Healthy Eating and Exercise on a Budget – Just Needs a Little Planning and Innovation…

How often have you said that you want to start eating more healthy food options and start to begin exercising regularly, but have decided that it just isn’t possible because you are living on such a tight budget each and every month?

Healthy eating and exercise on a budget can be done, it just needs a little more thought, planning and sometimes just a little innovation.

Healthy Eating and Exercise on a Budget – Just Needs a Little Planning and Innovation…
So if you keep saying that you would really like to lose some fat and get fitter and healthier but keep using the excuse that you just cannot afford to embark on that type of lifestyle. It is time to realise that you can start on your journey towards your ideal body even if you do have to carefully watch what you are spending each month.

female looking at how loose jeans are becoming

Healthy Eating and Exercise on a Budget

You don’t need to buy an expensive gym membership or spend an absolute fortune on your monthly food bill. But, you do have to think about the type of foods that you buy, how you do your shopping and also try to plan your meals in advance.

For your exercise needs you can use all sorts of ways to get fit that are free, plus if think outside the box a little you can adapt so many different things to help you reach your strength goals.

Here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve used to help you on your way and I bet once you get started you will think of some more great ways and ideas of your own…

Eating Healthy

Mcdonalds -junk food

Your first step is to stop loading up with cheap processed food and junk food that has very little nutritional value and is no good whatsoever for reducing your waistline. There are so many ‘value for money’ food sources available that are a great source of nutrition, you just have to take the time to look around and make the right choices.

If you plan your weekly meals ahead and then buy those ingredients and prepare your own packed lunches, snacks and dinners rather than eating out, buying a take-away or convenience meals you will not only be able to make healthier meals but will also save a fortune.


deal sign
When you go to the supermarket be on the constant look out for deals, as they will often do ‘two for the price of one’ or ‘buy two get one free’ on items. Also look in the fresh section for when they have reduced items to sell that day. Often if you buy a bigger size than you normally need that can also work out cheaper. Just make sure if you are buying fresh items that you can either use them or freeze them for later use, so you don’t end up buying things that just go to waste.

Inexpensive yet Nutritional foods

I am almost constantly watching what I spend each month and here are some of the ‘value for money’ healthy food choices that are available where I live. I’ve also shared some tips and tricks that I use to make things last longer so that I don’t end up throwing things out that have gone bad before I manage to use them.

eggs a great cheap and nutritional food

– Eggs – a great cheap source of protein.

– Chicken breasts – I normally buy 2kg of frozen chicken breasts, separate them when I get home and put them back on the freezer in individual bags.

– Tins of Tuna and tins of Mackerel or Sardines – protein and omega 3

– Peanut Butter – I love crunchy peanut butter and it is a great source of protein and healthy fats.

– Whey Protein Powder – If you buy a 5ib tub- it has 63 servings in it each of which has 25g of protein.

– Red Kidney beans – great source of fibre, carbohydrates and protein. I always buy dried as they are a fraction of the price of tinned. They do take time to prepare properly but I normally do a big batch and then use a large portion of them to make chilli or bean burgers to stick in the freezer.

vegetables great nutritional source

– Watermelon – I normally buy a whole one and cut half of it into pieces and freeze it for my smoothies.

– Bananas – you can keep them fresh for longer by putting in resealable bags in the salad draw, they can also be frozen and used for smoothies or cooking later.

– Red, Green and Yellow peppers – these are great as you buy them fresh and just deseed and chop into pieces and put in a freezer bag for when you need them – they don’t need any further preparation before freezing.

– Cabbage – just chop into pieces and put into a resealable bag in the salad draw it will stay fresh and crunchy all week long as is great alternative to lettuce.

– Carrots – again just keep in a resealable bag in the salad draw.

– Onions and Garlic – if you keep them in a mesh laundry bag in a cool dry place they will stay fresh longer.

I often make a bag of chopped cabbage, grated carrots, red onions and garlic to add to lunchtime wraps.

vegetables - carrot, cabbage,red onion and garlic

– Broccoli – just blanch and put in a freezer bag for when you need it.

– Sweet potatoes – fibre and great source of vitamin A.

