Hello, my friends! This post is about doing wellness on a budget. If you enjoy this post and know someone else who may like it, I would so appreciate it if you would share this link with them!
Now for the topic at hand …
I love feeling good and having a healthy routine, and most people would agree with me. But I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have the resources I have available to me, and I’m thankful everyday for that.
I do NOT think you need to have a fancy gym and a big budget to be healthy — not at all. And I would never want a limited budget to be the reason that someone was not trying to live their healthiest life. (And when I say healthiest life, I don’t mean consuming nothing but green juice and exercising daily. I mean a living deeply healthy life, which involves, body, mind and spirit, and it’s well-rounded and full of balance and fulfillment. It’s not extreme.)
That’s where this post comes from — wellness on a budget coming at you …
Six ways to save money on health and wellness (wellness on a budget)
Let’s chat about some ways to save money on health and wellness and do wellness on a budget …
1. Check out wellness books and recipe books from the library for inspiration.
This one is all about mindset! Did you know that you can join your local library with nothing but a driver’s license and utility bill and have access to thousands of amazing resources for FREE? Not only can you get healthy recipes from cookbooks, and not only can you get inspired by nonfiction wellness titles, but you can also enrich your mind through getting lost in words.
Reading for pleasure is a really healthy habit, and it can serve as a chance for you to unwind at the end of the day or it can be a fun diversion mid-day if you need a break from screens. I’ve been a proud library cardholder for about four years, and I go all the time. (And here are three of my favorite wellness books you can check out to get started, and I’m due for updating this list.)
Did you know you can even rent digital books and resources from your library? And many libraries allow you to do it all online from home. And when you immerse yourself into the world of health and wellness through books, you’re bound to feel more empowered to make healthier choices. Go get that library card, and start reading and learning … it’s free! (Also, a lot of libraries don’t even have late fees any more, thanks to COVID.)
(This book needs to be on my updated list. Find “Eat Smarter” here.)
2. Listen to health and wellness podcasts for tips and enrichment.
Health and wellness isn’t all about workouts and food. It’s about a lot more than that. It’s about the whole-of-a-person that you are, and if you invest in your mindset through interesting podcast episodes, you could be inspired to make positive changes in your life, if you need them.
Yes, there are so many entertaining podcasts that are fun to listen to that don’t provide a lot of wellness value, and that’s cool too. But I think that listening to any podcast is an investment in your mind. You can find specific episodes for your unique needs too, so use that search function, because the answers to your questions may be available with the touch of the play button. (And you get major bonus points if you go for a walk while listening to a podcast.)
Some of my favorite health-related podcasts are The Model Health Show, Be Well By Kelly and the Mindbodygreen Podcast. (And I wrote a post about my favorites here, but it needs to be updated one day soon.) There are so many more though, so if you don’t like those, keep trying.
Did I mention that listening to podcasts on your phone is totally free? You can use Apple podcasts, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Spotify or whatever app you’d like to do it. Get listening, and get enriched!
(Just over here sitting on my bed in my favorite faux-leather leggings.)
3. Join an ugly produce delivery subscription to save on fruits and veggies.
Did you get that one? Ugly food doesn’t mean yucky food. We all want to eat a lot of produce to consume valuable micronutrients to support our overall health, but produce can be expensive. I don’t buy all organic, but I try to get a lot of organic, and I’ve found that Whole Foods actually has some great prices these days.
But there’s an even more cost-effective way to get fruits and veggies. One thing I haven’t tried personally but I’ve heard great things about is ugly produce subscription companies. These companies take the produce that doesn’t look as pretty, but tastes just as good and has just as many nutrients, and they sell it to you at a discount. I haven’t tried any of these, but they could be worth looking into. Misfits Market, Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Foods are some of the bigger names in this space. And you’ll be getting a lot of healthy food delivered to your door at a fraction of the cost.
Also, the more produce you have around, the more produce you’ll hopefully eat. If you try any of these subscriptions, please share your experience with me.
4. Consider picking up a regular shift at a gym or studio in exchange for free classes or gym time.
If you have your eye on a gym or studio near you that you are dying to go to, but you can’t quite afford, did you know you could try to get a job there? It’s true! Oftentimes at smaller studios, the people working the front desk are just there to get free classes. When it comes to a bigger gym, you may have to jump through a lot more hoops to get hired, but then you get your free membership. And once you’re in, you’re bound to get access to some other healthy resources.
I know several people who work just a few hours a week in the kids’ academy at my Life Time, in order to get a free membership for themselves. It’s such a good idea. You’ll never know if this will work out for you or not unless you give it a try.
And by the way, I do this one. I work at Life Time, so I get a free family membership, and I utilize it to its fullest. I’ve done this my entire gym-working life, actually, and it’s a big wellness-on-a-budget tip.
