Thanks to United Healthcare for sponsoring this conversation.
I stood in the produce aisle of the grocery store having a little debate with myself while my infant smiled at every shopper who walked past our cart.
Should I buy more than one package of the organic berries? I asked myself.
On the one hand, I’m always encouraging my preschooler (and myself!) to snack on healthy foods like fresh fruits and veggies. So stocking up on those options is a must.
But on the other hand, I’d blown through my grocery budget the last few trips and was really trying to rein it in this time—and those berries were not cheap.
It’s a struggle most parents can relate to.
We want to do the best for our children and families; we want them to be as healthy and happy as they can be.
But we also don’t have unlimited funds in our bank account to make it happen.
The good news is that getting and staying in tip-top shape doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are five little tricks that can boost your family’s health without breaking the bank.
5 Ways to Save Money While Keeping Your Family Healthy
1. Try low or no cost exercises.
There have been times in my life when I’ve been a total gym rat, so I completely understand the appeal of working out in a fitness center: better equipment, motivating group classes, accountability, etc.
But sometimes a gym membership just isn’t in the budget.
In those cases, don’t let exercising fall by the wayside completely. Instead, stick to your routine with free or close-to-free options. Walking around your neighborhood or at a local park, playing tag outside with your kids, or doing exercise videos you can view online are all great ideas. YouTube even has some fun fitness videos geared towards children!
2. Make your own healthy convenience food.
Pre-cut fruits and veggies are super convenient, but they also cost a pretty penny. Same goes for pre-portioned snack packs.
Trade the extra money for 30 minutes on Saturday afternoon that you spend cutting and pre-portioning your own snacks. Then keep them in the front of the refrigerator or pantry so that when someone goes to reach for a snack, it’s the first one they see.
3. Resist takeout temptation.
Believe me, I know how tough it is to put a healthy dinner together after a long day at work or taking care of the kiddos. I have succumbed to takeout temptation more in the last few months than I care to admit—as both my wallet and my body will testify.
So even though it takes a bit of extra time and effort, we’re really committing to cooking as many meals at home as we can. Doing so is both healthier and cheaper.
4. Don’t skip your check-ups.
We would never skip our children’s annual check-up at the pediatrician, so why are we so quick to go without our own?
Keeping on top of your regular doctor visits—be it to your family doc, gynecologist, dentist, or optometrist—can help save a lot of money in the long run by catching expensive medical issues early or preventing them from cropping up in the first place.
5. Avoid healthcare cost surprises.
Do you know that little pit in your stomach that forms when you wait to get your medical bill in the mail, because you’re worried it’s going to be way higher than you were expecting—or can afford?
That is not a fun feeling.
United Healthcare is committed to ending that cost anxiety by equipping people with the knowledge they need to effectively navigate the often confusing healthcare industry.
As part of their “We Dare You” campaign, you can pop over to their website and watch a short video on how to avoid healthcare cost surprises (it’s quite enlightening!) and share your opinion about it.
While you’re there, complete the other “dares” for April: take a quiz about how to save on health care services, and play their concentration game by matching the health care financial terms to their definitions.
Completing each of the dares not only gives you essential information on how to save money on healthcare costs, but also enters you to win a grand prize of a $400 Visa gift card (that’s the grand prize for each dare separately). Weekly $25 gift cards are also awarded.
What’s one way you save money while keeping your family healthy?
Don’t forget to enter United Healthcare’s We Dare You campaign for April for a chance to win a $400 Visa gift card!