Thrifty and Frugal Living

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I reach for a SNICKERS® #WhenImHungry #Ad #cbias


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WhenImHungry #CollectiveBias

You're not you when you're hungry and SNICKERS® is here to help! Have you ever had a time when you realized that you were hungry.... and grumpy? Not feeling like yourself? A little out of sorts? Maybe you need a SNICKERS®. Head on over to the SNICKERS® Facebook page and check out the Hunger Handler App. You can take a quiz and figure out which SNICKERS® is right for you. You'll also receive a buy one, get one free coupon for any SNICKERS® variant. Don't delay, the coupon is live April 1st and only good until supplies last.
 
If you'd like more SNICKERS® inspiration, check out the SNICKERS® social hub.



Taste Guru - Gluten Free Subscription Box { March }


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I have another great subscription box to share will you! This one is a gluten free box called Taste Guru. I do admit that the words "gluten free" used to make me nervous. I tried a few gluten free items when it first became a trend that were horrendous. Luckily, gluten free products have become a lot more predominant and tasty. I will say that I liked this box just as much as all of my other food / snack subscription boxes...maybe even more. Here is what I received: 



Better Batter Fudge Brownie Mix - I have yet to try these. March was extremely busy for me. I will be making them soon!


Teas's Tea Green Tea - I was pretty excited to try this! I am a huge tea drinker. I typically prefer my tea black and with sweetener. So, this was a little different for me. I still liked it and finished the whole can.


Level Life Protein Snack Bar - I also received this in my Fit Snack box. I think by the time I had the second Level bar I liked it a little better. Not the best protein bar, but tasty and low sugar/ carbs. 


Dang Coconut Chips - I LOVE these coconut chips! I have actually already been eating these for a few months now. They are the perfect snack. Sweet, crunchy, slightly salty and healthy!


Mamma Chia Squeeze in Mango Coconut - I have been wanting to try these for awhile now. I love Chia seeds and try to eat them often in my yogurt. I honestly couldn't decide if I liked this or not. The texture is weird with squeezing chia seeds in this fashion. The flavor was good though and I am glad I was able to finally try it. 


Yum Earth Naturals Sour Beans - These were delicious. I love the more sour and less sweet jelly bean. I think Taste Guru had an oppsy because I received two of these and none of the "Ass Kickin Honey Roasted Peanuts" that I was supposed to get. I am fine with that. Sour jelly beans>peanuts for me. 


IPS Egg White Chips - These sounded scary to me. Fortunately they were pretty darn good. I liked them by themselves, but I had some hazelnut spread in the box and these ended up swimming in that. It was a match made in heaven. 


Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread with Cocoa and Milk - Nutella who? This stuff is WAY better. As I stated above, I smeared it on my IPS Egg White Chips and then devoured it. My mouth wished that the sample was larger. My waistline was happy it was not. 


Swoffle Traditional Dutch Treat - This made me do a happy dance when I saw it. I love these little sweet waffle treats. Unfortunately, I think this was the one product in the box that I wish wasn't gluten free. It tasted a little off to me. I'm not going to lie, I still finished it. 

I was very pleased with my Taste Guru box. I LOVED a few items. I liked pretty much everything else. There were some current favorites, some completely new-to-me items and some items that I have been wanting to try. Success. 

BUY IT:

Sign up for Taste Guru on their website. The price ranges from $15- $19 (+$5 shipping) depending on the plan you sign up for.


*Disclaimer: I received a free box in exchange for my honest opinion. Post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#Kuisiware Barbecue Grill Light


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Do you grill at 3am? We do! Often. When you work nights and you are in the mood for a juicy grilled steak...you do what you need to. We have even purchased propane at Walmart in the middle of the night before. We have been wanting to place a light strip under the roof awning that covers our grill for awhile now. We haven't done it yet because it is one of hundreds of things that we want to do to our house and it is not cheap. Therefore we grill in the dark (or sometimes with a flashlight or lantern). I have been searching for another solution. That is how I found the Kuisiware Barbecue Grill Light.

