Is Weight Watchers Frugal?

Posted by idawrites on July 28, 2009 in Food, Frugal, Health |

Yesterday,  my Dear Hubby and I tested the waters and attended a Weight Watchers meeting for the first time ever. I’ve been heavy my entire life, with the exception of that one glorious year when I was 15/16 and was a perfect Size 8. I’ve tried every diet under the sun, and some of them twice. I’ve always been successful… dropping 30, 40, even 50 pounds before losing my steam and gaining back up to higher weight than I was before.

I’ve researched plan after plan… South Beach, Sonoma, The Zone, Atkins, Med-fast, and dozens of others.  But in any rating articles I’ve found, Weight Watchers falls within the top 5 for both effectiveness AND healthiness.    According to the article at Health.com:

Weight Watchers

It’s a classic for a reason. It works.

And over the years, this gold-standard weight-loss program that harnesses the power of group support to help motivate dieters has kept up with science, not to mention changing lifestyles. For this aspect, Weight Watchers earned the highest motivational marks (including several perfect scores) from our panel of experts, who also lauded the plan’s overall healthy weight-loss pace and exercise component.

Most noteworthy: Weight Watchers, while maintaining its meetings-based system, has added an online version for those dieters who, in the words of panelist Largeman-Roth, “aren’t into group hugs.”

Of course, a monthly membership with Weight Watchers isn’t cheap. $39.95 per person is not a lot of money by itself… but when you do the math and realize that it’s $958 a year, that “just $39.95 per person” means a little more in your budget.

Looking at the COSTS of being overweight though, makes the $958 pale in comparison:

  • We’ve had to replace our mattress every 2 years (instead of every 10!)  = $500 a year
  • Clothing costs $2 – $5 more per article, on average, and wears out faster = $300 a year
  • Health Costs – $50 a month for blood pressure and cholesterol meds = $600
  • Health Costs – Co-pays for more frequent medical appointments  = $60 to $100
  • Shoes wear out sooner = $50
  • The list is extensive…

Airline travel sucks when you’re fat… so does going to a Braves game, hiking, movies, and picnics.  Have you ever had to get back off an amusement park ride because the lap restraint doesn’t fit?  That’s enough to make you want to lose weight (or slit your wrists) right there.  Mental health issues surrounding weight are a whole other costly proposition.

In the end, I think that Weight Watchers (if I stick with it and it works) will prove to be a very frugal investment in my future.  What do you think?


  • Emily says:

    WW is prohibitively expensive for us right now. But just a heads-up – if you get your doctor to say that you need it, you can write it all off at the end of the year.
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..Healing, v. 2 =-.

  • Momma – I suggest trying Weight Watchers Online. I was a member for over a year, and it helped me tremendously – and you’re absolutely right – it is a classic and it’s really the only proven way to lose and keep off weight.

    I mention the Online version because it’s a lot less – $16.95 a month.

    I also noticed that I was eating a lot less on the “diet” so my grocery costs went down.

    And of course, if you want to take “lifecycle costs” into account – losing weight will save money in the long run by cutting out future medical costs.

    Best of luck to you!

    • Momma says:

      Hi there Wojciech! Thanks for leaving this comment.

      I tried WW Online a couple of years ago. I know it works great for lots of people, but I think I’m just one of those people who need the face to face meetings and encouragement (and accountability).

      I’m noticing that our meat costs are going to drop dramatically.. and I’m going to be shopping for fresh vegetables far more often.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Cindy says:

    I am also a Weight Watchers Online member. And I think it’s GREAT.

    Seventeen years ago I was a walk-in member, meetings were fun, but I was a ‘housewife’ then. Time was easier to come by. Anyway, I reached goal and became a Lifetime Member and shortly thereafter stopped attending.

    Come about ten years later, and for a long list of reasons/excuses I have gained back the entire 100#s, plus some. I have asked a couple physicians to help me with meds or miracles, but they refused. Only because my records show I am a previous Weight Watchers winner. They support and endorse the nutritional teaching that Weight Watchers provides us.

    So here I am back again, because I know it works. You just have to want it bad enough.

    • Momma says:


      Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m praying that I have the same success with losing that you did (and will have again!). I appreciate the reminder that no matter how well you do with the losing part, it’s still something you have to remain vigilant about once you reach your goals. I’m going to keep reminding myself of that forever, I hope.

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