Reader’s request: healthy living on a budget

Quite a while ago -before I did the recent blog facelift- I ran a survey to ask for your blog feedback. Your thoughts and input are invaluable me, and I’ve used your strategies to tweak and improve things over the past year. I have a small notebook filled with your requests for future posts, and have been making my way through them. A common request was about healthy living on a budget, because let’s be real, athletic apparel, organic and whole foods, and fitness classes/gym memberships can be a little pricey.

Here are some of my tips to get in the things you love, and live a balanced and energized life without breaking the bank.

Tips for Healthy Living on a Budget

My best tips for healthy living on a budget! Get in the things you love and live a balanced and energized life without breaking the bank.

1) Some of the best things are free. One of the most amazing things about healthy living is that it can be as low-cost or as splurgy as you want to make it. No matter how much you decide to spend in a way that works for your family, you can get in an awesome workout or meditation session for free.

Here are some of my favorites:

A walk, hike, run, or bodyweight workout.

Bodyweight Lunge

A swim in the bay or pool.

The bay

A meditation session. (iTunes has quite a few meditation podcasts, and there are quite a few on YouTube too.)

Yoga at home or a podcast.

Barre, Zumba, bootcamp, core work or strength videos,for free (yay, YouTube!) at home. 

Barre abs

2) Find your food and fitness values and prioritize from there. For me, certain things (orangetheory!) are worth spending extra, while other things aren’t as important. Write down a list of the significant factors of your fitness journey, and rank them in priority. This will help you narrow things down! A huge one for me is organic meat, as it’s something that’s very important to me. Berries, on the other hand, I will try to buy organic, but if they’re not available and I really want some blueberries, I’m buying the conventional blueberries. 



3) For food, stick to a meal plan, or at least avoid going to the grocery store hungry. When I go to Trader Joe’s at lunch time, before I know it, our cart is filled with snacks.. and it’s everything in my power to not open the edamame crackers NOW and start snacking. Usually, we’ll go to Trader Joe’s after Sunday breakfast which helps to avoid impulse buys. Meal planning -we eat the same staples for lunches and breakfasts, but I plan out snacks and dinners- has helped immensely, too. Before, we would grab random things that looked good. At dinner time, it felt like we had a fridge of food that we weren’t sure how to combine into a full meal. Now, we buy the ingredients for what we need, which results in less waste and a variety of healthy meals to choose from. 

stocked fridge


4) Lurk sales and discount sites for fitness apparel. Most of the time, I make purchases on sale or at a discount, and rarely will pay full price for an item. If there’s something you’ve been wanting, do some Google research to see if you can find a discount code, and price the it across a few different websites. For example, with my recent Brooks shoes, I ended up finding them at the cheapest price online and found a bonus extra coupon. It definitely pays to do a little sale research! Another amazing resource is Fabletics (<— affiliate link). They have beautiful workout apparel, with great quality, for very reasonable prices. I’ve also found the gear at Old Navy and Target to be functional and high-quality for the price. 

5) Shop your local co-op or farmers market. At the farmer’s market, we’re able to get produce and meats for the same or less than we’d pay at the store. I’ve also found that we’re able to buy exactly the amount we need instead of extra produce (like an enormous bag of celery that I needed two ribs from and sat in the fridge to wilt until eternity). 

6) Think of a reasonable reward treat on an occasional basis that works with your budget. If you give yourself a long-term goal to look forward to- this saving goal could have nothing to do with fitness or healthy living!- celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you’ve been wanting. It’s great motivation to stick to your goal! 

7) Buy what you need, whether it’s in bulk, or a small amount from the bulk bins. We’re able to get large amounts of organic produce, eggs, and meat at Costco for great prices, and small amounts of ingredients (like quinoa flour, medjool dates, and raw nuts) from the bulk bins at the health food store. 

bulk produce

(Excited to buy bulk wine again one day haha)

8) Plant some herbs! I love this one, and am so glad we started doing this quite a few years ago. For the same price as a pack of store-bought herbs, you can buy a small plant or seeds that will produce herbs for the entire summer. Mint, basil, rosemary and cilantro grow well and are frequently used in our house. 

fresh herbs

9) Explore online classes and studio-hopper passes.  There are so many fantastic online class options that are less expensive than attending a live class. Some of my favorites include Physique57, Barre3, CrunchLIVE and DailyBurn. New programs like Class Pass and Fitn enable you to take classes at multiple studios for one price. This is awesome for the gym-hoppers like me who like to do a bit of everything, but are unable to purchase monthly memberships at all of their favorite studios.

