A Student’s Guide to a Healthy Grocery Trip

After almost 2 1/2 weeks of having zero food in my fridge, I finally made the trip today! I got everything I needed to hold me over the next couple of weeks – proteins, veggies, lots of fruit, yogurt, and some yummy bars for a quick snack! If you want to be more aware of the foods you are buying, start looking at the nutrition labels! The yogurt I buy? low carb. Almond milk? I buy the one with the least amount of sugar. The carbs will add up quickly and will completely impede your weight loss. Have I cut carbs completely from my diet? No. I eat complex carbs – unflavored oatmeal, whole wheat toast, rice cakes, brown rice, and whole grain pasta … those are honestly the only sources of carbs in my kitchen. The 21 Day Fix focuses more on getting in more protein and vegetables into your diet. The carbs in my daily diet serve as sources of energy rather than to fill me up. FullSizeRender-2.jpg

Let’s start with the tip shelf! (Keep in mind too that some of this stuff is my roommates!):

CarbMaster yogurt. This stuff is magical. One, its flavored BUT low in sugar and they have only 5 grams of carbs (compared to other flavored yogurt that can have close to 20). I like vanilla and the black forest cake! 

Second Shelf: Eggs (I eat these for breakfast about every other day), Jenny O turkey bacon, humus (which goes really great with carrots), thin sliced chicken breast fillets (they were on sale for buy 1 get 2 free), blueberries, and blackberries (which were on sale for 87 cents!)

Third shelf: Nature’s Own 100% whole wheat bread, pepper crusted chicken breast from the deli, a giant bag of broccoli and a giant bag of spinach (my roommate and I share these bags since they’re so huge!)

In the drawers I have my Italian blend salad mix, packets of baby carrots, zucchini, apples, and grapes! I also bought some frozen strawberries so I can throw them into my smoothies! I also bought a Cashew Cookie Lara bar. I love this brand of bars because their ingredients are all natural and they’re pretty filling too! Plus the flavors are sweet, so they help with my sweet tooth 🙂 

Also, since I have an obsession with chai’s, I bought a sugar-free blend and then some half and half! I can’t wait to try it out and see how it tastes over some ice! The regular chai blend had 20 grams of carbs.. and with trying to watch my weight carbs are not my friends.. and I would rather eat real food than waste my carbs for the day on a chai. All of these came to only 50 bucks : ) If the prices are too high – do not buy! You will waste so much money on expensive items and it will add up very quickly!

I hope this gives you an idea of what to get when doing your shopping! : ) If you have any questions just comment down below and I’ll get back to you!

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How to Save Up In College

If there is one thing I always hear students say, it’s that they’re broke. Well, let’s break it down as to why you have no money (are you spending your money on things you need or things you want?)

There is a huge difference between want and need. Over the summer I really focused on creating a budget for myself by following the 50, 20, 30 rule. 50 for things I need, 20 percent goes to savings, and 30 percent for what I want. I would take every pay check and figure out the percentages, and before I knew it my savings account was growing every paycheck. I also have my bank account set up to where a certain amount of money from my checking account is automatically deposited into my savings – this has dramatically helped my savings account grow.

Now that you have an idea of how to budget your money, let’s consider the wants and needs.

Wants: alcohol, clothes/accessories, going out with friends, makeup that you really don’t need, etc.

Needs: groceries, gas, bills, etc.

Basically, stop spending money you don’t really have on stuff that isn’t necessary!!!! The extra stuff may be nice to have, but if you are over the age of 18 and need to start preparing for the REAL WORLD, learn how to budget your money now before you’re a struggling adult in the REAL WORLD and no one is there to help you. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to be 30 years old and still dependent on my parents. I haven’t asked my parents for money in a LONG TIME. I bought all my own books this year and I’ve been paying for my own groceries ever since I moved away from home (my mom chooses to put money into my account here and there – but that is her choice, and whenever I see she’s done that I’m grateful but I also feel bad because she really doesn’t have to be doing that).