(Almost always wearing my favorite cross-training sneakers when in this studio.)
5. Look for community classes at local studios or stores for free workouts.
Here’s another tip! Many local studios offer “community classes” which are free classes open to the public when a new instructor is going through training and learning how to teach in the studio’s signature format.
In order to find these free classes, you’ll need to follow that particular studio on Instagram or Facebook to stay in the loop, or you can check the website of that studio to find out when they offer these free classes, and then sign up. This will give you a chance to try fancy studio workouts without paying the hefty class fee. And if you really like the class, maybe you can work there too?
This is a great activity to do with friends too. Instead of going out to lunch or drinks, book a free community class together. I used to make workout dates with friends all the time, and I really should get back to doing that.
By the way, you can sometimes find free community workout classes at athletic clothing stores like Athleta or Lululemon too, so look out for those. And if you’re a runner, you should check out the runner’s groups at your local track-shoe store, because there could be a good community there as well.
6. Take it outside, and get all you can out of the great outdoors.
I couldn’t skip this tip about doing wellness on a budget. It’s so simple, but so often overlooked.
And there’s nothing like a walk in the fresh sunshine to change your frame of mind and move your body, right? You can walk outside, you can jog outside, you can read outside, you can meditate outside, you can eat outside … you can do a lot of things in the fresh air that are good for your health and are totally free. (But make sure you wear your mineral sunscreen, friends.)
Do you have a local park where free outdoor fitness classes are offered? Do you have a nearby lake where you can walk around with friends in the afternoon to catch up and move your bodies together? Does your neighborhood host a weekly farmer’s market where you can get fresh, local produce to snack on? Do you live near a wooded area where you can immerse yourself in the healthy properties of a lot of trees? (Forest bathing, my friends, and it works.) This is all good for your health, and it’s out there waiting for you without a credit card required.
And remember that having valuable relationships with people who are focused on health is another amazing free tip. Because the more you surround yourself with those who care about their wellness, the more you will care about yours. Also, human connection is healthy and very necessary.
(These cute white leather sneakers are not ideal for hiking, but they are ideal for everyday wear.)
Other ways to save on health and fitness and do wellness on a budget …
Work out at home, and invest in quality equipment that will last. I’m an in-person class lover, but I know so many people have great success working out at home. And if you invest in good equipment that will last, you can work out at home for the long haul, which will ultimately save you money. I always recommend the Les Mills Smart tech equipment paired with Les Mills+ streaming workouts (they literally got me through the COVID lockdown, and I used to teach in-person Les Mills classes for almost 10 years). They are both so good, and you can get a free 30-day trial using my link. Although you’ll need to pay upfront for your gear, if you calculate the potential monthly fee of a gym, you’re likely to have a lot of savings in the long run. (By the way, I’ve written a review of the Les Mills equipment here and the Les Mills+ platform here.)
Meal plan, batch cook and freeze your food. Frozen food is so underrated. I get a lot of frozen produce, because I love that it’s easy to cook, and I don’t have to use it by a certain time. Now, I’m not a batch cooker or a big meal planner (I just repeat my meals frequently enough that I usually know what I’m eating), but I do totally appreciate the value of making a big batch of something, sectioning it out and freezing it. When you have frozen meals that are healthy, home-cooked and made all at once, you are totally saving money. And if you know you have something good in the freezer that’s easily defrost-able, you’re less likely to get takeout on the way home too. A win win. You can find a ton of websites with free batch-cooking recipe ideas or you can look in the cookbooks you checked out from the library. 🙂
Take advantage of the wellness offerings through your workplace or health insurance. If you work for a big company, sometimes you may have access to really good workplace wellness benefits. Are you using them? Because a healthy and well-rounded employee is always a better employee, so it makes sense they may offer some programs for you. In addition to this, some health-insurance providers offer wellness benefits too. You may not readily know about what you can get covered by health insurance or what you can do through your work, so look into it. I know some people who have a stipend for their gym membership from their work. I know people who even get their monthly Peloton subscription covered by their work. That’s pretty cool. You’ll never know what you can get out of your work or insurance, unless you dig in and ask. It’s worth a shot, so you don’t leave any free or discounted wellness resources on the table.
(Wearing some comfy joggers here that have been holding up well for three years.)
Thanks for reading this post about wellness on a budget. If you liked it, please share it with someone who may need it. Your kindness means so much to me. Have a wonderful day, my friends! 🙂
Other posts you may like …
- Five supplements I include regularly in my routine
- Splurge vs. save: How I spend money
- Small and realistic ways to take care of yourself as a busy lady
- Review of Les Mills Smart Tech equipment and Les Mills Smartbar
- Three health and wellness books that changed my life
Questions of the day for YOU …
How do you save on wellness?
What’s your best budget-friendly meal?
Do you work out at home or at a gym/studio?