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Spilling the Fruit

17 Apr

FruitI often hang out with my neighbor and many time we get on the topic of fresh fruit (he is a nutrition major).  More than once he has tried to explain to me that the food group that most college students miss out on daily is fruit.  I tried to explain to him that fruit is expensive and I don’t really like it.

After he told me that I started to really watch to see how much fruit I did eat.  Turns out I eat alot of fruit flavored candy but not much actual fresh fruit.  I just don’t love it.  Then, I came up with a solution.  I started making smoothies.

It turns out this is a great way to get a serving of fruit, yogurt and milk with minimal effort.  Fresh fruit is the most expensive to buy and I usually steer clear of it – I only really eat apples and every once in a while a green banana or two.  However, I went to a larger grocery store and found a huge frozen fruit section!  You can get all kinds of berries, mangos, pineapple pieces and even some exotic fruits that are frozen and you can literally just dump them into your blender and there you go.  Or in some cases just eat them frozen – I brought frozen raspberries with me to class every morning for like a month….

The other thing is the price of fruit. The frozen stuff isn’t as bad, while it will still run you more than the typical pizza and it is not necessarily a meal, you won’t be missing out on all the nutritional stuff – like vitamins and minerals (or whatever healthy stuff is in there.)

So next time that you are in the store, check out the frozen fruit section and see if there is something that you might be willing to give up and extra Tony’s pizza for but if not then head over to the canned fruits and check out the peaches and pears usually 10/$1 or better!

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Stolen Bikes

15 Nov

So there was a point in my life were I thought biking was nerdy, and then after a few years in college, I really came to terms with the fact that I am a nerd and that I really needed a bike.

Bikes are funny little things, because they can get you somewhere extremely quickly and efficiently and it is not polluting the environment. They also help you to burn calories and build up some leg muscle.  Bikes are also funny because here at UK everyone in the world wants to steal them.  In fact they are stolen so often that Lexington Police has an online crime report form that you have to fill out that is just specific to bikes.

I have also been a target to this type of theft, sadly.  I bought a pretty crappy bike from someone off Craigslist (Yes! Always go with another person if you are buying something off of there and if you feel like it is the least bit sketchy DO NOT go!), anyway it had terrible brakes and the more that I rode it the more the brakes did not work.  Finally it came to the point that I had to start dragging my feet in order to get the bike to come to a complete stop.  Then, as I was crossing a street on my bike a car ran a stop sign and hit me on my bike, breaking my pedal (the guy was a jerk in his massive car and I kicked the front grill really hard – he didn’t apologize or roll down his window or anything he just made an obscence gesture at me and drove off).  Nevertheless, I now had an extremely crappy bike, one with a flat tire, no brakes and without a pedal and had stopped riding it so much until I got it fixed.

About a week later I went to my parking lot only to find that my car had been badly damaged from someone that hit it starting at the back bumper and dragging up the entire side of the car until they finally were able to stop on my driver side door.  Thanks, jerk!  So since I was unable to drive it, I went to unchain my poor little bike only to find that, the bike and the chain was completely gone.  The only thing that I can think, is that serves you right person that stole my bike I hope you crashed because your foot slipped off of the missing pedal and when you tried to slow down you realized the brakes did not work either.  A poor college student can only hope that in some way karma got both of those people.

I sadly got over my stolen property (although if I ever see that bike on campus, I will take it back, the second that I see it) but was unable to buy another one because of my financial situation.  So I learned to do something less fun but still energy efficient and walk everywhere that I would have rode my bike to.  This past semester I found out about a program that UK does which “rents” bikes to students for free.  That is right for free!

bikeYou have to win the lottery in order to get this privileged and the first time that I entered the lotto I did not win a bike.  The second time, however, I did! It was very exciting, the first thing that I did was to take it on a spin around campus just to see how much faster I could get around on it.  I know that bikes can be expensive and finding a cheap, nice, used bike is something that is very hard to do.  With this program I was able to get back on the road (well, bike lane) and I was able to save my money.  There might be this sort of program around you as well, it just takes a little digging to find it.

