Stay Healthy on a Budget

3 Simple Tips to Stay Healthy on a Budget


Looking for the easiest way to stay healthy!?

Well, good luck finding that! Joking aside, not everyone is built the same, so not every method works for all. People have different cultures, different genetics, different motivations, age, gender, etc. Even the region where you live can affect your health. However, there are several universal practices that can help most of us, in all walks of life. If you’re trying to stay healthy on a budget, these tips will help you and your wallet stay fit. Just like anything else that matters though, a bit of time and effort will go a long way.

Tip #1: Walking

Walking 20 to 30 minutes a day can help your health tremendously. I mean, this super simple exercise can be the saving grace to many people. The list of benefits that simply walking will do for your health is substantial.

Check this out – Walking can: 
  1. Improve cardiovascular health: Regular walking can help to strengthen the heart, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  2. Manage weight: Walking is an excellent way to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight.
  3. Boost mood: Walking releases endorphins which can improve mood and reduce stress.
  4. Increase bone density: Walking is a weight-bearing exercise that can help to improve bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
  5. Reduce the risk of chronic diseases: Walking regularly has been shown to lower the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and some types of cancer.
  6. Improve balance and coordination: Walking can reduce the risk of falls, particularly in older adults.
  7. Increase energy levels: Walking can boost energy levels and improve overall endurance.
  8. Improve sleep: Regular walking can help to improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of sleep disorders.
  9. Reduce joint pain: Walking can help to reduce joint pain and stiffness, particularly in individuals with arthritis.
  10. Enhance cognitive function: Walking has been shown to improve cognitive function, including memory and attention span, in older adults.

Walking to stay Healthy on a budget

Not to mention, you can walk pretty much anywhere, in any part of the world. Can’t go outside? Walk inside with a treadmill. Don’t have a treadmill? Pace around your house (surprisingly, I do this often without noticing.) Also, walking lets you stay healthy on a budget. There’s no need for gym memberships, or expensive equipment to do this exercise. You just choose a direction, and onward!
Walking doesn’t take much brain power, which means you can do something else while walking. Walk and listen to music, listen to your favorite podcast, or even learn a new language! Walk with your spouse and talk, walk and talk with your kids, walk and talk for a work meeting. There’s so much you can do while walking! This is one of the few things the brain will let you effectively multi-task in. Basically, there’s few excuses why you can’t take a walk.

Tip #2 Reduce your sugar intake

If you have a sweet tooth, this one you probably don’t want to hear. It’s still something you can do to start living healthier. Now, before you close out this page, hear me out. I’m not saying to do something drastic and stop eating sweets altogether but start somewhere. Not to mention, we’re trying to stay healthy on a budget, and many of the sugary snacks can get quite expensive. So, it can actually help your wallet, when you reduce how much sugar you consume.

Why should I stop eating sugar?

There are so many different types of diets – The Vegetarian diet, Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Mediterranean, Atkins, and this list goes on. I should also mention, that many of the diets aren’t free. You’ll have to go out of your way to buy specific foods that can turn out to be more expensive. Since we’re trying to stay healthy on a budget, we’re looking to also save money. Besides, how many people actually stick to a diet? Well, I say, forget diets, or the concept of a diet anyway. Instead of going on a strict diet, just change the way you eat. Change your lifestyle. You can start by finding alternatives to replace your usual sugary snacks. Check out some of the benefits of reducing your sugar intake:

  1. Improved weight management: Consuming high amounts of sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity.
  2. Better dental health: Sugar is a major contributor to tooth decay and cavities (don’t lose your teeth, and don’t lose your money by paying the dentist to fix your teeth.)
  3. Better mood and energy levels: Too much sugar intake causes fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can lead to mood swings, fatigue, and low energy levels (feeling slow lately?)
  4. Lower risk of type 2 diabetes (this caused over 100,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2022, no joke!)
  5. Improved heart health: Consuming too much sugar leads to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease. (This one causes almost 700,000 deaths a year in the U.S alone!)
  6. Lower the risk of dementia: New studies are proving a strong link between consuming a lot of sugar (in any form) and dementia.

But I’ve been eating like this my whole life!

Listen, I get it, we’ve been eating this way since we were kids. You can still change the way you eat, and it doesn’t take too much effort. I mean, I like sweets too, so I get it! But I can’t ignore the reality of what consuming too much sugar can do to my health. Because, yes, you can eat sugar, but if you overdo it, you’ll suffer the consequences.

The last one on the list above, dementia, is very personal to me. My late grandmother on my dad’s side had dementia at the very end. It was extremely sad that she didn’t remember me, and she pretty much raised me in my early childhood. One thing that she was known for, was loving sweets. Oh how Mama loved her sugar fix. It’s a wonder how she didn’t end up with diabetes! But she ended up with something worse in my opinion.

