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P90X on a Budget: 1/10th of the way through!

So I made it to the beginning of Day 10 of 90 in the P90X Fitness and Nutritional Plan and it feels really wonderful to be a tenth of the way through.

The first four days were really hard. I had trouble adjusting to the 60-90 minute workouts when I’m only used to doing 20-30 minute workouts. And I struggled a great deal with the low-carb diet.

After four days, I was weak, crabby, lethargic and unable to focus — and my husband wisely suggested that I should probably consider moving up to Phase 2 of the diet. Upon further research, I found that since I’m already at the low end of a healthy weight, it was likely the low carb diet that was causing these issues and my body was showing clear signs I needed to move to Phase 2.

Within 24 hours of being on the Phase 2 diet, the change was remarkable. I felt great — more energetic than I have in months! And the feeling hasn’t left!

Suffice it to say, I’m loving this program (especially now that I can eat carbs again!) and am finding the workouts and nutritional plan exhilarating. They are challenging me to push myself out of my comfort zone and I’m seeing marked improvement in my strength levels.

It’s also quite exciting to realize I have not eaten one bite of non-nutritive food for the last nine days. I’ve passed up cheesecake and ice cream sundaes and coffee and chocolate — and lots of other junk food — for nine whole days. And instead of feeling deprived, I feel empowered!

After one grocery shopping trip, I’m pretty confident we’re going to have to raise our grocery budget to continue to eat so many whole foods and fresh produce. It won’t be anything too crazy, but I’m toying with a $60 per week figure right now. I want to continue to challenge myself to be creative and frugal, but I also don’t want to skimp on the grocery budget so much that I’m unable to buy lots of good protein, whole foods and fresh produce.

I’m having fun experimenting in the kitchen and rethinking the way I grocery shop. In addition, I’m brain-storming new ways we can lower our grocery budget while eating whole foods and digging up new recipes and ideas to try. I’ll be blogging more about these over the course of the next three months.

We’re committed to sticking this out for 90 days. After that, we’ll see what habits we want to make permanent. But for now, I’m excited and thankful to be feeling so incredible after months of feeling worn-down and exhausted.

Later on this week, I’ll be sharing my p90X-Style Freezer Cooking Day Plan. Stay tuned!

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Shannon says:

    Way to Go Crystal. It works! I am about 33 days in and just traded down a jean size 🙂

    I am not following the diet, due to outside dietary restrictions, but just doing a healthy diet and follow the exercise plan. So nice to be able to run up the steps without thinking twice about it!


  • Yay Crystal! I’m so happy for you to be this far along. I know from experience that this is quite an achievement.

    Kudos to you for listening to your body and also to your husband for being so wise and encouraging!

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for freezer cooking day.

  • amber says:

    Great job Crystal! I just started phase too! I am also using advocare products along with doing the program and I feel amazing! I think it is the pretty much the same as what p90x tries to sell, but I am already a member so there is not point in changing. Like you I am rethinking my budget and trying to buy more health whole foods. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Maybe we can share ideas 🙂

  • Marie says:

    Congratulations! This is a huge achievement. You are definitely inspiring me and many others!

  • That is awesome! Way to go! I’m hoping to try this program after baby comes in October.. I’ve heard good things! 🙂

  • Kristen says:

    Great job!!! I’ll be curious to see the different freezer meals you try while also eating low carb. I have been doing the diet for a while and have found some creative ways to prepare the food. Phase 1 was quite expensive, but phase 2 is more reasonable to the wallet. It is encouraging to see you pull it together to accomplish this type of a goal with having little ones under foot!

  • sara says:

    Ugh! I’m addicted to bread 🙁

  • Noah says:

    I wholeheartedly believe that extra money spent on good and nutritious whole foods will pay off in healthcare savings over your lifetime. There are countless studies that link a good diet with improved health (and the opposite too). I think that people who eat junk diets to save money end up in the long run with unhealthier lives and more healthcare costs (on average) that negates the money saved on food. So what I’m trying to say is that it’s worth it to spend a bit more if it keeps you and your family healthier. And you may find that in total money spent in all realms, it’s not really more after all.

  • Allison says:

    10/90 = 1/9 not 1/10. But 1/9 > 1/10 so you are farther along than you think!

