The desire to lose weight is something you have been thinking about for a while now, but the gym memberships, meal replacement shakes, organic foods, and workout gear can be expensive!
Is there a way to reach your weight loss goals without breaking the bank?
And today I’ll cover seven of the best tips I’ve discovered to lose weight and get healthier without sacrificing all your hard-earned money.
1. Compare Grocery Store Prices
Although I’m a sucker for snacks and sweets, there is no denying the fact that what you eat is probably the biggest predictor of weight loss success or failure.
So one of the best ways to actually lose weight and save money is to shop at the grocery store with the best prices on the healthy foods you like.
Here’s a list of healthy foods that are great for a tight budget if you need some ideas on what to buy.
When you compare prices, find the store with the lowest prices on healthy foods you buy regularly, not the store that has one or two good sales each week.
You’ll get the most bang for your buck this way.
For example, my local grocery store has really good deals on about two things I actually eat each week.
The rest of the stuff I buy regularly, however, is way cheaper at ALDI.
So even though ALDI may not have better “sales” or “deals,” their overall lower prices save me at least $100 each week.
That’s over $5,200 per year!
This goes for online groceries too. While some online foods look like great deals on the surface, I was shocked to see how much cheaper ALDI really was when I busted out my calculator and compared Aldi prices to three online grocery stores I order from.
2. Find The Right Meal Planner For You
Meal planning is something you hear over and over when it comes to eating healthy, sticking with a certain diet, and saving money.
It’s repeated because it works, but there are a billion meal planners because it is so hard to stick with.
I’ve been on and off the meal planning train my share of times. And I keep hopping back on because it works! I eat healthier because I plan healthy meals.
I shop for the healthy foods needed to make healthy meals. I save a bunch of money because I only buy what I need for the week.
And I’m way less stressed about “what’s for dinner” because I have a plan for every day.
The key for me was finding the right meal planner.
I didn’t realize it before but the way this meal planning template with snacks is laid out is perfect for my family and how I like to meal plan.
Plus, I can keep reuse the sheets so I don’t have to start from scratch every week, a big reason I used to dread the task.
So in a nutshell, if you don’t meal plan yet and would like a way to stick with your goals to eat healthier, lose weight, and save money, then give it a fair shot.
Chances are once you find the right system, you’ll find meal planning can really help you reach your goals.
3. Stick to Your Shopping List with This App
Another key to saving money and losing weight is only buying the food you actually want to eat.
I don’t know about you, but if there are chips and cookies in my house…I am going to eat them.
So if you really want to lose weight and stick with eating healthy foods, create a grocery shopping list before you go to the store and stick to it.
This is where meal planning comes in super handy:
- Make a weekly meal plan
- Create your shopping list
- Go shopping!
Personally, I love using an app called Wunderlist.
You can easily check things off while you’re shopping, then the next time you need to make a grocery list you can scan through your “completed” items and uncheck them to add them back to your list.
This can save you a lot of time because you don’t have to recreate your list from scratch every week.
4. Use Rebate Apps for Cash Back
Another way to eat healthy and still save money is to use apps like Ibotta.
When I first heard of Ibotta, I dismissed it fairly quickly. I saw a lot of processed or unhealthy food offers, I didn’t go to the qualifying stores very often, and I assumed you could earn “points” or some other made-up currency.
However, I recently did a complete review of Ibotta and was excited to learn four things:
- You can redeem offers and submit receipts for ALDI
- There are offers for organic foods
- There are offers for produce
- You earn real money and can redeem it through PayPal, Venmo or gift cards
Now I’m in the habit of checking Ibotta offers before running into the store and Ibotta definitely makes it easier to save money while eating healthy.
There’s a good chance you’re missing out on free money if you’re not using Ibotta yet.
5. Track Your Spending, Eating and Workouts
Losing weight does not happen accidently.
You need to be intentional about it and tracking things brings an extra level of awareness.
When you’re trying to lose weight and still stick to a reasonable budget, there are 3 crucial things to track each day:
- Your spending
- Your workouts
- Your food intake
There’s no one right way to track each of these things, but tracking how much money you spend on all categories, including your groceries, restaurants, gym memberships, etc. will help you see where your money is going.
When you see where it’s going, you can find where there is room to cut back.
Tracking your exercise will also help hold you accountable.
You might have a daily goal of taking 10,000 steps or a goal of doing CrossFit three times each week.
Whatever exercise you enjoy and gets your body moving, track it in a planner, on a cool printable, or even on a free fitness app.
This way you can celebrate when you’re taking steps to reach your goals and recognize when you’re falling short.
Finally, tracking your diet in a food journal or even on a meal planner can help you stick with eating healthier.
I don’t know about you, but when I did this I was extra aware of having to write brownie…especially if I had to write 5!
Writing things down won’t always prevent you from eating unhealthy, but more awareness will be there.
You might be surprised at how tracking these three things helps you stick with your goals.
6. Schedule Activity-Based Nights Out
So often our meetups with friends or date nights revolve around food, drinks, or both.
But eating out and drinking can make weight loss even harder than it already is.
So instead of planning a night out full of drinks, greasy food, and desserts, consider spending time together doing something active.
Doing things like hiking, biking, paddle boarding, ice skating, kayaking, or even visiting the zoo will help you burn calories.
Here’s a great list of 50 ideas for healthier active dates to consider for your next weekend or evening meetup.
7. Use a Splurge as a Reward
One last strategy for sticking with your goals to lose weight is to use something you really want to reward yourself.
Let’s say you’ve been eyeing some super cute workout clothes, fancy tennis shoes, or a new bike.
Instead of buying a whole new drawer of workout gear before you are sure you’re going to use it, start working out in the sweats you already have.
Then when you reach one of your first milestones, treat yourself!
Small milestones can lead to small splurges while big rewards can be used as motivation to reach one of your biggest goals.
With this strategy, you’ll either reach your goal (yay!) or you won’t waste hundreds of dollars buying something you’re not going to use (yay!). Either way is a win.
In a Nutshell
If you are wanting to lose weight without breaking the bank, follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to success:
- Compare grocery store prices and shop at the cheapest store
- Find a meal planning system that works for you
- Create and stick with your grocery shopping list
- Use rebate apps like Ibotta for cash back
- Track your spending, what you eat, and your exercise
- Reward yourself for reaching milestones
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How do you reach your weight loss goals without breaking the bank?