10 Ways Thrifty People Lose Weight



weight loss the thrifty wayThat picture above is a true representation of my current situation. Currently I have two pairs of jeans that barely zip up and four pair that will not zip up at all. I am determined to get out of my yoga pants (the only pants I feel comfortable breathing in) and back into my jeans and here are 10 ways I plan to lose the weight for little money (some are even free).

10 Ways Thrifty People Lose Weight

1.Use free calorie counter apps.

I personally love the app Lose It.  I track my daily food intake as well as my exercise and weigh ins. I know that a lot of others love Fitness Pal. Both these apps are free. If you prefer tracking on your laptop instead I believe both apps also have a website offering the same services.  If I am wrong I know for sure that Sparkpeople does.

2. Use Calorie Count to find out how many calories are in your homemade items

Cooking from scratch is inexpensive but I am guessing grandma did not include the calorie count on her famous chicken dinner on the recipe card she gave you. What I do with my homemade recipes is use the recipe section in calorie count. I add in all the ingredients and then how many servings the recipe makes and the site tells me what the calorie count is and then I write it on the recipe itself so I don’t forget.

3. Borrow books on weight loss from the library

Here are  few titles I have read that have helped me with weight loss in the past.

  1. Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desires With God, Not Food (Kindle version is currently just $2.99)
  2. Run Your Butt Off! A Break Through Plan to Lose Weight and Start Running (No Experience Necessary)
  3. Eat This, Not That! 2013 Edition: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution (or any title in this series)
  4. The New Abs Diet: The 6 Week Plan To Flatten Your Stomach And Keep You Lean For Life (or older edition)

If your library does not have these titles you can try adding them to your wish list in your PaperBackSwap account or you can use Swagbucks and Bing Rewards earned Amazon gift cards to purchase them either second hand or when they come on for a steal of a deal in the kindle version.

4. Order free health and fitness magazines

In my post Building A Home Library Inexpensively: Part 3 Magazines I go over all the ways you can receive magazines in your mail box for free. Currently I receive Health from RecycleBank points I cashed in and Fitness from some  MyCokeRewards I cashed in. (I should point out I am not the soda drinker in the house, he is currently happy with his weight).

5. Borrow or Purchase Workout DVDs

In the days when my husband’s work schedule made it impossible to get to the gym, I loved workout DVDs here are a few of my favorites

  1. Start! Walking With Leslie Samson 3 mile walk: When I first started  getting back into shape I bought a Leslie Samson DVD. It was a great way to ease into regular exercise again without killing myself. Leslie Samson has a tonne of titles.
  2. Mari Winsor: Pilates: I have a few Mari Winsor titles. Pilates is great for toning the body. When I did her DVDs years ago within a few short weeks people started asking me what I was doing because I was looking more toned.
  3. Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred: I suggest  that if you have not worked out in a while, you start this with 2 lb weights. It is a challenge for sure. Once you make it through this DVD with ease I would recommend any of Jillian’s other titles. (oh and make sure you up your hand weights every 4 to 6 weeks too)
  4. Bob Harper: Pure Burn, Super Strength: Make sure you can make it through Jillian’s 30 Day Shred first before you try this one and I suggest the 20 minute workout first and then build up to the hour long one. I have tried other Bob Harper DVDs  too and loved them all.

To make these DVDs as thrifty as possible see if your local library has them available. If that doesn’t work you could try asking friends if they have a few perhaps collecting dust. But don’t despair just because you can’t find a copy to borrow most of these DVDs are around $10 and that is a lot less than the average price of a  gym membership so if you have to purchase them you are still thrifty.

6. Purchase an inexpensive pedometer

I have read a tonne about how tracking steps can motivate you too move more each day, which in turn helps you too lose weight. I been drooling over the amazing activity trackers out now that sync to an app on your smartphone or computer. These devices start at $50 and run as much as $200. When I started researching them though I found out that truly these devices are not offering you much more than a simple inexpensive pedometer.

In the end I got the Omron HJ-321 Tri-axis pedometer from Amazon on sale for $16.73. It was the one my friend’s trainer gives to all his clients. Fits on a clip or in your pocket and counts steps and calories, and that is all I really need.

7. Start walking more and driving less

If you live within a mile  or two of an errand you need to run, try walking to and from it. If you are driving to the grocery store, park your car as far from the door as you can. If you have the choice between and elevator and the stairs, always pick the stairs. These activities are free and help you fit in more activity each day.

8. If you want a piece of exercise equipment buy it second hand

Save a treadmill from a life as a clothes rack and save yourself some money too. Craigslist is full of listings of second hand in good shape exercise equipment.

9. Head outdoors

Outdoor workouts are free. Go for a walk, or a run or a combination. Throw in a route with hills to work more muscles. Workout with a friend to make it safer and more fun.

10. Carry a reusable water bottle

Drinking water  when losing weight helps you feel full. Purchasing bottled water can add up so I suggest purchasing a good quality reusable water bottle instead. Reusable water bottles are one of those purchases that I really feel you do get what you pay for. I know high quality ones are more but they last significantly longer and do not give the water an unpleasant plastic or metal taste.

I love my 27 ounce Klean Kanteen with sports cap. It fits on my bike, and sits in the cup holders on the machines at the gym, and in my car well. If you prefer glass, my husband has a Lifefactory glass water bottle and loves it.

In just a few short weeks you will make your investment back and then from then on be saving money.

 (post contains affiliate links)

Want more tips on loosing weight and getting fit? Follow my Fitness Tips board and my Healthy Eating board on Pinterest.



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  1. SparkPeople.com is still my favorite free wellness/healthy living resource. Online food & fitness tracker, a recipes section where you can search for new recipes or input your recipes for calorie counts & save the recipes, virtual teams that help you stay on track with what motivates you (think hundreds of running teams, Bible study teams, knitting teams, 20 something, 30 something, 40 something etc teams, 5+ lbs to lose, 10 +lbs to lose, etc teams, homeschool teams, clean eating teams, Jillian Michaels fan team…you can find at least 1 you like!), coaches, daily articles, blogs, challenges, prizes- it’s fantastic!

  2. If you have a Amazon prime account many of Jillian Michaels workouts are on prime right now so you could watch them for free. The are also many other workout videos on prime and many you can rent if you wanted to try it before you bought it.

  3. Joy Rickner says:

    I love myfitnesspal for tracking calories! Also, I have a kleen kanteen in pink but I don’t like it very well. I can pass it on to you if you want or you can trade me some homeschooling items you don’t use anymore.. 🙂

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