Regular dinners out, new clothes, and your gym membership—all have been slashed from your budget due to the faltering economy. But don’t think that just because you aren’t attending a fitness center you can’t stay in shape. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are plenty of ways to exercise (that cost little or nothing), and they don’t involve classes or machines. Try these tips from the Mayo Clinic to keep your workout going strong whether you’ve got bucks or not:

  • Turn chores into exercise. Pulling weeds, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and mowing the lawn all count as cardiovascular exercise if you do them strenuously enough and work up a sweat. Vacuuming and scrubbing the house torch calories, too.

  • Play games. Take a cue from your children, who are naturally inclined to play. Don’t just sit and watch while they throw together a game of kickball or catch—join in. Chase them around the park, or go for nature walks together.

  • Sneak in steps. Walk to the store instead of driving, go up and down the stairs several times a day, or pace around the room instead of sitting while you chat on the phone. Adding in steps each day adds up to increased fitness.

  • Go secondhand. Check out the Internet for used treadmills or exercise bikes. Many fitness stores also sell used equipment that’s in good working order.

  • Buy inexpensive dumbbells or resistance bands. You can find these at chain or warehouse stores in a range of sizes. Or get creative with what you’ve got at home. Canned goods and milk or water jugs make great weights. You can fill the jugs with water or sand and adjust the amount depending on how heavy you want them. Just cover the tops of the jugs with duct tape to prevent leakage.

  • Jump rope. Not just for kids, jumping rope offers a super workout. If you don’t have a jump rope, jump anyway with a “pretend” rope. You’ll still get the cardiovascular benefits.

  • Borrow DVDs from the library. Your local library should have plenty of exercise DVDs that you can do in the privacy of your own living room, bedroom, or basement. Yoga, Pilates, low-impact aerobics, salsa, and even belly dancing are just some of your workout options. Like step aerobics, but don’t have a step? A sturdy step stool can fill in, or simply use a stair in your home.