Did you know that if you're a vegan or vegetarian you can still find some great bargain groceries? Recently, Rich and I have gone mostly vegan but since we're also pinching pennies, we often shop at stores like the Dollar Tree for some of our groceries.
While frozen and pre-packaged foods aren't really the healthiest, we do eat them occasionally, especially if they're affordable and we need a bargain. We try to stick to mostly fresh and raw foods. But since we're transitioning our bodies, not being fully raw vegan is where we are in the process. We also occasionally have cheese (with the goal to stop altogether), but have banished milk, honey, eggs, beeswax, and other animal products.
So, on to the point. In a few recent visits to the Dollar Tree, we wanted to see if we could find any foods at all that went along with our diet. Surprisingly, we actually did. We found a ton of various foods that fit the bill. Most of them are actually fairly healthy, other than not being completely raw.
At our local Dollar Tree, we were able to find frozen French fries (okay, pretty normal but it gets better), frozen waffle fries, frozen sweet potato fries, frozen fingerling potatoes (both vegan and gluten free), all natural applesauce, frozen blueberries, frozen pineapple, frozen vegetable blends, frozen fruit blends, breaded zucchini fries, breaded green bean fries, and even vegan spring rolls (no eggs, seriously)!
(More below the gallery)
*Click on images for full view and/or enlarged view
While all of these items can be found at the regular grocer, they aren't always vegan and when they are, many of them definitely cost more than a dollar. Many of these items also stated they were gluten free. Not all were vegan certified. However, in reading the labels, we could tell they were vegan. There were even more items that we didn't grab on this trip because our freezer is full now and some things we already have plenty of (like black Chia seeds, which we use a lot). Next time!
For those on a budget, this is a good way for Dollar Tree to corner a healthier market. Now, if they make it all non-gmo verified, that will be even better! Ah, but speaking of that, we also found a bag of popcorn seeds there that are not only vegan, but non-gmo verified. We ate some while watching Star Wars Episode VII last night. Win!!!!
Now, who's gonna race me to the Dollar Tree for the next bargain?
*This post was not paid for or requested by Dollar Tree and the author is not affiliated with them.
Today was an adventure in more ways than one. Yeah I know, we're always having some sort of adventure. What can I say? During today's adventure, Rich and I learned that old things are often some of the best things.
We ran lots of errands today. On the way to the area we needed to be in, we took an old road that was all beat up - probably took a good beating from the horrible Massachusetts winter we just got past.
Anyhow, though in need of repair, along that road was some beautiful scenery. Trees, water, a farm, old buildings, you name it. We took the same road on the way back into town. Old things can definitely be the best ones.
But wait, I'm not done yet.
Before we went home, we had to make another pit stop. Because there was one item we still had to get near the house, we decided to stop at the mall and browse while waiting until we were hungry enough to eat. There's a store that's going out of business and I was able to get several -- yes, several -- clothing items from there for TWELVE dollars total!!! Yup, old store closing for the win.
After we ate lunch, we went home and decided to watch some older movies on Netflix. Rich hadn't seen the leprechaun movies. So I suggested those because Netflix has all six. I explained to him that they're the type of "horror" movie you laugh at. Another win. We got some great entertainment during the parts us "old" folks didn't sleep. Ha! We were a bit worn out by errands. We watched three of them so far, only interrupted so he could watch the Red Sox.
While we were watching the leprechauns attack people over gold, a package arrived. We didn't expect it to be here already. I won an old flute on eBay just a couple days ago and it had arrived that quickly. It was very tarnished (I knew it would be and won it for cheap because of it). However, I was able to shine it up pretty well and will be working on it some more. The picture in this post is that exact flute before and after I cleaned it up.
Yup. Old things are often some of the best things. Never pass up what could be a good thing, just because it might be old. You may be very pleasantly surprised.
P.S. This is my "O" post for the A - Z Blogging Challenge.
