There is no doubt that the keto diet is taking the weight loss world by storm. Some dieters are quick to complain that it is way too expensive for modest home finances. So we set out to prove that you can follow the keto diet on a budget and save oodles of money in the process.
The ketogenic diet is a type of diet that makes people completely address and overhaul their regular eating habits. Keto is a the high-in-fat, very low carb method that is far removed from what’s often referred to as the Standard American Diet. This is a diet that is concentrated in sugars, saturated fats, excess sodium and grains. While also being a diet that is low in healthy vegetables, nutritious fruits, and beneficial oils and saturates.
Understandably alarm bells ring. It makes sense that as you consider restructuring the way you eat on a keto diet. You worry that it is going to require fancy keto-friendly foods. Alongside expensive trips to high end grocery stores. This might seem like bad news if you were hoping to follow the keto diet on a budget and save money. Or if you herald from a low income household where saving money is a prime concern.
Follow The Keto Diet On A Budget and Save Money
The really good news is that you can absolutely make the keto diet work on shoestring budget. Also consider the longer term outlook and significant health benefits. If you’re following keto on the recommendation of your doctor or dietician as part of your treatment plan for a medical condition. Consuming a nutrient-dense version of the ketogenic diet may result in numerous health improvements and benefits. Essentially, this may decrease healthcare costs down the road. You’re going to come out ahead when you’re eating healthier. Therefore it is conceivable that your medical bills maybe far less later in life.
RELATED: What Foods to Avoid on the Keto Diet
Since we are thinking about reducing medical bills later in life you should pay very close attention to this list of foods to avoid on a ketogenic diet. Some of these foods to avoid are very obvious. The detrimental health consequences of consuming some of the other foods on this keto blacklist are less apparent. Here are 20 foods to avoid that might actually cause poor health, check them all out and take note.
11Check and Improve Your Current Credit Score
What does checking a credit score have to do with following the keto diet on a budget and saving money you might readily ask? Well the answer is way more than you first think. A moderate to excellent credit score. As reported by the primary reputable credit reporting agencies such as Experian might mean that you are eligible for bank accounts, store cards and credit cards with better rates of interest. You may also be able to apply for supermarket membership clubs. So called platinum and gold accounts; plus other money saving perks and deals that are reserved for those in good financial standing.
A better credit score may increase lines of credit and/or make you eligible for exclusive loyalty rewards and other store bonuses and advantages. Good financial management often comes with tangible cost saving benefits in the form of vouchers, coupons, discounts and other savings that may contribute to lower food bills. You may be able to afford that new food processor. Or even order a new fully equipped keto kitchen on credit and so forth.
Always Check Your Credit Score Frequently
It is always important to be acutely aware of your current credit score. For the purpose of following the keto diet on a budget; improving your score may bring added savings and financial benefits that are not apparent at the outset. Most people are advised to check their credit score for changes every few months of the year.
RELATED: Check Your Credit Score Here
Always keep a close beady eye on your credit score so that you can follow the keto diet on a budget and save heaps of money by attracting better deals, benefits and bonuses.
10Avoid Expensive Packaged Keto Diet Foods
Once a diet becomes popular and in vogue (as keto has), companies are quick to jump on the marketing bandwagon. They do this by developing keto-compliant foods such as meal replacement bars, fat bombs, or diet shakes and smoothies. Another way to follow the keto diet on a budget and save money is by ditching these types of fad products. You don’t need these expensive items to be successful on a keto diet. Not only that, but relying on these foods too much takes you away from a great benefit of keto. Namely consuming fewer packaged foods and eating more natural, freshly grown produce instead.
Watch Out For Unnecessary, Expensive Marketing Gimmicks
Keto bars or cookies are processed foods. The idea behind the keto diet, particularly as one form of treatment for specific diseases, is to go for a whole foods approach, not a processed one. If you crave cookies or smoothies then embrace making your own, with fresh natural ingredients. Invest in a high quality keto cook book that enables the preparation delicious healthy and natural recipes. Without all the unnecessary marketing gimmicks. If you suspect that the packaging costs more than the product. Then it is probably a keto gimmick. While not scams as such they are wholly unnecessary. They will end up costing you money rather than saving money.
Aside from the betterment of your health, another benefit of skipping packaged keto foods is that they’re really expensive. When it comes to cost and nutrition, a handful of keto friendly nuts will crush a packaged keto bar each and every time. You can purchase low carb nuts and make your own bars at home also.
RELATED: At A Glance Keto Diet Snack Ideas
These simple little snack charts display at a glance some of the most delicious keto snack ideas to try right now. You can save the charts to Pinterest or to your keto scrapbook if you have one.
9Cut Costs By Selecting Choice Cuts of Meat
There’s a wide distribution of meat prices around the country. Fresh meat can be purchased at butchers, grocery and supermarkets. Factors such as where you live, where you shop, the cut of meat, and the type of meat (pasture-raised, organic, and the like) all contributing to the final cost of the meat. You’ll want to pay attention to those dollar signs and be strategic about where you purchase meats and protein.
