Showing posts with label Budget. Show all posts

Welcome Trish while I am away!

Hey guys! I am currently away and having a blast up in Maine with my love so, Trish over at Beyond the Khaki Pant was ever so kind to stand in. You can't get one Trish, you get another! I am so excited to have her here today! One of my favorite topics is doing things on a budget and Trish sure delivers some great tips today! Enjoy and see you back here on FRIDAY!


Title: Date Night Ideas on a Budget|| Trish @ Beyond the Khaki Pants

Hi Trish List readers, my name is Trish. I blog over at Beyond the Khaki Pants. I know, kind of a funny name. [Check out my blog to find the inspiration behind the name.] Doing things on budget is something that I am passionate about. A big inspiration behind my blog is financial freedom and independence. I am so happy to be filling in for Trish talking about ideas to keep the magic alive...and the savings account! 

Just because you’re married or been together with your spouse for a while, doesn't mean that you can’t still date. Unfortunately, life doesn't always allow for fancy or luxurious dates. I know this. Both my husband and myself have been through graduate school. Those years were especially tough on budget. Even though we were getting by on very little income, we were newly weds and beyond excited and in love. Rather than sitting at home doing nothing, we started to get creative on how we would now date. Gone were the dinners out. Gone were going to concerts and sports events. Even going to the movies was too expensive. Which really isn’t saying a whole lot- movies are stupidly expensive now. An added bonus?? Even though now we are both working (ie, we’re DINKs) we still try to date this way. Hello, savings!

Here are some ideas that we have tried over the years. Many of them are free. The others are minimally expensive ($15 or less). All of them are as fun as you make them to be! 

9 Date Night Ideas on a Budget

Date Night Ideas on a Budget -
//Have a ‘Goals Night’. I know this might not be the most romantic date, but it can be fun and inspiring. Take out something to write on (a notebook, a poster board…whatever) and sit down with your spouse. Brainstorm and then write down your goals, as a couple and an individual. Include personal, relationship and professional goals if you wish. It’s great to do this over a good bottle of wine and dessert. The best part of doing this regularly is that it’s fun to think about things you’ve accomplished and inspiring to think of what’s to come!

//Picnic at a local park. Avoid the high-cost of eating out, pack your own meal and head to the best park in your area. Leave the technology at home (or at least in your bag) and connect with your spouse. Without interruptions. Especially in these last weeks of summer, getting outside to picnic is an easy solution to date night. 

//Find free events in your city. In Seattle, there are nights where the city puts on a free concert or movie showing. Take advantage of these free events. There are more free events happening in your city than you think. Check out your city's website and search for free events.

//Game night in. Channel your inner child and pull out your favorite board game. My husband and I usually try to do game nights as a group date-night, because most games are more entertaining with four people rather than just two. Throw in some good food or a bottle of wine, even better!

//Groupon a couples event. There are such fun ideas on Groupon for date nights. Everything from cooking classes, to pie making classes, and couples massages. Be on the eye for something in your area. These can vary in price, but if this is your only date of the month that costs money, it might be worth it to splurge $40 for the two of you. Groupon rates highly depend on where you live and the cost of living of your city. These events are likely something you otherwise would not have thought to try.

//Make [a new] dinner together. With this pinterest day-and-age, there’s no excuse for not being able to find something new to try. Pin something that looks interesting, go to the store and get the necessary ingredients, make the dish together. Pretty simple. And fun. And when the dish goes south because it’s the first time you tried making it, you can laugh and choke it up to being a funny memory together. Like the time I tried to broil something for the first time… 

//Try a sport together. Easy sports for date night could include a tennis match at the neighborhood park or going to the local golfing range to hit a bucket of balls. Whether you have the equipment or not, renting shouldn’t be too expensive. Usually the more terrible you are at the sport, the more funny it becomes. Like if you saw me with a golf club…

//Start a project together. Carpe diem on that “to do” list. Sometimes, the things we have to do are not that hard, but starting them is. Pick something fun. (ie…don’t pick weeding) Been meaning to refinish that coffee table? Make a date out of it. Added bonus, crossing that project off the ‘todo’ and getting something beautiful out of it. 

What are inexpensive dates you and your significant other like to do?? What would you add to the list?

