Healthy Freezer Meals for a Month

Healthy Freezer Meals for a Month

Once a Month Cooking Menu


As life gets crazier and busier, one thing I know is that creating a once a month cooking menu is the best way for me to provide my family with quick and easy healthy meals all while saving time, money and being less stressed.


I recently started using a once a month cooking menu but organizing myself with Theme Nights and it’s been incredible. Creating a menu a month in advance for our dinners has helped me save a ton of time each week in planning. When you batch organize your meals, you can easily come up with meals your family will love with ingredients you know you can buy often or save on.


This post was sponsored by Once a Month Meals and I was compensated for this review. This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.


Once a Month Meals Review


To start once a month planning, I would sit down and start to fill in my grid with my theme night ideas but often would get stuck. I get into a meal planning rut where we are making the same few dinners on rotation and needed some new ideas that fit my budget.

A friend suggested I check out Once a Month Meals and can I tell you, I am OBSESSED with it! Once a month meals provides a ton of recipes, menu ideas, and tips to create awesome meals that your family will love AND shows you how you can make them now and prep them ahead to freeze and add to your meal plan later.



Once A Month Meals



I love the idea of multi tasking my cooking, where I can not only make some meals for tonight but freeze some for later. Each recipe also gives you exact directions on how to do it if you want to cook it not or if you want to freeze it for later.

Freezer Meals for your Crock Pot


The biggest bonus when it comes to using monthly meal planning and finding a site like Once a Month Meals is that SO many of the meals utilize the crock pot and what’s called ‘dump recipes’.  I LOVE these type of recipes (and you can check out my free 5 day challenge to learn how these can be your best friend too!) 


Now I know not everyone loves this kind of cooking but, for a busy mom like me who always has little people underfoot, can I tell you how much stress this saves me! I literally can drop in a meal that I’ve already prepped, turn on the crock pot, and just serve it at dinner time! It not only saves me time but makes clean up SO easy! 

Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes


My second favorite thing, besides the easy dinners, from Once a Month Meals was the menus that you can download for toddlers! My 1 year old is at a stage where he eats everything but my toddler has become increasingly pickier.


I’ve also fallen into a rut when it comes to making their food and these menus and recipes have given me a new spark to try simple meals that bring in some variety! I’ve gotten into a good groove with breakfast but when it comes to lunches, it’s often just me throwing on plates whatever leftovers we have. The menus they provide have helped me feel much less stressed about providing my kiddos with healthier lunch options while expanding their palettes!




If you’ve never checked out Once a Month Meals, what are you waiting for?


I’ve linked below some of my favorite plans that they have to check out for free! You can also head over and get a subscription for super cheap that will provide the shopping lists and more! Go and grab it now and save yourself time and stress in the kitchen!


More Resources to Make Meal Prep and Meal Planning Easier

5 Steps to Meal Prep in 2 Hours or Less

Save Time with Meal Planning

4 Tips to Meal Plan on a Budget

How to Create a Recipe Binder + Free Printable

5 Day Freezer Cooking Challenge 

Easy and Healthy Air Fryer Recipes

Healthy Freezer Meals for a Month

Once A Month Meals

Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay (podcast 31)

Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 31 Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay   This week's episode is a conversation with Autumn McKay from Best Mom Ideas all about the ways you can have intentional (and fun!) learning time with your preschoolers at home! Autumn is a...

2B Mindset for the Breastfeeding Mom

2B Mindset for the Breastfeeding Mom

2B Mindset for the Breastfeeding Mom

  There are many weight loss plans for breastfeeding mothers out there and I have found that the 2B mindset is made for breastfeeding moms!   I have been following the principles laid out in the 2B Mindset program for a few months now and have not only lost almost 20 pounds but there has been little to no change in my milk supply, I constantly feel full, and have transformed the way that I see the scale, food and my body!

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.


What is the 2B Mindset Program?

2B mindset is a nutrition program from Beachbody, the creators of many home fitness program and nutrition plans.     The main focus on this program is mindful eating and helping you lose weight without feeling boxed in and restricted.     I’ve been following the Beachbody programs for 6 years now and have been able to lose 70 pounds before I had my daughter and subsequently have 2 healthy pregnancies where I’ve been able to continue to exercise, eat healthy and drop the baby weight within a year.  

