You're trying to lose a few extra pounds, but instead of your waistline shrinking - your wallet is thinning. With the economy in a downward spiral, we're all trying to find ways to stretch the almighty dollar, but sometimes special foods and exercise programs for our weight loss plans eat away a big chunk of our budget.
It is possible to flatten our tummies without flattening our pocketbooks. Here are a few tips to help keep your weight loss plan from breaking the bank:
Walk, Walk, Walk - Walking is a great form of exercise, and best of all, it's free!
Tidy up a bit - I know housework isn't the most exciting thing to do... but it's great exercise! All the bending and stretching really gets those muscles working.
Hit the Library - Check out an exercise video from the library. Not only are they free, but you'll be able to change things up regularly so you don't get bored.
Plant a veggie garden - If the weather is cooperative where you live, plant a vegetable garden. The gardening is another great form of exercise - plus you'll have tons of free low-cal, healthy produce to eat!
Buy Local and Seasonal - Produce that is grown locally will end up costing you less money because it doesn't have to be trucked in - same goes for seasonal produce. Try you local Whole Foods Market or Farmers Market.
Don't cook more than you need - Unless you're planning to use leftovers for another meal, only cook what your family will eat that evening. So often when there's just a little of this or a cupful of that, it all gets thrown away because there's not enough for another meal. This is where Grandma's old saying "Waste not, Want not" comes into play.
Water is your friend - We all know we need to keep our bodies hydrated, but try switching out your other beverages for water (tap, that is). It's free and hydrates you much more effectively than soda or other beverages.
Stock up on Beans - They're low-cal and very cost effective. Beans are full of fiber and if you add them to some brown rice, provide a complete protein. Beans can stretch a dollar a long way.
Buy a Big'Ol Bag'O'Salad - Stop by your local warehouse store... but don't go crazy and come out with $300 worth of snacks and paper plates. Instead, head for the refrigerated produce and grab a bag or two of ready to go salad. When a giant bag costs half the price of a meal size one from the supermarket - you can add tons more salads to your meals.
Make your own "100 calorie" snack bags - grab some sandwich bags and measure out a serving of your snack of choice (cereal, mini low fat crackers, you name it). That way, you can just grab a bag when you're feeling the need for a snack. If the snacks are pre-bagged, there won't be the temptation to eat straight from the box (and before you know it, the box is gone), plus the package will last longer because you'll only be eating a true 1-serving portion.
Work out when you come home from the market - Putting away cans? Grab one in each hand and do a few curls before they go into the cupboard - continue with the next batch... you'll be sculpting those arms and unpacking the groceries at the same time.
Get your cardio in while the kids are watching videos - For years, I danced right along with my kids and the Wiggly Dancers to every Wiggles song known to man each and every morning. The kids were happy because they got to watch The Wiggles (plus, they got some great exercise & didn't even know it), I got to get my heart rate up to target and keep it up for an entire Wiggles video - plus, who knows, if I ever need a job, I can always apply to be a Wiggly Dancer... hey, I know all the moves - right?
We'd all like to wear a smaller size belt, but not because we're tightening it due to our budget. It is possible to keep up your weight loss efforts without a costly gym membership or fancy pre-packaged foods - give a few of these tips a try and even if the economy picks up, you'll have saved enough for some new smaller sized clothes.