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One last thing before I go.. Over the past 4 days I have been co-hosting the Blog Staycation 2014 with some great ladies. I am out of town and did not get a chance to write up my experience yet with the weekend but I want to give you all a chance to link up if you participated. Let us all see what you accomplished!  Expect my post on Wednesday ;)


Fit-Trish: Why I chose to work with a trainer

Welcome back to another week of Fit-Trish. A weekly series where I discuss my fitness journey on a budget. Last week was 4th of July and I didn't do a full on entry, but I gave you (tips) on how to enjoy a BBQ without completely forgetting about your fitness goals. Be sure to check that out if you are attending BBQs this summer. I also mentioned in a post (here), that I have been working with a trainer. I promised more about it today, so here we go..

Now you are probably thinking to yourselves, 'Isn't this a fitness series on a budget? How is she affording a trainer?" Great question! Remember I told you I joined a gym back on Memorial Day? Well I joined Planet Fitness. Planet fitness offers free personal training with every membership. I decided to take advantage of the free trainer because I have worked out a lot in my life and never seem to get the results I am after. I wanted someone to tell me what I was doing wrong and show me how to do it right.

The woman I am working with is fantastic. We have a lot in common when it comes to medical history (I have some medical issues I mentioned (here) from a horrible car accident a few years ago). She has shown me how to work out without causing more harm to the harm that has already been done. I can finally feel myself getting stronger, and to me that's progress. I know better results are on their way. The more I work, the stronger I will get.

One of the treatment plans after my accident was to exercise regularly, particularly to strengthen my core muscles. What they didn't mention is a lot of the exercises for the core are really hard on your back and hips especially, if you are doing them wrong. My trainer has shown me every exercise I need to strengthen my core, and get into better shape without causing me more pain. My form is so much better, and I can feel the muscles I am working as I am working them. This is so important because in the past I would feel all kinds of aches, pains, and strains in areas I was not working.

Now that I have been at this for a few weeks, I would recommend it to anyone. If you have the opportunity to work with a trainer, even just for a day, do it. They can really help your fitness journey. Even if it's just to get your form in order, you will be golden.

Have you ever used a trainer? What was your experience like? What else do you all want to see in this series? Leave your thoughts below!

*Starting next week I will have a tab on my homepage for this series so you can go back and read everything in one place.*

Happy Friday friends!

Fit-Trish: Drink it up

Welcome back to another week of Fit-Trish. A weekly series where I talk about getting healthy and fitness on a budget! I have covered quite a few topics already so if this is your first time, check them out, here, here, and here!

This week I wanted to talk about another important necessity for a healthy lifestyle. Hydration. We need to drink in order to keep our body from dehydration. The most important beverage we should be consuming is water! Water is a not only important to any weight loss program, but it is something we need to live. Our bodies are made up of mostly water, and depriving it of water can often cause dehydration. It is often said that one must consume 64 ounces of water a day to help stay hydrated and to flush toxins from the body.

I hear a lot of complaints when it comes to drinking water. Most people say they don't like the taste and often skip it. This leads to drinking more sugary beverages like soda and juice. This week I want to bring you a few alternative options to help you consume more water and cut out the sugar.

My favorite go to alternative when I am craving soda is a flavored seltzer. Seltzer provides the carbonation you crave when you want a soda, but without all the sugar and calories. Seltzer comes in all kinds of flavors so there is something out there for everyone. My personal favorite is Polar. They have tons of standard flavors and they also come out with seasonal flavors.

I am just a little obsessed!

Seltzer can also be used to cut down the sugar in drinks such as orange juice or cranberry. I mix 1 part seltzer to 1 part juice and that cuts down the calories by half. My ultimate favorite is the virgin fuzzy navel. This is one part orange juice to one part peach seltzer. Speaking of fuzzy navel, you can also use seltzer in your alcoholic drinks. Replace the soda with seltzer and you will be cutting out all kinds of calories!

My next option for drinking less sugar is to use a water enhancer. These come in all sorts of flavors and formulas. Most of them are sugar free and are naturally sweetened. I have been using a brand called Stur. They have a handful of flavors and the taste is good. It helps me drink more water through the day.

No matter which way you do it, cut down on the sugary drinks and down some water. If you can't do water all the time, try these alternatives and see how you do. What is you ideal way to cut out the sugary drinks? Do you like seltzer? What about water enhancers? Let me know!

Fit-Trish: Healthy Snacks!

Welcome back to the second week of Fit-Trish where I share with you tips on leading a healthy lifestyle on a budget! If you missed last weeks premiere post, you can find it here. Just to recap, last week I offered you the best thing you can do for free to help you live that active healthy life. This week I am talking about snacks! Just because they are snacks, doesn't mean they are bad for you. Remember that. We all need that little something to hold us over in between meals. I have put together a few of my favorite on the go snacks for you to check out.

