Friday, March 11, 2011

New Blog!

I'm very excited to announce I will be starting a new blog on my area of expertise, mental health and well-being, at Mental Health for Everyone! I would encourage you to visit if you want to know more about optimal mental health, as well as tricks and tips on keeping in mental shape.

Have no fears, I do not plan on abandoning this blog, however, the posts will likely still be less frequent, as been the case for the past year or so.

Take care!
Frugal Green Girl

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Student Discounts - YES please!

Being a student can be a bittersweet experience. You get to learn more about things you are interested in and keep a flexible schedule, of many other things. However, it typically also comes with a price of not making a great income and living poorly, unless you have wealthy parents or a highly paid partner who can support you. Being a graduate student, I hate to think about how much debt I carry, especially during this time of year when all of those end-of-the-year statements come for tax purposes. Ugh. Anyways, one thing that students CAN use to their advantage is having a student ID card. Many businesses provide discounts to students, and its important to always ask/research even if it doesn't explicitly say.

Most commonly, I think students use their student IDs for movie theater tickets, which can give you at least a couple of bucks off of your ticket. These discount tickets can similarly also be found for other types of shows like concerts and plays. Universities and colleges tend to also provide discounts on computers and other essential technology from stores like Apple and Dell, which you can shop online for in addition to a school store. Microsoft Office, for instance, also provides a line of their software specifically for the student budget that can get you through college with the just basics. If you travel a lot, this is another great place to look for student discounts - Amtrak (Train) and Greyhound Bus lines provide student discount programs, and STA Travel and Student Universe provide excellent databases on airfare at a student price. Major cell phone service providers may also provide you a student discount, including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. I'd recommend googling these for more information, but I want you to know they do exist, and cell phone bills are insanely high, so be sure to check it out if its applicable for you!

The list can go on, so just be sure to look anywhere you go or stores that you frequent to see if they provide discounts for students. My favorite student discount I have found is through They provide a free 1-year membership of Amazon Prime, which is a great way to get free 2-day shipping on most of the items sells. If you would like to learn more about how to sign up for a free student account, click here. I probably buy 75% of my non-grocery items from Amazon, simply because they have great deals for people on a budget, and fast free shipping only makes things even better! The point here is, NEVER stop looking for student discounts, because there are a lot of sympathetic businesses out there to help you during a financially difficult time in your life!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Next Groupon

Hello out there! I know its been quite some time for me, but to recap what has been going on for me the past 6 months, I'll fill you in:

  • I took and passed my doctoral comprehensive exams in September - yay!
  • I successfully proposed my dissertation topic and began doing analysis - yay!
  • I applied for a predoctoral psychology internship (October/November), which are highly competitive, and have been interviewing at various sites in the region for the past month. 
Now that my interviews are over, things are settling down and life can slowly get back to normal, at least for a little while. But as you can see, if you ever get a Ph.D., its no small task, and they love to cram in all of your big tasks in the last year. Anyways, onward and upward to the blog!

Well, Groupon has definitely caught on fire the past couple of months, which I wrote about last year, and now similar sites have popped up. is one that I stumbled upon today after a friend posted in his status on Facebook. Today's deal: $10 for a $20 giftcard! Great deal for me, since I frequent Amazon for their prices and my current free Prime membership provides free 2 day shipping. LivingSocial also provides an incentive by providing you with a link after you purchase the deal - if you get 3 friends to also purchase the deal, yours is free! Checking other types of sites like these are helpful incase your area might not be covered by Groupon or other sites yet. From what I can tell LivingSocial seems to have a longer list of cities available for deals.

In addition, I and fellow readers of this blog have noticed that local programs have begun to do things in their smaller cities. In my city, for example, the "giveback" program runs via local participating businesses which contribute a certain percentage of your purchase to a selected charity - for me, its the local humane society - and also gives you $10 back to use after you have accumulated a certain amount of purchases with the card. And recently they have added a monthly enewsletter where a "groupon-like" deal is presented. A couple of months ago I got a 30 minute massage from a local therapist for $15 on our giveback deal, a treat I rarely get to have for myself!

