*I have a new site! You will be redirected to it in 5 seconds!

Goals Galore


Because I've been in school for most of my life, September to me is the start of a new year. I have re-evaluated my life, and I'm ready to get off my ass and start pursuing some difficult but feel-so-good-if-accomplished goals...

Consolidating my Loans


Err...kind of.

I was looking at my student loan account information and was mortified that I would be paying over $4000 in interest. I only owe $8000. What gives?

meal plan #6


Since my boyfriend has been eating a lot of my food lately, he agreed to take me down south to stock up my pantry. I now have cans of tuna, canned tomatoes, three kinds of pasta, udon, coconut milk, tortilla wraps, a huge bag of cereal, canned clams, taco seasoning, frozen pizza, cream soda, soy milk, and ground beef. For me, free :) For him, $44.

Now all I need to take care of is the cooking and the fruits & veggies! Last week's meal plan:

recette de la semaine: spicy mayonaise

From White on Rice Couple
I remember when I lived in Korea and scoured each large supermarket for Sriracha rooster sauce. I couldn't find it. Then I took the subway one and half hours out of town to a Vietnamese neighbourhood and scoured their stores. Couldn't find it there either.  I was devastated.

Since I've returned, I might be slightly ODing on this stuff. It's so versatile - it's great on pizza, in noodles, fried rice, soup and hotdogs - virtually anything I cook.  And it's cheap.

My Cashless Envelope System


If I ever try to keep up with an exercising regimen, it'll last 3 months max. Why? I'm a lazy person. If I have a goal, but it's entirely inconvenient - that is, gets between me and my couch - there's no chance I will ever reach it.

And that is why I stopped using cash and envelope system. Do I see myself keeping every little receipt from every little purchase I make? How about consistently inputting my purchases into a neat spreadsheet? Nope and nope. Do I see myself regularly going to the bank for cash, separating them into labeled envelopes and placing them into my Louis Vuitton wallet? Ha! I'm not cramping my style.

Generation Y is Cheap?!

Just a silly meme. This does not reflect my political standings! Or does it?

I find it amusing when the older generation tries to debunk us youngin's mysterious behaviour using expert analysis, advanced statistics and marketing alogrithms. Take the recent article, The Cheapest Generation, for example.
 In 2010, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 bought just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, down from the peak of 38 percent in 1985. Miles driven are down, too. 
And because of this, the author labels the milleniums as cheap.


My Cheap Road Trip: Ideas & Tips You can Use


A few weeks ago, a couple girlfriends and I drove down from Vancouver to Oregon for two nights and three days. We each shelled out less than $200 for a trip that was luxurious, adventurous and novel. It was so wonderful, I still look back with banana smiles.

This is a huge feat for me; the road trip was cheap, but it didn't feel cheap. 

The breakdown:

    Gas - $55
    Groceries - $15
    Lodging: $28
    Touristy stuff: $40
+  Dining out - $60
Total - $198

Olive Oil as Make Up Remover

Oh surely you remember my frugal beautiful pledge, right?

Yes, I'm working on cutting down on costs.
Yes, I will look fabulous doing it. Therefore, I am not giving up make up.

But no, I will not spend $15 on make up remover if I can use olive oil.

Meal Plan #5


Here I am, home on a Friday night. Skipping a girl's night out and a birthday party to meal plan. Not nerdy or loserish at all.

Lo and Behold, last week's meal plan.

What I have:
Chick Peas
Coconut Milk
Wheat Torillas
Chicken Breast

What I bought:
Frozen Chopped Spinach Nectarines
Soy Milk
Grape Tomatoes
Green Pepper
White & Purple Onions
French bread
Jalapeno Pepper
= $18.62 
What I'll make:
Egg Salad Sandwich
Greek Salad
Creamy Mediterranean Linguine
Tum Yum Chicken
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Paprika Chicken Breasts & Salad

DIY: 52 Reasons Why I Love You

Today is my three year anniversary with my boyfriend. What did we do today? We went to McDonalds, and then he returned me  home.


Okay, I made it sound worse than it really is. He's working a late shift today, and we will be the celebrating this weekend in Washington state.

So here I am, on our anniversary, alone, with a part of his gift. In the past, I would spoil him with Beat Headphones, and designer clothes. But this year is different. This year is the year I try to be financially responsible . Hence, my first attempt at a homemade gift.

