We all know that healthy living is important, but it can be hard to do when you’re on a tight budget. That’s why we put together this list of five simple ways to get healthy without breaking the bank!
Make your own healthy snacks in bulk.
Buying snacks at the store can get expensive, especially if you’re buying healthy options. That’s why it’s a good idea to make your own snacks in bulk. You can buy ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit relatively cheap, and then you can mix them together to create your own custom snack packs.
This also makes it easy to make use of more fresh and whole foods, cutting down on the processed snacks that are often high in sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats.
Buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season.
Fruits and vegetables are a big part of any healthy lifestyle, but those fresh foods can be expensive when they’re out of season. Instead, try buying fruits and veggies that are in season – you’ll probably pay less for them at your local grocery store!
This will also give you the chance to try out some new veggies that are in season, instead of paying more to get the same old things you always buy. This can help you expand your horizons (and your palate) when it comes to healthy eating.
Cook large meals on the weekend to save time during the week
One of the best ways to save money on food is by cooking your own large meals at home. You can cook a few meals over the weekend and then pack them up for lunch during the week. This way you don’t have to worry about buying expensive takeout!
You can even use a slow cooker or instant pot to make cooking at home even easier. Just add the ingredients and go, and you aren’t stuck babysitting the stove or oven for hours.
Go for a walk or bike ride instead of driving whenever possible.
Driving is one of the most expensive ways to get around, so try walking or biking instead. You’ll save money on gas and car maintenance, not to mention it’s better for your health! It’s also a great way to explore your neighborhood and get some exercise at the same time.
Even when you have to drive, park as far from the entrance as you can so you have to walk across the parking lot.
Look for other ways to opt for exercise over automation or convenience. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. During commercial breaks, jump up and walk in place or do crunches instead of running to the kitchen for another soda or snack.
Financial Health Tip: Keep track of how much you’re spending on food each month. Then try to make it a game.
Making healthier choices doesn’t have to break the bank. The trick is to be clear on your budget and intentional in your purchases. A fresh option might be more expensive on the surface… but it’s also possible that you might not need the portion size dictated by bulk or processed products and their packaging. This is where meal planning ahead of time can make a world of difference. If you plan for the portions you need versus what you would end up making based off of 8/16/32oz canned ingredients, you might come out better in the end. Plus, you’ll almost certainly come out better nutritionally, keeping you healthier and more fit, which should keep your medical costs down in the long run.
Now make a game of it. See if you can come in 5% under your grocery budget for the month AND make healthy choices. If you can do it for two months in a row, make that number your new budget and keep playing. This is a challenging way to see just how far you can make your monthly food budget go without sacrificing quality nutrition. (If you did this exercise with all of your major expense categories, it could really add up quickly).
Getting and staying healthy shouldn’t add financial stress to your life (you’ve got enough of that as it is). But when you go in with the mindset of intentionally saving a couple of dollars here and there with some simple changes, over time it could make a big difference.
What are your thoughts? What are some health-conscious tips YOU have that might help someone else out? Share in the comments below.