10) Groupon and intro studio passes. Groupon has fantastic fitness deals and is a great way to explore new classes and studios. Another option is to check out the introductory passes at new-to-you gyms and studios. Many of them will offer a free or super discounted week of classes to lure you into buying a package. You may end up finding something new you love!

Some tips from friends:

Monica (Run, Eat, Repeat): I am big on seeing what’s on sale and then planning your menu around that. So, you have to be flexible when you get to the store but it’s worth it. Make your shopping list: – Lean Protein and then buy the best/sale one. Costco! There are plenty of things you can’t buy in bulk unless you’re shopping for a football team. But, there are a lot of great buys at bulk stores like – oatmeal, rice, beans – basically things that don’t go bad quickly.

Amber S. (via Facebook): If we can’t afford to buy ALL organic, we prioritize organic pastured meat, and save on sticking to conventional produce. Buying meat in bulk helps too. Also Sprouts and TJ’s are super affordable when you stick to the staples and avoid the pre-made splurges…(as you know). Freeze leftovers in ready-to-heat portions. I am notorious for leaving leftovers to rot in the fridge (unrealistic hopes of husband eating it for lunch the next day…ha!)… But I am getting better about stashing it away in the freezer for those days I just don’t feel like cooking!
As far as fitness goes, I joined a local free running club (MRTT) and can’t even tell you the last time I stepped foot in a conventional gym for my cardio. My 24hr fitness membership is useless right now but I just can’t seem to cut the cord. Free running (and free therapy since we always buddy up for safety…. Ha!), and a weekly splurge on OTF, supplemented by the occasional at-home Fitnessista HIIT workout or burner.

Theodora (Preppy Runner): Figure out what’s important to you in your budget. What can you give up? A few years ago, I really wanted to join a more expensive gym and was looking for somewhere else I could cut back. I realized I watched almost no TV and wouldn’t miss cable, so I cut the cord and joined the fancier gym without ever feeling it in my budget.

Whitney (via Facebook): Eat more vegetarian meals and drink less milk. Lots of lentils, quinoa, beans for protein. Meat, organic free range or otherwise, is a budget buster for sure. Oh and peanut butter. LOTS of peanut butter.

What are some strategies that help you save money on healthy living? What’s worth spending extra to you? Do you have a gym membership or a Class Pass-type studio hopper?



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  1. Nikki on April 21, 2015 at 4:43 am

    I am not sure everyone has one nearby but shop at Produce Junction for fruits and vegetables!

    • Jennifer on April 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Produce Junction is great! I also find that going to ethnic based grocery stores tend to have cheaper produce. Like asian markets, indian markets, hispanic markets, etc. You can also find interesting produce that would be triple the price at a normal grocery store.

      • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        i love that idea! i will definitely scope some out here!

      • masala girl on April 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm

        i’ve found for traditional produce, it’s better to go to a regular grocery store.
        more exotic produce, definitely better at ethnic stores. and ALWAYS, lentils, beans, dried fruits/nuts, grains/flours, and SPICES at ethnic stores!

        • Jennifer on April 22, 2015 at 6:44 am

          I find it is a grab bag. Like my local Korean market has super cheap red peppers, and I think they taste and quality is great, but the are physically smaller than at a normal grocery store. Which isn’t particularly bad or anything, just different.

  2. Heather@hungryforbalance on April 21, 2015 at 5:10 am

    There are some great ideas here. One of our favorite money saving strategy is to go vegetarian for a bit. I find a few meatless meals or days a week really saves some cash!

  3. Brynn on April 21, 2015 at 5:18 am

    I have a gym membership because it is an all-inclusive club; spin, yoga, standard equipment, pool, day care, spa and restaurant. So having all of those great resources in one spot is a huge time/money savor! Love the idea of planting your own herbs!

