A Money Coach in Canada

Follow & Subscribe

muffins.jpgA number of us thrifty-types in the blogosphere have committed to eating at home and meal planning for the month of November. So far, participants include:

Wooly Woman

Vixen on a Budget

Laughing at Guilded Butterlies

and Barb B.

It’s not too late to jump in here with us (think how good you’ll be feeling for the holiday season) and as a bonus, I have a $25 gift certificate to Safeway/Choices for one person who sticks with their plan all November, and posts about it at least once a week either here or on Wooly Woman’s blog.

About the Author

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


  1. Can I take out a friend for his birthday and still be on the challenge?

    Money Coach’s response: sure! This isn’t an exercise in masochism 🙂 just becoming intentional.


    Oct 29, 2007
  2. Oooh, I’d love to try. This might be just the kick in the pants I need to get my blog updated regularly.


    Oct 30, 2007
  3. Hi Nancy, what a great idea to give away a gift certificate- thanks! I am going to see if I can come up with something frugal minded to give away as a prize as well 🙂 I am heading home tomorrow from Prince George and plan to give some good thoughts about meal plans on the plane trip home. Can’t wait!


    Oct 30, 2007
  4. I plan on doing the November meal planning challenge and look forward to not only saving some money and meeting new people in the blog sphere, but also learning about new things to make for dinners. I can’t wait.


    Oct 31, 2007
  5. Love this challenge Nancy! I can commit to meals at home accept for some networking affairs (2 or 3) and a birthday brunch when my friend Toni will treat me. Will those break the rules? la


    Oct 31, 2007
  6. welcome everyone! And check out the “Clawing our Way” link in the sidebar to find other participants.

    LA, same response as to Raul: for sure, networking or very intentional eating-out-occasions can be part of the deal. The spirit of this is to avoid the unplanned, panic-driven eating out, and even the lifestyle aspect of it. Dining out as an intended event is entirely different than doing it from a kind of ‘sloppy’ place. And… when is your birthday, if you feel inclined to let us know? (or e-mail me! I’d love to greet you).


    Oct 31, 2007
  7. I have my first week of meal planning up, I am so excited about this challenge. Is this where you want me to post my planning?
    Week One: November 1-7

    Menu Planning: I am only planning dinners because lunch and dinners are made with either leftovers or turkey sandwiches and yogurt, so the dinner is where we have the problem focusing and not going out.


    Sirloin Steak on the grill served with new pototaoes in red wine vinegar and green beans; with a slice of apple pie for dessert if we so chose. This dinner makes me feel like such an adult. We went to a local butcher (really there arent many out her in the burbs) and they give us the best cuts, trim the fat and oh my gosh its better than restaurant steak.

    Tuna helper, I am not sure which one we have in the pantry, with peas and applesauce (This reminds me of a kids meal at school.) This is why I cannot wait to read everyone elses meals so that I can come up with some more yummy and appealing things to make with stuff I have around the kitchen.

    Breakfast: Cinnamon rolls we received as a gift from my mom from a neighbor school kid working a fundraiser
    Lunch: Fish sticks in beer batter and noodles
    Dinner: Shrimp Pad Tai (After I told my mom of our plight to avoid the grocery until December 1st she said, “well I have a bunch of stuff in our freezer that we probably wont eat”, this being one of the things she had. I also walked away with 6 red hot link sausages, 2 pork chops, 4 cinnamon rolls, 6 lemon tarts, and this HUGE box of shrimp pad tai, she said they wouldnt eat it and still had a ton of stuff in her freezer so I am about 5 days more prepared with food. Boyfriend eats ALOT, but stays so thin, I hate his metabolism, I WANT IT 😉

    Breakfast: blueberry pancakes (I am going to try to add a bit of applesauce into the batter to get a little more moisture)
    Lunch/Dinner: noshing all day. We are having about 10 of our friends over to have a potluck football and basketball watching day. We might even get out the football and play a little game ourselves. I will be providing the condiments for hamburgers and the hamburger meat (which we already have). And the tea and maybe I will make something sweet with the stuff I already have around the house.


