5 Health Splurges That'll Save You Money
Drink Robust, Antioxidant-Rich Wine on a Beer Budget
One glass of red wine a day can cost you hundreds of dollars a year, but you can splurge on great wine and still save money. The secret to indulging is to find high-quality boxed wine. This European trend is making its way stateside. Upscale vineyards are now producing high-quality boxed wines from the best wine regions of California, France and Italy. This wine is sold at a lower price; a glass from a box costs only around $1.50, half the price of a glass from a bottle. For an added savings, a box of wine contains around 4 bottles. Wine experts recommend purchasing reds in boxes, because of their robust flavor. France has been boxing wines for decades, so look for varieties from the French countryside, such as Côtes du Rhône or Bordeaux.
Eat Like a Greek Shipping Magnate Without Going Broke
Many doctors are big proponents of the Mediterranean Diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, oil and fish. The primary expenses of the Mediterranean diet are fresh foods. By purchasing the same items frozen or canned, you get the same health benefits for less money. With more healthy food, you'll reduce your cravings for junk foods, and the savings will add up. These simple changes have been show to save $30 dollars a week, clocking in at over $1,500 year on food.
To make saving even easier, apply these strategies to the four key components of the Mediterranean diet:
1. Vegetables and Fruit
Not only are canned and frozen foods cheaper, you won't waste money by throwing away produce that spoiled before you could eat it. Try frozen veggie steamer bags. They're just as healthy as fresh foods and are ready in less than 5 minutes in the microwave.
The Mediterranean diet features lean meats and fish. Instead of purchasing fresh fish, choose cheaper alternatives like salmon in a pouch or frozen fish, which is 40 percent cheaper and is often fresher than food from the seafood counter, where the fish often arrives frozen and is defrosted, despite being labeled "fresh." You can also get plenty of protein from beans. Try beans in a new way, like the base for a hearty breakfast bowl.
Skip the boxed versions of whole grains and buy them in bulk. Try barley, which is as cheap as oatmeal but contains more protein.
4. Nuts and Oil
Buy nuts on sale and keep them in the fridge, where they'll last up to 6 months. You can also keep them in the freezer for up to 1 year. For an extra money-saver, cook with canola oil. It's a healthy option that's half the price of olive oil.
Indulge in Spa Treatments at a Discount
Many people consider massages to be overly indulgent, but you can find a deal that fits your budget. Most massage schools require students to give hundreds of hours of massages before being certified, so many schools offer clinics for students to get practical experience. There, you can get a massage at a discount. On average, a 60-minute massage with a student costs just $20. For people who regularly get massages, this can save you about $500 a year. Make sure the student is supervised during the massage. If you have a certain type of back pain or style of massage you like best, call in advance and get recommendations.
Stop Losing Money on Quickly-Ripening Fruit
To keep berries fresh for almost two weeks, wash them with a mixture of one part white vinegar to 10 parts water. The diluted solution keeps you from tasting the vinegar. Drain the berries and store them in fridge. Raspberries will last for about a week, and the strawberries will keep for two weeks. To keep bananas fresh for almost a week, wrap the bunch's crown with plastic.
Treat Your Pans Well So They'll Last Longer
After cleaning a pan, pour in a little olive oil and put the pan on low heat for about 5 minutes. Wipe off any excess oil that hasn't been absorbed. Heating the oil helps fill the small nicks and scratches; this is similar to how you season a cast iron skillet. If you use your pan almost every day, try this one time every couple of weeks. To further extend the life of your pan, place paper towels in it before you store it to keep it from getting scratched in your cabinet.