Tag Archives: saving money

Frugal Friday: I got your couponing right here

6 May

Happy Friday all! This week’s Frugal Friday is going to be on my couponing habits….pronounced couponing not q-poning, drives me BANANAS when people call it q-pons! Anyways, you all know I am forever on the prowl (rawr) for a good deal and saving money wherever I can.

Step 1: Getting the coupons

My mom used to work for a newspaper and would send me extra coupons they had sitting around there. But now, I have to be like everyone else and pay for my Sunday paper. It’s all good though, I don’t mind shelling out $1.50 in exchange for major savings. I love the Sunday newspaper because on the front page they tell you the amount of savings with the coupons enclosed.

Besides newspapers, I print coupons online. I primarily use Coupon Mom and Coupon Suzy to get them and print them off. I like a lot of brands on Facebook because many of them offer an introductory coupon for liking them so check out your favorite brands on there!

Step 2: Organizing the coupons

I’ve had my fruitalicious coupon organizer for six years and carry it wherever I go.

I organize in groups by brand name A-D, E-I, J-N, O-S, T-Z.

Now, the big issue with my coupons used to be making sure I used them in time. Sometimes once you clip the coupons and store them, the expiration date could pass right by you and you’re out of savings. We don’t like that. I go through my coupon organizer every week and when I do, I pull out the ones that are going to expire in less than a month and highlight them in the upper right hand corner.

By doing this, it stands out when you are looking through your coupons instead of hiding away with the others.

Step 3: Finding the Deals

Every week, I take the supermarket circulars that I get in the mail, lay them out on the floor and pull out my coupons to see if I have any coupons for the items that are on sale.

This past week was Super Double Coupons  up to $1.98 at Harris Teeter and I wanted to take advantage of the savings. I went to  Our Coupon Home and found a thread noting many of the items on sale and coupons that are currently valid for those items. On the site, they show how much the item is, what coupons are out there (a link to printable ones) then how much you will pay for the item. If you go to Our Coupon Home’s main page, you can select a supermarket near you to find the specials of the week! It’s a great website to use if you are looking to get the most bang for your buck!

 

Step 4 : Using the Coupons

Once I went to Our Coupon Home and looked at the specials for the week and checked if I had any coupons or could print them out online, I was ready to go. I made a list of all the items I needed to get. Some items weren’t on my original list but Our Coupon Home mentioned some items that I could get for free or under $1. No, I didn’t need some of those items right at the moment but there is a 98% chance I will use them in the next two months so I would stock up. That being said, I went to Harris Teeter on Saturday morning and had my eye on the prize. I had my sneakers on, two cups of coffee in my system and was moving at record speeds throughout the store. I organize my list by section of the grocery store: Produce, Deli, Middle Rows, Meat, Dairy, Frozen, etc. so I just make my way from front to back and collect my items.

Step 5: Show off the deals you find

I now present you with what I got on Saturday April 30 at Harris Teeter (please don’t skip the photos to see how much I got all of this for!) :

A lot of items right?

Total of all the items above? $58

But after my coupons? Are you ready for this??

$15.12!!!!

 

When the cashier told me the total, I seriously broke out into a happy dance at the check out stand (you’re welcome for shaking my booty towards you, bagboy) I couldn’t believe that my coupons saved me that much money! I got a number of items for free—the hummus, half and half, guacamole, chocolate bar, Luna Bar, So Delicious Coconut Milk, Tyson Chicken and Chef Michaels dog food. I got many other items for under $1—Tony’s Pizza—not the healthiest but for $.17 a piece? Yeah, I am buying it and will eat as drunk food! The Smart Balance milk was around $.60, Newman’s Own Salsa $.89 and  Yoplait Greek Yogurt $.44/each.

So if someone tells me coupons aren’t worth it or take too much time to look for/clip/organize, I will say come look at this post. You just have to dedicate a little time each week to doing so but there are sooooo many sources out there, you would be a fool not to use coupons.

What are your coupon tips?

Any good deals this week?

 

Gringos falling from the sky

5 May

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Or should I say Feliz Cinco de Mayo? No clue, I would have hoped that four years of Spanish would help me out with this but apparently not.

As you all know, I love Mexican food. I could exist on a diet of chips, salsa, nachos and tacos if possible.  To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I whipped up a batch of homemade salsa!

Ingredients:

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed)

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped

2 tbsp jalapeno flakes

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic

Directions: Simple-mix everything together!

Let chill for a few hours then pair up with your favorite Mexican dish! For Cinco de Mayo Eve, I made chicken quesadillas with red onions and red peppers

Served along side my salsa and a Wholly Guacamole Spicy style

I’ve only tried Wholly Guacamole Original version before and the spicy was a nice change. It definitely had me reaching for a glass of water!