    Nov 01, 2007
  8. Tx Kristina! Here are mine through the week-end (remember I’m also making a big thing of eating healthily, not characteristic of me!):
    B: toast, cheese, apple, latte
    L: salad with chicken
    S: salmon salad sandwich, lots of veggies
    B: Oatmeal, banana, latte
    L: Fish, fruit, salad
    S: Cottage cheese and fruit salad, crackers
    B: Toast, peanut butter, fruit, latte
    L: Small steak (with blue cheese, yum!), salad, asparagus, fruit
    S: Tuna sandwich and veggies
    B: oatmeal, banana, latte
    L: Tuna sandwich and veggies (again)
    S: Roast Chicken, veggies, fruit
    …. and lots of fruit throughout the day.


    Nov 01, 2007
  9. Is it to late to join the challenge? This is a challenge I NEED! The biggest hitch is that my husband works nights and I work (I do child care in my home) days sooooooooooooo – there have been times (ok so LOTS of times) where I didn’t fix him a dinner to take and he ended up spending between $5 – 10 for dinner! What a way to ruin a budget! And how many times has Friday hit and I think I DESERVE to order pizza because I worked so hard all week. Soooooo, a cook at home month is just what I need! Yesterday was easy as I made a pork roast on Tuesday and we ate leftovers both Wed. and Thurs. Tonight I will be making a chicken dish with stuffing on top and acorn squash – with luck we’ll have enough for leftovers for at least one meal this weekend. Oh the weekend….sitting on my wallet as I type!


    Nov 02, 2007
  10. Lunches are still either turkey sandwiches or leftovers from the previous nights dinner.

    Monday 11/05: Three Cheese Lasagna Hamburger Helper made with a pound of ground sirloin that I recieved for free for joining our butchers online email system (which also sends me coupons twice a week). It was much better than it normally is with regular hamburger, in fact, we devoured it that’s how good it was.

    Tuesday 11/06: To celebrate my sister’s birthday we are heading to the Melting Pot where we will proceed to stuff our faces with ooey gooey cheddar cheeses and veggies and breads and then fill up on delicious dark chocolate fondue with splashes of liquors. I can’t wait and am getting hungry just thinking about it.

    Wednesday 11/07: We got these packages of individual Cod fish from the grocery, so I set them out to thaw on Sunday. I am not sure yet how I am going to make this as I have never made Cod before, but I am going to search http://www.allrecipes.com and see if I can find an apetizing recipe that I can make with stuff I already have in the house.

    Thurday 11/08: Tonight, I will be meeting up with my best friend for dinner and we will most likely end up at our favorite mexican restaurant where I can probably get away with 8 bucks spent on a yummy dinner and hours of great conversation. My boy with have his cheese manicotti for dinner, thank goodness I won’t be there for that cheese manicotti, ewww gross!

    Friday 11/09: Spagetti!!! I used to love spagetti and my dad makes it better than anywhere on the planet, I kid you not, but my boy loves spagetti too and since it is always on the 10 for 10 lists at the grocery, he always stocks up. So spagetti is no longer a treat but a meal thats it. I kind of despise it now, but its cheap, he loves it and its easy to make. We doctor up whatever sauce is on sale with our own spices and add spicy sausage to the mix for more flavor. And we never eat it with regular spagetti noodles. When I was young I always wanted cool noodles but my mom always said nope we are having spagetti, so now me and boy NEVER eat spagetti noodles, only the “fun” stuff.

    Saturday: Will either be a good out night, since my guy says we have to go out at least once a week or if he goes out with the guys, I will just have leftover spagetti because I know we will have tons to eat and since my guy doesnt have access to a microwave at lunch anymore, I am the one that gets the leftovers 🙂

    Sunday: I am going to make frito pies. I remember when I was little going to the amusement parks to get these and they were soo good. When I went to Costco last month and got a box of the bagged chips it came with 5 bags of fritos and neither of us like to eat fritos alone and I have chili, onion and cheese so I am going to attempt my first frito pie, though I don’t think it will be too difficult.


