June 30, 2011

Thrifty Summer Appetizers

Are you throwing or going to a BBQ this 4th of July weekend? Us too, so naturally we're on the hunt for thrifty dishes to bring along. Here are a few of our favorites that you can whip up on a budget!

Tabbouleh + Pita (via)
White Bean + Roasted Red Pepper Dip (via)
Spicy Black Bean Hummus (via)
Baba Ghanoush (via)

Do you have any must-make appetizers to share with us?? What is your favorite thing to bring to a summer barbecue?

June 29, 2011

What I Love Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Here is what I am loving this week: the back yard! I'm on vacation as of Friday and soooooo looking forward to spending lots of time relaxing and reading a huge stack of books and magazines in my hammock chair. Woohoo!
1. These adorable and twinkly mason jar lights would entice me to stay outside long after the sun goes down!! (via)
2. I want a fire pit. And a comfy Adirondack chair. And a lush, huge, green lawn. (via)
3. Scratch that...I want this instead. (via)
4. Gorgeousness. Love every inch of this garden (via)

Linking up with the fabulous Krystina from Lollipops for What I Love Wednesday! Go over and check out all of the wonderful inspiration! 


June 28, 2011

Lunch Fit for a Giant

So on Monday, I wrote about how I love an easy lunch for days when I'm too rushed to assemble something more proper. This morning, I was in need of another quick grab and go meal when I spied this Green Giant "Healthy Heart" veggie blend in the depths of my freezer. Perfect!
In case you can't read the description, it's a blend of barley, sugar snap peas and carrots in a herb-olive oil sauce. It's pretty yummy and for 140 calories, you really can't beat it.  Oh and I top it with some sriracha because I need a little spice to wake me up mid-day!
I ate mine with a green salad to add in an extra veggie serving. This usually costs about two bucks at our grocery store, but you can certainly find them on sale for less- not too shabby!

June 27, 2011

Dr. McDougall's Split Pea Soup

You know those mornings when you wake up racing the clock? Maybe you snoozed your alarm one too many times? Or you forgot that you really, really should take a shower? I definitely had one of those mornings today, thanks to my complete lack of setting an alarm clock at all. Whoops. 
Luckily, I grabbed a Dr. McDougall's split pea soup out of the cabinet before I dashed out of the door. Have you tried one of these lovely little soups? They are super low-fat, most of them are vegan and they're actually super filling. They add lots of spices, so they're well-seasoned and yummy. Oh, and they're under $2 in the healthy food aisle in any grocery store! My favorite is the tortilla soup, but the split pea was actually really great. (Oh and sorry for the cell phone photos, I'm at work with no camera)
What's your favorite lunch on the go? Leave us a comment!

Menu Plan Monday!

Happy Monday, all! I can't even believe it's the end of June already. Where did the first half of this year disappear to?? How was your weekend? Did you do/cook anything fun????

Here's what we've got on the schedule this week:

Monday: Baked sweet potatoes with spinach and black beans, salad
Tuesday: Slow cooker carnitas, corn tortillas, homemade guacamole and pico de gallo
Wednesday: Carrot curry soup, grilled cheese
Thursday: Grilled veggies, turkey burgers and sweet potato fries
Friday: Veggie chili and cornbread
Saturday/Sunday: Happy 4th of July Weekend! We'll be grilling, I'm sure.

For breakfasts:
-Steel cut oats with baked apples. Mmmm
-Fruit salad and Greek yogurt
-Whole wheat English muffins and an egg

For lunches:
-Grilled chicken salad wraps
-Veggie wraps
-Greek yogurt and granola (we're going to try and make our own- have a good recipe???)
-Tuna salad wraps

Linking up with my menu planning BFF, Orgjunkie.com! Go check out all of the fabulous 4th of July menus!!!

June 25, 2011

Swiss Chard and Black Bean Salad

So Mike's been scheduled to work on Saturdays lately, which means I get almost a whole weekend day to myself. This is awesome. I get an insane amount of things checked off of my list, leaving all of Sunday open for relaxing and stress-free hanging out on the back porch.

This morning, after a particularly hot and humid workout running along the harbor,  I was craving a big breakfast. 
Strangely for me, it wasn't carbs that my body was begging for but greens. A huge plate of greens. Luckily, I had a bunch of swiss chard ready to be sauteed. I topped them with black beans, avocado, tomato, chopped onion and some lime juice. Mmm. Totally delicious, totally great for my body. It would be wonderful topped with an egg, too. 

