Eating, we all have to do it — Whether you live alone or have a large family to feed eating has to be done. Finance and business expert Dani Johnson says the majority of excess spending from your budget comes from eating. Shopping for groceries, eating out, quick trips to the coffee shop, and extra convenience store trips are robbing you and your family. But in your busy life how do you STOP excess spending on food without making yourself crazy? In this article I am going to share simple steps to stress less about food and have $200-$500 monthly grocery savings.
What Causes Excess Spending On Food
Over the past 7 years I have been working diligently to get a system in place that has helped me lose weight, save hundreds of dollars a month and keep my family healthier and happier. If you want that too keep reading.
I don’t know about you but in my house stress comes from poor planning. If I don’t have a task list for my jobs (homeschooling or home-business) or a list of what I am feeding myself and my family that week I get stressed out and anxious. And that’s when I end up making the quick and poor choice of eating fast food or stopping by a restaurant — spending more than I normally do on weekly groceries. Often, I’ll feel guilty after and usually my son and I get congested and icky-feeling.
And you know how it is, if you don’t have a plan, you will likely not eat on time — and you’ll find yourself and your family turning into the grouchy anxious hangry bunch — scientifically speaking your stress hormone levels literally go up. All 4 of us are affected by what we eat or the timing of food in some way. We have 2 who think, act and feel way better MSG, dairy, gluten & sugar-free and 2 whose personalities change if they don’t eat regularly.
What you eat each week can literally affect everyone in your home.
Food is First my friend Dr Jihan Thomas says. She has been helping people get and stay WELL for almost 20 years too plus being a mommy of 3. So, again Food FIRST. Let’s dive into the SIMPLE SYSTEM to have success with your food this week.
The Simple Food System – 5 Simple Steps For $200-$500 Monthly Grocery Savings
1) PRIORITIZE: Look at your calendar and find what is a priority for you this week. Write that out and work from there.
Here are some questions to ask:
- What is important to you and the family this week?
- Are you focusing on losing weight, reducing or eliminating sugar, gluten or dairy from your diets, or increasing your protein intake because you have been lifting weights in the gym?
- Or are you part of our WAR ON DEBT Program and Getting your Grocery Budget down to $25 a person per week?
- Are you traveling this week?
Example calendar activities: Teaching classes Monday and Thursday nights 6-9pm. Kids game Tuesday night. Husband has kids Monday and Thursday nights. Hubby is trying to lose 15 lbs this summer and I am with him.
Example priorities this week: Healthy meals. Prepped meals for Monday and Thursday. Packed lunch type dinners for Tuesday night.
2) LOOK: Now look in your cupboards, your freezer, your fridge and see what you already have. Write some of the items down that need to be used or could make some kind of meal. If you eat all your food each week like we try to do you may just make a mental note of any leftover items. Look in the circular of your preferred grocery store and circle really good deals on things you use frequently and are almost out of or things that on sale and may be good for meals.
3) MEAL PLAN: Planning your meals involves two steps:
- Collect & save recipes your family loves and those you want to try.
- Pick your weekly meals from this collection of meals.
For example: I created a folder of my favorite meals to cook and what my family likes and a few that I want to try. I like Fit Couple Cooks on YouTube for new recipes; I have made some of their recipes and they are really good and healthy.
Every week I go to that folder look inside and think about what we had the previous week, what my family likes and the priorities we have for the week. I will write down 4-6 dinner meals depending on the week. We eat out one meal a week.
4) MENU PLAN: This will help you plan your dinners, lunches and leftover days. If you are single or have just 2 of you in the house and you have busier evenings you may want to consider bulk cooking so you have meals for 3-4 days out of the week prepared ahead of time.
I start with the dinners planning the crockpot, instant pot or leftover meals for the days I work and my husband takes care of the kids.
Lunches: In our house lunches are leftovers, soups, salads, one sided toasted cheese, egg salad, almond butter PBJ’s, a Sweet potato or even apple and almond butter. We will have carrots, cucumbers, gluten free chips as a side or snack but I don’t like the kids to have sandwiches everyday. I think it makes them more congested even gluten free and carbaholics.
