A healthy lifestyle involves not just exercising regularly but eating healthy as well. Sometimes, however, you may be at a crossroads when it comes to expenses. Spend on eating healthy and exercising, or take the easier route and get your fast food fix so that you can indulge in that extra half hour of sleep? More often than not it is the extra sleep that ends up winning, draining your budget, and preventing you from making healthy choices. Contrary to what you may believe, living a healthy lifestyle in Singapore won’t burn a hole in your pocket and requires just a few tweaks to your lifestyle.
1. Specialty salad joints
Instead of opting for a burger or other types of fast food for your lunch, you could have a salad instead. They are just as filling and are, not to mention, a healthier option. What’s more, a salad from any speciality salad joint ranges from just S$5 to S$10. You could try fresh salads from My Salad Bowl which cost around S$5, or Sumo Salads that have salads ranging from S$6.50 to S$7.50.
2. Break bad habits
Apart from health considerations, a good reason to quit smoking is to save money. A pack of cigarettes costs around S$13. Assuming that you buy a pack a day, you end up spending S$390 each month. The same can be seen with beverages that are sugar-laden. This excessive sugar intake can cause adverse health problems like diabetes and obesity in the long run. It also creates a dent in your wallet. Aerated beverages cost around S$1.35 and can set you back around S$40.50 per month. Say goodbye to these habits and watch as you save more on healthcare expenses!
3. Inexpensive superfoods
Superfoods like kale and salmon have earned the distinction of being nutrient powerhouses. At supermarkets, kale can cost you around S$9 per kg. There are alternatives to these superfoods, however, that cost around S$2 or less for each kilogram. Kang Kong, Kai Lan, and Chye Sim are some such inexpensive superfoods that provide you with the same type of nutrition. You can also opt for mackerel and sardines instead of salmon since they are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and do not cost as much.
4. Cook meals at home
Cooking every night for the next day will probably eat into your time. A good practice is to spend a portion of your weekend cooking your meals for the rest of the week. You can divide your cooking into the servings you require and refrigerate or freeze your meals. This means no more having to buy your food while at work, saving both time and money!
5. Look for the Healthier Choice Symbol
If you don’t have the time to cook food at home, then buying healthy ready-to-eat items at a supermarket is one way to ensure that you are eating well. In order to ensure that Singaporeans eat healthily, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) has introduced the Healthier Choice Symbol. This symbol indicates that the packaged food purchased by you is a better dietary option than those without the symbol. This symbol is currently available on 2600 food products. While shopping for groceries, you could also use credit cards that provide cash rebates on grocery spends so that you can save more.
6. Healthier activities
Part of a healthy lifestyle also involves regular exercise. Try walking to places that are close by instead of taking your car or any form of public transport. If you are heading to a place that is quite some distance away, then consider taking public transport halfway and walking the rest. This will not only save on petrol costs or other transport costs but will also help you get your daily dose of exercise.
7. Cut down on gym membership costs
On an average, gym memberships in Singapore cost around S$193.97 per month. Of course, this varies based on the type of gym, how frequently you use the facilities provided by the gym, as well as the mode of payment. A great way to cut down on these costs is to look for promotions that gyms offer. If you are lucky, you can save up to 50% of your monthly fee by taking advantage of a promotional programme. Some gyms even offer off-peak and location-based discounts. Being aware of hidden costs such as registration fees, cancellation fees, and membership fees will help you choose a gym that is within your budget.
Of course, the easiest way to cut down on gym membership costs is to exercise at home. With some discipline, this can be easily achieved. Additionally, you can take part in free physical activities organised by the Ministry of Health. By registering on their website, you can take part in family activities like Zumba and archery, or take part in the Sundays @ the Park programme. Other programmes that promote a healthy lifestyle include exercises at Health Promoting Malls. Details of upcoming activities can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website.
A balanced diet with regular exercise does not have to eat into your pocket. These simple changes will help strengthen your immune system and boost your financial health!