With the new year approaching many of us are looking to diet and lose weight and to build healthier habits for the next year.

Here are some of our top tips for losing weight on a budget

Get your starting point

Before you embark on a weight loss journey it is really important to get your starting point noted down. You may be unhappy with your weight gain.

This can be as simple as just taking your starting weight, but I would also recommend that you take your measurements and some ‘before’ photographs.

Comparing your ‘before’ photos is a great way to keep yourself motivated throughout your weight loss journey.

It is also worth taking a look at a weight loss calculator so that you can accurately get your daily calorie allowance and see how long it should take you to reach your weight loss goal.

Starting on the right foot helps you to get the right information for you as well as keeping you motivated as you progress through this journey.

Drink more water

Our bodies are 70% water so it is important that we make sure that we are drinking enough water for a number of reasons including maintaining blood pressure and promoting cell health.

Switching expensive coffees and hot chocolates not only saves on calories but also saves money since water is almost free if you use a refillable cup from home. Drinking tea can also help. I do like this coffee liqueur as a cheeky alcoholic treat at the weekend!

If you are struggling to drink more water then you could try to set yourself reminders throughout the day to drink, set yourself goals and try to drink a glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning.

Stacking these habits should help you to reach your daily water intake goal.

Exercise for free

Gym memberships can easily add anything from £20 – £50 per month to your outgoings, and that is before you account for transport to your gym if you don’t live within walking or cycling distance.

There are plenty of exercises that you can do for free, either from the comfort of your own home or whilst out and about. Here are some great Couch to 5k tips.

Walking is a very effective exercise and can be done straight from your front door or you can even complete walking workouts on YouTube from the comfort of your own home.

There are also plenty of free workout videos on YouTube, including Zumba, yoga, dance classes and so much more. But try to avoid yoga injuries!

You could also look around your home for materials to use in your workouts – for example two tins of baked beans could be used as weights for arm exercises.

Cook your meals yourself

Typically meals cooked at home are going to be healthier than processed or ready meals, and cooking from scratch is a great way to save money.

Cooking meals yourself means that you can control exactly what does into every dish, and make some healthier swaps along the way. For example you might choose to use a low calorie cooking spray instead of oil, which cuts down on the calories that you consume.

You might like these low calorie snack ideas.

You can also batch cook meals to save time later on. Choose healthy meals and cook extra to freeze or use as leftovers for the following day. This also helps to reduce food waste which will save you money.

Make a Fakeaway

I love a takeaway as much as the next person, but not only can they be quite calorie laden, you also can’t control the portion sizes or the ingredients used. Then consider the cost, especially when you are feeding a family or guests. It all adds up.

Learning to cook some of your favourite takeaways from scratch, like a curry, chicken kebab or even pizza means that you can control what goes into your meal as well as the calorie content.

Plus cooking a fakeaway is the fraction of the cost of a takeaway.

Eat before you go to the supermarket

If you are looking to save money then never ever go to the supermarket when you are hungry.

When we shop when we are hungry then we are often prone to shopping with our stomaches and then walking out with lots of snacks and meal ideas that we didn’t plan to buy.

By having a healthy snack before going grocery shopping or by going to the supermarket after having a meal it will reduce your tendency to buy extra because you are hungry.

If you haven’t managed to eat before you head to the supermarket then some healthy snacks you can buy for eating on the go include a snack pack of ham, a banana or piece of fruit or low calorie crisps.

Meal planning to lose weight on a budget

Meal planning is fantastic to help you with saving money and reducing food waste. It is also a brilliant tool when it comes to dieting because it helps you to plan ahead.

This way you won’t get home and have no idea what to have for dinner then resort to an expensive takeaway. By creating a meal plan and then shopping for that meal plan you will have the ingredients at home to cook healthy meals.

Shop the yellow sticker shelf

I love the yellow sticker shelf, and it is a great place to pick up bargains that can help when trying to lose weight. Just last night I got a bag of salad for just 6p! It was perfect to have with some chicken last night, making a very low calorie and healthy dinner option for a fraction of the cost.

Lots of the foods found on the reduction shelves can be frozen – especially meat and bread. If you are buying fruit from the yellow sticker shelf you can also freeze some of it to use in porridge or smoothies. I could even make this delicious smoothie bowl!

Reduce your portion sizes

Reducing your portion sizes is an easy way to cut the calorie and reduce your costs in one simple step. We are trying something out – eating less meat! When eating out enjoy a mocktail!

You might want to consider snacks for bloggers or these strawberry caprese skewers!

To do this you could serve less onto your plate or even consider using smaller plates and bowls to eat from.