For breakfast today, I started my day off with a big cup of coffee before anything. It was 39 degrees overnight…..in Charlotte….in May! That is completely unheard of and I believe it’s a new all time low for this time of year. As soon as I thawed out I made scrambled eggs topped with cheese, guacamole and salsa

For lunch today, I went to Moe’s for their $3 Burrito special in lieu of Cinco de Mayo

I love Moe’s because they yell at you when you walk in and you get free chips and salsa!

And soon–off to drink some margaritas and who knows, maybe meet some hot men. Maybe I will find a real El Guapo.

And if you don’t know who El Guapo (above) is, I weep for you.

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo?

Have you ever been to Mexico?

So, now what?

2 May

Some of you have asked what my next steps are going to be now that I am without job. In all honestly, I have no clue. All I know is that I’m taking a much needed break from life. However, while doing so, I’m going to focusing on three things:

1) Reclaiming my health-I’ve gained 15 lbs this past year due to depression and stress. Needless to say, I’m not too happy about that when I’ve worked so hard to lose weight in the first place. I’m going to start going to the gym more consistently because, hi, what other excuse do I have not to go? I’m going to check out some classes at the YMCA to take since they are included in my membership fee and up the ante with my strength training. I may also really up the ante and start swimming again since it won’t put a lot of pressure on my knee. They have a pretty sweet sauna and jacuzzi that I can use afterwards so when I go to the gym, it’s probably going to turn into a two to three hour event. Fine with me, I want to get my moneys worth and get back on the right track!

2) Unwind-This is piggybacking off of #1. I need to lower my stress level, I just have to. My most recent job put a lot of stress on me but so did my job before that, that I was in for four years. I like to think of myself as a laid back person but truth is, I’ve never been so high strung in my life as I’ve been in the past year. My blood pressure is borderline high and I’ve never had issues with blood pressure in the past (blaming weight gain and stress on that). Add the fact, that on a normal day I would down two to three cups of coffee from Starbucks (and I’m not talking tall cups, go grande or go home!) so I’m pretty sure that wasn’t good for my central nervous system. Also, depression is not a good look for me. The past five months have been rough. It got to the point where I didn’t want to talk to my friends or get out of bed in the mornings (weekends included) And all because of a stupid job. The money was great and I had a history with the bank but what’s the point in making all of this money if I can’t even look forward to enjoying it?

3) Travel-I’m going to Florida next week to see the parental units and my sister. I don’t have a set plan of how long I will be gone, which is nice for a chance. I have to be back in Charlotte for a wedding the weekend of the 21st so I feel like I have a lot of time to spend there with them, see high school friends and duh-work on the tan. Once I get back to Charlotte, I will be here for a week then go to Indianapolis to see my other sisters and nieces for Memorial Day weekend. From there I will be driving to Chicago to check out the scene there. NYC and Colorado may be making a special appearance in there as well! My lease is up June 30 so I have to be out of there by then and would like to be out of Charlotte by then as well. I am going to try to sell most of my stuff on Craigslist or Ebay and if that doesn’t work, give the bigger things to charity and if I still have a lot of clothes and random things laying around, put those in storage.

So, yeah, that’s it for now. Today was a perfectly relaxing yet productive start to my “me-time”

The first stop of the day was the Value Village to get some new digs for cheap! I found some pretty good deals. The tags of the day were any item that had a pink tag was 50% off and any one with yellow was 75% off. That being said, I had my eye on the prize since I am now without job and have to really be frugal. I kept my eye on the pink and yellow prize and kept singing to myself “Pink and yellow, pink and yellow” to the tune of “Black and Yellow” which worked out in my favor since the first thing I found was a Pittsburgh Steelers T-shirt. No pink or yellow tag but I didn’t mind shelling out $1.50 for the shirt since I know Neyal will love it.

Fila shirt –$1.50

NY& Company Skirt- $1.25

Nike T-Shirt-$.38

Eddie Bauer Cardigan-$.63

Pink T-Shirt-$.75

Plaid Shirt-$1.50

Denim Jacket-$3.50 (don’t think I almost put this away because it was so expensive compared to everything else)

Lincoln burrowing under all my finds-priceless

Total spent– $11.90

What would I do without Value Village? I’ll tell you-be in credit card from too much shopping. The only downside to the place is the questionable people there (I seem to be the most normal person there and that’s not saying a lot) and the fact that I need major hand sanitizer action going on afterwards

I went to Ross afterwards since I didn’t find a dress at VV. I was just looking for a simple sun dress or strapless dress to wear when I’m in FL and found this cute dress for $10. I wasn’t too happy about having to pay $10 for something new but it was on clearance so that smoothed the burn over a bit.

