Dieting doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, it’s possible to spend less money while cutting out all of the expensive processed foods and replacing them with keto-friendly options instead. The keto diet is a low carb, high-fat diet that is helping a lot of people make better decisions in regards to their health. Many people are apprehensive going on a new diet because they don’t know what the outcome will be or they’re afraid it’ll cost too much money. Luckily there are ways to make going on the keto diet not as expensive as many assume it is! Learn how you can get a free copy of the Body Reboot book at the end of this article and read on to learn some smart ways to do a low carb diet on a budget.
Keep it simple
Keto Vale recommends keeping your diet and not over complicating it with expensive foods and meals. You don’t have to cook up elaborate and costly meals to lose weight; stick with simple ingredients to make simple yet delicious meals.
Sticking to a meal plan that is simple, intuitive and easy to follow is one of the best strategies in order to achieve both long-term adherence and amazing results.
Choose a protein you like, add a low-carb side, use some fat for cooking if necessary, and voilà!
There’s the bulk of your diet. Meat doesn’t need to be your protein of choice 100% of the time – eggs are super versatile and nutritious, besides being very affordable.
You don’t need to prepare sophisticated dishes with plenty of different ingredients every day – this would not only cost you more but would also require more time & energy.
Instead, stick to a few simple dishes you like and mix things up a little from time to time to not get bored.
Keep the special stuff for special occasions. Just because an ingredient is keto-friendly, it doesn’t mean you need to buy it now.
Besides, there are so many different keto recipes online – check out our Recipes section for ideas – that you’ll always be able to find a dish that you can prepare with what you currently have, without spending too much on items you’d only use occasionally.
Shop online health stores
There are various ways to purchase food online, and Kasey Trenum recommends a few websites to shop on in particular. Shop wisely, and you’ll have staple food items that shouldn’t go bad for a while. Use those common ingredients to make a variety of meals and save money on having to go out every day to buy meals.
Vitacost is an online health store carrying over 45,000 different products such as healthy foods, vitamins, and supplements at savings up to 50% off retail. There is no membership fee, and free shipping is offered on orders $49 and above. If you’d like to give it a try, click here for $5 off your first order.
Thrive Market is a membership community that uses the power of direct buyers to give members wholesale prices on healthy products they love. To get started, create a membership account. With your first purchase, you’ll start a 30-day membership trial. From there you can determine how valuable the membership will be to your Keto way of living. Many people find that the savings far outweigh the membership cost, especially on keto and low carb specific food items like sweeteners and sugar-free chocolate.
You don’t always need the most expensive cuts of meat
As we’ve been stressing throughout this article, there's no need to spend a lot of money to make the keto diet work. In fact, Ketovale points out that you don’t have to buy expensive cuts of meat while on the keto diet. There are still ways to find the meat you want for your next meal without paying premium dollar for it. Here are some examples of how to do that below:
Different types of meat will come with a different price tag, and you don’t need to eat salmon and premium steak every day in order to feel keto’s amazing benefits.
Opt for cheaper kinds of meat based on what’s locally available. Duck might not be optimal for your budget, but chicken breasts (or the whole chicken) are usually very affordable.
As for beef, lamb and pork, the prices of different cuts can vary a lot, and fattier cuts are usually the cheapest.
Fatty cuts, depending on your goals, can be excellent for keto, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying these and having them on your grocery shopping list.
The same goes for minced meat – 80%/20% ground beef is usually much cheaper than 95%/5%.
As far as organic and grass-fed is concerned, you might need to go without them, as they’re usually much more expensive, but remember – don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough. It’s questionable whether organic meat is that much better for you as the price implies.
Doing keto with conventional meat is much better than eating the standard American diet.
Protip: Eating fatty cuts of meat will usually get you very close to your daily protein and fat macros. All you need left is to add some low carb vegetables and cooking oil, butter, seasonings and generally your cheap keto meals are complete.
Buy in bulk
Another tip is to buy in bulk, and Ruled.me reveals how you can do that. The good news is if you buy in bulk you’ll have leftovers and meals that’ll last you for more than one or two days.
To take advantage of the best deals you find, make sure you buy in bulk, cook in bulk, and freeze in bulk:
Buy in bulk. When you see a good price on common keto foods, buy it, and buy it up in bulk. This is the best way to get quality meats and seafood for cheap. Having a food saver for bulk buys will help you make the most out of you money because the extra food won’t go to waste.