2B Mindset was created by a registered dietician, Ilana Muhlstein, who herself has lost 100 pounds with this program! (and honestly, there's just something about following a program from someone who is in the trenches with you that makes it so special).               With 2B mindset exercise is ‘extra credit’ and the focus is more on developing a healthier relationship with food. When I heard about this part of the program, I was sold. I knew that even though I exercised 5x a week, there was something missing nutritionally that was standing in the way of my results.     The program comes with digital access to over 40 videos that you have lifetime access to. You can watch them in chunks, binge them all at once, or just go back to the ones you need when you might be struggling with a craving or need a refresher.             You also get access to an iOS app where you can track all your food, a journal to use if you’re more of a paper/pencil type of gal, and a water bottle to help you always be ‘water first’.

2B Mindset for Breastfeeding Moms

I truly believe that 2B Mindset is the perfect program for a breastfeeding mom. I nursed my daughter until she was 19 months old and am currently still nursing my one year old AND have been able to lose weight at the same time.     There are a lot of misconceptions about postpartum weight loss and breastfeeding and many times women either don’t eat enough or hold onto some body fat while they are nursing. This doesn’t mean though that it’s impossible to lose the weight!     2B mindset is 100% set up to help you have weight loss without feeling deprived.  

One of the core principles of 2B Mindset is ‘water first’. This means that you are fueling and filling your body with all of the water it needs (and more) which is perfect for breastfeeding.   I know that on days I don’t have enough water, my supply is down and my son is more fussy. By following the 2B mindset, you are ensuring that you have enough water to make your milk AND lose weight. (though I want to toss a disclaimer right here… I am NOT a doctor and every women is different so make sure you check with them if you have questions and follow your baby, and milk supply's, lead!)   Another struggle I had when trying to lose weight while breastfeeding was that I was hungry ALL THE TIME. I felt like I constantly was eating and many times, I wasn’t eating the proper foods for my body. Because of this, I was either gaining weight or stuck in a weight loss plateau.   And while it’s true that you burn calories while breastfeeding, everyone’s body is different and, if you’re just eating unhealthy foods to feel full, you won’t lose the weight anyway.   The 2B mindset teaches you how to fuel your body the right way AND how to go back for more food if you still feel hungry! This was a game changer for me when it came to pushing passed my last plateau. I finally felt like I didn’t have to feel deprived but could still lose!     One of the toughest principles to follow (but I'm working on it!) is the ‘dinner and done’ principle. Most of my night time snacking is habit and I’ve found that on the night’s that I don’t eat after dinner, I almost always have a weight loss the next day. But, I also notice that on those nights I may wake up less engorged and just ‘flatter’ than normal. I nurse on demand so I don’t have a number to share  but I can definitely notice a difference.   If you find you need something to eat or your supply needs a little boost, adding in some veggies with a higher fat dip like hummus or guacamole might be an adjustment you make! Listen to your body and milk supply and feel it out!

2B Mindset Results

In the few months that I’ve been doing the 2B Mindset I’ve dropped nearly 20 pounds and can fit comfortably now in my pre pregnancy clothes. I feel a HUGE difference in my mindset and have inspired my husband to start the program too!   I also have started making my kids plates similar to mine and I know that they are eating a TON more veggies and a lot less processed snacks. They are also filling up on water and I’ve noticed asking less for snack after snack after snack!    

2B Mindset FAQ

  The scariest part for many women when jumping into the 2B mindset is that part of it is to track your weight and use the scale daily. I struggled in the beginning because I really had ‘broken up with the scale’ during my last pregnancy.   2B mindset has allowed me to change my mindset around the scale. I no longer see it as ‘the enemy’ or something that will make me sad, but rather a tool to help me see what foods my body prefers. I’m not obsessing over the numbers but rather adjusting course as need be. This allows me to drop my "I’ll try again Monday” mentality and actually create lifestyle changes!     I also wanted to share what Beachbody itself says about this program and breastfeeding moms...   “La Leche League International advises breastfeeding moms to wait at least two months before making any drastic effort to lose weight, allowing their bodies to recover and to ensure a steadymilk supply.   However, the 2B Mindset can help you get in the right frame of mind to makehealthy decisions for you and your baby so you can ultimately shed the baby weight.   Remember, everybody is different, so you should consult your physician before starting this nutrition plan. Keep in mind that breastfeeding women may naturally lose 1 to 4 pounds per month simply due to the amount of energy required for nursing.   You may notice a slight reduction in your milk supply at the start of this program, but it should quickly rebound so long as you continue to nurse frequently, drink plenty of water, eat according to the plan, sleep when you can, and keep your stress low. Some women may also see a decline in milk supply as their baby begins to transition to more solid foods, but that is to be expected for any nursing mother.”  