Here it is:

An Ode to Duct Tape

Oh Duct Tape, so adhesive, so nice
Today I found you and you were useful thrice.

I couldn't find anything to fit my tub hole smug
My sister said bathing impossible, and left with a shrug
But you my friend, became my bath tub plug

Canadians aren't ready for rainy days


On tonight's Global News, the latest polls show that about 45% of Canadians have no emergency funds.


You need a steady job to have money. 

And I believe that factor is one of our culprits. At least for me. How many positions do I need to fill this year before I get a steady job? It looks like four minimum.

But Canadians have it good compared to our southern neighbour. We have medicare.

Sunday Night Chit-chat

Time for another chit-chat with Carla! 

In Korea, a favorite past time on the ferry is to feed the seagulls Shrimp chips out of your hands. This picture is from my last ferry ride. 

What am I reading? 
Job postings. And my cover letters before I send them off. Yup, I'm back on the hunt. *shudder* Hopefully tomorrow there will be more positions for me to apply for on charity village. 

What are you watching?
My e-mails from prospective employers. Haven't turned on the TV or downloaded anything for days. Must. Get. Job.

An apology to father


Dear Wonderful but High Expectations Father, 

You came to Canada, a land of opportunity, to provide a better future for your children. You made every effort to make sure that my sister and I didn't go through the same hardships that you and mother did. In return, we'd go to school, more school, meet a rich Chinese guy to marry, then become a doctor or engineer. 

Debt Free & Fabulous

I am going to be fabulous while I live the frugal life. I might have to hide at home and divert dinner dates to coffee, but I'm going to look good while doing it. I'm not going to sell my arm for a designer bag, but there is no way in hell am I going to frolic about town in the same pair of holey sweats. And no matter how poor I get, a good night cream is mandatory. Cue the:

Oh why oh why haven't I been writing?


Since I've moved back to Canada,  I've been catching up on my old life and going through some personal things. But I'm back, this time in full force! Let me explain why.

It took me two months to finally finish an interview process for a school that's looking to send me to Korea (this time with better pay, location and conditions!). I haven't received their answer, but it doesn't matter much.

I've decided to stay in Canada.

In the name of love.

Extremely Simple Mango Pudding Recipe


I was craving mango pudding, an East Asian dessert that sells from $5 - $10 bucks for a little bowl at the restaurants. I decided to make my own and delightedly discovered that a serving is way under a dollar. It's ridiculously easy to make and tastes ridiculously good as well!

Grocery Store Spotlight: PricePro


Being frugal does not mean we have to be a slave to corporate giants like Walmart. Social enterprises like the one I'm shining the spotlight on today, make it possible for us to contribute to responsible organizations whilst living on a budget. 

Out of all the grocery stores in British Columbia, I'm going to have to say that I enjoy PricePro the most.  The grocery store is for customers who: is into responsible consumerism, wants great value, practices a 100 mile diet, likes customer service.

Their prices are relatively competitive, and their quality is pretty good. Their meat is from an actual in-house butcher - not a meat cutter - and is probably the best part of the shop in terms of value. They avoid all the hormone injected animals and opt for the free range meat instead. Once I was overwhelmed by the selection (because I didn't *gasp* meal plan), and a nice gentleman (that all my single girlfriends would have loved) offered to help me out.

Emergency Fund


My boyfriend has quite a bit of money saved up, and I had the comfort of knowing that should an emergency arise, he'd be there to help me. We're practically married anyways. He insists that his money is our money. I believed him, and threw my savings into my student loans. 

Simple Hot Cocoa


Once upon a time I bought natural cocoa powder to make brownies. And never used it again. Until now, using one of the most simplest but yummiest recipes. It's not only great for winter but for a rainy vancouver (which is like, every day XD)

sticking a clove of garlic in my ear


I've come down with a horrible cold. And it's accompanying ear infection. I would stop myself from coughing because the pain in the ear if I did was unbearable.

It's been a week, I've almost given up trying to treat myself, and had plans to go to the clinic this morning. I would have to be prescribed antibiotics.

Unable to sleep, I googled a home remedy. I ended up sticking a clove of mashed garlic into my ear - secured by a bandage. I know, the visual is rather silly.

4 Money Lessons for Generation Y


My parents give me sound financial advice - if grew up during their time. Let's face it, some of the fundamental money lessons that were learned from the great depression and baby boomers don't apply to generation Y. Thanks to this article, I have a clearer grasp of which of pa's advice to scrap. 

