What’s important to you? I imagine it’s to live a healthy, fulfilling life. In order to be our healthiest when lacking funds, we need to save money in other ways. I hear so often that people say it’s too expensive to eat healthy. Make healthy eating a priority and cut unnecessary spending and you’ll be just fine. Health is the number one thing that will keep you going and live longer and feel better. Nothing else will fulfill you like true health does.
I want to share how I save money because it helps mental health (just as important as physical health) and it allows for more money for quality food – read about The Best Way to Get Healthy.
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Save Money For Healthier Food
How To Save Money
I buy what I need and try to do it smart. I make it a priority to buy healthy food so other areas need to be cut. I’ve started living a more minimal lifestyle, realizing that certain things are just not important. This comes with time. A lot of us are materialistic when we are younger, trying to impress others with our “successes”. It is not successful to work all the time for more money, to spend more, then to spend less time with important people. This is what I’m trying to live by.
What started this is when I thought I wanted the fancy suburban house with the nice backyard and granite counter tops. Alternatively, my husband and I decided on an old, cheap house that needed some updating. The reason why is because we always wanted to make sure one of us could stay home with our daughter and we would always put health first. After this, I realized that we don’t need a whole lot of “things” to be happy. We have each other, a nice roof, healthy food, clothes and toys, and are able to experience more with the money saved in other areas. You also need to think about your mental health, check out my post Stop Trying To Lose Weight to realize that maybe that would even save you money not buying into gimmicks.
Keep Your Health In Check
Should we also talk about how improving health will save money on doctor visits? Less sickness because of the proper nourishment will save money in the long run. You can avoid food-related conditions such as diabetes and heart disease (which can be very costly and are related to sugar and processed food consumption). Read about how sugar shifted our thinking in health in Shameless Sugar.
Remember, do the best you can. I am certainly not perfect and everyone has different aspirations. If you truly enjoy something, don’t cut it out. I just want to give ideas to others in how I save money. All of these things and services that I suggest, I love and actually use all the time!
Save At Home
Use Food From Home – Do you really need that $10 sandwich? Do you buy lunch every day at work? That can get expensive and unhealthy, depending where you go. I always plan for at least 4 meals for dinner (plus baby!) and pack the leftovers up for lunches the next day. Read my Weekly Meal Planning post for tips on how to plan.
- Use budget-friendly ingredients – Many vegetables are budget-friendly in season. Meat tends to be more expensive, so use half in a recipe or substitute with beans. For example, I love to use cheap cabbage and carrots with a meat and different seasonings. Try out this Easy Budget-Friendly Stir Fry recipe.
- No more Starbucks – OK, maybe once in a while you’ll have a treat which is totally fine, but a habit of it is going to add up. Make your own coffee at home. I shared my favorite homemade coffee recipe called A Healthier Latte.
Declutter Your Home & Sell – Find what you don’t use and either donate it or sell it, if it’s of any worth. These are my favorite places to sell extra stuff that I don’t use:
- For Tech (phones, books) – Decluttr has been a life-saver. I have sold all of our old phones here (most recently my Samsung S6 for $150!).
- For Clothes – Swap is great, they do take 30% and $1.50 so it is better than nothing if you have good condition clothes to sell. I do buy most of my clothes here too – see below where I talk about buying secondhand.
- Other Items – have a garage sale or sell on Facebook area buy/sell groups. I’ve sold my guitar and Keurig on Facebook with success before.
Use Amazon or Amazon Prime – Amazon Prime is the best thing and most of my money is spent there. Why? Because I can buy everything I ever need and it’s shipped to my house in 2 days or less, for free. I know I don’t always like hauling the baby to the store and often time the products aren’t available around my hometown. The prices are often better than other stores. I buy a lot of my pantry food I use often in bulk. The membership fee comes to around $7 per month which is nothing. Sign up for Prime here.