  4. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on April 21, 2015 at 5:19 am

    I think this is all definitely personal preferences, but for me, I prioritize a healthy lifestyle above most all else because when I am eating right and getting some good sweat sessions in, I am at my best. I try to give up other things in order to compensate, so I only do Stitch Fix once every 6 months, I drink wine at home before dinner instead of ordering it out, little things!

  5. Jodie on April 21, 2015 at 5:20 am

    As always great post with awesome tips. I buy only what we need for the week, I also use the fliers supermarkets mail out and occasionally I clip coupons.

    I have a membership but I also make good use of You tube and DVDs and various online Pilates videos.

  6. Britt@MyOwnBalance on April 21, 2015 at 5:41 am

    Great suggestions! It is so easy to get caught up in the idea that healthy living is more expensive when it really doesn’t have to be. I would add that there are actually a lot of free fitness classes around, especially at local athletic clothing stores (athleta, lululemon, nike). Also, DVDs are pretty inexpensive but can be very challenging if you get the right one. And renting a bike for a few hours is not super expensive but is fun and great exercise!

  7. Julie on April 21, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Suja is on sale at target this week! At least in Charlotte, NC. And there’s also a cartwheel discount on top of it (10% off for the regular and 25% off for the cleanse one)!

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:15 pm


  8. Jane on April 21, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Go to Costco with a friend and you can split some of the products!

  9. Michelle on April 21, 2015 at 5:58 am

    Great post! I’ve been thinking about that a lot as I develop new posts too. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the hype–fancy clothes, gear, memberships–and it’s so easy, effective, and inexpensive to keep it simple. All my workouts are body weight, at home or in a park. My fitness splurge is signing up for a race. The commraderie and competitiveness of that is really important to my well being, so it’s worth it!

  10. Traci on April 21, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Good tips! For me, meal planning and sticking to my budget are key. When I meal plan, I try to choose recipes that involve minimal but still really flavorful ingredients or things we already have on hand (or I’ll just drop a few “extra” ingredients from a more complicated recipe and don’t even notice the difference). Also, cooking two big dishes for the week – maybe a bunch of pulled chicken and a big quinoa casserole – is really helpful and I’ll rotate these items for lunches and dinners. Buying less meat always lowers my grocery bill, too.

    Working out is easier – running is free, and there are SO many free at-home workouts that don’t require any equipment on Pinterest, Youtube, and blogs. I do belong to a gym because that’s my priority, but I chose one that includes a ton of free classes – even yoga, Bodypump, and barre – to save money and am good about not going anywhere else. Another tip is to check into your health insurance plan and see if they offer any benefits – mine surprisingly helps contribute a certain amount if I submit a claim.

  11. Ashley on April 21, 2015 at 6:18 am

    I am loving Gap’s workout clothes and always wait until they have a 40% off sale to snag a few new tanks + capris. I’ve also had some good finds at Gap outlet! ClassPass is awesome (as you mentioned). Doorway pull-up bars are cheap and work really well for upper body strength if you’re into home workouts. I always have a stool underneath to offset some of my weight so I can do more than one. 😉 Also, if you’re into things like outdoor cycling/mountain biking/etc. check Craigslist for deals on equipment (and for used home gym equip, too!) I got a great deal on a road bike a few years back!

  12. Laura @ on April 21, 2015 at 6:32 am

    One of my favorite tips is to try to skip a week of grocery shopping. It ends up being a fun challenge to try and come up with meals based on what I have in the pantry. If I can’t think up a meal on my own, I just Google search “[item name] recipes” and can usually find something I can adapt with what we have on hand.

    Also, I do the bulk of our shopping at Aldi and then fill-in as needed at Sprouts or Kroger.

    • Jennifer on April 21, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Yes! My husband and I have been trying this lately and it’s fun to be creative and try to “eat down” what we already have.

      • Katie R. on April 21, 2015 at 11:10 am

        Same here! It’s a good way for me to wipe down and sanitize the fridge too since it’ll be pretty bare! Lol

  13. Wenchypoo on April 21, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Some of my tricks:

    1. Drink water–get a faucet filter so you aren’t spending a fortune on bottled water.

    2. Sprout–it can take the place of lettuce in sandwiches, and is low in carbs with TONS of nutrition! A package of sprouting seeds can yield a dozen batches of sprouts, and they can grow to size in as little as 3 days (depending on light). No more worries about bugs and weather like with gardening.

