Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Very Unique Building project,

Another Very Unique Building project, designed by a local Architect, Jim Campbell of Rockside Design and built by Custom Builder, RTalbot carpentry, of Creemore.

This project was build just outside of the very picturesque village of Creemore in the hills on prime real estate land. The views from this home are worth a million.

This custom addition and renovation was very extensive and rewarding. The  project ended up with approximately 6000 square feet of beautifully designed living space.

The roof structure you see in the video was about the most challenging of the entire project. It all went well. The roof was large squared timbers in an X pattern with 2" tongue and groove boards on top, plus insulation and ventilation. It was built on the ground and then craned up two storeys. There were four corner points of the walls that the roof sat on. It had to be axact on the ground so that it would sit perfectly in its final resting position. The very cold and windy winter days were just one of the elements that had to be contended with.

The entire project, not just the roof, took just over a year to complete. The home was designed and built to take advantage of the incredible views.

If you are interested in having a home designed and built in the Creemore hills, Mulmur, Collingwood, Grey County, or Wasaga Beach area, call us today. We will help you get the process started. If you need a Design/Architectural firm to get the design started and confirmed, now is a great time to have a free consultation. I will personally walk you through the process. With our many connections and extensive experience we can make sure the project gets done effectively.

So whether you are interested in buying vacant land to build that perfect vacation home, permenant residence or you would like to buy one ready to move into. Call me Joseph Talbot of Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage. I am local and know the area well and what to look for and avoid in a property in the Creemore, Stayner, Collingwood, Mulmur, Blue Mountains, Wasaga Beach and Grey County areas.
I look forward to meeting with you.
Have a terrific and successful New Years.
All the best to you and your family.

Call today 705-733-5821 ( text)

Monday, December 12, 2011


Seeing as we are in this together;

I figure, I might as well do the best that I can. So my goal here at Remax Clearview Inc.,  is to provide you with the very best service that I can. You likely would want someone with great experience and specialized education in Real Estate and building. Not all Agents are created with the same Expertise in the field.

Well that is why I am striving to achieve designations. Just so you know that when you work with me you are getting someone with the skills and knowledge, in the industry, that matter. I now have four designations to serve you better. I strive to increase our position in the Real Estate transaction.

It does not matter to me whether you are buying or selling a property worth more then a Million or one that is worth less than 100 k. It is all the same to me, when it comes to service. I take pride in who I am and what I do as a professional. So why should you care? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Following is a short description of what all these designation mean for you.

            Provided and taught by the The Real Estate Academy Inc.
            In short, what this means is that I have been trained to work professionally with
            the mature or senior demographic. Helping seniors or the boomers plus, can
            involve alot of extra care and knowledge. Items such as wills, estates,
            probate, downsizing, Universal Design and transitioning from one residence to another
            come into the grand picture. This all requires someone with special knowledge and
            experience and not all agents have it.


              Provided and taught by the National Association of REALTORS, this
              designation is similar to ASA. Designed to educate agents how to help 
              deal with the Senior market and their families with professionalism and
              consideration. There are more items to deal with when working with the
              50 plus buyer or seller and their families.


            Provided by the National Association of Green Agents and Brokers, this
            emcompasses professional training on ENERGY EFFICIENCY of a home.
            How does this translate to you as a seller or buyer? It helps me determine
            ways to help you to save money in your hydro usage & gas comsumption, ways
            to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, and
            ways to keep your home safe and healthy.


             Provided by the National Association of REALTORS, this course helps
             to improve an agent's negotiating and positioning skills for their buyers, 
             enabling the buyer to reap the benefits of the professional training and
             experience of the ABR, while treating the seller fairly and with respect.

How does this all help you? Well, information is worth alot when it come to dealing in real estate. Having an agent that is well informed and comes with special designations is well worth the time spent on your behalf.

Remember not all agents are trained the same. Not all agents upgrade their knowledge with designations or skills that are relevant. I want to be on your side, helping you when you buy or sell a home.

