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11 Tips On Healthy Eating On A Budget

11 Tips On Healthy Eating On A Budget

One of the major contributing factors to an unhealthy diet is the misconception that healthy food is expensive. True, packaged food can be cheaper, but the question you need to ask yourself isn’t why healthy food is so expensive but, rather, why unhealthy food is so cheap. The good news is that it’s absolutely possible to eat healthy on a budget. I do it, and I’m a freelancer, so you’ll definitely be able to do it too. Here are 11 tips I can give you:

1. Eat Seasonally

There’s a reason why some fruits and vegetables are more expensive during certain parts of the year. It’s because they not in season and must be shipped in. You’re the one who pays for this. Eating seasonally means that you will save a ton of money whilst still maintaining a healthy diet. In addition, eating seasonal produce can boost your immune system for that particular season.

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2. Grow Your Own at Home

Growing a garden may seem impossible if you live in an apartment or somewhere without the luxury of a backyard. There’s options for you. Container gardening has become immensely popular over the last few years and it’s a great way to grow when you don’t have a lot of room. Take advantage of any tiny bit of balcony space you have. In addition, you can grow herbs in your kitchen! Even if you don’t have the space to grow very much, every little bit counts! After all, nothing tastes better than home-grown produce, and it’s an incredibly rewarding experience.

3. Grow Your Own Outside the Home

Not enough space at home? Join a community garden! Not only will you get the space you need to grow your vegetables and fruit, you will meet new people and get some great exercise out of it. As an added bonus, hiring beds are usually pretty cheap. I’ve found that the community spirit within these establishments result in lots of free produce and seedlings from other members.

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4. Drink More Water

Did you know that thirst is often mistaken for hunger? In fact, a large portion of the population is often dehydrated, without even knowing it. Drinking more water isn’t only beneficial in and of itself, but it will also help to curb your appetite. Drinking more water will also help to cut down on the amount of money you may be spending on soda. If you’re a fan of bottled water, you can also cut this expenditure down by buying a filter for your kitchen tap. Filters are cheap and will save you money in the long run.

5. Choose Produce Over Packaging

Pre-packaged goods are some of the most unhealthy food items on the market. In addition, they’re often quite expensive. The cheapest and healthiest items can be found in the produce aisle, and this is where the majority of your food intake should come from. I know that packaged items are easier and less of a hassle, but buying fresh will save on your food bills, as well as your medical ones, later in life.

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6. Make a Meal Plan

Plan out your meals and snacks ahead of time and make sure that they will fit into your budget. Once you’re at the shops, stick to your plan! If you know that you get tempted by the candy and snack aisles, avoid them! A lot of money disappears through unplanned purchases at the grocery store.

7. Write a Shopping List…

…and stick to it! Just like above, it can be tempting to purchase items on a whim. Do not do it. Most splurge purchases are a waste of money and calories.

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8. Shop the Sales

That’s right, this principle doesn’t just apply to clothes and electronics. Check catalogues and websites for weekly sales so you can save money on your groceries. Every penny counts!

9. Cook Big

One of the easiest ways to fall off the health wagon comes from a lack of time. People are busy these days and that can lead to laziness in the kitchen. No judgement–I’m as guilty as anyone else. Hectic days often make us resort to fast food options when it comes to dinner. This is a dangerous road to start going down. Cooking meals in large batches is the answer to this problem. Leftovers can be frozen for a later time, and can be easily defrosted and reheated at your convenience.

10. Get Your Soup Pot Out

Soup is an incredibly cheap way to eat healthily. Not only does it stretch far, but the cheapest cuts of meat are the best for them and you can add in any seasonal vegetables you like. You can further save money by keeping vegetable scraps to make your stock with. Sure, it takes a little extra time but it’s tastier and cuts down on your waste.

11. Buy Locally

Admittedly, buying locally or from farmers markets won’t necessarily be cheaper. However, what you get will be of a far higher quality and will last a great deal longer than store bought produce. In addition, local growers often throw in extras for free when you buy a lot. Support local business, people!

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Tegan Jones

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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