Be sure to check out your local area to see if any type of programs like this exist - they are a win-win situation!

Expect to see more posts in the upcoming weeks - I'm hoping to get back on track as one of my New Year's Resolutions!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Get Your Groupon!

My apologies to those of you who have been looking forward to a new post for a while. While I am amidst studying and writing for my last real year of intense doctoral studies, writing here will be a good break for me :)

On this post I would love to mention a website I recently discovered, thanks to, called Groupon. Groupon is a website that offers amazing deals in numerous U.S. cities and other countries. I'm not just talking about $5 off a meal, no, I am talking about SERIOUS deals. Here's how it works: each day a new "deal" is posted for each particular city/ location. You can choose to purchase that deal with a credit card, however, enough people must also purchase that deal in order to "activate" it. Don't worry, if you buy the deal and it doesn't make, your card will not be charged. What they want you to do is to help others also buy that deal, and if you do, you receive $10! (Refer by me at:

Why would a business do this? While they are offering insanely good deals, they are looking to drive in a new customer base, and get more people to come to them by putting up this deal, assuming enough people buy it. Businesses range from restaurants to shopping, to parks and attractions - you just never know what you will see! You can also subscribe to daily emails for a specific location so that you don't need to check the website everyday.

"But wait a minute, my city isn't on here. This probably won't be of use to me." I hear ya. Another great way to use Groupon is for planning vacations. For example, on my last trip to Las Vegas, which is a featured city on Groupon, we did a Red Rock Canyon Tour provided by Scoot City tours. It was one of our more expensive activities at $119 per person. Groupon previously offered a deal with Scoot City Tours for the same tour for two people for half the price! $110 for two people! I couldn't believe it! Be sure to check the fine print of the deal, since most of the deals have an expiration date of at least a couple of months away. There are a ton of cities on Groupon, so I would encourage you to watch for the deals, especially if you are planning a vacation in the future!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ebay it!

I'm sure all of you have heard of Ebay, which is an online auction site that has basically been around since the dawn of the internet. I am typically a seller, however, this past week I have decided to try and sell some things on Ebay with the hope of making some extra cash.

My father-in-law visited recently, and brought us to a Kansas City Royals game, where they were having a promotional giveaway of a bobblehead doll of their star pitcher, Zach Greinke. While I enjoy going to baseball games very much, most of the time, I don't really care for the giveaways unless it is clothing or a baseball cap...something I can wear. When we got back to our house, I said to my father-in-law, "What am I going to do with this? Do you want two?". And then he suggested to put it on Ebay, which for some reason had never crossed my mind before. Before I knew it, I had it posted and earning bids, and made a $30 profit off of a free item, which was almost enough to pay for my ticket from the game! With game giveaways especially, since there are a limited number made (usually 20,000) it makes them more desirable to the public, in particular collectors and fans.

I also decided to post my Nintendo DSi, something that I never use anymore. The problem with Ebay, is that for the most part, you want to keep it to a smaller item, since you will have to ship it. However, commission costs are low. Whereas will take a percentage of the commission, Ebay charges a base fee, usually of 50 cents, and charges based on the extra stuff you want to put in your ad. Electronics items cost a bit more, but still incredibly cheap for an auction in my opinion. Plus, I think the site is very user friendly, and has a help area to those who are new, which I found myself using multiple times.

Ebay can be a great alternative to things like a rummage sale, which I also have plans for coming up. With a national audience, you can certainly get more money for your item than you would at a rummage sale, where for the most part, since they are the only buyer, will talk you down from your set price. More on rummage sales for a later entry.