When I got back home, Lincoln and I went for an hour long walk. I can’t tell you the last time we went out for that long and it was a perfect day to do so! The past three months my knee has been killing me, so much that the single act of walking more than a few blocks would leave me in pain. But the past few days, not so much. Could stress from work really have been making my knee pain worse? I guess we will see but I just thought it’s a bit odd it starts to feel better as soon as work went adios. Anyways, Lincoln and I headed over to  park in my neighborhood that I’ve been wanting to check out. The park is only 1/2 mile away but I always made excuses not to go. Excuses like I was exhausted by the time I got home from work to go or that I was too busy on the weekend running errands that I didn’t have time (or energy) to run during the week. I hate that I made so many excuses in the past not to go so it felt extra good to go today. Turns out the park has trails and tables throughout it with different paths to walk on. Lincoln was sniffing away, enjoying the new terrain and when he would stop, I would do calf raises or squats. I figure if we have to keep stopping every other minute, I may as well keep the burn going.

After lunch, Lincoln and I continued to enjoy the day. I have a side yard that’s fenced in and gets optimal sun light so it was tanning and relaxing time for me! All was right-the sun was out, Pandora was playing, iced water in hand and dog by my side. It was hot enough that I could feel it on my skin but not so much that I was sweating my balls off.  Lincoln had to go in a little after we went out there since it was too hot for him but I continued to stay and enjoy the sun.

All in all, a successful first day of “God-knows-where-my-life-is-going?”

How much sleep did you get last night? There was some little announcement late last night from the President. In the past, I would have dismissed it and said “Oh, I’ll just catch it on YouTube in the morning” but it was nice to stay up without having to worry about work in the morning and take part in history. I think I got about seven hours of sleep so I was a happy gal.

Do you visit your local parks or national parks?

Frugal Friday Guest Post: Two Boos Who Eat

29 Apr

Hi everyone—happy Frugal Friday! As many of you know, today is my last day of work for God knows how long. So my eye is on the prize and will be going to happy hour to celebrate my freedom from corporate America after the work day. But have no fear because I have a wonderful guest post for you all today from Amanda of Two Boos Who Eat. I love reading the adventures of Amanda and Andy in Southern California and am envious of what a solid and supportive marriage they have. Reading their blog always brings a smile to my face!

Hi Simply Shaka readers! My name is Amanda and I blog over at Two Boos Who Eat with my husband Andy.

Right now, I’m working on my teaching credential and don’t have a paying job. It’s hard but I’ve learned to be super creative when it comes to saving money!

· Groupon& Livingsocial aren’t super present in the suburbs but they DO offer good deals in L.A. so I try to follow the e-mails and save them for a rainy day. I recently purchased an hour massage on Livingsocial for $40. I wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise.

· Local community supported agriculture! My husband and I signed up for a weekly organic produce pick-up. It’s $20 a week and it’s ALL organic. We can’t pick our produce since it’s seasonal, but we always get a nice variety of delicious fruit, greens and veggies. I highly suggest researching “CSAs” or “Produce Pick-ups” in your area.

· Couponing! I subscribe to several coupon blogs on google reader. I put all of the coupon blogs in a separate folder so it’s easier for me to check it. My favorites:

o Organic Deals

o Mambo Sprouts

o The Krazy Coupon Lady

· Target Clearance I’m frugal when it comes to buying clothes while not having a full-time job. I’ve found cardigans, yoga pants, socks and pajamas for super cheap.

· Travel I’m all about Travel Zoo.  They have AWESOME deals.

Anywho, there are a few of the ways I’ve made things work during a tight time. I’m always looking for more ways! Let me know if you have any!

Do you belong to a CSA?
Where do you get your coupons from-online or the newspaper?

 

Want to guest post and school others on how you save money?  Shoot me an email! simplyshaka@gmail.com

How to kill time in a cubicle part deux

28 Apr

Another boring day with nothing to do. Thank God, it will be all over tomorrow at 4pm because there is nothing more I can do with my day.

A run down from today:

*Organized my coupons (there will be an upcoming Frugal Friday on my couponing ways!)

*Read magazines

*Touched up my nails

*Proclaimed I’m never going to indulge in a bloody margarita again after last nights festivities

I got home, passed out around 845om, woke up at 1130pm and went back to bed around 4am. Suffice to say, I felt like crap today.

