Simple Couponing 101

Okay eaters!

Tonight we’re talking coupons and it’s going to be a bit of a lengthy one, so let’s skip the pleasantries and get right to it.

Ready…set…go!

I started couponing last summer because I was barely employed and I thought it sounded like something a pre-books, TV shows, insider trading Martha Stewart would have done. I was then, and still am, a very simple couponer.

Where I get my coupons:

As of right now, I get almost all my coupons from the newspaper. I get some from catalinas (those coupons the print out with your receipt) and some from off packages or the random store advertisement.

I’m lucky that my local newspaper puts the potential coupon savings amount on the front page. If it’s less than $100, I buy one paper. Between $200-$300, I buy two. More than $300 and I buy three papers. Once, and only once, the count was $608, at which point I bought five.

What coupons I clip:

I don’t clip every coupon.

Let me repeat that — I do not clip every coupon!

Those couponers from Extreme Couponing clip every single coupon.

“Cat liter? Sure. Diapers and baby food? Of course! Yogurt? The more the merrier. It doesn’t matter if I’m childless, cat-less, and allergic to dairy. If there’s a coupon, I’m clipping it!”

That’s not the best way to go about it.

I only clip the coupons I will use. That means that I rarely use coupons on food, because most food coupons are for crap meat and sugary snacks. I don’t have too much brand loyalty, which makes it easier to find coupons I’ll use. I mainly find and use coupons for house goods and toiletries. I also find a ton of coupons for coffee.

How I use coupons:

I use coupons two ways — the right way and the more right way. The right way is when I use them to save money. The more right way is when I use them in connection with a sale on an item (and sometimes also at stores that double the coupon value and/or have some kind of buyers’ rewards program) to save even more money.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

There’s no wrong way to use coupons. Anytime you save money is good.

But to save the most money I go through store flyers, most of which come in the same newspaper as the coupons. I take a Sharpie and circle whatever sale items I also have coupons for, I write what the coupon is (i.e. how much it’s worth, how many I have to buy, etc) next to that, and then I write how many total sale-plus-coupon opportunities I find on the front of the flyer. Then, after going through all the flyers, I pick the one or two best stores.

By “best,” I mean the store with the most items to buy and/or the store with the highest percentage of savings. I absolutely refuse to go to more than two stores. I’m a little lazy and I’m not trying to build an apocalypse-grade stockpile. So I force myself to be picky about what deals I go out of my way to get, which ultimately ends up saving me more money.

Once I have my stores and items selected, I make a neurotic list. I list the exact brand, type, and count of the item along with the sale price, the coupon value, the quantity I plan on buying, and what the final price should be. I break things up into different transactions, if necessary, and list the total estimated cost for each transaction.

When I go shopping:

Whether I’m going on a couponing-specific shopping trip or not, I always make sure to take my little coupon folders. Because there’s no wrong way to use coupons, and since it’s common for me to find a surprise sale item, I always want to be prepared to save money.

When I’m going on a couponing-specific shopping trip, I take all my coupons, my neurotic list, a calculator (on my phone), my frequent buyer card, and the sale flyer. This way, when I’m feeling extra neurotic, I can double and triple check the coupon against the item against the advertised sale.

That’s about all the tips I have.

A lot of couponers will tell you that to get the most out of couponing you have to change the way you think about shopping and only buy what’s on sale and what you have a coupon for.

That’s not how I go about it at all. I changed my thinking to allow me to buy things that I normally would when they’re on sale, even if that means going a little over budget one week, in order to save money in the long run. And once I started I had to change my thinking so I wasn’t jumping at every single sale-plus-coupon opportunity and wait for the really good ones.

More than anything, I had to learn that couponing is about restraint and persistence.

So enough talk, let’s see all this in action.

Everything I bought from Harris Teeter.

Everything I bought from Harris Teeter.

coupons2

Everything from Harris Teeter that was on sale (plus the creamer and salsa).

coupons3

Everything from Harris Teeter that I used coupons for.

My total from Harris Teeter was $35.65. I saved $16.58, which was a 32% savings. Not too bad considering I made my list without thought to what was on sale or what I had coupons for.

