You may have the nagging feeling to get healthier, but it can be costly. You avoid fresh produce at the grocery store because the costs seem to add up. You are reluctant to sign up for a gym membership because you don’t have any money. You can live healthy on a budget! Check out our top tips for healthy living on a budget.
Why does prioritizing your health make financial sense?
Taking care of yourself can help you save money in the long term by potentially reducing the need for costly medical visits. By spending a little time and money on your health now, you will see the savings for years to come in your older age.
Tips for eating healthy on a budget
It only takes a few minutes of eating to undo a whole workout. Get a jump start on your health and your budget with your diet.
The best way to end mindless eating is to prepare your meals in advance. It can provide you with better control over your calories and reign in your spending habits all at once. Start simple by prepping your lunches for the week. Add breakfast once you get the hang of it.
Cook at home
A cheap healthy diet starts by cooking at home. As a culture, we love to eat out. It has become a big part of our social activity. But there are a lot of times that we eat out solely out of convenience.
This is where meal prep helps you cook at home. If you have a plan every day for your meals, you are less likely to eat out because you have an easy option at home. It’s also healthier to cook meals at home because we tend not to use as many rich ingredients as in restaurants when we cook for ourselves.
Make a grocery list
This one goes with meal prepping but always goes to the store with a list. You can budget money and calories better when you stick to a list. Also, never shop when you are hungry.
Buy in bulk
Eat healthy on a budget by buying nonperishable items in bulk. There are a lot of items that you can buy in bulk to lower their costs, like beans, rice, and frozen foods. Typically, the per-unit price is lower when you buy in bulk, so be sure to do the math before purchasing.
Buy frozen fruit and veggies
You can find healthy food on a budget in the freezer section. You have a healthy food option when you buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh foods. You also won’t have to worry about the food going bad.
Shop for produce that is in season
Shopping for produce that is in season is more cost-effective. It is easier to grow and therefore is in larger supply. It also tastes better!
Reduce your meat intake
One of the most expensive purchases at the grocery store is meat. When you reduce meat intake in your diet, you can help your budget. Here are some protein supplements you can use: eggs, legumes, nuts, and hemp seeds.
Avoid highly processed foods
You may think that foods like chips and soda come with a cheaper price tag. Processed foods lack nutrients. So you never feel full when you eat them. You end up eating more, and you aren’t getting the nutrition your body needs. So you spend more because you eat more, but you also consume more calories.
Generic brands, in most cases, are just as good as buying name-brand items without a higher price tag. So try subbing some generic foods in your next grocery list.
Coupons can add up. Often you can save big when you use coupons on the foods you already buy, and it’s a great way to stock up on more expensive items. Most grocery stores have their coupon apps if clipping coupons isn’t your thing.
Take advantage of sales
Similar to coupons, try planning meals around sales. You can have a healthy lifestyle on a budget when you pay attention to coupons and deals.
Use reward apps
Americans spend a lot of time at the grocery store. Using apps and online shopping can reduce that time, and you can also save money. Using rewards apps when you shop, like Ibotta, allows you to get cashback for your receipts.
Affordable fitness ideas
While you’re getting your diet overhauled, check out some affordable fitness ideas.
Employer and insurance discounts
Many employers and insurance plans offer incentives to get fit. Often you can get gym membership discounts this way.
Look for bargains
You can find cheap gym memberships by checking sites like Groupon or LivingSocial. Many local community centers offer affordable gym memberships as well.
Embrace home workouts
Working out from home has never been easier. Use YouTube for free videos and purchase equipment like dumbbells and bands and Walmart.
Take advantage of free or low cost classes
Often fitness studios offer the first class for free or at a low cost. Try out several places for some new workout experiences.
DIY healthy living
There are many budget-conscious ways you can make the items around you healthier.
Make your own all purpose cleaner
Stop buying expensive cleaners with harmful chemicals. You can do a lot with vinegar, and it is so cheap. Mix equal parts vinegar in water into a spray bottle. Add a lemon rind or essential oil if you hate the vinegar smell. You can use this as an all-purpose cleaner around the house.
Use salt for deodorant
You can replace your commercial deodorant with salt. Try using Himalayan salt for this.
Use dish soap on clothing stains
Often you don’t need to buy a bunch of extra products. Use products you already have around the house in different ways. Using dish soap on a clothing stain works just as well as any stain stick. Scrub it into the stain before washing.
Jumpstart your health while staying on a budget today
There are many ways to stay healthy on a budget. The key is planning. Plan out your meals and groceries every week, and stick to it like a budget. Set intention with your workouts. Make small adjustments to your life to see a big payoff.
Can eating healthy be affordable?
Yes! You can buy in bulk, clip coupons, and pay attention to sales at the grocery store.
Can you eat healthy food with just a little money?
Yes! Try cooking your food at home. It’s healthier and cheaper.
How can I work out cheaply?
Get discounts from places like Groupon or see if your employer offers any gym membership programs.