The Kuisiware Grill Light has 10 super bright LED lights. It has an 180 degree vertical and horizontal swivel system. It is easy to turn on and off since all you have to do is touch it. It is heat resistant. It provides up to 12 hours of lighting via 3 AA batteries (the first set is included). Last but not least, the Kuisiware grill light attaches to almost any grill and is easily moved because it attaches with a screw on clamp.


 I love how easy it is to use this light. We keep it in the cabinet with our grilling supplies. It literally takes 5 seconds to place the clamp on the grill where we want it, screw it into place and touch it to turn it on. Boom. We can see again! The only real downside that I have found to this light is that you can not leave it outside. You have to make sure you bring it in with you every time you use it. Fortunately, it is so easy to attach and remove that it is not an issue.

It provides a pretty impressive amount of light for it's size. I took some before and after pictures for you. These were taken back-to-back at around 2am and without flash. They also are not edited (other than placing them together in a collage and adding words and arrows) so that you can truly see the difference. Please excuse my well-loved grill.


 You can really tell a difference! This Kuisiware Barbecue Grill Light has definitely made a difference in our late night grilling. My Husband is now able to see clearly what he is grilling. I can rest easy that he will not burn himself in the dark (not that he has ever burned himself, but I worry..a lot..)

This grill light also comes with a 60 days, no questions asked, money back guarantee! That is awesome! I love that you can get a full refund if the light does not live up to your standards. It has a limited lifetime warranty too (for defects in materials or manufacturing). They also send you some bonus digital recipe and tip books with purchase.

I would definitely recommend this Kuisiware Barbecue Grill Light. It has made our lives easier and helped to guarantee that we can have a perfect steak, burger or grilled chicken at any time of the day or night.

Buy It:


*Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Reference ID: pmda21bae82c02d1e2b8168d57cd3fbab7

Friday, March 27, 2015

Frugal Travel Tips



I recently traveled to the Cincinnati area to surprise my Mom. I took this vacation on my own and I did so for very cheap. Here are some tips that you can use when planning your next vacation.

If you are flying:
 
*Use a "budget" airline.
     -I used Allegiant on this flight and paid only $200 for a round trip ticket from St. Petersburg/Tampa to Cincinnati. This is VERY cheap. I only found one other flight that was $399, all the rest were around $500. My flight was also direct. All of the more expensive airlines involved a layover in another city. (NOTE: Do your research! Allegiant and similiar airlines are known for delays and cancellations and lack some comforts that other flights may have.) 
 
*Eat before arriving at the airport and pack snacks in your "personal item" (purse, backpack, etc. that you take on the plane with you) to avoid expensive airport food/ drinks. Do this even if you aren't hungry in case there are delays or someone gets nauseous on the plane. 

*See if a friend can drive you to the airport or take a shuttle:
      -If you are gone for more than a day or two, you are not going to want to do long term terminal parking. It is ridiculously expensive and you will have to worry about your car while you are gone. I normally offer a friend $20 or a 12 pack of beer each way for dropping me off/ picking me up. Just make sure it is someone you can rely on. If that fails, a cab or airport shuttle (I have used SuperShuttle a few times) is still normally cheaper than parking.

If you are taking a bus or renting a car:
 
*Use coupons:
     -Many of the city coupon books that are sold yearly in large cities have coupons for car rentals. I also check Retail Me Not for coupon codes of all types (including cars). You can search "car rental". In addition AAA and some colleges/ employers offer discounts on car rentals. Ask around. I was able to get a great deal from Expedia on an Alamo car rental ($78 for 3 days, 4 hours with a mid-size car).

*For car rentals, keep it clean and fill the gas tank:
     -Most rental companies charge a ridiculous amount if the car is dirty and if the tank is not full. I also keep my gas receipt and I take a picture of the mileage/ gas gauge when receiving and returning the car. I have had to use these in a dispute with a rental company in the past.

*Pack a cooler if on a long road trip.
     -Minimize your spending roadside by packing a cooler full of water, soda, sandwiches, yogurt and other assorted food items. Top it with ice and grab your snacks from the cooler when you pull over for gas. This will help to avoid costly snacks and drinks at gas stations or fast food on the road (bonus: you will probably eat healthier too).