*Indulged in a Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte

 

I say indulge because rarely will I order a $4 drink if I don’t have a free drink coupon.

*Practically cried when I saw my Chick Fil A coupon had expired because grease was the one thing I needed in my system

But got a free bagel with cream cheese instead

*Found some websites to waste time

This one was my favorite: Dads are The Original Hipsters

*Went to the library to return a few cds

*Found out that Jon Secada is still alive and well and putting out cd’s

*Got some new cd’s

*Wondered why I went buckwild with a BOGO sale on M&M’s and Starburst at CVS

*Marveled at how great my hair looked with it’s natural curls coming out to play  without doing anything to it

*Read about  Bru’s Wiffle in Santa Monica and decided I will be there if I am in Southern Cali again.

The serve Belgian waffles but not just for breakfast dishes—they have it as the base for other dishes such as Chicken Curry Salad Waffle and a Pizza Waffle!

*Watched Shiba Inu’s live for a ridiculous amount of time. They were absolutely adorable but then I started to get concerned because do they ever go off line? When do they get to go outside and do their business? What happens when they grow up, will there be replacements like with Menudo?

*Found out Fage offers coupons online

But Athenos doesn’t since it’s a Kraft product and per their website

“During special promotions we may offer coupons in order for people to try something new at little or no cost. The brand must pay for these coupons and the number of coupons available is limited by brand marketing and promotion budgets.

We do not offer Kraft coupons upon request, but look for them in newspapers, magazines, and on product packages”

Thumbs down, Athenos, thumbs down.

*Went to Target to shop

Found a cute jacket on the clearance rack along with a pair of fun sandals since it looks like I won’t be wearing my flip flops as much as I have been.

*Had a killer lunch of leftovers

*Googled pictures of Colorado and Colorado Springs. My best friend just moved there and I think I am going to visit this summer!

(source)

 

Please tell me something excited about your day!

Special delivery

28 Apr

Mail rocks. I feel like I never get anything fun in the mail anymore except for Netflix once a week and a random card or package. But this past week has been full of nice surprises….

1) Starbucks free petit treat coupon

At first, I thought this was my free drink coupon and was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t. But then I got excited since I’ve been eyeing their cake pops. I’m all about having a small sweet  in the afternoon for a little pick me up.

2) Books and coupon!

I won this book through a giveaway on  Looking Up While Slimming Down.  Neyal even sent me a coupon for Chobani Champions since she knows I love the CHO and knows I love saving money even more!

3) Swanson Health Products!

I recently had the opportunity to try three Swanson Health Products.

*Hyaluronic Acid Firming Serum

As much as it pains me to say, I’m getting older and along with that comes changes in my skin. The texture of my skin has changed due to age, sun damage and other factors and I am not 100% happy with how my face looks. Every day I wake up, I see lines that never used to be there and bags under my eyes. This is not a good look for me. When I received this in the mail, I opened it up like a little kid on Christmas and tried it out immediately!  The serum is clear and not gooey like other products out there. The scent is citrusy with a hint of woodsy. I put it on the area of my face I want to firm such as my forehead, cheeks and around my eyes every morning and night. It’s very light weight and it only takes a small dab to cover the areas I wanted to get. It didn’t take long to dry after applying so it was easy to put on my night time moisturizer or makeup on afterwards. I’ve been using it for the past two weeks and can say my face feels tighter in those areas but not a 180 in firmness since I haven’ been using it too long .  I would buy this product on my own since it is very reasonably priced compared to other firming serums out there. My only gripe was that the bottle is silver so you can’t see how much you have left.

* Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

I’ve been reading about coconut oil in the blog world and wondered what the hype was about. I love coconut anything and regularly use use vegetable and extra virgin olive oil  to cook with, so I figured, why not give coconut oil a shot? But when I got the tub of coconut oil and opened it up, I had no clue what to do with it since it was in a solid form.

I did some research online and you can heat it up or you can add to smoothies, granola and many other things. Works for me!

My first experiment with it was with tofu. I breaded the tofu with plain breadcrumbs while the coconut oil was warming up. I used about to tablespoons of it since it packs some calories and fat with it

The coconut oil warmed up very quickly, so I tossed in the tofu and let it fry. Maybe it was the music I was jamming to or I wasn’t completely ravenous but it seemed to take shorter to cook than when I use vegetable oil—nothing wrong with that!

As much as I love coconut. I was a bit weary about it coming out completely coconut flavored  but the tofu came out crispy with barely a hint of coconut. 

I also used coconut oil in my smoothie to give it a little hint of coconut which brings us to the third item I received

*Nutiva Chia Seeds

CHIA SEEDS!

