School/Work Lunch Ideas

One of the easiest ways to save money is to pack lunches. Say, you eat out everyday with co-workers and you spend $10 each day, that adds up to about $200 per month or $2400 per year! That’s huge! That’s $2400 that could have been invested in a retirement account, or paid off debt. Instead of going out to lunch everyday, why not spend a little time the night before and pack your lunch. It will save you money and calories! Here are some easy ideas for school lunches for the kiddos, or for yourself!

  • Classic: Peanut butter and jelly. Who doesn’t love a good ole PB&J? If you’ve tired of this timeless combination, try some variations like peanut butter and banana (my personal favorite), or peanut butter and honey. Branch out and try different nut butters like almond butter or hazelnut spread.
  • Chicken salad: Mix chopped chicken (canned or rotisserie), light mayo, nuts, apples, grapes and a little cayenne pepper and you can have great chicken salad to spread on bread, wrap in a tortilla or eat with crackers.
  • Salad: In a large container, mix your favorite greens (my favorite is spinach and romaine) with some veggies, nuts, a little cheese and the dressing on the side. When you’re ready to eat, pour in the dressing, put on the top and shake to toss.
  • Leftovers: Don’t throw out the leftovers from dinner the night before! Pop them in a container and it will be easy to grab and go in the morning.

Hope that gives you a few ideas to get you started saving!


Free Ways to Get Active This Fall

I hope that everyone has been able to spend some time outside over the past few days! We have really been enjoying the cooler weather. The Fall is a great time incorporating more activity into your life. After a summer full of vacations, ice cream and laying by the pool, chances are good that we are all in need of a little jump start. Fall provides cooler temperatures, which means exercise can be taken outdoors. The best part about working out outside? It’s free! No gym required. Here are a few things you can do outside to get yourself moving:

  • Walking- Walking is something that people at any fitness level can benefit from. If you are a beginner to exercise, start by walking for 30 minutes, three days a week. Over the course of a month, build up to 30 minutes a day for five days a week. Squeeze in a walk on your lunch break, or take two 15 minute walks a day. The results will surprise you! Once you’ve been walking for a month or so, try…
  • Running- Yep, I said it. I know it sounds scary, but running is a great form of cardio, and doesn’t require any equipment besides a good pair of shoes. Click here for a great beginners plan that I used when I started running three years ago.
  • Biking- I love biking because the whole family can do it! Take a trip to Shelby Farms or ride the Greenline together.
  • Yardwork– This is my least favorite option, but yardwork totally counts as exercise. Think about all the effort it takes to rake a whole yard full of leaves. You will be exhausted, sore and sleep well that night.
  • Outdoor games- Play kickball, basketball, baseball, Red Rover, Simon Says or jump on the trampoline with your kids. Not only will you feel great from the activity, you’ll get quality time with your kids.

Now you have no excuse not to get active this Fall. Enjoy!


Disclaimer: Author is a certified personal trainer through NASM. Always get your doctor’s approval before starting a new exercise program. 

Fayette County Cotton Festival

It’s that time of year again! On September 8, 2012, the 13th annual Fayette County Cotton Festival is coming to the Somerville, TN town square. This a wonderful local event that’s great for the whole  family. There will be a children’s art contest that will be open to children in grades K-6 enrolled in Fayette county schools (public or private, or homeschooled students living in Fayette county). On August 18, there will be the Ms. Fayette County Cotton Festival Beauty Pageant held at First Baptist Church in Oakland. There will also be the annual Cotton Pickin 5K (my very first 5K I ever completed!), benefitting Fayette Cares, held at 8:30am on September 8 at First United Methodist Church. Follow any of the links to get more information for any of these events or to register online. Registration is also open for vendors, sponsors and volunteers. Everyone come out and have fun at the Cotton Festival!