If you've been thinking about starting the Nutrisystem Diet, you'll want to first take advantage of a few money-saving tips I've listed below. I personally started the Nutrisystem diet last summer, and I love how easy and convenient it is! I've never been a huge fan of dieting, so this is by far the easiest "diet" I have ever tried, and also the most delicious.
Costco carries $100 Nutrisystem gift cards that are regularly priced at $79.99 for a $100 card, so this automatically saves you at least $40-$60 a month, depending on which plan you choose. I went with the basic 28-day plan from the beginning, but paid a $19.99 upgrade fee so I could pick my own meals.
The first month I had to purchase three cards, but now I only need two each month, and usually have a remaining balance on one that covers the rest of my bill. After reading forums as well as reviews on the product page for Costco, I realized these gift cards go on sale only a couple of times a year, and have been known to drop to as low as $49.99. Right now, you can get them for $59.99 through March 30th, 2014. If you don't have a Costco membership but think you'll be on the plan for more then a few months, it's totally worth the $55 membership fee. If you miss this sale, check out our Nutrisystem coupon page for the most current discounts.
If you are a new customer, head over to eBay where you can bid for a $30 off coupon to use on your first order, which is known as "buddy bucks". Look for sellers that offer a refund after your purchase, so you should be able to get this coupon for free, but at most, it will cost $0.99. Make sure that you have the coupon sent to the e-mail address you plan to enroll in the plan with, otherwise the coupon will not work.
Nutrisystem is currently offering a free Fast5 Kit with a new auto-delivery plan, which includes 7 breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and 14 shakes designed to help you lose 5 pounds in your first week. For diabetic plans, you'll receive one week of free food instead of the Fast5 Kit.
A 2nd option is to get 40% off plus 1-week of free food when you sign up for a new 28-day auto-delivery plan, which works out to a better deal if you're choosing the core or select plan (the basic plan is not included in this offer).
You'll want to plan on sticking to the diet for at least two consecutive orders to avoid cancellation fees. There are three plan options; basic, core, and select, which are all 28-day auto-delivery plans that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack or dessert. The cheapest plan is the basic plan, and as I mentioned before, can be customized for a $19.99 fee each month.
The core plan is $40 more, but only offers customization and access to their support line, as well as expedited processing of your order. I've personally been on the basic plan from the beginning, and have always received my order within 4-5 days of the processing date, so it's really not worth the extra $40. If you prefer to pick your own meals, add the customization option for $19.99. The select plan allows you to add in frozen meal items, so if you're a picky eater, this might be the plan for you. Shipping is free for all auto-delivery orders.
My final money-saving tip is to check-in daily at the Nutrisystem Daily Dose blog post. They have a banner to the right-hand side that allows you to click on it once every 24 hours, which gives you a $10 off coupon after 50 clicks. I forget to do this all the time, but if you remember, this could mean an extra $10 off every other month.
Using the discounts mentioned above and assuming you're ordering the women's basic plan, your first order should drop from a retail price of $319.98 to $239.99 to $209.99 after the $30 off coupon. Purchase at least 2 of the $100 gift cards from Costco (for $119.98), dropping your out of pocket expense to $129.97 (which includes the cost of the gift cards plus the remaining balance of $9.99). If you plan on staying on the diet for at least two months, purchase additional gift cards now since the sale at Costco only happens a few times a year. This saves you 59% off your first month, and works out to $1.16 for each meal or snack shipped to your door, which doesn't include the fast five kit!
Overall, this works out to being cheaper then your average TV dinner diet, and is way healthier. I recommend adding tons of chocolate desserts to help fight cravings in the beginning, and stay clear of the chicken breasts and hamburger patties (they taste strange, just go with the real thing if you're craving these items). I'm also a huge pasta lover, so I love the fact I get to eat pasta everyday and not feel guilty about it.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.