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 try to 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 completely 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
- 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. A simple 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 veggie 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 make 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. Most likely 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. 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 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. Cheap Cuts of Meat, Shop Weekly Sales, Buy Meat in Bulk, and/or Subscribe to High-Quality Meat Subscriptions
- 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.
- 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:
- Go here
- You’ll then put in your email address and then choose either custom box, mixed box, beef & chicken, beef & pork, or all-beef
- Choose your subscription plan either the classic box or big box
- You get to choose the cuts of meat you prefer!
4. Save on Fruits & Veggies
- Buy 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 to eat keto on a budget. You can also take advantage of these sales and stock up by buying veggies when they are on sale and freeze 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 veggie stands. I’ve found that I can often get especially good deals at the end of the day.
- Plant a Small Garden – I understand it is not an option for everyone to grow their own 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.
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. We typically make at least one big trip a month to either Sam’s Club or Costco (we don’t have a BJ’s Warehouse close by) to stock up on key
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, click here.
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.
Additional Resources –
- 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.