Keto budget meal plan

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We are proud to say that thousands of people have used this keto on a budget meal plan with great success! We’ve learned from the feedback we’ve received and would like to give guidance on how to make the most of this keto diet plan for beginners.

  • Calculate your macros before starting the keto on a budget meal plan. It’s impossible to make a meal plan that’s suited for everyone, so make sure the macros delivered in this plan are well suited to you.
  • This plan is for 1200 calories a day. That is on the low end of what most people are going to need. If you’re eating more than 1200 calories a day you can very easily scale this up!
  • This plan delivers slightly more protein than most people starting keto will need. The easiest way to counteract this is by adding more fat to meals. Adding 2 tablespoons healthy fats each day will give you a 1450 calorie plan with a really solid fat:protein ratio.

If 1 meal prep isn’t enough for you we’ve got a full 50 day plan that has been used by hundreds to successfully lose weight on a keto diet. Check it out!

Contents

Keto Budget Tips

Everyone wants to save money right? Well, this blog post will lay out a comprehensive plan for saving money while eating a healthy keto diet. Low carb on a budget is simple, it just takes some planning and flexibility to use whatever is on sale. Before we get too far into it I’d like to lay out the whole suite we have put together for anyone looking for more info on the specifics of this plan:

The HUGE list of keto friendly foods.

  • Keto on a Budget: Grocery Haul Video
  • Keto on a Budget: Meal Prep Video
  • Keto on a Budget: Full Day of Eating Video
  • Keto Budget Printable Shopping List(Located at the bottom of this post)
  • Keto Budget Printable Meal Plan(Located at the bottom of this post)
  • Keto on $5 a Day Quick Reference Infographic

When we devised this keto diet meal plan and shopping list we wanted to create something that was truly all-inclusive. Therefor we have things like butter and salad dressing included. Most people will have a lot of the basics already in their kitchen, so you could be pulling this plan off for well under $5 a day. Further down in this post we will talk about possible substitutions you could utilize to make this plan even healthier and cheaper with bulk purchases of a few items you’ll be using frequently on your keto journey!

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk is the easiest way to save money at the grocery store. Load up on whatever item is on sale that day and plan your meals around that. For example, a whole chicken will cost you less than $1 per pound, where a chicken breast will usually cost over $2 per pound. Check out this budget grocery shopping video we put together to give you some inspiration:

Be Flexible With Your Meals

If you go into the grocery store and choose the foods that are on sale, you’re going to save money compared to if you have a set grocery list before arriving. Sometimes we will want to make chicken for dinner, but there is a great deal on steaks so we switch up our keto diet menu to save money.

Cook At Home

Cooking at home is always going to be cheaper than eating out, getting fast food, and even buying precooked foods at the grocery store. After all, you’re paying someone to cook it for you. The same goes for processed foods. You can actually eat healthier for cheaper than it costs to eat junk food. The downside is you have to invest a little more time. Getting in the habit of cooking at home is a major component of better health and diet adherence.

Fall in Love With Healthy Budget Friendly Foods

This might be a tough one if you don’t enjoy these foods. A few of the best budget friendly keto foods in terms of nutrition and cost are going to be:

  • Eggs
  • Ground Beef
  • Butter

Those are truly the big 3 of budget foods for a keto diet. The reason is they are high in fat, nutrient, and calorie dense, and are very cheap. A dozen eggs is always under $2. Ground beef can be found for under $4 per pound (often under $2 if you look hard enough). Butter is less than $1 for 800 calories!

Meal Prep!

This combines most of the previous money saving tips into one skill – Meal Prepping. This allows you to buy in bulk, cook at home, and focus on cost effective foods. If you’ve never meal prepped before it is a great skill to develop. It condenses all of your cooking for the week into a couple hours on the weekend. Meal prepping on keto sets you up for success because you always have food ready for you in the refrigerator. There has even been studies that show the positive effects of meal prepping!

Keto Meal Prep

Meal prepping is the secret to eating on a tight budget. It allows you to buy the items that are on sale, in bulk, and prepare them for quick access throughout the week. The meal prep detailed here took us about 2 hours of “active time” and another 3 hours of “passive time”. The passive time was mostly waiting for the chicken to cook/cool. The items we prepped for this meal plan are:

  • 1 Whole Chicken – 9 lbs
  • 12 Egg Cups – Sausage/Bacon/Egg Muffins
  • 10 Slices of Bacon
  • 12 Hard Boiled Eggs

Another benefit of meal prepping is that it greatly reduces your time spent in the kitchen. That’s right… you no longer have to work as a short order cook for 2 hours a day! This budget meal plan will make use of all the items we prep as well as the rest of the items on the shopping list. There is still some cooking required, but it will only be about 10-15 minutes a day, and is mostly just cooking broccoli/cauliflower. I would encourage you to check out this keto on a budget meal prep video we’ve put together as it was made specifically for this meal plan:

If you like this content and want to see more in the future, subscribe to our YouTube Channel! We put out 3 videos per week all relating to keto cooking and lifestlye.

Meal Ideas

Now we do have a full meal plan laid out for you below, but I would encourage you to experiment a bit with some meals that might better suit your tastes. We love all of these meals, that’s why we picked them! We know everyone is different though. If you want to sub something in, just check to make sure the nutrition is comparable. Keto on a budget can be pulled off all types of different ways. This is just one example using a lot of our favorite meals. For example, if you have a bunch of coconut oil sitting around feel free to sub it in for the butter. If you have olive oil, sub it in for the blue cheese dressing. Don’t let this meal plan feel restricting, it is best used as a reference point and not as a hard and fast rule book. We put together this full day of eating video to show you an example of how we ate on $5 a day:

Keto Cobb Salad Recipe Video

One of the meals you will see recurring frequently in the meal plan is a Cobb Salad. We are big advocates for the Cobb Salad! You know us… shills for Corporate Cobb Salad. Really though, we find Cobb Salads to be a great way to get a meal with perfect keto macros as well as pack in some much needed micro-nutrients. We love them so much we made a video to show everyone how we make them! For this meal plan you’ll be making a salad just like the one in this video minus the shredded cheese:

Stir Fry Dinners

The other meals we have listed in the meal plan mostly come from the meal prep items. We make 2 different types of simple stir fry dinners. One using some of the whole chicken we prepped and one using the extra ground beef. It’s pretty simple, but I’ll walk you through it really quick:

Chicken and Broccoli/Cauliflower

  • 1. Heat a pan over medium heat.
  • 2. Add broccoli/cauliflower mixture and butter
  • 3. Cook until broccoli/cauliflower are soft, but still a bit al dente
  • 4. Add precooked chicken in just to warm through.

Ground Beef and Broccoli/Cauliflower

  • 1. Heat a pan over medium heat.
  • 2. Add ground beef. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • 3. Add broccoli/cauliflower and butter. Cook for about 10 more minutes.
  • 4. Make sure broccoli/cauliflower is tender and enjoy.

That’s a quick primer on the essentials for creating meals tailored to this meal plan. See how easy eating keto on a budget can be? The “when” and “how much” are all shown in the printable plans at the bottom of this post!

Meal Plan Substitutions

This shopping list and meal plan can be heavily substituted to meet your needs. The first thing you’ll want to do is scan it over and make sure you like eating all of the foods listed here. Eating delicious foods is a big part of adhering to a diet long term! If there is a particular item you can’t stand just do a bit of research and find a substitution. Just make sure the item you decide to substitute in is similar in nutrition to the one you’re eliminating. This can be done with a quick google search or by using a website like My Fitness Pal.

Substitutions for the Meat: The whole chicken we got was $1 per pound, which is a great deal! You can sub in thighs or legs if you find those to be cheaper. Try to get it with the skin on so your meat comes with some fat! In the videos we got 2 pounds of sausage at $3 per pound. That’s a deal we couldn’t pass up! You can substitute any sausage in for that(check for sugar) or you can opt for ground beef. Make sure you get 80/20 fat/protein ratio or higher(it will be listed on the packaging).

Substitutions for the Vegetables: Avocado’s are a huge staple food for most keto dieters and we’re no different. You might be able to find a good deal on premade guacamole though. If that’s the case, feel free to go for that and sub out the avocado. If you don’t like broccoli or cauliflower you can try mushrooms or zucchini. If you don’t like any of those you should probably learn to like vegetables!!! But you could also just double down on the salad.

Other Substitutions: In this guide the only form of pure fat we use is butter. If possible, coconut oil would really be a nice upgrade. We couldn’t fit coconut oil into our $5 a day keto on a budget meal plan, but it’s cheap if you buy in bulk. Another good substitution would be olive oil or coconut oil and vinegar instead of the premade salad dressing. Most cheap premade dressings will use oils that are frowned upon on keto like canola or vegetable oil.

Keto on $5 a Day Quick Reference Infographic

Check out this quick reference Infographic! The perfect reference for eating low carb on a budget. This is really a stripped down, basic plan. It’s perfect if you want to take it as a reference and add your own twist to it!

Printable Shopping List and Meal Plan

We’ve included a printable shopping list and meal plan for your convenience! Again, use these tools as a reference and not as the be all end all. If you see something else on sale that you enjoy eating, go for that! This can be used as a framework for how to eat on keto. This isn’t the most ideal meal plan for optimal health, but it’s a pretty good one for cheap. I would recommend getting some coconut oil in this plan if possible, but we couldn’t fit it into our all-inclusive approach. If you buy in bulk on amazon coconut oil is cheap!

To get the printable shopping list and meal plan simply sign up below and we’ll email you a copy. Thanks for reading and we hope this meal plan helps you get on the path to achieving your goals. Our goal is to help you reach yours!

Get The FREE Meal Plan + Shopping List

If you want further guidance on coming up with a meal plan for you, feel free to reach out to us. We will do our best to help you devise a meal plan to match your specific goals. This is a cheap meal plan is geared towards weight loss. We will have different meal plans in the future that can be applied to different goals. Thanks for reading!

One of the biggest myths about eating healthy – whether doing a Whole30, following the paleo lifestyle, or diving into the keto diet – is that you can’t afford it.

While there are certainly a lot of people and resources our there offering handy tricks for keeping your food budget in check, most of their tips rely extremely heavily on grains and legumes for the base of your meals. If you’re following the paleo diet or focusing on a low carb/Keto diet, those tips are not very helpful – to say the least.

But if you don’t follow one of these diets, don’t go! This list is for ANYONE who wants to eat the best quality food they possibly can, but doesn’t have an unlimited budget.

I won’t lie: when grains, legumes and (possibly) dairy is out of the question, and your diet consists mostly of gluten free carbs, quality protein, and healthy fat, eating becomes a little more expensive than it is if you eat the Standard American Diet (which maybe cheaper in the short term, but you’ll probably pay for it later).

But, sticking to paleo or keto foods doesn’t have to break your budget.

Over the last few years, I’ve figured out some of the best ways to work within a reasonable budget, but still eat high quality, real food for every meal.

