Five Ways to Lose Weight and Save Money

Losing weight costs money. According to BusinessWeek, consumers spend approximately $40 billion a year on weight-loss programs and products. We pay for gyms, we pay for workout gear, we pay for online programs to help keep us accountable and super expensive home-delivery programs and diet foods. Why can’t we figure out ways to lose weight and save money?

We need to cut out all the excess. If you’re serious about losing weight, you need to ditch the gimmicks. And start with the basics.

These five tips and tricks will help you lose weight and keep money in your pocket.

Lose weight and save money by following these five simple tips:

Cook basic foods

Stay away from the overly-priced single-serving meals loaded with sodium. Not only will planning your meals ahead of time help you lose weight, it will save you money and keep you healthy. Even on sale, single-serving meals will typically run you $2, for ten meals that’s $20. And chances are you’re still going to be hungry.

Why not plan ahead? A two pound bag of black beans is $3, a one-pound bag of brown rice is $2 and 3 pounds of chicken breast on sale can cost you about $6. Toss in some non-fat sour cream and reduced fat cheddar for another $5, and you still have enough for several meals–all for under $20.

Stick to the basics, stay away from the processed sodium-filled and expensive foods.

Stop Eating Out

It’s really hard to lose weight when you keep eating out all the time. Even if you choose a “healthy” under-500 calorie option, restaurants are notorious for having extreme amounts of sodium in their food. Sodium will cause you to retain water.

When you’re trying to lose weight, limit your dining out to once a week. This will help you lose weight and save money.

Ditch the expensive gym

Consumers pay monthly premiums to belong to a gym every month. Unless you’re a hardcore body builder, chances are you only take advantage of a small number of resources your gym offers. Why not create your own personal workout dvd library? Run outside? Join a sports team. Take a hike outdoors.

There are numerous ways to get a great workout without dishing out hundreds of dollars a year on expensive gym memberships.

Pack your own lunch

This is the number one rule to losing weight. Stop going out with your co-workers to eat lunch. To cut back on calories and actually know every ingredient that’s going into your food, you need to stop with the co-worker lunches.

Packing your own lunch allows you to save money, plan healthy meals, and bring healthy snacks. No more afternoon lattes!

Meal Plan

By planning out all your meals for the week, you’ll reduce grocery shopping trips (and impulse purchases) and that nagging question of “What’s for dinner?” Plan your meals around grocery sales, healthy staples and easy to prepare foods.

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