• Kickstart Your 2018 New Year's Resolutions: Recipes

    Jan 02, 2018
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    Eating healthy has always been a popular New Year’s resolution. If it's on your list in 2018, Timbercreek wants to help you make eating well easy with this list of simple healthy recipes that taste amazing.

    Shredded Kale and Pistachio Salad

    This super green salad will keep you on the right track. Wash fresh kale, stem and de-vein the leaves, and julienne into thin slices. Add diced avocado, cubed bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Dress with 4:1 olive oil to balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, lemon juice, a crushed garlic clove, and a touch of honey or maple syrup. Garnish with shelled, chopped pistachios and serve.

    Roasted Chicken Legs with Spicy Root Veg and Roasted Onions

    This hearty tasting meal is actually light and balanced. Season 1 chicken leg per person with salt and pepper and set aside. Precook thickly diced root veg (potato, beets, pumpkin or squash) until soft. Season with salt and pepper, chili pepper, and toss until covered. Lay evenly across the bottom of a baking dish. Place seasoned chicken evenly over top of the veg bed. Chop red onions into quarters, and place in remaining holes in baking dish. Bake at 350-400F for an hour. An easy all-in-one meal with minimal prep time.

    Barley With Sautéed Leeks, Peas, And Parsley

    This vegetarian entree is packed  with fiber and protein. Precook your barley (like you would rice). Chop leeks and parsley, parboil or microwave peas (or shuck if fresh), and combine all together in a pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and one clove of crushed garlic. Pour the sauteed veg over top of the barley once cooked, or add the barley to the pan and sautée everything to combine the ingredients. Add tofu or grilled chicken for a bigger protein punch.  Learn more here.

    Herbed Hummus

    Don’t underestimate the versatility and ease of hummus. Make the base by combining drained chickpeas, 2 cloves garlic, ½ cup (or to taste) tahini, ¼-½ cup lemon juice, and then add in the herb(s) of your choice. Our faves include cilantro, rosemary, dil, thyme and basil.  Other spices like cayenne or paprika, and flavourful cheeses like parmigiano reggiano pack a punch. Read more.

    Green Smoothies

    The perfect New Year’s Resolution drink, green smoothies are easy, versatile, and taste great. You can successfully combine almost any fruit and veg.  Even raw seeds and grains, especially oats, flax, chia and sunflower seeds, work well.  A ½ cup of protein powder also adds a flavour kick that will help you stay full from breakfast to lunch. For a great starter green smoothie, combine a handful of baby spinach, a frozen banana, 1 cup of frozen strawberries or other berries, milk or juice. Delicious!

    Rainbow Veggie Wrap

    Wraps are great for a quick lunch on the go.we love this rainbow wrap recipe because it's full of veggies. To make it, julienne your choice of veg like bell peppers, cucumber, zucchini, celery, carrot, avocado, even broccoli works. Start with a wrap, add some mustard, mayo, or hummus, apply a big leaf of romaine, kale or iceberg lettuce, then throw down your veg and wrap up. A healthy and tasty lunch that comes together in a blink. Learn more.

    Yam Soup with Kale and Spinach

    A beautifully coloured soup that’s as warm and cozy as it is healthy. Boil a few yams and lightly sautée a few leaves of kale and spinach with diced garlic in olive oil or butter. Pile all of it into a blender, add salt and pepper to taste in addition to a bit of chicken stock or water to thin if required. Heat once blended thoroughly and serve.

    Granola-Yogurt Parfait

    This simple, tasty breakfast (or snack) is lightning fast to make and can help you lose weight. Combine layers of raspberries, yogurt, and low-fat granola in a champagne flute or another tall glass. Find out more.

    Timbercreek hopes that these easy and healthy recipes make healthy eating a part of your routine in 2018. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Public Skating Rinks - Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec

    Dec 21, 2017

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    Whether you’ve got weak ankles, wobbly knees, or used to be a pro, winter skating can be a lot of fun. While ice hockey requires a ton of protective gear (and other players), you only need a pair of skates to enjoy a leisurely afternoon glide on the ice. Across Canada, most cities have at least one easy-access public skating rink where families, loved ones, and friends can enjoy a winter afternoon or evening. To get you back on the ice this winter, Timbercreek brings you this list of public skating rinks in Toronto, Ottawa, and Quebec City.

    Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink

    While Nathan Phillips is without question the most popular skating rink option in Toronto, the rink at Harbourfront is an unsung hero. It’s nothing less than magical. With views of Lake Ontario, the Harbourfront bandshell, and the open starry sky, Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink is a stunner. It’s also got Boxcar Social just a hop away for a post (or pre, or both) skate libation. Learn more here.

    Rideau Canal Skateway

    Each winter, the historic Rideau Canal becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway -- the world’s largest skating rink. At 7.8 kilometres long, it stretches from downtown Ottawa to Dows Lake. Skating season typically runs from January until late February, with many activities taking place in February during Winterlude. Skating is available in the open sections of the Skateway until 10 pm or 11pm daily, and skates can be rented at select locations. Learn more here.

    Quebec: Place D'Youville skating rink

     

    Open from mid-October to mid-March, Place D’Youville let’s you skate in style in the heart of the city. Glide across a refrigerated rink amid the ambiance of Old Québec, just across from Porte Saint-Jean and Capitole de Québec. With free admission and skate rentals available onsite, this gem of a rink ticks all the boxes. You can also warm up after your skate at Café-boulangerie Paillard. Learn more.


    Timbercreek hopes that this list of the best public skating rinks in Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City gets you out for a skate this winter season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Best Snow Boots for Canadian Winters

    Dec 13, 2017

    It’s no secret that Canada gets cold in the winter. But Canadians are resilient, and some even like the frosty season! Winter can be great if you're ready for it. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you prepare with the best snow boots for Canadian winters.

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    Sorel

    Sorel is one of the most trusted and recognizable boot brands in Canada. When the cold weather hits, you’ll see many-a-pair of their classic Caribou ($200) boots out on the streets. The brand goes well beyond the Caribou, with both heavy-duty and low-profile styles for the whole family starting at around $100. Their boots are designed to keep your toes toasty in temperatures as low as -32 Celsius.

    Kamik

    When you want stylish boots designed for life in Canada, you can’t go wrong with Kamik. The Cook family has owned and operated the company since its founding in 1898! The Montreal-based (and proudly Canadian-made) brand offers many styles and options, all perfect for Canadian winters. They also boast a sustainable manufacturing process and recycling program that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. They are also very affordable. Their long-lasting, adult winter boots range from $90 to $190 and are suitable for temperatures as low as -32 degrees Celsius.

    Pajar

    Another proud Montreal-based and family-owned company is Pajar. They are well known for their warm winter boots that never compromise on style. Choose from their

    Canada Heritage Premium Collection -- 100% waterproof boots that are leather-lined with rich genuine sheepskin. These boots are guaranteed to keep you warm in temperatures as low as -40 Celsius. The Pajar Sport collection features waterproof membranes and ice gripping soles with click out spikes to keep you stable. They can withstand temperatures as low as -30 Celsius. Their luxurious Oslo Apres Ski Collection are warm, funky and fashionable. Their most popular boots are in the $200 range.

    La Canadienne

    Montreal is the centre for style in Canada. La Canadienne offers stylish and streamlined women’s fashion winter boots. Available primarily in black and lined with shearling, these boots are designed to keep you warm while fitting in flawlessly with your business casual wardrobe.

    Cougar

    Cougar makes waterproof boots designed in Canada for Canadian winters. There are many styles to choose from. You can't go wrong with the classic Original Pillow Boots ($230) -- if you grew up in Canada you've definitely seen them before. Cougar offers styles that range from rugged to refined, all featuring the warm insulation and weather resistance you need to protect you in plummeting temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius.

