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
Have you ever pushed yourself hard and ended up getting sick, a sinus infection, cold or headaches?
We all have seasons when we have to run hard but when you don’t feel well it is awful. For 2 decades of my life I struggled with my health particularly with allergies, sinus infections, and headaches.
My Early Sinus Challenges
I was the toddler with the ear infections and tonsils out by the time I was 4 years old. As a kid I remember being on the nowDISCONTINUED Seldane allergy medicine and having Sinus infections and being on Amoxicillin every other month. It wasn’t fun. It was so often we would just keep leftover antibiotics in the medicine cabinet and take it when I had sinus challenges. Little did we know that we were making the problem worse not using antibiotics correctly.
Sinus Over The Counter Meds and Their Effects
Later in college I would have sinus pressure and headaches almost daily. I would take Sudafed daily for the problem at first then Irealized it helped give me energy so I just took it daily. UNTIL that ONE DAY….. when I took it and my heart started pounding out of my chest. I thought I was going to die. And after a little investigation I learned that this Over the Counter Medicine did have some fatal side effects. YIKES. This was the beginning of my journey to natural medicine.
Simple Tips For Sinus Health
Using these simple tips I give you in this video has helped me eliminate allergies, sinus infections, and sinus pressure. Now I occasionally get some little allergy attack or pressure headache but it usually is because I haven’t been following these tips. My own kids 4 and 7 years old have never had to have antibiotics or allergy medicines. I know these tips work. USE THEM. They will help you.
Stay Healthy; Boost Your Immune System
Lastly I will encourage you to stay healthy avoid sickness we must, must, must boost our immune system. That means we are feeding our bodies well and using nutritional products that help us stay well.
Two of my favorite Nutritionals are:
I recommend taking 2 – 4 oz a day of NingXia Red for adults and 1/2 – 2oz for kids, it helps our family stay well!
Thieves Vitality oil
Thieves Essential oil in a capsule or in water also helps us stay well. It’s a hot oil with cinnamon in it, so putting it in honey helps.
Let me know if these tips help your family too!
Mary Starr Carter
How are you? Did you have a good week and weekend? I have ever been enjoying precious time with my mom. She is here for a 2 week trip to help me with the kids and many other things while I travel for business.
It’s been a great week and we even got massages in the other day. I had my therapist use Blue Cypress oil in my massage and it was such a deep relaxation. This precious oil comes from Australia and its history of coming to the market is unique, sad and victorious. I promise to share more soon. I am so proud to be partnering with such amazing pioneers and world changers.
But a part of my heart has sad for some families and friends. One of my good friends is going through cancer treatments, another team member just lost her sister, and an acquaintance Homeschooling mom suddenly lost her 8 year old daughter this past week. Can you imagine? It’s something we never think will happen to us, death of a child, loved one, cancer. Most of us spend our days thinking we have years to live with our loved ones, but what if you don’t?
This week I want to encourage you to look at where you are spending your time. Are you making time for loved ones? Take a hard look. What is important? Sarah’s soccer game or taking the day to go visit a loved one. Is attending another weekend meeting as important as going to see your mom for the day?
I spent a decade of my life living like my school or business was the most important thing in my life. I put everything below my business including my marriage, family and friends. I regret the years I lost and see now how much time I wasted. You can have both I promise. I am learning how to have a great marriage, time with family, friends and run a business.
If you want to join me on this journey stay tuned to these blogs and follow me on Facebook and Instagram at https://www.facebook.com/TheTotalWellnessDocandMom/ or https://www.instagram.com/drmarystarr/
There’s still time to enter the Mother’s Day Giveaway, if you haven’t done so yet, there’s still time to let a mom you know know she’s appreciated.
Mary Starr Carter
Mom – You Are Awesome, You Are Enough!!!
“She is a SUPER MOM”“She does this and this and this really well”“Why Can’t I be like that mom”
Announcing a Mother’s Day Giveaway
- a day of pampering at the Spa, (Massage, Pedicure, New Hair Style or Color you pick)
- $100 gift card from XMhBeauty.com for makeup (or virtual makeup lessons to Glam It Up & look your best)
- $100 gift card for a LuLaRoe shopping spree
- $100 gift certificate towards Young Living Essential oils
- $100 Amazon Gift Card for your Wish List
How To Enter The Mother’S Day Giveaway
- Visit and Like our Page, The Total Wellness Doc & Mom here.
