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3 secrets that take the place of pricey memberships

3 secrets that take the place of pricey memberships
© Kurhan | Dreamstime.com

There's nothing better than taking the vacation that you've always dreamed about. I can feel the warm ocean breeze flowing through my hair just thinking about it.

Unfortunately, these trips can be extremely expensive, depending on where you're headed, of course. The best way to help pay for something like a dream vacation is to lower expenses elsewhere.

A good place to begin saving is by cutting back on costly monthly membership fees. With so many helpful innovations in technology these days, it's not as difficult as you might think.

That's why you need to know these three secret ways to replace pricey memberships.

Replacing pricey weight loss programs

If you have ever been overweight you know what a struggle it can be to try and shed a few pounds. People have been turning to expensive weight loss programs for decades, looking for some help and encouragement.

With all of the great technology in the world today, there must be an easier, less expensive way to lose weight.

iTrackBites Plus app

That's where the iTrackBites Plus app comes in.

The iTrackBites app is designed to work on a point system, like Weight Watchers. It is compatible with the food score based weight loss system and it even counts calories.

Tracking your food score is a big help when trying to lose weight. Since most people have their smartphone with them all of the time, an app like this makes total sense. Wherever you go you have a personal assistant waiting to track your food score values.

You can scan barcodes, create custom foods, or use the app's massive database of common foods, pocket guide, or restaurant guide. Not only will you be able to keep track of your food intake but also your exercise and weight.

Here are some of the iTrackBites features:

  • Daily allowance calculators for all plans
  • Barcode scanner with over 1,000,000 UPC's
  • Large USDA Food Guide with accurate food and restaurant items
  • Maintain list of favorite foods and exercise activities
  • Works for All Food Score based systems or use Calories

There is a one-time fee to download the app. However, this costs much less than signing up for a weight loss program that charges a monthly fee.

The app is available for both iOS and Android. Click here to download for Apple gadgets for $3.99. Click here to download for Android gadgets for $2.99.

How to save money on fitness

Deciding to start your fitness journey is the first big step. But where do you begin? Which workouts will get you the best results and help you achieve your goals?

You need a fitness expert to help you get on your way. You could spend a ton of money on gym memberships and personal trainers. Or you could use a free app that coaches you toward your goals.

These workout apps are suitable alternatives if you don't have the time nor do you want to add membership fees to your expenses. Even without gym equipment or a personal trainer, these apps can still help you get fit fast with guided workouts, custom routines and personalized schedules.

So what are you waiting for? Start getting in shape with these fabulous workout apps.

Workout Trainer

This app gives you access to specific workouts, fitness programs, and knowledgeable trainers. Exercise photos and videos can clearly explain how to properly do the exercises and there's a community forum so that you can interact with other people.

Once you download the app, the first thing you'll do is fill out a fitness assessment. Based on the goals you've set for yourself, the app will suggest workouts or programs you can choose from.

In the "Workouts" section of the app, you'll see several different options grouped by categories. Cardio, full body, and weight loss are just a few of the groupings. Many of the workouts are free but some of them require a PRO+ membership.

"Programs" are fitness plans that consist of different workouts. You can build your own program by hand-picking the workouts you like.

Some of them are free while others cost $9.99 per plan. You can do a free one-week trial to get access to several programs and it's $6.99 per month once the trial ends. You also have the option to pay $59.99 upfront for the whole year.

The "Trainers" section is a list of verified workout coaches. Trainers post a few free workouts but you must pay for one-on-one coaching that includes a plan designed for you and your goals, tips and guidance, and communication through the chat function. Prices vary by trainer.

Although there are many in-app purchases and subscriptions, you can still get help with your fitness goals if you know where to look. Both the "Workouts" and "Programs" sections have a "Free" category. And if you use the scheduling function then the app reminds you to workout!

Workout Trainer is available on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

Sworkit

The main focus of this app is the ability to build custom workout plans. Once you download the app, you create an account and fill in your weight, age, gender, and fitness goals. From there, you can select if you want to be guided by a plan or select individual workouts to create your own plan.

