Trying to manage PCOS on a budget? We've got your back. Check out our handy list of tips and tricks to manage PCOS without going over your budget.
Trying to stay under your budget and not burning a gigantic hole in your wallet can be a cumbersome task for women with PCOS. We have to pay for doctor's appointments, lab tests, medicines, supplements, and groceries on top of our usual monthly expenses.
And this list doesn't even include the cost of exercise equipment or a gym membership, fertility treatments, therapy, laser hair removal, and several other additional expenses that might incur. Most, if not all, of these expenses are not covered under the healthcare services provided by most countries and as a result, PCOS truly takes a huge toll on the monthly budget.
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This can be even more challenging if you're living in a hostel or if you don't have a steady flow of income. If that is something that you're struggling with, then this article is just for YOU!
In this article, let's explore ways in which you can manage PCOS while staying under your budget:
Know Your Budget:
Knowing your budget and spending allowance beforehand gives you clarity and allows you to make sure that you are not overspending. This way, you can make a proper plan and keep some extra cash aside for emergencies.
If you want to take it up a notch, you can analyze your spending habits by looking at your monthly bills. This would help you check if there's some way you can cut back on certain unnecessary expenses.
Keep An Eye Out For Discounts
One of the most obvious and possibly the easiest ways to reduce the cost of expenses is to find websites and apps that offer discounts when you book lab tests or doctor's appointments through them. You can find curated lab tests on our website pcosclubindia.com and shop for trusted products at our very own PCOS Mart
Make the most of festive sales on online shopping platforms and always keep an eye on the newspaper for deals and discounts.
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If you live in a hostel or dorm room, investing in an induction cooktop and other flameless kitchen appliances can be a great option. You can save money that you would have otherwise spent on take-aways or dining out.
When you cook at home, you have more control over the ingredients that go into the dish and you can skip any items that might make your symptoms worse (for instance, dairy products or gluten).
If you don't have the time to cook every day of the week, you can make meals in advance over the weekend and keep them frozen in the freezer. Then you can heat them up and consume them during the weekdays. This is a much more budget-friendly option than eating out at a restaurant.
Try To Find Local Farmers, Growers And Businesses
Getting in touch with local farmers, growers, and business owners will not only allow you to stay within your budget, but it'll also ensure that you get high-quality fresh produce.
If you're unsure where to find fresh produce near you, just ask the locals about the nearest farmer's market (or sabzi mandi). The best way to get amazing deals is to visit the market right before it wraps up for the day i.e in the evenings. Sellers try to sell most of their produce before they head home and they end up offering items at really cheap prices during this time.
Similarly, find a flour mill store near you to buy gluten-free flours at competitive, below-market prices. Alternatively, you can buy whole grains and mill your own flour at home.
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Meal Planning And Cooking in Bulk:
Making food items in big batches would help you save time and money. Every week, you can make a meal plan and have a rough idea of what you'll be needing to make those meals. Write down the ingredients that you'll need to make these items.
Of course, it doesn't have to be a concrete plan. The entire point of having a meal plan is to ensure that you don't splurge on items that you do not need.
Before you step out to go grocery shopping, take a quick look at the items that you already have in the fridge or your pantry so that you don't end up having too much in stock. Write down the ingredients you'll need
Grow Or Make Your Produce:
There isn't an experience that is more rewarding than watching fruits and vegetables grow at home. If you have a balcony or patio which gets ample sunlight, you're all set to turn it into a garden. You can grow herbs (such as basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano), cherry tomatoes, lemons, spinach, lettuce, and so much more.
Likewise, you can make several hormone-loving items such as nut butter, gluten-free bread, and plant-based milk at home for a fraction of the cost. What's more is that these homemade items will be free from preservatives, additives and nasty ingredients.
You can also attend workshops and learn how to make baked treats from scratch.
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A lot of people may not realize it but throwing small amounts of food in the garbage adds up. It's surprising to know how much money we spend on items that we end up throwing away.
It doesn't have to be that way–you can get creative and find ways to use almost every single food item in your pantry.
For instance, leftover dal can be kneaded with flour, salt, and ajwain (carom seeds) to make a dough, out of which you can make dal parathas.
The bones from chicken and meat can be used to make delicious soups or broth. Inedible bits and pieces of vegetables can be composted. Orange peels can be sun-dried and powdered to be used in face masks.
Choose Seasonal Produce:
Seasonal eating simply means choosing fruits and vegetables that grow in the current season. Since these ingredients are available in abundance because of high supply, they are sold at lesser prices and have high nutrient values.
On the contrary, imported vegetables and fruits may have been stored for long periods of time, causing them to lose some of their nutritional value.
Additionally, seasonal ingredients contribute to a sustainable food system because of minimized transportation and refrigeration. By choosing seasonal produce, you are supporting local farmers and growers.
That's it! You've reached the end of our handy list of ways in which you can cut down on expenses and manage PCOS on a budget.
If you wish to connect with our in-house PCOS expert, please reach out to us at email@example.com or connect with our customer care number +91-7217828733
Written by Samia Arshan.
Samia is a Delhi-based content writer who is passionate about women's health, wellness, and nutrition. Her motive is to empower women and help them fight their battle with PCOS.