Everything I bought from Whole Foods.

Everything I bought from Whole Foods.

Nothing from Whole Foods was on sale. I didn’t use any coupons. That’s fine with me.

Everything I bought from Walgrees, all of which was on sale and I did have a coupon for.

Everything I bought from Walgrees, all of which was on sale and I did have a coupon for.

My total for Walgreens was $43.62. I saved $58.09, which was a savings of 57%. This shopping trip was specifically for couponing.

As you can see, I don’t live off my stockpile, nor do I eat crap because it’s cheap. I still buy things that are full price, but I manage to save a good bit of money nonetheless. And now that I finally have a printer, which means I have access to a whole world of healthy coupon websites now, hopefully I’ll be able to save even more money.

coupons6

What do you think, eaters:

Did I leave anything out?

How do you feel about coupons?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Hashtag Apostrophe

Whoa eaters!

I almost forgot that I promised you a WIAW post. And since I hate to break a promise…


Pre-Crossfit: apple and pb.

WOD: front squats

3-10-3-20-3-30 rep scheme. I got my 3-rep weight up to 98lbs, which pissed me off because a 100lbs front squat has been a goal of mine for months and I would have had it had I remembered that our bars are 33lbs, not 30lbs, meaning that I only had to go up 2lbs instead of 5lbs.

Weirdo breakfast:

Bacon with a side of my version of cold German potato salad.

Bacon with a side of my version of cold German potato salad.

Errands:

Gap.

Gap.

Gap, also. And don't my arms look solid here?!

Gap, also. And don’t my arms look solid here?!

I’m attempting to find business casual attire. Would either of these dresses plus a blazer count? I didn’t get either.

Lunch & snack:

Blackened chicken wrap.

Blackened chicken wrap.

I forgot to pack a lunch so I picked this up at Whole Foods between shopping and class and ate half as lunch in the car. Then I ate the other half after my classes as a snack.

Two part dinner:

Steamed artichoke.

Steamed artichoke.

Salmon and quinoa.

Salmon and quinoa.

There was also a glass of wine and a small handful of trail mix in there.

I have been running around like crazy lately and that won’t stop until I finally get a day off next Sunday. That’s a full two weeks without a day off.

But at least I’m being productive, right?

#EverydayImHustling

(Fyi, the lack of an apostrophe in that hashtag annoys me so much, but it’s such a necessary hashtag in my life and I don’t want to look like a grandma/stupid celebrity that wrongly puts punctuation in hashtags, so I let it slide.)

Your turn, eaters:

What’s a food you’re looking to bring back now that it’s warming up?

What’s something from social media that annoys you?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Put a Fried Egg On It

Hiya eaters!

I haven’t done a WIAW in a hot minute, so why not, right?

Oh, and I didn’t have anything exciting to blog about because I eat a lot of leftovers that I top with fried eggs. Because really, what doesn’t taste better with a little runny yolk? (I should add that to my food manifesto.)


Breakfast:

Shredded, roasted Brussels sprouts baked with two eggs.

Shredded, roasted Brussels sprouts baked with two eggs.

Speaking of fried eggs…

Seriously, this was a coincidence. I didn’t remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday when I wrote that intro.

On the side I also had a Clementine (because all those Brussels sprouts are only 1 Zone block of carbs, can I get a #HotDamnHoory!).

Work:

Grande whole milk latte and a messy desk.

Grande whole milk latte.

I was out of creamer and forgot to add fat to my breakfast, so this happened. For the first time since before Christmas.

Yes, I am proud of that.

Lunch:

Vinegar baked chicken, spicy peach seitan, and a kale salad.

Vinegar baked chicken, spicy peach seitan, and a kale salad.

Since we all know that grocery shopping on an empty stomach is bad, so I treated myself to the Whole Foods hot bar. For the first time since before Christmas.

As you noticing a pattern? I eat more convenience foods when school is in.

Snack:

WINE GUMS!!!

WINE GUMS!!!

My friend Polly is a freaking angel and brought me a big bag of my FAVORITE gummies from England — wine gums! So I ate a few too many of these.

