10 tips to help you become a financially savvy student by Ashlie Wilson!

Image credit: BCU

I’ve always considered myself good with finances. I set up budgets and stayed within my limits by tracking my purchases. It wasn’t until I had my twins I realized how much better I could be with my money. When I was on Maternity Leave I became part of a close-knit group of other parents with multiples (twins & triplets). Many multiple families have 3, 4 or even 5 plus kids and often these households have only one parent earning an income. Over the years I’ve learned many handy money saving tips from these families and I’m here to share the wealth (literally!)

  1. PC Points – easiest way, ever to earn money! This is a points card with Real Canadian Superstore (No Frills included) you receive points based on your purchases. Each Thursday they give you deals that if you purchase you get extra points (it’s through an app). You can earn extra points if you do your banking with PC and use your debit or MasterCard to make purchases. Most of the deals are small – for example if you purchase oranges you received 500 points which is .50 cents but trust me this adds up. And pay close attention for the big deals – for example if you purchase $200 in groceries get 20,000 points which is $20. I signed up in late 2013 and to date have cashed in on $930!!!
  2. PC Financial Banking – it’s completely free to bank and has no annual fees with their credit cards. Most people don’t know PC financial is owned by CIBC so you can do your PC banking at their branches. Plus, you’ll receive way more PC points when you use PC Financial cards
  3. Checkout 51– this is an app that has weekly deals (similar how PC points works) and if you purchase those items you’ll get money put into your account. Once you hit $20 you get a cheque mailed to you. All you have to do is purchase the products listed in their weekly deals, upload your receipt through the app and you get money back. I’ve joined about a year ago and so far am at $98.
  4. Ebates– is another app similar to these. It’s useful if you do online shopping. You find the stores you wish to shop at (for example Sport Check) and go through the Ebates site to buy products. You earn a percent back based on your purchase. I tried it once for a Xmas gift and just received a $6 cheque in the mail the other day.
  5. Price matching– many grocery stores price match. So if you find a really good deal in a flyer, you can take the flyer with you to a different store and ask the cashier to price match. Superstore, No Frills, Wal Mart, Toys R Us are a few stores that do this. ****No Frills often has incredible deals. (For example 24 pack bottled water $1.00) so I always keep an eye on their weekly flyer and then use it at superstore where I do my grocery shopping
  6. Flipp – this is a price matching app. You can search popular items such as cheese or chicken breast and it will populate all the grocery stores flyers with their current prices. You can use this to price match by taking screen shots (as long as the date is showing) and showing the cashier to price match.
  7. Couponing – I’m not big into coupons as I find it time intensive but this is a great save to save big bucks. There are many coupon groups on Facebook that post great deals. What people do is find coupons for a certain product then go on flipp to see where that product is on sale and in many cases you’ll get the product for free or next to nothing. For example- I saw someone post a deal for Frank’s Red Hot Sauce there was a $3 coupon and was on sale at Wal Mart for $2.95 and Wal Mart actually paid this person the .05 cent difference
  8. Stacking – this refers to doubling on deals. So for example a few weeks ago I found a great sale on diapers. That week I had a deal show up on my PC Points for 1000 points for every $10 I spend on diapers. I bought 2 boxes (over $60)  so got $6 back on my PC Points and Checkout 51 also had $6 off when buy 2 boxes so I’m now up to $12 off plus the saving from the original sale ($5) I decided to go online to Huggies website and print off a $2 coupon so in total I saved $19 off diapers
  9. Save money in Winnipeg – great Facebook group for daily deals around Winnipeg. Saw this deal the other week- Giant Tiger was blowing out packages of bacon for $1.44
  10. Buying used – there are some great options for buying items used. kijiji is a common website. I’d also recommend Plateo’s Closet they sell high quality used clothes. You can also use these to sell your unwanted items and earn some money

Written by, PACE Program Manager Ashlie Wilsonashlie



My hand slides around it, I hold it firmly and bring my face closer to it. Its aroma fills me up. Coffeegasm! Go grab a cup of coffee before reading this post because by the end you surely would want one.


For a lot of people coffee can just be a beverage but for some people, it is a very essential part of their lives. Those before work conversations, that nervous yet filled with excitement date conversation, friends meeting after years and gossiping. All these conversations and few cups of coffee. Love and coffee that encapsulate such bonds. Every day I see students from PACE standing in line at Tim Hortons and laughing with their friends. The thread which weaves these beautiful moments is coffee.

I wasn’t always a coffee fan but now it is something that keeps my brain and body functional. A cup of coffee and I can conquer the world. There is one place which played a major role in making coffee special for me: PACE. It has not only made coffee special for me but for all the other students as well. Every morning before entering the class, during the mid-intervals and the lunch break if there is something that is constant for most of the PACE students, it is COFFEE.



It was my first day at PACE and as I entered the classroom, I saw almost everyone with a coffee cup. I wondered if it was just a cool trend or a necessity. For me as an international student coming from India, it took me some time to understand the role of coffee in everyone’s life. After one week into this program, even I had a coffee cup to comfort me.

PACE students have three favourite spots: Tim Hortons, Stella’s and Starbucks. These coffee stations are the closest ones to PACE. All these places have their own unique coffee and coffee-derivative drinks that they serve. There are other coffee houses like the Second Cup and Thom Bargen that are also famous among the PACE students.




With time I realized that it isn’t just about coffee. It is about what kind of coffee becomes your ‘Soul Coffee’. Soul Coffee is the coffee that fills up your soul with its mesmerizing taste and aroma. It is the coffee that you swear by. You drink it every day and even do not mind drinking five times a day. It keeps you on fire the entire day.  After being in PACE for more than two months I figured out there are two kinds of coffee drinkers.


This kind of coffee drinkers that like their coffee strong. They do not like sabotaging the true flavour of coffee at any cost by adding cream, vanilla or caramel.  The darker their coffee is, the happier they are. They like adding extra shots of espresso to their coffee. If by chance they see you drinking a Pumpkin Spiced Latte or a French Vanilla, they wouldn’t even consider you as a coffee drinker.


These are people like me who just cannot have coffee alone. In fact, they like coffee along with milk/cream along with some chocolate/vanilla syrup etc. For them, all those mixed flavours are coffee. Irrespective of this, they remain very loyal to their cup of coffee. They will go to the same coffee station and get the same coffee every day.


Zoya Tereshchenko, PRMSC 2016)


I cannot live without coffee! Just love it. It makes me feel more relaxed in class. I love cappuccino. It is a coffee drink that is traditionally prepared with double espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk foam.”


Because PACE has enkindled the love for coffee in my heart, I have to talk about my favourite coffee (I mean coffee-derivative drink). It is a Tim Hortons ‘Half- French Vanilla and Half-Double Double’. It sounds weird but it is the perfect thing. It has coffee, vanilla, sugar and milk. A drink with wholesome goodness. This cup of coffee has acted as fuel for attending the  9 am to – 4 pm exhausting classes. My favourite part about coffee is its creamy texture and the way it gives a holiday candy feel. A lot of people from PACE do have French Vanilla as their favourite coffee drink. Nothing beats having a cup of your favourite coffee with your friends.

So all you folks thank PACE for the regular coffee treats in your lives and special bonds steaming out of it.



Thank you for reading  🙂

Written By:

Praneet Soni (PRMSC 2016-17)

10 Canadian Words You Should Know

Canadian English, like many of its other commonwealth relatives is unique. It has been influenced by its British roots, Canada’s French speaking population, the diverse languages of First Nations peoples, and its American neighbours. As a result of these influences, Canadian English can be more than a little difficult for visitors or newcomers to decipher. Therefore, I’ve put together 10 Canadian words, to help those of you who aren’t familiar with Canadian terminology.


1. Chinook

Source: Pixabay

A chinook is a warm, dry wind that is experienced along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. It is most common in winter and spring, and can result in a temperature increase of 20 degrees Celsius, within a short period of time. A chinook, is a perfectly natural occurrence, and for most Albertans, a welcome break during a long, harsh winter.


2. Loonie


Source: Freeimages.com

A loonie, is the Canadian $1 coin, named for the loon that is on one side. Additionally the $2 Canadian coin is called a toonie. The toonie is silver coloured, with a copper coloured center.


3. Eh


Eh, is probably the most recognized Canadian word. It’s also probably the one that Canadians get made fun of for the most, particularly by our American neighbours. Eh, can be equated with the American word huh. Eh, therefore is often added to the end of a sentence, turning it into a question.  It is also used to ascertain interest, comprehension, agreement, etc.

4. Winterpeg


A nickname for Winnipeg. It is a play on the name Winnipeg, and makes reference to the city’s famously harsh winter weather. It is used by residents and visitors alike.