From the first time we meet and we commit to a business relationship, we are in it together until we finish to deal. But that is still not the end, most of my clients choose to be a part of my Client Appreciation Program.

So whether you are buying or selling a home in the Stayner, Creemore, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Mulmur, Town of Blue Mountain or Grey Highlands areas, contact me as soon as possible.

I provide fast, competent service that helps you leverage your position in the Real Estate deal.  You deserve great service.

Also if you are interested in near future in buying or selling a property, why not call me and become part of my Client appreciation program? Very valuable information is sent out on a regular basis, by mail or email. This is a free service. Be informed in advance!

Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to read this.

All the best and Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.
705-733-5821 by phone or text.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

December in Paradise!

Old Man Winter really isn't sure whether he wants to send us a green or white Christmas so we've really enjoyed multiple seasons this month.  This area is beautiful in all seasons! 

Wildlife can be found all year long too.  Check out some winter photos taken in Clearview here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Speaking of Healthy Homes . . .

Over the next while, I hope to post some videos on home maintenance or repair. If you'd like to see your question answered, give me a shout or send me an email. Check out today's video on Duct Cleaning.

Office: 705-428-4500
Direct/Text: 705-733-5821

Cleaning Your Duct Work

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Dear fellow Real estate owners and potential owners

When you own a home, we all know that it is an investment and we all want to protect our investment.

So a little maintenance is a great idea and well worth the time and can save you $1000’s in the long run. Just like a vehicle when it needs a repair we usually take care of it right away so that it will last us longer or be worth more if we go to sell it.

So I would like to help you protect what you work SO hard for.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind, for this fall ( before the snow flies) ( picture the snow flies)

- Are your plumbing vent stacks higher than potential snow depth on your roof, they must be able to breathe

- Get on your roof ( or hire someone) to check for potential leaks, or ice damming

- Be sure to maintain a humidity level around 50%, helps avoid dry skin and nose bleeds

- Check for heat loss around windows and doors. ( ask me how, it is simple, it can save you $)

- Check for heat loss around outlets, on exterior walls as well as interior walls.

- Remove window air conditioners, they can be a big heat loss.

- Check attic hatchs and light fixtures for heat loss.

- Check for deteriorated caulking, remove and re-caulk, keeps out cold air, moisture, bugs

- Bugs and rodents/pests look for warm places for the winter, they can cause a lot of damage.

- Turn off outside taps and drain, wrap all water pipes ( ask me why)

- Check for moisture gathering and mold in your bathroom, you should have an exhaust fan.

- For older windows consider shrink wrap or heavy curtains to keep heat in, be sure to open during daylight

- Look for condensation on windows and walls, fix the issue or it will frost up on Cold nights,

- Stake out things that may get buried in snow, this way snowblower won’t catch them

- Cut the grass one more time, it’s easier to rake off leaves and gravel in the spring, you’ll thank me

- Very important, be sure that your CO2 and smoke detector are working well.

- Remember to let the sun in during the winter to warm the house and be sure to close the drapes at night to keep the cold out, however , it is a must to open drapes in the daytime, ask me why? This is just the begining, please feel free to call me and I would be glad to help you better understand these and more items.


If you have any questions OR would like a HOME VISIT, please feel free to call me and I can explain in more detail and how this will affect your future home value. As well if you have any Real estate questions please give me a call today and I would be very happy to come and see you and give you some very helpful tips in maintenance to increase your home value. Check out my blog and website for more great information. As well when you or someone you know would like to buy or sell, call me today, and I will give them the great service they deserve.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this,

Joseph Talbot

705-733-5821 direct line/text

Have a terrific day!!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What’s the Deal Here?

Have you ever thought of reducing the energy your home uses?  Have you ever looked at the cost associated with energy-related products and services?  Do you even care?

Well, as a realtor, an investor, a builder and a home-owner, I do care, but there are many factors to consider.  The overwhelming issue that tends to dictate whether or not I will invest, is usually the project’s cost and return on investment.

