It’s no secret: Eating healthy foods can be more expensive than eating unhealthy foods. But, if you know a few tricks, you can eat keto on a budget.
What’s more, Americans now spend an average of $3.6 trillion or $11,172 per person per year on healthcare (1), much of which could be prevented with a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight. In fact, it’s estimated that $190.2 billion is spent each year on the health care costs of obesity-related issues alone (2). This is a huge cost for our country and us as individuals.
It’s not always easy to make lifestyle changes. But, if you prioritize your health, it is worth all the effort and will save you money in the long run.
You can make a difference in your own life without breaking the bank. Are you ready to make your health a priority AND stick to your budget? Here are 12 tips to eat keto on a budget.
12 Tips to Eat Keto on a Budget
1. Start a Meal Plan Routine
If you take the time to get organized, plan your meals for the week, and cut down your trips to the grocery store to once per week, you can save hundreds.
Grocery stores are designed to entice you to spend extra money every time you go in. In fact, many shoppers spend extra money on foods they don’t need or hadn’t planned on buying.
To start a meal prep routine, you can simply assign a type of cuisine for each day of the week. For example:
- Mondays = bunless burgers
- Tuesdays = taco bowls
- Wednesday = chicken pan sheet meal
- Thursdays = Asian dish with cauliflower rice
- Fridays = out to eat
- Saturdays = grilled meat and veggies
- Sundays = rotisserie (or something similar)
Next, assign a recipe to each meal category and shop once per week accordingly.
If you use a grocery pick-up service and don’t even set foot in the store, you can save even more. For more on how a routine can save you time and money, check out this post.
2. Buy in Bulk
Once you have a routine, it’s much easier to buy in bulk because you can rest assured you know when you will eat each food, and it will not go to waste.
As long as you minimize waste, buying in bulk can save you money.
For example, try to find larger containers of nuts, seeds, coconut flour, coconut oil, and more at discount stores or online in bulk.
3. Shop the Sales
A routine can also help you shop the sales. If you know you always eat ground beef on Mondays and chicken on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can buy these meats in larger amounts when they are on sale.
What’s more, non-perishables can also be bought in a month-supply to save money.
Typically, stores have a different type of food within each category on sale each week (this way they can keep you coming back). When the food you want is on sale, stock up for the month to save.
4. Forget the Specialty Packaged Keto Diet Foods and Make Your Own
Typically, you have to spend either time OR money on your eating plan. If possible, skip some of the time-saving convenience foods and take the time to prep your meals and save money.
If you want a Keto Dessert such as these Keto Zone® Chocolate Chip Cookies, make your own using basic keto ingredients rather than buying a keto cake or cookie.
As a bonus, your diet will always be healthier when it is based on natural real foods rather than pre-packaged commercial foods.
5. Keep Your Keto Zone® Diet Simple
One of the most beautiful things about the Keto Zone® diet is its simplicity. It’s a diet based on high-fat foods, with only moderate amounts of protein and vegetables.
Once you buy your high-fat foods such as healthy oils, creams, etc (yes, these are expensive), you don’t have to spend much on protein or other foods.
For example, while most Americans eat 6-10 ounces of extremely expensive meat each day, you can limit meat to just one meal per day and cut your portion to 4-6 ounces. Then, shop in-season non-starchy vegetables to keep your costs low.
6. Reduce Your Restaurant Outings
If you are in the habit of going out to eat for lunches while working, or several times per week for dinner, you can save hundreds by eating at home or packing your lunch.
Eating out can be a fun experience. However, many times we eat out simply out of convenience. If you can cut down on restaurant eating and save it for just one fun social outing per week, your keto food bill will be significantly reduced.
7. Choose Low-Costs Proteins
When it comes to proteins, you can spend a lot or a little…and it all depends on your “cut” and preference.
For example, a beef chuck cut costs about half as much as a ribeye.
What’s more, eggs are an extremely inexpensive protein source that fits into the Keto Zone® diet very well.
Another favorite? Rotisserie chicken is often cost-effective and gives you a break from cooking.
8. Buy Frozen Instead of Fresh
Take a few steps from the produce aisle to the frozen foods aisle to save money.
Of course, some foods are simply best when fresh such as herbs, leafy greens, and other favorites. But, you can save a lot by buying berries, green beans, broccoli, and more in the frozen aisle. Interestingly, nutrient retention is typically similar or even higher in frozen versus fresh produce (1).
What’s more, buying some frozen produce can vastly cut down on waste since it doesn’t spoil.
9. Join a Meat Share for the Best Prices on Beef, Pork, and More
Even if you live in a big city, you can likely find local farms or butcher shops that offer the chance to purchase a whole, half, or quarter cow.
While it costs a lot upfront, the total savings can be great. What’s more, you can often save when buying a larger portion, so consider finding another family and splitting it.
Of note, you will likely need extra freezer space.
10. Grow Your Own Veggies and/or Hunt for Your Meat
Depending on where you live, you may be able to grow many of your high-cost groceries. For example, herbs are extremely easy to grow but are expensive in the store. You may also be able to grow greens and lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, and more.
Along with delicious, fresh foods, you can boost your health when gardening. It’s a great way to get outside, get exercise, and get your hands dirty!
Of course, if you are a hunter, you can get free-range, amazing meats for protein by hunting it yourself. Even if you use a butcher to process it, the costs are a very small percentage of buying meat at the store.
11. Use Intermittent Fasting
Along with the many advantages of intermittent fasting, which include immune benefits (2), it can cut your food costs! Let’s say you decide to fast from 7 pm to 11 am each day, only drinking Keto Zone® Coffee in the morning before eating again. Then, instead of eating 3 full meals per day, you only eat 2 plus 1-2 snacks.
If your meals usually cost around $3.00 each, you can save this entire cost each day. Your average savings may be $3.00 per day, $21.00 per week, and $90.00 per month.
12. Organize Your Freezer
If you’re like most people, you have meat, frozen leftovers, and more in your freezer. In fact, a large percentage of food waste can be attributed to forgotten frozen foods rather than spoiled fresh ones.
How can you avoid this?
Get organized! Clean out your freezer and organize it so you can easily see what foods are available to use in meals or to reheat.
If you like making extra portions for frozen leftovers for cooking, make sure these are also organized and add a list to the outside of your freezer to keep track of what you have available.
There’s little doubt that healthy, delicious Keto Zone® meals cost more than eating harmful processed foods like ramen noodles. However, with some creativity, work, and organization, you can eat keto on a budget. Follow these tips, and share your own below – how do you eat keto on a budget?
And, if you’d like to get started with an entire Keto Zone® lifestyle, try our FREE Keto Zone® 21-Day-Challenge.