We made the decision when I was pregnant with my first daughter that I would quit my job and stay home with her. It was a painstaking decision. I made more money than my husband at the time and so it cut our income by more than half. The first week after she was born, the price of diapers made me realize that I was going to need to get creative to make it work. My sister-in-law was into couponing so I got some info from her and dove right in!
Couponing is a great way to save money on a tight budget. I never paid more than 5 cents a diaper and a lot of times got wipes for free. It definitely helped stretch our budget and I am grateful that I had the info at that time. It was fun for me too! Figuring out how to get things for free or make money off of items to bring my bill down was like a game, but there are some do's and don't that will help you save money AND have a healthy lifestyle.
1. Don't stock your home with processed food.
Most of the coupons that you can use are for processed food.You will find some coupons for veggies and fruits, and, of course, household products that you use but you need to be wary of stocking your house full of boxed and bagged food items. They are chemical laden, nutrient poor and don't fuel your body. The foods that should be consumed in your home are veggies, fruits, healthy carbs ( whole grains no preservatives), proteins, and healthy fats which are mostly found on the perimeter of your store. I spent many years calorie counting and eating whatever I wanted but it wasn't until I was educated about nutrition and started choosing foods that fueled my body that I began to see the outward changes that I was looking for without the constant struggle of cravings and denying myself. If you do buy processed foods because its a money maker item, throw them out! It's not good for you and its not good for others.
2. Do buy fruits and veggies that are in season.
I know it seemed like fruits and veggies can be expensive but when you aren't wasting money on all that processed food it does free up money for healthier options. A few of the ways to do this is to buy fruits and veggies that are in season. When they are in season they are their lowest price. You will notice strawberries are $2.99 in the summer and $4.99 in the winter. As you get used to knowing the seasonal veggies you can build meal plans by season that will be tasty and inexpensive. You can also find local farmers markets that have amazing deals on these items and often they are organic and much much less than in store. Check out what farmers markets are available in your area. I also buy eggs from my farmers market!
3. Do buy your proteins from a farm or a company like Zaycon.
We buy our proteins in bulk from our farmers market or Zaycon and freeze it until we need it. Its much cheaper than buying it from the store and we know where it came from and how it was fed. Its much healthier and less expensive than buying it from a grocery store. As a side note. we only have the freezer in our refrigerator and it stores the meat just fine. That's all we keep in their since we dont have it full of processed foods or frozen veggies. but we dont need a huge freezer in our garage to make this kind of commitment. There is roughly 40 pounds of various proteins in there at any given time and there is still room to spare!
4. Do coupon for household items and healthy items you can stock.
Some of the things that have been super helpful to coupon for us are diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper,paper plates, olive oil, spices, peanut butter, cheeses, bottled water. If you use store bought cleaning products this is also a great way to save on those items. ( I don't but that's for another blog post! ;)
I know if you have been couponing for awhile and used to walking out of the store having spent $5 on $75 worth of products that this might stress you out but once you realize that those items you are eating are causing you to feel awful and gain weight, it gets a lot easier to let it go. We spend a lot in this country on beauty supplies trying to make us look and feel better and yet when we eat the food that our bodies need, we don't need all that junk. Our waistlines don't need girdles, our faces are glowing and don't need foundation, our hair and nails are healthy and later on we pour money into doctors because we didn't take care of our bodies. We pour money into trying to look better when really we need to take that money and put it into our health. I love the quote, " Pay the farmer now or the doctor later. So couponers, don't panic! Give it 30 days and you'll see I speak the truth! I have challenge groups running each month, jump and I'll teach you how to make it work for your family. We spend $125 a week for our family of four eating healthy foods and this includes all our paper and personal care items as well as eating out ( which we dont do that often). When looking at your food budget you need to look at how much you are spending eating out and on coffee runs or other "treats". You can free up a lot of funds through choosing a healthy lifestyle!
To my noncouponers! You can learn a lot from us crazy coupon ladies and you never even have to clip a coupon. The most important way you can save is to learn the sale cycles. Every 6 to 10 weeks all items are at their lowest price, so you buy enough to last you 6-10 weeks depending on the item. Example! I am a Publix shopper, so when organic olive oil goes buy one get one, I buy 4 bottles at that price and it lasts me 10 weeks until I need them again. ( It's actually more than I need but I make all my own salad dressings so I don't like to run out!) If you only buy one, you will run out before the next sale and pay full price for the next one, so stocking up on your healthy most used items will save you tons of money over time. it takes a slight shift of perspective but once you make it, you'll never go back. The site I use to check the lists is www.southersavers.com. She posts the Publix list on Monday and then on Thursday when the sale starts I go do my shopping. You simply check which items you want to buy and print out your list. Super simple! If want some more info on this, there are videos on how to coupon on her site!
