Do this to save money
There are many things you can do straight away to save money, in these categories:
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.
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.
- Buy regular cheese, not specialty cheeses that can be pricey. Don’t buy preshredded cheese, buy in bulk and shred/grate it yourself.
- Make your own coleslaw and avoid expensive ready made coleslaw made with unhealthy oils. Coleslaw is incredibly easy and cheap to make yourself in your food processor (recipe).
- Buy simple meats, not specialty cooked meats from the deli. Cooked meat can be great for a quick simple meal, but stick to the less exotic and cheaper meat such as cooked roast beef or chicken drumsticks.
- Put back the kale that can cost a fortune and buy other leafy greens that are just as nutritious but much cheaper.
- Stop buying nuts because they can soon add up, especially macadamias. Walnuts, almonds and brazil nuts are great alternatives or stop buying them altogether. Low-carb nuts guide
- Buy almond meal, not almond flour which can be expensive. Almond meal is cheaper and interchangeable in most recipes. You can even make your own ground almonds in your coffee grinder.
- Buy avocado oil not avocados when they are out of season and expensive.
- Buy frozen or canned fish rather than fresh which can be a real budget breaker, especially salmon. Canned tuna and mackerel are cheap handy snacks to have in the pantry.
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 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.
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
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.
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