  • Angela says:

    You helped me figure it out. What has changed – part of why I have plateaued.

  • Alison says:

    Congrats on making it through the first 10 days. Since you are not trying to lose weight, you absolutely NEED to feed your muscles. P90x is a great program and when you tear up those muscle fibers during the workouts, as they repair and build stronger mucles, your body needs the extra fuel. Otherwise you’ll be a cranky, hungry mess. We actually own the p90x dvds, but they are collecting dust right now. My husband has had two knee surgeries and while he’s a marathon runner and very physically fit, the plyometrics are too much for his joints; and for me? well, all I have to say is that Tony Horton drives me bananas. I’ll stick with my gym workouts. Good luck! Having strong muscles is totally empowering and also one of the best things a woman can can do for her body. Keep it up!!

    • Aimee says:

      HI Alison,
      Tell your hubby that if he wants to do P90X but can’t because of his knees he can always sub CardioX on the poly days and still see outstanding results – also tell him that he can still get his heart rate up by changing the exercises to reduce the strain on his knee joint. If he has questions, please tell him to talk to his BB coach. If he doesn’t have one I’d be happy to coach both of you (for free). I’m coaching my hubby through Phase 2 and I’ve just started Phase 1 Lean. I’ve had a lot of injuries I’ve learned (we’re in the rehab field) how to work around in my back, knees, elbows, and wrists. I’d love to pass what I’ve learned on.

  • Melissa P says:

    The feeling after the workouts is incredible. When I finish Plyometrics I feel AWESOME! Good for you and keep up the good work.

    • Crystal says:

      I cannot wait until I can finish that workout without stopping or feeling like I’m going to throw up! 🙂

    • Patrice says:

      @Melissa P,
      My husband and I are on day 3, so we did our first plyometrics yesterday. We decided our short term goal would be to do the whole thing without stopping by week 3. That thing really is a BEAST!

  • Lynda Grodd says:

    I love that you are doing the P90X. I am on day 15. My husband and I are recent empty nesters and it is time to get back in top shape. I am excited to see how you do your Freezer Cooking day. I meet with several young mothers and we do our freezer cooking day together. This allows me to pour into the young moms and do something that gets crossed all our to-do lists at the same time. smile I love that you are being so inivative with incorporating the P90X program with being frugal and wise. Isn’t it fun to watch God direct our paths. His fingerprints are all over you blogs. I read Mondaysaving Mom and smile at the brilliance of God. He always makes a way. Great job on buying a home for cash. My husband and I are debt free and I teach FPU at our church. This semester will be my 13th time teaching his program. We started a food pantry solely on the proceeds of those sharing out of their overflow. This is getting long, but I just wanted you to know your blog is a blessing.

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    I’m not familiar with the P90X diet, but if you’re looking for whole fruits and veggies I would highly recommend a farmer’s market. At ours we can purchase fresh veggies (fruits are much harder to come by here) for a fraction of the grocery store cost – a peck basket of mixed lettuce for $2, a pint of beans for $1 etc. While the sizing is different than the grocery store, we find the price to be well worth it. We spend about $12/wk at the farmer’s market and easily get enough to last our family of 4 for 2 weeks, including freezing some for later in the year. I rarely buy veggies in any form at the grocery store anymore because of this.

    That subsequently frees up a chunk of our budget to buy meat in bulk when it goes on sale (just bought 2lbs of fish for $5 on sale this last week!). Our grocery budget is similar to yours now ($80/2wks), and we find this certainly do-able for 2 adults and 2 5-year-olds (one boy and one girl). Due to changes in prices and a growing boy in the house here (who eats an absurb amount!), I am thinking of uping our budget to $50/wk but that’s more do to me being lazy than anything else! 🙂

    So glad you’re making progress on your program and that it’s working out the way you hope it would!

    Good luck,

  • Corrie says:

    This is the beginning of my fourth day with P90X and I know where you’re coming from with the nutrition plan. With my family, my dad and brother are so picky, it’s hard to be able to follow the meal plan approach without some mess ups. I figured out that the portion plan is probably best for me. Keep it up!

