Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to Play for Less: What's app?

 Time for another money saving topic....bout the right time, yes?  With the holidays around the corner, it's pretty easy to focus on the gifting and overlook the other large expense associated with 'tis the season - baking and cooking.  And while I hope that my grocery store post helped out, here are a few tips that extend beyond the couponing aspect to make that food bill a littel less hefty.

Since I joined the 21st century and got a droid, I find that apps are so freaking addictive.  and there is no shortage on ways you can save with 'em.  I'm sure there are four hundred zillion apps out there that I don't know about or use, but these are the seven that are on my weekly list - I htink its a happy number, any more might drive me nuts.  (Unless you have a better one.  Then, please share :-)).  Note that all the below with the exception of cartwheel are phone apps - there might be a way around them if you have a dumb phone (not knocking flips, if my company didn't help me with my phone, I would be a dumb phone owner).  all of these aps can be downloaded via google play on your phone. With that, happy saving, friends.

My Top Money Saving Apps

1.  Ibotta - I have to say, this is a recent development for me - they just started taking Tops as a store, so I am all in.  This app pays you to buy specific things at the store.  You do a small task (2 seconds to 30 seconds) to upload the item in your cache, then after you purchase you scan it and the receipt.  Offers range from alcohol to body wash, and the neat thing about this app is they do quite alot of any brand rebates - like cereal, milk, eggs, granola bars, oranges.  So you aren't tied to the super pricey store brand or stuff you don't buy - you just get some money back on things you do.  I usually earn a dollar or two a week, and you can cash out - I pick amazon or paypal - after you earn $10.  Super easy.  You also can shop online or get some rebates at vrestaurants and department stores, just give it a search before you hit up one of those to see if there's anything worth your while.  You also can join teams to earn points faster - happy to have anyone on my team :-)

2.  Checkout 51.  This is another grocery app that is pretty cool in the fact that it isn't tied to a specific store.  With Ibotta you need to go to Tops or Walmart, etc - with Checkout 51 any place that sells the item it is offering cash back on is a-ok.  Again, they do specific brands of food and personal care items, but every week they have at least one produce item.  You select your item, scan the receipt, and you're good.  once you hit $20, they send you a check.

3.  Snap - Very similar to Checkout 51.  It's not tied to a specific store, and if you;re patient, they have some awesome rebates.  a few months ago. they had $1 off any huggies wipes, so I stacked it with a coupon, bought 10 containers of wipes, paid $10 out of pocket and got $10 from snap.  Score.  Once you hit $20, they mail you a check.

4.  Mobisave - Another grocery rebate app, like the two above.  You need to make sure you select your item before you shop, but it will take a rebate from any store - this week they have kelloggs cereal and pop tarts - match em with Tops ad and pay $2 for two boxes of Fristed Flakes and a box of pop tarts.  This app was only available for Apple devices until last week so it's new to me, I'll let ya know what I think soon :-)

5.  Receipt Pal - Now we are into receipts.  Don't ever ever throw them out.  This app asks you to scan your receipts - you get 25 points per receipt, no matter how big.  You can enter 12-16 a week, and you can also forward email receipts from online purchases.  Once you hit 2000 points, you get a $5 amazon gift card or paypal deposit.  The rewards stagger, so it's better to hold out - a $25 gift card is 7500 points.  Slow going, but what are you gonna do with your old receipts?  I save them in an envelope and take pics once a week.  Takes about 6 weeks to get a reward, and about 30 seconds a week to snap pics.  No problem.

6.  Receipt Hog - this is a similar app, but is based on purchase amounts.  You get points by "feeding the hog" with receipts each week, ranging from 5 points to 20 points per receipt depending on what you spent.  at 1000 points, you can cash out for amazon or paypal ($5 gift card).  This app rewards consistency - you get extra points for scanning receipts every week.

7.  Cartwheel - This is a target specific app that is cool in teh fact that if you don't have a smart phone, you can upload offers online and print your barcode to scan in teh store.  The offers change daily and are for 5-50% off specific items or brands.  You can stack the cartwheel codes with target coupons and manufacturer coupons for some pretty sweet deals (ex: diaper deals - Take a 9.99 bag of seventh generation diapers - $2 target coupon = 7.99, -  10% cartwheel = 6.39 - $4 manufacturer coupon = $2.39.  Not too darn bad, especially if Ibotta has a $2 rebate on them (true haul from a few weeks ago.)

