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Nutrition + Groupon = A New Goal!

I decided I needed a new project to keep me out of trouble outside of work, so today I purchased a Groupon for an Online Nutritional Theraplogo_Health_Sciences_Academyist Certification Course from the Health Sciences Academy.  It pairs my struggling desire to lead a healthy lifestyle with online deals, it was a match made in heaven.  Armed with a coupon code for an additional 20% off the deal plus 6% cashback through Ebates, I saved 94% off the enrollment cost.  Being fully aware I am on a strict budget, I came to the conclusion that it was worth the money to educate myself on nutrient deficiencies and learn to build nutritional programs that can better my quality of life.  I’ve been tracking my own nutritional intake without any formal training and lots of Googling, MyFitnessPal, and common sense guessing for years.  I still have no idea what I am doing.

If this program can give me any sort of guidance and applicable information to better my vegetarian lifestyle without becoming an insane health nut (I want to be a sane health nut) and possibly help others on their journey towards wellness, than it will be worth every penny.  If not, I shall pen a strongly worded letter to the Academy.

I plan to update this blog with my experiences throughout the course.  I hope you will follow my progress with positive support, constructive feedback, and questions!

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It’s A Veg Head Life

Being a (picky) vegetarian, having options while grocery shopping will always be a plus.  When I first became meat free in 1996, the easy and cheap food options for my very selective personality were also not the healthiest. I lived on pizza and pasta.  Over the years I have noticed that grocery stores and food companies have embraced vegetarian culture and provided more well rounded nutritious meatless meal options.  Today, if I realize I haven’t been eating the best by going back to my old ways of carbohydrate overindulgence, I know I can always get back on track and wipe the slate clean with the help of portion controlled vegetarian frozen meals like Smart Ones®.

If you read my blog post earlier this week about couponing to save money, you know I try to shop for healthy items that also provide coupons.   Just the other week the Smart Ones® meals were on sale at ShopRite for $1.77 each.  After printing two $2 off 7  Smart Ones® frozen meals, I was able to get 14 Frozen meals for $1.48 each!  The best thing is that they weren’t 14 of the same meal!  Smart Ones® provides variety not only for carnivores, but for those who prefer meatless options.  They also often have coupons available on their website which is music to my penny pinching ears.  My freezer is consistently packed with their signature red boxes:

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As you can see from my hoard of frozen meals, I am a big fan of practically all Smart Ones® vegetarian dinner options.   Italian, Asian, Mexican, I will take it!   After popping one of these in the microwave after a day of caloric overindulgence, I can mentally prepare to get back on the road to wellness the following day.  I have learned to not waste time lambasting myself for making poor food choices and instead aiming to make better choices next time around.

All in all, I am definitely someone who appreciates a second chance as well as any financial assistance when trying to eat well while on a budget.  Bonus points to Smart Ones® for including such affordable and delicious selections of healthy vegetarian meals for the picky veg heads like myself.

Couponing Queen!

I’ve noticed a lot of my Facebook friends really tightening their belts in 2014 and I wanted to share my secret to saving!

Everyone likes to save a dollar and I am no different.  I started clipping coupons last spring to save and now some may say I am a bit obsessed with my alphabetically filed coupon binder and designated couponing tote bag.  Every day I check the top couponing blogs to see if there is anything worth a trip.  Two sites missing from the list that I refer to often are LivingRichwithCoupons and TheKrazyCouponLady.  All you have to do is choose the store you want to shop at and the sites gather the coupon links and sale data on your behalf.  All the grunt work is done for you, just click and print!

One things I found while clipping coupons is there are ways to find discounts on healthy foods.  There are certainly coupons for unhealthy items but if you search a little you can find coupons for healthier products as well both at Coupons.com and SmartSource.com.  Pair them with store sales and rebate websites like SavingStar and you can save so much money on your groceries that your electric may stay on this month.

Some months I coupon every week, others I coupon only once per month!  It all depends on my budget and how busy I am.  Cutting coupons while watching my evening TV shows makes me feel more productive than if I was stuffing my face with snacks, so I also see it as a good distraction for my poor eating habits when I’m bored.  Couponing also allows me that control over what I plan to eat over the month.  I avoid the coupons for crap cuisine and focus only on what I can afford that is somewhat healthy (like hummus, guacamole, pickles, soups, and rare vegetable and salad items).  In fact I just printed a high value coupon today for $3 off of any 16oz. Yucatan Guacamole from the product Facebook page!

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You can find a coupon for almost anything so even if it’s not listed on one of the coupon sites just do a search online for the product you want to buy and you may find a printable coupon! Just remember to check the expiration date.

I encourage everyone to try their hand at clipping coupons.  It may not be for everyone, but the pennies add up in the end and you can see a difference in your bank account!

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