Tag Archives: pizza

Finance Friday – 5 Ways to Save $1,000 In 1 Year

If you could save a thousand dollars in a year by making a few changes to your weekly routine, would you give it a try?

At our house, with a wedding on the horizon and new home expenses, we have been making a concerted effort to save where we can.

These five lifestyle changes could save you up to $1,000 each per year.  And if you can do all five, you can probably afford that dream vacation, downpayment, or pesky credit card balance you’ve been chipping away at.

1. Check your coffee habits.  If you’re currently making a stop at your favorite coffee joint every day, you may want to evaluate the impact on your wallet.  I know it might be the best part of your morning, but hear me out.  You don’t have to cut out those coveted coffee trips completely.  If you cut back to 3 trips a week, with an average drink costing $5, you can save $1,040 in one year (assuming you are cutting out 4 days). You can still frequent your local coffee shop on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to dull the pain of the week. But for the other days do some coffee prep at home. You won’t regret it.

2. Reevaluate your cable & insurance bills.  I know how the cable fairytale begins… there is a great 1 year rate on a bundle deal, 6 months of free HBO, and sometimes even a prepaid gift card… before you know it you have a DVR/HDMI cable box in every room of the house and you’re all set to live happily ever after… until that 6 months to a year is up.  It’s not unusual to stop one day and wonder how your cable bill has sky rocketed to its current rate.  I know first hand how excruciating it is to call the cable company.  It seems like a chore just to get a real person on the phone, but if you play your cards right you will walk away with some extra dough in your pocket.

A cable representative can help you walk through all of your current options and identify areas you could cut costs.  Do you have 4 DVR boxes in rooms that you rarely use?  If your current options are already pretty lean, you can price out other companies and go to bat with your current company.  They  might give you what you’re looking for up front, but if they don’t, be prepared to walk away… or at least pretend you are.  Most companies will ask you what they can do to keep your business (within reason), and if they don’t they usually give you more than enough chances to re-install or change your mind before they will actually terminate your service.

At the very least, if HBO is an absolute must in your home, switching from the cable company to HBO Now will probably save you an easy $5 a month.

Another area with major savings potential is home and car insurance.  Here is a great article on switching car insurance.

3. Pack your lunch. Let’s say after meal, drink, and tip, the average cost of eating lunch at a restaurant is $10.  Now let’s also say that the average cost to pack a lunch is $3.  If you’re currently going out everyday at lunch, try packing or eating at home 3 days a week.  If you can pocket that extra cash you will have an extra $1,000 a year.

4. Replace one dinner out. In our household we have an intense love for pizza.  We would usually go out to eat one night a week for our favorite food group.  It’s actually kind of crazy how much a large pizza costs these days.  Say you go out to a restaurant and order a large one topping pizza with drinks, before you know it you’re $25 in the hole.  In our budget madness, we recently discovered that Wegmans sells 3 packs of pepperoni pizza in the frozen section for $10… and the best part… they’re actually pretty darn delicious.  With a savings of about $22 a week, you can easily save $1,000 a year on pizza alone.

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5. Evaluate all areas of spending.  If you can spot an opportunity in your lifestyle to save $20 a week, or around $80 a month you can pocket up to $1,000 in one year.

What would you do with an extra $1,000?

Pizza Monster

Alternate titles for this post could be I Have No Self Control Around Pizza or What I Ate Wednesday.

Yesterday started out like any other.  I got up, finished my morning routine, got out the door and went in to work.  Here’s a little glimpse of my day:

Breakfast

1 slice of whole wheat bread with Trader Joe’s Raw Almond Butter

Trader Joe's Raw Almond Butter

I know some people may have an aversion to the consistency of this.  It’s not very thick, but the I love the taste.  It’s hard to find nut butters that don’t have a bunch of added junk.  This one is 100% almonds, so I forgive the texture.

Coffee (yes, I consider this it’s own meal category)

Lunch

Leftover acorn squash with a side of Trader Joe’s pita chips and Beet Hummus.  And of course a carbonated water that I’m sure someday we will find out is way too good to be true.

pita chips beet hummus

acorn squash sausage kale

Green Tea (also it’s own category)

house stark green tea

Side note – I’m a little disappointed no one at work has noticed this mug.  It’s a real statement piece.  And it wasn’t easy for me to sneak it out of the house unnoticed.

Snack

I have been on an ‘Oh My Yog!’ kick lately.  I can’t get enough of the creamy deliciousness.  I’m hoping Stonyfield will come out with some new flavors soon. My favorite is the Vanilla.

You caught me… his picture is old, I totally forgot to snap one yesterday.

you had one job

Workout

After work I went straight to a Hot Yoga Power Hour.  It feels so great to be back at it, I really missed yoga in my life.  And I can’t believe how weak I have gotten in the few months that I have taken off.  My arms are on the super struggle bus for every sun salutation.  And let’s just say attempting any sort of head stands or fancy-ness are completely on the back burner until I can work up some strength.

