Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Budgeting Shakeology (and how a Panera salad gave me heart palpitations)

Today was a crazy morning. I fought with my lawn guy. I had a child who didn't want to get dressed for school and I knew that I wanted to make the most of my childless hours. So I was running out the door. We were a little late for preschool and missed drop off, I had to walk her in.  I also didn't eat lunch and left without my shakeology.

I didn't want to go home. I had errands to run. Let's be honest, going to the mall child free might better than vacation. (Unless its an all expenses paid, childless vacation by myself or with my best girlfriends that includes lots of awesome cocktails and a swim up bar and super cute waiters to bring me said cocktails.)

So currently I am sitting at Panera. Freezing to death. Enjoying my 2.5 hours of child free time. (Preschool is my favorite.) And trying to get some work done. Aside from the fact that I am freezing and it is distracting me like crazy, I am managing to find some awesomeness in this time alone.

And one of the things on my mind lately has been doing a post on how to fit Shakeology into a budget. One of the biggest responses I get when I start to mention Shakeology is "I can't even believe how expensive it is. Seroiusly....Why?" or "I can never afford that. Like ever."

I get it.  I almost fell off my stool in my dining room when I saw the price. I hid the purchase from my husband as long as I could. (Which since I am bad at keeping secrets to that maybe lasted a few days. It was probably only a few hours.)

But the reality was that I fell in love with it. It helped me in so many ways.....dropping medications, curbing cravings, boosting energy, better hair and nails and just generally feeling better. I knew I needed to keep it in my life. My husbands response....make it happen without increasing our grocery budget.

So I had a challenge.

And I am stubborn, determined individual who when given a challenge like that, tends to make it happen. So I made it happen.

I am going to share with you a few secrets to how I did it. Here it goes.

1. I signed up to coach

Yeah, this one is kind of an obvious one. But I did the math. Like a hundred times (because I am bad at math and I was sure I added it up wrong.) I mean there had to be a catch. But there wasn't. By coaching (without selling anything or doing anything at all with promoting or selling or talking about Beachbody) I was saving 25%. There was a $15.95 fee (waived if you or your spouse is active military)  I had to pay monthly to coach (to pay for the marketing materials and websites made available to me if I chose to utilize the business opportunity) but it was still saving me about $17 a month (or $204 dollars a year.)

2. I redid my grocery budget

I factored the cost of shakeology into our monthly grocery budget. And then broke it down farther. I do better with smaller numbers so I divided it out to weekly costs. I took the cost of my shakeology and broke it down weekly....roughly $25 a week. I figured out where to trim that at the grocery store (see tips 3 & 4) and boom. Budget friendly.

3. I ate breakfast for lunch

I am not a huge lover  of all things lunch anyway. I can live without the deli sandwich kind of lunch. A soup and salad are good if I am in the mood. But I LOVE all things breakfast. And in the spectrum of food costs, eggs are pretty low. So eggs and spinach omelets are a staple lunch item in this house. So are steel cut oats, hard boiled eggs with avocado and the occasional protein pancake for a treat.

4. We went meatless on a lot of our meals

I know this isn't an option for everyone. I don't eat a lot of meat in general. I just don't like it or how I feel when I eat it. So this was an easy fix for us. I did a lot of meals using proteins from beans and lentils. And dried beans and lentils are cheap. Especially compared to buying organic meat from the grocery store.

5. We stopped going out to eat all the time (and that includes take out!)

Not only did this help with my health goals (because let's be honest.....eating out healthy can be done but it's hard and kind of a pain.) BUT it helped with our budget too because eating out is expensive. Take out is expensive. And while it is typically totally yummy and easy....you are paying for that convenience. And the yummy factor is typically there because they are cooking with things you wouldn't in the forms of lots of fats, sugars and salt.  Now we eat out on special occasions or when we are traveling (but we do pack snacks and foods to help cut down on that too.) If we go out it is typically a treat meal for me so I don't have to worry (too much) about what I am ordering. I am there to enjoy myself, the company and a really good beer (or two.)

So when I compare this to the $10.57 I just spend on my lunch (which was delicious by the way.) It's a no brainer.  For that ten dollars I got one salad and an iced tea.

For the $3.25 (coach price - $4.33 daily regular price) I spend a day on my shakeology. I get a full meal....that keeps me full and gives me the nutrients of FIVE salads. Yes. FIVE. That is crazy and breaking it down to nutrients per dollar, can't be beat.

So yes. When looking at the price tag of Shakeology off the bat, it can be some major sticker shock. But once I dug down and learned about the ingredients and saw the benefits of it. It really is kind of an amazing deal.

Want to see if shakeology can work for you? Click here for more information.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

21 Days, Happy September and Happy Birthday to Me!

September has always been kind of a big deal in my house.

The end of summer. The start of a new school year (including new school supplies!) AND it's my birthday month. Yay!

The number 21 is also kind of awesome. Not only is it my birthday day but it has been instilled in my head by many of the bosses I have had that it takes 21 days to make a habit. 21 days....3 weeks...to the breaking of old habits and the starting of bright and shiny new ones. I don't know if I necessarily agree with that mantra but I do know that awesome things can happen in 21 days.

In March, we launched a little program called the 21 Day Fix. It kind of exploded. It was the program everyone seemed to want to get their hands on and for good reason.

And imagine my excitement when I found out it is on sale for the month of September.

Because it isn't just a workout program. It is a foolproof nutrition program. Portion sized containers. No measuring. No counting calories. If it fits in the container, you eat it. Easy.  (For more info on the 21 Day Fix click here.) The containers. I LOVE the containers.

So to celebrate this month and this awesome program I am going to be hosting a brand new health and fitness accountability group starting September 29th.

PLUS if you sign up with me as your free coach this month you will be entered to win one of my favorite, super awesome, can't live without it, 30 day supply of awesomeness. And yes it is that good.

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