Tag Archive: Save Money


strawberry-mug-cake-14

Not to brag or anything, but I totally think this isn’t too bad a job considering I am not trained in the culinary arts … Though that also means I don’t have a super developed pallet, so there could be subtle nuances I’m missing – also I haven’t had real cake in a while, so this might taste nothing like real cake … But it has that nice fluffy consistency that I remember cake having, and it can be any flavor a cake can be, so I count that as a win! :3  Anyway, here is the ingredient list:

1 Mug (all of the ingredients go into this mug :3)
3Tbsp + 1tsp Flour
1/4tsp Baking Powder
1/16tsp Salt***
2Tbsp Sugar
2tsp Vegan Margarine
1 Egg worth of prepared Egg Replacer
2tsp Water
1Tbsp + 1tsp Milk Substitute (Rice, Soy, Almond, etc.)
Flavoring as desired

***Really this is just a pinch of salt, but I hate it when recipes say stuff like that and don’t actually give a measurement of some kind, so basically this is just a VERY SMALL AMOUNT of salt … xD  I just wanted to give you SOME idea of how much I was putting in.

As for the flavoring, I added a 1/4tsp of extract to each of my trial cakes and they were certainly vanilla-y enough for me.  So I would suggest a 1/4tsp of any extract, and between 1/2 and 1 full tsp of any powder (like cocoa powder, matcha green tea powder, spices, etc.)  In the video example, I ended up using 1tsp Matcha Powder and 1/2tsp of Raspberry Extract for a Raspberry Green Tea cake (which I definitely suggest!)  Just sort of use your best judgement; but don’t add too much powder or it will make the cake to dry after you microwave it!

Likewise, if you add alcohol or juice to flavor it, if you add too much liquid you might need to adjust the cook time of the cake to account for it.  If you add a Tbsp of coconut extract and a Tbsp of pineapple juice for a pina coolada cake, you might have to add 15-30s on to the 2min cooktime I suggest in my video.

Speaking of cook time, I mentioned I would tell you what the wattage of my microwave was just so you know exactly what I’m doing in the video and how my cake was cooked.  My microwave is a Sharp .8 Cubic Foot unit with 800Watts of power.  So, if yours is more or less than mine, you also may need to adjust the cook time accordingly to keep your cake from burning or coming out gooey.

Aaaaand … if you happened to just find this post and have no idea what I’m talking about, why here; I have a video for you to peruse!  Just scroll down 🙂

To the rest of you, sorry for the wait on this post – and until next time, remember, There’s no use Boiling your Cabbage Twice!

❤ TwiceBoiledCabbage

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groceriesAlright; so I’m getting accustomed to things in my new apartment (I just moved into my own place in the Big Apple, yay!) and I realize … I’m running out of food and paper supplies.  Something that I’ve never had to worry about before.  Which means of course, that I will have to purchase these goods myself.  Now, I’ve been grocery shopping before – ever since becoming a (casual) Vegan, I’ve had to buy my own stuff, mostly because a lot of the time, if someone were going to buy food for me, they’d have no idea where to get what I was talking about if I wrote “Carob Chips” or “SO Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Yogurt” on the list.  Which is fine by me; this weird food is expensive besides – I’ve totally been living on toast for breakfast for the past like, 3 weeks or so ^^;;  I digress; I am going to have to go to the store and buy things that I have never had to buy before.  Toilet paper, napkins, paper toweling … These are all mysterious items of mystery to me – and not only that, but I am definitely afraid that I am going to forget everything when I go.  And it is a bit of a trek to go shopping where I live, so I don’t really want to have to make multiple trips on the weekend when I am supposed to be recuperating from the work week.

grocerylistEx2So, rather than be worried about all of that happening, I decided to find one of those magnetic pads that you stick to your fridge to make lists; sounds like a good plan, right?  Just jot down what you need when you run out of it or getting low, and at the end of the week just go buy what you need.  Notice I said NEED, not WANT – big difference there, I’m finding out.  ^^;; Anyway, on my quest to find a pad, I discovered a tutorial on how to make your own pad – which I thought was great, because that meant I could save money and just print out lists, glue the pages together, and slap a magnet on the back.  Problem solved.  Which would have been perfect if I hadn’t found this template … It is lik, the cutest thing I have ever seen!