For instance, a while ago I spent the time and aggravation to purchase and install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) throughout my whole house.  I bought them from Canadian Tire and Home Depot , rather than the dollar store, so the cost was significant.  Highly recommended for energy efficiency and long life span, they were supposed to outlast regular bulbs by many, many hours. 

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for me.  Most of them blew within a few months and boy do they stink when they blow up.  One Sunday, just before we headed out for Church , I noticed a blown CFL in my kitchen light fixture.  I quickly grabbed a chair and jumped up and to replace it.  When I tried to turn the bulb, the thinner glass actually broke in my hands and cut me.  (I still have all my fingers, just a little less blood.)

Then I start to read the warning labels on these CFL’s . . . TOXIC!!  Pregnant or nursing mothers and children should be evacuated from the room.  Needless to say, with small children in my home, I have not bought another one since and never will.

Now, how about the cost of these things??  I will never get my money out of them!  Not sure what the big hype was all about, but I figure it’s all a scam.  Next time I go and try and be energy conscious, I will be cautious enough to research and ask around more.

I have done many other things to help the environment and save on energy bills, but we will get into that next time.
Have you thought about reducing energy use in your home?  How have you been able to do it in a cost effective way?  Feel free to comment here.

Image Credit:  Retreived from, October 4, 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Listing: 233 Cherry Street, Stayner

Welcome to this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Century Home.  The lot is huge and the 2 story barn would be a great workshop or garage.  For more information or to view the inside of the home, book an appointment with Joseph today. 

Please ignore the cat's input throughout the video.  Not sure he wants us to sell the house.  :)             


Monday, August 1, 2011

Long Weekend Cottage Country Traffic Got You at a Stand-Still?

Why not live here full time?

Real Estate in Georgian Bay area has so much to offer. With new properties being built all the time, and gorgeous older homes available too, we can find the home that's right for you. Whether you ski or golf at Blue Mountain, hike the Bruce Trail or swim at Wasaga Beach, living in this area gives you the opportunity to play, anytime!

So many companies are offering at least part-time solutions to the regular commute, such as part-time work weeks or telecommuting and many Torontonians are taking advantage, finding solitude in nature and unity in our small communities.

If you're not ready for full-time living, cottages, weekend homes and investment properties abound. Come and visit Stayner, Creemore, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood and the surrounding areas to explore your options. You won't be disappointed.

Stayner Home Renewed, Upstairs Down.

We recently turned this older, run-down home into a two-unit, income producing property. Do you need ideas for investment properties? With 25+ years combined, in building and real estate, I can provide some insight. If you have a property in mind, let's talk.

Monday, April 11, 2011

make your home COOL

Well get ready for it. Here it comes. The humidity, and the heat.
After the past few days, this could be an idication that we are headed into a hot humid spring and summer. Regardless, of whether we are or not, we should be ready for the heat and humidity. What are you going to do to reduce your heat and humidity in your home. One very important thing you should know is that you do not want to have humidity level to exceed 60 %. Then you may start developing mold in your basement. Your will start to see and feel it on paper products. Such as books,photos and posters, just to name a few. Then your clothes and furniture will feel moist. Then you will see it on the wall near the floor where the air is the heaviest and contains the most water content.  Also remember that your concrete basement floor is always colder then the warm moist air around it. Alway remember that cold air is heavy and warm air is light. That  is why your second floor or attic is always hotter than your basement. Also remember that when warm air meets cold air it will turn to condensation. That is why your cold water supply lines and toilet will sweat on the hot humid days. Also if you have a tile floor in the basement it could sweat and create water on the surface, be careful it could be slippery. As well, remember that if you do not remove that moisture out of your basement OR crawlspace that you get mold. Mold is there before you even see it. It is a health hazard as well. People can develope allergies or get sick from it.

So you say one of two things. Big deal or lets deal with it and lets control it.

Here are just a few things you can do to improve your living and building health of your home.

