Being healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’d rather save your $50 monthly gym membership or overpriced organic food bill, you’ve come to the right place! Here are several nifty ways to save money without sacrificing your health.
1. Cook bulk in advance and pack your lunches.
This is probably one of the most effective ways you can save money and improve your health. Firstly, cooking for yourself allows you to know exactly what goes in your food and to control your portions, so it’s easily healthier than eating out. It’s also way, WAY cheaper. If you buy lunch every day and your lunch costs $10, that’s $50 per week and $2,600 per year! And don’t even get me started on coffee and snacks.
To save time, you can cook in bulk on a Sunday night and portion out meals for every day of the week. Slow cookers and oven bake-able foods are the best for this.
2. Buy meds online.
Buying medication in the United States is expensive. Other countries, however, have stricter industry regulations in place that allow them to sell drugs for much cheaper prices. You can save a significant amount of money while taking care of your health by buying medication from international and Canadian pharmacies.
Yes, buying things online is not always safe, and you should exercise extra caution. Be careful of scams and never buy from a website that claims prescriptions are not required. Instead, use Canadian pharmacy referral services like Rx Connected and CanadianMedCenter, websites that offer affordable drugs from sources that have met strict safety standards. When in doubt, contact the company directly. A legitimate company should welcome questions and concerns.
3. Buy whole foods.
No, I don’t mean visiting a gourmet grocery store. Whole foods are simply things that haven’t been processed, such as meat cut straight from the animal and vegetables pulled from the ground. Yes, you’ll need to expend more effort to cook these things, but they are much, much cheaper, plus you can control exactly how to cook your food without excess oil and seasoning.
Let’s say you want to make egg sandwiches for a week. According to Numbeo, you would expect the following average prices in the United States.
- Loaf of bread (500g): $2.58
- Tomato (1kg): $3.99
- Lettuce (1 head): $1.52
- Eggs (dozen): $2.31
Rounding up to the nearest dollar, you can expect to spend about $12 on making sandwich lunches for almost a week. A restaurant that serves gourmet sandwiches could charge you $12 just for one ’wich.
4. Ditch the junk food.
A large bag of chips costs about $3-5. If you ate one bag a week, you could save $15-25 just from eliminating a food you don’t need. Replace unhealthy snacks with whole, healthy foods like baby carrots, grapes, or sugar snap peas.
5. Go outside.
Few people realize how great it is that they own a lifelong complimentary pass to the Great Outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with a forgiving climate and plenty of space, be sure to take advantage of it. Activities you can do include:
- Jogging around the neighborhood
- Working out at the local playground, such as doing pull-ups on jungle gyms
- Shooting hoops at the local public basketball court
- Hiking your local trail
- Cycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading
6. Work out in the comfort of your own home.
If you don’t live in a nice outdoor area, are self-conscious about working out in public, or if it’s a rainy day, you can still squeeze in an effective workout in the comfort of your own home.
Thanks to YouTube, free exercise videos like those created by Fitness Blender and Jump Rope Dudes can allow you to turn your bedroom into its own gym. Shell out a few extra bucks for some free weights and you can easily add or remove intensity from your routine. For cardio, simply jump rope or jog in place.
7. Drink water.
If you live in an area with free, drinkable tap water, you basically don’t have to buy any other drinking commodity unless it’s for pleasure. Water is free. Water has 0 calories. Water is good for you. It’s that simple.
8. Change to a self-powered commute.
Commuting by foot or bicycle is a great workout built right into your day, saving time and money. Cars and transit cost a lot of money: all those passes, gas, and insurance plans add up. Yes, bikes can be an expensive initial purchase, but you have a lot more options – such as investing in a used model – and you don’t have to pay for auto insurance even on the fanciest of road bikes.
9. Talk to people.
Why is this on the list? Because it’s free, and because mental health is just as important, if not more, than physical health. Socializing is not only good for mental health, but it may boost your immune system, help you live longer, and avoid dementia.
Being cheap might mean rolling up your sleeves a little, but it really isn’t that hard. If you need to cook Sunday night dinner anyway, cook for the rest of the week. If you need to go to work anyway, walk or bike there. If you’re bored, do a YouTube workout. Then, take all that money you saved up and buy something nice to reward yourself for all that hard work!