As life continues moving forward more and more bills arrive that need to be paid, right? On top of bills, it feels like the price of everything you need in life continuously goes up.
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For instance, if you've ever compared the price of certain groceries at a designated health food store to those at your local supermarket, then you may have come to the common conclusion that eating healthy and organic can be quite costly!
There's good news for us money savers. You can live a healthy lifestyle, with healthy foods and all, on a budget! With these tips and tricks, you won't even need to purchase any overpriced ingredients for your next meal.
Because let's be honest, if we can put food on the table that is cheaper than the healthy stuff, money can and will rule this decision. But it doesn’t have to be like this–money doesn't have to decide your next meal or how healthy you are!
1. Let Your Freezer Be Your Best Friend
Many grocery stores reduce the price of fruits, vegetables and other perishable food items on the sell by date. Try to find the routine of your nearest grocery store so you know the best time to buy. You can then freeze some of your finds for future healthy smoothies or soups and eat the rest!
Speaking of the freezer, frozen vegetables are usually frozen in a way to retain most of the important nutrients, reports ABC News, and they're often cheaper than the fresh alternative. If you always frozen veggies on hand, you can throw them in every meal!
2. There’s Nothing Wrong With Generic
If you haven't already noticed, many items in large supermarkets have knock-off items in either the store's own brand or a generic name that sounds similar to a more popular brand name.
The good news is that with many products, the generic version is just as good as the more expensive brand item! Sometimes people pass over these generic brands of edible items in favor of the more popular brands. One item in particular is vitamins.
If there is the same amount of the desired vitamin or supplement in the generic or store brand option, there really is no reason not to go for the cheaper version.
3. Clubs Exist—Go Find One!
Find free exercise clubs in your area to join. Not only will you make new friends with similar interests, but you'll get in a good workout at the same time! Popular exercise groups include runners, rollerbladers and cyclists who meet on certain days to do said activity together.
Often community groups or church groups will offer yoga in nearby parks or recreation centers for free or very cheap. If going to a gym is more your thing, there are often free days at local gyms or deals where you only have to pay for a class that you want to attend instead of paying for the whole gym.
4. Find Your Green Thumb
You might not have time, money or space for a whole vegetable garden, but you hopefully have a free windowsill around your home where you can grow your own herbs.
With a cheap packet of seeds (or an already started plant on sale at the local nursery), you can be well on your way to extra tasty meals. Having flavorful meals gives you something to look forward to. You'll save money by not needing to buy extra seasonings, and many herbs have wonderful health benefits, according to the Washington Post .
5. Sleep Is Free!
What person on a budget doesn't love something free? One of the simplest ways to stay healthy is to just sleep enough hours each night.
This might be easier said than done, but it's so important to try as hard as you can to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night. And this should be restful, deep sleep.
A good tip is to turn off your electronics (like that bright cell phone!) a half hour before bed so you have a deeper sleep. Having enough sleep at night will help you make better health decision the following day since you'll be well-rested, per Live Science.
6. Use The Internet To Help You
Thankfully we live in a technology-driven age. While this might not be ideal for our sleeping habits (again, that pesky bright cell phone!), it's actually helpful in our search for healthy living.
That's because of the plethora of free videos online for workouts, yoga, meditation and the like. There are even videos on how to make the best healthy morning smoothie! Use the Internet as a fabulous resource in your quest for living healthy on a budget.
After all, working out in your living room with an online video tutorial is completely free. You could even use sand-filled water bottles for dumbbells!
7. Get On The Meal Prep Bandwagon
It's true, meal prep is quite trendy right now. But who said trendy has to be a bad thing? Perhaps it's on trend because it's a fabulous idea. Preparing your meals for the week can be cost effective and healthy, depending on what you're making. It's perfect for those looking to stick to a budget because you end up using every single item you buy—nothing goes to waste.
It takes a bit of planning and self-control to not go out and get something to go after work or school. But because you have a meal already prepped and ready, you're much more likely to stick to the plan and go home to eat.
8. Look Where You’d Least Expect To Find Healthy Foods
This is a trick you might not see coming. You know the dollar stores and big box stores that often seem to only have foods that look and seem unsavory and unhealthy?
Well, there are some gems in there that you might be overlooking. Many dollar stores have eggs and milk, and you can even find coupons for these, too, making them even cheaper.
Walk right past the aisles with the sugary drinks and rows and rows of pre-packaged cookies and subpar chocolate and head straight for the basics like bread, milk, eggs, oatmeal and tea. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can find if you look hard enough. You can even pick up some reusable containers for all that meal prepping you'll be doing!
9. Everything In Moderation
This tip might seem like an obvious one but think about it. If you keep this in mind anytime you're thinking about splurging either on an unhealthy activity or planning to spend more than you usually would on an item, you will find yourself making better decisions. For instance, alcohol is expensive, and so are fancy coffee drinks.
Try to make a rule of thumb for yourself where you only get one of these treats once a week (or whatever works best for you) or maybe only if someone offers to buy you the treat.
Avoiding these items—which aren't nutritious in the slightest—will help your health and your wallet.