1.  Get the air moving in your basement or crawl space, it help dry it out. Buy a couple of portable fans
     and put one at each end of the basement. Keeping them on low will work fine, unless really humid.
2.  If it is really cool or moist in your basement or crawlspace turn the heat on a little bit to equalize the
     tempurature within the house.
3.  Turn on the furnace fans and draw some of the cold air out of the basement to the upstairs. This will
     also prolongs using the more expensive air conditioning.
4.  Install a humidex, costs about $500, and it acts just like a dehumidifier, but costs less to operate and
     you do not have to empty the holding container.
5.  Buy an energy star rated dehumidifier and hook it up to a floor drain.
6.  It is also a good idea to open a window little bit to allow for fresh air.
7.  If you have to turn on the air conditioner, this is likely the most expensive way to cool your home, but
     it works. It will also remove a lot of the moisture out of the air.

Some other small things to consider.

1.  Make sure your attic/roof has adequate ventilation.
2.  If you are going to reshingle your roof, do not use black or dark shingles, because they absorb heat.
3.  Plant trees and plants that may block the hot summer sun. If you go under a tree in the summer it
     always feels cooler.
4.  Limit your use of incandescent lighting, because most of the energy used is wasted in heat. Be careful
     though when using CFL bulbs because when they break they are toxic.
5. Shade your air conditioner to keep the hot sun off it.
6.  Close your windows and window covers during the day.
7.  Open your blinds and windows during the cool of the evening. Try to get a cross breeze going.
8.  Place a fan near the window, not in the window. Watch for rain, because the fan may draw the rain
     into the house.
9. Keep extra water and drinks in the basement before putting in the fridge. If you put them in warm or
     hot it takes much longer to cool down, and you will NEED them.

These are just a few things to do that will help you stay cool. When you are ready to sells your home or buy one bring me a long and I will give you some great tips as to how to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. I would love the opportunity to help you or your referrals out.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Joseph Talbot, ASA, SRES, AGA
Sales Representative
Remax Clearview Inc. brokerage.
Check out my website for other great information.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Mortgage Rules Coming on March 18th

New Mortgage Rules – What Do They Mean?

Related Resources
There has been an ongoing conversation about good and bad debt in the news lately – is there a difference and how does it relate to Canadians’ personal situations? The mortgage meltdown in the U.S. and the all-time high consumer debt levels in Canada have also raised an alarm.

The Canadian government is now weighing in on the issue. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently made an announcement on new mortgage rules that serve the dual purpose of protecting the overall economy as well as nudging Canadians back towards lower personal debt levels.

What happened to the days of mortgage-burning parties? Not so long ago, it used to be a big point of pride to finally own one’s home. And by “own”, it was meant that not a penny was owed, unlike today when “owning” seems to mean living in a house with a mortgage, no matter how large that mortgage may be.

Mortgage Rule Changes

The Government of Canada’s mortgage changes impact both new and current homeowners. The three rules of the program are as follows:

Starting March 18, 2011:
  1. The maximum amortization period will be reduced to 30 years from 35 years.
  2. The maximum amount Canadians can borrow in refinancing their mortgage will be lowered from 90% to 85% of the value of their home.
  3. Starting April 18, 2011:
  4. Ottawa will withdraw government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes.

So what do these changes actually mean for homeowners and first-time homeowners?

First-Time Homeowners

First-timers will need to either buy a home with more money down, or one worth less than they could previously afford. The difference between a 30- and 35-year amortization on a $200,000 home can vary depending on the interest rate; nonetheless, the average extra cost for a homeowner is expected to be about $100 more per month. So they must either save more up front, increase monthly payments, or both. The Government of Canada is trying to ensure that more of these buyers own their homes sooner, lowering risk and the amount of debt they are carrying.

Refinancing Homeowners

Homeowners who are looking to refinance their homes, consolidate debt or make home renovations will not be able to access as much money as they did before. This is because, under the new rules, they will only be allowed to refinance up to 85% of the value of their home – down from the previous limit of 90%. This means that for a home valued at $200,000, refinancing it at 85% will allow the homeowner to access up to $170,000, while previously they would have accessed up to $180,000.