Like you, I’m a busy person with a full-time job and a child, who doesn’t have the time or space to grow my own food or make absolutely every meal from scratch immediately before it is served. I’m not milling my own nut flours over here, or spending 2 hours prepping a multi-course dinner every day, and I don’t expect you to, either. That’s not how how we keep our budget in check.

Instead, over the last several years of eating low carb/keto and then (mostly) paleo since then, I’ve discovered lots (over 3,000 words worth!) of shortcuts and strategies to make sure we’re eating the best meals we can, without grocery shopping, prepping, and cooking taking over our lives.

Here are 10 ways you may not have thought of to make it easier to eat paleo or keto on budget.

1. Buy organic selectively

Here’s a wonderful secret about eating healthy: every little bit counts. It’s not a zero sum game; you’re not either perfectly healthy or a total train wreck.

The key is to get the most bang for your buck, literally and figuratively, and some organic foods are simply a waste of money.

Organic candy, for example? It’s still candy. Skip it.

Organic bananas? Your heart’s in the right place, but most of the pesticide residue is on the thick peel that you’ll end up trashing anyway. Buy conventional instead.

I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be ideal to have a 100% organic diet, but for most people, financially, that’s unrealistic. So pay extra for organic when it counts the most. As a general rule, anything with a thick, non-porous skin or rind that you throw away, like citrus (unless you plan to zest it), mango, or pineapple, is not worth buying organic (e.g. pineapples, bananas, oranges)

Anything with a thin skin that you either eat, like apples, cucumbers, bell peppers, and berries, is worth the extra price to buy organic.

For a more specific guide, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen (buy organic if you can) and Clean Fifteen (conventional is fine if you’re trying to stretch your dollar) lists, which get updated annually to reflect changes in growing conditions.

Another option: there are produce delivery services popping up all over the country, which sell ugly or excess (but still perfectly good to eat) produce at reduced costs. I use one called Imperfect Produce, and I get a weekly box of organic fruits and vegetables for just $25/week.

If you’re willing to be flexible with your meal planning (since the contents of the box vary from week to week) and you’d like to try this service, you can sign up at imperfectproduce.com and use code “acleanbake” to get 50% off of your first box. If it doesn’t serve your region yet, there are other services across the country that do the same thing.

2. Buy in bulk, both in stores or online

This isn’t right for everything, but anything that keeps well in the pantry or freezer for several months at a time is a good candidate for this strategy (read: probably don’t buy 100 lbs of cucumbers).

Aside from nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other things you’d find in the big bins at the grocery store, meat is the best candidate for this.

I’ve found that the only real way to save on meat (including fish and poultry) without sacrificing on quality is to buy in bulk. For example, believe it or not, Costco offers some of the best per-ounce prices I’ve seen on organic, grass-fed meat, organic chicken, and wild caught fish.

Another option is ButcherBox, a subscription service that delivers a box of grass fed beef, heritage pork, and pastured chicken to your house every month or two. It’s not cheap, but it’s a good price for the quality of the meat, since Butcherbox has low overhead (no brick and mortar stores) and works directly with farmers. I’ll admit that I didn’t like it at first, but they’ve expanded and diversified their offering, and allow you to customize the contents of your box, if you want to. Since this change, I switched back to getting all my meat from them, since theirs is the highest quality I’ve tried.

I’ve also heard of people buying a portion of a cow (uh, butchered and prepared for cooking, of course) directly from the farmer, and this seems to be the absolute best way to get your hands on quality, hormone-free, grass fed beef with no question about how it was raised. Since we don’t eat a lot of beef around here, I haven’t done this but many, many people say it is a great strategy. (This is unrelated, but while we’re on the subject of meat, alternating it with other sources of quality protein – namely pastured or free range eggs – also helps keep the budget in check.)

This trick also applies to freezer-friendly fruit and veggies, like berries, pineapple, mango, and even bananas (Smoothies! Banana bread!), or green beans, peas, spinach, or kale. Make sure you thoroughly wash and dry them, peel/stem and chop if necessary, and freeze in airtight zip top bags with the extra air squeezed out.

But, before you go out and buy 11,000 pounds of shrimp or something, here’s the real secret to making bulk buying work for you: do the math.

Yeah, sorry – I know no one likes to hear that phrase! Make sure you don’t look at prices alone, but look at price per pound or ounce (either use the calculator on your phone or look at the fine print on the price sticker on the grocery store shelf) and compare the regular price for the average sized container to the bulk price.

3. Buy seasonally

This is the best way to buy produce at reasonable prices; when something is in season, it is cheaper and easier to produce and more abundant (than, say, shipping it in from Chile, Mexico or even China), so the prices are lower. Thanks, supply and demand!

Sometimes, silly things happen like the glut of strawberries in March last year (not complaining). In that case, enjoy it! But by and large, produce is at its most affordable (yes, that means organic too) when it’s in season in the area/country you live in.

So, planning your meals around what’s in season is bound to save you some bucks off of your grocery bill.

Check out the USDA calendar for more info about what produce is in season at what time of year.

4. Shop sales, and price compare at multiple stores

If you’re lucky enough to have multiple supermarkets within a reasonable distance of your house, research their weekly sales fliers before you go. You might find that by shopping a different store than usual, you can get a lot more of what you need on sale.

This also doesn’t have to apply only to weekly sales at your local grocery store. There are many produce wholesalers that are open to the public, and sell produce at a significantly lower cost than the normal supermarket.

This may (not always, but sometimes) mean buying ugly produce (not bad, just not pretty enough to be sold in the typical supermarket) or slightly older produce that is still perfectly fine, but may need to be eaten a little more quickly – typically within 5-7 days.

Sometimes, you don’t even have to bother waiting for sales. You’ll benefit from making a trip to a second grocery store that has staples you need at a better price. For example, a jar of natural, unsweetened almond butter at Trader Joe’s is significantly cheaper than it is at Whole Foods.

It’s worth your time to shop around, learn where to get the best deals, and alternate your shopping trips between these stores.

5. Cut out the middlemen by joining a CSA or visiting the farmer’s market

There is no better way to know how your food is grown than by buying it straight from the farmer, or from a service that works with the farmer. When you buy from the supermarket, food has passed through many distribution channels on the way from the farm, and every person at every step of the process has to get paid. That means extra costs built into the price.

The closer to the source, the fewer middlemen who need to be paid, so the cheaper your food should be.

You can even buy directly from a farmer by joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or shopping at the farmer’s market. CSAs may not look cheap at first glance, since many of them require an upfront cost (you pay for the season or year ahead of time).

But, it more than pays off in fresh, local, often-organic produce week after week, at prices lower than what the exact same apple would cost at the store. Many CSAs will allow you to save on the delivery fees by picking up your box at the farm, a local farmer’s market, or another central location.

Plus, because food is in transit for so long before it gets to the grocery store, you’re not going to get that kind of quality or nutrient density for that cost at any supermarket, that’s for sure. By comparison, CSA and farmer’s market produce is usually picked less than 48 hours before it gets to your door.

However, since I live in a region where CSAs are dormant and Farmer’s Markets are closed half of the year, this is another reason that I’ve started using Imperfect Produce (see #1 above). I still get organic produce year round, but pay 35-50% less than I would at the grocery store.

6. Explore New Cuts of Meat

Meat is a huge expense, and usually the source of the most sticker shock, for those just starting on a paleo or keto (or Whole30) diet. I hear you. If you’re doing keto or paleo for the first time, you’re probably used to making inexpensive starch, cheese, and other processed but filling foods a large part of your plate. When you start relying more on costly protein feel full, your grocery bill might feel the pressure.

One of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make when switching from the Standard American Diet to paleo or keto is assuming they need to fill up on a giant steak every night. Not at all!

Meat is, as we’ve all heard, very costly to produce, both to the consumer and to the environment. For the benefit of your wallet and the health of the planet, don’t rely on meat to get and stay full. Make sure to stay hydrated, and pile your plate high with plenty of fiber rich produce, healthy fats, and bulky starch like sweet potatoes, squash, and other root vegetables (or low carb vegetables if you’re following a keto diet). All of these, along with a normal portion of protein, will help you feel full.

So what protein should you cook?

Premium cuts like chicken breast come with a premium price tag. Luckily, the leaner cuts are usually the pricier ones, and if you’re following a paleo or keto diet, you’re going to want richer cuts with more fats because, remember, fat keeps you full! Plus, fattier cuts of meat are more keto-friendly because they help you hit your macros for the day.

So consider switching your chicken breast recipes for recipes using tenders, drumsticks, or thighs (like the braised chicken thighs which apricots and olives, pictured above), or mixing the cuts of meat in a dish. Likewise, make steak a special occasion food and plan to make meals that call for cheaper cuts like ground beef or less expensive meats like pork.

7. Don’t overlook frozen

So what do you do when you are dying for some blueberries and they’re $100 a pint?

Easy: check the frozen foods section.

Frozen fruits and veggies are typically frozen at the height of their growing season, and shortly after being picked, which translates into greater nutrient density and lower prices than buying the fresh version in the off season.

Frozen meat and fish are also cheaper than their fresh counterparts because it is easier to transport and store these foods when frozen, and there is less costly spoilage and waste.

Just beware that all frozen foods are not created equally. Shop carefully and read the ingredients to make sure that no one snuck any salt, butter, flavorings or preservatives into your frozen veggies (this is most common with mixed vegetables).

Similarly, confirm that you’re buying fish fillets, not fish sticks. And if you can, opt for organic chicken, grass fed beef, and wild-caught fish – all of which you can usually find in the frozen section if you look carefully.

8. Skip packaged and prepared foods

I’m not talking about processed foods; obviously we know those are off limits.

I’m talking about packaged whole foods, like pre-washed lettuce, pre-shredded carrots, or individually portioned trail mix packs. You’re paying a MASSIVE premium for what amounts to just a few extra minutes of your time.

Instead, set aside an extra hour (you may not even need it all) when you get home from the grocery store to wash and chop veggies, mix up a bag of trail mix and portion it out into baggies, and other things like that. Then you can still reach for ready-made ingredients when it comes time to make your meals, but you won’t have spent any extra money on them.

However, if you miss the convenience of having food ready to eat when you are, consider these options:

  • Make your own staples at home, like nut and seed butters. Better yet, make a double batch and stash it in the pantry so you don’t have to buy or make it for awhile.
  • Cook in bulk. When I know I have a busy period coming up at work, I spend the week or two beforehand cooking double batches of whatever is for dinner. We eat one batch for dinner, and lunch the next day, and I freeze the second batch for a future meal.
  • Meal prep! (see the next tip)

9. Devote some time to meal planning and meal prep.

If you have a meal plan for the week, you know exactly what to buy at the grocery store, won’t waste money on foods that may end up in the trash, and won’t be tempted to throw in the towel and order in – a surefire way to demolish a tight budget.

Use the contents of your fridge, freezer, and pantry as a starting point – particularly if you’ve gotten in the habit of buying in bulk to save money. In that case, you’ll have a well-stocked pantry and can save a lot of money simply by making use of what you already have on hand.

