Guest post from Pam of Be Healthy, Be Happy Wellness
The start of another New Year is the perfect time to make healthy changes in your life. Most of us start a new year feeling optimistic and ready for a change.
I know thousands of us will include “eating better” and “getting in shape” as some of our New Year’s Resolutions. However, a tight budget may make those resolutions seem difficult to achieve.
To help you out, I’ve compiled five ways you can improve your health and save money!
1. Look for gym deals.
January is the perfect time to join a gym. Most gyms are offering great sign up deals to cash in on the New Year “get fit” resolution.
In addition to traditional gyms, check out your local YMCA, fitness studios, and personal trainers. You might also look into joining with a friend – often a gym will give you a 2-for-1 discount if you just ask.
2. Eat in season.
Just because it’s not the middle of summer when the garden is full of produce doesn’t mean you can’t find seasonal food to enjoy.
When you visit the grocery store, look to see what is on sale in the produce department. Those items are most likely your seasonal ones, and will typically be the best price.
Look for winter markets – more and more cities are starting to add them to entice those of us who love the summer farmer’s market for our produce. Not sure what is local for your area? Check out this great guide.
3. Plan a Menu.
Once you start spending more on those organic food items, it becomes even more important to use them up! Menu planning is a great way to ensure you are only buying what you need (thus saving money).
However, don’t just plan out your dinners. Think about snack foods or breakfast items you can make early in the week and then enjoy all week long.
Plan menus that use that local and seasonal produce. Check your grocery ads to see what is on sale to help you create your menu plan.
4. Use those scraps.
Use up all the food you buy – if you’ve paid good money on that organic, free-range chicken and organic celery, it just makes sense to use the bones and scraps to make delicious chicken stock – it’s healthier and easy in the crock pot.
Have some heels from your loaf of bread? Make bread crumbs. Try to think like our ancestors and find ways to use all the little bits of leftovers. You’ll eat better and save money!
5. Set a savings/health goal.
Set a goal for yourself to find one area where you can save money and improve your health. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all at once. Then, when you accomplish one, go ahead and try another.
Some great examples of simple goals: change your coffee routine – learn how to make a delicious coffee at home versus going out; make your own yogurt; start using one homemade “green” cleaner versus the store bought version.
The list could go on and on, but by making one change at a time, you’ll consistently be saving money and taking a small step towards better health.
Pam Howard is a Certified Holistic Health Coach located in Noblesville, IN. She works with busy moms (and others) to help them create a balanced, healthy, vibrant life. You can find more of Pam’s healthy tips and recipes at Be Healthy, Be Happy Wellness.