The Cheapskate Guide to Getting in Shape

 The Cheapskate Guide to Getting in Shape

There is an abundance of ads circulating trying to get you to spend your money at their store or gym to help you fulfill your New Year’s Resolutions. While you might have the budget to purchase some new items or memberships, I am going to give you a few ideas on how to save some money on a few things.

  • Check out exercise videos from the library, or Family Video offers free rentals for exercise videos as well.
  • Search for FREE music downloads. offers a free credit monthly for mixes. Most mixes that you can get for free are 30-45 minutes in length.
  • Check out Freecycle to see if anyone is giving away equipment or post your own ISO ad. Maybe even consider posting a status on Facebook asking friends and family if they have stuff they are looking to get rid of.
  • Get a workout in by taking up gardening or mow your lawn with a push mower.  Or, depending on where you live, shovel snow!
  • Play with your kids! Get out on the playground with them and run around or find a sledding hill or skating pond and have fun. You can build memories and muscle at the same time!
  • Use FREE apps on your phone or iPod like My Fitness Pal or RunKeeper to help keep track of exercise or food consumption. There are lots of free apps out there, so check out the reviews and find one that sounds best to you.
  • Go for a bike ride (if you already own a bike), walk or run.
  • Try it before you buy it! See if the gym will offer you a free week before signing up.
  • Check out my list of 6 FREE Online Exercise Video Websites.
  • PBS offers some early morning exercise programs and some PBS stations have them over the lunch hour too, check out your local PBS programming to discover their offerings.
  • Check with your local high school to see if they offer passes to use the gym or walk laps around the halls (during non-school hours) or use the pool. Around us the area high schools that offer this charge only $2 a time.
  • Check to see if your employer has a corporate gym that you can use for free or a discount.
  • Call your health insurance company and see if they offer a health club reimbursement if you go enough times.
  • If you are a student, ask the healthy club for a discounted student membership. Many offer them and may also offer them for seniors as well.
  • Get a job at a health club and they usually give you a free membership.

Your Turn: What FREE or cheap ideas do you to get in shape?

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About Jessica Shallow-Miller

Jessica is a crafty stay-at-home mom of two, who tries to find ways to save money while being green. She is also the author of the blog Save Green Being Green.


  1. says

    I love freecycle. An old friend introduced me to it years ago. I never thought of exercise equipment. I’m always looking for a thrifty way to do anything. And of course like millions of other folks my resolution is to get in better shape. UGH. Easier said then done. :)

  2. Maria says

    I need new shoes desperately so I am looking at the sales ads and keeping a close eye on store sales. I have definitely rented fitness dvd’s at the library. Great suggestion!

  3. says

    I love checking out workout DVD’s from the library. I just love the library in general their are so many great things you can get for free. I’ve even written a few blog posts about my favorite free library resources.

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