You’ve heard me say it before: staying healthy is an important way to save money. But how do you get or stay healthy when you’re busy and stressed? I’m sure we all start each day thinking that today is the day when we will try really hard to cultivate some of those healthy habits into our lives. Unfortunately, way too often, convenience wins out over our good intentions. I have to plead guilty as charged right here!
While we all realize that shopping for fresh ingredients at the supermarket to make a meal at home is far healthier than stopping at the drive-thru at McDonald’s, it’s so much damned easier, quicker, and convenient! But guess what, there is some good news on this subject. New business services and technology are making it easier than ever to incorporate healthy habits even into the busiest lives!
1. The Easiest Way to Get Your Groceries and Cook at Home
Grocery delivery services are perfect for those who are just too busy to spend hours shopping at the store or can’t because of limitations of some sort or even just plain hate the shopping chore all together!
You can shop for your groceries online now at most local supermarkets (or by using their service app), pick your delivery date and time and have fresh groceries you choose delivered right to your door. Many of the markets have their own delivery or hire a third party so check with you favorite market for the details. I wrote about these services a few years ago, but they are even more common today and growing.
I have had some experience with these services myself. In fact, it was a blessing for my wife and me when we were both ill and literally unable to go to the supermarket to shop. The convenience was so needed and the experience was excellent.
I have even used this type of service from the local drug store for some items as they provide an order online and pick up in your car service too. That service lets you drive over to the store and have the selections all ready and then loaded in your car for you if prefer doing it that way. You simply set up the time for pick-up and then get a text to confirm that it’s ready. You can drive to the designated pick-up area and get your groceries or other items there.
Pros and Cons
Here’s some other “awesomes” about this too. You can pay online in advance or pay right at your car if you like. Credit, debit, or cash accepted and any loyalty card discounts are also earned and applied. They will fill your order with personal care so you get the brands and freshness you want and you can specifically note your exact desires like “no green bananas” or ”4 large Gala apples”. The stores will accept coupons just like they would inside the store and in almost every case the prices are the same whether you shop or they shop for the items. In some cases there are even “special” prices for the delivery items you order, lower than even inside the market!
Ok, you ask “what exactly is the catch here”? There is a charge for this service as you might expect, but in most places it is fairly reasonable. And don’t overlook that saving yourself the time of physically shopping, plus avoiding impulse purchases, is certainly worth some money to you, isn’t it? Typically, there may be a 10% charge on your order up to a certain amount like $150 (with a minimum fee of $10 on orders of less than $150). However, there are usually discount coupons for a savings on your first order such as $10 off $100 or similar savings that will offset the fees.
Additionally, many markets offer coupons regularly for ordering and using the services. Contact the store directly to find out what specifically they offer that can save you your time and some money too.
2. The Prep-at-Home Meal Kit
These services combine the convenience of delivery with the addition of taking all the guesswork out of preparing a delicious, healthy meal. Most of these services are subscription based and you choose the recipe you want and the entire meal is delivered with the exact recipe and ingredients you need.
You decide how often you want to receive these deliveries and it’s important to read and understand the terms of the subscription including all the fees and the renewal agreement or what exactly you need to do if you want to terminate the agreement. Just like the supermarket, there are coupons and discounts that you can apply to help make this service more affordable. Check online to get more details and pricing about “meal kit” deliveries from companies such as Blue Apron or HelloFresh.
Pros and Cons
Of course meal kit delivery services cost money, but the idea is to give you a restaurant-quality meal at home so you eat out less. There’s no food waste since everything is portioned out, but there is a lot of excess packaging as a result. Finally, while these services may let you specify an item or flavor you’d prefer not to receive, meal kits may not be for you if you have a restricted diet or a picky eater in the household.
3. Recipes, It’s Not Your Grandma’s Cookbook Anymore
One of the best ways to find healthy meals is to search online for a recipe and the best part is that if you have a computer and internet access, it’s totally free! Even if you don’t have those, there is always the public library for internet access. Two great sites are Allrecipes and Epicurious. If you decide to cook with ingredients that you already have at home, just try Supercook. Simply enter your ingredients and Supercook will provide recipes that you can use to whip up a healthy choice!
Pros and Cons
What could be wrong with millions of recipes at your fingertips? Read the reviews if you’re looking for confirmation of a good dish. If you’re not a natural cook, you can also get step-by-step advice and reviews by checking out recipe blogs or recipe videos.
4. Wearable Tech Can Help You Stay Healthier
How about a fitness tracker or smartphone that reminds and monitors your daily workouts and habits? You can set up a timetable for a walk or even a micro workout to help keep fit.
You can count your steps and calculate the calories that you are burning. This gives you an excellent way to monitor you activity level every day. In addition, you can log your meals and see how your foods may be affecting your weight. The technology can be linked with your scale each time you weigh yourself to track your progress if weight loss is a goal. Here’s an updated Forbes feature on tech and fitness.
There are numerous fitness tech items and apps are out there to help make healthy lifestyles fun and convenient. It’s all about life in the 21st century!
Pros and Cons
Wearable tech can help you stay on track and keep you motivated. But it can cost a pretty penny. Make sure you’re committed to your new routine before investing in wearable tech.
5. Instructional Exercise Apps
Simply, YES! Turn on these apps to help you learn and monitor a new exercise routine right in the privacy of your own home. It may be yoga or dance or some other form of exercise and it can vary from simple to more strenuous. It’s whatever you are most comfortable doing. Many apps are available, some completely free. Just a word of caution, check with your doctor before you begin any kind of exercise program even a simple app program. Check here to see top rated free health & fitness apps!
Pros and Cons
Apps are an easy way to get started on your workouts, but they might not be customized to your specific needs. Still, a free app is a lot more affordable than a personal trainer!
Because we all live in a fast paced, highly-stressed world, we all look for ways to ease that stress and find quicker and more convenient ways to get things done. Making eating and exercising part of that goal pays huge dividends because without being healthy, all else doesn’t really make a big difference. Your good health makes everything else matter.
Are you feeling stressed when it comes to daily things like meal preparation and trying to keep fit and healthy? Is fast food a “go to” to save time in your life? Have you considered or tried any new ways to cope with the pressure of job and family that helps you manage your life to its fullest?