If you select individual workouts then you can choose from four different categories. "Strength" workouts are grouped by what section of the body they target."Cardio" is grouped by intensity level. "Yoga" and "Stretching" include exercises for pilates and a head-to-toe warm-up, respectively. There are also more workouts that don't fit into any of those categories.

If you want to build your own custom workouts then you can choose from 276 exercises. Filter these choices by the level of difficulty, targetted areas of the body, or by one of the previously mentioned categories. There's even a "quiet" filter if you need exercises that won't disturb others.

For more structure, you can select a guided plan based on your goals. Choose the "Leaner" plan to tone up, the "Stronger" plan to build muscle mass and muscle endurance or the "Fitter" plan to improve overall. Each plan is six weeks with 18 workouts. You would complete three workouts per week and rest every other day.

The guided plans include a free seven-day trial and then it costs $7.99 per month after the trial ends. You can pay $59.99 upfront for the whole year. In addition to accessing the guided plans, paying for the subscription also unlocks members-only workouts, unlimited custom workouts, and an ads-free experience.

Download Sworkit now from Google Play or the iTunes App Store!

Daily Workouts

What separates Daily Workouts from the other workout apps is the targeted workouts for specific body areas. You can choose between Ab, Arm, Butt, Cardio and Leg workouts, or if you're up to it, a Full body workout, which combines all the workouts into one extended session. Each individual workout has instructions, a timer and a personal trainer video to guide you through the whole routine.

After downloading the Daily Workouts app, you can start right away! However, it is recommended that you go into the app's settings and enter your weight, gender and age for accurate calorie burn results. You can also create a workout schedule and set daily reminders for it.

With the free version of Daily Workouts, you can choose between 5-minute, 8-minute or 10-minute routines and access two levels for each individual body area workout. The free version also allows you up to 30 minutes on one level of the Full body workout routine.

To unlock additional levels and workouts, you can purchase the full version of Daily Workouts for $9.99. The full version is ad-free and includes everything in the free version plus added Pilates, stretch, ball, and kettlebell workouts. It will also unlock additional levels for the Ab, Arm, Butt, Cardio, Leg and Full body workouts and lets you create custom and random workouts.

If you would want to alternate less strenuous workouts with Daily Workouts' targeted routines, you can also get its companion app "Simply Yoga." This app guides you through up to 60 minutes worth of yoga poses for improving muscle tone, muscle flexibility, cardio health and body balance. Similar to Daily Workouts, you can upgrade to Simply Yoga's full version to get more routines.

Try Daily Workouts now, available on Google Play and the iTunes App Store!

How to save on roadside assistance

Ever been stranded on the road? It could be anything - a flat tire, an empty tank, a dead battery. One thing's for sure, having roadside car trouble is always a terrible feeling.

Thankfully, there are car services out there that can help you in these times of dire need.

You've probably heard of the American Automotive Association (AAA), the roadside assistance service that offers towing, jumpstarts, locksmithing, fuel delivery, flat repairs and other car "first aid" services. AAA annual membership plans start at $57, which is a good deal especially for the peace of mind it brings while you're on the road.

However, if you're not an AAA member and all you really want is fast roadside assistance only at times you need it, I found an app that will do just that.

HONK

The app is called HONK and it is an on-demand car assistance that does not require any annual membership fees. The app offers instant access to towing, tire changes, jump starts, fuel refills and locksmith services with just a tap of a button.

Unlike AAA, HONK charges you only when your car is serviced (as low as $49 depending on the type of service required).

HONK also claims that its services are often 50 percent faster than AAA since its technology connects the app directly to towing services. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, HONK has more than 35,000 tow trucks in its network for quick and reliable service whenever you may need it.

If it sounds like it's ready to disrupt established roadside assistance services like AAA, well it's because HONK does. It's almost like the Uber of roadside assistance.

So next time you're having car trouble and you have nowhere to go, try honking for HONK.

The HONK app is available for both iOS and Android.

Do you want another option? Honorable mention goes to another app that pretty much does the same thing - Urgent.ly. Urgent.ly doesn't have the same coverage as HONK but it's still a great option to have for car emergencies.

Urgent.ly is also available on iOS and Android.

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