Breakfast: In our family we have a staple of about 3 things for breakfast:
- Eggs in some way or with something.
- Gluten Free Pancakes or Muffin-like cake
We don’t buy cereal because it’s not a good way to start your day and it’s costly. (But that is my opinion)
Here is a picture of my Meal plan for the week on my Dry Erase Board.
5) GROCERY LIST: The final step is to create your grocery store list of items you are buying. This saves you time and SOOO MUCH MONEY. Really, I am not joking going with a list and knowing what you want to cook makes grocery shopping so easy. My other trick is to shop in the early morning before my husband goes to work. Shopping without kids is faster.
Food Success Meal Planning System Results
At first the 5 steps may seem like a lot of work, but it is SO worth it!! Let me share with you a recent example of how I went from $32.63 a day on groceries to $13.26 just by using the Food Success Meal Planning System. Check out the picture below!
The first receipt is without doing the Food Success Meal Planning System and grocery shopping without a list. I spent $81.58 and it fed us for 2.5 days, which is an average of $32.63 per day. It was Father’s day and I thought I would save money by not eating out but I was tired and distracted and ended up buying a $17 cheesecake. Yes, I love my husband, but I know I could have found a healthier cake he loves for less had I planned ahead. I also spent $10.24 on pre-made meatloaf that was overpriced — I could have made it way cheaper and quickly. If I wasn’t in a hurry to throw it in the Instant Pot I could have purchased an unmarinated roast for $5-8 dollars cheaper.
The second receipt (on the right) was from using the Food Success Meal Planning System: $132.63 fed family for more than 10 days, that’s $13.26 per day.
Easy Simple Step to Save Money on Groceries
So there you have it, simple & easy YOU CAN DO THIS! Plan on setting aside 1 hr of time every week to do your steps when you first get started but once you get real good you can do it in 20-30 minutes.
I can grocery shop in as little as 25 minutes early in the morning but I kind of like taking my time alone so I give myself 50 minutes.
My ultimate goal would be to have meals, menus, and grocery lists for 6 different weeks so I can just pull out a plan already done for me. Add or Cross off anything I don’t need on the grocery list and get my shopping done.
I hope this helps you!
God Bless your Meal Planning, Money Savings, Weight losing Success;
Mary Starr Carter
The Total Wellness Doc and Mom
This past weekend I completed my 1st round of Liver Gallballder cleansing and passed more than 200 gallstones.
This is not my stones… but it’s the closest picture of my results I could find. (picture from Natural Cure Alternatives) I didn’t feel like dealing with poop this time. Although my kids did get a good visual science lesson Monday… “Gallstones are Poop Stones from eating bad food” my son says.
Now this is about the 7th time I have done this cleanse over the past 3 years. Each time is unique and different and I will share why in a second. Here is a picture of the biggest stone I got out after my 2nd cleanse… Crazy right that this was inside me. That is a quarter next to it. This stone was much harder than the normal cholesterol pea size puddy like stones. Most of the stones are puddy like and made of cholestrol. But this guy had to been in my body a while.
Now the first thing you are probably thinking is isn’t that dangerous. Well remember I am not having a gallbladder issue nor have any gallbladder dysfunction or disease so this is simply support my organs and systems. And I suggest if you are thinking about doing something like this that you do more than pull a recipe off of a website , but do your research and the first place you can start is with this book:
The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse: An All-Natural, At-Home Flush to Purify and Rejuvenate Your Body by Andreas Moritz
If you read this book thoroughly you will be able to do the cleanse, safely, effectively, and with the least side effects. Yes there can be some side effects if you don’t follow directions. Like feeling like poop during or on cleanse day.
FACTS TO GET BEFORE GETTING STARTED:
YOU MUST CLEAN THE COLON FIRST: The Colon is the Hub of Health if it is not moving properly and cleaned out enough then the toxins and gallstones can’t be eliminated properly. All of us should be constantly working on taking care of our colon but the book tells you how to prepare for the cleanse. Think “smooth move:” This is also a big mistake others make when just doing a Liver Cleanse with apple juice and olive oil off the internet.
