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A guide to pinching your pennies

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Jeremy Bradley knows a thing or two about making every dollar count.

Bradley, a West Kildonan resident raised in Winnipeg’s North End, is currently enjoying a successful career as a syndicated columnist and a radio broadcaster. He debuted on Vancouver radio in 2006 with the program To the Point ON AIR and he went on to establish his other show Top of the Charts later that same year.

But while he’s enjoying success now, it wasn’t always so, and along the way Bradley admits he picked up a few tips on how to stretch his finances. Now, he’s sharing that knowledge with the public in his new book, The Official Guide to Being A Winnipeg Cheapskate.
The focus of the 138-page book isn’t standard financial planning as it is simple, day-to-day cost-cutting measures designed to make sure people save as much money as possible.

"I don’t claim to be a money expert, I just claim to be a Winnipegger who owns a house and appreciates every penny he has," Bradley said.

"It’s not necessarily meant to be giving creative advice, it’s just creative tips and ideas of how to save money as we go through life."

Bradley said buying his own home and achieving independence inspired him to write the book. Independence, he said, provided him some perspective on the cost-cutting measures his own family implemented when he was growing up.

"I was that teenager who was embarrassed at the grocery store with Mom, and she’s watching the screen when the cashier was ringing everything through," Bradley said.

"She’s that customer who says ‘Oh no, it should be this much’ and ‘No, that’s labelled for so-and-so’ and I always used to think, "Oh mom, come on, you’re holding up the line...’ But then you realize there’s ways this is going to save you money."

To that end, Bradley notes one of the tips in his book relates to Canada’s Scanning Code of Practice which dictates that if an item scans through at a price different than the posted one, you get the item for free if it’s less than $10.

"So why not get something free if it’s $9... Just by pointing out their mistake? There’s little things I’ve picked up along the way that are quite helpful."

Other tips include simple things such as leaving appliances, lamps and other fixtures unplugged when not in use, something that can cut down on electricity costs in a big way over time.

Bradley first began selling the book at area farmers’ markets earlier this year, under a different title. He decided to make it a tribute to the "cheapskate" stereotype of Winnipeggers after exchanging tips with strangers who asked him questions about the book. In turn, he would quiz them on some of the tips in his own book and was able to share some of his wisdom with them.

"The idea changed because people were giving input, and then I realized, I’m not the only cheap person in Winnipeg, we have that stereotype," Bradley said.

"We’re thrifty, frugal, whatever word you want to sugarcoat it with, but we’re cheap. So in talking with people when they were interested in the book, I realized I’m not alone here, that Winnipeggers really do have their own stories about their saving techniques."

Currently, the book is available online through it’s eStore at https://www.createspace.com/4038732. As one might expect, there’s a way to get it for less than the cover price: entering the discount code G7PVBQ5P when purchasing it through the eStore will result in a 20% cent discount. It is also available online at http://www.speakfreebooks.com/wpgcheapskate.html.
Bradley is currently in talks with Target to have the book stocked at the chain’s future Winnipeg location, and he hopes that Wal-Mart— which carried his previous book, the novel A Double Dose of Sociopath— will carry it as well. He is planning to hold a book signing at McNally Robinson Booksellers early next year.

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