Save Money and Lose Weight by Living Frugal

One of the benefits of being frugal is that it can also help you lose weight.  In this article, I explain how you can save money and lose weight at the same time by living frugal.

Meal prep

One of the easiest ways to save money on food is to meal prep.  Not only does this save you money, it’s a lot healthier, too.

I do my grocery shopping on a weekly basis, so I know exactly what I will be eating for the entire week.  This helps prevent any impulse spending on fast food and dine-in restaurants.

Related: 11 Benefits of Being Frugal

Bring a lunch

I bring a lunch to work everyday; I’ve been doing it for about 15 years now.  I can tell you from experience that this is a lot cheaper and a lot healthier than any alternative.

It probably costs me about $3 a day for the lunches I bring, and it’s usually something simple like chicken and rice.

That might sound pretty boring, but boring might be the very thing you need in order to save some money.  I’d rather be boring than broke.

To take boring a step further, I even eat the same thing everyday; I’ve been doing that for years, too (I change it up on the weekends, but still).  This makes it so easy. I know exactly what to buy when I go to the grocery store, and I know exactly what it’s going to cost me.  “Boring” keeps things easy and stress free; it also keeps things cheap.

$3 a day isn’t as cheap as eating Ramen, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than eating fast food.  And healthier.

That’s what I like about bringing my own lunch:  not only do I save money from not eating out, but it also keeps me from eating unhealthy foods and gaining unnecessary weight.  That’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned.

Related: 16 Frugal Living Tips with a Big Impact

Eat less

Benjamin Franklin once said, “To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”  Clearly, he was on to something . . .

I hate to say it, but we eat way more than we need to.  I know that’s not a popular thing to say, but it’s true.  You don’t need to eat 3 meals a day (or 6, like some people say).

It’s not popular to tell someone who is overweight to stop eating, but that might be the best advise you could give that person.

For thousands of years human beings have fasted for long periods of time, mostly because food was scarce.  But that just goes to show you that maybe we don’t need to eat as much as we do today.  Maybe it would do us some good to stop eating every now and then, or at least skip a meal or two on occasion.

You might have heard of “Intermittent Fasting,” where you only eat within a specific eating window.  The reason this is effective is because it forces us to skip meals and fast voluntarily, even when we’ve been told we shouldn’t.

A common eating window for intermittent fasting is eight hours.  You basically fast for 16 hours and eat for 8.  This is easily accomplished by skipping a meal, like breakfast, for example.

If you skip breakfast, that might create a window between the hours of 12pm and 8pm (you only eat lunch and dinner, basically).  This is a common eating window for people who practice intermittent fasting.  Not only is it popular, but it has helped a lot of people lose weight.

Obviously, if you are skipping meals, this is going to make your grocery bill a lot cheaper.  Not only does it do that, but it makes your life a lot simpler.  If all you have to do is skip a meal to lose weight and save money, that’s not a bad deal at all.  Due to the great success of intermittent fasting, this might be something worth trying.

Drink water

One of the easiest things you can do to lose weight and save money is to drink water.

If you go out to eat, order water.  When you need something to drink for your meals at home, drink water.  Water is free (outside of your water bill), and it has zero calories; you’re not going to gain weight by drinking water (unless you count water weight, I guess). But most people aren’t concerned with “water weight”; they’re concerned with weight gained from fat.  Drinking water won’t cause you to gain fat, so there’s no need to worry.

When you go out to eat, you can expect to pay close to $3 sometimes for a drink. That’s just ridiculous.  Why not pass on the drink and order a free water, especially when that free water is also free in calories?

Exercise at home

Gym memberships have got to be the biggest waste of money ever!  Don’t get me wrong, some people won’t workout unless they have one, so maybe they’re worth having for some people; however, I will never have a gym membership.  There’s no reason to!  Everything you do at the gym can be done at home, and probably done better.  I’ve had gym memberships before, but some of my best workouts have actually been done at home.

A cheap gym membership will probably cost you around $30 a month.  That sounds reasonable, but nothing beats free.  And working out at home won’t cost you a thing.

Yeah, you might have to invest in minimal equipment at first to get you started, but after that it’s smooth sailing.  You can literally buy some dumbbells and do any full body routine imaginable.  That’s exactly what I do.

Related: Build a Home Gym on a Budget (Less Than $1000)

Live frugal

When you think about it, saving money is a lot like losing weight.  In order to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you take in.  And in order to save money, you have to spend less than you make.  It’s not “rocket science!”  However, it is a lot easier said than done (I’ll give you that). Nevertheless, with a little bit of discipline and self control, you should be able to save money and lose weight by living a simple and frugal life.