Living a healthy lifestyle can be expensive. The cost of low fat, low sugar, high fiber and gluten-free produce is enough to make you choke on your mung bean salad. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, there are many ways you can save money and still maintain a good level of healthy living. It all involves going back to basics and taking a little time to review your existing habits. With a little tweaking, research and belt tightening you will be surprised just how healthy you can be whilst saving the pennies.
1. Let’s start with those vices
Come on, you knew these were going to be top of the list! It makes sense to start with the most expensive habits and those that are doing your body no favours. If you are a smoker you probably already know how expensive this unhealthy habit can be. Quitting tobacco in all of its forms means you could be better off by thousands of pounds each year. Whether you are a heavy smoker or a social smoker, the effects of giving up the demon weed are tangible to your health and your wallet.
If you’ve given up the cigs already, that’s great. Let’s not stop there though. Fizzy drinks are another vice that could be setting you back a fair sum every year. What’s more, these drinks have been linked to diabetes and if you drink the full sugar versions they could be reducing your bank balance whilst increasing your waistline.
2. Reducing those transport costs
Take a look at the way you currently get from A to B. Is there any way you could walk or cycle instead of using your car or public transport. Not only will you be improving your health but you’ll also be saving on petrol or extortionate transport fares. Eliminating a short twice daily bus journey for example could save you over £500 each year. There are also some great GPS mobile phone apps you can use to plot and record your journey and share your experience with others online. This can be great motivation and may spur others on to quite literally follow in your footsteps!
3. Spend less on first aid and medicines
If you are currently popping pills every morning like it’s going out of fashion, you could find you’re popping less when you start to eat healthily and get regular exercise. You should also notice your sleep patterns improve and that your immune system gets a lot stronger. If you feel that your diet may be lacking in any areas, take a good multivitamin and Vitamin C supplement. These are often on special offer from your local pharmacy or big brand chemists.
4. Be a savvy food shopper
If you are eating lots of processed or prepackaged foods you could be spending more than you need to on your weekly grocery bill. By buying local produce, cutting down on takeaways, making your own meals and looking out for daily bargains, you could reduce your grocery bill significantly. Shopping online is a great way to budget too as you can see exactly how much you are spending before you spend it. You can also see all of the best deals in one place.
By switching to healthy, fresh and homemade alternatives you not only save money but also give your body the nutrients it needs.
5. Enjoying life on a budget
A family day out or an evening out with friends doesn’t have to be expensive. A girly night in with face packs, nail varnish, a good movie, popcorn and some homemade cocktails can be just as good as a night out and you’ll look great in the morning too! Look out for family 2 for 1 vouchers and especially those that involve activities outdoors. And when all else fails, a kickabout with a football at the local park will put smiles on everybody’s faces.
6. Ditch the slimming clubs and fad diets
If you have been meaning to go back to your slimming club and you are still paying the subscription, it’s time to take stock. Whilst many people do have success with slimming clubs there are more people that join, leave, join, leave and the cycle continues. Why not put together your own health plan by using the many resources (many of them are free!) online instead? You’ll be lighter, but your wallet won’t.
It doesn’t matter when you start, just start
The majority of us cannot afford our own personal chef, weekly spa treatments or a personal trainer, but as you can see, there are ways to follow a healthy lifestyle that won’t break the bank. Your body will thank you for it and so will your bank balance. Get started today and see how the small changes can make a big difference.
About the Author: Sofia Kluge is the resident money saving expert at MyCurrencyTransfer.com – an award winning personal finance comparison website.