12 Tips for Losing Weight on a Budget

If you are looking to lose weight on a tight budget, these tips and tricks will not only help you succeed but save you money in the process. Check out these 12 Tips for Losing Weight on a Budget.

Plan to lose weight


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A few years ago after a visit to my doctor’s, I came to the realization that I had no other choice but to lose weight as it was affecting my health. I had tried many diets over the years with a few resulting in a small amount of weight loss. However, the weight always came back on.

This time I was determined to make it work so I began to research ways that people had the most success in their weight loss journey. But, what I soon discovered is that losing weight can start to get really expensive.  I knew that pricey gym memberships and fancy workout clothes were not in the budget.

So, I decided to keep it simple and found inexpensive ways to lose weight instead.  I began focusing on the journey and took it day by day. As each day slowly turned into a month and then another month, I started losing weight consistently. I ended up losing 50 pounds and have been able to keep it off for the last 4 years.

Here are the 12 frugal tips that I used to help me be successful in my weight loss journey.


12 Tips for Losing Weight on a Budget


Home workouts

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to work out. There are many inexpensive options that you can do right in the comfort of your own home.

Look on YouTube for free workout videos. You can make playlists for exercises that concentrate on arms, legs, abs and total body workouts. They also have a lot of simple walking videos which are perfect when it’s too cold to walk outside.

Check out fitness apps that you can download for free. I found success with some of the 30-day challenges because they kept me motivated.


Meal plan

Meal planning can help you save money when it comes time to grocery shop. Many people talk themselves out of eating healthy because they think it’s too expensive. But, planning your meals ahead of time before you grocery shop can help you stay in budget.

My biggest tip with meal planning is to keep things simple. You can browse Pinterest for some healthy recipes or dust off some old cookbooks. Then, sit down and make a plan. Shop your fridge and pantry first and use up what you have on hand. Do you have vegetables that need to be used up? Make some homemade vegetable soup.

Use a weekly meal planning pad to keep track of your meals for the week, highlighting any of your favorite meals so you remember to make them again.

If you are new to meal planning and would like to learn more, You can read my Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning to get you started.

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Cook your own meals

By cooking your meals at home, you are able to control the ingredients and your portion size.

If you have a crockpot, you can put a healthy dinner in before you head to work so you are not tempted to eat out on the way home. Another small kitchen appliance that can be helpful when preparing healthier dinners is an air fryer. If you are unfamiliar, an air fryer is similar to a convection oven and cooks your food with little to no oil.

Here are some easy and healthy recipes you can cook in an air fryer.

Related Post: 25 Must-Have Air Fryer Recipes for Beginners


Drink water

When you are trying to lose weight, it’s important to drink a lot of water.  Skip buying soda, it’s expensive and just fills you up with empty calories.  Water is free to drink and better for you. Buy a reusable water bottle and keep it filled throughout the day so you are getting the recommended daily amount of water.

You can also download an app on your phone to remind you to stay on top of how much water you are drinking.

Shop smart

  • Purchase produce when it’s in season, so you are getting the best price on your fruits and vegetables.
  • Shop sales by looking in the weekly sale circulars to find the best deals.
  • Buy generic instead of name-brand items as they often have the same quality and nutrition plus they usually taste just as good.
  • Buy in bulk so you can get lower prices on larger items and save money in the process.
  • Use grocery pickup to avoid impulse purchases in the store helping you lose weight on a budget.
  • Download free money-saving grocery apps such as Ibotta and Flipp.
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Skip gym membership

Gym memberships are expensive. There is no need to spend that kind of money when there are so many at-home workouts that you can take advantage of.

As an alternative to going to the gym, you can purchase cheap exercise equipment. Check garage sales or Facebook marketplace for used treadmills, ellipticals, or exercise bikes. You can even check the clearance items in your local department store.  I purchased a treadmill at Walmart that was marked down almost half price.