Hope this helps ease the burden of the expenses while shopping - I would say that I spend about a half hour on apps/rebates a week and make about $5-$10 a week.  In front of the TV.  Hey, every little bit helps.  This season (since July 2015) I have over $100 from rebates in paypal and $65 to spend on amazon.  Merry Christmas :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quack Quack

Well how the heck did that happen??  It's November.  Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas shopping and season is upon us.  YIKES.  Plus, I only have 12 more days maternity leave (tears).  I won't lie, I do miss the structure of working and my job (sometimes, lol.  I love my job but the time off is nice) and certainly my co- workers....but...I have grown quite used to snuggles and 24/7 with my Biz.  The nice thing is that my office moved virtual this month, so even though I will be working, Ill be home 3 days a week at least.  Greg is taking some time off to bridge the gap we have with child care, so I will still be able to feed and snuggle my kiddo sometimes.  Score.  Even though part of me wants to snuggle Biz forever, I know I have the best of both worlds, especially with the holidays coming up.

But.  In the Glaser household, this time of month means more than turkey and Santa.  It means plans for 2016....races, specifically.  Most of our big races start registration in November or December, so we start to plan our calendar around them.  And if you know me at all, I have been DYING to plan for next year.  Making babies is super important and I don't regret a single second of it, but it does put a damper on what I like to do best in my "me" time.  I feel like I've been massively on teh back burner since 2012 and I am ready to rock next year (Note - I know how freakin blessed I am.  That was not meant as a complaint in the slightest, just a fact).

MTD 2014
So...I signed up for an ultra.  Hell yeah.  You might remember back in 2014 when I did Mind the Ducks - a ridiculous 12 hour looped race where you run a one mile loop as many times in 12 hours as you can.  Yep, thats the one.  Since its close by, I figure its smartest, plus the whole bathroom and aid station every mile.  And I can feed Biz halfway through if I need to.  Yes, yes, I am still crazy.  But you all knew that.  Two years ago I did 54 miles in 12 hours...and this year i WILL break 60. 

So what does that mean?  a few things.  MTD16 is my big race next year - Ill throw in a few tris, maybe an Olympic distance race, and hoping for a fall marathon (Wineglass is on my birthday).  There's a marathon in Albany in February that if i can piggyback a work trip off it, I'll do.  But now?  Training.  Yep.  I fell off the running wagon a bit when I had Biz (I know, first world problems) so it's time to amp that back up.  I found a 24 week plan I liked online and tweaked it - training starts November 29, so look for some fun updates.  How does one train for a 12 hour race??  Well, I did a ton of research last time, and now I'll be tweaking that plan to fit my new schedule.  It's roughly 4 runs a week total -  two longer runs back to back, and two medium runs.  Ill probably throw in a few days where i do a 12 or 15 miler, 3 miles every two hours.  Basically. I need to figure out how to keep going when I'm tired and to be as strong 9 hours in as the beginning (where I collapsed two years ago.)  

So having kids...was my MTD training.  Kidding.  Stay tuned for updates - I can't wait to start training :-)

Friday, November 13, 2015

How To play For Less: Christmas Shopping

Ok, so I had a few posts I was going to get to before this one, but I looked down and realized, holy freaking cow, Christmas is coming soon.  and, as always, our American crazy culture makes the gift buying season come earlier every. stinking. year.  While our family is slowly moving toward the "less is more" modicum, we still like to get good deals on the stuff we buy - which means if you haven't started shopping yet, it's time to do it stat to minimize the lincolns and franklins coming out of your wallet.  (People still use cash for things, right??)  So, here goes....my thrifty Christmas (ahem, holiday) tips:

1.  Black Friday.  Do it right.  This probably could have a whole post on it, but I'll keep it short and sweet.  Gone are the days (thank god) of waiting in line for stores to do black Friday rush over a $5 Tickle me Elmo doll and a $99 iphone (see what I did there?)  I'm actually glad to see consumerism taking the boot a bit and some stores closing on Thanksgiving (what a shit show that was) but lets face it - black friday had its hey day, and its over.  Look through the circulars (go to bfads.net, most of them are up) and plan your attack.  Probably you don't even have to do it that day.....