Swiss Chard and Black Bean Salad
1 bunch swiss chard (or other dark, leafy green)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt to taste
1/2 c. cooked black beans, warmed
1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional)

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium. Add in garlic and stir for a minute or so, until it begins to color. Add chard and saute for 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add black beans to the chard and stir until heated through. Mix in spices, if you want to use them. Pour into a bowl and top with avocado, tomato, onion and lime juice. 

June 24, 2011

Summer Saving Challenge!

We're so excited to share with you our Summer Saving Challenge! During the month of July, we are challenging ourselves to find creative ways to save even more cashola. We like seeing the number on our savings account creep up each month- don't you??
Each week, we will share with you a money saving tip and ask for yours in return! I'm thinking about making it into a linky party- would you guys join in our money saving adventure?? 

We are also hoping to have a few great guest posts for even more thrifty inspiration! Do you have any thrifty ideas that you could share in a guest post? We would love for you to hang out with us here at Tiny Wallet Style! Email us at tiny wallet style at gmail dot com (no spaces) and let us know what you would like to share with our awesome readers!

June 23, 2011

How to Cook Dry Black Beans

I mentioned a while back that we're trying to reduce our consumption of processed foods and overly packaged goods. Part of how we are trying to accomplish this is by buying in bulk. We have a local food co-op that is fantastic, and I've been shopping there about once a month. Additionally, I'm trying to save jars and containers to bring home the foods instead of grabbing a plastic one. So far, so good.
Here is how I make the equivalent of 3 cans cooked black beans ($.99/each, usually) for $.89!!
Before you go to sleep, rinse the beans in a colander and pick out any broken or icky looking ones. Throw into the slow cooker and add enough water to cover the beans, plus a few inches. Cover and let soak in a cool place (we put it in the stove- turned off of course) overnight.
In the morning, drain the beans into a colander. 
If you want some extra flavor, chop up a few cloves of garlic and some onion and saute it for a few minutes while your beans are draining. *Important note*- don't add salt until your beans are completely tender or they'll get super tough!
Add your beans back into the pot and re-fill with enough water to cover plus a few inches.  Put the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce down to a simmer and cook for about an hour.  Beans should be tender, but not mushy.
At this point, season the beans to taste. I add salt, lime juice and zest, chipotle powder and some chopped cilantro. Yum. 

I learned from A Year of Slow Cooking that 1 2/3 c. cooked beans is the equivalent of 1 can (minus the can water). After the beans cool, put them into a container (we use freezer-safe 2 c. reusable containers) and freeze up to 6 months (or keep in the fridge up to a week).

There you go- thrifty and super easy!

June 21, 2011

Our Summer Dining Room

When the weather starts to get toasty, we move outside. We are going without air conditioning for the second year in a row (gasp!!!), so we tend to spend as much time outside as possible.
Have you ever seen our porch? It's awesome, and stays super cool during the summer. Hammock swing- check.
Lots of space to hang out with friends- check. Window boxes in bloom- check. Dining table- check.
Isn't it adorable?
Let's just say that a porch is VERY high on the "must-have" list for our new abode. What would we do without one?

June 15, 2011

What I Love Wednesday

This week is all about the color white. Is white a color? Whatever it is, it's lovely in the summer. As the hot weather approaches, I get the craving for everything in our little house to disappear and be replaced by a clean, white and breezy space. Like a spa. Wouldn't that be nice?
Here is what I'm loving this week (linking up with Lollipop's WILW!)
1. Bathroom (via)
2. Bedroom (via)
3. Kitchen (via)
4. Porch (via)

June 14, 2011

How to Fight Allergies If You're a Cheapskate!

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.

120x30_WalgrensTransparentLogoYou guys know how thrifty we are, right? After all- the name of this blog is Tiny Wallet Style. When it comes to most things, we buy store brand because (gasp) it's usually exactly the same as the name brand. We save mucho bucks and don't have to give up quality. Now there are a few exceptions: Oreos are one. Never buy a knock-off Oreo, you'll just be sad. 

