Gym memberships can be expensive and sometimes a huge waste of money. I have some great alternatives.

Are Gym Memberships a Good Deal?

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Gym memberships can be expensive and sometimes a huge waste of money. I have some great alternatives.

I did a post about saving money at the gym last year.  I wanted to revisit it again as part of my New Year’s Motivation series.  The first week of January is exactly the time of year when people start flooding to the gym again to try and get rid of a few extra holiday pounds and get their lives back on track.

It’s a great time to take advantage of the annual national mania about dieting and jump on the bandwagon.  I generally do the same every year, though I have learned my lesson on gym memberships and I am somehow able to pass by the siren song of them.   Instead, I dust off my trusty treadmill (I bought it super cheap from Craigslist) and get to sweating.

However, I’m going to give you some tips, so you don’t get taken to the cleaners.  Be smart – put some thought into it, do your homework.  Maybe you may not make it to the gym 3 times a week this year, (like you are PROMISING yourself inside your head), at least you won’t be spending a pile of money to maybe not keep those promises.  I will give you a hint on the post – gym memberships are almost NEVER a particularly good deal, but you can definitely minimize the sting if you know how to do it.

Sidebar – my son and his wife were here tonight and we were talking about their gym membership – they’ve been stuck in a gym contract for 24 months at $30 each.  They admitted that they haven’t been in six months.  That’s an investment of roughly $1500 – that could’ve been a new couch, a wonderful vacation, lots of more enjoyable things.  At least I convinced them to cancel it and look at buying a treadmill or stair-stepper.  

So click on the link to go visit the post and see the six ways you can save money if you DO choose to go with the buy the gym route.  However, if you decide NOT to go to the gym – you smart cookie you!  Here are some other alternatives to the gym membership.

My BEST Alternatives to Paid Gym Memberships


Ahoy – affiliate links ahead…  I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  This is one of the ways I support my site.   As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Get yourself a Fitbit or other type of fitness tracker.  I’ve got this baby in blue right here on my arm.


Honestly, I think a fitness tracker is going to get you a lot more fitness than a gym.  They come in a boatload of different configurations, colors, and styles.  They even have reminders that pop up when you’ve been sitting for too long.  It’s quick, easy, and competitive.  You can track yourself against your friends on the app and who doesn’t like that?  And you don’t have to take a big chunk of time or pack gym clothes.  They’re very helpful!

Walking Fitness Videos


Honestly, I wish I had a dollar for every mile I have walked to one of these tapes.  I would be SO rich.  The last one I had, my Mom bought it for me and she’s been gone for 10 years, so I think I can stay I’ve actually stuck with something (for once!).  These are great for those mornings when you wake up feeling all fat and schlumpy (and when don’t we feel fat and schlumpty?).  Jessica Smith has some nice ones too and they’re even available for free on YouTube.   And again, it’s hassle free and waaaaay cheaper than the gym.  Bonus – you can do them in your PJ’s.  Win-win!

Zumba or Jazzercise Fitness Classes

Zumba outfit

OK, granted, this isn’t one you can do in your jammies, but Zumba or Jazzercise are probably my favorite types of exercise.  And it’s way cheap.  Our local fitness center offers them for $6 per class – way cheaper than the gym.  There are tons of free options on YouTube, Amazon Prime, and everywhere else.

There’s even one of my favorite ways to get fit – just by walking around my own house.

So, now I’ve given you four different ways to enjoy your New Year’s resolution period without completely breaking the bank.  Enjoy!

Gym memberships can be a ripoff. Here are six ways to save money on them.

Image courtesy of Patrisyu at


Here are a couple of my other easy and quick weight loss ideas.

How to Motivate Yourself to Do ANYTHING

Lots of Thrifty Weight Loss Ideas

My 5 BEST Tips for Weight Loss

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    1. Yep, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Although I’ve found it frustrating. Do you have a trick for finding good videos on YouTube. Seems like about 4 out of 5 of the ones I try are either mislabeled, have poor sound, or just have an instructor who is impossible to follow.

  1. We’ve been paying for a gym membership for years and never go. I prefer going to the basement and walking on the treadmill in private. We keep saying we should cancel the membership.. you are motivating me to finally follow through!

    1. That’s terrific. That’s why I enjoy sharing tips like that. It feels good when you can help someone to make a good change. I’m with you – I don’t care for the gym at all. I’d much rather just walk or do a dance-type class like Zumba.

  2. I’ve been to a few Zumba classes, they are really fun. We have a trampoline place for kids that does exercisesound for adults during the spring and summer after hours. It’s pretty cool I’ve heard, I’m hoping to check it out. I’m a member of Planet Fitness & they are only $20 a month. They’ve got all workout equipment, tanning beds, massage chairs, & collegian beds. Some coworkers go to Lifetime fitness which is $80, that’s crazy!

    1. I went to Zumba today, even though I was creaking and tired. Planet Fitness is very smart. I went there for a while, but then when I noticed I hadn’t been in several weeks, I cancelled it – eeasy peesey. I don’t get people who sign up for long contracts on these high-priced services – sheesh!

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