Upon your time spring cleaning, assess some items in the house and their frequency of use. While I like my Nintendo DSi, I just flat out don't use it. I'd rather put the money towards something I can actually use, or, you could be smart and put it into savings (which is not what I do). Anyways, check out Ebay as a seller and see how easy it is to make some extra money decluttering your home. Another man's trash is another man's treasure, right?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chaos Break

Yes, every time I thought about my blog for the last two months I could only think about the guilt I felt for not keeping up with it. If you have been reading my blog for a while, its pretty common for me to vanish for a while during this time of year. I will have a hectic summer of studying for my doctoral comprehensive exams, collecting data for my dissertation, and writing my dissertation. It is by no means the end of frugal green girl, but merely a warning that my dropping off the face of the planet is merely temporary.

Anyways, today I would like to start a discussion on credit cards and charge cards. While most people see them as "good" or "bad", I like to encourage you to see them instead as a "tool". When you know what your personal limits are, not what the credit card limit is, that is what is most important. Since the number one rule in personal finance is don't spend more than you bring in, certainly apply that to your use of credit cards and charge cards. Either pay them off each month, or develop a plan that you can pay them off aggressively, since each month will add more money in finance charges. When I say I use them as a "tool", I am referring to the benefits, like reward points and other bonuses you may get from holding either a credit card, charge card, or both. For example, I hold a charge card with Old Navy. It is the only charge card I hold because I basically do all of my clothes shopping either at the Gap or Old Navy, both of which are affiliated stores. Every time I spend $200, something I normally do over time anyways, I earn $10 bucks towards more clothes. In addition, they also have store events where card holders get additional percentage off all items. The important point to note is that I know its something I would do anyways, and I am not getting a charge card for the sake of it, not that I normally shop there.

With credit cards, I would always recommend looking at what your own financial institution has in store for you, because the APR rates are likely to be twice as good as the places where you apply for a credit card to get a "free gift". With the credit card from my financial institution, I earn the "reward points" that you see on many commercials for other cards, and then you can use those points on an online catalog (usually $1 spent = 1 point) with free shipping. I recently got a desperately needed paper shredder, which would normally cost me around $70. Again, if you conserve those points to use on something you really need, and not fun "toys" and things that are not really necessary, you can also save some money.

Also, don't have too many credit cards or charge cards - I only have one of each. The more you have, the easier it is to justify unnecessary purchases and spending. Note as well that each time you apply for a card, a credit check is done, and the more credit checks you have on your record for that time-being, the harder it is to get things, like loans, cars, houses, etc.

When used properly, credit cards and charge cards can work to benefit your finances, keeping in mind the first principle of personal finance: Don't spend more than you bring in.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Finding Cheaper Vacations

So over the break, my husband informed me that he had gotten my spring break week off, hence we decided that if that could happen we would go on a REAL vacation since our honeymoon in 2006. I booked a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Now, my husband and I are not gamblers, and we plan to spend the majority of our time enjoying the strip and going to some fun and even free things!

Whatever place you go to, you can always find free stuff to do. I have been using to look for different fun things to do in Las Vegas. TripAdvisor provides an extensive list of things to do (in addition to hotels and flights and everything else associated with a trip somewhere) and also provides users the opportunity to publicly review these establishments. They are ranked and also given written reviews by customers. You can also simply google things like "free things to do in Las Vegas". Many travel sites have these lists for certain cities.

While I could say, "hey lets just do all the top things we can find that we would like to do", thats not efficient at all. Las Vegas is not a cheap city by any means, and I'm sure many of you know that if you have been there. If you're going to a show like the ever popular Cirque Du Soleil, it can cost anywhere from 100 to 200 dollars PER seat. There are certainly ways to cut corners, like going directly to the box office to see if they are undersold that day, and you may get them for cheaper. But certainly don't expect 30 dollars cheap.

In addition, I would really recommend booking online at travel booking sites like or Personally, I have found that overall, has the cheapest prices for the same packages on other websites. The beauty of these sites is that they allow you to book your hotel and flight together, which usually saves hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars. For example, my flight (for one person), would have cost around $350 dollars round trip. Now, times that by two, and the hotel we will be staying at (a fabulous 5 star hotel on the strip) normally runs without the flight booked together at $230 per night. I instead got this trip for about 500 a person, which saved me about 800-900 dollars.