    Nov 06, 2007
  11. Julia – you are totally welcome to join, of course! Sorry – your comment was originally lost in my spam folder (sorry!!) – so I only posted you today. Welcome!

    Kristina – today is melting pot day! Yummm – enjoy. I’m merely having a bit of poached fish, sigh.


    Nov 06, 2007
  12. Oops, I’ve been posting on my blog and not here. Sorry, sorry! Here’s what I’ve got so far:

    Breakfast: Leftover Halloween Candy
    Lunch: Pasta w/ Spinach and Artichokes
    Dinner: Celebration dinner out (the beau’s football team won their first championship game)

    Breakfast: Leftover dessert
    Lunch: Networking lunch out
    Dinner: Risotto, Brussel Sprouts, bread with spinach/artichoke spread

    Breakfast: Latte at Dunk’n Donuts (mystery shop)
    Lunch: Leftover dinner
    Dinner: Birthday Party (making cake and cookies)

    Breakfast: Leftover scavenge
    Lunch: Chilis mystery shop
    Dinner: Roast chicken and veggies (inc. potato)

    Breakfast: 2 apples
    Lunch: Leftover veggies
    Dinner: Chicken pot pie

    Breakfast: 2 apples
    Lunch: Leftover pot pie
    Dinner: baked veggies, and tater tots, steak for the beau

    Breakfast: 2 apples
    Lunch: Freezer onion soup
    Dinner: fettucine carbonara


    Nov 13, 2007
  13. 11/8
    Dinner: Leftovers

    Dinner: Matzo Ball Soup

    Brunch: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
    Dinner: Boyfriend’s choice (wound up being Chinese Takeout)

    Brunch: Pierogi with onions and hot dog chunks
    Dinner: Cheese Fondue! (i.e. I am the coolest girlfriend EVER!)

    Potato-Leek-Bacon Soup

    Baja Fresh- Mystery Shop

    Papa John’s- Mystery Shop

    **by the way, I pretty much always have farmers market fruit, whatever’s in season, for breakfast and leftovers for lunch. You can assume that’s the case unless I mark otherwise.


    Nov 13, 2007
  14. 11/15
    pasta with tomato-butter sauce (reduced-butter, but still some. recipe earlier on the blog somewhere).
    dessert: pear with honey-pecan goat cheese. yum! (does anyone have suggestions on how else to use this?)

    11/16 bean soup w/ horseradish-mozzarella sandwiches (ok, I know I’m crazy… but I really like them, and it’s hard to find other veggie uses for my yummy farmers market horseradish)

    Brunch: Out, pre-emt training. Where? Good question.
    Dinner: quinoa risotto (carmelized onion/ butternut squash, methinks) with garlic-string beans

    Brunch: Farmers market– fruit, pancakes or eggs, bacon
    Dinner: Out with friends at Burma

    Roasted chicken and veggies, potato au low-fat gratin (shh!)

    Butternut squash soup (wish me luck, tomato soup is backup), salad. Hopefully I’ll find something else that’s creative to do with the mozzarella here. Mini sandwiches? Stay posted.

    Spinach-chicken tacos. Use up remaining mozzarella.


    Nov 19, 2007
  15. This is just a temporary guess, as it’s hard for me to plan so far ahead without knowing what the farmers market haul will consist of… but I’m optimistic.

    11/22 Thanksgiving meal at my ‘rents (though I will make something festive, I don’t know what, for the boy since he’s staying behind.)

    11/23 Probably still in NY

    11/24 Out, at Aioli(?)

    brunch: whatever the farmers market drags in (likely eggs, bacon, and toast)
    dinner: roasted chicken
    apple-onion-cheddar tart, salad

    reduced fat broccoli-cheddar soup (wish me luck), some sort of potato or bread side

    reduced fat beef stroganoff

    Moussaka? Yeah, wish me luck on that one. Alternate, tomato-butter-onion pasta… mmm, pasta.

    Matzo ball soup


    Nov 19, 2007


  1. Nancy Zimmerman: a canadian money coach (not a financial planner! I do the day to day stuff) » Blog Archive » Personal Praxis: eating at home and balancing luxury with starving people

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge