Personal Care, Looking Good Feed

Shopping for a new place to get a haircut? Check out Fantastic Sam's

Scissors and combBy Mike Thayer

I've been getting my hair cut at Fantastic Sam's since discovering them in early 2016. I've never received a bad hair cut there, the customer service has always been excellent, the store is clean, the conversation fun and the price is right!

With that in mind, I've done some online price shopping for some contrast/comparison.  Prices may vary, many salons are franchised, meaning they set their own prices:

  • Fantastic Sam's - $12.95
  • Lady Janes - $16
  • Great Clips - $15
  • MasterCuts - $16
  • Supercuts - $16
  • Sport Clips - $19
  • Planet Hair - $32 OUCH!  No men's haircut is worth $32.  Period.

I've visited Great Clips, Supercuts and Sport Clips before and I really did like Sport Clips, but I don't need a TV tuned in to ESPN to entertain me while I get a haircut.   Once I discovered Fantastic Sam's, I haven't gone anywhere else.

Thank you Fantastic Sam's!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Carb-Check Diet: Pork Rind Crusted Tilapia

By Mike Thayer

Pork Rind Breaded TilapiaThis was tonight's dinner. Two pork rind crusted Tilapia fillets. That's right, you read that correctly, pork rind crusted! DELICIOUS!  Finely pulsed regular, plain pork rinds in a food processor, rather than bread crumbs.  I added some seasoning to the pulsed pork rinds, some dried parsley, garlic powder, salt, black pepper.  After soaking the fish fillets in some milk for a bit, I 'breaded' the fillets and put them in some hot canola oil, 3 minutes on the first side, 2 minutes on the second.

It's another dose of YUM!  I'm full, I'm feeling very satisfied with a crunchy fried food..... no side dishes required. And guess what, no carbs! This dinner provided me with 40 grams of protein. I tested the pork rind 'breading' on fish because fish doesn't take long at all to cook, my fear was burning the 'breading' from a longer stay in the frying pan. But based on these initial results, I'm thinking some thin cut pork chops is worth a try!

And this was a very Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly meal.  Tilapia is an inexpensive fish and pork rinds are flat out cheap!  This tasty fish meal cost me about $6 to prepare and I've leftovers for lunch tomorrow and plenty of pork rinds to snack on later!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Carb-Check Diet: Snacking on a bratwurst is better than snacking on chips

By Mike Thayer

20161208_225811Eating chips means eating carbs and those kind of carbs are a bad thing.

Eat a bratwurst or a hot dog instead.

Eating a brat has about the same amount of fat as the chips do.  Yes, really.  A brat also puts twice the proteins in your body and it's a snack that will stay with you longer and won't drive your blood sugar up like chip carbs will.   In other words, a brat is better for your body's metabolism. 

Here's the breakdown:  A 2 ounce serving of Nacho Cheese Doritos have about 280 calories, 16 grams of fat, 32 carbs and 4 grams of protein.  A brat, which typically run at about 2.3 ounces, has about 200 calories, 17 grams of fat, 1 carb and 8 grams of protein.

A brat has fewer calories, more protein and most importantly, far less carbs.  

Carb-Check Diet_smallAnother plus to snacking on proteins regularly instead of chips and such.....  Snacking on proteins will eventually lead to snacking less, a.k.a., weight loss.

And then there's the Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly cost factor...  Cost of a small snack bag of Doritos - 47¢.  Cost of a brat - 80¢.   You'll be reaching for something else to snack on to tide you over if you went with the chips.  No so with the brat, the proteins keep you fuller, longer. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Get the least expensive haircut in town at Fantastic Sam's

By Mike Thayer

Scissors and combIf you don't feel like spending $20+ on a haircut, find the nearest Fantastic Sam's.  I've been a repeat customer since 2016.  

If you get there early, you can usually count on being seated for a haircut right away, but there are those busy times where you may have to wait for a bit, particularly on Saturdays.  All the stylists there know what they're doing, when they ask how you like to have your hair cut, they listen and nail it.  The stylists are fast too and just conversational enough to avoid that awkward silence.

The best part:  A men's haircut at Fantastic Sam's is just $12.95.   I'm usually in and out in under 15 minutes and I'm always real pleased with the result.  The store is clean, organized and all employees are customer oriented, not just, "on the job."  

With three shops in Wichita, I got my haircut at the 1656 S Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67207 location. Fantastic Sam's get five out of five Bachelor on the Cheap Stars!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Grilling goes hand in hand with the Carb-Check Diet

By Mike Thayer

Pork Chops Smoked Low and SlowWhat would you rather have, a grilled hot dog or one that's been heated up in a frying pan?  Would you rather have a breast of chicken grilled, or oven baked?  I don't know about you, but I'll choose the grilled variety every time just based on flavor, but a bonus is, most grilled versions of meats are leaner too. 