Back to Basics


I have officially moved from Korea to Canada. The last weeks in Asia, and the first weeks here have came and gone so fast! I was too busy seeing the people I love, moving into my new place, and eating all the foods that I missed, that I haven't been blogging or *gasp* watching my cash.

Don't Play Victim


Dear woman in the picture above,

I'm going to assume that since your the poster child for #OccupyStudentDebt, that you are an average Jane, drowning in student loans for the rest of your life.

My question to you: Why did it take you 23 years to pay off $32,700? Look at me. I graduated less than two years ago, and I'm making incrementally above minimum wage. I've paid off more than $10,000!

Simple Congee Recipe


Ah, the chicken noodle soup of Asia. Serve it to people feeling under the weather, hungover, or on a cold morning. 

Sunday Night Chitchat

Once again, I'm joining Carla for a Sunday Night Chitchat! (Even though it's Monday morning for me right now haha!) 

Btw Carla, I can't seem to comment on your blog...the school/country banned it or something =\

Daniel Sedin, telling us everything will be okay :) 

The Kite Runner...it's a page turner! I accidentally skipped all my plans to eat breakfast, brew a coffee, grocery shop, and clean my bathroom because I was so immersed..

The NHL Playoffs! Daniel Sedin is back from his injury! Today, the Canucks try to avoid elimination, a definite nail biter. (For a die-hard Canucker, anyways.) The horrible thing is that I have to eat lunch and teach two classes in the middle of it all!

Resolutions upon Return


I'm scared that I'm going to be making cabbage soup for the rest of my years.

And that my parents are going to return to Canada and think we sacrificed everything for you so you can be raised in the new world and become a doctor or something highly reputable so we can show you off to our friends - but you failed us. And then comment on my weight gain and blemished face.

And that my boyfriend that I wish to marry, will marry into debt.

It's time for me to figure life out once and for all. Time to stop traveling the world, taking in awesome sights and consuming awesome tastes - ultimately halting the best  time of my life. Sigh.

I don't have any specific career goals, but I don't want to end up at a big corporation - unless it has something to do with competitive intelligence or market research. But even then, I'd rather work at a think tank. If it's not about research, I prefer to work a job that promotes community development - a non-profit. Maybe something to do with children. So how do I prepare myself for these blurry career goals?

My New Jeans


If you're not new to saving, then you know that it's generally a better idea to buy a more expensive, better quality item over a cheaper and will-break-down-in-a-month item. That's why, despite how cheap I am in all other areas, Levi's are the lowest in quality I'll go when it comes to purchasing jeans.

My favorite designer jeans are Rich & Skinnies. They fit comfortably like a glove and make me feel super sexy and slim. I bought my first pair of jeans for $210. (Pre-frugal days.) It lasted me a good three and a half years of wearing it two or three times a week. (I would have worn it more often, but people would notice!)

MBA Bound

My high school counsellors screwed me over. I went to university and studied what I was passionate in, and it was awesome. But my political science and economics degree means nothing in the working world.

Easy to Make Salad Rolls


I just ate about 2 dozen salad rolls today, using my homemade Thai Tangy Sauce. The best thing about salad rolls is that the recipe is flexible. If you don't like an ingredient, leave it out. If you have a green onions sitting idly in the fridge, throw it in. The only three mandatory ingredients are vermicelli noodles, rice paper wrappers, and bean sprouts. 

I love throwing in fresh herbs (namely cilantro) - it adds a contrast in texture and it tastes like summer! Hence, salad rolls are also called summer rolls. 

Frugal Tip: Don't be a Dumbass


It's been a year since I've gone clubbing. I thought I'd make my reappearance at a masquerade benefiting the orphanage that I volunteer weekly at.

I was definitely a dumbass.

meal planning with chicken!


I was accompanying my friend at Costco with a friend. It's a dangerous place if you don't have a shopping list, or even intend on buying anything at all. 

Long story short, I now have two chickens. I'm going to cut one up and stick it in my freezer. As for the other one? I boiled it with a bunch of leftover veggies. So with this new fancy ingredient (you roll your eyes, but little do you know how much I'm not spoiling myself in the kitchen!) I'm going to complete this month's challenge. 

Tangy Thai Sauce (Easy!)


I thought I'd start a new blog feature: Recettes de la Semaine. This will help me keep track of tweaked, tried and true recipes. 

