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Fit & Frugal: How to get Healthy for Cheap

Posted by Kya Thompson on July 26, 2017
Couple riding bicycle in countryside forest

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Eat healthily, increase your energy, and save money by using the tips below.



Have a List

Cut out the impulse buys and needless spending by sticking to a list when you head to the grocery store. A list will help save money and time by helping you stay focused. Remember, the healthy foods are generally on the perimeters of the grocery store, so visualize that as you compile your weekly list. Avoid the temptation of unnecessary sale items – you may only think it’s a few extra dollars and you “deserve it” but a key to saving money is self-control.

Buy in Bulk

Ever notice that 16oz apple juice is $2.99 and the 32oz apple juice is $3.99 and subsequently buy the larger size because it’s better “value”? We’ve all done it because it makes sense! It’s important to apply this logic to all of your grocery shopping trips. This doesn’t mean run out and get a wholesaler membership, it just means that you need to evaluate whether you are willing to spend a little more on this grocery trip for a better deal. However, be sure to check the best before date of the product as you will want to be mindful when buying in bulk to avoid wasting food and money.

Prepare your Meals

Buying lunch every day can easily add up to well over $50 a week, but what does $50 worth of groceries look like? Meal planning and preparation can be a bit of a science but like any skill, the more you practice, the more likely you are to improve. If you look for deals and buy foods that are in season, you can stretch that $50 across breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, or possibly all three. Keep in mind that meat and dairy are usually more expensive than grain and veggies so try and work some vegetarian options into your diet.  Packing a lunch also includes bringing your own water bottle with you to work to cut down on the beverage spending.

Buy Discount or Generic

If you’re not picky about packaging or presentation, discount grocers offer great deals on less than perfect products. Dented cans, bent cereal boxes, and vegetables with blemishes are common at these grocers, but these imperfections are reflected in the price. Buying generic or ‘no-name’ brands is another easy way to cut costs. If you can find and independent grocer in your area, they may have their own branded products which are often cheaper than national brands. Another type of grocer to consider is an “ethnic” grocery store as they often carry unique foods at a lower price.

Buy the Cheapest Produce

When there is an abundance of any one thing the price will usually go down. Strawberries are more expensive in October than they are in June for a reason. An easy way to save on groceries and meal planning is to buy fruits and vegetables when they’re in season.

Cheapest produce by season

Save on Fitness


Avoid Expensive Memberships

Gym memberships to popular fitness franchises rarely come cheap. While the amenities at these gyms are often enticing, it makes sense to take a no-frills approach to your fitness plan if you are trying to save money.

If you’re in the in the market for a new gym membership, check your local listings to see what independent gyms/boot camps/fitness centers are out there. Chances are there will be locations close by that will better suit your budget. Your local community center is a great place to start, or you can avoid the fees altogether and head to the public library to check-out a workout DVD or Blu-ray.

Exercise Outdoors

Remember the world is your oyster! Aside from the obvious money saving benefits, exercising outdoors can be a fun adventure when you choose to switch up your route. Picking different trails, hills, and terrains is a quick and easy way to add a different dimension to your workout. Outdoor fitness doesn’t have to be done alone either! Bring a family member, invite a friend, or ask a neighbor to join you to help you stay motivated.

Use Free Online Workouts

The internet and social media have made learning about healthy living easier in recent years.  From YouTube and Facebook to Instagram and Pinterest, or even Snapchat – finding a quick workout is almost effortless. There are endless personal fitness blogs out there that not only provide easy workouts but also lifestyle tips to aid your healthy living journey. Whether you’ve wanted to learn yoga, calisthenics, power lifting or jogging, pick the form of exercise you’ve always wanted to try, do some research and you’ll be equipped to accomplish your goal.

Make Small Changes

We get it, you’re busy, you may not have time to go to the gym or commit an hour to walking or to a spin class. If you haven’t quite figured out how to fit regular exercise into to your daily schedule, make small changes until you can.

Simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great start. You can work your way up adding floors or skipping steps for increased intensity. Try parking your car further away from entrances to increase your step count, or replace your 5-minute drives to the corner store with some 20-minute walks. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time at their desk, try some easy workouts you can do in the office, to jumpstart your heart and improve your circulation.

Do you have any frugal fitness tips? Share them below.


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Financial Tips

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