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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!

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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