Penny Pinchers

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Clearance Ice Cream!

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Yesterday while spending too much money at the grocery store, I discovered something.  A clearance ice cream section.  That's right. In the bottom of an end-cap freezer compartment are all sorts of "gourmet" ice cream treats for 50% off! With both people in my home being lactose-intolerant, finding ice cream can be difficult and pricey.  Usually I just make it myself.  Still, it's nice to know I can find stuf flike this when I need it for way less than I'd normally be forced to pay.

Also on clearance (but not in the ice cream compartment), shrimp and Open Nature thin-cut pork chops.  Score!


Eating Downtown for CHEAP

By Julie Norman
Monday, April 7, 2014

I know I don't think it's possible and my definition of "cheap" is probably like $15.  Well, you're wrong! I've been doing research for this piece (and not just by eating downtown a lot) for a while now and I have to say, it's not nearly as hard as you think to eat downtown in Grand Junction for, wait for it...$7 or less!  I found plenty of places where you could make some sort of "meal" for $7, but three of the best ones were:

Pablo's Pizza (3rd and Main Street)

I ate here not long ago with a friend for lunch.  I was super hungry and had 2 pieces of pizza.  I opted for water over sode and my total was right at $7.  I did leave a little tip in the tip jar, but Rachel Ray on her $40 a Day show never left tips at counter-service places so...that's up to you and not included in my $7 or less options here.

If you want an entire menu of options for $7 or less, check out Roasted Espresso and Subs on Colorado and 5th.   I've only had their chai, but I have friends who love their wraps.  You can get Sub Sandwiches for as little as $5, a Veggie Crunch Wrap for $6 and breakfast items all day long for $4-$5.  They have a great selection of vegetarian items too.

Finally, if you've never been to the Taqueria Guadalajara on the corner of Pitkin and 7th, you're missing out.  This is authentic Mexican cuisine.  Tiny corn tortilla carnitas tacos, horchada, and even chile relleno burritos!  (A friend here at the Sentinel tells me that burrito is a mere $4 and HUGE).  It's a great place to check out that is just a little off the beaten path.


So there ya go.  You CAN eat lunch out, without it being fast food, and still stay within your budget.


Living Green on a Budget

By Julie Norman
Friday, April 4, 2014

Here's a great link to some ways to "Live Green on a Budget."  Some are ones you might be familiar with while others might provide you with a few new ideas.  As for cleaning products (the first thing they mention) I know baking soda and water makes a decent paste for cleaning your oven.


Donate your time

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

If money is tight for you but you still want to help out your favorite non-profit groups, why not donate your time?  I can guarantee you that way more people donate money than time, and that all of those non-profit groups desperately need people to help pick up trash, serve meals, and build trails.  Volunteering is a great way to teach kids about giving back as well.  If you're looking for a way to donate some time to a group in your community consider one of the following:

Help build or maintain bike trails with COPMOBA.

Volunteer with Catholic Outreach for everything from story readers to dishwashers.

Roice Hurst Humane Society currently needs dog walkers and other volunteers.

Here's a photo from last year when I volunteered with COPMOBA to work on the Three Sisters trails.  Everytime I ride this trail I feel a sense of pride knowing I helped.  And hey, sometimes they even give you beer after you volunteer!


Hiking DejaVu

By Brittany Dale
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Looks like Julie and I were on the same wave length this week. I had planned to talk about our free hiking adventure as well!

We are lucky to live right down the street from a great little trail and now that the weather is nicer, evening hikes are finally possible. We really enjoy letting our dogs have a little more freedom and we get to experience more visual stimulation than can be afforded with a walk through our neighborhood. 

Please Note: Always always always make sure you are planning ahead. There have been many lost hikers in the past two weeks so make sure you know where you are going, you have enough daylight and you are prepared with food if the hike has even the slightest potential to be long. Don't be silly! 

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