Something that I hear often is, ‘being healthy is too expensive’. However, I want to suggest ways that will hopefully reduce this stigma and provide practical tips to be healthier that you can integrate immediately!
If you have ever walked into wholefoods or any other health food shop, I am sure you have experienced a feeling of horror when examining the price tags! Yes fancy health stores have products that may be necessary to splash out on now and again (who doesn’t love a kombucha!). But no they are not essential for health. It is completely possible to be healthy on a budget and these hacks will help you know how.
HACK ONE: SAY NO TO WATER BOTTLES.
Buying water bottle after water bottle is going to get seriously expensive. At uni I found myself doing this and noticed I saved a huge amount when I invested in a water bottle with a filter, so I could refill it anywhere. A hack to being more healthy on a budget is also to DRINK MORE. Water is free and is the best liquid for your body. Save money and stop buying juice/squash/bottled water and drink the pure stuff! If you find it hard to drink more water during the day, add a wedge of lemon or some cucumber.
HACK TWO: SKIP THE GYM
Skip the gym to get fitter?! I know you’ve probably heard this before, but you don’t need a gym to get fit. Gym memberships can be very expensive, not to mention hot and sweaty and dark and ugh! I understand that the fact you are paying for membership may be a key motivator for you. However, if you are trying to cut back on spending, take note of what you actually use the gym for. The treadmill? Try switching to a run in the park. Weights? Maybe invest in some home weights off amazon. Classes? You can find some amazing free classes on YouTube for free and if you love training in a group environment, ask your gym whether you can pay separately for single classes or buy classes in a bulk deal to save.
HACK THREE: MORE WHOLEFOODS
It may sound strange to recommend eating more of something to save money. However, one hack that I swear by is filling at least half your plate with veggies. This is a) healthier and b) going to fill you up more because of the higher dose of fibre you will be getting. A hack to buying fresh fruit and veg is to buy the products loose, without plastic. Believe it or not, shops charge more for the convenience of having it in packaging so you are being kinder to the environment and your wallet! It sounds simple but one of the biggest things that transformed my health was eating more vegetables – especially the crucifourous varieties (Broccoli, Spinach, Cauliflower, Asparagus).
HACK FOUR: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INTERNET
Make use of social media and online platforms! We are so lucky to live in an age where so much knowledge is at our fingertips. There are countless blogs, YouTube channels and Instagram accounts that provide free recipes, workouts and health tips that you don’t need to buy expensive recipe books. I’m a great fan of blogs such as Madeline Shaw, Deliciously Ella, FromMyBowl, MinimalistBaker, Jamie Oliver and BbcGoodFood for recipe inspiration.
HACK FIVE: BUY IN BULK
Bulk buying is a serious way of saving money. One way I did this at uni was to buy a large bag of rolled oats that would last me for ages! Also, tins of chickpeas, legumes, rice etc. often cost less than 50p for two servings.
HACK SIX: LESS MEAT
This hack isn’t for meat lovers, but one of the biggest ways I save money is by not buying meat. The current price at Tesco for two organic chicken breasts is £6.60! When you compare this price to a two person serving of another protein source such as lentils, chickpeas, tofu, eggs, even broccoli there is no comparison in regard to the money you will save. Even if having one less meat eating night a week, it will save you money!
HACK SEVEN: BUY FROZEN
A hack that I utilize for my daily smoothies is buying frozen fruit! Often manufacturers freeze certain products as soon as they are harvested, therefore retain most/all of their nutrients. This makes frozen fruit and veg both more nutritious and a lot cheaper than buying fresh! A recent discovery of mine is frozen avocados. They are always perfectly ripe and ready to be popped into any smoothie bowl or defrosted for avo toast.
I am all about making small changes to reap big rewards in regard to health. So, even if you incorporate one hack at a time, you will see the difference and improve your healthy cheaply and easily.