You hear that you need to life healthier for a more fulfilling life. There are some great tips shared, but they all tend to involve one thing: cash. When you’re stuck with a strict family budget, it can be daunting trying to make changes to your lifestyle and your shopping budget.
Not everyone has the money to join a gym. It’s not possible to get involved in local fitness classes and investing in organic vegetables just isn’t a realistic option. That leads to the belief that it’s either stick to the current, unhealthy lifestyle or suffer within the family budget.
The truth is you don’t have to do an all-or-nothing approach. It is possible to have a healthier lifestyle without hurting the family budget. It takes a few changes and you will end up saving money, especially in the long term. Here are 11 tips to have that healthy lifestyle without negatively affecting your family budget.
Start by Meal Prepping
One of the best things you can do for a healthier lifestyle is to meal prep. This won’t just help you plan your healthier meals, but you can save money with your grocery shop. By planning out your meals, you have an exact shopping list to follow. It’s easier to avoid the aisles with the chocolate cookies, the candy, and the processed foods. You avoid the aisles that seem to have the deals, which end up just being bad for your wallet and your waistline.
This is also a great way to incorporate a new fruit, vegetable or other ingredient into your meal. When you first look at a zucchini (for example), you may not have any idea how to use it. You’re more likely to reach for the food you’re more comfortable with. When your meal prep, you’ll get recipes that show you exactly how to use the ingredient. The recipes look delicious and you’re more likely to give them a try.
Meal prepping is also useful for the children. They’ll see that there are great ways to use healthy foods. The recipes become more appealing and they’ll get on board with your healthy lifestyle changes.
Make this a family thing to do. Ask each member of the family to pick a meal for each night of the week. When people feel more involved, they’re more likely to enjoy the food and work with you to stick to the healthy meal plan. You don’t have to spend money on creating two dishes for the night.
Work One Change at a Time
When you incorporate too many changes at once, people will react negatively. We’re hardwired not to like change, especially when there’s been no plan or call for it. The rest of the family may not be that bothered about their unhealthy lifestyle.
If you want to make a big change, you need to do it one step at a time. Work with the diet and then move onto the exercise. Work one day at a time to encourage the change.
As the new changes become habit, people won’t even notice the extra changes added in. Before you know it, everyone is eating healthy meals throughout the week and sticking to more movement throughout the day.
Start by swapping out the sugar cereals for healthy breakfast options. When that becomes habit, you can move onto dinner and lunch. If people panic about the idea of no more sodas, limit to just two a week first and then cut down to none!
Aim to Add More Steps in Your Day
Moving more is the key to a healthier lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you need to join a gym. It can mean just getting more steps into your daily routine. You can even find that this saves money on fuel, since you reduce the amount you use your car.
Instead of driving to work, consider walking or cycling to work. If you really can’t walk the distance, consider taking the bus and getting off a stop or two earlier. Walk the rest of the way to add more exercise into your day without even thinking about it. Cycling is an excellent way to save money and gain exercise at the same time.
There are going to be times that not taking the car isn’t an option. Instead of parking as close to the building as possible, park at the further end of the parking lot. You may only get 20 extra steps in, but it’s 20 steps better than nothing. Likewise, take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk to the printer for every single sheet you print, instead of doing a lot in one go to pick up.
You’ll soon find the step counter ticks upwards. You’ll move away from the sedentary lifestyle.
Take Up Power Walking or Jogging
When you do decide you want to add more exercise into your day, look at taking up some outdoor activities that you can do without the need of a gym membership. Jogging and power walking are excellent options. You’ll just need to invest in good running shoes to support. Build your stamina up and you’ll soon gain in fitness.
If neither of them sound appealing, look for other free outdoor activities you can do. Get a football and have a game of touch with your kids. Opt for a soccer ball for a kick around or pick up some softball equipment to have a game with friends and family members.
Hill walking or trail walking are also popular options. These can be good to do with family members for some quality family time!
Invest in Home Workouts
Alternatively, you can do all your workouts in the house. This is great if you’re worried about what people think about you running or doing some sort of sport. You can invest in a view exercise DVDs or even get free videos online.
There are many types of home workouts you can do. Yoga is a popular option, but you could also consider aerobic workouts, dance DVDs, and even strength training exercises to do in your own time.
Consider these types of workouts for the office too. Desk workouts are popular for improving productivity and health when you’re stuck at the desk for 8-10 hours a day!
These are great workouts that you can do while watching your favorite TV show. Opt for working out during the commercials. You still get to enjoy your favorites shows without any of the couch-potato guilt.