Also, if you have every had your bike stolen, I am very sorry for you.  We can hope together that we find our bikes or that karma comes back to those people and every time they go for a ride on our bikes, they hit a rock and fall off.  I can only hope.

Now that it is snowing

13 Nov

Now that it is snowing there are something that I am starting to worry about and that is getting sick.  Yuck!  It happens every year that someone that I know or my roommates, classmates, colleagues, family and other random people that I come into contact with that are sick or will not wash their hands.  This is terrible because I get sick pretty easily.

nyquilLet me tell you a small story, when I was a freshman I lived in a 23 floored dorm with about 650 people living there as well.  They were old and extremely dirty and even worse my roommate did not have very good hygiene and the worst thing about it was that she did not wash her hands ever (like not even after using the restroom)! I developed Mono and then shortly after I developed a terrible staph infection that eventually went into impetigo and then on top of that I was not eating very healthy and I was getting colds all the time!

This was terrible, I was always having to buy Nyquil and Dayquil, vitamins and antibiotics as well.  The one thing that I did find was that when buying medicines was that whether you buy the brand name or the much cheaper off brand, generic they work the same and after some research on my part I found that there are laws that make sure that the generic and the brand name ones are the same.  This is beneficial for us college students because we are able to get the medicines that we need much cheaper, both from the pharmacy and over the counter.

So as this winter season starts here in the heart of Kentucky, make sure to stock up when there are sales on all the meds that you might need so you are prepared and ready to go when you need them.  Also, be sure to get a decent amount of sleep each night (like that is ever possible) and try to stay as healthy as possible!  Good luck out there!

Cold hands, cold feet, cold ears

12 Nov

There is one things that I feel most college students must have especially for the winter months – GLOVES!

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In between Fall and Winter – Snow and Leaves

It is very nice to have a good warm coat, scarves are stylish and boots are cute and exciting but the best thing in the winter to have is gloves.  They are so cheap and they keep your hands so warm.  I always feel that if your hands are cold then that just makes you feel more and more cold, the colder that your hands get.

Each year I lose my gloves and so I always have to get more.  The best place to get the cheapest knit gloves is Target which is awesome because they sell these gloves for $1 for a pair or sometimes when they have a sale you can buy a 3 or 4 pack for $1.  This is awesome because there are so many opportunities to get more gloves for less.

This morning I was very glad to have some gloves that I could wear because although it is fall and was about 60 degrees last night at like 8:30PM but when I woke up this morning there was snow on the ground.  I am going to be glad to have those gloves when I have to finish raking leaves this week.

Painted Wine Bottle Vases

7 Nov

Now that my birthday is over I have many  wine bottles since as of yesterday I received at least 4 wines!  I am planning on decorating them and using them for vases once I drink the wine.

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There are things that can be done at home.  I am going to take them and cut the tops off (by using string soaked in nail polish, around the bottle and the heated with fire and dropped into a bucket of water), then I am going to paint them or write things on them with hot glue and then paint them.

Then you just bake them for a few hours to set the paint (or you can skip this step) and you have some nice free vases that are very lovely!

Student IDs are Actually Tickets to Fun

4 Nov

So over the weekend, the internet in my apartment was out, which is extremely difficult to post blogs without internet.  However, I did learn some good tips for saving the dinero though.

Every college gives out student ID cards.  That ID can get you a lot of things.  It can get you into exams, school sponsored events and into certain classes.  However, it can do so much more than that as well!

On Thursday night for Halloween, I went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which reminded me of how cheap movies and theaters can be with that great student ID.  It is so wonderful to have that great tool.  Luckily I look extremely young for my age, and they just redid all the ID’s at UK so I received a new one and I can use it for 4 more years in order to get into the movies :).  There are some benefits to looking like a 14 year old.

Movies, you can get into movies for $6, which I hardly ever do, since I usually wait to see the movies until it goes into the cheapies and only costs like $1.50, but if you want to see something that is brand new the say it comes out then that is a good way to do so.