You should totally check out the blog and download it here because it is super awesome and totally free :3  But anyway, this page is a full sheet – which means no sticking it to the front of my fridge because I have plenty of other stuff stuck to it.  I can’t add a whole 8.5″x11″ sheet to it too and reasonably expect my fridge to remain upright … ^^;; But this is the shopping list I’m using from now on – is that not the cutest little grocery store you’ve ever seen up there?  And the rainbow coloring of the categories; I love rainbows!  However, not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it breaks down things to be sure that you take them with you too, which I desperately need …

In the upper right hand corner, under the date line, it gives you check boxes to grocery-shopping1make sure you remember to bring your coupons, reusable bags, and your shopper’s cards to make sure you save all the money you can.  And, speaking of money, there’s a slot to put your budget at the bottom, as well as what you actually spend, so you can make sure you stay on track.  Add that to large lines with plenty of space to write in, and organized categories, and I’m pretty sure this was made specifically with me in mind.

But, what else can you do to make sure you stay on task and buy what you need, not what you want?  I was really nervous about this, so I’ve been doing some research, because I have a tendency to go overboard when I buy things.  I found this site with the Top Ten Shopping Tips listed on it, and it was super helpful.  A quick summary of what it says:

shoppingbag-j
1. Shop with a list.  Ok; check that one off, since I now have the cutest list in creation at my disposal.
2. Set a budget.  Yeah, I always do that, but sticking to it is the problem …
3. Pay with Cash.  Right now since I’m waiting for my first paycheck that’s not happening…
4. Set a Timeframe. … o.o I have never thought about this before … But it totally makes sense.
5. Pick the best time for You. Well yeah; that means the only time I can go, right? xD
6. Shop alone. Ah, one of the times I don’t envy mothers that have to drag their children everywhere.
7.  Don’t shop when you are tired, hungry, lonely, bored or upset. … All of these things!? o.o;
8. Ask “do I really need this?”… I hate this question.  Which probably means I should ask more.
9. Remember that the sales person is there to sell to you! And they do such a good job too …
10. Don’t buy just because it’s on sale. But, if you’re already buying it, make sure you get the sale!

So, in short, I’ve got … one of these things down.  ^^;; Maybe I’ll write these on the back of my shopping list so that I can remember them when I’m at the store …?  Yeah.  That might work. Hopefully.  Maybe.

We’ll see what my bank account says afterwards.

In the meantime … I hope these tips help you, and I hope you too can have a super cute shopping list to help organize your life!

Remember, there’s no use boiling your cabbage twice!kalyn-grocery-cart

Eating on a Dime in NYC

ImageAlright; now I know that picture doesn’t seem to have much to do with eating, but this is where the largest chunk of my money goes every month living outside of the city and working in it.  Commuting.  I’ve only worked at my new job for a little while, but I can tell you that it costs $400 per month to catch the train in, which is twice what I used to pay to put gas in my car every week.  It’s a good thing I make more than I used to, but that doesn’t mean money isn’t tight.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – I’m going to tell you to bring food with you instead of buying in the city.  And yes, depending on where you work or live, that is exactly what I’m going to tell you.  I work in Midtown Manhattan, and I see food advertised all the time – $8 here, $12 there.  It is almost twice what it costs in my hometown here to get the same cup of Starbucks for pity’s sake!  (Needless to say, I don’t even have the occasional cup anymore xD)  Now, if you have been following my sparsely updated YouTube channel, you know that I’m really into taking my lunch to work, even before I moved to the Big Apple.  But, the biggest question is, how in the hell do you get all that food (and I do mean all of that food; I take enough to get me through 12 hours) into the city, down the street or in the subway, up the stairs, and into your office?

Well, I am about to blow your mind.  Get ready, and then scroll down and look at this:

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This isn’t the one that I have, but it is a cooler on wheels that you pull like carry on luggage.  This baby easily fits a bento along with four or five Tupperware containers, water bottles, and cool packs.  I even have a blanket and pillow I wrap up and stick in here so that I can sleep on the commuter train (since I have to get on a 7am train to get to work by 9, and I don’t get off the train again until 7pm) and be a bit more comfortable while I’m doing it.  And, it really does fit everything I want to bring for food, so I don’t need any snacks or lunch or anything.  Then, I just eat at home, and I am all set for food – no expensive purchases during the day, and I stay full and happy as a bonus!

Today I have red grapes, hummus, carrots, pita, mini bell peppers, a bagel, and dates, and since I drink a smoothie in the morning on my way to/on the train, that usually lasts me literally all day until I get on the train at night.  Just eating when I get hungry really cuts down on how much I eat as well, instead of starving until lunch or the train ride home and gorging on whatever I can get my hands on.

So yeah; fun tidbit for living in NYC; invest in one of these little babies, and you will never have to buy expensive meal foods in the middle of the business district again! Let me know if you want more of these, or if you want me to see if I can scope out less expensive places in the city to eat at?  I’ve been thinking about it,b but I don’t know … let me know your thoughts!

