Tag Archives: lifestyle changes

50 Ways To Save Money (With Minimal Effort)

Some of my most popular blog posts on Finding Delight are all about How To Ball On A BudgetAnd why not? Everyone would love a little help in this department. Which is why sharing ways I personally save money (with minimal effort) is something I’m happy to do!

As the holiday season approaches, saving that extra bit of cash for all the costs that go along with the time of year becomes a necessity. Presents and parties and vacations…OH MY!

With the impending holiday expenses in mind, I put together a few of my favorite money saving ideas. Pick and choose a few of these simple lifestyle changes to implement and you’ll be well on your way to a nice little monetary stockpile. However you choose to spend (EGGNOG FOR EVERYONE!)…well, that’s up to you!

 

Shopping

Check second-hand stores first.
If that doesn’t pan out, hit the clearance racks.
Check the weekly circulars for the best deals.
Shop your pantry before shopping the store.
Make a weekly grocery list and stick to it.
Shop the periphery of the grocery store.
Don’t be afraid of the generic brand.
Sign up for rewards programs and do your homework about the benefits.
Buy seasonal items during their off-season.

Food

Pack your meals for work and school.
Always have a water bottle on hand for free hydration.
Brew your coffee at home and learn to make your indulgent Starbucks order.
Buy from the bulk bins so you’re not paying extra for packaging.
Batch cook big meals in your crock-pot.
Get into the habit of meal planning.
Find a cookbook you love and cook your way through it.

Appearance

Give yourself at-home manicures.
Color/straighten/curl your own hair. Or let it go natural.
Create a fitness plan that doesn’t involve a gym or costly classes.
Set up a seasonal capsule wardrobe.
Make your own beauty products.

Travel

Stay at an Airbnb.
Stock your kitchen-away-from-home so you can prepare meals instead of eating out.
Give yourself a daily allowance (in cash) while you’re away so you don’t go overboard.
Bring along all your lingering gift cards to treat yo’self.

Entertainment

Bust your boredom. 
Cancel cable and pick a streaming service instead.
Cancel print subscriptions and subscribe to a few email newsletters instead.
Make a list of cheap date night ideas you think sound fun and cycle through.
Host a game night for your friends.
Get your books from the library.
Go out for brunch or coffee or happy hour cocktails instead of dinner.
Start an articles club.

DIY

Consider making gifts instead of buying.
Dollar Tree is a great place to pick up cheap craft supplies.
Learn to mix your favorite cocktails.
Create your own cleaning products.
Check for tutorials online before paying someone else to do your home improvement projects.

Utilities

Call your cell phone/internet/utility provider and ask for a cheaper rate.
Turn off the lights when you leave the house (or the room for that matter).
Don’t go crazy with your thermostat.
Carpool with your colleagues.
Make payments on time.

Savings

Kick it old school with a penny bank for your loose change.
Automate your payments and savings plan where possible.
Keep a spending diary.
Read budget blogs for free financial information and resources.
Challenge yourself to a no-spend day once a week or a no-spend weekend once a month.
Look through your bank statement for any recurring costs and consider canceling whatever they’re attached to.
Research any discounts you may be afforded through your work/school/memberships.

What lifestyle changes have YOU implemented to save money? Let me know in the comments below! xoxo

 

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What I ate during week 4 of the Whole30

Greetings from Day 30 of the Whole30! (oh my god, oh my god, OH MY GOD!) I’m planning to do a full write up about the experience (and maybe a food diary post about the reintroduction phase) but for now…

Here’s what I ate on Week 4:

Day Twenty-Two

Breakfast – Coconut Chocolate RX bar
Lunch – Salad with 50/50 mix, chicken, salami, broccoli, carrots, and macadamia nuts, and strawberries
Dinner – Baked tilapia, roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
Snack – Apple and almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, cold brew with coconut/almond creamer

Day Twenty-Three

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Plantain chips and guacamole, hard boiled egg, strawberries
Snack – Chicken and salami roll ups, apple
Snack – Cherry Pie Lara bar
Dinner – Baked chicken and sweet potato
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Twenty-Four