2B Mindset Costs


2B mindset is an incredible program and completely worth the cost! Starting at $99 you can get the entire system with the videos! If you’re looking to incorporate exercise in as well, you should definitely get the package where you get a year to stream Beachbody on Demand AND the 2B Mindset access! This way you can have all the tools at your fingertips!     If you decide to sign up for 2B Mindset with the link below, you’ll also get access to me as your personal coach to help guide you through! I run private support groups full of women doing the program with similar goals to be in each other’s corner!   If you have any questions about which option is right for you, I’d love to setup a 15 minute FREE consultation so we can chat! Just head over here and fill out this form!   If you’re ready to get started, go and grab it now! Email me once you do at coachingwithcara@gmail.com so we can get you into our health support group ASAP!   And if you have any other questions, just leave them in the comments below!  


More Healthy Living Resources for Busy Moms

How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom 

Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay (podcast 31)

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Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas

Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas


Does this sound like a situation you’ve been in before?

It’s morning time, you’ve barely had your coffee and you hear the kids getting up in the other room. You had a busy weekend so you didn’t get a chance to go to the grocery store and have no idea what to make them for breakfast. You know they need something healthy but right now, you can barely find enough cereal to fill a bowl and wish you had a better plan. You are tired of always having to think about what healthy foods to feed your toddler and wish you had a better system.

Yup… I’ve been there too.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

healthy toddler breakfasts

Toddlers are picky. Some days they love something and other days it’s the worst food ever. You may have to try super hard to get something healthy in them and other days they’ll eat the entire pint of blueberries you were hoping to enjoy too.

As our kids grow, it’s up to us to help build their taste buds and help them make healthier choices. Kids don’t know what sugar tastes like until we give it to them. As parents, it’s up to us to give them healthy choices, pray they don’t just throw it on the floor, and fuel their tiny little bodies so that they have all that energy to burn.




Now, before you go thinking we eat 100% whole foods, organic everything, and grow all of our own food (and there is nothing wrong with that!), we’re not there yet. I am currently in the slow transition to making our lives and home healthier which includes what we eat and the products that we put on our bodies. Right now though, we do our best to just make sure we are at least trying to get our kids to eat healthy.

But the thing is, it’s not easy. Tantrums are frequent in this house, I have time where I haven’t make our weekly shopping trip and it’s all about being creative in the kitchen, and sometimes we just choose whatever option is available.

So, I’ve come up with a simple system that we use in this house that allows out kids some choice, decreases the tantrums and makes it super easy to have anyone give the kids breakfast if I’m not home to make it.



What to Feed your Toddler


I like to use meals that are quick and easy to make and we are pretty much a ‘no frills’ home when it comes to breakfast. Breakfast is one of our favorite meals and often, we just grab a healthy shake and go,  so  I don’t go all out or make anything too fancy unless it’s a special occasion.


I also think it’s important to balance the kids food with the right things that they need. I make their breakfasts just like mine; 50% protein and 50% carbohydrate (and veggies are extra credit!). When I look at which carbs to give the kids, I look for ones that are Fiber Filled… fruits (not juice), whole grains, and high fiber foods. We try to stay away from things with white flour, added sugars, or artificially flavored stuff.

Daily Sunshine is our GO TO Shake for all of our kids! You can grab a sampler pack here!

I’ve created a super simple chart that I keep on the side of our refrigerator so that anyway can create a balanced breakfast. This is super helpful for my 11 year old step son. He makes his own breakfasts about half the time and knows to go right to the chart and pick one thing from the carb column and one thing from the protein column. If it was up to him to make breakfasts he’d probably just have bacon with a side of bacon.


The things is at breakfast time we need BOTH carbs and protein. Protein will keep us and the kids full until the next meal and the carbs give us the energy to get through the morning. You want to make sure you balance protein and carb and not just give them two carbs (like waffles with fruit).


