When people are looking to trim the excess from their household budgets, often the first thing to go is money spent on physical fitness.
We cut out the gym membership, the subscription to healthy eating magazines, or the diet food delivery service. We believe we can get healthy at home without those tools, but where do we start?
It's definitely a challenge to get–and stay–healthy at home when you're surrounded by temptation and don't have the right equipment. Add in the desire to do this on a stricter budget and you can feel like you're ending up with a choice between a healthy lifestyle or healthy spending habits.Getting healthy at home doesn't have to be that hard or that expensive. It takes creativity, commitment, a strong start, clear goals, and ensuring that you have a solid back-up plan when you feel like giving up.
We want to help you get healthy at home and then commit to staying healthy once you've achieved your goals–and doing it all while staying financially fit too.
Table Of Contents
When you make this kind of commitment to yourself and your health, take the necessary first steps to give yourself the best chance of success.
Go through your pantry, your fridge, your freezer, and your kitchen cabinets. Is it unhealthy? Is it something you just can't stop eating once you start? Will it tempt you to cheat on your healthy eating plan? Pitch it or, if it's unopened and nonperishable, donate it to a local food bank.
You probably know why you're trying to get healthy. Are you pre-diabetic? Have you had some test results come back that weren't good? Maybe you just know you've gained weight and you don't feel good about yourself.
Whatever your “why” is, now it's time to turn that into a concrete goal that you're working to achieve.
Write down exactly where you want to be a few months from now. Based on what we listed above, your goal might be your doctor telling you that you're no longer at risk for diabetes. It might be that your poor test results look a lot better. Maybe you have a specific pair of pants that you want to fit into again.
Write those down or create a vision board if you need visual reminders of why you're on your journey to health.
Keep A Journal
Studies have shown that if you record your food intake in a food journal or diary, you are more likely to lose weight. The main reason is that it makes you aware of how much food you're actually consuming. Many of us are mindless eaters and jotting down everything we eat will show us just what we're putting in our mouths every day.
You don't have to go out and buy anything fancy. Use a notebook you already have at home or try a food-tracker app. Check out this list of 21 of the best food tracker apps from Redbook.
Find An Accountability Partner
People who have an accountability partner as part of their health journey are more likely to stick with their goals.
An accountability partner gives you someone to talk to when you feel like no one else understands the journey that you're on or when temptation is really strong. You're there to support each other as you both strive to get healthy.
Build Health Back Into Your Budget
As we said before, we often cut out the things that keep us healthy when we're on the journey to Financial Independence. We sacrifice our physical health for the sake of our financial health and potential financial freedom. Make taking care of yourself in a healthy way a priority and put in back in the budget.
Working Out At Home
You don't need a gym membership to get or stay in shape. Try these ideas out instead.
Get out and enjoy the fresh air if you can!
Ideally, you'd be counting your steps to know how far you've gone, but if you don't have a Fitbit, get in your car and drive around your neighborhood. Watch the odometer until you have a course that's a couple of miles long and walk that every day. You could also use an app like MapMyRun on your smartphone to track how far you've gone.
If you can't leave your yard, just circle that instead. Jump rope in place, run laps around your house or building, do sprints up your driveway. You can even do this while the kids are also outside playing so don't use your children as an excuse not to exercise!
Want to take it to the next level? Invest in some hand weights to add a little upper body workout to your cardio routine.
YouTube Exercise Videos
YouTube has all different kinds of exercise videos for you to watch for free. It's a great opportunity for you to try a bunch of different workouts to see what works best for you and your schedule.
Subscription For Access To Thousands Of Workouts
If you are loving the free workouts but are tired of ads and still want the variety, try a subscription to Aaptiv.
It will give you access to thousands of free workout videos. They also add 30 new ones every week. Try a new workout every day or choose a multi-week workout plan that helps you lose weight, get fit, train for a race, or exercise while pregnant, among other options.
Aaptiv costs $15/month after the free trial period ends.
Listen: Fit Waist Fat Wallet
Eating Well At Home
The challenge for staying healthy at home is just about what we at as how much we exercise. If cooking isn't your thing, there are ways to get healthy food sent right to your door.
