5 Healthy Habits For Workplace That Save You Money

Millions of people wake up in the morning and head to work. They spend hours in commute, grab a coffee, arrive at the office, perform their tasks, drink Coke and eat chips, get pizza for lunch, do more work, eat more chips, spend more hours in commute. Five days a week, the same unhealthy routine.

Are you one of these people? Then this post is for you.

Is there a way to make small adjustments and change the old ways to healthy habits for the workplace that also can save money? What can be improved in the ways we eat, drink, commute and dress at work?

I believe it’s possible to find healthier options that also cost less. There is no need to stay hungry or thirsty in order to avoid fatty food and drinks full of sugar and artificial colors. It’s just a matter of planning ahead and your willingness to do what’s good for your body.

In this post, I want to share 5 healthy tips for office workers that I use myself to stay healthy and fit.

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How To Get Healthy Snacks And Pay Less

Do you have these moments of cravings to chew something between the calls, meetings and other everyday tasks? Maybe you are really hungry, or maybe you just want to get a short break from work.

I like snacking between the meals. Several times a day a feel like I have to get something small to eat. Knowing it, I come to the office prepared. Fruits are my favorite snacks: the 11 am’s clementines, the 12 pm’s banana, the 4 pm’s apple. Same fruits every day. There are days when it’s still not enough and I want some more snacks to satisfy my craving to chew.

What do my coworkers do? Go to a vending machine in the pantry and get a small pack of potato chips, M&Ms or a chocolate bar. Most of these are not really healthy options and they are pricey! Like $1.5-$2.5 for a tiny pack.

I never ever buy anything from that machine. My preference is to stock up with large packs of snacks that are healthier and cheaper: raw almonds, nuts mix, quinoa and black bean chips, dried fruit. Trader Joe’s stores have many healthy, tasty and reasonably priced options. You can find great snacks at BJ’s and other wholesale clubs as well.

The problem, in this case, is with the amount I can eat at once. These Honey Roasted Peanuts from Trader Joe’s are so addictive, I can finish the bag without noticing! How to restrict myself to a small amount every time I want to munch on something? There are two options:

#1. Bring the whole big pack to the office. At the snack time, measure out the reasonable amount, like ½ cup of chips into a plastic cup, seal the bag and put it away (better if it’s in the locker located far away from my desk).

#2. Open a bag at home and divide the snack into small portions in the sandwich-size Ziploc bags. Every day, take one or two to the office. Don’t forget to reuse the bags.

This way you control what and how much you eat for snack and can lower the costs by buying in bulk.

And don’t forget to bring some fruit or pre-cut vegetables as well. Fresh produce is the best snack, full of vitamins and fiber.

Just a quick disclosure note: the prices of my favorite snacks on Amazon are usually much higher than at Trader Joe’s or wholesale clubs. If you like something, compare the prices to find the best offer in your area.

Water And Tea – Healthy And Cheap Drinks

I guess you know that most of the canned and bottled drinks are not healthy as they have huge amounts of sugar, artificial colors, and flavorings in them. Stopping to buy them is a great healthy choice that will save you a lot of money.

Water is the best drinking option. At most workspaces, filtered water coolers are provided by the employer. Want to make it a bit more fun? Get a fancy water bottle that keeps it cold for a long time.


If you are totally bored by plain water, you can opt for an infused water. At home, you can use lemon, mint, cucumber or different types of fruit to add a splash of taste to the water in the pitcher. Bring some lemon slices to the office and add them to your water to make it taste similar to lemonade.

Another great option is to make a tea using flavorful herbal tea variety. Ice tea in summer, hot tea in winter – great healthy and cheap options, compared to the drinks from that vending machine.

Personally, I like the Celestial Tea brand with their wonderful flavors like Raspberry Zinger, Wild Berry, Country Peach Passion and more. Just bring a box to the office and you are all set.

Homemade Lunch – Healthy Food Choice

Going out for lunch is an everyday habit for many people. I agree, there is an important social aspect to it, as it’s easier to chat and build stronger team bonds over a meal than in the official environment.

