When I looked back at 2012, I realized there were five unexpected ways that couponing has affected my life. We all think about saving money on our grocery bills, but my life has also improved by saving money on products that promote a healthy lifestyle.

Health-related products can be expensive, and that often prevents people from using them. But there’s no need to skip a supplement or cut corners on skin care because of the high cost. That extra savings could even lead to a nice stockpile of healthy products! Here are five health-promoting products that can be found on a budget:

Vitamins

Before couponing, I rarely took vitamins. I thought they were too expensive and did not have the extra money to spend on them. But now my pantry is well stocked with vitamins, thanks to Rite-Aid rebates, CVS and Walgreens sales, and coupon stacking! Additional tips:

  • Don’t forget to take advantage of manufacturer couponsI Companies like Nature Made offer coupons and other incentives to people who sign up for their rewards programs.
  • When stocking up on vitamins and over-the-counter medications, always remember to check the expiration dates! It might be a great deal, but that savings goes down the drain if the product expires before it can be used.
  • Always remember to check the boxes and bottles for peelies that can result in additional savings!

Face and skin care

I am in my late 40s, and I have always known that skin care should be a part of my beauty routine. But the extent of that was using Ivory Soap! I can’t afford facials and spa visits, but couponing and RiteAid rebates have helped me to be able to afford excellent skin care products from Olay. Visit the Olay website for coupons, special offers, and samples. Remember to visit other manufacturers’ sites for extra savings on additional products, including sunscreen (I purchased enough sunscreen over this past year to last through the summer vacations in 2013). Thanks to couponing, I have even been able to afford Dove Soap (recommended for my husband by his dermatologist).

Foot care

I was recently in a meeting and looked down at the lady sitting beside me. She had bandages on the back of each of her heels and on the side of each foot. She was wearing a pair of heels and had slipped them off during the meeting. I wonder why? Maybe because her feet were hurting? Before couponing, I didn’t know that there were foot products available to make those painful high heels more comfortable. I took advantage of a $5 off coupon that I printed from Dr. Scholl’s, stacked it with a Target coupon, and paid $.99. No more cutting my husband’s inserts to fit my shoes! No more blisters from wearing a cute pair of pumps!

Preventive health maintenance

Part of healthy living involves maintenance and being mindful through monitoring blood pressure, glucose levels, and more. Some insurance plans cover blood pressure and glucose monitors, or they can be purchased through a health savings account (if that’s part of your health care package). Remember to scan clearance aisles and stock up when there are deals: Last year at CVS I found pedometers on clearance for less than a $1! I have also been able to take advantage of clearance sales on protein bars, fiber bars, and nutrition bars. Yes, I’ve purchased chocolate too, but I strive for the dark chocolate because it’s healthy, right?!

Mouth care

Forming good dental habits leads to better checkups. Before couponing, I really didn’t floss on a regular schedule. Now I can get great deals on toothpaste with whitening, free dental floss, and even free mouthwash. There’s no excuse to forget to floss! Even my own dentist commented on the brightness of my teeth! Did you know that a healthy mouth can help your cardiovascular system? Several studies have attributed periodontitis (gum disease) to increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women and men. So, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash can combine to decrease the chance of inflammation in your mouth, thereby decreasing the chance of cardiovascular disease!

 This is a guest post by Tammy from NC
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