How to Stay Healthy on a Budget
The holidays are a wonderful time of year, full of good food, memories and family. However, it can also be an expensive and indulgent time of year. Buying gifts, buying food to feed all 30 of your cousins this holiday season, new outfits for your office party, bae’s office party and a cena with comadres you don’t even like (don’t lie). Maybe you are investing in newer Christmas decorations because you’re hosting this year. It’s a lot. It can feel overwhelming. So overwhelming, in fact, that some of us put our health in the backseat during this ride through the holidays. The holidays come every year. However, in this life, you are only blessed with one body. This year, as a holiday gift, give yourself the gift of love. Show yourself love by caring for yourself. Lo se… how is a lil gangsta like me supposed to shop at Whole Foods and La Amapola in the same week? How can I find time to meal prep and make tamales? (For all 30 of my cousins, we established this.) Most of all, how can those of us who live in the hood find a way to, say, buy presents for everyone and shell out money to shop organic or pay for a gym membership?
Guess what carnal? You can be healthy AF without breaking the bank. The intention of this week’s blog post is to hook you up with some practical tips so that you can find hacks on how to care for yourself. Yes, this article is being shared during the holidays, but a lot of these tips apply year round. Read on for tips on how to stay healthy on a budget.
How to Stay Healthy…For Free
There are certain things we can do for our health that cost close to nothing. Sleeping 7-9 hours a night. Praying or meditating. Drinking enough water. Watching a sunset. Cuddling your spouse (or your sancha, I don’t judge). Taking deep breaths. Stretching. Walking. Laughing. Being present. If you are able to find the time in your schedule to commit some of these to your lifestyle, then you are ahead of the game. And if you haven’t, don’t feel bad. It is never too late to start.
These options are basically free. Read on for tips on how to save on the healthy stuff that is not necessarily free.
How to Stay Healthy on a Budget
Frozen versus fresh
Including greens in your diet is always a great idea. The good news is, you can find some pretty affordable veggies at the market. I am not lying, Ralphs had organic green frozen beans 10 bags for $10 two weeks ago in anticipation of Thanksgiving. (This is in no way sponsored, but ey yo Ralphs wassup holla!) I eat green beans like once a week with dinner, so you best believe I got my ten bags. You do not necessarily have to wait for the holidays to stock up, either. Typically, frozen is less expensive than fresh. For instance, I have found that I prefer to buy my berries frozen. They last longer. I can buy them year round. Plus, since they are less expensive frozen, I have more to spend so that I can buy organic.
I used to shy away from frozen because I thought it would be difficult to cook/ prep with. Some hacks I have found: Frozen veggies work lots of different ways. My personal favorite way to enjoy them is in caldos. I also find frozen fruits are great in smoothies.
Buy in Bulk
If the world were to end tomorrow, I would set up camp at the closest Costco I could find. Have y’all ever been to Costco? (Swear, not sponsored. Yo Costco, holla at yo gurl!) I stock up on all sorts of things. My pantry looks like a hood corner market. But in all seriousness, some healthy must-haves I like to buy in bulk from shops like this are quinoa (I can reuse the bag as a sleeping bag- its huge!), oats, olive oil and nuts. These items last longer (unlike produce, dairy or meat), and they are things I know I will consistently use in my kitchen.
Plus, buying in bulk usually means you buy one large container, rather than buying a bunch of little containers in the long term. It can help to reduce your carbon footprint if you strategize correctly.
Finally, some of the Price Club super stores sell gym memberships up front for the year at a lower price point then if you were to go to the gym and pay monthly. If you want a gym membership but are on the fence, this could be a way to make it work. Consider it a Christmas gift to yourself, if it is something you truly desire. I am a firm believer that we can exercise for free by walking outside or trying classic body weight movements at home like push-ups, squats and planks. However, some of us find it easier to commit to a workout routine in a space like a traditional gym. If that is the case, then this is a great way to make it fit into your lifestyle.
When it comes to staying healthy on a budget, this falls under the category of budgeting time and money. I love eating home cooked meals. I feel better when I do. When I eat comida de la calle, I feel sluggish, bloated, etc. Food is fuel. When I cook at home, I know exactly what I am fueling my body with! However, I am a working woman with a full time job, a marriage, family, in-laws, a side hustle, and I enjoy a variety of hobbies like masking my face and getting my nails did. Much as I would love to, I do not have time to cook every single meal every single day.
What helps me eat home cooked food is meal prepping! So in a typical day, I may have a smoothie, overnight oats or a Compton Health Bar Blend for breakfast. Those are typically quick to put together. For dinner, I may make a caldo one night when I have more time, and then reheat it the next few nights. This is not microwave recalentado, mind you. I boil the soup again every night that I reheat it. Let’s be honest… caldo tastes better when it’s reheated anyway.
Other things I like to do is roast my dinner. I’ll put some salmon filets and a ton of pre chopped vegetables on a cooking tray, season with olive oil and salt, and stick them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. (My favorite time to mask is while dinner is in the oven, as a matter of fact.)
Ok so you may be thinking, B Dawg you iz tripping. Groceries are expensive. How is this gonna save me money? Eating out adds up, compa. Let’s say you buy your breakfast, lunch and dinner from take out places. Let’s imagine it’s only $10 a meal, 7 days a week. That’s $210 a week. Suddenly, $100 worth of groceries for the week doesn’t seem half bad, does it?
Often, grocery shopping can come off as shockingly expensive because you spend the cash all at once. Eating out seems more convenient because you do it little by little throughout the week. In the end, meal prepping can save you money, and save you time if you are strategic.
This is also the best time to say that in the long run, eating healthier is an investment for your body. After all, we only get one body in this life. Eating fast food is convenient but it may cost us a lot in the long run. Health is a precious and priceless blessing. It is golden.
Get Yo Formulas
Compton Health Bar is all about Health In Da Hood. That means, making formulas for la raza at a price point that is affordable to anyone in our community. The one-week blends, for instance, are a great way to try it out at a low price point. Or if you like trying new things, this is a great way to alternate your blends and see which one makes you feel your best, I am personally a Get Yo Greens and Compton Detox kinda gal, baybeee. The Compton Detox helps me reset and the Get Yo Greens Mix floods my body with greens so I feel confident I am doing right by my body. You can always slide into our DMs for more info.
Tying it all Together
Your health is worth the investment. YOU are worth the investment. Compton Health Bar has your back on this journey to health. May it always be illuminated. We got chu with yo formulas and with tips on how to make health fit into your unique lifestyle. Did any of these tips resonate with you? We’d love to read in the comments. Were there any tips we missed? Share those in the comments too. We are a community after all, here at CHB, so let’s help each other out and keep each other accountable in da comments.