2.  Turkey Day week - yep.  Black Friday has expanded.  Kohls starts their sale online usually the (dont forget ebates) in your pjs.  I hit up kohls pretty good each year (They have awesome deals and a great return policy) and 99% of the time, I'm done with most of the heavy lifting by Thanksgiving, and it's shipped to my door.  Check out fatwallet.com for any codes you can stack with the great sales.
Monday or Tuesday before T day, so you can get the same savings

3. ....Or even earlier.  This is for next year (sorry) but Veteran's day has some black friday status deal (which is sad....but what can you do).  On Wednesday I picked up roller skates, an activity table, yoga pants and a set of blocks for my kids...$110 worth of stuff, for $22 shipped.  Score.  Subscribe to kohls emails, go to "Black Friday" page on facebook, or get krazy Coupon Lady emails.  They all gotcha covered (love those ladies).

4.  Stocking stuffer freebies.  Who said stuffers had to be elaborate?  Look for free samples of toothpaste, mouthwash, or low cost Halloween leftovers (play doh, etc) to fill those stockings.  I also love Target's dollar spot and Five below to find nice goodies to fill those stockings.  It cracks me up every time I see someone advertising a $50 stocking stuffer.  Who are the people that buy these things and how can we be friends???

5.  Do a secret Santa.  If you're anything like our family, we all have too much stuff and find more joy in doing Christmas for the kids.  So we buy for the kids and do a swap for the rest - on Thanksgiving, everyone puts their name in the turkey hat, along with a few things they would like Santa to bring.  We set a loose dollar limit, pull out a name, and then shop for that person.  It makes the holiday less stressful, wondering who you should buy for, and is a ton of fun on Christmas to see who your santa was.

6. Pass it on.  This year, one of my friends started a facebook page (if you're local and want in, let me know) that is dedicated to passing along presents.  Each mama goes through her stash of un played with toys and posts them on a page in the spirit of giving.  Then if you see something you like, you take it.  No strings attached.  Rob got a cool cars tent and some Hulk gloves that are practically new and we passed along some puzzles and games that we don't play with.  Perfect.

I'm sure I have more tips, but naptime is limited today so there ya go - hope it helps get you started.  Happy shopping with some ideas that won't break the bank - now there's a ho ho ho :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Second act: Biz, month 2

Biz and Jeff....yikes.
Two months???  Kiddo, where did the time go??  (I know, I will be saying this alot).  Seems like yesterday they were placing you on my chest for the first time, and I look at you now...you are soooo big.  It sounds trite, but the days are long and the weeks and months and years are so short.  I can't believe my maternity leave is almost over - crazy.  I'm not sure I totally got to miss work (lol) but even though it will be hectic it will be nice to be back.  Greg and I needed to be creative with child care, so he will be taking some time off to be with the Biz which will make life a bit easier for a bit and give him some dad/daughter bonding time.  But for now Biz...you are mine, all mine :-)  So what's up this month, kiddo?


Still adore snugs.  We put you in your bjorn and you snuggle up against mommy or daddy while we get some stuff done.  And of course, we take an afternoon nap together.  Once you get comfy, you snuggle up for hours, and make soft cooing noises.  Love.
You also have a serious thing for your giraffe, Jeff (we are the most creative parents ever).  He sits in your crib when you are being changed and playing and you just make eyes at him.  We think it's getting serious (Dad will be having a talk with him).
You also LOVE being sung to - you favor big hair bands and ballads from the 90s....god help us.  Mommy is getting good at singing Mr. Big and Firehouse.  Yikes.

Still have the witching hour after dinner, but we know that's typical.  Still not a fan of bath time - I suspect that will change when you can sit up like a big girl and go in the real tub (we are getting close).  Otherwise, you are a pretty even keeled kid.  Sometimes you have your moments, like we all do, and we have had a few 3am pajama parties, but overall, you are a super good kiddo. (duh).

