With the arrival of 2015 and with new year’s resolutions running rampantly off of people’s tongues and weighing heavily on people’s minds I thought that there would be no better time then the present to write this specific installment of the Humble Budget.
Today we are going to discuss a budget friendly and body friendly beverage choice: water.
In regards to this topic, and in the spirit of the new year, I would challenge you to consider the funds you spend on certain drinks that you consider to be essentials in your diet. I believe the idea of drinking more water is difficult at times partly because we’ve adjusted our diets and budgets to many beverages that we’ve grown to consider non negotiable, when they actual are!
At home Justin and I drink water 95% of the time. We each have our own Nalgene that we use as a ‘cup’ throughout the day instead of our glasswear because it can hold more and is more easily toted about the house with us. Overall it not only benefits our health and automatically excludes an enormous amount of sugar/caffeine from our diet, but it also allows us a possible $10-15 extra a week in the grocery budget. Again, like every change, it seems small at first, but there are 52 weeks in a year and in the end it means we’ve reallocated somewhere around $500-$700! Whether it be a goal to put that beverage money into the savings account or even leave it in the food budget to be put towards other healthier options, it, all around, seems like a beneficial option!
Now, before I continue on, I must admit;
- First, when Justin and I got married we drank mainly water at home because our budget really would not allow any other options, an obligatory choice that happened to result in a solid healthy habit.
- Second, I’m not sure you could find someone who loves beverages more than my husband. If he could, Justin would have at least four beverages at breakfast and I’m sure just as many at the consequent meals. But even my beverage loving husband would tell you how much he loves water and how it’s tied so habitually to our life at home.
- and Third, we indulge in various beverages at times! Ginger ale is our favorite soda, orange juice is our favorite juice, hot chocolate is a speciality, and don’t even get me started on how much sparkling cider and juice we consumed over the holidays 😉 but because they were the exceptions not the rule I believe we were able to appreciate the flavors far more because our tastes haven’t grown accustomed to them as everyday experiences!
As far as putting into practice a more focused water diet that will benefit the body and budget, I stand by the phrase, ‘If you don’t want to consume it, don’t bring it into the house’ every. single. time. I feel that it combines intentionality and reality together in an effective balance. Intentionality, because it takes a conscious effort to exclude things we are used to consuming/purchasing and reality because it challenges the idea that we are instantly strong enough to say no to things sitting in our pantrys and fridges that we have said yes to for so long.
I think there are two words, that aren’t normally considered budget related words, that could be incredibly helpful to consider and keep in mind when it comes to both budgeting and healthy choices;
Tolerance, or what we habitually consume/purchase that our minds and bodies become more and more accustomed to, even if they are far from essential, and;
Dependence, or what we habitually consume/purchase that we begin to find ourselves unable to function apart from.
Considering those two words on the next shopping trip or meal planning time could make for some very interesting considerations and choices!
Now I’d like to clarify and say that this post is pretty big picture. There are so many opinions and circumstances that go into what we drink at home and what beverages we enjoy, but overall it is an interesting challenge to reconsider a part of our budget and diet that isn’t honestly evaluated too often!
In the end, this series is about living on a meager budget, and realizing how much money could be saved by excluding certain things from the grocery list and diet seemed eye opening enough to include here. When working off of a more strict budget it’s all about cutting corners, while still staying healthy and as natural and organic as possible, granted, this may seem like an extreme take on that process, but I just couldn’t ignore how well the health and budget friendly nature of drinking more water went so neatly hand in hand!
This post got a bit more in depth then a regular Humble Budget post does, but I think with the start of the new year, a bit of food (or drink?) for thought was worth it. 🙂