The Liver is producing stones. Don’t think just because you don’t have a gall bladder that you are off the hook. If you haven’t changed your eating and eat junk food even some of the time, animal meat regularly, and or caffeine my guess is you got these guys too. See the Gall bladder stores biles and stones but many small stones are in the Liver.
Picture from Just Life Shop
The process must be REPEATED : We would all like to think that there is a miracle LIVER COLON or whatever CLEANSE… But the facts are that most cleansing should be a regular practice and like layers of a onion each time you do a cleanse you will get deeper. The Liver cleanse as described in Moritz book should be done consistently until you no longer get any stones out. And then regular maintenance cleanses. I sadly have not been consistent enough to get to the end of my gallstones. Consistent meaning done every 4-6 weeks.
Tips To Successfully Do The Liver Cleanse
Here are a few tips have have helped myself, my husband and close friends do this successfully:
#1 Prep your food.
Meal plan and prepare your food for the week of clean eating and afterwards. I admit I have never followed the food guidelines to the letter. Meaning I eat some meat and probably a little bit of sugar during the week of clean eating. But I do make sure to get this MIRACLE SOUP in, check out the RECIPE HERE. Having soups and fresh foods available makes a difference in how good you will feel leading up and afterwards.
#2 DRINK YOU WATER
Drinking good clean water throughout your clean week and afterwards is key. I really like drinking Hydrogized water from my Young Living Hydrogizer. This cleanse was the best physically meaning I wasn’t tired or feeling fatigued the day of the cleanse and I really think it is because I was so hydrated with the alkaline water from Hydrogizer. I did at least 5 glasses the afternoon before my cleanse.
#3 Use big straws
Using big straws has helped me a ton get the salt water down. And you do need to use salt water with this cleanse. I put it toward the back of my throat and it bypasses some of my taste buds. It’s still not super pleasant but doable. I will also put a drip of Lemon oil or Peppermint on my tongue afterwards to mask the taste.
#4 Plan for Rest
Pick when you can take it easy the following day. Meaning prepare the family meals ahead of time, get someone to watch the kids or at least plan for a day of movies and down time. You will need to be near a bathroom for much of the day and some of the afternoon the day after. Get your Diffuser with your favorite relaxing Essential oils set up, Water if you need some. Pillows and blankets. I will do my night of the cleanse on the couch, then I don’t bother anyone if I have to get up.
So here is what doing this Cleanse will look like for a week…
6 Days of Clean Eating
Read the book for more on what clean eating is exactly, drink Apple Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar daily as directed in the book. I suggest using the Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water it works great, won’t put a bunch of sugar in your system and is less expensive. All we use is Apple Cider Vinegar now.
Cleanse colon as directed or with other colon cleanse teas beginning of 6 days and I will do again on Day 5 or 6. Be sure you are adding back in electrolytes and minerals like MINERAL ESSENCE and NingXia Red as to not be depleted before the cleanse.
DAY OF CLEANSE: Eat light. I eat oatmeal in the morning. and Basmati Rice or Miracle Soup or both around 1230 or 1pm. Stop eating at 1:30pm
Before 1:30pm I will make sure I get all my Apple Cider Vinegar in for that day. I also will make sure I get my NingXia and Mineral Essence in.
6pm Salt Water Flush ( I may or may not start pooping after this).
8pm Salt Water Flush (Usually after this one I start pooping, a few times I have had to do an enema but because I didn’t do the Cleansing like I was suppose to)
9:45 pm Prep my Grapefruit juice and Olive oil Drink. Set my alarm for 6am
10pm Drink it and LAY DOWN immediately with head elevated in a reclined position where my head is higher than my stomach. Lay there until I fall asleep and don’t get up until alarm, until I have to go the bathroom, or drink some water.
6am Drink Salt Water – Sometimes I will get stones out after this.
8 am Drink last Salt Water: I do get stones out after this one. I will release stones and liquid waterish stools until noon or even into the afternoon. I have even passed stones the following day. But the urge to poop every 15-30 minutes goes away around 11 ‘ish or noon for me.
To learn more about cleansing watch this Live Video I did:
If you are serious about getting your energy back, libido, clear skin, endurance, happy joints, and improved health. Then your next step is to get the book, read the book, and set your date for your first cleanse.
