If you’ve ever been in a financial bind before, you know how difficult it can be to keep up on your health and fitness when you don’t have much money to put into it. Despite contrary belief, it is possible to stay healthy without pouring your entire salary into it! When you do your research, you’ll learn that there are many practical ways to make sure you’re eating right and getting enough exercise.
Here we show you our top 10 ways to make sure you’re staying healthy without breaking the bank from HFR team and author of the fitness book ReSYNC Your Life, Samir Becic
- Plan your meals: If you know you only have $50 to spend on groceries for the week, map out what you’re going to eat, that way there are no surprises come Wednesday when you’ve gone through all your groceries. Make a list of all the ingredients you need, as well as how much money each cost. Knowing exactly what your meals are going to be for the week will help you spend less money on food.
- Become the crazy coupon lady (or gent!): Did somebody say BOGO? Take advantage of all the ads you get in the mail for buy one get one free deals and half off gallons of milk. These coupons are free to you, so treat it like getting free groceries! Check out sites like coupons.com before you go to the store, and download the app Ibotta to get cash back on the food you’ve already purchased.
- Buy frozen: Save your money and buy frozen fruits and vegetables instead of from the produce section at the market. Frozen fruits and veggies like broccoli and strawberries are almost half the cost as the same thing sitting in the front of the store. Add them with your dinner to fill up with less money.
- Eat more soup: Soup isn’t just great for when you’re sick, it’s also helpful for the times you’re budgeting! Soup is high in volume and low in calories and price, so eating soup for dinner will fill you up fast while also saving you money. Try starting out your meal with a low-fat soup to help you feel full faster.
- Stop wasting food: Did you know that the average American family of four throws away about $2,275 worth of food every year? That’s a lot of groceries for someone trying to watch their spending, so make it simple and stop a few bad habits in your life: don’t cook more than you will eat, don’t buy food at the grocery store that you don’t think your family is going to like, and make sure you eat your leftovers to save the cost of a meal!
- Make everything a workout: Don’t have the money for a pricey gym membership every month? Here’s a secret for you: you don’t need one! There are so many at-home workouts you can do in the comfort of your own living room (or order the ReSync Your Life book), just check out Pinterest for step-by-step pictures or YouTube for some demonstrations of fun workouts. If making an at-home gym isn’t up to your speed, make cleaning the house and walking the dogs a workout by putting weights on your wrists and ankles, or create a step challenge for yourself by walking at least 10,000 steps a day.
- Take a closer look at generic brands: Just because you don’t see commercials with puppies and babies sleeping in a box of a generic version of Kashi cereal doesn’t mean that it’s not as good. Look at a name brand and a generic brand of the same item and compare the nutritional facts and ingredients: they’re most likely going to be the exact same, if not extremely similar. Save a few bucks and get the less decorated foods.
- Cheap isn’t always better: While pinching pennies, make sure you’re not compromising your health. Sure, that ground hamburger might be $10 less than the extra lean kind straight from the butcher, but it may have way more preservatives and antibiotics than the more expensive meat. Learn the things you can compromise and cheap out on, but make sure you’re getting the highest quality possible in items like poultry and medicine.
- Learn the things you can go without: Sure, indulging in some delicious Mayan dark chocolate from South America can be a nice treat at the end of the day, but is it something you can go without while you get your finances in order? You don’t have to completely cut out all the foods you like just to save money, just have it once a week instead of every day.
- Take time to destress: Stress will completely wreck your body if you let it. In fact, stress can lead to issues like a weakened immune system, chronic migraines, and ruin your central nervous system. To avoid these from happening, take time for YOU. Treat yourself with some inexpensive luxuries like a bubble bath, a glass of wine, or even turning your electronics off at night to keep you from looking at your bank account and bill reminders in your email. Remember that your health takes priority over anything else in your life!