As for protein sizes, I really just eyeball what I know my kids will eat. With toddlers, I think it’s important to give them less to begin with to eliminate waste, otherwise my dog will eat most of it. I use this same system for my 10 month old as well. He and my daughter will have the same breakfast so I don’t have to make anything else and I will just cut his food into smaller pieces.


Check out the chart that we use in our house and, if you want to print one for your house, just drop your email! You’ll get hooked up with my weekly mom newsletter and as a gift, you get your own version of the chart to use in your home!

Simple Toddler Breakfasts

Hey Mama!! Want to Make Breakfast Easier?

Grab this mix and match breakfast chart that makes mornings simple!

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    Easy Breakfast Recipes


    I’m not much of a cook but, this year I made a goal to make more of an effort in the kitchen and to make as much from scratch as possible. That means that I always make a huge batch of pancakes, am drooling over this waffle maker I want to buy, and try to mix it up with some new recipes every few weeks.


    I’ve also found some awesome, healthy and toddler approved recipes for you!!! Head over to check these yummy recipes out to add to your breakfast chart!



    Kid-Friendly Breakfast Broccoli from On My Kids Plate 





    Apple Protein Muffins from One Clever Chef





    Healthy Breakfast Bowls from 5 Minutes for Mom





    Kid Friendly Avocado Toast from Theresa’s Reviews





    Blender Spinach Muffins from Joy Food Sunshine





    Yogurt Fruit Breakfast Pizza from Finding Zest




    Hope these tips help you feel more in control during breakfast and ready to take on the mornings! Keep it simple, balance what your kids need, and fuel them right!


    Don’t forget to jump over and get your own chart to post in your home and, if this was helpful, make sure you share it on Facebook or PIN it for later!

    Hey Mama!! Want to Make Breakfast Easier?

    Grab this mix and match breakfast chart that makes mornings simple!

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you this bonus chart!

      Powered By ConvertKit

      Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay (podcast 31)

      Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 31 Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay   This week's episode is a conversation with Autumn McKay from Best Mom Ideas all about the ways you can have intentional (and fun!) learning time with your preschoolers at home! Autumn is a...

      The Best Way To Organize Your Goals

      The Best Way To Organize Your Goals

      Creating a Goal Setting System

      I’ m a goal setting junkie, like I’m sure most of us are around January 1st.


      Does this sound like you;

      • Dream big about what you want out of life.
      • Get a new notebook or planner and make a million lists.
      • Decide THIS is the year you focus on you.
      • Have a really great first few days or week once you’ve picked your goals.
      • Life gets busy.
      • You forget about your goals.
      • You get put on the backburner.
      • Those notebooks get lost on the junk table.
      • The end of the year comes and you have no idea if you’ve even gotten any closer to achieving those goals.


      It sounds like me a lot of times too. I am the queen of buying cute notebooks, love to write things on my to-do list just so I can cross it off, and love to dream big. But I also love data. I love systems. And I love giving myself a gold star whenever I achieve even a small goal.


      This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but help me fund this page. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

       trello for goal setting


      Organizing Your Goals

      I got tired of all the paper clutter and making lists that I never checked in on, so I knew that I had to find a system that would work better for me.

      Enter Trello.

      Trello is an online website and app that allows you to create charts, workflows, and organize anything in your life. It is PERFECT for creating goal charts that you will actually check, stick to, and accomplish.

      If you’re typically a paper and pencil girl, stick with me on this. While Trello may move you into the digital age, it will also help you check in with your goals more and keep them organized. Trello lets me see what I’m prioritizing for the current and next few months, shows me where I may not be as balanced, and lets me have a massive thought catcher for things i want to accomplish, suggestions other people give me, link and website I want to check out, all while tracking my progress towards me goals.

      Trello is perfect for us busy moms who already have a million things to remember. We don’t need another paper system that might get thrown away or colored in by our toddler. We need our own space that will sync up with our phones and give us alerts and reminders when it’s time to kick butt and work on us. It’s super simple to use and is much more streamlined than putting a million notes in your phone that you forget to look at (guilty!)


      I want to share with you a step by step walkthrough on how I use and create boards on Trello to track my goals and keep my life less of a hot mess! I’ve already done a few other videos that you can check out on how I organize my prayer time, cleaning routines, and birthday party organization so make sure you go and read those too!


