10 Tips for Eating HIGH QUALITY Keto on a Budget

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Eating a healthy keto diet can be expensive, especially when you don’t want to compromise quality! Thankfully, there are a few quick tips that make eating better cost less.

Bread, cookies, pasta, chips. What do these foods have in common? Well, for one they are high in carbs. That’s why we don’t eat them on a low-carb or keto diet. They are also cheap. Foods made with wheat, corn, sugar, or potatoes are unfortunately cheap. The U.S. government subsidizes their production heavily. The rest of the country pays the price – both with our bodies and with our wallets.

Once you started to avoid high-carb foods, you may have quickly noticed that your weekly grocery budget has gone up. High quality meats, nuts, organic eggs, leafy greens, keto cookies and snacks – they taste good and are costly. Unfortunately, quality usually does! But that doesn’t mean that the ketogenic way of eating is only for the rich and famous!

Yes, there are ways and tricks to eat low-carb and stay within your budget. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to fast more (though I’m a big proponent of intermittent fasting)! As long as you are willing to plan ahead, spend some time on researching your options, and ready to do some work in your kitchen, you will be able to eat healthy WITHOUT breaking the bank.

DO’s and DON’Ts for eating KETO on a budget!

DON’T buy snacks. I like buying snacks as much as the next person (I even made a list of the BEST KETO SNACKS) and am always excited to find about new keto snacks on the market. HOWEVER, quality snacks that are low-carb and have no added sugar are usually pricey. It is usually worth making your own cookies, muffins, granola, bread, you name it, at home. They will taste better, too! Try these homemade keto chocolate chip cookies or brownies.

DON’T eat out. Or at least less often. The cost of one restaurant meal is enough to feed a family of four. Not to mention that it can be tricky ordering a keto-friendly meal. I think most of the time, people eat out because they haven’t planned ahead (I know that’s the case with me!). That’s something we can work on. Plan each week ahead: decide what you will cook for dinner for each day, make a grocery list, and stick to it!

How often do you eat out? If it is 2-3 times a week, cut it done to once weekly. Then cut it down more and maybe you reserve restaurant dinners for special occasions only.

DON’T go to Starbucks. Or any coffee place, really. Don’t let it become part of your routine to stop at the drive-thru on your way to work. Preparing a delicious coffee, tea, or even hot chocolate at home that is keto-friendly only takes a few minutes off your morning. In fact, it may take no more than waiting in that coffee stop drive-thru line! I have my keto hot chocolate mix ready in the mornings or quickly blend myself a turmeric butter coffee. EASY!

Fresh cup of Turmeric Butter Coffee.

DON’T buy expensive cuts. When you are doing keto, chances are you spending most of your grocery money on meats. Fatty ground beef, short ribs, or top rounds are cheaper than sirloin or filet mignon, but can make a delicious meal. Marinate cheaper cuts of steak to tenderize them. Use ground beef for easy casseroles. Skip the pricey baby back ribs and instead use spare ribs to make mouthwatering BBQ ribs.

Keto Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs.

You can further save money by making your own breakfast sausage instead of going for the already spiced sausage at the supermarket.

DO make your own work lunches. Spend some time each week to prepare your office lunches or your kids’ school lunches. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated: leftovers, cut up meats, cheeses, veggies, Greek yogurt, nuts, etc. Finding healthy, affordable food at or around a worksite can be near impossible. Don’t put yourself in that situation and bring your own lunch that will work for your budget AND health. Preparing fun keto lunch boxes only needs some time.

DO buy in bulk. I buy most of my baking ingredients in bulk. Almond flour, coconut flour, erythritol, cocoa powder. All these items are much cheaper when purchased in bulk. As long as they are shelf-stable, consider buying big containers for your ingredients (even if it means buying them online) than spending money on smaller packages. Even if you don’t need to use the ingredients right away, they will last in your cabinet until you do.

DO buy local. Organic produce, eggs, and meat are expensive. Often you can find local sources that are willing to sell their products for a better price than retail. Check out your local farmer’s market, connect with ranchers or dairy farmers, or even your neighbor that raises chickens and grows a garden. Food from small farmers is usually way better quality than any commercial food you can buy!

DO subscribe to keto-friendly boxes. If you can’t find affordable high quality meat locally or want your food delivered to your doorstep, consider ButcherBox. Even though we buy our bacon from a local butcher, I like having certain meat cuts and salmon delivered. ButcherBox sells humane-raised, organic meat, and you can pick your cuts and box size!

DO buy frozen produce. No doubt, fresh produce is best, BUT frozen produce is cheaper and comparable in nutrients. While some vitamins do get lost during the blanching process, freezing retains the nutrients of vegetables and berries. While frozen berries cannot be eaten the same way as fresh fruit, they work great for smoothies, milkshakes, and baking!

DO make your own drinks. Sugar-free keto drinks are way more expensive than your regular sugary or diet sodas (that use aspartame, YUCK). You can easily make your own keto sparkling drinks with just some carbonated water, stevia, and natural extracts, like this homemade root beer. You can also save money by staying away from bottled water and instead just drink FILTERED tap water. If plain water is not enough for you, use it to make iced tea or even kombucha!

Homemade Sugar Free Root Beer served.

CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE ON KETO DRINKS

By following just a few of these tips, you will be able to save a substantial amount of money while eating a healthy keto diet. The most important aspects for staying within your budget are to plan ahead, compare prices, cook your own food, and avoid expensive packaged foods.

MAKE YOUR OWN KETO TREATS

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