Hugs feel great. Most people know that. But I've learned firsthand just how important they are in more ways than one. I can't list them all here. But I will discuss a few of the best.
The first time I hugged my firstborn child (and the first time I did the same with each one) right after delivery is something I will never forget. I can still feel it as if it were happening this very moment. That feeling cannot be explained but will never be forgotten. I can be what some might call an over hugger. In fact, friends used to say I was "hiding behind my children" when I hugged them often at social gatherings. Years later, neither I, nor my children are insecure. But we're all quite happy. Hmm.
Have you ever seen just how much a hug means each time a child gets a scrape or cut, no matter how minor (or major)? Have you ever witnessed the power of a hug for an animal living in a pet shelter? How about kids without a home or family? A hug may not change the situation but it can let that person know someone out there cares.
I still remember when my younger sister was in the hospital in a medical coma as a child (she did recover and is fine now). She responded to our hugs every time, be it a slight movement or a hand squeeze. Those hugs were obviously important to her and they helped comfort her loved ones, as well.
The first time I hugged my fiancé will forever be etched in my brain and heart as well. We met online and had set a date to meet in person. The date didn't change but he ended up in the hospital with cancer prior to the date. No way was I going to cancel the meeting. So we first met in the hospital and we both instantly hugged as soon as I walked into the room. You can read the rest of the story on Motivational Friends. But that hug was obviously extremely powerful in many ways. We hug often (many times per day, in fact), even 5 months later and each one feels special.
Whether hugs are daily, for specific reasons, or once in a while, they pack a powerful punch - a very good one. Hugs tell people someone cares. Hugs soothe fears, ease pain and sorrow, increase happiness, and more. There are actually scientific studies on the positive benefits of hugs. Don't believe me? Look it up.
Who have you hugged today? You never know what good you might do for others or for yourself with a simple hug.
P.S. This is my H post for the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
Helping homeless pets may seem hard, especially if you don't have many resources. But we've found many ways to do so easily. Here are five easy ways we help homeless pets -- and you can do it too!
Share Sheltered Pets on Social Media
Animal shelters and other rescue organizations post pictures and information about animals who need to be adopted, fostered, or helped otherwise. Sharing these posts helps spread the word and we do it often. You never know who might see the post and be able to help. Maybe it's you! If not, hit share so it can reach more people.
Use Talents to Raise Money
We're crafting to help homeless pets. Our items are sold on etsy and we always donate a portion of proceeds to various animal shelters. Because we aren't well off financially, this is one way we do what we can to help out. We make jewelry, pet toys, and many other handcrafted items. The more purchases that are made, the more we're able to do for homeless pets.
Reuse Old Clothing To Make and Donate Toys
We don't like to waste anything. Worn out clothing or things that no longer fit aren't trash. They're potential supplies to make pet toys. My kids and I make knotted dog toys from clean, used fabric. Some get donated to pet shelters for the animals to play with, while others get sold in our etsy shop so that we can donate money instead. It started out as something fun to do for our own rescued pets and has gotten much bigger.
Spread Awareness Through Writing
As many of you know, I'm a huge advocate for animals in need and it often shows in my writing. Life Successfully is one of the many sites where I write about pets in need. Others include Pawsitive Parenting, Heart N' Mind Paw Rescue, Denver Pets Examiner, and many more. This helps educate people about animals in need.
Visit Pets in Shelters
My kids and I like to visit and entertain the animals in shelters. Cage life can't be very fun. So we try to give them attention where possible. Many shelters have volunteer programs and/or allow people to exercise the animals and give them attention. You may or may not be able to take them out of the cage. But, love and attention -- knowing someone cares -- is what matters. Believe me, they do know.
P.S. This is my F post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!
Everything fun! That seemed to end up being the theme of today, though mostly unplanned. Lots of things got done today and pretty much all of them were fun. As most of you know, I’m a major workaholic.. But I’m also silly and fun most of the time.
