5 Tips for Staying Healthy on a Budget

8ef23b6ff902440db4176c29f53fc805If you’ve made “Lose Weight” an item on your New Year’s Resolution list, you’re not alone.

In fact, according to Statistic Brain, losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolution. Sounds like a lot of Americans are hoping to shed some pant sizes this year.

But what are you supposed to do when you want to be healthy and lose weight, but can’t afford a costly gym membership? Or expensive produce?

Not surprisingly, coming in at number three on the Top 10 New Year’s resolutions from Statistic Brain is “Spend Less, Save More.”

It seems a bit like an oxymoron to want to lose weight but also spend less. These days, it seems like there are countless commercials and gadgets that are designed specifically for losing weight, but they cost a pretty penny.

If you’re serious about getting fit this year, don’t let money hold you back in your decision to be healthy. Here are five tips for staying healthy on a budget.

Skip the Gym

It’s a big misconception that you need an expensive gym membership to lose weight and be healthy. In fact, I haven’t had a gym membership in over three years, and still manage to exercise pretty frequently.

There are plenty of free, or low-cost activities, you can do to help you get some exercise that won’t break the bank in the process. Here are some ideas:

  • Running around your neighborhood
  • Workout DVDs rented from the library
  • Groupon, LivingSocial or Yipit deals for studio classes
  • Find a workout buddy
  • Join a fitness bootcamp through your city community classes

Shop the Right Way

A big complaint from people who start their journey to healthy eating is how expensive eating healthy can be. But it’s a big misconception. It’s actually pretty cost-effective to eat healthy, it just takes a little bit more work on your end.

Learn to save money on your groceries with these tips:

Educate Yourself

Maybe you just have no idea where to start on your get-healthy journey?

While it would be great to splurge on a fancy nutritionist, a lot of us just don’t have that luxury. Yet, there are still plenty of ways to educate yourself on proper nutrition. The internet is a good place to start, but be wary of sources of information.

Another great place to learn more would be the health section at your local library. There you can find lots of free information by nutrition experts.

Track your Food Intake

Writing down what you eat will help you stay accountable and on track with you nutrition goals. Use a free calorie counting site, like My Fitness Pal or LoseIt to help you keep track of everything you’re eating.

Get Cheaper Gadgets

If you insist that you really do need that fancy $100 exercise gadget, test out a cheaper version too to see how much you stick with it.

I really wanted a FitBit, but the $100 price tag scared me. So I started off by buying a $20 pedometer from Walmart. When it broke several months after I got it (by my own fault), I went ahead and splurged for the FitBit. But by then I had already made it a habit.  And to be honest? The $20 pedometer worked just as good.

How do you fit health and fitness into your budget? Do you value having a gym membership, or do you find other ways to exercise?