Yet another item that I’ve been reading about in the blog world for some time but never knew why people were so crazy about the chia seeds. From reading about them online, I wondered—did people like them because  they that tasty or that beneficial to your health?

Turns out there are many benefits to chia seeds–From What’s Cooking America:

Chia – 10 Health Benefits of This Superfood

  1. Supports Heart Health
    Chia seeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds contain one of the highest known plant sources of essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). EFAs cannot be synthesized by our bodies however, it is very important that we get enough to support our immune, cardiovascular, nervous and reproductive systems. EFA deficiency is quite common in North America.
  2. Stabilizes Blood Sugar
    Chia seeds slow down the rate at which complex carbohydrates are digested and then assimilated into the body. The soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood glucose levels resulting in steady, sustained energy. In one study on diabetic patients, Dr. Vladamir Vuksan of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, found that blood was thinner and less prone to clotting and blood pressure of participants dropped significantly, after three months of taking Chia seeds daily.
  3. Energizing
    The word “Chia” comes from the Mayan language and means strength. Chia seeds are a balanced blend of protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber. It is said that 1 tablespoon of Chia can sustain a person for 24 hours. Athletes have reported that Chia seeds help them perform at optimal levels for much longer periods of time.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
    A number of arthritis sufferers have reported reduced pain and inflammation after a few weeks of taking Chia seeds. The high concentration of omega-3 helps to lubricate joints and keep them supple. Additionally, Omega-3s are converted into prostaglandins which are known to have both pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
  5. Weight Loss
    The essential fatty acids contained in Chia seeds helps to boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass. The seeds are sometimes added to food to provide bulk and nutrients while adding very few calories. For these reasons, many people have found Chia quite useful in weight loss and weight maintenance.
  6. Detoxification and Elimination
    Similar to psyllium, the swelling action of Chia in the body helps to cleanse and soothe the colon, and absorb toxins while lubricating and strengthening peristaltic action.
  7. High Quality Protein
    Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice. Chia seeds contain strontium which helps to assimilate protein and produce high energy.
  8. Antioxidants
    Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants containing even more antioxidants than fresh blueberries. The high amounts of antioxidants in Chia seeds also keeps the oils from going rancid – contributing to a long shelf life.
  9. Provides Fiber and Other Nutrients
    Besides EFAs, Chia seeds also provide fiber, iron, calcium, niacin, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.
    2 tablespoons of Chia = 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 205 milligrams of calcium, 5 grams omega-3
  10. Brain Power
    EFAs are known to make cell membranes more flexible and efficient making nutrients more readily available and nerve transmission more efficient. This helps to improve brain function (including memory and concentration).

I’ve just tried it in my smoothies but want to start adding them to my yogurt and oats. I’ve been soaking the chia seeds in water for five minutes before adding them to my smoothies to soften them up a little. I’ve enjoyed them so far, they don’t have a real taste to them and if you soak them, aren’t too seedy. But give me all those benefits in one little serving? You can be sure I will continue to use chia seeds!

That being said,I still want a Chia Pet

(source)

Thank you Swanson Health Products for sending me the three items and giving me the opportunity to try them out!

What’s something exciting you’ve gotten in the mail lately?

If you use coconut oil and chia seeds, what do you do with them? I need ideas!!

31 & loving the Biebs

17 Apr

Can someone tell me why they moved me to the food cube at work? Seriously, we used to keep all the food in the cube I’m occupying for the next two weeks and there is even food art on the wall! I have some extra cushioning attached to bum so they probably know I like to eat but this is ridiculous.

I’ll admit, I do get a little hungry while glancing over to the white board of food, except for the spaghetti with flies hanging around it.

But at least there is some healthy foods like fruit

And there is even sushi on the wall!

Which led to me to go out for sushi on Friday night. I had a $40 Living Social deal for Akahana Asian Bistro which I went to for the first time last month. I wasn’t too impressed by their service when I went but their sushi was tasty and $40 can buy you alot of sushi! When we got there, we saw a special for $1 domestic beers and that was a sign we were supposed to be there. $1 anything wins my heart and when it comes in the form of Yuengling, game over. When our server came up, he told us that ALL rolls were Buy One, Get One free as opposed to Tuesdays and Thursdays like they used to do. I got overly excited because of the $40 we had to blow through then he told us we couldn’t get the BOGO rolls with the Living Social deal. Thank God I asked beforehand because I could have seen us ordering eight rolls then after our bellies were full finding out that the BOGO didn’t apply.

