Due to the weakening dollar, rising gas/oil costs, and a myriad of other factors, the price of food in America has jumped substantially in the last two years. While many predicted the higher fuel costs would lead to a spike in supermarket prices – and they have – many people were surprised at the tremendous spike in supplement prices over the last year. Whey is up by 50% at most online retailers, and there is no end in sight. Many bodybuilders are seeing their traditional staples of beef, chicken, fresh produce, eggs, and whey cost more than they ever could have imagined.
Before you toss in the iron and take up competitive chess, check out a few quick tips to surviving the recession and higher food prices, as well as a few ideas for benefiting from these tough times.
Negotiate a cheaper membership.
If you are hit hard by these tough times, imagine what gym owners are going through. Their supplements cost more, their equipment costs more to deliver, and their memberships are likely down. After all, a gym membership is one of the first elective items cut from a budget when money is scarce. Enter your current gym, or one you’d like to join, and tell them you just can’t afford their rates. It’s very possible the owner will cut you a deal and find a discounted rate for you. After all, his costs are fixed. An extra $10 per month from you – even if it’s not the standard $30 rate – will help him pay the bills.
Work out at home
Gas prices have tripled in the last few years, and it’s now to the point where you can spend $5 or more in gasoline. While it’s often hard to get a full chest, back, or leg workout at home, one can often find that a few sets of dumbbells is more than adequate for those days when you train biceps, triceps, forearms, and shoulders. Abs and cardio can also be trained at home, saving more money (and time!). If you save $10 per week by avoiding two trips to the gym and training at home, that adds up to over $500 saved by the end of the year.
Buy in bulk
Despite the rising food costs and shortages in other countries, a 25 pound bag of rice can still be purchased for $12 to $15, and will supply several weeks’ worth of carbohydrate source. Tuna is still the king of affordable protein sources. You can pick up a 12-pack of tuna cans for $5. While you’re at the bulk store (Sam’s, Costco, or BJ’s), ask for deals. If store sales are down, it’s likely the butcher has a lot of beef that isn’t selling. See if he’ll reduce the price, buy a lot of it, and freeze it.
Time is Money
Don’t just shop in bulk – cook in bulk as well! We all know time is money. So why would you spend 30 minutes cooking meals, four times a day, when you can cook all 4 meals at once? That saves you 90 minutes per day. Use that time to train, sleep, read, or earn more money!