Americans often change their minds about eating healthy and getting fit when they see the cost of organic produce, gym memberships, workout equipment and clothing costs. It can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure how to keep the overall process in your budget. Luckily, there are ways to get fit and eat healthy without completely breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you reach your goals:
Choose the cheapest workout option
Whether you decide to get a gym membership or workout from home, keep it cheap. Look around at local gyms and find the best options that meet your realistic expectations and budget. Try to avoid gyms with fancy amenities and go for the gym with the cheaper fee. You may like the idea of a juice bar and unlimited tanning, but by avoiding these additions you will save quite a bit of money
Prepare your own meals
Fast food may be convenient, but it ends up being far more expensive in the long run. When you eat out, you have no way of knowing what really goes into your food. When you cook from scratch at home, you’re able to monitor every ingredient that goes into the meal. Cooking meals at home will also save you more than just money, you’ll likely save calories, too.
Buy in bulk
If you find yourself eating a lot of something, such as apples, nuts or frozen meat, you’re better off buying it in bulk if you want to save money. One thing to keep in mind when buying in bulk, is not to buy things in bulk that have a short shelf life. For example, buying milk in bulk may not be the best idea if it ends up going bad before you are able to finish it.
Don’t worry about always buying organic
If you are on a tight budget, you can avoid buying only organic. Don’t skip a recipe because it calls for more organic ingredients than you are comfortable buying. Focus on eating more vegetables first, then worry about buying organic when you can afford to do so. Or consider only buying some of your ingredients organic by using the dirty dozen list to determine which items in your recipe can be switched out to avoid pesticide contamination.
Chances are you won’t notice the difference between store brand and brand name products, but your wallet will. The taste between the two will ultimately be the same and the quality of the product won’t suffer. If you have never bought generic and are hesitant to switch over, start out with foods such as bread, crackers, cereals and frozen fruits and vegetables. Then, once you get more comfortable with the idea of generic products, slowly incorporate more into your diet and notice the money you save.
With these tips, improving your health and eating habits doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. The key is to find a balance between cost and usefulness. The rest is up to you. You can only get healthier and save money if you choose to use your gym membership, buy healthy food and cook healthy meals.