This is one of the primary reasons people tell me they can’t “do what I do.” But have you looked at what is costs to be in a hospital these days? OUCH!
I am going to attempt to show you there are ways to make your healthy living experience more manageable…
Let’s start with food: Buy things that don’t come in a box.
Sounds too simple, but think about it. The actual cardboard box costs money, but so do the pretty pictures and catch phrases that were paid for with a big marketing budget (not to mention the commercials to get that favorite cereal/snack/pizza box in your line of vision). These costs are factored into the price YOU pay at the register.
And things that come in boxes are PROCESSED, many times with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Box-free=Healthier. (Exception: my boxes of quinoa from Trader Joes…those are healthy. I’m not fond of the loose bins where you can buy grains/nuts/spices…They are not emptied and cleaned out regularly and they aren’t all that sanitary either.)
So pick fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, meat, eggs, some cheese, etc…basically all the foods on the perimeter of the store. They are healthier and aren’t marked up like the prepackaged items. I daresay if you do your “normal” shopping trip for the week and one with just these items, you’ll pay about the same. The only big difference is that you won’t have snack foods for the late night munchies 🙂
If Whole Foods (or as many call it “Whole Paycheck”) is out of your league for everyday shopping (join the club!), try Trader Joes. My little sister, Megan, is a fellow blogger and pretty much talks about TJ like it’s a person, one of her favorite people 🙂 They have organic fruits and veggies (a package of organic carrots is .89), grass-fed beef (5.99/lb) and organic free range chicken and eggs, at a fraction of the price of WF.
And I don’t eat out very much. Not only are restaurants marking up their prices on the food because of the exquisite recipes and delightful ambiance, but they aren’t usually using the quality of food that I eat at home (read: grass-fed, organic, etc.) A dinner out with my husband or a night of take out usually equals a weeks worth of groceries at Trader Joes. I’m a math tutor, so I know which one makes more sense!
As for vitamins and supplements:
- Online prices are usually much lower than store prices, so use sites like RetailMeNot.com to see if there are any discount codes for the stores that sell your supplements
- Get the App “Scandit” and scan bar codes for your favorite supplements (or any product) and it’ll tell you where to find it for the cheapest price (I use this one for kids’ toys too 🙂 [FREE]
- Join the Vitamin Shoppe Healthy Rewards Club and get money back each year to spend in the store [FREE]
- Join Ebates (I LOVE Ebates) which gives you a % cash back for shopping at 800+ stores (i.e. the Vitamin Shoppe is 6% back) and will tell you any discount/free shipping codes for each site (I’ve been a member for several years, and haven’t seen any downside or catch…just over $700 back so far!? But when the kids were little, I did almost all of my shopping online) ANYWAY, if you use this link, they’ll start you with $5 in your account (and give me $5 too 🙂 Everybody wins! [FREE]
Perhaps the wisest advice I can give is to do an assessment of the supplements and vitamins you’re currently taking (including ones you are thinking of adding to your regimen) and make sure you aren’t overlapping (which is not only expensive, but potentially hazardous to your health). Many multi vitamins or “combo” vitamins will give you enough of your daily recommended allowance…except with Vitamin D. They usually only have 400IU and as you can see from an earlier post, this is a vitamin you don’t want to skimp on.
So besides these ideas, I’d like to plant another in your noggin: Prevention is usually easier (financially, emotionally and physically) than curing an ailment. Wouldn’t you rather pay a little more for better quality foods and supplements that you know your body needs than wait for the ball to drop on your health sometime in the future? YOU are the only one that can take care of your health. Be proactive!
I’ll step down now from my soapbox 🙂 Happy shopping!
What’s your best tip for saving some $$ in your pursuit of good health?