Whether you need to shed just a few pounds or have a lot to lose, deciding to lose weight and improve your health is a positive step. What many people don’t realize is that losing weight can also be an expensive process. Here are several ideas that will help you save money while working toward your weight loss goals.
Start with What You Have
When you’re motivated to lose weight, you might want to trash all the food currently in your cabinets, refrigerator and freezer and start fresh. It’s tempting, but it’s also expensive and wasteful. Take inventory of what you already have on-hand and see how it can be incorporated into your new eating plan. You’ll probably be surprised at the healthy choices you’ve already made. For those things you know you’re not going to be indulging in anymore, take them into the breakroom at work; they’re guaranteed to disappear.
Make Your Own Meals
It’s a happy coincidence that losing weight and saving money have a few things in common, such as the benefits of making your own food. When you prepare your own meals, you know exactly what’s going into them and can count your calories accordingly. And of course, eating food you make yourself is always a money-saver over dining out or ordering in— whether or not you’re on a weight loss plan. When you find dishes you love to cook and eat, be sure to make enough to have leftovers for lunches or freeze for a later date. Keeping your pantry stocked with healthy basics will help you resist the temptation to get take-out.
Get Creative with Clothing
It won’t take long for your clothing to start feeling a little loose (yay!). But before you splurge on a new wardrobe, consider several things, including your final weight loss goal. Chances are you’ll drop more than one size before all is said and done and replacing your clothing at each stop along the way is just too expensive. A few solutions include:
- Shopping your own closet for clothing that used to be too small
- Using belts to get more mileage from jeans and pants
- Using belts or scarves to cinch too-big tops and dresses
- Letting friends and family know your’e happy to accept hand-me-downs
When you reach the point where these tweaks no longer do the trick, focus on buying discount or thrift clothing to get you through until you reach your final goal.
Start Moving for Free
Modifying your eating habits is the most important part of losing weight, but you’ll want to start incorporating some exercise, too. Before you commit to a pricey gym membership or buying fancy home workout equipment, simply start walking. Whether it’s a 15-minute break at work, a few times around the block in the evening, or even getting up and walking around the house during commercials while watching TV, any extra steps will start adding up—and cost you nothing.
Make Sustainable Changes
Just like get-rich-quick schemes are never what they seem, the same is true of fad diets. You might lose a little in the short-term but gain it all back quickly. And jumping on and off the diet bandwagon can add up to a lot of wasted funds you can use for other things. Instead, focus on small, sustainable changes you can keep doing long-term. The proof will be in your waistline—and your wallet.