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ISLIP, NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Gold's Gym members participate in a Zumba class conducted by Fitness Instructor Felicia Brunner in the parking lot of Gold's Gym Islip on June 26, 2020 in Islip, New York. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that gyms along with malls and movie theaters, will not be permitted to reopen during phase 4 until New York's Health Department determines if air filtering systems are circulating the coronavirus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are looking for ways to save money. Three months ago, almost 17 million people in the United States filed for unemployment, according to CNN. However, there are various ways to do things inexpensively, including getting healthy.

When it comes to eating healthy, money can be saved by purchasing store brands vs. name brands. Many brand name organic products such as Amy’s Kitchen, Stonyfield Farm, and Muir Glen taste great, but you’re definitely going to pay an arm and a leg. Stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have their own line of organic products that taste just as good as brand names and sometimes, they taste even better.

Shopping seasonally also helps to save money when buying produce. You automatically save money by purchasing organic produce that is in season. Prices are always lower when there is a greater supply. Also, stock up. Most fruits and vegetables will last up to six months in the freezer.

Exercise also doesn’t have to break the bank, nor does it have to require going to a gym or work out facility (and these days, most gyms are still not open anyway). There is a myriad of exercises that can be done right inside of your own home and sometimes without any equipment.

If you live in a multilevel home, you can use your stairs as a Stairmaster. Doing three-five reps of running up and down your stairs would be almost equivalent to a work out session on a stair machine.

Using things like gallons of water or gallons of any liquid (milk, laundry detergent, etc.) are great items to use in lieu of weights. Jogging or walking around your neighborhood is also a great way to get exercise in for free and without using any equipment. Resistance bands and exercise balls are also helpful when working out at home, and don’t cost too much; there are plenty of free tutorial videos on YouTube showing you exercises with simple gear at home.

Another great way to save money and also help get healthy is if you smoke, quit. The average pack of cigarettes can cost anywhere from $8-$9. Depending on the frequency of your smoking, money can be saved. All in all, shopping smart, using what’s already available to you, and quitting unhealthy habits will help to save money while getting healthy.

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Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.