Showing posts with label Savings and Splurges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Savings and Splurges. Show all posts

Pig-Out And Portion: Triple Your Take-Out!

Pig-Out and Portion: Triple Your Take-Out

Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley


If you are committed to losing weight to get healthier like I am, you may have some things that you do that are habits that block you from losing weight. They can also keep you from saving money and splurging with the rest.

Ordering Take-Out from a Chinese Restaurant is something that I enjoy doing with my family. We sit and watch TV, usually MSNBC, and eat our meal.

Sure, there are times where I will order something with lots of vegetables, such as chicken with broccoli, beef with string beans, or a rainbow dish, Chicken or Beef mixed with a blend of different vegetables. I enjoy those dishes, sometimes though, I want something really indulgent. Something with Meat that has a sweet sauce, like Boneless BBQ Ribs.

I ordered a dish a couple weeks back and here is the strategy I used so that it lasts longer, and I don’t feel deprived.



Below is a sketch Infographic that I drew to explain how I was able to Save and Splurge on Chinese Take-Out. I will go over the steps here in the article.

Step 1: Order food from your favorite Chinese Restaurant.

Step 2: Take out your main dish, side dish, I had pork fried rice, and appetizer and place as much as you like on the plate. I usually take half of what is there in each take out container. It’s a personal choice, take as much or as little as you’d like, but take enough that you know you won’t feel deprived after eating.

Step 3: You may have an appetizer that just had one piece. In this example, I’ve got an Egg Roll. If you’ve got just one, eat it at the meal! If you’ve got more then one, take one, and save the rest in a separate container from the main and side dishes and eat them as a snack at another time. Be sure to put the container in the fridge!

Step 4: After you finish eating, take the main dish and split it in 2 parts, and take the side dish and split it into 2 parts.

Step 5: If there is sauce, drain the sauce from the meat. Only save the meat. The sauce has lots of calories that are fun to splurge on once in awhile, but if you are committed to losing weight, then let the sauce go.

Step 6: Grab two containers to place the food in. I use Ball Jars and Plastic Lids made for Ball Jars. Place the rice in first and then place the meat without the sauce in on top of the rice. Close each jar with a plastic Lid.

Step 7: This is important. Place one jar in the freezer and one in the Fridge. This way if you’re short of money and you want take out, you have Chinese food in the Freezer. Eat the one in the Fridge sooner, within 3 days after being placed there.

Suggestion: If you want to make your leftover portions bigger, open up a can of vegetables and take some out and mix it in with the leftover food when you are about to heat it up again. Don’t put the vegetables in the containers uncooked, The are better fresh out of the can. You can also buy frozen vegetables and cook them and add them to the dish. Either way works.




And remember, you don’t want to forget desert! A Fortune Cookie is a great way to end the meal.
I hope this helps you save and splurge on one of your favorite indulgences. And remember, the example I used is a once in a while dish that I used as an example. Even if the dish you order is healthier, you can still use the same method to save the food. Drain the sauce then too.


Until next time my friends,
Wishing you health and happiness,



Jess aka Sketchwriterjess


Pig-Out and Portion: Triple Your Take-Out
Copyright 2017 Jessica B. Hensley



What’s your favorite Indulgent Chinese Take Out Dish? What healthier Chinese Take Out Dishes do you like?

Just Two Coupons Can Help You Save On A Month's Worth Of Groceries!

Just Two Coupons Can Help You Save On A Month's Worth of Groceries! 


by Jessica B. Hensley, Jess aka Sketchwriterjess for "Savings and Splurges"


All graphics are pictures I have taken and have varied the colors and shapes in a photo editing program. I hope I did justice to the brands in the photos. I love the brands discussed in this post and I wanted to infuse my artistic vibe into them...




If you are in a situation where you need to budget your money because if you don't you may not have much money buy anything at the end of the month. I have a solution that might just make budgeting a little easier to stick too.

For this week's post about how I saved and splurged, this time at the grocery store, I am writing about shopping with coupons.


This is the first time I've ever shopped with coupons with purpose. In the past, I just cut out coupons once and awhile, saved a little money and thought nothing of it. Now, I need to think about how I spend my money. There are lots of things going on right now that are going to throw me off my game if I don't keep my eye on the prize, i.e. being self-employed.

So without further ado, let me tell you my solution for saving money on one of my favorite snacks. 

I have been making some changes in my eating habits due to health reasons and knew that I couldn't stay on a healthy eating plan if I didn't have some snacks to eat. The one snack that I absolutely love is cereal. I like the healthier versions. Some have a little sugar, however many times I just buy the original flavors.

So I found a couple of coupons for two brands that I enjoy buying for my snacks. They each had a buy x number of boxes, get one for y dollars off.

I had other coupons for other things, but I felt that this was the best purchase at the time. These were manufacturers coupons so they could be used anywhere that had these products.
What I found was that the coupons said that I could buy whatever size I wanted and still save money on my purchase.

I realized that if I buy in bulk, even though I'm paying more for the amount of products, I'm saving money because I am buying the biggest sizes and it's something that I eat all the time. I felt like the purchase was right for me.

Though I saved money, I still wanted something extra, something else that felt indulgent.




Enter the soda fixin's. I bought some syrups that are usually put in alcoholic drinks. Plus one for water. Who says that any of these need to go into an alcoholic drink! Yes I still drink, not often, but it's not something I should be doing too much so I've got the next best thing. Custom soda.  Mix syrup/sweetener with seltzer or club soda!

I don't use the serving amount listed on the bottle because some of them do contain sugar. If you are a type 1 diabetic, artificial water flavoring is best, even type 2 should use sparingly. So, as a type 2 diabetic, I use about a 1/2 tsp total of each part I put in. Some have more calories then others. I usually only use one or two parts.

