Stretch That Dollar: 20 Money-Saving Techniques for Students

“One of the biggest mistakes young people make is spending money without any pre-planning. You map out your classes for the year, you map out your spring break road trip, you map out your outfit for that party on Friday night. Figure out how much money you have, what’s necessary, what’s a luxury, and then budget how much you need to stay afloat over the year.”

– Canadian Living

As a frugal foodie who also happens to be freaking lazy, these are tips that I’m looking forward to using in the spring semester.

  1. Buy or rent used textbooks
  2. Use library books
  3. Find PDFs of required textbooks
  4. Sell last semester’s textbooks
  5. Eat out once a week only (yikes)
  6. Use coupons for food, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and more!
  7. Walk or use public transit: this one is a breeze for me because a) I’m a terrible driver, and b) I don’t have a car!
  8. Shop at places where there are student discounts: Waterloo is such a student-oriented city that every single shop will offer student discounts. It’s the best!
  9. Price-compare for groceries: this is something I truly need to work on.
  10. Take shorter showers
  11. Get loyalty points like PC Plus Points: I found myself wondering the other day WHY I don’t have PC Plus Points yet. I grocery-shop at nearly all the PC shops. It’s like I’m giving money away!
  12. Use the school gym
  13. Meal prep!
  14. Sell old clothes, stationery, appliances, etc., that are no longer used
  15. Don’t buy unnecessary school supplies (oh no)
  16. Drink water instead of coffee, juice, etc.
  17. Use Spotify for free music
  18. Avoid buying brand-name items
  19. Set budget goals: Mom! Help!
  20. Do studies/surveys/questionnaires that give you money.

gen-y-savings-account-balance-increases

Everything I Ate in April

Hello, friends! This month, I recorded every single thing I ate and drank. Not because I was trying specifically to eat less or more, but simply so I could be more aware.

One of my goals for the month was to eat mindfully. Since I like to see things laid out and written in detail, it only made sense for me to record each meal and snack. 🙂 Here it is:

1

  • B: earl grey tea latte // banana chocolate quinoa and peanut butter, yogurt with granola
  • L: black bean soup, grilled cheddar sandwich // carrot almond cake over yogurt with almond butter
  • D: pasta with vodka sauce, mushrooms, spinach, carrots // banana chocolate chip quinoa bread over yogurt with cashew butter

2

  • B: hot chocolate // carrot almond cake over yogurt with almond butter
  • L: fry bread, 2 poached eggs, salad with beets, dill sauce, smoked salmon, goat cheese // mini greek frozen yogurt with peach preserve, Callebaut white chocolate, toasted coconut
  • D: pasta with vodka sauce, mushrooms, spinach, carrots // yogurt with sour cherry pie slice and pecan coconut croissant piece

3

  • B: earl grey tea latte // banana chocolate oatmeal with peanut butter, yogurt with granola, raspberry cake square, chocolate banana almond square
  • L: black bean soup // yogurt with carrot cake, granola, almond butter
  • D: 2 eggs with vodka sauce, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, parmigiana reggiano cheese, 2 slices toast with avocado spread // yogurt with cashew butter and chocolate banana almond square

4

  • B: hot chocolate // 2 eggs with mushrooms, parmigiana reggiano cheese, 1 slice avocado toast // yogurt with peanut butter and carrot almond cake
  • L: black bean soup
  • D: fried shrimp, squash, green beans, coconut milk, pureed squash, steamed rice // ube waffle with ube ice cream

5

  • B: earl grey tea latte // avocado toast, yogurt with sour cherry pie slice
  • L: pasta with vodka sauce, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, parmigiana reggiano cheese
  • D: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower quinoa // yogurt with 2 chocolate banana breads and peanut butter

6

  • B: hazelnut hot chocolate // 1 whole wheat lavash, peanut butter, banana, yogurt with chocolate banana bread and almond butter
  • L: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower quinoa
  • S: deKEFIR regular frozen yogurt with pineapple chunks, quinoa crisps, walnuts, and crispy pie bits
  • D: pasta with vodka sauce, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, gruyere cheese // yogurt with banana quinoa chocolate chip bread and 1/4 coconut pecan croissant, cashew butter