In addition, use the reviews of attractions, like on Orbitz or TripAdvisor, for example, to find where you can get cheaper prices. Often times, reviewers will say something along the lines of "Great show. Go to the big coke bottle next to the MGM Grand where you can get tickets for $37, rather than paying the full $54." Travelers are always full of good advice to give you, so take advantage! In addition, you may find when you investigate online there are cheaper tickets available simply for buying online, or there are certain dates that are cheaper. In Las Vegas, many popular attractions give 20 to 25% discounts for ordering online. Many websites for other attractions offer printable coupons to save you money.

So before you take a trip, investigate what you can online to find the best deal, you never know what you might find!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Growing Your Own Food!

After moving into our house this past year, I am excited at the possibility of this growing season. While I don't have an actual "garden" in the backyard, its something I am considering putting in this year, along with plants for one of my favorite foods - tomatoes. Normally, I purchase them from a produce section of a grocery store, however, they never seem very fresh, and if I don't use the tomato right away it may go bad. What I do like is the idea of having something growing on a plant and I can grab it when I need it, without having to worry so much about it going bad. I purchased a cheap "seed starter" kit from a local department store for $12, which included a plastic "greenhouse", and soil pellets to sow seeds with. I also purchased some organic tomato seeds for $2.

I now have 35 little seedling pouches that have sprouted and are growing fast!

I could also see this as a fun thing for children to get to see - how a plant starts out and watching them grow. I know I found it fun to see how they are doing each day. Especially during these winter months, its nice to have some signs of spring in the house - it reminds you it will be here soon.

The kit that I bought says on the front that "start your own seeds and save!" - the idea that growing the seeds yourself would be much cheaper than buying the plants after they have had a lot more time to mature. So far, I would have to agree with this idea, and I will likely be transferring these little guys into bigger pots soon. While I bought the greenhouse, I also bought pots for the plants made out of peat, so you can just plant them right into the ground - no removal or mess.

Think about growing something you may use when you cook a lot - like herbs or vegetables! You can start saving some money while promoting healthy eating (locally grown - in your own backyard!). I also find comfort in growing organic seeds, since there is so much genetic modification in seeds nowadays unfortunately. Anyways, now is the time to grow some seeds, as the planting times for different plants is coming up in a few months. Put on your green thumb!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Getting Organized

While on my break from school, I took one day to go through my closets and dressers to throw away stuff I just don't wear anymore. Believe it or not, I still have a lot of stuff from high school, which is well over 10 years ago now. Ugh.

I usually make note to do this once or twice a year, simply because I keep more clothes than I actually wear. I think a lot of times we get caught up on the amount of money we spent on a particular item. If we spent more on it, even though we don't wear it, we feel obligated to keep it until its value has worn off. Barry Schwartz in his book "The Paradox of Choice" calls this "psychological worth" or value. I believe the general rule of thumb when rummaging through your closet is that if you haven't worn it in the past two years, you probably won't be wearing it again. Don't be afraid to put it in that recycling bag, remember thats its going to someone who will actually use it.

Going through my closet I came out with a trash bag full of clothes. Luckily, the day that I cleaned out my closet, I went to get my mail to find this in my mailbox.

Its a postcard asking for clothing donations for a local charity, in this case, the epilepsy foundation in my area. You may get these in your mail occasionally, and whats great about them is that they have a date they will come down your street, and all you have to do is put your donations on your curb, and they'll pick them up. Easy as that! Even if you don't have this type of thing going on in your neighborhood, there can always be donations made to Goodwill or the PlanetAid bins that you may have in your area (or something similar).

As you may read from a previous entry, trying to sell your clothes (I tried Plato's Closet) can be quite difficult. I brought almost two full boxes (and I am talking LARGE boxes) and they only took three or four things for fourteen dollars. I also looked into a local consignment shop, only to be slammed with some pretty hefty criteria (for example, having $50 worth of items on their floor, and non-seasonal items). These options make sense if you either have a lot of recent clothes that have been only worn a few times, or you have a larger family that also goes through a lot of clothes. Otherwise, I would recommend simply donating used clothing. There doesn't always have to be "something in it for me".

