Three tips for frugal living and good health may sound too good to be true. Many people think frugal living and good health is not synonymous. Often, when you say you are living frugally, people think you’re sacrificing a lot of things that affects good health. Little actions that give you big benefits are suggestions we have personally implemented in our lives and gave us a positive impact. Our aim is to help other people collate ideas on how they can implement these small changes. Thus, experiencing for themselves the world of difference it could make. In this post, I’m sharing the products I’ve personally used to get me started on living a healthier, more frugal, financially sound life.
Just about any time of the year we get up and make a resolve that “today” will be the day that we’ll do things differently and finally start losing weight. We are going to get up from our couches, hit the gym, and exercise more!
The goals are always desirable and often this is from our “to-do list” or New Year’s Resolutions.
This time around, I suggest to tweak your approach and remove the pressure you’ve heaped on yourself and adopt a low stress health resolution that will help you achieve your life’s important goals indirectly.
By lessening the pressure that you put on yourself you might just be surprised how success will come knocking at your door and not realize you’re already reaping benefits. Here are three tips that I have personally implemented in my own life and have reaped the benefits.
1.) Eat Breakfast Everyday
If there is ONE thing you can do right now to help you get started with your weight loss journey is start eating breakfast every day. A balanced meal will get you through your day, cut back on your cravings, and give you more energy.
Instead of just preparing coffee early morning, investing in a breakfast maker will make preparing a meal so much easier. Don’t just wait for your coffee to brew. Crack two eggs on the griddle, grill a few sausages or your favorite vegetarian equivalent, then toast a few slices of bread in the oven. When your coffee’s done you have your meal ready as well.
Studies have demonstrated that the time meals are consumed are as important as the contents of the meals itself. Experiments demonstrated that with identical meals, calories ingested entirely during breakfast time led to a more stable or even reduced weight whereas the same number of calories eaten at night led to weight gain.
Another good reason not to skip breakfast is to make sure that your body gets the nutrients it needs to help you work. If you skip breakfast, your body will think that it is “starving” and slow down your metabolism. There are also unwanted effects of breakfast skipping in the brain. Substituting a good meal for just a cup of coffee and grabbing a sweet roll for breakfast is almost as bad as not eating breakfast.
We love using this breakfast maker because it has that retro look that is still classy. If you have a teen going off to college, this will make a great send-off gift as well because they’re going to be cramped in very small dorm rooms or apartments and since they are going to be living on a strict budget, they’d be able to prepare a good meal and drink every morning or throughout the day without spending too much. I gave my mom this unit and she loves it! She said she feels like she’s a young college dorm girl at times trying to make her breakfast early mornings. She puts this in her bedroom where she can easily heat up some cookies or cakes, prepare her coffee, and fry some small items.
If you already have a coffee machine and see no point in getting a unit like this then consider a small breakfast sandwich maker. I personally love the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker in silver. I’ve had this unit for five years now and I use it almost daily. This little machine has seen me through my broke early 20s. I used to stock up on eggs, cheese, pre-cooked ham, frozen pancakes, cheap bread or bagels. My breakfast doesn’t even cost a $1 at times! Now that I’m married I have kept this appliance and still make sandwiches early morning for my family. This machine has paid for itself in less than year.
2.) Ditch The Soda and Drink Water
Along with eating breakfast daily, I have significantly cut back on my soda, cola, and fizzy drinks. I now drink water all the time. There are times I go for months without drinking cola at all. I used to drink soda/cola every single day as I especially love pairing it with my meals. It took a while for me to fully give up soda as I’ve been drinking it since I was a kid. Slowly, I made the change because I knew that it was wrong and I wanted to be healthier. We’ve heard it all before, “Water is good for you!”. At first I started to drink juices thinking that it’s a much healthier choice than cola. Yes, to a degree it is true but often instant juices still contain a high sugar content and other chemicals. Here’s the thing though, I didn’t like drinking water at first simply because it was too “flat”. I wanted my water to have flavor. I’ve seen flavored water in the stores and I thought they were better. But the flavored water come with sweeteners and who-knows-what-else! To solve this problem, I invested in a personal water bottle with a built-in infuser like the Live Infinitely 32 oz. Infuser Water Bottle. If you put in slices of lemon, sprigs of mint, and cucumber then let it sit for an hour voila! You have your flavored water.
