How to stay healthy on a budget

4 May 2022
Keeping a healthy diet and staying active doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out our top tips on the best ways to stay fit and healthy on a budget.

Plan your meals

Being organised can help you save money on your food shop. Set a day each week where you plan your upcoming meals and work out what groceries you’ll need. You’ll then only buy what you need and throw less away.Create a shopping list and stick to it.

Be smart about when you visit the supermarket

You can grab extra bargains in your shopping by taking advantage of the daily discounts for food nearing the end of their shelf life. Generally, supermarkets discount their food early in the morning or before the store shuts, with some of the best bargains around half an hour before the store closes. But remember not to visit a supermarket when you’re hungry as you’ll end up buying more than you need!

Make homemade foods

Cook from scratch as much as you can. It’s easier said than done when you have a busy life, but planning your meals will help, and it’s generally much cheaper to cook for yourself at home than buy pre-made meals or eat out. You’ll also reap the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s in your food!

Cook in bulk

Cooking large portions of food is great for saving both time and money. You can either freeze the extra portions to use later or have them for leftovers in the week.

Buy generic-branded products

Most supermarkets offer generic-brands for most products – opt for these as they are often the same quality as bigger brands, but less expensive.

Use Fitness and food tracking apps

Free food tracking apps are incredibly useful for monitoring your food and exercise intake, which motivates you to stay healthy. In fact, a recent study in the journal Obesity found that monitoring what you eat could be the most effective part of any diet.

Two of the most popular fitness apps are myfitnesspal and LoseIt! which can be downloaded on any Android or IOS device – these allow you to break down the ingredients of what you’re eating, monitor your exercise and track calories for free and whilst you’re on the go.    

Ditch transport and walk more

By walking more, you’ll save money on transport and get fitter and healthier. Whether it’s a quick 30-minute walk to get away from your desk during the workday or a stroll with family on a Sunday afternoon, wracking up your steps as close to your target of 10,000 per day is a great way to improve your physical health.

Check out YouTube

Make use of the hundreds of free workout videos on YouTube. The Body Coach by Joe Wicks offers a variety of great cardio and weights workouts, whilst channels such as Yoga with Adrienne, blogilates and Move with Nicole are great for pilates and yoga. 

Look out for gym discounts

Although jogging, walking and home workouts suit some, for many people the gym is the only place where they feel motivated to exercise. Most gyms offer discounts on joining fees during less busy times, such as in January and the Winter. Some of them also offer cheaper rates if you go at off peak times. Be sure to check if your company offers discounts on gym memberships – some corporate companies provide money off through incentives such as Perks at Work.

Drink more water

Keeping hydrated has a whole host of benefits, from increasing energy and reducing fatigue, promoting weight loss, and flushing out bad toxins to name just a few. It’s a great free way to keep healthy and energised. Try setting small goals to help you drink enough, such as a glass before and after every meal. You should also try keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times, so that you can sip it throughout the day.

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