    Timbercreek hopes you keep yourself comfy and warm in these great snow boots for Canadian winters. To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Creative Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

    Dec 12, 2017

    The holiday season is a busy time for all of us. With all the hustle and bustle, it can be easy to forget to slow down and breathe. Carve out an hour for yourself to create some fun DIY craft decor at home. Timbercreek Communities has some creative Christmas tree decorating ideas for you!

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    Pinecone Christmas Tree

    Don't waste your money on ornaments this year, decorate you Christmas tree with pinecones instead! It sounds strange but it totally works! To create a Pinecone Christmas Tree you’ll need craft glue, a paintbrush, glitter, a bowl, hot glue gun, mini glass balls or beads, twine, a needle and thread and scissors. Brush the craft glue over the tips of the pinecone scales. Spoon the glitter onto the scales, over a bowl. Use hot glue to create drop ornaments of pinecones of descending size. Glue the ball between each pinecone. For the garland, string small pinecones together with heavy duty thread and a strong needle. Alternate with red and green beads between each pinecone until the desired length is reached. The best part about making your own ornaments is that you'll cherish them for years to come.

    Treeless Ladder Tree

    If you think buying a real Christmas tree is wasteful, you are not alone! But there's something undeniably magical about them. This year, skip the tree and decorate a ladder instead for the same warm and cozy effect! This Treeless Ladder Tree is created by stringing lights, twiggy garlands, Hydrangeas and selected greens around an old wooden step ladder! There are no rules,  just pure creativity. Have a look around your apartment and grab anything festive that you think would look nice on your ladder. Think tone and texture rather than rhyme or reason. Have fun!

    DIY Clay Star Tree

    Create your own Christmas magic with these DIY Clay Stars for your Christmas tree. Start by rolling out the clay with a rolling pin. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut the clay. Remember to remove the excess clay around the edges before removing the cutter. This helps to keep the edges clean and reduces warping. Use a toothpick to make a hole at the top of the star where you can put string or ribbon through once the clay is out of the oven and cooled.

    Children's Tree

    This is a great DIY project if you have kids or nieces and nephews. They will love helping you create felt animal ornaments to put on the tree this year. Start by downloading and printing the free template. You can adjust the size of the templates to fit your tree and your taste. Cut out two of each template -- one that shows the black outline and one that omits it. Pin the black outline template to some light coloured felt. Trace it with a disappearing-ink pen, then cut out. Pin and trace the other template twice on some coloured felt. Remove the template and cut out. Once you're done, hang the felt ornaments from gold or silver thread. Adorable!

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek! We hope you give these creative DIY christmas tree decorating ideas a try this holiday season. To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.
  • Most-Pinned Homemade Holiday Gifts

    Dec 11, 2017

    The Holiday season is here! Show the people you love that you care, and avoid the stress of holiday shopping, by creating a few thoughtful DIY gifts. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you light up someone’s holiday with these most-pinned homemade holiday gifts.

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    Body Scrub

    This thoughtful and simple to make Body Scrub requires only 4 ingredients to prepare. Mix together Epsom salts (or organic cane sugar) and your chosen carrier oil. Add one drop at a time of essential oil, and a drop of food colouring. Stir until the colour is uniform and spoon the contents into your canning jar. You can even download clip art labels to give your gift a professional look.

    Fleece Blankets

    This easy tutorial will walk you through how to make beautiful Fleece Blankets for your loved ones. A cozy blanket is the perfect DIY gift for friends and family members, and hard-to-buy-for folks on your list. It’s also perfect for a first time sewing project. You’ll need a large piece of fleece (about 2 yards), decorative trim to protect and decorate the edges, a needle and thread or a sewing machine -- which is ideal so that you can complete this project quickly and seamlessly.  If you can do a basic straight stitch, you can do this DIY!

    Microwaveable Heat Packs

    Give the gift of soothing comfort this season with these Microwaveable Heat Packs. All you’ll need is some fabric, sewing supplies and corn kernels or grains of rice to fill the packs. Cut your fabric to size. Sew the pieces together inside out (the outsides facing each other). Leave enough of an opening to turn the bag right-side out. Fill the bag ¾ full with corn or rice. Sew the final seam closed. To use it, heat the bag in the microwave and apply to achey areas of the body.

