Can frugality really help you live healthier and maybe even lose weight? The answer is yes! Find out how adopting these frugal habits will help you live a healthier lifestyle.
As I was thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, I also thought about how much better I feel when I cook at home.
I ordered Domino’s for dinner last night, and even though I already knew it was a bad idea, I did it.
My husband, daughter, and I polished off a medium pizza, half a 2-liter bottle of Sprite, and an entire pan of their marbled brownies. All but one piece of pizza was gone by this morning.
And I feel like crap today.
Obviously, I overate big-time. (I don’t know why but when Domino’s shows up, caution gets thrown to the wind!) But there’s also the fact that our dinner last night was about $25.
It wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except that when we eat at home, I can feed everyone for less than $10 per meal.
Not too long ago, I calculated out how much money my family had been spending on going out to eat/takeout, and it was close to $600 per month. That’s more than I’ve been spending on groceries altogether for one month.
You can see where I’m going with this, right?
I think we all know that eating at home is generally cheaper and healthier than eating at restaurants. But sometimes, we need a solid reminder. I know I do.
How Frugality Can Help You Live Healthier
Frugality has been one of my strong points over the last few years, since my family is on one income. However, I have a tendency to “get the spending itch” every now and again. (I think I’m feeling one come on now!)
Do you know what I mean?
Anyway, when I’m being smart about money and exercising my skills in frugality, it really pays off! I reap so many benefits – and so does my family!
Today I want to share some specific ways that frugality can pay off for your health.
You know, in case you needed that reminder, too!
Specific Ways Frugality Can Improve Your Health
1. Stop Buying Soda = Money and Sugar Spared
If you don’t buy soda, you don’t pay for can deposits and the soda itself! If you are one of those people who doesn’t even return your cans to get your deposit back, you’re really losing money. (In Oregon we pay $0.10 per can/bottle, so it really adds up.) Sugar is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to unwanted weight. Not only is addictive, it’s an ingredient that turns into fat pretty easily in your body. Don’t burn off the soda, and that sugar gets stored as fat reserves. Drink water, for crying-out-loud!
2. Use Cash Back Or Grocery Apps = Save Money & Eat Healthier
Okay, so hear me out on this one. I hear so many people tell me that they can’t afford to eat healthy or get a gym membership. As my grandpa would say while watching the news, “That’s bologna!”
I have mentioned this before, but I use apps like iBotta (get $20 just for signing up), Ebates (get $10 for starting to use it), and more to help me earn cash back on my groceries and shopping in general.
I also use a few survey sites as a side hustle to help me earn between $15-45 monthly. (My two favorites are Inbox Dollars & Swagbucks.) I have been doing this for years now. This gets put in the bank and gets used for my gym membership. Sure, it’s a little work, but it’s worth it.
If you don’t spend your earnings on a gym membership, you can just add them to your grocery budget.
3. Stop Rewarding Yourself With Food = More Money & Calories Spared
This is a hard cycle to break, especially with current cultural norms. It’s easy to celebrate achievements (those non-scale victories we all love) by having parties or going out to eat. Instead, try rewarding yourself by time spent with family, time on your hobbies, or an endorphin-inducing workout. This is an important one because we have a tendency to celebrate every little thing with food, and I think this is a problem. Save food-based celebrations for major holidays and birthdays, if you have to.
4. Cook From Scratch = Save Money & Calories To Boot
This is absolutely key when it comes to frugality and health. There are so many meals out there that can fill you up for as little as $1/serving. That’s a whole lot better than what you’d typically spend going out to eat ($8-15/meal). Plus, have you ever looked at the calories you’re eating when you go out to eat? You can eat a chicken breast, some veggies, and rice for under 600 calories at home. But if you go out to eat, you’re likely to get 1,000-2,000 calories in one meal. For someone who’s trying to lose weight, that’s essentially eating ALL of your daily allowed calories in one sitting.
5. Walk Rather Than Drive = Save Money On Gas & Burn Calories
I understand that not everyone can walk everywhere! But if you can walk somewhere rather than drive even once per week, you will reap some benefits! Not only will you help your car’s miles stay down, you’ll save on gas. You’ll also burn calories, and enjoy fresh air (I’d hope). It’s really a win-win.
Also Check Out 15 Small Changes To Make When You’re Trying To Lose Weight
6. Clean Your Own House = Save Money & Burn Calories
It’s nice to have some help around the house, but you know what they say…
Use it or lose it.
Even if you can afford a housekeeper, it’s healthiest (and obviously cheaper) to do it yourself. The less movement you do overall every day, the faster your weight will get out of control. This is a big issue that I have with technology, too. (Ahem, robot vacuums.) Part of the reason that Americans, Brits, and Australians are so overweight is that we’re doing less and less ourselves.
Think about it. Food can be delivered. Groceries can be delivered. We don’t have to get off the couch to buy anything. We pay people or things to do everything for us!
The moral of the story is that cleaning house is actually a good workout. (Try my laundry workout!)
7. Do Your Own Yard Work = Save Money & Get A Workout
If you’ve ever done any yard work at all, you know that it can really get your heart pumping! I am a bit biased because gardening is one of my favorite pastimes, but it is truly good for you, body and soul.
If you are paying someone to mow your lawn, trim unruly bushes, and pull weeds, stop!
Try doing it yourself – at least periodically. It’s actually kind of fun and I find it very therapeutic.
8. Workout At Home = Save On Gym Fees
Now this is something that I have to be honest about. I don’t like working out at home nearly as much as I love going to the gym. But you may not mind it.
Right now I am paying $54/month for my gym membership. That adds up to $648 per year, plus I usually end up spending more because I buy stuff there sometimes (snacks, protein, etc.).
If you know yourself well enough to know that you’ll actually hold yourself accountable at home, you can save a ton of money! There are a lot of options for home workouts, so give them a try.
To me, a gym membership is important because as someone with “depressive tendencies,” it helps me stay sane. Often, it’s the only thing that gets me out of the house.
But you get the point. If you’re spending money on a gym membership but you’re not actually going, stop and start working out at home!
Okay, hopefully by now you understand that there are many ways that frugality can help you live a healthier lifestyle.
I hope that this reminds you that you don’t have to spend a lot to get healthy and that being frugal can actually benefit you in many ways!
Are there any other ways that you believe that being frugal helps you stay healthier? Tell me!
Psst! You might also like this post about working out on your period.