      You can watch the video above to create the board with me or just read through the steps below! You also can directly copy my board and save it to edit with your own goals!



      Step #1: How to Copy My Boards


      If you want to copy the board, you’ll need a Trello account to do so but it’s free so that rocks. Once you log in and go to the link, head right on over to the right where it says SHOW MENU. Next, hit the MORE button and hit COPY BOARD. When you copy the board, you can decide if you want to rename it and where you want it to go. Feel free to use it as a template, to get ideas, and customize however you want!



      Step #2: Create Workflow Cards


      The first thing that you’ll want to do is create lists with all of the headings for your goals. I suggest creating a list of the general topics such as;








      I also like to create lists for the time frames I want to complete them. This allows me to really be focused on a goal because I can drag the appropriate cards over to either ‘This Month” or “Next Month” or even “December” and know that I have a plan for when I will complete them.



      Under each list, create cards for that specific goal. For example, if your list is ‘health goals’ you could create a goal card that says ‘lose 15 pounds’, ‘run a half marathon’, or ‘track my meals’. Dream big and create whatever goals your heart desires! If you need help figuring out what areas of your life could use a boost or how to create goals, check out this series I did on just that!



      Step #3 Breakdown Cards


      After you’ve created each card, you can customize them to not only keep lists of things you need to do to accomplish your goal, but a timeline of when it will happen, and links you might want to check out. I tend to always add things to Pinterest but forget to go back to them when I need them! I like to add them to my Trello cards for that specific goal so, when I am ready, it’s just a click away.



      I suggest putting a few checklists on each card. You can create one for things you need to do AND create one to track what gets done. For example, if a goal of yours is to read 2 books a month, you can have a checklist with books you want to read or that others have suggested to you and a second checklist that tracks if you’ve accomplished it. This might say “January Book 1” and “January Book 2”.


      If you don’t track the progress to your goals, how will you know if you’ve achieved it! And instead of using a separate planner or checklist, Trello allows you to keep the to-do list AND the tracker in one spot!


      On the right-hand side, you can also add in labels to organize what type of goal they are or maybe what month you want to complete the goal in. This will let you see a big picture of your goals when you glance at your board as a whole.



      The right-hand column of each card gives you a ton of things that you can use to customize the card. You can add in a due date of when you will accomplish something or a LINK or IMAGE you want to go back to later! These are listed under ATTACHMENTS and, as I previously mentioned, are the perfect place to put blog articles or PINS you come across and want to check out!


      Trello is a super easy and efficient way to track goals, progress, and remember to take care of what matters to YOU too! Hopefully, this tutorial helped you feel ready to conquer the world (and decrease paper clutter!)


      trello for prayer requests 

      Did this help you get organized?? Loved some tips? Do me a fav?? Hit that Share or PIN IT to help another mama!




      More Resources To Maximize Your Productivity

      How to Set Your Week up for Success

      Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay (podcast 31)

      Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 31 Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay   This week's episode is a conversation with Autumn McKay from Best Mom Ideas all about the ways you can have intentional (and fun!) learning time with your preschoolers at home! Autumn is a...

      5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries (without using coupons)

      5 Ways to Save Money on Groceries (without using coupons)



      How to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons

       So I want to start with saying that I actually LOVE coupons.

      Using coupons was one of the strategies that helped us when my husband was unemployed for 7 months and we had virtually NO money coming in for groceries.

      During that season of our life, I used coupons to stretch the budget, pinched pennies like crazy, and did a lot of small side jobs to make ends meet. Thankfully now, he is back working and we on our way to getting back on our feet.

       But just because we have more of an income coming in, doesn’t mean that we went back to spending like crazy. Our time of no income actually taught us a lot about wants vs. needs and helped us create amazing habits that is really helping us get rid of a lot of the debt we accumulated in those months.

       Yes, I still use coupons for things that we use (it’s actually one of my hobbies now!) but I also incorporate it with a variety of other money saving hacks that allow us, as a family of 5, to have a $100 a week grocery budget with ease.


      Use a Meat Delivery Service


      I have been looking for a great meat delivery service for a long time. I kept hitting a lot of roadblocks in my search, such as they were WAY out of my budget, the meat quality wasn’t as high as I hoped, or that they didn’t deliver in my area.

