1. Take a hike
Follow a local hiking trail for a fun and free fitness activity. Want to see serious results? “Add sprint intervals” says Sara Celik, a naturopathic doctor and fitness trainer. “Go on a hike with friends and at random intervals yell out ‘Challenge!’ This is the signal for everyone to sprint for 45 seconds. Continue this throughout the hike,” says Celik.
2. Save at the spa
While there’s nothing like a session at the spa to relax, it can set you back a bit. Why not gather a few friends and find a salon to give you all special treatments as a package deal? And if you’re going to splurge, ask about special offers and freebies.
3. Stretch your limits
Many yoga studios follow the tradition of offering free or by-donation (“karma”) classes all year long. Also inquire if your local yoga studio offers an “energy exchange”—a way to offer your services helping out in the studio in exchange for free or discounted yoga classes.
4. Get fit with friends
Friends impact your health in a positive way. With that in mind, get out there and do things with a buddy. Go rollerblading on the weekend. Enroll in break-dancing classes, or start your own no-fee running group or soccer club. The goal: motivation, fun and fitness on the cheap.
5. Change up your recipes
Cooking a healthy meal often means spending more on fresh meat and vegetables. But when it comes to including the necessary protein, iron and antioxidants pulses, such as lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans are an economical alternative to meat. AA one-cup serving provides almost half of the daily amount of recommended fiber.
6. Grow your own
Herbs and spices provide a healthy, flavour-enhancing alternative to salt, butter and other high-fat ingredients. And it couldn’t be easier to grow your own. Use any pot that you have lying around – even an ice-cream container with holes will do. You can grow chervil, dill, fennel, mint, thyme, basil, chives and parsley indoors all year long.
7. Trim your hair budget
These days you can expect to pay dearly for a haircut, color and blow-dry. But if you’re not after anything too complicated, your local hairdressing college may be a bargain option.