6 Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle AND Save Money
Changing your lifestyle to create healthy habits doesn’t have to bust your budget. Learn ways to live healthier and save money at the same time.
Healthy Living on a Budget
If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, start by reviewing what’s in your fridge and pantry. You can bet if they’re filled with frozen dinners and sugary snacks, you have room to improve.
In fact, due to current and projected eating trends, experts predict that the entire U.S. population will be overweight by the year 2048. In order to avoid becoming part of that scary statistic, examine what you eat and how you prepare your food, and adjust as necessary. You might be surprised that you can eat healthy on a budget and save money, both now and in the long run.
Here are some tips to get started:
1. Commit to a Fresher Diet
By committing to a diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll find it easier to maintain or lose weight and you’ll decrease your chances of getting cancer or heart disease. Plus, you can save money by avoiding pre-packaged and pre-processed foods and you’ll boost your immune system at the same time.
2. Shop at Farmers Markets or Local Farms
These are great alternatives to traditional grocery stores, but the prices are competitive and the quality is often better. If you don’t have a farmers market in your area, look for a local farm. You can purchase fruits and veggies right off the vine or out of the ground, and you’ll pay less because you’re eliminating the middleman. Local fruits and veggies are also better for your health because they are picked when they’re ripe, unlike shipped fruits and veggies which are often picked before they ripen.
3. Use Health Promoting Supplements
Two food supplements that will go a long way in improving your health are flaxseed and hemp seed. Flaxseed is high in fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it great for weight loss and weight maintenance. Hemp seeds are high in protein and packed with essential amino acids. Either can be added to soups, casseroles, green salads, and more. You can purchase flaxseed oil or hempseed oil, or use the seeds directly.
4. Utilize Manufacturer’s Coupons
You can find a wealth of coupons issued directly from manufacturers that will reduce the price you pay for healthier foods. Once you find a brand name you buy consistently, register at their website for email updates, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter. Pay attention for special offers or promotions and stock up when you can.
5. Cook in Bulk
Cooking in bulk can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, and you can utilize family meal planning ideas. Ground beef, poultry, fish, rice, beans, and pasta can all be cooked in bulk and unused portions freeze well. There’s nothing better than knowing that the majority of tonight’s dinner is just a freezer pull away. If you decide to freeze pasta, mix in a little oil or butter beforehand to prevent it from sticking to the container.
6. Buy Frozen Vegetables
Did you know that frozen vegetables can be more nutritious than their fresh counterparts? The reason is that frozen veggies are picked closer to peak ripeness, unlike most veggies you’ll find in the produce section of your grocery store. Plus, frozen veggies are pre-chopped and can save on prep time and cost.
Though sometimes the upfront costs can be higher with a healthier diet, your long-term expenses will likely decline. For example, you’ll enjoy reduced medical costs and you’ll find it easier to focus, which could benefit your career in the form of a raise or entrepreneurial success. Plus, better health directly translates to a higher quality of life and longer lifespan – which means more years to enjoy your family and friends. You just can’t put a price tag on that.
Andrew Schrage, Co-Owner, Money Crashers Personal Finance
What other ways do you know to make a healthy lifestyle more affordable?