  • Joy Y. says:

    I commend you Crystal! I am sure those first days were extremely tough–but you did it! We too try to stick to a pretty tight budget while eating much organic produce, grass-fed meats, raw milk, and other wholesome foods. I tell you what, the more we plan ahead, which you already do well, make from scratch, eat less meat (I am married to Mr. Meat and Potatoes after all!), and buy in bulk the better off we can all do with our budgets! I am excited to see your meal plans and how your freezer meals days go and such. May God bless your efforts!

  • Jennifer says:

    My best friend and I just started yesterday..Alittle sore this morning, but I know as we move along it will go easier. Thank you for the meal planning,I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with fro your freezer day….

  • Aimee says:

    Hey Crystal – Kudos to figuring out that you needed to change your diet to Phase 2. This is when a BB coach comes in really handy. Most of us have done P90X or are currently doing P90X. And if we don’t know the answer then we will find it for you.

  • Beth says:

    Congrats! Would you (or others) post a little blurp on how you make the time w/ the kiddos around? Do you work out before the wake up? After they go to bed? During naps/quiet time? With a shower in there, too, it’s such a time commitment. I, too, am slowly trying to buy more whole/real foods. It is difficult on a budget. I am hoping that making more things from scratch and using natural cleaners (vinegar, water, etc) will help with the cost of meat. BTW, Lea above–your famer’s market prices rock!! Ours are decent, but those are amazing.

    • Laura says:

      I’ve done the program twice. Having two kids already and a third on the way, I understand your situation. THere are a few thing you can do depending on your kids ages. If you have an infant, bring them in the room with you, toddlers: nap time is best, but if that doesn’t work set up an area where they can see you but not be in your way or have them join you. Its always better to have a buddy. Older childern can join you or find something productive to do. I had my son read , write letters to friends and family and do math problems. he also joined me in my workouts. For kids its play time with mommy not so much a workout. Remenber you can pause at any time if the kids need attention. Good luck!

    • Brooke says:

      @Beth, I was wondering the same thing. My husband and I started doing this at the beginning of the summer, but only made it to week 3. We tried doing it after putting the kids (age 1, 3, and 5) to bed, but found that by the time we finished 90 minutes of working out we were too wound up to go to sleep right away, and would stay up way too late. So we tried the morning, but the earlier we woke up, the earlier the kids woke up. Nobody was getting any sleep, and we finally decided to stop. It was just such a big time commitment.

      • Beckie M says:

        @Brooke, My husband and I have been doing it for about 6 weeks now. We are unable to workout together in the morning (my husband gets up at 5:30 am now and we can’t see getting up any earlier!) So, we have a mish-mosh workout week that we do together.
        We make sure to workout every Sat and Sun. Then Mon. and Tues. we have to do it at night when the kids go to bed. Wed we skip (church comitments at night) Thur I do it in the am and he comes home early afternoon so I can go to work and then he does it. Fri. we usually skip also.
        It really is hard to keep to a 6 day schedule. We are hoping that by comitting to 5 days/week we will still see results.

    • Crystal says:

      The only way I’m pulling it off is by getting up before my children are up. I usually get up between 4 and 5 a.m. every morning to read my Bible, exercise, get some computer work done and hopefully get in a shower before everyone else is up. I’ve found that if I don’t exercise first thing in the morning, it doesn’t happen.

      By the way, the only way I’m able to consistently get up early is because I make it a point to go to bed early — usually very soon after my children are in bed.

  • Jennifer says:

    This is so interesting to me. I had always figured this program was for people who needed to lose weight, but more and more I am finding it is because people just want to be healthier and stronger. I would love to lose a couple of pounds (still holding on to 4 pounds from my last baby that I can’t seem to shake for anything). I just don’t see how I could possibly find 90 minutes a day. But I will be thinking about it and see, because what I am currently doing is barely letting me stay where I am at.

    • Crystal says:

      I had to make 90 minutes in my day for this — which meant streamlining and cutting in other areas. I really want to become more fit and healthy, so saying “yes” to that is meaning saying “no” to some other things. And so far, I’m really happy to have made it a priority!

      • Amber says:

        @Crystal, I love that you are so busy and have managed to MAKE time in your day for this. I am an exercise physiologist and I always tell people that exercise should be a daily, natural habit, just like we always make time for hygiene, brushing our teeth, showering, and things like eating and sleeping that are important for a healthy body.

  • Sheila says:

    Crystal, just had to leave a note to congratulate you on making it this far and being wise enough to listen to your body’s needs when it came to the nutrition. I’m on Day 14 of The Shred and as good as it feels to be dropping some pounds, it’s also a really difficult commitment.

    Yeah! Keep up the good work. I’m encouraged in my exercise journey by reading about yours!

  • Good for you Crystal! We had to increase our grocery budget when we moved towards whole foods and local meats. But I would much rather cut back in other budget areas, than sacrifice good whole foods for my family. I also second the farmer’s market suggestion. I absolutely love our market, which focuses on organically grown foods.

    Mary Ellen

  • Jessica says:

    Congrats Crystal! I started an intense mom’s fitness program this spring with an accompanying diet plan (sounds very similar). I had to raise our grocery budget in order to have more lean protein and other whole foods. I feel great now and my husband and I both have more energy…plus I fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes!!! I can’t wait to hear about your frugal ideas for these types of meals. Good Luck!!!

  • Claire says:

    I’m REALLY interested to hear about how you’ll manage a lower grocery budget with whole foods. I primarily buy fruits, veggies, and proteins. The only thing I can usually find coupons for is the dairy elements, and it feels like they’re often not great coupons. I’ve still got a lot to learn about couponing and all of this, but I feel like a lot of what I buy doesn’t qualify for coupons, so I can’t wait for some ideas and ways to save!

    Congrats on P90X! I just started doing Crossfit and am FEELING it, and love hearing about people succeeding in getting healthy and fit!

  • Lauren says:

    CONGRATS!!! Keep up the great work! I had decided to start p90x after my husband did a round and dropped 20 lb. After my round, I lost only 10, but I am much healthier and much stronger to pick up my chubby 1 year old =) After looking at our budget, we decided to order Insanity from If you are looking for a GREAT cardio workout, I would definitely recommend this. It is very challenging, but when you are done, you will feel AWESOME! I have now dropped 10 more lbs and I feel great. Also, after having my baby, I had to start taking blood pressure medicine and I was only 23. I was SO ashamed of that knowing it was partially my fault. After p90x, blood pressure no more =) I can not tell you how happy that makes me feel! As annoying as he is, Tony has helped me change my life. Keep up the great work, this is no small feat. I LOVE inspiring workout stories. Thank you so much for always being encouraging =)

  • Colleen says:

    Just a quick question about the diet. You had posted that you were buying the gallons of premade chocolate milk. Is there an advantage to purchasing those over Hershey’s syrup and regular milk? I’m trying to narrow out HFCS in my house, and chocolate milk is a nightly treat for Fiance and I. It seems the only place I can’t find a substitute is our Hershey’s!

  • ann k says:

    Hey Crystal,
    Its so nice to hear that you and your family are on the fitness bandwagon. My husband and I have been training for the past 9 years and I have to say that the amount of stamina you gain in the long run is truly amazing. Once a year, we go for a 20 day trek and we train the whole year round to make that happen. We have a diet similar to the Phase 3, Endurance Maximiser and its been great. Sometimes we do fluctuate to Phase 2, Energy Booster.
    Fresh produce blows our budget. But we reduce our ‘eating outs’ to make way for a good healthy lifestyle. Not only has that helped our budget, but also our waistlines.
    I have not been able to incorporate protein bars and shakes in our diet. That is majorly because we prefer tapping natural sources of protein. If in the future you do look for cheaper complete protein options, consider egg whites, milk(whey), fish, lean meat, etc. We are vegetarians and have survived on milk, soy(not too much), beans, lentils and nuts. Enjoy your P90X. 🙂

  • Christy says:

    I am so glad to finally hear someone on one of the couponing/moneysaving blogs say that they may have to spend more to buy more fresh produce. We buy a lot of fresh produce and that is obviosly hard to stockpile (I know you can freeze some of it, but that kind of defeats the idea of eating it fresh–I only do that when I realize we will not finish it all before it goes bad). When we go to the grocery store, at least 80% of our purchase is produce! We always buy lettuce, bell peppers, onions (one bag of those does last a while so we don’t have to buy these every week), tomatoes, and cucumbers for salads. We also buy green beans and/or broccoli and lots of fruit. We buy the fruit that is in season and use a $5 off Rite Aid coupon (Publix takes as a competitor) and that is about all we can save. If I am lucky enough to have my husband come with me (maybe once a month), I split the order in 2 and use 2 $5 off coupons. Last summer, Food Lion put out a lot of $2 or $3 off produce coupons and Publix took those. During the fall and winter, they didn’t put any out and I was really hoping they would again this summer–all I have seen is one week where they had 50 cents off! Again, I can use these twice if I have DH with me. I definitely have brought our budget down since couponing and buying ahead by saving on cereal, granola bars, juice, cleaning supplies, and toiletries, but I have not been able to get it down to $30 (family of 3) like so many others, maily because of the produce. Whenever I get into coversations with other couponers about this they say, “use the $5 off Rite Aid coupon,” “Use the Food Lion produce coupons,” or “get overage on something else even if you aren’t going to use it” –I am only lucky enough to get the overage to work every once in a while, usually I don’t have the coupon or the one for our region is not the same amount. I do get overage a lot at CVS but that doesn’t help with produce! or “Did you get the free blueberries a few weeks ago?”–yes, but you could only print one coupon for that and every little bit helps, but… I would love to one day grow some of my own vegs., but we now live in a townhome without a true “yard.” I grow a tomato plant and herbs in pots. So, anyway, it is nice to hear someone else who is adept at couponing admit that fresh produce does cost more!

    • Crystal says:

      We’ve always quite a bit of fresh produce, but now that we’re burning a LOT more calories on a daily basis, we’re just plain consuming more food — including lots more fresh produce and protein — so I’m pretty sure there’s just no way around spending more money at the grocery store. However, I’m determined to try and come up with creative ways to pull this off — like possibly shopping at the Farmer’s Market or finding other sources for inexpensive and high-quality meat and produce. 🙂

      Do what works for you and don’t worry what others do or spend!

      • Christy says:

        @Crystal, Our farmer’s market is more expensive than Publix! but I am thinking about researching a coop my friend belongs to. She pays $150 for 15 weeks worth of produce. They apparently have a list of what you will get.

  • Dani says:

    Way to go! Sticking to it even when it is making you tired and cranky truly is commitment. I have thought about this program (or the less intense, P90) in the past but never gone through with getting it for fear of not sticking with it when it gets tough. My husband’s company will be starting a weight-loss ‘competition’ over the next 12 weeks. There are even monetary incentives to this. Well, he has been talking for a long time now about starting to work out and run again but even with my encouragement hasn’t started it. With this extra boost from the company he is extra motivated (first weigh in is Monday). I asked what he thought about doing this together and he basically said that I wouldn’t be able to hack it, and he wouldn’t either (I know he could considering the routines he has done in the past and how strong minded he is!). His opinion is that the program would often fail people who haven’t worked out before or have any stamina (I have honestly never worked out or even out for sports while in school). So, after all that explanation, my question for you is what kind of exercise routine were you on before the start of P90X? What is your opinion on someone doing this program who has literally never worked out before? My BMI shows that I am underweight so I don’t want to lose weight but actually want to gain some weight (the muscle kind!) and feel that this program could do that (since I have no muscle!). Anybody’s thoughts are greatly appreciated!

    • Crystal says:

      Personally, I’d recommend starting with something on a smaller scale — like a simple exercise DVD. Before P90X, I mixed it up by doing either The 30-Day Shred, a mile walk DVD and/or the elliptical. I usually didn’t spend any more than 30 minutes per day, though.

      If you’ve got the will power, though, I think you could totally do it. It will be hard, though, and you’ll have to push through and not quit!

  • Mandy Tillette says:

    way to go for adding more carbs! I am a runner and low carb diets are not for people who are working out the way you are! It’s good you listened to your body:) I try to eat about 60% carbs. I am training for a marathon and going without carbs would be ridiculous!

