Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Losing Weight on a Budget

Pretty Much Describes Me Perfectly

So, I'm in graduate school. And I will go on record and say, Graduate Students are the work-horses of the researching community. We work long days, sometimes even on the weekends, and get paid a teeny-tiny amount of money for what we do. When I say teeny-tiny, I mean teeny-tiny. I kid you not, I take home just barely 2/3 of my paycheck (and I thought Mr. Obama was supposed to be helping the poor man?). Well, how hard is it to lose weight on a budget, you ask? Harder than you think, I answer.

Eating Right
You would immediately think that poorer people would be skinnier, seeing as less money = less food, but look around you, and you will see that that is definitely not the case. I mean, just check out the infographic here. It pretty much hits the nail on the head when asking "why?"  Simple answer? Higher calorie foods are a LOT cheaper than healthier foods. For instance, I can get a loaf of Kroger Wheat bread for $0.88 with my Kroger Plus Card. It is 3 points for two slices, which is not too terribly bad. OR I can get a loaf of Sara Lee's 45 Calories and Delightful for $3.12 and 2 WWPP. So do i save $2 or do I save 1 point? It's a hard decision to make sometimes. A bag of fruit costs anywhere between $5 and $12, do you know what is cheaper than that? A lot of stuff. 

So how do I cope? 
Coupons. Magical little slips of paper that they are. I give myself a grocery budget of $60 for two weeks, so I have to be smart with what I buy. It typically works out where I can get meat for dinners, fresh produce, and stuff to pack in the lunch box for work, all for under $60. I won't say that coupons make everything perfect, but they do tend to make things easier, and I've saved somewhere around $700 since January alone. I'm linking ya to the Krazy Coupon Ladies, because they know everything, and can teach you way better than I can.

Working Out
The Sanderson Center at MSU ruined me! RUINED ME, I tell you! I miss that gym so, so, so much. It has everything, spin classes, yoga, total body classes everyday, free weights, weight machines, cardio machines, and indoor track, EVERYTHING, it has everything. And if you are enrolled as a student, you get it for free. 
Do you know how much a gym membership (that offers classes) for a year contract is? Over $60 a month! That is more than my cell phone bill! They will cut it down to $50 a month if you sign a 2 year contract, but hey, only the Lord knows where I'll be in two years. And let me just tell you, it's going to take some tighter budgeting to get one of those memberships, and I not sure just yet if I'm willing to sign on for a year of that. 

So how do I cope?
I run. It's practically free, once you have a pair of shoes and a couple of ($11 Walmart) running pants. Just get yourself out and go. Also, check out Pintrest. There are a ton of pins of workout videos that are compilations of different training programs (Cross-Fit, Insanity, P90X, etc.). I'm debating currently whether to get a road bike or not (with some expected upcoming babysitting money).......we shall see. But my advice is to just search around on the interwebs. It seems to me like there is a growing trend of people leaving the gym and opting for at home workouts. Hmmm.

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