Can having a healthy diet actually save you money?
According to researchers the answer is YES (Flynn et al. 2013 – thought we’d throw that one in there to show how science-y and smart our tips are.)
Ways in which having a healthy lifestyle can save you money include:
– Eliminate your expensive vices
The number one expensive vice that drains your bank account and damages your health is smoking. If you kick your 10-a-day smoking habit you could save yourself over $2500 a year! If you’re not a smoker cutting out other vices like soft drinks or chocolate can have an impact on your wallet and your waistline. If you are a daily drinker of Coca-Cola you may be spending around $1200 over the course of a year, or if you cave into your daily 3 o’clock chocolate bar craving you could be spending around $500 a year. Think of all the $3 schooners (or rent, whatever) you could spend that money on.
– Cut down on transport costs
Car maintenance, petrol, parking, and public transport fees are all daily expenses that can be drastically cut with a changes in your lifestyle. – Try riding your bike places – Not only is it good for your overall fitness but you can usual lock your bike up right out the front. Talk about convenience. – Park further away from your destination (to avoid paid parking) and walk. – Get off a few stops earlier – With Opal cards being introduced getting off a few steps earlier may save you money in the long run. When you’re fit and healthy these suggestions do not seem like the worst idea ever because not are you saving money but you are getting your daily dose of exercise which you love.
– Reduce medical costs
By being healthy you may reap the benefits of looking and feeling better but losing a few kg’s and incorporating exercise into your daily routine could also help your sleep improve, reduce the regularity of headaches and boost your immune system. This will, in turn, save you the money you may normally spend on over the counter medicines. With a healthy immune system you a less likely to get sick, therefore saving both time and money avoiding a visit to the doctor.
– Reduce monthly food bills
Switching pre-packaged, processed foods for homemade meals can have a huge impact on your monthly food spending. For the price of a pre-packaged soup that would last you two days, you can buy the ingredients to make a portion of soup that would last you five. Not mention the savings you’d gain from giving up or cutting down on expensive takeout. A takeaway meal can cost anywhere from two to five times the amount a home made meal, and packs on almost double the amount of calories.
What’s more, switching to fresh, homemade meals can also significantly improve your body’s processing of the food. It has been scientifically demonstrated that your body prepares for the intake of foods during the cooking phase and can thus digest them a lot better.
While a healthy diet is thought to be expensive, if certain food are cut out (unhealthy snacks, desserts, soft drinks, and some meat) a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables can help you save money and help your waistline all while preventing chronic disease!
References: Flynn MM, Reinert S, Schiff AR. A Six-Week Cooking Program of Plant-Based Recipes Improves Food Security, Body Weight, and Food Purchases for Food Pantry Clients. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 2013; 8 (1): 73 DOI: 10.1080/19320248.2012.758066