New Year resolutions offer people the chance to start over, start fresh. Most joke that they’ll never actually keep them, but if you keep goals simple and have support (a friend who’s joining you in resolution), you can easily meet those goals. And the best part is -- you can do it frugally.
* If you resolve to save money, start small.
A simple coin bank or empty peanut can where you throw pocket change can be the start of something big. If you increase your deposit to $10 a week, you’ll have $250 by mid-June! If you're saving up for something in particular, keep a photo of it next to the coin bank for motivation.
* If you resolve to eat healthy, take advantage of deals and coupons.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean spending more at the grocery store. Remember that it's not a good idea to shop hungry (you'll make poor choices) and that it is a good idea to always work from lists.
Many grocery stores such as offer the convenience of making your list online and printing it out. Most also allow you to look at sales flyers online so you can compare prices, and when possible, buy in bulk to save even more.
, which now offers an expanded grocery section, also has coupons on its website that you can print out and save in-store. Other frugal healthy eating tips were also covered in a previous Frugal Family column, .
* If you want to lose weight/get fit, take advantage of gym passes and check out apps to help you count calories and keep on track.
offers a seven-day free VIP pass while has its "Start your sucess story" program where you pay $10 for 10 days of access to their facility. is $19.99 a month and the $29 initation fee is waved when you sign up to pay via your checking account each month. On ' website, you can print out a guest pass that gives you and a friend a chance to check out the gym for free for three consecutive days. If you decide to join, it's $9.95 a week.
Depending upon your health insurance, you may receive gym membership reimbursements, discounts or even free nutritional counseling. Independence Blue Cross, for example, offers up to $150 to cover fitness center fees each year.
South Whitehall Township offers residents their Winter Yoga, Zumba and Water Aerobics programs for $35 running now through the end of February.
Want to be really frugal? Try free exercise.
Go for a walk in your neighborhood or Covered Bridge Park. Also, Parkland School District offers its Winter Swim and Gym Program for Parkland residents. You’ll enjoy free use of the high school pool and main gym (for open play basketball) during specified hours on Sundays. Make it a weekly family outing for some exercise and fun.
Another previous Frugal Family column discussed as a family activity. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week such as brisk walking, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.
Need a little technical assistance with your resolution? There's an app for that!
Mapmyrun is a running an application that uses your phone's GPS to live track your running data including duration, run distance, speed and more. Another free app that you can download to your phone is myFitnesspal. It allows you to keep track of how many calories you eat each day to help you reach your goal.