Tips on How to Live and Eat Healthy on a Budget
Living a healthy life also usually feels like living a pricy life. More often than not, opting for healthier food or lifestyle choices typically means sacrificing room in your wallet. No one wants to have to choose between balanced meals, exercising and enough moolah to pay the bills. Lucky for you, we have plenty of tips and tricks sure to help you save some coin, all while you're living your best life. Talk about balling on a budget, right?
1. Devise a Grocery Store Game Plan, Save $47/Month
Who else gets overwhelmed just standing in the fresh produce section of the grocery store? Wesley Delbridge, RDN at EatRightPro, recommends establishing a food budget and a list before you get to the grocery store to reduce impulse purchases and future waste when you can't eat it all before it goes bad (an average American household wastes up to $2,275 of food per year). Try cutting coupons and searching for deals online for price comparisons before you fill up your cart. Better yet, shoot to bring cash instead of your card if you can, so you are absolutely committed to your means (and that bag of chips, box of cookies, etc. will stay on the shelf).
Related: 7-Day Budget Shopping List
2. Stock Up on Veggies in the Canned Aisle, Save $13/month
Pictured Recipe: Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup
While craving watermelon every month out of the year befalls us all, you don't want to break the bank just because summer isn't a year-round season. When produce is out of season, it doesn't taste as good and costs more. To save some serious money and still get your veggie fix, choose canned vegetables. Canned green beans alone are a quarter of the price of fresh green beans and a third of the price of frozen. Plus, they can hold up in your pantry for months so you always have a way to add veggies to dinner even if you're low on groceries.
Related: The Top 5 Canned Veggies, Ranked
3. Prep Your Meals Ahead of Time, Save $176/Month
Pictured Recipe: Quinoa Chickpea Salad
Delbridge stresses the importance of planning to ensure that a healthy diet is kept top of mind, even during the busiest of weeks. But lest you be tempted to give in to a fast-food run or grabbing takeout, mastering the art of meal prepping will save you from shelling out more cash than you originally intended. You can meal-prep an entire week of Mediterranean lunches for just $11, whereas buying lunch out would cost you about $11 each day.
Related: Cheap, Healthy Lunches for Work
4. Share Meals with Your Friends, Save $33/Month
Pictured Recipe: Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas
Meeting up with friends at restaurants and bars constantly can get expensive. But making food together and dining at home not only saves money, it's fun. There's truly nothing better than diving into a delicious meal with your best of kin. Why not make it a monthly ritual? You'll never have to guess if you'll like the menu, and chances are, the entrees-like these easy Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas (which save you $8 per serving!)-will be lighter than what you'll find at most restaurants.
5. Skip the Gym, Save $80/Month
While heading to the gym for intensive, calorie-burning workouts is a sure ticket to a healthy lifestyle, a gym membership is not always friendly on the wallet. Experts estimate 18% of Americans do not use their gym memberships at all. This may sound counterintuitive at first, but learning to master some effective and sweat-heavy workouts from the comfort of your home can save you hundreds in gym fees over time. Of course, doing intensive walking, hiking or running outside is free, but you can also get free strength-training and yoga routines that can be mastered in your living room from trusty websites and fitness YouTubers.