AdvertisementOne thing we'll never buy name-brand over-the-counter products- it's strictly store brand for us. I love 'em! When Walgreens contacted me to review one of their Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products, I did not hesitate. There is a Walgreens on my walk to work, so I stop there almost exclusively for necessities and prescriptions. I know that I can count on them for great quality over the counter medicine, like the Wal-Zyr that I use to combat seasonal allergies. Works like a charm and it's at least a few bucks cheaper than the name brand! Score!!! I had used the name brand before, but I totally could not tell the difference. No more sniffles for this gal!

What I didn't know about is the Walgreens Way to Well Fund™ Advertisement, a  community wellness program to which they donate $3 million dollars a year!! The idea behind this fund is to bring preventative care, testing and health education to the local communities that Walgreens serves! I don't know about you, but I don't hear about stores actually giving back to their communities all that often. With each purchase of a Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products, you're contributing to this great cause!

So, if you want to find out more about this great program, check out walgreens.com/waytowell. Oh, and as an added bonus (because who doesn't like bonuses?!)- there are a few bloggers who are giving away a Walgreens gift card! Go check it out the giveaways page and tell 'em Tiny Wallet Style sent you! 
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Getting My Sweat On

So I've decided to step up my exercise "program" this week- after all, stepping up from nothing is pretty easy, right? Last week, I was super unmotivated to work out, so I didn't. And guess what? I felt terrible! Go figure.

This week, I'm doing well so far. Here's what I'm planning for the week: 
Lounging on a rock. No, that's not it. I do plan to get out and do a couple miles/per day around the Harborwalk- from our house to the end and back is about 1.5 miles. If I extend my run/walk/jog a few more blocks, I'll hit 3 miles easily. I also average another 2 miles walking to and from the train station each day. 
(Not the Planet Fitness I go to, but still. via)
Getting to the gym is something I've been awful about doing since I stopped driving to work. When I had the car (Mike now drives to his job, so I take the MBTA), it was super easy to hit the gym before work. Now, not so much. I'm going to try and motivate myself to go after work and to drag Mike with me. I went and did a few weight circuits on Monday, so far so good. 
It's raining again today, so I'm going to do the 30-Day Shred today during my lunch break. Hopefully that will help me sneak in a little cardio instead of a walk/run/jog. What do you do to sneak in exercise? Any good tips?

June 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday!

Happy Monday!!! I'm secretly kind of excited that it's going to be a bit chilly this week, since that means one more week of heartier dinners. Once it gets super hot, not only do I not want to cook but I rarely have a appetite (all I want to eat are cold berries!). Here's what we've got cooking this week: 

Monday: Lemon-thyme pork cutlets with baked sweet potatoes, sauteed zucchini

Tuesday: Grilled chicken rubbed with chili and cumin, black bean salad
Wednesday: Slow cooker chicken tacos, pico de gallo and avocado
Thursday: Spinach and feta stuffed chicken, roasted broccoli
Friday: Grilled pizza with chicken, tomatoes and spinach
Saturday: Chicken and mushroom quesadillas, veggie chili
Sunday: Happy Father’s Day! We'll probably go out to eat today- to celebrate Mike's being such a great cat-dad ;)

Oh and as always, we're linking up with Orgjunkie.com's Menu Plan Monday- check it out!!

What are you planning this week?? Share with us! 

June 10, 2011

Garden Fresh

I love gardening so much. This morning, I went around to my beds to check out how things are growing. We are having our first few days of h-o-t weather mixed in with tons of rain, so I made sure things were handing the crazy weather. 

Imagine my surprise when I saw these growing up from a random pile of dirt from last year. How fun is nature? I'm leaving them there for now- it will be exciting to see what kind of gourd it turns out to be!!!
Here is what I'm pinning for garden inspiration this week: 
1. Such pretty lines, although I'd never be organized enough to actually pull this off. (via)
2. I could DIY something like this, no? (via)
3. So vibrant and cheerful. (via
4. Our window boxes are primarily full of herbs, but this is so gorgeous! (via)

June 9, 2011

Urban Wild

Hello friends! I was perusing photos from this past weekend and thought I should share this wonderful walk. If you're local to Boston, you should check all of the different parts of the Harborwalk. This section, in East Boston is called the Condor Street Urban Wild. It's a nice little area to detour to if you're in the 'hood. Check it out: 

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