However, in many cases, the food itself is not really healthy. It’s hard to know what the quality of the ingredients in your dish is. If you are not going to a self-service buffet, you also have less control over the amount of food served to you. It’s too easy to eat more than you really need. The cost is also higher than the meal from home.

Think about it. If you pay $10 for lunch, 20 days a month, it’s $200 monthly expense. It can easily be a half of a grocery budget for a family of 4!

In our household, we are so into homemade food that we pack lunches every day, for both kids and adults. My husband goes out for lunch with his team only once a week.

We cook large amounts once a week and make small adjustments during the week. Our typical lunch has 3 components: meat or fish, grains and roasted vegetables. Every time I eat my lunch, I think that it’s much tastier than what my colleges bring from the cafeteria.

Try to bring your own lunch at least for a couple of days each week. Encourage your peers to do the same. More than that, you can agree on “potluck” Mondays, when everyone brings something to share. It can become even deeper bonding experience than just going out for lunch, as homemade food is a fun conversation starter. You will know each other better from talking about unique family food traditions.

If you are out for lunch, try to stick to healthy options like salads and control the amount of food on your plate. Avoid fried food served in huge portions.

 

Don’t Spend On Fancy Clothes For The Office

You may think that clothes choice is only about money and has nothing to do with the health. Not exactly. Wearing comfortable clothes makes it easier to keep the right posture and be more productive.

I work at the office with a lenient dress code that allows professional looking jeans and T-shirts, as we are not a client facing unit. The air conditioning is set to a low temperature, so most of the time I’m freezing and need to add layers. It might be just my subjective feeling but looks like it’s shared at least by other females around me.

In my opinion, the best way to dress for the office is to keep the clothes simple, comfortable and neat. If you are not a highly ranked executive who meets with important clients or other top managers, there is no need to invest in expensive brands.

Wearing high-end clothes and fancy accessories every day may position you as a person who likes to brag and puts too much effort into showing off. Don’t be surprised if your peers might prefer to keep some distance from you.

For females, the easiest way to be comfortably clad is to wear dress pants with a buttoned shirt or a plain sweater. My “to go” brand for the office pants, jeans and buttoned shirts is Express. Their products fit me perfectly and look great at any season. Join their mailing list to be notified about sales, when clearance items get additional 40%-50% discount.

For classic looking and comfortable cotton sweaters and shirts I shop for Karen Scott brand at Macy’s, especially during holiday sales. For example, on Black Friday and Cyber Monday the prices reflect up to 75%-80% discount and are really affordable for these good quality tops.

My last finding for a winter season is a fleece lined jeans. They look exactly like regular jeans, but are so cozy and warm! Finally, I can survive in the office without freezing. The Camii Mia pair I found on Amazon is of great quality, not bulky and really pleasant to touch.

 

Related Post: The Best Cashback site you must use everytime you shop online.

Turn Your Daily Commute To An Exercise

Not everyone has a choice about the commute. Millions of people have to spend hours in traffic, trains or metro to get to the office.

If you are lucky and the distance between your house and the office is relatively short, consider walking instead of taking a bus, Uber or a car. It will not only save you money, but 20-30 min brisk walk is a great everyday cardio exercise that helps burn fat and lose weight. Win-win!

Another option can be using a bike or a scooter. I was surprised to find out how lightweight and not expensive are some of the folding bikes!

If you don’t have any choice, at least try to use your commute time wisely. Read a good book or listen to an audiobook or a podcast. Learn something new, invest in yourself.

Quick Summary

To change your daily habits at the workplace to healthier and cheaper options, follow these:

  1. Bring lunch from home several times a week
  2. Drink water or herbal tea
  3. Bring healthy snacks from home
  4. Wear simple comfortable clothes
  5. Walk or bike to the office

 

Mary

P.S. Check out my FREE Grocery Shopping guide to learn how to buy only what you need and pay less.

 

 

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Mary

My name is Mary and I'm the owner of MoCash For You.

10 thoughts on “5 Healthy Habits For Workplace That Save You Money

  • December 28, 2018 at 10:04 pm
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    I liked your post. You consider everything, meals, clothes and transportation. I agree with you at all. For me is easiest to have small snacks at work than at home. I usually take for work some green tea, water with some small pieces of fruits inside, and for lunch some meat, fish or chicken with vegs. I know the clothes must be comfortable, the worst are the shoes… heels are very bad.

    Reply
    • December 28, 2018 at 10:17 pm
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      Hi Maria,

      I gave up the heels long time ago. Decided it doesn’t worth it in our freezing office. At some age you don’t want to impress anyone anymore. At some roles, it can be a part of a must have official appearance. But if not – I’d better wear flat shoes and feel comfy all the day.

      Mary

      Reply
  • December 28, 2018 at 9:55 pm
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    I absolutely put these into practice. I always bring lunch, a water bottle, and healthy snacks from home. It’s a great way to use up leftovers in the house as well as save money. I also never buy expensive clothes for work. Almost always, the clothes I wear are from a second-hand store. They are in great shape and not expensive, which is all I’m looking for. Thanks for the great suggestions. The only one I can’t do is walk or bike to the office, but 4 out of 5 isn’t bad!

    Reply
    • December 28, 2018 at 10:10 pm
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      Hi Steve! 4 out of 5 is great! I love your idea about second hand store clothes. Probably you manage to get  good brands for cheap.

      If you have a long commute you can’t avoid, at least use the time smart – learn, read. I see too many people playing “candy crush” on the train. That’s a waste of time!

      Mary

      Reply
  • December 28, 2018 at 9:45 pm
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    Hey there and thank you for this informative article. I really had an amazing time reading it. Your tips are really valuable. I am really surprised that you could get natural snacks for less money then something you would regularly eat in office. This really blew my mind. Not only it is cheaper but is way more healthier comparing to fast food or something simalir you would eat.

    You are also correct when talking about cheap drinks at the office. Considering you could make any tea with water, this is amazing idea, but people usually overlook it.

    Thank you so much, I will definitely take your tips and apply them in my office.

    Strahinja

    Reply
    • December 28, 2018 at 10:02 pm
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      Hi Strahinja,

      I’m glad you liked some of my ideas. My favorite tea at the office is a bit weird – green tea with stivia powder and small splash of creamer. The company provides all this, so it doesn’t cost me a penny. Green tea is considered more healthy than the black one, though both have caffeine.

      Mary

      Reply
  • December 28, 2018 at 9:37 pm
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    I love riding my bike to the office in the summer. I even have one of those folding bikes you mention! I live in the Chicago suburbs and ride the Metra into the city and then use the folding bike the rest of the way. In the winter though biking in Chicago can be a total mess and walking to the office is simply too far.

    Any other ideas on exercises I might be able to do perhaps at work in my office or maybe on the train? I don’t mean full on cardio, but how are those elastic straps or maybe a balance ball at my desk?

    Reply
    • December 28, 2018 at 9:45 pm
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      Hi Craig,

      It’s great you are able to use a bike at least for part of the year. While waiting for the train you can do simple exercise: stand on your toes for a second and get back down. Repeat till the train comes :-). Or just walk small rounds. At the desk the important thing is to stand up and stretch every half an hour.

      Mary

      Reply
  • December 28, 2018 at 9:35 pm
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    Very good ideas to plan ahead with your meals and snacks. This is something that I had to do and it was difficult to do at first; but, after the habit was established it is not bad.

    The hardest part to me, is when the boss requires me to attend a lunch, and then keeps offering the wrong foods, which I cannot eat anymore because of being diabetic. He is aware of my condition, but it’s still awkward. 

    You have to stay accountable to yourself;  planning the meals and snacks for the next day, is the best suggestions (from DE Nurse) that helps me to stick to the diet plans.

    Great post thanks for sharing your insights and information!

    Reply
    • December 28, 2018 at 9:58 pm
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      Hi Chad,

      I’m glad to hear you learned to plan your meals and snacks. Your boss should be more considerate!

      Thank you for stopping by

      Mary

      Reply

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