All Homeowners

The Government of Canada’s withdrawal of insurance on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) will likely mean an increase in interest rates at the banks. As the Government is no longer backing these loans, banks will need to bear more risk and it is anticipated that they will pass this on to homeowners in the form of higher interest rates.

As our government has taken a look at our finances and taken measures to restrain our borrowing, we too should be taking action. Assess your debt – good or bad – and make a plan to pay it off. The best debt, after all, is no debt – there can be no argument about that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Making $$$ From Your Home

Need some extra cash to fund a special project or pay down some debt?  Barrie Lebow, president and founder of Senior Housing Council, The Real Estate Academy Inc., has some great ideas for using your home to make money.  His focus is on meeting Real Estate needs in the senior market and I will post more of his articles in the future.

Making money from your home

Make $$$ from your home - It’s not just about selling lemonade

By Barry Lebow (or Frances O’Flynn)
If you’re reading this column, chances are it’s been awhile since you sold lemonade from a stand in front of your house. But entrepreneurial spirit never dies. So here are some grown-up ideas for making money from your home.

Empty nesters, for example, could rent a room or basement suite to students. Even better, by carefully screening potential applicants you could find a student who’s sufficiently trustworthy to leave in charge of the house while you’re away. Or he or she might volunteer to help with household chores in return for a reduced rent.

And what about that garage you don’t use? You could always rent it as a parking spot, but you could also clean it out and rent it to someone who desperately needs storage space or a place to work on a hobby such as restoring old cars. If you are considering renting out the garage or basement for storage, why not take it one step further and offer shipping supplies. Small home-based industries seldom have the space to store or pack their products for shipping.

Here’s a way to make money from Canada’s role as Hollywood North. Film companies comb local registers and scout neighbourhoods looking for just the right place to serve as a backdrop for their movie. You can register your home with the local film liaison office. One acquaintance made over $1,000 a day renting his upscale property to a U.S. film company. They put the house back exactly as they found it, and aside for the inconvenience of having to vacate the premises for the duration of the shoot, nothing was lost, broken or stolen. Added bonus: you’re may just catch a glimpse of your favourite star.

For those with a now empty in-law suite, why not consider renting out the kitchen to a catering company or other food prep organization? You also could rent a basement room as a photography darkroom or a soundproof garage to local musicians for practices.

Don’t overlook the garden. You can grow vegetables, flowers, even turf, on the back 40 and sell the results online or through local landscapers.

Then there are the home-based businesses: bed & breakfasts (particularly in demand in tourist areas); baby sitting services or daycare; pet boarding; esthetics; music lessons and tutoring; antiques (great if you have an old barn or large shed on your property)… the list could go on and on.

For entrepreneurs willing to take risks, there are opportunities in buying real estate as an investment. Many now-millionaires started life with one duplex, living on the top floor and renting the lower. With your expenses paid by the renter, you can buy a larger duplex or a triplex to rent out. The secret, says one wealthy entrepreneur, is to make sure there is money in your pocket after you’ve covered all your expenses. When you’re assessing an investment, determine whether the rent you can charge will pay not just for the mortgage but renovations and maintenance, property taxes and utilities, as well as a certain percentage set aside for potential vacancies and bad debt. Then make sure that still leaves with you a small profit.

Ask the seller for documentation (or rent rolls) which will tell you how much each unit is rented for. You can even ask for past rent history. Then check going rates online or in newspapers. Rents shouldn’t be too high (which discourages renters) or too low (‘there’s something wrong here’) for the area.

Finally, for empty nesters who are reluctant to sell the family home, why not rent it and downsize to a condo or smaller home? This has the advantage of maintaining the home in the family (perhaps the kids will want to buy it from you when they’re settled and more financially secure). It also has the disadvantage of making you a landlord. Depending on the tenant, the condition of the house, the area and a whole host of other factors, you may be taking on midnight phone calls, angry neighbours and potential damage to the building.

Other downsides of making money from your home: Government regulations affecting home-based industries may make it hard to set up a pet-boarding facility or catering kitchen. Parking for customers may be a problem for home businesses such as esthetics. Film companies, and particularly ad agencies who want to film commercials in your home, may not be scrupulous about returning the house to its original condition. Tenants could damage your property. Students could be noisy.