Dinner:

Homemade pizza with chorizo, peppers, onions, and fresh mozzarella.

Homemade pizza with chorizo, peppers, onions, and fresh mozzarella.

I had a kneading breakthrough last week, so I had to see if extra kneading improved my pizza dough.

It totally dinner. The chorizo helped, too.

And that officially makes this pizza the second tastiest thesis homework yet! (Though I’m baking cinnamon rolls tomorrow, so that might change.)

Your turn, eaters:

Do you eat leftovers as is or you do jazz them up a bit?

What’s your favorite candy?

*Bonus* Would you be interested in me sharing my thesis recipes?

Later eaters!

Thanksgiving Prep

Hokai eaters!

It’s crunch time for Thanksgiving. I’ve got T-minus 5 days until my family rolls into town, at which point my house will have to be pristine and fully decorated (which means that I’ll finally get to give you all the house tour that I have been wanting to do forever), all my feast shopping will have to be done, a lot of the feast will have to be prepped, the dog will have to be thoroughly run so that he might be well behaved, and I’m sure a few other things.

But I’m jazzed as shit about it. I kind of love deadlines and a bit of (self-imposed) pressure and having lots of things to do that I enjoy.

Oh, and my house could really use a thorough cleaning. So there’s that.

And I’m happy to say that I’ve already got a good head start on everything.

Whole Foods had fresh turkeys on sale for 99¢/lbs all weekend, so our turkey is already bought.

You have no idea how excited I am about these leftovers. I've even started pinning recipes.

Can you believe that 12lbs was the smallest turkey they had? Oh well, I do love leftovers.

I did a pre-cleaning of the bathroom a couple of days ago, so the next cleaning will be much faster (which means I’ll spend far less time huffing bleach).

The décor is made (for the most part because apparently pumpkins don’t exist after Halloween) and half of it is hung up.

I am supremely proud of this wreath. AND I gave it a few coats of super hold hairspray, which will keep me from sweeping up moss bits every day.

Once I pick up some clear thumbtacks the other half will go up. And hint hint it’s a lot like this.

And I have made my super neurotic lists of everything regarding the feast.

It's like a low-tech Excel sheet.

The master list has 5 categories — the food, ingredients, cooking dishes/utensils, serving dishes/utensils, and cooking time and place. Then I made another list where I divided up the ingredients I need among Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, and Earth Fare. All my shopping will probably happen on Wednesday because EF gives 5% off to students on Wednesdays and then I’ll only have to make one trip to the other two stores to get everything on their lists plus whatever I might not find at EF.

Or I might at least do the WF’s shopping early because I know exactly what I’m getting there and will probably get whatever I can’t get from EF at HT.

Ya know, because I don’t want to be too neurotic and rigid, right?

Yup, this is definitely me having it all.

(And I wasn’t being sarcastic that time. I really do love all that stuff.)

Your turn, eaters:

What are you doing for Thanksgiving?

Do you like to be super planned out or more casual for hosting parties?

G’night eaters!

Clemson Football

‘Ello eaters!

It’s still early in the evening, but I’ve already made tomorrow’s lunch. Yup, the weekend is definitely over.

BUT it’s been a pretty fantastic weekend, so I don’t mind all that much.

Ya see eaters, Papa managed to get a bunch of tickets to the Clemson vs Duke game this Saturday, so Papa and co, Brady and his girlfriend (who both go to Clemson), Leon, and I all drove to Durham early Saturday afternoon for the night game.

There was Whole Foods pre-game food — beef jerky, spicy sweet potatoes, ribs, bean dip, and lots of Halloween candy with nuts (because Maddie, my sister, is allergic).

There were beers in the parking lot because apparently they don’t sell beer at college sporting events.

A sea of orange.

There was a stadium at least a third full of orange and purple (Clemson’s colors), despite it being an away game.

There was our clan, decked out in orange and purple…except for Leon who wore a Duke shirt.

My purple knees, not my blanket.

They can’t all be winners, right?

I kid. Because he made up for the Duke shirt by intuiting that I wanted nachos in addition to my hot chocolate during the halftime food run.