    DIY Lip Balm

    Don't let your loved ones endure dry, cracked lips this season. This DIY Lip Balm requires only 3 ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax and peppermint essential oil. In a glass measuring cup in the microwave, melt together coconut oil and beeswax. Stir in the essential oil and pour into decorative containers.

    Homemade Coffee Scrub Soap

    This DIY couldn't be more simple. This Homemade Coffee Scrub Soap can be made in less than 10 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients. Coffee is a great scent loved equally by men and women, so this is a great gift for anyone on your list. It's also incredibly affordable to make at home.

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek! We hope you love these most-pinned homemad holiday gifts as much as we do! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Indoor Plants That Will Make it Through Winter

    Nov 28, 2017

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    Indoor plants can be life-enhancing. They clean the air, provide a beautiful splash of colour, and it’s always super satisfying to nurture something and watch it grow. During the winter, keeping indoor plants healthy and happy can become difficult. The short days mean many plants receive too little light to survive and the heated, dry, indoor air doesn’t help either. It is possible to enjoy some thriving greenery all year long. It’s all about choices. To help you keep your green thumb year-round, Timbercreek Communities has put together this shortlist of indoor plants that will make it through the winter.

    Aloe Vera

    In addition to its many medicinal benefits, the Aloe Vera plant is a hardy and attractive succulent that is easy to care for. It doesn’t require a lot of light. It thrives in indirect light or even artificial light. Make sure you plant them in well-draining potting mix designed for succulents as a lack of drainage can cause root rot. Water them deeply but allow a couple of inches of soil to dry between waterings, and water even less during winter.

    Areca Palm

    The Areca Palm is big, bold and impressive plant. It features large fronds, each with up to 100 leaflets. They are easy to care for. The soil should be a little dry between waterings in fall and winter, making them perfect for the dry, indoor air. 

    Jade

    Another hearty succulent, Jade plants are easy to care for and will live a long time with little attention. Again, let the soil dry during the winter and avoid getting the leaves wet when watering. If you notice brown spots on the leaves, or the leaves start to shed, more water is required.

    Peace Lily

    The Peace Lily is well known for its hardy and forgiving nature. They will let you know when they need water by their telltale droop. This tropical plant thrives in shade and low light, and is one of the best air-cleaning plants available. It’s an ideal indoor winter plant.

    Snake Plant 

    Another easy-to-care-for plant that is also a top-notch air purifier is the Snake Plant. It’s named for its long, straight, slender and colourful leaves. These plants can be left alone, in low light for weeks at a time and still thrive! Let the soil dry out between waterings and let them do their thing!

    Timbercreek hopes that you invest in these great indoor plants that will make it through the winter. Care for them and they will help you thrive this winter! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities, please visit our website.

  • Petiquette 101: Game of Thrones & Huskies

    Nov 07, 2017

    If you haven’t come across them, Huskies are that stunningly beautiful dog breed associated with Northern Canada, the Iditarod, and most recently “Game of Thrones”. They are medium sized, lithe, strong, and cute. The Husky breed has received a lot of attention recently due to their role in the hit HBO drama. The show features “Direwolves” -- mythical and massive wolf-like creatures. Huskies are the real-life breed that bear a striking resemblance to Direwolves. Eager fans of the series are buying huskies without thinking through the responsibilities and requirements that come with owning them. Before you buy a Husky, Timbercreek has some valuable information about the breed and the current issues facing it and potential owners.

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    Misplaced Fan Adoration

    The Direwolves featured in Game of Thrones have inspired many fans to buy Huskies. Unfortunately, they’re quickly realizing something any dog-owner comes to realize: dogs are a lot of work. They need several walks a day, food, shelter and love. Before you buy, ask yourself honestly, are you ready to be a dog owner?

