Reviews & Tips for Foodies in the City.

Hey! Ya’ll are amazing – looks like I’m not the only one who loves California and froyo 😉

Ok, who doesn't love froyo?

So, I’ve gotten a few emails about how I save moola while living on my own in a ridiculously expensive city – and although I’m super blessed that my parents were able to pay for most of this experience out here on my own in San Fran – groceries, going out and my slight extreme coffee addiction really add up.

Coffeeee buzz buzz buzz!

1) Hoof it to the farmers market and/or check online for places around town you can grab produce once a week. These places tend to be a lot cheaper than your average supermarket, or Whole Foods for that matter. Carry your own bag, and they’ll likely give you a discount – even if it’s tiny, it adds up! Also, by walking, you save money for cab fare/gas/bus and you’re getting in some exercise!

I got my super cool reusable bag from Whole Foods.

2) COUPONS! Clip clip clip! Also, I know Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have weekly sales and deals – check it out! Either that or buy the off brand, just make sure it has the same ingredients. I know at most grocery stores, the store brand is a lot cheaper than the “big” brands. I strike a lot of deals on dairy especially. So that I can have breakfasts like this 😉

Cottage-topped-oats!

Awesome breakfast – oats with Medjool dates, banana, chia seeds and topped with cottage cheese and sliced banana.

3) Buy in bulk! Especially if you know you’ll be at a place for a long time – buy nonperishable items in bulk – like oatmeal, canned fruits & veggies, dried fruits and nuts and frozen foods. I save a lot of money buy buying a HUGE thang of oats and lots of dried fruit, nuts and beans. Refried black beans are super amazing on top of omelettes, just fyi.

p.s. I never said it was pretty, though.

4) Cook at home! I seriously cannot stress this enough, and I NEED to listen to my own advice more often. Eating out is becoming more and more expensive and let’s face it – it’s convenient. BUT cooking is cheaper and provides an outlet for stress, too! 🙂

Breakfast in bed = the way to go.

Instead of meeting friends for coffee and pastries in the morning, all I’ve gotta buy is the coffee, since I’m already fueled with a homecooked breakfast.

Summer Berry Cheesecake Oats

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup cherries, strawberries and blueberries (mixed up)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup cottage cheese

spoonful almond butter

Cook oats and slowly stir in HALF of the fruit. Use the other half to top the oatmeal off when it’s done cooking. Add cottage cheese blob on top, and get yourself a scoop of almond butter!

Enjoy!

5) Never leave your place without bars or some kind of portable snackage (fruit, trail mix, etc). Let’s be honest here, we all hate the feeling of hunger…we all also hate the feeling of cashing out dough on an unexpected trip to the grocery/convenience store because our tummies are pissed. Right? Right. I always have at least 3 bars on hand, or an apple/orange. Also, I tend to carry around tea incase a coffee craving kicks in, I can save some moola by asking for a cup of hot water (free!) instead of spending $2.00 or more on coffee. Bars and fruit on hand are GREAT for when I wanna head to the gym after work or early in the morning. I never, ever workout on an empty stomach. That’s a serious recipe for disaster.

Wholesome on-the-go.

18 Rabbits bars are highly recommended for this tip 😉

What are YOUR favorite foodie in the city tips?

 PLEASE feel free to comment and add your own – I can make a whole ‘nother post with your amazing ideas too.

So, now that we’re on the subject of bars, I’ve got a couple to review and share with ya’ll. Get PUMPED!

First on the plate:

Thinkthin Lemon Cream Pie

Looks promising.

I’m sure a lot of ya’ll agree that the naming pretty much sucks, but hey, what can you do.

Hmm.

I’m definitely a little thrown off by the coating, but let’s give it a try.

Looks better broken, right?

To be completely honest, upon first bite, I wanted to spit it out. It was pretty chalky, and REALLY sweet, but I got used to it after a few bites. With 15g of protein, it was pretty filling, but definitely tasted like protein as well. The “lemon” flavor was on target, but the cream pie…not so much. I began to enjoy it only through the last few bites, and really didn’t feel too awesome putting all them funkay ingredients into my body, but I was hungry, and this fixed the dealio. Would I buy it again? No, but I might try a different flavor.

Mmmm chalky.

Ingredients + nutritional info can be found here.

Next up:

Pure Fit Chocolate Brownie

Got this fo' free at ma gym!

I won a raffle after my spin class on Monday and this was part of the prize. Love freebies. And I LOVED this.

Totally made up for the other bar.

This was awesome. I loved it. It was really dense and definitely had that chocolate brownie flavor on target. I had this with my lunch, and it was like dessert. Gluten free, too 🙂 I don’t really know where to find these except for the Club One in San Francisco, haha, but if you’ve seen them, pick one up! They’re all natural, no funkiness, and they’re pretty filling. They’re calorie and protein dense, and would be awesome preworkout as well – I think this would have been perfect before my morning spin class. We have a winner.

