- Review store ads and clip coupons.
- Make a shopping list and stick to it.
- Eat before you go. Don’t shop hungry.
- Try store brands.
- Buy in-season fruits and vegetables.
- Stock up on sale items.
- Buy in bulk when it’s a good value.
The key to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight is to properly balance the calories you take in with the calories you use up in physical activity. This does not mean you should exercise more and starve yourself. “Fuel” in the form of food is required to grow and strengthen your muscles. Exercise without enough fuel puts a body in starvation mode, in which your body starts to store fat and you don’t gain muscle. This would halt your progress toward weight loss or muscle gain.
Here are some tips if losing weight is your goal.
* Remember that weight gain in the beginning of an exercise program is a good sign that you are eating enough calories to support muscle building. Muscle weighs more than fat and muscle burns more calories than fat.
Count exercises done at the office in your daily workout calculations. You can add exercise to your workday without losing time on the job. In fact, you’ll gain extra energy and lower your stress.
Play It Safe
Keeping exercise fun, exciting, and convenient is the key to committing to extra physical activity daily. Within your busy life, these quick tips can help you achieve your goal of getting the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
Find the fun in fitness and move into a lifetime of wellness. Smile! Breathe! Enjoy. Your body, mind, and spirit will all reap the benefits of extra movement every day.
Saving money is tough; it’s like a diet. You had your fun and now you have to tighten your belt to spend less. But being disciplined with your money does not have to be boring or a drag.
Here are my ten entertaining ways to save money:
1. Put your credit cards into tubs filled with water. Freeze. For some individuals, putting their chocolate into the freezer has helped them with impulse chocolate binges. Instead of popping the mouth watering chocolate into their mouths for that moment where it melts on their tongue, a disciplined chocoholic would have to wait for the chocolate to thaw before indulging. Likewise, you can put your credit card into a storage tub and freeze it. Depending on your self control, you may have to increase the storage tub to give you ample time to get a hold of your senses.
2. Go snacking at gourmet grocery stores with food samples. You might be able to lunch your way through the shopping aisles as long as you are not too fussy about sharing your digs with other “shoppers.”
3. Check all vending machines for change that was not retrieved or loose food items. Do not get on any security guard’s ire by shaking the vending machine. However, if you keep a sharp eye out, you can sometimes find packages hanging, ready to fall out in such a way that if you buy the next one, you get the first bonus one free. After you do that, check under the machines for any more loose coins. People often don’t realize that they dropped more change than they picked up when they drop them.
4. Take extra packets of whatever the restaurant is passing out. Ketchup, salt, sugar, sugar substitute are just for starters. Non-dairy creamers, crackers, plastic utensils, napkins, nothing is too small.
5. Unplug everything in your house except when you use it. Phantom energy uses add up. Really.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday has come and gone, but nearly a month remains of the Christmas shopping season. The early birds may have bought, wrapped and mailed all of their gifts by now, but many of us still haven’t set foot in a store. So I offer these consumer tips — courtesy of consumerreports.org and the National Retail Federation — in the spirit of the holiday shopping season:
Get creative with your gift giving: Handmade gifts and personalized coupons can be the most thoughtful gifts. Think about your own talents as well as what the person may need. For example: knit a blanket or sweater; bake some cookies; create a photo album of your favorite pictures (decorate the cover of the album with a colorful title); make a music tape with their favorite tunes; or give them a coupon for a special dinner at your house, baby-sitting time, or even a house cleaning – the list is endless.
Develop a budget and stick to it: Write a list of everyone on your gift list and determine how much you want to spend on each person. You should also include costs for cards, postage, gift-wrapping, holiday meals out, parties, travel, and any other miscellaneous items. Bring your list when you hit the stores, as it is easy to shop impulsively during this time of year.