Seriously, stadium nachos are so horribly good.

There was a score of 17-48 Clemson when we left after the 3rd quarter.

And there was brown rice spicy tuna and avocado sushi for post-game food.

So despite the fact that my back was hurting pretty bad (I have a chiropractor appointment tomorrow that I’ll tell you about) and that all in all we spent less than 24 hours together, it was a pretty awesome little weekend.

And now, m’dear dear eaters, I’m going to drink hot tea in an effort to not eat more candy.

Your turn:

Do you have a team, college or professional, which you root for?

How much Halloween candy do you still have left to eat?

G’night eaters!

Meal Planning 101

Hiya eaters!

To say that I’m mentally exhausted would be an understatement. I am definitely paying for putting off all my homework this weekend. And I still have more homework to do after I post this.

College is fun, isn’t it?!

But enough griping about homework. Let’s talk about class.

I realized today, while I was sitting in class making my meal plan for the week, that I have become pretty dang awesome at meal planning and grocery shopping. So awesome, in fact, that I almost feel qualified to give you advice on it.

And since there’s no “almost” in the blog world, here’s a little insight into how I go about planning and shopping for my food every week.

First: Figure out how many meals to plan.

I generally plan for a week, knowing that we’ll eat out once and wing it (leftovers or odd bits put together) once. So I know I should plan 4-5 meals each week.

If you can't tell, I do have more in my freezer than Smirnoff and coffee.

Second: I check my freezer for protein.

I base my meals around protein, whether it be plant or animal. And Leon and I tend to buy it in bulk whenever it’s on sale (which is why we currently have 6 blocks of tofu, a couple balls of ground beef, and two chicken carcasses), so it almost all ends up in the freezer.

So when planning I aim to use at least three pieces of protein from the freezer. It cuts down on paying full price for what is usually the most expensive part of a meal. It also gives me some limits to make figuring out meals less overwhelming.

Third: I check my favorite basics.

I may not be as predictable as serving spaghetti every Thursday, but I am still predictable enough to go back on my favorites — tacos, stir fries, pizzas, one pot meals. I make at least one, if not two of those a week.

For example, this week I’m planning to make pizza and seitan chili. Knowing that I’ve got those two meals on lock makes the rest of planning easier.

My groceries this week.

Fourth: I check Pinterest.

Yes eaters, Pinterest is for more than pictures of DIY projects you’ll never do or hairstyles you want to try. It is also a pretty great place to find recipes. Because when you think about it you eat with your eyes first, so seeing pictures of recipes is really rather helpful.

I pin things throughout the week, so when it comes time for planning I just pull up my “Cooking Springboard” board and see what I either have the protein, time, or random ingredients for.

All of these were once specialty ingredients.

Fifth: I fill in the blanks.

No one is enough of a meal planning wiz that they can use ever ingredient for two meals and not waste a single bit. Or at least, I’m not.

I buy ingredients that I only need a tablespoon of. I buy two kinds of cheese when I could probably make due with one and save a little bit. But I don’t have too much brand loyalty. And I do know that once that specific ingredient is in my arsenal I’ll use the heck out of it.

Left: groceries. Middle: costs. Right: meals.

Sixth: I make a list and stick to it strictly.

Isn’t that everyone’s trick? Stay away from impulse buys. Know how much things cost and buy in bulk when they’re cheap. Clip coupons. Plan. Plan. Plan.

And that’s about it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got homework to do.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s your meal planning process?

What’s your favorite meal to make? My basics could use some refreshing.

G’night eaters!

Invest in Your Food

G’evening eaters!

I hope your Mondays were good.

After a weekend of no exercise and lots of junk food I was beyond thrilled to hit up Crossfit, eat some vegetables, and drink plenty of water today. And I did just that!

In the process of all of that, I had a pretty interesting conversation about food costs that I thought you eaters might be interested in.
After we finished the WOD at Crossfit this morning (which was called “Death By Pull Ups”), the coach and a few of us got to talking about food. I don’t really know how we got on the subject, but we started talking about where we grocery shop.