7

  • B: hazelnut hot chocolate // 1 banana over oatmeal with peanut butter, yogurt with chocolate banana almond bread and chickpea chocolate chip blondie
  • L: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower quinoa
  • S: one scoop pistachio rosewater gelato, one scoop peanut sesame gelato
  • D: 1 whole wheat lavash with gruyere, wilted spinach, and parmigiana reggiano cheese // yogurt with 1/4 coconut pecan croissant, 1 square carrot cake, almond butter

8

  • B: spicy mayan hot chocolate // yogurt with cashew butter, 1 square carrot cake, 1 slice chocolate chip banana quinoa bread
  • L: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower quinoa // 1 whole wheat lavash, peanut butter, banana, chocolate chips
  • D: 1 whole wheat lavash with gruyere, wilted spinach, and parmigiana reggiano cheese // 1 square raspberry coconut oat cake, 1 square chocolate banana almond cake, 1 square chickpea chocolate chip blondie, almond butter

9

  • B: small sweetened English breakfast tea latte
  • L: Humita with mashed corn, basil, and onions, cheese empanada // one scoop chocolate oreo ice cream, one scoop vegan coconut milk salted caramel
  • D: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms and quinoa // yogurt with chocolate banana quinoa flour bread

10

  • B: spicy mayan hot chocolate // oatmeal, one banana, peanut butter, yogurt with 1 square chocolate chip chickpea blondie, 1 square banana almond flour chocolate bread
  • L: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, mushrooms and cauliflower quinoa
  • D: saag paneer roti // large peanut butter fudge cookie

11

  • B: oatmeal, one banana, peanut butter, yogurt with 1 square carrot cake, 1 square banana almond flour chocolate bread
  • L: spinach feta 2-egg frittata // yogurt with 1/3 date square
  • D: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms and quinoa

12

  • B: 1 banana, yogurt, almond butter, 1 square carrot cake
  • L: Thai yellow curry with butternut squash, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms and quinoa
  • D: spinach feta 2-egg frittata // yogurt with 1 chocolate banana square and 1 piece chocolate chip banana quinoa bread

13

  • B: 2 eggs, 1 banana, peanut butter, almond butter
  • L: Thai yellow curry with eggplant, mushrooms, butternut squash
  • D: 1 whole wheat lavash, spinach, gruyere cheese // yogurt with 2/3 date bar

14

  • B: 2 eggs, 1 banana, peanut butter, cashew butter // yogurt with one raspberry square and one chocolate banana almond square
  • L: Loblaws salad bar // yogurt with almond butter, chocolate chip banana quinoa bread
  • D: X

15

  • B: yogurt with simple banana oat bread, peanut butter // small english breakfast tea latte
  • L: kale salad with pears and carrots, cornbread with citrus smoked salmon, 2 poached eggs, BBQ hollandaise sauce, roasted potatoes, BBQ sauce
  • D: cauliflower rice with gruyere, sautéed zucchini and yellow squash noodles // yogurt with simple banana oat bread, peanut butter

16

  • B: banana, plain oatmeal, peanut butter, yogurt with simple banana oat bread
  • L: medium hot chocolate and almond croissant // london fog tea latte, trout wellington with kale, lentils, quinoa, kale and sweet potato biscuit, chocolate almond croissant
  • D: X

17 MON

  • B: 1/2 sweet potato, oats, peanut butter // yogurt with 1/2 banana and simple banana oat bread
  • L: 1/3 cauliflower, pepper, zucchini/yellow squash frittata // 1/2 banana with yogurt, simple banana oat bread, and cashew butter
  • D: trout coulibiac with kale, lentils, quinoa, hard-boiled egg

18 TUES

  • B: earl grey tea latte // 1/2 sweet potato, oats, peanut butter // plain yogurt with chocolate banana almond square
  • L: 1/3 cauliflower, pepper, zucchini/yellow squash frittata // vanilla soft serve with cornflakes, pumpkin seeds, crispy rice, honeycomb, matcha powder
  • D: quinoa with peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar cheese // yogurt with simple banana oat bread, raspberry square

19 WEDS

  • B: earl grey tea latte // 1/2 sweet potato, oats, peanut butter
  • L: 1/3 cauliflower, pepper, zucchini/yellow squash frittata, zucchini/yellow squash noodles
  • D: quinoa with peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar cheese // 1 banana, 2 milk chocolate squares, peanut butter and yogurt, pecan coconut croissant