If you have questions about couponing, healthy eating, or my challenge groups, please send me a message at AubreyK916@gmail.com. I would love to talk more with you and help you navigate how to serve your family's budget and health!
To join a challenge group click here
Baked Swai Filet in a White Wine Sauce
Ok, I HATE cooking! I'm terrible at it. And when you are pursuing health and fitness it's pretty much a MUST so I am learning slowly! Slow progress is still progress right? I have been researching and learning how to make sauces and white wine sauces seemed pretty simple so I decided to start there. I also had some Swai filets in the freezer so that's what I used and it came out great!
You will need:
4 Swai Filets or your fish of choice
2 Tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp paprika
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a shallow pan with cooking spray.
Place fish fillets into the prepared pan.
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix white wine, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and black pepper into the melted butter; simmer sauce for 3 minutes. Generously spoon sauce over fish fillets. Sprinkle fillets with paprika.
Bake in the preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 12 minutes.
We all have those moments where we try to wear something that fit perfectly last month and we can't zip it up. It feels horrible! I know I instantly start getting irritated and berating myself, as if by making myself feel worse I can get control over this thing. It's not the way to go! We can't have perfection be the standard. Health and good eating practices have to be the standard, which is easier said than done, right? I know I gave into the calorie counting method where I could eat anything I wanted as long as I stayed under 1200 calories and kudos to me if I ate way less. So, not only was I not eating enough to feed my body, I was also stuffing it full of chemical laden, sugary non-foods that my body actually had to try and heal from their consumption. It makes me sick thinking about it. :( It also makes me sad that so many people have this faulty thin-is-the-goal, doesn't-matter-how-we get-there attitude. We spend so much money trying to cure diseases that we could prevent simply by making changes to our nutrition.
Don't be overwhelmed. When I got started I made small changes at first because it seemed overwhelming! I looked around and basically realized I was doing EVERYTHING wrong! I made changes I felt like I could easy change first like switching from Country Crock ( I know! the worst but I loved it!) to organic butter, and then moved onto harder ones like removing all beverages including juices out of my house so I would drink water. It's ok to move forward slowly but you have to keep moving!
Here are some tips to get started:
1.Start Today! Not tomorrow, not Monday, not next week. It doesn't matter if you ate donuts for breakfast, start by choosing a healthy lunch, putting it off will never make it happen!
2.Drink Water! You would be amazed if you totaled the calories that you drank everyday, so replace those beverages with water which your body needs anyway. Make it easy on yourself, have it ready, put fruit in it, but make it what you drink primarily. I had to be really strict on this for awhile until it became a habit. I preplanned to order it restaurants and I removed everything else form my home. It was rough at first but in the end I created a great habit which my body desperately needed!
3. Meal Plan. I hate it. I seriously hate it, but you have to do it. When I get busy and that slips, my nutrition slips. If you need help with this please message me! I will give you tools ( for free!) that will help you do this effectively.
4. Eat your vegetables. You aren't a child. Just do it!
5.Track your meals! I use the 21 Day Fix and their container system now but before that I used My Fitness Pal. Whatever you choose to use, record it! It's very motivating not to sneak food when you know you have to record it!
6. Exercise. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. I workout 30 minutes a day using very simple videos. Nothing crazy! Commit to at least 30 minutes 3 days a week. If you need help choosing a program that is right for you, message me! I will help you! I also run challenge groups to hold people accountable if you need that, we would love for you to join us!
7. Don't let a bad day turn into a bad week or a bad week turn into a bad month. Remember, it's progress not perfection! We are ALL going to have a bad day, have a weak moment, or even choose to get off course for a special dinner or outing, don't let it cause you to throw in the towel or to listen to that inner voice that tells you failed. You only fail if you stop trying. So WHEN this happens, and it will happen, see tip number 1! ;)
8. Track your progress weekly. Weigh yourself but also take pictures. There are times I feel like I am making NO progress and then I take my current pictures and compare them to when I started and I am blown away by how much my body has changed. We see ourselves everyday and sometimes its hard to see the changes
9. Know your "Why". Losing weight or getting fit isn't enough of a why. My why is long term. I want to be healthy in my retirement years to have adventures, be there for my kids and grand kids, I want to live with dignity, and with my families health issues, I am going to need to take responsibility for that. It's not just going to happen. Maybe yours is more simple, like fitting into a certain dress by a certain date, but give your self goals. Make a dream board, or post inspirational quotes that will help you in moments of weakness. Arm yourself with tools to help you in the hard moments. Have vision for what you want and make a plan on how you will get there!