If you’re craving tender beef for example, try skipping the rib eye and go for a roast cut, which tends to be a much cheaper cut of meat.
Similarly, bone-in pork chops are more often more expensive compared with a pork shoulder roast especially since with the former option you’re paying for the weight of the bone as a surplus cost.
Chicken thighs are also generally one of the more budget friendly less meats you can purchase when trying to lower costs on keto. These meats often cost less than when compared with a boneless skinless breast for example. You can also ask the butcher or counter attendant if they have any special offers. This tip works great for impromptu visits to the store.
8Shop at Walmart or Bargain Grocery Stores in Your Town
Stores like Walmart, Costco or even Trader Joe’s are certainly among the top choice supermarkets and grocery stores right now and for good reason. Their prepared foods are inventive, and the real win is that their produce tends to be cheaper. If you shop at Trader Joe’s, you’ll get more bang for your buck when it comes to vegetables for example. Take note of pricing trends across the year also.
If you don’t have a Trader Joes’s or Walmart in your hometown, peruse the farmers market or hit your local bargain grocery store every once in a while. The big take-home here is that healthy eating that doesn’t hurt your wallet at all. As following keto simply requires doing a little bargain hunting from time to time. You can find additional savings with a little comparison shopping. This is easy at a mall when these stores are often close by and in direct competition for your hard earned dollars.
Yes, if Walmart is your regular keto shopping haunt for groceries and keto recipe ingredients then you will want to have this handy, printable, Walmart shopping list close by at all times.
7Save Money By Adding Nonstarchy Veggies
Keto is so focused on fats and healthy proteins that it’s easy for veggies to get pushed to the wayside. And while it’s true that they supply carbohydrates and that many have to be limited, you should bulk up all your daily keto meals with fresh greens and vegetables, advises Stephen Herrmann, PhD, the director of program development and training for Profile Sanford, a division of Sanford Health, a health system based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Keto for vegetarians or vegans is very niche. Even among such a mainstream diet such as keto. You can go all the way with this excellent keto method for vegans and vegetarian keto dieters.
Fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, spaghetti squash and crisp lettuce can go a long way toward adding volume, substance and heart-healthy fiber to your keto dishes. Bagged cauliflower “rice”, pre-cut vegetable or packaged zucchini noodles, may be rather convenient, but they’re also way more costly. One big keto money saving tip is to purchase these non starchy vegetables in their whole form and then take the time to learn how to cut and chop them like a professional. Cutting up raw, fresh veggies is not hard. You just need to watch your fingers as once they are gone they are gone! So be very careful when cutting fresh produce.
This fast vegan and vegetarian keto method does costs a small fee but it is well worth it. Vegans and vegetarians have been crying out for a fantastic way to follow keto on a budget and save money over the long terms. While remaining true to their vegan or vegetarian principles.
6Buy These Beans to Keep Carbs Low and Protein High
One of the biggest “tricks” of the shopping trade in lowering your weekly keto grocery bill is purchasing healthy beans. The thing is on a ketogenic diet, most beans come with way too many carbs for most keto dieters to tolerate. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ½ cup of canned, low-sodium black beans has more than 11 grams (g) of net carbs. A good way to calculate net carbs, which keto dieters often count instead of totting up the total carbs is through subtracting the sugar alcohols and fiber from the total carbs.
It is not all bad news at the bean counter. Since one of the exceptions are healthy black soybeans. You can pick up an entire can of organic black soybeans for a couple of dollars, and a ½-cup portion packs only 1 g of net carbs. The serving of organic black soybeans also offers 7 g of fiber, which will help keep your digestive system healthy.
There is more good news as another type of recommended bean are Lupini beans. These are a brined white snacking bean. For a ¼-cup portion of one brand, Cento, you get just 2 g of net carbs, along with 1 g of fiber. Clearly consuming beans in this manner may will require that many new keto dieters step outside of their comfort zone. In many cases these healthy, low carb beans will be new unfamiliar foods. However keto is very much about out with the old and in with the new. Change is good and helps prove the point that you really can follow the keto diet on a budget and save plenty of money in the process.
5Skip Organic, Grass-Fed, and Free-Range Meats
Many keto advocates suggest buying grass-fed or free-range meats and organic vegetables. For good reason and if money is no object there are even companies that specialize in the fulfilment of grass-fed meats. That’s great to know for another time but if you’re low on cash and following keto on a shoestring budget, know that these varieties of meats and organic produce aren’t required for you to lose weight on the keto diet. If you’ve been eating a Standard American Diet, you can make a lot of headway [when it comes to your health by focusing on the bigger picture and worrying about the details later on. Some of these details are actually luxuries rather than essentials. You can you can follow the keto diet on a budget by kicking these luxuries to the kerb until you can afford them.
Plus the end game is about transitioning towards a pattern of enjoying whole, fresh foods, including conventional (nonorganic) produce and healthy proteins. Down the line, if you desire and your grocery budget allows, you may want to explore organic and grass-fed produce. If you’re thinking that perhaps conventional vegetables are inferior or you’ll be harming your body in some way because organic is too expensive then check out the resource Safe Fruits and Veggies. The nonprofit represents both organic and conventional fruit and vegetable farmers. It can help reassure you and eliminate any concerns or anxiety in this regard.
