7 Modern Money Saving Tips

3:04:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments


1. Make A Schedule

As the famous saying goes, “Time is money!” From meetings to hangouts or even just your simple errands, make sure to keep your day as organized as possible. Set a date for your errands together with another trip. With this, you'll spend less on the meals when you'll eat out and the transportation fees. This is a good practice to discipline yourself on managing your time and planning your expenses.

2. Get A Piggy Bank
Instead of using your excess coins specially the cents to buy unnecessary cheap items like a candy bar or that piece of gum you bought just because you can, feed that piggy bank! Now this tip may sound juvenile, but this can really help if you make this a habit. In a few months or less, you'll be surprised how much you've already saved.

3. Set Your Cash Aside

Don’t be too paranoid! Leave some of your money at home to avoid overspending. Just like my first tip, allow yourself to budget your expenses for the day so that you don’t end up spending more than you should. Ideally, now that you’ve left your excess money at home, there’s no way for you to spend it now, do you? Set a daily allowance for your meals and transportation. Simple as that.

4. Make A List

Avoid buying things that you don’t need by making a list of the things that you really require. In that way, it will feel more like an errand than actual shopping. From there, you can narrow down the things you need most and more or less how much it's going to cost you.

5. Wait for the BIG SALE

There's a bigger chance of buying the item for less if you just simply wait specially if there's really no urgency to purchase. Department Stores are fond of Pay Day and Clearance Sales. There are also a number of online stores that do these sales often. Subscribe to their newsletters to keep yourself updated on promotions and discounts.

6. Avoid (Impulse) Online Shopping

Now don’t get me wrong. If there’s one thing that I really love about the progress of the internet, it’s for giving us the ability to shop without having to go out of our houses anymore. But with this luxury comes the added temptation of buying more than what you need. It’s so easy nowadays to purchase anything with just one click that you might end up losing all your money to this innovation. Be smart on window online shopping.

In my case, I also have an online store for my personalized cakes in Paranaque. A lot of home-based businesses also start online stores but with a way more interactive experience rather than just having to click and buy. Try to look for these businesses since these home entrepreneurs tend to give you a better bargain than your usual online retail stores.

7. Put Your Excess To Sale

Looking for extra cash? You might already have it at home! Look through your drawers and closets you'll even find some things you no longer need and one smart way to get money from things you already have is to try to sell all the clutter from your household. There are a lot of mobile apps and websites that you can use for free and sell your items. Snap a photo, upload, and voila! It's already for sale! Couriers are not even a problem, there are some that offer a pick-up service from your place then straight to your buyer.

Being young is no excuse to be unwise on your finances. So save up and keep yourself financially aware and informed. You'll never know when you'll need that extra cash in the future!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Larisse is a full-time foodie, blogger and professional cakemaker. She makes a living making personalized cakes in Paranaque as the founder and co-owner of CANVAS Cake Studio. She blogs to relax and express her thoughts in her website: Larisse Gastronomique. She’s also known for her love of cheese and weird appreciation of odd humor.

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Sentiments of a Home-Based Cake Decorator

10:33:00 AM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments


It’s not always "A-PIECE-OF-CAKE" for cake decorators. Imagine all the time we spend on practicing and studying those tutorials, the books we had to read, and the recipes we had to test. We all have that moment of failure – may it be a burnt cake or a missing ingredient, it’s never just a piece of cake.





THE CLIENT CAN’T DECIDE


So here’s a scenario:

“I want a cake with a flower print that’s not too girly but I also want Elsa on it.”

Okay. Sounds weird but it seems doable enough. Let’s give it a try. So after a few days when the sketch and everything else is ready for showing, the client contacts you again and says:

“I think I want to change my theme to My Little Pony instead. Can you add more rainbows too? Will it fit a four inch cake? What do you think?” 

Uhhh...what?

Don’t get us wrong. As your supplier, we do our best to suggest all the options (be it easy or difficult) but when we run out of ideas and the client still can’t make up their mind, we just let out a loud *SIGH* in our heads and say, “Please, please, pleeaase make up your mind!” Of course, we never want to rush and be rude, it’s just not proper customer service.


THE HOURS IT TOOK TO FINISH ONE CAKE


Everything has to be prepared ahead of time. There is very little room for error and not all mistakes can be covered with decorations. You can’t just wake up and say, “Oh I think I’ll bake that cake order today!” It’s just not possible to finish everything in an hour or two. Don’t misunderstand, WE LOVE OUR JOB but after slaving in the kitchen all day, under all that heat and focusing on the intricacies, we can’t wait to finally rest our eyes and stretch our backs on our comfy beds.

THERE’S SO MUCH DECORATING TOOLS AVAILABLE


The tools. From the ones we use to make our flowers really look like flowers to the ones we use to spell out our client’s name on the cake. As a baker, I know you want them all too but I hope you’re not crazy enough to buy all of them at once! My personal strategy to not over-spend on these time-saving tools is to only buy what you need AT THE MOMENT. Never-ever-everrrr say: “Huh. I might need this someday.” when buying. Trust me, I’ve been there. It’s just not practical. Buy the basics. Buy the ones that has already been needed for a cake more than once. If only I can buy them all, I would, but unfortunately, not all of it works. (Like that clay gun extruder! Didn’t really work for me)

CLEANING UP


I’m going to keep this one short. You don’t even have to be a baker to know that cleaning up really isn’t the highlight for your daily activities. I mean, good for you if you have your personal dishwasher or house helper to do this but for those who are just starting out, not so good. I mean really, washing pans and wiping tables should be considered a talent!


THE CLIENT IS LATE


This really grinds my gears. Being 30 minutes late is somewhat forgivable but AN HOUR!?

