No one goes into life intending to live theirs unhealthily. But once you realize that this is something you’re doing, it’s your responsibility to get things back on track. The only problem with this is that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be quite costly, and, as such, is something that requires a lot of money, right? Thankfully, not. Despite what many would have you believe, you don’t need to starve your wallet to nourish your body. In fact, you don’t have to spend very much money at all. With that in mind, here are ten things that you can do to keep healthy on a budget.
Cut Out Junk Foods
As tasty as they may be, junk foods filled with fat, sugar, and empty calories will only ever harm your health. They have very little nutritional value and fail to keep you full, so you have to eat more of them, which only damages your body further. These foods are also more costly than healthier options, which keeps your bank balance low, along with your energy levels. To live healthier, you should clear out the junk from your home and stock your cupboards with nutritious alternatives.
Always Plan Your Meals
As a nation, we throw away a staggering amount of food, which averages to around a quarter of what we buy. This can easily cost a family thousands a year, which many can’t afford. To cut down on the amount that you waste, you should come up with a healthy meal plan for your family. Make sure to consider every single meal and snack for the week before heading to the store. Then, once you’re there, you should stick to your shopping list and avoid impulse buys.
Find Your Green Thumb
Shopping around is a great way to find cheap fruits, vegetables, and herbs, but, if you want to make some real savings, then you should consider growing your own. As well as the financial benefits, this is an incredibly fun and relaxing hobby, which can also help to keep your stress levels low. If you don’t have a garden suitable for growing a decent crop, it is possible to grow certain things around your home. All you need is space near a window and a pot or box to plant.
Schedule Free Preventative Appointments
Regardless of your insurance provider, every health plan must offer certain preventative checks and services for free, such as STD screening and different types of vaccines. Make sure that you check your policy to see which of these are covered at no cost to you. Once you know, you should go ahead and make appointments for these services, as well as any in the future you might require. It’s much cheaper to prevent certain health issues than it is to heal them later.
Invest In Health Memberships
The plan may be to cut costs regarding your health, but some extras are more than worth the additional expense. One such example is a health subscription. There are many different ones out there to choose from, all of which offer various discounts for Health, Fitness and Diet products and services. As long as you use the benefits these memberships offer, you can start to make your money back quite quickly. Just be sure you do use the deals they provide.
Skip Gyms In January
With New Year’s just around the corner, many of us are already starting to plan our resolutions for the coming year. If getting fit is one of yours, then don’t wait until January to apply for your membership. The costs may seem cheaper at that time, but they are usually much better at different times throughout the year, when sign-ups are less frequent. Gyms are also more busy in January, so you may not want to go unless you’ve already got into the habit of doing so.
Try A Gym Alternative
That being said, regardless of the date you sign up, not doing so will always save you money. Unless you know that you’re going to work out at the gym several times a week, the cost usually isn’t worth it. For this reason, you should consider alternatives, like free fitness groups and workout DVDs. You could also find ways to incorporate more activity into your everyday life, such as by cycling to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking your dog daily.
Buy Second-Hand Gear
If you plan to workout at home, you’ll need to buy the necessary gear to do so. Instead of buying all of these items brand new, you should check out local garage sales, eBay, and Craigslist to see if anyone is selling something that you need. As long as you buy these items in good condition, there’s no reason why they won’t work as well. You could even ask around your friends to see if they have anything you could borrow. This way, you can try before you go and buy.
Opt For Generic Brands
Despite what many people believe, a name and additional cost don’t equal value or quality. In fact, half of the time, you end up buying exactly the same thing as what’s on sale for cheaper. This is especially true when it comes to generic vitamins and medications. As long as the box says that there is the same amount of supplement, vitamin, or drug, there will be, so there’s no point in paying out extra for slightly more attractive packaging.
Carry A Water Bottle
Considering your body is made up of the stuff, I think it’s safe to say that water is the best drink out there. Instead of wasting your money on fancy juices, coffees, and other liquids, you should opt for the healthiest, most hydrating, and, of course, the cheapest. As long as you carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep your water levels topped up. In fact, many places are legally required to provide somewhere for people to fill their bottles up.
Keeping healthy doesn’t have to cost you the world, so don’t let a tight budget stop you from bettering yourself.
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