    Husky Pros

    Huskies are amazing. While not the largest breed, huskies are still medium-large sized, and are athletic. They love to run and jump, and they’re agile and energetic. As their legend goes, they also love the cold weather. Romping in snow in sub zero temps is fun for a husky. They’re known to be loving, not aggressive, and are usually good natured with humans and some other dogs. See more here.

    Husky Cons

    If under-exercised or bored, Huskies are known to howl, chew things, run away, or otherwise cause damage. They also have strong chase and grab instincts, so cats, birds, rabbits beware. They shed and require constant coat maintenance, are rowdy and strong willed, and have been known to not get along with smaller dogs - so owners need to exert discipline. Find out more here.

    Bills

    Pet owners are never shy talking about food costs and vet bills. From heartworm to teeth cleaning, kibble to car cleaning, pets are a money pit. And don’t even start on middle of the night animal hospital costs. Without insurance, owning a pet can be a nightmare. 

    Adding up to reality

    Huskies are increasingly being purchased, and then abandoned, by owners who are attracted to the breed because of Game of Thrones. From England to the U.S., reports of Husky abandonment are on the rise. The work required to own any dog sometimes comes as a shock to new owners. Interestingly, the success of the "Harry Potter" franchise led to a wave of abandoned pet owls, while "101 Dalmatians" had the same effect on that breed. Would-be owners need to think first before buying any pet of any kind. Even a goldfish needs feeding. Read up, ask questions, and see if the breed might be a fit for you before getting one because you love Direwolves. You and the dog will be happier for it.

    Timbercreek hopes this article sheds some light on the beauty of Huskies, and on the real-life responsibilities of owning one. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Movember: How to Participate

    Nov 01, 2017

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    Movember has grown from 30 Mo Bros in 2003 to over 5 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to date. It’s the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, addressing not only prostate cancer, but testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. Independent of government funding, the Movember organization challenges the status quo and invests quicker in what works. In 13 years Movember has funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world. Timbercreek wants you to support this worthy cause so here are a few ways you can get involved with Movember this fall.

    Grow a Moustache

    Growing a moustache and collecting donations is the easiest way to show your support. To get started, simply sign up at the Movember website and create your own custom page. Then, start growing. You’ve got 30 days to grow your best Tom Selleck or Lanny McDonald, during which time you can fundraise for donations to support the cause. Learn more here.

    Create Your Own Event

    Can’t grow a stache? No problem. You can still get involved by creating your own fundraiser. How you fundraise is up to you and almost anything is possible. Plan your event, sign up and create a free page on the Movember site, and put the word out. Check out more here.

    Host an Event

    Whether it’s a golf tournament, band night, or a dinner party – this Movember, get friends and colleagues together to raise funds, make some noise, and stop men from dying too young. It doesn’t have to be big -- just make it bold. Find out more here.

    Donate

    If you don’t want to host, think up an event, or grow out your stache, you can always donate. You can also organize an employee matching donation program in your business or office, encouraging your organization to widen its reach. Find out more.

    Join an “Industry Challenge”

    During Movember, join one of many Industry Challenges to compete with other fundraisers in your work sector and around the country. There are prizes and rewards on offer, plus the chance to claim bragging rights for a year. Check out the Industry Challenges that were on offer in 2016 here.

    Timbercreek hopes this article inspires you to support Movember this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Halloween Events Near You

    Oct 17, 2017

    That scariest time of year is back. No, we don't mean tax season -- Halloween! Time to dust off your wizard cloak and prep the light sabers -- it’s trick or treat time. With a lot going on in cities all across Canada, Timbercreek has put together a shortlist of Halloween events happening in your area this fall.

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    Edmonton/St. Albert: Boo at the Zoo

    Halloween comes alive this year at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Wear your coolest costume, bring your own trick-or-treat bags, and check out the spooky wonders of the animal kingdom. Hands-on experiments, crafts, an extinct animal graveyard, and a witch's den are just some of the fun activities that will make this Halloween one to remember! Get more info here.

