How to Save Money and Stay Healthy

You can Save Money and Stay Healthy and be able to afford the best foods for you and your family.

You can Save Money and Stay Healthy and be able to afford the best foods for you and your family.

We all see the commercials on tv this time of the year about losing weight and staying healthy. We all want to live a healthier life, but who wants to spend a lot of money on gimmicks that may never work anyway. Here are a few suggestions on staying healthy and not breaking the bank that I have used over the years.

I know most of you are thinking that it costs more money to stay healthier. That may be true, but over time and depending on your choices, you will pay for it in the long run. Either by living a cheaper non-heathier life by eating out, eating processed food, and paying high medical bills or by paying out a little more at the beginning for wholesome foods and staying healthier with less or no medical bills.

I am by no means a health expert. But, I have learned much over the years from watching my dad have a heart attack at a very young age and then eventually having a heart transplant. I didn’t want to end up that way. So, my journey began then when I was in my early 20’s. I am now a woman over 50 at a healthy weight, strong, and taking no medications.

I have stumbled over the years and learned from my mistakes, but I always seem to come back to a healthy way of eating and living.

What finally changed my look on staying healthy:

I had a health scare a few years ago because Mr. G and I both got very lazy with our eating habits and the weight piled on both of us. I wasn’t working the 9 to 5 job anymore and my workouts became less and less. I started feeling really sick and lethargic. Bad enough that I didn’t leave the house for over a month. My voice was hardly there and I just hurt around my stomach area. I don’t even want to get into what was going on with my digestive system.

After every test that could be run, many medical bills, and money out of my pocket, I was told I just had heartburn and that my B12 was really low. What?!? The doctor’s solution was to take meds for the rest of my life which basically gave me free rein to eat anything I wanted to eat.

NO!! I was not going to live on meds for the rest of my life. I was going to change the way I was eating. Quit drinking fattening coffees, sodas, and tea full of sweeteners. I wanted to stop all the processed food. My body was taking in too many preservatives and acid and my digestive system was having no more of it.

After 2 years of watching my fat intake and processed food, I lost 40 pounds. I sleep so well at night, my bones don’t hurt anymore, I’m able to work out like I used to, my energy is back to normal and my soul is just happy!! All my blood work is back to normal and my cholesterol and blood pressure are in the normal range. I do take a probiotic and fiber powder to keep my digestive system healthy, liquid calcium to help my bones, and a sublingual B12 vitamin.

Mr. G started a walking program and has dropped about 40 pounds too!

We both realized that calorie intake and portion size were a big key also in keeping our weight down. We both love to eat. There is no denying that and we both don’t want to give up the things we love to eat. We now just eat small portions of the food we love.

It is so easy to eat healthier, work out, and keep your wallet happy at the same time!

Here’s how we do it

You can Save Money and Stay Healthy and be able to afford the best foods for you and your family.

Get Up and Walk – Walking is by far the cheapest way to get a good workout. It’s easy, you can basically do it anywhere and it’s FREE. Grab a friend or the dog, because he needs to walk too and enjoy the weather and your surroundings.

You can Save Money and Stay Healthy and be able to afford the best foods for you and your family.

Use Workout Videos – Since I live in Florida, even early mornings can be brutally hot for walks and I like to use workout videos in the comfort of my home. My favorite workouts are Leslie Sansone’s walking videos. I also use YouTube and pull up workout videos for FREE.

You can Save Money and Stay Healthy and be able to afford the best foods for you and your family.

Join Your Local YMCA – If you still love the idea of working out at a gym, try the YMCA. Their monthly dues are really low and they also offer a wide range of classes to sign up for. I love doing Deep Water Aerobics at the pool. You can find your local YMCA here.

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Start A Garden – It doesn’t matter how big or small your yard is or if you live in an apartment, you can grow something. My garden is in the picture above and I can grow kale, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, green peppers, and watermelons. It’s a 4′ x 12′ raised bed. You can also grow in any container right out the front door, on your windowsill, or on a balcony. There are so many different varieties of garden plants made for containers now. Such as cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs. I also have blueberry and blackberry bushes in my landscaping. They are easy to take care of and blend in naturally. Since I live in Zone 9, I also have pineapples growing next to my garden.