    • ann k says:

      @Mandy Tillette, I agree.. Carbs are body friendly.. and are good! If I don’t have 60%-65% carbs, I find it difficult to workout daily. My energy levels decline. With the protein hype, carbs got a bad rep…

      • Crystal says:

        Yes, P90X is big on good carbs — they just have you do a low-carb diet for the first few weeks as part of a Fat Shredder program. Since I don’t have any fat to shred, I was ready to bump to up the carbs a lot by Day 4! 🙂

  • Mary Bixler says:

    The hubby and I started eating more nutritious food about 5 months ago, and it is definitely more expensive! I will be curious to see what ways you come up with to eat healthfully on a budget.

  • Crystal – we eat an enormous amount of fresh fruits and veggies and the three ways I save money on them are:
    1. Asking the produce manager what time he marks the items down at and being at the store at that time! (It’s 6pm at my store, which is a hard time to try to be there for! But sometimes I am able to)
    2. Shopping at our local Asian market. I can get mangos for as low as .40 cents each when the chain grocery stores are selling them for $1 – $1.50 each!
    3. Buying ‘day old’ by the bushel from a farmer. I have friends that do this and am just getting into it for our family. The produce is 50% off when it is day old.

  • Alison Armstrong says:

    I was just thinking of you the other day and wondering if you were able to stick with that diet. I’m glad you added in some carbs! Everyone needs carbs!! 🙂

  • Jaclyn says:

    You are an inspiration. I am on day 3 of my second round….although my first round ended a little early (we moved). I am sooo excited and thankful that you will be sharing your freezer meals. Your site is amazing and so motivational for me. I got the bob books for my 4 year old at the libarary. She is doing well and loves loves loves that she can actually read! Thanks for sharing all your knowledge.

  • Ginger says:

    So proud of you! I know this program is really tough! My parents are doing it and I would really like to start it…. BUT it is so expensive! Do you know of any specials or deals out there on this program?

  • Carrie says:

    60-90 minute workouts? My stars! You are one tough cookie, Crystal.

  • That’s awesome, Crystal! So encouraging to hear.  I recently have been spending a lot more at the store due to trying new veggies & fruits and being sure to eat more fresh food overall. So I can’t wait to see your tips and follow your example! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  • Bree says:

    LOVE to hear how you are doing! You should be proud! We made it thru to week three and things got crazy (er) with work and school…. we need to get back on it. The first week was soooo hard but after that you really get that feeling of craving these workouts because they make you feel so good afterwards. My husband has a bad case of tendonitis in his arm so we are thinking we need to do the cardio x in place of some others in the mean time just to stay in it. I love the Kenpo day it’s my favorite. Can’t wait to see your P90x cooking day.

  • Robin says:

    A good alternative to bread is the whole wheat, low carb Mission tortillias. They are only 12g per tortillia. I used these instead of bread when I was pregnant. I had Gestational Diabetes and had to be on a low card diet then. Also Natures Own bread has one too and there is no frutose corn syrup in there bread ( which you probably already knew that)

  • Sara says:

    Congrats on making it 10 days! I am SO excited to see what you come up with for freezer day that is low carb! That is the area I struggle in with freezer cooking. Looking forward to the post!

  • Amanda says:

    Being healthy is priceless! I have to say though that coffee isn’t junk food! Coffee in moderation has multiple health benefits 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      I was wondering if anyone would notice that. 🙂 I’m trying to avoid all caffeine right now — including my beloved Irish Breakfast tea — as that’s what P90X encourages.

  • Patrice says:

    Thanks for that, Crystal! My husband and I are on Day 3 and I too have been feeling very lethargic and crabby. I was wondering if this was normal. I’m also finding myself browsing through the cabinets like a drug addict looking for something to satisfy the carb craving. 🙁 I think I’ll give it another day or two, but I’ll probably end up moving to the phase 2 diet as well if this keeps up.

    • Crystal says:

      If you’re not overweight, than I don’t believe it’s possible to stick with the low-carb diet for very long. I knew it was time to move on when I couldn’t focus on anything for longer than a few minutes. It was messing with my brain!

  • Jessica says:

    Not sure if I could go without coffee. Also, sometimes I just need a burger.

  • cait says:

    Love hearing your story! We just started the couch to 5k program and we’re already feeling so much better about our habits…and it’s reflecting in our food choices too. No bread or potatoes at dinner last night…that’s a big difference for us! 🙂 I’m really looking forward to hearing your frugal tips to go along with healthy eating…just perfect for what we need right now! Can’t wait for freezer cooking tips!

