7 Healthy Lifestyle Hacks on a Budget

We all want to be healthy, but it can feel like health and beauty are only for those with enough disposable income to pursue them. These are a few hacks that can help the rest of us get and maintain the healthy lifestyle we all deserve.

Use healthy products.

It may seem expensive to choose non-toxic items that are durable, but you actually save money over time by getting your toiletries from a zero waste store for bathroom essentials. A toxin-free environment keeps your health in balance and promotes overall well-being. This can be done by making small swaps such as carrying reusable shopping bags or trading your plastic toothbrush for the best bamboo toothbrush on the market. Changing your detergent and surface cleaners to cheaper, non-toxic alternatives is another way to improve your health without spending a lot of money.

Meal plan and cook.

Planning your meals may seem like a lot of work, but with a little practice, you will get the hang of it. You’ll learn what you need to buy and how much you need to plan meals that fit your budget, lifestyle, and nutritional needs. Additionally, taking the time to cook and meal prep will put you in control of portion sizes, salt, and sugar intake, as well as saving a few dollars. Once you start cooking the bulk of your meals, you can make economical options, such as eating in season, buying in bulk, and using cheaper cuts of meat.

Use your freezer.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are expensive. How many times have you bought beautiful greens or fruit only to see them spoil before you get a chance to eat them? By shopping in the freezer section of your grocery store, you can save a bundle and avoid spoilage. Frozen veggies are cheaper than fresh and help you avoid the sodium content associated with canned vegetables. Additionally, they lose very little nutritionally by being frozen. You may still need to buy fresh salads or items for specific dishes, but the most commonly used vegetables can be purchased frozen, in bulk, and stored for months at a time. Fruits for smoothies and yogurts can also be bought in the frozen food section and used to top desserts and added to other dishes.

Walk everywhere every day.

Walking is a great way to get exercise, lose a few pounds, maintain cardiovascular health, and prevent illness. When the weather is bad, walk the mall. If you have a pet, let Fido be your motivation to get out and get your steps in. Walk to work or to and from local shops when you need to pick up a few items. There are many ways you can add walking to your day, and every step counts. Simple exercises, like lunges, increase the intensity and tone of different muscle groups. Try these exercises to firm up your chest.  Add weights to your ankles or wrists, or simply put a few cans in a backpack and carry it with you as you walk. Tone your bottom, thighs, and core by taking hills. Since all you need is a pair of shoes and an open road, walking is the most comfortable and least expensive way to get in great shape without breaking the bank.

Take advantage of free resources.

Many popular apps provide you with excellent resources, including tips and recipes from nutritionists, dieticians, personal trainers, and doctors. Many of them are free or have a free version with valuable tools you can use right away. Some act as personal trainers, taking you through preprogrammed workouts and encouraging you along the way. Others help you collect data by tracking your steps, diet, sleep, and water intake. Need new workout ideas? The internet is full of full-length workout videos that you can do at home to stay fit. Local community centers often provide free health screenings, and gyms offer free trial periods. Take advantage of all of the free resources out there to help you look and feel your best.

Go meatless.

You don’t have to go vegan to enjoy a diet that is rich in plant-based foods. You also don’t have to spend top dollar replacing real meat with faux meat. There are many great recipes for dishes that don’t require meat or meat substitutes. You don’t have to give up meat altogether, either. Merely choosing to leave meat off the menu two or three days a week can have a dramatic effect on your health and bottom line.

Shop like a pro.

When your local grocery store sends out their circulars, take advantage of the coupons and savings advertised. Plan your meals around what’s healthy and on sale. However, you don’t have to be ruled by your circular. Keep an eye on items that you can order online. If you are trying to reap the benefits of activated charcoal in your life, look for ways to incorporate charcoal into your purchases. You may find that things like a charcoal toothbrush or face scrubs with activated charcoal are cheaper to order online than to buy in-store.

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