What can we do about it?

Change your eating habits! You can start by just picking one thing you eat regularly, and replacing it with a healthier choice. Maybe you eat Fruity Pebbles for breakfast everyday. Replace it with a bowl of oatmeal with a chopped up strawberry, half a banana, and a bit of cinnamon. Or, instead of pancakes smothered in sugary syrup, chop up some onions, tomatoes, and spinach, and make yourself an omelet. Don’t go too crazy with the eggs though, since they do have a lot of cholesterol.  For lunch and dinner, you have a lot more possibilities, but avoid eating sugary foods for dessert. You can replace those Oreos and ice cream with a few raspberries with mixed nuts (try it, super delicious!) I’ll have a post soon on tasty alternatives that are great for you and will help you stay healthy on a budget.

What I’ve been doing to cut sugar

I’ve been choosing foods either with no sugar, or 5 grams or less. Anything else, I avoid. However, I do allow myself to eat one “cheat” meal a week. Whether it’s a big tasty burger, or a large bowl of ice cream with chopped up Oreos, it’s all fair game! Basically, I allow for one good ‘ole fashion American pig-out session. I’ll repeat this though, that’s for one meal in the week, not a whole day. I still do eat plenty of tasty things throughout the week, just not anything with too much sugar (or too much grease, I’ll cover avoiding too many greasy foods in another post.)

Protein Shakes and Meal Replacements to Stay Healthy on a Budget

Lately, I’ve been supplementing my meals, and replacing some of my snacks with organic plant-based protein shakes. This is the same stuff I use for my pre and post workout protein supplement. I go with Orgain, because it’s organic, super healthy, low in sugar, and still taste really good. This is much more than just a protein shake though. It’s a mix of superfoods put together that can easily replace a whole meal if you wanted it to. It even contains probiotics to keep a healthy gut.

There’s a variety of flavors, including Strawberries ‘n Cream, Peanut Butter, and my favorite, Creamy Chocolate Fudge. I Magic Bullet blender to mix it with almond milk, half a banana, blueberries, and you have heaven in a cup! It’s also fairly inexpensive, so you’re still able to stay healthy on a budget. Also, consider the money you spend on other foods that might not be as healthy for you. You might actually be saving money by replacing some of your snacks with something like Orgain. I’d rather spend money on this, than going out for fast food any day!

Your commitment to reduce sugar intake

Just one small change in your eating habits can make a world of difference, and open up a new path to a healthier you. Not to mention, you can stay healthy on a budget because you’ll lose interest in many of your typical sugary snacks. A Cinnabun here, a Snickers bar there, and an Ice cream sandwich after dinner because you feel you deserve a treat; these things add up! All it takes is one small step – find where you can consume less sugar throughout your day, and you’ll be a healthier you already.

#3 Meditation

Our mental health cannot be forgotten. This is just as important, if not, more important than our physical health. The hustle and bustle of everyday life affects every single one of us. It’s like we’re getting bombarded every couple of minutes by something that needs our attention. That something can be your job, your kids, your spouse, your family, your in-laws, the news, the weather, the bills, the groceries, your taxes, your finances, your health, and this list can just be endless!

If you don’t do something about how you perceive all of these things coming at you, and set aside to work on your mental health, you could literally lose your sanity. The results of this can be seen by the rising number of people with depression, anxiety, other mental illnesses, and ultimately, suicides. Mental well-being is a very serious matter, and it has to be your priority to improve as much as possible.

What can I do about my mental health?

There isn’t one secret sauce to solve everyone’s problems. For most of us, many of the daily stressors that affect our mental health will require a serious life assessment, and restructure. In the meantime, you have to do something in the here and now to maintain your mental health. But not everyone has the money, or the time to seek out counseling with a therapist, which could turn out to be a great thing by the way. A great way to start, and stay healthy on a budget, is simply to practice meditation.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditating on a daily basis can do a great deal of good to your mental health, and potentially improve all aspects of your life. The practice of meditation will give you the space needed to hit the reset button on your brain, making your day a bit easier to tackle each time because you start building clarity. The more you practice, the clearer things get each time.

These are some of the benefits meditation will provide for you:

  1. Reduce and manage stress: Meditation can help to reduce stress levels by activating the body’s relaxation response and promoting a sense of calm. It also provides tools and techniques to manage stress effectively, enabling you to cope with challenging situations more calmly and with greater resilience.
  2. Improve focus and concentration: Regular meditation practice can enhance focus, attention, and concentration, allowing you to be more present and engaged in daily activities.
  3. Improve emotional well-being: Meditation can help to regulate emotions and promote a positive outlook. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and promote overall emotional well-being.
  4. Increase self-awareness: Through meditation, you can develop a greater sense of self-awareness, understanding your thoughts, emotions, and patterns of behavior more deeply. This in turn allows your decision-making skills, allowing for more thoughtful and deliberate choices.
  5. Improved sleep: Meditation techniques, such as relaxation and mindfulness, can aid in improving sleep quality, helping you to fall asleep faster and enjoy more restful sleep.
  6. Enhanced creativity: Regular meditation practice has been linked to increased creativity, as it cultivates a relaxed and open state of mind, allowing new ideas and insights to emerge.
  7. Physical health benefits: Meditation has been associated with various physical health benefits, including lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and improved cardiovascular health, and it can help boost your immune system.

