Best of 2011: Top 10 Squawks of the Year


It’s nearly time to close the books on another year of saving, spending, and money mumbling. Over the past 12 months I’ve squawked some serious (and silly) financial stuff, shared several sensible money saving ideas, and done my bestest to post things you’d (hopefully) like to read.

It worked.

After four years of blogging about money, has grown to over 31,000 readers and is now one of the bigger personal finance blogs on the internet. This is kinda scary, but mostly cool. Scary ’cause it’s just me over here writing, and cool ’cause so many people care about frugal living. Kudos.

To celebrate both the New Year and Squawkfox’s four-year blog anniversary (or blogiversary), I’ve rounded up the top posts you liked best. Based on comments, traffic, and emails received, here are your Top 10 Squawks from 2011!

1. The cost of collecting

Who knew that discombobulated Barbie doll heads, rustic farm barns, and a big old stack of denim could wreak so much havoc on my inbox. Some of you spewed coffee onto your keyboards (sorry), while others chuckled over my eating crow. Go on, jump into the comments and share — What do you collect? The responses are hilarious. The cost of collecting is easily your favorite post of 2011.


2. Make a Starbucks Frappuccino for $0.32

My server squawked from the traffic load after posting this frugal food hack. With a million pageviews in 2011, this viral post shares the secret ingredient in a Starbucks Frappuccino. Big major thanks to Lifehacker, The Consumerist, and Pinterest for sending my $0.32 copy-cat frapp recipe to front pages around the world. I’m still buzzing from the caffeine hit.

frappuccino recipe

3. How to get married for $239.00

You either loved or loathed my wedding story. Regardless of your stance, getting hitched for A LOT less hit a deep emotional nerve, got you talkin’ across social media, and even became one of the most read stories on The Globe and Mail‘s website. I should have made Carl wear the white dress. 🙂

backyard wedding ideas

4. Price Check Experiment: Is Costco really worth it?

I went undercover and did a price check experiment at Costco to see if shopping at a wholesale club is worth it, even after paying membership fees and enduring long lineups with reams of toilet paper. The comments say it all — you really loved this post.

costco warehouse experiment

5. Breaking up with a cable company is hard to do

Deciding to quit cable was easy. Getting the cable company to sever my service was hard. A must read if you’re trying to break up with any service provider. They want your money and will do anything to keep you as a client.

dog antenna

6. Should couples keep joint or separate accounts?

I don’t merge my money with my spouse, but it’s OK if you do. I went through the positives and negatives of different banking setups for couples, and pi$$ed off a few June Cleaver fans too. However you feel about The Beaver, it’s always a good idea to talk about money with your mate.

checking accounts

7. 5 Investing fees that devour your savings

Do yourself a serious solid in 2012 by adding up all your investing fees. You could save tens of thousands of dollars by getting in the know and making less costly investing decisions. I shared a personal investing story and surprised many of you with newly found savings.

investing for beginners

8. 1 Organic Chicken, 22 Healthy Meals, $49 Bucks

I stretched a single organic chicken into 22 healthy meals for just $49 bucks, and you loved it. This 8-part series took forever to write, and it shows. Brimming with several chicken recipes and boasting endless clucky ideas, it just goes to show ya how much money can be saved with a simple plan, a few frugal ingredients, and a slow cooker or a crock pot. This post has so many media mentions I’ve lost count.

bake chicken breasts

9. Pack a carry-on suitcase for a 10 day trip

I did a magic trick by packing ten days of travel clothing into a single carry-on suitcase, and this post got forwarded to probably everyone who owns luggage. With airlines charging big fees for checked and extra baggage, it pays to travel light. What’s in your suitcase?

funny dogs

10. Make healthier Lunchables for 32% less

I sliced turkey, counted crackers, weighed cheese, and added up the total cost for a less expensive lunch box friendly snack. With front page mentions on Lifehacker and mommy blogs around the world, I can’t complete this list without a frugal snack attack. Crunch into some healthy savings, kiddies!

snack foods

BONUS: The Wealthy Barber Returns

It’s not every day a humble blog gets a big mention in a financial guru’s book. I’m still a little shocked (and slightly horrified) whenever a new reader lands on my site by way of David Chilton’s new book, The Wealthy Barber Returns. I don’t recommend books often, but add this hilarious gem to your (virtual) bookshelf in 2012 and you could increase your bottom line while laughing out loud.

The Wealthy Barber Returns

There you have it! The top ten Squawkfox posts from 2011. Happy New Year, you guys.

Love love love,


  1. Kim Duke December 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Love it all lady – your quirky writing, tight-wad wedding and sass-a-frass attitude.

    A Sales Diva gluten free martini is always waiting for you if ever you’re in Edmonton.

    Happy New Year!


  2. Laurel December 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks for all the tips this year. I especially loved the travel packing tips from your trip to Europe — awesome.

  3. JenX January 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Kerry, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog. The tips, the recipes, the terrific savings ideas. They can’t be beat.

    Keep up the good work and I’ll keep forwarding your articles to my broke friends with the hope that some of your frugality and charm will rub off…not literally, of course! 🙂


  4. Doctor Stock January 3, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Great work… I’m sure the starbucks was a hit! I’m still considering breaking up with my cable company.

  5. Alexandra January 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Hi Kerry,

    I thought I’d mention I’m one of those new readers by way of the Wealthy Barber. These are some great 2011 highlights! I’m looking forward to more of your blogging and more of your photogenic dog.

    Happy New Year,


  6. Jeff Crews January 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Breaking up with cable was easy for me. However, breaking up with Starbucks took a little longer. Luckily, I stay away from coffee completely. After all, I do not want to be one of those people that is spending 92% more than they have to. I cut coffee out completely and now I am saving 100%!

  7. Tara January 8, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks, as I shared your blog with a group I did on budgeting at my workplace (for youth). I showed them ‘The Real Reason You’re Broke’. They loved it and it sparked good conversation 🙂

  8. Alexandra Overing February 1, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Hi Kerry,

    Just wanted to let you know that I am also one of those people who discovered your site after reading The Wealthy Barber Returns. I am new to the financial/savings world (just graduating University in the Spring) and find your blog easy to read and extremely informative.


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