You are really starting to rock out at this - we do a feed around 8, and you pass out usually from about 9-2:30.  You do another feed then, and about half the time drop back off to sleep until 6am.  Sometimes you want to play at 2:30 -working on that.  You take 3 naps during the day - one in the morning on your own, a short cat nap after lunch in the bjorn, and a two hour late PM nap, usually with one of us.  Funny how a schedule like that seems to be routine.  Its a little harder when Rob is home, but you deal with a noisy toddler rather well (most of the time).

Still rockin out at this one!  You weighed 11 pounds at one month, and we go to the doc next month.  You are in the 75% for height and weight - go girl go.  You eat like a champ.  Bottles are another story, but you do pretty well, even tough you prefer it right from the source, lol.  I cant wait for some real food in a few months - I bet you'll kill it.  Right now though, moo juice is best.

First Coo- October 14th.  You sound so sweet.  Working on your babbling now, you have vowel sounds down pat.  I'll be calling Mensa later.

First laugh- October 25.  Of course you laughed at mommy.  What took ya so long kiddo??
First Halloween - You did awesome with the trick or treating - Rob the monkey and you the banana.  Next year will be even better when you can see whats going on a bit more :-)
Rolling over - November 3.  Yep, you already roll back to front. Yikes.  I expect college is coming next....or a 5k where you beat the pants off mommy.
love my kiddos.

Best Moment of the Month:
Watching you and Rob together.  Kiddo, its awesome.  Your bro loves you so stinkin much,  When you cry, he comes over and says "Its ok biz biz" and tries to hug you or pick you up.  He gets super protective when anyone else is around you.  He helps you with tummy time.  and still drives cars on you (I swear, its an expression of love).  Oh, I love my babies.  So darn much.

Looking Forward to:
Getting ready for your first Thanksgiving and Christmas - this is the best time of year, kiddo.  even though Mommy has to go back to work in 3 weeks we will still have plenty of time to dance, decorate, and make cookies :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mendon Trail 20k- Bob The Builder

So, needless to say, 2015 racing season was a bit screwy - no tris, some short races, and a helluva long 9 month marathon.  Worth it?  You betcha.  Coming back in 2016 and dropping the hammer?  OF COURSE.  With my body healing quite nicely from Miss Biz, I decided to end the season with a race we hadn't run since 2012 (ironically, I ran it, then found out I was pregnant with Rob 2 weeks later....hmmm), The Mendon Trail  races.  This is a super low key race - there is a 10k, 20k, 30k and 50k option - costs $18 to enter, and post race bagels, soup and candy.  There is an aid station at start and halfway through (it's a 10k repeater loop in some pretty wicked trails) that is super stocked with ultra goodies.  And did I mention it's $18?  Yep.  So about 4 weeks ago, I signed up for the 20k, figuring I could ramp up to the 12.5 miles on the treadmill and be just fine.  Heh.  Famous last words. Life happened.  Long run capped at 8 miles.  But the promise of 5 kiddo free hours without a baby attached to me or a toddler needing attention ( I love them, you know i do, but Momma needs her time) outweighed any rational thought to going from 8 flat ish miles to 12.5 hilly miles.

go time (rich detwiler)
The race started at 9:30, so I woke up at 2am.  and 4;30.  And 6.  Oh wait, that's normal :-P  Got the kiddos breakfast, got ready, made a pbj and coffee for the road, and set out for Mendon about 8am.  In the past, this race has attracted about 50 people for all distances, but it seems this year the word got out and the parking lot was jammed.  I parked, got my bib, and tried to stay warm while I chatted with a few ultra friends.  Before we knew it, it was go time.

Loop 1: 1:08:xx.  The first 10k wasn't too bad.  I let my mind wander the first mile or so, then realized as I almost bit the dust on a root....you can't do that during a trail race, duh. Zoning during a road race - ok.  During a trail race - hello broken ankle.  I dialed it down a few paces, turned down Pendulum, and enjoyed the course.  About mile 4, at a stupid steep hill, a few key things occurred to me:  1.  8 miles was not enough... 2.  buy freakin trail shoes dummy 3.  bringing a fuel belt would have been smart.  ahh well.  the good/bad thing about looped races is if you're in trouble, you can tap out.  but if you're talking yourself into quitting, you can.  I thought about it for 5 minutes then said nah.....mom time in the woods is where its at.  Sorry Greg.  (note - he kicked butt at home with the kiddos).  I crossed lap one, fueled with some oreos (friggin awesome) then started lap 2.

