Welcome back to my new mini series. If you missed Part 1, I strongly advise you read it first, just to see how I got to this stage. It can be found here. Are you ready for my next installment?
It seemed ridiculous to me at the time – a £15 new member fee, plus £5.95 per class, all just to be told I was overweight and needed to lose weight. I cried the night we agreed I would join Weight Watchers. I didn’t want to give up my cheese and chocolate and crisps and everything else that I loved! But I went to that first meeting, and that’s when my approach to healthy eating changed.
I wont go into the ins and outs of the Weight Watcher programme, except to say that it doesn’t restrict what you can and can’t eat. At least, it doesn’t on the Count Plan – the one I follow. It merely tells you a number of points you are allowed in a day, and then helps you calculate how many points each food item is. For example, the other night I had a plate filled with homemade spaghetti bolognese and some garlic bread, all for 13 smart points. In comparison, a Boost chocolate bar is also 13 smart points. It’s all about deciding which you would rather have.
Living at home for the first few months of my weight loss programme, I wasn’t unaware of the cost of the groceries, but I was very aware I no longer wanted to nip across to the shop for a sneaky packet of crisps. I was no longer creeping up to my room with a couple of biscuits tucked into my pockets. The only money I was spending on my weight loss was the £5.95 a week to go to the class, and then maybe a few pounds on the Weight Watchers snacks they sold in the classes. It was great!
We were buying lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, quorn chicken, and the amount of biscuits and crisps in the house was allowed to deplete before we bought in more. I stopped drinking as much alcohol, knowing it would be a minimum of 4 smart points per drink. Mum, Dad and Rachel all continued to eat mostly normally, joining me really only for dinners or snacks. There were a few binge nights, when we all had a few sweets from across the road. While I ate my 5 point milkyway, dad and Rachel managed 2 share bags between them. And for once I didn’t feel the need to stuff my face with food. I was saving money! Except I wasn’t really. But I’ll cover that in Part 3. Today’s post is about money you save when you’re losing weight.
I spent a few good long evenings researching recipes and meal plans. Instead of spending £8 or more on a Chinese takeaway, I was finding recipes that were so much cheaper. Even down to my chilli chicken recipe that I posted here a few months ago – if served with rice, it made the perfect substitute for the takeaways I so desperately craved at times. The best part? That recipe came to around £2.20 per serving, and tasted delicious.
A bag of apples, or a bunch of bananas, cost less than a multipack of crisps. And they certainly last me longer! If you bulk buy fruit and vegetables, prepare them, and freeze what can be frozen, you’ll find yourself saving money. For example, buy the vegetables in the reduced packages. They may look a little funny, or have a best before date of that day, but these are still perfect! You can prepare them and put them into individual freezer bags for storage, or you can make soups and freeze them! Frozen vegetables from the shops are also incredibly well priced – so much cheaper than buying fresh too.
Scanning the frozen aisles and the reduced sections are always a good idea, and when you start with the mindset that you want to eat healthier you will start to reduce your portion sizes and snacks, making your money stretch further in both respects.
So I think we’ve covered it – losing weight, can save you money. If you cut out on the takeaways, the meals out, the snacks, and the full priced pre-prepared ready meals. You learn to become shopper savvy, and that the more work/effort put into a food before it reaches the shelves, the more additives and more expensive it will be when you buy it.
However, what of the costs of losing weight? Surely there must be some reason we choose to eat the way we do? Well, check back for Part 3 to find out the costs of losing weight.