1) Start saving money with grocery store shopping. Shop the perimeters of the store where you will find delicious whole foods. This way you can ditch the processed, addictive foods that cost more. Don’t shop when you are hungry.
- Know what produce you can buy organic or not. Refer to the “Dirty Dozen” to learn which are the most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables (buy these organic), as well as the “Clean 15” which contain the fewest pesticides (could buy non-organic). For instance, the top 5 out of 15 on the “Clean 15” in 2016 are avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage and sweet peas. See the entire list by getting your free download at EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce.
- The next best to buying fresh produce is frozen. Frozen fruits and vegetables usually cost less than fresh and are just as nutritious because they are packaged at their peak of freshness.
- Buy produce by the bag vs. individually.
- Freeze food – it lasts longer. Berries are perfect for this. Bigger fruits like apples and bananas can be chopped up and frozen. When you’re ready to eat them, just let them thaw under some running water, throw them in a shake or eat them frozen.
- Make your own coffee. It beats Starbucks in cost, taste and quality any day! This can be a savings as much as $1500 a year. My favorite is organic Kicking Horse Coffee – the Cliff Hanger Espresso.
- Occasionally replace meat with other less expensive protein sources like eggs, beans or tofu.
- Buy un-prepared protein – it costs less to season or marinate your own meat. It’s also less expensive to buy poultry with the bone and skin on it.
- Buy in bulk, big containers or jars instead of mixed, boxed or packaged versions – such as rice, nuts, beans, oatmeal and popcorn.
2) Bring food with you. We all know eating out is more expensive and less nutritious.
- Cook extra dinner to bring for lunches and snacks. While you are serving dinner portions, get out lunch containers and fill them before eating dinner. This prevents any temptation to overeat, as well as your lunches are already made.
- Prepare 4 lunches at once to save time (and money). It’s just as easy to fill 4 lunch containers as it is to fill 1 and it’s better than rushing in the morning to throw something together.
- Enjoy preparing your food. Call a friend, put on some music or your favorite TV show, listen to a podcast or use this time to relax. Cook 6 portions of meat for the week. Try a new recipe and double or triple it for extra lunch portions.
3) Get more active—one step at a time.
Exercise doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective. But, for many people, wearing skimpy clothes and working out in front of more buffed people in a sweaty gym – is not fun. Or you feel you just don’t have the time. So, how do we get more active? It’ s easier than you might imagine.
- Walking happens to be one of the easiest and most effective of all physical activities. And, actually “Humans were made for—walking.” So go OUTSIDE and start walking! If you’re really out of shape, walk just a block or two and then every few days you should be able to walk a little farther and faster.
- Dancing – It’s fun way to burn extra calories!
- Stairs – Take the stairs as often as you can.
- Park your car far out in the parking lot to walk a good distance to your destination.
- Money saved by not joining a gym: Approximately $30-$80/month
4) Relax – Take a hike and/or get out of town for the night. Both are great ways to de-stress and relax.
- No need to go get on an airplane because Colorado offers many, many, beautiful, free state parks and trails, along with amazing out-of-town get-aways.
- Enjoy a nature or forest bath. Being outside in nature with the sun on your skin and smelling the fresh air is not only good exercise, but also is a chance to reflect and rejuvenate your mind and feel a sense of calmness, peacefulness and serenity. Go alone, with loved ones or friends because it gives you the chance to reconnect with each other and with nature.
- Use a Groupon to get a hotel room at any great get-away town in Colorado such as Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Glenwood Springs, Manitou Springs or many more.
Bottom line: Your health is your wealth. To save money improving your health, I challenge you to try just one of the above tips – TODAY.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”