It’s that time of the month again…. Nope, not the one you’re thinking of! I mean the time where you check your balance and get that sad sinking feeling where you know you’ll be holed up for the next two weeks eating weird what’s-left-in-the-cupboard concoctions until payday.
When times get rough money-wise, a lot of us think to food as the first cutback that will help salvage our dire straits. However, as healthy options are becoming so much more widely available I thought I’d share some ideas that can help you to stay healthy when you’re broke:
1. Don’t go to Wholefoods!
Or Planet Organic. Or the juice bar. You will walk in with the innocent intention to buy one obscure item and walk out with a basket laden with unnecessary superfoods, oils and powders that have zapped your entire weekly budget. But hey…. at least you can finally bake those healthy brownies!
Seriously, I find shopping in these stores akin to mental torture when I’m on a budget. Find your nearest farmers’ market and stock up on all your fruit & veg for the week. My usual haul wouldn’t cost more than £10 and that’s for way more food than you’d get at Tesco’s! You can also find pearl barley, buckwheat (soba) noodles and wholewheat pasta available in most supermarkets for very reasonable prices.
2. Find cheaper (or free!) exercise alternatives
When I’m too strapped to pay for a peak time yoga class (in London around £15/hour) I use my Yoga Studio iPad app which was £2.49 on iTunes and has over 40 video classes at your fingertips. You can even build your own classes on there which is handy if you’d rather a few less downward facing dogs. If you’ve taken the bold step to cancel gym membership, invest in some weights and / or workout DVDs! In the summer, GO OUTSIDE whether it’s running, Boris biking, or even just walking somewhere pretty!
3. Prioritise your social life
Three fancy cocktails or an extra groceries shop? Instead of blowing your money on meals out and Cosmos try and plan your social life around cheaper activities that could help support your health and wellbeing e.g. exercise classes, walks/picnics in the park, going to a street food market, bike rides etc.! Make the most of your nights in too.
4. Don’t bring yourself down
Ok you’re broke, but that’s no reason to mope around feeling sorry for yourself and complaining to anyone who’ll listen that you can’t afford that weekend away/new shoes you wanted/night out you planned ages ago. Focus on what you DO have and make the most of that e.g. bake a cake with all those random ingredients in your cupboard! Writing a list of everything you received that day is also a good self-helpy technique that fosters gratitude and gets your mind out of the lack mentality. It could be anything from a compliment by a colleague, to a free coffee a friend bought you! Even if it’s just a mental list it will honestly make you see your situation in a more positive light.
If you have any further tips or ideas I’d love to hear them so feel free to leave a comment below 🙂