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Keto On A Budget

21st March 2020
A piggybank

Starting out a new diet is fun and exciting; there are new products to try out and fill the kitchen cupboards with. However starting a ketogenic diet this way can quickly become very expensive when infact the keto diet is very budget friendly. Follow our money saving tips to get started.

Avoid pre-made trendy snacks

Keto and low carb diets are very trendy and it's no surprise that different brands try extremly hard to convince you to buy their tasty snacks. But before you hand over your money read the ingredients. Most likely you'll be paying a premium for simple ingredients that are packaged in an enticing way. Take a picture of the ingredients and try to replicate the product at home. You'll probably end up with something delicious.

If you're not into experimentation and you need a quick snack, a small handful of walnuts will be less expensive and more nutritious than most of the stuff you’ll find on the shelves.

Stop buying expensive keto supplements

If you need to be budget conscious, do not purchase exogenous ketones or other keto specific supplements. A good, nutritious keto diet will get you into ketosis without these expensive products. Using some potassium rich lite-salt, regular salt for sodium and magnesium flakes will help you over any beginner keto-flu.

Have a shopping list

The most basic thing you should be doing to ensure your new keto lifestyle isn't breaking the bank is to have a shopping list. An organized list will keep you on track and focused on the items you actually need to buy. This will help you resist impulse buys. You can find an example of a keto meal plan with a full shopping list here.

Buy in bulk

When there’s a sale on meats or pantry items that you would buy at full price stock up your freezer and pantry.

Tips:

  1. Nuts can be more cost effective to buy in bulk, just make sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
  2. A whole chicken is cheaper than buying just the breast meat and you can simmer the bones with some veg to make delicious chicken stock.
  3. Small packets of pre-sliced ham are more expensive than a ham which you slice yourself.
  4. Buying small quantities of spices you use regularly adds up. Instead buy a larger amount.
Market stall with vegetables

Buy cheaper cuts of meat

Cheaper cuts of meat are often tougher however often have more flavour than the more expensive tender cuts of meat. This makes them perfect for the slow cooker. Stewing meat makes them tender and juicy.

Most people opt for the leaner version of ground beef, however the fattier option is usually cheaper and better for the ketogenic diet.

Chicken breasts are expensive and plain tasting. Instead consider buying a whole chicken or chicken thighs with the skin on.

Fresh seafood such as prawns and salmon are expensive. You’ll get the same nutritional quality from canned or frozen fish.

Buy frozen vegetables that are out of season

Frozen vegetables and berries can be cheaper and last longer at home. It’s also good to know that nutritionally there isn’t a significant difference between fresh and frozen vegetables. Learn more about frozen vs fresh vegetables.

Reduce your food waste

Even with the best of intentions sometimes it’s hard to use all of the fresh ingredients in the fridge. While the produce is still edible, think about how you can avoid throwing it in the bin; does it make sense to freeze it or turning into a soup?

Not all meal combinations have to make perfect sense. Don’t be afraid to have an odd side dish to your dinner. You’ll be saving money by not throwing away forgotten food. Another way to help you reduce food waste is to have a meal plan or with meal prepping. If you have a plan for all your ingredients they are more likely to be used.

Stop snacking

If you find yourself snacking throughout the day the chances are either that you aren’t eating enough during meal times or that you are eating out of boredom. Evaluate if your snacking is necessary and how much you are spending on the habit.

A platter of food

Buy the best quality you can afford

The best keto budget tip is to buy the best quality you can afford. Having a realistic food budget will allow you to invest in your own health.

General budget saving tips:

  1. Delete meal delivery apps on your phone and stop eating out all together. Instead meal prep your lunches and dinners. It might be silly but having a nice lunch box can help you achieve this goal.
  2. Keep and stick to a weekly food budget.
  3. Instead of meeting up with friends over a coffee or lunch do some other activities such as a walk around the block.
  4. Utilize a fresh market if there’s one near you. It will also help you buy produce that is in season.
  5. Skip expensive specialty ingredients in recipes. Chances are you'll just use it once and forget it exists in your pantry.

Interested in creating new habits?

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