Staying Healthy on a Budget

Staying healthy doesn’t have to cost a lot.  Here’s a few tips to guide your path to frugal fitness!

Stock Up at Your Local Farmers’ Market  

Prices are usually significantly cheaper than at the grocery store, and the produce is local.  Plus, many towns have indoor farmers’ markets year round.  Local Harvest has a great search engine to find a market near you.

Shop by Season  

It’s basic supply and demand: in season fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper because they’re easier to stock and usually don’t have to be shipped from other parts of the world.  The USDA has an interactive seasonal produce guide on their site.

Grow Your Own  

It’s much cheaper to grow your own produce.  Plus, you can freeze extras to use during the winter.  Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can grow many things in pots on a patio or deck.  We usually grow peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and other assorted plants in pots and lined crates.

crated plants

Meal Plan — Based on What’s on Sale  

It’s a lot easier to resist the urge to grab that easy pizza on the way home from work if you already have a healthy alternative planned and bought.  Plus, by basing your meals on what’s on sale, you can save a little extra cash.

Brown Bag It

Same deal.  If you already have a healthy lunch packed and prepared, it’s a lot easier to avoid the temptation of ordering out.

Buy in Bulk  

For non-perishable items, shop around.  Many times it’s cheaper to buy healthy grains, protein powder, supplements, and other healthy essentials from warehouse stores or from Amazon.  For example, you can get 2 pounds of chia seeds for $12.

Skip the Gym Membership

Unless you’re a diehard gym rat, chances are there’s a cheaper way to get your workout in.  There are plenty of free workout videos on YouTube.  Can’t live without a treadmill/stationary bike/elliptical?  Check Craigslist.  There’s usually plenty of equipment at greatly reduced prices looking for good homes.  If Craigslist isn’t for you, you can also find good deals on equipment at Amazon.  I recently got this folding exercise bike for $150.  It’s sturdy, quiet, and takes up about as much space as a dining chair.

 

Go Outdoors

Sure this may not be the most desirable option in the dead of winter, but as the temperature begins to rise take advantage of the great outdoors.  Whether you bike, hike, swim, or start a pickup frisbee game, you’re getting your workout in and having fun!  Take advantage of parks and playgrounds in your neighborhood–many have fields and courts you can use for free.

Niagara Gorge

Get Paid to Stay Fit

Check to see if your employer or health insurance provider offers any incentives to stay healthy.  I’ve seen everything from a $75 gift card for scheduling a yearly checkup to a free FitBit to promote a healthy lifestyle.  If you can get something free for taking care of yourself, it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Have a great day!

elyse

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