*Look for gas card deals.
     -My local grocery store (Publix) has specials where you can save money on gas cards if you spend $50 in groceries. Since you will probably be spending $50 on groceries regardless, this is a great way save money off of your gas fill-ups. This is also a great way to "save" towards your vacation. If you have your gas paid for, then that is one less expense you have to worry about when the time comes. Note: make sure the gas station you get the card for is available in the areas you are traveling through. 

Do not eat out every meal. 
     -Just because you are on vacation does not meal that you have to eat out every single meal. Eating out can get expensive (and unhealthy) even if you are only eating fast food. If I am staying at a hotel with a fridge, I buy lunch meat, cereal (if free breakfast is not included), milk, cheese and bread. If I don't have a fridge it is bread, peanut butter and snack bars. We can then can eat meals in the hotel. Bonus: this comes in handy when we are hungry late night or too tired from walking all day to go out.

Track your spending. 
     -No one wants to do bills while on vacation. However, it is very important for you to keep track of all your spending while you are traveling. You don't want to end up coming home completely broke. Or worse, coming home early because you ran out of money on day three. If you are aware of your spending, you can pace your money throughout the trip. A method you can use is to use all cash on your vacation and divide it up into equal envelopes for each day. If you borrow from one envelope, you will have to do cheaper (or free like the beach or pool) activities that day.

Sign up for Groupons / Living Social deals for the area you are visiting. 
     -Sign up for the deal websites several months before your vacation. This will allow you to purchase tickets for many activities in advance at a discount price. I recommend reading Yelp or TripAdvisor reviews if you are unfamiliar with the company offering the deal. Note: make sure the expiration dates are past your visit and make sure you will be able to use all the certificates you purchase.

RESEARCH
     -I know that this is not what you want to hear. However, to get the best deal you will have to do some work on your computer. If I had purchased my plane tickets at the first few websites I had searched, I would have paid at least double. I also originally thought $180 was a good car rental price. After half an hour or so of research I found $78 for a better car. Your vacation is going to be unique to you in date/ location/ travel method/ etc. As a result, only YOU can find the best prices. 

Do you have any more Frugal Travel Tips to add? I hope this will help someone plan a frugal vacation. I know that sticking to these tips will help me take more vacations in the future.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March Fit Snack Box + Giveaway


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My goal for next month is to eat healthier and exercise more. This can be hard to do when you have an overnight job like I do. There are not a ton of healthy overnight options for food. If you forget to pack your lunch..you may find yourself in trouble. That is why I like to keep my work desk full of healthy snacks. I am *slightly* addicted to subscription boxes. I am also a huge fan of snacks. I have found the perfect combination of these two loves: Fit Snack.

Fit Snack is a a subscription box with healthy, delicious snacks that are delivered to your doorstep monthly. This box is a little different in that you receive bonus items and they also donate a meal via Feeding America every time you buy a box. How cool is that? Here is my March box:


This box was packed! First up were Compete energy bites. These are my new addiction. They come in little pods to keep them fresh. They taste like little chocolatey brownie bites and they have caffeine!


 Next up were two items from Simply 7 Snacks: Quinoa Chips and Lentil Chips. I didn't think that I would like these, but I really did. I actually ended up dipping the Quinoa Chips in the Sunbutter that I will be sharing with you in a moment. It was a really delicious and healthy combination.



 I also received a Level Life caramel chocolate peanut bar. This was okay. It wasn't the best tasting protein bar I have had, but it wasn't the worst either. It only has 4gm of sugar which is really awesome. I will probably need something a little more sugary to kill my serious sweet tooth.


The next item is one that I have not got around to trying yet: Oven Baked Organics gluten free pancake mix. I am saving this for a family breakfast that I have coming up. I am thinking about adding blueberries and raspberries to the batter. Yum. 
 

I also received Lenny and Larry's "The Complete Cookie" in Lemon Poppy Seed. The only bad thing about this HUGE cookie is that it was supposed to be two servings. That did not happen. It was so delicious that I ate it all in one sitting. I will say that I felt extremely full afterwards though. It is definitely delicious and filling. These come in a lot of different flavors and I can't wait to try them all.


