What stops a lot of people from starting a healthy diet, especially the keto diet, is the budget they would have to prepare to reap the benefits. This probably comes from the misconception that healthy food is expensive, and the first image that comes to mind are avocados and exotic oils. Though these foods have a lot of health benefits, they are not necessary to achieve and maintain ketosis.
In this article, I’ll cover my top 4 tips to save money on the keto diet.
Meal Planning and Shopping Lists
When you’re on a budget, diligence is key. Have an idea of what you’ll be eating this week and prepare in bulk. You can refer to a keto meal preparation guide for ideas. This will save you a lot of time and money later. Meal prepping also ensures your nutritional needs are met, especially if you have specific nutritional requirements such as those in the elderly.
Before you go shopping, have a shopping list prepared. This keeps you disciplined with your shopping and stuck to your budget. We underestimate how much we spend on unnecessary and impulsive purchases. Don’t believe me? Look at your previous receipts!
Stick to cheap meat and produce
A piece of advice I would give to a first-time keto shopper is to go on a day where you have some time to spare. This way, you’ll be able to take your time through the aisles and compare prices of different meats and produce. The price of products tend to vary from one place to another, but from my research, here are the vegetables that will give the biggest bang for your buck:
- Collard greens
Salmon and filet mignon cuts are obviously expensive, and they’re not worth the price if you’re on a budget. Sardines, mackerels, and tuna are great fatty fish alternatives which are super healthy and cheap.
Skin-on and bone-in chicken cuts are cheaper than those that have been prepared, and you just need a few minutes of your time to remove the bones and skin. I say that’s worth the money saved.
Buy fresh in-season, frozen off-season
Vegetables are cheapest when they are in season (plenty of supply). For example, collard greens hit peak season from January through April, and you’ll get cheaper prices then. When the prices of the veggies you love have skyrocketed, the obvious thing to do would buy them frozen. They won’t taste as great, but you’ll be saving a lot more. The trick is to find what you like, compare the prices at different stores and do some additional research!
Shop online for ingredients
Buying certain food online such as from MySupermarket is a great way to save money. Typically, you’ll find non-perishable dry food and ingredients cheaper there than it is in your local grocery store. This is because online-only retailers have very low overhead costs and can lure more customers in with attractive low prices.
However, you’ll have to be smart about what you buy! You can get away with almond flour and nuts, but I would rather shop for meat, fish, vegetables and frozen food at the local market or grocery store. Online stores tend to offer free shipping when your orders exceed a selected price, so this is where you do bulk shopping for dry, non-perishable goods.
Take-Home Message to Save Money on the Keto Diet
I understand how overwhelming transitioning to a low-carb diet can be at times, especially when you’re broke. If you follow these tips and make the right adjustments, you’ll find yourself switching gears quite easily, and wish you didn’t worry so much earlier!