a month on mealpal

In a previous post about how you can save money on food in Toronto, I had mentioned this service called MealPal but couldn’t give a first-hand account of what using the service is like. Since the start of the new year, our house had been a little slower to get back to our regular routine of weekly meal plans + preps. MealPal finally lured me in with a 40% off code so I decided to give them a shot.

Hot Tip: If you sign up for an account but don’t commit to a plan just yet, MealPal will try to woo you with email discount offers. I received emails starting with $20 off my first month, then $40 off, and then finally 40% off.

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eating in toronto on a budget

Holy moly, Toronto is expensive. Who knew that and didn’t tell me before I moved here? I’m just kidding, I knew it was going to cost me some serious cash to live + work + breathe in this city. Maybe you are like me and have student loans + a deep fondness for oysters, or maybe you just want to save because that’s the reasonable and mature thing to do if you have the means. Toronto is expensive, but here are my tips for when you’re inevitably here and aren’t leaving and want to avoid overdraft fees.

This is part 1 – eating in Toronto on a budget.

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your guide to bunz in toronto

Bunz is a trading platform/app/community that started in Toronto but has since expanded to a number of other major cities in Canada. The Bunz philosophy is focused on building communities by encouraging people to trade instead of buying. Maybe you don’t wear that one coat anymore but it’s still in great condition. One man’s trash, etc. etc. Basically, Bunz made bartering cool again. And it’s not just people’s furniture and clothing available for trade on the platform, there are users who even trade services like photography sessions and home cooked meals. Why trade? It can be a great way to meet other people in your city while also keeping your expenses down. Reusing and trading are also more environmentally friendly than buying new!

I really immersed myself in the Bunz community when I first moved to Toronto back in May. While packing and unpacking during that time, I saw how much clothing had gone unworn in the last year and was realistically never going to be worn. I donated about half the pile and turned to Bunz for the other half.

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my favourite podcasts of 2018

Hello, world — it’s been a hot minute since my last podcast blog post so I figured it’s time to update you on what I’m listening to now! It’s actually been a while since my last blog post, period. As it turns out, finishing university then promptly moving to Toronto and starting a new job is tiring and great but also mostly tiring. I found out for myself that it’s very easy to fall into a monotonous pattern of work -> come home -> flop on the bed with the cat and watch Netflix while ignoring other responsibilities -> repeat.

And now I’m back because I missed writing and have so much backlog of content ideas to work through. First up is this post, which is a follow-up to my previous podcasts blog post and has been sitting in my drafts for the better part of four months (oops).

My favourite podcasts from the last year are, in no particular order:

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things from around the internet vol. 2

With all the research and group work going on in my last year, this round-up is distinctly presentation-centric. This might be a long overdue post considering I’m 3 weeks away from finishing my undergrad but I’m sure you will be able to make use of these tools at some point in your life!

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getting started on sustainability

Companies are doing it, governments are doing it, but you as a private consumer are the most important factor in creating a sustainable world! This is something that is brought up often in my seminars, especially in my recent ones on global environmental governance. As much as states and governments should be laying the groundwork for sustainable infrastructure and the large-scale changes needed at the global level, at the end of the day what truly needs to happen is people deciding that the future of our planet is important enough to change the way we act.

Obviously, a super easy task, let’s just all get started with that right away.

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best photo locations on campus – self-timer edition

So you’re on campus and you look cute but you have no friends willing to take your fit pic. If this is not a story you are familiar with, then you are very lucky. Or you don’t really care about taking outfit pictures so this post might not be for you.

If you do have pals on campus who love (tolerate) #OOTDs, you can obviously still partake in photography in these locations but you already have the benefit of another human who can hold the camera. The campus is your oyster in that case.

However, if you are like me and you either feel bad about making your friends take the outfit picture or they don’t happen to be around, here are some places you can go to!

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spotlight on: one king north

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Unlike most of my spotlight series on cafes and public spaces, One King North is actually a new coworking space in Uptown Waterloo at King/Erb. When they first opened they only had a takeaway coffee shop that was open to the public but they’re also experimenting with other combinations of their coworking space and the coffee space so you now have a chance to see what it’s like inside.

During the week (Monday to Friday) anyone is free to stop in an grab a coffee (They have Phil and Sebastian beans!) or baked snacks (Portuguese tarts!!!). They also have 4 small 2-top tables available in the cafe section of the building.

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On Saturdays the main floor becomes just a regular cafe so you can finally hunker down and do some work here! It’s a really lovely space and I enjoyed the atmosphere when I went this last weekend. One perk of the fact that it’s usually a coworking space means that there are outlets everywhere so you never have to worry about your laptop dying here.

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Additionally, if you or someone you know are actually looking for a coworking space I believe they still have some availability left – just take a look at their memberships page.

Their public hours on Saturdays are from 8-5 so you should pencil some study time/coffee dates into your calendar!

(PS – the wifi password is onekingnorth)

guide to thrifting in kitchener/waterloo

Cards on the table, I was definitely one of those people who started thrifting before Macklemore decided to make it a whole thing because secondhand is cheap and I loved the weird thrill that comes with finding something unique or something that’s actually way more expensive than the thrift store thinks it is. As a student, thrifting lets me shop within a limited budget and also lets me practice slightly more mindful consumerism. As accessible as fast fashion is, it’s hard to justify the price tag when you are (painfully!) aware that the company isn’t 100% ethical in their practices. Talk about problematic faves.

So if you’ve been wanting to get into thrifting I have some tips for you in this post as well as recommendations on where to go if you’re in Kitchener-Waterloo!

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budget buys – under $10

For when you want to be a consumer but also don’t want to feed too much into the capitalist agenda. Trick – all your consumerist tendencies feed into the capitalist agenda. But actually, these are just some of my favourite and most-used things that I think everyone could use that are also under $10 because my wallet still hurts after the holidays.

Budget Buys

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