A healthy lifestyle is generally essential, yet it can be extremely expensive. However, this doesn’t mean you should compromise a healthy diet and regular exercise to avoid making a hole in your wallet.
The good news is that living a healthy lifestyle below your means is possible! For example, no-cost self-exercise can be helpful and cheap eats can still be nutritious. Apart from these, here are some suggestions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle on a budget.
Try Frozen Products
Foods don’t have to be fresh for them to be nutritious. For example, your frozen passion fruit pulp has the same nutritional benefits as fresh fashion fruit. In fact, despite having the same nutritional value, frozen products are far budget-friendlier than their fresh counterparts.
Additionally, many studies show that frozen fruits and vegetables are more nutrient-dense. They’re usually frozen immediately after being harvested at their ripeness peak, which is the period when they have the greatest abundance of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, these nutrient-dense frozen foods have a longer shelf-life. That means you can still enjoy them cheaply even if they’re out of season.
Of course, nothing is perfect, and frozen goods are no exception. There are still things you need to be careful of. For example, avoid frozen products that are sauced, lightly sauced, or with added butter or cream sauces. They usually come with extra sugar, salt, and empty calories.
Say Yes to Meat-Free Proteins
It’s commonly cited that animal-based protein sources are much superior to plant-based alternatives. Unlike meat proteins that likely contain all the essential amino acids, plant proteins aren’t complete proteins.
However, this isn’t exactly true. There are several complete vegan proteins to choose from. Take amaranth, buckwheat, chia seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa soy, spirulina, and tempeh as examples of plant-based complete proteins.
In addition, if you’re looking for non-meat proteins, fish, dairy (like milk, yogurt, and cheese), and eggs are also complete. There’s also a seitan. Although not a complete protein, it’s a popular high-protein meat substitute with a meaty flavor when cooked.
Moreover, despite being “incomplete” proteins, plant proteins can still meet your daily protein needs. It’s not about whether a protein is complete or not but more about your intake. You’ll still get all the essential amino acids you need as long as you have a diversified, balanced, and healthy diet. What’s more, plant proteins are much more affordable.
Go For Local and Seasonal
It costs a lot of money to buy fresh produce that’s imported or out of season throughout the year. Alternatively, it pays to opt for products currently in the season if you’re on a tight budget.
Specifically, buy fresh produce from a farmer’s market. They aren’t only much cheaper, but also environmentally friendly. Ideally, you should stop by and look at them after work. Before calling it a day, vendors often reduce the prices of their products, especially perishable goods, to avoid profit loss due to food waste.
Choose Homegrown, Not Organic
While organic foods are marketed as environmentally friendly, they’re generally 20% more expensive than conventional produce. And truth be told, even if organic farmers claim they use all-natural fertilizers or pesticides, they still come with inherent risks.
Growing your foods at home is the best way to ensure they’re pesticide-free, fresh, and low-cost. Begin with some basic herbs. They taste the best when they’re freshly plucked. Plus, they’re very resilient or able to withstand stressful conditions, so they’re recommended for beginners. More importantly, they cost a fortune when bought at the store, so having them at your disposal is very cost-effective.
Workout At No Cost
Maintaining your physical fitness doesn’t need you to make significant financial sacrifices. You can practice meditation at home, jog around your neighborhood, or follow the latest dance fad on TikTok—all at either low or no cost!
If you need someone to guide you, there are a lot of free fitness applications with AI-based workout assistants nowadays. Alternatively, you watch workout instructions on YouTube for free as well. Tech-enabled fitness equipment can also guide you through completing your workout regimen. You can accomplish all of these in the comfort of your home while saving significant money.
Make Use of Sales Promotions
Take advantage of sales promotions that can be used as payment for membership fees. You can usually avail of these when you get a free card for your prescription prescriptions or online coupons for your grocery shopping. There are other free trials or low-cost bargains for online or at-home gym programs that you can try.
If you’re employed, check whether your company offers fitness reimbursement plans. Depending on your employers, they can either be completely free of charge or subsidized gym membership rates. Other employers also offer rewards and incentives if employees maintain their health.
The secret to eating properly, saving money, and putting health first is planning, knowledge, and dedication. If you do it correctly, you may improve energy, reduce your disease risk, lose weight, and feel better overall.