The average American spends nearly $2,800 per year on food.
It’s not always easy to cut your spending in that area, either — you have to eat. But if you want to fill your pantry and fridge with healthy eats, it can cost even more than a traditional trip to the grocery store.
Add on top of that the cost of workout classes, gym membership, healthy supplements and more, and you’ll find that losing weight can actually cost you a lot of money. You might not think you have the cash to afford a healthier lifestyle.
We have good news — you can make it work if you learn how to lose weight on a budget. Pioneering men and women before you have gotten healthy without breaking the bank. And you can do the same with these seven tips.
1. Get Creative With Your Food Usage
Purchasing healthy, whole foods doesn’t come cheap. But you can make your money go farther by learning how to reduce waste in your kitchen.
Let’s say you’ve purchased a carton of eggs — a great idea, as they’re full of protein, B vitamins, selenium and more. However, you might have a few left as the use-by date looms.
You can extend the life of your eggs by hard-boiling them. That way, you can keep them in the fridge for a bit longer. They make great salad toppers, snacks and sandwich filling.
Get creative with the rest of your healthy ingredients. Transform them into dips, spreads, crudites, toppings for salads… the possibilities are endless. That way, you get more for your money, thus helping you to diet on a budget.
2. Plan in Advance
There’s nothing worse than heading to the grocery store without a plan. And if you go to the store hungry, you’re in even bigger trouble. Studies have shown that peckish customers buy more, and they often reach for unhealthy selections.
So, draw up your weekly meal plan before going shopping. Outline everything you need to make your meals a reality, and don’t stray from the list. Nosh on a filling snack before heading to the grocery store so you’re not tempted by anything that’ll throw you off track.
Best of all, thoughtful grocery trips will help you save money and resources. So, stick to the meal plan and buy only what you need to make it a reality.
3. Cook For Yourself
In all of your weight-loss training and self-education, you’ve probably learned that restaurant portions are wildly oversized. Of course, you can and should enjoy nights out from time to time. But if you want to make your healthy efforts successful, then you should eat at home more often than not.
Doing so will help you stay within budget, too. You can typically cook an entire meal for four with the money it’d cost two of you to buy dinner at a restaurant.
And, even if you don’t have a family to feed, you’ll save money down the line by prepping a full meal. You can package up your leftovers and eat them for lunches and dinners as the week goes by. You’ll have convenient, healthy meals at the ready — no need to pick up a quick bite or otherwise compromise your weight-loss plan.
4. Try Canned or Frozen Produce
As previously mentioned, fresh fruits and veggies will sometimes go bad before you can use them. You can try the repurposing methods we described previously. Or, you can opt for produce with a longer shelf life.
Frozen veggies come in creative shapes and sizes now — cauliflower tater tots, anyone? You can also get veggie noodles, rice and pre-chopped and prepped stir-fries. They’re just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, too.
You can stock up cans for your pantry shelves, too. Be sure to selected low- or no-sodium options, though. The healthiest options include peas, green beans and carrots.
5. Swap Out Meat For Beans
Your healthy meal plan includes plenty of lean proteins. But meat can be an expensive addition to your shopping list.
Fortunately, you can get all of the protein you need without breaking the bank. Try making more recipes with beans, which will leave you feeling full and satisfied sans meat.
It’s much cheaper to buy a few cans of beans at the grocery store, too. You can save even more cash by buying them dried. It’ll require an extra step — you’ll have to soak them overnight before cooking them.
Either way, you’ll save cash if you choose beans in place of meat.
6. Opt For Generics
When you go grocery shopping, you’ll notice you can get the same product for different prices. The more expensive options typically come with a name-brand label on them.
Before you instinctively choose the brand you know, check the generic’s label. Chances are, it has the exact same ingredients as the branded version. If so, you’re paying more for the exact same thing.
So, go for generic where possible, and you’ll save on your healthy grocery bill.
7. Use Your TV For Workouts
We’ve focused a lot on food, but your workout regimen could be costing a lot, too. Save cash on that by working out at home. YOu don’t have to forego any of your fitness resources, either.
Instead, if you have a smart TV or even a phone or tablet, you can access free workouts through YouTube. Channels like POPSUGAR Fitness have a slew of efficient, effective virtual classes to help you get in shape for free.
Even if you pay for access to fitness classes, though, it’s probably cheaper to sign up for a streaming service than it is to go in person or join a gym. So, you’ll get a great workout at a portion of the cost.
How to Lose Weight on a Budget: Get Creative
There’s no one answer to the unending dilemma of how to lose weight on a budget. What is true of all of the above solutions is that they require a bit of creativity. With that, though, you can do anything — including getting healthy and slimming down as you envision.
And, if you need a bit more help, we’re here for you. Find a provider of UnCraveRx and get started on our budget-friendly program today.