Allow me to paraphrase the conversation:

My friend Nikki (who is easily the strongest, most nicely badass girl at the gym) and I: We shop at Whole Foods.

This other guy, Jamie: I’ve been to WF a few times, but I didn’t like it. I shop at Harris Teeter.

Our coach, Blaine: WF is nice, but I feel like it’s a bit of a rip off because you’re paying a premium for the experience.

Me: I don’t think so. I think you’re paying for a whole different product. Sure, WF’s whole, raw chickens are considerably more expensive than Harris Teeter’s, but they’re organic and free range and antibiotic free. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a chicken like that at Teeter.

Nikkii: I’ve seen chickens like that at Teeter, but they’re often more expensive than at WFs.

Blaine: Yeah. Recently my wife and I decided to start buying better quality food and our food costs went up to total about 10% of our income, which felt like a big jump, but in reality aren’t really a lot.

Nikkii: That does feel like a lot, but I think that’s just because Americans spend the least amount on food, in terms of percentage of their income. And we’re going to pay for that down the line.

There was also some talk of Tyson chickens and the size of almond butter jars, but this was the main gist of the conversation: Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than almost any other country in the world.

And frankly, that’s really bad.

Source.

Why is that really bad?

Because the reason we’re able to spend so little on food is because we thrive on convenience and/or factory produced foods. And we’ll pay for all of that ease and convenience down the line (or not so far down the line) with the inconvenience of sickness and disease.

Example: I saw in a Target weekly flyer a few weeks back that a 2.5 lbs bag of frozen chicken breasts was $5.

Now for most people that sounds like an awesome deal, right? I mean, if you figure each chicken breast is about half a pound, then that 2.5 lbs bag has about 5 breasts in it. So a dollar per chicken breast is an awesome deal, right?

Not when you think about what it took to produce a chicken breast that cheaply. Not when you think about all the hormones and antibiotics (which are needed to combat the sickness caused by substandard living conditions) that are pumped into that chicken breast. Not when you think about the quality of life of the animal and the quality of meat that’s produced when a chicken grows from chick to full grown in something like two months.

This WF chicken weighs 3.9 lbs and cost $10.43.

Example: A 10 oz bag of Popeye Field Select baby spinach is $2.69, which equals $0.27 per ounce. A 5 oz bag of Earthbound Organic baby spinach is $3.69, which equals $0.74 per ounce.

It seems like the logical choice would be to pick the conventional spinach. Not only are you getting more spinach to eat that week (which seems like the healthy thing, right?), but it’s roughly a third of the cost, ounce for ounce, of the organic leaves.

But then when you factor in the residues from 48 pesticides found on conventional spinach, which includes 8 known or probably carcinogens, 25 suspected hormone disruptors, 8 neurotoxins, and 6 developmental/reproductive toxins, suddenly that extra $0.47 per ounce doesn’t seem so outrageous, does it?

So what’s the point of this long, preachy post?

If you can financially afford to, invest in your food. Invest as much as you can in the food you eat. You may not be able to tell a difference now, but in the long run, after years of NOT subjecting your body to carcinogens and neurotoxins and antibiotics and growth hormones, you’ll be very glad you did.

Alright. That’s the end of my preaching for the night.

What do you think, eaters:

Why do you buy organic? Why don’t you?

Are you willing to spend more money on food?

G’night eaters!

WIAW: Stressed and Soup

Hi eaters!

I’m procrastinating some last minute exam studying, so I figured I’m do something productive with my procrastination and share this week’s WIAW with you.


Breakfast #1:

Fruit n’ fat in the form of a plum and sunflower seed butter. I’ll save you the boring picture.

6 am Crossfit:

My trainer made a variation on the benchmark WOD “Amanda.”

WOD:

Jump assisted pull ups

Push ups

27-21-15

Deadlift -> snatch pull -> snatch

9-7-5

Time: 18:16.

This was one of those WODs where I never felt like I got into a groove and instead was constantly struggling with motivation. Oh well, I finished.

Breakfast #2:

Two scrambled eggs with spinach and a blue corn tortilla with sunflower seed butter.

