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Thursday, 9 November 2017

Ways To Stay Healthy On A Budget - Here Are Seven Suggestions

James Colquhoun writes:
" For many, the idea of wellness seems like an unattainable goal. Life pressures, especially financial, can make people feel like they are confined to a particular way of life - an unhealthy one. It is no wonder people feel this way when elite gym memberships and boot camps are marketed as the only way to reach your fitness goals but threaten to break the bank before you break a sweat.

Healthy eating, or the idea of healthy eating, is also daunting especially for those who aren’t as confident in the kitchen or are simply too busy to cook. Convenient pre-made foods, while nutritionally neutral or deficient, can seem preferable to meals made from scratch, especially when they are sold at a seemingly cheap price point. The truth is, making a few simple lifestyle adjustments, without spending any money, can make an astronomical difference to your health and may well be easier to maintain in the long term, being cost effective and self-directed. We’ve put together some tips on creating a healthy lifestyle which is sustainable and budget friendly.

1. Plan Your Meals
Making food decisions at the point when you’re ready to eat can mean you opt for something quick and convenient, and anything cheap is usually not going to be particularly nutritious or satisfying. Meal planning makes life easier in many ways, including having ingredients in the fridge or pantry you can whip together, sometimes quicker than the time it takes to head to the shops and back or to get takeaway food. It also allows you to economize ingredients across multiple dishes which means you spend less and waste less food. The additional benefit is that you can plan meals which will provide enough protein, vitamins and minerals so you’ll be satiated throughout the day and feel more energetic - reducing the need to purchase additional snacks for an energy hit.

2. Shop At Farmers' Markets
Buying fresh foods can seem expensive, but in comparison to packaged or pre-prepared foods, the key nutrients they provide are far more valuable. Produce bought at Farmers' Markets generally lasts longer and is cheaper than fruit and vegetables available at larger grocery chains. One of the key reasons is the produce is seasonal and far fresher, not having to be frozen or travel great distances. Heading to the Farmers' Markets just before they close means you can get a range of fresh foods at slashed prices when sellers are trying to get rid of extra produce.

3. Be Strategic At The Supermarket
As Farmers' Markets may not have absolutely everything you need or are not always convenient to get to, supermarket visits may be necessary. A hot tip is to stay away from the central aisles of the grocery store. As mentioned above, packaged foods can seem cheap but provide minimal nutritional benefits. Also, you can often purchase many nuts and grains from bulk bins which have cheaper price by weight than their packaged counterparts. Shopping for seasonal foods at the supermarket will also be cheaper, being cheaper for farmers to produce and sell on.

4. Stock Your Pantry With Staples
Building a stock of staples will save you money long term as you’ll be able to prepare a variety of meal combinations. Dry foods including rice, quinoa, barley, whole meal pasta and flour are fantastic for developing the base of many recipes. Tinned and preserved foods can also take you a long way and create filling meals, so be sure to stock the pantry with mixed beans, chickpeas, lentils, and tinned tomatoes. Having a range of dried herbs and spices on hand means your meals on a budget won’t be bland!

5. Get Creative With Food Waste
Vegetable scraps and bones can be used to create stocks and broths which will add depth of flavour to future meals and save the cost of store-bought stocks.

Start a garden: Grow whatever you can in the space you have. There are so many vegetables and herbs that can grow in a variety of environments, even on an apartment windowsill! Fresh herbs can be incredibly expensive when bought from a supermarket, especially when only a small amount is required for a particular recipe. Growing your own vegetables and herbs means you’ll always have something fresh on hand to add flavour and substance to your meals and you can pick exactly what you need.

Drink water: A seemingly obvious one, but drinking water is one of the cheapest and most important things we can do for our health. A small investment in a durable water bottle will mean you can avoid dishing out a couple of dollars each time you get thirsty on the go! Not drinking enough water can make us feel like we are hungry. More water throughout the day may also help to curb extra spending on snacks.

6. Exercise For Free
Exercise can be done anywhere at anytime - even while you work if you’re creative enough! Some ideas for cheap and impacting exercise include:
Walking instead of catching public transport or driving. (If you have a longer commute, try getting off a few stops earlier or parking further from your destination.)
Utilize free gyms at your local park. Some parks have simple, permanent exercise stations you can use to build strength and tone muscle.
Go for a long walk or run in your neighbourhood.
Yoga at home: there are numerous free, high quality yoga instruction videos available which allow you to engage in a peaceful form of movement whenever it suits you!
Hikes - check out nature walks and hiking areas near you. Hikes are great for the body and mind!

7. Creative And Mental Balance
To improve your overall well-being, spiritual well-being and mental stimulation are crucial. Taking care of these needs doesn’t have to cost much at all! Seeing friends, checking out free entertainment including music and comedy, reading, engaging in creative pursuits like drawing and playing an instrument are all activities that have an important place in a healthy lifestyle and can even balance and improve prospects of healthy eating and exercise. As more of your physical and emotional needs are met, the better you feel overall and the more motivated you’ll be to maintain balance and sustainable health."

The above words/article from here

Has this article given you 'food for thought' - perhaps you already do some of the things suggested!
You may have some tips you could share ...

This blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas. It is important to note, that not all may be suitable for you. If you should have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. Some of the foods mentioned in the article may not suit you. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Martha said...

Great suggestions! I have a monthly food budget and these steps help me pick up what I need to create healthy meals for us.

Tom said...

...what a gorgeous collective of veggies.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This is all SO true! I think junk food that is prepackaged is much more expensive and eating out too. I buy fresh and mostly organic and it's very affordable. You could count the fact that you aren't sick as often too! Hugs!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

So many great ideas, Jan. Have a nice weekend. ♥

Christine said...

Wonderful well rounded advice on all levels!

Margaret D said...

Lovely to see all the vegetables we have them here too.

Lady Fi said...

Great tips!

Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for sharing the good tips. Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

eileeninmd said...

Hello, great ideas and suggestions. Thanks for sharing. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

JFM said...

Great "food for thought" ideas! Thank you!
I love getting ideas from your blog Jan~

Have a Wonderful Day 💮

Lois said...

Great advice!

Prunella Pepperpot said...

A great post Jan with some very valuable advice.
Have a wonderful weekend :)

Carol Blackburn said...

All good stuff!

Lisabella Russo said...

What excellent suggestions, thank you!

DeniseinVA said...

These are great tips Jan, thank you :)

happyone said...

Excellent tips. The picture is so pretty with all those gorgeous colors.

DMS said...

In the past few months I have started to drink more water. Definitely saves money and is good for us. :) I also love to shop at local farmer's markets. :)

baili said...

Very Precious Effort Jan!

thank you so much for each bit of this very well written and informative article!

Kezzie said...

These are all excellent tips! You are right about avoiding convenience foods- ALSO because they tend to use excessive packaging!!!
On Monday night, I got home late and we faffed around not cooking and then I realised, it took all of about 10 minutes to chop up an aubergine, tomatoes, red onion, orange pepper and a courgette to roast in the oven and then add some halloumi on top!!! The one convenience product I used was a pouch of Microwave rice.

carol l mckenna said...

Great nutritional post ~

A ShutterBug Explores
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Phil Slade said...

All good advice. These TV programmes make me laugh where the parents don't have a clue, spending enormous amounts of money on junk food and indulging their kids with all the wrong things and ready meals. But then each programme is virtually the same and I wonder where the researchers keep finding so many people with no idea about food or money.

Magic Love Crow said...

Great post! Thank you so much for the information!