    3. Learn to shop using price-per-unit—this means you no longer need to use coupons, rebates, or other marketing gimmicks.

    4. Eat nose-to-tail–the cheapest parts of the meat are the parts nobody else wants (organs, feet, etc.).

    5. Use your warehouse membership to get a workout–how? Take a flatbed, wheel it over to the 40-lb. buckets of cat litter, and load up. Then push through the store, going up and down every aisle, whether you need to go there or not. When done, return the kitty litter back to the department, and the flatbed back to the rack. Then go do your own shopping.

    No membership? Go to a Home Depot or Lowe’s (or whatever hardware store you have)–grab a cart, wheel it over to the 50 lb. bags of sand, or the bricks, and load up. Push that cart through the store, up and down every aisle (go twice for small stores), then return your “resistance gear” to its original location, then leave.

    Laundry day workout: next time you buy laundry detergent and/or liquid fabric softener, get the biggest jug you can find. When you get home, make sure the lid is secure, and SWING THAT BABY LIKE A KETTLE BELL! When the detergent and.or fabric softener gets low, refill the bottle with water, secure the cap, and keep swinging. You can also do this in the store directly–no need to buy something you don’t need right now.

    You can wear whatever you want doing these workouts. No special clothes or shoes required.

    6. Learn to live low-carb. Including fat in your diet satiates you, so you end up eating less, and buying less food. Fat is free, so COOK WITH IT.

    7.Make eggs your chief protein–eggs are cheap compared to meat and nuts. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, use the “protein combination” system.

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      these tips are AMAZING. thank you!!

      • Wenchypoo on April 23, 2015 at 7:31 am

        A quick summation from my last entry for the Food Stamp challenge (back in 2013):

        Lard, meat drippings, bone, foraging (including gathering your own seaweed) = free

        Water = free to low cost, or whatever your water bill runs

        Gardening (including herbs) = low cost

        Eggs, organ meats, predator meats, sweet potatoes = low cost

        Canned seafood, cod liver oil, avocados = medium cost

        Spices = high cost (per pound, unless bought in bulk—good for 1 year)

        This is for the FOOD portion of the show–you already got my exercise contribution. Is FREE low enough for the budget?

        Just in case there are any apartment dwellers out there, gardening is NOT out of the picture–there’s sprouting, microgreeens, and actual gardening with dirt: buy a bag of garden soil, place it in the area with the most sunlight, lay it on its side, cut a slit down the top of the bag lengthwise, and plant your seed directly IN the bag! You can water it just like a regular garden, and because the bottom of the bag is still intact, it shouldn’t ruin your floors. This can be done on a porch, balcony, stoop, or even inside. If you’re still unsure about that bag, put a tarp or shower curtain liner down first, then the bag of dirt on top.

        To make your meat last longer WITHOUT the need for refrigeration or freezing, you can CAN IT, making the meat you buy (on sale) last longer while consuming less energy to store it.

        As for free fitness, just lift heavy things. Carry a spare tire around your backyard a few times, or around your parking lot. Go walking, hiking, ride your bike, skate, mow your own lawn (if applicable), or jog for cardio. Go to your local library and check out fitness videos or DVDs, or search for routines on You Tube to copy at home. Or you could always work out while you shop (mentioned above). Fitness doesn’t always require a 90-octane output and a fat wallet.

  14. Jill @ Champagne for Everyday on April 21, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Totally agree on all of these fronts. Trader Joes has organic produce for amazing prices, so it’s easy to never sacrifice that by shopping there! I love simple, clean food and don’t find that I need to spend a lot on protein bars, fancy nut butters, or processed items. You can bake lots of healthy high protein snacks!

    And I always recommend spending on high quality gym gear that lasts forever – my compression lulu crops are 4 years old and counting.

    xx Jill
    Latest Post – My Love Affair with Vintage: Why it Belongs in Everyone’s Closet

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      amen to that. i’ve had some lulu stuff for 5+ years that is still in good shape

  15. Juliana on April 21, 2015 at 6:50 am

    So I don’t know if this works everywhere, but here in San Francisco I shop at a grocery store in Chinatown for things I’m not overly attached to buying organic.
    It seriously cut my grocery bill by about $25 per week and allows me to buy way more produce.