  • Jen says:

    My husband and I are on day 5 of P90X. It is hard, so we are pacing ourselves but I do feel great working out again. We have been getting up at 5am to exercise because our 1 year old gets up between 6:30 and 7. I spent a large portion of our grocery bill on fresh produce yesterday but we are also eating out less so I think it will even out. Thanks for your updates and I can’t wait to see your freezer cooking menu.

  • Lindsay says:

    Crystal- I have been reading your blog for a while and love it. You have inspired me and my family in so many areas- financially and in homeschooling etc. Love what you do. Thank you! Was excited to see that you had found P90x. I started it after having my third baby and will never set foot in a gym again. After I finished I did Insanity, and Brazil Butt Lift, which are also BeachBody programs and signed on to be a Beach Body coach and help others through the programs. Some people asked above about getting the programs cheaper. You have to be careful when buying them outside of BB or QVC where Beach body advertises because so many are fake/pirated copies that look legit. The advantage to buying from beachbody (besides supporting the makers directly is that you can get free coaching/accountability, also. let me know if you have any questions!

  • Linda says:

    Good for you! Isn’t it fun?? I love Tony Horton – he’s kind of goofy sometimes, but he really motivates me and makes me giggle at his silliness!

    I am starting P90X all over again – this time I am doing the “lean” version and I like it better than the “classic” – a whole lot less strain on my bad back and neck! Do you have a favorite video yet? I LOVE the KenpoX – could do it every day! Hated Plyo though!!

    Good job on listening to your body and giving it the nutrients it needs! I agree on the diet for the first 30 days – I just couldn’t do it – I felt horrible on it. I too was at the lower end of a healthy weight, so I modified as well – it makes all the difference in how I feel. I have always eaten a lot of fruits and veggies and just couldn’t adjust to protein, protein, and more protein. That being said, watch your calorie intake – as in make sure you are eating enough! Your muscles are burning lots of calories and you need ’em! I can always tell when I don’t eat enough – the next morning I’m struggling with the workout.

    Also, congrats on avoiding coffee, chocolate, etc. I wish I had your willpower 🙂 I gotta have my coffee and my Dove Dk Chocolate. 🙂

    I enjoy reading about your success and am looking forward to more of your menu ideas.

    Oh, one last tip – once I learned the exercises for the weight lifting videos, I would use the written guide at the bottom, start the exercise right away (’cause you know sometimes Tony likes to talk before getting started), and when I am done with my reps, I will “skip” forward to the next exercise (using the remote) – that gives me less down time between exercises for a bit more of a cardio workout, and it speeds the whole thing up. I found that beneficial since the workouts are long.

    • Crystal says:

      So far, weight-lifting and Kenpo are my favorites.

      Oh and thanks for the great idea on skipping ahead on the videos. Once I get more adept at the routines, I’m definitely going to try that.

  • Wendy says:

    Like some of the other commenters, i wholeheartedly agree that it’s worth it to spend extra money to eat real food as opposed to the garbage food that you can often get ridiculously cheap or free, and that can be very difficult on a budget. I’ve found that eating vegetarian meals at least 3 days a week is a great way to save money (Meat is expensive- especially good meat.) as well as providing greater variety in your diet. I’ve also found that local co-ops and CSAs are wonderful for getting plenty of produce and simultaneously stretching a dollar. (Unfortunately, our local farmers market is astronomically priced. Worth it for some things, but not most.) And if you’re lucky enough to live near a Sunflower Market, GO! I miss living near one terribly, and have told my husband that next time we move, it better be back to a city that has one. They have the most amazing prices on produce, grains, and bulk items- you’ll be amazed.

  • gio says:

    You go girl !!. We are finishing week 7 and We feel great. I will have to agree with you about adjusting the food budjet to reflect healthier choices. My 4 kids are loving the healthier choices and my husband says he cant go back. Fast food is well forgotten memory. Hang in there, you’ll be glad you did.

  • Kris says:

    Congrats on starting this program! I’m actually half-way through week 12. I have a recovery week and then I’m officially done! I’m a runner and didn’t expect to see improvements in my leg muscles..but boy did. That plyo workout is a killer! Love the arm muscles I’ve gained too. Kenpo is probably my favorite, just because it’s different. Yoga is the one I hate. In fact, during phase 2 I stopped doing the yoga dvd and just going for a run instead.