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Basketball games, there is always a student section and if you have a student ID then any student ticket will work for you even after you graduate!  Here at UK the tickets are only $5.  Football games are the same you can go for $5.  Most of the other sports that aren’t so nationally popular, you can get into the games, matches, meets etc. for free.

Around Lexington, you can get into events, plays, operas, music concerts, sporting events, and theaters, for very reduced prices or for free.  You can even get discounts on restaurants and food places.  So far I have yet to find a grocery store that gives reduced prices for food, but almost all the different entertainment areas give some sort of student discount.  Check it out in your city!

All That Extra Change

31 Oct


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Happy Halloween Everyone!

I have a terrible habit of never using cash, just because it is so much easier to slide my card and not have to dig some bills out of my clutch and then make sure that I have the correct amount of change and then I have all this extra change with me.  What do I do with this extra change?

Well, when this happens to me I have a nice little jar that I like to store all my change in.  It once was a paper jar with a metal lid and held team but then I painted it with my handy dandy blue paint.  At one point i had saved like $15 dollars in change, that I then used but always save my quarters so that I had something to use in the parking meters.

This method of saving is definitely on the outs for me personally but it may work for you.  I still save the jar just incase I have some extra change but for the most part now it just has some pennies and every once in a while I add a little more to it.  However it does look pretty now!

Free Volleyball

29 Oct

Other than school and work there has to be some other fun things in your life that you do to keep yourself entertained.  I like to play a lot of volleyball and I like to swim.  However, both of these activities can cost a lot of money, of which I do not have a lot of.

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When thinking about the extra things that you want to do I would suggest picking and choosing very carefully, if you find yourself too wrapped up in different activities it can be hard to have fun at any of them and you might find yourself very broke.  To avoid this I like to pick things that I know are either free or cost very little.  The first thing that is nice about being on a college campus is that you should have access to your college’s rec center or gym.  There you should be able to find different activities to do that are already included in your tuition.  At my gym, there is a program that at different parts of the year they have different tournaments for different activities, such as basketball, flag football, soccer and other activities.  Once you get involved in one of those places it is easy to find more people and places with the same interests as you.

I did this and found some friends that both loved volleyball and swimming as well.  I then found churches that had open play and other venues that let you play for free or join leagues for little money.  This summer near me a volleyball center opened up where they have 2 indoor hard courts and 2 indoor sand courts and 4 outdoor sand courts.  It was amazing but then it started taking a huge toll on my wallet.  Each time you played it was $5 and for every league that you joined it was $40.  And then to top it all off, if you wanted to play more after your league game was over then you had to pay $5 more.  It was becoming so expensive!

Finally I took a step back and looked around more, which is when I discovered that there is a park very close by in a college neighborhood that has 2 outdoor hard and sand courts.  That is awesome!  However, the very best part about it was that it was free!

Being in college opens up alot of new opportunities to you as a student but it also helps broaden your old passions.  So instead of paying large amounts of money to play a sport that you love, look around a little bit and start getting involved in small groups that will lead to bigger and cheaper things!

In the end, having options to play at free venues even if it is just a few times a week instead of every night at the place with a cover charge, this will save you money!

Who doesn’t love massive piles of dirty clothes?

27 Oct

laundryBeing in college is very difficult but there are some things are are harder than other.  Besides all the school work, I struggle to keep up with my laundry.  In my old apartment it used to not be such a huge problem because we had a washer and dryer in our apartment.  I could just throw a load in the washer when I left for class and then I could come home and switch it to the dryer.

clothes everywhereAs of right now I have moved to a place that does not have a washer and dryer in it.  Instead it has 3 tiny coin operated machines across the street and they are expensive it costs $2 to wash and $2 to dry plus the machines are so small that I can’t fit an entire load in them.  The first time that I did laundry there I decided that I should only wash my clothes and not dry them.  Big Mistake.  I spent $8 on the washers and then I didn’t dry them so they were soaked, which in turn lead me to have to call my neighbor so that he could help me carry the heavy bag up the three flights of stairs to get back to my apartment.  Then I tried to hang my clothes all over the apartment to get them to dry but after a week there were still a few pairs of jeans that had not dried (I have a large amount of clothes, because I am a shopaholic).  It was a huge mess.