Anyways, in attempt to better organize my closet, I organized all tops by color, rather than style (somewhat, although for the most part I just put things in random spots). Even though you may not find practicality in it, it certainly makes your closet more rainbow-like with all the colors separated. What I also came to find was it was easier for me to match tops together when they are categorized by color. Supposedly the theory also goes that it is much easier to find a matching top with whatever your bottom is when you have all colors in one area. I'll keep you informed as to if this theory is actually helpful.

If you have some time, go through that closet. I get a great sense of relief by freeing some space in my closet, getting more hangers back, and hence making the choice of what to wear easier in the morning when your fashion sense may be less up to par.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Follow up to "Food, Inc."...

This past week I wrote a review for "Food, Inc.", and said that I had made a recent switch to buying humanely-raised chicken. Tonight was the first time I had made a whole roast chicken, instead of the usual chicken breasts. I cook whole roast chicken about every other week, and I actually find them easier to make than chicken breasts on the grill. Simply wash the chicken, dry it off, put some salt and pepper on it, and stick it in the oven for an hour and half. If you want the crispy skin like the rotisserie chickens they have at the grocery store deli, simply keep the chicken uncovered in the over for at least 15 minutes after cooking an hour and half.

My husband and I usually cannot eat the whole bird, however, leftover meat from a whole chicken works great in soups like regular old-fashioned chicken noodle, or I like making chicken tortilla soup. After having chicken for supper, the next day I like to make a big batch of soup for my lunches at work throughout the week.

Besides giving you an idea of how to get two meals out of one, I also wanted to point out more of a commentary on the cooking of a humanely-raised chicken in comparison to what I had bought prior. When I go grocery shopping, I usually buy the smallest bird I can find, simply because like I said before, we have more than enough leftovers. Its a waste of food and money to buy anything bigger.

After cooking for an hour and half, and then another 15 minutes uncovered, I was confused to see no layer of chicken grease in the pan after taking it out of the oven. On the Tyson birds I used to buy, I usually would end up with a soup can full chicken grease in the pan. After taking the chicken out of the oven, I then take it out of the baking pan into a piece of stoneware for the table. However, today I found I couldn't even lift the bird out of the pan without it falling apart. The meat was so tender it was falling right off the bone. Plus, I also thought it tasted better than the other type of chicken I buy. I don't know what all of these signs mean, but I like less grease, meat so tender it falls of the bone, and the fact it tastes great.

Let me know about your experiences if you have similarities and differences. Happy cooking!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Movie Review: Food, Inc.

I came into watching Food, Inc. almost scared that it would make me want to change my entire lifestyle. I thought I would come out of it wanting to only shop at the local Co-op, which I would love to do but really can't afford, however, I gained something different than I thought.

  1. The first and foremost thing that I always seem to gain from these movies is that capitalism is bad. I hope I am not the first person to tell you this either. The film talks in depth about how the seeds that farmers use can be patented, and large corporations now demand to be paid when farmers use these genetically modified seeds, even when they didn't buy them, they just spread through natural pollination.
  2. The second thing I took from this movie is that it is not so much about processed food, but how we treat our food. I have never seen how corporate farming is now, but as an animal-rights activist, I failed to see the connection prior of how these animals are treated inhumanely. While I am by no means a vegetarian, I believe all animals have the right to a healthy and happy life. Not to be stuffed in a dark and hot environment, or to be deprived of something that farm animals should be naturally eating, like grass. I really don't want to eat animals that are treated like that. 
  3. The overall message of the film is that the corporations work by YOUR standards. In the film it is said as you as a customer vote every time with the foods you buy as to how they are made and grown. What surprised me the most in this film is that Wal-Mart was not painted as a "villain". In fact, representatives on there were visiting a local farm and asking about their products for one reason - its what their customers are interested in. The fact is Wal-Mart will sell you anything as long as it continues to make money. If you want to buy chickens that come from a humanely raised environment, ask for it, and the company will consider it to keep your business. My local Wal-Mart carries humanely raised chicken, for not much more than the regular Tyson chicken. And after seeing this film I will not buy anything else. 
Overall this was a really good film, and I would encourage you to see it! It's now on NetFlix for instant viewing too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

After a much needed rest, I'm back to begin the new year with renewed spirit and innovative posts on the world of frugality and green living.