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Use Local Farmers Markets –  Learn to eat with seasonal foods. Local farmer’s markets are perfect for in-season vegetables and fruits and are cheaper than buying at the grocery store and when not in season. Look for your local U-Pick farms to buy in bulk to store in the freezer or if you like to can foods. Keeping your pantry and freezer stocked also helps to save money. We go every spring and pick 2 buckets full of blueberries to put in the freezer for the whole year. My blueberry bushes produce a lot but not for the whole year.

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Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast – So, so important to start your day off with fiber and protein. I have learned that by not eating breakfast, I will end up eating way more than I need to during lunchtime. Rolled oatmeal and eggs have a lot of fiber and protein, plus they are cheap to make.

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Shop Discount for Workout Items – When it comes to workout clothes for me, I always buy what’s on sale. This time of the year you will find so many stores putting their workout items on sale. When I need new workout shoes, I go to Joes New Balance Outlet store online. They are always running sales on their shoes and other workout items. I purchased my buoyancy belt for Deep Water Aerobics class at eBay.

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Look on Craigslist for Workout Equipment – Buying used workout equipment is another great way to save money. I have also found some really good items at my local Goodwill.

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Drink Water – Drinking water is by far the best thing you can put in your body which is made mostly of water. Oh, my the money you will save by not stopping by Starbucks or by drinking sodas all day. You don’t need to buy water. Fill up a good 1-liter water bottle with water and drink 2 of those a day. When I started drinking only water all day, I was worried about going to the bathroom all the time. But over a few weeks, my body got used to it and now I go normally. Living in Florida, the heat pulls a lot of water out of your body and you don’t realize it. Your body depends on water to survive. I also love adding fruit to my water for a different taste by using an infuser water bottle.

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Eat Out Less – There is so much fat and salt in food when we eat out and it’s so expensive. By cooking at home, you can control what goes into your meals. Cook in bulk, store in the freezer and save even more money.

Comparison Shop – I still use coupons when I shop at our major grocery store chain when items are on sale or BOGO. I also shop at Aldi’s more and more. Not only for the prices being so low but they also offer a lot of organic items now and they always seem to have a great selection of produce. I recently started using Amazon Subscribe & Save program with some non-perishable items. You can save not only your time but gas and up to 15% off your items. Many of these items will have coupons to use.

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Buying in Bulk – I often do this at Sam’s or Costco and at Amazon Subscribe & Save. I love buying my meat this way. Also, look for your local farmer who sells their meat in bulk. No more middleman and you can find out his growing practices. You get the kind of meat you want and you save money. Buying 6 steaks at Sam’s will cost about $25.00. That’s $10.00 for Mr. G and me to have steak one night compared to about $40+ for us to eat out. Your local farmer also has the best organic eggs or if you have space, raise your own hens. That’s my next project.

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Plan Your Meals – A few years ago, I started planning out my weekly meals before I went grocery shopping. Knowing exactly what you want to fix for meals will save you money and time. Going to the grocery store without a plan or when you are hungry will only mean you buy more than you need. I recently started using the AnyList App so that I can have my recipes available at any time. The app is also synced up with my Echo Dot so I can add items when I think of them.

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Make from Scratch – I make as many items as I can from scratch to save money. My dressings, BBQ sauces, spice mixtures, smoothies, cleaning supplies, etc. are just a few. Instead of using packaged meals, I will make them from scratch. I love my homemade yogurt and it’s so easy to make. I know what’s in my homemade items and don’t have to worry about all the nasty additives and can control the fat, sugar, and salt. I even make my own ice cream on special occasions with my small ice cream maker. I found a great book called The Made-from-Scratch Life: Simple Ways to Create a Natural Home for a lot of recipes to make from scratch to help live a chemical-free life.

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Buy Discounted Gift Cards – I love saving money this way. I will check at Cardpool.com and Raise.com to see if they have my local store’s gift cards at discounted prices. You can save up to 20% on your next shopping trip by using your store’s gift cards.

What are your ways to save and stay healthy?

Other Saving Ideas:
Frugal Ideas

Enjoy and be healthy,

Tammy

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42 Comments

  1. I do agree with what you listed, one just have to be focused and be determined to give a little time to do things. Nowadays, we should all be saving up for the future, you’ll never know when you might need.

