Posts Tagged ‘Deals’

10 Boxing Day Shopping Tips


Sometimes it feels as if you really do need a pair of boxing gloves when you’re out tackling the crowds on Boxing Day: a shopper’s dream holiday in many of the major cities here in Canada.

I’ve taken on the annual Boxing Day shopping tradition for years now, even before it became legal in Toronto for stores to open their doors on this official statuatory holiday. Over the years my shopping decisions have been honed, and I have come up with some strategies that have made Boxing Day shopping a lot less stressful for me.

  1. Be the Early Bird
    • This is the first and most crucial tip. If you don’t want to be battling for parking spots, stuck in traffic, or feeling like a fish swimming upstream, you need to wake up early in time to get all the benefits. You need to also keep in mind that some stores run out of stock of those door-crasher items fairly quickly. I guarantee you as soon as 10am start to roll around, the line-ups outside the stores start forming to prevent overcrowding in the store. Malls in major Ontario cities usually open by 8am on Boxing Day; big-box stores like Futureshop as early as 6am. So in order to plan your day out right, try to be there at least 30 minutes before store opening.
  2. Make Your List and Check it Twice
    • Check out bargain-hunting websites like for early flyer leaks. If you’re able to get a gander at a flyer from a store you would like to visit on Boxing Day, go through it and find the things that you need (but most likely just want) to buy. Compare your list with items from other stores so that you’re able to get the best price possible. Then plan out which stores you need to visit based on this list and priority of the item. Try your best to research your purchases beforehand–just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean that it’s worth your money. Think quality and check out reviews on the item, sites like or will be a big help as long as you know the model number of the item you’re planning to buy.
  3. Wear the right clothing.
    • Ladies, I am telling you this for a reason. You do not want to be stuck in a mall for 4+ hours wearing 3″ stiletto heels–wear some comfortable flats or runners. And please don’t dress up to go shopping like you’re going out clubbing, because you’re going to be uncomfortable wearing those jeans that are a size-too-small just so that they can show your “assets”. You need to be comfortable. Wear some thick leggings, a tank top and a light sweater. This will make trying on clothing in the change rooms (or even out of the change rooms) so much easier.
    • And remember: You’re going to be in an area crowded with people. This means lots of body heat. Even though it may be -10 outside, try to leave the jacket in the car, or in the mall’s coat check (it’s going to be heavy carrying 10lbs of down feather around).
  4. Bring Cash and Stay on Budget
    • I know it is so much more easier to swipe that plastic, but having cash means quicker transactions (some stores offer “cash-only” lines for check-out), and you don’t have to wait for people who forget their PINs or could’ve sworn they deposited that cheque last week. Cash will also help you stay on budget, because once you’re out, your’re out. Just make sure you keep it secure among the crowds.
  5. Take Public Transit
    • I know taking the crowded and oh-so-reliable TTC with bags of purchased goods doesn’t seem too appealing, but at least this way you don’t have to worry about drive-stalking people in the Yorkdale parking lot, hoping that they’re headed to their car to leave (only to find out they’re dropping off their bags and ready for round two of shopping). Finding a parking spot (especially at Yorkdale) is a nightmare… not to mention the road range you have to deal with during those moments. Sometimes it’s best to save yourself the hassle.
  6. Don’t go alone
    • Boxing Day shopping with friends is so much more convenient and fun. When you’re out shopping with friends, one can hold a spot for you in that super-long line up while you pick up some last minute things, the other can text you about an unadvertised sale that’s happening in another store on the other end of the mall, another can make sure your staying on budget and not buying more than you can afford, and best of all: you all can relax and unwind for a late lunch after all the shopping is done. If there’s more than two of you going (e.g. an even number like 4), I would say split up and the pairs can meet up at a pre-determined place and time later (you cover more ground this way). And if just the two of you, stick together as much as possible so that you don’t get lost in the crowds.
  7. Watch Your Bag
    • Keeping in mind all the crowds to need to make sure that your valuables are secure. One of the easiest ways to do this (esp. for ladies) is making sure that you’re carrying the right purse: an over-the-shoulder or sling bag will be your best friend. You’re hands will be free to rummage through the racks, and be close at hand from others. Men, be careful how far out that wallet sticks from your back pocket.
  8. Review the Return Policy
    • Most likely you will purchase something on Boxing Day that was more of an impulse buy. When you come to your senses a few days later (and realize you didn’t need that second Slap Chop), make sure that you’re able to return it back to the store of purchase for a full refund. Just ask the cashier as you’re checking out. Most likley returns are processed a few days after the 26th to combat the lineups, so just keep that receipt on hand. One my favourite places to shop for their great return policy is The Bay. They have made such a great turnaround with their marketing and sales in the past few years, that it’s my go-to store on Boxing Day. Their return policy is 90 days with your receipt (tags attached) as long as you made your purchase with their HBC credit card (30 days otherwise).
  9. Shop Online
    • Not only is shopping online a time-saver, you don’t have to worry about carrying all those items around (especially if it’s a 40′ plasma TV), because they’ll be shipped right to your door (usually for free). For the past few years I’ve been buying my electronics and movies online because many big-box stores offer their Boxing Day pricing starting on Christmas Eve online. I managed to scoop up a couple of Blu-rays I really wanted–er, needed, and they should be delivered free to my door within the next few days. This way I don’t have to worry about standing in those long lines at the electronics store and wading through the crowds on Boxing Day. Just make sure you have a good Internet connection.
  10. Take Time to Relax
    • When I go out Boxing Day shopping, it’s usually a 5-6 hour event including wait time, and if I have to venture to a different shopping complex the same day. After all that shopping, grab a cup of coffee, soak those tired feet, snack on those holiday leftovers and revel in all those holiday purchases before your bank statement comes in. You deserve a break.

