5 Ways to Stay in Shape Without Going Broke

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Stay in Shape Without Going Broke | Budgeting 101 | Debt Free Living | Health & Wellness | Money Saving Tips | Ways To Get Fit Without Going Broke

 This is a guest post from Kalyn Brooke of

The New Year has begun and with it, at least for many of us, come resolutions for a better life — the most popular being a new and improved health routine, combined with eating right and finally losing that extra weight. Will this finally be the year of fitness success? We secretly hope so, although by March, most of us have already quit whatever we resolved to start!

Even though I personally make a commitment to stay fit every year, it’s certainly just as easy for me to go days {if not weeks} without exercising. I hate almost all forms of traditional exercise, and I have too much of a sweet tooth to give up sugar indefinitely. Plus, I just don’t want to spend money on things I won’t use, like a monthly gym membership, the latest fitness DVD, or a refrigerator full of clean, organic food that will go bad before I ever figure out a creative way to use them.


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But before you deem me entirely hopeless, I have since found a few healthy habits to keep me on the straight and narrow, and the best part is, they don’t cost a thing. So, if living a healthy lifestyle is on your wish list for the new year, keep reading — you won’t want to miss these tips!

Stay in Shape Without Going Broke | Budgeting 101 | Debt Free Living | Health & Wellness | Money Saving Tips | Ways To Get Fit Without Going Broke

1. Keep a Food and Fitness Journal

I’m a notebook and journal junkie, and my most recent splurge is a pretty notebook turned Food and Fitness Journal. With so many things going digital these days, there’s something about the act of writing down food and exercise that helps keep you accountable. Plus, with the notebook sitting right on my desk, I’ll always remember to fill it out!

Right now, I keep track of all the foods I eat, when I ate them, how I felt after eating them, and any exercise or activity I did for the day. I also like to keep track of my sleep patterns and water intake to make sure I’m getting enough.

I used to track calories with My Fitness Pal {and this is still a great digital alternative if you don’t want to go the paper route}, but for now, I’m pretty happy with this method and the way it allows me to record much more information than just calories or weight.

Stay in Shape Without Going Broke | Budgeting 101 | Debt Free Living | Health & Wellness | Money Saving Tips | Ways To Get Fit Without Going Broke

2. Find an Activity You Love

While I wish I could imitate those who love their morning run, the fact is, I’m just not that kind of person. I’ve tried all sorts of couch to 5K programs, and today, I’m finally admitting defeat. I’m not a runner, and that’s okay!

If you’ve had similar thoughts, stop feeling bad about what you don’t like to do, and write down a list of activities that you do enjoy. It could be as simple as an evening walk with the dog, or a few yoga stretches before bed. For a more intense workout, experiment with free videos on Youtube. One of my new favorites is Cassey Ho from Blogilates. She has hundreds, if not thousands, of free videos that range from 6 minute high intensity workouts, or longer 30 minute ones.

I know 6-10 minutes of working out isn’t what the pros always recommend, but doing something is better than doing nothing. And the truth is, if it’s not something you love, you just won’t do it!


3. Read Health and Fitness Blogs

Whenever I’m in a icky healthy rut, I turn to my favorite fitness blogs to get me out of a funk and help motivate me again. Even reading weight loss stories and seeing pictures of the before and after can be so inspiring and push you onboard the health bandwagon again.

Fit Foodie Finds and Eat Yourself Skinny are fantastic blogs that post all sorts of healthy recipes that look, sound and taste amazing, while Don’t Waste the Crumbs is more of a Real Food/Clean Eating blog that teaches you how to eat well on a tight budget.

For more of a Christian view, follow Peak 313. Her Instagram photos are so inspiring, plus she has a lot of fun workout videos, monthly challenges, and nutritious recipes to help curb your cravings. I love her Apple Nachos and make this every time I’m craving a sweet snack!

Stay in Shape Without Going Broke | Budgeting 101 | Debt Free Living | Health & Wellness | Money Saving Tips | Ways To Get Fit Without Going Broke

4. Start a Healthy Living Pinterest Board

To keep track of all the healthy recipes, workout regimens, and inspirational articles to help you along in your fitness journey, start your own Healthy Living board on Pinterest. This is so you have a one-stop shop of ideas to keep you active and eating right, whenever you need to reference a new idea or switch up a routine.

One of my major problems with Pinterest, is pinning things that I want to try, but never get around to doing! Can any of you relate? To change this awful habit of mine, I’m committing to try one new healthy recipe a week. It’s doable, and will help me start going through all those pins I’ve collected. If I like the recipe, I’ll keep it on my board with a comment about how it turned out. But if I didn’t, I’ll ruthlessly delete it so my board isn’t cluttered with pins I won’t ever try again.