jeansSo, how can you avoid this struggle?  First, plan out when you are going to do your laundry.  I reserve on Saturday or Sunday a month that I can just devote to laundry day.  Then I sort all my clothes, which is very important, into blacks, blues, reds and whites.  I have found that most other colors fit into one of these categories (such as purple goes with blues, pinks and oranges go with reds).  Next I make my way to the laundromat, which there is a very nice one by my place that charges $2 to wash and .25 cents for every 5 minutes of drying time.  I did 7 loads of laundry the last time that I went and it only cost me $11.

clothes on the deskWhen you put your clothes in the dryer do not put more than one load in at a time, if it is a big load then you can even separate it more so that it is in two different dryers.  There is usually not a limit on how many dryers that you can use at once, which is the one nice thing about a laundromat, you can do all your laundry while you are there.  This will save you time and money.  I usually put 25-30 minutes on the dryer (they are massive at the laundromat I go to, look for that feature when you are looking for one) and then if the clothes need more time, I take out which ones are already dry and which ones are still wet and do it by 5-10 minute increments.

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The less amount of clothes that you have the more money you will save but this will also help:

  • Do not buy detergent at the laundromat – it is very expensive
  • Make sure you bring a large enough bag or basket to put all your clean clothes into (they compact more if you fold them)
  • Bring enough quarters to do all your laundry or if you put money on a card to use in the machines make sure that you put enough on it the first time so that you can keep track of how much you are spending
  • Do not stuff more than one load or half a load into a dryer, this will only end up costing you more since the clothes will not dry and you will just have to keep running the dryer.

Look here on how to make the most of your clothes so that you have to do laundry less often.

How do you save money when you wash your clothes?  Do you wash your clothes?

My savings account

26 Oct

The saddest of my bank account is always my savings account.  I have an interesting way to try to keep my savings account at least with $50 in it at all times.  I have split my account into 3 different ones.  The first one is called a relationship savings in which I can put money in and take it out as much as I please.  This is very nice becuase I can do it online, so when my bank account is getting dangerously low to that $0.00, I can move some money over from this account to my checking account.

Next I have a tax savings account.  My second job is just a side job helping a nice little lady do her yard work and organize her house, she has me as an independent contractor which means that I have to keep track of how much I owe in taxes, she does not take it out of my paycheck.  This is terrible for me, I never remember to take it out of my paycheck either and since I mostly live paycheck to paycheck, I don’t really have any extra to spare to be saving.  Right now I only have $47 in there and it should be much higher.  At the end of the year I will let you know how terrible this is to not keep saving for this.

The last savings account is at times the worst and yet it is probably the best.  It is a savings account that I can only put money into and if I want to take money out of it, I actually have to go to a bank and request that some of the money be moved to another account.  This is terrible for me when, there is something that I want to buy or just to float my checking account for another week until my paycheck comes in.

I am really terrible at keeping the savings accounts up – I am not perfect by any means!  I go over my budget and do not save like I should, but it is a work in progress.

There are some things that i have learned to do.  If there is something that I really want to buy (check out how I shop) and it costs alot of money, I put that money into one of the savings account and decide if it looks better in the account or if the thing that I want to buy is really worth it.  Usually I decide that it is not worth it.

I have read many times, that if you just put a dollar or five dollars in each day, or if every time you get paid you put 20 dollars in your savings account you will eventually have a massive savings account.  However, when mostly every dollar that you make needs to be used to pay bills, tuition, buy books and support some fun for yourself this is extremely difficult to do.  Another thing that I have seen suggested is that if you buy something then take the exact same amount of money that you spend on that item and put it into your savings account.

I really need to work on my saving skills.  Is there anything that you works for you when you are trying to save money, or do you live paycheck to paycheck like I do?

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