More In Your Wallet, Less on the Waist
I compiled this list about a year ago. This is a re-post, with some flavor added.
Have you noticed that being thrifty has a positive impact on your health as well? I’ve complied a list of ways being thrifty positively affects your health.
1. Eat oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of the powerfoods of the Abs Diet and a favorite food of the American Cancer Society because of its high fiber content. Thriftys love oatmeal because of its low cost: as little as five cents per serving!
Yup, I still eat oatmeal every day! I’ve recently discovered organic old fashioned oats for $.99/lb at the food co-op. Old-fashioned oats are more flavorful, in my opinion, and don’t take much longer to make, especially if you make them overnight.
2. Use your bike to get around town. Part of the $700 billion bailout package included a tax credit for employees who bike to work. Your employer can give you $20 each month and write it off as a business expense. This doesn’t include all of the gas money you’re saving, or how you’re helping the environment.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time getting motivated to work-out. Biking with a destination in mind is a great motivator.
I really wanted to buy a bike before I went through a year of buying nothing new, but I ended last year pretty much broke. I’ll keep an eye out on Craigslist, or will use all of the money I’m saving to buy a bike for my 23rd birthday. Instead of biking, I do a lot of walking places. One of my goals to save $100 in 2010 is to use my car for out-of-town trips only.
3. Avoid processed foods. We all know this is good for our health, but we love the convenience. Cooking from scratch saves us money. It also gives us control over what we put in our snacks. We can use less sugar, oil, or sodium. We also eliminate preservatives. As far as convenience, take note from Spencer’s Grandma Katherine. I’ve never seen her bake, but there are always fresh cookies out on a paper plate when we visit. You’ll find that she keeps plates of cookies in plastic zipper bags in her freezer. She’s always ready for company.
4. Eat less meat. Studies have shown that vegetarians have better health, lower risks of chronic disease, and reduced healthcare costs compared to people who eat the average American diet. Compare the cost of a pound of hamburger to a pound of lentils and you’ll get the picture. But vegetarian cooking doesn’t have to be boring. Think of the meals you already cook without meat: grill cheese with tomato soup, leftover vegetable soup, homemade mac-and-cheese, etc.
My favorite vegetarian meal? Split Pea soup, for sure!
5. Drink a lot of water. You should drink at least 64 oz of water every day. And if you’re drinking a lot of water there won’t be much room in your bladder for costly drinks like soda and mocha-cappa-lattes. Staying hydrated keeps the headaches away, helps your bowels move along the way they should, and makes your skin beautiful.
Another way I plan to save $100 in 2010 is to kick my Diet Coke habit. It’s the middle of February and I haven’t bought a soda yet. Health wise, I still drink more than I should at work because it’s there and it’s free. I’ll just have to make my water bottle more accessible.
6. Enjoy long walks. Taking a walk is probably the cheapest form of entertainment ever. You should get at least 30 minutes of walking outside of your normal routine for good health. Exercising also releases endorphins that make you happy. Mix it up and walk around your neighborhood, hike through a state park, or find a new bike trail close by.
Better yet, get a dog. Walking around by myself is not fun, but when I have a huge lab following me around the house, I am happy to take him to Swiss Valley State Park. I don’t know if the cost of a dog is less than a gym membership, but he’s a lot cuter and makes me laugh.
7. All of those pricey smell-good lotions can be irritating to your skin. Stick to one all-purpose, hypoallergenic, scent free lotion. This will also help de-clutter your bathroom so you have more room for all of the toothpaste that you bought on sale.
8. Cook at home. Restaurants are expensive! No one gets out of the restaurant I work at for less than $15/person. You have more control over what goes into your food and how it is prepared. And some mental health benefit as well: families who eat together get along better.
9. Plant a garden. Vegetable produce can be pretty expensive, especially the organic stuff. You can grow your own organic produce at a fraction of what you pay at the grocery store.
10. Volunteer in your community. I have found that I either have time or money, and it’s usually not money. Giving back to the community makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s a great mental-health helper.
What do you do that’s healthy and thrifty too?
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