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How to Care for Your Health on a Budget

Just because you’re watching your finances doesn’t mean you have to skimp on taking care of your health. There are plenty of ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Get active for free.

Taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or working out at home are both great (and free) ways to get some exercise. Many complimentary or low-cost fitness classes are also offered at community centers and local gyms. You can also try looking for free exercise opportunities like free swimming pools or organized sports leagues.

If you research online, you can find workout programs or videos you can do at home without spending a penny. Some free fitness apps or websites can also help you track your fitness goals without paying a monthly subscription fee. For example, Fitlist or the Apple Health app for the iPhone.

2. Eat healthy and natural.

You don’t have to buy only organic or expensive groceries to eat healthily. Stick to basics like fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, and you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a healthy diet. Planning meal prep can also help you save money and eat healthier by avoiding last-minute unhealthy choices.

Also, you can avoid costs by avoiding processed drinks and only drinking water. Many people waste hundreds of dollars a month simply by purchasing sodas, juices, and other unhealthy drinks at the store. Cut out these purchases, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle and saving a lot of money.

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3. Avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol use.

In addition to being bad for your health, tobacco and excessive alcohol use can also take a toll on your wallet. If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health –– not to mention your bank account. And if you drink, doing so in moderation can help keep your costs down while allowing you to enjoy the occasional beverage.

4. Buy in bulk when you can.

Buying groceries and other household items in bulk is a great way to save money, but it requires some planning ahead. If you know you’ll be using up an item quickly, like toilet paper or fresh produce, buy it on sale at the store when you come across it.

Another way to do this is to join a grocery store or warehouse club like Costco. These stores allow you to buy in bulk at a lower cost and can help you keep your food costs down throughout the year.

5. Avoid eating out.

Eating out is a great treat, but it can be an expensive and unhealthy habit. You can save hundreds of dollars a month by preparing meals at home and bringing your lunches to work. Cooking your meals also allows you to avoid processed and unhealthy foods, another added benefit to eating at home.

This doesn’t mean you should stop eating out altogether, but if you want to save money, make it a special treat instead of a daily occurrence. You can also opt for healthy restaurants or meals or look for places that offer special discounts to customers. Just make sure to avoid fast food chains and any offers of sugary or soft drinks with your meals.

6. Ask your dental or medical provider if they offer discounts.

Some providers offer discounts or payment plans for patients who are watching their finances. Be sure to ask your provider if they have any special offers or programs before you come in. You might be surprised. You can also ask if they offer cash discounts.

Additionally, you might want to shop around before you choose a provider since prices vary widely from one to another. So if you need to go to the orthodontist, make sure you visit or call up not just one but a few local options to get an estimate. Getting a few estimates before you commit is always a good idea.

7. Get that health procedure you’ve been putting off done.

If you’ve put off a procedure that can improve your health, now is the time to get it done because it can be more expensive and risky to put it off. If you have jaw pain, it might signal that you need braces, and putting off getting them now could lead to more expensive dental work in the future. As soon as you can afford it, getting that procedure by a trusted orthodontist done can improve your health and save money in the long run.

Staying healthy doesn’t have to be expensive; there are plenty of ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget. You can take care of yourself without breaking the bank by getting active for free, eating healthy and natural, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use, buying in bulk, avoiding eating out, and asking your dental or medical provider if they offer discounts. So what are you waiting for? Start living a healthier life today!

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