and saved $25 a month. Took a ten minute phone call. And I can tell you from a couple of false alarms, that they really are connected to the police.

Phillips LED bulbs – These bulbs just keep getting cheaper and better. Hit up your local Home Depot for a multi-pack. Get the warm white ones for most of your home and the cool white ones for the garage and laundry room. As a minimum replace the 12 most-used bulbs in your house. They even have ones for chandeliers and bathroom vanity. And no, the light isn’t weird and they don’t flicker or contain mercury. Simplest way to slash electricity bills.

Transportation

Esso Speedpass – Love this. Take 10 minutes, go to the site and get an account. Order speedpasses for you and your family members, connect them to your points credit card and start collecting. Pay faster and use the points to eliminate paying for carwashes. Forever

Food & Drink

Nordic Ware Microwave Popcorn Popper  – This thing is brilliant. Make popcorn for a fraction of the cost of individually packed microwave popcorn. Use regular popping corn. Less fat, less packaging. Awesome.

Household

Taconic Shaving Soap – Lasts forever, available in great scents (like Bay Rum), natural ingredients. No aerosol cans, nothing to waste. Works with cartridge razors but even better with old-school safety razors.

Astra Platinum Double Edged Safety Razor Blades – OK a little trickier than using cartridge blades, but at about 1/30th the cost, they are worth a try. Get yourself a nice safety razor, brush and stand on Amazon or Etsy and enjoy an old-school shave with hot lather for a fraction of the cost of cartridge blades

Razorpit – Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? Razorpit is a little gizmo that can sharpen and refresh your cartridge razor blades. Pays for itself in about 5 weeks. Takes a bite out of those drug store bills and saves all of those blades going to landfill. Win win.

Zenni – Great way to buy eyeglasses. Get the specs (sorry about that) of your prescription from an eye doctor and enter them online. Pick the frames you like and your glasses get shipped right to your house. A fraction of the cost of an eyeglass store. Warby Parker is another option.

Consumer Reports Online – Wouldn’t it be great if you only ever bought the best products and services and never got stuck with a lemon? That’s the whole idea of Consumer Reports Online – look up just the category you are about to buy. At $25/year it is an incredible bargain. But don’t tell them that!

My Campus GPS Scholarship Coursean online course for high school students and their parents, with step-by-step instructions on how to write winning scholarship applications for university.  The only program of its kind in Canada, it makes writing scholarship applications faster and easier. Lots of other helpful information at the site here.

Lifestyle

Cutcord is a Canadian site with detailed instructions on how best to save on cable TV. Helps you find what stations you can get, which antennas are best and what other content options exist.

Disablemycable is a US site with great instructions on how to save on TV cable. Similar to cutcord above, but with a focus on US solutions.

Shipllama is fantastic service that lets Canadians shop on US web sites that don’t ship to Canada. Sign up for an account and you get a US shipping address that you use when buying things. They handle duty, shipping and the whole bit. Great service.

Indochino is my new favourite way to buy suits, shirts, pants and sports jackets. Get measured up once and the rest of your buying can happen from your phone or laptop. Clothes arrive to your door in a box straight from China. Awesome fit and super-convenient

Financial

Canadian Couch Potato is a great website that is a primer on low cost investing and how to use Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) to simplify your investments. A great place to start if you are making the move to DIY investing. His Couch Potato approach is an easy, hands off methodology.

Knightsbridge provides low cost foreign exchange conversion. Changing money at the airport is very expensive, banks are better, but Knightsbridge is the best I have found.

The Answer Is – a great site by David Jenkins to teach millennials and others about investing. Absolutely free and packed with useful information to learn about ETFs, investing and how to get started.

Canadian Couch Potato – useful site by Dan Bortolotti that outlines how to build a portfolio with just a handful of Exchange Traded Funds and some light annual maintenance.

Learn More

The best money saving products are the ones that teach you more about how to manage and grow your money. Here are some books, blogs and websites that are worth your while.

Rich Dad Poor Dad – great book to start learning about wealth vs consumption. Robert Kiyosaki profiles 2 hypothetical families to really learn about wealth. Worth the read.

Mr. Money Moustache – great money blog. Take an afternoon and blitz through his postings. Lots are a bit extreme, like how to bring home large appliances on your bike, but he gets you in the right headspace. Great, irreverent writing style. Love it.

The Richest Man in Babylon – a personal finance classic. George Clason lays down a great foundation in this 1926 classic on the value of saving and the fundamental approaches to financial independence. Great place to start your personal finance journey. Looks like it is $0.88 to download it as a kindle book on Amazon. A must do.

Single Best Investment – a primer on dividend stock investing. Lowell Miller lays it out there: why dividend investing makes sense, how to build a great portfolio, how to use dividend investing to accelerate growth. Excellent book that is a must read for DIY investors.

Wealthing Like Rabbits – witty personal finance book aimed at millennials, but useful for all of us. Lots of  analogies that help with mind shifts on things like compound interest, debts, housing and a great potpourri section at the end. First personal finance book I’d buy for a millennial. OK, maybe the second ;-).

What Else?

Money saving products are a great place to start. To make your financial future even tastier, be sure to check out our blog and get the full financial buffet in the Cashflow Cookbook.

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash