Healthy And Broke

Posted on September 3, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Hey hey!  We are halfway through the week!  How’s your’s going?  I hope it’s going well 🙂  I am loving the responses on the recent posts.  You guys are so helpful when I ask for advice!

Today I want to touch on something that seems to come up a lot in my place of work and in the blog world.  I get lots of comments from my co-workers regarding the expense of eating healthful foods.  I have two responses to these comments:   Yes, healthful foods may cost more initially but, medical bills and poor health will cost more in the long run.  Secondly, there are SO MANY WAYS to eat a very healthful, natural diet while sticking to your budget!  I know, that’s awesome, right? 

First, I want to touch on the well-known fact that most natural and especially organic foods are more expensive. 

 I will share how I’ve made room for these expenses in my budget.

1.  As many of you know from other posts, I stopped getting my hair highlighted blonde and have gone back to my natural color.  In addition, I stay with a low-maintenence  style that I only need to have trimmed every 6-8 weeks since I am letting my hair grow.  This saves me $100 every month!  I would save even more if I didn’t have my hair trimmed.

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2.  We only eat out about once every month.  This means no grabbing lunch on breaks at work.  We pack our lunches.  Sometimes Mallard’s company buys him lunch but this is the only exception.  We also pack snack for Snuffy everywhere we go so that we don’t have to frantically grab something for her if we are away from home.  When we were newly engaged, we ate out aboout 4-5 times a week! We would go to dinner 3 nights a week (that always included drinks) and to breakfast both weekend mornings!  We save around $500 a month by cutting back to one meal out each month.  Personally, I like making my own food anyway.  I love to cook and I know exactly what’s in my food and how it’s made.

3.  I no longer get manicures or pedicures.  These ceased when I had a child.  They are nice once in a while but I can never really seem to find time for once in a while either.  This saves around $50 every month.

4.  I no longer drink.  I’m not saying I will never drink.  I just don’t really have a desire to.  I may have a drink on a special occasion.  I used to visit the vineyard near our house one to two times a week.  Their wine is inexpensive but wonderful.  However, I discovered the sulfides were a source of my migraines. Plus, I didn’t really need the alcohol anyway.  Cutting out the alcohol saves me around $50 every month! 


5.  I canceled my gym membership.  I loved my gym and when I moved to Ohio I had a trainer there as well.  Yet, since I have started attending Xavier, I have free access to their student sports facility.  It’s not as convenient due to my schedule but I can make it work if I have to.  When the weather is nice, outdoor activity is a great option as well.  Granted, I take yoga classes at a studio.  But, cutting out the gym membership still saves $20 a month with the yoga factored in.

6.  I stepped down my cell phone plan.  I used to may for more minutes than I really needed.  My family has the same service company as I .  So, that made it easy to step down.  This saves me $10-$20 every month as I have the lowest plan available.

7.  We stopped using shopping as a recreational activity.  During the first year or so of our relationship, Mallard and I would hit up the mall or the outlets just for something to do on a weekend.  We spent money on things that we didn’t REALLY need.  Now, we only go shopping if we need something.  Snuffy obviously grows out of clothes and needs new ones.  When the seasons change I will get a few (very few) key items because I am all about quality versus quantity.  I tend rotate the same outfits over about 10-14 days so my clothes get lots of wear.  So, yes, I do buy quality brands especially for work clothes.  But, I do not buy things just because they are cute or I think I might wear them.  Yes, the brands that I buy may be more expensive than, say , Target or Kohl’s but, quality brands last longer and wear better for me, bottom line.  I still save about $20 every month by NOT shopping just to shop.

8.  Natural, healthy , organic foods go on sale too!  I know, how awesome!  If you have a Whole Foods, check their monthly flier.  There are sales, coupons and meal ideas in there!  Also at Whole Foods, a case of anything is 10% off!!Think frozen items, almond or soy milk, bars, yogurts, endless possibilities.  They have their own store brand, too.  Trader Joe’s has a store brand as well.  They also have great deals on produce! Both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell items in bulk.  These foods are MUCH cheaper in bulk.  Think oats, dried beans, raisins, nuts, dried fruit, cereals, grains and healthful flours and spices.  Bulk nuts can be used to make your own nut milks and nut butters.  Buy dried fruit, carob or dark chocolate and nuts in bulk for your personal trail mix.  Kroger has it’s own affordable, organic brand now as well.  I understand that all of you may not have these resources available.  But, there are other ways to seek out healthy food without going broke in the process.  During the summer months, buy as much local produce as you can.  It’s usually much cheaper than the store alternative.  Read your ingredient lists!  Some generic products have shorter ingredient lists and more natural ingredients than their name brand counter parts.  Make a list.  Most of you have heard this too many times to count.  But, it really does work.  It prevents you from picking up something that you may not use.  I have made a huge effort to buy only items that we will use within the week or so.  It’s made a huge difference.

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9.  I got rid of any TV channels that cost extra money.  Yes, I miss True Blood but, I have no time with school, work and Snuffy anyway.  We save about $20 a month.

10.  We joined Sam’s Club through Mallard’s employer.  He gets a free membership through his employer.   So, we are able to buy things like diapers, produce and toilet paper (you know, the necessities) at a discounted price.  I have heard that Cosco is better for healthy groceries.  But, Sams is free so we take what we can get.  We save around $30 a month on what we do buy there.

I hope you have found this somewhat helpful in your quest for budget-friendly healthful living.   Sure,  I spend money on Starbucks once in a while.  But, I do make changes and set limits in many areas of my life so that I can afford whole, healthy natural foods for my family and so that I can live a healthy lifestyle.

How do you make changes to support your healthy lifestyle?

What do you do to save money?

Are you a “list maker” or a fly-by-the-seat-of -your pants type of person?


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21 Responses to “Healthy And Broke”

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Great tips! I do ALL of that, too. I get my hair cut by my mom (oops) and don’t go shopping ever. I run outside for my workouts, and I am a member of Costco, and I buy things in bulk if I can. Oh, and I don’t ever buy pre-cut, pre-shredded, pre-washed, anything with a “pre” in front of it. I buy my carrots whole, my fruits un-cut. And as for beans and grains, I buy them by the bulk dry. Canned beans cost SO much more than dried ones!

These are great tips. We’ve really been watching our household expenses lately, too. Since moving to the UK I never get mani/pedis anymore…just too expensive here. Costco is great at saving us money and I don’t color my hair. I cant’ part with my gym membership, but we do pack our lunches! 🙂

Definitely a list-addict here. That is also a good money-saver…pre-planning meals 😉

Oh I really love your tips, they are all great. I am so much better at saving money than Nick is, he spends money way too fast, it’s scary. He’s getting better though. We try to only eat out once a week, and it’s usually a place where were have a giftcard or coupon. I ALWAYS make a list to bring to the store with me, or else I will buy everything I see! As for shopping, it never happens, and when it does I go to the consignment shop (we have a really nice one down the street). I shop at Trader Joe’s, not Whole Foods, in my opinion Whole Foods is a rip off (I have treid to learn to like it, but I just can’t!) There are certian things I buy there (milk, frozen spinach) but Trader Joe’s is 20 minutes fruther and I sitll prefer it.

Great post as usual! I rarely buy things that aren’t on sale and stock up when I find something at a good price. Plus we buy in bulk and freeze food so that helps a lot!

What a fabulous post…I couldn’t agree more. I always say to my husband…there are a LOT of things I’d cut back on ….good healthy food is not one of them! Great tips.

This is the best post ever. I am not kidding – we do so many of the same things! We dumped cable television about 4 years ago and it saves us easily $50 a month. We still get the network channels and that’s all we need. We borrow movies for us and the girls too from the library. They have a great selection and they are FREE! (Provided I actually return them on time!) I’ve stopped buying People magazine – I’ve got tons of free reading material on subjects I really care about in all my favorite blogs! I too rarely drink anymore either, saves both my wallet and my waist line! Eating out is a rarity for us too. I’d rather make it at home – cheaper and healthier. I could totally relate to this entire post, thank you for putting this out there!

These are great! The shopping and eating out thing is definitely what gets me…esp. eating out with my fiance. When we started dating, we ate out almost 4 nights a week! That’s crazy! I spent almost $300 just on going out for lunch a month. That’s ridiculous.