If you go out with your friends constantly your bank account will see the dark end of your spending habits. If you go out, be cautious of what you guys plan on doing – are you going to the movies? (what time, because movie times earlier in the day are less expensive) where are you going out to get food? (is it a sit down restaurant that will require you to tip? is it an expensive place to eat?) are you going to the mall? (go to the mall with a limit for yourself on how much you will allow yourself to spend – don’t go over your 30% that you already calculated from your check!!) There have been many times at the beginning of this semester where I had to turn down nights out with my friends because I didn’t have a job at the moment and money for groceries was more important for me to have.

Another reason saving money is important to me is because within the next couple of years I want to be out of my parent’s house, have my own car, my own place, and also prepare to start a family. I don’t want to be someone who is dependent on someone else for my finances. I want to be able to spoil my future kids, do things that I want to do, take nice vacations, and live a nice life. If you don’t know how to budget your money you won’t be able to afford those luxuries, I’m sorry, but that’s the hard truth.

I hope this will motivate you to start thinking about your finances, and if you have any other questions for me leave a comment and I will get back to you!

How to Afford Disneyland As A College Student

Spring break 2016.

Scott and I’s first big adventure together.

Now as you all know, Disneyland is by no means cheap. But, with a lot of planning, we were able to make it quite affordable.

First things first, buying the tickets. If you know that you are going to Disneyland, save up. Stop spending your money on stupid things that you don’t need! For me, I really tried not buying any clothes or going off campus and buying food. I had a meal plan that allowed me plenty of money to eat on campus, so I just made sure to not be using any of my real money. I also stopped getting the extras: pedicures, any random shiz at Target, makeup that I truly didn’t need, etc. By saving up I was able to set aside money for my ticket within about 4 weeks. Oh, that’s another thing. Pick up more hours if you can! If I wasn’t a nursing student I probably would have picked up more hours, but with Med-Surg I felt very overwhelmed and I honestly couldn’t stand going to work. (My job on campus sucked. The people sucked. The environment sucked. It just… sucked. And I hated working there but I needed some sort of income) Scott was able to save in about 2 weeks.

Picking a place to stay – cheap + free breakfast?!
This is where you will either really save or  spend a LOT of money.
Now I am not the type of girl who is like, “OMG. I am NOT staying in a hotel that doesn’t have 4 stars like ew, no, they need to have good beds and room service and blah blah blah”… I am the type of girl who  is like “Im a college student. I don’t want to spend a lot of money. So the best deal wins!”
Guys, for one night at a hotel that was right down the street from downtown disney, we spent a total of 70 bucks. We split that cost down the middle. One night at some of the other hotels would of cost well over 100 bucks. This hotel was honestly totally fine, right on Katella Ave by the main parking garage.  This saved us a ton and allowed us to have more spending money.
Find a hotel that has free breakfast! Our hotel offered free breakfast, and although it wasn’t anything special (muffins and orange juice), we had a couple muffins which held us over until lunch time. Guys, a banana at the park will cost you 3 bucks. If you want an actual meal for breakfast? Yeah that’ll cost you close to 10. So this saved us a little bit of cash.

Get a HYDROFLASK

When in the park, the need for water is constant. You are walking around, if you go in the summer it’s hot, and it’s important to stay hydrated so you don’t pass out. We were able to bring in my hydroflask. Don’t know what a hydroflask is? It’s basically the best thing EVER. It keeps your water cold for up to 12 hours. No joke if you put ice into it before you go to bed there is still ice in it when you wake up in the morning. We refilled them constantly! I don’t even want to guess how much money we saved. (Water bottle cost in the park: Im going to say maybe 6 bucks? and if we got water as often as we refilled the hydro flask I would say we probably would have spent close to 50 on freaking water.) So if you don’t have one, amazon sells them. I have a 21 ounce one, but they can go upwards of 36 ounces I believe or smaller at like 16 ounces. Dicks Sporting Goods sells them as well.

Stick to the cheaper items on the menu, and USE. CASH. 

Just being cautious of the prices will save you money in the end. I stuck to the cheaper items on menus and I managed to save a couple bucks by the end of the trip. Plus I only brought cash. This will help you stay aware of what you’re spending and how much you have left. Using your card is DANGEROUS when in the park. You will lose track very, very quickly. So just bring cash and keep it somewhere safe 🙂