Healthy Living is Healthy Spending
If you or someone in your close Family is in the Army, you might be starting to feel the effects of recent government funding cuts. But, even if it affects you directly, you can work around and actually benefit from the new cuts with a slightly revised summer budget based on healthy living. You’ll save money and help you and your Family stay in, or get in, shape.
Food costs are one of the best places to focus changes in your summer budget. Lowering food costs not only saves money, it usually results in you eating better as well. There are several ways to reduce food costs including starting your own vegetable garden and making healthy meals with similar ingredients.
Growing your own produce takes a bit of time upfront takes time, however, it’s very cost efficient and a great way to spend time with your Family. The First Lady’s Let’s Move program has detailed instructions for starting a garden. Depending on your location, you should be able to grow many of your favorite vegetables. A major benefit of growing your own garden is healthier food. Canned food is higher in sodium, and frozen food can be low in nutrients.
Another budget friendly option is making bulk meals. Try choosing a main ingredient, such as turkey or fish, and create a week’s worth of meals incorporating the main ingredient. Even better, incorporate the produce from your garden. It’s the perfect solution for saving money and eating healthy.
There are many other programs designed to help your Family stay in shape without hurting your summer budget. Get Fit- Be Strong helps children build an active lifestyle; Outdoor Recreation is a fun, adventurous way for you to build up your skills and stay in top form; and Army MWR has many other Recreation and Leisure programs to help Soldiers and their Families pursue healthy living and healthy spending.
Currently, Fort Bragg and Fort Sill are participating in the Healthy Base Initiative, an installation-centric demonstration project aimed at reducing obesity and decreasing tobacco use. Operation Live Well, the parent project of the Healthy Base Initiative, encourages Soldiers and their Families to pursue a healthy lifestyle , because a healthy Family allows a service member to be more effective in his or her job. For more information on programs and services aimed at a healthier lifestyle, visit your local MWR.
Return to the Summer Budget feature page