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Monday, January 14, 2008

Frugal Exercise and Eating Plan - Frugal Update #4

Well, we made it through Christmas and New Year's Eve! Since 2008 did actually arrive, in our case, without much drama or fanfare, it's time to implement some of the lifestyle changes I referred to in earlier posts.

Frugal Exercise Plan: No gym or club required!!! I nanny for a family with a 3 year old girl and twin 1-year old boys 3 or 4 days per week. While it might seem simply being in the same house with these three adorabloe, active and energetic children, what I have instead realized is that I need to be in much better health than I currently am.

As the boys have grown from 4 months to 1 year they have gained weight - obviously a good thing. The not good thing is, so have I! On some days, I find myself almost out of breath and a little weak in the knees after I've carried both of them upstairs to put them to bed. Can you say "wake up call"!?

So . . . since we're on the frugal living plan, I obviously ruled out joining a gym immediately. Then yesterday I stretched out on the floor in the playroom with the kids, just kind of hanging out with them and fooling around -- the boys love to use me as "playground equipment." I started doing some leg lifts, some yoga stretches, etc. The kids think it's hysterical and loved it. The 3 year old loves to dance, so we put on some lively music. She danced, I exercised and the boys rocked and swayed and thoroughly enjoyed all the movement.

Additionally, the house where my little buddies live has three levels with lots of stairs. Today and each day I nanny, I'll be climbing stairs several times. I'll start out one at a time, but in a couple of days I plan to alternate one step, two steps, one step, etc., and then move to two steps at a time all the way. We have home gym at home but it's in the garage, and its just too cold to use it right now. I'll be working out five days a week by the time the weather warms up though, so I can exercise at work and at home on my days off.

I saved $44 and some change at the grocery store this week! Really excited about that! By planning my menues I only buy what I know I need and stock up on specials. I generally shop at one grocery store, because they double coupons up to 50 cents; we have known the pharmacist for about 15 years and he's awesome; after buying 4 prescriptions, you get money off a grocery purchase; they offer discounted gas (on-site) for every $100 spent. Finally, we have a "gift card" system through our church. Buy using this particular grocery store, our church receives a percentage of sales back that the church is using to fund some of our programs.

I'm writing down everything I eat, too. That's pretty convicting, so to avoid embarrasing myself, I don't eat a bunch of junk, nor do I go overboard with the "healthy" food items!

We've been enjoying our Angel Food meals and look forward to January's order at the end of the month. I would say a "unit" is suitable for about a 3-person family for about a week's worth of meals (Not bad for $30!). If you had small kids, you could probably get by with feeding 4, but you might need to add more of your own extras. We've ordered a bonus pack of meats this time and will give some to my daughter and son-in-law. We also donated the boxed cereal we received from them to a food pantry that our church donates to.

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