5 Ways to Save Money In Your Coffee Cup

5 ways to save money in your coffee cup

Trust me – I was a barista for more than 8 years so I understand how serious a caffeine addiction can be. I also know that coffee almost always tastes better when someone else makes it because I now make my boyfriend make the coffee every morning.  But that $5 a day latte habit can become a little trying on the wallet. So here are 5 ways to save money in your coffee cup:

1) Invest in a reusable coffee cup

Most coffee shops offer discounts (10 cents at Starbucks) for bringing in your own cup. Never worry about getting a faulty lid and spilling coffee again. Here’s a great one that keeps your coffee warm.

2) Brew your own

This one is a given, but with all the fancy creamers out there, you can still have delicious coffee at home. Starbucks also gives out rewards for purchasing coffee at the grocery store so you can still treat yourself to a latte every once in a while.

3) Skip the latte

Instead of getting a latte, grab a regular coffee. Do you enjoy a vanilla latte? Get a coffee with vanilla syrup and a splash of cream instead. Trust me on this one. You’ll be saving money and some calories by doing this.

4) Use your change

Still can’t give up your favorite beverage? Turn in your change at a local Coinstar and put it on a gift card to your favorite coffee place. You don’t pay any taxes – so you’ll be getting more coffee for your coin.

5) Incorporate tea

The best thing I ever for my caffeine addiction was adding tea. After my first cup of coffee, I’d switch over to tea. Tea is usually cheaper than coffee and it is incredibly simple to make at home. We always have a gallon ready in the fridge. That way, you’re not tempted to go back for a second cup of coffee.

 

Coffee is the most important part of any day, but it can also be an incredibly expensive part. I hope that I can help you save money right out of your coffee cup. Happy drinking!

 



2015: Let’s Not Call These Resolutions

2015: Let's Not Call These Resolutions

Resolutions have a tendency not to come to fruition. They sink down to the depths of our guts – sometimes literally. Resolutions are especially tricky because we want them so bad and immediately become discouraged if one day doesn’t work out. That’s usually why the gym is empty by February.

The other problem with it is that a new year is the best time to make goals for yourself. It seems like such a great starting point that I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to lay out some ideals for the impending New Year.

  • Read More – and keep track of my books.

Yeah, GoodRead is an okay app, but you have to manually enter the dates in order for it to count for your yearly total. I’m currently compiling a list of books I want to read in an Excel file because Excel is my one true love.

  • Cook More

As someone that can only make pasta, I want to start cooking more. It’ll be cheaper in the long run and way healthier.

  • Blog More

I feel fairly confident with this one. I’ve implemented my 2015 Blogging Calendar and I’ve signed up for a ton of programs to keep my nose to the grind stone.

  • Run More

I was running up a storm in 2013 and then, I stopped. I can barely jog now without needing my inhaler and only a year ago, I was running 5K’s without it. I need to get back into the habit. It’s time to download Couch to 5K again. I’d love to do more races this year and maybe even a 10K.

  • Write More – and ideally be published somewhere.

Writing is something that is really important to me and I need to actually make it a priority. Nobody wants to publish me right now because I need to focus on actually becoming a decent writer. Hopefully, by the end of 2015, I can proudly boast that some idiot editor published me – and I don’t even care where I’m published.

That’s how I’m setting myself up for 2015 and hopefully, not for failure. What are your goals (not resolutions) for 2015?



Musings on Budgeting

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Something I’m trying to become better at is keeping a budget.

Something I’m trying.

Keeping a budget.

Budgeting.

What the hell does that even mean? “Keeping a budget.” Yeah, I keep this Excel file where I log how much money I spend on useless things. And useful things – like rent and my phone bill that went up $40 because my mom has a smart phone now.

So, I log all my spending and compare it to how much I want to spend. But, does that ever stop me from getting something? I needed new concealer this month. I had money in my account, so I bought it. Isn’t that how money works? Have it, need something, spend it.

It’s almost the beginning of the year, so everyone is beginning to think about all his/her resolutions – ways that next year will be so much better than this year. In addition to thinking about dieting, the other big idea concerns this budget that I have so many problems with.

These people will plan and prep, but ultimately, they will end up like me. Staring at a bunch of numbers – some bigger than others.

How is anyone supposed to “keep” a budget? How does that even work? Shit happens. What’s worse is that it always seems to happen on that week right before I get paid and I have to pull out a credit card. Let’s not even delve into my credit card problems though. We’ll acknowledge and move on.

I’m the kind of person that reads the blogs, reads the tips, and tries so hard to be considered “good” with money. I signed up for Mint and quickly stopped checking because it got too depressing.

What is the secret? Is it really keeping envelopes of cash around only to be used for what is written on the envelope? Is it removing my credit cards from my wallet? Is it using the knowledge gained from this budget and making conscious choices the next time I need to buy groceries?

Whatever it is, I highly doubt I will figure it out by the new year.



I’ve Become a Crazy Dog Lady

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Truth be told, I didn’t want a dog.