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Salad with 50/50 mix, salami, hard boiled egg, guacamole, and topped with plantain chips, and strawberries
Dinner – Chicken sausage, sweet potato, and broccoli
Snack – Apple and almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix

Day Twenty-Five

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Eggs scrambled with broccoli and strawberries
Snack – Key Lime Pie Lara bar
Dinner – Chicken sausage, sweet potato, and broccoli
Snack – Handful of cashews and freeze-dried pear
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Twenty-Six

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Snack – Cherry Pie Lara bar
Lunch – Salad with 50/50 mix, turkey, hard boiled egg, pickle, and home-made dressing, plantain strips and 2 dried figs
Dinner – Hot dogs and sauerkraut
Beverages – Coffee, water, sparkling water

Day Twenty-Seven

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Eggs scrambled with broccoli and served with salsa, handful of almonds, freeze-dried tangerine
Snack – Blueberry Muffin Lara bar
Dinner – Hot dogs with sauerkraut, plantain strips, unsweetened apple sauce
Beverages – Coffee, water, cold brew coffee with nut pod creamer

Day Twenty-Eight

 Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Chicken jerky, plantain strips, and Key Lime Pie Lara bar
Dinner – Tilapia, sweet potatoes, and broccoli
Snack – Apple and almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

For more Whole30 food diaries CLICK HERE

What I ate during week 3 of the Whole30

Greetings from Day 22 of the Whole30! [If you’d like to read about my first week on this journey CLICK HERE or my second week CLICK HERE.]

I’ll be honest, week 3 I kinda felt like I was eating like a crazy person. Not a lot of variety — Lunches consisted of salads and deli meat roll ups with a rotating set of accompaniments. Dinner was spaghetti 3 nights and smoked sausage for 2. And there was a heavy reliance on Lara bars.

But the truth of the matter is, I was BUSY. Several days of week 3 were spent working extra long hours with meal times either squeezed in or at odd hours. So I’m proud of myself for sticking with it…even if the food I ate wasn’t super exciting.

I also didn’t have a huge appetite this week (especially on days 17 and 18) so I just went for what sounded good. (Note: I don’t think the appetite change had much to do with W30 but was more to do with where I was at in my cycle.)

All in all, I’m still feeling great! I’m starting to plan my reintroduction phase and form a vision of what I want my diet to look like once this is all over. But more on that later!

Here’s what I ate on Week 3: 

Some things to note — 

  • Whole30 advises to be mindful of snacking and consider eating larger meals instead of eating in between meals (especially if you have binge eating tendencies). Because I lead a pretty active lifestyle (exercise daily and side hustle at a store where I’m pretty much always on my feet running around and sometimes hefting heavy crates of wine) and prefer not to eat huge amounts at a time, I’m staying A-OK with snacking! 
  • We are proud owners of an air fryer which is basically a kitchen gadget with powers akin to witchcraft and can make foods taste deliciously unhealthy with mere heat and AIR. (Highly, HIGHLY recommend.)
  • Prior to the Whole30, Chet and I were already accustomed to eating at home (or prepared at home and taken on-the-go) for every single meal (unless we were traveling). This made adopting the program a million times easier than I think it would be for folks who eat out or purchase convenience foods for the majority of their meals.

Day Fifteen

Breakfast – Apple Pie Lara bar 
Lunch – Salad with 50/50 mix, baked chicken breast, hard boiled egg, leftover veg, and raw broccoli with Caesar dressing
Dinner – Spaghetti meat sauce over zoodles and topped with nutritional yeast
Snack – Apple and almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha, cold brew coffee mixed with French vanilla nutpod

Day Sixteen

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Salad with 50/50 mix, turkey, hard boiled egg, broccoli and macadamia nuts with ranch dressing
Snack – Cherry Pie Lara bar
Dinner – Spaghetti meat sauce over zoodles and topped with nutritional yeast
Snack – Banana, 1/2 an apple, and almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix, kombucha