Help Losing Weight
While getting healthy doesn't always mean trying to lose weight, that might be one of your goals. Noom is a resource that will help you understand your food habits (bad and good), create a healthy eating plan for you, help you track your food intake, and then assign you a coach to keep you accountable to your goals.
They're in it to get you healthy for the long haul. They also have a great app to help you on your weight-loss journey as well. All that and your first 14 days are free!
Meal Planning Services
In the last few years, there has been a huge increase in the number of meal prep services that have popped up online. Some services plan your meals for you and some plan and then deliver all the ingredients.
Here are two that are meal planning with optional grocery service (for an additional fee).
Let eMeals do your meal planning for you! For $4.99/month (12-month subscription), eMeals will send you a weekly meal plan that includes seven recipes and sides.
You can choose their entire suggested menu, or replace any or all of the meals with other ones from the site. They have specialized meals too, like Keto, low-carb, and budget-friendly. You can add lunch and breakfast menu planning for an additional charge.
Once you're finished choosing your meals, a shopping list will be delivered to your inbox. From there, you can either head to the grocery store on your own or send the list to one of five different shopping services that will pick the groceries up for you (additional fees apply for that service). Your first 14 days are free!
If you are looking for specialized meal plans, PlateJoy is your go-to meal service. They have 50 different data points that they use to create the perfect meal plan for you, and offer any kind of meal you want, from diabetic to kid-friendly, batch-cooking to pescatarian, gluten free to vegan.
Once you've selected your weekly plan, it will be emailed to your inbox and you can either shop for yourself or send it to a grocery service for an additional charge. PlateJoy starts at just $8/month.
PlateJoy has a ten-day free trial and you can change your meal preferences any time for free.
Meal Kit Delivery Service
If you really want to make eating healthy super easy, try one of these meal kit delivery services. You pick what meals you like and everything you need to make those meals is sent right to your home, groceries included!
Due to the cost of these meals, these services should be thought of as going out to eat, not to replace your regular at-home meals. But if you are stuck at home and want something special and fun it can be a neat alternative to eating out.
Currently America's number one meal kit delivery service, Hello Fresh has a reputation for simple-to-follow recipes that taste great.
They'll send you a menu of dinners each week based on what you've identified are foods you like to eat. Keep the whole thing or substitute some out for others. Once you have the meals selected, Hello Fresh will deliver a box to your house full of fresh, pre-measured ingredients so that each of your meals is easy to prepare.
This service costs between $7.50-10 per serving per meal. Said another way, it's about $60 for a three-meal box for two people. Remember that you're getting the meals you select, the food is shopped for, and everything is pre-measured. That's a lot of work that goes into that cost!
You can try Hello Fresh for $40 off of your first box, $30 off of your second box, and $10 off of your third and fourth boxes.
The signature meals of Blue Apron are sourced from artisanal purveyors and family-run farms, so you know that they're fresh when they get to your house.
You can choose from meals that serve 2-4 people, and servings are $8.99-$9.99/person. You can have up to four meals delivered per week. Blue Apron has Weight Watchers-approved meals, recipes that use Beyond Meat, diabetic-friendly recipes, and more. They pride themselves on being health-conscious and tailored to your diet.
New customers can try Blue Apron for $60 off of your first three boxes.
With all organic produce and premium ingredients, Sun Basket is ready to serve people with the highest level of taste. Sauces are homemade, produce is organic, and responsibly sourced fish and meats.
You can order up to for meals a week for anywhere from 2-4 people. Like other meal kit delivery services that we profiled, you can choose the meals that you want to eat from a large variety of choices, including all kinds of specialized diets.
For additional fees, you can add breakfast, lunch, and snacks to your meal plan.
Try Sun Basket now and get $35 off of your first order and four free gifts.
Food Delivery To Your Home
Instacart lets you shop for your own groceries online from the comfort of your home so you can prepare whatever you feel like eating. Place the order, and someone will deliver it right to your door. This will allow you to shop without walking down those aisles that tempt you with the things you shouldn't be eating!
Cleaning Your Home
When you're trying to stay healthy at home, don't forget to take care of your actual home.
People have been making the connection between a clean space and a healthier lifestyle for a long time. Cleaning your house out may not only help you feel better, but it could even put a few extra dollars in your pocket.