After yoga, I came home and took the Busy B for a nice long walk.

german shorthair pointer

I hit my 10,000 step goal, and the Queen B had a nice little outlet.  We even stopped to check out the geese bedding down for the night in the pond nearby.

Dinner

When we got back Kris was home with a huge pepperoni pizza. mmmmmmm.  I was already halfway through my slice of pizza before I remembered to take a picture.  These pizza slices from the Amherst Alehouse are massive.  I planned to eat one slice and exercise some sort of self control, but by the time it was all said and done I had 2 slices of extra large pepperoni pizza and 1 chocolate chip cookie.  And it. was. glorious.

pizza

On that note, I guess I better get to preppin’ something healthy for todays meals.  Happy Hump Day!

Yoga, Big Little Lies, Pizza, & Orchids

The theme for the weekend at our house was relaxation.  We finally had a weekend to kick our feet up and enjoy some nice weather.  I’m pretty sure it just went from winter to summer in Buffalo.  Holy crap, it was hot!  But, I’m certainly not going to complain.

Saturday morning I woke up to find that my orchid is finally in bloom!  I have had this particular plant for about 3 years and this is the first time it has bloomed, so I was feeling pretty excited and proud of myself.  There was a time that I thought it might not make it.

Orchid

After I grabbed the plant and ran in to show Kris (like it was Christmas morning), I got my act together and headed out for a sweaty hot yoga class.  It has been a while since I’ve been to a yoga class and it felt really great to get back in the studio.  After yoga we took the little beester to the dog park and then spent the day relaxing.  It was so nice to sit outside and read in the sun.  It is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

La Croix

(I am loving the different La Croix water flavors.)  This weekend I finished reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.  I really enjoyed the book and I would highly recommend it to anyone.  And I also discovered that HBO is creating a series based off of the book, so I’m interested to see what that will be like.

Saturday evening we decided to check out a pizza place that we had heard great reviews about, and it was amazing.  Rocco’s Coal Fired Pizza has an inviting family atmosphere with a nice bar scene in the back.  Plus the pagers are pieces of pizza…

Pizza & Beer

How cool is that?  After dinner we even stopped and got ice cream.  I chose Ben & Jerry’s That’s my Jam.  Yum.  I love chocolate and raspberry and this ice cream has chocolate and raspberry ice cream with a jam in the middle, so it was perfect.

Ben & Jerry's

Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early and went for a run with B and it was HOT.

Garmin run

Later in the day we went to brunch, followed by more lounging and recovering from all of the craziness that has been going on in our lives lately.

Mother's Day

 

I felt really sad that I couldn’t be with my mom and grandma on Mother’s Day.  So far the Buffalo transition hasn’t been too terrible, but I realized that it was the first Mother’s Day that we haven’t all been together, and it was a little difficult.  I often find myself getting emotional about growing up and going out into the world.  It’s such a cruel irony how badly you want to grow up when you are young, and how much you want to be young again when you’re an adult.  I guess the best thing you can do is enjoy each day in the present.

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(source)

(Cheesy, I know.  But true.)  I hope you have a wonderful start to the week!

Today I Started a New Job…and Ate All the Pizza

To begin this Monday, I think it’s only right that I share some weekend events from our first few nights in Buffalo…

Buffalo

Saturday we packed all of the things we could fit into 2 cars and hit the road.  By the time we got to our apartment and unpacked we were exhausted.  So we ordered a pizza and ended the night watching some House of Cards… on our fancy new tv stand:

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(yes, I have a stuffed animal German Shorthair Pointer, and yes it was important enough that it didn’t get left for the movers. it’s totally normal)

Sunday I woke up nice and early and discovered that Spring in Buffalo means snow showers…

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Breakfast consisted of coffee with an asiago bagel that I found when I was cleaning out the freezer (it was delicious)

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The rest of the morning was spent running errands, which is when I discovered my new found love for Wegman’s.  Kris tried to tell me multiple times how much I would like Wegmans, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit anything was better than my beloved Market District in PA.  This is just one of the many selling points… a Trail Mix Bar.  yeah.  it’s real.

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We spent the rest of the day getting everything in order and had lunch at Kris’ parent’s house and dinner at his aunt and uncles (we really didn’t have to do too much to fend for ourselves).

Today began bright and early so that I wouldn’t be late on my first day of work.  So naturally, I didn’t sleep well at all last night.  I heard one of the radio talk shows say that it was a balmy -6 degrees with the windchill.  Spring has officially sprung.

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On the bright side, my first day went smoothly, everyone was super nice to me, and I even got pizza for lunch.  We went to a delicious pizza place and I got the mozzarella and arugula.  So good.

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On the way home I just barely made it to a gas station

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I swear I’m a mature, responsible adult.  Wouldn’t that have been a story for a first day on the job.

Anyways, I made it home planning to do a workout… but then the leftover lunch pizza and wine were calling my name.