Grilling lends itself to a leaner diet, just by the method of cooking.  Think about it, fats come off the meats and drip down into the coals, making for a leaner bite vs. a meat that's fried or baked in an oven.  Both of the latter two methods of cooking typically means the meat is sitting in a hot pan of oils and/or meat fats.   Yes, grilled beats even oven baked because most recipes for the oven call for the addition of oils and/or starches (carbs) to add flavor and keep them moist and the meats bathe, er, cook in those oils and/or starches.

Here's an example:  You can throw an all beef hot dog on the grill, as is, get that great grilled flavor - 150 calories.  Throw an all beef hot dog in the frying pan with a teaspoon of olive oil and add 40 calories to that to hot dog total and now you're eating 190 calories.  Never mind that the fried version doesn't taste as good.  If you're into counting calories, that's significant, especially over the long term, 30 calories here, 40 calories there....  It adds up.   Heck, it adds up in just one meal....  If you eat two grilled hot dogs - 300 calories.  If you eat two fried hot dogs - 380 calories.

Now regular readers know that counting calories isn't really done in the Carb-Check Diet, so let me give you another example in how grilling lends itself to a leaner diet.   A six ounce grilled chicken breast with some dry rub and a kiss of olive oil is about 280 calories, no carbs and it's delicious!  A six ounce chicken breast done in the oven is about 250 calories, but then, how do you make it taste good?  Add a little olive oil and tomato sauce?   Add another 80 calories and 8 grams in carbs.  How about rolling it in bread crumbs and oven 'frying' it?  Add another 120 calories and a whopping 21 grams in carbs!

Carb-Check Diet_smallAnd here's an even better measure in how grilling goes hand in hand with the Carb-Check Diet.....  Eating two deliciously seasoned grilled cheeseburger patties with no bun is better in terms of diet, enjoying the food and STICKING to the diet, than eating a fried burger on a bun with a side of fries.  Eating a tantalizing grilled chicken breast is better than eating oven 'fried' chicken tenders.  Eating a mouth-watering grilled steak is better than eating baked steak smothered in a mushroom gravy and served on a bed of noodles to make it taste good.  It's those carbs that kill you, especially in foods that are breaded and fried, heck, as you can read, even oven fried!

Grilled meats are typically leaner and they have a flavor advantage created by the smoke (no calories, no carbs) and grilled meats can also save you time in future meals, grill a bunch to create some great leftovers!  

Eat leaner, eat grilled and save money by not buying bad carbs to boot.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Carb-Check Diet Tip: If you're going to eat bad carbs, do it in the morning

Carb-Check Diet_smallBy Mike Thayer

IF you're going to eat some bad carbs...... try to do it in the morning.   Sometimes it's tough to get through a day of meal planning without taking in some kind of bad carbs, I know, been there, done that.  But if you eat them (if you really, really just can't help it) in the morning, at least you have the remainder of the day to burn those bad carbs off.  Having toast or potatoes with breakfast?  OK, fine, but then you have to be disciplined enough to stay away from chips, pasta rice, etc., for the rest of the day.  

The worst thing you can do, is eat bad carbs with supper.  Your body won't be able to burn those carbs off before you hit the hay, it will just store the excess as fat.   Ooops!

And think of the money you're saving by dropping the bad cards for lunch, snacking and dinner...

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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FDA recommendation for daily carb intake is complete B.S. for most folks

By Mike Thayer

Carb-Check Diet_smallAccording to our "Oh-so-wise" government, in order to maintain a healthy weight, the U.S. daily recommendation is to consume 225 - 325 grams of carbohydrates per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

If you're the typical American, that's horse manure.  If you're the typical American, consuming that many carbs will cause weight gain!

"So Mike," you ask......   "Define Typical American."

OK.

The typical American these days wakes up, gets ready for work, travels to work be it by car or mass transit.  Sitting at a desk makes up much of the day for many.  Standing on your feet performing light physical duties is what takes place for many others.  For most folks, regular exercise is not part of the routine, which is wake up, work, do something not really physically demanding after work, get some sleep, repeat.

That typical way of life does NOT require 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates a day to function.

Here's a simple, general rule of thumb.  If you work out regularly, you need all those carbs.   If you don't work out regularly, you flat out don't.  The government's recommended daily intake is pretty much garbage in the real world.

A sedentary lifestyle - desk jockey, no work out - your body only needs about 135 grams in carbs to maintain body weight....  Note I said 'maintain', not lose weight.   If you want to lose weight, that carb gram intake needs to be under 60 a day.

A moderate lifestyle - standing on the job, light physical activity - your body only needs about 180 grams in carbs to maintain weight.

So what does that mean in terms of food?  Cut back on the potatoes, rice, pasta and bread and it's not that hard to do.