10. Never Give up! This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle change. It's going to take work, you will stumble, get back up! Even just the smallest of life changes will lead to great change if you keep it up! In The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy makes an analogy of three friends, one who changes nothing in his life, one who makes a few small positive changes( like switching from mayo to mustard and walking half a mile everyday), and one who makes small negative changes( having a daily alcoholic beverage and watching more TV). In 6 months there was not any noticeable difference but in 31 months the first friend had made no change, the second friends had lost 33.5 pounds and the last friend had gained 33.5 pounds. Don't underestimate the power of what you are doing here!
You can do this! If need help or would like to surround yourself with people pursuing their health and fitness, you can follow me on Facebook to connect or to receive more tips and ideas--> click here
Yes, yes, I know! I'm a coach! But let's face it. We can't live in a bubble where we avoid all friends, family, parties, and celebrations forever, right? Maybe temporarily while we work through a program or lose a set amount of weight but life happens and having a plan makes you prepared. So here are my rules, I hope they help you!
1. Always make it a tall. I know its hard to buy a smaller Starbucks beverage when you can get a Grande for 50 cents more but you are also adding to your waistline! I also order my caramel macchiato "skinny" to remove some calories. 140 for a skinny, 228 for a regular and it tastes delicious. Order the smaller beverage and enjoy your treat!
2. Dessert. When out with friends I often struggle not because I want the dessert but I stand out and make others feel self conscious about ordering it themselves. ( The curse of the skinny girl coach) A lot of restaurants now offer sampler size desserts and I'll get one of those. Could I eat ten of those? Easily! But I get to participate without sabotaging my hard work.
3.Get a to-go box brought to you when you receive your food. It's America. Our portions are ridiculously big. If you have been working out even for a short time, you know you can't eat all that and stick to your nutrition plan. I will box up the portion I shouldn't eat before I take the first bite, because if I don't I will eat the whole darn thing!
4.Fast Food. We shouldn't eat it, we know that. However, you will at some point get dragged to a fast food restaurant with a herd of people after an event or church ect. I only allow myself to order grilled chicken sandwiches or salad, no matter what smells good. I order water or unsweet tea, I get fruit instead of french fries or skip the fries if fruits not an option. Period. No exceptions.
5.Baked Goods. You know there are those days you just want prepackaged cookies or cake or donuts ect. When I do splurge on a treat like that, I try to buy them in the bakery where they have been made fresh with no chemicals or preservatives or buy organic treats like Annie's organic cookies. Processed Foods that have chemical preservatives or non food ingredients break are not recognized by your body and so they get stored in your fat cells! It's hard to remove them from your system without a detox, so don't put them in! If you have a treat, make it real food. I also stock on healthy recipe ideas that are delicious like Chocolate Covered Katie's dessert cook book. I make a version of her banana chocolate chip muffins with whole wheat flour and coconut sugar ( which is full of all kinds of good things). They aren't 21 Day Fixed approved but they are MUCH healthier than buying a muffin made with white flour and white sugar.
6. Wine when you dine. Wine is approved on the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan so that's a plus but skipping mixed drinks full of sugar and syrups ( and often those non food chemicals) will help keep you on track and keep seeing results you are working towards!
These are the basic treat rules that I follow! If you have some of your own share them below!
image from www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com
We have those meals that Mom makes that take us back to childhood and make us feel that all is right with the world. My Mama's Jambalaya is one of mine! It wasn't too difficult to adjust it a little and make it 21 Day Fix approved, hallelujah! No, I won't lie! I do miss the shrimp but to be able to have this on a regular basis was actually more important to me than the shrimp! I hope you enjoy this piece of Jarvis culture as much as I do!
You will need:
1 Tbsp of olive oil
2 lbs of shredded chicken ( I usually roast a chicken or shred it in the crock pot)
1 white onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves minced garlic
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
2.5 cups of vegetable broth
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp of thyme
1/4 tsp of ground cayenne pepper ( I actually use 1/2-1tsp but I like it SPICY!)
12 oz of wild grain rice ( if you buy a boxed kind that has seasoning packets throw those away)
1. Heat oil in a large soup pot, add onions, peppers, celery, and garlic. Saute until soft. Stir in all the ingredients. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed-about 20 minutes.
It does taste better when you add the chicken with the rest of the ingredients but if you really want to stick to the 21 Day Fix plan, it's best to measure the chicken and add it to your bowl after the rice mixture is done. If you cook it all together there is no true way to know that you got 2/3 of a cup of chicken in your bowl! But again, I won't lie, I mix it in! ;)
Me and my Mama! :)
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.