How to Lose Weight on a Budget

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Weight loss doesn't need to be expensive. You can learn how to lose weight on a budget. There are cheap diet plans and quick tips to help you slim down for less money. In fact, as you make your waistline shrink, you may make your wallet fatter.

Keep in mind that you don't have to break the bank to lose weight. You don't have to buy prepackaged meal plans, supplements, special clothing, or workout equipment. Many of these products are expensive and despite their claims, do not help you to lose weight. But if you do choose to invest in products or programs, use these tips to keep costs low.

Eat at Home More Often

 The typical American spends hundreds of dollars each month eating in restaurants.

You will do your budget and your waistline a big favor by eating at home more often.

And if you plan ahead, you can prepare diet-friendly meals in advance so that healthy food is always ready to go.

When you prepare your own food, you are in complete control of the meal. You can control portion sizes, make sure you eat the right amount of food and use healthy cooking methods to cut calories. All while saving extra money.

Clip Coupons

The best way to save money on healthy groceries? Coupons! If you've been thinking of trying a new diet-friendly product? Manufacturers often give coupons to generate interest in them. Supermarkets often have apps that allow you to take advantage of weekly deals and other digital coupons with the scan of a barcode. There are also many money-saving coupon apps that can help you save on everyday purchases.

And money-saving deals are sometimes available for diet delivery programs as well. Do a little bit of research online before you invest in a weight loss meal program. You may be able to find a deal to help you cut costs.

Consider Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables are just as nutritious as frozen ones and can be much more budget-friendly. For example, you can buy a large can of store brand whole kernel corn and get the same number of servings that you get in a frozen single-serving multipack.

You're also likely to waste less when you buy canned goods. These staples last longer than fresh varieties.

Buy Store Brands

The quality of store brand products varies greatly. But there are good store brands of canned goods, frozen vegetables, and pasta. They provide the same nutrition and often the same flavor as more expensive name brands.

Trying a food for the first time? Invest as little as possible by buying the smallest size instead of those tempting warehouse-size packages—they aren't a better value if they sit in the pantry uneaten. Another lesson learned? Never buy multiples of a new product until you've tried it.

Get Free Workouts

Did you know that you can find new exercise DVDs and diet books at your local library? You can even request or reserve specific products you're interested in. If you find you check out the same DVD or book several times, you know purchasing your own copy would be a wise investment.

You can also find great workouts online. Many of them are cheap or free and provide the same calorie burning benefits as the expensive boutique sessions.

Walk More

It's a great time to start walking. If you live close enough to walk to stores or errands, consider how much money you'll save on gas. Start out by walking about 10 minutes at a time (e.g., the nearest store and back) before trying an hour-long trek across the neighborhood.

Bulk Up With Beans

Beans are a cost-effective, low-fat, and nutritious way of adding additional protein and fiber to your meals, both of which will help you feel fuller longer to prevent overeating. Look for dishes that use beans as the main ingredient or add them to foods you already enjoy.

Snack Smarter

Fight the afternoon munchies by taking your own diet-friendly snacks from home rather than hitting the vending machine. It's much more expensive to buy individual snacks from the machines than to portion out correct servings from full-size packages into zipper bags. And you can buy a six-pack of diet soda by the time you purchase two or three from the machine.

Tap Into Tap Water

Invest in a water filter or a carbonator to drink more water at home. Then, stop buying those little bottles of water. When you're really penny-pinching, buying water is an added cost that is easy to trim. You can also buy a safe, reusable water container to fill up at home to take with you to work or to the gym.

Prepare for Portion Control

Buy the full size of your favorite smart snacks when they're on sale. Then create your own mini snack packs using the correct portions for weight loss. You'll get many more servings for the price as compared to pre-packaged individual servings.

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