GRRRR MUSCLES!

GRRRR MUSCLES!

So, in my last post, Scales Still Suck, I mentioned a protein shake that I’ve been using post-workout to try and combat the intense hunger I feel.  I wanted to expand on that, and explain why I bought the protein mix that I did, how I figured out how much I want/need to take after a work out, how much protein you’re supposed to have in a day to lose weight (which is not the same as how much you’re supposed to have if you’re not losing weight), how to absorb more protein more efficiently … Just a lot of things about protein in general.

Ready, set, go!

So, first off, I wanted to figure out how many grams of protein I was supposed to have in a day – and after a bit of research, I discovered that the recommended amount of protein is about .45g/lb you weigh.  And I was getting around that much every day just by eating what I normally eat, so I wasn’t sure if I should start drinking protein shakes or not, because I didn’t want to have some kind of protein OD.  However, I decided to look into maybe a higher protein shake recipe for afterwards at least, and stumbled across several informative sites that basically said that, while in your normal diet you want about .45g-.5g of protein per pound you weigh, if you are working out or exercising regularly and you are trying to cut (re: lose) weight, you should actually have about .9g of protein per pound you weigh.

Interesting.

Not only should you have about twice the protein, but as I mentioned before, if you’re feeling peckish after a workout, it’s probably because you burned all of your muscle’s stored sugar – which is good, because that means you definitely started burning at least some fat!  But is bad because now your muscles have nothing in reserve, and your body will basically demand they be fed in preparation for the next time you decide to go crazy and exercise for an  hour straight (which presumably will be the next day, but your muscles don’t need to know that!)  However, this the best time to stimulate the growth and production of new muscle tissue, and that would be through consumption of protein – in fact, you apparently should have .33g of protein per pound you weigh directly after a strenuous work out.

You should also have carbohydrates with your shake in order to maximize your protein intake – which, if you’re on a low carb diet probably won’t sit well with you, but I’m not so I was ok with this.  Most places suggested mixing dextrose with the protein shake.  And, once place I found also suggested mixing in a little cinnamon and honey, because there are studies that have suggested that those two things increase your body’s receptiveness to taking in protein.  Also they’re tasty.  xD

So, doing a little math, I figured out that, if I weigh 197lbs (which I did at the time I was doing this research project) I need:

197lbs x .45g protein = 89g protein/day to maintain weight while working out
197lbs x .9g of protein = 177g protein/day to cut weight while working out
197lbs x .33g protein = 65g protein directly after workout

Which is a lot different, and a lot more protein than I was getting.  I adjusted my diet somewhat, though I still don’t get 177g of protein every day – I get somewhere closer to between 100-120g.  But anyway, what about all this protein I’m supposed to get directly after my workout?  The answer was of course a protein shake!

Now, most places suggested this stuff here:

Arbonne Essentials

Arbonne Essentials

The Arbonne Essentials vanilla protein powder.  It’s got whey protein in it, which is the protein that stimulates muscle growth the most – you find it in most non-vegan protein powders.  And it is expensive, as most protein powders are, I came to find out.  That giant jug thing is $60 and has like, 25 servings in it … However, the big question is, how much protein is in a serving of that?  Answer: there are 20g of protein in 2 scoops according to the nutrition facts provided on the official website for the Arbonne product line.  Meaning there are about 10g/scoop or so, and if you recall, I need 65g of protein or so after each workout.

Which means I would need roughly three servings every time I work out.

Which means that that giant vat would literally last me about 8 days.

$60/week for protein powder?  Um – no thank you, I’ll pass.

However, I didn’t just quit looking at that point; I figure maybe I’ll splurge on that when I weigh less so I need less protein after my workouts.  In the meantime, I went to my local organic hippie store, since Whole Foods and places of that nature don’t exist where I live for the most part, and I found their protein/supplement section.  And I proceeded to read ALL of the labels, looking for one thing – which powder supplied the most protein for the least amount of product?

The one I eventually settled on is called Vegan Sport: Performance Protein

Vegan Sport Performance Protein

Vegan Sport Performance Protein

And it is for one simple reason that I chose this powder, even though a giant vat of it also cost me $60, so it doesn’t really seem like I’m ahead, does it?  xD Well, this protein powder, though it is not whey protein, which I really tried to find but they just did not have, has a serving size of one scoop.  Which I really appreciated because I don’t want to have to mix however many scoops I need with a gallon of water so that it’s not like trying to eat sand when I put it in my mouth.  However, even better than that … Well here – I’ll let you see for yourself.