    Also in San Diego there’s a Vietnamese grocer on Linda Vista road that is very reasonably priced.. I used to shop there all the time. They also have a wonderful fish market in the store, freshest in SD.

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      i will definitely check it out. thank you!

  16. Erin @ Erin's Inside Job on April 21, 2015 at 6:52 am

    I wrote a post for another site I write for about how to work out on a budget. I moved to Chicago in Nov and wasn’t working so I had to find ways to be creative with my workouts. That turned into an internship and now a paying job teaching fitness classes! It’s all about being creative and thinking outside the box.

  17. Hayley@healthyregardshayley on April 21, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Does costco have organic meat?!

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 7:55 am


  18. Amy on April 21, 2015 at 7:11 am

    Take advantage of your health insurance!! My husband and I are able to get a 100% FREE gym membership with ours. I think that’s rare, but I think most at least give you $100 or $150 back per year, and discounts on things like Weight Watchers, etc.

    Also, if you live in the Northeast, Ocean State Job Lot always has a good selection of fitness equipment, videos and clothing for a great price, and most of them carry a good selection of the Bob’s Red Mill products as well (organic oatmeal, flour, grains, etc).

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      wow, that is incredible!

  19. Kelsey on April 21, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I got ClassPass about a month ago and have REALLY loved it. For $30 less/month than my CorePower membership had been, I have access to a ton of studios – many of which have yoga anyway – and get the variety I was craving but didn’t get from only having a membership to 1 studio.

    Obviously the down side there is that depending on where you are, you don’t have the ‘homebase’ that you would otherwise have with 1 membership. I’m forced to drive around a bit to get to the different studios, but because I’m in a central location in Minneapolis, I have a lot more participating studios in a 15 minute radius than someone who lives further out. For me, it’s been awesome though!

  20. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on April 21, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Never heard of the class hooper. I need to check that out. I’ve been wanting to try a Body Pump class. As for food, something I do a lot is stock up on produce when it’s in season and on sale then freeze. Berries I do this a lot with.

  21. Sylvia on April 21, 2015 at 7:40 am

    I’m all about free youtube workouts and bulk lentils, beans and rice! Parsley is really cheap and is a very nutritious green to add to grain/bean salads. I’m a student so I don’t really have a choice, So I try to get the best, healthy foods for my budget! There’s this idea that you need fancy expensive ingredients to be healthy but you really don’t!

  22. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat on April 21, 2015 at 7:46 am

    Fitness for me is my love so I have ClassPass (which pays for itself in a week with how much I use it) + 2 gyms – one right by me and then a chain in the city – between the 2 gyms that is still only $60 a month and considering most NYC gym memberships are well over a hundred that is winning.

    I save most on meal planning. I very very rarely eat out. I bring bfast and lunch and snacks to work everyday my one daily indulgence is Starbucks during the week. I make my dinners – I maybe have 1-2 date nights out a week (and he pays usually 😉

    I did a spend free Lent so it has become quite ingrained to now really think if something is a want or need!

  23. haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on April 21, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Meal planning on a budget is HUGE and necessary right now. I need to get my budgeting in check and I am so excited about this!

  24. whitney on April 21, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Ah! Thank you for featuring my comment in this post!!

    I really agree with the meal planning and prioritizing your spending. Hubs and I decided that a gym membership isn’t for him but he’s going to sign up for martial arts classes which he will actually to go and ENJOY, so the extra money each month is much more worth it to us both.
    Happy Tuesday!

