A cupboard full of exotic ingredients. Some newfangled fitness devices. A fashion-forward leisurewear collection. Healthy living can come at a cost. However, it doesn’t always have to be this way. Getting fit doesn’t always have to overstretch your finances. There are loads of ways you can adopt a healthier lifestyle without paying the price. Here are some handy hints to help you get healthy without breaking the bank.
Working out for less
These days, you can’t go anywhere without reading articles about fitness or seeing giant images of gym-honed models. Exercise is so unbelievably good for you, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s often assumed that you need to fork out a lot of money to get in shape, but that’s simply not the case. For starters, the gym is not the only place to get fit. A gym membership can set you back a considerable amount of money per year, but there are alternatives to taking out membership. You could pay as you go or you could try other activities. Jogging, for example, won’t cost you a penny. You could also try swimming at a local pool, which is likely to carry a small charge, or cycling. If you don’t have a bike, you could search for a second hand one online, and you may be able to pick up a bargain. Team sports are also an inexpensive way of exercising. If you’re keen to exercise alone, fitness DVDs are a great, cheap option. All you need is a mat and some light weights.
Setting up a home gym
One way of working out for less is to invest in some home gym equipment. Once you’ve made the initial payment, you won’t have to worry about paying a monthly membership fee or a renewal fee if you want to prolong your membership. You can exercise whenever you want, and you’ll save time on getting to and from the gym. You don’t need to kit out your garage with the latest mod cons and a suite suitable for an NFL pro. Think about which machines you like to use at the gym, and whether you actually need expensive equipment. Some people like to base their workouts on stretching, aerobic activities, and lifting weights. If this is more your cup of tea than pounding the treadmill for hours, you could save yourself even more. If you are looking for some home gym equipment, the Internet is a really useful resource. If you have a make and model of exercise bike or elliptical trainer in mind, for example, type it into the search box, and see how much you could save. It’s also worth looking in discount stores and holding out for promotions. If you’re not fussed about having a brand new bike, pay some garage sales a visit or search online for new and used auctions.
Basic lifestyle changes
Today, we tend to rely on our cars to get around. Switching to walking is a lifestyle change that will not only help you shape up. It will also help you to trim your expenditure on gas. Start walking or taking your bike to work or leave the car at home if you fancy popping to visit a friend or grabbing a coffee.
Healthy eating made more affordable
When you’re putting the effort into your workouts, you don’t want your diet to let you down. There’s a belief that healthy eating is expensive, and in some cases, this can be true. You see a lot of superfoods and fad diets hitting the headlines these days, and foods that are hard to source often carry a hefty price tag. The reality is that you don’t need to make drastic changes to your diet to make it healthier and more nutritionally valuable. If you don’t have the budget to survive on avocados and chia seeds, don’t worry.
Saving money on fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables form the basis of a healthy diet, and health experts recommend a minimum of 5 portions per day. If you’re feeding a family, the cost can soon add up. If you’re keen to get your 5-a-day without spending a fortune at the store, there are ways of saving money. Buying frozen produce is a really good idea. You can also take advantage of multi-buy offers, but take care not to buy things you don’t need. If you never eat apples, don’t buy them just because they’re on offer. Look out for fruits and vegetables that you do normally eat, and see if you can find deals that will actually save you money. Making smoothies is a great way to boost your vitamin intake on the cheap. Once you’ve got a blender, all you need is the ingredients, and you’re good to go. You only need small quantities, so a little will go a long way. If you’re looking for simple, tasty smoothie recipes, have a look at Good House Keeping’s recipes. If you’re used to buying smoothies from cafes, you’ll save a huge amount by making your own at home
The cost of fresh produce varies significantly depending on which store you choose. If you prefer to shop at a store where prices are higher, do your basic shop and then go elsewhere for your fruit and vegetables. It’s also worth checking out local markets and independent stores, as they may charge less.
Lowering the cost of a weekly shop
If you’re on a health drive, your weekly shop is probably the first thing you alter. When you’re planning a trip to the store, write a list. Work out what you’re going to have for your lunch and dinner every day, and write down the ingredients you need. Stick to the list, and try not to be swayed by other items or flash sales on products you’d never normally use. If you’re not very good at keeping track of what you’ve spent or you tend to fill your cart with items you don’t need, try online shopping. This is a quick and convenient way of getting what you need, and you’ll have a running total on the screen.
If you want to buy meat, poultry or fish, it’s worth visiting the store close to closing. This way, you can get discounted items, which are going out of date. If you freeze them, you can eat healthily on a much tighter budget.
Healthy eating at work
When you’re at work, it can be really easy to rely on the easy options, which are sometimes a lot less healthy than meals you could rustle up at home. Even foods like sandwiches are wraps can contain hundreds of calories when you buy them from a shop. It can also be tempting to cave in and add some chips or a chocolate bar when they’re lying there on a display looking alluring. If you prepare lunch at home, you’ll save money, and ensure that you’ve got a nutritious meal to enjoy. You’ll save yourself precious minutes in the day, and you won’t have to test your willpower at the checkout.
Many of us want to be healthier, but sometimes, there’s a worry that health living is costly. It’s true that you can spend a lot of money on gym gear, membership, and cooking up exotic feasts. However, there are also lots of ways you get in shape and improve your health on a budget. Don’t let money hold you back when you’re putting your health first.