Exercise At Home – This is my favorite suggestion. One big reason is if you’re looking to lose weight – food should be the focus, not exercise. See my post on The Healthiest Diet for all you need to get healthy. I don’t think I’ve ever bought a gym membership. Gym membership = more time = transportation there = maybe buy fancy shakes = more money gone. Not to say that some people are more motivated by going to the gym (if so, please go ahead!) You can do exercises at home or simply take a walk or jog outside. Here are some ways to start exercising easily without equipment:
Save On Grocery Shopping
I wrote about How to Save Money Eating Well previously, but just to reiterate the idea, here are some tips.
Meal Plan & Make A List – So important! My list includes what meals are being eaten on what day, and also the ingredients needed. You will be less likely to buy extra stuff and know exactly what you need. Plan your week out so you know what to get and plan more budget-friendly meals. Read my Weekly Meal Planning post for tips on how to plan.
Don’t Get Stuck On “Organic” – If you can’t afford organic, don’t buy it. It will be okay! The most important thing is to buy real ingredients, organic or not. Or check out the Dirty Dozen to see which foods are better organic and which aren’t. I make priority for organic animal products, eggs, grains, and greens. I don’t bother buying $5 organic peppers and life will go on.
Farmer’s Markets – Around where I live, the market is very cheap for in-season produce, and it’s supporting local farmers rather than a big corporation. Another suggestion is to buy local meat in bulk for a cheaper overall price.
Thrive Market – This is an online healthy food discount store that I use and it comes to $5 per month. That’s the cost of your grande latte or whatever it may be. There’s options to go monthly or yearly and there tends to be a free item to try.
Costco – Worth the membership, especially for a large family, and also a great way to save. It also comes out to $5 per month. Seriously! I love to buy dates, organic tomato sauces (80 cents per can), avocado oil, and grass fed meat here.
Aldi – If you have a discount store in your area, check it out. The produce is cheaper and it’s the same stuff. A lot of my produce comes from here when the farmer’s market isn’t in session. They also have organic produce that is far cheaper than any other store.
Save With Cash Back Programs
These are all apps to download from your mobile phone app store, so you can scan receipts or activate for any purchase you make. It may seem silly sometimes for 25 cents (there are many more than that), but what’s the harm in scanning a receipt? A lot of people use coupons and those are pretty similar to the amount. I think it really adds up and I try to remember to scan all of my receipts.
Ibotta – Use Ibotta for cash back on purchases at the grocery store – it adds up quick! You just select the store, purchases, and scan the receipt. Click here to sign up for Ibotta free and get $5, with code vvyhkog
Ebates – If you shop online, there’s no reason to not have this one. It’s like free money. You get a percentage back for purchases made online for free. What’s better than that? The percentages off change and special deals come up every so often. Sign up here for Ebates and usually you get $10 to sign up.
Coupon Codes – Always search for coupon codes when shopping online. Sign up for Honey to find all your online coupons! It will pop up when checking out after downloaded. I LOVE honey because I never assume a place has coupons and then boom, it’s $20 saved all of a sudden. How can you not like that?
Save Buying Secondhand
There is no reason we need new fancy things. Buy what works and use it. This frees up so much money for healthier food and habits. I buy a lot of things secondhand, especially clothing. Take this example, I’ve seen jeans that cost as much as my weekly grocery budget.
Swap – I buy all my clothes and my kid’s clothes from here, its so cheap and most of the items are like-new and brand name. There’s no need to buy fancy new clothes (unless you’re into fashion I guess). Again: you can also sell clothes through here. Start shopping at Swap and save all the money. You will get 20% off your first purchase and free shipping.
Thrift Stores – No one is too good for the thrift store. There are a lot of quality items hanging around. Who said you need a new dining table? Does that make your friends like you more?
Garage Sales – Another person’s treasure, right? You can find some good cooking utensils or clothing or toys for children at these. I just got my daughter’s next size up for about 50 cents a piece and really nice wooden bowls for $1. It can’t hurt to scope them out.
Remember that this is a slow process and every amount counts. Don’t get discouraged. I spend most of my money on quality food and not material items. If I need to buy something to make my health better, you better bet it’s going to be that way!
Check out these cool websites for more inspiration:
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Fresh Ideas: Save money and live healthy by using resources and making it priority to eat healthier food.