While living with my mom, I was stuck with two tiny, yappy dogs for way too long. Mac, the older male dog, would piss on my things if I threw them on the ground. Not something a teenager thinks about when taking off her backpack after a long day at school. My mom’s dogs bark. Constantly. Mac, now blind, enjoys standing on the bed and barking at the wall.

So when Mike and I moved in together, it was a welcome relief not to have any dogs. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Until we met Gabby.

We’ve both told the story a hundred times, but here it is again. On a Sunday, we went to our favorite bar to grab some lunch and a drink. We were sitting on the patio and in walked Gabby wearing a sign that said, “ADOPT ME.” We couldn’t look away. After talking to her foster-mom, we learned that Gabby had been found roaming the freeway out in a not-so savory part of town. She was found with milk in her ducts. And, aside from one bad tooth, she was in good health.

After a brief discussion (“I want her.” “So do I.”), we put in an application. The foster-mom said she would reach out to the head of the rescue to have our application pulled. The next day, I got an email that Gabby had two other interviews with families before she would ever met us. The email mentioned her meeting the other pups. I was devastated. The foster-mom made sure to tell us how terrible Gabby is with other dogs. I was heartbroken that this rescue would consider putting her with families with other dogs after making us promise we didn’t have any dogs.

I had given up hope. Then, checking my email that Thursday, I got another email asking if I was free for an interview as Gabby had not done well in the other homes. And that’s how we got Gabby.

Slowly, but surely, I became a crazy dog mom. My phone is filled with pictures of her – sleeping, sitting, chewing. I cannot get enough pictures of her. I sing songs incorporating her name into them. I have fallen into complete and total love with this dog after swearing up and down that I didn’t ever want one.

Last night, I took a huge step towards crazy dog lady land by creating an Instagram for Gabby – @Gabbstagram (in case you were interested).

Don’t worry, I’ll only be this in love with her for another year or so and then I’ll go back to wanting a baby.



2014 Resolutions Check

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It is pretty clear that the year is over when you start seeing “Best Of…” and “Worst Of…” lists. So, even though 2014 still has three more weeks, I figured now is the best time to reflect upon it. And what better way to reflect than to look at my resolutions for the year.

I had some high hopes for 2014. Let’s make fun of me for failing in every way possible.

  • Run 200 Miles. Hahahahahaha. What was I expecting from myself? To run that many miles. In one year! I’d rather sit on my couch – which is exactly what I did.
  • Lose Weight. Nope! I am actually the heaviest I’ve ever been thanks to stress eating. It’s adorable that I thought I would lose weight this year.
  • Move Off My Mom’s Couch. This one – I actually did.
  • Bike and Hike More Often. A big fat NOPE on this one. Mike and I do not even have our bikes in our custody anymore. And we definitely don’t hike. On my days off, we try to sleep in as late as possible.
  • Cut Down on Drinking. Please see here.
  • Read More. I tried. I tried really hard on this one.
  • Write More. I would get really excited about writing for a few weeks and then that fire would drop back down to a simmer.
  • Blog More and Take it Seriously. Nope. Of course not. I have forgotten about my blog so many times this past year. I spent all that money to make the move to a self-hosted site and there were full months that I didn’t blog at all.
  • Stick To My Budget. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I am hilarious. Did I really think this was even a possibility? Granted, I had no idea that I would be getting another job with better pay, but still. Why would I ever think I can stick to a budget?
  • Keep Couponing. As I sit here at my desk, there is a mountain of coupons next to me. I stopped that shit early on in the year. I just didn’t have time to cut them out or plan out shopping. I always tell Mike not to buy things because there is a coupon at home, but we never use it.

2013 Kaileigh really thought 2014 Kaileigh would be some sort of messiah. Which is weird because I expect 2015 Kaileigh to fix all of my problems. Good luck with that credit card debt, future me!



Why I Am An Asshole

  • I like to listen to podcasts. Without using headphones. In public spaces.

Before anyone flips a table, let me throw down some qualifiers. I do not do this on public transportation or at the store or even in the gym. I usually just keep it playing on the walk from the car back to my place. I usually just walk around my house with my phone in my bra and a podcast on. It is a miracle that Mike still likes me.

  • I have a very serious problem with one-upping.

Anything you can do, I probably can’t do better, but I am sure as hell going to try to make it seem like I can.

  • I am a terrible parker.

That reason you can’t open your car door? Me. I parked on the line.

  • I am the person that throws a fit in line at the store when something is mispriced.

Truthfully, I don’t consider this to be an “asshole trait,” but I’ve heard enough people complain that I might as well come forward. In my eyes, it is the principle of the matter. The price was marked as such and clearly, there was a miscommunication between whoever hung up the tag and the person that programmed the price for that UPC. Get your shit together stores and I can stop holding up the line.

  • I fall asleep during good movies.

The newest Star Trek movie? I fell asleep 5 minutes in. Captain America? I didn’t even know who became the super hero. Now, I can stay up all day for some shitty movies. Ever heard of We The Party? It was on Netflix last year. I watched that from a horizontal position and I don’t think I blinked once the entire film.