5. Toboggan

Source: Pixabay

A toboggan, is similar to a sled in some ways, though it has no runners and no sides. It is often made of wood or metal, and ideally is long enough for three to four people. Tobogganing, is a favourite winter activity of Canadian children. Children will climb onto a toboggan and ride it down a snowy hill, and will do this for hours at a time. If this is your first winter, I highly recommend it.


6. Pickerel

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Pickerel is a Canadian word for Walleye, which is a delicious fish found in various lakes in the US and Canada. In Winnipeg, you can often find Manitoba Pickerel, on the menu of many local restaurants. Believe me, they taste better than they look.

7. Double-Double

Source: Pixabay

This is a coffee with two sugars, and two creams. You’ll most likely hear this at Tim Horton’s, one of Canada’s most popular coffee chains. Tim Horton’s is also known for its doughnuts. Canadians seem to have a bit of an obsession with doughnuts, myself included, as we have the most doughnut shops per capita. So when you stop by Timmy’s (Tim Hortons), be sure to try a doughnut with your double-double. Or if you’re like me and you hate coffee, have a hot chocolate instead.


8. Thongs

Source: Pixabay

When you say thongs, most people will think of skimpy underwear. In this case thongs, is another word for the casual footwear more commonly known as flip flops. So if somebody mentions, they picked up some thongs at Walmart, it could be either one. Hopefully the latter, if they’re talking about it.


9. Toque

Source: Pixabay

A Toque (often called a beanie in other parts of the world) is a knit hat, and usually worn in the winter. Hipsters, however often wear toques year round, even on a hot summer day. Toque can also be spelled, tuque, which is the French variation.


10. Eaves Troughs

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This is a fancier Canadian term for what Americans call rain gutters. Eaves troughs are put on the side of buildings to prevent damage and flooding by redirecting the water away from the building and its foundation. Modern eaves troughs are often made of metal, such as in the image above, and apparently make a good napping place for adventurous cats.

Hopefully you’ve found this introduction to Canadian English interesting and useful. If you have any stories about misunderstanding Canadian English, or a word or two you need help with why not comment below?








International Students Settle in Winnipeg

I have been in Winnipeg for almost 4 months. As an international student, I understand how overwhelming it could be when you don’t travel to a strange country for the first time. I have never been in Canada. Before I, I thought Canada would be very similar to America, but I was wrong. After spending 4 months in Winnipeg, I have something to share with all international students.

Prior your arrival: 

Research, research and research! There are a lot of information online to explain the Visa and the arrival preparation.  If you are an international student, Visa means everything to


you. Make sure you know everything you need to know come before and after you land in Canada, such as the Visa status, Visa office in the arrival airport, transfer flight gates, etc. Always make sure you leave yourself extra time between transitions, such as transferring flights.

Living: For international students, living could be a tough decision. If you are planning to live away from the campus, make sure you know the resident area is close to the bus station. If you want to live close to school, UWinnipeg offers various resources for you to choose. There is another factor to think about is the nearby grocery store, this is recommend using Google Maps and Google Street View to check out the surrounding areas.


If you find a place you want to live, make sure you contact the leasing office before arrival, apartments in Winnipeg could be very competitive. Also, plan to be here about one week prior the school start, this would give you extra time to settle in and adjust the time zone. Double check your arrival time, if your arrival time is at night, you want to book a hotel prior your arrival.

After Arrival:

Be the one who prepare the most! If this is your first time in Winnipeg, I would highly recommend you are arrive here early. There is a lot of unknown factors in a strange city. Here are some tips to help you.

  1. If you have not find the apartment to live, I would recommend to live in downtown temporary, it is close to everything you need. There are other websites will help you to find apartments for rent.
  2. You would need to go to the PACE office and get the registration forms, Student ID card and the full-time involvement letter. These would be very essential materials in your apartment application.
  3. There is a Service Canada in the Portage Mall, this is a government agency for your Society Insurance Number.
  4.  Once you have all the paper work from the PACE office, bring them along with your passport and study permit, go to the Manitoba Health Office to get your Manitoba Insurance Card.Picture3.png

Once you finished all the steps above, you are all set for the new school year in Winnipeg! Winnipeg is wonderfully unique and a lot to explore, enjoy the journey!

Five Facts About Winnipeg That Will Amaze and Impress Your Friends

Winnipeg is a weird place. Anyone who has lived here long enough knows this, and its weirdness has become part of the city’s charm.

Winnipeg actually has a rich history that is full of myths and legends, which has contributed the strangeness of our city.

