Sometimes, having your family be healthy feels unattainable because of the high cost of many health crazes and trends. However, there are easy ways to make small changes that will help your family's health and not hurt your wallet at the same time. Below are 12 ways to make your family healthier without breaking the bank.
1. Meal Plan
When you plan your meals for the week, you can make a very specific grocery list. That means when you're grocery shopping, you'll only be buying what you need, and not anything extra that will end up being wasted. The food you throw away is money you're throwing away, but by buying exactly what you need you'll be good to go.
While you're meal planning, check out your grocery store's weekly ad to see if there are any deals that you can take advantage of, and build your meal around that. Also, try looking on Pinterest for meal ideas that you can save for later.
2. Take Walks Together
It's been proven that just 10 minutes of physical activity a day can help you live longer and be more mobile. Try to get out for a walk that's at least ten to twenty minutes every day for a free way to help your family be healthy and bond.
Try making your walk time as set as your meal times or bedtimes -- choose a certain time of day that is designated at "walk time" so everyone in your family knows when it is and will be able to participate.
3. Drink Purified Water
Drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated is extremely important. Being hydrated helps our bodies function the way they're supposed to, and it keeps your skin clear and hydrated. When you're dehydrated, you can experience many negative consequences, so make sure you and your family drink enough water every day to fuel your bodies.
Filtered water is good for you because it has less of the chemicals that tap water put out. Commercial brands will use intense forms of filtering, like electrodeionization, which began in the 1950s. That method of filtering is extremely involved, though, so a filtered water pitcher or filter attachment for your sink will probably be enough for your family.
4. Use Lead-Free Paint
If your home has lead paint on the walls, you should cover all of it up as soon as possible. Lead paint can lead to costly health problems down the line, and if your kids chip it, it can be very dangerous. If you live in an older home, there is an increased chance that you will have lead paint. For example, homes built in 1940 or before have an 87% chance of containing lead paint, so if you live in an old home that hasn't ever been repainted, you should definitely do so.
5. Get Flu Shots
Flu shots are often little or no cost if you have insurance, and even without it there are often clinics that offer them for free. The flu means days out of work and school and can end up costing you time and money. Getting a flu shot prevents your family from getting the most prevalent strains of the flu that year.
6. Buy In-Season Produce
In season produce will be cheaper because there is more of it, and therefore the prices drop so that farmers and distributors can get it off their hands. As an added bonus, when produce is in season, it tastes the best that it does all year because it travels less. Try going to your local farmers market for fresh, in-season produce that you may even be able to barter to get the best possible price.
7. Eat Lean Met
Not only is lean meat healthier for you, but it's also actually cheaper than fatty cuts. Make sure that you're asking for the leanest meat available when you go to the meat counter for your next steak or pork roast.
8. Buy Frozen Fruits + Veggies
Sometimes fresh fruits and vegetables can be very expensive, especially if they're not in season. Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is a much cheaper option if you're using the fruits for things like an oatmeal topping or a smoothie, and many frozen vegetables have cooking instructions right on the bag.
9. Buy in Bulk
If your family eats or drinks a lot of a certain item, it's a good idea to go ahead and buy it in bulk. You can check out stores that specifically sell things in bulk, like BJs or Costco, to find what store has the best deals on your favorite bulk foods.
10. Try Vegetarian or Vegan Meals
Try out a recipe that uses beans or tofu as the main source of protein instead of meat. For example, for your next taco night, make up a batch of well-seasoned black beans instead of ground beef.
11. Grow Your Own Herbs
Herbs are very important in taking many recipes to the next level, and our plates would be much blander without them. However, they can get pretty pricey. Instead of buying fresh herbs during every trip to the grocery store, start growing your own. You can start them from seeds, buying small plants from your local nursery, or if the herbs you get from the grocery store still have roots attached, just put the roots into a cup with water and watch them grow.
12. Meal Prep
If you prep your meals right after grocery shopping, you can have your weeknights be a breeze. Instead of ordering take out because you can't garner the energy to chop and assemble your meal, just heat it up since you've already done all the hard parts. You can even get your kids involved by having them stir, chop (if they're old enough), or otherwise contribute to making the recipe.
Although it seems daunting, with some planning and forward thought you can get your family healthier while staying on budget. Try out these tips and watch how you get more energy, your skin clears up, and your overall moods improve.
What are your favorite budget tips for staying healthy? Did you try any of these tips? Let us know in the comments below!