I love you, believe in you, and really it isn’t as bad as people make it sound. And really if you refuse or can not do it there are alternatives to this $10 cleanse. You can get quality products for about $600-1000 that will support the liver and gallbladder and help fight against negative effects of harmful toxins.
If you are interest let me know via email at info[at]starrhealth.com
For your Total Wellness;
Mary Starr Carter
Are you ready for the best soup EVER for your health? Well that is Miracle Soup!! This cleansing Cabbage, Bone Broth, Veggie soup is awesome for preparing for a cleanse, helping move a cleanse along, enjoying when you are trying to eat clean.
Here is my recipe modified from Crystal Parrott’s Cooking Little by Little Cookbook
Miracle Soup Ingredients
1/2 Head of Cabbage — cut into bigger bite size pieces
1 medium Red Onion — diced (I also use yellow onions if I don’t have red on hand)
6 Cloves of Garlic
4 Organic Carrots — cut into bite size pieces
1 Bag of Frozen Broccoli & Cauliflower — if you can only find broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots use less carrots in the soup or a head of broccoli and 1/2 head of cauliflower raw
3-4 Stalks of Celery — cut bite sized (we omit this in our house because its the only veggie my husband does not like)
1 – 14 oz Organic Diced Tomatoes
Miracle Soup Spices
1 tsp Sea Salt – We just use Celtic Salt in our family.
1 tablespoon Italian Seasonings like Basil, Thyme Oregano or 1/2 tablespoon Basil 1/2 tablespoon Oregano — You play with the Italian seasonings to get your soup as spicy or bland as you want.
2-3 cups of Bone Broth Chicken — you can also use Vegetable broth if VEGETARIAN but the Bone broth is healthier for the body
**You can also use a 1/4 cup of tamari to give it more of a salty flavor after cooking.
Miracle Soup Cooking
Easiest and Fastest: Put everything in the Instant Pot set on Soup for 12 minutes. Turn off and let naturally Pressure release. Add water to almost cover veggies.
Easy: Put everything in Crockpot set on Low Setting for 3-6 hrs until Veggies are soft.
Stove top: Put everything in Pot simmer until veggies are tender.
Our version will not be too salty with the 1 tsp of salt, so if you don’t want to add more salt after cooking use 1/4 cup Tamari. Remember add Tamari after cooking and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
… and $2000 in Essential oils for 5 Bucks plus a WIN RECIPE for your house
How was Easter? Do you celebrate Easter or rather Resurrection Day we like to call it in our house. Our daughter Sarah Grace’s birthday was this weekend so we had fun making the whole weekend special for her. She wanted a cake with pink flowers so against my better judgement I bought a Rainbow sprinkle cake and this chemical filled, artificially made pink cake writing stuff. Here is my results.
You can laugh at my art work if you want. The cake was over the top sweet and she couldn’t even finish one piece. My son on the other hand had too many pieces and the next morning woke up with an awful belly ache. He was really hurting so I rubbed some of my natural remedies on his belly which helped a little bit, then he was really hurting so I gave him a capsule full of my natural remedies and within 10 minutes he threw up once. Within 30 minutes no more stomach pain and 3 hours later he was out riding his bike and back to his old cheerful self. Puke gets a bad rap but I think it is the body’s way of getting rid of poisons. I believe my capsule of natural remedy helped the body wake up to what it had to do.
$2000 in Essential oils for 5 Dollars
Sounds too good to be true, but that is only because of two amazing women. Kathy Kouwe and Regina Pruitt. Kathy donated some very rare and precious Out of Stock Essential oil Kits to Regina Pruitt’s fundraiser. Regina has lived a miralce life with Cystic Fibrosis for 40 plus years and now is ready for a lung transplant. If you want to know more about this special fundraiser and how you can win 10 different Precious Rare Essential oils Kits visit our Facebook Event here for the details and how to Play to Win!
(Copy & paste this link into your browser if the one above doesn’t work: https://www.facebook.com/events/1781946045454226/)
Do it ASAP please and share with OILY Friends please. Regina is waiting and it’s getting very close to her transplant operation and she needs our support.
