Can you really eat healthy while saving money? While this may seem impossible, there are simple things you can do to cut down your expenses and your waistline. It’s true! And it doesn’t take a lot of effort to reach this goal, you just have to take action on these steps to increase your quality of life without increasing the price tag.
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Being on a budget while trying to eat healthy means getting a bit more creative with your meal planning. Instead of grabbing the traditional carbs like pasta to bulk up your meals, choose whole foods that are rich in nutrients. Whole foods will fill you up more than empty calorie-filled foods, and if you buy them in bulk you can save money on your grocery bill.
► Some examples of whole foods include the following.
When planning your meals be sure to include items off this list and you’ll be able to stick to your diet and budget.
Just like it’s a good idea to not enter the grocery store when you’re starving, it’s also smart to always have a shopping list handy. Not only will a grocery list help you not forget important ingredients, it will help you avoid overspending with adding unnecessary items to your cart. A list also makes it easy to keep a running total of your grocery costs so you’re not surprised at the checkout.
There are some great grocery list apps that will help you create digital shopping lists, keep track of recipes and tally your total bill. Check out popular apps like, Our Groceries Shopping List or Grocery Pal. In addition to the standard features you can also use a grocery list app to save coupons and take advantage of weekly sales.
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One of the hardest things about being single, or a couple without children, is that nearly all the food servings you buy cater to a family of four or more. This can mean a lot of wasted money and food. One way to circumvent this is to use a service like ExtraPlate that allows you to purchase extra servings of food from food trucks, local farmers and even your neighbors.
Some restaurants and grocery stores also participate in a half-price leftovers type program that allows consumers to access perfectly good food for less. Right now in the UK there’s a service called Too Good To Go that allows local eateries to share takeout meals with food-loving individuals for a large discount. And they have plans to expand this to the United States soon.
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Thanks to technology, these days you can get an excellent workout without paying the high prices of a gym membership. The average cost of a gym membership is $58 per month, or nearly $700 a year. That’s a crazy amount of money to pay, especially when you can get nearly the same workout for free.
► Some gym membership alternatives include the following.
Workout DVDs - Your favorite workout DVDs can play a big part in cutting down your expenses and your waistline. Start by rotating them into your daily schedule and then recycle the ones you’re getting bored with. Buy new workout DVDs, or sell your old ones, on sites like Half.com or Decluttr.com.
Free YouTube Vidoes - YouTube plays host to thousands of workout channels that feature videos and tutorials for various stages of activities. You can choose from a wide variety of free workouts such as yoga, kickboxing, cardio, belly dancing and weight training.
Find a Workout Partner - For those of you who don’t like being a gym rat, getting an outside workout is an excellent alternative. To stay accountable to your weight loss goals, find a workout partner and commit to regular outdoor activities together. You can also join a running club or weekly outdoor yoga classes.
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When you’re on a diet and watching your budget, it’s easy to get bored with the kinds of meals you’re eating. But one thing you can do to spice up your meals is to literally use more spices. You can pack a lot of flavor without adding a ton of calories to your food by experimenting with different spices, rubs and marinades.
Even something as simple as adding salt, olive oil or garlic can work wonders for your food without busting your budget. And don’t forget about fresh herbs. Both spices and herbs can help you enjoy your food more while cutting down your grocery bill.