Some of you may know that I’m back to Crafting to Help Homeless Pets. I also like to post the leftover things we can’t use for that on Listia. That way, other folks can get some quality beads (and other things) and I can use the credits for supplies. Keeping our bead (and other) supply flowing helps out more homeless pets by allowing us to make and sell more jewelry and other crafts. We don’t profit by much after shipping and donation to the animal shelters. But, we mostly do it for the pets.
Anyhow, it was a productive day in that regard because I made a sale on Etsy yesterday, as well as had a few auctions end in credit bids on Listia. That meant Rich and I had to get those things sent out to the post office. That trip was productive for obvious reasons. We were also able to snag a few needed items from A.C. Moore (a craft store) and Market Basket (a grocery store), as well as fill up the gas tank.
After that, we came home and got lots more done. I was able to make and post a couple more jewelry items on Etsy. I also was able to get some content posted, as was Rich. How is all of this related to fun? Um, you do know me, right? Work is FUN!! Besides, who wouldn’t love a career like this? I get to make crafts, help animals, write, publish, design websites, etc. You see, it’s all creative, just like me. Of course it was fun!
Wait, where does the color come in? I said something about color, didn’t I? Guess what I did...again? Yup, re-dyed my hair purple. Most people hate the process involved with coloring hair. But, not me. I use vegan hair dye, so I don’t have to deal with the icky chemical smell and scalp burns. No thanks! I have fun coloring my hair, from start to finish.
While the hair color was setting, Rich and I were watching the first two Hobbit movies to get us into the mood for the third one, which he just won the UV code for. I was also publishing and writing and editing and other stuff, as usual. Anyway, we had both seen the first two in the series. But we never got around to the third one, which we plan to do tomorrow.
Another fun thing was that Rich got to watch his team (the Boston Red Sox) kick some serious butt in their first game of the season. I’m more of a basketball fan than a baseball fan. But that was a pretty entertaining game.
The eleven year old also texted us some cute videos she made. Speaking of her, I won a good sized book lot for her in an eBay auction a few days ago. So I got to tell her about that, as well as give her funds for more books at the school book fair. Yeah, we’re all book nuts. What can I say? More fun! I also played a funny late April Fool’s joke on the kiddos and texted them all a pic of me in a ponytail at just the right angle, telling them I cut my hair because I was tired of it. They freaked out -- and then laughed hard when I informed them it was a joke.
Now we’re watching Bates Motel, as I continue to write and make more jewelry and Rich gets to play some games on the computer. Not sure how much more I’ll get tonight because I’m such a workaholic. But hey, as you can see, I do know how to have fun, too.
Everything is fun with me - even work. Did you do anything fun recently? Tell me about it.
P.S. This is my E post for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!
Action is the Answer
No matter where you are headed in life, what tasks need to be done, or what your latest ponder may be, action is the answer.
Trust me, I know from experience that sitting around worrying and wondering what to do, how to get started, or what may come just doesn't get results. It's also no good for your psyche.
Give those goals and dreams some better energy by taking some action. Start out small or go for the gold, your choice. Just do something. Write a list of things that could help you get to your goal, submit a proposal to a company you wish to work for, make active plans and actions toward a big move, whatever suits your fancy.
Just do something. Take some action.
What actions will you take today?
Have you heard of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge? Guess who's participating again this year?
While I didn't succeed at fully completing the challenge on all the blogs I entered with last year, I'm giving it another go this year. In true me-style, I was even crazy enough to one-up the number of blogs I entered with last year. So I'll be doing the challenge with 7 of my however many blogs (yes I have THAT many that I forget the number right now).
Want to keep up with me? Here are the seven blogs you'll find me blabbering on from A to Z throughout the month of April:
Pets & Animal Advocacy
Poverty & Homelessness Issues and Resources
Article Writer For Hire
Write W.A.V.E. Media
Heart & Mind Homeschool
Are you participating in the challenge too? Drop your participating links in the comment section so I can check out your work too.
Happy reading and writing!