Ingredients + nutrition can be found here.

What’s your favorite protein bar?

Happy Thursday guys! 😀

Peace and love,

Meg

 

Advertisements

39 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

39 responses to “Reviews & Tips for Foodies in the City.

  1. I have a protein stash as well!

  2. My favorite has to be Perfect Foods bars, but they are a little expensive. I haven’t tried that type of think thin bar, but I love the chocolate toffee one, you MUST give it a try!

  3. teenagehealthfreak

    Well lets see….saving money on food?!?! ha! that’s difficult…lol..but I do the same things: coupons, sales, and limit myself to one “foodie splurdge” every once in a while…I try to use leftovers..and stretch them with cheap things like bagged beans…or grains…and protein bars??..ehhh…I’m really not much on protein bars…I’d rather get some real protein (yogurt/pnt butter/meat)….but the RAW bars are pretty good..and they have a decent amount of non-added protein. 🙂 ooo and do you cook your dates in with the oatmeal..and how do you know if you have medjool dates???….my package just says “dates- 100% from california”..ha ha

  4. Awesome tips – I walk everywhere in NYC!

  5. Your Summer Berry Cheesecake Oats looks yummy! I’ve seen a lot of bloggers add cottage cheese to their oats lately – I must give it a try!

  6. My favorite protein bar is Perfect Foods. SO good! I have actually never had cottage cheese on/in oats, but yours look so yummy I might have to try 🙂

  7. katie

    what types of lunches have u been relying on?

    • Meg

      I usually bring my lunch to work or get something from the Whole Foods hot bar with my coworkers…definitely not a money-saving tip right there, but I can’t turn down Whole Foods most days, haha.

  8. “Cheesecake oats” sounds lovely! infact, DELICIOUS, but i just couldn’t face adding a cheese to my bowl of oats or cereal..it does certainly sound appealing though!!

    that lemon bar neither looks or sounds very great…and the name of it would put me off immediately! the chocolate one on the other hand………..HELLLLLLLO!

    i carry hot chocolate sachets with me most places then like you say if i’m craving a hot drink i can simply add for a cup of hot water! some places actually charge you for a cup of water… ridiculous!!!! xx

  9. fav tip: get on sites like groupon.com or youwswoop.com. you can save A LOT of money dining out!

    i always go to yelp or metromix too for fun/discounted things to do!

    not a big fan of protein bars actually. i like perfect food bars though and other yummy bars like prana and booie bars. never had an 18 rabbit though 🙂 sorry girl. im sure its delish!

  10. Jae

    The favorite has to be awarded to Luna Bars— Cookies n Cream version to be exact… although all of their flavors are totally rockin’ 🙂

  11. I’m kinda partial to Clif bars. I don’t really have any foodie in the city tips and I’ll use this site as a resource to help myself out. I choose the expensive convenience option way too much.

  12. squigglefloey

    The only bars I really go for these days are the Tigers Milk bars. But since I don’t eat a lot of protein bars, what I do have for some protein are Pure Protein Chocolate shakes from Trader Joes. I find those to be the most tolerable shakes that they have there. They’re pretty creamy and high in protein!

    🙂 floey
    ps. great tips btw!

  13. Great tips!

    A few that I’ve picked up:
    – invest in a cold cup for iced coffee. I bought mine at Starbucks last summer for $13, and I still use it almost every day. I brew my own iced coffee at home and fill it up with almond milk and sweetener every morning. I get my fix while saving a TON of money. Plus, if you bring it to the cafe, they’ll refill it for a 10 cent discount. Not huge, but it adds up!
    – unless you are dying for caffeine, stick to tap water when you dine out. Those $2 sodas tack a lot onto a relatively inexpensive sandwich.
    – stop into Panera every once in a while for a snack of free samples. One day I went in and they were serving up bagel halves…I definitely took 2!
    – check out the local library. I have a serious magazine addiction, but once I realized that the library has basically any magazine ever created all lined up, ready for the taking, I have started spending lazy afternoons there. I’d rather use $5 on a delicious bowl of fro yo or sunglasses than on a tabloid that I’ll flip through once and be done with.

    It’s not easy to live on the cheap while maintaining some dignity, but it’s not impossible!

  14. I wish I lived in a city where I could walk more! Unfortunately, the suburbs are not very walker-friendly. Oh well…I hoof it to work, and that is nice. A big money saver.

    I also couldn’t agree more with the COOKING IN tip – my husband I tightened our budged majorly this year, and restaurants were the first thing to go. It’s easy now.

    Oh, and I love Clif Bars…carrot cake variety.

  15. Cheesecake oats?! OH MY WORD.

    ❤ jess
    xoxo

  16. I LOVVVVVEE coupons too. One of my favorite things about Sundays is getting my paper filled with coupons..and then I clip them & drink coffee.
    Totally know what you mean about protein bars tasting like protein- I’m not into that at all. I can’t take it.- that’s why I don’t really eat protein bars. The last protein bar type thing I had was a bit of Craig’s MetRx Protein brownie- it was good…but it’s like 320 calories for the whole thing- that’s more like a meal for me. I have tried LaraBars & I like them..but I just don’t eat them on a regular basis.