We started off with edamame

And naturally, $1 beers

Then the feast of sushi came out. Well not really. To stay around the $40 mark we ordered three rolls and sadly, it wasn’t enough food for the two of us. I love that I have friends who love food as much as I do.

On the left is the Florida Roll

This was my favorite roll because it was very spicy and loaded with spicy tuna.

In the middle is the Mt. Fuji Roll

This was my least favorite roll. In theory it sounded good but the mango and the sweet sauce was too much for me. It was more of a dessert sushi roll than anything.

On the right is the Sweet Romeo Roll (I got this last time and loved it!)

It was eel fest with the eel topping and eel sauce-so delicious, plus the tempura flakes gave it a nice crunch.

Afterwards, we went to Bistro La Bon to meet up with my friends friends for dessert. I got some strawberry thingamabob with fresh strawberries, phyllo dough, strawberry puree and whipped cream. Seriously, I am calling it the strawberry thingamabob because our somewhat snippy waitress didn’t give us a name for what it was.

Saturday was full of running errands and by 2P I was dragging. Then I remembered I had only had one coffee and that was around 8A. I usually have three coffees in the morning so I needed some Starbucks loving and my friend and I went and sat out on the patio and enjoyed a cool, java drink.

Yes, love.

 Thank God I got some coffee flowing in my veins because Saturday night was a friends 40th birthday party

Why hello though red velvet cake

There were tons of people there and one dog who was all dressed up for the party.

This is Buffy. I was trying to get her to commit to being Lincoln’s bitch but wasn’t sure if Lincoln would like her or not. He is into voluptuous girls but has a case of the jungle fever

And Bieber balloons!

I must find these for my own home!

But then again, being a single 31-year-old woman with a house full of Bieber balloons possibly treads the waters of being creepy. On the other hand, that could be my hook for landing my own tv show called “31 & Loving the Biebs” They could follow me around and I can profess my love for the Biebs and his talent. I would sing his songs and know every word (which is a lie, I know only two songs of his and some of the words), tell them every single fact there is to know about the Biebs (which I know nothing about him except he is from Canada and has good hair) and talk about my love for him (which is also a lie since I like him but there is no absolute, dying love for him). Maybe one day on the show I would be able to meet the Biebs and I can be one of those ultra emotional women who start crying when he starts singing. After typing all of this, I am going to start using this when I meet creepy men at the bar! No normal men wanna hear about the Biebs right??

No worries though, for now I will like the Bieber from afar for I am a sucker for a Canadian man with good hair.

(source)

I’m kinda tempted to roll into work on my last day donning this and pajama jeans

(source)

Back to the party though, it was fun but I get paranoid about driving home so I left early and called it a night. It was a good time indeed.

I woke up super early today because that’s how I roll on Sundays. I hate that I can never sleep in on Sunday mornings because nothing opens until noon or so. I got to the YMCA before the doors opened and found a Precor AMT right away. I thought there would be a mad rush of people there when they opened but it was on the empty side which is a huge change of pace.

 I kicked a$$ during my workout:

35 minutes on the Precor AMT with resistance ranging from 9 to 13

bicep curls (12.5 lbs 12 reps x 2 sets)

Tricep pushdowns (15 lbs 13 reps  x 4 sets)

Tricep extensions (15 lbs 13 reps x 3 sets)

Lateral raise (12.5 lbs 12 reps x 2 sets)

Side bends (25 lbs 25 reps x 2 sets)

Chest press (20 lbs 13 reps x 3 sets)

I did all of that within an hour and was instantly energized from it. I came home and made a smoothie with coconut milk, chia seeds, blackberries and Spirutein Blueberries & Cream protein powder then got ready to meet up with a friend for lunch.

We went to Tavern on The Tracks since I had a BOGO coupon and you know, the frugal thing with me. I love my friends who respect my couponing and don’t mind going to their first choice place in lieu of saving a few bucks. It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Charlotte so we found a seat on the patio which was bumping since there was only one table available. Then we figured out why that table was available….it was right next to the speakers with a dude about to start singing. Now, I am all for music. Especially on a gorgeous day but when the area is 25×25 feet, if that, do you really need two speakers? Answer:No. My friend and I barely spoke during our meal because we couldn’t hear anything and we were just in a rush to get out of there as soon as we were done so the ringing in our ears would stop. I got a fabulous black and bleu burger out of it though with homemade chips

Bad Catholic of me to ask but if you give something up for Lent, can you eat it again starting on Easter Sunday or the Monday after? I gave up french fries and could not want them more right now. Chips with a burger is not as fulfilling as a hot, salty order of french fries, just sayin’.

So that was my weekend in a nutshell. I feel like I did a lot but didn’t get alot done, go figure.

