Saving money on food

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Keto on a Budget: 17 Top Tips and Tricks

Whether you’ve started eating keto or you’re curious about its benefits, you may be worried about how expensive it will be. Don’t worry, losing weight on keto doesn’t mean you have to lose money.

With 5 years of keto dieting under my belt, I’ve learned the most effective ways to economize and pursue the keto lifestyle.

Here are my top 17 tips and tricks for managing keto on a budget. Read on for inspiration and ideas about how to make the keto diet work for you!

1. Prepare to Prepare

Get ready for planning. Pick one day a week and plan out your menus for the next seven days. Separate them into daily meals and store them in the fridge or freezer.

When you only have a few minutes to prepare supper, all you have to do is reheat your favorite meals with no additional preparation time.

In addition to full meals, you can prepare main ingredients. Cook a chicken or ground beef or boil some eggs, for example. You’ll have everything you need on hand for many dishes.

Good meal planning and preparation will save time and money. You may not have done this in the past so it may feel like a pain initially. Believe me, it’s worth it! It takes the guesswork out of what you’ll be eating that you’d face every day without prep.

With a weekly menu and food ready to reheat, you reduce the temptation of spontaneous cravings that can lead you to order expensive, carb-heavy meals.

You can stay on track and save money!

2. Cook at Home

The fact is that when you cook at home, you have full control over what you eat. Calculating or estimating macronutrients matters on keto. The best way to do that is by choosing meals and ingredients that conform to the rule of 75% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs.

You’ll know precisely what ingredients are in your meals. That’s significantly harder in restaurants.

Read the LABEL!
Read the LABEL!

Try one of my delicious recipes for soup, sauces, and salad dressings. Believe me, they’re better tasting and better for you than store-bought.

Beyond the control home cooking provides, it’s just plain less expensive than eating out or ordering in so if you’re budget-conscious it’s the best way to go!

3. Dining Out – Don’t

Don’t do it if you can avoid it. That’s the simple truth. According to a 2018 article in Forbes, restaurant food delivery is five times more expensive than cooking at home and meal kits are three times more expensive. And we all know prices are climbing.

Picking up a coffee instead of home brewing adds up very quickly. Gosh, don’t I love picking up a fancy coffee on the road! However, at $5+ for a specialty coffee I need to skip that most of the time.

Home Brew is the new fancy!

Save dining out for VERY special occasions. Home cooking is cheaper and more healthy.

4. Bulk Buy

If you’re shopping for Keto on a Budget food, be sure to check the bulk bin section at your local grocery store.

Buying in bulk bins is frequently a lot less expensive than buying national brands or pre-prepared foods. If you enjoy having a handful of nuts as a snack or seeds and other dry foods are part of your diet, you’ll save money by purchasing in bulk.

5. Buy Store Brands

Nationally-recognized food brands aren’t always of better quality. And they’re generally more expensive than store brands.

Generic brands are frequently just as good or superior to more well-known names. All major grocery stores have their own branded foods.

When looking to go Keto on a budget be sure to check the label to make sure there aren’t any hidden carbs.

6. Check the Sales

Searching for what’s sale has never been easier. Checking online flyers and comparison shopping on the internet is easy and rewarding when you find discounted ingredients.

My Grocery Deals is a great option where you can search for foods on sale based on your zip code. Try to choose one or two stores near you to save time and spend less on gas.

Budget groceries

A quick Google search will reveal innumerable phone Apps that can help you discover Keto on a budget deals and sometimes even give cash back.

Sign up for store reward schemes to collect points that can be used for future purchases.

Shop online – some items may be cheaper than the supermarket. Many typical keto ingredients (almond flour, almonds, coconut flour, coconut oil, dried herbs and spices, liquid stevia, olive oil, psyllium husk powder, pure erythritol, xanthan gum) can be significantly less expensive when purchased online.

7. Stop Impulse Buying

Avoid impulse buying and never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry.

Prepare a shopping list before you head out and be sure to follow it to the letter.  Knowing exactly what you’re buying before you walk into the supermarket prevents you from straying into spontaneous purchases and straying from Keto on a Budget.

Brain health

8. Shop Discount Stores

Bulk pricing can help you save significantly. Sam’s Club and Costco are two examples that offer bulk pricing. Membership costs may seem high but over time you’ll save.

Of course, bulk buying means you need enough storage space. Providing that’s not an issue, consider buying staple keto ingredients like healthy oils and fats, eggs, meat, nuts, and frozen goods.