If planning and prepping entire days worth of meals is too much for you, focus on dinner. I tend to have the same thing almost every morning for breakfast (eggs or plain Greek yogurt, although check the macros on yogurt before you incorporate it into a ketogenic diet), so no need to plan those. If you’re eating keto, and incorporating intermittent fasting, you might not even need to worry about breakfasts.

For lunch, all you need is leftovers from the previous night’s dinner, so no need for dedicated planning there either.

Dinner is always the wild card, at least in my house, so I find that planning ahead, and even prepping some elements of your meals on Sunday gives me the best chance of sticking to the dinner plan, which ultimately means sticking to the budget!

Make it easier on yourself by using Pinterest to save paleo or keto recipes that interest you, so that you’ll have some ideas to fall back on when it’s time to plan your week of meals.

Pro tip: when it comes to meal planning, there’s no end to what your freezer can do for you. You can even prep a week’s worth of meals and freeze them ahead of time. This is ideal, for example, if you’re going out of town and don’t want to be eating out for an extra week when you get back.

10. Pick meals that use the same ingredients, and make sure you’re making the most of your ingredients

This is my favorite budget hack, because it minimizes food waste AND money waste.

When you’re meal-prepping, think about sticking to recipes that require the same types of ingredients, so you can make sure that the groceries you buy aren’t going to waste. There is nothing worse than buying a whole jar of coconut milk, for example, only to use half of it and let the rest go to waste.

Instead, pick a recipe you’re excited about: let’s say curry, which uses protein, vegetables, curry paste, and coconut milk. You might also need some coconut oil to pre-cook the protein, depending on the recipe.

That’s your jumping off point for the week, so think of other recipes for the week that are either in the same cuisine/flavor family, or could use the same types of ingredients in a new way.

For example:

Meal #1: Curry with chicken thigh meat, sweet potatoes (for paleo, skip for keto), bell peppers, zucchini (if in season), mushrooms, and broccoli, plus coconut milk and curry paste.

Meal #2: Toss the leftover sweet potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, and chicken with olive oil and a simple seasoning mix (such as salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin) to make a sheet pan dinner. Again, skip the sweet potatoes for a keto meal.

Meal #3: Make a clean-out-the-fridge stir fry with whatever odds and ends are left in your veggie drawer, plus some chicken, beef, or shrimp.

Keep iterating on the same ingredients for the remainder of the week, and take leftovers for lunch. The next week, pick a different theme or cuisine, like Mexican, and do the same thing.

Similarly, make sure you’re using every part of the food you’re buying. Let’s say you have a whole chicken. Roast it for dinner one night, then use the leftover meat the next night for chicken salad (served over greens with a side of roasted vegetables). When the carcass is picked clean, throw the bones in the slow cooker and make them into stock or bone broth, which you can use as the base of a soup or stew later in the week, drink for breakfast, or freeze for use in a later meal.

Oh, and it goes without saying (I think), that it’s important to stick to your shopping list and limit impulse purchases when you’re grocery shopping.

* * *

Remember, the cost of eating healthy requires a little bit more upfront expense than the Standard American Diet, but there are plenty of ways to make it doable. And, consider it an investment in yourself and your future! Remember: pay now or pay with your health later.

Eating Keto on a Budget

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Eating keto on a budget is possible! In this post, I share all my wisdom for how I stick to a budget every month and maintain my ketogenic diet.

Updated 12/30/18

I thought it might be a wise idea to share how we afford to eat a ketogenic diet! Unless you’re wealthy, which we are not, every dollar matters when you’re raising a family. Since we choose for me to stay at home with the kids, that means I need to be prudent when meal planning and grocery shopping

We are a family of 4 5. We have 3 very hungry children. Although our youngest, 8 months, is just now starting to eat table food.

My budget

A typical month’s grocery bill for us is about $600. My total grocery expenses are much higher than that since I am a food blogger, but for family needs, it’s usually about $600. My budget includes toiletries and household items as well.

Along with shopping at the regular grocery store, I’m a big warehouse shopper too! I like to go a couple of times per month and stock up on meat, pantry items, etc. I almost always have some kind of meat or seafood in our deep freezer which has been a big help! Warehouse shopping costs a little more up front but it saves in the long run. My Costco runs are included in my regular budget! (sometimes I bust the budget at Costco though)

A really penny wise practice is to always check the manager’s special area of your grocer’s meat department for marked down meats. These are items that are at their sell-by date. You can put them in your freezer and have food on hand for a rainy day.

My last tip is important: don’t get sucked in to buying all the speciality products. The Keto Diet has garnered so much attention the last couple of years and companies are riding that gravy train. Don’t order what you can’t afford because you think you need it. You don’t. I repeat: YOU DON’T NEED IT. (and that is coming from someone who’s job is to share products I love)

All you need for a ketogenic diet are whole-God-given foods that you can buy at the grocery.

I see far too many people thinking that they can’t afford to eat keto because they can’t afford exogenous ketones, special protein bars, fancy pork rinds, protein shakes, or any of the other things you see advertised. Don’t fall victim to FOMO. If you can’t afford it, don’t order it!

Plan your meals around sales

When it comes to meal planning, I’ve stopped trying to plan an entire week or two at a time. I found myself overbuying, throwing away things that went bad, and just being plain wasteful. That’s literally throwing money away!

Since school let out for summer and we don’t have a tight schedule to keep, I have changed my meal planning routine up and it’s actually saving us money!! I plan 2-3 meals at a time based on what’s on sale at my local grocery stores. I shop Kroger and Aldi (and Costco) 90% of the time. Sometimes I’ll run to specialty shops (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s) but it’s rare because they’re far from where I live (rural KY living).

Get a more in-depth look into my grocery budget here!

I used to do 2 weeks worth of meal planning at a time. It was insane! I was wasting food, feeling like I failed when I didn’t make everything I had planned, and stressed out. By planning 3 or 4 days of meals a at time, it’s been much easier for me to stick to my budget and keep my sanity!

I’ve discovered a few benefits to only planning a couple meals at a time:

1. I’m less overwhelmed trying to keep an exciting menu!

2. We waste less food!

3. I’m able to concentrate on sales & coupons more!

4. We’re eating healthier meals because I’m buying less junk when I wander the store for long lengths of time! (also eliminates unnecessary spending)

5. Our money stretches farther.

Almost every grocer has digital coupons now too! Those are your friends! Kroger (and their sister companies) always do the “mega events” where you buy 5 items for $5. Shop those sales! Yesterday, I scored 3 packages of Pampers baby wipes for $.50 a piece because of the 5 for $5 + a $.50 digital coupon! That’s a deal!

Do what works for you

Don’t be afraid you’ll go broke eating a ketogenic diet. You won’t! In fact, you’ll be richer in health and money saving wisdom!

If it saves you $10 to get a few items at one store and a few at another, do it! If organic or grass fed meat isn’t on sale one week, then don’t buy it! It won’t kill you to eat non-organic! If you need to make a cheap meal of hot dogs and tuna fish, then do it!

Just keep it keto (low carb, high fat)! Keto is a way of life. You can’t put a price on health and wellbeing but you CAN budget for it!

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Think keto on a budget isn’t possible? Think again. Eating a high-quality ketogenic diet without breaking the bank is achievable, even if you don’t have much to spend. It just takes a little extra planning and getting clever with available resources.

After the initial investment from overhauling your kitchen cupboards, chances are you’ll end up saving money on a low-carb diet.

This post will give you tips on how to do keto on a budget, including ways to save money (in both the short and long term) and how to calculate your “return on investment.”

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10 Tips to Maximize the Ketogenic Diet on a Budget

When trying to do keto on a budget, these top tips will help you stay on track both with your eating plan and your finances.

#1: Buy in Bulk

When trying to save money grocery shopping, buying in bulk can make a serious impact. It’s tempting to shop at Whole Foods for your items — or even your regular local grocery store — but you won’t find the bargain prices you would at wholesale stores like Costco, Walmart, or Sam’s Club.

Other affordable stores include Aldi and Trader Joe’s (which, as it turns out, both share the same owner). Finally, search for local farmers markets for a butcher or farmer who offers a CSA or subscription-based program.

When you find a good deal, take advantage of it. Stock up, purchasing items like coconut milk, seasonings, and pantry essentials by the case, rather than a la carte. Meat and seafood can put a serious dent in your grocery bill, so if you find meat on sale, purchase more than you need and freeze what you don’t use.

Buy several bags of frozen vegetables and store them. While you might prefer the taste of fresh produce, frozen veggies are much more affordable, make an excellent dinner even when the fridge and cupboards are empty (hello, stir-fry), and prevent food waste.

To save on time, download and print the complete keto shopping guide. Everything you need for your keto diet is already on the list.

#2: Cook in Bulk and Freeze Any Leftovers

If you’re already buying the food in bulk amounts, cook in bulk too. Batch cooking is an excellent way to ensure you always have meals and snacks in the house. Not only does this save you money, but it also saves you time.

Choose one day each week to meal prep. Sunday works for most people, but it might be a different day depending on your schedule. Spend the day grocery shopping, jotting down a meal plan, cooking, and portioning out meals in easy, grab-and-go containers.

If you cook more than you can consume in one week, simply freeze what you do not use. If you have the space available, some people find that a deep freezer is a worthwhile investment. It allows you to batch cook well in advance, and store those budget-friendly finds.

#3: Look for Offers and Discounts

When you shop at the grocery store, use deals and discounts to your advantage. When meat nears its expiration date, stores will often discount it by as much as 20%. If you’re meal prepping that very day, this is an opportunity to find high-quality, grass-fed meat at incredibly low prices.

BOGO (buy one, get one) deals are another common grocery store promotion. Search for BOGO deals in the produce and butcher sections, then scan the aisles for offers related to pantry staples. You can really do keto on a budget this way, so get used to scanning weekly flyers and in-store promotions for good deals and coupons.

#4: Stick to Your Shopping List

Without a clear list of what you plan to buy, there’s a 99.9% chance you will buy more than planned. Impulse purchases are a real thing. Go to the store with a list — and only buy what’s on that list — to ensure you do keto on a budget.

#5: Use a FoodSaver

A FoodSaver is a vacuum intended to seal and extract air from plastic bags. By using a FoodSaver, you can freeze meals and prevent freezer burn. An added bonus? It frees up space in the freezer, which you’ll need for bulk buying and cooking.

#6: Shop Online

If you can’t find deals locally, shopping online can save a tremendous amount of money. Amazon has plenty of low-priced offers on nuts, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut oil, flax or chia seeds, and spices.

These are often cheaper to buy online than in-store, even with shipping. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll get two-day shipping, and you can subscribe to certain products to have them routinely delivered to your doorstep.

Another online source is Thrive Market, which has a similar business model to Amazon. Unlike Amazon, Thrive Market only focuses on organic, niche items (think Whole Foods without the Whole Foods prices).

