Shopping for Cheap Gas and Healthy Snacks

So one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to lose six pounds before the Blissdom conference next month, but somehow since I made that resolution I’ve actually gained two pounds!  My problem is not meals so much because I plan out healthy meals in advance for the family.  My problem is with snacks!  I’m too busy to eat very much during the day so I’m usually starving by suppertime.  I’ll get full with dinner then start snacking for the rest of the evening and lose all track of calories.

I seem to gain and lose the same 6 to 8 pounds over and over and I know myself well enough to know that if I try and deprive myself of chocolate, or the occasional yummy snack, I’ll never stick to any diet.  Sooooo – this year is all about portion control!  My plan is to eat three small balanced meals (including the occasional meal bar or shake) plus a couple of snacks each day.

Now instead of starving then splurging I’m going to eat my snacks but try to select healthier options and keep a close eye on the fat, calories, and number of servings per package.  For example, I’m a big fan of Hot Fries, but I’d never really paid attention before to see that there are actually three servings in this bag!  The good news is that they were so warm it really turned out to be more like four servings, plus they’re baked not fried like my favorite potato chips so a small serving is a good substitute.

Hubby and I were out running errands the other night and we stopped in at our favorite Murphy USA gas station for some cheap gas and I wanted to check out the snack selection.  The prices were reasonable and the selection was actually pretty good considering its one of the Express locations where you pay at the window and the snacks are arranged outside leading up to the window.

I was hoping for fruit but since they don’t really have shelves I’m sure that was too much to ask.  I bought Fig Newtons instead and we split the cookies even though the package said it was one serving.  They were filling and hit the spot so I was proud of that substitute for a fatty snack.  I bought some cheddar crackers for hubby and some miniature Oreo and Nutter Butter cookies for me.  The price was great at two for $1.39 and with three servings each they’ll actually last me awhile.

They did have a good selection of fruit and vegetable juices, however I opted for the water instead.  Other choices I considered were cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.  While not necessarily health foods, I think these are much healthier choices than my previous cinnamon roll, candy bar and potato chip selections.

This experience has been part of a study with Murphy USA. All opinions are my own.


Shopping for Cheap Gas and Better Gas Mileage

In a previous post I wrote about 7 ways to save money at the gas pump and I’d like to add two more to the list!  My motto is ‘the more I can save on the things I need, the more I can spend on things I want’.  You know, like retirement and the kids college fund – so I’m constantly looking for the best prices and savings strategies since pennies add up into dollars really quickly.

Because I can get a whopping 10 cents off per gallon at Murphy USA when I pay with my Walmart credit card (or 5 cents/gal with other cards including Walmart gift cards in most areas) I usually try to plan my route so that I can swing by a Murphy station when I need to fill up.

I recently learned about Additech, a fuel additive that guarantees it will increase your gas mileage by up to 10% and is available at the pump at most Murphy USA gas stations.  There is an option on the display screen at the pump that allows you to choose whether you want Additech dispensed with your fuel, and you can select a small ($1.99), medium ($4.99) or large ($7.99) dose of the additive.  I selected the medium and it was super fast and easy since I was able to pay at the pump and it was dispensed by blending with the fuel while pumping the gas.

Fuel additives work by helping to reduce deposits in your vehicle’s fuel system that can make your engine run rough and reduce your gas mileage.  Cleaning out the deposits that build up over time improves your car’s performance and increases your gas mileage, in addition to reducing harmful emissions.

For a limited time when you buy Additech at a Murphy USA station you will also receive a free Red Strike energy drink.  I’m usually a little leery of energy drinks because I don’t do caffeine and if I ever ingest any I get a little jittery, but with five young kids I’m always in need of more energy.  I pored over the label and the main ‘energy’ ingredients are Taurine and B vitamins so I gave it a shot and I actually liked it very much.  It tasted a little like Sprite with a fruity tang to it and it definitely increased my energy level, but thankfully without any jitters.  Because the large 16 oz can said it contained two servings I only drank half on the first day, saved the rest for the next day and was thrilled to get two days of extra energy out of the one drink.

For more information check out Additech on Twitter or Facebook, Red Strike on Twitter or Facebook, and Murphy USA on Twitter or Facebook

Disclosure – This post has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.