Many people assume that living a healthy lifestyle has to be expensive.
I'm going to break it down for all of you who either need help with staying healthy on a budget or have it stuck in your mind that living a healthy lifestyle is too expensive for you.
At the end, you will learn by #1 most important tip to living a healthy lifestyle on a budget. #1 is what many people who are beginning their healthy journey do and it's a huge mistake.
First off, your health should be important to you for many reasons. $8 might seem like a lot to you, but let me break down what many people spend each day. Many people think that eating out for “cheap” meals each day is cheaper than eating healthy. That is not true!
Average Day For 1 Person:
- Breakfast: Fast food meal of a breakfast sandwich, coffee/drink, side such as hash browns/etc. That right there is about $6.00.
- Snack: $3.00
- Lunch: Subway sandwich and drink with chips. $8.00
- Dinner: Burger with fries and drink. Ranging from: $6.00-$12.00 depending on where you go.
Total: Over $25.00/A day
The average person spent about $25.00 on a day on eating if they eat on the go.
Let me give you a challenge. On a regular day of eating, keep track of what you eat and how much you spend eating anything that comes through a drive-thru or anything that is quick and go. You're going to feel a bit of shock and might even get a little angry at yourself.
This will just be a wake-up call of how much you're spending and you'll realize being healthy isn't all that expensive, as I explain further.
This is an average day for me:
- Breakfast: $2 of chocolate protein, which you can get here. This helps keep me on track throughout the entire day.
- Snack: Carrots with hummus: Under $2.00
- Lunch: Whole grain bread sandwich with turkey, spinach, & avocado spread along with a side of fruit: $3.00
- Dinner: Grilled tofu, with mixed vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette or a healthy dressing of your choice, and a salad: $3.00
Total: $10-$13.00/Day OR $70-$91/Weekly.
Now don't get shocked at that number because I am 99% sure if you kept track of everything you spent on food for a week, it would be well over that. I used to go out to fast food restaurants 2x+ daily and on the weekends I spent at least $100 on going out with friends for lunch/dinner.
I know many people who spend at least $8-$10 on drinks alone in a day but didn't realize it until they actually saved their receipts. I am guilty of this, but no longer after I calculated how much I was spending.
So how can you budget and get the most out of your money? Let's get started:
1. Avoid already prepared foods like the plague!
I'm not trying to be funny at all. Meals such as Lean Cuisine or any other meal that is already made can actually be bad for you. These are loaded with sugar/sodium, and a bunch of ingredients none of has had ever heard of in our life. These aren't satisfying either so don't pretend like it is.
Related: Ibotta is a free downloadable app that can save you money on groceries (even fruits and veggies!) as well as hundreds of other items at major stores. Get $10 for signing up here.
2. Buy in bulk.
It definitely pays off to have a Sams Club or Costco membership because you get a lot of food for a small price. If you don't want to go to either of those places, get better at couponing. Dig into those ads you get in the mail for coupons at the local grocery stores. There are usually only coupons for junk food, but there should be a few coupons for healthy options.
3. Prep your meals.
So many people know to do this to save money AND time yet no one wants to put the work in. Simply prep your meals on Sunday and have everything ready for the entire week.
What I like to do is put all the food in separate large containers and I simply choose what protein/vegetable I want for each meal. There are even storage containers for certain meals now such as salad or 3 hole containers for your protein and 2 sides.
4. Skip the gym membership.
Many of you might not know this but I don't even have a gym membership! This alone is saving me hundreds of dollars a year. Nothing against gyms, but I've found that I don't need it when I have different workout programs at home and the entire world to workout in.
Related: I highly recommend checking out the 14-Day Lean Clean meal plan if you are trying to lose weight or get healthier. The book is filled with tons of useful information (over 200 pages worth!). I am using this meal plan to hit my health and fitness goals.
5. If you take nothing from this entire post, please just listen to this one!
STOP buying plastic water bottles! This is not helping anyone or anything in the entire world. You are wasting your own money and guess what? That plastic you buy never goes away. That plastic water bottle will end up somewhere and is only polluting the world. Ever seen Plastic Paradise on Netflix? Watch it now. You're welcome. Invest in a filtered water bottle.
Related: Use Ebates to save money on online purchases you make. If you shop online, Ebates is a must! It's free and really easy to use. You can save money on everything from flights, Amazon purchases, tax services, and tons more. Get $10 for signing up here.
How do you stay healthy on a tight budget?
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