With the beginning of the new year, many of us make resolutions in hopes of completing them within the new year. I have decided a resolution for myself would be to read 50 books for fun this year. However, like many of you, I am pessimistic about completing this goal, even though I first thought I would make my goal 100 books. Rule number one about goal setting is to make the goal achievable and realistic. You want to challenge yourself, but also make the goal attainable. If it isn't, its easy to get disheartened or feel bad about yourself if you can't complete the goal. Anyways, another way to keep yourself on track for your resolutions is to remind yourself. While google calendar can be programmed to remind you of your tasks, another venue is the site Here, you can write an email to yourself that will be emailed to you at a specified date of your choice.

Try to be creative! This doesn't have to be a list of tasks, this can be an actual narrative letter you will write to your future self. Imagine what the conversation would be like. I did this with myself a couple of years ago, and I was surprised at my sense of humor, but also how well I knew myself (in terms of my bad habits, especially). Once you get that email, check the status of your goals, and congratulate yourself where congratulations are due. As human beings we are quick to point to our faults (i.e. goals we may not have completed) before our strengths (goals we have completed). If goals need to be reassessed, than do so, because clearly something wasn't working. Good luck with your resolutions for this year, and happy new year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Updates Galore!

Well, it is now December, and I am finally feeling some relief from finals time at my university.

Today is the first day in a long time I have managed to not drink any soda - I drank just water all day. My strategy has been to think about how I will feel later, usually disgusting, and that helps me. I was excited to tell my husband, and he then suggested we possibly try quitting together. I was shocked by this, but I have come to realize after quitting McDonald's that when you live with someone else you tend to embrace a similar lifestyle - voluntarily or involuntarily. I noticed John commented on my earlier post on quitting soda that he is having trouble quitting coffee or caffeine. I have managed to quit caffeine myself, to the dismay of my fellow colleagues, and really it should be a process that should be weaned down gradually. Caffeine is a drug (more specifically, a stimulant), and like any drug, you shouldn't just be quitting cold turkey, otherwise you will experience withdrawal symptoms. I've had friends who have experienced some bad headaches for withdrawing from caffeine, so my advice is to be sure to do it gradually, until a point where you can go without it.

I also think though drinks like coffee can be a "morning routine" type of thing. Sometimes its also helpful to find a substitution like non-caffeinated coffee or tea. I know a strategy suggested to me, but I haven't tried it yet for quitting soda, is to drink carbonated water. Speaking as someone in the field of psychology, it will probably benefit your mind to have that substitution as well. Good luck John!

Onwards and upwards, I have been finding myself spending less and less on groceries every week! I used to spend $120 a week on groceries for two people, prior to having a meal schedule and shopping list, and this past week I spent less that $60. I'm finding it to be a fun competition with myself, since I have been spending less and less it seems each week for the past couple of months. The shopping list is the KEY to saving money. Stick to your list, avoid all the temptations in your supermarket, and you cannot go wrong.

In addition, finding good staples in a weekly menu can save a lot of money. For example, every other week, I cook a roast chicken. It may sound complex, but really all I do is take it out of the packaging, rinse it off, put it my baking pan, and sprinkle some pepper and salt over it. It goes in the oven for an hour and half, and its ready to eat. Afterwords, since my husband and I usually can't eat a whole chicken, I then take the remaining meat off to use in a soup to prepare the following day. I also make a large batch of soup, and put them in Gladware or Rubbermaid serving containers, and then I have my lunches prepared for the week. Talk about getting your money's worth!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast Deal