I survived the deep-fried everything at the EX…


So another Labour Day has passed and so has another successful season of the Canadian National Exibition. I usually go every year, this time it was particulary to test my palette with this year’s artery-clogging, edible fad: deep-fried butter.

Yes, you read correctly. If you didn’t already hear all the hype surrounding these battered concoctions, you’ll probably have to wait until next year to try it again at the EX (unless you want to attempt whipping up a batch yourself).

When I first heard of the deep-fried butter concept, I tried to invision how it would look, and also how it would taste (the thought of eating straight butter is a bit of a turn-off). But basically the batches are made with a butter-mix (from the taste I’m assuming it’s a butter-creamed cheese ratio) scooped up with a melon baller and frozen. After the bite-sized balls are taken out of the freezer it’s dipped into a batter (think along the same lines as funnel cake), then deep-fried for several moments. Afterwards, they’re topped off with swirls of chocolate, rasberry, vanilla and caramel. Sounds delicous doesn’t it?

Was it worth the hour I waited in line to purchase one? Probably not, because I could’ve just spread some butter on my funnel cake from the kiosk next door and kill some time. As I bit in it was definitely rather tasty-delicious, but then that squirt of butter hits you and you’re kind of taken aback. It definitely wasn’t bad though. But I don’t think I’ll fork over $5 for 4 tiny butter-balls any time soon. My friend ate hers whole, and found it very appetizing.

Did I feel sick after eating it? Not really… but then again, I also had a bit of my sister’s funnel cake, a dozen Tiny Tom Donuts, and of course I had to pick up a deep fried Mars bar because I haven’t had one of those before either (don’t worry… I shared all those treats with my sister and friend who were there with me… I’m not that greedy!). Hmmm… I forgot to mention I also had some Mexican-ized poutine earlier on that day from the Food Building.

I thought our deep-fried binge was a good ending to a long day shopping at the EX. That’s right, we didn’t really see any of the attractions, go to the casino, see the super-pets, or play the midway games–we shopped. And that’s only because there were such great deals in the warehouse (Direct Energy Centre). French Connection UK, Stitches, Costa Blanca, Bluenotes, Sirens… I don’t think I’ll need to pick up any more clothes for the rest of the year. I only spent about $80 in total and picked up four sweaters, a nice pair of dress pants from French Connection, three dressy tops,  a couple of nice shirts, two cute skirts, three tanks.

Now to pay that Visa bill…

Get your $1 Megabus tickets to travel between Toronto and Montreal!


That’s right, Coach Canada is at it again. But this time they’ve joined forces with Megabus, new double-deckers that offer a more comfortable ride. Tickets are now on sale (online only) for as low as $1!