I'm going to build up my stock of artificial sweeteners for flavoring water so I don't drink sugary drinks every day. Right now I've got one water flavoring.

So, buying these extra soda fixin's did bring my total up, however I didn't buy them all at once. I already had some purchased. Yet they will last at least a month if not more.

I may even make some into ice cubes so they are extra fresh, the sugar syrups, not the water flavoring. The water flavoring does not need to be refrigerated.

Yes, I splurged a bit, but I saved by buying something that I know won't go to waste. In fact there are so many times I've bought something on sale only to have it sit in the cabinet or fridge to expire barely used. To me, that is where so much money is lost these days.


I hope this article gave you something to chew on and drink up. For the record, I eat cereal dry with my hands. People think its funny, I don't know why they think it's so funny, it can be eaten dry like pretzels or potato chips.

Here is one last photo that I altered to really bring this home...





I was so excited when I got these that I bagged up my first box into plastic zip bags and had eaten a big bowl already. All this budgeting stuff makes me hungry.

Until the next time I write about my Savings and Splurges. Have a good one!

Jess aka "Sketchwriterjess".

P.S. If you learned something from this article, I'd appreciate it if you go to any of my social media pages and share this article. It's not just about me, I think this can help many people.

How To Make Thai Iced Tea Even If You Use Less Fat and Sugar

Need a refreshment? Look no further then this low fat, low sugar recipe for Thai Iced Tea.


This drink gets me through a night of blogging, and it is even a good refreshing drink to relax with too. This Thai Iced Tea drink is great for diabetics!

(In my opinion. This is an opinion by a Type 2 Diabetic. If you have concerns please ask your doctor before trying this drink. In fact, there is no reason why you can't use an artificial sweetener instead of sugar. However, I explain more as to why I use raw sugar in my post.)


If you are a diabetic, like I am...



Sketchwriterjess' Thai Iced Tea. A refreshing, sweet drink for diabetics.
I’m sure you’ve been told thousands of times not to eat fat and sugar. I’ve decided that I don’t want to give up one of my favorite treats, Thai Iced Tea. The sweetened condensed milk contains fat and sugar, so I made my own condensed milk that is low fat and low sugar for my recipe for Thai Iced Tea. And again, artificial sweetener can be used, however, I prefer raw sugar. I figure it's better to have a little of the real thing, then a lot of artificial sweetener. It's just my opinion.

Here is the recipe for the low fat, low sugar condensed milk that I use in my Thai Iced tea plus the tea mix I use to make it.

Sketchwriterjess's Thai Iced Tea





Condensed Milk Mix


2 Tbsp. Powdered Dry Skim Milk plus

1 oz. Water plus

¼ tsp Canola Oil and

¼ tsp. – ½ tsp. Raw Sugar,

(Not brown sugar, White sugar, Brown Sugar, and Raw Sugar are the same calories, but Raw sugar feels different to me when I take it in, then regular white sugar or brown sugar. I think it's slower and I don't crash, that's just my opinion, your experience may vary and if you need advice on whether this drink is right for you, feel free to ask your doctor. Regular brown sugar is white sugar soaked in Molasses. Raw sugar has it's naturally processed molasses coating which contains vitamins and minerals, and adds a slight caramel flavor to the milk so this is my choice).



Tea Mix

3 grams Thai Iced Tea mix, (A mix that is in a large bag can be purchased at Asian Grocery Stores) or

3 grams Mix of Half and Half Black Tea and Ceylon Orange Tea, (This is what I like to use, it’s usually what I have on hand, I take Half of one tea bag and half of the other bag and mix them together and place them in the tea ball. The tea bags with tea in them  can be wrapped in wax paper and stored in a thick plastic Ziploc bag with the air squeezed out of it.) plus

4 oz. hot water

Optional Add in:

½ tsp. Vanilla Extract or ½ a Vanilla Bean, (if you are not using the Thai Iced Tea Mix), and/or
Raw Sugar to taste






To make Thai Iced Tea:


1. Steep Tea Leaves for 4 minutes in 4 oz. of Hot water in a coffee mug, either with tea bags, or with tea placed in a tea ball strainer.

2. After steeping, take out the tea bags or tea ball and add raw sugar and vanilla extract or vanilla bean if not using the Thai Iced Tea Mix. Thai Iced Tea Mix has Vanilla in it.

3. Fill up a 12 oz. glass of ice to the top. Take out 2 ice cubes and place in the coffee mug that contains the hot tea. Set aside.

4. In a measuring cup for liquid measure that can be heated in the microwave, place Dry Skim Milk into the measuring cup, Then fill up water to the 2 oz. mark.

5. Stir the Dry Milk and Water together until it becomes a liquid.

6. Heat the Milk in the Microwave for 20 seconds. Take cup out of microwave and stir in raw sugar until dissolved. Then stir in the Canola Oil. If you want it to be a little thicker, more oil can be added, I suggest only one additional ¼ tsp. of Oil be added, otherwise it will be greasy.

7. Pour The tea into the glass over ice. Take the mug and the glass and put them together so they make a V when the openings of each cup touch. i.e. both cups should be tilted toward each other before the tea is poured into the glass. This way the tea will not spill out of the mug.

8. Pour the Milk into the glass to blend with the tea.

9. Stir and sip.




(The milk will blend quickly, though it does not sit on top of the tea, it swirls around when it is stirred. The taste is there and the dry milk water mix makes a thicker milk then regular milk. The oil adds a little fat for smoothness).




Here is a recipe card of Sketchwriterjess' Thai Iced Tea for your convenience. Click on it and Save it to print:




Enjoy!


Have you ever made Thai Iced Tea at home? How do you make Thai Iced Tea? 






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