4Budget Better With Adept Keto Meal Planning
A bit part of following the keto diet on a budget and saving money is becoming skilled and adept at keto meal prep. One of the most eye-opening stats about our eating habits: Households waste, on average, $1,500 worth of food every year, according to SavetheFood.com, which is run by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). That applies no matter what diet you’re on — keto or not.
Proper meal planning (which is, essentially, a commitment to eating leftovers), cooking up wilted or softened veggies, learning proper food storage tips, plus planning meals in advance before grocery shopping are all things that can help reduce the amount of food waste that gets thrown out, the website suggests. Meal planning is not just about food waste of course. Since skilled keto dieters will also learn to batch cook and write up their grocery lists in advance of heading to the supermarket each week. This prevents over spending due to impulse purchases in the store.
Becoming adept at keto meal planning is a life skill all on it’s own. Here we show you how to master meal prep like a true professional.
3Eat More Healthy and Nutritious Free Range Eggs
Eggs are some of most cost-effective foods out there for your recipes and dishes. Be pleased to learn that consuming nutritious eggs is completely okay on keto. In fact did you know that just one large egg has 4.8 g fat, only 0.4 g carbs, and 6.3 g protein, which can easily fit into your daily macro goals. What’s more, in a recent study a dozen eggs cost $1.25 on average (around 10 cents per egg), according to the Farm Bureau. So consuming lots of eggs each week while making delicious daily keto meals is a great way to follow the keto diet on a budget and save stacks of money.
A good egg recipe suggestion is to scramble your healthy eggs with dark leafy greens and top with cheese for breakfast or cook into a frittata for lunch or dinner. You can also get into the increasingly popular keto chaffles breakfast craze if you so wish. Plus there are scores of recipes that use eggs to great or lesser degree.
Also if you want to do a good deed. Only purchase eggs from free range hens. Then you know that the hen has had a good life clucking around the yard. Not a miserable life stuck in a battery cage pumping out eggs for Walmart.
RELATED: What Makes Eggs So Nutritious
Doctors, health practitioners and nutritionists used to say less eggs. Now they say eat more eggs and so you should.
2Focus on High-Fat, Oils From Plants Like Avocados
Avocados are delicious on a keto diet and there are scores of incredible avocado recipes out there waiting to be tried. However if they’re placed firmly out of reach because they cost too much where you live, you can get your replacement fats through consuming oils. Avocado oil is going to be a cheaper option than purchasing ripe fresh avocados evert time you head to the shops.
Of course you won’t get the fiber that you would from a fresh avocado, but it will offer a source of monounsaturated fats that are very heart-healthy and will help you add fat to your meals to stay in constant ketosis. Also recommended is experimenting with extra-virgin olive oil. These oils can be purchased at lower cost from inexpensive retailers. If avocados are too expensive you could try alternating or purchasing avocados every second or third week to compensate and save some extra money.
These little green fruits pack a mighty health punch. Since you are going to be consuming avocados more and more. It makes sense to learn what makes avocados tick and why they are so good for keto dieters.
1Purchase More Keto Nuts, Such As Almonds and Walnuts
When following keto one of the most common budget friendly money saving tips you’ll learn about is the call to “buy in bulk.” Beware as what can actually happen is that your food waste goes up and you actually lose money rather than save money. If you have the meal planning discipline go for it. Therefore it’s rather important to choose the foods you buy in large quantities wisely and store them properly if you are serious about following the keto diet on a budget.
One tip is this. If you have a club membership at a wholesale store like Costco or Sam’s Club, not only can you gain great deals on bulk buy purchases of meat and oils, but also specialty items that tend to cost far more at the store, such as nuts. For example almonds are keto-friendly (1 ounce, or 22 kernels, has 14.9 g fat, 2.3 g net carbs, and 6 g protein). As an added bonus, almonds will stay fresh for a very long time. According to the Almond Board of California, storing almonds in a cool, dry place will help them stay fresh for up to two years which is quite long time!
Look back up the page to the section on checking your credit score. It may seem a small thing but good scores can open up even more exclusive shopping clubs and cost saving privileges that may not be available to everyone else. Be prepared to do your homework on this.
Now you have read this money saving feature article you should have a good idea how to follow the keto diet on a budget. What about your keto diet general knowledge, is this also up to scratch. This fun collection of 10 questions will challenge keto dieters at every experience level.
Final Word: Following the Keto Diet on a Budget
You don’t have to break the bank with your new keto lifestyle. Most importantly, you can follow this plan while eating good quality, nutritious, healthy and tasty foods. Sometimes, the costs may seem higher at the outset, as you contemplate buying a tub of almonds or ponder which cut of tender steak to pick up, but remember this: You’re purchasing the fuel for your body and investing in your long term health and future prosperity. When you look at it like that a lot of the worry and anxiety over costs will start to subside. Especially if you stick to these money saving keto tips.