Ma Bella Vita: How Im Easily saving HUNDREDS of dollars (Plus- a Trader Joe's Fave')

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Saturday, September 7, 2013

How Im Easily saving HUNDREDS of dollars (Plus- a Trader Joe's Fave')

Happy Saturday! September is here and it brought some cool breezes with it. I don't mind this "cool" weather so I gotta' say "welcome fall, I've missed you". I am literally sitting here with a sweater on. And no I am not outside.

I actually just got home. Had quite a productive Saturday over at Barnes and Noble. Did some school work (yes semester has begun again for better or for worst), finished some writing assignments and did a whole lot of reading. I then proceeded to check out my local library which I had never been to in the nearly 2 years I have been living in this neighborhood and all I gotta' say is: I found my new favorite spot!!!
Ok disclaimer: I am obviously a  HUGE geek/nerd, whatever u wanna' call it, when it comes to reading books and magazines (I say obviously because a library is now on the list of my favorite places). My geek percentage increases exponentially when I find reading material in relation to my two passions: Health/Fitness and personal finance. And so, after spending my entire morning at Barnes and Noble I then spent nearly an hour at my local New York Public Library. My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I found this morning's Wall Street Journal just sitting in one of the tables. Free newspapers! Yes I am so cool!

So, this brings me to the title of this post: How exactly do I plan to save "HUNDREDS" of dollars from now on? Well, by taking FULL advantage of my library card. Something many of us take for granted without realizing that it can save sooooooo much money!!

Confessions of a cheap person: I owed about $69 in late fees from about 2 years ago which I refused to pay. Well, I decided it was time to eliminate that "debt" when I realized that it wouldn't magically disappear. Also, as cheap frugal as I am, I no longer wanted to shell out cash for books or magazines, which is what I had been doing since I was "banned" from borrowing anything from the library. So, I finally paid my fines in full and found my library card stashed away in some random purse in my apartment. Win! and win! Although $69 is a whole lot of money, I decided to change my perspective and look at it as follows:

1. A nice "donation" to my local library

2. An "investment" which will pay for itself as I will no longer be buying books, magazines, newspapers, CDs, audio books, eBooks or absolutely anything that I can possibly find at a library. Wish I could get a free meal or two there but that's probably pushing it.

So there you have it!!! And just to let you know-- the library has come a long way from the old days and they pretty much have everything you can think of. I was even able to find a book required for one of my classes this semester! The only thing that can be annoying (and I have to be honest, is not my cup of tea) is having to renew the items you borrow and keeping track of their due dates--specially me as I somehow accumulated nearly $70 in late fees; but I learned my lesson. However, aside from that, the perks of having the card really outweighs anything else (you can even renew your items online!!).

Ok this is not a public service announcement but I encourage you to take full advantage of the resources available to you. You'll be glad you did! And if you lost your card, the fee to get a new one is only $1 (I am talking about NYC but is probably similar country wide).
I left the library with all these gems. Now just gotta' find the time to squeeze in some reading. I am contemplating quitting my job:


After I got home I was STARVING and in serious need of grocery shopping (not a good combination). I then remembered I took a trip to trader Joes a couple of weeks ago and stocked up on one of my favorite frozen items from there:
I had this for the first time during a friend's beach outing this past summer. My friend had brought it in to share and I fell in love after the first bite. I immediately added it to my list of "things to get while at Trader Joes" (yes I have a list which also includes popular items such as almond butter and Ezequiel bread). And so, I enjoyed my veggie burger with avocado on a whole wheat tortilla with a strawberry-banana smoothie on the side:


I also had some yogurt with granola& flax seeds + green tea right after:


And now I have to get ready to leave my apartment again and run some additional errands, visit family, etc. etc. Always on the run!
As always, thanks for reading!
Tell me, do you have a library card? do you use it often? Any money-saving tips you can share? comment below!


  1. The most I've ever racked up in fines at the library was $5. I felt like that was a lot, but over sixty? I'm guessing they didn't call you to tell you that you owed money at like $10.....they just kept letting it build until you figured it out. Lame! I love my library and library card, and use them both ALL the time. Know what else I love? TJs almond butter. Getting some today in fact!

    1. Tell me about it! Its something Im def not proud of. I cant believe it got out of control like that. Comes without saying that'll never happen again. Ugh!!

      TJs almond butter is the best. I actually ran out of what I have so need to get more. Happy sunday :)


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