Another online resource is Nuts.com where you can buy nuts in bulk online for a discounted price. There are also plenty of places to buy grass-fed meat online (ButcherBox comes highly recommended) within a subscription plan.

#7: Stick to Affordable Produce and Meat

When it comes to fresh produce, there’s a wide range of cost per pound. Broccoli, green beans, and spinach are fairly affordable options. You can incorporate them into almost any recipe.

Cauliflower is typically more expensive, but its versatility can be well worth the cost. Other items like red bell peppers, avocados, or orange bell peppers, are usually more expensive.

You can say the same thing about meat and seafood. Is filet mignon expensive? Absolutely — so don’t buy it. Buy affordable cuts of meat like bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, ground beef, cod, tilapia, and nitrate-free bacon. Eggs are also affordable, and hard-boiled eggs make for a great keto-friendly snack option.

#8: Take Note if Your Grocery Bill Goes to Beverages, Not Food

If you’re complaining about your food bill but still spend $5 every single day on a latte, here’s a painful realization: That latte isn’t even food. And if you’re grabbing a $20 bottle of wine every time you hit the store (or worse, paying a $50 bar tab each Thursday at happy hour), those line items add up.

Quit the pricey drinks and alcohol and switch to water. If you need caffeine, make your own coffee or tea at home and carry it in a mug. As for alcohol, you should probably cut back altogether — it’s full of sugar anyway.

#9: Make “Ingredients” From Scratch

As much as possible, make things like salad dressings, dips, flours, salsas, guacamole, nut butters, soups, and salads from scratch.

Not only will it save you money, but it will prevent you from eating food additives and added sugar. There are plenty of keto recipes — including those for condiments, sauces, and dressings — that you can work into your keto meal plan.

These kitchen appliances can make cooking much easier:

  • Food processor or blender
  • Pots and pans: You don’t need anything fancy, just some cookware that’s high-quality enough to boil and fry your meals each week
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Jars and containers for storing

#10: Always Buy Whole vs. Chopped

Buy the whole chicken instead of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Buy the whole stalk of celery instead of pre-chopped celery. Buy whole almonds instead of an almond trail mix. Buying food that isn’t “convenient” will be kinder to your wallet. Instead of spending more, take a little time to chop, store, and freeze the food yourself.

How to Calculate Your Return on Ketosis

Eating keto doesn’t have to break your wallet. Don’t let tight budget concerns keep you from making your health a priority. Use what you have to make this diet work for you, even if it takes a little extra planning and preparing.

Amid all this penny-pinching, take a one-minute test right now to calculate your ketosis return on investment (ROI).

Part 1: Quantifiable Return on Keto

Pull out a piece of scrap paper and answer these questions to the best of your ability. Don’t spend too much time on it.

  • What are your meals like on keto vs. non-keto? Are you eating less volume and less frequently?
  • What are your beverages like? Are you consuming less alcohol and caffeine?
  • What are your snacks like? Are you eating fewer snacks due to fewer blood sugar spikes and crashes?

Your ledger might look something like this:

Part 2: Go Deeper Into Quantifiable Returns

The benefits of ketosis are mental, physical, and psychological.

Here are some examples of various benefits.

  • Mental: Improved clarity and focus
  • Physical: Fat burning, improved athletic performance, and weight loss
  • Psychological: Fewer mood swings and a heightened sense of well-being

How does this increased productivity, clarity, and well-being affect your bottom line? How would a longer, healthier life increase your lifetime earning potential? Those added benefits are the return on investment for your health.

Keto on a Budget: You Can Make It Happen

Take these 10 practical tips for keto on a budget, give it one month, then assess. How much did you spend? How do you feel? Are you more productive, do your workouts feel stronger, and do you feel better about yourself?

Ask yourself this question: Is the price of being healthy worth it? Don’t let budget concerns derail you. Many people in the first half of life waste their health trying to make money. Then, in the second half of life, they spend money trying to get their health back. It’s time to budget your time, energy, and hard-earned money into what really matters to you.

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Looking for easy ways to eat Keto on a budget? In this post, you’ll find 10 suggestions that don’t take a lot of time that can save big bucks.

10 Easy Ways to Eat Keto on a Budget

I’ve been following a Keto lifestyle for two and a half years and have gotten fabulous results. If you’ve done Keto for any length of time, you know that it’s not always cheap. As a family of 6, I’m always looking for ways to save money that are simple. Our grocery budget is one of our most significant monthly expenditures. As a busy mom, I don’t have time to cut coupons (even though I wrote a book about it years ago), shop around at multiple stores each week, or even price match. I’m already barely keeping my head above water, so finding ways to save without losing my mind or requiring a significant investment of my time is essential. When looking for ways to eat Keto on a budget, I’ve found several ways to save money. Even if you just follow one or two, your savings can be significant over time. I’ve included ten easy ways to eat keto on a budget below. 1. Shop Online Health Stores

  • Vitacost is an online health store carrying over 45,000 different products such as healthy foods, vitamins, and supplements at savings up to 50% off retail. There is no membership fee, and free shipping is offered on orders $49 and above. If you’d like to give it a try, click here for $5 off your first order.
  • Thrive Market is a membership community that uses the power of direct buyers to give members wholesale prices on healthy products they love. To get started, create a membership account. With your first purchase, you’ll start a 30-day membership trial. From there you can determine how valuable the membership will be to your Keto way of living. Many people find that the savings far outweigh the membership cost, especially on keto and low carb specific food items like sweeteners and sugar-free chocolate.

2. Amazon Prime and Subscribe & Save

  • Amazon Prime is one of my very favorite ways to shop online. When you’ve got four kids (two of those being three yrs old and younger), you love having things delivered to your front door. It’s super easy to order keto nonperishable items online through Amazon. Since I am an Amazon Prime member, most everything I buy ships for free with 2-day shipping.
  • Amazon Subscribe & Save is a fabulous way to stock up on items you regularly use that are set on a shipping schedule so that you never run out. You can choose monthly, bimonthly, or another interval. You don’t have to take the time to reorder, instead, the items that you have added to your subscribe and save list shows up at your doorstep at savings up to 15% off.

3. Buy Meat in Bulk, Subscribe to High-Quality Meat Subscriptions, & Shop Sales

  • Buying Meat in bulk can save money. You may be able to find someone local who is selling 1/2 to 1/4 of a cow.
  • ButcherBox – ButcherBox is a meat subscription company that distributes high-quality meat; 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and wild-caught Alaskan salmon directly to your door.
  • Here is how it works:
    1. Go here
    2. You’ll then put in your email address and then choose either custom box, mixed box, beef & chicken, beef & pork, or all-beef
    3. Choose your subscription plan either the classic box or big box
    4. You get to choose the cuts of meat you prefer!
  • Shopping weekly grocery store sales will save you money. Grocery stores generally offer sales each week on different meats. It’s best to purchase what is on sale each week, and either plan your menu around that particular offering or freeze for later. In the long run, your savings can be significant.

4. Shop Veggies in Season

  • In addition to the grocery store offering weekly sales on meats, you’ll also find the same for veggies. Shopping for veggies on sale and in season will garner the most savings. Also, in the summer months, I shop at Farmer’s Markets, a local Amish farm, and roadside veggie stands as well.

5. Meal Plan

  • I create a very lazy meal plan each week then only buy those items I need. Otherwise, I mindlessly shop at the grocery store and fill my buggy with foods that aren’t necessary. By planning, I buy the produce we need and then am intentional to cook the foods we bought and eat leftovers. You could even go a step further and meal plan around what is on sale that week by using the grocery store circulars to plan your meals.

6. Buy in Bulk at Wholesale Clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s Warehouse

  • As part of the Keto life, you’ll most likely use a lot of butter, cheese, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, salad dressing, etc. By purchasing these items at a wholesale club, you’ll be able to take advantage of bulk pricing. It’s also helpful to keep these items stocked so that your weekly grocery shopping trip is cheaper as you’ll primarily stock up on items that are perishable.

7. Grocery Shop Online

  • In my opinion, grocery shopping online is God’s gift to busy moms. I had no idea how wonderful it would be to shop from an app, then sit in my car with the babies while the associate loaded my groceries. Hello? Can it possibly get better? Yes! I also save at least $50 a week on our grocery trip since I’m only purchasing the items we need and am not distracted or tempted visually by all the other items in the store. Also, I’ve gotten at least an hour of my week back, which means a lot to this busy mom. It takes me less than ten minutes to shop online compared to at least an hour, possibly two in store. For $10 off your first online order at Walmart, .

8. Check discount stores for almond flour, coconut flour, etc

  • I was surprised to see that from time to time, my local Big Lots Store will carry an array of gluten-free options that are helpful when you are following a Keto Lifestyle such as almond and coconut flour. Since they are closeout items, the prices are significantly lower. Of course, they don’t carry these items in stock all the time, but it’s worthwhile to check if you happen to already be in store.

9. You don’t need everything you see in a keto grocery list online

  • It’s always helpful to shop from a keto grocery list when getting started. However, make sure to review any lists that you find carefully before going shopping as it will include all the items that are Keto friendly. Just because it’s keto friendly doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need everything on the list. For example, Xanthan Gum might come in handy one day, but it doesn’t mean you need it initially. Another example is cooking oil. Just because several different kinds are approved, it doesn’t mean you need to stock them all. MCT oil, Coconut Oil, and Olive Oil are sufficient when getting started. Stick to the basics, then buy extras as needed.

10. Shop ALDI

  • Even though we shop at a discount warehouse to purchase keto foods in bulk and grocery shop online, shopping at ALDI also saves us money on our grocery budget. Typically, we do one big warehouse store purchase every 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, if we run out of any of our Keto bulk items, or if I need to pick up something quick for dinner, we make an ALDI run. Overall, ALDI’s prices are up to 40% off compared to other grocery stores. I love that we can get in and out quick as well.

Make sure to check out all of my Keto recipes in my Keto Recipe Index.

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Cheap and easy keto? I know what you’re thinking, “No way!”. Am I right?

Well, I’ve got good news for you! Incorporate my easy tips and it can be. Like I said, they’re easy, but they still involve some work.

Cheap and Easy Keto Shopping

One thing you need to learn right off is that, while it’s getting easier to buy keto- friendly products, you’ll need to make everything yourself from spice mixes (like taco seasoning) to a cauliflower pizza crust.

The reason is that sugar and/or fillers are being added to just about everything for taste and to stretch them.

Once you start looking for the carb count and then reading the ingredients to see where the carbs came from, you are then shocked at what has added crap.

Remember the example I gave about a cauliflower pizza crust, well many of us were excited at the prospect of a cauliflower crust.

That is, until we looked at the carb count. It was a ridiculous amount.

It’s been awhile but I believe that particular one had rice starch, probably as a binder.

Many of the makers of these kinds of foods are counting on the people who just read cauliflower crust and just grab thinking it’ll be healthy when, in fact, the fillers typically are not.

