Tips & Tricks

Wal-Mart Canada Closing All Sam’s Clubs in Ontario – Get your Membership Fee Refund

Sam's Club Canada RIP

Walmart Canada’s Sam’s Club stores are closing; yet another casualty of the economic recession. The good news however is that Walmart will be refunding membership fees so keep an eye out for that.

I’ve never been to a Sam’s Club so I have no idea what it’s like but I’m not a fan of membership-only retail warehouse stores anyhow. I’m not convinced that I should pay a membership fee to Costco or Sam’s Club to be able to shop and spend money at their store. Not to mention that Costco et al. don’t accept coupons and sell everything in ridiculously humungous sizes.

Click here for more details on Sam’s Club stores closures
Click here for the official statement from Walmart Canada

30 Free Air Miles with Purchase of Metro, A&P, Chapters, Best Buy, Future Shop, Cara & Many More Gift Cards!

Bonus Air Miles Canada

I think this is a brilliant deal!

  • Buy $100 in Gift Cards and earn 10 bonus Air Miles.
  • Buy $250 in Gift Cards and earn 30 bonus Air Miles.

Gift card purchases must be made at Metro, A&P or Dominion only but they sell LOADS of gift cards for all kinds of well known stores like:

  • Metro / A&P / Dominion Gift Cards
  • Best Buy Canada Gift Cards
  • Future Shop Gift Cards
  • Indigo / Chapters Gift Cards
  • Petro Canada Gift Cards
  • Cara  Gift Cards (Second Cup, Kelsey’s, Montana’s & Harveys)
  • East Side Mario’s Gift Cards
  • Red Lobster Gift Cards
  • many many more gift cards

Almost everyone with an Air Miles Card can make use of this and I don’t see why you wouldn’t.  “Boo, I don’t like giving out gif cards as presents” you may say. Well you don’t have to buy the gift cards as presents, you can buy them for yourself! Say you always shop at Metro stores, or Future Shop or wherever, what you can do is buy the gift card and use it yourself for your future purchases. Remember that you don’t pay taxes on gift cards and you can use them multiple times 😉

Gift card purchases must be made at Metro, A&P or Dominion and this promo can be found in this week’s Metro, Dominion and A&P flyers on the back page.

Offer expires Dec 24th, 2008.

23 Days till Christmas – Going-Out-of-Business Sales Not Such a Bargain

I’m sorry I missed the past 2 days of Christmas countdowns because I had loads of school work to finish during the weekend. Today’s post is not very Christmasy but since many stores are having liquidation sales this holiday season I thought it would be a good heads up.

Apparently what liquidators do is raise the prices above regular prices and then discount the items. You can end up paying more than regular prices at “liquidation sales”! Here’s an ABC news video about this (it also applies to Canada):


Nestle Recalls 900,000 Pounds of Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine

Lean Cuisine Canada

Guys, check to make sure you don’t have any of the recalled products!

A massive Lean Cuisine recall has been issued after small pieces of blue plastic were found in 3 chicken dinner meals produced by Nestlé Prepared Foods Company in Springville, Utah:

  • 9 1/2 ounce Lean Cuisine Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta
  • 10 1/2 ounce Lean Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean
  • 12 1/2 ounce Lean Cuisine Chicken Tuscan

Despite receiving the USDA mark of inspection, the plastic was not discovered until Nestlé received customer complaints.  Nearly 900,000 pounds of Lean Cuisine meals may be affected.


Linens N Things Canada Going out of Business: Expect a Huge Liquidation Sale

Linens N Things Canada RIP

It’s unfortunate but we all saw that coming; with their overpriced items and the global economic recession Linens N Things was unable to survive. Linens N Things Canada filed for bankruptcy yesterday and shut down the Canadian website Expect Linens N Things stores to have HUGE sales to clear and liquidate all their stocks. They may have already started the sales since Linens N Things US has an up to 30% Going out of Business sale.

Oh and final reminder about the gift cards: if you have any Linens N Things gift cards NOW is the time to use them before they become obsolete.

Cash Vouchers to Customers who Believe were Scammed at Winners or HomeSense Canada

Thanks curriecheung letting us know about this and thanks NSAngel for alerting me!

Customers who believe they were scammed after shopping at Winners and HomeSense stores in Canada are running out of time to seek compensation from the retailers’ parent company, TJX. The U.S.-based owner of the retail chains agreed to compensate customers following a 2007 lawsuit stemming from TJX’s announcement that millions of credit and debit card numbers were stolen from its computer system. Part of the settlement includes $30 and $60 vouchers for customers who had to change bank and credit card information.

Shoppers have until Oct. 13 to file a compensation form.

The courts forced the company to advertise the settlement in Canada and the United States, but Canadian lawyer Evatt Merchant says customers may not have seen the notices about the settlement.

At least 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers of TJX customers were stolen from the company’s computer system over several years.

curriecheung also added:

I was one of those customers who were scammed after shopping @ Winners and HomeSense stores. Again please don’t delay to apply for compensation, you must submit ur compensation form by mail on or before October 13, 2008.

