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Old 04-15-2011, 04:18 AM
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Just A Note Losing Weight On a Budget

Tips on How to Keep Your Hips Skinny & Your Wallet Fat
I posted this on my blog and figured I'd share it with you guys. (You can see my full blog here: Cecil County Couponing: Eating Healthy On a Budget )

When I started couponing, I started gaining weight. There are so many great deals to be had on candy, snacks, processed food, and frozen pizzas. I found myself swimming in free Snickers bars. A month ago I joined Weight Watchers and I have had to re-gear my coupon efforts. Now I focus on healthy foods, household items, toiletries, and baby stuff. If I have a coupon for a snack, I quickly hand it off to someone else.

Does this mean my food budget is out of control? Not at all! Many people think it is very expensive to eat healthy. FALSE! In my case I spend less. I am not in the drive thru or WaWa spending lots of mula on snacks. I plan my meals more and buy what food I know I'll need.

Here are some tips that I am using on my weight loss journey to help me still have a low food budget:

I don't buy "diet food" unless it is at the right price. Yes, many diet companies make lots of foods with their name on the label. What really counts is the stats on the nutritional label! Yes, I have a freezer with 10 Weight Watchers frozen meals at home, but that is because I coupled a good sale with coupons, making it a reasonable price. If you do chose to go the diet food route, there are several store brand alternatives that are great. I like Safeway and Aldi's diet lines! Also, remember, a lot of these so called diet foods are high in sodium anyway, which may in turn make the scale unhappy. Don't think if youíre on a diet you need all these fad foods!

Fruits and Veggies are hard to find coupons for. Recently there has been a coupon out there from Kelloggs that says buy 3 cereals, get a dollar off produce. SCORE! But I tend to waste fresh fruit if I buy too much. I usually by 3 of each at a time for the smaller things like apples and pears. That is a lot of gas and time spent going to the store a couple times of week for fruit. Now I am stocking up on canned and frozen fruits and veggies with no added sugar and sauces. I actually scored some free veggies from Shoprite a few weeks back! These have long expiration dates and I donít have to worry about waste. It is a way to keep the cost under control. Be sure to buy fresh produce in season.

Many diet plans stress WATER WATER WATER. Bottles water can be pricey so invest in a nice water jug and go tap! Your wallet and the environment will thank you.

You don't need an expensive gym membership to lose weight. Walking is an excellent form of exercise and there are so many parks near by! Also, for toning and such, check out Youtube for instructional videos. There are some great workout routines out there that you donít need to pay for. Also, check the library for Exercise DVDs. If you get exercise equipment, buy used, not new. Yes, the pool at the YMCA sounds good sometimes, but I'll keep the extra cash in my pocket.

I have read a few online articles on saving money while dieting. A lot say buy in bulk. I agree that when an item is dirt cheap, buy as many as you can use before they expire. But remember, a bigger package of Brown rice may not mean bigger savings, especially when you have a coupon.
These numbers are unrealistic, but for argument's sake:
You want to buy 100 pounds of brown rice. They have 10 pound bags for $2 a piece. They have a 100 lb bag for $18. Before coupons I would have jumped at the 100 lb bag. But now, lets say you have ten coupons for $1/1 any bag of brown rice. You can buy 10 bags for $20 & use the 10 coupons to bring it down to $10. $10 sounds better than $18 dollars for the came amount of product.
(Sorry I got side tracked there, but wanted to combat the possible mis-information that other sites may have out there!)
Individually wrapped serving sizes in big packages can be a money pit too. Instead of the already-doled-out servings sizes (ie 100 Calorie packs), buy the big box and make the serving sizes yourself. Do that as soon as you get home so those snacks are ready to grab right away. Yes counting out 39 goldfish per baggie is daunting, but you can also get a food scale to help. And, you may want to look for good deals on sandwich baggies while you are at it!

Dining out does not have to be a No-no. A common diet trip is to get an appetizer instead of a full-sized entree. That will not only save you calories, but bucks too. If you struggle with spending too much on going out to eat (like I do with sit down restaurants), just try to remember that it is better for you to be in control of what goes into your food than the chef. That has helped me sway from going out to eat as much

Also, check with your insurance company to see if they have discounts for diet plans. While a diet plan is not necessary to lose weight, I personally find I need my membership to be successful. But you can also easily build your own personal support system with your friends and family. Also, there are several free online weight loss communities that let you track food and weight loss. Sparkpeople.com is just one of many.

Hope this will help someone save some dough and some calories. Losing weight on a budget - It can be done!

Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves . ~William Lowndes

Last edited by PassAsKat; 04-15-2011 at 03:15 PM..
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  post #2  
Old 04-15-2011, 06:56 AM
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threas threas is offline
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Thank you for your article!
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:02 AM
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Good for you!!!

There's always going to be another sale.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:22 AM
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Thank you for this post. It has come at a good time!
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:17 AM
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love your article!
I sent you a friend request on FB.
Love more WW and coupon buddies!


Angieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:25 AM
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Funny, I have been contemplating going back to WW....Thanks
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:21 AM
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Thank you. I have been considering letting go of all the candy and chip coupons for the same reason. I buy them for my son because they are such a bargain but I simply can't have them in the house (I also joined WW). Great article.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:45 AM
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My husband is now pre-diabetic. No more candy. Even if it is free. Its hard not to get sucked into the free pop tarts and cookies and candy. But its no savings if it is killing you. There are lots and lots of healthy coupons out there
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:59 AM
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Thanks for the wonderful article, Just went to kroger they had their Organic apples for .88 lb, I bought alot. When I was done paying for everything I got a coupon when you spend $6.00 on Organic items you save a $1.00, never saw that before. I am learning your way of coupons and watching what you eat, and it is hard.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:24 AM
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I am Diabetic and new to couponing and have found it hard to find coupons for things that I can eat (i.e. low to no sugar items ).... But one thing that I have learned is that Carbs turn in to sugar so even if it says low sugar check the carb.s per serving i lost 60lbs last year just watching my carb intake. Now this doesnt mean having no carbs your body needs carbs to run I just eat 30-40 carbs per meal and one snack a day of 15 carbs ..That has helped alot! Now I just need to figure out how to coupon with my diet restrictions....
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