So let’s just get started, shall we?!

These tips need to be done in order, for the most part. Following them will save you money shopping and save you money when you reduce waste.

Get To Know Keto–

If you’re new to eating keto, you’re probably unaware that keto- friendly food staples, such as eggs, are filling so you actually eat less, thereby saving money.

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Have An Arsenal of Recipes-

Have an arsenal of recipes ready that you know you like or are popular online if you’re just starting.

Take Inventory-

Take inventory of spices, frozen foods, fresh foods, pantry etc. Knowing what you have on hand will save you money at the store and may well reduce waste.

Know Prices-

I have a price notebook of standard prices at my local grocery store, Aldi, Walmart, and my warehouse club stores (for me these are Sam’s and BJ’s).

These can sometimes vary because of food shortages but typically run the same.

Shop Sale Ads-

First see what is on special at your local grocery, Walmart, Aldi and warehouse club stores.

You’re going to work your meal plan around the sale items and/or items you can buy in bulk.

Consider buying a small freezer for when there’s really great deals and for extra frozen storage when you’ve meal prepped.

Double up on deals by clipping and using coupons or cartwheels at Target.

Save even more by using apps like Ibotta.

Be sure to check the clearance areas at your stores for even better deals and some you may even have coupons for.

Create a Meal Plan-

Create a meal plan based off the sale or bulk items.

For example, if chicken thighs were on a great sale of 50 cents a pound, you can bet I’m finding all the ways I can use chicken thighs in meals.

Think outside the box. Of course there are recipes using chicken thighs but I can also cook them up, remove from the bone and make keto- friendly casseroles, keto- friendly stir fry, etc.

Meal Prep-

Meal prep is your friend! It is time and money saving.

Prepping meals will ensure you stay on plan and eliminate an excuse to eat out.

When meal prepping think batch cooking, freezer cooking and dump recipes.

For those who get overwhelmed with a large day of batch cooking, another method I’ve used is to cook what I’m making for dinner that night times 2 or 3.

So you’ll eat one for dinner and freeze one or 2, whatever number that doesn’t overwhelm you.

Consider a Food Saver for freezer foods. I also use it for almond flour, etc. It keeps things fresher tasting.

Repurpose Leftovers or Take Leftovers for Lunch-

The most common way to stretch your budget is taking leftovers to work for lunch the next day. This keeps you on plan and from eating out.

Another viable method is repurposing leftovers. Let’s say you had baked chicken tonight and had leftover chicken.

Maybe make a casserole or stir- fry with the leftover chicken for the next nights dinner.

Bonus Tips:

Sticking to a plan and list will help you stick to your budget. I have my handy list of my keto foods not only when I’m meal planning off sale ads but in my bag as well in case I come across deals.

You can further eliminate impulse buying or purchasing foods that are not keto friendly by ordering online and having your food delivered.

There is a nominal fee, however I’ve calculated both shopping in store and online/delivery and find I ultimately save more shopping online and having it delivered, especially if you have kids.

I shop Publix and Walmart (get $10 off your first order), since stores are regional you may have different stores and options.

So what ideas and tips are you using for saving money on keto success?

If we’ve missed an awesome tip– let us know in the comments below. We might just add it!

Cheap and Easy Keto Recipes For Any Time Of Day

Cheap and Easy Keto Fat Bombs

These easy and inexpensive fat bomb recipes are so great.

Work your way down the list, or pick at random.

Search for your favorite ingredients first… but try all of these easy keto recipes!

Almond Joy Fat Bombs

Almond Pistachio Fat Bombs

Bacon & Guacamole Fat Bombs

Blackberry Fat Bombs

Blueberry Bliss Fat Bombs

Brie and Pecan Prosciutto Savory Fat Bombs

Caramel Apple Pie Fat Bomb Recipe

Cheesy Jalapeno Fat Bombs

Chocolate Cherry Fat Bombs

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

Cinnamon Butter Fat Bombs

Cookie Dough Fat Bombs

Coconut Berry Fat Bombs

Craving Buster Fat Bombs

Dark Chocolate Coffee Fat Bomb Recipe

Dark Chocolate Low Carb Ketogenic Fat Bombs

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Fat Bombs

English Toffee Fat Bombs

Fudge Fat Bombs

Key Lime Pie Fat Bombs

Lemon Bar Fat Bombs

Macaroon Fat Bombs

Maple Almond Fudge Fat Bombs

Matcha and Coconut Fat Bombs

Neapolitan Fat Bombs

Orange Creamsicle Fat Bombs

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Fat Bombs

Peanut Butter Fluff Fat Bombs

Pecan Fudge Fat Bombs

Peppermint Fat Bombs

Pumpkin Cheesecake Fat Bombs

Pumpkin Spice Keto Fat Bomb Recipe

Raspberry Almond Chocolate Fat Bombs

Red Velvet Fat Bombs

Savory Salmon Fat Bombs

Sea Salted Chocolate Fat Bomb

Strawberry Cheesecake Fat Bombs

Sunbutter Fat Bombs

White Chocolate Butter Pecan Fat Bombs

Having Trouble With Meal Planning? Have your meal plan sent to your email HERE.

Cheap and Easy Keto Breakfast

The most important meal of the day, but not always easy to do on keto.

Eggs are a cheap, an easy keto breakfast staple and are filling.

These keto approved recipes are a snap. There are so many to choose from! If you’re bored with breakfast, then these are for you!

Bacon Cheddar Eggs Cups

Sausage Ball Puffs

Sausage And Egg Breakfast Casserole

Cheesy Broccoli Quiche

Green Chile and Cheese Egg Muffins

The Best Keto Breakfast Sandwich

Ham Egg & Cheese Roll-Ups

Egg Fast Cheese Quiche

Keto Breakfast Biscuits Stuffed with Sausage and Cheese

Low Carb Waffles

Cauliflower Hash Browns

Pepper Egg-in-a-Hole

Cream Cheese Pancakes

Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Egg Muffin Cups

Healthy Eggs Benedict

Sausage and Eggs to Go

Sour Cream and Chive Egg Clouds

Bunless Bacon, Egg & Cheese

Cauliflower Hash Brown Egg Cups

Omelette Waffle

Mushroom Omelet

2-Minute Low Carb English Muffins

Cauliflower Breakfast Muffins

Simple Vegetable Egg Bake

Classic Bacon and Eggs

Loaded Cauliflower Breakfast Bake

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Cheap and Easy Keto Lunches

So much lunch to Munch on. These easy, cheap, and keto-friendly recipes have it all and then some! Soups, Salads, or sandwiches are only some of the many options.

Italian Sub Roll-Ups

Avocado Pepperoni Salad

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

Cobb Egg Salad

4 Ingredient Crock Pot Mexican Chicken Soup

Deli Snack Box

Low Carb Pepperoni Pizza Cups

Greek Chicken Bowls

Tomato Bun Tuna Melts

Zero-Carb Egg Drop Soup

Buffalo Chicken Celery Sticks

Cheeseburger Lettuce Wraps

Tomato Bun BLT

Healthy Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups

Turkey and Veggies Snack Wraps

Skinny Bell Pepper Nacho Boats

Cauliflower Grilled Cheese

Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado

Avocado Cucumber Egg Salad

Cauliflower Calzones

Skinny Chicken Fajita Soup

Easy Egg Wraps

Creamy Tomato Soup

Slow Cooker Low Carb Zuppa Toscana Soup

Avocado Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Bacon Cauliflower Chowder

Low Carb Taco Soup

Italian Beef Roll-up

Low Carb Buffalo Chicken Soup

Shredded Chicken Chili

Salad Sandwiches

Broccoli Salad

Crock Pot Un-Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

Bacon Cheese Burger Soup

Bacon Tomato Cucumber Salad

Roast Beef & Cheese Cucumber “Sandwiches”

Chicken Zoodle Soup

Cheap and Easy Keto Snacks

If you are snacking on keto, then you have to be careful. But these snack foods will keep you satisfied and on track.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

The Best Low-Carb Tortilla Chips

BLT Dip

Zucchini Parmesan Chips

Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Low Carb Cheese Crackers

Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips

Pickle Roll-Ups

Zucchini Chips

BLT Sushi

Cheesy Bacon Zucchini Skins

Low Carb Hawaiian Pizza

Eggplant Pizza Bites

Real Hummus

Pizza Stuffed Mushrooms

Low Carb “Fried” Pickles

Cauliflower Wings

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds

Parmesan Roasted Tomatoes

Cheap and Easy Keto Dinners

Some of the best meals ever are dinners. However, they can also be the most complicated. But don’t worry about overworking with these easy keto recipes.

Eggroll in a Bowl

Fried Cabbage with Kielbasa

Low Carb Pizza

No Dough Pizza

Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

Parmesan Dijon Pork Chops

Bacon Chicken Caesar Casserole

Mini Pepper Pizzas

Crock-Pot Cabbage Rolls

Lasagna Stuffed Peppers

Zucchini Noodle Carbonara

Broccoli Crust Pizza

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Low Carb Chili

Mexican Zucchini and Beef

Asian Cabbage Stir-Fry

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

Tex-Mex Casserole

Beef Cauliflower Fried Rice

Low Carb Crack Slaw

Low Carb Chili Dog Casserole

Low Carb Baked Chicken Tenders

Chicken Philly Cheesesteak

Pepperoni Pizza Chicken Bake

Cheesy Ranch Chicken

Easy Baked Enchilada Chicken

Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts

Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Chicke

Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

Baked Garlic Butter Chicken

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Zucchini Alfredo

Baked Parmesan Chicken Breast

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin

Caprese Chicken Sheet Pan Meal

Chicken Enchilada Zucchini Boats

Buffalo Chicken Zucchini Boats

Sheet Pan Fajitas

Italian Chicken Skillet

Easy Fajita Chicken Bake

Buffalo Keto Chicken Tenders

Chicken Fajita Roll-Ups

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken

Lemon Butter Chicken

Crispy Baked Buffalo Drumstick

Grilled Cheesy Buffalo Chicken

Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups

French Onion Zoodle Bake

Cauliflower Nachos

Zucchini Lasagna

Cauliflower Quesadillas

Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese Casserole

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Caprese Zoodles

Fresh Veggie Kabobs

Eggplant Parmesan Roll-Ups

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

Pizza Zucchini Boats

Side Dishes

Side dishes make an amazing keto entree so much better. If you are looking for ways to plus up dinner, with more easy keto recipes, then you found a bunch of them!

