If you’ve walked into a Whole Foods and, fending off a minor panic attack, thought, “I simply can’t afford to live healthy,” you’re not alone. Many people fear that living a healthy lifestyle is a luxury which lies well beyond their financial grasp. But everyone can and deserves to be healthy, most especially when you’re on a tight budget. Here are 7 affordable and luxurious tips to live healthy without breaking the bank:
Wake up to a pitcher of lemon water. Starting your day with this cleansing drink is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Lemon water supports a balanced pH, provides a refreshing burst of vitamin C and hydrates your body after dehydration-inducing sleep. Plus, it feels like you’re doing something great for yourself right when you roll out of bed. Talk about a boost in morale… and a win for your wallet.
2 organic lemons – around $1
Sip ACV. Drinking an apple cider vinegar tonic at the end of the day is pretty much a health-boosting evening ‘mocktail’. Sipping on the combination of warm water, apple cider vinegar, and raw honey promotes blood sugar balance, healthy skin, improved digestion, inflammation reduction and so much more. The quantities listed below will easily last a month worth of sipping, if not longer. It’s a heck of a lot less expensive than having a hot toddy every evening.
16 oz. bottle Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar – $2.55
10.5 oz. Madhava Organic Very Raw Honey – $5.25
Take deep, cleansing breaths. You may be amazed at how incredible you’ll begin to feel when you consciously fill your lungs with plenty of air. Deep breathing boosts the immune system, improves circulation and assists with digestion. It also helps to calm the nervous system, steady your emotions and to consciously make more time for yourself. Overall, it improves all sorts of body functions for the simple reason that you are filling your body with life-giving oxygen! Oh, and all those health benefits come for free!
O2 – FREE (thanks trees and planet!)
Follow a mindful diet. Think all healthy food is expensive? That’s absolutely not the case. If you need a cheap, go-to meal, try making a creative rice and beans dish. The combination of rice and beans makes a complete protein, and perhaps the cheapest source of a complete protein you can buy besides eggs. Dry black beans are cents per pound. Bulk organic brown rice is around $2 a pound. For greens, you can grow your own sprouts at home for a fraction of the price of store-bought veggies. If you are creative with your meals, you can eat delicious dishes without having to wring out your entire paycheck.
Yes, there may be a small, up-front investment (getting a sprout bag in which to grow sprouts or buying coconut oil economically in bulk), but this will allow you to have a tasty, nutritious and incredibly affordable meal at your fingertips whenever you need it. A few servings of a meal made with the ingredients mentioned would only cost around $3 or $4! Plus, you can really get creative with spices and toppings so it is never the same meal twice.
1 lb. bulk dry black beans – around $1
2 lbs. organic sprouted brown rice – $3.55
4 oz. broccoli sprouting seed - $10
54 oz. jar of organic virgin coconut oil – $25
Practice self-massage. Massage can increase mobility, flexibility and range of motion. Our bodies, especially sitting all the time, can get stuck, stiff and frozen—no bueno. That can only lead to injury and pain down the line. But we can’t all afford a weekly massage at $70 a pop. So what can we do? Luckily, for less than the price of one massage, you can get yourself set up with a foam roller and a few tennis balls, which will enable you to enjoy endless self-massage sessions in the comfort of your own home. Self-massage is easy, highly effective and feels incredible. It just takes a little know-how. Learn more about self-massage from Care2 contributor and bodywork expert Karden Rabin.
3 tennis balls – around $3
foam roller- anywhere between $15 and $50 up front
Meditate. Nothing brings health and mood back into balance quite as incredibly as regular meditation. With the excessive stress and busyness we face in modern living, there may be nothing more important than setting aside time to be solely with yourself, your body, your energy. If you’ve never meditated, try progressive muscle relaxation. You’ll be amazed at how much hidden tension is held in your body. To set the mood, light some candles and embrace the warmth and heaviness of your body in a quiet mind.
30 beeswax tea light candles (optional, 1-2 month supply) – $18
Get some gentle exercise. Walking is not only free, but it saves you money. Think about it: the price of an inactive, imbalanced lifestyle will inevitably get pretty steep—endless prescriptions, doctor’s bills, hospital bills, etc. Walking has the power to keep you a lot healthier for a lot longer. If the meditative act of walking doesn’t suit your fancy, try yoga. There are plenty of free yoga classes available on Youtube. If you look around, there may be a free weekly or monthly community yoga class for locals in your area. You don’t have to pay to move your body, so there are no excuses.
moving your body – FREE, thanks to your muscle, joints and skeleton!
If you or a loved one regularly complain about the expenses of healthy living, consider what you spend your money on. Do you purchase alcohol on a weekly basis? Are you a regular latte-lover at your local coffee shop? It’s not that either of these things are necessarily bad in moderation, but if you think you don’t have enough money to live healthy, it’s time to consider ditching the beverages and prioritize your expenses.