Does tightening your grocery budget mean loosening your belt? It doesn’t have to. There are many ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle that don’t involve breaking the bank (even in these times of soaring produce prices).
Here are a number of ways you and your family can get and stay healthy without having to loosening your belt:
- Purchase fruits and vegetables that are in season. You will not only get relatively lower prices but you will also get fresher produce in the process. Opt for products that are the most bountiful at the grocery store. Look to see what fruits and veggies are on sale and then plan your weekly meals accordingly.
- That being said, plan your meals before you shop. Knowing what meals you plan to eat for the week will prevent you from overbuying unnecessary food items.
- Look for healthy bargains in your grocery store. This may be as simple as choosing oatmeal instead of sugary, expensive cereals for breakfast, buying beans instead of red meat; drinking frozen orange juice instead of pop or fruit juice with added sugar (better yet, drink water: Ottawa’s drinking water has been rated by the Ministry of the Environment as being amongst the safest in the world).
- Quit smoking! A pack of cigarettes is expensive. If you quit, you will save on the cost of cigarettes and even more in medical bills, as you will be healthier without engaging in this habit.
- Spring for a pedometer. Walking for a specific number of steps per day can help motivate you to reach your fitness goals. You can easily download a pedometer app on your mobile phone.
- Exercise with a friend instead of joining a fitness club. Your friend will hold you accountable for working out, will cheer you on to succeed and will be with you as you make strides towards your fitness goals. If you don’t have a human companion to work out with 😦 walk or run with your dog on a regular basis :).
While buying something off the fast food menu may seem inexpensive and enticing, the costs to you will be far greater Grease-filled foods may contribute to significant health problems that will cost you in medical bills and time away from work, family and friends.
Finally, staying healthy is a struggle for almost everyone (myself included) but who isn’t excited for a challenge? My personal advice for the week is to find little challenges in your daily lives to accomplish your health goals. These small challenges will snowball into larger challenges as you continue conquering your goals.
For example, I knew the buses were running hours late so instead of waiting in the cold for 2-3 hours for the 7 Carleton down Bank Street I chose to walk 45 minutes to my destination. Not only did I arrive up to 2 hours and 15 minutes before the bus, I also walked 4.2 KM in the snow!
Good luck with your goals! Do you have any other tips??