  25. Becca on April 21, 2015 at 8:33 am

    We live in a very small town (700) and there are no farmers markets around here. We drive 1.5 hrs every 2 weeks to shop in the “city” that has walmart and target! We often end up buying frozen fruits/veggies in the winter and that gets us through! We are lucky enough to garden in the summer and many neighbors do too so we share with each other and that helps with the cost of fresh produce in the summer! 😀 We buy our meat in bulk as well and that is local! 😀

  26. Hayley @ Full of Life on April 21, 2015 at 8:38 am

    I love #2 and it’s something I always keep in mind. I think the reason I have always liked running so much is because it’s a free workout, no membership required. When I was really into yoga, that was definitely a price that was worth it to me. My gym membership that I used 2 times a month was definitely not haha

  27. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on April 21, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Online Barre 3 classes are the best, I love them. I also try to only buy certain foods when they’re on sale. Frozen berries are expensive here, so I try to stock up when they’re at a good price.

  28. Alex @ True Femme on April 21, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I love these tips! When it comes to things like makeup, beauty products, and clothes (workout and regular), I also try to do a little digging for good deals or wait for sales that I know are going to be coming up. I do know that sometimes when I invest a little more in something higher quality up front, it lasts longer and I’m not spending money replacing it. I love getting things like hemp and chia seeds and almond butter from Costco because I can get enough to last me for months and the prices are super reasonable!

  29. Nicole on April 21, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Meal-planning is my key to saving money on food, it helps that the boyfriend is all for it and even more frugal than me! I splurge on a gym membership because I live in a tiny NYC apartment and need the space and like the access to all of the different weights, machines, equipment, etc.

  30. Rachel @ The Day Tradette on April 21, 2015 at 9:42 am

    LOVE this post! Nothing I love more than sneaky ways to live your life on a budget :).

    Other great resources for online videos are Fitness Blender (tons of videos all for free) and I’ve been loving Gina’s barre blast videos when I need a barre fix.

    A related tip is to make as much at home as you can. I make my own green juice for the morning and always pack my lunch. Homemade salads are significantly cheaper than the ones you would buy out for lunch, plus you always know what’s going into them.

    I also am in total agreement with tip #2! Budgeting is similar to dieting – trying to be good and scrimp 100% of the time is really hard to maintain.

  31. Elle on April 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Good food is worth spending extra on, but I really try to stock up on things that freeze well when there are sales. I save money by not having a gym membership and doing most of my workouts at home.

  32. Ingredient1 on April 21, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Nice rundown! We find great inexpensive workout gear at Target – and Trader Joe’s / farmers markets are the best bets for cheaper food finds in major cities!

  33. Jennifer on April 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Great post! I worked a few hours a week as a front desk associate at a studio in order to receive a free membership. I would work out before or after my shift to save driving there more than once.

    I will buy organic meats and some organic veggies, but not all organic to save money. I make my own coffee in the morning and try my best to stick to a meal plan. Eating lunch that I bring to work and cutting down significantly on going out to eat for dinner has trimmed my spending and my waist a little. It makes the little splurges special instead of ordinary for me.

  34. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on April 21, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I definitely agree that it’s a give and take… I will pay more for barre, but only go to yoga when I find a coupon/discount deal. I will also try to not buy too many of the fun, splurgey (in my mind) snacks of the moment at Trader Joe’s, and buy more frozen produce when I’m trying to save (I find that frozen veggies are usually less expensive for a larger amount).

  35. Jessie R on April 21, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I don’t try too terribly hard to reign in my food spending, I know everything (except the occasional pint of ice cream) that goes into my cart is good for me, and as long as I don’t buy more than we can eat, it’s worth the money. I was THIS close to getting ClassPass here in KC, but I realized I’d have no time after work to do anything else…. and AM classes just aren’t gonna happen :)….. so I will stick with the free workout classes at my work gym, and personal workouts.

  36. Crystal on April 21, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Limited funds was the primary reason I was vegetarian all through college. Eating lots of beans, oatmeal, and eggs helped me save a lot–more drinking money! J/k (kind of).

    As for gyms and fitness studios, it’s always worth asking if they offer any discounts–my gym gave me a 10% discount because of where I work.

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      hahah! so true, though. meat is expensive!

  37. Amy Ramos on April 21, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Sprouts (it is like a WF and Trader Joe’s combined) has awesome deals on fruits and veggies.
    Also, find tips to store your fruits and veggies longer. For example, when I get my berries, I soak them in a water/vinegar mixture for a few minutes and then rinse them with water , pat dry and store in the fridge. It does make them last longer.
    Put paper towels in ziploc bags with lettuce or any other leafy greens.

