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How to Live Healthy for Less

by Mike

In these tough economic times people are always looking for ways to get by on less. The need to save money on everyday items–even necessities–leads some people to take shortcuts, skimping on important things that are vital to well being. This sort of frugality is not always a good idea. Even if you save money, there is a good chance that the extra will have to be spent on health care.

Living Well for Less

Living frugally can become an essential part of your lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. Maintaining your health on a budget could mean something as simple as collecting coupons or watching for sales. Most grocery stores run specials on a regular basis, offering healthy items like fruit, vegetables, and other whole foods at a discount. You could also carry the coupon strategy one step further into the realm of exercise equipment. Many manufacturers and retailers offer discounts and rebates on treadmills, ellipticals, steppers, and other home gym equipment.

Buy in Bulk

Food is something that no one can ignore. That may sound like a foolish statement, but regular consumption of food is what keeps us alive. Fortunately, there are ways to have a healthy diet while maintaining an adequate bank account. One way is to buy in bulk, but only if you have a sure way of storing it correctly. Purchasing a half a beef because it’s cheaper than buying hamburger one pound at a time does no good if most of it spoils before you can use it. However, storing that beef in a freezer where it can be accessed as it is needed will save money over the long haul. Enclose it in sealed wrappers to make sure it stays fresh, and store it in meal-sized containers so you won’t thaw too much food at any one time.

Waste Not, Want Not

Don’t buy more than you can use. Another simple statement that has far reaching implications.  If you’ve every paid attention to how much food you throw away in a year, you’re probably ashamed of yourself. The simple solution is to not overbuy. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you should rush out and buy more than you need. Saving a few bucks on an item only to throw half of it away because it sits in your refrigerator or cupboard too long defeats the purpose. Instead, consider how much you will actually use before buying that extra bunch of bananas.

Eat at Home

While it’s true that restaurants offer a legitimate service and are a vital part of our suffering economy, it’s also true that eating out costs more than preparing a healthy meal at home. Depending on where you live, the cost of eating at a decent restaurant could run four or five times what eating at home would cost. When you cook at home, you save money and have the added assurance that what you cook is fresh, healthy, and up to your own personal standards. An added advantage to eating at home most of the time is that eating out once in a while becomes a very special treat.

Work Out at Home

Diet is important in maintaining your health, but so is exercise. While having a membership at a gym is nice, it isn’t really necessary. Jogging or walking is great exercise. And it’s free. If you enjoy lifting weights, there are still alternatives to a fancy gym–your own living room, for example. You don’t even need actual weights…try doing simple exercises while holding a jug of laundry detergent or canned food in each hand. You could also buy your own free weights for a relatively low price. If you are into fun exercises, try an interactive game like the Wii. Another alternative is to tune into a fitness program, such as Zumba or Jazzercise. Those are workouts you can take part in while in the comfort of your own home, and are proven to take off calories and improve your health.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes about health insurance quotes and related topics for www.healthinsurancequotes.org.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle

One tip that I used to use back in my single days when it comes to buying in bulk is to find someone to split purchases with that could avoid waste. This can work out pretty well as long as it’s stuff that both parties will use, but not in enough quantity to purchase bulk sizes individually.
Money Beagle´s last [type] ..Dilbert Is Getting Smaller In 2011!

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Mike

That’s an excellent point! We do that sometimes with our next-door neighbor.

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Everyday Tips

I stock up on items that are a great sale (like half off) and buy enough to hold me over until the next time that item usually goes on sale.

I have also noticed that stores around me have figured out that people will buy the largest package because it is supposed to be cheaper. However, quite often when I look at the per ounce cost, the larger is actually more expensive.

Working out at home is so easy now, especially since there are a lot of exercise options through cable tv. Plus you can buy some pretty decent DVD programs out there too.
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Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter

We are big proponents of these tips and can really vouch for the benefits. We find meal planning really helps with the eating at home thing. When you have a plan of what to cook after a day’s work and it is quick and easy, you are less tempted to be lazy and order in. This way you stay eating healthy and you save money.
Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter´s last [type] ..6 Cheap Ways to Enjoy Winter

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Pete L @ ineedmo

Also, buy different fresh fruits and vegetables in season, when they’re cheapest. It not only saves money, it’s nice to rotate through a variety of things, so when strawberry season comes around again, or oranges are cheap again, they seem like a special treat because you’ve been having other things for a while and they’re new and different again.

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krantcents

Working out can include walking around the block or jogging in the neighborhood. Adding to cooking at home, use leftovers for lunch the next day at work.
krantcents´s last [type] ..How Do You Choose the Right Career

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Jenna

There are also great podcasts for working out at home for free.

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Clay Ivy

Great advice about eating at home. I just wrote an article today suggesting the same thing. It is not just better for your wallet, it is better for you body. Good tip on the sharing bulk purchases.

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