Tag Archives: budget

6 Super Foods you can afford

Healthy organic produce has been criticised for being too expensive, but many don’t understand that production costs are significantly higher with the need for more manual labour etc. With these costs being passed onto the consumer, many of us tend to think that eating healthy has to be expensive. That’s where you’re wrong!

Trying to eat healthy on a budget can be difficult for many of us, which the constraints of family life & work taking their toll on our energy levels and purse strings. But you don’t have to spend excessive amounts of your budget to eat healthier.

In addition to a good nights sleep, your nutrition can have a drastic long term effect on how you feel throughout the day. By incorporating just one of these super six, you’re guaranteed to see a dramatic change in how you feel as an individual without having to spend more than your bargained for:

 

1. Bananas

It’s been said by many that excessive consumption of bananas can be fattening – this myth doesn’t stand strong in the face of truth. Bananas are higher in levels of immediate energy than most other fruits, but the higher calorie contents comes from the level of carbohydrates in the fruit. Relatively cheap for a bunch of them from most supermarkets, be sure to buy green & ripen at home if you want them to last.

2. Tea

Drank my many across the UK, the iconic British cuppa dons a whole host health properties that you probably didn’t know about. In addition the caffeine kick which increases alertness levels, a cup of tea also helps towards your recommend water intake of 6 pints a day. Tea is also one of the cheapest household staples, with 80 tea bags costing approximately £1.

3. Yoghurt

Often credited for the digestive benefits it can provide to the intestine, yoghurt works as a great milk substitute for those who don’t settle well with high levels of lactose. High in calcium & packed with “friendly” bacteria, yoghurt can be purchased cheaply from most supermarkets. Smaller pots make great lunch companions, and can be purchased in handy multi packs.

4. Wholegrain Seedy Bread

Available as a healthy alternative to your standard white bread, wholegrain seedy loaves containing a lot of seeds and nuts naturally have a low GI. Sandwiches made from seedy bread helps to keep your fibre levels high, assisting in the gut towards an efficient digestive process.

5. Olive Oil

Although not the cheapest cooking accompaniment, olive oil is worth the extra expense over other oils. Several studies have demonstrated that mono saturated fat in olive oil is good for the heart, helping to lower bad cholesterol levels and increase the good ones. Although high in calories, a little goes a long way – you don’t need more than a teaspoon when cooking.

6. Broccoli

A staple “green” vegetable that’s widely available at relatively cheap prices, Broccoli is packed with antioxidants  including vitamin C, as well as high levels of folic acid. Increasing your intake of folic acid has been shown to drastically reduce your chance of heart disease. Better still, just two florets of the stuff counts as a “vegetable” portion.

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Smoking: The True Cost to your Health

Need another reason to quit smoking? Why not spend 2 minutes of your time reading this short article that truly highlights the costs involved with smoking.

Many articles already address the importance of quitting smoking, with some focusing on the health risks involved and others highlighting the vanity & image related reasons. The Centre for Disease control estimates that around 23% of adults aged between 25 – 44 still smoke, whilst smoking remains the number one cause of preventable death in the US. It’s almost as if our health and how we look simply aren’t good enough reason to stop poisoning our bodies with such toxic smoke.

Bad for the body and your wallet

From research taken from Tobacco Free Kids as of October 2010, the average pack of cigarettes stood at whopping £5.59. Although cost does vary for region and applicable taxes involved, this is still quite a dent on your daily expenditure. Just imagine if you found £5 at the side of your bed each day your woke up? What would you do with it? Let the Healthy Hideout break it down for you:

  • One Week – It’s a saving of almost £40. That’s enough to eat away from the office at lunch everyday, fuel your car for a week, or take your other half to the cinema for a date.
  • One Month – £167 stays in your pocket, ready for you to splurge on that special pair of party shoes you’ve been waiting for. You could go for a special evening dinner with a friend, or book a weekend away at a your local spa for the ultimate relaxation experience.
  • One Year – Now things start to get a little serious – almost £2000 serious. This is enough to place a deposit on a brand new car, take an extravagant holiday away to somewhere tropical or even buy a top of the range home cinema system. With the average UK wage standing at around £16,000 this saving is an incredible 12.5% of your years earnings.
  • Five Years – If the above wasn’t already enough of an eye opener, then why not try a saving of nearly £10,000. This is enough to place a deposit on a house, clear any educational related debts or renovate your entire house.

In short, there is absolutely no limit to how much you can affect your wallet positively just by kicking the habit. If a parent were to stop smoking once their child was born, they’ll have saved around £35,000 by the time the child hits 18 years of age. If someone aged 30 decided to quit and put the money that they saved into a 6% savings account until they retired, they’d have an extra £150,000 waiting for them.

Kick the habit today

Many health studies already support infinite reasons of why quitting smoking benefits your body. If it takes realisation of the financial factors involved such as the ones mentioned above for you to quit, then why start today?

For more information on quitting, please visit the following NHS resource: http://smokefree.nhs.uk/

How to Self Build – 7 top budget tips

If you’re planning to start your own self build project soon, you may or may not have realised how important it is to plan your budget in detail. With proper analysis of figures and costs, you may find yourself increasing expenditure and even extending your loan.

How to self build, and how you should be spending your available budget requires attention and skill, but with the right execution anyone can do it. Here are the Healthy Hideout’s 7 top tips for sticking to your self build budget:

  • Site choice – When choosing where you want your self build to start, be sure to pick a pre-levelled site with good drainage whenever possible. Slanted or sloped areas with poor ground conditions can quickly become a nightmare that eats through your self build budget.
  • Service location matters – If you ensure that all services are close at hand including water, electricity, gas and drainage you’ll spend less money having these services extended to where you need them. Installation charges for such services can be incredibly expensive.
  • Simple self build – Many houses rely on the classic four walls with sloped roof for a reason. A classic box is the most cost effective way of enclosing a space, with a sloped roof being very efficient at shedding rain and snow during bad weather.
  • Keep it standard – If you stick to using standard materials in standard sizes you’ll find yourself saving a lot of money as they are generally cheaper. Bespoke materials tend to cost to more, but if you do want to add a sense of difference, use effectively and sparingly.
  • Practical placement – When deciding where your kitchen, bathroom and toilets go, try and keep them as close to each other as possible. This will minimise the cost of further drainage pipes and makes long term maintenance easier.
  • Natural light is crucial – Maximising natural light into your property not only improves your sense of well-being and mood, it also saves you money on electricity bills.
  • Maximise insulation – Insulation is a cheap investment (even cheaper from utility suppliers) that will help protect you against rising fuel bills for many years to come. Be sure to complete insulation in the roof, exterior walls and ground floor – If you’re based in the UK, this is now required under building regulations.

Now all this may be denting the image you have of your perfect self build dream, but you don’t have to conform to the above and make it look boring. Budget restraints such as the ones we’ve discussed force us to come up with solutions we may not have come up with before. Let your imagination run wild!

Have you just finished your perfect self build? Did you stick to budget? We’d love to hear from you.