Low-carb, ketogenic diets can be quite expensive but luckily there are a number of ways to eat keto on a budget.
Keto diets have recently become an extremely popular means of losing weight.
The main point of the keto diet is to restrict your carb intake and put your body in a state of ketosis.
Once in a state of ketosis, your body begins to burn fat which is amazing for weight loss.
One of the more difficult aspects of sticking to a low-carb diet is that many people become tired and lethargic after cutting their normal carb intake.
Another difficult aspect is cost, the good news is you can go ketogenic on a budget!
Unfortunately, low-nutrition processed foods full of carbs are extremely cheap and widely available in the US, while more healthy natural low-carb sources may not be.
As such, many people feel like they just can’t afford to change their diet to something healthier.
This doesn’t have to be the case though.
There are tons of affordable options for sticking to your low-carb diet that you can easily incorporate into your meal plan.
Let’s cover some tips, tricks, and good foods that help you stick to your ketogenic diet while sticking to your keto budget!
1. Buy In Bulk
One reason people spend so much on food is that they buy single-serving quantities.
As with most things, food is cheaper when you buy it in bulk.
Think of it this way, you can spend $2 on a packet of nuts or you could buy a huge canister of nuts for the same price.
You can also buy a whole chicken instead of different cuts.
Your grocery store will have low-carb options you can buy bulk amounts to save money.
You should also cook in bulk so you have leftovers you can freeze for later.
2. Avoid Fancy “Keto” Foods
If there is one thing marketers love, it's when a new fad diet gets popular.
Marking foods as “keto” is a great way to jack up prices and make more money.
To be honest, you don’t need any of those fancy supplement shakes or power bars that you'll see at your grocery store.
Raw ingredients are just as good for ketogenic diets, and usually cost much less.
There is nothing really special about foods marked “keto-compliant” that you couldn’t find elsewhere.
3. Use All Your Ingredients
People in the modern world waste a ton of food.
Instead of throwing away food scraps, try to repurpose whatever you can.
For instance, got some chicken bones? Don’t toss them; save them to make a broth.
Scraps of bread can be saved for making baked goods, and eggshells are super useful material you can use for all kinds of stuff.
The longer you stretch your food supplies, the less food you will have to buy overall.
4. Keep It Simple
Low-carb meals need 2 main components: fats and protein.
You don’t need a fancy meal with 6 items to get these.
Sometimes, a simple meal of just meat and vegetables is all you need.
5. Get Creative
In general, pre-made and processed foods are going to cost more.
Popular low-carb items like nut butter and low-carb flour can be made right in your home for pennies on the dollar.
You can also use keto-friendly substitutes to make common things, like condiments, salad dressings, spreads, soups, and flour.
Most carb-heavy things have a low-carb alternative you can make with a few substitutions.
6. Coffee Is Your Friend
No matter how you slice it, you are going to be eating less overall on a keto diet.
It can be really hard to stick to your diet when your stomach is screaming for carbs.
Substances like coffee and green tea are some of the best keto-friendly drinks because they have zero carbs, can give you a burst of energy, and can suppress your appetite so you’re not as hungry.
Coffee can also be mixed with healthy fats and kinds of butter for a tasty treat.
If coffee is not your thing, then drinking tea is the next best option.
9 Cheap Keto-Friendly Foods
Here is a quick list of some cheap, keto-friendly foods to stock your pantry with.
Most of these are raw ingredients that require some preparation.
1. Olive Oil
An excellent source of unsaturated fats and can be used in pretty much any dish.
Virgin olive oil has a higher heat capacity than non-virgin varieties.
You will use a lot of it in your meal plan!
Nuts are some of the best low-carb foods because they have a very high protein count.
Almonds are extremely versatile and can be made into flour for baking, they're also great to add to your favorite fat bombs, so get some today!
Fish, in general, is a very healthy option and contains high amounts of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Salmon is probably the best option for ketogenic diets.
Some other cuts of meat are not as good as fish and should be avoided in meals.
Eggs contain high levels of protein and amino acids, all necessary for a low-carb diet.
5. Herbs And Spices
A fully stocked spice cabinet will help make sure all your keto meals have flavor and texture.
Spices can turn any bland meal into something tasty.
6. Non-Starch Veggies
Starchy veggies like potatoes, corn, peas, and beans have lots of carbs.
You should stick to leafy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, and cabbage.
You should always buy fresh produce.
Berries are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and other minerals.
Berries can get pretty expensive though, so you can leave these off if you’re at risk of going over your budget.
Raspberries are a great option you can get with very low net carbs.
8. Cheese And Butter
Cheese and butter are two great sources of fats and are popular staples of keto diets.
Cheese can get pretty expensive, so buy in bulk and try to process it yourself instead of buying pre-packaged slices.
9. Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is a food additive used as a thickening agent.
Xanthan gum can be used for bread, soups, condiments, ice cream, and other meals.
Cheap Keto Meals
Here are some quick keto meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We have a wide range of recipes as well as a keto meal plan that will fit your lifestyle, these will help you with meal prep and losing weight.
Cheap Breakfast Breakfasts
Smoothies, omelets, cheese and fruit, yogurt, nuts and spreads.
Check out all our breakfast recipes here!
Cheap Keto Lunch Ideas
Salads, hard-boiled eggs, turkey slices, tuna salad and soups.
Check out all our lunch recipes here!
Cheap Keto Dinner Recipes
Salmon and asparagus, grilled chicken and leafy vegetables, ground chuck over spaghetti squash, chicken thighs, roasted eggplant and zucchini.
Check out all our dinner recipes here!
Ketogenic diets are a popular and effective means of cutting body fat in the short-to-mid-term.
Fortunately, you don’t have to put a huge hole in your wallet to stick to a keto diet.
Buying in bulk and only buying fresh unprocessed ingredients will cut down your food bills and help you stick to your budget better.
You will still be able to follow your meal plan and lose weight faster than ever!