Day Seventeen

Breakfast – Cherry Pie Lara bar and veggie sticks
Lunch – Turkey and salami roll ups, 1/2 an apple with almond butter, and a carrot
Snack – Key Lime Pie Lara bar
Dinner – Spaghetti meat sauce over zoodles and topped with nutritional yeast
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Eighteen

Breakfast – Hard boiled egg with Breaux’s Bayou Shakedown
Lunch – Turkey and salami roll ups, grapes, and plantain chips with guacamole
Dinner – Smoked sausage, roasted sweet potato, and broccoli
Snack – Banana and almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix, cold brew coffee mixed with nutpod, kombucha

Day Nineteen

Breakfast – Hard boiled egg with Breaux’s Bayou Shakedown, banana, and salami
Snack – Apple Pie Lara bar
Lunch – Salad with 50/50 mix, turkey, and broccoli with homemade dressing, grapes, and plantain chips with guacamole
Dinner – Smoked sausage and veggie sticks
Snack – Smoothie bowl made by blending frozen mango and strawberries topped with coconut chips
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Twenty

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Snack – Blueberry Muffin Lara bar
Snack – Handful of cashews
Lunch – Turkey and salami roll ups, side salad, unsweetened apple sauce
Dinner – Snack plate: Salami, hard boiled egg, a carrot, macadamia nuts, and grapes
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix

Day Twenty-One

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Turkey and salami roll ups, a carrot, grapes, and plantain chips with guacamole
Dinner – Bacon wrapped sirloin steak, home fry potato medley, and green beans
Snack – Cherry Pie Lara bar
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha, decaf chai tea

I’ll report back on Day 29 with Week 4!!! We’re in the home stretch!

Have you ever completed a Whole30? Any tips and tricks? I’d love to hear! Comment below or shoot me an email (ebeth.berger at gmail dot com). xoxo

What I ate during week 2 of the Whole30

Greetings from Day 15 of the Whole30! [If you’d like to read about my first week on this journey CLICK HERE.]

Week 2 was leaps and bounds more enjoyable than week 1 as my body felt fully settled in to eating this way. Whereas last week I would eat and then feel hungry less than an hour later, this week food felt like fuel. And days 12-14 I started to see a glimmer of the “Tiger Blood” everyone talks about (ie. super-duper energy, productivity, strength, etc.). Especially yesterday when I felt extremely motivated to clean(?) and my workout felt AH-mazing (I was sweating bullets while simultaneously thinking, “I could do this ALL day!”).

I’ve continued to have no gastro-intestinal issues. No bloating, no stomach aches. And since Day 3 or 4 (when I was still detoxing from sugar), I haven’t had any headaches. *knocks on wood like whoa* I’ll be interested in seeing if I get any headaches during the re-introduction phase. I’ve always assumed my headaches were due to allergies, hormones, and barometric pressure. But now I’m wondering if they could sometimes be caused by foods?!

It’s strange to me that I’m not missing or craving the foods I thought I would. I haven’t really missed dairy AT ALL nor have I really felt the absence of bread. Strong statements for someone who is a devotee of Pizza Friday and a life-long peanut butter and jelly sandwich consumer. I’m starting to think I’m going to make some permanent lifestyle changes after my 30 days are up. More on that later! But for now, I’ll stop blabbing and get on to the food diary…

Here’s what I ate on Week 2: 

Some things to note — 

  • Whole30 advises to be mindful of snacking and consider eating larger meals instead of eating in between meals (especially if you have binge eating tendencies). Because I lead a pretty active lifestyle (exercise daily and side hustle at a store where I’m pretty much always on my feet running around and sometimes hefting heavy crates of wine) and prefer not to eat huge amounts at a time, I’m staying A-OK with snacking! 
  • We are proud owners of an air fryer which is basically a kitchen gadget with powers akin to witchcraft and can make foods taste deliciously unhealthy with mere heat and AIR. (Highly, HIGHLY recommend.) When listing foods like coated fish, fries, tater tots, and seared scallops – they’ve been prepared in the air fryer.
  • Prior to the Whole30, Chet and I were already accustomed to eating at home (or prepared at home and taken on-the-go) for every single meal (unless we were traveling). This made adopting the program a million times easier than I think it would be for folks who eat out or purchase convenience foods for the majority of their meals.