When I first started exercising, I walked on the treadmill every day for 1 mile. I wanted it to become a habit and I knew if I could stick to it that I could be successful. I eventually increased it to 2 miles and then 3 miles….just walking. It helped me stay consistent and as I started noticing a change in how I looked, it motivated me to keep going.

You can also invest in some cheap weights or resistance bands to help with your weight loss goals.

Bring lunch to work

Avoid eating out for lunch and instead pack your lunch before leaving for work in the morning. Too busy in the morning? Pack it at night so you are not tempted to stop for fast food.

Packing your lunch will help you stay on top of your healthy eating goals and save you money at the same time.

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women running

Get outside

Make it a habit to start walking around your neighborhood in the evening to burn some extra calories. Grab a family member or find a workout buddy and download a pedometer app to keep track of your steps.

If you are not used to walking, then set a small goal of walking around the block or for 20 minutes and then gradually increase the time and distance.

Once you get used to walking and spending more time outdoors, look into other free activities you can enjoy such as jogging or bicycling that will all help you lose weight on a budget

You will find these small changes will improve your stamina and encourage you to keep moving.

Eat more often

Before changing my eating habits and working out, I would always skip breakfast. I told myself that I wasn’t hungry so why eat? Unfortunately, that meant that by the time lunch rolled around, I was always starving and because of this, I would make bad food choices. The temptation was too great and I was too hungry to resist.

However, once I decided to start eating healthier. I learned that it was better to eat more than 3 meals a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, and an optional snack before bed. This way you are less hungry at each meal so you won’t overeat. Plus, it gives you more opportunities to choose healthier snack options.

fruits and vegetables

Meal prep

Meal prep can not only be a huge timesaver in the kitchen, but it can also help you save money and be more successful in your weight loss journey.

It will help you stay on track because everything is already prepared and waiting for you which makes it less unlikely that you will grab something unhealthy when searching for something to eat.

Some easy tips for meal prep include:

  • Batch cooking- Make large portions and divide them into containers for the week ahead.
  • Simply double your recipe for dinner and then you can use the extra portion for a later time.
  • Use leftovers from dinner for lunch the next day.
  • You can also cut up your fruits and vegetables to divide them into small portions so you have a quick snack you can grab anytime.

If you have an instant pot you can cook chicken breasts, shred and use them for many meals such as in wraps or salads. Here are 25 Easy Instant Pot Recipes for the Beginner to get you started.

Eat more Protein

Protein is so important for weight loss. Why? Because it keeps you full longer and if you are full then you won’t overeat.  Find ways to incorporate more foods like tuna, beans, chicken, and eggs into your diet. These options are all fairly inexpensive, healthy, and easy to prepare.

Calorie Counting App 

Exercise is so important when trying to get healthy and lose weight. It gives you a boost of energy and provides stamina. However, the best way to get results when it comes to weight loss is to keep track of the amount of food you are eating.

I spent months walking on the treadmill and managed to lose 10 pounds but it wasn’t until I started eating better and eliminating junk from my diet that I started losing the weight so much faster which resulted in losing a total of 50 pounds.

My favorite app for counting calories is Lose it!

It’s so easy to use. All you have to do is set a goal weight and Lose it will set you up with a personalized plan. You choose how much weight you hope to lose each week (I chose 1lb) and they will show you many calories you can eat to achieve that goal.

Once your goal is set, you start tracking your food and exercise. You can do this by searching or scanning your food to find out how many calories there are. They recently included an option to snap a picture of your food making it even easier.

The app will store your meals and recipes making it simple to find foods that you eat frequently. Another benefit is that you are able to track your nutrients to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates in your diet.

It’s a great app to keep you accountable and on the right track for losing weight on a budget.

Losing weight doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. There are many simple ways to eat healthier and work out on a frugal budget. It will take time but the results will be worth it in the end. You will feel better about yourself and have more energy to do your everyday tasks.

Don’t forget to sign up for my Free Resource Library where you can find meal planning, shopping list printables, and more.

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