Loop 2: 1:14.  as I trotted off wondering what brand of crazy I am, I made a runner friend who made mile 1 go by super quick.  As I started up steep hill one of seven thousand (how did they make them bigger on loop 2??) I heard someone breezing by me who must have had jets on his feet.  I told him good job and he waved at me - I realized I knew the guy, a fellow triathlete we call "ultra adam" because he's freaking crazy awesome and runs ultras and triple ironmans and crap.  ok, im jealous.  It was good to see him, though i must admit i felt damn inadequate as i realized he breezed by me as if i was sitting diwn for coffee and he was on lap 4 to my lap 2.  damn.  Regardless, I tried to chase em down and both my legs and mental math went out the window a half mile later.  oops.  I decided after the aid station halfway in to enjoy the rest, quit looking at my watch, and say the hell with my quads and storm the downhills (oh hell did i pay for that Sunday).  Before i knew it ( i lied, it took forever) i saw the finish.  i had been bobbing back and forth with a girl for a few miles, so i found my reserves, sprinted, and passed her right before the finish (,....as she went on for another loop.  whoops).  my time was 2:22, for an 11:30 pace and 3rd in my age group (yes, there were more than 3 of us :-P)

Even though it was freakin hard and I was in no way trained for it, it was an awesome race and I'm thrilled my body let me do it 8 weeks post baby.  Now it's time for some off season training - some weights, serious core, and a look to figure out what's up for 2016 and how to do it with 2 littles and a ft job.  stay tuned :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Play for Less: Get in Mah Belly

Hey there everyone :-)  In the revamping of the blog (I know, you just can't wait), I've decided to do a bit of remodelling - look for new tags (welcome to the 21st century, Rae), pages, and regularly "aired" posts each week.  Is everyone on the edge of their seats?  Good.

One of the "hot spots" I get alot of questions and interest on is saving money.  Yep, I'm a thrifty girl and proud of it.  And even if I'm not cool 98% of the time, I realized that most of my friends and family think that saving money is pretty darn awesome and that I might just have a knock for it.  I've done some saving money posts in the past called "How to Play for Less" and it's time to resurrect the beast.  I'll wade through my archives and bring back the oldies and goodies, and hope to post a new entry each week on some aspect of saving money.  I don't have it all figured out, heck who does, but even if one of my tips can help you save a few bucks, then it was worth your time to read five minutes of nonsense, right?  Right.

So, to kick it all off, I thought I would start with grocery shopping post.  IN the last 8 weeks since the biz came about, I decided to work on stockpiling a bit.  We generally spend about $60 a week to feed our family of 3 (including TP, cat litter, etc.) and I'm perfectly happy with it, but since I have the feeling that life's gonna get a bit crazy when Greg and I are both working, I figured it wouldn't hurt to stock up on pasta sauce and canned veggies.  I break out the shopping into two parts - foodstuffs/grocery and health and beauty aids.  So for part one...how to grocery shop without breaking the bank...and avoiding Ramen?  Here goes.  My top ten tips.

1.  Pick a store.  Learn it. Love it.  For food stuffs, I live and die by Tops (Yes, all you Wegmans wegmans, even if their regular prices aren't.  For a family that isn't picky, that's crucial.  Two, I like the layout.  Wegmans is too big and too crowded.  I get lost and frustrated.  Three - proximity - we have a Tops 3 miles away, and to get corny about it, everyone knows my name.  $th - GaS POINTS.  at our Tops, you get one point for every dollar you spend and ten for every coupon you use.  100 points equals ten cents off a gallon of gas.  Last month Greg and I paid....$6 for gas.  And that was on a $200 budget for groceries for the month.  Tops Rocks.
$5.50 for all of that????  You got it.
devotees, chill.  To each his own).  I love Tops for a few reasons - 1.  I find their sale prices better than

