0 Comments

How to be Healthy and Save Money

If you want to be healthy, then it may feel like you will have to spend a lot of money. You might think about gym memberships, paying for a nutritionist, buying health foods, joining a slimming club or hiring a fitness instructor. Obviously, all of these are expensive and you may wonder how you will afford it and even consider whether you would need to take out a loan to pay for it. However, there are ways that we can become healthier without having to pay out for these things and we may even be able to save some money rather than spend more.

  • Eat out less – eating out can not only be unhealthy but it can also be expensive. Obviously, it will depend on where you choose to eat and what you choose to eat. However, if we eat out, we will often find that the portion sizes are much bigger than we would have if we ate at home and there is always the temptation to have a dessert which we may not have if we were eating at home. Keep eating out for a rare treat and then when you do, you will feel able to eat whatever you wish and not feel guilty. If you do it too often you might not enjoy it so much, not only because it will be less of a treat but because you might start to feel guilty about the unhealthy food that you are eating.
  • Buy less take away food – many of us will buy take away food. Whether we buy a sandwich for our lunch, a pizza on a Friday night or burger and fries midweek, it can be a very easy and convenient thing to do. Some take away food can be quite cheap as well and so it is easy to justify it to yourself because you are not spending that much money. However, it is not all cheap and if we buy coke or soda and ice cream with it then those could be overpriced to make up for the cheaper food. So, try to cut down on this; make your own sandwich or even replace with a salad that you make at home, cook your own meals from scratch and get the family helping you. Batch cooking can be a good way to make sure that there is always a meal in the freezer so you have no excuse to have a take away. Get the family involved in helping with cooking meals and it need not take very long at all and you can have some time together too.
  • Move around the home more – exercise does not always have to be about going to the gym, using a personal trainer or even going out jogging. You do not even have to buy any specialist clothing. Just moving more will make a difference to your health. So, if you move around your home more then this can be helpful. This can just mean getting up from the chair at regular intervals, perhaps ever 15 or 30 minutes to walk around a little. It can be a good opportunity to get a drink or go to the bathroom, although you should be careful not to use it as an excuse to get a snack.
  • Do stairs – it can be tempting to avoid doing the stairs. Even in your own home you may place things on the stairs to carry up when you go rather than taking them straight up. Elsewhere you may use the elevator or escalator rather than the stairs. Even just doing this a few times a day can add up and make a difference. As you get fitter you can try running up them, although be careful running down in case you slip.
  • Go for walks – going for a walk costs nothing and it can make a big difference to your health. You only need a good pair of shoes, they do not have to be walking boots or fitness shoes. Just going around the block each day could really help to increase your fitness. You can start with a short distance and make it longer and longer as you get fitter. You can also walk faster as you get fitter and you should be able to cover a lot more distance in the same amount fo time.
  • Cook from scratch – many of us will buy convenience food or premade meals from supermarkets that we can just warm up. Although these are really handy, they are often more expensive than making the same meal yourself from scratch. It can therefore be wise to start thinking about whether you can make the food yourself and save money. By cooking it yourself you will have the option of choosing healthier ingredients such as adding in more vegetables, reducing the saturated fats, replacing grain with wholegrains and things like this. It can be great to be in control of your ingredients.
  • Find good recipes online – if you feel a little unconfident about cooking or are not sure how to make healthy meals then look online. There are loads of free recipes there. You should be able to find everything that you need to put together a range of healthy meals and this should cost you no extra money, compared with buying a book.

0 Comments

How to Make the Most of Sales in Stores

When there are sales, reductions or discounts then it can be an exciting time. You might want to visit the stores so that you can buy all sorts of exciting things and stock up. You could find all sorts of great bargains and save a lot of money. However, it is very wise to be cautious when we are looking at sale items as we could end up spending more than we can afford, buying things that we may not even need or perhaps ever use. We may also end up spending money we cannot afford. Therefore, we should take some steps to make sure that we are careful when we are shopping like this.

Check current finances
It is important to start by looking at your finances to see what you can afford. It can be so easy to get carried away in a sale and buy as much as you can, that you can easily overspend. You do not want to end up having to borrow money to pay for sale items or the money that you have saved will be spent in loan interest on your bad credit payday loan. Therefore, start by thinking about what money you have and what you need to spend it on. Look at the expenses that you are likely to have before you next get paid as well to see whether you need to hold some money back to cover that. Then you will have an idea of how much you can afford to spend.

Set a budget
It is worth therefore, setting yourself a budget or spending limit when you go to the mall or the store. It is wise to not spend all of your spare money (as identified using the method above) as you might want to keep a bit back. If there is another sale before your next pay check arrives or something unexpected crops up that you need to pay for, then you will be stuck. Therefore think about how much you might like to keep in reserve.

Consider what you need
Before going to the store it is worth thinking about what you need. For example, if the sale is at a clothing store then identify what you might need, perhaps you need to replace some work out items, you need things for next season or you want to get some things for gifts for certain people. It is best to write down a list of what you need. It can be easier to focus if you have a list and not get carries away.

Compare prices with other stores
When things are reduced it can be tempting to think that ill be lowest price you will be able to buy the item for. However, it is very possible that there might be other stores which have the item for sale at a cheaper price. This might be because the store is generally a lot cheaper and so that their prices are lower when not reduced compared to an expensive store which starts at a dearer price. It is therefore worth just seeing whether you can get the item cheaper elsewhere.

Do not be tempted by bargains
It can be so tempting to think that because an item is reduced to a low price that it is a real bargain and that you must buy it because you will save so much money. However, if you do not but the item at all you will save even more money. For example, imagine that a pair of pantyhose is reduced from $10 to $2. You might think that when you buy these you are saving $8. However, you are actually spending $2 and if you do not buy them at all you will save $2. Only if you needed a pair are you saving money, if you are buying them just because they look cheap then you save nothing as it is possible that you may never even use them. It can be quite a hard concept to grasp as the store is telling us we are saving money, but if you think of it as the fact that you are spending less, then you can focus on the fact that you are spending money and remember that you still have to pay even if it is cheaper.

As you can see, it is really important to plan your shopping trip carefully. It may seem like it is making it less fun, if you have to think about all of these things, but it should mean that you will be more likely to buy items that are useful for you and that you actually need and will use in the future. You can still have fun and hunt for bargains but you will be more focussed and be less likely to waste money.