To qualify you must have made a purchase at Winners or Homesense stores between December 31, 2002 through September 2, 2003, or May 15, 2006 through December 18, 2006.

Click here for more details on the Winners & Homesense Canada Settlement

Click here for the settlement documents and resources

How do you track your spending?


Financial micromanagement might not be for everyone, but sometimes it really helps to see where every penny is going.  You’d be amazed at how much you might spend on coffee or snacks.

In the past I’d used Excel to track my spending.  It might not have been the most simple form of tracking, but it was the most flexible in that (so long as you’re fairly competent with Excel) I could chart that data any way I wanted.

Still, there’s something to be said for simplicity.  Recently my family has tried to use the web-based  It provided a good set of features, but still didn’t work exactly as I’d wanted.  Up next we’re probably going to take a look at Wesabe or Yodlee MoneyCenter.

What about you?  How do you track your spending?

Plan Your Way Out of Debt: The Snowball Calculator


If you’re like most Canadians, there’s a good chance you’re swimming in credit card debt.  If you’re coming here, chances are you’d like to get out of it.  The Snowball Calculator on can help.

Just punch in all of your individual debts, their minimum payments, interest rates, and the total amount of money you can commit monthly to paying off your debts.  The Snowball Calculator will map out the best payment plan and let you know just how long it will take you to be completely debt free.

Check it out and start getting out from under that mountain!

Return your Bisphenol A Bottles to Stores without Receipts & Get a Refund

Return your Bisphenol A Bottles to Stores & Get a Refund

Since most Canadian stores have withdrawn Bisphenol A bottles from their shelves, a lot of them are accepting refunds of the used hazardous bottles. They will either refund you back your money or give you a store gift card. In any case, it’s better than just throwing them out.

For example:

The Forzani Group Ltd., Canada’s largest sporting goods retailer, and Hudson’s Bay Co., which includes the Bay and Zellers stores, said Tuesday they are removing BPA products and will refund customers who bought the bottles at their stores.

The same will apply to most stores.

To know if your bottle contains Bisphneol A, check the recycling codes (triangles) at the bottom. A code number 7 may (but not necessarily) indicate that it contains Bisphneol A.

Return your Bisphenol A Bottles to Stores & Get a Refund


Someone sent me this regarding Zellers GTA still accepting refunds 🙂

Zellers GTA are is allowing anyone with used Avent Bottles to exchange them at there local Zellers Store for a full exhange of the bottle, Ie; 1 old Avenut bottle = equal 1 new FREE glass of BHA Free baby bottle. I just exchange 15 bottles this week for Born Free Glass Bottles.

I Qualified for an Mp3 Player from Matchstick!

Woot! Woot!

I qualified for a new exciting Mp3 player from and I can’t tell you how excited I am to receive it and tell everyone about it! I’m totally amped! Congrats to our forum members who qualified as well!

I’ve really been enjoying’s programs and I love their concept. For those of you who don’t know, they’re Canada’s leading ”Word Of Mouth” company. They give out free products to qualifying members and in return expect you to give your fair unbiased opinion on the product and tell your friends about it!

They simply create a “Buzz” around the product.

As a personal example of ‘buzz’ I recently invested in a Scarf Print Coach purse and I say invested because they’re pretty costly. (I hope to goodness my husband doesn’t read this and see me admit that!). Anyways, I had heard from a friend how nice these purses were, and how they’re the ”it” purse of the season. She showed me hers and how fab it was to carry and I just had to have my own! Would I have ”invested” in the handbag otherwise? Nope, not a chance, Ever. Why do people line up down the street when a new Tickle me Elmo is launched? Why did you rent that movie when your friends said it was a great show? That, my friends, is Buzz! is now well known amongst top companies and come out with new campaigns for free products very frequently. I’ll do my best to notify you on here as soon as new campaigns are out 😀 Keep your eye out for Matchstick promotions; you never know, you could be one of the lucky few who qualify when they are offering free cool new products! Once you have a product in hand talk about it! Write about it! Show all your friends your cool new product! Be honest! Pretty sweet deal isn’t it?

I’ll let you guys know as soon as I get my Mp3 player 🙂

No More Tomatoes…

No More Tomatoes…

While at Subway a couple of days ago I noticed they didn’t serve any tomatoes and had a sign stating it has been withdrawn for health reasons.

Turns out there’s an outbreak of Salmonella and some restaurants have decided to play it safe and withdraw tomatoes from their menus. Yesterday however I got tomatoes served at Dairy Queen so it varies from restaurant to restaurant and Health Canada hasn’t announced an official ban yet.

