Living Healthy on a Budget

Many families this time of year are not only getting their plans and goals in place for the months ahead, but also their family budgets.

While living within your means and remaining in fair exchange sometimes requires tightening the purse strings, some things by necessity become more of a priority than others.  I mean, do you really need 600 channels of mindless drivel and immorality?  And don’t worry about McDonald’s.  They’ll make it just fine without your daily contribution.

On the other hand, I don’t think anyone would argue that your health is your most valuable asset.  And cutting the fat from your family budget shouldn’t mean that your health has to suffer for it. 

Here are some simple suggestions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while sticking to a budget.

Stick with Your Exercise

Maybe you can’t keep your expensive gym membership, but there are plenty of other alternatives that are much more affordable.  Some of the 24 hr “self serve” gyms are a fraction of the cost of a full service health club.  You’ll lose the pool, indoor courts, showers, juice bar, and some of the personalized training, but you’ll still have everything you need to get in a great full body workout.

Back to Life Chiropractic

If you still can’t swing any type of gym membership, look into investing in some used home gym equipment.  Craigslist is full of fitness equipment that you can get for a steal if you are patient.  A simple barbell set or resistance bands can go a long way.

Of course, the most economical workout is to use your own body weight.  There is a lot to be said for functional full body movements like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, planking, dips, etc.

Choose Organic Wisely

If you opt for organic produce and your budget is tight, you can save some money by going with the conventionally grown versions of the “safest” fruits and veggies that typically contain the lowest amounts of pesticides.

Back to Life Chiropractic

Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s lists of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 to identify pesticide levels in produce.  If you need to go conventional, you are best off doing so with the Clean 15.

Better yet, when the weather permits, grow your own produce.  You know exactly what you are getting and it doesn’t come any fresher.  A pack of organic seeds will cost you a couple bucks and produce a good bounty of produce.  Check out Square Foot Gardening for some great tips of farming on a small lot.  Another great resource is Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre.

Consider growing an indoor herb garden on your window sill.

Stay Well Adjusted 

Dollar for dollar chiropractic is still one of the most economical health care choices  you can make.  When your body and spine are in proper alignment you have your greatest potential for expressing maximum health.  Remember that many disease processes are insidious, slowly building under the surface without warning.  By being proactive with your health, you can avoid potentially more costly procedures in the future.  Dishing out a little bit for proactive care now can potentially save you boatloads of money in the future.

Maintain a Good Mental State of Health

Continue to feed your mind a steady diet of education and positivity.

Back to Life Chiropractic

Books are still free at the library, as are audio CD’s.  Rather than listen to the same mindless music or talk radio on your commute to work, why not work on learning a new language or listen to an educational seminar or an audio book?

Get creative and remember that true health is not dependent upon a bulging wallet.  While the cost of “sick care” continues to balloon at an outrageous pace, health care, literally caring for your health, remains a negligible investments.I am a big fan of podcasts. And guess what…they’re free, too!  You can find a podcast on virtually any topic you want on iTunes or Stitcher, or any of several other podcast apps.  Listen while you’re driving, working out, doing dishes, etc.  Not only will you learn on the fly, but you’ll also get much more enjoyment out of doing routine, mundane tasks.

So to stay at your healthiest remember, while you’re cutting the fat from the budget, be selective in where you’re trimming it!




*Images courtesy of stockimages and Keattikorn at

Dr. Joe Tsai is a chiropractor and health coach dedicated to helping you live up to your maximum potential. You can contact him directly at