Declutter Your House
Go room by room and get rid of the stuff you no longer need. Tackle one room per day to keep yourself on track. Make three piles as you're cleaning: keep, donate, or sell. The items you've marked to keep can go back to a designated spot in the room.
Here's more info about services available if you want to throw away a lot of items or sell a lot of items.
Cell Phones Or Other Tech Devices
If you have extra tech devices–cell phones, tablets, computers, etc.–there are two great websites we've found who will buy your items from you.
decluttr is the place to go to sell tech. Find your device in their online listing and get an immediate price quote that's good for 28 days. This gives you time to upgrade before getting rid the device you want to sell.
Once you're ready, mail it to the company and they'll pay you what the quote was. It's that simple!
If you want to sell CDs, DVDs, or video games, download the decluttr app so that you can scan the barcodes of those items for quicker price quotes.
Gazelle works in a similar way. Check their website and find your item–if it's not listed, they don't accept it. Next, you'll answer questions about the condition that it's in. They'll give you a quote, you decide how you want to receive your money, and they'll pay you as soon as they receive the item. Done!
Other Items To Sell
Sort the things that you have to sell that aren't tech. You can take a quick and easy route and list what have on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or a similar online platform.
Or check out our list of apps for selling your stuff online.
Remember that the items that are clean and in good shape will make the most money so take care when you're choosing what to sell and make sure it's in top condition.
If you don't want to take the time to sell anything and just want it gone from your house, consider donating them instead of just pitching them.
Various organizations will come to your door to pick things up. They'll even leave you a receipt to fill out for your tax records. Make sure you check the guidelines of each organization to be sure that they'll take all the items you're giving away. (Some services don't take furniture or electronics, for instance.)
When You Have Lots Of Junk Left
Finally, if you have a lot of junk left over after cleaning, selling, and donating, it's time to call 1800GotJunk. The cost of the service varies by job and how much junk you have. You can work through the website and they'll give you a quote before you agree to use their services.
Don't Forget The Air Around You
As you're cleaning and decluttering your home, don't forget the air quality inside your house. It's important to change your HVAC filters often to make sure that they're not clogged. If they are, you could be trapping dust and allergens inside your home. This not only makes your air quality worse, but it's also hard on your systems causing more frequent repairs.
Second Chance makes remembering to change your air filters really simple. Go through their website to let them know what filters you have in your house. They'll automatically deliver those filters to your house when it's time for you to change them. Simple, right?
The best part is that ChooseFI listeners get their first shipment 100% free! Click here to try Second Nature and see what a difference clean filters make in your home's air quality.
There will come a day when you will have met your healthy-at-home goals. At that point, you're switching over to maintenance mode where you focus on keeping up your healthy lifestyle rather than how to get healthy.
Keep these tips in mind as you make the switch.
It's Easy To Fall Back Into Bad Habits
The backslide is real and it's ridiculously easy. Know your triggers, the things that helped get you into your previously unhealthy life. Have a plan to stop those triggers from affecting you.
For instance, if you know you don't like to exercise, challenge yourself with new routines. You could also ask a friend to call or text you each day and hold you accountable to your exercise plans.
If you can't resist the temptation that lurks in every aisle of the grocery store, rethink how you shop. Maybe you use one of the grocery delivery services we mentioned. Maybe you ask a friend to go with you and hold you accountable for what's in your cart. Have a plan to avoid those foods that will quickly get you back to unhealthy.
Keep Your Accountability Partner
We just mentioned how valuable that person might be in special circumstances like grocery shopping, but they're really valuable for every part of your maintenance mode plans.
Ask if they're willing to talk or text you every day to make sure that you're on track. Ask them to be the person you can count on to hold you in check if you're feeling tempted. That person may well be the key to keeping up your healthy lifestyle.
Keep journaling about your food intake if you've found that to be a successful way to curb your appetite and establish healthy eating habits. You might want to branch out a little bit and start journaling about other areas of your life so that you can be holding yourself accountable for all of the choices you make surrounding your desire to be healthy.
Getting and staying healthy at home can be a real challenge. It requires self-discipline, patience, commitment, and an ability to keep working hard even when you don't immediately see the results. But if you stay the course, you'll wake up one morning not too long from now in a body that feels and looks better, and you'll be so grateful to be physically healthy as well as financially healthy.
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