20 THURS

  • B: earl grey tea latte // 1 banana, oats, cashew butter, yogurt with 1 chocolate almond banana square
  • L: quinoa with peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar cheese // yogurt with 2 chickpea blondies
  • D: 1 sweet potato with peanut butter

21 FRI

  • B: earl grey tea latte // 1 banana, oats, cashew butter, yogurt with 1 slice chocolate chip quinoa flour banana bread
  • L: quinoa with peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar cheese
  • D: palak paneer, yellow lentil dahl with cilantro, potato and cauliflower curry, vegetable pakora, curry rice, carrot rice pudding // peanut butter caramel cookie, 1 scoop totarn (ube) ice cream, 1 scoop cinnamon toast ice cream

22 SAT

  • B: earl grey tea latte
  • L: quinoa with peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cheddar cheese // chocolate chip oat banana bread with peanut butter, cashew butter, yogurt
  • D: tempeh, brown rice, sweet potato, tahini maple lemon dressing, bokchoy, broccoli, beet sauerkraut, sprouts, hulled watermelon seeds // 1 scoop black sesame gelato, 1 scoop green bean coconut gelato

23 SUN

  • B: 1 cup milk, 1/2 tsp turmeric, spices
  • L: quinoa, broccoli, mushrooms, peas, carrots, corn, cheddar cheese, roasted acorn squash // yogurt with cashew butter, chocolate chip oat banana bread
  • D: quinoa, broccoli, mushrooms, peas, carrots, corn, cheddar cheese, roasted acorn squash // yogurt with cashew butter, chocolate chip oat banana bread, 1/8 piece peach almond tart, 1/8 piece chocolate hazelnut cake

24 MON

  • B: earl grey tea latte // banana, oats, cashew butter, blackberries, yogurt, chocolate chip oat banana bread
  • L: quinoa, wilted spinach, roasted acorn squash, feta cheese
  • D: quinoa, broccoli, mushrooms, peas, carrots, corn, cheddar cheese // 1/4 piece peach almond tart, 1/4 piece chocolate hazelnut cake

25 TUES

  • B: earl grey tea latte // banana, oats, blackberries, yogurt, chocolate chip oat banana bread
  • L: quinoa, wilted spinach, roasted acorn squash, feta cheese // 1/8 piece peach almond tart, 1/8 piece chocolate hazelnut cake
  • D: quinoa, broccoli, mushrooms, peas, carrots, corn, cheddar cheese // yogurt with blackberries, chocolate banana almond square, raspberry square

26 WEDS

  • B: earl grey tea latte // banana, oats, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 milk chocolate square, blackberries, yogurt, chocolate chip oat banana bread
  • L: rice with beans, jerk chicken thigh and chicken leg
  • D: quinoa, peas, carrots, corn, spinach, cheddar cheese // yogurt with chocolate chip oat bread, chocolate banana almond square

27 THURS

  • B: banana, oats, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 milk chocolate square, yogurt, chocolate chip oat banana bread
  • L: quinoa, peas, carrots, corn, spinach, cheddar cheese, acorn squash // 1 scoop earl grey ice cream
  • D: arepa with fried plantains, black beans, avocado, tomato, freso cheese // london fog tea latte

28 FRI

  • B: banana, oats, 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 milk chocolate square // 2 pieces simple banana oat bread with butter
  • L: quinoa, peas, carrots, corn, spinach, cheddar cheese // 1/2 piece peach almond tart, 1/2 piece chocolate hazelnut cake
  • D: chicken breast in pomegranate syrup-walnut sauce, cucumber-tomato-red onion vinegar dip, saffron basmati rice and regular basmati rice // saffron ice cream with pistachios, pomegranate, rose petals // 1 scoop pralines and cream ice cream, 1 scoop chocolate peanut butter ice cream

29 SAT

  • B: medium hot chocolate
  • L: Egyptian black tea with mint, milk, and sugar, eggs with bean stew, balady bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers in vinegar sauce, Egyptian cheese // london fog tea latte, pistachio chocolate croissant, chocolate cake with chestnut cream and walnut sponge with rum
  • D: X

30 SUN

  • B: small english breakfast tea latte
  • L: quinoa, peas, carrots, corn, spinach, cheddar cheese // simple banana oat bread
  • D: quinoa, peas, carrots, corn, spinach, cheddar cheese

Next month, my goal will be to analyze and understand how I feel with each meal, depending on what I eat.