Here are five cool landmarks and myths of Winnipeg that you can tell your friends.

  1. The Arlington Bridge: destined for greater things


We begin with the sad tale of the Arlington Bridge.

This iron behemoth connects the poor areas of Winnipeg to the even poorer areas of Winnipeg. It creaks and it cries, and generally lends its sad appearance to the overall bleak feeling of the neighbourhoods it joins. This now rusted feat of industrial era engineering was made by Cleveland Iron Works in Birmingham, England in 1909, and had lofty goals to span the sparkling blue waters of the Nile River in Egypt. Fate has been cruel to the Arlington Bridge, though, because the bridge was made too short to span the Nile. In a typically Winnipeg fashion, the bridge was purchased by the city at a discounted price, and shipped to Winnipeg, where it has spanned the gleaming arteries of the Canadian Pacific Rail lines instead.

  1. There are witches among us


The Witch’s Hut is super weird, which also makes it very Winnipeg. It was designed in 1970 by an architect named Hans Peter Langes, and was a funded by the German community. The hut is inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. In the fairy tale, an evil witch lives in a gingerbread house and lures Hansel and Gretel inside because she’s a demented cannibal who wants to eat them. While this hut is clearly not made of gingerbread, note the designs on the roof that resemble gingerbread cookies. The hut is cute, but has a creepy attachment to the story that still makes me feel unsettled as an adult. If you’re in the mood for a good ole’ fashioned witch burning, or just want to terrorize young children by dressing up as a crazed cannibalistic old lady, head to Kildonan Park to check out the Witch Hut!

  1. The Masonic Temple


This old relic, located at 355 Donald Street in downtown Winnipeg, is the first Masonic Temple, and was built in 1895. The Freemasons are a fraternity that date back centuries, and they have many spooky associations attached to their name. Many people believe that they practiced Satanic worship and rituals, and it is still a mystery to this day what type of depraved activities they may have conducted inside this building. This building is considered the most haunted building in Manitoba. Proof of this haunting comes from the bone-chilling tales of employees that worked at Mother Tucker’s Restaurant, which operated out of the Temple in the 1970s. Employees recall hearing inexplicable footsteps inside the building, doors and windows opening of their own accord, and mysterious figures that would appear, then vanish when approached.

  1. Saint Boniface Cathedral


This gorgeous architectural masterpiece is located in the French neighbourhood of St. Boniface. This beautiful church overlooks the Red River, and is a treasure of Winnipeg’s French and Anglo communities alike. The church was built in 1906, and what you see pictured above is only the shell of the original structure. The church was destroyed by a massive fire that mysteriously erupted in 1968. That gaping hole above the entrance is not by design; it used to house a stain glass window that shattered from the heat of the flames.

Several church bishops are actually entombed inside this structure, and the church features the oldest cemetery in western Canada. The cemetery is the burial site of Louis Riel, one of the founding fathers of Manitoba who is recognized as a key historical hero of the Metis community.

  1. Prostitution used to be legal in Winnipeg… kinda


In 1909, Point Douglas (seen above) was made the unofficial “red light” district of Winnipeg by the police chief at the time, John McRae. In order to help clean up the city, McRae made an unofficial arrangement with the local “Madams”, and they agreed that if the madams packed up and moved their brothels to Point Douglas, the law would look the other way on their unsavory business practices. The brothels were allowed to run freely, and visitors were often met with naked women on porches. Hundreds of Winnipeggers visited Point Douglas every day and the area grew into the seedy underbelly of the city. When a sex worker, Gissele Robert, was found murdered inside a brothel, the law was forced to confront the mess that the area had become and attempt to clean up the crime that was running rampant.

Years later, Point Douglas is still one of the most impoverished areas in the city, and the intersection at Higgins and Main Street is sadly still notorious for being a place to find and solicit prostitution.

Let me know what your favorite historical sites in Winnipeg are, or leave an interesting piece of Winnipeg trivia in the comments!

5 Best Gift Ideas for Her and Him for the Holiday Season

This is my favorite holiday season – the season of food and gift giving. And by now you have probably started at least thinking about whom you will be shopping for this year. But we all know that trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list is never as easy as it sounds. I know how hard it can be to find awesome gifts for friends and family, but I will try to make it easier for you. I am sure that you are going to find the perfect holiday gift, that your friends are going to love! So… here we go, there are my picks for the 2016/2017.

