With the cost of living on the rise and budgets getting tighter, our eating, fitness and wellbeing can suffer as a result. However, there are many ways to save money and still eat healthy, stay active and remain positive.
Plan your meals for the week ahead and make a shopping list. Check what store cupboard items you already have and only buy what you’re sure you will use.
Stick to it once you’ve planned your meals, create a shopping list and stick to it as you go around the shop. Resist those impulse purchases. Always check the use by/sell by dates as you shop.
Cooking at home is be cheaper than dining out or getting take-away. By cooking for yourself, you also benefit from knowing exactly what ingredients are in your meals and add extra veg to be extra healthy.
Batch cooking can save you both time and money. Freeze leftovers in portioned sizes to enjoy later.
Shopping while hungry can lead to impulse buying. If you’re hungry, have a healthy snack before going grocery shopping.
Less processed foods can be more affordable. For example, uncooked rice rather than pre-cooked microwave pouches. Whole grains, such as rice and oats are cheaper per serving than most processed cereals. Less processed foods are also often sold in larger bags and provide more servings per pack, saving you money!
Most stores offer own brand versions for most products. The own brands will have been manufactured to the same standards and may be the same quality as well-known brands, just less expensive.
As well as lacking nutrients, high in salt or added sugar, you might be surprised to see how much you’re paying for high processed foods.
Eating less meat is an excellent way to save money. Try having a couple of meat free days per week. Try other protein sources, such as beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, eggs, or canned fish. These are inexpensive, nutritious, and easy to prepare.
Local produce that’s in season is generally cheaper than out-of-season options. Season produce is also at its peak in both nutrients and flavour. If you buy more than you need, you can freeze the rest or incorporate it into next week’s meal plans.
Quick-frozen produce is usually just as nutritious as fresh. It’s also cheaper, available all year, and is sold in large bags. Frozen produce is great to use when cooking, making smoothies, or as toppings for porridge or yoghurt. You take out only need and the rest will be kept safe from spoiling in the freezer.
Buying foods in bulk can save a lot of money. Grains such as brown rice and oats, are all available in bulk. They also keep for a long time if stored in airtight containers. This is also true for beans, lentils, nuts, and dried fruit. These are all staple foods that are inexpensive and can be used in a variety of ways.
Walking is free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. Sometimes overlooked as a form of exercise, walking briskly can help you build stamina, burn excess calories and make your heart healthier. Aim to do 10,000 steps or 30 minutes of walking.
You most likely have some equipment at home that you have already purchased – perhaps gathering dust in a corner? Dust off those dumbbells and take the clothes hanging off your exercise bike and get active at home.
There are some great routes locally to enjoy plus you get the benefit of fresh air and fantastic views. Research your route in advance or join a hiking group if this is a new activity.
Cycling is a great cardio workout. Just a 20-minute cycle around your area can burn off calories and get that heart pumping. If you don’t have a bike, I bet you know someone who does and wouldn’t mind you borrowing it.
Our mental health is affected by daily life’s stresses and strains. Home finances are one of the significant causes of stress. It’s important not to bury your head in the sand. Take the time to sit down and figure out your income and your outgoings. Look at where you can cut back on your outgoings if you need to.
Mindfulness is a great way to create space in our mind, reduce stress and reduce anxiety. Paying more attention to the present – your thoughts and feelings and the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing. When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh things that we have been taking for granted.
There’s a lot of information being constantly channelled at us, 24hrs a day, through tv, radio, billboards, phones, tablets, computers – even our watches. Purposefully an intentionally detach from technology during the day – perhaps start with 30 minutes and build from there. Try to avoid screen time an hour before bed.
A good nights sleep is critical to how we cope with the day ahead. When we have a poor sleep, we don’t cope as well with stressful events. To improve sleep, try to get into a bedtime routine. Cut caffeine out in the afternoon, have a bath before bed, practice mindfulness, avoid screen time, read a book, enjoy a camomile tea, etc.
You don’t have to break the bank to eat well or stay active. Staying healthy – mentally, physically and nutritionally – are vital to functioning well day-to-day.
Back to blog ›