Three hundred and thirty-one

Treating myself

I gave in and bought myself a treat while I was at the grocery store.  It’s hard not to.  It was cookie dough that was on sale for $2 at No Frills.  I know I don’t need it, but I understand what my friend Sarah was saying when she said you get so frustrated and overwhelmed with not being able to spend money, that you just want a little treat to make yourself feel better.  And it actually does make me feel better.

I think sometimes you’re allowed to reward yourself with something little every couple of weeks to keep you going. It just can’t be something really expensive that you’ll be paying off later, and you have to have saved a little money for it.  Even something as simple as $2 cookie dough can keep you going on the right path, so you don’t go crazy, completely give up on your budget and then get yourself in worse trouble then you are in.  I made a couple of cookies yesterday, shared with my brother, and am making a couple today.  Yum!

Extreme couponing

Remember my favourite couponing lady Mrs. January that I interviewed during extreme couponing month?  She just released a coupon database for her website.  As couponing is a great way to be frugal, especially on a tight budget, this relates to life at the povtery line. The database is great.  You can search the coupons, scroll through them,  sort by using printable coupons or not.

I spent today getting back into the extreme couponing thing a little more and am having some really valuable coupons mailed to me. I also forgot how much MrsJanuary.com has money saving tips.

I picked up an extra shift at work tonight to make some extra money, so this will be a short post.  Happy Robbie Burns Day everyone!

Day fifty-one

Art on a Budget

I’ve managed to get through this month so far on a budget.  I was worried that I would have to spend more money than I could to spend thirty days doing art, but I found out there are many ways to be a part of the art world without spending a lot of cash.  Here are a few ways to do art on a budget in Toronto:

  1. Many museums offer times to come wander for free:
    – The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is free from 3:30-5:30pm on Wednesdays and half-price on Fridays from 4:30-8:30pm.
    – The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is free on Wednesdays between  6-8:30pm.
    – The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art admission is Pay What You Can – open Tuesday to Sunday from 11-6pm.
    – All along Queen Street there are independent galleries that you can take a look through for free.
  2. T.O. Tix offer discount same-day tickets to the performing arts in Toronto.  They are located at Yonge-Dundas Square, open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6:30pm.  Or you can check out their website here. They also offer $5 Hip Tix to students between 15 and 29 years.
  3. Many theatre companies also offer rush tickets to see their productions.  Look up a theatre company’s website and they will have details of how to get cheap tickets.
  4. Craft supplies are easily bought for cheap on Queen Street west of Spadina, and there are many discount fabric shops in Parkdale – Queen Street, west of Dufferin.
  5. Going back to my couponing, there are coupons for tourist museums and theatre on the Attractions Ontario website.
  6. Houseseats.ca is a subscription-based way to get offers on free tickets in Toronto.  I’ve just joined a two-month trial from a coupon I got online, so I’m not sure what kind of shows they offer or how easy it is.
  7. There are so many ways to make cool looking art using stuff you find around the house, or old magazines or record covers you can find in thrift stores.  Use your imagination.
  8. There are drop-in art events (ie. the clay class I took at the Gardiner Museum) that don’t cost you too much money and don’t require you to commit to a long period of time.
Today I’m off to the ROM, then the AGO, then I’m going to take part in the Buzz Festival at Theatre Passe Muraille – a tri-annual work-in-development festival:
Artists present fifteen to thirty minutes of new work, be it the re-working of a scene or the first bit of a new piece. After each presentation, live music plays while the audience writes down their answers to the questions the playwright or company has asked about their piece. Inspired by the idea that work should be developed alongside an audience, rather than in isolation, Buzz gives creators the opportunity to receive specific feedback from their best allies: the audience. Audience as dramaturge.
It is also Pay-What-You-Can and you get a drink ticket!  I’ll write more about how it went tomorrow.