October 28


5 Tips to Save Money, Be Healthy and Lose Weight on a Budget

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Let's look at ways you can save money and still become fit and healthy. After all, when you're just starting, it might feel like it's really expensive to get healthy and lose weight. There are all sorts of expenses you might have to fork out for. Gym memberships, new clothes and workout equipment not to mention all the healthy food you'll need to buy.

Before you start splurging though, it's wise to have a think which items might provide the most bang for your buck. That is to say, how can you spend your money that will have the biggest impact on your journey to losing weight?


It's worth remembering that many of the best tactics and tools for getting fitter and healthier are low cost. Some are even free! I've put together 5 ways to help you lose weight without having to worry about big expenses.

Whole foods are cheaper and healthier than supplements and shakes

Forget the pills, powders and shakes. Good old-fashioned freshly prepared healthy food is the way to go.

Look for sources of lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats and make sure you're getting plenty of fruit and vegetables daily.

Save money by ditching the supplements and eating healthy whole foods

It might shock you to find out that more than $2 billion is spent each year on supplements for weight loss. What a waste! Not only do most of the supplements out there fail to live up to their claims, but some can also even make your health worse.

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. Said another way, you have to consume less energy through food than your body burns from activity. Consistency is key, so a healthy diet and regular exercise will have you making leaps and bounds in your fitness journey.

And if you're not convinced that you won't have to spend a fortune on healthy food, have a read at my supermarket money-saving guide. It's packed full of tips and strategies to help you save money and eat more healthily.

Save money by cooking and eating healthy meals at home more often

Did you know, studies show that those who eat more meals at restaurants and cafes have higher BMIs than those that eat at home?

If you are going to eat out, think about where you will go and what you're going to have. Do the places you frequent have a healthy menu? How are their portion sizes? Will these choices help or hinder your weight loss progress?

Cooking at home can allow you to be healthy and save money and time

Try to pick two or three of your favourite restaurant meals and attempt to cook them at home. Homemade burrito bowls, chicken chow mein or grilled chicken pittas. You'll be able to keep better track of your portion sizes and energy intake. Additionally, you'll be saving calories and cash.

When you're meal prepping, don't forget the snacks

I think we all understand that batch-cooking in larger quantities saves money. It saves you time as well. Planning meals properly will also mean you have a well-refined grocery list for when you hit the store. You'll be less likely to stray into expensive territory with impulse buys if you have your list pre-prepared.

Meal prepping also gives you the advantage of being able to portion out your meals properly. You can ensure consistency with your nutritional intake, weighing and measuring where necessary.

In addition to prepping your main meals, include options for snacks too. Many of us fall in our diet aspirations when we get hungry in between meal times and don't have healthy snacks on hand.

Instead of grazing, or worse eating snacks straight out of the packet, plan & portion. Keep a healthy stock of go-to healthy snacks that you can reach for when the munchies strike. Your wallet will also thank you as you won't then need to overspend on expensive convenience items.

Prioritise protein, but look for the cheap options

Protein helps you feel full and keeps your muscle tissue in check. Adequate protein intake will help prevent you overeating and gorging on quick-fix foods.

While it would be great if we could all splurge on organic grass-fed beef. Or had regular easy access to Atlantic wild salmon freshly caught that morning. For most of us, that's just a pipe dream.

Budget-friendly protein options include turkey mince, tinned fish, eggs and beans if you're after plant-based choices. Again, if you're meal prepping and batch-cooking, a large pot of bean-based soup or stew can go a long way for relatively little money.

Shop for healthy seasonal food to save you money

Aim to buy foods when they're in season. How do you know when fruit and veg are in season? It'll likely be on special in your supermarket when it is! Shops will often have a glut when fruits and vegetables come into season so prices drop allowing them to shift the stock.

Save money by shopping for healthy food that's in season

Additionally, fruits and vegetables that are in season are also at their peak in terms of nutritional quality. They'll be fully ripe and have wonderful colour and flavour too.

Where possible, consider buying extra when prices are low and freezing what you can. This can help extend the season of a lot of foods while still getting the best price you can.

From a weight-loss standpoint, you'll want to consume extra fruit and vegetables anyway. Fill up half your plate with a selection of vegetables and you'll feel fuller sooner with relatively few extra calories. You'll also enjoy the benefits of added fibre too.

About the author

Paul Stokes

Paul Stokes BSc (Hons) is a Certified Personal Trainer, Accredited Sports Nutritionist, qualified Exercise to Music Instructor, Precision Nutrition coach, Massage Therapist and teaches 8 of the Les Mills Group Exercise programs.

He currently works in the Oil & Gas industry as a Wellness Coach, imparting his vast knowledge and experience to improve the quality of life of several hundred offshore workers.

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