    Edmonton: Deadmonton Haunted House

    Don’t miss this year’s Deadmonton Haunted House. Located at the Old Paramount Theatre, this haunted house is rated 12+ and beware. If you’re taking your child, make sure they’re up for it as the website for the event notes that there will be no refunds for kids who get too scared!

    Toronto: Legends of Horror at Casa Loma

    As if Casa Loma wasn’t creepy enough. This Halloween, the iconic Toronto castle transforms into a theatrical, immersive Halloween experience!  Tickets include access to areas of the castle never before seen by the public. Don’t miss out and learn more here.

    Calgary: Halloweekends at Calaway Park

    Calaway Park is getting all spooked up for Halloween. Dress up in your favourite costume and enjoy tricks, treats and spooktacular rides. Activities include family photo opportunities, face painting and much more. It’s all about getting your family together for a fantastic fall day. Learn more here.

    Niagara: Dracula

    Halloween isn’t only about trick or treating, boo barns and costume parties. If you’re ready for a more refined Halloween experience, check out Bram Stoker’s Gothic thriller at the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake this October. “Sexy, funny and scary, this is red-blooded theatre that will leave all your senses on fire.” Learn more here.

    Oakville: Camper Halloween

    On October 14th and 15th, and October 21st and 22nd, trick or treat around the Bronte Creek Campground. Ghosts and goblins will go from site to site instead of door to door. This event also features a guided walk with creepy creatures and howling coyotes. Learn more.

    Montreal: Les Fantomes du Vieux-Montreal

    Les Fantomes du Vieux-Montreal is a tour through all the dark ghostly corners of Old Montreal. Running from May to October, it's the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit. Check out more here.

    Montreal: Harry Potter

    This Harry Potter themed party combines Hogwarts good times and the spookiness of Halloween. It’s hosted by Cégep du Vieux Montréal and will involve beer, karaoke, costume contests, quizzes, and much more.

    Drummondville: Village Haunte

    Just outside Montreal, the town of Drummondville completely transforms this Halloween into a massive haunted village. You'll be chased by actors playing zombies, clowns, ghosts, and monsters over 3km of trails and streets. Runs September 29th until November 4th.

    Timbercreek hopes these events inspire you to throw on a costume and celebrate Halloween in your area. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Why And How To Buy Organic On A Budget

    Sep 26, 2017

    There are many benefits to eating organic. Fruits and veggies that are certified organic are grown with limited pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic produce is not irradiated and the seeds are chemical and GMO free. Animal products sold as organic means the animal was not given antibiotics or growth hormones. It means that they were fed with organic feed and were not medicated, except for vaccinations or for specific illness.

    There are many environmental benefits of organic farming. It makes for cleaner groundwater and healthier soil. It reduces non-renewable energy inputs and can reduce the greenhouse effect and climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil. Overall, organic farming can lead to stronger biodiversity and greater sustainability. The benefits are clear, but they also cost more. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you buy organic on a budget.

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    Join a co-op

    Becoming a member of a co-op can help reduce your grocery costs and help connect you with you local food community. Membership fees and/or volunteer hours help to keep overhead costs down and provide local and organic food at fair prices.

    Delivery services

    Organic delivery services can ensure that a steady supply of organic food arrives at your door, often for a lower price than large grocery stores. SPUD services several cities in western Canada, including Calgary and Edmonton. In the Toronto area, Wanigan Organics provides weekly or bi-weekly deliveries of package deals as well as custom orders.  Look for a provider near you, including Fresh Option in Winnipeg,  Ecollegey in Montreal and HGOF in Halifax.

    Shop smart with an affordable food list

    Knowing what to buy and what not to buy is crucial to keeping your grocery bill under control. Not everything has to be organic. The thick peel of produce, such as avocados and bananas, protects the flesh from absorbing agricultural chemicals. Be sure to wash the peel first, as the chemicals can be transferred as you cut into it. To help simplify, buy organic on the Dirty Dozen and save money going conventional on the Clean 15 -- the fruits and vegetables that are the most and least contaminated by pesticide use, according to the Environmental Working Group.

    Timbercreek hopes this post helps you buy organic on a budget! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

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