Now I don’t know if it was a press release error, but when I read Metro newspaper this morning they said that the seat sale for the $1 tickets will start on August 19th. I decided to check out the website today myself and lo and behold $1 tickets were released up to November 24th! Had I checked a little earlier I might have scooped up some of those high demand weekend tickets for less that it would cost me to buy a happy meal. But I did manage to secure some super-cheap seats for the upcoming months (makes my LDR a lot easier!).

The majority (if not all) of the $1 tickets for weekend departures/returns are pretty much sold out. But I just seen a bunch for mid-week travel on sale for $1. Once the 10,000 $1 seats are sold out, you’ll still be able to find decent prices on Toronto to Montreal travel, between $10 and $60. Don’t fret about not getting a deal, try to make your travel plans as flexible as possible (I myself will have to endure some 3am arrival times, but it’s worth my loonie!).

$16 million dollars has been invested by Coach Canada for the 15 new Megabus buses that will depart/arrive at the following cities: Whitby, Mississauga, Toronto, Scarborough, Kingston, Kirkland and Montreal, at up to 8 daily departure times.

The 81-passenger, 3.99 metres (13.1 feet) high, two-level coaches have front and rear staircases and offer free Wi-Fi, power outlets and DVD video capabilities, as well as a panoramic view, two folding card tables, comfortable reclining seats, restroom, safety belts and mobility impaired accessibility.

I’ve taken Coach Canada buses before, but have never been on a Megabus. Head over on to and book your dollar tickets before they’re all sold out! Good luck on finding the good ones!

Move over Gabriel Grey… I’m the next watchmaker


Wall ClockOkay, perhaps I’m not that precise, but I did fix a clock today! I’m so proud of myself. Today was the Kitchen Stuff Plus Outlet on Orfus Road had one of their summer sidewalk sales. I got up bright and early (well at least for me) at 9am, but by the time I got there around 10:30 the place was swarmed with frantic customers eager to find a good deal.

I managed to score a stainless steel wall clock and a Chef’n salt grinder for $5; a large collapsible storage box, two awesome non-skid mixing bowls with lids, a white/stainless steel toothbrush holder, an OXO soap squirting dish sponge for $10; a pig-shaped scrubby holder with a scrubby for $2; and a slim sliding fine grater and a stainless steel kitchen utensil holder together for $5. Not a bad deal if I do say so myself. Especially considering that those utensil holders are usually $10-20, and the OXO kitchen gadgets run between $5-20 each.

Of course when I got home I realized that there was a piece missing from the grater: the little thingie that mandolin slicers usually have to push down the food. No biggie, I still got an cool grater that comes with a storage container. The worst was realizing that the wall clock I purchased didn’t work. When I put the battery in the second had was moving, but on the same second and not revolving around the clock! I’m thinking great… now what I’m I going to do with two broken clocks (including the one I had before to replace this one with). So I mustered up the courage and patience and took the whole thing apart.  I mean it worked when I bought my travel mug from the last Kitchen Stuff Plus sidewalk sale (the screw in the lid just needed to be tightened in order to get the open/close mechanism to work), so I thought why not?

Now I had no idea what I was doing. Sure I broke a couple of the plastic latches when I was trying to figure out how to get the darn clock open so I can take a look at the gears, but that’s what tape’s for! After pulling out the gears, resetting them, looking at the power source, five times, I gave up. I figured I’d put a battery in and check to see if by some great force that it would start working properly… and it did! It’s now hanging on my living room wall tick-tocking away. :)

Ironically, when I put batteries back into my old clock which stopped working, it started working again… :|

Kitchen Stuff Plus – July Sidewalk Sale!


I loooove kitchen gadgets.  That’s why I make it a mission to visit Kitchen Stuff Plus’ sidewalk sales at least once a year.  If you’re looking for new dinnerware, glassware, bathroom accessories, kitchen utensils, candles, photo frames, or any other houseware, make sure to stop by the Orfus Rd. outlet location of Kitchen Stuff Plus.  You’re guaranteed to get a great deal on something (even if you don’t need it :P ).  The sale starts today at 10am and finishes at 3pm.  Here’s the link with more info.