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Being the mom of four kids, I have my share of chaos on a daily basis. Sometimes, I get to the end of the day, hell the end of the week, and wonder what happened to the time. And I know I’m not alone.

Yet, even with our full schedule, commitments outside the home, my business and my husband’s job, we’re able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Even on a tight budget. It can be done.

Because we’ve aimed to make it both simple and sustainable.

By choosing to approach healthy living (eating real food, reducing toxins in our home, using natural remedies, simplifying, etc.) in this way, we’ve found that not only are we able to do so without spending a bunch of money – we actually save a lot of money – but we can maintain that lifestyle even when life is busier than normal.

Here are a few tips that keep us on track:

1. Plan ahead

I would be such a basket case if it wasn’t for planning ahead. Ok, I am a basket case sometimes, even when I plan ahead, but doing so makes life so much easier.

On Sunday night (or whatever day works best for you), try jotting down what you’ve got going on in the coming week so you’ll know when you’ll need to prepare meals early, what snacks need to be packed, etc.

2. Meal plan

This is an integral part of planning ahead. Meals are the biggest stressor for me when we’re in a busy season.

Make a meal plan for the week (or month) ahead and, at the top of each day, write down what prep you need to get done for the following day. Here’s an example of how I do that.

3. Create a routine

If you’re always flying by the seat of your pants, life will always feel hectic. (I speak from an insane amount of experience.)

Creating a routine can dramatically decrease the craziness you feel if you know that certain things get done on certain days so you don’t always feel like your trying to get everything done in one day.

You can see an example of my routine here.

4. Have grace with yourself

We follow the 80/20 rule. Which means that we aim to stick to our healthy lifestyle 80% of the time.

Does that mean if we’re doing great all week we take it as an excuse to have fast food on the weekend? No!

It means that when we’re out and about and I realize that I forgot to pack something, I’m not going to beat myself up if I run to the store and buy what’s “healthy” even when I don’t think it is.

5. Simplify

Part of living a healthy lifestyle means decreasing stress. And if you’re so busy stressing out about money or eating well while you’re out and about all the time, maybe it’s time to stay home more.

It’s not popular advice, but maybe you don’t need to be involved in all those activities.

Maybe your kids would be more enriched if they got to spend more quality time at home with parents who aren’t stressed out. Maybe you’ll end up saving a lot of money.

Examine your schedule carefully and say no to what you can. Trust me; it’s worth it.

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