Biebs-Love him or hate him?

Frugal Friday 4.15.11

15 Apr

Happy Friday all! The sun is out and it’s finally getting warm here, it is a wonderful Frugal Friday indeed!

Some deals of the week for me:

 I received an email from Qdoba with an offer for free chips and queso or chips and guacamole on April 13 only

We have a Qdoba in our building at work so I took a break from my work to go down there and grab this freebie. Apparently, everyone else was also there to get their free food but I didn’t mind waiting. It gave me some time to get away from work and of course, see my forbidden fruit hot Qdoba boy, he is just too cute. I got a big bag of chips, side of queso and a large diet coke for only $2.06

 I love countering hot cheese and fried chips with a Diet Coke, it’s the little things that count right?

On Saturday, I used a Groupon for The Brow Bar at South Park Mall. I had some furry caterpillars above my eyes for some time so a threading was in order. I first tried threading six or seven years ago in some hood mall in Indianapolis and it was only $7. I could definitely be down for personal grooming  at a discount like that. But then I moved to Charlotte and saw all the places offered threading…..but for outrageous prices like $20 on average. Hell, I could take a course on threading, open up a salon and make a killing with prices like that! However, being the frugal girl I am, I refused to pay that much. I’ve heard about the Brow Bar through friends and they said it was pretty cheap-around $12 for a threading which isn’t horrible but more than I would like to pay. Groupon had a deal of the day for The Brow Bar a few weeks ago for a threading session for eyebrows for only $6 so I jumped on that.

I bought two so I could enjoy one right away then at another time. It’s located at a kiosk in the middle of the mall so there are people walking by as you get your brows done  but that didn’t bother me too much. It took less than 10 minutes to get them done and the woman didn’t even make a snarky remark about the horrible shape my brows were in so all in all, it was a super experience. Hooray shapeups!

I went to Harris Teeter shortly after to grab some milk and passed by this beauty of a sale

I don’t make chicken leg quarters on a regular basis but over five pounds of chicken for $2.69? Sign me up!

Dannon Greek Yogurts were on sale for $1 plus I have a coupon for $1 off of 3 containers so I got 3/$2

 

I found strawberries on sale for $1.25 as well so grabbed a container to eat throughout the week and add to my smoothies

To top it all off, the hippie fruit people are finally out again until September! I love their produce because their stuff is so cheap and I love supporting local farmers. I got all of this for only $7.30

Some savings for you:

Sign up for Bob Evans Be-Mail and get a coupon for buy one Bob Evans Side Dish, get one free coupon!

Get a $2 Baja Bowl at Baja Fresh!

Click here for a $1 off Kashi cereal or snack product

Gluten free? Click here to get $1 off any Udi’s product!

Last but not least, this is for next Friday 4.22—bring a reusable cup into Starbucks and get a coffee or tea for free!

Do you pluck, wax or thread your eyebrows?

Do you go to farmers markets to get your produce?

Frugal Friday!

8 Apr

Can I get a T to the GIF? This has been one of the longest weeks I’ve had in awhile and so happy it’s over! Along with my normal work drama, I think another contributing factor to the long week has been the gorgeous weather we’ve had in Charlotte this week. It’s been sunny with temperatures ranging from the 60s -80s outside which it makes it almost unbearable to be stuck inside of a gray cube.

Random savings all throughout the week for me though, starting on Saturday.  I went to Cafe Carolina for lunch.  I joined their e-club for the coupons alone since I heard they send you coupons for free breakfast and lunch items. I’ve never been to Café Carolina before but I used to live near their location and planned on using their coupons but never got around to it.  Good thing this coupon was good until April because I was in the mood for a free lunch! Well, almost free, you had to buy a drink to get the free sandwich but $1.81 for lunch isn’t too bad of a deal.

I  got the Carolina Turkey Breast and it was meh. I would’ve enjoyed a sandwich made at home more but I had hopes for their cracked wheat sunflower bread. The bread light and airy but would have been better toasted and the turkey quality reminded me of slimy, deli meat.

Oh well, I had high hopes for this place since everything on their menu looked wonderful. It reminded me of Panera…. A cold, unwelcoming Panera. There was a lot of natural light coming in but no comfy chairs, no music and just a mean feeling to the place so I most likely won’t go back unless I have a great coupon and am in that part of town again.

Tip: Don’t want to sign up for businesses emails lists because of them flooding your inbox? Create a folder specific for email deals and check it a few times a week to see if there are any coupons you can use!

