Amanda Stanhaus

Tag: lunch

Baked Goods & Banking


I loved baked goods. But I make a deal with myself. No store-bought baked goods. I must make them from scratch. How I justify homemade baked good…well, I burn calories kneading the dough and save some $$.

My heroine and author of 1962’s Sex and the Single Girl Helen Gurley Brown would agree with me!

Here are her thoughts on food, drink, & entertaining:

“Give up starchy snacks, bread, pastries, suet pudding, preserves and soft drinks— all terrible for you anyhow.”

“Keep an almost bare cupboard. You don’t eat much. Who are those other people you’re feeding?”

“Cook with margarine…Cooking with cream and butter does pile calories on you and the guests you presumably love—so watch it!”

“Drink skimmed milk. It’s cheaper and keeps you skinnier!…Cook with powdered skimmed milk. One-third cup plus three-fourths cup of water makes one cup of milk loaded with minerals and vitamins and it tastes fine.”

“Try to like kidneys, hearts, liver, brains. Every nutritionists says they give you more health returns than filet mignon. Oh yes…they cost one-sixth as much. (P.S. I never learned.)”

“Posh lunches with girl-friends are to celebrate an increase in salary. Any girl who doesn’t take her lunch to work three days a week is a spendthrift. Brown bag fare is healthier. Yogurt, carrot sticks, and fruit are glamorous girl fodder. It’s cheaper. And who wants to spend noon hours in a noisy, second-rate restaurant who you can shop, stroll with a friend or sit in the sun?”

“Anyone can take you to lunch. How bored can you be for one hour?”

“Give big parties with one or two friends but don’t B.Y.O.L. anybody. Who needs a party that isn’t free?”

“Those who drink aged scotch or bourbon will have to bring flasks.”

“Don’t entertain deadbeats.”

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Groceries are a must


Food, a true necessity.

But, Brie with truffles is not the same as Kraft singles.  So, how much do I budget for groceries?

Wasting food makes me feel like a waste of space.

Pre- grocery list creation I try to think about the upcoming week.

How many lunch meetings? Potlucks? Will I be brunching? Cupcakes for a birthday party?

I used to have to make a budget according to food group. Fruits/Veggies and I were not besties. But we’ve reconciled our differences.

Now I budget according to meal time.


Lunch =



I sometimes have to cheat and make some foods count for two meal times to stay within my budget.

I make it up to myself by filling my lunch box with my eggplant parmesan leftovers. Yum! I approve of only this kind of cheating.


(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Benefits of Credit

imageIf paid in full, credit beats debit in the most rewarding experience category.

(click on the bold-faced vocab words:))

Bloomies gift card! Flight to Paris! $40!

Depending on the card, I’m treated every time I purchase with credit.

These rewards can be bittersweet. If I miss the pay by date or don’t pay my bill in full, I have to pay extra in interest.

Read magazines in the library. Coffee for lunch. Walk in the rain.

Stupid shit I’ve done, so there is just enough to pay off my credit card. But it’s worth it.

Paying in FULL is critical to get the most bang for my buck.


(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)


When I need to make a change to my diet, I write down my meals every day for a week. Maple cream cookies… they are so tiny, yet add up so quickly!

Same now goes for my spending habits. It’s shocking how little things like magazines, gum and espresso add up. Now I know where my loose change goes because I track my spending on Mint.

(click on the bold-faced vocab words:))

Once you create an account (do it now), Mint does the dirty work for you. Whenever you use your debit or credit card, it automatically records the $$ in your own confidential cloud based notebook.

Cash lovers can manually add expenses through the Mint App!

Mint presents your expenses in automatic categories. Problem areas will be crystal clear.  Great?!

For me, it was my work week lunches. I have since invested in a lunchbox adorned with my initials. Currently, one of many trends in my office—attributed to me!    

See Mint’s magic for yourself in their 90-second overview video here.


(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)