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A Man’s Gotta Eat! Cheap Frozen Lunch Edition.

I am not your typical “frugal” blogger.  My retirement/saving plan has never been extreme frugality, or sacrificing everything you enjoy for a few years to ensure early retirement.  My philosophy has always been – life is short – enjoy as much as you can afford to – but make sure you always pay yourself first to ensure you don’t HAVE to work forever.

This brings me to today’s post. Although I still spend way too much at restaurants, bars, and on entertainment – one area I have actually done a good job cutting back my spending over the past year is by bringing lunches to work 4 days a week.  For about 8 years straight, I would go out for lunch every single day.  Aside from the cost savings – I have found that there are actually some pretty enjoyable frozen lunches that are easy to make/cheap.  I figured I’d use today’s post to showcase a few of my favourite frozen/ready made lunches and see if anyone else has any suggestions.  I will not be including sandwiches – because most mornings I am too lazy/rushed to make them and I wanted to keep it fair across the board.  So without further Ado….

My top 4 Value Frozen lunches.

 

 1- Stouffers Bistro Crustini Meatball MozzerelaValue Investing Dividends Frugal Blog Personal Finance

So far my personal favourite.  This one can be found on sale at Walmart or Superstore for $1.88.  It includes two crustini’s and is fairly filling.  What makes it great is the sauce & the crust.  I’ve also tried the Turkey Bacon Club – and although still pretty good – does not compare to this one.

2 – Swanson’s Fried Chicken

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I’ll be the first to admit, I always though these TV dinners would be gross – but I never actually tried them.  I decided to give these a shot about a month ago because they were on clearance.  I was able to find them for $2.00 each so I tried a few different varieties.  So far I have tried the Turkey Dinner, Fried Chicken & Stuffed Turkey.  While all of them were actually surprisingly good – the Fried Chicken one was the best.  This chicken is somehow tastier than KFC/Chicken Delight.  These meals are also nice, because unlike a pizza pop or something – you get a bit of vegetables (usually corn or beans).  When on sale – you can’t go wrong for $2-3 each.  Another great thing about these compared to pizza pockets, crustinis, etc is they are more filling.  The brownie/apple or cranberry treats are never really great – but the rest of the meal makes up for it.

3- El Monterey Chimichanga

Chimichanga

 

These things are GOOD!  Even better if you have some sour cream/Salsa or hot sauce around.  I don’t get these as much as the others for the simple fact I don’t have my Costco membership anymore and that seemed to be where I could always find them.  I plan on renewing my membership soon, so I’ll probably be chowing down on some of these bad boys again in the coming months.

4- No Name Pizza Pockets

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If you like Pizza Pops but have never tried these – you are missing out.  The pepperoni one is my favourite, and these no name brand pockets are better than any other pizza pocket/pop I’ve tried.  You can get 8 of them for 4 bucks – which for me works out to $2.00 per meal.  I find the dough and sauce to be better than a Pilsbury Pizza Pocket.  The only downside with these (for me) is that they sometimes wont fill me up. These pair great with some potato chips or jalapeno cheezies!
I am always looking for new quick and easy lunches to try, and if they are on sale or cheap even better.  If you have any suggestions on others to try – let me know!

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March Passive Income Update.

Happy Easter! Another month has come and gone – which means time for the monthly update post!

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Personal Highlights for March:

  • Finished reading “Warren Buffet & the Interpretation of Financial Statements”.  To be honest It was a terrible book.  I have since started a new book “Astrophysics for people in a hurry” by Neil Degrasse Tyson.
  • March was a busy month, so I wasn’t able to post much,  (just 4 new posts) however I did write my longest/most in depth post as I did a Deep dive into my portfolio. You can read it HERE in case you missed it.
  • The Winnipeg Jets clinched a playoff spot, which is awesome, although it means it’s going to be an expensive few months.
  • Finished binge watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix & American Vandal.  Both were great.
  • Our home day care that was set to take both kids starting May 1st called us to inform us they are closing and won’t be able to take our kids.  Now we have 1 month to find a new day care:(
  • Amber officially accepted a job offer – and will go back to work May 1st.
  • Had our first Easter Egg hunt with the kids – and it was awesome.
  • Even with just 4 posts this month, had my second highest all time visitor count in March!

Financial Highlights for February:

  • Handed all of our tax info to our “tax guy”.  Hopefully get our refund in April.
  • I updated my portfolio page to make my holdings a little easier to read.
  • Continued bi weekly payments into RRSPs & Spousal RSP.
  • Was a slow month.  Aside from regular bi weekly contributions, no purchases were made.
  • Received my first dividends from 2 new holdings I purchased this year.  Power Corp & Western Forest.
  • Even with no new stock purchases, dripped 24 new shares/units.  I was paid from 7 companies and 1 fund in March.

Passive Income Update For March 2018.

TFSA’S:

 

Chorus Aviation: $10.88 (dripped 1 share)

Intertape Polymer: $50.40

Diversified Royalty: $9.14 (dripped 2 shares)

Artis Reit: $50.40 (dripped 3 shares)

Western Forest: $10.44 (dripped 3 shares)

Plaza Reit: $25.89 (dripped 6 shares)

Power Corp: $71.70 (dripped 2 shares)

TFSA’s Total: $228.85 

RRSP:

Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $217.63 (dripped 7 shares)

Total Passive Income March 2018:  $446.48

 

Portfolio Update:

My portfolio decreased by 1.45% month over month.  This marks the first time my portfolio has decreased in consecutive months since I’ve been tracking it.  This is also the first time my portfolio has dipped below $300,000 in 5 months. The early retirement portfolio now sits at $298,737.67.

Dividends grew by $147.00 vs last March(Increase of 49%).

It was nice to see a couple new dividends in March, and I am looking forward to June which will be my first distribution from XAW.

Current Watch List:

Andrew Peller: ADW

Cascades: CAS

InterRent Reit: IIP

Northview Apartment Reit: NVU

Caledonia Mining: CAL

My Watchlist hasn’t changed from last month, but I am interested in adding to my position in Western Forest.

 

That’s it!  Hope everyone else had a great March!