Today's recipe is adapted from Darlene Schmidt  I chose this recipe because i wanted dipping sauce for my salad rolls, but I was too lazy to go out and get cornstarch (about what 99.9% other recipes for Thai Chili sauce needs). The greatest thing about making this sauce versus buying it, is that I can put in double the chilies and a little more garlic to create a spicier, stronger sauce. It looks a little browner and not as orangey as the store brought ones - but it tastes sooooo much better. It turned out to be great, and I never had felt the need to look up another recipe for Thai Chilis sauce since! 

April - May Challenge


I am a week into April, and I haven't set up a new challenge for myself partly because I'm so focused on the "Using up All My Food Before I go" challenge. I am returning to Canada in five weeks, so I have a lot of things (I want) to get done.

So for this month and next, my challenge is to make a realistic bucket list whilst continuing to keep within budget (100 000 won a week). Here is the list so far:

pooping on parties left & right


I thought it would be easy to save in South Korea because living costs are lower and I only have 40 contacts in my cell phone. I realized that 40 contacts here is equivalent to the 300+ contacts I have in Canada. I'm being asked to go out every weekend and some weekdays - usually to party. Im not saying potluck party, I'm saying drinking and clubbing until the night/morning strikes four, and you have to take a pricy cab back from Seoul because all the subways and buses are closed.

I usually say no, based on the fact that I'm poor and I make it up by asking them out for coffee. But, I can see that when I tell them I'm taking a trip to Boseong (a town in the south of the country with beautiful green tea plantations) that they think I'm not that poor. If I could afford to go there, I can surely afford a "couple" drinks.

Weekly Summary

some of my end of month purchases

Wow, what a horrible but pleasurable last day of the month.

I looked in my wallet and found that I had a wad of cash in it. (Been saving wayy too much money!)

So I paid myself a day early and set off to Myeong-dong, a beloved shopping district in Seoul and went a little crazy. I blew off almost two weeks allowance in one day.

In exchange for my guilt I got:

damsel in distress


To Women Who Apply,

Sometimes you feel proud of yourself. Perhaps many people have called you a career woman, a new age woman, independent. You make the money, you pay the bills, and you feed yourself.

But then shit happens.

Screw this, I'm going to marry rich, you say to yourself. All you have to do is act pretty, make sandwiches and swipe your hubby's credit card. Might as well make your natural assets work for you!

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

Chatting with Carla and folks again :)

Check out the guy taking a picture of himself with his phone! 

Alice in Wonderland. I love nonsense literature, because in a way, it makes sense.


Aziz Ansari Skits. It's nice to satirize culture in a non-racial way.

Listening to?
1-2-3-4 Hot your body forever more!

My co-teacher never puts her phone on silence, leaves her phone in the teacher's room, and gets someone to call her 2038409238492034290 times a day. Now it's stuck in my head. >=( !

Mandu! It's the bestest and healthiest mandu I've made so far! With this recipe, I can return to Canada and never crave Korean mandus!  All thanks to a wonderfully charming woman, Maangchi.

Happy you accomplished this week?
There's a student I tutor at the orphanage that's making tremendous progress. He's usually a little stubborn and shy, but he puts in the effort and works his heart out. Hopefully, he'll be able to catch up with the rest of his class soon. 

Looking forward to next week?
Shopping! With whatever money leftover I have in my budget, I'm going to buy some souvenirs, stock up on some skin care items.  (I'm returning to Canada in 7 weeks!)

Thankful for today?
Vinegar. Thank you for keeping my house clean, and being awesome in my sauces and dressings.

Weekly Summary

This week I had about 125 000 to spend. And I didn't spend it all! YAY!

Meal Planning #4

Hmm, I definitely did'nt consume enough vegetables last week. I feel like crap.
This week, I'm going for some Korean cuisine!

   What I have:   
Ground Pork
Pancake Mix
Mandu Skin

   Grocery list:    
Green Onions
Bag of onions
French Bread
~20 000 won

   Meals to make:    
Mother's Asian Soup
Korean Pancake
Pan-fried Mandu
Mandu soup

To the free wi-fi provider: Thank you


Dear Neighbour (iptime),

I have been in Korea for almost a year now, and I have been leeching off of your internet. I understand that the internet can get costly. It's just that I'm dirt poor, and the internet providers seem to only want me to sign long-term contracts when I am planning on staying here for a bit.

