Now that the summer months are upon us, it’s tempting to overindulge a little bit in celebration of the long sunny days and warm summer evenings. Whilst a little bit of indulgence is good for us, there is growing evidence to show that by adapting your lifestyle slightly to incorporate healthy activities, you will not only feel better but you can save ££s too.
Find 10 minutes a day for exercise to curb emotional spending
You don’t necessarily need expensive gym memberships or ‘organic only’ diets to boost your wellbeing. It sounds obvious but going for a walk is often overlooked as a form of exercise and yet a brisk walk for 10 minutes a day can clear your mind, release ‘feel good’ chemicals into the brain and improve bone health. Better still, exercise can help reduce stress and that in turn helps us to avoid ‘emotional spending’ — those impulse buys we tend to make when we’ve had a bad day, or feel we deserve a ‘treat’ because life is overwhelming.
So, why not schedule 10 minutes this weekend to go for a walk, either on your own or with your family. This free NHS app can help you set goals and track progress.
Downsize your glasses
For many of us, a glass of wine or beer after a long day at work is a good way to unwind. But it’s very easy to reach for that extra glass or finish off the last bit of that bottle of wine and see the alcohol units (and the ££s) mount up over the week.
A really simple way to cut down is to buy smaller wine glasses rather than the large 250 ml ones, or get inventive with your wine consumption by keeping it for a tasty vinaigrette.
Recent studies show that the average family spends around £990 per year on alcohol – so by cutting down, you’ll have more money to spend on other summer treats and days out.
Make a weekly meal plan
We all start off with good intentions for healthy eating and during the summer months there is an abundance of salads and healthy fruits that can help us. The biggest trick to healthy eating is to plan, plan, plan.
By setting aside one day a week to plan the meals for the rest of the week and scanning your kitchen to spot those sneaky hidden foods at the back of fridges and cupboards, you really can save a serious amount of money each week.
Eating less meat in the week or swapping meat sources for other protein rich foods such as beans and pulses can also knock pounds off your grocery bill. For sources of inspiration for meat free treats, click here.