    I didn’t follow the dietary portion, but made efforts to improve my eating habits. It’s much easier for me to pass up on junk food now. I’m down from eating chocolate and chips every day to maybe once a week..if that.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks so much for posting about this. We are very much into healthy eating and using produce and veggies and not carb-loading. However, we are on a very tight budget as well. I enjoy a lot of what you post, but I was having a hard time with figuring out how to eat healthy on your tight of a budget. I’m excited to see how you manage to do this. Thanks for being so open with your life for all of us to learn!

  • Jamie says:

    I am really interested to see the ways you come up with to eat whole foods and produce on a budget. My family is trying to eat minimal processed foods and mostly organic and I am struggling with a $120 a week budget! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Lynn says:

    Crystal, my daughter got me hooked on your website and I love it. It’s been a great place for me to come to and read about the hard work and effort that you put into really sticking to a budget in your family. It’s always good to find out ways that my husband and I can cut costs. Sometimes a person can’t see the unneeded things that we spend it on until another points it out. Thank you for sharing all your efforts with all of us.
    I am also so very impressed with you participating in the P90x workout. For the past year I have contemplated purchasing it but still have not. We already get up at 4:00 a.m. just for our jobs and don’t get to bed until 9:30 p.m., if we’re lucky. I am hoping to find a used P90 workout set since the workouts are shorter and I think that might work out better for us. Thank you so much for sharing the menu that you came up and I look forward to seeing more of the ideas that you come up with to eat healthy on a budget.

    • Crystal says:

      Have you seen The 30-Day Shred? I really enjoyed that workout — and it’s not so intense or time-consuming (the workout can be done in less than 25 minutes per day).

      Thanks for your kind encouragement!

  • Lynn says:

    I actually do own the 30-day shred and like it because it is nice and short but does work you. I do in home childcare and I get the kids involved with this one also, we only do level one though 🙂
    Were you doing the level three of 30-day shred and is P90x quite extreme compared to it? I really would like to try the P90x, not that I would look forward to the hard workout that I’ve seen on the infomercial but would love to see results like some people show. But I guess it doesn’t magically happen unless you do the work to get it. Sure do wish the workouts were shorter though, that’s why I’m thinking the P90 if I can find a used one. Good luck with the program and I look forward to reading about your success.

    • Crystal says:

      I’ve actually been less sore with P90X than I was when I first started The Shred. I think it’s how they space things out and also — hopefully — because I’m in better shape. 🙂

  • kelley says:

    Congrats on your success…are you planning to publish a new menu now that you’ve moved on?

    • Crystal says:

      Yes — hopefully in the next week or two. I’m still figuring out the best caloric intake and level which works for me, so I’ve not finished a final menu plan yet.

  • Aileen says:

    So glad that you are finding strategies for saving money and eating healthier. My husband started P90x 3 weeks ago and we are both trying to follow the diet. Eating healthy protein and keeping lots of fresh produce on hand definitely impacted our grocery budget. Can’t wait to hear your freezer cooking advice!

  • Mary says:

    Concerning fresh, affordable produce: Lots of people where I live garden (my husband and I included) and are VERY happy to share-especially this time of year! My husband takes our excess produce into work once or twice a week, and there are always extra veggies waiting by the door of our church on Sunday. If you know any gardeners, just ask! We love to share!

  • sarab says:

    I’m on day 25 and it is so expensive to buy healthy food! My husband and I are doing this workout together and I’m doing brazilian butt lift with it too. I highly recommend it to everyone 🙂 Keep up the good work! All of the hard work pays off! My 30 day pictures soon will be taken and I’m very excited!!! Can’t wait to see your freezer meals 🙂 I will definetly use them!

  • Denise says:

    Hi, I’m just curious…with this program, what to you get your kids to eat? It’s so difficult for my kids to eat everything healthy and it’s very difficult to stay in a program when you have to serve two different dishes.

    • Crystal says:

      They are pretty much eating what we’re eating, with a few exceptions — like no protein bars or shakes for them. And they usually have veggies instead of salad plus some Annie’s mac and cheese or cereal on occasion.

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