Day Eight

Breakfast – 2 hard boiled eggs with Breaux’s Bayou Shakedown and pineapple
Lunch –Lettuce wraps with turkey, salami,  mayo and mustard and more pineapple
Snack – Chicharrones
Dinner – Catfish filet, scallops, broccoli slaw with homemade dressing, crumbled hard boiled egg and a few crushed cashews + a dried fig as an after-dinner sweet treat
Snack – Apple and almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Nine

Breakfast – Eggs scrambled with a ton of veggies (purple cabbage, radish, carrots, broccoli stems, etc) and turkey ham
Lunch – Broccoli slaw with Caesar dressing, tahini, turkey ham and salami with plantain chips
Dinner – Brekky for dinner! Scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns and avocado
Snack – Red grapes and a dried fig
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Ten

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch –Turkey and bacon roll ups, a hard boiled egg, raw broccoli with  ranch  for dipping, and red grapes
Snack – Cashew Cookie Lara Bar
Dinner – Baked chicken breast and raw broccoli with ranch for dipping
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix, kombucha

Day Eleven

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Turkey and bacon roll ups, pickles, red grapes
Snack – a handful of macadamia nuts
Snack – Plantain chips and guacamole
Dinner – Chicken burger topped with mayo, ketchup, and pickles with fries and asparagus
Snack – a little piece of jerky (had to sample the test batch Chet made in our food dehydrator) and a dried fig
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Twelve

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Snack – Cashew Cookie Lara Bar
Lunch – Turkey, hard boiled egg, red grapes, raw broccoli with ranch for dipping
Dinner – Chicken burger topped with mayo and ketchup with fries, zucchini, and yellow squash
Snack – a handful of trail mix I made by combining cashews, macadamia nuts, banana chips and coconut chips
Beverages – coffee and water

Day Thirteen

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Salad made with 50/50 mix, turkey ham, leftover cooked vegetables, pickles and macadamia nuts and sprinkled with  County Clare seasoning
Dinner – Chicken leg and smoked sausage with homemade barbecue sauce and collard greens
Snack – Red grapes
Beverages – Coffee and water

Day Fourteen

Brunch – Eggs scrambled with leftover cooked veg and turkey ham and sprinkled with County Clare seasoning
Snack – Plantain chips and guacamole
Snack – Banana and almond butter
Dinner – Chicken leg and smoked sausage with homemade barbecue sauce and collard greens
Snack – Red grapes and macadamia nuts
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha, La Croix

I’ll report back on Day 22 with Week 3!!! Wish me luck!

Have you ever completed a Whole30? Any tips and tricks? I’d love to hear! Comment below or shoot me an email (ebeth.berger at gmail dot com). xoxo

 

What I ate during week 1 of the Whole30

Greetings from Day 8 of the Whole30! Weirdly enough, I’ve wanted to try my hand at a Whole30 for some time now. On our recent mini vacay to Delray, I finally convinced Chet to commit to the program with me…and the rest as they say is history. We did a bunch of research, bought a bunch of compliant food, and dove in head first the following the Monday.

For those of you unfamiliar, Whole30 is a 30 day program that has you cut sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and alcohol to help you identify if certain foods are having a negative impact on your health and fitness. The elimination lets your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. So what’s left after cutting all those foods? Well, the program encourages you to eat all sorts of WHOLE foods – like vegetables, fruits, meats, and eggs. Essentially, I think calling it a “diet” is kind of a misnomer. You can eat as much as you want to feel full and good. You just have to eliminate certain foods and drinks.

I’m happy to report that, while the first three days were super tough (afternoon pounding headaches were not so fun!), I’m still on the wagon. And I can already feel the benefits . I have a ton of energy, I’m sleeping great, and muscle recovery after I workout is WAY faster. I also haven’t had any gastro-intestinal issues since starting. Digestion is, how shall we say, superb. (TMI?) Plus, I haven’t had any stomach aches or bloating. (A common occurrence after meals for me.)