       So when Zaycon Fresh opened in my area I was jumping for joy. 

      I had heard a lot about their farm to table meat services and was super excited to try them. The way it works is that you order your meats (they have everything from chicken breast to beef to bacon) online in bulk (orders go in sets of 40 pounds a package) and select a pick up date. When it’s your day and time to pick up, you simply drive through the line, give them your name and get your meat. The process takes minutes and you get a TON of great meat.

      Since we don’t have a large freezer space, I got my first order and split it with 2 friends. I also had a coupon code for … get this… $1.49/pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (!!!) so I couldn’t pass it up. The typical price for chicken there is $1.89 a pound which is still a steal and the meat tastes great.

      You do have to order about a month in advance but, we’re at the point where we’ve ordered enough so we have a great selection and variety in the freezer which makes cooking so simple. And seriously… the price can’t be beat!

       Even if you’re not sure you’re going to get it now, I recommend making a free account  because they’ll email you a ton of promo codes each week and you can take advantage of sales. If you’re a blogger or influencer, or think you might recommend the service to others, you should take advantage of their referral program! You get $15 per person that uses your link to order (so thanks in advance if you use mine!) and that’s a great way to pay for your meat! Oh, and at some locations you can even volunteer to help on delivery day for a $10 meat credit.


      Check it out now!

      Shop Now at Zaycon Fresh

      Look for Grocery Markdowns

      Using grocery markdowns is one of the major ways we not only got some variety in our menu but, save money on fresh produce!

      Most grocery stores have a section of clearance or markdown items. For my local stores, you can find them in the back corner by the produce and also by the meats. These are items that are either close to expiring (but not expired, they aren’t allowed to sell those), the manufacturer is getting rid of, or were seasonal and didn’t sell.

      The cool things about these sections is that they change daily based on what gets pulled off the shelves so essentially, if you wanted to go to the store each day, you could make a killing using these items.

      You’ll often find bags of fruit where maybe one of the apples is bruised, meat that is about to expire (but you could toss in the freezer to extend the shelf life) or really random pantry items that most people in your area might not buy.

      What’s great about this section is you can also use a coupon if you happened to have it to make it even cheaper but, if you don’t, most things go from as low as .50 cents to around $5. You could grab items from this section to make your dinner that night (so they don’t go bad and you wate them) or just freeze them to use later. We’ve often frozen fruit that is close to going bad to toss in smoothies at a later date or make banana ice cream with.

      Shop the Discount Stores & Farmer’s Markets 

      People have told me for a LONG time that I needed to check out Aldi Markets and I never bothered with it. SHAME ON ME.

      Aldi is the best thing since sliced bread and now, between one Aldi shop and one coupon shop, I have everything we need for the week for less than $100.

      Aldi is an employee owned store that is a ‘brother store’ to Trader Joes. They have some pretty odd quirks you have to remember like bringing your own quarter to get a cart and bagging your own groceries (so make sure you grab those reusable bags) but if you can get passed that and not be a brand snob, you’ll LOVE Aldi too.

      They also have a great line of gluten free and organic products at a fraction of what you’d pay anywhere else. They save a lot of money because they don’t sell name brands (you might see the occasional name brand floating in the clearance section) and because they don’t always have the same items. For example, my Aldi will always have yogurt but might not have the cauliflower rice that is a new staple in our home.

      I also love that I can get more snacks for the kids without the gift. All of their cereals don’t use food dyes but instead use natural coloring and many of their meats are without added nitrates (we love their deli sliced turkey breast and turkey bacon for that reason)

      Save Money at Aldi Markets

      The one thing I will say is I don’t love the produce at my local Aldi so I do go to a farmer’s market for that. Our farmer’s market has a great selection and I love knowing that I’m helping our community while giving my family stuff that has been treated with less pesticides and is better for their little bodies and our environment.

      Meal Plan and Use Leftovers 

      The #1 way to save money on food is not to waste what you have. How often have you thrown out that gross moldy tupperware container of leftovers that no one eats or had to toss the product that you forgot you put in the crisper?

      Each week, I spend a little time adjusting my meal plan (I plan a monthly dinner plan so I only need to adjust some lunch and breakfast ideas) and do a shop to get any ingredients I am missing. I spend about 2 hours on Sunday cooking and preparing (and making a huge mess in my kitchen) so that I can save time during the week. You can see my whole system here!

