Monthly Archives: November 2014

Here’s An Easy Way To Save Hundreds When Your Vehicle Breaks

Dishonest mechanic
dishonest mechanic

Having your vehicle breakdown on you can be one of the most frustrating things you deal with in life. The reasons are usually because it’s almost always unexpected and it can become VERY expensive. It also always happens to occur when you’re already strapped financially.

I for one know what it feels like to be strapped for cash. It wasn’t too long ago that I was struggling financially for the majority of the years of my adult life. So before AdvoCare, I had to figure out every way I could to not just make money, but also to keep any amount of money I could from escaping my bank account. By performing the actions below, I have been able to save Mariah and myself and many friends thousands of dollars over the past few years.

If you don’t know exactly what’s going wrong with your vehicle and what, if any, parts you may need, then take your vehicle into your local maintenance shop. They should be able to diagnose the problem free of charge. To this date I have never been charged to have someone tell me what’s wrong with my vehicle (because at that point they haven’t fixed anything), but make sure you ask to be safe.

If a part has to be replaced, then that’s where the big savings comes into play! Ask them specifically what part is needed and how much they charge for it. Then ask how much labor to replace that part costs.

Here’s the dirty little secret that these maintenance shops don’t tell you: THEY MARK UP PARTS PRICES 40-100%!!! So how do you keep from getting overpaying for parts? Well, you go get them yourself from somewhere else.

This is what you do once you know the part that you need:

1. Ask your maintenance shop if they’d replace it for you if you brought the part to them and paid them for the labor. I’ve never had a place tell me “no” yet. They want your business, but just in the off chance they say “no” then tell them you are going to take it somewhere else.

2. After they tell you that they’ll replace it for you, call around to every auto parts store that is in the area and see if they have that part in stock. I highlight the word EVERY because you’d be surprised at the price differences between each of them sometimes. I’ve seen as much as a $40 price difference from the first to fifth place that I’ve called.

3. After you find out how much each of the places charge for that part, locate the one with the lowest price.

4. Once you’ve found the lowest price, call back and ask them to hold it for you.

5. Go pick the part up and while you’re there, ask the auto part store how much they’d charge to replace it for you. They may actually be cheaper on labor than your maintenance shop or may even tell you how to replace it yourself!

One last tip, just because one store is charging less than other stores on one particular part, don’t assume they’ll be the least expensive every time… they won’t. Always shop around.

I’m Dreaming of A White (Chocolate Peppermint Shake) Christmas

Mariah has done it again! This time she’s made Protein ICE CREAM!!! Check it out in her latest post! I’m Dreaming of A White (Chocolate Peppermint Shake) Christmas.

White Chocolate Peppermint Meal Replacement Shakes

Chocolate Protein Ice Cream

Healthy Eating On A Budget

Most all of our friends already know that my wife and I eat pretty healthy. We subscribe to the Paleo lifestyle mostly and have built a kitchen library of Paleo books along with multiple Paleo recipe websites. When asked about what we eat, the most common objection we get is that “it’s too expensive to eat healthy.” Well, after eating like this for over 4 years now, I can tell you that isn’t true and we’re gonna prove it. We put ourselves on a food budget and have been amazed at how little our meals have cost us. When we realized we were spending so little on food and were making so much of it, I decided to start figuring out how much each meal cost per person. We were shocked at what we discovered. We were making meals for 8 that cost us less than $12 for all of it!

There are several meals that I intend to breakdown by price over the new few weeks, but I wanted to start with the staple items that we use. Again, these are just SOME of the staple items. There are SEVERAL more, but these in particular are some of the ones we use most frequently.

Honeyville Almond Flour

Ingredient #1 – Almond Flour (you’ll want A TON of this if you eat Paleo)

Mariah and I use Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour and we get the 5 lb. bag of it from Amazon Prime because it is by far the best deal and the almond flour is also the best we have had. We also use Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour. We’ve tried many kinds and these are the best! By the way, if you don’t have Amazon Prime… GET IT! It’s awesome! FREE 2-day shipping and as much as we order food and books it has wound up saving us money. Not to mention all the other pros that come with it like Prime InstantVideo. If Bob's Red Mill Almond Flouryou have any questions about it let us know.

I’ve included a picture of what the Honeyville bag looks like that we order. The entire bag is $39.99 for 5 lbs. That’s $7.99/lb. I challenge you to find almond flour this good and this inexpensive anywhere else. The only way you’ll find it, I’m certain, is on Amazon.

The brand of Almond Flour we get depends on which one is cheaper on Amazon Prime at the time we are ordering. For instance, today the Bob’s Red Mill brand came out to $7.67/lb. So I bought 8 lbs. of it immediately. That’s one heck of a deal! I’ve also included what the Bob’s Red Mill bag looks like. Although the Honeyville almond flour is finer, we definitely love a good deal on our staple items.

Ingredient #2 – Organic Maple Syrup & Honey

One of the hardest things for most people switching to a healthy diet is a lack of desserts, BUT that’s only because they do not know how to make amazing Paleo desserts. CAUTION: They are definitely still treats. So you don’t want to load up on them. For our desserts there are quite a few items we use and two of those are organic maple syrup and honey. We mostly use maple syrup. For both of those ingredients we shop at Costco.We use the Kirkland Signature 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup. It comes in a 33.8 oz. bottle and is about .45 cents/oz. Carrington Farms Coconut Oil

Ingredient #3 – Coconut Oil (This is a BIG one)

For the coconut oil we use Carrington Farms Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. It comes in a 54 oz. jar for only $15.25 and goes on sale A LOT. We’ve got it as low as $15. It’s only .45 cents/oz.

Ingredient #4 – Eggs

We get our eggs from Costco too, but that’s not the only place where there are great deals on eggs. They are only about .36 cents/egg.

 Ingredient #5 – Chocolate

For all you dessert lovers out there, you’re gonna love this one! We use Enjoy Life chocolate. It’s dairy, soy, & nut free! The best place we’ve seen for those is online at VitaCost.com. If you want to save $10 on your first order CLICK HERE. Beside the inexpensive cost, the next best thing is that shipping is FREE if you order more than $50, which we do regularly. I posted the image for those as well. We use the Mega Chunks and Mini Chips.

Enjoy Life chocolate chipsIngredient #6 – Ghee

We also get our ghee from VitaCost. Ghee is clarified butter and is much healthier for you than regular ole butter. We use the Purity Farms Organic Salt Free Ghee Clarified Butter brand. You can literally save $7-8 by getting it from VitaCost as opposed to a store.

Ingredient #7 – Vegetables/Sweet Potatoes!

We eat the heck out of vegetables! Sweet Potatoes specifically are DA BOMB.COM! Mariah makes sweet potato hash brown and fries are easy to make as well. The best place to get your veggies is a local farmer’s market. We racked up this past weekend. I brought $20 and then walked out with $12 and several bags full of vegetables!

Ingredient #8 – Spark & RehydrateAdvoCare Spark

I used to be a BIG TIME soft drink drinker! Sunkist was my jam! If it wasn’t soft drinks then it was Kool-aid (tons of sugar) or Crystal Light (which has aspartame in it and is terrible for you). Instead of those terrible drinks, we simply mix our water with Spark and/or Rehydrate. They are MUCH MUCH healthier for you and better tasting. Fruit Punch Spark tastes like Hawaiian Punch to me and Green Apple tastes like an apple Jolly Rancher.

There will be price breakdown on Mariah’s Paleo meals to come!

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