Throughout the first week, I didn’t really experience any severe cravings or food boredom and I chalk this up to having a bunch of compliant foods on hand. However, as of this writing (Day 8), I could really go for a baked good or some crackers of some sort. But I’m not gonna cave…I wanna see what sort of benefits the next week has in store!

Here’s what I ate on Week 1: 

Some things to note — 

  • Whole30 advises to be mindful of snacking and consider eating larger meals instead of eating in between meals (especially if you have binge eating tendencies). Because I lead a pretty active lifestyle (exercise daily and side hustle at a store where I’m pretty much always on my feet running around and sometimes hefting heavy crates of wine) and prefer not to eat huge amounts at a time, I’m staying A-OK with snacking! 
  • We are proud owners of an air fryer which is basically a kitchen gadget with powers akin to witchcraft and can make foods taste deliciously unhealthy with mere heat and AIR. (Highly, HIGHLY recommend.) When listing foods like coated fish, fries, tater tots, and seared scallops – they’ve been prepared in the air fryer.
  • Prior to the Whole30, Chet and I were already accustomed to eating at home (or prepared at home and taken on-the-go) for every single meal (unless we were traveling). This made adopting the program a million times easier than I think it would be for folks who eat out or purchase convenience foods for the majority of their meals.

Day One

Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with salsa and 1/2 an avocado
Snack – Handful of cashews
Lunch – Rolled turkey and salami slices, mango slices, and raw carrot sticks with tahini
Snack – Cashew Cookie Lara Bar
Dinner – Salad made with 50/50 mix, turkey ham, hard boiled egg, 1/2 an avocado and homemade dressing
Snack – Freeze dried apple
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix

Day Two

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Salad made with 50/50 mix, salmon, scallops, hard boiled egg and homemade dressing
Snack – Mango and salami slices
Dinner – Chicken burger topped with ketchup/mustard/avocado, sweet potato fries and asparagus
Snack – Cashew Cookie Lara Bar
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix

Day Three

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Salad made with 50/50 mix, chicken, 1/2 an avocado and homemade dressing
Snack – Cashew Cookie Lara Bar
Dinner – Chicken burger topped with avocado, tater tots and green beans
Snack – Apple
Beverages – Coffee, water, sparkling water, kombucha

Day Four

Breakfast – Mixed Berry RX Bar
Snack – Bottle of fruit juice smoothie
Lunch – Eggs scrambled with a ton of veggies (purple cabbage, radish, carrot, broccoli stems, etc) and salami and freeze dried mandarins
Dinner – Fish breaded with almond flour, tater tots and a side salad
Snack – Smoothie bowl made with frozen banana and mango with a splash of coconut milk and topped with coconut chips
Beverages – Coffee, water, kombucha

Day Five

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Salad made with 50/50 mix, cucumbers, seared scallops, and prosciutto
Snack – Cashew Cookie Lara Bar
Dinner – Eggs scrambled with a ton of veggies (purple cabbage, radish, carrots, broccoli stems, etc) and salami, cucumber slices with ranch for dipping
Snack – Plantain chips and salsa
Beverages – Coffee, La Croix, water, kombucha

Day Six

Breakfast – 2 hard boiled eggs with Everything but the Bagel seasoning and pineapple
Lunch – Lettuce wraps with turkey, salami, mustard, and mayo and cinnamon banana chips
Dinner – 2 hot dogs, fries, and raw carrot sticks with ranch for dipping
Snack – Handful of cashews and an apple
Beverages – Coffee, water

Day Seven

Breakfast – Banana and almond butter
Lunch – Scrambled eggs with hot dog pieces, raw carrot sticks, and pineapple
Snack – Handful of cashews
Dinner – Sunday roast served over mashed potatoes, raw carrots and cucumbers
Snack – Smoothie made with frozen mango and strawberries, coconut milk, and a little bit of almond butter
Beverages – Coffee, water, La Croix

I’ll report back on Day 15 with Week 2!!! Wish me luck!

Have you ever completed a Whole30? Any tips and tricks? I’d love to hear! Comment below or shoot me an email (ebeth.berger at gmail dot com). xoxo