I received a sample of Sunbutter also. This is what I used on my Simply 7 Quinoa Chips. I wasn't sure if I would like this since I am such a huge peanut butter fan. However, it was pretty good. I found myself rolling and squeezing the package at the end to make sure I got it all. I could switch to this over peanut butter. 


NOGII Protein Powder was also in the box. I received both Vanilla Bean and Cocoa Chocolate. The samples were 1/2 a serving each. So, they are more to try the flavors. I do wish they were full samples. I tried the vanilla bean and it was pretty tasty. I like that you can add things to these basic flavors. I added berries to mine! 


The last two items in the box were created by Fit Snack. I love that Fit Snack makes some of their own snacks too. I received an Almond and Pumpkin Mix. I gave this to my Husband and he loves it.

 
 Last but not least was one of my favorite items: the Fit Snack Veggie Chips. These veggie chips are incredible and some of the best that I have ever tried. They include a nice variety of vegetables too.
 

See how gorgeous the Veggie Chips are? They have the perfect amount of salt. So good. I actually prefer the taste of these to potato chips. The Fit Snack packaging comes with healthy tips. The Fit Snack box also came with a product card that had a full body energizer workout on the back. I love the fun little extras. I have learned some great tips from Fit Snack.

I am very impressed with Fit Snack. It had a large number of products and it was definitely worth the money. There isn't really anything in the box that was bad and most of it I really loved. I would definitely recommend Fit Snack.

SIGN UP BONUS:

If you subscribe using my link for Fit Snack you will also receive a free bonus gym bag!


GIVEAWAY: 

 You have two chances to win a Fit Snack box! You can enter the Fit Snack Giveaway on their page and you can enter to win one free box here at Thrifty and Frugal Living using the Rafflecopter below. Thrifty and Frugal Living giveaway ends 4/13/15 at midnight.


*Disclaimer: I received a free box in exchange for my own honest opinion. This post also contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Gourmet Eats that Fight Hunger with #GiveandGrub



Did you know that 700,000 people in our Tampa community go without food every day? What if you could help end hunger in the Tampa Bay area just by eating a delicious gourmet meal? Well, you can! Let me introduce you to the Give and Grub food truck which was created by The Laser Spine Institute and The Tampa Bay Lightning. As a member of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, I was invited to a special event to try Give and Grub for free and learn more about the truck.
 
Give and Grub donates a meal if you do one of two very simple things:


1. Share the hashtag #GiveandGrub on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest). Note: make sure your account is public for this to work! Re-tweets work too! If you want to donate a meal RIGHT NOW, re-tweet this: 



2. Buy a $9 gourmet meal from Give and Grub.

Let's talk about these gourmet meals. The Give and Grub food truck has clever Tampa Bay Lightning names relating to all of their dishes. Four of the dishes are even inspired by the favorite foods of certain players. Here are the items on the menu: 

Hedman's Steak Tacos

Chicken Parmkos Sandwich

Callahan's Mac Slam

Cooper's Candied Burger

Bishop Bowl

Hat Trick Chicken Sliders

Slap Shot Chicken Salad

I was able to try several of the gourmet meals and they are delicious. My favorite by far was the Hedman's Steak Tacos. They are arguably some of the best steak tacos that I have had. No hot sauce needed. I also really loved the Callahan's Mac Slam. It is delicious mac n'cheese with onions and peppers and a boursin cheese sauce topped with kielbasa. I am really wanting to try the Cooper's Candied Burger. It looks amazing. We were also treated to an exclusive new menu item: 


This new dish is called the ThunderSteak Sandwich with CrossCheck Sweet Potato fries. The sweet potato fries were my favorite with the sea salt, marshmallow and butterscotch drizzle. Yum.

We were joined at our special event by some very special guests including two of the Tampa Bay Lightning cheerleaders and my favorite: Thunderbug. 


Thunderbug is SO much fun! He also loves sliders. 

If you are wanting to donate to charity, this is an easy and great way to do it. The Laser Spine Institute has already donated over 25,000 meals through the Give and Grub food truck. Wow! At our Tampa Bay Blogger's Give and Grub event, we donated 2800 meals through just our social media shares. Amazing! Now it's your turn.