My secret to living my best yoga life — and best life in general — is I rarely pay full price for anything. ANYTHING. Here are some of my tips to do the same:
Anytime you’re in-store shopping, start in the sale section. I often don’t even make it to the rest of the store because I have such luck in clearance. Some of my favorite stores, like Anthropologie and Nordstrom Rack, even have sales on sales, which is when there is an additional mark down on items already on sale. AKA a tank top that was originally $60 is on sale for $36, but there is an additional 40% off sale items, making that $60 tank a $21 tank. This has happened SO MANY TIMES and I always feels like I’m getting away with something.
If you’re online shopping, use my Google tip and search around for things! Multiple stores will often carry the same items, and prices won’t always match up. Different stores will also often have different return policies for the same item. Pay attention to those, as you may need to return online purchases if they arrive and don’t fit or if you change your mind. For example, some athletic brands won’t let you return worn or washed items, while some encourage you to put their clothes to the test, and if they don’t perform to your standards you can still return or exchange!
If you’re a healthcare professional or fitness instructor of any kind, you probably get discounts on nice athletic wear brands. Also, teachers, students and military professionals often get a discount! I know brands like Athleta offer a discount to fitness professionals and students. Often you can sign up in-store with proof of credentials (i.e. a yoga teacher certificate, a student ID, etc.) so next time you’re checking out, ask about discounts!
I belong to a 24 Hour Fitness gym, which is less than $30/month. There are nicer gyms, and there are gyms closer to my house, but nothing beats that price and they have everything I could ever need. Fancier gyms can be upwards of $200/month, and while they are often cleaner and with nicer amenities, they don’t actually include much more otherwise — for example some gyms have spas but all spa services are an extra cost.
I do not belong to a yoga studio, but I often practice at them. Most studios offer a “new student discount” where you can enjoy unlimited access for 2 weeks-1 month for a super discounted rate. “30 days for $30” is a common one. If you attend 3 classes per week during a $30 month-long special, that breaks down to $2.50 per class! The downside to this is if you love a studio and want to continue taking classes there after the promotional period, you’d have to pay a monthly rate. OR…
I have successfully avoided paying a regular monthly member rate at various yoga studios (Yoga Six in St. Louis, MO and Corepower in Los Angeles, CA) by signing up to do a work-for-trade. Many studios offer this option, where you can work or clean for 1-4 hours per week in studio in exchange for free, unlimited access to the studio. Even if a studio isn’t advertising that they offer this sort of thing, ask the people working there if they could use your help in this avenue and save yourself $150+ per month!
Taking the test to become a personal trainer is a few hundred bucks. Getting a yoga teacher certification is a couple thousand. Retreats and workshops can be pricey. If you’re looking for training or continued education, but can’t shell out hundreds and thousands of dollars, reach out to the training you’re interested in and ask about work-for-trade and/or for scholarship opportunities. Often the people/companies running these trainings and retreats have the need for someone to help behind the scenes with organizing, cleaning, setup/break down, etc. and will offer a discounted or waived fee in exchange for your help. Scholarship opportunities are sometimes available, and can cover the entire cost of the event! Remember, it never ever ever hurts to ASK what is available to make something more accessible for you, especially when you’re willing to offer up your help in return.
This is a tricky one for many, but something I have perfected — thank goodnesss — be willing to walk away from the thing. In the end, you don’t need new yoga pants, you don’t need to practice at a fancy studio or cool gym, you don’t need any of it. I want it, but I don’t need it. You want it, you don’t NEED it. All you need, and I say this all the time, is the magical body you already live in. The rest is just for aesthetics. The sooner as you can come to terms with that, the sooner you can start saving money because I will walk right the F away from any pair of yoga pants that isn’t somehow discounted.
A final note, not about how to save, but about where to spend: I rarely try to save money when it comes to food. No, I don’t mean I go searching for the most expensive groceries and restaurants, I just mean while I CAN workout anywhere — at home, in a cheap gym, in a luxury gym — and feel the benefits, I can’t eat anything/anywhere and feel the benefits.
Don’t be a gym snob, be a food snob.
Care about what you put in your body. I know that it may cost $14 to go to a make-your-own-salad bar and build a giant salad with all the toppings when you could spend just $5 going to fast food and getting 5 things.
I KNOW. I GET IT. But. That giant salad you made can be two meals — half for lunch and take the rest home for dinner, aka $7 each and thus not much more than fast food would cost you for two meals — and you’ll feel GOOD. Your fast food is going to last you one meal and make you feel sluggish and greasy for the rest of the day.
Learn to look at cost and value outside of just money. What does an unhealthy meal cost you, besides the $5? And, alternatively, what value does the $14 salad have?