  2. Congrats on your weight loss and lifestyle change – that’s inspiring! I love all of your healthy tips and definitely agree with them! Now I’m off to check out cardpool!

  3. I think one of the leading reasons why people don’t adapt a healthier lifestyle is because it is more expensive, but you listed some amazing tips that make being healthy affordable! This is perfect timing for me, thank you!

    1. Thanks, Adam. When I told the doctor I wasn’t going to take the meds, he wasn’t happy at all. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. This was so interesting. Thank you for sharing your story it really helped to put everything into perspective. I accept your challenge! I will start walking more often and cooking everything from scratch. Thanks for this post!

  5. I love all these, I usually love comparison shopping and I started walking twice per day when I take my son to school and pick him up and it has really helped me not pile on those extra pounds that want to creep up. I also use workout dvds since the gym is not for me.

  6. Ever since becoming a food blogger three years ago, I make a lot more items from scratch that I wouldn’t have normally – like salad dressings, hummus, BBQ sauce, in addition to the meals that I cook. That way I can control the amount of sugar and I have no preservatives or ingredients that I don’t recognize.

  7. I simply love this post!! such a great read .. so much information under on roof!! I can’t wait to implement this in my lifestyle!

  8. These tips are so great. I live in New England so with the Winter I can’t grow anything on my balcony. But I can’t wait for it to warm up and I can grow some fresh tomatoes! My daughter loves tomatoes and it’d be a lot cheaper than buying it from the store!

  9. It is unfortunate that a healthier lifestyle – including more nutritious foods – is more expensive initially than a diet of processed and fast foods. Not to mention the time investment, since preparing good meals takes more time and effort. I do agree you save money in the long run with better health and fewer doctor’s bills… it’s just getting to that point can be difficult if you don’t have the available funds in your grocery budget to buy better food (which includes gluten-free, in my case).

    1. That’s why I buy and cook in bulk. I’ve learned its much cheaper. Up front, it costs more but I don’t go to the store that often. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting our own garden. I don’t have a green thumb, but, I know there are many sites and videos for that. Farmer’s Markets are simply wonderful!

  11. It sounds like you really made so many improvements in your life, losing the weight must make you feel so good. I lost 5 pounds and am jumping for joy. I work with my husband and we try and eat in as much as possible and the kids like it too.

  12. I did daily yoga at my local yoga studio and farmers market twice a week. It’s made a huge difference in my life and I am so glad I have the ability to do it! Glad you made the changes that bettered your life!

  13. I was just talking to my husband about eating healthier on a budget. Reading this has been very insightful! Thanks for sharing that!!

  14. I love how dedicated you are to change your lifestyle! That’s the kind of motivation we all need. But really, once you get used to healthy living, it comes very easy to you to eat healthy and exercise every day. These are really great ideas!

  15. Nice tips! My ways are by doing a proper diet and exercise daily to be more healthy fit.

  16. Tammy, your story is so motivational. I am where you were, needing to lose weight and start walking. I cannot seem to motivate myself like you did, though. I’m working on that!

  17. These are great tips. I am a firm believer that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and loved seen you reference breakfast as a way to stay healthy.

  18. These tips are amazing!! I love finding fresh fruits and vegetables at the local farmers market, the best way to grocery shop. Eating healthy and exercising makes such a huge difference!

  19. These are all great tips! After seeing obesity on my mother’s side and after my dad had a heart attack a few years back (he was perfectly healthy, ate well, worked out…he just had really bad luck with genetics apparently) I try to be extra conscientious of my health. Working out in various ways – hiking, running, climbing, biking – and eating well are so important!

  20. This is great! So many people think you have to spend a lot to be healthy, and that is totally not true! We have been working on being healthy lately and still doing it on a budget.

  21. These are all really great tips! I can’t wait to checkout those gift card places. Before my mother in law moved down south, she would bring us tons of veggies from her garden. I miss them.

  22. My husband and I were just talking about how crazy it can be to try and eat healthy while staying in budget!

  23. These are all such great tips! I will be recovering from some health issues myself in the coming months, and I’m really only supposed to walk as my exercise. I love more intense exercise as well, but walking is always so overlooked — it’s a great way to keep up your fitness!

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