I haven’t been blogging lately, but do have some news. But this post is about saving on groceries. It was prompted by NosyNeighbour’s comment at lunch. Somebody he knows at work asked why the blog didn’t have a link to Produce Depot.

I’ve since added the link under Flyers and thought I would share my philosophy about saving money on groceries. Keep in mind that I’m retired now so I have a bit of extra time. Three seasons of the year I use active transportation so the links for the flyers are all within an easy bike ride. I have a specific bike I use for groceries, with an old milk carton on the back, a clip on basket on the front and a backpack on my back. You tend to make healthier decisions when you arrive by bike. I also never buy meat unless it’s on sale.

Wednesday is the day that sales start at Produce Depot and Giant Tiger. But there’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve gotten a great deal on a product only to discover it’s cheaper somewhere else the next day. So I’ve started going to Smart Canucks to make my entire list on Wednesday. It has all the flyers usually by Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday is the day that sales start at Food Basics and Metro. While the prices might be a bit higher at Metro and it’s no longer 24 hours, I do like to support my closest grocery store. It’s where I go when there’s only one item I need, regardless of cost.

And while I hate to support big American chains that put small independent shops out of business, and use predatory pricing, I sometimes will go to the Walmart Supercentre on Baseline since I’ve discovered I don’t need to cycle on any major roads and can take the path almost all the way there. They don’t get a link for their flyer though, just on principle.

Friday is when the Real Canadian Superstore starts its sale. But we don’t call it that anymore. We call it Stupidstore. One of neighbours used this term a few months after it opened, and it’s stuck in our minds ever since. Here’s my side rant about the Stupidstore:

  • the staff aren’t helpful or polite
  • sale items are often not in stock
  • the produce is usually mangy
  • the entrance is overcrowded

Okay, I’ll stop there.

I sit down and write my list, then search recipes for the best deals. I’ve made key lime ice and lime doughnuts, which I never would have if it hadn’t been for a sale on limes. That week also saw lime chicken.

Then I work out how much I can fit on my bike and set off early the morning that the sale starts. Not only am I getting good deals, but I’m also getting exercise three days a week by splitting up my grocery shopping.

Happy shopping!

What a hot summer it’s been so far. With temperatures in the high 20s every day and feeling more like 40 with the humidity, I haven’t been walking a lot. Instead I like to cycle, albeit slowly, to at least get a breeze in my face.

A lot has been going on in the neighbourhood. Starting in Hintonburg and heading west, here’s what I’ve seen: Read the rest of this entry »

A few weeks ago I was able to capture the final part of moving a house. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around for the first part, where they removed the chimney, the top part of the roof, and all the bricks.

A small crowd of neighbours gathered soon after the trucks arrived. But many of them left before the grand finale. Some small children were lucky enough to be in the neighbourhood with their mothers. The big wide eyes on the little boys showed their amazement. Tonka trucks will never be enough for them now!

It’s taken me a while to get the photos and videos together. But here it is for your (and especially my neighbours’) viewing pleasure. Click on the photo below. Once at Vimeo, the password is “house”.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 3.01.03 PM

I’ve been trying to take short fast neighbourhood walks at least three times a week. It’s especially helpful when I’m working on the computer a lot. It gets the blood circulating.

On most of these walks I bring my smart phone so that I know when I’ve reached my 10,000 step goal. It also allows me to snap a few pics so that I remember what’s new in the hood.

Now, I finally have time to upload them. Or maybe it’s more like I’ve completely forgotten them. Anyways, it’s a mish-mash of Westfest and the edge of Hintonburg: Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday evening, NosyNeighbour and I walked to the Dollarama to pick up a few items. We saw lots of changes in the neighbourhood. Some we’d already read about, but some were new (at least to us).  Read the rest of this entry »


The new blow dry bar still says opening soon. But it looks like it will soon have a new neighbour.


Across the street, Vittoria has moved in to the former Lapointe’s location.


It’s official now because I’ve blogged about it. Nestlé Tollhouse is now open.


Dirty window graffiti. It was difficult to photograph, but somebody left a clean-finger-on-dirty-window message for Ashcroft. Do you have one for a developer? It could get the windows cleaned at the very least.


Nope, he’s not cleaning the window.


But something new is arriving.

I wasn’t sure what to expect this year after the stress of registration. Bike New York had hired a different company and their servers crashed for the first four hours.

So I was pleasantly surprised when the staggered start was on  time. Central Park also had no bottlenecks.  But all that was waiting at Astoria Park. With only one exit and all riders being forced through it, we waited more than 20 minutes trying to get out.

After that it was smooth sailing under sunny skies. Even the wind wasn’t too bad. We made it to the festival and waited in line for our free TD souvenir photo. Another few miles and we hit the growing line for the ferry. But the TD crew was walking through the crowd handing out free Popsicles to help keep us cool. We chatted to a few people along the way, some from Detroit, Philadelphia,  Australia and even a few locals.

Despite the hiccups,  the overall experience was great. And this time on the ferry I looked not just at the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline,  but also at the Verrazano Bridge behind us.

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Today’s plan was to find some shirts for NosyNeighbour,  a hat for me, and various accessories for our Dahon folding bikes. 


We arrived at Century 21 shortly after it opened and found some good deals. After dropping off our puchases,  we walked through the Financial District to City Hall and then along Broadway to East 13th Street, to bfold, a bike shop recommended by a guy at the Bike Expo.


You would never find it walking down the street. It’s jam packed with folders and the most helpful guys. In addition to the big apple tires,  we picked uo the xooter rack and a Thule bag. We also learned a bit about the guy who referred us. We knew he had worked at the store. But we didn’t know he’d sold his violin to buy his first Brompton. We may check out his foldiefoodie tour next time.


We walked over to Union Square for a quick bite and munched on our pies while we people watched. There was a lot to take in. A tour group were listening to the guide talking about the history of the neighbourhood,  while a hundred people were getting pumped for the New York Marijuana Parade. Methi ks they were gojng to be leaving a bit late and maybe inthe wrong direction.


After a bit of a hiccup getting on the N whe we needed the R, we eventually made our way back.  NosyNeighbour replaced his tires while I surfed and wrote drafts for the blog, but only after I’d found tge tablet,  which was hidden in the safe.

So,  to kill some time,  we took the free  ferry to the Brooklyn Ikea for an ice cream and a pass by tge Statue of Liberty. The Ikea bistro was ceazy busy. And at leasf now with Ottawa’s bigger Ikea,  I dobt need to shop for stuff here.

Time killed, we returned back to the hotel having walked more than 17,000 steps.  We visited Ulysses’ for supper, sharing some spring rolls. NosyNeighbour gad fish and chips,  and I had the Stone Street salad with chicken. Here’s hooing we’re well fueled for tomorrow.

We spent longer than expected at Woodbury Commons.  Ironically all of our puchases were made at the first store, Northface, which had opened a bit earlier.

Then we set off for Manhattan,  but undecided about which bridge to cross. While we were driving, I used the Garmin to fing a Petco. We’d been looking for a replacement cat harness for our cat, and Petco was the only place I knew of that carried the figure 8 style that works withnour highly active urban cat.

But finding our way back to the Tapanzee bridge was a challenge.  And then we had conflicts between the Garmin and car GPS. What should have been a cheaper route became expensive when we crossed the Triboro

But eventually things work themselves out and we arrived.  After unloading the car, we headed off to Basketball City to pick up our tour packets. We meandered through all the exhibitors and then ate shawarma before returning to the hotel.


After a quick change,  we set off to Terra Blues to Greenwich Village via the R line. The first band, Saron Crenshaw Trio, played an acoustic set.


The second group  Michael Powers Frequency,  was plugged in but not too loud. We stayed for a few songs but didn’t feel the connection that we’d had with the first band.


Interesting ride back in the subway. Ended up on the car with sketchy scruffy guys sleeping on the seats.

We’ve participated in the Five  Boro Bike Tour a number of times.  It’s a great reason to plan a trip to New York and get out o  the bike early.

The last time we left a day earlier and spent the night about an hour outside the city, close to the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall. it worked outvreally well because you shop for a couple of hours in the morning and don’t arrive as tired as you would after eight hours of driving.

We dropped off our high-maintenance cat at the Pussycat Hotel, which is conveniently located on our way. Then we drove through the Adirondacks on our way to New Windsor. It’s close to Westpoint and has an I ternational airport. We stayed again at the Days Inn,  a bargain at US $67.

Since I’d packed a small cooler, we didn’t need to go out for supper. But we did head out to the local Walmart for a few supplies (beer, chips, fruit, pantyhose). It’s a 24-hour super center,  but later in the evening, the number if open checkouts dwindles.

I found a cashier with no line up but her light was off. So I asked if she was open. She said if it were a small order, sure. I put all our items on the conveyor belt. She asked who was paying. I said he was. And she replied that she wouldn’t have to ask him for ID.  Hahaha! Good one!


July 2015
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