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“You drink a GALLON of lemon water every day?!?!”
Yes, I do! And it’s completely changed my skin, my energy, and my overall health. (Well, that combined with a bunch of other dietary and lifestyle changes. You can read more about those lifestyle changes here.)
As I’ve alluded to this online and offline over the past 21 weeks I’ve been doing this, many people have asked a number of questions on how I manage to do this, what advice I’d have to help them drink more water, and if I spend all day long in the bathroom as a result! 🙂
For those wondering how on earth this is feasible, here are my tips:
1. Use a Gallon Jug
I’ve found that it’s so much easier to track how much I’m drinking if I fill up a gallon jug every single morning and just drink from that all day long.
Because of the health benefits, I drink lemon water. So I fill up a gallon jug with approximately 10 Tablespoons lemon juice to 1 gallon water. I use bottled lemon juice most of the time, just to save time — and because I’d be going through a TON of lemons otherwise!
I buy a new plastic gallon jug every other week. I know some people recommend using glass instead of plastic, but because I take my jug with me much of the day, it’s more practical to use plastic. If I were home all of the time, glass would totally work.
2. Find a Tumbler You Love
One of the keys I’ve found for drinking more water is to drink from a tumbler that I love. I recommend getting a tumbler with a lid and a straw. It makes it easier for taking it with you everywhere, makes it more fun to drink, and prevents spills!
I use the Contigo tumblers. They are a little pricey to invest in but I use one all day every day, so it’s been very worth it to me. Plus they come in fun colors!
3. Sip Water All Day Long
Start sipping on water as soon as you get up. Your body is typically pretty dehydrated in the morning and drinking a tall glass of water within 30 minutes of waking will do wonders for your energy and will likely help you feel better, too!
I keep my tumbler next to me pretty much all day long and just sip on water as I’m working, as I’m cleaning, as I’m out running errands. I take my tumbler with me pretty much everywhere — even if I’m just running in somewhere for 30 minutes. And I take my gallon jug of water with me anytime I’m going to be gone for longer than an hour.
It makes me so happy to see the gallon jug of water going down all day long and I always do a little happy dance when I get down to the “bottom of the barrel”!
Note: I try to drink more water in the mornings. I find that I’m thirstier in the mornings — especially because that’s when I work out. Plus, I’ve found that it’s easier to drink more in the mornings. So I aim to only have 2-3 more tumblers of water to drink after 3 p.m.
In addition, this will help you sleep better at night — especially at first before your body has adjusted — because you’re not having to wake up every three hours to use the restroom.
4. Give Your Body Time to Adjust
It will be hard at first and you will feel like you go to the bathroom all. the. time. But don’t give up. Keep with it — even when you feel like you’re crazy for drinking so much water.
Your body will adjust over the course of a few weeks and you will no longer be heading to the bathroom twice every hour! 🙂 I promise!
In addition, if you’re anything like me, within a few weeks, your skin will start to look healthier and less dry, you will discover you have more energy, you have fewer aches and pains, you rarely ever have headaches, your digestive system is really regulated, and you are hungrier and thirstier — all while you may even lose a little weight!
And, if you’re anything like me, you realize that you probably have been dehydrated all of your life and you now love and crave the taste of water and don’t want to go anywhere without having a good supply of it with you!!
How Drinking Water Saves You Money
If you typically spend money on soda or coffee every day, switching to mostly drinking water instead can save you a significant amount of money!
For instance, let’s say you spend $1.50 per day on a coffee or a soda. If you switch to water or lemon water, you’ll save at least $450 per year. And that’s even adding in the cost of buy a bottle of lemon juice every other week (about $50 total — depending upon where you buy it from) + investing in nice tumblers ($20).
In addition, if you switch from soda or coffee to mostly drinking water, you’ll likely have fewer headaches and cramps, you’ll probably have more energy, you’ll likely lose at least a little weight. Without spending a dime!