    As for working out, youtube!! Your youtube channel is fantastic along with the WSU and SSU since they FREE!
    I still rely on my various workout DVDs that amazon sells as well as various options through Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc.

    Since health is my #1 priority, I budget for my local bootcamp class

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      totally going to try your berry trick! that is amazing!

  38. Erika S. on April 21, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I started an “herb exchange” with 2 friends. I found organic seeds/starter kit in the dollar bin @ Target. I usually just need a small amount of herbs and they tend to go to waste. So I bought parsley, basil & cilantro. We each have one to grow and will start sharing once they get full.

    Love your tips above…I’m notorious for buying things that look good in the store and they sit/rot…work in progress!

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      that is such a great idea!!

  39. Amy @ Amy M4gic on April 21, 2015 at 11:45 am

    We’re pretty religious about meal planning around here, and it really helps us stick to our list and not overspend at the grocery store. Every few weeks or so, we’ll have a “make it work” week, where we don’t do any grocery shopping and only use things already in the pantry to make dinners that week. It takes a little creativity, but that’s half the fun!

  40. kathy on April 21, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I have classpass and I absolutely love it! It’s also great, bc it can be used in other cities where classpass is offered. You can go to any number of studios, however, you are limited to taking 3 classes from each studio a month. However with so many studios that they offer, i don’t feel limited on where I can go. I’m in Denver, so there are alot of options in studios and also class times.

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      that is so awesome!

  41. Alicia on April 21, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I use our work gym for days that aren’t nice enough to be outside *cough winter cough* and strength training, but typically take a walk or run around the National Mall after work or at a local park on the weekends.

    Meal planning is essential–even snacks–because then you buy exactly what you need and nothing more. Whole Foods are everywhere in the District and if you shop the 365 brand–or aren’t brand loyal–you can mix and match buying what’s on sale at Whole Foods, Target, and Costco to get most of what you need at a discount. I also buy organic meat, eggs, and the EWG’s dirty dozen, but buy conventional otherwise. I find the family packs of organic meat at Whole Foods are a less expensive option as is buying less desirable cuts of meat, like skinless chicken thighs. For example, a family pack of organic chicken thighs is only $9-10 and the thighs are the perfect size for me.

    • Fitnessista on April 21, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      totally agree. i think they taste better too!

  42. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on April 21, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Really nice tips. For me, I have found that buying in season fruits or going frozen is very helpful. I also really like the bins at Whole Foods where I can buy small amounts of spices and such if I want to make a recipe.

  43. masala girl on April 21, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    a few things i’d add that i do 🙂

    1. buy the store brand! usually they taste the same, but it’s you’ mre own preference (i love kroger simple truth organic and WF 365, but i will buy TJs marinara, although that’s not really name brand haha)
    2. coupons/meal prep 🙂
    3. try not to buy prepared foods! shop the produce/store before you see the prepared foods sections, that way youll see you can make it yourself, and don’t have to buy it 🙂

  44. Missy on April 22, 2015 at 3:39 am

    YouTube exercise videos. Free and there are so many to choose from.

  45. Maria on April 22, 2015 at 5:16 am

    some boutique gyms offer free “community” classes when they have a new instructor starting, so check and see if a gym you’re interested in trying offers those. Meal planning is HUGE! I notice our grocery bill goes down when I got to the store and stick to the list!

  46. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on April 22, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Hi Gina! Love this! I definitely buy my workout clothes on sale, try to stick to items that I can buy a few of for breakfast and lunch and keep it simple for dinners during the week. As far as classes? I also like to take advantage to the “first class free” or “first week free” that many studios will offer. Being healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. But it sure can if you let it!

  47. Kevie on April 22, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Meal planning, being a vegetarian (quality meat is pricey!), I only shop for clothing with a coupon or on promotion – never full price, and I love growing summer herbs and veggies! I will definitely splurge on a good yoga class.

    Gina, I love the gray pants under the barre, Zumba, YouTube tip. Where are they from?

    • Fitnessista on April 23, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      thank you! they are from kohl’s 🙂

  48. Jess on April 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Great tips! I wish organic food was cheaper kind of crazy it is more expensive to buy food on its original form!

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