  17. Thanks for all the great tips! I do a lot of these, too, especially the farmer’s market-ering. I make sure to go every weekend and stock up. Not only does going to a farmer’s market save molahh, but it also is fresher and supports local workers. Win, win! The same goes for cooking at home and packing snacks; it’s usually healthier than the alternative.

    Have a lovely day!
    xox

    P.S. I love Cali, too! I’m definitely moving out there for college & beyond.

  18. my fav protein bar is by Francine’s Finest .. its a local handmade one u can only get in B.C. unfortunately. otherwise i really likr clif builder bars and Macrobars. theres still many more portien ones i wanna try.

    funny about those thinkthin bars, ur right that the naming sucks. theres a few bars/brands or even breads that have skinny or thin in the name.. and i always feel hesitant to buy them cuz i hate feeling like im giving off the “yea i need to get the skinny variety” type of vibe ya know? why cant they just call them thinkhealthy bars or something.. lol

    • Meg

      Local AND handmade? Oh my gosh, I want one! I’ve never had a Clif builders, or a Macrobar! Eek, gotta get on that 🙂

      Naming of bars should really focus on better things than weight loss, it’s ridiculous, I agree!

  19. I’m not a big fan of thinkThin bars…although I’ve only tried the chocolate-covered strawberry flavor. It tastes so artificial and too sweet! Larabars are awesome, but kind of expensive. I currently am munching away on a stash of Luna bars (Blueberry bliss is the best!).

  20. Andrea

    Mmm i love Luna bars! i don’t know if they count as protein bars but they are delicious and 70% organic which i love. My favorite flavour is lemonzest because it reminds me of lemon cookies! i also like supreme protein bars – but it is almost like a glorified chocolate bar – LOL.

  21. Hey Meg! Love the blog. Just wondering, where did you get your header?

  22. oh yeah cooking BIG TIME! saves money…also during the week when i work later in the morning I always make coffee at my apt, instead of buying itout…saves about 5 bucks a aweek! that adds up!

    i always check out the deals, and bulk bins are the shizzzzz

  23. I’ve never heard a good review of a ThinkThin bars, so apparently the taste is just as bad as the name! Have you ever had a Clif Builder Bar? They’re huge and filling and absolutely delicious. I’d definitely recommend them!

  24. Love your tips! I am a huge fan of the Farmer’s Market in the summer–I rarely by produce at the grocery store. And I am always carrying reusable bags whenever I shop anywhere! I am soo sick of having mounds of plastic bags lol.
    I don’t think I’d like that lemon bar either–looks like too much sweetness.

  25. Thanks for the tips– they’ll be so helpful when I’m living in San Fran in about ten years’ time! :]

    I hate Thinkthin bars, mostly because of the name but also because of the protein-y taste. If you’re looking for a lemon flavored bar you should try a lemon zest Luna, my favorite!

    Have a lovely weekend x

  26. Wow, so many reviews! I think these are great tips for saving money, especially the farmer’s market and bulk buying ones. I don’t think I have any tips except… know your neighbourhood! And get to know the people that are selling you things, it helps to have connections and knowledge 😀

    Wei-Wei

  27. Hey beautiful lady! Great tips. Clip, clip, clip! Gives ya a little arm workout, no? 😉

    That PureFit bar really does look good, but I have never seen them before!

  28. Haha, This was great! I just found your blog and I’m LOVIN’ it! :)I wanna steal your haircut!

  29. Great tips! Buying coffee out is a big money waster for me, I find if I have a morning cup I spend a lot less overall. Thanks for the bar reviews – I haven’t tried either of those and I’m not sure if they’re available around here. I love the Simply protein bars, they’re so good!

  30. Every month or so, a Bay Area city (SF, Palo Alto, San Jose, etc) will have a week where you can get a prix fixe meal for less than $35 that includes 3 courses — it’s a steal for those restaurants whose single dishes are over $30! Love these 🙂

  31. i tried two bites of a think thin bar about a year ago. i spit it in the trash. i can eat most anything but i hated! that bar. it was choc inner w/ white outer coating. ICK!

    the other bar, duly noted 🙂

    saving money in CA = not going out to eat and cooking! hit up the local markets, buy in season at the reg groc store, and get busy in the kitch. Going out is for rich people on two incomes…of which we are not 🙂

  32. Great tips girl!!!

    Oh the think thin bar even sounded yuck! I really am not a fan of lemon, I had the chocolate covered strawberry think thin bar and was so disappointed as well : p

    Hope all is well love!!! xoxo

  33. I love your tricks for keeping to budget in such an expensive city! We’ll have to keep this in miind for our vacation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s