How can I start meditating?

You can start with something as simple as deep breathing exercises a few minutes a day. I promise, this isn’t some type of weird existential experience (unless you’re into that type of stuff, I guess you can make it that.) This is something backed by science, and proven to work. The secret is in the pattern of your breathing. You have to take a longer exhale than your inhale.

Start by sitting down normally and resting your hands on your lap. Inhale to a count of 4, hold your breath to a count of 4, and exhale to a count of 8. These counts don’t have to be a whole second long, just however long is comfortable for you. As you practice daily, you can make the counts longer if you wish. Do this breathing method several times and it will help slow your heart rate, putting you in a more relaxed state. 

I also suggest you start with a guided meditation. There’s plenty of YouTube videos out there, and there’s even apps for your smart devices to help you every day. I personally have used two apps that I really like. HeadSpace, and Medito


In my opinion, this is the best meditation application there is. It helps you start a meditation practice and continue learning how to meditate effectively. This app is the whole reason I started meditating in the first place! It has a huge library of guided meditations, and includes a lot of content on best practices, with many different trainers and guides. HeadSpace does cost you about $70 for an annual subscription, but they do offer a free 30-day trial which is enough for you to get started and learn the basics. I got lucky enough that it’s provided through the company I work for (you might want to check if your company offers it.)


This is the free alternative to HeadSpace. Though it doesn’t offer as big of a library, and as much content, it still has a decent amount of stuff to keep your meditation practice going. Remember though, we’re looking to stay healthy on a budget. If you can’t afford it, or if you’d prefer to save your money, don’t buy it! I think the best way to do it is to get your HeadSpace 30-day free trial, and then switch over to Medito once you have the basics of meditation down.

A quick meditation guide

Find a quiet location, and a comfortable place where you can sit upright. Take 4 to 5 deep breaths like the ones I explained earlier. When your done with your deep breathing exercises, return your  breath back to normal, close your eyes, and stay focused on your breathing. Your only job now is to observe as you inhale, and as you exhale, and where you feel it in your body the most. Your diaphragm? Your chest? Maybe your stomach? Just keep focusing on your breathing. Your session can last as long as you want – 3, 5, 10, 20 minutes; it’s up to you.

It’s also important to note that you’ll naturally tend to start thinking about other things, like your job, your kids, your finances, and other everyday stressors. As soon as you notice these thoughts, just go right back to focusing on your breath. Believe me, your thoughts will constantly want to go there, but the point of the practice is on bringing the focus back to the breath, or whatever you choose to focus on. You can also practice focusing on sounds (helps if you don’t have a quiet environment,) bodily sensations, or even thoughts of gratitude. Whatever you choose to focus on, just make sure you observe without judgment.

Get your space back

Meditation is a great way to take that edge off, and get back the much needed space to boost your mental health. Go back and re-read the benefits meditation provides. I’m sure you’ll find something there that appeals to you. Make it your goal to make that area of your mental well-being great. Another nice perk of meditation is that, not only will you stay healthy on a budget this way, it could actually help you focus on making sense of your financial situation, and how to make it better. It did for me.

The Big Picture

So let’s go through this short list. #1- Walking, #2- Reduce Sugar Intake, and #3 -Meditation. Listen guys, being healthy isn’t really complicated, but it does take your effort. And it’s not even that much effort! The most important part is your commitment to change your lifestyle for the better. My plan is to stick around as long as possible, and live a fulfilled, healthy life. Not just for me, but for my family! If there’s nothing else that you can’t think of making it worthwhile to make a commitment for, then those you love can provide some motivation.

I also have goals I want to achieve in my future with my family. To help me reach those goals, it’s vital for me to stay healthy on a budget, regardless of the success that comes my way. It’s important that we don’t lose sight of our ultimate financial goal, financial independence. 

Check out our post on How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck for more information on how to remain frugal, regardless of your income.

I know deep in my heart that God gave me a purpose. It’s not some fancy philosophical purpose, it’s simply to take all things in my life, and do what I do best, which is try to make them better. This doesn’t stop at just the physical things that I like fixing, but includes my health, my finances, and my relationships, especially with those closest to me. That’s what helps me keep committed, and drives me to stay healthy on a budget.

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