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Losing Weight the Frugal Way

To lose weight the frugal way is to simple eat less and consume food that are cheaper but still hold nutritional value.

I’m tired of yo-yo diets, and intense workouts that I eventually get tired of and quit.  I knew this at the beginning of the year, but I haven’t found an acceptable substitute until now.

So what is my new magic bullet for losing weight?  Adopting a more frugal lifestyle.  I’m going to set a money limit for how much I can spend a day for food, and stick to that number!

For a month, I’m going to use 2 dollars for breakfast, 3 dollars for lunch, and 5 dollars for dinner, so I’m not going to spend more than $10 a day.  The idea is to come in below $10, not to meet that number everyday!  In fact, I’m really hoping that I can get away with only $6.00 a day.

I plan in creating a journal (as I have in the past), but this time instead of just recording what I ate, I’m going to record the cost of what I ate and do a tally at the end of the day (or the next day) to determine if I met my less than $10 goal or not.

You might be wondering why just a month?

There have been studies that concluded that if you do a task/job or whatever for 21 days in a row, it become habit-forming.  So after those 21 days, the task become part of your routine.

What will I do with the money saved from this new weight loss approach?

I’m going to channel the extra  money into my “Dividend Stocks, Free Lunch Experiment #10“.  The experiment has been repurposed to really provide a meal that I will cook for my family once a week on Thursdays.  Previously, I was saving $40 a week to fund the experiment, but now I think I’ll jump the number up to $50 or $60 a week (depending on how well I do with my calculations above).

What is different this time?

Previously, I had no really big motivator do lose weight, but now that I have a more concrete purpose to back the goal up, it become more rewarding!  It’s also nice to start losing weight at the beginning of the month instead of on an off day.  While not a huge reason, it does make the journal seem more legit.  Another nice aspect is this process is now a win-win.  I win because I will be losing weight and I win again because I will be saving money.



16 Responses to Losing Weight the Frugal Way

  1. I apologize if this is a duplicate comment (I submitted previously and I think it disappeared.)

    I think a plan that works is the best plan, whatever that is.

    Have you thought of adding exercise into your program? Maybe you could put an extra 5 dollars into your dividend account for every mile walked or something? It is hot up here now, but I have been loving my evening walks!

    • My family has been taking the dog out on walks and I’ve really been thinking about it. I’m sure I’ll start going with them too.

      I get a great workout at my daughter’s soccer practices. I get out on the field and scrimmage with them. It’s fun and a great workout 🙂

      I use to exercise all the time, but now I want to excerise and do something fun or entertaining (or productive) while I do it. Now that it’s summer, it’s much easier to get some exercise. The rain has been holding me back a bit, but hopefully we start to stay dry. 🙂

  2. I’m not sure yet, probably oatmeal for breakfast (dirt cheap), but for lunch I’m not sure yet. Probably eggs and nuts. Then for dinner I’m at a loss right now, I’ll try to think of something though, probably chicken or something. By being super cheap with breakfast and lunch, dinner can be more expensive (or so I hope).

  3. Don’t cut back on fruits and vegetables.
    I’m sure you can do it if you cook mostly at home.
    You should give yourself one cheat day/ week where you can spend a bit more. I think it’ll break the monotony and help you stick with it for the long run.

    For breakfast, you should try steel cut oats. You can buy it bulk and cook it in batches. Just put some yogurt and frozen blueberries on top and throw it in the microwave.

  4. Are you buying breakfast , lunch and dinner out or is this your grocery budget? $300 grocery budget seems about right? Is this a budget for one? Remember the quality of your diet will determine your success! If you go too far into frugality or extreme, you won’t stick with it.

    • The budget is just for me. I’m going to have one day a week where I cook for the family, but the rest of the days I’ll be on a special diet.

      I’ll try not to go to extreme, I want to go with realistic foods.

  5. This is a good idea, actually. I like the idea of strict parameters, as it gives you something to work with and some boundaries.

    The one thing I would suggest is making certain things banned items – such as value meal or dollar menu type of things. It could be easy to eat cheaply and make it a fast food or microwave diet.

    For breakfast, oatmeal is super cheap and quite nutritious. If you add berries and flaxseed, you can keep it under $1 and get a nutritional powerhouse to start the day. Also, consider plain nonfat yogurt as well – healthy, potentially inexpensive, and filling.

    • I’ve never tried flaxseeds, I’ll be sure th check it out though! I love fruits and berries, so I’ll try putting them in my oatmeal to give it some flavor.


  6. Good luck! From some one who has tried the frugal lunch rout a few suggestions:

    1) Take multi-vitamins! Sometimes that hunger you feel is your body saying you need more of a certain vitamin/mineral. Multi-Vitamins will help with some of the craving.
    2) Protein! Grains are nice (and cheap) but protein’s going to be what helps you stay full. Peanut butter is cheap and effective.
    3) Drink plenty of water.
    4) Cereal for lunch! When I was saving up to buy my house I ate cereal during lunch for over a year. I would go to the local coffee shop and buy a kid’s size milk (and ask for a spoon so I don’t have to lug a dirty bowl and spoon back home) for around a dollar. A box of cereal I kept at the desk lasted a week. All in all I spent less than $2 a day for lunch. Just don’t forget to chew some gum after wards to take care of the milk breath!
    5) If you eat out, even at a fast casual place, eat vegetarian. It’s a few dollars cheaper and you won’t even miss the meat.
    6) Stop eating when you stop feeling hungry. We’re conditioned to clean our plate and finish our meal but if you stop when you’re satisfied you’ll be amazed how much food is left over. If you’re feeling full, you’ve probably eaten too much.

    • Thanks Jin6655321,

      Sounds like some great tips.

      I’ve skipped the multi-vitamins in the past and I’ve always regretted it, so this especially hits at home 🙂

  7. I think I’m going to do this right along with you. It sounds like a great way to save money and be more conscious of what’s getting stuffed in my mouth all day long. LOL