But then, even selling lemonade from a stand in front of your house years ago probably violated some health regulation. It didn’t stop you then. Will it now?

This information is brought to you by your Accredited Senior Agent, a specialist in the housing needs of older adults. Your ASA is an experienced real estate professional who has graduated from a special education program focusing on the needs of seniors. For information, please visit or contact, Barry Lebow, President and Founder, Senior Housing Council, The Real Estate Academy Inc., providers of the Accredited Senior Agent designation, 416-784-9806 ext. 107

Thursday, February 17, 2011

May be a little late for Valentine's Day . . .

. . . but here it is anyway.  Came across this blog the other day and thought it was quite interesting and relevant, today, as the senior population continues to grow.  Some big decisions ahead for families . . .
Through specialized coursework and experience, I have come to truly understand the diverse issues that may be facing seniors and their families.  With compassion, sensitivity and a realistic approach, I would be glad to assist your family in this process. Feel free to contact me,  705-733-5821 or

Written on February 14, 2011 – 7:39 am | by Audrey Miller My colleague blogged previously on collaborative law as an approach to consider in resolving estate disputes. I think this is a perfect topic for Valentine’s Day. Many, if not most couples, are initially in love. I think most families are started because of love yet what happens to the strength and love of a family over the years is questionable. We often see conflicts that result in litigation and feuding with a lot of money and time being spent. I don’t know what happens within families nor can I provide comment on how to avoid it. What I can suggest is a process that brings family members together in terms of planning and providing care for their older family member.

Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager to assess the individual and to provide an objective analysis of what the older individual needs, is an excellent starting place. An in home assessment will look at their: functioning, including physical, cognitive and emotional components as well as any caregiver related issues. The areas of need are identified with recommendations outlined with their best interests as the priority. This report serves as a blueprint for planning the care of an older individual. While families may continue to disagree at least there is a way to make sure the mom or dad’s needs have been appropriately documented with recommendations and resources identified.

Eleven Reasons to Hire a Professional Geriatric Care Manager:
1. We are professionals who have the knowledge, training, and experience to do what you are trying to do without it.
2. We can do in 2 hours what it would take you 2 weeks to do.
3. We know how to get around that “I’m saving for a rainy day” syndrome, when your folks are drowning in their problems.
4. We’re much cheaper than the cost of plane fare if you have to fly into town when your parents say “everything is fine” but you know it isn’t.
5. We can provide advice on which nursing/retirement residence is right for your parents.
6. We can make your parents hear what you have said over and over again, but they refuse to listen because to them, you are still a child.
7. We can tell your annoying sibling to keep quiet, but graciously.
8. We’ve helped families a lot worse than yours.
9. Your dad can’t push our buttons.
10. Next time you want to hang up on your mother, you can tell her to call us.
11. We’re available, so you don’t have to be.
( Adapted from “Inside GCM,” Winter, 2005, Phyllis Brostoff)
Happy Valentine’s Day. –Audrey Miller

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wouldn't we all like to Save Money???

My wife came across this article in Canadian Living and I thought I'd share.  We've got the hang of some of these tips but have a long way to go.  Grocery prices are outrageous! The author says our grocery costs are second only to mortgage and rent but I'd be surprised if groceries cost less than rent in a lot of families.  Would love to hear your shopping tips & tricks!

Here's the article:

Trim your grocery bill:
Save money on your food purchases with these easy tips.

Benjamin Franklin said, "A fat kitchen makes a lean will," and he was right. I was behind someone at the grocery store who was shopping with her son. They had two grocery carts jammed full of all kinds of prepared food, junk food, comfort food and a few of the necessary staples. While I'm usually not that interested in what people are buying, I was shocked when their food bill rang in at more than $450! It didn't look like they were preparing for a party, either. This seemed to be what they were buying on a regular basis.
Many people now spend more money every month on food than they do on their car! That makes buying groceries the second-highest monthly expense after paying your mortgage or rent (Emphasis added by Joe).  Many people don't think to include food in their financial planning because it's a necessity and we need it to survive; however, this is one area where people lose control every week and overspend.

