It’s easy to get lost in the social media frenzy of diet fads and gym subscriptions when you’re exposed to those images every day. These “lifestyles” are mostly for show, designed to make you feel bad about yourself and spend money on things you don’t need. It’s hard to deny that healthy food can be quite expensive. It doesn’t mean that you need to go beyond your budget to stay healthy.
Healthy Lifestyle Without Spending A Lot
For some people, eating healthily means consuming expensive, single-serve, “organic” meals in restaurants. For others with a tight budget, this is highly impractical. Indeed, the reality today is that we need to be smarter with our expenses. There are bills to pay, funds to raise, and savings to invest. “When we try to make radical changes, like giving up sugar or never eating out, we are using more willpower than if we make small or moderate changes,” says Sharon Martin, LCSW. “An alternative that works for many people is to make small, incremental changes.
So, if you want to spend less but be healthier all the same, here are some of the foolproof ways you can follow to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Budgeting And Planning
Majority of unwanted expenses are rooted in unplanned and impulsive purchases. Not only is it impractical, but it also leads to a lot of unhealthy food going into your shopping basket. If you want to be healthy without breaking the bank, budget your money.
“Having short- and long-term goals is key to smart spending,” says Jonathan Rich, Ph.D.
When you do your groceries, set a limit to your spending and do not go beyond that limit. To help you do this, you need to plan your meals as well. Purchase only the food that you know you will consume, especially perishables such as meat and vegetables. Stick to the budget and stick to your meal plans and you’re all set.
Buy Everything Wholesale
In relation to the first point, sometimes it’s cheaper to buy products wholesale. Of course, this doesn’t apply to perishables; otherwise, it’s the more affordable and healthier option. Wholesale food items are usually less processed than their smaller-serving counterparts.
Buy whole grains like oats and brown rice wholesale at your local wholesale club. Check your pantry and storage for food items that are still available, and take stock of the things that you use often. Do a quick research of healthier options for pantry staples and buy them on your next grocery run.
Cook At Home And Pack Your Lunch
When you’re hungry, you tend to look for food that is quickly prepared and filling, two characteristics that fast food promises and delivers well. But at what cost?
“Re-organize your schedule to include time for healthful eating and exercise,” says Micelle Maidenberg, Ph.D.
Cut the junk food from your grocery habits and replace them with healthier ingredients such as fresh produce. Instead, start cooking your meals at home and take them to school or work with you. Set aside a day in your week for bulk meal preparation, and you’ll be surprised at how much time you will save.
Cooking at home means you know what goes into your meal. You’re also sure that the meal preparation is safe and clean, as well as healthy. If you bring home-cooked meals with you, you’re also less likely to lose money on empty calories from fast food.
Health truly means wealth. In reality, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an excellent financial investment. These days, healthcare costs are skyrocketing. Eating well and keeping up with your fitness can keep health concerns away not only today but also in the future.
If there’s a will, there’s a way. Living a healthy lifestyle is not impossible on a tight budget. It only means that you need to be smarter with both your time and money.