It happened gradually. I would put on a pair of jeans and have to jump up and down to shove myself into them. I would go to my dryer on laundry day and try to figure out if it was running hotter than usual causing my clothes to shrink.

In fact, unbeknownst to me, I had gained over 30 pounds. And with each pound gained, my clothes got suspiciously tighter. I'd pick up new pairs of pants for between $15 and $55 because I like to buy things on sale, not realizing why I really needed them. I'd explain away the bigger sizes as a mass production issue, not more junk in my trunk.

Remaining puzzled by my continued clothing shrinkage, I continued eating a wonderful diet of dark chocolate, macaroons from the Russian pastry shop ($7 with tax), and fantastic whole bean coffee ($9) that I would freshly grind before brewing up a great cup of coffee. Nights spent making meals and eating purposefully began to take their toll.

I finally admitted to myself that my problem wasn’t my dryer. I'd gained weight.

As a foodie, I would spend time looking up recipes using delicious ingredients — hazelnuts for desserts, truffles for truffle fries, or grass-fed beef for hearty main courses. Each time I found myself in the grocery store — and I found myself there often — I would also impulse buy additional delicious goodies.

Coming to Terms With the Effects of Weight Gain

Can Weight Gain Cost You Money? Did you know the effects of weight gain can include increased spending? Learn how it affected one woman and find cheap ways to lose weight. #costofliving #healthandbeauty #personalfinance #healthBut my shirts were getting tighter so I had to replace them too. And by the time I had admitted to myself that I had gained . . . some weight . . . I had replaced most of my wardrobe and spent hundreds of dollars. And that's not including the hundreds spent on my groceries, special ingredients, and delicious dark chocolate.

So I joined a gym. Membership was fairly affordable, costing about $33 a month. Plus, it was within walking distance from my home, and I did work out at least a couple of times a week.

But after a while, I stopped going, wasting $33 dollars. That money could have gone to debt repayment, bills, or savings.

I also found myself buying new groceries to replace the old ones. Vegetarian patties, gluten-free bread (I have an allergy), and low-fat and no-sugar options increased my grocery bills.

Who knew that eating healthy and getting back into shape had to be so expensive? Turns out, it didn’t.

Finding Cheap Ways to Lose Weight

I decided to change my approach so that I could save money and hopefully lose weight. I started by admitting that while I often enjoyed going to the gym, I didn’t enjoy it as much when the weather was nice.

Rather, I preferred walking around, getting fresh air, or riding my bike. So I decided to prioritize those activities and incorporate moving throughout my day.

I also used Groupon and Living Social for exercise classes that I could drop into when I felt like it. Instead of spending $33 a month, I spent $30 for drop-in classes for the next three months, and I would actually use them.

Finally, I stopped buying so much food and focused on eating what was already in my home. I saved tons of money and time doing this.