I just had a talk with him yesterday about cable. I don’t watch TV, but he loves his ESPN and all that junk. I’m trying to convince him that when we’re married, we either get BASIC cable he can just go watch the game at a friend’s house! lol

Wow those are awesome tips, especially the going out to eat one. We never really went out to eat that much in the first place–didn’t know we were saving that much money 🙂

I tend to buy things in bulk, on sale (if at Whole Foods), or buy most of my grocery at Trader Joe’s and Costco. I rarely go to other grocery stores besides those three and my local health food store (which I buy stuff on sale too since it is $$$). We also don’t eat too much meat, and eat lots of cheap produce from Costco, TJ’s, and the occasional farmer’s market!

I am a list-maker, otherwise I forget something (and constantly worry that I did forget something)!

Those are all GREAT money saving tips! We follow a lot of those guidelines too!!! I was just talking to someone else about grocery stores. Do you have Sunflower Market in your area? They have AWESOME deals on healthy foods! The stores aren’t as fancey LOOKING as Whole Foods or TJ’s but the cost is WAY worth it! 😀

No, I have never heard of Sunflower Market! It sounds great. I guess I have never thought TJ’s to be fancy-looking. It reminds me of a bargain bin grocery store. But, I love their low prices and healthy eats 😉

1. you are freaking GORGEOUS
2. i think that eating healthy can be cheap.. you just have to know where to buy what and when. and the freezer is my money saving homie!
3. love your tips and it sounds like you have made really good money saving changes in your life!
4. i am a list making fanatic. in fact, i started this comment before even reading your questions! go figure!

I know! Scary that schools don’t comply….

Great things you mentioned. I only eat out once a week, do my own manicures and pedis! cut my phone plan down also! Little things like this comes along way in the end!

I love love love your list! I have 4 children so eating out now is a special treat, but we do order pizza every Friday, which needs to stop. Ugh!

I don’t know if you plan on more kids, but you’re right on track with awesome financial moves if you ever create a brood!


Very helpful tips! I like your hair darker too! I stopped taking public transportation and started walking the 3 miles each way to work. I also put my gym membership on hold for the summer. These two things saved me about $500 just over the summer!

i LOVE this post! seriously, i have made a lot of these same modifications, and ya know what? i save tons of money. eating out is huge – sometimes i remind myself of how many groceries i could buy with that money and it helps me refrain from spending unnecessarily. if i cut out going to target, i could be a millionaire, i swear. that place robs me of everything i have 🙂

I love these tips! A lot of these rang true for me, especially the not eating out and cutting back on phone plans! Other things we do is buy our covers at bars early online, pre-drink before going out so our tabs are less, stick to 1 “bar night” a week, and 1 “cab night” every two weeks, like you – only shop when we need something, or for a treat! 🙂 I’m a list maker for sure- helps me stay focused and only get what’s required. Meal planning has helped too, and cutting out LA Fitness and using company gym!! GREAT TOPIC! And I like you better with dark hair! 🙂

Wow you have made some really great changes regarding saving money! That’s huge and definitely all for the right reasons. People who have excuses about monday usually end up spening the money they could have spent on healthy food on lunch out or coffee things like that that end up costing more then shopping healthy anyway!

Great post girl 🙂

It sounds like you have a great attitude about healthy living. We’ve made some of the same adjustments! I don’t get manicures/pedicures either, and I usually get my hair cut at an Aveda student salon, which is tons cheaper than getting it done at a regular salon. I also get my hair cut every 2-3 months instead of every 4-6 weeks.

I always pack my own lunch and rarely eat out. I buy veggies from the farmer’s market (which is much much cheaper around here).

I also shop at thrift stores for cute vintage pieces that I can mix with quality modern pieces. I’ve found so many great items at only a fraction of the cost.

Thanks for all of the money-saving ideas! I totally agree with you on the savings in health care. I see so many people who are sick all of the time and am glad I am bypassing that for a healthier lifestyle:) Glad to see you encouraging others to do the same:)


Hey fellow Virgo 🙂

Yes I am a typical virgo too. It’s weird how we really do seem to fit into our “type”!

Cute blog!

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  • Whole Disclaimer

    Please understand that I am not a physician or Registered Dietician. Yet, I have learned about health, nutrition and wellness through my own experiences with physicians and RD's. For serious health concerns, please contact your physician. For friendly, knowledgeable advice, contact me at

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