Meal Planning #3

This week, I'm going to take it easy and try to use mostly what I have at home. (I know I keep saying that, but THIS time, I'm doing it for real!) My boss is taking me out for dinner on Tuesday, so that means at the most, six days of cooking.

   What I have:   
Sour Cream
Curry Powder
Ground Pork

   Grocery list:    
Bag of Potatoes
2 Cucumbers
1 Carrots

~5000 won

   Meals to make:    
Wannabe Greek Platter
Fried Rice
Pork Sour Cream Curry
Mushroom Congee

Sunday Night Chit-Chat!

I'm joining Carla and her buddies in a little chit chat! (albeit a little late!) 
Visited the biggest lava tube discovered! 
I just finished The Hobbit! My school's library only has classics for the students, so I'm making my way around that. Tomorrow, I'm going to sign out Alice in Wonderland.

I am going to watch a highly recommended Korean movie tonight. It's pronounced Madoh, which can be interpreted as Konglish for Mother and Murder. My students tell me that Won Bin, one of the actors, is the ideal Korean man - so I finally get to see what he's made out of!

Why replace something you can fix?


I'm trying to fix things before I replace them. It's the single handedly smartest thing to do - but I never did it because I was lazy. And I admit, I was a snob. People who fixed things are poor, I thought condescendingly, I'm not going to fix things. 

Lo and behold, I'm poor and fixing things. But my attitude towards fixing things has flipped. Hence this post bragging about all the money I saved fixing things!

Chinese Parents.

When my parents proudly told me this story, I shook my head and thought, this is how the Chinese get their cheap reputation.  But now I look back, and I smile and wish I inherited a fraction of their thriftiness.

Weekly Summary


Groceries costed a great deal because, well, I went to Costco!

For my dining expenses, I met my friend for coffee last Sunday, and had a hot dog at Costco. I thought I was doing great with this month's challenge until my boss asked me to have lunch with her! I couldn't refuse her. She had been paying the last several meals, so I decided to step up and cover her's that day.

Bills, Bills, Bills.

I love graphs!

This graph shows my awesome effort at bringing down bills from January to Feb. It looks like this month I should be cutting back even more on all four categories!

To The Boyfriend


My Prince Charming,

I know the reason why you haven't taken a job for over five years is because you make more money playing poker.

I know people look at you and talk to you condescendingly. They've seen your losing days, your bad choice in clothing, dirty shoes and reach silly conclusions. I've seen your one losing month in the three years we've dated, I know your not a brand whore, and I know you love your pair of kicks to pieces.

Weekly Summary Update


March is when a new semester begins. Old Native English Teachers return to their motherlands while new ones begin their expat escapades in a new and mysterious land.

I said good bye to the last of my friends on Wednesday. Their last meal request in Korea before they hop onto the plane? Indian. The couple is from a small town in the States, where Indian restaurants are still non-existent.

Meal Plan #2


A sequel to my first meal plan! The more I spend time at home, get creative with food, and save - the more I wouldn't mind being a house wife slash full-time volunteer. A big change from last year when I sought out to be a career woman. Whoops! Went off topic.

Sitting in the Dark. Literally.

I'm on my bed, hiding under my blanket with the lights off. It's part of my new initiative to save on the electricity and heating bill.

March Challenge

I'm making my own challenges this month! It won't be that different from last month since it's worked so well for me. Here it is...

"my first meal plan" outcome


I'm surprised that in 7 days I only spent 15 dollars on extra food! Meal planning is fun!

Feb Challenge Update #4


Basic Rules
1. Don't unnecessarily spend.
2. I have 163 580 won this week to spend. ($144.52 CAD) Bills excluded in this. 
3. Triple student loan payment this month (I ended up Octupling it!)
4. More information here

Sunday Night Chit Chat

A quick snap from the road. A Sunset in Stanley, Hong Kong

A Wrinkle in Time. I remember loving it as a child. I'm reading it again with a fresh new perspective, and I love it.

I don't normally watch anything =\ BUT! I just downloaded Downton Abby as recommended by my neighbour. It's suppose to be the highest critical acclaimed English-language television show ever! I haven't actually seen it yet - but I enjoy historical fiction, so I'm sure this will be great!

my first meal plan


I usually do some sort of meal planning - inside my head. But as I understand from reading around, meal planning has a number of benefits:

  1. You will EAT OUT LESS
  2. You will have a plan so you will be eating LESS PREPACKAGED MEALS
newer post older post