In today’s economy, it is even more important to learn just how easy it is to stay healthy on a budget. Many people use the excuse that they can’t afford to be healthy so here are a few tips for staying healthy without breaking your pocketbook.
Tip #1 – Leave your car at home whenever possible
It is amazing how many quick trips are being taken in our vehicles when we could just as easily walk or ride a bike. If you are traveling to a location that is within a short distance to your home, why not consider leaving your car at home? Not only will you save money but you will be doing your body a great benefit from the exercise of walking or riding your bike.
Tip #2 – Buy fresh foods in season and freeze them
Years ago women took advantage of fruits and vegetables when they were in season and preserved these foods for use throughout the year. Too many people these days don’t take advantage and would rather pay higher prices for these items out of season. If time is a concern, try purchasing extras and when you are making your meals, quickly blanch these items for three minutes in boiling water and then put them into freezing water before freezing. When you take advantage of the fact you are already cooking, it won’t seem like a huge chore.
Tip #3 – Start your own group
Many people say the reason they aren’t getting involved socially is because of the high membership prices and expected time commitments for joining groups. If this is holding you back from becoming socially active, why not seek out “free” groups in your neighbourhood or start your own? Look for people with similar interests as your own and look for something that can be done for free (or inexpensively). Some ideas include:
- A group of people that get together to walk or hike within your community. If you are a group of women with young children, consider walking with your strollers.
- Euchre or bridge clubs are a great social evening and rotating houses mean that you each share in the duties of being host/hostess.
- Book clubs not only give you an opportunity to discuss the book, but the time spent reading will keep your mind healthy.
Tip #4 – Pick up a budget friendly hobby
Oftentimes, when our finances are tight, we shy away from enjoying the things we love. Many hobbies can be quite expensive, but when money is tight it is even more important to find a hobby to embrace and allow you time to keep your mind active and happy. Here are a few ideas of some inexpensive hobbies to consider:
- Bird watching – no need for binoculars when many birds can be seen using the naked eye
- Reading – instead of purchasing books, take advantage of your local library
- Crafting – many crafts can be made using items found around your home or yard
Tip #5 – Skip your daily trip to Starbucks or Timmies
Go past any Tim Hortons or Starbucks on your way to work and you will see how many people have grown accustomed to this daily stop. Not only can these daily trips add up cost wise, but caffeine is definitely not a healthy choice. If you just can’t start your day without caffeine, consider switching to carob beans. They taste similar to a mixture of coffee beans and cocoa without the caffeine.
These are just a few tips on how to stay healthy while still staying true to your pocketbook. With a little ingenuity and dedication, I am sure that you can think of many ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and maintain your family’s budget.