A Money Coach in Canada

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latte.jpgOK – time for the truth! how did you do?

I definitely did not keep to the plan 100%, but absolutely for sure, ate at home a lot (!) more than I usually would.

What’s shocking is that even eating at home more than usual … there were still quite a few meals out.

What I learned:

1. To build in a pressure – release, ie., to give myself permission to eat out at least once/week. That’s simply acknowledging my ‘real world’.

2. That it requires forethought. I frequently did not have appropriate groceries, and more specifically, I need a lot of grab-and-go stuff. Slow-cooking? Love the concept. Love it. But not in my real world, right now.

3. That it felt a lot better than eating out. Despite the slips, I made a point of eating at home and it felt good. I enjoyed everything about it – liked the food better. Liked being at home better. Liked not spending the money better.

I reckon I saved between $100 – $150. If I got better, that would be at least $200/month = flight to europe and then some, over a year.

Over to my fellow participants! How did you do? Leave a comment, and at the end of the week I’ll draw for the $25.

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. I absolutely did not keep to the plan 100%–I’d planned for too many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for that to actually be possible :). But I did manage to cut buying food out to about one day a week, and that was usually a small lunch on campus when I’d left mine at home. I cut my dining out costs by about 25% over an average month, which I’m pretty happy with. I’ll be trying this again in December, but with more interesting options. 😉


    Dec 03, 2007
  2. It went pretty well. I built in some going out days, which I think helped. I found that I needed to redo my menu plan once, when different stuff caught my eye at the supermarket; I also found that for me (probably mainly because I eat at home most nights anyway), the meal planning made things slightly more expensive. My first guess is that this is because when I plan ahead, I am more likely to have vegetable sides and full, balanced meal rather than to just chuck some vegetables in whatever carb is on hand and call it dinner– so, overall, not a bad thing. I’m sure it hasn’t been helped by the fact that my boyfriend is not an plan-ahead eater, and he does like to shop on his own for snacks that I would never buy, and that gets added into the budget (we halve the grocery bill with a small “supplement” when he goes really crazy).
    One side benefit is that it was much less stressful for me to know what I was going to make every night right when I came home.


    Dec 03, 2007
  3. TKO from Ontario

    2 things have helped my family cut back on eating out:

    1. Crock Pot – It’s a huge heaven send. Chilly, Roast Beef, Pork Tenderloin all cook up great with minimum time input.
    (Check the internet for numerous recipies).

    2. M&M Meat Shop – Some great semi/ready to heat format.


    Dec 04, 2007
  4. Overall I was pleased. I had one slip up at Subway, and a few times when I had to mentally switch gears because I automatically had assumed I would be eating out rather than eating at home. I found it difficult to plan a meal for every night and stick to it though. It worked better if I planned several meals and had my choice that day. I saved about $150 by meal planning. I did lose track of the grocery budget though! So I am not sure if meal planning helped to save money on groceries or not.


    Dec 04, 2007
  5. I planned for November (but I always menu plan.) I stuck with the plan the whole time.
    Some of the things that I have learned over time:
    1) Plan for days out – if you want them.
    2) Check the plan the night before to see what you need to pull from the freezer, or otherwise get ready.
    3) I make my plan and then grocery shop for it. That way I don’t find out half way through cooking that I am missing a key ingredient.
    4) Crock pot on busy days.

    Planning meals has really helped us keep our grocery bill down. We also eat a lot healthier than when I just stood at the fridge door staring in hoping that something would jump out at me. :o)


    Dec 06, 2007
  6. This month went well. We stuck to the plan every week, and it was easy to do so.

    I love planning my menus because I have an exact shopping list (no room for impulse purchases to sneak into my cart).

    The longer I plan menus, the quicker it will be for me to come up with a nutritious, delicious, and cost-effective meal plan.


    Dec 06, 2007

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