I just top it up with more water all throughout the day. My husband liked drinking from my bottle so much that I decided to give him one as a present for father’s day. The great thing about this move is that it stopped us from buying bottled water especially when we go out. We loved our own flavored water so much that we bring our bottles when we go out. Plus, I was able to totally give up my cola/soda addiction. I lost weight and I’m reaping the many benefits of drinking water for myself.
Buying a personal bottle for each member of your family and encouraging them to drink more water especially when they are still young will help nurture good and healthy habits. You don’t want your kids to end up like me who had to struggle just to give up soda. It is also best to cut back on the temptations like soda by not including it in your grocery shopping. Buy different colored water bottles, fill them with water, put them in your fridge where you usually keep your soda bottles and cans. That way when you see these wonderful and colorful bottles your subconscious mind will be more drawn to the bottle of water.
After a few months of cutting back on soda, I noticed that the taste of plain water does not bother me anymore. Maybe, during those times I was still a great soda drinker, my body just wanted that sugar rush. I use the Rubbermaid Refill, Reuse 32-Ounce Jumbo Size Chug Bottles that come in assorted colors. Now I make sure I have my flavored water with me and I also make sure that my fridge has bottles of cool water for drinking. What I love about this is that they also come in packs of four (4). Thus making these a great buy! I line all four in my fridge so I always have cool, plain water any time I want. Another bonus from making this switch, every time we go out or take a walk, we just grab one bottle each and take it with us. We don’t buy expensive, sugar-laden drinks anymore. Plus, we don’t keep throwing plastic bottles. You are doing yourself and your environment some good by making this one small switch.
I downloaded an application that syncs with my fitness band to remind myself to drink water throughout the day.The app is called Water Drink Reminder. Many people don’t realize that they are dehydrated. For those who are using iOS, a friend of mine said that the app Daily Water – Drink Reminder is a good one. Keep yourself properly hydrated and healthy while saving money.
3.) Plan Your Weekly Menu and Cook Your Own Meals
I didn’t like to cook before. When I was younger I’d go to MacDonald’s or other fast food places because I was able to get a whole meal with a drink for less than $5. I thought it was a good deal and I didn’t have to do the dishes after but when I hit my middle 20’s I noticed that I had gained weight. It wasn’t the best time of my life. It was around this time that I started a lot of small changes I was determined to help me improve myself. Apart from switching to water for my drinks I started to explore how to make my own meals and help save money. I was in debt, overweight, unhappy!
A low point in my life was when I was in my apartment, my pay for the week is still two days away, and I only had three cans of beans, a few eggs, and some old cheese in the fridge.
I had to make it last somehow and I was too proud to tell anyone I was broke. (I was a really stupid person in my 20s please don’t judge me too harshly.)
Picturing myself just eating beans or frying eggs wasn’t a nice thought. I tried to look for ways to make meals out of the limited ingredients I had. Challenging myself to come up with different meals that cost little money as much as possible while keeping it healthy and tasty. My foray into this gastronomic challenge yielded good results. I discovered I actually liked to cook and I was more conscious of what I ate. Sandwiches were often my staple. Gaining confidence, I experimented and tried numerous variations and soon I was looking up bento lunchbox ideas on YouTube. I started prepping my meals for work because I was able to compute how much food I can finish in one meal.
I love this Komax Lunchmate Bento Lunch Bag and Kit because it has the perfect shape to hold my lunch and snacks. The secret to weight loss is portion control. You don’t have to give up all carbs, all protein, etc. Just eat a little of each.
To sum it all up, I was able to save money and lose weight when I started to eat breakfast daily, drink more water, and pack my own lunch. Investing in key items to make the change easier was key in helping me stick to my frugal lifestyle and weight loss journey. The process not only helped me save money, it helped me save myself from a lifetime of possible health problems. It is never going to be easy and hassle-free when we are doing things to change our lives but believe me, the little sacrifices are worth it. And who knows, maybe like me, you’d also discover new-found interests and hobbies along the way.