Making the effort to keep yourself fit and healthy is important so that you can enjoy a happy and fulfilled life and reduce the risk of many illnesses and conditions in the years to come. The easiest ways to do this are to eat a balanced and nutritious diet and to exercise regularly. One concern that many people have is that staying healthy comes at a cost and that switching to a healthier diet and starting a new exercise regime will cost them money. However, this is not the case and here are some tips on how to live a healthily on a budget.
Make Homemade Meals
It is often surprising how much cheaper it is to make meals yourself instead of buying ready-made meals from the store. If you make a larger quantity than you need at one sitting, then you can freeze the remainder for meals at a later date. As you are adding the ingredients yourself, you have full control of what is going into your meals. This means that there are no nasty surprises, such as high quantities of fat, salt, and sugar.
Buy Bulk Dried Foods
Buying foods in bulk is usually a great saving and it is possible to do this with some of the healthier dried food you keep in your store cupboard. Having these healthy options available in your cupboard means that you can make delicious, healthy meals without too much advance planning. Try to buy a range of whole-grain products, such as rice, pasta and cereals. Pulses, seeds, nuts, and beans are other healthy foods you can buy in bulk at a low cost.
Eat More Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are low in calories, low in fat and salt-free, just as long as you do not add salt when cooking. Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables will provide you with a large proportion of the minerals, vitamins, and nutrients your body needs to maintain a healthy weight and good general health. Fruit and vegetables are much cheaper than meat or fish, so making vegetable-based meals will save you money. This is especially the case if you opt for fruit and veg that is in season. To save even more money, try growing your own.
Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Protein is an important element of your nutritional requirements and meat or fish is one of the easiest ways to include this in your diet. Many of the cheaper cuts of meat are delicious and extremely versatile. They are ideal for stews and curries that you can bulk up with extra vegetables or pulses. Removing the excess fat means they will be much healthier.
Exercise for Free
There is no need to buy equipment or pay for an expensive gym membership to start a fitness regime. Walking is free and one of the simplest activities to incorporate into your weekly routine. Instead of driving to work, to go the shops or to do the school run, walk instead. Similarly, try to go for a longer walk at least once a week. Finding a local beauty spot or asking a friend to accompany you will make it a pleasant experience. Once your fitness levels begin to improve, you might consider progressing to short runs.
Finally, saving coupons to use at stores such as Walmart is a great way to keep the cost of your grocery shopping down while stocking up on healthy foods. Look specifically for coupons for tinned vegetables or healthy dried foods as these have a long shelf life.
These are just a few of the ways that you can live a healthy lifestyle even if you have a limited budget. It is not necessary to spend large amounts of money on keeping healthy and you might even find that making simple changes to your diet and exercise routine might actually save you money.