Sunday, February 20, 2011

Let Somone Else do Your Work for You!

I have found it really time consuming to go through the grocery fliers every week trying to identify good deals. In some cases I recognize the good deals right away, but I still struggle with knowing the base price of most products. This causes me to walk around stores for hours trying to establish baselines and find deals. That is why I almost sobbed in happiness when I found a blog where an expert goes through the Ottawa grocery fliers and picks out the good deals!  Hallelujah! This week I picked up their gold pick, which is a bag of frozen jumbo raw zipper back tiger shrimp for $5 off. They were SOOOO good that we went back and picked up another bag. That's $5 for the project and $5 for the real me.  I am so glad I found this blog.  Now I can spend more time buying the deals and less time trying to find them. This is a lesson I can try to bring with me into my future endeavors - Look for cases where others have already done the work for you.  No point trying to invent the wheel.  You might miss a deal or two, but you'll find many more deals than you would have if you tried to do it yourself. Hopefully the project will pick up in the next month with this in my arsenal.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Collecting Data

I'm really having trouble finding grocery savings that meet the 1% threshold rule, especially since I have to split half of the savings with the 'real world me'. I have realised that part of the problem is that even though I have been trying to save for a while, there are many items in the weekly flyers that I still don't know what the normal cost would be so it's difficult to spot the deals. So it's time to do something more drastic. Last Friday I walked through the local grocery store and wrote down the price of over 100 things. I plan to do this every two weeks or so until I can't stand it anymore. It took me over an hour, but it will be worth it because I will end up with a database on what my normal purchases usually cost so I can spot the deals and even see the seasonal valleys and peaks for each item. Some might think this is a bit overboard, but I am determined to keep doubling and this is what I have to do to do it right now. And as an added bonus, it will make me save money in the future when groceries are off the doubling radar.


Monday, January 24, 2011


I have been hearing alot about Swagbucks over the past year or so. I finally decided to check it out and decided to sign up. You get "Swag Bucks" for things like using their search engine, doing surveys and using thier toolbar. Eventually, these "Swag Bucks" can earn you things like or Starbucks gift cards, among other things. I've used it for about 3 days now and I am aleady almost 1/2 way to a $5 Amazon card. Not bad and it fits in well with my current level since I only need to make $3.20 for a transaction to qualify.

I made a few more bucks on one grocery purchase, but they are much more difficult to find on this level. I will have to keep my eyes open for more ways to make a few bucks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Level 17 Strategy and Due Date

I've been coming up with some pretty creative ways to save money in unusal ways. My wife had me buy some Vanilla Extract, but it turned out we already had some. I often would have just shrugged and thought to myself, "Money comes, money goes". I decided to return the bottle and give half to the double project (figured 50% chance we would have eventually used it anyways...) I was also going to meet my wife at a restaurant and then head over to my inlaws. I calculated that I could save $2.56 in gas if I took a bit more time and just drove home first so we could just take 1 car around town. These are great ideas aren't they? They are, but they didn't make me enough money to be ventures above the 1% of the current level. I can only participate in ventures that I believe will gain me more than $3.60 (ie. 1% of the $360 I need to complete this level.

Not to be discouraged, I went to an NHL game last night and instead of paying the $10 for parking, I parked 2Km away and ran in the freezing cold to the game. Since I definitely would have paid the $10 normally, this one all goes towards the project, plus the gas I saved! Also I made one grocery purchase which saved me approx $8. Overall, I have already saved $18 after two days, which is 5% of this level. So I guess this is my strategy - keep hunting for grocery deals while also keeping my eye out for other creative ways to save money, but they have to meet the threshold. I have a feeling this will be the last level this will work for a 3-4 month doubling period. Since I started gaining money two days ago, I will set my new deadline for three months from that date, which is April 13. Actually, that sounds like a terrible date since it is right in the middle of tax time so instead I will give myself an extra month and choose May 13, 2011.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Donated more Food to Charity!

Today I walked over to the grocery store and bought two cans of food for $2.38 from my overflow of the last level. Every time I do this it makes me feel proud that some needy family will have more food because of my work from this project. Every little bit helps. Hopefully I will make even more for them on Level 17.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I was Lazy, not Late! (Oh, and I Completed Step 16)

Seriously! I really met my October 1st deadline, but I was bogged down with something horrible. Something so terrible that you will easily see why I was so late in posting (insert sarcasm here). You see, I had to do some math. That's right - math. Now I know what you're thinking. Firstly, how could a little math stop someone from posting on thier blog for 4 straight months, including over the holidays. Secondly, you are probably thinking that I am some sort of Math hater. Well, the truth is I love Math. I actually like it, but for some reason every time I sat down and thought I should write my post, I let the math stop me. It wasn't even the Math itself. It was just the effort involved in it. That was the old me. I have been doing some soul searching over the holidays and have started off the new year right. I am so focused these days that I can't imagine falling back into my lazy ways ever again. Yes, yes, I know I have said things like that before but this time I am serious. I am tired of losing focus on this project and other things I hold dear to me. I am committing right now to keep this project going no matter what. My first rule that has come out of this 'awakening' is that I have to post at least two times a month, even if there is no progress. That will hopefully give me the out I need if life gets too hectic, but will force me to keep thinking about it every few weeks which will keep things going for the longer term. I was reviewing other people's progress and it is very daunting to see how many people have let thier projects die. I must admit I even contemplated ending my own doubling adventure during my period of self analysis. BUT I am BACK and here to stay! I have realised that although I used to take insanely long breaks, I do have something that over 90% of the other doubler's seem to lack (the ones that quit). I may leave, but I ALWAYS come back. You might even call me the Prodigal Doubler. Ok, now I think I am getting a bit carried away.

Now on to bigger and better news. I have completed step 16! Yahoo! I did it by saving money on groceries again. I ended up overshooting by $4.80, which I will split with Charity. It's nice to get a small treat, but the real benefit is the feeling of giving to others in need. (Cue corny 'Full House' type music). I'll leave this post here and update my numbers. I'll give a bit of a think of what my strategy for Step 17 will be and will post it in the next few weeks.

Thanks for still reading (if there's anyone out there still listening)