2.  Like a page.  On facebook, that is,  For Tops, I use "Tops Markets Hottest Deals" and "Smart q Pon Clips".  These ladies post the sales flyer about 5 days ahead of time and DO THE WORK FOR YOU.  They match the flyer with the active coupons and tell you where to find them (which insert, where online, etc.).  So if canned chili beans are on sale for 10/10 and there is a coupon for BOGO in an insert, I can just grab it and go.  Or order or trade for more to get more bang for my buck.  (True story - next week these guys are on sale 10/10.  Buy 10 get 100 extra gas points.  Buy 10, use 5 bogo coupons, pay $5, get 160 gas points.  Do it twice = pay $10 out of pocket, get 320 gas points worth .30 off a gallon = $9.00 if you use all 30 gallons.  So you just paid a dollar for 20 cans of beans.  Chili all winter.

3.  Shop the cycles - Typically things hit rock bottom price once in a 12 week cycle.  Pay attention, then buy up.  Obviously we don't all have room for 12 weeks worth of milk or yogurt, but for non perishables, why the heck not???  So with the example above, I would be foolish not to buy 20 cans of beans if we will use them.

4.  COUPONS. - USE THEM.  I get the sunday paper, then print on my cheap printer from both my computer and phone (you can get two prints each device).  I also swap coupons with family and friends on the internet.  So if a great huggies coupon comes out, Ill trade online for stamps, other coupons, or go to wizclipz.com and buy 10 for 1.00.  If the coupon is even a dollar, that's so worth it - I can stock up, and get .10 off gas if I use all 10 at Tops.  So talk to your friends and family - my Uncle would never eat the greek yogurt I love, but I don't have a dog, so all purina coupons go to him.

5.  Stack your savings - gas, freebies, lodge, diaper points, etc. I used the gas points example above, but also take a look on your grocery store's website to see what other benefits they offer.  Tops gives out diaper points for every dollar you spend on diapers - when you hit 100 you get $20 free for diapers, which is 20% right off the bat for any sale even before coupons.  Same for "lodge points" - for every ten dollars you spend you get a point.  at the end of 5 months you can redeem for free bakeware.  Hey. why not?

6.  Know your price points. Just because something is on sale doesn't mean it's a good deal.  Last week, Tidy cat 20 pound litter went on sale for 8.99.  I can buy store brand for 5.99 on sale, and it works just as well.  Coffee?  Nope.  Need to have folgers.  I know what works for us in terms of brand name or generic, and what a good price per unit/pound is.  Pay attention next time you shop - sure the cereal you bought for 1.99 seems cheap, but if it's 8 ounces and the non sale cereal that is 18 didnt get a good deal.
ounces is 2.99.....you

7.  Just because it's cheap, doesn;t mean you need it.  Couponers are terrible at this.  Free toothpaste, free deodorant, free shampoo (more on that later).  It's all well and good.  But it got to a point at our house where my husband asked if I was stocking haircare for our teenaged daughter (who is...7 weeks old).  Ummm, good point.  I sort of laughed it off until I was in line a few weeks later with coupons for my free poligrip and realized....i know NO ONE that needs this.  (I did buy it.  Then donated).  But bottom line, don't have a cow, or chickens, over free or cheap stuff.  Especially stuff you don't use or need (Hey, those oreos were good at the time....).

8.  Stockpile...within reason.  Same as noted above.  Right now I have two shelving untis for canned goods, peanut butter, jarred stuff, and cleaners.  Since it;s in my basement I don't store dry goods, but I do have about 50 soups, canned veggies, a dozen jars of pb and jam, hot sauce, etc.  Probably enough of each for 6 months.  They make great quick dinners.  I also have about 20 dish washing detergents and soaps (each) from a basically free sale in June.  and enough cat food for 6 months (64 pounds) that I bought for $8 total at Target in august.  We will use all of this.  It doesn't go bad.  And I didn't have to take out an extra room to do it.  Once you get into couponing, you will be amazed at the crazy amounts people will stockpile - and I just say, know yourself.  3000 diapers makes sense to me, because I will use them all - and paid less than $150 for it.  65 boxes of hamburger helper or 8 gallons of milk....no room, and will go bad.  To each his own.

