There is a persistent myth that living healthy is only for the well-off. With hundreds of fast food chains proudly boasting long lists of 99 cent menus – it seems like for those living on a budget, fried burgers and nuggets are the best option. However these are just marketing gimmicks that propagate the myth. Living healthy DOESN’T mean you have to go broke in the process. There are some excellent ways to save money and still lead a healthy and happy life. Here we look at some easy ways to save bundles and keep you and your family on a healthy track.
1. Buy Organic But Not For Everything: It’s true that organic foods can provide healthier options, but they need not break the bank to do so. First and foremost keep your organic fruits and vegetables limited to those that have an outer skin which you eat. Secondly so long as they say organic, a standard of “certified organic” is not essential. You can get these types of produce at the local farmer’s market for a fraction of the cost of super stores.
2. Cater Your Coupons: Everybody trying to save some money should certainly look to coupons to do just that. If you really want to save yourself major money but still eat healthy, sign up for a service or through a site that offers a variety of food options. You can even find services catered to the specialty markets that have the healthiest food options where coupons are sent right to your inbox for instant savings at the register.
3. Buy in Bulk on Lean Proteins: Visiting your local warehouse club or meat market can help you discover some excellent buys on lean proteins. You can buy in bulk and not only save yourself some money, but also ensure that you have plenty of healthy protein options on hand at all times.
4. Limit Eating Out: Not only does going out to eat drain your bank account, but it can also pack on the fat and calories. Families who cook at home not only save money but tend to have healthier eating habits and even share some family bonding time in the process as they prepare the meal together. You can be in control of what you eat and how much you spend if you cook at home.
5. Bring Your Lunch: Going out to lunch can end up being a huge monthly expense for a family budget. The smaller charges here and there on quick lunches can really add up—and they can pack the pounds on the waistline. To save yourself some calories and money, bring your lunch or pack it up for your spouse or loved ones to take to work or school.
6. Cancel the Gym Membership: You burn no more calories working out at a fancy gym than you do in a home gym or outside. You should absolutely maintain regular workouts to live healthy, but you can do so at a fraction of the cost by getting some good workout videos, using the outdoors for workouts, or using free weights in the comfort of your own home.
7. Find a Health Insurance that Works for You: There are some excellent health insurance plans out there that reward their subscribers for being the picture of health. While medical insurance is a necessity when it comes to your health, research options that will provide lower premiums or even rewards for being healthy.
8. Learn to Cook Healthy: If you are not a master chef, then it may be worth doing some online research or getting a good book or two to keep you current on healthy recipes. By cooking at home you are automatically saving money, and learning to cook the right foods can save you calories and time. You can get creative and really have fun with new recipes and best of all you don’t have to be a master chef to do so; with all the online resources and books you can easily get help learning the tricks of the trade.
9. Sign Up for Prescription Savings Programs: Just about every store out there right now offers some sort of prescription program. It’s true that most households will likely spend some substantial money on prescription medications each year and by signing up for a program, you can get some great savings each time you have to get one. You can even transfer an existing prescription for even more savings.
10. Create Fun Family Workouts: If you are looking for a great way to get the family to bond but don’t want to spend a fortune to do it, come up with some fun ways to incorporate exercise into your next bonding session. Taking walks or hikes together or even going swimming can help you to be healthier, get in some exercise, and do so at a fraction of the price.
11. Go with Generic Prescription Drugs When Possible: If you need a prescription drug to get you back to being the picture of health, go with a generic version. In most instances the ingredients are the same and will help to heal you at a fraction of the cost.
Far too often we complicate our health and burden it with high expense. Often, the cheapest route is the healthiest route. Let these 11 tips be your start to more affordable healthy living.
Mary Ward is a guest blogger for PickTheBrain and enjoys writing about medical career
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