Are you getting tired of seeing this breakfast every week? I’m starting to get tired of eating it, but I can’t think of anything else that’s super fast, hot, and full of protein. Got any ideas?

Annoyance:

I started pressing some Whole Foods 365 brand tofu the night before. I noticed the tofu was a bit weird and came off on my fingers as I was putting it in the press, but it wasn’t expired so I pressed on. (Pun intended.)

Boo crappy tofu.

But when I opened the press to start marinating it, it looked all kinds of funky. It was like I was trying to press silken tofu instead of extra firm. So it went directly in the trash (maybe it had expired way before its October date) and pressed some good old Nasoya.

I think they’ll be my tofu of choice from now on.

Stress:

Charlie had a vet appointment for what I thought was an ear infection. I figured they would clean his ears and the hot spot he scratched just below his ear (which I thought was a symptom of an ear infection), he’d get some meds, and we’d be good to go.

Unfortunately, during them shaving the hot spot (and me having to listen to him cry from down the hall), they noticed he had a broken nail. I’d noticed it last week when it happened, but aside from a little extra licking, he didn’t see bothered by it so I didn’t think anything of it.

Yeah…apparently it was a big deal. It was a big enough deal that the vet said the entire nail would have to be removed, which required me to leave him so he could be sedated.

I was freaking the fuck out. But I’m a big girl, so I sucked it up, gave Charlie a few last pats, and waited until I got to the parking lot to cry.

Call me a baby, but he’s my sweet baby puppy and I don’t ever want him to be in pain or unhappy, and I could tell he was very much of both.

Luckily, I wasn’t home for more than an hour before the vet called that Charlie was wide awake and ready to go home. After rushing back to the vet, Charlie was very happy to see me (I was worried he would be mad at me or scared of me because I’m the one who took him there). He then proceeded to show his anger at the vet by leaving a really large poop on their front lawn.

Not being one to get in between a dog and his emotions, I left it there.

Nap:

Both of us had a slightly traumatizing morning, so we took an hour nap. It was awesome.

Lunch:

Chicken and vegetable soup with half a dumpling.

It’s definitely getting to be soup weather, which I’m pretty darn excited about. And I was also pretty excited when I found that Leon had not only left me a dumpling, but that they kept well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Snack 1:

Chicken and mustard, and a pear with sunflower seed butter.

Buying that rotisserie chicken is already shaping up to be a pretty brilliant idea.

Snack 2:

Follow me on Instagram: Kara_Hadley

I’ve never hid the fact that I often use food for comfort. Some of those uses are better than others. I consider this a very acceptable form of food comfort, especially considering that I really did need a snack.

Dinner:

Tomato soup with extra crispy tofu "croutons."

This soup is a slight variation of Mama Pea’s recent recipe.

A grilled cheese (Cabot extra sharp cheddar) on Great Harvest higher protein Dakota.

Have I mentioned that I think she’s awesome? And that I want to be her friends? We could drink coffee, paint toenails, and pretend to be graceful while doing yoga.

(Side note — Have I mentioned I’m creepy?)

So for once, eaters, not only do I feel like I’m kind of living up to the WIAW theme for the month (it’s Fall into Good Habits this month), but I’m showing you a pretty balanced and typical day of food.

That almost never happens, so don’t get your hopes up for next week.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s something warm, easy, cheap, and protein filled I can eat for breakfast?

What blogger do you wish you could be friends with in real life? (You don’t have to say me, even though I’m super fun and am always up for going out for a beer and surprise you with random food and always tell you the truth about what you’re wearing.)

G’night eaters!

Abbreviated Cobb Salad

‘Ello eaters!

I’ve had a really trying day — both mentally and physically. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow for WIAW, so I’ve save you the sob story tonight.

Instead, let’s talk about salads, shall we? More importantly, dinner salads.

Everyone knows that salads are great for lunch. And who doesn’t love a nice salad before a fancy restaurant dinner?

But what about salad as a dinner entrée? Why does that feel so rare?

It really shouldn’t, especially considering how easy a salad can be.

But I do want to point out that, at least in my house, a dinner salad is not the same as a lunch salad.