Unfortunetely for all of us tomato lovers, we’ll have to stop eating tomatoes for a while until it’s safe again 🙁

Furnishing Your Home On A Budget

When you move into a new place, or when you get bored of the furniture you currently own, it’s fun to redecorate. Unfortunetely, this does not come cheap. That is, unless you’re frugal with your choices of decor. Here are some places that you can get great items for your home at fantastic prices:

1. Thrift Stores – Thrift stores are great when looking for things to spread around your home. Of course, if you’re looking for larger pieces of furniture, this is probably not your best bet, as there isn’t a wide variety of items, but if you are looking for decor items such as photos, vases, etc. this is the perfect place!

2. Yard Sales – Just like the thrift stores, yard sales are best for smaller decor items, but you can get lucky and find some really nice larger furniture as well. Make an offer lower than the listed price, and 9 times out of 10, they will take it.

3. Freecycle – This is the best place to get FREE furniture. That’s right, absolutely free, no strings attatched! Subscribe to the posts and you will get an email whenever a new freebie is added. Act fast though, free stuff always goes quick!

How do you save on airfare?


Most of the time we here at SmartCanucks are the ones trying to inform you — now we’d love it if you could inform us!

The internet is plagued with sites promising cheap airfares and last minute deals on flights, but which ones really work? Do we have any frequent flyers here? How do you save on airfare?

Hopefully your answers can help out other readers looking to plan a trip on a big tin bird — readers like me. I’ll be going out to California in July for a press event and I’d love to save every penny I can on the trip. Right now I’m using to plan the flight, and although it has some great features I like (emailing me the lowest ticket price every day, tipping me off on whether or not they expect the price to go up or down) I’d like to see what else is out there. Come on, SmartCanuckers! Help me fly those friendly skies!

Ten Tips for Saving on Gas

Ten Tips for Saving on Gas

Useful and simple tips on saving on Gas by Jerry Dawson of the

1. Turn off your engine if you are going to be idling for more than 30 seconds. Millions of gallons of fuel are wasted each day from idling. Your starter and battery system can handle the increased activity.

2. Change your air filter every 10,000 miles. Just like a marathon runner, your car needs to suck in air without restriction.

3. Install a real-time fuel consumption meter if your car does not have one already. This way, you can see what you are doing while you are driving and make the needed adjustments to save fuel.

4. Pump up those tires. Higher tire pressures result in lower rolling resistance, so your mileage will improve. Not too high, mind you, but a tad over the “recommended” from your car and tire manufacturer. Remember, they don’t want you to get good mileage.

5. Turn off your air conditioning, but only at lights or in slow traffic. When you really get going, the open windows produce drag that will offset any savings you might imagine from having the AC off.

6. Reduce the weight of your car. Remove all non-essential items from the trunk and the interior of your car. Weight takes energy to move, so the lighter your car the less energy you will lose. Keep the spare tire and the jack, but almost everything else can go. If you don’t have a family, take out the back seat. Invest in custom wheels if they are significantly lighter than the stock wheels. Carbon fiber parts (like the hood or trunk) are great, too, although they may be a bit expensive.

7. Don’t keep your gas tank full all the time. Remember, fuel equals weight and you must do everything you can to make your vehicle lighter. Keeping about a half tank or less all the time should allow for emergencies but also keep your weight down.

8. Wax your car and keep it clean and waxed. Drag (friction with the air) greatly reduces fuel economy. A clean and waxed vehicle will have reduced aerodynamic drag, thus providing better mileage. If you have a luggage rack, take it off. If you have a moon roof, keep it closed. Smooth is what you want.

9. Don’t drive a lot with a cold engine. Cold engines do not run efficiently. Use a block heater to pre-heat your engine if you are taking many short trips. If you can combine your short trips it will help, as driving further will allow your engine more operating time at higher temperatures.

10. Use cruise control whenever possible. The car’s ability to maintain a constant speed is better than your ability to do so. Small, more precise, and constant adjustments made by the car’s cruise control system will save you fuel.

Ultimately, there are other, more drastic steps you can take to save on fuel. For instance, you could ride light rail instead of driving, car pool, ride your bike, buy a high mileage car like a MINI or a Toyota Corolla, or even move closer to where you work. One other thing to consider – invest in an oil company like Exxon-Mobil or BP. As the high cost of oil swells the profits of Big Oil, you will get a share of that ill-gotten wealth as an owner of the company.

How to Get the Most out of your Aeroplan Miles Canada

How to Get the Most out of your Aeroplan Miles Canada

Thanks consumatrix for suggesting this very informative article 🙂

This article is a must read for any serious Aeroplan Miles Canada collector. It explain how to book long-distance reward flights in first or business class at the Classic rate.

Click here to read the full Globe and Mail article by Douglas McArthur

Here’s an excerpt:

Follow this plan if you are a basic Aeroplan member and hope to book long-distance reward flights in first or business class at the Classic rate:

Book by phone using an Aeroplan agent. The help you’ll get is worth the $30 fee. And agents have access to reward seats before they show up on the Aeroplan website.

Be prepared to book about 354 days in advance, the approximate time reward seats on Air Canada and some Star Alliance partners become available. They are often gone within an hour. If you miss out, don’t give up. Some partner airlines don’t post their reward seats until days or weeks later.


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