Livin La Vida Broke-a

Confessions of a College Student

Category: Budget Friendly

Make a Difference

I am hopefully giving a pint of my O+ tomorrow! I try giving blood every chance I get because I have all this extra in me, I’m healthy, and someone else needs it out there. So if you’re eligible and feel like helping someone in need without spending money (this is Livin’ La Vida BROKE-a after all), why not find a blood drive near you!

I common problem I and many other women have is low iron. The past three times I have tried donating I’ve been turned away because my iron was just a little too low. That isn’t going to happen tomorrow.

Blood Donation

Blood Donation (Photo credit: Rojina)

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Back to School, Back to School

To prove to Dad that I’m not a fool.

Today is my last first day of undergrad. LET THE GAMES BEGIN! So, what better way to welcome everyone back to school than finding the cheapest places to buy or rent textbooks?

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Chocolate Peppermint Trifle

Remember that post about the 12 Days of Christmas workout? Well, let’s contradict that.

If you remember the post, you may remember the picture of the beautiful trifle I made. Today’s your lucky day, because I am sharing my recipe with you. It’s very simple to make and requires few ingredients. It’s fairly cheap to make, too, so it’s perfect for the college student budget. And it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes (plus the bake time for the brownies, so maybe an hour tops), so it fits in with your busy holiday schedule.

Yeah… this one

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Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Guess what day it is! If you said hump day, please leave my page now as I am severely disappointed in you. Today is the first day of ABC Family’s Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas. It’s the Countdown to the Countdown! Sure none of the movies on the list have anything to do with the holiday, but Up is on AND we get a Harry Potter marathon next weekend.

Christmas music is on the radio, TV stations are starting their Christmas lineups, so that means the holiday season is here. That being said, I can officially begin Christmas blogging. Hope you’re ready!

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A DIY Holiday

I’m pretty tight on cash right now (hence, Livin La Vida Broke-a). However, I have a lot of friends with birthdays AND Christmas coming up. So how can I make sure everyone is pleased this season?

Do it yourself. Make them something they’ll enjoy. Homemade presents are much more meaningful, they’re fun to do, and you’ll know that no one else is getting them the same thing. This is typically a cheap way to please everyone during the holidays. Here are some ideas for DIY gifts.

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Welcome to November!

November is such a fun month! Now that our Halloween Hangovers have gone away, it’s time to think of the holiday season. You can’t hate me for the truth: The holiday season is officially among us!


This is an especially busy month for me, aside from all the work I have to do. There’s the best holiday ever Thanksgiving, my Spartan Race in 12 days, and my birthday in 11 days! And not only my birthday, but I have like 10 friends with birthdays within the same week as me.


So, for this month, I’ll be focusing on Thanksgiving recipes, homemade crafts for gifting, and exercises (both for the race and that post-Thanksgiving food baby). And I’m starting Christmas as soon as ABC Family’s Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas starts 😉


There’s a lot to be thankful for, so stay tuned!


English: Domesticated Turkey at Walla fjäderfä...




This is Halloween

I’ve wanted to start decorating for Halloween since the end of August when all the Halloween candy and costumes started coming out into stores. Next to Thanksgiving, Halloween is my second favorite holiday. Since I’m on a tight budget, it was difficult to find money to spare to spend on Halloween decorations. My roommate Mike and I both were eager to decorate, so we went to Walmart looking for cheap stuff. They had stuff, but it was all over our budget.


Jack-o-lantern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Luckily for us, there’s the Dollar Tree. Mike and I spent $10 and decorated our whole apartment. Also, I found an owl craft at Target for just a dollar! (I promise I would’ve given a link but I can’t find it on the Target website. This little guy is so cute, though!) So now, our apartment is very festive and ready to party. Now to find an equally cheap costume …


Hey! What’s for Dinner?!

It’s 5:30. My boyfriend Timmy and I realized we’re starving. I mean, it’s been a whole three hours since we last ate! There’s nothing good for dinner at the dining commons (the DC) and we don’t feel like going out. So what are we gonna eat?!

I looked in my cabinet and found cereal, Ramen, some tea bags, oh! A box of couscous – the name so nice you say it twice. Conveniently, I had taken some spinach and tomatoes from the DC at lunch.  The problem is, Timmy has never had couscous before and wasn’t sure if he liked it. Well, this is what I’m cooking and if he doesn’t like it he can starve … or get some Subway. Whichever.


This is actually a really simple recipe, and it’s also very cheap. Here’s what you need:

  • One box of couscous (I used the Near East Parmesan flavored, but I’m sure any would be just as good.)
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • Half a cup of grape tomatoes
  • Half a cup of spinach

NoteIf you’re making this for two, I would suggest getting two boxes of couscous.

  1. Follow the directions on the couscous box: bring 1/2 cup of water, 1 tsp of butter, and the contents of the seasoning package to a boil.
  2. While the water is boiling, cut the tomatoes in half and tear up the spinach leaves.
  3. Add couscous to the boiling water, and remove from heat – let sit for five minutes.
  4. In the final two minutes of letting your couscous sit, add the tomatoes and spinach.
  5. Enjoy!

For improvising, this turned out to be absolutely delicious, filling, and very budget friendly. Boxes of couscous are usually around $1 each. And, if you take the tomatoes and spinach from your school cafeteria, it’s even cheaper! If you don’t though, at least grape tomatoes make a healthy snack! I don’t think tomatoes and spinach cost too too much!

Timmy ended up loving couscous, by the way, so I didn’t have to starve him 😉 He even wants me to make it again!

I think next time I make it I’m going to try the Mediterranean curry flavor, since it’s the best one. Try this for yourself sometime and let me know how you like it! It’s a healthier alternative to the typical Ramen noodles and Easy Mac, and it tastes a lot better.


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