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Why living a healthy lifestyle can save you money

Posted in: Finance Last updated: 12 Feb 2015

What do you think of when you hear the word health? Fruit, veg, vitamins and the gym might spring to mind - all things that don't come cheap.

For some reason, the general view on healthy eating is that it comes at a price - so there's no wonder so many of us fall into the trap of thinking that frugal living means eating junk food. But if you manage your routine carefully, leading a hale and hearty lifestyle could actually help your bank balance. Here's how.

Grow your own fruit and veg

You don't have to have an expansive garden to save a few pennies and enjoy the health benefits of fresh fruit and veg. Grow your own from scratch and feel smug every time you pass the overpriced punnets of fruit in the supermarket. You'll be amazed at what you can grow on a small patio with some sacks, stacked tyres or containers. Potatoes or strawberries are easy enough to plant, or you could even try your hand at sprouting your own herbs.

Take an alternative mode of transport

Shave off some of your monthly outgoings by taking an alternative mode of transport to work. Walking is of course, absolutely free, so you could just get off the bus a stop or two early to get your daily fix of exercise. If you're lucky enough to own a bike or can get one through a bike to work scheme, use this to beat the traffic on your daily commute.  If you've got an extra-long commute ahead, you could hop on a train and cycle half way.

Eat less meat

Before the days of factory farming, meat was generally eaten sparingly due to its hefty price tag. Cutting back on your budget could be as simple as adding a few meatless meals to your weekly menu. The Office for National Statistics recently reported that you could be £265 a year better off if you were to halve your intake of red and processed meat1. To keep things interesting, make it your mantra to try one new vegetarian dish a week.

Borrow a fitness DVD

Getting active at home is the perfect alternative to a dull and costly gym session. Don't fork out for fitness DVDs though - borrow them from your local library instead. Most libraries will shelve a good selection and as they are free, you can switch up your exercise regime as often as you'd like. If you just can't find the time to get up and moving in front of the TV, then make it your mission to find ways to move more when you are doing chores around the home.

Swap the cinema for the park

Instead of taking your family out on a costly cinema trip where it's hard to resist the temptations of unhealthy snacks, set up camp at your local park and play a few games of rounders. You could even bring your own healthy picnic along.

Download free fitness apps

Forget pricey diets, there are tons of free fitness apps that can help you to monitor health and keep on track of what you're eating.

Sources

1 Office for National Statistics (December, 2013) Available from: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_337457.pdf

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial adviser about your own circumstances.