When you are starting on a weight loss plan, you may be concerned that it won't fit into your budget. There are ways to eat healthfully that won't break the bank. Read on for 10 cheap weight loss ideas to help keep the bulge in your wallet, not your waistline!
Idea #1 - Prepare
Before you even think about going to the store, make sure you have a list of all the foods you will need for the week. Planning your meals ahead of time will also help in your weight loss efforts! Being prepared will cut down on extra trips to the store and impulsive fast food stops during the week.
Idea #2 - Eat Before You Shop
When you go to the grocery store while hungry, you are more likely to buy extra food that you don't need or that is not on your diet plan. Plan to have a snack or meal before heading out the door.
Idea #3 - Buy Generic
Another cheap weight loss idea is to buy generic brand foods. You can save a bundle by looking for store-brand or off-brand items. They generally have the same nutritional content, so why pay more for a brand name?
Idea #4 - Cut Coupons
Become a coupon queen or king! Check your local newspaper weekly for their coupon inserts and start clipping for the items you already buy or would consider buying. You can organize coupons by brand or by type of food. After you make your grocery list for the week (see Idea #1), go through your coupon organizer and pull out the ones you will need so you are not searching for them while you are at the grocery store.
Idea #5 - Buy in Bulk
You can often save some money by buying in bulk on pantry staples like cereals, baked chips, baking goods, and many others. Look into a membership at a wholesaler like Costco or Sam's Club to cut grocery bills over time.
Idea #6 - Grow Produce
Creating a backyard garden is one of the best cheap weight loss ideas. We all know that adding fruits and vegetables to our diets is healthy, but fresh produce can be expensive. Consider starting your own garden with the produce you enjoy and use the most.
Idea #7 - Go Frozen
When fruits and vegetables are not in season, they can be even pricier to buy fresh in the produce section. Instead, head to the freezer section and stock up on frozen veggies and fruits, which are just as nutritionally sound. You could also buy canned produce - just make sure you rinse the contents as they can be packed with extra sugar or salt.
Idea #8 - Check Portions
If you buy more than what you need and it expires before you get a chance to use it, you've just flushed money away. This is especially true with dairy products that have a shorter shelf life. Take stock of what you will use before you buy and check the expiration date to be sure you use it before it spoils.
Idea #9 - Make Snack Packs
When you are looking for cheap weight loss ideas, look no further than your own Tupperware cabinet! Instead of buying individually wrapped snack packs, make your own. Those premade packs are convenient, but cost much more. Buy your own nuts and dried fruit to make trail mix, or buy a large package of baked chips and repackage them into snack size containers.
Idea #10 - Research Diets
There are diet plans out there that cost more money than others. If money is tight in your household, but you still want to lose weight, do some research as to what other programs might be more cost effective for your budget. You may be able to save money in the long run by purchasing a program that teaches you weight loss techniques that you can implement for as long as you need them.
Losing weight can be made much easier when you are not worried about how much you're spending on your grocery bills. By following these cheap weight loss ideas, you will be able to not only shed pounds, but bulk up your wallet at the same time.