As sad as it is to say most of us live in a society where it is far cheaper to eat junk food then it is to eat healthily. This was a challenge that our family recently had to face. We started living a healthier and more active lifestyle. We have always been a family on a budget, relying on coupons, sales and stocking up to see us through meager times. Unfortunately, most of those sales and coupons are only good for prepackaged meals, pasta and canned goods we no longer buy. Eating keto on a budget might seem daunting but it can be done! Let me show you how!
Keto on a Budget, Yes! It CAN be done!
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Keto on a Budget – The Good News.
Alright, so you just started keto and your looking at the prices of some of these items and wondering just how you’re going to swing it. I’ve been there! And, I have some good news for you! Although some ingredients might seem a bit more expensive keep in mind that you’re no longer going to be filling your cart with chips, cookies, prepackaged meals, and many other former staples so you will save some money in that department.
If you have been an avid couponer in the past I have some more good news. You might not be able to stock up on all those pasta deals anymore but all your frugal skills don’t have to go to waste. Rather than spending hours trying to find food deals, you can now spend half the time focusing on household items. Keep couponing but focus on items like shampoo, conditioner, cleaning supplies, pet care, and other personal items.
Meal planning and list making are also excellent budget shopping tricks that translate just as well for keto as they do for any other diet.
Keto on a Budget – The Bad News . . . Kinda.
There is no getting around the fact that some items in the Keto diet are more expensive. The difference in price between olive oil and Vegetable oil can be steep and Almond flour is many times more expensive than wheat flour. But your health is worth it! Keto brings with it so many health advantages that spending a bit more on healthier ingredients will be worth it.
It’s good to keep in mind that some of these more expensive items tend to last a great deal longer than their previous counterparts too. You use far less olive oil to drizzle over vegetables then you used to deep frying unhealthier goods in lesser oils. Xantham gum might seem pricy but you use so little of it for each recipe that one jar will last you a very long time! In fact, some of the items you use a lot of, like eggs, are fairly cheap! Or if your really ambitious and live in an area where its allowed you might consider raising chickens or growing a keto garden to offset even more grocery costs.
Keto on a Budget – The Nitty Gritty Tips & Tricks
Keep to the Outside of the Store
What?!! I know, this is probably a tip that you’ve been given before! But, it holds up as true for Keto as it does for regular budget shopping. To eat a basic keto diet the majority of your items will come from the produce, meat and dairy sections. You really only need to venture into the middle of the store for seasonings, a few baking items and maybe some frozen items.
When you shopping on a budget spending the least amount of time in the store wandering the aisles is key. The more time we spend wandering up and down aisles the more you will be tempted to add small things that you might want but not necessarily need.
Save the Keto Treats for a more Budget Friendly Week
When your first starting out on the Keto diet it’s easy to get sucked into all the recipes online. You want to try everything and before you know it you’ve filed your cart (or ordered online) a variety of products that are useful but not necessary. Making a white chocolate substitute from Cocoa Butter might be delicious but when your counting dollars is it really necessary? Likewise, it’s unlikely you need to try out that bread substitute made with Psyllium husk.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up on treats entirely! There are plenty of cheaper keto friendly treats out there – like this Keto Chocolate bark. Look for recipes that require basic ingredients and leave the specialty items for a later date when you have more money to play with. If you really want to give these items a try spread the ingredients out over several trips until you have gathered them all.
Keep it Simple!
Just like the tip above your main meals on keto don’t have to be overly complicated ingredient wise. Most of the keto meals in our family consist of a protein and a vegetable. Healthy fats can be achieved by cooking your vegetables in coconut or olive oil and some of the tastiest cuts of meat also happen to be the fattier cheaper cuts.
Everyone online tells you to buy grass-fed this and organic that and there are some benefits to doing this. But! Listen – if your budget is tight, forget it. Buy the brand name butter and get the common ground chuck. Although some types of keto are stricter then others it’s important to consider this a lifestyle change you want to maintain and that means being able to afford it. Buy the best ingredients you can but keep within your budget. Stick to simple meals with small ingredient lists like our Sausage and Cabbage or Pork Chops and Brussel Sprouts!
Buy Large Meat Cuts & Consider Frozen Vegetables
This is a fairly basic budget shopping trick but it works well for keto too! Buying large cuts of meat that can be broken down into many smaller meals is cheaper than buying individual cuts. Near the holidays stocking up on hams and turkeys while they are on sale can see you through some lean times!
Likewise, while we all love fresh vegetables you can often find frozen mixes that are cheaper. Buying a large bag of frozen Broccoli and Cauliflower will get you through several meals. Often for half the price of their fresher versions. Frozen vegetables roast up quite nicely with some garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil too!
If you truly want to stick with fresh vegetables then visit some local farmers markets and stick to in-season varieties. Some vegetables like cabbage are generally cheap and very versatile!