There was this one time, we had an arrangement to meet up in this certain place on this certain time. As any hardworking supplier, we were there earlier than the time we agreed on. Our client contacted me after an hour and a half and said,

“Sorry, I can’t make it today, can you deliver tomorrow morning?”

Ouch, right? Even if the client offers to pay twice for delivery, come on, wasted time is time wasted. There’s no getting it back! Offering the client to pick up the cake in your home is more than okay but please, we have lives too, we can’t wait for you ALL DAY & ALL NIGHT. It’s just not right.

There’s a saying that goes something like, “No one is entitled to waste another person’s time.” And it’s true. Whenever there’s a chance that I’m going to run late on a delivery, I always make sure that they are well informed about the situation. We respect your time. I wish you can respect ours too.

And lastly, your client says,

“You were referred to me by <insert name of existing client, friend or acquaintance>, can I get a discount?”

DISCOUNTS


Then I ask in my head, “Ummm... why?”

My only exception for discounts is if they are a regular client. However, there are times when I just can’t afford to give one. When that happens, I offer something for free, like a box of cupcakes, cookies, or anything that I’d like to promote. I think of it as a gift of good will while being an investment for their possible next order.

I understand that most clients aren’t aware that there are more hours spent on making a cake than actually eating it.  We pour in blood, sweat and tears (not literally, of course) to make sure their cake looks good that sometimes after everything’s done, we think to ourselves, “You know what, I should have charged more for this.” And we didn’t and never did. Yet, some still complain about the price.

Whenever I get discouraged, I tend remember something a businessman once told me during the early days of my baking:

“Never charge less than what you really deserve.”

He’s right. They are not just paying for some simple cake, they are paying for your skill, knowledge and most importantly, your hard work as well.

I love what we do but no matter how much you look at it, it’s art. A-R-T. Not just a piece of cake. 

Our 5ft. tall Alice in Wonderland Cake ordered by one of our regular clients.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Larisse is a full-time foodie, blogger and professional cakemaker. She makes a living making personalized cakes in Paranaque as the founder and co-owner of CANVAS Cake Studio. She blogs to relax and express her thoughts in her website: Larisse Gastronomique. She’s also known for her love of cheese and weird appreciation of odd humor.

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Kimchiladas

2:44:00 PM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments

Who would have thought Korean and Mexican cuisine can go surprisingly well together? They did! Located along the busy street of Dona Soledad, Better Living is where you can get your quick Kor-Mex fix. 

Beef Kimchi Quesadilla (P180)
The kimchi adds just the right amount of kick to the beef quesadilla.



Beef Bulgogi Wrap (P165) Generous amount of beef. I love how you can enjoy their bulgogi on a wrap too and not just with rice.





KorMex Submarine Sandwich (P115)The winning ingredient of this sandwich were the mangoes. It added a tangy-sweetness that complemented the beef and veggies. The bread can use a bit of improvement as it was too heavy and dry.



Beef Stew (P170)
The best out of everything we tried! The beef was full of flavor and well-cooked.


Beef Bulgogi (P130)
Tender and well-seasoned beef.



Bibimbap (P110)
Bibimbap is bibimbap! Liked this too!



Affordability and the convenient location are more reasons why you should try this place if you're looking for either a decent quick bite or a satisfying full meal. :)


KIMCHILADAS
161-A Regina Building Doña Soledad Avenue
Better Living Subdivision
(Beside Paranaque Doctors Hospital and Lemon Nail Spa)
0998 229 4099
Parañaque

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Travel Eats: Bohol Bee Farm

11:37:00 AM Larisse Espinueva 0 Comments


Bohol Bee Farm is a must go-to on your itinerary when you’re in Bohol. Although we were not able to tour the whole place, their food itself already gave them a great impression. Reasonably priced too!

For starters, they offered a complimentary Bread and Cassava Chips and Dip Platter. If my guess is right, inside the ramekin is a cucumber Parmesan dip. Next are the honey and the pesto spread.



Organic Garden Salad
10/10
SUPER YUM. HEALTHY. EDIBLE FLOWERS. YES. ORDER THIS.



Honeyglazed Chicken

> Chicken – 8/10
Two points less for the slight lack in flavor on the chicken meat. The honey glaze was amazing.

> Cassava Lumpia – 10/10
Wow. The only lumpia I enjoy is the fried pork lumpia my Lola makes but since Bohol Bee Farm offers healthy organic food, there is no way to compare. The peanut paste inside the Cassava Lumpia is what won me over.  It had a pleasant taste with a smooth texture.

> Red Rice – 4/10?
Maybe it’s just my rice preference but I was never a fan of red rice. It’s a mouthful to chew and rough to swallow. However, I do commend them for the serving.  It might not look a lot but it felt so heavy to finish.



Grilled Squid
10/10
‘Perfect’ is a strong word and yet it is the best word to describe it. I’m not even exaggerating, it was perfectly cooked. Tender and soft.



Spare Ribs7/10
Great flavor and tenderness of the pork. There's really nothing bad to say about this 
entrée but it was not the highlight of the night. 



Don’t forget to try their best-selling Lemon Grass Juice! Tasted so refreshing after the whole day tour!




The happy diners, Justin and Tita Carol the birthday girl! JJJ



Overall, great dinner to end the day!




………. Oh wait… what’s this?

HOMEMADE ICE CREAM!



Right outside their Pasalubong shop is their homemade ice cream stall.



Here's a recap of the flavors we tried:

Guyabano 10/10
Avocado 10/10
Dragon Fruit 7/10
Salted Honey 8/10
Malunggay 9/10
Spicy Ginger. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. They were not kidding about the spiciness! Too overwhelming!



Can’t wait to go back and explore more of what they have to offer!


BOHOL BEE FARM 
Dao, Dauis Panglao Island, Bohol, Philippines
+63 38 502 2288
5AM-10PM

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