We get it, staying healthy is hard enough and when you throw budgeting into the mix, it can seem even more daunting. Those weekly trips to Whole Foods and that 24 Hour Fitness gym membership can leave your wallet feeling pretty empty *and* leave you feeling unmotivated. Thankfully, staying healthy doesn’t have to come at the expense of your bank account! If you’re looking for simple ways to stay physically, emotionally, and mentally fit — keep reading! We’ve got five tips that’ll help you stay healthy without breaking the bank!
1. Take advantage of gym membership alternatives
Whether it’s yoga, squats, or high-intensity workouts, you can easily get fit without an expensive gym membership. YouTube has a plethora of killer workout videos that you can watch or you can check out workout DVDs from your public library — all for free! Another great alternative to costly gym memberships can be found right outside your house! Search your area for workout trails or fitness playgrounds (totally adult friendly!) that have equipment like pull-up bars, sit-up boards, and leg presses. If you’re seeking group classes or need access to more specialized gym equipment, you can search for discounted workout classes on sites like LivingSocial or Groupon.
2. Shop your local farmer’s market
Instead of shopping at an expensive supermarket, make it a point to visit your local farmer’s market. The produce that’s sold in larger supermarkets typically has to travel long distances before getting to the store, meaning they’re likely to be several days old before they even wind up on the shelves! By purchasing your fruits and vegetables from a local farmer’s market, not only will you be getting fresh, ripe produce (that was likely recently picked!), you’ll also find more affordable deals on organic, seasonal, and non-GMO produce.
3. Use free health apps
Unfortunately, the United States does not offer universal health coverage, and trips to the doctor can be *quite* expensive. A terrific way to save money and still put your health first is by utilizing free or low-cost healthcare apps. From apps that support mental health to those that support women’s care, and even apps that can help you to better manage chronic pain, you can easily find what you need at the tip of your fingers! With a simple download, you can get access to such things as mammograms, therapy sessions, birth control, and proper nutrition aid, all at little to no cost! Just do a quick search on your App Store for free fitness and health apps and you’ll be well on your way to healthier living!
4. Plan out your meals
Meal planning can help you eat healthier and will save you money — not to mention it will help reduce the amount of food you waste! Now, that’s not to say you have to be an avid meal prepper, but by simply mapping out what you plan to eat for meals and snacks throughout the week before you head to the store, you’ll be better able to skip impulse buys and not purchase unhealthy items. Planning out your meals will ensure that you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet and that you’re getting enough nutrients. By adhering to a pre-planned meal schedule, you’ll also reduce the likelihood that you resort to fast food or other unhealthy meals on the go.
5. Search for discounts
Don’t be afraid to coupon! Whether it’s buy-one-get-one free deals or digital coupons, if you’re going to shop at supermarkets or large retail stores, be sure to take advantage of all of the deals they have to offer. Visit the store’s weekly coupon ads or search for coupons online. Make it a point to purchase generic instead of buying name brand products as that will help you lower your final grocery bill. Depending on where you live, there are many discount supermarket chains you can shop (like Aldi, which now has countless vegan options!) for even more savings. You can also download apps like Ibotta, which allow you to get cash back on items you’ve already purchased. Cha-ching!
What are your tips for staying healthy on a budget?
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