If you’re worried that starting the keto diet means your grocery bill is going to double, don’t! It’s completely possible to do keto on a budget.
Even though you’ll hear a lot about choosing fresh, natural, organic, and grass-fed food it doesn’t mean that your entire grocery list needs to be dedicated to these things.
Organic and grass-fed products can be pricey. If your grocery budget doesn’t have room for a ton of these expenses there are plenty of ways to still eat good quality food that doesn’t break the bank.
This post will give you some actionable tips for following keto on a budget!
Top Tips for Following Keto On a Budget
Make Keto Meals Simple & Easy
Ingredients like almond or coconut flour, erythritol, and fats like macadamia nut oils are EXPENSIVE. You’ll go broke if you try to include expensive ingredients in every meal you prepare.
Especially in the beginning, try to keep your meals simple. Fat, meat, and vegetables are the key components in the keto diet. Yes, it might get tiresome but it’s a good idea to master the basics of eating in this new way before you jump into the fancy stuff.
Use different spices and fats like butter to mix up the taste a little bit and keep things from feeling repetitive.
And read the post on easy keto recipes for some great ideas on simple meals you can make!
Prepare Your Meals at Home
If you’re really trying to do keto on a budget, you should be cooking at home as much possible.
It’s far cheaper to cook for yourself than to go out all the time. Plus, you’ll have more control over the ingredients in your food. Although many restaurants provide carb-friendly meals, it can be difficult to choose meals that are specific to keto and you might end up being “that” customer who special orders everything. As a former employee in the food service industry, I beg you. Don’t be that customer.
Planning is essential for beginners to the keto diet. Those folks who’ve been at it for a while probably have it down and know off the top of their head what and how much to eat.
Take the time to plan out your meals and snacks for the week. It’ll save you time and money when you’re ready to grocery shop!
Set aside time to chop veggies, boil eggs, pre-cook meat, and pack up snacks. Trust me, when you’re tired after a long day, the last thing you want to do is think about cooking dinner. You’re a lot more likely to slide and choose something unhealthy just because it’s quick.
If you have food prepped and ready to go, it’s just a matter of pulling it together and putting on the final touches. You’ll be done in no time.
Buy in Bulk and Freeze
If you find a great deal on something on your keto food list, buy it in bulk and freeze it.
Food warehouses like Costco and Sam’s Club can have great deals on meat, produce, and seafood because of the quantity in which food is sold. Stock up when you’re there if the price is cheaper than at the regular grocery store.
Granted, it may take a little extra time to prep bulk food since you’ll want to portion it out. But you’ll save money in the long run.
Another option is to buy a meat package from a local butcher or farmer’s market. (This might be a regional thing. I’m in the Midwest which is farming country so there are lots of options here for this.)
Here in Illinois, you can buy quarters, halves, and entire sides of beef or pork. And many markets will offer combo packages where you’ll get chicken, beef, and pork in one. Common cuts you’ll get are ground beef, steaks, roasts, ribs, pork chops, pork loins, and sausage or bacon.
Prices will vary depending on where you’re at and which package you choose, but if you’re concerned about the source of your meat this might be a good option for you.
Shop For the Best Deals
Always check the local ads for sales. This can help with meal planning too since you can plan meals around something that’s on sale that week.
Search for coupons too. A lot of stores have online coupons that you can save to your rewards or frequent shopper card/account so no paper is required. I hate having a lot of extra paper in my purse so I like this a lot.
Also, consider shopping at Aldi if you have one nearby. Aldi has made great strides over the last few years in improving the quality of its products, including meat and produce. And I constantly see new organic products being added to the shelves.
Aldi doesn’t accept coupons but their prices are already lower than most grocery stores. If you’ve never tried Aldi I highly recommend you check it out!
Consider Starting a Garden
Growing your own food is one of the cheapest ways to stock up on veggies and even berries if you have room.
If you don’t have space or don’t want to deal with the hassle of tilling up your yard, you could also do a container garden or raised bed garden.
You can make a raised bed garden pretty affordably. There a lot of creative and unique ideas on Pinterest. And with a raised bed garden, you can put it wherever you have room (and gets plenty of sun).
Green leafy vegetables like kale, lettuce and spinach are easy to grow But you could also grow green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and other low-carb veggies.
If you’re in an apartment or don’t have space for either a traditional garden or raised bed garden, you can also grow a ton of things in containers.
By growing your own food, you’ll have access to fresh veggies all summer long. And if you’re lucky and have a great harvest, you can preserve some of what you’ve grown and enjoy it through the winter.
It is Possible to Follow Keto on a Budget
With a little planning and these tips, eating keto on a budget is easier than you might have realized.
It might take a little more effort to research the best deals and prep your food, but you can eat delicious healthy food and not need a second source of income for the grocery bill.
We’ve rounded up a big ole list of keto foods for you in our keto food lists post. Make grocery planning easier with this handy reference guide!
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