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Today’s frugal tip is all about being healthy! Being healthy might not seem like an obvious frugal tip, but by the end of the episode, I hope you’ll see why I consider it a frugal tip.
Before I go into specifics, I do need to provide some background on frugality. Frugality is not being cheap. Frugality is being resourceful, sparing, economic, and thrifty when it comes to consuming resources to avoid waste and extravagance. Frugality is acquiring resources in a restrained manner and being resourceful of the things you already have.
I wanted to provide that first because Frugality might be confused with being cheap. They can be the same, but not necessarily. There are things you can be cheap on, like the plates you eat off of, but there are things where you don’t want to be cheap, like your health.
Being healthy and taking action now will reduce medical costs when you are older. What you eat, your activity and yearly checkups can all help reduce medical costs as you age. Age is inevitable, so why try to make it easier?
Let’s look at what we eat first. I’ve heard from so many people that it’s expensive to eat healthy. It really depends on what you’re getting. If you are getting pre-prepped meals, then yes – you are paying a premium for that. But if you want to make a salad for your lunches, you can get lettuce, some veggies, cheese, and some protein for a very reasonable cost. It’s actually a similar cost to going to McDonald’s and getting a burger, fries, and soda. Let’s say though that the McDonalds option is cheaper, it’s still worth paying a little more for a healthy lunch. You are going to pay more for eating that cheaper option down the road than you will if you pay a little more now for that healthier lunch. This is why I had to mention frugality vs being cheap. Do not be cheap on the food you eat. You don’t have to get organic and non-GMO – I don’t. You can use coupons and shop when things are on sale or in season so you can get something at the lowest cost possible. You can buy in bulk for items you know you’ll eat and not buy things that you won’t actually eat. There are ways to be frugal and be healthy at the same time. Let me give you an example – I have steak with asparagus every Friday. I eat ½ a ribeye which costs me $6.25. I splurged and got purple asparagus for $6 at Whole Foods. I eat about ¼ of what I got, so that’s $1.50. For my entire meal, I paid $7.75. That’s really an excellent price! I know the quality of food I’m eating and I’m cooking it at home and saving time. I could get a cheaper meal at a fast-food joint, but that’s not healthy. Or I could have gotten a steak from a restaurant and paid $30 or more on this exact meal! Look at all the options you have – if you think eating healthy is expensive is it expensive because you want to go out to eat? Why is eating unhealthy your go-to option? Is it really the cost, or is it the convenience? Think about these things and really see if you can start making a promise to yourself to eat healthy! Frugal tip for that is to start cooking at home! If you don’t know how to cook, there are great videos on Youtube – my mom being one of them!
The next big area for being healthy is activity. We all know we need to move to keep our bodies healthy. This activity is different for everyone. I prefer walking and dancing as my forms of activity. My brother likes to lift weights. We both enjoy meditation though. Being active does not have to be expensive though, but it is a cost you shouldn’t avoid if you enjoy a certain type of activity. You don’t need to buy equipment for your homes like weights or a treadmill if you don’t enjoy that type of activity. You don’t need to pay for a gym membership if you don’t like gyms either! For me, I find walking to be the best way to stay active. It’s free and I can be in nature! I’ve seen the greatest things on my walks from geese taking flight to geese landing, helicopters landing on buildings, and even the Goodyear blimp in the sky! I did want to up my activity some more so I bought a subscription to Apple Fitness plus. For $79 a year I can do dance classes that get added weekly or even HITT workouts. My brother has used it for rowing workouts as well. The great thing about Apple Fitness plus is you can share it with 5 family members. They have something for everyone! If you find an activity you like that can be for free or for a low cost, do that! Don’t be cheap and avoid this cost because you want to save some money. Pay for it now and you’ll have fewer health issues when you are older. Keeping your heart healthy, muscles strong, and body flexible will pay off more than you realize.
Lastly is doctor visits. I hate going to the doctor, but I know that I need to do my annual visits every year. I make sure I do a physical with my family doctor, an eye exam with my eye doctor, and my dental cleaning every 6 months. These three things give me an insight into my overall health and could find something that might be easy to cure if caught early. There are horror stories of people who didn’t want to go to their annual doctor’s appointments to avoid paying the co-pay and find out years later they have a disease that cannot be cured. If they had gone to the doctor years ago for their annual visit they could have caught this issue early and gotten treatment before it was too late. DOn’t let that be you! The co-pay is worth paying. I paid $300 for my eye doctor visit! I didn’t want to pay for this, but we found a small cyst in my eye that can be treated with eye drops. If I didn’t treat this cyst it could have gotten bigger and impacted my eye health. If you see your blood pressure, cholesterol, or A1C levels going in the wrong direction you can work on starting habits to correct those before they become something that you can’t control. If you need medicines to control these, those will be so much more expensive than eating healthier.
So frugality is more than saving money right now. It’s about making the right choices that impact your finances in the long run. In this instance, being healthy is the frugal choice to make. It’s so hard to prioritize yourself, but doing so will give you so many opportunities in the future. It’s like saving for retirement now and enjoying what you saved many years in the future. Being healthy is starting a retirement account for your body!
Let me know, what are some things you do to be healthy? For me, I stick to a simple diet of meat and veggies. I try to avoid sugar, bread, and highly processed foods. I also walk 5 miles every day and try to do another form of workout in the morning. I limit my alcohol intake as well.
I hope you all have a great weekend and thank you for listening to No Fear Fiance, an Amalfi Media podcast. Check out Amalfi Media.com for our other podcasts, blogs, and youtube channels that we have! And don’t forget to support us if you enjoyed this by buying us a cup of coffee! I can make coffee for all of Amalfi with your support!