If I had a single penny for every time that I’ve heard someone use their budget as an excuse to avoid living a healthy lifestyle, I’d be rich. Really rich. Hey, I’ve even used that excuse on more than one occasion. The thing about that excuse is that it’s just not valid. Maintaining a healthy diet (and fitness regimen) doesn’t require all the fancy gadgets and gizmos that we’ve become so accustomed to. While fresh, leafy, organic veggies are appealing and supplements sure make life easier, they aren’t the only way to go.
Buy Frozen Though they don’t have the same positive, “healthy” association that fresh and organic foods do, frozen vegetables, fruits, and meats are as nutritious. They also happen to be more affordable and last forever, as long as you keep them frozen. Another alternative is to buy fresh food in bulk at stores like Costco and then freeze them. It may hurt your wallet initially, but you save in the long run.
Social Media Workouts Even the most affordable gym membership can get pricey as the bill adds up over the months. Luckily there are countless Youtube channels that feature at-home workouts that don’t require any equipment. Instagram also hosts numerous personal trainers who post quick at-home workout videos. Two of my personal favorites are @MyTrainerCarmen1 and @home.exercises2. If you’re knowledgeable enough about fitness, you can just make up your own! Many home goods stores provide affordable prices for resistance bands and dumbbell sets if you want to invest for the long run.
Meal Prep Many of us opt to order takeout during busy work weeks. It saves the time and hassle of waking up extra early to prepare something for the day. But those dollars really add up quickly, plus most of that food is not particularly great for your health. If you prep your meals for the week, this kind of scenario doesn’t have to happen. Pre-planning your meals puts you in control of the nutritional value you’re after and also keeps your bank account safe.
Avoid Name Brands It’s a pretty safe bet that whatever name brand item you’re looking at, the store brand not only contains the same ingredients, but is markedly cheaper. So really, what’s in a name? Maybe prettier packaging, but that’s really it. All you have to do is take a look at the main ingredients listed to find out. Choose My Plate3 has some really handy tips on how to save at the grocery store, including coupon use and understanding unit pricing.
Don’t Overthink It Having a small budget can easily be discouraging. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is difficult at times even when you have all the means necessary and then some. It’s all too easy to get off track when you’re stressed about finances and falling off the wagon. So just don’t. Don’t stress and don’t fail. If you do fall off the fitness wagon, don’t stress. Just hop back on. Your options may seem limited, but they aren’t. The key is just figuring out what works best for you given your particular circumstances and not getting too down on yourself when it’s more difficult than you expect. Give it time and you’ll see remarkable strides.