Have you ever logged everything you ate?

Toronto’s Best Ice Cream?

How is it MAY already?

Let’s talk food!

I tried Venezuelan food, from El Arepazo in the Kensington Market, for the first time and loved these arepas stuffed with fried plantains, queso, black beans, avocado, and fresh tomato. Next time, I will add hot sauce!

The London Fog tea latte from Moonbean Cafe in Kensington Market is the #1 tea latte I’ve ever had, hands down. I’m drooling for this mug right now.

Sunset on Sterling road, the magical little street that takes me to Cirque-ability where I practice aerials.

Mmmmm, desserts! I bought these from Thobors. This was:

  • almond paste tart with peach slices
  • chocolate hazelnut mousse cake that tasted like ferrero rocher in a cake form

I went to Pomegranate Restaurant to try Iranian food for my first time on Friday night. This was their famous fish, which involved boneless chicken breast in a stew made of crushed walnuts and pomegranate syrup. I’ve never had anything like this before, and loved it. Though, I wish I had more of the yellow saffron rice.

Dessert was this saffron ice cream, which, sadly, tasted like frozen rose shampoo.

I had the BEST Indian dinner at Banjara! Cassie – look! I had Indian food! This was delicious and featured:

  • vegetable pakora (fried)
  • yellow lentil dahl
  • palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry) –> my #1 favourite Indian dish of all time
  • aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry)
  • rice pudding with cardamom, carrots, and cinnamon
  • curry basmati rice

All this… for around $13?!

For dessert, I went crazy for this caramelized peanut butter cookie with two scoops of ice cream: totarn (ube, or purple yam) and one scoop of cinnamon toast. Cinnamon toast ice cream? Purple yam ice cream? If you’ve never had them, you need to try. And also, this peanut butter cookie was mind-blowingly delicious. One of my dessert highlights of my Toronto life.

Life back home in BC… oh, and I finally got new shoes! My toes were starting to peep out of my old ones. These black shoes were on discount from Nordstrom, and are ridiculously comfortable.

A breakfast to remember: banana oats in a cashew butter jar, yogurt, blackberries, and a slice of oat banana bread. YUM!

For the last two/three weeks in Toronto, the only things in my fridge were cheddar cheese and vegetables – and the one thing in my pantry was quinoa. With that, I made vegetable quinoa casseroles about 3-4 times during my last month in Toronto, but I never grow sick of it. This square featured wilted spinach, little carrots and corn, peas, quinoa, and creamy, sharp cheddar.

One bucket list item checked off – I finally went to Maha’s, an Egpytian restaurant, for brunch! It was a Sunday afternoon, so I should have expected a long wait. Ended up waiting from 1:00 to 2:30 before getting into the restaurant, which only seats 24 people. This plate features some Egyptian balady bread, Turkish cheese, a spinach falafel, sliced hard-boiled egg, and creamy beans. The little cup on the right was full of spices and raw cucumber, peppers, and tomato. It was a superb meal that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I wouldn’t wait 1.5 hours for it again.

I followed up that meal with some desserts. Two, to be exact…

  • one chestnut mousse cake with walnut sponge, wrapped in milk chocolate
  • one earl grey tea latte
  • one pistachio and chocolate croissant

After the Egyptian brunch, and the desserts, AND the mug of tea, it was hard to walk because I was so full!

 

Now that summer is on the horizon, I can’t wait to make tasty salads like this one. I have pesto – I just need to buy some arugula, peppers, penne, and cheese/tofu!

5-Ingredient-Pasta-Salad-Recipe-5

I will miss Toronto’s massive selection of restaurants.

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But I am glad to be back in school!

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 9.10.28 AM

Have a delicious week, friends 🙂

Pros and Cons of Veganism

First of all, what IS veganism?

People following a vegan diet do not eat animal products. That includes, but is not limited to, eggs, fish, dairy, gelatine, and even honey. People choose to become vegan for reasons that may be health-related, cultural, religious, or ethical.