Loaded Cauliflower

“Better than Potatoes” Cheesy Cauliflower Puree

Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Pan-Fried Asparagus

Jalapeno Cheese Crisps

Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks

Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Butter-Fried Green Cabbage

Creamed Spinach

Fried Cabbage

Buttery Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Sautéed Greens

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Parmesan & Garlic

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon

Southern-Style Green Beans

Low Carb Zucchini Tots

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Cauliflower Au Gratin

Basic Coleslaw

Cheesy Cauliflower Bake

Oven Roasted Green Beans

Garlic Sauteed Spinach

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Cauliflower Tots

Skillet Green Beans

Spicy Broccoli with Garlic

Quick Brussels and Bacon

Broiled Asparagus

Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli

Cheesy Hasselback Zucchini Pizzas

Dessert

Dessert can be so hard on any diet. To do the right keto dessert, you need an awesome recipe. So, dig in to these easy keto recipes for the most extraordinary desserts.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Easy Low Carb Mousse Pudding

Cream Cheese Cookies

3- Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Peanut Butter Bites

No Carb Peanut Butter Cookies

Lemon Cheesecake

Low Carb Lemon “Cheesecake” Bars

Lemon Poundcake

Thick Chocolate Low Carb Shakes

Low Carb Ice Cream

Low Carb Blueberry Scones

Almond Joy Cookies

Low Carb Root Beer Float

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Low Carb Egg Custard Pie

1 Minute Mug Cakes

Low Carb Gooey Skillet Brownie

Sex In a Pan

3-Ingredient Flourless Peanut Butter Mug Cake

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Cinnamon Custard

Low Carb Strawberry Shortcake

Healthy Low-Carb Frozen Coffee Drink

MORE KETO YOU MAY ENJOY:

I hope you liked these easy keto recipes, because I think they’re amazing. Try them out so you can share how you liked them! But before you go, have a look at these articles.

The Best Keto Slow Cooker Recipes

15 Easy No Bake Keto Desserts

56 Insanely Delicious Fat Bombs Recipes for Keto

10 Keto Cocktails

Liked this easy keto recipes article? Then you’ll love these keto recipe ebooks!

If you are interested in starting a low carb or Keto diet, then check out my Week of Keto Meal Plan here, take a look through my Pinterest page or click on an e-book below! Each ebook has 30 recipes with 5 ingredients & are 5 grams of net carbs or fewer! That’s so easy!

Just a weekly meal planner choose ebooks: breakfast, lunch, dinner &dessert from their Keto in Five cookbooks, or even the bundle, and know you’re under your daily carb limit and macros for the day!

Don’t Miss The Latest on Keto

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

New to keto? Sign up for emails from CABL for keto recipes, deals, and support delivered straight to your inbox!

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There seems to be a misconception out there that diets are expensive, especially low carb diets. In this round up I’m going to give you 21 cheap keto dinner recipes to show you that eating keto doesn’t need to break the bank. (pssst – once you’re done here, there’s even more cheap keto recipes at the link below!)

**Check out Part 2 Here!**

The keys to saving money on keto, or on any diet are simple:

  • Avoid long ingredient lists, which only fill your cupboards with half-used spice jars etc. The fewer ingredients the easier to make, and the easier to shop for
  • Cook using cheaper ingredients, think chicken thighs instead of chicken breast, or ground beef instead of steak.
  • Avoid wasting food!, which is literally money down the trash. If you’re only cooking for one, and get bored easily, cooking up 8 servings of a casserole may not be the best idea if you can’t bring yourself to eat it all before it spoils!
  • Cook in bulk, which allows you to buy in bulk too, for better savings. Check out suppliers like Butcher Box who offer meat and fish subscriptions.

For more detailed advice on how to cook and how to shop for a keto diet on a budget, check out our keto on a budget guide.

15 Minute Keto Chicken Fajitas

One of my favorite go to keto meals, and if you’re using chicken thighs, a cheap one too! Avocado on these is an optional extra, the creaminess from the sour cream is enough on it’s own to balance the dish.

Using lettuce for the wraps is super cheap and super low carb, perfect! Most importantly you can have these cooked up and on the table inside 15 minutes!

Get the recipe here.

Quick Chicken and Peanut Keto Stir Fry

This delicious dish can be ready in no time and is packed with flavor. Peanuts give some healthy fats, and chicken thighs taste great and are much more forgiving than breast, and most importantly – cheap!

The best thing about this dish is how fast it can be put together. If I’m in the zone I can have this one on the table inside 15 minutes!

Get the recipe here

Garlic Butter Chicken Thighs

This is one of my go to meals and couldn’t get much easier. This is a great cheap keto chicken recipe to add to your repertoire for lazy days as it’s done in one skillet and ready in no time.

Crispy skin, garlic butter, lemon and herbs, what is there not to like! – this is a delicious meal that anyone can put together and is highly recommended.

For more chicken based recipes we’ve got this round up of easy keto chicken dishes that would be worth a read once you’ve finished with this post.

Get the recipe here

Chicken and Chorizo Jambalaya

Keto goes cajun here with this delicious, super quick to make keto jambalaya. This is made with chicken and chorizo, the shrimp can be a bit more expensive but throw those in too if you want to.

Cauliflower rice is a great, inexpensive way to bulk out a meal and does a great job of filling the gap left from starchy carbs like rice – you’ll barely know you’re on a diet. It sucks up all the flavor of the spices in this dish too which is great.

This can be knocked up inside 30 minutes which makes it ideal for a weeknight dinner.

Get the recipe here

Keto Fish Pie

This cheap keto dinner is a great crowd pleaser, and brilliant on a cold winter’s eve. Look for fish off cuts at the fishmonger (all the parts they haven’t cut into perfect fillets) or a specific fish pie mix which keeps this cheap and just as delicious. A lighter cauliflower crust keeps this keto (and beats potato in my opinion!)

Get the recipe here

Keto ‘Crack’ Slaw

This is a keto classic, ‘crack’ slaw!

This recipe from Tasteaholics is quick and easy to put together, ideal for a mid-week dinner. The main ingredients in this low carb stir fry are ground beef and sliced veg which keeps this an affordable keto meal.

Sriracha and soy sauce are great to keep in the store cupboard and pack huge flavour. I use sriracha all the time when putting together quick, simple keto meals.

This is such a great keto meal to incorporate into your repertoire and you can easily mix it up with whatever’s leftover or in your pantry, great for a cheap keto meal.

Get the recipe here

Fried Cabbage and Bacon Stir Fry

This recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen is a great cost saving dish to rustle up in no time. I usually pick up bacon in bulk anyway so this is great to have in the repertoire.

Best of all this recipe has essentially 2 key ingredients making it a great budget keto meal. Simplicity is key!

I love ingredients like bacon, or chorizo which pack huge flavour even when used quite sparingly. Of course those are both processed meats so it’s best not to make them the base of your keto diet, pair them with plenty of healthy veg.

Get the recipe here

Broccoli, Ham and Mushroom Keto Bake

Another from Kalyns Kitchen here, she sure knows how to make budget friendly keto meals! This keto bake is a classic combo of ham and mushroom, with a healthy hit of broccoli to make sure this is nutritious.

Bakes, pies and stews are great cheap keto meals. You can easily cook and buy in bulk which is great for saving money on a keto diet.

What’s great about a meal like this is that you can really mix it up, using leftovers, things in the cupboard, anything that needs using and goes together can be thrown in.

Get the recipe here

Zucchini Noodle Carbonara

Zucchini Carbonara is a favourite in my house. Not only is this dish from Skinnyms a delicious, quick keto meal, it’s also quit cheap to make per serving (depending on how mad you go with the parmesan!)

This goes on the cheap keto meals list because of the short ingredient list, making shopping a breeze. To save money, you don’t need to get the very best parmesan, aged for half a decade or whatever. The grated stuff will be fine for a dish like this.

You can save money on bacon by looking for bacon ‘odds and ends’ or offcuts. These are the same the very same bacon as the perfectly shaped rashers only the parts they weren’t able to cut to shape. Same taste, much lower cost!

Get the recipe here

Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole

Another easy, batch cooking dish here from Buns In My Oven. Cheeseburger casserole ought to fulfil certain cravings without breaking the bank. Just promise me you’ll eat a decent salad or the greens on the side!

Ground beef and other mince is great for putting together cheap keto dinners and cooking in bulk. It also freezes well helping to avoid food waste, which is literally money down the trash. Check out Butcher Box for some great, grass-fed mince delivered to your door.

Get the recipe here

Cheesy Cauliflower Shepherds Pie

Shepherds Pie is a classic, money saving crowd pleaser, and this keto version from All Day I Dream About Food is no different. Ground lamb packs huge flavour and is much cheaper than cuts of meat.

A cheesey cauliflower topping makes this into an indulgent family dinner, ideal for a cold winters day. You can scale this up as much as you want too to save for another day. My baking tray does about 8 portions of any pie I cook which means I can buy in bulk and cook in bulk to save money on keto.

Get the recipe here

Fried Cauliflower Rice Skillet

This quick keto dinner from Eatwell 101 can be ready in no time, and uses a short list of simple ingredients to keep things cheap.

A cauliflower rice stir fry is an ideal way to use up leftover ingredients and items in the store cupboard. The cauliflower is a neutral canvas for you to add other flavours to, whist bulking this out into a satisfying meal.

Get the recipe here

Pork Chops in Creamy Garlic Sauce

This looks like such an indulgent and luxurious meal, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. These creamy pork chops from Eatwell 101 taste delicious and go well with a side of buttered greens.

Pork chops tend to be quite cheap compared to most other meats but are much more interesting than say, a chicken breast. The ingredient list is kept short on this recipe, which again, I think helps keep meals cheap reducing leftover spare ingredients and the need to buy items you’ll rarely use.

Get the recipe here

Sausage Taco Cauliflower Rice

Anything you can cook in one skillet always gets my seal of approval and this sausage taco cauliflower rice from Eatwell is no different.

Cheese, sausages, ground meat etc. Can all be bought in larger quantities to keep the cost down and if stored properly can keep for a while. Having a couple of your favourite spice mixes at hand is a great way to quickly put together cheap keto meals in a hurry.

Get the recipe here

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This broccoli chicken casserole can be cooked in large quantities to portion up for multiple dinners to keep things cheap and simple.

I tend to use and prefer chicken thighs over chicken breast in most dishes. I find it has better flavour and texture, and it a lot cheaper too.

The important thing when buying chicken is making sure you cook it all fairly quickly after opening the pack, as it spoils fast. A big casserole like this is ideal to cook chicken in bulk to keep for multiple servings.

Get the recipe here

Low Carb Pizza Casserole

Sometimes, you just want pizza, but ‘fathead’ dough and other low carb pizza bases feel like too much work. Enter this pizza casserole from Kalyns Kitchen. All the key pizza flavours without the extra prep of a low carb base.

Get the recipe here

One-Pot Garlic and Mushroom Chicken Thighs

Another great one pot chicken dish here, using cost effective chicken thighs. A short ingredient list should also help keep this a cheap keto meal.

I love garlic, and always have a few bulbs in the kitchen. You get so much flavour out of something so small, and cheap. Garlic butter on just about anything will elevate it into an indulgent keto delight!

Get the recipe here

Paprika Cream Chicken

This creamy chicken dish from Once Upon a Food Blog is quick and simple to make, not least due to its short ingredient list. This dish is bright and flavourful without breaking the bank. Have with a side salad or some buttered greens.