- Find for the Pinned Post with the image below
- Post a picture comment of your family and tell us what you like most about being a mom.
Do you have kids? Are they older out of the house, teenagers or still little ? My kids just turned 4 and 7 and they are incredible. I am sure every mom says that about their kids. Don’t get me wrong they still can be mean, hurtful, rude, and annoying but for the most part my days with them are joyous. I am told that I need to enjoy this time in their lives and every time I hear that I am grateful…. I mean really grateful that I get to spend quality time with them everyday.
I am going to be honest here. Two years ago I was more in love with my business then my kids. I thought, dreamed about and spent more physical and emotional time with my business then my kids. Even when I was with them my mind was on something or someone else in my business. But thank you GOD I had a Wake up Call and this past summer God called me out to do the Hard Things which included being a Fully Present Momma. So I followed directions cut my work hours, let go of our 30 hours a week babysitter/home-helper, and WOW it has been some of the most rewarding times of my life even with the struggles and weekly tears.
I love love love my kids on a much deeper level than before. I am growing to understand better, and as my mother in law says they are really flourishing with all my Mommy attention, love, discipline, and direction. At the same time I am also recognizing my need to protect these little budding flowers.
Protecting their Souls
Recently I stayed in a big city on the 10th floor of a large hotel near the airport. It was a nice hotel but one thing really bugged me. As I would get off the elevator this big window overlooked the city and their strategically placed for me to see was a huge sign with beautiful teenage looking woman with lots of makeup on. It was an ad for a Gentlemen’s Club.
Really? Really there it was bold as day in this beautiful hotel so close to the airport with hundreds of travelers everyday I know it was strategically placed there. I got a little upset in my spirit. Then I was in another part of the hotel coming up the stairs and their was another add…
Really? Talk about target marketing. But these signs and establishments are in every city and using sex to sell has been with us for a long long time.
When I was teenager I had this great opportunity to attend something called Teen Institute a retreat for high schoolers in Peer Leading roles. One particular presentation has stuck with me for 20 plus years. The presentation WOKE UP a bunch of us teenagers to how advertising all around us was using SEX to sell in some way. HOLY CRAP!!! I couldn’t believe it. WOW.. It’s not just Gentleman’s clubs it’s everything from food and drugs to cars and fragrance. It is so prevalent most of us are immune to it. Don’t take my experiences or opinions as fact do your own research.
Every parent wants to protect their children from the perils of pornography but do we understand where it really begins? I think it actually begins in their early life with simple billboards, TV shows, revealing magazines in the grocery store line, and catalogs in our home. I think we as adults have become so desensitized to most things SEXUAL all around us we don’t pay attention to these little gateway sexual teasers all around us. And I do believe that is a strategy too. More than a decade ago Forbes magazine said the Porn industry was worth 3.9 BILLION dollars between all the different forms of it. HOLY COW… There has to be a lot of strategy and unseen marketing to get that kind of Cash out of our Pockets… And let’s not be judgmental of others and think it doesn’t effect your family because I guarantee someone around you is being affected, tested, or tormented.
So what is my point here? My point is we have sons and daughters who we want to succeed in life. We don’t want to see them fall into this type of addiction and yes porn is an addiction. In Brain studies it is more addictive than cocaine. We want happy healthy marriages and lives for them. So we need to wake up to the pitfalls around us that we are asleep to.
Let’s WAKE UP
I recently heard this radio program called the Face of Porn may surprise you.
It was eye opening. I suggest you listen too if you have kids young or old. Are you like me? Super serious about protecting your children, grandchildren and future generations. Even if that means extra work for you. If that is you I suggest getting the Grooming the Next Generation for Success Home Study Program and Book
For more than a decade I have watched families raise their children using the programs proven strategies to protect and groom these future generations. People like Brad and Amanda Young who not only healed their dysfunctional marriage but groomed 4 and 6 year old girls into amazing talented teenagers today. I just hope I can do the same now that I have the tools.
Let’s stand up against the evil around us. Let’s be a LIGHT so Bright that Darkness can’t penetrate. Let’s get the skills to Shine Bright, Protect, and Groom our Children for success. Don’t wait. Do it now.
God Bless you and your Family. I will be praying and warring for your you all on this subject. I love you and want to see you succeed.