Act 29

Shake it and bake it

Did your mom ever use shake and bake? I don’t think mine did – all the same – it’s one of those convenience foods that can, let’s face it, be well, more convenient than sensible.

Did you know you can buy Shake ‘n Bake on Amazon – an 8 pack is 20.15 (I wonder if that includes shipping).

Hhm. All the same. Make your own bread crumbs, add salt, pepper and your favourite spices – find a bag – and away you go.

Truth be told, for the price of 8 chicken thighs ($3.50) and my home made bread crumb concoction, my meal will cost – uhm, less than a box of convenient shake ‘n bake.

Now that, my friends, is debt defying.

Bon Appetit!

Act 28

Don’t burn the candle at both ends.

It’s almost been a month of debt defying acts and I admit, I’m tired. Changing how I look at my finances has meant jam packed days and evenings of extra work and I can see I’m making a difference.

But burning the candle at both ends won’t do me any good, so I’ll skip my shows and head to bed. Rest is an important part of the equation.

When I’m tired, I miss things. And missing things can lead to mistakes.

So night night all. Tomorrow awaits.

Act 27

Have a picnic.

From wikipedia:
“Whether picnic is actually based on the verb piquer which means ‘pick’ or ‘peck’ with the rhyming nique meaning “thing of little importance” is doubted; the Oxford English Dictionary says it is of unknown provenance.”

It might be of unknown provenance, but it’s always of utmost fun. We pack one when we go skiing. It’s good for the budget and the bring-your-own-lunch crowd at the ski hill always seems a bit more lively than the overpay-for-a-boring-burger crowd in the restaurant.

So “pic” your faves, and save yourself a few “nic”kels along the way.

Act 26

Find new ways to use old things

Defying your debt isn’t just about sales and coupons and discounts. It’s about changing the way you look at what you have and think about what you need.

I love these clever ideas on pinterest. It’s creativity, upcycling and money-saving fun all rolled into one.

And if you’ve got an idea, snap a pic and pin it. If you like other people’s ideas, they’ll like yours too.

Act 25

Make every minute count

The beauty of living in a small town is this. I can leave my office at 2, run an errand, pick up the mail, do a bank deposit and still be at school by 2:20 to pick up my boys.

By defying my debt, I have to make every moment count as my time is as valuable a resource as my money.

By making every minute count, it helps me to appreciate the moments that matter most. And please don’t confuse the two.

Act 24

Follow @‏GailVazOxlade on Twitter

You may know of author and television host Gail Vax Oxlade. After following her on twitter for a few days, I think I’ll now refer to her Princess Warrior for the People’s Wealth. She is brave and fearless and stands up to banks and other financial providers, something the rest of us seem to fear. Her hashtag, #stupidbanktricks, is a personal favourite of mine. We need more people like her to lead and help us ordinary folk, to unravel the mess while still taking responsibility for our part in making it.

Act 23

Pizza dough is play dough you can eat.

Kids love pizza. Well at least my kids do. Rather than watch the flyers for sales on frozen pies, I decided to try making pizza dough. And it was much easier to do than I would have thought.The kids enjoy watching me and offer to help. It’s quick, easy and fun and doubles as a great way to use up leftover veg, cheese and pasta sauce. Plus, it’s WAY cheaper than any deal on Delicio or delivery.

On second thought, maybe you can eat play dough? Nah.

Act 22

Cut to the bone.

Chicken that is. I don’t understand why we agree to pay the premium for purchasing boneless, skinless chicken parts. Where’s the fun in that?

Buy the whole chicken. Debone it (it’s not that difficult – even I can do it) and use it all. There are great how to video on youtube. And if that’s too daunting a task, just roast the whole thing. Make soup, make chicken salad, make chicken wings and thighs, make chicken fingers. Make as many meals as you can.

Sometimes I think we’re tricked into the illusion of convenience. It’s not convenient to spend that much money on parts when the whole is a much better, more practical and more sensible buy.

Act 21

Go ahead. Ask.

This blog has lead to more than a few interesting conversation with friends and family many of whom who like me, own a small business.

We got to talking about banking, a favourite subject of ours, and came up with an idea that might actually net some benefit.

As small businesses, we pay significant amounts of interest, charges, insurance, other premiums and fees. So why not write said suppliers a letter asking them to return the favour in the interest of showing the same support toward your business.

It’s called reciprocity and it’s very common in the B2B world. If you build equipment for GM, your fleet of trucks are likely GMs. That’s how it works.

Say I paid, well, 5 figures in mortgage interest and insurance premiums last year. It can’t hurt to pen a polite note saying as much and asking that as a loyal customer, they include you in their purchase plans too.

Perhaps they would consider gift certificates for employees incentives, referrals to other clients, gift giving ideas for customers. Wouldn’t hurt to try. What’s the worst that can happen? They say no. Then you know that it might be time to try doing business with someone new.

I know it’s a bit cheeky, but it’s worth a try. Who’s with me?

Dear {insert financial institution name here}

My business {insert business name here} has been a loyal customer of your institution since {insert date here}. Over the years our business has spent approximately {insert dollar amount here} on your goods and services which were received in good order. Thank you. 

We write to offer you, in return, an opportunity to support our business by considering us in your plans to offer employee incentives or client gifts by considering purchasing {insert your product here} from us.

Please see the enclosed {flyer/brochure) for more information. 

We look forward to a prosperous future together.


{insert name here, insert business here}