Consider the following:

A typical slice of bread/toast has 13 grams in carbs.  It takes two slices of bread to make a sandwich and most folks eat two pieces of toast with breakfast.  That's 26 carbs total.

A 1/2 cup of white rice comes with a carb price tag of 23 grams.

A cup of pasta as 35 grams of carbs.

A medium potato has 38 carbs.

Those are all typical serving sizes.  So follow me on this.....  You have two slices of toast/biscuit, croissant/bagle with breakfast, around 26 carbs.... Having a side of hash browns with that?  Add another 19 carbs.  Chinese stir fry and rice for lunch, 23 carbs and that doesn't count the carbs in the veggies that are part of the stir fry....  Some potato chips for an afternoon snack, let's say another 19 carbs.....  Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner, and you had two helpings along with some garlic bread....  Add another 96 carbs....    Total carb intake for the day?  A whopping 183 grams in carbs!  

For that sedentary lifestyle, you've gone over what your body ACTUALLY needs by about 50 carb grams.  Do that everyday and yes, you'll gain weight.

"But Mike," you say, "that 183 grams in carbs you laid out in a typical day is perfect for somebody with a moderate lifestyle right?"

Nope.

Let's dig a little deeper into those carb counts shall we?  Did you have cream and sugar with your morning coffee?  Add at least another 5 grams in carbs....  And how many cups did you have?  Most folks don't drink just one cup.  Did you put some ketchup on those hash rounds you had with breakfast?  Add another 5 carb grams.  That cheese on that sausage, egg, cheese croissant?  Add another gram.  How about those veggies in the stir fry for lunch?  Depending on the mix, that's another 10-20 carbs.  Did you drink a regular soda or two at some point during the day?  Add another 24 grams in carbs.  Did you have a salad with that spaghetti at dinner?  Add another 10 grams in carbs.  So how many MORE carb grams do we add to the total?  Another 55 - 65 grams in carbs.

Even for the moderate lifestyle, that's at least 238 carbs, 58 grams above what a moderate lifestyle kind of person 'needs' to maintain a healthy weight.  It's a recipe for weight gain, not 'maintain.'

So how do you cut back, without finding yourself hungry between meals?  It's easier than you think.  Eat one slice of toast, not two to knock off 13 grams in carbs.  Switch to heavy cream for your coffee (0 grams in carbs) instead of the coffee creamer, knock off 5 more carbs.  Ditch the soda, knock off 24 more grams in carbs.  Don't have that second helping of spaghetti, having a bigger salad instead, knock off 25 more grams in carbs.  Knock off total:  67 fewer carbs.  Doing little things like that, means a better looking you!  We can talk about why the heck you're eating bread, rice, chips and pasta all in one day - you shouldn't be - at a later time.....

And the bonus to carb cutting?  Spending less money at the grocery store.  Seriously, not buying so much bread, pasta, and chips - all those are processed food carbs, bad carbs...  And replacing those items with veggies (good carbs), cheeses and lean meats will save you money at check out.  Yes, I know, meat is expensive, but eating 4 ounces of meat protein keeps you fuller, much longer, than a 4 ounce bag of chips.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Have some egg salad for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner

By Mike Thayer

Carb-Check Diet_smallEgg salad, I used to eat a lot of egg salad sandwiches when I was in the military and stationed in Korea.  The base Mess Hall there served up a warm egg salad sandwich, piled high on toast with a slice of American cheese.  That and a huge cup of java with cream and sugar was breakfast for me on many a work day.

Egg salad is actually an excellent diet food, minus the toast of course......   And it's easy to prepare, especially if you know how to boil water.

This salad only contains about 3 grams of carbs and is an excellent change of pace breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 hard boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh, sweet red onion, minced (sweet Vidalia is a nice alternative)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • A generous pinch of green onion, chopped
  • A splash of pickle juice

Directions:

Egg Salad
Wrap this in a Romaine lettuce leaf with a slice of American cheese

This isn't rocket science, in a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.   The key here is to make this salad while the boiled eggs are still warm.  Don't get me wrong, egg salad tastes great cold, but it's just that much better when it's warm!

Packing some great protein, this quick egg salad is fantastic all by itself, or you can slap it on a leaf of romaine lettuce.  You can change things up by adding a slice of American cheese to it.  Enjoy!   And enjoy the fact that all ingredients together costs about $1 - a savings bonus!

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Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Your best bet for breakfast - scrambled eggs

By Mike Thayer

Eggs are full of protein, protein that will satisfy your appetite and keep you feeling full until lunch time.

The best way to cook those eggs is scrambled.  Why?  Because you can add just about anything you want to them and making scrambled eggs is easier and faster than making an omelette. 

Eggs are Carb-Check Diet friendly and your best breakfast bet to starting off the day deliciously right!