A lunch salad is generally light, with more emphasis on vegetables. A dinner salad, though, should have a bit of heft to it. It should have at least a few sources of protein and fat. Oh, and something purely for fun.

By these standards, a Cobb salad is pretty much my perfect dinner salad.

Eggs, chicken, and bacon for protein. Bacon, cheese, and avocado for fat. Tomatoes and lettuce for veg.

With plenty of fat, protein, veg, and fun, this salad is so close to perfect. The only problem: it’s so complicated.

Who honestly has all those ingredients just lying around waiting to be put in a salad? Or who has the time to cook each individual thing for a salad, which is supposed to be a quick dinner?

Certainly not me!

So, I introduce you to the Abbreviated Cobb Salad.

A mix of green leaf and a local bib lettuce.

It’s got lettuce like a Cobb, but I prefer Romaine, green leaf, or bib instead of iceberg.

It’s got bacon like a Cobb. I suggest two slices per person.

Bacon makes everything better. As long as it's crispy.

It’s got cheese, specifically some super sharp Dubliner cheddar, but a nice Swiss would be good, too.

It’s got chicken like a Cobb, but mine is sliced off a Whole Foods rotisserie chicken (which at $8 is a bit steeper than most rotisserie chickens, but is still cheaper than buying a whole, raw chicken from WF).

Convenience is key.

It doesn’t have avocado, because I’m lazy.

It’s got green bell peppers instead of raw tomatoes, because I hate raw tomatoes.

It’s got balsamic vinaigrette instead of the Cobb’s customary blue cheese or ranch.

It’s got chia seeds, too. Because why the heck not?!

So it may not be quite as fancy as a Cobb salad or look as good with each ingredient laid out like a rainbow. But it was a heck of a lot easier, tasty as hell, and still plenty satisfying to qualify as a dinner salad.

Who says salads are boring?

What do you think, eaters:

Do you eat dinner salads or are they strictly a midday meal or side dish?

What’s your favorite kind of salad?

G’night eaters!

Peanut Butter Puppy!

‘Ello eates!

Yesterday I thought I was on such a roll with blogging and work and Crossfit and socializing since posting my Serenity Mantra. But then I had a glass of wine with dinner, fell asleep as soon as I laid down in bed to watch TV, and woke up sometime after 1am to Leon hitting me in his sleep because he was dreaming about protecting us in a post-Apocalyptic city. Thus, I didn’t blog.

But I have found serenity and am moving beyond it.

Breakfast #1:

I forgot to take a picture, but you know what a carrot dipped in pb and half a liter of water look like.

Crossfit:

We did Angie on Monday, so I was expecting something more towards heavy lifting yesterday. Nope, we got Fran.

My first Fran.

I did the thrusters with 50 lbs (RX for women is 65 lbs), and did a pull up that was half jumping, half kipping.

Time: 9:52.

I’ll take it!

Breakfast #2:

My Really Extra Awesome smoothie with spinach instead of kale and pb instead of avocado.

We were in need of groceries in a painful way, so I slurped this down while finalizing my meal plan. It actually held me off longer than the Original. And of course, I let Charlie, the pb-loving puppy, lick the dirty spoon.

Lunch:

Have I mentioned that I love leftovers? Yup, I do.

Leftover beef pho.

(Side note — We don’t have a microwave, which is something I never thought I would have been able to live without. For those of you that are maybe thinking of ditching your microwave, would you be interested in a how-to post?)

Snack:

String cheese and a pluot.

It’s so nice to have food in the house. It’s especially nice when that food was super cheap thanks to sales and coupons.

(The string cheese was originally $4.99 each, but were on sale 2/$7 and then I had a coupon for $3 off 2, so I got 2/$4, which was less than the price of one. Booyah!)

Dinner:

Despite freezing a bunch of squash and zucchini in various forms, we still have a good bit of fresh left to eat through. So I made a small pot of Bolognese sauce and covered some zucchini noodles in it. I would have taken pictures, but spaghetti and sauce isn’t terribly appealing looking.

Thank goodness Leon likes them.

Your turn, eaters:

Do you use coupons?

How often do you use your microwave?

Later eaters!