Fancy home gym equipment, organic food and a wardrobe of the latest fitness apparel can be pricey, but consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says that doesn't have to be the case. "As a young girl, I tagged along with my mom on shopping trips and learned that you don't have to spend a lot to look good," she explains. Woroch herself ranks health as one of her top priorities (besides helping others save money), and loves bike riding, hiking, running, swimming and skiing—"anything and everything that gets me moving." So we asked Woroch to share her insider intel about how we all can keep our wallets happy while staying fit and looking and feeling great.
1. Subscribe. Group coupon emails offer deals for more than clothes shopping and restaurant meals! “Sites like LivingSocial and Dealery often offer discounts for health clubs, fitness studios and outdoor activities at up to 70 percent off,” Woroch says. Another plus? There’s no long-term commitment, so if you like, you can just continue trying new things based on what is offering a coupon!
2. Take advantage of free trials. “Request free or deeply discounted trial memberships from various gyms and fitness studios you're thinking about joining,” Woroch suggests. This way you can find your favorite before getting locked in with a location that may not be your favorite. 3. Use technology. Online coupon sites like RetailMeNot and SmartSource offer a wide variety of discounts for online or in-store shopping at grocery, fitness specialty stores and more. Combine coupons you find online for stores like Whole Foods with what’s on special when you get to the store to score even bigger savings. Check out these Coupon Sherpa sites for printable coupons at common retailers:
4. Don’t pay retail. “Shop discount retailers like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and Ross for cheaper gym clothes,” Woroch says. “I know how looking and feeling good in the clothes I wear to workout in motivates me to push harder, so I also seek out sales at places like Dick's Sporting Goods and Target.”
5. Enjoy the outdoors. Freeze your monthly gym membership during the summer and instead walk, run, bike or play outside.
6. Team up. A personal trainer doesn’t have to work with you solo. “Small group fitness training is much cheaper than personal training since you can split the costs, but you still get personalized attention. Plus you can make new friends to hang out with outside of the session!” Woroch says.
7. Buy in bulk. Find non-perishable staples online in bulk (like protein bars) to save 30 to 40 percent, Woroch recommends. You can also purchase any healthy foods in bulk and split them with a friend so nothing goes to waste.
8. Network. “Follow your favorite stores and brands on Facebook or Twitter to get exclusive coupon codes and learn about special promotions or deals,” Woroch says.
10. Get seasonal. In-season produce tastes better and costs less. Try a farmers market—they’re often cheaper than grocery stores. “You can also scope out end-of-season sales at sporting goods stores. Now is the time to buy fitness gear for next spring and summer, like a bike or swimsuit, at a huge discount,” Woroch says.