June 20, 2021

INDAC

Keep Fit & Healthy

How to make a low-carb or keto diet cheaper

6 min read

Do this to save money

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There are many things you can do straight away to save money, in these categories:

  1. Plan
  2. Shop
  3. Cook
  4. Eat


 

1. Plan

Planning your low carb meals and shopping is a great way to ensure meals are organized for the week ahead. You get to buy only what you need, and you won’t be relying on emergency takeaways. See what’s in your pantry and fridge already, then plan meals that will use these ingredients to stop food wastage.

Planning shopping lists helps you stop unnecessary spending and impulse purchases. Did you know that each week we spend on average 17% of our grocery budget on impulse purchases?

Also, bargain deals may appear to be good value. But naturally you save even more if you don’t buy additional foods at all.

Make a shopping list, and stick to it. Preferably only buy the things you need.


 

2. Shop

 

Buy cheaper alternatives

Some low carb foods are ridiculously expensive, but here are plenty of cheaper options which are just as delicious, simple and healthy.

Smoked salmon costs $1.66 per oz but canned salmon costs $0.20 per oz and frozen salmon costs $0.37 per oz.

 

Buy the best quality you can afford

Organic vegetables have less pesticides, grass fed meat has superior nutrition and free range eggs are nutritious but expensive. Unfortunately these are simply out of the reach for those who need help the most, and who are living to a strict grocery budget.

For someone living on a diet of sodas, fries and fast food, swapping to regular eggs, regular vegetables and regular meat will still have an enormous impact on their health. The single most important factor to improve your health, is to cook from scratch, at home.

Buy free range eggs as often as your budget will allow, but regular eggs will still be a better breakfast option than high­-sugar cereals.

Organic broccoli costs $1.50 whereas regular broccoli costs $0.59.

 

Buy in season

Buy in season and eat in season. Many vegetables can be bought when they are cheap and frozen. There are many cheap low­carb­freezer staples such as berries, spinach and cauliflower which are just as nutritious as fresh but much cheaper.

Fresh berries can cost $4.99 but frozen berries year round cost $1.75 (per 6oz serving).

 

Buy bargains

Buy cheaper store brands, buy discounted food near its expiry date, buy misshapen vegetables, buy food with damaged packaging, buy from your local farmer’s market, and buy regular food not specialty foods from the deli counter.

Branded canned tomatoes can cost $0.13 per oz, but generic canned tomatoes only costs $0.05 per oz

 

Buy in bulk

Find a local butcher, and buy in bulk. Buy canned and frozen goods when they are discounted. Buying in bulk often attracts extra discounts and you know you will have a pantry and freezer full of ingredients just waiting to be turned into a meal.

Ground beef costs $4.49 per lb, but when you buy in 3 lb bulk lots, the cost can drop to $3.49 per lb.

 

Buy organ meat

Organ meat is incredibly cheap and very nutritious.

Liver gram for gram provides more nutrients than almost any other type of meat. If you don’t like eating liver, use it diced finely in a dish such as chilli to bulk up the ground beef. Liver is cheap and incredibly nutritious.

 

Buy cheaper cuts of meat

Don’t buy the expensive lean meats, buy the cheaper fatty ground meat, buy the fatty pork chops, and buy the cheap chicken that still has the skin on.

Buy the cheap casserole/stewing meat and learn to love your slow cooker. It will transform cheap cuts of meat into tender meal.

Find a local butcher who sells pork skins to make your own crackling which is a perfect low carb snack.

Use bones from a roast dinner or from the butcher to make bone broth.

Porterhouse steak costs $8.99 per lb compared to stewing steak which only costs $2.99 per lb.


 

3. Cook

Cook once, eat twice

Leftovers are the champion of low­-carb living. Cook extra portions and only go back for seconds if you’re still hungry. Leftovers are a fantastic way to eat an affordable healthy low-carb meal for lunch or dinner.

If there is a special discount in the grocery store, buy in bulk, cook in bulk, then freeze extra portions. You will have a happy freezer full of cheap healthy low-carb ready meals.

 

Cook dinner at home

Eating out can be expensive ­- especially if you want to eat healthy. Did you know that Americans now spend 50% of their food budget eating out? Cook at home with real food instead. You will eat healthier, skip the extra drinks, desserts and coffees, and save a lot of money.

 

Cook simple meals

Simplicity is the key to healthy cheap meals. Each low-carb meal should have some good protein, non­starchy vegetables and plenty of healthy fats.

Meals don’t have to be complicated, in fact simple meals are easier to make, cheaper, and will encourage you to cook more often.

Find our best low-carb recipes here


 

4. Eat

Eat more fat

Add more healthy fats to your low-carb meals and you won’t want to eat so much. Once you become fat adapted your appetite reduces and so does your meal size. Healthy fats at each meal will keep you sustained and fuller for longer.

Add plenty of cheese and herbed butter to your steak, olive oil on your salad, and coconut cream to your yoghurt and you will only eat a portion of an equivalent low fat meal.

Here’s the full guide:

 

 

 

Eat more eggs

Consider adding more eggs to your diet. Eggs are a great source of protein, fats and other nutrients. They are a relatively inexpensive protein source, much cheaper than meat for example. Oh, and eggs are delicious – just check out these awesome recipes!

A steak dinner may cost $6.49 but scrambled eggs with butter and cheese costs $0.64.

 

Fast intermittently

Once you eat low carb you will eat less, in fact you will start to intermittently fast sometimes without realising. When you eat low carb, your appetite is under control and you no longer eat the volume of food you once did.

Planned intermittent provides numerous health benefits and allows you to eat less and save more money.

By fasting and thereby skipping one meal a day, you could potentially save a third of your food budget.

Intermittent fasting for beginners

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