Gym memberships. Proper shoes and clothing. Protein powders, energy drinks, vitamins and supplements. With all the expenses that come with a fitness regimen, your budget can take a real hit if you’re not careful. Luckily, there are some easy ways to save money on a wide range of sports nutrition essentials.
Here are my top budgeting tips to help you stay on track with finances while getting – or staying – in shape.
The first step in budgeting your sports nutrition expenses is to get organized. Start by making a list of all your nutrition needs for the month. Create your weekly meal plans. Then create a grocery list. Lists help you to stick with a set plan and avoid spending money on items that you don’t really need.
Pick protein with “extras”
Always look for protein powders that include amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamine, which are both important for the maintenance and repair of muscle. This lets you avoid having to buy three separate products. Choose a whey protein or plant-based protein powder with three to five grams of both amino acids and glutamine. (Trainer pick: PlantFusion Complete Plant Protein Powder Vanilla Bean)
Also, if you use a protein powder enriched with vitamins and antioxidants, you can save money on a multivitamin. Consider a “whole food” protein shake that contains fruits, vegetables, vitamins, minerals and protein – all delivered in one scoop. It’s essentially a complete meal. No extras bottles needed! (Trainer pick: Vitacost Whole Food Shake with Vitamins, Minerals and Non-GMO Soy Protein Natural)
Buy in bulk
There are certain foods that fitness enthusiasts always need to keep on hand, so buying in bulk is a definite money saver when it comes to the following:
- Beans and lentils
- Chicken breasts
- Nuts & seeds
- Dried fruits
- Canned tuna
- Frozen vegetables
Use fat burner as a preworkout formula
Did you know a fat burner also can be used as a preworkout supplement? You can save an average of $30.00 a month by using one product for two different results. An all-in-one thermogenic preworkout formula is designed to increase energy, boost metabolism during and after workouts (helping to burn calories all day), improve workout performance and focus, and suppress your appetite. (Trainer pick: Evlution Nutrition ENGN® Shred Pre-Workout Shred Engine Cherry Limeade)
Do your shopping online
Ordering protein powders, supplements and even food online can not only help you stay within budget but it’s super convenient too. Sign up for emails, look for promo codes and coupons (which will help you save money on already discounted prices) and keep an eye out for free shipping. Online prices are typically less than in stores (plus, you'll save on gas and time!).
Make your own
Fitness fanatics love their protein bars, trail mix and granola. Sure, it’s convenient to buy them already made, but when you’re trying to stick with a budget, it helps to make your own. One of the biggest benefits of DIY recipes is that you know exactly what ingredients going into the recipes.
Take a multvitamin
Another cost-saving tip for sports nutrition is to find a quality multivitamin and mineral all in one. If you're eating a healthy, well-balanced, nutritious diet, you could even consider cutting the dosage in half. Most supplements are needed to fill nutrition gaps, but if you are covering all the bases with food, then take one vitamin a day (versus 2) as an insurance policy. This could make your supplement bottle last up to four months!
Choose a combination post-workout supplement
Hardcore fitness enthusiasts are serious about their post-workout nutrition, but there’s no reason to break the bank on products. Look for creatine, amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamine as a 3-in-1 product. A formula like this is intended for people who train hard to enhance muscle recovery, strength and muscle building. Buying a 3-in-1 product puts an average of $20 per month back in your pocket without losing any gains in the gym.