BOOTCAMP – Life, Business, Health, Homeschool
This week starts the beginning of my Homeschool Bootcamp. I am grateful for this inexpensive resource. I really struggle with consistency in many areas of my life. My business practices, my health habits, parenting, and now homeschool. I am a good starter, get a plan, even organize and then something happens to get me off track and boom I am behind, off course, or feeling too overwhelmed to do anything. Does that happen to you? Or do you get distracted by the next new shiny business program or trainer, new curriculum, new eating plan and never do anything enough to see if it will work. Here is my tip to you from this week’s Bootcamp Message:
“Until you have tried something consistently for a period of time in a consistent way you have no idea if it works….. “
Consistency and sticking to it will allow you to gather enough data not only to see if something works but to solve problems too.
HOMEWORK THIS WEEK:
Pick one thing from one area you struggle in and do it consistently all week. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Drink ________ oz of water every day.
- Walk 15 minutes everyday.
- Bring your lunch everyday this week.
- Diffuse and breathe in your favorite Essential oils 15 minutes a day.
- Eat the Frog and do the one thing on your TO DO List that is the hardest.
- Set your work hours this week and stick to them.
- Do a menu plan for the week and grocery shop those foods only.
- Skip getting coffee, sodas, or drinks this week.
- Have a budget meeting with your spouse or loved one this week.
- Parenting or Homeschooling:
- Smile at your kids a lot this week even when they frustrate you.
- Encourage your kids 10 times more than you correct them.
- Speak words of LIFE over them daily… (even if those things are not true yet) YOU ARE BRILLIANT READER, YOU ARE SO KIND, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE GOING TO CHANGE THE WORLD, GOD MADE YOU SPECIAL
Now remember pick one thing… don’t overwhelm yourself. Just one DO-ABLE thing this week and let me know what it is in the comments.
RECIPE of the WEEK
If you follow me on Instagram drmarystarr you might be able to tell I like to cook. I do my best to cook healthier options and get my kids involved too. This week we had a epic Failure of gluten free Bananna Bread (which still got eaten) and an EPIC WIN.
Here is the WIN Recipe Video it’s a Delicious Egg Frittata (which is like a quiche without the crust)
The actual recipe and measurements will be in the Description of the Video. I used Chicken Sausage and it was great. Also go light on the Basil if you have kids, it’s a bit spicy!
Here is mine:
Lastly let’s talk about your Spiritual Life. How is yours? Do you have one just on the weekends but the rest of the week forget about it?
This Easter Sunday we went to our new church we finally decided on here in Silicon Valley. We have been attending regularly for about a month and God has really spoke wisdom to us each week. This week we were shoved into the pews as our church was maxed out with people. About 30% of those attending were here on this special and important Holiday. But I also felt something else in my spirit. I also felt that many are searching for something greater than themselves. In an area of the world where some of the smartest, wealthiest, and most successful people live these individuals are recognizing that they will never be enough. They will never have enough, be successful enough, give enough to be fulfilled. Because true Joy, PEACE and FULFILLMENT don’t come from our WORKS but from our Father in Heaven.
Are you searching for that Peace, Joy and Fulfillment in your life? What if I told you that all those are possible to have in your life no matter what your life circumstances are. It’s true… You might enjoy this message from the New Year by Steven Furtick http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/good-morning-midnight/
Word of God Weekly Verses
I would like to start learning a Bible Verse weekly because I know the power of these words especially when spoken and prayed. They give us life, protection, healing and so much more. Even when we don’t believe in our conscious minds yet for something like healing, peace, restoration just praying/saying the Words can change and ReNEW your mind, heart, and life. So here is this weeks. Print it out, write it on sticky notes, write it with dry erase markers on your mirrors.
This verse is said a lot of different ways depending on what version of the bible you read. I am going to keep things simple for me and my kids to remember. You do what is best for you.
“The Lord is my Strength, my Shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my Heart”
Psalm 28:7 (NLT)
I pray that you have an amazing week, month and year. Until we talk again you are in my prayers. God bless you mightily;
Mary Starr Carter
The Total Wellness Doc and Mom