Saving just $20 a week on your grocery bill can save you more than $1,000 a year. Saving $60 a week could help you save more than $3,000 a year.

I first met Kimberly Clancy when we did a story on Canada AM about trying to save money on your grocery bill. Clancy runs her own website, The site is a wealth of frugal knowledge, where Canadians can go to find out about sales from coast to coast, free shopping advice, coupon tips and ideas on how to shave money off their grocery bill. I went shopping with Clancy and the two of us had the exact same shopping list. The money she saved was amazing.

Without using coupons, I spent $133.89. Using coupons, Clancy spent $23.45. That's a savings of $110.44.
Imagine saving $110 on your grocery bill! On this visit Clancy did use some freebie coupons she was saving up for our demonstration, but she says she routinely saves about 25 per cent or more on her grocery bill every week using coupons, flyers and watching for sales.

Clancy says, "I think many people spend way too much money on groceries, especially when you go to the premium grocery stores. These high-end chains will have beautiful layouts, fancy displays and better lighting, but most premium outlets also own a budget grocery chain that has prices that can be 30 per cent cheaper and the food comes from the same warehouse."

How to save; shopping dos and don'ts
One way to save on your grocery bill is to buy store or generic brands instead of national brands. They are usually much cheaper and just as good. (National brands have to hike their prices up to pay off those expensive TV commercials and magazine ads.) Beans that are canned for more expensive national brands are the same beans that go into the cans sold under the store's name brand. I'll never forget touring a bottled water factory and seeing water going into different bottles with different labels. It was the exact same water being bottled, but the prices ranged from $0.89 a bottle to $1.59 for the same H2O! Often, no-name camera film, batteries and blank CDs are also manufactured by the same companies that produce the more expensie national brand. It just makes sense to try the cheaper brand, and if it works or tastes fine then stick with it.

One of the best ways to save money on your grocery list is to make sure you know the prices of the products you use often. "You won't know what a good deal is if you don't know what the prices are. Just because it's on sale doesn't mean it's a bargain. When you use coupons and other promotional offers you'll get even more savings," says Clancy. The best sale items will be on the front and back of the flyer and when there is something on sale you use regularly, stock up!

Warehouse shopping and buying in bulk are also good ideas, but you can easily walk into a warehouse store with the best intentions to save money and walk out with only eight items that cost you $150, so care must be taken here as well.

Grocery shopping dos
• Do plan ahead
• Do use meal plans
• Do get organized
• Do avoid impulse shopping

Grocery shopping don'ts
• Don't shop on credit
• Don't buy name brands
• Don't buy junk food
• Don't buy food you're not sure you'll eat
• Don't shop when you're hungry

Admittedly, I'm not someone who would spend much time clipping coupons and many of us would find it hard to make the effort or find the energy to bother. While manufacturers issue about 2.6 billion coupons a year, only 97 million coupons are redeemed. Many people who do clip coupons are stay-at-home parents, retirees and students, but Clancy says everyone can benefit. "Everyone has to eat and anyone who wants to save money can. Food is something we have to buy anyway and you should try to find savings, especially if you are spending hundreds of dollars a week on groceries." With all her coupon clipping, Clancy says she spends only about $50 a week to feed her family. "If you cut back a little you can save a little, and if you cut back a lot you can really save a lot. It's that simple."
By Pat Foran
Published by Canadian Living.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wiarton Willie Predicts An Early Spring

No Shadow in the Midst of Today's Snow Storm

Dust off those paint brushes and start making your to-do lists.

Typically, the Real Estate market begins to improve in early spring.  With all the snow we've had this year, people will be eager to get outside when the snow begins to settle. 

If you're thinking of selling this spring, now is the time to start thinking of what you need to do to get your house ready.  If you need any ideas to get you started, give me a call @ 705-733-5821.

So get in your last few ski and toboggan runs and get to work.