Note: I’m not giving medical advice here, just sharing what has worked for me. Please do what is best for you and your body and get the advice of medical professionals if you’re not sure whether drinking more water is right for you or not. I’m just answering the question I’ve been asked over and over again the last 21 weeks I’ve been doing this!!
So far in this series, we’ve talked about: how there is no one right way to set up a grocery budget, how much you should spend on groceries, and how to track how much you’re spending.
Today, I want to tackle one of the most important parts of sticking with a grocery budget… namely, how to actually stick with it!
You can have all the best intentions in the world, you can set up an amazing grocery budget, and you can create a really good accountability system, but if you don’t actually follow through with it, you’ll never be successful at grocery budgeting.
Before we talk about some practical tips on how to actually stick with your grocery budget, I want to first address three things I don’t want you to do. Because if you do any of these three things, it could keep you from being successful in following through with your budget.
1. Don’t Make Excuses
I often hear people say things like, “I can’t have a grocery budget because we live in a high cost of living area.” Or, “We can’t stick to a grocery budget because we have variable income.”
Here’s the deal: You can sit there and make excuses or you can get up and do the best you can do with the situation you’re in and the income you have. It’s your choice.
If you need encouragement for setting up a grocery budget — even if you have a weird or difficult current life situation — be sure to read the comments on this post where folks all over the country tell about where they live, how many people are in their family, and what their grocery budget is. I think it will really inspire you.
You can do this, too! Nothing’s stopping you from success except your own excuses!
2. Don’t Stress Over Making Mistakes
Remember, if you’re brand-new to budgeting, you will make mistakes. You will probably find that there are times when it’s more difficult than you think it should be.
You will probably go over-budget some in the beginning. This is normal. This is how you learn and grow and get better.
When you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up. Don’t call yourself a failure. Don’t throw up your hands and decide that this grocery budgeting thing isn’t for you.
Remind yourself that this is part of the learning curve, think about what you can learn from you mistake, and consider what you need to change or do differently so you don’t make the same mistake again. And then give yourself grace and get back in the game!
3. Don’t Worry if You Have to Tweak It
You will likely need to tweak the budget as you go — especially if you are new to budgeting and just picked a number that you think will work. As real-life happens and you are actually trying to stick with this number that you had initially thought would work, there’s a good chance you’ll find you need to change it.
That’s totally okay and acceptable. In fact, I always tell people that it usually takes 3-6 months when you’re brand-new to budgeting to really figure out what a good number is. Tweaking is part of the process!
In addition to the initial tweaking, you’ll also want to tweak your budget as your needs and your family changes. As time goes on, if the number you have chosen just isn’t working and is making your life miserable, it’s 100% okay to tweak that number again.
Like I said earlier in this series, a good grocery budget is one that works for you and your own family. So be sure to regularly re-visit the number you’ve chosen to see if you need to change it.
We’ve significantly increased our budget the past two years because that is what was best for our family. I don’t feel guilt about that. Instead, I’m grateful that we can do what is best for our own family and that we’ve found a grocery budget amount that works best for us right now.
2 Simple Tips on How to Actually Stick With Your Budget
Plan Your Menu With Your Budget In Mind — Think about how much items cost and keep this in mind when you are planning your menu. If you have no idea, start keeping a price book to help you learn the general prices of items so you can better gauge how much the recipes you’ve chosen on your menu plan are going to cost.
Use a Calculator At the Store — One simple way to save money on your grocery bill is to always bring a calculator with you when you shop. Since I use cash when I shop, it’s important to keep a tally of how much I’ve spent so far so that I don’t get up to the register and not have enough money to pay for my groceries. Keeping a running total also encourages me to carefully evaluate all purchases as I put them into my cart — and it helps ward off the temptation to make impulse purchases on things I don’t really need to buy.
For more inspiration:
- Brigette’s $39 Grocery Shopping Trip + Weekly Menu Plan for 6
- 2 Proven Systems to Track How Much You’re Spending on Groceries
- 6 Ways We’re Keeping Our Grocery Budget Low — Without Using Coupons
What help you to stick with your grocery budget? Do you have any great tips or tricks? I’d love to hear!
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