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We share our tips on healthy eating on a budget and how to keep fit! With summer around the corner, now is the best time to get motivated. With the money you save, you can treat yourself to an alfresco breakfast in the summer breeze or dinner at a pub garden.
What is the cheapest and healthiest fast food?
Here’s a list of nutritional healthy foods that are quick to prepare and won’t break your bank account:
- Brown rice – a slow-releasing carbohydrate that will keep you satisfied for longer.
- Eggs – low calorie, high protein source. A very versatile ingredient, they can be incorporated into meals at any time of the day.
- Pulses – beans, lentils and peas are some of the cheapest tinned foods. They are packed with healthy fibre and protein. Pulses can be used to substitute more expensive meat in certain dishes.
- Frozen fruit and veg – picked when fresh and frozen to seal in their nutrients. You won’t have to worry about these going off!
- Oats – another slow-releasing carbohydrate that can help to stabilise blood sugar levels.
- Tinned fish – a source of protein, calcium and omega 3. Tins can be conveniently stored.
- Yoghurt – can be bought in larger quantities. Yoghurt contains calcium, protein and probiotics, which promote a healthy gut biome.
- Popcorn – a cheap, low calorie, delicious snack!
More healthy eating on a budget ideas:
Our advice on how to save money on food will help you eat healthy on a budget by making choices to purchase nutritional foods for the best price. I also like to check out cheap and healthy recipes on BBC Good Food for my meal-prep motivation.
Best recipe box newbie discounts:
Meal prep boxes regularly have discounts for new customers. They provide cheap healthy meals for a week or specified time frame.
Additionally, these healthy eating on budget recipes (once the discount is applied) usually include recipe cards that you can keep for future meal inspiration and nutritional information.
Our recommendations for meal boxes delivered UK with discounts for initial sign-ups:
- Hello Fresh – 50% off 1st box, 20% off the next 3, and free shipping! Pick your plan, including your household size and how many meals you would like, dietary requirements, vegetarian or quick to cook recipes and then get a box delivered every week. The box has all your pre-measured ingredients and recipes card. Hello Fresh also commits to sustainably sourcing, packaging, delivering and cooking the food it offers.
- Gousto – 30% off all boxes for your first month and free delivery! Offering up to 4 recipes a week, including all ingredients. You can guarantee cheap healthy meals for family or just yourself. The UK’s very own lockdown P.E teacher, Joe Wicks, works together with Gousto to create wholesome recipes for you.
- Simply Cook – receive your first box for £3. In each box, you will get 4 recipe kits that will transform your meals, follow the recipes and add Simply Cook’s unique flavour blends to your own ingredients to create delicious meals.
- Mindful Chef – £10 off your 1st and 2nd order. Using fresh, local ingredients, you can cook meals designed by nutritionists. This company delivers recipe card boxes that consider all angles, from options for single-sized portions, sustainability, and free-range products to partnering with British Heart Foundation and donating a meal to a child in poverty for every meal purchased.
- Muscle Foods – offer a range of deals on lean meats and supplements. They aim to fuel athletes and individuals with the best quality protein and slimming friendly ready meals if you’re looking to lose weight. Muscle foods may also be an alternative for purchasing meat in bulk for a better price.
These are some of the best recipe boxes UK, but keep your eyes peeled for more discounts you can take advantage of as a first time customer.
How do you exercise on a budget?
Affordable exercise is out there! Here are suggestions on how you can save some money exercising and not have to splash out on your gym membership:
- Buy multi-use equipment – this way, you will get more out of what you pay for! Think resistance bands; these can double up as dumbbells, extension machines and level up your bodyweight workouts. Or a step – works a weight bench and can be used for cardio exercise.
- Work out at home using apps. The cheapest way to work out at home that is the closest alternative to using a gym. Often only a fraction of a gym membership, apps keep you challenged and motivated by offering various workout styles and classes.
- Have a look in your local charity shop or book store for 2nd hand books on exercise and meals; these could inspire your new work out routine and lifestyle.
- Buy second-hand equipment, check out your local ads or Facebook market place. Second-hand equipment is cheaper than buying from new.
- If you feel like you need a professional to help you get started and make sure you are moving correctly, investing in a personal trainer can lead to results. To decrease the costs, ask a friend or a family member if they would like to share the sessions and see if your personal trainer would offer a discount for joint training.
How can I exercise for free?
Our secret to getting fit is that exercising doesn’t have to cost you a penny!
You can get into better shape simply by increasing your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). This is anything that uses up energy that isn’t sleeping, eating or doing sports/exercise.
Get creative discovering cheap ways to exercise:
- Walk. Walk everywhere! You could walk with family, friends, your dog or maybe your cat. If the weather is terrible, take a trip to the shopping mall and do some window shopping. Decide to walk to work or school. Increase your NEAT by taking the stairs rather than the escalators.
- Do your house chores! If you ever feel hot and flustered whilst vacuuming, you are increasing your NEAT.
- Use what you have for a home gym. Stools work for step-ups and wine bottles for dumbbells.
- Look for free weights advertised on places like eBay or Facebook market place to see if anyone has any unused equipment that they are giving away for free, or see if you can trade with them.
- Youtube! An absolute gold mine when it comes to free workouts. There are endless options from Yoga with Adriene, and HIIT for all ages with Joe Wicks, cardio and bodyweight exercises that focus on upper body, lower body and full body with FitnessBlender. Have a look there might be something for you.
- Own body weight. You are your asset! Look in fitness magazines, books and websites. They provide free content on body weight circuits and exercises that will burn calories.
- Park runs are free, weekly runs held in communities that you can join in with. You can do a park run at your own pace, and bring along friends and family.
- Use local facilities like tennis courts and football pitches. Invite your friends or your family for sociable exercise.
- Take up cycling if you already have a bike and use Strava to track your routes and follow friends. Strava also hosts challenges with the incentive of winning vouchers and discount codes.
- Join a local sports team. Make new friends and spend time playing a sport you enjoy.
Exercise apps on a budget
- Use free trials on fitness apps. But remember to cancel; otherwise, you will be charged! Peloton offers a free 30-day trial. You can use their app and choose from the likes of running, strength training and meditation classes. Another app that offers a free 30-day trial is Daily Burn, offering thousands of different workout videos for you to follow.
- Use apps for free ways to exercise. Nike has a free training app with different work out plans you can choose from that suit you best, or, if you struggle for time, Seven has 7-minute workouts for you to squeeze into your busy day.
How is exercising the most inexpensive way to keep healthy?
Exercising comes with many benefits. It can control your weight, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve your mental well-being, and help you sleep better. Exercising doesn’t have to cost you anything and can help prevent expensive health issues.
Couple exercise with a nutritional and balanced diet, and you will see results that you will profit from throughout your life.
Following our tips for healthy eating on a budget and affordable exercise, I hope you have some ideas on how you can make positive changes to your lifestyle. For more inspiration on easy ways to save money we have written a post with 35 ideas! Keep things fun, and let me know how it goes! We would love to hear from you in the comments section below!