When your finances and your health could do with a double boost.
If you could change two things about yourself today, what would they be? For many of us, the answer to this question would be “become healthier/lose weight” or “have more money” – or both! Whether your goals are to be healthier physically or financially, there are plenty of ways to achieve both without too much effort.
Eat more fruit and vegetables. They’re cheap and the best source of nutrients and minerals, from Vitamin C to iron. Eating more of them in your diet is a no brainer.
Avoid going to extremes. Juice cleanses, only eating protein, investing in pre-made diet meals may seem like the miracle answer to your prayers but they can actually be the opposite. Diet products always come with a hefty price tag as manufacturers tap in to consumer desire to find a quick fix. Plus, they tend to have the opposite effect in the long run – researchers at UCLA in California found that the majority of people who try these diets don’t sustain weight loss. In fact, most end up weighing more.
Have a few meat free days. Meat is pricey – you could pay up to 50% more for a carnivorous diet than a vegetarian or vegan one so cutting out meat and fish is one of the easiest ways to have a healthy diet on a budget. Too much can also be detrimental to health – red meat consumption carries with it risks of heart disease and cancer and is fattier too.
Switch up your protein sources. If you’re going to do those meat free days you don’t have to go without protein. Beans, eggs, tofu and legumes make a fine substitute for pricey meat and fish.
Team up. Having someone on your journey with you can make you twice as motivated – plus you can split the costs. Whether it’s a housemate, sibling or partner, if you’ve got a +1 when it comes to saving and dieting you can keep each other on the right track, share ideas and halve the cost of every healthier meal. It’s a fun way to make saving easy.
Grow your own. You don’t need to have a garden or a greenhouse to start growing your own herbs or fruit and veg. Herbs grow beautifully in a window box and there are plenty of edible plants that you can grow in a pot in a limited area, from tomatoes to peppers. You’ll save cash on the produce and have healthy food at your disposal – plus, nothing tastes as good as homegrown.
Steer clear of pre-prepared food. Not only is it cheaper to make your meals from scratch but it’s healthier too. Ready meals are full of sugar and salt and often contain hidden calories. They can be incredibly unsatisfying, which often leads to wanting to eat more. If you’re cooking for yourself you can buy your ingredients in bulk to make home cooking even cheaper and you won’t have to deal with all the packaging either.
Juice. The juicing craze shows no signs of stopping, from the very Instagrammable smoothie bowls, to the range of juices popping up to fix every ailment. Juice is fruit or veg – which is cheap (unless you’re buying exotic). Play around with swapping one meal a day for a really nutritious juice to lose pounds – and save pounds.
Buy seasonal. If you invest in the seasonal calendar then you’ll be enjoying a range of healthier vegetables that haven’t travelled great distances or been encased in preserving chemicals and packaging to get to you. It’s also cheaper – buying a bag of apples that have come from a UK farm is significantly less expensive than a kiwi that has come from South Africa.