Two years ago I felt so overwhelmed with real food that I nearly threw in the towel.
Guilt started to creep in when I forgot to soak oatmeal overnight for breakfast.
I was discouraged when my family didn’t devour the 100% whole grain bread I just spent the whole day making – AGAIN – for the hundredth time that week.
And there was an internal nag that somehow spaghetti wasn’t good enough on days when the only hour I was home – the entire day – was spent taking a shower, getting dressed and haphazardly throwing laundry into a hamper or a drawer. Spaghetti was the only meal I knew everyone would love and could eat fast enough, so we ate often.
I was defeated. My best never seemed to be good enough.
It’s about this time of year when the calendar switches over and the talk becomes about resolutions… what drastic self-improvement we’re going to make or how we’re going to ditch that bad habit once and for all.
But did you know that 88% of those who make New Year’s resolutions fail?
Two years ago I didn’t need helping failing. I was doing pretty good at that on my own.
Instead, I needed a plan. One that actually worked.
I knew baby steps were key to long-term change, so I quit making new year’s resolutions and took a baby step instead.
I committed to making a meal plan for just one month. Just January.
I figured if it didn’t work out, I could quit. And if it did work, I could do it again for February.
So I sat down and mapped out an entire 31 days of meals.
- There were meals the whole family already loved, and a couple new recipes that I thought they might like.
- Soup night was always on Thursday, because soup is always best with fresh bread and Thursday was the only day of the week I had time to make it.
- Bigger meals were planned for Monday so I could set extras aside for lunches that week. This also gave me wiggle room on dinners the rest of the nights, allowing me to make a little more or a little less based on what we had in the fridge.
- Finally, a main pasta dish was put on Wednesdays and I told the guilt vultures to be quiet. There’s nothing wrong with whole grain pasta and my hearty spaghetti sauce made in the slow cooker. That’s what worked for us and I was sticking with it.
That one baby step worked, and by the end of January I had fallen in love with our monthly meal plan.
Having a monthly meal plan gave me freedom.
It told me what for dinner, it was planned out in advance and I knew I could make anything on that meal plan because I had already shopped for it.
There’s no price that can be put on that level of sanity and I was hooked. There was no turning back.
I repeated the same process for February, and then again for March and the next thing I knew it was time for the calendar to flip over again.
By the end of that year I was amazed.
For the first time in my life, I had actually made a “resolution” in January, followed it through for the entire year and saw first-hand the positive impact it made.
But that success never would have been possible unless I took a small baby step first.
New calendars are like blank slates. They’re opportunities for us to start over, to start fresh and finally right the ship to achieve the big goals we’ve been wanting to reach for so long.
Big goals – when set without realistic expectations and a plan to achieve them – are nothing more than lofty ideas.
For those struggling with grocery budgets, unsure where to start with real food or just plain overwhelmed with fitting both food and finances into an already full schedule, I’d like to offer you an extra scoop of encouragement and grace.
You don’t have to tackle large goals like these alone.
Quit making New Year resolutions that will fail. Take a baby step instead.
Frugal Real Food Meal Plans is the culmination of two years worth of meal planning for my own family.
Two years of living in the trenches of busy schedules (hello baseball season!) and balancing the need for fresh food with eating what we’ve already paid for.
Two years of walking the line between a stagnant grocery budget of just $330 and increasing food prices.
I remember the struggle of learning how to make real food on a budget work both on paper and in the kitchen, but I also remember the success of figuring it out.
It’s the success I want to share with you, and the only way I know how is by offering you the same meal planning system that I use to keep my own grocery budget in line.
We’re celebrating the launch of Frugal Real Food Meal Plans this week with discounts so steep they’re practically too good to be true. But I assure you, they’re legit!
For as little as $1.84 per week, you can take a baby step and get help towards eating better food and doing so with less money.
I have no doubt that the few dollars you invest each month on this meal planning system, you’ll receive back in savings over and over again.
Because Frugal Real Food Meal Plans is so much more than meal plan, it’s truly a teaching tool – showing you how to, step-by-step, make smarter choices at home and in the store.
You learn how to fill bellies with good food, and wallets with extra savings.
And the fact that you no longer have to worry about planning dinner? Writing shopping lists? Coming up with ideas for feeding company? Even which foods to make extras of for the freezer for later?
Worth every penny.
Head over to Frugal Real Food Meal Plans to take advantage of special launch pricing before the deals are gone. Start this new year off on the right foot, and take a baby step on your real food journey towards the direction of better!