On a Budget? 5 Health Tips to Make Your Dollar Go Further

jennlee

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is increasingly important to maintaining your overall health and wellness. There are direct links between behavioral choices and health outcomes such as stronger immune systems, lower incidence of heart disease and improved moods. Many people falsely believe that those choices are not possible on a tight budget. In reality, there are lots of ways you can achieve health goals while on a budget, and some that might even help you stretch your hard-earned dollars further.

1. Use Coupons and Discount Codes

It's time to admit your mistake in all those times you rolled your eyes at your mom excitedly clipping coupons from the Sunday paper. Coupons are a great way to save on products you already buy or ones you have been wanting to try. There is no need to go out and buy a newspaper, either. Electronic coupons, discount clubs and online discount codes all offer an easy way to save without keeping up with slips of paper. If you don't know where to start, do a quick search for the product you are looking for along with the word "coupon" to see how much you can save. For example, looking for "Beverly Hills MD coupon code" will show you a few of the available offers.

2. Plant a Garden

Fresh fruits and vegetables are great for your health. In fact, plan-based eating programs have consistently ranked among the best diets for healthy eating for the past several years. They can also be expensive, especially when they need to be imported from far away. Instead of funding a logistics operation, why not grow some of your own food right in your yard? Getting started can be costly, so look to more experienced gardeners for advice and to borrow supplies. Start composting food scraps to turn them into a rich, organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. Eventually, you can start to save seeds from mature plants for next year's crop.

3. Plan a Menu for the Week

What -and where- you eat affects your health in many ways. Restaurant meals and fast food can quickly derail plans to improve your health. Planning ahead can help you avoid that trap. Gather up a list of everyone's favorite meals, adapt them to healthier versions, and then rotate them through a regular menu for each week. Don't just look at dinner, either. Breakfast and lunch can also be planned. This way, instead of stopping at the drive-through while you are out, pack a lunch to take with you. It's perfectly fine to swap something out or splurge on a pizza once in a while. Don't feel guilty, just get back on track with the next meal.

4. Look for Free Activities

Gym memberships can be costly. Instead of paying all that money for something you may only use a few times, invest it in equipment that you can use over and over. Resistance bands, a few dumbells and a yoga mat can form the foundation of a decent home workout setup. Free fitness activities are everywhere. Whether you turn to the internet or join up with a group of friends for a walking group, you can almost always find a way to move more without paying an arm and leg. Some ideas to help you get started include:

  • Download a free fitness app
  • Set up a home gym
  • Workout along with YouTube videos
  • Take a walk or short jog
  • Ride a bike
  • Go hiking

5. Practice Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness practices were once viewed with a whole lot of skepticism. At its most basic concepts, mindfulness is simply the art of being in the present moment in time. It helps increase awareness of your body and its place in the surrounding world. Recent research has connected meditation practices to a host of health outcomes, such as reduced tension, improved heart health and better memory. The best part may be that they are completely free.

Improving your health doesn't have to be expensive. Planning ahead, growing your own food, making the most of free activities and looking for discounts can help you stretch your dollar and achieve real results.

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