Category Archives: Budget tips

Pink-slip workout tips

On a tight budget and can’t afford a your gym membership anymore? Below are some ideas, many of which I’m considering as my pre-paid gym membership expires in June. I know, funny this advice should come from me, the one who couldn’t get the Muffin Top Reduction Program off the ground in April, but I am back at it and brining in reinforcements this time around (in the form of other pink-slippers)!!   

Comcast On-Demand Workouts. Up until just recently, I’ve always thought the On-Demand feature through Comcast was a stupid waste of money until I discovered the vault of FREE Exercise TV workouts, offering programs that range from super easy (1 mile in-house walking) to super cheesy (SexyChair Routine?) to super kick-your-ass pleasy (Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred)! Seriously, there’s something for everyone with yoga, pilates, cardio, dance, kick-boxing, and ab workouts (reviewed at Litegeist) and you do it all from the comfort of your own home, which means that:

  1. you don’t need to brush your teeth
  2. you can leave that drool crustacean on the corner of your mouth and
  3. you can let your muffin top hang out/shake about because nobody’s watching. Just your cat or dog, but they’ve seen it all before.

Press On-Demand, go to Sports and Fitness, the choose Exercise TV.

A jump rope. Does anyone remember Jump Rope for Heart? My Catholic grade school was all about this Jump Rope for Heart program and I remember having to hit up my neighbors for money in exchange for me jumping rope until I wanted to die – it was torture! And now that I am decades older and I’ve lost agility, coordination and lung capacity, jumping rope has become even more challenging! But, once mastered it’s a great workout. Now, I’m not going to lie to you – the rope will leave red welts on your arms and shoulders almost every time you miss a step,  but just think of this as punishment for all the time you’ve spent on the couch feeding your muffin top and take it like a man (or woman!). Once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize it’s a pretty intense cardio workout. Add in some push-ups and sit-ups and you’ll be rolling muffin-top free in no time!

Punching Bags/Boxing. I actually own a heavy bag, focus mitts and other kickboxing equipment, but I have yet to figure out how to hang my heavy bag as I don’t seem to have a spare corner in my tiny house. And, none of my friends want to hold my focus mitts for me because I’m pretty aggressive and they freak out that they’ll get socked in the eye! Regardless, I do still believe that this is one of the best workouts on the planet, so if you have a heavy bag or can find a cheap one on Craig’s List, do it.  Come on – how kick ass was Rocky Balboa? (cue up Rocky theme song now). Ok, yeah his sweatsuit was super cheesy, but look at his abs and arms for god-sake? Helloooo, Rocky ;).

Stairs and Hills. If the weather ever freaking improves (remind me again – when can I break up with my puffy coat?) and you live in West Seattle, look around you people! Hills are everywhere and most have a secret set of stairs nearby! Hill climbs and stairs burn so many more calories than running or walking on flat surfaces. Add some lunges into the equation and you’ll likely end up with booty-lock (when your ass and thighs hurt so bad you can’t walk), but you’ll soon find these activities to be quite rewarding, especially in your derriere! 

Alki Strip. The strip is approximately 7 miles in length from the Harbor Avenue exit to just past the mini-Statue of Liberty and it’s a nicely paved path great for cycling, rollerblading, running and walking. However, when the sun comes out, especially on weekends, Alki turns into a melee of pimps and hoes (mostly teenagers wearing high heels & toting chihuahuas), strollers and toddlers wandering in a zig-zag pattern on the bike path. It gets pretty hairy so exercise early, or exercise extreme caution, especially when you’re on wheels.

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Filed under Budget tips, Diet, Health and Exercise, Resources

Pink-slipped impulse purchase prevention plan

After the midday happy hour with the pink-slip pals the other day, I thought it would be a good idea to run to the grocery store to pick up a few things on my “mental grocery list” so that I could make the veggie lasagna I’d seen in Cooking Light. Unfortunately, the only thing lasagna related that found its way into my basket were a few cans of stewed tomatoes and ricotta that were discovered upon check-out hiding under the below items:

  • 6-pack of Miller Lite tall boys (seems I am turning into a bachelor with this purchase…)
  • a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs (oh wait, bachelors rarely crave chocolate so turns out I’m OK!)
  • a bottle of wine (Black Diamond Shiraz on a continuous special at Safeway for $6.98 – YUM!)

You know, grocery stores should really start screening people at the door, especially in this economy, asking questions like:

  1. “Are you hungry right this minute?” If people answer “yes” they are immediately pulled aside, pinned down and force fed some sort of scooby snack to prevent them from buying the above said necessities. 
  2. “Are you possibly buzzed?” If so, “shame on you for operating heavy machinery and step away from the shopping cart. Into the holding pen for you and while you wait here to sober your ass up, can I offer you a triple tall peppermint mocha and a bag of Cheetos?”
  3. “Are you jobless, recently laid off?” If they say “yes,” use caution when approaching. It’s very likely they are going through the 5 steps of forced socialization and looking to chat it up with anyone who looks like easy prey. It’s easy to spot the newly unemployed – they might be wearing a Snuggie with level 4 house pants.  After greeting these people, I’d suggest that you compassionately invite them into the holding pen of #2 above. Or, if the pen is full of the jobless that passed before, just smile kindly and hand this person a coupon book.

While I can see that this line of questioning might not be in the store’s best interest, I still think it should be implemented on behalf of the pink-slipped in Seattle. For the jobless and hopeless, it does a two things:

  1. it greatly reduces the number of stray food items (comfort foods) that find their way into our shopping carts. This ultimately saves us money and reduces the number of lonely nights spent eating chocolate and drinking beer for dinner because the food budget’s blown on empty calories that fill the emotional emptiness inside.
  2. this screening also forces socialization for the lonely jobless person, making them feel as if they can still make friends, even if they wander into the store wearing a Snuggie.

After all, the jobless, hopeless and pink-slipped people own lots of house pants, rarely shower and have all the time in the world to keep guests of your store entertained. So, if you think about it, this plan is mutually beneficial. :)

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Filed under Budget tips, Economy, Life, Slightly amusing

Cheap lovin’ on a budget?

Don’t fret – just because you are tight on cash doesn’t mean you can’t do something nice for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day – it just means you have to be more creative!

How about a scavenger hunt inside your house? Sure, it might seem cheesy at first, but think of all the “things” you can do for your sweetheart at each stop along the way? Do they like chocolate and whip cream by chance? Or maybe a foot massage?  Now you’re catching my drift ;).

Do you know how to cook? Why not take the time to make your sweetheart something they love to eat or maybe prepare a meal together? There are lots of great low budget meal ideas on the Internet – low budget that includes lamb chops?!  Or, what about Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes, Basil and Balsamic Reduction? Or, Risotto with Italian Sausage Caramelized Onions and Bitter Greens?  You’d be surprised what delicious recipes you can prepare for under $35 (including the bottle of wine).

Or, no need to prepare an entire meal? Maybe you start with a low key evening, grabbing Pho and a movie to go, and surprise your sweetheart with dessert…dessert in bed! How YOU doin’? :)  Thinking something like chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne sounds fun! 

Here are some other ideas I found on the Internet – happy smooching!

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Filed under Budget tips, Economy, Resources

Using the “I was recently laid off” line to get things for free

Well, today I drove to DT Seattle to go to my dentist appointment and parked Jerry Jetta at Pacific Place. When I went to check in, they said that my appointment was NEXT week. So, I used the line “so I was recently laid off and I was wondering if you’d still validate my parking; it was my mistake I realize – I can’t seem to keep track of the days of the week now that I don’t have a schedule!” She smiled and said, “Sure, I think we can do that for you” and handed me four dollars worth of tokens. “Wow” I thought to myself, “that was really nice” and headed back to my car.

Then I got to the ticket counter at Pac Place, handed the lady my ticket and it rang up as “no charge” because it had only been 10 minutes. So, using the line “I was recently laid off” paid off for me today and I have $4 in parking tokens at Pacific Place which will pay for one hour of parking in the future.

So – use that line and let me know what you get for free – guarantee it works – for drinks especially!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Budget tips, Economy, Free stuff, Layoffs