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Besides, who doesn’t indulge a little on first days?

Time to play with the Beester and relax.  I hope you had a great Monday!

Sunday Eats & Essential Oils

Happy Monday!  Where did the weekend go?  Friday night Kris wasn’t feeling so well, so we had a low key evening.  I caught up on How to get Away with Murder and Suits.  I have to say, I really enjoyed the season finale of HTGAWM, but I did not like the end!  I never would have guessed who killed Lila, but I still woke up Saturday morning with a bad taste in my mouth about how it all went down.

Saturday we helped my sister move, which ended up taking the entire day.  But on the bright side, there was pizza!  I would do just about anything for pizza.

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And yesterday was a nice relaxing Sunday.  One of my favorite weekend activities is waking up and having a cup of coffee followed by an egg sandwich.  I’m not sure I can even describe my love for weekend egg sandwiches.  I dream of them during the week.

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1 whole grain English muffin, 2 slices turkey bacon, 1 slice swiss, 2 fried eggs & a side of kiwi

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For lunch I threw together chicken kale bowl supplies with a La Croix water on the side

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After lunch, I went out for an afternoon run and I have never been so convinced that I might have frostbite.  The temperature wasn’t terrible, but the roads were terribly wet and my shoes and socks were soaked within 5 minutes.  I suspect I have circulation problems to begin with (my fingers and toes are always getting cold and going numb), so this was a very regrettable decision.  It’s a pretty terrible feeling thawing out frozen toes.  Is it spring yet????

After the run and the thawing of the toes, I made a protein shake with a vanilla AboutTime protein powder packet, a banana, 4 ice cubes, and some Vanilla Coconut almond milk.  yum!!

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For dinner we had the last of the leftover pizza casserole and I had a big glass of wine.

I also had to share my love for this Essie nail color –  butler please.  I did an experiment where I used gel polish for the top and bottom coats. I love gel nail polish, but I have so many awesome regular colors (and not too many exciting gel ones), so I’m attempting to find a way to combine them.  So far it’s not chipping as badly as regular polish, but it’s not as chip resistant as pure gel.

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Yesterday I finally decided to try out an essential oil burner that I got for Christmas.  I had been wanting to try it out but the directions weren’t exactly made for dummies so I was a little nervous that the end result would be me burning my house down. Good news – I did not burn my house down.  I added mostly olive oil and a little Lavender, but next time I would definitely add more lavender.  After it burnt out I just put some pure lavender oil in it (and didn’t light again) because I was loving the smell.  I think I found a perfect new way to relax: 1 large glass of wine + pure lavender oil.

I may need to look into a good diffuser.

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We ended the day with House of Cards and an early bedtime.  We are still only on Season 1.  We have trouble really getting into the show, but I keep hearing such great things and we’re no quitters.

Last night when I walked into the bedroom to go to bed my heart melted a little bit when I saw that Kris had already tucked B in for bed.  Am I the only one who tucks my dog in before bed?  (In my defense, it seems to keep her in her own bed a little bit longer.)

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Now it’s time to get Monday started!  Have a great day!

The Pizza Trap + Tuesday Happenings

Hi there! Before we get Tuesday really started, I have a confession to make… last night I came home around 8pm… hungry, tired, sick (I am actually starting to feel better, but maybe I can use that one last time?)… and I fell into the pizza trap. Feel bad for me, I’m a victim.

I actually felt like I could have gone straight to bed.  But I wanted to be responsible and eat dinner (ahhh, responsibility).  So, low and behold – I opened the refrigerator door thinking “What can I eat for a quick dinner? I am definitely not going to eat that leftover pizza. I don’t even want it that badly.” – and then, I ate the pizza.  I didn’t even bother to heat it up.  I just devoured it on the spot with ruthless abandon.  I’m not proud.

I don’t have much to say for myself, except that I fell into the pizza trap. Big time.

But, on a brighter note… I did one thing yesterday that I feel may have evened the score. I was supposed to have a hair appointment in the evening, but in order to salvage my budget in the aftermath of Christmas, I rescheduled.  I know, I was so brave.

So in summary, it was a roller coaster of a Monday. I laughed, I cried, I ate healthy until 8pm, I fell into the pizza trap, I sacrificed my hair, and I went to bed.

Today I am sticking to the same routine as yesterday:

Breakfast

The other half of a Wolferman’s English muffin with Justin’s Vanilla Almond butter and small glass of OJ.

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Coffee

Lunch

Kale salad with dried cherries, walnuts, a slice of Trader Joe’s smoked gouda (broken into small pieces), with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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Green Tea

(the new tea was really good!)

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Snack

Cottage cheese with pomegranate arils and a sprinkle of cinnamon,

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Dinner

Wing night!

Workout

I’m going to try to sneak in a mile run and a circuit workout at the gym between work and wing night.

And on a side note, my orchids are getting so close to blooming again, yay!!

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Time for me to get to it.  Have a great day!