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Unlike a good strawberry, being fit is always in season, and so is being thrifty. So, to bring the fit and thrift together, Oxygen shares the wealth on stretching your fat-loss dollars further. Don’t be tempted to drive-through just because it’s cheaper, and don’t give up working out because gym fees have you floored – there is always a way to stick to your fat-loss goals, even during the toughest times.
- Learn what’s in this season. Buy in-season fruits and veggies and stop paying for food that needs to ripen on a truck for days before it gets to you. To save even more money, get the best fruits and veggies that are ripe for the picking: Visit buylocalfood.com to find a farm near you.
- Get cooperative. Food co-ops or community supported agriculture groups are blossoming all over the country. Paired with local farms, communities come together to support local growers and reap the benefits of fresh produce, delivered to your door, for a great price. Visit nal.usda.gov for information on a CSA in your neighborhood.
- Portions, portions. Make your groceries last longer while whittling your waistline. For example, split a large eight-ounce cut of lean protein into two four-ounce portions. Also, downsize that large bowl of whole-grain pasta or brown rice – all you need is half a cup, cooked.
- Good bones. Steer clear of boneless chicken. You could be paying extra for no reason. It’s less expensive to remove the bones yourself, which you can then use to make stock later for a low-fat, high-protein soup like Chicken and White Bean Soup, found in The Eat-Clean Diet by Tosca Reno.
- Get a green thumb. Grow your own veggies and herbs. This can even be done during the cold winter months with in-home seed kits, like the ones found on agromin.com, based in Ventura County, California.
- Be satisfied. How can you satiate hunger longer with less food? Enjoy food that’s nutrient-dense and you’ll feel fuller longer. Include high-protein foods like cottage cheese, nuts, quinoa, chicken, fish and tofu, plus tons of water!
- Lift smart. Recycle weights. Go to Craigslist to buy used dumbbells. Or purchase resistance bands. They’re an inexpensive solution and vary in resistance from five to 20 pounds.
- Share the love. Split a personal trainer with a friend. Most trainers have group rates, which can cut down on the cost associated with getting a trainer one-on-one, and you’ll have the added support from a buddy. Even better, buy a subscription to Oxygen – the most cost-effective personal trainer there is.
- Stay in. Fitness doesn’t just have to be enjoyed at the gym. Start up a fitness DVD club – sort of like a monthly book club – and exchange workouts with a group of friends.
- Go local! If private gym fees have you in a pinch, try out a local community center. Membership fees are less expensive and most have fully-equipped gyms and cardio classes. You’ll forego some of the perks that come along with a snazzy gym, like a steam room, but you’ll have extra cash to splurge on a much-needed new pair of shoes down the road.