A day as a vegan might look like this:

  • Breakfast of oatmeal in almond milk, a banana, berries, nut butter, and chia seeds
  • Snack of an apple and hummus
  • Lunch of sweet potatoes, quinoa, wilted spinach, black beans, corn, and nuts
  • Snack of smoothie with blueberries, coconut milk, and hemp hearts
  • Dinner of kale salad, with broccoli, beets, carrots, tomatoes, avocado, nuts, and a tahini dressing

PROS of Veganism:

  • reduced risk of disease
  • may help lower BMI, because vegan diets tend to be lower in calories
  • may help lower hypertension rate
  • slower progression of kidney disease
  • saves animals
  • decrease pollution greenhouse gas production, and acid rain
  • saves water and natural resources
  • increases antioxidant intake
  • promotes greater self-control
  • there are now lots of vegan bloggers that create incredible recipes (think Oh She Glows and Minimalist Baker)
  • that being said, veganism can be absolutely delicious

CONS of Veganism:

  • if you do not live near an organic/speciality foods store, it may be hard to get your hands on things like chia seeds, flax seeds, and other vegan “essentials”
  • more expensive, depending on your choice of groceries
  • may be a radical change
  • may interfere with current medical conditions, such as osteoporosis or diabetes
  • may be “carb-heavy”, which can be “good” (sweet potatoes, veggies, peas), or refined (i.e. French fries, white bread)
  • difficulties when dining out, eating away from home, or travelling long distances
  • decreased calcium intake, thus increased risk for bone fractures
  • decrease iodine (for proper thyroid function)
  • decreased iron intake
  • supplements may be pricey

The bottom line: make the right choices for YOU, your beliefs, your body, and your resources. One size never fits all, and never hesitate to seek professional guidance if you need it.

Perhaps this quote says it best:

“All in all, whether you eat only vegetables and soy, or if your one of those people who has steak for breakfast and dinner, at least we can all still agree on one thing: Oreos.”

vegan-stuff

It’s Oak-y

Aren’t these oak tree leaf-shaped sticky notes the cutest? I found them at Hanji, a Korean stationery/card/gift store on Queen Street West in Toronto. I love them!

My life recently has consisted of lots of oatmeal and bananas. I think my body is 20% oatmeal. I love adding a side of yogurt to my oatmeal to add a boost of protein and some chilled creaminess to the warm, sticky oats.

With overripe bananas I made this recipe! It came out of the oven beautifully puffed, and then sank down. Fortunately, the taste is still on point.

Simple Oat Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium overripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter (or any other nut/seed butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tsp vanilla extract
  • splash water or milk (dairy milk or nut milk)
  • chocolate chips, coconut, nuts/seeds, or any other filler or toppings you like

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a bread pan with parchment paper, so there is some overhang for easy removal.
  2. Place all ingredients in blender and blend at medium-high speed, until everything is broken down. Fold in chocolate chips or any other filler you’d like. I left mine plain this time.
  3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Spread out, and top with more toppings if desired.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
  5. Remove when the loaf is completely cool. Store in an airtight container for 5 days, or freeze.

NOTE: I can’t wait to try this recipe soon using peanut butter and swirling in some jam! This recipe is sweetened using only the two bananas. If you like, add 1/4 cup honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to the blender for additional sweetness. If you do not have a blender or food processor, you can also whisk this by hand, using 1/2 cup of packed oat flour.


Another day, I enjoyed leftovers of the trout coulibiac from the Tempered Room.

Check out my spring/summer schedule, friends! I can’t wait to be headed back to school, even though I love working.

Schedule 2

On Saturday night, I went to Fresh on Spadina for a healthy salad bowl dinner. This bowl was a baby size, but was still massive and incredibly filling. I also had this purple smoothie made with banana, coconut milk, blueberries, and apple. The tempeh on this salad was super soft, and I loved the sweet potato and “3*6*9” dressing made with tahini, maple syrup, and lemon juice.

I wish I had more to show/tell you today, but that’s it!

Have a glorious rest of the week 🙂

Double Chocolate Beet Brownies

No pictures because I was too busy shoving these decadent chocolate squares into my mouth. Sorry – but enjoy!

Just make them. Trust me. 😉

Double Chocolate Beet Brownies {Grain Free, Gluten Free}

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I omitted since I ran out)
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups beet puree (I used 4-5 large beets)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven 350 F.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in the order listed.

3. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Grease an 8 X 8 pan and pour batter into the pan.

6. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.