– Rolled Oats, Brown Rice and Wholemeal bread – they are all full of nutrition and great sources of fibre. These choices will also keep you fuller a lot longer so you are not constantly hungry.

These choices may differ to the country you live in but it should give you an idea on how to start on your new shopping experience.


running at sunset

You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money on an expensive gym membership as there are many ways to get fit that cost very little or nothing at all.

If you do have your heart set on joining a gym then wait until they do a special promotion as you can then often get at least a third off the price.

If you want to do a cardio workout then you can go for a walk, a run or go hiking. If you have a bike or can borrow one then go cycling.

If you prefer to some cardio exercise in the privacy of your home then run up and down the stairs, buy a cheap skipping rope or even just put on some of your favourite music and dance like a crazy woman for 30 minutes.

You can also pick up a cheap workout DVD or work out along the many available on YouTube.

Also have a look at your local community centre as they often run classes in Zumba, Yoga or Pilates and are normally fairly inexpensive.


Strength Training

If you want to do strength training you can start with body weight exercises – have a read of my post on ‘Body weight exercises you can do anywhere’ You could even go to the play area in the park first thing in the morning before the children get there and use the climbing frames to do some exercises on.

be innovative and use the children's climbing frame at the park

You can pick up an adjustable dumbbell and barbell set fairly cheaply if you look either online or in your local second hand advertisements.

If you don’t want to buy that then you have to look around your home environment for things that you can adapt and use as weights.

Nearly everyone has some books in the house – if you put a few of them together the weight can add up.

heavy books

Other things you can use are tins of food, bags of rice, bags of vegetables, containers of flour, bottles of water or detergent. Also if you have any four legged kids their pet food comes in all sorts of sizes, mine have a 20kg of food! 🙂

You can fill up bags with pebbles or just use some rocks in the garden.

bag of brown rice

As you can see the ways you can exercise are numerous and you can quite easily find things to use as weights in your training you just might have to be a little innovative.

If you need a little extra motivation then why not download one of the hundreds of fitness apps available on Google Play Store or iTunes- here are a few to start you off. Alternatively follow one of the many fitness celebrities on Instagram that regularly post different fitness routines.

I hope that this post has motivated you and provided some useful new tips and ideas on how to get off the sofa and start on your personal journey to a fitter, healthier lifestyle. If you have any comments or any great ideas of your own that you would like to share please do as I would to read them…

Hey, if you enjoyed this post please share the love...

6 Responses

  1. Leo says:

    I cannot agree more when you mention that healthy eating only requires a little budgeting and a little innovation. The common misconception is that eating healthy is freaking costly like a bowl of salad cost a freaking amount of dollars which is much more than a regular meal you can get from a take-out. However, if you can cook on your own and plan conscientiously, there will be amazing cheap and healthy food available! For workout wise, I do a lot of exercises that requires no equipment at all, which means it’s totally free of charge! One just had to read up on what kind of exercises are there, the simplest one can do is just go for a jog or brisk walk!

    • Emma says:

      Hi Leo,

      Thanks for the comment and yes you are right, if you plan and buy the correct ingredients you can make healthy options for hardly any money. Great to see you are also committed to doing some regular exercise as well! 🙂

  2. Garrett says:

    This is great. Me and my wife been looking to get healthier and get in shape. We agreed on starting a diet, but healthy foods are really expensive. Like it costs to be healthy, but its easy to get fat. That’s just crazy and backwards. Anyways, i’m definitely going to use these great tips for our diet. Great article, definitely sharing this on facebook.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Garrett, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. Yes, it does often seem that it costs more to eat a healthy diet which is why I wrote this post.

      So pleased you found the article useful and Thanks for sharing!

      Good luck to you both…

  3. Rob says:

    Thank you for the great information on healthy eating and exercise on a budget, i find myself saying this all the time that i cannot afford this in my budget for the month. I am for sure going to start planning ahead of time for the work week so i save money in the long run. I well for sure be back to look on the information.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Rob,

      Happy you found the post informative and that it made you think again about healthy eating. Yes,  as long as you plan in advance you can make some great nutritional meals and not spends lots of money. Take a look at my post on packed lunch ideas too! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *