It’s a New Year and it’s time for a gut check on our finances and our fitness. Saving money and being fitter are amongst the top resolutions for 2019. It seems like we are constantly on the lookout for ways to trim the fat from our waistlines, while also keeping our wallets in check. Yet, these two things never seem to go hand in hand.
Although I have had other resolutions, it seems these two are the ones that stay on the list year after year. I’m not alone in this either. Seems like everybody else feels the same way, with these two being on everyone’s list. There are plenty of apps and subscription programs to help with these; with meal prep services like Daily Harvest, you can get super healthy meals, smoothies and snacks delivered right to you; making healthy eating easier--but that price tag isn’t on the skinny side. Alternatively, you can spend your cash on fitness classes and get super snatched, but with boutique classes like SoulCycle and CKO Kickboxing you can quickly kick yourself into debt.
In my experience, I can spend close to $20 on a well-balanced, low fat, low-carb, high-protein; flavorful bowl or I can spend $5 and get a chicken sandwich, fries, drink, and a dessert. Seems like a no brainer if I want to be fit: get the bowl, girl! However, that bowl is one meal; I can have four different meals at the fast food place – my wallet grows but so does my waistline. On the other hand, making healthier food choices, I lose weight but so does my wallet! I simply cannot afford to spend $100 a week on lunches alone.
In the land of $1 slices and dollar menus, it’s hard to maintain a healthy diet and wallet at the same time; here are a couple of tips and life hacks that have worked to fatten my piggy bank and not my waist:
Group Grocery: Split a Big Box Membership! Costco and BJ’s Wholesale can really come in handy if 3 or 4 of your friends go in on it. This is really good for household items like toilet paper and detergent; but it also works for food items that can be shared when bought in bulk: yogurt, dry nuts and berries and meats. Heck, my mom and I go in on a membership and it’s clutch! I never seem to run out of toilet paper and always have some chicken breast in the freezer.
Avoid luxury grocery chains like Whole Foods. Now listen, I love me some fancy WF but sometimes they want my kidney’s weight in gold for a pineapple and some mushrooms! They are doing a lot better with their 365 line but I will still go out of my way to shop my local grocer for weekly specials and coupons. Apples that are $4.99/lb at Whole Foods could be going for $1.99 down the block. That adds up to major coin if you can find everything on your list for up to 50% off elsewhere. Also, build rapport with your local business, they know you can go elsewhere so chat them up, ask them what the specials are, become a regular. They may start stocking something you ask for if they see it’s worth the business.
Squad Goals: Are your friends ready to shed some weight too? Get together and do group fitness. Movement classes like NYC’s BodyRoll Workout will burn about 450-600 calories in an hour and have ya’ll bumpin and grooving to 90’s jams. I am obviously biased towards this class but it really got me moving again when I found it years ago. I’ve made lifelong friends from this class and it has kept me active and body positive ever since. I found this class on yelp, so search the web for what gets your blood pumping. You know there is a class for everything and everyone: Goat yoga anyone? So, there is no excuse to not find your tribe out there.
Want more intimacy? A trainer may bring down the price for a group session, which helps the pockets but also keeps you accountable to each other and the fitness goals. These days, it seems like everyone is a Personal Trainer so find someone aspirational to you and reach out. Maybe they will work with you and your friends for a good rate. I remember seeing groups at the park being led by a trainer. It’s definitely out there. If you get bored easily, memberships like ClassPass could work for you. For $45 a month, you could work out at three different class studios, keeping workouts new and energizing. I tried Class Pass for a month and found MonsterCycle — the only cycling class I can get down with! I get to watch music videos while cycling to Beyonce, Britney, Backstreet and all things pop, or Dirty South Rap or Spice Girls or Gaga. I found exactly what works for me and I have a group of friends to go with so that keeps me motivated to go. Also, they are always having a sale so I haven’t paid more than $15 for a cycling class in MONTHS. The other cycling classes can miss me with their $30-$35 a class price tags, BYEEEEEEE!!!
Get into the kitchen: Start cooking your meals. I know it can be daunting but you will know exactly what’s going into your food. Follow accounts like Tasty to help you make some drool worthy dishes. I’m telling you, plate a dish that remotely looks like the recipe picture and you’re going to feel like you could give Gordon Ramsey some tips! Tasty keeps me motivated to try meals that I thought I could NEVER — but now, I’m throwing down in this kitchen like it’s The Chef’s Table! Don’t tell me you don’t have time! When you broke, all you’ve got is time! So get in there and start braising something! I moved into my new home mid 2018 and started cooking real quick. Adult bills had me meal prepping like a muthafuxxa! I recently had a Ramen craving that could have easily set me back $13-$15 -- but I made it at home for a whopping $6.38! My Ramen picture made the rounds among my friends, I was so proud of myself, it’s now part of my “classy af meals” arsenal. It also made me very resourceful, I now see the value in the ingredients themselves.
Making your lunch could save you up to $100 a week that’s $5,200 a year! — That’s a baller trip right there or a good chunk of change towards the “New House” fund. All from not spending $20 a day on food on the road. IT. ADDS. UP!
Chateau Class: Keep it very local and workout at home; you can get your burn on and into bed in two turns. PopSugar Fitness on YouTube has great videos you can follow along with that will get you in tip-top shape. Some workouts require no equipment at all. I’ve tried some of these that have had me panting half way through! Don’t sleep on the home workouts, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, you can get a little something in.
These are just some tips that have worked for me and will continue to use in 2019. I don’t think I will ever truly cross these off my resolution list but I want to move them down. Instead of top two I want these to be on the low end of your top ten. The ones you will continue working on in the background while you’re tackling the big ones like a new home, a new job, opening your own business, finding love, reading more, caring for yourself more. With a few tricks and tweaks, we can get our #fitnessgoals and #moneymoves poppin’!
May 2019 be our best year yet Squares!