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (Nov. 4, 2009) – Dedicated to helping American families save money on both holiday traditions and gift items, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced today significant price reductions* on Thanksgiving dinner favorites, TVs and other popular electronics. In addition to seeking savings on gifts under the Christmas tree, recent research shows more than 50 percent of consumers plan to shop price discounts in the coming weeks on non-gift purchases for themselves or family.**

Starting Saturday, Walmart stores will begin their first one-week electronics savings event with special buys and Rollbacks, including a new $298 HP notebook computer. In addition, as shoppers evaluate the impact of tight budgets on holiday meal planning, beginning today Walmart will feature select 12-pound turkeys for less than $5, helping families serve a complete Thanksgiving meal for eight this year as low as $20.*

“We’re proving that we’re committed to helping moms afford the holidays in these tough economic times,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president, groceries, Walmart. “That’s why we’re offering incredible pricing on the turkey and all the fixings.”

A turkey dinner for eight as low as $20
According to a survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, last year’s average cost of a turkey was roughly $1.19 per pound. Beginning today, select Grade A turkeys are available for 40 cents per pound at Walmart.* These gobblers are part of Walmart’s $20 Thanksgiving menu guaranteeing family favorites will be on the dinner table this holiday season. Walmart’s $20 Thanksgiving feast includes:

  • One 12-pound Grade A turkey*
  • Three 11 to 15.5-ounce cans Green Giant vegetables
  • Two 14-ounce cans Ocean Spray cranberry sauce
  • Three 6-ounce boxes of Stove Top stuffing
  • One 5-pound bag of red potatoes
  • One 12-count package of Sara Lee dinner rolls
  • One 22-ounce pumpkin roll cake
For the full press release, click on the title of this post above. Just another way to save for the holidays. Also, be sure to check out your grocers in the area, as I have heard ALDI is running a similar deal for $30 and Super Target has also put out a deluxe Thanksgiving meal for $45 and $60, depending on what you want included. Look at your retailer's weekly flyers!

Here's to the start of the holiday season!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Quitting the Addiction

Probably at the worst time of the semester (the few weeks prior to final papers being due), I am trying to give up my addiction on soda. After successfully given up caffeine, I am slowly weaning off of soda, getting down to one a day right now.

I've been finding that when I drink soda, thinking about its actual taste, its quite disgusting. Its just a very sugary taste, as appropriate being most of the soda is composed of such. I teach an undergraduate class three days a week, to which I usually drink my one Sprite during, and this week a student asked me "how can you drink non-caffeinated soda?" While I cite health reasons, I did ponder the question. What is the point of drinking soda if there is no caffeine in it? What is the purpose? I believe sugar is an equal addiction, and this "friend" in my entire life has never been a friend at all. When I was in 7th grade, I was hospitalized after consuming around 7-8 cans of soda a day, for dehydration. I trying to realize that soda does me no favors, and its time to let it go, just like any other drug. This is also the thought that has kept me away from drugs my whole life - what is the benefit of it?

But water? I hear so many people say how much the taste of water is so bland and boring. While I can understand, it is water's purity that makes me feel better during the day. Another thing I commonly put together with supper is a pitcher of Crystal Light, which is essentially water with some low-calorie flavoring added to it. In addition, thinking about the money we spend on soda, it can be quite draining. After adding a filter to my refrigerator, I find the taste of the water to be great, and I just fill up my reusable bottle every morning with water and ice. Water is much cheaper on the wallet than soda. In addition thinking about the resources consumed to make soda, and its containers, water is much better for the earth.

The other thing I come to find, is when you take up healthy habits, or give up bad habits, those around you will also take notice. For example, in 2001, when "Super Size Me", the documentary regarding fast food came out, I pledged to never eat McDonald's again. To which, I have still kept this promise to myself. However, over the course of the years, since I didn't go to eat there, that meant my husband would go by himself. It became less and less of an occurance for him, until it got to a point where he didn't find the food appetizing anymore. You CAN influence other people, particularly the ones you care about most. I'm hoping what I have said here may influence you as well, to start a new healthy habit for the havoc of the holidays is here.