      This saves me a TON of money because I only shop for the ingredients that I actually need (not just some random impulse buys of things that I think I need) and use what I already have in my pantry. We also make sure to use leftovers to mix up some menu items and repurpose them for lunches which helps us save.

      Every 3 months we also take the challenge to eat only what we have in our pantry (but can buy some fresh stuff that we need) and see how creative we can be. I love the site SuperCook where you can put in the ingredients in your cabinet and it gives you sample recipes. If you do this for one week every few months it’ll help you clean out the pantry and save money.


      Use Rebate Apps

      Okay, I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about coupons but I have to add a bonus section for Rebate Apps… I mean technically they aren’t the same as clipping coupons right?

      I love rebate apps and find them to be the easiest way to save some money here or there. Rebate apps get downloaded directly to your phone and you can use them after you shop to get cash back. You use what you already purchased on your receipts to claim money that they’ll send you, most of the time via paypal.

      For most of these apps, you may only get a few dollars each time you shop but, trust me, I’ve gotten HUNDREDS of dollars from these apps by just claiming a few dollars each time I shop. You can read more about my favorite apps and why I love them here!

      So whether you love or hate coupons, know that you CAN save money on your groceries if you’re willing to take a few steps to get there! I suggest aiming for $20-25 per person per week for your budget and really look at what you’re buying. Cut out some luxury items for a bit, clean out your pantry and shop smarter to save money and cut costs!


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      Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay (podcast 31)

      Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 31 Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay   This week's episode is a conversation with Autumn McKay from Best Mom Ideas all about the ways you can have intentional (and fun!) learning time with your preschoolers at home! Autumn is a...

      80 Day Obsession for the Breastfeeding Mom

      80 Day Obsession for the Breastfeeding Mom

      Losing Baby Weight after your Second Kid


      The ‘post partum bounce back’ after a second kid is REAL…. real tough!


      With my first child, the weight more or less left my body pretty quickly (minus those last 10 pounds) and within 3 months, I was back into my pre pregnancy pants.


      I sit here now, 8 months after my son is born and I can finally fit into my pre pregnancy jeans and am still working to evict 30 more pounds from my body.


      The first 4 months postpartum, I struggled greatly with postpartum anxiety and depression (you can read more about my story here) and because of that, the weight stayed on me for much longer.


      In January, I decided to see the impact of what I was eating was having on my anxiety and how exercising could help. I started Beachbody’s newest workout program, 80 Day Obsession.

      This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.


      What is 80 Day Obsession?

      80 day obsession for the breastfeeding mom


      80 day obsession is an intermediate/advanced workout from Beachbody the leading makers of home fitness products. Workouts are between 45-60 minutes and it comes with a timed nutrition meal plan to help you work your core and abs while shaping your booty.


      This program also incorporates what’s called Timed Nutrition. This was the component I was actually the most excited about. I loved doing the 21 day fix but I personally need more structure and guidance. This program tells you exactly which colored containers to eat at what time of day and to eat every few hours. I had to put a timer on my phone to remind me to eat because you know… kids.


      Now while the progress pictures I saw and the results promised sounded amazing, as a mom of 2 kids the thought of working out each day for almost an hour and having to remember to eat something that isn’t your kid’s leftovers is pretty daunting.


      But, I decided to take the 80 day obsession challenge head on, bust through the limiting beliefs that told me that working out for an hour was impossible because I was ‘too tired’, and do the best I could to start to use healthy foods and exercise to control and heal my postpartum anxiety.


      80 Day Obsession while Breastfeeding


      Since I was choosing to do 80 day obsession while breastfeeding (my son was 4 months old when I started), I had to be really careful that my milk supply didn’t dip. When trying to lose weight most people can simply decrease their calories in and increase the calories burned. But, for a mom breastfeeding, you need to be really careful.


      When calculating how much you should eat, you can use the calculation that is laid out in the program. The creator, Autumn Calabrese, recommends just staying in maintenance instead of weight loss for the program. This meant for me, plan D compared to plan F which is a difference of about 500 calories. This 500 calories comes from the average a breastfeeding mother burns while nursing her baby.