Feel free to adopt this idea too — that way, you can always have a running list of pins that you’ve tried, and ones you still need to add to your weekly meal plan.

Stay in Shape Without Going Broke | Budgeting 101 | Debt Free Living | Health & Wellness | Money Saving Tips | Ways To Get Fit Without Going Broke

5. Meal Plan from Home

Speaking of meal planning, it is SO important to cook up your own meals at home, not only to avoid the eating out trap that can get you into trouble financially, but to save on nutrition as well. Although it’s not impossible to eat foods that are good for you at local restaurants, its even better and healthier to make them yourself.

I know it can seem daunting to create a weekly meal plan, which is why I try not to plan by specific days, but rather 4-5 recipes for the week that we have ingredients for {or I’ll add them to my shopping list}. Then I have a few meal ideas to choose from based on what I’m feeling for dinner that night, without sticking to a strict schedule.

If you do have an extra $5.00 a month to spend, eMeals is a great option that will do all the meal planning work for you! You can even try it free for two weeks to see if you like it!

My biggest advice to starting any new routine or life change, is to start small. Don’t feel like you have to do all of these things, and especially not at once. Choose just one, and let that become a habit before you move onto the next goal. Not only are you more likely to succeed, you’re also more likely to make healthy living just another part of your life!

Kalyn Brooke is a life management expert for busy women who crave a simpler and more organized life. Through her recognizable, down-to-earth approach, she provides a daily dose of inspiration and guidance, whether you’re looking for smart money tips, time saving routines, or anything in-between. When she’s not experimenting with ways to do even the most mundane tasks more efficiently, you can find her crafting detailed to-do lists in her bullet journal, or indulging in—yet another—personal development book. Meet Kalyn and learn how stay on top of it all at


Stay in Shape Without Going Broke | Budgeting 101 | Debt Free Living | Health & Wellness | Money Saving Tips | Ways To Get Fit Without Going Broke

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What are your favorite tips for staying in shape on a tight budget?



  1. January 9 at 09:22AM

    I totally agree about starting small, not trying to do things that you don’t enjoy etc. I’m at the stage in any new exercise plan where it all seems like more effort that it’s worth. At this stage I think you just have to keep pushing yourself, because I know that when I get through to the other side, the exercise will be a part of my routine, and then the pain will be worth it.

  2. January 9 at 10:08AM

    These are great tips Kayln! I especially like your note “doing something is better than doing nothing,” because I personally find that if I just START, I’ll end up going longer than I originally planned. It’s just getting over the starting hump! Thank you for recommend Crumbs as an inspiring resource as well – I’m honored to be named among such amazing bloggers! Wishing you blessed day! ~Tiffany

  3. January 9 at 01:35PM

    Thank you for the shout-out! I love your tips too!! You are totally right–there are so many ways to stay in shape without going broke!!!


  4. January 9 at 05:01PM

    These are great ideas! I’m more of a pen & paper kind of girl too. I love writing and seeing things in paper. The idea about doing something you like is a great idea too. Who knew! Hah. These are great tips. I’ve got to get better about making meals at home.

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  6. January 10 at 04:36PM

    Great tips! I definitely agree that staring small is key. I also use YouTube workout videos to save money.. there are so many options! I’m going to look up the Blogilates channel.. another great option is Jessica Smith’s videos, those are some of my favorites. Here’s to a healthy 2015! 🙂

    • January 10 at 09:47PM

      I’m always looking for more free workout videos to add to my routine {I get bored easily}, so thank you for the rec! 🙂

  7. These are great tips! I love free workout and always looking around pinterest for great ideas!

  8. January 15 at 07:33PM

    Great tips. I use myfitnesspal a couple of times a year and it’s helpful but it really just tells me that I eat way too much. My scale says it’s ok though! My husband recently bought me a fitbit so that’s been fun. I need to find some other fitbit friends and family so that we can compete against each other.

  9. March 4 at 07:14PM

    First off I want to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in whhich I’d like tto
    ask iif you don’t mind.I was curious to find out how you center youurself and clear your head prior to writing.
    Ihavee had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my ideas outt there.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be lost simply just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?
    Thank you!

  10. Chara
    December 30 at 10:57AM

    Woohoo! Thanks for this encouragement to get myself right in 2016. I’m determined to not let turning 40 be a way to excuse poor eating or changing health in a negative. I’m making 40 FABulous. Thanks for the catapult to awesomeness.

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