It seems like every new wellness trend is more expensive than the last. From yoga retreats in Bali to organic juice cleanses to pricey supplements that promise to clear your skin, balance your hormones, or provide some kind of miracle cure for everything that ails you, it seems like being healthy has to come with a high price tag. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s how to get in on the wellness game even with a tight budget.
1. Donation-Based Yoga Classes
Getting a monthly pass to a yoga studio can cost you upwards of $100, and even though a yearly pass could save you money in the long run, it can cost hundreds of dollars up front—and let’s face it, many of us just don’t have that kind of money to spend. Sure, following along with a yoga video on YouTube or simply practicing poses and flows that you remember by yourself at home can still give you similar mental and physical benefits, but many people (myself included) feel more motivated to commit to a yoga practice in a class setting. Donation-based yoga classes are popping up everywhere these days, and you just pay what you can when you show up—if you don’t have the cash to spare, you can go for free. A group of yoga teachers in my city hosts three donation based classes each week, in cool locations like parks, the downtown waterfront, the library, the beach, farmer’s markets, and breweries. I’ve saved a ton of money by going to these classes instead of a more expensive studio.
2. Community Acupuncture
On average, an hour-long acupuncture session can cost about $75, and while this treatment is covered by insurance for some people, many others have to pay out of pocket if they want to work with an acupuncturist to manage chronic pain or stress and anxiety. However, you can find community acupuncture offered in some cities. I checked out a community acupuncture session in my hometown, and the savings were significant—I only paid $20, and I was allowed to stay for as long as I wanted. I didn’t get the same level of personalized treatment that one would get an individual session, but I was able to ask for the basic kind of treatment that I wanted—I was just aiming for some extra relaxation, but other women who were there asked for treatments to help with back pain and hormonal issues. I left feeling totally blissed out for a third of the price of a typical session.
3. Free Meditation Apps
Not everyone has the opportunity to go on a mindfulness retreat or work with a meditation guru. Meditation itself is totally free, but learning how to do it properly can seem confusing at first. Free versions of meditation apps like Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer can help with the process. They have plenty of timed guided meditations to follow along with, and it’s possible to track your progress to help you stick with the habit. And if you feel really passionate about diving deeper and learning more? You can attend a ten-day, donation based Vipassana meditation retreat. However, this would be difficult for people who can’t take that amount of time off from work, so if you know that doesn’t fit with your schedule, a meditation app can be a good companion.
4. Shop Organic At A Discount
Buying organic doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure, if you try to buy all organic at Whole Foods, you might spend your whole paycheck—but there are plenty of affordable grocery stores that still carry plenty of quality organic food. Check out Aldi and Lidl for staples, and consider trying out the online retailer Thrive Market for extras like supplements and protein powder at a low price. Personally, I do almost all of my shopping at Aldi because of the low prices, and I’m able to eat a whole foods, plant based diet with a little vegan junk food and mainly organic options for about $35 to $40 each week. This includes plenty of protein, like beans and nut butter, whole grains, and fresh produce.
5. Get Involved With A Community Garden
Giving back to your community is good for the soul—and gardening also provides physical exercise and a break from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. Plus, when you get involved with a community garden, you’ll also get some fresh, healthy food out of the deal! Wellness isn’t just about what we put into our bodies or how often we practice mindfulness. Getting outside, connecting with nature, and knowing that we’re doing something positive to help people around us is also key.
How do you maintain your wellness on a budget?
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