Get the recipe here

Mexican Fried Zucchini and Beef

Any sort of one skillet, stir fry dish can be great for putting together a cheap keto dinner. This fry from Low Carb Yum is a great example of a flavourful cheap meal just about anyone can put together.

Ground beef is really inexpensive, and you can be pretty flexible with all the other ingredients based on whatever you’ve got available or needs using up.

Get the recipe here

Keto Cabbage and Beef Soup

This warming soup from Wholesome Yum is a great, cheap winter dish that’s simple to put together with tonnes of flavor!

Ground beef is an unusual addition to a soup buts gives some extra texture and richness to this hearty keto meal.

Get the recipe here

Ground Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

Quick, and most importantly cheap! This delicious stir fry from Savory Tooth can be ready in just 15 minutes! (For more 15 minute keto meals, check out this post!)

Dishes like this are great staples to build your repertoire. It’s always good to have the ingredients in the house for a couple of super fast, cheap dishes like this!

Get the recipe here.

Keto Fried Rice with Pork

Pork belly is a great, cheap cut of meat with great flavour and richness. This fried ‘rice’ dish from Happy Keto makes use of this cheaper cut and the classic keto staple of cauliflower rice for a filling, quick and cheap keto dinner, a perfect combo!

Get the recipe here

Cheap Keto Dinners – Keto on a Budget

So I hope you’ve found some inspiration amongst these examples of how to keep the cost down on keto. Keep your ingredient list short, try to buy or cook in bulk, and avoid expensive ingredients in favour of better value items like ground meat etc. and hopefully you’ll be able to lose weight without losing your hard earned cash!

If you’ve not found your perfect affordable low carb recipe here, then check out part 2 for even more cheap keto ideas, link below:

In a hurry? Then why not check out these great quick keto dinner recipes next?

If you’re looking for a great resource for some more cheap, quick and easy keto meals then I can definitely recommend the Try Low Carb range of Keto in Five books. I picked up their Dinner in Five book when I first started keto which was great with it’s 5 ingredient limit to keep meals cheap and easy, check them out!

Be sure to read our guide on how to do the keto diet on a budget for more tips on what to cook, and how to shop to keep keto cheap. If you’re in a hurry then I’d recommend checking out these great dinner ideas you can have ready in 15 minutes or less!

Where to next on your keto journey?

1. Find out how to get into a deeper state of ketosis with our 6 steps for optimal ketosis

2. Learn more about working out on the keto diet with our keto exercise guide

3. Discover the signs and symptoms of Ketosis

4. Check out these tips and tricks to save money and lose weight with our keto on a budget guide

5. Stock up your keto cupboard with this list of ready to eat keto snacks

6. Keto in a hurry? Make one of these keto friendly smoothies to fuel your day

7. Learn more about the keto diet with our beginners guide to keto

8. Cook keto in a hurry with these great quick keto dinner recipes

9. Make great meals without blowing the bank with these cheap keto meals

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  • You’ve been wanting to start a Keto Diet but you’re concerned that a higher protein and high fat diet will cause your grocery budget to go through the roof. Cheap keto meals are totally possible if you eat the right foods and know how to be a savvy shopper.

    Are whole foods more expensive than processed packaged artificial foods? Often! But if you’re serious about feeling great and losing weight, eating low-cost food with real ingredients is the way to accomplish that.

    Let me assure you, that as a frugal mama who also likes to eat whole foods that are low carb and work for my keto following hubby too, there are tons of cheap keto meals you can make in a snap.

    Finding cheap keto meals is totally possible and will make it easier to keep that grocery bill down. Regardless of what you read elsewhere, keto does NOT have to be an expensive diet.

    Whether you’re looking for cheap keto chicken meals, ground beef, turkey, and more, you’ll love the variety of these cheap low carb recipes.

    Cheap Keto

    Just knowing the best low-cost protein options can make or break your keto grocery budget.

    Here are some of the leanest meat cuts you can buy to keep your Keto Diet meal costs down:

    • ground beef
    • ground chicken
    • ground turkey
    • chicken thighs
    • frozen chicken breasts
    • sausages
    • canned tuna
    • pork shoulder roast
    • casseroles and soups
    • vegetarian

    Cheap Keto Meals

    What’s even better is that not only are these low carb and keto dinners cheap, they’re also so quick and easy to put together! They also make fabulous leftovers for your lunch and for easy meal prep ideas.

    Whether you’re craving tacos, burgers, a hearty soup, lasagne, macaroni and more, we have tons of budget low carb and cheap keto meals for you! Here are 20 of our favorite cheap keto recipes from our site, but also from other keto blogs we like.

    Our top tips for eating the cheapest keto meals:

    • Eat inexpensive cuts of meat and protein sources
    • Stay away from expensive processed keto snacks
    • Shop grocery store sales and use coupons
    • Buy foods in bulk to save on large quantity pricing
    • Use a meal plan to only buy what you need for the week
    • Make recipes with simple ingredients, such as a protein paired with low carb vegetables

    Our Top Cheap Keto Recipes

    Here’s our top cheap keto recipes on our website that are inexpensive to make but also easy! None of us have time to spend countless hours in the kitchen cooking complicated recipes with special ingredients.

    Low Carb Crack Slaw (Keto Egg Roll in a Bowl)

    If you haven’t yet tried keto egg roll in a bowl also known as keto crack slaw, you’ve just found one of your new favorite recipes!

    It just has a few ingredients and only takes 15 minutes to cook! This is one of our favorite cheap keto meals since you can easily swap out the ground pork for beef, chicken, or turkey depending on what’s on sale.

    GET THE RECIPE:

    Keto Crack Slaw Recipe by Whole Lotta Yum

    Green Chili Casserole

    This easy keto green chili casserole is not only inexpensive, it uses simple ingredients and bakes in only 20 minutes.

    One of my favorite keto saving tips is to cook with frozen chicken like we did with this easy cheap keto recipe. You’ve save big on chicken by purchasing frozen, even better yet? Use frozen chicken tenders instead of the more costly chicken breasts.

    Stuffed Bell Peppers Without Rice

    These simple keto stuffed bell peppers are a low carb take on the traditional rice-filled classic. Buying the peppers in bulk or on sale will keep the cost down, or grow them in your garden like we did this year!

    Ground meats are also one of the least expensive cuts of meat, which also makes it easy to do cheap keto.

    Instant Pot Country Style Ribs

    By chance you have an instant pot, our ribs recipe is super popular on our site. So moist and juicy, everyone will think these were slow cooked all day long!

    We LOVE eating country style ribs, not only is a super affordable cut of meat, they’re always a crowd-pleaser.

    Pizza Soup

    You can’t go wrong with low carb pizza soup! Not only does it cost less to make than buying a whole pizza, soup is easy to stretch and take to lunch or freeze for later.

    MORE Cheap Low Carb Recipes

    Here’s additional cheap low carb recipes from some of our favorite low carb bloggers. All of these simple keto meals look absolutely delicious!

    Low Carb Big Mac Bites

    Find the recipe at Homemade Interest

    Zucchini Lasagne

    Find the recipe at Savory Tooth

    Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

    Find the recipe at Skinny Taste

    Sheet Pan Sausage and Peppers

    Find the recipe at Whole Kitchen Sink

    Low Carb Broccoli Cheese Soup

    Find the recipe at Wholesome Yum

    Garlic Mushroom Chicken Thighs

    Find the recipe at Sweet C Designs

    Chicken Broccoli Casserole

    Find the recipe at Eat Well 101

    Keto Cauliflower Mac

    Find the Recipe at Don’t Sweat the Recipe

    Eating vegetarian meals is another way to do keto on a budget.

    Easy Keto Pulled Pork

    Find the recipe at the Beauticle

    Pulled pork anything is always a family favorite around our house. Especially close to summer you can often find pork or pork ribs for under $2/lb!

    Cooking with pulled pork goes along way and it’s even easier to stretch when mixed with low carb vegetables in a lettuce wrap.

    Keto Chicken Bacon Ranch

    Find the recipe at Fabulously Frugal

    Other Keto Dinners You’ll Love

    • 25 Easy Keto Dinner Recipes
    • 30 Keto Casserole Recipes
    • 14 Low Carb Wrap Recipes
    • 16 Keto Side Dishes
    • 32 Keto Soup Recipes
    • 30 Days of 30 Minute Keto Meals
    • 21 Easy Keto Meals for Beginners
    • 10 Best Keto Crockpot Recipes
    • 8 Keto Buffalo Chicken Recipes
    • 20 Keto Instant Pot Dinner Recipes
    • 14 Keto Bacon Recipes
    • 23 Keto Ground Beef Recipes
    • 25 Keto Chicken Dinner Recipes

    Ketogenic Diet on a Budget

    Want to try going Keto but need to stick to a budget? Here are 5 tips to help you save big and win.

    If you have tried to lose weight or just scrolled through your Facebook feed in the last 3 years, you have probably heard of the Ketogenic Diet.

    It seems like everyone is doing it right now. In fact, it inspire one of the more common questions I receive.

    How can I save money while doing the Ketogenic Diet?

    Is there such thing as Keto on a Budget?

    The short answer is yes! You can save money (a lot of it) while one the Ketogenic diet.

    If you are considering going Keto but you are on a budget, keep reading.

    Do This First

    Before you start any diet or food program, do two things:

    1. Research Like Your Life Depends on it

    Because it does. What you put in your body is important. Be careful doing any diet just because one of your Facebook friends had good results. There are a lot of opinions out there, and I’m sure none of us is 100% correct.

    2. Remember Real Food

    Diets are tricky. They promise results and quite often, they deliver. But in the process, we can end up doing very unhealthy things. If a diet is telling you to do something that doesn’t sit right with what you believe, take a second look.

    I say this specifically because some people may treat the Ketogenic diet as an excuse to eat tacos with tortillas made of cheese. Granted, that sounds amazing, and I will be first in line when you bring it to a potluck. But if you are constantly reaching for cheese, eggs, and meat, and you find you aren’t eating many vegetables, maybe you need to rethink how you are tackling Keto.

    Helpful Reading About the Ketogenic Diet:

    • 10 Ways To Lose Weight & Still Nourish Your Body
    • How to Evaluate New Nutritional Philosophies Through a Critical Thinking, Traditional Foods Lense
    • 6 Mistakes Every Keto Beginner Makes (and How to Avoid Them)
    • Dangers of Low-Carb Diets Long term {Keto, GAPS, Atkins, Low-Carb} — & ways around those risks

    How to Save Money While Going Keto

    You may find you need to adjust your grocery budget. If you have a very generous budget already, perhaps you won’t. These tips will help you stick to that budget while you transition.

    If you are on a tight budget, give yourself a few weeks to adjust and find what works for you.

    When our family did the Cheapskate Whole30 Challenge, we had to increase our grocery budget significantly. However, we still saved a lot of money and kept our budget under national guidelines.

    There is no getting around the fact that rice, oatmeal, and wheat products are cheaper than quality meats and vegetables. However, using these tips will help every one of your dollars pack a powerful punch.