9. Avoid Keto Supplements

Heavily marketed keto supplements have become all the rage with bars, boosters, and vitamins that are bound to drain your funds. Don’t go there!

If you choose healthy ingredients, you’ll get the right balance of nutrients. Ketosis doesn’t depend on supplements. It depends on a prudent meal plan.

10. Research Farmer’s Markets, Co-ops, and CSAs

Research local farmer’s markets, cooperatives, and community-supported agriculture (CSA). Fresh farm produce can be found for a fraction of the price at the grocery store.

You may have to pay for a membership in advance for co-ops and CSAs, but you’ll save money as you’re keto on a budget.

11. Choose Your Protein Wisely

Inexpensive cuts of meat will help you economize. Try canned sardines, tuna, or crab meat. Substitute ground beef for steaks and chicken thighs for breasts.

Buy frozen bulk meats – they’re usually less expensive than fresh cuts. If you can’t buy in bulk, choose family-sized packages.

When meat prices are off the charts, consider eggs as a perfect alternative.

Happy Egg

Eggs are nutritious and versatile. They’re both budget-friendly and keto-friendly. They’re high in fat and protein with only 0.36-0.48 grams of total carbs.

Think omelets, hard-boiled, soft boiled, fried, scrambled, quiches, and frittatas.

I’ve put together yummy egg recipes that you’ll love!!

12. Buy Fresh or Frozen

Fruits and vegetables are typically more affordable when they’re in season. It’s expensive to ship non-local veggies across the world during the off-season. Find non-starchy vegetables that are in season where you live.

If you don’t have the luxury of in-season options, buy frozen veggies – they’re harvested when ripe and flash frozen. Most flavors and nutrients are preserved.

Keto food choices

13. Avoid Pre-Packaged Keto Diet Foods

The majority of keto-friendly meals are likely to be overpriced.

Make your own salads at home. It’s a lot cheaper than prepackaged bagged salads.

Avoid processed keto junk food like keto cookies. Don’t buy low-carb alternatives to high-carb classics.

For example, foods labeled as keto bread or pasta and keto desserts are generally excessively expensive and mediocre.

Reduce the amount of processed meals and packaged foods you consume. Prepare your own food instead of buying it ready-made.

Budget Shopping

14. Skip Anything Grass-Fed, Organic, or Free-Range

Your first aim is eliminating body fat and your second is keeping your expenditures in line.

Stick to simple, budget-friendly meals made of fresh or frozen meats and conventional vegetables. If you’re on a strict budget while doing keto, buying premium-priced products may not be an option.

Nutritional ketosis doesn’t demand free-range eggs or wild-caught fish. When you can afford it you can move to better quality products.

15. Keep Meals Simple

Low-cost recipes frequently include a small number of ingredients, all of which are readily accessible and inexpensive. It’s possible to create a delicious keto meal without sacrificing flavor.

Taste isn’t enhanced by extravagant ingredients or complicated recipes.

Try my Keto Boat Pepper Egg recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – just four simple, inexpensive ingredients!

A hearty salad with a protein is the ideal keto lunch. A one-dish meal made with meat, non-starchy vegetables, and two other low-carb veggies is a cost-effective keto dish.

16. Let Sales Guide Your Recipes

While recipes list ingredients and describe preparation methods, don’t let them dictate ingredients. There’s no reason why you can’t substitute sale items. Use ground turkey instead of ground chicken or beef, chicken breasts for chicken thighs, or vice versa.

Sales can be your guide to recipe ingredients. Don’t restrict yourself to cookbook rules. Be creative and flexible.

Make your money last longer by sticking to simple recipes.

17. Sale through Keto

Planning, home-cooking, and price checking are the ingredients for eating keto on a budget. Sorry, but there aren’t any substitutes in that recipe if you’re budget-conscious.

Fat burning is your priority and a limited budget doesn’t mean limited success. You can sale through keto on the way to a healthier lifestyle. Just be creative, committed, and flexible.

If you find a recipe and you’re struggling to find more economical substitutions, get in touch with eat@thekelliekitchen.com. I’m always here to support kindred keto spirits.

MEDICAL AND NUTRITION DISCLAIMER…Please note that I am not a medical or nutritional professional. I am simply recounting and sharing my own experiences on this blog. Nutritional break downs are done using a commercial nutrition calculator. Nothing I express here should be taken as medical advice and you should consult with your doctorbefore starting any diet or exercise program. I provide nutritional information for my recipes simply as a courtesy to my readers, this should never be construed as medical advice.

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