We all know that maintaining a healthy weight is good for us, but did you know that doing so can also save you money? It is true. From fewer days missed at work to reduced doctors visits, it really can put more money in your wallet if you are healthy!
The problem with losing weight is that there are these magic pills or programs you are being told to try in order to lose weight. You really don’t want to fall for these as you will often not only lose nothing, but will end up paying money you could have put to better use. Some of them make you purchase special food, but what happens when you reach your goal and go back to your regular food? Will the weight stay off or will you end up where you started.
Check out these ten ways that you can save money, all while losing weight!
1. Visit the Farmer’s market for produce. As we move into spring, local Farmer’s markets will be coming back again. Not only can you save on the cost of your produce, you also know where your food came from. Often times, you don’t know how long items have been in your grocery store nor the chemicals or other items used to help them grow. When you stick with a Farmer’s market, you are getting your items right from the garden to your table – no middle man. That saves you money and also gives you peace of mind.
The key is to shop towards closing time. They are usually more willing to make a deal on the items you buy and might even toss in freebies!!!
2. Use your own workout program. If you need help getting started and tracking your calories, carbs, exercise and more, you can sign up for FREE at SparkPeople.com. This is a free site which does all of the counting and tracking for you. They have all sorts of diet plans, recipes and more!
This will save you money from that gym membership you never use. You also don’t need to use Weight Watchers, NutriSystem or one of the other paying programs – all while still getting the benefits!
3. Use dessert plates. When we fill our plates at dinner, we use our plate to gauge how much food to eat. If you use a smaller plate, you will consume less as there isn’t room on the plate for more! Just make sure that you don’t go back for seconds!
The way that this saves money is that you eat less, which makes the food last longer, which saves you trips to the store!
4. Use Diet Bet to get paid. This is actually a fun one! You can actually earn money when you lose weight. You simply place a small wager (anywhere from $10 – $50) that you can lose a certain percentage of body weight over a set period of time. People all over the country place bets and at the end of the time period, those who reached the goal get to split the winnings! Learn more about DietBet.com.
Even if this one doesn’t work for you, get some friends together so that you can be accountable to one another. Just knowing someone is doing this with you can sometimes give you the motivation you need. You could even set up your own diet bet with them!!
5. Cut your meal in half for tomorrow. When you cook your meal for dinner, serve it to yourself. Before you take a bite, take half of your food and place it into a container for your lunch at work for the following day. You are instantly cutting your food intake AND covering your lunch for the next day. Just by taking your lunch instead of dining out, you not only control what you eat – but also help your wallet!
6. Put your Activity Tracker to work for you. So many of us have these trackers. There are actually LOTS of ways you can get paid to use yours! Check out this post all about the various programs you can use to get paid just for walking!
7. Cut out the soda. This may sounds so simple, but can be difficult to do! If you can increase your water intake, you can actually cut out cravings and eating. In fact, when you feel you are hungry, just drink a full glass of water first and you might find that you aren’t really hungry after all.
Not only is it better for you, but the cost savings are huge! Let’s say you pick up your 12 packs for just $3 each and consume 1 a week. That is 52*$3 = $156 a year. This doesn’t count the additional costs when you order a soda with your meal or stop by the store and grab one on the go.
8. Plan your meals and snacks. I talk about this one quite a bit, but it is simply the easiest way to cut your food bill. Sit down once a week and plan your meals and snacks. Then, make your shopping list from your menu plan. This will ensure you not only have the foods you need for those meals and snacks, but save you a trip to the store (or grabbing dinner from the local fast food joint on the way home from work).
Here’s a simple way to look at this savings. If you spend an additional $20 a week eating dinner out, that is a total of $1,040 in a year – just on food! That same $20 might cover 2 or 3 meals or your snacks at home instead! That is instant money n your pocket!
Read more about Menu Planning here.
9. Go for a walk instead of visiting the store. Many times, we go to the store out of boredom. Why not go for a walk instead – or do some jumping jacks or other activity. Get out with the kids and play ball or tag. Swap that need to shop to stay at home instead and you’ll not only save money and get healthy – but you get the bonus of spending time with your family too!
10. Do your own work. Each week I clean my own house. It take me around 2 1/2 hours to get it all done – and then a bit longer to finish the laundry and get it put away. I wear my FitBit in doing this and every time, I hit nearly 10,000 steps. That is just walking. That doesn’t count the workout my arms get.
You can also do your own raking, shoveling and more – all of that saves you money in paying someone else to do it – and you get the benefit of exercise!
What other things do you do to help cut your waistline and increase your budget?