Monday, June 16, 2008

You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Thin

Humph. That's easy for you to say, lady. You married a King... sort of.

Tip Of The Day: You know why we’re all gaining weight? Because it’s expensive to buy healthy, low fat, tasty foods, that’s why. A blue box of Mac and Cheese or a package of Ramen noodles is WAY CHEAPER than fresh fish. So what’s a frugal lass, who wants, nay NEEDS, to fit in her summer clothes to do?

Tip For Tomorrow: The companion piece to my Fox 9 News at 5 segment. This week, I’m talking about inexpensive or FREE things to do with your kids. To get them out of the house before you sell them to the gypsies for $9.99 each.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Well, I have another excuse for my 8 lbs. (actually, who am I kidding, it’s more like 12 lbs.) weight gain from last summer – Diet Food Is Expensive.

Think about it, a Totino’s Party Pizza is only $1 at Target, and a Lean Cuisine Pizza is usually $2.95. For an extra 20 grams of fat, I’m saving almost $2.

I’m not fat, I’m just frugal.

Well, that excuse must come to an end, my friends. Gaining weight has ceased to be frugal and is now costing me extra bucks. Because I’ve gained weight, I don’t fit into my summer clothes. So I had to buy new ones. Which, believe me, more than overrode what I saved buying Totinos instead of Lean Cuisine.

Therefore, I’m turning over a new leaf – preferably spinach – and I am back on the straight and narrow with my diet and exercise plan. Furthermore, I intend to be cheap about my weight loss. And because I’m all about sharing with you, my fearless readers, here are my ideas.

Tips For Losing Weight, The Cheap Way:

1. Use my gym membership. I have to go a minimum of 3 days of week to justify the expense. So it’s either use it or lose it, but I won’t lose it unless I use it, so I’m using it. Got that?

2. Supplement my workout with at-home moves. You can actually exercise outside the gym – like when you’re snarking at the reruns of Gossip Girl. For example, by endlessly watching the Core Rhythms infomercial, I can now do most of the tummy-sculpting moves. Which I can perform at home, in the privacy of my bathroom, while listening to Britney Spears.

3. Learn to love less expensive diet foods. You know what’s cheap? Baby carrots – plus they are low in calories, high in Vitamin A, and fill you up. Another great cheap diet food? Legumes. They don’t call them Beans Beans The Magical Fruit for nothing, you know.

In honor of the magnificent legume, here is my favorite summer recipe for black-eyed peas. I know! Recipes! From me! Hey, I’m open to new experiences over here at the Cheap But Not Easy Empire.
1 bag of frozen black-eyed peas
1 bag of frozen corn (or canned corn, if you’re feeling particularly frugal)
1 small purple onion
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
2 teaspoon EVOO (sorry, I couldn’t resist)
3 teaspoon vinegar (I use balsamic, but any old cheapo brand is fine)
As much hot sauce as you like (I use about half a bottle, but then, I’m nuts)
As much chili powder as you like
Salt and pepper to taste
Beat together the oil, vinegar and seasonings to create a dressing. Defrost the peas and the corn in a strainer. Drain the tomatoes (reserve the liquid to cook brown rice in). Finely dice the onion. Toss together the dressing, peas, corn, tomatoes and onion. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Lasts up to 1 ½ weeks in the fridge.

4. Here are more inexpensive diet foods: Canned soup; chicken breasts (esp. if you buy them on sale); canned tuna and salmon; green peppers vs. red ones, which cost 3 times more; store-brand low fat yogurt in the large container, then broken down into individual servings; rice cakes from ALDI; the whole head of lettuce and not the bagged stuff; uncut celery; and potatoes topped with salsa – yum.

5. No more eating out with friends. Dinning out is a HUGE waste of money in the summer; especially when there are oodles of other things you can do besides eating. Like walking, or bike riding, or wading in one of our 10,000 lakes.

So if I turn down a dinner invite, it’s just because I’m being frugal. Not because I don’t love you anymore.


Anonymous said...

You may bring your own salad to the Ren Fest. I, however, will be piling on the scotch eggs and turkey legs.

LaRue said...

I second the motion. Bring on the ale! The Turkey Legs! And Ye Olde Desserts!

Mrs. G. said...

This is a good post for me to read. My pants are extra tight this week.

mia said...

This is a good post for me too. My skinny jeans were feeling wayyyy to tight this morning...

mia said...

...too bad I just ate a ton of cheddar Goldfish crackers.

mia said...

Come to think of it, my non-skinny jeans are also too tight. UGH.

Michelle said...

I feel your pain. It's such a horrible cycle at the grocery store to go for the cheap but less healthy food than the more expensive healthy variety. At Super Target the Lean Cuisine pizzas are usually on sale. Still not as good as a party pizza, though. :( Summer is probably a good time to try this since there is tons of locally grown fruits and veggies. And the Farmer's Market.

Shayne said...

Oooooo, lucky you. Your trainer is feeling good and has an idea. Mwaahahahaha!

The Cheap Chick said...

Oh crap. The pain shall begin once again...

Also? Larue and I are glad you're back!

The Material Girl said...

In-season fruit is always a good healthy and cost-effective snack. Try this for a delicious (really!) treat. Lowfat or fat-free vanilla yogurt and berries in a sugar cone - or you could dip chocolate graham crackers in yogurt and berries. All store-brand, naturally! If you like ground meat (or faux), add black beans to stretch it out. Also, try making your own pizzas - Jiffy pizza crust mix costs .$44 at Target (just add hot water), a can of tomato paste is close to $.50 and then you can load up with whatever is in your fridge. We used up half a red pepper, a handful of grape tomatoes and two leftover faux chicken patties to make some ficken parmesan pizzas. Slick!