Frugal Ways To Be Healthier As a Family

Being healthy seems to be the focus of many as we get into the full swing of the New Year.  I’m already looking forward to regaining my shape once this last pregnancy is done!  As a parent, we’re always trying to make sure that our family is healthy . . . and for good reason.  Being healthier means that all of you can be more active, get sick less, and have more fun together.  The best part is that you can achieve these goals for your family, without breaking the budget.   

 

Better health costs less to maintain, but many people think that it is expensive to get to that point.  It is easy to see why many might think that is the case.  Personal trainers and gym membership can cost a lot of money, as well as all of the “right gear” that you need to wear to the gym.  Then, everyone feels the need to buy pricey superfoods. However, there are many other ways that you can be a healthier and fitter family.

 

Explore The Great Outdoors & Get Moving

Looking for a reason to finally cut the expense of cable television?  Here’s a good one: it’s healthier for your family.  Instead of spending time in front of the television together, you can rely on more active ways to entertain the family.  Go to parks, playgrounds, on nature hikes, or maybe try out geocaching.  All of these activities are free and bound to create awesome family memories.

Gym memberships can cost a lot of money. But how much does it cost to go exploring outside or running in your neighborhood?  Nothing at all!  I can’t wait to go running outside again, after these twins make their appearance in a couple of months.

Walk or ride bikes whenever possible, instead of driving your car.  Not only is it healthier for your family, but it’s better for the environment too.

 

Eat A Rainbow

Whatever you choose to eat, if you go by the rule of eating a rainbow, then you’ll be off to a pretty good start.  Your plate or bowl should be filled with natural color, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.  They are full of fiber, as well as lots of vitamins and minerals.  

We love being able to grow a variety of fresh vegetables in our garden.  The kids will nibble on Cherry tomatoes all day long and we save a lot of money on produce.  

 

Mindfulness

There are many health benefits to practicing mindfulness or some other form of purposeful relaxation.  It can help to reduce stress levels as you refocus on your priories. It can also help people that suffer from anxiety or depression. The best thing about these practices, is that they are completely free, although you can purchase materials like mala beads (Meditative Wisdomor a mindfulness book if you want to “go all out.”

As for me, I’ve found crochet to be a relaxing hobby.  Did you know that crochet and knitting provide some of the same health benefits as meditation?  The key is finding something that brings you peace, so you’re not feeling stressed out all of the time.  It’s a healthier choice for you and the overall well-being of your family.

 

Cook At Home, From Scratch

Don’t go out to eat.  It is an expensive habit, especially if you’re taking out the whole family.  Just stay home or bring food from home on a picnic.  If you can, make food from scratch to save money and limit the amount of additives in your meals.

As a working mom, I know that the struggle to get dinner on the table is very real.  One helpful tool is a crock pot.  There are literally hundreds of recipes for meals that can be tossed in the crock pot, so the food will cook itself while you’re at work, and dinner is ready to go when you get home.

One easy switch that has saved us a lot money and given us healthier food is making homemade bread.  We picked up a bread maker off Craigslist a few years ago and haven’t bought bread from the store since.

 

Cut Down On Sugar

Refined foods are pretty unhealthy and can cost a lot too.   Sugar is a big part of many diets, but provides little nutritional value.  The average family spends a ridiculous amount of money on carbonated beverages.  It may take some time, but you (and your family) can adjust to just drinking water.  A small switch from soda to water can make a huge difference in your grocery bills and your health.  

I have a pretty serious sweet tooth problem, but find that fruit can usually satisfy my cravings.  You have to be smart if you want to eat a lot of fruit without spending a fortune.  We always check the mark-down shelves to find good deals, especially at our local Farmer’s market store.  Shopping for in-season fruits is another way that we save.  Also, don’t forget about fruit that’s not in the produce section.  Shop around for good deals on canned fruit or snacks like raisins.

 

What are some of your favorite frugal ways to be healthy or improve fitness?

4 Replies to “Frugal Ways To Be Healthier As a Family”

  1. Mrs Groovy

    I love your tip about getting out and exploring your neighborhood. We’re certainly enjoying our walks as the winter has been mild here in NC.

    Mr. Groovy and I have cut down considerably on sugar and carbs. I’m trying my hand at preparing various fish dinners, now that we have time to go to the supermarket to pick up fresh seafood. I don’t think it will save us any money though because fish is expensive! I’m also cutting back on the diet soda.
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    1. Harmony Post author

      It’s still snowy in our neck of the woods. I can’t wait to be able to take the kids outside more when the temperature increases a bit – we’re all going a little stir crazy.

      I love seafood, but it can be pretty expensive. The best way I’ve found to save money on seafood is waiting for good sales – either on fresh selections or bulk, frozen packs.

      Reply
  2. Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor

    Great tips, Harmony! I find it very hard to exercise in a formal sense since having kids and giving up the gym membership, but getting outside is a great way to do it. Fortunately this winter has been very mild and we have been able to take more walks and bike rides than usual. And when it does snow, marching up the sledding hill provides some exercise.

    My kids like salad which is an easy, inexpensive way to fit in an extra serving of vegetables each day. We grow it in the spring and summer (fall plant didn’t take last year) so for $2 we have salad every day for months! In the winter I buy whole romaine or leaf lettuce which is so much cheaper than the bags of pre-washed lettuce. And I’ve found that even my 3 year old can help tear lettuce leaves.
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    1. Harmony Post author

      Hi Kalie 🙂

      I’m looking forward to getting outside once the weather breaks and can’t wait to get started on the garden.

      Yep, we used to buy those bags of lettuce – so expensive! I just walk right by those bags now. We also find that those whole heads of lettuce are such a better deal, especially at our farmer’s market. And, we inherited a cool salad spinner that the kids like to use to help us wash the lettuce.

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