I went to Bi-Lo shortly after lunch and found  a few good deals:

BOGO Earnest Eats bars two for $1.49

Jelly Belly Green Apple Pudding for $.59. Ok, so it sounds nasty but look at that atomic green color! It was too green not to pass up at only  $.59. It will either be really good or really bad. Not gonna lie when I say I’m a bit skeptical about trying it.

Wai Lana Yogi Chips-$.99. I’ve heard of this chips before but never knew you could find it stores. When I looked online, you can get them for $1.59 plus shipping and handling so I saved some money by buying at the store.

I got a coupon for a free container of Yoplait yogurt in the mail this week. I love coming home from work to find mail waiting for me, especially when it’s not a bill!

Tip: Like your favorite brands on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Sometimes they offer coupons just for being a fan!

Dinner Thursday night was courtesy of a Groupon deal for Sauceman’s, a restaurant that opened a few months ago in South End.

I called in my order, drove over and within the 10 minute time frame, the food was ready. Now, that, is what I like to see!

I got the white pizza and a side salad and only had to shell out $3 more.

Tip: Check your Groupon/Living Social/Half Off Depot deals to see if it includes both dine in and take out. If it’s take out, order a big dish or item and you can get two or three meals out of it!

What deals did you find this week?
Do you buy Groupon, Living Social, Half Off Depot or other deals on the daily?
I need to stop myself from buying so many!  I keep a folder with me at all times with my deals that I buy so if I’m out and about, I can use them instead of having to stop off at home to print them out.

it’s over already?

3 Apr

 Sigh, where did this weekend go? I feel like I barely even had a weekend and most definitely am not ready to go back to work tomorrow. I think I’m in good company though since I keep reading tweets from others in the same predicament. I wish I could say this weekend was exciting and a lot went on but not so much. This was a catch up weekend from last to get errands out-of-the-way  and most importantly, lounge.

I had some good workouts on both Saturday and Sunday so I feel like I accomplished something positive this weekend

On Saturday night, I made Janetha’s Brown Sugar Lemon Coated chicken. I have so many dishes I want to try from reading blogs on the daily and am finally starting to get organized with them. Thank God for Google Reader for helping me keep track of  recipes I want to try, I may have too many to keep track of at this point but at least I have them saved!

The chicken turned out great, I loved the flavor and it was a fun way to mix up a chicken dish. I forgot to dissolve the xanthan in water so the sauce turned out a little stickier  than expected and was more gel like than anything but still tasty. As she said in her post, it is a bit time-consuming but definitely a winner of a dinner.

I had a salad on the side with dressing I’ve never tried before–Annie’s Green Goddess.

Lincoln was all about this meal as well, he sat down and just stared at me like a good boy.

Please don’t judge me by how dirty my rug is–I don’t own a vacuum!

And about one minute after this picture was taken, I took him into the bedroom. Sometimes he will just sit there and watch me eat then inch his way closer to me, it’s a bit awkward.

I met with a friend for lunch today at Lucky Lou’s. It was perfect outside and I felt guilty about being inside on such a gorgeous day so we sat on their patio and enjoy $20 worth of food for $10

Amd she brought me homemade chocolate chip cookies–how sweet!

I’m going to try to have some portion control around these since three are already gone, they were so tasty!

My friend got the Fish & Chips. When the server brought hers out, I just stared at it since it seemed like one of the biggest pieces of fish I’ve ever seen.

Seriously, what kind of steroids was that fish on?

I got the Black & Bleu Steak Salad

This was just what I needed on a warm day! It’s been ages since I’ve had a steak salad so it was nice to welcome it back into my life. The candied pecans and bleu cheese were the stars of this salad. This place recently changed names and I only been to this place when it was previously Fairview Grill so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I love that they have a patio area and a variety of dishes on their menu– I will definitely be going here again!

Sunday dinner was yet another blogger dish–Heather’s Carrot Latkes. Pretty much every single recipe that she posts is starred on my Google Reader and I thought this one looked interesting and different. Would I really enjoy carrot cakes/latkes? I guess we would see.

I used Cloister Honey Arbol Pepper to top the latkes with

Wow, these were absolutely fantastic. I will admit, I was a bit skeptical since carrot was the main ingredient, I didn’t think they would satisfy me as much as they did.  They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and you can top or dip with any kind of sauce. Thanks Heather for posting this recipe!

And just a note, Lincoln was equally intrigued with this dish as I was, I swear the dog follows me everywhere.

Ok, so I’m literally yawning typing this out and reading how boring this post is. So, if you’ve made it this far–thanks for hanging in there. Sorry I couldn’t come through with something interesting but it was a pretty lame weekend.

Tell me something fun about your weekend!

Do you use Google Reader?