Almonds, Fiber One, Vitamin Shoppe
I like things that are convenient on the go. These are a few of the things I have been trying out.

 I am very fond of anything gummy. I found these Fiber One gummies at Walmart. They are fruit snacks for adults! They are packing the fiber so you can feed your sweet tooth while filling up. A pack of 10 at Walmart is $2.00. I think that is pretty darn cheap considering the kids snacks can cost up to $4.00 a box!

Almonds have always been a favorite of mine. They can be quite pricey so this isn't a snack I purchase all of the time, but when I am looking to treat myself I will splurge. They help you cut cravings down in between meals and they have healthy fats. I recently got a Vox Box from Influenster (See the button on sidebar) and this lovely little bag of blueberry almonds by Blue Diamond was included. They are really yummy and really hit the spot. If you are craving almonds you can always go for the store brand which tends to be cheaper and tastes just as good!

Another product I received in my Vox Box was the Next Step Jaxx Shaker Cup from The Vitamin Shoppe along with some samples of their Fit N Full shakes. I have tried these and as much as I have a love/hate relationship with shakes, this one isn't bad. I can't use this as a meal as the packet indicates but it is a nice snack for in between meals for me.  I am a really big fan of the shaker cup more than anything and plan to use this for all kinds of things in the future! Surprisingly it isn't expensive at all! You can get the shaker cup for $5.99 on The Vitamin Shoppe's website. The Next Step program looks like a great program, but if you are on budget like me that will probably be a little to pricey. As an alternative you can pick up a protein powder at your local grocery store or make smoothies with fresh or frozen fruits and veggies. 

 Speaking of fruits and veggies, they are probably the best thing you can do for snacks. What I normally do here to keep the cost down is buy only what is on sale that week. This way you are keeping costs down and you get to switch it up every week. Sometimes you can also get cheap fruits and veggies from a local farmers market. I also like to buy cheese when its on sale to cut into cubes and take as an on the go snack.

Don't be afraid to experiment with your snacks. Switch it up weekly to keep interest. You don't want to deprive yourself to the point you dive into a bag of chips or devour a whole pack of oreo's in one sitting. I find switching up the fruits and veggies along with my gummies seems to keep me pretty satisfied. These items aren't breaking the bank and I am starting to feel better about my choices. 

What do you think of my favorite snacks? Do you have favorites? Please share you ideas! 

Thank you for stopping by! Hope to see you back next week for more tips to a healthy lifestyle on a budget!

Xo Trish
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New Series! - Fit-Trish

Happy Friday everyone! We made it! I am sitting here thinking about all of the things I should do this weekend, but in reality I want to laze around and do nothing. Ever have one of those weeks? I have been having A LOT of those weeks lately. I have finally decided enough is enough and I need to get my butt moving. I am bringing you a new series every Friday where I discuss fitness and healthy living. I am embarking on a journey to lose some weight and get healthier.. on a budget.

Getting healthy can be really expensive. If you follow any fad diet you will probably fork out a lot of cash. Between food, equipment, supplements, and apparel you can be dropping hundreds of dollars in no time. I want to show you ways to get healthy without breaking the bank. You can achieve this with one main thought in mind. Stay Positive. Negativity gets you nowhere in life. Remember that.
Think Positive

Since this is the first week in this series I wanted to start off with one of the best tips I can offer when embarking on a weight loss journey. It's free and can really motivate you to getting yourself going. What is this awesome free thing? Take pictures! Full body shots wearing a sports bra and shorts if you are a girl and shirtless and shorts if you are a guy. This may sound scary at first, but once you start to see the changes you will appreciate that first scary photo.

I took my photo Monday night. It was really hard to look at because I saw how much I have let myself go over the past year. Even though it is hard to look at for me, it is also a reminder to work harder. I am even going to share my picture. It's hard for me but it's the only way I will continue to do better and get back to a healthy weight.

Here it is. The most awful picture I have ever seen of myself. I know its not pretty and I know that means I have a lot of work ahead of me. I have accepted the challenge and now I am ready to share this adventure with all of you! Keep coming back every Friday for more tips and tricks to achieving a healthy lifestyle on a budget. We can motivate each other to a happier, healthier life!

Share your stories with me! Are you embarking on a journey?
Join me!

Xo Trish
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