The road to health is always paved with good intentions. We get a membership to the “good” gym in town, we buy the very best running gear to motivate ourselves, and we vow to always make the very best choices when we go out to eat. Then we get our monthly bank statement and think: Wait – where did all my money go!?
It’s easy to unknowingly throw away money in an effort to get healthy, but we’ve found some simple ways to pinch those pennies while also staying on track!
- Get rid of that gym membership.
We know, it may sound contradictory. But the average gym membership can cost around $800 a year, and even more for specialized gyms or trainers. There are plenty of exercises you can do outside like running, hiking, or biking that cost very little (if anything) to do! You can also learn body-weight training exercises, download a yoga app to use in your living room, or even get friends together to play volleyball or tennis in the park. A little creativity goes a long way when it comes to saving money!
- Set aside that drink menu at the restaurant.
A glass of wine with dinner may be divine, but alcohol is one of the most marked-up items on any restaurant menu! Also, having a drink with dinner will lower your inhibitions for ordering more food, and possibly even dessert. It’s best to skip the drinks!
- Take preventative measures.
Checking in with your doc regularly is much less expensive than handling an ailment that’s gotten out of control later down the road. Taking preventative measures is a great way to not only stay on top of your health, but also save yourself money in the long run. Also, if you do need a prescription, ask your doctor if there is a generic brand you can get at less cost.
- Stick to the outside aisles.
We know how difficult it can be to shop healthy at the grocery store. But one thing that will make it easier is to try and stick to shopping the outside aisles, rather than the middle ones. Processed and packaged “diet foods” (that are often found in the middle aisles) not only cost more money, but they aren’t nearly as good for you as fresh whole foods. You can get so much more bang for your buck by loading up on fresh produce, breads, and meats – rather than buying everything pre-made and packaged. Here are some recipes to get you started!
- Cut back the meat.
You don’t have to cut it out entirely, but cutting back on eating meat will not only save you money but surely boost your vegetable intake! Beans and legumes are great protein substitutes, very inexpensive, and you can always have them on hand in your pantry. Even just choosing to eat vegetarian two days per week will be a great (and cheap) addition to your health routine!
- Stop buying new clothes for a fluctuating figure.
When you lose weight, you want to buy new clothes. When you gain weight, you want to buy new clothes. See a pattern? Instead of constantly adding to your wardrobe anytime your weight fluctuates, check in with yourself. Are your pants starting to pinch? Reassess your health choices, and start taking steps to get on track. Are you finally reaching your weight loss goals? Host a clothing exchange with friends to acquire some new digs without spending any money!
- Think about fitness as a mode of transportation!
Do you know what gets infinity miles per gallon? Your body! We can drop thousands of dollars every year on filling up the gas tank, and paying for parking or public transportation. If you have the time, try an alternate mode of transportation to get to your friend’s house or to work! Ride a bike, put in your ear buds and take a long walk, or even bring a change of clothes in a backpack and jog to your destination. Getting there will be more fun, less expensive, and better for your fitness!
How do you cut costs when you’re focusing on health? Share your ideas with us in the comments!
[Credit: Wilkins, Nikki. “5 Ways You’re Literally Throwing Your Money Away.” Buzzfeed.]
[Credit: Lai, Breana. “5 Surprising Ways to Eat Clean and Save Money.” Eating Well.]
[Credit: Mcauley, Alicia. “5 Surprising Ways Being Fit Saves You Money.” Reader’s Digest, Best Health.]