      This number scared me. Plan F was A LOT of food and more than I was used to. I decided, that since I had an oversupply, I would eat in my weight loss bracket and see how my body adjusted. The thing is ladies, you NEED to eat to lose weight. For so long we are told that you need to cut out food groups or eat less than 1200 calories to lose weight and it’s just false. You CAN eat a decent amount of the RIGHT calories to fuel your body. It’s all about balance and moderation, and that is why I liked this program.


      Over the course of the 80 days, I found plan F to work for me but I did notice on days when I didn’t drink enough water my supply was lower (so aim for a gallon a day) and my supply most definitely decreased during Peak Week. Peak Week is the final week of the program and you do what’s called carb cycling; where you have 2 days of lower carb eating and 1 day of regular ‘on plan’ eating. On the lower carb days, my breasts felt less full and I could feel my son being a bit fusier when nursing. I wouldn’t recommend nursing moms participate in peak week and, if you do, make sure you pay attention to how your body responds.



      80 Day Obsession Results


      I’m proud to officially say that I’m an 80 day obsession graduate! I didn’t miss any workout in the 80 days though I did move a rest day around because of activities we had to do but, I didn’t make any excuses or skip them.


      Besides the physical results (down 17 pounds and 12 inches!!), 80 day obsession gave me so much strength mentally and physically. Not only do I feel so much stronger and modified less each workout AND lifted heavier each time, but my mindset has completed changed. I also busted through some major limiting beliefs about working out for an hour. The only time I could find to get a full hour in without the kids interrupting was after bed and, as much as I didn't want to work out at 8pm, I knew that spending that hour for me was going to make me a better mom.


      I actually started to look forward to that time. It was my best mom time! I would put on a podcast to fuel my mind and fuel my body at the same time. It also allowed me to grab a shower before bed which meant I got a shower ALONE every single day (mom win!)


      Previously, if I slipped up or made a ‘mistake’ during a program with my eating, I would tell myself I would start again on Monday, restart the entire program, or even switch programs because I felt like a failure.


      Since I had made the 80 day commitment to not only my fellow moms in the accountability group but my team of coaches, I couldn’t just quit or miss a day, I just had to pick it up at the next meal. I started to not put it off until Monday or the next day and just told myself “okay, little slip up, let’s get it back at the next meal”. I also stopped looking at off plan eating as a ‘mistake’ and just life. But what made me stronger was realizing that I could have a plan that fit into my lifestyle even if I wasn't perfect.


      My nutrition was probably about 80% on point during the 80 days and I am okay with that. I learned which foods made me feel full and which ones made me sluggish. I also learned which times of day I needed more water or a snack.


      Oh, and a note about the scale. Get ready to break up with it. Only weigh in at the end of each phase and make sure you stop caring so much about that number. Pick an item of clothing that you want to try on each week and hold onto the non scale victories there! You might not see the number move on the scale but you’ll see and feel the difference!









      Is 80 Day Obsession Right for You?


      I’m not sure I would recommend this program as the first one that you do after you get cleared to workout since it is a more intermediate workout. Autumn also recommends that you wait until your little one is sleeping through the night because your body needs the sleep to recover and see results.


      When I started, my little dude was NOT sleeping through the night and I could really see the differences on the scale on the weeks I got better sleep vs when i didn’t. So just know going into it that your sleep will play an impact on your results.


      If you’re up for a challenge to create time in your schedule (because it will require sacrifices… maybe drop that Netflix show for a bit), putting in the time to do a good meal prep each week, and dropping all those excuses that have held you back so far you can most definitely see results!


      If you want any support in the program, and not currently working with a coach, send me an email at coachingwithcara@gmail.com  or just fill out this form to chat more and I’d love to help you through the program or see if it's for you. If you don’t have it yet, go and grab it HERE and I’ll coach you through!


      Did these tips help you??? Make sure you hit PIN IT and share with other breastfeeding mamas!

       80 day obsession for the breastfeeding mom


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      How to Find Time to Workout as a Busy Mom 

      Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay (podcast 31)

      Purpose Driven Mom Podcast Episode 31 Preschool at Home with Autumn McKay   This week's episode is a conversation with Autumn McKay from Best Mom Ideas all about the ways you can have intentional (and fun!) learning time with your preschoolers at home! Autumn is a...