How to Stick with Two New Year's Resolutions at Once: Eating Healthy and Staying on a Budget
Spending less time on social media, working towards professional goals, sticking to a budget and saving money, waking up earlier, eating healthier and losing weight are all common and achievable goals. Two of these goals can be achieved hand-in-hand: eating healthy and staying on budget. (Eating healthy will put you on track to lose weight, too!)
The key to following through with goals – either personal or professional – is creating an action plan with small but measurable steps. Here are some steps to put you on track to making 2019 a healthier year for both you and your finances.
Meal planning really knocks out three things at once, as it promotes healthy eating, saves money and reduces waste. When you have a plan in place and prep for your meals at the start of the week, you’re more likely to eat the meals you’ve planned out! This helps save money as your restaurant visits decrease and grocery visits are maximized. You’ll also cut down on food waste because you’ll only buy exactly what you need when every meal is planned in advance!
Shopping with a list
Now that you have a meal plan in place, write down a list of what ingredients you’ll need to prepare each meal. This will save you time and money at the grocery store because you won’t be tempted to wander up and down every aisle, potentially picking up unnecessary (and unhealthy) food options. While you’re at it, stick to the outer perimeter of the grocery store to ensure you pick the healthiest options! This is where produce and proteins can be found, the healthy basis for most meals.
Since you’re shopping with a list and sticking to the outer sections of the grocery store, you shouldn’t find yourself picking up any unnecessary or unhealthy snacks! Plan healthy snacks into your meal plan and avoid even having the unhealthy food at your house or office.
Packing a lunch
A packed lunch fits perfectly into a meal plan, saving you money and promoting healthy meals! Eating a $15 lunch adds up very quickly and eating a side of fries every day doesn’t fit into your meal plan. Take out the guesswork in deciding where to eat for lunch and pack a meal the night before. This will ensure you stay on track with your healthy eating and avoid spending too much money on lunches.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Work a “cheat” meal or a night out into your meal plan. This will avoid burnout as you work towards eating healthier. While this can be a meal you make at home or a weekly date night at your favorite restaurant, allowing yourself one night to eat whatever you want will also probably save you money in the long run, since it is worked into your budget and is limited to one night per week. Having your cheat meal to look forward to should also motivate you to stick with your meal plan, keeping the junk food binge as a special occasion.
Notice that the word “diet” was never used in this blog; the word often is associated with negative connotation, strict and bland meals, and easily getting off track. Don’t think of a meal plan and healthy eating as a diet, instead, think of it as healthy and positive choices that will take you one step closer to achieving your New Year’s resolutions and becoming a happier, healthier and more budget-conscious person! Happy New Year!