Gretchiverse Great Grabs – March 2019

March is not only spring break but also Colorado’s snowiest month. It is a reminder that Colorado is my favorite state because we get to see all the seasons (sometimes all in one day). But there are several other things that are my favorite this month.

Little House on the Prairie. My favorite show as a kid was Little House on the Prairie. I was fully convinced that I was going to be Laura Ingalls Wilder – despite the fact that I was the oldest of only two girls (which at the very least would have made me Mary) and that I was born in 1970 something.  But as I was searching for my next Amazon Prime or Netflix binge – I found that Amazon has all the Littlet House seasons! Yippee!!!  I started binge watching Season 1 and am finding I love it nearly as much now as I did when I was little, even if my delusional mindset is a bit more realistic these days.

Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner. The first time I went to a Trader Joe’s here in Denver, I wasn’t so sure what everyone was so dang excited about. The stuff was “weird” and the shelves were nearly bare. I now understand the value of the strange (and awesome) Trader Joe’s mix of items. My daughter and I recently tried the  Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner. With hydration and freshness this was a perfect little spritz on our face when traveling (which we just did to Disneyland) as well as a great start to any day. At just $3.99 we can all really stop and smell the roses!

Third Love Bra. I’m typically pretty modest – I don’t talk about the underwear that I have on, where I shop or how it fits. But this is one I’m ok talking about – mostly because I feel like it is a hidden gem. I tried the 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra. I was mostly intrigued by the memory foam cups and half size cup size options. They said the pleated straps are perfect balance of softness and support – and won’t fall down. They have a try on program, for just $4.99 you can try the bra on and then return it if you still don’t love it. Plus, when you first sign up you get an extra money off!

Irish Egg Roll. Because I’m no a pretty tight budget – I try to look for meals that not only make the meal that day, but also have some great leftover potential. This month, you can get corned beef fairly inexpensively. I like the St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage. What to do with all the leftovers? You may have already done the Ruben sandwich – which is good too. But, my most recent favorite is stuffing an egg roll wrapper with lefover corned beef, cabbage, and carrots. Fry then serve with ground mustard as an amazing, quick, eazy and yummy leftover recipe.

I started Great Grabs – because there was a lot of great little tips, items, shows, books, movies, recipes that I was loving and wanted to share somewhere. If you have something you’d like to share with me, please message me!

While You’re Traveling Food Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank

Through a series of circumstances, my daughter is joining me in California this week. I will be there for work – while she (at age 17) will be at Disneyland with her friend. It is sort of a cheaper version of Spring Break for them. But a trip that they get to sort of do on their own. I already had a room because I’m there for work. We cashed in some airline points. She has had a few dog-sitting gigs that gave her enough money to get the discounted Disney tickets on her own. She also got $60 from a grandparent who found out she was going so that will act as her “souvenier” money.

Since I’ve been writing about cheap meal menus for the past couple weeks, I thought this would be a good time to talk about how we don’t let eating out every day eat our entire month’s food budget.

When I arrive on Monday afternoon, I will swing by Trader Joes’ and get some yogurts and some bagels/cream cheese and apples, bananas or grapes (things that don’t need big fridge space) for us all to eat for breakfasts all week. We did check that the hotel rooms do have a small fridge. Also, when we are at the store, we will plan at least a couple nights of sandwiches. So we will buy some lunchmeat, bread and chips.  We will plan to drink water – my daughter doesn’t drink carbonated anything – so that saves on soda money plus all that sugar. We have been told that the girls can bring water bottles into the park and refill them. This will save them a lot of money. When we are at Trader Joe’s we will also get them some snacks just to have in their backpack (and back in the room) to tide them over. I have told her since it is a “vacation” she can get one snack each afternoon. But hey she’s a teen and will be in the park with just her friend so what she does with her money is really her own.

We have done our research of things that the girls can eat with a smaller budget at Disneyland. These include apparently to-die-for corn dogs ($9.95 includes chips), we have also heard a hot spot is Bengal BBQ outside of Indiana Jones ride has some great deals (Someone told just just around $5 for a couple meat skewers), and Jolly Holiday soup around $6. They also researched some lobster nachos at California Adventure that the girls think they can share. There is a fruit bar where you can get healthy snacks for under $5. However, depending on what we find at Trader Joe’s I may tell the girls to bring a piece of fruit with them in their backpack. I also tell them that they should eat late lunch/early dinner to try to get dinner (something more filling but also at the lunch prices).

The great news is that, since I’m there for work, I will have a daily stipend so while food is more expensive than what I’ve been cooking at home the last couple weeks – this will at least be off-set by that stipend.

We will let you know how we do on this budget trip to Disneyland when we return. Until then, have a super week.