 

So, why are you an asshole?



Why I Broke Up With Apple

iphones

I never thought I would be the kind of girl without an iPhone. I’ve had one since the beginning of college.* I loved having an iPhone. It was always so easy to use. It felt like such a great accessory. Look at me! I am important. I care about things.

But recently, I couldn’t do things on my phone. It suddenly became a fashionable paperweight. I would go to take pictures and the message would pop up about having no more memory. Okay, great. I’d delete pictures. But alas, no more space.

What is the point of having a phone that I can’t take pictures of my friends and family with? Why do I want something that I cannot even have any apps on? What is the point really?

I knew it was time to make a switch. I went to the store with the idea of getting an iPhone 6, but with a 3-5 week waiting period, I knew that wasn’t going to fly. I could not handle being without a working phone for that long. So, I made the switch over to the Galaxy Note 4.

The phone is huge and I love the ability of being able to add in an additional memory card. The phone already has 32gb of space. The camera is great as well.

There was a definite learning curve, but I am so happy that I left Apple and tried something new. I was so apprehensive about getting a new phone, but why? Is change really that scary that I was petrified of switching phones? I suppose it can be.

To anyone on the fence about leaving Apple, do it. Make the jump. I can’t promise you’ll be happier, but at least you tried it. And guys, my phone has a stylus. Why?! I feel like I’m back in the 1990’s. It’s awesome.

 

*I did the math on that one and I’d rather not discuss the number of years I came to.



On Being an Influenster

I think that all bloggers can agree that getting free stuff for blogging is awesome.

When I found out that I could use my blog to get to try new products (for free!), I wanted to know how it all worked. The first place I found was Influenster. Working with them has been a dream. I am far enough removed from the companies that I feel I can be completely honest in my review. Isn’t it awkward to get something you hate but still feel like you need to give a decent review?

Another problem that I’ve seen from other review sites is that you have never even heard of the brands they’re trying to promote. With Influenster, I got a Colgate toothbrush. I know Colgate and I feel comfortable using their product.

I know — it seems super annoying that I am promoting this website, but every experience I’ve had with them has been phenomenal. And for all the new bloggers, I cannot suggest checking out Influenster enough. When you’re fresh to the blogging world, it definitely helps knowing of websites like this to review products.

Oh! And even though I don’t use it because I’m an app-snob, check out their Influenster App! I’m sure it’s on iPhone and I saw it for Droid as well.



The Newest Addition (Hint: Totally not a baby)

Gabby

I’ll say it once, I’ll say it again – blogging is hard to maintain during life. Things have been crazy busy lately, especially with the newest addition to our family – Gabby.

About 4 weeks ago, Mike and I were at our favorite bar and in walked this dog with a huge sign that said, “Adopt Me!” We were still on our first beers so we couldn’t blame the booze yet. We really started to consider if we could handle having a dog in our lives right now. We hadn’t been thinking about it, but Gabby was so adorable that we immediately started talking to her foster mom and found out where to apply so we could have her in our life.

We applied on Sunday and by Thursday, Gabby had already had two interviews with other families. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for us, Gabby does not handle being with other dogs and she had to come to a loving home where she would be the only dog. And judging by my Instagram, Gabby is definitely in a loving home.

I want to thank AZ Happy Tails Rescue for being so great during the adoption process. We are so unbelievably happy to have Gabs.



When I Leave Arizona

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This past weekend, I spent my twenty-fifth birthday in New York City with my best friends. It was a pretty bitchin’ way to reach the quarter-century mark of my life. While I was off, living the high life on the east coast, some awesome things happened in my home state of Arizona.

Same-sex marriage is now legal in the great state of Arizona. The court ruling actually came down on my birthday, October 17th (best birthday present ever, btw) and couples started getting married around lunchtime. My biggest fear about living in such a conservative, gun-toting, minority-hating state was that we would be the last state to allow everyone to get married. I never thought it would happen while I was still living there. But, alas, it happened while I was out of town.

Good old Arizona State University beat Stanford on Saturday night while I watched on, rowdy as ever, from a bar over 2,000 miles away. Remember last year when ASU got trampled by Stanford? Yeah. Exactly.

I’m not a big fan of coincidences. Especially when it involves me. Also, I’ve been watching a lot of Twin Peaks so I’m feeling a little conspiratorial. So, look at all the great things that happened in Arizona. When I wasn’t anywhere around.

I’ve spent my whole life wanting to change Arizona for the better. That was the whole reason I became involved in politics – to change Arizona. But the best change happened via a court ruling while I was on vacation.

I love Arizona. I truly do. But, there is a lot that I hate: I hate how backwards we are there. I hate being a joke on John Oliver and the Daily Show. I hate that I feel a sense of contempt when I look at my ballot and realize there are only Republicans to choose from.

I’ve talked a lot, in the past, about moving away. I tried to leave once before and the farthest I got was that I moved into Tempe. Maybe this is post-vacation blues. Maybe this is a fleeting feeling. But, my home seems to prosper more when I’m away than when I’m around.

I mean, whatever. We’ll see what happens.