Find Dishes Everyone Can Eat
Don’t fall into the trap of making something different for your family members. This just causes you to spend more money. There may be certain ingredients others don’t like, but you can avoid making two meals with a bit of forward planning.
Serve a portion of a meal without a specific ingredient. Once you get that portion out, you can add the ingredient certain family members don’t like. This allows you to eat the same dish without arguments. For example, say your kids don’t like kale. Make a kale dish without the kale at first. Serve their portions and then add the kale in for yourself and the family members who want it.
You can also pull out extra portions without the extra ingredients. This will give you the chance to store the meals in the freezer for reheating later.
Taste buds will change over time. You may find that eventually the kids will eat the dishes with the kale in later, but right now it’s worth working with them to avoid spending money you don’t need to.
Bulk Make Your Dishes
Consider making bulk meals on your day off work. You can make large portions of Bolognese sauce, soups, stews, casseroles, and more. Store the food in portions in the freezer, so you can just pull out the meals on the day you want to eat them.
This is a great way to make meal prepping work in a busy household. There are going to be days where you just don’t want to cook. Your time is short, and you’d rather spend it with the family instead of slaving over a stove. By doing all the cooking on your day off, you just must reheat the dishes and that will save you time in the kitchen.
Meal prepping is also an excellent way to save money. Buying ingredients in bulk tends to be cheaper than buying individually over the course of the week or day. You can get items that would usually go off if you didn’t cook them right away, helping you avoid wasting food, save money, and live healthily.
Look for Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Takeouts
While takeout is a popular option in the home, it’s expensive and unhealthy. It’s time to make your own in the house. Sure, it’s a little extra work but it’s going to be far less expensive and fun for the whole family.
When you make your own dishes, you have full control over the ingredients. You can make sure everything is going to be healthy and avoid the saturated fats that tend to be added in the takeouts. It’s possible to add extra flavors to make the dishes taste more authentic and delicious.
But doesn’t cooking the meals yourself cost more? That’s not actually the case! Often you will find cooking the meals is cheaper. You get to source the ingredients and don’t need to pay for the business overheads or the cost of delivery. It will also be quicker, and you get the meal when it’s hot, so there’s no need to feel like you’re missing out.
Use the Internet for Inspiration
Just because you’ve decided to follow the paleo diet, or the ketogenic diet doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy all the cookbooks on the topic. If you want to start following a healthier lifestyle, you don’t need to get magazines and materials to help you. All the information you could possibly need is available on the internet. It’s time to use it to your advantage.
Check out recipes online. You can try out one new dish at a time to add more variety to your meal plan. Look at ways to use ingredients for fresh inspiration.
The internet is also good for exercise ideas without costing you any extra money. You can get workout videos and plans without paying a fortune for a personal trainer. You’ll soon find a way to lose weight, get trim, and protect your overall health.
Take Up Meditation daily
Health isn’t all about your physical body or your waistline. It’s important not to overlook your mental health. You’ll want to make a few changes without spending extra money and the best option is to take up meditation.
You don’t need to invest in meditation coaches or programs. There is plenty of support online with tips on how to make meditation work for you. At first you will likely need some willpower. The outside noises will be distracting, but you’ll soon find yourself melt within yourself and the mental health becomes supported. Your whole body relaxes with meditation.
It’s possible to do 10-minute meditation exercises and gain excellent health results. Opt for first thing on a morning or just before you go to bed. You will be able to release the stress from the day and get ready for a new day ahead of you.
Cut Back on Alcohol, Soda, and Caffeine
One of the best ways to live a healthier lifestyle is to cut back on the stuff that is bad for you. Alcohol and caffeine aren’t dangerous in moderation, but if you drink too much of either you can put your health at risk. On top of this, you’re spending more in your budget when you really don’t need to.
Soda is one of those that offers no nutritional benefits. Even diet soda isn’t worth the money you spend.
Cut back on the two and opt for water instead. Use a few real fruit slices to help add natural sweetness, flavor, and antioxidants. You’ll soon find your body is fresher and more supported than ever before. Plus, the water is free, and you already have the fruit in the house, so you save money by not buying as much soda, alcohol, and caffeine.
Make Changes Today!
Are you ready to start making changes? Living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean that you must spend more money and ruin your family budget. It’s possible to enjoy a healthy life and still stick to a strict budget. In fact, the above tips will help you manage both.
Do one thing at a time. Taking on too much will cause you to lash out and go back to your old ways. Nobody wants change, even if it is good for them. Be open minded and look for free options for exercise. Find ways to encourage your kids to follow the new plan with you, even if it means working around recipes to stick to one meal for the whole family.