Are you 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
Is it Expensive to Eat Keto?
It can be in the beginning if you jump full force and fully stock your pantry with all keto foods. I chose instead to stock my keto pantry along the way by making a meal plan each week and only buying the ingredients I needed to stick to our meal plan. As I did this, I slowly built my keto pantry over time so that I didn’t break the bank.
You may find yourself eating at home, which may initially increase your grocery budget. At the same time, you should find yourself spending much less eating out so that many often find themselves saving money overall.
How Much Does the Keto Plan Cost?
The great thing about following a ketogenic diet is that you can do it entirely for free. With the availability of countless free online resources, there is no treason to invest in a keto meal plan or special keto products that promise ketosis. The lack of carbs in your diet will cause your body to go into ketosis naturally without any outside help.
How do You do Keto Cheap?
1. Prepare Simple Cheap Keto Meals, Plan Leftovers, & Pantry Cooking
- Keep it Simple – You don’t have to make elaborate meals every night. One way to eat keto on a budget is to keep meals simple so that you don’t have to invest in a lot of ingredients. Meat, veggie, and garden salad make a fantastic easy dinner idea. Another great option is a casserole or one-skillet recipe that has both a meat and a vegetable for a complete meal.
- Leftovers are Smart – Make enough for leftovers. It’s often cheaper to buy ingredients to double a recipe instead of making something new at every meal. You can prepare one meal to enjoy now and another as a freezer meal later. Or, make one meal for dinner and rewarm the next day for lunch.
- One Day a Week Declare a Smorgasboard – Typically, one day a week for lunch, we get out all the leftovers so everyone can pick and choose their favorites. Instead of throwing and wasting food, we are purposeful to eat what we’ve made that week.
- Pantry Cooking – Eat what you have instead of going to the grocery store to purchase ingredients for other recipes. There is a good chance we can all pull together a meal out of what we have in our pantry, fridge, and freezer. It might not be what we are craving, but it is one way to stretch your budget further and to reduce waste.
Cheap Keto Meals:
- Keto Ground Beef Casserole
- Oven-Baked Pork Chops & Broccoli One Pan Meal
- Cheesy Mexican Skillet
- Keto Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli Bake
Cheap Keto Lunch Ideas
2. Cheap Cuts of Meat, Shop Weekly Sales, and/or Buy Meat in Bulk
- Choose Cheap Cuts of Meat – Some cuts of meat are generally cheaper such as a whole chicken, chicken thighs and drumsticks, flat steaks, ground beef, chuck roast, sirloin steak, and bone-in pork chops
- Shop Weekly Sales – Shopping weekly grocery store sales will save you money to eat keto on a budget. 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 buy more and freeze for later. In the long run, your savings can be significant.
- Buy Meat in Bulk -If you have a large freezer, buying meat in bulk can be a budget saver. You may be able to find someone local who is selling 1/2 to 1/4 of a cow.
3. Save on Fruits & Veggies
- Buy Produce in Season – In addition to the grocery store offering weekly sales on meats, you’ll also find the same for produce. Shopping for fruits and veggies on sale and in season will garner the most savings. You can also take advantage of deals by stocking up then freeze items that can be frozen for later. Here is a guide for how to freeze fruits and veggies.
- Shop Farmer’s Markets – In the summer months, I shop at Farmer’s Markets, a local Amish farm, and roadside produce stands. I’ve found that I can often get especially good deals at the end of the day.
- Plant a Small Garden – If it is an option for you, a garden can be a huge money saver, especially for veggies you eat often. We eat a lot of cucumbers and green peppers at our house. We’ve planted a small garden several times, and it helped tremendously.
4. Meal Plan, Pick Five, & Meal Prep
- Meal Plan – I create a very lazy meal keto plan each week then only buy the items I need. By planning, I buy what we need and then am intentional in cooking the foods we purchased and eating 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.
- Five Favorite Meals – Pick five meals that are easy to make and keep the ingredients for these recipes on hand at all times. That way, when you are tempted to go out to eat and spend money, you know you have everything on hand to make an easy meal without a lot of effort.
- Meal Prep – By doing a little bit of meal prep in advance, like keeping ground beef already browned in the freezer or doubling recipes, you will save time in the kitchen. I call this working smarter, not harder, so that you don’t get too of cooking, especially now when we are home for an extended period. This post, 5 easy steps to keto meal prep, outlines easy tips for meal prep.
5. Buy in Bulk at Wholesale Clubs like Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s Warehouse
- As part of the Keto lifestyle, 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. With so many other grocery stores limiting the amounts of foods you can buy, buying in bulk at a wholesale club is helpful.
6. Grocery Shop Online
- Grocery shopping online can be a huge time saver and a way to stay on budget as it reduces impulse buys. Especially now, when so many don’t want to venture out, grocery shopping online is a great option. Right now, my store only releases shopping days two days at a time, so it has been a bit more challenging. If you secure a time slot, you can save $10 off your first online order at Walmart here.
7. Check discount stores for almond flour, coconut flour, etc
- 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.
8. You don’t need everything you see in a keto grocery list
- It’s always helpful to shop from a keto grocery list. However, keep in mind, you don’t need every single keto item at the grocery store at once. Instead, buy low carb foods as you need them and build your keto pantry along the way. Stick to the basics, then buy extras as needed. Here is a link to my printable keto grocery list to keep handy.
9. Shop ALDI
- Shopping at ALDI can help save money to eat keto on a budget. Overall, ALDI’s prices are up to 40% off compared to other grocery stores due to their operating efficiencies. I love that we can get in and out quickly as well, which means less exposure to others.
10. Amazon Prime and Subscribe & Save
- Amazon Prime is one of my very favorite ways to shop online. With four kids, I prefer things delivered to our front door. It’s super easy to order keto nonperishable items. 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. The items that you add to your subscribe and save list shows up at your doorstep at savings up to 15% off.
Make sure to check out all of my Keto recipes in my Keto Recipe Index. Eating keto doesn’t have to be expensive. There are easy ways to save money and eat keto on a budget that won’t take a lot of time or effort.