Getting healthy, exercising more, and losing weight are some of the top 3 new years resolutions in the US. I’ve made these same goals for myself this year as I hone in on living a better, happier life while I enter into my 30s. The only problem is that it seems like living healthy and trying to lose weight can be unreasonably and impossibly expensive. Thankfully, I’ve learned some tips and tricks over the years to teach you how to get healthy and save money in 2020!
Gyms to Get Healthy AND Save You Money in 2020
Gyms can be incredibly expensive. However, there are cheap gym options that offer the basics that you need to get your main exercises in and help you get healthy and save money in 2020.
DON’T GET PRESSURED INTO A TOO EXPENSIVE GYM
Planet Fitness is super inexpensive. You can get a membership for as low as $10. The $10 membership gets you access to the gym equipment and the lockers, but not the tanning beds or massage chairs. Only $20 a month gets you “Black card status” which also gives you access to the tanning beds, massage chairs, and 50% off drinks in the cooler at the gym. If you’d like to try it out, click here for a free one day pass.
Be sure that you can actually afford the gym or option that you’ve chosen. Make a point to look through your budget and determine the amount of money you can spend per month on your new health goals. Don’t pick a gym simply because it has all the bells and whistles. Pick a gym because it checks the boxes for your needs and is within your budget.
For example, I have to have a gym that has a treadmill and weight machines that are not overly crowded. When picking a new gym, that gym HAS to have those things, or I know I will not go, which is a huge waste of money. Also, some of the things I would like to have at the gym but could live without is group exercise classes like Yoga or Spin at a time that I can attend. If I find a gym that has all of those things and is within my budget, GREAT! I’m signing up! But if the only gyms that have my wants in addition to my needs are outside of my budget, I’ll need to look for the next best thing. There is no reason to go into debt to become healthy.
Do Trials Before Committing
Almost every gym or app has a few days of free trials available, but be careful! Many will charge you automatically if you don’t cancel in person during the trial. Be sure to write down or set a reminder on your phone before the deadline to cancel if you try those. It can also be a way to try some super expensive gyms for fun.
Apps to Get Healthy AND Save Money in 2020
There are so many apps out there for weight loss or fitness, it can be daunting. Additionally, many of the free ones seem to have little benefit and the premium ones can sometimes be really expensive. But fear not, I’m happy to share the apps that I’ve used to meet my health and fitness goals while still being Brilliantly Frugal.
One less expensive workout option is app subscription options, like Openfit, or Bad Yogi Studio. Bad Yogi Studio is only $15 per month and gives you access to a ton of premium yoga classes that are regularly updated. You can play the videos on a phone or stream to your TV and do the classes at home! Openfit is similar in that you can play the workouts on your phone and can do them anywhere. However, the workouts are more HIIT or strength training focused on Openfit.
You can also DIY at home with free Youtube or Amazon Prime videos (Check out the article on Amazon Prime here). I like Bad Yogi, DoYouYOGA.com, and Gaiam on Youtube. I also enjoy Power Yoga with Julia Marie on Amazon Prime Video.
Another app that I love is Noom. It helps you set goals, track your weight/exercise/food and calories in the app. It gives you helpful encouragement throughout your journey. There is a premium version of the app, but there’s really no need to sign up for that unless you want a personal coach. Otherwise, the app is completely usable and helpful in the free version.
Lastly, if you have a Fitbit, you need to be using the app to its full potential. You can log food and water consumption, exercise, track your weight, and make weight loss goals. You can also track your calorie consumption throughout the day and set the app to customize the amount you can eat for the day based on how many calories it’s predicting you will burn for the day. This is super helpful, because instead of sticking to a boring and monotonous 1400 calorie a day diet, for example, it can be set for a 400 calorie a day deficit; meaning you can eat more on days that you are more active or do more exercise. Your calorie progress logs and tracks in real-time.
Even better, the app will automatically pick up when you’re going for a run, bike ride, or long walk, based on your heart rate. Alternatively, you can manually ask it to start tracking when you start your workout. Either way, it helps you track and maintain your goals in real-time, which is amazing!
Keep an eye out on Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, or your local Buy Nothing Groups for free or very cheap at home gym items like stretch bands, exercise balls, free-weights, foam rollers, etc. You can have a respectable collection of at-home gym items for little to no money. I have personally found a brand new foam roller for free from my local Buy Nothing group. It has been a great addition to my personal at-home gym collection.
Join a local walking or dog walking group! There are many on Facebook and may help you make friends with some of your neighbors.
Make Your Own Food AND Save Money in 2020
COOK AT HOME. I know. You already know this and it’s super annoying to be told again, but IT’S TRUE! And sometimes you need tough love. So here it is. My best Brilliantly Frugal tip is: STOP eating out and START cooking at home!
It’s generally healthier and more cost-effective. You’ll make yourself much smaller portions than what you would get at a restaurant or fast food place so you’ll automatically be reducing your calorie consumption. Hopefully, you’ll be buying as much fresh food as possible. You will save yourself from all the sodium and other horrible preservatives that you find in fast food and major food chains. You’ll be able to make better, more informed decisions about what is going into your body when making it at home.
Make big meals and freeze or use leftovers for lunches at work. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to “meal prep” and spend a whole day cooking. I personally do not enjoy or subscribe to meal prepping. It does mean that when you are cooking, instead of making enough for 1 or 2 people, make twice what you normally would. Use storage containers and Tupperware to portion out individual meals to freeze or take to work for lunch. You can cook 1-3 times a week and still stick to your goal of eating at home.
It can seem easy to buy lots of premade workout drinks and shakes, but try making workout and healthy shakes and smoothies at home! It’s super easy and they can be really yummy. You can be sure of what you’re putting in your body without all of the preservatives, sodium, and fillers. You can get an expensive Nutribullet if you want, or the really inexpensive personal blender that I got on Amazon. Bullet journal or use your apps to track your savings on food and pounds lost to keep you motivated!
Make the Shopping Convenient
Don’t have time to grocery shop? Thankfully it is 2020 and that is not a problem! Use Amazon Prime NOW or Curbside pickup from your favorite stores. You can get curbside pickup from Target, HEB, and Walmart. That means you order groceries ahead of time online, and then head to the store when you’re ready. You never have to leave your car. The store working will bring your items to the car and load them for you and you’re on your way! It’s super convenient.
Never Pay Retail
USE A COUPON FOR EVERYTHING. All things healthy are on sale right now. That includes protein shakes and other healthy foods and snacks. Don’t pay retail for anything. Use Honey and Mypoints extension to find coupons online. If you are shopping in the store, be sure to use the store’s app to look for coupons. You can read more about Target’s rewards program, Target Circle here.
Brilliantly Frugal Take Away
Find a fun option that you’ll stick to. If you hate the gym, don’t sign up for a regular run of the mill gym, because “going to the gym is how you lose weight.” You’ll just set yourself up for failure and end up wasting money on a gym membership that you never use. If you need something more fun, try the at-home options that you can do on your own time. If working out AND a diet sounds too daunting right now, try just working on the diet portion or just the exercise portion for right now. Know yourself. Make your plan targeted to something that is reasonable and that you can stick to. You can do it!