From what you see online and in the news, it is easy to believe that you need to spend lots of money to do the keto diet successfully. However, that could not be further from the truth.
What makes the ketogenic diet expensive for some is relying on more pricey food items and getting swept away by fancy keto products.
If you stay clear of all the costly foods and supplements, you can successfully eat a ketogenic diet without spending too much.
There is a wide variety of equally delicious and nutritious cheap low-carb foods.
If you have been looking for a way to do the ketogenic diet on a budget, this article is for you. You will learn which foods are not only best for your health but also for your wallet. You will also get a free sample low-cost keto meal plan for a day.
As the name suggests, keto on a budget means eating a high-fat low-carb diet with a limited amount of money.
How much does keto cost?
It is hard to say exactly how much the diet costs. Many different factors influence how much each of us spends on food. Such factors include where you live, where you shop, tastes and preferences, budget, attitude towards food, and the food available. Even the season and the weather can affect prices!
So while we cannot put a specific price on keto, it is most certainly not as expensive as some believe. If you have been eating a balanced diet low in processed junk food and rich in whole foods, a low-carb diet should cost as much as your regular diet.
If you have limited money to spend, there are countless affordable keto food options on the market. Depending on how tight your budget is, eating on a low budget may require some more legwork, but it is totally manageable.
At the start, eating a whole balanced diet on a budget may be difficult. Here are some tips to help you succeed on the ketogenic diet no matter what your budget is.
If you are going to learn how to eat keto on a budget, you need to know which foods give you the biggest bang for your buck. These are the foods that will take center stage in your diet.
Foods that cost more can make an appearance, but only if your budget allows it.
Remember, the body cannot tell the difference between nutrients from inexpensive food and those from fancy foods.
Some of the cheapest keto foods include:
Now that you know what you will be eating, what will you be staying clear of? On a budget ketogenic diet, two types of food will be cut from your diet; non-ketogenic foods and expensive ketogenic foods.
Non-keto-friendly foods include:
Expensive ketogenic foods include avocado, steak, and fancy cheeses.
It is important to note that expensive ketogenic foods are not inherently bad. If you find that they can fit in your budget sometimes, then, by all means, enjoy them. Otherwise, try to stick with the affordable options.
To help you make a keto grocery list on a budget, you can follow this template. Knowing what types of food you are shopping for can help you easily decide what to buy.
On a regular diet, one has to cater to four food groups; carbs, protein, fat, and fruits and vegetables. On keto, carbs are off limits. This means you only have to cater to four categories; fat, protein, fruits, and vegetables.
If you keep these groups in mind when shopping, keto shopping on a budget will be a breeze.
Whenever you shop, choose a couple from each category. Switch the foods up every time you shop to ensure variety in your diet.
If you carefully plan for what to eat, it should not be that difficult to come up with budget-friendly keto meals.
As long as you learn what and where to shop, your cheap low-carb meals will come together in no time.
Here is a sample inexpensive keto meal plan for a day that you can try.
Calories: 2,051 | Macros: 19.9 g net carbs, 75.9 g protein, and 185 g fat.
|BREAKFAST||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Hard boiled eggs||Egg||2||144||0||12.2||10|
|144||0 g||12.2 g||10 g|
|MORNING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Celery sticks||Celery||10 4-inch sticks||5||0.6||0.3||0|
|Peanut Butter||Peanut butter||2 tablespoons||204||5.6||7.2||16.4|
|209||6.2 g||7.5 g||16.4 g|
|LUNCH||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Burger patty||Ground beef||150 g||320||0||28||23|
|Olive oil||Olive oil||3 tablespoons||345||0||0||38.4|
|675||0.8 g||29.2 g||61.8 g|
|EVENING SNACK||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|523||5.6 g||12.2 g||52.2 g|
|DINNER||Ingredients||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs(g)||Protein(g)||Fat(g)|
|Chicken thighs||Chicken||100 g||440||0||9.6||44.2|
|Broccoli||Broccoli||2 cups raw||60||7.3||5.2||0.6|
|500||7.3 g||14.8 g||44.8 g|
|DAILY TOTALS||2,051 cal||19.9 g net carbs||75.9 g protein||185 g fat|
Many budget-friendly ketogenic recipes can be built around eggs, such as omelets, frittatas, quiches, egg salad, hard-boiled eggs, and egg muffins.
Eggs are very cheap in most places. And since they do not spoil easily, you can buy a fairly large amount to get a bargain. Be sure to store your eggs in the fridge if you buy many at a go.
The cheapest food depends on where you live. In general, chicken is the cheapest keto fast food in most restaurants.
However, fried chicken should not be a staple in anyone’s diet, even if it is inexpensive and possibly ketogenic (depending on the batter). Grilled chicken is a much healthier option and usually goes for a similar price.
Some restaurants offer ketogenic versions of cheap fast food options, for example breadless burgers and bunless sandwiches.
A whole food LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) diet is the cheapest keto diet plan. The diet plan relies on eggs, inexpensive cuts of meat, and frozen produce and does away with more expensive processed keto-friendly foods and products.
Some of the most affordable keto meal delivery services include FreshlyFit, Snap Kitchen, and Sun Basket. Unfortunately, most of these services are not available everywhere.
The most affordable keto meats are whole chicken, untrimmed brisket, beef sirloin, and pork loins. If you do want to buy a whole chicken, bone-in chicken legs and thighs are the cheapest cuts.
According to a study by Dunnhumby, the cheapest grocery stores are Aldi, Market Basket, WinCo, Lidl, and Food4Less. However, the ranking changes from year to year, and you should also factor in things like convenience (how long it takes to get there) and food quality.