    2. Save on Animal Products

    Ideally, on the Ketogenic diet, you will not increase your intake of meat.

    Instead, you decrease your starchy carbohydrates (bread, grains, fruit, high-carb vegetables, etc.) and increase your intake of non-starchy vegetables and healthy fats.

    I think quality is very important here. While the Ketogenic diet has a lot of benefits, there is still a lot of research that points to the dangers of factory-farmed meat and animal products.

    If you eat a normal Standard American Diet (highly-processed carbs, sugary drinks, very few vegetables and plants), conventional animal products may be a huge improvement.

    However, if you already source sustainable, quality meat, eggs, and dairy products, going conventional may feel like you are taking a step back.

    This does not mean buying expensive cuts of meat or fancy cheeses. Instead, you can save a lot of money by sticking to the cheap cuts – bone-in, ground, skin-on, whole chickens, organ meats, etc. – and simply choosing organic or local.

    I shared how to afford grass-fed, pastured meat on a shoestring here.

    When our family did Whole30, one of our goals was to eat only quality, organic or local meat. The most we paid per pound of meat was $5 for local, grass-fed ground beef. Do some research, find local farms, ask for deals or bulk discounts and then keep shopping there. If your farmer knows they can rely on you as a regular customer, they are more likely to find good deals for you.

    3. Vegetables

    If you are on a tight budget, some sources recommend that you choose organic, quality meat over organic produce. Ideally, we want both, but sometimes we have to choose one.

    I shared my favorite ways to save money on quality fruits and vegetables (and how we have gotten a ton for free!) here.

    While eating Keto, you have to be careful about which plants you eat. Some are high in carbs. The best ways to save money here are these:

    1. Price Shop

    Find which store around you has the best prices on the fruits and vegetables you can eat. Buy them there.

    For example, in my area, Costco has some of the best prices on:

    • organic lettuce
    • fresh organic greens
    • organic celery
    • frozen organic broccoli
    • frozen organic berries

    But Aldi has better prices on:

    • avocados (when they’re on sale)
    • frozen broccoli
    • frozen spinach
    • celery
    • olives
    • frozen organic berries (very similar price to Coscto!)

    I can get even better prices at Kroger if I find markdowns and clearance items in their produce section.

    Please Note:

    I do not advocate shopping at a million stores a week in order to save a few dollars. However, if you can work a simple rhythm into your schedule so you can hit multiple stores, you may consistently save money.

    Example: We hit Aldi once a week on our way to the library. We stop at Costco over the weekend after church. Kroger is less than a mile from our house, so we might stop there once a week to look for markdowns.

    Every region is different, so take a little time to price shop and decide what you should buy where and how it might work in you schedule.

    2. Buy Frozen

    Not only will buying frozen vegetables and berries save meal prep time, but it will also save you money.

    We love frozen vegetables. Even though fresh tastes better, not every meal needs to be a masterpeice. Sometimes we just need to EAT.

    4. More Animal Products

    Go here for my favorite ways to save money on quality dairy products.

    5. Find a Food Rhythm

    You could also call this a meal plan, but it’s not quite. More often, there are only one, maybe two people in a household following the Ketogenic diet.

    Meal plan for the rest of the house, but follow a food rhythm for yourself.

    Make a list of your go-to breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Choose some that fall into these categories:

    1. Quick and easy (examples: sardines and veggies; cheese cubes and veggies; scrambled eggs with cheese and steamed broccoli)
    2. Simple to make ahead (hardboiled eggs, salad fixings, homemade dressing, chopped vegetables for sauteeing, chicken, ground beef, soup, stew, cheesy casseroles)
    3. Special occasion (those melted cheese-tortilla tacos)

    Decide how you can work these into your week. Be willing to try something again or try something new if it doesn’t work the first time.

    6. Simple Food Prep

    We have all heard of meal prepping, but what does it look like on a specialized diet? Or what if you are prepping for 1-2 people out of a whole family?

    It looks a lot like prepping several simple meal elements. This saves time later and stops you from needing to reach for expensive Keto convenience foods. It also helps keep you from getting bored. Try preparing several items every week, you will have plenty of variety for many meals.

    (This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links. This occurs at no extra cost to you! You can view our full disclosure policy here.)

    One of my favorite cookbooks, Well Fed: Paleo Recipe for People Who Love to Eat, first taught me this simple but powerful process. It was a gamechanger (note: there are lots of keto-friendly or adaptable recipes in the book too!).

    Keto-Friendly Foods to Make Ahead:

    • The Only Beef You Have to Make
    • The Only Chicken You Have to Make
    • 5-Ingredient Sausage
    • Hard-boiled eggs (try them on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the instant pot)
    • Slice or shred cheese (buying cheese in blocks saves money!)
    • Chop veggies for salads and sauteeing
    • Soup
    • Casserole (like this Pizza Bake!)
    • 5-Minute Egg & Cheese Muffins
    • Bone Broth (try it in the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)

    In order to save money and eat healthy, you have to be willing to learn, get creative, and try new things. Going Keto can feel overwhelming, but if you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably ready for it. Use these tips to help you save money on your journey to healthier living!

    Got a Money-Saving Keto Tip?

    How do you save money on quality Ketogenic foods? Share your tips in the comments!

    If you found this post helpful, let us know! Leave a comment, share the post on Facebook (see the icon below) or Pinterest, and follow us on Instagram for more tips and frugal recipes.

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    How to Do the Keto Diet on a Budget

    Starting any new diet can be a daunting financial prospect. After all, it can be tough to build affordable, healthy meals according to a strange new diet strategy with unusual or exotic ingredients. There’s good news, though. You don’t need to be a high roller to eat a high-fat diet. You can eat wallet-friendly, delicious meals that support your ketogenic lifestyle. Here’s how to do keto on a budget:

    1. Establish a food budget.
    2. Plan to cook at home.
    3. Shop where the deals are.
    4. Ditch the conveniences.
    5. Save big on meat and other proteins.
    6. Choose affordable produce with low net carbs.
    7. Buy low-cost and healthy fats.
    8. Skip the snacks.

    1. Establish a food budget.

    Before you hit the grocery store, you need to determine what your food budget actually is. List out your income and other expenses and decide how much you can reasonably afford to spend on groceries. This number is a clear spending limit that will guide your shopping strategy and choices.

    2. Plan to cook at home.

    Eating out frequently can bust your food budget fast and it may not be great for your diet. When a restaurant prepares your food, you can’t be completely sure of what’s in it. So, to preserve your bank balance and accurately keep tabs on your nutrition, plan to cook most of your meals at home. Not sure what to make? Dishes like stir fry or bacon cheeseburger casserole fit into a low-carb diet.

    To add cooking to your to-do list without getting overwhelmed, try to plan your meals. It’s exactly as it sounds — you decide what you’re going to eat ahead of time. Then, you only buy the ingredients that you’ll need to prepare those meals (no snacks or random extras). Finally, you set aside some time each week to cook meals in batches, stashing your creations in food storage containers.

    This disciplined process will ultimately save you time and money. Your shorter grocery list will keep your trips to the store budget-friendly. Your ready-made, portioned out meals will reduce the temptation to order takeout and eliminate the annoying and time-consuming game of deciding what to eat for dinner every night. Plus, if you make enough food, you’ll have leftovers that you can freeze to stretch that budget even further.

    3. Shop where the deals are.

    To get the most out of every dollar spent, you need to shop smart and find the best deals. In season, farmer’s markets are a great place to buy fresh, low-carb, and affordable produce. For everything else, head to Trader Joe’s or another local grocery store known for its bargains. When you need to replace staples like oils, spices, and nuts, hit up a warehouse store and buy them in bulk.

    Don’t forget to shop for sales and buy the store brand versions of goods whenever possible. Over time, those savings will really add up. To get to the next level with your meal planning game, create recipes exclusively based on what’s on sale each week.

    4. Ditch the conveniences.

    Life gets crazy busy sometimes, so it’s only natural to look for shortcuts. Unfortunately, though, you pay extra for convenience. To save money, try implementing these tips:

    • Avoid pre-cut vegetables and chop them yourself.
    • Skip the processed keto diet bars and eat nuts instead.
    • Save bones from meat and make your own bone broth.
    • Try jazzing up your tap or filtered water with some lemon, muddled berries, or mint.
    • Make your own salad dressing or condiments. If you’ve got extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, and some spices, you’re good to go.

    5. Save big on meat and other proteins.

    Meat, seafood, and other proteins can easily bust your food budget, but there are several ways to get what you need without breaking the bank:

    • Buy cheaper cuts of meat. Substitute a rump roast for ribeye, a pork shoulder for bone-in pork chops, and a whole chicken for chicken breasts to get the flavor you’re looking for at a fraction of the price.
    • See if your community offers a meat share. You may be able to buy a quarter, half, or full cow. While expensive upfront, you would save money pound for pound compared to grocery store pricing. And, if frozen properly, you would be stocked up on beef pretty much forever. A quarter of a cow yields at least 150 pounds of meat!
    • Try frozen or canned fish. Tuna, mackerel, and salmon all support the keto lifestyle. Please note: tuna can contain high levels of mercury, so consume in moderation.
    • Try black soybeans or lupini beans. They’re low in net carbs and pack an affordable, yet filling protein punch.

    6. Choose affordable produce with low net carbs.

    Vegetables are an important source of vitamins and nutrients, but many are starchy and high in carbohydrates, which doesn’t fit in with your ketogenic diet. To get your veggie on while still promoting ketosis, fill your shopping cart with produce like cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, rutabaga, mushrooms, cabbage, lettuce, and other leafy greens. They’re tasty, versatile, and the perfect foundation for a cheap, low-carb meal.

    7. Buy low-cost and healthy fats.

    Ketosis and the release of ketones (which burns your body fat) can occur if you exercise vigorously, practice intermittent fasting, or eat a diet that’s low in carbs, moderate in protein, and high in healthy fats. To make sure you always have enough fat sources on hand, stock your fridge and pantry with some of these affordable ingredients:

    • Produce: fresh avocados (when in season)
    • Oils: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil (buy these in bulk)
    • Dairy: butter, sour cream, heavy cream, shredded cheese
    • Meat and protein: eggs, peanut butter, ground beef

    8. Skip the snacks.

    One of the possible effects of being in ketosis is a reduced appetite. If this happens to you, you won’t need to snack much between meals. That means you’ll eat fewer calories and save money! Of course, it’s probably wise to have a few keto-approved snacks on hand to satisfy any rogue cases of the munchies. Think almonds, hard-boiled eggs, or frozen berries (a great low-carb way to sneak in some fruit).

    Final thoughts

    If you’re just getting into the ketogenic diet or you’re trying to figure out how to make it more affordable, be assured that you can do keto on a budget. These money-saving tips and meal ideas will help you pursue the lifestyle you want — without breaking the bank!

    Tell Charlie: How do you do keto on a budget?

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