If you have put on weight over lock down you may be looking for an effective way to shed a few pounds. There are as many weight loss plans as there are varieties of cake…. Sometimes they are faddy and complicated and sometimes the ingredients are difficult to source and expensive. Slimming World is a reliable and popular option for good reason – it works and is simple to follow. But can you do Slimming World on a budget?
Slimming World is one of the best methods of losing weight that I have tried. The programme is pretty straight-forward and easy to follow. You just have to grasp a few basic principles, which will be explained to you at your first meeting, or when you join online.
On Slimming World you can eat ‘normal’, every day food. No weird shakes or waiting on special boxes of ingredients through the post. When I started Slimming World I found that we ate a lot of the food that is considered ‘free’ (ie you can eat as much as you like) on the plan anyway. Fruit, vegetables, potatoes – even pasta! You can eat as much of each as you fancy, which helps with any hunger pangs.
Times are tough for many of us and there may not be much spare cash. You might be worried about committing yourself to a weight loss plan if it means your grocery bill will go up. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to do Slimming World on a budget, eat healthily and lose weight steadily.
Here are my top tips to lose weight with Slimming World on a budget.
1# Meal plan
Planning your meals on a weekly or monthly basis is a key way to get your grocery bill down, whether you are trying to lose weight or not (see my post Meal Planning: the benefits to your wealth and health).
Think about what you and your household will be doing on each day of your plan. If it is a particularly busy day, opt for something quick and easy. Go through your cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what you already have in and whether certain ingredients can be turned into a Slimming World friendly dinner.
Once you have a meal plan….
2# Make a shopping list
This is another essential basic when you need to get your grocery bill down. As part of your meal planning for weight loss, it is even more important so that you have everything you need to eat a healthy, low fat diet.
3# Opt for family food
If you are feeding anyone other than yourself, you will save yourself time and money by sticking to Slimming World friendly family food. Getting everyone to sit down together to eat a healthy dinner, rather than you picking at a salad whilst they eat fish and chips, will enable you to stick to your resolve and can only be good for everyone.
The Slimming World website has loads of family friendly favourites that everyone can enjoy, from shepherd’s pie to pasta bake.
Once the family realise they won’t go hungry eating Slimming World friendly food (such as this hearty minestrone soup) they won’t even remember it is any different to your old ways of eating.
4# Cook from scratch
I won’t say I NEVER use any pre-prepared food here at Shoestring Cottage. Sometimes a jar of sauce can save me from the Indian takeaway, which is good for my waistline as well as my budget.
I usually have some Simply Cook* mixes in the cupboard for when I feel the urge to eat something tasty but easy.
However, as a general rule, cooking from scratch when you can rather than buying ready made will save you money. Plus there are so many delicious and easy recipes that are compatible with Slimming World if you look online, you may find you are freshly enthusiastic about cooking. I know I was.
5# Use basic ingredients
You don’t have to buy fancy ingredients to do Slimming World on a budget. The beauty of the plan is that you can make delicious food using items you can find on any supermarket shelf. It is worth doing some online research to find some that suit.
You might like this post: Slimming World Swaps that won’t Bust the Budget.
6# Batch cook
For the days when you really can’t be bothered to cook something Slimming World friendly, it is worth having some meals in the freezer.
Batch cooking is a great habit to get into when you want to save money on food. You don’t have to spend all day cooking masses of meals. I find that simply doubling up when making a chilli, pasta sauce or curry and freezing the extras makes for an easy and convenient ping dinner.
7# Leave the kids at home
If there is any way you can sneak off to do the shopping alone, do it! Demanding children (or even partners) can make sticking to your list really difficult. Plus they will demand biscuits, chocolate, ice cream and all the things you need to avoid.
8# Never go shopping hungry
This is another general budget shopping tip. Going shopping with a rumbling tummy makes it hard to make healthy and sensible food choices. Plus you are likely to buy a cake to get you through the queues and back to the car!!
9# Be ready for a snack attack
It is well worth keeping some budget friendly cereal bars for when you have an attack of the munchies whilst you are out and about.
I like Alpen Light cereal bars and they are only about 3 syns. They are cheaper than the Slimming World branded bars, although the latter can be used as your healthy extra B choice. Fat Girl Skinny has a great list of healthy extra B snacks, so look out for the portable ones and keep them about your person.
10# Look out for yellow stickers
Shop late in the day, especially just before closing on a Sunday, and you may find some reduced groceries to incorporate into your food plan. Yellow sticker fruit and veg items, reduced price meat, yogurts, etc can save you lots of money as long as you eat them quickly (or freeze if possible).
I recently bought a ton of reduced price chicken breasts from Morrison’s on a Monday morning, which are stashed in my freezer ready to be incorporated into the next meal plan.
11# Shop at the discount supermarkets
I have found Aldi is particularly good when you are doing Slimming World on a budget. It is possible to buy pretty much anything you need and much more cheaply than the larger supermarkets.
Lidl has its merits too, as discussed in my post Lidl or Aldi? Which is the best discount supermarket?. When you want to shave pounds off your grocery budget as well as your waistline, it doesn’t pay to be a food snob.
12# Can’t afford to join?
If you want to do Slimming World on a budget but can’t afford the joining fee and weekly club subscription, it is possible to go it alone.
There is no doubt that being part of a group or online community gives you more motivation and support, but it’s not the only way. If you have a look on eBay you can often find the members introductory packs for sale, giving you all of the information you need to successfully lose weight.
You can also pick up Slimming World recipe books second hand.
Better still, ask your friends if they have these items kicking about that you can borrow.
If you co decide to join look out for discount offers. You can often get free membership in magazines such as Prima – it is cheaper to buy the magazine than it is to join. At certain times of the year, you may find Slimming World offering free membership too.
Money Saving Expert has a Slimming World support thread that is worth a look, which you can find here.
I hope you like my ideas for doing Slimming World on a budget. If you need some motivation to keep going, check out my posts Six of the Best Slimming World Blogs to give you Inspiration and Slimming World motivation: 10 ideas to get back on the wagon.
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