Omg look at the amount of protein in 1 SCOOP!

Omg look at the amount of protein in 1 SCOOP!

Yeah … this stuff has more protein in one scoop than the Arbonne provides in 2 scoops … That is definitely a positive.  So, instead of having to use six scoops of protein powder, I only need to use two, and this vat says that there are roughly 24 servings inside.  Which means this vat should last me two weeks since I don’t exercise on Sundays.  EXCELLENT.  $30/week, while still a steep price, is a far cry from $60/week, tyvm.

Along with two scoops of powder into my water bottle, I also add a half a tsp of cinnamon and two tablespoons of honey, roughly.  And can I just tell you, with the vanilla shake mix, which is the one I bought, this combination is DELICIOUS.  I actually sort of look forward to the shake, even if it does have the consistency of roughly ground up chalk unless you constantly mix it.  Oh, and word to the wise?  Add a splash of water to your shake if you use this stuff before you take the last few sips – for some reason no matter how much you shake, it has these gritty particulates at the bottom and they are very hard to get down, I find … ^^;;

Now, as far as adding dextrose I didn’t get into all of that yet – I’m waiting until I can cut down a little on how much powder I use, because right now I have a 16oz water bottle, and for every scoop you’re supposed to add 8-12oz of water and mix.  So right now, I have a perfect bottle for making up my shake – I don’t want to add more powder to it because then I’ll have to add more liquid.  But if I can get down a little weight wise, I’ll get some of that dextrose stuff and see how it goes.

But until then, I am happy with my little shake mixture, and I’ll continue using it the way I am, because hey – it’s more protein directly after a workout than I was getting before! xD

Hopefully this was informative, and I’ll see you next time :]

❤ RaeynnBeau

Alright, so recently I have been on an oatmeal and orange juice kick for breakfast – I stop at McDonald’s on my way to work and get a fruit and maple oatmeal and a small oj every morning. Ever since I was really sick actually,  because hey, a little extra vitamin C never hurt anyone. Especially not someone who was sick. Or had scurvy.  Not that I had scurvy. Because I didn’t.

Anyway.

So, I realized Friday that I’m spending $5 every single day on a half cup of oatmeal with some raisins, apples, and maple syrup and 12oz of orange juice.  Which is $35/week. Could I be saving money here somewhere, and maybe even be a little healthier?

Well, I decided to find out.

So, I went to Wegman’s last Saturday morning and purchased oatmeal, raisins, craisins, maple syrup, and orange juice. No apples because I can’t be arsed to chop them up every morning, and I don’t really miss them. I also bought some bread so I can also have a slice of toast along with my oatmeal in the morning.  But anyway, all of this cost me a little under $30 – so I figure that if it can last me 6 days I break even; more than that and I’m saving money, and at the same time eating a little more and a little better. :]

So, here was breakfast today:

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Honey and peppermint tea (which I always drink anyway), Mango orange juice, flax seed oatmeal with raisins and craisins, maple syrup to taste, and a slice of multigrain toast with sunbutter and baobab jelly, which is amazing and will get it’s own blog post eventually. xD

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So, here’s what I use for the oatmeal – I got a variety pack of organic oatmeal because I couldn’t decide what flavor I wanted. Then I got some (again organic) raisins and dried cranberries or “craisins”, some organic pure maple syrup  and the honey I already had (for my tea). Which I actually didn’t add to the oatmeal today because I didn’t think I needed it. As for the toast …

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This is what’s on top of it – sunbutter, which is basically peanut butter made of sunflower seeds instead of peanuts, and safe for anyone who has allergies to peanuts/tree nuts, and baobab jelly. Which as previously noted is amazing, and well get it’s own blog post. Probably soon.

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Lastly, this is the orange juice – as I said it’s mango orange juice, because I just die for mangoes, but of course it comes in plain oj, and other flavors as well I believe. As you can see though, it’s pretty far gone already, and I’ve only had 2 glasses. It says there’s 7 servings in one bottle, but it looks like just eyeballing it every day I’m only going to get 5 or so. And I noticed that I keep having trouble finishing all if the juice I pour, so I think I’m going to have to measure out 8oz from now on. We’ll have to see if I’m that invested. ^^;;

So far so good – I don’t know what the calorie difference is yet, but there are 8 packages of oatmeal in the variety box, there are supposed to be 7 servings of oj, lots of raisins/craisins/syrup, lots of bread/jelly/sunbutter … I’ll be back with the results of this little experiment after a week or so, with cost/calorie/nutrition comparisons. :]

In the meantime, you could vote on my poll – it’s open until 12/31/12!