The best gifts for girls

  1. Scratch Travel Map. The personalized world map can be a perfect gift for the travel lover person. It will be so much fun for her to scratch countries that she visited or just wanted to visit. Honestly, I personally have one on my wall, this map inspires me to travel more! Love it!

    Source: brilliantmaps.com
  2. Victoria’s Secret pajama. What can be better in the cold Winnipeg’s winter than a warm and cozy pajama? I love pajamas, and I am sure that this gift will make her evenings more special and comfortable!
Source: victoriassecret.com

3. Two tickets to the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre . In this holiday season Royal MTC presents the Million Dollar Quartet The theatre gift experience can be an excellent opportunity to share new emotions and spend special time with your friend. I already bought these tickets, so hope to see you there!


4. Notebook. You almost cannot go wrong with this gift, especially if your friend is a student. Choose a pretty one, and she will carry it every day and will be thinking about you! Check this link to find the perfect notebook for her!

Source: chapters.indigo.ca

5. Cozy sweatshirt. It is a nice way to show her that you care. The sweatshirt will keep her warm in the cold season, so choose her favorite colors and show her your love with this gift.

The best gifts for guys

1. Beer Cap Map . It can be a unique gift for any craft beer drinker.

Source: beercapmaps.com

2. Book. As for me, books are always a perfect gift for everyone! My favorite one is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and I really highly recommend you to read this one! But, for the gift, choose your own favorite book. And don’t forget to include a note about why the book is meaningful for you.

Source: chapters.indigo.ca

3. Tickets to the sports event. This is definitely is going to be one of the best presents for him! Check the sports events here   and chose what fits best for your friend! By the way, it is a great opportunity to spend a fun evening with your friend!

4. Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. Guys love this stuff! I have never met a man who did not love his Swiss Army Knife. No doubt, this pocket multi-tool will make him happy! This knifes have a great style, design, and the most important that Victorinox knives have an excellent quality!

Source: swissarmy.com

5. Scarf. What can I say… It is a classic holiday gift! Keep him warm in this winter!

I am sure, that your present is going to be special and meaningful for your friend! Enjoy the holiday time!

Love, Z.

Top Winter Coats to Survive Winter in Winnipeg: A Student’s guide to staying warm in the Great White North

Source: bing.com

Winnipeg, or “Winterpeg”, as it is known to the locals, is one of the coldest cities in the world and if you have not grown up here, it can be quite a shock to the system. Even if you have lived through a Winnipeg winter, it never gets easier…or warmer!

As a student from another country, it can be quite difficult to imagine how cold it will get and what type of clothing you will need, to stay warm. Budget is also a consideration when deciding on your winter coat and accessories.

Typically, November is the start of colder temperatures; however, this year, the city relished in above normal temperatures that delayed the snow. December, on the other hand, has shown just how low the thermometer can go. December 21st is also the First Day of Winter! It is hard to believe, considering that we have already experienced enough snow, but hopefully, freezing temperatures will stay at bay.

Winnipeg’s winter climate is a dry cold and its Prairie location means that harsh winter winds blow down from the Arctic and across the plains. December and January are the coldest months with temperatures dipping to -25c on average but of course, you should also be prepared for snow storms that will bring an abundance of snow, ice, and temperatures that can reach as low as -36c to -40c. As intimidating as this sounds, it is possible to stay warm and enjoy the snow’s beauty and the variety of winter activities on offer.

Source: google.com

The best way to approach your winter wardrobe is to wear thin layers that you can add on or take off. This will help you to deal with the extremes between outdoor and indoor temperatures, such as walking to school, running between classes, or travelling on a hot and stuffy bus.

The most important articles of clothing are:

  • Gloves or mittens with a fleece or fibrefill lining
  • Wool or fleece scarf
  • Wool or fleece hat (toque) – How can there not be an emoji for this?
  • Boots with a good tread to prevent slipping on ice
  • Wool or down-filled jacket or coat, preferably with a hood
  • Fur scarves or hats are also an option for warmth; however, there are ethical issues associated with the treatment of animals and the wearing of fur for fashion’s sake. Fur trim on a hood is generally accepted but there are plenty of fake fur options available.

Whether you have more dash than cash or are wanting to make a major investment, here are the best jackets and coats to buy for winter.


Zara – $159               Asos – $96.85                     H&M – $79.99

Moderately Priced

J.Crew – $358             Club Monaco – $459   Club Monaco -$495


NET-A-PORTER.COM – $3,410  Cabala’s – $950  MR PORTER.COM – $2,357