Cook in bulk. Many keto recipes will provide you with leftovers that can last you a few days. You can even plan it out so that you have leftover dinners for lunch and pre-made keto breakfasts that will last you the whole week. You can also use a slow cooker to have keto soup or chili prepped and ready for your lunch and dinner throughout the day.
Freeze in bulk. When you find great bulk deals, stack as many frozen foods in your freezer as possible and after you make your food in bulk, freeze or store the leftovers. Handling your meals in this way allows you to always have food in the house. You can have breakfast, lunch, and even dinner frozen for that day, and all you have to do is take it out of the freezer. This will make following keto on a budget so much easier for you. Just remember to mark dates and use a food saver to keep your food as fresh as possible.
Don’t snack as much
Snacking not only can get you into trouble, but it can cause you to gain more weight as well. Ketovale recommends snacking less because that means you’ll spend less money!
Snacking out of boredom or to combat stress is the worst kind of snacking – it usually doesn’t feel satisfying (since it isn’t motivated by real hunger) and calories from it quickly add up.
Besides, snacking can make your overall food budget go up, as you’d also need to plan for snacks. Instead, concentrate on having fewer but more satisfying meals.
Nevertheless, if you sometimes find yourself genuinely hungry between meals, you can have cheap and easy snacks, such as a hard-boiled egg, or a few cherry tomatoes. Otherwise, drink some water, have a cup of tea or go for a walk.
Keep a lookout for deals
As always, you should always keep a lookout for excellent bargains, as Ruled.me suggests:
Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies for maximizing your savings on keto:
Do a quick google search for coupon websites or check out the deals on your grocery store’s website. Adapt your weekly meal plan to the keto foods that are on sale to maximize your savings.
Look for In-store offers and bulk deals. Set some extra money aside for the bulk deals and other fantastic offers. Keep an eye out for buy one get one free, buy two get one free, special discounts, and manager discounts. I’ve seen manager’s specials on Kerrygold butter, letting me get 5 bars for $12.50. You may also find manager’s specials on chicken, providing you the perfect opportunity to stock up on it for cheap (just keep it airtight and frozen, and it will maintain its quality for 9-12 months).
Ask about discounted meats. Stores will often offer discounts on meats when their expiration dates are coming up. A 20% discount isn’t uncommon in the freezer and fridge sections at stores, especially on ground beef. If you’re not too bothered by the expiration dates, then buy it, freeze it, and have it over the next couple of months.
Become a member to get special discounts. If you frequent a specific grocery store, make sure you become a member. The extra discounts you get will really add up over time.
Shop at wholesale clubs. Sam’s Club, Costco, and BJs Wholesale offer exclusive deals and discounts for members that cannot found at average grocery stores. If you normally buy common keto foods in bulk, then you will be able to save much more by using this strategy.
Use smartphone apps for extra savings. There are dozens of apps that are designed to help you find coupons, discounts, and cash-back opportunities. Do a quick google search for grocery store savings apps, and you’ll find reviews and articles that will help you pick the best one for you.
Leveraging the power of these deals will take extra time, effort, and planning, but they can translate to some significant savings. Try adapting your meal plan to the best offers you can find, and make sure you have extra cash on the side to take advantage of bulk deals.
Kasey Trenum further elaborates on how deals are the winning ticket when it comes to making the most of your keto meals and making the diet work for you.
Shopping weekly grocery store sales will save you money. Grocery stores generally offer sales each week on different meats. It’s best to purchase what is on sale each week, and either plan your menu around that particular offering or freeze for later. In the long run, your savings can be significant.
In addition to the grocery store offering weekly sales on meats, you’ll also find the same for veggies. Shopping for veggies on sale and in season will garner the most savings. Also, in the summer months, I shop at Farmer’s Markets, a local Amish farm, and roadside veggie stands as well.
When you’re at the store, you should also use coupons and discounts to your advantage, as Perfect Keto reminds us. Keep a lookout online and while in the store for excellent deals and don’t let those groceries go bad or you’ll just be throwing your money away!
When you shop at the grocery store, use deals and discounts to your advantage. When meat nears its expiration date, stores will often discount it by as much as 20%. If you’re meal prepping that very day, this is an opportunity to find high-quality, grass-fed meat at incredibly low prices.
BOGO (buy one, get one) deals are another common grocery store promotion. Search for BOGO deals in the produce and butcher sections, then scan the aisles for offers related to pantry staples. You can save a lot of money this way, so get used to keeping your eyes peeled for a good deal.
Check out the Body Reboot book to discover how to make the keto diet work for you. Check out this page to get a free copy of our book before they’re gone!
Sources: Ketovale, Kasey Trenum, Ruled.me, Perfect Keto
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