$4 total.  and .10 off gas/
9.  Be Flexible.  Number one rule for us.  I am so lucky to live in a family of non picky eaters - we plan our menu based on the sales.  Of course, sometimes stores run out and you have to think on your feet - if you planned to buy 30 coffees and the store only has 20, readjust your plan.  Find out when they restock.  Chicken on sale but it's all out?  Make roat pork tenderloin with the sell today clearance pack that was...cheaper then the chicken.  Or, if all else fails, have a back up store and do a second grocery run that week (we usually only shop once a week).

10.  Have FUN - Once couponing or sales shopping becomes a chore, its all done.  My couponistas and I make a game out of it....how much did you save, how many gas points, etc.  Greg tries to guess my out of pocket when I bring home a haul - I tell him retail and he guesses what I paid for it after all savings.  (Probably he is humoring me.  I love him for it.).

I hope this was helpful - as always, feel free to email me any questions or comment :-)  Coming up...how to save on HB, diapers, app savings....just to name a few.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Eat my Dust - 20 minutes or bust.

Well, as my husband would put it - It's a couch day.  Raining, yucky, cold, ick.  Probably most people despise these days or use it against NY in general to confirm we have crappy weather.  Well, first of all - not this year...or last.  The sunshine and pretty fall leaves have been awesome.  Secondly, am I the only one who enjoys a good rainy day every now and then?  Popcorn.  Hot cocoa.  Books.  A nice black and white movie.  Or even the challenge of how to figure out how to keep the toddler entertained, not killing his sister, and in a decent mood inside. Screen and sugar free.  (Answer - big cardboard box and markers.  Seriously, he got lost in that sucker for an hour.)  Such a good kid.  Then, because he is amazing, he passed out hardcore just for mom.  And the midget (that would be Biz) conked out at the same time.  So what did I do?  Duh, I ran :-)

I'm in the midst of a low key transition to training, with two bebes.  Part of it is happy go lucky running that I slip outside for whenever the weather is nice and my husband throws my shoes at me, (Sunday - 8 miles outside = heaven) and part of it is treadmill based.  Don't hate on it like I used to- it's actually a pretty nifty training tool.  That is, unless you decide your two year old can babysit the infant (ummmm).
So, again, I'm not an expert, but as I start to get back into the running game with at least one kidlet at home all the time and sometimes two....I've found a few running and other workouts that seem to work well for when you can't take a sole hour out of your day for "you".  (PS - Not working out is not an option.  I don't care if you're housing qunituplets, if there is a will,there is a way.)

Quickie Mom (parent) Workouts...

1.  The quickie run.  20 minute treadmill bust.  Warmup easy for 2 minutes, then repeat 5 times:  1 minute all out, 2 minutes easy jog.  Cool down 3 minutes easy.

2.  The tempo run.  Warm up 2 minutes, run your 10k pace for 15, cool down 3 minutes.

3.  Youtube blast.  Search "10 minute solutions" and do two segments.

4.  One minute blast - I've written down a list of 10 weight training exercises I can do with just body weight (dips, donkey kicks, squats, pushups, etc.) and do each for one minute, interspersed with a minute of jogging in place or fast feet or jump rope.

5.  Jillian Michaels.  Oh man, she is still my goddess, even though I've been romanced by p90x and Insanity.  She has an awesome workout "banish fat, boost metabolism" (youtube it) that is a 42 minute mix of cardio, weights, abs, and kickboxing broken into 7 segments.  I do one, or I do 7...or somewhere in between.

Mom life :-P
6.  HIIT it.  - Best done on treadmill, but also the bike or with high intensity cardio like burpees or high knees.  Warm up easy 2 minutes. then go all out like someone is chasing you for 30 seconds, recover for 90.  Repeat 7 times, cool down to get to 20 minutes.  Super fast and effective,

Truth?  Sometimes an hour happens, sometimes 5 minutes.  I find my best trick honestly is to get dressed in a shelf tank, shorts, a sports bra and sneaks at 8am.  and do anywhere from a minute to 20 at a time.  It all adds up.  Result?  Energy, heart health, and fitting jeans...coupled with some good race training :-P

Or.. you can just chase your toddler around in circles for 8 hours while carrying the baby in the bjorn.  Cause life happens.  Hey, it's a workout.