Did you know the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services oversees an initiative called Healthy People 2020? This program’s overarching goal is for Americans to attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death. Health and wellness are key components of achieving this goal, but cost can be a major factor. Check out these tips for saving money on nutrition, exercise, and health.
For many people, the first step to living a healthier lifestyle is eating nutritious foods. We immediately assume that eating healthy is going to cost more, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Saving money in the weekly grocery budget may just be a matter of planning ahead:
- Avoid eating out by cooking at home. Create meal plans to avoid impulse stops at restaurants that often end with unhealthy food choices.
- Make a shopping list. Shop what’s in season or buy frozen. It’s typically more costly to buy summer fruits and vegetables in the winter.
- Buy store brands. In many cases, store brands are just as tasty as the national brands and cost significantly less.
- Don’t shop hungry! Going to the store hungry is much more likely to result in unhealthy food choices.
- Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where the majority of healthy foods such as seafood and meat are located.
- Pack your lunch. Having a convenient option for lunch can help prevent last minute trips to a fast food restaurant. Fast food is often unhealthy and expensive!
- Don’t know if a particular food is healthy? Use the OptUP app, Kroger’s proprietary Nutrition Rating system, to identify health foods.
Exercise can come with an expensive monthly gym membership, but it doesn’t have to be so costly if you use your resources!
- Check out your employee benefits as many employers offer discount gym memberships.
- Get outside and walk for free or go to a mall if it’s raining.
- Work out at home. Many exercise videos can be found free online. Use your stairs for a cardio workout. Water bottles or cans can be great alternatives to buying weights.
- Look for inexpensive exercise equipment like resistance bands, jump ropes, or pedometers at discount stores.
Healthcare costs can be a burden, but there are ways to save:
- Did you know that you can save money on your taxes for healthcare costs? Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts are great options offered by many employers that allow you to save pretax money in an account that may be used to pay for medications, office visits, and other health needs.
- Are you concerned with costly prescriptions? Here are a few ideas to help you at the pharmacy.
- Try generic medications. Generic medications have the same ingredients at much lower costs.
- Discount programs such as the Kroger RX Savings Club can save you money by providing discounts on prescription drug costs.
- Ask your pharmacist or physician about getting medications that you take every day in quantities of ninety! 90 day Supplies can often save you a few dollars and help with medication adherence.
- Many brand name drugs have copay assistance cards that can help you cover the cost of the copay. You can typically find these cards on the drug manufacturer’s website.
- Looking for over-the-counter medications? Try store brands. These work just as well and can save money.
- What about Physician Office Visits?
- If you don’t have a primary care physician or can’t get an appointment, try a lower cost facility. Urgent care clinics such as The Little Clinic typically cost less than going to the hospital emergency center.
- Many insurance companies now give a discount or cover the cost of telenutrition or telemedicine appointments where you can video chat with a dietitian or physician. If you need a prescription, Telemedicine physicians can electronically prescribe prescriptions directly to your pharmacy.
At Kroger Health, we are committed to helping people live healthier lives and believe everyone should be able to make healthy life choices that are affordable and don’t break the bank!
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.